Friday, January 31, 2020

Stalking Horse

Entities should not be multiplied without necessity.
-- Occam’s Razor

The Senate is going to sell us out today.

The Senate, led by Mitch McConnell, is going to sell us out.

The Senate, now an organ of the Executive, is going to sell us out. 

The Senate is going to take a pass on duty and integrity and it’s going to sell out the Republic to own the libs.

You’re disappointed, sure. But unless you’re a complete fool, you’re not really surprised.

We are all disappointed. But we knew it was coming. Didn’t we? And to be honest, I’m surprised Impeachment made it this far.

We all knew it would end this way. Sure, we did.

Still, you have to wonder: Why aren’t Republicans willing to do their duty?

Why? I asked that question on social media, on Twitter and Facebook.

If you followed those posts, stick around. This isn’t a repeat. This is the follow up.

It was a popular question, as you can see from the various likes and shares. Seems a lot of people, at least on my timelines, want to know: Why aren’t Republicans willing to do their duty? Why cover for Donald Trump? Why protect him? Why?

I mean, Trump is guilty. He's as much as admitted it. Bragged about it even…


What’s that? Oh, I see.  You’ve got a problem with my assertion that Trump admitted to his guilt?

Just don’t. Trump’s going to get off, you win. You owned the libs. Good for you. You can at least be honest about it. Republicans have gone though the whole cycle: he didn’t do it; okay, maybe he did do it, maybe that’s a picture of him actually doing it, maybe there are some documents, maybe some recordings, maybe he did it; that said, we’re not admitting he did it, but even if he did do it, he’s the president so if he did do it, it would be fine; OKAY, fine! Fine! He did do it, we admit it, he did it and he’d do it again and it's not only totally fine it’s legal because he sincerely believed it was in America’s best interest, so there!

That’s the President’s own lawyer. Alan Dershowitz. And sure, I’m paraphrasing, but that’s essentially his argument: Trump did it, but it’s not a crime because he did it for America.

"If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment."
Alan Dershowitz, arguing before the Senate, 29 January, 2020

If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest…

  He believes will help him get elected, in the public interest.

In the public interest.

Dershowitz – and by extension, the Senate, if they allow this argument to win the day, and they will – is saying that so long as the president believes his election is in the public interest, then whatever he does, up to and including coercing a foreign government to take action against his own political enemies specifically so that he might be elected/re-elected to office, cannot be considered grounds for impeachment.

He’s not saying Trump didn’t do it.

He’s saying Trump did.

And that’s okay, says Dershowitz, because so long as Trump believes his presidency is in America’s best interest, he’s untouchable, unaccountable to Congress or the American people.

It’s the second coming of the same old Republican “sincerely held beliefs” defense.

Dershowitz along with Republicans like Mitch McConnell, they know there’s more than enough cause to hold a rigorous trial. To examine all the evidence, hear all the witnesses. They know it. And as I've previously noted, if this was 1974, Republicans would have already gone to Trump and demanded his resignation rather than have that evidence made public – or more public.

But these are not the Republicans of 1974.

You didn’t have to ask what Republicans would lose back then.

Back then, Republicans knew what they would lose.

And they did it anyway.

When Barry Goldwater, Hugh Scott, and John Rhodes went to Nixon and demanded his resignation, the Republicans in Congress that they were speaking for all knew what they were going to lose.  And they did. They lost the White House and the next election, and a number of Republican Representatives and Senators lost their jobs.

There was no way they didn’t know that was coming.

But, still, they did the right thing.

When it came down to it, they did the right thing. They put country over party, integrity over power, duty over partisanship.

And exactly one election cycle later, they got Ronald Reagan.

And, in fact, Republicans then held the White House for twelve years.

And it seems they didn’t really lose much at all.

And so you have to wonder: What do the Republicans of today lose?

