Saturday, June 04, 2016

Republican Politicians Find Themselves Hopelessly In Trump's Toxic Embrace


Claiming Trump is the lesser of two evils-- as many, if not, most of his Republican congressional supporters now do-- won't save the GOP from Trumpism. When asked if Trump would make a good president, top Oklahoma establishment Republican, Tom Cole, couldn't say he would. "He's a work in progress... To me this is a question of alternatives. I'm comfortable that he will be a better president than Hillary Clinton." Paul Ryan, Trump's latest reluctant endorser-- one who wants everyone to know he is holding his nose when doing so-- "did not," points out the Associated Press, "express support for any of Trump's policies"-- nor for "his confrontational style." Ryan: "he clearly says and does things I don't agree with and I've had to speak up on time to time when that has occurred, and I'll continue to do that if that's necessary-- I hope it's not."
Several other Trump backers on Friday had trouble detailing which of his policies they support and expressed continued concern about his temperament as president.

And, keeping the candidate at arm's length, still others reassured nervous colleagues by citing constitutional protections that could help limit the risks.

"I still believe we have the institutions of government that would restrain someone who seeks to exceed their constitutional obligations," Arizona Sen. John McCain told the New York Times. "We have a Congress. We have the Supreme Court. We're not Romania."

"Our institutions, including the press, are still strong enough to prevent" unconstitutional acts, he said.

New York Rep. Peter King, another Trump backer, suggested his party's resistance to the New York businessman is fueled by his outsider status. While Trump has long been a political donor, he has no direct experience in governing and remains unfamiliar to many GOP leaders.

"It's not like the boardroom when you can just fire somebody. He's not going to be able to fire Nancy Pelosi," King told the AP on Friday. "It's not a question of intelligence or ability but is he ready for all the uncertainties that go with politics and government?"

Georgia Sen. David Perdue offered a simple message for his reluctant colleagues: "Get over it. Do you want Hillary Clinton?"

"I mean, that's the alternative," the Republican senator told the AP. "This is not about whether we're agreeing with every single thing Donald Trump says. We never agree 100 percent with any presidential candidate."

...GOP operative Tim Miller, among a shrinking group of vocal anti-Trump Republicans, offered a warning to any party leaders who believe they can influence Trump by joining his campaign.

"If you sign up with Trump, you get unadulterated Donald and all the bad that comes with it," he said.
Every Republican-- from Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McCarthy right down through House backbenchers proudly wearing "Make America Great Again" baseball caps like Cresent Hardy and Rod Blum-- who embraces Trump will be tarred and scared by his toxicity. The cartoon above depicts Florida's corrupt Trumpist Attorney General Pam Bondi, one of Trump's earliest supporters in Florida, whose name was even bandied about as a possible running mate for a time. When Florida students started complaining they were being ripped off and conned by Trump's so-called "university," a scam operation set up to separate desperate people from their money, Pam Biondi was one a group of both Democratic and Republican attorneys general across the country to file suit. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman declared it a "straight-up fraud." Greg Abbott, then Teaxs' Republican Attorney General, now the state's governor, opened a civil investigation of "possibly deceptive trade practices."

Bondi and Abbott were different from other Attorneys General inasmuch as they both accepted bribes from Trump to drop their states' suits. AP reported that "Abbott's probe was quietly dropped in 2010 when Trump University agreed to end its operations in Texas. Trump subsequently donated $35,000 to Abbott's successful gubernatorial campaign, according to records... Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi briefly considered joining with Schneiderman in a multi-state suit against Trump University. Three days after Bondi's spokeswoman was quoted in local media reports as saying the office was reviewing the New York lawsuit, the Donald J. Trump Foundation made a $25,000 contribution to a political fundraising committee supporting Bondi's re-election campaign. Bondi, a Republican, soon dropped her investigation, citing insufficient grounds to proceed."

