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What We Talked About



[This is from the personal diary of Vladimir Putin. I cannot reveal how I got it, but take my word, it’s authentic—the real thing! In it, Putin summarizes the conversation he had with Trump during that notorious two-hour secret meeting in Helsinki.]

Dear Diary, every time I see President Trump, he’s more humble. In the words of a recent American popular song, “Sit down, bitch.” He began by asking me if I still have the videotape. “Of course I do, Donald,” I said, squeezing his knee with my hand, in a gesture of dominance. “Why, did you think I would lose it?”

“Oh, no, Vladimir, I just thought that maybe…”

“Don’t worry, Donald, your little secret is safe with me—for now. I did manage to view it again, though, for the first time in a few months. Steamy, Donald, steamy! I’m not sure that, how do you say, watersports is of interest to me, but like the old saying goes, whatever floats your boat.”

“Vladimir, thank you for respecting my privacy. You know, if that videotape got into the wrong hands…”

“Donald, Donald, Donald. I’m your friend! I’m here to protect you. I would never want to see you be humiliated in front of the whole world…be impeached…lose Melania and your lovely family…lose your businesses…have your life thrown into utter hell…become loathed and reviled by History. All of which will happen, of course, if the videotape were to end up in the hands of—oh, I don’t know, let’s say, for the sake of argument, Rachel Maddow.”

“That would be bad, Vladimir. Very bad.”

“Yes, Donald, it would be a tragedy. For you…not so much for me. But won’t worry; as long as you remain, uh, receptive to my suggestions, the videotape will remain locked in my personal safe in the Kremlin.”

“Yes, Vladimir.”

“You did a good job the other day trashing NATO. I appreciated that. I also liked the way you attacked your own intelligence services.”

“Well, you wanted me to, Vladimir.”

“True, true. I did. And now, when we have our joint press conference after this little tete-a-tete, I want you to go out there and again savage your intelligence services. Tell those damn reporters you don’t agree that Russia meddled in your election.”

“Fake news, Vladimir.”

“Tell them what a great guy I am, Donald. Play it up—lay it on thick. Emphasize that the relationship between you and me is the most important thing in the world.”

“Well, it is, Vladimir. I’ve always wanted to be your friend.”

“And you are, Donald, you are! We are good friends, very good friends indeed. And friends help each other, right?”

“Yes, Vladimir, friends help each other.”

“So, Donald, I am going to ask for your help in a very delicate matter.”

“Anything, Vladimir. You name it.”

“Your translator, Donald—the nice woman from your State Department. I understand that your Senate is thinking of subpoenaing her testimony. Is this correct?”

“I’ve heard the same thing, Vladimir.”

“It would not be a good thing if that were to happen, Donald. I’m sure you agree, no?”

“I do agree, Vladimir. It would not be a good thing.”

“You have to stop it, Donald.”

“Well, Vladimir, I don’t see how I can do that. In America, we have a separation of powers. The Congress is a separate branch of government. I can’t tell them what to do.”

“Donald, Donald, Donald. Do you see my lips? They’re smiling. Of course you can tell your Republican collaborators what to do. Your base supports you, and those Senators are terrified of getting primaried.”

“Yes, Vladimir, that’s true. But even I have to watch myself around those Senators. They’re pretty touchy sometimes about their prerogatives.”

“So you’re telling my there’s nothing you can do about stopping her from spilling the beans?”

“I am, Vladimir. Believe me, I’d do it if I thought I could get away with it.”

“Well, Donald, then that leaves you with only one choice.”

“What’s that, Vladimir?”

“I’m sure you know what I’m driving at.”

“Actually, Vladimir, I don’t. How can I stop her from testifying? She’s a U.S. citizen. She’s free to do anything she wants.”


“Unless what, Vladimir?”

“Donald, you know Novichok?”


“Not who, Donald. What! Novichok is the nerve agent I used to poison the Skripals. I have tons of it, Donald, more than I need for my own personal needs. I can arrange for a vial to be sent to you, and you can arrange for the translator to accidentally be exposed to it.”

