Why Treason Matters

Pull almost any thread on the various crises crippling America and (as it unravels the sweater that was the greatest experiment ever in human self-government), it will lead you to treason. The ongoing threat to our democracy – the Republican Party’s out-in-the-open embrace of authoritarianism – is an act of treason unto itself. But, the fact is, what set this monster free, what unleashed this treacherous kraken was the Republican Party hitching its wagon to Donald Trump despite KNOWING that Russia owned him. As this blog keeps reminding the world, it’s just a stone cold fact: the GOP leadership is on record knowing that Trump was a national security threat at least a month before nominating him in 2016. The instant GOP leaders like Paul Ryan and (current GOP Leader) Kevin McCarthy agreed to keep their terrible secret a secret – from We The People, from the press – even from the FBI – they formally became traitors.

For socialized creatures like humans, treason is about the highest crime imaginable. We rely upon the security, the health, and the sanctity of the group for our very survival. For our happiness. A democracy takes that reliance on the group and ups the ante: the people administering the group’s needs ARE the People, the members of the group itself. “L’etat c’est nous” might be how Louis XIV would penser of it. We need to trust that the people we’ve entrusted with our quotidian essentials aren’t working against us. Or working for people whose interests conflict with ours.

Why would someone turn on the group like that? We understand the dynamic tension between haves and have-nots within our culture. An awful lot of criminal behavior is just variations on greed. The lopsidedness we all feel – that’s because all the greed is getting squeezed into a smaller and smaller space – fewer haves. Let’s put aside the unfairness of it. Looking to get as much as you can with what ya got – that’s ordinary. It simply doesn’t compare to someone who – whatever issue they have with the group – goes directly to outsiders to find satisfaction.

That’s what Donald Trump has done. I think we can all agree that greed and nothing but motivates Donald Trump. Greed is what gets him out of bed in the morning. Personal enrichment is the only bottom line Trump has or recognizes. He registered as a Democrat in NY not because he embraced the Democratic Party’s values but because Trump, being cynical down to his mitochondria recognized that in order to get anything done in heavily Democratic NY, he had to be a Democrat. The reason he didn’t run for POTUS as a Democrat is because he knew he’d never win the nomination as a Democrat. If he had a shot, it’d be as a Republican.

Businesspeople are businesspeople, public servants are public servants. This, Democrats understand. It’s why Mike Bloomberg thinking he could win the Democratic nomination for president was “Never Gonna Happen!” stupid. Being entirely cynical, Trump knew he could play only to an equally cynical room – the Republican Party. The Never Trumpers in the GOP hate Trump and his methods. They don’t necessarily hate what Trump wants for the wealthy in America.

This is the petard on which the GOP will hoist itself – and, boy, is that gonna hurt!

Think of the “Good Germans” – the ones who disagreed vehemently with Hitler (including what he was doing right in front of them to the Jews) but who didn’t DO anything to change or stop it. At the end of the day, these folks were more German than “good”. Disagreeing was one thing, Actively disagreeing something else entirely. These Germans might call themselves “good”; I doubt their former Jewish neighbors – the ones who died in death camps – would concur. From a Jewish perspective, the pool of “Good Germans” is actually way smaller. It absolutely existed – but it wasn’t a “pool”; more like a puddle, Anyone NOT in that puddle collaborated even if in a small way to all those Jews – and Roma people and gay people and anyone else the Germans chose for execution – ending up in large piles of bodies or as ashes.

Evil isn’t a bond villain, it’s much more banal than that. It’s a bored Nazi guard at a death camp. It’s a Southern American sheriff stopping a Black driver just because they’re Black. It’s handing a shivering Native American a blanket you KNOW is infected with smallpox. It’s personally ordering a Japanese American family out of their home at gun point and sending them to a concentration camp just because they’re Japanese. None of these things had to happen. People did them. They refused to stand in evil’s way. They collaborated with it. They found common purpose with it.

What makes treason so particularly evil is its scope. That’s where the banal turns Bond Villain and evil gets its close up.

[NOTE: the illustration is from The Boston Globe. It’s genius.]

Republicans Are Overgrown Schoolyard Bullies – On Steroids

It’s weird, isn’t it, how some of us never leave the schoolyard? In a sense, the schoolyard never leaves those people; the schoolyard was where they peaked emotionally. “Bullies” (which includes pretty much everyone with an “R” still next to their name) look back fondly at their days terrorizing a schoolyard. They achieved a kind of mastery of their subject matter. the Zen of cruelty. They learned who they can cow, who will carry their water for them and who they needn’t bother with – because people with integrity don’t give in to bullies (without plotting to end their bullying). Republicans gravitate toward other, bigger bullies. That is, their faces light up in a bigger bully’s presence. Look at how Trump’s face lights up when he sees Vladimir Putin —

Putin bullies Trump because Putin owns Trump – a fact the entire Republican Party leadership knew before they even nominated Trump. On June 25, 2016, upon entering a meeting of GOP leaders, current GOPP Leader Kevin McCarthy said: “There’s two people I think Putin pays – Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to god!” Obviously, this fact isn’t something Trump wants known – otherwise, he’d blast it: “Putin pays me – that’s how much he loves me!” Trump has done everything in his power to prevent the rest of us from learning just how true that is. The Republicans have co-conspired to obstruct justice because they could very easily have called the FBI on that day – and warned them that their potential nominee to be POTUS was a grave national security threat. They didn’t; instead, the Republican Leadership rallied around then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan’s direction that they not talk about the subject any further – and that they keep this secret of theirs a secret.

See how bullying works? One bully compromises another and then that bully compromises a bunch of other bullies – guys like Lindsey Graham who famously said that if the Republican Party made Trump their nominee, that they would be the cause of their own downfall. Lindsey’s the worst kind of bully; in a crowd of gutless wonders, Lindsey is the most gutless. Perhaps the stories about Lindsey Graham preferring his lovers on the young side is true. Something has to explain how Donald Trump turned Lindsey from an impediment to an ally over the course of one golf outing together. When you hear Lindsey speak about Trump after that? Lindsey sounds like a bully who’s being bullied.

