“He was looking for acknowledgement and attention. In the Woody Allen movie “Celebrity,” Trump plays himself. In the movie he is a soulless celebrity. There’s no mystery here about who and what Donald Trump is.”
— Michael Wolff, author Siege: Trump Under Fire , on Donald Trump as he was viewed in the NYC social scene during the 80-90’s.
“These are photos between husband and wife,” Mr. Cohen added, joking that “the evangelicals (Jerry Falwell Jr. and his wife) are kinkier than Tom Arnold.”
— Convicted long-time Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen on how he ‘accomplished’ the Liberty University chancellor and uber-evangelical Jerry Fallwell Jr.
By Dan Peak
The Commoner Call (6/20/19)
Dear Fellow Readers,
I have organized a public reading of the Mueller Report Volume II at Driftless Books and Music, 518 Walnut Street, in Viroqua, this Saturday morning beginning at 10:30 AM. All are welcome to join in reading and hearing the much-discussed but too little read Mueller Report.
As I’ve tried to demonstrate with recent excerpts in the Russia Monitor, the Mueller Report condemns Trump and makes the case for how he could be prosecuted for his crimes. From Mueller’s ‘no exoneration’ to Trump’s liberal use of “I don’t recall” in just about every written answer in response to questions posed by the Special Counsel’s Office, and much more in between, it’s clear Trump is guilty and Trump and attorney general Barr hijacked to narrative to lie and paint the opposite picture.
So on Saturday we’ll read Mueller’s report on Trump crimes out loud.
Wolff Advises Methodically Pulling Back the Trump Layers
If Trump is guilty and Trump and Barr are lying what should we do? We’ll turn back to “Siege: Trump Under Fire” author Michael Wolff:
“The important thing is pulling back the layers of Donald Trump. I would like someone to do this in a very methodical way. There is Donald Trump’s financial history. What Donald Trump has done since Jan. 20, 2017, to get in the way of people trying to investigate him. What is happening in the Middle East, as the Trump family and the Kushner family try to arrange future financing for themselves. Nancy Pelosi and Congress should be laying this all out for the public. They have an opportunity to tell the story of Donald Trump in another way, and I think probably in a more forceful way. We need to see the smoking guns.”
It’s worth sharing one final Wolff insight:
“Donald Trump, who is the president of the United States, is a madman. Donald Trump is a psychopath. This is something to be afraid of. What the American people and the world did not realize about Donald Trump is the nature of this kind of madness. It is so egocentric, attention deficit-like and self-centered.”
The Most Heroic Dem Impeachment Voice to Date: Is from republican Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI)
Does it matter whether methodical public investigation and exposure of Trump’s crimes rises to a definition of impeachment or if it’s to be called impeachment inquiry or something else? Do we have to decide that today?
There is certainly a persistent drumbeat for impeachment and much of the frustration with a cautious approach is directed at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. At the same time there are not yet 70 House reps calling for impeachment, that’s not even a third of the Dems holding seats. If we voted to give Dems control of the House to ‘get something done’, where are they with impeachment, are they really simply content to let Pelosi take the heat while they quietly hide behind ‘my constituents don’t want it’.
Rep. Justin Amash as the most heroic Dem voice to date is a perfect example of the political dynamic. Amash is not a Dem, he’s a Republican and he may well be punished and primaried from the right for his integrity. During his first town hall following his announcement of support for impeaching Trump a constituent offered that she was shocked because she had never knew the Mueller Report condemned Trump – she had only ever listened to Fox News.
The second Dem to stand up for impeachment from a Red district (not a safe blue district) is Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA). (the first was Rep. Tom Malinowksi (D-NJ) Beyond news of her announcement you can follow a link in the article to her actual announcement. I use this article because it’s a letter to the editor in which the writer thanks Porter for her “integrity and courage” after offering this about Pelosi, “She represents the traditional division between the shameless (Republicans) and the spineless (Democrats). She opposes impeachment because it is too “divisive” and she does not believe the public wants it. But if the House had waited for public opinion to be on its side in the 1970s before holding impeachment hearings, President Nixon might not have ultimately resigned.”
