Friday, December 11, 2020

America stood strong against Trump’s assault

 The Constitution and the Guerriere, by Thomas Chambers (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

     When Donald Trump was elected president four years ago, I was struck by something: My two sons, then 19 and 21, did not seem to share my alarm. They didn’t seem worried that the country might descend into some totalitarian nightmare. They barely seemed to notice.
     I asked my older son about it.
     “Our institutions are strong,” he replied, with a shrug.
     One of the rare areas where the American exceptionalism we imagine for ourselves actually does exist. In much of the world, you can’t get a document stamped without first greasing the clerk. To get into a hospital in China, one must walk the corridors, handing out bribe money. You might not get a bed unless you buy it.
     American isn’t perfect, and the past four years have been a master class in just how imperfect we are. The crazed, I’m-not-wearing-a-mask individualism-run-amuck. The general denial of uncomfortable realities, whatever they may be, which must be grounded in the malevolent ignorance of racism. Trump came in slurring Mexicans and goes out (please, God) trying to void the votes of Black people.
     Nothing to celebrate. But my son turned out to be completely correct. Our institutions were strong, in three ways worth noting.
     First, the electoral system. The fraud that Donald Trump foams about isn’t there. Nada. Just another lie, albeit a big, loud, relentless one. . .

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  1. I must disagree.
    The Senate totally failed us when he was impeached. Moscow Mitch refused to allow an actual trial.
    Various House committees sent subpoenas to multiple government agencies & they refused to comply with them & some may still be litigated in federal court.
    The IRS refused to hand over his tax returns to the House committee, which is required by law & nothing happened to the IRS head.
    Two key departments of the Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Economic Research Service (ERS) was moved to Kansas, just so they could get rid of the experts who ran it. Part of the reason was that these two departments kept issuing reports on climate change, which the drumpf maladministration insists is a Chinese hoax.
    Or did you forget how that Heinrich Himmler wannabee, Attorney General William Barr, brought in prison guards from all over the country, & illegally used DC National Guard helicopters to attempt to blow those same protestors away & violently evicted peaceful protestors from Lafayette Square, so drumpf could walk to a church & hold up a bible?
    I haven't seen any DC National Guard members court-martialed for following an illegal order, something which is taught & ingrained to all US military personnel!
    That rotten excuse for a Treasury Secretary has withdrawn about $400 million from a plan with the Federal Reserve to help out in the pandemic, even though drumpf's own appointee Jerome Powell who is Fed chairman says that money is desperately needed to bring the economy back.

    This is a maladministration of criminals, who at this very moment have over 100 drumpfpublican House members & 17 state AGs supporting an Insane lawsuit by the already indicted Texas AG to overturn & throw out the votes in several states.
    The term for that is SEDITION!

    We came incredibly close to having an insane, deranged & demented dictator running this country & the worst part is that there are numerous supporters of his running for president in 2014, all of whom also want to be dictators!
    Tom Cotton, Sean Hannity & that weaselly Tucker Carlson all want to run as drumpf surrogates!

    1. I agree. This is only the beginning. Hitler's first attempts at power were thwarted as well - but we all know what transpired later. Well, some of us know what history tells us. We have photographic evidence to back it up, regardless of what the white nationalists and Orange Emperor would have us believe. I am not hateful but I am fearful. I am a liberal through and through, but with little faith in humanity's ability to come to fairness and reason when supported by a republican leadership that would align themselves with this embarrassment of a President and all of the insane rhetoric he spews. I am fearful we will go as sheep, not unlike those during the Holocaust.
      Ironically, The Second Amendment might be our only salvation for protecting ourselves from the heavily armed fascist horde of white nationalist Trumpism. I may sound as looney as the tea partiers, but I do see correlations between the rise of the Nazi party in Germany and the psychological dog whistles orchestrated by Stephen Miller and his ilk.

  2. I think you misread the column, Clark St. You seem to be reacting to an "EVERYTHING WORKED!" column. I didn't write that. I wrote that these three institutions held, and in doing so thwarted Trump's grab for power. You aren't responding to that, but to something entirely different. I'm only responsible for what I write, not for what others imagine was written.

    1. If the institutions have held, as you claim & which I just don't believe, then it's only by a thread & the drumpfpublicans want & are desperately trying to make that thread break, so they can install a dictator!

    2. Well, I don't want to spike the ball before we get into the end zone, but I think that the belief that Joe Biden will become president Jan. 20 is more than a "claim," and true whether you believe it or not. The fragility of the thread is a given.

