The Median Republican Deserves What Will Happen

The rules Republicans have championed for years are presently in place - and due to a complete lack of foresight they’ve turned out differently than expected.

They fought to remove laws preventing media consolidation. They insisted that “money is speech” and that corporations had an inalienable right to lobby Congress, form PACs, and flood the airwaves with propaganda.

They also demanded constant surveillance of the entire citizenry by the various intelligence agencies to prevent “terrorism”. They contended the one good kind of government spending was building a huge military with a pervasive monitoring system to “keep us safe”.

Most recently they argued that social media platforms are not public spaces, and the tech companies have a right to collude and censor anything they want. Including dragging in hardware providers, and payment processors.

Today, the conglomerate owned media has turned on them. The corporations they fought for ridicule them. Social media companies are censoring them. And broader “big tech” is making sure that services providers like webhosts and credit card companies won’t work with any services that won’t censor them. Lastly, the surveillance State they empowered now considers many of them to be “Domestic terrorists”.

Now the question is, did they learn anything?

I suspect they’ve learned nothing. They just don’t like how the playing field they demanded - turned out for them.
They would still take the word of the lying intelligence agencies and invade random Islamic countries with spurious “evidence”. They would still cancel the Dixie Chicks for daring to speak out against a president. They would still uphold that Pepsi should drop its marketing with Ludicris because of whatever Bill O’Riley didn’t like about him. They would still insist that Blue Cross has every right to spend tens of millions of dollars “lobbying” Congress with legal bribes to continue keeping healthcare as “a business”. They would still insist that those who have nothing to hide, have nothing to fear from DHS. They would still stand with social media in blacklisting anyone they want to - it’s their company and “free speech” is only important if the government infringes on it!

So why exactly don’t Republicans deserve what is happening? It’s the very framework they championed. Have they truly come to see why the things they supported were always a bad idea, or are they just sad that the boot intended for their enemies ended up landing on their own face?


That’s a hard no.

Citizens United helped Republicans, and it helped the Tea Party type specifically.

It helped Dave Brat take down Eric Cantor (who was the majority leader), it helped Scott Walker fight off those trying to recall him.

It even helped Trump, both in 2016, and in this election. (The Epoch Times anyone? I saw their ads all through the election season.)

The finance law that Citizens United corporation “violated” was little more than the “Incumbents Protection Act.“ It didn’t help the little guy, it strengthened gate keepers trying to keep little guys silent, making sure only “approved” people got to speak at the “appointed” time.

The Citizens United decision leveled the incumbent effect, and made sure even when the incumbent raises 200 to 1, that their race can still be one they lose, and their opponent can still get a voice.

Which is exactly what happened to Eric Cantor, btw.

So Cwolf, everything else I can get behind, so long as you understand I won’t go along with this, or anti-trust talk.

That’s not the problem. The problem which you sort of hint at is the culture within the managerial class, which has long been there, and long been known.

And it’s happening even in countries without our laws on campaign finance.

The system is totally corrupt, and money has painted the picture we live in today. I’m not sure how many of us “deserve” what we are getting. I would say society as a whole kind of does. After this last election, I think it’s pretty clear that it’s useless to resist this new way of life. Dye your hair green. Wear some planned parenthood T-shirts. Get used to meat substitutes.

1 Like

Actually, younger generations are starting to upchuck abortion. PP heads are exploding.

1 Like

Leaving aside ‘Citizens United’, CWolf has hit the bullseye.

Conservatism is a disposition, not an ideology.

Its foundation is an essentially pessimistic view of human nature, a distrust of professed selfless idealism on the part of would-be rulers, and an equal distrust of beautiful abstract schemes for the radical reorganization of society, especially when they explicitly or implicitly require a radical transformation of human nature. (Socialists invariably believe that socialism will be administered by intelligent, kind-hearted people like themselves.)

This leads it to lean towards support of the status quo, where that status quo has evolved over the centuries. Since the status quo reflects present or past power relationships, this tendency sometimes comes into conflict with the higher ideals of individual freedom that conservatives also adhere to.

Therefore, in the history of conservatism, you can find support for a strong state, against external or internal threats, including when this has clashed with abstract committment to civil liberties. Fifty years ago, clashes over the issue of ‘free speech’ found liberals and conservatives in camps which were just the opposite of those they occupy today (although the main issue was pornography, not political expression). [And not that conservatives were purists on free speech and political expression. Check out the Wiki entry on the ‘Peekskill riots’. It’s really a question of whose ox is being gored.]

