Thursday, July 19, 2018

Today's 5PM T-Word Post


The Oval Office by Nancy Ohanian

On July 10, right-wing lunatic-- many would say psychotic-- John Stormer died at 90. He was the author of the 1964 neo-fascist, self-published propaganda tome, None Dare Call It Treason, a conspiracy-theory book that certainly inspired the coming of Fox News and Alex Jones. It helped Barry Goldwater win the 1964 GOP nomination, much to the delight of normal Americans and the Democratic Party, since Goldwater won only 6 states (and 52 electoral votes)-- South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and his native Arizona. He took just 38.5% of the national popular vote. The GOP also lost 36 House seats and three Republicans lost their Senate seats in the rout-- James Beall (MD), Edwin Mechem (NM) and Kenneth Keating (NY)-- to Robert Kennedy.

Today we're faced with a situation that some would and do call treason... although the establishment is working overtime to tamp that down. By yesterday the treason talk had started to quiet down, at least in the status quo mainstream media. The Financial Times, for example was not coming close to condoning it but was already normalizing Trump's treasonous behavior in Helsinki. The editorial admitted he had "undermined his country and his office in a series of important ways. His performance in Helsinki made it absolutely clear that the U.S. president places his own political survival and personal vanity above any belief in the rule-of-law. Just a few days earlier, Rod Rosenstein, America’s deputy attorney-general, had indicted 12 Russian agents accused of interfering in the 2016 election and had correctly pointed out that the indictments should not be a partisan issue. But this crucial point is lost on Mr Trump. Everything-- including truth, the rule-of-law and the dignity of the US-- is subordinated to his own partisan interests."
The president’s rambling and self-centred remarks also underlined the questions about his intellectual fitness for office. The contrast with the controlled, polished (and deeply cynical) performance of Mr Putin was painful to behold.

...Senior Republicans need now to step out of the shadow of Mr Trump-- and remember their party's honourable role in crafting the bipartisan foreign policy that saw the US through the cold war. The party of Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan should recoil at President Trump's behaviour in Helsinki. It needs to rediscover its soul, before it is too late.

No word of treason or even treasonous. NBC was still on a tear... but treason was still a bridge too far, regardless of how obvious it is. If the White House thought it had persuaded him to clean up the mess at a meeting with congressional Republicans Tuesday, they were wrong. As NBC put it: "he picked up a single empty can-- but left all the other spilled garbage on the kitchen floor... Trump said he misspoke in Helsinki for saying he didn’t see why Russia would have interfered in the 2016 election. 'I thought that I made myself very clear, but having just reviewed the transcript...I realized that there is a need for some clarification,' Trump said, per NBC News. 'The sentence should have been..."I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia.''' (Ah, the double-negative defense!)"
Trump also said he had full faith in the U.S. intelligence community’s findings. “I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place.” But he added this, which appeared to undercut that full faith: “Could be other people also. There’s a lot of people out there.”

To be clear about the entirety of Trump’s remarks with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, however, here are the president’s OTHER remarks from Monday that he didn’t try to clean up:
“I hold both countries responsible [for the decline in U.S.-Russian relations]. I think that the United States has been foolish. I think we’ve all been foolish.”
“I think that the [Mueller] probe is a disaster for our country. I think it’s kept us apart. It’s kept us separated. There was no collusion at all. Everybody knows it.”
“You have groups that are wondering why the FBI never took the [DNC's] server. Why haven’t they taken the server? Why was the FBI told to leave the office of the Democratic National Committee? I’ve been wondering that.”
“What happened to Hillary Clinton’s emails? Thirty-three thousand emails gone-- just gone. I think, in Russia, they wouldn’t be gone so easily. I think it’s a disgrace that we can’t get Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 emails.”
“So I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”
“And what [Putin] did is an incredible offer; he offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators with respect to the 12 [indicted Russians]. I think that’s an incredible offer.” (By the way, Putin’s condition for that offer? That Americans and U.S. residents who Russia believes have committed illegal actions should be questioned, too.)
Who's crazier and more dangerous than John Stormer? (Just asking for a friend. And did somebody mention "intellectual fitness for the office?")

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At 6:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

power first and foremost. how they get that power is of no concern.

in '64, the Nazis had, literally, nothing to run on. they chose goldwater's campaign on fear of communism and barely veiled advocacy of nuclear war. The left over affection for JFK and the obvious degree of insanity of goldwater gave LBJ a nice win.

To prove that the democrats of the time were just as stupid, they ratfucked their voters and nom'd Humphrey to run on fear of communism and to be the better warmaker (which Kerry reprised 36 years later) in '68. Thanks mostly to the racist south flipping to republican after voting and civil rights passed, it didn't work either.

At no time in my memory have the Rs, either party or voters, given one single rat's ass about how they win elections and what the consequences of whatever they do might be.
Nixon and every R since have run on racist dog whistles as well as whatever other hate issue they feel will work (gays, women, islam, immigrants...). Their rhetoric has inspired murders, bombings, beatings, arsons et al. No problem as long as they gain power from it. Asswipes like sessions, gomert, king, the distaff king, Bachmann... hundreds... far too many to name, all got elected because they appealed to the lowest possible demons in their voters.

The nadir of that, SO FAR, is trump. But I can see it going much much lower because there is no contravening force for good.

At 7:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still have a copy of None Dare Call It Treason somewhere. If there existed a real Democrat with balls (kept next to the unicorns I understand), they could steal this meme and easily apply it to Republicans. I'll be long dead before that can ever happen.


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