But that is all I want to say on the subject, because it has been covered by better writers than I. If you need to see more, you can start here. Also, being a lifelong resident of New Jersey, I count Corey Booker as one of my Senators. We have our differences, but he made me proud last week with this. Booker uses the word “complicity” several times, and that is the topic I want to address. Donald Trump can be openly racist because his Party does not mind. They make excuses for it and for him, in the name of serving their donors. Secretary Nielsen, the target of Corey Booker’s ire, has convenient memory lapses, but she is hardly the only one. And it isn’t just about racism either.
Consider the state of the investigations concerning the 2016 election and the Russian interference therein. Robert Mueller’s investigation continues apace, but the committees in the House and Senate have veered into dangerous territory. We are hearing the term “deep state” all over the place suddenly. The term has broader application, but the current usage in Washington comes from right wing media sources such as Breitbart, where Steve Bannon championed it. It is the basis of a conspiracy theory that says there are unelected officers, especially within the FBI, who are seeking to undermine the Trump administration. According to this idea, the Mueller investigation is biased, and is part of this supposed conspiracy. So now we have calls by prominent Republicans to investigate this instead of the Russian involvement in the election. Some of this is surely self defense, since it started when Mueller announced he was expanding his investigation to examine the role of the Republican National Committee in the possible compromising of not only the presidential race, but possibly Senate and House races as well. But the upshot is that committees which are supposed to be investigating the election are instead working to promote right wing propaganda designed to delegitimize Mueller and his investigation. This is not thoroughness on the part of these committees, and the Democrats on the committees rightfully want no part of it. No, let us call this what its: obstruction of justice. The Republicans promoting the “deep state” theory are seeking to interfere in and undermine an ongoing investigation. It is time for us as citizens to call on Mueller and other relevant authorities to call witnesses and bring charges if necessary against members of the House and Senate who are engaging in these tactics. We must send a clear message that these tactics are unacceptable. We must shut down calls for any investigation of the “deep state”, before this goes any further.
As I say this, I can hear the cries of “witch hunt”. I can imagine comparisons to the last time there was an attempt to root out “evil doers” in Congress, and the name Joe McCarthy comes up. But I am not calling for a new McCarthy era. If anything, the McCarthy era represented an earlier time when a “deep state” theory took hold, and became a basis for policy decisions. I am calling for a Constitutional remedy to stop this in its tracks. McCarthyism was ultimately halted in disgrace, but not before political enemies were subdued and important progressive voices were permanently silenced. With new energy on the left, the country is at a critical point. The Republican strategy for attempting to turn back the blue wave is beginning to reveal itself, and the “deep state” theory is the opening salvo. Now is the time to end this, while we still can.
For music this week, I will circle back to the topic of racism after all. Joni Mitchell’s brilliant collaboration with Charles Mingus produced this gem, which sums it up nicely: