Cold Grey Pre-Dawn Open Thread: He’s Decompensating, and None of His GOP Fellows Cares

If you weren’t paying attention during Reagan’s second term, take my word: The old man was visibly falling to pieces, week by week. But unlike the current Oval Office Occupant, Ronnie at least had a wife who cared enough to fight for him, and a moderately competent bunch of advisors alert to the possibility that they themselves might be held accountable some day.

Today’s Repubs haven’t got even that rudimentary sense of self preservation — they’re just grabbing everything they can steal before the whole rotten Potemkin village falls apart.

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Brexit: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good, and just as the hideous Trump catastrophuck here in the States has rejuvenated the Democratic Party and spun comedy gold on late night TV, the rolling Brexit disaster has resulted in some damn funny professional commentary, as several jackals have pointed out in comments. Here’s a sample inspired by May’s Parliament debacle earlier this week:

The House of Commons was a Benny Hill chase on acid, running through a Salvador Dali painting in a spaceship on its way to infinity.

It was a kind of death-defying, window-shattering, epoch-shaping, never-to-be-surpassed lunacy.

The details are extravagantly complex, and if you can’t face them all, the key bit to remember is that Theresa May planned to defeat herself, then decided not to defeat herself by defeating herself, then lost. To herself.

Tom Peck, The Independent

And this:

By now, you will be aware that the prime minister failed to end her meaningful vote hoodoo, with this sequel to her last attempt – 2Meaningful 2Vote – knocked down by a margin of 149. Amusingly, some are suggesting that Meaningful Vote: Tokyo Drift could yet happen. A free vote on no deal takes place tonight, with potential amendments piling up. May herself ploughs on. It’s as if someone has popped a grey wig on Munch’s The Scream, then cast it in an ITV drama about the female governor of a category-A prison.

— Marina Hyde, The Guardian

I read those last two sentences aloud to my husband and could barely choke the words out for giggling. Also from that column, what appears to be an actual quote from “Conservative backbencher” Steve Double:

“This is a turd of a deal,” he intoned to the House of Commons, “which has now been taken away and polished, and is now a polished turd. But it might be the best turd that we’ve got.”

Speaking of turds that are far from our best, America’s ambulatory ocher dung heap weighed in:

“I don’t think another vote would be possible because it would be very unfair to the people that won. They’d say ‘What do you mean, you’re going to take another vote?’ So that would be tough.

I thought it would happen, it did happen, and both sides are very, very cemented in. It’s a tough situation. It’s a shame.

There was no reason for that to happen. They could have had the vote and it should have gone smoothly and unfortunately it didn’t.”

The Guardian notes that “[i]n opposing a second referendum Trump lines up with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.”

Of course he does — the wily KGB man inserted his murderous claw up his puppet’s ass at some point between 1985 and 2016 and has used his pincers to move Trump’s lips ever since.

But the second part of Trump’s statement was pure Shitgibbon, once again invoking the now thoroughly exploded myth of himself as a master deal maker, failing as ever to comprehend anything more complex than “I want to eat/fuck/buy that,” and rudely shitting all over anyone with the temerity to behave as something other than a Trump flunky, no matter how inanely:

I’m surprised at how badly it’s all gone from the standpoint of a negotiation. I gave the prime minister my ideas on how to negotiate it and I think you would have been successful. She didn’t listen to that and that’s fine – she’s got to do what she’s got to do. I think it could have been negotiated in a different manner, frankly. I hate to see everything being ripped apart now.

I long for the day we get to see all these ugly turds take their final spin around the toilet bowl and then the fateful plunge straight down the sewer pipe. If the commentary and comedy are less biting after that happy day, we’ll muddle through somehow.

Open thread!

PS: I was going to Photoshop Theresa May’s hair onto an image of “The Scream” as an illustration for this post, but I recently switched computers, and my motherfucking Creative Cloud download keeps failing because Sweet Jeebus, Adobe sucks greasy green gator balls!

Pelosi: Trump’s not worth impeaching

WaPo Mag just published an interview with Speaker Pelosi. Here’s one snippet that is sure to get a lot of attention:

There have been increasing calls, including from some of your members, for impeachment of the president.

I’m not for impeachment. This is news. I’m going to give you some news right now because I haven’t said this to any press person before. But since you asked, and I’ve been thinking about this: Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.

IIRC, Pelosi had said before that it didn’t make sense to talk about impeachment until the Mueller report comes out. What changed, if anything? Does she know something about the Mueller report, such as that it is going to be withheld from the public or that it doesn’t contain enough clear-cut evidence of the Trump campaign’s conspiracy with Russia to make a convincing case for impeachment?

Is she just facing the political reality that the GOP will carry Trump’s water no matter what the report says? Are the obstructions of justice that have taken place in public just not worth the hassle since the Republicans will never put country before party?

Many Democrats who know that to be true still believe that impeachment proceedings are valuable because the hearings would dominate news coverage and ensure that even folks who don’t follow politics hear the allegations of misconduct and evidence that supports it. There’s some merit to that argument, but taking impeachment off the table (with the caveats Pelosi expressed) doesn’t put a halt to Congressional investigations in any case.

Pelosi is an incredibly skilled politician. Maybe this is how she preempts Republican talking points about “overturning an election” and the metastasizing media narrative about “Democratic overreach” — all without actually changing anything. The hearings will continue, Trump’s corruption and obstruction will be exposed (albeit in a less blockbuster setting), but Trump and his enablers’ whining about impeachment will sound like, well, whining since the Speaker said Trump isn’t worth impeaching.

FWIW, Mayor Pete Buttigieg had a similar take on impeaching Trump during yesterday’s CNN town hall. Here’s the YouTube of the whole thing, which is well worth watching in its entirety — he’s an incredibly impressive candidate, IMO. His comments on impeaching Trump are at about the 33:00 mark.

Buttigieg says, “I would like to see this president and the style of politics he represents sent off through the electoral process — decisively defeated at the ballot box.”

I get that. But losing an election, even in a landslide (which likely won’t happen due to polarization) isn’t enough of a rebuke considering the gravity of Trump’s conduct. He’ll have lowered the bar permanently. What say you?

Other felony news (NC-09 edition)

He is not the only one being charged. From the Raleigh News and Observer:

Four other people — Caitlyn E. Croom, Matthew Monroe Mathis, Tonia Gordon and Rebecca Thompson — also face charges related to absentee ballot collection in Bladen County over the past two elections, Freeman said.

NC-09 Shenanigans

Who is making book as to when the first criminal charges are filed?