What do they lose if they stand up, declare they are putting America first, that the integrity of the office matters, that the president -- government -- must be always held to a higher standard? What do Republicans lose if they show themselves acting with courage, integrity, and a sense of duty? What do they lose if they take charge of impeachment and lead from the front? What do they lose if they demand the truth? Evidence? Witnesses? What do Republicans lose if they stand up and show America that they are willing to do the right thing? Put country over party, duty over politics, truth over lies? Do they lose their jobs, or do they earn reelection out of respect? Do they hold the White House for the next twelve years?

What do they really lose?

What do Republicans lose if they remove Trump from office for cause?

They don't lose the office. Instead they'd get President Pence, a hardcore Ultra-Christian conservative with a proven track record of right wing fanaticism. If they remove Trump, they don't lose the White House, at least not right away. They don't lose the Senate. They don't lose the Supreme Court. They don't lose any of the conservative agenda they've passed so far. In fact, they might even be able to force Democrats into passing more of the Republican agenda in exchange for Trump's removal.

So, what do they lose?

When I asked that question, a number of people who responded to the original thread on Twitter and Facebook said: They lose Trump’s base. They lose voters.

But do they?

Do they really?

Do they end up out of office like those who followed Goldwater?


But did you see how fast Conservatives turned on John Bolton? How fast they turned on John Kelly? Mad Dog Mattis?

They’re calling John Bolton a liberal now. John Bolton.

And maybe, if Republicans played it right, if they did it right, maybe they'd seize the moral high ground, yank the rug right out from under democrats, and take control of the situation. Maybe they’d be the leaders.

If Republicans played it right, they could own the liberals once and for all.

Sure, they’d lose some of the hardcore Stormtrumpers. Of course, they would. But, the woman with the “Trump can grab my pussy!” T-shirt? So what if they lose her vote? Who’s she gonna vote for if they throw Trump out of office, Bernie Sanders?

She doesn’t get any more choice than you do.

And so she’s gonna vote for the Republican, whether that’s Trump or Mike Pence or whoever is on the ballot. Or she’s gonna stay home. Because she sure as hell isn’t going to vote for an abortion loving’ Democrat, no matter what. And if Republicans can pick up Independents and Undecideds, they don’t need her.

Here’s the kicker: We’re going into this next election with basically the same Electoral College we had last time, that’s what matters.

Republicans know this. And if Republicans showed themselves to be men and women of courage and integrity, who put country over party, over their own jobs, then the odds are they’d win every Independent and Undecided and every swing state Electoral College vote. Especially, the people who didn’t want Trump in 2016 but really, really hated Hillary Clinton even more. The same people who this time are already pissed off at the idea of Joe Biden, or Elizabeth Warren, or Bernie.

Republicans like Mitch McConnell are cold, calculating, cunning, conniving sons of bitches who plan for the long game.

They have no loyalty to Trump.

Their fealty is to power.

And if they played this right, they could turn Impeachment into a victory far beyond just owning the libs.

So why don’t they?

What do they lose?

What do Republicans lose? It's not like if Republicans force Trump to resign they are suddenly going to have to get gay married to vegetarian Muslims, have an abortion, or stop shooting down black men in the street. If they remove Trump, rich people still won't have to pay taxes, we won't melt down all the aircraft carriers into universal healthcare, and Barack Obama still won't show up on their doorsteps to take their guns.

So, what do they lose?

Because it must be something, right?

What do Republicans lose if they own impeachment and remove Trump from office?

They lose Trump.

Trump. They lose Trump. They lose an amoral bombastic fool, a patsy, that can be easily manipulated into implementing the very worst of their agenda without getting their own hands dirty.

They know this guy is a fool.

Those with their hands on the real levers of power? In this country and beyond? You know they look down on Trump with nothing but utter contempt, you can see it in every sneer, every smirk, every roll of the eyes.

But that’s the key to it.

