Trust me here: one plus one equals two. It just does. Donald Trump behaves the way he does (and has) toward Vladimir Putin because Donald Trump is a traitor. If we took Putin out of the equation entirely, not only would Trump not be POTUS, he would never have run for president in the first place. It’s not new news that Trump is corrupt — and corrupted by Russia (among others). Why, the Republican Party itself KNEW IT for a fact even before their 2016 convention. Current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said it OUT LOUD for a roomful of the GOP hierarchy to hear: “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrbacher and Trump”.
How did then Speaker of the House Paul Ryan respond? Per the Washington Post: “Ryan instructed his Republican lieutenants to keep the conversation private, saying: ‘No leaks. . . . This is how we know we’re a real family here’.” When told that Russia had likely compromised their presidential candidate, the GOP leadership didn’t call the FBI, they ran for their bunker. Mark this — even before he won his own party’s nomination, Trump was allied with a foreign government actively engaged in a CYBER WAR against us. Trump doesn’t have to know anything inside Putin’s head to be guilty of committing treason. Useful idiots are just as treasonous as useless ones.
Our news media — always light years behind this story — still wonders aloud why Trump is so chummy with Putin. If they scratched their heads any harder while pondering that question, they’d create permanent divots in their noggins. Repeat: one plus one equals two. Trump is chummy with Putin because Putin owns him. Nothing Trump has done before or during his presidency would contradict that. Trump’s treachery is the biggest open secret in the whole history of secrets.
His treachery is the reason he’ll fight to the bitter end to hold onto power — as if it was his to “hold onto”. That’s Trump’s big mistake. It’s the Republican Party’s big mistake, too. They’ve forgotten, authoritarian shitheads that they are, that power in our democracy flows from us, We The People. We may not be good at asserting ourselves until forced to but once we do, our intentions are almost always clear. We just asserted how much we want Trump fired. We weren’t kidding.
“Both Sides Do It” brand journalism refuses to take sides — because “both sides do it”. By assigning any one argument a 50-50 chance at being right, they assume that any two arguments being made are literal equals. Both sides have their “point of view”. That may be, but having a point of view doesn’t mean you have a point. They’re not the same thing. The guy who just stole your car may have a reason (he needed money), but so what? The bottom line is HE STOLE YOUR CAR. He can never be its rightful owner no matter how much he drives around in it.
“Both Sides Do It” journalism disagrees. It concludes it’s his car if he says it is. Who are they, the news media — or us, the car thief’s victim — to tell him otherwise?
Just as a car thief can never be your car’s rightful owner, “if” Donald Trump committed a crime — ANY CRIME — in order to become POTUS, the act of committing that crime VOIDED his presidential bid. You cannot commit a crime in order to become president. Likewise — you cannot CHEAT to become POTUS. Correction — you can certainly cheat (people have!) to become president. But, if we catch you at it, that cheating negates your success. Cheating to win does not and can NEVER equal NOT cheating to win. Otherwise, why wouldn’t everyone cheat to win? If the other guy’s cheating to win — taking a big steaming dump on the rules in the process, you’d be an idiot to stick to the rules. He’s not.
Why do we insist on letting the cheater always have an unfair advantage?
Trump has projected his illegitimacy from day one. Why, oh why, are we so dead set on not listening to him? The reason Trump can never stop being POTUS is because the instant the title ceases to be his, the indictments and subpoenas will drop on him like nuclear fallout. Same goes for every single Republican who, though knowing or suspecting what Trump (and the other Republicans) were up to, remained silent. That racist “good ol’ boy” complicity doesn’t play here anymore.
There will be a day of reckoning when we face the stone cold truth: Donald Trump was never the legitimate president. He never had the AUTHORITY that flows from LEGITIMATE AUTHORITY. Just because Trump STOLE that authority and MIS-USED IT to, say, nominate judges — it doesn’t mean he ever actually HAD the authority to do that. Trust me on this — if you or I enter a contest, cheat to win and then get found out? Whatever we won in the competition? We’re not getting to keep it — and rightfully so: IT WAS NEVER OURS.
The same goes for every judge Trump nominated. If he never had the rightful authority, then none of those nominations can stand. Each and every one of them is an affront to American democracy. They fly in the face of the rule of law and the Constitution. Why should we — who follow the Constitution — be bound by those hell bent on destroying the Constitution? Why should (or would) Democrats go forward — attempting to govern — with Republicans who’ve questioned the whole system’s integrity — because they want to destroy it and replace it with permanent minority rule?
It would be stupid beyond words to tell ourselves we’re bound by what criminals did. No, we’re not. The correct response to a child throwing a tantrum isn’t to get down on the floor and tantrum alongside them. You don’t parent by acting like the child and you don’t ever chase a rabbit down its hole.
The correct answer to “But, Trump says…!” is “So what?” He’s a liar. He needs to bring receipts to the table from now on. Otherwise, we’ll assume he’s lying. And why would anyone with two brain cells listen anything a liar says? See how that framing works?
That’s the simple trick our news media needs to teach itself. Of course, if you think truth and bullshit are the same thing (because both sides do it), you’ll never frame anything the right way. The fact is, We The People will not permit Trump or the Republican Party to get away with betraying us.
Whether or not we hold the news media accountable — that’s a whole other question.
It’s now more than a MONTH since Joe Biden won the presidency. Donald Trump has not conceded (and won’t). That’s bad enough. As of this morning, just 26 Republican members of Congress have acknowledged that Trump lost. For a month now, the news media has reported this strange sequence with utter befuddlement. Why are the Republicans following Trump? Or, as journalistic mediocrity Alex Witt (of “Weekends With Alex Witt” on MSNBC) asked “What is the president doing? What’s his ‘angle’?”
Think about that question. Think about the “knowledge base” it seems to start from. Donald Trump is “doing” something. He has “an angle”. HE’S DENYING THE LEGITIMATE TRANSFER OF POWER. He “must” have “an angle”. In other words, a legitimate (to him) reason for DENYING THE LEGITIMATE TRANSFER OF POWER. Alex Witt’s question BEGINS by framing Donald Trump’s ILLEGAL ACT as if it “could” be legit. His “angle” couldn’t possibly be “criminal”, now, could it?
The question denies its own answer. It gives legitimacy to illegitimacy. And because it puts all that INTO THE QUESTION, it also assumes that this illegitimacy is “what is”. Like too, TOO many “journalists”, Alex Witt lacks the perspective to tell the Donald Trump story to begin with. After four years of non-stop LYING, Alex Witt still thinks Trump has “an angle”. After four years of inexplicable beta dog behavior toward a hostile foreign government, Alex still thinks Trump has a “strategy”. After personally REPORTING on myriad crimes, offenses and all sorts of other bad behaviors, Alex STILL sees Trump as just “a different kind of POTUS”.
She can’t really wrap her mind around Trump being a criminal. Not a metaphorical criminal, A LITERAL ONE. And if you can’t do that, then you certainly can’t see the Republican Party — their wagon and wagons all hitched to Trump. If you can’t — after all this time — see Trump for the traitor he is (which makes the entire Republican Party a CO-CONSPIRATOR to treason!), then you cannot in any way accurately report this story. The Donald Trump and the GOP you are reporting on don’t exist except in your mind.
