What If All The Dots – When Finally Connected – Spell Out “The Republicans Are Traitors”?

Our News Media's Big Problem – They Don't Know How To Connect Dots – How To  Live BULLSHIT-FREE

I confess: the moment Donald Trump said “Russia, if you’re listening…!” I concluded “That bloated orange bastard is a traitor!” To me, a presidential candidate reaching out to a hostile foreign government to help him get elected just seems treasonous. Ah, but feelings aren’t facts. “Seems” isn’t “is”. But, Trump hasn’t exactly been mysterious about his intentions and his friends. After a certain point, when you can’t see through the smoke anymore, it would be wise to conclude “there’s a fire!” How many lies did it take being told before America’s news media finally decided to call Trump’s lies “lies” and Trump himself a “liar”? If it was more than three, that’s pathetic. Three lies describe a pattern. What, I wonder, do thirty thousand lies describe? Oh, yeah – they absolutely describe a liar. But Trump is no ordinary fantasist. And his lies – taken together (as they should be) – describe something more than just a man with little regard for the truth. If our news media had connected the “why does Trump lie so much” dots, they would have drawn a very clear picture: “Trump lies so much because he’s a traitor”. Our news media is slowly heading in that direction, like the rough beast slouching toward Bethlehem to be born – the hour for its close up come round at last.

Here’s what sucks (well, a lot of things suck, but this sucks in context): our news media saw the Trump story happening; they reported on it endlessly. Take away the media and “Donald Trump” doesn’t exist. Take away Russia and Trump never becomes POTUS. Hell, take Russia completely out of the Donald Trump equation (as in they never money launder through his bankrupt Atlantic City casinos) and those casinos go broke even faster. In fact, take Russia’s organized crime money out of Trump, Inc and Donald Trump goes broke eons ago, having blown through daddy’s entire real estate fortune. If our news media would just read what it’s already written about Trump, we’d be miles further down the road than we are!

We (lucky us!) are living inside one of the great epic stories of human history: an attempt by an angry, racist minority to try and end the greatest experiment ever in human self government because they refuse to share power in a democratic way. Now, that’s the “view from 30,000 feet”, as our news media might put it. Presumably, it’s the view from which one can see the whole picture and not just the cool geographic features that automatically stand out. This is the view many in our news media already see – that Republicans are doing multiple things that are and will negatively impact our democracy. But, when that news media bores in on a detail – as they should – they tend to become so focused on their deep dive that they completely forget that the subject of their dive isn’t the whole story itself, it’s just one tiny detail of a much larger story. All our news media would have had to do to see the much larger story in front of them was read their own stuff.

Former Wall Street Journal reporter and Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson explained the Steele Dossier’s origin story to the Senate Judicial Committee in august 2017. The (then Republican-run) committee wanted to undermine the Dossier’s integrity (because it threatens them and their candidate). Simpson explained that what drew Fusion to even look at Russia was all the Russia-oriented corruption they found when doing their due diligence – surveying all publicly available material about Trump. In other words, Fusion became convinced that Trump had used his Atlantic City casinos to illegally launder Russian mob money based entirely on what they read in the press.

Ironically, the thing about Steele’s raw intelligence is that the detail our news media glommed onto – the salacious story of Trump watching Russian hookers piss all over the bed the Obamas slept in in Moscow – is the least important detail in the entire dossier. Far more important: all the evidence that Donald Trump’s relationship with Russia, with Russian criminals and with Russia’s head criminal Vlad Putin demanded further investigation – especially when he chose to run for president.

But, there too, had our press simply read what it had itself reported, it might have had a clearer picture of HOW Trump pulled off his surprise win by taking Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan by a combined 77,000 votes. Our news media might have pressed current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy about WHY he thought “Putin pays Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to God!” in the first place but, more importantly, why if Kevin thought Trump was a grave national security risk he and the rest of the GOP’s leadership agreed with then Speaker of the Houser Paul Ryan that there be “No leaks. . . . This is how we know we’re a real family here.”

Think about that. The GOP knew even before they nominated Trump that he was deeply compromised by Russia. Think the GOP hadn’t connected the Trump dot to the Russia dot?

Our problem: the Russia dot also was and is connected to the Republican Party dot.

Are those just my feelings talking? No. I’m connecting dots. I see a relentless pattern of Republican obstruction of justice, much of it focused on denying Trump’s relationship with Russia – who the GOP knew was paying Trump. This isn’t complicated. At all. On June 25, 2016, the leadership of the Republican Party themselves committed an act of treason: keeping it secret that they knew or suspected their presidential nominee was a profound national security threat because he was financially compromised by Russia – whose head of state, a former spy, was a master at using just such tactics!

Why would the Republican Party do such a thing? Because they see Russia as an ally now. They see dictators and authoritarians as their mentors and equals. They see democracy as an impediment to permanent minority rule. And, so, they’re doing something about it.

It often feels like our news media sits with its pencil poised above a connect4-the-dots image, the entire picture in front of them. One last dot needs connecting. But, until that very last dot joins the picture? The picture isn’t complete enough for our news media to see it. How sad that will be if indeed the Republicans succeed in destroying our democracy for good. We would have been inches from saving ourself. All we would have had to do is connect two dots via one straight line.

That line could easily be the cross bar that turns a vertical line into a “T”. For “Treason”.

Quick Reminder – GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy Has Been Up To His Ass In Treason From The Get-Go!

Kevin McCarthy Rolls Over for Donald Trump, Like a Dog

“There’s two people I think Putin pays – Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to God!” That’s what current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said as he entered a roomful of GOP leaders on June 25, 2016 in Washington, DC, a month before the Republican Party nominated Donald Trump to be their nominee for POTUS. This conversation was recorded and the recording played for Washington Post reporter Adam Entous. It happened in other words. It is a stone cold fact and it represents something indisputable: the Republican Party knew before they nominated Trump that he was an extreme national security risk. Just about everything terrible that’s happened to America ever since flows directly from that moment of betrayal.

Just before asserting this, McCarthy had left a meeting with then Ukrainian Prime Minister Vladi­mir Groysman, who had described a Kremlin tactic of financing populist politicians to undercut Eastern European democratic institutions. Something about that conversation put it in McCarthy’s head that the man they were now all in bed with was corrupt and owned not just by the head of a foreign government, but by the head of a foreign government that we know is bent on destroying us. Keep this context in mind as McCarthy says to his political fellow travelers that this same hostile foreign government literally OWNS their presidential nominee.

Did anyone in the room react with shock? Did anyone demand that McCarthy produce receipts? Did anyone insist that if what Kevin was saying was true, they owed it to the country and to their oaths of office to call the FBI?

Of course not.

Then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan (third in line to power) cut off any discussion. “Ryan instructed his Republican lieutenants to keep the conversation private, saying: “No leaks. . . . This is how we know we’re a real family here.”

