It Really Is This Simple: By LAW, You Cannot CHEAT To Become POTUS; Therefore Donald Trump Has NEVER Been POTUS

Now, that’s just The Rule Of Law talking and what does The Rule Of Law know? That’s how Republicans think these days apparently.

To be absolutely fair about it, they’re right. The Rule Of Law is a fiction that we invented for our mutual benefit. There are lots of places on Earth where the people don’t live by The Rule Of Law — so, The Rule Of Law is not some absolute, inviolable Law Of The Cosmos. The only thing actually keeping The Rule Of Law in place as our guiding principle as our faithfulness in maintaining it.

It’s like stamina, if you think about it. You can build your stamina. You can maintain it. But stop working on it and it goes away just like that. You can’t store it. Can’t bank it.

Part of our problem — here in America: we’ve taken The Rule Of Law for granted. Those following it always assumed that everyone was following it. Sure, sure — there are criminals outside The Rule Of Law but that’s why we HAVE a Rule Of Law — to isolate those people and handle them fairly but judiciously. We never imagined, We The People, that so many of those who swore an oath to defend The Rule Of Law (that’s what our Constitution is) were committed to overthrowing The Rule Of Law in a kind of soft white Christian male coup d’etat.

The Rule Of Law says foreign interests can have no say in American elections. The Republican Party violated the hell out of that throughout election 2016. Current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy FAMOUSLY said to a roomful of Republican muckety-mucks “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump”. Pays for what, someone in the room should have asked. “Pays for what purpose?” even. Instead, then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan (per the Washington Post) “…instructed his Republican lieutenants to keep the conversation private, saying: “No leaks. . . . This is how we know we’re a real family here.”

According to The Rule Of Law, Speaker Ryan’s response should have been more along the lines of “Holy shit! Guys — get the FBI on the phone pronto! We’ve got a huge PROBLEM on our hands!” But Speaker Ryan didn’t say that. No one in the room even thought anything like it. Hmmmmmmm…

The literal instant we stop following The Rule Of Law to the letter, we compromise it. When we follow it for some people but not so much for other people — that violates The Rule Of Law’s core principle. Speaker Ryan knew he was violating The Rule Of Law — that’s why they all had to agree to “keep it in the family”. Another group of criminals would call that agreement an OMERTA.

It’s the kind of agreement people do when they’ve abandoned The Rule Of Law for their own set of laws. They just haven’t had the decency to tell the rest of us. You know — THE MAJORITY.

We don’t know yet the full extent to which the entire Republican Party was compromised by Russia (and, perhaps, other countries or bad actors). We can only imagine the kompromat Russia is dangling over Lindsey Graham’s pervy head. Even before this though, the Republican Party displayed a disdainful cynicism toward The Rule Of Law. They applied its full pressure whenever they could — while ignoring all the ways they were violating the hell out of it at the very same time.

We know that the Republican Money Machine turned its back on The Rule Of Law a generation ago when it saw the demographic writing on the wall: America was not going to be a predominantly white country for much longer. By 2050, it’s estimated, white people will cease being the majority of the population. Think that doesn’t scare the snot out of conservative white people?

The hard right in this country turned its back on The Rule Of Law the instant they saw it was going to STOP being their instrument of destruction. I don’t know if they feared retribution, but they certainly feared losing absolute power (and the money that goes with it). The Republican Party morphed into The Trump Party — and The Trump Party works for Russia. Russia made Trump POTUS (he did NOT win Pennsylvania, Wisconsin or Michigan legitimately — he couldn’t have after Paul Manafort gave Oleg Deripaska proprietary polling data on those three states). Even Trump’s reported behavior on election night speaks to a kind of guilty behavior. Ever since, no one has obsessed more than Trump has on his presidency’s legitimacy. Why’s that?

IF we really do believe in The Rule Of Law then Donald Trump’s presidency violates it. The fact of his presidency violates it and stands OUTSIDE The Rule Of Law. Trump’s presidency and The Rule Of Law cannot exist at the same time and in the same place.

There is no precedent for what’s happening to us. We have to stop looking to the past for guidance. If Trump violated The Rule Of Law in order to BECOME president of the United States then, by law, he never was president. Not being president, he never had the authority to do anything he did. He never had the authority to negotiate on our behalf or nominate judges.