How many times over the past four years has a host in the studio asked the White House reporter in the field to “explain” Trump’s behavior? Then the reporter will put themselves in the president’s place in order to answer the question. “Well,” they begin, “The president says he doubts the election’s results because he really wants every vote to be counted!” They’ll embellish a bit — playing amateur shrink — assuming Trump’s motives are reasonable. You know — like THEIRS would be.
Except Trump’s motives aren’t theirs. Trump doesn’t think anything like them. If you don’t understand that Trump is a criminal then you absolutely don’t understand how he thinks — and the thoughts and motives you’re putting into his head, aren’t his, THEY’RE YOURS! NBC News’ Kelly O’Donnell is the Queen of this bullshit. She’ll repeat, verbatim, Trump’s bullshit — then “get inside his mind” to explain it to us — never mind the fact that 1) IT’S BULLSHIT and 2) Trump never thought that way for two seconds.
Russia. Russian money. Dirty Russian money. And Russian money, don’t forget, comes with not just “strings” but ropes. And Vlad Putin — the Russian head of state — is also its biggest criminal. If you took Russian money (and we need to know exactly how many and which Republicans took Russian money into their campaign coffers) then you are a criminal. Stone cold fact. Not an ounce of politics to it.
The English have a seasonal tradition called the “Christmas Pantomime”.
These fun, loose-goosey stage productions are invariably built upon some beloved old chestnut — Puss In Boots… Cinderella… Dick Wittington… There’s a hero, a girl, a villain. Simple, simple, simple. Invariably there’ll be a moment when the hero (who always speaks directly to the audience — fourth wall? WHAT fourth wall?) wanders downstage to commune. The villain will enter upstage — well behind the hero — and do something mischievous.
The audience will call out to the hero — “He’s behind you!” The hero will turn — but miss seeing the villain who ducked JUST BEFORE the hero turned. The hero will look at the audience as if they were nuts. “He’s still behind you!” the audience will insist — pointing over the hero’s other shoulder.
The hero will turn again — and, again, just miss catching the villain in the act. In a panto, it’s maddening fun. In real life? It’s just maddening.
“What’s the president doing? What’s his angle?”
I take it back. It’s worse than maddening. The reason only 26 Republicans will openly say that Joe Biden is the next president is because the rest of them are literal criminals.
We know already that Trump — the second he’s no longer protected by that ludicrous DoJ “rule” that you can’t indict a sitting POTUS — will be indicted. First, it will be in the SDNY in the legal case that put Michael Cohen in prison. Trump is, as we speak, “Unindicted Co-Conspirator #1”. He’ll lose the “un” distinction the nano-second Joe Biden is sworn in. Expect the indictment to land nano-seconds later.
Another thing that will happen on January 20, 2021 — the DoJ will reopen for business as a Department dedicated to Justice (and not being a criminal president’s consigliere). That will change the landscape considerably. Of course it will when dozens if not hundreds of Republican lawmakers are subpoenaed and asked under oath to explain their odd, obstructive behaviors of the last four years. One thing most Republicans apparently never stopped to consider: what will they do if their coup fails? What will they do if the power grab comes away empty-handed?
Will they pull a Rick Perry and mutter an embarrassed “Oops”? Will they look to the Democrats — as they usually do — and assume the Dems will let them sail? Again?
Republicans will continue to get away with being criminals and traitors until they’re called out for what they are — criminals and traitors. Every time the news media sticks a mic in their faces so they can legitimize corruption and treason, they’ll set us back. If the Chuck Todds and Stephanie Ruhls and John Kings and Wolf Blitzers don’t stop scratching their heads so hard, they’ll leave permanent divots in their skulls.
Sometimes a banana is just a banana. And a criminal is just a criminal.
The moment Joe Biden started announcing cabinet choices, people on the winning side started sniping at each other, having immediately lost all perspective apparently. Perspective says this: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris whipped Donald Trump’s ass (Mike Pence doesn’t enter into it — nobody voted “for” Mike Pence except maybe Mike Pence). They beat them substantially with a coalition of voters covering everything from hard core Progressives like me to moderate (former) Republicans (everyone on the Lincoln Project for example). In politics, nothing is free. Ever.
Let me drop a word here: pragmatism. Have the vision. Keep the vision strong. But recognize that it’s still a process getting there. Obstacles remain. Problems will need to be solved. Emotional responses may feel good at first, but they’re unlikely to produce good, workable responses. And being slaves to theory — that, too, may feel good and justified but if you can’t get enough people to buy the theory, you won’t be getting there. One needs to 1) make the theory palatable (so understand who you’re selling to and how to sell to them), and 2) in the event you can’t sell the whole theory right this second? Go with the flow. Sell what you can today with the caveat that you’re coming back to finish the sale tomorrow. That’s pragmatism: sensible, realistic solutions based on practical rather than theoretical considerations.
Reality says there’s literally no conservative way out of this mess. It’s conservatism — its greed, it’s power lust — that put us here. They have no idea how to get us out of it. For starters, they don’t even want to. The majority of Americans now believe that without strong, continuing government assistance — cash infusions into their bank accounts — we’re toast. The reason Mitch McConnell and the RW Money stand steadfastly against giving suffering Americans a penny more than they have to is because if Americans saw how Universal Basic Income works (that’s what this government aid would amount to), they’d want it permanently.
That is, they’d understand that a supposedly “socialist” idea is actually just a productive use of THEIR TAX DOLLARS. Instead of using them to make rich guys richer, we’re using OUR TAX DOLLARS to help US. See how that works? That’s “socialism” in a nutshell.
And the RW Money machine is all about transferring the wealth of ordinary Americans into THEIR already full pockets. If Americans realized how simple it was to take BACK the wealth already stolen from them — and then create structures that guarantee they hold onto that wealth (for instance — by NOT going bankrupt just because they or someone in their family got sick), don’t you think they’d demand it? Especially since the money in question IS THEIRS.
As in OURS.
The most important thing that happened — the only thing that really mattered — was putting Joe Biden and Kamala Harris into the White House. Forget, for a moment, everything else — the Republicans possibly holding onto the Senate, the loss of House seats (making the Democratic majority uncomfortably slim), the prospect of Trumpism enduring — and focus on one thing: having the executive branch in our grasp means having the DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE in our grasp. It means the Department of Justice can now STOP being Trump’s consigliere and go back to being an actual Department of JUSTICE.
Joe Biden has said he wants to focus on healing the nation — as he should. He’s also said it won’t be up to him if a renewed, functional DoJ chooses to investigate anyone on Team Trump — or in the Republican Party. Of course Joe doesn’t want to see that. But, again, IT WON’T BE UP TO HIM. If you think the people in the DoJ who survived Trump won’t be out for blood? You’re not watching the same movie the rest of us are.
