Truth or Consequences

“We’ll take Consequences, please, for forty years.”

“Birchers, Birthers and the Tea Baggers, they switched names but it’s the same people,” Bill Maher said the other night on his show, referring to the lunatic fringe in America, a constant in American political life, ready for any right-wing idea, no matter how in your face idiotic.  Pithily put by Mr. Maher, I thought, and well worth a look.

The John Birch Society, founded in 1958, was an extreme right wing lunatic fringe group of people like Fred Koch, father of the two prevailing Koch Brothers.   It was the signature radical right ring conspiracy group of the twentieth century.  “Koch Industries makes products people use and is dedicated to a level playing field where everyone has an equal opportunity for success,” claims the television ad of the descendants of Fred Koch.  When Charles and David Koch were very young their father hired a Nazi as their nanny, literally, she went back to the Fatherland after Hitler took France.   Fred Koch had done some important work for Mr. Hitler prior to the war, building a refinery that provided  the German luftwaffe with the high-octane fuel it needed to support Mr. Hitler’s blitzkreig.  Fred Koch shared many of the famous German autocrat’s cherished beliefs about humanity and tried to influence his fellow Americans to adopt reasonable policies about unlimited wealth, personal freedom from government tyranny and so forth.  He died before he could do more to advance his important mission, but two of his sons took up his cause and did excellent and effective missionary work, until very recently behind the scenes, over the course of more than 40 years.

The Birthers were largely racist ignoramuses of the far right who tried to attack popular president Barack Obama’s legitimacy by claiming the records of his birth in Hawaii were fake, that Obama was born outside of the United States and therefore that his presidency was illegal under the constitution, his so-called presidency a gigantic liberal fraud against America.   This was reminiscent of Bircher claims that conservative president Dwight D. Eisenhower was a secret, or possibly unwitting, agent of the Commies.  

You see, the main thing is giving angry lunatics an actual thing to rally around, to chant, even if that thing is easily demonstrable bullshit.  “Build the Wall! Build the Wall!” “Lock Her Up! Lock Her Up!”   “USA!  USA!!!”   “Nobel Prize, Nobel Prize!”  “Block that Kick! Block that Kick!”  “Blood and Soil!  Blood and Soil!” — the words themselves matter much less than the popular channeling of violent mass emotion and the bonding communal catharsis it provides.

The heirs of the John Birch Society created a massive public influence machine that transformed lobbying, think tanks, foundations and academia before galvanizing the raw populist power of the “Birthers” to form a national anti-liberal grassroots movement of American patriots called The Tea Party, or as the ever-puckish Bill Maher calls these angry, gullible idiots, the Tea Baggers.   So popular and widespread was this spontaneous mass protest against the illegitimate tyrant Obama, apparently, that it was on the news every night, their colorful and passionate protests televised from every corner of our great nation, during much of the early days of the illegitimate mulatto’s reign.   The candidates who spoke their fiery anti-government words and identified as Tea Baggers swept into Congress in the midterms, funded by Dark Money speaking loudly — and anonymously– under the newly expanded First Amendment the Court created in Citizens United.

Funded, it emerges, by the fabulously wealthy sons of an original Bircher, the Tea Baggers were the creation of strategically brilliant people who, while probably not Birthers themselves, used the rage of Birthers to ignite a national shitstorm that served their purposes of opposing all government regulation and making sure an extreme, corporatist Supreme Court was put in place to protect the rights of the wealthiest and most deserving from the hoard of entitled parasites that do not even deserve prison cells, if we’re going to be brutally honest about it.

So, truth or consequences?  Ultra-right-wing federal judge for life Brett Kavanaugh was not on Trump’s original Federalist Society (think John Birch) list of possible Supreme Court nominees.   Turns out, shockingly, that Trump was lying when he guaranteed he would only appoint someone off that original list.   Kavanaugh’s name was placed at the top of a new list after Trump was presumably read a pertinent excerpt from Kavanaugh’s 2009  law review article  where the judge reverses his former positions about presidential power [1].  Now he believes, as opposed to when he was pressing for aggressive prosecution of sitting president Bill Clinton for lying about a blow job, (not to mention when he was secretly advising Bush and Cheney about the legality of torture, extra-judicial execution, kidnapping and so on) that the president should be immune from prosecution, subpoena, or even investigation, while sitting as president.    The job is just too hard to do that the president must be shielded from the trying distractions as civil or criminal investigations, Kavanaugh wrote thoughtfully.   Instead of “I have changed my beliefs on this 180 degrees since my partisan days working for Kenneth Starr” he wrote, demurely lawyerly, slimily,  “this is not something I necessarily believed in the 1980s or 90s”.  No shit, Sherlock.

