Party of Bad Faith and Obstruction

If transparency/honesty and a clear understanding of the problem you are trying to solve are necessary when facing vexing challenges, like, say, the regularly occurring mass shootings of American school children, opacity and obstruction, the two main tools of reactionaries intent on turning the clock back, are the sworn enemies of problem solving.   This reflex to hide evidence, blame, conceal, obstruct and obscure works in politics as well as it works in personal life, as long as “winning” is the highest and only value in play.

The GOP, the party of Gingrich/Koch/Cruz/Trump, is in the business of angrily keeping their base hopping mad over wedge issues, period.   Which is worse, another gun massacre of several young children by a maniac or deliberately teaching millions of those same children that we once had a particularly vicious form of race based slavery in this great nation, a shameful continuing legacy fueled by racism that is a major cause of ongoing injustice and violence today?   

There’s always an angle to make people mad.  Since even many older liberals may feel uncomfortable with the idea of transsexuals, why not attack that odd group?   If it makes people enraged, and helps obscure the underlying issues, the GOP will say it loudly, repeatedly and in one voice.  The entire well-disciplined Republican party is dedicated to one party rule, purging anyone not extreme enough to repeat the talking points and devoted to blocking any investigation of anything that could prove embarrassing or compromising.   See how it trickles down to the local level:

Uvalde Police Department stonewalls Texas Department of Public Safety investigation of their botched handling of the armed maniac in the school with ten year olds he was keen to kill.  The Department of Public Safety already announced it was wrong for the Uvalde police to have 19 officers wait an hour in a school hallway while the shooter was massacring children, while more than one might have been bleeding out, so why cooperate with a witch hunt that has already found you guilty?

News reports today said that the Uvalde police stopped cooperating with the Texas Department of Public Safety investigation after TxDPS director Colonel Steven McCraw on Friday told reporters that the police made “the wrong decision” and had not acted in accord with protocol, suggesting they had already come to a conclusion, but TxDPS later said that it was only Arredondo who was not responding to their requests. The Department of Justice is also reviewing the police response to the mass shooting.

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That investigation of the RNC’s “legitimate political discourse”, that passionate mob of innocent tourists who inadvertently put 140 police officers in the hospital on January 6th?  Another fucking witch hunt, just like Mueller’s, just like that attention seeking partisan DA in Fulton County (over another totally innocent “perfect” phone call), just like her angry “sister” at the head of the NY State AG’s office.  Subpoena?  From an “illegitimate” partisan committee formed only to persecute the rightful president and innocent patriots rightfully incensed at a provably stolen election?  Fuck that.   

Now a criminal grand jury is sending a subpoena to the Trump sidekick who went on TV to describe the political arm of the insurrection in detail, and if the guy defies that subpoena he can be thrown in jail … how unfair is that?  That guy, Peter Navarro, already said, after defying the congressional subpoena, that he’s protected by the executive privilege he waived on TV by describing the “Green Bay Sweep” to some sneaky Jew lawyer/”journalist” on a left wing corporate network!   The witch hunts continue, and will, until the GOP claws back Congress and Biden and Harris start getting impeached once a week, along with Raskin, Schiff, Cheney, Pelosi and others, and we’ll see how they feel when the tables are turned… Speaking of politically motivated witch hunts:

To prove that the Trump/Russher thing was a hoax, that Trump’s  campaign never sought or accepted any help whatsoever from the Russians, in spite of the lies told, under oath, and reported by Mueller and Marco Rubio’s senate committee (which explicitly named the compromised, cash strapped, Russian oligarch-friendly, pardoned felon Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort as a conduit, via Konstantin Kilimnik, to Putin and the oligarchs), and that the whole Mueller probe was an illegal, partisan witch hunt based on pure bullshit promoted by lying Democrat [sic] spies, Bill Barr appointed a stern-looking hard-ass religious conservative federal prosecutor named John Durham to provide some juicy proof of illegal Clinton/Obama/Democratic treachery in the months and weeks leading up to the 2020 election. Durham indicted one guy, in three years, but the trial didn’t go well.

After six hours of deliberation, a federal jury today acquitted Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussman of making a false statement to the FBI. This is the outcome of the Trump administration’s attempt to discredit the investigation into the ties between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign. . .

. . . Using “investigations” to sway public opinion has been a Republican tactic since House Speaker Newt Gingrich ran investigations about “voter fraud” in the 1990s. Those investigations never turned up any evidence, but the constant news coverage convinced many voters that voter fraud was a huge problem. Ditto with Benghazi, and Hillary’s emails. Trump tried to get Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky to say he was investigating Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine. [1]

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If you understand the troubling power of deliberate, targeted disinformation that can almost instantly spur thousands to wild action, skip this next story of Republican bad faith.  When formation of Homeland Security’s new Disinformation Governance Board was announced, the right wing media megaphone went into overdrive, accusing the newly launched board of being Biden’s “woke” censorious propaganda gazpacho police agency designed to crush patriotic, First and Second Amendment protected, right wing dissent.  It was a highly inaccurate description of the mission of that new office, but it did the trick and the Biden administration was very slow to respond forcefully to the right wing narrative.  Pressure and threats of violence by angry Trumpist trolls who released the director’s home address and other personal and family information caused the director of the newly launched Disinformation Governance Board to resign amid an online onslaught by radicalized “patriots”. 

