Republicans Will Protect Trump to the End

John McCain’s body was barely cold when Lindsey Graham slithered up onto the couch at Fox and Friends to present his subservient belly to their skeptical audience. With his hero and surrogate conscience lying in state at the Capitol, Graham must find allies where he can. Winter is coming.

Early in the Trump administration the furious Republican effort to protect Trump from the criminal justice system seemed odd. Sure, his win granted them some welcome opportunities, but none of those opportunities would be dented by President Pence. It seemed plain that the party could benefit from distancing themselves from the most corrupt and unpopular public figure in modern life. Then the evidence started to emerge and the picture grew darker.

There is no way for Republicans to distance themselves from Trump because they are complicit in the crimes that placed him in power. No one in a prominent position in the GOP can allow justice to run its course for Trump in safety. The fight to protect Trump is the fight to protect the vampire squid of bribery that supports their livelihoods.

The simple stock fraud that brought down Rep. Collins this year is child’s play compared the organized graft enjoyed by Duncan Hunter. Despite his corruption he probably won’t lose his seat. Conviction will be tough to obtain since bribery is essentially legal in our system. If Hunter goes to prison, it will be for sloppy accounting practices, not bribery. What makes Hunter unique in Congress is that he was too dumb to manage his books.

By contrast, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher has been on the Kremlin payroll for so long that Russian intelligence has assigned him a codename. Let’s just talk plainly here. One (at least one) of our Congressmen is an intelligence asset on the Russian payroll. That fact is sufficiently well documented to be referenced in New York Times articles and safely published here with no risk of libel. And that man is still favored to win re-election this year in California. He has no fear of our justice system because he is beyond democratic accountability.

Russian interference in our electoral system is an outrage, partly for its implications for our fundamental national security. But that interference would not have been possible without an existing structure of corrupt incentives. Our lack of any meaningful campaign finance laws always undermined the democratic process, but now this flaw has become a national security threat. The Russians waged a far more concentrated and energetic campaign to influence our politics during the Cold War with far less success. They’re replaced ideology with money, and now they own one of our political parties.

A review of the indictment of Maria Butina outlines the scope and tenure of this successful campaign. We know now that the Russians have been bankrolling the NRA. We know that Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied under oath about his contacts with the Russians during the campaign. There’s no room to outline the depth and scope of the already-revealed links between Russian intelligence and the GOP. In short, every single Republican politician who accepted a campaign contribution from the NRA in recent years, and that’s a lot of congressmen and legislators, may have taken money from the Kremlin. And no one, even inside the GOP, can be confident they know how far that influence reaches.

The core problem isn’t Russian interference in our politics. The core problem is that our political system and its elected officials are for sale. If it wasn’t the Russians it would have been someone else.

Republican donors prefer to back politicians who are spineless and compromised because they can be more easily steered. Religious nutjobs are their particular favorites for a couple of reasons. First, they tend be perverts, which makes bribery cheaper. Even better, they’re infinitely credulous, vulnerable to believing any manner of nonsense necessary to justify idiotic policies.

No single court case is going to drain this swamp. The Special Counsel is not going to save us. Remove Donald Trump, and the next compromised politician will tumble right into his vacant hole.

There is no ideological or partisan boundary to the bribery infecting our system. For an introduction to the political bribery that runs Democratic politics, review some of the court documents in the corruption case of New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez. Menendez has dodged justice for the moment because he resisted the temptation to lie the FBI and he kept a clean accounting of his extensive bribes. Democrats tend to be smarter and more systematic about their corruption.

Democratic bribery operates in ways that are slightly different than on the right, but toward the same outcome. If you comfort yourself with the delusion that Democrats will save us from the influence on money in politics, you do not want to follow Andrew Cuomo or Rahm Emanuel through their average workday. By itself, electing Democrats will not change the way our system undermines democratic accountability.

If the rot in our system is so pervasive that it extends beyond partisan boundaries, why is it important to vote for Democrats in the near term? There is a nascent movement in the Democratic Party to attack established norms. That movement is being led by figures in the Sanders mold who favor a policy program drawn from the far left which I mostly dislike. That program is just as much of a threat to the corrupt politicians in the Democratic Party as it is to Republicans, which makes it preferable to supporting either Republicans, or moderate Democrats.

