Let’s put this on the table first: Donald Trump has projected every single one of his criminal acts onto others. Even back in 2016 – when everyone still refused to take Trump seriously – he was projecting a stolen election. He wasn’t making it up. He knew whereof he spoke. And the thing on his mind was what he personally was right in the middle of doing: stealing an election.
Stop Scolding Us!
How many times have scolds reminded us that “elections have consequences”? In their defense, most of these scolds are clicking their tongues at people who complain about elections instead of voting in them. But, that’s actually a shrinking handful of people. More Americans are voting now than ever before – from every corner of the political spectrum. As we like to say on the left, the American electorate is “woke”!
And what about Americans who live in gerrymandered voting districts? In states like Wisconsin, Democrats have to show up two-to-one just to reach parity. Why? Because that’s how Republicans drew the voting district maps. Are Democrats and Independents living who reliably vote where Republicans have made it impossible for non-Republicans to win really responsible for all those lost elections? Gosh, that sounds like victim-shaming, doesn’t it?
Trump Is NOT “Running For Election”
One of the reasons Trump was able to decimate our politics so easily was because so few journalists and politicians grasped what Trump was (and still is) doing. Our news media insists that Trump is “running for election”. Nothing could be further from the truth.
If Trump doesn’t actually care who legitimately wins an election than, really, his “running for election” is pure kabuki. Why is Trump even running to begin with? Trump doesn’t want to govern America toward some great vision – no Republican wants to do that. Republicans want to hijack America and drag it kicking and screaming into the past – to round about 1850 when everyone not white, Christian and land-owning knew their place.
Isn’t that the whole point of the fake electors scheme? And the insurrection itself? Hasn’t that been the entire Republican “Seize The Judiciary” endgame? That is precisely what the GOP did – with Mitch McConnell walking point. McConnell denied Barack Obama a ton of judicial assignments including a SCOTUS slot. That’s unprecedented. So was McConnell shoving Amy Barrett down our throats AFTER Trump lost the election.
Hullo, Moscow Mitch!
Before all the investigating is done, we’ll need to spend considerable time combing through Moscow Mitch’s actions. McConnell – like the entire Republican leadership – knew that Trump, if elected, would pose a grave national security threat because Putin literally owned him.
We The People need to Benghazi Mitch McConnell.
See, that’s another way “elections have consequences” has been turned into utter bullshit.
Barack Obama won his election. That gave him the authority to fill all SCOTUS seats including Tony Scalia’s. When McConnell denied Merrick Garland so much as a hearing, he did that to us. To We The People. McConnell interfered with us assigning the authority to govern us.
Letting Em Get Away With It
So far, we’ve let him get away with it.
McConnell expertly plays the Republican game – he may stay (just barely) within the letter of the law but he’s violating the crap out of its spirit the whole time. Except McConnell knew for a fact in 2016 that Trump wasn’t just “cheating to win”.
Trump was doing something beyond merely cheating.
Winning election becomes moot if cheating is just one “way” to “win”. Democracy and corruption can’t co-exist. That’s why we need the rule of law to assiduously prosecute every instance of it.
We Caught Trump!
We caught Trump trying to steal Election 2020. We’re about to learn that Trump had to (try to) steal 2020 because he knows that otherwise we will prosecute him for stealing election 2016. Here’s a stone cold fact: but for Russia, Trump would never have been POTUS.
What if Paul Manafort never gives proprietary polling data for Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania to Konstantin Kilimnik (of Russian military intelligence) to weaponize into Facebook ads directed to Black Democratic voters? That’s not advertising, that’s cyber war!
And cyber war IS war. Anyone who thinks you need bombs or bullets to wage war is going to lose every war they ever fight going forwards.
Consider all the actions taken by Republicans to deny, obfuscate or obstruct any investigation into Trump’s relationship with Russia. How about Bill Barr claiming the Mueller Report exonerated Trump – a thing it explicitly did not. Why did Barr do that? And how to explain the eight Republicans who spent July 4, 2018 in Moscow… or all the Republicans compromised by Maria Butina… or all the GOP-ers siding with Putin over Ukraine…
Our news media insists that not only is Trump “running for re-election”, but that he could win.
In Trump’s mind, he can’t lose. That’s literally and figuratively. He knows he’s committed multiple crimes and that Jack Smith is coming for him. That’s why he’ll refuse to concede no matter what.
Jack Smith is going to bring Donald Trump – and every one of his co-conspirators – to justice. It’s inevitable because everyone’s now flipping on Trump. The ones jumping now have to because others began flipping before them.
Once the flipping starts, it won’t stop until everyone flips or goes to jail because they wouldn’t flip. The elected Republicans caught up in the insurrection investigation may be too late to score deals with the prosecution. But only on that particular crime.
Plenty of Republicans desperate for a way to reduce time in federal prison (and the crushing legal cost of defending themselves) will need to find other crimes to which they can confess. Nothing small will do. Only big crimes.
Here’s my hope: in the future, no one will have to scold Americans for not voting. We’ll all respect the fact that all of democracy’s great benefits come with awesome responsibilities, too. Want the right to vote? Then you better vote every election.
Elections should have consequences – but only if they’re free and fair. Otherwise, there will be consequences – but for democracy.