Page 2 of 110

Dropping the Bomb

I’ve had the chance to take part in a few leadership races in my day and they are unique experiences for sure. Over time I’ve come to accept a few truths about them that seems to be rather universal. First is that while they activate the base, it activates the worst elements of that base. It ends up in playing to the worst instincts and policy desires of that base, to the exclusion of just about anything else.

Secondly, they end up further exposing major rifts in personalities within a party that have been simmering under the surface for a long time. This always seems to be “the moment” where it’s most alright for those scores to be settled and unsurprisingly, that settling never seems to make the party itself any stronger. But finally, and maybe most importantly, parties truly never come out of a competitive leadership race united. The only races that with a truly united party is one where they winner absolutely trounces their opponents.

To that end, the only example you can really point to in recent history would be when Justin Trudeau won the Liberal leadership in a landslide. In almost all others, there was a significant or loud group within the party that never accepted the winners win and usually it would take a major event or development later on in the new leaders leadership that would finally drown that decent out. But right after and shortly after the race is done? Nope, that unity simply isn’t there.

All those truths have simply been re-affirmed for me while I’ve been watching the Conservatives leadership race, as it’s stumbled along from dumpster fire to clown car crash. And through it all, we’ve seen the hard playing to a certain part of the base, with words that will be impossible to walk back in a general campaign and which will lead to inevitable complaints of “I don’t understand why people don’t trust us on a woman’s right to choose or gay rights”. But maybe most notably over the last few days those last two truths have really come to the fore, with a story of the likes I have never seen before yet so on brand for 2020:

Okay, if this isn’t proof that Team O’Toole isn’t playing it safe and nice, then I’m not sure what else you need. Accusing your main opponent of committed alleged criminal acts, going all the way to the point of calling the police, is not something you do when you have other options at hand. That is a nuclear option if there ever was one when dealing with an opponent from another party, but when it’s your own party? That just ratchets that up even more.

For Team MacKay’s part, that reply was about as dismissive and amateurish as can be and given everything that we’ve seen in this campaign from him so far, totally consistent in their performances and actions. It continues to amaze me how someone with his political pedigree, his decades of experience & his time as an actual party leader has been purely incapable of performing the basics of a leadership campaign, let alone the most complex tasks. Seriously, I know the bench depth of the Conservatives when it comes to staff and strategists is solid, so I really have a hard time making heads or tails of MacKay’s continual and spectacular failures in this race.

Putting that all aside, not knowing any details that aren’t in the media about the specifics of these allegations, campaign experience leads me to believe that the truth is somewhere in the middle, lying between deft campaign skullduggery and incompetence. That’s usually what a case like this turns out to be. And to be honest, I could see either being the case. We’ve seen a growing number of examples of campaigns or campaigners trying to pull digital stunts to give their candidates an edge, only to see it blow up in their faces because it was easy to figure out. Given all the amateurish mistakes we’ve seen from Team MacKay since the start, it doesn’t take a big leap to see someone on his team doing that and leading to this. But on the other hand, there were stories running around Ottawa before COVID-19 shut everything down about members of Team O’Toole being a bit sloppy when it came to things that should be confidential, speaking loudly while taking conference calls on cell phones in airport lounges, not paying attention to who was around them, followed by bragging about how they were going to get other candidates, both inside and outside of the party. So could I picture this being a case of someone being casual with sensitive information, leading to it getting out in less-than James Bond-ish ways? Yeah, I could picture that too.

But really none of that matters now because this story is out there, as it is, and will now lead to serious recriminations. Accusations like those are the kinds of thing that simply never go away and are never forgotten by those who get tagged with them. Given the tightness of this race, it felt like it was heading towards a similar kind of finish we saw in 2017, where it was so close and eventually lead to Max Bernier bolting out on his own. But even in that race, with all the animosity in it, we never saw a bomb like this dropped on anyone. No matter who wins this race, it’s not going to be by a landslide of any sort and as such, they were already going to have a big job ahead of them trying to unify their party after the race. That job just got much harder and dare I say, impossible. This is the kind of accusation that tears parties apart for decades and creates wounds so deep that they simply don’t go away. That’s what makes this development so notable and as with most things that have happened in the Conservative Leadership Race to date, the only true winner seems to be Justin Trudeau’s Liberals.

