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


  1. Excellent article, thank you.

    I have been watching this debacle and selling out of America since the Reagan era and it is disheartening at best.

    I fear for the USA and no doubt the next generations are on the hook for this disaster for many, many decades.

    Gee, Berning it all down was fantastic... or Stein, or just not voting out of spite.

    The dumbing down of America really did work.

  2. IMHO, those of us who are more amenable to the 'blackmail by malign forces' are just more naive. Most of us haven't seen what you've seen in your lifework of secret intelligence, and haven't trained ourselves or been trained in threat assessment as Jim has, and there's every chance we wouldn't be as good even if we WERE trained.

    That said, I don't want to reach the point where I don't hope, even if it ends in disappointment.

  3. This is great - I was definitely operating under the assumption that Putin has something on them, and he may or may not, but the thing is, Putin's not necessary. Their hate and greed and love of power is quite enough. Thanks for this. I love a good perspective shakeup.

  4. Benjamin Franklin when asked what kind of government they formed reportedly said, 'a Republic, if you can keep it ' may have been the most prescient of our founders. My heart breaks for America.

  5. Thank you for saying it out loud. THEY ARE JUST BAD. Period. HATEFUL RACIST BIGOTS. THAT is what it comes down to -- been yelling that for years. And this from a daughter of two Trump supporters. Which makes me angrier and angrier every single day -- and sicker and sicker.

  6. Dead on. Every. Fucking. Point.
    It blows my mind how every Republican (locally, anyway) will call me dirty, nasty, stupid, etc, etc., ad nauseum. But, if I walked into their business tomorrow, they wouldn't know whether I have an R or a D on my voter registration. They would treat me with courtesy (hopefully) or at least civility.
    But, yeah: they're more interested in "WINNING!!" than in whether or not they are right. They are convinced they are right, or more that "we" are wrong.
    I'm getting pretty old to assume I'll survive another 5 years of Fat Ass. I'll vote. In every damn election, no matter how bad the S. Dakota weather is. I always have. And if we lose, then I'll fight harder next election.
    Thanks again, Chief, for another outstanding essay!

  7. I can't find the original source, but it went like this; "Many Americans would rather slit their own throats than live in peace and prosperity with people they despise."

    1. LBJ said it best, IMO...

      "If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."

  8. I'm so sick of fellow liberals/Dems saying things like "Kompromat" and "distraction" and all the other bullshit.

    The Republicans are power hungry, racist, xenophobic, misogynistic pieces of shit. (There are more adjectives there, but I am tired of typing them over and over.)

    The Republicans don't give a good goddamn about Trump. They care about being in power and Trump is their patsy.

    1. The Republicans project onto us all of their evil impulses. They say we want to outlaw their religion, invade their homes to take their guns, destroy the country, force our beliefs onto them, and corrupt their children, because that is the sort of thing that makes sense to them.

      Democrats also project onto Republicans. We assume they believe the world is a real place with actual people in it, and that facts and consequences exist, because that is what makes sense to us. It makes us look for some sense in their actions, while they truly can’t distinguish reality from reality TV.

      I get why you are sick of the search for a way to make sense of it. But for me, if I stop trying to understand them as humans, then I risk dehumanizing them. It would be so easy, and feel so good.

  9. The problem is they don't get Pence if they call witnesses. Because almost any witness, especially Bolton, would implicate Pence. Which means he also would be removed, and what they get is Pelosi in the White House until the election. And that goes over not at all after they have villified her almost as much as Hillary.

    1. Not just Pence. Also McConnell and Graham. There is NO WAY that they're going to let that get out to the public.

  10. I found the following (paraphrased copy and paste) very true and very sad. Link to the article from which I comment follows.

    This is all about Republicans maintaining the ability to manipulate elections here at home. Trump, so desperate to win his election the first time, welcomed foreign interference along with the traditional domestic voter suppression his party offered, and now they are willing to argue that Trump has the powers of an autocrat all so that they can maintain this ability to reach out to whomever they need to in order to win elections.

    This is how reckless Republicans maintain their grip on advantage in a country that has already elected a black president once and whose demographics are quickly turning against them.
    Impeachment is a tool of accountability, but Trump’s defenders are using it to give him the powers of a dictator.


  11. I'm sure many of them are happy to manipulate the orange buffoon. But I haven't seen smirks and eye rolls in them. When cornered by reporters, what I've seen is FEAR. Martha McSally's "You're a hack" thrown at the CNN reporter was a woman fleeing in fright. Pompeo's dressing down of NPR's Mary Louise Kelly reeks of fear and desperation. Some of the Democratic Senators, like Schumer and Whitehouse, have said the same thing - the Republicans in Congress are terrified of Trump and his supporters. It may be that they are just too dumb to look at the long game for themselves.

    1. Yes, you are right. I'm not buying Jim's theory. For sure 30% of the population are bigots & racists but that's not enough for today's fiasco. There is fear for sure. Why did Lev Parnas spill the beans? Fear. What did "take her out" mean?