Because Trump is so desperate to prove himself their equal, so desperate for their attention and acceptance, that he’ll do anything to get it. Trump is so pitiful, so utterly in need of praise, that he can be openly manipulated by news broadcasters and baited by a tweet.

Hillary Clinton, love her or hate her, had that part right: A man you can bait with a tweet isn’t someone we can trust with nuclear weapons.

And that’s the thing, right there.

That’s what Republican have to lose.

Trump is the guy who makes it okay to say those things out loud. They remember when they could call a black man a nigger to his face. They remember when they could tell a gay joke and laugh at the fags in the middle of a board meeting without worrying about a visit from Human Resources. They remember when, as a teacher, hating some towelheads in front of their sixth grade classroom was considered “patriotic.” That’s what they love about Trump, he says the words out loud. They remember. And they miss those days. And when Trump says “Make America Great Again,” well, that’s what they’re expecting. Those days, when they didn’t have to be embarrassed or ashamed of their hate – not that many of them were, mind you, but now with Trump, they don’t have to hide it any more.

Trump is the guy who told them they don’t have to be ashamed of being a horrible person. If they lose Trump, then they lose an excuse for their hate, their selfishness, their racism, their misogyny, their homophobia, their horrible religion, their wars, their greed, their fear, all of it. Trump is the guy who makes it okay to stand shoulder to shoulder with Nazis, with Confederates, with the Klan, with the Proud Boys, and still pretend that you’re standing up for “The American Way of Life.”

If they lose Trump, they lose a chump to blame for it all when the bill comes due.

That’s what they lose.

Now, when I said this on social media, things went sideways.

It wasn’t Republicans I got pushback from.

The responses from conservatives were mostly: Yeah, so? Not, “you’re wrong!” But rather, “So, what? Suck it, lib!” They didn’t dispute what I’d said about Trump, or about the failure of a Republican dominated Senate, or even the integrity of the office. Essentially it was the same response Dershowitz gave the Senate, so? So what?

I called Republicans horrible people and they didn’t dispute it. Instead they reveled in it. Ha ha, suck it, losers! MAGA!

No, it was liberals who told me I was wrong.

It was liberals who told me Republicans in congress weren’t really that bad.

Oh, they’re bad, sure, said my lefty responders, but there has to be more to it. They can’t be just horrible people. They can’t just be racists, or sexists, or religious fanatics, or homophobes, or jingoistic xenophobes. No. There has to be more than just that.


Yes, kompromat.

They think it means “blackmail” and they’re pretty sure that’s what’s going on.

See, Trump has something on Republicans, all the Republicans, every Senator, every Representative, the Russians hacked the RNC server, goes the theory, and Putin gave Trump Kompromat on all the Republicans, child porn, gay sex, dirty money, something, on every single Republican and now Donald Trump, the guy who can’t work a toilet and thinks wind turbines cause cancer, is actually some master manipulator of such astounding skill that he’s somehow managed to blackmail hundreds, maybe thousands, of people in the House, Senate, various government agencies, the US Intelligence Community, and the Press, etc., into unquestioning obedience, all without leaving a trace. Or, alternatively, he paid them. Trump, the guy who doesn’t even pay his own contractors, paid off the whole Republican party with Russian money … or something, I’m a little vague on the details.

And if that doesn’t work, well, then a Russian assassination squad will show up to take Republicans window shopping in Moscow. And, according to my Twitter, Vladimir Putin himself called each Republican personally to threaten them, probably in an ominous Hollywood Russian accent.

Because it’s easier to believe that the people who are right now selling out the Republic are doing so because of some vast complex invisible multinational conspiracy, than to believe they are just … bad people.

As if the Nazis needed to blackmailed into being genocidal monsters.

As if the Confederacy or the Klan needed be blackmailed into racism.

As if the Proud Boys had to be blackmailed into hating women.

As if all the people who’ve listened to Rush Limbaugh for the last 20 years only did so because Vladimir Putin threatened to kill their kids.

As if human nature wasn’t enough.

