View of Washington and Most of America in These Trying Times
Shameful Days – Our Moment of Truth
Key parts follow in this fine article from The Week whose headlines is a real eye popper to say the least:
“There's no waking up from America's Trump nightmare”
I would add: There is no simple way to wake up from this nightmare, but it’s still achievable, and however, slowly, I believe, people are starting to wake up – time will tell. The key question is “How did we reach this point in the first place and how do we rectify it?”
Before you continue the key parts from the article, allow me to present these two thoughts along the way:
At this point, most of us know and trust the intelligence reports to date. All of them support the contention that the Russians were involved in our 2016 election cycle. Maybe they were not directly involved with rigging ballot boxes, or tampering with voting machines, or stuffing ballot boxes as such, but reports have shown there was some hacking attempts, however they were not very successful – and that part is good.
Then Trump won. Yes, Hillary failed in many regards to be the super candidate she was thought to be – good but not good enough. The GOP, mostly via Trump made a huge and concerted effort to paint her badly, plus the Comey announcements; the screaming about “lock her up, lock her up; and “where are the missing emails;” plus the dark cloud of Benghazi hanging over her, and the millions of times that Trump called her “crooked Hilary” and made threats if elected he would prosecute her, etc. That all certainly had a strong negative impact without any doubt and the voters went with Trump.
Consider that Putin did not want Trump in office to be his puppet or lackey or as some sort partner in dividing up the world as it were, I think it could be more plausible to assume that what Putin wanted in the first place, instead of that, could be this:
Putin, with his mind-warped wisdom and well-oiled KGB mind and background desires to be some sort of world emperor able to go back the days of the old USSR with the standing they once had by seeing Trump in office winning on is own.
That would be more destructive to America than any election tampering, or balloting nastiness, or cyber war of any kind Putin guessed. So, let Trump on his own with all his nastiness and hype and ugliness that we saw, win. I will continue down the “fake news” road and cyber hacking and such. Then I can sit back and watch Trump win and then watch Trump do to America that which Russia cannot and hence not my fingerprints anywhere near the results.
Here we are today with this part pretty much that which we see right now taking place all around us with Trump in power and Congress out to lunch and sadly, very loyal to Trump - at least his party types in most cases.
In short, all this may not be what Putin wanted, but it’s what he gets and Trump seems to be delivering what is left of our country on the proverbial silver platter.
Sound far fetched? Not really. So, I ask in closing – how much confidence do you have in Trump, or the GOP, or even our overall democratic system of checks and balances, due process, equal protection under the law, and “that no one is above the law” – the very foundation for the rule of law and our nation?
Now the extract from The Week article – this historical point of view: When Nixon faced impeachment, Democrats controlled both houses of Congress, and it was a far less polarized era in terms of both ideology and partisanship — one in which powerful Republicans were willing to speak out against the president when he acted to obstruct justice. This was also long before the advent of news outlets explicitly designed to push a political line, when the mainstream media (a handful of TV networks, newspapers, and weekly news magazines) monopolized the distribution of information to the electorate — and these outlets were uniformly skeptical of the president's increasingly desperate defenses of himself and his administration.
Things are profoundly different now. The two parties are more polarized than at any time since the Civil War. The president's own party controls both houses of Congress, and the vast majority of Republican voters support the president — in large part because many of these voters have cut themselves off from legitimate news sources and now receive the bulk of their information from propaganda outlets like Fox News, talk radio, and websites that specialize in gratuitous and cowardly displays of anti-anti-Trumpism that automatically deflects criticism of the president.
Look at the helpful list The New York Times has compiled of responses to Comey's firing among lawmakers. Some 136 Democrats or independents have called for the appointment of a special prosecutor or its equivalent. The number of Republicans who have done the same? Zero. The number of Democrats who have called for an independent investigation? Eighty-five. Republicans? Five. While a grand total of 40 Republicans have gone so far as to express “concern,” more than twice that many, some 90, have offered support for the president or refused to comment one way or the other.
That is not the behavior of a party even tip-toeing in the direction of turning on its president.
And perhaps most unsettling of all, the dynamic is powerfully self-reinforcing. The more it is Democrats alone who criticize or denounce Trump's words and actions, the more Republicans can dismiss the response as an expression of ordinary partisan animus, which nicely confirms Republican voters in their tendency to view everything the other party does as a politically motivated witch hunt.
Until something breaks through this partisan wall and begins to change public opinion among rank-and-file Republicans, Trump will stay right where he is.
Of course Democrats can and should work hard to take control of both houses of Congress in the upcoming midterm elections. That could open up more possibilities beginning in 2019.
But recall: Removing a president, from either party from office, even under Article II (House impeachment and Senate removal) requires a 2/3 vote from the Senate, while the 25th Amendment (not fit or capable to carry out presidential duties) requires a 2/3 vote of both the House and the Senate.
It's hard to imagine any series of events that would deliver that kind of electoral sweep to the Democrats in either chamber, let alone both.