Fact: Election Day 2016 was a crime scene more than it was an election. On that day, Russia pulled off the greatest intelligence coup of all time: they made their fully owned asset — Donald J. Trump — President of the United States. Assisting in that act of unmitigated treason from start to finish was the entire Republican Party. The GOP knew even before they nominated Trump that Russia owned him. A month before the nomination convention, current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy walked into a room of Republican muckety-mucks and said, out loud: “There’s two people I think Putin pays, Rohrbacher and Trump — swear to God!” No one gasped in surprise. Quite the contrary. Then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan — one of the highest ranking people in his political party — demanded omerta, gang loyalty. “We’re family”, is how he put it. You know — like a CRIME family?
As the results rolled in election night 2016, how many Republicans watched with a hand to their mouths — shocked by what their Russian co-conspirators had pulled off for their mutual benefit? How many Republicans — understanding what had just happened and why — also appreciated that this seizure of the American Peoples’ will that Russia was gifting to the GOP came with significant strings that, like it or not, now bound them together — Russia and the Republican Party. I bet more than a few understood completely. Take Lindsey Graham. A former anti-Trumper, suddenly — after a round of golf with Trump — Lindsey became Trump’s loyal fluffer. We all remember how the DNC and its emails were hacked. Well, the RNC got hacked too. They used a company called Smartech to handle their emails. Russia hacked Smartech — and you can bet the ranch and everything else you’ve got that Russia has used what they hacked to maximum effect.
The Republican Party will stand with Donald Trump to the bitter end. They have no choice. Having committed treason together, they know what their jeopardy is. If they’re lucky, they’ll end their days in federal prison. If they’re unlucky, they’ll face the death penalty (of which I’m no fan but, where they’re concerned, I’m open to making an exception). That is precisely why the Republicans will do literally anything to avoid being punished for what they did and why they’re so intent on destroying our election process.
The Republicans know The Big Lie is A Big Lie. Put under oath, each and every one of them would swear on a stack of Bibles (a book none of them have ever read) that of course Joe Biden won the election. The point of this exercise isn’t really to question the election’s actual outcome, it’s to change that outcome entirely because, if they don’t, they’ll lose everything. The stakes for pretty much every Republican is now all or nothing. This is why the Republicans have not only NOT refuted the Big Lie, they’ve been nurturing it. An Ipsos Poll published a few days ago found that “55% of Republicans believe his 2020 election loss resulted from illegal voting or election rigging.” 81% of Republicans — according to the poll — still view Trump favorably while 35% of them think that the January 6 insurrectionists were just there to be “peaceful”, it’s the violent left who caused all the death and destruction.
Merrick Garland as AG scares every Republican because he’s what they’re not: honest and fair. They know — it’s why they slow walked his nomination and hearings — the moment AG Garland begins pulling threads on the massive Republican corruption sweater in front of him, it’s just a matter of how quickly the whole rest of the sweater simply falls apart. The dots absolutely will connect the Proud Boys’ planning to Roger Stone and then in to Trump’s White House. Russia also will tie in. How could they not? But, the Russia tie-ins will take time. While we don’t know for certain that Merrick Garland re-started the counter-intelligence probes into Trump’s relationship with Russia that fill in AG Rod Rosenstein ended, we can make an informed guess that he did. .
The Republican Party has worked overtime to deny any connections between themselves and Russia though they all seem to have relationships with Russia. Plenty of Republicans received Russian money into their campaign coffers through various means including Russian retirees who receive monthly pensions from the Russian government — pensions that were plumped up by Mother Russia during the campaign. Or, more famously, lots of Republicans received cash from the NRA which, itself, had already been seduced by “Russian gun rights advocate” Maria Buttina. Know what they call a Russian “gun rights advocate” in Russia — especially one with her hooks deeply set into the NRA’s soft, white flesh? A spy. A good one, too. Working for Russia.
The GOP has known who Trump was all along.
This, for them is a literal death match. They have nothing to lose. Because our news media failed to disabuse Republicans of their dishonesty — granting even blatant lies as “one side (theirs) of the story” — a chunk of the country thinks Trump is a victim here rather than THE criminal. At the end of the day, we WILL make that stick. Russia will be a huge part of how we understand the Trump years: Russia took over America. It is damned tempting, I admit, to nail Trump and every single Republican for betraying us during a time of cyber war.
But, we must act much faster than that will take. We desperately need to move now to mitigate Trump and the GOP’s betrayal. Fortunately, these same pirates left us multiple openings.
The Democratic Congresspeople who joined the civil suit against Trump — citing his actions and speech of January 6 as clear incitements to attack — will put Trump into a corner. He can’t negotiate his way out of this; he can’t settle. He’ll have to go through the “discovery” process — under oath. For Trump, just being “under oath” is filled with very real peril. He’s a walking-talking “perjury trap”. This could work well! But, there’s yet another story angle here with even less politics to it: Trump’s blatantly terrible handling of America’s Pandemic Response.
Team Trump didn’t just “get it wrong”. They didn’t just “plan badly” or underperform. In a sense, Team Trump over-performed, planned perfectly and got it absolutely right — from Russia’s point of view. If I’m wondering this, it’s a dead certainty others are wondering it too: how connected were Trump’s criminally inept pandemic responses and the idea that a nation sickened by a pandemic would be easier to roll over in a soft coup d’etat than a healthy population?
There will, no doubt, be layer upon layer of Trumpian criminality including in Trump’s response to the pandemic: hundreds of thousands of Americans are now dead because of Trump’s actions. As encouraging as the story’s trendline is, We The People need a little concrete beneath our feet. We need the punishment phase to become as real as the crime phase.
I’ll be honest with ya, Lindsey, I’ve never been a fan. That said, I’m still willing to reach across the aisle, as it were, and offer you a hand — but it comes with advice and you have to take the advice BEFORE you get the hand. You need to come clean, Lindsey — about everything that’s dirty about you — and, to judge by the world-weary, hang-dog, red-rimmed, haunted & hunted look in your beady, racist eyes, there’s even more rotten in the state of Lindsey Graham than there is in the state of Denmark. We can all speculate (and, I’ll confess, I have endlessly) on WHAT some of your secrets are. What is Donald Trump holding over you that caused you to flip from “I think he’s a kook!” to… well, geez, Lindsey, we can pretty much smell Trump’s DNA on your breath every time you exhale. Seriously, Lindsey, you keep taking shamelessness to bold new heights — every day.
That, stone cold truth, will NOT set you free.
No one has done the one-eighty you’ve done, Lindsey. Worse, no one’s been more head-scratchingly blatant about it with zero rational explanation to smooth it away. Considering as you’re a prominent member of a corrupt, criminal organization that used to do business as the Republican Party, we’ll have to assume it’s all part and parcel of the same clumsy attempt to overthrow the will of the American people and install permanent minority rule in place of democracy. I have to wonder what would happen if your old pal John McCain were to return from the dead and walk in the room. Never mind the miraculousness of it, you wouldn’t be able to look him in the eye because he knows the truth about who you are and what you’ve done.
