History

Denazification and detrumpification

The United States faces a problem similar in many ways, and different in many ways, to the problem faced by Great Britain, France, and the United States after the defeat of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis in May, 1945.
Denazification
In their respective occupation zones, which included parts of Berlin, England, France, and America faced the daunting task of governing a population whose thinking and world view had been altered by 12 years of Nazi lies and propaganda, and the terror with which the Nazi regime had ruled as it seized all positions of power and influence in the country.
The cult of Adolf Hitler was very strong.The Western Allies needed to de-program the German population in their respective occupation zones, as a first step toward laying the groundwork for a future democratic state and society.
The Western Allies held certain advantages, including military occupation and control over all governmental decisions in the British, French, and American zones of occupation and their respective sectors in Berlin.
Importantly, they also held control over all means of mass communication, including newspapers and radio.

(The Big Lie) is vaguely analogous to the “Stab-in-the-back” (“Dolchstoss”)myth Hitler and the Nazis spread in the 1920’s and early 1930’s in their drive to take power, which was ultimately successful in 1933. The “Dolchstoss” or “stab-in-the-back myth spread the totally false belief that Germany had lost world War I only as the result of betrayal by civilians on the home front, especially Jews, revolutionary socialists, and other Republican politicians.

Detrumpification: What can be done?
What can be done? What can we learn from Germany’s experience?

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The dog days of August and the Olympic Games: Time to act on Trump and the Republican fascist threat



America has become a Country of the Absurd

Reprinted, with permission, from ABSURARAMA! June 6, 2021. In the United States, perhaps 50-70 million voters, including a vast majority of Republican voters and almost…


Liz Cheney and the Republican “Gleichschaltung”

There is a movement afoot in the House of Representatives to strip Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) from her post in the House Republican Leadership. Her opponents are furiously trying to remove her because she has refused to endorse the Big Lie that Donald Trump won the November election, and that it was stolen from him by massive fraud. Cheney survived a similar challenge a few weeks ago, but she has apparently lost the support of House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and is being challenged by a proponent of the Big Lie and everything Trump. Cheney says she will not tell lies to keep her position. The whole development reminds one of what took place in Germany in the 1930’s.



Biden’s disastrous decision to withdraw all troops from Afghanistam–with links to best opinion pieces

The decision to surrender to the Taliban and abandon our Afghan allies and supporters is among the most craven and dastardly decisions in U.S. military and foreign policy history. One searches in history for a decision of such dishonorable magnitude.

The comparison that comes to mind is the agreement by Neville Chamberlain of England and Ėdouard Daladier of France with Adolf Hitler at Berchtesgaden in Bavaria in October, 1938. The agreement, known as the Munich Pact, has become synonymous with betrayal and appeasement

That will be Joe Biden’s legacy, unless he changes course, which seems unlikely.



In Memoriam: The Republican Party (March 20, 1854-February 13, 2021)

While severely ailing for the last four years, The Republican Party entered its death throes and died on February 13, 2021.
This constitutional argument had been twice rejected by the full Senate, which under the Constitution has the sole authority to determine how it will proceed in impeachment cases.

Consequently, not only did the 43 Republican Senators violate their oaths of office and their oaths to do impartial justice, but they also violated the Constitution’s provision that the Senate is the sole arbiter of how it should proceed in an impeachment case, and the decision on constitutionality the Senate reached in exercising that power.
Journalist’s have been too intellectually lazy to understand and
report these details. Instead, they glibly write that Republican Senators who voted to acquit Trump justified their actions on a “technicality”.

Far from being a “technicality”, the bad-faith argument these apologists for Trump used to try to hide their craven cowardice involved fundamental precepts of the Constitution, including binding Senate determinations of whether the trial was constitutional or not.
Although the House Impeachment Managers lost their case for conviction in the Senate, they put forth a brilliant case, which convinced 57 of the 100 Senators to vote to impeach Trump.

Now, the battle must be taken to the court of public opinion, and to the polls in 1922, 1924, 1926, and beyond.


Democrats blow huge opportunity at impeachment trial, losing 57-43. But work must continue to tear down Trump’s propaganda wall.

The great political challenge we all now face is to find a way to dismantle Trump’s propaganda bubble and alternative universe, so that rational people, no longer fearful of fascist mobs and voters, can resume a politics of reason.
Yet let us not lose sight of the great success of the House Impeachment Managers in presenting a compelling case,  Let us also not lose sight of the fascist challenge that America faces, and the hard work that remains to be done to overcome it.


