“You think it’s bad now?” asks Michael Tomasky in the Daily Beast.  “Wait for next year’s show trials.”

Koestler and Orwell and Kundera described the hall-of-mirrors horror of totalitarian states. Trump’s gang is getting away with it in a democracy.

. . . And if you want to see how, watch this clip of Corey Lewandowski on Fox News Thursday night, via Josh Marshall’s Twitter feed. [Two minutes.]

. . . Lewandowski laid out the whole strategy. First, pin the Steele dossier on Biden.

. . . For years, the Steele dossier has done the work of allowing the right to accuse Clinton of secretly working with the Russians to destroy Trump. But now she’s old news, finally, so they’re just going to sub in Biden. And as long as they do it on Fox, they will not be challenged, as indeed Lewandowski was not Thursday night. And the rest of the media will note soberly that there’s no evidence that Biden had any connection etc. etc., but by that time, the liars will have won: They’ll win every time “Biden” and “Steele dossier” are mentioned in the same sentence on television.

But the second part of the rant was even more chilling. The plan here is to wait for the report from the Justice Department inspector general (that’s Horowitz) to hit next month, pry whatever passages they can out of that report and stitch together the appearance of a vast, deep state conspiracy to take Trump down.

Then wait again, this time for Attorney General Bill Barr to do his part. Trump’s announcement Thursday that Barr would be in charge of releasing the intel on the Trump campaign probe is a staggering development, something we’ve never seen the likes of. Barr, who already demonstrated he’ll cherry pick evidence on Trump’s behalf, can pluck out whatever evidence he wants and leave buried whatever evidence he wants to leave buried.

It’s almost beyond comprehension.

. . . But with everything filtered through a state television network and no Republicans in Congress willing to utter a syllable of protest, there will be no accountability.

And then, next spring (what a coincidence, election year!), Barr’s Justice Department can bring indictments against James Comey, Andy McCabe, Peter Strzok, and Lisa Page for—well, they’ll come up with something. And maybe John Brennan and James Clapper too.

Welcome, folks, to the first Stalinist show trials in the history of our country.

. . . On Friday, Trump accused Comey, McCabe, Strzok, and Page of “treason.” For investigating a presidential campaign. Treason is aiding an enemy during wartime. And is punishable by death. Trump used the word specifically to signal to his attack dogs that anything is fair game.

So yes, next year’s campaign will be a nightmare beyond the imagination of any novelist who has yet tried to capture and describe totalitarian, hall-of-mirrors horror, from Koestler to Orwell to Kundera or anyone else. They were all describing how a regime gets away with it in a totalitarian state. But these people will be getting away with it in a democracy.

Unless, that is, we all become active participants in making sure it doesn’t happen.

Here’s one very concrete way to help support the early organizing that will lead to the massive registration and turn-out we need to break the strong man’s grip.



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