So it is not the case that conservatism, properly understood, simply embraces the unregulated free market. However, it has been the case that American conservatives, for lack of a conservative theory of their own on this issue, have tended to expropriate the pure and easy to understand position of the Libertarians with respect to the market and government regulation or ownership. [Okay, not to the extent of proposing auctioning off Yosemite, an actual Libertarian Party position. Libertarians are to conservatives as Marxists are to liberals: a source of ideas and attitudes, but not necessarily of conclusions.]

Since the Republican Party is best understood not as a conservative party, but as the Chamber of Commerce party, it championed free trade and effectively unrestrained illegal immigration, because these positions benefitted its real base, the employer/business-owner donor class. The voters were kept on side by ‘waving the bloody shirt’ of patriotism, gay marriage, and similar issues. [Admission: this point was stolen from Thomas Frank’s What’s Wrong With Kansas?]

The Republican voting base did not benefit from unrestrained free trade and immigration, but had no one to articulate and express their views. Charles Murray’s Coming Apart documented the continuing lumpenization of the white working class ten years ago. The Republican leadership is a tightly-organized club, just as the Democrats are. Then along came Donald Trump.

Now, in addition to rejecting what used to be a key Republican position on free trade, conservatives have had their noses rubbed in something that the Left has been saying for a long time: monopoly or near-monopoly control of the media is not really compatible with democracy.

[A suggestion to any conservative entrepreneur: get a digital copy of Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent. Go through it with a word processor and change ‘capitalism’ to ‘woke socialism’ and ‘imperialism’ to ‘globalization’. Make a few other superficial alterations. Without having to write it, you’ve now got a best-seller that will be bought by hundreds of thousands of conservatives.]

So our side faces a paradox: we don’t want government regulation or control of the media. But we don’t want a monopolized media totally in the hands of ‘woke’ globalists who try to shut down our views, the media now being ‘social’, ie a platform for everyone.

Libertarian economic theory says, if there is enough demand, then a new, free media will arise. The reality is, hardcore conservative ideologues will leave Facebook and Twitter for Gab and Parler and similar platforms, but 95% of the conservative voting base are not hardcore ideologues. They want their friends and relatives to see their holiday snaps, and those people will stick with Facebook and Twitter.

Theory, meet reality.


I don’t use facebook or twitter. And it pains me to see most of my family and friends using them. Whether they know it or not they are being manipulated.
Soon they’ll have purple colored hair and be eating vegan meat substitutes. And probably be burning down their cities.

Don’t give up on them! Keep up your friendly and/or loving relationships with them.

There are cold-blooded pragmatic reasons for doing this:
(1) it undermines the ‘all conservatives are foaming-at-the-mouth white supremacist fascists’ message that they will be hearing from others, and
(2) for young people, this is an almost necessary phase that they have to go through.[Ask me how I know!] Once they’ve had a bit of experience with the real world, gotten a job, started paying taxes, seen that nice position that they were well qualified for given to someone else who matches the correct diversity requirements of America’s new Nuremberg Laws but who is far less qualified for it … they may start to wake up.

Don’t be smug and say “I told you so” though. Just note the old observation, that a conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged.

In fact, there’s an idea.

Find the exact location of the nearest equivalent to South Chicago, wherever you live. If there is a map of the violent crime rate for your locality, that will be perfect.

Announce to your delighted friends and relatives you’ve been converted to Progressivism. No more meat for you. You probably don’t have to dye your hair or get a nose ring, however.

And with the zeal of a new convert, say you want to organize your lefty friends and relatives to go on a ‘Solidarity March’ through that area of social deprivation where the victims of white racism live, at about 10pm on a Saturday night. Have them march through the area, near some public housing if possible. They could chant “Black Lives Matter! All Whites Are Guilty! Reparations Now!”

You see them off, but tell them you will go around and meet them at the destination point. Then go home.

As old Ben Franklin said, “Experience keeps a dear school, but a fool will learn in no other.”

[Liberals: here is the ideal place for you to say: IRAQ!]


True, and I do think the current style of leadership is part of the problem. But I don’t see how the current mindset of the median Republican voter would even facilitate a change in this structure. They really don’t object to anything that’s happening in principal, they just don’t like being the target of the system.

