The theme of the day was the palpable sense of rats leaving a sinking ship as Republicans, administration officials, and administration-adjacent people distanced themselves from the president. There was a foreshadowing of that exodus on Wednesday, when Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) let loose about the president in a telephone call with constituents. Sasse was an early critic of Trump but toned down his opposition significantly in the early part of the administration. On Wednesday, he reverted to his earlier position, saying he had “never been on the Trump train.” He complained about the way Trump “kisses dictators’ butts,” and went on: "The United States now regularly sells out our allies under his leadership, the way he treats women, spends like a drunken sailor…. [He] mocks evangelicals behind closed doors...has treated the presidency like a business opportunity" and has "flirted with white supremacists." He said: “What the heck were any of us thinking, that selling a TV-obsessed, narcissistic individual to the American people was a good idea?"
Senator Sasse and the others who are just now, less that three weeks from the election, seeing the light and ever so gently distancing themselves from Trump, are not worthy of the ink it takes to describe their unctuous behavior.
It disgusts me that these public officials sat mum for four years and enabled Trump, bolstered him, lied for him, acquitted him – all so that they could keep their precious butts in their comfy senate seats. We must not forget their behavior when they are up for reelection.
Also, General Kelly has not made these criticisms of Trump that CNN is reporting, on the record - yet. He has said other things but, like others, he has been reluctant to hammer the nail all the way in.
Professor Richardson, I know your area of expertise is the 19th century, but how I wish it were possible for you to enter a time warp and write the history of the last four years – the honest, unvarnished account of Trump and the Party of Trump from his nomination to the day Joseph R. Biden, Jr. becomes the 46th President of the United States.
“Could you imagine if I lose?... I’m not going to feel so good. Maybe I’ll have to leave the country, I don’t know.”
That quote is the first instance that I know of, of Trump publicly acknowledging not only the possibility of an election loss, but that he would accept such an outcome. A peaceful transistion of power.
This is significant in and of itself; a glimmer of hope.
No calls for militias and "2nd Amendment people" to stand back and stand by, no hints of taking the election to the Supreme Court. Trump is perhaps talking of assylum in a foreign country. (Putin will have no more use for him, but Rocket Man in North Korea might welcome him, until Trump's money ran out anyway.) One wonders if his children are packing their bags as well.
As a taxpayer, I would be happy to pay for a plane, not Air Force One, standing by ready to take the Trump family anywhere they wanted to go. I would carry their luggage.
The State of New York and SDNY federal prosecutors could still bring indictments, so the Trump family would know that if they ever set foot in the US again, they would be immediately arrested.
That last is just a Saturday morning fantasy, but it's the first good fantasy I've had about the Trumps.
I've voted. Have you?
The special on NBC last night "The Way I See It" with the superb photography of Chief White House Photographer Pete Souza documenting the Presidency of Barrack Obama made me realize how much I missed having a President who knows how to laugh. ...and is decent, and has empathy in abundance.
Actions speak louder than words. Let's see how Senator Sasse votes when ACB's nomination to SCOTUS comes up.
Remember all the Germans in 1945, after they had lost the war, who said "We were only following orders."
This comment from the Washington Post: If Trump loses in two weeks, he will have been taken down by women, exactly a century after they gained the right to vote. After a presidency marked by reckless exercise of the Second Amendment, alarming curtailment of the First Amendment and occasional talk of the 25th Amendment, it would be poetic justice for this man to be done in by the 19th Amendment.
"I was against this from the start!" say the people in power from the start.
"Maybe I'll have to leave the country, I don't know." There's a lot packed into that offhand Trumpian comment. I actually have been thinking about this for some time now. If Trump resigns before his term ends, and Pence pardons him and his family and his minions, they are protected from any federal prosecution. But they are not immune to the prosecutors in NY State, who have been on his trail from before the 2016 election. What's a felon who is a former president to do? Has Vladimir Putin got a nice, cozy little dacha waiting for him on the Black Sea?
The problem is: for Putin, at least, a politically defeated and legally challenged Trump is no longer an asset. He's a BIG liability. And would one of his other admired despots find it advantageous to let him in the front door? I don't see that happening either. Maybe Bolsonaro or Duterte? Would they want the headache of fighting for his extradition? Kim would shoot his plane down before it lands in Pyongyang.
An asylum-seking Trump might take some of the air out of the "second amendment people" itching for a fight. But the problem here is TrumpISM and not Trump himself. That isn't going away. Biden is a decent human being, and that is a welcome relief after four years of utter boorishness, racism, incompetence, and know-nothingism. But Biden's very decency could be a liability here. It is no time for an era of good feelings with Republicans and Democrats linking arms and singing "Kumbaya." Since GIngrich the GOP has adopted a policy of persistent bad faith and double standards; they do not recognize the legitimacy of anyone to rule but themselves. Democrats need tor realize that liberal-democratic-republican norms are not just for them to honoe, while the Republicans can do whatever the hell they want.
