Breaking Point, or

How Trump Successfully Diverted Attention From His Kidnapping of 3,000 Children

Reading time – 4:49;  Viewing time – 7:35  .  .  .

I’ve been pretty hard on Congressional Republicans in my recent posts, but I’m questioning if that’s still justified. Perhaps things are beginning to change, although Thomas Friedman doesn’t think so, nor does James Comey.

We’ve wondered over and over about which shameless Trump outrage would at last do him in; none has. Not the Access Hollywood grab brag; not the “nice people on both sides” Charlottesville racism; not the job-killing tariffs; not the attacks on our FBI and Justice Department; not his 6.5 lies per day; not the firing of James Comey specifically because Comey refused to truncate the FBI investigation into Russian hacking of our election and possible Trump campaign collusion; not the betrayal and abuse of Dreamers; not the attacks on our allies; not the kidnapping of children; no outrage has stopped the runaway Trump train. Now, though, I’m wondering afresh if we’ve reached a breaking point and I’m daring to be disappointed yet again.

Trump has consistently sided with Putin over our intelligence services regarding Russian hacking. Now, though, The New York Times is reporting that before the inauguration Trump was fully briefed by our top intelligence agencies leaders about Russian hacking and was even shown intercepted Russian military agent emails which show Putin himself was behind the entire effort to subvert our democracy. Still, Trump continues to refuse to forcefully lay the blame on Putin and punish him for his wrongdoing, much less take action to protect our 2018 election.

Is it possible that Congressional Republicans now have something in hand that is so not okay that they’ll stop being jellyfish? Well even some formerly silent Republicans are speaking out. You can read many of their comments here – it’s important that you have a look.

Congressman Will Hurd (R-TX) wrote an essay that you’ll want to read: He begins,

“Over the course of my career as an undercover officer in the C.I.A., I saw Russian intelligence manipulate many people. I never thought I would see the day when an American president would be one of them”

Newt Gingrich is pushing back, however tepidly:

Even Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is managing to counter the President and his refusal to accept the undisputed evidence of our intelligence community. Ryan said,

“They did interfere in our elections – it’s really clear,” Ryan told reporters in Washington. “There should be no doubt about that.”

“Not only did Russia meddle with our elections, they’re doing it around the world,” he said. “They did it to France. They did it to Moldova. They’re doing it to the Baltics. Russia is trying to undermine democracy itself, to delegitimize democracy, so for some reason they can look good by comparison.”

Shifting now to Democrats for one specific point  .  .  .

Having been Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton knows a thing or two about foreign affairs and has a question for Trump:

Great question. Which side do you think Trump plays for? And if you think it’s the USA, exactly what evidence can you offer to support your opinion? And, no, a MAGA hat doesn’t count. It’s just a hat.

If you’d like to revisit an accurate prediction of what national security would look like with Trump as President, have a look at this video from October 31, 2016 – at least watch 6 minutes starting about the 14-minute mark. You’ll find it an eerily and frighteningly precise description of what has happened since then. It’s not as though we weren’t warned.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) is onto Trump’s cave-in to Putin and is poking at what is in the back of everyone’s mind:

Trump is making the world demonstrably more dangerous with his every insult and lie about our friends and allies and with every suck up to Putin, Kim Jong-un and Xi. He is isolating our country and destroying our protections. It is impossible now to avoid the key questions:

  1. What does the United States of America get out of Trump’s capitulation to Putin and his attacks on our friends? We have some answers to that question and they aren’t pretty.
  2. What does Trump himself get out of that? The answers to this question will illuminate all. Have a look at conservative Ross Douthat’s take on this.

If President Obama were selling out America the way Donald Trump is, can you imagine any Congressional Republican whose hair would not be on fire? The volume of the outrage would be deafening. The calls for impeachment and imprisonment would be continuous.

The thing is, in that scenario, the Republicans would be right. Their indignation would be justified. Their red, white and blue righteous fury would befit the wrongdoing.

But this isn’t Obama’s malfeasance; it’s Trump’s. So, where is the Republican hair-on-fire, the outrage, the indignation and righteous fury and the calls for impeachment and imprisonment? Perhaps they are starting, albeit slowly. Maybe we’re hearing the first crack of the breaking point.

The Republicans in Congress have both the power and the obligation to take action to stop this treachery, this betrayal of our country. Pray that Trump’s sell-out of the United States and all of western democracy is the breaking point for Republicans and that they at last stand up against Trump’s treason. Better yet, call them and demand that they do their job.

Trump’s deception, his double-dealing, his breach of faith and trust constitute a clear and present danger that threatens America. That is why over the past week you shifted your attention away from 3,000 kidnapped children; Trump is a master of distraction. Stay focused on democracy, because worse distraction is on the way and you may be tempted to forget Helsinki by next week. Don’t do it – for the sake of our democracy.

