Saturday, October 31, 2020

How Is It Possible? 40% Want This Shit Stain On History To Get Another 4 Years In The White House



Sociopath by Chip Proser

The U.S. is finishing up it's worst week-- in terms of new cases-- since the pandemic began... while the Trumpist regime is screaming from the rooftops that it's over, over, over, cured by Señor T. On Wednesday the U.S. reported a total of 81,811 new cases. On Thursday there were 91,834 new cases reported. Yesterday it was another 101,461 new cases, bringing the total to 9,316,297 cases. This was accompanied by 1,030 new deaths on Wednesday, 1,041 new deaths on Thursday and 988 new deaths Friday, bringing the total of Americans killed by Trump and his enablers to 235,159.

Many Americans imagine that when Trump leaves the White House we'll rarely hear from him again or that he'll spend the rest of his life being tried and in prison. But no American president has ever gone to prison and it is a stretch to imagine someone as inherently conservative as Biden will allow anything like that. writing for Politico Magazine, Garrett Graff, an author and historian, put together a realistic look at what Trump night actually do after he's ousted. The definition of Trump Graff uses to help construct his case is simple and straightforward: "A restless figure with few interests outside his own business and political career, no hobbies besides playing golf at his own properties and few traditional friends, Trump thrives on public attention and disruption; this, after all, is a man who couldn’t even spend an entire weekend cooped up inside a hospital while ill with Covid-19 earlier this month and had to take a joyride around Walter Reed Medical Center to wave to supporters." He concludes that "the Trump Era is unlikely to end when the Trump presidency ends [but with a] post-presidency as disruptive and norm-busting as his presidency has been-- one that could make his successor’s job much harder." The historians, government legal experts, national security leaders and people close to the administration consulted by Graff for his piece "outline a picture of a man who might formally leave office only to establish himself as the president-for-life amid his own bubble of admirers-- controlling Republican politics and sowing chaos in the U.S. and around the world long after he’s officially left office."
“Can he continue to make people not trust our institutions? Can he throw monkey wrenches into delicate negotiations? Absolutely,” one former Trump administration official says. “He can be a tool. He’ll be somewhere between dangerous and devastating on that extent.”

A president unwilling to respect boundaries in office is almost certain to cross them out of office. Experts envision some likely scenarios-- a much-rumored TV show and plans to use his properties to profit off his lifetime Secret Service protection, perhaps even continuing to troll the Biden administration from his hotel down Pennsylvania Avenue-- and some troubling if less certain ones, like literally selling U.S. secrets or influence to foreign governments.

Trump has already mused that maybe he’ll leave the country if he loses, but few expect him to willingly depart the American public stage. He would leave the White House with one of the largest social media platforms in the world-- including 87 million Twitter followers-- and a large campaign email list with a demonstrated small-dollar fundraising capability that could be used to aid other MAGA-friendly politicians-- or, just as likely, to sell Trump’s own wares. And he’s presumably going to need every dollar he can squeeze from his businesses and the office he will have just left. As the New York Times has been documenting, Trump has $421 million in debt coming due in the years ahead. If he leaves office, he’ll have to be busy raising the cash to pay it off.

...“He’s still the leader of a movement,” says Nancy Gibbs, a journalist and historian who co-wrote The Presidents Club about the lives of former presidents. “I’m hard pressed to recall a past president who left office with a movement intact that wasn’t transferred to someone else. I don’t see him giving it up.”

Which means, from even those first minutes, Trump’s post-presidency would almost certainly be unlike anything America-- or the world-- has ever experienced. Assuming he’s able to settle any legal challenges arising from the presidency and doesn’t spend the rest of his days in tax court in New York state, Trump as a 74-year-old man has a normal life expectancy of around 11 years, and most former presidents actually far outlive the average American, so he might have a couple decades to disrupt the world’s most exclusive club of ex-presidents.

“It’s a safe bet that many of the rules and patterns of past presidents will not apply to him,” says Gibbs. “I long ago stopped putting limits on what he might do or sell. There are no boundaries.”