“Vladimir, we have our own nerve agents. If I want to kill that translator, I don’t need your chemicals.”

“Then do it, Donald. Take care of the problem. And do it quickly! Remember the videotape, Donald.”

“How could I forget, Vladimir? You’ll never let me.”

“That is correct, Mister President. Remember that all the time. All the time. All the time.”

And that, dear diary, is what I told my friend, my vassal, Donald Trump. Oh, how Stalin would have wept with joy! How Krushchev would have marveled! How Brezhnev would have praised me! Finally, a Russian leader owns the U.S. president. I, Vladimir Putin, president of the Russian Federation, have the American president’s moshonka in my hands!

The Asterisk President *



If you’ve done something famous and you have an asterisk next to your name, it means your accomplishment has been tarnished by something bad you did.

Barry Bonds, for example, will forever have an asterisk next to his name, even if he somehow manages to make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He may be the home run king, but he probably took performance-enhancing drugs, with which his name will forever be associated. Bill Clinton will forever have an asterisk after his name, as only the second President ever to be impeached. If you’re a celebrity, in any realm of public life, you do not want that dreaded asterisk next to your name in the history books!

Donald Trump’s greatest fear, we’re told by experts, is that History will record his presidency as illegitimate. When the veteran Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis said Trump’s presidency is “not legitimate” because of the Russian meddling in the election, Trump went on a twitter rage, attacking Lewis repeatedly, at one point calling him “all talk, no action.”

Trump’s personality is dominated by his ego and his narcissism. He hates being a loser, which is why one of his favorite epithets for others is “Loser!” He has repeatedly insisted that he won the 2016 election because of his “brilliant” campaign.

But about half of all Americans think he won because he got help from the Russians. There’s no proof that Putin’s tricksters changed any votes, but common sense strongly suggests that tens of thousands of voters, perhaps many more, were impacted in anti-Hillary feelings by things they saw or heard on the Internet, and voted against her, or didn’t vote at all, thereby handing the election to Trump despite Hillary winning the popular vote by three million.

Trump hates that. He simply cannot stand the thought that he didn’t win all on his own. But he didn’t. He won because of Russian meddling. As an amateur historian, I am convinced that History will put an asterisk next to Trump’s name, and state that his election will always be suspicious because of the Russian activity. Actually, if you think about it, being the Asterisk President is a lot better than being the president who was indicted for treason. Trump may end up being both.

OMG Where’s the damn Tipping Point?



We’ve waited almost two years now for a majority of Republicans to reach the tipping point: when they realize they backed the wrong horse in Donald J. Trump and that he’s a clear and present danger to America.

With Monday’s stunning and stark revelation of Trump’s treachery, that point may be nearer than ever. True, after the shocking press conference, yesterday a few Republicans– John McCain in particular, but also, to a greater or less extent, Paul Ryan, Bob Corker, Ben Sasse, Tim Scott, Liz Cheney, Trey Gowdy, Susan Collins Jeff Flake, Will Hurd and a few others in the Congress–criticized Trump. But we’re still a long, long way from Trump’s base repudiating their leader, and I want to explain why.

Some years ago, a book was published. “Grand Canyon: A Different View” was written by a group of creationists who argued that “the [Grand] canyon is no more than a few thousand years old and was formed by the Global Flood or Noachian flood of the Bible.” Specifically, the authors wrote, “A judgment by water of a world broken by the sin of man known as ‘the Fall’ [occurred] “about 6,000 years ago” when the “actual historical event” known as Noah’s Flood created “the sedimentary layers we see in the Grand Canyon, and in the rest of the world for that matter.” The authors affirm this to be true, they argue, because “Scripture” says so, and the Bible is “the inerrant word of God.”

Normally, we could laugh off this arrant nonsense, but these people—the evangelicals—have been seizing power for decades, and Trump is their latest avatar. “Grand Canyon: A Different View” became quite controversial when, shockingly, the National Park Service (NPS) approved it for sale in dozens of their bookstores across the land.