They also still strongly buy into the idea of Team Red and Team Blue. The median Republican voter unironically believes Joe Biden - stooge of Wall Street is an actual Communist. The man is substantially to the Right of Trump on economic policy. There is one party in Washington and they’re essentially just doing whatever Raytheon and Goldman Sachs tells them to do. We’re almost literally the opposite of Communist, we’re basically a Corporate Republic at this point. Every dime of government spending, every regulations, etc, is there because a powerful business/rich person benefitted from it being there.

The median Republican legitimately has a lot more in common with Antifa members and BLM protesters than they do with country club Republicans. The Tea Party and BLM are ultimately feeling the same thing - the system is broken and not serving them. The specific diagnostic is not that material. Both of these movements came about due to frustrations with a government that has failed them.
But until people get off Team Red Team Blue, they can’t recognize the person who is really a threat to them isn’t “White supremacists” and “Communists”. The threat is career politicians, executives of public companies, and the leadership of the corrupt military industry. Antifa and Proud Boys aren’t the problem.

Democrats have every reason to hate their leaders too. They have failed them as well.

All very true.

Having locally owned newspapers and other businesses is what I would think conservatives stand for. I remember when most Republicans were big on “buy America”. For some reason that seemed to change to “No, I LOVE cheap Chinese crap and ubiquitous franchises steamrolling local culture!” around the late 90s to today. But I think traditionally, conservatives were almost always skeptical of big business - as they should be. The problem with government is nothing special. It’s a power dynamic. You never want a large power that can also control you. It’s bad when the state does it, it’s bad when the business does it.

Conservatives are usually family oriented. Large businesses are not family friendly. You might want grandkids, but your children’s employer definitely doesn’t want your daughter taking off work, and maybe having a less reliable schedule from now on. They also like having double the working population to drive down wage rates. Pretty much everything that most fundamentally undermines families has been done at the behest of big business. This includes welfare programs that reward dysfunctional family arrangements. Businesses were the ones pushing for expanded welfare so they could slack off on worker support. Many of the largest businesses in the country rely on their employees utilizing government programs to make up for their non-competitive wages.

Big business and government are already essentially the same thing when it comes to power and influence, but when you add in lobbying, PACs, and the D.C. circuit, they become literally the same thing.

Raising minimum wage? $400 billion on a new federal program for clean energy research? Reversing corporate tax cuts? Create a public option for healthcare?

Rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement?

Looking at policy rather than rhetoric doesn’t suggest it.

While it’s true pork is something bipartisan, to the point that ending the practice of earmarking resulted in an upsurge of partisanism, as it left a vacuum for creating cooperation, I think you’ve misunderstood something.

Defense contractors, do not decide foreign policy, and they did not precipitate the invasion of Iraq. Without or without war, they get paid, so they largely don’t care. If America isn’t at war, there’s plenty of other nations to sell to. Lockheed, Just like Amazon and Apple, has gone Trans-national.

So who did it truly come down? That would be the people in the Project for a New American Century. PNAC, motivated by an ideology you can largely trace back to people like this, and this.

Of the core members of PNAC, only one had worked in the defense industry, and that was for the General Instrument Corporation. A company which was long gone by the 2nd Gulf War.

Majoritively their members were public officials crisscrossing themselves between offices in Government and think tanks.

They had a particular idea of how Geopolitics worked, and how America could throw its weight around to make the world a better place for liberal democracies. They were wrong. Greed was no doubt apart of the equation, but the main issue for why this was done was zealotry. An over-entitled sense of America as the “benevolent hegemon” which had a duty to force the world into being whatever it saw fit.

If you read PNAC’s work, you see again and again it’s people pointing at Japan and West Germany, triumphing them as what America could do to re-write the fortunes of the world and everyone living in it. Equally, people like Saddam were seen as rabble rousers who created conditions for terrorism to arise, even if they weren’t directly supporting it.

With the arisal of Al-Qaeda and 9/11, PNAC’s “movement” took on an even more radical energy as they saw it as a vindication for why any noncompliant nations/leaders should be dealt with.

And yes, they lied. That’s what zealots do when confronted with inconvenient evidence. They were convinced even if Saddam didn’t have the weapons they were charging him with right now, that as soon as we invaded we’d find something else he was working on.

PNAC members lined the halls of the Bush Administration. They formed an echo chamber that insulated the President into their way of thinking.

