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put country above party...
Calling my fellow Republicans: Trump is clearly unfit to remain in office
Christine Todd Whitman | Jul 22, 2018
...Republican voters, including those who supported Donald Trump, have the obligation to demand action from their elected officials. Vocal opposition is expected from Democrats, but it is Republicans’ disapproval that will have the most sway on Capitol Hill and at the White House.
Those members of the party in Congress who have stood up to the president should be commended. More must follow, with more than private talk and tepid tweets. Only bold leadership can put the United States back on a path that values freedom and democracy, and truly puts America first.
The total courage and integrity available from republican congresspersons would fit into a thimble and there would still be plenty of room for someone's end finger joint.
The mass of republican congresspersons will only do the right thing regarding trump if and when they can clearly and unavoidably see such being to their political advantage- and not one moment before that possible moment.
Will that moment ever come? One would think so and one would hope so. But there are no guarantees in life. The majority of republican congresspersons may very well hang with trump to the extent that they will get hung up forever, politically. Or trump may triumph in the end. He might be reelected -or declared dictator.
To repeat what should be obvious - there are no guarantees in life or in politics. All we citizens can do is stay on the burning deck and do everything we can legally do to keep the ship from sinking into some unimaginable hellscape from which there can be no escape.
- And have a nice day.
Republican Congressman steps up, says he was 'sickened by the exchange' between Trump and Putin
Jen Hayden | Jul 23, 2018
Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylavnia is a former FBI agent and he’s joining Rep. Will Hurd, a former CIA agent, in criticizing Donald Trump’s obvious kowtowing to Vladmir Putin during their joint press conference in Helsinki. In an interview with NPR’s All Things Considered host Michel Martin, Fitzpatrick offered a sobering assessment of the press conference, saying he was "frankly sickened by the exchange.”
She's not a current officeholder. I suspect she had no plans to become one. She certainly could win now that she's crossed Trump's base. Ugh.
>5 krolik: There are plenty of those, fer sure, but I was thinking of Republicans who risked or eschewed political lives/future at least until Trump phenomenon winds to its inevitable, inglorious end: Corker, Flake, McCain, Frum, Fitzpatrick, Hurd, et al.?
As in "Righteous Among the Nations...is an honorific used by the State of Israel to describe non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis." (wikipedia)
>4 timspalding: Tim's observation is correct re Christine Todd Whitman, though I couldn't help wonder if he meant "couldn't"--a trap for me? :-)
>2 JGL53: I heard that Trump rally location in Kansas was twice down-sized and still only half full. Hopefully, it won't take crash of economy (ag, autos) to bring Trump supporters to their senses... GM stock dropped...
The Republican party is in a really bad spot with Trump now. It's not just about losing power in the very near future but the future of the party itself. Most all of the work that went into rebuilding the party brand after the Nixon debacle will be flushed down the toilet if they can't save this guy who I think the majority of Republican office holders privately detest. There is a lot of fear involved in why they are closing ranks around him. Their own futures and the future of their political party are on the line.
I do wonder if the investigation is going to cross over to the other side. The Democratic party has never been immune to corruption or criminal behavior either.
Anyway the Cohen tape the FBI has released portions of is only one of 12 and probably not even the worst. The problem for me with the length of the Mueller investigation is that in the meantime the Orange character wreaks more havoc. It appears to me that there is a whole shitload of stuff on him--it would be nice to see some real criminal charges against him and some of his closer associates soon.
The thing is, gerrymandering (partisan and the bizarre spectacle of court-required racial gerrymandering), the larger social process of "sorting" and increasing polarization of American society have left almost all Republicans in safe districts. They aren't on the line. They don't need a rebranding to win, and they're not afraid, or, if they are, it's of being primaried by someone to the right of them.
#9--I keep hearing that the Democratic party thinks it's going to gain a lot of seats in November. That said that remains to be seen. There are other things that Trump is doing that might tip the balance at least in some districts as well--such as this tariff thing.
You're right; my remark was too glib.
Of course, it would be nice to see more Republicans with skin still in the game take a stand.
And the cynic in me speculates that there are some opportunist careerists who have gone along with the Trump train who will soon flip not because of principle but because they are sniffing the wind...and their next opportunity will be to seize the role of noble dissident (they will be shocked, shocked), whereupon they will be well-positioned for power in the next chapter of the party's history. Excuse me while I reach for my sick bag.
>9 timspalding: I think you are right. I don't see anyone in the Republican party behaving the way one would expect if they thought they were going to be out of office/power in a few months. With gerrymandering and voter suppression they have a guaranteed win in November and they know it. Don't get me wrong - I'd love to see a change but I don't think it is going to happen.
I think there's a lot of nervousness overall. Most Republicans are not in origin Trumpists. And they're seen that institutional adherence is suddenly worthless, if Trump wants to screw you in a tweet. And while they may not lose their seats, I think they realize that the Republican party has backed itself into a nasty demographic corner.
>13 timspalding: if Trump wants to screw you in a tweet.
What does this mean?
Charles Koch, network send GOP a message: We're happy to back Democrats who share our policy goals (CNBC)
Doesn't mean much to me, but no doubt it will mean something to those in the USA.
I gather Kochs like Trumpian tax cuts and deregulation (maybe judges?), but not tariffs and immigration moves. (Hurts bizness.)
Message to Trump nation: don't take our $$$ for granted?
>16 margd: Which is why I don't think they'll be many Democrats taking them up on their offer.
if Trump wants to screw you in a tweet
A hostile Tweet from Trump will ruin a Republican candidate.
Maybe a Trump attack-tweet hurts in an R primary. but in a general election it might be a badge of honor! ;-)
It was good to see so many people (incl. Melania and other Rs) defend LeBron James, who, asked, took his own jab at Trump and is quite able to defend himself, but after all was being interviewed for his commendable school initiative in Akron, Ohio.
Republican political analyst, Rick Wilson has a book coming out tomorrow. Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever.
