Republicans having to bend democracy to its will is not a new thing. They’ve been doing it ever since it dawned on them that a rapidly diversifying America had already ended their cultural hegemony. You don’t suppress your own voters, right? You suppress the other guy’s — because they won’t vote for you. Political parties gerrymander Congressional districts in order to pick their voters before voters have a chance to pick them. If Republicans thought they could win elections based on the strength of their ideas, they’d happily win that way. But they can’t. So, they do everything they can to circumvent the majority. Until that majority actually does something to stop them, they’ll persist — like the pathogen they are inside our body politic.
If Republicans were pushing America toward some ideological goal, it would be one thing. In the old days, they used to pretend that that’s what they were doing. Travel writer Stuart Stevens has been involved in Republican politics since the early 1990’s. Growing up in Mississippi in the 1960’s, Stevens saw the Democrats as “Good ol’ boy segregationists” which is exactly what the Southern Democrats/Dixiecrats were. That’s why he joined the GOP. But, Nixon’s “southern strategy” incorporated the racist Dixiecrats into the GOP. He finished the swap historian Heather Cox Richardson describes in her excellent “To Make Men Free: A History Of The Republican Party”. The names “Democrat” and “Republican” are almost meaningless in an historical sense. If you were to read the “Party of Lincoln’s” foundational documents, you’d swear you were reading something the modern Democratic Party put forward.
Understanding that bit of history helps explain modern Republicans and modern Republicanism. As Stevens himself puts it in his book “It Was All A Lie”, Ever since Reagan, Republicans have been deliberately and knowingly pedaling a lie to America — about themselves but also about us. About America. Republicans recognized post Reaganism that their hold on American culture was doomed. The demographics said so. Not just the demographics of who was coming to America, but the demographics of who had been in America for a long time already — and was suddenly realizing the power of their vote. The dirty, dirty secret Stevens gives up: Republicans knew the culture war was lost before they declared it on the rest of America. The whole point of the exercise was to seize power in whatever way they could — and then old onto it for dear life.
Republicans regard the rest of us cynically but their survival instincts aren’t wrong. If they could just tweak those instincts away from unilateralism and toward power-sharing, they might yet survive. Ah, but Republicans are all schoolyard bullies by nature. And there is the fact that they’ve committed treason in order to attain power and retain power. They’ve thrown their lot in with treason; there’ll be no coming back from that. That, absolutely, is one thing both sides don’t do.
The first wrong idea we have to let go of is that Republicans get away with everything. Yes, in the past, they mostly have. But then there was Watergate and Iran-Contra — two episodes where Republican corruption became so overwhelming we finally did something to corral it. So, we DO have it in us to put our foot down and say “Enough!” The second wrong idea we need to disabuse ourselves of is that we can pick and choose what parts of the rule of law to follow. That’s exactly how one breaks the rule of law. For the rule of law to work correctly, it must be applied evenly to everyone or people begin to think the rule of law doesn’t apply to them. That brings us to the third wrong idea — that whatever the rule of law is, it doesn’t apply to us. It absolutely does.
If we started thinking of our situation from the rule of law’s point of view, we’d dismiss the idea of Republicans getting away with any thing completely out of hand. The Universe cannot work that way because the rule of law can’t. That’s how WE The People need to think of the Universe and the rule of law. The rule of law is our arbitrator. And our arbitrator demands satisfaction when anyone stops playing by the rules.
For four years, the Department of Justice was corrupted by a racist, international crime syndicate and its enablers. Republicans are already ruing the fact that Merrick Garland now heads the Department of Justice instead of occupying a SCOTUS seat. Garland’s steadfastness as a level-headed prosecutor has already condemned them. Garland has said out loud that he intends to investigate all the corruption of the past four years because THAT is what the American People demand of their “top cop”. Once Garland’s DoJ begins pulling Republican corruption threads, it won’t take long for the entire Republican Corruption Sweater to fall apart in a massive, stinking, corrupt heap.
The fact is, Donald Trump will NOT get away with this. We have to stop thinking it might not happen. Rather, We The People need to think it can’t NOT happen. That way, were it not to, we’d come at it from the proper place: it should have happened & we still want it to. Were Trump to get away with what he’s done to us, we need to be willing to shut America down until that situation gets rectified. In a sense, we’ll have zero choice. Were Trump to get away with what he’s done, it would mean the American experiment is indeed over. Democracy has lost while treason and corruption have triumphed.
The only way that becomes reality is if we let it.
First and foremost, Mister Attorney General, can I say what a pleasure it is to finally call you our ATTORNEY GENERAL. Frankly, I’d rather we’d been calling you Supreme Court Justice Merrick Garland for years already, but that’s a conversation for another day — one where the GOP begins to realize the terrible, terrible mistake they made denying you so much as a hearing. You would have been far less dangerous to them all as Supreme Court Justice Garland than you will be as Attorney General Garland. This was a day some of us feared might never come. Joe Biden winning the presidency was key, of course. Nothing happens if Donald Trump manages to steal another presidential election. But, Americans showed up in such massive numbers in 2020, that even Donald Trump’s overtly criminal attempts to flip the election in advance failed. For four very long years, we watched Trump and a breath-takingly corrupt Republican Party literally get away with EVERYTHING. It sucked. Yes, it was unpleasant from a political perspective. But, despite the news media’s insistence that our hatred of Trump was entirely political, the fact is our hatred flowed from the feeling in our gut on election day that Trump “winning” the presidency was an illusion — the product of a massive criminal conspiracy that saw the Right Wing’s Money (the Kochs & the Mercers) find common purpose with Russia.
During your confirmation, Mr. Attorney General, you said that among your very first priorities upon becoming AG would be to fully investigate every aspect of the January 6 insurrection. I have no doubt you will do exactly that — in addition to addressing every other pressing concern. Hell, you probably don’t need me handing you a laundry list of things “to do”, but that’s just how it is in a democracy — We The People get to stick our noses into your business. The last occupant of the WH was unclear on that concept. Good thing you’re there now to begin cleaning up the mess that made.