There’s more to be said about how the war was carried out, and what contractors did in that respect, but that’s separate from why the invasion happened.

Perhaps, but this is also a war between the Anywheres and the Somewheres. This creates very real chasms between people and their interests.

It’s not clear to me the Occupy/BLM types fail to appreciably align in the Anywhere camp.

It’s equally not just “do we have shared interest” but what the hierarchy of those interests are.

A Trump supporter type and a BLM Type who agree Trade should be taxed, and that drugs should be legalized, may have both of those far lower on their list than immigration where they will wildly disagree.

I’m pretty sure you know what Communism is and that ain’t it, Chief.

Bullshit. Biden said he would expand access to Medicare to anyone who would qualify for Medicaid under Obamacare but in states that didn’t expand it. That’s not a “public option” that’s “Making Obamacare work the way it was intended”. He uses that phrase to mean something totally different than its actual meaning.

I believe he’s also calling the new Syrian war “International activism”.

Nearly ten thousand posts, easily over a million sentences and I think this one wins for the funniest sentence you’ve ever written. If we still had sigs, this would be going there.

1 Like

Wasn’t about communism. You said Biden was to the right of Trump, but that just doesn’t add up given what I listed.

So he’s gone further than that. Up to you whether or not you believe he’ll do it, but he did say it.

Sorry, but they don’t Cwolf, and I’m going to draw the line pretty firmly. If defense contractors lobbied for war, any war, there would be records of that and they would be plastered everywhere by watchdog groups.

The problem here is that you’re generalizing. You don’t know where the trenches are in this fight or who is in them; you admit that by saying Raytheon. You’re in the wrong place completely.

When it comes to contracting, the biggest supposed winner of the war would likely be Halliburton; Dick Cheney’s former company.

They however are not a defense contractor like Raytheon or Lockheed, they don’t build weapons. But they do manage oil fields, and they acquired no-bid contracts to do so in Iraq after the invasion, along with providing logistics and PMCs.

There’s still a problem though in suggesting that even they pushed for the war to happen, something you can figure out pretty quickly by looking at their tenure in Iraq.

Whoa! Right on the money!

The “median Republican” as you call him, is vaguely aware of this reality, and has become more aware of it over the last decade or so. Even 30 years ago, Ross Perot could appeal to a substantial number of these people.

My Texas relatives, hard-core Christian conservatives, who also support the idea of the minimum wage, are living embodiments of this type. Good people, salt of the earth, but their intelligence and energies have gone into building careers and raising families, not in studying political and economic theory. (None of them, in my generation anyway, went to university. Almost no one in our social class did in those days.)

But … conservatism is a disposition, not an ideology. The ‘median Republicans’ have no ‘ideology’, not even an ‘ideology-light’, which articulates what they vaguely feel. ‘Median Republicans’ have been given an ideology though: economic (but not social) libertarianism. (Not that the Republicans actually follow such an ideology.)

There is enough truth in economic libertarianism to help people make sense of a lot of what happens in the world, just as there is in (classical) Marxism. It’s just that taken to the logical extreme, both systems destroy the nation (or state, or town) that tries to put them into consistent practice.

And the problem is, while it’s not too difficult to derive ‘theorems’ from the axioms of Marxism or economic Libertarianism, it is difficult to do the same with the sort of ‘mixed economy’ lightly-regulated market system which is the one followed by all economically-successful states, from Sweden to Singapore. So it’s not intellectually satisfying.

Now the ‘median Republicans’ have begun to wake up to the consequences of traditional Repubican do-what-business-wants policies: jobs vanish or are taken by compliant immigrants, and those capitalist corporations are perfectly happy to adopt ‘woke’ thought-control measures.

So the ‘median Republicans’ are waiting for someone who can articulate a political philosophy that explains all this. Perhaps ‘philosophy’ is not the right word for what will be a mix of socially-conservative, patriotic, and middle-of-the-road economic measures.

Donald Trump was a grotesque mutant-incarnation of what we need.

We await the real thing.

Just a relevant quote applicable to the conservative base.

Leon Trotsky noted that human consciousness is the most conservative of all factors in history.

But he … and anyone who studies history … knows that this consciousness can change very rapidly. The old cynic’s observation that “People get the government they deserve” is disproved by revolutions: the Russian people ‘deserved’ three very different governments within the space of one year in 1917.

your reply reeks of ignorance. abstaining from meat doesn’t lead to violence.