I have a feeling that, in time, we’ll learn how many Republicans were compromised by similar kompromat of one kind or another. I bet that number will be shocking. Think of all the avenues and openings there were! Remember Russia’s Mata Hari, Maria Butina? We already know some of the silly Republican men she seduced into treason (either sexually or otherwise): Rick Santorum, Wayne LaPierre (head of the NRA), conservative activist Paul Erickson who was “slowly cultivating a back channel to the Kremlin for years”. And what do ya suppose Ron Johnson and the rest of the Moscow Eight had for dinner in Moscow the evening of July 4, 2018? My betting is the vodka was icy cold, the blinis were warm and the treason was served piping hot. Let’s add Senators Richard Shelby (AL), Steve Daines (MT), John Hoeven (ND), John Kennedy (LA), Jerry Moran (KS) and John Thune (SD) plus Texas Rep Kay Granger) to the pile of traitors and bullies.

Doesn’t the word “bully” flash across your mind when you hear that Marjory Taylor Greene’s name is trending somewhere? Doesn’t the smirk permanently stuck to Laurene Boebert’s mouth parts scream “I’m a bully!”

Matt Gaetz going after underage girls was a total “I’m a bully” move. And, Jim Jordan famously turned a blind eye to the sexual abuse going on while he was pretty much “in the room”. Pick a Republican and there will be a story or two or three or a hundred about something untoward surrounding them. Let’s not forget: the January 6 insurrection didn’t happen spontaneously. It was planned (as meticulously as a bunch of racist incompetents can plan a thing). It was deliberate and ambitious and it knew that what it wanted to do was absolutely illegal.

The good news is that bullies – being cowards who never stand for anything – are doomed to be bullies forever. They’re never hard to spot, easy to predict and reliable as hell. Their schtick is their schtick is their schtick. They shrink when threatened and puff up in the face of other people’s vulnerabilities. If they can’t kick someone when that someone is down, the bully isn’t kicking them/

Because the bullies victim could get up and kick the bully’s ass.

After Trump, There Won’t BE A Republican Party Anymore

A wise man (more like a wise guy actually) once tweeted ““If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed… and we will deserve it.” That was Lindsey Graham and he knew exactly what he was talking about. What Lindsey understood – deep down, it turns out – is that Trump both personified the Republican Party’s worst, greediest, most power mad instincts and gave them a vehicle with which to sell those instincts. Trump was and is the GOP’s id run amok. As much as the GOP establishment hated Trump – and KNEW he was so compromised by Russia that he’d be a national security threat the instant he took office – they hitched their wagons to his – and willingly allowed Trump to take over their political party top to bottom. Republicans have always known for a fact that Trump was a stone cold traitor. They knew for a fact that keeping it secret was imperative. They knew for a fact that Trump was their shot at forcing permanent minority rule down America’s throat.

As Trump himself pointed out – as always saying the quiet parts out loud – if more Americans vote, it’s bad for Republicans. Maybe if the Republicans hadn’t willed themselves to be a white nationalist party, that wouldn’t be the case.

What the Republicans are doing to America – trying in every way they can to undermine our democracy, the integrity of the vote and the entire American franchise – isn’t their “opinion”. It isn’t a “campaign strategy” or a “political approach”. It’s insurrection by nonviolent means – bloodless perhaps but no less deadly to our democracy. Same goes for The Big Lie. It’s not “one side of the argument”. The Big Lie is zero sides of the argument because it’s bullshit. Lies are not an alternative to the Truth. Alternative facts are not facts, they’re the opposite of facts: they’re feelings pretending to be facts – not the same damned thing!

If the Republicans want to blame someone for why there won’t be a GOP anymore after Trump? They should blame Gerald R. Ford. When Ford straight out pardoned Nixon – to spare America the pain of confronting a corrupt president, what he actually did was message the perps “Better luck next time, boys”. Plan better. Execute better. Win, don’t lose. Consequently, neither Nixon nor the Republican establishment expressed an ounce of contrition. But then, Nixonians like Roger Stone and Paul Manafort weren’t feeling contrite. They began licking their wounds and plotting.

That’s Paul Manafort on the left, Roger Stone in the middle and Republican political strategist Lee Atwater. Had Gerald Ford not stood in the way of justice, had he not had the political establishment’s back, had he allowed the nation to indict, prosecute and judge Nixon, it’s quite possible that we wouldn’t be in the fix we’re in now. Being nice to pirates never seems to work out for anyone except the pirates. An unpunished Nixon gave Paul Manafort the idea that he could betray America and get away with it. An unpunished Paul Manafort (Trump pardoned Manafort and sprang him from prison) gave the entire GOP the idea that corruption was still the business of America.

Corruption is certainly the business the Republican Party is in. Unfortunately for them, that’s not a product most Americans will continue to buy going forwards.

When the Department of Justice finally begins indicting elected Republicans over their roles in the January 6 insurrection, they may not stop until virtually every single Republican either is indicted or has a date with a Grand Jury for questioning. The insurrection, we’re now learning, was very well organized. Very well funded. Very much a product of the Republican Party and Donald Trump.

The thing about rich white people? They love their creature comforts. Prison dinner and a hard, metal bed are not something these criminals ever envisioned for themselves. That doesn’t mean they haven’t earned it. If we want to stop these criminals from criming, we’re going to need to drive it home to them that acting like a criminal is expensive, unsatisfying and not even remotely worthwhile.

I’ll be surprised if the Republicans are still viable enough to run a candidate for POTUS in 2024. It won’t be Trump and never was going to be Trump. For him, the whole point of running for president now is to sit on his bloated white backside and collect political donations. The instant Trump stops running for office, his cash machine breaks down and he’s going to need every bit of cash he can get his teeny-tiny hands on to stave off the inevitable.

America has changed since Nixon was POTUS. We’ve gotten more diverse. Though still facing an unequal playing field, more and more Black, brown, Asian and LGBTQ Americans are finding their way to political power. Having been on corruption’s receiving end, they have zero tolerance for it. What Nixon got away with, Donald Trump will not. And once Trump’s day of reckoning begins, the GOP’s day of reckoning will roll right along with it.

I find it hard to believe that when all is done and said, when every last bit of the Republican Party’s power grab has been revealed for the criminal behavior it was that there will be enough Republicans not in prison to “be” a viable political party. And,, if the strands of this corrupt party were to resurrect themselves and present themselves to America as a going concern with ideas Americans could get behind, what the hell would they be selling anyway? Can one really say “Hey, we know we used to be the Party that hated you all, but that isn’t who we are now!”? Can a candidate pitch himself as the less authoritarian authoritarian?