      And then there's kompromat. We can be fairly sure that many GOP senators received rubles via the NRA. Why were 12(?) GOP senators in Moscow on 4th July? What was in the emails that we know they hacked?There's just too much for all this not to count. And this is just Ukraine. What about Turkey, Israel, KSA?

      And as someone has already commented, more evidence could quickly involve Pence (not to mention Barr, Graham etc) leading to a Pelosi Presidency.

      It's a house of cards with jail terms. That's what they're afraid of.
      Ed Hotchkiss, Ontario

  12. great article - when i read your twitter thread, i had an aha moment - i knew it had to be something besides blackmail - can’t blackmail every single one of them. your explanation is really the only one that makes sense to me.

  13. Me, writing at the beginning of this week:

    "I think we are in a time similar to the end of the Reconstruction, when the vast gains African-Americans made were largely wiped away by terrorism and the failure of the Federal government to protect their civil rights. Chattel slavery was outlawed, but the brutal class system of segregation replaced it.

    "The loss is not yet complete. Women, African-Americans, and other marginalized groups are not willingly ceding the civil rights gained in the 1960s and 1970s. People are fighting to preserve the social insurance programs developed in that period, as well as the Affordable Care Act. The outcome remains in doubt, and there is a new factor: the consequences of environmental destruction, especially global warming."

    To which I will add that the next thing is terrorism. The freed slaves – they did not willingly give up their rights. Rather, they were repeatedly brutalized, and any attempt to exercise those rights was punished with beatings and death.

    How do we prepare? How do we respond?

    1. Prepare by stockpiling ammunition and spending time at the shooting range.
      Respond by shooting back.

  14. Jim, you give voice to my feelings with great eloquence and clarity, and I appreciate it because it might take me a month to craft an essay like this, and it wouldn't be half as good. I said this elsewhere, but making it copypasta here saves time and brain cells because it's the best I can do today:

    If the Senate declines to convict 45, which was almost a virtual certainty from the get-go,¹ the conservative right will be feasting on liberal tears during the Superbowl as well as their regular brew. If 45 is re-elected in 2020, they'll be ordering liberal tears by the case. But it is my firm conviction that at some point in our future history this period of time will be looked upon with the same universal opprobrium as the McCarthy era. I have faith in humanity and these events only spur my determination to fight harder for a world that works for everyone, with no one left out.


    ¹ I have never in my life heard of any sort of a trial where the prosecution successfully argued that no witnesses and no evidence were permitted. The seat of every Republican senator up for reelection in 2020 who voted to disallow witnesses should be in the crosshairs in November. America deserves much better and this kind of slavish devotion to an oppressive platform and a corrupt *Administration.

  15. You are correct Jim. IF we stay a Republic sooner or later the GOP is going to lose and the next election cycle they will play the "It wasn't us, we are the good GOP, we're simply misunderstood, it's all Bush's, oops i mean Trump's fault, it's 2024 right, you can trust us." And people will forget or think they can compromise and work with them. Something like 1/3rd of the populations is in fact deplorable. They cannot be trusted or reasoned with. This is the mantra I have been repeating for 2020, Vote for the Democratic candidate for President, Senator, Congressman, Governor, Assemblyman ( I live in NY and believe me those last 2 are gonna be hard but the alternative, being a Republican will be worse)Comptroller, Judge and fucking Dogcatcher. Period. PERIOD. Not because they are saints, they are not, but because the alternative has definitively proven they are worse in all possible ways, because the perfect IS the enemy of the good, especially right now. Remove the tyrants from office, destroy them politically, make being a member of the GOP the same as being a member of the KKK or a Nazi and anyone who supports them (Dershowitz and Stephen Miller) toxic and unworthy of trust or power ever again. Vote Democratic. Period.

  16. What a lot of people don't seem to realize is that the Republicans in power these days are those hateful people you see saying those kinds of things you mention. The people who report black people for doing normal ordinary things. The people who cause a fuss if one of 'those' people is the one who checks out their groceries. The people who yell angrily and gesture threateningly and/or vulgarly at cameras if they think it's for a liberal audience.

    These are the exact same people we have in Republican elected office. The ones in office just put on a more presentable facade than the people who voted for them. But underneath, they're despicable, and Trump has given them lease to reveal more of how despicable they are.

  17. Yes, I agreed with my fellow Lib pushbackers. Then I read your argument. These people (Republicans) salivated over the Republican Tax Scam. They've known "trickle down economics" is bullshit since GHW Bush gave up calling it VooDoo Economics to be Reagan's VP. They know empowered and educated citizens would be impervious to manipulation, so they try to starve public education, and slander Americans who think. Fully 53% of Senators are bad people who represent 40 ish % of Americans, who are also bad people. SCOTUS gave us Citizens United, dismantled the Voting Rights Act, and are trying to finish the job by establishing a theocratic, privatized educational system. The contempt Republicans hold for liberals is sick. I have relatives in the south who have driven me from my family. They are fine with this. And it's liberals who believe in basic human goodness. This asymmetry, with the good people being demonized by the self-righteous, is hard to behold. But there it is.

