Is Waiting For Merrick Garland To Act Going To Be Like “Waiting For Godot”?

We seem to be experiencing what Yogi Berra called “deja vu all over again”. For five years now, Donald Trump has committed crimes out in the open. He’s been as overt a traitor as a traitor could be. What else would one call Trump’s relationship with Putin except treasonous? How much more obvious does it have to be? At a July 2016 news conference at his Doral property in Florida, Trump said: “Russia, if you’re listening — I hope you are able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let’s see if that happens.” Mere hours later, Russia responded — and made it happen. Keep in mind, this is the same Donald Trump that every GOP leader KNEW was compromised by Russia. On June 25, 2016, current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy entered a room in Washington, DC where the GOP leadership was meeting and said out loud (it was recorded): “There’s two people I think Putin pays – Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to God!” No one in that room questioned Kevin. No one doubted him either. That Trump was compromised by Russia seems to have been general knowledge. Everyone in the room agreed with then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan’s plan to keep their terrible secret “in the family”.

This really has been about treason all along. The GOP was so determined to impose permanent minority rule upon America – no matter how they did it – that they were/are even willing to commit treason in order to do it. These are all or nothing stakes. Once you commit treason? There is no going back. How on earth can anyone trust these pirates ever again (not that we had any business trusting them in the first place)? We understood what it meant when Lil Jeff Sessions ran the DoJ — that it was going to do only what that racist elf wanted. When Bill Barr’s name first came up as Lil Jeff’s eventual replacement, the news media played their “he’s an institutionalist!” card, insisting that this meant the adults in the room were in control.

Alas, there are no adults in the Republican room. There are only miscreants and angry white men. Only racists, misogynists and bigots. Authoritarians, fascists and feckless fools — useful idiots all. As we all know, had Kyle Rittenhouse been Black instead of privileged white, he would never have walked away from the scene, having shot three people. Between the racist cops and the actual racists, a Black Kyle would have been raked with so much gunfire that they’d have had to use a bucket and mop to clean up what was left of him. The Rittenhouse verdict empowered the right wing yahoos to shoot first and then concoct their “I was defending myself” defense later. It undermines the legitimacy of a legitimate self defense defense. But then, no one’s ever accused anti-democratic racists of thinking big.

Merrick Garland has insisted all along that he intends to follow the rule of law. And, in his defense, we must acknowledge that the country is experiencing something extraordinary. White power has declared culture war on the rest of us because the idea of sharing power with us – especially if we represent the majority – is simply untenable. But, something else happened back in 2016 that we have not addressed yet. Our free and fair election got hijacked. In place of a free and fair election, we got Russia’s relentless, multi-faceted meddling. Don’t forget: Trump’s campaign chair, Paul Manafort, handed Konstantin Kilimnik and Oleg Deripaska (two Russian intelligence officers and “Friends Of Putin”) the proprietary polling data for Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin that Russian intelligence repurposed and redirected back at us. Some of that work went to convincing Black Democratic voters to stay home – suggesting that Hillary Clinton was a racist on the down low. If just ONE Democratic voter succumbed (it’s easy enough to find out — all we have to do is ask them), that’s illegal. Not “little illegal”, big, “GIANT illegal”.

It is flat out against the law to win an American election by colluding with Russia (or any foreign government). Do that – collude to win – and you did not win. Donald Trump colluded with Russia in multiple ways in order to win. Problem is, we refused to acknowledge that collusion even as he was doing it! “Hey, Russia! — if you’re listening!” is pretty direct. And when Russia literally responded in mere hours? There are myriad reasons why Republicans don’t want to dig too deeply. And when deep digging IS going on around them? Republicans do everything in their power either to neutralize that digging or to undermine its integrity or the public’s faith in its integrity.

Bill Barr flattened the Mueller Report — telling America it concluded one thing (there’s no “there” there) when, in fact, there was plenty of there there. Bill Barr oversaw the murder of Jeffrey Epstein (probably not for anyone else than his dear old dad) and the purposeful politicization of the DoJ. The Republicans deliberately slow walked Garland’s nomination — a way to buy time. For Republicans, the game now must rely on running out the clock to the 2022 mid terms. IF the GOP can (via gerrymandering and voter suppression) limit Democratic voting, they could indeed take back the House and Senate — killing all investigations dead while they finish gutting every bit of our democracy.

Is Merrick Garland dawdling? Is he hemming and hawing while the nation lurches toward authoritarianism? Is he being cavalier toward democracy? Is he giving the white guys way too much latitude simply because they’re white guys?

Or, is Merrick Garland getting every last bit of evidence he can before applying the rule of law to its biggest scofflaw ever: Donald J Trump? I still want to believe that Garland HAS set his sites on Trump (and the entire GOP) but that he knows he will get one shot here — and it needs to be the coup de grace and nothing but. If Garland’s DoJ does the right thing (applying the rule of law evenly as he’s sworn he would), he will set off a fire storm of angry, white backlash. It will definitely get ugly. But, the longer Garland and the DoJ wait to begin punishing insurrectionists, the harder it will be to punish them.

To not punish would be to invite the guilty to attempt another violent coup. That won’t be a matter of speculation, merely time and timing. We need that punishment to happen. That punishment is our “Godot”.

