The T-Word

For a brief moment Monday, we thought something happened.

The President of the United States, on live television, demonstrated fealty to a foreign dictator, a man whose country has been methodically undermining our electoral system, and all hell broke loose. Suddenly that word, the Word That Must Not Be Spoken, the word that best describes what is happening and has been happening, escaped into mainstream discussion.

It didn’t last. Within twenty-four hours, the T-Word had been shoved back into the closet. By Friday, discussion had returned to conventional corruption. But it was too late. The T-Word came out. It’ll come out again.

We first called Republicans traitors in December 2016. We were not hyperventilating, not exaggerating for effect. We were dead serious. They were, and are. Credible allegations had been published of Russian meddling in our election — not from a journalistic investigation, but a CIA assessment. Russia wasn’t just monkeywrenching, playing both sides against each other, but actively assisting the Trump campaign.

In the face of such allegations, there was only one course of action: Aggressive Congressional hearings to dig out the facts. This was an act of war, after all, an assault on the heart of our democracy. Surely our representatives would defend us, defend our Constitution, as they are sworn to do.

They did not. Months earlier, when Mitch McConnell had been offered an opportunity to present a united front against such meddling, he declined. The attack benefited him and his parry, after all. Why ruin a good thing?

This was, and remains, treason.

We can say this. We have been saying this. But we are not part of the National Conversation, a small group that includes the New York Times and Washington Post editorial pages, certain politicians, and various authority figures who appear on Sunday talk shows. The conversation is theirs, not ours. They collectively determine what is “serious” and what is not, what merits attention and what may be ignored. We are mere barbarians in the wilderness.

And it is in their conversation, the conversation of Serious People saying Serious Things, that the T-Words appeared Monday. Traitor and Treason had been uttered in polite company, and nobody took to their fainting couches. They were dead serious, too. At least for a moment.

And then Trump said never mind, and everyone pretended nothing happened.

Treason is a dead-serious word, not just a legal word, or a political word, but a moral word. It signifies a fundamental betrayal of the country and its citizens. One does not toss that word around lightly. Treason has consequences, and not just for the traitor. To identify treason is to assume an obligation to combat it, within the scope and resources of one’s power and authority.

Which is why participants in the National Conversation are loath to recognize it, much less utter it. Treason is not politics as usual. Treason is not a matter of mundane both-sides chatter. Treason is dead serious. It is not a topic of conversation. It is a cause for action.

The T-Word has disappeared from the National Conversation, but not forever, and probably not for long. The conditions remain. The players remain. The word has been spoken. It will be easier to speak it the next time.

We grew up amid another presidential scandal, whose contours and details are all familiar now, but which were resisted at the time, until the unbelievable was made manifest, the unthinkable exhibited. “I am not a crook,” said the President of the United States.

Turns out he was.

19 comments:

1:52 pm • Sunday • July 22, 2018

NYT: “Now, as they grapple with the political and foreign policy fallout from President Trump’s disastrous summit meeting in Helsinki, Finland, with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, all Republicans, regardless of their stance so far, are facing a charge that goes beyond the White House: complicity.”

Charged by whom?

As quoted: Congresscritters.

Your National Conversation at Work.

4:08 pm • Sunday • July 22, 2018

@nojo: Michelle Goldberg wrote in the NYT on Friday that the Republinazis are so desperately obstructing the investigation because they’re also thoroughly compromised by Ru$$ian cash flowing through the NRA and dark munnie PACs, the revelation of which would be the end of the GOP (praise be).

After 2012-ish, the GOP looked around and found that they have everything in common with Ru$$ia’s fascist, totalitarian kleptocracy and nothing in common with their fellow Americans. It really is the only explanation that makes any sense.

6:49 pm • Sunday • July 22, 2018

@¡Andrew!: Goes back much further. Goes back hundreds of years, but let’s look at 1992.

In 1992, Bubba won. He won the popular vote, he won the Electoral College.

But while the EC was a landslide, the popular vote was only 43 percent — Perot was a spoiler. We immediately heard howls from Republicans that Clinton hadn’t “really” won, that he lacked a “mandate”. His legitimacy was questioned — dishonestly, of course, since two Republicans since have lost the popular vote with nary a peep.

Republicans, who in 1980 had fancied themselves a “party of ideas” — also a sham — revealed themselves to treasure power for its own sake. All that fancy talk, all those debating points, were window-dressing, bullshit. Either you had power or you did not. Nothing else mattered. The supreme practitioner of this is Mitch McConnell.

