Musing about law, books, and politics

Open Letter to Republican Senators

Dear GOP Senators: You’ll soon face a choice.

Will you accept the evidence of your eyes and ears, and the findings of the US intelligence community—and Mueller?

Or will you stand with Trump let him do whatever he pleases?

You won’t be able to do both.

Trump’s defense against all accusations (and his tactic for maintaining and consolidating power) is to lie.

His defense to the Ukraine scandal is a tissue of fiction, which goes like this: Trump was framed by Deep State operators. According to this story, Ukrainians—not Russians—hacked the DNC server. The innocent Russians were framed.

Moreover (so the story goes) the DNC server is now in Ukraine. The Ukrainians tried to return it to the U.S. but were blocked by Democrats. According to this theory, the Ukrainians attacked the 2016 election to help the Democrats and the American people have been scammed:

In other words, the Ukrainians (not the Russians) attacked the 2016 election to help the Democrats. So Mueller was wrong.

The “scam” was driven by “Deep State” operators—members of law enforcement and U.S. intelligence agencies out to get Trump.

Glenn Beck explains that poor victim Trump just wants the server back so he can prove his innocence.

Sen. Ron Johnson is helping to advance this story by declaring that he doesn’t trust the CIA or FBI: 

This feeds Trump’s narrative that he knows better than the intelligence community and that his gut instinct is superior to the rational logic used by intellectuals. 

If that sound familiar it’s because that is precisely how scholars like Paxton describe a cult of leadership.

 Remember when Trump said “I alone can fix it”? And when he said “I know more about Isis than the generals do?”

You stood by and let him think you agreed. So now he does whatever he pleases, including inventing his own truth.

You all know Trump lies:

Which lie is biggest is debatable.

Attacking the FBI, CIA, and journalists allows Trump to

  • torpedo truth by attacking those whose job is to find truth,
  • create a leadership cult / personal authoritarian rule, and
  • destroy those pesky regulatory agencies.

Trump & pals want to destroy regulatory agencies, because regulations and law enforcement prevent them from doing whatever they want.

Why do so many people let Trump lie? I collected the academic research and wrote this article. In a nutshell: They know the lies destroy, and they want to destroy.

As you weigh the decision you will soon face, listen as Yale professor Timothy Snyder explains why it’s so dangerous for Trump to try to get world leaders to buy into his lies.

 “This is a turn away from democracy to something much more frightening,” Snyder says. “In personal authoritarian or totalitarian regimes, the leader defines what the truth is, and then people run around trying to make the world match the fiction.”

 George Orwell already explained it. Totalitarianism (or personal authoritarian rule) succeeds by undermining factuality.

This is how Trump thinks he will

  • beat any and all charges against him,
  • consolidate power, and
  • destroy anyone or anything in his way.

Dear Republican Senators: Will you embrace a world of lies? Or will you reject Trump?

Some of you, of course, are on board with what Trump is doing. You understand that white male supremacy and liberal democracy cannot exist together.

With liberal democracy expanding and the U.S. becoming more diverse, you—like other Trump fans—are in a panic. 

Like Katie Hopkins, you think Putin rocks. You admire Russia for being “untouched by the myth of multiculturalism and deranged diversity.”

You want to return to frontier days— before regulatory agencies when [white] men could grab whatever they wanted. 

  • They could grab land!
  • They could grab people and enslave them! 
  • Before modern rape and sexual harassment laws, they could grab women!
  • Before regulatory agencies they could manipulate markets, fix prices, launder money, and pollute rivers!

 Or maybe you’re not one of those. You don’t admire Putin and you don’t want to destroy our democratic institutions and agencies.

Maybe you’ve tried to have it both ways: You tried to avoid embracing Trump’s destructive agenda while avoiding angering Trump or his supporters.

 Be warned: Soon Trump will leave you with no choice. 

Impeachment followed by a Senate Trial is coming. 

Trump will force you to openly embrace his lies, or incur his wrath.

Keep in mind Trump will lose. Our institutions are holding out. Whistleblowers are coming forward. This morning a judge ordered Trump to turn eight years of taxes over to the Manhattan DA.

The Fox viewership is aging. The Republican demographics are shrinking. Democracy will win.

You can be on the right side of this. Or not.

The choice shouldn’t be hard.

History has its eyes on you.

[View as a Twitter thread]