The Mind of the Collaborator

Back when Russian monkeywrenching of the American election first became a serious issue, it was clear what needed to be done — and that the Republicans who controlled the House and Senate wouldn’t do it. Our nation’s sovereignty would take a back seat to the power they enjoyed, and that Trump’s victory made seemingly invincible.

Abandoning the strict decorum for which we’re justly famous, we called them traitors and cocksuckers.

Like many others, we also regarded their assent to foreign influence as a matter of provisional convenience: As long as Trump — and his supporters — controlled the field, Republicans who otherwise detested the man would let him play with his toys and sign their bills.

But if Trump ever became a serious liability — a threat to their own political survival — they would be happy to turn on a dime, declare their Shock! at the malfeasance that was just brought to their attention, and impeach the bastard. America is saved! By us!

This remains a reasonable evaluation, especially for the Republican leadership. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan have no souls; that they remain able to cast shadows is a feat whose provenance makes us hold our children close and ask the forgiveness of our Maker.

But not everyone has a Horcrux stashed in Ayn Rand’s casket, and to credit all Republicans with such demonic potency is to make a mockery of the banality of evil. So what’s their deal?

David Rees, best known for his comic investigations into mundane subjects, has an answer: They’re in too deep to get out.

In a series of tweets Wednesday, Rees laid out his hypothesis:

GOP will agree to anything — I mean anything — because they can no longer afford a moral reckoning with what who and what they’ve enabled.

You can’t, by this point — especially after this week — call out Donald Trump without admitting your complicity. You knew who he was, you knew what he was, you knew the integrity of his campaign was being seriously questioned by government investigators. There is nothing that has happened since January 20 that didn’t have ample foreshadowing in the eighteen months prior.

And yet you went along. Hey, how bad could it get?

We find this a compelling explanation, if not for all collaborators, at least a fair portion. Others, who choose to join the Administration itself and subject themselves to an oath of fealty, require a different account. Their self-debasement is more immediate, more pervasive. They’re the ones who throw away a hard-earned reputation for integrity to participate in a hatchet job against someone whose defiance shines a harsh light on their deference. Better to be rid of it than reminded of it.

Whatever self-delusion guides them in the moment, history does not treat collaborators well. The Saturday Night Massacre — which, the Nixon Library gleefully proclaimed this week, did not include firing the FBI chief — involved two officials who resigned instead of dismissing the Watergate special prosecutor, and a third who ultimately did the deed.

We remember Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy AG William Ruckelshaus for standing up to Richard Nixon, instead of kowtowing as their successors did this week. And we remember the weasel who was happy to exercise the abuse of power rather than resist it.

His name was Robert Bork.

103 Comments

he Collaborator ….. to ask him if he could do something, anything, and was still trying to make up my mind and will some life into my senseless ..

The Ru$$ians victory lap in the White Trash House this week was telling–openly mocking the US on the world stage one day after the Comey firing.

@ManchuCandidate: Exactly. Fuck all of them. The difference from Watergate was that there were Republicans who put country above their party. John Kasich appears to be the only Republican who has been denouncing Twitler from the start, and unfortunately he’s not in the chain of succession.

@SanFranLefty: Rand Paul spoke out and agreed with Eric Holder on mandatory minimums. While I acknowledge that even a broken clock is right twice a day, imagine the level of fuckery that has Rand Paul and Eric Holder on the same side?

@HillRat: I have agreed with Bill Kristol twice in recent months, things are so bad.

I don’t have time, but can someone work up an elaborate satire of Palpatine leaking Empire secrets? Thanks.

@nojo:
No satire needed. He did.

Everything that has transpired has done so according to my design. Your friends, up there on the sanctuary moon, are walking into a trap, as is your Rebel fleet. It was *I* who allowed the Alliance to know the location of the shield generator. It is quite safe from your pitiful little band. An entire legion of my best troops awaits them. Oh, I’m afraid the deflector shield will be quite operational when your friends arrive.

I think Palpatine would be a better preznit than Trump only because he was competent for the most part except for letting a bunch of teenagers ruin his plans.

@ManchuCandidate: I forgot he had a bad habit of Monologging.

The RepubliKKKans are not a legitimate political party in the sense that they have any policy and governing goals meant to improve our nation–they’re an organized criminal cartel that exists solely to loot our country and kill us.

