The Bannon Verdict

I was driving down Sunset, just before the light at Bundy, listening to MSNBC on SiriusXM, and wondering why I was wasting my time. It was depressing, they were talking about Trump’s bad behavior and so far he has not been held accountable.

And while I was sitting at the light my mind flashed on Watergate. And I realized that Nixon resigned in 1974, and even if you were born in that year, you’re presently 48. Meaning most people have no exposure to that era, those hearings, what was going on. It’s history. Just like World War II was when I was growing up, even worse, World War I!

It was different.

Let’s go back to the sixties. LBJ was the enemy. He wouldn’t get us out of Vietnam. Kids were going there to get their ass shot off for exactly what? By time we hit the second half of the decade minds were changing, and by ’68 it was not only the youth, but adults too. War, what is it good for? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Not that we have an anthem like that today.

In retrospect, LBJ was a god. Not only passing civil rights, but the way he worked behind the scenes. He used his experience in Congress to needle and twist arms, to get things done. He was in charge, he was a leader. We thought we were getting something similar with Biden but this turned out to be untrue. Old Joe is grandpa trying to keep things calm while the fire is raging right outside the house.

So in Watergate the incident was much more minor. A break-in to Democratic headquarters. And then Nixon’s cover-up.

And just like with the January 6th committee, it took a long time for hearings to begin, Nixon was president.

Oh, did I mention he got re-elected in 1972? Blame war criminal Henry Kissinger, who kept telling us peace was at hand, when this was completely untrue. The Paris peace talks were a joke. And in the end, we just folded up our tent and got the hell out of Vietnam, but that wasn’t until 1975. Wonder what the people bitching about Afghanistan would say if they saw the way we exited Vietnam. Remember those pictures of the helicopters above the embassy? Probably not, but they were famous back then, when we all watched TV news and read the newspaper, when we were all operating on a similar basis of facts, even if we disagreed on the interpretation.

So, the Watergate hearings began. They were held every day. Not that news was broken every day, but they were held. It was like a soap opera, in television terms, it was stripped. But you probably don’t even know that TV lingo in the era of streaming.

So, there was gravitas.

And then there was John Dean.

John Dean was Cassidy Hutchinson on steroids. He told his truth. It was a bombshell, the worm started to turn, but still, it was not enough, Nixon had no intention of going.

And then came the tapes. That eventually pushed the Republican senators over the line, they went to visit Nixon and told him he had to go. Which he ultimately did. We just saw this happen in London, with Boris Johnson. But I wouldn’t expect most people to know what happened there, even understand it, they might know who Boris Johnson is, but that’s about it.

Now that Boris will be gone imminently, and Nigel Farage has been neutralized, does this mean Brexit is undone? Hell, they can’t even get accommodations for touring. Going to France for a gig is like going to America, whereas it used to be like going from New York to Pennsylvania. 

Many lies were told in order for Brexit to pass, for Johnson to win.

And similar lies were told in order to put Trump in power. I.e. Cambridge Analytica. Hell, can we put Mark Zuckerberg in jail along with Steve Bannon? You see if there are never any consequences, people never change their behavior.

So, Watergate was a universal story. Everybody knew it, in relative detail. And many on the right said even if it transpired, it wasn’t that big a deal. And, of course, that Nixon wasn’t responsible. Nixon stonewalled, until the tapes emerged and the truth was evidenced.

Counter that to today.

The right didn’t even want hearings, they wanted to let January 6th pass without investigation.

But this time, we had it all on tape. In the modern era there are cameras everywhere, we have hard evidence. But the right was constantly telling us not to believe what we saw. It was Antifa, not Trump supporters. Which made no sense on the surface. Antifa showed up at the Trump rally and then invaded the Capitol? Almost all the people in attendance were not Trump supporters?

So, despite the evidence given by Republicans, since they were in the White House with Trump, the right says to ignore the hearings. That’s like saying to ignore the SS, they weren’t there, they don’t know the truth about Hitler. And really, Nazism applies here. If you’re a person of color, or of a religious persuasion other than Christianity, be very afraid.

So they have these hearings in D.C., and all this evidence comes out, and what happens? NOTHING!

Absolutely nothing. I’m driving in my car, comparing Watergate to today, and I’m thinking back to then, and I realized we had a modicum of hope. We had Nixon on the run. We weren’t sure he was going to resign, we thought at best there would be an impeachment trial, but we thought there would be a penalty for his behavior.

I don’t have that hope today. And why should I? Let’s see, you can’t get an abortion, you can pray at school events… Everything that was bedrock is suddenly free-flowing lava.

So last night I watched the hearings. In truth, they were not as good as the previous two, there were not the same bombshells.

But one thing I realized was most people were not watching. Not only not watching, they might never even be exposed to what was said. This couldn’t happen back in ’73 and ’74. An impossibility. The country was torn, but not like today. We all knew the same stories, the same facts.

And exposure is everything. If you see it with your own eyes, it’s hard to deny. Then again, that seems to be what is happening with the invasion of the Capitol.

In other words, the hearings in the House appear to be a circle jerk. Because most people neither saw them nor heard about them, never mind accepted what was said as fact.

So it all comes down to Merrick Garland. A man who was proffered for the Supreme Court because Obama thought he was conservative enough to get approval from the right. Ain’t that a laugh. And to complete the circle, Biden gave Garland the AG job. Why? This was the best he could do?

