Stand Up For Jeff!
I wanted to write an article on the recent Presidential address to Congress, but I wasn’t fast enough. Oh well, I wrote half of it. Perhaps I will write the other half later. In the meantime…
He was confirmed on 8 Feb. By next week he may be gone. At that, he lasted longer than Michael Flynn, President Trump’s first National Security Advisor. So did then Senator Jeff Sessions collude with the Russians to engage in various forms of chicanery designed for the express purpose of ensuring a victory by then candidate Trump at the expense of the “rightful” next President of the United States, Hillary Clinton? Does it really matter? It’s just the next step in the Democrats end game of rolling up the Trump administration, or at the very least, rendering it ineffective.
What constitutes “Russian ties” anyway? Speaking with a Russian? Being in the same room as a Russian? Perhaps watching a Russian on TV. Most if not all of the congresscritters who have ever been in congress have at one time or another spoken to a Russian. It is an unavoidable consequence of their job.
So should we make talking to a Russian while acting in support of a political campaign illegal? Fine, let’s write a law, enact it, and have it in effect for the next election. I suspect that such a law would cause lawmakers difficulty in carrying out the job they were elected to do, but so what? It’s worth it to ensure the purity of our democratic process, isn’t it?
And why stop with Russians. They aren’t the only folks that might like to have a say in our elections. Shouldn’t we include the Chinese, North Koreans, Iranians, Venezuelans, and Cubans as well? And why stop there? I am sure some of our allies would like to have a say as well. Why not add the Japanese, British, French, and Israelis too. In fact, why not just pass a blanket law that states that anyone acting on behalf of any presidential campaign cannot have “ties” with any foreign national, period.
This would have to include, of course, the President of the United States, as I don’t think I have ever witnessed a presidential election in my life time, nor read of one historically, where the President did not campaign on behalf of his party’s nominee. I suspect that this would bring the government to its knees during an election cycle, but remember – it’s all about the purity of our elections. No cost is too great.
This could get real interesting. What if a campaign member had lunch at a Japanese restaurant, or a Mexican cantina, or some such. (Actually, as a white guy, can I even say “Mexican cantina” or is that “cultural appropriation”?) It is a foreign-food restaurant after all; does that count as a “tie”?
Senator Sessions was a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and, in the course of his duties, no doubt had multiple contacts with the Russian ambassador, some of which, it appears, occurred during the presidential campaign. This was part of his job. It doesn’t mean the two sat down and schemed on how Russia could best help get candidate Trump elected. I bet if you went back and analyzed the whereabouts of the Russian ambassador during 2016 you would find that at one time or another many folks in Congress were in the same room with him. Many of them no doubt at least exchanged pleasantries. That’s what you do in D.C. It’s what ambassadors do.
What would be the point of having an ambassador if he or she couldn’t talk to anyone?
It is no great secret that the Democrats do not like Donald Trump. He was OK before he threw his hat in the ring for the election. They were perfectly willing to take any money he threw their way. And when he first announced, that was OK too – anything to keep the other 16 Republicans off balance. He wasn’t supposed to win the nomination, but when he did – hey, that was great too! What better candidate for Ms. Clinton to face? Of course, he wasn’t supposed to win the election.
This will be easy, so the Democrats thought, a cakewalk. How could anyone in their right mind vote for Donald Trump? Oh sure, there would be some disaffecteds, some racists, some homophobes, some “deplorables.” But surely they would be in the minority. This is the 21st century after all, and we have made such progress!
Nevertheless, they pulled out all the stops. They dished all the dirt they could find. They had the media on their side as well, and the media fell all over themselves to help. Any negative Trump story (were there any positive ones?) they could find, they ran with. True or false, it didn’t matter. Fact check? When the story so perfectly fits the narrative? Why bother? Even if it isn’t true, it could be, you know.
They expected a cakewalk and instead got cake in the face. But hey, who said it was over yet?
Democrats have passed through the first two stages of grief, although some do seem stuck at the anger stage. However they have rewritten the book when it comes to the other three. Bargaining has been replaced with Action, and that is where they are now. They will never complete the five stages, although if the action stage fails they may well get to depression. They will never get to stage five because stage five is acceptance. And they will never accept the Trump administration.
So what does Action entail?
Well first off, embedding in the American mindset that the election was rigged. This started prior to the election as an attempt to sway voters away from Trump, then picked up steam after the election results were in. What else could explain Hillary’s loss? So the Pravda became that Russia decided the outcome of the election; because for some reason, Vladimir Putin wanted someone in office here in America who would get our economy going again, build up our military, and take a harder line with countries abroad who don’t have America’s best interests at heart. I guess Putin just wanted a better adversary than he would have gotten with Hillary Clinton. Or maybe he just didn’t like Hillary. After all, Ross Perot got involved with the election process back in 1992 because he didn’t like George H.W. Bush.
With both the House and Senate in Republican hands, it is difficult for Democrats to do a whole lot in the Congress. They can’t block any of the nominees because of the Reid Rule they adopted last session that effectively blew up the filibuster. They have managed to hold up the Senate confirmation process, in part by simply not showing up, dragging it out, all the while pointing fingers at the Republicans and asking why it was taking them so long to get their folks confirmed. “Just one more example of the incompetence of the Trump Administration,” they hooted.
