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)
Journal During the Trump Regime (10)
85 thoughts on “Journal During the Trump Regime (11)–Interregnum”
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:”
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
More debunking of false equivalence between Trump and GOP behavior now versus Clinton and Democrats’ behavior in 2016.
Trump’s Absurd ‘You Did It First’ Argument for Stealing the Election from Jonathan Chait in New York
Chait shows the way Trump Russia was bad and completely different from what’s occurring now.
(originally posted on Nov. 10, 2020)
I’m on the same wavelength as Max Boot: By Humoring Trump, the GOP are Enabling Authoritarianism
This is just one opportunity that the Republicans passed up, but they’re largely silent in across the board.
(Originally posted on Nov. 12, 2020)
This sounds like another Trump scam:
(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.
A few congressional Republicans behaving responsibly:
Now, Governor DeWine using the circular fraud grift, at least to a degree.
He asks what do we do about all the people who question the results. My answer: Republicans like himself need to vociferously condemn his fellow Republicans for casting doubt on the results. That’s the source of Trump supporters questioning the results of the election. Therefore, responsible Republicans should loudly and frequently condemn the Republicans undermining the election–point out that they’re lying.
His answer is to make a bi-partisan commission to examine the election. My problem is that without addressing the Trump and congressional Republicans undermining trust in the election, without evidence, then I fear starting a bi-partisan commission will add credence to the claims that there were legitimate reasons to question the election results. Additionally, the idea that a bi-partisan commission would settle the matter, once and for all, seems fanciful. If such a commission affirmed the legitimacy of the election, and Trump and his minions continued to claim that was fraud, I highly doubt the commission would have a meaningful impact on reducing doubts from Trump supporters. All the court rulings against Trump has not changed the minds of Trump and his enablers. Why would the commission by different?
(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.
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
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?
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.)
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):
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.
Terrific write-up about what happened in Michigan. Recommended.
The Inside Story of Michigan’s Fake Voter Scandal by Tim Alberta of Politico
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 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:
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.
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.
Trump continues to attempt to pressure Gov. Kemp:
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:
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:
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:
Thank you, Sen. Romney!
I hope this Senator Joni Ernst said what is claimed below:
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.
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,
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,
WSJ editorial page has been strongly pro-Trump if I’m not mistaken (e.g., Kim Strassel)
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.
The enablers have no excuse for not speaking out.
The Fox News hosts were fired. My understanding is that they were the two that called Arizona for Biden on Election Night, which supposedly messed up Trump’s plans.
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.
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.
The List of the state Attorney Generals and congressional Republicans who signed up with Texas to throw out the votes of WI, MI, PA, and GA.
They should be remembered for this shameful act.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton; Eric Schmitt, Missouri (he goes first because Missouri filed the brief); Steve Marshall, Alabama; Leslie Rutledge, Arkansas; Ashley Moody, Florida; Curtis Hill, Indiana; Derek Schmidt, Kansas; Jeff Landry, Louisiana; Lynn Fitch, Mississippi; Tim Fox, Montana; Doug Peterson, Nebraska; Wayne Stenehjem, North Dakota; Mike Hunter, Oklahoma; Alan Wilson, South Carolina; Jason Ravnsborg, South Dakota; Herbert H. Slatery III, Tennessee; Sean Reyes, Utah; Patrick Morrisey, West Virginia.
126 congressional Republicans
No cooperating and hurting the Biden transition team is tantamount to hurting the country
I believe there was a report that Secretary DeVos also instructed her department not to cooperate with Biden’s team as well, but I could be wrong about that.
This took way longer than it should have. We don’t know the damage of this delay, but it’s reasonable to believe that it could be massive
I don’t believe Trump is able to put the country first.
More congressional Republicans publicly signaling Biden won and it’s time to move on (in this thread):
Prediction: Trump is going to pull a General Zod, double-down and make these guys all kneel to him–at least if these Republicans keep insisting their position publicly, which they likely won’t–they’ll probably slink back into the shadows and keep their mouths shut.
He said he’d release his taxes, too. His word is worthless.
Putin congratulated Biden a few hours before Senate Majority Leader.
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.
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…”
More unhinged ideas–this time from Trump’s former National Security Adviser, recently pardoned by Trump:
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.
This feels like Frankenstein’s Monster striking back and reaping the whirlwind.
Maybe not as unhinged as the conspiracy theory around the Dominion machines, but the idea that mail-in ballots are unconstitutional seems very far-fetched. Also, the GOP pushes voter ID laws because they’re so concerned about voter fraud, and ostensibly the integrity of the election. But the type of actions we’ve seen, going to courts to throw out mail-in ballots and the POTOUS asking states to overturn their election–the GOP’s concern for election integrity seems like a sham, and their actions just seem like voter suppression.
It’s scary to think this guy was the former National Security Adviser.
Flynn does qualify by saying he’s not “calling for this. We have a constitutional process…,” but it’s still irresponsible to suggest something so extreme, and questionable (maybe even legally). I take it as laying the groundwork for such actions.
I saw other people I trust re-tweet and comment on this:
The second story in this Bulwark post by Jonathan V. Last is crazy and reprehensible at the same time.
Update regarding Raffensperger’s brother:
Note: Trump has been tweeting and saying many deranged things. I haven’t posted them all–and I haven’t been vigilantly tracking all of them in the past few weeks (getting worn out). But here’s one today:
I’ll say two things:
1. I don’t know what Giuliani means by “combat” but the word choice is irresponsible. Trump and his minions have been inciting violence for a long time. I’m surprised, pleasantly, that we haven’t had more and bigger acts of violence. I hope that continues, but Trump and his followers are really inciting violence.
2. They’ve been proven fools over and over again–including on the election fraud issue. In 2016, Trump claimed millions voted illegally for Clinton. He set up a voter fraud commission that eventually disbanded because they couldn’t find any evidence. Trump’s claims have generally been baseless–and he’s been proven a fool. See his comments about the pandemic, as an example.
Speaking of proving fools, here’s some evidence:
American Thinker: “Dominion isn’t playing. OK, we give up. We made everything up. Sorry!”
There are serious consequences to rhetoric that incites violence (See talk of executions above.)
This is not an isolated incident. I believe officials in other states are experiencing similar threats. This is sickening, and I’m worried that someone will really get hurt.
Steven Bannon also got banned from twitter because of threatening language towards Dr. Fauci and FBI Director Wray:
This is so, so far out of bounds. Utterly irresponsible and disgusting.
I also may have forgotten to post about violence (stabbing) in Washington D.C. over the weekend. I believe the Proud Boys were involved.
Proud Boys sparked clashes during pro-Trump rally, D.C. officials say from WaPo
It’s important to note that counter-protestors “willingly engaged.”
Contemplating these actions is crazy.
Thread from Maggie Haberman, based on her NYT reporting with Zolan Kanno-Youngs.
