Patterico's Pontifications

2/18/2020

If You Think Trump Is a Danger…

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:40 am



…what do you do?

I have no time for a long think piece about it.

I can tell you that life under Democrat rule in California is no picnic.

On the other hand, this seems to me to be a Flight 93 election in reverse. Re-elect Trump and you ratify all the corruption, abuse of the rule of law, nastiness, dumbing down of everything, policy-by-TV, neglect of reading, and above all the placement of the President above the law.

I’m honestly not sure what to do. I’m primarily interested in the thoughts of those who find Trump worrisome.

196 Responses to “If You Think Trump Is a Danger…”

  1. The system itself is broken. Even people that think Trump is worrisome seem to believe that voting for someone else will make a difference. Since I don’t, I don’t really have any other solutions handy that don’t involve torches and/or pitchforks.

    Gryph (08c844)

  2. I am focusing on the primary election, which in Texas is March 3. I will decide how to vote in the general election in November. I can’t decide whether to vote for anyone-but-Trump as a protest vote in the GOP primary, or cast my first Democratic primary vote in my life to (hopefully) influence who Trump will run against. I would prefer Biden because I think he would be the least effective at implementing progressive or socialist policies.

    DRJ (15874d)

  3. A danger of what?

    Make America Ordered Again (afc191)

  4. I live in a battleground state (Ohio) – so I don’t have the luxury of voting for a third party candidate to salve my conscience.

    I also have not voted FOR a president since Reagan, I’ve only voted against the candidate I disliked more.

    Having said all that … I must say that I am thoroughly enjoying the havoc and exposure the recent “turning over the rock” has instigated in DC.

    bendover2 (076acf)

  5. Biden is the one I am also favoring as a consolation prize, in the Democratic primary in which I am definitely voting, and in November if he is the candidate. If he is not the candidate in November, I’ll probably write in “NONE OF THE ABOVE”.

    nk (1d9030)

  6. There are two schools of thought: there is the political strategist considers voting for a specific Democrat who is ineffectual, yet has a good chance of winning the general election, and thus shutting down Trump, and then there is the voter who believes that, because they must first answer to their conscience, they won’t vote for anyone on the ballot because the character of the president of the United States should, and does matter.

    David French wrote this to those in the faith who are grappling with who to vote for:

    [T]he most common question I received was simple: What exactly do you suggest Christians do? Should they hold their nose and vote for Trump but endeavor to still see him clearly and hold him accountable for his misconduct? Should they vote for Democrats even when Democrats would protect abortion rights and restrict religious freedom? Or should they vote third party or write in a name?

    …In each race, I impose a two-part test on candidates. First, they must possess a personal character that is worthy of the office they seek. Second, they must broadly share my political values. If a candidate fails either prong of that test, he or she doesn’t receive my vote.

    He points out that today’s Christians (and I would include Republicans, given the sweeping endorsement of Trump by the GOP) have compromised everything comparared to just 22 years ago:

    On November 16, 1998, a who’s who of Christian scholars issued a “declaration concerning religion, ethics, and the crisis in the Clinton presidency.”:

    “We are aware that certain moral qualities are central to the survival of our political system, among which are truthfulness, integrity, respect for the law, respect for the dignity of others, adherence to the constitutional process, and a willingness to avoid the abuse of power. We reject the premise that violations of these ethical standards should be excused so long as a leader remains loyal to a particular political agenda and the nation is blessed by a strong economy.”

    He sums it up:

    One does not cure cultural moral cancer with more cancer. We preserve nothing. Instead, we hasten the decay.

    And yes, Christians also hasten the decay if we vote for policies and people who would scorn the church, denigrate the value of unborn life, and celebrate other values contrary to biblical truth. But we do not have to choose between evils. Our nation’s two political parties do not dictate to the church how it must use its vast cultural and political power. The church must instead communicate its standards to our parties.

    If the world’s wealthiest and and most powerful collection of Christians are supine before their political masters in the United States, marching to the beat of secular drummers (even if allegedly “holding their noses” all the while) then I fear the message that sends is that we do not have faith that God’s providence governs the nations. We cannot and must not “put our trust in princes.” There is no such thing as a “binary choice.” We can choose not to yield to the spirit of the times.

    Theological truth can also create a pragmatic reality. Over time, perhaps the best method of cleansing our political class of the low, narcissistic characters who all too often occupy public office is to stop voting for them.

    Assuming Donald Trump is the Republican nominee, I can’t vote for him. Even if I do like some of the things he’s done, he lacks the character to be president. But I cannot join some of my Never Trump friends in backing the Democratic nominee. Many of them may well pass the character test, but I cannot vote for a person who would put in place policies I believe are harmful and potentially destructive—especially to unborn life.

    Dana (4fb37f)

  7. Thoughts —

    If Republicans win with Trump in 2020, then Trump will define Republicans, and future candidates will imitate him and try their best to be him. So, forget modest government. Slander will rule the day. And worrying about the budget is for losers. 2024 and onwards will be a battle between loud mouthed belligerent big government Conservatives and the next Bernie Sanders.

