Eclectic commentary from a progressive voice in the red state

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Trump's treason and the GOP accessories

About six weeks ago, Abigail Tracy’s article in Vanity Fair asked what is inarguably the most .
important question of the 2016 United States presidential election, “Is Donald Trump a Manchurian Candidate?” So did others.

It is a question everyone should have been asked months before — at least no later than then end of July after Wikileaks dribbled out embarrassing emails that set the Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign back on its heels. At least the nonpartisan “The Hill” did. But even before that, the British mediawere alert to Trump’s ties to Russian strongman Vladimir Putin. Those ties were not only emotional in the sense that the authoritarian TV celebrity admired Putin, but also, as we’ve come to learn, included business alliances. Why it took so long for some of the US big media to pose this question and try to answer it is a mystery.

However, the Vanity Fair article put enough of the pieces together that the public has a roadmap showing Russia’s role in this election looks stunningly to be the case. And, other events of the past few days make it clear that Russia has interfered with the election at the behest of the Republicans. The New York Times and Washington Post, with other outletsfollowing, reported Friday that the CIA confirmed the suspected Russian fingerprints on the election, with WikiLeaks spreading propaganda that embarrassed the Democrats. We have also learnedthe Republicans were also hacked but the information is not out there for unknown reasons. We also now know the intelligence community gave President Barack Obama enough information to prompt his orderingan investigation, which will no doubt include the electronic voting machines.

To what degree an investigation will definitively tie Trump or his apparatchiks to the Russians or WikiLeaks remains to be seen. And whether anyone can make the case that the propaganda and disinformation effort affected the outcome of the election may never be clear. Certainly, the pushbackfrom Trump and his surrogates over the weekend lends credence that he or his campaign are involved. After all, Trump, among many other character failures, is a proven liar that emphasizes his mental illness — or, worse, his role as the Manchurian Candidate. The attacks on the motivations and the substance of the intelligence community’s reports are right out of Josef Goebbels’ playbook in these situations and further confirm the worst suspicions.

Even without the deepest probe, we already know Trump’s organization, which cannot be separated from the thin-skinned narcissist, has ties to Putin and the Russian business community. The list of Trump’s choices for cabinet and other high officials add more weight to the notion that Trump and the Republicans would unwind a century of progressive reforms and return the US to the Age of the Robber Barons. Without exception, every announced nomination reflects a plan for installing a plutocratic, corporatist oligarchy. Saturday’s announcementof Exxon/Mobil’s Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State is no coincidence as Tillerson’s ties to Russia and Putin are well documented.

It is a mystery why Obama waited this long to launch a look into the intel findings that many already had telegraphed. In fairness, second-guessing that decision is less a reaction of my leanings and more a consideration that other legitimate actions, such as confirming information, were occurring in a needed sequence.

Finally, consider a quote, often but perhaps erroneously attributedto Joseph Stalin, that brutal dictator that it’s more important to know who controls counting the votes than anything about casting them. And, Stalin was what nationality? Right. So, Putin, the child of the KGB, would well know that mantra. From the recent evidence as well as scandalswith the Dieboldvoting machines, it is more than likely that the vote counts in this election are tainted.

That leaves the US facing the horrid possibility of a bloodless coup d’état at the hands of an alliance between Trump, Russia and the multi-national corporations. Should various investigations find and confirm the worst, that Trump is indeed the Manchurian Candidate, then it follows that he and others are guilty of high treason. Some Republicansare calling for an investigation of the hacks. But any Republican who is now silent in the face of the crass corruption and foreign power meddling in one of our nation's most sacred acts is complicit in Trump’s treason.

Timing is everything and if results confirming the intrusion come after the January inauguration, the corporately owned Republican House of Representatives would have no choice but to impeach Trump. The Senate, also in the hands of the GOP, would then try him. Such a process would leave us with Mike Pence unless he, too, is tied to the scandal. And then there would be Paul Ryan, one with the same ideology as Trump and Pence. With the GOP in control of Congress and the leadership — such as Mitch McConnell, Ryan, Rand Paul and several untrustworthy and Trump and corporately allied Texans such as John Cornyn, Ted Cruz, Louis Gohmert and Mac Thornberry — an impeachment is doubtful even in the face of evidence. We could anticipate that many others would join me in considering those resisting justice to be accessories to treason. McConnellmay be more than an accessory already.

On the other hand, should the findings come before the inauguration, the nation has options. We could “redo” the election, either with a nationwide recount or with an entirely new election. Such a scenario is unlikely, in part because it would take an “act of Congress.” The GOP’s win-at-any-cost using the politics of personal destruction shows Americans willing to see it that the party already puts itself ahead of the good of the country.

Finally, the best option that would avoid the constitutional crisis would be the Electoral College rejecting Trump’s election and naming Clinton president. The college has that right, and given the scenarios, the obligation. It is precisely what the Electoral College was set up for. Adding to the justification for such a move is Clinton’s overwhelming victory in the popular vote. Of course, the Republicans will scream bloody murder. But in the face of the anticipated evidence, where is their portfolio to do so? After all, for all the accusations of corruption leveled at the Clinton machine, none involved her being a pawn of a foreign power.

Dystopia and Russian language lessons or normalcy? The clock is ticking.

Editorial Note: Associated Press style rules call for the use of titles or “honorifics” to indicate the roles of people covered in a story or commentary. These titles help readers understand how and where subjects fit into the scheme of things and they offer a modicum of respect. However, respect is earned and in my writings, I will indicate respect either overtly or subtly by using either titles or descriptors