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Things are going pretty much according to script

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If you pay close enough attention, do enough homework to be able to put things in the correct context, and tune out all the noise, the things that happen in politics often end up being fairly predictable. You can’t always predict the empty fluff that’ll happen on any given day. And when it comes to the big things, you can’t predict precisely when they’ll happen. But most of the big things that end up happening are things that were – again, if you’re paying close attention and tuning out the noise – predictable all along.

Take, for instance, how things have played out since this time yesterday. Instead of staging a standoff or fleeing the country, Donald Trump simply surrendered himself, just like I said he would. Instead of mass violence from Trump supporters in protest of his arrest, their turnout was small and tepid. Instead of Trump gaining anything from his arrest, he just ended up looking weak.

Now look at yesterday’s other news. Instead of there being endless delays to “run out the clock” in the DOJ’s case against Trump, the U.S. Court of Appeals refused to block Mark Meadows and others from testifying against Trump, which means they’ll testify to the grand jury within days.

Now look at the broader picture. Instead of Trump somehow never getting indicted no matter what, he was indeed indicted. Instead of these charges all being misdemeanors, they were all felony counts. And instead of the Manhattan case being some tortured interpretation of the law, it’s turned out to be an overwhelmingly strong case.


The overwhelming pattern here is that these things were all predictable. For the most part they weren’t predicted, because the vast majority of people making predictions went with scarier, and more dramatic and ridiculous scenarios in order to bring attention to themselves, instead of simply predicting what they knew to be the most likely scenarios. But these things that have happened were entirely predictable.

There are always going to be things that happen in politics that are genuinely surprising, either because there wasn’t enough data and evidence available to be able to see them coming, or because they’re random events. But most of the big picture stuff that happens in politics is, frankly, predictable. There are just so many people in this industry making intentionally wrong predictions for short term effect, some of the most predictable things that happen end up feeling like surprises. Really, though, most of what we’ve been seeing happening of late has merely been playing out to script. You just have to pay close enough attention to the script to figure out what’s coming.

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