    So my view is that the only way for Republicans to shake Trump is to lose and lose badly, and keep losing. They need to lose in places they haven’t lost in a generation, like Utah and Texas and Georgia. They need to lose the suburbs. If you want a non-Trump GOP, you must vote against them, and do so effectively. That means vote for the Dem, even if it turns out to be Bernie.

    I voted Libertarian in 2016 in the hope that a decent showing would create a national party opposing Trump that did not also sign on for Intersectional Woke Socialism. That failed. Now, as Munroe and friends like to put it, we really have a binary choice — unless you are Gryph and just figure we are doomed. I am not ready to sign on to that viewpoint yet. So, yep, I am voting Democrat and am likely to make it a straight ticket. Though Bernie, with his own view of Presidential Caesarism (cancelling student debt with a pen and a phone) makes that a very, very, very hard choice.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  8. Donald Trump.

    Personally, I have never felt like that there was a greater internal threat to our democracy in my lifetime. Democrats may be foolish and radical but they are not now a threat to the Constitution and the rule of law. I realize that Trump’s supporters are refusing to see any of this. I spoke to a few this weekend and they would believe none of it. I heard “deep state” and “fake news” in response to my concerns. When they believe only one person despite his long history of lying, there is little room for reason.

    Four more years? OMG

    noel (4d3313)

  9. “If Republicans win with Trump in 2020, then Trump will define Republicans, and future candidates will imitate him and try their best to be him.”
    Appalled (1a17de) — 2/18/2020 @ 8:22 am

    Like Bush Jr. defined Republicans?

    The republic will survive Trump, as it survived Bush. Not sure it will survive the incessant quasi legal attempts to drive Trump from office.

    If Trump loses, this will define how to bring down a president. Own it.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  10. I have never felt like that there was a greater internal threat to our democracy in my lifetime.

    I really don’t know what you people are talking about. The threat is those of the deep state and their allies trying to remove him.

    Make America Ordered Again (afc191)

  11. Not sure it will survive the incessant quasi legal attempts to drive Trump from office.

    ^ This.

    Make America Ordered Again (afc191)

  12. noel (4d3313) — 2/18/2020 @ 8:32 am

    Democrats may be foolish and radical but they are not now a threat to the Constitution and the rule of law.

    Actually, I think it’s te other way around as far as “a threat to the Constitution and the rule of law’ is concerned. Nothing permanent, except bad policy, and consequences, is likely to come from Trump, and if he barely scrapes by in 2020, the 2024 nominee won’t try to imitate him (but of course the nominee is likely be better if he loses and a big loss would definitely tend to improve the Republican party.)

    Some, but not all, Democrats are a danger to liberty and free speech. The woke censors and trolls may go wild. Then there’s the idea of packing the Supreme Court. Of course that can’t happen without good control of Congress.

    Sammy Finkelman (393233)

  13. However, yeah, I believe you “feel” that way!

    Make America Ordered Again (afc191)

  14. “Don’t worry. Be happy.”

    kenseica (688805)

  15. And by “deep state”, they mean Trump’s Secretary of State. Trump’s spokesman. Trump’s personal lawyer. Trump’s Chief of Staff. Trump’s former Attorney General. Trump’s Ambassador. Trump’s FBI Director. Trump’s John Bolton….

    noel (4d3313)

  16. What I’m really hoping for is a Republican bloodbath with all the Trumpablicans, federal, state and local, shown the door. The remainder can then try to rebuild the Party, or it can fade into well-deserved ignominy forever, allowing the Democrats to meiose into the crazies and non-crazies, and leaving the Deplorables out in the cold playing with their “Confederate monuments”.

    nk (1d9030)

  17. @Pat and other’s planning on not voting for Trump.

    Do you think Trump’s actions are unique compared to his predecessor? Or, is it his uncouth behavior/personality simply highlights how presidents use their office?

    Do you factor in Democrat’s policies, if elected, at all in your decision making process?

    Would an another Obama administration be acceptable (ie, Biden as POTUS)? I think many of you would, but are afraid to advertise it here. If so, why? (DRJ has articulated that Biden *may* be acceptable… but, hardly anyone else).

    Would a Sanders/Bloomberg administration be acceptable?

    Are you talking about just the presidential elections? For instance, you would abstain or vote for the not-Trump but would vote GOP down ticket? (maybe you’re wanting a divided government)

    Do you not acknowledge the leftward tilt of the Democratic party? Does that concern you at all?

    Think about the actions of the left, democrats and the media these past few years, particularly Antifa, Kavanaugh fiasco, Convington Ordeal, and the continued lawfare tactics that is being employed. Do you think all of that ends when these people are back in power?

    I constantly describe modern politics as a one-way ratchet, based on precedent setting behaviors. With that in mind, employ Thomas Sowell’s usual response: “…and then what?

    That is, if Trump loses the 2020 election…and then what?

    I disagree with your premise that this election is the Flight 93 election in reverse. Given what we know of current Democrats, keeping them out of power *is* the Flight 93 election.

    whembly (51f28e)

  18. 16. If that’s your goal, you could do worse than putting Bloomberg up against Trump.

