subscribe: Posts | Comments      Facebook      Email Steve

We need to hold Trump and ALL his accomplices accountable!

0 comments

Michael Pompeo, our Secretary of State, reminds me of Hermann Goering.

They’re both big, fat men, saturated with the grease of steak and pork, and infatuated with their own power. Self-confident, smirking, and morally adrift, they revel in their power; both are propped up by sinister bosses: Hitler for Goering, Trump for Pompeo.

We all know how Goering ended up: dead, by his own hand. He swallowed a cyanide capsule he had hidden in his jaw, the night before he was to be hanged for war crimes and crimes against humanity, in Nuremberg. We do not yet know Pompeo’s fate. But when the trials occur for the Trump regime’s abuses of power, obstruction of justice and other crimes, I fully expect Pompeo to be among those brought before the Court.

Dozens of Nazis were executed following the Nuremberg and other post-war trials and hearings. Hundreds more were sent to prison, in a process the Western allies deemed “de-nazification.” The Nazi party itself was outlawed in Germany. This was a harsh but necessary process; Nazism, whatever successes it might have achieved during its early period, metastacized into a cancer that invaded, not only Germany but the entire planet; Nazism had to be eradicated, to prevent it from being a future threat.

In the same way we have got to eradicate the Republican Party. It no longer is a political party, in the sense America in which has understood “political parties” for more than 200 years. It has degenerated into a cult, and a criminal cult, at that: the Scientology of politics, or maybe Branch Davidians is a more apt metaphor. Led by a madman, followed by mindless lemmings willing to commit any crime, and undermining every decent American value, this cult has to be stopped.

And so, to trial for Pompeo. But just as Goering was not alone in that Courtroom in Nuremberg, so Pompeo will sit in the dock along with his fellow co-conspirators: Attorney-General Barr; Vice President Michael Pence; the reptilian Rudy Giuliani; Trump’s lieutenants in the Congress, the rogue Mitch McConnell and the incompetent, amoral Kevin McCarthy; the evil (there’s no other word) Stephen Miller, the regime’s Julius Streicher; and a host of others. I’ll leave it to Adam Schiff to determine the precise list of defendants.

As part of our de-Republicanization process, we must teach the school children of America to rediscover our country’s fundamental values and understand how and why Republicans sought to destroy them. The “how” is easy: seize power, take over the courts, demean and delegitimize political opposition, control the media, and stir up the masses. This was Hitler’s playbook; we’ve seen it all before.

The “why” is more curious. To amass power, surely, but to what end? The Republican Party is not united in ideology. A good part of it is evangelical, Pentecostal or Roman Catholic, wanting to turn America into Jesus-land while they await his second coming and trounce their enemies: Jews, Muslims, atheists and so on. But a good many Republicans have contempt for evangelicals (I count Trump among them, although he has to pretend to like them); they have other motives than religious ones: corporate motives, to enrich themselves. There’s also the psychological phenomenon of wanting to be a winner, which is very powerful in politics; everybody wants to be on the winning side, even if all they get from it is bragging rights.

That’s why UkraineGate is such a tipping point. Up until now Trump has held the winning hand; he’s gotten to dictate the narrative; all Democrats could do was respond. Not any more; now, Democrats control the narrative, and all Trump gets to do is respond—not very artfully, so far. He’s now threatening Civil War, a threat we should all take extremely seriously. A year or so ago he said (I paraphrase) “I have the gun owners and the cops on my side.” That may well be true. So did Hitler; well, “gun owners” weren’t a major force back in 1930s Germany, but the police were; and Hermann Goering and, later, Heinrich Himmler took them over, in Hitler’s name.

So The Resistance is getting interesting. Trump thought he’d beaten us back after the Mueller Report flopped. Ha ha. He was mistaken—badly, historically, embarrassingly mistaken. We were not beaten, we were not abashed; we stayed in the hunt. I, myself, was often annoyed because Nancy Pelosi wouldn’t sanction impeachment. Now, in retrospect, she was right. UkraineGate has made the job of impeaching Trump much, much easier. He will be impeached; and if he thinks the Republican Senate has his back, he would do well to remember that even his own Senators loathe him privately.


Why would a black man be a Republican?