Advertisements

The Other Shoe in Kitchener South – Hespeler

It was over a week ago that I weighed in on the case of the Liberal-turned-Independent MP for Kitchener South – Hespeler Marwan Tabbara, his arrest and all the claims that no one knew anything. As I expressed at the time, given my experience from my time working on Parliament Hill, I had a very hard time believing that no one knew anything or that Tabbara’s activities over time hadn’t raised any red flags with anyone. It simply didn’t ring true with my lived experience and years of knowing people in all parties. Well this morning the CBC has come out with a report that basically amounts to the other shoe dropping to the ground and as it turns out, it’s fallen with the impact of a steel-toed boot to the groin:

Wow folks, that story. CBC details allegations dating back to the 2015 election campaign, when Tabarra was first elected. Those allegations included “inappropriate touching and unwelcome sexual comments directed at a female staffer” and according to CBC’s reporting, they were able to confirm that a Liberal Party internal investigation determined that “some of the allegations were substantiated, but has not been able to learn whether Tabbara faced any consequences.” That whole situation looks even worse considering what he is now charged with and the context that these allegations add to the behaviours alleged in those charges.

You can add to that context the fact that Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s zero-tolerance policy on sexual misconduct in the workplace, something that he’s leaned on as proof that he’s working to snuff out that kind of inacceptable bahaviour in his party. The story points out that knowledge of this incident went all the way right into the Prime Ministers office, which is notable. The fact that these allegations were made two elections ago and they allegedly found “some of the allegations were substantiated”, how in the heck do you explain that Tabarra managed to stay in that caucus?

Furthermore, not only did he not get any punishment that was apparent to the naked eye, he was allowed to run again and was even given the position of chair of the House of Commons committee on International Human Rights. MPs literally scrap and fight for years to become the chair of a House of Commons committee, it’s a position of importance and prestige. And after the Liberals knew about that case and their pledges to have zero-tolerance for such awful behaviour, they gave Tabbara that plum seat. That looks more like they were either rewarding bad behaviour than punishing it, quite the opposite of zero-tolerance.

Another salient point from the CBC piece was a line that speaks to this situation: “The Liberal Party may not have been warned about the criminal charges — but it did know about the misconduct allegations dating back to 2015.” When the Tabbara charges came out a couple weeks ago the Liberals feigned ignorance, saying they had no clue about and were surprised by his behaviours, something which I expressed my skepticism about. Now that we know this, I refuse to believe that they weren’t paying closer attention to this guy. Seriously, not only did they know this and do nothing, they let him run again. Remember, these allegations took place two elections ago and given that the allegations that lead to criminal charges in Guelph took place this year, I wonder if Mr. Tabbara would have had the means and time on his hands to do what was alleged there if he wasn’t an MP at the time. It’s legitimate to ask if these original allegations had led to actual action by the Liberals back then if what is alleged to have happened this year would have even happened.

All of this is to say that if anything, the Liberals can’t say that there were no red flags out there about Tabbara’s behaviour. Their reaction shouldn’t have been “wait, that guy did something?”. Given what we now know thanks to good reporting from CBC, their reaction should have been “wait, that guy again?”. The Liberals had a huge red flag on this MP, one that walked right in their door, jumping up and down demanding their attention. And even though they found that “some of the allegations were substantiated”, it’s not publicly clear that there was any punishment. The fact that this is only coming to light now, that there was no apparent punishment for Tabbara, that he got promoted to a position of status in Parliament and was allowed to run on Team Trudeau again in 2019, I feel safe in assuming there was no punishment at all. Or as the Liberal leader has put it before, a “zero-tolerance policy”. I’ll say it again, the Liberals have a lot to answer for here and with these new details, they have that many more questions to answer. This is another example of this government saying one thing loudly and doing the opposite as quietly as possible. Not only is it a bad look politically, it gives cover to those who have allegedly behaved badly. That’s on the Liberal leader and his party, and they need to answer for it. Because it’s 2020, although that was the standard in 2015 too.

More Reflections on Yesterday’s Events

2020 man, it just keeps doing its thing. Yesterdays incident in the House of Commons between the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois is continuing apace, with the Bloc demanding a “sincere apology” from NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh for saying what he did. There are many things I could say about this entirely predictable development, but I’m just going to say my piece here and move on.

