Listening to Trump or Moscow Mitch McConnell bray about how Democrats should have talked to their witnesses first before even thinking of sending Articles of Impeachment to the Senate for prosecution — tripe repeated via tweet by Donald Trump — one has to remember: the whole reason Democrats HAVEN’T talked to all those witnesses is because Trump & the Trump White House have refused to allow anyone to testify.
See how that works? The Republicans complain bitterly about the Democrats not “presenting” the very witnesses the Republicans are using to obstruct justice with. How can they be guilty, Republicans ask, if the witnesses who’d verify their guilt won’t testify (because the Republicans won’t let them)?
Republicans — criminals by nature — want to blame the victims of their criminality for… being their victims? I keep trying to describe this feeling — of being victimized by Republican behavior while they act as if THEY somehow are the victims. They’re kind of like a bully holding someone’s head under water — then taunting them by saying “Hey, if you want air, just say so and I’ll let you breathe.”
But, of course, the victim CAN’T say so because their head’s under water; they can’t breathe, can’t talk, can’t even resist really.
“I said,” the Bully repeats smugly, “If you want air — just tell me!”
The victim waves their hands frantically.
“I don’t know what that means,” says the Bully with a cruel chuckle, “Use your words.”
But of course the victim can’t — that’s the point of the cruelty. It’s rape behavior’s evil twin. The rape victim either wanted it or deserved it or had it coming.
Mick Mulvaney spoke Republican philosophy with bracing honesty. Don’t like the Trump White House (and the Republican party) forcing their way on The Rule Of Law, the Constitution and The American People? “Get over it”.
How rapey of him. How bully-ish. How completely and utterly Republican.
America’s original sin — not outlawing slavery in our Constitution — still haunts us to this day. We fought a Civil War over that fact — before Andrew Johnson’s small-minded, racist actions prevented the Reconstruction that might have salved slavery’s wounds just enough to let us move forward productively. Wrongs that go unrighted will not fix themselves.
By the same token (there’s a reason the country’s founders made their foundational document (the Constitution) updateable — they recognized the likelihood of flaws in their work and the need for We The People to remedy their flaws. Not giving women equal rights to men was another tragic mistake. Think of all the brain power, the governing talent, the skills, insights and sheer competency we kept not just on the sidelines but in the stands, watching the men follow a game plan down the shitter.
We need to get this right — impeaching Donald Trump. We’re poised to double down on our slavery mistake. If we don’t expunge every bit of Donald Trump from our Democratic and electoral systems, those bits of Trump will linger. Eventually they’ll coalesce into something vaguely Trump-like that will try again to betray everything we’re based on. Trumpism is evil. Leave even a trace and that trace will metastasize into a facsimile of the evil itself.
The legal logic to expunging Trump is sound. The law says you cannot cheat in order to “win the job” of being President of the United States. Therefore, if you DO cheat, you did not, in fact, win the job. Take Russia out of the equation and Trump never gets past the Republican primaries. Take Russia out of the equation and Trump doesn’t get the bump weaponized proprietary polling data gave him in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. Trump has indicated like a pointer dog standing over a downed duck at his own illegitimacy.
It’s time we took him at his word. It’s the one way he’s ever truthful. In spite of himself.
We need to flat out void Donald Trump’s presidency. We can’t pretend it never happened, but we can reverse every bit of Trumpian legislation. Keep in mind — as much as Trump has betrayed us, so, too, has the entire Republican Party. They let this happen. They KNEW it was happening as far back as the 2016 convention when now GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy worried to a group of the Republican muckety-mucks that “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.”
Moscow Mitch McConnell knew what was happening when he stood up on his treason turtle legs at the Gang Of Eight meeting President Obama hastily convened at the White House in September 2016 and insisted that if Obama tried to hip the nation to what Russia was actively doing (attacking the election to make Trump POTUS), he would accuse Obama of “politicizing the intelligence to win the election for Hillary Clinton”. Of course, that’s NOT what Obama was doing. He was trying to warn us of a very real, very imminent threat to our Democracy and our Republic.
Mitch McConnell opposed that happening. You have to ask “WHY?”
McConnell — like all the Republicans — want Donald Trump to be permanent potus. They want minority rule to be fixed and unremovable. They want to destroy our Democratic foundations and literally dismantle the Republic — the greatest experiment in human self government ever. Why would we want to “work with” these people? Why would we want to “hold onto” any impact or influence they’ve had when all their impact and influence was meant to destroy the very thing we hold dear?
