Republicans Push to Punish Eric Swalwell because He Didn’t Sell Out the Country Like They Did

I’d like to tell a story about how six different men responded when law enforcement approached them about possible compromise by foreign spies.

Carter Page knowingly shares non-public information with known Russian spies

When Carter Page learned that he had been named in an indictment of Russian spies, he called up a Russian minister at the UN to tell him, in the spirit of openness, he was the guy identified as the recruiting target in the indictment. When the FBI interviewed him about his relationships with those foreign spies, Page admitted he had called the Russian minister, but explained that his relationship with the Russian intelligence officer was positive for him. He later explained that sharing non-public information with people he knew to be foreign spies helped both the US and Russia. Page enthusiastically took a trip to Moscow to give two speeches that — witnesses observed — normally featured far more prominent speakers than Page. Page came back from that trip bragging about the “open checkbook” he had been offered to start a pro-Russian think tank. When Page was asked a year later whether he could see why people thought he was being recruited, he disagreed and — according to an FBI 302 — backed off his prior admission to the FBI that he had reached out to the Russian minister.

For three years, the GOP has claimed that Carter Page is a maligned victim of FBI overreach.

George Papadopoulos refuses to explain the back channel meeting with Putin he tried to schedule

When the FBI first interviewed George Papadopoulos about the suspicious job offers Sergei Millian offered him — an offer to pay him so long as he also worked at the White House, asked how he learned in advance that the Russians had dirt on Hillary that they planned to release to help Trump get elected, and told him they thought he was being recruited, he lied. Among other things, Papadopoulos hid his entire relationship with one Russian national, Ivan Timofeev, whom he had interacted with. After the interview, Papadopoulos called Trump’s personal lawyer and told him of the interview. As others did, Papadopoulos crafted a false statement to share with Congress. In subsequent interviews, even after he agreed to cooperate, Papadopoulos hid the existence of a phone he used to interact with Joseph Mifsud. When asked about notes planning a back channel meeting with Putin’s people in London in September that ultimately didn’t happen, Papadopoulos claimed he couldn’t read his notes to explain the plans.

The GOP not only claimed that Papadopoulos was a maligned hero, the Attorney General of the United States assigned a US Attorney, in part, to fly around the world chasing Papadopoulos’ conspiracy theories in an attempt to substantiate his denials that these were Russian assets trying to cultivate Papadopoulos.

Mike Flynn gets a defensive briefing then hides his Turkish clients

Shortly after the FBI sat down with Donald Trump and Mike Flynn to warn them, generally, about how foreign intelligence services would increase their focus on the two and those around them, Mike Flynn went back to his business partner and the go-between with his Turkish clients, and adopted a new name for the project for Turkey — Confidence rather than Truth — and a payment vehicle that would hide the true client, attempting to sever the prior discussions directly with Turkey’s ministers from the half-million dollar deal that resulted.

Trump just pardoned Flynn for his efforts to hide those ties.

Rather than cooperating with the FBI about Flynn’s suspect Russian calls, Trump fires them

When DOJ came to the White House on January 26, 2017 and told White House counsel Don McGahn that Mike Flynn — seemingly without any approval from Donald Trump himself and clearly without notifying the Vice President — had called up the Ambassador from Russia and, in a conversation where the Ambassador was addressing other issues, raised sanctions imposed to punish Russia and asked the Ambassador not to respond in kind, and then lied about that publicly, McGahn assigned lawyer John Eisenberg to figure out whether Flynn could be prosecuted. Chief of Staff Reince Priebus tried to find out what kind of surveillance Flynn had been and was under. Trump first asked the head of the FBI for loyalty, then asked him to let the investigation of Flynn go, and then fired him to end the investigation.

Trump just pardoned Mike Flynn claiming that it was wrong for the FBI to try to figure out why Flynn had secretly undermined sanctions and then lied about it.