Here's a review from the Chicago Tribune: GOP strategist grinds Trump into hamburger in new book
Longtime GOP strategist @SteveSchmidtSES explains why he renounced his membership in the Republican Party. Listen wherever you get your podcasts. http://applepodcasts.com/preet (Excerpt at webpage below)
Preet Bharara @PreetBharara | 4:46 AM - 9 Aug 2018
I have not always agreed with John McCain, but the prospect of losing this American hero & patriot is made all the more difficult by the twin realities of being left with this president and a GOP that, with few and pale exceptions, lacks McCain’s moral courage to speak out.
Ruth Marcus @RuthMarcus (NYT) | 8:38 AM - 24 Aug 2018
#23--while I can appreciate Mr. McCain's almost singlehanded from the republican side real opposition to the present administration and that throughout his Senate career he's been pretty much fearless in the face of power and true to his beliefs I've never really liked him. For one thing he's never met a war he didn't like or the potential for one. He thinks of military solutions as first options. I would also point out that Trump maybe never ever emerges as a presidential candidate if McCain hadn't named Sarah Palin as his running mate back in 2007. Out of all that comes your tea party movement and the almost religious and cult like behavior of that group in its coalescence around those it deems to be prophets.
Rest in peace, Lindsey Graham
Dana Milbank | August 31
...after serving for two decades as Robin to McCain’s Batman, Graham buried whatever remained of his own reputation for iconoclasm even before his partner’s funeral.
On Tuesday, Graham took a seat on the couch of “Fox & Friends,” President Trump’s favorite show, and sealed his transition from apostate to Trump apparatchik...
Benjamin Wittes @benjaminwittes (Lawfare)
A few reflections on this tweet*, which contains a number of themes I have been thinking about a lot recently.
First, "Those who stand against Trump will move on to many different things when he's gone": Yes. We will. Those who stand against Trump come from left, right, and center. What unites them is anti-authoritarianism and democratic pre-politics, not a specific political program.
It is thus not merely probable, but actively desirable that the anti-Trump coalition will break up into its constituent pieces once the current crisis has passed. The country, after all, needs a vibrant democratic right, a vibrant democratic left, and vibrant democratic center...
Second, there is one important thing that we should all try to retain from the current moment, however—and I think this is a critically important thing that I hope will survive the current struggle. That is a certain mutual respect and admiration born of common tectonic values.
I would hope that we would all retain in future disagreements a deep awareness that the people we are disagreeing with are people with whom we shared a foxhole when democratic government itself faced a threat.
I very much hope I will never be able to disagree—however intensely—with such people again without a keen understanding that on the most important values, we share a core. And I hope that will cause me to engage with them more respectfully than I might otherwise have done.
I hope it makes me more open to arguments I would otherwise dismiss. I hope it makes me more respectful in disagreement. I hope it creates the possibility of dialogue between people—and between movements—that have regarded one another as hopeless.
...This brings me to the second half of @Kasparov63's tweet*: "those who still support him should never be forgotten or forgiven." I don't mean to sound arch or moralistic. But yes. Speaking personally, I do judge. And my memory will be very long.
I will never forget the people who stared this moment in the face and made peace with it. I will never forget those who decided to tolerate it because of tax cuts, or judges, or to own the libs.
I will also never forget those on the left who hate the center and the democratic right so much that they prefer to make common cause with the Trumpists than with the impure. I will never forget those of all factions who, when it really mattered, stayed narrow and parochial.
I will never be able to engage these people in the future—no matter how much I might agree with them—without a deep awareness that they lack what to me are the most important democratic virtues and commitments. Frankly, I will always hold them in at least some contempt.
I will remember who put something else before the vitality and health of our democracy...
* Those who stand against Trump will move on to many different things when he's gone, but those who still support him should never be forgotten or forgiven.
Retweeted Ron Fournier @ron_fournier review of WaPO story, "RIP Lindsey Graham": "Brutal"
Garry Kasparov |
1:05 PM - 1 Sep 2018
Worth a read. I share @benjaminwittes feelings. And the need to hold accountable those who are enabling Trumpism is critical. But my tweak to @Kasparov63 is that we must always hold out the opportunity for redemption. That hill must be especially steep here, but it must exist.
Ian Bassin @ianbassin
7:57 AM - 2 Sep 2018
Nebraska GOP Senator, Ben Sasse, reprimands Trump tweet about Justice Dept. cases against Hunter and Collins:
If Trump fires Sessions he's going to have a hard time replacing him. Depending on the makeup of the Senate after the mid-terms getting a new AG approved who will be the lackey he wants him to be is going to be nigh impossible. The democrats--if they've got 48 or 49 or 50 are going to be en masse against and there seems to be a number of republican Senators willing to draw the line on protecting the Mueller investigation. Trump seems incognizant of the the fact that he's between a very large lock and an equally hard place. Doesn't appear to me to be any maneuverability room on this.
On the question of Hunter and Collins--these things come up and it's not just republicans that get caught up in the wheels of justice. Corinne Brown and Chaka Fattah were prosecuted not that long ago. Congresspeople fucking about with the stock market do so at great risk. What Collins did was absolutely illegal and it's almost always a slam dunk prosecution. And Hunter should have known better too--his dad was a longtime congressman. You want the job--you don't stick campaign cash in your pocket. Both of them were all kinds of stupid and we can arrogant to the mix.
>28 lriley: I'm glad you pointed to the Brown and Fattah prosecutions. Though they weren't picked up as national scandals, they answer the question of the impartial pursuit of justice by the DOJ. Both investigations presumably begun under the Obama administration. They appear to be on a par with Hunter and Collins.
#29--well Trump wants the public to perceive this issue---like his own issues as a witch hunt....and none of them are......and Sessions FWIW is a real deal conservative (not a fly by the seat of his pants one like Donald himself is). Jeff was chosen by Donald (because he was one of the 'best people') to run the department but he is the administrative head of a vast machine and it doesn't mean he makes decisions on every single case that comes along. There are rules and guidelines. The Collins case in fact is triggered by mechanisms from the SEC--when someone on the board of a company tips off other individuals that a crash is coming and they sell off before the public knows about it---it's pretty much an automatic that the SEC jumps all over those kinds of transactions and they are slam dunk or lay up prosecutions. Fuck Collins anyway--if he didn't know that he's a complete clown---and he didn't need the money. He was one of the richest people in congress. He could have done the right thing and taken the loss and I'd bet you he's thought about that a lot in the last month or so. Zero sympathy.
