The McConnell Menace

Dear President Trump,

Typing out today’s date I see that we’ve landed on a “Friday the 13th” for the Judiciary Committee Impeachment vote. I kind of doubt Nadler decided ahead of midnight last night that it would be better to have the vote on such a Friday, but maybe he had an eye on the calendar and thought it would be fitting. Of course one could argue that voting for impeachment on such an inauspicious day could cut either way – the bad luck could pile on and tilt things against those voting for it or, perhaps, just maybe it could weight things against those voting against it. Since Nadler surely knows that no amount of luck is going to change the ultimate outcome in the Senate, it was likely more of a “what the hell” sort of timing move to delay the vote until this morning, if he considered it at all, that is.

So I’ve got to tell you, I just took one for the team. A big one. OMG. I read Greg Sargent’s WP editorial “McConnell’s awful Hannity interview shows power of Fox News’s disinformation” and then made myself click on the link to the interview clip. And then I made myself watch it. And listen to it. All of it. There was absolutely nothing new or unpredictable and one would think I’d be inured to this shit by now, but I am so beyond rattled and furious I can barely think. To show you some of what has gotten to me so badly, I’m going to compile the McConnell quotes from the interview that Sargent included in his piece so they are all clumped together in their steaming horridness. I know you’ll want to luxuriate in them like a pig in shit, but for the rest of us, they only serve to slam us with the reality that the whole fucking thing has been and is utterly rigged. Here you go:

McConnell quotes:

  • “Everything I do during this, I’m coordinating with the White House counsel.”
  • “There will be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this.”
  • “We’ll be working through this process … in total coordination with the White House counsel’s office and the people representing the president in the well of the Senate.”
  • “I’m going to take my cues from the president’s lawyers.”
  • “I’m going to coordinate with the president’s lawyers.”
  • “There’s no chance the president will be removed from office.”

Obviously we are long past the time of wondering why McConnell didn’t seem to get the memo on separation of powers or the one on the legislative branch being a check and balance on the other two branches (including the Executive branch). That ship sailed sometime in the ‘80’s, I think. But holy crap, to say on national television that the Senate is going to act in lockstep with you and your administration to ensure that you are not removed from office shows a degree of brazenness and confidence in the brainwash-job you’ve done for years now that is really quite staggering.

The clip opened with a pitch for McConnell’s memoir that apparently has a new forward you wrote (surely with loads of help from your dastardly minions who can actually string together coherent, if shameful sentences). I thought at first it was just a deal to sell more books for you and so after the bits assuring your peeps that McConnell has your back, I almost turned the thing off when they segued to the book. Well, that part of the interview was critically important because in about four and a half minutes McC and H laid out all the swampy shit that is motivating the Republicans’ democracy-damning actions. Between them they bantered back and forth about your “accomplishments” – the tax breaks, the young judges, money for “the wall,” the role back of regulations, the trade stuff – and what huge wins they all are. I think they tried to spin them as wins for the American people (I sure as hell am not going to listen to it again to see), but you could see the dollar signs dancing before their eyes and it was clear that while this was nominally a performance to gaslight your peeps, it was really to remind the money-props that you (and McConnell) are delivering the goods.

The part, though, about the judges was breathtakingly awful. I don’t remember which of them made the comparison between the number of circuit court judges Obama was able to seat compared to you, but I do know it was McConnell who ridiculed Obama’s emphasis on those judges having empathy. I also know that it was McConnell who responded to the softball question about why Obama got no judges seated during his last two years in office, chuckling devilishly (literally) that he (McConnell) was in complete control over whether those nominations were processed, ultimately stopping them all (and Garland). Again, the naked display of bad faith use (abuse) of power was not surprising, but it was chilling and it’s clear that unless the whole slate is swept clean and we have a hard reset, the odds of our democracy making it are poor, at best.

May we be safe and may we safeguard what’s left of our democracy.
May be willing to shoulder the work of rebuilding our democracy.
May we see that our democracy is ailing.
May we never make peace with politicians who screw us over.

Tracy Simpson

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