The second law ENFORCEMENT becomes the point of the DoJ, they’ll go at both the crimes Trump committed BEFORE he was POTUS and the crimes he committed while he was POTUS. That’s not speculation. Neal Katyal just said as much on Nicolle Wallace’s Deadline White House show. Imagine, for instance, if Sally Yates gets the top spot at Justice. Sally Yates was the person who ran around warning everyone about how dirty Michael Flynn was. How do you think Sally Yates views Trump pardoning Michael Flynn? Approvingly? Hell, no. She wants justice.
The drip-drip-drip of info coming from inside the White House is going to become a cascade the closer we get to Trump’s official sell-by date. And the instant everyone realizes that they have nothing to fear from any NDA they signed because Trump insisted? They’ll be no turning off the spigot. We are about to be deluged with even more detail about just how big a corrupt traitor Trump has been. Donald Trump is never going to have a “good day” for the rest of his stinking, corrupt, treasonous life.
Once the DoJ starts prosecuting Trump, other shoes will drop. Before too long, the DoJ will reinstate every single criminal investigation that Bill Barr hampered or kneecapped. The FBI will finally begin the counter-intelligence investigation that never happened (because Rod Rosenstein prevented it from happening). The SDNY and the Manhattan DA will expand their investigations not only into Trump but into his children. Without the cushy bubble of the presidency to spare him, Trump will quickly roll up into a bloated orange ball.
The prosecutions won’t just impact Trump and his crime family; they’ll; quickly draw the entire Republican Party into the conversation. If you think Republican corruption makes us feel sick now, just wait till we get the full draught of Republican criminal behaviors.
Six months from now, we won’t think of Republicans the way we do today. We’ll think of them as a bunch of criminals facing increased scrutiny. Guys like Devin Nunes, Ron Johnson and Kevin McCarthy — once placed under oath and grilled Benghazi style — will all become the picture definition of “soft, white underbelly”. Mitch McConnell? If he’s the Senate Majority Leader, he’s going to have legal problems to deal with; screwing with the Biden-Harris agenda won’t be quite as important to him as not dying in federal prison.
The biggest thing to impact how time and circumstance will strengthen the hands of Progressives is the pandemic. We’re about to get hammered. But the winter’s death toll will be placed in Donald Trump’s column not Joe Biden’s. When Spring comes — and the dying slows — and one or more vaccines have begun to circulate and we all feel a sense of order where previously there was chaos — that contrast will play as a victory for Team Biden-Harris. Competence will make for good marketing.
The pressure on Mitch and the Republicans to let Americans have their own tax dollars to keep from starving or becoming homeless will only increase — especially as more Americans starve and face homelessness because Republicans refuse to budge. As we learn more and more about Republican criminality — this won’t be defensible for them. Under assault from all sides, more and more Republicans will fold up their tents.
Universal Basic Income, health CARE (not health INSURANCE) and a paid-for public university college education or comparable job training for those who prefer that are not radical ideas anymore. The only “socialism” that’s been practiced in America has been corporate socialism. Socialism for the rich.
We Progressives deserve to have our vision put front and center. It’s the vision America has been heading toward for a generation at least. Circumstances in the form of a pathogen have flipped the world on its head. Just as the Black Death altered life in Medieval Europe — putting an end to feudalism as a social and economic system — so, too, will COVID-19 end how we do things and start something new.
It’s hard to trust that events will happen the way we think they will. It was inevitable that Trump and the Republicans would fail. There’s simply too many of us and not nearly enough of them to pull this off. One thing we CAN do to help ourselves feel less squirrely as events unfold (albeit too slowly for our liking) is to stop being cynical. When we assume the worst will happen regardless of what we do, we surrender the future to the bad guys. A better answer when shitheads do shitty things? Reply “no”. “No, you are not doing that.” Or “No, you are not getting away with that.” or “No, an immoral shit like you doesn’t deserve to walk around free with the rest of us.”
Remember — it’s part of the Trumpian dynamic to instill panic. But, if the panic is purely an invention then it would behoove us to ignore it and focus instead on the entirely real. Now’s a good time to take another deep breath.
And another. We beat him. We beat them. They know it — that’s why they’re fighting so hard to stop what’s coming next. You see, they know what’s coming. That’s how guilty minds work.
The Republicans are now all-in on their power grab. The soft coup d’etat they started in 2016 has reached it’s moment of truth. There’s no going back anymore. Either the Republican Party will finish what they started — and bust a cap in American democracy’s noggin — or they’ll balk. Because, really, creating a state of permanent minority rule and then RUNNING IT SUCCESSFULLY requires more governing skill than any Republican is capable of. Republicans hate government because the suck at governing.
What scares the Trumpanistas more than almost anything is what will happen when Team Biden restores a functioning Department of Justice whose mission is actually justice (and not being the corrupt president’s consigliere). Think of all the oversight that never got done because of corruption. Think of all the investigations into Trump and all his cronies that AG Bill Barr either derailed or killed. Think of the counter intelligence investigation into Trump and his relationship with Russia that neither Team Mueller nor the FBI ever began because Rod Rosenstein — a real snake in the grass — made go away.
Take Russia out of the 2016 equation and Trump never gets past the primaries (never mind “winning” the presidency). Without Russia, Trump does not win. What more does one need to know? Russia won the 2016 election. And that cannot stand. Neither can the political party that aligned themselves with a hostile foreign power carrying out an open act of cyber war.
That’s something else the Republicans don’t realize they’ve done. The anger at them isn’t simple. It isn’t about one thing. It’s about a whole bunch of things — that ultimately come down to one thing (greed). But, as we stand here in the midst of the most important election this country will ever have, what will strike us is how many terrible, criminal, corrupt things the Republicans have done — and how much they deserve to be punished for every last bit of it.
Were it just the treason alone, of course, that would be bad enough. Perversely, the catalogue of Trumpian criminality is so vast that we’ve already forgotten that Donald Trump is the first president EVER to run for re-election having been IMPEACHED for cheating in the very election he’s now running in. We ain’t in Kansas here, Toto. Even Kansas isn’t in Kansas anymore.
Republican greed and selfishness have now resulted in actual American death. Their response to the pandemic can never be forgiven. They’ve effectively gutted the rule of law. That can’t be forgiven either. We will get it back in working order though — and when we do, Republicans will be shocked by how many of them suddenly have giant legal problems. Pretty much all of them will actually. See something, say something. See something, say nothing? We have to ask “Why?”
Why did so many Republican say nothing when they KNEW it was morally, ethically and legally wrong?
We’re angry now because we see the Republican Party and Donald Trump cheating out in the open. We see how we outnumber them. We see how we are the majority and they are not. That they are still trying to impose their will over us — well, frankly, that’s really pissing us off. Having been on the receiving end of sexual assault when I was 14, I know what this feeling on the back of my neck is. Donald Trump and the Republicans may not be physically assaulting us but the impact on our minds is no different.
We feel under assault because we are under assault. And, having told you to stop repeatedly, Republican Party, now that we’ve gotten to our feet, we intend to make you stop. You will not like how this ends.
