Let’s pretend

Chuck Schumer says this and now Republicans are pretending it’s an actual threat and a major outrage:

Bye, Tweety

They weren’t “compliments.” They were sexually suggestive. But okay:

GOP: He’s guilty, so what, let’s acquit

Swamp Rabbit said he was worried about me. I wasn’t working today, and I hadn’t even ventured outside my swamp shack to pick a fight with someone.

“Stop watching that impeachment trial,” he said. “It’s turning you into a nut job.”

I told him it should make everyone nutty now that Republican senators, after three years of groveling before Donald Trump, have sunk to the point where they won’t even permit the appearance of a fair trial by voting to include witnesses and relevant documents. They’re telling us Trump was correct when he falsely claimed that Article II of the Constitution gives him “the right to do whatever I want as president.”

They’re agreeing with Alan Dershowitz, who signaled his approval of an imperial presidency by absurdly arguing that a quid pro quo entered into for personal gain by an elected official can’t be illegal so long as that official believes “his election is in the public interest.”

“I blame Claus von Bulow,” I said. “They made a movie about his overturned murder conviction, and the movie made that dirtbag Dershowitz look like a hero. It made him famous.”

“It ain’t just Dershowitz,” Swamp Rabbit said. “They’re all dirtbags. They’re all in the loop. Them senators and lawyers and Cabinet members, them yahoos in Wildwood, New Jersey who like Trump on account of he hates blacks and immigrants and tree huggers — they wouldn’t be propping up Trump if they wasn’t as rotten as he is.”

He’s right. John Bolton, the mustache behind the door, is too concerned about book sales to share his first-hand knowledge of Trump’s law-breaking before the so-called trial is over. Lamar Alexander and other Senate “moderates” have admitted they know Trump abused his power but say they’ll vote to acquit anyway.

Lisa Murkowski lamented the failure of the Senate — a failure in which she played a key role. And here’s Marco Rubio, who seems as stupid as he is gutless: “Just because actions meet a standard of impeachment does not mean it is in the best interest of the country to remove a President from office.”

I kicked my oatmeal bowl off the porch and into the swamp. “Rubio says removing a corrupt president isn’t in our best interest. He’s worse than Dershowitz.”

Swamp Rabbit opened a can of beer and chuckled. “I was where you’re at last week, Odd Man. It don’t do no good to get your blood pressure up. All you can do is vote the crook out of office in November.”

I reached for my oatmeal bowl before it sank. “He was impeached for trying to steal the election, and he’s getting away with it. What makes you think he won’t try again and not get caught next time?”

NYT to readers: Vote for both of them!

“This is pathetic,” I said after reading the editorial twice. “What’s going on at the New York Times?”

Swamp Rabbit looked confused. “How would I know? I ain’t no Manhattan neolib. I live in a shack in Tinicum swamp, just like you.”

I was genuinely confused. An endorsement, by definition, involves choosing one candidate over all the others. Why choose two, unless you’re trying to confuse your readers?

Swamp Rabbit took a minute to check the editorial then read aloud from it:

Both the radical and the realist models warrant serious consideration. If there were ever a time to be open to new ideas, it is now. If there were ever a time to seek stability, now is it. That’s why we’re endorsing the most effective advocates for each approach. They are Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar.

Warren is the radical, you see, and Klobuchar is realistic. I couldn’t help wondering how often The Times‘s editorial writers venture outside their glass-and-steel tower, and how they’re defining their terms.

Warren is actually a New Deal-style Democrat, with beliefs and policy ideas similar to those of Bernie Sanders, a candidate the Times calls divisive and despises. Klobuchar is middle-of-the-road, a lot like Joe Biden but more bland and not as gaffe-prone. How her politics equates with realism is a mystery to me.

“They mean she’s a go-slow type,” Swamp Rabbit said. “They’re saying she can do what Warren wants to do, but without rocking the boat. Don’t make much sense when you think about it.”

I told him the Times editorial tells us more about the Times than it does about Warren or Klobuchar. The famed newspaper of record badly misjudged the mood of the country when it confidently endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016. It still doesn’t understand Trump’s appeal. It’s hoping to get back some credibility by hedging its bets in 2020, by being all things to all people who aren’t Trump-loving troglodytes.

“Who cares about them editorial writers anyway?” the rabbit said. “They all work for corporations. I know bloggers who make more sense.”

I nodded in agreement. He said, “Don’t jump to no conclusions, I ain’t talking about you.”

Who’s more anti-Bernie? Too close to call.

Matt Taibbi’s succinct summary of Joy Reid’s most recent attempt at character assassination:

If you combine junk forensics and yellow journalism, you get this peak-stupidity moment by MSNBC – having a “body language expert” on to declare Bernie Sanders a liar.

What’s next from Reid? Maybe Sybil the Soothsayer from Sidney Lumet/Paddy Chayefsky’s Network to predict that Bernie’s election would result in the end of the world.

Swamp Rabbit thinks MSNBC is more blatantly anti-Bernie than CNN. I think it’s a tie.