Needless to say, this crazy decision—rightwing religious propaganda sold at taxpayer-funded stores–alarmed many intelligent people, including geologists at the NPS itself. The agency’s chief of the Geologic Resource Division, a man named David Shaver, wrote a scathing protest letter to the NPS’s Office of Policy stating: “NPS approval of a book that repudiates science and promotes a narrow religious viewpoint for sale in a park bookstore raises the question as to whether such approval is contrary to statutory direction to use a ‘program of the highest quality science.’” The NPS promised it would look into the issue, but as far as I have been able to determine, the book still sits on NPS bookshelves.

I bring this up only to point out the patent stupidity about science among hardcore Christians. Anyone who believes the Grand Canyon was created 6,000 years ago by the Biblical flood is obviously delusional. And yet, there are an awful lot of these people in the U.S. Huffington Post reported that fully 28% of Americans believe the Bible is the literal word of God. That’s about 90 million of us, based on a U.S. population of 325.7 million in 2017. And a Pew study found that 61% of evangelicals do believe that the Bible is the literal word of God.

It seems likely that the vast majority of these believers are Republicans, since evangelicals constitute a core of Trump’s base. These are the people least likely ever to turn against their leader, Trump, because they’re incapable of rational thinking. Think about it: we’re asking them to perform a particularly complex form of reasoning: to understand that Donald Trump, and the Republican Party, are indebted to the Russian president, Putin, and that his every word and deed is consciously designed to aid and abet Russia in undermining American democracy and despoil our international relations with friends and allies. And more than that: to understand why.

That’s a tall order for Biblical literalists.

You and I, dear reader, have no problem reaching this understanding, but people with deficient critical thinking skills are unable to. We can certainly agree that anyone who believes the Grand Canyon was created by the Flood lacks critical thinking skills. These people are unreachable by fact, evidence or reason. Indeed, they constitute the hardest core of Trump’s base precisely because they are irrational.

We’ll never persuade them that Trump is, wittingly or unwittingly, a Russian agent. They cannot learn about the world around them, because they committed the suicidal act of killing their own minds when they decided that the Bible is the literal truth of the universe and they need not bother themselves with facts.

What is clear after Monday’s debacle and Tuesday’s fallout is that these events have been very favorable for The Resistance. What we could not do for ourselves–convince people that Putin has kompromat on Trump–Trump did for us. Thank you Mister President! I predict Trump’s poll numbers will fall in the next few weeks. Whether or not this constitutes the final, actual tipping point, I don’t know. But if there is a tipping point out there–and God help us, there must be–we’re a lot closer to it than we were last Sunday.

The summit: Blah blah blah. Yadda yadda yadda



That pretty much sums up yesterday’s “summit” between BFFs Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. As I predicted yesterday, it was “a nothingburger.” Afterwards, at the joint press conference, Trump boasted about “deeply productive dialogue,” the same way he boasts about Mexico building the wall or how great Joe Arpaio is: empty words, meaningless words, aimed at a single target: his ignorant base.

Putin once again denied any involvement in the 2016 U.S. election. Once again, Trump insulted Germany and Merkel. He dismissed the Russian meddling peremptorily. He said he “raised” the issue. And that was it: Putin goes unadmonished by the president he helped elect, and there is every likelihood Russian agents will again meddle in future American elections.

“Do you hold Russia accountable for anything?” a reporter asked. “We’re all to blame,” he hedged, as he said “both sides” had good people at Charlottesville. “The [Mueller] probe is a disaster for our country. There was no collusion. Everybody knows it.” Lie! “I beat Hillary Clinton easily,” he bragged—she won the popular vote by more than three million. Trump dodged every issue related to RussiaGate. He blamed, accused, deflected, constantly brought everything back to Hillary Clinton!

Once again, Trump accused Democrats of resisting and obstructing. Let me address this, since I am a Democrat who joined The Resistance in September, 2016, two months before the election.

