Can careening House misfits double down what made Trump unelectable—and dodge electoral suicide?

How do two failed House years, after the wildly absurd kick-off, not wreck the right, not the left?

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Image Credit: CNN

Brace for more profane, reality-denying bluster about “expunging Trump impeachment” 

As enduring as the universe, time moves in one relentless direction, for our cosmos. Maybe elsewhere time is different, but on our turf the past creates the present, in turn setting future time. Second chance redos—strictly forbidden, no need for the Supreme Court. What was IS and remains as permanent as things are, end stop. Not even a fundamentalist God magically reverses the past, a pleasantry that only science fiction writers fancy. Nothing can make America pure or “great again” by corrupting the past, from “whose bourn/ No traveler returns,” quoth Hamlet. So we can reinterpret, but nix the re-fix the past delusion.

Thus, imagine my amusement when stumbling on this bizarre, yet revealing headline, “[Speaker] McCarthy says he’s willing to look at expunging a Trump impeachment.” I say, “Go for it. What, only one? Cowards! Open indefensible wounds and further jeopardize the party’s future. Hand Democrats another center stage to dramatize the overwhelming evidence of not just one, but two (count ‘em) justified impeachments. Wacko extremists on the march. When facing an infinite abyss, nothing impedes pinheads in free fall.

Wishing away anything past that offends one’s current lies must qualify as the dumbest, dead-end intellectual crime ever. You can’t greatly control the future—or re-manufacture the past. Yet (literally) reactionary Rethugs already scoff at indisputable election results and unambiguous Constitutional statutes. From the eternal past. Even whether Jan. 6 was just a figment of our (liberal) imagination. Just this week, the Deranged One claimed “virtually nothing happened.” The most devastating. least publicized message on that clownish Trump uprising: the utter void of principles at stake (a necessary input for revolution), only a vicious, violent, single-minded amateur hour at power-seizing: To overturn a fair, majority election. To openly, crassly violate the majority and a century of rules that tabulate the people’s voice. Off the springboard, into bottomless abyss.

Can centrist voters, having already endured weeks of crushing House indictment formalities, cheer on another such stunt, especially since any such nullification soap opera would only verify unspeakably low GOP motives? Where’s the Constitutional necessity to “expunge” a legitimate House vote—and does that help anyone, even Trump? This is unimpeded, unforced insanity, a doomed attempt to cleanse indelibly-stained double impeachments. Without electoral upside (where it counts), rehashing the past speaks only to thuggery.

Imagine the ridicule, imagine the fallout, imagine the deadest of dead ends. While shrunken right-wing brains are at it, why not also “expunge” the last three national elections, considering their exemplary underperformance? Why not make Democratic presidencies null and void, the past merely a rough draft that any partisan rump can pervert at will? Unelect Obama and blame Birtherism. As with vaccines (that “kill”) or election denial (to offset “corruption”), invoke your party’s lurid fantasies. That way their intellectual fascism matches clearly parallel fascist control aspirations. Sky’s the limit.

The new big doomed lie

Here’s the next Big Lie in spades, with the same chance for success. Again emerges the rightwing fallacy that politics itself is only a big, fat joke—along with the malleable past open to magic reworking by whoever holds the gavel. Imagine the media hysteria as McCarthy’s “impeachment expungers” plunge heedlessly into their own, self-made hellish firestorm, another nail in the party’s coffin. Want the formal non-justification? As if written by the Fixated-in-chief, pearls from Oklahoma Senator Markwayne Mullin: “Democrats used their second impeachment resolution to once again weaponize one of the most grave and consequential powers of the House. This was never about the Constitution; it was rooted in personal politics.” 

“Once again”? Mandatory. “Weaponize” (as if the right doesn’t commit such atrocities daily)? “Never” about the Constitution? Oh please! Did Markwayne (!) sleep through both Senate trials? Another clueless deviant who knows as much about the Constitution as Hershel the imbecilic GA senate candidate. Such know-nothing obstacles would invalidate impeachment, even after the abomination of a president inciting his own self-serving insurrectionist. Down the GOP abyss goes law and justice. 

