As I mentioned in the other thread, in a way, I think the Congressional GOP and conservative media outlets (including radio pundits) that either actively enable Trump or largely stand by silently are actually worse than Trump. I actually believe that if they vigorously and vocally opposed Trump, it could actually be a kind of proud moment in our history (or at least mitigate the way Trump has embarrassed and disgraced us), and it could serve as a big blow to authoritarian regimes like Russia. But, alas, something close to the opposite has happened. Like the other thread, I’m going to use this thread as a collection of evidence for this claim. Here’s one I saw today from Fox News’s Sean Hannity:
Sean Hannity: The New York Times is trying to distract you. They say Trump tried to fire Mueller, but our sources aren’t confirming that!
Sean Hannity, minutes later: Alright, yeah, maybe our sources confirm Trump wanted to fire Mueller. But so what? That’s his right. Anywho… pic.twitter.com/yUIt7Un56d
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) January 26, 2018
Paul Ryan will be remembered for allowing the destruction of the independence and credibility of the House Intelligence Committee.
Mark it down.
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) January 31, 2018
Carl Bernstein: “If you had had Speaker Ryan and Mitch McConnell as the leaders during Watergate, I doubt seriously that that investigation would have gone forward" https://t.co/k4ko0MI7vZ
— Michiko Kakutani (@michikokakutani) January 30, 2018
This is how bad it’s gotten:
I was a lifelong Republican, but I now agree with @benjaminwittes & @jon_rauch when they call for voters to support Democrats because “the Republican Party, as an institution, has become a danger to the rule of law and the integrity of our democracy.” Me: https://t.co/A5hC3YDiPv
— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) February 8, 2018
"Not one congressional panel looking into the Russia probe has released a bipartisan plan for how to strengthen election security, even though the 2018 primary season begins in certain states this month."https://t.co/LtZits1QYh https://t.co/9RkFzPB2Ks
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) March 5, 2018
Breaking: Republicans on House Intel Cmte announced they found no evidence Trump campaign colluded with Russia and disagree with intelligence community's assessment Russian President Putin tried to help Trump beat Clinton. Dems on Cmte not consulted.
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) March 12, 2018
That House GOP in HPSCI putting an end to Russia investigation soon surprises me. I don’t think it would be so fast. The whole thing, especially with Devin Nunes’s antics have been a joke. And Paul Ryan seemed to be OK with all of this. GOP is awful.
Not even backing the IC finding? Bravo to the House GOP for always exceeding expectations when it comes to groveling before Trump. https://t.co/mQkbezVl85
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) March 12, 2018
Pretty stunning but considering that they refused to issue supbeonas for the most important reluctant witnesses …the fix was in from the start https://t.co/7w1XMosYzm
— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) March 12, 2018
Rep. Adam Schiff’s (D) response:
Schiff responds: “In the coming weeks and months, new information will continue to be exposed… And each time this new information becomes public, Republicans will be held accountable for abandoning a critical investigation of such vital national importance.” pic.twitter.com/4fgdLRsQ2a
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 12, 2018
Former CIA official Phil Mudd on the House intel panel Republicans' report: “How the heck can they say they got to the bottom of this” when some interviewees chose not to answer questions? https://t.co/8XRD22OUYi pic.twitter.com/nhPbWQNytA
— CNN (@CNN) March 12, 2018
Hate to be a Thread Idiot, but I'm one of the people who helped uncover the accounts both the Russians and companies like Facebook wanted hidden.
And I can tell you it's not possible to apolitically arrive at the opinion that the Russians didn't want Trump to win. Here's why. https://t.co/ZwVj1J0uTH
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) March 12, 2018
Colonel Ralph Peters, a commentator on Fox News, has written a damning letter, explaining why he will no longer be working at the outlet. I highly recommend reading it.
An ''Ashamed'' Fox News Commentator Just Quit The ''Propaganda Machine'' https://t.co/v0gaoGjQNE
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) March 20, 2018
In my view, Fox has degenerated from providing a legitimate and much-needed outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration. When prime-time hosts–who have never served our country in any capacity–dismiss facts and empirical reality to launch profoundly dishonest assaults on the FBI, the Justice Department, the courts, the intelligence community (in which I served) and, not least, a model public servant and genuine war hero such as Robert Mueller–all the while scaremongering with lurid warnings of “deep-state” machinations– I cannot be part of the same organization, even at a remove. To me, Fox News is now wittingly harming our system of government for profit.
