The Political Class Murders Itself

The point at which the Roman Republic moved from republic to empire is generally placed at the point when the Senate granted Octavian almost unlimited power and he adopted the title Augustus. Some historians argue it was when Caesar crossed the Rubicon or when Octavian defeated Antony at Actium. The implication is that once the transition was started, there was no turning back. The more useful analysis is to think of it as a process, with roots in the Republic, that evolved to the point where dictatorship was inevitable.

The die was most likely cast when the Republic began to compromise its own rules for limiting and distributing power. The system they had created was a reflection of the tribal realities of the early republic. In order to keep any one family from gaining too much power, they systematically limited the time anyone served in office. The system also forced an apprenticeship on those who went into public life. This had the benefit of making public men buy into the system. Therefore they were willing to defend it.

That meant the system had a policing mechanism to sort out enemies before they could cause trouble. An ambitious young man could not skip any steps on his way up the ladder, so once he got up the ladder, he was not agreeing to any changes in the process. Defending the system was a way to defend one’s prerogatives, but also a way to defend the system from lunatics. Verpus Maximus may be smart and talented, but he was not only going to wait his turn, he was going to do all the jobs necessary to prove his worth.

This system started to break down with the rivalry of Sulla and Marius. Sulla was the first man to hold the office of consul twice. He also got away with marching an army on Rome itself, in order to defeat his rival, Marius. Both of these acts were supposed to be disqualifying, but exceptions were made for expediency. Sulla sided with the Senate so the Senate bent the rules to serve themselves. A good case can be made that this is the point when it was all over for the Republic.

It was just a matter of time before someone used Sulla as a precedent.

It is a good lesson to keep in mind as the politicians in the Imperial Capital wrangle over what could be a very dangerous scandal for them.

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes declared Wednesday that members of Donald Trump’s transition team, possibly including Trump himself, were under inadvertent surveillance following November’s presidential election.

The White House and Trump’s allies immediately seized on the statement as vindication of the president’s much-maligned claim that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower phones — even though Nunes himself said that’s not what his new information shows.

Democrats, meanwhile, cried foul.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the intelligence panel, cast doubt on Nunes’ claims in a fiery statement and blasted the chairman for not first sharing the information with him or other committee members.

Schiff also slammed Nunes for briefing the White House on Wednesday afternoon given that the Intelligence Committee is in the middle of an investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, including possible collusion with the Trump team.

The political class chased Nixon out of town for talking about the use of the FBI and CIA as weapons against political opponents. The rule in politics has been that the use of the IRS or the intelligence agencies was expressly prohibited. There could be no exceptions for obvious reasons, as it would give these bureaucracies dangerous power. That was the lesson of Hoover. If the CIA or IRS are allowed to use their powers to gather dirt on elected officials, then they can control elected officials. That’s the end of democracy.

Of course, there’s another reason to take certain weapons off the table in politics. That’s self preservation. In prior ages, where the winners had the losers killed, the challengers would always have as their goal, the death of the current ruler. That prompted the ruler to get ahead of the curve and have any potential challengers killed, before they could be any trouble. This was Stalin’s game and he just about gutted the the intellectual and political elite of Russia in the process. They still have not recovered from it.

That’s what makes this so dangerous. It’s now clear what happened. The Obama people started spying on Trump once he had the nomination or perhaps even earlier. They may have started earlier with an eye on helping the Republicans knock him off in the primary, but that’s not clear. They figured that Clinton was a lock so they were not careful about covering their tracks. The Clinton people are as dirty as it gets so they were not going to be ratting on anyone over it. If anything, they would expand on it.

This is where the Russian hacking story comes into the picture. Once disaster struck and Team Obama realized they had a problem, they needed cover, so they started with the Russian hacking nonsense. They would then claim that it was all an accident and they were just trying to prevent Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale from attacking our democracy! It’s also why Obama signed a retroactive Executive Order giving cover to the intel agencies for their domestic spying activities. They were creating a cover story.

The complication is that it appears that at least one person has perjured himself over this and that one person is FBI Director Comey. There’s no way to square his testimony with these new revelations. The best he can do is split hairs and claim he was not part of the spying effort. Of course, there’s no way to touch him as he runs the FBI. In fact, there’s no way to investigate any of the intelligence organizations. This is the point where many of the robot historians of the future will say the American political class murdered itself.

Unless there is some will to address it, and that’s highly unlikely, we now have a new normal where highly politicized intelligence agencies are used by both sides to discredit one another and discredit any attempts to reform the system. It’s no longer a game of rules. It is a zero sum  game of power and that cycle only ends one way, with someone marching their army on the capital and taking control. As with Rome, whoever emerges as the dictator will not have murdered the system. The system will have murdered itself.

95 thoughts on “The Political Class Murders Itself

  1. Hey thezman, why is it that historians often blame Julius Caesar for the downfall of the Republic and not Sulla or Marius? It would be like blaming Trump on the downfall of the US dollar or the National Debt would it not?

  2. Rome makes a very poor example of “an empire that destroyed itself.” Especially if you want to use the rise of Octavius / Augustus and the implementation of the Imperial system as the point of no return.

    Because Rome didn’t fall in in 49 BC when Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon, nor during the reign of Augustus as Emperor (27 BC to 14 AD). In fact it was just getting started in 14 AD.

    Most standard histories give the date of 476 as the Fall of Rome. It’s the date that ends Volume 3 of Gibbons Decline and Fall, but that only is for the Western Empire. There are another 3 volumes that have follow the fate of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) which only fell in 1453, when to Ottoman empire finally took Constantinople.