We don’t want to. We can’t. If slavery is any guidepost, we need to blow up Republican corruption before it dooms us to pay for NOT blowing it up some time in the future. Everything Trump touched needs to be gone. Every law. Every judge. Every SCOTUS judge.
Republicans made a concerted effort to steal political power from the American People. They stole the outcome of an election in order to bend the Republic’s future toward them and their desires. From the Constitution’s point of view — ditto the Rule Of Law — the Republican Party is a criminal enterprise. They’re car thieves.
And the way the Rule Of Law works, there’s no middle ground. You cannot claim ownership of a stolen car just because you (the thief) are sitting in it. That’s not how it works.
If we allow the Republicans to keep the loot they stole — the will of the majority — we will be setting ourselves up for failure exactly the way we did with slavery. It’ll be “Slavery, Part Two: History Repeats Itself”.
Let’s cut to the END of the chase, shall we? Both sides DO NOT “do it”. Both sides DO NOT commit TREASON in order to hold onto power and impose a permanent state of minority rule. Both sides don’t do it because one side doesn’t HAVE to. They can sell their ideas to America.
That would be the Democrats. They want to govern. They want to solve America’s problems by empowering as many Americans (of very variety) as possible because, Democrats know, THAT is American Exceptionalism.
The other side — Republicans — want to drag America back to the 50’s — the 1850’s — when everyone who wasn’t white, Christian and male knew their place. That’s the America conservatives want to conserve. Except for white, Christian men however, no one else (who grasps what they’re up to) could possibly want that. Consequently, Republicans have to use “other means” to win elections.
Republicans have to cheat. They have to restrict voting wherever possible because anyone who doesn’t look like them might not vote like them. C’mon — if all those migrants fleeing Central American drug violence (born, as it was, on American city streets) were guaranteed Republican votes? They’d all be limo’d across the border, given an American passport and dropped off at the first job center. Republicans have to suppress the vote. They’d already be an extreme minority party otherwise.
When Republicans knowingly took Russian money, when they knowingly repeated Kremlin talking points, when they SHOWED UP IN MOSCOW on July 4, 2018 — they were acting both politically (to further their political goals) AND criminally.
By contrast, when the FBI began to investigate Trump’s involvement with Russia back before election 2016? That WASN’T political. Same token — when Obama sat the Gang Of Eight down in September 2016 to relate the IC’s profound concern that Russia was using active measures to impact election 2016 on Trump’s behalf, Moscow Mitch McConnell acted FOR POLITICAL REASONS when he told Obama he’d attack Obama’s TELLING AMERICA THE TRUTH as “political”.
How’s that for bitter irony?
When Republicans deny sworn testimony, when they insist Trump has done nothing wrong, when THEY repeat Kremlin talking points as Senator John Kennedy from Louisiana did Sunday on Meet The Press, they’re acting POLITICALLY. Their goal is a political goal.
That, American News Media, is where “The Politics” ends.
Yes, Democrats are political creatures too. Yes, Democrats DO act politically when it benefits them. And, yes, prosecuting the president and the Republican Party WILL reap significant political benefits for the Democrats.
However — if the Democrats were acting out of politics, this effort would have died already. It isn’t political tribalism driving Americans toward impeachment (50% of us want Trump impeached AND removed), it’s righteous indignation at a president and his political party. What We The People — and the Democrats — are responding to is an assault on our whole way of governing ourselves. Our reaction to this political assault on our system isn’t itself “political”. It’s a reaction to wrong-doing, immorality and outright criminal behavior.
The victim saying “Ouch!” or “Hey, stop victimizing me” isn’t being political. They’re being “a victim” — and not by their choice either. That’s how you can tell it ISN’T politics. Are the Democrats reacting to violations of the law that harm not only themselves but America?
By the time Adam Schiff gavelled the House Intel Committee’s business closed yesterday, the case he and the Democrats were making was well past being made. Never mind what any Republican says about acts being bad (maybe) but still not impeachable. Divorced from politics, the information we’ve learned during the past two weeks — much of it from career diplomats wth no political axes to grind — paints one picture and one picture only: Donald Trump isn’t just unworthy of the office of President Of The United States, he’s a goddamned criminal to boot.
When the talking heads and pundits finally got to have their say, they first had to get past their own amazement at what they’d seen to get to their assessments. As amazed at they were at the picture of Trumpian malfeasance being painted, they were equally amazed by the Republicans’ questions and questioning of the witnesses.
Now, c’mon — watching Devin Nunes throw ludicrous charges around at people — as his defense of Trump tells a story if only we’d listen to it. If we pull back the camera just a scosh (the news media understands that technical term), we see Devin obstructing justice every second of every day. Seems kinda basic to ask “WHY?” No one — not even Devin — does anything for no reason.
