Has our Honk Kong moment arrived?

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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.

Stephanie Miller

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.

30 comments

  1. Is our Hong Kong moment?

    Not yet, I think. But I’m quite sure that many people are watching and ready to act if that becomes necessary.

    My sense is that people are looking to the 2020 elections for a peaceful transition of power. But they are also closely watching attempts to interfere with that.

    Of course, we are seeing such action. That’s what the Ukraine thing was about. And Barr’s latest criminal investigation may be about that. But it has not yet reached the point of seriously threatening the 2020 elections.

    For now, we shall wait and see what happens.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Totally agree Neil. The next year is sure to be about as contentious as we’ve ever seen. This man has fulfilled one of the promises to his base: he’s blowing the whole thing up!
      As many have said, we get what we deserve. I hope it doesn’t happen a second time.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Another excellent post, Jeff! I find myself torn on this one. On the one hand, yes, I think the time has come for us to make our voices heard loud and clear, and what better way than to descend on the swamp in full regalia. We have been largely silent for far too long, and the escalation in atrocities committed by Trump is simply not acceptable … we are on a fast course toward a dictatorship. On the other hand … sigh … do you see me organizing a group, or hopping a bus? No. I am no better than the rest. Would the day come, if thousands were planning a march on D.C. that I might join? Maybe, but I just don’t know. Perhaps I am as much a hypocrite as any.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Jill. NO way are you a hypocrite. Like I said in previous response, what you do is priceless! We’re both doing our best. We’re just putting it out in the best way we can. That time may come for both of us, where we both decide to head to D.C…..you never know.
      But, it’s like my wife said to me, as long as people have jobs, a roof over their head, the kids are alright, and life personally is ok….a rogue and lawless president still doesn’t really touch their lives. At least not yet. Like I wrote in my post, in those Vietnam days…and the civil rights issues as well, people had skin in the game. Lives were being lost. Peoples rights were being trampled on. It was such a different time. Those days seem like ancient history. Until lives are being directly affected…and I mean directly….we’ll just have to kick his ass out of office in 2020. Lord help my mental stability until then!!

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      1. Your wife summed it up perfectly! And, as you added, Until lives are being directly affected … . This is the key.

        Even if the impeachment effort goes through … EVEN IF the Senate validates it … there will STILL be people who will scream their Golden Boy was railroaded. Hide and watch.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh yeah. No doubt. Here’s a question though…If he is removed via impeachment, will HIS supporters take to the streets? That, is something we may never know the answer to. We certainly have heard them warning of a ‘civil war’ if it happens. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. I still think it’s going to be the 2020 election though. I could be wrong…..I don’t know if I can last till then!!

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      3. They’re a pretty emotional bunch, so yeah … there could be an uprising.

        Speaking of which … a few years back, I started doing some research on the connection between emotionality and Republicans (I think there’s a real connection) and was going to write a book about same. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find enough material/data/research on the subject so the project died. 😦

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  3. Two years ago I lost a possible friend and definite ally by calling for the American people to take to the streets. She thought I was too radical, and that I was upsetting her readers. You watched the marches and riots in the 60s. Albeit I was in Canada, I took part in the Anti-Vietnam marches, and the anti-authority sit-ins. I could have taken part in riots but I was a pacifist, and refused to take part in the violence. Still, I sympathized with those who did riot, and hoped something would work. And for a while we made progress, challenging the rule of the old ways, giving support to those who were at least trying. That is why I put out calls to action. But my calls fell on deaf ears. Maybe some are listening now. I am still against rioting, but peaceful marches that interrupt the economies of nations I am all for.
    People have power! They have to learn to use it…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yep…you said it well Rawgod. PEACEFUL protests. Not violent ones. Things did turn violent in the 60s. Very unfortunate, but you can see why. Three assassinations….the War…race riots….It’s amazing we got out of the 60s at all. But, we did. We moved forward. Things are better now….but still many problems. We’ll survive the idiot as well. The strength of our democracy has served us well. It’s being tested, however. How we come out of this will tell us a lot about our country. For now, the majority of the people will let things play out, electorally and politically. Hopefully it’s all peaceful. The bottom line outcome though, must be his removal from office. How that happens? We shall see.

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  4. Over on this side of the pond the BBC ran a piece the other night where they interviewed people in Pennsylvania, a swing state where former Democrats voted Trump in 2016. The people the BBC spoke to were happy with what they got from Trump, thought the impeachement talk was irrelevant to them and seemed likely to stick with Trump for a second term.
    Don’t know how typical that is, but it is the opposite side of the coin to the opinions I read from the blogs I follow from over there. It did not give me miuch hope of a Democrat win in 2020.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know Frank. It’s depressing that he still has such strong support from about 35-40% of the voting public. I’ll never understand it. It’s why the only way we win, is by massive voter turnout. No way he can win if all of us over here vote. WE have the numbers. It’s all about apathy vs. one’s civic duty. It’s a problem. But when we turnout, we win. Fingers crossed my friend!! America screwed up the last time. We can’t do it again!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jeff, well done.

