Mister Tee wrote:So, no one appears to be responding to this. Not to say people are obligated to reply to things I post, but...isn't anyone else alarmed by this?
Well... I have spent the weekend knocking on doors (in 100 degree heat) for the Democratic congressional candidate I've been volunteering for over the last few months, who I can't even vote for, in a district I don't even live in, to try to get voters to the polls for the California primary election on Tuesday, to flip a Republican-held seat. So I'm doing the best I can to try to save America!
But yes, this is completely appalling, and the Republican party leadership is going to go along with it 100%. Do you remember that part in Titanic where Leonardo DiCaprio tells Kate Winslet that they have to stay on the sinking ship as long as possible? That's the Republicans right now. They all know the ship they've boarded is going down, and their only choices are to jump into the freezing water and face certain death (i.e. take a stand for basic constitutional principles and face primary challenges, personal attacks from the president, and onslaught of brickbats from the Fox News hate machine), or stay onboard the ship and hope that by the time it sinks, the Carpathia will be there to rescue them (i.e. Democratic presidential nominee Bernie Sanders gets accused of raping 20 women, or something like that).
I'm not one who thinks the Democratic leaders are always doing the wrong thing -- they've stood up admirably to many of the most odious aspects of the Trump presidency -- but they're going to need to step up their game on this issue in a way I'm not sure they're prepared to do right now. One assumption that the Democrats -- and the media, frankly -- really need to let go of is that even a small cabal of Republicans will EVENTUALLY be willing to stand up to Trump when he crosses a certain line -- i.e. when he fires Mueller/refuses to testify/pardons his associates & children/etc. Because they won't. Too often the Democrats -- and I would even include average joe Democratic voters like myself in this -- have tried to view the the opposition as folks who simply disagree with them on issues, and perhaps there was a time when that was the case. And certainly when it comes to individual Republican voters, that may still be the case. But the Republican party as an institution -- its leadership -- is basically a cult now, one that operates entirely in bad faith, thinks small-d democratic rules and norms should only apply to their opponents, and that seeks to protect their dear leader from accountability on everything. The idea that there is some red line that Trump just won't be able to cross with some of these senators and congresspeople is utter fantasy. I think any Democrat (or even never-Trump conservative) who is still in a state of denial about this needs to vacate that state immediately. (And some certainly still are, even after the last 3 years.)
And as a result, the Democrats -- and, again, the press -- need to start making a bigger stink about their concern over Trump's lawlessness and what could lie ahead. I know that there's a tendency right now for many to argue that Dems need to focus only on the Republicans' unpopular policies to motivate voters -- and I DO certainly think running midterm campaigns mostly on the GOP's tax bill and attempt to repeal health care is the right strategy, particularly for local congressional candidates just trying to win over their district. (I've certainly noticed on the campaign I've been working on that very few voters much want to talk about Trump, they're more interested in issues that affect them and their neighborhoods.) But I think there's a difference between national Democrats wading into issues of Trump's character and temperament that don't ultimately really matter to any voters (i.e. the Roseanne/Samantha Bee bullshit), which they shouldn't do, and taking a firmer stand on the corruption and authoritarianism that's being flaunted right out in the open, and that ultimately will have major implications for our country. Because right now it sort of feels like there's the Trump/Fox News take of "No collusion!" and "Witch hunt!" and the Dem take of "Let's wait and see what the investigation uncovers." And sorry, "Let's wait and see" is not the proper message to be pushing with respect to an investigation that has already brought a bucket load of charges, indictments, and guilty pleas already. I am not suggesting that I have the answer to what precisely the Dem messaging should be, but the Republicans and their media machine have succeed for years by motivating their voters with their claims that the house is perpetually on fire, and it would be nice to see Democrats sounding the alarm a bit more for what is so obviously appalling presidential conduct that could potentially have enormously dangerous consequences for the future of the country.
But Mister Tee, I do think you're right that an element of despair does have something to do with it -- I think so many are just so worn down by the daily outrages, by the discouraging feeling that this awful man and his cronies will never face any consequences for what increasingly appear to be at least little-t treasonous acts -- not to mention the rampant corruption -- that things like this just get thrown alongside less outrageous scandals (like Trump coming to Roseanne's rescue, which is atrocious, but doesn't threaten the fabric of the nation) rather than the enormous deals they are.
But again, I'm trying to knock on as many doors as I can to do my part to make sure the November elections put a very different group of people in power in Congress.