Personally I've never liked Sessions and Jeff has done a lot of work to push Trump's agenda but he recused himself because he knew it wouldn't be ethical to do otherwise. Trump can't get certain concepts through his extremely thick skull. Part of his problem is he thinks like a dictator would. Businessmen make shit politicians--and that especially goes for shady businessmen.
This may or may not be the correct thread, but I have to share this remarkable (and anonymous) op-ed published in The New York Times today.
I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration
President Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern American leader.
It’s not just that the special counsel looms large. Or that the country is bitterly divided over Mr. Trump’s leadership. Or even that his party might well lose the House to an opposition hellbent on his downfall.
The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.
I would know. I am one of them.
To be clear, ours is not the popular “resistance” of the left. We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous.
But we believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic.
That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.
The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.
Although he was elected as a Republican, the president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets and free people. At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings. At worst, he has attacked them outright.
In addition to his mass-marketing of the notion that the press is the “enemy of the people,” President Trump’s impulses are generally anti-trade and anti-democratic.
Don’t get me wrong. There are bright spots that the near-ceaseless negative coverage of the administration fails to capture: effective deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military and more.
But these successes have come despite — not because of — the president’s leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective.
From the White House to executive branch departments and agencies, senior officials will privately admit their daily disbelief at the commander in chief’s comments and actions. Most are working to insulate their operations from his whims.
Meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.
“There is literally no telling whether he might change his mind from one minute to the next,” a top official complained to me recently, exasperated by an Oval Office meeting at which the president flip-flopped on a major policy decision he’d made only a week earlier.
The erratic behavior would be more concerning if it weren’t for unsung heroes in and around the White House. Some of his aides have been cast as villains by the media. But in private, they have gone to great lengths to keep bad decisions contained to the West Wing, though they are clearly not always successful.
It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room. We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t.
The result is a two-track presidency.
Take foreign policy: In public and in private, President Trump shows a preference for autocrats and dictators, such as President Vladimir Putin of Russia and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and displays little genuine appreciation for the ties that bind us to allied, like-minded nations.
Astute observers have noted, though, that the rest of the administration is operating on another track, one where countries like Russia are called out for meddling and punished accordingly, and where allies around the world are engaged as peers rather than ridiculed as rivals.
On Russia, for instance, the president was reluctant to expel so many of Mr. Putin’s spies as punishment for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain. He complained for weeks about senior staff members letting him get boxed into further confrontation with Russia, and he expressed frustration that the United States continued to impose sanctions on the country for its malign behavior. But his national security team knew better — such actions had to be taken, to hold Moscow accountable.
This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It’s the work of the steady state.
Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.
The bigger concern is not what Mr. Trump has done to the presidency but rather what we as a nation have allowed him to do to us. We have sunk low with him and allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility.
Senator John McCain put it best in his farewell letter. All Americans should heed his words and break free of the tribalism trap, with the high aim of uniting through our shared values and love of this great nation.
We may no longer have Senator McCain. But we will always have his example — a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our national dialogue. Mr. Trump may fear such honorable men, but we should revere them.
There is a quiet resistance within the administration of people choosing to put country first. But the real difference will be made by everyday citizens rising above politics, reaching across the aisle and resolving to shed the labels in favor of a single one: Americans.
- The writer is a senior official in the Trump administration. -
'#31--I'm not sure what to make of that actually. I'm seeing some comedic pornography 'Deep Throat 2' or 'Even Deeper Throat'. I would think the NYTimes though would have vetted and would know precisely who this individual is.
Or could it be a black op piece by the NY Times?--who have been a frequent target of Trump.
Or a black op piece by Bob Woodward? to help sell his book.
Or Mike Pence wanting to be King of the castle?
Or poor Jeff Sessions--seeing an opportunity of getting his own back after a year and a half of abuse and the recent public revelation that Trump refers to him as a retard? And you know Papadopolous kind of put him in the middle of the Trump-Russian thing so......maybe some legal leverage from that when the shit hits the fan.
One of Kelly or Mattis? Probably not but........hey! you know when you're picking from all the best people.
But to me it's kind of like someone maybe trying to get him/herself a get out of jail free card or someone worried about his/her future job prospects....not wanting to be tainted by all the chaos and corruption.
Anyway I'm not at all reassured that this individual or group of people are really looking out for the public first and foremost. IMO it strikes me more as an ass saving maneuver.
My advice to him, her or them---quit your job, don't work for this administration, don't hide who you are, tell the truth.
Some people like Lawrence O'Donnell think it's Dan Coats. Coats is pretty much a traditional meat and potatoes republican--not really a member of the new breed.
I've seen several other commentaries along this line relating to the anonymous op-ed and Woodward's Fear, but Matt Bai puts it very succinctly:
My problem with the insurrection rationale, however, is that it subverts the rule of law just as much as Trump would if left to his own devices. It amounts to vigilante government. It says: We can’t stand by and wait for help to arrive in the person of the voters or the feckless Congress, so we’re going to leap out of the car and heroically wrest the presidency from the hands of the madman ourselves.
And like all vigilantism, this lends itself to chaos and abuse. Who decides which presidential order gets followed and which is too dangerous? Who draws the line between radical reform and outright recklessness? Who elected John Kelly to make those calls?
Only in banana republics do military juntas seize control of government and leave some titular leader in place to provide the illusion of legitimacy.
In a republic like ours, aides don’t get to secretly decide when the president should be granted his authority to act. We do.
John Kelly’s vigilante White House
also great snark
Better for serious men like Kelly and Mattis (and serious women like Kellyanne Conway and Nikki Haley) to be on the inside, insulating us from an imbalanced president, than to have them all storm out and leave us to the likes of sycophantic Stephen Miller, who may in fact be an extraterrestrial.