I don’t know.

Maybe it speaks well of you that you believe these are decent people who have to be blackmailed into doing terrible things.

Maybe you’re a better person than me, probably you are, in that you believe there has to be more than just hate and fear, ignorance, deliberate stupidity, greed, selfishness, and lust for power.


Whatever the reason, whatever the cause, it’s over today one way or the other.

Because the Senate is going to sell us out.

Mitch McConnell now has the votes to lock out witnesses and evidence -- and thus, there's not much point in dragging this out any further. It's essentially over. And they’re going to acquit Trump.

They are.

You knew this was coming.

You knew. I knew. We all knew this was how it was going to end. There was never any chance that the Republican Senate was ever going to do its duty. All those things I said up above about integrity, duty, courage, we all all knew they would never embrace those traits.

Because the Republicans of today are not the Republicans of 1974.

And Trump isn’t Nixon and he’s not going to be held to account by Republicans. He’s going to weasel out, as he always does. As the rich and privileged and powerful always do. You knew it. You said so, right here, on my Facebook page, in my Twitter timeline. You knew. So did I. So did we all. Of course, we foolishly let ourselves hope it would be different, sure we did. We got excited there for a minute. Maybe this time Susan Collins and Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski would actually stand up and … well, yeah, like I said, foolish.

So, naturally, now you're feeling let down and disappointed and disgusted and depressed. Because, for a moment, for a bare moment, you dared hope that Republicans might not be terrible.

But you knew.

You always knew.

And so, inevitably, here we are.

And it’s damned depressing. Because we shouldn’t be here. We should have done better. We should have been better citizens. Elections have consequences.

You can thank 2014 for this one, we handed the Senate to Mitch McConnell. And six years later, here we are.

Elections have consequences.

Even the ones you don’t show up for.

Don't get me wrong here: it had to be done.

It had to be done.

Because if you want to hold the moral high ground, then you have to first climb the hill. Even if you end up dying on it.

History judges us by what we do.

And by what we don't.

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
-- Hanlon’s Razor

Tuesday, January 21, 2020


When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
-- Maya Angelou

Trump should have resigned already.

Trump’s Impeachment trial, such as it is, starts today in the Senate.

But we shouldn’t have gotten this far. Trump should have resigned already.

If we lived in a rational nation, I mean.

If we had rational political parties who actually cared about the nation more than themselves.

Hell, even if we lived in the insane world of 1974. Trump would have resigned already.

And that world was insane. 1974. Trust me, I lived through it. The country was coming apart at the seams, everywhere you looked. Vietnam was mostly over, but violent anti-establishment sentiment still filled the streets in protests over race, religion, culture, and everywhere there were haunted, shattered veterans of an incomprehensible conflict that had been raging my whole life. I mean, Vietnam was literally a fixture of my life and I had no idea what the hell we were even doing there and that was true of the majority of the nation – and the more things change, right? Millionaire heiress Patty Hearst was kidnapped from her apartment by domestic terrorists in broad daylight. American cars where huge, ugly, clunky, poorly designed, unsafe, gas gulping monsters based on technology decades old. What’s that got to do with anything? Well, we were in the middle of the OPEC Embargo and there were hours long lines for gas like we were living in some slowly failing dystopia. While, weirdly, at the same time American astronauts, the very image of innovation and advanced technology and optimistic can-do American spirit, were flying overhead on the last Skylab mission and Mariner 10 arrived at Mercury half a solar system away. There was a massive swarm of tornados across North America, 148 twisters in one day, 315 dead, 5000 injured, billions in damages. The terrorists (guerillas they were called back then) who kidnapped Patty Hearst, the Symbionese Liberation Army, were trapped by police in Los Angeles and burned alive during a shootout on the Six-O-Clock news. There was this absolutely bizarre riot in Cleveland when an entire stadium got drunk on 10 cent beers and 50,000 people set to cheerfully brawling in the middle of an Indian/Rangers game. In Sarasota, Florida, a depressed broadcaster put a pistol to her head in the middle of a live show and it happened so fast that the station couldn’t cut away before she pulled the trigger, thus becoming the first suicide broadcast live and in color on television. The threat of nuclear Armageddon was in your face, every single minute of every day, and most of us thought the end of civilization wasn’t a matter of “if” but of “when.”

