I’ve been thinking a lot about the most depressing part of this mess we are in: the ¼ to 1/3 or so of the American population that seem to love Trump no matter what.
There are many explanation for this but the one I have been thinking about most this week is the strong, primitive desire we all have for a daddy (or mommy) who will take care of everything for us. Think about what little kids want. They don’t think of their parents as three dimensional people with faults and strengths. They think of their parents as mythological people who protect them from danger, from unpredictability, and from the terrifying knowledge of how small and insignificant each of us is.
And here is the thing: we never stop craving the safety of that mythological parent.
And that basic desire is what Trump appeals to for some people. As hard as it is for us to see, he provides some people with this mythological parent figure who is strong and brave and tells them they are special. Sure he doesn’t always tell the truth. But what parent does? What is important is how he makes them feel.
That is why people are attracted to any strong man political figure. They makes people feel safe. Are there more rules to follow, less freedom, and less free choice? Sure. But that happens with parents too. We give them the power because we trust them to cherish us and keep us safe.
But before anyone starts feeling to superior to Trump’s fans, this tendency to see our leaders as bigger than life — not really human — is not just a feature of the far right. We do this with our politicians on the left, too. And we turn on them brutally when they show any signs of not being the superhero parents we build them up to be.
And this is normal, human nature too. As a parent of a teenager, I can tell you that every weakness I have, every oddity, every failure, is magnified in her eyes. Every mistake is a betrayal, because it shows that I am not the superhero mythological mom that she clung to as a child.
The other day she got mad at me because it rained on a day when she had outdoor plans. Seriously.
I see us do this with our political leaders.
Even though we know that there is no magic bullet to remove trump from office TODAY we are furious with our leaders for not doing magically removing him from office. Even though we know that the DNC is just made up of people like us who desperately want trump out of office we are furious with them for not always making all the right decision. Even though we know that congressional subpoenas only have so much power, we are furious with our leaders for not being able to make them magic prison pills. And even though we know that hearings take time and planning and that if not done right they are awful, we are furious with our leaders for not holding hearings the very day after they have the idea.
Don’t get me wrong, we can (and should) criticize and make calls and primary people and sign petitions. We can disagree with specific decisions or strategy. But deciding that our leaders are evil or incompetent or corrupt or worthless because they aren’t perfect will lead to teenage angst, wallowing, and inaction. Our leaders aren’t perfect. We don’t always agree with them. Even RBG has bad votes.
I’m not throwing stones here: I readily admit that we ALL do that and that all certainly includes me. My sorrow when the Mueller investigation ended was partly the end of the myth that a “dad” was out there keeping track of wrongdoing and getting ready to kick ass. When really, he was just another bureaucrat doing a tough job.
The simple truth is that there are no superhuman wonder parents out there to take care of us.
No one is coming to save us.
It’s just all us kids and teenagers and young adults and middle aged people and older folks out here doing what we can for the country we love.
That is what participatory democracy is.
It is millions of us working together to do what we can. That is it. No parents, no heroes, no savior,
And luckily, that is enough.
Just look at all the good news we have generated:
Democrats are Amazing
Not perfect. Not our mommies and daddies 😉 But pretty F-ing amazing.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) has released a plan to spend trillions of federal dollars on direct cash subsidies to working class and poor Americans, including the unemployed and those with no earnings.
Tlaib’s bill would give direct cash help to those at the bottom of the income distribution — annually offering $3,000 to individuals and $6,000 to families — in an attempt to reduce poverty in the United States and bolster the wages of the poor.
The Michigan lawmaker’s proposal expands on a bill from Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), which would also direct trillions in tax credits to low-income Americans but offers no or smaller benefits for the poorest people in the United States.
Inbox: As part of a series of open hearings on the Mueller Report, on June 12, the House Intelligence Committee will hold an open hearing — 'Lessons from the Mueller Report: Counterintelligence Implications of Volume 1.'