This makes me wonder if Congress should impeach and remove Trump now. If these conversations actually occurred, if Trump is seriously contemplating ordering the military to intervene or appointing Sidney Powell as a Special Counsel (to check Dominion machines? Looking for nefarious connections with Venezuela?).
If congressional Republicans are pushing back hard on this, behind the scenes, they are so utterly despicable and irresponsible. Insert the worst adjectives that one can think of.
Hoax? The 2016 interference was a hoax, too. In that case, you argue that Trump cast doubt on Russian interference because that narrative undermined his winning the presidency. Given Trump’s behavior, this is plausible. But there isn’t that type of connection in this case. There just seems to be a very strong desire to defend Russia, as if they are the loyalist of friends to Trump–or he owes them something big and/or fears them.
This probably not worth saying, but I’ll say it anyway: If the U.S. IC was perpetuating a hoax, with his ability to get and declassify any information from the government, he could prove his claims. Or, if he this would compromise national security, he could take it to Congress, the gang of 8, and show them in secure setting. They could them corroborate his claims or start investigations. Of course, the likely explanation is that Trump is making things up. It’s sickening that the congressional Republicans, GOP party leadership, and conservative media like Fox News allowed the country to live through four years of this.
Maybe I’m overreacting, but this is worrisome, and it also makes me angry at those who kept/keep chiding, condescendingly at times (Noah Rothman, I’m thinking of you!) those who were anxious and even panicked after Election Day. It’s not only reports like this, but the fact that the GOP has acquiesced, or actively enabled Trump.
Here’s what I want to say. The GOP has been avoiding a big confrontation with Trump. Even moments when Romney has spoken out, it’s like a few thrown punches and then crawl back into their hole. There has never been a big confrontation where they directly and forcefully draw the line and/or repudiate him in a sustained way. I think they desperately hoped that day would never come–that Trump would just go off on his own, while our system and other civil servants would prevent some disaster. They didn’t want to remove him from office, pushing the responsibility to voters. Now that Trump is attacking the election and attempting to overturn it, congressional Republicans defer to state and county officials to protect the country. But in some ways, I think you could argue that a confrontation was likely–just because Trump would have very little holding him back–besides Congress exercising their powers and authority. (Well, there’s the SCOTUS and other courts, too–and they have done their job, as far as I can tell.) Congressional Republicans want everyone else besides themselves to protect and defend our Republic. But they might not have that luxury; and I have doubts they will be up to the task.
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:
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.
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?
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.
Trump accuses the process of being rigged or fraudlent when he loses:
I could not see Trump doing something like this. Ever.
Trump’s won-loss court record on challenging election: 1-42.
12/13/2020 update: 1-59
Two said Trump won.
Supposedly Trump wants names of all those who said Biden won:
Here’s where I want to use profanity. Trump is not a bleepin’ king.
from the Declaration of Independence
Barr says he hasn’t seen fraud that could affect the election outcome from WaPo
That’s what Barr said early this week. I believe, on that day, he also extended(?) John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation, which would extend into the Biden administration, which feels like an attempt to damage Democrats and Biden into his administration.
Reports are that Trump is furious at this. Trump sychophants are taking their cue:
I put this in the original post of this sub-thread, but I decided the article should get more attention.
Trump calls Georgia governor to pressure him for help overturning Biden’s win in the state from WaPo
Again. I’m losing track of how many times, the number of efforts to try to alter the results in Georgia. (Sen. Graham also called the Georgia Secretary of State, asking how votes could be thrown out, I believe.)
I hope Kemp declined. If Trump said this, this continues to be outrageous and impeachable–especially when you add this with all the other things he’s done to undermine the integrity of the election.
This once again raises the question: Where’s the line for congressional GOP and the Republican party? Trump can attempt to overturn the election and that’s not a bridge too far–their careers, conservative judges, tax cuts–all this is worth allowing Trump to do this. They are all unfit to govern, and they are betraying the country.
Trump is essentially pressuring Gov. Kemp to break the law.
More on this. You can see the pressure being put on Gov. Kemp–pressure to do something illegal:
I’m not sure if this tweet came before or after the the post above:
Trump re-tweeted this:
I just want to post two tweets that I saw today that makes me ask: Can someone make this guy shut up?
When will enough be enough for congressional Republicans? Trump has been constantly whining and lying about his loss; pressuring states to overturn the election; challenging the electoral results in several states and constantly losing. All of this undermines the election and legitimacy of Biden’s presidency, and has lead to death threats on state election officials. I can’t losing the words to describe my contempt and disgust at congressional Republicans, Republican party leadership, and conservative media.
I can imagine where the line would be drawn–if some person, particularly a prominent person or government official, is murdered or assassinated. But the trajectory for those outcomes are already apparent. Therefore, the responsible thing is to speak out vociferously right now–to prevent such an outcome. To not do so is tantamount to waiting until someone dies before one takes action. This is incredibly irresponsible and deplorable.
Trump has been incessantly undermining of the legitimacy of the election.
Regarding the comment about assassination/murder, here’s a tweet from a conservative, who has supported Trump, but who has been debunking the election fraud claims.
Some might rationalize Trump’s actions by saying that all politicians lie, but Trump’s lying was different in frequency and degree. No matter if his claims have been proven untrue that will not deter him–by sheer force of will he seems to make something true that is not. (The scary thing is that if has the will, and lack of shame, it can be quite effective.)
This is crazy–17 states joining Texas in petitioning the SCOTUS to throw out the votes of four states Trump lost–WI, MI, PA, and GA. This is a good thread that goes into this more. (Note: I originally posted this on 12/9/20 in the OP of this sub-thread, but I think it deserves it’s own post.)
Republicans have to choose–they’re going to either defend democracy or oppose it. Silence is tantamount to opposing it, a sin of omission.
And these Congressional Republicans have chosen to oppose democracy:
We need to get to a point where this type of inconsistency matters–not just to the country at large, but to people who are supporting actions with this kind of glaring inconsistency. What it reveals is that the Republicans don’t really care about principles they’re claiming they care about. They will only care–they will only invoke the violation of principles–when it hurts the Democrats. This has to change.
This is a good comment, but she, and other congressional Republicans, need to be far more vocal–like the conservatives at Project Lincoln. The party has behaved in an extremely anti-democratic way, one that can lead to violence. Really, politicians like Romney, Murkowksi et al. should leave the party–and they should have left a long time ago.
20 more congressional Republicans choosing an anti-democratic path.
Also, SCOTUS rejects the Texas lawsuit that these unfit politicians and AGs have joined:
Leader of the Texas GOP responds:
See my comments about Murkowski above.
National Review have not been Never Trumps, so this is not nothing.
*Updated Post on an important story: WaPo released a taped recording (4 minutes) of Trump haggling with Brad Raffsenperger, the secretary state of Georgia, and a Republican who publicly said he supported Trump, trying to get him to change the election results. It’s un-American, disqualifying, anti-democratic.