Conservatives had their chance to build a new American Century. They rejected the advice of men like John McCain to limit the corrupting influence of bribery in our system, instead embracing a new wave of graft with breathtaking lust. Now McCain is dead and their opportunity is lost. My side failed America. All conservatives have left with which to comfort themselves is their dirty money and the cult loyalty of their idiot followers. When Trump goes down, none of them will be safe.

Disruption threatened by the electoral success of a slate of new left politicians is our only remaining shot at restoring small-d democratic accountability through peaceful means. After they win there will be plenty of opportunities to engage them politically and steer the entire system toward more sensible policy outcomes. Unless they win, ordinary voters will see their influence over public life continue to dwindle. The word “democracy” itself will become a joke, and the peaceful continuation of our political experiment can no longer be assumed or credibly supported.

Our future depends on the near term success of a restive left. God help us all. And conservatives have no one to blame but ourselves.

42 Comments

  1. However and Strauss and generational stuff has come up a bit, so I thought I’d chime in. Yes, they have predicted that some subset of Boomers will step up and become this cycle’s incarnation of the Grey Champion. Maybe I just lack the necessary perspective but I’m seeing worryingly little sign of that so far. We’re ten years into this Crisis and so far no Lincoln, no FDR, no Continental Congress. Some of them have to be the one or ones to step up and say enough.

  2. I’ve been thinking about the reference to Graham’s sexual orientation and I feel like it’s a rash, unnecessary observation. I’m removing it.

    That subject remains more sensitive than it should be. So long as that’s true, in most cases it should to be up to the individual to decide how they handle it, even if that individual is an asshole. My apologies if I upset anyone.

    1. What I found upsetting is the thought that Trump is probably blackmailing Graham with that. It would explain why Graham has been acting so weird lately. This why I’m against forcing people back ‘in the closet’ with regard to sexuality. It leaves them vulnerable to being compromised.

      1. Let’s run with that scenario for a minute. Might that explain why Graham’s so openly courting being AG and being just a proverbial hop, skip, and a jump away from saying Trump should just fire Sessions? Being about as optimistic as one could hope to be, is that Graham’s roundabout way of trying to preserve the Mueller investigation, even as he goes around having to kiss Trump’s ass on a daily basis, despite obviously knowing better?

      2. Yea, I think it explains a lot. He managed to navigate thirty years in right wing Southern politics by playing the game with a certain finesse. He cultivated the right patrons and remained discreet and it was all working pretty well. It’s easy to see how the sudden arrival of an erratic sadist like Trump could put him over a barrel.

        Can you imagine that tweet?

        And once you’ve come to terms with your cowardice it’s pretty easy to decide that with the right turn of events you could leverage a new AG position into some kind of value. The whole spectacle is so nauseating.

  3. Let me run something past you guys

    It’s January – the Dems have a majority in the House and the Senate
    They investigate the shit out of the GOP
    Trump and Pence are both guilty as hell – so guilty that even the GOP senators have to vote to impeach – or they resign with a deal to stay out of jail

    That would put the Democratic Leader of the House – Pelosi?? – in the hot seat

    My question is
    Would the GOP submit to that or would we have half of America up in flames and riot??

    I’m worried that they would riot – tens of thousands dead

    If it does come to that should Pelosi and the Democratic Leader of the Senate both step aside and let the Republican Secretary of State (Pompeo) become the next President??

    Or would that be “giving in to terrorists”

    1. Morbid as it is to think about, let’s get something out of the way. Absent President for Life Trump stepping down of his own accord with a billion-dollar military parade, proclamations of DUH LIBS OWNED from now until the end of eternity, America Made Great Again, and every last American bowing down in awe of His Eternal Lordship’s endless magnificence, there is no scenario in which he flames out that this doesn’t end badly – it’s just a question of *how* badly and how much we’re able to mitigate the damage.

      It’s not hyperbole to say that Trumpists have been living on the proverbial razor’s edge from the moment they put all their chips in on Trump, and the boundless ferocity with which they cling to the Great White Hope is outclassed only by the despair they’ll feel when it all comes crashing down – and these aren’t the kind of people who are content to just sulk in a corner and suck their thumbs. Many are just spineless jackoffs, but there are the few that’ll walk up to someone like Rick Wilson on the street and say he’s going to f’ing murder you (that actually happened, btw).

      With respect to the presidency, give no ground. These people are bastards and will take ten miles for every inch you give them with nothing in return. Do not step aside; be strong; be firm; be resolute, and plow ahead with the kind of leadership and this desperate moment deserves.

