I Know Who I See Staring Back At Me In A Mirror… What Does A Republican See?

At some point, unless you’ve removed every reflective surface from your house, you WILL have to see your own face reflected back at you. I don’t know about the rest of you (cos none of us will EVER be in a bathroom ALONE with anyone else) but when I look at myself in the mirror, I look right into my own eyes.

In those moments, I bore in on “me”.

I see those moments as me getting to talk to ME. It’s me having a chance — if I choose to take it — to speak directly to myself — to that box of thoughts and traits and wild imaginings that I think of as “me”.

Now, let’s be clear — we all lie to ourselves. Mostly we tell small lives to us about us. Mostly it’s because we want to be “better” than we are: better friends, better spouses, better parents, better at our jobs, better at spelling, better at sex, better at getting what we need (vs what we think we want). Telling ourselves little lies is a survival skill.

Except we know we’re lying to ourselves even as we do it. Because it’s us doing it. To us.

We know what we know. We know when we’re bullshitting ourselves about it, too. Except… we are capable of keeping secrets from ourselves. Hell — I “kept one” from myself for 45 years (that I was sexually molested twice when I was 14 by the spiritual director at my family’s synagogue). I knew it happened. It rippled through my life every day; hell, it was the reason I tried to kill myself. That secret.

A part of me always knew it was there, waiting to be dealt with one way or another.

I make it a point now — my mental health depends on it — to be as honest as I can with myself. Lying has proved it’s no good for me. Honesty with myself to myself is where good mental health lives. That’s what makes watching Republicans lie so compelling to me.

Donald Trump is a text book sociopath. He has no conscience to speak of. He’s not capable of being honest with himself; lying — even to himself — is how he rolls. That doesn’t excuse the lies for two seconds. Most Republicans are quite capable of discerning truth from bullshit; they’re NOT sociopaths. The only good explanation for how Republicans behave these days is “guilt”. Knowledge of guilt.

Bill Barr may be a hard core Christian shill but he’s not an ignoramus. He KNOWS empirically that the bullshit he spewed the other day to the Federalist Society (like the bullshit he spewed at Notre Dame a few weeks before that) is rubbish on steroids. When you say things that are demonstrably untrue, it’s not because you believe the opposite is true; you NEED the opposite to be true because you’re a goddamned liar, a thief or a criminal.

My bet is most Republicans don’t see anyone staring back at them. They see a physical body. They see a face. They even see eyes. But there’s nothing behind the eyes — except fear maybe.

We know damned well they’ll never see an honest person staring back.

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”.

Dear MSM — No, It ISN’T About POLITICS

This picture is not political. It depicts a crime happening en flagrante. A CRIME against the Constitution & We The People.

The most insidious form of “Both Sides Do It” journalism is its insistence that, no matter what, it’s always about politics.

Democrats objecting to Republicans suppressing Democratic votes (they never do seem to suppress votes evenly between Republican voters and Democratic voters) is — in this view — political rather than legal. Those stolen votes are… what? Collateral damage? When a Democratic voter loses their right to vote — because a Republican TOOK it from them — the only politics being played are by the REPUBLICAN. The Democrat here is the VICTIM OF A CRIME.

That little analogy goes Big Time with Donald Trump. It’s the exact same deal. Trumpified.

What most Democrats objected to as Trump plowed his way through the Republican field back in 2016 was his racism, his misogyny, his corruption. We objected to hearing a presidential candidate say that “Mexicans are rapists”. Our objection, MSM, wasn’t POLITICAL, it was MORAL.

The fact that we were Democrats (while most Republicans stayed silent or quickly bought in) was relevant. Not because of our political affiliation but because of our morality. As usual, the MSM ate the icing and forgot that a cake even existed.

Even today, a cable news show could play thirty seconds of Trump talking about anything. The talking heads would get their shot — and the Democratic Congressperson on the panel will state the obvious: Trump lied, lied, LIED.

The news panel’s host will (with one or two exceptions) flip it to whatever Republican Talking Head is there — “Is that true? Did the president lie?”

The rest of the conversation is irrelevant. The Talking Head Host just assumed (on the audience’s behalf?) that the Democrat’s take wasn’t motivated by the truth, it was motivated by politics. To get to the truth? We need to hear the other side, too.

Both sides DO NOT DO THIS. Both sides do not commit treason to win elections. They don’t.

Both sides do not suppress the other side’s votes to win elections. They don’t.

