The Bystander

However you game it — impeachment, resignation, 25th Amendment, cholesterol poisoning, capture by flying monkeys — the one person who stands to immediately benefit from Donald Trump’s involuntary rapture is Mike Pence.

And honestly, that would be fine with us. Mike Pence may be evil, but he’s conventionally evil, predictably evil, the kind of evil that doesn’t make you seriously question whether humanity itself will survive him. We can work with that.

Pence is also smart as a weasel, ably distancing himself from the chaos surrounding his boss. He has no role, public or rumored, in the mess that’s unfolding, aside from being pissed that a notorious liar would, heaven forfend, lie to him. Mike Pence is stalwartly Above the Fray.

But when the moment comes for Mike Pence to step up and lead America out of its latest national nightmare, there’s just one problem:

He’s complicit.

We’re not saying that Pence is Putin’s backup plan, a spare just in case the Puppet’s strings get cut. Pence will be able to honestly say he had nothing to do with the Shocking! revelations we’re hearing only now. And things being how they are, he’ll probably get away with it.

But we’re hearing little now that we weren’t hearing before Pence accepted the nomination at the Republican convention, where the Trump campaign insisted on only one platform detail — which benefited Russia, and which everyone at the time thought was really odd.

Since then, Mike Pence has been happily along for the ride. Like his fellow Republicans, he’ll gladly sell out his country to achieve power.

And of all the people in the Trump administration, Pence holds unique power: He can’t be fired. Nor can he be silenced. He can be sidelined, as veeps often used to be, but he can’t be dismissed.

At any moment he chooses, Mike Pence could call a press conference, and it would be carried live on every cable-news channel. He could recite the known facts we all can recite by now, and call for a special investigation. He could say what he knows, what he’s seen. He could take questions, and answer them honestly. He could take all day, and the audience would keep growing.

And Trump couldn’t do a damn thing about it, aside from crashing Twitter servers with his response.

Mike Pence won’t do that, of course. He’ll just keep by himself in the corner, the Innocent Bystander, waiting for America to declare him our hero when the moment comes.

But when the DC press corps resumes its customary habit of fellating the powerful, we’ll know better. We’ll know that Mike Pence was the one person who could have stopped the madness.

And he didn’t.


Another commenter suggested the ideal solution: After President Rapist’s impeachment, new President Penis appoints Hillary Clinton as his VP then resigns. The winner of the popular vote then takes office QED, and we return to our regularly scheduled programming of incompetent Congressional RepubliKKKans obstructing/ruining the country that they have no freakin’ clue how to govern.

Our first 8th District Progressives Against Hate Meetup

@SanFranLefty: Ha! Yeah, I saw that. I’m waiting for a dry day to put up my missing posters.

@JNOV: Reichert’s on the run! Atta girl :-)

@¡Andrew!: Squats!

@¡Andrew!: Right?! :-D A member of my Meetup was on Maddow. Must have made her day, fangirl. Meanwhile, I can scratch Issaquah off the bucket list.

@¡Andrew!: AND OMG! On one news program, he said that Democrats are woefully misinformed because we think that if Trump is impeached, Hillary will become president. He also said some ridiculous shit about Trump being forced to release his tax returns is a slippery slope that will lead to you and me being compelled to release ours. SMDH. I have to give give a small piece of my mind, just so his might function.

Frustrated Russian Officials Struggling To Get Any Policies Through Dysfunctional Trump Administration

@¡Andrew!: Thank you for that. Not that I was suffering from a lack of eye candy (watched Defiance last night and, uh, yeah), but every last bit helps.

In other missing Republican politician news, Toomey’s constituents held a town hall with a literal empty suit and Rubio’s “trip to Europe” excuse for missing town halls quickly fell apart.

@JNOV: With other RepubliKKKans, you can tell they’re aware it’s a con, Reichert however is such a gratuitously obtuse moron that he truly believes his own bullshit. He honestly won’t understand what you’re talking about even if he does meet in person. The only way to reach him is to sneak a slide into a Paul Lyin PowerPoint.

@mellbell: Those buns have the promise of power!

Also, Little Marco jumped head first off the integrity train.

And my letter faxed to fucking Reichert. Son of a bitch.

February 24, 2017

Honorable David Reichert,

I was dismayed to hear you call your constituents, “[m]isinformed uneducated people, I’ll just be blunt, who believe that if President Trump [were] impeached, that Hillary Clinton would actually be the next president of the United States” during your unredacted King 5 interview conducted on February 22, 2017.

I do not understand why you think it is acceptable behavior to insult, demean, and abuse your constituents while refusing the opportunity to meet with them. You claim that you welcome respectful and polite discourse, yet your statements are the height of hypocrisy and prove you incapable of such.

I voted for you, and I am one of the people who has politely contacted your office and spoken with your staff. I have found them to be incredibly receptive and patient.

You, on the other hand, choose to treat your people like ignorant sheep.

You claimed that people like me are paid outside disruptors because I still have the same cell phone number I had in 2003. Sir, if anyone is spreading misinformation, and from a very loud place of political power that drowns out any protester’s bullhorn, it is you.