Listening to Senator Graham in Kavanaugh hearings, I'm wondering if Pence offered him Vice-presidency??
Steven Colbert criticizes the anonymous writer's characterization of the cabinet invoking the 25th Amendment:
"I want to point out that technically the 25th Amendment is not a 'constitutional crisis,' it's a constitutional remedy."
and someone on twitter poke a pin through their "resistance" balloon:
"They call themselves resistors but they're participating in this travesty to get policies enacted and enforced they support."
and another twitter observation:
We simply can't have people taking documents off the president's desk. We can't have this disintegration of norms and lines of authority. We can't have a shadow apparatus working parallel to the legitimate one.
#38--in fact they're insisting that there is good stuff the Trump administration has done. Which to the writer of the op-ed is deregulation, judges and free trade shit. That's at best a matter of opinion and personally I haven't seen anything good come out of the Trump White House since day one and at all.
I'm suspicious of this anonymity thing anyway. If this person wants credibility he should resign, come forward and say why. And today there's nothing but 'It wasn't me' denials from senior members.
I had not thought of that possibility. After Graham's Fox interview, I thought maybe Trump had some interesting kompromat.
Somehow this all reminds me of Alexander Haig after Reagan was shot: "As of now, I am in control here at the White House."
For those too young to remember, Haig was a highly decorated military man and an extreme hawk, who was serving as Secretary of State. Few if any were reassured by this announcement.
(Edited because I apparently can't type, or autocorrect changed something. The article I was trying to link appeared in the Washington Post on 03/23/2011; it was titled When Reagan Was Shot)
Here’s the most robust response to that NYT op-ed:
And another who instead calls it mostly routine:
The crisis isn’t Trump. It’s his Republican enablers.
Ezra Klein@ezraklein Sep 6, 2018
Trump’s flaws lie in plain sight. It’s the GOP that pretends blindness.
...The Founding Fathers were not unaware of the possibility that a demagogue or a knave might win the presidency. That’s why they checked the executive with an independent Congress and built in powers of impeachment. That Republicans in this Congress have proven so subservient to — or scared of — Trump that they have let the fate of the country hinge on whether his staff can adequately distract and calm him is a subversion of the constitutional order and an abdication of responsibility.
As David Frum writes:
Impeachment is a constitutional mechanism. The Twenty-Fifth Amendment is a constitutional mechanism. Mass resignations followed by voluntary testimony to congressional committees are a constitutional mechanism. Overt defiance of presidential authority by the president’s own appointees — now that’s a constitutional crisis.
...I wrote...last year
Sometimes I imagine this era going catastrophically wrong...and historians writing about it in the future. They will go back and read Trump’s tweets and his words and read what we were saying, and they will wonder what the hell was wrong with us. You knew, they’ll say. You knew everything you needed to know to stop this. And what will we say in response?
Obama speaks out against Trump and attacks 'politics of fear and resentment' (Guardian)
Ex-president mentions Trump by name in impassioned speech that rebukes Republicans for ‘pitting one group against another’...
Obama asked: “What happened to the Republican party?"
Add McConnell and Ryan tactics to Wolff, Omarosa, Woodward, NYT Anonymous reports?
Ryan, McConnell try to coax Trump away from shutdown — using props and flattery
Damian Paletta, Erica Werner and Josh Dawsey | September 7, 2018
...House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.) showed the president glossy photos of a wall under construction along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) brought an article from the Washington Examiner that described Trump as brilliantly handling the current budget process, and portrayed the GOP as unified and breaking through years of dysfunction.
...they sought to persuade Trump to put off a fight for more border wall money until after the November midterm elections, promising to try then to get him the outcome he wants...
Tom Nichols @RadioFreeTom https://twitter.com/RadioFreeTom
Author of "The Death of Expertise", Professor at NavalWarCollege & @HarvardEXT. Former Senate aide.
6:16 PM - 7 Sep 2018
Your Friday Tweetstorm (rebooted).
Trumpers are mounting a lot of desperate defenses of the week’s bad news, with lots of shouting at the Never Trumpers (because we don’t matter) and anxiety about who wil be left on “the day after."
This is because they know we’re right. /1
There’s no more question about “who will be proved right.” The Never Trumpers were right, and our worst fears are playing out right now. Yes, the GOP got its judges. And no, the economy hasn’t collapsed. (yet). The rest is happening as we speak. /2
By this I mean continuing attacks on our constitutional norms by the WH itself; a war on our IC and LE communities; the attempt to politicize the DoJ; even the shredding of the AG. (Karmic payback for Sessions, but wow.) /3
Executive depts are functioning by default, aides are managing up (to put it gently) as they try to whack each other out; policies diverge between sensible stuff the bureaucrats can do, and exec orders that vary from stupid to cruel, and meant mostly as theater for the rubes. /4
In foreign policy, the Russians are rightfully laughing at us; the Chinese and North Koreans have a free pass; we're in a tariff war with our own allies; NATO has been dangerously undermined, Canada is bewildered and angry. Immense damage to US strength. /5
The GOP as a party, meanwhile, is now a cult of personality, bereft of conservative ideals, except for one: That "conservatism" must be carried forward by unelected judges, which is totally not a conservative ideal. Veteran GOPers see what's coming - and have wisely retired. /6
All that's left to see is just how badly the Trumpers got it wrong. It's no longer a matter, for example, of *whether* collusion with Russia happened, it's *how far it went and who knew*. Even if there were no more revelations, this alone is shocking. But there will be more. /7
Elsewhere, POTUS is implicated in two felonies (at least two, for now) involving payouts to a porn star - forcing every GOPer who ever blathered about "character" and "integrity" and "you can't trust a man if his wife can't" to eat those words and swallow them dry, forever. /8
It was unwise for Trump loyalists to double, triple, quadruple, and quintuple down on all this. They were warned: there is no better Trump. It will actually get *worse* from here, which most of them have assured themselves is impossible. And yet it will. And this scares them. /9
In the end, it's a false question about "who will be proved right." Even with a honeymoon grace period, that debate should have ended after Helsinki. But it's over now as we enter this time of national crisis. They know this. It's why they'll yell louder: It's panic time. /10x
The New Yorker writer, Naomi Fry, writes a thoughtful analysis of complicity, positing that the NYT fell into complicity by publishing as they did:
Further to Woodard book and anonymous NYT article:
Trump and his flunkies: Why aren't staffers standing up to him?
