1. When Michael Cohen, the former lawyer for President Donald Trump, said to the House Oversight Committee at his open hearing yesterday, “I know what Mr. Trump is. He is a racist. He is a conman. He is a cheat,” it didn’t budge the needle one bit on Trump’s support among his idiot hordes of voters. They love him because he’s a racist, a conman, and a cheat. They love him because he cheated and conned and got away with it and they don’t give a hairy rat’s asshole if they’re the mark. And they love him even more because he’s a racist who’s rich because it shows that you can be a racist piece of shit and still make coin and become president. So put that out of your minds, dear, liberal reader who so wanted Cohen to burn it all down. Cohen could have shown up with videos of Trump raping a 12 year-old girl on top of an American flag, laughing while Vladimir Putin shits on his doughy face and Mohammed bin Salman shoves rolled up wads of cash into his enormous ass, and his idiot hordes of followers would say, “Damn, that’s livin’.”
2. And the Republican Party wouldn’t give a goddamn either. Essentially, the GOP is no longer made up of Americans. It’s comprised of Trumpians, mostly men and a few women who are loyal to the man, not the nation, and who will allow him to get away with any crimes he wants as long as he continues to give them tax cuts, savagely conservative judges, and bullshit bravado for the aforementioned hordes. At no point in the hearing did a single Republican attempt to defend Trump. In fact, you could say that on some accounts, Cohen did more to defend Trump on some specific allegations than the Republicans, when he said he couldn’t absolutely confirm a conspiracy with Russia and didn’t believe the piss tape exists. But Cohen went at Republicans, at times giving looks that seemed to say that he knows where their bodies are buried, too. When he was finally sick of all the shit Republicans were throwing at him, Cohen snarled at insufferable dickhole Jim Jordan of Ohio, “I just find it interesting, sir, that between yourself and your colleagues that not one question so far since I’m here has been asked about President Trump…The American people don’t care about my taxes. They want to know what it is that I know about Mr. Trump. Not one question so far has been asked about Mr. Trump.” That is some baller shit right there.
3. Every Huckleberry Chucklefuck on the GOP side who sounded like they had a mouthful of chicken-fried balls merely repeated the same shit over and over about Cohen: that he lied to Congress before; that there were all these Fox “news”-generated conspiracies going on that involved, among others, the Clintons; that Cohen might try to make some money on his tribulations (so I guess we can expect that Newt Gingrich and a hundred other scummy Republicans drummed out of DC won’t be invited to the cocktail parties and Hannity reacharounds anymore); that he was in it for himself. After a while, it was hard to tell one white guy with a Southern accent from another. Oh, shit, was that Jody Hice? Or Ralph Norman? Or Mark Green? Jesus, when the two white women on the GOP side spoke, it was a huge relief because at least the pitch of their voices was different.
3a. Of course, it was easy to tell who Mark Meadows of North Carolina was. He was designated bitch face for the whole proceedings, screeching like a banshee that stepped on a Lego piece whenever he found something the least bit offensive. The racist, birther son of a bitch who only got elected because of racist gerrymandering almost cried when Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib accused his racist ass of doing racist shit. Meadows had brought Trump party planner and now HUD official for some fucking reason Lynne Patton, a black woman, to stand behind him in what was obviously a move to prove that racist Trump isn’t racist. “See?” he was essentially saying. “Trump loves black people so much that he hired one of the only ones he knows to run an agency he couldn’t give a happy monkey fuck about. Not racist!” Cohen eviscerated Meadows with a simple statement: “Ask Ms. Patton how many people who are black are executives at the Trump Organization. The answer is zero.”
3b. Special mention to Louisiana Republican Clay Higgins, who is from my family’s district and is just dumber and more useless than a sack of wet hair. He kept thinking he had caught Cohen hiding evidence when he brought up boxes where Cohen found the documents he was presenting. At least twice, Cohen explained that the boxes were taken from him by the FBI and returned to him. Higgins is an ex-cop, so maybe he’s used to just confiscating shit and selling it to buy military equipment for his Cajun jackass brigade. He’s another one of those disgraced motherfuckers who a bunch of yahoos love because he’s “straight-talkin'” or some such shit, so they vote for his Deputy Dawg ass. (And, yeah, I’ve gotten in vicious arguments back home over him.)