  18. To which I will add that while it is not just Russian influence at work – after all, that only seems to have got going in the last decade or so – there is a lot of Russian money rolling around the Senate. This is our home-grown monster, to be sure, but Vladimir Putin is happy to feed it.

  19. I don't know if we can take back the Senate - I don't know if free and fair elections are going to be a thing in the U.S. in the future.

    But I know we have to try. We have to go vote, in numbers hopefully too overwhelming to tamper with. If we DON'T put some kind of forceful check on Trump and those who're using him, I expect we're out of chances after this. If we're not already.

    Trump's acquittal will lead to a whole lot of nasty ugliness in the next few months. Four more years of Trump - which isn't going to surprise me much - could be the nails in our nation's coffin.

    Republics have died before this. I hope history doesn't record 2020 as the final year of the short-lived experiment in "American democracy." But I have to admit, I'm not feeling terribly optimistic these days.

  20. Consequences. Indeed. We are all free to do whatever we want to do and we are also free to enjoy the consequences of doing whatever we want to do. What I see here is that the GOP, in its entirety, either do not understand the consequences of their collective actions, or they don't care. If they don't understand, they are in for a massive surprise. If they don't care, they are still in for a surprise, as they will all have to face said consequences, and it will not be pretty.

    The rest of us are facing the consequences of our action and/or inaction over the last 40 years, in regards to what we have allowed the GOP to get away with. The pendulum has swung way out to the "right" and we let it. As you say, Chief, we collectively thought, "Hey, they can't really be that bad, yeah?" "There's just no way these people are complete shit. They are decent underneath, right?"

    No, they are not. They are too busy being in massive fear of the "other" to allow themselves to be "decent". In their view, to do so is losing who they believe they are. Superior. Better. They cannot conceive of letting that go. That is why we find ourselves in this situation. Damn few of us allowed ourselves to see what the facts were. Now, we are all going to deal with the consequences of our actions and inactions.

    1. I agree, Ross, and in some ways the worst of it is that while we all deal with the consequences - we don't all deal with them equally.

      You and I wear a certain amount of privilege on our pasty white hides. It doesn't make us consequence-proof, but so many others lack even that flimsy shield.

      I fear for the people an empowered, emboldened GOP will target in the months & years to come.

    2. ...and when they came for them....I said nothing. Don't fear for them fight for them.

  21. Yes, I’d say that covers it. They get the worst of their agenda implemented by Imperial Decree and without their fingerprints on it. If it all blows up, there’s no record of any of them passing any legislation. Plausible deniability.

  22. As always, spot on, and right in the gut. I have no hope for this country after today.

  23. “Sincerely held beliefs” are what Republicans use to shove religion into places it doesn't belong. By extension, because Jesus doesn't like abortion, they get votes from the bizarrely named Pro-Lifers. And, because these folks tie religion into everything, they claim bearing firearms as being a "God-given right." I'm waiting for the GOP to declare the Democratic Party to be a representative of Satan... even though we all know that Satan's true representative occasionally sleeps in the White House when he's not out cheating at golf.

  24. Dems let President Obama down big-time when he begged us to give him a congress that would work with him. Things were going so well for most of us then that we thought it would continue. We let him down. And now our country is in the hands of the GOP, they pulled a huge coup on us and many still don't realize it. I"m glad I have no grandchildren, our country is going down the toilet.

    1. Agreed. For some reason, we, the voters, have forgotten that.
      I would say that the whole country let down the whole country when we failed to elect moderate Dems and moderate Repubs that recognize "compromise" as a good word. We need moderates -true moderates. NO extremists.

  25. Thanks so much for your thoughtful essays. A 21st century Eric Hoffer. Thank you.

  26. As you lay out, democracy isn't complicated, but it's hard. It's hard because the entirety of its success or failure rests with that person in the mirror. We can blame these fiends for their dereliction. But for them being in a position where their perversion matters? Ultimately, that's on us. That means the fix is on us, too.

    I know for whom I hope to vote in the primaries and the general. What matters is the "how I will choose" and that involves a fuck-ton of work. I have to read streams of corporate-politico horseshit, listen to coiffed jackasses yammer, get into policy discussions that make me shiver with cold boredom.

    That's my fucking job as a voter. And any person eligible to vote in this nation, who doesn't vote, doesn't register to vote, relies on One Holy Source to sort this astonishing complex madness into one and only one choice, then head through any weather, wait in line, stand in that little spot and Be A Citizen, anyone who won't do that can fuck right off.

    I get my ballot. Before I read it, standing there, I think about my Uncle Dale. Dale lied his way into WW2, European Theater, where he became a 'forward scout'--POW twice, escaped once, bullshitted with enough German to get tossed out the second. As a kid in the 60s, I watched him casually pick metal out of his ankle with a pen knife, smoking a Camel non-filter along the way.