Barbara Res* | Sep 12, 2018
...“Get rid of the (expletive) braille (elevator buttons). No blind people are going to live in Trump Tower. Just do it,”
...Trump...enjoyed tormenting weak people.
Trump ordered “outrageous or just plain stupid ideas, both legal and illegal. Sometimes those lines were blurred”
...Ordering an underling to do something that was impossible gave Trump the opportunity to castigate a subordinate and also blame him for anything that “went wrong” in connection with the unperformed order later. A Trump-style win-win.
...he would expect people to lie for him
* former vice president in charge of construction at the Trump Organization
Ohio businessman and lifetime Republican donor quits the GOP
Ex-GOP donor urges support for Dems in midterms: 'Democracy is at stake'
Aris Folley | 09/15/18
“We need to turn the House and Senate as a check on Donald Trump and his runaway presidency,” (hedge funder and former GOP mega-donor Seth Klarman, previously one of the biggest donors to the Republican Party in New England) said.
... “betrayed” by “spineless” Republicans who he says have been “profiles in cowardice.” Now, Klarman says the only option is to “act as a check and balance.”
“By the (2018) election I think I’ll have spent between $18 and $20 million ” ..., which would make him one of the top donors for the Democratic Party this year.
...accused Republicans of giving a huge tax cut “largely to rich people” and slammed them because they “were supposed to be the fiscally responsible party.”
“Whatever irresponsible fiscal things the Democrats do won’t be worse than what the Republicans have already done”...
...“could conceivably upset a few of my clients” ...“it’s more important that I do what my conscience requires by speaking out.”
“There are things more important than making money”...
This constant chasing after wealthy donors is one of the worst things about our elections--right up there with purging voter rolls and Diebold voting machines.
The GOP tax bill's bringing out my inner socialist.
The sex scandals are bringing out my inner feminist.
Donald Trump and Roy Moore are bringing out my inner liberal.
WHAT IS HAPPENING?
Bill Kristol @BillKristol | 12:46 PM - 21 Nov 2017
The history of the Trump family business is bringing out my inner socialist.
Some defenses of Kavanaugh are bringing out my inner feminist.
The Trump-era degradation of American conservatism is bringing out my inner liberal.
IT’S HAPPENING AGAIN.
Bill Kristol @BillKristol | 6:00 PM - 2 Oct 2018
The Republican Party Needs to Embrace Liberalism
David Frum | November 2018 Issue
Classical liberal values have disappeared from the right and are now disappearing from the left. Someone needs to adopt them. Why not the GOP?
...The social turmoil of the 1960s and ’70s ripped away liberal’s positive associations and, in so doing, helped redeem conservatism from the discredit it incurred during the Great Depression...
....If the Trump years have achieved anything positive, it is to jolt a new generation into appreciating the value of the institutional legacies now under attack: Free trade. International partnerships. Honest courts and accountable leaders. Civil rights and civil liberties. Private space for faith but public policy informed by science. A social-insurance system that cushions failure and a market economy that incentivizes success.
Surely these things still command the assent of enough of us that we can continue our usual political disagreements—about health care, about taxes, about how to govern schools and fund roads—without demolishing the shared foundations of the constitutional order.
... in a democratic society, conservatism and liberalism are not really opposites. They are different facets of the common democratic creed. What conservatives are conserving, after all, is a liberal order. That truth has been easy to overlook in the friction of partisan politics. It must be reaffirmed now, in this hour of liberal peril.
"I don't care--do you?" Wonder if that was a Trump taunt as Melania left to visit the refugee children?
Melania Trump Mourns Elephant Deaths As Her Husband Lets People Import Tusks As Trophies
Lydia O’Connor | Oct 5, 2018
“It is sad to see this,” the first lady reportedly told her guide while viewing 105 tons of ash from an ivory burn.
Tom Nichols in The Atlantic ~
“We the people” has been replaced with “Me the President.”
Trump again says the Democrats, broadly, are "an angry left-wing mob."
Daniel Dale @ddale8
Of course, people shouting “lock her up” are also in a way a mob.
Bill Kristol @BillKristol | 5:47 PM - 9 Oct 2018
Ex-Florida GOP chair shreds Trump: 'The worse social poison to afflict our country in decades'
Al Cardenas, a frequent Trump critic, tweeted his comment in response to the president's new campaign ad on immigration.
“You are a despicable divider; the worse social poison to afflict our country in decades,” Cardenas tweeted. “This ad, and your full approval of it, will condemn you and your bigoted legacy forever in the annals of America’s history books.”
The campaign ad that Cardenas refers to in his tweet features clips from the expletive-laden trial of Luis Bracamontes, a deported Mexican man who returned to the U.S. and killed two sheriff’s deputies in 2014. It also shows sometimes violent footage of crowds of migrants.
Cardenas is considered one of the most influential Latino Republicans.
Capt. Sullenberger: I’ve never been more concerned about this country’s future
"I don’t think he’s (Trump) capable or willing to change. I think that he’s remarkably incurious and doesn’t value learning. Instead of talking to the current occupant of that office, I am talking to the American people. I’m saying, you are the ultimate check and balance. It is up to us... we cannot wait for someone to rescue us, we must do it ourselves. Everyone, everywhere, must vote in massive numbers."
That’s how Sullenberger, a Republican for almost his entire life, responded when asked over the weekend what he would say to President Donald Trump if he had a chance to talk to him. “This is not normal,” he said. “I’m as concerned about the state of this nation as I have been in a half century.”
David Jolly, Former GOP Congressman and New Radio Host, Backs Andrew Gillum
"I've turned in my ballot. I voted for Andrew Gillum. The reason is simple: it's because I've served with Ron DeSantis.”
