Which Side Are You On? You Must Choose Trump or the FBI

You know it’s a wild crazy world when liberal Democrats find themselves in the position of having to defend the FBI, CIA, and other intelligence agencies that spy on Americans and violate their rights simply because those agencies have bureaucratic disagreements with President Donald Trump. That’s exactly the position that we are in now. So the question is, when are people going to realize that we can break out of this binary crap and just simply say that we don’t like anyone involved?

16 thoughts on “Which Side Are You On? You Must Choose Trump or the FBI

  1. In addition to the Thom Hartmann article I recommended previously, please allow me to recommend this Intercept video clip, in which James Risen and Glenn Greenwald discuss the allegations concerning «collusion» between Mr Trump and the Russian government, with Jeremy Scahill as moderator. Watching it will take an hour of your time, but it might just possibly be an hour well spent….

    Henri

    • I can’t win for losing – here (I hope) is the link I meant to send above….

      Ted could you please get your webmaster to provide us with the means to either preview our posts before sending them or correcting them afterwards, even if the period in which corrections can be made is limited to say, 10 minutes ?…

      Henri

  2. Liberals can easily bring themselves to talk a good game against the FBI or any and all of the alphabet soup agencies who seem to constantly expand in numbers, scope, and resources. They did so during the Bush years and the younger generation even under Obama when the Snowden revelations hit.

    However, there first needs to be a safe space to do so, a sizable section of the establishment actively treating this as hip and timely, as a legitimate thing to worry about and thereby showcase how much is informed of the difficult matters in today’s complex world (cringe). News like this needs to be expected to be in the next issue of Newsweek, people who say stuff like this need to be featured in People Magazine, the science behind it needs to be featured in American Scientist, etc.

    For a short time it was even possible to support Sanders – indeed, a surprising number of people who otherwise would not risk holding an opinion at odds with the people who matter threw in with Sandernista Socialism – but of course only after they learned of each others’ leanings in this direction. A number of factors conspired: Sanders is fairly mild and been sticking to a centrist position while the rest of the spectrum crusted over and fell away, what was supposed to be the safe position was too obviously decrepit, and the long arc of suspense gave enough time for hip people to join the underdog and be seen doing so.

    Now of course the previous, current, and next timely thing is to be against Trump, i.e. constantly remind the other 90% of acquaintances who also didn’t vote for the guy that he is not our president, apologize profusely to foreigners, snicker knowingly at red-necks in flyover country, etc, a constantly renewed identity which leads to the exclusion of all other group memberships.

    Of all the acronym organization, the only one recently in the news in a negative light is ICE. And now that ICE is safely Trump’s department, liberals are indeed happy to be counted (at avaaz dot org, etc.) in defense of well-behaved children who dreamily look to the only future worth dreaming of, i.e. becoming just like one of us given half a chance (the actual fraction of a chance being an order of magnitude smaller).

    There needs to be a special occasion to challenge an established organization, such as being caught accidentally reading everyone’s emails or constantly leaking badly composed pictures of group torture.

  3. > when are people going to realize that we can break out of this binary crap and just simply say that we don’t like anyone involved?

    GREAT question, Ted. So when are you going to break out of this binary crap and realize that you don’t have to defend Komrade Trumpski in order to oppose Hillary?

    • Your impression that Ted is defending Trump doesn’t come from anything Ted has written.

      If it did, I’m sure you would refer to it in your comment instead of engaging in innuendo.

      I am in support of elections, not coups, so I expect attacks from conservative Democrats, Trotskyites, Stalinists and various McCarthyite types.

      I’d like to see Democrats demand of Trump, under threat of impeachment, a congressional declaration of war before he launches any wars of aggression of the type that has become the prerogative of presidents usurping powers provided to his office only through the explicit words of the Constitution.

      This is a great opportunity to set a more worthy precedent than a spy agency coup will provide.

      Taming the culture of kill will do more to reduce mass murders, both foreign and domestic, than a greater threat of state violence against mass murderers whose lives are apparently already worthless in their own estimation as their acts reveal.