    2. I’ve been trying not to think about that scenario too much, but a few things come to mind.

      First, regarding all of those heavily armed white ammosexuals who like to cosplay their war fantasies: They won’t do shit. Ever. No one owns six AR15’s because of their abundance of courage, initiative and drive. There is no leadership or organization among that rabble today. They’re just blown around by entertainers selling them stuff and bilking them. When the shit hits the fan, the only thing they’ll blow up is Twitter. They’re fat-assed cattle, not fit to become cannon fodder.

      Now, if there was a real Donald Trump, a serious figure with actual plans and ambitions we might have an issue. Still, someone like that would have to spend years building up the kind of institutions Putin has been developing, organizational tools necessary to steer these idiots toward some definable paramilitary outcome. Unfortunately for those counting on some kind of populist revolt on the right I’d reference the substance of the above post. There’s no core there at all. It’s all just a scam. The voices those people listen to will use the chaos of the post-Trump moment to bilk them a little more. That’s all. In that way at least, we got lucky.

      Nevertheless, the most dangerous political period of our lifetimes will probably be the two or three years after this administration is removed. And yes, I think this administration will end prematurely and probably without a clean legal conclusion. The problem isn’t those armed rednecks, but the collapse of democratic legitimacy. We seldom stop to think how much of the ordinary order of daily life is determined but our shared assumption of governmental legitimacy. The 2016 election already killed it, but most Americans don’t yet know it’s dead. By the time we’ve fumigated the White House they will and we’ll have a serious problem on our hands.

      There is no plainly “legal” way to repair the damage Trump has inflicted on this system, and we will almost certainly lack the democratic consensus to take the kind of actions necessary to bring people to justice for their actions during this era. What do we do with the Border Patrol agents responsible for the unintended deaths of toddlers they stole from their parents at the border? What do we do with the officials who ordered those actions?

      What will we do with Devin Nunes (and dozens of others) when they are still in office and we discover the depths of their perhaps not formally criminal, but utterly indefensible actions? How do you carry out a “de-Nazification” when no one has lost a war? Will Rand Paul keep making trips to Russia to collect new campaign donations and coordinate election assistance from our enemies? Who’s going to stop him?

      I got a lot of pushback on that “Russian Judges” piece, but stop and think it through. If we fail to initiate a very aggressive Nuremburg-esque purge in the wake the Trump administration I absolutely guarantee that the right will coalesce around an openly pro-Russia, separatist platform. In fact, they’ll probably do it anyway. They have to be weakened and delegitimized by absolutely any means, peaceful or otherwise, while the stench of these crimes is still in the air, or their Fascist collusion will simply harden into a feature of our political spectrum. There is no quiet, peaceful, electoral path back to democratic stability.

      1. Chris – There is no easy or certain way out of this mess, but we can’t give up, either. I know you are correct about many of your concerns and predictions, yet, I hope there is enough sense of decency remaining in enough Americans for us to slog our way back to a place where we can re-build those democratic institutions that are most critical. Sadly, assuming Kavenaugh’s appointment goes through (and Trump just invoked executive privilege to ensure that thousands of pages of K’s testimony won’t ever see the light of day), our U.S. Supreme Court will be compromised for a very long time. I hope you will consider doing a post on the ramifications of a decades long conservative majority and what that means for our democratic process.

      2. Sounds to me that if someone Michael Coreleoned the puppet tyrant (Its not personal, its just business), that would be the cleanest way to try to reverse or stop this rise in fascism. Yes, there would indeed be screaming and quick moves by the fascists to instill laws to shut down the non-fascists. But that is happening anyway, and without the cult leader, there is a chance saner minds would prevail.

        Plus, the next competent leader of the extremists does not seem to be on the horizon, or in a position to usurp power. It would give the left some breathing room.

        Yeah yeah, I know all about the slippery slope and the high risk of civil war. That is still better than the alternative.

        Do nothing, and the rule of law and democracy are totally wiped out in the next 6 years. Do what needs to be done, and there is a chance of a different alternative.

  4. Never considered myself a Grammar Nazi, but I have to about this one because I care. Don’t go pulling a Trump on us, Chris.

    “No single court case is going to drain this swamp. The Special *COUNSEL* is not going to save us. Remove Donald Trump, and the next compromised politician will tumble right into his vacant hole.”