The question comes up – what happened to the Republicans? Some speculate on Kompromat directed at former Trump critics like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who is now quite the Trump sycophant. Well Kompromat may be more than a conspiracy theory considering the very weird story of how Jerry Fallwel Jr. flipped from being a Ted Cruz supporter to Trump overnight. I’ll just leave the bizarre story here: The Evangelical, the ‘Pool Boy,’ the Comedian and Michael Cohen
What Does Methodical Look Like?
Supporters of Impeachment are frustrated and want things to happen – fast. Political process sadly isn’t fast but Dems cannot use this as an excuse. I vote for “I’m mad as Hell and I’m not going to take this anymore”.
You’re subpoenaed, here’s a subpoena for you, and you… Say this publicly, say this loudly, threaten, act, fine, arrest – define the process, enforce the process and get on with it. Nothing like video to make this clear, listen to MSNBC Morning Joe host and former republican congressman Joe Scarborough lay it on the line to Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) at the 7-minute mark.
Dems love unicorns and love to assign culpability and then move on to the next unicorn. Pelosi is the closest thing to a spokesperson for Impeachment and she’s reluctant at best. Make her the ‘problem’, make Mueller the ‘problem’ but is that the solution?
Enough with false choices, let’s get on with it – Mueller should testify privately and publicly and as many times as the Dem House sees fit. But also, as Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) says, “what Mueller “basically did was return an impeachment referral. Now it is up to Congress to hold this president accountable. We need to start impeachment proceedings. It’s our constitutional obligation.””
Whatever you do (Dem House) – do NOT screw it up, there is not another do-over, there can’t be a ready-fire-aim. Here’s two suggestions for getting on with it.
Blow Up the Impeachment Politics Third Rails
We Dems wring our hands over the timing of impeachment. If Pelosi delays to shape public sentiment, some decry ‘we’ll run into the 2020 election’.
THE DELAYS ARE TRUMP’S – HE IS DELAYING AT EVERY STEP – the process is the process, stop studying the calendar, do impeachment or inquiry or ‘methodical’ thoroughly, publicly, constantly and take as long as it takes.
Suggestion 1: I don’t care if there are televised hearings the day before the election – this is on Trump, he’s the criminal, he’s imposing the delays – STOP PLAYING TRUMP’S GAME. Stop handcuffing us with rules that are only conventions.
Stand up to the bully. Trump only respects strength. Fascists only understand strength. Trump holds asylum seeking families as political hostages at the border – ‘give me Wall or else’. Trump just threatened to fire 150 federal employees if “Congress blocks its (the administration) plans to eliminate the department (federal personnel agency)”. Don’t play his game – appeasement will never work.
Suggestion 2: If Senate Leader McConnell won’t allow a single Senate vote on improving election security then hold hearings in the House. Yes, Trump yet again embraced publicly his willingness to accept foreign intervention in his favor.
Take the hearings a step further – hold hearings on the Russian interference in Florida during the 2016 election. First it was ‘rattling some doorknobs’, then Russians accessed election systems but…now we get: “Russian hackers successfully tapped into the voter registration files of two Florida counties in 2016, a startling detail revealed Tuesday by Gov. Ron DeSantis after a meeting with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security last week.” What about election day problems with voter rolls in other states like North Carolina?
You know who ignores the Third Rail of election integrity? Trump. Trump said he wouldn’t accept the 2016 election results if he didn’t win.
So Dems, stop acting like Atlas singularly holding up the world of election integrity while Trump kicks you in the shins and Trumpsters could care less about anything beyond Trump in the White House.
Make the rules or break the non-rules, lead, do the right thing. Trump honors no third rails, exactly the opposite, he’s willing to rip the rails out of the ground while Dems want to stay within the guard rails and ‘negotiate’ with Mueller and hide behind “my constituents. A Berkeley Institute of Government Studies poll shows “only about 35% of California voters support an inquiry”. But Katie Porter said this:
“After weeks of study, deliberation, and conversations with Orange County families, I’ve decided to support an impeachment investigation of the president. I have not come to this easily. I come to this decision after much deliberation, and I know — deeply — what this means for our democracy.”
A leader that reluctantly goes to War is a leader. One that finds any reason not to is not a leader. We desperately need leaders. See you on Saturday.