Today seems like a regular day. The sun is shining, the traffic hums, I walked my dog and had coffee in the morning. Yet, this was no ordinary day and we live in extraordinary times. Because today, a bit of democracy died in the United States Senate.
We have now entered a strange interregnum — a precarious 10-month period that starts with Moscow Mitch McConnell’s craven cover-up and ends with the upcoming 2020 elections. Make no mistake these 10-months will determine our future. It is going to be victory, or the End Times for America, as we know it.
Let’s be clear, there was no acquittal of President Trump, but one party did quit democracy today. Moscow Mitch McConnell shamelessly colluded with the White House to ram through a sham trial with no documents or witnesses. It was a total farce. Vladimir Putin would certainly be proud.
Trump is guilty as the day is long and everybody knows it. Yet, these Republican quislings traded democracy for autocracy. They revealed themselves, yet again, as Orwellian sycophants who elevated party above principle and political power above patriotism. The Republican Party in its current iteration must die, or America will. That I guarantee.
How the hell could any person in good conscience who loves this country still vote Republican? It’s mind-boggling.
I think it has a lot to do with FOX News and the universe of right wing media. One third of this country feasts on alternative facts and gets a fake narrative instead of real news. A third of this country thinks efforts to hold Donald Trump accountable are the efforts of a nefarious left wing coup that wants to come for their guns and bibles. This is the dishonest crap they are fed each day. This is the dangerous and destabilizing message they hear. And we wonder why they have abandoned reason and support Trump’s treason. We wonder why they have left their senses to join a cult?
What gravely concerns me is that the fix may already be in. It may be to late. We may have already lost our country. That’s because today the Senate gave Trump, and Republicans in general, the green light to cheat with no consequences.
Hmm, what do we know about modern Republicans and Donald Trump? Well, they are cheaters. They don’t play by the rules. They operate in bad faith and have no compunction about harming America to further their grip on power. And that’s when we still had a co-equal Congress that actually did oversight.
What about now, when the president has, as Adam Schiff said, carte blanche to cheat? The president illegally withheld aid to Ukraine, to blackmail that country into investigating Joe Biden, a political opponent. Republicans said at the bogus trial that such undemocratic, illegal behavior is perfectly acceptable. How do you win an election when one party is allowed to cheat and has shown a propensity to do so?
The answer is you don’t – and that’s why you see strongmen like Vladimir Putin perpetually ruling their countries. They have the trappings of democracy, but it’s all a ruse. It’s a Potemkin Village. But isn’t that what we had in the Senate this week? What we all witnessed looked like Capitol Hill. They went through the motions of the United States Senate. But it was a big fraud. It wasn’t real. It was a show trial like we have in communist and authoritarian countries. Thank you Moscow Mitch, Lindsey Graham, Lisa Murkowski, Lamar Alexander and the rest of this motley crew.
So, Donald Trump now has near absolute power between now and Election Day. That’s a terrifying thought. Does any unbiased observer doubt that the president wants to a dictator or king? Let’s not forget this doosey during Trump’s nominating speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention:
In today’s New York Times, Charlie Savage laid out Trump’s autocratic actions:
• Trump said during his first campaign he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose any support.
• Trump has repeatedly claimed that Article II of the Constitution, which creates the presidency, gives him “the right to do whatever I want.”
• Trump said that he could pardon himself and vowed to systematically stonewall “all” congressional subpoenas.
• Trump broke with a long-held norm by personally ordering an investigation into the Russia investigators, and he repeatedly tried to impede the special counsel inquiry, boasting that he has “an absolute right to do what I want to with the Justice Department.”
• William Barr, provided the Trump administration with a legal theory by which obstruction of justice laws do not apply to presidents who abuse their power over the Justice Department.
• Trump declared a national emergency to spend more taxpayer money on a border wall with Mexico
• Trump wants a big military parade so he can act like a dictator
• Speaking of dictators, Trump has bent down and kissed every ring and every ass of every dictator he’s ever met
• Trump also demands extreme personal loyalty from aides, instead of loyalty to the country.