Back in the sixties, we had RFK. People hated him because of nepotism, he was JFK’s brother, and because he TOOK ACTION! Today the AG is mostly a passive role, RFK was aggressive. He wanted equality. He didn’t throw his hands in the air like today’s Democrats, saying there was nothing he could do. He kept pushing.

So Merrick Garland…it all comes down to him. Will he prosecute Trump?

I’ve got no faith in Garland. He seems to be nothing better than a Democratic Bill Barr, who is afraid of his own shadow.

Now let me make this clear. I don’t care if Trump goes to jail, but I do care if he’s convicted. If Trump gets away with all this who can believe in the American system, in democracy?

Kind of like Elon Musk. He disobeys the law again and again. He didn’t report his 5% interest in Tesla to the SEC. Why? He’s got more money than they do, he can fight it, he’s a lifer, they’re not, and the SEC consistently comes out pro-business, and the Supreme Court is even worse.

Now most people don’t get the opportunity to break the law on this level. They’re not white collar, so they cannot commit white collar crime. At best they can steal something, and since there are cameras everywhere there is no plausible deniability, their ass is grass, they’re convicted, they go to jail. But the rich? It’s a whole different set of rules.

Now Bannon refusing to comply with the demands of the January 6th committee is like a high school student refusing to see the principal. You know what would happen, they’d be suspended, and if they never complied, EXPELLED! Furthermore, Trump pardoned Bannon previously, and Roger Stone who was already convicted. This is like a Mob boss getting a soldier to lie in court in order to protect the Mafioso on trial. It’s a raw bastardization of the legal system.

So, I was not convinced Bannon would be convicted. I’m kinda stunned that he was, even though it was an open and shut case. I mean there is some justice in the world. Even if he only serves 30 days at a country club prison. It’s not about Bannon, it’s about everybody else and their cockamamie reasons for not complying with the legal system. They’re gonna cough it up. Because loyalty only lasts until you’re in the hot seat. Do you really want to go to jail for Trump who will end up throwing you under the bus anyway?

I still have no hope, no confidence that Trump will go on trial, never mind be convicted. My desire is not so much to nail him on his heinous behavior but to send a message to everybody in these great United States that you can’t do what he did, you can’t break the law with impunity. If we don’t believe in laws, then our whole country folds.

But this isn’t really about laws. Hell, it isn’t even about Trump.

You’ve got to give me some hope. You’ve got to make me believe. You’ve got to give me the ability to march forward with my head up. And I haven’t had that spirt for a long time. Back in ’69 I was optimistic, today?

Yes, I’m old, I’ve seen the movie. And despite all the lionization of youth in this country, with age comes wisdom. Ask any boomer, if only they knew then what they know now. You’re more relaxed, less impulsive, you can see the landscape better, you’ve learned through experience.

And if you’re of my age it’s been going downhill for decades. I’m talking about government, democracy, FREEDOM! Sure, you might have raped and pillaged financially since Reagan cut taxes and liberated Wall Street. Hell, the internet is great. But income inequality is out of control. Where’s my hope there? Oh, to tell you the truth, I did have hope reading the news this morning, they don’t stop striking, in every business vertical. I mean you can’t give all the rewards to the rich and keep the poor down forever. As for unions having a bad name, they’ve tarnished “liberals” too. We do not live in a black and white world, sure, unions have been imperfect, but we need someone to stand up for the little people, the government has punted, the minimum wage? You can’t even afford shelter!

We need to take back our country. This is like African Americans taking back the “N-word.” The right keeps claiming freedom while they take our freedoms away. And the union-busters are Starbucks and Amazon! It’s not like Schultz and Jassy don’t have enough money.

As for falling on your sword… John Dean was disbarred. Seemingly nobody involved with Trump has suffered. It’s business as usual.

The Democrats are the party of law and order. Because law and order is about more than police, it’s about JUSTICE!

The Democrats are the ones looking to the future as opposed to holding on to a past that crumbles every day.

How come I know all this and those in government, our elected officials, are dumbfounded and dumb? They say their hands are tied by the system. What about Nelson Mandela? Enough with this crap about the system, it’s really about hearts and minds and you’ve got to start somewhere.

Is this Bannon decision a start?


But, what will have to happen to get our leaders to take action, hold bad actors accountable? As for fear of consequences if Trump is indicted… Yeah, that’s right, be afraid of your enemies. Do you see the right being afraid whatsoever? OF COURSE NOT!

So everybody who feels like they don’t have a voice, know that you are not alone. There are more of us than them. We are on the same page. We want the rules to apply to everybody. We want to believe in America. We want the Constitution to be a blueprint, not a finished product. We want to be able to believe what we see with our own two eyes.

We have no leaders. It only takes one. One person can move mountains, can motivate an entire populace. Can you say GANDHI?

Where is our unconstrained leader on the left? Not inured to the powers-that-be. Who believes in truth, justice and the American Way? A flag pin is just that, a pin. It’s what’s inside that counts. But we’ve become a nation of exteriors. Inside everybody wants the freedom to earn a living, to have a family and be happy. And to do that we need a system of laws that apply to everyone.

In this dystopian world with no center Trump has convinced too many people that up is down. And everybody else is too busy posting on social media to pay attention. We have the power. I want you to gimme some truth, but even more I want you to give me some hope, let me believe things are going to improve, work out better, because honestly I don’t feel that way right now.

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