Betcha we ain’t talking about you swimming naked in the Senate pool again, are we, pal?
Let’s get this “straight”, Lindsey: I could not care less what your sexual orientation is. Remember — I want the Truth to set you free. Whatever your true sexual nature is, you need to embrace it fully. You need to stop pretending that the thing you are is offensive to anyone — especially you. I contend that your terrible behavior flows directly from the hypocrisy you live every day simply by denying who you are. Now, perhaps the problem runs deeper than just your orientation. Perhaps your problem has to do with the “particulars” of what you require in a sexual partner.
Perhaps there’s an ideal “age” in your mind. An “innocence” you like to have “made less innocent”. Perhaps it’s just the sight of pubic hair on a sexual partner that disturbs you. I’ll be honest, Lindsey, something about your sexual pathology sets off the alarm bells in my head. But, hey — I’m a little hyper-sensitive that way. At 14, I was sexually molested twice by the religious director of the synagogue where my family belonged.
I denied that it happened to me for 45 years — denied it to myself. Once I did break down (literally — on the bathroom floor) and confess? The truth hurt. I’ll admit it.
The truth about what happened to me — and that I denied it for so long — and the emotional distance it put between me and the world hurt worse than almost any other psychological pain I’ve ever experienced. The secret eventually produced a decade-long depression that convinced me the world would be better off without me. That my family and children would ultimately see that too. That was bullshit but, then, depression robs you of perspective. Depression — caused by denial of the Truth — convinces you that bullshit could be true… that bullshit is true. Spoiler alert: bullshit is NEVER true. It’s bullshit!
We need YOU under oath, Lindsey. We need you spilling your guts. We need you offering up contrition like no one’s ever been contrite before. We need you whispering then choking back then agreeing and finally chanting the Truth about who and what you are like a mantra — “I’m guilty! Yes, I have done all these terrible things! I own every last one of them and deserve the punishment — whatever it is — coming to me!” Those words will hurt to say, Lindsey, no two ways about it!
But, in the aftermath, after the Trumpian dust settles, there will be a moment of absolute clarity for you, Lindsey. I promise. That moment is guaranteed. You may experience that absolute freedom from behind prison bars, but the freedom inside your head will transcend your physical location.
The Truth WILL set you free, Lindsey. So, please — be free. If you know what I really mean…
Know who believes in democracy? Corporate America. They sort of believe in American democracy. But, the “democracy of the marketplace”? That, they believe in, unabashedly. Corporate America has to — they need consumers to “vote” with their wallets and pocketbooks as “early and often” as possible (like they supposedly used to vote in Chicago when the Democratic machine ran it). Remember New Coke? Remember how fast it disappeared from shelves when Americans resoundingly “voted against it”? Product launches are no different from candidate launches; candidates in American retail politics are no different from laundry detergent. Except some will destroy your clothing, wreck your marriage and burn your whole house down. There’s a reason Mitch McConnell fought so hard to keep Americans from getting financial support during the pandemic but insisted that companies never have to face any sort of liability for forcing their employees back to work, damn any and all risk to their lives.
Already, companies like Airbnb, Amazon, American Express and AT&T have cancelled all political contributions to any politician questioning the results of election 2020. And those are just a few of the “A’s”. They all know how easy — and likely — it is for their customers to turn on them should their customers suddenly find the companies’ political stances offensive. Remember Bill O’Reilly — Fox News’ one-time cash cow? The reason Bill doesn’t work for Fox anymore — despite how lucrative his bullshit was to the company — is because Bill lost all his advertisers. This was a boardroom decision! The 21st Century Fox board of directors were told, flat out, by the companies they needed to cash flow them that none of their customers would support their advertising on O’Reilly’s “The O’Reilly Factor” any longer because he was such a sexist, racist pig.
Just like that, Bill O’Reilly became expendable. And just like that, he was gone. The democracy of the marketplace is harsh. But fair.
American consumers don’t like giving their hard-earned dollars to companies that do not respect them. They like it even less when those companies are ripping them off or doing things that could literally hurt them by, say, polluting the air and water. And the airwaves. And companies that want to overthrow our government? We REALLY hate those guys. And we ain’t buying whatever they’re selling…
The Truth — literal, empirical, this-is-what-happened-NOT-that, replete-with-receipts Truth — is about to get its day in court (the court of public opinion which is what really matters in America). On one side are Republican sweethearts like Marjorie Taylor Greene — an affront to logic and decency every time she speaks. On the other are Democrats, the rule of law, the Constitution and the majority of Americans. When the Democrats announced they’d introduce witness testimony (under oath) before the Senate “jury” during Trump’s SECOND impeachment trial, Lindsey Graham threatened to have the FBI testify, too. The Democrats, frankly, would LOVE IT if the FBI showed up and testified. What’s the point of Lindsey’s bluff here? Bring the Truth, Lindsey! Make it rain Truth! The only person needing an umbrella if that happens is YOU — and every one of your Republican co-conspirators.
I still won’t shop at Home Depot because the company’s ownership was so vociferously pro-trump. My hardware store dollars have a choice where they go to be spent. I prefer to use my local hardware store. But, sometimes, they don’t have what I need. A big box hardware store is where I’ll have to go. Ah, but which one? My dollars will vote for ANYONE but Home Depot. If too many other curmudgeons follow my lead? Home Depot’s bottom line will suffer. Pinch, OUCH!
Mitch feels that “ouch” like a cannonball rolling around his Treason Turtle shell, flattening his guts. He’s worked his whole political career to service the Big Right Wing Money and its various political needs. He’ll let all of America down before he even thinks of letting his paymasters down. Hell, Mitch is so cynical, he bought into the whole Donald Trump-Russia connection without batting a bloodshot eye. Ya don’t think Mitch had heard — same as every other Republican in the loop in 2016 — that “There’s two people (I think) Putin pays, Rohrbacher and Trump”? When current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy posed that question to a roomful of GOP leadership (was Mitch there perhaps?) a month before the 2016 GOP convention, then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan made everyone present agree to keep this… suspicion/fact “in the family”. If Mitch wasn’t there, take it to the bank –he heard all about it.
Take this to the bank too. No one who heard that conversation live, took part in it or heard about it afterwards called the FBI as they absolutely should have done. This was the guy they were about to nominate as their candidate for POTUS. And they wondered about his loyalties and whether or not he might be compromised by a very hostile foreign enemy who we already knew were engaged in cyber war against us. The more we learn about this abomination — and we will once Merrick Garland punches the clock and a rejuvenated Department of Justice begins to behave like the defenders of the rule of law they’re supposed to be — the worse it will get for anyone still sporting that “R” next to their name.