It’s entirely possible that once the indictments start dropping that Republicans begin running for cover – and looking for deals. Don’t forget: this is about treason. The punishment for treason is death. And when more and more Republicans begin to grasp just how angry they’ve made a lot of Americans – and how unwilling more and more Americans are to show a bunch of traitors an ounce of mercy? They’ll begin ratting each other out like there’s no tomorrow. Shame for them – all the good deals will be gone by then. They’ll be getting the judicial scraps.

The people who will be responsible for ending the Republican Party are all Republicans. It cannot happen a microsecond too soon.

What If All The Dots – When Finally Connected – Spell Out “The Republicans Are Traitors”?

Our News Media's Big Problem – They Don't Know How To Connect Dots – How To  Live BULLSHIT-FREE

I confess: the moment Donald Trump said “Russia, if you’re listening…!” I concluded “That bloated orange bastard is a traitor!” To me, a presidential candidate reaching out to a hostile foreign government to help him get elected just seems treasonous. Ah, but feelings aren’t facts. “Seems” isn’t “is”. But, Trump hasn’t exactly been mysterious about his intentions and his friends. After a certain point, when you can’t see through the smoke anymore, it would be wise to conclude “there’s a fire!” How many lies did it take being told before America’s news media finally decided to call Trump’s lies “lies” and Trump himself a “liar”? If it was more than three, that’s pathetic. Three lies describe a pattern. What, I wonder, do thirty thousand lies describe? Oh, yeah – they absolutely describe a liar. But Trump is no ordinary fantasist. And his lies – taken together (as they should be) – describe something more than just a man with little regard for the truth. If our news media had connected the “why does Trump lie so much” dots, they would have drawn a very clear picture: “Trump lies so much because he’s a traitor”. Our news media is slowly heading in that direction, like the rough beast slouching toward Bethlehem to be born – the hour for its close up come round at last.

Here’s what sucks (well, a lot of things suck, but this sucks in context): our news media saw the Trump story happening; they reported on it endlessly. Take away the media and “Donald Trump” doesn’t exist. Take away Russia and Trump never becomes POTUS. Hell, take Russia completely out of the Donald Trump equation (as in they never money launder through his bankrupt Atlantic City casinos) and those casinos go broke even faster. In fact, take Russia’s organized crime money out of Trump, Inc and Donald Trump goes broke eons ago, having blown through daddy’s entire real estate fortune. If our news media would just read what it’s already written about Trump, we’d be miles further down the road than we are!

We (lucky us!) are living inside one of the great epic stories of human history: an attempt by an angry, racist minority to try and end the greatest experiment ever in human self government because they refuse to share power in a democratic way. Now, that’s the “view from 30,000 feet”, as our news media might put it. Presumably, it’s the view from which one can see the whole picture and not just the cool geographic features that automatically stand out. This is the view many in our news media already see – that Republicans are doing multiple things that are and will negatively impact our democracy. But, when that news media bores in on a detail – as they should – they tend to become so focused on their deep dive that they completely forget that the subject of their dive isn’t the whole story itself, it’s just one tiny detail of a much larger story. All our news media would have had to do to see the much larger story in front of them was read their own stuff.

Former Wall Street Journal reporter and Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson explained the Steele Dossier’s origin story to the Senate Judicial Committee in august 2017. The (then Republican-run) committee wanted to undermine the Dossier’s integrity (because it threatens them and their candidate). Simpson explained that what drew Fusion to even look at Russia was all the Russia-oriented corruption they found when doing their due diligence – surveying all publicly available material about Trump. In other words, Fusion became convinced that Trump had used his Atlantic City casinos to illegally launder Russian mob money based entirely on what they read in the press.

Ironically, the thing about Steele’s raw intelligence is that the detail our news media glommed onto – the salacious story of Trump watching Russian hookers piss all over the bed the Obamas slept in in Moscow – is the least important detail in the entire dossier. Far more important: all the evidence that Donald Trump’s relationship with Russia, with Russian criminals and with Russia’s head criminal Vlad Putin demanded further investigation – especially when he chose to run for president.

But, there too, had our press simply read what it had itself reported, it might have had a clearer picture of HOW Trump pulled off his surprise win by taking Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan by a combined 77,000 votes. Our news media might have pressed current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy about WHY he thought “Putin pays Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to God!” in the first place but, more importantly, why if Kevin thought Trump was a grave national security risk he and the rest of the GOP’s leadership agreed with then Speaker of the Houser Paul Ryan that there be “No leaks. . . . This is how we know we’re a real family here.”

Think about that. The GOP knew even before they nominated Trump that he was deeply compromised by Russia. Think the GOP hadn’t connected the Trump dot to the Russia dot?

Our problem: the Russia dot also was and is connected to the Republican Party dot.

Are those just my feelings talking? No. I’m connecting dots. I see a relentless pattern of Republican obstruction of justice, much of it focused on denying Trump’s relationship with Russia – who the GOP knew was paying Trump. This isn’t complicated. At all. On June 25, 2016, the leadership of the Republican Party themselves committed an act of treason: keeping it secret that they knew or suspected their presidential nominee was a profound national security threat because he was financially compromised by Russia – whose head of state, a former spy, was a master at using just such tactics!

Why would the Republican Party do such a thing? Because they see Russia as an ally now. They see dictators and authoritarians as their mentors and equals. They see democracy as an impediment to permanent minority rule. And, so, they’re doing something about it.

It often feels like our news media sits with its pencil poised above a connect4-the-dots image, the entire picture in front of them. One last dot needs connecting. But, until that very last dot joins the picture? The picture isn’t complete enough for our news media to see it. How sad that will be if indeed the Republicans succeed in destroying our democracy for good. We would have been inches from saving ourself. All we would have had to do is connect two dots via one straight line.

That line could easily be the cross bar that turns a vertical line into a “T”. For “Treason”.

Seditious Conspiracy & Cooties

BREAKING NEWS: America Is Infested With Cooties!

Remember cooties? How about cootie monsters and cootie catchers? Remember the schoolyard fear of catching cooties? On my schoolyards, not all cooties were created equal. I didn’t mind catching some peoples’ cooties – I liked them; wasn’t bothered by their cooties. But there were other people whose cooties just seemed… “cootier”. More guaranteed to infect you with whatever horrible personality defect the cootie carrier carried. Alas, not only haven’t we left the schoolyard behind, we’ve gone and brought its biggest bully and his cooties right along with him to the present. Among the most loathsome things Donald Trump did to our politics was reduce us all down to his schoolyard – the one where he’s the reigning bully.

