GETTING RID OF TRUMP IS ONLY A FIRST STEP
THE REAL WORK WILL TAKE DECADES
A generation of conservative, right wing, alternate reality public policy initiatives, where rights are only for those who win, where the spoils of battle belong only to the winners, where winning supplants all other human considerations like compassion, understanding and empathy, are entrenched in our society today. This “winning” formula is what we’ve lived through and suffered from for a generation and more now. As a result, we wound up with an unqualified, inexperienced, bombastic, know-nothing boor as our President. It is the perfect outcome of “government isn’t the solution, government is the problem” and all the other homilies Paul Ryan, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and Mitch McConnell have preached for decades. It’s no accident. It has come about through superb and far reaching organizational efforts by conservatives, an excellent, interconnected communications systems web and an almost supernatural ability to call up individuals and organizations to further “winning” at a moment’s notice. At all costs. No matter what the damage to us, to our democracy, to our liberty and to our country. You could conclude that this is just “politics,” just the normal shagging of one party against another.
But it isn’t. Conservatives and Republicans were savvy in setting up conservative institutes, think tanks and funding organizations starting decades ago to serve as the mouthpieces for their conservative social, economic and political goals: The conservative agenda. Democrats and liberals, forever splintered and always engaged in internecine warfare for the “soul” of the party (witness the progressive Bernie vs. the Clinton Establishment skirmishes) had the Brookings Institution for decades as the lone liberal voice in the world of think tank politics, and that’s pretty much all we have today. (Quick! Name an unabashedly liberal think tank other than Brookings!)
We wound up with Trump as the perfect non-ideological, empty-to-the-core, cypher for Ryan and his cronies. It’s hard to tell who’s enabling whom – Trump enabling Ryan? Ryan enabling Trump? since there is such a perfect melding of actors and actions by these two that each is able to foist their cruel and inhumane “policies” on America. (Not the rich, of course, they are the beneficiaries of the Trump/Ryan axis of evil.) If you are not among the exalted group of the already rich and powerful, if you stand outside the rarefied world of influential big business to whom all good things flow, then you have been diminished, economically, socially and politically. This is what we’ve reaped from sowing and supporting public policy based not on facts or reality, but on wishful thinking and cute little homilies like “Government isn’t the solution, Government is the problem.”
Unlike Democrats and liberals, Republicans and conservatives unite in common themes and coordinated actions when they see it necessary to maintain their power, to squelch any and all threats to their hegemony. From Karl Rove and Carter Page – the Black Ops guys in Republican political campaigns - to Steve Bannon and Steve Miller who are Trump’s closets advisors, what we experience is a constant, continuous assault on truth, reality and on the body politic. We, ordinary folks, no longer have any voice at the national level. Our voices have been co opted by Big Business and dirty conservative politics.
How effective is this conservative web of influence over out national agenda? At this very moment the very same web of conservative reactionaries are conducting a coordinated campaign to pave the way for Trump to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who as you know, was appointed to investigate all things Russian. Beginning yesterday, Newt Gingrich, Ann Coulter, the head of the Republican National Committee, Rudy Giuliani, just to name a few, have vocalized the idea that there is no longer a need for a Special Counsel since Comey testified that Trump was not under investigation (“at the time’).
So what happens next? If the firing of James Comey can be considered obstruction of justice what would the firing of Mueller be considered? Here’s the right wing rationale: “Trump has the absolute right and power to fire him.” If Trump does, this will be the discussion on every single media outlet with pundit panels engaging in heated crossfire about the legality of such a move. We see it right now in the media’s relentless focus on the Trump/Comey “he said/he said” “who do you trust more” discussion. Lost in the quotidian round of right wing bombs lobbed into the public sphere and thrashed about on the media, will be the larger question of why these folks are paving the way for Trump’s firing of Mueller. Why is it necessary? Because in the politics of winner take all it’s required. Any threat to the hegemony that is Republican conservative rule must be crushed as soon as any threat appears.
(Right now there is Ronna Romney McDaniel, RNC Chairwomen, on CNN pushing the common talking point: “The Russian investigation has been going on since last July without a shred of evidence of Trump Team collusion and it should be ended now.” She invokes “the American people” as justification but what she really means is “Trump supporters” want it ended. CNN is countering with a fact: 70% of Americans believe that there should be an Independent investigation. Facts, of course, don’t matter to these folks only their agenda. At all costs.)
Sure, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi will wax outrageous and take to the floor of the House and Senate and condemn Trump’s firing of Mueller, should it occur, and MSNBC and CNN pundits will rage against this atrocity, but in the scheme of things as they are today, Trump will have been victorious. When Nixon fired Watergate Special Prosecutor, Archibold Cox, that act resulted in the resignations of both the Attorney General, Elliott Richardson and the Deputy Attorney General, William Ruckelshaus. Should Trump fire Mueller you can bet your entire 401(k) that Jeff Sessions and Robert Rosenstein will remain firmly entrenched at the Department of Justice.
Since last Friday, what’s not being discussed is the far more important implications of Reality Winner’s traitorous action in sending an NSA classified report to Intercept. This NSA report lays out how a Russian Military Spy Agency was able to gain access to the software that five states use to maintain their voting machines through bogus e-mails to county election registrars and other officials. This is only one of many threads of Putin’s assault on our democracy. The report does not say whether or not the Russians were successful in altering either registration rolls or resulting vote tallies in those five states, Florida among them. Perhaps the NSA spooks don’t know. After all, the impacts of voting machine tampering is a local issue and ensuring the integrity of those machines are not in the hands of the NSA, the CIA or the FBI but in the hands of upstanding local citizens who do not possess the investigative tools and expertise of the three aforementioned Federal agonies.
We may never know if the Russians were successful even if the NSA spooks do. Why? Such a revelation would be the final straw in directly undermining the validity of the 2016 Presidential Election that Trump hoped was rigged. How to correct this potentiality? New elections in five states? A national Presidential Election re-do? There is no legal means in the Constitution to re-do elections. We don’t have a mechanism that would automatically provide a corrective action. But such a revelation and would rock the nation like nothing else since 9-11 and in our hyper-partisan climate would be a tsunami like we’ve never experienced before.
BREAKING NEWS HEADLINES!
Update: According to the latest news it wasn't five states that Russia hacked as I noted in this post, it was 39!