Quote of the Day postsMonday March 19, 2018
It's Not the Tweets
“The largest faction of the [Republican] party has taken the position that Donald Trump is a fantastically successful president whose main error is undisciplined tweeting. What is most notable about this approach is what it omits: the idea that Trump possesses authoritarian instincts or might be deeply implicated in the Russia scandal. It focuses entirely on the most superficial critique of his job performance and ignores evidence of his fundamental unfitness for office.”
Jonathan Chait, “Republicans Can't Understand Why Trump Is Acting Guilty,” New York Magazine
In Case You Were Sleeping Well
“The [Trump] administration also took the unusual step of citing the Russian government for a previously unconfirmed series of intrusions into American power plants and the computer networks that control power grids that occurred about the time of the election. Those attacks suggest Russian state-sponsored hackers have been actively mapping out Western industrial, power and nuclear facilities for eventual sabotage, experts say.”
“Finally, Trump Has Something Bad to Say About Russia,” New York Times Editorial Board, which adds this about the sanctions imposed by the Obama administration after the 2016 Election. “Mr. Trump, for reasons that have never been made completely clear, has until now resisted a congressional mandate that he expand the penalties.”
“The Administration's penchant for deception is injurious in many ways, not least because it devalues truth as a value in public discourse. Like Sean Spicer, Kellyanne Conway, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, [Hope] Hicks, even in her camera- and microphone-shy way, spent years being loyal to Trump and his mendacities. She was always prepared to do his bidding, including when there was an ugliness to the bidding: She pushed back hard against the Pope when he dared to criticize the President's hopes to wall off Mexico. She cast her lot with him and stayed with him as the injuries he inflicted multiplied...
”Perhaps we will hear from Hope Hicks in a more unguarded way in the future. The pattern has been that, once these aides lose their White House passes and get some distance from the tumult of Pennsylvania Avenue, they begin to reveal their sense of despair about the place, if not their shame.“
“Drudge and Hannity are, for me, the best indicators of when Trump is in trouble. The more they bury news, the more important and dangerous it is for the Trump agenda. And there's a lot to bury right now: metastasizing scandal, an administration at war with itself, a chief of staff looking wobbly, egregious corruption, and open rhetorical betrayal of the base. It's not that we haven't seen all of this before — but it's the combination of all these in a sudden and accumulating pile that seems more ominous than usual.”
Andrew Sullivan, “Is This the Beginning of Trump's End?” on the New York magazine site.
Not sure why Sully uses “ominous” here; I'm giddy. OK, cautiously giddy. OK, cautious and giddy and sad that it's come to this. That it's this bad and so many Americans are sticking to their guns. Literally but mostly figuratively.
Quote of the Day
“As a moment in American politics, the pummelling of Rubio felt like an expression of collective rage at the falseness of so much that happens in Washington: the pivot, the dodge, the pallid follow-up question. Authenticity has rarely been more sought after in our public life—and, at once, so elusive. Accountability—the knowledge that the men and women we elect will act, foremost, in our interest and not that of their donors—has become a civic myth. Until a week ago, the students and parents of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School never intended to be part of politics in this way, so they reject its pieties and rhythms. In several minutes on a weeknight, they laid bare Rubio's central political flaw—inauthenticity—more vividly than I ever could in a magazine profile.
”It was easy to watch the town hall and wonder if this will be an inflection point in America's broken politics regarding guns—a moment when the force of money and political organization will actually be overwhelmed by the public desire to end the slaughter in American schools. But it is naïve to assume that it will necessarily be different this time; those choices are ahead, not behind.“
Evan Osnos, ”CNN's Town Hall on Guns and the Unmaking of Marco Rubio," The New Yorker