(left image courtesy of /r/the_Donald)
That is, of course, assuming he’s the one who actually leaked his tax return, which seems extremely likely, given how it looks for him. If he didn’t leak it, and this was the worst the leaker could find/put out on him…holy crap, he should release all his returns for the glowing publicity he’ll get.
What all did this accomplish?
- Exposed the McCarthyist-in-chief, Rachel Maddow, and her entire organization, for the desperate, overhyped shills that they are. Also shows them to be complete idiots, for not realizing this is positive for him (or for not reviewing the document before hyping it).
- This will rub off on the corporate media, the Democrats, and anti-Trumpers as a whole.
- This damages the jingoistic, McCarthyist witch-hunt movement, given her role as its spiritual leader. This is great not just for him, but for the country and the world as a whole.
- Shut down any desire from his opposition to talk about his tax returns for the time being
- Showed he had income at a rate where he probably is indeed a billionaire, and that he has paid a fairly high tax rate (higher than NBC, Obama, and Sanders), completely cutting down two speculative criticisms of him.
- Further, shows he probably earned at least a billion between ’95 and ’05 alone, given the billion dollar loss in ’95 he could have deducted for up to 18 years
- Tarnished the reputation of David Johnston (the reporter who received the document and took it to Maddow), who wrote a negative biography of Trump during the campaign.
- In his usual style, the President rubbed some extra salt in the wound this morning on Twitter:
The fact that it went to Maddow is probably just incidental (but extremely fortunate) as it was probably Johnston’s own choice to go to her. And the spectacular, extremely hyped-up fashion it all blew up in is just about the best result Trump could have hoped for, but couldn’t actually control.
This is also the greatest trolling not just because it’s funny as hell and he utterly BTFO his opponents, but because he did a GREAT service to the country, as it might be enough to put an end to the extremely dangerous McCarthyism and jingoism that Maddow has been leading, and the media at large has been fueling. As someone who has been calling out (more so on social media than here) the Russia hacking/collusion narrative as the politically-motivated, dangerous, hysteria that it is ever since it started last summer, last night was both a huge relief and extremely satisfying.
I’ve recently seen commenters on Reddit literally calling for war with Russia over what is clearly nothing (or almost nothing, if Russia actually was the one who leaked the DNC/Podesta emails and exposed their unethical, democracy-subverting behavior; which is probably not the case, and perhaps completely unknowable). Everything Trump ever did or said involving a Russian has been fuel for the paranoid fires in their heads, and each one of the daily litany of lazy, disingenuous and innuendo-laden articles further ignited their rage. The jingoism was getting crazy and feverish, and the baseless accusations of treason and treachery even more rampant and vicious than during the run-up to the Iraq war.
I think the Dems were likely going to spin themselves into a political death spiral before they could actually gain the power/influence to outright stoke war with Russia—but it still presented a serious risk of that, among other dangers like pressuring the administration into unnecessary belligerence, which it may have already done. It’s not something I want to see fucked around with in the slightest. Michael Tracey, who is from what I’ve seen one of the more reasonable and respectable liberal journalists, outlines well the very real danger the anti-Russia hysteria poses. I hope it tamps down quickly now.
I’m not trying to idolize Trump, or revel in partisan schadenfreude—I think this is truly a watershed moment in exposing an unscrupulous media, and hopefully in refocusing/shifting our approach towards Russia and, really, our entire political atmosphere. Maybe, just maybe, we can get on to governing now. Trump will come out of this with more respect (if begrudging) and sympathy from a lot of people, and the many vicious, irresponsible, tunnel-visioned opponents of his in the media and government will rightfully come out of this with a lot less respect. I think this is evidenced by the online reactions, case in point (found in an anti-Trump community):
God bless this timeline.