    Gryph (08c844)

  19. Just Trump’s attempt to transform the Justice Department into his personal political machine…. alone…. is enough to eject him and his supporters from power. For many years IMO.

    noel (4d3313)

  20. David French never explains why Trump is such a immoral character that no Christian should vote for.. By “explain” – I mean provides specifics. Instead it always a lot of heated up adjectives. Plus, he was perfectly happy electing that “Super Christian” Hillary in 2016, and presumably would be happy to see “Christian” Bernie or Liz Warren in the White House. So, let me doubt Reverend French’s sincerity.

    Also, The Rev. French also seems to be rather low on Christian charity toward Mr. Trump and always willing to beholdest the mote in the eye of others and ignore his own. Plus, he always seems happier attacking Trump (who claims to be a Christian) and his supporters than battling the explicitly anti-Christian Left.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  21. If its Trump versus any Dem oldster, I want to consult 3 doctors…who will go first? And vote for that guy.

    urbanleftbehind (303acd)

  22. I

    don’t

    know.

    feh.

    Marc (586943)

  23. The vast majority of those who voted for Trump in 2016 had become tired of politics that provided them no clear benefit for continuing with a political party that seemingly could get nothing done for them. Donald Trump showed up with a simplistic solution to their problems; Hillary clinton proved to be an inept retail politician, and we got what we have today.

    As Mr. Buttigieg pointed out, going back to the political situation as it was prior to the 2016 election is not going to solve today’s problems, and the “revolution” approach of several Democratic candidates sounds unappealiing at best.

    What we have now is a Republican Party that has abandoned most of its conservative values and Democrats who are split between nostalgia and fantasy.

    I expect that the quality of politics over the next four years will be determined more by the composition of the Senate than by whoever is elected President.

    John B Boddie (286277)

  24. The standard Left-wing tactic during my entire life is this:

    When there’s a Republican POTUS, they constantly attack the AG for being unethical or “politicizing” the DoJ. They constantly demand he “recuse” himself for this or that “scandal”, appoint special prosecutors, and/or resign. They constantly attacked William French, forced Meese to resign, attacked Thornbourg, attacked Ashcroft, and forced Gonzales to resign. Not one republican AG EVER met their standards.

    Of course when the D’s get in power, all that concern for “ethics” and “Politicization” pretty much gets muted or goes away.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  25. It wasn’t the Democrats who drove Sessions out, it was Trump. And it will be Trump who drives Barr out for not being being a wriggly-enough butt gerbil.

    nk (1d9030)

  26. Patterico explained some of the reasons he objects to Trump:

    Re-elect Trump and you ratify all the corruption, abuse of the rule of law, nastiness, dumbing down of everything, policy-by-TV, neglect of reading, and above all the placement of the President above the law.

    Do you factor any of that into your thinking, whembly? My guess is you have, just as others of us have thought about your concerns.

    DRJ (15874d)

  27. If the republican party has abandoned the “Conservatism” of Bill Kristol, Max Boot, George Will, Jennifer Rubin, Erick Erickson and Jonah Goldberg, all one can say is thank God, and its about time.

    Yes, Mitt Romney, McCain, and George and Yeb Bush were quite “conservative” – as shown by their actions toward trump after he become the nominee. I think we need truth in labeling since all these people are not “Conservative” in the Ronald Reagan sense, but GLOBALISTS, which is their most treasured value. That’s why they all preferred -or were OK with – President Hillary and Chief Justice Kagan and a Left-wing SCOTUS.

    But then there’s no law against calling yourself “Conservative” – its a just a label and anyone can hi-jack it and use it.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  28. Re-elect Trump and you ratify all the corruption, abuse of the rule of law, nastiness, dumbing down of everything, policy-by-TV, neglect of reading, and above all the placement of the President above the law.

    If Trump great policies are based on TV, then reading is overrated. As for the “Rule of Law” why are you trotting that old cliche out? The horse has left the barn. The elites don’t obey the immigration laws and revel in it. The Leftists flout the drug laws and revel in it. The Democrats are trying to do an end round the election laws and the electoral college? Does anyone care? No.

    There is no “Rule of Law”. Nobody cares anymore. Its just something the other guy is supposed to do.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  29. T-rump was not someone I could vote for in the last election.

    All that’s transpired since has only vindicated my judgment.

    I certainly can’t vote for any Deemocrat either, and I’ve never seen a third party candidate I considered serious.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  30. Ditto, Ragspierre.

    Clearly, people who have openly criticized Trump and cited his many character flaws, his lack of a functioning moral compass, and his corruption, among other things, would still consider voting for him. To them, I would ask: do you consider this election to be an even more “binary choice” than you did last election?

    Dana (4fb37f)

  31. 21. urbanleftbehind (303acd) — 2/18/2020 @ 8:49 am

    If its Trump versus any Dem oldster, I want to consult 3 doctors…who will go first? And vote for that guy.

    Doesn’t the identity of the vice-presidential nominee matter then?

