Trump on Trump — 74 Seconds To Get You Warmed Up

Wrong about birtherism; wrong about the Central Park Five; wrong to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners and commit the U.S. to withdraw from Afghanistan by May, 2021; wrong about hydroxychloroquine.  Etc. etc.

But give the man his due: when he’s right, he’s right!



It’s Not Illegal When the President Does It

Most rejected Nixon’s assertion. (Seven seconds.  Watch.)

But even the few who might agree that a sitting president is above the law, Constitutional checks and balances notwithstanding — well, what about when former presidents do something?  Like fail to relinquish Top Secret documents?

Former Republican George Conway says DOJ filing has Trump ‘dead to rights’.



“Lock HER Up” — But We’ll Riot in the Streets If You Prosecute HIM

Greg Sargent debunks the false equivalency of their misdeeds here.


. . . [Lindsey] Graham is not just threatening political violence. He’s providing an invented rationale for it that is deeply dangerous.


There was a time when Trump-supporting senators saw Trump for who he is.

“Any time you ignore what could become an evil force, you wind up regretting it,” Lindsey Graham concluded presciently, referring to the “race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot.”  (“You know how to make American great again?” he once asked. “Tell Donald Trump to go to hell.”)

Marco Rubio, before twice voting to block the January 6 investigation:  “Leadership is not inciting people to get angrier. That’s not leadership. You know what it is? That’s called demagoguery.”



Which brings us, finally, to the point.

Demagoguery.

Is it okay to use the F word?

About a guy who kept a book of Hitler’s speeches by his bedside?  Who “would like to punch him in the face”?  Who, like Stalin, assails the press as the “enemy of the people”?  Who embraces strongmen?  Who mocks the disabled, dehumanizes asylum-seekers, insults “shit-hole countries,” invents a “war on Christmas” — and incites an armed mob to gather for a rally and then march on the Capitol?

Can he be called a fascist?  A semi-fascist?  A fascist wannabe?

Can the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers and Klansmen and Q-Anon-ers and FOX commentators who support him be called these things?

The view from the MAGA Republicans is a resounding NO!

Just as Putin’s millions of nationalist supporters are convinced he and they are righteously fighting to “liberate” (and de-Nazify!) Ukraine, so are Trump’s supporters genuine in their admiration of Trump, and as certain they are true patriots.

There are really two questions here:

  1. Is it fair to use the fascist (or “semi-fascist”) label?
  2. Even if it is, is it wise?

As to the first, depending on your definition, it seems to me arguably early to do so — while arguing, also, that the most ardent MAGA Republicans sure seem headed in that direction.

Would Trump like to be President for life, like Putin and Xi and Kim?  I kinda think so — don’t you?

Would his most besotted followers like to see that, too?  Even if it means no longer allowing free and fair elections?  It sure seems that way.

As to the second question, I think the F word needs to be deployed, if at all, only with qualification, always acknowledging that the large majority of Trump voters are fine people who embrace the same values most Democrats do . . .

. . . and even many of the same non-extreme policy positions (e.g., a Roe-like middle ground on abortion, sensible gun-safety reform, reasonable taxation of the super-rich).

Most of them, I think, do not want to see America lose her democracy and slip down a fascist slope.

And so, as we ponder how, if at all, to use the F word, I leave you with Tom Nichols’s excellent recent essay: Is It Okay To Use The F-Word?



Have a great Labor Day and great week to come!

 

 

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