The worst cooties present in North America today all originated in Europe. The “cootie niveus” – the “snow white cootie”. Convinced of its own innate moral and genetic superiority, the snow white cootie relentlessly tries to dominate all other living things and to try and turn all other things into it. Side note: there actually are mites that zombify other insects and literally enslave them. This is just the nature of cooties. They’re deep-down disgusting; you absolutely don’t want them on you, in you, or anywhere near you. I’d avoid being in the same zip code.

Not everyone is vulnerable to cootie infection, not being white enough to catch the infection in the first place. For those people – the rest of us – our problem is the continuing ripple effect of those who are infected by snow white cooties running amok through the general population. Frankly, they’re making a total mess of our democracy.

But – here’s where we pivot to the good news – we’ve finally seen evidence that someone has taken firm charge of this patient’s medical crisis. This patient is us – We The People. We’ve been demanding a little proof that the team we hired to deal with our infected corpus was doing something more than remediate our hurt feelings. “Seditious conspiracy” is the shot of penicillin in the ass we needed – if only to start fighting off this infection of cooties..

Seditious conspiracy according to US CODE is “If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof“. I think we can say – having witnessed these things with our own eyes (making us witnesses to this crime against us) – that this happened because it was plotted to happen and it was plotted to happen by people who desperately needed it to happen – Donald Trump and everyone around him, near him or held in his thrall. The bottom line here is treason. It’s always been treason.

For the record, the entire GOP knew that Trump was a national security threat when they nominated him. A month before making Trump their flag bearer, the entire GOP leadership discussed – or, rather, brought up but REFUSED to discuss – the fact that they KNEW that Trump was compromised not just by a foreign leader, but by a foreign leader they KNEW was hostile toward us. As GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy put it on June 25, 2016 as he walked into that discussion: “There’s two people I think Putin pays – Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to God!” No one in the room questioned the statement. Instead, then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan insisted everyone there keep this terrible secret about their nominee a secret.

Hey, one has to ask WHY, doesn’t one? The answer: TREASON COOTIES! Everyone in the room was infected right there and then with TREASON COOTIES.

Jump forward to November 2020. Team Trump has successfully kept America from realizing how deeply infected it is with treason cooties. They’ve obstructed justice and bamboozled America’s news media into believing quack diagnoses that America’s problems are economic not racial. America takes the cure: an election. From most appearances, the election worked! A surge of democratic medicine washed the infection’s “cootie zero” out of our system. Finally, we thought, our immune system will get a fair chance to begin healing itself. Alas, getting rid of snow white cooties is never that easy.

America has been infected with snow white cooties from the get-go. Infected white people believe that only white people should run America. When unchecked, some infected white people will literally enslave others – especially Black people to whom they feel a particular superiority. The irony of course is that white people – infected or not – aren’t superior to anyone. They’re not inferior to anyone, but they’re not superior. And when they run around acting like they are? That’s the tell that that white person has been infected by snow white cooties.

Everyone who plotted the January 6 Insurrection walked in the door already infected. In a sense, one could hold up a cootie black light and see that, indeed, every insurrectionist has the markings of infection. If we had been able to do that as the Republican mob descended on Washington, DC in the days before January 6, we would have seen an infection infecting us in real time. Funny thing? Seditious conspiracy works exactly the same way.

And, now that we’re actually focused on seeing, rooting out and prosecuting seditious conspiracy, as cooties do, they will scramble for the shadows. Finding them won’t be hard. Already – the January 6 Select Committee tells us – hundreds of people have come forward because they DON’T want to be any more infected with snow white cooties than they already are. They can see that the eradication process will be brutal – on the snow white cooties. And they want no part of it.

Not everyone’s as self aware or honest with themselves as these people. Plenty of white people still think they can beat this scourge, infected as they are. That’s where they’re wrong. Turns out even people infected with cooties can be infected with more cooties. A guy with racism cooties can also have bigotry cooties too. Cooties co-mingle regardless. But, cooties can flow both ways. A guy with asshole cooties is bad. If he catches criminal cooties, he’ll get worse – but we have systems in place – a criminal justice system – whose job is to fight these things for the benefit of our body politic. That means that if we become aware that someone has “criminal cooties”, we can do something about it.

We can infect THEM with “criminal liability cooties”. These are cooties that other cooties fear. Criminal liability cooties can overcome criminal cooties and send criminals to prison (where they can catch a whole batch of other, really awful cooties). This is why criminals obstruct justice. They don’t want the cooties.

So far, eleven people – all Oath Keepers – are publicly infected with “sedition conspiracy” cooties. That number’s gonna rise. Exponentially. And that’s what scares the entire Republican Party. Once infected with sedition cooties, Republicans know they could be forced into “quarantine” for twenty years (per the law). But, here’s their problem: sedition conspiracy cooties spread so easily the infected don’t always know they’re infected. But they are.

“See something, SAY something” – that’s, in general, how good citizenship works. That’s why “see something, say nothing” perplexes us. Why say nothing? For whose benefit is this citizen saying nothing when it’s their obligation to warn the rest of us? Saying nothing in the face of criminal activity is both a sign of infection and an attempt to infect all rolled up into one. Saying nothing in the face of evil is tacit acceptance of evil. You might as well go all in with evil since you’re going to be considered evil anyway. Only the evil worry about degrees of evil.

The rest of us want nothing to do with your cooties.

Quick Reminder – GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy Has Been Up To His Ass In Treason From The Get-Go!

Kevin McCarthy Rolls Over for Donald Trump, Like a Dog

“There’s two people I think Putin pays – Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to God!” That’s what current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said as he entered a roomful of GOP leaders on June 25, 2016 in Washington, DC, a month before the Republican Party nominated Donald Trump to be their nominee for POTUS. This conversation was recorded and the recording played for Washington Post reporter Adam Entous. It happened in other words. It is a stone cold fact and it represents something indisputable: the Republican Party knew before they nominated Trump that he was an extreme national security risk. Just about everything terrible that’s happened to America ever since flows directly from that moment of betrayal.

Just before asserting this, McCarthy had left a meeting with then Ukrainian Prime Minister Vladi­mir Groysman, who had described a Kremlin tactic of financing populist politicians to undercut Eastern European democratic institutions. Something about that conversation put it in McCarthy’s head that the man they were now all in bed with was corrupt and owned not just by the head of a foreign government, but by the head of a foreign government that we know is bent on destroying us. Keep this context in mind as McCarthy says to his political fellow travelers that this same hostile foreign government literally OWNS their presidential nominee.

