One night in Cancun

As both of my readers know, I am fond, on occasion, of rewriting the lyrics of my artistic betters. I do not usually rewrite them in timely or topical ways, but on this evening, in the space below a Wonkette article where no comments exist, some non-comments encouraged me to have a go at Ted Cruz to the tune of a largely forgotten 80s song from the musical Chess. Given it’s topical nature, if anyone who knows how to Twitter or Instabook wants to send this out, please tag Beto O’Rourke & Ted himself. I’d just be tickled to see what Beto’s reaction is, if any. Ted will ignore it publicly, of course, but I won’t mind pondering his displeasure in the absence of any overt response.

The original is “One Night in Bangkok,” but obviously that must change. (I will post a youtube link to the original for those unfamiliar with it, but it will follow my corrupted lyrics.)

And so to Harris County where we lay our scene…

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You know what sucks?

What sucks is when you’ve lived more than 70 years, and not for one day have you known what accountability looks like, not for one day have you understood justice.

For you have known you were doing things for which others were punished, but celebrated your impunity, cursed accountability, fled justice.

For you have only known law, but never justice, and therefore mistook justice for the slow, institutionalized revenge your own wealth bought you in the courts of the United States.

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Vice-Presidential Precedent

Mike Pence has ruled out invocation of the 25th Amendment. I could try to analyze his entire statement, and I’ll post it below, but right now I just want to focus on one sentence:

Invoking the 25th Amendment in such a manner would set a terrible precedent.

Let’s be clear here, Pence is claiming that it would be wrong to communicate to future presidents who aspire to tyranny and the violent overthrow of our constitutional order that such a betrayal of our nation and our constitution renders one, by definition, unfit to hold the power of the presidency.

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Trump: The Worse Fate

So I had thought a bit about self-pardons and Trump, as you might have read. I had also thought of civil cases being brought against Trump. But the last week has been so hectic I didn’t even stop to think about the tradeoffs between self-pardons and civil cases. (To be fair, the consequences for the country are more important to me than the consequences for Trump.)

But ABCNews has a piece up that directly addresses civil liability and briefly raises the fact that a pardon of any kind (issued by Trump to himself or issued by any subsequent president to Trump) is terrible for Trump’s ability to defend against a civil suit.

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Seth Abramson Makes the Case For Charging Trump With Sedition

Seth Abramson analyzes Trump’s January 6th rhetoric in a thread deserves wider exposure. As does his subsequent thread analyzing the speeches at Trump’s rally that immediately preceded his. Here’s the link to his analysis of Trump’s own words:

 

And here’s the link to the analysis of the speakers before him and the context that they create for understanding Trump’s speech:

 

This next quote is a particularly telling bit, but all of it is worthwhile. (I just wish he’d written the thing outside of twitter & linked it.) Read this:

 

There’s lots more. I’m not sure that 100k people actually attended the rally (others put the number at 30k or thereabouts), but besides using the larger end of crowd estimates, what he’s saying makes a reasonable case that this was knowing, willful incitement on the part of multiple speakers, including both Trump and is son.

The ONLY Radical Idea

Republicans are, predictably, screaming that impeaching Trump is a Bad Idea™ because excuses go here. Pence literally left Pelosi on hold for 25 minutes before having an aide say that he wouldn’t talk to her. He knew she wanted to talk about the 25th. Not only had he decided he did not want to invoke the 25th, but he didn’t want to talk to anyone about invoking the 25th. Commentators, of course, are complaining that the country doesn’t need the divisiveness of removing Trump from office before his term expires.

But here’s the thing: there’s nothing Trump (or any President that aspires to dictatorship) could do that would be worse, or more desperately requiring impeachment or punishment, that could ever result in impeachment or punishment.

Think it through: Trump has engaged in a failed, violent coup. The only thing “worse” is a successful, violent coup – and that’s not worse because of presidential behavior. It’s only worse in terms of its impact on us. But in a successful coup, impeachment or arrest would (by definition) be unavailable as remedies.

So this is it: Trump conspires with a mob to kill a cop and nullify democracy itself so that he can hold executive power for (at least) four more years. Why would the Republicans & commentators be against using impeachment or the 25th for literally the worst presidential conduct that could possibly be available as a basis for impeachment or removal?

