The Inanity of “Both Sides” Politics

A funny thing happened during the “60 Minutes” interview with Howard Schultz Sunday evening; he proved that he’s not qualified to run for president. He proved that when he claimed that neither major party was serving the American people. This … Continue reading

The Danger Posed by Howard Schultz

As I was watching Howard Schultz on 60 Minutes last night, I couldn’t help but think about how so many people with the best of intentions just do not understand how politics works. And those with the largest egos inevitably … Continue reading

“Real Progressives:” Don’t Undermine Dems

Every time someone announces their run for the Democratic presidential nomination, a whole host of so-called “progressives” pops up on social media to tear them down. Every single candidate. And every single one who does that will, in the same … Continue reading

What We Can Do About the Senate

Please stop writing off the Senate on every bill, as if nothing is winnable. We the people are in the process of taking back our government from the current anti-American Republican Party and, if we’re being honest, the Russian government … Continue reading

The Inane Quest for Political Perfection: The Stans

It’s a simple fact that no one is perfect, under any circumstances. And I can’t think of anyone to whom that applies more than a politician. Any politician. Yes, that includes our beloved Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. And it sure as shit … Continue reading

Donny’s New Slogan

The propaganda never stops… Donald Trump has a new slogan: BUILD A WALL & CRIME WILL FALL!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 23, 2019 Yes, that’s right. After the clear success of “Make America Great Again,” as emblazoned on red … Continue reading

The “Real Progressive” Joke

Earlier this week, I was attacked by some self-righteous (white) “progressive” who told me I wasn’t a “real progressive” because I refused to accept their candidate for president in 2020. (As something of a relief, this time it wasn’t Bernie. … Continue reading

Why Wait? Impeach Trump Now

I am with all those who dream mightily of the day when the Mueller Report is complete and law enforcement officers arrive at the White House to drag the entire Trump family off to jail. In our most fervent dreams, they will all pay dearly for dragging our democracy through the mud. They will all sit in a courtroom, looking somber in their orange jumpsuits, without spray tans and looking like they just want to end it all. Doesn’t that sound great? 

There’s just one problem: it’s a fantasy. 

I know, I’m usually really “happy-clappy,” as Stephanie Miller would say. My shtick is usually more like, we can do anything as progressives if we do it in a politically astute way. But, just as our fantasy in which Bush and Cheney would be frog-marched to Leavenworth didn’t work out, this one is unlikely to work out, as well. Sorry. 

We liberals really have to stop indulging our fantasies. Last week, one pundit suggested that the Mueller report may be “anticlimactic,” and the entire progressive movement lost its shit. This, despite the fact thatsaid pundit was probably correct. We are all fantasizing about seeing the Mueller Report when it comes out and reading about spy stuff worthy of a Tom Clancy novel when we may just get a recitation of facts that reads more like a typical court document. It’s entirely possible Mueller will conclude that Trump was an unwitting dope who Russian intelligence took advantage of. The narrative we have built up in our heads, in which Trump met with Boris and Natasha to set up this elaborate theft of our democracy may not be provable, even if it happened. Moose and Squirrel don’t always get the bad guys. It’s entirely possible (albeit improbable) that everyone AROUND Trump committed serious crimes, but not Trump himself. There is a serious difference between KNOWING someone did something and being able to prove that.

We are all sitting here, waiting with bated breath for the Mueller Report, as if that investigation will bear fruit that will put everyone we hate in jail and will cause the Drumpf family to lose everything. It’s entirely likely there is no way it could ever meet our fantastic dreams. I’m sorry totell the truth, but for Chrissakes, folks; I just read a story this morning from a professional left outlet in which they take the Democrats to task for not taking “campaign finance reform” seriously. I mean, Democrats have run the House for two weeks and there are a few hundred other issues that are MORE important right now. Ten years ago, this same band of geniuses was already ripping Obama and the Democrats new assholes for not repealing everything Bush did for eight years, and Obama hadn’t even taken office yet and there was a depression to prevent.

While I harbor the same fantasies of seeing Trump marched out of the White House in handcuffs, I realize they are just fantasies. The best way to get him the hell out of there is to impeach him. And before the professional and unicorn left naysayers start barking, I know; the Republican Party has a majority in the Senate and it will be difficult to convict and remove Donny, but so the hell what? It’s not impossible. Seriously; you can fantasize about seeing him marched into a van in handcuffs and his whole family sentenced to prison, but you can’t imagine a scenario in which 21 Republican Senators look at the evidence and decide they can’t tolerate him anymore? Come on…

We also cannot wait until Robert Mueller completes his investigation, for two reasons. For one thing, wedon’t know what will be in it, as noted. However, he also is committing impeachable offenses almost daily and we have to set standards for behavior for future presidents. In fact, more important than campaign finance reform is presidential behavior reform, in which we uphold actual standards and make sure a future president doesn’t embarrass us to the extent 45 has. Given the amount of damage this asshole has done on the world stage on our behalf, how can any actual liberal think campaign finance reform, free college andMedicare for All are the most important issues right now? You must be doing mind-altering chemicals, to be that out-of-touch.  

