The political news in the first week of the New Year is enough to depress a clown. A fortnight away from inaugurating a new president, outgoing presidential pretender Donald J. Trump threw a tool box full of monkey wrenches into the business of democracy.
Instead of Vice President Mike Pence simply rubber-stamping the Electoral College results today, Trump has inspired a pointless display of arrogance by a bunch of middle-aged senatorial frat jocks who never grew up. Their apparent intent is to bring shame to one of American democracy’s cherished traditions, just to show how mad they are that Trump got creamed in his re-election bid.
No, the monkey with the tool box full of wrenches isn’t Mitch McConnell or Mike Pence. So far, Pence has kept mostly to himself while he struggles over whether to sin or save his soul by doing his lawful duty.
We will soon know tomorrow who won.
Perhaps Pence will remember he is there because the Republican Party wanted a staunch Christian man to bring balance to a presidential ticket topped by a thrice-married, aging playboy faux billionaire who found a busty pole dancer and Jesus about the same time.
The operative word is man. It will be interesting to see if Pence mans up when the most important decision in his term as vice-president requires his personal honor.
Trump’s proxy for interfering with the symbolic act of counting the certified votes of the Electoral College delegates is scruffy Ted Cruz, a former Canadian rich boy who teamed up with ambitious fellow Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) to determine which one is dumb and which is dumber. The arbitrary duo apparently dove head first into Trump’s seditious plot just for the primo suck up time.
Following behind them are at least eight more senators willing to pee on the same hydrant. They behave like a pack of frustrated coon dogs that can’t find a raccoon. They are apparently infatuated with stupid.
The misguided senators and their 100 or so House colleagues are all engaged in servicing the well-meaning victims of Trump’s incredible hubris. They will serve nicely as symbols for the misguided who still thinks that supporting the mad man will gain entry into a special white bread kind of Nirvana.
Trump has convinced himself he is all that stands between liberty and the despised people of color from “shit hole countries” who want to take the white man’s customary privileges away. By doing so, Trump has moved on from hard edged politics to flirting with political mayhem, even revolution. Armed revolution is just one more step away.
A lot of people believe that kind of thinking is being too extreme. I don’t. I have been to a few civil wars. The worst civil war was in former in Yugoslavia in 1991 and ‘92 when the three-sided conflict reduced a beautiful country into a broken land of moldering bodies, smoking holes and burned out towns and villages.
Bosnia & Herzegovina, once an idyllic Muslim state in Yugoslavia, was reduced to a shattered nation of starving refugees. It was worse than Vietnam, worse than Cambodia, worse then all the foulness in Central America.
Nothing would top it until the World Trade Center came down on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, triggering America’s Global War On Terror that continues to this day
In Yugoslavia, and especially Bosnia, it was routine to discover towns and villages burned to the ground, their woman hustled away as slaves by Serbs and Croats, and the men murdered where they stood.
Imagine feral pigs delivered by Serbians into destroyed Bosnian Muslim enclaves eating roasted people and you have a snapshot of civil war. There are idiots here in the United States — already stirred up by Trump — who think they want that kind of thing. Only cretins with guns want that.
Most people confronted by inhumanity look away and say things like “they can’t imagine.” Somebody did. Yugoslavia brought war to Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood. It is more than mere supposition after being there to believe it can’t happen in America.
The revolution in Yugoslavia started with tough talk and indiscriminate displays of police and military power. On June 27, 1991, in the city of Osijek, Croatia, a Serbian-manned tank went on a rampage through the broad boulevards of the beautiful city. The press called in situation the “Little Red Car Incident” because the Yugoslavian National Army (JNA) tank crushed a red Yugo sedan flat.
Before anybody could get a grip, the Yugoslavians shouting turned into shooting and shooting into ambushes and massacres. When I reached Osijek in early February 1992, the war was rocking. There were MiGs in the air. Somebody on one side or the other shot somebody else and before anyone knew it Croats and Serbs were sawing off each other’s heads before putting them on display.
The observation is not hyperbole, it was a matter of fact almost anywhere one traveled along the Kriinja (frontier), the badlands where the three-sided conflict between Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia flourished.
A somewhat significant massacre I observed occurred in the town of Nustar in June 1992, near a Bosnia Croat stronghold of Orasjia in northeastern Bosnia & Hercegovina. It was surreal to see. The region looks like Missouri. Nice roads, trains, airports, luxury buses, and none of it worked. There were bullet-riddled cars in driveways next to piles of abandoned toys revealing which houses once held children. Too many times there was the proverbial one shoe all alone in the road.
Our tour guide was a Bosnian Army lieutenant whose wife and children had been killed by Serbians. Before the war he had been a miller. The other soldiers said he was a fierce, relentless killer of everything Serbian. I knew a Serb captain and a Croat colonel with the same reputation.
The Croat told me “don’t be eager to meet St. Peter.”
Not too far away, Croats, Bosnians and Serbs had lived in relative harmony since the end of World War II. They intermarried, went to the same schools and played soccer against one another — until 1991– when internecine warfare with their neighbors who had traded in their heated words for Kalashnikov rifles.
A broken-hearted lady in some town were passing through told us over and over that never in her wildest imagination would she have considered that her husband would kill his own daughter for being half Croat, or that the beautiful, peaceful city of Osijek where once 160,000 people lived in peace would become a burned out shell.
Seeing what happened there is seeing what can happen here. Trump, either by perverse instinct or as an intentional foul deed, has stolen the pertinent pages from the histrionics of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, even Putin and lesser dirt-bags.
Trump is pushing a tired agenda that can be found in in the playbook of every pissant strong man who ever rose and fell from the backs of fellow travelers. He needs to be crushed into irrelevance by every legal means that the army of lawyers who orbit around Washington, D.C. can conceive. It must be made crystal clear that the Donald Trumps of America will never again be a threat to our unique democracy.