As a Russia analyst for many years, it also has appalled me that hosts who made their reputations as super-patriots and who, justifiably, savaged President Obama for his duplicitous folly with Putin, now advance Putin’s agenda by making light of Russian penetration of our elections and the Trump campaign. Despite increasingly pathetic denials, it turns out that the “nothing-burger” has been covered with Russian dressing all along. And by the way: As an intelligence professional, I can tell you that the Steele dossier rings true–that’s how the Russians do things. The result is that we have an American president who is terrified of his counterpart in Moscow.
Howitzer blast of a lede https://t.co/KdPWv99m3x
— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) March 30, 2018
Not sure if this is entirely relevant, but I thought some of the comments were interesting.
Sat down with Rep. Trey Gowdy this morning. He told me his tenure in Congress was a waste of time and the only goal of the Republican Party is to win elections. Bonus: He responds to Trump calling him “a loser.” https://t.co/pAaKrYNndj
— Michael C Moynihan (@mcmoynihan) April 6, 2018
This exchange makes me want to pull my hair out:
If your buddy goes on TV and defends Trump in public, but then says these things to you in private, it sounds like he is a just a huge coward. Your tweets literally say that he says he takes one stance in private and the opposite in public — that is not exactly praiseworthy.
— James Hasson (@JamesHasson20) April 11, 2018
Oh he even admits it is because he would lose a primary if he said this stuff in public. I'm not defending him. I'm just quoting him.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) April 11, 2018
I would be really surprised if he’s the only one that feels this way. (Some of Senator Corker’s public statements strongly suggests he’d be at least one other person.) If many Republicans feel this same, here’s one thing that drives me crazy: You have all this talk about the Deep State opposing Trump, you have Trump saying the media is “fake news,” you have Fox News and other conservative pundits pushing this propaganda–and the truth is that many Congressional Republicans actually think Trump is totally unfit, and possibly a danger to the country! If many Congressional Republicans believe Trump is totally unfit, it weakens the claim that the liberal media, “deep state,” or Democrats just hate Trump and are out to get him. But the congressional Republicans who think Trump is unfit allows these narratives to have life, and in my view they jeopardize the republic, and the rule of law.
Here’s more of the conversation with the GOP Congressman above.
Also, this is irresponsible and reprehensible:
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) April 12, 2018
Now Joe DiGenova, who has advised Trump, says SESSIONS has a “duty to fire Rod Rosenstein” by tomorrow morning. Says it’s not Trump’s job to do it.
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) April 12, 2018
Is Paul Ryan the most craven US political leader in memory? (Rhetorical question.)
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) April 12, 2018
I’m not sure how Ryan will feel about how he handled himself as Speaker, especially during Trump Presidency, but a part of me genuinely feels sorry for him. If I were in his position and looked back on my time with Trump, I’m not sure I could live comfortably with myself. I can imagine it would be awful.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) April 16, 2018
Just leaving this here. Even if Trump doesn’t fire Mueller (or Rosenstein), that McConnell says he woudl be “shocked” if Trump fires Mueller shows poor judgment on his part.
Here is Mitch McConnell saying he will not permit a Senate floor vote on the bipartisan bill now moving through Senate Judiciary Committee that would heighten protections against Trump forcing an arbitrary firing of Mueller. pic.twitter.com/SVOYPeVdxk
— Charlie Savage (@charlie_savage) April 17, 2018
Only 37% of Republican voters say the news media is "an important part of democracy" vs. a majority, 51%, who says it's "the enemy of the people," via new Quinnipiac poll today.
— Ryan Struyk (@ryanstruyk) April 26, 2018
It’s hard not to see this as a direct result of many Republican politicians and conservative media/pundits–and Donald Trump himself. This is really bad.
"The genuinely sick thing that's happening right now is the number of enablers the President has among people who used to be sober, responsible people … " – @jheil w/ @NicolleDWallace pic.twitter.com/82msUnGsaL
— Deadline White House (@DeadlineWH) May 25, 2018
I agree with pretty much everything in this thread. If McConnell and Ryan and other GOP leaders–if conservative pundits like Hannity, Carlson, Limbaugh–were like Schmidt I’d be very confident we’d get out this mess, and I think we’d come out stronger. Even thought Trump is a stain on our reputation, if the GOP were like Schmidt we could show the world the best of the U.S., and it could be a huge blow to Russia. If only….
