The past two weeks have been a strain on all of our collective brains. The Kavanaugh debacle has taken its psychic toll on everyone who still believes our democracy is worth saving. The Chuck (Mob Rule) Grassley (R-IA) orchestrated a “ram him” through campaign that ultimately blew up in his face when Christine Blasey Ford came forward with an accusation of sexual assault against “I like beer” Kavanaugh that caught the Republicans flat footed. The subsequent sham of a FBI “investigation” did little but waste tax payer time and money with the outcome preordained by the White House and the Republicans of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
When Susan Collins (R-ME) stumbled onto the Senate floor last Friday to reveal to the world whether or not she would support Kavanaugh’s confirmation, the excruciating 45-minute long speech was a combination of lies, twists, back flips and denial of Blasey Ford’s claims. It was simply a coward’s way out of a messy situation. Or possibly, Collins had meant to vote for Kavanaugh all along and held off committing to lessen the blow back from Maine voters that was inevitable. It didn’t work. Expect her to face an especially grueling campaign in 2020 which she will have a hard time winning.
Kavanaugh was sworn in shortly after the confirmation vote, but Trump (R-Hell) staged a “victory lap” of sorts by having Kavanaugh and his family assemble in the East Room of the White House for a “staged” swearing in ceremony. Trump’s introduction was part red baiting rhetoric, part kissing ass, and part political rallying cry over the golden boy’s wretched time before those damnable demonic Democrats who only joy is eating babies, destroying a “good” man’s name, and thwarting Trump’s every move.
While speaking with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House during the day on Monday, Trump said that accusations against Kavanaugh were a Democratic “hoax.”
He discussed buzz among some Democrats about potentially trying to impeach Kavanaugh if they take back power in Congress and characterized a just as “a man that did nothing wrong, a man that was caught up in a hoax that was set up by the Democrats, using the Democrats’ lawyers.” . . .
“The American public has seen this charade, has seen this dishonesty by the Democrats,” Trump said, pointing out that a week-long FBI investigation, which Democrats have decried as a mediocre effort by the bureau, found “nothing wrong” about Kavanaugh. Vox
Trump’s rhetoric is disturbing on many levels. First, claiming the accusations against Kavanaugh were a hoax is an outright lie meant to disparage the women who came forward to point guilty fingers at the nominee. Second, calling the Democrats dishonest is not the way of a healthy political system, which ours is not currently. The Republicans have lost their moral center (if they ever had one), and possibly, their good senses. People are not going to take these accusations lightly.
By this time in the press conference that followed the ceremonial swearing in, I had thrown everything within reach at the television and was spouting evil sounding gobbledygook like Linda Blair’s character, Regan, in The Exorcist. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any crazier, Trump ups the ante,
“On behalf of our nation, I want to apologize to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the terrible pain and suffering you have been forced to endure,” Trump said, adding that the confirmation process was based on “lies and deception.”
“You, sir, under historic scrutiny, were proven innocent,” said Trump . . . NBC
Innocent? As in proven innocent? Put aside the fact that he said “the confirmation process was based on “‘lies and deception”‘, telling Kavanaugh he was “proven innocent” is the height of hypocrisy and may be further proof that the Orange One is not playing with a full deck of mental or moral cards. The FBI investigation was tainted and controlled from the beginning. Credible witnesses came forward but were not given the benefit of the doubt and shelved into silence. The agents didn’t even interview Kavanaugh or Blasey Ford. Color me done with Kavanaugh.
The issue that really has my attention currently is the new Republican talking point championed by just about every Republican from Trump to Grassley to Lindsay Graham (R-SC) is the term “mob rule” as applied to women, protesters, resisters, and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary committee. This is a dangerous ploy for the Republicans and all the rest of America. The term mob rule is meant only for one purpose which is to create an “Us versus Them” reality that demonizes the opposition and fires up the Republican base.
The characterization evokes fear of an unknown and out-of-control mass of people, and it taps into grievances about the nation’s fast-moving cultural and demographic shifts that Republicans say are working against them. With its emphasis on the impact on traditional values and white voters, particularly men, it strikes the same notes as earlier Trump-fanned attention to immigrants, MS-13 gang members and African American football players protesting police treatment of young black men. WAPO
The adoption of this term by mainstream Republicans is telling in that it reveals a deep-seated fear that runs through the minds of the deplorables, and supposedly, all Republicans at this point. It is problematic because it ultimately throws the ball into Trump’s court and leaves the mob for him to deal with going forward. The possibilities are endless and none have a happy ending. Suppose the mid-terms tilt toward the Democrats winning big, really big, as in gaining control of both the House and the Senate. Trump and the Republicans could easily declare the outcome invalid due to outside interference by a foreign power or some other equally damaging claim. This would result in a massive outcry by Democrats. Don’t put it past Trump to declare martial law until the election results could be altered more favorably for the Republicans.
In the future legal protests by law-abiding American citizens could be curtailed or stopped all together simply by citing the dangerous mob rule equation, effectively silencing free speech on topics not to the Republican’s liking. The mob rule gambit is a rabbit hole of unknown dimensions that sane people would avoid at all costs. Yet, there in lies the rub with Trump. There are few people of either party that think Trump is not capable of such a move. Indeed, it seems like something he would relish.
Mob rule is not a product of women protesting and demanding that victims of sexual assault be heard and believed. It is not a result of protests by women who want control of their bodies and the right to choose to have an abortion or not. It is not a group of Senators who want a fair and balanced hearing on a candidate for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. It is not people standing up and calling out racially based oppression by police forces across the land.
Mob rule is a Trump rally where his supporters chant “lock her up” or “CNN sucks”. It is a mob of alt right racists and bigots marching the streets of Charlottesville, VA. Mob rule is a cabal of old white men who are afraid of losing their white privilege to people of color. Most of all, unfortunately, mob rule is whatever Trump and his minions say it is.