We talk a lot these days about how the United States has sorted itself into two distinct media bubbles, and all the ways in which those bubbles become self-reinforcing and reality-denying. But there is another way in which the perfect epistemic closure that characterizes this moment continues to play out. On Friday, former national security adviser Michael Flynn agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe. This moment will prove to be incredibly important, or not important at all. The importance or nonimportance of Flynn's plea will depend on whether the law and legal conclusions continue to matter going forward, or whether they matter not at all. This is the question all of us are asking all day every day: Is the rule of law an escape hatch or a relic? It's not yet clear what the answer to that question will be.