And, while Devin’s devotion to Trump seems a little extreme, even THAT demands explanation. Under oath.
Out here in reality, that sort of behavior speaks volumes. That behavior is being practiced by every Republican — irrational denial of the undeniably true. It’s not tribalism at work. At its core, it’s not political either (though a political bent does contribute to it). It’s criminal. It’s a willful intent to not just violate The Rule Of Law but to undermine the integrity of the Constitution.
What our MSM can’t wrap their heads around is the insidiousness of what happened — how we got here. They love a good “smoking gun” because it requires the least amount of explanation. All they have to do is point at it and imagine the Pulitzer on their mantle. But what Vladimir Putin launched against us — and it was very much part of a concerted plan against us — is all based in intelligence active measures. It’s equally happy with chaos as a solid, identifiable result — say, a traitor in the White House.
Disinformation, misinformation and propaganda rely on the press to spread them. While it’s easy to get a provocative lie to motivate a crowd to action, if you can get the news media to broadcast the lie for you? Not only does it get a far bigger crowd riled up, it legitimizes your lie because the NEWS MEDIA was spewing it. That’s the secret to Donald Trump’s media success. Even now — today — 13,000 known lies into his presidency — and the NEWS MEDIA still quotes Trump as if his words WEREN’T outright lies.
Just because your hair’s on fire as you report the lie, you’re still a journalist speaking the words — without saying THEY’RE why your hair’s on fire. It creates confusion not because the audience is stupid but because YOU are using the language of the media (sounds & images) incorrectly. You’ve placed your camera too close to the subject so that vital information is happening outside the frame.
To put it simpler, MSM — you’re missing the story. While it’s a stone cold relief that you finally see Russia prominently here, you still don’t see Russia prominently enough. That’s because you’re still grappling with Trump’s relationship with Russia; though you see a relationship, you don’t see the depths of the relationship. You don’t see the HEART of the relationship. They WHY there even is a relationship and who controls the relationship accordingly.
Strange behavior doesn’t just happen. And definitely not en masse. Republican intransigence in the face of incontrovertible evidence of criminality can’t be explained by mere tribalism. Make no mistake — with Republicans (feeling cornered and increasingly isolated in the culture), this goes far beyond groupthink to groupcriminality.
It’s not a coincidence that virtually every silly Republican defense of what Trump does and has done sounds like mob underlings covering for Da Boss. After three years of this bullshit, some of out here in the Public Courtroom get it. This jury member doesn’t need to see more proof (though I’m always happy to get it). The Big Picture is clear. The dots connect clearly, the picture they make unmistakable.
But, as we know, our Main Stream News Media likes to have EVERY dot connected before they commit. If there’s a smidgen of room to give any benefit of any doubt — they want to give it, no matter how ludicrous.
The Republicans are licking their lips because they think they can kill not just impeachment dead in the Senate, but all resistance to their minority rule coup d’etat. They expect it all to go away even though the Republicans in the Senate will have shrugged off staggering evidence of not just criminality but outright treason. Mitch McConnell and the GOP actually believe that they’ll just sail through another campaign season, slightly bruised but ready to set sail into full on RW authoritarianism.
They don’t expect We The People to do anything. Oh, they expect us to come out and vote — in massive numbers. But, as we speak, Moscow Mitch is expecting the same help from Moscow in 2020 that he KNEW the Republicans got in 2016. Remember — it was Mitch McConnell who refused to let President Obama tell We The People that our IC knew for a fact that Russia was actively trying to impact the election on Trump’s behalf.
And, to this day, Mitch McConnell has done zilch to protect our electoral systems. There are no coincidences.
Mitch McConnell is a traitor who’s about to lead the defense of a CO-CONSPIRATOR with the fate of the Republic hanging in the balance.
That’s what’s really happening here. That’s what a “news media” should be reporting. But, to do that, they’d need perspective. They’d have to see the Republicans for what they are and — here’s the hard part — call them out for what they are. Criminals…
A few minutes ago, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative
Adam Schiff gave a remarkable news conference.
In addition to reminding the American Press that Democrats routinely
walk and chew gum at the same time (maybe the Press CAN’T do it – and assume
the Democrats can’t either), Speaker Pelosi framed the Impeachment Question as
a question about our Constitution.
Donald Trump has openly admitted to an impeachable act. Fact – using Ukraine to take down a political opponent in 2020 is exactly what Trump did in 2016 except this time he got caught doing it in real time. Make no mistake: this is just a continuation of that. This impeachable act is meant to “fix” the first impeachable act. Actually – if the second impeachable act is the same as, the first impeachable act, it means Trump broke the law to become POTUS. That immediately disqualifies him.
