Category Archives: Congress

The Disloyal Opposition

My late father was a conservative Republican. He was neither a crazy conservative nor “severely conservative” in Willard Mittbot Romney’s memorable formulation. He was a classic business conservative who hated red tape, supported a strong defense, disliked Communism, but also favored Social Security and Medicare. His father came to America alone at the age of 13. My namesake wanted to pull himself up by his bootstraps, so he joined what he thought of as the businessman’s party, the GOP.

Lou and I had many political arguments, but they were usually conducted with genuine civility (I’ll talk about phony civility later) and humor. In short, my father taught me how to argue. I remain grateful that he taught me how to disagree without being disagreeable.

I still lived at home for part of the Carter administration and his opening gambit for many political arguments was, “Your boy Carter did” XY or Z. After reminding him that Vice President Mondale was my boy, not his boss, we were off. In 1980, he supported Poppy Bush in the primaries, but wound up voting for Reagan twice saying that he’d “filed down the sharp edges” as president. I politely but firmly disagreed.

I put my father’s lessons to work many times over the years. I had a string of conservative friends with whom I loved to argue. As far as I was concerned, I usually won the arguments and I suspect they felt likewise. I learned a lot from the smarter ones. That’s right, there used to be many intelligent conservatives, which, even for me, is hard to believe after witnessing yesterday’s impeachment debate.

American politics has gotten ruder and cruder in the last 40 years but it’s not a new phenomenon. Regardless of Kevin McCarthy’s bizarre interpretation of the “civil” 1800 election, Adams skipped the inauguration and he and Jefferson hated one another for the next 20 years. We lived through the War of the Rebellion, McCarthyism, and the excesses of the war on terror. Critics called FDR a “traitor to his class” and implied that he was a Jewish communist. Of course, he was neither. He thought the whole Franklin D. Rosenfeld thing was hilarious.

The turning point in the modern civility wars was the election of Newt Gingrich to Congress. He was a bomb thrower who brought New Left tactics to the New Right. He was out of office by 2010 but the Tea Party wave election perfected the rise of the rude. Overt racism slowly but surely replaced the dog whistle culminating in the whole birther mishigas. Yesterday, Gym Jordan and his ilk accused Democrats of “hating President* Trump” but the cycle of hatred intensified with their racist attacks on President Obama.

I miss genuine civility but phony or forced civility is for the birds. 21st Century phony civility typically involves Republican demands that “the left” bow down and be nice to them. It’s never reciprocal. Genuine civility involves reciprocity: the relationships between John McCain and Joe Biden and John Kerry involved genuine civility, not the ersatz kind. Genuine political civility seems to have been interred with Senator McCain.

It’s time at long last to get to the post title. When I was growing up, we heard a lot about the Loyal Opposition. It was premised on the notion that the things Americans have in common are more important than our differences. It was a concept often honored in the breach, but it was important. It was like the way I discussed politics with my father, respectful disagreement without questioning the other side’s patriotism.

Respectful disagreement is out of fashion. It’s made impossible by the lunacy of the current Republican party and their dear leader, President* Pennywise. Yesterday, House Republicans gave lip service to the idea of unity without practicing it. Unity like genuine civility requires reciprocity. The extremism of Congressional Republicans makes that impossible.

As the Biden administration comes to power it’s clear that, to begin with, Republicans will be the Disloyal Opposition. It took a riot for many of them to admit that the Kaiser of Chaos lost the election.

The GOP not only nominated and elected a malignant narcissist, they’ve allowed right-wing extremists to infiltrate their party. The GOP is no longer a conservative party, it’s a far-right radical party. Genuine conservatives seem to be outnumbered by the wingnuts or they’re too afraid to stand up for their beliefs. That means their beliefs are meaningless. Genuine conservatives would have voted to impeach.

The Disloyal Opposition has been active since the election. There are now QAnon types in the House. They call themselves libertarians but they’re really anarchists. That’s why they refuse to go through metal detectors and insist on arming themselves. This sort of thinking led to the Dipshit Insurrection. Freedom, man.

There are credible charges from New Jersey Democratic Rep. Mikie Sherrill that some of her more extreme colleagues allowed insurrectionists to conduct what amounts to reconnaissance of the Capitol on January, 5. Group tours were once common, but they’ve been tightly restricted during the pandemic. The only way groups can tour the Capitol now is with the permission of a member and must be accompanied by a member or staffer.

I should have called her Lt. Commander/Representative Sherrill. She served in the Navy as a helicopter pilot. She’s a serious person who observed some serious shit. To prove her seriousness, she isn’t naming names publicly until she’s certain which members are complicit in the rioter’s reconnaissance of a building that’s a labyrinth. Even members sometimes get lost. The insurrectionists knew where they were going. That’s why I call House Republicans the Disloyal Opposition.

Several names have been floated but I’ll only mention one, Rep Paul Gosar of Arizona. That’s because his estranged siblings believe that he was involved in the planning of the Dipshit Insurrection.

The brother of Arizona Representative Paul Gosar (R) said he believes the congressman committed treason for his role in last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol. Five people were killed, including a U.S. Capitol police officer.

“What he’s done personally is commit treason I think,” David Gosar told ABC15. “He has blood on his hands for those people dying in there.”

David Gosar and other members of the Gosar family are lobbying members of Congress for an investigation. They’re demanding an investigation to find out what role Representative Gosar played in organizing and promoting the mob scene at the Capitol.

Ali “Alexander” Akbar, the man who says he is responsible for organizing the Stop the Steal Rally, claims Gosar and Arizona Congressman Andy Biggs (R) were among those who helped with the planning. Biggs denies involvement.

“With his participation in the rally ahead of time, the lies he spread down there about the election, his meeting with Trump, he’s as instrumental as a member of Congress with what happened at that capitol,” David Gosar said from Wyoming where he is a practicing attorney.

If that’s not disloyal, I don’t know what is.

I’m not talking about loyalty to party or president. I’m talking about loyalty to the constitution and to our democracy. The peaceful transfer of power has been pushed to the limit in the past, but it’s always happened. Thanks to the Impeached Insult Comedian and his followers that’s no longer true.

The transfer of power will happen but there remains a chance of violence. The good news is that the federal government is prepared to meet the challenge with overwhelming force. The bad news is that it’s necessary because of the Disloyal Opposition.

The last word goes to Kiwi rock music demigod Dave Dobbyn:

The Impeached Impeached Insult Comedian

Image by Michael F.

I swore not to use the Impeached squared nickname, but the Insult Comedian was my first nickname for Trump, so I wanted to use IIIC in the post title. Holy long sentence, Batman. For the rest of this post I will call him President* Pennywise per the featured image.

10 Republicans joined Democrats in voting to impeach. Thanks to all of them for finally standing up for the country and the constitution they swore an oath to uphold.

Time for some random and scattershot observations in lieu of coherent instant analysis. Listening to GOPers whining is hard, man.

Gym Jordan wore a mask and his suit jacket. I didn’t know he had any of either. He, of course, lied relentlessly and spoke out of both sides of his mouth. So much for being a conviction politician. The mask muffled his rants so he wasn’t as loud as usual.

