As Roger Stone, Paul Manafort and their famous client Ronald Reagan used to say while campaigning against Jimmy Carter, only with a real feeling of optimism this time for most of us. Any president with ordinary human emotions is preferable to one filled only with grievance and grandiosity, and a childish railing against how unfairly life has treated him, even while insisting he’s the greatest man ever. A president with ordinary human feelings is especially needed during our multi-pronged national emergency.
Michelle Goldberg, NY Times opinion columnist, mentioned the obvious in a chat with Ari Melber the other day. If Trump had been impeached and removed from office a year ago, the first time it was done, countless American lives would have been saved.
Invoking the Defense Production Act (as Biden plans to do, starting today) would have provided all Americans with personal protective gear, can now likely be invoked to increase production of the vaccine and so on. If Trump had just worn a fucking mask instead of weaponizing reasonable medical advice during a deadly pandemic, and told the 75,000,000 who’d go on to vote for him to put masks on for all of our sakes, it would have made a huge difference, many thousands of lives would have been saved.
Imagine: if there had been a fair trial at Trump’s first impeachment, and Senators had voted based on the sworn testimony of the witnesses and the weight of the evidence (witnesses and evidence both were banned from the “trial” by impartial jury foreman Mitch McConnell, who vowed from the start to work closely with Trump’s defense team to dismiss the political stunt ASAP), Trump would have been removed at the very dawn of the pandemic. Mike Pence, although shameless and spineless, would have been empowered (by his wife Karen) to oversee a reasonable reaction to the wild spread of an incurable, sometimes deadly disease. Countless Americans, dead of COVID-19, would still be alive today.
It is no consolation to the families who lost loved ones that poster boy for deranged indifference DOnald Trump is going out in a shit storm (of his own creation, of course). There is a report that Secret Service said Trump left a large turd unflushed in one of the presidential toilet bowls when he vacated the White House for the last time early today. If true, not surprising in the least, it is in Trump’s nature to constantly double down, it’s literally all he knows how to do. Leaving a last bit of his DNA at the crime scene is something he couldn’t help but do.
There is a deeply troubling, self-obsessed personality type — they are never wrong, they are never satisfied, they crave more and more, can never sit back and enjoy their achievements in peace. This personality set-up compels rage-driven men like Roy Cohn, proud dirty trickster Roger Stone, Donald and Don Jr., to keep fighting, keep aggressively and senselessly upping the ante, indignantly defending their corruption, the pugnacious, in-your-face transgression of all rules and laws, until everything goes operatically wrong at the very end and they lose everything.
Think of Cohn at the end, disbarred, under criminal indictment, a promiscuous, self-hating homophobic gay man dying alone of AIDS he insisted was cancer. Think of the once wildly successful conquerer, Mr. Hitler, raving in his bunker, sending starving young German boys out to the barricades with rifles to fight the Red Army, the Americans, the allies pouring into Berlin from every direction, ranting that Germany betrayed him and deserves to get destroyed.
I’m looking forward to seeing the come-uppance of some of the callous criminals who profited during the Trump regime. Their many crimes must not be left on a page turned in the name of moving on. I find it impossible to imagine that there will not be a long moment of national reckoning for many of these creatures (though it looks like Louis DeJoy is likely to skate for his smugly defended attempts to restrict mail-in voting to steal the election for his friend).
It was a nice touch that Trump pardoned Bannon at the very last minute. Perfect, really, pardoning the guy who ripped off Trump’s own most loyal suckers to make himself richer, Trump has done no less. Sloppy Steve crawled back into Trump’s good, gullible graces just in time for a pardon, after ingratiating himself by being a violent insurrection consultant during the execution of the Capitol siege.
Now Bannon, and any of the other pardon recipients, can be forced to testify about certain things, under oath, with no ability to invoke a 5th Amendment right to remain silent, since, after their pardon, they can’t incriminate himself as to what they were pardoned for– which they are also deemed guilty of, according to Glenn Kirschner and a hundred year-old Supreme Court precedent).
A better world starts today, and not a moment too soon!
I loved the wry ending of Heather Cox Richardson’s post tonight, which begins with the well-documented illegal help provided to the Trump campaign from Vladimir Putin, and how Trump’s presidency was one long dance away from the obvious fact, verified by Democrats and Republicans alike, that Trump openly (and secretly) welcomed Putin’s help and kissed up to the Russian strongman for his entire presidency. Here’s how Heather ends her excellent summary of the Trump regime:
Joining Romney in calling for new sanctions against Russia were a range of senators from both parties.
The act is called the “Holding Russia Accountable for Malign Activities Act.”