Let’s reiterate what Paul Ryan and the rest of the Republican leadership were agreeing to keep secret – because they were a real family: the fact that their candidate was a traitor. The moment they all agreed to keep that secret a secret? They all became traitors, too.

That’s not hyperbole.

Their actions from that moment forward were the actions of guilty men. They kept their secret a secret. They did everything in their power to interfere with any sort of investigation into not just this incident but every instance of Donald Trump’s odd relationship with Putin.

Since then, to my knowledge, few other reporters have asked GOP Leader about this remarkable assertion of his. The one time a reporter did, McCarthy spit back the usual GOP response: “I was joking”.

Yeah… except McCarthy wasn’t joking. The reason he got nervous laughter in the room isn’t because McCarthy’s delivery of the set up was so scintillating. It’s because everyone in the room knew that what McCarthy had just asserted was not only possible but likely the absolute truth. That’s why everyone there went along with Speaker Ryan’s insistence that they they behave like a family – a mafia family.

One can connect dots from that moment all the way through the election to moments like “Moscow, if you’re listening!” (they were!) to Paul Manafort handing over all that proprietary polling data that came back as propagandized Facebook ads that tried to convince Black Democratic voters to stay home because Hillary was a racist on the down low. One can see Russia’s hand in the way Trump turned on NATO and slavishly stroked Putin every day of his presidency. The dots connect to the Mueller Report – its focus narrowed to a single tranche (Trump’s relationship with Wikileaks) where even there, Mueller couldn’t say for certain how criminal Trump had been with Russia because of the unceasing obstructive behaviors.

Our slow-witted news media still scratches its head when it ponders the nature of Trump’s hold on the Republican Party. Well, if you can’t see Trump for the traitor he is, seeing the rest of the GOP for the co-conspirators to commit treason that they are is beyond you. Hey, I’m old enough to remember when people like me blogging or tweeting about Trump’s relationship with Russia, his authoritarian bent or the Nazification of the GOP, I got eye rolls. I should have gotten a few “Amen, Brother’s!”‘.

Today was a good day on this front. A lot of us wanted an indication from the DoJ where it was in all this – was it even going to do anything? The answer seems to be yes. Putting down a sedition card – charging the leader of the Oath Keepers and nine others with “seditious conspiracy” – that answered the question. A bit. Sedition is a lot more serios than the “breaking and entering” most of the lower level foot soldiers have been nailed with. Sedition is serious. You have to think a moderate, details guy like Merrick Garland wouldn’t have charged a player like Stewart Rhodes with something as serious as sedition if he didn’t think he could bring it in for a landing.

It’s the “conspiracy” part though that’s most intriguing. One doesn’t have to be a plotter to be swept up in a conspiracy. One doesn’t even have to know anything about it. A suspicion or a reasonable awareness can turn you from a disinterested party into a participant. You can’t just walk away. You are obligated to do something. It’s called “citizenship”.

I used to think it was a matter of time before one of my posts screaming about this missing piece of inquiry got some reporter somewhere to ask Kevin McCarthy what he meant by “There’s two people I think Putin pays – Rorhbacher and Trump – swear to God!”. Now I think it’s a matter of not holding my breath.

You’d think the opportunity to make a scumbag like Kevin McCarthy squirm would appeal to all those journalists eager to make a name for themselves. But, maybe they’re afraid that if they tell the truth about Kevin, he won’t talk to them anymore. And so the next round of cover up begins.

Is Donald Trump A “Useful Idiot” Or A Totally Useless One?

Donald Trump emerges from his “useful idiot” audition, having nailed it.

As Trumpism has taught America, perspective can cut you like a knife. For purposes of argument, I don’t believe for two seconds that anyone actually believes The Big Lie. To believe it honestly because you really thought it happened would violate the whole point of the exercise: this is about manufactured “truth”; authoritarian truth which is “whatever the authoritarian says it is”. For reference, authoritarians have to insist on an “alternate set of facts” because actual facts don’t line up with theirs. Every Republican in Congress knows what the Republican Party is actually doing; only two have a problem with it (Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger). But then – also for reference – the entire GOP leadership knew as early as June 25, 2016 (a month before the GOP nominated Trump to be their presidential candidate) that Trump would be a very real, in fact verifiable, national security threat were he to become POTUS. “There’s two people I think Putin pays” is how current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy put it as he entered a room of GOP leaders.

No one at that meeting challenged McCarthy’s accusation that Trump was under Russia’s corrupt influence. No one chose to stand in treason’s way. That is what happened in that room. Literal treason presented itself and the leadership of the Republican Party stood down. If you don’t get in treason’s way, it means you’re either enabling or collaborating with it. The law draws zero distinction. In fact, you don’t even have to be part of a plan to be charged and prosecuted as a co-conspirator. If you even suspected it was happening – and said so out loud to anyone – and then did nothing about it? You have a legal problem.

Inaction equals action. It’s addition via subtraction.

In the Trumpian universe, mob bosses can’t ever be touched because they never actually tell anyone “go commit this crime for me”. They rely on a steady stream of lieutenants to take the fall that they deserve to take. They are bent on cynically using the rule of law itself to gut and destroy the rule of law. Trump’s saving grace is his utter incompetence. Were it not for the stunning ineptitude of every Trumpian (“the best people”, they most definitely are not), America The Democracy would already be done and dusted.

Here’s where a guy like Trump hangs up between his own terrible intentions and his minimal ability to make them happen.

If we consider Trump from Putin’s POV, Trump could be the most useful idiot of all time. Putin’s ambitions are huge: he wants to put the biggest physical buffer he can between Mother Russia and the West. Former parts of the USSR joining NATO terrifies Putin because it makes him feel encircled. Care must always be taken when encircling a rat with nukes. Or with making the rat with nukes feel that way. Putin’s wet dream is a totally toothless America where he, Putin, can stash his massive piles of laundered money without fear of the West seizing them or freezing them. This is Putin’s conundrum (it’s the same conundrum facing every one of Putin’s rich, corrupt oligarch pals). Putin knows he can’t make America militarily useless; so long as we exist, we’ll pose an existential threat – not to Russia, but to Putin and his corrupt oligarch pals.

Putin’s goal is to make America useless in a practical sense. Not useless as a place to hide money (he needs the security and reliability of our banking system), but useless from the rule of law’s point of view. Putin needs the rule of law to break down in order to prove that liberal democracy doesn’t work. He doesn’t need to actually get there to reap the benefits of being there. Disruption. That’s the mission statement atop Putin’s cyber war against America. Whatever disrupts us serves him.

