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 boorish slob as our President. It is the perfect outcome of “government isn’t the solution, government is the problem” and all the other homilies Ron Reagan, 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 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, to us ordinary Americans 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 Bros vs. the Clinton Establishment skirmishes today) had the Brookings Institution 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 with astonishing abandon. (Not the rich, of course, they are the sole beneficiaries of the Trump/Ryan axis of evil. Oh, and Big Business too.) If you are not among the exalted group of the already rich and powerful, or if you are not a mega, multi-national corporation, if you stand outside the rarified world of influential big business to whom all good things flow, then you have been diminished, economically, socially and politically. This is a fact. 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” and “Cutting taxes creates jobs.”
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 – two infamous Black Ops guys in Republican political campaign history - to Steve Bannon and Steve Miller who are close Trump advisors, (as improbable and unbelievable as this might be) what we experience is a constant, continuous and coordinated 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 coopted by Big Business and dirty Republican/Conservative politics.
How effective is this conservative web of influence over out national agenda? Just recently the very same web of conservative reactionaries began 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. 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’). Then too there is the fact that Mueller contributed to Democratic candidates that these harpies point to as bias which renders him the Anti-Christ (just like Obama) and, therefore, unsuited to head up the Russian investigation. Of course it isn’t mentioned that Trump also contributed mightily to Democrats as well during his developer career. In typical right wing fashion, there has been deafening silence about this fact from Fox et al.
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.” Conservatives always point to the rigid legal truth in situations like this forever neglecting to take into account the moral and ethical sides of every such controversy. Never do you hear from a Paul Ryan or a Mitch McConnell the phrase "Because it's the right thing to do." If Trump does eventually fire Mueller, (a foregone conclusion as far as I'm concerned since the Russian investigation will lead to all sorts of collusive and illegal activities unless waylaid by Republicans) 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 saw it just recently 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 then 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 simply required. Any threat to the hegemony that is Republican conservative rule must be crushed as soon as any threat appears. And Mueller represents a serious threat. Of course, in the ever expanding round of Trump tweets and daily Breaking News bombshells, the Mueller firing thing has faded from view to be taken up again when things get too hot and too close for Trump.
But if it happens? 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. I suspect that, unlike Nixon and his firing of the Special Prosecutor for Watergate, Archibold Cox, that resulted in the resignations of both the Attorney General, Elliott Richardson and the Deputy Attorney General, William Ruckelshaus, nothing parallel will result if Meuller is fired. 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 and spout the Republican line that "there is no there, there" despite evidence to the contrary.
Another Breaking News Item that has faded from view, is the far more important implications of Reality Winner’s traitorous action in sending the 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 local officials. (Apparently from subsequent reports from the lying mainstream media, it wasn't five states but more like 20.) 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. But it's worthwhile recalling that Red State legislatures have done an admirable job all by themselves in reducing voter rolls for Democrats. 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 is not it 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 agencies.
In all things Russian, Trump’s meeting with Putin and the latest Don Jr. e-mail and meeting with a Russian lawyer have superseded what was the first solid evidence that Russia did indeed interfere in our 2016 Presidential Election. But what have we heard about this from House Speaker Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, Sean Spicer, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Mitch McConnell, Trump and the rest of the Republican deniers? Why nothing at all. Well, no, not nothing. They were vociferous in their condemnation of leakers while studiously ignoring the stunning import of the actual info itself. It’s as if it didn’t happen, the first proof that Russia interfered with the last election, except that Reality Winner sits in jail for the crime of leaking a classified document. This is a fact.
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 election re-do? There is no legal means in the Constitution to re-do a Presidential election. This situation does present somewhat of a conumdrum. 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 or maybe even since the Civil War and in our hyper-partisan climate would be a tsunami like we’ve never experienced before. Apparently a fixed, rigged, Presidential Election that elected a bogus President to the White House is just too much for Republicans to bear. Why? It would be a loss for them and that’s something that they cannot and will not accept under any circumstances. Winning is all that matters.
This "winning at all costs no matter what price America pays" is what must be undone. And this will take decades of hard work. Undoing Gerrymandering? Undoing Right to Work Anti-Union Laws? Undoing discriminatory Voter ID Laws? Undoing the stranglehold of Big Business on every aspect of our lives? Undoing gun carry laws? And undoing so much more that we've been subjected to for so long. Getting rid of Trump is the first step but his departure will do nothing to break the Republican/Conservative grip over all of us. There is much work to be done.