Let’s use a metaphor that even Donald Trump would understand: A Beauty Pageant. An American presidential election is a lot like a beauty pageant. If, it’s learned after a winner is announced, that the winner wasn’t honest with the judges (as, say, Vanessa Williams was about some mildly erotic photos she’d been part of), the judges can take away the winner’s crown and give it to someone MORE deserving. Someone, say, who followed the pageant’s rules about not doing things that might undermine the pageant’s “brand”.

Vanessa Williams lost her crown — and everything that went with it. If the judges had known before GIVING her the crown, they would never have crowned her, right? They would never have given her the rights & privileges that went with it. In their minds, they were lied to. Vanessa Williams mis-represented herself.

If part of Vanessa Williams’ rights had been to negotiate branding deals on behalf of Miss America, the judges — the whole Miss America organization — would have voided every single one of them for the same reasons.

I know what I’m saying seems impossible to pull off. HOW would we undo the results of an American election? Well, as one of the wronged in this equation — as one of the MAJORITY whose rights are being threatened by a willful right wing minority — HOW CAN WE NOT? Why, I’d like to know, are we always fair beyond fair to conservatives while demanding Progressives explain themselves relentlessly. When did the press lose its mind demanding from conservatives how they were going to pay for Trump’s tax breaks for the rich?

There’s a stone cold reality staring us in the face: Donald Trump was never the legitimate president of the United States.

That fact ripples a thousand ways in a million different directions. We cannot simply ignore it. We can’t “agree to agree” to get past it. We won’t. It’s exactly like slavery — a gross insult to The Rule Of Law.

But then… The Rule Of Law is only what we say it is.

Ball’s in our court.

It Won't Be Enough Just To Impeach & Remove Trump From Office; We Must EXPUNGE Every Bit Of Him

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”.

Integrity Is An All Or Nothing Proposition

What Zero Integrity looks like — en masse

Nothing is funnier than a Republican drawing himself up, having just been asked a serious question about his integrity. He knits his brows, purses his lips and goes all “earnest” with his voice.

Mitch McConnell talking “patriotism” — having just lifted the sanctions punishing Oleg Deripaska for changing the outcome of election 2016, say. That’d be Mitch insisting he’d done something great for the people of Kentucky (while betraying them and everyone else in the country).

Your average Republican thinks THAT’S “Integrity”. Acting like you have it.

When you have no integrity, acting like you have it is as close to having integrity as you’re ever going to get.

What Republicans especially don’t seem to grasp — integrity while iron-clad at its core, is built of gossamer. It’s a soap bubble, easily punctured. And just like a soap bubble, once popped? It’s popped for good.

There’s a reason we don’t say things like “Ya know, that Kevin McCarthy — the GOP Leader — he may not have all his integrity, but 70%’s okay with me!” The moment Kevin slipped below 100%, that should have been the end of it. How can you trust someone almost completely but not completely? That means you DON’T trust them because even when you do, you really don’t.

That’s how integrity works. It is or it isn’t.

Can we all please, please, PLEASE agree? When it comes to integrity, if you still have an “R” next to your name? While Donald Trump’s a Republican? If you stand in any way, shape or form with him?

You can’t even spell “integrity”.

These Are Desperate Times, Mrs. Lovett, And Desperate Measures Are Called For

Sweeny Todd got it right. These ARE desperate times we’re living in. What if it’s already be too late for desperate measures?

What measures come after the desperate ones?

A lot of us sensed it election night 2016 the way animals can sense a temblor coming. Trump “winning the election” (he didn’t, Russia did) wasn’t going to be the worst of it. It was going to be the start of it.

When I ran Tales From The Crypt for HBO, I took pride in the fact that I murdered people for a living and got away with it. I’ve spent my career imagining terrible, terrible things that could happen to people. I’ve written scenes that would make your average person squirm to watch, never mind actually endure.

But nothing I’ve written — or could write — can compare with or compete with Donald Trump. There’s nothing special about Trump except for the fact that he’s the embodiment of evil. Evil — real evil — isn’t special; most of the time, it’s pretty banal. We prefer our evil to be beat-you-over-the-head obvious. Unfortunately, that’s not how evil works.

