Charlie Pierce got his start in sports writing, and perhaps that’s where he honed his skill for pushing past all the glitzy distractions purposefully set in our path, to get at the essence of the issue and call it out, exactly as it sits.
Today, Charlie notes that Donald Trump is running this county now, on a dare, having told us all what he knows, and what he did, enough such that all doubt is now removed. We all know “the score,” and what must be done. Yet, it is only the beginning, because this country isn’t mature enough to do what must be done.
This isn’t a government any more. It’s an elaborate game of Truth or Dare and, so far, the president* is winning. Contrary to god alone knows how many previous public statements, he now admits the following: that the brain trust of his campaign did indeed take a meeting with Russian ratfckers for the purpose of gaining access to materials stolen from his political opposition; using this material, the rats were successfully fcked during the campaign, and, when the meeting with the ratfckers came to light, it was the president* who concocted the cover story and sent his wonderful son out to peddle the bullshit. One odd thing about the Oval Office—given the right circumstances, you can find yourself cornered there.
That’s the truth. The president* is running the dare. He has admitted lying to the country on a profound issue of national security. He is doing next to nothing to prevent a similar attack this fall, and in 2020. He is clearly in league with—or, more likely, in hock to—an authoritarian goon presiding over an economic basket case complete with its own huge and threadbare nuclear arsenal. He is daring the institutions of democracy to do something about him. He is daring the system to work the way it’s supposed to work. Waiting until after the midterms is not the way the system is supposed to work. Waiting for the special counsel to do the job for you is not the way the system is supposed to work. God knows, the supine behavior of the Republican congressional majorities is not the way the system is supposed to work.
Charlie says it is supposed to be easy dealing with a lawless president, recognizing that this country isn’t anywhere near where it is supposed to be right now.
The irreplaceable and wonderful smart-girl Nicole Wallace is on my TV now, having broken down the weekend and the fundamental divide, the “before and after” consequences to admitting that you have colluded with your nation’s strongest adversary. She premised her entire show upon the fact that something fundamental has changed, not calling it a dare (but she wasn’t a sports reporter) but reaching the same place; The president of the United States has admitted to being part of a team that conspired with Russia to win the election,and is now joined to all those laws broken by the Russians.
He admitted it.
Now he sits, daring the nation to do something about it.
It appears that many are looking around, wondering what comes next, our instinct is to wait and see what Robert Mueller does. But, as Charlie Pierce noted, a mature nation wouldn’t need Mueller on this point, having all the information needed, a mature nation would move forward now, with removing the president from office.
It should be in motion right now. Yet here we sit, who will call his dare?