Russia Monitor: America In The Barrel


“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

— Trump tweet aimed at Progressive Democrat Freshman Congresswomen (7/14/19)

By Dan Peak
The Commoner Call (7/15/19)

Dear Fellow Readers,

What happened to Republicans? You can say Trump happened to Republicans, but Trump is the culmination of a steep downhill descent marked by nonsensical Republican expressions starting from “the shining city upon a hill”, through, “ten thousand points of life”, the empty manipulation of “compassionate conservative ending, at least at this point, Trump’s 2015 pronouncement that Mexican immigrants were “rapists” (the full annotated speech is here). Trump continues to justify his remarks claiming he does not traffic in conspiracy theories while clownishly trafficking in ugly conspiracy theories.

In the current climate of Trump’s increasingly vocal attacks on a free press and freedom of speech, to his increasingly open disdain of laws that limit his authoritarian instincts, it is his self-created border crisis that has to have us wondering what we have become. Vice President Pence’s caravan to the border meant to assure all that what is being perpetrated in our name perfectly frames a new low in American history.

Pence: ‘Outrage’ to say migrant children being held in concentration camps

Pence offers that he is “outraged”, showing less spine than even former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), he clarifies that his outrage is over labeling the border detention facilities as concentration camps. We witness a vice president of the United States being commanded to perform a media show to defend this government from comparisons to Nazis. Pence wants to assure us that Trump’s manufactured crisis is not a “manufactured crisis”:

“The president wanted me to come down here today to look in on how families are being treated but also to be able to show the American people that this system is overwhelmed, it’s overcrowded and Congress has got to step up to end this crisis of illegal immigration at our southern border,” he said.”

Pence offers this against a backdrop of “380 men behind fences…without even enough room to lie down…who haven’t showered in weeks and did not have access to toothbrushes and food.”

Curiously Pence offered that he was “not surprised by what he saw”, nor were we, but we are beyond curiosity with why Trump et al choose evil over compassion. Just because, here is an excellent video of CNN host Chris Cuomo emotionally trashing Pence’s tut-tut rationalizations.

It is the perfect Trump Republican metaphor – target an “other” that can be used to send a message both to immigrants and Trump sycophants that people of color will be made to suffer to deter on the one hand, and feed the authoritarian appetite on the other. That “twelve people have died” is accepted by his cult as a price they paid for their own actions. It is likely that no one ever believed the expression ‘compassionate conservative’ but did anyone foresee a US government explaining how their actions don’t rise to a standard of Nazis?

Train Wreck Trump Is Finished, Right?

No. Trump finally backed down on forcing a citizenship question for the 2020 census while admitting it is still his intent to suppress participation and threaten immigrants to benefit Republican voting advantages. He offers that he still intends to break the law to do this. Trump is increasingly straight-forward about his disdain for a free media and free speech. Trump plays on the left-right disdain for “mainstream” media while proclaiming “it’s crooked…free speech is not when you see something good and then your purposely write bad. To me, that’s very dangerous speech, and you become angry at it”.

Trump is just getting more creative in explaining; reassured?

Yale psychiatrist predicts Trump’s ‘disgrace and downfall’

Getting in the way of reassurance is Yale psychiatrist Dr. Bandy Lee’s opening remark, “President Trump suffers from a uniquely dangerous pathology that will end up wrecking the country. Lee makes use of the Mueller Report and Trump town hall video to question whether “our nation will emerge…in a healthy way”. It’s fair to say the answer is up for grabs.

Trump the storyteller: His gift for narrative is why he may win again

Trump is pathological, his lies are now incessant, but his supporters know all that and yet:

“Donald Trump is one of the best storytellers in recent political memory because of his skill in manipulating the emotions of the audience.

“Trump enraptures and titillates his fans, true believers, and other followers.

“Trump terrifies, upsets and enrages his detractors, critics and people of conscience.”

Author Masha Gessen (most recently wrote ‘The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia’) does a great job of considering Trump’s 4th of July speech noting what he says and even more importantly, what he doesn’t say. Gessen refers to as Trump’s “inoffensive war on reality”.

It is that – Trump’s ability to wage his war on reality in broad daylight that has brought us to this moment. Mind you, Trump does not get all the credit, it’s a hill we’ve been tumbling down for some time – we’re all in the barrel.

Trump Challenges Democracy As We Know It – Democrats Elect to Use the ‘Racist’ Card – Against Each Other

In true Democratic Party fashion, the response is a circular firing squad around a competition of “conscience”. Democrats are not a homogenous group – a strength representative of the make-up of America. Who do you trust to best decide issues of women’s health and reproductive rights, a panel of old white men with a history of treating women, especially women of color, as second-class citizens? The purported ‘party of Lincoln’, an undeserved self-accolade, still resists passage of an Equal Rights Amendment.

But with this latest of purity tests Democrats want to accuse others of operating with ‘lower’ conscience, down to a level of racism and corruption. You know the accusers and the accused as well as I do. I think it misses the mark completely.

A climate of ‘my purity outshines your purity’ using the $4.59 billion Senate emergency border funding bill highlights the miss. What is imagined is plus or minus some words of guarantee with proper use of funds this administration will be brought to heel. This in spite of no cooperation on any issue of House Oversight.

If this administration illegally refuses to explain or report no wording in one piece of legislation is going to end the crisis no matter how eloquently you accuse a peer of racism or corruption.

Consider Trump’s tweet – there is no ‘equivalency’. Hold this administration accountable.