A Peek Into Trump’s Future

Given that I have a serious case of mind bounce today, I have not been able to focus on any one thing for more than 20 seconds, so instead I will share with you Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin’s view of what Trump’s life may be like after he leaves the White House next week.  I take some satisfaction in knowing that it won’t be any bed of roses for him, and knowing that he brought it on himself with no help from anybody else.


Trump’s future looks rotten

Jennifer-RubinOpinion by 

Jennifer Rubin

Columnist

Jan. 14, 2021 at 9:45 a.m. EST

President Trump faces a horrid future. He is the first U.S. president in history to be impeached twice; he lost the popular vote twice; he lost both the House and Senate for his party; and more than 383,000 Americans have died from covid-19 on his watch. He has clearly sewn up the title of “worst president ever.” If found guilty by a soon-to-be Democratic-controlled Senate, he will be unable to run for office again and may lose his post-presidential benefits (e.g., salary, travel allowance). But that is far from his biggest worry.

Trump may be sued civilly or charged criminally for tax avoidance or other financial crimes that state prosecutors in New York are investigating. Depending on the charges, he could face significant fines or even imprisonment. (Trump has maintained that he has done nothing improper.)

Speaking of finances, Trump reportedly has more than $400 million in loans coming due. However, his banks are cutting ties. Deutsche Bank, which holds about $340 million of the debt, and Signature Bank do not want to do business with him. It is far from clear what lender is going to take him on as a client. He might need help from his overseas authoritarian friends.

Trump may also face a federal criminal investigation for seeking to change election results in Georgia during two phone calls with state election officials — one of which was recorded. In addition to potential federal crimes for election offenses, prosecutors will need to look at whether his vague threat of criminal liability in his call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger qualified as extortion.

That was all before we got to his Jan. 6 activities. Federal investigators and the U.S. attorney for Washington, D.C., as well as senior Justice Department officials will need to determine whether there is a basis to charge Trump with incitement to riot or conspiracy to commit sedition. They will look not simply at Trump’s remarks that day, but also his tweet calling for “wild” protests in the capital, his rhetoric after the election and his conduct during the siege, when he failed to issue a clear, unequivocal directive for his people to stand down. (That the president managed to issue a statement on the day of his second impeachment proactively calling for “NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind” makes his hours-long silence on Jan. 6 look even worse.)

Beyond criminal liability, Trump could surely be sued by the relatives of those killed or injured in the siege, or to cover the costs incurred to repair damage. He cannot be sued for “official conduct,” but leading a riot to overturn an election will be difficult to slot into the category of “official duties,” to put it mildly. It was a continuation of his campaign intended to give him a second term, not to effectuate any policy or interest during his existing term.

Even on the slim chance that Trump is never charged with any crime and manages to escape all civil liability, he will be deeply in debt (his original debt plus any costs to defend himself in court). He will also be a social and business pariah, banned from social media and unwelcome in most democratic countries. It is not clear how many people are going to pay to belong to a seditionist’s Mar-a-Lago Club or stay at any of his properties.

One can surely understand why the prospect of losing was so terrifying for him — aside from the humiliation. Quite simply, he faces a miserable post-presidency.

Trump vs Military

Yesterday, The Atlantic magazine published an article about Donald Trump’s denigration of the military.  The information in the article appears to be corroborated by numerous reliable sources, and if true, should convince every service member, active and retired, to vote for Joe Biden.  Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin has written an excellent analysis of that article and Trump’s ongoing attitude toward the military.  Please take a minute to read both this, and the article in The Atlantic.


Republicans never flinch in their support of Trump — even when he insults our troops

Opinion by 

Jennifer-RubinJennifer Rubin

Columnist

September 4, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. EDT

More than five years ago, then-candidate Donald Trump rejected the assertion that John McCain, who refused to take an early release and remained with his fellow POWs despite torture, was a hero. “He’s not a war hero,” said Trump. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” At this point, the failure of the GOP to disown Trump signaled that Republicans would accept anything that came out of his mouth. Since then, with very few exceptions, elected Republicans have stood shoulder to shoulder with a president who utters one lie after another, spews racist bile, demeans women, dehumanizes immigrants and venerates dictators.

