Journal During the Trump Regime (10)–Interregnum

Journal (9) is getting too congested. This thread will cover the period from the election. (Note: Some events that occurred after Election Day may be in previous journal threads, as it might be a more appropriate location.)

Journal During the Trump Regime (1)
Journal During the Trump Regime (2)
Journal During the Trump Regime (3)
Journal During the Trump Regime (4)
Journal During the Trump Regime (5)
Journal During the Trump Regime (6)
Journal During the Trump Regime (7)
Journal During the Trump Regime (8)
Journal During the Trump Regime (9)

28 thoughts on “Journal During the Trump Regime (10)–Interregnum

  1. From November 10, 2020:

    I was allowing myself to read more of my politics list on twitter, but last night, I saw that Bill Barr is giving permission for attorney’s to investigate “voting Irregularities:”

    Attorney General William P. Barr on Monday gave federal prosecutors approval to pursue allegations of “vote tabulation irregularities” in certain cases before results are certified and indicated he had already done so “in specific instances” — a reversal of long-standing Justice Department policy that quickly drew internal and external criticism for fueling unfounded claims of massive election fraud pushed by President Trump and other conservatives.

    One official has resigned over this decision:

    Now, I think I’m going to stop or reduce what I read until Inauguration Day, as reading will likely only increase my stress. We’re still on a bumpy ride, and it may not end even after Inauguration Day, as Trump and his enablers will attempt to de-legitimize Biden as POTUS, dividing our country.

    This makes me think of John McCain’s concession speech and Al Gore’s decision to concede–and all concessions by losing candidates–I believe Trump is the only one who has not done so! Their concession signifies, at least partly, that there is something bigger, and more important than themselves and their ambitions–namely, the unity of our country and the health of our democracy. When they do this, all Americans should be proud.

    What Trump, Barr, and his enablers are doing is the opposite. It is shameful, un-American, and a betrayal.

    On a different note, I am truly grateful and proud of all the people who worked to make the elections run smoothly and properly–including preventing violence. A big mahalo to them–I think they did a fantastic job!

    Another post on November 10, 2020

  2. (originally posted on Nov. 10, 2020)

    I’m on the same wavelength as Max Boot: By Humoring Trump, the GOP are Enabling Authoritarianism

    11/15/2020

    This is just one opportunity that the Republicans passed up, but they’re largely silent in across the board.

  3. (Originally posted on Nov. 12, 2020)

    This sounds like another Trump scam:

    (originally posted Nov. 13, 2020)

    Crazy he’s even considering this–and I believe he publicly said he has the right to do this. For crimes he and his family haven’t been charged with.

    (originally posted on Nov. 14, 2020)

    I read this with great interest: L.A. Times: We Turned Over Our Letters Page to Trump Supporters

    (originally posted on Nov. 14, 2020)

    One of the most critical moments in any person’s life is when they’re faced with decision to do the right thing, even at great personal cost, or not doing the right thing. For me, to do the right thing in these moments, is to pass a really big test. In the clip below, Elizabeth Neuman, a colleague of Krebs, recounts how Krebs said that there would be a moment where they’d have to do the right thing and risk being fired. Krebs passed the test–he can look himself in the mirror every day; his children and grandchildren should be proud of him, as he is an American hero.

    (Note: Neuman makes another important point. The USG protected the elections from foreign adversaries from undermining the election–but Trump is the one that is guilty of this.)

    It’s also worth pointing out that the Georgia Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, who is resisting pressure from Republicans, is also a hero.

    On a side note, Trump’s twitter recent tweets create the impression of a raving mad king. The tolerance for his outrageous, baseless claims is way too high. That he can go on saying this, without any consequence, is so annoying.

  4. (originally posted Nov. 18, 2020)

    The Wayne County incident was a roller coaster ride. I first saw that they didn’t certify the votes. Then I later saw that they did, due to public outcry, as well passionate arguments (shaming) from some of the other board members. After reading about that, I’m wondering if I should avoid the news even more–until Inauguration Day.

  5. I can’t remember feeling as angry as I did after reading these articles–specifically at the congressional Republicans and other Trump enablers who know better.

