My professional background is in broadcast radio programming. As a result, I get several industry e-newsletters each day, including some which simply forward headlines and links to full articles.
One of those is published by the National Association of Broadcasters, which has been the industry’s voice on Capitol Hill practically since KDKA first broadcast the Cox-Harding election returns on November 2, 1920 (NAB came along in 1922 as the National Association of Radio Broadcasters). Today, they had a link to a story carried both in Politico and Broadcasting & Cable which pretty much terrified me. Here’s the scary paragraph:
Murtaugh* called on the networks to refuse six commentators who claimed there was Russian collusion: Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez and former CIA Director John Brennan.
(*-Tim Murtaugh, director of communications for Trump’s campaign.)
Not surprisingly, Vice President Mike Pence also made a statement, saying that the Mueller investigation was accompanied by "reckless accusations by many Democrats and members of the media."
I am reminded of something the late Sen. John McCain said two years ago in Munich:
“If you want to preserve - I’m very serious now - if you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and many times adversarial press. And without it, I am afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That’s how dictators get started.”
“They get started by suppressing free press. In other words, a consolidation of power. When you look at history, the first thing that dictators do is shut down the press. And I’m not saying that President Trump is trying to be a dictator. I’m just saying we need to learn the lessons of history.”
Well, two years later, it seems obvious to me that Trump is moving toward creating a dictatorship. And I can actually understand why … all of his legal problems would go away if he had the unilateral power to declare that he is immune from any kind of lawsuit or criminal prosecution.
He has taken many actions of the type that would get highlighted in any impeachment proceedings, and even though I agree with Speaker Pelosi that it would create a huge rift in our country, I believe we need to move toward beginning that process, if for no other reason than to bring everything this administration has done to the public’s attention as a huge mass of steaming excrement. The American people need to be hammered with the reports and the evidence. The question of “collusion” was never going to be a factor in getting rid of the horrible man who presently occupies the White House. But this latest move, framed as “Trump only wants you to be told what he wants said” and then shown to be identical to the way other dictatorships prevent the citizenry from knowing the truth is practically the only persuasive argument we have in the 2020 campaign to convince voters to vote him out.
Given that any impeachment proceedings would drag all the way to (and probably past) Election Day, the news reports themselves would serve to bolster Democrats at the ballot box. The question is, will Pelosi come to see it this way and move in that direction before it is too late?
EDIT: Thanks to everyone for voting this onto the rec list in less than 90 minutes from my original publication!