Witness them voting to take away health care coverage, which will kill over 45,000 Americans each year. They hate America and Americans with a psychopathic, sadistic viciousness that would make ISIS jihadists blush. The banality of evil, indeed.

Meanwhile, in Naked Self-Interest Theory…

1. Trump approval among Republican voters remains high.

2. Elected Republicans fear getting primaried more than anything.

Shake and pour for the next eighteen months.

@nojo: /Worth reading/

From Russia with Hate

Despite a few signs of slippage, the Republican Party continues to worship Trump like a cult leader. It seems bonded to him in a political suicide mission: He holds power, but largely does the party’s their bidding. For Trump’s voters, he is a hero and a projection of their collective ugliness, anger, ignorance, meanness and bitterness towards “liberals,” “elites,” nonwhites and the Other more generally. Because of this, Trump remains remarkably popular among his core voters and Republicans en masse — especially when accounting for his extraordinary record of blunders and policy failures during his brief time in the White House.

Racism and sexism are the core qualities of the toxic white male identity politics that Trump rode to victory over Hillary Clinton. In many ways, these values continue to protect him.

@¡Andrew!: Yup. That’s it. Some Republicans actually know better, but they’re scared shitless.

I really need a cranial Twitter interface while I’m in meetings.

HOLY SHIT! What’s really scary is that in light of the Comey contemporaneous memos and possible obstruction of justice by Trump, CNN and politicians are sounding somber. The frothing might start again, but right now, it’s like the calm before a storm. I think some people might be sad. As for me? I’m drinking on the job.

@JNOV: Now they’re telling us (off the record) that Twitler is too ignorant and stupid to understand the transgressions he’s committed, which may be the first believeable statement out of the White Trash House.

We haven’t even gotten to the news that Twitler will be giving a speech on Islam in Saudi Arabia. No, it’s not the Onion, so at least there’s some hope he’ll be publicly beheaded.

@¡Andrew!: I’m enjoying the news that the jilted party was Israel, just because that really fucks things up.

@¡Andrew!: Exactly.

@nojo: We need a Trump travel ban.

Press trolling hard: Sooooo, who owns Jerusalem? Huh? huhhuh?

I think I’m drunk. At work. At home. Production way up.

But too drunk to go biy weed. I am so glad these fuckers don’t drug test.

Fucking shit, man.

I HATE THAT YOU’RE POSTING TOO FAST BULLSHIT. I’LL SHOW YOU POSTING TOO FAST. BUT YOU WON’T LET ME. STYMIED!!

@JNOV: It’s a ten-buck cloud server, also known as Rented Mule.

Okay. So, Casey Affleck is a wannabe rapist. Am I being an asshole if I watch Manchester by the Sea?

@JNOV: I can’t speak to Affleck. I also can’t help Manhattan remaining one of my two favorite movies.

@¡Andrew!: Colbert did one too the other day, but Kimmel’s is more thorough.

According to the Twitters, Orange Twitler is interviewing JOE FUCKING LIEBERMAN for the FBI job.

OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE!

When will the Congress realize that if this bleeds over into next year, many will lose their jobs? If the investigations just drag out to the fall the impeachment proceedings could run into 2018.

Since Hoover the party in power has reached across the aisle for a director. I don’t see how Lieby could count. Of course with Trump, these protocols don’t matter.

@DElurker: The ‘pubs will go full Nazi way before then.

@SanFranLefty: Old news. We’ve already moved on to Sheriff Clarke at DHS.

@DElurker: One problem: Da Base still loves Trump, which means any GOP congresscritter sticking his neck out is gonna get primaried.

And then lose the General either way, but first fears first.

PMILF JTru is in Seattle today talking technology innovation and fending off XXX rated offers from both men and women. Wish me luck!

@nojo: Were Satan or Yosemite Sam unavailable?

@¡Andrew!: Satan is already a Minister Without Portfolio, but Yosemite Sam just got voted out and remains available.

ROSENSTEIN NAMES SPECIAL COUNSEL.

Holy fuck. The game is afoot.

@nojo: Lemme guess: George W Boosh investigates!

@¡Andrew!: Mueller, but whatever. Rosenstein had to get that hot potato off his hands.

Even Koch Bros were smart enough to run the fuck away from Trumpler.

It’s funny their bootlicks and koolaid drinkers aren’t.

Mueller?

Mueller? Was he a CaliguBush appointee?

Don’t mind me. I’m just licking the windows and making obscene gestures with my hands as JTru’s motorcade glides by.