Did anyone in the room react with shock? Did anyone demand that McCarthy produce receipts? Did anyone insist that if what Kevin was saying was true, they owed it to the country and to their oaths of office to call the FBI?

Of course not.

Then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan (third in line to power) cut off any discussion. “Ryan instructed his Republican lieutenants to keep the conversation private, saying: “No leaks. . . . This is how we know we’re a real family here.”

Let’s reiterate what Paul Ryan and the rest of the Republican leadership were agreeing to keep secret – because they were a real family: the fact that their candidate was a traitor. The moment they all agreed to keep that secret a secret? They all became traitors, too.

That’s not hyperbole.

Their actions from that moment forward were the actions of guilty men. They kept their secret a secret. They did everything in their power to interfere with any sort of investigation into not just this incident but every instance of Donald Trump’s odd relationship with Putin.

Since then, to my knowledge, few other reporters have asked GOP Leader about this remarkable assertion of his. The one time a reporter did, McCarthy spit back the usual GOP response: “I was joking”.

Yeah… except McCarthy wasn’t joking. The reason he got nervous laughter in the room isn’t because McCarthy’s delivery of the set up was so scintillating. It’s because everyone in the room knew that what McCarthy had just asserted was not only possible but likely the absolute truth. That’s why everyone there went along with Speaker Ryan’s insistence that they they behave like a family – a mafia family.

One can connect dots from that moment all the way through the election to moments like “Moscow, if you’re listening!” (they were!) to Paul Manafort handing over all that proprietary polling data that came back as propagandized Facebook ads that tried to convince Black Democratic voters to stay home because Hillary was a racist on the down low. One can see Russia’s hand in the way Trump turned on NATO and slavishly stroked Putin every day of his presidency. The dots connect to the Mueller Report – its focus narrowed to a single tranche (Trump’s relationship with Wikileaks) where even there, Mueller couldn’t say for certain how criminal Trump had been with Russia because of the unceasing obstructive behaviors.

Our slow-witted news media still scratches its head when it ponders the nature of Trump’s hold on the Republican Party. Well, if you can’t see Trump for the traitor he is, seeing the rest of the GOP for the co-conspirators to commit treason that they are is beyond you. Hey, I’m old enough to remember when people like me blogging or tweeting about Trump’s relationship with Russia, his authoritarian bent or the Nazification of the GOP, I got eye rolls. I should have gotten a few “Amen, Brother’s!”‘.

Today was a good day on this front. A lot of us wanted an indication from the DoJ where it was in all this – was it even going to do anything? The answer seems to be yes. Putting down a sedition card – charging the leader of the Oath Keepers and nine others with “seditious conspiracy” – that answered the question. A bit. Sedition is a lot more serios than the “breaking and entering” most of the lower level foot soldiers have been nailed with. Sedition is serious. You have to think a moderate, details guy like Merrick Garland wouldn’t have charged a player like Stewart Rhodes with something as serious as sedition if he didn’t think he could bring it in for a landing.

It’s the “conspiracy” part though that’s most intriguing. One doesn’t have to be a plotter to be swept up in a conspiracy. One doesn’t even have to know anything about it. A suspicion or a reasonable awareness can turn you from a disinterested party into a participant. You can’t just walk away. You are obligated to do something. It’s called “citizenship”.

I used to think it was a matter of time before one of my posts screaming about this missing piece of inquiry got some reporter somewhere to ask Kevin McCarthy what he meant by “There’s two people I think Putin pays – Rorhbacher and Trump – swear to God!”. Now I think it’s a matter of not holding my breath.

You’d think the opportunity to make a scumbag like Kevin McCarthy squirm would appeal to all those journalists eager to make a name for themselves. But, maybe they’re afraid that if they tell the truth about Kevin, he won’t talk to them anymore. And so the next round of cover up begins.

Not Every Issue Has Two Sides – Like The Question “Should American Democracy End?”

The “Both Sides Do It” brand of journalism – cynical all the way down to its mitochondria – gives all sides to a story equal weight because it refuses to judge anything, prizing “neutrality” above even the Truth. Pick a conflict between two people, two groups, two nations and both sides, BSDI journalism says, have equally valid arguments that journalists should never side with. That is pure crap. Let’s say my personal conflict is with a car thief. My point of view is “You stole my car and that’s wrong in every single way.” The car thief’s angle is “I stole your car from you because I wanted it”. Now, according to BSDI journalism rules, these two points (separate from points of view) are equally valid. As the car thief’s “alleged victim”, it’s just my opinion versus his. If the car thief says he didn’t do it, and until a court of law says otherwise, then it’s not for the press to “convict” the car thief even as he sits in my car outside my house, blaring the horn just to rub his thievery in my face. Even my victimhood is just “my opinion”.

The moment you give credence to bullshit, bullshit wins. Game over. That’s what our news media does every single day. It’s what they did from the instant Donald Trump stepped onto our political stage. In essence, Trump’s campaign should have ended the day it started. The moment he called Mexicans rapists, our news media should have recognized that a line had been crossed. Same goes for “pussy grabbing”. That, too, should have been an uncrossable line in the sand for ANY presidential candidate. But, our news media shrugged them both off when “But, her emails!” reared its head. In doing that, our news media false equivalanced Donald Trump telling everyone he was unqualified to be POTUS with a completely manufactured email scandal.

What, I’d like to know, are the “two sides” to Paul Manafort handing Oleg Deripaska the proprietary polling data on Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin that Russian military intelligence – Deripaska’s employer – turned into personalized Facebook ads that showed up on the Facebook pages of Black, Democratic voters in those three states, feeding them propaganda about Hillary Clinton’s quiet racism? The sheer act of giving Deripaska that information was a massive crime (for which Manafort went to jail and for which Trump pardoned him). What, I’d like to know, is the “other side” to any of this? We’re not speculating treason here, we’re outright talking about it!

To Trump’s credit, he understands our news media better than they understand themselves because he sees so much of himself in them. He also understands how to be a bully. And bullies don’t worry about the truth. They worry about “winning” at all costs. Is “winning at all costs (up to and including cheating)” the same as just “winning”? The end product may be the same but, surely, a win achieved through cheating and a win achieved through honesty are not! If that was the case, why would anyone bother doing things honestly when it’s the cheaters who always win?