2 comments

This guy Shermichael Singleton was on a T.V. news show over the weekend, attacking Democrats and defending Trump’s “witch hunt” bullshit. You could almost visualize him memorizing the Trump/Fox “News” talking points: impeachment will backfire on Democrats! Nancy Pelosi really didn’t want this but her “radical left wing” pushed her into it! What the Congress should really be investigating is Hillary Clinton’s emails!

Amazing, no? This is what I’d expect from some white nationalist hack at Breitbart, or the neo-nazi-in-chief at Fox, Sean Hannity.

But Shermichael Singleton is a black man.

How does a black man—one with self-respect or the slightest notion of history—join the Republican Party and go on national T.V. to defend the most criminal president in history—a man who himself is clearly a racist, and who instigates the worst racist elements in America? Surely Singleton has to know that vast numbers of Trump’s base would love to lynch him. Surely he knows how uncomfortable he would be if he were in one of their gulags—say, rural northern Alabama, or a West Texas oil town—and tried to order a cup of coffee. He’d be met with hostile stares, sneers, or worse.

Of course, he might pre-empt an attack by wearing a MAGA hat. But he’d still be damned uncomfortable, and as he considered the possibility of getting attacked, he’d have to remind himself that his potential attackers, to a man and to a woman, are Trump Republicans. So how does Shermichael Singleton explain himself to himself?

My hunch: he’s all about pure political ambition. It showed in his smirks as he spewed his propaganda. The Republican Party, he figures, needs black people like him—craves black people, would do almost anything to get black people—even pay them money. Especially if the black person is good-looking and articulate, which Shermichael Singleton just happens to be.

So who is Shermichael Singleton?

To begin with, he’s young: 28 years old. He’s a “Republican political consultant,” in the words of this website, but the weird thing is that he was fired from his job as Deputy Chief of Staff at HUD (where his boss was another black Republican, Ben Carson). Fired? By Whom? None other than [trumpet blare] Trump himself.

Why? Because one month before the 2016 election, Singleton slammed Trump in an op-ed piece. “Trump has taken us to a new moral low,” he wrote, calling his rise as the Republican candidate for president “a hostile takeover” and warning that “the moral fiber of the Republican Party is at stake.”

No wonder Trump fired him. What I can’t understand is why Shermichael Singleton remains a Republican, out there spewing rightwing propaganda, if he actually realizes what happened to his party. If he’s a moderate, as he claims to be, then he has to realize that his Republican Party no longer exists; it has become the party of Trump—of white nationalism, of ignorance, of pathology.

And yet he apparently believes that his party can be restored to some semblance of mental health. It cannot. When you look at Shermichael’s resumé, you can’t help but be impressed. He’s clearly not mentally ill (as are so many Republicans, including Trump). I can only conclude that Shermichael is looking at the main chance: the opportunity to rise, perhaps rapidly, in the world of political entrepreneurialism. He realizes that, as an ambitious black man, he could only go so far as a pundit, consultant and T.V. commentator in the Democratic Party, which is stuffed with ambitious, young black wannabes.

But the Republican Party! Ah, that’s El Dorado for Shermichael. So little competition to be one of the official blacks in the GOP! And Shermichael parlayed that opportunity to the max. He’s now a paid consultant at CNN and advertises his services as a political consultant for “high-profile clients and political candidates”; included in his talents is being a Republican opposition researcher, which is to say he specializes in digging up dirt on Democrats.

In the end, few will care about Shermichael Singleton, and in fact I wish him well. I hope he makes a lot of money and has a nice, big house in Georgetown. But it’s important to see him, and the few other black men and women who continue to be Republican operatives, as what they are: not operating out of genuine political belief, but as career opportunists.


Trump fights back, with lies and threats

0 comments


“You know what else they say about my people? The polls, they say I have the most loyal people. Did you ever see that? Where I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay? It’s like incredible.”

That was a bragging Trump, campaigning in Iowa back on Jan. 23, 2016. He said, in essence, that he could commit a violent felony—first-degree murder—in full public view, with witnesses all around him, and his supporters wouldn’t give a damn. They’d let him off the hook.

Well, what we’ve been seeing with UkraineGate is the Constitutional equivalent of a serial murderer. Trump has committed numerous acts of illegality and blatant unConstitutionality, in full public view, in the presence of multiple witnesses, of whom not a single one of his supporters has been willing to step forward and say, “He did it.”