Putin isn’t the only corrupt rich guy watching the proceedings. The Right Wing Money knew exactly what they were doing when they gave up on resisting Trump and willingly drank the Kool-Aid. The Kochs and the Mercers knew all about Trump’s connections to Russia. Hell, they had their own connections to Russia. And, while joining forces with Putin might not have been the right’s first choice as a way to undermine democracy in favor of permanent minority rule, it doesn’t seem like anyone fought off Russia with too much vigor. To this day, no Republican that I’m aware of has done the patriotic thing and called the FBI, aching to spill their guts about the terrible, treasonous things they and their fellow travelers have done.

In a sense, Trump was both useful idiot and useful idiot-maker. He serviced Putin’s hostile needs while actively compromising everyone around him (who knew or in any way participated in what Trump was doing). From the right wing money’s POV, Trump went from being their useful idiot to a totally useless one. By “useless”, I mean that’s how the right wing is going to feel when/if Trump is the cause of them losing their lifestyles, their money and their personal freedom.

Ah, there’s that bloody perspective again! And the picture it paints is clear. From Putin’s perspective, Trump’s as useful an idiot as there will ever be.

From the right wing money’s perspective, Trump was a useful idiot until he wasn’t one.

From America’s POV… the jury’s still out apparently. That kinda makes me think America may already be deep into its own “useful idiot” phase. That’s not a good thing.

The Real “Big Lie” Is That Donald Trump Won In 2016

Fact: Donald Trump projects everything that he is and that he’s doing – especially if it’s scummy, corrupt, perverse or treasonous – onto others. The GOP has made Trump’s corruption its own. That was why it was so easy for Republicans like Marco Rubio to insist that there was no way they were going to allow the party of Reagan to be taken over “by a con artist., That’s what Rubio called Trump on Good Morning America on February 6, 2016. Republican talk is always bargain basement cheap. By Summer’s end, Marco was showing everyone how good he was at giving Trump head in public.

Another fact: the Republican Party knew before they nominated Trump that he was 1) owned by Vladimir Putin and 2) therefore a national security threat. On June 25, 2016, current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy entered a meeting of GOP leadership and said loud (it was recorded): “There’s two people I think Putin pays – Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to God!” The correct response to such a statement should have been “Whaaaaaat? Kevin, are you kidding? Why would you say such a thing? More to the point, do you know something?”

That regular Americans have lost track of the entirety of Trump’s treasonous behavior is a testament to our news media’s inadequacy and incompetence. A hostile foreign government inserted itself into an American presidential election and literally altered its outcome. If they so much as altered one vote, that should be the end of the whole idea that Trump could ever have been or ever was POTUS. Never mind one vote not overcoming the 77,000 votes that Trump “won” between the three states that gave him his victory – Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. When Paul Manafort handed Konstantin Kilimnik the proprietary polling data that he passed on to Oleg Deripaska and Russian military intelligence (all so that Manafort could make-good on the $17 million he owed Deripaska), he committed treason.

That’s another fact.

While we “gave” Trump the victory in 2016, that doesn’t mean he “won” it. What kind of democracy has it that you can cheat to win election? A democracy with zero future. That’s what kind. Cheating is corruption. The moment you attempt to corrupt democracy, you’re committing a crime. Against our democracy. That we’ve been reluctant to prosecute such crime, that’s not a reflection on democracy, that’s a reflection us. More to the point, it’s been a reflection on the pasty old white men who’ve held onto power all this time in America. One cheats to win when one knows one’s ideas won’t get ‘er done.

Republicans know from experience: no one who isn’t already them wants to see America become the country Republicans want it to be. That would be Want to know why Mitch McConnell has already said that in election 2022, Republicans won’t be arguing for any particular policies – you know, like a political party that wants to govern? Because the only idea they’re selling is regression. To 1850.

Consider just how hard Donald Trump and the GOP have worked to obstruct justice and keep the truth about Trump and Russia or Trump and the pandemic or Trump and the January 6 insurrection from ever coming out. But, that front is failing. Already more than 300 witnesses have testified before the January 6 Committee. Most have spilled their guts because they can’t afford to play bullshit kabuki like Steve Bannon or Mark Meadows. On January 7, Trump must sit for a deposition compliments of NY’s AG Tish James. Fulton County, GA DA Fani Willis has already put her case against Trump’s attempt to skew Georgia’s election results his way before two separate Grand Juries.

Our hope, the cases against Trump achieve enough of a critical mass to make any possibility that the Republicans take back the House and Senate laughable.

It’s a big lie that Trump was ever legitimate POTUS. It’s a big lie that were he ever to be POTUS again, America would carry on as it is. That absolutely won’t happen. If Trump and/or the GOP “win”, America will lose and completely at that.

The ONLY Reason Donald Trump’s “Running For POTUS In 2024 Is Because “MONEY”

It boggles our already overly-boggled minds that Donald Trump remains part of our national conversation. Hey, didn’t that bloated orange rapist LOSE the last election? In point of fact, Trump lost both elections he ran in. You can’t cheat by teaming with Russia to win in any way, shape or form you can and then claim that you “won” legitimately. Those two things are mutually exclusive propositions. Trump never expected to win in 2016 (and was shocked that he didn’t “win” in 2020 by “other means” including insurrection). Becoming POTUS was never the point going in — not for Trump. Making a lot of money was the point. The GOP hitched their treason wagon to Trump’s because, well, by the time the Republican Party nominated Trump in 2016, they were already deep into having committed treason.

Fact: on June 25, 2016, current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy walked into a meeting of GOP leaders and said — upon entering (it was recorded and the recording played for Washington Post Reporter Adam Entous) — “There’s two people I think Putin pays – Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to God!” An American president on a foreign payroll? Here on Planet Earth, that should have set off alarm bells and raised every red flag available for the GOP. It didn’t even raise red flags in the room. No one contradicted McCarthy. No one challenged him even. No one doubted it. In fact, not only was Trump’s corruption common knowledge, it was so well known or suspected that it made the room uncomfortable. There was nervous laughter – which was what prompted McCarthy’s “Swear to God!” Kevin believed Trump was compromised. He wanted everyone else there to know what he knew if they didn’t already.

“Putin pays Trump”. That’s the beginning and the end of the whole story. Because Trump is such a greedy scumbag, he draws zero distinction between legitimate and illegitimate ways to make money. Legal? Illegal? These are technicalities at best. For criminals like Trump, the real question is always “getting caught” versus “getting away with it” and since guys like Trump always get away with it? They view getting caught as a bridge they’ll blow up later. That explains Trump. It also explains the GOP. This is not a complicated story (despite all its moving parts). This is about the Republican Party, facing demographic obliteration because of increasing diversification across America, choosing to collaborate with Russia in order to deny American voters THEIR choice for America’s future.

By the time the GOP committed to merging their goals with Trump’s (they want permanent minority rule), Russia had already flooded them with cash and kompromat. So long as the Trump-Russia partnership was producing good results like tax breaks for the rich? The Republican Party had no issue whatsoever. Treason was profitable! But the second the Democrats took the House in 2018, their reinstatement of real oversight began to unravel everything that Trump and his co-conspirators to commit election fraud, obstruction of justice and treason had wrought. Why are Republicans so loyal to Trump? Because they’re all traitors! Not hyperbolic traitors, real, honest-go-goodness traitors!