I’m not saying the feeding frenzy around the Republicans as the accusations start to land won’t be fun to watch. It absolutely will be. The catharsis will be exquisite. That’s what will drive us, drive our fury: our need to catharsis our way past this moment of epic awfulness.
There’s an “uh oh” moment coming to the GOP as more and more Republicans realize that not only are they losing the election, but also they’re entering a winter wilderness of shame, investigation, indictment and financial hardship. You can already hear them begging for a deal if only to lighten their brutal sentencing.
And the sentencing for what the Republicans have done will be brutal — at least it will seem that way to them. As we all know, most Republicans are nothing but soft, white underbelly. They’re bullies at heart, good at kicking their victims when they’re down — but only if someone is holding them down. They’re charmless sociopaths out on a joyride.
In their calculus, the Republicans must think we’ll feel obligated to keep what they did because… that’s how criminals think. They don’t want to give back what they stole but then — IT’S NOT UP TO THEM. We The People are the victims of a crime perpetrated upon us by the Republican Party. In 2016, We The People voted one way — for Hillary Clinton and whatever she wanted to make of her presidency — but, instead, were given Donald Trump because the Republican Party had conspired with Russia to alter the results in three key states: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.
We will arrive here: Donald Trump is not now nor has he ever been the legitimate president. He had no right or business taking any oath of office (that he would break even as he spoke it). He’s the only fake in our fake news cavalcade. Having never been the legitimate potus with the legitimate authority vested in him, at no point did he ever have the authority to sign legislation into law, make presidential pronouncements, put together a cabinet or even nominate judges. IOW Donald Trump never had the authority to nominate a single one of the unqualified hacks he nominated up to and including Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barnett.
There really are a thousand very good reasons for Americans to be angry at Donald Trump. What he’s done to this country is, well, criminal.
To try and explain how polling coulda missed the call in 2016 so badly, the news media & its chattering class invented the false narrative of “the secret Trump voter”. How else to explain the unexpected bump in unexpectedly enthusiastic Trump voters and the concurrent disinterest of Democratic voters in 2016? It must be a mysterious, magical person harder to find and pin down than Bigfoot. It couldn’t possibly have been, say, the result of a highly successful Russian disinformation campaign plus a degree of data manipulation inside vulnerable voting machines. Oh, did I just go all “conspiracy theory”?
Excuse me while I put my receipts on the table.
The news media allows that Russia (vaguely) “influenced” election 2016. That’s nice. What the hell does it mean? Influenced HOW? In what ways? In ways that directly impacted the election’s OUTCOME? If that’s the case, why isn’t the news media rushing into the breach? The very “idea” of a hostile foreign government — Russia’s especially — having any influence whatsoever on a free and fair American election should ignite everyone’s hair. In point of fact, it HAS ignited everyone’s hair. The strange thing is, most of America’s news media doesn’t realize it.
Instead, as they rush around, they wonder why they’re so hot and sweaty — and why their hair feels like flame. But then, our news media can normalize just about anything Donald Trump does. They normalized Mexicans as rapists and pussy grabbing as just something a “different kind of POTUS” says and does.
The response to Russia in any way influencing any American election or politician should have been a giant, “W-h-a-a-a-a-a-t????? We need to know more about this! Has anyone notified the FBI?”? That should have been the response to current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy when he infamously entered a meeting of GOP leaders during the 2016 GOP convention and announced out loud “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump”. Instead of saying “What? Get the FBI on the phone!”, then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan famously replied (it made the Washington Post FFS!): ““No leaks. . . . This is how we know we’re a real family here.”
The secret Trump voter was Russia. Still is.
Can you hear the argument? Too complicated! Oh, really?
Honest people invite transparency. Not a one of these people is honest or transparent. As the Who song says, “We won’t get fooled again”.
If the “secret Trump voter” really exists, news media, please produce them. No doubt there is one or two. One or two “secret Trump voters” didn’t throw Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania to Donald Trump in 2016. Neither did a wave of them. That is, the news media can’t produce those people. They can’t interview them — not in the numbers required (even on a small scale). But we’ve seen hackers break into voting machines. We’ve seen people TESTING internet-connected voting machines and finding that the machines CAN be manipulated into flipping votes.
Hmmmmm… so, one argument has “mysterious people” causing it and the other has something mechanical and testable. I see why our news media has chosen to insist the “mysterious people” argument is true.
The great head-scratcher in 2016 was “how did the polls get it so wrong?” Sound familiar. We’re going to learn that almost all of that “wrong” the polls got it wasn’t. It was the criminal manipulation of voting machines. Here we are, again, scratching our heads. That is, the press is scratching its head because it, to this day, refuses to aggregate the Donald Trump story.
It should be assumed that a guy notorious for lying and cheating (and those notorious for lying and cheating on the liar and cheater’s behalf) will lie and cheat before they attempt to do anything honestly. Donald Trump, after all, has learned that cheating pays far better than being honest. And since he’s never had to pay the price for cheating, why wouldn’t he cheat first since it’s so efficient? Same goes for Mitch McConnell.
When Joe Biden takes the oath of office as POTUS, one of the first things that he and former prosecutor Kamala Harris will do is reconstitute the Department of Justice as a DEPARTMENT of JUSTICE. One of the first things a revived DoJ will do is ask all the as yet unasked questions about 2016.
When we start putting Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Devin Nunes and the rest of the Boys In The Bund under oath — grilling them for hours on end the way they grilled Hillary Clinton over Benghazi — they will break down and accuse each other of all kinds of nastiness. It’s what criminals do when they realize they’re cornered and they don’t want to eat prison dinner for the rest of their days.
One of the little secrets they’ll give up — if I had a ranch, I’d bet the whole thing — is that the only “secret Trump voter” who exists is named Vladimir.
Think of all these Republican players — Trump, McConnell and the Senate Republicans, Devin Nunes, Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz and the House Republicans and the Right Wing Money standing behind them all — and their various motives. They’re not the same. Nunes, Jordan and Gaetz have staked their future to having Trump in office.
That’s not the same now for the Senate Republicans. They’ve finished the work of hijacking the judiciary especially the SCOTUS. From the RW Money & Mitch’s point of view, they’ve put up a fire wall between themselves and any attempt to turn America “socialist”. The courts will stop the Progressives. To the Senate Republicans, Trump is now a handicap. Every time he opens his bloated orange lie hole, it’s a problem.
I believe Mitch looked at the approaching train wreck — losing the executive AND the Senate and decided enough was enough. He could tolerate losing Trump but only if he could hold onto the Senate at the same time.
It would be as easy as typing a line of code to sway Republican Senate races while leaving Trump’s tallies alone. “If x is the case then y happens”. At every fifth Republican vote tallied, add another vote. Silently, each time the tabulator counted another five Republican votes, the tabulator would, instead, say it counted SIX votes.
Without a paper trail to catch the glitch, no glitch would seem to have occurred. In time, five votes becomes six, ten becomes twelve, fifteen becomes eighteen and twenty becomes twenty-four. Multiply that times five: each hundred voters produces an additional twenty.
