Tag Archives: democracy

Donald Trump and his congressional allies are a clear and present danger to American democracy

For those of you who have been distracted by other less important matters, as of today we are officially in a constitutional crisis.

The threat to our democracy is now at DEFCON 1. To paraphrase, “Now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of their country.” This is not a drill.

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee disregarded a Justice Department  letter last week to Rep. Devin Nunes, the committee’s Republican chairman, from Stephen E. Boyd, an assistant attorney general, advising him it would be “extraordinarily reckless” to release the “Nunes Memo” drawing on classified information without official review.

According to the ranking minority member on the committee Rep. Adam Schiff, and the Transcript of House Intelligence Committee Meeting Regarding the Nunes Memo, the committee chairman, Devin Nunes, despite meeting with FBI Director Wray on Sunday regarding the concerns of the FBI, refused to even hear from the FBI in the committee hearing regarding their concerns for national security sources and methods (pp.2-21):

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It should be noted that this committee hearing was the first time it was disclosed to Democrats on the committee that chairman Devin Nunes and several Republican members on his committee were conducting their own investigation into the FBI and Department of Justice, something that was not approved by a vote of the committee.

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The GOP war on law enforcement and the rule of law to obstruct justice

The Republican Party has abdicated its constitutional duties and patriotic loyalty to country, and instead has sworn fealty to an egomaniacal authoritarian madman who is the titular head of their party. GOP members of Congress are complicit in a conspiracy to cover-up and to aid and abet obstruction of justice by the Trump administration. They are accessories to a crime.

The Washington Post editorializes today, GOP leaders’ complicity grows as their members undermine the rule of law:

A FOREIGN power interfered in the 2016 presidential election. U.S. law enforcement is trying to get to the bottom of that story. Congress should be doing everything possible to make sure the investigation can take place. Instead, to protect the president of their party, who may or may not be complicit, Republican leaders in Congress are allowing and encouraging the baseless slander of the investigators.

It is a new low for the leadership, and one that could do lasting harm to the nation.

Cravenness in the Republican leaders’ response to Donald Trump is nothing new. During the presidential campaign, few stood up to his nativism and ugly ethnic slurs. Since he became president, even fewer have stood by their previous commitments to U.S. leadership abroad and fiscal responsibility at home. As he has trampled long-established norms, such as releasing annual tax returns, we’ve heard not a peep from the Article I branch.

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‘The priority of 2018 is for our nation to rise up and say: Enough’

People tend to use the new year as a reason to adopt new year’s resolutions that they soon forget or abandon. Humans are creatures of habit after all.

So to simplify things this year, there need be only one resolution or goal for 2018 in this national state of emergency: to reduce the number of Trump enablers in this photo to as close to zero as possible in the 2018 midterm elections.

GOP Mug Shot

OK, two resolutions or goals: we also need to reduce the number of Trump enablers in the Arizona legislature and state offices to as close to zero as possible.

The Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne writes, This new year, tell Trump: Enough:

In 2018, Trump’s abuses of power, his indifference to truth and his autocratic habits will be the central issues in our politics. Nothing else comes close.

This means there is no more vital business than containing Trump and, if circumstances demand it, removing him from office. This applies not only to progressives and liberals but also to everyone else, from left to right, who would defend our democratic values and republican institutions.

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2018: The Reckoning – Resistance and Renewal

2017 will be remembered as the year of  “This is not normal.”

A minority of Americans, thanks to the antiquated relic of an electoral college system that remains in our Constitution as a vestige of slavery more than 150 years after the end of the Civil War, elected an insecure man-child conspiracy theorist, reality TV actor,  Twitter troll, grifter and con man president of the United States. A man who suffers from narcissistic personality disorder and delusions of grandeur, and who is a pathological liar. The 47 most outrageous lines in Donald Trump’s New York Times interview;
In a 30-minute interview, President Trump made 24 false or misleading claims
. More ominously, he exhibits dangerous authoritarian tendencies. Donald Trump is a demagogue who aspires to be an autocratic strongman like the man he most admires, Vladimir Putin of Russia.