    Trump uses power of the presidency to try and overturn the election and stay in office from WaPo

    President Trump is using the power of his office to try to reverse the results of the election, orchestrating a far-reaching pressure campaign to persuade Republican officials in Michigan, Georgia and elsewhere to overturn the will of voters in what critics decried Thursday as an unprecedented subversion of democracy.

    After courts rejected the Trump campaign’s baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud, the president is now trying to remain in power with a wholesale assault on the integrity of the vote by spreading misinformation and trying to persuade loyal Republicans to manipulate the electoral system on his behalf.

    Trump invites Michigan Republican leaders to meet him at White House as he escalates attempts to overturn election results from WaPo

    Man, when is enough is enough for congressional Republicans? Where is the damn line for the them?

    11/20/2020

    Voters chose America. Now, Michigan Republicans must do the same. pic.twitter.com/ETgbQakbFe— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) November 20, 2020

    Aside: This meeting is really bad. If they go back and fail to certify the votes, it will look as though Trump pressured them to do so, which would de-legitimize the move and really do a lot of damage to our democracy. If they’re even seriously thinking about not certifying the votes, they would have to decline the meeting. This meeting is bad, but it would be somewhat more acceptable, if the Michigan Republicans are absolutely sure they will certify the votes.

    (Note: The next posts were a sub-post to the one above.)

    Yes, excellent questions from Kevin Williamson: pic.twitter.com/CKdfz6q1AS— Sarah Longwell (@SarahLongwell25) November 19, 2020

    I agree–these are good questions. To his last question, I would add a comment–namely, that the current approach does not benefit conservatives in terms of ideas nor does it benefit the country. Instead, it’s about my side winning–almost at all costs. It’s also getting close to a cult-like devotion to one individual.

    The following tweet, from the official GOP account, also points to something else that’s related to the questions above (which I thought I wrote about):

    "We will not be intimidated…We are going to clean this mess up now. President Trump won by a landslide. We are going to prove it. And we are going to reclaim the United States of America for the people who vote for freedom."—Sidney Powell pic.twitter.com/8KCEOGuL7w— GOP (@GOP) November 19, 2020

    The conservatives and Republicans who have the same questions as Williamson–and the Republicans that agree with Sasse and Romney–their stance seems incompatible with what the official GOP position. This may be the start where the fissure within the GOP is revealed. If there were any true patriotic conservatives in Congress, the fissure existed opened at the beginning of the Trump presidency and widened as time went on. All that would remain is to make it public–and then those breaking away should oppose and defeat the Trumpist GOP.

    11/2/2020

    Terrific write-up about what happened in Michigan. Recommended.

    The Inside Story of Michigan’s Fake Voter Scandal by Tim Alberta of Politico

    11/27/2020

    11/28/2020

    20 days of fantasy and failure: Inside Trump’s quest to overturn the election from WaPo

    One of the more comprehensive summaries of what Trump and his legal team did after the Election Day.

    Remarkable sentences (not in a good way)–unreal

    Regarding the claim that voting machines were rigged by Venezuelan communists, here was Trump’s reaction

    The Venezuelan tale was too fantastical even for Trump, a man predisposed to conspiracy theories who for years has feverishly spread fiction. Advisers described the president as unsure about the latest gambit — made worse by the fact that what looked like black hair dye mixed with sweat had formed a trail dripping down both sides of Giuliani’s face during the news conference. Trump thought the presentation made him “look like a joke,” according to one campaign official who discussed it with him.

    The story was too crazy for Trump–which is saying something–although I wonder if Giuliani’s hair dye problem was the deal-breaker for Trump. That is, if that didn’t happen would he be OK with the conspiracy theory?

    Here’s a legit attempt at rigging the election:

    A number of Trump allies tried to pressure Raffensperger, the Republican secretary of state, into putting his thumb on the scale. Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler — both forced into runoff elections on Jan. 5 — demanded Raffensperger’s resignation. Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a Trump friend who chairs the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, called Raffensperger to seemingly encourage him to find a way to toss legal ballots.

    But Kemp, who preceded Raffensperger as secretary of state, would not do Trump’s bidding. “He wouldn’t be governor if it wasn’t for me,” Trump fumed to advisers earlier this month as he plotted out a call to scream at Kemp.