House Republicans admitted that Biden won the election and will be inaugurated in one week. Thanks for nothing, dipshits.

House Republicans should be glad that the speech and debate clause protects them for being charged with perjury. There was a whole lotta lyin’ goin’ on.

It was sickening to be told by people who have never criticized Trump for his divisive rhetoric that it’s time to unite. In between inciting a riot, Louis Gohmert Plies had the nerve to issue such an appeal.

I have an appeal to make. I am admirer of Abraham Lincoln. He was the best writer to ever serve as president. But he’s not the only quotable president. GOPers should try Reagan or even TR, he wouldn’t recognize today’s GOP, but he was a Republican until he wasn’t. Democrats, quote JFK, FDR or HST. Both sides quote Lincoln obsessively. Enough, I beg you, enough.

I’m not a big fan of Steny Hoyer but his closing was pretty darn good, especially how he quoted Liz Cheney. Have you ever noticed that she looks like Dick with hair?

Speaking of other members of the House Republican leadership, both McCarthy and Scalise gave tepid speeches. Like the Turtle they’re keeping their options open.

McCarthy was one of the few GOPers to admit that Trump made major mistakes during the Twelfth Night White Riot. He’s willing to censure but not impeach President* Pennywise. Trump would wipe his ass with a censure letter.

I’m tired and hungry from watching the House all day so I’ll close here.

More later or in the morning.

Lightning Strikes Again

The day before the Dipshit Insurrection I wrote a post called The Strangest Bedfellow Of All. It was about the op-ed written by the ten living former secretaries of defense reaffirming the non-political nature of our military. The bedfellow in question was Dick Cheney who initiated the piece. It was the first time I’ve ever agreed with the former Veep. I never expected to praise him, but the world is almost as crazy as President* Pennywise.

Lightning has struck again. Yesterday, Rep. Liz Cheney, who is a member of the House Republican leadership as well as Dick Cheney’s kid, announced that she would vote to impeach the Impeached Insult Comedian. This is, of course, a big fucking deal and gives a green light to right-wingers that’s it okay to abandon ship. Trump has repeatedly betrayed them and the constitution. It’s time for them to return the favor.

Unlike the McConnell leak that he now looks favorably on impeachment for political reasons, Cheney is taking a stand on principle. As with her old man, I never expected to praise her but her statement makes a unequivocal case for why Trump must be impeached in the waning days of his misrule:

“On January 6, 2021 a violent mob attacked the United States Capitol to obstruct the process of our democracy and stop the counting of presidential electoral votes. This insurrection caused injury, death and destruction in the most sacred space in our Republic.

I will vote to impeach the President.”

That’s not only unequivocal, it’s eloquent.

In other lightning strikes again news, the Joint Chiefs of Staff have issued a statement reaffirming their support for democracy, the rule of law, and the constitution. Well done, gentleman. Thank you for your service.

The last word goes to Lou Christie and Yes:

 

The Dipshit Uprising

The Trump regime began knee deep in Stupid Watergate, they’re going out after having incited the Dipshit Uprising thereby casting a pall over Twelfth Night and my first King Cake of the season. It harshed my Georgia, Georgia, Georgia buzz as well. It was, however, more memorable than the fakakata election challenge mishigas event that bookended the riot.

That’s right, riot. Make that white riot as the only people of color on the scene were members of congress, the media, and law enforcement. It was white privilege gone haywire as well as a massive security failure. It’s clear that if the rioters had been carrying BLM banners and posters instead of Trump flags they would have been repelled with force and hundreds would have been arrested, not 52. That’s right, only 52 were arrested as if it were an Advent calendar, not a riot. Make that white rioters staging a Dipshit Uprising.

Once they stormed the Capitol, the scene inside looked like Bourbon Street on New Year’s Day. All that was lacking were booze and school colors waved by Sugar Bowl attendees: Roll Tide; How About Dem Dogs. Instead, they were clad in MAGA red and camo green and brown.

The rioters milled about taking selfies, opening desks on the Senate floor, and otherwise occupying themselves as if they’d just fallen off the proverbial turnip truck. In the immortal words of Randy Newman, “They’re rednecks. Don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground.”

I was relieved that nobody relieved themselves as they ransacked offices. I halfway expected one of them to take a shit in Speaker Pelosi’s office. That would have given an entirely new meaning to the term news dump. Gross but true.

I used that scatological analogy because the whole day was disgusting and sickening. From the rioters to the president* and his sycophants who incited them it was a shitty day for America. It exposed the stupidity and short-sightedness of the Trumpers and their dear leader. Anyone with a lick of sense knows that the Kaiser of Chaos and his political henchmen are lying about electoral fraud. Of course, the participants in the Dipshit Uprising probably think that lick of sense is part of Ivanka’s fragrance line…

Where do we go from here? I may have derided the idea of an instant impeachment or last minute 25th Amendment invocation the other day, but after the white riot a legal way to remove President* Pennywise from office is imperative. Pence seems to have taken charge after his rupture with his boss, but an informal ouster isn’t good enough. Lawlessness should be combatted by the rule of law.

No one should praise Pence or Moscow Mitch for their realization that the Kaiser of Chaos is a monster. The headline of a thumbsucker by the WaPo’s Ashley Parker sums it up neatly:

Pence and McConnell defy Trump — after years of subservience

There’s a special place in hell for those who have enabled this evil fucker in his lies and crimes against the public good. The names of Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, and all those who voted to challenge the Arizona results should never be forgotten including the Gret Stet contingent of Senator John Neely Kennedy and Congressmen Scalise, Higgins, and Johnson. They can all go fuck themselves.

It’s time for the MSM to stop calling the Trumpist wing of the GOP conservative. They’re not conservatives, they’re rightist radicals who have brought shame on themselves and their party. All to assuage the ego of a petulant and mentally ill criminal. They can all go fuck themselves.

The last word goes to Frank Zappa and the Mothers:

The Cracked Crystal Ball

I’m not sure if you can hang up a crystal ball but if you can, I did so after getting the 2016 election wrong. I tried to stay out of the election prediction biz, but I backslid this year by hoping for a repeat of the 1980 election in reverse. At least I got the presidential election outcome right, but it was a substantial Biden win instead of a landslide and a minor disaster in House and Senate races.

That was a long-winded way of saying I have no idea who will win the double-barreled Georgia Senate run-off today. I know who I’m pulling for: Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. As to the outcome, I will be avidly watching the returns but do not pretend to know who will win. I wouldn’t predict it even if I were an expert on Peach State politics, which I am not.

At least I know who I’m rooting for. The Impeached Insult Comedian isn’t quite sure. His rally last night was yet another celebration of grievances and himself. He barely mentioned Perdue and Loeffler even though both have placed their souls into a blind trust controlled by him. Trump spent more time bashing Georgians Brian Kemp and Raffi than praising the plutocratic Senators he was supposedly there to support. Thanks, Donald.

In normal times, the two Georgia GOPers would triumph in the run-off. The open primary system is designed to help Republicans and harm Democrats, especially Black Democrats. Low turnout is the goal. But Ossoff and Warnock have been something of a dream team. The combination of the young Jewish guy who worked for John Lewis and the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church has proved to be a formidable one. Every time the media mentions where Warnock does his pastoring, they mention Martin Luther King Jr. Talk about a win-win situation.

