When I went to bed last night, I had a sickening feeling in my stomach. I’d just watched the Rachel Maddow show where she broke the news that the Justice Department is now opening a criminal investigation—into the investigators of the Russian probe.
I suppose I should have seen it coming. The so-called Attorney General, William Barr, has been flying around the world-shaking down allies, trying to get dirt on anyone he can. This action is most definitely at the behest of the President of the United States. Barr has shown his loyalty and willingness to do the President’s bidding at every turn; why should this time be any different?
If this isn’t another clear case of an abuse of power, what is, folks? On the heels of devastating testimony from career public servants, do we think this announcement is nothing but a coincidence? The Presidents cornered like a rat. With Justice announcing a criminal investigation, he now has a talking point to counter the growing mountain of evidence against him.
Funny though, it’s the same thing that happened in the phone call with the Ukrainian President: “Hey, I need a favor, can you announce an investigation into the Biden’s? That way, I can say the Biden’s are very, very bad people who are being investigated by the Ukrainian government. I can then win again!” I’m paraphrasing, of course. But it’s the same thing. It’s Trump’s playbook, and he’s doing it out in the open—again.
Here’s what I know. We can’t take anything seriously from this Justice Department. The right-wing punditry will receive this information and run with it. We’re about to hear all kinds of accusations and allegations. James Comey, John Brennan, James Clapper, and others, are about to be raked over the coals. Already this morning, Trump, in his “helicopter” press-conference, mentioned the “lovers” Peter Stzrok and Lisa Page. They were out to get him, you know. It’s the same crap we’ve heard for three years. Now? You haven’t seen anything yet.
Which finally brings me to the point that has me perplexed, quite frankly. I’ve been wondering throughout Trump’s presidency, when or if the American people will finally wake up and say enough is enough. Are we there now? Is this our moment?
A serious question
My mornings are pretty routine, and today was no different. When I first wake up, I take our beautiful two dogs out to do what they do. I then give them a couple of treats (because they’re so damn cute), grab me a cup of coffee, sit in my favorite chair, and turn on the Stephanie Miller Show on Free Speech TV.
I’ve been listening to Stephanie for several years now. Since I retired in 2016 from my full-time job, I’m now able to watch her, as well. While she’s not for everybody, I love the show. I’d compare her humor to something between the movie Animal House, Howard Stern, and maybe Bill Maher. Her biting wit and sarcasm makes me laugh. In the world in which we’ve been living the last three years, she’s a breath of fresh air.
But, the show is political. Stephanie is an astute observer of the political world in which we live, and several of the pundits you see on MSNBC, especially the lawyers and prosecutors, call in and have substantive discussions as to what the hell is going on in TrumpWorld. Today, she said something that stuck with me.
After talking about the recent revelations concerning the just announced Justice Department Criminal probe, she asked a question that resonated, “Isn’t it about time that we went all Hong Kong on their asses?” The way she asked it was funny, but the substance of the question is serious as hell.
Is it time? What is it going to take for the people of this country to take to the streets? To demand this President either be removed from office via the 25th Amendment, impeachment, or resignation? For me, I reached that point after I read the Mueller Report. Yes, I read it, and I wrote about it here. I know millions feel the same way. But, enough to fly to D.C., jam the streets for days until justice arrives? I think not.
I’ve thought about this long and hard. I watched in awe as the people of Hong Kong filled the streets by the millions, demanding their government takes action. They were pissed off, and it was a real embarrassment to the communist Chinese government. It’s happening in Lebanon as I write this post. The people are out in the streets there as well, angry at their government’s response to an ongoing economic collapse.
Why over there, and not over here?
It’s a profound question. We’re not facing an economic calamity in this country—yet. Unemployment is low, and the perception overall is that the economy is humming along ok, although warning signs suggest a recession might be on the horizon. Perhaps that’s what it would take. Maybe an economic collapse would spur the public to action? Possibly. I’m just not sure.
My feeling is that most Americans don’t have the time for it. Many might be appalled at what’s going on, but feel powerless to do anything about it. Others, frankly, don’t care or don’t pay attention. I have a problem with this line of thinking because I do care, and I do pay attention. It’s my political ‘nerd-ism,’ I suppose, that prevents me from understanding why others aren’t as appalled as I am. Just because I care so much, doesn’t translate into what the rest of America might think, right?
When a president of the United States blatantly abuses his office for political gain, as well as financial, I think it’s enough to take to the streets. I think it’s enough to demand removal from office. I believe in democracy. I believe in our Constitution. We have a president who believes only in himself. Many people might think that an autocracy, or even dictatorship, could never occur here in the United States. I used to be one of those people. Not anymore.
As a young kid growing up in Northeast Ohio during the 1960s, I witnessed protests in the streets. I had two older brothers who were draft-eligible during Vietnam. Both were opposed to it. Both took part in demonstrations. You know why? Because they didn’t want to die for something they felt was immoral and wrong. They had skin in the game. They saw others from the neighborhood who went over there and never came back. That’s how it was in those days. We even had students shot at universities, thirteen, as a matter of fact, just down the road from where I grew up—Kent State.
So I’ve seen activism. I was young but not too young to understand it. The type of activism that existed back then, we’ve seen a little of it from time to time in recent history. We did see a massive showing at the March for our Lives protest several months ago. We also saw an enormous outpouring of women on the streets the day of Trump’s inaugural. And let’s not forget the reasonably large protests before Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003.
People do care. I’m not saying they don’t. I think, though, that the time has come to care a little bit more. Some of that activism I saw in the 1960s? I wonder if we’re getting close to the same outrage. Maybe it’s simmering. Perhaps we’re close to seeing an awakened sleeping giant.
Again though, I’m just not so sure. A country that struggles even to get 60% of the public to vote in presidential elections might not be the place to inspire millions to take to the streets and “go all Hong Kong on their asses,” as my favorite talk show host so eloquently put it this morning.
Maybe a Supreme Court ruling, something along the lines of ‘The President is above the law, and can’t be prosecuted until he’s out of office, even for murder.’ That would surely do it, right?
I think it’s time to start saving for a flight to D.C.