  3. The column points out the strengths of our institutions and their ability to withstand the forces intent on destroying it - but i am not as hopeful. The only thing that has saved our democracy has been our unity against outside forces intent on destroying it. Now we have Americans who would willingly and happily partner with the Russian kleptocracy if it would help them to destroy the opposition. They actually seem to admire Putin strong-man style rulership.
    The most un-American of any political persuasion. Anything that isn't exactly as they want it is illegitimate and should be destroyed.
    Cowards. They are so fearful that they can't see coexisting with anything that would shake their political beliefs. Not political realities. They don't seem to deal with realities, only narratives and whatever they are told - unable to listen to anything that disagrees with their entitlement. 74 million Karens.
    If Trump had won 8 million more votes than Biden it would have been heralded as a landslide and a mandate by his supporters to dismantle the bureaucracy and install Trump as lifelong ruler. But since it turned out the other way around they call it a Fraud. They are willing to destroy the fundamentals of American democracy in order to install their chosen messiah. Unreal.

  4. we're ok for now, but it's only temporary. the relative smoothness of the elections in GA, arizona and wisconsin (all still legislatively controlled by the reds) will be one-offs, and republicans, having learned their lessons will clamp down even further on honest elections. other states will follow and be supported by the courts. mitch will again deadlock everything and, as a result, the razor thin house majority will flip red. that will then lead to a presidential loss in 2024, our last election.
    i'm sorry, but i'm 74 years old and have been watching this coming for several years. true, we held on by our fingernails this time, but the reprieve is only temporary, the worst is yet to come.

    1. Next time, we may not be so lucky. If the Republicans can find an nominate a younger, smoother, more charismatic, and less abrasive candidate, one who's a Trumpist without the bluster and bullying and bullshit that characterized Orangy the Clown, we may yet get Our Hitler in 2024, our last election. Of course, if we're really unlucky, we'll get him sooner, after our Second Civil War, and 2020 will have been our last election.

      Joe is a good and decent man, but it's doubtful he can do much more than postpone the inevitable. It's too late. The Plague of 2020 has enlarged the Great Divide into a Grand Canyon. Other than a burning hatred for liberals and leftists, the GOP's only cause is now the Lost Cause, that of turning back the clock to a mythical past that never was, and restoring the deposed Mad King to the throne. The lost causes are the ones that the true believers fight the hardest for. Ask the Japanese. Ask an unreconstructed Southerner.

      The old guy in the front seat is about to wrestle the wheel away from the lunatic in the driver's seat, but the bus is still headed for the cliff. It's been a long, bumpy ride. Fifty, sixty years of it, not just four or five. And now the abyss is plainly visible in the windshield, rising up to meet us...and to engulf us.

  5. In my opinion the most useful analogy for Trump is Joe McCarthy, in several respects. McCarthy was also a loud, ignorant lout who freely dispensed childish insults and slander. Lying came as naturally to him as breathing. His Senate Republican colleagues, with a few exceptions, despised him and knew perfectly well how toxic he was to the national discourse. But they were either terrified of him and his army of loyal, rabid followers, or, like Senate Majority Leader Robert Taft, cynically used him for short-term political advantage.

    This all fits the Trump mold. McCarthy differed in that he looked terrible on TV, the medium that made Trump what he is, and he collapsed and drank himself to death once he faced concerted opposition. Trump, I fear, will continue tweeting and making trouble until the Republican Party finds its balls and finally marginalizes him.

  6. While this is a strong column and an optimistic one, I would note that not all of our institutions are strong. Trump has gotten away with far more than he ever should have. The "checks and balances" have been feeble. The Senate, "the world's greatest deliberative body," or some such bullshit, is paralyzed by the whims and intransigence of one man, the Majority Leader. Important legislation tabled. Inferior judges rubber-stamped. A man who "serves" the nation with naked partisanship as his overriding motivation. A man who hamstrings the entire populace during a pandemic courtesy of 1.2 million votes in a country of 330,000,000 people.

    Which brings us to another crippled institution. The Supreme Court. In a truly "exceptional" America, the Supreme Court would have refused to accept Neil Gorsuch as a member, nor any other justice appointed in place of Merrick Garland, who should rightfully be on the court. Now, likely for a generation, 3 zealous nominees appointed by Trump will help wreak havoc on our nation, as they have already begun to do.

    1. as it turns out the Supreme Court declined to hear the case brought by the AG of Texas , joined by several other states and supported with friend petitions by over one hundred members of congress and PO(TU)S. our institutions have held! even with trump installing allies he thought would back him. they didn't . they stood for the constitution and the right of the people to choose the people who choose the next president. thank god. I don't mean that literally .


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