Provided you’re paying attention, we’re witnessing the nation’s ultimate test. We are about to find out in the coming weeks and months ahead — does our system work? Does democracy function? Will the constitution save us?
In the past, we’ve survived terrorist attacks, armed invasions, and even a civil war. But we’ve never been subject to a rebellious insurrection from within our own government at the very highest level, where the most powerful person in the country, cheered blindly by millions of loyalists, willingly and deliberately subverts 230 years of democratic tradition and openly trashes so many fundamental tenets of law, civility, and diplomacy.
In 1974, President Nixon came close to posing a similar threat like the one we face now. But Nixon, well trained in the law, highly-experienced in federal politics, and a proud veteran of World War II, had the common decency to save the nation from a grueling legal battle he could not win and resigned. The system *worked.*
I’m reminded of the tense scene from 1976’s “All the President’s Men” when Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee schools two young reporters working the Watergate scandal on what’s at stake in uncovering the crimes of a president.
“Have you seen the results of the latest Gallup Poll?” Bradlee asks Woodward on Berstein on his front lawn. “Half the country’s never heard of Watergate. Nobody gives a shit.”
Bradlee takes a long pause, then dismisses popular opinion and public indifference.
“….nothing’s riding on this — except the First Amendment, freedom of the press, and maybe the future of the country,” Bradlee says.
Although the scandals, the personalities, and the specifics are different today, Bradlee’s call to arms in defense of truth is a rallying cry every bit as important now as then. It reveals why Democrats MUST continue to investigate, and if warranted, pursue articles of impeachment. They MUST do this not because there are guarantees of success, but rather because the costs of doing nothing are much higher.
If we let this pass, it means our system will have collapsed. It means descending into a murky abyss where law and order no longer matters. It means lies can and will obfuscate the truth. It means an abrupt end to any co-equal branches of government and dissolution of the rightful powers and responsibilities they are granted by the constitution.
The stakes are even higher now than during Watergate because Nixon had no army of sycophants nor foreign confederates nor a slanted media eager and willing to knowingly pollute the minds of millions with his lies. Indeed, Trump has all off these terrible tools at his disposal and he is using them like a sledgehammer. He and his army of liars will make square pegs fit into round holes and call his version of the truth — a perfect fit.
If Trump gets away with such a vast panoply of high crimes, be certain that far worse crimes will follow.
Let us see if our system works and the truth shall set us free, once again.
— Then, don’t you ever lecture me again on MORALITY.
— Then, don’t you ever lecture me again on your so-called “CHRISTIAN VALUES.”
— Then, don’t you ever lecture me again on TAKING PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR ACTIONS.
— Then, don’t you ever lecture me again about GOVERNMENT SPENDING or FEDERAL DEFICITS.
— Then, don’t you ever lecture me again on PAYING YOUR OWN BILLS.
— Then, don’t you ever lecture me again on ADHERING TO THE U.S. CONSTITUTION.
— Then, don’t you ever lecture me again on following THE RULE OF LAW.
— Then, don’t you ever lecture me again about CIVILITY.
— Then, don’t you ever lecture me again about CRONYISM, NEPOTISM, or CORRUPTION.
— Then, don’t you ever lecture me again on PROTECTING THE COUNTRY FROM FOREIGN INTERFERENCE.
— Then, don’t you ever lecture me again on anything to do with RUSSIA.
— Then, don’t you ever lecture me again about CARING FOR THE POOR AND THE ELDERLY.
— — Then, don’t you ever lecture me again about RESPECTING FAMILIES OF THE WAR DEAD.
— Then, don’t you ever lecture me again about CARING FOR THE ENVIRONMENT or PROTECTING ANIMALS.
— Then, don’t you ever lecture me again about HONESTY.
— Then, don’t you ever lecture me again about TELLING THE TRUTH.
From your deafening silence, your constant deflection, your incessant what-about-ism, and your self-imposed bubble of blind ignorance, you have made a clear choice, an appalling demonstration of precisely where you stand on all the important issues of the day, and it’s not flattering.
The bottom line is — you will NEVER lecture me again on anything.
We don’t need the Mueller report to prove that Donald J. Trump colluded with the Russians and committed obstruction of justice.
The evidence on this is overwhelming and incontrovertible. We have video and audio. We have eyes and ears. We know what we’ve seen. We know what we’ve heard.
We’ve seen Trump — the candidate — make a personal plea to the Russians to go after his political opponent.
We’ve seen Trump — both the candidate and the president — repeatedly deny that he had business dealings in Russia.
We’ve seen Trump — the president — lie boldly and incessantly when asked if any of his aides and/or family members secretly communicated with officials working in coordination with the Russian Government.
We’ve seen Trump — the president — viciously attack those connected to the investigation, fire those who could do him harm, ridicule and intimidate witnesses, and threaten his own former associates who gave their cooperation.