Trump is right: Democrats are resisting. It’s not resistance for its own sake. It’s because when confronted with evil, decent people have no choice but to resist, as the partisans of Europe resisted the Nazis during World War II. And part of resistance is obstruction: not for its own sake (as Republicans obstructed everything Obama proposed, simply because he’s a Black man). We obstruct because, when evil threatens to overtake the country, decent people must do their best to stop it.

Listening to the two presidents, Trump and Putin, after the meeting was like listening to two sleepwalkers, mumbling incoherences. Trump slurred his words and sounded drugged. He rambled and ranted on and on about the election, about Mueller, about Hillary, about the FBI, about his “brilliant” campaign, while Putin stood next to him, looking alternately bored and amused. Both men were anxious to talk about something, anything besides the collusion and the meddling. It never happened! It’s fake news! The Democrats invented it! The fake media exploits it! The Mueller case “doesn’t have a fighting chance in American courts,” Putin agreed with his lapdog.

We shall see.

All eyes remain focused on Mueller. In the next three months, we’re told, he will issue his report. If there is any accusation that Trump, his family or his closest associates were involved in collusion and/or obstruction of justice, there will be hell to pay. Trump’s denials of the last 18 months will be exposed as the outright lies most of us think they are. If Mueller lets Trump and his family and associates off the hook, Trump will be proved right. If the truth is somewhere in the middle, things will be very awkward. Mueller might say, “The president did not break any existing laws. But he showed extreme carelessness, was slow to accept the obvious truth that Russia meddled, and came dangerously close to helping an enemy country.”

In the end, to Jonathan Lemire’s amazing series of questions, Trump said the most incredible thing yet: “I don’t see any reason why” Russia would have meddled, “but I really want to see the [DNC] server.” Fantastic lie. Unbelievable. He sees “no reason why” Russia would meddle? TO ELECT YOU, YOU IDIOT. That was the “reason.” Trump knows it. The DNC servor? NOBODY CARES. He lied to the whole world. And Putin did NOT deny having “compromising material” on Trump. Every time I hear someone say they don’t know why Trump is acting the way he is (as John Kasich did yesterday on Chris Matthews), I want to scream BECAUSE PUTIN HAS THE PISS TAPE!

In a weird way yesterday was a great day for The Resistance. Trump overplayed his hand. This is going to put Republicans on the hot seat. We can use Trump’s traitorous words against him. Maybe, just maybe there are enough sane Republicans left in America that we will win the House and the Senate and then, after January, 2019, we can get moving on the serious work of removing Trump from office and trying him in the United States Senate and, if he’s found guilty, imprisoning him.

How Trump made summits a joke

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When I was a kid, at the height of the Cold War, U.S.-Russia summit meetings were a big deal. Whenever Eisenhower and his successor, JFK, met with Krushchev, the nation waited with baited breath to learn what happened. LBJ summitted with Brezhnev in 1967; Nixon did the same six years later; and when Reagan met with Gorbachev, in Reykjavik in 1986, the world was on tenterhooks: would it be peace or war?

These events were the ultimate drama. As Fortune Magazine noted, summits “garner[ed] much interest and excitement” because they were “a high-politics version of a well-scripted…unpredictable reality show in which two powerful men…discuss the interests of their countries.”

The idea of summits between leaders isn’t new. Moses’s confrontation with Pharoah could be described as a summit. Probably the most famous summit of the 19th century was the meeting, in 1807, between Napoleon and Tsar Alexander I of Russia, to determine the fate of Prussia (unless you count the Grant-Lee meeting as a “summit”).

Summits, in other words, really did resolve, or revolve around, important issues. With this Trump regime, however, summits have devolved into made-for-reality-TV spectacles. Trump’s much ballyhooed “summit” with Kim Jong-Un, as we now know, resulted in nothing but Trump’s boasts, mainly to his base, that he “denuclearized” the Korean Peninsula, when in fact North Korea continues to enrich the uranium needed for thermonuclear bombs.

And now we have the bread-and-circus summit of Trump meeting with Putin in Helsinki today. What does anyone really expect will happen from this charade? There will be a communiqué afterwards, and plenty of tweets and on-air statements, but the real agreements will be secret. Trump is a pathological liar, so anything he says must instantly be distrusted. What he will do is to again boast that he is improving U.S.-Russia relations, a statement that will quickly be disproved by the march of real events.

