I've spent an hour writing and rewriting this piece, and I gave up. My mistake was in trying to focus in on one thing. Today was such a cacophony of badness for the Trump regime that it's only fair we look at a few things.
GOP squeaks out a win in a special election
The big news of the night was the special election in Kansas to replace Mike Pompeo in the House, currently serving as Donald Trump's CIA director.
This is a district which Trump won by 27 points. As of this writing, the AP has called it for GOP candidate Ron Estes, with 88% of precincts reporting and with Estes maintaining a 6 point lead over Democrat James Thompson.
Let that sink in: that was a 21 point swing in favor of Democrats over what Trump achieved in November. And actually it's a bit worse, as Pompeo won re-election by an even bigger margin than Trump's vote tally.
Rachel Maddow had a good analogy on her show. In an Ohio special election in 2005, in a reliably Republican district, the Democrat came within striking distance of taking the seat. That was a canary in the coal mine. In 2006, Democrats swept the House and retook the Senate.
Yes, we lost this fight. But it was at best a Pyrrhic victory for the GOP. A seat which shouldn't have even been a contest brought in robocalls from Trump and Mike Pence, and a campaign visit from Ted Cruz. We can argue that that DNC and DCCC should have poured more money into this election; I think it may have done more ill than good, but that's up for debate. However, hopefully Democrats will take one signal lesson from this: We can win. If an R+30 district can swing 20+ points in our direction, dozens of "safe" Republican seats are now in play. Every seat has to be contested. There are no seats which are beyond our reach.
Carter Page is a spy, baby
Tonight the Washington Post broke a story that FISA warrants were issued for one-time Trump "foreign policy expert" Carter Page, in relation to him possibly being a Russian "asset". As much as Trump and his cabal might want to wish Page away, the fact remains that last year, when pressed to name his foreign policy team, Page was one of two names which he blurted out.
Between Page and former NSA Director Mike Flynn, the smoke is becoming much hotter. Almost flaming, one could say. And of course, there's Paul Manafort and Roger Stone dangling in the wind, just waiting to see what deals are in the offing. People with ties to Russia keep congregating around Donald Trump in an odd, unexplained coincidence.
Eric Trump lets the cat out of the bag
Poor Eric Trump. The Constable Odo look-alike opined that the missile strike against Syria last week should be proof that his daddy has no ties to Russia, as Syria is a Russian client.
In saying this, he just admitted that the strike was nothing but a wag-the-dog exercise. This is further evidenced by the fact that Defense Secretary James Mattis couldn't give a firm answer as to how much Syria's offensive capability was degraded by the fireworks.
The first rule of Collusion Club is: You don't say you did something which proves you're not colluding. To normal people, that proves that you did that very thing just to show that you're innocent, which makes you seem guiltier than you already seemed. But Eric only has his job because his daddy is rich (supposedly), not because he has any actual qualifications.
Mr. Spicer's Improbable History
And, of course, we have to end the evening with Sean Spicer's no good, very bad, horrible day. In answering a question about just how much of a baddy Bashar al-Assad is—and, if you want a laugh, watch him trying to pronounce his name correctly—he went full Godwin, with absolutely no prodding from the press. To quote:
“We didn’t use chemical weapons in World War II,” Spicer said. “You had . . . someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to the using chemical weapons.”
Of course, it just got worse, as Spicer didn't immediately stop and say "Sorry, I really said something stupid," but kept digging his hole. He eventually made a full apology, but by then it was too late.
Spicer's ignorance is endemic of this entire regime. Do I think he's a conscious anti-semite? I will hazard a guess not. But that's besides the point. We have a regime full of ignoramuses who think they're actually competent to have the jobs and wield the power they do. Anyone who reads this blog has no love for the George W. Bush administration; however, at least it knew how to turn on the lights. This crew is as likely to hit the nuclear button by an act of carelessness as anything else. And that, to end on a down note, should scare the crap out of us.
Good night, and good luck.