America Has Surrendered to Russia

 This is the day democracy died...

This is the day democracy died...

From here on in, a curious thing is going to happen when you go to the voting booth in America. Your vote against Republicans is not going to be counted. It might be changed or deleted or sent off into the ether. It might help elect a local clown dog catcher. Federal elections in the United States of America are now owned by Russia, Incorporated.

It was on June 13, 2016 that I blogged about something James Fallows had written. It was still at a point where Trump could definitely have been beaten and it was when he was vulnerable to being removed from consideration for the Republican presidential nomination altogether. But what he said that day was allowed to slide:

"We're led by a man who is very -- look, we're led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he's got something else in mind. And the something else in mind, you know, people can't believe it."...

"People cannot believe, they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and he can't even mention the words 'radical Islamic terrorism.' There's something going on. It's inconceivable. There's something going on."...

"He doesn't get it or he gets it better than anybody understands. It's one or the other, and either one is unacceptable."

Fallows correctly translated these awful statements:

I am not aware of any modern precedent of a major-party nominee publicly accusing an opponent, let alone a sitting president, of treason. Sure, each side has harbored dark fantasies about the other — and, sure, the rhetoric of the early 1800s and the Civil War era was very dire. But in the conscious lifetimes of today’s adult Americans, no major-party nominee has, before today, publicly suggested that his opponent might actively be a traitor.

You could see this as a linear extension of Trump’s “other-ing” of Obama, through his earlier insane birth-certificate crusade. But the step he has now taken should be noted. He is suggesting that a serving president is not just possibly foreign-born but also perhaps a foreign agent. This is the man Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Reince Priebus, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, John McCain, Bob Dole, and the rest of the Republican “establishment” say deserves their support.

Today you saw Trump do exactly what he accused the other side of doing--he has "something else in mind" when it comes to defending America against Russian aggression.

Everyone who criticized me for calling them traitors, for being treasonous--go fuck yourselves. What happened today, in real-time, was the betrayal of America and the end of our democracy. Everything that happens from now on has to constitute the restoration of the republic and the renewal of democracy. The shitheads who hold power right now have killed it.

Always Mock the Dictator

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It has not been a great trip overseas for Trump so far, has it?

No, it has not. In fact, how many other American presidents have traveled overseas and have been so roundly mocked and protested as this one? And the trip isn't over yet.

It is incredibly important to note how the British went about their protests. They mocked Trump, and they did it in every way possible. They didn't worry about whether it was fair. They just set up camp in the vulgar gutter of modern political discourse and used the words "shitgibbon" and "cunt" as interchangeably as they possibly could. This is how you fight the dictator--by mocking him and showing him for what he is--the reason for the need for that language in the first place. Trump set the rules by grabbing them by the pussy and talking about "very fine people on both sides" and women as if they were there to pleasure him. He is not, all of a sudden, going to stop saying these things.

I'm as tired as anyone of the civility police, and I think that this misses the point entirely, whether we're talking about Trump or his knee-jerk enablers:

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Don't police the rhetoric of people on your side; the only way the message is going to get through to the American people is through the same harsh language Trump and his surrogates have been using for years. I don't care if Rand Paul is a traitor or not, but if someone thinks his statements in public amount to treason, I'll let them make that argument.

I'm more interested in the fact that we can't call Republicans traitors. Really?

I have said all along that the act of seizing the office of the President of the United States is an act of war against this country. If you put Trump in power, you definitely did commit election fraud. And that's serious. But you also seized the office and the power of the Commander in Chief of our armed forces. That's an act of war. Anyone who aided and abetted the Russian effort to install Trump in office betrayed this county and committed acts of treason.

Full fucking stop. And the media ain't saving us right now, is it?

You are not going to beat Trump with prissy, exact language and stepping on your dick when you stumble towards polite discourse. People hate the Democrats because they cave in and won't fight in the gutter. If you want to save American democracy and all the other nations that depend on it, you might want to acquaint yourself with how the gutter looks. This is not a rhetorical argument about policy. This is about fighting the guy who will not observe the same rules of courtesy and decency. Due process and the law mean nothing to Trump. Everyone better remember that. By all means, get him with the law. Use the rule of law. But, on the edges, you better be prepared for Trump to cheat, always.

Who is in power right now because of Russian help? Who refuses to enact strong sanctions against Russia and then enforce them? Who met with the Russians in the bowels of Trump tower? Who got caught setting up a back channel to Russia to evade surveillance by our intelligence agencies? Who met with the Russian ambassador? Who consistently criticizes everyone from the leaders of our allied countries and pop stars and actors and whoever else more harshly than the murderous thugs in Moscow?

