Note: This blog originated prior to the massacre in El Paso. After the July 14 declaration of war I wrote: That day will be remembered as a day of infamy where the long-brewing culture wars finally spilled forth into an open (solely political so far) combat. But I also wrote: THE DONALD asked the audience of deplorables [in the Panhandle] how to stop the illegal aliens from crossing into the country. “Shoot’m” exclaimed a good ol boy to the laughter of the Trumpicans. The stories in El Paso and Dayton are still unfolding and I still haven’t come to grips with them. Perhaps later.
During the Democratic Presidential debates, Senator Gillibrand drew laughter when she said she would disinfect the White House as her first task. I guess she will be ordering the jumbo sizes to be delivered by truck.
But she raises a point about what will happen once Individual #1 no longer is the President. As Robert Mueller reminded us in his testimony, the DOJ guidelines do not apply once a person ceases to be President. At that point he can be indicted.
How exactly would that work? Suppose the incoming and outgoing presidents are standing together at the inaugural. The incoming President takes the oath of office. The outgoing President is no longer President. Can he be arrested right then and there? If so, by whom? The FBI?
Or does that mean the process of indicting the former President can now begin? Where will be he during the interim? Sitting around waiting to be indicted?
For that matter, will he be at the inaugural? Assume for the moment that he eventually accepts the reality that he lost the election, a big assumption. Does it follow that he would then participate as the LOSER for all to see in the inaugural ceremony? Even if there were no legal issues involved, just on a personal basis is it really possible to imagine this individual standing there with his successor the way Obama had with him?
Here is what is easier to imagine. Assume he accepts that he will be removed from office by the rigged vote of the people and will be facing indictments once he returns to ordinary citizen status. What should he do? He would resign a day or two before the end of his term. Vice President Brown Nose would then become the President. His one major action would to be pardon his predecessor of all crimes.
While that action would clear him on the federal level, it would not work on the state level. New York for example, might be chomping at the bit just waiting to serve him with subpoenas. Indict him, or both. Could he be extradited to New York? Where could he hide to avoid extradition? The Russian Embassy? Would it become a Russian citizen? Would he become a Russian diplomat?
In short, the transfer process will be a lot more complicated than simply disinfecting the Oval Office. There are legal, logistical, and contingency considerations. While I have seen a great many legal experts on various talk shows and read a great many legal analyses about the current situation, I have not seen or heard any discussion about exactly how the legal process would work once Individual #1 is no longer protected by DOJ guidelines. Shouldn’t someone being working on how that might really happen?
THE RED WAVE
Prior to the 2018 elections, the President of the United States predicted a red wave. As it turned out he was exactly right. He generated a red wave of biblical proportions that swept away 40 Republicans from Congress. It is not unusual in a hostile takeover of an organization, for the incoming chief executive to cleanse the company of holdovers loyal to the previous administration. If you did not feel the love for the new boss, then you were not needed or welcome.
This red wave cleansing process helped transform the Republican Party into the Trumpican Party. Many Republicans had anticipated what would happen and had abandoned ship. As we begin to prepare for the next round of elections, we are witnessing the emergence of a similar process. The few Republicans left see that they have no place in the Trumpican Party. They are not in denial about the polls. They understand the reality of the political situation. They can see what is coming once a new census is taken and new congressional districts are redrawn. They know that being in the minority in the House of Representatives means being powerless. Politically they have nothing to look forward to even if the Republican Party still functioned at the national level and had not become the Trumpican Party.
In addition there is the person toil. Duped-by-Russia Hannity is paid millions to be an apologist. He gets to do so from a studio where there are no people screaming in his face about the latest transgression committed by our immature child president. He does not have to answer a crowd of constituents upset over the latest criminal, bigoted, stupid tweet or action by the narcissistic racist in chief. For some people like John Radcliffe it is easy to be a loyalist. For others like Justin Amash, enough is enough. For the remaining Republicans in Congress, the constant need to be an apologist for a person who cannot tell the truth is not what they signed up for. As the culture wars intensifies and more people are murdered in acts of racist terrorism, it will become harder and harder for Republicans who may actually admire Lincoln to be loyal to the Trumpican president who pours oil on the fires of hate and relishes exploiting a divided country.
We are a story-telling species. Branding someone with a catchy tagline works. It certainly did in the 2016 Republican presidential primary. Here we see how being a seventh-grade-smart-aleck-dumb-aleck really paid off. Insulting people is what he does. Demeaning people is what he does. What could be more natural for a seventh-grade-smart-aleck-dumb-aleck than to blurt out some mean and nasty nickname for another student…and to enjoy it even more if it makes the student cry?
Now Trumpican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is on the receiving end of one such insult. He does not like being called “Moscow Mitch.” It did not take very long for that nickname to get under his skin. Regardless of the merits of the sobriquet, there should be no doubting its effectiveness.
So where are the Democratic terms of insult? In the 1992 there were two competing branding terms: Slick Willie and “It’s the economy stupid.” Regardless of your preference, we know that they work with voters. The last Democratic president had “Yes, we can.” The last Democratic candidate had no slogan that resonated. No counterpart to “Crooked Hillary.” Here we are four years after that escalator descent and Democrats still have no slogan around which to rally its voters and no nickname with which to castigate its opponent. How pathetic.
Even with 20+ candidates, the Democrats have generated no wow factor. They do not need be mud wrestlers all the time but they should learn from the example of Moscow Mitch. The fact that they have no nickname for Putin’s Pence speaks volumes as to the shortcoming of the Democrats. Bonespur Boy provides a wealth of examples for Democrats to work with. If you cannot think of a pejorative nickname for Swamp Builder, you should not be in politics. If you are unable to go into the arena against Little Donnee Wanee, then perhaps you lack the right stuff to be commander in chief. The Democrats need to get in touch with their inner seventh-grade-smart-aleck-dumb aleck and stop acting as if the campaign is a high school or college debate.