In late-July, the Providence Journal began a three–part series on Michael Flynn, the Trump administration’s national security adviser for a very short time before resigning over allegations of impropriety which would land him at the center of the so-called Russiagate affair.
I didn’t see the series until Washington Babylon‘s managing editor, Andrew Stewart, told me about it and then, for unknown reasons, mailed me it about six weeks ago. I started reading it two days ago and it’s full of fascinating revelations, which I’ll cut-and-paste and plagiarize below. (I’ve only read about 400 words so far, so give me a few minutes to skim the rest.)
Anyway, before discussing the series itself, I want to raise a question that I began thinking about — for reasons I’ll explain now — after reading the first 400 words or so: Who would you rather have a drink with, Michael Flynn and you have to pay or brown-nosing Democratic sycophants Ezra Klein of Vox and Josh Marshall of TPM, and they pay?
Of course, like me, you’ll take Flynn every single time.
Here’s why I started thinking about it. Flynn, whatever else you think about him, is an interesting guy. He graduated in 1977 from Middletown High School Class, where he was known lovingly as “Flynnie,” was co-captain of the state championship football team and loved surfing and Roxy Music (OK, that last two things are not so cool).
Flynnie, unlike Klein (UCLA) and Marshall (Princeton and Brown), was not a privileged little shit head. His parents “settled their expanding family into [Flynnie’s grandmother’s] summer cottage, a small one-story building on a tiny lot in an oceanfront Middletown neighborhood just across the Newport line,” according to the Journal.
In his moronic 2016 book “The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies,” co-written with neoconservative asshat Michael Ledeen, Flynnie “described life with a large family in a small house with admiration for his mother — ‘an even tougher Irishman’ than his father,” he wrote, by the Journal‘s account.
But here’s what really got me thinking about having drinks one day with Flynnie:
“I was one of those nasty tough kids, hell-bent on breaking rules for the adrenaline rush and hard-wired just enough to not care about the consequences,” Flynn wrote in his book. “This misguided mind-set and some serious and unlawful activity by me and two of co-hoodlum teenage friends would eventually lead to my arrest.”
Part two: A night in Rhode Island’s juvenile prison, a year on probation.
When is the last time you think Klein or Marshall ever broke any rules or had an adrenaline rush? I haven’t read anything by Marshall in close to a decade and the last time I did he had a serious boner for Joe Lieberman. It’s not clear to me that Ezra, who combines the mind and spirit of the now deceased Hack Eminence David Broder, the body of a prepubescent boy, and the charisma of Ward Cleaver — has ever had a boner in his life.
Obviously, when I say boner here I mean an adrenaline rush from breaking the rules, but the point holds. Marshall and Klein are lifeless upper class bores who have played it safe their whole lives and never had to work for anything. They suck and no one wants to have a drink with them, let alone a Juicy Box.
But I’d love to have a drink with Flynnie, my treat and neat, not on the rocks. Meanwhile, one has to be short on the web so lamentably I won’t be doing any further summarizing or plagiarizing of the Journal‘s series. But I provided the links in the first line if you’d like to know more about him.