Tag Archives: Republicans
Heaven Help Us All
Marjorie Taylor Greene is running for re-election for the state’s 14th Congressional district of the Great State of Georgia and she is expected to win., which should tell you much about the 14th Congressional district she represents. To many Georgians, including this one, she is an embarrassment. Her usual countenance is that of someone who is mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore.
This writer has only just now finished reading the article being presented in its entirety. The writer of the article is “Maureen Dowd, winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary and author of three New York Times best sellers, became an Op-Ed columnist in 1995.
WASHINGTON — Are we ready for our new Republican overlords?
Are we ready for an empowered Marjorie Taylor Greene?
Are we ready for a pumped-up, pistol-packing Lauren Boebert?
“How many AR-15s do you think Jesus would have had?” Boebert asked a crowd at a Christian campaign event in June. I’m going with none, honestly, but her answer was, “Well, he didn’t have enough to keep his government from killing him.”
The Denver Post pleaded: “We beg voters in western and southern Colorado not to give Rep. Lauren Boebert their vote.”
The freshman representative has recently been predicting happily that we’re in the end times, “the last of the last days.” If Lauren Boebert is in charge, we may want to be in the end times. I’m feeling not so Rapturous about the prospect.
And then there’s the future first female president, Kari Lake, who lulls you into believing, with her mellifluous voice, statements that seem to emanate from Lucifer. She’s dangerous because, like Donald Trump, she has real skills from her years in TV. And she really believes this stuff, unlike Trump and Kevin McCarthy, who are faking it.
As Cecily Strong said on “Saturday Night Live” last weekend, embodying Lake, “If the people of Arizona elect me, I’ll make sure they never have to vote ever again.”
Speaking of “Paradise Lost,” how about Ron DeSantis? The governor of Florida, who’s running for a second term, is airing an ad that suggests that he was literally anointed by God to fight Democrats. God almighty, that’s some high-level endorsement.
Republicans seem to be surging heading into November, with Democrats struggling to break through, as voters turn their focus from abortion to crime and inflation. Even if the polls are as off, as pollsters fear, all signs seem to be pointing toward a strong showing for the G.O.P.
For months now, Times Opinion has been covering how we got here. Chloe Maxmin and Canyon Woodward argued that Democrats abandoned rural America. Alec MacGillis traced how the party ignored the economic decline of the Midwest. And Michelle Cottle described the innovative Republican ground game in South Texas.
Opinion has also been identifying the candidates who could define the future of their party. Sam Adler-Bell captured the bleak nationalism of Blake Masters, the Arizona Republican challenging Senator Mark Kelly. Christopher Caldwell described the transformation of J.D. Vance, the venture capitalist from Ohio who went from Trump critic to proud member of the MAGA faithful. Michelle Goldberg traveled to Washington state to profile Joe Kent, a burgeoning star on the right.
And throughout this election cycle, Opinion has held discussions with groups of experts – hosted by Frank Bruni, Ross Douthat and others – that have followed the season’s twists and turns, from reviewing the primary landscape to a Democratic backlash against the Dobbs decision which gave way to a Republican surge in the fall. And we paused to consider the mysteries of polls and the politically homeless along the way.
Much to our national shame, it looks like these over-the-top and way, way, way out-of-the mainstream Republicans — and the formerly normie and now creepy Republicans who have bent the knee to the wackos out of political expediency — are going to be running the House, maybe the Senate and certainly some states, perhaps even some that Joe Biden won two years ago.
And it looks as if Kevin McCarthy will finally realize his goal of becoming speaker, but when he speaks, it will be Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jim Jordan and Lauren Boebert doing the spewing. It will be like the devil growling through Linda Blair in “The Exorcist” — except it will be our heads spinning.
Welcome to a rogue’s gallery of crazy: Clay Higgins, who’s spouting conspiracy theories about Paul Pelosi, wants to run the House Homeland Security Committee; Paul Gosar, whose own family has begged Arizonans to eject him from Congress, will be persona grata in the new majority.