Trump is not and never was the legitimate President of The
United States. Not according to our Constitution.
What Speaker Pelosi and Representative Schiff also pointed
out this morning, everyone around Trump ALSO is violating the Constitution. That includes Mike Pompeo and Bill Barr.
Check your watch. The Republicans-Shittiing-On-The-Constitution Club is about to include a massive, growing blob of Republicans. It will be the rare Republican who doesn’t get absorbed into the blob. Pretty much all of them have already been absorbed, some without even knowing it. If they took a penny of Russian money – whether directly or through Russia’s money mule the NRA – then they are part of a massive conspiracy to defraud the American People of a Free & Fair Election.
A massive act of cyber war – by Russia – against We The People.
Russia and the Republican Party are openly – OPENLY – interfering
with a legitimate investigation into Russian interference in 2016. They are OPENLY violating the Constitution.
Betraying it and us.
We now know what the Democrats are doing to fight back – to protect
the Constitution as they swore to do.
But, as Madame Speaker looked out at the Press gathered (a much larger
crowd than she normally gets at this weekly briefing), she also lay down a
challenge – to them. To do THEIR part to
defend the Constitution.
Madame Speaker shouldn’t have to ask. Only one non-governmental job is mentioned in
the Constitution (and its amendments) and the Bill Of Rights – journalism. Freedom of the Press is guaranteed because
the Press is the final check on power.
America’s Press is not a single unitary thing. It’s a complex creature, mostly corporate but
also blessed with loads of rock solid journalistic skill and passion. But there are bad habits too. Intellectual laziness, lack of rigor, a
tendency to accept common wisdom unchallenged, and worst of all, a failure of
imagination. Normalcy Bias.
“Both Sides Do It” ignores context and proportionality. It seems incapable of recognizing a false
narrative when it sees one.
Donald Trump is a liar. He lies about even small things. It’s a fact. Yet the Press (take NBC News’ Kelly O’Donnell for instance) STILL repeats everything Trump says without contextualizing it first: “Please be advised that literally nothing POTUS’ says can be trusted at face value”. Without that disclaimer FIRST, the unspoken message of repetition is: “Trust these words, they’re True”.
We all can see the same evidence that Trump ADMITS he
violated the Constitution. This should
not – cannot – be a question. Therefore
every story, every question the Press asks should START from that point. Donald Trump stands outside the Constitution.
Either the Press recognizes how that impacts them or it
doesn’t. There’s no middle ground.
Ball’s in YOUR court, MSM.
Saving the Constitution survives will take a collective effort. We know what the Democrats are doing. How about you?
Want to do your jobs as Constitutionally mandated? Great!
Start by kicking “Both Sides Do It” completely to the curb. Both sides DO NOT betray the nation with
Russia. Only Republicans do that.
Both Sides do not put children in cages or side with
oligarchs over sanctions or obstruct justice on behalf of a man who ADMITS to
obstructing the same Constitution those pirates swore to uphold.
Stop asking idiotic “But, what if…?” questions that give
credence to bullshit, lies and treachery.
Stop giving the benefit of the doubt to people who consistently
demonstrate how much they DON’T deserve an ounce of that benefit.
Open your eyes. Buy
some perspective. Steal it if you have
to but GET SOME.
The Constitution and We The People are counting on it.
On the one hand, Watergate was merely a cover up of a second rate burglary, the cover up being the crime that brought Nixon down. But, on the other, Watergate was also a prosecution of the political culture that made the second rate burglary a viable political option – committing an actual crime to undermine your political opponents.
Fox News was created to foster the culture of Republican
political corruption. And Fox News had
an awful lot to do with the rise of Donald J. Trump.
Roger Stone, too, has never been shy about his love for Nixon. FFS, the bastard even got a tattoo of Nixon on his back.
The joke will be on Roger though. I bet inmates are already lining up to meet Roger when he becomes a federal prisoner; they all want bragging rights. They want to tell their pals that they looked Dick Nixon right in the eye while they shot a load.
The march toward impeachment during Watergate was much more
of a slog – took longer – than most people remember. Then, as now, Republicans dug in their heels,
determined to protect their president. It
wasn’t until the reveal that there were tapes – irrefutable evidence that Nixon
knew about everything and actively participated in the cover up – that Republicans
like Barry Goldwater marched dutifully to the White House to explain to Nixon
why he’d be resigning. Impeachment and
conviction were done deals.
