Friday, February 22, 2019


Here's a Twitter exchange about Jeffrey Epstein that I spotted this morning:

D'Souza has made a career of pushing narratives he knows are false -- he knows that Barack Obama isn't an anti-colonial Marxist resentnik and that the Democratic Party isn't still the home of segregationists. But what narrative is he pushing here, besides reflexive Clinton-bashing?

It's that a guy like Jeffrey Epstein -- a near-billionaire -- couldn't possibly have clout on his own. It's inconceivable that Epstein could leverage his wealth and range of contacts to hire a team of high-powered lawyers (including former Clinton special prosecutor Ken Starr) and dissuade prosecutors (including a rising star among Republican attorneys who's now a Trump Cabinet member) to go easy on him. It's unimaginable that he might have multiple friends in high places; according to D'Souza, he was just lucky he knew a Democrat who'd been president once.

In the right-wing worldview, rich people don't have the ability to work the system. The rich aren't powerful -- they're embattled. (Remember the wave of billionaires who compared themselves to Hitler's victims when they were criticized during a post-crash economic recovery in which they hoovered up nearly all the money?)

To right-wingers, Jeffrey Epstein isn't an economic elite -- in fact, the category "economic elite" barely exists. "Elites" are upper-middle-class people who shop at Whole Foods, along with the Democratic politicians they vote for and the liberal entertainers and athletes whose work they watch in their leisure time.

Also see this clip from Laura Ingraham's radio show, at the end of which Republican lawyer Joe diGenova urges his ideological soul mates to arm themselves in preparation for the liberal pogrom:

JOE DIGENOVA (GUEST): We are in a civil war in this country. There's two standards of justice, one for Democrats one for Republicans. The press is all Democrat, all liberal, all progressive, all left - they hate Republicans, they hate Trump. So the suggestion that there's ever going to be civil discourse in this country for the foreseeable future in this country is over. It's not going to be. It's going to be total war. And as I say to my friends, I do two things - I vote and I buy guns.
Poor powerless Joe diGenova! He was almost hired as a lawyer by the current president of the United States, and Rush Limbaugh says he should be attorney general. He's been a major presence in D.C. for years, particularly since the time of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, in which he and his wife, Victoria Toensing, were major players on the GOP side. Here's Howard Kurtz writing about the two in 1998:
A decade after he was the city's top federal prosecutor in a high-stakes pursuit of D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, diGenova has become a white-hot media presence, politically connected lawyer and all-around agent provocateur. He and Toensing, also a battle-tested former prosecutor, keep popping up wherever there is trouble -- as commentators, as investigators, as unnamed sources for reporters.

A classic Washington power couple, diGenova, 53, and Toensing, 56, occupy a strange, symbiotic nexus between the media and the law that boosts their stock in both worlds. They are clearly players, which gives them access to juicy information, which gets them on television, which generates legal business.
Yeah, this guy is embattled, too. All rich people and Republicans are embattled. Only those bastards buying soy milk in Whole Foods have any real power, along with the traitors they like in Hollywood and the Democratic Party.

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