Saturday, June 10, 2017

Does Trump Have Any Credibility Left? How About Paul Ryan?


Someone needs to explain to Señor Trumpanzee what "exonerated" and "vindicated" mean. No matter where you woke up Friday-- red state, blue state, purple state, there were no newspaper headlines talking about vindication. They were all talking about how we're saddled with a compulsive, manipulative liar in the White House. Even Karl Rove, in an OpEd for the Wall Street Journal took the opportunity to slam Trump this week-- as did widely-followed right-wing activist Erick Erickson.

Trump, wrote Rove, "may have mastered the modes of communication, but not the substance, thereby sabotaging his own agenda... [Señor Trumpanzee] lacks the focus or self-discipline to do the basic work required of a president... his chronic impulsiveness is apparently unstoppable and clearly self-defeating. He added Trump routinely disregards basic fact checking, making "the already considerable doubts Americans have about his competence and trustworthiness" worse day by day. Rating for were so high for TV (almost 20 million Americans watched Comey's testimony-- as though it were an NBA final) that broadcast media stocks went up while he was speaking. All those folks watching Comey continuously assert that Trump is a liar-- with no a single Republican claiming he isn't-- and then seeing that repeated endlessly on TV for 2 days hasn't hurt Trump's trustworthy and honest ratings among voters-- already the lowest anyone can remember for any president. Erickson actually tried to defend Trump but wound up writing that "we know President Trump lies regularly" and that "the public will latch on to Comey as the honest broker." Trumpanzee, he reminds his Republican readers, "only won because he convinced 70,000 people in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan that he was not as bad as Clinton... if there are at least 70,001" voters who decide to take Comey’s word over Trump’s, the GOP will be in very big trouble for the 2018 midterms.

And his 2 horrid sons have been molded to be just like him

Friday NBC's Chuck Todd began the day writing about Trump's credibility gap.
After former FBI Director James Comey accused President Trump, under oath, of lying and possibly obstructing justice, Trump and his lawyer fired back, trying to turn it all into a he said-he-said dispute. “Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication...and WOW, Comey is a leaker!” Trump tweeted this morning (after a two-day hiatus). The problem here for Trump: The president has used up so much of his credibility after:
Misstating the size of his inaugural crowd.
Claiming that 3-5 million “illegals” voted in the 2016 election.
Accusing Barack Obama of wiretapping him.
Boasting, incorrectly, of achieving “the biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan.”
And that’s just the tip of the fact-checking iceberg. “In a credibility battle between Trump and Comey, everybody knows Comey is going to win that war,” Adam W. Goldberg, a former associate special White House counsel under Bill Clinton, tells the New York Times... [T]his is important: In a battle over credibility, one person (Comey) has testified under oath; the other one (Trump) hasn’t. And one person (Trump) has raised the possibility of having “tapes” of their conversation but has not produced them; the other (Comey) is begging for any tapes to be released. "Lordy, I hope there are tapes," Comey told Congress.

...Tellingly, the Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee paid no heed to the talking points distributed in advance by the Republican National Committee at the behest of the White House. Instead of attacking Mr. Comey’s credibility, as the R.N.C. and Donald Trump Jr. did, the Republican senators praised him as a patriot and dedicated public servant. They largely accepted his version of events, while trying to elicit testimony that would cast Mr. Trump’s actions in the most innocent light possible.
I didn't include the headline from the Denver Post in the collage up top. Instead, let me quote to you what voters in Republican Congressman Mike Coffman's very vulnerable swing district in the suburbs south and east of Denver were reading today (an area Hillary won convincingly-- 50.2% to 41.3%):
Whatever happens with the investigations into President Donald Trump’s campaign and his firing of FBI Director James Comey, significant damage has been done to the president’s reputation that brings into stark question his ability to lead.

Even if Trump isn’t implicated in colluding with the Russians, even if none of his campaign staffers are found guilty, Comey’s sworn testimony and the known facts about his firing cripple the president’s credibility.

Comey’s testimony portrays a president who only cares about loyalty to himself, and not loyalty to all Americans. By repeatedly pressuring the then director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to swear allegiance to him, Trump betrayed America. He never reversed this error, and kept talking about the necessity of personal loyalty with Comey until the day he fired him.

Trump denies everything, of course. But who can believe him? He’s proven himself wonderfully skilled at telling lies.

...Trump’s only values are the constantly shifting ones he conjures to win for himself a favorable news cycle.

Even if he survives these investigations, his credibility going forward will be forever tarnished unless he’s able to reform.

Bob Inglis is a conservative Republican who was a South Carolina congressman. He pointed out that Trump isn't the only liar leading the Republican Party. Ryan has fully embraced the tactic and completely shot whatever remained of his own credibility as well. He's been trying to mislead voters by lying about the impact of TrumpCare, by lying about Trump's draconian budget and by lying about House Republican efforts to cement their ties with Wall Street by giving them the biggest legislative bonanza in decades.

Wisconsin iron worker and union activist Randy Bryce, who is rumored to be about to declare his much-anticipated candidacy for Paul Ryan's congressional seat told us this morning that "Ryan is still making excuses for Trump’s obvious incompetence. He told us to to cut him some slack because he’s 'new at this.' All kinds of French words run through my mind after hearing that because I specifically heard Trump boasting about how much better he was than everyone else running for the job of President. He’d have us all think that he is smarter than all of the generals. At what point can we expect Republican leadership to put the concerns of the country over that of their plans to destroy the country? I don’t think that we can. Our current government has become more corrupt than at any other time in history. Those who refuse to abide by the oaths that they took are complicit in the illegality. Every one of them needs to be removed and replaced. I’m looking forward to doing my part. Speaker Ryan-- the clock is ticking."