  5. I don’t think Chris’s article espoused a Communist ideology it just exposed the commerce of our politics. Its for sale and the Russians are buying and shocked that they didn’t think of this sooner. Gromyko upon retirement was asked about his experience and time in the US and he said “they have no souls and can be bought with a car”. We’ve allowed our government to be bought under the guise of first amendment protections and its not clear how to do undo it.

    I plan on holding my nose in some cases and voting straight D this November without any guarantee it will help but perhaps slow the bleeding and constrain the thieves in Congress. Also, I’m gay and wasn’t offended about the “outing” , you can’t out someone when everyone already knows. The hypocrisy of these politicians is breath taking.

      1. Agreed. Is this the year the Hispanic voters show up? If the family separation travesty, the neglect of Puerto Rico, and now the shenanigans with visas of Hispanic citizens born along the border don’t convince them that the GOP is not working in their best interests, what will?

      2. The only problem is that so many of them are not citizens or not registered. However, I recently read an article regarding the nationality and ethnicity of recently naturalized citizens and Latinos were right at the top. The data may not be fully reliable, however and the article was focused on WA State.

      3. TMerritt – Registered voter turnout in 2016 was 58%. 42% of registered voters didn’t bother. That’s not ok with me and has nothing to do with unregistered folks. I realize that many people are turned off by the vitriol, and by the struggles they face daily, but not voting in major elections is just wrong. That is what has to change. We can talk all day about why this is so, but the bottom line is, voting is a privilege and a responsibility. No one gets a pass. It’s too important.

  6. It’s good to see this as an alternative to that The Atlantic article you posted the other day. That article was dumb. It essentially said,

    “Shakespeare is a great writer.

    In one of Shakespeare’s works, a tyrant is abandoned by his allies at the very end.

    Trump is a tyrant.

    Therefore, Trump will be abandoned by his allies at the very end.”

    Pretentious shit like that is why we got Trump in the first place — nose in books looking for precedents, rather than eyes on people’s faces watching what they were saying.

    And I say that as a pretentious literary git myself, who tries to learn as much as I can from books and used to struggle to meet people’s eyes.

    ————————–

    Separately, I have a question for you. It’s interesting that you say “Lindsay Graham is gay” in the same article you say “Congressman Dana Rohrabacher has been on the Kremlin payroll for so long that Russian intelligence has assigned him a codename. […] That fact is sufficiently well documented to be referenced in New York Times articles and safely published here with no risk of libel.”

    Is Lindsay Graham’s homosexuality documented, or is there a risk of libel? It’s really easy to play the homophobia = repressed homosexuality card, but I think there are nuances to it. I’m interested in how you’ve come to that conclusion.

    1. Ask someone in Washington if Lindsey Graham is gay. He keeps himself to himself, in the discreet style that was necessary for a “studious bachelor” in public life thirty years ago, and I’ve never heard anything specific about any relationships. But yes, he’s gay and it’s neither much of a secret nor much of an issue.

      1. In almost all cases, I think it’s bad form to out gay people. I strongly respect people’s right to privacy. But there is one exception that I don’t object to- the closeted hypocrites who will go along with politics that demonize and hurt other gay people. It’s open season on them, AFAIC.

      2. I’m not worried about Lindsay Graham being outed or how he’d feel about it.

        I read Chris’s writing because he, most of the time, writes about things that are verifiable, can be verified, or are analyzing verifiable things. The Lindsay Graham thing sticks out because it’s none of those things. It may be true that Graham is a ‘studious gentleman’ with a deep closet, or he might just be a heterosexual homophobe that doesn’t date well. I certainly know my fair share of the latter, and one of whom is extremely conservative. We simply have no way of verifying, nor analyzing, until something factual is revealed. The rest is, and I looked it up, a whole tonna hearsay.

        Beyond Chris, I’m kinda getting tired of all this “What does THIS guy have against THAT guy that’s causing THAT guy to do this with THIS guy?” stuff. The more I’m watching, the more I just don’t think any of it’s that deep. Lindsay Graham is cozying up to Trump because Trump is starting to successfully roll out his agenda and consolidate power, and Trump is cozying up to Putin because he likes the cut of Putin’s jib: why wouldn’t Trump want to have what Putin has? Putin gets a cut of literally all productive industry in Russia.

        There’s no piss tape and if 45 really actually knew for a fact that Lindsay Graham is gay, he would have already shared the evidence because 45 has no filter. Hell, if rumors about Graham’s sexuality were taken seriously at all amongst any substantial demographic, especially the people of Capital Hill, 45 would have already smashed out that Tweet every single time Graham said anything against 45, which has been often.

        tl;dr: Greedy fuckers aren’t interesting, they’re merely greedy.