The past approximately 24 hours around this story have been draining for me. For years of writing, in this blog and my previous one, I have always had a rule to never write while mad. I’ve had that rule because sometimes we don’t express ourselves the best when we do and honestly, it’s something to keep myself from getting in trouble. I broke that rule yesterday when I wrote what I wrote, which I stand by and don’t feel bad about writing. That’s how I felt in that moment and honestly still feel, so I am fine with that.

But in the time after writing it I have to admit that I’ve had alternating feelings of frustration and extreme disappointment. I was raised to believe in our democracy, regardless of how imperfect it may be. I have believed in and work on finding solutions to the problems our country faces through that avenue. I spent a decade on Parliament Hill trying to do that and over 15 years of political activism pushing to correct the wrongs against Indigenous peoples like me. During all that time I would face skeptical people who would tell me I was wasting my time and while I understood where they were coming from, I disagreed with them and sought to prove them wrong.

I sought to show that we could do better, and that Canada’s Parliament was capable of rising to our challenges, regardless of what history has shown us. But yesterday was just the opposite, and I have to admit it’s affected me more than I probably expected. Seeing what I saw yesterday left me feeling gutted, depressed at the state of things, and muttering to myself that maybe those people were right all along.

There was no reason to say no to that motion, especially less than 24 hours after the BQ leader told the top First Nations leader in Quebec they would fight against human rights abuses against Indigenous peoples. Mr. Blanchet said that, then 24 hours later his House leader Mr. Therrien went in and did what he did. And he just didn’t deny consent. He didn’t meekly utter his objections under his breath. As Singh pointed out in a press conference later, Therrien yelled his objects, waving his hand in a dismissive manner, as if this didn’t matter a damn. That sends a message and it deserved to be called out.

But in the aftermath the Bloc is upset that they are being called racists, saying that they aren’t such and to say so is insulting. Here’s the thing about the Bloc and that assertions, it’s not like people are basing their judgements here on just that incident yesterday. That’s not an isolated incident for them, as I pointed to yesterday. Remember during the election 5 candidates on Mr. Blanchet’s team were caught making a number of Islamophobic and racist social media posts, for which he apologized. Not them, not those five candidates, but him on their behalf. It should be noted that he refused to name who any of those candidates were, which was mind-blowing at the time and undercuts the “sincerity” of any apology that he offered for that. When people talk about this topic and the BQ, they’re looking at a track record of the BQ doing this crap.

Even if you are charitable and put that part aside, the explanation of why they refused yesterday was as upsetting as anything else. The Bloc claimed they refused consent because a committee was going to study if there were issues of systemic racism in the RCMP, and said that if they approved this motion that would mean the House would be jumping to a conclusion. That of course completely ignores the number of reports gather dust on shelves that have said this is a problem long ago. RCAP, the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the Report into Missing and Murder Indigenous Women and Girls have all said as much. Hell, the Commissioner of the RCMP Brenda Lucky said that herself, in her own words, just days ago. So to hear the Bloc say that House of Commons shouldn’t move to act because a Commons committee hasn’t decided on if there is a problem yet was galling to me. It seriously made me mad, fuming. When the person who is in charge of the RCMP says there is a problem, doesn’t that mean that the question of “if” has been settled? I would think so, yet the Bloc wants to study it more. If that’s not a failure of our democratic institutions I don’t know what else is.

Yet despite all of those facts and that history, still so much of this conversation has revolved around Singh’s reaction. He just explained how he reacted when Therrien just waved his hand in a dismissive way at that legitimate motion, yelling loudly, not just meekly saying he refused consent, as if there was no problem and everything was fine, and how that made him react. Yet I’ve seen too many comments about how it wasn’t polite or Parliamentary. It’s true that using that word in the House is unparliamentary, but maybe the problem here is that it is. When Romeo Saganash said in a matter of fact way that the Trudeau government didn’t give a fuck about Indigenous Rights, he was forced to apologize too. But the fact that the word he used was unparliamentary didn’t mean that it wasn’t the right thing to say. It may be uncomfortable for the recipient of those honest words to hear them, but that doesn’t change their truth. Yet inside the House of Commons, the rules are designed to shield MPs from the truth under the guise of being polite.