A career salesman will find himself with more connections around the world than he’s ever had before-- and also with more grievances against people he feels mistreated him and forced him from office prematurely. “I put two years as the over-under on groundbreaking for Trump Tower Moscow,” says one former national security official. “It’ll be a huge F.U. to all the Russia coup plotters.”

...As he leaves office, Trump would have the chance to decide how and where to set up his post-presidential life—and where to direct a spigot of taxpayer dollars that will continue to flow to him for the rest of his life. Former presidents are eligible for a range of taxpayer-paid benefits, including a roughly $200,000-a-year pension for life, about a million-dollars-a-year for travel and office expenses, and so-called “franking privileges,” the ability to send mail postage-free. The law does stipulate that such offices have to be inside the U.S., so that would prohibit Trump from using the funds to set up his office in, say, a non-extradition country.

Trump would even have the right to use a special government-owned townhouse on Lafayette Square, across from the White House, reserved exclusively for former presidents visiting Washington, although it seems hard to imagine Trump foregoing the chance to stay in his own hotel just down Pennsylvania Avenue.

...Where Trump will set up “home” is an open question: He moved his voting residence from New York to Florida last year-- so it seems unlikely he’ll return to set down roots in Manhattan-- but in converting the 17-acre Mar-a-Lago into a private club, he agreed years ago that he couldn’t live there year-round and the club closes for the unpleasant Florida summer, so he’ll have to find a second home elsewhere. If he declares that he’ll be living permanently at some combination of Mar-a-Lago, Bedminster, Trump Tower in New York, and the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C., the Secret Service might well be paying millions of dollars to the Trump Organization for years to come.
Then there's the possibility of a Donald J. Trump Presidential Library (and garish theme park), which you'll need go to the link to read about.
It’s possible that, if he loses reelection, Trump may wake up January 21 in Mar-a-Lago and find himself exiled and forgotten by a Republican Party eager to move past him. It’s possible too that Trump will decide to forget about Twitter, bury @realDonaldTrump and live out his days quietly golfing with his friends and admirers and holding court at the Mar-a-Lago buffet in the evenings, before settling in to watch Sean Hannity’s show in peace and silence.

Possible, but unlikely. Trump, unloved by his father, has spent his entire life craving public adulation and attention and possesses a unique-- almost algorithmic-- understanding of how to maximize the spotlight shining on himself. Almost everyone agrees he seems likely to want to remain in the public eye-- setting up a novel circumstance where a new president might assume office while being critiqued publicly minute-by-minute or hour-by-hour by his predecessor.

Ex-presidents of both parties usually go out of their way to stay quiet, at least for some period of time after leaving office. In March 2009, in his first speech as a former president, George W. Bush said he wouldn’t critique Obama at all. “He deserves my silence,” Bush said. Eight years later, in their first meeting post-election, Obama told Trump, “We now are going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you succeed, then the country succeeds.” Later, explaining why he’d stayed almost silent even as the Trump administration unraveled so much of his legacy, Obama said in 2018 as he eased back onto the public stage, “Truth was, I was also intent on following a wise American tradition of ex-presidents gracefully exiting the political stage and making room for new voices and new ideas. We have our first president, George Washington, to thank for setting that example.”

It’s nearly impossible to imagine Trump’s abiding by any of those sentiments—it’s hard to even imagine Trump’s Twitter fingers staying still all the way through a Joe Biden inaugural address.

Meanwhile, there’s reason to believe the Republican Party may not be quick to turn on Trump, even if he’s badly defeated on Tuesday.