@¡Andrew!: We have to allow that Rosenstein wasn’t going to appoint Janet Reno.

But I’m not concerned. Mueller now has his own reputation to protect, and meanwhile the glow of a Special Counsel has its own benefits.

If nothing else, we’ll get some top-shelf Trump tantrums out of this.

@nojo: Aaaaaaand Sheriff Clarke is ANOTHER fascist with ties to Ru$$ia.

Holy Jeebus. There’s a reason these psychos would rather work with a hostile, kleptocratic, foreign dictatorship than with their fellow Americans.

@¡Andrew!: Trump’s America First was perfect in evoking the Thirties fascists we’re enduring today.

@¡Andrew!:
The Right to Bear Arms.
Aka the AKS-74, RPG-14 and the MP-443.

Bunch of fuckwads.

Give Rosenstein credit for knowing how shit goes down…

1. Signs order around 5pm.

2. Sends signed order to networks, embargoed until 6pm, just in time for evening news.

3. Tells White House, giving them half-hour or so heads-up.

No amateur here. I’m truly impressed.

@nojo:
That’s how you fuck someone over, bureaucrat style.

Can I take a nap without being thrown off the couch when the world shifts on its axis? Is that too much to ask?

Might want to max out my I’m fittyyearsold catch-up retirement payments. Fall, stock market. Fall! As it is, my kid is going to have to buy my cat food and Depends.

These days I feel I’ve got to
Run away I’ve got to
Get away
From the scandal you caused to implicate me
The power we share
Seems to go nowhere
And I’ve lost my light
For I toss and turn I can’t sleep at night

Once I ran to you (I ran)
Now I’ll run from you
This tainted Trump you’ve given
I give you all a Repug could give you
Take my tears and that’s not nearly all
Oh tainted Trump
Tainted Trump

@ManchuCandidate: Something about “taint” paired with “Trump” brings out the 13-year-old in me.

Shit’s going down: Republicans now eager for Comey to testify in public.

Not that they want to get to the bottom of this, but they don’t want to go down with Trump, either. Let him hang itself.

@nojo: Not that I’m eager for President Snow and Mother to move to the Casa Blanca and implement the Xtian Jihad, but at least he wouldn’t be quite the international diplomacy clusterfuck that Twitler is.

@nojo: I think I read that Trump went 24 hours without posting for the first time in over a year. Can’t remember the source. I figured someone put plastic cuffs on him. Now if they will follow up with a sock in the mouth his head might really blow up.

Roger Ailes is daaaaaayed. And he looked so healthy, too. At least he was discredited and humiliated before he croaked.

Chris Cornell is dead, too. FUCK YOU, CHRIS!

@SanFranLefty: And the scandals would drop at a more bearable pace.

I’m certainly not sanguine about President Pence, but: Even with a guaranteed signature in the White House, Republicans can’t get their act together, and the opposition remains on high alert.

And the window for bold legislation is closing fast, if not already shut. The 2018 election season is coming soon, time for everyone to batten down the hatches.

And maybe, just maybe, Pence would draw some competent Republicans back into the administration. I don’t necessarily see him changing the Cabinet, but nobody cares if he replaces Undersecretary Idiot with someone capable.

We would be back to conventional disgusting politics, not the supercharged dive off the cliff. Given our choices at the moment, that would be a blessing.

@¡Andrew!: Bravo on your seamless integration of a second, lesser known Ferris Bueller’s Day Off reference into your comment.

@mellbell: One of my favorite movie lines of all time and totally appropiate under the circumstances : )

Now Ailes will never have the opportunity to market that line of RepubliKKKan workout videos he always dreamed of.

At least we have President Turkey Neck to show aspiring young fascists how to blast their abs with five Big Macs and four liters of Diet Coke every day.

Someone who was alive in the 90s needs to explain to Twitler who Ken Starr was.

@¡Andrew!: Or maybe it’s better he’s forgotten. I’m torn.

@nojo: It’s going to be a full-time job making maps to all the graves that need to be vigorously soaked in piss.

Oh jeezus focking kerriiiist:

Special counsel Robert Mueller worked for firm that represented Ivanka, Kushner and Manafort

Is there ANY RepubliKKKan that isn’t totally corrupt and compromised??

@¡Andrew!: There’s an app for that. Or could be, if I had time.

Per Mueller: Yeah, that. But he did resign from the firm. Everyone’s compromised, but there are standard procedures for dealing with that.