Both sides do not wage political campaigns based on fear and outright hatred of the other to compel their voters. They don’t.

Both sides do not obstruct justice as easily as they breathe. They don’t.

Both sides do not put forward ludicrous explanations that couldn’t pass smell test in a shit factory. They don’t.

Both sides do not make excuses for a president who consistently behaves in ways that would get any other citizen arrested. They don’t.

Both sides do not have a relationship with Vladimir Putin that is so flagrantly, obviously, how-in-our-faces-does-it-have-to-be TREASONOUS that it boggles the mind we don’t call it TREASONOUS yet. Both sides absolutely, positively do not.

What the MSM cannot get through its titanium skull is that one can object to Donald Trump, to Republicans and their outright corruption, as a concerned citizen first and a Democrat second. It’s possible to think country over party. Why, we should be demanding, does our Main Stream News Media think every single American thinks like a goddamned Republican?

Both sides do not do it. Both sides do not always — ALWAYS — play politics.

And, while we’re at it – Chuck Todd is an idiot.

“Get over it” Is How Republicans Intend To Finish What They Started

Make no mistake – what the Republican Party pulled off election day 2016 was nothing less than a soft coup d’état. 

Recognizing that the nation’s demographics spelled certain political marginalization and doom, Republicans sought to impose permanent minority rule on America first by hijacking the judiciary (a mission Moscow Mitch McTreason started back when Obama was still POTUS.  Mitch did this by refusing to give Merrick Garland a hearing — and by refusing to let Obama fill most of the vacancies on the federal bench. With Trump in office, not only has Mitch scored two SCOTUS seats, he’s also jammed through horrible, deficient right wing candidates to fill all those seats Mitch previously refused to do anything about.

We were in a Constitutional Crisis the instant Trump took his oath of office while simultaneously violating it.  If swearing in a criminal – who KNOWINGLY betrayed the country even as he became its leader (under false pretense) – a criminal working for the country we’ve been at cold war with for 75 years – isn’t a Constitutional Crisis, nothing is.

Yesterday, Trump’s chief of staff Mick Mulvaney (a man who takes sycophancy to staggering new lows) gave one of the most amazing news conferences of all time.  He didn’t just confess (on behalf of Trump), he waved away any outrage We The People might feel with a brusque “Get over it”.

That’s rapist-speak.  “Get over” what I’ve just done to you.  What I’m doing to you still.  “Get over it”. Get over it why?  Because YOU don’t want to talk about it – or, worse, confess?

That’s what “get over it” really means.  I did it.  So what?

A rapist mid-rape couldn’t put it better.

That soft coup d’etat was a whole other kind of rape.  That was the Constitution being raped.  And the Rule Of Law.  It was the majority getting raped by the minority.

It was Republicanism and Trumpism sizing up the American electorate like Trump and Jeffrey Epstein taking in the pretty girls they ordered up for lunch. 

And when the girls say “no”, having agreed to one thing but nothing at all like this?  “Get over it” will be how Trump responds.  I’m having it anyway.  You might as well lie back and “enjoy it”. 

As if.

Republicans Are The “Mission Accomplished” Party; That’s Great Until You Realize What Their “Mission” Is…

Who can forget W aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, May 2, 2003 – proudly proclaiming just what the banner behind him said: “Mission Accomplished”.

That image haunted W’s presidency.  It haunts him to this day because nothing had actually been accomplished.  The only thing they’d succeeded at, mission-wise, up to that point was successfully hanging that banner without anyone getting hurt.

Like everything else Republicans say, “Mission Accomplished” was marketing, no more honest or genuine than Mitch McConnell insisting Merrick Garland couldn’t get a hearing because “the American people needed to make the SCOTUS choice, not the president who they’d overwhelmingly returned to office”. That WAS what Moscow Mitch said with as straight a face as he could muster.

And yet – when it comes to “Mission Accomplished”, Republicans have actually succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.  The America being torn apart right now is the America Republicans want.  We are living in their “Mission Accomplished” – or, to be accurate, “Mission NEARLY Accomplished”.  Republicans can see Permanent Minority Rule from their house now.  They ache to get there.

This is how close Republicans are now to accomplishing their mission –

  • PACK THE COURTS — Moscow Mitch denied Obama dozens of lifetime court appointments.  How strange that all those vacancies started filling the moment Trump became POTUS.
  • How strange that Merrick Garland couldn’t get a hearing while Brett Kavanaugh skated despite overwhelming evidence he was unworthy to hold the judgeship he already held.