The Atlantic magazine article that came out on Thursday seems entirely in character for Trump:

Trump rejected the idea of the visit [to a World War I cemetery in France in 2018] because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed.

When McCain died, Trump reiterated his contempt for POWs when he declared “according to three sources with direct knowledge of this event, ‘We’re not going to support that loser’s funeral,’” and he became furious, according to witnesses, when he saw flags lowered to half-staff. ‘What the f— are we doing that for? Guy was a f—ing loser.’ ”

When preparing for a military parade, the magazine reports, “Trump asked his staff not to include wounded veterans, on grounds that spectators would feel uncomfortable in the presence of amputees. ‘Nobody wants to see that,’ he said.”

The White House adamantly denies all these comments, as you would expect. Keep in mind, the Atlantic reports, Trump was previously caught lying when he said that “he has received the bodies of slain service members ‘many, many’ times” (just four times, in fact) and “falsely claimed that he had called ‘virtually all’ of the families of service members who had died during his term” (the families of fallen soldiers say otherwise). Interestingly, the “don’t believe your lying eyes and ears” tactic was on full display Thursday when, on an unrelated matter, Trump falsely denied having told North Carolinians to vote twice, which is illegal and prompted state officials to rebuke him and remind voters they only get one vote.

After the Atlantic article was published, the Associated Press reported that “senior defense official” plus “a second source, specifically a senior U.S. Marine Corps officer with knowledge of President Trump’s comments,” confirmed many parts of the story. The Post also reported, “A former senior administration official confirmed to The Washington Post that the president frequently made disparaging comments about veterans and soldiers missing in action, referring to them at times as ‘losers.’”

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden responded to the Atlantic report in a written statement. “If the revelations in today’s Atlantic article are true, then they are yet another marker of how deeply President Trump and I disagree about the role of the President of the United States,” he said. “I have long said that, as a nation, we have many obligations, but we only have one truly sacred obligation — to prepare and equip those we send into harm’s way, and to care for them and their families, both while they are deployed and after they return home.” Biden pointedly mentioned that he was not squeamish about meeting with wounded men and women. “We’ve hosted wounded veterans in our home to share a Thanksgiving meal,” he said. “And, as the proud parents of a son who served in Iraq, we’ve made supporting military spouses, caregivers, and children a focus of our service.” In short, Biden made clear that unlike Trump, “if I have the honor of serving as the next commander in chief, I will ensure that our American heroes know that I will have their back and honor their sacrifice — always.” It was an effective way to show the we need not continue to suffer with a small, petty and untrustworthy president.

I do not much care what trait — envy, materialism, cowardice — explains Trump’s apparent disdain for military heroes who, unlike Trump (who got out of serving in Vietnam with five deferments), sacrificed their bodies and in many cases their lives for their country. What we know is that Trump’s character is deeply deformed, and his narcissism knows no bounds. This report is anything but shocking. However, we are reminded about something equally, if not more, disturbing than the outbursts of an unfit president.

Why did the senior officials — who still refuse to go on record — not quit and tell their stories? Why did they not come forward with their accounts even during impeachment, when the president’s lack of loyalty to the country and betrayal of national security were at issue? We can only guess that the explanation is some mixture of cowardly careerism or, maybe, self-delusion that without them the country would be (more) endangered. Instead, they stayed, enabled him, defended him and kept critical information from their fellow Americans.

The silence of these senior aides is really no different from the silence of virtually all elected Republicans. They, along with intellectually corrupt right-wing pundits and media outlets, have denied, deflected, ignored or excused almost everything that has come out of Trump’s mouth. The so-called Republican hawks — Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — have stuck with him through thick and thin. They did not condemn him when he first slandered POWs, nor excoriate him for refusing to address the poisoning of yet another political opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin. They have not denounced his unwillingness to raise with Putin the Russian bounties on our troops. They did not disown him for commuting the sentences of war criminals; they did not rebuke him for slandering troops by accusing them of stealing money in Iraq and Afghanistan. It seems there is no insult, lie or exaggeration about our troops too great to prompt these Republicans to declare Trump unfit to serve as commander in chief.

