I suspect that there aren’t that many among you who watched the second season of The Good Fight on CBS All Access. It was fantastic, and quietly, it’s been the most anti-Trump series on television, overtly calling out the President, his policies, and his conspiracy theories all season long. It’s gone about it in a very smart way, dealing with the legal ramifications of those policies and the idiotic, incompetent judges Trump has put on the bench.
What’s remarkable is how these lawyers have used both the law and their wits to work around Trump policies. For instance, in front of a particularly lousy judge (from a “terrible law school”), Diane will often begin rattling off Latin phrases, not because they’re germane, but because the judge doesn’t know what they mean and will often rule in favor of Diane just to avoid admitting his own ignorance.
In last week’s episode, ICE followed one of the firm’s investigators to court — where he was to appear for a traffic infraction — in order to deport him. Under advice of counsel, the investigator refused to pay his $10 bail so as to remain in jail, and later, cursed at the judge in order to elicit a contempt order, again, to remain in jail and away from ICE agents until his lawyers could figure out how to avoid his deportation. Ultimately, the lawyers used a few of Trump’s tricks. They microtargeted the immigration judge on Facebook, planted fake news on his Facebook account to suggest that the investigator was a brilliant artist, and convinced the judge to give the investigator an Einstein visa, which is exactly how Melania Trump managed to stay in the United States legally (she got an Einstein visa based on her modeling career. True story.).
It was a stroke of genius, and a lot of the episodes of The Good Fight this season are little legal capers designed to get around new Trump laws and policies. It’s fun, and satisfying because it’s the one place where the good guys occasionally win.
Ultimately, however, the major theme of this season is this: In the Trump era, justice matters more than truth. I understand that in better journalism circles, facts remain sacrosanct (and thank god for that), but everywhere else, facts are negotiable.
Increasingly, facts are irrelevant. To wit:
Why aren’t the 13 Angry and heavily conflicted Democrats investigating the totally Crooked Campaign of totally Crooked Hillary Clinton. It’s a Rigged Witch Hunt, that’s why! Ask them if they enjoyed her after election celebration!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2018
Mueller, Rosenstein, and most of the higher level people involved in the Russian investigation are Republicans, some of whom were appointed by Trump.
The 13 Angry Democrats (plus people who worked 8 years for Obama) working on the rigged Russia Witch Hunt, will be MEDDLING with the mid-term elections, especially now that Republicans (stay tough!) are taking the lead in Polls. There was no Collusion, except by the Democrats!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2018
There is zero evidence of Democratic collusion.
The Failing @nytimes quotes “a senior White House official,” who doesn’t exist, as saying “even if the meeting were reinstated, holding it on June 12 would be impossible, given the lack of time and the amount of planning needed.” WRONG AGAIN! Use real people, not phony sources.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2018
The “senior White House official” spoke to reporters, on the record, during a background briefing.
Put pressure on the Democrats to end the horrible law that separates children from there parents once they cross the Border into the U.S. Catch and Release, Lottery and Chain must also go with it and we MUST continue building the WALL! DEMOCRATS ARE PROTECTING MS-13 THUGS.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2018
It is not a law. It is a policy that both John Kelly and Jeff Sessions boasted about last month.
Not surprisingly, the GREAT Men & Women of the FBI are starting to speak out against Comey, McCabe and all of the political corruption and poor leadership found within the top ranks of the FBI. Comey was a terrible and corrupt leader who inflicted great pain on the FBI! #SPYGATE— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 24, 2018
None of this is true, and SpyGate has no basis in fact.
You get the picture. Trump makes up stuff every single day to both suit his agenda and to combat the facts. Most reporters, meanwhile, continue to report the facts, but to what end? The truth, of course. But there is no “justice” in truth in the Trump era. The “truth” does not save children from being taken away from their mothers at the border. The truth did not get Merrick Garland a seat on the Supreme Court. The truth has not prevented an escalation in hate crimes. The truth does little to stop the erosion of Democratic norms, save healthcare, or prevent abortion rights from being chipped away.
There is no justice in the truth.
During a dinner with several members of the White House, an aide overheard Donald Trump laughing about his supporters, whom he called “low-class losers.” He once again bragged that he could shoot a man in Times Square and his supporters would stick by him. “They will believe anything I say,” he told his dinner companions. “I can’t believe how easy it is to fool them into believing whatever I want them to believe. I’ve got these motherfuckers wrapped around my little finger,” he added, “and as long as they continue to stick by me, I can make whatever deals I want. I am untouchable.”
Did Donald Trump actually say that? I don’t know. That’s what lots of people tell me he said. I think I heard someone on MSNBC say that, and then someone tweeted it. It’s probably true, then. It sure sounds like something that Donald Trump would say. It’s clear he doesn’t respect his own supporters. He’s just using them to advance an agenda that has nothing to do with them, and everything to do with increasing his own wealth. I can certainly picture Trump sitting around a table, dipping his steak into ketchup, and laughing along with his rich old white friends at the plight of poor people. “I’ll take away their healthcare, and their Medicaid and those sons of bitches will still vote for me! You think those coal jobs are coming back? It doesn’t matter. As long as I keep them hating the Democrats, there’s nothing they won’t do for me.”
Is it true? Does it matter? Retweet the headline enough, and it becomes the truth to people who want it to be, and if enough of his supporters believe it, maybe we’ll get some justice in November.
“I’m tired of when they go low, we go high. Fuck that,” Diane Lockhart says in episode 7 of The Good Fight. “When they go low, we go lower. This isn’t just about the law. It’s about persuading people. And if it’s one thing that we’ve seen this past year, it’s that lies persuade. Truth only takes you that far, and then you need lies … I’m done with being the adult in the room. I’m done with being the compliant and the sensible one. Standing stoically by while the other side picks my pockets.”
Is that the answer?
I don’t know.
But it’s certainly an option.