Maybe Belief Alone Isn’t Enough…
Yesterday, I mentioned that Trumps “legal team” sent a letter to CNN threatening them with action if they didn’t stop telling the truth about Trump. In part of the letter, they suggested a potential route of defense he might be planning to use, the idea that, perhaps, he really believed his own bullshit. (He didn’t. Everyone involved in the coup attempt KNEW they were tossing dung chips but felt that sticking to the lie was the best strategy…so they do.)
I’m no lawyer so I might need help squaring this but I have another similar example of belief I’d like to cite. The cons used to believe (who am I kidding, they likely STILL BELIEVE) that Hillary was running a child sex ring out of the basement of a pizza parlor. Lots of possible restaurants were “identified” with one unfortunate establishment finally being settled on as the actual store.
A 28 year old man, Edgar Welch, bought the story hook, like, and sinker, just like cons are supposed to do. Only he didn’t just sit back and whine about how terrible Hillary is. This guy took action. He went to the pizza parlor with his assault rifle and fired off three rounds. He didn’t hurt anybody. The important part, here, is that he truly believed he was doing a good thing in defending the children involved. The only hitch in his giddy-up was that, like so many conservative stories, it was pure, unadulterated bullshit – just like Trump’s whiny story about the election. Hell, the “losing” pizza parlor didn’t even have a basement.
I just want to say, here, I genuinely respect Welch’s goal. He thought – truly believed – children were being harmed and needed help and the dude jumped into action and tried to help. Whatever one thinks about the advisability of believing such a ridiculous story, the fact that he tried to help was a brave and selfless act. He was trying to protect children. HE got four years. How long should Trump get for trying to protect his own interests by overthrowing the Constitution?
I’ll tell you this: It doesn’t seem to matter WHY one commits a crime as much as the fact that the crime was committed. Mr. Welch’s belief wasn’t defense enough to keep him out of jail and it shouldn’t be enough to keep Donnie out of jail, either…
Ronnie and Donnie…
Twice in as many weeks, now, I’ve written about the idea that our country has slipped so far we’ve reached a point where if one doesn’t vote with the Democrats, well, we’re all gonna die! Sadly, that’s not hyperbole. The official campaign message of the Dems is, “Go ahead, vote Republican. We dare you!” I hate the fact that voters in this country have been reduced to “vote for the corporate shill with the R after their name, or vote for the corporate shill with the D after their name. You have no other choice.” The part that bothers me the most is that it’s true, we have no other choice. These days, the Republicans are actively trying to kill us – all in service to their great Prophet Profit, of course.
Needless to say, I’ve been rather focused on the topic, of late. I was rather surprised when I happened upon an idea that probably should not have surprised me in the least. It is this: when the coup-de-grace comes to end the Republic once and for all, I won’t be surprised if it’s the Democrats who strike the blow.
This is not a prediction, per se. In fact, it’s a look backwards. Consider, it was Reagan (R) who introduced all the stupid ideas this country suffers from today; “Trickle Down Economics,” Deregulation, the so-called “welfare queen” and other such nonsense. But it was Bill Clinton (D) who actually enacted those things…and worse. Sure, he temporarily balanced the budget. Nice. In retrospect, though, that was a distraction to keep people complacent. That way, they might not notice the harm he was doing elsewhere. Mostly? They didn’t.
Clinton “reformed” welfare. Awesome. In practice, he only weakened the social safety net. His crime bill filled our prisons to overflowing with people who didn’t need to be in prison. Because of deregulation, he refused to act to regulate a new investment instrument called a derivative, despite warnings that they were economically dangerous. That lapse contributed mightily to the economic meltdown of the first part of this century. He supported NAFTA. As the “smartest man in the room” he should have understood the economic damage he would be inflicting on American workers. Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the law that, basically, eliminated independent journalism in this country. In a related note, the Clinton administration had to issue a special waiver to allow Rupert Murdoch to own and operate Fox “News.”
See? Republican Reagan called the play, but Democrat Clinton carried the ball across the line. Now, ostensible Republican (but really just self-serving egomaniac) Trump has called a new play: sedition. I don’t really see a Dem, certainly not Sleepy Joe, whipping up an armed and frenzied mob to storm government institutions but I CAN easily envision them doing just enough nothing to empower a second run at it by a more competent would-be autocrat.
I’ve long held that if one CAN do something to stop bad behavior but chooses not to, they become complicit. The January 6th Committee has been fascinating television but the committee has no legal authority. They COULD vote to disqualify Trump from holding public office but I suspect they won’t. The DOJ seems to be moving just slowly enough to allow time to run out on the clock. Once Republicans are back in power, the investigation will be shelved. If I may paraphrase, the only thing necessary for evil Republicans to succeed is for feckless Democrats to do nothing. And yet, I’m told, I have no choice but to turn to the Dems or all is lost.
I’ll tell you this: If we really must turn to and trust only the Democrats to rescue the nation, I just don’t see salvation in our future…