At the time I originally wrote this, the Senate had just confirmed “Mad Dog” Mattis, the first time since George Marshall at the end of the Second World War that a non-civilian has gotten a waiver to serve as Secretary of Defense. Two days before that, Donald Trump got in front of a crowd to crudely berate two news agencies and to announce that unlike every president in modern history, he would not be separating himself from his business interests. A week before that, congressional Republicans tried to eliminate the only independent ethics committee that oversees the legislature as the very first act of the new session.
Failing that, they scheduled more cabinet confirmation hearings in less time than ever before, hoping to railroad a slate of candidates who are, with little exaggeration, bent on destroying their respective departments. Late last month, North Carolina Republicans, having lost the governorship, used the end of their lame duck session to divest the executive of its powers and invest them, in effect, in the Republican Party, leading the Electoral Integrity Project to categorize the state as having “deeply flawed, partly free democracy that is only slightly ahead of the failed democracies that constitute much of the developing world.” Not only that, but:
North Carolina does so poorly on the measures of legal framework and voter registration, that on those indicators we rank alongside Iran and Venezuela. When it comes to the integrity of the voting district boundaries no country has ever received as low a score as the 7/100 North Carolina received. North Carolina is not only the worst state in the USA for unfair districting but the worst entity in the world ever analyzed by the Electoral Integrity Project.
And since then, was either five months or five years ago, this past January, God, some other stuff has happened: the President’s hired both his son in law and his daughter to be the right and left hand people of his administration; he’s taken advantage of a year-long stall on the part of the Republicans and installed a conservative justice in Merrick Garland’s seat; he’s put two different avowed white supremacists in office in Gorka and Steve Bannon and a much more effective, subtler one in Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Virtually every member of the Administration has lied to the Congress or the Senate about conniving with the Russians, he’s fired FBI director James Comey, while Comey was investigating him and then told Lester Holt that that’s why he fired him.
Something is up, guys.
Continue reading A Memorable Series of Revolutions