Russian-American enmity is a century old. The two countries have been at odds ever since the Russian Revolution turned that nation Communist, in October, 1917. America and the then-Soviet Union collaborated for a brief period during World War II to beat their common enemy, Hitler (talk about strange bedfellows!), but even before VE Day, the old tensions resurfaced, and by the time of Truman’s re-election in 1948, the Cold War had begun in deadly earnest, with both sides arming to the teeth.

It’s hard to imagine Russia, especially under Putin, and America entirely burying hatchets both have wielded for more than 100 years. It would be nice, but History doesn’t seem to permit such startlingly casual turnarounds. More importantly, the summit takes place in the immediate aftermath of Mueller’s spectacular indictment last week of 12 Russian military intelligence officers, an event that utterly devastates Trump’s persistent claims that Russia did nothing to meddle with the election. Nobody I’m aware of expects Trump to do anything to hold Putin personally accountable (as he is). Trump himself has said his actions are limited to a feeble query. “All I can do is say ‘Did you?’ and ‘Don’t do it again.”

Which pretty much makes this summit a nothingburger. We used to be able to believe the communiqués. No more: not when they’re given by a pathological liar like Trump and a master spy like Putin. And given the fact that Trump will permit no outside observers (except for translators), we won’t even know the actual content of their secret conversation. For all we know, the chat will be about the sex videotape Putin likely has of Trump in that infamous hotel room with those Russian prostitutes.

There will be breathless coverage of this “summit.” Trump’s base—until now the fiercest anti-Russians ever, but overnight turned into Russophiles by their Svengali—will buy whatever crap he’s selling. It’s just one more distraction from the Distractor-in-Chief, to get the Mueller heat off himself and rev up his base. Add to Donald Trump’s other dubious achievements that he has made summit conferences a joke. This isn’t a “summit,” it’s a mafia Apalachin meeting,  in which gangsters meet in secret to hatch nefarious plans, hoping they won’t get caught. History suggests they will.

Sen. Feinstein, take off the damned gloves and stop the Kavanaugh hearings!



Senator Dianne Feinstein handily won her fight for the Democratic nomination to run for a sixth term in June, but she faced some considerable opposition from within her own party. The reason: many perceive her as too centrist, too accommodationist toward Republicans and Trump.

Dianne’s always been a moderate-liberal, not a flaming lefty. She was my Mayor when I lived in San Francisco and believe me, she was never a Progressive. She was the rich daughter of a doctor. She lived in a mansion in Pacific Heights and was married to an investment banker. Her friends came from the same social class as she. She did what she had to do to win liberal votes in San Francisco, but for me, her core attitude was symbolized by the way she was when AIDS was ravaging the city and the gay community looked to her for help.

I remember how Dianne did the right thing by touring the Castro neighborhood and meeting with gays. But she always seemed a little freaked out by the community, as though she might catch something. She’d wear white gloves when shaking hands, and one had the impression she couldn’t wait to get back to someplace clean and safe and take a shower. Maybe that’s unfair; she has been a good political friend of the LGBT community and always supported it. But like I said, she’s never been one to really plunge into a full-scale battle and get her hands dirty.

A year or so ago, Dianne got into big trouble here in California with liberals after she remarked that Trump “could be a good president” if he would “learn and change.” That struck many of us as incredibly naive. By last summer (August, 2017), it was clear—or should have been clear–to everyone with half a brain that Trump is a catastrophe: a moral failure, a politically shameless whore, ignorant of the issues, fueled by resentment, willing to cater to racists and the most ignorant levels of society—a thorough asshole. When Feinstein came out with that dumb statement, it caused astonishment: How could she think that he can be ‘good’? That’s why she faced Democratic opponents in the primary—she pissed off a lot of people. But she won, and is a cinch to be re-elected.

