America’s “Second Coming” Will Begin The Instant Donald Trump Is Gone

William Butler Yeats’ “The Second Coming” rings in my ears every day. He was describing the chaotic aftermath of WWI as it rippled through Europe. He also was thinking about the Spanish Flu epidemic that nearly killed his pregnant wife.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

“Things fall apart; the center cannot hold”. That sounds exactly like now, doesn’t it? There is no centre. There hasn’t been for a while — we just didn’t realize it. The Democrats, to their detriment, have played to that centre more than they played toward their Progressive base. The Republicans on the other hand, have played to their base exclusively. The result — as Yeats put it —

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world

Yeah — our world feels full of anarchy. Worse — it feels like

The best lack all conviction while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.

Boy, is that us. There are some whose gaze is fixed on what’s happening. There are journalists — citizen & otherwise — who’ve grasped the Truth and shouted it as loudly as they could. But, like Yeats wrote. “The best lack all conviction”. You can’t beat evil without conviction.

And we are absolutely fighting evil.

Here’s where I break ranks a little with Yeats. Well, I break ranks with the chronology. Yeats’ magnificent poem famously ends like this —

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

We aren’t heading towards that moment where the rough beast comes round at last, we’re already in it.

Donald Trump IS the rough beast.

Though he wrote the poem in 1919, Yeats has been credited with anticipating the rise of fascism that was already beginning to percolate in Europe. Whether or not Yeats actually anticipated it, the rough beast was definitely present — as he is now, here in America.

That’s the bad news. It’s also the good news.

Just as Yeats’ poem falls apart without a rough beast toward which the whole enterprise is pointed, the Republican coup d’etat that began on election day 2016 would collapse in on itself were Donald Trump to suddenly vanish from the stage.

Were Trump to, say, succumb to one of the myriad illnesses stalking him (you think if he were truly healthy he’d be hiding his health info from us?), there is no “Plan B” in place. Within Trump’s family, there’s no succession plan. Trump wouldn’t dare create one because he knows his “beloved” children would instantly begin plotting how to carry it out. Because that’s exactly what HE did.

As Mary Trump spelled out in her excellent memoir about her experience growing up the niece of this horrible man, Trump has plotted against everyone in his family to get his hands on as much of daddy’s money as he could. Even in a nest of Trumpian vipers, Donald is the viper-iest.

Ivanka thinks she’s the golden child — probably because daddy’s told her things when he “wanted” things. Don Junior apparently believes he’s the political successor to his dad’s political empire. Oy. Eric may not be quite as stupid as everyone things, but then, he might be.

If Donald Trump were to suddenly succumb to a stroke or heart attack — even if he were merely incapacitated — all hell would break loose. The centre would not hold.

Within Trump’s family, they’d all go rogue against each other — maybe not to their faces — but behind their backs?

What about the world outside the Trumps though? After all, that’s where all the compromise has gone down. Everyone gets that Trumps stay loyal to Trumps because they’re Trumps. And while everyone also gets that Republicans stay loyal to other Republicans because they’re Republicans, that doesn’t play quite the same way with Trump. Because Trump isn’t and never was a Republican.

Trump never was a Democrat either. He’s always been a Trump. That’s his party — and he turned the Republican Party into him.

The Republican Party may hate Trump but they saw a way to achieve their end through him. They want permanent minority rule. If Donald Trump & Russia are how they achieve it? So what.

The Republicans have no succession plan either. If Trump suddenly couldn’t serve as POTUS, Mike Pence would become president. But Mike Pence can’t hold this gang together like Trump can because Mike isn’t a boss, he’s a foot soldier. No one currently beholden to Trump (for whatever reason) is beholden to Pence which is why Trump disappearing from the stage would be a “get out of Trump jail free” card.

A political party based on the idea of “every man for himself” would suffer the fate it deserves as the rats all climb over each other to try and escape. Mike Pence is very definitely just such a rat.

Remember — Paul Manafort brought Mike to the dance. Paul needed a compliant vice president who absolutely would not balk when he learned certain ugly secrets about Trump’s campaign — like it’s deep association with Russia. Apparently Mike fit that bill.

Mike Pence is compromised. So is Mitch McConnell. So is every single Republican who’s known from the get-go what current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy and then Speaker of the House Paul Ryan knew as far back as the 2016 convention: that Russia owned Donald Trump lock, stock & two smoking, corrupt, treasonous barrels.

