Living Large In Carson City: There Will Be Hell To Pay Edition

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“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

If there was any doubt after the election Tuesday that butterflies, dancing unicorns, and waltzing teddy bears were going to be the order of the day, think again. The midterms are over. Democrats did about as good as expected and proved pundits right as they captured the House and made inroads into statewide races across the nation. The Republicans retained their majority in the Senate, as was expected, setting up a evened playing field that will surely run red with blood as the last two years of Trump’s tenure begins anew with fresh rancor and sizzling hatred smoldering in the two party’s collective souls.

Of course, in Trump’s mind, it was all about him. If you haven’t, take the time to watch his press conference held only hours after the polls closed, please do. Winners and losers alike turned their collective eyes to the White House not knowing what to expect, and I wager, they did not see coming what transpired. Banish the thought that Trump’s losses on Tuesday would have mellowed him somewhat and presented the unique opportunity for him to engage in a meaningful dialogue with the Democrats. No, instead, he lost his mind and delivered a hate filled diatribe against the Republican’s who spurned his help in their races and, literally, called them out by name as the losers they chose to be. The rest of his opening statement was dedicated to singing his own praises and taking credit for everything that came about Tuesday.

Then things got ugly fairly quickly. The one overriding impression of the press conference was if you thought things were divisive before the midterms, put on your seat belt, they are about to get a lot worse. The world is about to see Trump unleashed like never before. Take for instance his tete a tete with Jim Acosta of CNN beginning at 27:00 and continuing with Peter Alexander of NBC. At one point it appears that Trump might actually leave the podium to wrest the microphone from Acosta’s hands 29:09. The performance was enough to make any red-blooded American to hang their head in shame. Trump was truculent, abrasive, dismissive, and generally conducted himself like an ass. Remember this is the most powerful man in the world. Acting like a third grade bully only diminishes the stature of the presidency and makes America a laughing stock on the world stage.

He was, however, egalitarian in his wacko accusations. His response to Yamiche Alcindor of NPR at 1:06:55 was not just offensive and misogynistic but incomprehensible as well.  Someone should tell the president when he proclaims to be a “nationalist” on the campaign trail, reporters are going to call him on it. Typically, however, Trump had to take it one step farther when he called Alcindor’s question “racist”.  Predictably, calling a young Black woman racist is not ever going to go over well. The debacle du jour went on for a mind numbing one and a half hours. It was classic Trump taken to 11 on the weird dial and was a sight to behold.

What happens next now that the House is in control of the Democrats with all the subpoena powers and investigatory oversight that comes along with chairing powerful committees. Time Magazine‘s Alana Abramson wrote in an article today that,

. . . the incoming chairs of 21 House committees will be looking for ways to hold the Trump Administration officials’ feet to the fire, mainly by pressing forward on investigations they feel were ignored under the Republican majority.

This effort will largely be led by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which will likely be chaired by Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings. This work, however, will almost inevitably broaden to include all committees that have a section solely devoted to oversight. The intelligence and judiciary committees will also probably find their work in the spotlight, as will Ways and Means, which has the authority to request President Donald Trump’s tax returns from Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Time

If the Democrats are smart, they will focus less on impeachment, which although  enticing, would also only increase the divisive atmosphere circling Washington, and focus more on uncovering the underbelly of the Trump organization, Trump himself, the children, including Ivanka and Jared, and his deeply hidden dealings with Russia and other partners the Trumps have had throughout the years. In this case impeachment is the cheap thrill of the equation while uncovering years of financial malfeasance, possibly money laundering and other crimes, would go a long way in bringing down this corrupt administration. Once the shit hits the fan, expect moderate Republicans to fall in lock step behind the Democrats. Rats are like that when the ship starts sinking.

It is a little encouraging knowing that the Democrats are no longer politically neutered. This does not mean they have the time or luxury to sit around licking their private parts. Strike while the striking is good seems to be the best path forward for the newly endowed Democratic Party. There is, however, one elephant in the room that should be dealt with immediately next January. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Shumer (to a lesser degree) have to go.

Do not get me wrong. I have always liked Pelosi. She is a patriot and skilled deal maker like few others that Americans have seen over the past two decades. Unfortunately, both she and Shumer have become polarizing figures on the scale of Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid. Distractions are not what the Democrats need right now. They need people who can work behind the scenes and get results, not bad press. Back in June of this year, Pelosi pulled in a paltry 29% approval rate – a nine year low for the California lawmaker – and that was among Democrats. Don’t ask what the Republicans think of her.

In their defense, both Pelosi and Schumer have been battling some of the meanest and corrupt SOBs to walk the face of the planet and call Congress their home. It is simply a case of a clean start would be best all the way around. Neither of the two embody the youthful exuberance that helped people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Beto O’Rourke, Andrew Gillum, and a number of up and coming women to tap into the party faithful’s needs and concerns and get things done. Our youth is our future.

So, in the end, the Democrat blue wave delivered about what was expected. There were some misfires and some unexpected wins. Regardless, January will be the moment of truth. Will the Democrats have the wherewithal to stand up to Trump and hold his feet to the fire? Will they cave and allow him to bully them for another two years? America will have to wait and see. One bright spot on the horizon is Special Counsel Robert Mueller and what he plans to do over the coming months. Something tells me that once he gets underway after yesterday’s midterms there will literally be hell to be paid. Bring it on Mr. Mueller.

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