Monday, May 22, 2017

Week of 05/22/2017

Impeachment Fantasies Versus Political Reality
In the Roger Stone movie “Nixon”, Paul Sorvino’s Henry Kissinger laments on President Richard Nixon’s troubles prior to his resignation from office.  With impeachment threats becoming more and more real, Kissinger speculated that Nixon was who he was because he wasn’t loved by the people he needed the most.
“Imagine what he would have been like had anyone ever loved him”, he said.
I keep that particular scene in mind when it comes to separating Nixon from our current elected leader.
Donald J. Trump, our orange-skinned-wacky-man in the White House, has been in office not even half-a-year as of this column’s posting date, and people are not only spinning fantasies of removing him from office, but are even getting used to saying the words “President Mike Pence” and are trying to convince themselves that our current Vice President would somehow be better for the country than ol’ Orange Stain.  Hell, even the Vice-President has started his own Super PAC to prepare for it!
Every day the media and the Internet bring some new headline, some twist and turn involving Trump or the people connected to him, and the liberals and progressives and the rest of the anti-Trump crowd cheer and say “This is it!  This is the final straw that will break the man-child’s back!  He’s done!  He’s finished!  This will get him impeached and out of office!”
And people complain that pornography is unrealistic!
I can understand when conservatives and neo-conservatives and the rest of the red-hat freedom-hating fascists did it with President Obama for eight years; spinning delusional fantasy after delusional fantasy that they could somehow undo his election.  These are the same folks that watch professional wrestling and think that it’s real.  That explains how Trump can appoint Linda McMahon of World Wrestling Entertainment as head of the Small Business Administration and nobody batted an eyelash over it.
But, liberals?  Progressives?  Free-thinking people?  I expected more from you!  I mean, you guys are supposed to be the smart ones in the bunch!  You’re supposed to be the intellectuals!  What the hell are you doing jumping at clickbait headlines and acting like a bunch of red-hats when it comes to Trump stuff?
Yes, the actual “fake news” people who made their money off the sheer stupidity and extreme confirmation bias of the Trumpets are back and they’re finally able to make money off the liberals and progressives now that Trump is in the White House.  They couldn’t before, when it was believed that Hillary Clinton would win.  They tried.  They really tried, but they said that you liberals and progressives just didn’t take their bait.  You were supposedly “too smart” for them!
But now that our Narcissist-in-Chief is in the Oval Office, the liberals and progressives are clicking away at their clickbait headlines, eager to get any kind of reassurance that Trumpaconallus will be impeached and/or indicted and/or hoisted from his Twitter petard and sent packing to Mar-a-Largo for good.
Why, liberals?  Why, progressives?  Why do this?  Why indulge yourselves in these poli-porn fantasies?
Let’s get really, really, brutally honest here...
None of what you have seen or heard so far will get President Donald Trump impeached anytime soon.  At all.  Even with a special council appointed to investigate Trump’s possible connections to Russia.  Even with now-former FBI Director James Comey talking with members of the U.S. Senate and willing to testify in open hearings.  And even if former National Security advisor Michael Flynn sang like Beyoncé over what he knows, it still would not result in impeachment, never mind indictment, never mind getting any nearer to getting Trumpaconallus removed from office.
Why?  Because politics.
In order for the Congress of the United States to impeach Trump, the House of Representatives must bring up articles of impeachment, which they must actually vote on and pass.  Then they have to go to the U.S. Senate for a special trial presided over by the United States Supreme Court, where the senators have to vote to convict or acquit the President with a two-thirds majority for conviction.  Go ahead and look it up.  It’s spelled out in the United States Constitution.  We just went through all this twenty years ago with your buddy, President Bill Clinton.  (And who would have thought that *he* would look like a saint in comparison?)
I’ll remind you that the House of Representatives is currently under the iron grip of the GOP and run by “Mister Budget”, Speaker Paul Ryan.  They do not want to impeach Trumpaconallus.  At all.  Ever.  Period.
I’ll also remind you that the United States Senate is currently under the iron grip of the GOP and run by the slack-jawed turtle dick, Senate Majority Leader Mitch “The Bitch” McConnell.   They do not want to convict Trumpaconallus of any articles of impeachment.  At all.  Ever.  Period.
None of them will ever want to do anything to remove Trump from office because he represents all of those red-hat-wearing cult-like supporters that they and their friends in talk radio and Fox News and Breitbart and the rest of the conservative groups have been cultivating over the decades.  They created the crowds that voted for Trump and also keep themselves in power.  Those red-hat masses are the bumper crop of the seeds of discord that they sewed a long time ago.  To remove Trump is to go against those masses, and you do not go against the cult that keeps you in office.