Sad to see knuckle-dragging Republicans (Ted Cruze, Devin Nunes...) survive, when thinking fellows like Carlos Curbelo goes down and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen retires:
Carlos Curbelo, Top Republican On Climate Change, Loses To Debbie Mucarsel-Powell
Alexander C. Kaufman | 1/06/2018
This is bad news for the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus.
...(also) Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican congresswoman from a neighboring South Florida district, (for whom) climate change was too obvious to doubt. Their districts suffer routine flooding from sea level rise, both as storm surge and through the porous limestone bedrock beneath much of the Sunshine State’s southern tip. With Ros-Lehtinen retiring, Democrat Donna Shalala, the former health and human services secretary under President Bill Clinton, (replaces her)...
Looks like the House is going to be 227-208 for the Democrats which would be a pickup of 32 House seats. It's in the range of 30-35 which was kind of the conservative guess of what would happen. For the Dems this teeters on the edge of okay/underwhelming in that respect. They will have control of the House. They've lost at least 3 seats in the Senate--could lose 2 more--they've won Nevada. As far as governorships--the Gillum loss has got to sting and Abrams doesn't look good either. Trump's last minute campaigning in the south seems to have made a difference.
Back to the Dems Senate losses--Heitkamp, Donnelly and McCaskill were always fucking awful anyway. Donnelly in the last couple weeks was imitating a knuckle dragging Republican. Why not vote for the real thing in that case? Heitkamp was a coal and oil and gas baroness. Hilary thought that McCaskill absolutely stabbed her in the back in 2007 and then McCaskill kisses her ass in 2015 to make up. Even with her own team McCaskill had this vindictive streak. Missouri in any case outside of St. Louis--Dems run to the center/right if they want to win. Hawley who beat McCaskill comes across about as two-faced as it gets. It seems to be the thing in that state.
O'Rourke pushed Cruz really hard and the Dems turned a couple Texas house seats doing it. Despite losing Beto has a future. I liked him.
Back to the House---the Dems can effectively shitcan any legislation coming out of the Senate if they choose to do so. They certainly can leverage the Senate if that body wants to move on something. The Dems as well have subpoena power to effectively investigate or to coordinate with the FBI in their investigations. They should also go after Republicans Steve King (Iowa-4), Duncan Hunter Jr. (CA-50) and Chris Collins (NY-27) on ethics violations and throw them right out and put those seats back up for another election.
In my own district (NY-23) Tom Reed the republican incumbent won again. His challenger Tracy Mitrano kind of made it close or a lot closer than the usual. I won't miss watching either's TV ads. Reed lying that she was an Ithaca liberal (as if being from Ithaca is a slanderous thing) and making out that she was a this a that and the next thing--couldn't be trusted. His other TV ad I guess was supposed to be more positive scripted Reed's big sister to make her sound like a kindergartner. It was nauseatingly vapid. Mitrano who is from Penn Yan and not Ithaca--it would take you about an hour--maybe even longer to get from one to the other. Her TV ad wasn't good either. It's message--Reed takes millions from this lobby and millions from that. Maybe--probably it's true but no one took any high ground. They both went low or went stupid. I voted for Mitrano in the end. I don't like Reed. I wasn't really impressed with her though either. She called herself a centrist. WTF is that?--it's kind of a conservative.
Rachel Maddow showed a chart, probably on Monday's show, possibly Sunday's. It showed the enormous uphill battle for congressional seats because of gerrymandering. It compared popular vote spreads and how many seats they should result as compared to how many they actually result. It was quite amazing. So the next focus needs to be at the state level, undoing the gerrymandering.
Several states took the initiative on that on the ballot this year, establishing fairer districting models.
>65 2wonderY: I saw that program. It made me sick what the Republicans have done. Showed what cheaters they are!
Scott Walker's governorship in Wisconsin ended. Hip-hip-fucking-hooray. Dana Rohrabacher looks like a dead whale too--not only in the wet suit they stuffed him into in his TV ad which was a-w-k-w-a-r-d a-s f-u-c-k but even more hanging onto a surf board--completely l-a-m-e and jabbering on about how he's going to protect pre-existing conditions---b-i-g f-a-t f-u-c-k-i-n-g l-i-e when he absolutely was against the ACA and absolutely for big pharma ripping everyone off. Let's get real. He made out like he had convictions and there he was in his TV ad showing he didn't.
For Trump and the republicans it's a victory in the sense that it could have been worse. Those extra Senate seats will make it easier to make more judicial appointments. It will be easier for him to fire Sessions (or others) and replace him. The replacements can still get grilled though and in the case of the Justice Dept. that replacement is going to have to answer on what his intentions are to the Mueller investigation. Winning Florida helps to maintain the status quo though the republicans did lose two congressional seats there.
Losing the House should be a two year headache for him though. I hope he has a good supply of aspirin.
Max Boot @MaxBoot | 5:33 PM - 12 Nov 2018
A rare creature these days: an honorable Republican who won’t undermine democracy to win an election.
andrew kaczynski @KFILE | 4:52 PM - 12 Nov 2018:
Wow Martha McSally has conceded.
The NRSC, Trump, and RNC wanted her to push voter fraud conspiracies. She and her campaign refused.
McSally For Senate @MarthaMcSally US Senate candidate, AZ | 4:46 PM - 12 Nov 2018:
Congrats to @kyrstensinema. I wish her success.
I’m grateful to all those who supported me in this journey.
I’m inspired by Arizonans’ spirit and our state’s best days are ahead of us.
Brave Republicans are few, but we have to note them as they dispute Trump's words.
GOP lawmaker 'disgusted' by Trump for mocking House reps
GOP Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger said Tuesday he was "very disgusted" by President Donald Trump for mocking House Republicans who did not back him enough during their midterm election campaigns.
"A little more grace would have been a lot better, I was very disgusted when I heard that," Kinzinger said in an interview with CNN's John Berman on "New Day." "Let's go forward and look at how we're gonna do better in 2020."
