Though I can't shake the feeling that his candidacy is aimed more at securing a cabinet position, or perhaps even as a long-shot vice-presidential selection, than it is a serious bid for the presidency, I know I'm not alone when I say that I am increasingly impressed with entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.
His 10-point Twitter truth bomb the other day was bold, and his demand that all Republican primary candidates vow to pardon Donald Trump if elected showed leadership and smart political instincts.
But his performance on CNN with host Dana Bash was one of the best I've ever seen. If you missed it, check this out:
VIVEK RAMASWAMY: If Trump's judgment was bad, President Biden's judgment is worse for actually bringing a prosecution. He should have done what Trump did.
DANA BASH: President Biden didn't bring a prosecution.
RAMASWAMY: The Department of Justice reports to the President of the United States and so this is a —
RAMASWAMY: Which is why I think the media needs to get to the bottom of this.
BASH: But there's no evidence. There's absolutely no evidence, unless you can show me some, that President Biden has had anything to do with this prosecution. That is why he put two layers in between.
RAMASWAMY: With due respect I think it is shameful that I as a competitor to President Trump in this race have to ask questions that the media isn't asking. The job of the political media if it has one job is to hold the U.S. government accountable.
BASH: Yes. We know that.
RAMASWAMY: Instead we're doing the bidding. You're seeing the media do the bidding of the U.S. Government. Ask the question. Get to the bottom of what Biden told Garland and what Garland told Jack Smith. If the same shoe fit the other foot you would not take their word at face value. Do not take their word now. Get to the bottom of it. Let's actually restore journalism in this country. That's what's actually missing is getting to the truth.
BASH: Okay, thank you for that. We are absolutely asking these questions.
BASH: And we know how to be good journalists because we do it every single day.
It's tough to imagine a more thorough exposing of the corrupt propagandists the media has allowed itself to become.
First, Vivek highlighted a point that the media has made every effort to conceal. Upon assuming the presidency, Donald Trump himself thwarted the insatiable desires of his base to "lock up" Hillary Clinton. Just weeks after his election and weeks before taking office, President-Elect Trump declared that his administration would not investigate Clinton and her observably illegal private email scandal. Trump argued it was better to let her and the nation "heal" from the rancorous election.
Vivek shrewdly juxtaposes Trumps magnanimity to President Biden's divisive, despotic move to have his own predecessor investigated on (forgive the pun) trumped up charges. I don't know if this was a set-up by the fledgling Republican star or not, but Bash fell right into the trap, instinctively coming to the defense of the elected Democrat.
She impotently claims that Biden isn't the one prosecuting Trump, as if anyone remotely aware of how things work in Washington doesn't know that the Attorney General and the entire Department of Justice answer directly to the president. If Biden didn't want the investigation happening, it wouldn't happen. Bash knows this, but pretends otherwise, absurdly demanding that Vivek provide evidence.
And that's the moment Ramaswamy goes nuclear:
I think it is shameful that I as a competitor to President Trump in this race have to ask questions that the media isn't asking. The job of the political media if it has one job is to hold the U.S. government accountable.
This is precisely correct. The media's job is to hold the government accountable. They are to operate on behalf of the American people, holding a healthy distrust of those who wield inordinate power and influence over the citizenry.
Vivek points out the obvious – if this were Trump's investigation of Hillary, people like Bash would be approaching it from an entirely different angle with a completely different level of rage animating their reports. They would not merely take Trump's word for it, that he didn't instruct his Attorney General to prosecute his chief political rival. They would not expect Democrat candidates to accrue evidence privately and independently. They would do it themselves.
The fact that a political media star like Bash can sit there with a straight face, express no concern with the government's prosecution of their chief political opponent, and be indignant when someone says she should, represents everything that is wrong with the mainstream press these days.