This is Why You Punch a Bully

Ever since Democrats took control of Congress, their defeatist caucus has warned of the dangers of challenging Trump. Just focus on passing bills where you can, they counseled, and look ahead to 2020. They explained that impeachment is a terrible idea that will, by some mysterious calculus, transform the most hated President in our history into an electoral juggernaut.

Funny enough, just days after Democrats finally buckled and announced an impeachment inquiry, support for impeachment has jumped ten points in the polls. It will climb much higher as the process advances. This demonstrates a lesson Democrats should learn quickly as they grapple with the wounded, but not-quite-dead remnant of the GOP.

Always punch a bully.

Trumpistan is reeling this weekend because Democrats finally mustered the courage, or merely the frustration, to punch back. Manafort has gone to jail and an endless string of Trump bootlickers have been cast into outer darkness, but none of these setbacks have yet been attributable by the passive, supine Democrats. Until this week, no one anywhere has felt any reason to worry about angering the Democratic Party except for other Democrats.

Republicans have routinely ignored subpoenas. They have lied under oath. They’ve hidden records and defied court orders. Apart from a few expendable criminals at the edges of the Trump orbit, none of Trump’s collaborators has yet faced any threat more serious than the fear of being banished from his presence.

This move toward impeachment is the first tentative sign that Democrats might attempt to exercise some power. Unlike the Democrats themselves, Republicans understand what this means. Like Nazis fleeing the Allied armies, Republican leaders are starting to make some cold calculations about their future. If Democrats find the will to press their advantage, Republican cowards like Romney, Sasse and Rubio who collaborated with this regime to preserve their power will buckle and run.

When facing an opponent who leans on fear and intimidation to wield power, it is always wise to confront them in the most visible and belligerent manner. A bully accumulates power by creating a myth of invincibility. Small, subservient people are drawn to that myth, easily persuaded to perform odious tasks that the bully cannot carry out alone. Those little cowardly people are drawn to the security he offers, and fear nothing in the world more than losing his protection. The worse he treats them and others the more they adore him.

A bully’s real power comes not from his own strength, but from the power he borrows from his menagerie of cheap souls. Bloody his nose and the magnet holding his toadies in place is weakened. Threaten his toadies while the bully is still bleeding, and they will scatter like cockroaches under a light.

This isn’t over by a long shot. Trump’s craven defenders will be looking for any sign of Democratic weakness to steel their shivering spines. But if Democrats hold their will to confront Trump’s mafia, the cowardly Republicans in the Senate might finally find something worse than Trump to fear. As that fear spreads, a Titanic of leaks will emerge, as sniveling Trump toadies cut deals to save their skins. Always punch a bully, and keep whaling on him until someone comes to pull you off.

25 Comments

  1. There is still one problem with this. Republicans right now are simply holding their breath, a field of political ostriches with their head in the dirt waiting for the storm to blow over.

    They agree with everything, and are still learning intently on how to bully Democrats. They have gained a taste of what it’s like to walk the path of corruption: socially engineering elections, consequence free defiance of congressional and constitutional authority.

    Just because Trump is gone doesn’t mean the immigrant concentration camps, and the suppression of Democrat and women’s rights doesn’t go away. These are things that have traction because of the Republican party, NOT Trump. Trump broke the ice, pushed farther than any would have dared, and now there is new territory that can be trod on without the slightest care for who gets hurt, all in the name of power.

    These cockroaches may scatter in the light, these ostriches may be silent, but once the Republican party isn’t under such scrutiny, once the storm blows over, nothing will have changed for them except new precedents to exploit that the Democrats would never dare to use against them.

    1. Once Trump is out of office, look for those fair-weather republicans that suddenly flock back to the party. The GOP is far from on its last ropes, it will be just as strong after Trump as it was before Trump, only twice as insane. Trump is a product of those that supported him. He’s a stupid manchild who can’t be bothered with a single coherent origional thought. Everything wrong with Trump is a parroting of the party beneath the party, the indoctrinated, mis-educated, conspiracy fostering “Trump’ base the GOP cultivated for itself. These people don’t die off when Trump is gone, what they cry for won’t change. Trump Version 2.0 is the danger: everything Trump is, but with the psychopathic intelligence to not make Trump’s attention-seeking mistakes.