Retiring GOP Rep. Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania took to Twitter last week to express his anger with Trump over his treatment of GOP candidates.
"To deal w harassment & filth spewed at GOP MOC's in tough seats every day for 2 yrs, bc of POTUS; to bite ur lip more times you'd care to; to disagree & separate from POTUS on principle & civility in ur campaign; to lose bc of POTUS & have him piss on u. Angers me to my core," Costello tweeted.
>69 margd: contd. McSally's graciousness in defeat wasn't preceded by a clean campaign according to comments...sad...
Rep. Eric Swalwell @RepSwalwell https://twitter.com/RepSwalwell | 5:57 PM - 12 Nov 2018
Rep. Eric Swalwell Retweeted McSally For SenateMcSally For Senate:
Congrats to @kyrstensinema. I wish her success. I’m grateful to all those who supported me in this journey. I’m inspired by Arizonans’ spirit and our state’s best days are ahead of us.
I don't know if there is such a thing as a clean campaign anymore. I suppose Bernie Sanders had some very uplifting TV ads during his presidential run but generally speaking most of those are used to rip apart opponents with very loose standards on the truth. Just from this year in my congressional district--the incumbent republican lies in his main ad about where his opponent comes from--pretty much callls her a communist. She in turn batters him back with all the millions of $'s he's supposedly taken from large corporations--maybe true--maybe even probably true but you wonder sometimes whether it's good idea to get into the dirt because when you do you usually get some on yourself too.
Jerome Corsi, by the way, who swift-boated John Kerry in 2004, now fears indictment for his part in the Russian scandal. He could have gone another way with his life but instead became a political hack/provocateur. Was it all about the money and the lifestyle? his need to play a clown for his right wing handlers. Hard to feel sorry for someone like that if they end up in a federal pen.
Conservative Lawyers Say Trump Has Undermined the Rule of Law
Adam Liptak | Nov. 14, 2018
WASHINGTON — The annual convention of the Federalist Society, the conservative legal group, has long been a glittering and bustling affair. In the Trump era, though, the group has become more powerful than ever, supplying intellectual energy and judicial candidates to an assertive administration eager to reshape the legal landscape.
But as the group prepares to gather on Thursday for the start of this year’s convention, more than a dozen prominent conservative lawyers have joined together to sound a note of caution. They are urging their fellow conservatives to speak up about what they say are the Trump administration’s betrayals of bedrock legal norms.
...The group, called Checks and Balances, was organized by George T. Conway III, a conservative lawyer and the husband of President Trump’s counselor, Kellyanne Conway. In recent opinion articles, Mr. Conway has criticized Mr. Trump’s statements on birthright citizenship and argued that his appointment of Matthew G. Whitaker to serve as acting attorney general violated the Constitution.
The new group also includes Tom Ridge, a former governor of Pennsylvania and secretary of homeland security in the Bush administration; Peter D. Keisler, a former acting attorney general in the Bush administration; two prominent conservative law professors, Jonathan H. Adler and Orin S. Kerr; and Lori S. Meyer, a lawyer who is married to Eugene B. Meyer, the president of the Federalist Society.
“We believe in the rule of law, the power of truth, the independence of the criminal justice system, the imperative of individual rights and the necessity of civil discourse,” the group said in a statement. “We believe these principles apply regardless of the party or persons in power.”
Mr. Conway, who has long been a member of and contributor to the Federalist Society, said he had nothing but admiration for its work. But he added that some conservative lawyers, pleased with Mr. Trump’s record on judicial nominations and deregulation, have been wary of criticizing him in other areas, as when he attacks the Justice Department and the news media.
...Professor (Orin S. Kerr) summed up the new group’s basic point. “The rule of law has to come first,” he said. “Politics comes second.”
Perhaps the old Republican Party will split. There is value in principled conservatism. Trump's party isn't that though.
George Conway, conservative lawyers form group to speak out against Trump
George Conway and 13 other self-described conservative and libertarian lawyers have formed a new group called "Checks and Balances."
Their mission statement says the members believe in the power of truth, the independence of the criminal justice system, and the necessity of civil discourse. The group aims to act as a support network for conservative lawyers who feel they want to speak out against the administration.
The group came about informally at first as several of the members had been speaking out independently against the administration, according to Cordero.
There are "a number of things that the President has done that he, in particular, has invigorated this group to exist," citing Trump's attacks on the Justice Department, she said.
"The group felt it was time, in a more forceful and organized way, that conservative lawyers who stand for the rule of law, and believe in an independent Justice Department speak out more loudly," Cordero, who is a national security lawyer and CNN contributor, said.
A number of the members are part of the Federalist Society and "Checks and Balances" was formed with knowing that the National Lawyers Convention would be taking place over the next three days in Washington.
Republican group runs “protect Mueller” ad on Trump’s favorite show
“We need an attorney general who doesn’t play politics,” the ad’s narrator says, urging viewers to call their members of Congress and “tell them that acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker must recuse himself from the Mueller investigation.”
Republicans for the Rule of Law, a political nonprofit, paid for the ad to run in Washington, DC, and New York City during Fox & Friends — a show the president regularly live-tweets.
Republicans for the Rule of Law is a project of Defending Democracy Together.
GOP Adviser Slams Georgia's Brian Kemp For Cheating and Undermining Democracy To Win Governor Race
Alexandra Hutzler | 11/17/18 at 3:52 PM
A top Republican adviser and political strategist slammed governor-elect Brian Kemp for cheating during Georgia’s gubernatorial race.
“This hack @BrianKempGA is the next ‘governor*’ of Georgia. But he cheated & undermined democracy every step of the way. @staceyabrams should be governor, but isn’t due to actions that can’t be tolerated. She has a bright future. We need a new, enforceable Voting Rights Act. Now!” John Weaver wrote on Twitter on Saturday morning.
Weaver was a strategist for former president George H.W. Bush and a presidential campaign adviser to the late John McCain. The Republican now works for Ohio Governor John Kasich, who is rumored to be considering a 2020 run against Donald Trump as a possible third-party candidate...
