Quote of the Day postsMonday February 05, 2018
Roy Cohn Lives
“Congressman Nunes saw his task, from the get-go, not as investigating the underlying issue as a congressman concerned with the integrity of elections, but as finding a way to protect his tribal chieftain, Donald Trump, from suspicions that his own campaign might have invited such intervention, or that he might have obstructed justice to stymie Mueller's inquiry. The entire concept of digging fairly into the facts to discover exactly what relationship, if any, the Trump campaign had with agents of the Russian government is close to meaningless to Nunes. So is any cooperation with Democrats or waiting until the full investigation is finished. More to the point, all this is meaningless to the Republican base as well. Their tribal chief has said there was no Russian interference and no collusion, and that's all they need to know. ...
”If Trump is accused of collusion, the gambit is to accuse the FBI, the media, and the DOJ of some sort of “collusion” as well. If Trump is exposed as evading the rule of law, so now must the Justice Department and the FBI be seen as undermining it. The logic here is pure Roy Cohn. ... Throw sand in everyone's eyes. Get your allegations out first, in as inflammatory and scandalous a way as possible. Ransack people's private lives and communications to more effectively demonize them. Dominate the news cycles. Do anything to muddy the conflict and to sow suspicion. Lie, if you have to. Exercise not the slightest concern for the stability of the system as a whole — because tribe comes first.“
Andrew Sullivan, ”When Two Tribes Go to War," New York Magazine
Our Continuing National Nightmare
“This is no longer about Trump alone. This is now an indictment of the entire Republican Party — the elected officials and the still strident Trump voters — as well as the Trump propaganda machine at Fox News (”news“ clearly being a misnomer). These folks are engaged in an attack on the country from within. They are attacking our institutions. They are attacking the truth. All of this is being done to protect Trump rather than protect America.”
-- Charles M. Blow, “Trump Repeats Nixon's Fateful Panic,” The New York Times
Bannon vs. Trump: Bumblers in the Jungle
Ailes, a veteran of the Nixon, Reagan, and Bush 41 administrations, tried to impress on Trump the need to create a White House structure that could serve and protect him. “You need a son of a bitch as your chief of staff,” he told Trump. “And you need a son of a bitch who knows Washington. You'll want to be your own son of a bitch, but you don't know Washington.” Ailes had a suggestion: John Boehner, who had stepped down as Speaker of the House only a year earlier.
“Who's that?” asked Trump.
-- from “Donald Trump Didn't Want to Be President: One year ago: the plan to lose, and the administration's shocked first days,” by Michael Wolff, on the New York magazine site.
Crazy day, kids. And we're not even through Day 3 of 2018.
Wolff's book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” broke, with soundbite-ready quotes from Steve Bannon, Trump's campaign manager and onetime close adviser, sounding off in particular on Jared Kushner and the Trump children. He called Don Jr.'s meeting with Russians to get dirt on Hillary Clinton “anti-American” and “treasonous,” adding “They are going to crack Don Jr. like an egg on national TV.” Of Kushner's financial shenanigans, he said, “The Kushner shit is greasy. They're going to go right through that. They're going to roll those two guys up and say play me or trade me.”
Trump, of course, fired back.
All of that is great. I take no joy, though, in the portion of the book quoted above—how Trump didn't want to be president. It means the Dems lost to a guy who didn't even want it. Although maybe that's why he got it, in the end. It's They Might Be Giants philosophy: “Nobody ever gets what they want and that is beautiful.” Well, “beautiful.”
More to come. Every hour, almost.
How Did Donald Embarrass Us/Himself Today?
I'm sorry, I can't get past this. @realDonaldTrump @POTUS is taking credit for no domestic airline crashes. How can ppl not see this is insane? Particularly since there have been no domestic airline crashes since 09. And none of a domestic airline you've ever heard of since 2001.— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) January 2, 2018
Thank you @realDonaldTrump for enforcing the Airline Safety & FAA Extension Act of 2010 passed by Democrats and signed by President Obama. There have been no commercial plane crashes in the US since that law. https://t.co/jZdhs07TzT— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) January 2, 2018
“What more could Putin ask for? Well, he could hope that his grotesque attack on the last U.S. election would lead to no serious effort to prevent it happening again. And lo, an American president has emphatically refused to lift a finger to defend the Constitution he is duty bound to protect. There's been no attempt by the White House to protect the integrity of our elections — just a constant disdain for those who worry about them, and a general, somewhat egregious, complacency.
”No American president in history has ever given Russia so much in so short a time. Congrats, Vladimir. You've achieved what no Soviet dictator ever managed to. Your asset in the White House, figurative or not, has given more than all the British and American traitors in the history of the Cold War.“
-- Andrew Sullivan, ”Putin's First Year in the White House," New York Magazine website