I mean, you liberals should know all about that.  Why the hell do you think Nancy Pelosi is still around and still serving as the bane of your faction’s collective political existence?
On top of that, the United States Supreme Court is being dominated by conservative-leaning justices.  They do not want to do anything to challenge the status quo or upset the government.  At all.  Period.  The days of actual freedom-loving justices like William O. Douglas are long since gone.
Remember when Trump made the campaign claim that he could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and not lose a single voter?  For once, he was not exaggerating about that!  That actually is a valid claim to make given what we know about his red-hat supporters!
But the scary part is that the same holds true to those in Washington now that he is the government.  At this point, Donald Trump could hypothetically have a dead hooker in the Lincoln Bedroom and hypothetically be found with blood on his clothes and be hypothetically holding the bloody knife in his hand and those in Washington will do everything in their power to excuse, justify, and validate it.  And it wouldn’t be because they like him or because they think he’s some kind of political savior.  They would do it because that is the nature of politics.
The impeachment poli-porn fantasies all rely on the members of the GOP suddenly “coming to their senses” and deciding that enough is enough.  It presumes that “Mister Budget” and “Mitch The Bitch” would actually “keep Trump in check” like they promised in 2016 when they first pledged to support him as their party’s nominee.  I would have a far better chance of spending the night with my favorite muse than to see the GOP leaders suddenly hold themselves true to their word.
Yes, Nixon resigned rather than be impeached, but that was because Nixon was a political creature and the people in charge of Congress were Democrats.  In other words, politics.  Plus Nixon was legitimately concerned about the nation and how it would handle such a divisive subject.  That’s actually a rare trait that we don’t see in today’s politicians  Bill Clinton was actually impeached because the GOP was in charge of the Congress so they just needed an excuse.  Again, politics.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, lives in his own narcissistic world of alternative facts, surrounded by myrmidons and soothsayers, with a political party that enables him and a dedicated group of red-hat-wearing cult members that live in that same alternative reality.  Again, politics.  And there is nothing at all to suggest that the GOP is willing to go against him, no matter what he does short of trying launch an all-out nuclear war.  Because, you know, it’s hard to govern a nation when it has become a nuclear wasteland. 
That brings us to that “other option” as provided in section four of the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  It’s a little confusing, but basically it gives a way out for Pence and the rest of the Trump lackeys to nudge Trump out of the way without an all-out coup d’état or having to go through the enablers in the GOP-controlled Congress.  It also presumes that Trump would have to be so deranged that nobody has any confidence in him anymore.  I’m not saying that it is not a possibility, but I will say that Trump will have to do something so extreme that his acolytes would have no choice but to invoke that option in order to save the world, and so far they’ve been keeping him from going that far.  I mean we’re talking “finger-on-the-button-screw-it-I’m-nuking-the-whole-world” extreme.
So my message to the impotent Dems and the liberals and progressives and free-thinkers and other anti-Trump people is this: Stay frosty.  Stay on point.  Don’t indulge in the poli-porn fantasies.  Certainly don’t fall into the clickbait traps.  Don’t presume that every twist and turn in our ongoing real-world soap opera “As The Trump Tweets” will lead to your much-desired reward.  Soap operas instinctively detest happy endings, especially when it comes to the real-world variety. 
Donald Trump is not Richard Nixon.  He isn’t even Bill Clinton.  He is surrounded by enablers, not opponents, and they will not help you in the least.  And as long as you engage in those poli-porn fantasies of impeachment being “right around the corner”, then Trump will be staying right where he is at least until 2021, if not 2025.  That’s a really long time to live in delusion.
The movie version of Kissinger wondered what Nixon would have been like if was loved.  Well, now we sort of know the answer to that.  He’d probably be like Donald J. Trump.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Week of 05/15/2017

Comey’s Career Curtain Was A Long Time Coming
I am sick of scripts.  Especially the political ones.
When you have the truth and you have actual facts and a simple understanding of how things are, that really should be enough for people.  You should not have to fabricate a whole narrative just to appease an extreme point of view.  It’s like using a bazooka instead of a hammer.
Case in point: the ouster of FBI Director James Comey, which finally happened just last week (as of this column’s posting date).
Now the Cult of Donald Trump have been trying to find ways to justify Comey’s termination that doesn’t make their cult leader, President Trump, look like the vain, petty, and narcissistic thug that he’s revealing himself to be.  Good luck with that, Trumpets.
But on the other side, the liberals are going bananas over a script they’ve been manufacturing about Comey’s termination somehow being connected to Trump’s ties with Russia.  The suggestion is that Comey was getting way too close to finding impeachable proof of collusion.  They’re trying to liken this to the “Saturday Night Massacre” of 1973, when President Richard Nixon fired special prosecutor Archibald Cox and “accepted the resignations” of Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus over recordings connected to the Watergate scandal.