That’s what happened on election night 2016: Russia pushed Trump over the finish line, helping the Republicans seal their coup d’etat with a victory stolen from the American people. We will come to see Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan through a very different lens. Trump didn’t pull off a surprise victory to snatch the Electoral College from Hillary Clinton. Russia first softened the environment by pounding it with propaganda borne of the proprietary polling data Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort handed to Russian Intelligence Officer Konstantin Kilimnik. When enough targeted Black voters were polling their reluctance to vote for Hillary (now that they were thinking she might be a closet racist thanks to all those ads showing up on their Facebook pages), Russia knew it could hit the voting machines — flipping just enough to make a Trump win believable.

That’s 77,000 votes across three blue states.

We don’t know for certain yet that that happened because no one — despite everything we know — has ever done any forensics on all those machines. Those machines — we now know — are incredibly vulnerable. Hacking into them — via the internet — isn’t even challenging. That’s probably by design. The majority of machines are manufactured by companies owned by Republicans — who’ve made their allegiance to Republican politics known. Considering how corrupt & corruptible people are in general — and Republicans are in particular — bet the ranch on those voting machines being part of the corruption.

The past 4 years have opened our eyes kinda like Alex’s eyes were opened in “A Clockwork Orange” — they’ve been pried open, giving us no way to not see every bit of the Trump Shit Show. That show though includes a lot of harsh truths about America’s failings. Racism has always been our fatal flaw — not because we were or are racist (tribalism is hard wired into us) but because rather than resisting our inherent racism, we indulged it. We allowed it to tell us that though “All men are created equal”, if those men are Black or brown or anything other than white, they aren’t equal.

Donald Trump didn’t invent American racism of course, he merely gave it permission to speak its vileness out loud. He didn’t invent corruption, he merely excelled at it (like he’s excelled at nothing else). He didn’t invent treason, he merely used it to get elected.

Living in America has never felt so perilous — or so filled with a need for change. Yet, as terrifying and exhausting and frustrating and insane as it feels, there’s also some very real hopefulness in the mix. If we can accomplish the systemic change that needs to happen? We will make America a more fair place where more people have the very real possibility of living their dreams.

I look forward to proving F. Scott Fitzgerald wrong when he wrote “There are no second acts in American lives”. We Americans definitely have a second act in us and probably a third and a fourth. We can’t get there though until we send this bloated orange rough beast to prison for the rest of his life.

Where Does Donald Trump Think This Is Going? That’s What I Want To Know…

Thought experiment: you’re a Trump (chill — it gets easier after that). Yes, you’re a sociopath (so no worries about a guilty conscience) but you’re not entirely oblivious of reality. You see the walls closing in. You know the stone cold Truth of what you did and why: you’re a Trump.

You know who you compromised and how. You’re wily as hell. You’re a criminal. You’ve gotten away with being a criminal your whole goddamned life. Your whole family are criminals. It’s your brand.

You may not be the sharpest tack in the box (more like the dullest) but, to your credit, you’ve turned being a go-to money launderer for the Russian mob into a hail Mary shot at paying down every debt you have (and that’s a lot of goddamned debt). You’re the most successful schoolyard bully maybe of all time.

But even you know there are limits.

You know enough never to cross Vladimir Putin. Or Mohammed bin Salman. They’ve got receipts. Oh, boy, do they have receipts…

They say bark, bitch and you bark. You’re a Trump.

You know how the realpolitik is here because you’re sitting at the very middle of it all. You’re a lesser criminal playing with real criminals. You’re in waaaaaay over your bloated orange head. Your mental faculties, never great to begin with, are fading.

But — you’ve had an iron grip on this from the beginning. You have to sign off on everything — as always — even if you haven’t got a goddamned clue. You’re not just A Trump, You’re Donald Trump.

That’s the background.

Now the doors to the private residence close — you feel good that this time your private security detail (not those by-the-book Secret Service humps) swept it for mics and found everything that’d been planted. You can talk freely with those you trust: your blood.

You sit there — the Donald — surrounded by The Junior, The Feckless One, The Idiot (Eric) and My-Son-In-Law-The-Jew. In here, truth gets spoken. That doesn’t mean there aren’t lies and lying. That’s part of the Truth here. These are criminals in the midst of a vast criminal enterprise. Stock must be taken — especially now because the “Tower” is under heavy assault and it may not survive.

What does Donald say to them all — knowing what they know? He’s going to tell the boys he never stuck his dick in their sister? They know better. Donald knows they know better. You lie in THIS room at your peril (unless it’s “Oooh, daddy — you’re the best!”)