A thousand real voters produces an additional two hundred non-existent voters. A million produces 20,000. I don’t know if you’ve been following the vote counting but 20,000 votes has been the difference in plenty of races this cycle. I think it would behoove the Democrats — with the DoJ operating the way it’s supposed to — to ask a simple question: is there any correlation between the number of Republicans who voted AGAINST Trump but FOR the endangered Republican Senator?
Sure, plenty of people used to vote split tickets — in the past. That doesn’t happen much anymore. We’re a bit more “tribal” these days.
If there’s a big split ticket difference in Republican voting in states where a sitting Republican Senator suddenly won and the vote Trump got? Do not assume right off the bat it’s some mysterious voter you can’t physically produce. Instead, look to the voting machines. Pop the back. Root around inside its guts.
If I’m just being crazy here, so be it. It won’t be the first time.
But, if I’m right?
Add one more set of charges to the long “To Do” list the new DoJ has in its hands.
Our news media loves a good false narrative because false narratives are easy. To get to the truth, you have to step outside the box so as to find the perspective necessary. If you won’t make that trip, you’ll never see the truth. Instead, to explain strange things, you’ll invent magical people — and then broadcast it and call it “news”.
It was wishful thinking and our lust for payback getting the better of us. That’s what’s coloring our disappointment this morning. We wanted the repudiation we ordered delivered all in one massive go. Alas, repudiation of All Things Trump and All Things Republican will be delivered in pieces — for assembly later. It may be like a set of IKEA instructions — meaning, we’ll put a major piece on backwards then have to disassemble the thing in order to fix it (but we will). We, together, will fix it. But, first — we have to take a deep breath. We have to look at the Big Picture. We have to be a little more patient still.
When Kobe Bryant was a young player, he had a bad habit of trying to take over games. Sometimes it worked and Kobe’s one-on-five heroics got the W. But more often than not, whatever the team was doing ground to a halt so that Kobe could try and be the hero he hadn’t been called on to be. Yet. Later in his Lakers career, with age, discipline and experience in his pocket, Kobe got better at not doing that. He involved his teammates more aggressively — and (surprise, surprise) when they returned his confidence in them with points or assists, it took pressure off of Kobe and allowed him to operate with more freedom — producing more and better results.
Remember what our game is here — what we’re doing on the fly while the game is on: we’re trying to reverse a coup d’etat that’s already well on its way to succeeding. We’re trying to do this with Russia interfering massively in real time. We don’t even know yet from where all the disinformation is flowing. We don’t know why Democratic hopes of retaking the Senate got dashed so spectacularly. The Democrats, as of right now, could still have control of the Senate (they could get to 50-50 with Kamala Harris being the tie-breaker). All that means — in terms of the game — is that the first two years of the Biden-Harris admin will be a little harder. At first.
Here’s the part where, if we just wait for the game to come to us, we’ll have the repudiation we want — and the nation needs. Make no mistake — the 45% of this country who still adore Trump need to be repudiated. Their values need to be repudiated. Ditto their racism, bigotry, misogyny, ignorance and willingness to herd immunity themselves and us into the graveyard. And we don’t know yet in what ways Mitch McConnell and the RW money manipulated the results.
Let’s not be naive. Mitch knows where the game’s headed. His mandate — from the RW money — is to put that off for as long as possible the inevitable socialization that a diverse America will demand. The Republican game is permanent minority rule — a kind of slavery-on-the-down-low where a few rich white guys own everything and the rest of us work our whole lives just trying to tread water, never owning a thing in the end.
Mitch also knows that with Joe Biden as president and former prosecutor Kamala Harris as veep, the Department of Justice will return to the business of dispensing justice (rather than acting as Trump’s consigliere). That — right there — will be when the game looks toward us. Mitch worked his bony white ass off to keep the Senate from falling into Democratic hands because that’s his last move to stave off checkmate. It’s how he hopes to protect all his judges. It may work — at first.
But, as the newly rejuvenated DoJ begins to look into everything the Bill Barr DoJ refused to look into, things around Washington, DC will get uncomfortable. Guys like Mitch — with his new six-year term — won’t be protected like they used to be. Mitch will have to answer for everything he did in the lead up to 2016’s election — you know, how Mitch refused to let We The People in on the secret that Russia was actively engaged in subverting the election’s results. Mitch will have to answer for lifting the sanctions on Oleg Deripaska — the Russian intel officer responsible, in part, for subverting the 2016 election.
When placed under oath and question relentlessly for hours, weakling Mitch will fold. So will every other Republican back in power. Without Trump using executive power to protect them, the Republicans will have a massive problem. We’ll dunk on them relentlessly. Rather, the Truth will. And that’s when the score will start to run up. Mitch won’t serve his six years — unless we count the time he serves in a federal prison.
The game will come to us. We’re not going to win it in the first thirty seconds like we dreamed of. Nope. We’re going to have to play the whole game.
But we are already on the road to winning it. And then we’ll win the game after that. And the one after that — until the whole season is done. When we look back, in time, we might even forget how much of a struggle it was. Yeah, we’ll remember, it wasn’t easy, but, when the game eventually came to us?
From the second Donald Trump first stole the presidency in 2016, the only remedy available to We The People was going to be We The People. Barack Obama pretty much told us that in his farewell speech. As we speak nearly 100 million Americans have voted already. Considering how apathetic most Americans are come election time? That’s not insignificant.
Maybe being at war has inspired us to take our most sacred right as citizens more seriously. On the one hand, there’s the cyber war that Russia launched against us. On the other, there’s the Culture War launched by the snowflakey right wing against the diverse rest of us. Seeing all those Americans lining up to vote gives me hope — and it’s proving Obama right.
If I go back and look at things I prognosticated before Trump was elected (going back to Facebook posts and tweets and blog posts), I’ll admit: I was wrong about Trump. I wasn’t wrong about what he would do, I was wrong about how completely he’d get away with what he was doing.
I was wrong about Trump lasting four years. I did not see that. I did not see him pulling us out of the Paris Accords or treating Kim Jong-Un like a brother. I didn’t see him betraying the Kurds or opening vast tracts of the Arctic to pollution.
I figured, by the time he got around to that stuff? He’d be gone.
I was wrong, you see, about the complicity of the people around him. It never occurred to me that the entire Republican Party would close ranks around Trump entirely out of party loyalty — in the face of the fact that he is a clear and present danger.
That’s not ME talking, that’s David Laufman, Former chief of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division’s Counter Intel & Export Control Section (that’s how real and technical this guy is):
This is not an ordinary election between two competing political sides. Victory by one side will result in a very different America from what will result — sorry, what could happen — should the other side claim and get to experience their victory.
In 2016, don’t forget, the majority of Americans voted against Trump but got Trump anyway! It feels kinda… un-democratic. In fact, it feels kinda suspect — especially considering as the majority — by a lot — voted for the diametric opposite of what we’re living through.
That’s the thing — while life may appear to go on should Trump “win”, that will only be on the surface. And for some. For others, life stopped going on the moment Trump “won” the first time. For plenty of people, life began to stop. Literally.