    I don't often like what my ballot looks like, but I do my homework, I often hold my nose, and I vote. For Dale. Because if I don't, if we don't we may just find ourselves in a battle we're not equipped or prepared to fight or to win; but knowing that we damn sure better or this republic is lost.

    Those are the stakes. We might not, as a nation, be up to the task anymore.

  27. came across theocracywatch Rise of the Religious Right in the Republican Party early 2018- watched item after item on the agenda come to pass. Gradually understood that Occam's razor does apply- the simplest explanation for what is happening is that it is what the GOP wants to have happen. Also became clear that Trump was their cover for the dastardly deeds the GOP had plans to do as a party. Though I don't think they realized it at first, they soon understood that having a "Man Without a Conscience" as their figurehead worked brilliantly. I still expect them to continue to keep their finger to the wind and when the political climate is right, to pull the plug on Trump and take credit for being the party of conscience. This is, of course, long after they have rigged the election or seized power through whatever underhanded machinations required. Despite all this, I am a fervent member of Indivisible and spend at least 6 hours a week "resisting" and 24 hours a day in a state of sheer panic.

  28. Yes, they won this round. Yes, it went according to their plan. Yes, McConnell has added to his legacy of "winning" regardless of damage to the country.

    But here's the deal: Bolton's not going to shut up. In addition, more tidbits are coming out every day. From now until November, we will be slowly bombarded with facts, facts that show what a miserable human being Trump is. What spineless bastards the Republicans are. Maybe I'm a naive optimist, but I still believe in an American majority that still thinks all of this stinks really badly and will do the right thing. Sure, there's still around 30% of the country that wants Trump to "hurt the people he's supposed to be hurting." I feel sorry for them. Their hate and anger and general malevolence has eaten their soul, but they do not represent this country and never will. We are indeed in desperate straits, but it won't last forever. Hopefully, not longer than 277 days. The wound will close and heal and we will start again.

    But only if good people vote.

  29. OK so as some one from the UK, Cadet Bone spur/Mango Mussolini is going to win the 2020 elections (by foul means)my prediction.

  30. "Republicans like Mitch McConnell are cold, calculating, cunning, convincing sons of bitches who plan for the long game." Think you meant "conniving," not "convincing." But I'm not convinced of this. Maybe you meant "convicted sons of bitches." Would that it were so.

    1. I did mean conniving. Thanks. It's fixed. // Jim

  31. Paula Raymond-TraftonJanuary 31, 2020 at 7:05 PM

    What do they lose?
    They lose Fox News.
    Because here's the thing: Fox loves Trump. Because Trump dances to their tune. They pull his strings and he foxtrots. They have a puppet and they LOVE it.

    No way will they give that up.
    Pence is a crap human being and he would court Fox News, but he would not drool at their praise, would not roll over for their treats.

    And Fox has been the Kingmaker. Republicans cannot win without Fox. Piss off Fox, they'll yank their support and you can kiss your Senate seat goodbye.

    So that's what they lose if they dump Trump. They have to keep Trump because Fox news demands it, and not one of them can afford to piss off Fox.

  32. They are awful people. I do, however, think Putin is involved. Not by blackmail, but simply by buying. These shameless asses are all of the things you said, and they can be bought. They are honest in the sense that once bought, they stay bought--unless they get much more money and power. Putin, in their private sessions, is schooling Trump on how to go about being a bombastic dictator, and it already suits Trump's style anyway. But Putin is playing and winning a negative sum game in which Russia gains power relative to the West by not losing much if any. He should declare this a national holiday for the New Russia. He got Brexit and a likely home-free Trump on the same day. He has demonstrated that the West, especially those in power in the US and UK, are exactly as corrupt, venal, and weak as he claims they are.

  33. The problem we have is the GOP is not filled full of malice or stupidity, but malice AND stupidity.

    It's a lethal combination.

  34. Jim, you articulate what I have slowly come to believe: Those who support the current occupant, from the Senate Majority Leader to my idiotic next door neighbor, are just plain evil. There is no other explanation. They are racist, misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobes who are mean, cruel, and heartless. I count among these people a former sergeant of mine, also a former pastor, whose posts are illustrative of this. What is awful is how it is couched in "support" or "concern". Bullshit. You hate people different from you. Period.

    I am also enjoying the comments from other readers. VOTE. EVERY TIME.

  35. I think there's also another reason that they aren't about to let actual witnesses into the chamber. When you've spent as much time and effort creating an alternate reality for one's base, one does NOT allow facts to trickle in. It would undo all their work and erase their power base. I can't see them ever being willing to do that.

  36. The Congress is dead; long live the King.

  37. In a sense it was blackmail, Trump has found a way to get 40% of the people to vote every. single. time. Add to that a gerrymandering effort that started in 2009 that makes it very hard for people in some states to take back their state houses and draw fair maps. The courts can't and won't save us now. We have to do it ourselves.