THE JANUARY 6 INSURRECTION
It ain’t so much the foot soldiers that should concern us — though each and every one of them needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent the rule of law allows because they violated the law — as it is those who organized and coordinated them because they WERE organized and coordinated. The Proud Boys and Roger Stone are as tight as Roger’s Nixon tattoo is to Roger’s back.
In fact, on January 5, the day before the insurrection, Roger was hanging with the Proud Boys — they’re his personal bodyguards, don’tcha know! You don’t suppose the subject of what everyone was doing the next day came up a few times, do ya? Surely these pirates weren’t so silly as to communicate with each other about it… or were they that arrogant? I bet you already know the answer to that question, Mr. AG. And, if Roger Stone was involved (he IS that arrogant), he was doing it on Donald Trump’s behalf. And if you don’t think Roger and Donald talked about it, you haven’t been paying attention to this story. Our news media would be shocked by it, but not you, Mr. AG. Not you.
The deeper you dig into the insurrection’s back story, the more dots you connect, the clearer it will become that what happened at the Capitol on January 6 was hardly spontaneous. It was planned,, organized and paid for by the Trump White House, it’s intention the final coup de grace of the coup d’etat that Trump, the Republican Party and Russia pulled off together on Election Day 2016. But, Russia being Russia and its goals being what they are, it would hardly be surprising if Russia also had a hand in planning the insurrection — that Trump and company executed.
That would mean the insurrection wasn’t just seditious, it was genuinely treasonous too. Let’s not kid ourselves: we ARE at war. We’ve been under attack for at least four years, the unwitting victims of a cyber war. Just because Russia didn’t formally declare cyber war against us doesn’t mean they didn’t launch it — clearly they did! Let’s also not kid ourselves about what “war” is. Anyone who thinks you need bombs and bullets to win a war will lose every war they ever fight going forward. Russia could still shut down our power grid tomorrow. If they did that, we’d have to seriously consider suing for peace — on the wrong end of that surrender document. You can also think of us as being like the inhabitants of Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941 BEFORE the Japanese Imperial Navy arrived to actualize the declaration of war they’d made (to themselves apparently) several days before.
As the bombs rained down on Americans at Pearl Harbor, they must have been baffled as hell to find themselves in mortal peril on a lovely Sunday morning. Just because you don’t know you’re at war doesn’t mean you aren’t at war. Ask Poland how it feels to be surprise attacked by Germany or the Trojans by the Greeks.
I bet you’ll even find connected dots between the January 6 insurrection and Team Trump’s criminally inadequate pandemic response. But, remember, for Team Trump, the bottomest line was staying in power because of the legal consequences of losing power. Did anyone on Team Trump ever think “Hmmmmm… I bet an America weakened by the coronavirus would have a harder time defending itself from an authoritarian coup d’etat”? Did anyone think that “out loud” via a tweet, email or other social media?
If they did, add “their negligent pandemic response” to the list of evidence that literally everyone on Team Trump is a traitor.
2. MITCH MCCONNELL
Mitch needs to explain his relationship with Russia. He needs to explain WHY he refused to let We The People in on the little secret that Barack Obama wanted to share with us prior to election 2016 — that Russia was actively trying to make Donald Trump president. Mitch’s threat to accuse Obama of “politicizing the intelligence” was bullshit on steroids. Obama was doing nothing of the sort and Mitch knew it. Mitch was protecting the GOP’s Russia connections.
We need to know how much money Mitch took from Russia and how long that went on. Russia does not EVER give money without expecting something in return. We need to know what Mitch promised “in return”.
There’s one relationship in particular we need to deep dive into: Mitch’s & Oleg Deripaska’s. We know for a fact that, in the lead up to election 2016, Paul Manafort handed Konstantin Kilimnik proprietary polling data for four states: Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. We don’t know what, if anything, became of the Minnesota data but we do know that the work product Manafort handed Kilimnik — the goal, to get it into Deripaska’s hands — was turned over to Russian military intelligence who weaponized the data and created personalized ads (suggesting Hillary Clinton was a closet racist) that they put on the personal Facebook pages of Black voters in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
This is flat out illegal. We need to establish that fact and make it a permanent part of our thinking.
In fact, what Deripaska did was so illegal that we sanctioned him! We attacked him financially with great success — until Mitch lifted the sanctions. His reward? A $300 million aluminum factory in dirt poor western Kentucky. It’s swell and all that the Russian factory created jobs where there weren’t any, but this is bad in a thousand different ways. For starters, as Deripaska now controls a big piece of western KY’s economy, he can also exert pressure upon the politicians who’ll rely on Deripaska’s largesse to remain in office.
Not only did Mitch betray America in the past and present, he’s arranged to betray us in the future too.
May I suggest you look into it? Thans!
3. KEVIN McCARTHY & THE REST OF THE GOP LEADERSHIP
A month before nominating Donald Trump as president, current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy walked into a meeting of GOP leadership. Upon entering, McCarthy said (out loud) “There’s two people I think Putin pays, Rohrbacher and Trump… swear to God!” Had the GOP an honest bone in their collective bodies, the correct answer would have been “What? Kevin — why do you think that? Holy shit, someone — get the freakin’ FBI on the phone! Houston, we have a problem here!” But, no one in that room of GOP leaders said any such thing. Instead, they bent to then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan’s will and agreed NOT to speak of it outside the room. As Ryan put it, by keeping mum about it, that’s how they’d all know they were “family”.
You know, a CRIME family?
Everyone within earshot of Kevin McCarthy’s claim must be interviewed under oath. We need to know — did THEY suspect the same thing? If they did, why didn’t they call the FBI themselves already?