    Now actually, if someone is walking around without difficulty, they’re probably good for at least nine years.

    Sammy Finkelman (393233)

  32. I qualify as I am among “those who find Trump worrisome.” I did not vote for him last time, despite being in a swing state. I have repeatedly said that I can respect anybody voting against Trump, as well as anybody voting against HRC. But, you can’t beat somebody with nobody. Who do the Democrats have? If Mayor Mike were running on his record, maybe (assuming you can tolerate his anti-2A stance). But every sensible thing he said and did, he is running away from. So, what you have left is just an annoying coward. And the field goes downhill from there.

    Marco (1e51fc)

  33. In 2016, Trump lost by 4.27 million in CA and the spread is likely to be larger in 2020. You might as well do a protest vote, Patterico. Dana brought up the David French piece and I believe that’s a good template.
    For me, I still haven’t yet seen a viable 3rd party candidate, so cross that one out. Even the most conservative Democrat in the field (probably Klobuchar) doesn’t align enough with my political views, so that’s a no-go. What’s left is to write in a Republican who hasn’t bent the knee and drunk the Trump Kool Aid, which means pickings are slim. So with that, congrats, Mr. Kasich, you’ve got my write-in vote. For now.

    Paul Montagu (ae8832)

  34. Do you find Bernie and the rest of the radical leftists who have made it clear that they intend to destroy America worrisome?

    NJRob (4d595c)

  35. What # 34 said.

    Also, for those concerned about undermining the rule of law, did you have the same concerns about what occurred in the Obama Administration? Because I can list several things there that, IMO, are more worrisome than what Trump has done.

    And if the answer to that is yes, what makes you think the next president with a D after his name won’t do the same?

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  36. Don Surber on the Democrats removing the masks that portrayed them as caring about American workers, soverignty etc. and disowning anything remotely common sense that they may have said just a few years ago:

    “ “‘I believe we have very serious immigration problems in this country,’ Sanders said during a 2007 press event, with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka behind him. ‘I think as you’ve heard today, sanctions against employers who employ illegal immigrants is virtually nonexistent. Our border is very porous.’

    ‘And I think at a time when the middle class is shrinking, the last thing we need is to bring over in a period of years, millions of people into this country who are prepared to lower wages for American workers,’ he later added. Sanders voted against the 2007 bill, but went on to vote in favor of a similar 2013 bill while making plain his fears that it could exacerbate the issue of immigrant workers ‘making it harder for US citizens to find jobs.’

    That rhetoric stands in stark contrast to how Bernie Sanders sounds today. Just four years after a contentious presidential primary where his immigration record was a consistent point of attack, Sanders has changed, people who have worked with him closely on immigration issues told BuzzFeed News. Sanders, they said, has spent time closely listening and working with immigrant rights activists, forming new policy and finding new ways to talk about the issue, in line with the more progressive conversations in this primary. And he is now running for president with the support of grassroots Latino activists and major immigrant rights groups.”

    This is not about getting the Latino vote.

    This is about importing socialists from other countries because even with the schools and the media promoting socialism, it is a No Sale in America.

    Finally, Mini Mike ran a clean city with low crime for 12 years. Now he must apologize for his effectiveness. He should have encouraged junkies to poop and shoot up in the streets, banned plastic straws, and let hobos set up tents along the sidewalks.”
    _

    Read it all:

    https://donsurber.blogspot.com/2020/02/obama-turned-democrats-into-losers.html?m=1
    _

    harkin (b64479)

  37. And if the answer to that is yes, what makes you think the next president with a D after his name won’t do the same?

    If it’s a binary choice, I would rather have a next President who behaves like Obama and not one who behaves like Trump. If Trump is not soundly rejected, he will be a precedent that will have destroyed the Presidency forever.

    nk (1d9030)

  38. Finally, Mini Mike ran a clean city with low crime for 12 years. Now he must apologize for his effectiveness. He should have encouraged junkies to poop and shoot up in the streets, banned plastic straws, and let hobos set up tents along the sidewalks.

    Yep. MB was not a bad mayor, he had his overbearing and authoritarian side, but for a Democrat you could do a lot worse. But now the party is forcing him to recant everything good he did.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  39. Besides, I can’t stand the sight of him, like a grave-moldered zombie Liberace with a bad makeup job.

    nk (1d9030)

  40. Unless the Democrats nominate a moderate, we’re left with a quandary of existential proportions. I simply cannot forgive Trump for having vulgarized public discourse, for having trashed the image of conservatism (though he is anything but conservative himself), for his non-stop lies, for normalizing behaviors that sully the office of the presidency. One term of the P**sy-Grabber-In-Chief is one term too many, and I would not consider voting for him. But neither would I vote for Sanders or Warren (who doesn’t seem like much of a threat any longer). I find Bloomberg’s attempt to purchase the presidency repulsive. Though I disagree with Klobuchar on many issues, I could be persuaded to vote for her, and find myself secretly hoping she’ll pick up momentum. I used to think I could hold my nose and vote for Biden, but he keeps saying so many idiotic things that I wonder if he’s really mentally competent. To often, I’ve ended up voting against people rather than for anyone, and I’m really tired of doing that. If it’s Sanders vs. Trump, maybe I’ll just build a bunker and hope for the best.

