With the cascade of stupid, immoral, illegal, subversive, un-American, and possibly treasonous things emitted by der Sturmtrumper, his pet Congress, his supporters, and his administration reaching levels that make it nearly impossible for any sane person to keep up with, I’ve started just keeping a running list of observations on the matter. Every time the list reaches critical mass, I suppose I’ll post it and start a new one. Can’t hurt; might help. Here’s the most recent list:
1. Sweet dancing monkeys on a stick, doesn’t this guy take a break? Der Sturmtrumper has managed to commit impeachable offenses at a rate of about one a day over the last week or so and still he has the solid support of Republican voters, who apparently are incapable of moving past their partisan allegiances when it comes to criminals in office. Only 2% of people who voted for der Sturmtrumper will admit to regretting that vote now, according to one study. I guess der Sturmtrumper was right during the campaign when he bragged that he could shoot someone in broad daylight and not lose any support. Remember folks – this is the party that claims morality, Christianity, and values all for their little old selves. And if you wonder why the percentage of Americans who consider themselves to have no religion has tripled since 1992 when Pat Buchanan declared the Culture War at the GOP nominating convention, well, now you know.
2. Can we just put Sally Yates into the presidency instead? She’d be such an improvement.
3. The House of Representatives finally managed to pass Republicare the other day, and a moral abomination it certainly was. Millions of Americans will lose their health care coverage – more so than if the GOP had just killed the Affordable Care Act and replaced it with nothing at all. Pre-existing conditions will not be priced out of the insurance market. Being a woman is essentially a pre-existing condition now. So is being a victim of domestic violence. Doctor groups, hospital groups, and insurance groups all protested that this was a historically bad law, and when you have all three of those groups on the same side against you, you know you’ve got something special. And then they went out to celebrate. The modern GOP is an exercise in gratuitous cruelty, and one that they don’t even bother to hide anymore.
4. They did think to take the promise that people with pre-existing conditions wouldn’t lose their health care off of their website, though. Do they think we’ll forget? It’s bad enough that these people lie to me. It’s insulting that they think I’m stupid enough to buy their lies. Or maybe they don’t care anymore about that either.
5. Is there anyone surprised by the fact that the GOP healthcare working group in the House consisted entirely of white men?
6. For those of you who think the GOP has any morals at all, my advice is to take a look at North Carolina – a one-party state where the GOP’s open contempt for democracy and American citizens is on full display. Last week, at 3am, the GOP-led North Carolina legislature stripped state educational funding from Democratic districts and gave it to Republican districts – yes, they are that fucking petty and that fucking callous and that willing to sacrifice other people's children to achieve their own partisan goals. These people need to be run out of town on a rail and dumped into the sea.
7. Meanwhile in Wisconsin, a new study has demonstrated that the Voter Suppression Bill worked as planned. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 200,000 legal Wisconsin voters were unable to cast their ballot because of the nonsensical restrictions placed on their right of suffrage by the Wisconsin GOP (only marginally less contemptuous of democracy than the North Carolina crew). Note that a) the vast majority of those voters historically have voted against the GOP and the Voter Suppression Bill was expressly designed with that in mind, and b) der Sturmtrumper won Wisconsin by less than 23,000 votes. But sure, tell me again about voter fraud.
8. Another study has demonstrated that the primary motivation for people voting for der Sturmtrumper last year was “cultural anxiety.” Not economics. In fact, recent analysis has shown that those working class white Americans whose finances could be labeled as “troubled” – i.e. those who in theory voted for der Sturmtrumper to express their economic discontent – actually tended to vote for Clinton. Economics was not the motivator, in other words. “Cultural anxiety” is a broad term that essentially boils down to “those damned people who are Not Like Us are taking over” and is functionally the same as “racism” – “all them brown people who think that just because they were born here and live here and serve in the military and pay taxes and play football and have children and do all the things that everyone else in this country does that makes them Real MURCANS” and of course the people with “cultural anxiety” voted for Trump. So yeah, racism. Imagine! The guy publicly endorsed by the KKK and every major neo-Nazi group in America as the best hope for their agenda is the guy whose voters were motivated by racism! Who knew? Well, besides everyone. It’s pretty much what we all knew all along but wouldn’t admit, but now backed by research.
9. The Director of the US Census has resigned, which means that a new director will have to be appointed. And if you think the GOP won’t twist that to their advantage, think again. Who gets counted has become a very sensitive issue in this day of Culture War and rapacious gerrymandering. My guess is that whoever they pick will do a very careful job of counting straight white men but a rather more slipshod job of counting everyone else. They’ve already declared they won’t count LGBTQ Americans, because if you don’t count them they don’t exist, right? And if they don’t exist, then they certainly don’t have rights that any straight white man is bound to respect. Roger Taney haunts the modern GOP.