We’ve seen Trump — the president — fuel the incendiary fires of a so-called “Deep State” conspiracy, deliberately and actively trying to discredit a federal criminal investigation.
We’ve seen Trump — the president — openly admit to firing former FBI Director James Comey after he fumbled his excuses and couldn’t get his (entirely fabricated) story straight in a nationally-televised interview.
We’ve seen Trump — the president — demand loyalty pledges from prospective appointees to the Justice Department.
It’s all there, in blood orange.
No number of lies, no amount of deflection, no degree of masquerading, no barrage of name-calling alters the fact that on July 27th, 2016 candidate Trump stood before television cameras and actively encouraged foreign powers, including Russia specifically by name, to hack into his political, Hillary Clinton.
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”
In other words — go for it.
It’s all right here:
No candidate has ever so brazenly solicited the help of a foreign government in a presidential campaign.
We just don’t know all the facts, yet.
What we certainly do know is that about a year prior to Trump green-lighting Russian meddling, hackers affiliated with the Russian government penetrated the Democratic National Committee’s network, stealing large volumes of data and then maintained that access for about a year. The timing of this nesting of potentially-damaging information is critical. Shortly thereafter, thousands of Russia-backed social media accounts began sprouting up and spreading propaganda and disinformation, attacking Clinton while exhibiting a clear preference for Trump.
What we certainly do know is that George Papadopoulos (later convicted) joined the Trump campaign as a special adviser. A short time after joining the campaign, Papadopoulos knowingly met someone who had connections to Russian government officials.
What we certainly do know is that Donald Trump, Jr. received an email from a Russian expatriate professing close ties to Moscow with allegedly “incriminating evidence” against Hillary Clinton. “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” the email stated. The younger Trump replied that same day: “If it’s what you say — I love it.”
Both during the campaign, and as president, Trump used surrogates, including campaign aids, advisors, and even his own family to create secret backchannels of communication with the Russians that couldn’t be deciphered. Jared Kushner, the president’ son-in-law was one of those directly involved.
What we certainly do know is there’s a cesspool of troublesome circumstantial evidence that remains unexplained. Why has Trump never criticized Russia for meddling in the election, nor for any of a myriad of other international violations and transgressions? Why did Trump openly take Putin’s side in front of the entire world while when asked about the comprehensive assessment of American intelligence agencies that Russia had indeed meddled in the 2016 campaign? Why does Trump go after virtually every other political leader on social media, but remains silent when it comes to anything connected to Putin and Russia?
Yes, there was collusion. Yes, there was obstruction of justice. Yet, we still don’t know what Trump knew, how much Trump knew, or anything about Trump directing his associates to break the law. Despite the investigation’s findings, to borrow the late Sen. Howard Baker foreshadowing phrase from 1974’s Watergate proceedings, we must continue to ask: What did the president know and when did he know it?
I was not surprised by the Mueller report’s “conclusions” — at least what we know, so far. Keep in mind, few details pertaining to the president’s conduct have been released yet. Let’s also remember Trump backtracked from his public statements that he’d agree to be interviewed in person by Mueller’s investigative team. Trump’s awkward flip-flop probably saved him from perjuring himself, which would clearly have been an indictable offense. Trump’s echo chamber of delusion probably means that he wouldn’t know the truth about much of anything, anyway.
Another legal battle is certain to follow, as to the actual details within the Mueller report and what information will be available to the American people. Don’t be misled by the smokescreen of professed transparency. Mark my words — Trump and his legal team attempt to block every facet of discovery related in any way to his conduct. He will use every trick in his ghostwritten book to stonewall potentially damaging information. There’s certainly dirt in there. Trumps’s background, character, and conduct are way too jaded to believe otherwise.
Indeed, the disinformation campaign has already ramped up into high gear. Trump’s sycophants are claiming a victory. But Trump’s own hand-picked Attorney General William Barr’s four-page summary-letter included this public statement:
“The Special Counsel states that ‘while the report does not conclude that the President has committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
“…..it also does not exonerate him.”
Since the statement was released, Trump and his lackeys have ignored half of it. They have falsely and repeatedly claimed the report “exonerates” Trump. Is anyone shocked by this flagrant dishonesty?
No, the report does not “exonerate” Trump. Apparently, they can’t read.
Let’s acknowledge that there was a conspiracy of some kind connected to the 2016 presidential election. The Russians and its proxies used social media as a weapon to assist the Trump campaign. That’s neither a hunch nor a hoax. It’s a fact that’s been established by multiple intelligence agencies. Even conservative pro-Trump media have retreated from their previous false claims the Russians “no impact on the 2016 election.”
Let’s also knowledge Russian President Vladimir Putin said he wanted Trump to win the 2016 election because he believed Trump’s policies would be more friendly to the Kremlin.
“Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the U.S.–Russia relationship back to normal,” Putin said, standing alongside Trump at a joint news conference in Helsinki.
Trump denies all of this, of course. Trump has falsely claimed on numerous occasions that Putin would have preferred to see his 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, in the White House. He’s completely delusional.
Let’s acknowledge that Trump met Putin that same day behind closed doors, demanding that no Americans be in the room, nor any official notes be taken of the discussion. In all of American history and diplomacy, such a bizarre set of circumstances has never happened before. There’s no reason for such secrecy, particularly while a criminal investigation was being conducted on the very question of Trump colluding with Russians, unless of course, Putin did have the American president on a chain. It’s certainly a huge red flag. This is entirely Trump’s doing at his insistence — not something the “fake media” created.
Let’s acknowledge Trump’s statements remain fishy. And smelly. His own actions and tweets baited the waters of suspicion. A little truth from Trump might have gone a long way toward silencing critics and dissolving the many claims against him. What else were we to think when Trump lied so many times about his surrogates meeting with Russians when the record showed that at least 16 Trump campaign officials were in direct contact? [CLICK HERE]
Let’s also acknowledge Republicans apparently have no problem at all with foreign nations meddling in American elections. In July 2018 the Republican-controlled Congress voted against protecting our national security by refusing to increase funding to counter high-tech espionage in future elections. This is madness. [CLICK HERE]
What if before the Mueller investigation began we had a crystal ball? What if we were told that 34 defendants would be charged with various crimes, including six close Trump associates, including his former campaign manager and disgraced National Security Advisor? Would anyone claim the president had been “exonerated?” Would anyone think this was a “witch hunt?”
Trump would have gone ballistic if the indictments would have been delayed until the very and and basically revealed he operated as a political mafia don. Apparently, the timing of embarrassments is everything.
If nothing else, Trump has clearly exercised appallingly bad judgment and might be the most naive individual ever to occupy the Oval Office.
Trump and his defense team claim indictments stemming from the Special Counsel’s investigation didn’t prove collusion. since some of the charges were for crimes not directly related to Russia’s nefarious role in the 2016 election. This is true. But it’s also circumstantially relevant to our assessment of what really happened. If all those Trump associates did nothing wrong, then why did they repeatedly lie about it so many times?
That Trump hasn’t been led away in handcuffs and paraded around in an orange jumpsuit doesn’t alter an irrefutable historical timeline. It doesn’t erase what we have seen and what we already know — yet alone, things we don’t know and will gradually come out. History isn’t written in a flurry. History is typically more of a slow trickle, like sandstone, carved out over time.
Twenty years ago, following a long ordeal, O.J. Simpson exited from a Los Angeles courtroom a free man and declared victory. A “not guilty” verdict in the criminal trial happened because the evidence wasn’t there to convict and many say the prosecution did a poor job. But the court’s verdict didn’t change the prevailing public perception and the fact he committed the crime.
Trump too, is exiting this legal round as a victor in the eyes of some. But he still faces a gauntlet of legal hurdles ahead for a myriad of other crimes, mostly committed prior to taking office. Barring an expiration on the statute of limitations, those charges will plague him to the grave.
We don’t need Mueller’s report to tell us what we know, what we’ve seen, and what we’ve heard, directly from Trump himself.
Trump is guilty of collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice. As he wiggled out of legal troubles so many times in the past — in racial discrimination, bankruptcies, sexual assault charges, affairs, fraudulent business dealings, and fake diploma mill — his lawyers will continue putting in plenty of overtime to shield a guilty man from justice.
We don’t need a special report to know Trump remains a vile, dishonest, corrupt, incompetent, self-serving, vindictive, horror show for this country.
Note to My Readers: I rarely post content from other writers, since that’s their content and what’s promulgated here at my site is always my own. However, I was so impressed with this short missive by a British writer named Nate White, that I had to share it. I hope you will agree, it’s a marvelous retort as to why so many British citizens and people from other countries are appalled by what’s happening in America.
Question: Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?
A few things spring to mind.
Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.
For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace – all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.
So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.
Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing – not once, ever.
I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility – for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.
But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is – his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.
Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.
And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults – he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.
There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface.
Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront.
Well, we don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.
And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist.
Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that.
He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat.
He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.
And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully.
That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a snivelling sidekick instead.
There are unspoken rules to this stuff – the Queensberry rules of basic decency – and he breaks them all. He punches downwards – which a gentleman should, would, could never do – and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless – and he kicks them when they are down.
So the fact that a significant minority — perhaps a third — of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think ‘Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’ is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:
* Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are.
* You don’t need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man.
This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss.
After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.
God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid.
He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.
In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws – he would make a Trump.
And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish:
‘My God… what… have… I… created?
If being a twat was a TV show, Trump would be the boxed set.
Special thanks to Tom Robinson for bringing this to my attention.