In North Carolina, Bo Hines, a Republican candidate for the House, wants community panels to decide whether rape victims are able to get abortions or not. He’s building on Dr. Oz’s dictum that local politicians should help make that call. Even Oprah turned on her creation, Dr. Odd.
J.D. Vance, the Yale-educated, former Silicon Valley venture capitalist and author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” who called Trump “America’s Hitler” in 2016, before saluting him to gain public office, could join the Senate in January. Talk about American Elegy.
Even though he wrote in his best seller that Yale Law School was his “dream school,” he now trashes the very system that birthed him. Last year, he gave a speech titled “The Universities Are the Enemy”: His mother-in-law is a provost at the University of California San Diego.
It’s disturbing to think of Vance side by side with Herschel Walker.
Walker was backed by Mitch McConnell, who countenanced an obviously troubled and flawed individual even if it meant degrading the once illustrious Senate chamber.
Overall, there are nearly 300 election deniers on the ballot, but they will be all too happy to accept the results if they win.
People voting for these crazies think they’re punishing Biden, Barack Obama and the Democrats. They’re really punishing themselves.
These extreme Republicans don’t have a plan. Their only idea is to get in, make trouble for President Biden, drag Hunter into the dock, start a bunch of stupid investigations, shut down the government, abandon Ukraine and hold the debt limit hostage.
Democrats are partly to blame. They haven’t explained how they plan to get a grip on the things people are worried about: crime and inflation. Voters weren’t hearing what they needed to hear from Biden, who felt morally obligated to talk about the threat to democracy, even though that’s not what people are voting on.
As it turns out, a woman’s right to control her body has been overshadowed by uneasiness over safety and economic security.
To top it off, Trump is promising a return. We’ll see if DeSantis really is the chosen one. In Iowa on Thursday night, Trump urged the crowd to “crush the communists” at the ballot box and said that he was “very, very, very” close to deciding to “do it again.”
Trump, the modern Pandora, released the evil spirits swirling around us — racism, antisemitism, violence, hatred, conspiracy theories, and Trump mini-mes who should be nowhere near the levers of power.
Heaven help us.
Lock Kelly Loeffler Up!
Two United States Senators, Richard Burr, from North Carolina, and Kelly Loeffler, from Georgia, both Republicans, have been caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar. Excerpts from an article written by The Editorial Board of the New York Times follow, with a focus on Senator Loeffler. Loeffler was appointed to the seat vacated by Johnny Isakson by the Republican Governor, Brian Kemp. Kemp obtained office by thwarting eligible voters from voting, even when called on to resign his position as Georgia’s Secretary Of State. It is the Secretary of State who controls voting, proving it’s not just who votes, but who counts the vote. (https://whowhatwhy.org/2018/11/02/its-not-just-who-votes-its-who-counts-the-votes/)
In Georgia, as in much of the South, this has just been ‘business as usual’. The woman has no background in government. Her only qualification is MONEY! I cannot help but wonder what it cost the woman to become US Senator? When the COVID-19 virus runs its course this will change because the volcano is rumbling as I write.
Kelly Loeffler should have already resigned the office of US Senator. Since she has not resigned, the woman should resign IMMEDIATELY! Read on and you will understand why…
Kemp taps Kelly Loeffler, financial exec, to US Senate seat (https://www.ajc.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/breaking-kemp-taps-kelly-loeffler-financial-exec-senate-seat/cKraGpntwpFivAz0kYPFkL/)
Did Richard Burr and Kelly Loeffler Profit From the Pandemic?
At least two senators engaged in suspiciously timed stock sales. All stock trades by members of Congress should be barred.
By The Editorial Board
March 20, 2020
Crisis often brings out the best in a people. As the coronavirus spreads its devastation, countless Americans are stepping up to perform acts of heroism and compassion, both great and small, to aid their neighbors and their nation.
Then there are certain not-so-inspiring members of the United States Senate.