    In the call, Trump urged Kemp to do more to fight for him in Georgia, publicly echo his claims of fraud and appear more regularly on television. Kemp was noncommittal, a person familiar with the call said.

    Trump’s reaction strongly suggests he thinks it’s appropriate to break the law and trample on the integrity of the election–to help him win. This is impeachable. And this isn’t the only time he’s done or said things in a similar vein.

    More troubling to Raffensperger were the many threats he and his wife, Tricia, have received over the past few weeks — and a break-in at another family member’s home. All of it has prompted him to accept a state security detail.

    “If Republicans don’t start condemning this stuff, then I think they’re really complicit in it,” he said. “It’s time to stand up and be counted. Are you going to stand for righteousness? Are you going to stand for integrity? Or are you going to stand for the wild mob? You wanted to condemn the wild mob when it’s on the left side. What are you going to do when it’s on our side?”

    11/29/2020

    I’m not a lawyer, but I assume standing is based on the quality of your case, the evidence you provide, etc.–not the status or position of the person filing a claim or whatever the correct term is. If this is basically correct, and the clip is accurate, Trump’s understanding of our court system is not only bad, but what he says suggests a more tyrannical mindset. The rule of law means laws apply to the president as well.

    11/30/2020

    12/1/2020

    Trump continues to attempt to pressure Gov. Kemp:

    1. Conservatives/Republicans who put the Constitution and our democracy ahead of their party and Trump…at least some of the time

      Now, you want to see what I expected from more Republicans? See below:

      "I'm a Republican, I'm a conservative one, and I don't like the idea that President Trump is not going to win," Raffensperger said. "But at the end of the day, I want every voter to know we're going to do our job and make sure every legal vote is counted." https://t.co/iGbzdbAlcM— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 19, 2020

      This! I didn’t read the article, but if what this says is accurate, this man is a patriot!

      I just saw something else that I applaud:

      New statement from @SenSasse refutes the conspiracy theories being advanced by the president: “When Trump campaign lawyers have stood before courts under oath, they have repeatedly refused to actually allege grand fraud — because there are legal consequences for lying to judges.”— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) November 20, 2020

      Sen. Ben Sasse statement: "President Trump lost Michigan by more than 100,000 votes, and the campaign and its allies have lost in or withdrawn from all five lawsuits in Michigan for being unable to produce any evidence…— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) November 20, 2020

      …wild press conferences erode public trust. So no, obviously Rudy and his buddies should not pressure electors to ignore their certification obligations under the statute. We are a nation of laws, not tweets.”— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) November 20, 2020

      Here’s a statement on the Giuliani presser today from @BenSasse, who somehow is still somewhat alone — with a few exceptions — in the GOP in speaking out honestly and forthrightly about what’s happening. pic.twitter.com/E1wKzyY8ON— Jon Ward (@jonward11) November 20, 2020

      Here’s what I find interesting. As mad as those first two articles mad me, I felt genuinely grateful seeing this statement by Senator Sasse. I get the sense that a lot of my anger, even after everything that has occurred, could diminish if congressional Republicans started speaking out. I don’t know how long that would last, but I’m surprised by how grateful I felt. I think this indicates the level of desire I have to see the Republicans do the right thing. I have no qualms with designating them as heroes, if they deserve it–and I really want them to be.

      (11/24/2020: I want to add this tweet today here:

      “I got nothing for you.” This is some emblematic of congressional Republicans, who know better, during the Trump presidency. Every once and a while they’ll do the right thing, but they’ll slink back into silence and stay there for long periods. I’m grateful when they speak out, maybe out of desperation, but their overall silence overshadows those moments. This applies to Mitt Romney as well.)

      And this from Stuart Stevens is apt:


      Edit

      Thank you, Sen. Romney!

      pic.twitter.com/S3kFsIRGmi— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) November 20, 2020

      I hope this Senator Joni Ernst said what is claimed below:

      🚨 Just asked GOP Senator @JoniErnst about this on the @GuyBensonShow. She called it an “offensive” insinuation & an “absolutely outrageous” attempt to confuse voters about what’s true & undermine faith in the system. Audio to come … https://t.co/Mr6omwINmO— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) November 19, 2020

      Tucker Carlson, to his credit, says Sidney Powell, one of Trump’s lawyers, has not provided evidence for her claims of voter fraud (involving millions of votes changed electronically. It’s interesting to watch the clip because he’s doing his darndest to not alienate his viewers. I’ll say more specifics after the clip.