Republicans Must Reject ‘Russia Hoax’ Conspiracies and Examine the Evidence
David French* | December 10, 2018
...As in all investigations, the FBI and every other relevant arm of the federal government should be held to account when it departs from law or policy. If elements of the Trump investigation were tainted by partisan bias, we need to know. But, at this point, claims that the investigation itself is inherently illegitimate should be dismissed.
An entirely necessary and proper investigation may well be reaching its most crucial phase. As it does, it’s time for partisans to ditch conspiracy theories and reach mutual agreement to follow the evidence and apply the law to the facts without regard for personal affection or policy preference. Any other approach — either by pundits or politicians — fails their audience or their constituents.
The Trump team has surrounded the truth of its dealings with Russia with a bodyguard of lies. Not a single American should find that acceptable or excusable. Let’s find the truth and confront it fearlessly. No other approach will provide the justice and transparency America needs.
* a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Women are leaving the GOP in multiples. Three, perhaps four Kansas lawmakers are switching parties this week:
We are conservatives and Republicans standing up for the rule of law, for free trade, and for more welcoming legal immigration policies.
Republicans for the Rule of Law
Republicans for the Rule of Law is a group of life-long Republicans dedicated to defending our democratic institutions and upholding the rule of law. We are fighting to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation from political interference.
Becoming American Initiative
Becoming American Initiative aims to counter popular misconceptions about immigrants, especially Hispanic immigrants, providing evidence of their upward economic mobility, educational achievement, language and social assimilation, and civic participation.
(New 35 second video has Reagan in front of Statue of Liberty welcoming immigrants using phrase MAGA.)
Republicans Fighting Tariffs
Republicans Fighting Tariffs exists to remind everyone why the Republican Party is the party of free trade. Free trade allows for strong businesses, good jobs, low prices, and a thriving economy. Tariffs, on the other hand, are an unwarranted tax on American businesses and families
Helping us to hold our representatives accountable, these two R congressmen are two top "savers" in Congress. Hope that means they likewise take hard look at tax cuts, etc.?
Justin Amash @justinamash (R-MI) | 5:45 PM - 27 Dec 2018:
I’ve long said there needs to be a revolution in Congress. Last week, @RepThomasMassie helped spark one; he demanded a recorded vote on every bill (and I filled in for him as needed). This is how the House should work—with representatives recording their votes for all to see.
Thomas Massie @RepThomasMassie (R-KY), Chairman 2nd Amendment Caucus | 7:13 PM - 24 Dec 2018:
Why do so many Congressman go along to get along in DC? Turn up the volume and listen to grown adults, each paid $174,000/year, boo and groan when they are called to push little buttons and record their votes. Peer-pressure causes many votes to go unrecorded.
(See/listen to 0:13 video clip at https://twitter.com/RepThomasMassie)
Mitt Romney: The president shapes the public character of the nation. Trump’s character falls short.
Mitt Romney | January 1, 2018
...I will act as I would with any president, in or out of my party: I will support policies that I believe are in the best interest of the country and my state, and oppose those that are not. I do not intend to comment on every tweet or fault. But I will speak out against significant statements or actions that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions...
Romney and Trump have been carping at each other for some years now. Utah is republican but it's more a traditional conservatism than the kind that Trump has been spinning out of whole cloth. Romney's term is also 6 years which puts him 4 years beyond Trump if his presidency ends in 2020. So Mitt sees an opening to separate himself and remain independent from the face of his party and I think he's a lot more comfortable with that then any other Senator in the Republican party. He can walk right into John McCain's role. That's important for him but what's more important for me is how much or not he actually supports Trumps over the next two years.
>82 johnthefireman: Interesting that Trump's reply tweet called on Romney to be a team player--must be more going on behind the scenes?
(I thought he'd ridicule Romney as sore for losing Secretary of State position to Rex Tillerson.)
>83 lriley: Every Republican who speaks up makes it easier for the next one--we owe Romney thanks for that much at least...
trump did not bad mouth Romney back because Romney supports trump's BS wall. That is the only reason.
One talking head last night on some news show said (paraphrased) that if Romney were a new republican senator from Arizona or Missouri or wherever then his mouth would just be another cock-pocket for trump's micro-penis.
trump is highly unpopular in Utah and thus Romney is doing the politically astute thing. Romney is a politician first and foremost. He worships money and power just like most of the rest of them. His religion and public commitment to integrity and character are just part of the game plan.
#84--I think eventually that will happen but that's also because the Democrats had such a bad map for the Senate this time around but that changes in the next two election cycles 2020 and 2022 when the Republicans will have to defend a lot more Senate seats than the Democrats. As it gets closer to 2020 and if this disaster of a Presidency continues I think a lot more Republicans are going to distance themselves from Trump. I don't think Trump will survive but I also think he's going to drag some of them down with him. Painful as it might seem if he does last his term out--I'd expect the Democrats to not only expand their numbers in the House but to take back the Senate and win the Presidency in 2020. Basically I see his Presidency becoming more and more toxic.
Your National Government Grid-lock At Work:
The partisan hate-driven Democratic vendetta against Trump's election grinds on...
Democrats, now bent on pay-back, amp up the House of Reps.' investigatory juggernaut designed to bring down Trump, or, failing that, to vex and try to cripple him with endless House investigations.
* So much for The New Yorker's storied "fact-checking" woker-bees.
( It's a bit much in hair-splitting to insist that, since the enactment of the National Security Act of 1947, by which the chief cabinet secretary for the U.S. military was changed from the "Secretary of War," who headed the U.S. "War Department," to the "Secretary of Defense," we therefore cannot say that there have been previous resignations in protest by "Secretaries of Defense." The newly-formed "National Military Establishment" (1947-1949) succeeded the War Department, with, as the first "Secretary of Defense," James Forrestal, formerly the Secretary of the Navy under presidents Roosevelt and Truman. Forrestal served in that office from September 17, 1947 to March 28, 1949. The last-serving "Secretary of War" was Kenneth C. Royall, who served under President Harry Truman from September 18, 1947 to April 27, 1949.)
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