Welcome to a political system defined by violence, and no, we’re not talking about Game of Thrones, we’re talking about Trumpworld. As you may have read last night, in Adam Schiff’s final argument he mentioned Trump’s “head on a pike” remark, to the faux outrage of Republicans in the gallery. This was within hours of ABC breaking the story that it had a tape recording of Donald Trump, made by Igor Fruman, wherein Trump says, “Get her [Yovanovich] out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. Do it.” Take her out. And he doesn’t mean dancing. He means sleep-with-the-fishes take her out. Pure mob speak and it’s not surprising because Donald Trump is not only a Hollywood wanna be, he’s a gangsta wanna be. He loves talking like a tough guy. And this was not the only threat that day. Marsha Blackburn and the right-wing press resumed attacks on Alexander Vindman. Rick Wilson, Daily Beast:
Late Friday, news broke of the new Trumpworld threat du jour: that Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman should be arrested and court-martialed. After Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn tweeted out an attack on Vindman, Trump’s mighty media Wurlitzer ran with it, led by Fox (natch). Sean Davis of The Federalist (or as I think of it, “Gentry Breitbart”) tweeted, “Vindman deserves to be court-martialed.” This kind of messaging isn’t a coincidence. It’s not a throwaway line. This is the president’s crew showing that their opponents will “go through some things” if they don’t toe the line. (P.S. MAGAts, it’s Mike Flynn who’s going to jail, not Alexander Vindman.)
When I saw that the president’s political team had threatened his own allies with the message, “Vote against the President and your head will be on a pike”, my first thought was that Steve Bannon’s latest batch of bathtub meth was a tad too strong, but on a moment’s reflection, I realized this was just where we are now as a nation. The Republicans senators live in cringing terror of a Trump-driven primary and of hostile tweets from his mob of mouth-breathing Yokel Haram followers.
…But this is the moment where the inevitable signposts on the grotesque slide into authoritarian nationalism for which MAGA-world so clearly lusts meets the sweet cognitive dissonance of their actual character.
If I, for instance, said, “Vote to cover up Donald Trump’s malfeasance and you’ll be eaten by wild dogs and have your skin flensed off while we sell your womenfolk into chattel slavery,” the fuck-your-feelings MAGA set would be weeping and rending their garments, insisting I had irreparably coarsened the political dialogue and affronted the dignity of the sacred position of the Senate and given Donald Trump a sad.
This is exactly right. That’s what took place in the Senate Friday night. Adam Schiff dared to repeat a line from a news story and it was far from being the most inflammatory or perverse quote ever attributed to Donald Trump and senate Republicans were in need of a collective fainting couch, to gather their fragmented wits. There is some magic spell that Trump has cast upon them, which enables them to hear his outrageous non-stop insults as mere harmless banter and yet the very same words coming from a normal human being simply frosts them — as well they should. The craven cowards of the GOP can’t hear or acknowledge plain English coming from Trump, because to do so would mean that they would have to react normally to his words and that’s something that they absolutely cannot afford to do. And their cowardice and complicity has taken us right to this moment, where we are at the precipice of losing our way of life.
The creation of a new form of American government, where the executive branch is permanently and utterly above the law, oversight, and accountability is upon us, and the exoneration of Trump in the Senate is the moment that historians will look back on and say, “There. Right then. That was the tipping point.”
The weaponization of the departments of Justice, State, and Treasury into formidable arms of the Trump Organization is nearly complete. Bill Barr isn’t an Attorney General; he’s the Enforcer General of the unitary and puissant executive branch.
And it’s all because Republicans in the Senate don’t have the courage God gave the COMMON RAT.
Adam Schiff made another remark which is worth noting, that “if we don’t do what’s right, the constitution won’t save us.” Very true. The framers of the constitution foresaw a lot of pitfalls on the road ahead and wrote the document as well as they could, but they could not draft a document which would work when the legislative branch suffered from a case of smashed moral compass. And that, unfortunately, is what we are dealing with right now. McConnell is running the impeachment trial on a level of sheer power politics. He just wants to ram it through ASAP and go back to appointing judges and the GOP is totally compliant and complicit.
They have no idea of the era that they’re ushering in — or perhaps they do and they don’t give a damn, as long as they’re comfortable in front of their own hearths. What an appalling scenario. Democracy doesn’t go down in flames, after a prolonged siege by alien forces, rather it disappears one night in a whimper, when the rich and the comfortable, and those elected officials that desire that lifestyle, just sell us all out so that the few can enjoy the good life. This is indeed the turning point in American history, mark it well. You may have been born in one America and you may well die in quite another.