    A couple of questions to ponder:

    – why is the US president directing the US Attorney General and why is he aware of findings?

    – why is it so hard for ardent Trump fans to believe hard-working, diligent ambassadors who have served both Republican and Democrat presidents?

    – why are we not celebrating the political courage of these ambassadors who are testifying while knowing the president is very vindictive?

    – why are not more questions being asked of AG William Barr who white-washed a more damning Mueller report?

    – why did the GOP stormtroopers brag that they had not paid attention to what these heroes were testifying and had not read the Mueller report?

    – why are legislators OK with a morally corrupt and likely criminally corrupt president?

    – why do two Republican lawyer groups say the impeachment inquiry is justified?

    – why do Trump followers think the ten plus year economic growth in the US started January, 2017? Could it be they believed his lie how horrible things were and unemployment was as high as 42%? It is amazing how it dropped to beneath 5% after the inauguration.

    Mind you, I am glad economic growth continued, but what concerns me is we borrowed from our future to make a pretty good economy a little better for a little while. Instead of paying down debt in good years, our deficit climbed 26% to $984 billion for the fiscal year ending 9/30/2019. This is the fourth straight year of increases. We are over $22 trillion in debt today and it will be near $34 trillion in eight years sans change.

    Trump said the economy will suffer if he is nor reelected. The truth is the economy has been softening for more than a year and will continue to soften regardless of whether Trump is reelected.

    Just a few questions to ponder.

    Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Keith, in one of your questions, you write (related to celebrating the political courage of the ambassadors) … while knowing the president is very vindictive

      To his supporters, he is not being vindictive. To them, he is merely standing up for himself against people who don’t like him and are “blind” to all the “good” things he’s done. Seriously. These people either REFUSE to see the man for what he is or, because their source of news is Faux, they are convinced he’s a True Leader that’s going to MAGA.

      And this is what we’re up against.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Nan, there is a huge blind spot, but there are few items we could get agreement on, even from his staunchest supporters. That would at least create dialogue. Here they are:
        – I wish he would not tweet as much as he does
        – I wish he would not offer his opinion on topics that are not that important for a president
        – I wish he would have a thicker skin; it makes him look petty

        These three things should get a level of agreement. And, they can be offered in a way without being political.

        With that said, I am a 61 year old white man, so I am often mistaken to be a Republican, as I once was. So, I can get away with making these observations to start a conversation. Keith

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Keith, I absolutely agree with you on all three of these points.

        I don’t follow trump’s twitter feed but I see some of his tweets retweeted by other people.

        I understand the notion of wanting to communicate directly with the people and not have to get around the gatekeepers of the corporate media but there’s a way to do it respectfully and not be antagonistic with every thumb press on the phone.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Thanks a lot Keith. Yes…lots of questions sir. All pertinent, all perplexing as well.
      I agree with you about the deficit and debt. Dems are not pure on this either…but facts are facts. Under Clinton, he ended his presidency with a budget surplus. Under Bush, everything ballooned the other way. Under Obama, we started to get it under control again. Now, with Trump…well…you know.
      Look, many reasons for these things, but I can tell you for sure that when a Dem is elected POTUS again…and I hope that’s in 2020….you will see Republicans shout from the hills how terrible the debt and deficit are. Funny how that works isn’t it? And, they do it with no shame. Hypocritical? Of course. It’s what they’re best at. They know most of the public doesn’t know or care what they’ve said in the past. It’s one of the things that frustrates me the most. I sure wish people would pay a little more attention…..like us, right?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think it’s horrible that the republicans don’t say a damn thing about the debt under a republican president but scream at the top of their hypocritical lungs when a democrat is in charge.

        If what republicans say in the past is important, why is it that when people like me bring up what democrats have said about Clinton’s impeachment being a lynching for instance, why is it that we are to ignore those statements from the past yet we should pay attention to what republicans have said in recent history?

        How does this make sense? Someone, please enlighten me about this.

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      2. Jeff, I agree both Republicans and Democrats are to blame for the debt and deficit. We must increase revenue and decrease spending. Republicans don’t want to talk about the former and Democrats don’t want to talk about the latter. Bill Clinton did deliver a surplus budget to Bush, but we also need to give credit for independent candidate Ross Perot who made this issue visible. Keith

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      3. Sklawlor, you raise a good point about selective memory. See my notes to Nan and Jeff on the debt and deficit. My biggest criticism of the Obama presidency is he put the Simpson-Bowles Deficit Reduction Plan on a shelf. It was good work and could have been used as a starting point. I also feel Freedom Caucus members who voted for the 2017 tax reduction are hypocrites as the bill was projected to increase the debt by $1.5 trillion over ten years. That is on top of the projected $10 trillion increase before the change.

