Terminating the Constitution
Plus: Twitter's big, bogus, reveal.
Despite the evidence to the contrary we are not, in fact, living through an alternative reality simulation. This all actually happened:
In the last two weeks, Donald Trump pledged solidarity with the January 6 rioters, dined with two Holocaust-denying fans of Adolf Hitler, and called for the termination of the Constitution.
And he remains the front-runner and clear favorite for the GOP nomination for president in 2024.
No wonder the right would rather talk about Hunter Biden’s dick pix.
JesusMaryandJosephandtheweedonkey, Trump put it in writing.
A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.
This was not a one off. As Mike Pence’s former chief of staff, Marc Short noted on Meet the Press, Trump’s attack on the Constitution was consistent with “what he asked the vice president to do two years ago, when rioters were attacking the Capitol and he asked the vice president to overturn the election results.”
On Sunday, Trump doubled down, firing off a declaration that: “UNPRECEDENTED FRAUD REQUIRES UNPRECEDENTED CURE!”
In other words, Goddam right I orchestrated coup to overthrow the Constitution — and I’ll do it again!
On Earth 2.0 (a rational and totally imaginary world), this would be the clearest, easiest, most obvious moment for Republicans to rid themselves of this troublesome and deranged demagogue.
Prominent Republicans would deliver major speeches rejecting (1) sedition, (2) collaboration with Nazis, and (3) the former president’s call to terminate the Constitution, so he can be be reinstated.
“No honest person can now deny that Trump is an enemy of the Constitution,” Liz Cheney tweeted on Sunday. Her fellow J6 Committee member, Adam Kinzinger called out his fellow Republicans: “With the former President calling to throw aside the constitution,” he said, “not a single conservative can legitimately support him, and not a single supporter can be called a conservative. This is insane. Trump hates the constitution.”
But here’s the headline of the day: “Top Republicans stay silent on Trump’s call to terminate the Constitution.”
Because, of course.
And check out this pathetic dingleberry: “Trump's call to suspend Constitution not a 2024 deal-breaker, leading House Republican says.”
Exit question: Will Ron DeSantis denounce Trump’s anti-constitutionalism? If not, why not? Discuss among yourselves.
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ICYMI: Make sure you read Dennis Aftergut’s piece in Sunday’s Bulwark: “Trump Stands in the Middle of Fifth Avenue and Shoots the Constitution.”
On Saturday, Donald Trump did not merely bet the farm on being elected president in 2024. He bet Trump Tower, Mar-a-Lago, Bedminster, the golf links at Aberdeen, and the private jet, too. In a single social media post, he put his ability to defend against an indictment in even greater jeopardy than it already was….
Trump was not just saying the quiet part of his entire political career out loud. He was screaming it straight into our eardrums.
His disordered mind can only be thinking one thing: By racing far past the edge of the known political universe, he wins the gold medal in the extremism that the MAGA base craves. No rival can compete. He figures that’s how to guarantee his nomination and eventually the presidency, with its immunity from indictment.
Out of his gourd with fear of federal prosecution, Trump does something that helps ensure its success.
About that Twitter “bombshell”
My colleague, Cathy Young, sends along some more thoughts on the “Twitter files” brouhaha:
1. The claim that Twitter’s decision to block the link to the New York Post Hunter Biden laptop story in October 2020 amounts to election-rigging—which underlies Donald Trump’s “Screw the Constitution, throw out the election” tantrum—is absurd considering that the block probably gave the story a Streisand Effect boost rather than suppress it. Buzz about the ban was all over Twitter, and the story could be easily accessed via Google. Also, the link block was lifted in about a day, and then-CEO Jack Dorsey apologized two days later.
2. Some argue that the “files” show how the laptop story link ban was directly coordinated between Twitter staff and the Biden campaign. Nope. The “coordination” was about removing tweets—ones that apparently featured either images of or links to Hunter Biden revenge porn stolen from the laptop. As for the link ban decision, the Washington Post notes that the internal communications disclosed by Matt Taibbi “showed the company independently decided to limit the spread of the article, without Democratic politicians, the Biden campaign or FBI exerting control.” The only Democratic politician who did weigh in, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), thought Twitter should distribute the story.
3. What really minimized the impact of the laptop story was not Twitter’s actions, but the mainstream media’s refusal to treat it as a big “October Surprise.” Which was entirely appropriate, given the laptop’s extremely murky provenance and then-unverified content, as well as the fact that…
4. The laptop “scandal” was part of a known false narrative on the right, claiming that Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine were important because Joe Biden supposedly had Ukraine’s chief prosecutor fired—using U.S. aid as leverage—to protect Hunter and Burisma, the company on whose board Hunter served, from investigation. A central goal of this narrative was to neutralize the Trump/Ukraine scandal—remember, the one where the President of the United States tried to use U.S. military aid to bully Ukrainian leadership into supplying dirt on his political opponent.
But again: the narrative is false. Yes, Biden did openly talk in 2018 about threatening to withhold an aid package unless the prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, was fired. But that’s because Shokin was not investigating corruption. The Obama administration and the EU—not Biden—wanted him gone.
Here’s the real story.
While you are catching up, you also need to read Tim Miller’s takedown of the weekend’s Great Twitter Dump: “No, You Do Not Have a Constitutional Right to Post Hunter Biden’s Dick Pic on Twitter.”
1. Court Implodes Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Defense (and the Errant Judge Who Bought It)
The court made a few things very clear: The FBI acted entirely by the book, which nobody disputes, including Trump. Cannon had no constitutional (that is, “jurisdictional”) authority to do what she did—unless a former president is somehow extra-special and above the laws that apply to everyone else. Cannon assumed Trump is. He’s not.
The opinion is relatively terse at twenty-one pages, but expertly drafted, beginning with a wry recapping of the story—one that unfolded once upon a time, when Trump lost the election . . .
2. Russia to Gays: Shut Up and Disappear
As Russia continues to flounder in Ukraine, with attempts to capture the small town of Bakhmut turning into a grisly reenactment of the Battle of Verdun, and Kremlin propagandists lurching back and forth between hysterical swagger and the five stages of grief, the Russian political establishment has decided to tackle what’s really important: a national “Don’t Say Gay” law. A bill that outlaws “LGBT propaganda”—defined so broadly as to cover not only gay or transgender rights advocacy but potentially all public expressions of “nontraditional” sexuality or gender identity—passed the State Duma on November 24 and was approved by the upper house of Russia’s fake legislature, the Council of Federations, last Wednesday. There’s not much suspense as to whether Vladimir Putin will sign it.