Then there’s the Abrams factor. The only person with a bigger grudge against Brian Kemp and Raffi than President* Pennywise is Stacey Abrams. Since her narrow defeat in the voter suppression rich 2018 governor’s race, she’s been organizing the hell out of the Peach State. It paid off for Joe Biden in November and, hopefully, will help Ossoff and Warnock win today.

The likely 2022 grudge rematch between Kemp and Abrams is apt to be the most exciting Governor’s race since Edwards-Vitter in the Gret Stet of Louisiana back in 2015. Stay tuned.

Texas Congressman Chip Roy weighed in on the Georgia runoff last night:

Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) suggested Monday night that there would be dire consequences if GOP incumbents Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and David Perdue (R-GA) lose the Georgia Senate runoffs on Tuesday, which would give Democrats control of the chamber.

“What happens tomorrow in Georgia…if we have a Democratically controlled Senate, we’re now basically at full-scale hot conflict in this country,” Roy told Fox News host Tucker Carlson. “Whereas right now we’re in a cold civil war.”

A Texas expression comes to mind. In fact, I memed it back in 2018 when Trump went to Texas to campaign for Ted Cruz:

Talk is cheap, especially threats of violence. Remember all the blood that was supposed to flow if Trump lost? There have been some droplets but no buckets. I’m not expecting any on Twelfth Night. Uh oh, that sounded like a prediction. So much for the cracked crystal ball.

The last word goes to the Toasters and Van Morrison with variations on the same theme:

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – “Free Beer Tomorrow” edition

I may have to take a short break between now and inauguration day.

As much as I enjoy watching the Freeperati strangle as they run out of air, this is getting a bit depressing and hard to watch.

Russell Ramsland: “I think there will be huge evidence coming forward in the next couple of days that will drastically change the playing field. The question is will anyone report on it.” at minute 6:00 in the video link.
Populist Press/Newsmax ^ | 12-18-2020 | NewsMax

Posted on 12/19/2020, 8:57:25 AM by PK1991

Russell Ramsland: “I think there will be huge evidence coming forward in the next couple of days that will drastically change the playing field. The question is will anyone report on it.” at minute 6:00 in the video link.

Ramsland: The courts aren’t going to help us. All the case dismissals are not related to evidence. Not one court has looked at any evidence yet.

Ramsland also talks about his forensic examination of the Antrim county voting machines report.

Ramsland responds to Dominion CEO’s denial that the system can flip votes or uses fractional voting. “He needs to go back and look at his own machines and read paragraph 11.0 of his own user manual.”

Ramsland: In his report the Michigan Secretary of State after asking that the whole report not be released asked that the computer logs that were part of the report be redacted. The Judge ordered the computer logs redacted form the report. Then after it is released they say there is no evidence in the report.

1 posted on 12/19/2020, 8:57:25 AM by PK1991
But it’s from “Newsmax”. It’s gotta be true!!
To: PK1991

“I think there will be huge evidence coming forward in the next couple of days..”

**************

More free beer — tomorrow.

3 posted on 12/19/2020, 9:01:13 AM by Starboard

To: PK1991

Lucy/football/us.

5 posted on 12/19/2020, 9:01:50 AM by dynachrome ( “The people have spoken . . . and they must be punished.” Ed Koch)

To: BobL

Why, why, have we not seen any evidence of this????I’m tired of all this “evidence” that is supposed to be boom, huge breaking news, colossal, etc…..and yet…..nothing is ever dropped.

4 posted on 12/19/2020, 9:01:20 AM by ealgeone
To: PK1991

I think it’s the Kracken!!

11 posted on 12/19/2020, 9:06:31 AM by 2big2fail

To: PK1991

BOOM POW BANG !!!! WE GOT’M NOW !!!

23 posted on 12/19/2020, 9:25:55 AM by devane617 (…)

(Tommy T puts on oxygen mask to keep from drowning in sarcasm)
To: 2big2fail
35 posted on 12/19/2020, 9:34:12 AM by DoodleBob (Gravity’s waiting period is about 9.8 m/s^2)
See what I mean?   And I am SO stealing that meme!
“If it was anybody else, I’d say what’s going to happen to you would be a lesson to you. Only you’re going to need more than one lesson. And you’re going to get more than one lesson.”
Ray Collins, in “Citizen Kane”
To: ealgeone

“I’m tired of all this “evidence” that is supposed to be boom, huge breaking news, colossal, etc…..and yet…..nothing is ever dropped.”

How would Hannity stay in business? After all, each night he opens with wild claims of new “bomb shell” information/proof and then. . . .nothing.

42 posted on 12/19/2020, 9:41:11 AM by Hulka ( )

And of course :
To: crz

I doubt they will ever look at any of it.You and me both. From this point forward, it will take bloodshed. And from what I have seen, we are up to that. A few are, but not enough. I only hope that there is enough of us to give a good account of ourselves.

120 posted on 12/19/2020, 12:46:10 PM by sport
The “Bloodshed bullshit” fantasies below the fold…

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Sycophancy, Not Sedition

I dislike criticizing people with whom I usually agree. I prefer to aim my fire at the other side, especially since it’s currently overpopulated by sycophantic Trumpers. In this instance, it’s the rhetorical overreaction to the futile Texas Twisted election case that leads me to criticize some of my fellow liberals. I suspect my views will be unpopular with many. So be it.

I’m on the record as believing that COUP is the wrong word to describe Trump’s doomed attempt to steal the election. It’s a con, not a coup. It’s one of Team Trump’s most successful fundraising gambits ever. It’s also a vivid illustration of why wingnuts like to “own the libs.” It’s so damn easy. One of the few things they’re good at is trolling. My ironclad first rule of internet interaction is DO NOT FEED THE TROLL.

A new word is in use by those devoted to rhetorical overkill in the post-election period: SEDITION. The Attorney General of Pennsylvania, Josh Shapiro, described the Texas Twisted suit as such in his brief to SCOTUS. Others have applied the word to the 126 GOP Congresscritters who supported this idiotic and baseless election challenge. I disagree, it’s sycophancy, not sedition.

My objection to the loaded word sedition is based on our historical experience. Its first major use occurred during the partisan slagging match between Federalists and Jeffersonian Republicans over the French Revolution. The former supported it and the latter sided with the British in their opposition. This split resulted in the justly infamous Alien and Sedition Acts, which were a massive First Amendment violation. To his credit, President Adams had qualms about the Acts, but still signed them into law. That led to the second president becoming the first to lose re-election.

We’ll skip the War of the Rebellion as the secessionist South was clearly seditious and move on to some 20th Century examples. The word sedition was slathered over every form of “disloyalty” during the post-Great War Red Scare as well as during the McCarthy period. It popped up occasionally during the anti-Vietnam War protests and was uttered on several occasions by Dick Cheney during the Iraq War.

In our national experience, the word sedition has been applied to suppress unpopular, usually left-wing speech. I am not eager to see it used by the left in overreaction to Trump’s post-election con. Do anti-Trumpers really want to keep company with A. Mitchell Palmer and Tailgunner Joe McCarthy? I certainly do not.