• The president lied more than 16,000 times and gaslights on a regular basis to disorient people
• The president has called the independent media the enemy of the people.
The most egregious example of Trump’s dictatorial impulses occurred this week. The President’s legal team started their defense by essentially claiming, “Donald Trump is above the law.” They ended by going even further and arguing, “Donald Trump IS the law and Donald Trump IS the state.” Therefore, anything he does to help himself personally is in the pubic interest. Here is the crux of the deranged and delusional case made by Trump lawyer Alan Dershowitz:
It’s one thing for a washed up attorney to make a bat shit crazy argument. It’s quite another for Republican Senators to rally behind such a nutty case and shred the United States constitution in broad daylight. There are two types of Senators who emerged from impeachment: Those who voted to convict and those who collaborated. Let the cruel and unforgiving hand of history record for the ages where they stood.
If you think about it, the Republican defense was that George Washington was incorrect and picked the wrong side of Revolutionary War. What Washington should have done is support King George over “we the people.” Every one of these lying Trump mob lawyers should be disbarred.
You know, even if we win the election, what makes anyone think Donald Trump and his Republican cultists would accept it? They view Democrats as illegitimate and believe that they have sole right to power. I happen to agree with comedian Bill Maher:
If Donald Trump loses the election, but refuses to leave office because he falsely claims the election was rigged, who in government is going to stop him? It’s certainly not going to be his compromised and corrupt lackey Attorney General William Barr. Barr is America’s top cop and can have anyone that opposes Trump illegal squatting in the White House arrested.
When there are inevitably huge protests, Trump could declare a state of emergency and shut down the media – except for media outlets he likes, such as FOX and Breitbart. If William Barr commanded the police to arrest political opponents or even shoot protesters, would the police obey his illegal order? Maybe.
Would Chief Justice John Roberts take Trump’s side against democracy? Probably, considering he didn’t lift a finger to call witnesses at the impeachment trial, even though he had the authority to do so.
And what would the military do? That’s a wildcard. Increasingly, the top military brass doesn’t care for Trump. But many of the soldiers carrying weapons come from deep red states and support the president. Even if the military was opposed to Trump, there are heavily armed militia terror cells and lone wolves who might take up arms. We saw a glimpse of this militia crowd in Virginia a couple of weeks ago, traipsing around Richmond with their weapons. Trump has already bragged he has the military, the police and the bikers. And there is always Erik Prince and Blackwater, a great friend of the president’s.
Sadly, these terrifying scenarios are no longer far fetched? Anyone who watched embarrassing charade in the Senate can no longer rule it out. We have entered a new age of political peril and dysfunction and anything is possible.
Look, democracies have died before, and ours could already be over. I hate to break it to you, but we’re not special. Our fate depends on the decisions we make and the actions we take. And every decision and action recently embraced Republicans points to fascism.
As of today, Donald Trump now has de facto authoritarian powers. There is no longer a check to balance this most psychologically imbalanced of leaders.
I’d like to know. Do Republicans know the gravity of their depravity? The impact of their insolence? Are they blind to their shameful deeds that are as unconscionable as they are unpatriotic? Or, maybe they were well aware and just don’t care.
Do they comprehend that they are catapulting our country, for no good reason, into a political death spiral? I just want to shake them and say, “What the hell are you doing? Why are you doing this to our country? Stop it. Stop it. Stop it.”
I for one, will never give in to these shameless quislings who whose sedition corrodes our nation, erodes our norms, fritters away our freedoms and devastates our democracy. Never.
Now is not a time for moping or mourning. It’s not a moment for reticence or resignation. For sadness nor sorrow.
It’s a time for real patriots to reenergize and organize for the long slog ahead to save this great country from ruin. We are called to act and we are commanded by conscience to rise to this moment of destiny to stave off our national destruction.
We’ve got news for you Donald Trump, William Barr and Mick Mulvaney…we are never going to “get over it.” But we sure as hell are over you and will fight you to the finish, every step of the way.