So, all sorts of madness has been unfolding on the political stage, and I’ve done my best to wade through the more-entertaining moments and share my skewed view of events.
A lot of people now consider the impeachment of Cadet Bonespurs to be a grim conservative inevitability (much like the inevitable shrieking about the War on Christmas that alerts us that it’s time to dig out the menorah), rather than a possibility, even a growing number of Republicans, who have figured that Trump’s interests and the GOP’s interests, while occasionally almost-aligned in the past, are now almost perpendicular to one another ( https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/26/politics/quid-pro-quo-trump-ukraine-call/index.html). As many other people have pointed out, if you take criminals’ word at face-value, there would never be any guilty convictions. The OJ trial may have muddied the waters, but even Johnnie Cochran wasn’t bold enough to say, “They never got a formal confession from my client” as proof of innocence. Criminals rarely announce their stated illegal intent in front of recording devices, and, unless you’ve been living under a rock since the Nixon Administration, you’re aware that absolutely everything is taped pretty much all the time. At the time, Nixon claimed this was for ease of note-taking, to make informal verbal agreements between powers more enforceable.
We’re starting to realize, it’s also for the same reason we tape suspected mafia leaders — it’s for our protection, too. You can check out Chris Wallace and/or Cenk Uyger’s analysis on any web search; they point out that simply asking for a big favor (such as providing evidence of wrongdoing on a member of the President’s family)(Trump Jr in Trump Tower on June 9, 2016, anyone?*) would constitute a quid pro quo deal, since the word and concept of “favor” also implies concepts like debt.
So, why do I think this is the tipping point for the Trump Administration, and not, say, the Mueller report, or the payouts to watch Shark Week with porn stars,** or the defense of neo-Nazis in Virginia, the weird defense of Trump’s suspiciously cozy relationship with the Saudi monarchy and/or his relative impotence in the face of the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi? Well, in addition to the fundamental fact that this is a direct, nearly-indisputable attack on the American democratic process (as opposed to American citizens, who we, apparently, don’t care about), and, this process is moving much, much faster than the President can respond to adequately. Let us never forget that the president’s initial response to this latest scandal (before impeachment proceedings were even announced, let’s not forget) was to e-mail their defense strategy to Nancy Pelosi( https://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/White-House-emails-Ukraine-talking-points-pelosi-14467277.php). That’s a level of pro-active problem-solving and creativity you rarely see in anyone but Futurama’s Zapp Brannigan. That may not be the last time I reference this character, so you might as well get familiar ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MNYyBaTUPc).
In previous scandals the president’s strategy seemed to be to make some offensive Tweets, and sit back and let his erstwhile allies protect him. The difference now is, the president is literally implicating anyone who comes within shouting distance (his initial defense was, let’s not forget, tossing Mike Pence under the bus by accusing him of similarly bad behavior)( https://www.inquisitr.com/5656541/donald-trump-mike-pence-conversations-ukraine-president-transcripts/). This is basic lifeguard training — you throw a towel or life-preserver to the drowning person, you don’t go in yourself, because they’re likely flailing around, and might unwittingly drown you, too. This might be why Mitch McConnell is suspiciously silent.
So, we have an impeachment process that is impeded by all conspirators desire to throw each other under the bus, a solid, unity strategy that in no way brought down the power of organized crime in this country. In other words, unlike previous scandals, the cracks in the party are appearing, which is where it gets weird.
Trump implied in some recent public sighting (I think it was the UN address, but I could be mistaken; all these speeches and demagogue/demagorgon in-fighting tends to blur together after a week) that we could have immigration reform and implement gun control policy IF ONLY those lazy Democratic Congresspeople would just ignore the potential treason charges. Okay. Normally I’d just write that off as, “The Donald was talking near a microphone, and the topic of his potential downfall came up,” except today is the anniversary of the Las Vegas shooting, and my social media feed from conservative friends of the family is echoing that call for gun reform, if only they’d get off the impeachment (this is what provided the impetus to write about this subject today).
So, two things:
1. As many other commentators have noted, this is the political equivalent of a domestic abuser saying, “If you dress prettier and don’t burn the steak, I won’t hit the kids.” It’s hostage-taking for a situation you entirely created, and an impartial jury usually isn’t swayed by this rhetoric.
2. The GOP have, historically, notoriously been the party of the NRA and Colt’s Manufacturing. This is something so well-known I don’t even feel the need to research it; but the immediate willingness to do a 180 policy reversal did make me realize:
Right now, defending The Donald is no longer about party loyalty, policies, or even politics, it’s solely about defending The Donald and his odious personal politics of racism, sexism, and xenophobia. And, as Gavin Newsom pointed out last week, the president’s core group of support is not large enough to save him from legal repercussions of his own actions.
*The R. Mueller Edition of Cluedo is going to be a lot more interesting than the classic version.
**Not the direction most men would go, but, I have to say, as a nature documentary enthusiast, “I watched Attenborough with sex workers” is a much better story than, “I slept with sex workers.” You get points for originality, if nothing else.