I know I don’t have to explain to you how conspiracy works: “See something, SAY something; see something say nothing? Why?” One does not have to be actively engaged in the conspiracy to get swept up into it. Even suspecting — and not doing anything about your suspicions — puts you in the legal system’s cross hairs. We need to know WHY no one in GOP leadership said anything. WHO were they protecting (and, again, WHY?)
4. BILL BARR
Why would an Attorney General (of all people) lie relentlessly about his department, his department’s work, employees, work product and intentions?
Trump-Russia was not Bill Barr’s first go-around at the “Clean Up Republican Mess on All Aisles” rodeo. He did the exact same thing during the Iran-Contra fiasco, making what should have been prosecutable corruption disappear into the fog of “let bygones be bygones”.
Bar lied about the Mueller Report. He personally interceded repeatedly to interfere with legitimate criminal investigations into Trump, his family and his associates. Why?
BONUS INVESTIGATION: Rod Rosenstein. We need to know WHY Rod told Team Mueller “don’t bother with the counter-intelligence investigation into Trump, the FBI’s got that!” and the FBI “don’t bother with the counter intelligence investigation, Team Mueller’s all over it!” Why did Rod Rosenstein kill the investigation into Trump’s complicity with Russia?
5. THE ENTIRE TRUMP FAMILY
Do bears shit in the woods? The Trump family is a living, breathing pile of bear shit. That’s probably deeply unfair to bear shit; I apologize.
At this point, I’d even open a file on Barron Trump. Sorry, but the kid’s got Trump blood in him. That’s going to warp a person though, to be fair, Mary Trump has Trump blood in her and her humanity and integrity survived. Barron may be too close to the source however; Mary is the daughter of Donald’s older brother Fred, Jr — very much the less greedy black sheep in the greedy-as-hell Trump clan.
Tiffany may be unconnected to the worst of it, but, “see something, say something”. She knows what she knows, suspects what she suspects. She didn’t pick up a phone. Book her.
Finally, there’s Ivanka — the feckless cherry atop the corrupt, treasonous Trump empire. How much money did Ivanka make last year? A shitload. Every dollar of it better be legal, know what I’m saying? We also need to understand how deeply Ivanka is connected to the Russian hub. Even before Trump was POTUS, Ivanka was friends with likely Russian intelligence asset Wendi Deng, former wife of Rupert Murdoch.
BONUS INVESTIGATION — JARED KUSHNER.
Jared, as I’m sure you’ve already assessed, is a whole inquiry unto himself. Light that match, please. Let it burn.
6. DONALD TRUMP
Undo this knot — right at the center of everything — and the whole corrupt construct will crash to the ground. The fact that Trump has avoided prosecution his entire life needs to change now. You know that. The fact that Trump avoided prosecution while POTUS because of that silly DoJ “rule” — this, too, must be addressed. That rule needs to go the hell away. You know that, too.
How far back does Trump’s relationship with Russia go? We need to know everything. And we will.
Here is where your integrity will most come into play. Nothing about these prosecutions can be or should be political. We need to apply not just the letter of the rule of law, but its spirit. We may have to go a little bit outside the box to actually do that, but these are extraordinary times; extraordinary measures are required. We can’t allow the rule of law to be the cause of its own undoing (because one side felt compelled to follow it while the other felt no compunction about violating it even to the point of completely destroying it). The rule of law can’t defend itself. It needs us to do that for it.
Your investigations will, at the end of the day, reveal a treasonous criminal conspiracy involving one of our two political parties. While “White Guy’s Rules” might dictate that we let it slide, the rule of law says otherwise. If the GOP deliberately set out to steal the actual result of election 2016 (they did), then we need to see that fact not as a vile political act (which it was) but as a CRIMINAL act demanding harsh punishment. If the GOP in fact conspired with Russia (they did), that, too, must be understood for what it is. There must be consequences — for Russia and for the stolen result. How can Russia “win” an American election (especially if its winning is flat out ILLEGAL? Hint: it can’t. How can a thieving Republican Party be permitted to keep election results it did not earn? How can they be allowed to hold onto judges their president never had the authority to nominate BECAUSE HE WAS NEVER LEGITIMATELY PRESIDENT?
The authority to govern doesn’t fall from the sky. It isn’t given to American leaders by a deity who thinks the sun shines out their asses. It flows from us — We The People. We grant that authority to those who legitimately win the elections in which we vote for them. If you didn’t win legitimately, you did not acquire that authority legitimately. Cheating to win cannot be “one way to ‘win’.” It can’t be. So — if the GOP cheated in any way, shape or form to win the 2016 election, then by definition they did not “win”.
Having the Department of Justice back in the hands of Justice will cause the earth to shift beneath America’s feet — but, finally, in a good way. There’s a lot of pressure on you, AG Garland, to “rescue us”. Indeed, your mandate is as much to deal with the past — and all the criminal conspiracy — as the future: virtually every bit of Republican voter suppression legislation violates the rights of American voters.
On the one hand, it’s going to be hard work being you for the next four years. On the other though, I think you’ve been waiting for this moment your entire life. Just as Joe Biden, it turns out, was exactly the right man for the moment, you, too, will achieve a kind of time & place perfection. You would still make a great SCOTUS judge. Let’s stick a pin in that.
For the moment, there’s more than enough on your plate.
Imagine thinking that — after almost a year of being economically slammed by a pandemic made exponentially worse by their own political cravenness — Americans would be mollified by a check for $600. Wow. That’s some cynical thinking from a bunch of pirates who’ve ripped off OUR TAX DOLLARS to fatten the bank accounts of their cronies while denying We The People those same — desperately needed — bucks. Which are OURS to begin with. This is who the Republican Party is. Putting aside, for the moment, just how TREASONOUS they are, if sanctimony was a crime, Republicans would be even more guilty of that.
