Lawyers As Politicians

Jim Jordan is already licking his chops at the thought of becoming the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, should Republicans gain control of the House. Jordan who earned his reputation as Trump’s incessantly barking lapdog, continues yapping away at any and all intruders to the sanctity of the Trump tabernacle.  He has already stated on several national media appearances that once restored to power he plans to use his committee to investigate every conceivable, imagined opponent to the greater Trump agenda, which includes the FBI, Merrill Garland’s, Justice department, the Biden family and Hillary Clinton among others.

He is particularly outraged with the FBI for entering Mar-a-Lago with a warrant to secure the many boxes of Presidential records belonging to the National Archives that were illegally removed by Trump when he left the Whitehouse, many containing TOP SECRET information damaging to national security.  It would seem that Jordan is more interested in the process than in the crime.

Like a trial lawyer defending a guilty client, Jordan seeks a loophole by attacking the process, diverting attention away from the issue of guilt.  This should be no surprise as Jordan achieved a Law Degree from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio where he, like every other schooled lawyer, learned this neat little trick.   His strategy is to stir up enough confusion to overwhelm the facts now fading from the short-term memory of the voting public.  He, like Trump, is well aware that it is not illegal to lie to the media or the public, and he takes full advantage of that.

This is why we need to reconsider how we make our choices regarding political candidates. Strength gained through lying is a false security.  We need honest leaders of high integrity, not false messiahs who put themselves forth as the path to salvation.  When Trump claims “I alone can fix it,” smart voters should run the other way from this narcissistic liar of record, the world champion of political lies having told a verified 30,573 lies in his four-year term as President.

Who believes his crap?  Well try for one, the Proud Boys or the Oath Keepers, Qanon followers, the Christian Right, Nazis and anti-Semites and a spattering of political disciples who seek fortune by identifying with his lies, whack-jobs like Marjorie Taylor Green, Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert and yes, Jim Jordan.

A Lesson From Prince

Far be it from me to offer help to the Republican party, but when it comes to Donald Trump we’re all in this together, like it or not.  Trump is the equal opportunity abuser.  His latest…  Trump has sent cease and desist letters to the three campaign-fund raising committees of the party, the RNC, the NRSC and the NRCC, seeking to stop the use of his image and his name in fund raising for the GOP.

Not that Republican leaders have ever demonstrated an astute cognizance of the lessons of history, especially in areas beyond the ideas of Nicolai Machiavelli, and hardly funk music, but let’s just say that when this very problem presented itself to Prince, the young artist outwitted one of the biggest corporate giants in the entertainment industry.

You see, when Warner Brothers and Prince had a parting of the ways over the direction of Prince’s next album, Prince was under an ironclad contract that stated that if he left the label he “could not record under his name or any other name.”  Brutal, huh?  That’s when his true genius rose to the occasion and he invented the much renowned symbol that identified him with his music. For DJs all across the country, he was referred to as the artist formerly known as Prince.

So you see, the simple workaround is to never use the Trump name,  but to refer to him as “Former President,”  “Our beloved 45th President” (theirs not mine), or “Your Commander-in-Chief.” Meanwhile, it has not occurred to the vengeful halfwit that his image and name will be used in Democratic campaigns to rally against everything ugly he represents in the Republican party and he’s powerless to do anything about it.  Freedom of speech still exists, even after his scorched earth attempt to silence the GOP.

Virulent Mutations

While America is finally coming to terms with the Covid-19 pandemic, there is yet another, more aggressive virus infecting our nation and the world at large that has yet to be brought under control—Trumpism.

Like Covid, the most immediate remedy is to isolate the virus through masking and social distancing.  Masking was effectively accomplished by Twitter when it permanently removed Trump from its site, and social distancing became practical when Trump quarantined himself in Mara Lago.  But as in the case of the Covid pandemic, we need remain vigilant lest the many other virulent mutations of the disease cause a reinfection.

While Trump’s polling numbers are on the decline, the symptoms of Trumpism remain—rampant lying, quasi-legal and illegal activities, hatred of the media, hidden financial transgressions, fraud, racism, misogyny, anti-Semitism, fascism, authoritarianism, the growing numbers of hate groups and preposterous conspiracy theories, the rise of homeland terrorism, the many forms of outspoken white supremacists, political whack-a-doodles like Marjorie Taylor Greene and sadly, the culmination of all of these into the growing predisposition for, and ultimately several demonstrations of, armed insurrection. 

