You. Yes, you over there with the anti-Trump t-shirt: Put down the champagne and turn off the celebration music. I know you're excited that Donald Trump Jr. was stupid enough to save an email explicitly detailing criminal activity. I know this proves the Trump campaign did, in fact, collude with the Russians to steal the election and that changes everything. I know you're over the moon that Special Counsel Robert Mueller just had a smoking gun, complete with fingerprints and a handwritten confession, dropped in his lap. I know you think this means Trump will be out of the White House lickety split and maybe, just maybe, we can put the rightful president in the Oval Office (and you don't mean Mike "Mommy" Pence).
Ain't none of that going to happen.
If you weren't paying attention, you probably didn't notice that Republicans, Fox News, AM Hate Radio, and Breitbart have been quietly reprogramming their followers to accept Trump working with the Russians as legal and legitimate. Kieth Olbermann started talking about it in late June on his podcast and he called it "The Doomsday Defense"; the last ditch play for when Trump was inevitably caught doing what he's been denying for almost a year now.
And it worked, of course. Republican voters are nothing if not human Etch-a-Sketches. That's how they went from 8 years of hurling the most abusive behavior towards a president in modern times to being deeply shocked and appalled at how Donald Trump is being treated. They've been told that Obama was treated with respect and they now absolutely believe it to be true. Can anyone really be surprised that a crime they would have considered an impeachable offense worthy of riots in the streets one year ago is now not only legal but commendable? Hell, they framed Don Jr. posting the incriminating email on Twitter as a "victory" against the evil liberal media:
Among Trump’s online base, however, the emails meant basically one thing: that the mainstream media got owned again.“
BOOM! Donald Trump Jr. Beats #FakeNews and Releases Entire Email Chain on Meeting Russian Lawyer,” read a headline on Gateway Pundit shortly after Trump Jr.’s tweets. The pro-Trump site was picking up on an insta-reaction from Charlie Kirk, who founded Turning Point USA and campaigned with Trump.
Take a moment and ponder the distorted worldview required here. The right is celebrating what amounts to a confession of criminality that confirms reporting from the press. Why? Because in their minds, this somehow delegitimizes the story. How? That's impossible to explain but this is how far out of touch with reality conservatives are. They've become so consumed with hatred of the left that they will accept any and all behavior from their "team." It's not a crime if a Republican does it because something something "libtards."
Republicans, consumed with their lust for power, are just as bad if not worse. Republican voters are blank slates awaiting orders on how to think but Republicans know Trump is a treasonous and illegitimate president and they simply do not care. Rachel Maddow's A-block last night discussed how Republicans are already gearing up to muddy the waters and bury the crimes of the Trump family under a mountain of bullshit. The idea is to throw Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Russia, the Christopher Steele "Pee-Pee" Dossier, collusion and maybe a few other names like Susan Rice and Loretta Lynch into a blender and whip up a nonsense conspiracy to compete with the now-proven Trump-Russia conspiracy. And when the media refuses to pick up the transparently phony story, that will be used as "proof" the press is out to get Trump so everyone ignore the Russia story, thank you very much.
We are in the center of a perfect storm of corruption and hyperpartisan politics. Republican voters literally do not care what crimes Trump and the Republicans commit as long as they're on "their side." Republicans, knowing they will never be punished by their base for violating every tradition, ethical standard and constitutional mandate imaginable, continue to cling to stolen power. Trump, enabled by power-mad Republicans, continues to erode our democracy, tilting us ever further towards authoritarian rule.
If, as expected, Republicans turn a blind eye to Junior's literal confession and their voters cheer them on, that's a sign that we've turned a dangerous corner in American history. One entire side of the political spectrum will have given itself over to lawlessness and we can no longer consider them a functioning part of our democracy anymore than we consider cancer to be a functioning part of the human body. No matter what stories they tell themselves in order to sleep at night, the bottom line is that the America right wing has abandoned everything they once claimed to believe in to pursue power and hate.
We can either rise up and reclaim the democracy the right is intent on destroying by crushing them at the ballot next year and every year after that or we can bicker over Bernie and Hillary until the Brown Shirts show up at our door and take us away. That's your choice and it's time to make it.
There are 482 days left to the 2018 elections.
- This article kills fascists
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