As the author of more than 100 anti-Trump screeds since January 2017, you’d think I’d be ecstatic now that impeachment proceedings are finally taking place on Capitol Hill. Actually, I’m discouraged.
It’s now more clear than ever that Trump’s Republican Party and the ordinary people who support him have drunk the Kool-Aid. A deadly poison is coursing through the veins of at least half of our nation — the Republican half — and without a miraculous antidote it may already be too late to save our democracy.
I’m afraid that many of the good guys — including some of my esteemed colleagues here at The Shinbone Star — have got it all wrong. We exhort you almost daily to “protect our democracy” or “save our country,” but in fact we’re not fighting to save anything, not anymore. No one can save what’s already lost.
We need no longer fear that the United States of America “could become an autocracy” because autocracy has already set up shop. While we slept, our friends, neighbors and relatives flung open the door back in November 2016 and invited autocracy inside.
I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but there could be nothing left to save.
Do you doubt it? Just look around! Republicans everywhere are hearing the same testimony you are hearing and they either dismiss it outright or just don’t care. With compelling evidence in plain sight, Trumplicans cry “Fake News” and tear down anyone who would dare commit fact-based journalism.
Consider what the Deplorables are willing to ignore . . . just the recent stuff:
- The president attempted to extort a foreign country by withholding military aid until it agreed to an investigation of Trump’s political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. That’s called bribery and soliciting foreign interference in our elections, and it’s hardly a first for Trump and his pals.
- The president has instructed members of his administration to ignore lawfully issued subpoenas and refuse to testify before Congress. That’s called obstruction of justice or obstruction of Congress, take your pick.
- The president has engaged in a pattern of attacking witnesses while praising criminals like Roger Stone, who refused to testify against him. Just last Friday, Trump tweeted disparaging comments about former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch in real time while she was testifying during House impeachment proceedings. That’s called witness tampering and it’s a crime . . . or used to be, before Trump.
Despite a list of offenses that are serious and in plain sight, sycophants like odious spunk ferret Devin Nunes, twisted Gym Jordan, hell hound Elise Stefanik, and over on the Senate side, vile shit-hook Lindsey Graham, continue to defend the president while impugning the service and testimony of non-political career diplomats like Bill Taylor, George Kent and Yovanovitch. As stated in an excellent Politico Magazine article about what is truly unprecedented about these impeachment hearings, congressmen from one party are not supposed to behave like defense attorneys for the president, yet that’s exactly what we’re seeing from Republicans.
Meanwhile, ordinary Trumplican citizens echo the president’s refrain, calling anything that goes against him “Fake News” or the machinations of a mythical “Deep State.” Yes, the Deplorables drank Trump’s Kool-Aid then went back for seconds. Trump’s brag that he could “shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose a vote” wasn’t a brag at all. When asked that very question recently on national television, a Trump supporter replied in effect, “Well what did that person do to deserve shooting?”
As the impeachment process unfolds, I am dismayed that the Cult of Trump still doesn’t care that their president defies the rule of law while setting himself up as king over a nation that once prided itself on democratic ideals. I am angry that so many Trumplicans portray themselves as the real flag-waving Americans, while in reality they ignore the Constitution while projecting their white-skinned hate as gun-toting, Bible-thumping pudknockers.
Watching Republicans continue to defend this president tells me all I need to know about the status of our so-called “fight to preserve democracy.” The enemy isn’t just at the gate, my friends, the enemy is already inside. Too many of the folks we once barely tolerated as quaint rustics drank Trump’s Kool-Aid by the gallon and it turned them into monsters. They view our Constitution as some archaic document best suited for use as a doormat, and after their rampage, autocracy is the only form of government still standing.
What we are witnessing during these impeachment proceedings is the death throes of a form of government that was once a shining example for the world. But now, no matter how damning the evidence, the question of removing this president from office will be dead on arrival in Moscow Mitch’s United States Senate. No matter how ironclad the articles of impeachment produced in the House of Representatives, the constitutionally mandated remedy to preserve the balance of power will be shredded in the Senate while red-hatted Trumplicans howl “Witch Hunt!” at the moon.
Once that happens, just one question will remain: Are there enough of us left who will finally stand up, not to protect our lost democracy, but to somehow win it back?