I don’t think it’s necessary for defense contractors to literally lobby for war. They just lobby for high spending on ‘defense’ (ie weaponry), whether or not it’s needed. Nothing sinister in that, so do all manufacturers of anything.

The problem is, they are a very powerful lobby. They site their plants in lots of Congressional districts, not on economic grounds, but on the grounds that no Congressman will vote to close a plant in his own district.

Eisenhower famously warned about them, but … in those days… looking at the hells-on-earth created by Communists, whose rule seemed to be spreading, you could easily justify our having the biggest and baddes military on earth. You could even make out the argument that having a nuclear weapons capacity to destroy any aggressor was not enough, because a potential aggressor (i.e. the Soviets) might calculate that they could mount a conventional attack, and … given their retaliatory capacity … we would not take the chance of going nuclear.

So we had to have adequate conventional forces as well. Some very smart people wrote books back then, applying Game Theory to the nuclear-escalation problem. What if a mad Russian general took out New York, without permission? How should we respond, if at all? And everyone here has probably seen Dr Strangelove. So Left and Right (mainstream Left and Right) didn’t disagree on having a big military-industrial complex in those days.

And to be fair, in contrast to socialist industries with a guaranteed market and taxpayer funding that produce ‘civilian’ stuff, our military-industrial complex has given us pretty good products. I still have my shirts from my Army days fifty years ago, all the buttons intact, little fraying, although they seem to have shrunk. The M16, after some teething problems, is a good weapon for the situation it’s designed for, and everyone (on the Right) should own one or two or three of its AR15 grandchildren.

Our problem now is: we have this enormous defense industry, troops in 160 countries, an ‘Africa Command’ devoted to bringing peace and stability and prosperity to Africa – Stop laughing, you racists!!! – and we can’t really easily wind it down to something that we need.

We can hardly even have a conversation about doing that … up until about twenty years ago, if anyone proposed it, the Right would have shouted TRAITORS!, AGENTS OF PUTIN! and now, the mainstream Left will shout the same thing. (We should have copyrighted those slogans!)

Furthermore … our huge defense spending was our form of acceptable Keynsianism. Lots of people who would have had kittens at the idea of the federal government building hospitals and schools, were happy with it building (or paying to have built) tanks and fight-bombers. A modern-day Civilian Conservation Corps, building roads and hiking trails and bike paths across America would be seen as a giant step towards the Gulag, but hundreds of thousands of young men sitting in overseas bases polishing their bayonets at taxpayer expense was fine. What are you, a commie?

Of course, having a Great Big Military means you can use it, and not just for escorting Black kids to school in Arkansas. Iraq! We’ll sort them out pretty quick! Afghanistan! We’ll have those Lesbian Outreach Centers going in Kandahar before you can say Mohammed! (And since our allies in Afghanistan had a very non-prudish attitude to gay-sex-outside-marriage, the job should have been all the easier: []

Just remember, “These colors don’t run!” When you’ve got inspiring slogans like that, who needs cold-blooded analysis of the social realities in distant countries. All cultures are equal, our leftist friends tell us.

But maybe we’re waking up. Experience keeps a dear school, and all that, but you can learn in it.

Now … if we can only find a retired general, preferably someone with a slew of medals and a couple of serious combat wounds … who will stand up and say, Enough! Bring 'em home. The Germans, I’m told can be pretty good at war and have a strong economy – so let them defend Europe with conventional forces, with French and British nuclear weapons to back them up. We can be allies, but we don’t have to be Big Brother. And as for ‘Africa Command’, let them become ‘South Chicago Command’, although it will still be Mission Impossible.

If only we can find a modern day David Shoup [], or even a Smedley Butler [ ]. (What is it about those jarheads? I thought they were supposed to be all kill-kill-kill … but they’ve got people with brains as well. Something in the crayons?)

Maybe we’ll get lucky.

Cwolf levelled the accusation that the Iraq war happened because the defense contractors lobbied for it.

And this is pretty easy to dismiss; if there was any chance they had done that, the evidence and the testimony would be everywhere.

But when you look back you see a different list of actors setting things in motion; it’s government and military officials convinced that they have a righteous cause, feeling vindicated by 9/11 as they believe it showed why we can’t just “wait” for the world to “update” on its own. Any threat to our hegemony must be extinguished.