    In fact it seems to be more of an argument for the stability of an Imperial System. The longest enduring European Empire was run by Emperors with a fig-leaf Senate to rubber stamp stuff, not an unruly bunch of drunks like the Parliament of Whores in Washington and our beloved Democratic Republic.

    Why do people keep saying that the end of the Roman Republic was some horrible event that doomed Rome? It was not.

    How long have most large modern nations been in existence? Not to mention continent spanning poly-glot empires? ,

    Even if you limit it to the Western Roman Empire, centered in Rome you still have the long period from 27 BC to 476 (when the German warlord Odoacer deposed the Emperor Romulus) — that’s 503 years!

    The USSR lasted for 80 years before shattering.
    The British Empire that the Sun Never Set Upon lasted from 1783 to 1945. – 162 Years
    The French Empire of Napoleon did not outlast its founder.

    The Spanish Empire’s given dates in Wikipedia is 1492 to 1975, which is quite generous as it lost it’s last major holdings in the Spanish American War of 1898, and most of South America to La Liberatador, Simon Bolivar, 70 years previous to that. But still, lets give Spain runner up status. How did that make their empire last so long?

    Under an imperial, not a democratic system for the bulk of that time period. That includes the years 1931 to 1975, which was the rule of Franco, who restored the Monarchy, and largely ruled as a Emperor himself, without even the fig leaf of citizen assemblies.

    So, to play the devils advocate, why was the fall of the Roman Republic such a bad thing? The Imperial system seemed to protect the privileges of the Roman citizens as well or better than the Republic had. Rome reached it’s territorial zenith 100 years into the Imperial era.

    Constantine made a conscious decision to move Rome to Constantinople after his full control of the empire was established in 324 AD. That may have been a bad call (especially if you were a Roman living in Rome) but perhaps he was also very forward seeing. His city remained the center of Western civilization for 1000 years. That’s a huge success. (And it’s fall is often credited with starting the Renaissance, when refugees of the fall sought sanctuary in the city-states of Italy, Venice, Rome and Florence.)

    It was said for 1000 years that Rome would last as long as the sacred Fire of Vesta burned in the Temple at the heart of Rome. Constantine converted the Roman empire to the alien Christian religion. His successor Theodosius had the Sacred Fire extinguished and the rites of the Temple of Vesta ended in 394.

    He also fought the barbarian tribes, but failed to beat them. To use modern terminology he granted them amnesty. Here’s Wikipedia’s description: “He failed to kill, expel, or entirely subjugate them, and after the Gothic War, they established a homeland south of the Danube, in Illyricum, within the empire’s borders.”

    After his death the Empire was split into two halves, one given to each son. It was never again reunited.

    So my take is to maintain an Empire it’s more important to retain you religion, culture, territory and unity than to maintain your Senate. Pagan Rome lasted more than 1000 years. Rome itself fell to barbarian invaders in 410, only 14 years after the fire was extinguished.

    Perhaps it really was the key to Rome’s life as “the eternal city” after all, as tradition held.

  3. The US federal government has 17 intelligence agencies… that are known to us. Does anyone else think that’s excessive? Does anyone else think that’s a recipe for corruption?

  4. One of the hazards a huge bureaucratic state faces is conflict among its alphabet soup agencies. Hitler’s government is an example of a bureaucratic polyarchy where each organization competed with one another for resources and power. Hitler benefited from this, as it kept them busy with each other instead of trying to overthrow him. Inter-agency feuds such as Admiral Wilhelm Franz Canaris, chief of the Abwehr hindered the various intel agencies from working together and polling their resources to find out when and where D-Day would occur. In the USSR, during Khrushchev reign the polyarchy was divided evenly between the politburo (communist party), the KGB under Beria, and the military.

  5. Pingback: The Political Class Murders Itself | We Seek the Truth!

  6. Just a minor nitpick: there was nothing new in multiple consulships, two and even three consulships was achieved in the second century BC by respectable men. Marius’ seven consecutive consulships was an innovation, but it was arguably his reform of the army that caused more trouble, as the Roman army from then on became loyal to and dependent on their general. Sulla benefited from this, as did Caesar.
    Anyway, just wanted to get the record straight. ’tis a minor point, but one, I think, well worth making.

    • Thanks for the post. You’re spot on as I’m up to speed on this history from reading Sallust, Appian, and Caesar in the last couple weeks.

  7. It might be easier to drain the swamp than you think. As head of the executive branch, Trump has the authority to reshape the Departments.

    Since he’s already downsizing some of these Departments, what he needs to do next is announce a reduction-in-force (RIF) of the federal civilian work force. In past RIFs, managers went through an agonizing process to identify those “less qualified” for retention — a difficult task, given that everyone gets firewalled “outstanding” performance ratings.

    Except in this case, Trump announces that he’s placing a premium on experienced workers. Therefore, everyone hired in the last few years — pick a number, say eight — is hereby RIF’d.

    There will likely be legal challenges, but one part of the political ju-jitsu in DC is keeping the other side off balance and responding to events…..

    Announce RIF as above. Make popcorn.

  8. In July 2016, Trump joked that the Russians had probably already hacked Hillary’s unsecured email server. He added, “Russia, if you are listening, I hope you are able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by the press.”

    This was obviously a wisecrack, but Hillary and the media pretended to take it literally and went ballistic over it, accusing Trump of inviting the Russians to hack Hillary’s emails (which would have been impossible since the server had already been seized by the FBI). This accusation became a regular talking point. At the time I thought it was just partisan hyperbole, but perhaps it provided the necessary justification for monitoring Trump’s communications.