Sir, it is shameful for you to hide behind Gabby Giffords and those who were killed and injured by a man diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. How dare you hide behind the memory of nine-year-old Christina-Taylor Green?

Shame, Sir. Shame.

All of your constituents, conservative, middle-of-the-road, and liberal, deserve a chance to be heard. Instead, you insult us, and we have heard you. We have seen you. And now, we see you for who you are, Sir.

We see you.

Now I gotta fax the fucking White House, too. Damn.


Reichert met with eight people today, and now folks are like, maybe we can work with him. I’m like, no.

ImmaSlapThisBitch: So, who’s going to run against Reichert and win in a purple district like this one? I honestly don’t know. Got any suggestions?

Me: Clinton won our district, so it’s not impossible. The problem is his name recognition. We need to frame it as change. Out with the old and in with the new.

Does anyone have an awesome city council member?

Cool Person: I would love to see Pat Sullivan run against him. He is a great guy!

ISTB: I know Pat Sullivan and I don’t think we can afford to lose him in the state Legislature.

Me: What’s the makeup of the state legislature, and how long does Inslee have left on his term? We might be able to do without Pat and find a suitable replacement for him.

IOW, send Pat to D.C. and have him pick his potential successor.

IMMMASLAPTHISBITCH: But then we go back to who are the Democrats locally who are going to fill in the gaps? I don’t know who would succeed Pat in the legislature. I can’t remember of the top of my head the make up. I will look it up. OK, so, the Rs have a slim majority in the state senate (it was one seat after the election and I think it remains that way even with the appointment of Dino Rossi) while the Ds have a two-seat majority in the state house – Pat is the majority leader in the house, has done an excellent job representing the 47th while reaching across the aisle often and successfully. He is powerful and influential, yet he uses his powers for good and not evil. He would be an amazing representative in Congress for us in the 8th. But, we need new Dem blood in this neck of the woods. Because I’m not plugged into the party or its recruitment, I’m really not sure who they might groom to enter state politics.

Side note: I interviewed him multiple times when I worked for the … Reporter and my first year teaching, his youngest daughter was in one of my Honors English classes. Pat and his wife seemed quite happy about it when they came to open house and parent-teacher conferences.

Me: Right, but that’s the hard work. We can’t change anything without having reps who represent us. Move people up the chain. I’m sure Pat knows people. Get the younger people running so when it’s time for them to run for higher office, they have experience.

Think of the Green Party – do you know of anyone in the Green Party running for anything other than President every four years? They have no down ballot action. No depth.

If we don’t work to build that, all of these protests are for nothing.

Reichert is giving us lip service. Period.

Kill Her NOW I totally agree! [no you don’t] I’m asking who would run because I have no idea! I don’t want to bug Pat about such things during the session.

That being said, I’m trying to think of folks I know in city or county politics who would be capable and interested in pursuing the office at the state level. I’m coming up blank. I live in Maple Valley, which is pretty red. Ugh, is it red.

There may be a couple of folks in Covington or Kent, though. I’m not plugged into Auburn anymore at all.

Me: We have a part-time legislature, and I have no problem emailing him and asking him for advice. I suggest we all do. He’s plugged in – much more than anyone here. Hell, why don’t we ask to brainstorm with him? […]? Ideas?

PULL OUT HER HAIR: I just kind of want him to focus on funding education. I’m selfish (because KSD just asked us to cut 20 percent from our supplies budgets – want to buy some dry erase markers for me?). :D
They’re really busy during the session and it would probably be easier to talk to him afterward. But, I definitely think it would be good to talk to him. He definitely would have a better idea of who the up and coming Dems are in Western Washington, or who to talk to if he doesn’t know.

Me ready to jump through the fucking screen and throttle her: Here’s the thing – if we expect Reichert, Murray, and Cantwell to read our postcards and emails, why not him? I don’t think it’s bugging him to simply ask for advice, and I’m not asking you to use your relationship to ask him.

What the fuck is wrong with her?: I’m just speaking from my experience. It used to take me two or three weeks during the session to track him down for an interview.

I’m kind of lazy. [no shit] I’d rather wait for the session to end and not have to chase him down. He’s super accessible regardless, but, it’s easier when he’s not in Olympia.

But, it would likely be wise to let him know now you want to meet with him. If you’re willing to go to Olympia, then you might get him sooner rather than later as long as you are prepared for him to be distracted.

Then again, given how contentious the McCleary funding proposals have been, I’m not so sure the session will be done by April 23 as planned. It’s going to be a mad dash no matter what.

Me attempting to show her she’s being weird AF: Okay – idea shot down.

I’m reaching out to him anyway.

ETA: Fuck it. I called her on her bullshit: Why are you gatekeeping for him?

I have no idea what’s wrong with these people.


Stupid Ho: I’m just trying to let you know what to expect from my experience dealing with legislators during the session.

Me: I. Am. Going. To. Email. Him. Not stalk him.

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