Trump calls Paul Manafort “very brave” for hiding details about his Russian intelligence officer partner

When the government entered into a cooperation agreement with Paul Manafort in 2018, in part to learn what Manafort knew about his business partner Konstantin Kilimnik’s ties to Russian intelligence, and particularly to learn why Manafort had swapped campaign polling data and the campaign’s strategy to win swing states with a discussion of carving up Ukraine and payoffs from Ukranian and Russian oligarchs, the President’s defense attorney remained in regular contact with Manafort’s lawyer to learn about the interrogations. After prosecutors told Judge Amy Berman Jackson on November 26 that Manafort had been lying rather than cooperating — in significant part, it would become clear, to protect his Russian spy business partner — Rudy complained on the President’s behalf about “the un-American, horrible treatment of Manafort.” Not long later, Trump would call Manafort “very brave” for (among other things) lying to prosecutors to protect his Russian spy business partner.

Eric Swalwell cooperates with the FBI and cuts off the Chinese intelligence officer trying to recruit him

According to a recent Axios piece witten without context, when the FBI approach Eric Swalwell and told him a woman volunteering with his campaign was a Chinese spy, he cooperated with the FBI and cut off all contact with her.

A statement from Swalwell’s office provided to Axios said: “Rep. Swalwell, long ago, provided information about this person — whom he met more than eight years ago, and whom he hasn’t seen in nearly six years — to the FBI. To protect information that might be classified, he will not participate in your story.”

What happened: Amid a widening counterintelligence probe, federal investigators became so alarmed by Fang’s behavior and activities that around 2015 they alerted Swalwell to their concerns — giving him what is known as a defensive briefing.

Swalwell immediately cut off all ties to Fang, according to a current U.S. intelligence official, and he has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

For this, GOP Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and others argue, Swalwell should be kicked off the House Intelligence Committee.

McCarthy, however, is demanding answers from Pelosi and Rep. Adam Schiff, chair of that committee, after Swalwell said they knew about the report.

“This is a national security threat,” McCarthy said. “Now we have Eric Swalwell, who’s been swindled by the Chinese, but what’s even more interesting here is why did he attack the American Director of Intelligence John Ratcliffe’s report talking about the expansion of China spying throughout … just last week. He attacked … Ratcliffe defending China.”

“This man should not be in the intel committee. He’s jeopardizing national security,” he doubled down, adding, “When did Nancy Pelosi know of this and why did she maintain him on the committee? Adam Schiff, who has spent four years as chair worried about the foreign intervention into our country, knowingly keep an individual on the committee, if he knew, as Swalwell says, that he was with a Chinese individual who was a spy, who helped him run for Congress?”

I can only assume that McCarthy thinks that Swalwell cooperated too much with the FBI and should have lied or fired people instead.


89 replies
  1. Amers says:

    Is it fair to compare this GOP behavior to a killdeer, in a log yard, chirping and feigning a broken wing far from its nest?

    • ducktree says:

      I’ve also seen that tactic displayed in mourning doves. When my sister was working for Animal Services in our hometown, she referred to them as “double dumb birdbrains.”

      The nickname still applies.

    • Chris.EL says:

      dudes who really make me want to puke: Jim Jordan (can’t afford to buy the jacket?), Devin Nunes (keeps a cow in the yard for milk), Ted Cruz (for a brooz), Stephen Miller (yuck-a-moola), Steven Mnuchin’ (Mr. I-got-the-bucks and you don’t), Pompeo (aacckk): show them the door…

      • chicago_bunny says:

        Your post made me envision Bill the Cat belching out our Secretary of State, while Opus looks on, aghast.

        • ducktree says:

          Yes quite! I believe the expression Bill used was “Aaaaaack” – definitely the sound of a hairball on its way up…

    • General Sternwood says:

      As long as you assume everything they say or do is a cynical and/or craven attempt to gain partisan advantage and personal profit, they are completely rational actors.