  7. As bad as today seems it has been much worst at time in our history. Nothing new under the sun. My dad tought me that this country swung like a pendulum from one end of the spectrum to the other. I sense we have peaked at the lunatic right and are moving back to center. I thought Bernie was out there. He is not even close to where the right is in extreme. In fact in many European countries he even would be consider conservative. The old south was set up to be like feudalism in the old world. That is finally breaking down. Young people and new people are not having it. People who benefited from the old system are in panic mode and trying to push us back 60 years. It is not going to work. But there will be a struggle until the new norm is set.

    1. Anyone who’s read Jon Meacham’s “The Soul of America” knows in fine detail how we’ve been in far worse straits than we are now, but it doesn’t make the present any less unnerving from time to time. Americans have been blessed (much to our detriment in many ways) with peace and prosperity for so long that we’ve forgotten the lessons of history. Times have determined the future to not be nearly so forgiving, and we’re just going to have to deal with the growing pains.

      Increasing social change along with a path back towards a workable equilibrium among fellow Americans will take a long time and, frankly, be a helluva pain in the ass. At the very least, let’s focus on what we can do in the short-term – a new economic compact and some LONG overdue reforms in government.

      1. This is a reply to both Stephen and Ryan.

        Stephen: I sure as hell hope you re correct in your comments regarding the South and that the lunatic right has peaked. I honestly hope that the South is beginning to emerge into the modern world. That would make a huge difference in our national politics.

        Regarding Bernie, I believe that a lot of D’s were sticking with Hillary in 2016, out of loyalty and the hope that her moderate, incremental agenda could make a difference, despite basically concurring with Bernie. That was basically true for me. Now that has failed they are going pedal to the metal with Bernie’s more progressive agenda.

        Separately, what do you think of Gillum’s chances in November? His election would be like the winds from the ocean sweeping away the smoke such as we’ve recently experienced here in Pugetopolis!

        Ryan: Yes the US has been in far more dangerous straits in the past. Fortunately, we’ve been fortunate enough that leaders have always emerged. I suspect that will be the case this time, too. There are some people who are beginning to emerge and in many communities and some states there is good leadership. There are also some good potential leaders with good ideas in DC. They are just largely being ignored in the national press. Following, the November elections, I believe and hope the paradigm will begin to shift.

        In ‘Generations’, Strauss and Howe refer to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s ‘The Gray Champion’ several times, we may have our own Gray Champion again. That may be the final role of us boomers. After all during our last major national crisis, the Depression and WWII, FDR was our top leader and was from the Missionary generation, the previous generation comparable to us boomers. He was the Gray Champion of that time. Figures such as Eisenhower and Truman were from the Lost Generation comparable to our own Generation 13. Perhaps that will be the case again.

    2. @tmerritt15 I think Gillum has a good chance. He will bring out the Obama coalition. Also this is a huge shot in the arm for Bill Nelson.While minorities and youth vote for Gillum they will vote for Bill. Gillum is articulated and a smart experience politician. And that at an early age.

      The I-4 corridor usually decides state wide elections. Jerry Demings just won Orange County mayor at 62%. Partly because he has been Sheriff and done good. But also I think for many of us who voted for him it was also a way to refute Trumpism. Like Gillum he is a black brother.

      An environmental disaster , massive red algae bloom on both coast, happen on Rick Scotts ( Florida govenor running now for the US senate) watch. Big Sugar’s pollution into Lake Okeechobee and spilling it’s water due to flooding has caused the bloom. This has cause massive fish kills and the spray from it is toxic to people. Scott has deregulate envirometal regulations and massively cut spending on the environment. He has had the bad luck for the chickens to come home to roost while still govenor. A lot of people’s beans and corn bread depend on pristine beachs and the tourism it draws. All this helps Gillum and Nelson.

      The Republican govenor candidate Ron DeSantis is a die hard Trump supporter and been outed as being a moderator of a racist Face Book page. I think the GOP base is already fully energize . Gillum will energize Democrats and bring more of those voters out.

      In short I think Gillum has a decent shot.

      1. Thanks.

        I’ve been reading about the algae bloom. It is an environmental disaster. But I did not realize the real cause of it.