Donald Trump has no loyalty to anyone other than Donald Trump. The only loyalty he feels toward Putin is the loyalty anyone might feel while their testicles are being held tightly by someone else – who keeps threatening to crush them. Trump knows that the second these facts begin to fall to earth – no longer speculation but verifiable – he will be done. Even Trump won’t get away with how utterly he’s betrayed America. Once Trump’s co-conspirators begin turning on each other — as some already are? It won’t stop until they’ve pretty much ratted out the whole stinking enterprise.

All the time Trump was POTUS, he was “protected” by that bullshit Department of Justice rule (not a law, a RULE) that said a sitting POTUS could not be indicted. Trump craves that protection again. He needs it if he’s going to survive what’s about to happen. Even if Merrick Garland came a crapper and never indicted Trump for anything, there’s still a strong likelihood that Georgia will indict Trump for election interference and New York will indict him for tax fraud. Once those trials begin – once the dirt begins to explode into the light – it will cause the floodgates to open wide. We will be inundated with even more Trumpian awfulness.

And, meanwhile, Trump will continue to rake in the cash because he’s a potential nominee running for POTUS in 2024. Trump has no desire to be “president” again. He has every desire to get away with every crime he’s committed. He desperately wants to keep the cash flow flowing from the rubes and suckers who think he’s God. If Trump was any kind of a businessman, he’d pour his efforts into his businesses. But that was never how it worked at TrumpCo. Trump can’t count on his businesses to keep him and his crime family afloat, he needs suckers. He needs an active presidential campaign to legitimize his illegitimate behavior.

It’s A Good Time To Ask Conservatives: What Exactly Is It They Want To “Conserve”?

The Republican Party Needs To Be Razed and the Earth Salted Behind It –  Mother Jones

Ask me where I stand politically and I’ll tell you: I’m a Progressive. “Progress” perfectly describes what I want for my family, my community, my city, my state, my country and my whole world. I want them all to progress into the future the best way possible so that as many people as possible benefit, thrive and succeed. Yeah, I truly do believe that a rising tide will indeed float every single boat. That’s what I want. That’s what your average Progressive wants. Now, ask a conservative what they want and the world they’ll describe doesn’t look like the future. It looks exactly like the past. Or, more precisely, they’ll describe a world caught in amber where as much of the past as possible is frozen in place in the present. That is exactly what conservatives want to conserve: the past or whatever is left of it. If it was possible to literally halt progress and, instead, regress us collectively into the past, many (if not most) conservatives would absolutely do it.

What does a white supremacist want to conserve? What does a yahoo waving a Confederate flag want to conserve? What does Mitch McConnell want to conserve? What does Charles Koch or the Mercers want to conserve? What does Vladimir Putin want to conserve?

“Originalism” perfectly captures the entire conservative “ethic” in one, neat, bite-sized corruption McNugget. The concept is simple. America can only ever be what the white, Christian, land-and-slave-owning men who drew up its founding documents thought it could be at that time. Originalists (like Antonin Scalia) insist that we must accept that flawed version of “All men are created equal” where “All men” only referred to white men like them and only men. Fortunately the more progressive-minded founders reframed America’s founding principle in the Great Seal: “E Pluribus Unum”. Out of many, one. See how one way of thinking tugs us backward while the other propels us forward?

Why did our founders cut a deal with slavery? Because money. Take slavery’s stolen labor off the table and the Confederacy never rises. Maybe America never happens period. After all, slavery, to a degree, helped cash flow our Revolution. We’re still dealing with this Devil’s bargain. We compromised with evil except evil never actually compromises with us; all that happens is we become a little more evil. Or a lot more evil. The impulse to enslave is the same impulse to get anyone to work for nothing (or next-to-nothing). Good bosses recognize that good workers are worth more than bad workers because of what motivates them. Slaves don’t want to be there no matter how hard you whip them. But then, the whole point of a slave and slavery is pure, brute economics.

Want to know why conservatives hate the BBB? Because its core concept wants to empower virtually everyone. The whole point is to go as far as possible to actually level the American playing field so that, for once, everyone has the exact same shot at attaining the American Dream. That won’t just be good for them as individuals, it will be good for everyone. If it means rich people won’t be quite as rich, I can live with that. So can they.

The reason conservatives bristle at the thought of Critical Race Theory is because of that first word: “critical”. Conservatives and conservatism cannot stand up to criticism or critical thinking. They want to make slavery a museum display and nothing more as if the moment the Civil War stopped, all of slavery’s harm magically stopped. How ironic that such devoted Christians (conservatives cling to their Christianity almost as tightly as they cling to their guns) find contrition so objectionable. But then, conservatives don’t believe in a Jesus who preaches “Do unto others”, they believe in a church that commands “Do as I say — or else!”

Slavers, don’t forget, pointed to the Bible as a justification for slavery. But then, the Bible is just originalism’s founding document.

As the conservative feel good vibes of Reaganism waned, the conservative money saw catastrophe on the horizon. America was diversifying at such a rapid pace that “thinkers” like Newt Gingrich grasped how perilous white conservatism’s grip on long term power already was. When Gingrich declared his culture war on the Democrats, he was declaring that war on actual Americans — all those diverse, not-white-like-Newty Americans who would soon enough usurp political power forever. That scared Newt and every conservative like him. The thought of losing power (of even having to share it!) was unacceptable. It made them feel bad and those “bad feelings” are behind literally every move conservatives had made since.

Gerrymandering isn’t meant to represent the majority’s will, it’s meant to circumvent it — to give the minority undue power and influence over the majority. And, if it’s done right? Gerrymandering will make that minority rule permanent. Just in case, conservatives also rely heavily on voter and voting suppression. Donald Trump himself said it out loud: when more people vote, Republicans lose. The presence of Donald Trump caused the GOP to step up its game however. Or, more accurately, Trump’s presence kompromised the entire GOP into submission. Though the Republicans may have resisted Trump at first (the Marco Rubio-backing Washington Free Beacon paid for the original oppo research on Trump that led to the Steele Dossier), Trump’s corruption became their corruption. A month before nominating Trump to be their candidate in 2016, the Republican leadership acknowledged amongst themselves that Trump was owned outright by Vladimir Putin.

There’s two people I think Putin pays — Rohrbacher and Trump — swear to God!” is now current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy as he walked into a room of GOP leaders. No one stood up and said “Whaaaat? Kevin — are you sure about this?” There was nervous laughter instead (the entire scene was recorded and the recording was played for Washington Post reporter Adam Entous). Then Speaker of the House Paul Ryan quickly corralled the room’s nervous anxiety. No one was going to talk about this fact that they all knew or suspected outside that room. They would all keep this national security threat a secret. “That’s how we know we’re family”, is the bow Ryan put on it.