The 126 House GOPers who supported the fakakta Texas Twisted suit were motivated by sycophancy, not sedition.  It’s the fear of a primary challenge or the desire to curry favor with President* Pennywise that led them to sign on to Gret Stet Congressman Mike Johnson’s stupid petition. I refuse to dignify it by calling it a filing.

There are many who want to punish the House 126 in some way. They will clearly not be prosecuted since it involves speech, not overt actions. Some want Speaker Pelosi to refuse to seat the 126 using the 14th Amendment as a rationale. In theory, that’s possible but it would be unwise in the extreme. Nancy Smash is too smart to go there. The result of such a refusal would be the disenfranchisement of approximately 94 million Americans. (The current ratio of voters per district is 747,000.)

Refusing to seat the 126 would open a second front in this ridiculous cold war between Democrats and Republicans. It would cede the high ground to the latter as they could scream about their constituents being disenfranchised. This notion is first cousin to the “led the red states secede” group. For obvious reasons, I disagree with this damn fool notion as it would banish millions of people of color and me from the Union. What happened in first in Virginia then Georgia proves that red states can evolve, especially those with large black populations.

For those desperate for the House to punish the 126, a less incendiary idea is to censure the ringleader, Congressman Mike Johnson. His actions take the Gret out of the Gret Stet of Louisiana and he’s not even the worst member of our delegation. This is also unlikely to happen, but it wouldn’t have the effect of needlessly turning the 2020 election into another 1876. There’s a clear victor in this election as will be ratified by the electors today.

There’s a public health crisis in this country and Congress needs to take a page out of Bill Clinton’s impeachment playbook. Every time he was asked about impeachment, he’d say something to the effect of “I’m not focused on that. I’m doing the work I was elected to do by the American people.” For the first time, there’s some hope on the COVID front. Vaccine distribution and relief for the American people is what Congress should focus on, not 126 sycophantic House GOPers.

If I wanted to be a member of a party of dick wavers and screamers, I’d be a Republican. I prefer to follow the lead of the incoming Democratic president Joe Biden and be prepared to fight off substantive challenges and shrug off the rest. It’s time for the MSM and the public to expel Donald Trump from their heads. He’s the past. He’s just a troll demanding to be fed. Stop giving him the attention he desperately needs.

Repeat after me: DO NOT FEED THE TROLL.

The last word goes to Mr. Spock:

 

Georgia, Georgia, Georgia

With two senate seats up for grabs, Georgia is the center of the political universe. Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock seem to have the wind at their backs as GOPers keep making embarrassing, for them but delightful to me, mistakes.

In a conference call leaked to the WaPo Senator David Perdue mused about the double-edged sword that is President Pennywise’s support:

Perdue noted later that he had confronted an “anti-Trump vote in Georgia” in the first round of voting and said the runoff is about getting “enough conservative Republicans out to vote” in the Atlanta suburbs and elsewhere who might have opposed the president’s reelection.

“I’m talking about people that may have voted for Biden but now may come back and vote for us because there was an anti-Trump vote in Georgia,” Perdue said. “And we think some of those people, particularly in the suburbs, may come back to us. And I’m hopeful of that.”

Pandering to President* Pennywise is what led to the bizarre letter from Perdue and Loeffler demanding  the resignation of Republican Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger. It turns out that Raffi (not to be confused with the children’s entertainer, I just don’t want to type his name out repeatedly) is an honest man who is determined to do his job. How did the Georgia GOP fuck up and elected an honest man to replace that election stealing motherfucker Brian Kemp? Donald Trump is not amused, and neither is Lindsey Graham.

Senate Republicans are so desperate to hang on to their majority that Little Lindsey called Raffi to lobby him to ditch a raft of legally cast ballots. Typically, senators do not meddle in elections in neighboring states. Raffi politely told the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee to butt out. Graham has denied the content of the conversation, but Raffi has a witness. Oops. Graham went on to claim that he’d spoken to the Arizona and Nevada Secretaries of State, but he was lying. Anyone surprised? The big surprise in this story is that Raffi is an honest man. 

Little Lindsey is full of himself after winning a decisive re-election victory against a well-funded opponent. He can’t let go of his Trump sycophancy but he’s attaching himself more firmly to the Turtle. Fundamentally, Graham is a symbiont who needs a stronger host to survive. For years, he was John McCain’s sidekick, then attached himself to Donald Trump. He’s such a weak character that it wouldn’t surprise me if Lindsey offers to caddy for Joe Biden after he becomes the Oval One.

I’ll be checking in on Georgia from time-to-time before the January 5th runoff, which is the day before Twelfth Night. That means I can eat King Cake in celebration if things go well in Georgia, Georgia, Georgia. That was a lie: I’ll be eating King Cake the next day notwithstanding the election results. Lying appears to be contagious in 2020. I can’t imagine why.

Stacey Abrams is revving up the mighty New Georgia Project turnout machine that turned the Peach State blue in the presidential race. Ms. Abrams has rightfully been praised for her efforts. Some would like to give her the keys to the political kingdom. I agree with the praise but have a hunch that she’s gearing up for a grudge rematch with Brian Kemp in 2022.

The post title is, of course, based on the late Tim Russert’s 2000 admonition: Florida, Florida, Florida. I had a bit of fun with the featured image and used the cover of the Allman Brothers Band’s Eat A Peach album. Here’s hoping things will be politically peachy in the Peach State.

The last word goes to the Allman Brothers with a song that’s not on Eat A Peach:

Republicans In Disarray: They Know They’re Losing

It gave me great pleasure to write that post title. I’m still gazing at it with affection after all the ‘Democrats in disarray” headlines in Politico and elsewhere over the years. As Athenae pointed out yesterday, the elite political press has been in the bag for the GOP since the Reagan years. They should get out of the bag and wake up and smell the coffee.

Republicans are not only in disarray, they’re in denial as this WaPo report from the capitol of wishful thinking, the Trump White House, indicates:

Trump’s team spent much of its time in recent days trying to position itself for a 2016 repeat, scouring the electoral college map for what advisers concede is a shrinking set of potential paths to victory and looking for voting populations that could still be swayed by the campaign.

<SNIP>

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other Republicans have urged the campaign to focus on messaging that would help senators in difficult states, such as Arizona, Maine and North Carolina. But Trump has argued to McConnell and others that the senators would be doing better if they were more supportive of his agenda.

Multiple people involved in the Trump effort said the Thursday meeting at the RNC led to agreements on the way forward that have ended, for the moment, a mood that has at times grown grim inside the Trump operation, with finger-pointing over who should be responsible for a potential loss — and whether it should be attributed to an undisciplined message, the coronavirus pandemic or campaign spending and choices made by former campaign manager Brad Parscale.

See what I mean about denial? The incumbent president* is still trying to run an insurgent campaign; an effort that’s doomed. He has an indefensible record to defend. His disastrous handling of the pandemic had led to an economic crash much worse than in, say, the European Union. They took COVID seriously and dealt with it early. The pandemic, however, is so bad that countries such as France are *still* having a second wave. Imagine Team Trump trying to cope with a second wave here. I shudder at the thought. Herd mentality. Freedom, man.