10. I’m not even going to get into the firing of James Comey too much other than to point out that every independent agent investigating der Sturmtrumper has now been fired and the GOP is perfectly fine with this obstruction of justice. And yes, it is obstruction of justice – der Sturmtrumper went on television and admitted as much, directly contradicting the story he had his administration pumping out not hours beforehand.
11. Meeting with Henry Kissinger in the middle of all that was a positively Nixonian touch that no doubt made the more authoritarian elements of the GOP click their boot heels with glee.
12. Hosting the Russian press in the Oval Office while barring the American media and doing so while evidence of collusion with Russian intelligence during the 2016 election gets firmer and more compelling might not have been the smartest of ideas. One wonders how many listening devices and other spyware were planted by those “journalists” during that trip.
13. Of course, the don’t need spyware when der Sturmtrumper is going to blurt out highly classified information anytime he wants to do so. He’s right that he has broken no law by doing so, though he may well have violated his oath of office in the process. They’re separate things, after all. Remember when the GOP lathered itself into a froth at the mere possibility that Hillary Clinton might have left some low-level classified information open to foreigners in her email, even though she denied it? Here you have der Sturmtrumper actually giving high-level intelligence to a foreign power and then bragging about it, and the GOP collectively says, "So?"
14. Didn’t Paul Ryan say that people who couldn’t be trusted with classified information shouldn’t have access to it anymore? I look forward to him pressing that case against der Sturmtrumper. Oh, wait. It’s okay when Republicans commit subversive and/or treasonous acts. Rules don’t apply to Republicans. Sorry – I forget sometimes.
15. Apparently the intelligence that has been compromised came from Israel. Israel is not a nation that screws around when it comes to national security. That could be very bad news for der Sturmtrumper if they decide he represents a clear and present danger to their national survival.
16. How bad is it when Erick Erickson, one of the biggest cheerleaders of the far right in modern America, flat out says that “what the President did is actually far worse than what is being reported.” The only hope this country has is that der Sturmtrumper’s supporters will finally turn on him – the fact that everyone else already has makes no difference – and this is a good first step. Of course, given that the headline on pretty much every major news organization’s website when the intelligence scandal broke was about the scandal except for Fox, which promoted a bogus story about Hillary’s emails, this may take some time.
17. Did der Sturmtrumper really threaten James Comey with releasing White House tapes? Bring it on, Chuckles – there isn’t a prosecutor in America who wouldn’t give their eye teeth to have access to those tapes. The mere fact that such tapes might exist is enough to provoke all sorts of subpoena requests. This just gets uglier and uglier, and der Sturmtrumper gets more malignant and stupid with each passing tantrum.
18. Apparently one of the things that Comey did to annoy der Sturmtrumper was to reject his request to end the FBI investigation into Michael Flynn. And a good thing too, since that would have been a clear-cut case of obstruction of justice. Honestly, at what point do Republicans grow a spine, accept the reality that their president is a corrupt and dangerous buffoon, put their country ahead of their narrow partisan interests, and get rid of this guy? Yeah, I’m not holding my breath either.
19. Our Confederate Attorney General is calling for a return to harsh sentences for drug offenders despite decades of evidence that this does nothing to solve any of the problems associated with illegal drugs. For crying out loud, the states mostly figured that out years ago and it was only recently that the Obama Administration caught up with them. And now der Sturmtrumper’s minions will go back to the kind of knee-jerk punitive reactions that make them look like macho manly men doing manly things to other men because that’s all they care about, even if the actual job at hand is left undone and the situation gets worse.
20. The “I” word is being openly thrown around in Congress today by both Republican and Democratic representatives. “Impeachment” – it’s what’s for dinner.
21. Apparently the stock market has finally figured out that der Sturmtrumper is bad for business. Yes, folks, unpredictable authoritarianism is not conducive to long-term profits! Who knew? Besides every economic historian and self-aware corporate executive in the civilized world, I mean. Really, who knew? We’ll see if today’s dip was simply a minor wobble or the start of something bigger, but don’t be surprised if a lot of money starts leaving the US for more stable shores sometime soon.
22. What does it tell you that the most cogent defense offered by der Sturmtrumper’s minions regarding his blabbing highly classified intelligence to foreign visitors is the idea that he is so blisteringly incompetent that it couldn’t have done any harm? It tells you that we are well and truly screwed in this country for as long as der Sturmtrumper and his cronies, minions, and lackeys hold sway, that’s what it tells you.