Come on guys!  Do you even remember who Comey is?
This is the same guy that delivered the “October Surprise” of the 2016 Farce, announcing that they were re-opening the email scandal that plagued Hillary Clinton!  Remember that?  The singular surprise that Hillary, to this day, claims ruined her campaign.  Yeah, *that* Comey.  And then he turned around and said that there was nothing new to reveal and “re-closed” the matter.
Now imagine what would have happened if Hillary did win the Farce.  Do you really think that she would keep Comey around after that?  Do you really think that Comey would feel any safer under hypothetical-President Hillary Clinton than he did under actual-President Trump?  She’s probably want him gone before the inauguration, and if she didn’t have him removed, then I could even see then-outgoing-President Barack Obama doing the job for her.
So, really, what’s with the drama?
And, for the record, *I* was the one that speculated all the way back in October, even before the election, that Comey’s career was on the line for pulling that stunt. 
I can even understand why Comey felt “obligated” to disclose this information now.  It’s really a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t situation.  If he stayed silent until after the election it would have unleashed a GOP hyper-tantrum But that doesn’t change what he did when he did.  If Hillary wins, Comey is fired.  No ifs-ands-or-buts.  He’s toast.  If Trump wins, Trump would probably fire Comey because Comey didn’t deliver the first time around, and, again, the nature of Washington is that this email thing will also blow over, so Trump would then feel obligated to fire Comey again.  Can you fire someone twice?  Trump would find a way to do that.
(From “Quick Thoughts of the 2016 Farce”, October 31, 2016)
Yes, that was me.  And we find that Trump only needed to fire him once.
Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre” was nefarious because Archibald Cox was not part of the Department of Justice, and therefore not under Nixon’s control.  He was a special prosecutor, independent of the Executive Branch.  And that was the reason why his firing was considered unconstitutional and an impeachable offense.  Comey was far from an independent administrator. 
Sorry Dems, but you’re throwing a tantrum for the wrong reason.
Let’s get brutally honest here... James Comey was pretty much operating on borrowed time.  He pissed off the Democrats over the email issue, and then he pissed off Trump for not following through with getting Hillary arrested over it, and then turning around and contradicting him over Russia inquiries.  Trump only needed an excuse, even a crappy one, do to what everyone figured would happen anyway.
And, apparently, the only person who didn’t know his career was toast... was Comey himself.  Back in March, he told a cybersecurity convention “You’re stuck with me for about another six-and-a-half years. 
To quote Bugs Bunny... “What a Maroon!”
But, seriously, why the phony mama-drama, Dems?  You hated him just as much as everyone else.  You wanted him gone just like everyone else.  So why the hysterics?  Why craft a phony script to paint the man that you wanted gone as a victim of something other than his own stupidity?
And... let’s get back to that Russia thing...
Do you really and truly believe that James Comey would somehow find that smoking gun that you think exists that would unseat the Cult of Trump from the White House?  He couldn’t find one when it came to Hillary Clinton, even after she left public office.  Do you *really* think that he’d be any better finding dirt on a sitting President of the United States, never mind a narcissist like Donald Trump?
Even if James Comey had eyewitness statements, bank records, photographs, audio and video recordings, and dug up the bodies of all the people killed and buried over this possible Trump-Russia connection, odds are he still wouldn’t do anything about it.  Because the currency in Washington is power, and Comey would know from his distant predecessor, J. Edgar Hoover, that having that kind of knowledge is far more valuable when it is kept secret.  And if Comey really had something dirty on Trump by now, then he would not have lost his job.
The sad reality that we all need to understand is that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is not a “separate and independent investigatory agency” as some people have tried to convince us it is.  It is an extension of the Department of Justice, which is run by the Attorney General of the United States, which is appointed by the President of the United States with the “consent” of the United States Senate.  In other words, it is an extension of the Cult of Trump.  It cannot hold Trump to account for his actions.  Only Congress can do that, and it is currently in the iron grip of the GOP.
If the Democrats really wanted an independent investigatory party that could look into matters of the Executive Branch, then they should have kept the Office of Independent Council alive.  You would think that after Watergate that they would have remembered why it was needed.  But I suppose we should add short-sightedness to that party’s many failings along with political impotence and catastrophic incompetence.
Meanwhile, don’t worry too much about Citizen Comey now that he’s been fired from Trump.  He still gets a cushy golden parachute that we all paid for.  He will no doubt be entertaining job offers from political think-tanks, lobbying firms, law schools, media companies, and, of course, book deals and offers to go on extremely over-valued speaking tours.  Because that’s also how it works in Washington.  Nobody goes broke there.  Well, except for us common folk.