Former senior CIA official calls openly for murder of Trump opponents

If you have read this blog before, you’ve heard me suggest more than once that fascism is ascendant in America.  If you still think that’s an overstatement, perhaps this latest bit of evidence will change your mind.

Michael Scheuer, a former senior CIA official and author, wrote a blog post in which he explicitly calls for Trump opponents to be killed.  This is justified, in his mind, and no doubt the minds of others, because Trump opponents are involved in a coup against the Trump government.  Note the detail he provides:

Fortunately, they have in hand a long and very precise list of the names and photographs of those who hate and threaten them, their families, their way-of-life, their liberty, their livelihoods and their republic. No self-respecting and determined-to-remain-independent citizenry can let themselves forever be held hostage by thug-civil-servants like Strzok, Comey, McCabe, Page, and Rosenstein; worshipers of tyranny, like the Democratic members of Congress, the Clintons, the FBI, and the Obamas; apparent traitors like Brennan, Hayden, and Clapper; all of the mainstream media; and the tens of thousands of government-admitted-and-protected, violent, criminal, and illegal immigrants.

Just in case you missed it, “all of the mainstream media” and “Democratic members of Congress” are on Scheuer’s death list.

Notice that he’s not calling for the government to round up people.  He’s calling for civilians to pick up their guns and go out and kill their neighbors on behalf of the government.  This is precisely how fascist violence begins, as it did, for example, in Italy in 1922.

Are we a fascist country yet?

The transition of a society from liberal democracy to fascism isn’t a sudden thing.  The gradual transformation must have seemed normal and sensible to a lot of Italian, Spanish, and German citizens in the 1930s.  It’s worth asking today how future historians will view the America of 2018.  Will they wonder why we we went along, why we didn’t seem to notice what was happening?

Several signposts are already in the rear-view mirror.  The President has called news reporters “enemies of the state” and openly incites violence against them.  We had an open gathering of KKK members and actual Nazis in Charlottesville, described by President as “very fine people.”  Trump has repeatedly praised President Duterte of the Philippines, who literally describes himself as a fascist, and particularly likes Duterte’s program of mass murder.  He has asserted more than once that he is above the law.  We have Rep. Steve King, R-IA, openly and repeatedly expressing his support for fascists.  We have various Republicans saying, as Ted Nugent did, that Democrats should be shot, and that people who take down Confederate monuments should be lynched, and that it’s a good thing when reporters are beaten.  We have death threats against a federal judge who blocked Trump’s Muslim ban.  We have numerous incidents of anti-Semitism, including one at a Republican event.  And we have actual Hitler-loving Nazis praising our current administration.

So what has been happening lately?

That is an incomplete list of things that have happened in just the last two weeks.  We should probably all be thinking about how history will judge us for resisting, or failing to resist, in 2018.

 

A stain that will never come out

Let’s get some clarity on the worst Trump administration policy so far.

  • The Trump administration has made a policy of separating children from their parents at the border, for the express purpose of deterrence, that is, terrorizing people to keep them from attempting to cross the border.  John Kelley said as much on the record, as did Jeff Sessions when he announced the policy.
  • The Trump administration is now gaslighting us, denying what we all heard them say about their deliberate policy of tearing families apart. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Sunday on Twitter, “We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period.”  Trump himself has repeated the lie, over and over again, that families are being separated because of a nonexistent law passed by the Democrats.
  • The children are being held in cages.  The officials who deny there are children in cages, are denying what we have already seen.  We have an unedited, confirmed audio recording of children wailing and crying for their parents.  The recording lasts 7 minutes 47 seconds.  Listen to the whole thing if you can.  I can’t.
  • Mitch McConnell has said that a “narrow fix” to the problem is needed.  “I support, and all of the members of the Republican conference support, a plan that keeps families together while their immigration status is determined,” he claims.  And yet:  every Democrat in the U.S. Senate has cosponsored the “Keep Families Together Act,” a bill that would only allow undocumented children to be separated from their parents if there is evidence of parents abusing the children or children being trafficked.  Sounds like a pretty narrow fix.  But for all the hand-wringing and concerned noises being made by Republicans, not one Republican has endorsed the bill.
  • Rank and file Republicans don’t bother pretending to oppose the policy.  A new poll shows that 55% of Republicans approve of the family separations.

So to review, we have a Republican policy, that the framers of that policy are lying about.  We have Republican officials opposing the policy, but not supporting a bill that would put an end to it.  We have a solid majority of rank and file Republicans approving of a policy that can only be characterized as evil.

Let’s remember this when a Republican stands up, now and in the future, to tell us the difference between right and wrong.  They have no standing to talk about morality.  They are solidly and unapologetically behind evil.

Ex-GOP chair to Trump-supporting evangelicals: “Shut the hell up”

I have several bones to pick with Michael Steele, former chair of the Republican National Committee.  But now that he’s out of power, he seems to have some clarity about the Party of Trump that he helped create.