Now she’s faced with a new dilemma: Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court. Unlike her counterpart in the Senate, Kamala Harris, Feinstein still has not declared she will vote against him. Her accommodationist streak is showing: while Harris announced she’s a definite “Hell, no!” vote, Feinstein has wavered. Instead, she’ll go through the formal motions on the Judiciary Committee (where she’s ranking member), after which she’ll make up her mind. I expect she’ll vote against him in the end. But the fact that she’s even willing to play the game and permit Kavanaugh to have a hearing is galling to a lot of us.

After what McConnell did to Merrick Garland—not even allowing him to have hearings, a first in the history of this country—Democrats should have learned a lesson: they have to fight as dirty as Republicans. This is something that’s been hard for Democrats to accept: they tend to take the Feinstein-white glove approach to political battles and play fair. McConnell took the Democrats’ fairness and shoved it right up their asses. From that point on, there was no reason, no reason at all for Democrats to ever cooperate with Republicans on anything, and every reason to oppose, using every obstructionist tactic in the book, and some that aren’t in the book.

Now, two years later, Republicans have outdone themselves even beyond McConnell’s horrible stunt, in protecting a felonious, dangerous president and helping him cover up his crimes. It’s hard to imagine Republicans doing anything worse than they’ve already done, but mark my words, they will: when Mueller issues a scathing report on Trump, they’ll double-down on their efforts to denigrate him and derail the investigation, no matter how massive the evidence against Trump. Republicans took off the gloves years ago: Democrats, like Feinstein, still have them on.

I have voted for Dianne in every election she ever ran in except her supervisor runs. I voted for her in the June primary, and I’ll vote for her again in November. And I thank her for her decades of service. But here’s what I, and many other Californians, need for her to do–and do now: Give a speech in the well of the Senate, addressing McConnell directly, and say: Senator McConnell, you said the other day, concerning President Trump’s nomination for the Supreme Court, that the Senate “should evaluate this president’s nominee fairly, based on their qualifications. And we should treat this process with the respect and the dignity that it deserves.”

Senator, you are so full of it, it’s coming out of your ears. You kicked the Constitution and the people of the United States in the groin when you pulled that stunt with Merrick Garland. And now you have the nerve to tell Democrats to treat Kavanaugh fairly. How dare you? Who do you think you’re talking to? Senator McConnell, you’re a disgrace to the United States Senate. I will not vote for Judge Kavanaugh. I will not participate in hearings, and I will use every power I possess as a United States Senator to block hearings, until we know the results of the November elections.”

Feinstein, of course, will do nothing of the sort. She’s a blue-blooded lady, polite and correct to a fault. Unfortunately, we’ve moved well beyond the time for Senatorial courtesy–thanks to McConnell. We are in a confrontation with the Party of Trump. It’s no-holds barred. And that is what I have told Sen. Feinstein in emails to her office: NO VOTE! OBSTRUCT! RESIST! Give McConnell exactly what he gave you: the finger.

Readers, if you live in California, and you agree with me, here’s a link to Feinstein’s email. Let her know how you feel!







Disrupting Trump’s disruption



Donald Trump promised to disrupt the normal course of events and he’s doing exactly that. It’s thrilling to his base, but I don’t know why. Do they want drama for its own sake? Because that’s what they’re getting.

If you’d asked rightwing Republicans two years ago if they were concerned about Russian expansionism, they would have said, Hell yes. Today, they seem to like Putin more than they like any Western leaders. Why? Because their leader, Trump, told them to.

Two years ago, if you’d asked rightwing Republicans if they were worried about tariffs, they would have asked you what “tariffs” are. Today, tariffs suddenly are a driving issue for Republicans. Why? Because their leader, Trump, is obsessed with them.

Two years ago, if you’d asked rightwing Republicans if they knew or cared about NATO dues from our allies, they would have wondered what you were talking about. NATO dues? What’s that? Today, Donald Trump is making a big brouhaha about NATO dues, so all of a sudden, Republicans have discovered that as an issue. (It also feeds into their rabid xenophobia.)