Richard Burr, Republican of North Carolina, and Kelly Loeffler, Republican of Georgia, are in the hot seat this week, facing questions about whether they misused their positions to shield their personal finances from the economic fallout of the pandemic, even as they misled the public about the severity of the crisis. According to analyses of their disclosure reports filed with the Senate, the lawmakers each unloaded major stock holdings during the same period they were receiving closed-door briefings about the looming pandemic.
These briefings were occurring when much of the public still had a poor grasp of the virus, in part because President Trump and many Republican officials were still publicly playing down the threat. Instead of raising their voices to prepare Americans for what was to come, Mr. Burr and Ms. Loeffler prioritized their stock portfolios, in a rank betrayal of the public trust — and possibly in violation of the law.
It is unclear precisely what information about the pandemic either Mr. Burr or Ms. Loeffler received in the briefings before their stock sales. But any use of nonpublic information in guiding such dealings would have been not only unethical but almost certainly illegal. Lawmakers and their aides are explicitly barred from using nonpublic information for trades by the STOCK Act of 2012 (the acronym stands for Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge). Mr. Burr of all people should know this, since he was one of only three senators to vote against the bill.
As chairman of the Intelligence Committee, Mr. Burr is privy to classified information about threats to America’s security. In February, his committee was receiving regular briefings about the coronavirus. He is also a member of the Health Committee, which, on Jan. 24, co-sponsored a private coronavirus briefing by top administration officials for all senators.
Ms. Loeffler, who also sits on the Health Committee, is in a similarly sticky situation. On the very day of the committee’s coronavirus briefing, she began her own stock sell-off, as originally reported by The Daily Beast. Over the next three weeks, she shed between $1,275,000 and $3.1 million worth of stock, much of it jointly owned with her husband, who is the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange. Of Ms. Loeffler’s 29 transactions, 27 were sales. One of her two purchases was of a technology company that provides teleworking software. That stock has appreciated in recent weeks, as so many companies have ordered employees to work from home.
Early Friday, Ms. Loeffler issued a statement asserting that neither she nor her husband is involved in managing her portfolio.
Even as she was shedding shares, Ms. Loeffler was talking down the threat of the coronavirus. “Democrats have dangerously and intentionally misled the American people on Coronavirus readiness,” she tweeted on Feb. 28, assuring the public that the president and his team “are doing a great job working to keep Americans healthy & safe.”
As anxiety spread, she talked up the economy. “Concerned about the #coronavirus?” she tweeted on March 10. “Remember this: The consumer is strong, the economy is strong & jobs are growing, which puts us in the best economic position to tackle #COVID19 & keep Americans safe.”
Faced with calls for his resignation from across the political spectrum, Mr. Burr on Friday issued a statement insisting that his stock sales had been based solely on public information and that he had asked the Senate Ethics Committee to “open a complete review of the matter with full transparency.”
There is pressure for Ms. Loeffler to step down as well, and the recent stock dealings of other senators are now being dissected — as well they should be.
One might have expected lawmakers to be more circumspect about even the appearance of self-dealing after what happened to the Republican Chris Collins, the former congressman from New York, who was sentenced to 26 months in prison earlier this year after pleading guilty to insider trading charges. While at a White House picnic in June 2017, Mr. Collins repeatedly called to alert his son that a small pharmaceutical company in which the family was deeply invested had failed a critical drug trial. Based on the not-yet-public information, Mr. Collins’s son unloaded his holdings in the company, avoiding hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses.
“What I’ve done has marked me for life,” Mr. Collins said tearfully at his sentencing hearing in January.
Apparently, more needs to be done to protect lawmakers from themselves. Last May, two Democratic senators, Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, introduced legislation requiring members to place personal investments in a blind trust, or hold off on making any trades, during their time in office. They would also be prohibited from serving on corporate boards.