Once you cross the line into treason? There’s no going back. What happened in that room was absolute treason and everything awful that’s happened to and in America since has flowed from that moment of treachery.

Maybe I need to tweak what it is that American conservatives want to conserve. The past they want to conserve is one where they aren’t serving a life term in a federal prison for committing treason. In that context, it ain’t hard to get what any conservative might want to “conserve”.

But, At The Very, VERY End Of The Day? This Is STILL A Story About TREASON

We are living in the nightmare version of “the cover up being worse than the crime”. In fact, we’re so deep into the cover up that most Americans have probably forgotten that there even is an “original crime” — the thing that actually motivated every other crime Donald Trump and his Republican collaborators perpetrated. “The Big Lie” didn’t just fall from the sky on us, a “stroke of genius” to try and hold onto power. Why the hell would Trump “need” to hold onto power? That’s what this is about — a need, not a desire. Virtually the entire GOP has gone along with this also out of need. Yeah, yeah, the Republican base counts for something. But they’re “icing” on a giant cake; icing is icing but cake is cake And the cake here is treason. That’s why there’s “A Big Lie” — because “treason”. That’s why the Republicans have done everything in their power to shut down every single investigation into how exactly Donald Trump became president in 2016. Take Russia completely out of the Donald Trump equation and he never becomes POTUS, Hillary Clinton is into her second term today having survived four years of Mitch McConnell being corrupt as usual but, at least, without his having been a traitor, too.

The Republican Party leadership knew even before the GOP nominated Trump that Vladimir Putin owned him. Upon entering a meeting of GOP leaders on June 25, 2016, current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said out loud (it was recorded and the recording played later for Washington Post reporter Adam Entous), “There’s two people I think Putin pays — Rohrbacher and Trump — swear to God!” Mark that moment well and think about what happened in it. No one in the room expressed shock or surprise; instead, there was “nervous laughter”. That’s what motivated McCarthy’s “Swear to God!” He was serious and he wanted the room to take what he’d just asserted very seriously.

That is exactly what every Republican in that room did — they took what Kevin McCarthy said seriously. They knew it was a terrible secret for any American — let alone a presidential candidate — to have about them. That’s why they all went along with then Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s insistence that they not discuss the matter outside that room. Because it was true. And because, one has to think, it was too late for anyone in the room to turn back now. “Putin pays Trump” — that was the secret they all agreed to “keep in the family”.

A year later (it took a year for that story to break), when journalists questioned McCarthy about it, he insisted he was “just kidding”. Soooooo, the whole room agreed to keep this “joke” a secret? If it wasn’t true, the room would have welcomed investigation because it would have turned up nothing. They knew that any investigation into Trump’s relationship with Putin and Russia would lead not only to charges of treason for Trump but charges of Treason for them, too. Every last one of them…

The GOP’s problem starts in that room with Kevin McCarthy speaking a Truth. Consider how hard the Republican run Congress tried to hide Trump’s relationship with Russia. But consider who Trump hired as campaign manager — Paul Manafort. Manafort owed $17 million to oligarch, Putin pal and “former” Russian military intelligence player Oleg Deripaska. Part of Manafort’s pitch was backstage, off the books access to Trump and access to information a hostile foreign government like Russia should NEVER have had access to: proprietary polling data on Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Manafort famously handed this data to Constantin Kilimnik, a go-between. He went to prison for it, remember? It’s against the law. In fact, every single contact the Trumps and their various hangers-on had with Russians was illegal. When Trump openly invited Russia to meddle in our election — “Russia, are ya listening?” — he was breaking the law. Just because we chose not to see it that way (or prosecute it), that’s not on the rule of law, that’s on us. That’s on white America continuing to cut itself extraordinary slack even when that slack is openly treasonous.

Consider Trump’s urgent need to undermine the Steele Dossier. Our news media — always light years behind this story’s curve — can only focus on the possibility of Trump and hookers — like that would matter to him. There’s so much more in the dossier (a collection of raw intel that has stood up almost completely) than a bit of sex play. There’s treason! Lots and lots and lots of treason!

Consider WHY there even is a “Steele Dossier” to begin with! Here’s the thumbnail version: in 2016, Marco Rubio backer The Washington Free Beacon hired a political research company called Fusion GPS (co-founded by former Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson) to do oppo research against Trump. Before getting into the nitty gritty though, Fusion did their “due diligence”; they got their hands on every piece of publicly available material about Donald Trump that they could — books, magazine and newspaper articles, radio and TV appearances — everything! What they found there in that publicly available material convinced them that Trump had used his bankrupt Atlantic City casinos to launder Russian mob money. To answer those questions (by now, supporters of HRC were paying for the research), Fusion sub-contracted the work out to a British company called Orbis. Orbis was run by Christopher Steele, formerly head of MI6’s vaunted Russia desk and a source so reliable that the FBI used Steele to help them take down FIFA’s corrupt head Sepp Blatter. Steele had excellent sources inside Russia and those sources painted a picture of exactly what Kevin McCarthy had said was the case: Putin owned Trump.

Consider the effects of Kompromat. Consider Lindsey Graham’s strange flip from “electing Trump would be crazy and we’d deserve the fallout” to “Trump is a god”. Lindsey’s old friend John McCain seemed to know Lindsey himself was between a rock and a hard place. At the end of December, 2016 — with Trump’s presidency looming — Lindsey and John (and Amy Klobuchar) ran to Eastern Europe to try and reassure NATO that Trump wouldn’t be… what? Remember — the Republican Party KNEW before they nominated Trump that Russia owned him. What was this kabuki all about? A better question: if John McCain were to return from the dead, would his old pal Lindsey be able to look him in the eye?

Consider the Mueller Report and its shamefully narrow scope (the only thing under its purview was Trump’s relationship with Wikileaks, that’s it). Even so, Team Trump worked overtime to keep everything about their relationship with Wikileaks and secret. Strange, no? We’ve learned subsequently that corruption guided Rod Rosenstein to tell Team Mueller that the FBI was running a counter intelligence investigation into Trump’s relationship with Russia (they weren’t) so “forget about it” while also telling the FBI that Team Mueller was working on the counter intel investigation so they should forget about it. Consider The Mueller Report’s actual conclusions: 1) we can’t say for sure if Team Trump committed a crime we could convict at trial because 2) they’ve been so utterly obstructive of justice about the whole thing.

Consider Bill Barr telling America the Mueller Report concluded something entirely different, something it, in fact, did not conclude. Consider what happened to Jeffrey Epstein while under Bill Barr’s care. Consider that even Bill Barr refused to go along with insurrection. Strange, isn’t it, that even a guy as corrupt as Bill Barr sees a line in the sand beyond which even he sees too much corruption.