    Roger (8a1561)

  41. If it’s Sanders vs. Trump, maybe I’ll just build a bunker and hope for the best.

    I had a cave on a hillside back on the family farm (that I would have had at worst to share with badgers) but the forestry service took that parcel for a watershed and firebreak.

    nk (1d9030)

  42. Trump will of course, lose the Never-trumper vote in 2020 – all 14 of them.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  43. @26

    Patterico explained some of the reasons he objects to Trump:

    Re-elect Trump and you ratify all the corruption, abuse of the rule of law, nastiness, dumbing down of everything, policy-by-TV, neglect of reading, and above all the placement of the President above the law.

    Do you factor any of that into your thinking, whembly? My guess is you have, just as others of us have thought about your concerns.

    DRJ (15874d) — 2/18/2020 @ 8:59 am

    I’ll answer if you could answer my questions upstream.

    Re-elect Trump and you ratify all the corruption,

    I don’t perceive the alleged corruption claims any worse than previous admins.

    abuse of the rule of law,

    Again, I’m not seeing anything that’s any worse than previous administration. This isn’t a whattaboutery deflection as we can go back-and-forth about past Presidential’s abuses of power. Again, this isn’t to say that Congress/Courts/public shouldn’t call out mal/misfeasance, but I do object to the idea that Trump is unique in this.

    Frankly, do you really believe that a Biden/Bloomberg/Sanders presidency would NOT abuse (if not more) this office?

    nastiness,

    That is unique to Trump, as I expect a certain decorum that our President should exhibit. But, two things comes to mind:
    1) Obviously it is effective to his base as it supports the “he fights” narrative.
    2) Voters wanted someone to “take on” the establishment. Trump is doing that. Remains to be seen how effective his is (so far, he hasn’t imo).

    dumbing down of everything,

    Strategy-wise, this is tiring. But its not as if he’s doing it all by his lonesome. There’s blame on all sides for this, and a “Not-Trump” won’t ameliorate the other side.

    policy-by-TV,

    You mean, policy-by-tweets?

    Yeah, that’s a fair point.

    I wished he wouldn’t tweet has he does as he gets himself in trouble routinely. However, on the plus side, he gets everyone to talk about it.

    neglect of reading,

    You mean that he’s not educated on the policies he takes?

    Pretty much every POTUS has this issue.

    and above all the placement of the President above the law.

    Again, not whatterboutry, but I don’t think it’s any worse than previous presidents.

    For me, preventing Democrats from the levers of power *is* the Flight 93 election.

    I *will* agree that there are arguments that Presidents are too powerful due to Congress delegating their own powers, Congress loathing to exercise their power of the purse, Administrative state, multi-admin OLC policy against DOJ indicting sitting Presidents,etc…

    Trump isn’t doing much uncharted presidential acts of power here… however, I’ll agree that isn’t much of a defense. My hope here is that BECAUSE of Trump, these concerns would take more prominence and becomes a strong conventional wisdom of “Hey…remember when we elected Trump? We shouldn’t grant POTUS this power, even though when my side has the Whitehouse”.

    Voting for Trump isn’t just about the man himself and his policies… it’s also about voting against whomever the Democratic candidate.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  44. I can’t stand the sight of him, like a grave-moldered zombie Liberace with a bad makeup job.

    ~

    I simply cannot forgive Trump for having vulgarized public discourse

    ~

    Etc.

    I swear, most of his biggest critics are just prissy.

    Make America Ordered Again (afc191)

  45. Maybe the anti-Trumpers can start a new Party and call it the “Goldilocks party”.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  46. @30

    Ditto, Ragspierre.

    Clearly, people who have openly criticized Trump and cited his many character flaws, his lack of a functioning moral compass, and his corruption, among other things, would still consider voting for him. To them, I would ask: do you consider this election to be an even more “binary choice” than you did last election?

    Dana (4fb37f) — 2/18/2020 @ 9:15 am

    Yes, this election is even more of a “binary choice” than the last election, simply because of where the current Democrats are at ideologically.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  47. Off Topic, but if you want to know why Republicans lose, just look at Donald Ayer. Clerked for Rehnquist. Deputy solicitor General in 1986 at the age of 36, and Deputy AG at the age of 39. Then goes off the rails and resigns in a huff after 6 months in the job. Reason? He the AG rejected one of his sentencing reform proposals. Then goes into private practice for 30 years, and now pops up at the age of 71 to attack publicly Barr and win some points from the Democrat Left.

    The R’s ALWAYS seem to have people like this. Comey is another example. You’d think someone would screen these characters, but no, mavericks and traitors are always welcome at Hotel Republican.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  48. The idea of voting Democratic as a protest vote against President Trump means that your vote gets lost in the masses. Our host’s vote in California will be just one more among millions, in a state the Democratic nominee is guaranteed to win. DRJ’s vote in the Lone Star State will be lost, in a state President Trump will carry.

