Um, yeah, anything, something, me, us, my tribe, Trump,

While continuing to evaluate the fallout from Mitt Romney’s decision to follow his conscience on Donald Trump — or rather to stab “his team” in the back, as Dinesh D’Souza and other sore winners would have it — I confess to having been weak enough to succumb to one of my guiltiest pleasures, namely to skim the reactions at my old haunt, American Thinker

Even on February 8th, days after the deluge, I saw that the second item up was the ominously titled, “Romney’s Links to Burisma,” by one of AT’s leading contributors during the Trump era, Daniel John Sobieski. I settled on this one to satisfy my sick itch for a cynical laugh, knowing that it has been a sad weakness at AT, even since its glory days, to fall back far too easily on implausible conspiracy theories and tenuous insinuations, whenever facts and principles seem inadequate to achieving an ideological goal (or perhaps just a “click” goal).

As evidence of just how far off the beam the establishment-owned, corporate-sponsored “swamp-draining” movement has gone at this point, I will begin by simply copying the article’s opening paragraph, exactly as it appears on AT:

It wasn’t 2012 Presidential loser Mitt Romney’s faith that caused him to vote to impeach President Trump, whom he once begged to rescue him from political oblivion. While Romney, who undoubtedly entertained visions of succeeding a President Trump after his vote helped remove from office, says it was his faith that caused him to believe Trump really did abuse his power to pressure the Ukrainians to dig up dirt on the Bidens, more likely it was because that Romney wanted to put an end to an administration that might expose his link to the Bidens and Burisma,

I know I’m a writing teacher and all that, but seriously, I want you to read that paragraph again. Read it out loud, listen carefully to what you are saying, and then try to explain what the hell the “writer” said. Not what you think he thought he was saying, but what he actually said. And no, that comma at the end of the paragraph is not my typo, or an indication that I must have failed to copy the real end of the sentence; that is how the paragraph ends in its original published form.

Though Sobieski’s first sentence ends with a trailing non sequitur — “whom he once begged to rescue him from political oblivion” — its fundamental weirdness is its main clause. To begin an analytical essay with a bald assertion that the subject of the essay was lying about his motives for voting to remove Trump from office would only make sense if one had some evidence or reasoning to support it — to put some hair on it, as it were. Sobieski has nothing. 

He then proceeds, in the second “sentence” (run-on sentence fragment, in fact), to misrepresent Romney’s own claim about his motives, and then to proffer an unsubstantiated alternative motive as merely “likely,” thereby serving to call into doubt his own initial unqualified assertion that Romney’s motive was certainly not the one he stated on the senate floor. Is that account of the second “sentence” a little hard to follow? If so, that is because I am trying to make sense of the senseless.

“While Romney, who undoubtedly entertained visions of succeeding a President Trump after his vote helped remove from office…”

Okay, okay, I’ll try to move past the superfluous article (“a” President Trump) and the omitted pronoun (“remove [him] from office”), and stick to the clause’s core absurdity of claiming that Romney’s ulterior motive in alienating himself from his entire party was “undoubtedly” to succeed Trump as president. This is the kind of assertion that could only seem reasonable to a Trump cultist, who still honestly believes that the GOP establishment is out to destroy Trump — which would certainly explain why all of that establishment, except Mitt Romney, rallied to Trump’s defense at the very moment when they had the easiest opportunity to rid themselves of his presence, wouldn’t it? But to a Trumpanzee, lost in mindless idolatry and weak-willed moral dependency, it seems the most reasonable thing in the world to explain Mitch McConnell’s endless machinations on behalf of Trump as evidence that Trump is a swamp-draining anti-establishmentarian. Hence, to such a warped mind, Romney, by voting against McConnell on the biggest issue in years, is obviously trying to win over the establishment and supplant Trump as president.

“…says it was his faith that caused him to believe Trump really did abuse his power to pressure the Ukrainians to dig up dirt on the Bidens…”

No, Romney did not say any such thing. Sobieski’s account makes it sound as though Romney is claiming to have received a message from God telling him that Trump was guilty. What he said, in truth — and it seems clear from his account that Sobieski has not even listened to Romney’s explanation — was that his faith forced him to take his oath seriously, and that this seriousness about his sworn oath to God compelled him to judge the case with his true conscience, rather than according to the dictates of political expediency and convenience. It is this claim, then, that Sobieski is rejecting when he says faith was not Romney’s motive. And he knows this about Romney’s heart because…well, of course! Because Trump!

“…more likely it was because that Romney wanted to put an end to an administration that might expose his link to the Bidens and Burisma,”

Once more, let’s skip past the utterly anti-lingual elements of this monster of an alleged sentence and paragraph, and cut to the chase. (As I think of it, perhaps Sobieski and AT’s editors deliberately peppered this article with ungrammatical ugliness in an attempt to distract the reader from the essential stupidity of its thesis.)

Here is the crux of the article’s claim: Mitt Romney was nervous that his own indirect connection to Burisma and Hunter Biden, via an old advisor from 2012 who also worked for the company, would be revealed by the intrepid Trump-demanded investigation into the Bidens. To prevent this horrifying revelation of…something that didn’t involve him…he voted to remove Trump from office. 

But wait. Romney knew that his vote would be outnumbered, meaning that Trump would not be removed from office, and therefore that he would be isolating himself as the only Republican in Washington who voted to remove him from office. In other words, he knew he would be directly incurring the wrath of the sitting president and his entire party of rabid establishment cultists. And he did this, um, er, to prevent them from doing anything that might harm him. Right.

That’s the first paragraph. It gets worse from there, so I won’t waste your time with it, except to leave you with this remarkable final speculation from Sobieski’s conclusion:

Why was Black on the Burisma board at the same time as Hunter Biden? Mere coincidence? What did he know and when did he know it? What did Romney know and when did he know it? Why was a former adviser to the only Republican senator to vote to impeach the President who legally asked the Ukrainians, in accordance with treaty and U.S. law,  if they knew anything about Ukrainian corruption and possible interference in U.S. elections, on the Burisma board? 

Yeah, why? I’d like to know too. I mean geez, this is so obvious, so weird, so deep-state. Gawd, they’re everywhere, and only one man can stop them! God bless Donald Trump for having the guts to stand up to the unholy hordes of whatever-the-hell-they-are! Them!

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