Like Trump since 2020, apparently House thugs can’t wait to squander a rare opportunity—their next shot at political redemption. For those of us who think that Trump stupidity needlessly destroyed his re-election chances (thus the necessity of the Big Lie), are not House Trumplicans replaying the same, agenda-less song, inviting further ruination? Sorry to repeat—but world-class yokels can’t resist self-destruction by offending the majority until gaining unelectability.

Even in degraded times, minorities don’t rule. Look, abortion is a total loser except in districts where it doesn’t matter. Ditto, (pointless) threats to Medicare and Social Security (guaranteed losers), or defunding the Defense Dept., attacks on election/voting rights, jeopardizing the country’s creditworthiness, or sounding off with anti-Ukraine, anti-national security, anti-FBI, anti-DOJ, anti-FISA, anti-Fauci crusades. Where oh where is any evidence that investigating Hunter Biden or impeaching Joe expands their support from independents? Fail at bad messaging, fail at elections. 

Parties get better or worse

Is anything GOP now capable of expanding the Trump/Tea Party voting base? Further, if the right exposes no new malfeasance or corruption, will it not be pilloried for malicious, witch-hunting, tax-wasting propaganda? Are these Big Lie-addled politicians (and/or slaves to right-wing oligarchs) so deluded they think potential prospects are just as dumb, every one a sucker dying for rampant scapegoating? Doing Nothing is bad enough; doing only grievance, whining and evil culture wars are worse. Embracing Trump is a double loser (as he blows the nomination) and his reputation plunges after reams of direct legal scrutiny and trials.

In short, will the House gangsters, beholden to media pandering to replenish coffers, really spend two years in counterproductive, suicidal obsessions? Such House tantrums won’t even change the extremist Supreme Court—though another noxious round of high court whoppers (like on abortion) sends deviants in purple districts running for the hills. Lying frauds like George Santos only reinforce the image of full-court mendacity. 

“Stunt politics on steroids” describe the opening House mayhem as strategic governance books a long vacation. Friends worry that what’s left of our besieged democracy is vulnerable. I see both the chaos ahead but also potential good news. Does not an unrepresentative House of hucksters offer a golden opportunity for reality-based adults to pommel (again) the right-wing power base, if not their big donors? Losers over time are losers, hardly conduits for more payola. Pushing the most unpopular agenda imaginable will not injure liberal strongholds but will verify this party, and whomever it nominates, as not serious endorsements of disruptive nonsense. How do two failed House years, after the wildly absurd kick-off, not wreck the right, not the left?

By 2024, economic conditions will have stabilized, interest rates and inflation will soften, the pandemic will recede (or be a minor threat) and the unilateral Russian brutality in Ukraine must reach an end point. All that lifts the Democrats for the foreseeable future—with impacts eventually on the high court. The Trumplicans, afflicted with a zero, ordinary people-friendly agenda, nasty rights rhetoric, as well as the Big Lie Trump anchor, let alone McCarthy’s dismal standing, cannot govern. That means they can’t win a presidential election, personalities aside, and likely forego the House. 

At this rate, Rethugs will be far weaker in ‘24 than in ‘20, certainly than in ‘16. Like marriages, sports teams, and real estate prices, political parties either go up or down in standing: they either expand or shrink. Anyone taking bets?

FALL FUNDRAISER

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For over a decade, Robert S. Becker's independent, rebel-rousing essays on politics and culture analyze overall trends, history, implications, messaging and frameworks. He has been published widely, aside from Nation of Change and RSN, with extensive credits from OpEdNews (as senior editor), Alternet, Salon, Truthdig, Smirking Chimp, Dandelion Salad, Beyond Chron, and the SF Chronicle. Educated at Rutgers College, N.J. (B.A. English) and U.C. Berkeley (Ph.D. English), Becker left university teaching (Northwestern, then U. Chicago) for business, founding SOTA Industries, a top American high end audio company he ran from '80 to '92. From '92-02, he was an anti-gravel mining activist while doing marketing, business and writing consulting. Since then, he seeks out insight, even wit in the shadows, without ideology or righteousness across the current mayhem of American politics.

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