The music, the fiction, the news, of that time, that year, well, you go listen to it, read it, watch the recordings, you’ll see what I mean.

It was so damned grim, so insane, in 1974, that when it turned out the President of the United States of America was, in point of fact, irrefutably a crook who had grossly abused his office for his own benefit, well, you know, it wasn’t really all that noteworthy.

I mean it was, but it was also just more of the same terrible reality we were living in every day.

And yet…

And yet, when that happened, when the proof of Nixon’s malfeasance could no longer be denied, even in that time, among that grim reality, well, it wasn’t. Denied.

In the middle of all that madness, the members of the President’s own party, Arizona Republican Senator Barry Goldwater, Senate Minority Leader Republican Hugh Scott, and the Leader of the House Republican Conference John Rhodes, faced reality and put the country ahead of politics and they went to the President and told him to resign. These weren’t moderates – despite the comforting fiction we like to tell ourselves about Goldwater today. They were hardcore conservatives. Staunch party Republicans. They had supported Nixon all the way, until the smoking gun, until Nixon’s criminal conduct could not be ignored any longer.

And these Republicans, they went to the Republican president and told him to resign.

They told Nixon flat out, we won’t support you. Republicans won’t support you. Get out. Quit. Resign.

Or be thrown out of office and sent to prison.

And so, Nixon resigned.

Even in that time, even that grimly insane time, this would have already been over.

Trump would have already resigned.

Republicans would have already forced him to resign, or be thrown from office.

Because it’s obvious. Trump is a crook who abused his power to a degree that makes us look back on Nixon and wonder if maybe he wasn’t so bad after all. And he was bad. Goddamn was he bad. Nixon was terrible, all the things we knew about him then were only the tip of the iceberg. But, Trump is so bad, so crooked, so obviously crooked, that he’s almost literally rehabilitating Tricky Dick in our collective memory and, you know, goddammit, at this point, if Nixon himself was running against Trump, if those were the only choices, I’d probably have to vote for Nixon.

But Trump isn’t Nixon and the Republicans of today aren’t the Republicans of 1974.

And that’s the thing, right there: That bit about what we knew then and what we know now.

That’s the real difference.

Back then, we didn’t know.

I mean, how could we? News was twice a day, one hour at 6PM and again at 11PM, and there were typically only three channels and the news was pretty much all the same. The average adult maybe read one newspaper a day, from the local big city – or if the city was big enough and you could afford it, maybe two major papers. There wasn’t any internet, no 24/7 cable news. If you wanted to learn about a candidate, really learn about a candidate, you had go to a campaign rally. Physically go, because there wasn’t any YouTube to watch it on a day later with your smartphone from the internet. Hell, a lot of American still had Black and White TVs back then.

Nixon? You might not agree with his ideology, and there were plenty of Americans who vehemently did not, but it was hard to tell who he really was unless you saw him in person.

So, how could we really know?

We might have suspected, but how could we really know until Watergate broke in the press? Until the Smoking Gun Tape was released on August 5, 1974, and told the whole world who Richard M. Nixon really was in his own voice.

But today? Now? In this time?

You don’t have that excuse.

Trump told you who he was right from the very first moment.

His Tweets and his rallies and every word he’s mangled since he rode down that goddamned escalator in Trump Tower to announce his campaign for President. He told us who he really was. Unlike Nixon, Trump never tried to hide it. Never tried to slap a smooth veneer of civilization over it. Nixon was a consummate politician. Trump is … well, Trump.

It’s the one thing he was honest about.