  2. OldTulsaDude says:

    It makes one wonder how long stoking a fire under a bubbling cauldron can sustain itself as an ideology.

      • Chris.EL says:

        don’t know who this is — in reality — I LOVE HIS PERSPECTIVE:
        “The Hoarse Whisperer
        “I wrote and then deleted a post about Dan Crenshaw containing the most caustic, lacerating, vitriolic assembly of obscenities ever strung together in the course of human speech.

        It was the enriched uranium of cursing.

        But I deleted it.

        Because I am a fucking gentleman.”

        HoarseWhisperer does an invitation, every Friday, for folks to share *something good* that has happened to them…
        Folks like this, and EW make it all worth the while…
        Was wondering, who plays the piano?

      • mass interest says:

        PJ, just gotta stick this in here.

        Have you recovered from the port removal? And have you gotten test results?

        Keep hoping you’re doing well.

        Best red garters.

        • P J Evans says:

          The test results were good – needed them before they went ahead with the removal, which is fairly minor surgery. That went well also (aside from getting a rash from the adhesive dressing they used to protect it for the first couple of days). They showed me the port – I wanted to see it – it’s a little bigger than I expected, with legs so it can be sutured in place.

    • ButteredToast says:

      The Republicans’ downballot success last month, despite spending four years doing nothing but passing gasoline to the man setting the country on fire, makes me fear the answer to your implied question is: “indefinitely”. Well, at least as far as electoral success goes. They long ago ceased to have any consistent ideology other than holding onto power at all costs and resentment of the “libs.”

  3. BobCon says:

    Ken Vogel at the NY Times pushing this story is a bad sign of where his coverage is headed over the next four years. He is already issuing tauting tweets about his imaginary double standards by liberals about investigations of Biden.

    He nearly led the Times into a Judith Miller-sized fiasco a year ago with his credulous coverage of Giuliani spinsored Ukraine garbage. It’s astonishing they are letting him still run around with scissors like this.

    • graham firchlis says:

      Also Marc Thiesson at WaPo and John Kass in the Chicago Tribune, with Tucker Carlson and Kevin McCarthy all spewing lies and vile speculations that are solely projection of their own evil inclinations.

      Swalwell has done nothing wrong but these evil creatures assume he has, because given the chance they certainly would have.

      Why WaPo, NYT and the Trib provide platforms for such slander is a good question, and letters to ownership condemning these false personal attacks are more than appropriate. Please add to mine.

      • chicago_bunny says:

        I didn’t realize Kass had any traction outside of Chicago, and I’m not sure he has much here. He’s been considered a hack here for a long time.

        • vvv says:

          Kass is occasionally funny but always an ass. I’ve responded to his RWNJobbery a cuppla times, but never get a reply, even when once I played the Greek card.

          I need to cancel that subscription; I think I will cite him – as well as their annoying *.pdf format – as the reason(s).

  4. John Lehman says:

    As time moves on, the whole filthy, corrupt structure becomes clearer and clearer.
    When the light shines the cockroaches scatter.
    Thank you, thank you for your tireless efforts.

  5. Peterr says:

    I’d like to tell a story about how six different men responded when law enforcement approached them about possible compromise by foreign spies.

    Maybe add a seventh . . .

    Trump was told by Obama that Michael Flynn was problematic before the inauguration. Elijah Cummings warned Pence about Flynn before the inauguration. Comey, Clapper, Brennan, and Rogers briefed Trump on Russia investigation before the inauguration, which had to include Flynn’s connections. Nevertheless, Trump made Flynn the National Security Advisor.

    After the inauguration, Trump was told by Sally Yates that Flynn had problematic Russian connections that he had lied about to (among others) the VP which made him vulnerable to blackmail. Trump responded by firing Yates. Trump asked Comey to take it easy on Flynn, and when Comey did not, Trump fired Comey.