      Tucker Carlson calls out Sidney Powell, saying he asked her for evidence to support her election fraud claims, but "she never sent us any evidence despite a lot of requests, polite requests, not a page." "When we kept pressing she got angry and told us to stop contacting her." pic.twitter.com/IOlOdhp6MJ— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) November 20, 2020

      One way he does this is by saying his show is open to UFOs–and he goes on a relatively long riff on this. Subtext: Our audience is into conspiracy theories, so we gotta make them feel like we’re on their side. The line that I laughed at because I doubt it will work–“We care about truth on this program. And we know you do, too.” That’s not going to stop the cursing at the TV.

      By the next day,

      Tucker Carlson Dared Question a Trump Lawyer. The Backlash Was Quick. – The New York Times https://t.co/shufNkLb58— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) November 21, 2020

      Tucker Carlson calls out Sidney Powell, saying he asked her for evidence to support her election fraud claims, but "she never sent us any evidence despite a lot of requests, polite requests, not a page." "When we kept pressing she got angry and told us to stop contacting her." pic.twitter.com/IOlOdhp6MJ— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) November 20, 2020

      One way he does this is by saying his show is open to UFOs–and he goes on a relatively long riff on this. Subtext: Our audience is into conspiracy theories, so we gotta make them feel like we’re on their side. The line that I laughed at because I doubt it will work–“We care about truth on this program. And we know you do, too.” That’s not going to stop the cursing at the TV.

      But by the next day,

      Tucker Carlson Dared Question a Trump Lawyer. The Backlash Was Quick. – The New York Times https://t.co/shufNkLb58— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) November 21, 2020

      11/21/2020

      WSJ editorial page has been strongly pro-Trump if I’m not mistaken (e.g., Kim Strassel)

      WSJ Editorial bd. notes giant hole in Dominion conspiracy: “If soft­ware flipped Geor­gia’s elec­tronic to­tals, there would be some big, un­ex­plained dis­crep­ancy be­tween those data & the pa­per bal­lots. The hand re­count found noth­ing of the sort.” https://t.co/BfJJ1nEtSn— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) November 21, 2020

      12/1/2020

      Gabriel Sterling, a Republican and voting systems manager for Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger:

      I totally agree with him, and I’m super angry as well.

      Congressional GOP non or tepid response is sickening as well. I’m worried someone will get hurt or killed, too.

      12/3/2020

      The enablers have no excuse for not speaking out.

      1. In contrast to some conservatives above,

        In response to this tweet, I agree with completely with the tweet below:

        This is especially true when you have to choose between being fired or keeping your oath to support and defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic. That federal government officials, the military, members of Congress (I’m not sure about the members of the judiciary branch) take this oath is one of the greatest things about America. The people in government are ultimately loyal to the Constitution, not the POTUS. That’s what Emily Murphy is failing to understand–or if she understands this, she’s putting her loyalty to Trump over her loyalty to the Constitution and rule of law.

        And the principle of the rule of law is similar. It’s the idea that the rules and principles are more important than how much we like a person or the amount of power a person has. Rules and principles are more important and apply to everyone equally–that’s the general idea, and one we have to always strive to uphold.

        We need a reaffirm and strengthen our commitment to rule of law and the idea of being ultimately loyal to the Constitution, not to an individual.

        1. Finally,

          If Murphy wanted the public to believe she acted independently, Trump just ruined that.

          On a side note, I’m suspicious that Trump would approve of this. Why? Did she stall long enough for him to get get rid of or hide information that he doesn’t want Biden to see? I do not trust Trump.

    2. Unhinged really seems like the appropriate word for the claims that Trump and his supporters are making.

      Sidney Powell, one of Trump lawyers, is accusing Governor Kemp, a Republican, who has been supportive of Trump, of being paid by Dominion, the company that makes the ballot counting machines (I think). She makes some insinuation about the CIA and Venezuela with regarding to the machines as well.