        I do hope FL elects Gillum and Nelson. I contributed small amounts to both via KOS and ActBlue. Before the election I may contribute a little bit more. I’m focusing on three house races in WA, since there is a decent change of flipping them to D. One, the 8th CD, is a toss up and the other two are lean R. However, my feeling is that the 8th will probably go D and there is close to an even chance one of the others, the 3rd, will flip. Unfortunately, the D candidate is not well funded and the R’s will pour money into the race.

      2. I hope you’re right Stephen, and I hope the Dem candidates put environmental issues front and center. Scott should be hounded until the day he dies for his short-sighted demand that state agencies not even mention the words “climate change”. Florida is the state with literally the most to lose, and the first ones who will lose it.

  8. I still have faith that democracy will work out in the end. Part of what went wrong in the recent two decade’s elections has been a lack of participation. When there is low voter turn out, then not only are the crazies the main voting force, but there is such a concentration of crazy that it overwhelms what sanity there is. Trump has inspired people who bought the line that their vote doesn’t count to realize that if they don’t start showing up, those who do will wreck the place. Higher turnout will lead to maybe better people wanting to run and maybe in aggregation, more level headed politicians.

    Also, I think the Conservative Movement will recover eventually. I’ve seen polls over the years that show the 40 and under crowd in the Conservative Movement being rather sane when it comes to what issues are the problem and what solutions need to be worked towards. The problem with the Conservative Movement right now is that it is run by the 50+ Baby Boomer crowd that thinks we are flying on Flight 93 into the Apocalypse.

      1. Of course not all Boomers, but whenever I see polls, a majority of conservative Boomers are in the Trump camp like a minority of conservative GenX and conservative Millennials are in the Trump camp.

    1. I’m ok, thanks for asking. This stuff is hard to watch. And it’s personal, in that I invested years of work in people I knew up close and trusted, who turned out to be cowards (or worse) when it mattered. Trump changed some material plans in my life. There has to be a place to drain away some of that outrage, and sometimes this blog is that place.

      1. Do you ever consider that these people with whom you worked on conservative issues always had feet of clay? They just hadn’t been tested by the likes of DJT? As you note, the Republican majority had a choice: they could stand up to Trump with Mike Pence as a back up, or, they could fold. History will record their complicit cowardice and lack of principle.

      2. EJ

        Good to hear you’re okay. I understand that you’re angry, and I am too. I also know that you know better than to think outing prominent gay people is okay, even if they’re powerful and hateful, so I’ll spare you the lecture.

        The reason I asked if you were okay is that you are repeating, almost in the same words, points made by the American youtuber Peter Coffin, a man so far Left that he broadcasts in front of a picture of a hammer and sickle. I’ve known you for some time, and while I’m aware that you’re searching for a new political home, the actual genuine big-C Communists may not be a good place to find it.

      3. It doesn’t take an ideology to have eyes and ears. I would imagine that we’re all observing a lot of the same things, and maybe coming to some similar conclusions despite different beliefs on policy and process. Since the 16 election I’ve found myself in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with David Atkins at the Washington Monthly an awful lot on social media, where we used to clash. Not a fun time.

        https://washingtonmonthly.com/people/david-atkins/

      4. “And it’s personal, in that I invested years of work in people I knew up close and trusted, who turned out to be cowards (or worse) when it mattered. ”

        That is a pain so many of us feel. And to make it worse, we have the perfect storm of bad human psychology working against those who sold out seeing the light and repenting: 1) the tribal tendencies of humans, 2) the fact that it is much easier to con people than to get them to admit that they got conned, 3) and what’s probably the biggest sunk-cost fallacy in human history. What’s another piece off your soul if you’ve already chipped away so much?

        Like you Chris, I have people in my life who have disappointed me. All I can do right now is wall that off and expend effort where it’s possible to make a difference. At least I have 2 candidates who I can enthusiastically work FOR. Beto O’Rourke is obviously the first one, and I’ve pledged out some of my time in the next few months (as the grant writing is done until the next round in Dec.). My Democratic candidate for TX-22, Sri Preston Kulkarni, is also someone I can support with passion, even though he’s a bigger longshot than Beto. I got to meet him a few weeks ago, and he’s in the same mold as Beto, smart, willing to mingle with all the people, and above all, decent. He was very happy that I posed a science question (what legislative approaches did he support to deal with climate change) to him. I am also resolving in my online discussions, whenever possible, to minimize any further mention of the Mango Mussolini. Better to bash the foul policies than give him more attention. Better to talk up the good people.

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