Trump's dystopian vision
The people who say that prosecuting Trump becomes a political consideration conveniently ignore the fact that choosing not to prosecute him if the evidence warrants it also would be a political consideration. You can't have it both ways. The DOJ should simply do what is right by the letter of the law and let the facts guide the process. That is the only justifiable outcome if truly nobody is above the law.
The statement that "really we're just talking about the DOJ" is the most sickening and terrifying statement in your interview because of course we're NOT just talking about the DOJ. We are talking about the entire Federal judiciary. And worse, all the law enforcement agencies -- Homeland security, the FBI, the CIA, NSA... And it gets even worse, we're talking about the entire gigantic US Military-- all branches. No person in the US military will have a career unless he or she is a vetted loyalist. And we are talking about every contractor and company in America that does business with first the Federal government and little by little with every captured state government. Ultimately we are talking about every public employee in the country-- every janitor, schoolteacher, secretary, city engineer, county clerk.
We are talking about the Trump DOJ and IRS initiating a campaign of persecuting enemies and disloyalists. No person who has ever filed a tax return will be safe.
And we are talking about shutting down the press through the court system. Of all the promises Trump ever made, this one is assuredly most dear to his heart:
"One of the things I'm going to do if I win, ... I'm going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them."
And he goes on, even more clearly:
"You see, with me, they're not protected, because I'm not like other people but I'm not taking money. I'm not taking their money," Trump said on Friday. "We're going to open up libel laws, and we're going to have people sue you like you've never got sued before."
"We're going to have people sue you like you've never got sued before." A wrinkle I did not see coming was the innovation in Texas, of circumventing the constitution by legislating that any person can sue anyone else to recover "damages" where hitherto complainants would have had no standing, the defendants can be sued in multiple locations and must defend themselves in each, must prevail in order to not pay, and can't recover damages for being sued frivolously. And the current Supreme Court through its silence on this has given it tacit approval. All they have to do to uphold this wherever it occurs is not accept any case that comes to them.
This I think will be one of the avenues for shutting down the press and it will allow the Supreme Court to ignore the first amendment, because it won't be Congress making a law to restrict the freedom of the press.
I think you should expect at least a 1/3 chance, maybe more than 50/50, that during the first term, if the Republicans seize the Senate, the filibuster will disappear (it's a mirage now anyway) and this last thing will be on the agenda. There is a certainty they will start on the civil service and an absolute certainty that no DOJ appointee will not be an apparatchik. And the military will fall like a row of dominos even without any official change in law because the top brass will disappear -- look for a huge wave of retirements in the first year -- and everyone else down the chain will get the message.
And don't think any other Republican won't do exactly the same thing. They have started their revolution, they are all at war. They can't turn back.
It is appropriate to contemplate this historical fact. The unimaginable and unthinkable can happen very, very fast. Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in January of 1933. The oath of allegiance sworn by members of the military prior to his accession was loyalty to the Constitution and its lawful institutions.
When Hitler became Chancellor it was changed: loyalty to people and country ("Volk und Vaterland.")
Hindenberg died August 3, 1933. On that day the oath changed again, this time loyalty to Adolf Hitler himself. This mutation lasted one year. On August 20 1934 this was superseded by the Law On the Allegiance of Civil Servants and Soldiers of the Armed Forces, which decreed loyalty not only of armed forces but all civil servants.
Civilian officials and soldiers of the Armed Forces must take an oath of service on entering the service.
1. The oath of service of civilian officials will be:
“I swear: I shall be loyal and obedient to Adolf Hitler, the Führer of the German Reich and people; respect the laws; and fulfil my official duties conscientiously, so help me God.”
2 The oath of service of the soldiers of the Armed Forces will be:
“I swear by God this sacred oath, that I will render unconditional obedience to Adolf Hitler, the Fuhrer of the German Reich and people, supreme commander of the Armed Forces, and will be ready as a brave soldier to risk my life at any time for this oath.”
(translation is from https://alphahistory.com/nazigermany/a-new-reichswehr-oath-1934/)
And yet ….. I am so tired of the Democrats who are complaining that President Biden hasn’t done enough on various issues. Who do they think could have done more? Yes, he’s not the best communicator, is not manic, I mean high-energy, and is old. We knew all of these things when we voted for him. If the Biden critics want him to do more about their issues, stop whining and go get more Democrats elected to give the President the majorities he needs. It’s simple math. This is why I used to be a Republican.