  38. Hit the mark on the nose. I grew up with these people & know them for who they really are.

  39. I notice your explanation did not mention money. Or the donor class. Or tax cuts and deregulation for the donor class. Maybe the explanation is as simple as this: The Republican party leadership, at least since FDR, has been all about fooling ordinary people into voting against their interests for the benefit of big business and the wealthy. And no one has been better at doing that than Donald Trump. He is the pickpocket's left hand which distract you while the right hand robs you blind. I'm not saying Mitch McConnell isn't a racist. I'm saying what he really cares about is money.

  40. I've lived in several large cities for the majority of my life. I recently moved from Chicago proper to just outside the city by O'Hare. At 51 years old I thought I had a decadent grasp of the sensibilities of the most people based on the area and environment in which they grew up and/or lived. Holy Shit was I in for a shock. Just outside the city is not what I thought. The people that behave a certain way when confronted by diversity are VERY much different people when in a homogenized setting. Long time friends are suddenly outright bigots. Perfect strangers are willing to exhibit outright shitty behavior because I look like one of them (white). A year ago I might have had at least a modicum of suspicion for your argument presented in this post. Not anymore. My faith that the "loud minority" are a dying breed has been shaken to my core. When once I thought the level of work needed to right this lilting ship was conceivable, now I have serious doubts. This isn't a schoolyard scuffle but an outright fight for our lives and for the first time in my life I have little to no reason to think we will win. But fight on I will. Cheers Jim.

  41. What I appreciate most about your essays is how they kick me in my naiveté. Thank you.

  42. NRA packs sheldon Adelson. Follow the money. Republicans have sought outside money from corporations and foreign donors. They are corrupt and want power at all cost. The next is the national emergency to get a dictator. The stock market crash to increase more control cut social programs and graft contracts to supporters. Get out and vote. Make them fight for it.

  43. Having grown up an unabashed feminist (and self-identified liberal) in a red region of the country, I have to agree with you. I am not so naïve as to believe they were either misled or blackmailed into being horrible people, but I know a lot of my friends do somehow believe that's what it took for them to sell out their country.

  44. Liberals, and I am one though slightly left of that, have always been Pollyannas. We "go high when others go low". Sickening, isn't it. In a fight, that's how you get the shit beat out of you. And this fight matters more than any fight you can imagine. We can't believe that people can truly be evil because we aren't. We think that everybody is good underneath and something terrible must have happened to them to make them do such evil. When some Trump henchman turns on him, we welcome them with open arms, no matter how much evil they have countenanced before. What a hero! He saw the light! We forgive, we forgive because love will always win! Which is why we repeatedly get kicked in the teeth and walked all over while the truly evil people laugh. We are playing by entirely different rules than Republicans, so the game is fixed against us. And we never, ever learn.

    1. Yes, exactly this. It's human nature on BOTH sides. Democrats want to believe that not everyone could be that bad; Republicans, well, they are that bad. Unfortunately, those people who pushed back on Twitter are undoubtedly good people. They are, in fact, the kind of nice polite people who would argue about whether they were in box cars or cattle cars while they were on the train to a Trump "re-education camp."

  45. Spot on, Jim. One of the big differences between my Democratic and Republican friends is that the former tends to believe that all people do the best they can given their circumstances. The later tends to believe people always act in their own self-interest, especially if no one is watching; hence, the need for religion. It's almost as if they believe anything that doesn't get them immediately smitted is blessed by God. For Dems, it's too scary to believe that at least some people are inherently and stupidly always acting in their own best interests and the hell with everybody else. It's nicer to think that someone is behind the scenes manipulating the circumstances. That belief fits easily into the "man is inherently good" narrative. I've never had any illusions about Mitch McConnell or the rest of the Republican leadership. They are rotten to the core. It's why I have contributed multiple times to Amy's campaign and I'll continue to do so even though she'll (hopefully) represent a state on the other side of the country from me. McConnell has got to go and as many of his stupid, evil henchmen as possible too.

    1. It's almost as if they [Republicans] believe anything that doesn't get them immediately smitted is blessed by God.

      The old 'Anything not forbidden is compulsory' line, eh?

  46. Dave Winer wrote on his blog today a post titled "Epitaph".
    [...]This is just the beginning of the first chapter of what comes after America."

  47. We will rise again. In the faces of our children. In the voices of our song. In the waves out on the ocean. (Attibuted to my relatives in Nova Scotia - the coal miners singing group "Rita MacNeil and Men of the Deeps).

    This is what I wrote to DannyBoy and Lisa:

    We waited to see if you would allow the White House to completely stonewall the House of Representatives. It was unprecedented that you would accept a set of rules that are essentially a fig leaf for what the President has done. This totally demonstrates a complete lack of regard for what the Senate, as an institution, is supposed to be about.

    Now that you have rolled over I hope you enjoy the view. His domination over you is complete and your submission, while pathetic, is not surprising.


