THE GOP IS COMPLETELY UNFIT
Here is where we are this week:
The GOP is impeaching Biden because the base wants it - really, really wants it - and this vote has all the dopamine hits the want. Such an investigation and the public hearings also provide counter-programming to a year of Trump felony trials, as was stated by Marjorie Traitor Goon when she said she wanted the impeachment hearings to last all year up to the election.
MAGA-Mike Johnson’s speakership survives only with the favor of the fire-breathing fanatics of his caucus, and the blessing of El Caudillo Del Mar A Lardo. If he shows the slightest impulse to govern as a grown up by funding the Ukraine or keeping the government open, he’s out. This is why he has to the feed the Kraken with statements about the seriousness of the investigation, saying with a straight face, “Remember, we are the rule-of-law team.”
And this is the most important part: as the legal system moves forward and the thorough awfulness of Trump is exposed, the stakes get higher and the pressure to demonize his opponents intensifies. As Trump appears increasingly dangerous, corrupt, and erratic, the pressure becomes greater on the GOP’s psychological and political need to make the case that no matter how vile and seditious a traitor Trump may be, Joe Biden and the Democrats are always worse.
Witness Oklahoma Senator James Lankford being grilled Sunday by George Stephanopoulos, who said, “Your party’s leading candidate for president was on the stump yesterday repeating lies about the 2020 election. He’s called those convicted in the January 6th insurrection hostages. He faces 91 separate felony counts himself. He’s raised the prospect of executing the former chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and terminating parts of the Constitution. In the face of all that and more, are you prepared to support Donald Trump if he’s your party’s nominee?”
Lankford did everything he could to not answer the question, but Stephanopoulos kept up the pressure. Finally, the good Senator finally caved, saying a rematch between President Joe Biden and Trump is “not a hard choice.” “Even if Donald Trump is convicted in one of these trials?” Stephanopoulos said.. ‘
Lankford said yes, he would. Trump may be a convicted felon and a chronic liar, who muses about killing his critics, but Joe Biden something something something. Trump may be the destroyer of constitutional norms, but Biden will set the world on fire.
On Monday, with great fanfare, “House Oversight Committee Chairman Jim Comer announced his investigation had uncovered direct payments to the president from his son’s business operation. But within an hour the “smoking gun evidence” promptly fizzled. The “direct payments” were three payments of $1,380 - which are payments from Hunter repaying his father for having made some payments on his truck... back in 2018, when Biden held no public office. What Comer’s new “revelation” demonstrates is not that President Biden was integrated into his family’s business interests, earning gobs of illegal money on the sly. What was demonstrated is that Hunter Biden needed help buying a truck and turned to his dad - like any son would.
On top of that, the story had already been reported by the NY Post.
The latest public pratfall follows a consistent pattern: Comer makes a claim alleging wrongdoing by President Biden and then, in short order, that allegation will be shown to be incorrect, baseless or non-existent. Comer’s record since Quiverin’ Qevin announced the House Republicans would commence this investigation without taking the necessary vote to make it legitimate and give subpoenas it issues legal force clearly demonstrates he does not deserve the benefit of the doubt. No allegation he offers should be granted the baseline assumption they are true.
The most charitable view is that the GOP’s evidence against Biden is… shaky. The more accurate view is that it is a parade of dumpster fires in clown cars.
And because everything about our unserious politics is perverse, the impeachment vote Speaker Johnson has announced will be held next week will strengthen his position with the House Krazies in the short run - and it will also strengthen Joe Biden, especially when this circus moves to the center ring.
This is the week that the D.C. Press Corpse has awakened from their slumber in Denial World following Robert Kagan’s dark warning last week of the inevitable Trump dictatorship should he return to the White House in2025. The word “fascist” has appeared in the New York Times on multiple occasions in multiple articles.
People are paying attention to Liz Cheney when she says Trump would install himself as a permanent president and refuse to leave office after the mandated two-term limit if he is re-elected. She has written a book about his treason that brings the receipts and names the names of his congressional co-conspirators in his insurrectionist conspiracy. "There’s no question. Absolutely. He’s already done it once. He’s already attempted to seize power, and he was stopped, thankfully, and for the good of the nation and the republic. But he said he will do it again. He’s expressed no remorse for what he did."