Then Donald, saying what he had to say, stops talking. The others start up. What do THEY say to each other?

What does one Trump tell another Trump if that other Trump is losing faith in the Big Scheme? Do the Trumps honestly believe this is survivable? Do they honestly think they can lie their way to safety as Washington’s professional diplomats come together to be the inside force that finally stops Trump’s presidency?

I really do want to know what Ivanka tells daddy about their collective future. Where does Ivanka think daddy’s grandchildren are going to grow up? Is Ivanka really feckless enough to not see how this ends for her? What goes through Eric’s mind, I wonder. Supposedly, Eric’s the least horrible of the bunch. He’s smarter than portrayed on SNL. As HE sees the walls closing in, does HE begin to think in terms of pure survival?

The Trumps didn’t commit one or two little crimes then land by all sorts of odd coincidence in the White House. The Trumps have committed treason.

To be fair, I’m sure “treason” never flashed before their eyes as they started down this road. Money flashed before their eyes. A Trump Tower Moscow which they coveted — that flashed before their eyes. Those things are what caused them to be traitors.

Whatever.

How, I truly wonder, do the Trumps think this psychotic side show on steroids will end? What’s their best case scenario?

Better yet — what’s their worst?

Tell me that story, daddy. I’m all ears…

Transcript Of The October 2, 2019 Meeting – The One INSIDE Donald Trump’s Head

The Scene – The White House Private Residence, The Bathroom

Donald Trump, his gold pajama bottoms bunched at his cankery ankles, tries again to squeeze  blood from a stone – in this case, a turd from his bloated abused gut.  It’s slow going as usual.  Donald’s mind wanders (as it does).  And a meeting is called…

Donald sits at The Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.  He punches the red intercom button. 

DONALD – Madeleine — tell everyone to get in here! NOW!

MADELEINE – Yes, sir!  On the double!

The Oval Office door opens.  In sprints IVANKA.  She stands at the door – keeping it blocked for a moment – she looks Daddy dead in the eye as only Ivanka can.\

IVANKA – Ballpark it for me.  Is it the Adderall bump?

DONALD – Could be a heart attack coming on for all I know. 

IVANKA – Except you don’t have a heart, daddy. 

A glance behind.  She can’t keep em out much longer.  Back to Daddy.  She’s feared it might come to this.

IVANKA – This is no time to lose your shit, old man, hear me? 

DONALD – (taken aback)  What?

IVANKA – You think Uncle Vladimir gives a shit that between your drug intake and the syphilis you’ve got less than half a brain left?  The job’s not finished.  Our mission is not accomplished.  (She can’t hold em back anymore).  The Truth won’t set anyone we care about free.

She steps aside, a matador dodging a bull.  DONALD, JUNIOR (JR), MIKE PENCE, BILL BARR, MIKE POMPEO & RUDY GIULIANI shove their way in – tripping over the carpeting.  They land in a massive heap.  Closing the door behind her, Ivanka steps into the room herself.

IVANKA – Get up, you idiots! 

JR (from beneath the pile of bodies) – Eric couldn’t make It! He got  his head caught in the toilet again. 

IVANKA – I’m talking about all of you!  I don’t even have balls and I can feel the heat on em.  The old Trumpian shit isn’t working like it used to.  They’re starting to realize that it’s shit. We need to think of something else before— (she catches herself) – before the fake news gets, you know, too fake or something.

RUDY – Honey, I don’t know how much crazier I can get.  That fact that I’m still walking around with a law license makes me want to cry.  Good thing we’re all as guilty as we are, amiright?  Otherwise I might start to worry one of us might, you know…

Rudy looks around at the others – expecting agreement.  No one will meet his eyes.

IVANKA – See the problem, Uncle Rudy? 

BARR – Wait a minute – I lied my double-wide ass off for you people!  I told factual lies about a document anyone could read to PROVE I lied about it—

POMPEO – Good thing no one DID read it – otherwise we’d all be in jail already.

RUDY – But we ARE getting away with it!  That’s all that matters!  We do whatever we have to do—

PENCE – Now, hold on there, Rudy – as a person of faith—

An explosion of laughter – that goes on… and on.  Mike sighs.  Waits for the laughter to stop.  It doesn’t.

PENCE – All right, I get it.  I’ll shut up about that—

IVANKA – Good, ya sanctimonious prick!  I’m sick of reminding you that Paul Manafort brought you to the dance and the second anyone with two brain cells figures out what that means, you’re even more screwed than you already are.