He told you that he was an unabashed racist. And he is that.

He told you that he was a sexist and a misogynist. And he is most certainly that.

He told you he was a homophobe. It's true.

He told you he was white supremacist. Also true.

He told you he was a nationalist. He literally used the word: nationalist. And he is.

He daily told you he was ignorant of history, science, military matters, and geography and he wasn’t lying.

He told you he embodied the very basest of traits, the worst of impulses, that he had no self control. He doesn’t try to hide it, he’s proud of it.

He told you he loved money above all things and that he would run government like a business. His business. And every day he acts as if he owns America, as if it’s one of his hotels and we’re his employees.

He told you he would give rich corporations and the wealthy billions at your expense. And trillions of dollars in debt later, he delivered.

He told you he was Islamophobic and in the thrall of Christian Dominionists. You can't argue with that.

He told you he would cater to the mob. And there he is on Twitter, at his endless Nuremberg-style rallies, whipping the faithful into a mindless froth of hatred and fury against the rest of us.

He told you he saw The Press as the enemy – the enemy -- and he's worked every single day to make that a reality, and he himself is most certainly the self-declared enemy of the free press in return. Q.E.D.

He told you he would hire only the worst people to run your government. He literally introduced them to you, rapacious pillagers and sycophants all, cowards, fascists, racists, sexists, predators of all stripes, the most ignorant, the most foolish, the most corrupt, and the most incompetent. And so he has.

He told you that he would destroy the environment, that he would burn more coal, pump more oil, pollute the air, despoil the seas, strip-mine the land, open the national parks to drilling, frak your water. All for profit. He did it.

He told you he sympathized with brutal dictators over Americans. He proves that true time and again.

He told you that he was self-centered, selfish, self-aggrandizing, arrogant, and a staggering narcissist who listens only to himself and the cheers of the howling mob. True.

Promises made. Promises kept. Trump told you exactly who he was in detail and what he was going to do.

He is all of that. And he did what he said he would.

And yet, somehow, 62,979,636 Americans voted for him.

Sixty-two million Americans looked at Donald Trump and liked what they saw.

Maybe they liked the idea of racism, misogyny, bigotry, nationalism, white supremacy, and all the rest of it.

Or maybe they just hated Hillary Clinton and liked the idea of sticking it to the rest of us. I seem to recall messages that went something like: Burn it all down! Burn it all down!

Instead of the American tradition of politicians pretending not to be terrible people, Trump embraced his terribleness.

Trump directly pandered to the racists and the sexists and bigots of all stripes, to the greedy and the selfish, to the nationalists and the xenophobes and the war mongers. Trump appealed to that guy at the end of every bar. You know, that guy, the loud drunk, the blowhard, who knows it all and is determined to tell you. The guy who thinks that if we just drop enough bombs, kill enough people, the rest will fall in line. That’s his answer to everything, bomb ‘em! Violence. A punch in the nose. Trump appealed to that guy because instead of attempting to lead from out in front, from a position of (alleged) moral high ground, Trump instead told that guy he was right.

The simpleminded demand simple solutions to complex problems, and Trump gave them that.

Trump told them they didn’t need to be better people.

That’s what a real leader does, encourage you to be better.

But not Trump.

No. Trump told Conservatives they were fine, the very best, in fact, they didn’t need to be better people because they were already the best people. Better than everybody else.

Trump didn’t appeal to their supposed better nature. Instead,  he told shitty terrible people that it was okay to be shitty terrible people. Trump told the privileged that they were the real victims. That’s right.

Trump told racists that they were very fine people indeed, that it was okay to be racists, and he welcomed them to his rallies. The Klan. Nazis. Confederates. Proud Boys. For the first time since 1968, since George Wallace, they were all welcome up front. Come as you are!