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 7, 2019
Democrats advanced a homeland security spending bill on Wednesday that included no money for President Trump’s border wall
“No funding is provided for the border wall or additional border barriers, and a provision is included prohibiting the use of any federal funds other than funds explicitly appropriated by Congress for that purpose in prior years,” said Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security.
A House Appropriations subcommittee approved a bill Monday night that includes $600 million in funding for the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) meant for states to bolster election security, with the money specifically earmarked for states to buy voting systems with “voter-verified paper ballots.”
With a handful of Republican votes, House Democrats passed the latest version of the DREAM Act, an ambitious expansion of a nearly two-decades-long legislative effort that would place millions of young undocumented immigrantsand immigrants with temporary status on a pathway to U.S. citizenship.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler told Democratic leaders at a closed-door meeting this week that he could issue a subpoena to Robert Mueller within two weeks if he is unable to reach an agreement to secure the former special counsel’s public testimony, according to two sources familiar with the meeting.
House Democratic leaders are preparing to grant sweeping authority to committee chairs to sue the Trump administration over its refusal to comply with congressional demands for information — from President Donald Trump’s tax returns to former special counsel Robert Mueller’s underlying files.
The draft resolution, which the House will consider on Tuesday, formally holds Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn in contempt of Congress for defying House Judiciary Committee subpoenas seeking Mueller’s unredacted report, its underlying evidence, and additional witness testimony.
But the most dramatic proposal will empower the chairs of all House committees to initiate legal action each time a witness or administration official defies a committee subpoena, a move to streamline and speed up the House’s ability to respond to a mounting list of confrontations with the White House.
Top congressional Democrats are actively discussing opening a probe into Rudy Giuliani for his overseas political and consulting work, including a recent attempt to uncover dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, a source with direct knowledge tells The Daily Beast.
The contours of a potential probe are still under consideration. But it would likely look at whether Giuliani’s relationships with foreign politicos interfered or intersected with American foreign-policy efforts.
OFFICIAL DNC STATEMENT:
The moon is not part of Mars.
— DNC War Room (@DNCWarRoom) June 7, 2019
a little musical break before we move on:
House Democrats are hoping to use Sen. Mitch McConnell‘s “legislative graveyard” as a messaging tool to topple GOP candidates in 2020.
McConnell (R-Ky.), the Senate majority leader, is embracing his role as a roadblock to the Democrats’ legislative agenda, casting himself as the “Grim Reaper” poised to kill the Democrats’ top policy priorities. The barrier has frustrated Democrats as they fight to advance legislation they promised voters in 2018, but they also see it as a political gift heading into next year’s elections.
Rep. Devin Nunes — the lightning rod House Intelligence Committee member who was nearly knocked off in the midterm — will face a 2020 Democratic challenge from a Fresno Latino businessman who charges the California GOP congressman has been silent on the proposed “Trump tax” tariffs that he says will slam Central Valley farmers and consumers.
Phil Arballo, 40, a financial adviser, cites Nunes’ unflagging support of President Trump’s policies as evidence that the seven-term Republican has failed to stay in touch with the economic concerns of his Central Valley constituents. Of special concern, he said, has been Nunes’ failure to stand up for farmers and business people when it comes to Trump’s calls for tariffs on goods from Mexico, California’s largest trading partner.
Wendy Davis is back front and center in Texas politics after it was announced Thursday night at a Texas Observer fundraiser that she’s going to run against local Congressman Chip Roy.
Davis gained national attention in 2013, for her eleven-hour filibuster on the floor of the Texas Senate. Her actions temporarily stopped a bill with tougher restrictions on abortion, during the regular session. She later lost as the Democrat in the 2014 Governor’s election to Greg Abbott.
Trump remains underwater in key battleground states, according to Morning Consult.
New Hampshire: -19 net approval
North Carolina: -4
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 5, 2019
Nicole Galloway is starting to sound like a candidate for governor.
Speaking Saturday night at the annual Jackson County Democrats’ Truman Dinner at Arrowhead Stadium, the Democratic state auditor hammered Republican Gov. Mike Parson on a litany of issues – from compliance with the state’s Sunshine Law to his support for overturning voter-approved ballot measures.