It may well be that the dominant mutation will prove to be the dark horse, Lara Trump, who is being touted as a Congressional candidate in North Carolina 2022.  But also consider that Ivanka Trump is no slouch, as she is eyeing a Senatorial run in Florida. Say “goodbye,” Marco Rubio.  You should have stood for something ethical, rather than to be subservient to a fraudster.  But clearly, Don Junior has put himself out front at rallies to be the big-mouthed successor to the king. Son Eric may just have to be content with a role as Court Jester, replacing Rudi Giuliani who may well be on his way to a deserved rest of “involuntary confinement.”

These mutations are very real and will make every attempt to infect our society with far reaching global consequences evidenced as environmental and  economic disasters and armed conflict. Vaccinate now while you can!

 

And The Award Goes To…

At the close of day three of impeachment arguments, each side felt secure that they had adequately presented their case and were poised to conduct the vote the following day.  But something unexpected intervened in the process that evening when CNN Reporter Jamie Gangel revealed that Congressperson Jaimie Buetler Herrara had told her that in the heat of the assault on the Capitol, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy pleaded with Trump “to publicly and forcefully call off the riot.” 

Trump countered that Antifa, not his supporters, was responsible, presumably to argue that he was helpless to control Antifa, but when McCarthy countered that was not true Trump turned snarky, “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,” to which McCarthy angrily responded, “Just who the fuck do you think you’re talking to?”

Herrara went on to say, “You have to look at what he did during the insurrection to confirm where his mind was at.  That line right there demonstrates to me that either he didn’t care, which is impeachable because you cannot allow an attack on your soil, or he wanted it to happen and was OK with it, which makes me so angry… we should never stand for that, for any reason under any party flag.  I’m trying really hard not to say the F-word.”

The significance of this revelation is that it confirms Trump’s knowledge at the time and his refusal to take action to stop the violence.

Other Republicans echoed her sentiments.

Representative Anthony Gonzalez, Ohio: “I think it speaks to the former President’s mindset. He was not sorry to see his unyieldingly loyal Vice President or the Congress under the attack by the mob he inspired, in fact, it seems he was happy about it or at the least enjoyed the scenes that were horrifying to most Americans across the country.”

Another GOP Member familiar with the call: “This proves that the President knew—very early on—what the mob was doing and he knew members were at risk and refused to act… It’s a violation of his oath to office to fail to come to the defense of Congress and the constitutional process immediately… This shows that Trump knew what the rioters were doing, that he supported it and that he facilitated it by failing to act.”

Just as Republicans were comfortable that the vote would be taken the very next day and their painful ordeal would mercifully be at an end so they could go home, this bit of late-breaking news added an unwanted layer to the arguments previously made by the impeachment managers and as they watched helplessly, Jamie Raskin motioned to include the testimony of witnesses.

What followed was the most outstanding moment in the impeachment proceedings when Trump’s lead lawyer, the indignant Michael van der Veen, took the floor to rail passionately against the motion in what would have otherwise been an Academy Award performance, were it not for the setting. Gesticulating wildly, with a spectacular variety of wrinkled grimaces, he displayed his virtuoso range as an actor and lied by saying that Kevin McCarthy did not have that conversation with Trump, (By the way it’s OK for lawyers to lie.  They are not, as witnesses are, subject to perjury) and then paper tiger that he is, threw a raging conniption fit, claiming he would call hundreds of witnesses in response taking their depositions at his office in Philadelphia to include Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Harris.  He stopped himself short of using her first name since he seems to be unable to pronounce it, as evidenced the day before. He was nevertheless laughed at and took immediate umbrage.

Unfortunately for the personal injuries attorney from Phillie, unfamiliar with Senatorial rules, he did not understand that each and every witness would have to be confirmed by a separate vote, which meant that his childish threat to exacerbate the process was going nowhere. 

Moving on, he further tried to make the argument that her testimony would be irrelevant since it regarded a conversation between her and McCarthy made after the January 6th riot and therefore could not have been part of the incitement.  He failed to acknowledge that it was really about what Trump knew and did not do at the time of the riot that confirmed his intentions that day.