    1. I don’t see Mitt Romney as a new Barry Goldwater as suggested, but I do agree with the logic of the article that the republican party is in need of “saving itself “. The problem with this piece is that the Republican Party of today has already sold its soul. There are no conservative principles left to defend. Instead, The GOP is plotting damage control and how to spin yet another truth into a lie. Unfortunately, they’re very good at this. Equally sad is their base that so willingly embraces their fabrications.

      https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/republicans-who-back-impeachment-can-save-country-gop-ncna1059896

  2. EJ

    One of the things that gives me hope is that Chris has been, at high speed, re-learning all the things that antifascist activists have learned since 2012. If a former pro-business Republican can catch up on developing good praxis, so can anyone.

    By late 2021, at this rate, Chris will have caught up. Then he might overtake the rest of us. I am excited to see what that would look like.

  3. Jim Jordan continues to. E a hypocritical tool:

    https://www-m.cnn.com/2019/09/29/politics/jim-jordan-ukraine-fact-check-jake-tapper-cnntv/index.html?r=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnn.com%2F

    The GOP strategy is quite predictable- cherry pick the facts that suit you (Hunter Biden got a cushy job paying $50K/ month, Joe Biden was involved in getting the Ukrainian prosecutor fired), and feign deafness when presented with inconvenient facts (the Ukrainian prosecutor wasn’t doing his job, his firing was desired by the US government AND the IMF AND some members of the EU AND Ukrainian anti-corruption groups, Trump’s 3 oldest children are taking advantage of their father’s office to enrich themselves ). Tapper did a decent job of pushing back, but I’d like to see the press kick it up a notch- tell these tools to their faces that they are cherry picking and lying by omission.

    It is skeevy that Hunter got that job? Hell yes!! It is illegal? Unfortunately no. Another question the press needs to ask these tools is what anti-corruption bills are they currently sponsoring? If Congress actually passed a bill that barred close relatives of government officials from taking these sorts of jobs, most Americans would applaud.

  4. When are we going to figure something out. If you think its important to regulate something, you have to ensure that you have enough information to actually know what’s going on. Anything less is a “fake” rule that is merely virtue signalling, usually used to punish someone only when they are a big enough idiot to shove proof that they are not complying in an authority figure’s face. This is, sadly, a fair description of all our anticorruption rules.

    If you seriously want to stop corruption, you need a whole lot of information. Public figures, who have lots of authority but less–mostly infinitesimal–accountability (like elected officials, judges, etc.) need to essentially forswear privacy. We need to grow up and realize that by the time someone is voted out of office, the damage is already done. Really power public officials need to have people essentially living up way up their digestive tract checking out their finances, living arrangements, discussions with lobbyists, participation in deals, etc. Otherwise we’re all just kidding ourselves, hoping for an ethical Daddy or Mommy to save us.

    1. I concur. So does FEC Chair Ellen Weintraub, Democrat, one of three remaining members of this body. Apparently, trump doesn’t want this commission to be able to function. Neither does the republican member, Carolyn Hunter, who blocked a draft memo by Weintraub regarding foreign election contributions from being published in the FEC Digest, an official government publication. The timing is a bit awkward given “Ukraine “.

      Unfortunately for the republican member, Ms. Weintraub was having none of this. She borrowed a page from trump’s playbook and released her report in 53 consecutive tweets. Ah, i love smart, clever people who persist in finding ways to get truth out.

      Note: the first link sets the background for succeeding actions by Weintraub and the tweet link is second.
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/09/28/elections-chief-says-gop-colleague-blocked-wide-release-her-foreign-activity-memo/

      https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1177719828632739842.html

  5. The important thing is NOT TO STOP

    When Trump is out of office he MUST go to jail!
    As must his enablers

    If I was in charge I would investigate ALL of them – every Democratic and Republican Senator and Congressperson for the last 20 years
    All of the senior members of the last five administrations

    If they have broken the LAW – slap them in jail

    The lesson that MUST be learned is break the law and go to jail

  6. I more than alluded to this in my previous comments to your last post:

    Precisely, when have the Dem’s in the past 5 years (including when the Kentucky fascist killed Obama’s right to choose a member of SCOTUS) demonstrated the competency and ruthlessness to execute the impeachment process successfully?

    Do you really have faith in them to deliver this to the Senate, and then use this as a weapon in the political process. And please, none of “but it is the right thing to do” nonsense.

    This is a war, with few casualties, so far, and the other side is not fighting by any set of rules, but fights to win.

  7. It is rare that I agree with George Will (though more often since his dispatch of trump. His statement in an article today summarizes the thrust of Chris’ post as only Will can do, to wit: “Impeachment, however dubious, might at least be a leading indicator of an overdue calibration of our institutional equilibrium “. WaPo.