Not one Republican in the House of Representatives. Not one Republican in the Senate. Not one Republican in the executive branch of government. Not one member of Trump’s Republican Cabinet. Trump committed his diplomatic felonies, assassinating, not people, but norms and Constitutional laws, and he hasn’t lost a single Republican voter.

Yes, “it’s like incredible.”

Then Trump had the nerve to come out right after yesterday’s House Intelligence Committee hearing to lambaste Democrats for investigating his behavior. “No healthcare, no gun control, no infrastructure,” he screamed. “Democrats don’t want any of that. All they want is to harass me.”

Such a lie! Everybody in the universe knows that Democrats stand for healthcare, for gun control, for infrastructure. The Democratic House has passed bill after bill about all those things, and more—but Moscow Mitch refuses to even take them up in his Senate. No floor debate. No committee hearings. “I won’t take up any Democrat legislation in the Senate,” he fulminates, “unless I know what the president will sign.”

Well, of course, Moscow Mitch doesn’t know what Trump will sign because Trump isn’t interested in signing any legislation. He just wants his stooge, McConnell, to stall, stall, stall, so that he can blame Democrats for Congressional inaction. That’s the way things work in Trump Land: do nothing, oppose everything, and blame Democrats for not getting anything done—and continue to break the law and cover up your crimes. This is the case Democrats should, and will, make to the American people. Don’t blame us for this do-nothing Senate. Blame Moscow Mitch and his boss, Trump—who now is outrightly threatening to execute the whistleblower, when and if he or she is identified.

I think the American people get it: the danger and psychosis of this president and his co-conspirators: Giuliani, Pompeo, Pence, McConnell and the others. Once upon a time we indicted, convicted and jailed the co-conspirators of a criminal president: Watergate. We can do it again.

Have a great weekend. Stay safe.


The Acting Director of National Intelligence is a political hack

0 comments

Watching the Acting DNI, Maguire, testify this morning was painful.

It turns out that the man who runs the entire intelligence apparatus of the United States of America is just another squirming, mealy-mouthed bureaucrat. Afraid of saying anything that could get him in trouble with his bosses, he dodged and weaved, hiding behind words, trying his best not to say anything at all.

Two of his favorite words were “urgent” and “prudent.”

He determined, he testified under oath, that he did not think the whistleblower’s complaint rose to the level of “urgent.”

Consider: at stake, in the whistleblower’s complaint, was Who will be the next President of the United States. At stake, too, was the integrity of the current President of the United States, who stands credibly accused of blackmailing a foreign leader in order to boost his (POTUS’s) re-election chances by smearing his [possible] opponent.

Not “urgent”??? Seriously?

Then there’s “prudent.” Maguire valued being “prudent,” according to his testimony, more than he valued following the law. The law says that the DNI shall hand over whistleblower complaints to the relevant Congressional committees. But Maguire thought it would be “prudent” to first check in with his executive bosses in the White House, to assure him that was okay. 

The law does not say that the DNI shall turn over whistleblower complaints to Congress provided that the White House first gives him permission. The law doesn’t say that at all. Yet Maguire thought it would be “prudent” to ask the White House if it was okay for him to do his job, as mandated by law.

That is the action of a timid, befuddled, frightened bureaucrat. You can almost hear his inner thinking: Uh oh, shitstorm. I better ask the White House if it’s okay for me to tell the Congress about the whistleblower. I don’t want to get fired; I don’t want to get into trouble; I want to return to fulltime government work when this Acting DNI gig is up.

This is the man who runs the U.S. intelligence apparatus? A sniveling, worried office worker? He’s more like someone out of a Dilbert cartoon. Maguire is a typical career bureaucrat: all his life, he’s received orders from above, which he then relayed below, trying to straddle fences without alienating anyone. (If you’ve worked in a large organization, as I have, you might have some empathy with him.) No great moral decisions were required, no deeds of courage, no bravery. Maguire may well have been brave on many occasions when he was a Navy SEAL; but once he entered government politics, he discovered the “prudence” of not rocking the boat.

Sadly, Maguire found himself, for the first time in his career, in a position where he was morally required to put country and law ahead of career and “prudence.” Maguire weighed the balance, and decided in favor of career and “prudence.” He had the opportunity this morning, in front of that committee, to redeem himself—to declare in favor of country and law. But that would have jeopardized his future government career. So he wouldn’t. Indeed, Maguire wouldn’t even say whether or not Trump gave him orders about his testimony. He hid behind that old chestnut, “executive privilege,” which is the White House equivalent of taking the Fifth. Maguire couldn’t even bring himself to disagree with Trump’s characterization of the whistleblower as a “political hack.”

