In January of 1974, President Nixon, under siege from the maelstrom of the Watergate investigation, stood tall during his State of The Union Address and stated with that “tricky Dick” smile, that he had assisted the investigation fully and honestly and that: “one year of Watergate is enough!”
Nine months after Nixon had “enough” of Watergate, the facts about his involvement and his cover up to obstruct the investigation led him to resign from office. He had lost support from his own party and was informed by Republican legislators, one of them being the arch conservative Barry Goldwater, that the House had the votes to impeach him and the Senate had the votes to convict him on obstruction of justice charges.
Senator Howard Baker, who asked the famous question “What did the president know and when did he know it,” became the guiding light in the inquiry in to Nixon’s involvement in Watergate. Initially, when Baker was appointed as vice chairman of the Senate special committee, he was a staunch ally of Nixon and it was feared he would be a mole for the White House. He believed the Watergate investigation was a political ploy by the democrats and would amount to nothing, or in today’s parlance a “nothing burger.” His steadfast pursuit of the truth led to Nixon’s demise.
Indelibly etched in my brain is the moment when Nixon boarded the helicopter to fly off to wherever bad presidents and liars go. In the end, the rule of law and the checks and balances put in place in our constitution prevailed, as members of Nixon’s own party chose truth over tribe.
Forty Four years later, The Don delivered his State of Disunion, aka, Russian Union oratory, in the midst of a mind numbing investigation in to whether he and his administration colluded with Russia to help influence the outcome of our election. Listening to The Don reading from the monitor moved the bar from “Reality TV to Sur-reality TV. It was a pretend game in which a deeply disturbed, malignant, divisive man pretended that all the disturbed, malignant and divisive things he has said or did were the function of our alternative reality.
Missing from the speech was any mention of Russia’s meddling in our election, which every intelligence agency has confirmed and that The Don continues to deny.
Just a week ago, CIA Director Mike Pompeo told the BBC in an interview that he had not “seen a significant decrease” in Russian attempts at subversion in Europe and the United States, and he expected them to meddle in November’s U.S. mid-term elections. The Don’s response to that was, “Meh, can I have another cheeseburger?”.
So Pompeo seems to be concerned about Russia’s influence. Phew! But wait a minute. How come he and National Security advisor, Dan Coates, had secret meetings with the heads of the three Russian intelligence services, including, Sergey Naryshkin, head of the SVR (formerly known as the KGB), who has been sanctioned by the U.S. and not allowed to enter the U.S? And why is it that we only found out about it from a Russian news source that Reuters discovered.
These are disturbing and dangerous times!
The Don’s denial and literal disdain for any mention of Russian interference had another banner day on the day of his State of the Union speech. In another shout out to Putin, he refused to impose additional sanctions on Russia, which was passed in veto proof bi-partisan majorities in both the Senate and The House of Representatives. These days, the only thing that would receive a veto proof bi-partisan piece of legislation would be a vote on: “Who wants to go home to be with their family” or maybe “Who wants to go to the local tavern and get shit-faced. I’ll take three more cheese burgers and one “nothing burger, please”.
Sounds like lawmakers feel that there should be serious consequences for meddling in our elections. Right? However, remarkably, The Don’s decision to refuse to follow through on the sanctions received barely a whimper of outrage from the Republicans.
It appears that the very Republicans who voted for the additional sanctions- because of Russia’s meddling in our elections- seem to have been coerced by some dark art Jedi mind trick and have decided that The Don is their man and should be protected at all costs. The fact that the Don and members of his campaign aided and abetted the Russians doesn’t seem to register. It’s as if their response was “Yeah, we voted for sanctions but, who cares?”
This is the equivalent of knowing your child was abused but profusely denying that the individual coming out of the child’s room on a nightly basis had nothing to do with it. In my mind, that makes Republicans colluders and obstructers of justice. Protect the perpetrator at all costs!
These are disturbing and dangerous times.
