Though I was sorely tempted, this blog entry will not be about the Mueller Report, at least not directly. Rather, I find it necessary to comment on all the people who are choosing to shiv our liberty and to destroy our country. Today, by defying two subpoenas from standing House committees, the Trump administration made it abundantly clear that they have no commitment to the rule of law. This is not to say that they had not been doing so all along, but now there is not the slightest question that their goals are to win at all costs, rake in money, pay their benefactors, and sell our country off for parts.
The Rosemary’s baby that is the Trump administration has many parents. First, of course, are the foreign governments that found the appropriate Manchurian candidate in a life-long amoral grifter, who first achieved notoriety by losing a 1973 housing discrimination lawsuit. His many bankruptcies rendered him an unacceptable financial risk to all but Deutsche Bank, which apparently is not afraid to take risks on sociopaths. He also attracted the attention of former KGB Lt. Col. Vladimir Putin, who found him a useful vessel to achieve his imperialist goal of Making Russia Great Again. Putin was smart enough to see that Trump’s stupidity and lack of ethics made him the perfect mechanism to sell out US security concerns to Russia in exchange for electoral support. At the same time, the Saudis were fortunate to luck into the availability of the cipher, Jared Kushner. This monument to nepotism, of little accomplishment and dodgy parentage, has proven particularly useful to his Saudi friend, Mohammed bin Salman and has been an invaluable ally as MBS faced withering criticism for ordering the butchering of Washington Post journalist and US resident, Jamal Khashoggi.
The Trump administration has, of course, contributed significantly to this “dismantling of the administrative state.” Trump himself is an unstable idiot, and is more than willing to sell out his country in order to make a little green and to avoid criminal charges. Then there is William Barr who abused his power in prejudging the Mueller report, Stephen Miller who devised the odious family separation policy, Kirstjen Nielsen who enforced said policy, and Wilbur Ross who spearheaded the coming cooking of the US census, which guides congressional redistricting. And that’s not to mention the anti-climate and anti-consumer policies guided by the Department of Interior and the now-neutered Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Or the jaw-dropping corruption of Tom Price, Ryan Zinke, and David Bernhardt, whose initial Congressional investigation started a scant 4 days after the Republican Senate rubber-stamped his approval to succeed Zinke.
Then there are the Republicans in Congress. Fortunately, the Democrats took back the House in 2018, but not before the “Freedom Caucus” gamed the Trump/Russia investigation, the rank-and-file passed an incredibly irresponsible tax cut for the rich, and the Senate confirmed an unprecedented number of radically partisan judges rated as “unqualified” by the American Bar Association. It appears that anyone with a warm body and a right-wing philosophy can be a judge in the Trump Administration. At the same time, the Senate has blocked almost all legislation passed by the House, while at the same time criticizing the House for not doing anything.
It seems that there are several categories of die-hard Trump supporters, all of whom are harming the country. The first are the True Believers. These include Freedom Caucus members like Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows, Louie Gohmert, Matt Gaetz, Devin Nunes, and Steve King, as well as amoral right-wing evangelicals such as Franklin Graham. Trump is their fever dream because they realize he will let them do whatever they want to promote their white nationalist, Dominionist policies. They are generally fire-breathing and flashy (Jim Jordan famously doesn’t seem to own a coat). They also are rabidly anti-accountability, doing whatever they can to upend legitimate investigations of the Trump criminal class, while at the same time trying to breathe life into warmed-over re-investigations of re-investigations of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The benefits they take from Trump are the promotion of racist policies, destruction of the so-called “deep state,” the development and exploitation of “unproductive land,” and fanatical judges.
A second are the corrupt cynics. In their number, I include Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell among many others. Both of them have taken very large sums of money from any number of questionable organizations, including the NRA, as well as truly enormous sums (particularly in McConnell’s case) from Russia and are more than eager to sell their country down the road. McConnell blackmailed Obama to withhold the revelation of the extent of Russian involvement in the 2016 election. Others in this category include Mark Zuckerberg, and Jack Dorsey who oversee an increasingly fetid social media. Greed an power appear to be their sole motivating forces. They benefit from corrupt influence peddling by foreign countries and industries, the judges that support their agenda, and legislation devoted to disenfranchising minority voters in Democratic legislative districts. It also happens that they benefit from allowing oil exploration on nature preserves.
This type also includes conservative media outlets like Fox News Entertainment. With only two exceptions (Chris Wallace and Shepard Smith), the Fox News Entertainment team has acted as a de facto state-run propoganda machine for the Trump administration. The nuttier of them, Laura Ingraham, Alex Jones and Sean Hannity are not above fanning the flames of the unstable. Although Fox has been dangerously complicit, it should be noted that all of the networks gave Donald Trump huge amounts of free television publicity during the 2016 election campaign.
The third are ignorant fanatical Republican voters. These are folks who watch Fox and people the Trump rallies. They are fed Trump’s BS promises, which they consume like candy. But they won’t benefit from the policies. Coal plants are closing at an increasing rate, and they don’t have a planet B to move to. The tax cuts do not benefit them (they don’t make enough money), and they are blind to the value of lost regulations that protect their drinking water, food supply, health insurance, and electrical grid. Within this group, there are those who are happy to be told they have someone to hate and that they’ve won, and there are those who are social conservatives who bemoan the loss of the old order.
The fourth are the nihilistic voters who think both political parties of are the same. They have learned, with some accuracy, that corruption is widespread in both parties. However, rather than evaluate the relative merits of the two parties they have to chose from, they just assume that everyone is equally bad. Thus, Trump represents a shock to the system, and they delight in his outrageousness.
There is a 5th category that I find particularly odious. These are the “accelerationists.” They have long rooted for the collapse of the capitalist American economy. They tend to be well educated, and far left-wing. What makes them particularly obnoxious is that many of them have money and purport to have social justice beliefs, but that doesn’t stop them from wanting to turn the US into a latter-day Soviet Union. They know better, but still are guided by a fanatical commitment to ideology. “Oh, we don’t support Trump, but we certainly don’t approve of a corporate Democrat.” Instead, they support corrupt ninnies like Jill (where is the recount money?) Stein who are owned by Putin. So yes, they DO support Trump. Some of them actually admit to it.
The thing that all of these groups have in common is that they are harming their country. Whether they are doing this out of ideological bent, greed, stupidity, or apathy, backing the Trump horse will not end well for the vast majority of Americans because his policies are so poorly and mendaciously considered. It is not clear where we are headed. I’m increasingly favoring impeachment to stanch the loss of institutional norms and prevent summary pardons. At minimum, it’s a constitutional duty. We need to fight this travesty.