Trump wins when the civility police muddy the argument that is before the American people. I didn't spend the Fourth of July in Moscow kissing Russian ass, so fuck that shit. Celebrate the fact that the British have shown us new and exciting ways to mock the dictator, and now I want to see that balloon flying over Lafayette Square.

Republicans Are at War With the FBI

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My first rule is, "none of the people making decisions about Trump, Russia, and collusion in 2016 were heroes." My second rule is, "always bet on the Republicans in Congress to make themselves look bad:"

Even by the clown show standards of the House of Representatives, this was not democracy's finest hour.

A hearing starring Peter Strzok, the FBI agent who presided over the start of the Russia probe, degenerated Thursday into a theatrical display of sanctimony, mock outrage, all-out partisan bickering and character assassination as grandstanding members on both sides of the aisle played to the TV cameras.

Republicans, posing as grave prosecutors of a state crime, sought to paint Strzok's anti-Trump political commentary in texts to a former lover as a symptom of institutionalized bias that should invalidate special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election -- from which Strzok has been removed.

Democrats battled to defend him from attack after attack, and to turn the focus back onto alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

    And Strzok, who often wore a bemused smirk as lawmakers squabbled and talked over one another, barged into the hearing loaded for bear. He shouted back at his inquisitors as they bellowed at him and drove them to distraction by refusing to answer questions. He also delivered a passionate and angry defense of the FBI from a GOP attack that he said "deeply corrodes" the bureau.

    Strzok is a counterintelligence guy. You want him to be difficult, brazen, driven, and a complete and utter asshole. You want him on your side. You want him to go after people who are concealing themselves in a cloak of plausible deniability. He is the guy leading investigators down a path that can sometimes end up nowhere. He has to direct and organize the effort to determine who might be really good at looking innocent. He is the guy who has to take a look at someone and decide whether or not they are betraying this country. So, at the end of the day, a person charged with rooting out traitors and spies is going to have all sorts of things about him you will probably not like. Strzok ended up looking like he was good at his job and the Republicans in Congress ended up appearing as if they have no idea what oversight and compliance looks like.

    It was a shit show, top to bottom.

    This Republican Congress, which isn't led by anyone anymore because Paul Ryan is the ambulatory version of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ and doesn't care if the whole thing burns down because he's got his, is a face in perpetual need of punching.  I still can't believe they don't understand that, one day, the FBI is going to investigate Democrats. I can't wait for that day. Because then, in a very delicious manner, someone's going to put their feet up on the desk and say "Peter Strzok, motherfucker." And that Repub puke is going to have to sit on his hands after he eats his own hat.

    Does it matter? No, it really doesn't. The GOP is supported by people immune to the truth. Facts are meaningless because they've been conditioned to believe the news is lying about THEIR PRESIDENT. It is THEIR country and all the people they don't like are taking it over, so the personification of this, the Republicans in the House, are an extreme group of men and women who are useless and terrible at what they do. They are goosed along by a conservative media establishment that has no standards, only clicks to give, and they are designed to operate like Buzzfeed. Here's a story about a guy who turned in three blank pieces of paper. The headline reads MASSIVE FRAUD DETECTED WHEN MANUSCRIPT CONTAINING HILLARY'S BRAIN APPEARS, and we're off to the races. The caged animal that is the conservative movement in this country has to be stimulated and stoked, constantly, or it will notice that no one is giving them jobs, health care, safety, security, education, quality of life, good government or a future for their kids.

    Substance doesn't come into any of this. These people don't want substance. They want click, outrage, reassurance their guy is solid, and then a sexy picture of a girl with big boobies and a gun before they're on to the next dumpster fire.

    For all other thinking Americans, today was as bad as it gets in a country where tomorrow promises something worse than you could have imagined. There is no bottom. When Louie Gohmert goes after Strzok about committing adultery, he's just feeding the conservative movement another pound of stinking, rotting red meat. Tomorrow, someone has to throw more offal and guts into the cage to keep the beast howling and thrashing in all directions.

    When the cage falls apart, and you see this every day when the public arena is shattered by racist acts, the full wrath of white, racist America is trying to break out into the open. Often, it succeeds and we wonder, "how is this happening in 2018? Everyone who made it happen is looking for the exit. The culprits are leaving this Congress in droves. They produced the red meat, they kept Trump in power when it was apparent over a year ago that they should have quickly impeached him, and now they don't know which lullaby will put the monster to sleep.

    Someday, the Republican Party is really going to need the FBI. My fervent belief is that everyone in that goddamned organization is now fully awakened to the fact that the GOP has slathered them up with whatever it is that caged beast is hungry for as they packed up and left town. Someone's going to let this red-eyed, bellowing demon out into the open so it can consume itself, and then someone's going to have to put the country back together. 

    Yeah, that's you and me. Our days are going to have to be spent fixing all this broken shit, and I'm not happy about it, either.