It’s a stone cold fact — conservatism lacks largesse because it cynically expects the very worst from people. It doesn’t see “America: The work horse”, it sees “America: the work HOUSE”. Work is not aspiratioinal; it’s punishment for being poor because, “clearly”, God wanted you to be poor; all they’re doing is carrying out God’s wishes.
In their eyes, this is what we look like…
We’re Oliver Twist — and the hunger has crossed the line…
You can almost hear our plaintive voice — “Please, sir, I’d like some more…”.
Good thing (for the Republicans) that THIS is how they see themselves — as Mr. Bumble!
And Mr. Bumble — upstanding Christian that he is — knows how to deal with the likes of us!
Republicans, detesters of regulation, don’t want child labor laws. They hate unions because unions empower workers. They hate when government forces fairness upon them. It all stems from their “faith” — or what they insist is their “faith in God”. Not a one of them believes IN God, they believe they ARE God. How else shall we take it when a person insists that they understand better than anyone else what the imaginary voice in their head says and means? That conversation is taking place in a completely closed environment. No deity is looking in or taking part. Correction — there is a deity taking part: the believer and their belief that they are God — telling this particular human what to do.
Americans are now suffering deprivations as never before. The economy is teetering for lack of cash when plenty of cash is available. Republicans — wedded to a bizarre, white nationalist Christianity that preaches “Do what we say” instead of “Do unto others” — see their own existential crisis in every American’s survival if that survival came from government money. The idea of Universal Basic Income horrifies Republicans even more than “socialized medicine” does. If Americans realized that UBI was 1) possible, 2) beneficial not just to those Americans receiving the UBI but to all Americans, and 3) something we’re idiotic not to do forever starting right here, right now, they’d want it.
Having UBI would mean that people didn’t have to leap at the first job offered them — despite the fact that it pays minimum wage (when they need far more) and doesn’t call on a single one of their skill sets. In places where they’ve experimented with UBI, the results have been almost uniformly good. Knowing their basic bills are paid (and, with a universal single payer system in place, that their health CARE is being provided for too) allows people to wait for a job better suited to them so that they can be more productive. The data shows — that’s what happens. People DON’T incur debt while paying their bills (or incur less debt and manage it better). They don’t hoard the money, they spend it — feeding the economy where it needs feeding most: down at the street level.
American Exceptionalism is a very real thing. That’s why people have always come to America — to have a chance at being part of that exceptionalism. What makes their product exceptional isn’t the money that pays them, it’s their very diversity as they walk in the door. America has always benefited from the rest of the world’s collected wisdom especially when we’ve made it our own. We understand the deal here: come, work your ass off — make something of yourself that you want to make of you. Then use that “improved version of you” to make America even better.
We are on the verge of escaping the Republican Party’s “Work House America”. They will do everything in their power to stop that from happening.
The Russian guy who owns the Work House is going to insist, I’m afraid…
I call myself a “Progressive” (I prefer it to “liberal”) because “progress” perfectly describes how I think we, as a nation, should govern ourselves — always mindful of the future. Conservatives are equally descriptive of themselves. Their thought process pushes them to “conserve” rather than progress. Okay. Fair enough. But, conserve “what”? What is it conservatives feel compelled to “conserve”? It can’t be the future, of course — it doesn’t exist yet. That leaves the present and the past. THAT is what conservatives want to conserve.
Conservatism’s bottom line is to hold onto as much of the past in the present as they can. They know the future is unavoidable — they hate that. If there was a way to stop progressing completely, they’d probably do it. Anything to keep as much of the past alive as possible. Now, ask why?
Conservatism, in America, is the bastion of Male, Christian Whiteness. In the conservative mind, America reached a zenith of a kind during the 1950’s. Still basking in WWII’s triumphant afterglow, America — with Ike at the helm (not that “awful”, pointy-headed socialist Adlai Stevenson) — built highways instead of rail lines because Americans are all rugged individualists who want to go their own way! But, even that golden age of conservatism isn’t really what conservatives aspire to.
That would be the 1850’s.
Republicans love the Electoral College because, by design, it vastly overweighs rural, more conservative voters while vastly under-weighing urban, more progressive voters. The EC was stuck into the Constitution as an accommodation to slavery. It still speaks for slavery every time we try to elect a president. In 1850’s America, “We The People” still referred to White Men and no one else. THAT is the America conservatives wish had been conserved like dinosaur DNA in a Jurassic Park movie.
Conservatives wish they could — as in Jurassic Park — reconstitute the conservatism of old and let it run amok. Part of the “running amok” would involve snatching up progressives and snarfing em like they were popcorn and the movie just started. From the conservative dinosaur perspective, a world free of progressives is a world freed from the threat of new ideas and new ways of thinking. After the idea of black and brown people voting, nothing scares conservatives quite like new thinking.
Think of it this way: if you’re conservative and change threatens you, then anything that causes change also threatens you. That puts “innovation” and innovating things in the “threatening” stack. Innovation will always cause change — that’s the whole point of innovating things — to change them for the better. But if change is off the table then innovation also must be held in check.
If we were talking sexual urges instead of ideas, a conservative would suggest “a cold shower”. They’d never suggest you “rub one out” because — clearly — you need to. That would be admitting, first, that you HAD a sexual urge (that’s verboten). “Abstinence only education”, don’t forget, is a deeply conservative idea. So was “Just say no”, Nancy Reagan’s “Reality, WHAT reality?” answer to “the war on drugs”. I guess Nancy wanted US to have more fortitude where drugs were concerned than SHE apparently did in her youth (she was notoriously talented, in fact) where performing fellatio was concerned. Oh well, never mind — it’s always different when you’re a Republican.
“Just do as I say!” That’s how conservatives have twisted “Do unto others”. In their sanctimonious minds, they’re the saviors of America. They’re the saviors of THEIR America at best. And their America was never THE America. Their America isn’t the exceptional one, OURS is — you know — the diverse America that scares the crap out of White America.