There may, of course, be perfectly reasonable explanations for what, initially, appears to be illegal — and morally reprehensible — behavior. Mr. Burr and Ms. Loeffler deserve the opportunity to provide those explanations. The Senate should initiate an ethics investigation of all accusations, and, if warranted, refer relevant findings for criminal prosecution
That said, explicit criminality aside, the real scandal here is the way in which these public servants misled an already anxious and confused public. In times of crisis, the American people need leaders who will rise to the occasion, not sink to their own mercenary interests.
Jimmy Carter Calls For Georgia Secretary Of State’s Resignation In Personal Plea
Sen. Kelly Loeffler denies allegations of insider trading
Potential conflicts of interest pose test for Kelly Loeffler, new Georgia senator
Sen. Kelly Loeffler Dumped Millions in Stock After Coronavirus Briefing
Dumpster Trumpster and Republican Scum
We take a break from the ongoing book review before the final installment appears, hopefully, soon.
After posting on October 29 I read the venerable New York Times the old fashioned way and had ink stains on my hands to prove it. I regularly read the Paul Krugman column as I have done for who knows how many years now. There was another op-ed on the opposite of the page, Trump Got Booed. Can I Smile? written by Jennifer Weiner. It begins, “Most weeks my Mondays unfold in a well-practiced routine: brush teeth, wash face, walk dog. This morning, I added a new step: spend 15 minutes scrolling through Twitter to see whether anyone had synced that delicious footage of President Trump’s face falling on Sunday — as the World Series crowd is booing him — with the R.E.M. song “Everybody Hurts.”
That particular song never entered my mind. The one that did enter my mind was published that day. I made a mental note to check out the lyrics to the song and finally got around to it today.
There was another applicable op-ed by one of the regular op-ed writers, Michelle Goldberg, titled, In Praise of ‘Human Scum’. I took it for granted it pertained to the scummy human currently residing in the Oval Office, located inside the White House. Donald Scumbag Trump called the People’s House, “A real dump.” (https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-the-white-house-is-a-real-dump) It was never a dump until Donald J. Dumpster entered the House. Michelle begins her op-ed:
“I’m often incredulous at Republican servility to Donald Trump. I’ve struggled to understand how people who’ve spent a lifetime chest-beating about patriotism can be so willing to burn liberal democracy to the ground to protect a man they wouldn’t trust to sell them a used car.”
Donald Dumpster is no aberration. The Dumpster Trumpster IS the personification of the Republican party. The Republican party has been circling the drain for decades. Donald PoppinJay Trump was the one who finally led the Republican party down the drain.
There should no longer be a Republican political party. The Republicans should be consigned to the Dumpster, never to see the light of day again in the way the German Nazi party was forced to hide, like roaches, in dark places. That is because Republicans are ‘Human Scumbags’ on their better days. On other days they are simply ‘scum’. I have come to think of Republicans as “scummy bears.” They continue to win elections by rigging the vote and making if as difficult as possible, if not impossible, for certain Americans to vote. Why would anyone who believes in democracy vote for any Republican? The only people who continue to vote for Republicans are the kind of people who would have felt comfortable at a Nazi rally listening to Adolph Hitler spew his vitriol. Keep the aliens; send the Republicans back, or to Hell, so they can stop hurting We The People.
Produced by R.E.M. & Scott Litt
Album: Automatic for the People
When the day is long
And the night, the night is yours alone
When you’re sure you’ve had enough
Of this life, well, hang on
Don’t let yourself go
‘Cause everybody cries
And everybody hurts
Sometimes everything is wrong
Now it’s time to sing along
When your day is night alone (Hold on, hold on)
If you feel like letting go (Hold on)
If you think you’ve had too much
Of this life, well, hang on
‘Cause everybody hurts
Take comfort in your friends
And everybody hurts
Don’t throw your hand
Don’t throw your hand
If you feel like you’re alone
No, no, no, you’re not alone
If you’re on your own in this life
The days and nights are long
When you think you’ve had too much
Of this life to hang on
Well, everybody hurts
Sometimes, everybody cries
And everybody hurts
And everybody hurts
So, hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
No, no, no, no, no, you’re not alone
Stacey Abrams vs Brian Kemp
is currently the Republican nominee for Governor of Georgia in 2018. In the Georgia Gubernatorial Republican Primary Election, 2018, Mr. Kemp finished second, with 154,913 votes, good enough for 25.5% of the vote.
the current Lieutenant Governor of Georgia, finished first with 236,498, which was 39.0% of the vote. Things changed in the runoff between the two candidates as Mr. Kemp received 406,638 votes, or 69.45% of the vote, while Mr. Cagle received 178,877, which was only 30.55% of the votes cast.