That “R” will begin to stand more and more for RUSSIA.
Nobody wants that trademark next to their corporate image. Nobody wants their company to be co-branded in the buying public’s mind with traitors or treason or sedition or anything Marjorie Taylor Greene has to say. It always, always, ALWAYS comes down to money. And, for now, it’s money ironically that will keep corporate America from giving to their favorite enablers, the Republican Party. Whoever baked this irony cake knew just how long to keep it in the oven.
America is at the very beginning of a Great Moral Reckoning. We’ve needed this for a long, long time. As much of a treasonous shit as he is, on a certain level, we owe Trump a thank you — for causing the Republican Party membership to finally expose itself for the cynical, racist, authoritarians they all are. They’re the biggest, drunkest, angriest, whitest, stupidest frat party ever.
See those guys? Big companies don’t care what they want to buy. Not anymore. How long, do you suppose, will it take America’s news media to catch up with what its boardrooms figured out eons ago?
Whatever ya do, don’t bet on America’s news media. They still can’t even spell “integrity”.
Donald Trump, true to his “Project-Everything-I’m-Guilty-Of-Onto-The-World” self, began projecting his own illegitimacy early in his presidency. The late Congressman John Lewis, a man who understood intrinsically what courage was, was the first member of Official Washington to state what everyone felt about Trump’s surprise victory — especially his remarkable win — by a total of 77,000 votes collectively — that delivered Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan’s Electoral College votes to Trump (0.057 percent of total voters cost Clinton the presidency). Fact: if Trump’s win had been legit, he’d have been one hundred percent behind an investigation because he KNEW his win would have been verified. But, Trump knew any investigation into how exactly he became POTUS would end with him going to prison forever: because TREASON.
Some things just seem obvious — or they should. Commit treason in order to become president? You are NOT president. Just break the law to become POTUS and you should be disallowed from being POTUS because that’s how the rule of law is supposed to work — ditto the Constitution. But, of course, in America, we’ve lived by two sets of rules from the get-go — one for white people and another for everyone else. That’s about to change. As we help the rule of law back onto its feet, we need to make damned sure we apply it EQUALLY this time. One of the reasons it failed so spectacularly is our inability to execute it. That’s not on the rule of law, it’s on us. WE need to do better. I have faith we will.
And one of the FIRST ways we can prove we’re doing better is by APPLYING the rule of law — finally and firmly — to Donald John Trump.
The nature of our representative democracy is that rather than take active part in governing ourselves, we elect other people to do that for us. The understand is simple: if we elect you, we grant you the authority to work on our behalf. So long as that authority is legitimate, whatever you do theoretically has our blessing. But, if Donald Trump used Russia to gain the White House — which he most certainly did — right in front of us (“Russia, if you’re listening!”). Just because a guy commits a crime in broad daylight, that doesn’t make it any less of a crime.
We’re not going to debate the Mueller Report. Anyone who’s bothered to actually read it knows what it says. In the very narrow slice of the larger crime Trump committed — the thing Team Mueller was allowed to investigate — Team Mueller could not assert with enough certainty to convict in a court of law whether or not Team Trump had conspired with Wikileaks and Julian Assange to undermine the integrity of election 2016 because of so much obstruction of justice. The obstruction of justice, they felt, was real and very criminal. Team Mueller fretted about that Department of Justice rule — created to block Spiro Agnew pardoning Richard Nixon during Watergate — that said a sitting POTUS could not be indicted. Though the rule wasn’t meant to apply to Trump — no one imagined a POTUS as thoroughly corrupt as Trump — Team Mueller allowed the rule’s letter to win out over its spirit. Corruption beat truth and justice mostly because white people seem to hate prosecuting other white people for crimes they’d happily prosecute anyone else for committing.
See what happens when you screw with the rule of law and how you apply it?
We need to keep reminding ourselves: the rule of law is a fiction we invented so as to better self-govern. We made it up. It’s just a bunch of words that articulate an idea — a great idea — that should transcend our occasional inability to get the words right. We have to be more protective of any law’s spirit than how it got written. Trust me here — this country’s founders did NOT intend for a treasonous president to pardon his way out of legal peril. Trump is exactly the kind of demagogue the country’s founders most feared — and yet, here we are indulging that demagogue, his followers — and even his treason.
I repeat: one cannot commit TREASON in order to become POTUS. It may not be written that way in any of our laws, but it IS the spirit of the law. You can’t betray us in order to govern us.
Questions about Trump’s legitimacy scare the Republican Party even more than it scares Trump. Trump’s problem is prison for the rest of his life. Hey — that’s the GOP’s problem now, too. But they also fear losing political power — and never ever getting it back. The craven lust for political power, born of “white man’s greed” — that’s what causes Republican hearts to beat like a Sousa march. Ah, but the terrible concessions to self respect one must make to answer that craven lust…
I bet Lindsey Graham is just aching to stop being Trump’s bitch. I bet Lindsey would be more relieved than anyone to finally confess to every terrible thing he’s done. Yeah, prison won’t be fun — and Lindsey will spend the rest of his life in federal lock up — but, you can see the exhaustion in Lindsey’s red-rimmed eyes every time he gets in front of the cameras. He may not sleep comfortably in his prison cell (neither the mattress nor the thread count of his sheets will be what he’s used to), but he’ll sleep better than now.
Mitch McConnell, too, dreads a legitimate investigation into all HIS illegitimate activities. Mitch needs to explain — under oath — his relationship w Oleg Deripaska. Deripaska, you see, is HOW Trump “won” Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, taking the EC. During the 2016, Paul Manafort — then Trump’s campaign manager — famously handed Konstantin Kilimnik proprietary polling data for those three states plus Minnesota.
Manafort wanted Kilimnik to pass the polling data to Deripaska — an “associate” of his. Manafort’s problem was he owed Deripaska money — $17 million and was afraid of what Deripaska might do to him. Manafort hoped that by 1) becoming Trump’s campaign manager and 2) providing the proprietary polling data, he might cancel that debt and get himself out of peril. That’s just a hint at what that polling data was worth to Kilimnik, to Deripaska, to Vladimir Putin and to Russia. Kilimnik was known as being GRU — Russian military intelligence. Same goes for Deripaska. Both are oligarchs — and, in Russia, you don’t get to be or stay an oligarch without Putin’s explicit okay. Putin, let’s not forget, isn’t just the Russian head of state, he’s one of the biggest criminals on the planet.
If we took Putin and Russia’s direct impact on the 2016 out of the equation, Donald Trump would never have gotten through the primaries. But Russia was behind Trump and pretty much every single Republican knew it. They chose to “keep it in the family”.