  • PROHIBIT NON-WHITE IMMIGRATION – Children in cages, anyone?

  • DESTROY THE ENVIRONMENT – We left the Paris Accords.  Ryan Zinke.  The end of clean water, clean air, National Parks.  Life as we know it.
  • MAKE THE RICH RICHER & THE POOR POORER – Tax cuts for the rich, bullshit & lies for everyone else.
  • INSTITUTIONALIZE RACISM – “Decent people on both sides”.
  • MAKE GERRYMANDERING PERMANENT – Twice as many Democrats as Republicans have to vote in order for their majority to actually feel like a majority.  The whole point of gerrymandering is to CIRCUMVENT the Will Of The People.  Welcome to Republicanism.  Can’t win on the law, can’t win on procedure, so pound the table into sawdust instead.
  • ENFORCE PERMANENT MINORITY RULE – Remind the class – how many more votes did Hilary Clinton get over Trump?  3 million plus, was it?  Remember – that doesn’t include all the uncounted, provisional, suppressed, flipped & tossed in the trash ballots.  Think any of those were Republican votes?
  • DESTROY OUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH ALL ALLIES – The knife-wound in the Kurds’ back is still fresh enough we can watch it bleed.
  • MAKE AMERICA A RUSSIAN SATELLITE STATE – How about that: “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED”!

Corruption, Thy Name Is GOP

Politics is the art of compromise. Republican politics is the art of making compromise unnecessary because the other side is powerless to stop you.

To the GOP’s credit, they saw from a distance that they had a problem and actively did something about it. Post Reagan, as America’s demographics trended with greater rapidity away from old, Christian, white male power, the GOP — the party of old, Christian, white male power — made a conscious decision to undermine the growing majority’s political power.

Behind everything, of course, is The Money. Money always wants to protect itself — and make sure that whatever else happens in the world, IT always “is”. The rich intend to stay rich. To do that, they must retain power. To do that, GOP Money like the Kochs & the Mercers have invested heavily in politicians like Moscow Mitch McConnell. Mitch understands his role completely. If doing everything in HIS power to keep his real constituents IN power means the Republic itself dissolves into an authoritarian hellhole? That’s okay to Mitch.

It’s okay to entire Republican Party — because THEY get to hold onto power forever — regardless of how small a minority they become.

Mitch & the Republican Brain Trust understood that the Executive Branch was probably gone forever — unless the Electoral College could be more fully manipulated. Keep in mind — the whole point of the EC is to over-empower rural (slave-holding, conservative, white Christian) America while under-powering urban, populated, more diverse and therefore more progressive America. Republicans have been working to suppress black and Latino voters forever and ever and ever.

Ask yourself — if all those immigrants fleeing (American-caused) drug violence were reliably future Republican voters, would Republicans oppose their humane treatment as they do now? Of course they wouldn’t! If Republicans thought Puerto Ricans were reliable Republicans, Puerto Rico would have been a state yesterday.

For all the Republicans’ constant hang-wringing about election fraud, the only election fraud going on is perpetrated by Republicans.

Mitch & Team Treason knew — while the Executive Branch could always be within reach (via cheating), they couldn’t count on it.

They also recognized that the Legislative Branch was going to be hard to control. The Senate would be easier because, by design, it’s meant to empower the minority over the majority. Wyoming has the same power in the Senate as California does. That’s stupid. But, again, it was a system designed by white, Christian men who never imagined a modern Republican Party.

The House of Representatives was the Lost Cause. It is, after all, the Peoples’ House. Still, the Republicans had a tool in their belt — GERRYMANDERING. While Democrats also have been guilty (I grew up in Maryland), they’ve never been guilty to the extent the GOP’s been guilty. Not even close.

No, both sides don’t do it — not like this. The whole point of gerrymandering is to undermine the will of the majority by diluting it. That’s why we get districts that look like mindless doodles. They’re not mindless. They’re designed — to over-empower the Republican voters and under-empower the Democrats.

Again, to the GOP’s credit, they did their homework. Back during the Reagan years, they attacked local power structures all over the country. They ran for and won school boards and city council seats and statehouses. It wasn’t so much that they appealed to huge swaths of voters — they didn’t. They appealed to the voters who showed up — theirs. The ones who were motivated to show up — because they had a larger agenda.

