Is it really a coup attempt? Ethics Alarms has been calling the assault on the Trump Presiency that for quite a while. The reflex reaction I get from the Facebook Borg and others is to deflect the accusation by sneering about “Fox News talking points.” I don’t use talking points. I almost never watch Fox News. A lot of intelligent, knowledgeable people know a coup when they see one; it isn’t hard. I suspect many of the Trump-Hate Brigade that ridicule that diagnosis know it’s a coup too. And they want one.
That means that they have abandoned the idea of American democracy. They may be the most important villains of the attempted impeachment coup.
With a recent essay, Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi identified himself as one of the very few progressives with the integrity to call out his side of the ideological spectrum for what it is doing to the nation. He wrote in part:
I’ve lived through a few coups. They’re insane, random, and terrifying, like watching sports, except your political future depends on the score. The kickoff begins when a key official decides to buck the executive. From that moment, government becomes a high-speed head-counting exercise. Who’s got the power plant, the airport, the police in the capital? How many department chiefs are answering their phones? Who’s writing tonight’s newscast?
…We have long been spared this madness in America. Our head-counting ceremony was Election Day. We did it once every four years.
That’s all over, in the Trump era.
On Thursday, news broke that two businessmen said to have “peddled supposedly explosive information about corruption involving Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden” were arrested at Dulles airport on “campaign finance violations.” The two figures are alleged to be bagmen bearing “dirt” on Democrats, solicited by Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.
Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman will be asked to give depositions to impeachment investigators. They’re reportedly going to refuse. Their lawyer John Dowd also says they will “refuse to appear before House Committees investigating President Donald Trump.” Fruman and Parnas meanwhile claim they had real derogatory information about Biden and other politicians, but “the U.S. government had shown little interest in receiving it through official channels.”
For Americans not familiar with the language of the Third World, that’s two contrasting denials of political legitimacy.
The men who are the proxies for Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani in this story are asserting that “official channels” have been corrupted. The forces backing impeachment, meanwhile, are telling us those same defendants are obstructing a lawful impeachment inquiry.
This latest incident, set against the impeachment mania and the reportedly “expanding” Russiagate investigation of U.S. Attorney John Durham, accelerates our timeline to chaos. We are speeding toward a situation when someone in one of these camps refuses to obey a major decree, arrest order, or court decision, at which point Americans will get to experience the joys of their political futures being decided by phone calls to generals and police chiefs.
…My discomfort in the last few years, first with Russiagate and now with Ukrainegate and impeachment, stems from the belief that the people pushing hardest for Trump’s early removal are more dangerous than Trump. Many Americans don’t see this because they’re not used to waking up in a country where you’re not sure who the president will be by nightfall. They don’t understand that this predicament is worse than having .a bad president.
“The people pushing hardest for Trump’s early removal are more dangerous than Trump.”
Exactly. Ethics Alarms has been hammering this point since November 2016. How do we get that through the thick skulls of the biased, badly-educated, misinformed, hate-filled and fearful general public when most of the news media is made up of “the people” Taibbi is warning against?
Now here’s Michael Goodwin. He’s a conservative columnist, often too conservative for me. But he has eyes and ears, and knows his civics…
…We are now floating free of rules and restraint. Anything goes and there is no end in sight… Half the country blames Trump for our national discord, and they are partially right, though not for the reasons they believe. To point the finger at him for the bitter polarization is either ignorance or historic revisionism. America was deeply divided under the three previous presidents, so Trump cannot be solely responsible. Like most presidents, he is a reaction to what came before….
[S]ingling out Trump for the turmoil engulfing the country is possible only if you disregard the No. 1 contributor: the refusal of Democrats and most of the media to accept the results of the 2016 election. That refusal has become, among many on the left, borderline psychotic. Nothing else compares to the damage it is doing to our nation’s fabric and global image….The continuing challenge to his legitimacy is a cancer on the republic.
It is one thing for a president to suffer brickbats for failures and mistakes. That’s fair game. But no president in modern times has also faced endless assaults on his right to even set foot in the Oval Office and exercise the powers of the presidency. Yet here we are, nearing the third anniversary of his election by a decisive margin, and still the resistance to his right to govern rages on.
The precedent is terrifying. If this is the start of losers always declaring election results invalid, America is doomed….
Ann Althouse, a centrist law professor and blogger, also can see what’s happening. She writes of Goodwin’s piece,
I strongly agree with that opinion. I am not a Trump supporter, but I have stood firm since the election on this point: Trump won, his supporters prevailed, and they are entitled to what they won. That’s why we go to so much trouble over the election. We’re currently troubling ourselves endlessly over the 2020 election, but why should we if the new game is to destroy whatever victory is achieved? Do Democrats think they can sell the idea that when they win, they get to keep what they won, but if the other party wins, it’s “a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham?” I don’t accept it, and I’m a moderate swing voter in a swing state.
I question Ann’s use of a silly Woody Allen quote (from “Bananas”) in this context. This isn’t funny. This is a catastrophe, and we all better find a more effective way to explain it to the deranged, the confused and the idiots. I fear that it’s all in their hands.