The Gaslight Presidency

It’s been a while since I’ve spoken here, dear non-existent reader. Just shy of an entire year as a matter a fact, and during that time a lot has happened. I’ve also attracted more comments for some reason, and I’m not entirely sure that these are real people responding. In most cases, it’s not even clear that the commenters are even responding to the content I’m laying down here. Besides that, there is the only news story that matters for the past week, the previous 11 months be damned. I am of course speaking about the impeachment inquiry that House Democrats have opened.

Before I get into that, let me first say that there is a reason that I disallow comments and posting on this blog. There is the religious crank who keeps attempting to post a rambling mess of a post about how we’re approaching the biblical end times. Understand that I regard all religion as mythology, so find another avenue for pushing that bullshit, because it’s not going up here. Then there is the guy who merely states, “Don’t wear seat belts lest you drown in your own urine?”. I’m not sure why it’s phrased as a question, and I would dismiss it as a drive-by troll were it not for the fact that there are multiple attempts to convey that exact sentence. So yeah… there is no commenting or posting allowed by anyone other than myself, and it will continue to be read-only for all of you non-existent readers.

Now on to the gristle of the post, which is of course the fast moving impeachment inquiry launched by House Speaker Nance Pelosi last week. There isn’t much that I can add that hasn’t been said on the constant, 24 hour news loop. I will say this; it’s quite obvious that this president’s entire strategy is to gaslight the Dems. He consistently accuses Adam Schiff, the Bidens, and the anonymous whistleblower of lying and has attempted to paint them as guilty of treason. He has yet to provide any evidence for those accusations, hence the need to extort a highly vulnerable Ukraine to manufacture dirt on his likely opponent in the 2020 presidential election. There is however mounting evidence that Trump is guilty of lying and treason himself, and who knows what may come out during the course of the congressional investigations.

The other shaky leg that their defense rests on is this idea that the whistleblower’s reliance on second hand accounts of the President’s misdeeds amounts to hearsay. First, it’s only hearsay if the accusations are unfounded. The IG investigated the claims and found them credible, and alarming enough to mark urgent. If it was all unfounded hearsay, why the initial refusal by the DNI, and by extension, the White House and DOJ, to furnish the report to the House Intel Committee as the rule of law demands? Why did Secretary of State Pompeo feign ignorance about the call at first, only to find out that he was actually listening in on the call? Why did the DOJ decide not to investigate these very serious allegations, and instead came to the conclusion that no wrongdoing occurred? Why did they attempt to bury the report, and hide it from the Intel Committee? If you happened to be one of the few people who actually read the call summary and the whistleblower’s report (Yes, I’m one of them), it’s pretty fucking obvious why. Rather than exonerate the President, the call summary confirms the whistleblower’s account of the call. They knew it, and sought to prevent the release of the whistleblower’s report because they knew it.

Then there is Rudy Giuliani, who’s sanity is clearly in doubt. Imma just shake my head for a bit, because nothing he’s said up to this point deserves validation by putting up a response. Rudy had the good fortune of being Mayor of New York on 9/11, and he’s milked it for all that it was worth. I mean, this is a guy who has never turned down an invitation to appear on the press, where he spews endless streams of bullshit. I can only assume that he’s seeking to remain relevant, his cachet as “America’s Mayor” having eroded away completely, by going all in and jumping onto Trump’s coattails. I totally see him meeting his wholly and utterly timely demise under a bus somewhere in the coming months.

Finally, I would like to touch upon a recent poll where 6 in 10 Republicans admit to living under a rock for the past week. That’s a fucked up statistic. I mean, c’mon… really? To those 60% I just have to ask. Are you really such a fucking bitter, partisan fucktard? I mean, you do know that Trump himself told us quite publicly that he did in fact bring up the Bidens during a phone call with  Ukrainian President Zelenskyy. I get it, he lies so much that it can get confusing when he actually (or accidentally) speaks the truth, but Trump released the call summary. Not Nancy Pelosi. Not Adam Schiff. It’s readily available to the general public to read, but for your convenience, here is the line straight from the horse’s mouth, emphasis mine:

 “There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”

Set aside the fact that this is one of the debunked conspiracy theories that he is referring to, it’s right there in black and white folks! What more do you want? Are you so blinded by partisan bickering as to selectively filter out the facts that fail to support your twisted world view? Or maybe you just don’t read, in which case you can watch here as he specifically states that they spoke about Biden. For fuck’s sake, get your heads outta your collective asses for a minute and listen to what the man himself has readily admitted to on live television. If Trump’s own words and deeds won’t sway you, I fear for the integrity of our increasingly threadbare Republic.

The Steady State

If you somehow escaped hearing the news about the now infamous op-ed penned by an “anonymous senior Trump administration official” that ran in the New York Times this week, then my hat’s off to you. That’s a near herculean feat to be able to ignore all sources of media for so long and remain so willfully ignorant. If you happen to be one such individual, go ahead and get caught up to speed by going to literally any news website of your choosing and searching for NYT op-ed. Really, go ahead. I’ll wait…

First, I’d like to state right off the bat that I find myself in the awkward circumstance of agreeing with the White House somewhat. I find it all rather distasteful and underhanded. It’s also quite difficult to discern what the intended result might have been, or whether or not the author has succeeded at achieving said intended result. Barring an unmasking in the near future, we are forced to take this op-ed at face value.

It would appear that this was in part an attempt to comfort those of us who are troubled by Trump’s leadership, or lack thereof. They specifically mention that they are the “adults” in the room, and that the author and their cadre of like minded individuals dubbed “The Steady State” are surreptitiously resisting Trump’s agenda from within his administration. If they are indeed looking to quell fears on this front, they have failed miserably.