On a Trump Administration 2.0. I'll just throw out there that there really is no need for Senate confirmation to install Presidential appointees, per the precedent established during Trump Administration 1.0, and cravenly accepted by the Republican Senate he had for his four years. Trump 2.0 will be staffed by an "acting" administration. By the end of his term, something like half of his Cabinet was composed of acting Secretaries. Senate confirmation has been demonstrated to be optional.
Sorry to say this but democracy poses a central contradiction. It will not survive without upfront safeguards against the rise of despots and tyrannies of the minority. At some point we will have to revisit traditional absolutes of free speech and campaign finance, but more important we need as a free society to be fascist-literate.
No part of Donald Trump's life, career or time in office was not some combination of pathological, self-dealing or seditious. It is amazing how the 25th Amendment, impeachment, obstruction, of justice, seditious conspiracy and the rule of law just fell away before a man who simply doesn't know and doesn't care. In a civilized society someone like him would be barred from running. After the fact he and his enablers would be in jail by now.
You have agonized for years in this space about why Republicans in Congress continue to support the lies. It's never been a mystery: he blew past 16 competitors in 2016 without breaking a sweat. He delivered the first winning, national GOP coalition, after decades of the party descending deeper into the barrel to exploit cultural resentments in the name of "conservatism".
Trump plumbed the worst American instincts to go the distance, and delivered massive tax cuts for wealthy donors (and himself), cruelty for immigrants and an activist Supreme Court majority. McCarthy, Cruz and the rest understand they are nothing without him. Until his act wears thin, he stops delivering and it's safe to go back in the water, they'd only be caught lying and reveal themselves as weak besides. We don't have time for that anymore.
Fascism is a thing. It can always "happen here". As a nation we should have addressed red state economic development earlier, in a serious way that reflected local values, but we didn't. Libertarian billionaires filled the void- "flooded the zone with shit," as it were. Mix enough dissatisfied people struggling economically with shallow opportunists offering simple explanations and solutions to complex problems, and you're off to the races. I'm not sure how we turn this around, but we should at least stop bringing butter knives to an ax fight.
The best thing that could happen to Dems is Trump becoming more visible. He's more deranged than ever and having his batshittery on display is quite the contrast to Biden's relative normalcy. The voters need a reminder as to why they elected Biden.
I feel like I'm watching a train wreck in slow motion. Everyone knows what's going to happen, and no one is doing a damn thing about it.
"And, of course, in 2.0, [Trump] would never face the voters again, he would know he would never really have to face legal consequences." Unless, of course, Trump decides that being President for life is a great thing for him personally, and GOP legislators fall into line. Clearly it's a tall order to obtain a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate and heed Trump's call to repeal the 22nd Amendment, but maybe not so much if a Constitutional Convention is called and two-thirds of state legislatures become sufficiently Trumpified to do his bidding. After January 6 let us not underestimate the extent to which the previously unthinkable can become reality if enough Trumpists, up to and including a majority of the Supreme Court, are willing to turn their backs on both existing law and what is morally and ethically sound in order to do whatever their leader wants, what it takes to own the libs, or both.
As for policy speeches, foreign or domestic, there is only one from Donald Trump: what benefits him personally. Any position he takes on any issue is what he wants for himself and what works best for his own needs. Any other reading of any of his utterances, most of which involve a range of "alternative facts" to suit his purposes and justify his actions, ignores what have been his guiding principles for almost as long as he has breathed air on this planet.
I'm concerned it will be much worse than just that... @Craig Butcher has a point... it's more than "just" the DOJ.
When tRump first took the presidency, the "Cowboys for tRump" decided to parade in the streets of my city. They looked like they were from Central Casting for Duck Dynasty (ie, revolting...) scores of these guys (all guys) flying Rump flags and weird (un)American flags, on horseback and in compensatorily enormous pick up trucks. They were heavily armed and yelling, waving guns, honking, but mostly blocking traffic. Big traffic jam. I got out of my car (since we couldn't move) and I guess I was shaking my head. Anyway one of the duck dynasty guys peeled off from his parade, walked up to me, got in my face by a few inches and in a quiet voice said, "We're just waiting for trump to give us the signal to kill all you libtards".
Ice water surged through my veins. It was terrifying.