On this score, I thought this piece by Brian Beutler was spot-on: https://crooked.com/articles/republicans-bad-faith/
Trump taking asylum somewhere to avoid prosecution
"Could you imagine if I lose? I won't feel so good. Maybe I'll have to leave the country"
What a prescient statement! He should be an oracle. Of course he won't feel so good with Cyrus Vance breathing down his neck and pursuing him like the famous crocodile with a clock chasing Captain Hook. He won't feel so good when he is sitting in the dock, facing a lengthy jail term for tax and insurance fraud. But...as he foretells, he can always leave the country; he will be welcomed by his friends Putin, Erdogan, Netanyahu, MBS, or Duterte.
I'm going to bed tonight with a little more hope than last night. I hope you're doing the same, Heather. Thank you for being here for us.
It is definitely too late for these republican pols to back track on their support for tRump. In fact, it's shameful that they now "see the light" and are finding his antics over the last 4 years to be less than supportable. Where were these same men/women when votes for impeachment were taken? Sorry folks....too little and way too late. Lock them ALL up, and throw away the keys!
It's always sensible when infested by rats to lay down a trail of rat poison to catch them when they leave the ship. That way you prevent any further infection beyond the current epidemic.
Finally, it looks like ppl are coming to their senses. Altho we still have that ignorant cult base that needs to be deprogrammed, which isn’t actually possible but maybe like they were before their Hitleresque messiah came on-scene, they will again fade into the dark underbelly of our culture and be less emboldened. However, after discovering to great horror on Nov. 8, 2016 that the ignorant masses could be swayed to elect such an obviously disgusting, mentally unstable, unqualified creature, I am still fearful that this election will be stolen again, sending us on a path of repeating history to total ruin. I will keep that fear until proven otherwise next month. I am steeling myself to not be as disheartened as I was four years ago.
Caroline Giuliani's quote: “[C]orruption starts with 'yes-men' and women, the cronies who create an echo chamber of lies and subservience to maintain their proximity to power," she wrote in a piece for Vanity Fair. echoes something I read yesterday in "Twilight of Democracy", Anne Applebaum's book. She said in order for an autocrat to come to, and then stay, in power, it takes a cast of hundreds, if not thousands, to keep the PR going, to keep the crowds focused, etc. Trump, of course, has had Fox News from the beginning, as well as knowing how to play a crowd.
A friend mentioned to me yesterday that it will take at least two terms for Dems to clean up all of Trump's messes. I told her forget two terms, it might take two generations! I hope I'm wrong.
As has been pointed out more than once, even with Trump gone, his loyal base will still be here, still resentful and unmoored.
We cannot lose sight of what, ideally, America can and should be, and we must get back on that track.
As an old Chief Bosun once said to me, "When the water's up to your knees, boy, join the rats."
If Sen. Sasse "was an early critic of Trump," why did he vote for acquittal on February 5? It seems to me that his criticisms of Trump yesterday are too little and too late, and he waited until it was politically convenient for him (i.e., after the Judge Barrett hearings in the Judiciary Committee were over) before leveling them.
Is it instructive to consider, “How did we get here?” I think so. Here are my thoughts ...
Conservatism. Libertarianism. trump rides the wave of ideology of many predecessors, as I believe the brilliant Sen Sheldon Whitehouse addresses in his remarkable oratory at the Supreme Court hearing, focussing on the concentration of wealth and power of conservatives.
trump simply follows the lineage of Reagan and ’states’ rights', the Bushes, Fox News, Limbaugh, The Federalist Society and the Koch Brothers, Milton Friedman and earlier, the John Birch Society, the Ku Klux Klan, Council of Conservative Citizens (see the movie, “The Help”), and the southern strategy of Nixon and conservative activists.
I know what you’re thinking, that the Klan and Reagan were miles apart - but in 1980, Reagan intentionally campaigned at the county fair in rural Mississippi, where three civil rights workers were murdered 16 years previously. Reagan KNEW who to speak to, and their beliefs and values
It was there that the conservative hero proclaimed, “I believe is states’ rights” - thereby opening the door for Southern states to height on a political battle with the federal government. Pat Buchanan in 1992 proclaimed a “culture war” of conservative, patriarchal Christian values, versus liberalism and the movements activated during the 1960s and 70s.
This Culture Ware rages, in the minds of conservatives, unbeknownst to most liberals and progressives.
Conservatism (and its poor cousin libertarianism) champion the rights of the individual over our liberalism, which favors a community, collective and governmental approach to problems. It took strong governmental action to protect minorities rights in the 1950s to today, women’s rights, the rights of the Earth and our natural world, and the rights of individuals to have equal opportunity against the powers of concentrated corporate wealth.
The threat we face, thanks to trump and his predecessors, is that this conservative Supreme Court will strike down advances made in the 20th Century.
I believe it is tantamount to challenge conservatism at every opportunity, and to speak favorably of progressivism, that democracy demands “liberty and justice for all, and for Mother Earth"