The WaPo article also discusses Team Biden warning its supporters to keep their foot on the gas pedal or as an American naval hero once said, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.” It was fun to quote Admiral Farragut’s disputed quote. It fits the moment.

Team Biden’s warnings are precisely how a winning campaign approaches the home stretch of a campaign. They cautioned against complacency in the face of great polls but remain confident in their approach to the campaign. I wrote about the distinction between confidence and cockiness in June. It applies to complacency as well.

The reason I’m confident in the outcome is that Republicans know they’re going to lose. This quote from the Denver Post illustrates the extent of their disarray:

“There is no reason for either side to put another dime into this state. It’s over,” said David Flaherty, a Republican pollster in Colorado who predicts “historic” losses for his party Nov. 3.

“It is undeniable. The train wreck and implosion of the president will bring a historic number of other Republican candidates down, and if you don’t believe that then you have your head in the sand,” he added.

Senate races in Colorado and Arizona show the importance of recruiting strong candidates: John Hickenlooper and Mark Kelly appear headed to victory. I’m feeling good about Maine and Iowa as well. Many of the other races depend on a strong showing by the top of the ticket as happened for the GOP in 1980 and the Democrats in 2008. A 7 to 10-point win will lift other Senatorial boats; a reminder that Democrats won the 2018 mid-terms 53-45%. That depends on a strong turnout focused on defeating a horrendous president* and horrible senators. The term “throw the bums out” was never as salient as it is in 2020.

The original focus of this post were the Republican rats fleeing the sinking ship by saying publicly that Trump is going to lose and drag his party down to defeat. It’s another reason for my confidence in the outcome. They know they’re losing.

Among the Republican grandees who think the Kaiser of Chaos will lose in a landslide are Rupert Murdoch, Ben Sasse, and Ted Cruz. I have no compassion for any of them. A venerable aphorism comes to mind: “You made your bed, now lie in it.”

Texas Senator John Cornyn has issued a milder rebuke. He compared his relationship with Trump to a bad marriage. I am not making this up.

Sasse and Cruz are among the GOPers who have long understood what a loathsome human being their party’s nominee was and is. Now they’re worried about a “bloodbath.” Poor babies. #sarcasm. In the immortal words of the Rolling Stones:

Senators such as Sasse and Cruz sold their souls to President* Pennywise in exchange for tax cuts and judges. Cruz, who is almost as horrible a person as Trump, should have known better. I don’t know about you, but I’d never forgive the man whose henchmen were behind this:

I love re-posting that image. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Democrats should be relentless in the last two weeks of the campaign. Joe Biden has been an excellent and surprisingly disciplined candidate. He’s focused like a laser beam on the intertwined issues of the pandemic, economy, and health care.  He has refused to rise to the Republicans’ bait on culture war issues. He’s waved them off with a laugh and a grin.

Mockery is always the best medicine against the Impeached Insult Comedian. He’s a bully who can dish it out but can’t take it. Repeat after me: Donald Trump is a pussy. He should grab himself.

As long as Trump insists on focusing on his “miraculous recovery” from COVID, he’s destined to lose. A clear majority of the country think his handling of the pandemic has been a disaster. Hell, even Moscow Mitch believes in masking up and social distancing. It’s a pity he seems on the way to winning his race, but Turtles excel at self-defense unlike cartoon villains.

The last word goes to The Beatles with a song dedicated to Republicans in disarray:

Why I’m Not Watching The Barrett Hearings

I hate Senate hearings, especially illegitimate ones. I’m usually the guy who says, “don’t boycott.” But this time I wish they had. I understand the reasons for Democratic members participating but I don’t want any of them catching COVID from the senator we know has had it, Mike Lee, or the senators who refused to be tested, Graham and Grassley. It’s not worth it, y’all.

I have a personal reason for hearing avoidance: the junior senator from the Gret Stet of Louisiana, John Neely Kennedy. I cannot stand watching him hick it up and sound like a hillbilly ninny. He’s the second phoniest man in American politics. Repeat after me: John Neely Kennedy can go fuck himself.

As to the process itself, it’s a rush job to cram an extremist judge down our throats. We all know that she’s itching to reverse Roe, but they keep denying it. I may not be watching the hearings but I’m reading about them and watching the clips. You could cut the sanctimony in that room with a knife.

I’m baffled by the Republican focus on the “injustice” done to Justice Bro. Why do they want to relive that nightmare? It’s not going to help them politically. Just ask Runaround Sue Collins. They know they’re losing, that’s why they’re putting their hypocrisy on parade.

I wish they weren’t there, but I agree with the Democrat’s focus on health care. The ACA and COVID are winning issues for Team Blue. Since this process is strictly political, they should milk it for all it’s worth.

The clips I’ve seen from day two show an over rehearsed almost comically evasive nominee. It’s the same act that GOP nominees have been doing since John Roberts, but he did it with style and panache qualities that Judge Barrett lacks.

I’m glad committee Dems are scoring points but life’s too short to invite Ted Cruz into my living room. I don’t want to traumatize Kitty Claire Trevor.

A brief thought about “court packing.” I think it’s high time for SCOTUS reform, but I wish our side would STFU about court packing. It’s a pejorative term that was used by FDR’s enemies during his attempt to reform the high court. Call if reform, call it anything else but don’t call it packing. Words matter. I agree with the headline of a recent Josh Marshall post: It’s Not ‘Court Packing.’ Don’t Be A Moron and Call It That.

It’s time to gavel this post to a close. In an attempt to inject some levity into the proceedings, we have two judge songs for your listening pleasure:

After Justice Ginsburg

Krewe of Mishigas Float, 2019. Photo by Dr. A.

The news came on a Friday night. Because of the pandemic, most of us were home. It lit up new media and old, social media and anti-social media. Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died at the age of 87.

This frail-looking and petite woman was so mentally and morally tough that some thought she was immortal. I’ve spent a lot of time around people over 80 in the last decade, so I was not surprised. It was a nearly unparalleled act of will for her survive the sort of major illnesses that would have finished off lesser beings. As depicted by the Krewe du Vieux sub-krewe of Mishigas in 2019, Justice Ginsburg was a fighter,

There have been many marvelous tributes to Justice Ginsburg. Here’s a brief list:

Pierce made an apt comparison between Ginsburg and Thurgood Marshall. As a litigator, Ginsburg followed the trail blazed by Marshall and fought to establish important rights for women. Thurgood Marshall, however, was a reluctant judge. He preferred being on the other side of the courtroom. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was just as distinguished a jurist as an advocate. Those two skills rarely coincide. She was a remarkable person who led an exemplary life both personally and professionally. Above all else, she was a fighter.

While I wish that Justice Ginsburg had retired while Barack Obama was still president, her reasons were based on her experience as a Justice. Each generation of Justices learns a different lesson: Bill Brennan and Thurgood Marshall retired when they did because of the negative example set by Hugo Black and Bill Douglas who stayed on the Court too long. Ruth Bader Ginsburg saw her friend and colleague Sandra Day O’Connor regret her retirement to care for a husband who died while she was still on the court. That was a major turning point as her replacement was Samuel Alito who is an unbending member of the conservative bloc whereas O’Connor was the ultimate swing vote.

