What to do about Donald Trump

What to do about Donald Trump

July 23, 2022 0 By Ellen Novack

Michelle Cottle/NY Times:

The Good, the Bad and the Chicken on Jan. 6

Among the most uplifting takeaways has been Liz Cheney’s display of public service. Yes, ideologically speaking, she is a Democrat’s nightmare, an in-your-face conservative who would ordinarily make for great fund-raising fodder. But when it comes to fighting for democracy, personal costs be damned, she has gone all in on the principle that protecting America from all enemies — be they foreign or Floridian — should trump political and policy disagreements. “I believe this is the most important thing I’ve ever done professionally,” she recently told my colleague Peter Baker, “and maybe the most important thing I ever do.” Fact check: True.

At the other end of the patriotic spectrum crouches Mark Meadows, the former White House chief of staff. From the accounts of his actions (or lack thereof) leading up to and including Jan. 6 — not to mention his ongoing silence — we have learned so much about what cynical, amoral, craven, butt-smooching venality looks like. One suspects that somewhere in Mr. Meadows’s attic hangs a portrait of him, his painted visage steadily rotting away.

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Keep it going. The trends are in our favor.

NY Times:

The Jan. 6 Hearings Did a Great Service, by Making Great TV

Investigating a threat to democracy was always going to be important. But this time, it also managed to be buzzworthy.

These hearings, in an era of social-media cacophony, cable-news argument and fixed political camps, were never likely to build to a cinematic climax that would unite the public in outrage. Yet by the standards of today, they have achieved some remarkable things.

They drew an audience for public-affairs TV in the dead of summer. They reportedly prompted further witnesses to come forward. Polling suggests they even moved opinion on Mr. Trump and Jan. 6 among Republicans and independents. They created riveting — and dare I say, watchable — water cooler TV that legitimately mattered.

And make no mistake: The hearings, produced by James Goldston, the former president of ABC News, succeeded not just through good intentions but also by being well-made, well-promoted TV. They may have been a most unusual eight-episode summer series (with more promised in September). But they had elements in common with any good drama.

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Paul Waldman/WaPo:

The most dangerous threat to America? White male entitlement.

As witness after witness testified to the Jan. 6 House select committee Thursday about Donald Trump’s deranged and possibly illegal plot to cling to power, it was impossible to ignore his sense of entitlement. What was this system for, if not to give him whatever he wanted? And if it wouldn’t, he would tear it down.

That’s not just his story; it’s also the story of those who stormed the Capitol on his behalf. And it’s increasingly the story of the Republican Party. In our ongoing debate about what the Constitution means and whether we should have a genuine democracy, it is the people who have been given the most advantages who are most willing, even eager, to destroy the American system.

This is about much more than Jan. 6, 2021(…)

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EJ Dionne/WaPo:

 Finally, the dam is breaking against Trump

“The dam,” she declared, “has begun to break.”

Cheney, the committee’s vice chair, was speaking largely of new investigative opportunities that a parade of witnesses has opened into President Donald Trump’s illicit effort to maintain power. But her statement had much broader implications.

The Jan. 6 committee has fundamentally altered public perceptions of Trump’s role in the violence at the Capitol.

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Leonard Pitts, Jr/Miami Herald:

You’ve been too quiet, Merrick Garland. Show us you will vigorously defend democracy

Dear Attorney General Merrick Garland:

In a press conference Wednesday, you seemed fed up with carping about the perceived timidity and inertia of your department and you. “A central tenet of the rule of law,” you said, “is that we do not do our investigations in public.” You added that, “We have to hold accountable every person who is criminally responsible for trying to overturn a legitimate election … in a way filled with integrity and professionalism.” In other words: Back off and let us do our jobs. Your pique is arguably understandable. But there is something here you may not be grasping.

People are impatient, yes. They demand accountability, yes. But the other factor at play is simply that it’s been a very tough time for the aforementioned rule of law. One is reminded of an old trope from Western movies: The angry mob descends on the jailhouse with torches and rope, ready to drag out some prisoner and do street justice. But the sheriff stands them off, tells them to leave the prisoner’s fate to the law. Clichéd as that scene is, it captures an important truth. Fealty to the rule of law is not a native instinct. To the contrary, the native instinct is to demand instant satisfaction if somebody has done you wrong. But the rule of law asks us to exchange torches and rope for a set of rules to be administered on our behalf by the government. Thus do human beings carve civil societies from wildernesses of social primitivism.

The Bulwark:

Wisconsin Swing Voters Are Done With Trump and Biden—and Not Sold on DeSantis

Trump-to-Biden voters don’t want the olds.

“Trump, I would have to agree, was great for our economy, but he was an embarrassment by the way he spoke, his tweets, his attitude,” commented Ginger, 62, from Sherwood. “He was not in control of his emotions, and I found that to be very embarrassing for the leader of our country. Biden is just so confused, and he’s almost like a puppet who is saying what somebody tells him to say. Anytime he speaks, he gets so confused. I think he needs to enjoy retirement.”

“I just don’t feel [Biden] is all there enough to keep going. He’s too old for [the presidency],” remarked Jamie, 36, from Green Bay.

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