  9. Agree the points made, though if my memory serves Marius was Consul seven times before Sulla, breaking the ‘ten year gap’ rule by adhering to the letter rather than spirit of the law. I think Marius & Sulla may have been senior and junior Consul at the last? Sorry if I seem pedantic but slight inaccuracies damage the strength of your argument, and it is a strong and valid argument.

  10. The key is to keep the political class frightened and holed up in Washington. Given the abject terror Trump has caused, one only can imagine how terrified they will be once the personal threat level gets knocked up a notch or two. The United States military in the end will be like its former Soviet counterpart and refuse to fire on its own people. Those who issue such an order, if they are stupid enough to do so, will die in short order.

    In the meantime, Nunes either can refer Comey for prosecution or not. USAG Sessions can seek a special prosecutor to look into Obama’s DOJ. Do they have the will? Your historical precedent indicates they do not.

  11. Time for Trump to order scaffolding and gallows to be erected on the National Mall, complete with hemp rope and functioning traps. No announcement, no response to media bellyaching and Leftist Democrat howling. Just do it and see what follows.

  12. BTW, a good series on the end of the Roman Republic as historical fiction is Colleen McCullough’s series which starts with The First Man in Rome.

  13. Actually it was Marius who was the first to become consul twice. In fact he was consul 6 times.

    Clinton’s crimes were far worse than Nixon’s but Dimocrats protect their own and the people didn’t care because the economy was doing great. Both Clintons should be in jail. In a sane world they would. I fear our republic is doomed.

      • They beat me to it re Marius! Technically everything that Sulla did was legal, justified, and designed to restore the Republic to what it was … unfortunately the methodology he used was equally applicable to those with far different motives…

    • Yep, there was a term limit on consulships that they broke with Marius over and over again as crises arose they needed dealt with quickly.
      Marius also consolidated the power of the military so he could get around bureaucrats and get done what he needed to. The price, though, was undermining the system.

      Marius opened the wound, Sulla made the wound fatal, Caesar dealt the killing blow.

  14. Unfortunately, nothing will change. The political process, along with the media conspiracy, will accomplish nothing. Trump has already started betraying his base (Obamacare, backing off on immigration, not attacking judges and agencies when he should, etc.) No, the only route left is revolution. Wasting time with anything less than that is only prolonging the inevitable. I don’t believe the West has the balls to do it unless all their toys are taken from them. If the grid goes down and a major attack takes place, all bets are off.

  15. This is why Trump is such fun – at least now we have measurable benchmarks for things. E.g. if Comey doesn’t do a real stretch in federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison, it’s pretty much over for the rule of law. E.g. if
    “shocking personal revelations” start coming out about the judges who have stalled Trump’s exec orders, we’ll know politicized spying is the new bipartisan norm. E.g. failing that, those judges or other potential troublemakers find themselves having mysterious boating accidents, firearms mishaps, car accidents…. Should be a hoot. I personally love Vince Foster conspiracy theories, and those sound pretty tame right now!

    • If these people were only sent home, reduced to banging their highchair trays in the pages of the NYT and WP, that would be good enough for me. The trouble with using their tactics against them, is that those tactics should probably not be in play at all. We are all worse off for them.

      On the other hand, it may take a bit of such work to break the back of all this. Lesser of evils and all. Should be an entertaining trip, in a “driving by the car crash” sort of way.

      • Bet you a right arm Dutch, there are a few key people, that you take out of the equation, the entire deep state collapses.
        Figuring out who, is what I’ll bet Trump and Bannon are doing. They are bird dogging these clowns, like Comey, and Nune. Trump is letting out the rope, they put the noose around their necks, they are dirty D.I.R.T.Y., they are caught up in a web of lies they created.
        Somebody is going to crack, make an existential mistake, decide like the rats they are, to sing to save their arse.
        They know the jug is almost up. It will be a stampede to squeal first.

        • “…there are a few key people…”

          I agree with this. The rest are just following orders. I seriously doubt that the numbers to to totally and completely route them would be above 10,000.

  16. I think you mean Octavian defeated Antony at Actium.

    The problem with a republic is all the safety rails designed to keep one person or group from getting too much power also make it hard to respond effectively to crisis situations.

    Marius got his big exceptions to the rules so he could go fight German barbarian armies invading Italy. Marius then changed the system so that soldiers owed their fortunes and therefore their loyalties to generals.
    Sulla made it big when he took on Mithridates of Pontus after his revolt and huge massacre of Roman citizens. As with Marius his men became loyal to him rather than Rome once he was their source of spoils and pensions.

    Once generals became stronger than the state it was just a matter of time.

    I’ve pondered myself that maybe we need to find the right balance between a republic with enough mechanisms of autocracy to allow decision making when it matters most. Or else the system is forced to break itself.

    • My limited understanding of things tells me that the whole “executive order” thing was a way for the President to seize the reins in times of national emergency. Instead EOs are used to direct and facilitate the daily doings of the bureaucratic class. Perhaps those who know more can school me on this idea.

      • I think you have to take it in a holistic perspective.
        It’s not the executive order, or judicial legislating, regulatory fiat, or the system is now illegitimate.
        I think it is because the US Constitution has worked exactly how it was crafted. It is an instrument of administrative centralism, or administrative tyranny, pick either, they are inseparable in essence. It never stopped or held in check, power. It has not once created an erg of liberty. We have as dirt people have never enjoyed a republican form of government. I honestly believe if us dirt people were not armed as we are it all would be far worse. In that light one amendment, and the most contentious one, The 2nd Amendment, worked exactly as it was intended. Because nothing else sure as hell has stopped what HAS happened so far. The 2nd is the only one they have not managed to outflank in totality. They inked Habeas Corpus, Posse Comitatus is a foregone conclusion, the 16th is a joke, how many of us are slaves to the state are there? With so called “hate speech laws” the 1st is a basket case. Still hanging in there. Thank God. But it is the power of consent that is really the critical one, till it ain’t, then it’s on like donkey kong.
        If not for the Amendments, think where we would be?