What happened to Casey Cagle?
Portraits of a Casey Cagle collapse
By Isaac Sabetai
As soon as he announced his run in April 2017, the lieutenant governor became the Republican front-runner. He raised in excess of $11.5 million — more than double the man who beat him in the runoff, Brian Kemp — and amassed a long list of endorsements.
None of that mattered. Cagle won just 31 percent of the vote in a two-person runoff race. That was a drop of 8 points compared with his performance in a crowded primary election.
By Election Day, Cagle trailed with 44 percent of all early voters to 56 percent for Kemp. The fallout from a secret recording where Cagle admitted to supporting “bad public policy” to undercut a rival candidate and Donald Trump’s endorsement of Kemp had wiped him out.
Mr. Cagle was called a “reasonable Republican,” as if such a thing exists there days. Brian Kemp ran as a “politically incorrect conservative.” That is a quote, which can be found in this advertisement:
Much of Kemp’s success has been attributed to the above, and the one below:
Obviously, many of the Georgia Republicans liked what they saw, and heard.
Brian Kemp’s opponent for Governor of Georgia in 2018 will be Stacey Abrams.
Stacey Yvonne Abrams (born December 9, 1973) is an American politician, lawyer, romance novelist, and businesswoman who served as Minority Leader of the Georgia House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017.
“Though Abrams is widely considered an underdog, the possibility of her victory is real.”
The future election has garnered much media coverage the world over because Ms. Abrams is “…the first black woman in American history to win a major party gubernatorial nomination.” The whole world will be closely watching this election.
Can Stacey Abrams Turn Georgia Blue?
Georgia is changing as the graph below from the article shows:
The next graph illustrate how much the state of Georgia has changed as most of the new people move into larger metropolitan areas:
Other articles of interest:
Stacey Abrams is in debt and much has been and will continue to be made of this fact by Republicans.
Stacey Abrams: I’m running for governor and am $200,000 in debt
Yahoo Finance July 26, 2018
Stacey Abrams is running for Governor in Georgia. She would be the first black woman to be elected governor of a state in American history if she were to win the election. But she faces some major roadblocks.
The office of governor was staunchly Democratic in Georgia until Sonny Perdue was elected in 2002. He was reelected in 2006 and was succeeded by another Republican, Gov. Nathan Deal, in 2010.
Abrams wrote an op-ed for Fortune in April, in which she argued her personal debt shouldn’t disqualify her from running for governor. She owes more than $227,000 in credit card debt, student loan debt and back taxes. She also owes $178,500 in real estate debt and $4,434 on a car loan (but since those are assets as well as debt, we haven’t included it in our breakdown of what she owes).
She isn’t alone. Millions of Americans are in debt. In fact, the total household debt in America is $13.2 trillion, according to the New York Fed, and balances are rising on most kinds of debt; credit cards were the only debt to see balances decline in the first quarter of 2018.
Higher profile politicians have struggled with debt, including former presidential hopeful Marco Rubio. When Rubio was first elected to the Florida legislature in 2000, he reported around $150,000 in student loan debt as well as $30,000 as assorted credit and retail debt, according to the New York Times.
The current Governor of Georgia is Nathan Deal,
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
or as I prefer to think of him, Nathan “Raw” Deal; or Nathan “Asleep at the Wheel” Deal, as he continued to sleep while Georgia suffered, grinding to a complete halt during a blizzard.
