So Here We Are At Last

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Last week of the campaign, and pretty much every bit of ratfuckery that can be imagined by the party that brought us the concept in the first place has been deployed, and now we know what the Republicans stand for. Extortion. No, really, they’re willing to blow up the entire structure of American democracy unless a sufficient number of idiots deliver them their votes in an unmarked bag. Charlie Pierce is on the case and as usual he’s got them dead to rights.

It took until the last week of an interminable campaign, but the Republican Party has managed to find a single theme to unite the party establishment, the party’s general media and intellectual infrastructure, the party’s legislative caucus, the party’s base and, most of all, the party’s nominee. One single theme.

Extortion.
“I’m now convinced that we will be facing the very real possibility of a constitutional crisis with many dimensions and deleterious consequences should Secretary Clinton win the election,” Trump quoted from an op-ed by Schoen, hastily adding that he didn’t think a Clinton victory would happen. Trump then laid out a detailed hypothesis — echoing Schoen’s column — to the crowd of several thousand in Grand Rapids, Mich., conjuring a future marred by controversy should his Democratic rival win. “She would be under protracted criminal investigation and probably a criminal trial, I would say. So we’d have a criminal trial of a sitting president,” he said.
This, of course, is coming at the same time as the Republican leadership in the present Congress is promising to blow up the institution of the Supreme Court rather than allow an elected Democratic president to appoint anyone to it, at the same time that Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin who so far is incapable of saying the full name of his party’s nominee, is campaigning around the country essentially in favor of continued obstruction and gridlock, at the same time that elements of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have taken the Democratic presidential campaign hostage, at the same time that elements of the New York police and fire departments were even so petty as to go anonymously to The New York Post to complain about the Clinton campaign’s plan to mark her possible election with a fireworks display.

And that’s not even to mention the clear intention of El Caudillo del Mar-A-Lago and some of his more enthusiastic followers to sow dread at the polls and uncertainty about the outcome. Its nominee having shown the way, the Republican Party—and the conservative movement that is its only life force—has come together at last under a single identity—that of a shakedown racket.

“Nice little republic you have there. Be a shame if anything were to happen to it.”

I have no idea whether the campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton knows how to fight on this simple, brute level, or whether her prospective administration will understand that it has to do so in order to be able to govern. The last two decades of Democratic party politics do not lend themselves to optimism on this score. There seems little doubt that, if a President HRC wants to get anything real done, she’s going to have to break a few teacups in order to keep her political opposition from burning down the china cupboard, the house, and the two city blocks surrounding it.

If we go back to 2009, with a Democratic president who believes these people can be reasoned with, the consequences will be instant and they will be severe. This time, the big bag of fcks has to be empty on Inauguration Day.

Not to mention whether the media has the capacity to call this criminal racketeering by one of our political parties for what it is, as they’re too well-trained in BothSidesDoIt-ism.

This is bad, folks. I don’t think Trump is going to win, but he may keep it close enough that the current divided government continues. As will the obstructionism of the past eight years. If there’s one thing that Barack Obama was uteerly wrong about, it was his belief for his entire first term that he could work with Republicans in Congress.

He couldn’t, and Clinton won’t be able to, either. The time to make that recognition is right now. 

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