    The very next day, Trump invited Lavrov and Kislyak into the Oval Office — a meeting they had been begging to get for years, without success — and told them about code-word classified intelligence from Israel about an ISIS plot to turn laptops into bombs. The intelligence came from a well-placed Israeli source inside ISIS itself, and Trump revealed enough information to Russia that they could deduce the source of the information, putting the source’s life and overall intelligence value at great risk. When asked about these revelations later, Trump declared he had handled everything properly. “I never used the word ‘Israel’.”

    • BobCon says:

      He is going to do this same type of thing in February and provoke a criminal investigation — and he is counting on the same pack of Republicans denying the election to rise up in his defense.

      • skua says:

        Can see his base marching on.

        But wondering about whether his pet judges and the “RINOs” will see the Biden presidency as an opportunity to avoid further enforced … ahhh … servitude under Trump and conspire/leak/whistleblow/try their darndest to get Trump securely imprisoned.

    • AndTheSlithyToves says:

      “…and told them about code-word classified intelligence from Israel about an ISIS plot to turn laptops into bombs.”
      How did I miss this? Were these specific details covered here at EW or did you see them from another source?

  6. Jenny says:

    Thank you Marcy.
    The 2016 Conversation Paul Ryan Wanted to Keep Private
    McCarthy, “I’ll guarantee you that’s what it is … the Russians hacked the DNC and got the opp (opposition) research that they had on Trump.” He laughs. Then adds, “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.” Laughter in the room. McCarthy says, “Swear to God.”

    Ryan says, “This is off the record. No leaks, alright? This is how we know we’re a real family here.”

    Ryan and McCarthy told Washington Post the conversation was “untrue, fiction.” Washington Post said they had a transcript. Still claimed conversation was “false, even made up, inaccurate.” When Washington Post told them they listened to an audio recording, statement changed with Ryan saying McCarthy delivered an inappropriate joke, he was not intending to be serious.

    Top Republican was Recorded Suggesting that Putin Pays Trump
    At least some Democrats raised concerns about the statement. The California congressman Eric Swalwell, a member of the House intelligence committee, said the remark raised questions about whether the majority leader had additional information on the “relationship the president had with President Putin”.

    “If it was said they had their own concerns and so far they have done nothing to address concerns about the president’s ties to Russia,” Swalwell told reporters. “So I just want to know, were these concerns based on separate information that the majority leader had or had been told?”

    • ducktree says:

      Nor to mention the hollow silence of MSM crickets and tree frogs that the RNC’s and its cohort’s hacked emails from 2015-16 quite likely are still lurking out there in the fetid darkness of willful ignorance.

      It would be irresponsible not to take a dry speculation* and probe it deep into McCarthy’s intentions.


    • GG says:

      Rohrabacher at the time was also a chair of House Foreign affairs Subcommittee on oversight and investigations, because hypocrisy is their second name 🙃

  7. earlofhuntingdon says:

    This framing is not getting enough coverage:

    Bidenworld wants to project calm, a sense that everything Republicans are doing is just a stunt, that the transition is proceeding calmly.

    That risks misleading the public about the true malignancy of the opposition.

    The medical analogy – malignancy – is useful, but it, too, understates the hair on fire moment Sen. Chris Murphy is trying to describe. The entire GOP, from its head to its tail, is trying to steal an election won by the largest vote margin in history. That’s not politics as usual. It is rejecting politics for authoritarian, dictatorial rule.

    More fundamentally, Republicans are laying the groundwork for rejecting voters’ choices – purportedly through courts not empowered to do it – whenever voters reject them. We no longer have a functioning democracy: it is hanging by a thread on the goodwill of a handful of courts and the good faith of a single party not yet in power.

    • Alan K says:

      Agreed. This is a very serious and corrupting initiative. I hope some judges and bar associations have the courage to sanction the lawyers bringing these cases. Otherwise they just breed. It is not enough for the mainstream law firms to pull out, when the goal is sowing doubt and creating chaos.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Chauncey Devega:

      Donald Trump is a political criminal. He is attempting a fascist coup against American democracy….To deny the reality of…his movement’s assaults on democracy and the rule of law is a dangerous manifestation of the “organized forgetting” common to societies that have experienced fascism and authoritarianism….

