Back in the 1990’s, most people knew Bill Clinton was a crook and a degenerate, but people also knew he would never be held to account. An unspoken truth of the age was that a big part of the frustration with the Clinton crime family was really over the unwillingness of the so-called conservatives to get tough. The National Review types carried on like they were too good to get into the outrage over the endless stream of scandals surrounding Team Clinton. They were above that stuff.
As a result, talking about the Clinton shenanigans became a staple of talk radio, mostly because it was amusing, but also as a form of outrage porn. Every time one of them got away with some obvious lie, the phone lines would light up with people ready to talk about how angry they were about it. In other words, a big part of the Clinton hating was over the fact they kept getting away with it, because the political class, particularly the so-called principled conservatives, lacked the stones to do anything about it.
That’s an important thing to keep in mind while watching the Left wrestle with the fact Trump will not be sent to prison for treason. To normal people, the Russian collusion stuff was always a nutty conspiracy theory. It seemed obvious that the point of the Russian collusion narrative was to distract people from the fact the Obama White House was engaged in activity that would have made Nixon blush. If there was a conspiracy, it was the media running cover for the crooks in the Obama administration.
This understanding blinded people to what could be the most important part of the Russian collusion story. The Left really believed it. They really thought there was a secret conspiracy between Trump people and Putin people to work some secret magic to alter the 2016 election. They did not know the nature of this magic. In fact, it was probably supernatural, but the Left was sure it was real. This is something people outside the Progressive hive are just starting to realize. The Left really is that crazy.
The juxtaposition of the Clinton haters and the NeverTrump people is a good way of understanding the vast chasm between the Progressive worldview and that of normal people. The hatred of the Clintons was rooted in a grudging acceptance of the reality of modern politics. It was a lament, more than a set of beliefs. People knew they were crooks, but also knew the so-called conservatives were wimps and liars. Bill Clinton in the White House was the symptom of the disease that had infected the nation’s elite.
The NeverTrump stuff is something different. It’s rooted in a fantasy about how the world is organized and the role the Left plays in it. They really do believe in mysterious forces that operate on the fringes. They not only think there is a man behind the curtain, but that the curtain itself is part of an elaborate conspiracy. Most important, they deeply believe that the arc of history bends toward the Promised Land and that they are on the right side of history, leading the rest of us into the light of salvation. They really do think that.
It’s why their response to the Mueller report has been like the response to the sudden death of a child. They were not convinced some Trump people had some shady dealings with the Russians. They were sure there was an elaborate conspiracy that altered the election. That was the key part of their coping system for the last two plus years. The conspiracy altered the election. The arc of history was not altered. The bad guys were not able to legitimately defeat those on the right side of history. The devil real!
Cults have ways to deal with disconfirmation, but there must be a way to salvage some of the original core belief from the wreckage. If the aliens were supposed to arrive on Tuesday, but failed to show, the cult can explain this by claiming they got the dates wrong or that they failed to perform the proper ritual. In this case, the Left can’t seem to find a way to salvage the core belief from the wreckage, because the core belief had to be completely true in order to confirm their role in the Great Russian collusion narrative.
What we’re seeing with the Left is a child learning that they have not only been adopted, but they have been in a coma their whole life and everything they believe about themselves is a dream. Rachel Maddow right now is someone sure she was a Jewish TV lesbian, but has learned she is really white guy with two kids and an ex-wife, working at the Home Depot. Everything about who she was in the moral sense is not just false, it never existed. As a result, she never really existed. She was part of the fraud.
That’s why the audience has evaporated for these lefty chat shows. Conservatives will try to explain this in the same dimwitted way they explain everything, by focusing on the fact these shows promoted a fake story. In reality, we’re witnessing the collapse of an identity cult, built around the belief in a sinister conspiracy to snatch away the 2016 election from forces of light. The collapse of the central narrative is also the collapse of the core of this identity cult. These are now people without a reason to exist.