PENCE – It wasn’t nice of the President to throw me under the bus like that – um, with all due respect, Mr. President, of course.

IVANKA – Trust me, numb nuts – you were already under the bus – with tread marks all over your face.  (She looks at them all, a mob boss in training; she looks to daddy – a mob boss losing his shit)  Do you all not get it?  Do you not grasp what the hell is happening here?  Daddy is losing his nerve!

She might as well have said Daddy was Hillary Clinton.  Suddenly all eyes are on Donald.  Donald opens his anus mouth, ready to bluster away.  Except instead of words, ACTUAL SHIT emerges from Trump like sausage from a factory.

SMASH TO – TRUMP’S GOLDEN BATHROOM

Turns out Donald isn’t at the White House, he’s at Trump Tower — on his golden toilet. He’s been there for hours, asleep. Donald snaps to so suddenly, he loses his grip on his cell phone which falls right into the toilet bowl – SPLASH!

DONALD – Oh, shit—

Bad enough his cell phone fell into the toilet.  Much worse – Donald had been productive in the end.  To get his phone back, Donald will have to deal with his own shit.

SCENE

How Bad Is It? For The First Time, I’m Not Entirely Sure How This Shit-Show Turns Out…

I’ll own it: I over-bet on Robert Mueller and the Mueller Report. I over-bet on his reputation as a soldier and as a law enforcement professional. I over-bet on a career spent inside the box thinking outside the box.

None of that’s on Robert Mueller. It’s all on me. Instead of filling the silence with despair like a Bergman movie, I filled it with hope. I thought all the clear criminality I could see (well, me and a lot of the twittersphere — the detail-oriented, back-it-up-or-it’s-bullshit part of the twittersphere) was sitting there like a ball on a batting T. All Team Mueller had to do was pick up a bat.

Even that was a problem apparently. Robert Mueller felt hemmed in by that Department of Justice memo meant to keep Spiro Agnew from pardoning Richard Nixon. We’re riding the leading edge of an historical ripple effect — an unintended consequence of tragic proportions. Unable to charge a sitting president — and reluctant apparently to anger Trump by charging his children (and risk his work product being destroyed), Robert Mueller pulled his punches. He tipped everything in Congress’ direction.

But — here’s where I over-bet again — Mueller didn’t count on his good friend Bill Barr betraying him by completely mischaracterizing his work product — by telling America that he, Robert Mueller, had just let Trump off the hook. Mueller didn’t count on Bill Barr being there for the express purpose of obstructing the very justice Robert Mueller had just spent 2 1/2 years pursuing. Mueller has raised his voice and complained. He even broke ranks — a little — to insist that we all read his report.

He’s right. Everyone should. A lot of very painful truth sits inside those 448 pages. It defies explanation that the Truth sits there — right in the middle of us — yet the villains of the piece continue to walk free — as if they’ve bamboozled not just us but logic itself.

Personally, I don’t care if Robert Mueller says he’ll only repeat what’s in his report if called before Congress. He’s a private citizen now. No special privileges. You get called, you answer. The questions we have won’t necessarily concern just what’s inside that report. There’s the relationship with Bill Barr that needs looking into. Mr. Mueller will have to answer those questions. He’ll be under oath.

But why should it come to that? Why isn’t Robert Mueller demanding an hour of prime time to speak directly to the American People?

Yeah… I over-bet big time.

I’m an optimistic person by nature. Never Say Die. That’s me. I believe there are enough good people to overcome this shit. I’m not sure what will be left when we get finished pulling it back from the career criminals that used to be the Republican Party. I appreciate that Nancy Pelosi wants to do this by the book. The Rule Of Law is or it isn’t.

Great thought. Noble as hell. But the Rule Of Law takes time — and I’m not sure that time’s on the schedule. Sometimes, you have to work with what you have. If time’s short, Madame Speaker — you need to improvise a little. Just sayin’.

Today, Donald Trump outed himself completely. He must know that Donald Trump Junior is about to get nailed for knowingly taking info from foreign sources. Trump and the republican party are blasting away the obstacles that say that’s not just unacceptable, it’s illegal. Not anymore it isn’t, not anymore.

Rachel Maddow said something tonight that got me thinking. We expected that once all this got out into the light, nature would take its course. Law enforcement would “happen” because that’s how the Rule Of Law works. Except the Rule Of Law’s gone missing.

Today, watching Republicans not respond to Trump’s inviting every foreign country on the planet to have a go at our elections, it struck me how screwed up we are. From the moment it became clear that Trump was going to be the republican nominee, I’ve been yawping that Trump would be the end of the republican party. He absolutely has been.