What also is reiterated to me is that Trump seems incapable of believing he lost–to the point that creates the impression that he has a mental disorder. It’s not just this clip alone, but this reaffirms the impression created by his words and actions in the past four years.
Trump’s tweet earlier today:
Here’s the full recording (which I haven’t heard yet):
Significant number of Republicans disagree. If Rep. Hurd believes what he says a schism in the party already exists. The battle for American Conservatives is at hand (and has been at hand). The question is whether patriotic Conservatives will stand up and fight–and will they do so with vigor or squeak like a mouse and slink back in the shadows.
Rep. Kinzinger is a Republican.
Paul Ryan speaks out (good for him):
Former House Speaker, current minority leader, takes a different tack from Ryan:
From a former DOJ IG:
With regard to the possible firing of acting AG Rosen, here’s a story about the conversations Trump had with Rosen. The article is about notes taken by a DOJ official, Richard Donoghue.
More evidence that Trump doesn’t respect the rule of law and is essentially an authoritarian. Congressional Republicans supporting Trump either via acts of commission or omission are supporting or not opposing authoritarianism. They are un-American and unfit for office.
Updated: Warning from all 10 former Secretaries of Defense
Episode 9: Trump’s war with his generals from Axios
The post above is about the ten former Defense secretaries warning Trump not to use the military to interfere in the election. That’s the context for the interview with Axios’s Jonathan Swan, regarding his article about a December 2020 meeting where Trump considered using the military (or Dept. of Homeland Security) to seize the voting machines and/or appoint Sidney Powell as a Special Counsel to investigate election fraud.
After the interview, I have the article with some excerpts. I didn’t have a lot of interest in reading this, but I made myself read it after listening to the CNN interview. It was more compelling than I expected—primarily because Swan features dialogue between the conspiracy theorists and the WH lawyers. Really, the article feels more like a scene from a play. The conversation—or I should argument—is heated. What stood out for me was the WH lawyers, who not only shoot down the conspiracy theorists, but do so with vehemence and outrage. The WH lawyers actually seem sane—and their reaction to the craziness is totally appropriate. How do they react like this and yet serve in the Trump WH? But in the CNN interview, Swan is clear that “every single detail in the story is bulletproof and is completely verified.” Based on that, I’m guessing someone taped the conversation, and Swan heard the tapes, and transcribed them.
Bonus episode: Inside the craziest meeting of the Trump presidency reporting from Jonathan Swan of Axios
What’s in this article is bonkers–added to many other insane things that have happened in the previous four years. This involves China worried we would attack them and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff going through troubling lengths to prevent this–including, but not limited to ensuring Trump doesn’t use nuclear weapons.
Top general was so fearful Trump might spark war that he made secret calls to his Chinese counterpart, new book says from WaPo
The book referred to in the title is Bob Woodward’s new one.
It is utterly crazy that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would do this. On one level, this is a breakdown of our system–Milley’s actions are not just insubordinate, but treasonous. (If the U.S. attacked China, and he told them in advance, I would think that would be equivalent to aiding the enemy.) On another level, it strongly suggests that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs thought the POTUS was a threat to the country and the world. There are other stories about Milley worrying about Trump using the military to stay in power, which is in line with this reading.
What Milley did, if true, is a subversion of our Constitutional system, by military personnel. That is incredibly dangerous. The only way his actions could be justified is if the POTUS was a legitimate and serious threat to the country (e.g., he was mentally unstable/ill and/or he was an authoritarian/demagogue).
Apparently,General Milley did believe Trump was mentally unstable:
The following, again, is nuts:
The CIA director, Gina Haspel, on Trump:
The reporter, who read Woodward’s and Costa’s book addresses whether Milley committed treason. In short, no.
Trump trying to get Mo Brooks to rescind the 2020 election. (Note: Mo Brooks specifically used the word “rescind.”)
(Context: Trump pulled his endorsement of Mo Brooks. Brooks wrote a statement discussing what he talked about above.)
Virginia Thomas urged White House chief to pursue unrelenting efforts to overturn the 2020 election, texts show from WaPo
Virginia “Ginni” Thomas = wife of Justice Clarence Thomas (SCOTUS)
WH chief = Mark Meadows
Amanda Carpenter, in the thread below, makes some good points. Judge Thomas was the only judge to dissent on releasing information about January 6, and he did not provide a reason for this. Was he protecting his wife from damaging information about her? This seems to be a clear conflict of interest.
Crazy 3rd(!) audit of votes in Arizona
They don’t talk about the group overseeing the audit–Cyber Ninjas–or the crazy stories about how some of them believed that the ballots had bamboo in them, which proved that China sent the ballots that somehow caused Trump to lose (I guess?).
I watched the GOP’s Arizona election audit. It was worse than you think. WaPo op-ed from Jennifer Morrell, a former local election official and national expert on post-election audits, is a partner at The Elections Group.
One of several examples:
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.
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.
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.)
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:
The fact that this is up for discussion is not a good thing. Republicans would be going crazy if a Democrat did this.
Trump grants clemency to 20 people, including three GOP former members of Congress and two men convicted in the Russia probe from WaPo
No pardon is more corrupt than a self-pardon
(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.
According to the report below, Trump’s lawyers are telling him he could get in more legal trouble if he pardons himself. Trump is angry and says he won’t pardon anyone else, if he can’t pardon himself.
Historical context: pardons by authoritarians in transition periods
Ben-Ghiat, is a historian who has written about Mussolini and other authoritarian rulers.
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.
I’m not sure how bad this is, but it doesn’t sound good.
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:
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 is appropriate, and a good thing. But then the proclamation ends with this:
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….)
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.
I really liked this; expresses how I feel:
There’s nothing especially new here except some of the personal details, but I liked this NYT piece about local-level Republicans (plus a few conservative judges) doing their best to stick up for the integrity of the election. It’s been clear that these are Republicans in earlier stories, but this really underscores how Republican most of them are.
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.
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.
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.
…and because congressional Republicans failed to be as outspoken and vehement as Gabriel Sterling, this thread from Molly McKew is fitting, and well-said:
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.
As an aside, I wanted to comment on another description:
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,…
Crazy, the most cynical attack on our democracy–and asking states to break the law:
The word “cult” seems over-the-top when describing Trump and his support, but consider the following:
The quote seems insane, and it seems like this is a fitting place to put it. (I didn’t read the article, yet.)
Think of all the people who go to his rallies without masks and maintaining proper physical distancing. In the case below, Trump left them stranded in the cold for a long time (because of bad planning with buses).
I think of cult leaders as believing unhinged ideas.
“I don’t know anything about that.” He doesn’t know if there’s a Satanic cult in the federal government (“deep state”) involved in sex trafficking and pedophilia. So absurd.
Trump on Qanon believers: they “basically believe in good government.”
Trump seems to be saying positive things about Qanon–or more specifically, avoiding denouncing them–because they are supportive of him.
