Saturday November 30, 2019
Ms. Lithwick Warns
Some dire warnings about Donald Trump in a must-read Slate piece by Dahlia Lithwick:
- It's not just that this president benefited from Russian interference in the 2016 election (and in fact solicited it publicly, recall “Russia, if you‘re listening”). It’s not just that he denies—in the face of the incontrovertible conclusions of his own intelligence agencies and the Senate Intelligence Committee—that Russia played any part in his 2016 electoral victory. It's that he still believes a demonstrable fraud about illegal voting, and Ukrainian election interference, and deep state plots to oust him, and has demanded his Cabinet officers repeat it. Moreover, he has demanded that his attorney general investigate it. His insistence that everyone around him participate in his version of reality allows him to repeat the material falsehood that he won by a landslide in 2016, and that there will be more attempts to suppress his victory in 2020.
- The president has also taken the legal position that he cannot be indicted while in office...
- Happily, an impeachment process has begun, which is, in its way, something to be thankful for. And yet the Trump White House refuses to participate, insisting that the entire process is unconstitutional. Not only does the president claim that the investigation is impermissible, but he has also issued a blanket refusal for anyone in his administration, or who has ever been in his administration, to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry.
- The growing hysteria about imaginary past Ukranian election interference, a ludicrous impeachment defense, will be used to deflect from the emphatically certain future Russian election interference (as well as interference from other nations that reasonably want in on the fun). The Mitch McConnell–dominated Senate has declined to do anything to protect against that certainty and instead is building a judiciary that will permit it.
- Trump does not necessarily intend to leave office even if he loses the 2020 presidential election. He jokes about it constantly. ... And just as we soothed ourselves that the military would be the keystone to his removal if it came right down to that, the president has redefined the U.S. military as an appendage of his own desires. At his Florida rally on Tuesday night, Trump dismissed any resistance to his actions in pardoning service members accused of war crimes as emanating from “the deep state.” He reportedly wants these new military heroes he is elevating to join him on the campaign trail.
- Don McGahn thinks someone else is responsible for taking care of all this, as, evidently, does John Bolton. Robert Mueller made the same mistake in the spring, when he decided it was Congress' responsibility to act on what he had found. ... Everyone seems to assume vast quantities of courage in other people that they cannot seem to find in themselves.
The legit press needs to stop pretending that anything about Trump, or the GOP for that matter, is normal.