Dear Republicans: We The People Are Angrier At You Than You Realize

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.

The Rule Of Law Didn’t Let Us Down, We Let IT Down

Laws don’t enforce themselves. People have to do that for them. If people don’t enforce the rules they created for themselves, they shouldn’t be surprised when the rules stop being followed.

The Great Experiment that is the United States is its reliance upon law — not an individual ruler’s whims — as the basis for our co-existence with each other. In theory, the rule of law treats us as exactly equal before it. If I break a law, I will get treated the exact same as anyone else. The rule of law does not differentiate or make exceptions.

It’s the exceptions that ultimately kill the rule of law. The moment the rule of law treats one person differently, it opens the door to corruption. Others will want the same treatment. Some will get it. The rule of law is now broken.

Or is it? The rule of law hasn’t changed. It didn’t suddenly do something different that altered how it works. It didn’t slip out of gear or get a flat tire.

We stopped following it.

The fact that Donald Trump has never been punished for his overt criminality isn’t a proof that he can get away with anything because the rule of law doesn’t work, it’s proof that people let Trump get away with things because they refuse to enforce the rule of law against him. Not the same thing.

Trump thinks he can get away with shit because rich people, in general, get away with shit. Aside from Bernie Madoff — who got punished because he preyed on rich people — not many rich people ever have to pay for their criminal behavior. We made a terrible mistake allowing Gerald Ford to pardon Richard Nixon. Whatever short term “good feelings” were gained from an act of forgiveness were overshadowed by the even more criminal behavior of the former Nixonites who went to work for Trump: Paul Manafort and Roger Stone in particular.

If we had punished Nixon severely for his trespasses, would his sycohpants have been so quick to take up Nixon’s cause again? Yeah, guys like Haldeman and Ehrlichman went to prison, but Nixon didn’t — and that spoke louder to the Nixonites who managed to escape back into the shadows. The message wasn’t “don’t do it!”, it was “do it better so you don’t get caught!”

That was us letting the rule of law down. The rule of law’s still good, we said, except as it applies to Richard Nixon.

Nixon went on to rise from the ashes again. His reputation — which should have been stuck forever at “he IS a crook — saw him as a statesman again.

I guess it’s a white people thing — to let white people we perceive as “powerful” get away with anything they want. Cos “powerful”. And white.

We need to get it out of our heads that the rule of law stopped. It did not. We stopped following it — but the rule of law persisted. In order to win election 2016, Donald Trump & the GOP had to stop following the rule of law. That means a crime has gone unpunished, not that Trump is president.

Donald Trump & the Republican Party stole something very real in 2016. They stole the election’s real outcome. The fact that Trump, Russia and the GOP worked so hard to make that happen — that speaks to the nature of their conspiracy. Though it may not have been plotted out like in a movie — this fell together in pieces, jollied along by Russia as needed. Voter suppression, voter machine manipulation (we don’t know IF it happened but we don’t know it didn’t because no one has actually looked) and outright data theft: those stolen emails were first & foremost STOLEN.

It doesn’t matter what the emails said (in the end they said nothing). It matters only that they were stolen property being used nefariously by Russia. Every time the press danced along to “But her emails”, the press was buying into a bunch of thieves kicking their victim a little bit harder.

As Saint Ronnie Reagan would have put it, “There you go again”.

That was us letting the rule of law down — again.

The Democrats can’t “wait” till November — with a blowout in hand — to assert the rule of law’s return. They need to assert it’s return NOW. As Joe Biden did when he pointedly called out Russia for their intercessions in 2016 and now, We The people need to put Donald Trump & the GOP on notice: we see you openly committing crimes this very second — and we intend to prosecute you for it — starting with the crimes you committed on your way to stealing the presidency — and everything that came with that (judges especially).

The whole point of the Republican Party’s gambit was to undermine the rule of law. That deserves appropriate punishment. We owe it to the Republicans to tell them what’s coming — and then we owe it to ourselves and the rule of law to deliver it.

Let’s Say We DO Put Donald Trump Behind Us — Okay… What Then?

We want to believe that, in the end, Good will triumph over Evil.  But just because we believe something, that doesn’t make it true.  Humans used to believe the earth was the center of the universe.  Fortunately, enough humans learned (via scientific curiosity and scientific discovery) that we are in fact nowhere near the center of the universe.  Having learned that fact, most of us put ignorance behind us.

Trumpism is Republicanism on steroids.  It’s permanent minority rule meant to bake racism, bigotry, misogyny, corruption and even treason into our culture so we can never escape them.  Mitch McConnell has stated openly that his proudest achievement was denying Barack Obama is rightful SCOTUS pick.  That wasn’t just Obama, Moscow Mitch denied, it was WE THE PEOPLE — the MAJORITY who voted for Obama BECAUSE we wanted HIS SCOTUS pick.

