The New Normal
Which one was it? Oh, right, this one:
“Trump Busts Another Norm; GOP Responds with Silence, Support”
That was the AP headline the day Trump called on China to investigate Joe Biden. The Financial Times weighed in with a full accounting: Of the 53 Republican senators, “not one of the members responded via their staff to express any concern”.
And this was news.
It was December 2016 when news broke that, as the Washington Post put it, “Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House”. It was December 2016 when Republicans responded with silence and support. It was December 2016 when we got a tad pissed and called them traitors for their silence.
December 2016. Almost three years ago. And not a damn thing has changed.
Only now it’s news.
It’s news because now there’s a declared, sanctioned impeachment investigation. It’s news because now the national media is in its sweet spot, both sides opposing each other. It’s news because we know this script, and now it can play out the way it’s supposed to. It’s news because Nancy Pelosi made it news.
Nice of her to finally get around to that.
And hey, like we say, nail Capone on tax evasion if that’s what it takes to get him off the streets.
But let’s not pretend that this is really about Ukraine, or China, or Australia, or the Duchy of Grand Fenwick. Let’s not pretend that this is the one that finally crossed the line, that made patriots rise and declare enough. Let’s not pretend that we haven’t been living through this for three fucking years, the treasons and the traitorous silences.
Let’s not pretend. Let’s not be shocked.
Because it’s not news. None of this is. Making it news, making it new, only normalizes everything that preceded it. The murders were okay. But dammit, tax evasion crosses the line.
We say this, and we already know it’s a lost cause, we already know how it’s going to play out. It is going to be about Ukraine, it is going to be about Biden, not just the official investigation, but the coverage of it, and ultimately the collective understanding of it, as expressed by folks with national bylines.
Everything else, everything that preceded it, the past three fucking years, yeah, some shit went down, there were some hearings about it, some report nobody read, sure. But nothing happened. Didn’t count. It was Ukraine that mattered.
We shouldn’t be surprised. We shouldn’t be shocked. Because this isn’t news either. But damn if it doesn’t cut deep every time.