That, too, is another question our news media never asks. Maybe they think cheating to win IS as good as not cheating to win.

The overwhelming majority of Americans – Democrats, independents and a few Republicans – don’t want America’s experiment with self government to end. We never even wanted it on the ballot. We never thought it was an issue.

Our news media – late to the party as ever – still can’t get it through their heads that a Republican suppressing a Democratic voter isn’t behaving politically; they’re behaving criminally (suppressing another American’s right to vote) FOR a political purpose. The Democratic voter whose right to vote has been suppressed (or gerrymandered) is NOT behaving “politically” when they insist they are the victim of a crime. They’re a crime victim reporting the crime that’s been perpetrated against their right to vote. See the difference?

Therefore the voter whose vote is being suppressed has a valid argument – their side – while those suppressing their right to vote DON’T have a valid argument. That’s two points of view but only one valid point. Our news media, alas, reports them both as if they both were valid. Just like that, Truth gets compromised because our news media has given credence to lies, corruption and bullshit.

The Bottom Line Explanation For EVERYTHING The Republicans Are Doing Is TREASON

It all starts with Russia.

Take Russia out of the Donald Trump Equation and Trump never wins anything. In fact, take Russian mob money away from Trump and his Atlantic City casinos fail even faster. Take Miss Universe in Moscow away from Trump and he has zero avenues available to try and launch a Trump Tower Moscow project. Take Russia away from Trump and he never gets to rescue himself; he ends up squandering daddy’s entire real estate fortune. Take Russia away from Donald Trump and not only was he never POTUS, he might be living on skid row himself – in one of the more squalid trash heaps. The Republican Party KNEW for a fact that Trump was compromised by Russia before they nominated him to be their candidate for POTUS. They KNEW that a Trump presidency would be a massive national security risk (and failure!) . Nothing about Trump surprised the Republican Party’s leadership from the moment he shoved his way into their tent.

They KNEW Trump was a traitor – and they stepped in line behind him regardless.

Some receipts… As the primaries got underway, the Marco Rubio-backing Washington Free Beacon funded some opposition research on Trump. They hired a commercial research and strategic intelligence-gathering firm called FUSION GPS to do the work that ultimately produced the Steele Dossier. Fusion had been co-founded by former Wall Street Journal writers Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch. When he was called before the Senate Judiciary Committee on August 22, 2017 (the then Republican controlled Senate was trying to squash all investigations into Trump and was especially focused on knocking down the Steele Dossier’s damaging implications), Simpson told the story about how we got a “Steele Dossier” to begin with. Before beginning its oppo research work in earnest, Simpson testified, Fusion did its “due diligence”: they got their hands on every piece of publicly available material they could on Trump – newspaper pieces, magazine articles, radio and TV appearances. They scoured Amazon. They went to actual bookstores. They watched and listened to a lot of video and audio tape.

What Fusion found there – in material anyone could find (including the rest of the news media) – took them aback. Simpson testified that the picture they had – even before beginning their real work – implicated Trump as a money launderer. And maybe worse. In order to bore down more deeply into the questions they now had about Trump and his odd relationship with Russia, Fusion sub-contracted that part of their research to another company – Orbis – which was owned and operated by the former head of the MI6’s vaunted Russia desk, the highly respected Christopher Steele. Steele WAS known and respected when Fusion engaged him; the FBI had relied on Steele and his integrity when they took down Sepp Blatter, the corrupt former head of FIFA.

By that point in the chronology, Marco Rubio’s presidential ambitions had been kicked to the curb. The Washington Free Beacon had stopped paying for the research but the ball was picked up by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and by the DNC. Quick note: Hillary Clinton has been 100% right about EVERYTHING regarding Donald Trump). Now, we all have to understand one simple thing: Steele is in the intelligence business. By its nature, this is a smoke and mirrors world. Very often, facts have to be discerned; they won’t necessarily present themselves. One must approach information with both caution and perspective. Our news media, being shallow and sensationalist, got it into their heads that the worst allegations about Trump had to do with hookers and a bed that Obama slept in. Perversely, the most titillating parts of the Dossier are its least problematic for Trump. There’s nothing inherently illegal in watching hookers piss on a bed.

There’s something inherently illegal however when you are on a foreign country’s payroll especially when that country is engaged in cyber war against us.

Another receipt: let’s visit the moment on June 25, 2016 when current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy entered a meeting of GOP leaders in Washington, DC. It’s a month BEFORE these very people will crown Donald Trump as their nominee. “There’s two people I think Putin pays,” Kevin says, “Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to God!” Let’s take “I was joking” off the table, please. It’s bullshit (and it was Kevin’s explanation the ONE TIME he was questioned about this moment). People with no sense of humor cannot kid, joke or be ironic. This is for real. Not every has a sense of humor because not everyone can laugh at themselves. Being able to laugh at oneself is the marker for having a sense of humor. People who can’t laugh at themselves laugh exclusively at others; they’re called “bullies”. When Kevin added “Swear to God” to his accusation, it was in answer to the ripple of nervous laughter his accusation had caused.

Let’s bore in here – and, for the record, this conversation among Republicans WAS RECORDED and that recording was played in 2017 for Washington Post reporter Adam Entous. Kevin McCarthy has just accused the man they’re all going to nominate of being corrupt. Not just corrupt – corrupt because a hostile foreign government is PAYING HIM. And the job they’re going to nominate this corrupted man for is the PRESIDENCY.

But, no one in the room seems surprised by Kevin’s damning accusation. No one says “Whaaaaat? Kevin, are you SURE about this? Do you have RECEIPTS for such a crazy idea?” Instead, as I said, there’s nervous laughter. That’s why McCarthy stammers “Swear to Go!” He wants the room to believe him. He’s not making it up. And no one present thinks he is. Least of all then Speaker Of The House of Representatives (and third in line to the presidency) Paul Ryan. Does Paul Ryan – the country’s national security apparatus two heartbeats away from his control – demand to know why Kevin thinks their soon-to-be nominee is a clear national security risk? No, he doesn’t!

Instead, Ryan goes in the OTHER direction – away from transparency! Away from patriotism. Away from doing the right thing. This terrible secret, Ryan tells them all, will remain their terrible secret. Nothing about this conversation, Ryan insists, will leave this room. “That’s how we know we’re family” is how he puts a bow on it.