One legacy of the Trump era is to discredit virtually all elected Republicans and the sycophantic right-wing media figures whose silence (or even worse, their cheerleading) has made them complicit in Trump’s defilement of his office and weakening of the United States’ image around the globe. They put party and personal careerism above country, and in doing so earn the contempt of their compatriots.

Has the Military had Enough of Trump?

Despite Trump’s claims that the military “loves” him, it seems that may not quite be the case. Our friend Jeff over at On the Fence Voters has the latest on this. Thanks, Jeff!

On The Fence Voters

We’ve been told for years now that the military loves the current president. Well, if the latest poll from The Military Times is any indicator, it appears that narrative might be a pipe dream, at least as it pertains to active-duty members.

Based on results from 1,018 active-duty troops surveyed in late July and early August, nearly half (49.9 percent) had an unfavorable view of the current president, compared to about 38 percent who had a favorable opinion. Even more disheartening for the White House’s current occupant, a whopping 42 percent said they “strongly” disapprove.

And when asked who they would vote for in the 2020 election, Joe Biden had a slight lead – 41.3 percent to 37.4 percent. That’s right, Joe Biden, a Democrat, leads an incumbent Republican president in a poll roughly two months before one of the most critical elections in our nation’s history. You’re probably right…

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Don’t Be Fooled …

Why is everybody so pleased that Trump called out white supremacy?  He lies.  Simple fact is that he doesn’t mean it but was told by his campaign people that it wasn’t looking good, that a lot of people were blaming him for at least the El Paso shooting.  Can’t let those poll numbers drop, now can he?  So, he stands up and says, “In one voice our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy”, and the press acts as if this absolves him of the hundreds, maybe thousands of times he has called for violence, called white supremacists “very fine people”, and denigrated members of Congress only because of their ethnicity or skin colour.

Turns out, he also blamed mental illness, violence in the media, and video games.  He did not urge Congress to pass strict gun laws, he did not condemn the NRA, he did not recant any of his previous statements.  Quite simply, he said what his advisors told him he ought to say.  In this case, talk is cheap and he has told so many lies that there is no reason … not a single shred of reason … to believe him.  Trump has been a racist all his life, from when he refused to rent apartments to blacks all the way up to just last week when he went on a tirade against a civil rights hero and member of Congress, Elijah Cummings.

He took no responsibility for the atmosphere of division, nor did he recognize his own reluctance to warn of the rise of white nationalism until now.  He blamed social media, which is laughable, since it is his main venue, apart from campaign rallies, for spewing his racist hate.Trump-racistActions speak far louder than words, and in this case, you can rest assured that his actions will not change, and by next week he will be back to his campaign of racist remarks and behaviours.  The media seems to be drooling all over themselves at his remarks, with big bold headlines reading …

Trump Condemns White Supremacy After Mass Shootings

What they should read is

A Leopard Doesn’t Change His Spots

As Jennifer Rubin said in her column today, “It would be laughable if it were not so infuriating”.  Or, in the words of Senator Kamala Harris, “I’m too busy watching what he’s doing to hear what he’s saying”.

As I said in a previous post, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck.  Trump has been waddling and quacking for far too long … he hasn’t changed.  He’s still a liar and a racist.  Don’t be fooled.

The Latest Polls …

I had a post written for this morning.  I am postponing it, for I am still debating on it.  But … that left me with … nothing for this morning.  So, I had in my archives a piece by Washington Post writer Jennifer Rubin from last week, titled “Americans as a whole haven’t lost their minds, but the GOP has”. I think it is well worth reading in its entirety, so I decided to share it with you this morning.

