Tuesday, March 5, 2024

No Safety


"The only evidence I see of the antichrist here is everyone's desire to see him at work."
-- William of Baskerville, The Name of the Rose

God will not save us.

If that's what you were hoping for, you're going to be disappointed.

Your deity will not save the Republic and it's not like he promised to anyway. 

Either he's not up there, or he doesn't much care. 

Or, more likely, he's a Republican and from what I gather he doesn't have much use for democracy in the first place.

Either way, he's not going to save us. 

He's not. 

Plague, genocide, mass murder, fire, flood, locusts, nailing people to crosses, those are his specialties. He's not big on free will or women thinking for themselves and Donald Trump is right up his alley -- well, at least the American Evangelical version anyway. 

What's that? 

Oh, you're insulted already and we're only a couple paragraphs in? 

Good. It's about time you got mad. If I'd known, I would have insulted your god long ago. 

You're going to need that energy in the coming years.

You see, whatever your god is or is not, what I'm saying is that while I'd be happy to be proven wrong, given his track record when it comes to such things I probably wouldn't count on thoughts and prayers saving the Republic anytime soon.


Likewise, some Special Counsel isn't going to save us. 

The Attorney General isn't going to save us -- and can't now even if he wanted to, which he very clearly does not. 

I told you, back when the liberals were all giddy and swooning over Robert Mueller, that it would go nowhere. Oh, there was plenty there, sure. Obviously so. Russia Russia Russia. We all saw it. Hell, Putin bragged openly about how he diddled our elections. A massive Russian intelligence operation was uncovered. Thirty-four people were indicted, including prominent members of Trump's Campaign. A bunch of them went to jail, but not Trump. Mueller was too much of an old school G-man. He thought it would be enough to lay out the evidence and Department of Justice and Congress and Republicans would do the right and honorable thing like it was 1974 and Richard Nixon was giving us the finger on the way out the door with the White House silverware. Mueller couldn't wrap his head around the fact that there were no honorable Republicans left, including and most especially Bill Barr -- who is ironically today warning America about the dangers of electing Donald Trump again and he certainly would know, wouldn't he? 

Speaking of Attorney Generals, I told you Merrick Garland would fail us. I fucking told you. I told you that if Trump wasn't indicted, charged, and convicted in time, he never would be. There was a window, maybe two years, where Garland could have put Trump away and the nation might have accepted it and we could have moved on with minimal violence. He's got to go slow! Garland has to cross the T's and dot the I's! It's a painstaking process, have faith in the system! My audience screamed at me. You're not a lawyer! You don't know! And you were right, I'm not a lawyer. But I do know politics. I'm certainly not an expert on the law, but I know what civil war looks like -- I've been in the middle of more than one. 

Liberals just never understood that this was never about the law. 

It was always about public perception and that's something Donald Trump understands very well indeed. 

Now it's election season and it's too damn late for Merrick Garland. We can't put Trump away because he's the nominee. We can't even keep him off the ballot. Q.E.D.

And here we are exactly as I told you we would be.

The Court is not going to save us. 

I mean, come on, you're not in any way whatsoever surprised by the Trump Supreme Court decision, are you? 

You're not that damn naive. 

No, you knew, or you should have anyway. It's not like you weren't warned. 

SCOTUS, champion of "States Rights," has decided that states do not have the right to keep Trump off their primary ballots despite the very, very clear and unambiguous language of the Constitution specifically requiring them to do exactly that. 

But, again, you're not really surprised, are you? You were warned, over and over and over again. You were warned what would happened if Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell were allowed to pick the majority of Justices. You were warned. You knew. Don't pretend you didn't. But not enough Americans cared, not back when it would have made a difference. Not enough to show up for the elections where their votes could have actually changed the outcomes. Those elections weren't sexy enough, weren't important enough, didn't affect them personally enough. Hell here in my own Florida District 1, serial sex trafficker Matt Gaetz's district, less than half of registered voters even bother to show up for anything less than the general election every four years -- the one election where their vote doesn't actually decide the outcome. 

And here we are.  

This bought-and-paid-for Supreme Court was never going to save the Republic. You knew that. 

Yes, you did. 

This Court was put in place to save Trump not the Republic. 

This Court was put in place to serve Republicans and the Kochs, to turn women into livestock, to unleash Christian Evangelical fanaticism on us. And they will do exactly that. 

Oh yes they will, with a vengeance. 