Mitch McConnell is a big part of Trumpism. If Mitch doesn’t blackmail Obama at the September 2016 Gang of Eigjht WH Meeting — insisting that if Obama told We The People that Russia was attacking our election on Trump’s behalf that he’d accuse Obama of politicizing the intelligence — We The People would have approached election 2016 differently.  We’d have known, as we voted, that we were under cyber attack.  I bet that would have changed the conversation going INTO the election and (even with Trump’s cheating) would have likely changed the election’s (stolen) outcome.

I have faith that the massive influx of women into our electoral system and politics will change the culture drastically.  Male, unilateral “I alone can fix it” thinking has brought us to the edge of destruction.  2020 won’t put an end to male unilateral thinking, but it should make it harder for that thinking to dominate ever again.

We can’t just get through this, heave a sigh of relief and get on with things.  That will invite repetition.  We need to deal with this right here, right now.  We need to investigate, indict, prosecute & punish every single person who conspired in any way, shape or form with Donald Trump.  That means almost every single Republican.

This mess flows directly from allowing Republicans to compromise The Rule Of Law.   Having The Rule Of Law back means following it 100%.   That means if someone violated The Rule Of Law, they must be punished.  It means that anyone who KNEW the law was being violated — and did nothing — they also must be punished since their silence was complicity if not obstruction of justice. 

So — to fix this mess, first we have to stop the criminals from doing criminal things.  We have to stop Donald Trump from committing treason as he sits in the White House.  We have to stop Trump and the GOP from obstructing our ability to investigate their wrongdoing.  We have to learn EVERYTHING about what Russia (and Saudi Arabia and Israel and Turkey and the UAE) did and are doing to violate our sovereignty and integrity.

Once we understand the full nature of what was done, we must begin to UN-DO it.  None of it can stand or remain.  NONE OF IT.  That’s not just because I don’t like it — it’s because it has no legal standing to remain.  If Donald Trump did not legitimately WIN election 2016 (if he cheated — relying on Russia to MAKE him POTUS), then he is not now and never actually was president.  A guy sitting in YOUR car in YOUR driveway, honking the horn is NOT the car’s owner no matter how much he says he is.  YOU are. YOU have receipts establishing your ownership.  He has nothing.

Our Democracy cannot survive having the will of the people subverted.  If we do that, we’re not a Democracy anymore; the majority has no power over the minority — no power to see their will enacted, legislated, made real.  When the point of the exercise is to keep the majority’s will from EVER being made real — that cannot be us.

To right our Ship Of State, we have to batten down the hatches.  We have to acknowledge that we are at war — under attack by a hostile foreign power bent on destroying us.  We must see that our crisis is extra-Constitutional; just as the Constitution fails to anticipate a treasonous POTUS, We The People will have to look outside the Constitution for our remedy.

This has never happened to us before.  There is no precedent.  The only thing close to it is slavery.  We continue to pay for our Constitutional compromise with slavery.  We cannot make a second such compromise and survive.  In order to guarantee ourselves that “this” never happens again, We The People must:

·  VOID Every Last Election 2016 Result if won by a candidate who cannot account for every penny of their campaign’s financing; if any money from any foreign power found its way into their coffers? They’re gone.

·  VOID every single judge Donald Trump nominated (and every judge Mitch McConnell shoved through the Senate). As Trump never had the authority to nominate those judges, they have no “authority” to sit.

·  VOID every last piece of Republican legislation enacted since Trump was sworn in. That includes his tax cut for the rich.

·  VOID every last change to every federal agency. We reset the meters to the moment before Trump was sworn in and start rebuilding and legislating from there.

·  CREATE STRONG, BINDING, IRONCLAD LEGISLATION that makes it flat out ILLEGAL to “steal data, traffic in stolen data, buy stolen data, sell stolen data or USE stolen data. Same goes for receiving ANYTHING from ANY foreign government.

·  QUICKLY CRAFT & ENACT LEGISLATION that overrides Citizens United and removes as much money as possible from our politics. We blow up the revolving door that sits between government work and lobbying.

·  ENACT TERM LIMITS on Congress. 3 or 4 terms for Congress, 2 for the Senate.

·  LIMIT THE POWER OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH.

·  ACKNOWLEDGE that WE ARE AT WAR WITH RUSSIA.

·  We aggressively PURSUE restoring every relationship with every ally.

·  We SANCTION the shit out of Vladimir Putin & Russia.