I keep going back to this moment because it’s real. It is a fully documented, primary sourced instance of deliberate treason. There is absolutely no refuting it.

And everything that led to where we are today flowed directly from it: an act of treason.

Another receipt. September 2016. Barack Obama calls an urgent “Gang of Eight” meeting at the White House. He wants the intelligence community to present information they have that alarms them deeply: Russia is actively engaged in trying to throw the coming presidential election to Trump. They have proof and believe the American electorate deserves to know. But, then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gets upon his treason turtle hind legs and insists that if Obama tries to warn America about what Russia is actively doing on Trump’s behalf, he, McConnell will tell America that this mighty NOT be true – that Obama is merely “politicizing the intelligence”.

That wasn’t the case of course. And do ya really think Mitch wasn’t as aware as anyone else with an R next to their name that “Putin pays Trump”?

Think about that. Mitch McConnell refused to let America know that Russia was actively engaged in making a man Mitch knew Russia was paying president. That’s a hell of a secret to keep from We The People, don’tcha think?

But if you appreciate that Mitch was just keeping the same secret Paul Ryan insisted they all keep – like a mafia family – then, suddenly, every last bit of Republican behavior makes absolute sense. Instead of endlessly scratching their heads as they wonder what hold Trump has on the GOP, our news media could 1) read what it’s already reported and 2) do a deeper dive into it especially in hindsight. The answer isn’t hard to find. :Hell – like almost everything that Trump did, it’s right there, out in the open! All any reporter really has to do is look at it and report honestly what they see.

There’s another element here that’s worked entirely to Trump’s benefit. Rich white people are loathe to prosecute other rich white people. It’s weird… like they all know where each others’ bodies are buried… It is remarkable what white men can get away with in America that no one else can even contemplate. Apparently, that includes treason.

At the end of the day, there will be a clear, simple explanation for everything that’s happened over the past five years. The January 6 insurrection didn’t just spontaneously “happen” regardless of what the Republican Party needs America to believe. The insurrection was planned and paid for by people who needed Trump to stay in power – up to and including Trump himself. Our news media will insist that Trump is merely being childish – he’s a grown man refusing to accept a humiliating electoral defeat. But that misses the point entirely. It misses what Trump actually is and what he’s actually guilty of.

The reason Trump needed to stay in power was less because Trump loves power than because without the power of the presidency, Trump is going to be prosecuted out the wazoo – and especially as a traitor. He was “golden” while protected by that silly Department of Justice directive that sitting presidents can’t be subpoenaed. But, now that any lawyer with a case can have a shot at him? He’s feeling the pain (though not the financial pain since Trump now has the RNC paying his legal bills).

But, consider that fact all by itself! Why would the Republican Party pay MILLIONS OF DOLLARS in legal fees for charges that have zero to do with Trump’s time in office? You can hear the question forming in our news media’s head already: “What ‘hold’ does Donald Trump sill maintain over the Republican Party?”

Hey, remember when using the word “treason” got you nothing but eye rolls? Remember when calling Trump a fascist cost you respect because you went “there” (regardless of how right you were)? Remember when we used to think that Republicans were ordinary, patriotic Americans just like Democrats?

Neither do I. Treason has blotted out everything.

The GOP Wet Dream: Turn America Into White Trash Heaven

Think about the America the Republican Party wants us to be: a racist, bigoted, misogynistic hellhole of corruption where the rich get richer and everyone else gets the shaft. It’s an America of sham elections and squalid values. It favors feelings over facts, ignorance over expertise and bullshit over truth. It’s not a coincidence that the GOP’s vision for America resembles America circa 1850 when white, Christian, land-owning men still ruled everything. That’s the America conservatives want to conserve. The one where they held all the advantages, all the power and pretty much all the money. They can’t imagine a world where rising tides even exist – never mind rising tides that lift all boats. Instead, they see the world entirely in “zero sum game” terms. If anyone else gains something, it can only be because they lost the very same thing.

After Trump first seized the presidency in 2016, our news media bought into the whole notion that white rage (lots of it secretive) fueled Trump’s “win”. They made JD Vance (author of “Hillbilly Elegy”) a wealthy man. They accepted as true that economic concerns – rather than racism – fueled white rage when it was nothing BUT racism. Quick side note about racism – asking a racist like Donald Trump IF he’s a racist is utterly pointless. It’s never up to a potential racist to adjudge whether they’re racist. How would they know? The racist’s pals aren’t a good measure either. Nor are any of the rest of us. The ONLY people qualified to say whether or not someone is a racist are that racist’s victims.

Only they know if what happened was racist or not.

I know for a fact that Donald Trump’s an anti-Semite. That’s because I’m Jewish. Everything in me says Trump’s a racist too but I can never be the final word on that subject. Black people can tell you quite definitively: Trump’s not just a racist, he’s a racist’s racist.

The white, Christian, land-owning men who founded America had a great idea. We tell ourselves they not only had a great idea, they executed it perfectly. That’s not so. The white, Christian, land-owning men who founded America and wrote out its founding documents, got plenty wrong at the get-go. In their defense, many never took part in the founding of a nation before. They were new to nation building and because of that they got things wrong. They were short-sighted, some of them. Others were already compromised by slavery – America’s original sin.

Let’s please understand slavery for what it was first and foremost – stolen labor. That’s the whole point of enslaving someone – to get their work product for free. The entire Southern economy was built principally on three main agricultural products: tobacco, sugar cane and cotton. All three required a lot of intense physical labor to get the product from field to marketplace. If every grower had been forced to pay a fair market rate for all the labor needed to build their economy, their economy would never have gotten off the ground. The Confederacy could not have existed without stolen labor. Not only does a slave not get paid, but, because they’re not getting paid for the sweat of their brow, they’re never getting to accumulate wealth and the power that goes with accumulated wealth.

Aside from tax cuts for the rich, cruelty at the border and a non-stop hummer delivered to Vladimir Putin, the Trumpublicans were amazingly short on policy and process. But then, governing has never been the GOP’s “thing”. Proving that government doesn’t work – that’s always been their brand. That’s why they put forward incompetent people to run for office. In their minds, it would do them zero good to make government succeed. Better to make government fail leaving them as the only viable alternative.