When people are filled with hope, purpose and a strong sense of community, they think expansively. They want to deliver as much equality to as many people across the community as possible because the return on spreading equality far and wide is a stronger, more dynamic — more imaginative — democracy that’s constantly innovating to solve our problems. That’s the core problem with conservative solutions — they were created to solve old problems. While the problems have evolved, the conservative solutions HAVEN’T — and, consequently, end up solving NOTHING (while thinking it has; meanwhile the problem continues).
If all you see in the future is problems, you’ll never see its potential. You’ll never see your own potential. That’s why conservative solutions don’t solve anything; they can’t. At best they can exacerbate. Mitch McConnell’s answer to our pandemic-caused economic collapse is to… what? Make people go back to work so they can continue to get sick and overwhelm the health care system and die — all because GIVING Americans money directly (actually — handing them back THEIR TAX DOLLARS) would prove that Universal Basic Income is a viable, smart idea?
Mitch’s idea of “having an imagination” is calling himself the Angel of Death because he intends to kill all legislation dead.
If we wanted to be generous, we could call the tonnage of Republican and Trumpian lying “imagination”. If only the lies were good enough to say they came from someone’s imagination. These were pulled directly from someone’s bloated orange ass.
The “Ragin’ Cajun”, James Carville, coined “(It’s) The economy, stupid!” during Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign. Why would people vote one way(for Bill Clinton) vs the other (for GW Bush)? Back then, in those heady, carefree days (relatively speaking), the economy was our biggest, baddest problem. Oh, the luxury of only having to deal with one mega-crisis at a time! Nowadays — in Donald Trump’s America, every day brings a whole new mega-crisis. Or it seems to. If we’d just pull the lens back as far as we can so we could see Donald Trump, the GOP, election 2016 and election 2020 with the widest possible perspective — we’d see that, really, just like in 1992, we’re only facing ONE mega-crisis: Donald Trump’s takeover of the Republican Party was the GOP’s final and total surrender to the corruption that’s been stalking it… well, forever.
The Republican Party prides itself on being the Big Money Party. Anyone in class today who thinks money doesn’t corrupt? Anyone who doesn’t think that the more money there is the more likely corruption there is? Good. Everyone’s a realist then. That helps.
Politicians and the money that owns them rely on corruption to have their way because relying on the majority of voters to vote for their ideas is pointless. The majority of Americans want the OPPPOSITE of what corrupt Republicans want. That’s why the majority voted the way it did in 2016 and 2020. Let’s stop pretending that the Electoral College reflects anything other than how slavery would vote. In 2016, the Republican Party managed to use both slavery’s vote and a silent vote from Russia to overcome the majority’s will. When you factor in the fact that Russia is and has been waging CYBER WAR against us, you can only conclude that Republicans were SO desperate to win that they even resorted to TREASON.
We The People felt corruption’s grip on us the instant 2016 was called for Trump. Democrats felt (rightfully) cheated of the result THEY’D WON in 2000 when Antonin Scalia stepped in and STOPPED the vote counting in Florida, crafting a mountain of bullshit into an argument that completely contradicted the very originalism he’s been selling from the trunk of his car like hot merchandise. Bush v Gore is the picture portrait of bullshit. Al Gore didn’t concede because he thought he lost to W. He conceded for the good of the country.
In retrospect, OY!
Corruption got us again. It caused us to make a terrible decision; we chose appeasement. Compromise. But, while WE compromised with corruption, corruption did not compromise with us. It simply caused us to NORMALIZE that much more corruption. It caused us to grow that much more cynical about ourselves and our democracy. Want to know why so many Americans went into the streets the moment it became a fact that Joe Biden was President-Elect? Because we’re sick to death of Donald Trump and the corruption he imposed onto our lives.
Remember: we did not vote for Trump. We voted against him. We voted against what he’s doing to us, to our Allies, to the planet.
Our news media needs to stop framing the Donald Trump story from corruption’s point of view as if corruption was just “another way of doing business”. It’s only “another way” if we let it be. If we put our collective foot down every time corruption reared its ugly head, corruption would quickly learn — don’t rear your ugly head (it could get stepped on)! But, when you indulge the boy who cries wolf every time he falsely cries wolf (without ever making him pay a price for doing it), he will cry wolf every chance he gets. If our news media would stop giving credence to the boy crying wolf — if they’d see him for what he is (a fraud) — maybe they’d turn their attention to more important parts of the story.
Democrats are, historically, poor negotiators because they’re too willing to compromise. They ache to use the word “yes”. Republicans, OTOH, are good negotiators — not because they’re good at negotiating (they’re not), but because there’s one word in their vocabulary that’s not in the Democrats’: “NO”. The Republicans are perfectly happy to say “no” and refuse to budge regardless of the pain it causes or even how it undercuts their own best interests. Republicans think they’re being Machiavellian. They’re not. They’re being assholes. It’s not the same thing.
Take Mitch McConnell. Is Mitch a great negotiator? No — he’s a guy good at saying “No.” It doesn’t make him a great negotiator because he gets what he wants while all the Democrats around him don’t — especially when you consider what Mitch wants and what the rest of America isn’t getting. We The People are the point of the exercise in self-government. Mitch is always negotiating against us — using our needs (and the urgency of those needs) as a tool. Again — in the context of a government of the people, by the people and for the people — that makes Mitch a pirate, not a deal-maker.
Donald Trump — also a terrible, terrible negotiator. Has anyone had more tells in the whole history of terrible negotiating?
Trump’s one reliable tool — the only tool on his belt: the word “no”. “No, America isn’t a democracy anymore”… “No, America isn’t going to be the greatest experiment in human self-government ever anymore”… “No, America isn’t going to be a place anybody except white, Christian, racist bigots wants to live in anymore”.
Or, to put it the way Trump’s used to hearing it: “Nyet”.
