Eliot Ness, We Need You Now

Reading time – 2:55  .  .  .

Regular readers of these posts will recognize that I have long wondered why otherwise fully functional adults possessing a clear sense of right and wrong could tolerate, much less support and promote the obvious law breaking, wrongdoing and un-Constitutional actions of Donald Trump. Of course, some may simply be true believers. But the results of my research, often expressed in these pages (here for example), have suggested a more likely explanation for the behavior of most of these people.

Were an elected official to oppose Trump in any way, two bad  things would happen:

  1. They would be vilified mercilessly on Twitter and at every Trump speaking opportunity;
  2. Trump would enthusiastically support their primary opponent in the next election;

and they would lose their job. We’ve seen this happen.

That’s a strong witch’s brew to inhibit discouraging words and votes against Trump; however, this brew is far more toxic than I had imagined, because there is a third and far more dangerous ingredient.

A most compelling essay was posted by Frank Rich in the January 6 edition of New York Magazine entitled What Will Happen To the Trump Toadies? It is focused on the likely future of Trump’s lickspittle enablers by drawing parallels both to Richard Nixon’s suck-ups and cronies and to Vichy France collaborators with the Nazis. The piece is long and detailed and a great article. It’s well worth your time and focus.

Appending that essay is a short interview of Never-Trumper, Republican strategist Rick Wilson. He speaks to the fact that many in Congress secretly despise Trump, reporting on one, saying,

“Right after Trump was elected, there were a lot of guys who had this shocking moment. A friend of mine, a member of Congress, went home to a town-hall meeting, and a guy asks him, ‘Are you going to be with Mr. Trump 100 percent of the time?’ And he goes, ‘Well, look, I support Donald Trump and I want to help him, and we agree on many things. But I represent this district. If there’s something the president wants to do and it’s good for us, we’re absolutely going to do it. If it’s something that’s bad for our district, I’m going to oppose it.'”

By the time he left the stage, his wife had death threats. His kids had death threats [emphasis mine]. Because he wouldn’t say, ‘I’ll be with Trump no matter what.’ He called me two days later, and he said, ‘I don’t know what to do.’ Eventually he goes, ‘I’m going to keep my seat.’ He still privately bitches and moans, but he’s still in Congress.

If threats of death and violence like this are common – and this event is unlikely a one-off – then that is the third and most powerful reason Republicans won’t stand and be counted. Survival of self and family is too powerful a driver for them to overcome in order for them to do what they know to be the right thing.

What that means is that thugs – Trump’s “good people on both sides” – have taken control of our country. The Brown Shirts are enforcing Trump’s power and he and they have effectively dissolved the Senate.

In the face of that, imagine evidence overwhelmingly damning of Trump (it exists) being presented at his impeachment trial. Imagine further that it creates a huge public outcry for removal. What are the chances that 67 senators would vote to boot Trump from office?

We desperately need a 2020 version of Eliot Ness right now.


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Fine Print:

  1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings, so don’t bug me about it.
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  3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
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Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
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2 Responses to Eliot Ness, We Need You Now
  1. Jim Altschuler Reply

    Your conclusion echoes what I have been saying for a couple of years. Though I certainly concur that the country desperately needs to get this bully/buffoon out of office as soon as possible, I must concede that the bullying has been effective enough to override the better instincts of senators. I don’t, therefore, foresee the Senate voting Trump out of office (much to my dismay). My only remaining hope is that the trial and, hopefully, the testimonies will convince a vast preponderance of Republican voters that they should not vote for Trump’s re-election.

    Sadly, that alone will not be enough. The Democrats have to stop beating each other up; i.e., stop calling each other “idiots” (or implying same) and carry on civil discourse so the American people can at least get the impression that there is a candidate that they can have some level of confidence in to vote for.

    Perhaps “God bless America” should be revised to “God save America”. God knows we need to be saved, hopefully before Trump and the government have destroyed our relationships with allied country’s leaders and governments.


    There are two NEW anti-Trump organizations that have popped up this past year. 1) Conservatives Against Trump….founder is Bill Crystal who can be seen on MSNBC. Bill is a FORMER Republican. 2) The Lincoln Project…..members being Steve Schmidt (seen on MSNBC, John Weaver, Jennifer Horn, Rick Wilson (also seen on MSNBC) and George Conway (Kelly Ann’s husband). This hopes to push independents and Republicans in suburbs toward voting for Democrats! 3) This one is NOT a Republican org…..The Liberal Progressive Turnout Project…..that is putting $45M behind an effort to turn out voters who did not cast a ballot in 2016. The target states include 12 critical states! 4) Then there’s American Latinos United….that are focused on defeating Trump. They’ll engage in on-the-ground activation focusing on single issue voters in critical states, like AZ, FL, N.C., MI, Penn and Wis and tech innovation in order to craft messaging directed at Latinos and sing traditional and digital media platforms!