    The only way to make it known that your vote is a protest vote is to vote third party, even in a battleground state. Gary Johnson didn’t get quite what was initially expected, but he still won 3.62% of the vote, tripling the Libertarians’ best previous showing.

    A lot of the Libertarians’ policies are anathema to this group, their open borders policy being foremost among them, but there are things in their platform that many here can and do support.

    Those who believe that they simply have to vote against President Trump can do so, without voting for the socialist policies of Bernie Sanders or the we-will-run-your-life-for-you policies of Michael Bloomberg.

    The Dana in Kentucky (b7cfab)

  49. Patterico, I share your concerns about Trump and the damage he’s doing the our system of government. There won’t be a candidate running for office that I want to be president.

    Here’s how I’m currently breaking it down. This isn’t mutually exclusive, and it’s far from a final draft.

    Grifters: Williamson, Gabbard, Trump
    Centrist Democrats who will do Centrist democrat stuff: Biden, Klobo, Mayor Pete,
    Lefties that will try to make deep structural changes: Warren, Sanders
    Authoritarians: Bloomberg, Trump
    People who can get things Done: Warren, Klobo, Bloomberg
    People who will damage existing norms: Trump, Sanders

    When I do the overlap Warren is out because she wants to make structural changes I don’t like, and she may get it done. Sanders lacks her track record of accomplishment but is likely to try ‘burn it all down’. Bloomberg is an authoritarian who has demonstrated that he’s willing to violate individual rights to further his policy objectives.

    That leaves Mayor Pete, Klobo and Biden as the least bad choices, although they all have downsides. We’ll get liberal Judges. But they won’t try to drastically change the US system and may show some respect for existing norms.

    Time123 (daab2f)

  50. 46.
    Since the second George Washington election EVERY election (including that one) has been flacked as the existential struggle of all time.

    Seriously. Look it up.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  51. @Pat and other’s planning on not voting for Trump.

    Do you think Trump’s actions are unique compared to his predecessor?

    I think Trumps actions are sufficiently outside the norm that they’re unacceptable.

    Do you factor in Democrat’s policies, if elected, at all in your decision making process?

    Yes. Also likely GOP response and the chances a given Dem will get their policies done.

    Would an another Obama administration be acceptable (ie, Biden as POTUS)? I think many of you would, but are afraid to advertise it here. If so, why? (DRJ has articulated that Biden *may* be acceptable… but, hardly anyone else).

    It would be less bad.

    Would a Sanders/Bloomberg administration be acceptable?

    No/probably not.

    Are you talking about just the presidential elections? For instance, you would abstain or vote for the not-Trump but would vote GOP down ticket? (maybe you’re wanting a divided government)

    After the way they handled the Ukraine matter I don’t plan for any GOP candidate.

    Do you not acknowledge the leftward tilt of the Democratic party? Does that concern you at all?

    Yes.

    Think about the actions of the left, democrats and the media these past few years, particularly Antifa, Kavanaugh fiasco, Convington Ordeal, and the continued lawfare tactics that is being employed. Do you think all of that ends when these people are back in power?

    I am aware of all of them. Some (Covington) bother me more than others (lawfare).

    I constantly describe modern politics as a one-way ratchet, based on precedent setting behaviors. With that in mind, employ Thomas Sowell’s usual response: “…and then what?”
    That is, if Trump loses the 2020 election…and then what?

    And then the GOP debates what about Trump didn’t work and hopefully decide that the next candidate cannot be a corrupt clown with no respect for the rule of law or the norms that help limit executive power. Hopefully the somewhat misguided grievance at ‘lawfare’ creates a virtuous cycle of stronger oversight until it’s much harder to get away with self-dealing and corruption. It’s a long shot, but it’s better than Trump winning.

    Time123 (89dfb2)

  52. > but I don’t think it’s any worse than previous presidents.

    Are you aware of any previous administration filing briefs in federal court which outright argue that the President is immune to any and all criminal process while President, or any previous President who openly proclaims that he has the *absolute right* to interfere in any federal investigation he wishes to?

    Both of these positions are massively corruptive of the rule of law.

    aphrael (971fba)

  53. In all this discussion, everyone seems to have left out the degradation of America’s position in the world that Trump is overseeing.

    He’s alienated many of the countries that were at least sympathetic to us, or at least saw their own interests converge with ours. He’s weakened the bonds that would help us oppose those hostile to us, like China, Russia, and the Islamists. He’s thrown out the idea that America should be a “light unto the nations” on behalf of democracy and free markets. No one can trust the US to stick to a policy for any interval longer than the next tweet. And most of the world views him as the Clown in Chief, and the country he supposedly represents as a people who deserve him.

    The last, at least, is Trump specific, and will not carry over to the next POTUS, unless that POTUS is trying to “build” on Trump’s “legacy”.

    kishnevi (845597)

  54. RCocean wrote

    Off Topic, but if you want to know why Republicans lose, just look at Donald Ayer. Clerked for Rehnquist. Deputy solicitor General in 1986 at the age of 36, and Deputy AG at the age of 39. Then goes off the rails and resigns in a huff after 6 months in the job. Reason? He the AG rejected one of his sentencing reform proposals. Then goes into private practice for 30 years, and now pops up at the age of 71 to attack publicly Barr and win some points from the Democrat Left.