@nojo: There aren’t Undersecretaries (or US Attorneys) to replace, as the gang that couldn’t turn on the lights still hasn’t gotten around to filling most of those positions.

@¡Andrew!: Did you score with JTru? FWIW, Wilmer Hale is a *huge* corporate law firm and chances are slim to none that Mueller worked on anything remotely related to Ivanka, et al.

Where’s Chainsaw? Everything okay w/ our favorite obscenity-spewing editor?

@SanFranLefty: Sadly, JTru was too busy meeting with fancy pants CEOs and the governor to clear his calendar–and my desk–for a XXX rendezvous. I’m not the only one trying to slip him a HELP US note along with some tongue.

Re: Mueller

Even so, it seems like he would’ve participated in profit-sharing based on their billables, but I don’t even know why I’m going around the ethics bend. Pre-11/09 thinking.

Ugh. I just don’t understand how people as obnoxiously sleazy and repulsive as the Tdumbps can spread their disease to every sector of society.

@¡Andrew!: This new form of Morse Code intrigues me.

BTW, I watched The Handmaid’s Tale, Episode 6 last night and that ending had me sobbing like a little girl. Sheezus that show is powerful.

@¡Andrew!: Yes. It’s very good.

Oh, okay. So, I don’t think you can throw a stone in D.C. and not hit some asshole who worked at Skadden, Wilmer Hale, um, I think Morgan Lewis wrote The Certified Letter…um…Joe Lieberman’s firm did work for the Trumpskis.

The revolving doors are lobbying firms and law firms.

“The staff is jumping ship so fast they are leaving the rats gaping and applauding.”

I can’t believe I’m actually able to read and enjoy a David Brooks column. Talk about the world upside down.

@¡Andrew!: Get out or lawyer up, my grandpappy always told me.

@¡Andrew!: I am usually incapable of reading an entire George Will column except for his annual tribute to baseball. Recently I have read two others and digested them quite easily. When I went for a third dip I wanted to throw up.

@nojo & @DElurker:
My mind is still blown over the fact that Twitler will be giving a speech on Islam in Saudi Arabia (!!!), AND it’s being written by that fascist little Mr. Burns troll doll Stephen Miller, who has openly stated that the US is in a religious war against Muslims (!!!). The good news is that none of them may escape from Saudi Arabia alive after that speech.

This is also coming after word that President Balls-On-His-Chin will appoint android-AmeriKKKan Callista Gingrinch as ambassador to the Vatican, with hubby Newt in tow. ‘Cause if there’s anything the Vatican loves, it’s thrice-married adulterers and serial liars.

Our epic national humiliation is going global.

@¡Andrew!: WaPo headline in my Apple News feed: “Can Trump’s first trip abroad be a restart amid turmoil at home?”

Time was our greatest fear was a President barfing on a Prime Minister.

Give Sally Yates a spear gun and 90 seconds alone with Trumpzheimer’s in the Oval Office and AMERICA! will be great again! – or at least ready to process Pencefuck.

@FlyingChainSaw: The Secret Service should give The Woman in Purple a gun with a silencer and a 20 minute head start. No jury would convict her.

“Not all heroes wear capes.”

Sooooooo, bets on who is going to be tossed out the back of Air Force One in the next 12 hours.

Man. Rosenstein and NYT dropping the beat with righteousness.

@FlyingChainSaw: She is a true badass.

@JNOV: I suddenly have this deep urge to see Jared perpwalked.

@nojo: I’ve come to the sad realization that there will not be any impeachment. The number of RepubliKKKans that would have to flip is simply insurmountable, even if the Dems manage to retake the Ku Klux KONgress next year, which is mathematically unlikely. Twitler could rape a schoolbus full of Girl Scouts or blurt out the nukular launch codes to Kim Jong Ding Dong and the most we’d ever get outta these evil scumbags is their phony Twits ‘n Prayers.

Regardless of which buffoon is in the White Trash House, we’re still stuck with the Deplorables who voted them into office and approve of every crime and outrage they commit, along with their racism, sexism, greed, bullying, and victimization complex that caused this crisis in the first place.

“They hate liberals more than they love their country.” — Trae Crowder

Alan Dershowitz is a fucking moron.

@¡Andrew!: Back when it seemed Trump would be a mere fool consigned to the footnotes of history, I feared he had revealed the path to a more accomplished — and dangerous — successor.