      • «I’d like to see Democrats demand of Trump, under threat of impeachment, a congressional declaration of war before he launches any wars of aggression of the type that has become the prerogative of presidents usurping powers provided to his office only through the explicit words of the Constitution» Unlikely, Glenn, for Congressional Democrats want their presidents to be able to do what has been done ever since Harry S Truman took office, i e, invade and make war on other countries without the declaration explicitly demanded in Section 8, Article I of their country’s Constitution. Portraying Mr Trump as a bosom buddy (despite their first meeting taking place well after he became US president) and puppet of that dastardly Gospodin Putin, who is responsible for «unwitting Americans», as a New York Times headline recently put it (how easily the residents of that country, generally portrayed as the movers and shakers of the Universe, are played by foreign «operatives» in this depiction !) is better and more fun, and doesn’t have the long-lasting consequences of requiring the US Congress to do its duty under the US Constitution. (That playing on the side of the alphabet soup agencies has certain other long-term consequences which don’t exactly bode well for the body politic is, of course, ignored in the general enthusiasm for attacking Mr Trump, whom the more deluded among the attackers seem to believe is of Russian, rather than German origin, as playing footsie with those Russians.) Note that with few exceptions, Mr Trump is not attacked for political actions which benefit those who hold real power in the US, such as the recent tax reform, but rather for matters – for which no evidence as been presented, such as the «golden showers» which allegedly provided Gospodin Putin with such power over Mr Trump (as evidenced by the significant steps taken by the US side to improve relations between that country and Russia which have taken place since Mr Trump’s inauguration) – which hardly affect their interests….

        Alas, this unedifying spectacle has real-world consequences ; perhaps in a fit of desperation Mr Trump will initiate some action – in Korea, the South China Sea, the Ukraine – which will rapidly spiral to a dénouement to please the hearts of those who believe in the «Rapture». What a way to run a world !…

        Henri

      • @mhenriday

        “Congressional Democrats want their presidents to be able to do what has been done ever since Harry S Truman took office, i e, invade and make war on other countries without the declaration explicitly demanded in Section 8, Article I of their country’s Constitution.”

        Exactly why, I believe, as Democrats move to the right in support of rule by men (instead of rule of law as provided for in the language of the Constitution) people who would have been Republicans in the past are now supporters of the rightist Democratic Party.

        Democratic Party supporters have become idol worshipers, indifferent to policies inflicted on people by the ruling class, their meager political needs satisfied sufficiently simply by the occupation of positions of power by their idols.

      • «Democratic Party supporters have become idol worshipers, indifferent to policies inflicted on people by the ruling class, their meager political needs satisfied sufficiently simply by the occupation of positions of power by their idols.» I find it odd Glenn, that with a few exceptions like Bernard Sanders, not even FDR democrats are found in the US today, at least at higher levels ; there seems to be no significant opposition at all to the plutocracy. It must be wonderful for this latter to have come so long as to have the primary political dichotomy in the country between supporters of Donald John Trump, on the one hand, and supporters of the FBI, NSA, CIA, etc, etc, on the other. Or is it so that most people have simply tuned out ?…

        Henri

    • Seriously?!

      Every second or third column & cartoon – including this one – is a defense against DastardlyRussianGate. You, yourself, have posted on numerous occasions about how Trump couldn’t possibly be involved in such shenanigans ‘cuz Hillary. You’ve bought into the same binary thinking that Ted is decrying (while practicing same.)

      Unless, of course, you’ve changed your position lately?

      • We can agree to disagree on Russiagate, with no need for name calling.

        In my experience, many of those who disagree are agnostic and ready to be convinced once 2 related questions are answered: what is the level of activity we would expect from any of the myriads of players with a budget of more than #200K, and is there any evidence that the investment and efficacy of the state of Russia was out of the ordinary.

        From experience, there are 4 reasons many of us tend to slide from being agnostic to actively calling into question what we experience as a herd mentality:

        1) Unless the persistent lack of any tangible evidence changes, we’re apprehensive that this thing will eventually play itself out in the same way as the JFK and 9-11 conspiracies (and indeed the Obama birtherism craze): nothing accomplished, lots of people permanently bitter, and the war criminals rehabilitated and painting pictures of themselves in the shower.

        2) We’d rather not be the generation the human race ended with, irrespective of how well a pitch focus-grouped.

        3) We’re really apprehensive about how little 1) and 2) count and how easily otherwise smart people have gotten swept up in the illusion that actively pursuing a direction without evidence is the best way to ensure such evidence is going to be forthcoming, with no apparent thought for what happens if it stubbornly doesn’t.

