Rather than march against Trump's militarization of the border, or for that matter, the US's brutal global militarization in general, liberals will be marching to express their shock and displeasure at the ouster of one of the most racist and xenophobic officials in modern American history.
House Speaker-in-Waiting Nancy Pelosi got knocked off the playground seesaw within 24 hours of verbally pandering to Trump - in the name of "national unity" - in the wake of her party's feeble midterm victory, and immediately characterized the firing as a "constitutional crisis" because it endangers the interminable RussiaGate investigation of Trump by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, who is subordinate to the Attorney General.
The media-political complex is shocked, shocked that Trump would replace Sessions with a DOJ "loyalist," who, we learn almost in an aside, has also been employed by CNN as a legal affairs talking head.
The outrage is not so much that Matthew Whitaker crossed the red line between public service employment and private media employment, but that he allegedly is a hypnotized Trilby to Trump's Svengali.
The New York Times editorialized:
Mr. Whitaker — who has been called the “eyes and ears” of the White House inside the Justice Department by John Kelly, Mr. Trump’s chief of staff — has expressed a Trumpian degree of hostility to the investigation he is now charged with overseeing. He has called it a “witch hunt” and, in its earliest months, wrote an opinion piece arguing that Mr. Mueller was coming “dangerously close” to crossing a “red line” by investigating the president’s finances. He has suggested there was nothing wrong in Mr. Trump’s 2017 firing of James Comey, the F.B.I. director, and he has supported the prosecution of Hillary Clinton. In an interview last year he described “a scenario where Jeff Sessions is replaced with a recess appointment, and that attorney general doesn’t fire Bob Mueller, but he just reduces his budget to so low that his investigation grinds to almost a halt.” In 2014, he headed the political campaign for Iowa state treasurer of Sam Clovis, who later became a Trump campaign aide and, more recently, a witness in the Russia investigation.Rather than criticize the glaring conflict of interest in Whitaker's recent post at CNN, the Times carefully limits its ire to Whitaker's conflict of interest regarding the Russiagate investigation. That's because emphasizing the CNN connection would not be in keeping with the "narrative" that Trump persecutes the corporate media and its various personalities by calling them "fake news" and "enemies of the people."
As I wrote in my published response to Charles Blow, whose own column on the subject also concentrated on Whitaker's pro-Trump verbiage on CNN rather than on this Department of Justice official's monetized connection to CNN:
The only thing more (ahem) shocking than Trump firing Sessions is that his successor, Whitaker, also works as a paid CNN legal contributor. The conflicts of interest in this American oligarchy, which still ridiculously poses as a republic, extend so far beyond the Trump gene pool, it isn't funny.
You'd think that Trump would disqualify Whitaker because of his connection to CNN. But the truth is that Trump loves the corporate media, and they love him right back. They give him all the free air time he requires, and then some. He, in turn, supplies them with record-breaking ad revenue and viewership.
The back-and-forth at the post-midterms press con between Trump and CNN star Jim Acosta appeared completely staged to me. These men are filling their required roles for "The Spectacle" (in lieu of gathering actual news or discussing the problems of ordinary people.)
Trump relishes this role because casting himself as a beleaguered victim-warrior endears him even more to his fans, who have been manipulated into channeling their very real grievances into the Trump "kampf." The Republicans owned by the wealthy stay silent because plutocrats and fascists have historically made very cozy bedfellows. I think it's now safe to declare that fascism has arrived, blue wave or no.
What if Trump held a rally or a press conference and nobody televised it? He'd immediately collapse like the over-inflated balloon of fetid hot air that he is. And the corporate sponsors would be very sad.For those of you who missed it, here's the full clip of Wednesday's press conference:
As presidential press conferences go, it was a riveting and bizarre treat, an entertainment special tailor-made for the profit driven corporate media. It even has a sequel, with the White House later accusing Acosta of "touching" the White House intern who'd attempted to remove his microphone, and then revoking his press access to the building. As if that wasn't enough, Trump Press Secretary Sarah Sanders began sharing a doctored video of Acosta accosting the intern. And that has led to further outrage from the champions of a free corporate-sponsored press who simultaneously and hypocritically applaud the censorship efforts of Facebook and Google as pertain to more independent (unapproved) news outlets.
All concerned are playing their parts to perfection. Nothing buries popular demands for the public good, such as Medicare for All, like Democrats attacking Trump from the right and rallying neoliberal neofascists to protest the firing of their new confederate anti-immigrant hero, Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions III. It's a professionally coordinated "rapid response" astroturfed uprising reminiscent of the Tea Party.
Wall Street has declared itself well-pleased with all the outcomes of the Midterminals, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average shooting up more than 500 points after the cosmetic restoration of two-party, duopolistic rule. The record $5 billion invested by the oligarchy into the one democratic vestige we still have left was money very well spent indeed, because most of the Democratic wins came in affluent Congressional districts.
When, in her post-midterminal victory speech (pre-Sessions ouster), Nancy Pelosi gushed that these meager victories prove that "we have a marketplace of ideas that makes our democracy strong" she wasn't kidding. The emphasis on the "we" serves to define unfettered capitalism as democracy for the very few and the very privileged who. she said, "have all had enough of division." Oh, and maybe they'll even give a little token relief to "hardworking Americans" who can demonstrate a lot of skin in their game. Pelosi is so into plutocratic unity that she even cadged a page from the Trump playbook and promised to Drain the Swamp of dark unaccountable money.
"Let's hear it more for pre-existing medical conditions!" she unnecessarily added to the cheers of an exclusive crowd of party operatives and donors and, of course, those dedicated and unpaid volunteers.