Kavanaugh suddenly went to the top of the embattled Trump’s list, for some reason, presumably more than his dependable vote against investigation of the president and his belief in expansive presidential  pardon powers.   All of the judges on the Federalist Society list would appear to be vetted as reliable votes against a woman’s tenuous constitutional right to an abortion, so the Roe v. Wade part is probably not a big thing, though Kavanaugh has signaled clearly that he thinks Roe is a decision that a future court could legitimately overturn.  

It’s hard to imagine that nominating Kavanaugh wasn’t part of Trump’s long sales pitch to get Anthony Kennedy to step down now to give Trump another Supreme Court pick [2].   Kavanaugh had been Kennedy’s clerk (as had ultra-right wing black hole Neil Gorsuch) and Kennedy apparently trusted him to continue his legacy.  It is said that Kennedy himself suggested Kavanaugh.  I understand Kennedy’s son at Deutsche Bank, a man with business dealings with Trump Inc., also became part of the negotiations during the Artist of the Deal’s long deal-making dance with Justice Kennedy.  [3] 

Kavanuagh, unlike Kennedy, who, for all his conservatism was at least not overtly homophobic or misogynistic (hence “swing vote”), is unlikely to ever be a swing vote on anything, unless his right wing colleagues have a moment of moral awakening and appear in danger of voting against any part of the John Birch agenda incarnated in the absolutist views of the clear-eyed, fair-minded Koch Brothers and their impeccable ilk.   Kavanaugh will likely be confirmed 51-49, fair is fair, democracy means majority rule and fuck all that overheated liberal palaver about a true democracy always protecting the rights of minorities.  Fuck minorities.  51-49, get a stadium chanting that, along with “In Your Face!  In Your Face!”    

There is some new urgency now to get Kavanaugh confirmed right away.  A disloyal partisan agent has suddenly come forward, actually outing herself yesterday, claiming that a drunken teen-aged Kavanaugh held her down and pressed his hand over her mouth as he fumbled to remove her one piece bathing suit so that he could grind against her to better effect.  Another traitorous, ideologically-driven bitch like Anita Hill, a professor with a personal ax to grind, and personal problems, taking it out on a great man, a great, powerful, persecuted white man (in the case of Kavanaugh).   

Anita Hill testified about unwanted sexual advances her former boss at the EEOC (talk about ironies) made toward his attractive young subordinate.  The spin among the faithful men of the Judiciary Committee (who to a man treated Hill like a hostile witness, even avuncular Joe Biden did) was He Said/She Claims: inappropriate and uninvited sexual attention, perhaps, or maybe Hill had a mad, schoolgirl crush on her powerful boss and dreamed up all the sexy stuff? Hmmm?  Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac, as Henry Kissinger famously said, perhaps speaking from unthinkable experience.

With Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas,  Thomas claimed indignantly, since he is a black man, that subjecting him to answering Hill’s ridiculous sexual allegations made him the victim of a “high tech lynching”.   Sadly for the minorities of America that lynching was unsuccessful, and the victim has been on the court for decades now.  As Thurgood Marshall (who endured a year-long confirmation battle with segregationists before he finally took his seat on the Supreme Court) noted about blacks who suck up to powerful white racists, “there’s no difference between a black snake and a white snake. They’ll both bite.”

