The Sovietization of American Politics

The Sovietization of Washington politics is nearly complete.  Strong arm rule, political surveillance and the show trial threatens to replace the orderly alternation at power which characterized elective government.  Watching the Beltway is now disturbingly like watching an unfolding power struggle at the Kremlin.  Richard Arenberg writing in the Hill asks: "is there any hope of pulling out of the "nuclear option" death spiral before the Senate inflicts permanent damage upon itself and the Supreme Court?"  There's growing concern the acrimony will permanently poison the atmosphere by locking both parties into a cycle of retaliation.

Senate Democrats set the stage for a confrontation this week that likely will change how Washington works, as they assembled more than enough votes to block President Donald Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee under the current rules. ...

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made clear Gorsuch will be confirmed one way or the other -- even if that means further eroding decades of Senate traditions that have forced the majority to compromise. To deliver on his promise, McConnell is likely to invoke what’s known as the “nuclear option” -- changing Senate rules to eliminate the 60-vote threshold and end filibusters on high court nominees. McCain said he will vote for the rule change.

“I guarantee you, just as the Democrats regretted what Harry Reid did, we will regret doing this,” McCain of Arizona told reporters. He was referring to then-Democratic leader Harry Reid’s decision in 2013 to end the filibuster for lower-court and executive-branch nominees.

Hope looks like it just left town. To boot there are now allegations that Susan Rice actively requested the "unmasking" of Trump campaign and transition official's names from intelligence reports.  That makes a "dual track investigation" inevitable according to law professor William Jacobson.  "I don’t see how the Obama administration does not now become a target of congressional investigation after this revelation." Both sides are in a race to see who can jail or politically cripple the other side first.  Although the pawns will fall first the game won't end until checkmate traps one of the two rival kings.

No one is backing down, certainly not the Democrats.  "Why is Trump flailing?" writes Greg Sargent in the Washington Post, "because Americans hate his agenda, and it’s based on lies" .  Uncompromising stands are nothing new for the Democratic party.  The difference is that this time the Republicans aren't giving way.  The strange guy with orange complexion has put the progressives out of reckoning by being just as unreasonable as the conservatives thought the liberals were.  The strategy of "by any means necessary", so effective when the Democrats enjoyed a monopoly on its use is now transformed into a pact of mutually assured destruction as the other side adopts similar methods.