Consider how much time, work and effort Russia put into not only making Trump POTUS but to using Trump as their weapon to bludgeon American democracy and America’s reputation around the world. Consider what makes one man look like another man’s bitch. Consider how Trump never crossed Putin ever. Consider how important it was for Putin either to keep Trump in the White House or get him back into it however he must. Consider it damned likely that Russia had a hand in the insurrection. Consider what that means if Russia (among other players) helped finance the Republican Party’s attempted coup d’etat.

Consider how America will have to react when we finally step back and allow ourselves to speak out loud the terrible truth: exactly as Kevin McCarthy said: Putin owns Trump.

What are we to do, once we actually begin to accept this terrible truth as Truth? For one thing, we absolutely can’t shrug our shoulders and say “it is how it is”. That would be us saying “Well, we know Russia beat our asses that one time…”. No — there can be no one time for any such thing to happen. Any country that fails or refuses to stand up for its sovereignty won’t be a country for much longer. We have now experienced a hostile foreign government putting a man they’ve compromised at the head of American power. That is treason.

Treason can’t be the basis for US law or law making. It can’t be the basis for our defense policy or our international relations. It can’t be the basis for our politics. Because it’s TREASON.

The Takeaway From Tuesday’s Election Should Be: In American Politics, Nothing Succeeds Quite Like Racism

Our news media still thinks it’s “journalism” to ask a racist if he thinks he’s a racist. It’s one of those stupid questions that’s so stupid, it’s shocking that anyone older than five would ask it. It’s like asking Hitler if he’s an anti-Semite. Really? You have to ask? And, what if Hitler denied being one? Would we take his word? “Hey, if the guy says he loves Jews — but in a “tough love” kinda way — who are we to question how he shows his love?” This is the view from inside the rabbit hole. Is an alcoholic in deep denial of his alcoholism really the best person to ask if he’s an alcoholic? Of course not! Racists are even more likely to pooh-pooh their racism as “normal behavior”. It’s the fact that we’ve normalized so much racism already that’s brought us to this precipice. And by “normalize”, I mean “accept”. We have accepted racism as a given because we think it’s up to the racist to decide whether or not they’re racist.

This is insanity!

Racism, like beauty, is entirely in the eye of the beholder. Where racism is concerned, it’s up to the racist’s victims to adjudge whether anything racist, bigoted, misogynistic or hateful has been directed at them. Only they have the proper perspective. But, America hasn’t figured that out yet. At least, our news media hasn’t…

Our news media — high again on “both sides do it” — saw the results through the lens they always see it through: as a rebuke of Progressive politics when the only vaguely progressive concept on the table was an initiative in Minneapolis to change their police department into a public safety office (which lost — a whole other conversation). The news media jumped on the Democrats for being oblivious of “kitchen table” or “water cooler” issues when the legislation they’re fighting for — the Progressives more than anyone — is all literally that: kitchen table legislation that polls incredibly well. “Gone too far left!” “centrist” Koch whores like Joe Manchin want to deny their own constituents the benefits of their tax dollars that they have said they want. The Democrats aren’t being hamstrung in these negotiations by the Progressives, they’re being hamstrung by two corrupt centrists negotiating on behalf of corruption!

Ah, but our news media is as oblivious of corruption as they are of racism. For months now, the news media focused on the bottom line number while the Progressives tried to explain WHY that number needed to be as large as possible because the goal was to level the playing field for ALL Americans. But, our news media doesn’t “do” nuance — which is why they never reported on it and reported on the “horse race” aspect — the number — instead. And, because THEY focused on the number, they accused the Democrats of focusing on the number — which FORCED the Democrats to focus on the number instead of the great things they wanted to talk about.

Meanwhile, the Republicans have been hard at work taking a sledge hammer to our democracy in plain sight. Most of the GOP now says out loud that they believe Joe Biden stole the election from Donald Trump. Get it? While the Democrats have been trying to craft legislation that will do what Americans say they want done, two centrists (representing WHO exactly in this negotiation since it isn’t their actual constituents) have stood in the way, refusing to articulate an actual position not connected to “a number”. Joe Manchin’s entire stance has been “well, that number’s too big!”, an argument he didn’t present when the Republicans were in power and robbing the American taxpayer in broad daylight. All while committing sedition, insurrection and treason to boot.

Our news media KNOWS what it means when a Republican throws down “critical race theory”. It’s not taught beneath upper level college and graduate school. When Glenn Youngkin made CRT and Toni Morrison an issue in Virginia, it wasn’t because he gives a rat’s ass about anyone’s education. In fact, what Youngkin’s after is the diametric opposite of education, enforced ignorance. This is white people in America refusing to look our collective history — including theirs — square in the face because it won’t be a pleasant experience for them. Contrition never is easy but then, that’s why contrition’s so important.

If the irony wasn’t so deadly, it’d be hilarious.

The Republican Party really has become like The Worst Bond Villain Ever. While Bloefeld had world domination in his sights, the GOP has permanent minority rule. While SMERSH has an army of people loyal to them (I’m guessing) because of a decent enough paycheck to make them overlook all the compromises they’ve made working for an uber villain, Republicans have race zombies whose brains have been rotted by dreams of white supremacy. There’s no killing them because there’s no killing the thing that drives them. As I’ve said here repeatedly, America is a great idea as yet unrealized. The flaw sits right there inside “All men are created equal”. The white, European, Christian, land-owning men who wrote or stood by “All men are created equal” didn’t mean “all men”. They only meant men exactly like them. But they did mean ONLY men. That kinda takes a huge, steaming dump on the whole experiment in human self government when only some of the governed are allowed to do the governing.

To their credit, the founders DID get it right when they put “E Pluribus Unum” on the great seal. Out of many one — diversity, in other words — has always been what makes America exceptional, not “some men are created more equal than other men”. The Republican Party, in Reaganism’s wake, saw demographic annihilation coming at them faster than they expected. Democracy itself was their problem! That’s what “originalism” is meant to counter: it doesn’t matter what current day America is, it only matters what 1780 America was like — in every single way right down to how they thought regardless of how wrong it was. If the founders were racists then racism should be baked into the rules — that’s originalism.

Glenn Youngkin’s win was evidence of the GOP adjusting their marketing on the fly. They know Trump is toxic to the one group of Americans they can still pull back into their tent — suburban white people (women especially) who want to do the right thing as a community but feel tribalism’s tug more distinctly. Rebranding racism as “concern for how we educate our children” is clever but obvious. At least, it should be obvious. But, our news media punches the clock everyday and then insists “both sides do it”. They insist on being neutral because they think neutrality at all costs is “fair”. The problem is who it’s being fair to.

