The day democracy hit back: The heroic women of Michigan once again showed MAGA who’s boss

The day democracy hit back: The heroic women of Michigan once again showed MAGA who’s boss
Image via screengrab.

When budding radical, rightwing conservative pundit, and full-time lowlife, Donald Trump, broke the news Tuesday morning that he had been served a target letter from the Department of Justice signaling criminal charges for his attack on America, my reaction surprised me.

I felt nothing but burning anger.

My ire was targeted at this orange, blubbering, lying racist of course, but also at Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice for taking so damn long to launch such a short trip to this painfully obvious destination.

We spent four, awful years watching as Trump assaulted all that is good in this country, culminating with his bloody attempted coup on January 6, 2021. Millions of us sat glued to our TVs that day as the siege at the Capitol went on for hours, and Trump did nothing but presumably root for its success.

America’s peaceful transfer of power — her showcase for Democracy — had turned into a violent, dangerous and ugly spectacle by the world’s most dangerous and ugly man.

So obviously awful was that gruesome event, that in an emergency assembly on the floor of the the House of Representatives just two days later, one Kevin McCarthy stood up and made a point of saying this: “What he (Trump) did is unacceptable. Nobody can defend that, and nobody should defend it.”

Nobody can defend that, and nobody should defend that …

Well, we all know how that went as the months and years went by following that momentously terrible day. Republicans one by one began lining up to defend their favorite arsonist and galvanize his support, while Garland sat in the shadows and did God knows what.

Presumably feeling heat, and only after the orange traitor did the most predictable thing ever and announced his run to finish off the presidency for good in 2024, Garland announced he was appointing a “special counsel” Jack Smith to look hard into that attack on America.

By then, the hopes of Smith doing the necessary work to get his ducks in a row, turn around indictments, and get actual trials scheduled before the 2024 Presidential Election were all but dashed.

More important, the delay in holding Trump accountable allowed him plenty of time to rev up his massive rightwing, propaganda machine to convince MAGAs that he was once again, and for about the 817th time in his miserable life, a victim of very, very terrible, and terrifically mean people. That he was an innocent little flower, who had always done nothing but beautiful, tremendous things for them.

Yeah, yer damn right I was mad Tuesday morning.

Discussing this latest development with an old, retired journalist friend, he described my feelings completely when he simply said, “I don’t know what the fuck took so long …”

Things brightened considerably for me later in the day, when news broke that Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel was charging 16 Republicans for their part in the fake elector scheme that would have reversed the vote of Michigan residents in the 2020 election.

One of the charged, Michigan Republican Party co-chairwoman Meshawn Maddock, is so completely guilty, she is actually caught on tape saying: “We fought to seat the (fake) electors. The Trump campaign asked us to do that.”

Once again, I was struck by my reaction.

In a video that I can’t recommend enough, Nessel calmly laid out the charges, and anticipating blowback from the Republican fascists, said this:

“There will be those who claim these charges are political in nature. But when there is overwhelming evidence of guilt in respect to multiple crimes, the most political act I could engage in would be to take no action at all."

This time, I cried tears of joy. I mean, I was really blubbering.

Since that awful day in early November of 2016 when the Earth shook, and America began its slide toward fascism, Michigan has been been on the frontlines fighting for our democracy.

No less important, and tear-jerkingly symbolic, the leaders of this democratic crusade have been women. Hundreds of thousands of women in Michigan weren't having anymore of this dangerous nonsense, and started stepping up to lead the defense of America.

Three women in particular led this all-volunteer army: Gretchen Whitmer, Jocelyn Benson and Dana Nessel.

When the tide receded from the Democrats’ massive Blue Wave in the Midterms of 2018, Whitmer had been elected Michigan’s governor, Benson its Secretary of State and Nessel its Attorney General.

Check. Check. Check.

In no time, these heroic women came under serious threat from MAGA Republican men who literally wanted them dead. Whitmer was the target of a kidnapping plot, and all three have been subjected to relentless, ongoing, and heinous online threats.

They aren’t blinking.

They have gone along with their patriotic business, heads held high, and have done something that Trump has only done in his wildest dreams: built a wall.

They have built a wall so strong and so powerful that it might prevent Republicans from ever ascending to the White House again.

It is close to mathematically impossible for Republicans to win the presidency without first winning in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

In the aftermath of the 2016 Election, those three states had shockingly all fallen to Republicans, as Trump narrowly won all three states. The vaunted electoral Blue Wall had tumbled, and thousands of MAGA in these states began taking a hammer to our democracy.

Until the banging was hushed.

Since that awful day, the Blue Wall has been rebuilt and all three states are once again being led by Democrats. In the 2022 Midterm Elections, Whitmer thoroughly smashed her MAGA Republican opponent, and was reelected by 11 points. Democrats Tony Evers in Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania’s Josh Shapiro also belted their lowly MAGA opponents in those two states’ gubernatorial elections.

So effective has been Whitmer’s leadership, that she is on the short list to one day represent the Democrats at the top of their presidential ticket. It won’t be a minute too soon in my book.

As for Nessel, Super Tuesday cemented her place as one of America’s No 1 crimefighters, as she hit these anti-American MAGA political terrorists right between the eyes with the law.

Now let’s see if states like Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin follow her lead, and go after the political vandals in their states who wanted to illegally overturn our election by throwing out the votes of their citizens.

When I told a friend that I had a cried after the announcement of the indictments in Michigan, she typed something to me that struck a chord deep inside, and made all the sense in the world: “This is extraordinarily emotional because it’s justice for US. WE ARE THE VICTIMS.”

Through all the smoke … through the blood, sweat and tears … though all the fear … through all of our relentless work to restore order … it has been easy to forget what has been done to us by Republicans’ MAGA.

We have been victimized.

Thanks to crusaders like Nessel, we now can have confidence at last that MAGA will pay for their brutal crimes.

D. Earl Stephens is the author of “Toxic Tales: A Caustic Collection of Donald J. Trump’s Very Important Letters” and finished up a 30-year career in journalism as the Managing Editor of Stars and Stripes. Follow @EarlofEnough

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