If these politicians were family or friends of mine, I’d say something like: “Stop and think about this. Do you want your political power to be based loyalty to one person–particularly an authoritarian like Trump? How is this not like selling your soul to the Devil?”
Alberta’s answer resonates with me. I would add that “the fight” is part of a narrative which I believe is the key to Trump’s power. In this narrative Trump supporters have been treated badly and unfairly by the elites. The rise of cultural, social, and even economic influence and prominence by minority status groups (e.g., people of color, non-Christians, women, and LGBT people) is a threat. Trump is going to fight against the elites, particularly those that embrace these changes, and rail against these changes. As long as Trump is seen as fighting against these things, then the narrative remains viable and compelling. Whether what he says is true or comes to fruition doesn’t matter. His supporters almost seem to want someone to scream in rage on their behalf, and make the elites suffer–and very little beyond that.
Right now, I’m starting to think that the narrative above is the key. That is, whatever strengthens this narrative, Trump wins and the Republic is in danger; whatever weakens the narrative, Trump loses and the Republic is in a safer position. The reason for this? The narrative provides a framework for polarization–a framework which turbo-charges it. If the narrative is undermined–particularly if those the narrative brands as enemies behave more like allies or at least not like enemies–that’s half the battle. There are some other things that I think must be done, but that last point would achieve a lot, in my view.
If this is correct, all the failed court challenges–the 17 state AGs and the 106 congressional Republicans joining the Texas lawsuit–should be seen as a win, as energizes the narrative. It also creates a backdrop that will strengthen the narrative if the Biden administration tries to hold Trump accountable. That is, those actions will be seen as an attack by the enemy.
Now, here’s something against the theory I’m presenting here. If the number of people that are buying into Trump’s narrative is small, and there isn’t a large group of Americans who are confused and don’t know what to believe, then Trump winning in terms of keeping his narrative strong and alive may be negligible. I hope this proves true.
By the way, the tweet below made me think of writing this addendum:
Note: Write about two ways of analyzing Trump’s actions: The practical effect versus the impact on his populist narrative.
Summary of three crazy moves by the GOP
I don’t know if this is the main justification, but I’ve heard this argument used by them. By this logic, Democrats should have done all things Republicans and Trump are doing now–to a greater degree–after the 2016 election.
I hope AOC and other Democrats at least explore this overture.
This tweet describes my attitude during this interrugum–specifically to people who chided those who felt anxiety (me) about Biden being sworn in. I tended to think it would happen, but I had enough doubts to make me uncomfortable.
The thing about knowledgeable people saying “it’s over:”
Knowledgeable people were wrong about Clinton winning in 2016; they seemed wrong about the election–Biden winning easily–(or at least it seemed like they were wrong). Additionally, Trump does things almost no other politician would do.
It sure doesn’t seem like we’re one of the best at all things cyber. It seems like the Russians have been kicking our a** a lot.
Big question that remains unanswered: Why Trump is so reluctant to criticize Russia/Putin?
Putting this here to read later.
Didn’t read this yet, too.
Man, has Trump done or said anything about this? At best, it seems like he doesn’t care this is happening, which upsets me.
These excerpts make me feel ill.
More from the thread above,
If this is accurate, and not hyperbole, this is a huge story. This should be getting way more attention now. If Republicans were patriotic, they’d be working with Democrats to investigate this and work to fix this.
Didn’t read this (but I am catching up on the ones above. I would think a normal Congress and POTUS would be working furiously to deal with this. I don’t get the impression this is the case.)
I find this statement a bit reassuring. I hope Richard Haas is right.
by Nicole Perlroth of the NYT
What must be done:
The President of the United States is AWOL op-ed by Jonathan V. Last (JVL) at The Bulwark
This is nothing new, but JVL’s message is worth considering–and we should be outraged by this.
From the Daily Beast.
These are remarks two days after the mob entered the Capitol building and four (five?) people died, including a Capitol police officer.
This is not normal. Also: He’s having second thoughts about the speech because his followers may be displeased. He’s not well.
Meanwhile, the pandemic is getting worse, the economy is not great, what’s the status of that massive hack? Trump continues to be AWOL.
This relates to the Solar Winds debacle as well.
Extraordinary, as in extraordinarily awful. I wish Romney would get other Republicans to do something.
Not only is Trump silent on the Solar Winds hack, but he not minimizes it and deflects blame on Russia, by suggesting China was the culprit.
…and then he goes on to making baseless claims about the election…
Thought that pops into my head: A functioning Congress would have, at least, vigorously examined Trump-Russia connections, particularly the POTUS’s financial situation, particularly who he owed money to. The dereliction of duty–the active ennabling–is such an enormous failure the word “betrayal” is totally apt.
Stand down (said with disgust). Same old pattern. Those who think Russian-Trump thing is an overreaction need to explain Trump’s reluctance to criticize Russia. He wants to get along with Russia doesn’t cut. Based on the recent hack–and the bounties on American soldiers–the approach doesn’t seem to have been effective. Has the U.S. benefited in anyway from Trump’s “get along approach?”
Maybe Trump just has an affinity for authoritarians and aversion to liberal-democracy–including leaders who respect it. That would be a really bad thing, no?
But this explanation doesn’t seem fully adequate. Trump insinuated that China could have been the culprit. That is, Trump has said bad things about other authoritarians (e.g. “Rocket man”). To my knowledge, he has not had a bad word about Putin. Given all the facts we know, this is a question that should not have been ignored. Congress should have gotten to the bottom of this. That they did not is a huge failure on their part–and by “their” I mean the Republicans.
In keeping with the AWOL theme, this time regarding handling the pandemic
What a year for our nation. Words fail me–or I don’t want to put the effort into finding the right words, as I don’t want to spend much time thinking about politics, especially now and in the last week or so. My thinking is very now similar to my approach on Election Day: I won’t know the results into a few days, and the news cycle will likely be a crazy emotional roller coaster, so I just won’t “ride” it. I don’t always succeed at following through on this, but I usually don’t feel good when I don’t. Trying to articulate what’s happening seems to put me back on that metaphorical roller coaster.
I also feel like I’ve exhausted all the extreme, negative adjectives–e.g., repugnant, crazy, reprehensible…These words seemed to have lost their force; they seem inadequate. Yet, what those words describe would be appropriate for much of the activity and rhetoric going on now, and probably will continue, if not get worse. For example, I’m hearing growing number of House Republicans who will vote against accepting the results of the election or something to that effect. Senator Hawley says he’ll challenge the results (or something to that effect). It’s truly crazy. I also read an Atlantic article headline suggesting that Trump could attack Iran. Ugh, writing this makes me feel uneasy.
I’ll close with this. There are people in Congress, aides to Trump, people working at Fox News, etc.–people who know better. They could have done something to oppose his claims and rhetoric. They could have more forcefully opposed him. They have no excuse. Early in the administration, they may have dismissed Trump’s authoritarian behavior as an act, that Congress and other guardrails would keep us safe. None of those arguments carry any weight now. They are the worst. Once again words fail me.