The fact is that Singh was expected to be polite towards an MP who was showing no politeness, regard, or respect towards Indigenous peoples. Seriously, that is screwed up and if MPs aren’t talking about fixing something as simple as that, there maybe there is no hope for that chamber being a help or path to fixing things. Sorry but I’m tired of having to “be polite” towards others who don’t give me that same respect, just to get them to act right. I’m tired of always being expected to turn the other cheek and not respond “too emotionally” towards people who are denying the clear and evident basics that affect my life and family. So yeah, I’m glad Singh did what he did, even if it’s not exactly how I myself might have done it. If we can’t be that honest in this moment, in this time when Canadians across the spectrum are calling for our politicians to address these issues, then I don’t know what we can do to help. We’ve asked politely, waited patiently, worked within the system, and given constant respect to people who have given us none of that in return. So if the Bloc are hurt that Mr. Singh didn’t politely ask again for them to act like respectful human beings, well that’s their problem. I for one am exhausted and not willing to waste another ounce of energy on that. Canada, this is for you to fix and it’s time to get your crap together. That’s starts in Parliament and if there’s no will to fix things there, there’s nothing I can do to help you. I’ve got a family to look out for and if you’re not willing to do your part, I’m going to spend my time trying to protect them from what you refuse to change.

Le Bloc Hypocrite

These have been hard days all over and the same is true here at home in Canada. While we’ve seen the protests against racism in the United States, we’ve seen the same here at home. And just as there seems to be a renewed acceptance that there are unacceptable levels of racism in that country that needs to be addressed, the same is true here in Canada. It’s been something to behold and admittedly it’s involved a lot of contradictory messages at once.

While Canadians were protesting the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, we saw the video of the RCMP over the top arrest of Chief Allan Adam in Fort MacMurray, which was book-ended by the stories of two First Nations people being killed by police during routine checks. While the Prime Minister took a knee and admitted we have systematic racism in our structures of government, his government continues to ignore the rulings of the human rights tribunal regarding their systematic underfunding of First Nations child welfare services. And I could go on with more examples but while the words have been right, the actions haven’t followed as of yet.

It was through that lens that I saw the following event take place in the House of Commons this afternoon. In this moment of unity around opposing racism, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh proposed a unanimous consent motion that seemed should be very straightforward in this moment. But that’s not what happened. Here is the entire video of what happened because it’s just that unbelievable:

Where to start with this, oh where to start? Well let’s start with the motion itself, which seemed very straightforward. Singh’s motion repeated the claims about they systemic issues in the RCMP, which both the Prime Minister and RCMP Commissioner have said themselves. It then goes on to suggest ideas to help improve things, not in huge specific detail, but in a way that would allow the RCMP to work with them. All in all, it struck me as a very normal, basic, and certainly inoffensive motion that should have easily been destined to get unanimous consent.

Yet it was denied that consent and it became clear in the moments after the culprit that denied it. Bloc Quebecois Claude DeBellefeuille rose to say that Singh had called BQ MP Alain Therrien a racist. It appears that it was Therrien who denied that unanimous consent, for reasons that aren’t apparent to anyone out there. That lead to minutes of upset ranting from Madame DeBellefeuille, so upset that Singh would dare to call Therrien out for this act. In fact, she had nothing to say about why Mr. Therrien refused to give that consent, simply saying that “every MP has a right to their opinion”.

It continued on, demanding that Singh be removed from the chamber for pointing out the obvious. And let’s be clear, Singh didn’t dance around what he said in the moment, nor did he equivocate on it. He said he said it and that he meant it, which is about as clear as you can get when it comes to intent. When the Deputy Speaker asked him to apologize, he refused flat out, saying again that he meant what he said.

This entire episode really pissed me right off for two clear reasons. Firstly it laid bare the rank and totally hypocrisy that is the Bloc Quebecois today. I remember times 15 years ago when so many Canadians elsewhere in the country saw the BQ as a progressive force and that if it wasn’t for sovereignty, they agreed with a great deal of what they said. But over time they have changed, to the point where they have shown no problem with leaning into xenophobia in their attempt to win seats and gain any sense of electoral relevance. Remember this BQ ad from 2015, which they ran unapologetically across the province:

That ran in Quebec media, openly leaning into Islamophobic rhetoric in an attempt to win votes, all because it suited the BQ in that moment. I could stand on that example there alone but something else happened yesterday that really drives home the point about the Bloc rank hypocrisy here. It was a tweet from Ghislain Picard. Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador, after a meeting with current Bloc Leader Yves-François Blanchet and in light of what just happened, looks very different:

