After watching the impeachment hearings in the House Intelligence Committee, I’ve been reflecting on the context and the implications for the future. I’ve made a few observations.
The first, obvious to most everyone, is that no matter what else, Donald Trump should not be President of the United States.
Donald Trump is a mentally ill megalomaniac who has no respect for the Office of the President. He has no respect for the institutions that form the structure of the government; respect for institutions, no matter how flawed some may be, is what gives structure to our society. He has no respect for the men and women who carry out the business of government. He has no real philosophy of governing except to enrich himself. And as far as I can tell he has no human feelings for anyone – I’ve heard it said he even looks at his children as employees.
The second is that proclaiming Ukraine as our ally is a strategic and likely moral mistake.
US support for Ukraine goes back to the Maiden revolution of February 2014 when the US supported neo-Nazis in overthrowing the pro-Russian president – its purpose was to further encircle Russia. Being firm but fair with Russia is vital, but encircling them with bases and running military exercises on their border is pure madness.
What’s missing from the current narrative is that eastern Ukraine has always been pro-Russian with most people speaking Russian and most having ancestral memories of the ravages of the western Ukrainians who fought with the Nazis in World War II. Additionally, it’s not often reported that President Zelensky was elected on the promise of working to reduce the conflict with Russia.
Much has been made of the Russian threat to our sacred elections. In spite of the outrage, recall that the actual indictment of the Russian military officials was for allegedly spending $100,000 for 3,000 Facebook ads and hacking the DNC server.
Reports have also been made that some Russians made 80,000 Facebook posts, 20 million Instagram posts, and 1.4 million Tweets. Sounds ominous until one realizes that roughly during the same period there were 33 trillion Facebook posts in total. And the Clinton and Trump campaigns spent a combined $81 million on Facebook ads during the 2016 campaign. How much influence any of the ads, tweets or posts had is debatable.
The Clinton campaign obsessed over Russia after the election but ignored the actual voter suppression that took place.
I’m talking of the Republican state election commission practices of placing outdated and inadequate numbers of voting machines in black districts; placing polling stations far away from where people lived; caging voters, and all the other dirty tricks. I still wonder how much the results in Florida and Georgia were influenced by the dirty tricks.
Forget Russia in 2020; given Trump’s unpopularity the Republican will be working double overtime to suppress the vote of nominally Democratic black voters.
In the end, I believe in the common wisdom that Trump will never be convicted in the Senate. Whatever Republican Senators believe about his actions, they are fearful for their own careers if the Trump Cult – for that is what the Republican Party has become – turns against them as ordered by their all-knowing, all-wise leader. I note, but will not comment here, the Democrats have their own cult – no good Democrat dares say anything negative about Obama.
I also believe the Democrats will succeed in losing the 2020 election.
Recall that in spite of their focus on national polls, national polls are irrelevant when elections are based on the electoral college. I don’t know if people in the key swing states are fearful of things like Medicare for All. I do think the idea of promoting medical care for illegal immigrants is a dumb idea and will make for an effective Republican campaign ad. I’m not sure if this is the election to promote new directions and try to educate the electorate in the cost of medical care; getting Trump out of office should be the only consideration.
A related argument is the Democrats must hold the House and flip enough seats to capture the Senate as if that will act as a brake on Trump’s actions if he’s reelected. Nice thought but recall the Senate has effectively turned a super majority (60 votes per Rule XXII) into a requirement for passing anything in that chamber. There’s no way that they will ever get that many seats so a hard-core Republican block (I’m looking at Lindsey Graham) will still be able to stop any Senate action.
Further the Democrats will likely nominate a bland centrist who will excite no one.
The DNC apparently believed Joe Biden was their guy, though it’s unclear at this point if questions about his seeming detachment and inability to articulate positions, combined with the dubious activities of his son Hunter, will push him to the side.
Then who do they run with?
Mayor Pete who spouts all the correct corporatist DNC talking points? He seems like a lightweight to me. Klobuchar is running in the same space but seems to excite no one. Harris and Booker appear to be fading quickly. The grand poobahs of the DNC and their rich backers appear to wretch at the thought of either Sanders or Warren. The two billionaires at the edges will try to buy their way in but whether they’re willing to go full Trump to destroy the other candidates is doubtful. And it’s said Obama likes Deval Patrick, former governor of Massachusetts. Deval who?
Also reported is the depraved Hillary Clinton is waiting in the wings for the supplicants to come begging her to run. The DNC would have to be stark raving mad to go with her.
Except for Bernie (if Biden is pushed aside), I doubt any could beat Trump.
If Trump survives impeachment and is reelected in 2020 then there will be nothing to stop him from becoming the authoritarian decider of all things. Combined with his vindictiveness and need to crush his enemies, things will get much uglier than they are now. And at least 40% of the citizenry will be just fine with whatever he does.
At that point, I truly fear for for the future of our country as the damage from Trump may be grave and long term. You’ll know how bad it is if Donald Trump Jr is “elected” President in 2024.