The Republican cancer on the American body politic

Let there be no doubt about it. The American body politic is infected by a cancer. That cancer threatens the existence and survival of American democracy. Currently all of the antibodies and forces defending the body politic are fully engaged in fighting the cancer.

The cancer on the American body politic must be killed, with the political equivalents of chemotherapy, radiation, and even surgery where necessary.

Unlike a human body, the American body politic does not have the expected lifespan of a single human life. In the case of an individual fighting cancer, remission for five or ten years might, in some cases, be regarded as a “success”.

This is not the case with the American body politic, however. A five or ten year remission of the cancer would not be sufficient to save the life of a democracy that is already 244 years old.

The cancer is represented by the current Republican Party, and most but not all of its Senators and Representatives in Congress.
Now, 50 Republican senators face a similar moment of truth.

Will they honor their oaths of office to uphold the Constitution and to defend their country against all enemies foreign and domestics, “so help me God”?

Will they honor their solemn oaths to do impartial justice in accordance with constitutions and laws in the impeachment trail of Donald J. Trump, “so help me God”?

Or will they betray their oaths, the American people, and their country, kowtowing and genuflecting instead before the false god who threatened our democracy, who attempted to stay in power through a coup d’état, the last act of which was the Capitol Insurrection?
…But you know that they have sold their souls to the Devil, that they have entered into Mephistophelean bargains they hope will give them continued political life, just as Goethe’s Faust sought to prolong his life.
These 50 Republican Senators have one last shot at redemption: they can honestly evaluate the charges in the Article o impeachment and weigh the evidence, which will lead them ineluctably to a decision to convict Donald Trump for the his attempted coup and the Capitol Insurrection on January 6, 2021.
Their decisions will mark their lives and careers for all time. It is as if their children and grandchildren, and further descendants could read on their tombstones, “He (or she) voted to honor his (or her) oaths and to save the Republic,” or “He (or she) voted to betray the Constitution and his (or her) country, and for the false god Donald Trump.

Throughout their lives, they will have to face their children and grandchildren, and every one they know or may come to know, and answer that question.

If they make the wrong choice, the shame of that choice will mark them for the rest of their days.


Will “godless” Senate Republicans break their oaths to God, and acquit Trump?

Will “godless” Senate Republicans break their oaths to God, and acquit Trump?

If they do, they shall be forever known as the godless Republican Senators who broke their oaths to God, in abject service to the false god Donald Trump.

Their party, with their votes and those of the godless Republican Representatives in the House of Representatives, who have similarly violated their solemn oaths of office, has become the godless party of idolaters who worship Donald Trump.

May their erstwhile supporters never forget these facts, when these godless Republicans come up for re-election in 2122, 2124, or 2126.

For all history, let them be known as the godless Senators and Congressmen of the godless Republican Party who  worshipped the false god Donald Trump, and who bore false witness against their neighbors in their idolatrous support of this  false god.


The Democratic base must push back on impeachment trial against weak-kneed Democratic Senators

The Democrats in Congress now propose to hold a quick trial in the Senate which will neither convict ex-President Trump nor educate the American people as to the nature of his crimes, and his attempted coup d’état.

What will future authoritarian leaders learn from the Senate trial, and the zeal with which the Democrats prosecute the case against Trump?

The Republicans’ greatest weapon over the years has been the stpidity and cowardice of their Democratic opponents, who never seem to lose an opportunity to seize defeat from the jaws of victory.

Any Democrat who supports a motion of censure against Trump to hold him to account for his attempted coup, and the numerous crimes that it involved, should never be re-nominated or re-elected to legislative office.

Real Democrats need to stand up and call out the stupidity and cowardice of Democratic colleagues who support censure or a quickie trial that fails to present the evidence, educate the American people, and burst Trump’s propaganda bubble for what it is: Appeasement of the fascists* in our midst.


Trump’s future

Anne Applebaum: “Trump’s adventure is over. He will spend the rest of his life in court.”

America seems to be suffering from some kind of collective Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD).  It is as if the entire nation, having been held captive by a terrorist for four years,  cannot believe that the power of the terrorist over them will go away when he is removed from power in two days.

How else can one explain all the speculation in the media about Trump’s continuing political and societal influence after he leaves office at noon on January 20, 2021?