Unfortunately, that part of it remains true. Those suckers are begging to be taken.

@nojo: Absolutely–we should focus on wresting Congress from them in 2018 and ensuring that Tdumbp is the last RepubliKKKan president in 2020. Hopefully demographics will handle the rest.

I’d like for us to be realistic and not to be seduced by false hope. 40% of the country is just like those cruel, ignorant, sadistic morons, and these assholes are a total write-off.

The first rule of autocracy is that “institutions will not save you,” so we shouldn’t expect that CONgress or the Federal Bureau of Incompetence will be riding to the rescue. The Tdumbps are dirtier than a bathhouse cumrag, yet they haven’t had a serious problem with law enforcement yet.

What we can realistically hope for is that Twitler regime will be a black hole that sucks in and destroys the malevolent RepubliKKKan party due to their own insanity, ineptitude, ignorance, and chaos.

@¡Andrew!: Demographics are part of the solution, but not the solution itself:

1. Young folk don’t vote as diligently as fogies, especially in off-years.

2. Liberals in general tend to skip off-years.

3. Where apathetic habit doesn’t suffice, voter suppression comes to the rescue.

And for chrissake, demrats haven’t won a decennial election since 1970. Wingnuts are not only running rampant in statehouses, they keep getting to gerrymander the system.

Historical patterns aside, there’s a decent chance at retaking the House in 2018, especially if this shit keeps up. (And the AHCA will be back in the news soon.) For once, I don’t think apathy will be a problem here.

Beyond that, no call. Every time you think the GOP has finally been humiliated for a generation, they spring back. The Culture Wars that broke out in my childhood are still with us. And the Boomers just aren’t dying fast enough.

@nojo: But…a lot of us are energized to try to unseat our reps, and we’re running progressives. We’re working so hard that we’re very invested. We’re already talking about turning out the vote and going door-to-door with laptops to register people. This off year might be okay.

My kid’s generation – he has at least a thousand FB friends, and when they aren’t discussing shit I don’t understand (read: Anime), they are talking politics. He’s in NJ. Many of his friends are in PA. He’s just one kid, but exponentially, his friends have friends, and they are of similar minds. Then there’s his GF. She has friends, and so on.

I know there’s always this hope that they young folk will save us. This time they might.

@JNOV: Again, I think there’s a good chance of taking back the House next yesr, despite the structural disadvantages — gerrymandering, voter suppression — enacted in recent yesrs. The Left is energized, the Right demoralized. This is unlikely to change.

The Senate is more of a challenge — more D seats open — but we only need one chamber to apply some braking.

2020 is beyond my perception, starting with the candidates. What I can say for certain is that for my entire adult life, an inspiring D has always won, and a wooden D has always lost. (Jimmy was both, in turn.) Hillary is certainly not entirely at fault for her loss, but she bears part of the blame.

So, we’ll see. I do think we’ll get out of this alive, but I don’t know what comes next. And it’ll be another ten years for that demographic shift to really lock in.

@nojo: Ten years will be here before we know it. Remember how it was just 2007?

You think Jared will get his Dad’s old cell?

@Dodgerblue: Ha!
@nojo: The Mills are the largest generation right now…but I don’t know if they all can vote yet. And I’m too lazy to google.

@Dodgerblue: I was kinda hoping Christie could be brought in a prosecutor, for old time’s sake.

@¡Andrew!: I remember 2007 well. I wasn’t 50 yet.

@JNOV: The pattern — we’ll see if it holds — is the older you get, the more likely to vote. Let’s call it 35-40 when that kicks in. That’s where I’m figuring ten years.

At the same time, Boomers, now circa 70, will be falling off — although there are plenty of Reagan Youth in my slightly later cohort. Demographic change is inevitable, especially in twenty years, but we have to get there from here.

I’m thinking about going off the grid next weekend. Maybe Al Franken will be president when I get back.

Maybe the Pope will dope slap Trump. I’d convert over that.

@JNOV: I can’t wait until next weekend, so today I decided to have some edibles and clean my kitchen (like pull out the stove and fridge level of cleaning). I’ve been cleaning for two hours, have gone through an entire spray bottle of Method spray and a sponge, and I’ve covered about 1/10th of the kitchen (which is 150 sq ft max?).

Why am I doing this? Because the last time I decided to clean on a Saturday afternoon post-edibles, Antonin Scalia died in the middle of my cleaning frenzy.

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