The Mueller Investigation, the Times, and the Kosher Butcher

In today’s New York Times (8/20/18), the once formidable gray lady which has more recently transmogrified itself into a 24/7 Gatling Gun trained on the Trump administration, there appears a front page article about Michael Cohen, the former Trump lawyer, facing possible indictment on account of some monkey business involving his family’s taxi company.

While this would have absolutely nothing to do with the Trump collusion investigation, the Times predictably spins it as such and implies – perhaps because it know something we don’t, but more likely as useful conjecture – that how this taxi business case evolves will hinge on how useful Mr. Cohen is in helping the Mueller investigation hang the president.

Earlier in the last century, kosher butchers were known for their unique and rather crusty brand of humor. One of their favorite jokes went as follows:

Mrs. Mueller enters the butcher shop and asks Moish the butcher “for a nice chicken, a very nice chicken.” Moish goes to the back and returns with a beautiful hen, freshly slaughtered, perfectly plucked, and hands its to Mrs. Mueller. She proceeds to turn it over every which way before holding it up to the light and examining it thoroughly, spreading its legs and peering suspiciously into its backside before sniffing it. At which point, Moish the butcher asks; “Tell me lady, would you pass such an inspection?”

Because the truth is none of us would. Given enough money and a mandate to find something – indeed anything – amiss in our affairs and we all could end up with a one-way ticket to the hoosegow.

Such relentless, pre-determined, damn-the-means efforts to crucify people has been effective throughout history. This is how the Inquisition managed to legally burn thousands of people. This is how the Gestapo and the NKVD legally murdered millions. This is how McCarthy successfully destroyed so many American lives. Always legally. Always by turning their victims this way and that, peering into the nethermost regions of their backsides, certain they would eventually find something, anything that might be useful in destroying another life.

The Mueller investigation against Donald Trump is indeed just such an effort. Trump naively believed it was about whether he personally colluded with Russia in tampering with the US elections. Knowing he was innocent of such charges, he readily agreed to allow the Mueller investigation to proceed.

Yet, what he failed to realize was that the investigation’s goal was not to prove that he, Trump, was guilty of collusion, but rather that he was guilty of something, anything at all.

And when you turn the chicken this way and that, and poke your nose into its backside you will eventually find that something, that anything at all.

It is clear that the Mueller investigation is no longer seeking proof of collusion. Had this been its goal, the case would have been either closed or prosecuted months and months ago. Having found nothing indictable, and armed with both limitless funding and a mandate for which collusion was but the excuse, Mr. Mueller – as the Grand Inquisitor – and his team are expanding their quest omni-directionally. They are toying with and torturing every collateral flunky on the radar screen, until such time as they find something – anything at all – by which to fulfill their true mandate, namely the demise of this presidency.

And they may well succeed. Just as their role models in the Inquisition, the Gestapo, the NKVD and the McCarthy House Un-American Activities succeeded. Only this time the villains are being championed by the New York Times.

About the Author
J.J Gross is a veteran creative director and copywriter, who made aliyah in 2007 from New York. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a lifelong student of Bible and Talmud. He is also the son of Holocaust survivors from Hungary and Slovakia.
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