The news media definitely doesn’t understand the concept of saying “no”. That’s why Trump has all the power in his relationship with the press while they have literally none. Like a belligerent five year old who refuses to climb out of his car seat, Trump is holding us up while all we want to do is go back inside our house. Meanwhile, traffic behind us is backing up. Horns are blaring. Tempers and temperatures are spiking.
Now that Trump has no more cards to play — he will no longer be POTUS come none Eastern time January 20, 2021 — the only play left is to toss the cards in the air, rip them up as they land and then, on the way out of the room, turn over the whole card table. Trump has no choice but to take this train to the end of the line. The moment he stops being president, his legal troubles will begin in earnest. So too will legal issues begin to haunt every single Republican. See something, say something. See something, say nothing?
That’s the glaring issue facing the GOP: they’ve known since the get-go that Trump had an unnatural relationship with Vladimir Putin and Russia. Current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said so out loud during the 2016 Republican convention when he walked into a room of Republican muckety-mucks and said “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump”. Good citizenship would have demanded that someone in the room get the FBI on their cell phone to report what they just heard. No one did. Instead, as then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan put it, we “…keep the conversation private, saying: “No leaks. . . . This is how we know we’re a real family here.”
If Paul Ryan had been an honest man, if the Republicans had been an honest political party, no one in that meeting would have thought such a thing. But they aren’t so they didn’t. The Republicans surrendered the power in their relationship with Trump a long, long time ago.
The press did, too. They surrendered the power of “no” when they stopped asking Trump what he meant by “Mexicans are rapists”. Had the news media dug in its heels right then and there — and said “NO, WAIT!” and then refused to follow Trump (into “pussy grabbing”) — then THEY might have gained the power of “no”.
Americans need to learn this valuable lesson from the Republicans. Yes, we all want to and need to get along together. But compromising with the very people who have betrayed you is a fool’s errand. That’s why Republicans never do it. They may be ignorant, deranged and dangerous but they’re not fools.
We The People have got to stop negotiating with Trump — especially when it’s not even a genuine negotiation. It’s a hostage-taking which means we only ever wind up negotiating with ourselves. The last person we ever want to negotiate with is ourselves.
We don’t need to negotiate with Trump anymore. We fired him. By a lot. It’s over.
The correct answer therefore to literally anything Trump does or says about staying in power a second longer than necessary is “what are you even talking about, old man? NO”.
Remember this look on Moscow Mitch’s Treason Turtle face when the late Senator John McCain stuck a shiv in him when he thought he had Obamacare defeated?
That’s Mitch reacting in real time — with actual human emotions — to having the word “no” shoved down his throat. Let’s promise ourselves to make Mitch revisit that moment repeatedly throughout the rest of his treasonous life. Every time Mitch dreams of being a free man again? “NO, Mitch, NO.”
Trump loves saying “You’re fired” because it’s the ultimate “no”: “no, you don’t work here anymore”.
Hey, Don-Don, this is America speaking: “You’re fired. YOU DON’T WORK HERE ANYMORE”. Wow… saying “no” to Donald Trump could be habit forming. That’s a habit I’ll gladly take up.
It’s hard to forget when your heart’s been broken, stomped on and tossed like ours was in 2016. The majority of Americans spoke clearly with our votes in 2016. We did not want Donald Trump. Strangely, the majority got the opposite of what we voted for. We were too slow to realize the Republican Party was actively engaged in a soft coup d’etat, backed by Russia. We were too slow to realize that just because criminals act criminally right in front you, it doesn’t mean their criminality isn’t a crime. Sure it is! Donald Trump did not “win” election in 2016, a criminal conspiracy (led by Russia) stole the election’s outcome for him.
Today, finally, We The People get to rip power back from those criminals.
That isn’t dependent on any election “result”. We KNOW what this election’s result is. Have you seen how many Americans showed up to vote early? Trust me: no one stood in line for five hours plus to vote for Trump. People voting out of selfish rage don’t have half the commitment of people voting out of collective rage. The collective rage camp always has each other to remind them of why they’re so angry. The Trump guy just has himself — and when he sobers up, he’ll probably forget why he was so angry to begin with.
The correct answer to Trump “declaring a victory” that isn’t his is “No”. “No, you didn’t win.” We do not chase bloated orange rabbits down their rabbit holes. We shake our heads and simply say “No”.
Make no mistake: Trump will flail and scream and cry — especially when we frog march his bloated ass out of the White House, his arms zip-tied behind him. He’ll call us names then tell us how much he loves us. He’ll say anything to avoid his fate. Too bad none of that will work.
We know what Trump’s done. We need to punish him if only for our own sense of wellbeing. If only for the country’s ability to move forward.
Trump is losing as the first returns come in. He will lose on a massive scale today. Cheating to win can never equal winning and, today, even having CHEATED, Trump will go down in flames.
And so will every Republican with him.
As far as I’m concerned, today is the first day of the rest of our lives. We will look back at November 3, 2020 as the day We The People made it official: Trump no longer works for us. Everything he’s done will, at long last, be subject to oversight, review, prosecution and punishment. And so will the criminal acts of every single Republican.
Celebrate, America! Then buckle up. Things won’t get easier any time soon. But, at least decency is back. Fairness will get a seat at the table again. Bullshit will have to watch remotely, its mute button locked in the “mute” position.
It’s a line that sends chills through the spine of every married man who ever cheated: “I will NOT be ignored, Dan.” That’s what Glenn Close’s character in “Fatal Attraction”, Alex, says a few screen minutes before she boils a pet rabbit. She’s pissed and her feelings will have to be assuaged before the rage dies down. We The People know just how Alex feels. Donald Trump and the Republican Party have done us wrong every which way. The bastards have boiled our rabbit even. And, for that, they must atone.
The Republicans are now all-in on their power grab. The soft coup d’etat they started in 2016 (Donald Trump, we will learn, won neither the popular NOR the Electoral College votes — now that we account for and remove Russia’s impact on the results. Russia cannot win an American election. Neither can the political party that aligned themselves with a hostile foreign power carrying out an act of cyber war.