We should start the impeachment train now. We have enough on his ass right now to put together a good case that would sell to the public, which is the key to everything. Richard Nixon didn’t resign because of pressure from the Democratic Congress; a year-and-a-half earlier, he had won 49 states in the election, but as they made the case to the public that he was a crook, he transformed into the most hated politician in the country. Constituents were writing to their Republican Senators and enough Republican Senators had turned on him to make a conviction a foregone conclusion. 

That can work now, but we have to put aside our childish egos and focus on this effort. Consider what we have already:

  • An immigration policy that is completely unhinged and that treats asylum seekers as criminals, rather than victims.    
  • Thousands of migrant children in our custody being mistreated in makeshift jails, based on some insane “zero-tolerance policy” that makes no sense.   
  • Hundreds of thousands of government workers furloughed because Trump keeps making agreements and reneging on them regarding immigration and a border wall.    
  • Trump “canceled” a number of tradedeals without notice and without consideration of those who may be affected.    
  • Trump’s tariffs have cost the economy hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs, and they have left thousands of farmers without the ability to make a living.    
  • Trump has refused to put his assets into a blind trust and worse, he and his spawn continue to do Trump Organization business from inside the White House, on the taxpayers’ dime. 

The Trump Organization is profiting from his “election” to the presidency which goes well beyond the typical corruption we see all too often in Washington. Bush and Cheney funneled money to their cronies and supporters by handing them contracts related to the wars they started, but even they weren’t as blatant as the Trump Crime Family.  

  • Nearly every weekend, Trump and the family head to one of his properties to have a break. American taxpayers pay the costs of rooms and meals for their entire entourage to the Trump Organization.    
  • The Trump Organization owns the lease on the Old Post Office Building, they have transformed into a Trump hotel, and Donny has been booking foreign dignitaries, lobbyists and many others there since the day of his sparsely attended inauguration. That directly violates both the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses of the Constitution, which prevents public officials from profiting from the work they do on behalf of taxpayers.   
  • Since the moment he rode down the escalator to announce his candidacy, Trump has primarily been appealing to the worst elements of our society, including white supremacists, xenophobes, misogynists and more. He hired people to monitor the callers to right-wing talk radio, to keep in touch with his “base” and he’s never stopped. At Charlottesville in 2017, he referred to people like this as “good people.”   
  • It is also clear that Donny doesn’t care to work for anyone who doesn’t love and adore him, which means he only represents the interests of about 20% of the American people, which amounts to rank negligence.

If you want more specific “high crimes,” consider:

  • For months he insisted, without evidence, that 3-5 million people voted illegally in the 2016 election, and that they all voted for Hillary Clinton. He even wasted taxpayer money on an investigation, which the GAO later investigated.  
  • In July 2017, Trump encouraged law enforcement officials to violate the constitutional rights of suspects when he said, “When you see these towns and when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in, rough, and I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice.’ Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over, like, don’t hit their head and they’ve just killed somebody, don’t hit their head, I said, ‘You can take the hand away, OK?’”   
  • Trump has repeatedly undermined the authority of the federal judiciary, making derogatory comments aimed at the many judges who have ruled against him on his half-assed executive orders, such as the Muslim Ban and his many orders regarding the southern border. He once even referred to a Latino judge derogatorily, suggesting that the judge couldn’t be fair duetohisHispanic surname.   
  • Trump has repeatedly referred to the free press as the “enemy of the people,” thus creating a hostile environment for journalists all over the country.   

Those are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, and little of it has anything to do with Trump and Russia and can be proven without the Mueller report. 

Just in the last couple days, Trump has had a temper tantrum over Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to uninvited him from giving a State of the Union campaign speech during the shutdown. He even refused Pelosi the use of a plane to make a foreign trip as part of her job, instead allowing Melania to use the same plane as a ferry to the Trump property at Mar-a-Lago. It has become a security-based tradition to not force the official who is second-in-line to the president to fly commercial, especially for a diplomatic trip,which this was. The trip was also secret and Trump made the decision publicly, on the White House website, thus putting Pelosi at serious physical risk if she went on the trip anyway. 
Trump needs to go. It’s time we look at everything we have and lay it out for the public and impeach his sorry ass. I refuse to believe we can’t convict him, but even if we fail at that, everything will be out there and available to the public, which will ruin his minimal chances for a second term. Even that is better than the current trend of pretending the only thing we have is Mueller.  