Yeah, Picard was thanking the Bloc leader for their chat and his apparent support for stopping human rights abuses against First Nations. And as a follow up to that pledge, Blanchet’s MP Therrien went into the House less than 24 hours later and denied a motion that would help to do just that. Seriously, less than 24 hours for the Bloc to turn tail and act like duplicitous buggers and for what reason? To try to “own” the NDP? Seriously this is such crap. The end of this who situation ended like this, which really sent the most discordant signal of all:

Yep folks, that was Jagmeet Singh, the first person of colour to lead a Federal political party in this country, being thrown out of the House of Commons for being “unparliamentary” for calling a spade a spade when it happened. So the end result of this was that motion not getting passed, the House not noting the problem staring us all in the face for the past weeks and instead of the sole, shallow and repugnant individual who denied the consent to pass that motion being admonished for his crap, it’s Singh that gets tossed for having the temerity for standing up and pointing that crap out. What a bad freaking joke that whole scene was and if there was any justice, the parliamentary press gallery would name that 15 minutes of parliament “The Aristocrats”.

So yeah, if you needed it all summed up that we have a real long way to go in dealing with systematic racism in this country, that showed it there. Thanks to the one-two punch of the BQ’s flocons de neige MPs for La Prairie and Salaberry-Suroit, we Indigenous people got a stark reminder of what we’re up against. The BQ offered kind words with one hand, while reaching out to slap us with the other and they are the ones who are pissed here. As someone who believes in the power of Canada’s democratic institutions to fix this problem and spent a decade of my life trying to go that route to do it, that moment was a complete kick to the balls with steel toed boots. Seriously, I’m mad, gutted and feeling completely frustrated by what I just witnessed.

I damn well hope that those two Karen’s from the BQ and their illustrious leader apologize for this entire sordid episode because damn, that was just ugly. But I won’t be holding my breath. It’s not in the DNA of the Bloc to apologize of anything they’ve ever done so I don’t expect it now. Sure the progressivism of the Bloc make-up has seemingly been driven out of their constitution, but the inability to see any wrong in their own actions lives on and just gets stronger. In the meantime, we’ve got a crapload of work ahead of us and when I say “we”, I mean Parliament. Because if this Parliament can’t do something as simple as pass that bland and reasonable motion to state the obvious, then there’s nothing we Indigenous peoples can do to help it. Canadians come get your MPs, they’re screwing up and you need to get them in line.

An Election Unlike Any Other

2020 has been a crazy year so far between a global pandemic, mass protests in the United States and more to add to that. There have been so many things that have happened so far and there are many people who are rightly worried about where things may be going, especially when it comes to our neighbours to our south. The Trump Administration has been more than three years of all kinds of instability, leaving so many friends and allies shaken, concerned, and having to watch their backs because of how this President has acted. These are not normal days for sure.

The leaders of the Free World for most of the past seven decades have put that title in question over these last few years, leaving many to worry what might happen to liberal democracies around the World if the United States let theirs slip away. We’ve seen far too many examples of anti-democratic tendencies from President Trump, typified by the incident outside the White House in early June against peaceful protestors.

But for all those legitimate worries, there has been hope that this whole episode could soon be at an end. It’s a presidential election year and Americans will be going to the polls in the Fall to elect their next Commander in Chief. This vote is probably the most important election for the United States in many generations, if ever. The choice that Americans make in the Fall will have a huge impact on not only their country, but the rest of their allies like we Canadians.

If you believe the polls, Democrat Joe Biden is on track to a landslide of historic proportions but after the experience of 2016, people are taking any polling results with multiple grains of salt. But no matter how you slice it, the prospects of voting out Donald Trump are looking good. Yet even with those numbers, it’s been remarkable to see how people are reacting to this campaign and the importance behind it. It’s the kind of thing that I haven’t seen in my lifetime, and I saw two things online today that really drive home that point, one which helps to explain the other. The first comes in the form of a poll and part of the results from it, with a very concerning finding:

I know that it’s easy for many of us to be cynical and think the worst, it’s a part of human nature for many of us. And I still remember the 2016 campaign when this topic of how Trump would react if he lost. I remember when this below happened and set everyone into a frenzy:

I still remember just how jarring those declarations from Trump were, that he if didn’t win that he would contest the results. It perfectly fit the persona of Trump, who is not known to be gracious in anything, let alone in losing. And given his attacks on everyone under the sun at that time, saying that people in the shadows were out to get him, it was a warning sign about how that all might go. Even after he won he continued with this crap, saying that things were rigged and that people voted illegally when there was absolutely no proof of any of that.