  17. Reading the history books one notes that every crisis that is met by an increase in centralization of power is lauded by the academic historian as the proper solution to the problem at hand, despite the fact that conditions inevitably worsen and another “dark age” is entered into, whereupon another flowering of civilization takes place during which the inevitable descent into centralization is repeated.
    One of the chief mechanisms enabling this centralization of power is war, whether internal or external. It has become obvious that those who love centralized power have come to realize this and so we see any excuse used to promote war, or the moral equivalent thereof.
    My thought is that if Trump can keep us out of war he has a shot at reversing some of this centralization, or at least keeping it steady while the rest of society outgrows it a bit.

    • Doc;
      Yes, we very much need to avoid war, particularly domestically. Read between the lines of the various Sulla bio sketches. It’s a confusing whirl of armies and battles with mass casualties. Translate those events to our time. So when you see X ‘raises a new army’ you should translate that as, ‘A roving press gang just grabbed your son and there’s a very good chance you won’t ever see him again’, all to feed some remote figure’s political ambition.

      Likewise when you see ‘Y’s new legions marched to a new place to confront X’s legions’, you should translate this as, ‘Two trucks, one with armed foragers and one empty, sudden show up in your driveway. You’d better give them all the food in the house plus all the gas in your cars (should you be so lucky as to keep them) if you don’t want your house burned down. And this may well happen again next month.’

      Also, when you see ‘X lined up support in Rome against Y’, you should translate this as, ‘A local capo suddenly shows up to ask if you’re with The Boss. Of course you’re conflicted: If you say yes, he’s going to ask for a “donation”. If you plead neutrality or are so stiff-necked as to say no, you best either pack you bags or make damn sure your other guys really are just minutes away and not hours or days away.’

      Final question: What was so urgent in Rome about having command of a provincial army on the march against enemies of Rome_? A: The Loot_!!!

      Bonus: Why did you want it_? So you could keep your army happy, thus keeping yourself and your clients alive, and so you could take over Rome and proscribe your enemies instead of having them do this to you and your clients.

      • All of which supports Uncle Remus’ constantly reiterated recommendation at the Woodpile Report: “Stay away from crowds”.

      • So then a recent example would be John Negroponte’s specialty, paramilitary death squads in Latin America and Iraq.

        Who prevailed? Who is still in a government career, who is still in business making money?
        Might they provide a useful example of how things will shake out?

      • I was thinking along these lines while reading Z’s post. I would add the part where, having defeated all rivals and consolidated control over the legions, ruler X then dispatches the legions to the frontiers to confront the [barbarians/Parthians/tributary king], who having sensed opportunity during the time of troubles have invaded or rebelled. There will be another levy of young men and a special tax before they depart. Lather, rinse, and repeat for the next four centuries.

        Your scenario should be what’s keeping Putin and Hu awake at night. They and their successors would not last long in a world with an American Empire.

    • Interesting how there is so much noise in the system now, big deal things like this are not even on anyone’s radar screen. I have been polling friends this morning, who closely follow this stuff, “who is Dennis Montgomery?”. No one recognizes the name.

      Now, what Montgomery is telling us is well understood to have been true all along, it doesn’t take Trump’s intuition to figure it out. But the fact of it, and hard evidence of it, that’s new.

      Notice how Obama is waay out of the country, halfway around the world in a place with no extradition treaty. Heard much from the older Clintons or Soros lately? Biden? All we get is Chelsea, Fauxcahontas, Chuckie and batshit Nancy. That’s it. The playahs are laying low. Things are happening, the ground is shifting.

      • re: “Things are happening, the ground is shifting.” Dutch

        Why not give a reference to Denis Montgomery, something solid, and back up that “things are happening.”

        Dan Kurt

        • There are supposedly multiple sources on the wiretap thing, from what Nunez is saying. Montgomery and Klayman seem to be out front on this stuff, and while they have been pretty flaky, they do represent a specific claim on what is going on. Everything else seems to be hush-hush on Nepolitano’s sources and other iterations of this stuff. While Fox seemed to pull back on Nepolitano’s claims initially, they are now running with claims of soon-to-be-revealed NSA evidence. With the news of the last few hours, I would argue that things continue to shift.

          An interesting possibility is that there is evidence in the committee, and Klayman, Montgomery, Nepolitano’s, and Fox are flushing it out, not because they have the goods, but because the goods are there and they are calling the committee to show their cards. Quite a gambit, if that is it.

          Klayman and Montgomery, in isolation, are probably nothing, but in context, there might be something there. I doubt that Fox and Nunez would be running with this stuff if their only source is Freedom Watch and Montgomery.

          If one is going to look at the issue, it helps to know the names of people putting themselves into the middle of it. If this whole thing is some sort of hoax/wishful thinking/conspiracy exercise, then knowing who Klayman and Montgomery are and what they are about might minimize the surprise if there is nothing there.

          If there is nothing there, Nunez is history.

