I read to Swamp Rabbit from an op/ed in which the venerable rightwing attack dog George F. Will comments on the state of the nation:
Today’s embarrassments — Donald Trump, his prosecutorial adversaries, the tribalism on both sides — might be a foretaste of degradations proving that there is no rock bottom in U.S. politics.
Later in the piece, Will has second thoughts — “However, it is possible that this acutely embarrassing moment in U.S. history actually is rock bottom, with a bounce coming” — but not before warning us that Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg’s “jerry built” case will make Trump look like a martyr and inspire some future Republican prosecutor to make a case against Democratic officeholders.
Will thinks Republican voters, if given the chance, would decide on their own that their homegrown Mussolini is a loser and would choose a less divisive presidential candidate. He fails to note that Trump’s base is still strong and that almost all other possible Republican candidates never disavowed Dear Leader and are in fact Trump wannabes.
Swamp Rabbit stroked his wispy goatee. “So did we hit rock bottom or not? Will Trump get elected or will he get convicted? What if he gets elected and convicted?”
“Beats the hell out of me,” I said. “Will pretends that Trump is as low as the GOP can go, an anomaly, and that prosecuting him is ’embarrassing.’ But what if there are critters under the rocks who are even more toxic?”
I reminded Swamp Rabbit that on Jan. 6, 2021, a mob urged on by Trump overran the Capitol in support of his lie that the election was stolen from him. That night, 117 Republican members of the Senate and House, in solidarity with Trump, refused to certify the election of Joe Biden. All of them should have been kicked out of office for breaking the laws they were elected to uphold, but they’re still there.
“That should have been rock bottom,” I said, “but we’re in a new era. The GOP has become a subterranean army of election deniers and democracy foes, fascists in everything but name. What else would you call a party whose bright lights are goons and hypocrites like Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jim Jordan, Kevin McCarthy, Ron DeSantis, Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, Nikki Haley, Matt Gaetz — “
“Okay, you made your point,” Swamp Rabbit said, cutting in. “Maybe Will was right the first time. There ain’t no bottom.”
I’d say we’re only on the approach to the bottom, with regard to the Italian fascists and German Nazis of the last century. Many millions of people in this country evidently want to dig deeper. Rock bottom apparently shifts depending on where you’re standing.