— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
… Before we continue our story:
Impeaching a blatantly corrupt president should be a huge win whether the president is removed or not, putting every Senator on the spot. 2020 is a perfect year to replace a dozen corrupt ones, including Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell — at the ballot. But no one seems to notice the neurotic tic that lets the president’s enablers and fans off the hook — all but dooming impeachment and helping them all for 2020.
When you’re trying to convict a criminal, the stupidest thing you can do is keep reminding the public of a grudge you harbor against say, the folks you think revealed speeches you wanted to keep secret, or the exposure of a biased primary campaign your party secretly ran. Demonizing foreigners may help you recruit xenophobes, but in the end it backfires.
Here’s how to measure whether impeachment is succeeding — if not in removing the president, in exposing and dooming corrupt Senators:
Every time you hear Abuse of Office, Obstruction of Justice, Extortion, Bribery, Abuse of Power, Self-Dealing, Emoluments, Financial Fraud, Unfit, Incompetent, Cruel or Corrupt, a Republican Senator is sweating — on the spot and losing 2020 votes — and we’re winning.
Every time you hear Russia, 2016 Election, Putin, Mueller Investigation, Email Hacking, Foreign Interference, Election Meddling, or Moscow Mitch, several joyous Republican Senators are laughing with relief — that their opponents are still so angry about the revelations that lost them the 2016 election that they just can’t shut up about it, even at the worst possible time. It’s like watching a Tourette’s sufferer who was begged not to say “fuck” go off in public. It’s a Poe story where the protagonist is so overcome with guilt he’s screaming about his own crimes to bewildered bystanders. (A sincere apology would relieve the pressure, but tribal norms prevail.) It’s so predictable and painful, I literally wince every time I hear another Russia non-sequitur. Dozens of times a day. It’s the sound of blind hypocrisy defeating justice.
Obviously it’s hard to talk about crimes effecting Ukraine policy without mentioning Russia at all. But the obsession with blaming Putin for the embarrassing secrets the losing candidate failed to keep from the public in 2016 instantly topples us from any moral high ground we earn, many times a day — sometimes in the same speech or even the same sentence. We constantly convince the public that instead of defending the country from a corrupt, obviously unfit president, we’re pursuing a grudge rooted in our own foolish, unacknowledged errors.
I wish more people understood this. Like so many human problems, a lack of empathy — this time, empathy for how corrupt Republican Senators and independent voters think — is our Achilles Heel.
So with that preamble, here’s an ingredient for a cure to the crippling Russia fever epidemic: a lighthearted story that lets us see how we’ve been perceived by much of the public the past three years. Names and details have been changed.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — —
Hackers Published My Private Correspondence with My Mistress.
I’m Suing — But Jurors Are Biased Against Me! What Can I Do?
I’m suffering a terrible injustice. Foreign hackers publicly humiliated me by publishing my confidential conversations with my mistress, without permission. They wrecked my marriage — and are undermining our confidence in marriage itself.
I’ve gone to court because the whole country, the whole world, is now suffering from that invasion. After my humiliating public ordeal, I was passed up for an important government job that went to an utterly unqualified, unfit idiot named Dan — a criminal who is now in court himself. But most of the jurors are so corrupt they won’t even consider my side!
Worst of all, I’m sure the hackers were foreigners. I’m certain the only reason my texts became public and my marriage ended is, my wife’s friend Natasha got my password and shared it with a hacker/publisher named Jules who then put everything on the internet.
Natasha is a foreign agent! Obviously she’s a kind of spy and should be arrested. And so should Jules, another foreigner. Fortunately, he’s already in jail for exposing murders that were also supposed to be kept secret. What happened to respect for privacy? If there’s any justice, he’ll die in jail before he’s convicted of anything.
Jules was screwing up my case. He admits publishing my texts but swears he never heard from Natasha — that he got my password (which is ‘passwOrd’) some other way. Fortunately, none of the investigators in the CIA, Justice Department, or Congress will interview him, and some of them concluded Natasha was guilty without talking to either of them. So at least there’s SOME justice.
And fortunately, the news media is on my side. Years later, they still mention Natasha’s outrageous invasion of my privacy every day. And to their credit, they haven’t mentioned my adultery or any of the other secrets I was keeping, in years.
Most networks even runs video almost every day of my wife or Dan saying in public: “Natasha, if you’re listening, I want their secret texts!” I was sure that would help my case.
But I didn’t win my invasion of privacy suit. Pure bias! And they didn’t find Dan conspired with Natasha.
It turns out Dan is a stunningly cruel, violent, abusive, reckless, racist liar, cheat, and bully — AND a criminal.
Now he is committing crime after crime, and it’s almost like the Natasha hack angle is unexpectedly backfiring. Could the whole world be laughing at me?
Some of my cowardly former friends say I should apologize to my wife and the whole country for all the things I tried to keep secret and all the disasters that have ensued. Admit how my own secrets and lies cost me a promotion. Put the stupid, irrelevant Natasha obsession behind us so Dan’s many very serious and ongoing crimes can be prosecuted on a fresh slate. That’s not happening!
My loyal allies think our best bet, as each new crime is proven, is to say things like, “The very day after the Natasha case ended, Dan was committing this other crime!” — so no one forgets. That will embarrass jurors who didn’t take my case seriously — and remind them that this new crime is as serious as revealing my adultery was. They’ll see it’s a pattern!
And there’s a ray of hope. The jurors are elected officials who must eventually face voters. It could be awkward for them to acquit someone who has been publicly proven guilty in a slam dunk case. If they want to be re-elected they’d be inclined rule fairly and get rid of Dan.
Except most of them are also in an exclusive club that Dan is the leader of. And while he can’t fire them, their jobs may depend on him indirectly, and they really don’t want to displease him. So it’s tricky.
Just when it looks like a guilty verdict is unavoidable, the prosecutor says something like “All roads lead to Natasha!” And while I’m personally cheering, I notice those jurors breathing a sigh of relief. I overheard one chuckle, “We got some ’splainin’ to do if we don’t join THOSE unhinged hypocrites.”
As if, no matter how much proof of guilt we all see, my loyal team is making acquittal easy.
I often wake up soaked in sweat from a dream where my petty secrets and denials are destroying the world.
What should I do?