Samuel Becket was an amazing writer and his classic play “Waiting For Godot is deservedly a classic. Spoiler Alert! Godot never shows up. The two guys who spend the play “Waiting For Godot” will end the play still waiting. That’s the point. If the performance is good, by the very end of the play, the audience finds itself in the very same shoes as Gogo and Didi, the two main characters. Whatever relief may come from Godot’s finally arriving on site is negated by the fact that Godot never comes. Wait for him now and you’ll wait for him forever. It’s pure existentialism.

We’re still smarting from the fact that the Mueller Report flopped. It didn’t really; it only really flopped in the news media’s eyes because they can’t get out of their own damned way. When Bill Barr interpreted Mueller’s findings, the press were obligated to read the damned thing for themselves not buy Barr’s bullshit rehashing. But the news media accepted Barr’s take (why would he lie — even though he lied in the exact same way about Iran-Contra?) That’s because our news media ALWAYS accepts Republican explanations as legit even when clearly they’re not.

Yeah, it sucks watching Republicans continue to undermine our democratic institutions with impunity. It seems entirely counter-intuitive to do nothing. In “Waiting For Godot”, Didi and Gogo will be cursed to return again tomorrow to the same forlorn landscape (its one feature that leafless tree). It’s as if today never happened. And neither will tomorrow. We need our Godot – our Garland – to show up and show up ready for work. We need our Godot on stage right now.

3 responses to “Is Waiting For Merrick Garland To Act Going To Be Like “Waiting For Godot”?”

  1. So, Garland is supposed to prosecute Rs for political crimes (insurrection, seditious conspiracy, sedition, treason) within a legal system that does not allow the govt to exclude Rs?

    Trump Really Won is now the sole common belief of their party, a creed they are willing to use as a loyalty test that gets you booted from the party if you refuse to profess it publicly. They have this litmus test for membership and no other. How does a prosecution succeed unless you can exclude everyone in the process — prosecutors, judges, grand and petit jury members — who believe that Trump Really Won? If you believe that, then it is our side who are guilty of that same set of political crimes you wish to prosecute Rs for, unjustly, in their belief system. Of course any Rs allowed to participate in the process are going to do whatever they can to nullify the application of the law to the proud patriots being prosecuted, and a single jury member has unchallenged power to nullify Unless you exclude people who believe Trump Really Won, which is to say, you exclude Rs, the accused will predictably all get off, by dismissal or acquittal.

    Dismissal or acquittal will, of course, be taken as categorical proof in the court of public opinion that these people are 100% innocent, that they are persecuted patriots, and what they did deserves reward, not punishment.

    None of the leaders of the insurrection will ever be prosecuted in the existing courts. We would need special tribunals, and presumably the suspension of habeas corpus, because R machine judges, prosecutors, and jurors, state and federal, will have to be dealt with if prosecutions are to proceed with any chance of success.

    The Rs either create a clear and present danger of the overthrow of the govt, or they don’t. If they do, we need to suspend habeas corpus and set up special tribunals to deal with them. If they don’t, there isn’t much to be done about any of them. I suspect that even the foot soldiers of 1/6 will get off, if they get dream teams defending them and actually go to trial instead of making plea deals. The leaders and planners of 1/6 will definitely get off in the normal court system.

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    • While the two sides here – Democrat & Trumpublican – have their points of view, that doesn’t mean that both sides have an actual point. Feelings do not equal facts. The rule of law can handle what happened just fine – so long as we apply & enforce it equally. Our problem is we haven’t done that. We’ve enforced & applied the rule of law unevenly. We cut rich, Christian white people (men especially) all the slack they need. We give them benefit of the doubt they don’t deserve to have. That’s a fixable problem. I would argue that to NOT prosecute through the system as it is would be to make their argument that they’re getting “special attention”.

      We need to rethink our democracy and how we practice in light of what the Republican Party has chosen to do. They didn’t do this because destroying our democracy is their “political opinion” (to which everyone’s entitled), they did it because they want to violate our democracy in order to end it – a thing the rules already say you cannot do.

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  2. “The rule of law can handle what happened just fine – so long as we apply & enforce it equally.”

    The problem is that the “we” here includes Rs. Enforcing the law through the usual courts would require any R prosecutors, judges, or jurors involved to agree with our side to indeed enforce the laws. The Rs won’t do that. They are [pledged to not do that. The way they see it, the problem right now is that there is this vast conspiracy of Ds, RINOs, and the Deep State who pervert the enforcement of the law to steal elections and then conduct witch hunts persecution of true patriots in the courts they are sure are rigged against them.

    We don’t have to, and shouldn’t, grant their point of view any respect at all. But however little respect we have for their ideas, we can only sideline them in enforcing the law by declaring martial law and setting up special tribunals to enforce the law, because only that will keep them from using the processes of the law to block any action against the leaders of the insurrection. No jury with a single R on it will ever agree to convict any of the leaders, assuming it even gets that far before some R judge tosses out the charges, and then assuming no R judge reverses the conviction on appeal. Believing as they do, however foolish those beliefs, no R could possibly fail to block enforcement of the law in these cases.

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