Evangelicals love a president who cheats on all of his wives, brags about assaulting women by grabbing their pussies, and pays hush money to a porn star to keep her from talking to the press about his sex affair with her. Tony Perkins of the right-wing Family Research Council, said Trump gets “a do-over” because evangelicals “were tired of being kicked around by Barack Obama and his leftists.” But Michael Steele, the former Republican National Committee chair, has one thing to say to evangelicals about their unwavering support for the unfaithful Trump: “I have very simple admonition: just shut the hell up and don’t preach to me about anything ever again,” he said on MSNBC.

“After telling me who to love, what to believe, what to do and what not to do and now you sit back and the prostitutes don’t matter, the grabbing the you-know-what doesn’t matter, the outright behavior and lies don’t matter, just shut up!” Steele blasted.

“They have no voice of authority anymore for me,” Steele concluded.

Ernst defends Trump, audience guffaws

Joni Ernst embarrassing herself in Red Oak:

Republican senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley have been back home in Iowa to hold small town halls in rural areas, places they probably thought would be ‘safe spaces’ from angry voters. WRONG. The rural voters who turned out were not happy with Donald Trump and they unloaded on Ernst and Grassley. In one particularly embarrassing moment for Sen. Ernst in Red Oak, Iowa (population 5,476), she drew laughter and scorn after this exchange:

SEN. ERNST: “He is standing up for a lot of the countries, um… where we have seen…”

CONSTITUENT: “Name a few, could you name a few?”

SEN. ERNST: “Yeah, you bet. Norway…”

 

Trump: “…if we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall.”

This reminder of who wants to shut down the federal government is brought to you by the President of the United States.  Trump was already threatening a government shutdown back in August.

Now, the obstructionist Democrats would like us not to do it, but believe me, if we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall.

And if the government shuts down at midnight tonight, it will be because there aren’t enough Republican votes to prevent it.

Republicans defend Trump’s “shithole countries” comment

You know by now, because everyone in the world now knows, that the President of the United States called African countries and Haiti “shithole countries,” according to “several people briefed on the meeting.”  Trump later bragged about it to friends.

In the minds of Republican lawmakers, this is a problem.  Not the racist garbage the President said, but the fact the someone repeated it to the public.  Rand Paul is now telling us there can’t be an immigration compromise if people are running around calling the President a racist.

The premise that racist sentiments spoken by party leaders in private should not be repeated in public because allowing party leaders to be racist in private is important for legislative comity is word-for-word the argument used by decades of past southern Republicans. Presenting the two as equal sins—speaking racist things, and informing the public when racist things have been spoken—using the rhetoric of “both sides” behaving badly is the sort of moral grease fire Republican senators have long loved to simmer in.

And why would they turn on him now, after backing Trump for so long?  It’s not as if they didn’t know he’s a racist; white supremacy is his brand, and a core value of the Republican Party.

Republicans totally focused on protecting Trump and stopping Russia investigation

We now have the transcripts of the closed-door Senate testimony of Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, regarding the evidence of criminal activity by the Trump campaign with the Russians.  It is not pretty.  Senator Grassley should resign in disgrace for what happened in his Judiciary Committee.

Every question asked by Republicans in the meeting—every single question—focused on trying to find information they could use to demean and defame the witness. They wanted to paint Fusion GPS as a “Democratic operation.” They were determined to turn Christopher Steele’s visit to the FBI into a partisan act. They used every moment of their time to find something Fusion had done wrong, or that Steele had done wrong … some way that both the company and the information they had gathered could be dismissed. In a day-long interview that was supposed to further the investigation into connections between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, no Republican expressed the slightest interest in that topic.

Republicans protecting the crooks

At some time in the future, when a Republican tries to distance himself from the disgrace of Donald Trump, remember how it really was at the beginning of 2018.  At a time when new evidence is making an even stronger case that the President has obstructed justice,

In perhaps one of the most coordinated episodes of their entire tenure of single-party rule, House Republicans began a campaign to end their own Russia probe and oust Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Senate Republicans recommended the indictment of a key Trump-Russia whistleblower, the Justice Department decided to reinvestigate Hillary Clinton’s email use, and the FBI is taking aim at the Clinton Foundation—again.

I keep saying it because it needs saying:  the Republican Party is the Party of Trump.  Never let them live it down.

If it walks like a fascist and quacks like a fascist…

If Donald Trump says all those racist things when he’s putting on his best face for the cameras, what must he be like when the cameras are off?  We don’t have to speculate.  In June of 2017, this was Trump in front of his staff:

  • He said Afghanistan was a terrorist haven.
  • He said of legal Haitian immigrants, they “all have AIDS.”
  • He said of legal Nigerian immigrants, that once they had seen the United States, they would never “go back to their huts.”

That’s right.  The President of the United States said that people from the most populous country in Africa live in huts.  About what you’d expect from the guy who thought there were “fine people” among those making Nazi salutes in Charlottesville.

Yes, you may be thinking, but it’s a long way from being a racist to being a fascist dictator.  Not so long, perhaps.  Trump has just asserted, with regard to the Russia investigations, that he has the “absolute right to do what I want with the Justice Department,” a claim that Richard Nixon would have been embarrassed to make.  I’d like to see a comment on this article, from a Republican who has one of those little copies of the Constitution in his pocket, explaining why this shouldn’t alarm the rest of us.