        A key reason I left the GOP twelve years ago was their climate change stance. They have bought into the hoax mindset. Yet, what I find as a metaphor for all politicians is after naysaying climate change, Newt Gingrich does a TV commercial around 2006 with Nancy Pelosi to say he was wrong about climate change. Then, he runs for president in 2012 and says he was wrong to say he was wrong. Really, Newt?

        I wish we could more easily get independents elected. The polticians are too beholden to party platforms. We need a lot more data driven analyses.

        Keith

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Solid post raising the issue of 2020 another rung.
    Looking from outside and using our UK experiences through Brexit (maybe should be called Bretoxic), I suspect there maybe more than a few folk who are keeping their heads low because of the malice and violence both physical and verbal that the believers of the Unholy Church of Trump can muster on a personal level,not just at themselves but at their families too. It is aggressive and it is intimidating.
    They may save it all up for the ballot…we shall see.
    This I fear for the USA, is the parallel with 1840s & 50s. If Trump does get back in there is a possibility that folk who have been not so quite might start to think..’What the hell! If the ballot doesn’t work…’
    And history seems to indicate that those who start the conflict; in this case the hostile Alt-Right might sew the wind but they reap the whirlwind….and lose….in not a pleasant way.
    And innocents get caught in the middle.
    Here’s hoping I am wrong, wrong, wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you might be on to something Roger. The violence factor I believe, is a big deal. Or, at least the possibility of it occurring. We’ve already seen mass shooters who cling to the alt-Right/Trump propaganda. It certainly begs one to ponder what could happen at mass demonstrations. In other words, the kooks and crazies might become operational.
      Hell, I’m even apprehensive putting a pro-Democrat bumper sticker on my car out here in Red country USA, for fear of finding my tires slashed or windshield broken. That’s how bad it’s getting Roger. We’ve got to put a halt to the rise of the far-right. I just don’t know how we do it. I’m not for violence of any kind. We must win on ideas and facts. For that is what they cannot answer to.
      Thanks for reading Roger, as always.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I can understand you being worried about pro-Democrat stickers.
        This is one of Trump’s crimes against the nation he has played only to one group and raised their passions.
        There comes a time when extreme members of the ‘Blue’ group start to say ‘OK, if that’s the way you want to play it…..’
        Then starts the escalation.
        And in a nation where access to arms is easy things get messy.
        Viewed from this perspective Trump is nothing short of a traitor to the USA and will be until he is either thrown out or learns that conciliation is vital.
        I wish you Godspeed.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you Roger. You have a very well thought out view of what’s going on over here, and you’re spot on. We’ve got one helluva rocky road ahead my friend.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks for your kind words
        You have indeed.
        There are some similarities in the current experiences of both our nations.
        We under the forces set loose by Brexit may well fragment into separate parliaments who only get together on questions of defense and agreeing The Queen/King is nominal head. Thus we will become a collection of isles off of the coast of mainland Europe, some parts Good, some OK and others….not so nice. It happens to once powerful nations/ empires….part of history’s long march. It will not be a pleasant process.
        I worry about the USA because of the parallels with the 1840s to 1850s. There is a likelihood of regions/cities etc starting to ignore any Washington on principal, the supporters of that Washington growing more hostile in response.
        You could find a sudden interest in ‘States Rights’ on both sides of the divide.
        From there the path is one which many a large nation/empire/federation has faced; The Centre cannot hold and the outlying areas go their own way. In this situation at best you end up with ‘The Holy Roman Empire’ empire scenario. The difficulty for the resulting small nation/state is with their independence comes the reliance not just on the co-operation with neighbouring nation/states but having to deal with the influence of larger world states such as China, India, Russia and the multi-national corporations who will, naturally, look to gain traction and influence. This is the natural way of things in geo-politics & world trade.
        Thus the USA becomes just a sub-continent, a collection of nations, some Good, some OK…others…not so nice.
        Who gets the nuclear weapons?……Now as Hamlet said ‘There’s the rub’

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I cannot argue with anything of your points Roger. We’re in trouble. Both of our countries, indeed. The Autocratic/dictatorial states/actors are on the ascent. The once great protector of human rights and purveyor of democracy the world over, the USA, is nowhere to be found. The invasion of Iraq certainly paved the way for how our once great nation, is now perceived. And now? Look who we have leading us down the road to oblivion. The stars have become increasingly aligned in the direction you so aptly described above. 2020 cannot come fast enough my friend. Even then….it might be too late.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. We hope. We vote. We never wavered in our own small battles to try and keep the flickering flames of Compassion, Respect and Tolerance alive. We hope. We never give up.
        History is littered with the husks of these small creatures like Trump, remembered only as curios and footnotes.
        Hope carries on.

        Like

    1. Agreed. We’ve seen some smaller protests take place, especially in areas where he’s speaking or doing one of his ridiculous rallies. You’re right though. Coordination, longevity, and sense of purpose. All would be very effective.

      Like

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