Trump accusing Comey of lying under oath, isn't going to help his own credibility. And coupled with Lyin' Ryan's casting scruples to the wind with regular alacrity, the party is taking on a certain undeniable odor. One thing seems certain: these Republican politicians are way more concerned about themselves than they are with the American people.

Another person who noticed how badly Ryan is hurting himself-- and his party-- is Brian Beutler who made the point at the New Republic that Comey's testimony won't just hurt Trump but, largely thanks to Trump, the whole party. "In the midst of the most devastating testimony delivered about a sitting president in the living memory of nearly everyone serving in Congress today, the Republican speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, shuffled before microphones to say that Donald Trump--vin trying to interfere with FBI investigations-- probably just made an innocent mistake: 'The president’s new at this. He’s new to government and so he probably wasn’t steeped in the long-running protocols that establish the relationships between DOJ, FBI and White Houses. He’s just new to this.' Ryan wants us to imagine Trump sitting alone in the White House with only his intellect and his muscle memory as his guides. He asks us implicitly to forget that Trump has a White House counsel, a vice president with years of governing experience, and an attorney general who campaigned with him for a year, all at his behest to instruct him. He asks us, again implicitly, to forget that Trump pierced the veil meant to separate the White House and FBI, to corrupt the rule of law, and that he then fired FBI Director James Comey, lied about why, and confessed-- to NBC’s Lester Holt, and to senior Russian officials in the Oval Office-- that he did it to remove “the cloud” of Comey’s investigation of his campaign.
It is an article of faith in Washington that no revelation about Trump’s conduct, no matter how severe, could convince Ryan and members of his conference to launch an impeachment inquiry. As dispassionate political analysis, this may well be true. It would certainly be foolish to believe the opposite-- that Trump’s impeachment is a certainty.

But for everything we know about Trump’s conduct already, all this means is that the ethical and strategic conduct of Republicans in Congress should now be as heavily scrutinized as Trump’s. Republicans may not know what they’re covering up, but covering up they are; and they may believe they’re acting in their own political self-interest, but they almost certainly are not.

Bracketing everything we know about Trump’s potentially illegal behavior almost makes the GOP’s somber indifference to his conduct in office more damning. Trump, we were reminded Thursday, is an abject liar who doesn’t even seem to understand the concept of the public interest. In his testimony, Comey asserted that he began his practice of taking notes after every encounter with Trump before the inauguration because he became “concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting.”

Comey used variants of the word “lie” repeatedly, as if to correct for the fact that reporters and news outlets are reluctant to use it themselves.

...Ryan’s special pleading on Trump’s behalf already requires him to insult the public’s intelligence. He may have sunk so much cost into his complicity that he sees no option other than to sink more. Rather than take the hits as they come, he should consider the predicament he’ll face if Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller refers an obstruction of justice complaint to Congress. Like Comey, Mueller is a former prosecutor and FBI director. If he tells Congress, in so many words, that Trump would face a federal indictment were he not the president, will Ryan still reconcile himself to ignoring the crisis he’s helped inflict on the country?
Let's give David Frum the last word on this: "Friends of the president will reply that the Comey hearing did not produce a smoking gun. That’s true. But the floor is littered with cartridge casings, there’s a smell of gunpowder in the air, bullet holes in the wall, and a warm weapon on the table. Comey showed himself credible, convincing, and consistent. Against him are arrayed the confused excuses of the least credible president in modern American history."

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At 11:14 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

Excellent, Howie!

This just keeps going on and on ad nauseum. A rolling horror show. The clown show has long been left behind. This is very serious.

The impact of Trump and the Republicans on our country will continue to unfold and dishearten many Americans. Good, in a way, although very unfortunate. People must see reality right in front of their faces, as so many have not as yet. Hey, Kansas is waking up - the state is in terrible financial trouble and even the Republicans have seen reality.

Trump and the Republicans must be stopped, they all must be thrown out of office. They do not represent us or what is good for this country. They are liars and manipulators who are driving us into an abyss. Another financial meltdown will occur sooner rather than later with their current b.s. underway in Congress to demolish controls on the banks. Are they insane? Obviously they just do not care. This is what they want against all common sense. The banks unfettered. I do not think Americans will tolerate another bailout on our dime without major consequences, i.e., prison. (Obama you failed us big time on the and some of this is your faults. Most Americans would have supported criminalizing the banisters' efforts.) Trump should wind up in an orange jumpsuit. Traitor on his forehead?

Every day he has not dropped a nuke is a good day.

At 5:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He has no credibility with us, never did. So this is overkill.

He has credibility with his worshippers. Just like the cat'lick popes, his flock presumes him to be infallible. Popes have collaborated in the holocaust, conducted wars, had kids some of whom also became pope, had gay sex parties and harems of young men for same in the Vatican and a whole long list of other "infallible" stuff. The drumpfsterfire has had hooker pee parties, proudly committed sexual assault, defrauded subcontractors, defrauded customers, defrauded students and a whole long list of other "infallible" stuff including reported rapes.

You just have to realize that SOME americans are just nucking futs and totally delusional.

At 6:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ryan reads Ayn Rand and thinks it's real. And the other one can't read.

I feel like Lloyd Bridges in "Airplane," I picked the wrong time to give up....

At 3:01 AM, Anonymous Ascah said...

Good look into perspective

At 5:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, credibility *IS* in the eye of the (stupid) beholder.

Clearly, WI stupids find ryan's peculiar belief system credible.

And 62 million American voters hold the drumpfsterfire's peculiarities as credible, not that more than a few of them can even understand that concept.


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