Pandemics are not political. Why is ours? Oh, right…
The problem is, Trump did not “win” the 2016 election. We still need to deal with that fact; in fact, Trump’s illegitimacy is at the heart of the question we’re asking today — or the predictions we’re making.
In one sense, every American presidency is like a four-year story cycle with that president as the story cycle’s hero. If we like the story cycle (and the hero), we’ll put our money down for a sequel. If we don’t, we’ll start a new story cycle with a new hero.
Some of us understood what the Donald Trump story cycle was really about from the get-go: corruption. His “politics” have been all over the place because he’s not a political creature. He’s a guy looking to make a deal and if being a Democrat in NYC makes dealmaking easier than Trump’s not just a Democrat, he’s the most passionate pro-abortion Democrat of all! Trump’s not political. He’s flat out cynical. He thinks everyone else is as corrupt as he is.
If only Democrats were accusing the Trump admin of corruption, an argument could be made that the accusation was political in nature. But, there’s the Lincoln Project. And a growing list of other Republicans — politicians, public servants and military people — who have come out and openly stated that they are voting for Joe Biden as should you because Trump’s so corrupt. This list is amazingly long!
When literally hundreds of important, knowledgeable people from Trump’s own political party openly speak of how dangerous he is to the republic itself, I’d say that deserves our attention.
This is not an ordinary election. The choice isn’t between two variations on a theme. It’s between two diametric opposites. With very real consequences for either side when the other side wins.
Very, very real consequences will ensue.
The best indicator of future events is past events. When humans consistently behave a certain way in the past, we can make an informed guess about their future behavior. A person with a history of getting violent when triggered in the past will probably get violent when triggered in the future (unless he does something to stop it). If we can’t assess future risk based on the past, we’re left to face the future blind.
It comes down to what we KNOW empirically based on the past.
Part of our problem with Donald Trump — and predicting what he’ll do — is that our idea of him is tainted by television. An awful lot of Trump’s voters voted for him because they believe to this day that Trump IS the character he played on The Apprentice. Except he’s not. Trump the “master negotiator” and “great businessman” was an invention of Mark Burnett’s.
Master negotiators and great businessmen don’t declare bankruptcy as many times as Trump has — and they don’t owe over a billion dollars — AS TRUMP DOES — a fact he does not deny!
Before I make my predictions, one story. From the moment the Steele Dossier first came to life, everyone around Trump worked overtime to trash its credibility. The news media never understood it in its proper context — it’s raw intelligence data.
Let’s be clear: Steele’s work product has proven to be almost (not entirely) accurate. There are still questions about it but the overwhelming majority of Steele’s observations and notes pan out or have since panned out.
First, you have to understand how the dossier came to be in order to understand what it is and why it’s important.
During the 2016 primaries, the owners of the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative newspaper, hired Fusion GPS to do oppo research work on Donald Trump. The Beacon’s owners were Jeb Bush supporters and they wanted dirt on Trump.
Fusion was a research firm co-created by Glenn Simpson, a journalist who’d written most recently for the Wall Street Journal (hardly a bastion of liberal idealism). When hauled before the Senate Judiciary Committee in August 2017 (the Republican-led committee was trying to undermine the dossier’s integrity), Simpson testified that, having gotten the assignment from the Free Beacon, the first thing Fusion did was its “due diligence”.
They got their hands on every piece of publicly available material about Trump. They got newspaper clippings, books and magazine articles. They watched every video they could find, every radio show interview he did. They went to Amazon and actual book stores. They even went to the public library so as to exhaustively find every piece of publicly available material — just so they’d have a STARTING PLACE on Trump to work from.
And their STARTING PLACE, Simpson testified, was the absolute certainty that Trump had used his (now bankrupt) Atlantic City casinos to launder copious amounts of Russian mob money. In order to answer that question (and other questions about Trump’s strange relationships over the years with shadowy Russians), Fusion sub-contracted out the work to Christopher Steele, former head of the MI6’s Russia desk (MI6 is Britain’s CIA). Steele had the best contacts inside Russia bar none.
The dossier is simply Steele using his sources to provide a picture of all the intel currently floating around inside Russia about Trump — and his relationship with the country’s leaders. And its criminals — since, really, Russia is run by criminals.
Okay, okay — I’m getting there!
My predictions come loaded down with baggage — they’re informed by a lot of reading. There are journalists and other informed writers of this story who’ve brought remarkable insight to how I see what’s happening here: Sarah Kendzior, Seth Abramson, Rachel Maddow, Nicolle Wallace (Sarah Palin’s former handler!), Andrew Weissman, Mary Trump and Glenn Simpson himself (in Crime In Progress, his book about the Steele Dossier and Fusion’s own investigation of Trump).
Another thing I got wrong: like many people, I thought somewhere between Robert Mueller and the FBI, there was an ongoing counterintelligence investigation that was going to connect all the dots between Trump and Russia. We learned recently however that assistant AG Rod Rosenstein, a Trump supplicant, told Team Mueller to stay in the Wikileaks lane. They were under the impression that the FBI was handling the counterintel op. But Rosenstein never told the FBI to pursue the counterintel op. Deliberately.
In other words, the most important investigation into what happened behind the scenes in 2016 to explain the strange relationship between Team Trump and Russia never happened. Those questions remain unanswered though they must be asked.
Let’s remember something: Donald Trump was impeached for cheating in the very election he’s running in. And the thing he was impeached for was cheating in THIS election the same way he cheated in the last election.
That is my starting point. This is not an election between two political ideologies.
It is between right and wrong (let’s avoid good v evil, wink-wink).
I’m not alone in thinking this. The most prominent, forceful, brutally honest voice in the pre-election mix just might belong to THE LINCOLN PROJECT.
The Lincoln Project is made up of Republicans (some now former Republicans) including George Conway (Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway’s HUSBAND!), Rick Wilson & Steve Schmidt — John McCain’s campaign manager. These are serious Republicans. Patriotic Americans. Good people. Good people with whom people on the left disagree politically. But we can all live with that because good people can argue amongst themselves and find compromises they all hate equally. The stone cold truth is: the left needs the balance of the right as surely as the right needs the balance of the left. Our success does indeed lie somewhere in the middle.
To get there from where we are — swinging violently to the right against the majority’s will — to where we need to be — a more moderate “center” — requires more than just a jerk to the center. That’s not what’s coming. And a jerk to the far left is coming. The Lincoln Project Team understand that.
This is from THEIR mission statement: “We do not undertake this task lightly nor from ideological preference. Our many policy differences with national Democrats remain. However, the priority for all patriotic Americans must be a shared fidelity to the Constitution and a commitment to defeat those candidates who have abandoned their constitutional oaths, regardless of party. Electing Democrats who support the Constitution over Republicans who do not is a worthy effort.”
Further, their web site states: “… sectionalism in the country and factionalism in government has led to ever uglier examples of how our political system is failing. President Donald Trump and those who sign onto Trumpism are a clear and present danger to the Constitution and our Republic. Only defeating so polarizing a character as Trump will allow the country to heal its political and psychological wounds and allow for a new, better path forward for all Americans.”