While all this will surely fall on the deaf ears of Republican jurists, it is to their everlasting doom to be this short-sighted, if this simple survey taken by Michael Smerconish carries any weight.  Simply stated, “Was Trump glad or sad that the Capitol was invaded?”  An astounding 37,497 Americans responded in mere minutes, affirming by 99% that they believed Trump to be glad. Americans were watching and listening and comprehending.

Is Nikki Haley That Glimmer of Hope?

At the close of the second day of the prosecution of Donald J, Trump’s impeachment trial, several GOP senators met behind closed doors with the attorneys for Trump, among them Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham and the aggrieved, misquoted Mike Lee of Utah.   Previously that day, media reported fifteen empty Republican seats on the floor of the Senate. Taken together these two events might be regarded as clear signs that Republicans on the Senatorial “jury” will deliver a verdict without considering the  evidence and are working hand in hand with the defense to insure a favorable resolution to their collective will. 

 Fear of Trump reprisals has overwhelmed these “Chicken-Littles,” but the depth of their spinelessness is best understood when looking at the totals of those running for re-election in 2022.  Of the 50 Republican Senators, only 16 seats are at stake in 2022.  34 need have no fear of being primaried. These men fear not only their careers, but their very lives and those of their families for a vote of conscience.  There is ample evidence of the ire of the mob in this regard.

Further codifying that “the fix is in,” the defense team leaked that they plan to wrap it up in a few hours, perhaps as little as three or four, not the allotted sixteen they have been granted. While it can also be interpreted as futile to argue against the overwhelming and irrefutable evidence presented by the impeachment managers, the mendacity of this move is little more than lipstick on a pig for an indefensible position, signaling a corrupt bravado not unlike a mob boss who has bribed and threatened a jury. Considering the imbalance of firepower, a short rebuttal was best.

For all their whining about the need for unity, these short-sighted dullards fail to understand the depth of anger that will permanently lodge in the throats of reasonable Americans witnessing these proceedings and the negative impact it will have on the image of the United States throughout the world, especially with our incredulous democratic allies.  In what other system of justice are witnesses also jurors and permitted to conspire with the defense? In what other system is corruption so openly flagrant?  The very idea of America has become a laughing stock, a perpetual late-night, talk show joke.

But our humiliation does not stop there.  Perhaps the one sad example of unified disparate elements within our society can be readily identified in the diversity of flags carried by the mob of Trump supporters on January 6th, the “patriots,” he called upon to storm the Capitol building to “Stop the steal.”  Trump flags and MAGA flags severely outnumbered the Stars and Stripes, but Civil War Confederate flags waved proudly among and alongside Nazi swastikas, next to the familiar Revolutionary War snake decrying “don’t tread on me,” Jesus flags, “Thin Blue Line” flags, an overwhelming assortment of flags identifying radical fringe elements, and even the flags of Mexico and South Viet Nam, an amalgam of the insane and profane with the holy.  Is this the new “melting pot?”

And what of Trump.  What were his expectations?  What was his endgame? By inviting his supporters to “Stop the Steal” on January 6th, he must have had some idea of just how that might be accomplished.  Only a violent protest held any real possibility for that outcome.

 As Impeachment Manager, Representative Neguse summed it up:

  1. Was it foreseeable?
  2. Did Trump encourage the violence?
  3. Did he act willfully?

 Regarding assertion 1: After months of propagating the “Big Lie” and the failure of all other attempts to overturn the 2020 election, there was no other alternative left to Trump but to stop the certification as a remedy.

Regarding 2: There is a long well-documented history of Trump encouraging violence at his rallies, against dissenters and against the press. When flag waving supporters drove a Biden campaign bus off the road, Trump tweeted support. He has expressed his love for violent fringe groups and tweeted support to the armed mob that surrounded the home of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and threatened to kidnap her.  He has remained silent in the face of the many death threats made against lawmakers and politicians who do not agree with his position regarding the election he regards as fraudulent.

Regarding 3: Did he act willfully as he stood before the mob and directed them up Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol. When he was informed of the violence, he was indifferent and ignored the many requests made by those close to him to intervene to stop it. 

All we can do is wait and see.  But there is a small glimmer of hope this morning as Nikki Haley breaks with Trump, “He let us down.  We shouldn’t have followed him.”  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Trump Gameshow

As the nation waits for the outcome of the Senate trial of Donald J. Trump, popular wisdom says it’s been predetermined by the Republican Senators who have already committed to a pre-trial verdict of not guilty.  What purports to be a serious consideration of the facts and evidence of the charges laid against Trump will in all likelihood be little more than a game show to validate who is the real Donald Trump.