As he makes his desperate for president as the only way he can avoid facing four criminal prosecutions, Trump’s public statements may seem more angry, desperate and dangerous to American-style democracy than what he said during his first term. But the throughline that emerges is that he has glorified political violence and spoken admiringly of autocrats for decades.
What would be different in Act Two would not be his character, but his surroundings. None of the forces that somehow managed to contain his autocratic tendencies - the staff members who saw their job as sometimes restraining him, a few congressional Republicans episodically willing to criticize or oppose him, a partisan balance on the Supreme Court that occasionally ruled against him would all be either weaker or non-existent.
Thus, surrounded by sycophants whose loyalty to Trump was the only reason they were there, Trump’s more extreme policy plans and ideas would have a greater prospect of becoming reality.
It must be faced that there is no “alternative” to Trump in the Republican Party. Not. One.
Alleged “savior” Nikki Haley is in fact more radically-right that Trump is, according to statements she makes at campaign appearances. At one of the most recent, she revealed herself as an anti-vaxxer, complaining that mass production of COVID vaccines led to subsequent vaccine mandates. “You took people’s rights away in the process. You said, ‘Oh, we have all these vaccines. Make people get it.’ Everything about that was wrong.” Haley then accused the government of partnering with the drug companies to “make them rich and then mandate people to have something happen.”
In Reality World - a place most Republicans have never visited - the only federal vaccine mandates applied only to military service members, federal workers, and contractors and ended in less than two years. Haley’s insinuation the government issued those mandates because we had “all these vaccines” and were looking to use them, is a disproven, baseless, and pernicious conspiracy theory.
She has said that were she president, she would put forth an executive order that no federal bureaucrat could hold a particular position longer than five years. Say good-bye to the expertise of a Dr. Fauci, say good-bye to a federal civil service able to govern. And this without her putting forward Trump’s “Schedule F” that would gut the federal civil service and replace those with actual knowledge and experience with Trumpers dedicated to the destruction of the agency they were appointed to run.
Anti-immigrant and border-hardening policies are among the demands Republicans are making in exchange for their support for any supplemental aid package for Ukraine and other foreign support in the final weeks of 2023.
This is in line with the manner in which Republicans have been working to upend the government since their “majority” took control of the House last January.
A good example are the “negotiations” over passing a Ukraine aid bill by the end of the current session (next Thursday). Republicans stated that any Ukraine aid would have to be paired with increased protection of the southern border. Until last Friday, Senate Democrats were operating under the assumption this was a normal political negotiation, one in which both sides would come to the table willing to accept compromises to achieve some of their policy priorities while leaving others for another day.
But Republicans don’t see it that way.
Following the end of these negotiations over the weekend, Senator John Cornyn summed things up clearly: “There’s a misunderstanding on the part of Senator Schumer and some of our Democratic friends. This is not a traditional negotiation, where we expect to come up with a bipartisan compromise on the border. This is a price that has to be paid in order to get the supplemental.”
In other words, Democrats are to accept without argument the insanity of the House Freedom Caucus HR 2 - a bill that cements as law all the anti-immigrant policie promulgated by Trump during his first term.
No negotiation. You want to help Ukraine? Take this or leave that.
A year ago, Trump wrote on (Un)Truth (Anti)Social: “Do you throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 OUT and declare the RIGHTFUL WINNER, or do you have a NEW ELECTION? A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.”
Trump has already:
Tried to overturn a free and fair election — using the powers of the presidency to do so
Suggested the Constitution be terminated
Fomented a violent riot designed to stop the electoral college count
Insisted that the rioters are victims of a biased justice system
Then there’s what Trump has said about serving more than two terms. Which is, well, a lot.
Harry Truman’s statement back in 1948 is only more true in 2023:
“The only ‘good Republicans’ are pushing up daisies.”
That Truman’s truth is finally seeping through the ranks of the political Press Corpse is reason to hope that we shall prevail this coming year and save the world from the chaos of a Trumpified America.
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