First, they are doing so from the shadows. I don’t know about you dear non-existent readers, but I don’t feel comfortable with an anonymous individual, or group of individuals taking it upon themselves to protect our increasingly fragile republic. This is in fact the exact opposite of a republic. Nobody in the White House but Trump was actually elected to serve in that capacity. I for one prefer the devil that I know to the devil that I don’t know, and it is no comfort at all to know that not only has Trump lost control of the White House, but that whoever is actually running it cannot be held to account.

Second, if the whole idea was to prevent Trump from leading the country into ruin, why did they think this anonymous op-ed would improve upon that situation? Consider the fact that Trump has been claiming without evidence for some time now that there is a so-called “Deep State”, or a ragtag group of Obama era bureaucrats in the federal government who are actively engaged in sabotaging Trump’s agenda. Far from dispelling that myth, they may now have confirmed Trump’s seemingly outlandish claims. Granted, these are people that were presumably hired by the Trump administration, nonetheless his paranoia has now been justified. Furthermore, he is now aware of it and will most certainly take measures to isolate himself even further from what he may now rightly assume is a wholly untrustworthy cabinet.

Third, they make mention of talk early on in the Trump presidency about invoking the 25th amendment, but that they decided not to for fear of creating a “constitutional crisis”. The irony of course is that the 25th amendment is the constitutional method by which a president who is unfit to serve can be removed from office. Instead, they have chosen the decidedly unconstitutional path of exploiting Trump’s incompetence to enact whatever agenda they have in mind.

At the peril of inviting yet another conspiracy theory, I can almost believe that this was some sort of false flag operation on behalf of the Trump administration. It’s almost too perfect if you think about it, all while using Trump’s self-proclaimed enemy of the state, otherwise known as the press ( and the New York Times in particular), to legitimize his so-called Deep State theory. I mean, this is the guy who would talk to the media incognito as his own publicist, so I don’t think it’s too much beyond the pale to believe that he would attempt such a stunt. However as previously mentioned, we are left to take this at face value for now until such time that someone steps forward to claim authorship.

Donald Trump is a fucking racist.

Today I’m going to highlight the story that isn’t getting told with regards to the NFL choosing to crack down on protests during the National Anthem. First, let’s look at the image that draws the president’s ire. He went so far as to say that these people “shouldn’t be in the country”.

 

These are the people that the president is referring to in the image above. Take notice of the identity of these people, and the peaceful nature of their protest. Their only demand: that the police departments around the country treat African Americans with the same respect as white Americans.

Now consider the following, who’s right to free speech the president vociferously defended, and who he had this to say about, “You had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists. The press has treated them absolutely unfairly. You also had some very fine people on both sides”.

 

These people carried shields and weapons through the streets of Charlottesville, and in one case one of them mowed down the opposing protesters with a car, killing one woman and injuring numerous others. Where were the calls to censor this protest? Why are these people given a pass? Why isn’t the president calling for these people to leave the country? If you saw people like this in the image above marching down the street, would you consider anyone who decided to march alongside them to be “very fine people”?

Obviously the president is far more bothered by black American’s demanding justice than white nationalists chanting “blood and soil” in the streets of America. He may not be openly racist, or even aware that he is a racist, but make no mistake, the POTUS is a fucking racist.

Promises, promises, promises.

That look you make when you realize that you may be compelled to testify against your own client.

Marital fidelity has long been one of many yardsticks with which our politicians have been measured against. While it’s not exactly fair to tie any given politician’s marital fidelity, or lack thereof, to their job performance, it does say quite a bit about one’s ability to keep a promise. Promises are the currency of any political campaign, and they are often as cheap as they are plentiful on the campaign trail. They’re often broken which can be expected, but a promise made on the alter carries a bit more weight.

When Trump was caught on tape bragging about getting away with sexual assault, he attributed his lack of accountability to his fame. While that may have been true at the time, it’s certainly not what won over the Christian Conservative base that populates the Republican party. It’s my belief that it was his promises, or more to the point, the promises he made in support of Christian Conservative pet social causes. Causes like banning abortions, or packing the SCOTUS with justices who support so called religious liberty.

Now if you’re old enough to recall, much like our current president, Bill Clinton faced similar accusations. Conservatives were apoplectic when it came to light that he carried on an affair with a White House intern, and then lied about it on national television. This was a consensual affair, mind you, and there was no talk of “grabbing them by the pussy”. There were no shady payments made to porn stars nor non-disclosure agreements being signed. There was no Harvey Weinstein style quid pro quo, just a stained dress and a blowjob in the Oval Office. At that time it was deemed enough of a moral depravity by Conservatives to impeach Clinton, and there certainly was no talk of mulligans or giving him a pass. What Clinton lacked of course was the aforementioned promises.

I find it just a little ironic that we’ve come full circle now. That this presidency could be brought down, however incidentally, by Trump’s infidelity is incredible. His heavy reliance on a misguided concept of attorney-client privilege to shield him from Mueller’s investigation may now be coming back to bite him in the ass. Whatever correspondence that was conducted between Trump and Cohen under that false pretense was possibly seized yesterday by the FBI. At stake now are the very promises Trump made, and which Conservatives accepted, in exchange for looking the other way. Had they stuck to their principles and applied their moral judgement equally across the aisle, they perhaps wouldn’t be facing a Democratic wave during this midterm election. A Democratic wave which promises to throw a spanner in the works on Capitol Hill and grind the Christian Conservative agenda to a halt.