29 years and nine months ago I registered to vote and became a member of The Republican Party which was founded in 1854 to oppose slavery and stand for the dignity of human life. Today I renounce my membership in the Republican Party. It is fully the party of Trump.
— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) June 20, 2018
I’m wary of edited video like this as it can be easily done to mislead people. However, this does seem to fit a pattern from Fox News:
Fox News has hit an all new low pic.twitter.com/KNyp7aj301
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) June 23, 2018
Also, I agree with Apatow.
I need to take a @twitter break but let me say again— a family is responsible for this— The Murdochs. They are not selling @FoxNews. They are cashing in on the movie studio and other assets but they are keeping the news so they can continue to lie to and manipulate our country. https://t.co/SOQcMJRGse
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) June 23, 2018
The Gorsuch appointment, the string of 5-4 SCOTUS decisions with him in the majority, and the Kennedy vacancy has left the never-Trump right standing on a shrinking sliver of ground. After all, they thought HRC would have been preferable.
— Brit Hume (@brithume) July 2, 2018
Some of Hume’s comments to this are troubling as well.
Perfect example of the elevation of what he says above what he does.
— Brit Hume (@brithume) July 2, 2018
I read this as, Trump can say racist things, but it doesn’t matter because he chose conservative justice. Basically, Trump can say a lot of awful things, and it doesn’t matter if conservative policies are implemented. Hume ignores corruption, undermining of alliances and rule-based international system, zero tolerance immigration policy (or maybe he likes that?), among many other things.
Never forget: faced with one of the most corrupt Cabinet members in history, GOP leaders shrugged.
They did nothing to hold Scott Pruitt accountable.
They held no hearings, laughed off oversight, and in the Speaker’s case, claimed they didn’t even know it was happening. 1/
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) July 5, 2018
My understanding is that Wohl works for Fox News:
— Melissa Conrad (@MelissaConrad7) July 13, 2018
Quote from Trumpocracy, newly relevant in wake of Trumpist tacit acquiescence to Russian aid in US elections pic.twitter.com/pjBqxpBZHi
— David Frum (@davidfrum) July 19, 2018
This is depressing. I really hope this applies to a small minority of conservatives. I wonder to what degree this would apply to liberals.
If the following is truly a “profound dilemma” for GOP, then that’s proof they’ve totally lost their way.
For mainstream Republicans, a profound political dilemma of the Trump era is whether to support the growing number of candidates who make racially divisive remarks and back causes that are championed by white nationalists https://t.co/YiEXsqfk3q
— NYT Politics (@nytpolitics) August 6, 2018
The rhetorical strategy varies-downplay possibility, express vague regret, refuse to directly answer-but in all cases same result: @SpeakerRyan provides cover for all of Trump's shattering of presidential norms by refusing to impose consequences, or even issue clear denunciation https://t.co/ghnnaqAihV
— Ronald Brownstein (@RonBrownstein) August 15, 2018
— John Weaver (@JWGOP) September 13, 2018
This is partly what the tweets are referring to:
3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 13, 2018
…..This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 13, 2018
Ornstein has been emotional at times (which isn’t inappropriate given the times), but I still respect him.
Nobody— nobody— has done more to destroy the fundamentals of our political system in the past decade than Mitch McConnell. https://t.co/yPyMTLvBTW
— Norman Ornstein (@NormOrnstein) September 22, 2018
McConnell is awful. If Ornstein is wrong, it’s scary to think of who caused more destruction.
You're not surprised, I know, but here it is. | "The Republican Party…is now the party of situational ethics and moral relativism in the name of winning at all costs." @RadioFreeTom explains why he's leaving the GOP: https://t.co/nuI1OP3aYD
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) October 7, 2018
That it is necessary to place limitations, including self-limitations, on the exercise of power is—or was—a core belief among conservatives. No longer. Raw power, wielded so deftly by Senator Mitch McConnell, is exercised for its own sake, and by that I mean for the sake of fleecing gullible voters on hot-button social issues so that Republicans may stay in power. Of course, the institutional GOP will say that it countenances all of Trump’s many sins, and its own straying from principle, for good reason (including, of course, the holy grail of ending legal abortion).
Politics is about the exercise of power. But the new Trumpist GOP is not exercising power in the pursuit of anything resembling principle, and certainly not for conservative or Republican principles.