The have produced some breathtakingly brutal ads that point directly at their problem with Trump and Trumpism: it’s sheer immorality.
Remember as you watch — this is Republicans addressing what other Republicans have done. They’re advising the undecided to vote for Joe Biden not for political reasons but for moral ones.
I repeat: though I have deep and profound issues with Trump politically, my deepest issue with him transcends politics completely. My core issue with Donald Trump (as candidate and now as president) has always been with his total lack of moral character. His sexism. His constant houndogging outside his marriage. His blatant racism. His creepy sexuality toward his own daughter. It almost doesn’t matter what the man’s politics are. Even if I agreed with his politics, I’d object to him as a human being. I am not alone in feeling this way.
I believe (based on copious receipts provided by good, competent, genuine journalists) that Trump and those around him knowingly committed multiple crimes in order to “win” election 2016. One of the protections Trump is hiding behind is that DoJ rule that says you can’t indict a sitting president. THAT is what Trump must avoid at all costs: being indicted.
That’s what every republican has to avoid — the legal consequences of their criminal actions up till now.
You have to have this in your mind when you turn to the future — and what will happen should Trump “win”.
Trump won’t “win”. He literally can’t. He literally never did.
The only way Trump “wins” this election is because he’s stolen it. Again. Trump has no intention of governing this country in the way it was designed to be governed. He and his party are actively engaged in preventing other Americans from voting — because they don’t want those Americans to vote them out of office.
Sorry, that’s not how this country works. Not THIS country, not yet.
This desperation speaks to what will happen when We The People (not the Democrats or Joe Biden) throw Donald Trump and a huge swath of the Republican Party out of power. People are coming out to vote who have never voted before. Young people are voting as never EVER before — and they’re voting, most of them, in one direction: for something and against the other — because of what the other is and not because of its politics.
Donald Trump will get blown out by the biggest margin ever. More Americans will vote in this election than, perhaps in any other election ever. That’s for a reason: the overwhelming majority of Americans are done, done, DONE w Donald Trump and what he’s doing to America.
Joe Biden will win handily. The Democrats will increase their lead in the House and they will flip the Senate. Then, here is what (I predict) they will do
The Democrats will increase the size of the Supreme Court — from 9 seats to 13 or 15 at a minimum in order to make the SCOTUS look more like We The People and less like just one segment of our population.
The Democrats will make Puerto Rico and Washington DC states — giving them two Senators each — helping to bring some balance back to the Senate and how it “represents” Americans and their interests.
The pandemic (as much as the Democrats) will make socialized medicine and universal basic income done deals. They’ll launch a massive infrastructure project even bigger than Roosevelt’s WPA — all in order to help get the economy out of the ditch it’s in — the ditch Trump and his coronavirus response put us and the economy in.
As Joe Biden said, it won’t be up to him what “happens” to any Republican who might have behaved illegally over the last four years, it will be up to a newly rejuvenated Department of Justice — as per our Constitution and the rule of law. If the rule of law dictates the Justice be visited upon all the Republicans now fallen from power then so be it. They knowingly violated the rule of law which is what brought us here. Behold The Day Of Judgment.
In neither case will life go on as it was.
Life will go on but we are about to experience the kind of profound political and social change that followed the Black Death. In the same way that bubonic plague ended feudalism, the coronavirus pandemic will undermine crony capitalism and usher in a more socialistic approach to life and governance.
Remember being a teenager? Remember how every time some lame adult told you NOT to do something, in a flash, the only thing you knew was “I HAVE TO DO THAT NOW!”? Donald Trump and the Republican Party have triggered America. That’s what 100 million early voters — 15% of them normally non-voters — says. Americans who never vote have come out in droves to vote. Trust me on this: almost none of those people is doing something this extraordinary — including standing in line for hours — in order to vote for Trump or any Republican. No one except racists and lunatics want this Trumpian nightmare to continue for two more seconds never mind four more years. Threaten to take something away from people, they will react. Threaten to repress them, they will get angry. And — take note, Republicans, America is deeply, DEEPLY angry at you.
Try to see it from our point of view. Here we are — the overwhelming majority of Americans — and there’s you: a teeny-tiny minority of rich, white, Christian men trying hard as hell to oppress us. Yo, assholes — the majority of Americans are done, done, DONE with you and that part of America’s history.
We’re moving on. Shame you won’t be joining us. Just kidding: it’s not a shame. No one’s going to miss you.
Repression, like prohibition, never seem to achieve its desired results over the long term. In the short term, it seems to, but that’s always an illusion. The ends aren’t being achieved at all. The only thing that’s really happening is repression for repression’s sake.
In the whole history of humankind, prohibition has never worked — not as intended. It may restrict and limit use of a controlled substance, but it won’t slake the thirst for it. In America, the urge to prohibit flows from two opposing sensibilities in constant dynamic tension with each other. First, there’s the Christian Moralist Sensibility. It loves judging other people. It doesn’t know from “Do unto others” because its mantra is “Do what I tell you to or else”. It’s pure, institutional, religionista judgment. Never mind whatever bad habits IT may have, we’re here to talk about YOUR bad habits because “Jesus hates them”.
The second opposing sensibility flows, ironically, from the same place. Except, it’s closer to the actual “Jesus sensibility”. It wants to help the meek to inherit the earth as quickly as possible. To that end, this progressive sensibility wants to save everyone from themselves and their own vices. Its heart is in the right place — it wants you to give up alcohol for the sake of your family — but its hands are frequently heavier than needed. Throwing people in jail for their bad habits (if those bad habits aren’t hurting anyone else) is soooooo right wing conservative. If the tables suddenly turned, they’d scream their heads off because you dared to punish them for, of all things, a “bad habit”.
Donald Trump is not going to “win” tomorrow. He did not “win” in 2016. We’ve got to get it into our heads that “cheating to win” is not “one way” to win. It’s the opposite of winning, it’s cheating. Our knee jerk reaction to cheating should be “You cheated? You CAN’T win” not “Oh, well, what can we do? They cheated!” The whole point of cheating in this election (and remember — Trump’s already been IMPEACHED for cheating in this election!) is to solidify the cheating from the 2016 election. The coup d’etat’s not finished yet.
If Trump and the GOP thought they could have cancelled this election and moved on to permanent minority rule, they’d have done it already. But they can’t. The Republicans feared the very thing rising up in front of them: the American electorate, woke and focused on them. Focused on their corruption and treachery.
People willing to stand in the cold and rain for HOURS in order to achieve their political ends will not accept having their votes denied, disenfranchised or uncounted. As triggered as they already are, they’ll get nuclear-triggered. Not just angry at the Republicans, what they’ve done and what they’re doing, LIVID. Out of our minds with rage and the desire not for revenge but justice.
To the Republicans — to Donald Trump — justice will feel like revenge. They’ll howl that we’re prosecuting them for political reasons. Bull-shit. We’ll be prosecuting every Republican because they stole political power we did not give them. That’s a crime. It won’t be Democrats investigating, prosecuting and punishing Republicans, it will be the rule of law.
It will be reason prosecuting them and throwing them in prison for life sentences.
It will be Justice.
