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.
Over the weekend our mentally disturbed Twitter-troll-in-chief attacked MSNBC and CNN, defending his use of social media in series of bizarre tweets. Here’s just a sample.
And then today we learn that Trump Tweets a Video of Him Wrestling ‘CNN’ to the Ground:
President Trump posted a short video to his Twitter account on Sunday in which he is portrayed wrestling and punching a figure whose head has been replaced by the logo for CNN.
The video, about 28 seconds long, appears to be an edited clip from a years-old appearance by Mr. Trump in WrestleMania, an annual professional wrestling event. The clip ends with an onscreen restyling of the CNN logo as “FNN: Fraud News Network.”
Cartoonish in quality, the video is an unorthodox way for a sitting president to express himself. But Mr. Trump has ratcheted up his attacks on the news media in recent days — assailing CNN and crudely insulting the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” — while defending his use of social media as “modern day presidential.”
The video clip apparently had been posted days earlier on Reddit, a popular social media message board. The president’s tweet was the latest escalation in his beef with CNN over its coverage of him and his administration.
A White House spokeswoman with the traveling press corps hotel here in Bridgewater, N.J., a few miles from Trump’s golf club, declined to address questions about the tweet. Trump has no public events planned for Sunday; his schedule lists phone calls Sunday night with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He is scheduled to return to Washington on Monday evening and participate in an Independence Day event at the White House on Tuesday.
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In a statement tweeted out by CNN media reporter Brian Stelter, CNN called it “a sad day when the President of the United States encourages violence against reporters.” The network cited Trump’s “juvenile behavior far below the dignity of his office. We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his.”
The company’s communications department Twitter account responded to Trump’s tweet by quoting White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sandersduring a briefing last week when she said: “The president in no way form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence. If anything, quite the contrary.”
In the statement, CNN said: “Clearly, Sarah Huckabee Sanders lied when she said the President had never done so.”
Of course, Trump’s sycophant supporters “noted on social media that the violence in professional wrestling is simulated and that the president was making a symbolic point about ‘fake news’ coverage of him.” But there has been actual violence against reporters as a result of Trump’s constant encouragement of attacks on the independent media.
Enough is enough. Trump’s conduct is not just unpresidential and demeaning to the office of the presidency, his conduct is undermining the very values and mores of democracy. I believe that is his ultimate goal, to undermine all of our democratic principles to make the imposition of his authoritarian rule possible. As Dr. Steven Jonas noted, Fascism in the 21st Century:
When we are looking at 21st century fascism, in the context of what is happening in certain of the capitalist states, at the present particularly in the United States, it should be noted that it is entirely possible that wholesale violence will not be required for its introduction. Nor will a maximum leader necessarily be required. Like the fog in the famous, ultra-short poem by the U.S. person Carl Sandburg, it may well come in “on little cat feet.”
It is the gradual erosion of all that we have held dear for over 240 years, to be replaced by Trumpism, the new American fascism. America’s descent into the darkness of ‘Trumpism,’ the new American fascism.
There are Democrats taking steps to resist this authoritarian mad man. Bill to create panel that could remove Trump from office quietly picks up Democratic support:
25 House Democrats, including the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, are now pushing an equally radical alternative: They are backing a bill that would create a congressional “oversight” commission that could declare the president incapacitated, leading to his removal from office under the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
At 12:56 p.m. Thursday, barely four hours after Trump tweeted attacks against MSNBC cable host Mika Brzezinski in crude, personal terms, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., the chief sponsor of the bill, sent out an email to his colleagues, urging them to get behind the measure, writing it was of “enduring importance to the security of our nation.”