It comes down to what I have said many times. I honestly can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that this isn’t a well known aphorism invented 200 years ago, but it seems to still be something that only I say. So at the risk of self-aggrandizement I’m gonna scream it out loud yet again:

The ONLY radical idea is accountability for people with power. All else is mere reform. 

Impunity is a core value of rulers and people who think of themselves as the ruling class. But we must reject this. If we must wait until a president launches a successful coup before impeachment becomes available as a remedy, then we have, with invisible but indelible ink, rewritten the constitution to erase all possibility of presidential  impeachment, now and in the future. If we do that, the doctrine of impunity has won. The details of dictatorship may change in the following years or decades, but having relinquished the possibility of accountability for those with power, we relegate all future efforts to nothing more than reform.

We must, in this moment, demand accountability, or we have lost ourselves and the republic of the United States of America.

25th THE FUCKER NOW. IMPEACH THE FUCKER MONDAY. JAIL THE FUCKER WITHOUT BAIL.

Must Read Piece from NBC News: Republicans Predicted This in 2016, Then Got On Board Anyway

Liberals & progressives & general lefties have been screaming for years that Trump is unfit for office and that he has openly said and done things for years that should have disqualified him from serious consideration in 2016, much less the presidency over the last 4 years. Sometimes we feel like Cassandras, doomed to be disbelieved even as we tell the truth about our country’s inevitable fate.

But Republicans, too, warned the country. Nearly unanimously when Trump first entered the race the people in power in the GOP denounced him. They even compared Trump and his base to the No-Nothings of the 1850s who rioted in the capital and destroyed marble meant to finish the Washington Monument. Lindsey Graham famously declared that the GOP “will be destroyed” if they nominated Trump. “And we will deserve it,” he concluded.

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More quick thoughts on 1/6/2021 (Updated 9pm PST)

Please don’t miss today’s earlier posts on race & policing, the risks of leaving Trump in office, and some Q&A about the 25th Amendment, including whether the votes of “acting” Cabinet secretaries count.

On to the NEW THOUGHTS!

Thought 1: (12:40 PST, 1/7/2021) 

The House Sergeant at Arms Paul D. Irving has been fire-quitted. (The opposite of quit-fired: they were told to resign or they would be fired. Irving chose to quit.)

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The Kraken Went Down to Georgia

(H/T for the idea to Wonkette)

The Kraken went down to Georgia,
Lookin’ for an election to steal
He was in a bind
He was way behind
Thinkin’ when did shit get real?
When he came across a conspiracy nut on OANN flappin’ her gums
And so he squeezed his knees beneath a desk for fleas and said “Let’s speak to the Dumbs.”

“I guess you didn’t know it, but I won this election, too
And if you can’t face the facts of the case, I’ll sick (sic) marines on you
Antifa crimes all the damn time, but give the Orangeman his due
I got this far as a fraudulent star. Now I’ve got lawyers too.

The judge said, “Address me as ‘Your Honor’, and perhaps I’m sua spont’
But without some facts proving criminal acts
I’m going to kick you to Vermont.

Donny, smooth your spray-on tan and rile up your Dumbs
Cause Biden’s taken Georgia, and he beat you like a drum.
If you keep your post, the Dems are toast, and you’ll still be King Troll
But if you lose, your ass goes in the Hole.

 


Originally written for the Wonkette comments, but I’m too vain not to share it with both of you. You’ll have noticed that the song is unfinished. I may not get back to it, but I also might write up the end once the end of this attempt at election theft is over. I can’t, after all, finish the song satirizing the events before the events have finished themselves.

I Have A Dream: 1000 Drag Performers on the National Mall (Updated)

Last night I dreamed we were on the boat to heaven, but by some chance we were still dragging Trump along. And there I stood, and I hollered, “Someone save me!” and the drag performers started singing a song….

No, seriously, I had a dream that 1000 drag performers showed up at Lafayette Park & sang, “Girl, don’t go away mad. Girl, just go away,” to Trump on January 19th, his last night in office. This blog post is for the playlist of songs we would have those 1000 drag performers sing that night in Lafayette Park, if we could get them there. I’ll start with a few, but I’m sure as hell taking suggestions. If necessary I’ll keep updating this thing until Trump is out of office.

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