“I never met a man I didn’t like…until Donald Trump came along.”
– Toilet stall wall in Atlanta, Will Rogers (but not that one)
Well, it seems like President Donald J. Trump intends to leave office the same way he entered — under the cloud of a scandal involving tape recordings of his outrageous words. First, it was PussyGate that revealed that “women will let you grab them and anything,” and now, PeachGate, with his blurted notion that he could grab Georgia by her gooshy voter protocols and twist them. Carpe Scrotum, seems to be his motto. Giuliani likes to “pull it,” too.
While the MSM wears sheepish grins to these crass doings (they’ve been there themselves here, here, here, and here), humankine just mows the koan and chews the cud, unsullied by these late, sad, sad ruminations.
But even though Republicans are now just turning their backs on the Elephant Man in the Room, all-too-visible, and as naked as Dylan seemed to croak about president Nixon in “It’s Alright, Ma,” in that live, passionate Down In the Flood album version. Down in the Flood. Could be the anthem for our age, again. (Jesus, was the Bard from Duluth prescient or what?). Even though…We mustn’t get too fixated on Trump’s pixilations as we sort out what happened a couple of days ago in Georgia.
Another stupid smoking gun phone call, with Trump this time doing his chummy, veiled- threat best to talk Georgia’s secretary of state (in charge of determining which votes count) into “finding” more votes for him. This might seem like a crazy thing for Trump to do brazenly, with several ear witnesses listening in on the conversation, according to Democracy Dies Daily, which broke the story. But, actually, from DJ’s point of view, he probably thought “finding votes” in the Peach State was quite do-able. It might be the current most corrupt state in the Union.
According to the quite reliable and very persuasive investigative journalist, Greg Palast, who reported yesterday, that Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is “no hero defending democracy from Trump…[he has been] exposed for using vote suppression Jim Crow tactics — even misleading a federal court to keep 198,000 Georgians from voting in Tuesday’s Senate run-off.” Palast even embeds a video explaining how the con worked. That’s right, the same Raffensperger (whose name translated from German means, roughly, “clumsy grabber,” so he has that in common with Trump already). I’m surprised SS Glad Clumsygrabber didn’t offer to send DJ a basket of clingstones (but does he dare to eat a peach? Is any mermaid safe?).
But that’s not even the half of it. Raffensperger seems to be taking a play out of his predecessor’s book of electoral machinations, Mein Kemp. Georgia Governor Brad Kemp (whose German name means “footsoldier”) was caught up in a scandal in 2019 when he ran for governor against Stacey Abrams and, as secretary of state — while he was running for governor — oversaw the greatest self-serving voting heist in history (that we know of). According to Palast, in How Trump Stole the 2020 Election,
Of the half million voters Kemp purged for supposedly moving their residence, 340,134 had never moved an inch. But now, the Lenser team found nearly 100,000 more who had moved within their county—and therefore, they too should never have been purged. The total of wrongfully scrubbed voters was now over 400.000.
Kemp should have been chased from politics and jailed. Instead, he’s governor.
Why wouldn’t Trump think Glad Clumsygrabber would be up for a similar purge — even at such a late hour — given the spectacular corruption in Georgia on display. In the same book, Palast went on to detail how Trump, and his Republican conspirators (no theory), had stolen the 2016 presidential election — not with the help of the Russians, but with the help of voter purges. What Trump was doing the other day was what his cohorts did in 2016, successfully. And, while we’re it, the reason why 2020 was “was one of the smoothest and most well-run elections.” according to Ben Hovland, a Democrat appointed by Trump to serve on the Election Assistance Commission, was because, this time, thank you Coronavirus (mwah), ALL THE VOTES WERE COUNTED.
Nevertheless, because the MSM so hates Trump (most sane people do), was burying the lede. The corruption that Trump sought in Georgia was so fucking common that had Corona not forced so many voters to mail in their ballots, drawing extraordinary media scrutiny of the process, Trump would have won re-election. If not for Corona, the 12,000 votes Trump wanted Clingstone to “find” would have been practically automatic discoveries. Let’s not forget that Georgia was one of four states where Trump, even with all the scrutiny and votes counted, had results with the 1% margin — meaning, a recount was needed.
The MSM couched their coverage of Trump’s phone call to Georgia’s Secretary of State in respectful language, because he’s not the target of their wrath (although he should be, too). Instead, the NYT was respectful (as they should be) in their approach, never mentioning the 198.000 votes purged, nor connecting said votes with Trump’s request (as they should have — for balance). In the piece, when Trump “alleged that 250,000 to 300,000 ballots were ‘dropped mysteriously into the rolls,’” it almost sounds like he’s pissed off that the Kemp-like numbers of disenfranchised voters hadn’t been delivered for him.