Unfortunately, this time around we don’t have Howard Baker, but substituting for Mr. Baker we do have Devin Nunes. If you recall, Nunes or as his hometown newspaper in California, The Fresno Bee, refers to him as “Trump’s stooge,” was the one who made a dramatic announcement claiming to have evidence of foul play regarding inappropriate “unmasking” of certain Trump associates and intended to inform the White House what he had learned. Funny thing is that he actually got the information from the White House. Ultimately, other Republicans who examined the information concluded there was no evidence of wrong-doing. Not exactly protocol for the chairperson of a committee investigating the actions of the administration to cavort with the very people it is investigating, to in essence, sow seeds of doubt in to the investigation. As a result of his shenanigans, Nunes had to recuse himself from running the investigation. Hopefully, when justice prevails he will be trying to convince a judge not to throw the key away when he goes to prison.
Now Nunes, with the blessing of Paul Ryan, (who is quickly becoming my favorite choice for the first to be tarred and feathered-Jared is still number one!), in his position as chair of the House Intelligence Committee, has released classified information that he hopes will question the integrity of the F.B.I. and the D.O.J.
Yes, that is right: a member of the “law and order” party is now releasing classified info in an attempt to discredit the law-and-order arm of the government. And what is as remarkable, is that all Republican members of the committee voted to not allow the Democrats to release a minority report to give their view of the intel. That’s like a jury trial where the prosecution presents its case and the judge rules without giving the defense to present its case. Yep, Nunes and his cronies are so deep in to their own deep state of recklessness, denial and servitude that they have placed a virtual gag order on the Democrats and democracy itself.
The Don is chomping at the bit as a result of the memo’s releasedas he believes it will expose the evil and corruption of the FBI and will prove the investigation is a witch-hunt. It will also give him the cover he needs to fire Rod Rosenstein, the Assistant Attorney General, who is responsible for hiring Robert Mueller. The Don could then put in a stooge in charge of the Attorney General’s office and have that person fire Mueller.
And what is this devastating info that will blow a whole in the investigation about? Remember our friend Carter Page. He’s the goofy guy with the whacky smile that looks like he has been hooked up to a nitrous oxide tank (laughing gas.) If you recall he was one of five people chosen by The Don to be named as foreign policy advisors to The Don during the campaign. One of the other heavy hitters was coffee boy, Snuffleupagus’ cousin.ˆ Papadopolous. The memo asserts that a F.I.S.A. issued to the FBI to investigate Page’s ties to Russia in the fall of 2016 was obtained incorrectly as it was based on unsubstantiated information of the infamous “Steele Report,” or as I call it: The Pee Report.“According to the right, this proves the FBI is behind a plot to take down The Don. First of all, there is so much left out of the memo regarding the evidence used to apply for the F.I.S.A. warrant.
Second, to get a judge to sign off on four separate warrants since the fall of 2016, requires an inscrutable level of evidence. (Unless you think the judge is part of the conspiracy!)
And third, the memo itself actually states that it wasn’t the dossier that kicked off the investigation in to Russia’s meddling in to our election, but Papadopolous’ drunken conversation with an Australian ambassador, where he claimed the Trump campaign had damning information on Clinton. The people in the White House are so dumb that the memo intended to bring down the Russia investigation, includes information that debunks the intent of the memo.
Funny thing about Carter Page is that he has been the subject of interest by the FBI as far back as 2013. Page, who was known to be highly sympathetic to the Putin regime and an easy target. The Russian phrase for such characters ispolezni durak, which translates in to useful idiot.
We need to face the music. if you understand the psychology of The Don, there is nothing he will not do to defend himself against anyone or anything he perceives as a threat. He has done this his entire life and he will try to bring down the FBI, Department of Justice, the press and anything that gets in the way of his desire for absolute power. At this point, we should expect this from the man who said “I could stand in the middle of 5th Ave. and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters.” What’s amazing is the Republicans acquiescence and adoration of a man willing to destroy the very democracy they were elected to defend.
These are disturbing and dangerous times.