The “New Defense:” Burn the Entire Damn Thing to the Ground, Destroy Truth


We noted weeks ago that Trump would take the entire country down if he believed it would save him. He will pull a gun and put it to the nation’s head, daring Democrats and legitimate Republicans to “try it.” Today, we see the trigger point.

The most prominent Republican willing to come on the Sunday Talk shows – or at least Meet the Press – Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, took a single question to dive into the ultimate “defense” of Donald Trump: Burn the country’s legitimacy to ashes, all to protect one man.

It was, one of the scariest scenes that I have seen on television in some time. It left Chuck Todd visibly shaken, it left Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut who came on after Johnson, palpably gut-punched. Without the slightest bit of hyperbole, it was horrific. I have only the little bit dribbling onto the net at this point:

In a remarkably combative performance for Todd, he found himself shouting over the Republican and demanding he stick to the questions at hand.

With Todd attempting to press the Trump defender on the president’s Ukraine phone call, Johnson instead rambled, “You’ve got [former CIA director] John Brennan on, you ought to ask director Brennan, what did Peter Strzok mean when he texted Lisa Page on December 15, 2016, quote—.”

Todd had asked about an accusation that is all but “proven,” the Ukrainian shakedown, and Johnson brought-up Lisa Page and Peter Strzok. Yes, he did, and Todd had to angrily get Johnson to at least attempt to address the actual question.

“I have no idea why Fox News propaganda stuff is popping up on here,” Todd insisted. “I have no idea.”

“Because this is underlining exactly why President Trump is upset, and why his supporters are upset, with the news media,” Johnson exclaimed as both of their voices rose.

It has nothing to do with Ukraine, nothing. It is apparent that the defense consists of: “If Trump is justifiably angry enough, he should be forgiven for doing whatever the fck he wants.”

“Senator Johnson, please!” Todd snapped. “Cane please answer the question that I asked you, instead of trying to make Donald Trump feel better here that you’re not criticizing him?! I’m just trying to ask a simple question of what made you wince?”

“Because I didn’t want those connected,” Johnson fired back, “When I asked the president about that, he completely denied it. He adamantly denied it. He vehemently, angrily denied it. He said, ‘I’d never do that.’”

The term “gaslighting” is overused, but there is simply no other fitting description when one walks onto the most prominent TV news show in the country and spouts long-debunked conspiracy theories to defend the most earth-shattering impeachment accusation in our generation.

A democracy cannot run on lies, and it cannot legitimately exist where there is no reality, no rules: The nation comes undone, it burns. Watch the match get lit.

There is a defense to all this. It is this simple:

Republicans: “Yes, what Trump did was wrong, and the White House should be reprimanded by both Houses of Congress, but it is not worth removal from office.”

The Republicans, holding a majority of the Senate, could easily get away with such a defense, while also retaining their dignity, not to mention maintaining a necessary predicate: a government functioning upon “the truth.”

But such a defense requires the White House to live with acknowledging, or at least not fighting, a reprimand, an admission that it made a mistake.

Part of the definition of “adulthood” is the ability to admit one has made a mistake. We do it, near daily. But, near as I can tell, Trump has never done it, nor is he about to start now. Thus, the obvious defense is unavailable to the Republicans. Because they are so wholly controlled by Trump, they must do his bidding, as if Trump were Vader, who could choke Johnson on live TV.

It leaves Republicans willing to sacrifice the government’s legitimacy, all over one man, one raving lunatic with the ability to publicly destroy careers with two tweets – absent a united Republican front.

You knew Republicans would do it, again, we all predicted it. Still, it is hard to prepare oneself. As it played out on TV, it shook a veteran journalist to the core. When faced with the choice, the Republicans choose “party over country,” and “Trump over truth.”

Of course they did.

But it is still stunning to watch in real time. No matter how cynical one has become, one is always having to catch-up with this Republican party. One could write columns weeks ago, predicting this very scenario, yet still be jaw-dropped, watching in real time, someone pour gas over a lit United States.

Better to send your 42% base into orgasmic convulsions, while the nation of the greatest minds ever assembled, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Lincoln, FDR, JFK and Martin Luther King, burns, over Donald J. Trump.


Peace, y’all

Jason and on Twitter: @MiciakZoom




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10 Comments on "The “New Defense:” Burn the Entire Damn Thing to the Ground, Destroy Truth"

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p j evans

“Crackpot Dome”, for sure. I’ve been wondering for years if the GOP has some kind of contagious, infectious dementia, brought in by Reagan, if not earlier.

Johnson’s performance just highlights an increasing dilemma for the GOP that is only to get worse. To wit, they want to have it both ways but they can’t. Either they believe in this country to listen to the growing chorus of IC official enough to acknowledge the legitimacy of their concerns (if not the actual cause being guilty of same) OR they are so broken by Trump that they must knuckle under to the point that, when he’s gone, they will never rise again. Why else was Johnson–and ONLY Johnson–willing to do the Sunday talk shows out of the usual… Read more »
p j evans

thirteen-tweet thread, very useful for this:


Actually saw this get retweeted by Hoarse Whisperer last night and yeah, it’s a blockbuster. Thanks for the spotlight, P J!

Dr. G.
Just think: If blacks had had both the financial currency and power Trump would never have been elected. He’s still be on probation for breaking the laws re: residential racism. I wish some one would interview these Sunday pundits about how for at least the first 2 years of Trump’s presidency they never talked like this about him, not interviewed his yes men the way they are now? You pretty much ignored blacks and other minorities who tried to warn you. Nevertheless, that’s what Trump has been bleating all along. The US would be in a better position, morally and… Read more »
p j evans

It isn’t like no one was aware he was racist – there was the Central Park Five – fully exonerated, and yet Himself is still insisting they were guilty-guilty-guilty and should be executed.

YOU might find what the RJohnson did “jaw dropping” but those of us who were REALISTIC about the racist fascist liar-in-chief saw what he was from “go.” A corrupt wannabe mafia don from NYC who was born and bred to be a racist, and who also became a fascist traitor to this country and it’s imperfect Democracy. The fact that other white people in and outside of the republikkklan party have had an ocean of patience, tolerance, understanding, enabling this racist to become entrenched and normalized as The President is absolutely their own fault. White people have fully embraced their… Read more »