We could have stopped it, but it wasn't important enough to enough Americans. And by the time it was, it was too late. 

And here we are. 

The Press for goddamn sure isn't going to save us. 

The Press is the only private enterprise given enumerated rights in the Constitution. Did you know that? But the Press has long ago given up their sacred role as the watchdog of liberty in exchange for clicks and likes and profit. 

The kind of journalism that once brought down Richard Nixon is as dead and buried as Trump's first wife. 

Moreover, the Press has no interest in saving the Republic. 

Why would they? 

Blood, war, disaster, Trump, that's what sells, that's what pays million dollar CEO salaries. That's what built William Randolph Hearst a castle on top of a mountain. Trump has been a media cash cow for forty years, they won't give him up until he's dead and probably not even then. 

When the Press tells you Joe Biden is old, what they really mean is that Joe Biden is boring.

They're not wrong. Biden is boring. Good government should be boring. You shouldn't have to think about it all the time. You shouldn't have to spend every minute worrying if the lunatic in charge is going to start a trade war or invade your uterus or just randomly decide to drop nuclear bombs on a hurricane. 

But boring doesn't sell. 

Boring doesn't generate views. 

Boring doesn't make media CEOs into billionaires or build castles on top of California mountains. 

The Press isn't going to save us, even if it means they get put against the wall. Hell, they'll livestream their own execution for clout. Watch and see if they don't. 

A lifetime of sloth, fast food, and clogged arteries is not going to save us. 

Not in time anyway.

The Republican nominee for president is a twice impeached, self-declared serial rapist, a convicted fraud, and a tax cheat currently out on bail, facing ninety-one felonies in four different jurisdictions, who owes over a half a billion dollars in restitution for his crimes, who can't differentiate between a picture of the woman he raped and the mother of his children (who he also raped, that's why she divorced his flabby orange ass, and why he had her buried in an overgrown weed-choked plot on his golf course for a tax break), who is so addlepated he often doesn't know the name of the current president and his supporters have to keep making excuses for his fits of dementia and increasing memory lapses, who brags about how he managed to identify an elephant like he'd discovered nuclear fusion on a test any five year old could pass, and who led an insurrection against his own country live on national television.

His opponent is boring. 

But we're acting like this is some sort of normal race between normal candidates. 

It isn't. And hasn't been for at least twenty years now.

It's not just Trump who is spiraling down into madness, it's the entire Republican Party. But we keep acting like this is normal. Just like the good Germans did a few generations back. 

And here we are. 

We all know what another Trump presidency means. 

Liberals know. 

Conservatives know. 

Our allies know. Putin knows. 

The courts know. The Press knows. 

Your god knows, if he's up there. 

We all know. We don't have to guess. Trump is literally telling the entire world what he'll do:

I'd love to see the following question put to Trump. 


What's that? The Press? No, I don't expect the Press to demand that answer from Trump or even from Republicans. He wouldn't answer anyway. 

But Congress? 

The Court

Yeah, the branches of government charged with checks and balances on Executive power? I expect it from them.

That's their goddamn duty. 

Listen, can a president order the FBI to dismember a journalist with a bone saw if he thinks it's the "proper decision" for America? That's what happens in Saudi Arabia where those in charge have immunity from the law. 

Is that what Trump means? 

Can a president order the CIA to throw those who criticize government out of a 10th story window for the public good? That's what happens in Russia where Vladimir Putin is immune from accountability. Is that what Trump means? 

Can a president order the army to execute his brother-in-law with an anti-aircraft gun? That's what happens in North Korea where Kim Jong Un has total presidential immunity. 


You think I'm engaged in hyperbole, don't you? 

But am I? 

Donald Trump has promised to be a dictator on Day One. What does he mean by that and who will suffer for it? Don't you think maybe we should find out before he's allowed back in office? 

Don't you think maybe Congress should find out?

Don't you think the Court should find out before they allow him back on the ballot?

If the president has total immunity, can he then order the government to raise taxes on the citizenry and business without regard to their particular representation in congress? What if it's to pay for a war with, say, France? If not, why not? And is there perhaps a historical example of this particular situation in American history?

Say, speaking of our history, let me ask you this: If the president has total immunity, can the president then refuse to sign or enforce laws -- even those "most wholesome and necessary for the public good?" Can he? Can the president order state Governors to likewise refuse to "pass laws of immediate and pressing importance?" How about this: Can the president refuse to pass laws unless the people who want those laws are willing to give up their right to "Representation in the Legislature?" If you're a Republican, think about this in the context of your complaint regarding Joe Biden and the border. 

