I switched on Twitter for 15 minutes at 7:00 a.m. this morning and felt I was watching democracy die before my eyes as a fascist and possibly traitorous president threatened to prosecute Obama.
That led me to a flash review of our decline and fall as the narrative has taken shape in my mind in recent years:
- The Kochs plotted long and hard, building their network of extremist think tanks, fake news sources, astroturf advocacy groups and corporate lobbying groups.
- Reagan ripped the lid off inequality and disinherited the middle class with a cocktail of tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulation, weakened antitrust enforcement and union-bashing.
- Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes prepped 30-40% of the population for fascism with twenty years of progressively more extreme gaslighting.
- Newt Gingrich began the destruction of our governing norms with his playbook for the politics of defamation and demonization and assault on the research resources of Congress.
- George W. Bush and his henchman-in-chief Cheney prepped the country to reject the core values of liberal democracy by instituting a program of systematic, officially sanctioned torture -- and terrorized the population by metastasizing the terrorist threat with their invasion of Iraq.
- John Roberts and a cohort of Bush I/Bush II/Reagan Supreme Court appointees opened the floodgates of oligarchy with Citizens United and greenlighted massive voter suppression in Shelby v. Holder.
- Mitch McConnell and his lockstep legions destroyed bipartisan, fact-based legislating -- by design -- and raised partisan disinformation to an art form.
- A clown car crammed with corrupt demagogues running for president humored, flattered and ultimately fell in behind a lifelong fraudster promising fascist regeneration through purge of demonized minorities and protectionist nostrums.
- Our antiquated Constitution pushed us past the tipping point that creeping oligarchy and progressive gaslighting had brought us close to, handing power to the popular vote loser.