So — not only is Trump’s entire presidency illegitimate, so is the Republican Party’s response to Trump’s illegitimacy. They deliberately covered it up — benefitted from the illegitimacy — then tried to make that illegitimacy permanent. THAT evolved into the point of the exercise. No one — Trump included — expected Trump to win. Trump did not want to win, in fact; he was so certain he’d lose — needed it to happen so badly that he promised Melania he would lose. That’s what she was expecting.
That’s what most everyone was expecting. Oh, the things we’ll learn. The Comey Letter’s impact on the election was significant: it closed the polling gap between Clinton and Trump to within the margin of error in places like Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. And the Comey Letter itself — let’s remind ourselves — was caused by Rudy Giuliani, Jason Chaffee and the rogue New York City FBI office threatening to spew all sorts of nonsense they’d read in Clinton Cash, a book as truthful as the Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion. Comey had been asking the NYC FBI office about the notebook computer with the mysterious, possibly new Clinton emails (they were copies of old) for MONTHS but the rogue FBI agents — collaborating with Rudy Giuliani — refused to answer Comey’s question until late October — when they suddenly announced “We don’t KNOW about these emails — they COULD be new.”
Horse shit. The goal was “make noise”, distract, disillusion — on multiple fronts at the very same time.
Keep in mind — part of that relentless thump-thump-thump was directed at Black voters in those three states. That proprietary polling data? It showed up on their personal Facebook pages as ads directed directly at them that implied Hillary Clinton was a closet racist. The goal wasn’t to flip those votes, it was to suppress them — lie them into staying home election day instead of voting. Considering all the illegality surrounding it, every single suppressed vote is a crime against an individual voter and our system as a whole.
Once the race got close enough — brought there via the Comey Letter’s false premise of more dirt on Clinton and the constant thump-thump-thump of Russian propaganda filtered through Wikileaks and our own useful idiot news media — voting machine manipulation became an option. As we’ll eventually learn from what happened in 2020, if one has access to internet-connected electronic voting machines (because companies like ES&S and Diebold are owned by Republicans who donate heavily to Republicans and on whose boards of directors sit nothing but Republicans), one does not FLIP votes — that’s too risky! While it’s damned hard to verify an electronic machine that leaves no paper trail, it’s damned easy to pad vote totals without anyone catching on. Just for reference, as of 2019 ES&S claimed a U.S. market share of more than 60 percent in customer voting system installations. That’s a lot of the country that votes on machines with zero accountability.
You’d need three co-conspirators max. You need the guy running ES&S to open the back door every single machine has.
You’d need the guy writing the computer code that will enter voting machine or tabulator via that back door having gotten there via internet connectivity. The code says simply something like “For ever ten Republican votes, add one”. So, every ten Republican votes now becomes eleven. Twenty becomes twenty-two, thirty becomes thirty-three and so on. The machines have added ten percent. If you didn’t go back and compare the number of votes to the number of voters in order to see the discrepancy, you’d probably never find it. In this case, everyone would simply accept that Republican result — where they got a ten percent bump. If the race in question was within the margin of error, that ten percent bump could give an otherwise losing candidate the win.
The last co-conspirator would be the politician pulling the trigger on such a theft of the voters’ intent. Plenty of journalists are beginning to wonder if Mitch McConnell is just such a politician. On paper, Mitch shouldn’t be able to get elected turtle catcher in Kentucky yet there he is — unbeatable (in a state with more registered Democrats than Republicans!) Want to know why it doesn’t seem to add up? Because it doesn’t.
In the case of 2016, all one would have need to have done was send code like that to far flung voting machines in the hinterlands of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Vote totals in the cities, they hoped, were already dinged by propaganda. By now adding just enough votes electronically (hoping ya got the percentages right), one could close a seemingly impossible deal, capturing three blue states for candidate red. It was all done illegally — with full on criminal intent — the only question is will We The People ever get to ask it.
Well, now, we are getting to ask it.
If the answer comes back “Trump was elected illegitimately via illegal means and as an act of treason, then we will have two possible paths to travel. Path One — we do nothing. We shrug our shoulders and say “We’ll do better next time, we hope”. We literally allow a traitor to pardon his own treason — making it crystal clear: want to betray America? Run for president — and get away with it! Any country that lets that happen to them won’t be a country for very much longer.
If Trump had run in one of his bullshit beauty pageants and they’d learned that the winner had bamboozled them all? Do you really think the phony would get to keep her title, her crown, her loot? Of course she wouldn’t! Same goes for a guy who steals your car. Just because he’s sitting in it outside your house at three a.m., honking the horn, that doesn’t make him the car’s owner. And when we catch up to him? He won’t get to keep the car. If it’s still in one piece, he’ll have to give it back. The rule of law never lets thieves keep what they stole after they’ve been caught. The rule of law doesn’t let murderers get away with murder, polluters get away with polluting or traitors get away with betraying us. We may do that to ourselves, the rule of law does not.
It’s just a stone cold fact — Donald Trump NEVER had the legitimate authority that flows from We The People and, sociopath that he is, Donald Trump recognized that fact himself. He said as much out loud repeatedly.
Since he never had the authority vested in him, he didn’t have the authority or right to nominate a single judge, SCOTUS judges included. Throw in the deliberate intent behind Mitch McConnell’s blocking of most every Obama judicial nominee. Not allowing Merrick Garland so much as a hearing might not have been technically illegal, when re-framed from the perspective of McConnell’s treasonous relationship w Oleg Deripaska and Konstantin Kilimnik, the connected dots make Mitch’s intent look a lot more sinister. Mitch and the GOP want permanent minority rule. While they’d made great strides to get there prior to Trump’s presidency, Trump presented not just the darkly charismatic figurehead they needed, he also provided a partner in crime who, the Republicans now realized, had already seduced them into useful idiot-hood.
They’d all, like Rohrbacher, taken copious amounts of money from Russia. That money was not “free”. As most money does, it came with strings. More like rope actually. The Russians wanted something for their investment. When Trump sewed up the Republican nomination, Russia became the central driver of all things Republican, all things Trump.
If we do this right — and we’d be insane to do it otherwise — literally everything Trump did gets voided. All those judges? They’re gone. They have to be — Trump never had the authority to nominate them. That goes for EVERY judge Trump nominated, his three SCOTUS judges included. In point of fact, the authority to nominate those three judges belonged to Hillary Clinton, the rightful winner of the 2016 election.
The crime victim here, ya see, is We The People. Our CHOICE was stolen from us in 2016. When we elected Hillary by more than three million popular votes (and, minus all the criminality via the EC, too), we gave her the authority to create legislation and nominate judges whose values reflected ours. We did NOT give Trump any such authority. He TOOK IT. He STOLE IT. And then, like a car thief, he drove around in it, speeding, recklessly changing lanes and tossing garbage out the window.
The Good Cops will be back in power starting tomorrow. Merrick Garland — the moderate judge Obama chose for SCOTUS who Mitch wouldn’t even give a hearing to — will take over at the DoJ. Oh, the irony… Merrick Garland will be the guy who brings Mitch McConnell down. And then the entire GOP. These are not brave people. They’re all criminal co-conspirators. It won’t take more than a few gentle tugs on this ugly-as-sin, corrupt Christmas sweater for it to completely fall apart. It’s that ugly, it’s that badly made.
And, like any badly made sweater that we did not want, we should return it from whence it came. Return to sender. Forget you ever knew us.
Former Republican Rick Wilson got it so right: everything Trump touches dies. There are no exceptions to that rule.
Like a virus, Donald Trump can’t survive without a host. In our case, us. If he can’t infect us, he can’t reproduce his toxicity in sufficient quantity to survive. The best he can do is infect those around him and make more feckless, corrupt, ugly children.
Trump craves adoration because if he can get you to adore him, he can get you to do anything for him. Including die. Trumpism reproduces inside its adherents, zombifying them until they’re permanently cut off from reason, logic, facts, truth.
Just like that, a Trump follower’s needs are Trump’s needs.
There should never have been a first term of this disease. Take Russia out of the Trump equation and he never runs for office. He’s already broke and living on the street because no one was there to step in and rescue his bankrupt casinos or pay him a tidy $54 million profit on a white elephant house in Florida.
During his first term, Trump finished turning the entirety of the Republican Party into him. Take Lindsey Graham — a man who at one point said out loud that if the Republican Party followed Donald Trump, they’d deserve the certain destruction he’d cause them. Lindsey also said he’d never go along with naming a SCOTUS judge in an election year. I bet, when we finally get him under oath, Lindsey tells a long, complex, sordid tale about how exactly a person gets that corrupt and that vulnerable to corruption.
We don’t need Donald Trump to tell us that story because he’s already told it himself. He’s lived a life of corruption and — staggeringly — gotten away with it.
Our news media can’t seem to remember that Donald Trump is the first president ever to be impeached and then run for re-election — having been impeached for CHEATING in the very election he’s running in. That’s an amazing amount of normalization of stuff that should never be normalized. Then again, our news media oversaw the normalization of “Mexicans are rapists” and “pussy grabbing” and “Both sides are good people” and “15 cases will go to zero” and “fake news” and “our military are all suckers and losers” and on and on and on.
Normalization works exactly like an infection. It’s essential to Trumpism. We are the frog thinking the pool’s a little warmer than usual today — when, in fact, it’s boiling hot and we’re about to be frog soup.
There’s one answer to this: No.
The Republican Party is gambling everything on muscling the majority of Americans into submission. They’re slave masters after all, with a whip in their hand.
Oh, the surprise they’re all in for. We’ve taken the last whipping from them. We’ll have that whip — and rather than just turn it on them, we’ll subject them to the rule of law. They’ll wish we’d used the whip instead.
Spoiler alert — that IS where this story is going: Donald Trump did not “win” the 2016 election in any sense of the word. He stole it. Literally. Go look up the two words — “win” & “steal”. They’re not the same thing.
To have legitimately won the 2016 presidential election (and this applies to the races up and down the ballot), Trump and the Republicans would have had to have sold Americans on the superiority of their ideas. They didn’t. They sold America the idea that Hillary Clinton was less trustworthy than Trump — a message they sold in collaboration with Russia. Stone cold facts — Wikileaks equals Russian Military Intelligence and Trump’s campaign was actively engaged with not only Wikileaks but multiple Russian intel officers. Paul Manafort — the convict — handed Konstantin Kilimnik proprietary polling data concerning four states: Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
We don’t know what did or didn’t happen in Minnesota. We know what happened in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. It’s not just the fact that Trump pulled off “surprise victories” in three blue states — it’s the margin by which he pulled off those three victories. He won them by a combined 77,000 votes. Between three states.
That’s just over 25,000 votes PER STATE.
One of the now accepted reasons for Clinton’s loss in those three states was the weaker than expected turnout of Black voters. Those same voters were the focus of Facebook ads delivered to their individual computers — saying that Hillary Clinton was a closet racist so why bother voting for her? Where were those messages originating? At Russian Military Intelligence. They were using all that proprietary polling data Trump’s campaign manager had illegally given them.
This isn’t just bad behavior, it’s flat out illegal. It’s a crime. It’s a flagrant violation of the rule of law.
That’s the bottomest line there is: it violated the rule of law. The rule of law says you cannot cheat in order to win. The act of cheating disqualifies the win. And if you didn’t legitimately win, then you never had the authority that would have flowed from that win. Donald Trump — as he’s been telling us since he “won” — has never been the legitimate President of the United States. It’s a stone cold fact. He’s never had the authority to do anything. None of it can stand — not “none of it should stand” — none of it can stand. That is, if we really and truly intend to enforce the rule of law.
Quick reminder: the rule of law has never stopped being in force. We have stopped enforcing it (having never enforced it properly to begin with). That does not mean it wasn’t in effect. The rule of law didn’t let us down, we let it down. Not the same thing. But, fortunately, we have a chance to fix that. Hell, we have in front of us a golden opportunity to do even better: we can create structures that guarantee (or do a better job of guaranteeing at least) that we follow the rule of law to the letter.
If we don’t enforce the rule of law — the founding principle of our republic — then the rule of law will eventually break down. Can we please learn this lesson?
When we finally factor in how Russia didn’t just “influence” the election on Trump’s behalf, but physically weighed in on its outcome — literally changing it from how We The People actually voted (or intended to vote) to what Don & Vladimir wanted — we’ll face a difficult Day of Reckoning. First in line for that day of reckoning will be Trump and every single Republican who allowed this to happen.
That will be every single Republican. “See something, say something” is part of the rule of law. When we even suspect anyone is violating the rule of law, the rule of law obligates us to say something to the authorities charged with enforcing it. That’s how it gets enforced. We The People actually work to maintain it. Self government isn’t automatic. To virtually a person, the Republican Party, though aware (even vaguely) that something was amiss, have not met their obligation as citizens following the rule of law.
This isn’t some “conspiracy theory” conspiracy, it’s a nuts & bolts conspiracy. A conspiracy of silence because… well, that will be what comes out at trial. The “why” each and every single Republican failed to uphold their oath of office. Most of their excuses will be the same. A few Republicans have indeed been compromised (Lindsey Graham, I bet… Dana Rohrbacher, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell for sure!) but most will have been willing participants who had little idea where the treason bus was headed. They didn’t care whether it was a treason bus or not.
See something, say nothing? That’s how conspiracy works.
The case will be made — and made emphatically: Donald Trump did not win the presidency in 2016. Moscow won it for him — as an act of Cyber War. Trump — and everyone conspiring with him — are literal (not hyperbolic) traitors. He did not “win” the 2016 election in any way, shape or form.