  48. Great column. It's difficult for me to believe that Romney is is only Republican Senator who has not willingly joined with Trump. But you're right, meanness and lust for power are simpler explanations than large scale blackmail. It's sad, but we must fight on.

    Small typo, you left "be" out of this sentence: As if the Nazis needed to blackmailed

  49. Thanks again, Jim. A fine read, albeit depressing.

  50. My original note on your Stonekettle Station post from Weds remains the same: I only “liked” this post because I agree 1000% with everything you said — but I also HATE it, because I agree 1000% with everything you said!
    And my follow-up is this:
    I just can’t stomach the thought of seeing 24/7 coverage of that malignant and treasonous lying orange Sociopath, smugly gloating for the next 10 months straight — that he’s been acquitted and therefore “exonerated” AGAIN at all his despicable hate-rallies, that we ALL foot the bill for — let alone watch what will surely be more of the same at his State of the Union “address.” That hateful face and nasty smarmy voice trigger instant nausea.
    I feel like I’ve been screaming in my head all week long, because my family won’t talk with me about any of this, especially this impeachment. Hubby is just too tired after working all day every day, one daughter is very liberal in her thinking but refuses to get “sucked into politics” and instead concentrates on helping people in her own neck of the woods (she’s an OT for disabled kids) and other daughter is very religious and conservative. I fall somewhere just left of middle. So we haven’t talked politics as a family in 3 years. We just CAN’T, not that I haven’t tried! Always ends up with hurt feelings, yelling and sometimes, tears.
    Election night had me in disbelief and tears by 2am, while my hubby and religious-conservative younger daughter sat in the living room talking to each other about how it “wouldn’t be *that* bad, that he’d been elected” and I’ve been cussing, privately — mostly at the news on tv when I’m alone, ever since! Needless to say I voted for HRC. The woman is smart as hell, knows what she’s doing, was railroaded for what happened in Benghazi, and predictably — has been dead-right on EVERYTHING about trump from day one, especially her astute comment from July 2016: “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons." She TOLD us who he was! Ironically so did he, repeatedly, but not enough of us listened, and VOTED! And here I am at 3AM with insomnia, again, thanks to this sham of an impeachment “trial.”
    Anyway, my friend Sheryl, who lives halfway across the country from me in St. Louis, invited me to your Stonekettle Station page around a year ago. It has been such a haven. Thank you!

  51. You're assuming that the base cares what facts Bolton or Parnas have to contribute, Lucas. It is so clear that they really DO NOT care about the truth, they care, again, only about owning the "Libs" and truth never had anything to do with that.

  52. You nailed it 100%, Jim. I knew they would vote no. Even Susan Collins vote was orchestrated to "allow" her to vote no because she is vulnerable so Mitch allowed that. He knew he could lose those votes. He has complete control. I am nonetheless sick at heart, pissed off and just generally truly sad for this country. It's going to get bad, really bad now.

  53. Why must it be "either-or", and not "both-and"?

    Could it not be that the Treason Party (fka GOP) consists of horrible people AND Putin holds kompromat over many of them?

    1. You only need kompromat to force folks to do things against their will. Here, the Republican primary voters will vote for whoever talks like Trump - until they can find someone even more racist / sexist / anti-gay to vote for.

      Trump and his ilk are what Republican code voters have long wanted - now that they have it, they want at least this much, if not more.

    2. It could be, I guess maybe in some cases it even is.

      But I fear and expect that in most cases Jim is, as usual, spot on here and these are just plain evil, horrific, pathetic excuses for human beings.

      75 years after Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated and the full magnitude and horror of the Shoah (Nazi Holocaust), we have actual nazis and their ilk in the United States of America. Not only marching on the streets but in the highest offices in the land and holding power. And refugee children and adults, people who did nothing wrong and are being punished purely because of who they are, dying in concentration camps. Just as we've got much the same here in Australia. Murdoch's empire and Putin's joy. Humanity's despair.

  54. I've always enjoyed your writing. The one thing not mentioned much and I believe it was the biggest reason was the fact that the Republican Senators know if they're one of the "outsiders" who votes against the wishes of Trump, then Trump will unleash his Twitter machine against their campaigns. As Upton Sinclair once said, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."
    The other probable reasoning they are using is that they would have to admit to being wrong finally. Liberals have been pointing out Trump's guilt all along and they've been defending their tribe all along... and admitting they were wrong about this one thing... would mean that maybe they're wrong about more things. It's a slippery slope. Above all, the cult does not admit to being wrong about anything. It weakens the cult.

  55. This is beautiful Jim, thank you. When Hannah Arendt wrote of the banality of evil, people didn't like it. When Milgram did his experiments and showed that anyone, ANYONE would torture another person with the mildest or no prompting, people didn't like it. This is the same truth about humans. You nailed it (again) and thank you. Peace brother

  56. I predict our fine GOP patriots will soon rue the day they elected to ride their tiger now that they've tossed the saddle, bridle and reins. Bless their hearts.