Runoff for two Senate seats in Georgia
I’ve made some effort to avoid reading about the results of this election until we had definite results, as I didn’t want to put myself on an emotional roller coaster, but it seems like the two Democrats have won.
(Note: I’ll be updating this post with different tweets and links regarding this runoff.)
Updated: Congress to certify the electoral votes today
This is a post to follow what’s happening today, as some Trumpist Republicans are set to challenge the vote. I’ll be regularly updating this post.
Four years ago, VP Biden shoots down an objection to electoral vote.
This is good:
In the Senate
Senator McConnell speech:
I agree with much of the sentiments and points Senator McConnell makes in this speech (with the exception of his attacks on Democrats), but he should have been expressed them much earlier, more frequently, and with more force. That is, if this is indeed his genuine feelings. I have serious doubts that they are. How can somehow who genuinely believes these things keep these sentiments locked within himself, standing by Trump’s authoritarian and demagogic rhetoric and actions? McConnell’s action suggests he primarily cares about power, not the Constitution, our country and the institutions that are critical to both. Here’s what I think: If he has some some shred of conviction in what he says, he suppressed this for four years—in order to achieve his political objectives—putting the republic (and even the world) at risk with a dangerously unfit person. It’s like he chose to ride a runaway train, thinking he can pull the breaks before going over a cliff—instead of pulling the breaks much, much earlier. This speech is his attempt to pull the breaks. If true, he and people who behaved like him deserve to be remembered in infamy.
Mitt Romney’s speech. (I especially liked the part about Trump supporters never changing their minds, and that leadership was about telling them the truth.)
Re: vote to object to Arizona’s votes
“Seditious Six” (not my name): Cruz, Hawley, Hyde-Smith, Marshall, Tuberville, John Kennedy.
Call to immediately impeach, remove and even arrest Trump
I confess this idea didn’t cross my mind—although I did think impeachment and removal would have been warranted at about the end of the summer, before the election. At this point, I thought we could wait until the 20th, but the following commenters give make their case for impeaching, etc. now.
Trump is a danger to his own country. He shouldn’t be president for one more minute. op-ed by Tom Nichols in USA Today
Impeach. Convict. Indict. Robert Transinski from theBulwark
Impeach Trump Again from Yoni Applebaum in theAtlantic
Here are some thoughts on the matter:
and removal will seem justified to the majority of the Americans. In a way, Congress articulating behavior that warrants I/R—which, if reasonable, the public can examine and digest. They would give Trump a chance to avoid this—which is reasonable and fair on their part. If Trump doesn’t comply, then I/R should be more palatable. If Congress impeaches immediately, the public may fully understand the reasons for this—it may not seem as reasonable or necessary.
The following, if true, lends support for Trasinski’s argument that Trump should be indicted (for insurrection).
I agree with his tweet.
One reason to remove Trump
Then again, if Trump were impeached and removed, he might be in a stronger position to push for this. On the other hand, if he did this as a private citizen, he would be subject to prosecution. There is a real possibility that he would be seen as a kind of martyr, which might just increase his political power.
At the same time, if the House impeaches Trump, the Senate need not remove him immediately. They use it as a threat–in the even Trump did something that warranted removal. The threat might keep Trump in check until January 20, which should be a top priority.
Thread from Juliette Kayyem:
Reading this thread makes me think the Senate convicting Trump is unlikely, which is dismaying especially given the account of Trump’s reaction during the mob ransacking of the Capitol. If Senate Republicans can’t convict when the Trump was slow to react, was excited by ransacking–which could have lead to their own physical harm or even death–then I don’t know what will.
One thing that comes to mind: Are the Republican Senators worried about the safety of themselves and their families if they vote to convict Trump? To me, this is a legitimate concern, and the threat could be real long after this vote–extending out for a year or more maybe. Some fanatical Trump supporter may seek revenge. At the same time, I would think this applies to Democratic Senators as well, and I’m assuming they’ll all vote to convict. If physical safety is not really a factor, then I can’t sympathize with them if they don’t vote to convict.
With regard to the fear Republicans may be feeling,
Not a call to remove Trump, but certainly something that can be used in the trial to convict him:
“Other powerful people”=congressional Republicans, GOP party leaders, Fox News and other conservative pundits.
“Republicans, such as myself, also failed to vigorously speak out and condemn President Trump’s lies that undermined the election and his incitement of violence and racial tensions.” Hope he said that, too, but I doubt it.
op-ed by Amanda Carpenter in Bulwark
McConnell waits until December 15 to congratulate Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the winners.
Unreal reporting about some Secret Services members believing the election was stolen.
Updated: 1/11/2021 Some Republicans opposing removing Trump via impeachment or 25th amendment
If Rep. McCarthy has a genuine desire for unity, he should be honest with Trump supporters and the rest of the country–admit he and other Republicans and conservative pundits were being dishonest about the election and that he should have recognized Joe Biden as president-elect much sooner. He should also apologize for his role in this.
My sense is that part of healing will involve truth telling. Republicans and those in the conservative media, particularly those who supported Trump, play a critical role in this–because they’re the ones that will have the most credibility with Trump supporters. Healing and unity will be difficult if Trump supporters continue to believe in falsehoods and conspiracy theories.
At the very bare minimum, McCarthy needs to stop pushing mis/disinformation, and he needs to tone down his rhetoric. If he doesn’t, this reasoning to not impeach should not be taken seriously.
I’m seeing remarks from other Republicans say the same thing–Cruz, Graham, and now Scalise:
I’m probably repeating myself, but these remarks are annoying–unless they back them up with actions that prove they’re sincere. They have to acknowledge their role in enabling Trump and inciting his supporters. If their language doesn’t change, if they keep casting the Democrats as if the latter poses some dire threat to the country, then they really don’t care about unity.
Here’s another Republican:
Something that came to mind: Republicans don’t want impeachment primarily because they don’t want to have be forced to vote on the issue. That may be obvious for political reasons, but they may fear backlash in their communities, maybe even in the form of violence, to them and their families. While I sympathize on some level with this position, the fact is that the Republicans are a big reason we’re here at this point. They had many opportunities to vigorously oppose Trump–last year’s impeachment and removal being the most obvious example.
But they refused to take this stand–to level with the American people about Trump. Some actively participated in the lies. They been running away from this–this day of reckoning–hoping they will not have to do what is required them–what the country needs from them. (Mitt Romney would be an exception. Justin Amash would probably be another.) My sense is that they’re running away from this now, hiding behind “unity talk.”
I sort of feel like his accusation that Dems are trying to “settle scores” is projection. That is, this reflects the way the GOP thinks and operates. I do think the Democrats do try to settle scores, but not to the same degree as Republicans. And in this case, there are good reasons to impeach Trump, reasons he ignores. If the shoe were on the other foot, I believe most of his colleagues would be calling for impeachment.