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7 Responses to Breaking Point, or
  1. Dan Wallace Reply

    “Is it possible that Congressional Republicans now have something in hand that is so not okay that they’ll stop being jellyfish?”

    In a word, no. This is symptomatic, not causal. It’s easy to blame them for being bad people. Some of them are (see: “McConnell, M.”) But not all. People do what the system they’re in drives them to do. The incentives and imperatives of the system within which the Congressional Republicans are operating all drive them to not do the right thing. It is not a pretty picture – much uglier, in fact, than simply calling them out for bad behavior and lack of spine, and hoping/expecting them to change.

  2. dominickpalella Reply

    Jack, it looks like you still can’t accept that the Republicans in Congress have absolutely no obligation to do anything for or against our deranged president. Just like every other politician elected to office we have. This autonomous authority was granted by our US Constitution, which established our autocratic republic, and was reinforced by the 1984 Supreme Court ruling.

    Knowing this, when you listen to the words of Republicans, do you think that what they say is what they mean, and they will actually act contrary to their fascist agendas? Do you really believe that if you call their offices and talk to their answering machines it will convince these sociopaths to behave like normal human beings?

    It’s time for us to stop reporting and complaining about the abuses we suffer from our politicians. They alone grant the freedom and liberty of business donors to poison our environment and destroy our rights to defend against their criminal conduct. We now have the political power as voting citizens to elect people who will represent the interests of our communities. Learn how to identify them on my web site.

    • Jack Altschuler Reply

      Dominick, it isn’t that I, “still can’t accept that the Republicans in Congress have absolutely no obligation to do anything for or against our deranged president.” The point is to let them know that if they don’t do what we want them to do that we will send them home without a job. That takes lots of people delivering the same message and that’s the point of phoning our jellyfish Republican legislators. Stand up or go home.

      • dominickpalella Reply

        Jack, I’m not quite following your logic yet. Are you agreeing that many of our Republican political party members in Congress are sociopathic anti-Americans who don’t pay attention to us, but we should “stand up” to them by calling their offices?

        If so, how many phone calls should we make to Paul Ryan’s office to get him to respond to the people and stop acting like a corporate toady; would a couple hundred thousand do the trick? How many phone calls to Mitch McConnell will get him to act like a decent human being; a couple million? Do you have some other numbers in mind for your local politicians, like Bruce Rauner, or other Republicans that represent your voting district?

        Remember that the most powerful people in any level of our political system are often millionaires, or become millionaires, who focus on representing corporations and their special interest groups. Republican members of Congress, along with many Democrats, aren’t jellyfish, but loyal supporters of their wealthiest donors. Our corporations don’t care if their politicians call themselves Republicans or Democrats, as long as they demonstrate they can follow direction from them. When they leave office for one reason or another, they’ll be making speeches and signing contracts from those they represented for a lot more money than what we paid them. I don’t think you’ll find any of them on the street begging for quarters from you in your neighborhood.

        What we need is to elect people who will clearly show evidence that they will represent their communities after they take office. Not people who talk about “progressive” ideas and make promises to discuss them with other politicians. This only leads to compromises for laws that create little change, assuming they can make it out of the grasp of a majority party committee chair.

        • Jack Altschuler Reply

          Dominick, my simple and only point is to demand the right behavior from our elected officials and threaten them with employment termination if they don’t do the right thing.

          It’s slow and cumbersome and indirect and frustrating, but in the end, that’s all the leverage we have until the next election.

          Toadies, jellyfish, however we label them, what we can do is to make it clear that there are consequences to them of ignoring the will of the public.

          And we can get out and get active to elect people who will represent we the people. Note that Dan Wallace’s comment is correct: the system drives legislators to misbehave. We can work toward fixing that, but much faster is just firing the bums.

          • dominickpalella Reply

            “Dominick, my simple and only point is to demand the right behavior from our elected officials and threaten them with employment termination if they don’t do the right thing. It’s slow and cumbersome and indirect and frustrating, but in the end, that’s all the leverage we have until the next election.”

            Jack, if we believe that all the leverage we have is between elections, our leverage will be the same between every other election – demanding that those who don’t listen to us to actually listen to us? I still don’t understand why most of us will admit that our political system is slow, cumbersome, indirect and frustrating, yet want it preserved that way – for citizens to be subservient to our elected officials. I can only deduce that I must be completely delusional for demanding that those we elect actually represent our communities, instead of their personal and/or business interests. I’m curious to know how far off my reasoning is to you and others.

            The simple and basic point for my web site is to ask this question: Do you want to take orders from politicians, or give orders to them? If you choose the former, you can vote in elections for them and protest as much as you like when the ideas you heard from them did not happen. If you choose the latter, you will have a representative you tell what to do. When a democratic majority of your community agrees to pass an idea for a law, your representative will introduce a bill for voting by his or her legislature. Other communities with true representatives will be doing the same. You could still protest and wait for the next election, but it would make more sense to move somewhere else.