So it shouldn’t shock us that a lot of Americans believe that if he losses this time Trump wouldn’t take it well. The idea that if Trump lost in the Fall that he would “try to find ways to overturn or ignore the election to stay in office” is not one that’s so far out there anymore. But to see in a poll that a majority of Americans, 58% of them, believe that their President won’t respect the result of a democratic election if it doesn’t go his way is just jarring beyond jarring. Seriously, how far have things slipped in the US for things to have gotten to this place?

That’s the kind of ugliness that’s impossible to ignore. But while that poll shows that a majority of Americans know their President and his predispositions, I also believe it shows something else that we’re seeing in the American electorate in this moment. A sense of the importance of this moment, a sense that if they screw this up there may not be another chance to get this right. A sense that this election matters more than any since maybe the Civil War. Which brings us to an ad that’s started to be run yesterday, one that even in this environment manages to shock and grab our attention:

“The Lincoln Project” is a group of Republicans founded to rise to this important moment. Their mission statement is pretty clear: “Defeat President Trump and Trumpism at the ballot box”. The group is made up of many noteworthy Republican strategists and donors, many of whom who have been opposed to Trump for a long time, people who Trump has long since called “Never Trumpers”. That some Republicans have opposed this Republican President isn’t new, as many of these same people opposed Trump in 2016.

But this time is different and feels very different. Whereas last time you saw some of these people out publicly opposing Trump, maybe kept their heads down waiting for Trump to lose at the polls. All the polling showed that Trump wasn’t going to win so they didn’t want to risk putting their heads up just to get smacked around. It wasn’t the most courageous choice ever, but given the situation at the time, it was hard to argue against the strategic decision. In hindsight, it was a failed strategy that counted on the campaign of Hillary Clinton to have done the job (which many post mortems after that election showed they hadn’t) and on Trump screw it up (which he didn’t do enough to lose).

So this time around this group is there, active, and not taking anything for granted, as are most Americans. If there have been any lessons that appear to have been learned by many Americans in these last many years, it is not taking any election for granted. That leads us to ads like those from The Lincoln Project, ads that treats their opponents like true enemies and spares them nothing. That ad was so striking to me for two major reasons. Firstly, that was the kind of ad we have grown accustomed to seeing Republicans throwing at Democrats for years, many times to devastating effect. So to see a group of Republicans turn that force onto a sitting Republican President, it speaks volumes to the moment.


But secondly and maybe most importantly, what struck me was the topic of the ad and the message that it sends. The entire ad is built around rumours of Trump having a “secretive, midnight run to Walter Reed Medical Center” and the condition of his health. It makes all kinds of speculation, tying together bits of video from the last little while showing alleged evidence to back up claims that Trump’s health is failing. Is it concrete proof of any health problems for this President? Nope. But it raises the question and leaves it to the viewer to make their own judgements, exactly the kind of tactic they have used against Democrats for years.

Making it all the more effective is the fact that it’s aimed at the notoriously thin-skinned Trump, making it not just effective with the electorate but also aggravating to the candidate himself. On top of that, if Trump is known for anything it’s making up crap about his opponents all the time, especially about their health. Remember how Trump tried to turn a couple shots of Hillary Clinton into a conspiracy that her health was failing and as a result was too weak to be President? That ad is damn near a carbon copy of those attacks from 2016, now being applied to and used against Trump in 2020, to some seriously strong effect.

There is a certain poetic justice in seeing Trump’s own tactics & insecurities used against him in this moment, but it also sends the message that these Republicans aren’t leaving anything to chance. They are going to do all that they can to ensure that Trump doesn’t win in the Fall and ensure that it all happens beyond any doubt, to reduce the chances that Trump can try to hold on after the fact. They are out to destroy him politically, totally, and efficiently, that’s clear. That gives some confidence 2020 won’t be a repeat of 2016.

This also means that 2020 is probably going to be the most divisive and hard-fought presidential campaign in living memory. If that’s the ad The Lincoln Project is running in mid-June, you can just imagine how devastating they will be come September and October. This is not going to be a soft ride or a smooth campaign, but the decision has clearly been made by some to not just bring the fight to Trump, but bring it as Trump would try to himself, only doing it better. We’ll see just how well this works, but its clear minds are focused on the importance of this campaign. We’ve never seen a campaign like the one that is to come but given how 2020 has gone so far, it seems like this is how this would have to be.