      Ruling from Pennsylvania court today:

      Senator Pat Toomey says Trump has “exhausted all plausible legal options to challenge the result…in Pennsylvania,” and congratulates President-elect Biden and VP-elect Kamala Harris. Also, “President Trump should accept the outcome of the election and facilitate the presidential transition process.”

      Trump’s reaction to the Judge Brann’s decision and Sen. Toomey’s announcement:

      Who really believes “hundreds of thousands” of votes are fraudulent–especially from the guy who claimed millions voted illegally for Clinton, set up a special commission to investigate and eventually had to disband it because they found nothing?

      “My investigators.” He also claimed to have investigators sent to Hawai’i, who would soon bring back evidence that Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. This is same sort of scam when he says, “Soon, I’ll have the health care plan,” “in a couple of weeks I’ll release my tax forms.” I kinda wish some news outlet would do a program just on Trump’s con man tactics.

      (This tweet follows the one right above it.)

      It’s interesting the way he tries to use the language that is actually appropriate for his anti-democratic behavior–i.e., “the world is watching,” “have courage to do the right thing,” in the name of the “integrity of the elections”–this from the guy who has baselessly being saying the election was rigged since the summer, prior to the 2016 election; the guy who recommended voting by mail and going to vote in person; the guy who publicly said he didn’t want to fund the USPS because the that would help the processing of mail in ballots; the guy who said mail-in ballots were bad, but they encouraged Florida voters to be sure to get in their mail-in ballot.

      11/30/2020

      Unhinged idea re-tweeted by Sidney Powell:

      More unhinged–and reprehensible public statements from another Trump attorney:

      DiGenova: ““Anybody who thinks that this election went well, like that idiot Krebs who used to be the head of cybersecurity [for Trump]. That guy is a class A moron. He should be drawn and quartered. Taken out at dawn and shot…”

      12/2/2020

      More unhinged ideas–this time from Trump’s former National Security Adviser, recently pardoned by Trump:

      12/3/2020

      Uh, so Trump is now attacking Lin Wood, who I believe is an attorney(?) working with Sidney Powell. Apparently Wood and Powell are urging Republicans in Georgia not to vote in the run-off election (unless Georgia declares Trump the winner of their votes?).

      This is getting hard to follow.

      12/3/2020

      This feels like Frankenstein’s Monster striking back and reaping the whirlwind.

    3. I bet there are more than this–and I will be surprised if there are not. Actually, maybe more have drunk the kool-aid than I realize.

      But this is disgusting. And when we get more details, I think it’ll be even more disgusting.

      I think Michael Gerson, the conservative WaPo editorialist, sums it well in this thread:

      11/23/2020

      There is something in this story (Trump relents on transition as Republicans join mounting calls for him to acknowledge Biden’s win from WaPo), if true, really gets me angry.

      Trump only reluctantly agreed to let the transition begin as criticism intensified in recent days of his chaotic legal strategy, his failure to produce evidence of widespread voter fraud and his reliance on misinformation and debunked conspiracy theories.

      This implies that the intense criticism–like from business leaders and former GOP national security professionals–forced him to do something he didn’t want to. And if that’s true, then if members of his own party–or the business community–had put more pressure on him at other times–like to not undermine the vote and discredit mail-in ballots; or pressure the Ukranian president to politically damage Joe Biden; to urge him to urge the country to wear a mask, and many other things–maybe they could stopped Trump from undermining our democracy. But they didn’t.

      Of course, maybe Trump gave in for other reasons–reasons we don’t really know yet. Maybe one reason is that he doesn’t want the job. At the same time, I would be surprised if Trump isn’t in legal jeopardy once he leaves office. Yes, he find a way to get himself and his family pardoned, but he can’t do that from state governments. So why is he allowing the transition? Has he convinced himself that he can still win?

      Interesting tidbit:

      Decreasing the chances of winning the two Georgia seats–yes, I could see that causing congressional Republicans to pressure Trump and maybe those business people pressuring Trump might also have impact on him. Still, if this is true, this means these people always had the capability to preventing Trump from doing bad things–but by and large they did not do this.