    The R’s ALWAYS seem to have people like this. Comey is another example. You’d think someone would screen these characters, but no, mavericks and traitors are always welcome at Hotel Republican

    .

    You seem incapable of fathoming any motivation beyond acclaim from one side or another for partisan acts. Is it truly so alien to your thinking that someone might act from some principle other than tribal loyalty?

    Time123 (daab2f)

  55. As for the most immediate question: I am debating whether to vote for Buttigieg or Klobuchar in the primary next month here in Florida: I want to support the candidate most effective in keeping the Democratic left from taking it over completely. In November I will probably continue to vote the Libertarian, just as I have in the last four Presidential elections. I certainly wouldn’t vote for Sanders or Warren. I might be tempted for the Democratic candidate if that person seems a moderate.

    All that is based on the assumption that the GOP get out the vote machine is more effective than the Democratic version here in Florida, which is what happened in the 2018 elections, and Florida can be considered safely in Trump’s column in November.

    kishnevi (845597)

  56. In all this discussion, everyone seems to have left out the degradation of America’s position in the world that Trump is overseeing.

    The western world is embarking on an increasingly nationalist, populist rejection of the globalist elites. Trump is a part of this. You’re entirely wrong.

    Make America Ordered Again (afc191)

  57. 54. Story out of GB is that the thug in the Oval Office pissed off BoJo with his rude behavior such that a planned visit will not happen.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  58. Make America Ordered Again (afc191) — 2/18/2020 @ 10:53 am

    Nationalist populist rejection of the globalist elites is how we got World War I and World War II. Care to repeat those experiences?

    More broadly, “rejection of the globalist elites” is really just rejecting free markets and free low of ideas and information in favor of increasing national government’s control over people’s lives here at home. Which ties in nicely with the socially conservative, authoritarian types exemplied by Trump, but has nothing to do with those principles of freedom, equality and liberty that supposedly make the United States of America “exceptional”.

    kishnevi (845597)

  59. In all this discussion, everyone seems to have left out the degradation of America’s position in the world that Trump is overseeing.

    I don’t give a whit what other despots, malcontents, tyrants (real tyrants not the phony trumped-up kind), communists, quislings, and America-wanna-bes think about us. This tired argument is what has gotten us in this position in the first place. Our position in the world is and always should be determined by ONE thing: What is best for the United States. You think we have problems? Name a country in this world where the people in power are less corrupt, etc. than here. It doesn’t happen. If you think otherwise you are simply too far away and unaffected by the problems created by the corruption and bureaucracies in those countries. If anything in regard to the rest of the world (which George Washington warned to avoid entangling with) the less we are involved in their messes, the better off we are. Putting the screws to the NATO countries to get them to pay even a pittance more FOR THEIR OWN DEFENSE and they scream like stuck pigs. Sure we got problems. And like him or hate him, Trump has exposed our corrupt house for being as bad as it is. Which I see as a good thing, whether he’s a good bit to blame himself or not.

    PTw (894877)

  60. President Trump just commuted the prison sentence of Rod Blagojevich. One of the few Democrats who is ever held accountable for his public sleaze and corruption, and our President just unlocked his cell and threw open the door.

    Draining the swamp indeed.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  61. Fun fact: Blago’s prison is across the street and a couple of blocks down from where my cousin’s kids went to school.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  62. I don’t give a whit what other despots, malcontents, tyrants (real tyrants not the phony trumped-up kind), communists, quislings, and America-wanna-bes think about us.

    I’m not talking about them. I’m not talking about Xi, but about the Chinese. I’m not talking about Boris Johnson or Teresa May, but the British. I’m not talking about Macron, but the French. I’m not talking about the leaders, but the peoples. And what has always been best for the US is for those peoples to be at least moderately sympathetic to us.

    Now most of them think we’re a clown show that needs to be quarantined.

    kishnevi (845597)

  63. Name a country in this world where the people in power are less corrupt, etc. than here.

    Switzerland.

    That was easy.

    Want SEVERAL more…???

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  64. Blago had reported to prison in March of 2012, so he had not yet served a full eight years of his fourteen year sentence. According to federal rules, he was supposed to spend a minimum of twelve years incarcerated before being eligible for parole.

    But at least now the Dems have a compromise candidate to turn to in case of a divided convention, one from the same state that produced their last President and one who can appeal to the upper-midwest states that Hillary Clinton lost.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  65. Story breaking that Duh Donald is on the verge of pardoning Bloggo.

    WTF…

    That’ll do wonders for lawn order!

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  66. kishnevi (845597) — 2/18/2020 @ 10:37 am

    He’s thrown out the idea that America should be a “light unto the nations” on behalf of democracy and free markets.

    hat’s what he’s done. I mean he’s actually thrown out the idea of standing for a “light unto the nations” on behalf of human rights – with some exceptions popular with some constituencies in the United States, so he’s all strong for democracy in Venezuela and acts against the government of Iran. He doesn’t do much against China, but then cracks down harder than anyone else would (while praising the dictator) but for mostly stupid reasons.

