Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Josh Marshall writes:
This is really quite astounding. In this morning’s edition of Mike Allen’s not-Playbook from Axios he introduces what seems to be Ivanka Trump setting up something that sounds a lot like the Clinton Foundation, only in this case run from within the White House by a top presidential aide who is also the President’s daughter, who also runs her own large international company and who also has two brothers who are currently running the President/Father’s company and trying to rake in as much money as possible on the fame and power of the presidency. Also, let’s be honest, the Trumps are a notoriously corrupt family, especially when it comes to running foundations.

No less astounding is that Allen never mentions that there’s anything problematic about this or that it doesn’t mimic in a wildly more corrupt way what President Trump nominally ran most of the 2016 campaign against....

What’s worth asking is this: Is this even envisioned as a foundation and non-profit? Or is Ivanka setting up something like a venture capital or private equity fund? i.e., one designed to make a profit?
The Mike Allen piece is here. A subsequent Axios piece, not by Mike Allen, does ask a few questions.

But Ivanka will get away with this, just the way the entire Trump family has been getting away with blatant violations of Constitution's emoluments clause. There won't be a clamor to stop this.

Why? To a large extent, it's the family's pure brazenness. Beyond that, Democrats don't have a Fox News equivalent that can turn this sort of thing a round-the-clock scandal for days, weeks, or months.

But the Trumps also get away with things like this because of what I'm beginning to see as their Gish Gallop-ization of politics. You know what a Gish Gallop is, right? It's the
debate tactic of drowning your opponent in a flood of individually-weak arguments in order to prevent rebuttal of the whole argument collection without great effort.... Although it takes a trivial amount of effort on the Galloper's part to make each individual point before skipping on to the next ... a refutation of the same Gallop may likely take much longer and require significantly more effort.
In other words, if you're debating, flood your opponent with a tsunami of bad arguments in a short space of time. You'll get away with some or even most of them, because refuting them all simply takes too long.

Donald Trump -- with good reason -- has been accused of using this tactic in his public utterances. But I think the principle of the Gish Gallop applies to more than just rhetoric (and tweets). If something you do is offensive, outrageous, or even illegal, it might be easier to get away with it if you do a lot of it. Your critics simply become frustrated trying to counter what you're doing.

For instance, the president seems to Gish-Gallop ignorance. We can refute him on point after point, but after a while, it's hard to keep up -- the fact-checks go on for pages and pages. That's why Trump's recent AP interview was so exhausting.

I think the Trumps are Gish-Galloping corruption. It's easy to focus on one corrupt practice -- but the Trumps are corrupt across the board. We just can't keep up, can we?

So Ivanka will slide by with this -- and the Trumps will slide by with the next thirty or forty corrupt, self-dealing acts.

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