    4. Trump accuses the process of being rigged or fraudlent when he loses:

    5. Trump’s won-loss court record on challenging election: 1-42

  6. Hopefully this will be the final installment of this series.

    I didn’t read much of this (sorry), but I will say that Gerald Ford granted Nixon “a full and unconditional pardon for any crimes that he might have committed against the United States as president” (from Wikipedia). I don’t know about pardoning himself, but 45 is easily in position to pardon his associates, including his offspring. I will be shocked if he doesn’t at least do that.

    1. I’m really hoping this is the final installment, too.

      No worries about reading the journals, but I appreciate you having some desire to do so. That you didn’t read much is totally understandable. It’s been rough four years. I’m at the point where I go through periods where I want to find something to take my mind out of politics completely.

      …but I will say that Gerald Ford granted Nixon “a full and unconditional pardon for any crimes that he might have committed against the United States as president” (from Wikipedia).

      I vaguely knew Ford had pardoned Nixon, but not a blanket pardon that would include things that Nixon hadn’t even been charged with, yet. If Trump resigns before inauguration, and Pence does something similar, I don’t think this would include state crimes.

      This last point is what worries me about the interregnum. Unless he’s seriously thinking of leaving the country, I think he’ll likely see jail time, and because of that, he’ll do whatever he can to stay in power.

      (And I agree with you–I would be surprised if he doesn’t pardon his children.)

  7. Biden’s team

    I respect Hennesey, so this is great to hear:

    Biden’s team is diverse, with lots of women and some people of color. I really like this. Of the names I’ve seen a lot of them are really experienced, too, which is reassuring.

  8. 11/25/2020

    Frum gives good background on Flynn, and speculates on the reason that Trump pardoned him.

    While Frum is speculating, it is very plausible, if not likely.

    I want to read the article below:

    ..and this…

    12/1/2020

    The fact that this is up for discussion is not a good thing. Republicans would be going crazy if a Democrat did this.

    1. Historical context: pardons by authoritarians in transition periods

      Ben-Ghiat, is a historian who has written about Mussolini and other authoritarian rulers.

  9. Besides corrupt pardons, I, like others, are expecting Trump to do bad things. Here’s a post to collect that. This one below is apparently true, although it sounds like an Onion headline:

    I would add this to other actions/rhetoric that have indicated an advocacy of violence: advocating torture; praising Duterte’s extra-judicial killings; telling police not to be so careful when putting people they arrest in cars; wanting shark spikes to impale people trying to climb over the border wall; zero tolerance policy for illegal immigrants, using child-family separation as a deterrent, etc.

    I will also remember how Trump has been awol on the the worsening pandemic. The very least he could be doing is urging Americans to wear a mask, encourage them to not meet during the holidays, etc.

  10. Contrasting Thanksgiving messages

    (I checked Trump’s twitter page, too. There’s nothing on there that would make him look better.)

    (Update: 11:13 AM now,and I checked Trump’s twitter feed. Impression: the man is incapable of thinking outside himself–while COVID-19 numbers are going up and the economy isn’t great. Thank the doctors, nurses and people who work in hospitals; thank our military; thank the people who worked on the election (OK, that’s asking too much of him); encourage those who are struggling emotionally, economically, and socially. I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes through this day without doing this.

    He did take the time to stoke the culture wars:

    Edit

    Whitehouse proclamation regarding Thanksgiving comes out:

    Wittes mentions the start: “On Thanksgiving Day, we thank God for the abundant blessings in our lives. As we gather with family and friends to celebrate this season of generosity, hope, and gratitude,…”

    At best, it seems inappropriate, as we should either not be meeting with friends and family, or limiting it.

    The middle section thanks various Americans for their work and sacrifice during the pandemic.

    This year, as our Nation continues to combat the coronavirus pandemic, we have once again joined together to overcome the challenges facing us. In the midst of suffering and loss, we are witnessing the remarkable courage and boundless generosity of the American people as they come to the aid of those in need, reflecting the spirit of those first settlers who worked together to meet the needs of their community….

