Over the weekend Trump TV reported that "Fox News has learned that the Pentagon, State Department and National Security Council were 'unanimous' in supporting the aid to Ukraine, and that Trump acted alone in withholding the aid over the summer." That was the aid Trump stopped and then used to try to force Ukraine to do his political dirty work against Biden, to-- as Ted Lieu was willing to say before anyone else-- manufacture dirt on Joe Biden. This morning, in an e-mail he sent me, Ted added, "That Trump's recent Tweets threatening civil war are despicable, dangerous and a complete betrayal of his oath of office goes without saying. It is sadly just the latest example of this President shattering our democratic norms. Now is the time for patriotic Americans of every political persuasion to put country above party, and stand up and speak out against this disgraceful rhetoric."
Personally, I've hated Biden since the '70s and I get some degree of perverse satisfaction seeing him smeared by the raging asshole in the Oval Office-- but, very clearly, what Trump is doing is treasonous, pure and simple. And late last night and this morning, he turned his treason up to 11. Note well-- the first call for civil war is at the bottom of this desperate, crazy tweet storm:
Jamie Raskin (D-MD), is one of Congress' most brilliant members. We should all be very, very happy he's also a member of the Judiciary Committee. This morning, in an e-mail after Trump's treasonous tweet, he noted that "With charity towards none and malice for all, Trump now recirculates the threat of ‘a Civil War like fracture’ if he is impeached. So now we can see the contributions of our first GOP president and our undoubtedly last GOP president. Lincoln created the Republican Party and gave his life in order to save the Union. Trump ruined the Republican Party and now threatens to destroy the Union in order to save his job."
Like Raskin, Mike Siegel is another brilliant attorney-- except he isn't on the Judiciary Committee yet, or even in Congress; he's running for a central Texas seat held by drunken Trump-Enabler, Michael McCaul. Today he told me that he was "born in 1977, three years after Nixon resigned. I’ve never experienced this level of political instability, inside the United States. Trump’s pandering to white supremacists, to ICE and border patrol, is essentially a call to arms, to gather brownshirts in favor of some sort of fascist dictatorship. He doesn’t respect courts or Congress, journalists, social norms, or the rule of law. We can’t fool ourselves that impeachment is inevitable. We have a major struggle ahead, for the soul of our country and the preservation of democracy-- perhaps the most important struggle of our lives."
Ro Khanna is optimist. From a note he sent me, I'm gathering he doesn't feel Joe Biden is likely to be elected president. "After Trump," he wrote, "I believe we will have a leader who will usher in a new progressive era and a moment of national reconciliation. This nation had Lincoln after Buchanan and Roosevelt after Hoover. I am confident we will have a leader who summons the best of America post Trump."
One of the first reactions from the right, came from Illinois conservative Republican Adam Kinzinger, who served honorably in the Air Force and often seems repulsed by Trump's denigration of our country and the principles and values it was built on. He slammed Trump's outrageous impeachment bullshit.
You know what criticism does to Trump though-- something he learned from his fascist little shit idol, Roy Cohn-- he digs in. In this case, he started carrying on about how Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff should be arrested for exactly what Trump is defending himself from-- treason. Last year Adam won reelection with 78.4% of the vote. There's not much room for growth but Trump's vile attacks will likely mean Schiff will be elected with over 80% of the vote. And, he'll raise all the money he needs for an expected Senate run. He has no serious opposition for reelection and he's already raised $3,125,472 this cycle and has $6,143,791 in his campaign account. All my neighbors want to do fundraisers for him-- thanks in part to Trump's idiotic attacks on him.
Yep, that was a cornered rat screeching to his moron followers that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff could face "arrest for treason."
Rory Cooper is a right-wing Republican, a campaign strategist who used to work at Eric Cantor's communications director. This morning he wrote at the Daily Beast that his party will get what they deserve if they don't distance themselves from Trump now. "As a Republican who has watched partisan politics play out in Washington for over two decades," he wrote, "I’m sympathetic to the argument that Democrats wanted to impeach President Trump since the day he was inaugurated. However, it was just as certain to me that he would eventually do something to justify impeachment. And early appearances suggest he has. At best, President Trump used his office to seek personal and political gain and engage in 2016 conspiracy peddling with a strategic ally engaged in a war with Russia. At worse, Trump held back military aid to Ukraine in order to extract this personal and political gain. It’s a difference without a distinction when it comes to his fitness to serve. The military assistance, authorized by the Congress, was unilaterally held back by Trump, with no coordination with the National Security Council or the Office of Management and Budget, according to the IG’s report. Based on these revelations and what President Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani have publicly admitted, an impeachment investigation is warranted."