She is the only Democratic statewide officeholder in Missouri, a distinction that makes her the clear frontrunner for the party’s gubernatorial nomination in 2020 – if she decides to jump into the race.
Joni Ernst now has a Democratic challenger. https://t.co/cO0IFe0mri
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 3, 2019
You could not ask for a better case study in how presidential campaigns define and refine party ideology than this one. While it all revolved around Joe Biden, he was really just a vehicle for the process to play itself out, the net result being a Democratic Party that is more unified than it was at the beginning of the week in both its general commitment to abortion rights and its intention to pursue specific policy changes to put its beliefs into action.
When a presidential primary campaign produces those flips, it’s a sign that the system is working: The party is figuring out exactly what it stands for and where it has fallen short in putting its beliefs into practice. In some cases, as with the Hyde Amendment, it means the party is moving from a diversity of opinion that isn’t discussed very much toward a clear consensus that will lead to action if it manages to take power.
And more from the Dr. This time with the amazing Etta James
Other Good News
Impeachment is a big question mark, but an outline of the case against an ex-President Trump is already taking shape.
The outlines of a potential civilian prosecution of a former president Trump are already emerging. While there are reports of tax dodges, illegal campaign contributions, and improper foreign contributions to his inaugural committee—among other things—investigations into those claims are ongoing. There is, however, an overwhelming case that the president engaged in obstruction of justice—his effort to stop the special counsel’s office from probing his campaign’s ties to Russia.
The Three Strongest Cases
Mueller’s team examined 10 distinct courses of conduct by Trump that could constitute obstruction of justice, but it’s not clear there is sufficient evidence to prove them all beyond a reasonable doubt. Three of the potential charges, however, are so strong that they are virtually certain to be included in any indictment of Trump. (They’re strong enough that over 1,000 former federal prosecutors signed a letter stating that Trump would be indicted if he were not president.)
The Second-Tier Charges
Some prosecutors would limit an obstruction indictment to these, but others might include Trump’s efforts to dissuade Paul Manafort, his former campaign chairman, from cooperating, which Mueller appears to believe is supported by substantial evidence.
Other Legal Jeopardy
Things could get even worse for Trump between now and January 2021.
Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York told a federal judge that Trump directed payments (to women he had had affairs with) that were campaign finance crimes for which Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty.
State-level charges have an extra level of jeopardy because Trump cannot be pardoned for them by a president.
There is also the danger that Trump could engage in additional obstructive conduct before the next election, particularly if the House of Representatives initiates an impeachment inquiry.
It’s (almost) official: The president of the United States is a liar.
This will not come as a revelation to people who have closely followed President Trump’s public statements and Twitter feed and have long doubted his veracity. It is, instead, a late-dawning recognition by mainstream news organizations, which until fairly recently shied away from branding the president’s many questionable utterances as outright lies.
Nowadays, many in the news media are no longer bothering to grant Trump the benefit of the doubt. In routine news and feature stories, Trump’s dishonesty carries no fig leaf. It is described baldly.
YouTube is finally banning content that promotes white supremacist views on its video platform. But it will still permit videos it classifies as “borderline,” which isn’t clearly defined, as well as a host of other problematic content.
Michael R. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, said on Friday he would donate $500 million to a new campaign to close every coal-fired power plant in the United States and halt the growth of natural gas.
The new campaign, called Beyond Carbon, is designed to help eliminate coal by focusing on state and local governments. The effort will bypass Washington, where Mr. Bloomberg has said national action appears unlikely because of a divided Congress and a president who denies the established science of climate change.
Denmark’s Social Democrats won Wednesday’s election, resulting in a changed political landscape that will bring with it a new left-leaning government led by a 41-year-old woman.
Voters handed the anti-immigrant nationalists their worst drubbing ever in an election, and the result puts Social Democrat leader Mette Frederiksen in line to be Denmark’s youngest prime minister and only the second woman to lead the country’s government.
that is it for today. I remain lucky and proud to be in this with all of you ❤️ ✊ ❤️
Sing us out, Doc. And rest in peace.