      Republican elected officials and other leaders will not abandon Donald Trump and his movement….[T]hey agree with him, endorse his policies and fear his voters….[They] are part of a fascist and authoritarian movement whose strategic goal is to tear down multiracial democracy, and… prevent implementation of the types of progressive social and economic policies favored by most Americans.

      I keep going back to Warren Buffett’s description of class warfare in America. Contrary to claims that it was a European phenomenon that could never happen in America, Buffett is confident the war was waged and that his side won before the other side knew it was happening. Let’s not let the same thing happen in the GOP’s war on democracy.

  8. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Winning those two Senate seats in Georgia will determine whether Joe Biden’s recovery agenda gets off the ground or lies moldy in the grave Mitch McConnell has dug for it.

    Had he been mindful of that, Joe might have remembered that Shirley Sherrod is a woman of substance and a favorite daughter of the great state of Georgia. Tom Vilsack, his nominee to run the USDA, absolutely pissed on her when he ran that department for Barack Obama. Not to mention that Vilsack, since leaving the USDA, has been making nearly a million a year lobbying for big dairy, which is regulated by the USDA. Meanwhile, Marcia Fudge, another woman of substance, who wanted and had the background to run USDA from a progressive perspective, wins the consolation price of HUD.

    I can’t decide whether picking Vilsack and shifting Fudge to HUD is obtuse and self-defeating, the price of catering to would be big donors, or just part of Joe’s safe space. Maybe it’s all three.

    • graham firchlis says:

      FWIW, Sherrod openly forgave Vilsack years ago after he apologized privately and publicly. She just endorsed his Ag appointment, calling him experienced and competent, just what good governance needs.

      As for Rep. Fudge, she didn’t have to take the HUD post. Having done so, she must think she can do some good. Her progressive policy positions are sound. Policy is how she should lead, and let career staff handle the implementation.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Sherrod’s “forgiveness” of Vilsack’s opportunism and poor judgment – whether it be sincere or necessary performance art – does not mean her fellow Georgians will forgive or forget. Half of them are still fighting the War of Northern Aggression.

        The argument against these cabinet picks is not about careerism. That Fudge might be capable at HUD does not make up for the lost opportunity of putting her in charge of USDA – a cesspool of corporate favoritism and poor environmental and public health policies – which Vilsack ran for eight years. It adds to the continued validation of Vilsack’s corporate-friendly priorities.

        • graham firchlis says:

          “‘forgiveness'” really? Sherrod’s mercy is false? “necessary performance art” for whom? You claim she is a trained coward? Her public statements are a fraud? On what authority? Sherrod made her statement of forgiveness and support on national television. She’s all grown up, not afraid of anyone and relentlessly honest, yet you insinuate she is not any of that.

          On what basis? Mind-reading? Other psychic powers? Any facts? No, you made an unfounded allegation and now choose to further denegrate Shirley Sherrod yourself in defense of the indefensible.

          Vilsak at least had the decency to apologize for maligning her character.

          And too, any Georgia voter who changes their Senate race participation or vote because Vilsack will be AgSec isn’t behaving rationally. One has nothing to do with the other. Are you claiming that a significant number of Georgia voters are crazy? How many? Which ones? Based on what data, what reliable information, what trustworthy Georgia based well-informed source? Or are you baselessly denigrating the intelligence and character of Georgians generally, along with Sherrod? Smells like the latter.

    • Eureka says:

      I don’t know how many people have to say it for Biden to get that this Vilsack pick would depress turnout for the GA runoffs (_I_ certainly believe all the expert voices on this), but once, twice, thrice LOUDER for the people in the back of Biden’s ear: wtf?

