by William Skink
As Democrats try feebly to rally their dejected rank and file into action (and donating dontchyaknow) a recent post at Moogirl caught my attention. The post itself–a snark-fest of predictable derision targeting Trump–suggests adopting the enemy’s tactics is mission critical in this dire fight for core liberal principals. Here is how Justin Robbins ends his “defense of the unconventional“:
Grounded in the same liberal principles which underlie the original American experiment, I will plant myself firmly in the face of any who would use this clown’s election as carte blanche to lash out at minorities, assault women, foment racism, or otherwise advance ignorance. It is not a time for good people to do nothing and if this pig’s chosen arena is the mud, I don’t mind getting dirty.
One comment on this post stood out, and it comes from Mark Anderlik, president of the Missoula Area Central Labor Council:
I asked myself “what is missing?” in this rather snarky piece. And it came to me that the author seems to believe everything was okay before the election of Trump. Neoliberal elites have failed the American people, as the Trump fascists will also inevitably do. Rejecting both political ideologies and replacing them with some kind of democratic socialism is what remains. And it begins with understanding what the 99% need.
We could also begin with what we don’t need: more obscene wealth pooling into fewer and fewer hands, like the 8 wealthiest men owning the same chunk of change as the poorest half of the global population, or 3.6 billion people.
But that’s not where we are. Nope, instead we have half the electorate thinking the wealthiest cabinet in history is going to be responsive to their needs while the other half is quadrupling down on Putin did it.
Yesterday–Martin Luther King day–the political outrage burned over one of Trump’s most audaciously bullshit tweets claiming Rep. John Lewis is all talk and no action. While that political firestorm erupted, it wasn’t until today that I heard what John Lewis actually said, which is this:
“I don’t see this President-elect as a legitimate president,” Lewis, a Georgia Democrat, told NBC News’ Chuck Todd in a clip released Friday. “I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.”
This comment is getting virtually no scrutiny, but it deserves some attention because it sparked this latest micro-drama in the kabuki theater our political stage has become.
First, an elected representative contesting the legitimacy of an incoming president is a big deal. If I was an elected representative preparing to publicly denounce an incoming president, I would be sure to use the best argument available to back it up. The impending Trump presidency offers a plethora of angles one could use to claim illegitimacy, like financial entanglements and a recent legal settlement for 25 million dollars awarded to the victims of the Trump University scam.
But those weren’t the arguments Rep. Lewis used. Instead it was “…the Russians participated in helping this man get elected.”
And why did Lewis use this angle to attack Trump? Because the Putin angle is a multi-functional attack that smears Trump while simultaneously providing cover for Hillary Clinton’s monumental failure to win the election.
The saddest part of this latest incremental step toward enacting a soft coup against Trump is the fact John Lewis offered up the credibility he bled for during the 60’s in order to provide cover for a soulless political machine built by the Clintons–a machine that steamrolled African American communities during the 90’s with tough-on-crime mandatory minimums, a racist drug war, free trade agreements and new holes in the social safety net with welfare reform.
John Lewis–and every desperate Democrat clinging to the false narrative that Putin cost Hillary Clinton the election–need a better strategy for deposing Trump from the White House. Resurrecting the Cold War to delegitimize Trump is not just idiotically short-sighted, it’s insanely dangerous.
To emphasize that point, imagine if this article was about Russia building up troops in Mexico:
About 1,000 of a promised 4,000 troops arrived in Poland at the start of the week, and a formal ceremony to welcome them is to be held on Saturday. Some people waved and held up American flags as the troops, tanks and heavy armoured vehicles crossed into south-western Poland from Germany, according to Associated Press.
But their arrival was not universally applauded. In Moscow, Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “We perceive it as a threat. These actions threaten our interests, our security. Especially as it concerns a third party building up its military presence near our borders. It’s [the US], not even a European state.”
How far is this going to go? And what are Democrats willing to risk to destroy Trump?