Jennifer RubinThere is only abysmal news for President Trump and Republicans in the latest Quinnipiac poll. Voters say Trump is not “fit to serve as president,” by a 56 to 42 percent margin. Voters disapprove (57 to 36 percent) of his performance (so 6 percent think he is fit, just not doing a good job). It gets worse:

Voters disapprove 57 – 36 percent of the job he is doing as president. . . . American voters disapprove 62 – 32 percent of the way President Trump is handling race relations. Disapproval is 55 – 39 percent among white voters, 95 – 3 percent among black voters and 66 – 28 percent among Hispanic voters. President Trump is doing more to divide the country than to unite the country, American voters say 60 – 35 percent.

The anti-Twitter sentiment remains high as voters say 69 – 26 percent that Trump should stop tweeting. No party, gender, education, age or racial group wants to follow the Tweeter-in- Chief. Voters say 51 – 27 percent they are embarrassed to have Trump as president.

More than 55 percent of voters say he is not honest and lacks leadership skills. Some 61 percent say they do not share his values, and 67 percent say he is not level-headed. Less than 40 percent think he is doing a good job on foreign policy, immigration, the environment or health care. A plurality narrowly approves of this handling of the economy and of terrorism.

There is no good news here for Republicans in Congress either. “American voters disapprove 78 – 15 percent of the job Republicans in Congress are doing, worse than their 70 – 25 percent disapproval in a June 29 Quinnipiac University poll. . . . Voters say 47 – 38 percent, including 44 – 32 percent among independent voters, that they would like to see Democrats win control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2018 Congressional elections.”

Americans it turns out:

  • Are not bamboozled by his NFL and flag histrionics;
  • Do not think it’s all the media’s fault;
  • Know he is not making America great (stressed and anxious maybe, but not great);
  • Have figured out he’s botching most policy matters — and is a bad person to boot; and
  • Don’t buy into his race-baiting act.

Americans are neither brain-dead nor moral vagrants. In voting for him many probably hated Hillary Clinton more, engaged in wishful thinking about Trump and/or figured incorrectly a rich guy and his friends must know how to do things. But they do not like him now, and that speaks very well of the American people.

The bad news is Republicans overwhelmingly like him, his policies, his distractions, his character, his racial appeals, etc. Among Republicans 79 percent approve of his performance, 79 percent think he is honest (!), 85 percent think he cares about ordinary Americans, 62 percent think he is level-headed (!!) and perhaps worst of all, 78 percent think he shares their values.

Now, it’s possible that having voted for him these Republicans don’t want to admit he is, as LeBron James eloquently put it, a bum. But it’s also possible that a declining share of voters identify as Republicans but that those who do, by and large, live in a Fox News-created political universe in which Trump is just the best. They refuse to see Trump as a bigot or an incompetent narcissist. They believe what he tells them about immigrants, the world and the “liberal elites.”

The question that many #NeverTrump Republicans or now former Republicans face is whether that GOP base has become so divorced from their own world view that they cannot consider themselves Republicans any longer. To be a Republican these days is to be at the very least an apologist for Trump and at the worst a cultist. Maybe these Trump fans were always there in the party, but now they are the dominant voice. That leaves a two-way struggle between stringent conservatives (e.g., Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz) and Trump/Bannonites. Many disaffected Republicans have no Republicans to root for anymore other than a handful of members of Congress and a small batch of governors. They may like the idea of the GOP, but they cannot abide by the actual GOP of 2017.

It doesn’t seem possible that logic or experience will change the minds of the 75 percent to 80 percent of the GOP who remain in Trump’s quarter. (Some hope that Trump is like a high fever that will pass, leaving the patient back to being his old self; I think that’s unlikely, but it’d be nice if the fever theory turns out to be correct.) You can change a president or a presidential candidate but can you change a party’s composition? I find that hard to believe. Trump’s beliefs and views are their beliefs and views.

That leaves distressed Republicans and ex-Republicans with three options — recruit new non-Trumpkins to the GOP (but which Americans would want to join?!) to out-vote Trump’s base; start a new center-right party (with an invitation out to moderate Democrats); or set up shop across the aisle as the new Blue Dog Democrats. Much depends on the direction the Democrats take (will it be the party of Sen. Bernie Sanders or the party of Truman/JFK/Bill Clinton — policy-wise, that is).

In short, the GOP that was, is no longer, and we really have no idea what if anything will take its place.

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