(above: Michael Tomasky – Author of “If We Can Keep It.”)
Tomasky begins his article in The Daily Beast asking how the once proud Republican Party, which had produced admirable, if not entirely to be revered, historic figures like Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, degenerated into a festering cesspool of defenders of corporate malfeasance and frightened, bigoted Fox News viewers that vomits up human scum like Lindsey Graham — who sought to trivialize yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Hearing by uttering a colorful and obscene Anglo-Saxon verb, and then chortling about it, and AG William Barr who disgustingly showed contempt for oversight by lying like the cheap rug that reposes distressingly on drumpf’s bald dome.
He answers that question by quoting philosopher Eric Hoffer, who once once offered this explanation — “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”
Those first paragraphs are very much worth pursuing and I encourage you to click over and absorb them.
But what caught my eye, and what I wanted to share with you, is his concise summation of how we arrived at this dangerous juncture for our democracy and the battle that looms between now and election day:
“And all of it along the way—every racist dog whistle, every Rush Limbaugh rant, every false, out-of-thin-air accusation against Bill and Hillary Clinton, every lie about easily liberating the people of Iraq, every accusation that the rest of us hated freedom, every “joke” about Obama serving fried chicken, every disgusting attack on immigrants and gay people and you name it—has brought us to this point. Brought us to today, when a sitting attorney general said in effect to the American people whose interests he is supposed to be defending, “No, I truly do not give a fuck. I’m up here for the president, and that’s that.” And naturally, we learned three hours after he left the Senate chamber that he will not deign to appear at the House, where the questioning would likely be tougher.
Trump is a uniquely diseased man, it’s true. But what kind of political party nominates, celebrates, venerates, and takes political bullets for a uniquely diseased man?
So after today, if we didn’t before, we see now with a new and oddly liberating clarity where this is headed. It’s 18 months until Election Day. They may well be the most consequential and frightening stretch in the history of the country, or at least since Reconstruction.
This racket known as a political party will try to pervert the law in ways we’ve never seen. Reverse the meaning of every word we know. Trump is screaming that he’s the victim of a “coup.” What he is doing, of course, is perpetrating a coup, against the Constitution, with the eager help of Barr and Graham and all the rest of them. Trump is an idiot, but on some intuitive level, he’s a smart man, smart enough to know that to get away with staging a coup, the very first thing you have to do is to accuse your opponents of trying to stage one.
Barr and Graham and Mitch McConnell and everyone else around knows that they’ve thrown in, and having thrown in, they can’t throw out. Survival will require every kind of lie you can imagine, especially and exactly the lie of accusing their foes of that which they are doing themselves. And before this is over, they’re all going to be in on it.”
It will be crucial in this coming battle for Democrats to choose wisely the candidate that is most suited, temperamentally and by experience, to do battle with these forces.
Without making an outright endorsement, I think yesterday’s hearings provided us with that answer.
Please follow me on Twitter @durrati