    The Texas lege has outlawed straight ticket voting. Texas is investing nothing in promoting a complete 2020 state census count. Our so-called Christian governor has made us the first state in the nation to decline to participate in the refugee relocation program.

    As Mr. Wright has noted here (and elsewhere), The Orange Fog has mandated and masked a steady, stealthy whittling away of our environmental, social, financial and political checks and balances by local, state and federal elected officials, agencies and private organizations.

    However, if we're gonna go down, this 68-year-old little old Texan lady will go down with her finger on the voting booth button selecting, one by one, whichever democrat has the nomination in every single local, state and national race from this day until she's hauled out in a box.

    All I ask: DNC, please, please get your heads out and don't waste my vote.

  57. In other words, Trump is the embodiment of everything Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the far right media have been saying for years. Trump didn't start this parade of evil - he just dressed up as a drum major, jumped in front, and started yelling the parade's themes in a bullhorn.

  58. Sometimes
    Not all the time
    The incongruities of the simple explanation seemingly looks to easy to explain the habits of people who openly and harshly put themselves over others at any costs.

    It's shocking, I think because for the vast majority of people find that the want/desire/need for money and power and privilege exists in themselves.

    Holding up a mirror for others to look into is uncomfortable for them, but when it's just an empty frame and one sees themselves in others...it's either intellectual honesty with oneself, or irritable denial of "you are the missing my point!"

    People are people, I've set my expectations accordingly.

  59. With so many individuals, trying to find the one motivation to explain their actions is a bit simplistic.

    I wouldn't be surprised to find some subject to blackmail type pressure. Trump certainly seems wide open to such pressure, his business appears to have been kept afloat by dirty Russian money not far removed from Putin, so the threat of ruination might be there.

    Also, if things in their secret meetings are so damning that Trump won't even let any record be kept of them, then that is another angle of pressure, since Putin could release them and damage Trump.

    That being said, you don't need Russian blackmail to explain people like Nunes or Graham. If Parnas is correct, they were players in the scheme, so protecting Trump is also about self preservation.

  60. Essentially the same comment I had on the Facebook post. I had asked myself this question often. Why wouldn't they make that clearly brilliant play of dumping Trump and turning themselves into heroes? Even if the lose an election, it's not like any of them will be homeless. They'll still be near the levers of power in high-paid lobbying jobs.

    I never took the logic as far as you have, and it's almost inescapable when you do. It makes me very, very sad.

  61. Well, so now we have ourselves a monarch. If the witnesses and documents had been allowed a dirty little secret would get out that Pence would be implicated as well. And we know who is next in line for the presidency were he to go down with the President. They were never going to let that happen.
    So now I wonder who else? Who else would have been implicated besides Barr, Pence, McConnell, Graham, Nunes and amazingly Pat Cipollone, White House council (am I missing someone...there are so many bad actors here)? How many Republican senators would have been implicated here? Of course they didn't want witnesses and documents! They may all be implicated for all we know.

  62. Well thought through, well written... and exactly my train of thought. Even us "libs" need to step back. Some of us can be just as blind in our disgust for Trump as all of our newly empowered hate groups are by my existence.

    I hope what they lose is the Senate. The presidency, and any hope of gaining them, or the House back. Between gerrymandering and hate groups, however, I don't think anyone left of Limbaugh has a chance.

    This government is broken. We are no longer a democracy, a republic, or ANY other for of known government. We are a capitalist, corporate, greedy country that is in need if a serious overhaul of the very foundation of our government.

    Trust me... if I COULD... I WOULD get out. I wish these people that wanted me gone so badly would sponsor my emigration. I don't care how hard we fight... I don't see the world lasting long enough to save it.

  63. Thank you. I love your writing.
    I agree with you.
    I'm brown. I grew up thinking that didn't matter.
    Before the Age of Trump, I learned that it did; that my believing for one second that it didn't was a level of privilege so many have died for not having.
    And so, speaking not for all brown people, but almost certainly for all smart brown people: Yeah. Of course.
    Of course the ability to hate openly, to be an open white supremacist and LGBTQIA+-phobe and misogynist and xenophobe and a sexual predator and far-right Xtian, is worth shredding the Constitution. Worth being a subject state to Russia.
    Thank you for not letting them be the only ones who say the quiet part out loud. Because as long as we look away, as long as we act like children frightened of the truth, they are the only ones with a map to this terrible place we are slogging through.

    PS: By way of indulging less harmful childishness...You are SO rational. And your articulate, principled outrage still helps me set my compass.
    So there. Neener neener neener.

  64. Spineless bastards all. You are absolutely right about power being the main issue. I don't know how anyone who wore the uniform can support Trump. I was in the Air Force for 20 years. Being from New York I knew enough about Trump to know he is a douche bag. But, when he slandered John McCain he lost me forever.

  65. Naw...it's those sweet, freshly laundered Russian rubles. I think every one of them are in it for the money. Except maybe Leningrad Lindsey. I think they found Boy Scout uniforms. But the money ain't hurtin' none, either.