  8. I believe that Pelosi was waiting for the right opportunity to strike, meanwhile she was lying the foundation. When Ukraine situation was exposed and the 7 Dems came out for impeachment last weekend, that was her opportunity. She grabbed it. This matter is so simple and straight forward that it is easy for the American public to grasp the significance, so it is a perfect opportunity to move expeditiously.

    I remember reading her comments on a late night talk show several months ago, when she basically said that the House was effectively doing an impeachment inquiry and that when the foundation was laid they would move. She also said at that time she was totally through with Trump. I was one who supported her renewed Speakership, because she had the experience and the chops to do the job. However, many disagreed with me.

    Now, I see impeachment as being very likely. The next challenge is moving the impeachment to the floor of the Senate. That is going to be a Herculean task, given the McConnell will probably attempt to quash it. In so far as I am aware, 20 Republican senators will have to vote against their leader to force a trial against McConnell’s wishes. I believe that is essentially impossible. The other possibility is for McConnell to conclude that the public pressure is so great that he will lose his majority or that he will lose his own seat, if he fails to allow a trial. Those are probably the most likely paths. Since Pence is involved in this to his eyes, he could well be impeached as well. That could be McConnell’s hook. He will let the trial occur. And if Trump is convicted, then Pence would pardon Trump. The other possibility is that Trump resigns from office and flees to Moscow per Chris’ fantasy of some months back.

    Regardless, I concur that a bully needs to be punched. For too long the D’s have not punched. As a result, the Repugs (and Trump in particular) have come to feel that they can do anything. But that is always the way things work in a democracy (America in particular). People do not act until they are desperate. When the time is right a leader suddenly emerges. That leader may have been laying the groundwork and is in a position to take advantage of the opportunity when it emerges. That was the case in the leadup to WWII. FDR was ready and when Pearl Harbor occurred, he grabbed the opportunity. LBJ grabbed the opportunity of Kennedy’s death and the congressional supermajority in 1965 to move and get the Great Society legislation passed along with the Civil Rights legislation.

    In so far as my politician’s are concerned there Is little I can do to influence them. My representative, Pramila Jayapal, is one of the leaders. The other six of Washington’s D reps have declared for an impeachment inquiry. Both of our Senators have also. Two of the Republican reps have refused to comment. One of them could well be defeated this election cycle. I am already contributing monthly to her opponent. When the time comes I can perhaps do other things. The other two are in safe R districts.

  9. It’s worth noting that Elizabeth Warren was the first democratic presidential candidate to publicly call for trump’s impeachment. She led. So did republican Justin Amash at great personal political risk. Both of these members of Congress have reminded us what principled leadership is. The seven democratic freshmen members of Congress Fly referenced hopefully are what future leaders of the Democratic Party will be. One in particular really stood out, commander Elaine Luria. I watched an interview of this amazing woman this week by Rachel Maddow. Here’s a link.

    https://search.yahoo.com/search?p=maddow+interview,+elaine+luria&fr=iphone&.tsrc=apple&pcarrier=AT&T&pmcc=310&pmnc=410

    1. Both my Senators and congress man Posey are defending that piece of sh#t Trump. Posey yesterday posted some right wing fantasy to defend Teymp on face book. Guessing those not accepting that of his constituents was 2 to 1 against Trump. Plenty of bots and trolls defending Trump. But Face Book let’s you know who is an actual constituent. Posey is as nut wing right as they come. Grr was gerrymandered into his district to mute Democrat power. Seems many citizens in this conservative district may not be able to stomach treason by Trump.

  10. When it comes to punching a bully, someone has to have the guts to go first. I think that it’s a big deal that 7 brave Dems, who are freshman Reps with military/ intelligence backgrounds and from swing districts, wrote that Op-Ed in the Washington Post declaring that Trump’s Ukraine shakedown crossed the line and demanded action. This sort of courage has been sadly lacking with our elected officials.

    Shielding new Dems in the swing districts had been both an excuse and an understandable reason for Speaker Pelosi to try to discourage impeachment. It’s an issue in these districts; anyone in the Houston area with a TV would have seen multiple attack ads against Lizzie Fletcher in TX-7, trying to paint her as a would be stooge of Pelosi, during the 2018 campaign. These people are taking risks, and the Dems trying to flip the next batch are treading carefully (Sri Kulkarni has publicly endorsed the investigation). But I think that helped force Pelsoi’s hand, and it got the ball rolling.

    Also kudos to the brave whistleblower and best wishes for his/her safety. It isn’t easy being a hero and the worst is yet to come for that person, I fear. The cult will be lashing out.

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