The effects of minority rule are insidious. When the majority feels like their votes and their voices don’t matter, they stop voting and voicing their opinions. That’s the point — to make the majority feel powerless.

Republican Politics.

Between gerrymandering, indirect voter suppression (voter ID laws meant to make even getting ID hard) and direct cheating (working with Russia to win 2016), Republicans have taken corruption to places corruption probably never thought it would rise to. To maintain power, they’ve committed to destroying the Republic if that’s what it takes.

To maintain power, Republicans will do WHATEVER it takes. You can’t GET any more corrupt than that.

Dear MSM – Giving The Benefit Of The Doubt Is Not Journalism

It’s not a stretch to say that at least 90% of our Main Stream News Media has failed miserably in their reporting on Donald Trump.  From not doing their initial homework on Trump (as Fusion GPS did when first hired to do oppo research on Trump by the Washington Free Beacon – research that convinced them Trump laundered Russian mob money through his casinos) to regularly normalizing abhorrent, disqualifying behaviors (from pussy grabbing to calling Mexicans rapists), our MSM has consistently bobbled and dropped the most important ball to ever land in their hands.

It’s a stone, cold fact: If not for Russia’s direct influence on election 2016, Donald Trump would NOT be president today.  Literally everything about is candidacy & presidency is a criminal fraud – and treasonous to boot.  The evidence is massive.  Lots is right there in black and white in the Mueller Report. 

Even words seem too hard for our MSM to take in.  If you READ the Mueller Report – keeping in mind its context (Mueller was tasked with continuing a counter-intelligence investigation whose results we do not know yet and a limited-in-scope investigation into the Trump campaign’s relationship with stolen voter data and its movement to and through Wikileaks), you understand that the first question – was Team Trump complicit – is hampered by Team Trump’s relentless obstruction of justice.

And yet we STILL have “professional journalists” saying out loud that the Mueller Report DOESN’T nail Trump for conspiracy with Russia (on those particular accusations). 

It’s understood – the press wants to be “fair”.  Balanced.  They want to accurately present both sides of an argument.  Problem – that assumes all arguments have two sides.

What, I wonder, is the “other side” to the “Final Solution” argument.  What’s the “other side” to Pol Pot or Bashar al-Assad murdering their people?  What’s the other side to putting children in cages or poisoning Flint’s water?

There isn’t another side to those arguments.  Just like there’s no other side to rape or sexual assault.  There’s no other side to cruelty of any kind.  There’s no other side to deliberately undermining the greatest experiment in human self government ever. 

The core idea of trying to see the other side’s argument is completely valid – of course it is.  But there are limits.  Context dictates what those limits are.  A man who lies repeatedly, for instance, should be seen as a likely liar every time he opens his mouth, NOT as a likely truth-teller.  When the MSM presents everything Trump says without that context, they create the illusion that Trump could be telling the truth (when, in fact, he is deliberately flat-out LYING). 

“Yeah, but what if Trump believes he can make a deal with any world leader?”

Who gives a shit? And why are you framing the question from a traitor’s point of view?

Oh, that’s right.  The MSM is only just arriving at the word “treason” – and only because every Republican running against Trump in the “Republican Primary” such as it is, just accused Trump of TREASON on “Morning Joe”.

Think about that – it’s really remarkable: Three Republicans (Joe Walsh, Mark Sanford and Bill Weld) just got on a popular national news show (one they know Trump watches) and accused him of TREASON for trying to squeeze the Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter (for being a board member of a Ukrainian energy company).

It’s maddening that Trump could be so staggeringly guilty of so many crimes so staggeringly out in the open that our news media refuses to call out.  The instant they stopped asking about “Mexicans are rapists”, they normalized it.  Trump went from being disqualified to being “a different kind of candidate” who said disqualifying things yet endured.

It wasn’t We The People doing that.  It was Russia – and it’s most useful idiot, the American News Media.

Our MSM continues to carry Putin’s water to this day.  Every time they “Yeah, but what if…?” a Russia question or give the benefit of the doubt to a man who’s called THEM “the enemy of the people”, they are doing exactly what Putin wants them to do.  They’re giving credence to bullshit, lies and treason.

On the bright side though, when they get to the gulag reserved for the press, they can ask “Yeah, but what if I don’t mind sleeping on the top bunk here in the barracks?  What if I don’t mind being tortured or worked to death because America’s no longer a Democracy?”

Yeah, but what if…?