Lest we forget, Christina Blasey Ford, who testified credibly and at personal risk, that she was sexually assaulted by a drunken teenaged Boof Kavanuah and his friend, has had to move four times as a result of death threats her family received in the aftermath of her testifying.   Blasey Ford’s allegations and Kavanaughs actions were never investigated by the FBI, neither she, nor Kavanaugh, nor his reclusive alcoholic friend were interviewed and the agency sent thousands of tips about Kavanaugh directly to Kavanaugh’s sponsor White House Counsel Don “we’ll tie up your subpoena in court for two years” McGahn, for a decent burial. The onetime drunken teenager now sits, unimpeachably, on the Supreme Court, after narrowly missing having his life destroyed by dark money funded vindictive Left Wing operatives shamelessly using this so-called victim, who has been the target of one righteously angry mob after another.  The real victim was Kavanaugh!

It is hard, dirty work, but we have to keep our eye on verifiable reality, the one based on truth and evidence, not the one based on pure, righteously angry faith.  One party plays by the rules, the other uses the rules only to delay, obstruct, manipulate.   There is a vast difference in those two worldviews.  One  leads to the rule of law, our best shot at a fair, if imperfect, society, the other to the unaccountable rule of the very few, “born booted and spurred” [2] to ride the masses of losers lustily, backed by volatile lynch mobs of passionate, peaceful patriots engaging in “legitimate political discourse.”   

The signs today are that this lawless cult has overreached, in its zeal to seize complete control of American life and what is allowed in the land of the free and the home of the brave, that the tide will be turning, if the good guys with the vote turn out in numbers too big to rig by bad guys counting the vote with their desired outcome foremost in mind.  The tide will turn, or we are all done for. We all have some work to do.

[1] Heather Cox Richardson with the backstory of the Durham anal probe.

In May 2019, then–attorney general William Barr appointed John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, to investigate the origins of the Russia investigation to see if it was “lawful and appropriate.” This was a pretty transparent attempt to salt the media with stories about how Trump was being persecuted by Democrats and how the connections between his campaign and Russian operatives were, as he said, a “hoax.”

Using “investigations” to sway public opinion has been a Republican tactic since House Speaker Newt Gingrich ran investigations about “voter fraud” in the 1990s. Those investigations never turned up any evidence, but the constant news coverage convinced many voters that voter fraud was a huge problem. Ditto with Benghazi, and Hillary’s emails. Trump tried to get Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky to say he was investigating Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine.

Durham’s investigation seemed to be in this vein. Although a Department of Justice inspector concluded that the investigation had been begun properly and the Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee endorsed that conclusion, in summer 2020, Barr publicly disagreed, saying that the Russia probe was “one of the greatest travesties in American history” and that Durham’s job was not to “prepare a report” but to establish criminal violations that would lead to prosecutions. Trump supporters expected that Durham’s report would help Trump in 2020, and although DOJ policy is to avoid roiling the country in the 60 days before an election, Barr said that he would feel free within that period to release the results of Durham’s investigation.

In September 2020, then–White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told Fox News Channel personality Maria Bartiromo that he had seen “additional” documents from Durham’s investigation that spell “trouble” for former FBI officials who began the inquiry into the ties between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia. “Additional documents that I’ve been able to review say that a number of the players, the Peter Strzoks, the Andy McCabes, the James Comeys, and even others in the administration previously are in real trouble because of their willingness to participate in an unlawful act and I use the word unlawful at best, it broke all kinds of protocols and at worst people should go to jail as I mentioned previously,” Meadows said.

That month, a top aide to Durham resigned from the investigation, allegedly out of concerns about political pressure. A Republican congressional aide told Axios: “This is the nightmare scenario. Essentially, the year and a half of arguably the number one issue for the Republican base is virtually meaningless if this doesn’t happen before the election.”

But it was not until September 2021, days before the statute of limitations ran out, that Durham announced a grand jury indictment of Michael Sussman, a lawyer working for the Clinton campaign, for lying to the FBI. Sussman worked for the same law firm that represented the campaign, and he took to the FBI the information that cybersecurity security experts had uncovered a possible computer link between Russia’s Kremlin-linked Alfa Bank and Trump Tower.

Durham said Sussman had lied to the FBI by saying he was not working for a client when he alerted them to the issue. Sussman denies he said he did not have a client, and identified himself as working for the cybersecurity experts. In his indictment, Durham said the cybersecurity experts did not believe their own suggestion of connections between Alfa Bank and Trump Tower and were trying to hurt candidate Trump. They responded by accusing Durham of editing their emails misleadingly and stood behind their earlier conclusions. In any case, the DOJ inspector general concluded that the FBI investigation started over something completely different: a boast from a member of the Trump campaign to an informant that the campaign had dirt on Hillary Clinton.

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[2] To quote the great description of the entitlements of hereditary wealth stolen (from the words delivered from the gallows by a man executed years before by the British crown) by the always eloquent Thomas Jefferson, who, though born booted and spurred, and living a luxurious life, nonetheless saw the galling injustice of this arrangement. An arrangement, like slavery, that he feared no just God could ever allow the perpetrators and beneficiaries of to avoid a hellish eventual punishment for.

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