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Mike 03

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Modesto California
Home country: United States
Current location: Arizona
Member since: Mon Oct 27, 2008, 05:14 PM
Number of posts: 16,616

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As damning as it was, I even had a sinking feeling when CNN on Sunday

played huge uninterrupted segments of the phone call--mostly Trump delivering his monologue. Over a period of five or six hours they played it over and over again, thankfully punctuated with interviews with people like Carl Bernstein and David Gergen.

(In Surviving Autocracy Masha Gessen argues that it's almost impossible for news organizations not to inadvertently normalize or legitimize someone like Trump because there's no "good way" to cover somebody like this. Even fact checking isn't really all that helpful. I know that CNN and MSNBC and especially the Washington Post are trying to do this right and, IMO, more often than not doing it pretty well.)

But you're thinking like a normal human being living in a functioning Democracy.

For Pence's public and political future, he must abandon Trump.

Pence is thinking, "For my political future, I must not be seen as abandoning Trump."

Maybe this explains the "confusion" this morning over Grassley possibly presiding.

This might be a staged event, where Pence makes a scene and Grassley steps in (but totally set up in advance) so that Pence doesn't disappoint Trump, but the job gets done. So that Pence can walk away with the appearance he stood up for Trump and not incur the wrath of the Trump fanatics.

Pence relinquishes his responsibilities "on principle" and Grassley does the dirty work.

I think it's strategic. GA is the only state still "in play" where he can (and has) leveraged

the anger and anxiety of Republicans to pressure the governor, SoS and election officials to give Trump what he wants. That is not possible in any other state, because all the other elections are over. The senate race is a huge deal.

He even got Purdue and Loeffler to call for the resignation of some top officials.

I'm guessing something along the lines of negligent homicide.

Or perhaps gross negligence. Extreme reckless disregard? Failing to discharge his duties as set forth in his oath of office leading to the deaths of (an individual) or whatever the actual total of dead Americans is?

American citizens who lost family members to COVID after a certain date would presumably have legal standing to sue him for his flagrantly incompetent handling of COVID. Especially considering that Feb 7 taped conversation between Trump and Woodward in which Trump admitted this virus was five times more lethal than the flu and airborne, and affected children too. He could never plead ignorance. At least it would put him on the spot to explain why he knowingly told so many lies and deterred people from wearing masks, and encouraged people to disregard CDC guidelines, etc...

I say that because this is part of a wider assault against Western Democracies that

is like a post Soviet-collapse wave, beginning mostly in Europe, encouraged by Russia, and involving several moving parts, like the Christian Right, Viktor Orban in Hungary, Putin. RW parties are ascending in Spain, Italy and Germany and have largely succeeded in Poland too. And it's spread to India and Brazil and the Philippines. Brexit is a byproduct of this same phenomenon. There's a growing disillusionment with democracy and no good defense against this playbook, which is about as old as Mussolini now. It's hard to understand why it is so difficult to combat, but part of the problem is that reality and truth, as such, are not important to the people who want something else.

Some great books on this:

Road to Unfreedom by Timothy Snyder
Twilight of Democracy by Anne Applebaum
Unholy by Sarah Posner
Power Worshippers by Katherine Stewart
Strongmen by Ruth Ben-Ghiat
Death of Democracy by Benjamin Carter Hett (about the Nazis but the author makes it relevant to what is happening now)


The next Trump won't be so careless.

That is why in spite of the fact a lot of people are not "shocked or surprised" by the latest phone call, we really should express our outrage. Soon all of these scandals will unfold behind closed doors again, where they will be harder to suss out. We should make use of every opportunity we have to sound the alarm about this threat to our democracy.

For every Trump there is a Viktor Orban or Silvio Berlusconi.

I really do think our situation is sinking in for more and more people, and it's heartening to see OPs like this and others on this topic.

I'm moving this issue directly onto my Crisis Radar, right next to:

'People who misspell "Martial Law."'

Just kidding.

No idea, but this one worries me more than the prior ones.

Even if the crowd is smaller, I think the people who show will be angrier and more purposeful, and those stories about Jan 6 protesters swapping advice on Parler about how to smuggle guns into D.C. means I'll be paying closer attention than to the last gatherings. More militia/Proud Boys/The Base/Boogaloo Boyz is my guess. Definitely hope I'm wrong and it turns out to be nothing.

On the other hand, these guys blow a hell of a lot of smoke. You'll recall, we were going to have Civil War on November 4 regardless of who won, and that never happened. I went on one of their websites and watched some of them (Larry, Curly and Moe) trying to decide when to "GO", and none of them could make up their minds. They concluded, "We'll know when the time is right", like Tinkerbell would swoop down out of the heavens and wave her wand giving them to Go-Ahead to start Civil War. Deep down they might chicken out.

I know we'll see a lot of responses like this: Who is surprised?

IMO we should behave like we're outraged anyway. We should raise f#cking hell.

If we weren't hearing outrage on CNN (like I'm hearing now) we'd also be beside ourselves. We should put our nihilism and complacency and tendencies to normalize anything he does aside and join in and raise hell over this even if we're not surprised. Because the alternative, of shrugging, rolling our eyes or saying nothing, is unthinkable in these circumstances.
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