        4) Being called names by people invested in Russiagate – such as stooge, apologist, or defender – drives home the point that there is nothing held in reserve to engage skeptics with. In contrast, I have often thought of people not getting the consequences of the wars or the Snowden revelations as useful idiots, but was usually too busy trying to connect with them in order to get them to see the mounting body of actual evidence. This reduced the risk of losing it and calling them names.

      • > We can agree to disagree on Russiagate, with no need for name calling.

        I wasn’t aware that I had called anyone names.

        1) Unless the persistent lack of any tangible evidence changes…

        You’re in luck. At this point, there is enough visible evidence to say “yes indeedy, The Dastardly Russians [TM] did, in fact, try to influence our elections by various means.” Yet there are those who still vehemently deny that which is patently obvious to the casual observer. I call these people “deniers” as a purely objective description – but you’re welcome to propose a substitute if you find that term offensive.

        2) We’d rather not be the generation the human race ended with….

        Me too! (But I’m not sure what this has to do with the discussion.)

        3) We’re really apprehensive about how little 1) …

        which is merely a reaffirmation of 1)

        4) Being called names by people invested in Russiagate…

        … is what I’ve had to endure in this very forum.

        Basically you’re left with one point out of four – and that one is merely a (re)statement of denial.

      • Namecalling is perhaps not a good descriptor, but you were talking about defending against Russiagate.

        This can be read as implying a defense of the Russian system of neo-capitalist oligarchy, this twisted glimpse of where our nominal democracies may be headed. Certainly Ted never did any of this.

        Admittedly, there is a second way of reading this, we may be defending our own sense of sanity, proportionality, and self-preservation: the Cold War nearly turned hot at multiple occasions, and our species would have barely survived this. Should we really be pushing our luck with Cold War 2.0?

        You could “prove” that (insert major country here) has “meddled” in the election “process” through “cyber” and “hacking” using these “standards” of “evidence”. Plus countless rich guys, foreign and domestic. Some of these state and private networks of power directly gave billions of dollars to the Trump and Clinton campaigns, illegal in most OSCE countries ;-), and much more pertinent than any of the myriad of troll farms.

        Building a case against Russia based on mostly innuendo (and putting the squeeze on what passes for leftist websites in the process) feels extremely selective – especially seeing that our very own countries are routinely involved in this sort of activities at much larger scale and quality, e.g. shipping advanced arms and equipment to neo-nazi groups.

      • > …you were talking about defending against Russiagate.

        True.

        > This can be read as implying a defense of the Russian system of neo-capitalist oligarchy …

        False.

        As always, my position is that the POTUS may have committed treason that that’s probably not a good thing. I’m happy to debate various social/economic/political systems – but that’s an entirely different discussion.

        > Should we really be pushing our luck with Cold War 2.0?

        [repost] It’s not about Russia. It’s not about The Cold War. It’s not about Stalin or McCarthy or Khrushchev. It is about an unfriendly foreign nation interfering with our most important institution: democracy itself. It doesn’t matter which unfriendly foreign nation; it could be North Korea, Iran, or Texas – the situation would be exactly the same.

        > You could “prove” that …

        … putting “quotes” around “words” neither “proves” nor “disproves” anything. I know you can do better.

  4. Great cartoon Ted,

    It’s amazing how short the memories Americans are, how shallow their understanding of events, and how unable they are to place them in historical context.

    United States of Amnesia, Gore Vidal, where are you now?

    The real pity is that if the Democrats were an opposition party, there are enough issues available to run on and win an election so that they wouldn’t need to be cheer leading now for a spy agency coup.

    But then that would mean their letting democracy have an influence over Democratic Party policy, something that, unfortunately, Democrats are staunchly opposed to.

    Trump is Making America Great Again by taking flack for many of the same policies that Obama, perhaps by his use of the Star Wars Jedi Force (tee hee) used to influence the thoughts of his worshipers and put them into compliance with his will, or to sleep.

    The worst thing to happen now would be a precedent-setting spy agency coup that only removed Trump and then, for all that effort, would only surrender the office to lick-spittle Democrats without any gain for the majority of people who work and pay the taxes that benefit the billionaire parasites and their Pentagon.

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