We read that Trump, in his call, threatened legal action against Cling Peaches and state lawyer Ryan Germany (what the fuck is it with Georgia and Germans), which is just plain funny, and sounds vaguely like comic book extortion (you know, the malignant wink). If Trump were a Mafia don, as described by the MSM, surely there would have been 12,000 beheaded peaches in Raffenclunger’s bed, bleeding their sweet juices all over him. “Heilig saftiger Pfirsich,” he might have exclaimed and got on his high horse to Germany, so that the two could putsch out the offending ballots.
But what really rubbed my gollywag the wrong way is not getting from the MSM the source of the phone call — the specific agent of delivery. WaPo, which broke the story, doesn’t say who helped them “obtain” the tape. The Guardian doesn’t say. Even the bolshy World Socialist Web Site goes limply along with WaPo without questioning the source. The NYT does tell us that they “acquired” the tape of the phone conversation from some unknown source at the secretary of state’s office. Which brings up the question of access to the conversation and motives. It also raises the question of whether the “leak” was the result of whistleblowing — you know, if you hear something wrong, report it. Well, the “pressure exerted” by Trump was wrong and impeachable, but the Press doesn’t ask these questions about access, motives or whistleblowing. Like the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that reported on the Atlanta, Georgia Olympic bombing in 1996, they’re okay with reporting with un-named sources. And most of the time reporting on White House doings over the years, they rely on Voice of God reporting.
Although, in fairness, the NYT piece does point out the “similarity” to the eavesdropping and smuggled information coming out of the 2019 phone conversation between Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky that led to Trump’s impeachment. We don’t learn much more than has been reported already about the CIA whistleblower, who ratted on Trump, first going to Adam Schiff in the House, then being directed correctly to the IG, who then, eventually, forwarded a whistleblower action on behalf of CIA agent, which was followed by his name being leaked by RealClearInvestigations and Republican Senator Rand Paul live on C-Span in chamber, which led to Democrats calling for protection of his identity, which led to ex-CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou declaring the agent a non-whistleblower and probably put into play to take down Trump and how if he were real his career would be short-lived at the rat-hating CIA (he’s still there) and that maybe John Brennan, previously frustrated by whistleblower protection that prevented him from sourcing the guy who ratted out torture, was behind it, followed by it being reported that the ‘blower had been on Obama’s NSC team, portfolio: Ukraine, raising the possibility that smartypants Obama had “droned” dumbshit Trump, followed by Paul revearing that one Mr. Misko had connived, with the Un-named, to “take down” Trump, and, and, and the guy’s name said Paul was Eric Ciaramella, and he ain’t talking, and he ain’t suing, and, and, and….welcome to America at democracy’s end.
So riddle me this: Where was Ciaramella during the Georgia phone call? Does he have an alibi? Are we looking for some Mark Felt pen type among the Georgian state legislature or even, better yet, some passed-over type at the Bureau of Investigation, maybe disgruntled, but after the Trump call breakdancing and breaking out into song:
And you knew you-know-who back then
Men were girls and girls were men
Mister, we could use a “man” like J. Edgar Hoover again
Didn’t get no Welfare state
Everybody pulled it straight
Gee my old Lazarro rose great
Those were the days!
And that’s it. We don’t know anymore. The MSM doesn’t care about Palast’s findings, the ironies, the illusions….
Well, barring any accidents or other malfeasances between now and January 20 — say a new strain of Covid-19 or slipping on ice or heartattacking or succumbing to dogfaceponysoldier syndrome or, lawd help us, Corn Pop returning seeking revenge for the hit on his rep — then Joe Biden should be raising his right hand to swear to the god Nietzsche killed about 100 years ago, promising to resurrect a democracy that most people, my age, feel died the on November 22, 1963 in Dallas. But, in any case, the shivs are already being honed and shined, the other inmates are already whistling Dixie as he passes their cells, alpha Repugs are waiting in the laundry pestling and mortaring their fists.
Oh, it’s all good sport overseas. In Ireland, they’re betting at Paddy Power (as if) that Melania will divorce Trump by the end of 2021, giving 15/8 odds. And Donald’s at 8-1 to run again in 2024, presumably, if the Melania bet pays off, with a new First Lady, maybe even some Georgia peach he met in 2013.
By the time you read this, the Georgia race may be over, and if Trump has cost the Repugnicans control of the Senate, look for them to turn on him savagely first, then fulfill their promise to take out Biden soon, and hard right after. Paddy Power doesn’t say so, yet, but I’d give odds, 1-7, that Kamala will be presiding come August 1. Gotta hunch.