      Also, I didn’t realize that the Biden ?!?!?!? corner had relocated, else I’d have placed this doozy re *Cuomo floated for AG* here instead:

      I agree with Rachel Barkow’s hope that this must be some forced-framing scheme to make us thankful for the other options.

  9. Joseph Andrews says:

    This is simply a spectacular post, a post that includes important context.

    As I get older, I realize how important context is…in almost everything I am involved with.

    Thanks to emptywheel for informing all of us of what we sort of think…but putting it all in one place.

  10. Ollie says:

    OMG! SCOTUS told that fat fuck NO NO NO NO NO

    I came by because @Emptywheel posted that Amy Barrett just told the TX folks they’re full of crap. OMG! This is so delicious. It’s raining, I just ate a delicious sharp Tillamook Cheddar sandwich, SCOTUS w/held and Marcy came up w/one of her spectacular one liners! HAHAHA I’ll check back later all. Wear masks. Drink lots of water and hold on to HOPE

  11. John Forde says:

    It’s over!
    So now it’s time to monitor Twitter for threats of violence from Trumpers. I expect lots of verbal threats. I am unsure about actual violence but I expect there will be some.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      Now is the time to join the growing chorus to pressure the Speaker to not seat the seditious Representatives who signed on to the amicus brief.

      • BobCon says:

        Pelosi needs to understand that this won’t stop with the Supreme Court decision, or with the Electoral College vote. They will be disrupting her election as Speaker, they will be disrupting Inauguration Day, they will be doing all they can to cause havoc every single day.

        She let the violation of the secure facility of the Intelligence Committee go unpunished, she let GOP reps flout COVID restrictions in House buildings and infect their staffs without a response. McCarthy has made it clear he will not be a good faith partner in efforts to run the House.

        She needs a rules package ready to go on day one to establish tough standards for the behavior of reps and she needs to be prepared to enforce it, all the way up to censure and expulsion.

        • Eureka says:

          I agree with all you’ve noted, but did burst into that LOL of ‘we’re just screwed, right?’ at: “Pelosi needs to understand”. Non- / fey- impeachment PTSD all over again. Hope she recognizes the stakes, finally.

          ** They are called boundaries ** Please have them **

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      From the New Jersey Globe: “Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-Paterson) cited the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that disqualifies any Member of Congress who seek to attack American democracy…“Stated simply, men and women who would act to tear the United States government apart cannot serve as Members of the Congress,” Pascrell said in a letter to Democratic congressional leaders….The former high school social studies teacher explained that the Fourteenth Amendment was written — “rising from the embers of the Civil War” — to “prevent the destruction of the United States from without and within. The moment we face now may be without parallel since 1860. The fate of our democracy depends on us meeting that moment.”

      • graham firchlis says:

        Pascrell is horribly wrong about seating. Worst possible thing to advocate, much less do.

        The answer to authoritarian attempts to nullify the will of American voters and invalidate the results of fair and free elections is NOT to nullify the will of American voters and invalidate the results of fair and free elections.

        As Adam Schiff put it this evening, the answer to arson is not setting more fires.

        Pelosi, and the caucus, are well aware of the challenge ahead. The crazy will not stop. Kevin McCarthy has not been, is not now, and never will be “a good faith partner.””

        A narrow majority means caucus unanimity is paramount. Not accidental, Pelosi stood unopposed for Speaker.

        Nothing other than a solemn swearing in and a smooth transition of power is required. Anything less is unacceptable.

        Pelosi and the Democrats will not allow malign behavior by others to corrupt thier own. No one should.

        • Rayne says:

          Firchlis, refusing to seat the 106 GOP wouldn’t be an attempt to invalidate the votes of the people. It would be the application of the law which says seditionists should not be seated.

          They should be seated but not without a formal Congressional record documenting their attempt at sedition — put seating them to the House excluding them and allow the majority to decide they will be seated. The bill reflecting the sentiment of the House should show the 106 were seated only to serve the will of the people and not their sedition.

