Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Sad Truth Of What We Learned Yesterday About The Future Of This Country.

Andrew Cohen, a senior editor at the Marshall Project and a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, is a legal analyst and commentator for “60 Minutes” and CBS Radio News, and a contributing editor to The Atlantic.
I haven’t watched this POS make a speech since he was elected and I have no intention of starting tonight. So here’s something to contemplate instead.

I don’t know if all of you felt it. I did. This future of this country charged right over the Rubicon yesterday. And it ain’t good:
On the day before President Trump was to deliver his first State of the Union speech, an event his furious, humiliated wife reportedly will attend only grudgingly, the rest of us were reminded that a state of undeclared civil war now exists in America. On one side is the president, his Republican allies in Congress, scions of finance and commerce who are cashing in on the administration’s widening corruption, white nationalists and their enablers, the resentment-nursing, swindled “forgotten men and women,” and the gleeful Russians. On the other side are the rest of us, including longtime public servants at the Justice Department and the FBI, and congressional Democrats who have the facts but clearly not the power on their side.
I will be pushing Fair Use in this post because I have a sneaking suspicion that neither Mr. Cohen nor the New York Review of Books will mind:
The war has taken two forms. It has featured the slow dissolution of legal and political norms, of common language even, but also sporadic days of great import, when the scope of what this president and his fellow travelers are capable of is laid bare. Yesterday was one of those days. No more can we say that the Trump administration is necessarily going to obey bipartisan congressional directives designed to punish our foreign adversaries. Any more than we can say that the president’s lackeys on Capitol Hill are content to allow the investigation into his ties to Russia to proceed without direct, partisan interference. Let me put it this way: Monday was the day Congress obstructed justice to aid the president. And it was the day the White House obstructed justice to aid the Russians.
Yesterday we witnessed the spectacle of an elected President-- under a deadly serious investigation for colluding and conspiring with a hostile foreign government to secure his election--defy the will of the Congress and Senate which had voted overwhelmingly to sanction this same hostile government for those very same acts.

And we witnessed a wholly and thoroughly corrupted political party comprising roughly  half of our elected government officials willfully aid and abet him with a fabricated, self-serving “memo” designed to distract Americans from the truth of what actually happened. A fabrication designed not to uncover the truth, but to hide it:
For the rest of us, the memo is nonsense. A distraction. A cheap stunt designed to give cover to the congressional Republicans while the president continues his assaults on the very structures of federal law enforcement. Actually, it’s not simply nonsense, it’s dangerous nonsense.
It is a partisan summary of raw intelligence information whose release Trump’s own Justice Department last week said would be “extraordinarily reckless.” To believe that the memo undermines the work of the FBI, Justice Department, and Mueller is to disbelieve the mountain of independent evidence that corroborates, in whole or in part, material aspects of Steele’s work. The world no longer needs to rely on Steele or his dossier to understand how deep and abiding were the ties between Team Trump and the Russians. It need only note how many of that team are already under criminal indictment or are actively cooperating with Mueller and company.
But the real betrayal came at the end of the day:
The last headline of the day came when we learned that the White House would not impose the sanctions against Russian officials that a bipartisan Congress demanded last year. Another win for Russia; another loss for those Americans who believe that foreign states that meddle in our elections should be discouraged from doing so again (including, for example, during the mid-term elections this November). By refusing to accede to congressional directive here, by refusing to fully punish Russia for improper interference in our democratic process, the Trump White House didn’t just veer from its “tough-on-crime” theme. It also showed us how emboldened it feels.
This is now a rogue Presidency, aided and abetted by a Republican Party that has abandoned all principle and all loyalty to the country. It is a Party made up of Traitors, to the last man and woman that have pledged their fealty to it:
On this black Monday, congressional Republicans undermined generations of legislative history and precedent to help a president who then, before the sun had set, undermined the will of Congress in its battle to rein in the Russians. Some will call this treason. Others, obstruction of justice. I’d rather call it giving aid and comfort to the enemy. The really bad news of the day was the inescapable conclusion that the real enemy America faces is not foreign, but domestic.
May God help us. This is not the country I wanted for my children.

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