I didn’t for two seconds imagine however that Trump would be the end of the Republic, too.

A bad outcome isn’t written in stone. But the republicans made it crystal clear today just how ugly this is going to have to get before there’s any chance of it getting better. Trump knows for a fact: the instant he stops being POTUS, his legal nightmares begin. He will go to prison — IF he ever stops being POTUS. The same now applies to the whole damned republican party. They, too, have thrown all in. (Shriveled, old) balls to the wall.

We are going to be subjected to a Bond Movie ending that gets bigger and bigger, louder and more complicated with a Teflon villain who just won’t go down. We The People are the majority. We WILL get to the other side of this.

I just worry about what-all will still be here to save.

There’s A Reason We All Feel “Under Assault” In Trump World — It’s Cos We Are

I was in therapy a bit before Donald Trump stole the presidency. I was deep in my own depression then — headed toward self-destruction. My emotional radar was tweaked especially high. So many things triggered me.

Election Night 2016 is its own “Day that will live in infamy”. I suspect I’m not alone in feeling that way — that this wasn’t just an electoral loss, it was an invasion. It was an unwelcome imposition of something We The People did not, in fact want — or vote for. We didn’t vote for this. Not the majority of us.

We’ve got some big reveals coming. The biggest (Don Trump Jr was subpoena’d by the SENATE Intel Committee — run by REPUBLICAN Richard Burr — which smart, always-spot-on reporters like Seth Abramson point to as key) will probably take us right back around to the counter-intelligence part of the program — the part where hard proof exists that 1) Donald Trump conspired with Russia to win the presidency, 2) the entire Republican Party hierarchy knew it — in one way or another (including merely suspecting it was true), and 3) that includes the part where even Trump’s Electoral College win is as much a fraud as his finances are.

This morning, Mitch McConnell shoved another extreme RW judge down the throat of a state that did not want that judge. The normal protocol says those states are entitled to “blue slip” — refuse — those judges. But the point of the exercise IS judges and has always BEEN judges.

The GOP realized at the end of the Reagan years that the demographics were going against them forever more. Republicans historically do worse when more people vote — which strongly suggests that if the entire American electorate voted, the country would lean far more to the left than we think it does.

The reason we feel like America is more progressive than we act is because the PEOPLE are, by and large, more progressive. But, because so many progressive-leaning people don’t vote regularly, the image we have reflects a less progressive population — a false image. The 2018 mid-term was a strong repudiation of Trump and republicanism. It wasn’t the same-old, same-old voter blocs doing the repudiating. It was the youth vote. And Latinos. And, especially, a strong, dedicated African-American vote — especially, especially African American woman.

If not for African American women, this republic would be toast already. We owe them a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid.

If there’s a group of people who know what it’s like to be under assault — almost constantly — it’s African American women. Their demand for Justice in the face of relentless injustice is the pilot light inside our collective rage.

I am a sexual assault survivor. I denied that fact — that I had been sexually assaulted — for 45 years. To myself. But I always knew it was a fact. I’m hypomanic. The inside of my head (controlled by a mood stabilizer and lots of THC) is like a black box theater (think a shoebox — black inside — turned upside down). At all times a dozen or so things are being projected on the walls, the ceiling the floor… black & white, saturated color, sepia — old movies — ideas for stories — thoughts and notions. There are laser lights to and audio and holographic pop-ups. The THC acts like a scrim — dropping down over most of it, allowing me to focus on a few of the entertainments.

This secret I was keeping was like a light shining inside a file inside a drawer inside a closet at the back of an office situated up a long, high set of stairs at the far, far back corner of the black box theater. It was always there. Always on. Always a fact of my life.

I know what it feels like to be assaulted. I know what the aftermath is like. I know what assault can do to you over time — even if you deny it ever happened. I know what calling out that assault can do for you — it can save you. I know what recovering feels like too — and it’s wonderful.

And it’s do-able.

WE can do this. We The People. WE’VE been assaulted. That’s what we felt election night. It’s what we’ve felt every single day as Donald Trump & the republican party — unelected as they were (you cannot cheat your way to a free & fair election; you may hold office that way but it ain’t winning) — continue to shove their RW Christo-Fascist ideology down the country’s unwilling throat.

It’s rape. It’s assault. It’s brutality.

It’s happening now. It’s why we feel the way we do. For a lot of us, it’s terribly familiar. We need the assault to stop right this second.