What a relief that will be because finally, We The People will be off the hook.
The news media hammers away at us how “Yeah, but Trump won the election” or “But America voted for Trump!” No, he didn’t and we didn’t.
The question will land on our heads: “So, now that you know for a fact that Trump didn’t win the presidency and has never been legitimate POTUS, what do you intend to do about it?” Do we let an illegitimate president keep what he stole from us — OUR CHOICE? Would we let a car thief — caught inside our vehicle, pissing all over the nice leather seats — keep our car after we’ve caught him? I wouldn’t. You probably wouldn’t either.
Well, neither would the rule of law.
Judges were stolen from us. Judges and the lifetime of sitting on the federal bench that each (now doctrinaire conservative) judge will spend judging. Those judges should represent the majority’s choice and choices, not some treasonous minority’s.
Trump and the GOP will get their day of reckoning inside a court room (and then a federal prison). The news media — who kept hawking a story they knew (but couldn’t convince themselves) was true — will get their day of reckoning in the court of public opinion and the marketplace. Just like we can’t let a single Republican get away with what they’ve done, the same goes for every journalist who failed to meet their First Amendment obligation to be the final check on power.
Every journalist who repeated Trump’s bile context-free (looking at YOU, NBC News’ Kelly O’Donnell) as if truth and bullshit had equal weight must confess their journalistic sins and atone.
Every journalist who asked “Yeah, but what if bullshit was true?” questions (looking at YOU, NBC News’ Stephanie Ruhl!) needs to acknowledge that they were directly responsible for giving bullshit the credence of Truth to the Truth’s detriment. The whole “fake news” meme stems from asking “Yeah, but what if bullshit was true?” Bullshit is never true. Ever.
So stop asking.
Finally, all those journalists will have to answer for their inability to aggregate the story of Donald Trump and the Republican Party. They will have to answer for why they couldn’t pry the normalcy bias blinders from their heads. They will have to answer for why — in spite of the mountains of evidence produced often by their own reporting — they couldn’t manage to build the narrative past a “square one” where Donald Trump was merely “a different kind of president”.
When Paul Manafort was convicted — when Roger Stone and Michael Cohen and every other Trumpanista was convicted — that wasn’t the starting point for their criminality. It was (we hope) the end point. Up until that moment though, they were actively engaged in committing the crime they were sentenced for. In Manafort’s case — it went back to the 2016 campaign. That means everything he did was criminal in real time. The lag in reporting it is the problem. Same goes for the time it took for us to enforce the rule of law.
We’re stuck in a problematic zone where an active crime is being committed upon us — we know it — the criminals know it — even the people reporting it know it — and yet, we’re strangely limited in our ability to do anything to stop it — in real time. But we must. The criminals here are on a do or die mission. There’s no going back now — look at what they’re all guilty of: treason. That’s still a capital offense. And think of how financially ruinous this will be for every guilty person and their family.
Treason will be a hard brand to shake — personally and universally. I don’t know how the Republican Party will ever stop being the party that nurtured treason in its heart. That went along with treason. That actively aided and abetted it.
The news media will have reported all this in real time — but failed to connect dots it should have connected. That’s for itself but more importantly for its audience — We The People. What damns our news media more than anything is that it wasn’t everyone. There were reporters and news writers and journalists who saw it from the get-go and screamed it as loud as they could with the means they were allowed. The news networks have the Big Megaphone. They decide which of those voices gets heard — and gets credence.
Imagine if MSNBC had swapped each Hugh Hewitt appearance for a Sarah Kendzior appearance. The mind boggles at how much further down the road to stopping this we’d be. Imagine if each and every reporter on staff was as sharp, focused and outraged as Nicolle Wallace, Rachel Maddow or Joy-Ann Reid. Yes, they bring a lot of advocacy to their journalism. But the thing they’re advocating for is the Truth.
I’m not sure what all those journalists will say when their day of reckoning comes but it had damned well better start with “I’m sorry.”
Stone cold fact: the Republican Party will not survive Donald Trump. A lot of them knew that going in. Lindsey Graham, for instance:
As former Republican Rick Wilson put it, “Everything Trump Touches Dies”. He could have added “Or gets destroyed.” They may not have known just how corrupt Donald Trump was, just how tied in to Russia — but they suspected as much. Current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy famously said to a roomful of the GOP leadership during the 2016 GOP convention that “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump“. Paul Ryan, then Speaker of the House was unsurprised. He made everyone there swear to keep it “in the family”.
Thing is, plenty of Republicans were already compromised by Russia. They’d been taking Russian money into their campaign coffers forever — some via the NRA. In some cases — Lindsey Graham’s, I bet — the compromises went even deeper. It isn’t just inconvenient and suspicious campaign money that’s making Lindsey the ultimate Trumpian lap dog. I bet if Senator John McCain were to return from the dead and visit his old pal Lindsey, his old pal couldn’t look McCain in the eye.
But then, can the Republican Party really look America in the eye anymore?
Republicans are now the party of putting children in cages and police violence and mask politicization and racism and sexism and sanctimony and hypocrisy and white male Christian supremacy. They’re the party that has no interest in following the Constitution or the rule of law. They’re the party that puts children in cages, takes pandemic relief money out of the pockets of its struggling constituents and puts it into the pockets of its wealthiest friends.
Republicans are the party that says voting by mail is “dangerous” — even as they vote by mail. They’re the party that gives lip service to protecting elections while doing everything they can to limit who votes. They’ll protect themselves from the coronavirus pandemic but have no interest in protecting you.
If Republicans were a literal salesman going door to door, he’d be selling poison wrapped in an American flag.
But, the GOP’s problem is the same one a salesman has. What do you do when no one wants what you’re selling? The salesman is shit out of luck. The GOP however is unusually innovative when it comes to corruption. Republicans are used to no one wanting them so they developed a way to shove their product down America’s throats.
As the Republicans will learn, while that may work for the first moment or two, we’re in fighting back mode now.
The Whig Party was active from the 1830’s to the 1850’s. They were progressive in many ways; among other things, they were strong advocates of the rule of law. Slavery split them in two, the norther Whigs being completely opposed to it while the southern Whigs were not. The defeat of Whig presidential candidate General Winfield Scott by Democrat Franklin Pierce (keep in mind, Democrats in 1850 were very different from Democrats today) finished them off. The party went out of business, replaced ultimately by what became the nascent Republican Party.
The Republican Party began its life as the more Progressive of the two parties (for a better understanding, read Heather Cox-Richardson’s excellent “To Make Men Free: A History Of The Republican Party). Their willful descent into racist policy came about after Nixon’t southern strategy turned all those racist southerners from Dixiecrats into Republicans.