 

To Americans:

He is a failed President. TRUE

 

To Trump’s 30% base:

He’s a successful businessman, an extremely stable genius. Somebody who tells it like it is.  FALSE

 

To the Media:

He’s a well-documented liar telling over 20,000 lies since taking office. TRUE

 

To Republicans:

He’s just a ticket to ride. TRUE, but they’ll deny it.

 

To our allies:

He is a threat to the planet. TRUE

 

To Putin:

He is a puppet, a useful idiot. TRUE

 

To our enemies:

He is a vulnerable ego-centric child, easily managed. TRUE

 

To Democrats:

He is a self-admitted misogynist and philanderer, a bully, a documented racist, white supremacist, failed businessman, tax dodger, fraudster, loudmouth narcissist, deluded braggart, supporter of dangerous fringe groups like the Proud Boys, Qanon and the Klan, a faux Christian, a kidnapper of small children and babies, an accessory to murder, and ultimately a traitor guilty of sedition who went to extremes to stop the process of a certified election, in other words, an elected terrorist. TRUE

If we agree that the most likely outcome of the trial will be a “not guilty” verdict, then we must acknowledge that the verdict is being determined solely by the 30% misinformed and loyalist Trump base, those he controls and in turn controls the Republican Senators, for the weight of public opinion and that of the world is that Donald J. Trump is an aberration, a stain on democracy, a threat to the planet and future generations

It’s minority rule by a misinformed segment of the public.

C’mon GOP Senators do your job, pull up your big-boy pants and man up!

 

 

 

 

Political Screenplay S1, E3: Trump’s Impeachment Rehearsal

TRUMP’S IMPEACHMENT REHEARSAL

INT. MARA LAGO–EVENING

TRUMP Bill, thanks for coming over. I need your advice on something. I’d like to testify at my impeachment trial.

BILL BARR Are you crazy?

TRUMP Do we have to go there? I can’t answer that truthfully.

BILL BARR No, I mean you can’t take the stand in your own defense.

TRUMP Why not? They got squat. They can’t prove anything, especially what was in my head. That’s intent right? It’s my opportunity to get out again in front of my peeps. Ever since Twitter exiled me to oblivion, I’ve been having withdrawal symptoms.

BILL BARR E.D.?

TRUMP I’d rather not say.

BILL BARR So that’s why Melania is wearing a Chessire cat smile.

TRUMP Can we just get back to the impeachment?

BILL BARR OK, so let’s run a rehearsal. I’ll pretend to be Jamie Raskin and ask you a few questions and you respond honestly.

TRUMP If I can.

BILL BARR Mr. Trump did you tell Americans that the 2020 election was a fraud and that it was stolen from you?

TRUMP Yes.

BILL BARR And did you invite fringe groups of the radical right to come to D.C. to protest the certification of the electoral vote with the intent to stop it.

TRUMP Yes.

BILL BARR And did you in a speech just before the events of January 6th at the Capitol, send them there, even offering to accompany them?

TRUMP Yes.

BILL BARR But you didn’t accompany them did you?

TRUMP No.

BILL BARR Instead you went back to the Whitehouse and watched the violent protest in real time.

TRUMP Yes.

BILL BARR And when you saw the violence erupting, the capitol police being beaten, the vandalism and theft, the woman protester being shot and understood that Congressional leaders were being escorted to a safe undisclosed bunker while those left behind were cowering under their desks or in closets, wearing gas masks, fearing for their lives, did you take action to stop the violence?

TRUMP No.

BILL BARR No? What about the military, the Army or the National Guard?

TRUMP No. Well, kinda, sorta after it was over.

BILL BARR And you maintain your innocence.

TRUMP I didn’t do anything.

Remedial Algebra For Republicans, part 2

Anyone versed in Microsoft Excel must have a basic understanding of Algebraic formulas to make it function at full capacity.  At one time or another many of us have seen the warning “Circular Logic” appear on our screen.  One of the simplest mistakes to make is to have the field that contains the result inadvertently included in the formula, returning a warning that the equation is invalid due to circular logic.

In a simple example of circular logic, the premise produces the result and the result produces the premise.  It becomes an infinite loop, a veritable, intellectual perpetual-motion conundrum.

For example, take the plight of all the would-be Bernie Sanders voters who were told, “he can’t win, ”…  and reacted, therefore, “I’m not voting for him,” … which meant in turn that “he can’t win.”  That’s circular logic.

Here’s an example of a current iteration of circular logic:After being lied to, Republican voters believe the 2020 election was stolen.GOP politicians hear the voters and must agree with them in the lie.Therefore, Republican voters believe the election was stolenAnd so on…

If Republican Party leaders are ever to recover their party from the grip of Donald Trump and return it to the noble principles it engendered in that time before tactics that began with Newt Gingrich and mutated through the Tea party to become Trumpism, then they must convict Trump on the impeachment charges.  You don’t have to agree with conservative political philosophy to understand it has a proper place in American politics.  But in the current climate, this mutated form of engagement between the two parties either results in steam-rolling or obstructionism as the only choices for a means to govern, neither of which is useful.

In private, Republican Senators and Representatives deplore Donald Trump and wish they were done with him.  Publicly, virtually every Democrat agrees with them. It would seem to any rational person that the only sure path to unity is to the conviction of Donald Trump.

 

 

 

Remedial Algebra For Republicans

It was in 9th grade that I was first introduced to algebra.  I loved the purity of the logic it embraced.  If A equals C and B equals C, then A equals B.  How clean.  How easily understood.

So it is that in passing years, I have come to understand that the intrinsic lessons provided by an education are not the specific data imparted, but the shaping of reason, learning how to think.  What use is algebra if the lessons it offers cannot be understood in other endeavors?

Let’s take for example the recent bru-ha over Marjorie Taylor Greene and apply some algebra.  If MTG embraces Qanon, the range of looney conspiracy theories and the lies regarding the 2020 election, AND Donald Trump embraces those very same things, then MTG=DJT.  OK, sorry, I’ll make it simpler in more formulaic terms.  If MTG=Q and DJT=Q, then MTG=DJT.

So… if Republican leadership feels they must consider ridding the party of the sideshow circus created by Marjorie Taylor Greene by stripping her of committee positions and laying contingency plans to primary her in the next election, then they have already realized that the ideas she embraces (Qanon conspiracy theories; Jewish space-lasers caused wildfires in California; The Las Vegas Gun Massacre, Sandyhook and Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High shootings were staged events; the 2020 election was rigged and stolen etc.) coupled with her propensity to support violent protest, and has in the past even advocated assassinating Democratic Party leaders as a means to restoring democracy, does not represent any part of mainstream Republican policy. Whew!

Now whether they may choose to rid the party of the duly elected Greene or not, they clearly understand that she is a festering gangrene on the Republican body.  So again, I must ask, if A=C and B=C then does not A=B.  Cannot Republican leaders see that Donald Trump must also be cut loose.  If MTG must go in due time, so must DJT.

But as was expected, Kevin McCarthy met with the unrepentant Greene and wholly swallowed her predictable pivot from her very real “before Congress” persona to her new slip-on persona as the “busted, trapped and I’ll be a good little soldier for the cause, pinky-promise” Greene.

But as if that was not enough, the following day Greene appeared in her own defense at a congressional hearing on national TV, where she proffered the “Jesus” defense, a pathetic plea that every rehabilitated, petty drug trafficker uses to reduce jail time.  Veritably overnight, in a carefully scripted 10 minute speech, as much a call to arms as a repentance,  the embattled Greene discovered religion, embraced Jesus and pleaded that she, a sinner, should be forgiven.  She’s read the playbook at least five times over. All that was missing was the tell-tale sign of the mendacious, “have a blessed day.”

Trump, on the other hand has not and will not pivot.  Expect the Party to react in the same way as they did with Greene.  They do not have the ethical spine to do what is needed to ultimately save and grow the party.  They’ll be looking for an out, but the raging narcissist that Trump is, will be unable to comply, maintaining his victimhood.  The Party needs the votes he controls, or so they think.  But now it’s too late for them, because Greene is on her way to using her position as “victim number two” to become the next rising star in the Republican Party. Praise Jesus.  It’s a miracle.  The ventriloquist’s dummy has breathed life.

 

 

 

Translate »
Exit mobile version