Oh Please, Merrick Garland, SOS!

Robert Reich’s first three sentences of his newsletter this morning echoes my own sentiments exactly.  I don’t want to write about him, don’t want to hear his name or see his ugly mug, and I will go one step further on the third point … I wish he didn’t exist.  Never in my 71 years has a single person disgusted and sickened me as much as the former guy.  But the reality is … we cannot afford to ignore him.

Trump Redux

He looms over the 2022 midterm elections. He cannot be ignored or wished away.

By Robert Reich

24 October 2022

I really don’t want to write about him any more. I’d rather not even think about him. Honestly, I’d rather forget he existed.

But he looms over the 2022 elections like a sword of Damocles. Trump continues to dominate all political coverage. In many respects, he is still the center of American politics — if anything, bigger and more dangerous than he was when he left the White House.

First, consider all the action in federal and state courts.

Just within the last two weeks, Trump has been subpoenaed to appear before the January 6 committee, his appeal to the Supreme Court challenging the FBI’s seizure at Mar-a-Lago of secret documents he stole from the White House was rejected, his former aide Steve Bannon was sentenced to four months in prison for contempt of Congress, a federal appeals court denied a request by Sen. Lindsey Graham to be shielded from testifying in an investigation into Trump’s interference in the 2020 election in Georgia, other aides were observed after testifying before a grand jury in the criminal investigation of Jan. 6, his name was featured in text messages read aloud at the Oath Keepers trial, and his decision to form a new company (Trump Organization II) was criticized by the New York attorney general, who is suing him.

Never before in history has a former president, his aides, and supporters in Congress been as entangled in legal proceedings stretching years beyond his administration. Never have the legal maneuvers attracted more media attention.

Second is the continuing speculation about whether Merrick Garland will indict him.

The Jan 6 committee has done an outstanding job, but it has also helped Trump become a more historically significant. As Politico’s John Harris noted,  

“The usual journalistic crutch when assessing political legacies is ‘for better or worse,’ but in this case it is only for worse. Trump’s historic significance flows from how effectively he has made people doubt what was previously beyond doubt — that American democracy is on the level — and how brilliantly he has illuminated just how much this generation of Americans looks at one another with mutual contempt and mutual incomprehension.”

While the Jan. 6 committee has dismantled Trump’s deceptions and denialism surrounding the 2020 election, it has also helped build Trump into something larger than he appeared two years ago — a political force too serious to forget. That’s not a bad thing; we must not allow ourselves to forget what he has done to America. But it does cast his shadow over our future in ways few former presidents have ever managed.

Third is the groundwork for an undemocratic coup that Trump and his henchmen continue to lay.

That groundwork is being prepared step by step. A majority of Republican candidates for office in the 2020 midterms are election deniers, including several candidates for the crucial election jobs of secretaries of state and governors.  

The tactics they and their supporters used in primary elections force us to brace for a range of new challenges in the upcoming midterms and in 2024, including disruptive poll watchers and workers, aggressive litigation strategies, voter and ballot challenges and vigilante searches for fraud.

He will almost certainly declare his candidacy for president in 2024 within the next few months.

Just as menacingly for 2024 and beyond, the Supreme Court has taken up the “independent state legislature” doctrine. If upheld, this doctrine would allow state legislatures to do exactly what Trump tried to do in December 2020 — appoint their own slates of electors, regardless of the popular vote.

Finally, Twitter and Facebook are poised to allow Trump back on — to continue to spread his lies on the largest megaphones in the world.

Trump is not only a sociopath. He is also a masterful conman. Social media will soon allow him to continue to spread his lies and hate. (Elon Musk has virtually guaranteed it for Twitter if, as expected, Musk takes over that platform. Facebook has signaled it will do the same.)

A sociopathic conman on social media is terrifying.

It is our terrible misfortune that Trump came to power and continues to infect America and the world just as the tangled weave of other crises — near-record inequality, bigotry (racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia), the climate, the pandemic — have made many Americans vulnerable to his demagoguery.