The Squeeze

The “conventional wisdom” is that Republicans always march in lockstep on absolutely everything. Therefore, because that is true, it’s always possible to know what they will do on every issue.

What you need to know, however, is that “conventional wisdom” is rarely wise, and it is often incorrect. For example, there are obvious cracks in the Republicans’ strong exterior, and over the next two years, one can expect those cracks to become major fissures, if we, as progressives, do our job.

Yes, we do have a job to do, my fellow liberals. We can play a major role in the demise of the current version of the GOP. However, it will require some discipline and common sense; something we haven’t displayed very often in the past. It will require a major change in attitude and an acknowledgement that the past is not always indicative of what to expect in the future.

Yesterday, I was told by a fellow liberal that Democrats couldn’t stop the confirmation hearing for William Barr. Senate Democrats may not be able to, but that doesn’t mean WE shouldn’t try. In 2020, 22 Republicans will be up for reelection, at a time when Democrats will be making a major effort to replace either Trump or whoever has replaced him. Democrats in the Senate only need four of those 22 to join them to stop an appointment or a poorly conceived bill. It may be “too soon” to stop Barr, but we have to lose the assumption that we are powerless.

If you look closely, the lockstep nature of the current GOP is already changing. The Democratic House passed appropriations bills last week to reopen the entire government except for Homeland Security, and Mitch McConnell won’t hold a vote on them unless he can get Trump to agree to sign them. Think about that a minute; if he needs Trump to agree to sign, that means he knows they’ll pass. In fact, they might even pass with a veto-proof margin, even without the money for a border wall. If the GOP was in absolute agreement and in lockstep on the wall, he would hold a vote, they’d vote them down and a Trump signature wouldn’t matter.

Then, yesterday, 11 Republicans split with the party to uphold sanctions against Russians. They voted with Democrats to allow a bill to go forward that would reverse a Treasury Department decision made last month, to lift the sanctions, thus denying Trump of a major concession to Vladimir Putin. Some asshole filibustered, so it needed 60 to pass, but the message is clear; Republicans can be gotten to. For the record, all 11 are up for election in 2020. Now, this is not unprecedented; the GOP also broke with Trump over sanctions last year. However, it means cracks exist in the Republican machine.

We must stop assuming there is nothing we can do because Republicans only act a certain way. That is already starting to change, and that change will likely accelerate as we get closer to 2020.

The farther we go into the 2020 election season, the more likely it will be that the 22 Republicans who are up for election will start to feel nervous. The 50-state strategy will be in force again, and we all need to work to support every Democrat who is up for election to anything. Our only goal for 2020 is to get turnout way up again. Turnout in 2018 was the highest for a midterm in almost 50 years; if we can do that again, we can elect a Democrat as president by a landslide, gain another 30-40 seats in the House, and at least 5-10 seats in the Senate, as well as take back a lot of state legislative seats and governorships.

That’s all speculative, of course, and it depends on how we act in the next 22 months. We have to lose this Eeyore-style negativity, in which we think there is nothing we can do about anything because the GOP does everything as a bloc and that bloc is too big to stop. The Republican Party only controls about a quarter of the electorate, which means we have access to the other three-quarters. That means we have the ability to overwhelm them in every election.

Let’s take advantage of their position as a minority party, as well as the Democrats’ position as a majority party to make shit happen. As time goes on, the pressure on Republicans will become greater and greater and we can make them do things that would seem to go against their usual actions. If they confirm Barr as Attorney General, fine; then we put pressure on everyone to protect the Mueller Investigation. If we live in states with Republican Senators, we use our numbers to put the fear of God into them. We won’t win every time, but we can win a lot more often than if we don’t fight at all.

Times changed last November when our force of will got us the House and partially neutralized the Trump agenda. This is no time to stop and get back in self-destruct mode. Let’s go after these people; we outnumber them, so let’s act like it. Don’t assume we can’t get at least four Republican Senators to bend to our will on everything important. In fact, let’s assume we can. We need to squeeze these assholes and force them to drop Trump like a bad habit. And they will, once they get a glue that their adherence to GOP orthodoxy will cost them a seat.

It’s time to change the narrative. The GOP is the minority; never forget that and never stop treating them like it.

Welcome to the Real World: The Racism of the GOP

Let me just say this… If you are surprised that today’s Republicans are racist, you really haven’t been paying attention. Over the weekend, the reliably racist Rep. Steve King of Iowa asked the following question of a New York Times … Continue reading