The angry teenager that bumped on being told “turn down the music” still lives inside each and every one of us. Go one, admit it — the moment you read “turn down the music”, your first thought was “screw you, asshole — turn that music up to eleven!”
Anger’s in the air. It’s being channeled into our ballots and through the political system right to Donald Trump’s face.
When the story of our times gets written — with the perspective of history — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will be infamous as one of America’s worst traitors ever. Moscow Mitch’s name will replace Benedict Arnold’s as the epithet Americans use to call other Americans “traitor”. Mitch still thinks he’s on a grand crusade to re-cast the judiciary as the last bastion of white, Christian male hegemony.
That grand plan isn’t Mitch’s. Mitch McConnell doesn’t do grand plans. He’s a functionary. A petty politician doing the dirty working for Big Money Interests. The Big Money has the grand plans — an unfair world where they all get richer while the rest of us fall further behind, our debt growing, our health failing.
Mitch is their bitch. His job — manifest these terrible, repressive, regressive grand plans into our reality.
That’s why Mitch worked so hard to deny Barack Obama all those federal bench openings. It’s why Mitch denied Obama so much as a hearing for Merrick Garland. Mitch was in the middle of pleasing his masters — of hijacking the judiciary on the sly. Here’s the thing: the popular vote reflects the majority’s voice. Barack Obama was the majority’s voice and choice — to fill every judicial vacancy during his tenure. Our voice and choice was denied us by Mitch McConnell — for the benefit of his masters. That is not hyperbole.
And this is not how our democracy is supposed to work. Not according to the rules or the rule of law.
In addition to destroying the judiciary, Mitch also has destroyed the Senate. Anyone suggesting the Democrats aren’t showing enough comity toward their Republican co-workers needs to shut up. Comity will be reserved for whatever party replaces the Republicans. No one who calls himself “A Republican” can do so without also being a Trumpist. Trumpism & Republicanism are now equal in every way.
Mitch has operated in the shadows for most of his career. He’s about to end his career in the spotlight. That is, his corruption is.
The Democrats are about to retake the Senate. What was a likelihood before is now a dead certainty. RBG’s passing — even without all the additional political baggage — would have moved people to action. It would have motivated tens of millions of women at the very least. Now it’s a question of Legacy. And reproductive rights. And basic health.
What happened in 2018 — that massive blue “wave” — wasn’t a wave. It was the leading edge of a much larger wave. The Trump years have torn every last bit of cover off our various failings. Remember — we didn’t vote for this, this was forced on us. Donald Trump — with massive Russian assistance — stole the outcome of election 2016. Together they stole our intention — what WE wanted this country to do for our benefit and in our name. Their aim is to make that theft permanent.
Their problem: America’s women aren’t down with and aren’t going to be. Ever. That’s Mitch McConnell’s biggest miscalculation of all.
Mitch, when he’s done, will have finished the hard work of turning America’s women into the most potent, dynamic, unstoppable political force in America. He’ll be shocked by how socialist they are by nature. Of course women are more “socialist” — they care above all about their babies and they KNOW from pure experience that it DOES take a “village” to raise a child — of family members and community members and teachers and mentors and coaches and friends. The healthier and happier that village is, the healthier and happier their babies will be.
Women — and I’m generalizing, but biology does impact us in particular ways — think communally — and seek the group’s wisdom before making a decision while men think they alone can fix it. If we look at the current world leaders and how they’ve handled the pandemic, the women — Angela Merkle in Germany, Jacinda Ardern in New Zealand — did especially well in both protecting their people but also protecting their economies.
I’ll go further onto this limb. Merkle and Ardern’s success relative to Trump’s stems in large part from their political and personal strengths and skills but also, to a measurable degree, from their chromosomes. They have a little more empathy baked into their genetics. That radiates in the form of humanity — and then policy.
America truly stands on the precipice. We will go one way or the other. There’s no middle route.
Either Mitch McConnell will see the rot he introduced succeed or Mitch will fail spectacularly with dire, terrible consequences for every single Republican legislator who had the least inkling what Mitch was up to. Keep in mind — Mitch is a traitor. That’s not hyperbole either. He’s taken gobs of Russian money into his campaign coffers (though legally via his PAC but not-so-legally with added perspective), denied We The People the knowledge that Russia was fixing the 2016 election for Trump, canned the sanctions Obama implemented BECAUSE of that election interference and TO THIS DAY has refused to spend a penny on election security.
Mitch McConnell is one of the biggest traitors in all American history. And THAT isn’t hyperbole.
It’s vitally important that we not only punish Mitch McConnell for what he’s done but that we punish him to the very fullest extent the rule of law allows. We need to make an example out of Mitch for all time. We need to send the lesson that, perhaps, would have been sent had we punished Richard Nixon instead of pardoning him — abuse of power (especially at the executive level) is wholly unacceptable.
Mitch is already the architect of his own downfall. We owe it to Mitch to see that those plans get carried out all the way.
The US Constitution — as originally written and ratified — did NOT include freedom of speech or the press or religion or assembly or any of the other specific rights enumerated in the Bill Of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution. Did you catch that word — “amendments”? The Constitution’s framers built the framework with various means to alter and improve the Constitution because they knew at the start (they argued about it relentlessly!) that the work of crafting it was not nearly finished and might never be. The Constitution’s framers knew as they were framing it that the Constitution would always be a work in progress.
Originalism has two fatal flaws (at least).
The first is the ludicrous (and, frankly, offensive) notion that we have to understand laws only as they were understood by the men who wrote them regardless of the fact that the circumstances under which they lived (and under which they wrote the law) and the circumstances under which WE live are totally different. Originalism compounds the ludicrousness by pretending it can creep inside the minds of the framers where, originalism assures us, they wanted this document to be followed to the letter no matter what.
Even the original originalists didn’t go along with originalism.
Second fatal flaw — arguing that we’re bound to a document written by white, Christian, land-owning men who thought only white, Christian, land-owning men had rights is such a white, Christian, land-owning man thing to argue. The rules were set in stone by rule makers who wrote the rules strictly for their benefit. To go along with that kind of thinking would make everyone not white, Christian, land-owning and male a member of a permanent under-class — without many rights to “speak of”. Well, screw that!
Originalists pick n choose the Constitution the way they pick n choose which Biblical passages to follow.
Perhaps the biggest, most important, most far-reaching decision originalist di tutti originalists Antonin Scalia ever wrote was “Bush v Gore”, the SCOTUS decision that stopped the recount in Florida and literally HANDED the 2000 election to George W. Bush regardless of the fact that Democratic votes in Florida remained uncounted and — most importantly — Bush had lost the popular vote by a ton. Antonin Scalia took a huge, steaming dump on James Madison’s idea that a Government “inadequate to the purposes of its institution” had rights greater than the Peoples’.
In handing the election to Bush, Scalia noted that he was stepping outside the boundaries of originalism — just this once but that we weren’t going to be allowed EVER to step outside those boundaries ever again. Only originalist Scalia could set originalism aside — so as to protect originalism’s tender illusion of relevance. Horse. Shit.