We have “tapes” again now.
And, as before, it will be the cover up that brings a president
down. But that, pretty much, is where
the similarities end. Nixon and company
were covering up a burglary – committed for political purposes. Trump is covering up high crimes, misdemeanors
and outright treason. Whereas the rest
of the Republicans were pretty much innocent of complicity back during
Watergate (they may have suspected Nixon was guilty but they in no way
participated in what Nixon did), that’s not the case today.
The reason most Republicans will not – and cannot – turn on
Trump is because they themselves are completely complicit in all of the
Mitch McConnell has taken MILLIONS from Russia into his PAC.
Innocent on the surface perhaps (we need to change those laws pronto), not even
remotely innocent just below. Moscow Mitch made it his personal business to
lift the sanctions on Putin Pal & GRU Guy Oleg Deripaska – the very person to
whom Paul Manafort handed the proprietary polling data Russian military intelligence
weaponized and turned on Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan – the tree parts
of Hillary Clinton’s blue wall that Trump won by a combined 87,000 votes.
Deripaska was sanctioned BECAUSE he interfered in the 2016 election.
We also know now that Russia infiltrated the NRA. Using its skilled agent Maria Buttina, Russia
used the NRA to spread money and influence – and the NRA knew goddamned well
that that’s what Russia was doing.
Wayne LaPierre, too, is the right wing finishing what
It’s not a coincidence that the two most damaging assaults
on our whole political system came from the right – from conservatives – from Republicans. It’s not a coincidence because they’re
A lot of us have eaten through our stomach linings waiting for Nancy Pelosi to come onboard with impeachment.
On the one hand, how many times does Donald Trump have to violate his oath of office to warrant being held accountable for it? On the other, this is virgin territory: a traitor president beholden to a very hostile foreign power and his equally treasonous political party obstructing justice because they’re complicit while the Main Stream News Media gawps at the whole mess, unable to make sense of it because they can’t imagine the very story they’re supposed to be reporting.
For all their years and experience, Nancy Pelosi nor any Democrat can claim to be relying on experience as they deal with the ongoing crisis that is Donald Trump. None of us has been here before. Anyone looking to the past for answers to this is an idiot. I suspect that what’s driven Madame Speaker’s reticence so far isn’t lack of desire to impeach or lack of will, it’s the stone, cold knowledge of what even beginning the impeachment process will unleash on us all.
I bet Speaker Pelosi knows that a significant chunk of this country simply will not accept the truth about Donald Trump. Their fear of losing white cultural hegemony is so strong and so acute that they will almost certainly become openly seditious. It’s entirely possible that, anticipating this, Speaker Pelosi has sought to make her case to all those people in the fuzzy middle who always need extra convincing to do the right thing).
Or, maybe, alternatively, Speaker Pelosi — having access to more docs & secrets than we realize — has anticipated that timing how & when the big bombs drop could lead not only to Trump’s impeachment in the House, but actual conviction in the Republican-controlled senate. Either Republicans will have to (finally) do the right thing or stand in the glare of explaining their own treason-y attitudes.
I experienced a proud moment about a year ago. I was visiting the East Coast & got to spend some quality time w a niece who works for the government and has a security clearance. She pitched me an idea — how Nancy Pelosi could become POTUS — which I ten tweeted. That tweet, strangely, found its way onto MSNBC’s air as a nutty but cool “What if…?” tossed in at the end of an hour to close it out on a lighter note.
Pelosi’s path is simple and straightforward. Trump gets impeached & convicted and so does Mike Pence. There is no way in hell that Mike Pence becomes POTUS. Remember — Paul Manafort brought Mike Pence to the VP table. Manafort was a criminal working with Russian criminals in order to circumvent the voting will of the American people. Does anyone with the least bit of critical thinking skill not grasp that the LAST person a criminal like Manafort would want to bring into their very criminal tent would be a goody-two-shoes who’d rat them all out the instant he heard Russia was helping Trump win?
Mike Pence is compromised. Deeply. Madame Speaker already knows that, I bet. She may even be anticipating Pence trying to pardon Trump et al if ever he got to be POTUS. Mike Pence can get no closer to being president than his pecker ever gets to a woman (Mother especially). Any move to impeach Trump will have to also impeach Mike Pence.
As Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi is third in line of presidential succession. She knows that. She knows how angry a President Pelosi will make some crazy RW-ers. Angry and dangerous. She knows, too, I bet, that if she gets handed the presidency via impeachment and conviction, there will be a backlash — undeserved but inevitable.
We’ve still only just scratched the surface of this epic shit show. I hope our stomachs can take what’s coming.