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who says she was sexually assaulted as a teenager by drunken classmate Brett Kavanaugh and his friend, will be viciously and personally attacked, worse than Anita Hill was, have no doubt.  It will come out that she has seen a psychiatrist, the crazy broad, has severe personal problems, has admitted going to marriage counseling (wink, wink!), voted Democratic in every election since High School, admitted to smoking marijuana, has read The Communist Manifesto, hates our freedom, is a liar who took a fake polygraph test about her Kavanaugh allegations, administered by a Fellow Traveler (Commie-speak for a fellow Commie).   She has a vagina!   She is disgusting!   The good, virtuous, upright family man Kavanaugh, who comes from great stock, whose mother was a judge, is her victim!   The accusation is ancient history, can never be proved, by her own admission, her own admission!  It should never be mentioned, in the name of decency, for fucksake, besides, the Statute of Limitations has run out literally decades ago.  The Statute of Limitations!   HOW DARE SHE?!!!  Her daughter is a slut, her husband is a promiscuous homosexual (who buggers the occasional male goat, see attached GIF), she brazenly showed young Kavanaugh the provocative outline of her breasts and vulva in that clingy bathing suit.  What was he supposed to do, a red-blooded American boy, and drunk like that?  And if he later lied about it?  SO?!!! What is your fucking point?  His friends all back him up, swore he wasn’t lying, and we have a letter from 65 women who knew him in High School all saying he never once groped them or tried to pull their clothes off or even kiss them against their will.  He was a perfect gentlemen, these 65 non-partisan women all agree, PERFECT.  HOW FUCKING DARE YOU?!!!  Right on the eve of his historically expedited confirmation!  Very fucking convenient, freedom haters!

Get the stadium crowd ready to rumble!   “Lock her up!   Lock her up!!!!”  And God Bless these United States of the Birchers, Birthers and Baggers.   38% lunatic support for unreasoning American values is good enough for their gerrymandered purposes.  51-49 in the Senate, Fair is fair!  Fair is Fair!   Democracy!  Democracy!   USA!   USA!!!!!


[1]  Kavanaugh writing in 2009:

Having seen first-hand how complex and difficult that job is, I believe it vital that the President be able to focus on his never-ending tasks with as few distractions as possible. The country wants the President to be “one of us” who bears the same responsibilities of citizenship that all share. But I believe that the President should be excused from some of the burdens of ordinary citizenship while serving in office. THIS IS NOT SOMETHING I NECESSARILY THOUGHT in the 1980s or 1990s. Like many Americans at that time, I believed that the President should be required to shoulder the same obligations that we all carry. But in retrospect, that seems a mistake.

Looking back to the late 1990s, for example, the nation certainly would have been better off if President Clinton could have focused on Osama bin Laden without being distracted by the Paula Jones sexual harassment case and its criminal investigation offshoots.  To be sure, one can correctly say that President Clinton brought that ordeal on himself, by his answers during his deposition in the Jones case if nothing else. And my point here is not to say that the relevant actors—the Supreme Court in Jones, Judge Susan Webber Wright, and Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr—did anything other than their proper duty under the law as it then existed.

But the law as it existed was itself the problem, particularly the extent to which it allowed civil suits against presidents to proceed while the President is in office. With that in mind, it would be appropriate for Congress to enact a statute providing that any personal civil suits against presidents, like certain members of the military, be deferred while the President is in office. The result the Supreme Court reached in Clinton v. Jones —that presidents are not constitutionally entitled to deferral of civil suits—may well have been entirely correct; that is beyond the scope of this inquiry. 


In particular, Congress might consider a law exempting a President—while in office—FROM CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND INVESTIGATION, INCLUDING FROM QUESTIONING BY CRIMINAL PROSECUTORS OR DEFENSE COUNSEL.  Criminal investigations targeted at or revolving around a President are inevitably politicized by both their supporters and critics. As I have written before, “no Attorney General or special counsel will have the necessary credibility to avoid the inevitable charges that he is politically motivated—whether in favor of the President or against him, depending on the individual leading the investigation and its results.”

he also writes, somewhat comically now:

AS FOR JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS, STRUCTURAL CONSIDERATIONS FAVOR A MORE INTENSIVE INQUIRY BY THE SENATE.   Article III judges are appointed for life and—unlike executive branch officials— are not subordinate to their appointing presidents.   That changes the constitutional dynamic.

full article


[2]   In fact, as The New York Times reports, the 81-year-old’s announcement was the culmination of a carefully orchestrated 17-month campaign by the Trump administration to remake the Supreme Court before the 2018 midterms, when there is an outside chance that Republicans could lose their majority.


[3]     [Trump] cultivated a relationship with Justice Kennedy’s son, Justin, who worked closely with the Trump Organization in his role at Deutsche Bank as the global head of real-estate capital markets, according to the Times.

see above

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