Monday, October 30th, was National Indictment Day! And oh, what a celebration it was!
Two key members of Trumpland – Paul Manafort and George Papadopolous – were formally accused of numerous crimes; and we couldn’t help but get excited.
Champagne was popped; just like the bottle of American justice that Bob Mueller uncorked on all of Trumpland. The sweet nectar flowed from both; and we drank it with glee. It was delicious. Truly, the Russia investigation was the party everyone wanted to attend.
Make no mistake, I was there too. Drunk in the corner, draped in nothing but the American flag, dancing to John Philips Sousa marches.
It was lit.
But then, the morning came. I awoke bleary-eyed with a stranger lying next to me. What had I done?
Sure, last night was fun. But looking at it in the cold light of day, our celebration seemed premature. These were just indictments after all; still a long way away from the one conviction we really wanted.
Walking to the diner, the Carter Page interview on MSNBC that everyone at the party thought was just so hilarious, started to seem a lot less funny. Sure, he was acting like a deranged lunatic without a lawyer, but there was something about his brazen attitude that worried me.
One greasy breakfast and a couple of Alka-Seltzers later, and it was starting to feel like the joke was on us. He no longer struck me as some idiot incriminating himself on live TV, but as a guy who knew that incriminating himself didn’t matter.
I wasn’t laughing anymore.
After all, laughing at this situation requires us to believe that Bob Mueller’s investigation is going to go just like it’s supposed to go. That the right people will go to jail. That law and order will prevail.
In 2017, assuming things will go according to plan is just about the dumbest thing you can do.
I mean, have we learned nothing from our year in the Upside Down? This year when everything that was supposed to happen didn’t? Did everyone forget that the Falcons were winning 28-3?
AM I THE ONLY PERSON WHO WATCHED THE SUPER BOWL?!
No, there were people in the stands. You’re okay. Just because you watched it alone in an abandoned basement doesn’t mean you’re the only one who saw it.
Apologies for my paranoia; but it’s hard when you’re living in a world that has come untethered from reality.
As we live inside this simulation – one so riddled with black swan events it’s starting to look like a programming error – I think we should be careful about what we assume will, and will not, happen. Otherwise, we risk making the same mistakes all over again.
In this case, those mistakes include:
One, doubting what Trump is capable of doing.
Two, thinking the Republicans will do anything to stop him.
When it comes to Trump, I am one (of many people) who assumed his guilt from the beginning when it came to Russian collusion in the 2016 election. I did so based on one thing: if there was ever an American citizen narcissistic and uncaring enough to fuck over an entire country for his own personal gain, it was him.
The problem now becomes, you can’t think he’s the absolute worst while also thinking he’s going to obey the law during this investigation.
I mean, do we really think the guy who has broken every rule at every turn of his political “rise” will now decide to follow the rules if he’s being threatened with jail time? Do we really think Trump won’t do everything in his power to save his enormous, golf-cart-destroying ass?
If you think he won’t pardon every person Mueller arrests in this investigation, you’re kidding yourself. He absolutely will; if it’s advantageous to do so.
If you think he won’t order people in the Justice Department to fire Mueller and stop the investigation, you’re having a laugh. If he has to, he will fire every person in the Justice Department until someone agrees to fire Mueller.
And if you think the Republicans are going to do something about it, well, they already let a man accused of more sexual assaults than Harvey Weinstein become President of the United States simply because it was convenient for them to do so. So, yeah.
In reality, the Republicans will most likely do what they have already set in motion. They will muddy the waters, turn up their noses while doing nothing, and continue on with their agenda of sticking it to anyone who had the audacity to be poor.
I hope they prove me wrong. I really do. But it’s hard to be hopeful when they’ve already shown us where they stand when it comes to the case of The People vs. The Republican Donor Class.
This summer, the Republicans gave us the most convincing evidence yet, showing their true colors when they tried to jam through three (virtually identical) versions of their incredibly unpopular healthcare bill. (None polled higher than 27%, the lowest polled at 12%.) Of course, everyone hated it, but that hasn’t stopped them from trying to do the exact same thing with their new, already unpopular, tax plan. (Despite the fact that 75% of Americans think Congress and the president should be dealing with other, more important issues.)
Obviously, these Republican “causes” have one thing in common, and it’s not the American people. No, it’s tax cuts for the wealthy donor class they’re so thirsty to please. Huge kickbacks for a handful billionaires (and to be fair, some multi-millionaires) at the expense of the middle class and poor.
The Republicans have shown us quite clearly there is only one thing they want to accomplish. And that thing is not protecting the American people from a president who has already shown himself to be unfit at least a dozen times or more.
So you’ll excuse me if I’m not exactly holding my breath waiting for them to do the right thing during this investigation. And if you are, well, I have a coffin I’d like to sell you.
Look, I’m not saying that all hope is lost, I’m just saying that we need to be taking what happens during this Mueller investigation extremely seriously. For better or for worse.
For Democrats who think that this investigation is the silver bullet that’s going to save our asses, I would ask you to put down the bottle of absinthe and read all the things I just mentioned. Mueller’s investigation is a fun sideshow, but we shouldn’t view it as more than that. Especially when there’s a good chance it will amount to nothing at all.
Instead, we should be doing everything in our power to make sure enough Democrats get elected in 2018 to win back the house and end this. It’s never been more clear that voting from now until forever is the only way to solve this bullshit for good. The fight will never end.
Republicans, on the other hand, need to wake the fuck up. They need to stop acting like Trump is some kind of anomaly who came out of nowhere; like they haven’t been inching toward this for almost 40 years now.
For the conservatives I know personally, I can already see a lot of them deploying that magical Republican super power where they absolve themselves of all responsibility for the current state of the country. (NOTE: This super power was deployed to great effect after Bush’s second term. Who, it’s worth pointing out, is the former title belt holder for “Worst President in Modern History”). But this can’t be allowed to happen. It’s time for Republicans to admit that Donald Trump is not an aberration of the Republican Party – he is a manifestation of its sins.
Republicans don’t get to simply wash their hands of Trump (like they didn’t just vote for him 12 months ago). They can’t do that thing where they compartmentalize all of his administration’s failings as the fault of a single man; like it has nothing to do with their party’s horrible policy ideas, or its near-absolute corruption, or the fact that their party produced such trash-ass people in the first place (and they voted for them!)
For all the people still clinging to the terrible conservative ideas that got us here in the first place, it’s time to decide:
Are you a Republican; or are you an American?
If too many conservatives pick their party, it could mark a drastic change for America going forward. And I guarantee you that a lot of reasonable, smart people will flee the country in droves.
One thing is for sure: the Mueller Investigation will show all of us where we really stand. And whether we’re going to look down and find our feet in a huge pile of shit remains to be seen.
Until then, I will waver somewhere between extremely skeptical and cautiously optimistic. My only hope being that it’s 2017, and the thing I think is going to happen, won’t happen at all.
If it does?
Make no mistake, you will find me drinking. Over in the corner, knowing the hangover from this one will be harsh and lingering. And that it will take more than some greasy breakfast to make it go away.