I didn’t want to write about him today or even think about him. But none of us dares turn our eyes away in revulsion.

Rather than ignore him, we must demand that Trump be prosecuted. Instead of pretending the poison he released into the American system is behind us, we must acknowledge that it is spreading.

As opposed to dismissing him, we must deal with him and the lawmakers who are enabling him head-on — and stop him, and them, through every non-violent means possible.

21 thoughts on “Oh Please, Merrick Garland, SOS!

  1. As mentally incompetent people are arranging to take the US down the toilet into hell whether they win or lose the next election, I would be making a plan B. Emigrating to Canada would probably be the best bet. If Trump wins they will make life hard for free choices and lock up all the Democratic leaders. Trump will likely try to arrange a military force consisting of serving sympathetic Republican soldiers, commanders and civilians to force his dictatorship on the country like Mr Putin and Kim Jong-un, but I doubt this would be successful and it may cause a kind of civil war. If he loses the election all these idiots you see in shopping centres and running around the countryside with military weapons will be at fever pitch with anger and start shooting, so I cannot see what else you can do.

    I understand this comment is a bit stupid and over the top but I do not mean to cause any stress to Americans, I see Trump as a frustrated dictator with a huge cult following of zombies and that is very dangerous even if they are not quite the majority.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have certainly considered that Plan B … sigh. But, at age 71 and with serious health issues, I’m not sure I would be able to make the move, or even be welcomed in Canada or anywhere else. However, I would like to secure a better place for my daughter Chris, and granddaughter Natasha before I exit stage left. No, your comment is not stupid at all … it is insightful and prescient. Sadly so. This nation has undergone changes that … 15 years ago, I could not have imagined. In part, it is due to immigration, but in larger part I believe it is pushback against having elected a Black president — not once, but twice! Racism still reigns this country … I just didn’t realize to what extent until recently. Sigh.


  2. Jill, after today’s criminal charges for corporate tax fraud following civil charges for corporate fraud, there remain three pending legitimate indictments forthcoming on seditious acts surrounding the January 6 insurrection, election meddling in Georgia and taking classified information to an unsecured place. The former president claims this is all a witch-hunt. Well he must be an effing witch because they are accusing the right person. Donald J. Trump must be held accountable or the next illicit behaving president will act with impunity. It is really that simple. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • Too bad there isn’t another for lying to We the People, for playing down the pandemic and causing hundreds of thousands of deaths, for convincing people to act against their own best interests. But … sigh … whatever charges can stick and put him away, out of the public eye, make him ineligible to run in 2024, I’ll settle for. Heh heh … I like the way you said that … “he must be an effing witch” … and I agree, for we’ve seen enough to know that he has done everything he is accused of and probably more that we may never know!

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  3. Pingback: Oh Please, Merrick Garland, SOS! | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

  4. While I agree he is a menace to end all menaces, I have to say the truly horrifying fact is that it is the masses who adore him that are most dangerous. Their insanity was unleashed by his Cheetoheadness but would continue the long after the door is locked and the key thrown away on Trump the man.

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      • While I am not the brightest optimist these days, I cannot allow myself to believe that we are ‘doomed’, Mary. If we believe that, then we give up, and if we give up, then yes we will be doomed. So, do what I do when I get down. I have a talk with myself … a “Me, Myself and I” chat, as it were. Head up, shoulders back, long steps, and positive thoughts. DO the best you can, encourage others to do the same, and never lose hope.

        Liked by 3 people

    • You are absolutely right, my friend. It is the ignorance of the masses that pose the greatest danger. Remember those ads, I think it was for United Negro College Fund, where the moderator would intone, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”? Well, it seems there is a lot of waste in this country today. And I don’t know how we overcome that. I wish I had an answer.

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  5. There is no doubt, Trump must be imprisoned, not just jailed. He needs to be held in solitary confinement, because he is the Thyphoid Mary of the populist virus in today’s world, and needs to be contained. And this Trump pandemic needs to be stopped in its tracks!

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