4. What came through most clearly is that Donald Trump is just a fucking asshole. I mean, just a horrible, blithering, narcissistic piece of garbage, and not even quality garbage. Like the garbage that gets stuck on the bottom of the can and rots and then you have to scrape it out. It is likely orange. Trump loves to act like a mob boss, doing things with a wink that his stooges understand. Cohen talked about how the whole election was just an “infomercial” for Trump’s brand, that winning was never in the cards in Trump’s mind. He talked about how Trump evaded the draft, with Trump saying, “You think I’m stupid, I wasn’t going to Vietnam.” He talked about how Trump loves dicking over people who owe him money. He said that Trump had him threaten Trump’s schools even though they are prevented by federal law from releasing his academic records, and that Trump had him threaten people hundreds of times (which means that Cohen got a kick out of doing it, like he had some power). And, c’mon, can we not ignore the fact that the President of the United States is paying off porn stars for their silence? Can we all not agree that that’s just so fucking sleazy? Or that he was negotiating for a Moscow tower while he was running for president? Mostly, though, Trump lies and lies like lies are air and food and water. Trump has lied about everything, every goddamn thing, and he has created a barrier of lickspittles, sycophants, and lackeys to prevent truth from either getting out or penetrating in. And right now, Republicans are the fuckin’ Praetorian guard for Trump.
5. Mostly, Democrats did okay. They got Cohen to delve a little bit into the operation of the Trump Organization, although they didn’t dive nearly as deeply as they could have. They ranted too much about how they were doing something good for the country by holding the hearing (to counter the Republicans completely worthless claim that the hearing was harming the nation). And they dropped the ball a few times, which was as much due to the limitations of the 5-minute clock as anything. But they could have dug in to expose more clearly what a ramshackle entity Trump’s business is, how it’s just a few people, mostly family, doing slimy shit to make sure the Trump name stays out there. Kardashians with real estate and fewer scruples.
5a. However, fucking Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was not there to fuck around. She didn’t pause to make any statement. Instead, she gave a goddamn masterclass on how you can take five minutes and break through the rhetorical bullshit in order to get to the heart of a matter. She focused in on Trump’s deflation of the value of his properties to avoid taxes. That’s a crime, and Trump could face big fines and tax evasion charges when the Southern District of New York prosecutors get done with it. Shout out also to Ayanna Pressley, Democrat from Massachusetts, who dug into more financial crimes, these related to the way the Trump Foundation was used as a slush fund, often just to stroke Trump’s huge ego. And she emphasized, as did Michigan’s Brenda Lawrence, Trump’s racism because he’s a fucking racist.
5b. Leave the speeches to the Democratic Chair of the Oversight Committe, Elijah Cummings, who concluded the hearing with a thunderous attack on his GOP colleagues and on those who degraded Cohen. It was a cry for decency that he was making to wholly indecent people, but, tearing up at Cummings’ words, Michael Cohen, an indecent man trying to find decency and respect again, seemed to really hear them. Cohen was a shit human who worked for a shittier human, and Cummings offered him a chance at redemption.
6. What did we gain from yesterday? A sense that we might get at the truth of what was done to the United States in November 2016. A feeling of, if not hope, then something hope-adjacent that we might use the mechanisms of our government to save ourselves.
6a. But the Republicans won’t help at all. They are done as anything other than as a subsidiary of the Trump corporation.
6b. And we shall need to heed Cohen’s warning about Trump that ” I fear that if he loses the election in 2020 that there will never be a peaceful transition of power.” That’s some scary shit right there because, well, see number 1 up there.
Editor’s Note: This essay originally appeared on February 28, 2019 on The Rude Pundit, a website featuring commentary by Lee Papa. It was reproduced here with the consent of Mr. Papa.