If Maguire wants to know what a “political hack” is, all he has to do is look in the mirror.


IMPEACHMENT!

0 comments

Trump and his Republicans want to make this a fight. Good. Let’s fight. We’re going to win.

There are a few salient facts to keep in mind.

  1. What is the essence of UkraineGate? The President of the United States enticed a foreign government to illegally meddle in a U.S. election.
  2. This is the second time this has happened. “Russia, if you’re listening” was the first—thereby continuing a clear pattern of solicitation bordering on treason.
  3. Trump and his associates—Barr and the Acting DNI, Maguire—broke the law by preventing the whistleblower from going to Congress.
  4. UkraineGate is far from Trump’s only crime. He has repeatedly and flagrantly violated the Emoluments Clause. He attempted to obstruct the Russia investigation at least ten times, according to the Mueller Report. He abused his power by trying to get Mueller fired. He has broken the law by refusing to turn over his taxes to Congress, which is entitled to see them. He has broken campaign finance and other tax laws by clandestine hush payments to his former mistresses. He has repeatedly lied, or caused his agents to lie, to Congress, to the media, and to the American people.

Have I forgotten anything? Probably. The point is, Trump and his Republicans keep forwarding the myth that Impeachment will redound to their benefit, and against the interests of Democrats. This is untrue. The comparison or analogy with Clinton is not apt. For one thing, Clinton was enormously popular at the onset of Republican attempts to impeach him, whereas Trump’s popularity is in the tank. For another, the “crime” Republicans charged Clinton with was based on a consenting sexual affair; and the American people refused to depose a President just because he cheated on his wife; and they especially were revolted by a prurient Miss Grundy of a prosecutor, Kenneth Starr, who reminded them of all the dirty old men they didn’t like. Trump’s crimes by contrast are massive and widespread, covering a multitude of areas, any one of which justifies removal from office. And he’s still in office! Which means he’s still capable of committing even stupider crimes going forward. And he probably will, given what we know of his impulsiveness, arrogance, disregard for the law, and, yes, his stupidity.

So let the truth come out. Trump can’t stop it. To paraphrase Churchill’s immortal words: “Let the process keep rolling along; let it roll. Let it roll on full flood, inexorable, irresistible, to broader lands and better days.” It is rolling full-steam now. Tomorrow, when Maguire either admits he broke the law or—more likely, on orders from Trump—continues to stonewall before Congress, the process will increase in energy. Possibly by Friday, when the whistleblower testifies in Congress, the onrush will become a tsunami.

And all the while, the House investigations continue. They will gather their evidence, funneling relevant information to the Impeachment managers, who will build the case to an American public already primed to believe in the criminality of their President—moreover, a public already inclined to view Trump as a lying, adulterous asshole.

And what of the diehard Trump lovers? They’re not going to take this sitting down. Check out Breitbart (but put on your haz-mat suit before you go there). The anger, the outrage leak from every page like raw sewage. So far, as yet, the neo-fascists there have nothing concrete with which to defend their Fuhrer; all they can do is quote his tweets. High up on today’s feed is a photograph of Maxine Waters, always a favorite Negro for Breitbart’s racists to hate on. The comments under her photo range from racist inuendoes about her family to such delightful nuggets as this:

The funeral director that did her makeup needs to go back to school to revisit makeup application for the dearly deceased….”

And, of course, there’s the standard crap about the Clintons and Obamas (“investigate them! Jail them!”).

Well, that’s the Basket of Deplorables for you. Too bad we can’t just snap our fingers and make them go away, or wake up and realize it’s all been a nightmare. It’s all ticking down to Election 2020. We successfully launched #BlueWave2018 and I firmly believe we’ll successfully launch #BlueWave2020. Not to sound too vengeful, but when the new, Democratic Congress and a new Democratic President take office on Jan. 21, 2021 (with, let’s pray, Ruth Bader Ginsburg still on the SCOTUS), we’re going to indict a lot of bastards, from Nunes and McConnell to Barr; we may even impeach Kavanaugh; and as for Trump himself, he’s going to have to lawyer up, but this time on his own dime, not ours.


« Previous Entries Next Entries »

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

Categories

Archives