Summary: I was writing about the latest chapter in America’s descent into political chaos when Matt Taibbi did it for me. We are crossing the line from evolution to revolution.
By Matt Taibbi at his website, today.
“Americans might soon wish they just waited to vote their way out of the Trump era.”
I’ve lived through a few coups. They’re insane, random, and terrifying, like watching sports, except your political future depends on the score. …We have long been spared this madness in America. Our head-counting ceremony was Election Day. We did it once every four years. That’s all over, in the Trump era.
On Thursday, news broke that two businessmen said to have “peddled supposedly explosive information about corruption involving Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden” were arrested at Dulles airport on “campaign finance violations.” The two figures are alleged to be bagmen bearing “dirt” on Democrats, solicited by Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.
Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman will be asked to give depositions to impeachment investigators. They’re reportedly going to refuse. Their lawyer John Dowd also says they will “refuse to appear before House Committees investigating President Donald Trump.” Fruman and Parnas meanwhile claim they had real derogatory information about Biden and other politicians, but “the U.S. government had shown little interest in receiving it through official channels.”
For Americans not familiar with the language of the Third World, that’s two contrasting denials of political legitimacy. The men who are the proxies for Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani in this story are asserting that “official channels” have been corrupted. The forces backing impeachment, meanwhile, are telling us those same defendants are obstructing a lawful impeachment inquiry.
This latest incident, set against the impeachment mania and the reportedly “expanding” Russiagate investigation of U.S. Attorney John Durham, accelerates our timeline to chaos. We are speeding toward a situation when someone in one of these camps refuses to obey a major decree, arrest order, or court decision, at which point Americans will get to experience the joys of their political futures being decided by phone calls to generals and police chiefs.
My discomfort in the last few years, first with Russiagate and now with Ukrainegate and impeachment, stems from the belief that the people pushing hardest for Trump’s early removal are more dangerous than Trump. Many Americans don’t see this because they’re not used to waking up in a country where you’re not sure who the president will be by nightfall. They don’t understand that this predicament is worse than having a bad president.
The Trump presidency is the first to reveal a full-blown schism between the intelligence community and the White House. Senior figures in the CIA, NSA, FBI and other agencies made an open break from their would-be boss before Trump’s inauguration, commencing a public war of leaks that has not stopped. The first big shot was fired in early January, 2017, via a CNN.com headline, “Intel chiefs presented Trump with claims of Russian efforts to compromise him.” …
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Putting this in a larger context
It has long been obvious to anyone paying attention and not wearing tribal blinders that this was a naked struggle for power between the Trump administration and the Deep State – with senior elements of the Democratic Party taking the final step to breaking their long opposition to the Deep State, and allying with it. Democrats now have a more favorable opinion of the CIA than Republicans or Independents (see question 38), putting regard for the CIA at a high of 60% (highest since Gallup first asked in 2003). This is another step in the radical revision of America’s political alliances. In 1964, the GOP became home to Southern racists. In the 1990s, Bill Clinton fully allied the Democrats with Wall Street.
As it does with political campaigns, most of the press has presented this story in the most simplistic fashion: a series of revelations, with no memory of previous headlines that would contradict the latest “news” or make people aware of the overall process. Keep people excited and ignorant! Making this even more noxious, the majority of news media have presented this with a ruthless partisan spin.
For a decade I have said that something like this would happen. This is the equivalent of the beginning of the end of the Roman Republic. Then, as now, citizens had disengaged from politics as they no longer wished to bear the burdens of self-government. Inevitably, powerful groups in Rome began to seek power. Ever more boldly and openly they clashed as the old norms were eroded away. The Roman Republic was the model used by the Founders; this is how it fell. This is America today.
“Although Nero’s death had at first been welcomed with outbursts of joy, it roused varying emotions, not only in the city among the senators and people and the city soldiery, but also among all the legions and generals; for the secret of empire was now revealed, that an emperor could be made elsewhere than at Rome.”
— From The Histories by Cornelius Tacitus (~56 – 117 A.D.).
First, we had the conspiracy to depose Trump, called RussiaGate. When that failed, now we have the equally bogus UkraineGate. When that failed, we have yet another and increasingly desperate attempt. Neither I nor you understand who is at work, let alone why. These events are like the passage of the giant sandworms in Frank Herbert’s Dune. We see only the swell on the surface, not the great beast beneath – and the resulting devastation.
If we will not run America, others will do so – for their benefit. Either begin the long trek to retake control of America, or accept new rulers. If we choose to be subjects, let’s not whine about it.
For More Information
Ideas! See my recommended books and films at Amazon.
The best summary I have seen of UkraineGate: “A Weak Whistleblower, a Ridiculous Impeachment” by Peter van Buren at The American Conservative – “This isn’t about the law; it’s about circumventing another vote by the deplorables in 2020.”
- Why do Democrats want to impeach Trump?
- The amazing Trump-Ukraine-Whistleblower story in a nutshell.
- The best analysis of RussiaGate: its effects & results – By Emmet T. Flood, special counsel to the President.
- Reviewing “Ball of Collusion”, the big book of 2019 about RussiaGate.
- The amazing Trump-Ukraine-Whistleblower story in a nutshell.
- See behind the impeachment stories to learn about America.
New books to help us better understand these events
Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency by Andrew McCarthy (published on 13 August 2019).
Hate Inc.: Why Today’s Media Makes Us Despise One Another by Matt Taibbi (published 8 October 2019).