Trump told the misogynists that it was okay to grab ‘em by the pussy so long as you popped in a Tic Tac first. He told the haters it was okay to hate gay people and Muslims and people of color. Trump told the greedy that it was okay to be selfish. He told the warmongers peace could only be had with the application of high explosives. He told the deliberately ignorant stupidity was a virtue, history was a liberal plot, education was elitism, compassion was an assault on manhood, and that money – and only money -- was proof of intellect.

Trump told terrible people that it was okay to be terrible.

Trump told terrible people that they didn’t need to feel bad about being terrible.

The defining moment was when Trump stood in front of America on national TV and told conservatives that it was A-OK to mock the disabled and he flapped his arms around and made weird squawking noises. The audience, instead of being appalled, they roared with laughter.

They roared with laughter.

That’s when we should have seen it coming.

That moment right there.

That’s when we should have realized that Trump was going to win.

Oh, there were plenty of other warning signs. Sure. The debates, for example. Trump’s opponents were completely outclassed because they’d never faced anything like this before. Because we pretend that this isn’t what America actually is. I mean look at it: Trump was completely unprepared. He never answered a single question in any substantive fashion whatsoever – and hasn’t since, for that matter. All those things listed up above, the racism, the misogyny, the jingoism, the angry ignorance, the greed, the lack of experience and deep knowledge, that’s when you saw those things on display in exquisite detail.

And Clinton? She was poised, prepared, calm, funny, she knew all the answers in as much detail as is possible. Whatever the question, whatever the issue. She knew it all.

One side: a blowhard full of bombast, bluster, and boast. On the other: perhaps the most qualified candidate to ever seek the Office.

And yet – and yet -- Trump “won.”

Oh yes he did. He won the debates.

You, gentle reader, you didn’t think so. I didn’t think so.

But he did.

The critics said Clinton was “too prepared.” Too calm. Too poised. Too confident. As if that is even possible when you’re talking about the President of the United States. They said she “cheated” somehow. And sure there was a large degree of sexism to those viewpoints, but the real truth of the matter is that conservatives didn’t care if Trump couldn’t answer any of the questions. They didn’t care what he said or what he did. Remember, they laughed when he mocked a disabled reporter, because to them it was funny. That’s the kind of people they are. The kind of people Trump told them it was okay to be. The mean spiritedness of it only made it more hilarious. The outrage from the left only made it more delicious. They loved the show. The spectacle.

They didn’t care about answers, they only wanted to be entertained.

They still do.

Trump instinctively understands that. And, now, so do Republicans.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the rub. Right there.

Trump is most certainly guilty.

You know it. I know it. Democrats know it. Republicans know it.

Trump knows it.

And if this was 1974, Trump would have already been forced to resign.

But Trump is not Nixon and the Republican Party of today is not the party of 1974. The Republicans of 2020 are not going to go to Trump and demand his resignation. They lack both the courage and the integrity. And even if they did find Trump guilty in the Senate, even if they were forced by some happenstance, some bit of irrefutable evidence, to acknowledge Trump’s chicanery, they’ll do what they’ve done since January 20th, 2017 – they’ll say it doesn’t matter. He didn’t do it. But if he did do it, well, it’s okay.

They know he’s guilty. They know it. And thus, they have no intention of putting country over party. No intention of an actual trial.

No, they intend to put on a show.

Because they know Trump’s guilt doesn’t matter.

The truth doesn’t matter.

Duty doesn’t matter.

Facts do not matter.

The integrity of the Office and of The Republic does not matter.

All that matters is the spectacle. Win that, and you win the debate.

That’s the lesson of Donald Trump. And that, that right there, is what America has become.

Trump thinks that if he can just put on a good enough show, he’ll walk free right into reelection.

And here’s the thing: given history, he just might be right.

I saved you! Cried the woman
And you've bitten me, but why?
You know your bite is poisonous and now I'm going to die!
Oh shut up, silly woman, said the reptile with a grin
You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in.
-- Al Wilson, The Snake, written by Oscar Brown Jr.