      • Been thinking the same as you Dutch. The law of unintended consequences begins to take over at some point.
        Assange is releasing another batch of whistle blower supplied US intelligence documents tomorrow.
        Did you read the PDF?
        45 hard drives and 600,000 documents?
        It reads like Oklahoma City, Waco, Fast & Furious, Benghazi, Ruby Ridge, Burns, Bundy Ranch, Panama money laundering, so many missing or dead people, there’s a thread thru all of them. The same actors show up repeatedly, from Holder to HRC, as main figures behind the window dressing. And there’s levels within levels too.
        I always figured these people are so deep onto the corruption, and utter lack of principles and morals, there is no way to hide it or disappear the linkages and associations. But this PDF is on orders of magnitude if only for the that it shows in stark madness how corrupt not only they are, but how many are part of covering it up.
        Drain the swamp? Nuke it.
        All they can do is cover it all up with 24/7 fake news.
        With President Trump, the whole thing can’t survive if he and his cabinet remain honest.
        They can’t legitimately impeach him, they are out of their ever-livin’ minds if they JFK him, they can’t get him to do the deeds only the POTUS can to save their hides, they are in a cosmic grade pickle.
        From the Freedomworks documents and the other documentary revelations preceding it, it’s on a level that is almost inconceivable, there is nothing in history that comes close to the scope and scale.

  18. I am not so sure that the casual comparisons between what Nixon called for and what the Feds may have done leading up to the election (and possibly beyond) stands up to scrutiny. Nixon wanted targeted persons (journalists, political and social movement leaders, etc) wiretapped. What we have here now is EVERYONE is collected on, and if there is interest identified by the Intel Community (IC) in a specific person they dial up the Wayback Machine and review all the previously collected information on that target.

    This is different than a wiretap. Wiretaps are still in use, and they require a FISA court finding for NatSec purposes (or a regular old court order for criminal purposes). The general public tends to get collection and wiretapping confused, and that’s likely what has happened here. Was Trump correct that the IC was collecting on him and his folks? Yes. What I think is still TBD is was it targeted operation (i.e. Wiretap) intended to interfere with the election? I don’t know. Were Trump’s folks getting wrapped up in a collection effort against Russians in the USA? Likely. Did some of Trumps folks end up talking to people targeted by the IC for wiretaps? Probably. There is a lot more information about this whole thing that needs to come out before anyone will be satisfied…

    I agree with George Orwell’s comment below from William S. Burroughs. Most of the folks involved on the bureaucratic side of the IC are going along scared out of their wits, afraid that they’ll be found out as incompetent boobs in it for the paycheck and pension.

  19. I’m not sure what you mean in stating that there’s no way to touch Comey, but if you are implying that he can’t be fired that is not correct. The FBI Director serves a 10 year term, but the Director is an Executive Branch Officer and serves at the pleasure of the President. The President can fire the Director with or without cause. Clinton fired FBI Director William Sessions in 1993 without cause. Here’s a good article on the topic by Lyle Denniston:

    I wrote in the comments on this blog last fall that Comey is hopelessly corrupt and has to go. Trump should fire him immediately.

    This situation also ties into the mess that Jeff Sessions made by unnecessarily recusing himself from the idiotic investigation into the Trump Campaign’s non-existent ties with Russia. Ron Rosenstein’s hearing for Deputy AG was March 7 and his nomination is still stuck in committee, leaving Obama appointee Dana Boente in charge of the decision regarding whether to appoint a Special Prosecutor.

    The Obama Administration politicized and weaponized the entire DoJ. The entire leadership structure of the organization needs to be gutted. I still maintain that Trump should fire Jeff Sessions for his idiotic, premature, and unnecessary decision to recuse himself. At minimum Sessions should have advised the President of his intentions and offered to resign before taking that step.

    • I think what Z might mean is that while the “Russia” investigation is alive, Comey is untouchable, because if Trump were to fire him the Cult would scream that he fired him because he had the goods on Trump. This would prolong things ad nauseam. McCain and Graham and other fake high-profile Republicans would side with the Cult.
      Trump has to neutralize Comey, de-ball him if you will. Insinuating that Comey knew about the Intel surveillance of Trump, or that Comey is covering up for leakers would be a start. This would have to be done through intermediaries. Trump can’t make direct attacks on Comey right now. Comey holds too many cards. Look for a drawn-out tactical war, which I think Trump will win.

      • Everything Trump does not do is tactical, just as everything he does do is tactical. He is a master at giving people the rope to hang themselves with. I wish him much success in these matters.

      • Good points James, but the cult will scream regardless. They’ll make stuff up and lie. So might as well take the medicine and start cleaning up. The Dems have the press as their ally and the GOPe have their donor class and globalists. It’s going to be a mess regardless. All Trump has is the people who elected him and his family.

      • The “Russia” investigation will never end. That was kind of the point of my comments in a previous post on Jeff Sessions’ idiotic decision to recuse himself. Sessions completely screwed the Administration. He needs to go, but there’s no way Trump could get a new AG confirmed in this environment. Hell, Trump can’t even get his nominee for Deputy AG out of the Committee.

        It’s perfectly clear that the Democrats set this trap last fall, and idiot Sessions jumped right into it with both feet. In addition to the Executive Order referenced in Z-man’s post, the Obama Administration issued an Executive Order changing the order of succession at the DoJ to elevate an Obama Crony over Dana Boente in succession. Thankfully the Trump Administration reversed the Order.

        I’m with Z-man that Comey perjured himself. But even if he managed to parse his words sufficiently to avoid a perjury charge, it’s clear that Comey was less than candid on the stand. This is a more than adequate reason to fire him. Trump should can Comey now.

        • Sessions, another Trey Gowdy or Ted Cruz. Saying all the right things to stay in place and keep providing the cover of investigations that go nowhere.

          All of them are dirty.
          So dirty that Sulla cannot come soon enough.
          And yes, so dirty we’ll have executioners on the lists, being executed by new executioners.

    • Comey has been covering for Hillary since Whitewater.
      He and Loretta Lynch both served at HSBC bank, after Lynch granted them ‘deferred prosecution’ and a much smaller fine on charges of drug money laundering. (Historical note: HongKong Shanghai Banking Cooperative was founded to handle the post-Opium War profits.)