And now, Republican nitwits like Marjorie Taylor Greene dream of a “separation” between red and blue America. If we really wanted to punish the MTG’s of the world, we’d up and give them the very America they want (in their red districts). Red America wouldn’t vaccinate anyone. You couldn’t buy a mask there. The Big Lie will be the organizing principle around which everything orbits. First, of course, we’d have to erect a wall to separate us from them; they’d approve of course and happily get to building it (albeit badly).

But, I don’t give it long before boredom sets in. Red America can’t stand Americans succeeding if any of those American are Black, brown, Asian or some other non-white hue. I give Red America about a month before things start breaking down. I give their electric grid two months before it starts blinking out. I give Red America six months before they start to run out of food. At seven months, we should start to expect a quiet knocking at the the other side of the massive wall Red America will have built to keep Blue America out.

That would absolutely happen in the future exactly as it’s happening now. Pretty much every red state gets far, far more from the federal government than it ever puts in. The exact opposite is true for Blue states like California. We GIVE far more than we ever get. But, that’s how innovators roll. And if there’ something conservatives can’t do/won’t do it’s innovate. Innovation produces change and change is anathema to conservative, red state Americans.

I say let’s give MTG and the GOP the divorce they want. And then let’s cut them off. Completely.

Yeah, sure – I’ve no doubt Blue America will break down at the sight of red America’s abject misery and we’ll want to make them whole again. Let’s not. Let’s teach Red America a few important lessons about what they are and what they are not.

What Would Happen If Donald Trump Were To Suddenly Vanish?

My original headline for this post was “What would happen to the world were Donald Trump to suddenly die?” I wanted to (and will) explore the “What if…?” possibilities of Trump – a famously unhealthy person with a famously unhealthy diet suddenly succumbing to a lifetime of bad habits and croaking unexpectedly due to natural causes. In other words, what if Trump disappeared personally from the public stage in a way that made it harder for his followers to martyrize him? Would that rob Trump of some of his disruptive potency? Disruption really is the secret to Trump’s dark success. He disrupted the GOP, disrupted our entire political process, disrupted our government, disrupted climate change, the SCOTUS, NATO, the USPS, health care in general, abortion rights specifically, and free and fair elections themselves forever more. No other candidate in the entire history of American politics has been as negatively impactful as Trump.

No one has been more deserving of investigation, prosecution and punishment than Trump. Yet, no one’s investigation,. prosecution and punishment is more likely to cause so much violence. We assume a big part of why Merrick Garland still hasn’t prosecuted Trump is because of what his followers would do. Yeah, sure, aside from Richard Nixon, America has never criminally prosecuted a president in any way (and his resigning because of the threat he’d be impeached and convicted was a political result, not a criminal justice result). The DoJ going after Trump would set some pretty significant precedents.

But, what if Trump suddenly vanished from the picture in a way that even his looniest followers couldn’t say was suspicious? What if Trump went face down in his lunch time taco bowl and checked off the mortal coil?

On the one hand, justice would then never get properly served. Even if we rounded up and prosecuted every single Trumpanista from top to bottom, the fact that Trump would escape prosecution would make justice feel a lot less satisfying. But, I suspect, we could learn to live with that lack of total justice. On the plus side, prosecuting every single political player who benefited from Trumpism would pretty much eliminate the entire Republican Party as a going concern. How key is Trump’s continuing presence to the Republican Party’s ongoing ability to avoid prosecution for overt criminal acts? How key is Trump’s continuing presence to the GOP’s plan to destroy American democracy forever?

Could the Republicans really finish what Donald Trump started without Trump’s physical presence? Are Republicans really as politically dangerous without Trump as an organizing principle around which to corruptly organize? If we take Trump away as their rallying cry, what’s the rallying cry to replace him? Fascism and authoritarianism itself?

It was always hilarious that our punditry (witless as ever) actually entertained the idea that Ivanka or Don, Jr could have political careers in the future. They’re more likely to have careers in the priesthood or at NASA than as president. Ron DeSantis running for president doesn’t have the same threat as Trump because Ron DeSantis, terrible human that he is, is not Trump and will never gin up the Republican base the way Trump did. No other Republican can manipulate the rest of the Republican Party the way Trump can because no other Republican has compromised the entire Republican Party the way Trump has.

Even before the GOP nominated Trump to be POTUS in 2016, they KNEW for a fact that Trump was a grave national security threat because of his relationship with Putin. As current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy put it as he entered a meeting of GOP leaders on June 25, 2016, “There’s two people I think Putin pays – Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to God!” This moment cannot go unexplained or uninvestigated. Understand this moment from the inside and you’ll understand what the last five years have really been about.

You’ll understand why Trump could do whatever he wanted without the GOP reeling him in. You’ll understand Mitch McConnell insisting in September 2016 that if Barack Obama informed the American electorate that Russia was actively working to tip the 2016 election to Trump, that he, McConnell would tell America that Obama was “politicizing the intelligence” in order to help Hillary Clinton win. You’ll understand why Trump has continued to do everything humanly possible to keep his finances private, why Rod Rosenstein ended all counter intelligence investigations into Trump, why Bill Barr lied about the Mueller Report and why there even was an insurrection to begin with.

Take Donald Trump’s fight to the death to obstruct justice out of the conversation and what would happen going forward?

Sure, some of the Republicans would try to keep the bullshit flying but without Trump as the bullshit’s chief inspiration – without Trump himself peddling The Big Lie – The Big Lie will not fly.

Without Trump’s bloated orange presence, a lot of the legal roadblocks would stop immediately. No other defendant will have the criminal capacity (or genetics) to persist at all costs the way Trump will. None of them sits at the nexus of all the corruption the way Trump does,

If Donald Trump were to suddenly vanish, the world would instantly become a better place simply because Donald Trump was no longer in it. Our Trump-loving news media won’t be able to fill the void with any other Republican. That void will become increasingly apparent as the GOP further fragments into small personality cults and violent militia groups. As prosecutions continue, the rudderless Republicans will quickly realize that all the good sentence reduction deals are long gone; they’ll have to fight to the death for scraps. And fight to the death these criminals absolutely will.

That’s the moment we should all be waiting for – the one where the villains of the piece realize the piece is going to end with them all in federal prison. This will happen regardless of whether Trump is here or not. Trump’s presence makes it harder – way harder. But no less essential.

Could we “live with” not getting every last drop of justice we want from this? If it means our democracy survives – and that everyone who aided and abetted Trump gets what they deserve? Hell, yes. It will still beat the living crap out of the alternative.