Monday, August 29, 2022

The Not-So-New GOP: Guns, Oligarchy, Pollution

The National Archive in Washington DC
I wish I could take credit for that revised definition of GOP, but alas, I cannot. I found it as part of a comment attached to a Washington Post article, Inside Trump’s war on the National Archives. The commenter, AM in NC, is the originator and yes, I reached out to let him/her know I was using it. He/she replied with a variety of other versions of GOP, but this one struck me as particularly cogent. At this particular time, at least. 

See, here's the thing. After the Nixon tapes debacle, there was a giant gaping hole in how presidential records were kept. In the past, presidents were largely responsible for their own legacies, and records routinely were stored and sent to presidential libraries with little oversight. Nixon managed to change all that. That an official policy was required resulted in the Presidential Records Act that is administered by the apolitical, non-partisan National Archives Records Administration (NARA) of the United States.

Enacted November 4, 1978, the PRA changed the legal ownership of the President's official records from private to public, and established a new statutory structure under which Presidents must manage their records. The PRA was amended in 2014, to include the prohibition of sending electronic records through non-official accounts unless an official account is copied on the transmission, or a copy is forwarded to an official account shortly after creation. 


For most of American history, presidents kept their own papers and their personal ownership had never been challenged, according to a 2006 article co-written by [Gary M. ] Stern, NARA’s general counsel since 1998.
This wasn't simply about Rose Mary Woods and the 18.5 lost minutes on tape; the act was created to stop a bigger problem before it happened. Hold that thought.

Let's play a game of "What If...."  First, we have to agree on a few things that are really pretty obvious. 

Let's all agree the records handed to the NARA in January were a disorganized mess, lacked an inventory of property; all procedures for presidential records keeping appeared to have been ignored.

Let's all agree additional record requests made repeatedly since January have gone unanswered. Various agencies have presented proof of request until as a last resort, the Department of Justice was involved. 

Let's all agree that Merrick Garland was taking great pains to make certain this process was correct, above board, as transparent as possible, and as free from politics as possible...which is pretty impossible considering the recipient of the search warrant. 

What can one do with all those presidential records, including 67 labeled confidential, 92 marked secret, and 25 designated top secret?

Ready to play? Good.

What if the removal of materials sensitive to the security of these here United States was neither haphazard nor even accidental?

What if the Great Deal Maker really thinks he can make a deal because he has access to classified information? This is exactly what oligarchs do: they cut untenable deals benefitting only themselves. 

What if the guy who brought you Feckless Hotels, Feckless Airlines, and Feckless Steaks, colossal failures all, now wants to deal with his good buddies Putin, Xi Jinping, and Kim Jung-un? What's a few billion for nuclear secrets between friends?

What if this guy is selling anything and everything to the highest bidder to bankroll another coup d'etat? 

What if he succeeds?

What if the potential sale of secrets harkens to other parts of this country for sale during the Feckless Reign of Decomposition? There are those who will happily insist that the bids for mining, pipelines, and drilling are all attempts to derail the environment. 

What if there was substantial baksheesh going on in the background? I mean, have you ever heard of a government where bribery wasn't an issue? Filthy lucre changes hands for all sorts of reasons. 

What if those schemes actually put the planet we all inhabit at risk? 

And as if that was not enough grimness for one week, let's not forget that ol' Minnesota standby: antisemitism. 

At the GOP convention back in May, candidate for Secretary of State Kim Crockett wasn't satisfied with calling the 2020 election rigged and stolen, she had to ice that cake with a video depicting the current secretary, Steve Simon, a Jew, as George Soro's puppet. As reported in TC Jewfolk, a local Jewish ezine:

David Hann, the MN GOP’s chairman, released a statement on Thursday apologizing for Crockett’s video after speaking with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas.

“The MN GOP strongly condemns the rise of antisemitism in recent years from all corners, including on both sides of the political aisle,” Hann said. “We wish to assure the JCRC and our friends in the broader Jewish community that the image was not intended to invoke hostility toward the Jewish people. It should not have happened, we apologize.”

The statement is a far cry from the MN GOP’s May 18 comment to Twin Cities Axios reporter Torey Van Oot, which didn’t mention the video and instead spoke about standing with Israel while calling Democrats “radicals.”

Not that it was enough to stop the Minnesota so-called Independent Republicans from actually awarding her the nomination. As she said at the conventions:
We have to kind of embrace where we are, and have some fun. This is where we are, and I've always loved the American Revolution, and now we get to live through the second one.
Really? What exactly is she running for? I'm not quite sure it's the office of Minnesota Secretary of State. 

Lest you think that's a one-off for the local GOP, guess again. It just keeps getting better. 

The gubernatorial candidate, Dr. Scott Jensen, has compared the COVID mask mandate with the Holocaust. As reported in The Jewish Telegraphic Service on August 24th:

When the Minnesota GOP’s nominee for governor invoked Kristallnacht and Hitler at a recent anti-mask mandate rally, it was a by-now familiar scene: a public figure comparing life under COVID-19 restrictions to the days of Nazi rule.

But on Tuesday, former State Sen. Scott Jensen did something unusual: he doubled down.

“I want to speak to a little bit of a hubbub that’s been in the media lately about whether or not I was insensitive in regards to the Holocaust. I don’t believe I was,” Jensen said in a Facebook video. “When I make a comparison that says that I saw government policies intruding on American freedoms incrementally, one piece at a time, and compare that to what happened in the 1930s, I think it’s a legitimate comparison.” 

I'm guessing anyone still around with a number on his or her arm might disagree. Certainly, a whole lotta people disagreed with that odious comparison but not enough to make him stop making it. This guy is supposed to be a physician. What? He was absent the day they taught preventative medicine in med school? It's entirely possible he went to Dr. Mengele's Medical Academy with Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Rand Paul because none of those three give a tinker's damn about saving lives. (Don't even get me started on women's health issues with those three.)

But I back to Minnesota.

Once again, Minnesota is flying the antisemitic flag high as elections draw near. If anyone believes for a New York minute that Jews are safe in this state, guess again. Based on the number of flyers showing up on lawns and in mailboxes, open season on Jews is coming soon to a neighborhood near you. 

Is there a what if here? Sure there is.

What if Feckless Former Leader runs and even if he's not elected, his minions win enough seats to give White Nationalists a wedge in one or both houses of Congress? 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
A lie, if repeated enough, takes on a veneer of truth.
Truth, on the other hand, when inconvenient, is easily dismissed as a lie.
Choose your truth carefully.

No comments:

Post a Comment