·  We AGGRESSIVELY PURSUE every asset Donald Trump & his family own or have a stake in. We PROSECUTE Trump & his family to the very fullest extent of the law. Wherever possible, we seize Trump’s property either use it for the American people or sell it — and use the funds to begin paying for the giant bloody mess Donald Trump has created.

That’s just for starters.  The more we learn through investigating these scumbags, the more, I’m sure, we’ll need to investigate, prosecute and punish.

If we really want our country back, it’s incumbent on each and every one of us to do everything WE can to MAKE it happen.

How “Democracy Of The Marketplace” Works: You Vote With Your Dollars

In America, for better or (mostly) worse, money talks and everything else just sits quietly and listens.

Hell, we’re so stupid about money that we even put it (profit incentive) at the heart of our healthcare system — and we can’t figure out why our system is now the most expensive healthcare system on earth…

Until we fix that problem — money and greed and how they’re screwing up our Democracy — we’ll have to play by money’s rules. So long as the good or service isn’t already monopolized like cable TV used to be, and so long as there’s legitimate choice between legitimately competitive companies offering the same product (unlike old school mattress shopping, for example, with all its bullshitty obfuscations meant to prevent comparative shopping), the marketplace does offer its own form of democratic process. Let’s call it “The Democracy Of The Marketplace”.

I desperately need a widget. Turns out there are three widgets on the market from three different widget-makers. I’m going to have to make a choice. My money therefore will “vote” for one of the three products. That company will get my dollars while the others languish without it and, I expect, quickly go out of business. As if.

But — this being a marketplace — if a million of me do the exact same thing — and most of the widget market goes to one of the three companies, the two also-rans will have to strategize quickly or widget-maker #1 will come looking to finish them off because, from a business-bottom-line point of view, competition is expensive. So — what inspires the “me’s” of the marketplace to vote one way vs the other?

My Jewish family used to chuckle at all the other Jewish families happily driving around in their BMW’s & Merceds Benz’s — luxury cars now made by factories and companies that, during the war, built the very death machines that murdered the relatives of those very Jews. Oy.

And then we bought an Audi. Ya know? Those Germans? They make a good product. And these Germans weren’t those Germans. That’s how we got there, my family. That’s how a product “overcame our resistance” (sales training lingo). All our Jewish families voted with our dollars and our votes said “Germany, we forgive you”.

Take that however you want. It’s simply the Democracy Of The Marketplace. Even Genocide can be accommodated.

That power cuts both ways however. When enough people “rise up” against a product and refuse to buy it, that product goes away — and, often, the company that made it. That, too, is the Democracy Of The Marketplace in action.

Sometimes the Democracy Of The Marketplace speaks quietly but powerfully — without even knowing. Remember Bill O’Reilly? Used to be the top cash cow at Fox News — despite accusations of serial sexual harassment. But, then, something changed. A tipping point. Women became openly outraged at O’Reilly’s behavior and his company’s failure to do anything about it. They went directly at O’Reilly’s sponsors. They stopped buying their products because the sale of those products was helping, in part, to pay Bill O’Reilly’s salary. They decided to STOP voting for Bill with their dollars.

The sponsors are Big Companies of course that rely on selling lots of products to lots of people in order to stay in business. Scale’s important to them. When these Big Companies take a hit, it’s automatically big (it must be if they perceive it as a “hit” to their bottom line). They need to address the cause of that hit. In their case, they were losing significant sales because their products had been co-branded with a man their customers hated.

As “branding” goes — and branding is everything these days — that’s like busting a cap in your own head.

The 21st Century Fox board of directors saw it clearly: their advertisers would no longer support Bill O’Reilly’s show. If Fox News wanted to carry it, they’d have to pay for pretty much the whole thing (except for their smaller sponsors) by themselves. That ain’t their business model. No one’s that indispensable — not even cash cow Bill O’Reilly to Fox News.

Money talks. Fine. My money will not vote for any company that co-brands with racists. I am trying to get as much of my money as I can away from companies that co-brand in ANY way with Donald Trump. It’s a simple fact — a teeny-tiny part of every dollar I spend with, say, Verizon or Home Depot, will end up in the coffers of some Political Action Committee meant to achieve some political end the Big Company wants.

As Bill O’Reilly can tell you — there’s a tipping point in there somewhere. Cross it at your peril.

Too many Captains Of Industry turned out to be pirates. We need to punish the pirates and inspire more captains with a conscience. We need to vote for those companies and their products — even if they cost a few dollars more.

Don’t measure the cost difference only in dollars and cents. There’s another cost element that’s part of the equation — one’s “soul”.

Given a choice between widget A (made and sold by people whose values I share and applaud) and widget B (made by racists, rapists, corrupt polluters and treason enablers), my hard-earned dollar will leap from my pocket to widget A. That’s how certain my vote will be.