We are frogs in boiling water.
When President Trump first blew the whistle — in a now-famous 2017 tweet that misspelled the word “tapp” — on the previous administration’s spying operation against his presidential campaign at the height of the election, Swamp creatures laughed. They ridiculed. They mocked.
It was a lie, they said. Never happened.
Today, after enduring two years of spinning, counter-leaks and relentless lies, we know officially what any sensible person knew from the beginning.
The FBI spied on an official they believed — or pretended to believe — was working inside the 2016 Trump presidential campaign on behalf of the Russian government to hijack the election and install a Manchurian candidate who would give America away to Moscow.
The FBI never alerted the Trump campaign to this grave inside threat, obviously, because the Department of Justice believed that the Trump campaign — including Mr. Trump, himself — was in on the giant con.
And therein lies the plotted coup.
Whatever you think of former President Barack Obama or Mr. Trump or Carter Page or James B. Comey or anybody’s foreign policy opinion regarding Russia or NATO or Mexico, only one thing matters in this situation. At the moment these decisions were being made to spy on the Trump campaign, Mr. Obama was president. His administration was at the controls of one of the most sprawling and sophisticated espionage apparatuses ever assembled on this planet.
At that time, Mr. Trump was an avowed political opponent. Any decision made by the Obama administration to spy on officials inside the Trump campaign was of massive, profound constitutional import. It is in these moments where a country is either a nation of laws or a banana republic.
It is either “equal justice under law” or a police state.
So, FBI agents — operating at the highest levels of DOJ authority — sought secret warrant applications normally reserved for our worst enemies such as active terrorists plotting to kill as many innocent Americans as possible.
They cobbled those secret warrant applications together with bad information supplied by — among others — Mr. Trump’s political opponents during the 2016 election. Much of that information was gathered abroad from America’s enemies seeking to sow discord in our elections.
The inspector general found specifically at least 17 “significant errors or omissions” in the FBI’s secret warrant applications.
Again, do not forget, the Obama administration took all these drastic and sloppy steps against a political opponent at the height of a presidential race — without ever alerting the campaign of this dastardly threat inside its campaign.
This is, literally, worse than Watergate. This is worse than the most egregious abuses of power by J. Edgar Hoover in his campaign of spying on political opponents.
The Obama administration officials responsible for this miscarriage of justice and trampling of the Constitution now step forward and admit they spied on political opponents at the height of an election — though they scramble to find softer-sounding terms for it.
And they bleat about how the inspector general found no evidence of “political bias” in their espionage campaign against the Trump campaign.
Give me a break.
First, there is plenty of evidence of deep-seated hatred of Mr. Trump spewed these biased jackboots. Second, what on earth is “political bias,” anyway? Wearing an “I’m With Her” T-shirt while applying for a secret warrant to spy on the administration’s political opponents?
Yeah, well, I am sure John Wilkes Booth was not motivated by “political bias,” either.
But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?
• Contact Charles Hurt at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @charleshurt.