These tRumpy goons are always talking about Civil War. And because it's fueled by a perversion of Christianity, it will become a religious crusade to murder us all because we're "pedophile communists" or something.
A 2nd tRump presidency will kill the country, and it will be open hunting season (no license needed) to prey on everyone from pregnant women to LGBTQ youth (or elders), all Democrats, "never-tRumpers", Intellectuals, and of course, people of color and all non-christians. And pulpits from coast to coast will bless the endeavor.
tRump will likely promise bounties for how many "libtards" are killed. But of course, he'll never pay up.
This morning, I woke up to several hundred ants from litty, biddy babies to quarter inchers that BITE in the kitchen - don't think they're fire ants, maybe - and your Morning Shots. For the ants, vinegar works (mainly) and the pest control person is coming at noon - that takes care of that horror. But your horrific essay . . . God help us! My new plan for Trump, a room of billions of fire ants. (If you've ever been bitten by one, you know what I mean! The blisters they raise lasted weeks last year.) Now off to buy a lot more vinegar!
Trump must be prosecuted. The evidence for interfering with congress is overwhelming. I suspect the evidence linking him directly to the attempted coup will grow as the DOJ investigation places more and more Trump adjacent people in legal jeopardy. There is nothing like the prospect of jail time to encourage cooperation.
Trump cannot be allowed anywhere near the White House again. That would mean the end of democracy in America. Does anyone really believe he would leave after four years? I do not.
It would also likely lead to the break-up of the country. I cannot see states like California and New York willing to live under a corrupt authoritarian regime when they could easily exist on their own.
The thought of prosecuting the former President sounds, at first blush, like banana republic stuff. But then one recalls that TFG has survived 2 impeachments, and, even after launching a multi-pronged attack on the results of a free and fair election, looks quite possibly to be the nominee of the Republican Party, NOT prosecuting him seems a more dangerous option for the life of our democracy. Trump is like an evil Sword of Gryffindor, he takes in that which makes him stronger. Susan Collins was right, he has learned his lesson, and if he goes scott free for this, the lesson he will learn and pass along to other would-be demagogues is “when you’re the President, they let you do it”.
In case you're tempted to purchase a Trump gold plated dollar coin, I did a little cyphering. The value of the gold on this coin is approximately $1.76. I'M RICH!
My favorite bit of electoral vote comedy was the email from an AZ official saying maybe they should ix-nay on the 'fake' electors and instead call them 'alternate' electors. Reminds me of someone....
The Jan 6th Committee is proving the first law of advertising: Frequency. Their series of hearing have done some limited damage to Trump and his defenders. But the Jan 6th show is not getting renewed, so the DOJ has got to roll out some original material to keep the frequency going.
I'm looking forward to the "John Eastman and the Fake Elector's Scheme", followed by the "Jeffery Clarke and the attempted Trumperification of the DOJ" to start things off. Just those two indictments will create a great deal of "frequency" to continually remind the country that corruption is the essence of Trump.
I am of the mind that Trump should be indicted and tried, with the full expectation that he will never be convicted (nor do I think he'll get acquitted, most likely he'll get a dead-locked jury). So he can't he tried before 2024, because an acquittal/deadlock would increase his chance of winning. That's why I'd like to see indictments of everyone BUT Trump. (Initially name him an unindicted co-conspirator, like Nixon was??) The trials of Eastman, Clarke or Meadows--or guilty pleas--will keep reenforcing that Trump is a self-centered amoral person while he is campaigning for President. Hopefully, this frequency of this message from the trials, defeats Trump in 2024 and he can be tried and, if "exonerated", HE will not be a factor in 2028.
Yes, the only flaw in my plan are the fellow Americans that may get him close enough to the Presidency in 2024, that he successfully steals the Office back and we're fucked.
"Trump cited Newt Gingrich as the authority"
Gingrich is an authority on two subjects: himself and his very own up front and center narcissism. JHC, the self-titled genius assistant professor couldn't even get tenure at then backwater West Georgia College (now a "University"). As a result of that ignominious failure, Newt decided to enter an easier line of work - politics. Cheap, dirty, and corrupt. Yup, good old Newt found his destiny on that proverbial highway to Hell. And the sooner he checks into the hotel, the better for us all.
Disclaimer, I didn't get tenure either on my first try at Georgia State U in Atlanta. But I never boastfully declared myself a genius [I am not] with nary a blush.