      Interestingly, a speedboat called the Lady Michelle was interdicted by the Coast Guard with 4.2 tons of cocaine on it.

      The captain couldn’t answer his phone in handcuffs. The call was from a “vacationing” Barack Hussein Obama, on his way to Hawaii. Once there, he had a pleasant little visit with a judge who immediately overturned Trump’s second immigration order on the 7 Muslim countries.

      Sounds almost as if someone was trying to verify that the payoff would come through.

      • Trying to square some circles here, the bios I have seen of Comey show he never worked in the private sector, always for the government from right out of law school. He was the lead government investigator for the (non)prosecution of the Marc Rich pardon, so there is that.

        Also, I can’t imagine BO calling the boat captain directly, he would have someone else do it. He, of all people, would know that every phone call is logged and recorded into archives.

        Just trying to keep the brain cells working over here, rolling things around in my thick skull.

        Along those lines, Obama’s newly found Kenyan birth certificate, in the possession of his half-brother, has the doctor’s signature date formatted “mm/dd/yyyy”. Kenya was a British colony, the British date format is “dd/mm(abbreviation usually written out)/yyyy”, e.g. “4 Aug 1962”, not “8/4/62”.

        Not calling you out or anything, alzaebo. Just my internal skepto-meter runs fast and hot these days.

      • I won’t address the drug dealing aspect of your post, but the first portion is spot on.

        Fire Comey now.

  20. This post put me in mind of this from William S. Burroughs: “We have a new type of rule now. Not one-man rule, or rule of aristocracy or plutocracy, but of small groups elevated to positions of absolute power by random pressures, and subject to political and economic factors that leave little room for decision. They are representatives of abstract forces who have reached power through surrender of self. The iron-willed dictator is a thing of the past. There will be no more Stalins, no more Hitlers. The rulers of this most insecure of all worlds are rulers by accident, inept, frightened pilots at the controls of a vast machine they cannot understand, calling in experts to tell them which buttons to push.”

  21. Those bags under Comey’s eyes have gotten more pronounced lately. Schiff’s hysterical attack on Nunes yesterday indicates panic. Nunes himself looked like he was trying to pass a kidney stone while briefing the press. Possible a little hobbit slipped under the Mordor-on-the-Potomac gate with 47 hard drives and 600 million pages of truth? Perhaps. Expect a diversion,something like Westminster Bridge,or worse. The Beltway Orcs wear may wear pussyhats,but their entire Kingdom is at stake.

  22. There is an old cartoon, captioned “Democracy 1.0 has halted with a fatal error. Download Democracy 2.0 and reboot?”

    Question is, who gets to write Democracy 2.0?

    Do we grant Octavian full power or do we chop off the head of the king? Empire or Republic? All I know is that there are a hell of a lot of independent people with guns in this country who are not going to raise their arm and shout “Ave!”.

    • But after you overthrow the king, what or whim do you set in his place? Had it not been Octavian, then who? Antony? Sometimes the best a former citizen can hope for is a a dictator “who looks and smells like me”

  23. I always had a soft spot for Sulla. At least as far of Roman dictators go. Just think of how cleansing a Sulla style proscription would be for Mordor on the Potomac. One can say lots of things about him, but he never half-did anything.

    With all the new shit that has come to light just in the past few weeks I’m beginning to be of the opinion that at some point, someone is going to have to get their Sulla on and march a division into that fever swamp.

    • It’s kind of fun to imagine something like Sulla’s proscriptions in today’s world. Simply post a name on a wall (on internet page) and that person is now outside the law. He can be legally killed and all his assets seized – the loot split between the state and the killer.

      True enemies of the state like the Clintons and Soros would go down quickly. Then, like in Sulla’s time, people will get greedy and carried away and it turn into a chaotic reign of terror.

      It would be cleansing. It would also truly be the end of the Republic, which is why people hesitate.

    • No, the proscriptions were not fun at all. If you can murder your enemies, then eventually they’ll be in a position to murder you. And to a large extent, the end of the Roman Republic was welcomed by pretty much everybody ca. 27 BC because they were all sick and tired of all the bloodshed.

  24. Z Man: You end with, “The system will have murdered itself.”

    John Adams to John Taylor, December 17, 1814, “Remember Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes exhausts and murders itself. There never was a Democracy Yet, that did not commit suicide.”

    This was but one letter in a series that Adams wrote to Taylor in 1814 and into 1815 on the general subject of governments, forms of. He (Adams) did this to “educate” Taylor and defend his previously written ““Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America (1787)” The whole series is worth a read.

  25. There are so many potential paths from here to dictatorship that it no longer requires much imagination to envision it. The judiciary has thrown kerosene on the fire by practically inviting a repudiation of judicial review through its rulings on Trump’s immigration orders. It is hard not to conclude that the design margin in this regime is exhausted.

    • If Trump pulled an Andrew Jackson, one could hardly blame him. However, his own exec branch is stuffed with Cloud People, and his own party plots to overthrow him. Even “respectable” cons like John Yoo and Richard Epstein blithely speculated on how soon Trump would prematurely leave office. This was, ironically, on the Ricochet “Law Talk” podcast lately. The glee at the prospect was palpable.

      • Interesting you mention this. I had a premonition the other day that Mike Pence is the ace (rhino) in the hole for the deep state status quo. De-legitimize Trump from the get go and all that he does is illegitimate. Thereby keeping all as is. The system is rotten to the core and becomes more evident with each passing day.