At the start of the thread, Zeldin says,
To me, I’m focused on the role Trump, Zeldin’s colleagues and Fox News pundits played in undermining the legitimacy of the election and inciting violence. And I’m thinking of the appropriate consequences for these individuals.
A note to people in the future. No one has really argued against invoking the 25thA on the grounds that Trump is mentally competent and fit. That seems to be assumed by most people. If it were not, you’d hear more of his supporters saying something like, “Clearly, Trump is of sound mind and fit to be POTUS. The 25A was for presidents who were mentally incapacitated.” At least one person I know has said that invoking the 25A would be going against the spirit of the law, but I haven’t heard congressional Republicans make this case–especially stating that Trump is mentally sound. There’s a sense that most people in Washington accept he is not of sound mind. That’s the times we’re living in.
The anger is based on lies told by Trump and his enablers in Congress and Fox News. How are Trump supporters supposed to move on if they believe the election was stolen? Trump and his enablers, if they were leaders, would level with his supporters. Trump won’t do this and his enablers don’t want to. The country needs their leadership.
I totally agree with this:
To me, impeachment is related to security. We don’t ever want a POTUS to incite violence and insurrection. If Congress doesn’t impeach and convict, that leaves the door open for future presidents to behave in a similar way.
Reprehensible. There isn’t a basis for impeachment means future presidents can behave the way Trump did and that would not warrant impeachment. That’s so wrong.
Updated: Some Cabinet members contemplating invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump
That’s what’s being reported by CBS News:
Updated 1/11/21 Was the mob storming the Capitol the final straw for Republicans?
Given the responses I’ve seen this question has popped into my head, although I don’t trust myself at judging such things, because there were “straws” in the past that I thought might be “final.” But Bill Barr’s comments today made me think about this question again.
Since the incident, there’s more talk about impeachment/removal or invoking the 25th amendment, too.
Kinzinger, a Republican, has been publicly criticized Trump before, but still.
The response from social media companies is different as well:
…although someone pointed out that this happened after Biden’s victory was certified and the Republicans lost the Senate. (I believe Twitter also locked Trump’s account for a certain time period as well.)
WSJ editorial section has been staunchly pro-Trump.
Message from the Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer:
Resignations from the Trump Administration
Several happened, ostensibly because of the mob storming the Capitol. Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation.
Betsy DeVos, Education Secretary. Here’s a quote from her resignation letter:
Shaking my head.
Trump makes another announcement, where he more firmly condemns yesterday’s storming of the Capitol. It’s obvious to me that he doesn’t really mean a word of it. My takeaway is that pressure can actually work on Trump–and he might even be scared now. That is, he’s only saying this because there is serious talk of removing him. Had the Republicans seriously raised this threat at other points in Trump’s presidency, perhaps they could have kept him in check. But they didn’t. They had to wait for something that dramatically crossed the line, resulting in tragedy–and I think it had to happen right before he would be out of power. I say this because there were many dramatic incidents that were tantamount to crossing a line–e.g., the Helsinki press conference, the Charlottesville press conference, his handling of the pandemic, the phone call to the Ukranian president, and many more. Beyond expressing concern, the GOP largely did nothing or encouraged him.
Several have mentioned that Trump poses a danger right now. I’m starting to agree with this. His speech means nothing. The chances that he will do something awful is very high in my view. Trump’s reaction today reminded me of Saddam Hussein–the way he’d play games with the West. When the Western coalition clearly applied pressure he’d submit. When they seem to lose interest, he’d behave badly (e.g., expel weapon’s inspectors). If some serious consequence isn’t hanging over his head, I’m pretty sure he’ll do something bad. I’m leaning towards removal, via impeachment process or the 25th amendment.
Thread from Olivia Nuzzi, Buzzfeed reporter, on comments Trump made about the mob at the Capitol:
Something is wrong with him.
Note: Russell Moore is a Southern Baptist. He’s been publicly critical of Trump, not a supporter.
In other news,…
This is good, but not good. It’s good because it hopefully will prevent Trump from doing something crazy, but this doesn’t seem legal or constitutional. The quote says Pelosi spoke about “available precautions” so she’s not necessarily overriding the POTUS or directing the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, but this is still not a good thing. At least this should not have been made public.
I thought of another reason Pelosi is making this public. This will start a conversation in the media about the president’s ability to launch nuclear weapons. What will be revealed is that there’s really no way to legally stop him from using nuclear weapons. This will get out to the public, and make create the political will to impeach and remove Trump. That’s one theory that makes sense to me. I’m saying it’s good or bad, but it makes sense.
If a member(s) of Congress died or even severely injured, I feel like Trump would be impeached and removed right now. That he not suggests that the event wasn’t sufficiently tragic and sobering. I feel like this was the state of affairs for much of Trump’s presidency–namely, most Republicans knew he was capable of causing a catastrophe, but that wasn’t enough to move them. Only an actual catastrophe would do this. We’ll see if Republicans think the mob at the Capitol was sufficiently catastrophic to sober up and start behaving patriotically.
The thought that popped into my head after seeing the following picture and caption: More people–particularly a public figure–will die, maybe in a more horrific/dramatic way, unless more stronger steps are taken by our leaders.
Alexandra Petri’s response to Trump officials resigning is pretty funny.
A sign that the mob rush on the Capitol was not sufficiently tragic.
Updated 1/12/21 Discussion and video of the mob breaking into the Capitol
(Note: Post originally written on 1/6/21, 17:10)
There might be better video and images, but I’m going to use this one now. If you haven’t seen video clips or images, I recommend doing so. I first learned about this from print media and some WaPo footage, which showed a rather small crowd outside the Capitol. These things didn’t capture the magnitude and significance of the days events in my opinion. The video above does a better job of that—showing the mob breaking a window to get into the Capitol, a barricaded door in the Senate chambers, and people sitting in the seat of the Speaker of the House.
After seeing more video and images, I had a better understanding of why several commentators were calling for the immediate impeachment, removal and in some cases arrest of Trump.
Images that make me embarrassed, sad, and angry at the same time:
Comments about the mob
From General Mattis:
Also, I’m pretty confident if BLM protestors or Muslims stormed the Capitol the reaction–from law enforcement, DOJ, and the WH would be totally different–more forceful and violent, more arrests, etc.
I vaguely remember these comments regarding protests (in Oregon?). It seems to apply in this recent incident.
The reaping of the whirlwind continues
Link to the WaPo article above.
A more detailed account of Trump’s response to mob ransacking of the Capitol
Six hours of paralysis: Inside Trump’s failure to act after a mob stormed the Capitol reporting from WaPo
The rest of this is filled with various people struggling to get a hold of Trump, begging him to speak publicly against the violence, and his reluctance to do so. His response is incredibly appalling (which is par for the course, I guess). Where are all the people who were incensed by the Benghazi incident?
