Tuesday, May 16, 2017

How Much Damage Will Trump Do Before The Republicans In Congress Grow A Pair?


Yesterday an OpEd in USAToday, which ran before the reports about Trump feeding two top Russian spies classified information, asked Can American Democracy Survive Donald Trump? I suppose it depends whose crystal ball your looking at. USToday's Brian Klaas compares Trump to Turkey's authoritarian would-be dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan and wrote that it's hard not to see parallels between Trump and Erdogan.
There is reason to be hopeful. American democracy has robust institutions and the framers designed resilient checks and balances. The Constitution provides an ingenious model that has survived every threat for 230 years. Any would-be despot or demagogue faces long odds against it.

Yet Trump is deeply damaging American democracy as he tests its limits. That damage will last well beyond his time in office and will be extremely difficult to repair. As with sand castles, it’s far easier to destroy democracy than to build it. Trump’s abuses of power and his administration’s assault on the truth are the latest waves of attack.

If lying were an Olympic sport, the White House would have won gold, silver and bronze this week. They tried to convince the American people that Trump acted for noble reasons, unrelated to the Russia investigation. Vice President Pence, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and of course the Usain Bolt of “Alternative Facts” herself, Kellyanne Conway, all deceived the American people. They aimed to show that there was no conflict of interest, no authoritarian effort to undermine an active and ongoing investigation into the Trump team.

...We must accept a deeply shocking and unfortunate truth: the president of the United States is a man who not only admires despots, but mimics them. He aspires to their strength. He loathes constraints placed upon him by democratic institutions like the press (“enemy of the people”); Congress (“obstructionists!”); and the courts (“so-called" judges that he blamed for any future terror attack). Those constraints deter his worst authoritarian impulses. That’s why they are under constant attack from Trump’s White House.

In the past, democracies used to die with a bang-- a coup d’état, a war or a revolution. Now, more democracies are dying slow deaths. In places like Hungary or the Philippines, they wither, as a power-hungry president gets away with one authoritarian abuse after another. Opposition gets bullied into submission. The goalposts of what is deemed acceptable within the democracy shift. Previously unthinkable transgressions become routine (sound familiar?). And over time, democracy hollows out to just a shell of its former self-- as it did in Erdogan’s Turkey.

The response to Comey’s firing is a crucial moment for American democracy. If Trump gets away with it free from serious consequences, as Erdogan did, then it will encourage further authoritarian abuses. Just as worrisome, it will also chill future opposition to Trump, as he successfully sends the message that anyone who challenges him will be fired. Rule of law will weaken. The beacon of American democracy will dim even further.

That is, unless citizens stand up for democracy, stand against authoritarian abuses of power, and insist that their elected officials do the same.
Is Klaas, author of The Despot's Accomplice and a fellow at the London School of Economics too mainstream of a source for you? How about someone from the murky right-wing fringe? Ann Coulter, anyone? She used to say she worships him and in an interview on Sunday she said she's ready to turn on Señor Trumpanzee.
So there’s no wall, and Obama’s amnesties look like they are here to stay. Do you still trust Trump?

Uhhhh. I’m not very happy with what has happened so far. I guess we have to try to push him to keep his promises. But this isn’t North Korea, and if he doesn’t keep his promises I’m out. This is why we voted for him. I think everyone who voted for him knew his personality was grotesque, it was the issues.

I hate to say it, but I agree with every line in my friend Frank Bruni’s op-ed in the New York Times today. Where is the great negotiation? Where is the bull in the china shop we wanted? That budget the Republicans pushed through was like a practical joke… Did we win anything? And this is the great negotiator?

Are you going to be apologizing to these Never Trumpers?

I don’t apologize for supporting Trump. He said all the right things and nobody else would even say it. I suppose it’s possible that another politician who really meant it would come along. There’s Kris Kobach, Tom Cotton, Jeff Sessions…there are probably a handful of politicians.

I got to tell you when I wrote Adios America” I thought there was a 10 percent chance of saving the country. On the evening of November 8, I thought, “Wow we have a 90 percent chance now, this is a chance that comes a long once every thousand years, we can save America now.”

And now, I don’t know, I’m someplace between 10 percent and 90 percent.

How much blame does congressional leadership deserve?

I do, of course, blame Congress most of all. They are swine. They only care about their own careers. Who knows how much of it is corruption and how much of it is pure stupidity? People should start sending Paul Ryan bricks to indicate how much we want the wall.

They are the opposition party to Donald Trump. This is really something we’ve never seen before. The president stands alone, it’s his own political party, he’s Gary Cooper. All we have is millions of Americans behind him, but he doesn’t have anybody in Washington behind him.

...It’s just that it has been such a disaster so far, and that General Kelly is so preposterous, and McMaster-- did you see him at that press conference? I thought he was retarded. You have to link to that video.

I’ve never actually heard anyone other than liberals mocking their idea of a stupid Republican say, “Murica.”

[Trump] might not have realized how intense the opposition was going to be. Not on everything. Nobody else would have done the trade deals, that is to save American jobs. But they are not going to complain and massively resist on trade. They are not going to massively resist him on things like tax cuts. They are going to love for him to go to war, we have to try to resist him on that.

The one thing he will get massive resistance from every source in Washington including his “own party” is immigration.

...I think all of the Trump true believers are petrified.



At 12:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

USA Today & Ann Coulter?

You demean yourselves.

I would suggest Counterpunch, Consortium News and Chris Floyd.

John Puma

At 6:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Voters have already dispensed totally with democracy. We've already iteratively affirmed the destruction of most of the bill of rights and a vastly expanded exec. Congress has repeatedly repudiated their own responsibilities as doc'd in the constitution as THEY cede more and more power to the exec.

The end result of this is the cessation of elections and a truly despotic exec selected perhaps in our final charade of elections and permanently ensconced via martial law in response to some crisis, real or imagined or artificially created.

How much (more) damage will this dipshit do? He'll finish the job. Nobody will act to stop him. The R congress is fully supportive of this guy (or pence) as their dick-tater. They lust to take 300 million people's money, kill 60 million of them and deport another 20 million. This is their guy. It's over.

At 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Republicans will only act to ensure that no person or group interrupts Drupmf's destruction of the American Government, so that the radical "conservative" goal of the installation of a corporatist dictatorship can be installed to rule. Profits Uber Alles!

At 3:03 PM, Blogger samuel glover said...

Look, the very same Republicans who described Trump as the sworn enemy of motherhood and puppies and life itself -- before his nomination -- started fiercely competing for Biggest Bootlicker award the nanosecond his nomination was a done deal. There are perhaps two national-level Republicans (Amash, maybe possibly Paul, Jr. on a good day) who seem to believe in certain principles and act on them. The rest are really the lowest kind of opportunistic cowards.

So how much damage would Trump have to do before Republicans utter a peep? A helluva lot. And the beautiful thing is that it would have to be "damage" to Republicans' own prospects. America they simply don't give a fuck about. To this day Republicans deny that whole swathes of the U.S. citizenry are "real" Americans. Erasing their elementary voting rights is an unspoken pillar of Republican "politics" -- anti-politics.


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