Do you feel it? Something shifting? Accelerating? This week I keep hearing Timothy Snyder in my head. Tyranny is on the move.
This week, the FCC voted to end Net Neutrality, despite its popularity. This give-away to ISPs is more concerning than the normal kleptocratic giveaways of this regime because it directly affects media and public discourse.
Of course, we all knew it was coming. I didn’t even wait for the news yesterday because I knew. I knew from Pai’s appointment and the sham call for comments that they hid & then hijacked. I knew when they dumped the news the week of Thanksgiving. The announcement on Thursday was just confirmation.
And on its own, it’s awful. But it doesn’t stand apart from the rest of the trump administration’s agenda. For good or bad, the public sphere is digital now. And this administration just let corporations control access to our public debate.
Even if you trust ISPs not to limit access to content (and you shouldn’t), do you trust ISP’s to withstand pressure from the administration to stifle dissent? I certainly don’t. And given the administration’s attacks on the press, you know they’ll try.
The administration that attacks journalists and news organizations that have the temerity to do their jobs and report on the real world (which inevitably means exposing the lies and destruction of this administration). Trump has labeled news organizations “Fake News,” assaulting both the free press and our ability to have a fact based national conversation.
How long before you have to buy “news” packages that somehow don’t include the MSM or that slow down delivery of CNN, MSNBC, NYtimes Washington Post?
But it may be that the death of Net Neutrality doesn’t matter because democracy itself is also dying this week (though, let’s be honest, it’s kinda been on life support for months —and terminally ill for at least a decade).
Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee are warning that House Republicans are going to shut down their investigation into Russian interference with the election. This is happening as Trump is stepping up his attacks on Mueller and the FBI and doubling down on his assault on the Free Press.
Many people attuned to the rhythms of Washington are warning of “Saturday Night Massacre” – fearing that trump is gearing up to fire Mueller. And whether or not it’s imminent, we all know it’s coming right?
The right wing media- in their typical coordinate fashion- are all hammering the same talking points about Mueller’s supposed conflict of interest. They’re questioning his integrity and his patriotism. And most alarmingly- prominent Republicans are echoing these charges
When trump does fire Mueller, does anyone really believe Republicans will do ANYTHING to stop him? Remember those honorable proclamations that there was a line in the sand around Mueller? When’s the last time you heard one?
Not for a while. This is because the GOP has decided that nothing is more important than delivering to their corporate masters. They even embraced a pedophile to maintain a senate seat.
But what is most disturbing is their complete abandonment of any semblance of accountability. They vote on bills that will reshape the entire economy without reading them or even allowing Democrats (or citizens) to see them. They vote for bills that are MASSIVELY unpopular.
It used to be a truism of American politics that you didn’t touch Social Security or Medicare because older people vote. But the GOP is coming for them because it doesn’t seem to care about electoral consequences and it makes me wonder why.
The GOP is pushing through deeply unpopular legislation. They know they can get what they want from Trump. They won’t stand up to him on Mueller. Trump has allowed them to rewrite the tax code in a blatant give away to the wealthy (while also ballooning the deficit.) He’s destroying the social safety net. He’s installed conservative reactionary judges including the ill-gotten Gorsuch seat. Trump’s given them everything they have ever wanted. They’re willing to overlook treason.
We’re headed to a constitutional crisis because Trump will fire Mueller and the GOP has either no interest in protecting Mueller or are simply too compromised themselves to do anything about it. They will have evidence (they already do…) that the president of the United States engaged in a conspiracy against the United States with a foreign power, that he obstructed justice and any number of other offenses and they will not hold him accountable. They will let trump fire Mueller and there will be no legal recourse for Americans.
Sure- people may be upset. There are marches planned already (that’s right- IN ADVANCE- because we know it’s coming). But then what?
Timothy Snyder has said it’s a virtual certainty that trump will attempt a coup. What will that look like?
I’ve been saying to beware the Reichstag fire. Look at the unrest that trump is fomenting around the world- the provocations around Jerusalem, the taunting of Kim Jung Un. How long before something bad happens? Something that “demands” action?
Something bad is coming. And I feel so powerless to stop it. We call. We write. We resist. But it increasingly feels like we are doing it for ourselves- so that we know we are still free.
We do it as an act of protest, not because we believe they will listen or change.
I fear that in next week or so- just as the nation becomes distracted by the holidays- the GOP will pass this unpopular & cruel tax bill and then sit by as trump fires Mueller. And that will be it. Democracy will have died without so much as a single Republican whimper.
Sure, patriotic Americans will be mad. But the GOP is clearly not listening to us.
Maybe they’ll appoint a new special counsel– someone loyal to trump- because of course- they will say, you need someone who isn’t biased against the president. And the new investigator will find trump blameless, Hillary guilty, & the DNC complicit.
Play out the scenario from there. There will be resistance- and maybe violence and then those who resist (or type or say the word) will labeled domestic terrorists and subjected to surveillance and arrest. And the GOP will be silent. Or worse.
They told us winter was coming. It’s December of 2017. Winter is here.
(This post is modified from a 12/15/17 tweetstorm)