Monday, February 03, 2020

As We Lean Forward Into The Dangers of 2020, Remember, "There Are More of Us."

"Rise of Skywalker" Movie Poster, Sonoma, California, 2020.
"We are at the point where we are not living in a constitutional republic anymore...if we don’t reverse this in this upcoming election & fight to defend the American Constitution, that will be it for America as we’ve known it.” -- @MalcolmNance w/ #AMJoy on MSNBC, 2/1/20

"It is a sad day for America to see Senator McConnell humiliate the Chief Justice of the United States into presiding over a vote which rejected our nation’s judicial norms, precedents and institutions which uphold the Constitution and the rule of law." -- Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Nancy Pelosi. D-CA (@SpeakerPelosi), 2/1/20

"They have mutilated the Constitution so they can claim its broken remains." -- Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger), 1/31/20

"Trump didn’t bother merely swatting aside the rule of law and the Constitution. No, he dropped all pretense and went full-on authoritarian, tapping no less a figure than Jeffrey Epstein pal Alan Dershowitz to present the Putin Defense: If it’s good for Trump, it’s good for the country, and that means it can’t be illegal ... Vladimir Putin presides over a mock democracy with mock elections and a mock free press and a mock economy that keeps his oligarch buddies in rubles and the citizenry in rags. He has ordered the deaths of journalists who displease him and poisoned those he thinks have been disloyal. Right now he is maneuvering to keep himself in power indefinitely. Donald Trump used the Putin Defense for a reason. Do the words, 'exercise of emergency powers' send a chill down your spine? -- Lucian K. Truscott IV, Salon via AlterNet, 2/1/20

"What comes next? Expect massive efforts to keep Democrats from voting or prevent their votes from counting. The focus will be minority communities. I’ve spent years fighting suppression. I expect the worst election cycle we’ve ever experienced. We all have to fight for fairness." -- Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance), 1/31/20

"I don't think people fully grasp the constitutional danger of this moment. If the Senate were to refuse to call relevant witnesses with direct testimony of grave presidential wrongdoing then we can no longer understand impeachment to be a genuine check on executive overreach." -- Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey), 1/30/20

"The GOP is now the pro-totalitarian party. It is a clear and present danger." -- Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger), 1/29/20

"Not presumably forever; not perhaps for a day after Nov. 3, 2020; not on every issue or in every way until then. But for the time being one has to say: We are all Democrats now." -- Bill Kristol (@BillKristol), 2/1/20

As We Lean Forward Into The Dangers of 2020, Remember, "There Are More of Us."

In "Rise of Skywalker," the ninth chapter in the Star Wars saga, at the moment of the Resistance's deepest despair, when all is seemingly lost in the final battle against the Galactic Emperor Darth Sidious' forces (Sith Eternal and Final Order), the heroic Poe speaks to his fellow fighter pilots over the intercom, "My friends, I’m sorry, I thought we had a shot. There’s just too many of them."

Suddenly, a vast fleet of ships great and small emerges from hyperspace. Led by Lando Calrissian, who had marshaled the galaxy's inhabitants to answer the call and make a final stand for freedom and all that is good. "There are more of us," Lando replies to Poe.

"Where did they get all these fighter craft? They have no navy," asks one of the Emperor's officers, another answers, "It's not a navy, sir, it's just... people."

That's what I want you to remember, "There are more of us." 

Together, left, right and center, in a united national front of sanity and decency, we can overcome the ongoing degenerative effects of Citizens United and Fox News, the toxic foolishness of those who will betray reason to vote third party as they did in 2000 and 2016, the institutionalized wrong of the Electoral College, and yes, even Putin with his military intelligence operations, his oligarchs' not so laundered money and his overflowing trove of kompromat. "There are more of us." 

BUT you must vote. Approximately 43% of registered voters didn't fill out a ballot in 2016, that's about 100 million "citizens." Clinton won the popular vote nationally. And only "lost" Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania (and thus the Electoral College) by fewer than 80,000 votes combined. In both Michigan and Wisconsin, Trump's alleged margin of victory was less than the number of votes for Putin's dinner date Jill Stein. I say "alleged margin of victory" because, well ... you know ... don't you? Those recounts just never got done. And as for the Russian attacks on the state election systems themselves, well ... you know ... don't you? The public hasn't been read in ...

I wondered when I would write you again, at length, concerning the fate of our nation and this world.

I almost did at several recent inflection points, but I held off.

The time just wasn't right.

But this is the moment.

On 2/3/20, in the Iowa Caucuses, the first actual votes of the 2020 election campaign will be cast.

On 2/4/20, impeached (forever) and increasingly impaired, the Mad King is scheduled to deliver the State of the Union. I would not be surprised if he and Jvanka come up with a reason for him to cancel it. If he does go through with the speech, both his serious cognitive decline and his all-consuming pathology will be on full display for all to see. Lurching toward all time ignominy, Trump will clutch the podium, and will rant and rave and ramble on incoherently, unable to finish sentences.