It's hardly a secret that Greg Abbott and Pam Bondi are corrupt politicians who take payoffs and Trump, who brags about buying politicians, is hardly the first criminal to bribe Bondi and Abbott for special treatment. But the attention to Trump University as a criminal enterprise is embarrassing to both of the ambitious politicians now. When Adam Liptak reported in yesterday's NY Times that scholars see Trump as a threat to the rule of law, callow political hacks like Bondi and Abbott, as well as pusillanimous members of Congress, from Lamar Smith and Jeb Hensarling in Texas to Lee Zeldin and Peter King on Long Island, were very much on his mind. "Trump’s blustery attacks on the press," he wrote, "complaints about the judicial system and bold claims of presidential power collectively sketch out a constitutional worldview that shows contempt for the First Amendment, the separation of powers and the rule of law, legal experts across the political spectrum say. Even as much of the Republican political establishment lines up behind its presumptive nominee, many conservative and libertarian legal scholars warn that electing Mr. Trump is a recipe for a constitutional crisis."
With five months to go before Election Day, Mr. Trump has already said he would “loosen” libel laws to make it easier to sue news organizations. He has threatened to sic federal regulators on his critics. He has encouraged rough treatment of demonstrators.

His proposal to bar Muslims from entry into the country tests the Constitution’s guarantees of religious freedom, due process and equal protection.

And, in what was a tipping point for some, he attacked Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel of the Federal District Court in San Diego, who is overseeing two class actions against Trump University.

Mr. Trump accused the judge of bias, falsely said he was Mexican and seemed to issue a threat.

“They ought to look into Judge Curiel, because what Judge Curiel is doing is a total disgrace,” Mr. Trump said. “O.K.? But we will come back in November. Wouldn’t that be wild if I am president and come back and do a civil case?”

David Post, a retired law professor who now writes for the Volokh Conspiracy, a conservative-leaning law blog, said those comments had crossed a line.

“This is how authoritarianism starts, with a president who does not respect the judiciary,” Mr. Post said. “You can criticize the judicial system, you can criticize individual cases, you can criticize individual judges. But the president has to be clear that the law is the law and that he enforces the law. That is his constitutional obligation.”

“If he is signaling that that is not his position, that’s a very serious constitutional problem,” Mr. Post said.

Beyond the attack on judicial independence is a broader question of Mr. Trump’s commitment to the separation of powers and to the principles of federalism enshrined in the Constitution. Randy E. Barnett, a law professor at Georgetown and an architect of the first major challenge to President Obama’s health care law, said he had grave doubts on both fronts.

“You would like a president with some idea about constitutional limits on presidential powers, on congressional powers, on federal powers,” Professor Barnett said, “and I doubt he has any awareness of such limits.”

...Post said there was a difference between Mr. Obama’s view of executive power and that of Mr. Trump. “Whatever you think of Obama’s position on immigration, he is willing to submit to the courts,” he said. “There is no suggestion that he will disobey if the courts rule against him.”

Several law professors said they were less sure about Mr. Trump, citing the actions of another populist, President Andrew Jackson, who refused to enforce an 1832 Supreme Court decision arising from a clash between Georgia and the Cherokee Nation.

“I can easily see a situation in which he would take the Andrew Jackson line,” Professor Epstein said, referring to a probably apocryphal comment attributed to Jackson about Chief Justice John Marshall: “John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it.”

November isn't just about the White House. Believe me, no matter who the next president is, we are going to need as many strong progressive members of Congress as possible. nd that isn't something we can leave up to the corrupt conservative DCCC. Please consider contributing to the grassroots campaigns of the progressive Blue America congressional candidates who are opposing the vile Trumpist Republicans here:
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At 2:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arizona Sen. John McCain told the New York Times. "We have a Congress. We have the Supreme Court. We're not Romania."
A large number of US soldiers are stationed in Romania at this moment and you, McCain, you TRAITOR , just
put in DANGER their life and well being, This mistake will cos you your political future. MARK MY WORDS!!!!


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