        • Flynn was fired because he had a copy of the Pizzagate list, and holy roller Pence’s best friend’s name was on it.
          That’s why he didn’t tell Pence- because of the Strings Attached.

        • (This just in): Exclusive Dirt People Network News Break!

          DC Metropolitan Potomac River Sewage Treatment Facility, already running at max capacity with ex Obama regime holdovers, agent provocateurs, infiltrating most regulatory and judicial departments after the dirt peoples BFYTW color revolution in November 2016.
          Plant operators stated publicly by phone Tuesday, Quote,”we can not handle additional outflow from President Trump’s Make America Great Again program… the noxious stench of treason is overpowering”, said plant managers, requiring plant workers to wear full environmental suits.
          “Swamp draining by rapid evaporation may be only course” according to un-mamed sources.

    • If the central government had maintained its designed role as a much smaller part of a truly federal government, they could crap all over themselves and DC as much as they want, and it wouldn’t affect the rest of us much. Because DC has insinuated itself into every nook and cranny of everyone’s lives, the burning down of their house puts us all in danger.

    • This path to dictatorship was paved during the past eight years by the continuous practice of rule by executive decree, never seriously challenged either judicially or legislatively, despite strong popular opposition. As Sulla’s deeds served as precedent for later actions, so too eight years of rule by proclamation serve a precedent for more of the same.

      • Don’t be unnecessarily stupid, it’s been on its way for decades. It was Bush the lesser who signed the Patriot Act which was written under the Clinton Regime.

  26. I am an optimist. There is every chance that these revelations lead to widespread support for de-funding the spy agencies. And that will return the system at least part-ways to normalcy. That is, if Trump wants them taken apart.

    • I don’t see much will in the political class for reform. This is a long term, generational problem. It started when the Boomers started taking up spots in the political elite. The constant lying from the Clintons that went unchallenged is a good place to start. A healthy political class would have those two hanged a long time ago, if they managed to get to the big show at all.

      I don’t think you can be too pessimistic right now.

      • don’t you think it’s already unbelievable what is happening in terms of revealing the inner workings of the deep state? it has all been pulled into the open now. that alone is a huge step towards purging the system. I agree the political class is spent — and that’s a good thing. That will make it much less violent to replace them with who/what comes next. And that is why I am optimistic, because the existing *system* is falling apart.

      • Z Man;
        Suh_! I muss de-fend muh honor an trow the NABALT (Not All Boomers Are Like That) flag. Clinton I WAS challenged, impeached even, by the House Boomer insurgents. It was the Old Bulls of ‘The Greatest Generation’ who let him skate in the Senate. The running dogs of MSM Boomer aspirants who praised and promoted his misconduct were all working under the benign and beatific gaze of the Old Bulls of the MSM, also of The Greatest Generation.

        Bottom Line: The DC Old Bulls of The Greatest Generation were the ones who could have cut down the Clinton Crime Family but instead birthed the current Cloud Cabal (who were their kids, actually) that we live under today in our darkening land.

        • Clear observation on “The Greatest Generation.” I spend my days interviewing WW2 vets and writing short stories of their lives and service. Undoubtedly, they are radically different from the generations that followed (compared to Vietman, DS/DS and GWOT Vets). They are / were much clearer about the reality of human nature, hardened to sacrifice, understood human weakness and knew one had to strive to counter it in himself, and they displayed a love of our country and culture — good and bad among them alike.

          However, I can’t see them as the “greatest” as they failed to pass on their own character to their spawn; they did not successfully resist the leftist/progressive/liberal, anti-American wave that overwhelmed our culture so fully in the 1960s (yes, it started much earlier, even before them, but they were at the helm then), and they allowed a desire to shield their children from the hard lessons they’d learned to ensure we fielded generations of weak, self-centered, poorly-educated and delusional citizens.

          Rather than use the ridiculous Brokaw-ism, I think we should think of our view back along the generations as one passing over the long axis of a long mountain range, looking from nearest terrain back to that receding in the far distance — various peaks and depressions mark the different generations, all of which embodied to one degree or another those values we might label traditional, and should hold to be indicate greatness. The reason the WWII generation stands out so clearly, is not that their peak rises so high, but that with them, the terrain falls off steeply to the lowest depression in our nations history.

          They weren’t the highest peak of greatness in our nation; rather, they stand out so clearly as they are the last that clearly possessed the values we for so long identified as the ideal. They were great, certainly; they left their farms, towns and cities to spread out over the globe and undertake tremendous things; they built over 300,000 aircraft, endless ships and landing craft, seemingly unending stores of equipment, and put 16 million in uniform. And as individuals, so many were great. But, they failed in the end, as a generation.

          To my way of thinking, their fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers better warrant the title “Greatest”.

          As an aside, I do believe it was Marius, with seven consulships between 106 and 86 BC — five in a row without a break — who more than Sulla marked the break with his unprecedented act.

          • Re: “To my way of thinking, their fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers better warrant the title ‘Greatest’.”

            I share your views – and many thanks for your astute observations. Clearly, you have done some serious thinking on the subject.

            James Wesley Rawles, famed within the family preparedness movement, calls the generation of Americans born during the period 1880-1900 the “Greater Generation,” to distinguish it from the aforementioned WWII generation.

            The study of the period 1890-1939 is fascinating, especially given how much the United States changed and grew during that time period. The earlier bound to mark roughly the time when the frontier closed (Frederick Jackson Turner marked the frontier closed by 1893), the latter year to mark the start of the Second World War in Europe.

          • Kim, You should read “The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy” by William Strauss and Neil Howe. As a boomer myself, and the son of a WW2 vet, it helped me to understand that the differences between those two generations are actually part a repeating pattern of fours in the cycles of generations that goes back a thousand years or more. It has been a fascinating book.