We’re on the cusp of another turning point with Justice Ginsburg’s death 46 days before the election. Those of us who admire Justice Ginsburg should follow her example, get off the floor, and fight back. I heard despair and defeatism this weekend. That’s a shitty way to honor a tough old bird like RBG, Dahlia Lithwick said it best:

America has lost a warrior, and it’s OK to be crushed. I am flattened. And I will mourn, because she deserves to be mourned. But we are also facing an almighty battle that will rage in the coming weeks, with attempts to fill her seat in an unseemly and grotesque manner. It will be hard and painful, but if you find yourself feeling hopeless and powerless, then you are emphatically doing it wrong. Because if anyone had a right to say “nah,” it was the woman who couldn’t get a job or a clerkship after graduating at the top of her class. But she pushed on, and then she pushed forward. She stepped into the fight of the phenomenal women who paved the path before, and now, well, it’s time to step into her fight and get it finished. I think the Notorious RBG would have peered owlishly out at all of us tonight and asked what the heck we are waiting for. And I think we can probably honor her best by getting to it.

The confirmation battle is joined. The most cynical man in politics has already discarded the rule bearing his name. The Turtle plans to move a Trump nominee through the Senate. I suspect he’ll do the most cynical thing imaginable and hold the vote in the lame duck session. To do otherwise, would doom the only thing that McConnell cares about as much as SCOTUS, his Senate majority.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham has already flip-flopped on his pledge not to push a nomination through in an election year. Nobody should be surprised. In 2016, Graham called Trump “a kook and a con man” among other ephemeral epithets. Now they’re golfing buddies.

The Democratic minority should announce a concrete and specific Court reform plan. (Don’t call it court packing, that evokes FDR’s failure in 1937-38.)  It should expand the number of Justices to eleven. They should also pledge to abolish the filibuster if a Trump nominee is rammed through. It’s time for it to go.

I saw some despairing tweets that a SCOTUS battle would decide the presidential election in Trump’s favor. Color me skeptical. Conservatives who care about SCOTUS and abortion sold their souls to President* Pennywise long ago. In 2020, it’s more likely to galvanize Democrats. A reminder that the Kavanaugh Mess did NOT turn the 2018 mid-terms in the GOP’s favor. The number that counts is this: 204,122 and counting dead of the novel coronavirus.

Back to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was an inspiring figure who will be missed, especially by the young women she inspired to fight the good fight. Women will decide the 2020 election. My hope is that they will be inspired to keep fighting until Democrats recapture the White House and Senate. Vote like the fate of the Republic depends on it. It does.

The last word goes to RBG’s close friend Nina Totenberg with a tweet for the ages:

Ted Yoho’s Daughters

Ted Yoho is a dick, okay, and everything that could be said about AOC pretty much has been, except that I kept thinking about this story: 

Christine’s own parents and siblings — the Blaseys — have not released any similar statement of support. As their daughter and sister has become the country’s most talked-about woman for accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh of sexual assault while both were in high school, the Blaseys have strategically avoided the press. Voice mails, texts, emails and letters from reporters have gone unanswered. Friends have politely declined to comment on what the family is going through.

Reached by phone on Tuesday, Ford’s father, Ralph Blasey Jr., offered a brief endorsement of his daughter. “I think all of the Blasey family would support her. I think her record stands for itself. Her schooling, her jobs and so on,” he said before hanging up. Moments later, after picking up the phone a second time, he added: “I think any father would have love for his daughter.”

There are other stories, sourced to horrible people and the Federalist, but no one’s denied them: 

Details of the report claim that staff and members of the Burning Tree Club in Bethesda, Maryland, witnessed Ralph Blasey approach Kavanaugh’s father, Ed, just days after his confirmation to the Supreme Court. “I’m glad Brett was confirmed,” Blasey reportedly said to the elder Kavanaugh while golfing at the club. Witnesses said that Blasey also expressed that the encounter had been hard on both families throughout the confirmation process.

And you think, what kind of motherfucker — this is the story, during the confirmation fight, that made me lose the plot completely — chooses some rich hairdo at the country club over his own daughter. But the streets of this country are littered with children whose parents chose their abusers over them. It happens every day.

Do the math. Your daughter, or your whole entire life? Your job, your friends, your social associations, your ability to walk in the world the way you feel right — or something she told you happened, that you didn’t even see. You weigh the consequences. What happens if you believe her? What happens to everything you love?

What happens to her, if you don’t?

What happens to Ted Yoho’s daughters, if one of his friends takes liberties? If someone he knows, through work or church, hurts one of his children? Would he burn down everything he knows, for that child? Or would he say to her what he said to his colleague, to his fellow member of Congress, that she’s disgusting, that she’s crazy, that she’s a fucking bitch?

Forget what-ifs. What happens to his daughters now, knowing that their father thinks women who get elected to Congress and speak up about what they want are crazy, are disgusting, are fucking bitches?

What are they likely to tell their father, about their lives? What kind of trust would they have, that he would believe anything they say?

He gave a real big speech about how much he loves his family. As if speeches are when you prove something like that. As if fathers don’t reject their daughters, every day, when those girls become inconvenient to them, when those girls cross some line, some norm, some value they consider more important than their children’s lives.

A.

Yoho Ho & A Bottle Of Dumb

I originally hadn’t planned to write about AOC’s smackdown of Florida Congresscreep Ted Yoho until this post title occurred to me. That happens more than you think. It’s why haven’t done a malaka of the week post in quite some time. If anything, there’s more malakatude in the world, but if you have a catchy title, you run with it, especially if it’s piratical.

Why is that every time a white boy wingnut is vexed with a woman, they call her a bitch? A “fucking bitch” in this instance.

Why is that every time a white boy wingnut is vexed with a woman, they issue a non-apology apology? Good on AOC for rejecting it.

Why is that every time a white boy wingnut is vexed with a woman, they talk about the women in their lives? Being married with daughters is not proof that you’re NOT sexist; mentioning them means that you’re probably a chauvinist pig.

Hell, the Impeached Insult Comedian has two daughters. Does that make him a SNAG? That’s Calvin Trillin’s term for a Sensitive New Age Guy. Trump is an accused rapist and notorious misogynist so I guess it doesn’t.

I remain gobsmacked at the poor quality of House Republicans. Is being crazy and/or stupid part of their recruitment program?

I recently posted a list of the worst House Republicans on the Tweeter Tube. I somehow missed Ted Yoho. Here’s a revised list:

  1. Steve Scalise
  2. Gym Jordan
  3. Louis Gohmert Piles
  4. Matt Gaetz
  5. Ted Yoho
  6. Doug Collins
  7. Clay Higgins
  8. Paul Gosar
  9. Mo Brooks
  10. Steve King

The only reason the King of Bigots brings up the rear is that he’s been retired by the voters. It is, however, sad not to have Ratcliffe and Meadows to kick around anymore. They’re now being kicked around by the Kaiser of Chaos.

Back to AOC. Once again, she’s proven herself to be a master politician. As I watched clips of her speech on the House floor, I pictured the head of every woman I know nodding in agreement. They’ve all been Yoho-ed at some point. The malakatude, it burns.