If you learn that someone is a criminal but refuse to report on them as a criminal, you are mis-reporting the truth. Our news media reported Donald Trump’s criminal behavior constantly over the course of his 2016 candidacy: “Hey, Russia, if you’re listening…!” was a criminal act — literally. Just because we refused to prosecute it as such doesn’t mean it wasn’t a criminal act. Put it into the context of everything that follows —

— and suddenly this photo plus a back channel communication system between Trump Tower, Russian-owned Alpha Bank and the Kremlin doesn’t look quite so… well it wasn’t innocent to begin with. We’re already deep, DEEP into treason! And, just to remind ourselves: when the GOP nominated Trump to be their candidate in 2016, they did it KNOWING that Trump was compromised by a country at cyber war with us. Or, as current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy put it as he entered a room filled with GOP leaders: “There’s two people I think Putin pays — Rohrbacher and Trump — swear to God!”

The reason Donald Trump needs to be POTUS again isn’t because he loves the job. Oh, yeah, sure — he loves the power. Because of what the power will let him do: avoid getting prosecuted and punished for betraying America.

Those are the stakes now. That’s what the national GOP is after — using the rule of law and the Constitution to subvert the rule of law and the Constitution in order to shove permanent minority rule down our throats while they point at how they did it legally. Well, it ain’t legal and never was. In order to get the ship (of state) headed the way they needed it to head, first the Republican Party committed TREASON. But for Russia, Trump never becomes POTUS. Truly — take Russia entirely out of the Trump/GOP equation and Hillary Clinton beats whatever racist ape the Republicans toss onto the fire.

Oh, make no mistake — Mitch McConnell and the rest of his racist pals would have done everything possible to shove a broomstick into democracy’s spokes. But, they wouldn’t have been able to do it with Vlad Putin at their backs, kompromat in his pocket. Want to know why the GOP was and remains so loyal to Donald Trump? Yeah, yeah — his base counts for something. But it’s the threat of being tried for treason that really sits center stage. The thought of life imprisonment — or capital punishment (it’s still on the table as a punishment for treason) — that is what terrifies every single Republican. And if it doesn’t, it will.

Our news media still thinks Republicans are honest actors. They still think a Republican unable to articulate what “critical race theory” even is represents a reasonable point of view. Would they feel the same way if the ignorance spewing from the ignorant destroyed all their rights? Wouldn’t they kinda want to jump on that because — neutrality be damned — they know from personal experience that the person they’re interviewing is a liar and a dangerous liar at that?

Of course they would cos “skin in the game”. The news media’s failure isn’t one of politics (though politics play a part), it’s one of craft. They failed the craft of journalism and, in turn, American journalism failed America.

America Has Achieved A State Of “Intractable Absurdity” (But In Our Defense, We Were Born This Way)

Know why few things in America seem to make sense anymore? Because they don’t. Know why it feels like there’s no way to fix it (whatever the hell “it” is)? Because there is no way. “Insane Problem To Have”, meet “No Way To Fix It”. Have fun together!

There’s not a subject matter you can think of that the right wing hasn’t politicized for very political reasons. Voting is an act of patriotism. Protecting the right to vote therefore isn’t a political act, it’s an act of patriotism. And any attempt whatsoever to infringe upon any American’s right to vote in any way, shape or form is (quite literally) a crime! It’s not up for debate. It can’t be or, as Ben Franklin would point out, we don’t have a republic anymore because we couldn’t keep it. That Republicans turn everything into politics — for political reasons — is absurd!

Everything about Donald Trump’s rise from the shit heap of his genetics to the presidency drips with corruption (and absurdity). Trump is a vile, corrupt, racist and a serial rapist. It’s because Russia MADE Trump POTUS (and the GOP knew it!). Take Russia completely out of the Trump equation (out of the GOP equation, too) and Trump does not even enter the race. If you took every last dollar of dirty Russian money (that Trump was laundering) out of the picture? No one steps in to save Trump. Instead, Trump loses every bit of daddy’s empire and ends up broke. Some other Republican hump wins the nominiation and gets creamed by Hillary Clinton.

Mark Burnett owes America an explanation, an apology and every penny of profit he’s gotten from “The Apprentice”. Burnett (along with Tony Schwartz in “Art Of The Deal” but at least Tony apologized) invented “Donald Trump, Master Businessman”. Outside of the idiotic TV show, no such character exists.

Racism was Trump’s sales pitch as it had become the GOP’s. That’s what made Trump’s absurdity palatable to Republicans. They were totally willing to put up with every bit of Trump’s racism because they liked his economic policies. See how that works? Put a little coin in their pocket and suddenly you could murder nuns, orphans and puppies on prime time TV and they’d still have your back. Throw racism into the mix and now you’ve made everyone happy since, really, racism is now the GOP’s organizing principle. The Dixiecrats and Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” subsumed the Republicans long, long ago. Calling the GOP “the party of Lincoln” these days is to be cruelly ironic. And absurd.

In America’s defense though, we dropped the ball at the snap.

“All men are created equal” starts off in need of a rewrite. For starters, the white, Christian, land owning men who penned it didn’t mean it. Apparently, some men only counted as three-fifths of a man so, clearly, NOT all men are created equal especially those poor bastards. America’s founders cutting a deal with slavery was absurd. It’s like good cutting a deal with evil. Who will walk away more compromised in the end? Do you really have to ask?

Republican Glenn Youngkin making “alternative race theory” a campaign topic is intractably absurd since no such thing is taught in the schools that would concern any of the people who insist they’re really “concerned” about this. In fact, as news video showed, at least one Youngkin supporter was vehemently opposed to teaching our young-uns CRT even though he couldn’t say what it was — only that whatever it was, he didn’t like it! That is beyond absurd. And how the hell does one “fix it”?

That’s the problem. It can’t be fixed. It’s intractable. And it makes no sense. It’s absurd.

But, what if there were a fix… Let’s not go nuts here — it can’t be fixed all the way but what if we could finagle this in a way that knocked down absurdity’s impetus and bought us some time to find a more permanent solution? One thing we can do is prosecute those at the top of the Ponzi scheme — the ones bamboozling all the foot soldiers into marching along. Let’s start with the January 6 insurrectionists.

Even the judges adjudicating the assembly line of foot soldier miscreants are appalled by the Department of Justice’s “slap on the wrist” approach. That’s not an admonishment to a seditionist, it’s an open invitation to try again (and next time, get it right!). If the frontline prosecutors are simply using the lowest level useful idiots to flip the next tier up, they need to pick up the pace. One can be a little circumspect while prosecuting the mob — they’re criminality isn’t threatening to overthrow the republic. But, the stone cold fact is, everything about the insurrection, the power grab, the refusal to accept the peaceful transfer of power is a product of treason.

Treason, treason, treason, treason, TREASON!

A president of the United States committed treason — right in front of us. and his entire political party co-conspired with him. That should be crazy talk — conspiracy theory wack-a-doodle gibberish. Except it really happened.