Georgia gov.: “We did not make preparations early enough”
Last Updated Jan 30, 2014 3:29 PM EST
ATLANTA — Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal took responsibility Thursday for the poor storm preparations that led to an epic traffic jam in Atlanta and forced drivers to abandon their cars or sleep in them overnight when a storm dumped a couple of inches of snow.
“Raw” Deal was over TWO MILLION DOLLARS in debt when he became Governor of Georgia.
A few years things had changed dramatically:
How Nathan Deal Became A Millionaire while Governor
by Alan Wood September 26, 2014
Stacey Abrams owes about one tenth what “Raw” Deal owed when becoming Governor of Georgia.
After the last US Presidential election, in which the Trumpster was out voted by THREE MILLION VOTES nationally, Democratic Georgia Congressman John Lewis, who had his skull fractured while in the streets protesting “Jim Crow” laws in the South, has called Trump an “Illegitimate President.” Which begs the question, “Why did US citizens with dark pigmentation need to be out in the streets protesting for rights given to each and every citizen of the USA over one hundred after the war of Northern aggression?”).
Simply put, there are many people in Georgia (and the nation) who will NEVER vote for a person who is not white.
After the election I received an email from a former Chess player who exclaimed, “Look at the map. It’s almost all red!”
Although he had a point, I pointed out to him that most of that red area consisted of fewer people than the blue areas in and around the larger cities. This can be verified by reading this article:
Am Extremely Detailed Map of the 2016 Election
Bu Matthew Bloch; Larry Buchanan; Josh Katz; and Kevin Quealy
Once, the late Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, Jr., Speaker of the House of Representatives, told someone that, “All politics is local.” https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a36522/how-all-government-is-local-and-thats-how-it-dies/
I live in a small city surrounded by much farm land and other small cities. Franklin county is composed of almost 90% white and about 10% “Black, or African American,” according the the official US Census.
In the last Presidential election 7054 (83%) people voted for Putin’s Puppet; 1243 (15%) voted for Hillary Clinton.
I did not vote, not that it mattered. When young I voted. The Viet Nam “police action” (It was NOT a WAR!) was happening and my life was on the line. I used to decry the fact that “old people” with one foot in the grave were voting when voting is about the future, and those folks lived in the past. Now I am that old person and I still believe the citizens with their lives before them should make the choices which will affect the rest of their lives. The last time I voted my vote was given to my Mother, who was dying of cancer. The absentee vote did not arrive in time, so I told her I would vote for the candidate for whom she would have cast her ballot, which was Republican Bob “Dour” Dole. After voting for Bob I told my Mother the vote had been cast while holding my nose. She laughed.
Life Chess Master David Vest, the only man to hold both the title of Georgia Chess Champion, and Georgia Senior Chess Champion, was fond of asking, “Are we moving forward?” Republicans are fond of calling themselves “conservative.” They do not want change, and many wish to go back to what they call the “halcyon” days. If they had the choice to make many of them would return to an earlier time when there were water fountains for “White” and “Colored” people. I am old enough to recall the separate water fountains. I hope this country chooses to move forward in the next election cycle, and the one coming in 2020.
We Americans are the world, which is why America is called the “melting-pot.” If there is any hope for the world it is only the people who embrace change that hold any hope for the country and the world. I learned a long time ago that an old, rigid tree will crack and fall in a storm, while a younger, more flexible tree will bend with the wind, and remain upright after the wind abates. I have, therefore, tried to embrace change during the course of my life, because change is the way of life. The next election, and possibly the next one, will be called the “Year of the Woman.” That is change, and I have absolutely no problem with the change. Old white men have made a complete mess of things. Maybe it is time We The People acknowledge that fact and lend our support to the women. After all, they cannot be worse than the Trumpster.
The Quisling-in -Chief
A Quisling and His Enablers
By Paul Krugman
June 11, 2018
This is not a column about whether Donald Trump is a quisling — a politician who serves the interests of foreign masters at his own country’s expense. Any reasonable doubts about that reality were put to rest by the events of the past few days, when he defended Russia while attacking our closest allies.