The mindset of the Republican base is a remarkable thing: soft as mush, unformed and uninformed, ready to be impressed by any mold set upon it, pliant to the point of enfeeblement–the mind of a baby. That mindset is particularly receptive to propaganda. It is an amazing twist of history that Trump has managed to let Republicans know that they care about a whole bunch of stuff they never thought they cared about before. Go to Breitbart and see rant after rant about tariffs, complete with images of American flags, MAGA slogans and exploding bombs. What do those people know about tariffs? Do they know that a tax on, say, imported Chinese steel means a rise in the cost of an American car by hundreds of dollars? Do they know that a retaliatory tax by China on American soybeans represents the loss of thousands of jobs here and threatens the existence of midwestern farms? They don’t know these things. Had President Hillary Clinton imposed the same taxes as Trump, with the same consequences, the right would be screaming bloody murder: Hillary the job killer! Hillary declares war on the middle class! Killary…well, you know the routine.

But it’s not Hillary who imposed these tariffs, it’s the right’s fuhrer, Trump. Therefore, the right has to make believe it actually cares about tariffs. The right even doesn’t pretend to have thought carefully about tariffs, or analyzed their implications. All they know is that Trump likes tariffs when he imposes them on other countries, and doesn’t like tariffs when other countries impose them on us. That’s simple enough: it makes it easy to find your political position when you don’t have to think, but merely obey. This is one more reason why Trump’s rule tends towards authoritarianism.

And now we are about to have Justice Kavanaugh imposed upon us, the gift of a generous Federalist Society. This is the judge who has stated on previous occasions that a sitting U.S. President cannot be indicted, cannot be tried, cannot be investigated, cannot be removed from office except through Impeachment. A President is, in other words (according to Kavanaugh) invulnerable. What if a sitting President commits treason? Nothing to be done about it, says Judge Kavanaugh. What if a sitting President fires the investigative arm of the Justice Department for daring to look into his suspicious activities? Nothing to be done about it. What if a sitting President commits sexual crimes? Nothing to be done about it. What if the avenue of Impeachment is closed because a partisan Congress desires to protect their President, no matter how serious the evidence is against him? Nothing to be done about it. That is the way they did it in Nazi Germany, when the Parliament and the Courts ceased to exist except as vehicles of the Will of the Fuhrer.

I sometimes conjecture about what it would take to bring the Left and the Center into the streets. I think if the Supreme Court were to once again make gay marriage illegal, there would be hell to pay (which is why I don’t think it will). Ditto with abortion. But there are any number of more realistic possibilities that could lead to massive civil unrest. Surely one of them is the following: Mueller issues his report and it’s scathing against Trump and his family. Mueller attempts to indict; the issue goes to the Supreme Court, where by a 5-4 vote the indictment is thrown out. Or Mueller tries to subpoena the President and by the same 5-4 vote the High Court rules that the President cannot be subpoenaed. Or Trump fires Mueller, and/or Rosenstein, and/or whomever else he perceives as a threat, and the High Court rules that Trump was within his rights, i.e., nothing to be done about it.

In any of these cases there will be an uproar, and deservedly so. I sincerely believe that Democrats did not begin this tearing apart of the fabric of American society. Obama—such a gentleman!–repeatedly sought to be a bipartisan President, often to the discomfiture of the Democratic left. No, it was Republicans who began this assault, and specifically the evangelical/hardcore Christian wing of that party that hates democracy and diversity and wishes to impose a Taliban-style theocracy upon our country, based on ignorance, resentment, fear and superstition. (I do not mean to exempt the racist white supremacists who happen not to be Christian, but it’s the evangelicals who are most abhorrent.) For me, the frosting—or, in this case, the merde—on the cake was when McConnell refused to allow hearings on Garland. That was an insult, a body blow to Democrats that we shall never forgive nor forget.

Liberals and independents quite rightly rose up to resist all this infamy, and we did well enough to protect Obamacare and to prevail in the gay marriage fight. We will be called upon to resist again, in even stronger numbers, should things get bad enough, as they’re almost certain to. It’s called The Good Fight. Think of it as the disruption of Trump’s disruption or, in plainer words, Revolution.

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