On 2/5/20, having turned the Senate trial into a travesty by blocking the testimony of John Bolton and others, #MoscowMitch and the Zombie Cult formerly known as the Republican Party will (absent some miracle) refuse to remove Trump from office in spite of his proven high crimes.

Ever since Trump's installation as Putin's weaponized clown in the White House, we have been running a race against our own doom. It is a marathon relay race run through a savage gauntlet that covers the whole length of the course. We are now over two thirds of the way through the marathon relay race. Along the first stretch of the race was Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller and his team carried the baton. Along the second stretch of the race, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her caucus have carried the baton. And now, as the campaign begins for real, the baton must be passed on again, to Democratic candidates for the Senate and the White House.

Mueller did not fail. Mueller did what he could. His report is devastating. His prosecutions were successful. He would have gone farther. More indictments were in the works. The walls were closing in. IF he had not been constrained from going after Trump's finances. IF Manafort had actually flipped. IF he had not been shutdown by Bill Barr. (And yes, he was shutdown by Bill Barr and someday the full story will come out.) IF Barr hadn't pissed, shit and puked all over the roll out of the report. Nevertheless the report stands on its own, and it is devastating.

Mueller's investigation exposed and weakened Trump. Mueller's report details Putin's attack on America, along with Trump's collusion (yes, collusion) and obstruction of justice. It is an important historical document. It helped us all get to the mid-term elections in 2018, it emboldened us all, it contributed to the blue tsunami which turned over power in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Speaker Pelosi and her caucus started off by passing hundreds of healthy pieces of legislation (including election security) and sending them on to the Senate where they still languish on #MoscowMitch's desk. In this way, Pelosi reminded the nation of what real governance looks like and simultaneously shed bright light on the utter cravenness of McConnell and his minions.

Meanwhile, the House Committee chairs jump-started constitutionally mandated oversight ...

And then a Whistleblower came forward.

The Ukraine scandal IS the Russia scandal. It is all of one cloth. Putin and Manafort are threaded through all of it. It is a continuum of corruption and betrayal. Mueller's final report (448 pages) and the House Judiciary Committee's Impeachment report (650 pages) document it all for posterity.

12/18/19 will forever mark a very important turning point in the struggle to restore some degree of sanity and decency to America's governance and collective psyche. Concerning the House voting for impeachment, the analogy of a grand jury and an indictment is often used; by extension the analogy goes on to say that the final verdict is rendered in the Senate trial. But that analogy is not exact, indeed it is misleading. It would be just as valid to say that the House voting for impeachment IS the verdict, and that the Senate trial is really more like a sentencing hearing (i.e., should the person impeached be removed from office, etc.) The Senate tries the case to determine if it concurs with the verdict of the House, if it does agree then the removal from office is ordered. Nothing that happens in the Senate will undo this verdict. Impeachment is not an indictment, it is a verdict. Putin's weaponized clown in the White House has been found guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors. All U.S. laws flow from the Constitution. But the Constitution is at the center of it all, and in a dimension of its own. It is a living document, and it has provided the means to render a verdict on Trump. Guilty.

Despite Pelosi's masterful leadership and the brilliance of Adam Schiff, the best we could have hoped for out of the Senate trial is that it would become a trial of the Senate itself -- in the Court of Public Opinion. And that is just what happened. Polls consistently show a majority of the American people want to hear from new witnesses, and that a majority of the American people want Trump removed from office. But collaborating with the White House to perpetuate the cover-up, #MoscowMitch has engineered a sham "acquittal." Control of the Senate is now in play!

Which brings us to the 2020 election and the campaign that starts for real in Iowa.

Toppling McConnell and breaking the Death Eater grip on the Senate is almost more important than liberating the White House at this juncture, but one of the other, along with holding the House is a MUST, and honestly, to really do what must be done we need all three victories.

I hesitate to say anything about the race for the presidential nomination, but the time has come, I am going to be as careful as I can in the words I choose but there are some important points that must be made. All of the serious contenders have some path or another to winning the general election, but some are much narrower than others. As I stated previously, I feel strongly the nominee should be a woman, which leaves of with Elizabeth Warren or Amy Klobuchar, since Kamala Harris (perhaps the strongest general election candidate) is no longer in the race.

Warren is formidable. And brilliant. And she connects with voters, directly, in a real way. Something powerful is coming through her.

Klobuchar too has earned serious consideration. She is savvy, and she speaks and carries herself in a way that can reach voters in the crucial "battleground states" of the midwest.

