If a Republican were president right now and an incoming Democrat had won in an election where there was even a whiff of Russian interference, the nation would be shut down right now. Lawyers would be filing every lawsuit imaginable in every court everywhere. Marches would be ready to blockade the path of the electors from even getting to their meeting place. Impeachment documents would have been drawn up and, if they were in the minority in Congress, Republicans would be nonstop shaming Democrats, asking if they’re loyal to the United States or Russia, until they agreed not to certify the election. It would be a 50-alarm fire and no one would be able to stop the momentum until the president-elect agreed to postpone inauguration until either a definite determination was made about the Russian influence or until a new election could be held. And that’s what they’d do if the Democratic president-elect was an entirely competent, qualified person. If it was an egomaniacal hedonist who craps all over the traditions and decorum of the government? We’d be at Def-Con Monica.
And who could blame them, really? If Democratic elected officials truly believe that Russia hacked the Republican and Democratic National Committees’ email servers in an effort to push the needle even slightly towards Donald Trump, then that’s exactly how they should be acting.
In a twist right out of Shakespeare, President Obama’s fatal flaw is the very thing that launched him into the presidency in the first place: his belief in the basic decency of people. It has failed him time and again, yet so often when dealing with his political opposition, he has treated them with respect and dignity that they did not deserve and that they refused him. It failed him when he tried to get Mitch McConnell to release a joint statement on the hack before the election. McConnell said he wouldn’t do it and, if the Democrats did, he would just call it political games and discredit it. So, being decent, Obama backed down. Everyone in that situation should be ashamed.
Now, in the last weekend before the Electoral College votes on Monday, in the last month before Donald Trump takes over and attempts to completely destroy his legacy, it is time for President Obama to at long last forgo his instinct to trust that right will somehow always win and to actually reach out to bend the arc of history towards progress. In simpler terms, he needs to fuck some shit up.
This is where we are right now: Obama has such confidence that Russia did hack the servers that he is promising that the United States will retaliate. Now, yes, real evidence needs to be presented to the nation (which will automatically be dismissed as false in many quarters, notably the ones that inform Trump’s opinions). But, at this point, I’m gonna trust Obama over Russia or the guy who told an audience in Chicago a blatant lie last night: that the murder rate is “the largest it’s been in 45 years.”
In the course of two tweets, Trump pretended no one had ever talked about the hacking until now and then admitted that people had talked about the hacking before the election. It’s no wonder that White House Spokesman Josh Earnest could directly say, “Mr. Trump obviously knew that Russia was engaged in malicious cyber activity that was helping him and hurting Secretary Clinton’s campaign.”
As Trump continues to deny and deflect on Russia’s involvement, it would be good to remember the rule that whatever Trump says about others generally applies to himself. During the election, for instance, Trump kept insisting that Hillary Clinton’s email server something or other “disqualified” her from even running for president. The truth is that Trump’s financial entanglements that will likely put him in violation of the Constitution from the moment he’s sworn in actually should have disqualified him from running. And he knew that (and, as many others have said, I’m still not convinced that this election is not a publicity stunt that got out of hand).
So we have to consider both Trump’s just weird refusal to take the intelligence agencies he’s going to need at their word on Russia and that, in the latter part of the election cycle, he claimed that the whole thing was “rigged” against him. Again, it’s just a damned odd thing to say. What we originally thought was simply a shot across the bow of the legitimacy of a Clinton victory is seeming more and more like a deflection from the election actually being, if not rigged, then manipulated. Ultimately, if there was coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, then do we call that “treason”? And if we do, then we have to follow through with all that that requires.
At the very least, President Obama should ask that Congress delay the Electoral College vote until, as Trump might say, we can figure out what the hell is going on. Barring that, he should ask Congress to delay the January 6 count of electoral votes. Barring that, Democrats should file objections to the vote that will force Congress to have to go on record in support of Trump.
And rank and file Democrats better be calling their members of Congress and the White House to voice their concern. And they better be ready to take to the streets to shut this down before the Trump cancer metastasizes so that its diseased tendrils grow deep into the American body. Act like our goddamned lives depend on it. Obama should be leading the charge on this, asking all concerned Americans to get involved. Just don’t expect decency from a good many of them.
Barring all of that and Trump becoming president (as is most likely), well, then we need a new plan. And I’ve got an idea or two.
One last thing for President Obama: Fire the fuck out of James Comey. Shit, arrest that motherfucker.
And yet none of this will happen. Based on past experience I know I can call my representatives until I’m hoarse and email them until my fingers bleed, and it will make absolutely no difference whatsoever.
I often wondered how the people of Germany could let Hitler rise to power.
Now I know.