Ted Yoho is cursed with a punworthy name. Try replacing Yo-Yo with Yoho in this Kinks song. It works beautifully. That’s why they get the last word:

Every Genocide Needs a Soundtrack

A few years back I got irrationally obsessed with reading books about the Rwandan genocide including this excellent, harrowing one, and one thing that stuck with me from it was the role talk radio played in stoking violence and encouraging people to turn on their neighbors.

This is a transcript from one of those stations, assuring its listeners that no matter what they see and hear on other channels, THIS is the real story:

.. When talking, we should be aware that we are talking to other people, and to intelligent people. Because what will cause harm to the Rwandans, what will harm the politics of this country is that a person thinks that he is the only one who can play politics, he thinks that he is the only one who can speak, he thinks that he is the only one who holds the truth, that members of other political parties are not intelligent, that they are stupid, that they do not understand, that he should con them because he has the opportunity to talk, that he should say whatever he wants… Here, on RTLM, on your independent radio, we will hOt stand that. You will tell lies people, and we will tell them the truth.”

Does that sound familiar to you? It should: 

  • In a fearmongering, over-the-top opening monologue, Fox Business host Trish Regan claimed coronavirus is “yet another attempt to impeach the president” as “the chorus of hate being leveled at the president is nearing a crescendo.”

  • Fox Business host Lou Dobbs reported that coronavirus “has now infected 113,000 people … in 111 countries and territories around the world” and, in nearly the same breath, claimed that “the national left-wing media [are] playing up fears of the coronavirus.”

  • On Lou Dobbs TonightSiegel dismissed the World Health Organization as “overly political” and “incompetent,” arguing that coronavirus is being politicized to attack Trump.

We’re not yet at the stage where Fox is advocating that Trump nuke Wuhan but their listeners are already there and have been for a week or so. We’ve been talking since mid-2016 about how this stuff doesn’t start with the ovens. It starts with people whispering that there’s a secret only the worthy know, and Rush and his imitators have been saying that shit since the moment they went on the air.

A sane country would have shut down any broadcast knowingly disseminating false information in the name of public safety. This whole country is a crowded theater and they’re screaming fire.

BUH BUH BUH says you, a person who thinks reality is a simulation, BUH WHO DECIDES WHAT IS FALSE? Isn’t this always the pretext governments use to shut down dissent, that it’s unsafe? Well, this isn’t “dissent.” What Fox is doing is not opining on how the president should handle the crisis. They’re saying there IS NO CRISIS and then telling people to go out and make the nonexistent crisis worse.

There aren’t any equivalents to this. This isn’t a free speech issue. This isn’t an issue of civil rights. Before you throw internet conspiracies on the left in my face, consider the difference between six people on a blog saying “something seems dodgy here” and a NATIONAL BROADCAST NETWORK THAT’S ON EVERY TV IN THE AIRPORT, from which everyone takes their cues including THE PRESIDENT.

GO TO A RESTAURANT THE GUBMINT CAN’T CONTROL YOU, says the government, and had we the Republican party of even 20 years ago, much less the glory days, we’d have at least one or two people on ACTUAL BOTH SIDES saying look, this is insane, but no, the entire Senate and GOP House contingent has to take their cues from these people. Mike DeWine is a cock, okay, but I give him credit for acting like he’s in charge of people’s safety, unlike most of his colleagues. Look at this fucking prick. Great job, Kansas Republicans.

Lots and lots of people are going to get sick and die in the coming weeks. Fox News is encouraging this, if not actually making it happen. Once it does, and/or there’s violence or looting or reasonable responses like, say, a bunch of people getting really pissed and throwing things, then it will be time for law and order and suppressing the unruly masses, none of which, conveniently, will be white.

But god forbid someone suggest you forgo green beer and Buffalo Wild Wings and stop pouring hate into your ears like poison. I’ve read way too much about how this ends.

A.

Bickering

I know, it’s Politico, I’m better off reading the inside of the wrapper of the “health” food bar I just ate for information on how stuff works:

Bickering. Or, as we call it in the world where we don’t pretend to be dumber than we are for hate-clicks, FIGURING OUT THE BEST WAY TO DO THIS. These solipsistic fucksticks know this, they know that what they call “bickering” is actually WORK in the sense that ideally politicians would bitch each other out and then compromise and get down to work but it’s hard to compromise when one side is like “but make the tests free tho” and the other side is all “THE PLAGUE IS GOOD AND WE SHOULD EAT IT ON TOAST.”

I don’t know why I expect the discourse about actual real things to be better than the stuff about elections. Smart people who should know better are posting things like, “Why won’t the Democrats propose paid sick leave and cheap/free health care” as if that’s not THE GODDAMN PARTY PLATFORM, basically. Democratic politicians have been proposing that for years and if you don’t HEAR about it maybe the problem isn’t the words they’re making with their mouth-holes. Maybe the problem is they can’t get coverage for anything that isn’t the T-word.

Again, forever, let’s spend all our time crabbing at the only people with a plan and hashtagging #WhereIsTheHouse, Nancy Pelosi’s at your mom’s, okay. And she’s busy.

Fucking hell, no matter what they do this is the message: Republicans are bad, Democrats are bad and also dumb about how they’re being bad, the two sides “bicker,” let’s infantilize grown adults and make everybody throw their hands up and say “who can change anything.”

Fucking schmucks.

A.

SOTU: Freak Show

Image by Michael F.

I didn’t watch Trump’s speech last night. I can’t take such an extended dose of the Impeached Insult Comedian without tossing my cookies or retching up my rice. Besides, the SOTU never lives up to the pre-game hype even when delivered by a President who knows how to deliver a written speech such as Reagan or Obama.

Slate’s Jim Newell watched the SOTU so I didn’t have to. Merci, mon ami. The title was just as good as the piece: The State Of The Union Was A Visibly Degenerate Variety Show.

Here’s one of Jim’s money quotes:

The speech is being described as a Trumpian reality show for its assortment of stunt-pegged character call-outs in the gallery. It was more of a variety show, though, divided into alternating segments of election-season appeals to the middle, gags, and abrupt fascism. It was a joke he played on the House majority.

I’d call it a freak show but I have more sympathy for freaks than for President* Pennywise. Todd Browning weeps as does Ryan Murphy,

I do, however, wish that Democrats would stop freaking out. Repeat after me: Freaking out never helped anybody.

After the speech, we heard a lot about civility from Republicans. It’s somehow worse to tear up a speech than to rip apart the constitution. Besides, Trump awarded the Medal Of Freedom to a racist windbag who has dedicated his life to incivility.

Repeat after me:

The Senate will acquit the Impeached Insult Comedian later today even though a growing chorus of Republican senators admit that what he did was wrong. Susan Collins had the funniest line when she said that the president* had learned a lesson from impeachment. I knew Mainers were eccentric but I didn’t think they were from another planet.

This is where I planned to cut Doug Jones some slack if he voted to acquit; he did not. Instead I wrote a full post, Doug Jones: American Hero.