Can the president order the congress to meet in locations "unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records?" Can the president just dissolve Congress entirely, if the legislature opposes him "with manly firmness?" and then refuse to allow election of new representatives?

Can the president refuse to allow immigration? (I know. I know, you're wondering what sort of weird tangent I've gone off on, aren't you? Can the president refuse to allow immigration and what? Hang on, it'll become clear in a few more lines)

Can he refuse to appoint judges? Or only appoint them if they swear loyalty to him? (and has he done so already?)

Can the president just appoint new government officials and send them out to "harass our people and eat out their substance?"

Can he increase the size of the army and make us pay for it? And can he make the military independent of civilian oversight or give it power over civilian authority or even require us to house soldiers in our homes? And if the military turns its guns on Americans, can the president protect those soldiers from any punishment or accountability -- particularly if they did so on his orders? (Say in Chicago, for example)

Can the president just cut off trade with the rest of the world if he wants? (why does this sound so familiar?)

Can he raise taxes? He can lower them, right? So, why can't he just raise taxes as well? If not, why not? 

Can the president suspend your right to trial by jury? Or transport you overseas without a trial to be tried by a foreign court for "pretended offenses?" (and if you're thinking about rendition right now, you get a cookie)

Can the president invade a neighboring country, abolish its government, establish his own totalitarian puppet state and then point to it as an example of why absolutism would be likewise good for you? If not, why not? What stops him? (and will Mexico pay for it?)

Can the president fundamentally change the nature of our government?

Can the president make laws without Congress?

Can the president declare war on his own citizens? Or if not war, then refuse to defend America from those who would "plunder our seas, ravage our coasts, burn our towns, and destroy the lives of our people?" Can he hire foreign mercenaries to do it instead of the army? Can he conscript you and make you wage war on your fellows? 

What does Trump mean by "total presidential immunity?"

Does he mean any of that? 

No? Of course not. That sounds crazy -- well, except for the parts where it doesn't, right? Are you sure? 

Are you? 

How do you know?

Because that's the Declaration of Independence

Those were the grievances our Founders used as justification to tell King George III to shove his immunity up his inbred ass. 

Oh, but then there's the last line, the final straw.

This one: "He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us..."

Yeah. Right there. That.

The Founding Fathers were so outraged by that idea of the guy in charge fomenting domestic insurrection, turning American colonist against American colonist, that it pushed them into open rebellion against a King who likewise thought he should have immunity from the very laws he imposed on his subjects.

Presidents do not have immunity.

The very idea is abhorrent to liberty and justice and the founding of this country.  

Instead our leaders must be held to the highest levels of accountability at all times.

That is literally the entire point of the Constitution itself. 

The Grand Old Party started out with Abraham Lincoln and ended up with Trump. 

Lincoln was assassinated by a cowardly seditionist who believed in the same violent rhetoric and oppression as Donald Trump -- and it's little wonder why the ideological descendants of John Wilkes Booth are front and center at every Trump rally proudly waving their Confederate flags and shouting for violence and murder. 

That's the Republican candidate for president. 

The Courts will not save us. History and tradition will not save us. The Press will not save us. 

Our children are not going to save us -- but they very well might end up pissing on our graves for our lack of courage. 

And your silly god will most certainly not save us. 

There's no miracle coming. 

There is no easy way out of this where you again get to be a lazy spectator to history while someone else does the grunt work of democracy. 

Not this time. 

No, you're going to have to show up. 

You're going to have to show up and do your duty even if you don't want to. 

You're going to have to show up and make a decision, even if you don't like the choices. That's why they call it duty, Citizen. 

It's not about you. It's about the Republic. 

You're going to have to face down the goons and the brawlers and demand your just place on the right side of history, even if it costs you your life.

You're going to have to face down the violent fanatics, not for yourself but for those who cannot fight themselves -- for if civilization cannot defend the helpless from savage brutality, if it cannot give voice to the voiceless, if it cannot grant freedom to those in chains and liberty to all, then what damn good is it? 

If you want a better nation, then you're going to have to be a better citizen. Even if you don't want to be.

It's up to us, same as it always was.

“In every age it has been the tyrant, the oppressor and the exploiter who has wrapped himself in the cloak of patriotism, or religion, or both to deceive and overawe the People.”
-- Eugene Victor Debs