In fact, ironically, the bigger the GOP wipeout that accompanies a Trump defeat, the more Trump would likely continue to control the remnants of the party. Trump’s ascendency since 2016 has dramatically rearranged the ranks of the Republican Party in Washington and nationally; roughly half of the 241 Republicans who were in office in January 2017 at the start of his term are already gone or retiring. Any sort of broad loss on Tuesday would further wash away the very swing districts and candidates most inclined to move beyond Trump, leaving just the most solidly Republican districts-- GOP areas where Trump’s approval ratings remain sky-high and whose representatives would conceivably be the last to risk abandoning him. Republican candidates even far down the ballot are competing over who loves Trump more, and Trump’s scattershot approach to policy-making and betrayal of long-held conservative beliefs means the only ideology that unifies his party today is adulation of him (and, perhaps, the QAnon conspiracy theory). The intellectual inconsistency of the current party was made all too clear by the summer decision at the Republican National Convention to forego a traditional party platform and simply offer a blanket endorsement of whatever Trump wanted to do in a second term.

Instead, Trump-- and his all-powerful Twitter feed and fundraising list-- might become the party’s most reliable megaphone and kingmaker, akin to the role Sarah Palin played in 2010 amid the rise of the Tea Party after her 2008 defeat as John McCain’s running mate. In that sense, it’s possible that the 2022 midterms and the 2024 presidential race would actually be the most MAGA-friendly GOP primaries yet, conducted almost entirely on a stage designed by Trump himself, with supplicants parading through Mar-a-Lago to kiss the ring and an entire generation of GOP stars molded in his image. And that’s even before considering the Trump family’s direct influence-- say a titanic Ivanka vs. AOC campaign in New York for Chuck Schumer’s Senate seat in 2022 or Donald Jr.’s campaign for Congress (or even the presidency) in 2024, as he becomes the next-generation MAGA standard-bearer.

This path of influence might prove one of the most stable visions ahead, assuming a relative level of normalcy from a man who has time and again demonstrated anything but. In fact, this entire piece and its imagined premise of a Trump post-presidency assumes that Trump and those around him at least superficially, if not graciously, accept a loss and that he is content to just grumble loudly from the political balcony à la Statler and Waldorf in The Muppets.

There are darker visions and scenarios in which Trump never does accept a 2020 defeat, is pushed reluctantly from the White House in January, and moves to assume some more explicit mantle of a wronged leader-in-exile. Al Gore, after his acrimonious defeat, traveled across Europe and grew a beard, rather than setting up an opposition government in the lobby of the Willard Hotel across from the White House. But imagine if he had wanted to contest the election long past inauguration day?

...Almost no matter his approach to his successor-- merely disgruntled or actively hostile-- Trump will surely want to be listened to, which is why he might look for a platform to keep himself in steady communication with the national movement of the disaffected he's fostered over the last two years as he seized and remade the Republican Party.

...Rumors have long circulated that the Trump family would try to build its own media empire. Some have speculated that in 2016 Trump had been planning to launch “Trump TV” if, as even he expected, he lost the presidency to Hillary Clinton; one reporter even swore to me he saw a sign on the camera riser at Trump’s election night victory celebration reserving a spot for “Trump TV.” Earlier this year, there was conjecture that the Trump family and its backers might be interested in boosting and formally partnering with One America News (OAN), the upstart Fox challenger that has become an all-but unofficial Trump TV.
The scenarios go on forever. Keep reading if you can stomach more of this. And if you can't... remember this: Trump is the Typhoid Mary of the Covid pandemic. A CNN investigation of 17 Trump campaign rallies between August 17 and September 26 found that 14 of the host counties had an increased rate of new Covid-19 cases one month after the rally.

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At 5:51 AM, Blogger Ronnie Goodson said...

That 40% number is the one I find most disturbing. One can understand the upper classes supporting our Supreme Leader but their numbers aren't great enough to be 40% of the public. The rest must be the racist, the nationalistic and the truly desperate and dumb. These numbers don't bode well for America's future.

At 6:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WRT the 40% (of the total), remember that he only got 31% of the eligible electorata to actually vote for him in 2016.

Also remember that the rest comes to 60% (of the total). But also remember that only about half of THEM bothered to show up to vote against trump in 2016.

Yes, the non-billionaires and non-CEOs who will vote for der fuhrer ARE the racists, homophobes, misogynists and ultranationalists. And yes, they are all dumber than shit.

