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The Resistance Takes a Stand for Keeping Trump in Office

By David Swanson

I’m old enough to remember when Nancy Pelosi was telling us that Trump would impeach himself.

Now, Trump’s “not worth it,” as if impeachment is a favor you bestow on those most worthy.

Jerrold Nadler is proposing to fine Trump for refusing to comply with subpoenas.

Do you grasp the full meaning of that last one? Trump has, in an unprecedented manner, blatantly violated the U.S. Constitution’s two — count em — emoluments clauses since Day One, using the U.S. presidency to enrich himself enormously. And now, on top of all of his other impeachable offenses having nothing to do with Russophobia — read them before screaming that they don’t exist — Trump is openly refusing to comply with Congressional subpoenas — or what CNN bizarrely calls “Democratic subpoenas.” That was Article Three of the three articles of impeachment passed by the House Judiciary Committee against Richard Nixon, leading him to resign. The big question on everyone’s lips soon, I’m sure: will the fines be more or less than $15?

Is Congress trying to mock itself? Adding insult to ignominy, the fines would be justified by reference to Congress’s power of inherent contempt, which is actually the power to literally hold people behind bars until they answer to Congress. But because today’s Congress is simply universally understood to be the largest invertebrate on earth, instead of using inherent contempt the way it was used in the past, the Champions of the Resistance would refer to it to impose fines. Perhaps they’ll also charge all destroyers of the earth’s environment, whom they’re no longer able to even identify or track, a “flat fine” of $0.50 each in lieu of paying taxes?

Of course, the primary reason that the Resistance is reluctant to resist is supposed to be Russiagate’s collapse, but that’s secondary. The primary reason that the Resistance never resisted, and created Russiagate despite endless warnings that it would eventually collapse and/or get us all killed, is that the Resistance does not want to ever cease “resisting.” It wants to keep Trump in office in order to “resist” him by not being him. What need is there for any decent democratic action if you can win both corporate funding and at least some minor elections by just not being Trump?

Resistance supporters have lots of other ludicrous reasons to take the stand they are taking to keep Trump in office. Each person seems to have his or her own, and many are too incoherent to try to reply to, but the most common one that seems to have a sort of meaning in the English language is Pencedread. This is the irrational fear that if you DON’T allow presidents to get away with everything they want, thereby guaranteeing that each successive president will assume even more power, THEN the next president will be worse. Conversely, Pencedreaders hold that if you allow a popular movement to compel impeachment and removal from office — and, by the way, endless hours of televised coverage of Trump’s actual offenses — then the next president will, in contrast to Gerald Ford who constitutes a severe rupture in the space-time continuum of laws of historical forces, be an unrivaled emperor able to outstrip the damage of his predecessors in a week, unchallenged by a nation that will forget how to impeach people in less than a week.

Not only are the reasons of the Resistance not to resist ludicrous, but you cannot combine any two of them. For example, the top reason (Pence will eat us!) conflicts with the second most popular reason (the Senate will never ever ever in a million years no matter what remove Trump from office, even if we shut up about Russiagate long enough to tell people about his actual outrages).

Trump would be a pretty impressive fascist buffoon if we were to credit him with setting the course of the Resistance, still a fascist buffoon but a pretty impressive one — almost as clever as the Vladimir Putin of Resistancelore. But Trump didn’t equate impeachment with Russiagate, the Russiagaters and the corporate media did.

However, Trump has been a part of the process of establishing his immunity in other ways. For example, he has taken away the one charge that the Resistance could be imagined giving enough of a damn about to act on, namely a sex scandal. The man has so many outrageous but accepted sex scandals hiding in the shade of make-believe pee tapes that any new one could hardly be objected to.

Trump has ordered Border Patrol to violate laws, but he ordered his campaign crowds to violate laws too. Why object now? He (and Pence!) has supported a coup in Venezuela, but who doesn’t do that? He’s colluded with a foreign government against the interests of the United States, but the foreign government was Israel, so who really cares? The open and indisputable Trump outrages are numerous, but one can always pretend that an “investigation” is needed. Trump will collaborate or even “collude” in that by refusing to comply with subpoenas. The Resistance can mail him a parking ticket, pat itself on the back, and lose another election that would be winnable by “Candidate to Be Selected After the Fact with a Dart Thrown at a Phonebook.”


David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of and campaign coordinator for Swanson's books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at and He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015, 2016, 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.

Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.

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