Thursday, May 11, 2017

Today's Reading - The Subverter And His Helpers

Lawrence Douglas writes in The Guardian:
Even if innocent of collusion, Trump has done something almost as bad – he has undermined investigative independence, a mainstay of rule-based governance. The Russians need no longer expend their energies trying to subvert the integrity of our political system. Now they have our president to do that job 
Trump has made no secret of his admiration of the Erdoğans and Dutertes of the world, strong-arm leaders who make a mockery of constitutional governance. 
Even as Russia-US relations have taken a nosedive in recent weeks, Trump has never so much as breathed a word of criticism of Vladimir Putin, the very man who must be viewing the chaos he has unleashed upon the American political landscape with cold, expressionless delight. (our emphasis)
It's not just Trump. He has hundreds of enablers (and downright fools) in the form of reptilian Republican Senators and Congress critters and the craven members of his regime.

Bruce Shapiro writes in The Nation that the firing of FBI Director James Comey has played out differently than the days when some Republicans refused to go along with Richard Nixon's "Saturday Night Massacre":
Thus far, the Comey story is the exact opposite: It is all about collusion—the endorsement of Trump’s action by Attorney General Jeff Sessions; the thin, just-following-orders support memo by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein; and the muted response of Senate Republicans, at least in the first hours after Comey’s firing. Collusion in formerly unimaginable words and deeds has defined the Republican leadership’s relationship with Trump from the moment he seized the party’s nomination, and if the firing of Comey is any indication, the limits of the palatable have just moved outward another yard.  (our emphasis)
Watching the testimony of former acting Attorney General Sally Yates earlier this week before the Comey ouster could only add to the doubt that the spineless party- before- country Republicans would rise to the occasion and do their jobs under the Constitution.

Richard Wolffe points out some of those villains willing to provide cover for Trump:
Senator Lindsay Graham interrupted Yates to ask – as his first question, mind you – about the media leaks of Flynn’s ties to Russia. Senators Chuck Grassley and John Cornyn mysteriously chose the same subject for their first questions. 
Those leaks led directly to a Washington Post story that forced the firing of a national security adviser who was compromised by Russia. And yet for the most senior Republicans in Washington, the real scandal lies with the press, not the spies. 
Then there’s Ted Cruz, the self-styled constitutional expert who tried to trip up Yates on the legality of the Muslim travel ban. Along with Cornyn, both Texas senators tried to argue that it was outrageous for a Justice Department official to question the legality of an order by the president.  (our emphasis)
These Republican hacks, led by Sen. Mitch "Missy" McConnell and Sneaker of the House Paul "Lyin'" Ryan, are determined to hang on to power as long as possible in order to pass their agenda of afflicting the afflicted and comforting the comfortable. The best we can do for now is to keep the pressure on and not let up. This is one of those fulcrums in history where you take a stand for principle rather than self- interest. It's an easy stand for progressives who've mostly been clear- eyed about the danger of this regime; not so much for the liars and hypocrites that are over represented on the other side of the aisle.

BONUS:  Infidel 753 has a good round- up of a range of reactions to Comey's firing.

BONUS II:  Charles Pierce sums up --
Does any of this really matter anymore? Not the cover-up, because there is a cover-up, and not because of what is being covered up, because something damned serious is being covered up. But all the persiflage that's flying around from the president*, and the staffers he sends out there to fly the Alps blindfolded, and all his congressional bobos who are fine with handing the government of the United States over to an only-partially-hinged ignoramus as long as their donors get their tax cuts and more of the planet to despoil. 
These people have bargained themselves for cheap. There are rats in all their words. They are the mere husks of public servants, and they're complicit in the act of hollowing out the republic. If they remain willing to do it, I honestly don't know where we're all going. But there is, at the moment, a sense of a great turning in events. Nobody is in control of the story right now, and ordinarily, that would be a cause for concern. But chaos turns upon itself eventually, and that may be the best shot we have.

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