          Of course Pelosi will wimp out on this. She’s lost my support because she has consistently failed to ensure seditionists are thwarted and punished.

          • graham firchlis says:

            Rayne, please read your first sentence out loud. It is self-contradictory. Refusing to seat duly elected representatives individually or en mass for political revenge is exactly a repudiation of the right of voters to choose, however unwisely. It is unfounded in law, and repugnant to the free exercise of democracy. Rank authoritarianism, nothing less.

            Have any of these reps-elect been convicted of sedition? No. Charged in any court of law with sedition? No. There is no legal basis whatsoever for invalidating the will of the voters who chose them.

            Your attacks on Pelosi are likewise without foundation, so you are consistent. I’ve known her for 40+ years. The lady is made of steel. She is in no way a wimp. She is highly intelligent, morally upright, deeply progressive and stalwart in the face of bullying regardless of the source. I am immensely grateful someone with her talent and determination has dedicated her life to public service in the interests of the people.

            Those seeking progressive change must stop slandering and otherwise undermining the few powerful allies we have, and instead just GOTV as has been so effectively demonstrated in Georgia.

            That is how democracy functions. Be the change you seek, instead of expecting others to do it for you.

            • bmaz says:

              How about you go fuck right off. Pelosi is shit, and so is your comment. You want to have a problem here, you are well on the way.

              And the next time you go after Rayne, and so ignorantly (after attacking Earl), you will be effectively done here. And if you think I am kidding, try me.

          • Rugger9 says:

            The issue with Pascrell’s demand is that it sets a precedent for the GOP to use (remember the so-called “Biden Rule” used to block Garland?) when it is convenient for their purposes.

            It would be one thing if these yahoos had acted in a directly seditious manner (access to a court using a case filing isn’t seditious, it’s an attempted redress of grievance no matter how specious), I’m thinking how the CBP and other “contractors” acted in PDX or maybe the DC Bible photo op would be qualifying as seditious.

            • Molly Pitcher says:

              There is a “World’s Policeman’ side to my personality, which my daughter has inherited, according to my family. I hate the possibility that you are probably right, practically speaking.

              I KNOW that I am right, morally speaking.

              There has to be some consequence for 126 members of Congress seeking to subvert the Constitution, however technically in their legal rights the amicus support was. The INTENT was to undermine the will of the electorate and enable the theft of the Presidency.

              Moral Indignation, thy name is Molly Pitcher.

              • Rugger9 says:

                I agree with the sentiment that something must be done, but follow the First Law of Dirtballs: they will always give you a chance to hammer them. No doubt the usual suspects will do something overt, like acting upon Allen West’s call for secession (he’s an ex-Army officer… who took the same oath I did).

                The issue here is proving the sedition without an alternate legally allowed explanation. It will not take very long, I think for the RWNJs to overplay their hands.

    • Norskeflamthrower says:

      There will be blood. That’s not hysterical, that’s just reality. I live in Wisconsin and I am here to tell you that it is not how many lunatics and wannabees there are out there stewing in their self righteous anger but what they are willing to do and how far they are willing to go to extract revenge from their perceived enemies. They’ve been living in the fetid swamp of their own nightmares for decades, insulated from the requirements of citizenship in their small towns and compounds, protected by local authorities for whom they work and vote. We are gunna be paying for our willful ignorance of this malignant force for a long time and it’s not clear that the good guys will out this time.

  12. TooLoose LeTruck says:


    I figured there’d be a party in full swing over here, so I just came by to check out the festivities…

    Though I suspect the longer battle is far from over, in the moment, it is truly satisfying to see Trump get this bit of business stuffed right up his (bodily aperture of your choice)…

    Now… how about a glass of the bubbly?

  13. John Forde says:

    Apparently Diamond and Silk are calling for a military coup. If they call the joint chiefs the operator will put the call thru to central purchasing. “Do the marines have enough diamonds and silk?”