Self-styled militia members planned on storming the U.S. Capitol days in advance of Jan. 6 attack, court documents say from WaPo
Updated 1/8/21What happened to the security at the Capitol?
Count me as one who has question about this. I haven’t read all the articles out there, yet, but this is a big deal. It is not only horrific, disgraceful, but disconcerting that something like this could happen. My understanding is that 5 people have died from this, including one of the Capitol police officers.
The following is sickening to hear–Trump was delighted by the storming of the Capitol and “confused” why others weren’t excited. If Trump reacted this way (and it’s totally believable), it raises serious questions about the poor security and the delayed response from law enforcement and the National Guard. If there’s evidence that Trump and his administrators inhibited security, they must face serious consequences.
Recaps of what happened:
How the U.S. Capitol Police were overrun in a ‘monumental’ security failure report from WaPo
How They Stormed Congress from “The Daily” (NYT)
One of the disturbing things I learned (from the podcast, I think) was that some of the rioters were looking for and calling out for Pence–and not for a friendly greeting, if you know what I mean. I don’t want to jump the gun, but I’ve seen pictures of the rioters with plastic ties, and I’ve heard that some rioters tried to set up a gallows. I don’t know if this is true, but if it is, and if the rioters planned to kidnap or kill Pence or any of the politicians or staff, this takes the situation into another level.
On a related note, these details reported by Josh Dawsey seem relevant:
Honestly, I don’t feel a lot of sympathy for Pence, but it’s horrific (but not totally surprising) that Trump doesn’t seem to care about the harm that may have come to the VP–or members of Congress.
As riot raged at Capitol, Trump tried to call senators to overturn election from CNN
“…as deadly riots were unfolding…” What the heck?!
This not good. This seems like the either the FBI failed or they are somehow complicit.
I’d like to know more about Bowdich.
From BuzzfeedNews, two African-American Capitol police officers speak about the mob attack on the Capitol:
Why? Where was the chief?
Super disturbing. Man, Congress better do a thorough investigation of this. There should be consequences as well.
Update: 1/11/2021 Examples of inciting the mob
What Trump to His Supporters Before They Stormed the Capitol, WaPo’s annotation of Trump’s speech.
There’s a good chance he genuinely believes this, proving how grossly unfit he is. Same with the “perfect” call to the Ukranian president.
Did Trump go beyond inciting the mob that flooded into the Capitol building?
News is coming in to suggest the possibility that Trump may have create conditions to allow the mob to disrupt the counting of ballots–besides egging on the crowd prior to them marking to the Capitol building. Here are some examples:
(I don’t have the energy to make the links, but most of them can be found in this thread.)
In the next few days I hope we can get more confirmation and clarity on this, but it suggests the possibility that Trump wanted this to happen–maybe actively working to ensure the his followers could disrupt and delay the counting. Whether he knew or intended them to enter the Capitol or not, doesn’t seem significant (although it would be worse if he made arrangements so that the mob could get into the building).
This is an extreme position, and right now, I’m assuming it’s not true. I’m going to lean toward a more mundane explanation–but the reports coming in are disturbing and make it hard not to think of this extreme scenario.
I should that while the theory is conspiratorial and extreme, it does fit with egregious abuses of power and attempts to undermine the election–starting with the call to the Ukrainian president. The list actions taken by Trump, many public, is long and the actions are egregious.
Indeed, I think the much of the recent behavior has occurred precisely because Republican Senators, save one, refused to convict Trump.
Some of our military allies are wondering the same thing:
I wasn’t familiar with these words:
More from the thread:
Why Vice-President Pence is angry
(Note: I’m moving this from the post describing the mobbing of the Capitol.)
I don’t blame him. Trump seeming to not care about Pence and his family’s well-being–not condemning people calling for Pence’s execution–that makes me angry, too.
More details about the mob and Pence from MSNBC’s, Chris Hayes
(I’m trusting Hayes has accurate information on this.)
Update: 1/15/21, 5:35 AM Right-Wing Embrace Of Conspiracy Is ‘Mass Radicalization,’ Experts Warn report from NPR–written on 12/15/20.
(Note: Originally posted 1/9/21, 8:54 AM)
Reading this just rams home the irresponsibility and danger of constantly pushing the idea that the election was stolen. Trump, congressional Republicans, Barr, and conservative pundits are complicit.
This topic reminded me of a passage from a good Politico article by Tim Alberta:
I agree with Kayyem. Here’s what I find interesting: She’s applying a counter-terrorism approach to Trump supporters. Now, think about the following questions: What percentage of Trump supporters does this apply to? How many congressional Republicans, GOP party leaders, and conservative pundits should be seen a part of domestic terror threat? The answers may be unsettling. Look at that Tim Alberta quote above. He’s basically saying the fringe and the mainstream have merged to a large degree–and you can see that in the Republican party. There are at least one or two congress persons that embrace Qanon, for example. Large numbers of congressional Republicans voted to reject electoral votes from several states–even after their lives were in danger from a mob!
I had a thread about the way the GOP has become an authoritarian party–and that transformation was one of the most important, under-reported stories. The merging of the fringe elements and mainstream GOP–to the degree that the party may foster domestic terrorism–is another super important point that may be flying under the radar.
How to treat potential congressional Trump defectors
Here’s the post that made me think of this:
I understand this response–and a part of me agrees with it. But another, more pragmatic, let’s say, does not–or at least finds this more problematic. To wit, the country still may need congressional Republicans (as well the conservative media) to oppose Trump to protect the republic. Adopting Hill’s stance could be an impediment to that. At this point, protecting the republic should come first. Right? (I think unifying the nation should come first as well.)
The idea that some of the enablers could be forgiven and absolved, if they do the right thing at the last minute–a kind of political “death-bed confession”–is galling. Yet, if accepting this would ensure the preservation of the republic, then that would be worth it.
By the way, I sort of feel this ambivalence with Mitt Romney. I think he didn’t fight hard or frequent enough–often he remained silent, when he shouldn’t have in my opinion. And that applies to almost every congressional Republican. But to condemn him for this–to dismiss the fact that he voted to remove Trump and for the times he has spoken out—at this point–would seem like the wrong move. How are you going to encourage Republicans to do the right thing if one won’t accept this–particularly as some way to redeem themselves? It’s a tricky problem.
Another comment that touches on this problem:
On one level, if resigning does nothing to protect the country, then Phillip’s is right. But if resigning–or taking some action, including refusing something illegal or immoral–does help the country, this isn’t a good response. You can’t encourage people to do the right thing, while condemning and sneering at the people who eventually do so.
Here’s another situation:
It’s good she did this–maybe even important. But if she’s condemned in spite of this, that’s certainly going to discourage other Trump supporters to do the same.