Micheal Bloomberg has surprised me. Declaring he will spend billions to defeat Trump, whoever the candidate is, even if it is not him (and yes, even if it was Sanders) is a commitment worthy of R-E-S-P-E-C-T. And the sophisticated commercials with which he is flooding all media platforms are devastatingly effective. That too is worthy of R-E-S-P-E-CT.

As I stated previously, I prayed that Biden and Sanders would not run. This is not the year for an old white man. My prayers were not answered.

However, Biden has one of the clearest, broadest paths to winning in the general election, in spite of being an old white man prone to verbal gaffes. There is evidence he has gotten his sea legs back. And like Bloomberg, his commercials are well-calibrated to the existential threat we face.

Sanders, who I supported for the nomination in 2016, is more problematic. The biggest problems with Sanders are a) he would be McGoverned and marginalized quite successfully as a socialist and a kinky weirdo as soon as he secures the nomination, and b) there is a toxicity among a significant percentage of his supporters, e.g., the "Bernie Bros" etc. Sanders has so far failed to address it effectively, and in so doing, he is failing a vital test of leadership.

The cruel twist of Buttigieg's campaign is that he is sanctimoniously appealing to Republican voters who simply will not pull the lever to put him and Chasten in the Lincoln Bedroom; while at the same time, he exhibits a troublesome disconnect in his attempts to communicate with African American voters. So, seriously, in the general election, would he be able to deliver the electoral college votes of Indiana, his own home state? His is path is the narrowest ...

Nevertheless, any of these candidates can and should win in November, and I will support whoever turns out to be the nominee (assuming it isn't Putin's troll, Tulsi Gabbard) ...

Now as for the ticket, here are some ideas:
  • Elizabeth Warren with Julian Castro or Kamala Harris, 
  • Amy Klobuchar with Cory Booker or Kamala Harris
  • Michael Bloomberg with Michelle Obama, Kamala Harris or Stacey Abrams
  • Joe Biden with Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams or Michelle Obama
These are just my views. Vote for whoever inspires you in the primaries and caucuses, just pull yourselves together at the end of the process, and lean forward in a united front.

But you really are not voting for the nominee, whoever it is, you are voting for yourself, for the republic, for the planet, for Heather Heyer, for the refugee children stolen from their parents, caged and abused, some sexually molested, some killed, some lost, for Christine Blasey Ford, for Jamal Kashoggi, for E. Jean Carroll and over two dozen other women who have accused Trump of violating them sexually, for the Kurds, for the human waves of patriot professionals in law enforcement, intelligence and national security who have stood against the madness, corruption and betrayal of all that is good, simply by doing their jobs, and honoring their oaths, for former CIA Director John Brennan, for Ambassador Marie Yovanovich, for Andrew McCabe, James Baker,  Peter Strzok, and Lisa Page who were all forced out of the FBI, Sally Yates who resigned from the DoJ, for Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindeman, for Jennifer Williams, for Ambassador Bill Taylor, for Fiona Hill, for David Holmes, and of course for the Whistleblower ... Hell, for Lev Parnas and Michael Cohen who both came clean, and for their families, AND for so many more known and unknown ... For all who have suffered the rise of racism, misogyny, anti-semitism and homophobia during the Trump reign ... For the futures of all you love ... For the "e pluribus unum" promise of the United States of America ...

Check your voter registration, and encourage your friends, colleagues and loved ones to check their voter registration. Vote, and encourage your friends, colleagues and loved ones to vote.

If we fail, the republic will fall. And in spite of all of its crimes, blunders and blind-spots, you will miss the geographical hegemony of the United States, you will miss the Western Alliance, you will miss NATO, you will miss the notions of human rights and international law, you will miss the reality of a free press, yes, you will miss liberal democracy, and how it protected you while you railed against it ...

Are you ready? Ready or not, it is here. As Gandalf said on the parapet in Minas Tirith, “So it begins, the great battle of our time.” This is a war. Don’t be afraid to speak the truth of it. Your vote is your weapon, your voice is your weapon, your heart and mind are your weapons. Wield them. Smash the patriarchy. Deliver the decisive blow to misogyny, racism, homophobia. Finish off sociopathy as a philosophy of governance. Hold the House. Take the Senate. Reclaim the White House. Join the united front for sanity and decency. We will simultaneously stand our ground and advance upon “all enemies foreign and domestic.” Arise. On. Lean forward.

Remember, "There are more of us."

I will write to you again, maybe in the middle of what is to come, but certainly before the end. Hopefully before then you will have heard from Anonymous.

-- Richard Power

See Also

Lean Forward from Within the Vortex and the Vortex Moves with You: Words of Power and the Yoga of Primal Reality -- 2019-2020 Programme (July 2019)

Pull Yourselves Together. Seven Imperatives As We Enter the 2020 Vortex. (June 2019)

Full moon on Nob Hill. In the fog and the rain.