Jeff Flake was a member of the House when Cooper was working with Cantor to elect more right-wingers to Congress. Flake was one of those right-wingers and the reason he was the one who got the nomination for a U.S. Senate seat was because he was the most right wing of all the members of the Arizona congressional delegation. His New York Times op-ed today just drips with loathing for Trump, as he warns Republicans there's still time for them to save their souls. He's wrong there. It's too late for them. "In my case," he wrote, "I had not supported the president’s election. One year into his presidency, I knew that I could not support his reelection. While I had hoped that I could still run for reelection to the Senate in 2018 as someone who would help to provide a check on the president’s worst impulses, it soon became apparent that this was not what Republican primary voters in my state were looking for. Whatever reservations they might have had when they voted for Donald Trump, one year into his presidency they wanted a senator who was all in… Our country will have more presidents. But principles, well, we get just one crack at those. For those who want to put America first, it is critically important at this moment in the life of our country that we all, here and now, do just that. Trust me when I say that you can go elsewhere for a job. But you cannot go elsewhere for a soul."
NY Times columnist Peter Wehner was inspired by all this to ask a simple question: What's The Matter With Republicans? Why, he wondered do they still defend an obvious criminal and low-life? "Month after month, with one outrageous, norm-shattering comment or action giving way to another, Republicans who in the past could never have envisioned being Trump acolytes, have been ground down. Accommodation has kicked in, which is a psychological relief to many of them. For those who view Mr. Trump as a model politician who voices their grievances and fights with a viciousness they have long hoped for from Republicans, the accommodation is not just a relief but a source of delight. As the psychologist I spoke to, put it to me, many Republicans 'are nearly unrecognizable versions of themselves pre-Trump. At this stage it’s less about defending Trump; they are defending their own defense of Trump. At this point,' this person went on, 'condemnation of Trump is condemnation of themselves. They’ve let too much go by to try and assert moral high ground now. Calling out another is one thing; calling out yourself is quite another.'" Now conjure up sick little South Carolina closet queen Lindsey Graham, a personal cesspool of psychosis.
I spoke to three deep thinkers among 2020 congressional candidates, Jennifer Christie, an indiana scientist and a mother of 4 young children and North Carolina pastor Jason Butler, both of whom we've endorsed and spoken about extensively already; and Chicago community activist Robert Emmons, who we are still vetting but who has impressed us tremendously. Butler first:
From the beginning it was clear that President Trump was a threat to democracy because he may be the first president in the history of our nation that has put himself above the office. It is precisely this self-exhaltatuion that makes him an existential threat to our nation. Because of his ego, he puts himself above our nation so of course it is now obvious that he will stoke the flames of civil war that would result in the suffering of multiplied millions and would almost invariably plunge the world into a global economic depression. But he doesn’t care. All he cares about is himself. This has been clear all along. He’s lived in a penthouse with golden toilets. He doesn’t know what real life is like for us and he has no clue that his actions and words have consequences for so many. To me, the fact that any he, as President, would ever even insulate, and thus condone, the possibility of civil war to protect his position is insurrectionist treason and the greatest threat to any nation. He has already divided us against one another and against our allies in the world - what is next? But it also must be noted that it was an evangelical pastor who he retweeted here, Robert Jeffress, who has been one of his strongest supporters. To my fellow church goers I want to say-- It is time that we collectively walked out of churches that stoke the flames of war of any sort-- but especially civil war. Jesus said, "Blessed are the Peacemakers" not blessed are the war mongers. This marriage of Trump and the evangelical church is leading us nothing but suffering.
Jennifer Christie noted that "Suggesting a civil war over the Constitutional impeachment process smacks of authoritarianism, incites violence, and is irresponsible. What Donald Trump forgets (or doesn’t know) is that Congress is an equal branch of government representing the People. But Trump does not respect the Constitution as we have seen from his attempts to obstruct justice, profit from the presidency, and attacks on free speech and free press. The best thing we could do is to rid ourselves of this era of divisiveness and Trumpian politics. I’m glad to see members of Congress from all parties standing up to his latest tweet."
Robert Emmons is 26 year old and already demonstrating the kind of wisdom that makes me imagine he could be one of the best members of Congress going forward. He told me that Trump "has hurt the ADOS community, the Latinx community, the Muslim community and every single patriotic American, with his hateful rhetoric and treason. He’s sided with White Nationalism and foreign countries, and spat in the face of movements of equality that have taken decades to build. This president and his ideology needs to be impeached swiftly with the full force of the US Federal government. If we continue down a path of racism, bigotry, fascism, profit-over-people, then our country will remain divided. It will be divided between the majority of us that want healthcare, education, a clean world, and justice for all, and those that support division that benefits people like Trump. I know that the people of the first district want unity right now. Impeaching the president will be one step in the right direction to prevent wars in all forms. We will not fall victim to the desperation of a system that is on its last leg; clinging onto an evil orientation that feeds on people as commodities. Instead we will rise to the occasion and build a world that is just and equitable. There will be no Civil War; only a fight to tilt the moral scale to the side of peace. The day of fear mongering is coming to a close because in this moment, and through the inquiry, we choose courage."