So yes, they sold out to the Russians at the earliest possible moment, date it as you will. When power is the goal, the only goal, the means is simply a matter of opportunity.

1:37 pm • Tuesday • July 24, 2018

@¡Andrew!:
More like the Russians viewed this as an opportunity as they couldn’t face off against the US Amercia via conventional means (post Magnistky) and reached out to the stupidest most pig fucking ignorant people on the planet.

4:20 pm • Tuesday • July 24, 2018

@ManchuCandidate: The eagerly treasonous Tdumbpnazis are AINOs, Americans in Name Only.

4:55 pm • Tuesday • July 24, 2018

@¡Andrew!:

Americans Negating United States.

7:28 pm • Wednesday • July 25, 2018

Can we talk for a second about e-leet universities? Virtually all of the players ru(i)ning our once proud nation graduated from one or more. Are these prestigious centers of learning and culture failing to transmit American values, or are their coveted degrees just checkboxes for psychopaths?

10:15 pm • Wednesday • July 25, 2018

@¡Andrew!: They’re certainly transmitting the values of the folks who pay for them.

9:04 am • Thursday • July 26, 2018

BTW, the 2016 election map looks just like an epic disease outbreak, with America defiled by a scorching red Tdumbpnazi infection from hell.

11:23 am • Thursday • July 26, 2018

In much happier news, the 9 to 5 sequel is definitely happening! Jane, Lily, and Dolly are national treasures, so this sequel to the greatest film of all time is one that I’m actually excited about. I love Grace and Frankie and can’t wait to see what they come up with.

1:18 pm • Thursday • July 26, 2018

@¡Andrew!: Standard disclaimer to any good news is “should we survive”.

8:21 pm • Friday • July 27, 2018

Re: Star Wars Episode IVVVIVIIVIIIXIX

Can’t they just recast Princess Leia?
Maybe Alicia Silverstone is available, or that gal from The Big Bang Theory?

7:51 pm • Saturday • July 28, 2018

@¡Andrew!: This 9-5 reunion news is about the most amazing good news I’ve heard in months.

11:26 am • Tuesday • July 31, 2018

Keep hope alive: 6 reasons to have hope in the age of Tr666p.

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/07/6-reasons-hope-age-trump/?comments=disqus

12:34 pm • Tuesday • July 31, 2018

The Republinazis may have seized control of the federal government temporarily, however more people are joining the resistance, coming out, getting woke, and living the truth.

The GOPKKK is trying to hold us hostage and break us. They worship Confederate traitors that enslaved and murdered their fellow Americans and waged war against the United States, and they now want to install a neo-fascist, racist kleptocracy.

They will fail. We will never give in and never give up.

7:37 pm • Tuesday • July 31, 2018

@¡Andrew!: Hope and determination are very good things, but it’s also important to have an exit strategy should things get way worse before they get better.

12:08 am • Wednesday • August 1, 2018

@Mistress Cynica: Don’t say “exit strategy” so soon after my colonoscopy.

12:17 am • Wednesday • August 1, 2018

Circa W, no one paid a price for nearly breaking the world. This time, I don’t want shaming, or even punishment, or even imprisonment. I want destruction. I want assets confiscated, families banned from polite society, and enablers condemned to fixing the mess they made. We cannot kill them (since 1990) but we can put them to hard labor. It might be worse than the firing squad, so bring it on. I want every Trump supporter/ voter/ billionaire enabler tried and sentenced. It’s that bad.

And if you think I’m kidding, appoint me to a tribunal, or to the federal bench. Lawyer me knows what to do.

11:42 am • Wednesday • August 1, 2018

@blogenfreude: The best outcome would be seeing Twitler’s head explode from Rosie O’Donnell’s sniper bullet live on global television, with slo-mo instant replays running forever on the Utubes.

Seriously, all of the Tdumpnazis need to go to prison for life, no possibility of parole, and have their heads shaved bald monthly in a nod to how the French punished Nazi collaborators.

After that, we’re gonna need a truth and reconcilliation commission to try to stitch the nation back together, followed by a Marshall Plan for the South to finish Reconstruction. We’ve got to save the next generation with state-paid college tuition, student loan forgiveness, job training programs, and home-buying assistance.

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