Trump has actively sought to undermine our democratic institutions, political norms and values that have defined America for more than 240 years and to replace them overnight — to “disrupt the status quo” as he calls it — with the crypto-fascism of “Trumpism,” an authoritarian cult of personality.

Trump has been enabled in his undermining of our democratic institutions, political norms and values by a supplicant Tea-Publican Congress which also exhibits authoritarian tendencies in its exercise of one-party rule, and by a fawning propagandist conservative media entertainment complex, and too often, by a cowered mainstream media.

Trump is enabled by a small but significant base of adoring sycophant supporters in his authoritarian cult of personality. For them, he can do no wrong. Their loyalty is to Trump alone, not to the country, not to democratic governance, not to the Constitution. Trump is what metastasized from an existing cancer in the American body politic.

This is not normal.”

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Trump undermines democratic institutions while in Poland

President Donald Trump gave a speech in Poland yesterday that contained all the white nationalist talking points of his alt-right advisers Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller. Trump cast the world as being in a clash of civilizations between Muslim terrorists and the West. Transcript:

This continent no longer confronts the specter of communism. But today, we’re in the West, and we have to say, there are dire threats to our security and to our way of life.

You see what’s happening out there. They are threats. We will confront them. We will win. But they are threats.

We are confronted by another oppressive ideology, one that seeks to export terrorism and extremism all around the globe.

America and others have suffered one terror attack after another. We’re going to get it to stop.

During a historic gathering in Saudi Arabia, I called on the leaders of more than 50 Muslim nations to join together to drive out this menace which threatens all of humanity. We must stand united against these shared enemies to strip them of their territory and their funding and their networks and any form of ideological support that they may have.

While we will always welcome new citizens who share our values and love our people, our borders will always be closed to terrorism and extremism of any kind.

We are fighting hard against radical Islamic terrorism. And we will prevail.

We cannot accept those who reject our values and who use hatred to justify violence against the innocent.

Today, the West is also confronted by the powers that seek to test our will, undermine our confidence and challenge our interests.

Then oddly, Trump identifies “government “bureaucracy” as enemies:

Finally, on both sides of the Atlantic, our citizens are confronted by yet another danger, one firmly within our control. This danger is invisible to some but familiar to the Poles: the steady creep of government bureaucracy that drains the vitality and wealth of the people.

The West became great, not because of paperwork and regulations, but because people were allowed to chase their dreams and pursue their destinies.

Americans, Poles and nations of Europe value freedom and sovereignty. We must work together to confront forces, whether they come inside or out, from the south or the east, that threaten over time to undermine these values and to erase the bonds of culture, faith and tradition that make us who we are.

If left unchecked, these forces will undermine our courage, sap our spirit and weaken our will to defend ourselves and our societies.

This is Doctor Stragelove‘s General Jack Ripper: “I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.”

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Trump is mentally and emotionally unfit to serve as president – invoke the 25th Amendment

There has never been any question that our always insecure egomaniacal Twitter-troll-in-chief is a serious head case. He is mentally and emotionally unfit to serve as president.

The one and only true statement that White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders made this past week was ‘America knew what they were getting’: Sarah Huckabee Sanders blames you for Trump’s despicable tweets.

Trump’s unhinged attacks on the hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe over the past week, Lawmakers blast Trump’s ‘crude, false, and unpresidential’ CNN tweet, is just the latest skirmish in a war against the independent media and the First Amendment that he has been waging since announcing that he was a candidate for office.

The first thing that any autocratic authoritarian leader does is to silence the independent media, often having reporters arrested and jailed, or even killed. The authoritarian state establishes its own media as the sole voice of what is truth.

Donald Trump has repeatedly asserted that all independent media that is critical of him is “fake news.” Trump’s media team openly states that they are creating an “alternate reality” with “alternative facts” (i.e., propaganda). Trump regularly tells his sycophant supporters that only he can be believed — even though it is well documented that virtually everything he says is a demonstrable lie, Trump’s Lies, the Definitive List — and during his campaign he encouraged his supporters to engage in violence against reporters. Donald Trump Encourages Violence At His Rallies. His Fans Are Listening.

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