The last word goes to Nancy Smash with the rip heard around the world:

Doug Jones: American Hero

I have a post in the hopper about last night’s Freak Show. In it I addressed the Trump removal trial and what Alabama Democratic Senator Doug Jones might do.

I hope Democrats will cut Senator Doug Jones some slack. If I were advising him, I’d tell him to hold his nose and vote to acquit on at least one article if not both. There’s no point in sticking your head in a guillotine if you don’t have to.

I just saw Senator Jones’ statement and was blown away that he is doing the right thing and voting to convict on both articles. It’s refreshing to know that there’s one Senator who puts country before expediency. I’m sure Chuck Schumer would have given him a pass since he represents one of the reddest states in the nation.

It’s rare in any era to see a politician cast a vote that could doom their re-election bid. I am beyond impressed by Senator Jones’ courage and statesmanship.

This is almost like a Capra movie. We need more politicians like Doug Jones. Thank you, Senator.

If Life Were A Capra Movie

If life were a Capra movie, the eloquence and passion of Adam Schiff and the House Managers would sway the Senate into removing President* Pennywise from office.

If life were a Capra movie, Donald Trump would be played by Edward Arnold who was a wealthy fascist who manipulated the “little people” in Meet John Doe. He would be exposed in the end as a mountebank by Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck.

If life were a Capra movie, Mitch McConnell would be a corrupt Senator played by Claude Rains who could be shamed into doing the right thing in the last reel of the picture.

If life were a Capra movie, Lindsey Graham would be shown his past life by an  angel who would convince him to betray Mr. Potter and stand up for Ukraine Bedford Falls.

If life were a Capra movie, Lamar Alexander wouldn’t just say that the Impeached Insult Comedian did a bad thing, he’d vote to remove him from office.

If life were a Capra movie, John Bolton would be played by Henry Travers with bushy eyebrows but without the mustache of war. He’d ring a bell, create new angels, and Trump would be stripped of his office.

If life were a Capra movie, Jimmy Stewart would play Adam Schiff.  Sure, Stewart was goyer than thou, but he played the hero in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. Adam Schiff is the hero of the Trump impeachment. Thank you for your valiant effort, sir.

If life were a Capra movie, the spunky and smart Jean Arthur would play Nancy Pelosi. She played a Congresswoman in Billy Wilder’s A Foreign Affair, after all.

If life were a Capra movie, Trump’s lawyers would be eloquent and truthful unlike the creepy liar Sekulow, the bombastic has been Dershowitz, or the dweeby bore Philbin.

If life were a Capra movie, we’d have a happy ending with the townsfolk rallying to help Mr. Deeds, Mr. Smith, or George Bailey. The bells would ring, and we’d all join Ronald Colman in Shangri-La as the screen fades to black.

Life is NOT a Capra movie.  The Senate will vote against allowing witnesses and acquit the Man Who Would Be King. Oops, that’s a John Huston movie.

Even Frank Capra’s life was not a Capra movie. He was a Republican who hated FDR until the president stopped being Dr. New Deal and became Dr. Win-the-War. (FDR gave himself those nicknames.) Capra was only a populist onscreen; in real life he disdained the “little people” he celebrated in his movies. So much for Capracorn.

There are positive lessons to be gleaned from Capra movies. His heroes were knocked down but always got up like Gary Cooper in Mr. Deeds Goes To Town, Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, or Ronald Colman in Lost Horizon. That’s what the resistance needs to do after John Roberts gavels this show trial to a close. We knew the removal trial would end without a removal. Keep fighting and never let the bastards get you down.

Unlike real life, Capra movies always had a happy ending. America’s chance to have a happy ending is on November 3, 2020. We licked Trumpism in 2018. It’s time to consign it to the ash heap of history in 2020. Do it for Longfellow Deeds, Jefferson Smith, Robert Conway, and George Bailey. Do it for your family, and your friends. Most of all, do it for America. She’s in trouble and she needs our help. End of Capraesque peroration.

The last word goes to America who is played by Solomon Burke:

The Roberts Option

Chief Justices Chase, Rehnquist, and Roberts.

When Neal Katyal speaks, I listen:

Yet Republican members of the Senate have signaled that they intend to uphold Mr. Trump’s unprecedented decision to block all of this material.

But it turns out they don’t get to make that choice — Chief Justice John Roberts does. This isn’t a matter of Democrats needing four “moderate” Republicans to vote for subpoenas and witnesses, as the Trump lawyers have been claiming. Rather, the impeachment rules, like all trial systems, put a large thumb on the scale of issuing subpoenas and place that power within the authority of the judge, in this case the chief justice.

Most critically, it would take a two-thirds vote — not a majority — of the Senate to overrule that. This week, Democrats can and should ask the chief justice to issue subpoenas on his authority so that key witnesses of relevance like John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney appear in the Senate, and the Senate should subpoena all relevant documents as well.

The Senate rules for impeachment date back to 1868 and have been in effect since that time. They specifically provide for the subpoenas of witnesses, going so far in Rule XXIV as to outline the specific language a subpoena must use — the “form of subpoena to be issued on the application of the managers of the impeachment, or of the party impeached, or of his counsel.”

As you can see, there is no “Senate vote” requirement whatsoever in the subpoena rule. A manager can seek it on his own.

Rachel Maddow asked Adam Schiff about this possibility last night. He was cagey, which is a good sign.

I hope they give this a shot. It will put the Chief Justice on the spot, but if Salmon P. Chase could do it, so can he. Roberts is just sitting there like a hood ornament right now, after all. It would be like throwing a live grenade in his lap ala Bolton-Rudy. The wheels keep on turning. Stay tuned.

Hashtag Of The Day: #MittOrGetOffThePOT

This is the first and probably the last time I’ll have a hashtag of the day. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I remain skeptical that “moderate” Republican Senators will buck their leader and their president*. BUT hope is one of the most important commodities in politics. There’s no reason to give up hope until the votes are in. Besides, the removal trial is a battle in a longer war. As Ted Kennedy said in a different context in 1980 “…the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.”

The leaks coming out of the Senate GOP caucus were a signal for the baying banshees of Trumpistan and Wingnuttia to do that voodoo that they do. The Turtle rarely, if ever, leaks about a vote count. This is a calculated attempt to keep the cover-up going by scaring the shit our of those GOPers  who might do the right thing and vote for witnesses.

I have no idea how this will play out BUT we went through something similar during the Kavanaugh Mess. There was a tease by some Republican Senators who claimed they might oppose Kavanaugh. Just because Willard Mittbot Romney and Susan Collins are showing some leg now doesn’t mean that they will do the right thing. It’s unclear if they even know what that means.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Willard Mittbot Romney is perfectly positioned to be the hero of this drama. It remains unclear if his cautious temperament will allow him to take the plunge. His father, George, was a balls-to-the-walls politician whose presidential dreams were crushed by the “brainwashing” gaffe. Then his political spirit was crushed by his time in Tricky Dick’s cabinet. The Mittbot prefers equivocation to risk:

Here’s hoping that Willard and a handful of his colleagues will heed the hashtag: #MittOrGetOffThePOT. But do robots sit on the pot? That’s an existential question that only Asimov or Sartre could answer. I’ll just make like the Mittbot and punt.