    This is appropriate, and a good thing. But then the proclamation ends with this:

    I encourage all Americans to gather, in homes and places of worship, to offer a prayer of thanks to God for our many blessings.

    Given what we know about his attitude towards mask-wearing and his overall handling of the pandemic, this seems almost defiant. He actually wants Americans to gather. (He could have said I encourage all Americans to offer prayer….)

    Edit

    There was this press conference where Trump:

    “I’m the President of the United States. Don’t ever talk to the President that way.”

    12 minutes ago, he tweeted the tweet below, referring to the press conference above:

    A mad king.

    1. Finally read this. This may sound overly-dramatic, but I think the following Americans (who are Republicans) should be honored for their principled and patriotic stance–and for the heavy cost that they have do endure because of it (e.g., death threats on their families, maybe adverse affects on their careers, etc.)

      Tina Barton, county clerk in Rochester Hills, MI
      Rusty Bowers, Arizona Speaker of the House
      Clint Hinkman, chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors
      Brad Raffensperper, Georgia Secretary of State
      Judge Stephanos Bibas
      Judge Steven Grimberg
      Judge Matthew Brann

      I’m so grateful for these Americans. They make me feel proud.

      But as much as these people make me feel proud, the vast majority of congressional Republicans make me ashamed, disappointed and disgusted. They failed and mostly continue to fail our country.

  11. Preparing for Republican Opposition to Biden

    What Beutler says here resonates with me:

    There needs to be some consequences for people who enabled Trump.

    The media also needs an alternative to balanced approach when covering the two parties–while also keeping the public’s trust as the same time.

    More later.

  12. Hear the fury of Gabriel Sterling, a Republican and voting systems manager for Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (Georgia):

    This is how Congressional Republicans should have sounded like for most of the past 3.5 years.

    1. …and because congressional Republicans failed to be as outspoken and vehement as Gabriel Sterling, this thread from Molly McKew is fitting, and well-said:

      Later — not now, not soon — it will become apparent that allowing this POTUS — moribund, diminishing, corrosive — to remain in office during this crisis — spewing out lies, poisoning minds, piling bodies — was the greatest dereliction of duty in the history of our government. /1

      There will be choices to be made once these grotesque mummers have slunk away from this most important house.

      Mostly, it will be easier to point and say “it was just this one mad king.” Albatross the blame around his neck, let him sink all the way down to the bottom alone. /2

      But it was not just him. Alone, he would have fallen long ago. He has floated, floated, bouyed by the hollow men who can no longer tell who leads who, where the lies started, where they end.

      The truth will be long coming.

      One we know: the hour arrived, and they failed. /3

    2. Michael Gerson, a Never Trumper, has harsh words for Republicans, but also appeals to their conscience in a way that I wish more people would do.

      I know and like many Republican members of Congress. But those who sacrifice their ideals to the ambitions and insecurities of a single corrupt ruler have ceased to serve the country. Their failure to defend democracy at this moment of testing cannot be excused and will not be forgiven.

      That judgment is harsh. But I am upset with elected Republicans precisely because I believed in many of them. Because I still know they can be better. Losing a public office is ultimately a small matter in the soul’s long adventure. And losing a public office in a just cause is one of history’s great honors.

      My plea to elected Republicans: Remember who you are. Remember the oath that binds you. Remember the idealism and love of country that brought you to service. In a world of chance and change, the great things are eternal: courage, judgment, honesty, honor, moral integrity and a sense of the sacred. It is never too late to do the right thing.

      As an aside, I wanted to comment on another description:

      This is the interpretive key to Trump: He is instinctually un-American. He has no respect for the country’s institutions or values. He is ignorant of the nation’s story, dismissive of its conventions and unmoved by its romance. He sees politics the way a Machiavellian would in any country — as the pursuit of power, not the stewardship of certain truths.

      I share this perception, but if you said this to someone–particularly one who doesn’t follow the news–there’s a good chance you’d lose all credibility. It is not very far from saying Trump is an authoritarian. Now, I know many editorialists and pundits have said this, but I don’t think this is the over-arching theme that has guided press coverage. I don’t think the casual news consumer is getting this impression. But maybe I’m wrong; I hope I am.

      Speaking of pundits being blunt about Trump,…

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