The Republican Party wouldn’t be here if the Whigs had lived on. Similarly, some new group of moderate conservatives will live on once the GOP is formally laid to rest. And, rest assured — the GOP will be formally laid to rest — right alongside the Whigs though I doubt that will make the Whigs happy.
No doubt the Whigs will think — as the Republican Party is buried beside it — “There goes the neighborhood”.
In the end, some conservative party will find its footing and endure — so long as they don’t try to pull the same crap. But the conservative of the future — whatever they call themselves — won’t look a whole lot like the conservative party of right now. They won’t have a choice if they want to endure. America is about make a giant leap to the left.
There’s no conservative way out of this mess. Conservatives keep making that point for us. The Progressive solutions (UBI, health care for all, a playing field that’s actually level) will, in time, become ubiquitous. We’ll even start to think of America as a center-left country.
There’s no good outcome for Republicans or republicanism. They are facing extinction and there’s absolutely nothing they can do to stop it.
Since election day 2016, America has been living through an on-going soft coup d’etat. If the point of an election is to measure & then respond to the will of the people, what happened in 2016 accomplished the exact opposite. The election’s outcome represented the will of a white, Christian minority to exert permanent minority rule over a diverse and diversifying majority.
How did that happen? Let’s be clear about one thing up front: this was not some master plan drawn up in a boardroom somewhere. Well, part of it was — the part where the Koch’s & the Mercers made a conscientious effort to use their money to deny the majority of Americans the government they wanted. They spent their money to deny climate change and to keep the playing field in America tilted entirely toward white, Christian males. To do that, the Kochs, Mercers & the rest of the RW money put Mitch McConnell to work denying Barack Obama — and by extension We The People who voted PBO into office twice by significant majorities — the judges PBO would have nominated.
See how that worked? Mitch McConnell was actively standing in the way of what the majority of Americans voted for. Remember this — Mitch vowed (when he expected Trump to lose) that he would deny President Hillary Clinton a single SCOTUS judge — even if it left the Supreme Court with nobody on it.
This was the beginning of the soft Republican coup d’etat.
The rest of the GOP strategy pre-Trump was a perpetual stalemate — a perfectly acceptable conservative solution to their problem. No progress meant things stayed the same. It’s not quite as good as literal regression but maintaining a status quo that continues denying people of color political power or any means to acquire and build wealth will did for now. The whole point of voter suppression is to reduce the number of Democratic voters to a manageable opposition. The point of gerrymandering was to divide that manageable opposition into bite-sized tranches that can never vote Republicans out of power.
The whole point of gerrymandering is to deny the majority it’s voice by over-representing the minority. That, too, is a kind of soft coup d’etat against the Will Of The People.
Plenty of Republicans — Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, John McCain — have taken Russian money (via legalized means) into their campaign coffers. Money always comes with strings. Russian money comes with actual rope. “The Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC run by Sen. McConnell’s former Chief of Staff, received a total of $3,500,000 ($2,500,000 in 2016 and $1,000,000 in 2017) via Access Industries and a subsidiary. Len Blavatnik is a Russian oligarch with US and UK citizenship who owns Access Industries and donated to Sen. McConnell’s 2016 Senate campaign vehicles.” International criminals (like Vladimir Putin) understand how to create layers between their crimes and themselves. Everyone seems to be following the letter of the law while violating the hell out of its spirit.
The Republic’s saving grace up until Bill Barr became Attorney General was that Jeff Sessions — corrupt as he was — recognized that recusing himself from the Russia investigation was sure to put him in prison (if not today then surely tomorrow). But then, that was still the early days of the coup when the Republicans were just beginning to reformat their thinking.
The GOP — like Trump — expected to lose in 2016. They knew damned well that their taking Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin had nothing to do with “Secret Trump Voters” suddenly showing up in just enough numbers to eek out a 77,000 vote win between the three states and everything to do with a full on Russian propaganda assault aimed at dissuading African American voters from going to the polls and pulling the lever for Hillary. Meanwhile the old Republican playbook of too few voting machines at Democratic precincts plus all sorts of other fraud (see North Carolina) did its part to literally steal the election’s outcome — the one the majority of Americans (by a lot) wanted.
The Russians played the Electoral College and its racist roots against us.
Their one shot in 2020 is to travel that road again — hoping Russian propaganda (now improved by Chinese, Saudi & Israeli propaganda) will make up the difference in a muddied election where some variation on the Comey Letter will have made the polling close enough for the election day cheating to work its magic. What’s happening in America’s streets is making that harder to pull off.
The Black Lives Matter movement stole a marketing march on the Republicans. The Trumpian non-response to the coronavirus stuck a shiv in the heart of Republican electoral hopes. But Republicans are living in a nightmare of their own making. The pundits — ever lacking in perspective — continue to deny that the GOP is as guilty of high crimes & misdemeanors as Trump is. They think a worsening Covid19 situation will force more and more Republicans — especially those in the Senate — to openly deny Trump as August drags toward the fall and the election.
But they can’t deny Trump because their connection to him isn’t philosophical (unless you consider corruption a philosophy). It’s criminal. If they turn on Trump, they know Trump will turn on them.
The second Trump stops being POTUS, he will be indicted. And indicted some more. And investigated and sued and then convicted and punished. And so will every one of them.
Bill Barr is sending a private army into Portland — and other cities because that’s the new election strategy: no election. Or some attempt to assert martial law because “violence”.
That’s horse shit. I’m being kind.
When Trump announces the next phase of sending law and order to our cities, the only response should be Americans taking to the streets en masse.
Go ahead, Donald — arrest us all. Tear gas us all. Beat us all.
Good luck running on that.
Good luck winning on that — in the long run or the short run.
Among the false narratives we have to negotiate daily — the rubbish that we start with any sort of “level playing field”. Bullshit.
Keep in mind — we’ve already normalized “Mexicans are rapists” and “pussy-grabbing”. We’ve got it in our heads now that you can say what should be career-ending hate like that and “get away with it” because that’s exactly what’s happened. It isn’t the public that ultimately shrugged off those things. Mexicans didn’t — I assure you.
And women have absolutely not forgotten — or shrugged off “pussy-grabbing”. Did you see what happened in 2018? The sentiments that motivated the massive swing in the House that finally returned oversight to the tool kit has not diminished. It’s gotten stronger in fact. The Democrats didn’t shrug off such hatefulness.
America’s news media did. They LET THEMSELVES be seduced. They stopped asking about Mexicans being rapists and pussy-grabbing and simply went on to the next outrage — accepting that the outrage they HAD BEEN outraged about was now just part of our collective past — how it was… how it now IS? No — no, that’s not how it is — it’s how “is” is being portrayed by a lazy news media who care more about access than they do the Truth.
