A long time ago in another political universe, there was a Secretary of State who used a private email server for her personal email, and occasionally for work email too. Republicans, and particularly Donald Trump, used that as an excuse to shout "Lock her up!" and accuse her of endangering national security.
There were hearings. She was questioned for hours in front of a Congressional committee. They tried oh, so hard to find something -- anything -- they could possibly use to string her up and flog her. Finally, FBI Director James Comey came to their rescue by reviving the dead horse and beating it days before the election.
And to this day, even as recently as the inauguration of Donald Trump, his diehard supporters scream for Hillary Clinton to be locked up for...nothing.
Now we live in another political universe, one where Donald Trump is now the president and can't be bothered to discuss top-secret information in a secure room, instead having the conversation in the dining room at Mar-a-Lago.
Worse yet, his top henchman, General Michael Flynn, has apparently been in constant contact with the Russians, from the campaign through the inaugural and beyond. This is now such an issue that high-ranking officials at the NSC are actually filtering the information that gets to Trump and his toadies.
Even worse than that, it's possible Flynn encrypted his communications (or tried to) in order to mask them from intelligence agencies monitoring the Russian embassy.
Yet the press seems to be stuck on whether or not Flynn lied to Mike Pence about whether he discussed sanctions, as if that is the only issue on the table. Let's consider what we know.
- Flynn had an apparently secret conversation with Russian government officials, and has had an ongoing relationship with them throughout the 2016 campaign.
- Flynn AND Trump have had an ongoing relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin throughout the campaign, the transition, and the early weeks of Trump's presidency. Apparently one of the fruits of that relationship for Putin is the undercutting of U.S. sanctions placed on Russia for interfering in our elections.
- Meanwhile, Trump hasn't been able to muster one single mean word about Putin. Instead, he's placed Rex Tillerson, a Putin award recipient and beneficiary of relaxed sanctions, in the State Department.
If you need to, go back to the top of this post and review what triggered hours upon hours upon hours of investigation and hearings. Compare and contrast to the magnitude of these three bullet points.
This is a 4-alarm fire. An all-hands-on-deck moment. Hair on fire. All of it.
Where are the Republicans? Well, they're doing the "protect at all costs" dance. Jason Chaffetz was confronted at his town hall last week on this very issue, and dodged it like a master. Mitch McConnell has no intention of lifting a finger, and Senator John McCain just does the word dance on the Senate floor with no action to back it up.
We are in a national security crisis, and Republicans are too craven to deal with it.
So what now?
Yep, you know what now. You call your representative and your senators. You DEMAND that an independent commission be appointed to investigate. Write letters to the editor of your local paper. Share on social media. MAKE NOISE.
Honestly, if Watergate happened today it would hardly make a blip on the national radar, as useless as our press and broadcast media have become. If we don't make noise about this on an order of magnitude higher than the right wing made about every single minor non-scandal they could find against Obama, it'll just get buried in all the noise.
Gen. Michael Flynn may be Trump's handler. He may just be a craven, power-hungry right wing fool. He may be something else even more sinister. But until we are able to have an investigation that isn't slow-walked by hungry, ambitious Republicans, we will never know.
Watch this space. I'll be back with more as it happens.