So they can’t block the nominees, only delay. But once they are in office, they are fair game for removal.
Michael Flynn was the first. He lied to, or best, mislead the vice-President. That cannot be tolerated. You would think a former general officer would know that. Mike Flynn was taken down by an “informant” in the intelligence community; i.e., a leak. There are quite a few pieces of this puzzle that sound criminal to me, but nevertheless, Flynn resigned, according to a senior White House official, because of “the cumulative effect of the damaging news coverage about his conversations with the Russian ambassador.”
Don’t forget the underlying theme here though. The allegations all revolved around “talks” he had had with the Russian Ambassador.
It worked! The chum is in the water. The sharks circle the hapless Republicans. The press sharpens its knives. Who’s next on the list?
How about Jeff Sessions, another Trump pick that was not well received by the left. He too, apparently “talks to Russians,” the new taboo for Republican political appointees. Is he guilty of colluding with Russian interests? Probably not. In fact, I would bet my military pension that he is innocent of all “charges”. But will it matter in the end?
It is interesting to note a critical difference between the two parties. Democrats, when accused of impropriety, will circle the wagons and defend their own to the death, aided by their willing accomplices in the media. There is never evidence. Or if there is evidence, it is never enough. Or if it is in fact enough, it doesn’t “rise” to the level of removal from office. They back their comrade to the hilt, regardless of guilt or innocence.
Republicans on the other hand, will turn on their own. If it looks like a fellow Republican is going down, most Republicans will be quick to distance themselves, if not actively assist in his or her removal. From the outside, it looks like they are willing to sacrifice each other in order to keep their own position. No doubt they would describe it as being pragmatic. In any event, history has shown that when the heat gets too hot, Republicans leave the kitchen.
Because of this, Democrats and the press know that if they keep the pressure on, sooner or later Republicans will cave. Even when they hold all the reins of government, they still don’t seem to know how to govern. When Barack Obama was elected, he told Republicans that “elections have consequences.” He basically told them to get in line with what he wanted to do, or he would simply ignore them. When they didn’t jump, he did exactly that, passing Obamacare with no Republican input and zero Republican votes.
The Republicans were not only ineffective, with 60 Democratic votes in the Senate and a Democratic majority in the House, they were inconsequential as well.
Now that the Republicans have won, the Democrats as usual, have simply changed the rules and left the Republicans in disarray. Elections still have consequences, but the consequences of Republican’s winning are not the Democrats falling in line as they would have had the Republicans do. No, in this case, the consequences are the Democrats throwing not just sand, but rocks into every gear they can find. The consequence of their losing is that they refuse to “accept” the fact that Donald Trump is president and intend to do anything and everything to see to it that he and anyone he appoints is removed from office.
The consequence is a full-court press against anything and everything they say or do; questions in the press, dubious news stories, spin, and anything and everything they can throw at the wall to see if it will stick. And polls, polls, polls, on every topic but specifically on Trump’s approval rating, their approval rating, their dog’s approval rating, you name it. Nothing they do is soon enough, unless of course it is too rushed. Everything is in “disarray.” And when all else fails, there is Barack Obama in his home in D.C. waiting for the reporters to show up so he can point out what the President should have done and how he would have done things so much better.
They will pick off one target at a time, building media frenzy and public opprobrium until Republicans collapse and give in. What’s one person anyway? We can always nominate another. After a while though, they will use the fact that “so many of Trump’s picks have proven unworthy” to go after the real target – the President himself. After all, if he picked all these people that ultimately had to resign because of this problem or that problem, what does that say about his ability to pick competent help, or his ability to lead? Obviously, he is unfit for the job. And they will try to remove him on that basis.
It may take a while – they may have to wait until the 2018 elections. But then again, maybe not, if they can convince enough Republicans for whatever reason, to join in with them. Which they might do if they are worried about losing the Senate or House or both in 2018. Look how many became “never Trumper’s” during the 2016 election, when at first the press was presenting the case that they might lose all three.
Mike Flynn was the first targeted, the first to fall, but he won’t be the last. Jeff Sessions is up now, and even if he doesn’t go down, there are plenty more to choose from; they don’t like any of his picks. They will continue to chip away and take down as many as they can; it’s easy when “the ends justify the means” and your adversaries are so willing to cooperate with you by flailing around and throwing the current target to the wolves, hoping the wolves will stop to eat and be satiated – or at least buy them a little more time at the trough.
It might seem a bit like McCarthyism from this side, but remember; it’s only McCarthyism when it is the left running for cover. When it’s Republicans running from the left, it’s good old fashioned patriotism and concern for the future of the country.
This is why we have to take a stand and stop this now. Jeff Sessions must be defended. As must the next one they choose, and the next. We have to let them know that we the people will not back down. We the people elected Donald Trump, even if some of us weren’t too sure exactly what we would get. If we back down we lose, and this chance we have to reverse the course this country has been on, not only for the last eight years, but ever since the end of the second Reagan administration, will be lost; perhaps forever. We have to get our Republican congresscritters to grow a spine, to stick together, and above all, to fight for the chance we the people have worked so hard to give them.
Let’s get in there and once again, win one for the Gipper.