That’s something else the Republicans don’t realize they’ve done. The anger at them isn’t simple. It isn’t about one thing. It’s about a whole bunch of things — that ultimately come down to one thing (greed). But, as we stand here in the midst of the most important election this country will ever have, what will strike us is how many terrible, criminal, corrupt things the Republicans have done — and how much they deserve to be punished for every last bit of it.
Were it just the treason alone, of course, that would be bad enough. Perversely, the catalogue of Trumpian criminality is so vast that we’ve already forgotten that Donald Trump is the first president EVER to run for re-election having been IMPEACHED for cheating in the very election he’s now running in. We ain’t in Kansas here, Toto. Even Kansas isn’t in Kansas anymore.
Republican greed and selfishness have now resulted in actual American death. Their response to the pandemic can never be forgiven. They’ve effectively gutted the rule of law. That can’t be forgiven either. We will get it back in working order though — and when we do, Republicans will be shocked by how many of them suddenly have giant legal problems. Pretty much all of them will actually. See something, say something. See something, say nothing? We have to ask “Why?”
Why did so many Republican say nothing when they KNEW it was morally, ethically and legally wrong?
We’re angry now because we see the Republican Party and Donald Trump cheating out in the open. We see how we outnumber them. We see how we are the majority and they are not. That they are still trying to impose their will over us — well, frankly, that’s really pissing us off. Having been on the receiving end of sexual assault when I was 14, I know what this feeling on the back of my neck is. Donald Trump and the Republicans may not be physically assaulting us but the impact on our minds is no different.
We feel under assault because we are under assault. And, having told them to stop repeatedly, now that we’ve gotten to our feet, we intend to make the Republican Party stop. They will not like how this ends.
I’m not saying the feeding frenzy around the Republicans as the accusations start to land won’t be fun to watch. It absolutely will be. But the catharsis will be exquisite. That’s what will drive us, drive our fury: our need to catharsis our way past this moment of epic awfulness.
There’s an “uh oh” moment coming to the GOP as more and more Republicans realize that not only are they losing the election, but also they’re entering a winter wilderness of shame, investigation, indictment and financial hardship. You can already hear them begging for a deal if only to lighten their brutal sentencing.
And the sentencing for what the Republicans have done will be brutal — at least it will seem that way to them. As we all know, most Republicans are nothing but soft, white underbelly. They’re bullies at heart, good at kicking their victims when they’re down — but only if someone is holding them down. They’re charmless sociopaths out on a joyride.
In their calculus, the Republicans must think we’ll feel obligated to keep what they did because… that’s how criminals think. They don’t want to give back what they stole but then — IT’S NOT UP TO THEM. We The People are the victims of a crime perpetrated upon us by the Republican Party. In 2016, We The People voted one way — for Hillary Clinton and whatever she wanted to make of her presidency — but, instead, were given Donald Trump because the Republican Party had conspired with Russia to alter the results in three key states: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.
We will arrive here: Donald Trump is not now nor has he ever been the legitimate president. He had no right or business taking any oath of office (that he would break even as he spoke it). He’s the only fake in our fake news cavalcade. Having never been the legitimate potus with the legitimate authority vested in him, at no point did he ever have the authority to sign legislation into law, make presidential pronouncements, put together a cabinet or even nominate judges. IOW Donald Trump never had the authority to nominate a single one of the unqualified hacks he nominated up to and including Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barnett.
There really are a thousand very good reasons for Americans to be angry at Donald Trump. What he’s done to this country is, well, criminal.
Mitch McConnell thinks America’s his “handmaiden”. When we get Moscow Mitch under oath, one thing we must ask the Treason Turtle is when exactly he signed onto the mission the RW money (the Kochs especially) assigned him: the hijacking of the federal judiciary. When specifically did Mitch agree to refuse President Obama (elected by clear MAJORITIES both times) the right to populate the federal bench the way We The People wanted him to. That’s why we elected him, you see — we wanted HIS choices because they reflect OUR choices. Mitch McConnell’s choice, on the other hand, reflect only the RW Money’s choices.
Strange… that doesn’t seem like “democracy”. I doubt it’s coincidental.
If you want to know just how cynical the Republicans are about the future, just look at how they’re trying to shove Amy Barnett down America’s unwilling throat — like we were a “handmaiden” or something. Their gamble is this: a nine-member SCOTUS, dominated 6-3 by arch conservatives will (somehow) keep Donald Trump in power, destroy the ACA permanently and make abortion & reproductive rights a state-by-state fiasco. They seem to believe that if they can accomplish those things, their work will have been worthwhile.
Boy, is it going to suck to be them.
Ironically, it’s the RW’s fear of socialized anything that will hasten the arrival of socialized everything. Their assault on the ACA will make universal single payer, Medicare-for-all a necessity. Their catastrophically bad reaction to the pandemic made it inevitable. In the face of a pathogen like the coronavirus, we can only be as healthy as the least healthy among us. Everyone needs access to health CARE — as opposed to health insurance. As I’ve said here ad nauseum: America has a health INSURANCE system rather than a health CARE system. The first question we ask anyone walking in the door isn’t “How can we fix you?”, it’s “How’re you gonna pay for this?”
That is inhumane. It’s disgusting. But that’s what the Republican Party wants for America.
As the Reagan years drew to a close, the RW money recognized they had a problem. A diversifying America would, eventually, they realized, overwhelm them demographically. When that day came, white people’s hold on political power would begin to erode. The Kochs, the Mercers et al were not going to let that happen (because power equals money). The RW money — being damned smart — saw that the executive branch was pretty much gone. Take away Bush v Gore — where Antonin Scalia’s one-time, originalist-ignoring intercession into the 2000 presidential election handed the election to Bush — and Trump’s dubious win and the Republicans haven’t won the White House since Reagan. The RW money wrote off holding the presidency.
