The Daily Vigil, 7/17/17: Don Jr. and the Party of Nothing
Good morning everyone! I hope yall had a nice, restful weekend. As always, call your Senators against the BCRA. And with that out of the way, I’d like to talk about a more philosophical topic today- specifically, how Don Trump Jr. shows us that the GOP stands for nothing.
Everything is a Lie and Nothing Matters: I’m sure that if you’re reading this column, you’re aware of the clown car of developments that’ve come out about Don Jr. and the Russians. It seems like every day the story changes, and even more amazingly, every day it seems to get worse. Let’s just summarize the timeline of the last few days, just so we’re clear:
- July 8th: It comes out that Don Jr. met with a Russian lawyer. He claims it was about “adoptions” (hint: that means sanctions), but that the meeting went nowhere.
- July 9th: Turns out, Don Jr. had been told that the lawyer wanted to present damaging info about Clinton. Don Jr. admits this, but says she was vague. “She then changed subjects and began discussing the adoption of Russian children and mentioned the Magnitsky Act” (See? Told you. Sanctions.) So essentially, he wanted dirt on Clinton but claims the lawyer had nothing worthwhile.
- July 10th: Oh dear, the New York Times says it has emails about the meeting’s planning.
- July 11th: Don Jr. decides it would be a good idea to release the emails. Unfortunately, these show him giddily accepting the idea of getting dirt on Clinton, from a lawyer who is explicitly connected to the Russian government. I mean its right there in the email. Read it yourself.
- July 14th: Turns out there was another person in the room! I guess that detail just slipped Don Jr.’s mind. And clutch my pearls, it was a powerful Russian oligarch. Someone fetch me my fainting couch. I’d like to point out that one does not become a powerful Russian oligarch, and remain as such for very long, if they’re not connected at the hip to Vladimir Putin. But let’s move on.
- July 14th: Nope, that’s not a typo. Later in the day on the 14th, it comes out that there was another person in the room. Hence the clown car.
- July 15th: Turns out Don Jr. did get a folder full of Clinton dirt during the meeting. I guess he forgot to mention that too.
- July 16th: Trump’s lawyer blames the Secret Service for not preventing Russian nationals from meeting with Don Jr.
- July 16th: The Secret Service reminds Trump Sr. that Trump Jr. wasn’t under USSS protection at that time. Swing and a miss.
Some Perspective: Now, I rattled through that timeline to prove a point. Over the course of a week, Donald Trump Jr. has taken us on a merry chase over the river and through the woods of his explanations. On a nearly daily basis, new information comes out on this meeting he was at, contradicting his statements from a day before. Each time, he assures us “this is it”; each time, he’s shown to be full of shit. So lets lay it all out on the table. We now have him in a room with the highest officials of the Trump campaign (Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner), with a ever-growing army of Russian nationals, hand-receiving damaging info on Clinton that he knowingly and gleefully scheduled the meeting to get.
The fact that Donald Trump Jr. has not experienced any real heat from the Republicans shows us that they simply do not care if someone colludes with a hostile foreign power to win and election- as long as it’s a “Republican” who wins because of said collusion. But I want you to imagine one scenario.
Imagine if this was the Clintons we were talking about.
Imagine, If You Will: The year is 2017, in a dimension just next door to our own. Hillary Rodham Clinton is the President of the United States. But it has recently come to light that her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, had a meeting with top Clinton campaign officials and Russian nationals to gain damaging information on Donald Trump.
How long would it take for the Republicans to call for their heads? All of zero seconds? Yeah, I thought so too.
The Party of Nothing: The Republicans would be screaming themselves hoarse if the above scenario had taken place. There would have been armed right-wing mobs taking over Federal facilities in protest over this issue- and I say that with confidence because they’ve done so over less. Mitch McConnell would be trying to lock the whole family up as traitors for so long, that the universe would die a cold and lonely heat death before their sentence would end.
But instead, the GOP won’t even consider revoking Jared Kushner’s security clearance.
Any principle that the Republicans could claim is dead and buried. Any moral high ground has long since been abandoned. The entire party- at least at the Congressional level- has shown that its only interest is self-preservation; a decrepit and cowardly perpetual motion machine that seeks to win only for the sake of winning. And if you think I’m being hyperbolic, consider health care! They’ve been bleating about the ACA for the better part of a DECADE. Even if they didn’t think Trump was going to win, wouldn’t you think that once over the last six or seven years they would have gotten together for five minutes and scribbled out a plan on the back of a napkin? Something- anything!- so they were all on the same page, just in case the time came? I’m no fan of the corporate wing of the Democratic Party, but Christ Almighty, at least they pulled their heads out of their donors’ asses long enough to get something beneficial done when they were in power!
When the Levee Breaks: In closing, I’d like to remind people that there is a breaking point for the GOP. It’s out there, somewhere. I’m sure that on some clear morning, months if not years after the point it would have been courageous and virtuous to do so, the party of Real American Patriots(TM) will dust off their spines and march out onto the Capitol steps. Their self-righteousness shining bright as the sun, these men and women will put country over party in fiery speeches just long enough to save their seats. I’m sure John McCain will be front and center in that crowd, telling the world how he’s had “grave concerns” about this administration from day one, and praying nobody brings up his voting record. I have faith that at some point, when this day comes, the cowardice of the GOP will finally shatter their hold on Washington and we can go back to getting shit done. When that day comes, you can find me on my porch. I’ll be the one in me most ostentatious hat and swim trunks, regardless of the time of year, smugly sipping my drink while NPR blares out the play-by-play of arrests.
Until that day comes, keep calling your congresspeople and telling them what you think of their yellow-bellied, hand-wringing apologisms.