But temper this with the knowledge that the OTHER 30% (who vote) will be voting (against trump, but) FOR a lifelong racist misogynist corrupt neoliberal fascist and rapist, and his party of corrupt neoliberal fascists who are now the party that is also indifferent to racism, misogyny and rape.

How must you characterize THOSE voters? If you are honest, you must characterize them as pretty much just as evil and even dumber. IF you refuse to do so, YOU are either being dishonest ... or dumber than shit.

wrt trump not being prosecuted by the next guy... that is almost surely going to be true. even obamanation refused to prosecute anyone from the previous admin for war crimes and election fraud. biden may even issue a blanket pardon (applicable to federal crimes).

But states can still prosecute. NY, for instance, could prosecute him for decades of tax fraud. States where he committed rapes could choose to prosecute. States defrauded by his charities and other "businesses" could choose to prosecute. And other nations may have cause to prosecute him for any number of offenses.

I suppose, just as obamanation pressured a Spanish court to stop a war crimes investigation of cheney et al, biden could do the same thing both in states and other countries.

would any of those lefty voters notice? care? ever become self-aware? prolly not.

At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hitler was wildly popular. finally, his military tried to kill him.

Mussolini was wildly popular, until he got disemboweled and hung from a balcony.

60 million had to die first, but both died among the most hated figures ever.

trump deserves this fate. but he won't get it. he'll die in his sleep at mal-a-lago surrounded by mushroom-breathed bootlicks. Hopefully very soon.

but not before over a quarter million die.

At 11:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Over a quarter million have ALREADY died: The US’ Covid-19 death toll now stands at 235,159 [10/31/2020]

At 5:39 PM, Blogger Clif Brown said...

We have a problem that goes much deeper than the current problem of Trump.

Over 20 years ago, when Bill Clinton was president, Noam Chomsky said the following:

"...the country is very disturbed. You can see it in the polls and you can certainly see it traveling around - and I travel around a lot. There's complete disaffection about everything. People don't trust anyone, they think everyone's lying to them, everyone's working for somebody else. The whole civil society has broken down. And when you talk about the mood of the people - well, whether it's on right wing talk radio, or among students, or just among the general population, you get a very good reception these days for the kind of things I talk about. But it's scary, because if you came and told the people, "Clinton's organizing a UN army with aliens to come and carry out genocide, you'd better go to the hills." you'd get the same favorable response. That's the problem, you'd get the same favorable response. I mean you can go to the most reactionary parts of the country, or anywhere else and a thousand people will show up to listen and they'll be really excited about what you're saying - no matter what it is. That's the trouble: it's no matter what it is. Because people are so disillusioned by this point that they will believe almost anything."

At 6:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"People don't trust anyone, they think everyone's lying to them, everyone's working for somebody else."

1) he was correct then.
2) he's still correct. every politician is lying, working for the money.
3) he's compounding the problem, again and still, by calling for voters to support biden and the democraps... who are just a much a part of the problems he observed in the '90s.

when even the "good" ones advocate evil... whatcha gonna do?

At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As all polling makes very clear, as the politics in america have gone to shit, so have the americaNS themselves.

maybe someday, someone (could never be an american) will do a decent autopsy. Were the degradation of politics and the people a chicken/egg thing? Or did some event catalyze one from the other?

IMO, the people first had to get dumber than shit AND pure evil for the politics to get so bad. I mean people elect politicians... the politicians didn't used to pick their voters (they do now, but that's another autopsy).

But then I remember that civil and voting rights were passed by '66, and in '68 the proto-nazis started winning 3 in 4 elections because the racists fled the Democrats and became proto-nazis, and the proto-nazis capitalized on that fact and the electoral college scheme to give greater power to the southern states to do all that winning.

The racism (antisemitism, misogyny, homophobia...) have always been there, but before '66 it was a part of the Democratic party (because Lincoln was a Republican) and, because of FDR, were a part of the 'New Deal' which was a massive good.

chicken/egg? Or did doing the right thing in '66 end up ratfucking all of us in the long run? (look up what LBJ's lament was right after he signed those bills).



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