The current naked emperor (Where, oh where, Devin Nunes, are the nude photos I’ve so long been juicily anticipating?) throws the term “Never Trumper” about as if that’s some type of pejorative. Nothing could be further from the truth–or more ridiculous.
Remember the bumper sticker that read “NObama?” All those types were clearly “Never Obamans.” And they remain “Never Clintoners.” As if Bill and/or Hillary–Grandpa and/or Grandma, now–might at this remove still possibly be plotting to burst forth from some pizza joint somewhere and utter something derisory to the Republican cause.
I know there are some Republicans who are sickened by this man and look forward to his removal without carrying the courage to say so publicly. “Never Trump” was, remember, a theme in the Republican campaign of 2016. Such is the invective in our political rhetoric these days–but it’s always been this way.
Lincoln, of course, was famously portrayed as a baboon. Did that make his opponents “Never Babooners?”
What focuses me is his idea that a “Never Myselfer” is something that, in his mind, is both serious and real. And that serious people with serious experience and prestigious university degrees don’t seem to apprehend the narcissism attached to it.
You would have thought “Never Trumper” was the kind of joke that some White House insider might have told him would fall flat. But his circle seems, in its absurdly loyalist grasping, to have actually clutched at this straw.
So here we are.
It isn’t the divisiveness, the rhetoric, the dirty tricks, gerrymandering, census tampering, louche judicial appointments or anything else you care to throw in. Wish it were! We could fix all that, eventually.
The problem is that nearly half of the electorate is willing to roll with a full-on narcissist who is happy to refer to himself by his own name as if it were a spell to somehow magically constitute a defense against his abuse of office.
Problematic as well is that the Senate is unlikely to convict this man should articles of impeachment arrive before it. Twenty Republicans would need to defect or, as I see it, see reason.
I don’t see it happening. These types have become “Always Trumpers.” And they’re going to make for a heck of a sticky wicket when this man is either unelected or his second term expires.
In the meantime, the House can’t by doing nothing condone this man’s behavior.
So here we are.
Although the president might be at the center of a conspiracy, what’s fascinating is the cast of characters he chose–officially or otherwise–to play it out. While this man and his supporters feel free to disparage anyone in their path, Rudy Giuliani was selected to captain a Ukraine policy parallel to that of our country’s. Maybe not parallel, but clearly designed to be advantageous, personally and politically, to the president. And with what stalwarts did Giuliani in turn surround himself? People so distinguished as the likes of Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman? Certainly not. Giuliani went to central casting, requested a couple of villains, then took Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman home with him.
At least, I think so. There seem to be conflicting accounts of what, exactly, everyone’s role was.
Last year Parnas and Fruman hired Giuliani as a consultant as they created a security firm with the ridiculous name “Fraud Guarantee.” In September and October of 2018, a Republican donor and Trump supporter paid Giuliani by way of Fraud Guarantee two $250,000 payments.
Still later last year, Giuliani dispatched the pair to Ukraine, where they were to seek dirt on Joe Biden and help engineer the ouster of our ambassador there, Marie Yovanovitch. Honestly, I can’t work out who was working for whom–except that the trio was working at the behest of and toward the benefit of the president.
The FBI has since mounted a criminal investigation into Giuliani’s association with Parnas and Fruman. Giuliani is also under investigation himself for possibly falling afoul of lobbying laws.
Parnas and Fruman were arrested on October 9–at Dulles International Airport, each holding a one-way ticket to Vienna–and subsequently charged, according to the indictment, with planning to shift money from a foreign government “to US politicians while trying to influence US-Ukraine relations.”
And to top it off, Parnas told CNN on November 22 that he was willing to testify to Congress about not only his own involvement, but Devin Nunes’, Giuliani’s and the president’s part in the Ukraine soiree. The question, as I imagine it, is: how much money, if any, did Dev receive from Lev?
Apparently, this ample unpleasantness has come home to roost in our own backyard.
Where, here, we are.
And what are we, here–the 50th Congressional District of California, which, being San Diego, is also Duncan Hunter’s–one of the president’s first supporters–District, and which, also, re-elected this rascal last year when he was under indictment for charges including conspiracy, wire fraud, and violating campaign finance laws? Charges to which on Tuesday he changed his plea to guilty.
I don’t know if, henceforth, he could legally be precluded from running for re-election. But I do know his campaign trail currently couldn’t be longer than the walls of his jail cell. Still, if he could run in the future, I give it a coin toss as to whether or not the good Republicans of San Diego would vote him another term.
Obviously, I am not a Republican. I am a Never Trumper. That’s just me. But, in 2016, most of the Republican party was, as well. I don’t have to decide about such things as Republican corruption because I’d be dead set against it in my own party. I also can’t vote in their primary elections. It’s like not being from a dysfunctional family. It is, frankly, something of a relief.
The question my Republican friends–and I do have some–have to ask themselves is how much they can choke down to preserve the current state of their party, and when to go with another Republican when their incumbent becomes untenable.