Congress was trickier. The House — being the most direct link to citizens — can be mercurial. If you’re trying to create permanent minority rule, the US House of Representatives would be your giveaway. The other side can have it (if you can’t). The real deal is holding the Senate. McConnell is betting he can hold the Senate forever. He has to or the rest of the plan falls apart.
Too bad the Senate’s about to slip from Mitch’s grasp. States like Texas and Alaska are suddenly competitive with Democrats within the margin of error or, at worst, “margin of error adjacent”. The Senate flipping will screw up everything for Mitch — even worse than losing the White House. The White House can be isolated. The POTUS can be reduced to a figurehead spouting shit in a perpetual loop.
Losing the Senate will make losing the judiciary another inevitability. Mitch knows he’s violated plenty of laws to get where he is. When under oath, we’ll also need Mitch to answer why he was so determined to get that $400 million dollar Russian aluminum factory built in West Kentucky. Yeah, yeah — jobs. Whatever. Except Mitch doesn’t give a damn about jobs. Or Kentuckians.
Mitch cares about himself. He cares about his sugar daddies. He cares about remaining Senate Majority Leader. He cares about being under oath — and paying the penalty for lying while there. He cares about not dying in prison, old, broken, hated and incontinent. Unfortunately for Mitch, Karma feels differently.
Take this to the bank: the Democrats absolutely WILL alter the size of the SCOTUS — because circumstances (including the Republicans’ overtly criminal behavior) demand it. Their guide should be America. Our final arbiter needs to look like US — and not just one part of us. If it takes adding another 100 seats in order for the SCOTUS to more accurately reflect us, they we need to do it.
At the end of the day, Republicans really want to have the judiciary in their grasp because they love judging us. That’s what hypocrites are best at — judging other people for the same behavior they themselves are guilty of. And nothing ices the cake of a judgmental Republican’s judginess than having a giant, red cherry of hypocrisy right on top of everything.
Judge a Republican and their head explodes. Judge a whole “party” of Republicans (that’s the collective name for them — “a party” or “a corruption” — “a corruption of Republicans” also works) and you get a 4th of July fireworks display. In Moscow.
Republicans live to judge the rest of us. At least, they used to. They’re about to live the rest of their lives being judged — and not by scolds either: by the rule of law.
Just as Republicans know nada about anything, they know nada about how judging really works. If they pay attention to what happens to them, they’ll learn.
I’m throwing down a radical notion here — a way for We The People to get back what was STOLEN from us — the outcome of Election 2016 that we voted for.
If the Rule Of Law is a “thing” then Donald Trump cannot be POTUS — not the legitimate POTUS. The Rule Of Law says very clearly that you cannot CHEAT and “become POTUS”. If you CHEAT, it DISQUALIFIES your run. You cannot therefore, by definition, “WIN”.
Cheaters cannot “win” — not if the Rule Of Law is operating at full 100% functionality. Therefore, if we accept that 1) Donald Trump & the GOP CHEATED — in ways profoundly ILLEGAL — in order to win election 2016, then 2) Donald Trump & the GOP did not “WIN” election 2016. Their “win” never happened. They STOLE the actual outcome — not in some abstract way — but LITERALLY — from us — from WE THE PEOPLE.
The result we voted for — a more progressive America — was not only denied us, but it’s diametric opposite was, instead, forced down our throats by the very people WHO’D STOLEN THE TRUE RESULT. When someone steals your car — and they catch him — they make him GIVE THE CAR BACK. Because it’s not his — and never was his.
The results of an election can be no different. Just as you cannot reward a car thief with the thing he stole, you cannot reward ELECTION THIEVES with the thing THEY stole — the election’s actual outcome. Even voting them out doesn’t solve the problem because the results of the previous stolen election continue to bear the stolen election’s fruit: legislation the electorate DID NOT WANT and JUDGES the electorate would NEVER have approved of. The will of the people is being violated willfully and repeatedly.
We The People have skin in this game and a dog in the hunt. Legally speaking, we have “standing” to sue Donald Trump & the Republican Party in a CIVIL COURT for damages because they violated our electoral will and STOLE the desired outcome of an American election.
This description of “preponderance of evidence” comes from the Cornell University Law School’s web site: “Preponderance of the evidence is one type of evidentiary standard used in a burden of proof analysis. Under the preponderance standard, the burden of proof is met when the party with the burden convinces the fact finder that there is a greater than 50% chance that the claim is true. This is the burden of proof in a civiltrial.
That’s my radical idea. We The People sue Trump & the GOP in civil court. We sue em for a buck cos it ain’t about the money. It’s about getting to the Truth about what they’ve done and what they’ve done TO us. In a civil trial, our burden would be 50% — get past 50% and we win our point and win our case.
Even our gun shy press might catch on (finally) that the smoking gun needed to prove (in a court of civil law) that Trump and the GOP are corrupt to their marrow and traitors on top of it is actually a smoking preponderance of evidence.
Again — the point isn’t money (hell, we’ll go after Trump & every stinking, corrupt Republican separately) — it’s getting back our stolen car. In our case, our stolen election results.
We could use the civil process to leverage our way into the criminal process — by using the civil process (and its discovery) to reveal the full extent of the crime. Having brought vital evidence out into the open, We The People can turn it all over to the criminal courts for prosecution and disposal. Think we the people can’t clear the 50% preponderance hurdle?
Have you read ANY of the evidence we already have? Imagine how easy this will be when we start getting ahold of all the stuff Trump & the Republicans have been clutching to their chests so fearfully.
President Obama was absolutely right when he said — as he left office — that no one would come to save us from this shitshow except us. We The People need to step up right now. We need to see the evidence we already have — understand what it means — and react. Even before the trial gets up to speed, the preponderance of the evidence buries Trump and the Republicans in tons of criminal behavior.
We need to step up and pull the trigger on prosecuting them all. We owe it to ourselves.