We don’t know Trump’s motivation. Is it blackmail? Bribery? Or just a generalized sympathy for autocrats and hatred for democracy? And we may never find out: If he shuts down the Mueller investigation and Republicans retain control of Congress, the cover-up may hold indefinitely. But his actions tell the story.
As I said, however, this isn’t a column about Trump. It is, instead, about the people who are enabling his betrayal of America: the inner circle of officials and media personalities who are willing to back him up whatever he says or does, and the wider set of politicians — basically the entire Republican delegation in Congress — who have the power and constitutional obligation to stop what he’s doing, but won’t lift a finger in America’s defense.
It’s important to understand that the fight Trump is picking with our allies isn’t about any real conflict of interest — because they are not, in fact, doing the things he accuses them of doing. No, Canada and Europe aren’t imposing “massive tariffs” on U.S. goods: A vast majority of U.S. exports enter Canada tariff-free, and the average European tariff is only 3 percent. These are simple facts, not disputable issues.
So Trump is justifying his attempt to destroy the Western alliance by accusing our allies of misdeeds that exist only in his imagination.
The same thing may be said about his claim that Canada’s Justin Trudeau somehow betrayed him and undermined the Group of 7 summit meeting. In reality, Trudeau’s remarks at the end of the conference were restrained and conventional, simply asserting — as any normal leader would — that he would defend his nation’s interests. The Trump rage-tweet that followed was responding to an insult that, like those “massive tariffs,” exists only in his imagination.
But that’s Trump, a man whose presidency has been marked by around seven false statements per day in office. What about his officials?
Well, they have been acting like the courtiers in the old story about the emperor’s new clothes. (The emperor’s new hairpiece?) If the boss says something whose falsity is obvious to anyone with eyes to see, they’ll claim to believe his version.
So Larry Kudlow, the administration’s chief economist (actually “economist,” but that’s another story) went on TV to declare that Trudeau “stabbed us in the back.” Peter Navarro, the administration’s chief trade expert (“expert”) went even further, repeating the stab-in-the-back line and declaring that Trudeau faces a “special place in hell.”
Remember when people used to imagine that Trump would be restrained by officials who would put some check on his worst impulses? Maybe that happened for a few months, but at this point he’s entirely surrounded by sycophants who will tell him whatever he wants to hear.
Still, America isn’t a monarchy — not yet, anyway. Congress has the power to check a president who seems to be betraying his oath of office. It can even remove him; but short of impeachment, there are many ways members of Congress could act to constrain Trump and limit the damage he’s doing.
But Congress is controlled by Republicans. And their response to a president whose actions are manifestly not just un-American but anti-American has been … a few sad tweets from a handful of senators who are unhappy about Trump’s behavior but not willing to do anything real. Most Republicans haven’t even gone that far: They’re just silent.
Why are Republican politicians unwilling to discharge their constitutional responsibilities? Relatively few of them, one suspects, actually want a trade war, let alone a breakup of the Western alliance. And many of them, one also suspects, are well aware that a de facto foreign agent sits in the Oval Office. But they are immobilized by a combination of venality and cowardice.
On one side, tax cuts for the rich have become the overriding priority for the modern G.O.P., and Trump is giving them that, so they’re willing to let everything else slide.
On the other side, the party’s base really does love Trump, not for his policies, but for the performative cruelty he exhibits toward racial minorities and the way he sticks his thumb in the eyes of “elites.” So any Republican politician who takes a stand on behalf of what we used to think were fundamental American values is at high risk of losing his or her next primary. And as far as we can tell, there is not a single elected Republican willing to take that risk, no matter what Trump does.
What all this tells us is that the problem facing America runs much deeper than Trump’s personal awfulness. One of our two major parties appears to be hopelessly, irredeemably corrupt. And unless that party not only loses this year’s election but begins losing on a regular basis, America as we know it is finished.