Here’s a headline from this morning’s Washington Post:
In wake of Bannon indictment, Republicans warn of payback
If you can read that and not wonder ‘What in the pumpkin spice fuck is wrong with these people’ then…well, I don’t know what. Just think about that for a moment. Republicans say they want payback because Steve Bannon…I mean Steve Goddamn Bannon…was indicted for refusing to obey a writ legally issued by a Congressional committee to provide testimony and produce evidence.
Payback? Fuck those guys. Payback is a casual way of saying revenge–a retaliatory act taken in response to some alleged/perceived harm or injustice. Republicans apparently feel harmed and aggrieved that the law applies to them as if they were ordinary people. They apparently feel subpoenas only matter if they’re issued by Republicans. They’re distressed to find that a subpoena isn’t a suggestion; it’s an order. If you choose NOT to abide by a subpoena, there’s a penalty.
I mean, it’s right there in the goddamn name. Subpoena–Latin sub, meaning ‘under’ and poena meaning ‘penalty’. A subpoena means you have to show up and/or produce evidence under penalty of law. This has been part of the common law since the 1380s when John Waltham, the Master of the Rolls of the Court of Chancery for Richard II, issued the very first subpoena–a writ compelling witnesses and defendants to show up for trial. We’re talking six and a half centuries of precedent here. If a subpoena was good enough for Richard II, it’s good enough for Steve Goddamn Bannon.
Payback? Fuck those guys. Payback for being expected to follow the law? Payback from Republicans for a guy who was 1) indicted for defrauding 2) Republican donors of millions of dollars 3) in a scam that was purported to help build 4) a border wall supported only by Republicans? They want payback for this guy? A guy who was eventually pardoned for that crime by a Republican president? Payback for a guy who had his Twitter account ganked for publicly calling for beheading FBI Director Christopher Wray and Anthony Fauci? Republicans want payback for a guy who helped foment an insurrection that put many of them personally in danger? An insurrection that included calls to hang the Republican Vice President of the United States? Republicans want payback for that guy? Fuck them. Fuck them in the neck.
And fuck the Washington Post too. It’s bad enough Republicans feel outraged and vindictive for having to obey the law, but to have WaPo act like it’s normal is an appalling act of journalistic malpractice. Just because politicians say stupid shit, journalists aren’t obligated to repeat it–to pretend it’s not stupid shit. Stupid shit is stupid and it’s shit. This is not rocket surgery.
Bannon was indicted last week for contempt of Congress, but he wasn’t arrested like an ordinary person. He was given until this morning to surrender himself for arraignment. My guess is he’ll be released on bail. And while that annoys me, it’s the right thing to do. Bannon isn’t likely to flee the country. My guess is he probably wants a trial. He’ll use it as a platform to spread more disinformation.
The thing is, this isn’t just about contempt of Congress; it’s about contempt for the very idea of representative democracy. It’s about contempt for the concept of equal justice under the law. A political party that feels justified in seeking payback for a person like Steve Bannon has abandoned the right to call itself a political party. There’s nothing ‘political’ about it. Politics, after all, is devoted to working things out. Politics is about people with different ideologies and viewpoints finding ways to compromise in an effort to benefit the greater good. Modern Republicans aren’t interested in the greater good.
They’re only interested in ruling.
Fuck those guys.
WaPo has to do its “both sides now” BS to show that they do “serious” reporting.
The problem with this, of course, is that it normalizes the GOP response. It suggests the GOP is simply responding to Democratic political posturing, where in fact it’s the GOP declaring they shouldn’t be required to follow the law.
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Actually, re the WaPo reporting this shit, I’d rather know that the Republicans were speaking this treason than think everything was right and in its place. IT’S NOT. The Republicans are monsters. We need to be reminded of that every day, painful and disgusting though it may be. This country is rapidly disintegrating, and we need to witness that—and do whatever the f**k we can to combat it.
Though I will say that another headline from today’s paper, “Biden has underestimated problems facing the country — and Democrats fear that has become a political problem,” is bullshit aimed at stoking discord and (perhaps) selling more papers. That’s the only thing nonsense like that is good for.
In other words, I’m not defending the Post per se. But we can’t ignore Republican whining either.
I’m not saying WaPo shouldn’t report on what the GOP says; I’m saying they need to actually assert that this IS NOT NORMAL. The sub-headline to that article is “GOP lawmakers say Democrats, by pursuing contempt charges against a Trump ally, are paving the way for them to go after Biden aides if they retake the House in 2022”. This presents the GOP position as a legit political response to a Democratic political tactic–which is totally wrong. It’s flat out vengeance for asking the GOP to follow the law. That needs to be made clear.
And if this was just GOP whining, I wouldn’t care. But it’s not whining; it’s a declaration that they’re not bound by the laws of the nation.
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Yes. 100% agree.
Compromise. That has been crippled for a while. Remember Joe Wilson shouting “You lie!” during a televised speech to congress by Obama? I think that was 2009. The Obama admin was also when Mitch declared that he’d do everything possible to prevent any legislation supported by Obama from passing. Now they’re doing the same for Biden’s list. It’s still Mitch as the biggest name behind the obstruction, but he couldn’t have pulled it off alone.
The Republicans that make national office all act like they are honor bound (ptui! using the word honor like that…) to obstruct any and all Democrat supported policies. It’s so bad that any Republican House members that vote in the interest of the country instead of the F-U agenda the Republicans support now are threatened with being stripped of any committee assignments, which, I guess, is where they have some power to wield.
I saw first hand how this works on a personal level, demo’d by my dad. Got a different political viewpoint than him? He’d just get louder, on the theory that whoever drowns out the other guy’s words wins. In reality, he was a powerless narcissistic dweeb with one vote, but it was a front seat lesson in what kind of success (hint – none) you get arguing with a narcissist. Fortunately he’s dead now.
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That wasn’t just any ‘televised speech to congress’ by Obama, it was the State of the Union speech. But you’re right; it was significant as a bellwether, leading the GOP’s descent into openly crude, aggressive, vindictive attacks without fear of being reprimanded by the GOP leadership.
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A friend pointed out to me that I left out an obvious point, which is this: the GOP is vowing revenge against Democrats for objecting to their attempt to overthrow the legitimate result of the 2020 election.
It’s like Trump decided to rob the bank. A lot of his followers agreed he should rob it. Some members of Congress agreed he should rob it. A few vocally disagreed with the robbery, but most members of Congress just went along with it. But the Democrats (with the assistance of a few honest low-level Republicans) stopped the bank robbery…and now the GOP is vowing revenge against the Democrats and those Republicans who weren’t sufficiently pro-bank robbery.
It’s just fucking crazy.