How absurd!

There’s A “Why” Behind “The Big Lie” That Our News Media Refuse To Ask

Donald Trump Committing Treason On The Hoof And In Real Time

Every last bit of the legitimate press agrees: Donald Trump’s claim that the 2020 election was “stolen from him” is monstrously untrue and he knows it. That makes Trump’s claim — by actual definition — a lie. We’ve gussied it up by calling it “big”. Donald Trump lost the election fairly and squarely and now he’s lying about it. Okay. WHY? Can we all please agree that this is not something “normal” presidents do after losing an election “by a landslide”? Even if Trump was merely deranged, this should make him “exceptional” in our thinking (just not in a good way). A president refusing to accept defeat — and claiming fraud — is not normal. Whatever is causing Trump to behave this way — nothing can be normal about that either. Same token: nothing can be normal about an entire political party staking their future (and their freedom) on a man they all agreed was owned by Russia even before they nominated him to be their presidential candidate. The news media seem content with the idea that Trump thinks the election was stolen from him “just because that’s how he is”. Trump has an unusual “opinion” about what happened and the rest of the GOP support his opinion. That, our news media thinks, explains why our democracy’s facing a moment of imminent demise.

That moment — reported on by the Washington Post (and then everyone else) — remains almost completely unexamined. When current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy’s insistence that “There’s two people I think Putin pays — Rohrbacher and Trump — swear to God!” finally made it to print (a year after it happened), the news media wrote down Kevin’s response (“I was joking”), having bought it completely. Problem: like Donald Trump, Kevin McCarthy has no sense of humor. For real. Not everyone has a sense of humor. Not everyone makes jokes. You have to be able to laugh at yourself to demonstrate a “sense of humor”. That’s the whole basis for having one — the ability to see one’s own failings and laugh at them. Laughing at ourselves lightens any laughter against others since we include ourselves among our targets. Humor becomes a bonding mechanism. Bullies can’t laugh at themselves; they can only laugh AT others — at their infirmities or disabilities or frailties. Only other bullies ever laugh at what bullies laugh at. They, too, use “humor” to bond.

Kevin McCarthy wasn’t kidding. He believed Donald Trump was not only corrupt but treasonously corrupt. He said so out loud and no one in the room contradicted what Kevin said In fact, Kevin’s “Swear to God!” was a reaction to the nervous laughter he’d caused. Nervous laughter? How come no one said something like “Whaaaaaat? Kevin, are you sure about that, dude? Man, where’d you hear that?” It’s a fact: no one in that room doubted what Kevin McCarthy said — that Donald Trump, the man they were going to nominate to be their presidential candidate a month later, was compromised by a hostile foreign government. Think about that! A month before nominating Trump, the entire GOP leadership KNEW that their candidate posed a very real national security threat.

Did anyone call the FBI? You kidding? No one even thought such a thing. Instead, they all quickly nodded along to then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan’s version of “leadership”. No one, the man third in line to the presidency said, was going to talk about Trump’s compromised situation outside that room. Their silence on the subject, Speaker Ryan said, was “How we know we’re family”.

How touching. “Family”. So are the Sopranos.

From the get-go, Donald Trump has both been bonded to Russia and determined to keep that bond hidden and secret. Here goes: “WHY?”

Because TREASON, that’s why. And because the GOP’s leadership knew they were committing treason both by supporting Trump and by helping him obstruct any and all investigations into Trump’s (and the GOP”s) treasonous relationship with Vladimir Putin. Our news media has scratched its collective head about this relationship as if it was inexplicable. They’ve entertained the possibility that it’s all completely “innocent”. They’ve dared not entertain anything else — regardless of how much the only other possibility stares at them. Either Trump is 100% innocent of conspiring with Russia to “win” election in 2016 (an illegal and treasonous act!) or he’s guilty. Even one percent of “not innocent” of this kind of behavior makes you 100% guilty. There are zero gradations of “treasonous”.

Trump’s hold on the Republican base counts for part of the hold — but only on a level that could exist in a world where the Republicans aren’t prosecuted and punished for being traitors. Trump’s base may go to war with the majority when Trump gets arrested, prosecuted and punished for being a traitor, they won’t lift a finger for a single one of Trump’s wannabe’s. Criminals have no loyalty except to themselves. And even then, it’s to whatever their need is in the moment.

If our democracy survives this threat to its survival, we will owe ourselves a complete post mortem of our news media and its behavior. “Both sides do it” brand journalism destroyed the news media’s ability to see perspective since, in their mind, one side is equally guilty of whatever the other side is guilty of. If Republicans are corrupt, Democrats are equally corrupt. If Republicans do things for entirely cynical, political reasons then so do the Democrats. This simply is not true. And, once you frame our story that way? You’re telling some other country’s story, not ours. Is it failure of imagination? Is it corruption? Is it some unholy marriage of the two? Do journalists really think Republicans they describe as “anti-democratic” one moment, can suddenly become “honest actors” the next?

The truth about Donald Trump has always been (publicly) available to every last member of our news media. As Glenn Simpson testified on August 22, 2017 before the Senate Judiciary Committee (then Republican-run so they were trying to undermine Simpson’s integrity), before his company Fusion GPS began their oppo research work on Donald Trump for the owners of the Marco Rubio backing Washington Free Beacon, they did their “due diligence”. They got their hands on every last piece of publicly available material concerning Trump that they could. Every newspaper article or magazine piece. Every book by him or about him. Every radio interview, every TV appearance. They scoured the internet, dove deeply into Amazon, even went to the public library. What they found there — in material ANYONE could find — convinced them that Donald Trump was likely guilty of laundering Russian mob money through his bankrupt Atlantic City casinos (which, wouldn’t ya know it, had, in fact, been CITED on numerous occasions for seeming to launder Russian mob money).

The rule of law is a human invention. So’s the Constitution and the Magna Carta. So’s the entire Old and New Testament, the Koran, and the Hindu Vedas. That’s not a knock on them. They’re all magnificent creations. But they are creations. It is an invention that Donald Trump will get away with everything. The fact is, it remains to be seen.

If Trump and the GOP get away with what they’re doing then soon enough, America will come apart. I don’t believe a diverse majority will tolerate a racist, bigoted minority forcing authoritarianism down its throat. What worked in homogenous cultures like Nazi Germany won’t work in a diverse, multi-cultural, heterogeneous place like America.

It shouldn’t come to that. We can’t let it. Our news media can be persuaded as people without imaginations can be. If they won’t ask “why?” the Republicans are pushing the big lie, we need to make them ask. At the end of the day, every last journalist dreams of Woodward and Bernstein glory (even if getting it themselves is a virtual impossibility). The biggest, bestest book deal ever awaits the journalist who — like the kid who calls out the emperor’s nakedness — musters the moxie to pipe up with “WHY?”