At the same time, the CIA felt humiliated for not catching 9/11, and went into a hyper vigilance mode where it over-interpreted the intelligence it was gathering. When it realized it made a mistake about Iraqi general communications, that they had been trying to hide old, unmaintained munitions from the early 90s, not a new weapons program, it was too late. They’d given the men upstairs exactly the pretext they were looking for and were told to keep quiet.

I’m not saying the defense contractors have clean hands – those managing the PMCs did some pretty sh** things, both to civilians, and the Americans in their employ. Equally, defense contractors advocated weapon systems that were still in a Cold war mindset, and didn’t adequately protect the people we were sending over. People, including soldiers my mother personally trained, died, because bottom lines, and a project a company spent a decade developing were more important to keep alive than the soldiers themselves.

Even still, that’s a different from stating that they “somehow” ensured the war happened, or that politicians were following their direction to start it.

The question for why Iraq was invaded comes down to “Who created PNAC?”. And “where did their motivations come from?”

1 Like

I agree entirely.
When the invasion was being mooted about, I emailed friends with a quote from Robespierre, to the effect that ‘People do not love missionaries with bayonets’. At the time, I was pig-ignorant about the realities of Iraq … like the head of the House Defense sub-committee years later, I couldn’t tell a Sunni from a Shi’ite. I just thought we would ignite a pan-Iraqi nationalist reaction.

And when that Marine climbed up the statue of Saddam Hussein and plastered a big American flag over his face, I was even more reinforced in my views. I thought, “Why didn’t you add an Israeli flag, just to make it perfect?”

But then … hope springs eternal. I WANTED Iraq to be transformed into a liberal democracy. I didn’t disagree with the abstract reasoning of the ‘Drain the Swamp to kill Islamic radicalism’ argument. So I looked for every sign that we were succeeding.

Such as this one: I used to lecture at university on a computer-related subject. Many of my students were Muslims. Before the invasion, I made a disparaging remark about George Bush and the prospect of invasion … probably I was catering to them, shame on me. But … after the lecture, a young woman came up to me. She was angry, and she was an Iraqi. “You [Americans] are our only hope!”, she said. “You don’t know what it’s like, living there!” It didn’t help that she was beautiful. Well … maybe I was wrong. Maybe the Iraqis would be rational, accept this temporary incursion of foreigners, the way we accepted the help of the French monarchy during the Revolution … and as I later said to a correspondent, maybe they won’t like missionaries with bayonets, but what about missionaries with shopping centers?

Wrong, wrong, wrong. The invasion was well meant --not a result of defense industry lobbying – it was the result of good intentions. After all, we straightened out all those fanatical Germans who loved Hitler, who straightened out those Emperor-loving Japanese, we brougt – eventually – democracy to half of Korea. Why not Iraq?

I never believed the ‘hidden WMD’ stuff. As Paul Wolfowtiz admitted later, it was just a pretext.

That’s what comes of never living in, never studying, pre-modern tribal societies. We opened the hellgates in Iraq, turning it over from the corrupt oppressive Sunni minority (who also leaned for support on the Christian minority), to the Shi’ite majority.

Then Obma did it by remote control to Libya, and tried to do it to Syria.

As for PNAC. I thought they were slightly sinister at the time … I remember reading something in their ‘Making the next Century another American Century’ document which was definitely very off-color, but at the time, just put it down to some sort of editing mistake. But it was just a feeling on my part. Since Lefties were the main people screaming about them then, my Rightist instincts dictated that I not agree with their critics.

Are they still around?

Anyway, I think we’re wandering close to a very important but radioactive topic that we should not discuss here so I won’t continue.

1 Like

He forgot to put in the sarcasm tags…

CNBC said it - Biden never did. Show me on Biden’s website and policy page where it says that.
Keep in mind, I want Medicare For All, and a public option (a real one) is at least pretty good. I want that to be his position, but to my understanding it isn’t.

Those who don’t eat animals, shove a different kind of sausage in their mouths.

I doubt anyone who visited Epstein’s island explicitly said in public what they wanted him to provide either.

They caught it - they just didn’t stop it. Whether that was deliberate or incompetence is debatable given their history and subsequent behavior. They received a lot of extra funding and are far more powerful now than they were before. If that was a mistake, it was one of the most lucrative, power enhancing “mistakes” in history.