          • Reply to Kim: You make very good points however one thing you may have missed that I have picked up on in my somewhat superficial studies of the American WW2 saga was the price paid by the American fighting man. And I know it is somewhat disproportionate in the sense that for every “combat” trooper, there are many in supporting roles. But unlike current wars, WW2 in both theaters, was a dangerous place even for those in support roles. And there was no one-year service and rotation out to the best of my knowledge. Many of these people, the ones who survived spent multiple years in combat. And when the war was over, they just wanted to go live some place quiet and in peace. The idea of having to fight for high ideals back home was probably not something on their radar, at least to my thinking.

            So I think it is rather unfair to say they “failed” when so much was happening at the same time they came home and were decompressing, going through their PTSD realities, starting work and in a new, fast moving economy with government taking a much bigger role in things like education.

            Just my two cents, but I think we owe them a lot of slack and understanding. That the generation following could not or would not understand the price paid is also understandable. I can relate as a child of someone who served in Vietnam. Dad never talked about his experiences and then he died much too young. But through studying history and reading up on events and biographies, etc., I have learned a lot and one is to be a bit more generous with our troops on the front lines and more critical of our leaders both political and military in conducting our wars.

      • Was this not also the juncture where one party decided they had received the Mandate of Heaven to rule in perpetuity, with the other faction being tolerated as a shadow opposition for the sake of maintaining the fable of democracy, so long as they remained within their assigned role as “Losers”. This would have been the undocumented birth of the Uniparty. In 1994, Gingrich violated the non-pact by leading the GOP to victory, but was tamed, probably via information in his FBI file lifted by the Clintons. Order was restored in the “election ” of 1996, particularly the blatant bussing of bogus voters to take Dornan’s seat from him for Sanchez, and the GOP’s cowardly refusal to support his protest.A similar tear in the continuum happened in 2000, though that proved more difficult to repair. And that is why Gingrich and GW Bush remain so particularly hated by the Left.

      • So perhaps our Rubicon moment was when Bill Clinton was given a pass after being caught dead to rights lying under oath. I can still see Sam Donaldson on ABC’s This Week, twenty-odd years after Watergate, shrugging his shoulders and saying “I just don’t get it”.

      • Zman, you are more-right perhaps than you realize about this being a “long-term, generational problem.” Here’s why….

        The entity we know as the deep-state had its origins in the Second World War, when the existential threat of fascism endangered the West and the Anglo-American allies built, almost from scratch, an intelligence-counter-intelligence colossus to wage the “secret war” which helped defeat Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo.

        Individuals with some familiarity with WWII and Cold war history will recognize some of the names, places and events – Bletchley Park, Enigma, J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, William Stephenson and British Security Coordination, MI5 and MI6, the Office of Strategic Services and Colonel (later General) William “Wild Bill” Donovan. The breaking of Japanese naval codes & cracking “Code Purple” via the Magic decryption system. Jedburgh teams. SOE Commandos. And so on and so forth.

        Sir William Stephenson, the spymaster par excellence and Churchill’s close confidante on intelligence and espionage matters, foresaw the danger that this vast, new and largely secret weapon would pose to the then-free western democracies which had created it. Stephenson expressed his concerns at the dawn of the Cold War, when the secret intelligence apparatus was then being retasked with fighting communism; he did not live to see the behemoth it would become by the end of the cold war.

        What would men like Sir William say of today’s vast, secret intelligence super-state – one which exists beneath the surface of almost all western first-world nations and many others besides? What would he think about the technological prowess of these 21st-century spies or the fact that privacy as his generation understood it – is now virtually extinct? We cannot know what Stephenson would have thought, but it is safe to say that his fears were remarkably prescient – and that they have come to fruition in a manner far-beyond his imagining.

      • Hok;
        In case you missed it in the general excitement of 8 November, Feingold be gone_! Got hisself rolled over by Ron Johnson (Tea Party Oshkosh industrialist) and da Trump Train. Yeeeh Hah_!

        McCain, he be too fahr away ta git to like Mr. Precious Metal Name. BTW, Re Mr. (So Far) Walking-Argument-for-Term-Limits: Every serving officer in McCain’s (and my) era had to sign what was then quaintly known as The Code of Conduct of the US Fighting MAN. In which, among other things, we certified that if we became a POW we knew we were forbidden to accept special favors from our captors. Following this (difficult) order (under extremely difficult circumstances) is the actual root of McCain’s claim to be a war hero to an ignorant MSM.

        He may very well be one (and it is not my point to dispute this), but if so, then he has over 700 fellow war heroes, most of whom declined to promote themselves thereby for political gain. For myself, I am extremely glad that I was never in any danger of finding out personally if I could measure up to this standard, that, so far as I know, McCain did meet.

        • The extraction team that pulled him out explained his nickname, “Songbird”.

          As their most valuable prisoner, he was untouched, yet sang like a bird.

          Worse yet- he wears a harness.
          It amplifies his injuries from the crash, but the Viets ‘never laid a hand on him’.

          So I heard, and trust.
          I’ve not seen what his fellow prisoners have said, but I consider the possibility that his “heroic torture” story may be faked.

    • You are deranged.
      If there’s any real movement for reform of the spooks, there will be a rash of false flags.
      The recent unpleasantness in the UK was entirely a result of increasing criticism about May’s murder by drone program in Syria and as always the terrorist was known to the “Security Forces” .
      We are now being told that “Evil will not prevail”, which means of course, that it will.

    • Harry Truman de-commissioned the OSS after WW2 saying “You can’t have government by the people if the people don’t now what the government is doing.” Nothing has changed.

Comments are closed.