By all rights, we shouldn’t be starting each news day from some “neutral” position where Republicans are behaving as honest actors. They haven’t been honest actors since they cast their lot in with Trump. It wasn’t just ideology that bound them to a man they all KNEW was a career criminal. FFS — our press keeps asking the same stupid question: “Why, do ya think, the GOP stays so loyal to Trump” — even in the face of 80% of the country wanting witnesses and evidence at Trump’s impeachment trial?
The bulk of our press insists on seeing EVERYTHING through a political lens first. That corrupts their whole view. They appoint political motive where it isn’t. A Democrat reacting to a Republican violating the Rule Of Law & the Constitution isn’t reacting politically. They’re reacting as a citizen — alarmed that another citizen is VIOLATING THE LAW. That ain’t politics, it’s patriotism.
But if you see the victim of a crime (and the Democrats most definitely are the victims of a crime) as somehow “guilty” of the crime just because they were “part of” the crime — as in, “well, it could be the victim’s fault — what were they wearing?” — then, yeah, to you, both sides will always “do it”. Too bad that’s 100% wrong.
If the news media were half-way competent, they’d be aggregating the information they learn every day into the narrative as a whole. It’s called “adding information”. It’s how storytelling works. You don’t keep going back to “In the beginning…” because we’re already at the part where Moses just parted the Red Sea. We know all the stuff that got us here — start from THERE ffs!
Consequently — because our press can’t keep track of what they already KNOW — despite the fact that it’s been repeated to them so many times and despite how much effin’ evidence that’s out in public already — we end up acting like we don’t know what we DO know. We keep asking “Why, do ya think, Republicans are sooooooo loyal to Trump?” and “Why, do ya think, Republicans are soooooooo afraid of hearing witnesses and seeing actual evidence at a Senate Impeachment Trial?
We should NOT be scratching our heads here.
We should NOT be staring at a connect-the-dots picture of Treason — with all but a few of the dots connected — like it was a picture of nothing but unconnected dots. The aggregated story says Republicans are all compromised. How many times can “journalists” ask “Gosh, what do ya suppose happened to Lindsey Graham?” If they had any instincts as storytellers — or journalists even — they’d be pushing Lindsey so hard, he’d have given up already. But our press has bought Lindsey’s bizarre flip-flop as “normal”. It’s just how Lindsey is. It’s just how Lindsey is about Trump (regardless of everything he ever said about Trump in the past). It’s just Lindsey acting in a way that defies all logic, all reason — unless we see dark motives.
The only way you don’t see a dark motive in Lindsey Graham (for example — Mitch McConnell fits the bill even better) is if we equate dark behavior with normalcy. Again — We The People don’t do that. We don’t report the news. We don’t have any sort of Big Megaphone the way the News Media does. Most of what we “know” flows from them. If they don’t equate dark behavior with dark behavior — and report dark behavior as NORMAL behavior instead — the news-consuming public will, in no time, begin to equate dark behavior with “normal”.
Both sides do not suppress the other sides voters. Both sides do not do everything in their power to LIMIT Democracy in America. Both sides do not reach out to hostile foreign powers for help winning elections. Both sides don’t gerrymander their way into permanent minority rule. Only one side does this — does it in public — and does it repeatedly. It ain’t the Democrats.
The only way you can think both sides do what the Republican Party is doing to America is if you equate truth and lies. If you honestly believe Democrats — in power — would even think of doing the same thing? You also think our playing field is level.
Our inner animals knew it instinctively even as the tide was turning election night 2016. We were being told something that every fiber of our being knew was untrue — or knew was truth complicated by layers of deception, deceit and treachery — that Trump had “won” the presidency.
Ever read the details on exactly what happened chronologically on election night in the Trump campaign — especially between Trump and his flotus to be? Trump wasn’t just “surprised” that he won, he was shocked. And not because he had “pulled it out”. Trump knew better than anyone that THAT was not what happened election night. Trump knew better than anyone that “The Boss” — Vlad Putin — had suppressed, propagandized or — via internet-connected-voting machines — literally stolen just enough votes in three key states (Pennsylvania, Wisconsin & Michigan, three states for which Oleg Deripaska had received proprietary polling data from Paul Manafort) to GIVE Trump the EC victory.
Melania wept openly. She raged at Trump — who, per Steve Bannon, morphed from a “disbelieving Trump into a horrified Trump”. That’s disbelieving he could win to being horrified that he HAD “won”. Winning wasn’t part of Trump’s plan. Using a presidential run to platform launch a Trump-branded news network was. Winning — once victory was gettable (via cheating) — was absolutely Vladimir Putin’s plan. Putin saw a way to put Trump in the White House — the greatest intelligence coup in the history of intelligence — and he took it.
Keep in mind — Putin had already compromised enough of the Republican Party that he knew he could keep them in line. Take Lindsey Graham, for example. You can practically see the Kompromat Vlad’s holding over Lindsey play in Lindsey’s mind’s eye every time he speaks.
That’s where it starts crossing over from John Le Carre territory into Becket — from George Smiley realpolitik into waiting for a Godot who will never, ever appear. Our spy movie as real life beats anything any writer could possibly imagine — or get away with if they did imagine.
We’ve got intrigue and treason and cyber war and actual war and murders out the wazoo. We’ve got a handful of heroes and scoundrels by the bucket. And we’ve got a Main Stream News Media that makes an unsatisfying hash of the whole damned thing. We’ve got liars lying, rapists raping and con artists conning.
The feeling, watching this madness rush by on a daily basis, is a lot like watching an English pantomime (a Christmastime tradition in England). Based on old chestnuts like “Puss In Boots” or “Cinderella”, panto’s are very much the groundlings having a good time at their local theater — talking back to the characters on stage as if a fourth wall never existed.
One of the moments every panto must have — the villain (upstage) creeps toward the hero who’s downstage — while the audience tries to warn the hero. Every time the hero looks toward where the audience points — the villain ducks or disappears — then reappears the moment the hero has turned away again. It’s absurd, of course, because the truth is so apparent — and yet so impossible to hold onto.
It is numbing — by design — how far from “normal” we’ve shifted. It’s inconceivable that Donald Trump’s presidential bid didn’t end the moment he started it by telling us all how Mexicans were rapists. More absurdity compounded by pussy grabbing — compounded exponentially when “Mexicans are rapists” and “pussy grabbing” went back seat to “her emails” sitting in the front seat of the news media’s Scooby van.
Looking back today at “But her emails” — even Ionesco at his most obtuse couldn’t touch the absurdity of our news media obsessing over an abstraction over constant evidence of dubious, devious behavior. Despite three years of this madness, of Trump’s lying, deceitfulness and cruelty, our news media still wants to give him the benefit of the doubt — as if “this time”, Trump “could be” telling the truth.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve shouted far too often at the news “professionals” on your TV set — “FFS, don’t be absurd!”
Is it really asking that much to have our political theater be one thing and our theater of the absurd be something else entirely? Apparently so…