  66. I agree with you Jim. Humans are not good. Here are some things I have written to that effect.
    I think that the root to all of our problems is that we are animals with intellect. We are not a nice animal, and use our intellect to justify our animal wants and needs, instead of becoming better humans.
    Both the left and right justify the animal survival instinct to having the lions share and that leads to the cycle of inequality. (Inequality ---> accumulation of wealth ---> power ---> corruption ---> exploitation ---> broken system ---> hopelessness ---> conflict and violence---> collapse ---> it all starts over with inequality.) It has been going on for thousands of years. I think that humans will go extinct before we ever become human enough to rise above it. Those living in the utopia of wealth see nothing wrong with it, and have the money and power to maintain the status quo for long periods.
    As Pogo said in the cartoon strip: “We have seen the enemy and it it us.” The percentage of people that would accept equality tells it all. I guess it is just wrong for a rotten animal, such as us, to have intellect. We will miss use it all the way to our extinction.

  67. "...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."

    Words I will do my damnedest to live by.

    The reason that kompromat etc. are seized upon as excuses by good people is that those good people find it difficult to conceive that others are evil, that some people just want to watch the world burn as long as they get theirs. Good people do not act that way, they would die on that hill if necessary. This is the difference between heroism, reluctant or not, and venal cowardice. Shameful that the GOP has lost its heroes.

  68. I have to offer a think you for showing some light, during a dark time

  69. Two things:

    One: As a liberal, I don't think Trump has the kompromat on the Republicans, I think Putin has kompromat on enough important Republicans that it matters. All Trump needs is dollars so he can keep up his illusion of being a rich person, and Putin can dictate the rest.

    Why are Republicans failing to do their jobs? Because they are too busy keeping their jobs. Cushy paycheck, regular raises, long vacations, guaranteed healthcare for life. What's not to like? It's why most of them are retiring. They keep their bennies and don't get the embarrassment of being voted out of office (which they all know is coming too, just like we knew acquittal was coming). So Putin whips the kompromat on the powerbrokers and the rest get kept in line with the threats to their jobs.

    That's my take. I could be wrong. I can't wait to see how this all shakes out.

    2) Interesting quote to end your article with. Your premise is that Republicans are failing to do their jobs because they are revelling in the power that comes from being spiteful, mean people, but the end quote undermines your thesis.

    Is it possible that Republicans are simply ignorant, not mean?

    Take Samuel Clemens's quote: "Travel is fatal to prejudice[.]" Considering most of the GOP base is in the South, which is statistically poorer than the rest of the country (therefore limiting travel), and pretty insular and suspicious of outsiders, perhaps the problem isn't one of human nature, but the lack of exposure to other cultures and people who don't look, act, and speak like them?

    You stop at human nature, and conclude that the GOP are failing their jobs because they are mean people. What if we push further and ask why are they mean?

    1. I'm not sure how you can look through recent history (especially the pushback to Civil Rights or gay marriage) and not reach the conclusion that the cruelty and the hatred is the point, rather than ignorance.

  70. I am sad & depressed by the Senate Republicans' vote against
    witnesses. I believe that
    they have been cowed & compromised by traitor trump,
    Moscow Mitch, & Putin. As traitor trump threatened,"Your
    Head on a PIKE, if you vote
    against me..." The now infamous
    GOP or Gang of Putin, has also
    probably been paid off & blackmailed by traitor trump,
    Moscow Mitch, & Putin. Like
    an earlier commentor, my POSSLQ
    is also sick of my anti-trump rants, so I will continue to
    post my anguish, & fight. I called my registrar of voters
    to be sure that I wasn't purged
    & can still vote. I can & I shall, but since Moscow Mitch
    has blocked election security
    at least 4 X for our 2020 election, what the hell can we do to prevent further Russian
    hacking into our 2020 election?
    Thanks for your site giving me
    some perspective on the mess we
    are in.

  71. Depending on an armed uprising is a fool‘s dream. It’s comparable to serfs marching on the castles with pitchforks and torches. Guns are useless against the overwhelming power of the state, the military.
    The only action that would (might) get the attention of the powers that be would be a well organized nationwide work strike for a week or a month. That would hurt them where it counts - in their pocket books. Guns are like peashooters to the overwhelming might of the police and the military..

  72. Excellent observations... I too have my reasoning about why people and the GOP still support Dolt 45, but it don't make any of this easier to take. THANK YOU, CHIEF!!!: https://gortnation.blogspot.com/2019/01/i-know-but-i-dont-know.html

  73. GREAT post sir! Just for the record, I never believed the likes of Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski would step out of line; I figured Romney might out of spite. None failed to disappoint!

  74. If this was Nixon, I'd be willing to entertain the kompromat theory. Nixon was competent at what he did.
    As it is, I think you nailed it. Many GOP members of Congress miss the 1950s, when the world was white, straight and Christian. And Trump gives them the sense that the 2020s can be that again.


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