I kinda like this, although it’s not that encouraging:
I want to capture the complexity of the way we should view Republicans for speaking out and/or standing up to Trump for basically the first time now. Yes, if they’re doing because it’s politically beneficial, then don’t deserve a lot of credit. At the same time, what they’re doing is important to our country–and to rail on them hard now seems counterproductive.
What about those who are standing up when it’s not politically expedient? Rep. Liz Cheney seems to fall into that category.
From what I understand, this stance will likely hurt Cheney politically. She deserves a lot of credit for that, if true.
But then what about the times she stood by and really didn’t vigorously oppose Trump–or even leave the party–for example, during the summer and fall, when Trump undermined the election? Same with Romney. These things will likely be forgotten, but I feel like they’re part of the picture, too. I think both deserve credit for the times they stood up to Trump, though.
Social media companies expels Trump and far right groups
Mitchell, are you still comfortable with this–especially Twitter permanently banning Trump? I guess, it’s only a few more days until he is a private citizen. I have less of a problem twitter banning a private citizen.
I still find it problematic and unnerving that private companies wield this power–that private entities make pretty consequential determinations. The decisions and the power seem like something that should go through a democratic process.
If true, this seems like good justification, though:
(Man, the security at the Capitol and WH better be on point. No excuses.)
This is how it’s supposed to look now.
Trump is the only POTUS to be impeached twice
Someone said something about this that I agree with: If this is true, then this makes a stronger case for impeachment. Trump has been inciting violence from his supporters for most of his time in office.
Some other points.
I heard Dana Bash of CNN say that the vast majority of Republicans are voting against impeachment because they want power, not because they fear for their safety and the safety of their family.
Also, Democrats have also been threatened.
If I’m not mistaken, Trump was saying this to a crowd of his supporters, some of whom got a chuckle out of this.
Consider using the following lens to examine Trump’s actions since the election
Ben-Ghiat is a historian who studies authoritarians. She discusses the attitude of authoritarians when they are about to lose power and actions they take to exact revenge, including actions to hinder democracy.
Case in point:
Experts warn of vaccine stumbles ‘out of the gate’ because Trump officials refused to consult with Biden team from WaPo
Is this part of Trump’s revenge?
I don’t really get this as an act of revenge. Is Trump doing this to hurt progressives and those who really oppose the death peanlty? “Cruelty is the point” is an expression I’ve heard to describe Trump and his administration. Is Trump so cruel and mean that cruelty is an end in and of itself? (Even I have a hard time believing that.)
Updated 1/14/21,6:29 AM I’m worried about more violence in the next week, and beyond
(Note: post original written on 1/12/21, 7:23 AM)
What Trump said, after he claimed his speech before the mobbing of the Capitol was “perfect,”
In spite of tacking on “I want no violence at the end,” this is closer to threat–validating the anger his supporters may feel if Congress impeaches him and the violence that may occur as a result. He’s blaming those who impeach if any violence occurs, which is closer to encouraging violence than discouraging it.
I hope violence doesn’t occur, but I know enough to feel like there’s a high enough probability to not say something like the following:
Trump’s word for one thing. Second, even if it wasn’t, what will do to prevent violence? He’s almost certainly not going to say the right things that could lessen the likelihood. I imagine he’s saying this either out of poor judgment, or his enough of his voters won’t care.
I’m pretty sure other Republicans are saying things that will make them look really bad if a tragic act of violence occurs.
I haven’t read the op-ed or the memo referenced, but if true, this is damning to Trump and his enablers. The lies about the election have increased the chance of violence from domestic extremist groups.
This is the kind of thing that warrants worry or at least concern:
I’m hearing people call for a virtual inauguration, and I’m down with that. I know that is a kind of black mark on our democracy–as is the current heighten security presence in Washington D.C. But I see this as a small price to pay. Additionally, I see what’s happening in the larger context of the nation facing an existential threat–namely, majority groups (e.g., whites, Christians, etc.) sense their loss of their higher status. Trump and his minions, including the Fox News, have been exacerbating this situation by intensifying their fears and anger. To me, this does pose an existential threat. I don’t think this anger and fear are going to just go away. Indeed, I think it’s already been expressed via support for Trump and actions like the 1/6 mob rush of the Capitol. If we don’t find ways to decrease the anger and fear, I would expect more destructive expressions of it, including violent, tragic ones. Within this context, more security or a virtual inauguration is totally understandable. It doesn’t look good, but that’s the least of our concerns at this point. I don’t think we have any plan to transition from white, Christian majority to a country where these groups no longer have that status.
Prominent Christians defending Trump makes me sad
Side note: When I hear Trump supporters claim actions that harm Trump stem from hate, I wish I could make them answer the following question: If a future president does something similar, would it warrant the a similar reaction. In this case, if a future president baselessly questions the integrity of an election for months, lies about the election results/process, using language that incites violence, and a mob ransacks the Capitol, with five people dying as a result, would this warrant impeachment? I feel like this approach would be clarifying, at least for people who are reasonable and fair-minded.
“This is not who we are.”
That’s a phrase I often heard in response to some awful words or actions by Trump. I uttered these words myself in these situations. But the phrase is not entirely accurate. It’s not the the complete story. This is a part of who we are–the worst part of us. It is not who we want to be. Americans have higher aspirations–we seek a more perfect union, implying that we haven’t reached that perfection yet. This aspirational component is a critical part of who we are–and this aspirational component was totally missing from the Trump regime. He was a demagogue and con man– invoking and preying upon the very worst parts of us to maintain his power. He was an authoritarian, a bully, an ignorant narcissist. Yes, this is all a part of who we are, too. But this was never who we wanted to be.
To me, America is at it’s best when we honestly and humbly recognize our failings, but continue to strive for our most treasured ideals–“all men are created equal,” we judge by one’s “content of character, not the color of their skin,” that no man is above the law, not even the President of the United States. And this also describes our best presidents–they recognize our failings, apologize for them, but they don’t give up on our ideals–they keep striving for them and keep urging us to do so as well. That’s who we are.
Yeah; I hate this phrase. You hear it all the time when people in sports do stupid stuff, or maybe it just seems like it to me because I consume so much sports media.
I actually don’t hate it. I think it’s one of those phrases that exist because a more accurate description would be clunkier and not sound as good. For example, here are some alternate phrases that better capture the the meaning I think people mean to convey:
This does not accurately reflect our values.
This violates are values and does not reflect who we aspire to be.
Or something like that. But, “This is not who we are” is more concise and has more umph, I think. But then it can be misleading, but the actions might actually reflect an unpleasant truth.
Do you hate it because it’s trite? Or sometimes not really true (i.e., it “is who you are”)?
I hate it because it’s a cliche and for the reasons you gave when you brought it up. If I did it, it’s who I am. Now what am I going to do so I don’t do it again?
Oh yeah, it’s cliched, and you don’t like cliches. I don’t know why I didn’t realize that right off the bat.
This sounds right.
If this is the worst thing that happens, in the next several hours, I think we should be thankful.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff worried Trump would attempt a coup