Friday, April 26, 2019

Death of a Precedent

Words?  How do they work?

These days on The Internets one hears a lot about impeachment and President Stupid.  Specifically, one hears much talk about what sort precedent would be set for all future administrations should Democrats either proceed to impeach this clearly corrupt and lawless lunatic, or should they decline to do so.  Of course, all of this talk is held in the long and terrible shadow of a Republican party that is now so entirely broken and in the hands of such out-and-proud monsters that it wouldn't raise a hand to stop Donald Trump if he ate a baby on live teevee.

The problem I have with all of this talk is not with the idea of "impeachment" but with the idea of "precedent".

prec·e·dent -- noun /ˈpresəd(ə)nt/

1.  an earlier event or action that is regarded as an example or guide to be considered in subsequent similar circumstances.

"Precedent" is a very important word.  In fact, it's not too much of a stretch to say that our entire concept of civilization -- from the scientific method to jurisprudence -- depends on the idea that decisions, actions and observations being made now should look to the results of similar decisions, actions and observations which were made in the the past for guidance.

However at the moment, this word has been rendered all but meaningless by a Republican party which categorically refuses to acknowledge that the past ever happened, and by a corporate media which categorically refuses to ask Republicans about their inconvenient past for fear of having their houses egged by Nazis.

For example, what sort of precedent was set by George W. Bush?   A president who lied us into the wrong war and then fucked that war up?  Who slept through the destruction of an American city?  Who crashed the global economy?  What sorts of professional consequences were there for media professionals who backed Bush to the hilt?  What sorts of social consequences were leveled against a Republican base who enthusiastically supported that incompetent half-wit and his hellspawn vice president twice?

What price have Republicans paid for their eight years of sedition and sabotage during the Obama administration?  How has Mitch McConnell suffered politically or materially for the deep and premeditated wounds he has inflicted on our democracy, including the theft of a supreme court seat?

In short, what precedents were created by the atrocities Republican committed during the Clinton administration, that Republicans were forced to answer for during the Bush administration?

The answer is...none.

And what precedents were created by the atrocities Republican committed during the Bush administration, that Republicans were forced to live down during the Obama administration?

The answer is again...none.  .

And what precedents were created by the atrocities Republican committed during the Obama administration that Republicans are now being forced to abide by during the reign of President Stupid?

Once again, the answer is...none.  Because as was true when I wrote this 13 years ago, so it is ever so much more true today:

I don’t know what to say, except that if you are a Republican, this was your choice, and now you are each personally complicit in this disaster of a government, because this is exactly what you voted for.

And that if you had an ounce of humanity among you, you should feel nothing but fury and terrible shame that your Party can let the pillaging of our nation by its Plutocrat Masters continue while Katrina survivors are being booted out of their rooms for want of a few bucks, and American soldiers you sent off to fight and die for your lies are maimed and killed for want of proper protection.

But then again, to continue to be a Republican these days, you really have to have had the capacity to feel any shame about anything surgically removed, don’t you? Or to save time, does Cheney just blow it off?

Because in the Age of Dubya, you can either be a Good American, or a Good Republican, but you can no longer be both.

So in the name of Kali and all her backup singers, stop worrying about what Chuck Todd or Steve Kornacki or future generations might think about the actions we must take here and now,  because in the here and now we are faced with the irrefutable fact that the entire Republican party constitutes an existential threat to our democracy.

And unless we meet that threat and all of its wormy little enablers with overwhelming force -- unless we attack it every fucking day in every way we can -- there will be no future generations of Americans left to quibble about how bad our manner were as we fought to save the future of the republic.

Behold, a Tip Jar!

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