  14. A Better Mitch says:

    I’m certainly breathing a bit easier having read the SCOTUS dismissal of Texas, and only a bit rueful missing out on a Ted Cruz performance. I thought he was going to let the them in on his secret about how his dad was the intermediary who bought JFK’ s election for old Joe and it would be a damn shame if we let this Joe pull the same stunt. Meanwhile, back to the present horror story .At least it’s mitigated by Chris Murphy and, of course, Stacy Abrams.

    • Alan Charbonneau says:

      “… rueful missing out on a Ted Cruz performance…”
      Yeah, as much as I was happy about the Court telling Paxton et. al. to GTFOH, it would’ve been fun to watch Ted Cruz have his bluff called. He knew SCOTUS wouldn’t hear the case, but if they did, I’m sure his reaction would’ve been priceless.

  15. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The WSJ is already in Biden Attack Mode. Unlike the Mafia, attacking families is A-OK. The Journal published a remarkably sexist rant — as an opinion worthy of national attention — that claimed Dr. Jill Biden’s use of her title somehow “feels fraudulent, even comic.”

    The rant is by Joe Epstein, who holds a BA from Chicago, and taught writing at Northwestern for decades. He long ago earned his reputation for being right wing, sexist and homophobic. The figleaf he uses to hide his misogyny is that in a time of pandemic, the title should apply to medical doctors. Holders of D.Ed. degrees (Biden) — and a myriad of other doctoral degrees — should use something less serious, to denote their lower status in his constipated hierarchy of usefulness.

    Epstein is full of it, but that’s the point. At 83, he’s a disposable provocateur and his target audience might be the lonely guy in an empty White House. But because some racist Southern politician did not call a white banking lawyer from Delaware a “boy” is not sufficient reason to assume that Bull Connor won’t use his attack dogs against anyone whom he thinks threatens his exclusive right to win elections. That’s not a reason to let loose your own pack of hounds. It is a reason to fight back hard and fast, less directly, but with more subtlety and better aim. Winning the PR war is almost as important as winning the policy war.

    • P J Evans says:

      My PhD-bearing college professors were called “doctor” without presumption of medical background. That’ pretty common any more, and Epstein can stuff his classist presumptions.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Indeed, outside of elite faculty lounges, that fight was over fifty years ago. Epstein is a useful idiot. We’ll see a lot of them. That’s why fighting back in the PR war is a necessary adjunct to fighting the personnel and policy wars.

  16. Jim C. says:

    When I was at UCLA in the late 70s they were addressed as “professor.” But at the state colleges, it was “doctor.” That was a funny difference– you’d think it’d be the other way around.

    But yes, it’s a dead issue. They’re “doctors,” and only a jerk would make an issue of it — and only a liar would try to imply that they were playing themselves off as medical practitioners.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      There are lots of doctors, but only a few professors (and various levels of those). As Epstein’s ego would have experienced, since he’s a lowly B.A., academics can be bitingly status conscious.

      • J R in WV says:

        IF you were on an aircraft, and they page “Is there a Doctor on the aircraft this afternoon?” and you have an Ed D, you shouldn’t stand up, because they are looking for someone to help with a medical crisis.

        Otherwise, Yes, even an Ed D is a doctor.

  17. thesphynx says:

    Beautiful post, but you forgot an exquisitely relevant example of the Republicans’ double standard: Devin Nunes sat as the minority leader in charge of the impeachment hearings without revealing that he was in private cahoots with important witness Lev Parnas. Lev Parnas had been palling around with Giuliani and Nunes while they were trying to dig up or invent dirt on Hunter Biden in Ukraine. Eric Swalwell publicly called him out for it at the hearing on the last day. (AFAIK, Nunes has never been disciplined for the obvious conflict of interest.) I’ve zero doubt the R’s have been looking for revenge, and a way to tarnish Swalwell on intelligence-security grounds, ever since.

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