There is nothing exceptional about Donald Trump. And yet, this unexceptional man has done something, well, exceptional — he’s very nearly destroyed the greatest experiment in human self-government ever. He’s had help, of course — Moscow Mitch McConnell (starting with his mission to hijack the judiciary as a means to impose permanent minority rule), Bill Barr (the most corrupt AG ever – and that includes John Mitchell, Nixon’s AG!), Mike Pompeo (the most corrupt Secretary of State since whoever Trump’s last Sec State was) and GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (whose worry that Russia was paying Dana Rohrbacher & Trump was put to rest with a simple “Let’s keep that in the family” by then Speaker of the House Paul Ryan).

The only thing that’s even remotely exceptional about Trump — his capacity for banal evil. That, apparently, is bottomless.

This Is That Point In The Movie Where The Villains Decide To Go All Out…

No writer could have written what we’re still living through and gotten away with it. No one would have bought it — way too unbelievable. Yet here we are.

Perversely, the villains in this piece operate by the exact same rules by which a Bond Villain operates — power & money cos why not? With Vlad Putin, throw in a heavy dose of Russian nationalism and old fashioned Crusader-thinking.

With Donald Trump, it’s all greed. Greed and a sociopathological personality desperate for daddy-love that he can never have.

With Mike Pence, it’s the power lust of the religious charlatan. He can never be a primary villain. He’s too empty.

With Mitch McConnell, it’s power & money but more than that? It’s the Revenge Of The Nerd. Same goes with Stephen Miller. Mitch is a “man” insecure in his manhood (for shits n giggles, shout “SODOMY” right in Mitch’s face and see how he reacts). You know he was picked on relentlessly in every schoolyard he ever sat in — unfortunately. Most people deal with it through therapy or alcohol. Moscow Mitch had the Constitution at his disposal — and he disposed with it.

Back during the 2016 Republican Convention (it was reported FFS!), current House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy famously walked into a meeting of the Republican muckety-mucks and said (this is his direct quote): “There’s …there’s two people, I think, Putin pays: [California Representative Dana] Rohrabacher and Trump … [laughter] … swear to God.”

Instead of responding, “If you really think that, we should call the FBI right this second!”, then-Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan “…immediately responded: ‘This is an off-the-record … [laughter] … NO LEAKS … [laughter] … alright?!”. That is literally what he said.

The Republican hierarchy KNEW. They might not have known all, but they knew some. If they knew ANY, they were obligated to pick up the phone and report it. As we’re learning though — too slowly for our own collective good — is that lots of these Republicans were in Mitch’s boat — they’d already been bought out themselves by the Russians.

When Russia gives you money, it comes with strings. When Russia gives you an aluminum factory and hundreds of millions of dollars, it comes with ropes.

Just like Donald Trump will never pivot, neither will the Republican Party. They can’t now. They committed to Mitch McConnell’s plan (imagined not by him but by the Koch-Mercer money behind him) to install permanent minority rule in America first by j=hijacking the judiciary. Can you say “Merrick Garland”?

If The Rule Of Law is going to be truly viable again then there can be no exceptions to it. Any Republican who even suspected what his co-partiests were up to was legally obligated to report it. They didn’t and we have to ask “why?” Whose interests were they protecting — when they took an oath to uphold the Constitution’s?

I fear, Republicans having nowhere to go but prison, that this ending will indeed be like one of those Bond movies where it takes 80 shots at the villain to finally kill him. It already feels that way, doesn’t it? The bombshells going off every day — the reveals of staggering corruption and debauched greed — that never result in the bad guys even breaking stride — it really does feel like bullets bouncing off a bad guy’s magical force field of pure evil.

It’s wired into our culture that just before it’s too late, a white knight rides to the rescue. We’ve convinced ourselves that the good guys ultimately win in the end. That’s all ooga-booga we made up.

Here in Real Life, truly anything can happen. Get too sucked into “normalcy” and you become the frog who gets boiled to death. The reason Uber Villains go for broke in the end is because something inside them suspects — if they can just outlast the good guy — they’ll triumph. It will be up to We The People to stop them. Because we’re the Good Guy.

I’m old enough to remember when speaking or writing in these terms would have been hyperbole on steroids. But then, I’m old enough to remember when you couldn’t write this story and get away with it.