“In case of emergency, break glass,” Raskin told Yahoo News in an interview. “If you look at the record of things that have happened since January, it is truly a bizarre litany of events and outbursts.” Asked if Trump’s latest tweets attacking Brzezinski and her co-host Joe Scarborough — which were roundly condemned by members of both parties as beneath the dignity of his office — strengthened the grounds for invoking the 25th Amendment, Raskin replied: “I assume every human being is allowed one or two errant and seemingly deranged tweets. The question is whether you have a sustained pattern of behavior that indicates something is seriously wrong.” After Trump’s Thursday morning tweets, four more Democrats signed on to Raskin’s bill, his office said Friday. (Brzezinski and Scarborough’s response to Trump’s tweets ran in today’s Washington Post under the headline, “The President is not well.” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Trump’s tweets Thursday, saying he “fights fire with fire.”)
To be sure, even Raskin acknowledges Congress and the country are in largely uncharted waters. The 25th Amendment was adopted in 1967 . . . One of its provisions, known as Section 4, empowers the vice president along with a majority of the Cabinet to make a determination that a president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties” of the office, and then provide it in writing to Congress, resulting in the president’s removal. It’s a step that has never been taken.
But Raskin, a former constitutional law professor, has seized on some largely overlooked language in Section 4 as the basis for his bill. It turns out it doesn’t have to be the Cabinet that makes a finding of presidential incapacity. The section also permits “such other body as Congress may by law provide” — along with the vice president — to reach the same conclusion.
Yet in the 50 years since the 25th Amendment took effect, Congress has never set up such a body. Raskin’s bill would do so. It calls for the creation of an “Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity.” The commission would be a nonpartisan panel appointed by congressional leaders composed of four physicians, four psychiatrists and three others — such as former presidents, vice presidents or other former senior U.S. government officials. The commission, if directed by Congress through a concurrent resolution, would be empowered to conduct an examination of the president “to determine whether the president is incapacitated, either mentally or physically.”
The 25th Amendment itself says nothing about the guidelines for making such a determination, much less what kinds of perceived mental illnesses would make a president unable to perform his duties. But Raskin, who first introduced his bill in April, said that he’s been getting increased interest in the legislation among colleagues, including Republicans who have privately approached him about it on the House floor. “I’ve had tons of inquiries, and lots of colleagues have been talking to me about it,” he said. “I’m convinced most Americans believe we are living in a very strange reality. … The question is, what are the escape routes we have, and the 25th Amendment is one of them.”
Raskin’s bill so far has been quietly picking up support in the Democratic caucus. Among the co-sponsors who have signed are Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee (and the only member of Congress who was around when the 25th Amendment was enacted), and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., the former chair of the Democratic National Committee.
But despite some talk of the 25th Amendment option in conservative circles — New York Times columnist Ross Douthat recently urged that it be considered and National Review contributing editor Andrew McCarthy tweeted about it Thursday — so far no Republican members of Congress have signed on to the idea. “It’s really a political decision,” said Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., who has also co-sponsored Raskin’s bill. While many of his GOP colleagues are, in the privacy of the House cloakroom, “shaking their heads” and “embarrassed” by the president, “they can’t say anything publicly” given the core support Trump has so far retained among their base, he said.
Indeed, in some respects, the political obstacles to executing the 25th Amendment are even greater than impeachment, notes Joel K. Goldstein, a professor of law at St. Louis University. Under its provisions, if a president challenged a finding of incapacity and demanded that he or she be reinstalled in office, it would require two-thirds of both chambers to block the commander-in-chief from doing so. (By contrast, it only takes a majority of the House to impeach a president, although two-thirds of the Senate must vote to convict and remove the president.)
Moreover, as Goldstein notes, even if Congress were to create the body called for in Raskin’s bill, it couldn’t act to declare the president incapacitated without the concurrence of the vice president. That means Vice President Mike Pence could effectively block any move to invoke the 25th Amendment option. “The vice president is a necessary party. He effectively has a veto,” said Goldstein. “He’s a deal breaker.”
Still, Raskin is undeterred. “The question is, where are we going to be six months, 12 months, 18 months from now? The presidency is considered extremely stressful for people with the strongest mental health.
Americans elected a man they knew was emotionally and mentally unfit to serve as president. Trump’s mental deterioration is progressively getting worse each and every day. It is time to invoke the 25th Amendment, or impeach him. Trump has to go.