    The punishment that China is now undergoing for corona virus is tougher than anyone would ever do for the sake of the Uighurs or others. And the government of China can’t appeal U.S. policy on any kind of humanitarian or fairness grounds because Trump doesn’t care about that and China doesn’t want him to care about it. And they can’t appeal on the grounds of logic, because they’re not very logical themselves.

    No one can trust the US to stick to a policy for any interval longer than the next tweet.

    Well, if he seems to change policy, it may not stay changed, at least for the most part, which is actually a good thing.

    Generally the U.S. sticks to a policy, especially with the current Secretary of State.

    Sammy Finkelman (393233)

  67. @55: Donald Ayer would rather have seen Barr convene a tarmac meeting with Stone’s lawyers so as to keep some semblance of decorum.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  68. Nationalist populist rejection of the globalist elites is how we got World War I and World War II.

    No. Not at all. Quite the reverse, again.

    Make America Ordered Again (afc191)

  69. Trump fans need to understand that the main reason their guy showed mercy to Blago is because he thought that Blago didn’t do anything that other politicians haven’t done, and if you read between the lines it’s not hard to hear Trump admitting that Blago didn’t do anything that Trump himself wouldn’t have done in that situation. So yeah, a real swamp-drainer that clown has turned out to be.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  70. Name a country in this world where the people in power are less corrupt, etc. than here.

    If you really believed the Deep State theory, you’d say we are quite corrupt.

    And you would, as a replacement for Trump, look for someone who could effectively fight them, instead of trying to join them.

    kishnevi (845597)

  71. Heh. Globalists elites are the ones RESPONSIBLE for WWI, and thus the resulting WWII. What, you think Tommy Atkins, Pierre Poilu, and Hans Fritzy were just sitting around looking for something to do and decided to invade Belgium? Gimme a break.

    PTw (894877)

  72. No. Not at all. Quite the reverse, again.

    Hard to believe someone is that ignorant of modern history….the 1930s was a peak era of anti-global populism.

    kishnevi (845597)

  73. Nationalist populist rejection of the globalist elites is how we got World War I and World War II.

    No. Not at all. Quite the reverse, again.

    Woodrow Wilson was a BIG nationalist populist, and a(nother) really terrible Progressive. Just like the orange raccoon.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  74. @68 to get your whatabout comment structured correctly you should have said Stone’s “spouse” not “lawyer“. Your dumb trolling is usually better than this.

    Time123 (daab2f)

  75. WWI happened because European politicians boxed themselves in with nationalist rhetoric aimed at seeming to be on the side of the masses. In the 1930s, Japan, Italy, Germany, and Russia all were controlled by nationalist populist movements in various forms. And here in the US, the 1930s was the high point of populism.

    kishnevi (845597)

  76. Woodrow Wilson was a BIG nationalist populist, and a(nother) really terrible Progressive.

    So was FDR.

    Make America Ordered Again (afc191)

  77. National Review:

    “It was a prosecution by the same people: Comey, Fitzpatrick, the same group . . . That was a tremendously powerful, ridiculous sentence, in my opinion,” Trump said. He added that “I’m actually, I guess, the chief law enforcement officer of the country.” ….Trump is also expected to pardon former NYPD commissioner Bernard Kerik, who was found guilty of tax fraud charges in 2010.

    Take that, FBI persecutors of politically prominent individuals!

    Sammy Finkelman (393233)

  78. Duh.

    So was Teddy Roosevelt.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  79. I’m not talking about them. I’m not talking about Xi, but about the Chinese. I’m not talking about Boris Johnson or Teresa May, but the British. I’m not talking about Macron, but the French. I’m not talking about the leaders, but the peoples.

    Who put those people in place? Who tolerates them? And again, why do I care what a Brit or a Frenchy thinks? We best them in virtually anything we try. People from UK and France are far more interested in moving to the US than Americans are moving there. Plus the US can never be in any way inferior (less free) than countries that have no respect for their citizen’s right to bare arms.

    Switzerland.

    That was easy.

    Yeah, familiar with their banking system are you? There, that was easy.

    If you really believed the Deep State theory, you’d say we are quite corrupt.
    Oh, I can believe the Deep State theory and still say we are better off if only because we at least have had it exposed. Every country has such an apparatus. It’s unavoidable. We’ve had it exposed to this degree because we have people brash and obnoxious enough to dare to expose them.

    PTw (894877)

  80. @53

    > but I don’t think it’s any worse than previous presidents.

    Are you aware of any previous administration filing briefs in federal court which outright argue that the President is immune to any and all criminal process while President,

    The OLC under Clinton, Bush, Obama and now Trump has argued that a sitting President cannot be indicted whilst in office. That doesn’t mean that they cannot EVER be indicted. DOJ absolutely can induct former Presidents.

    As a practical matter, the DOJ is subordinate to the President…so, it’s never really a pragmatic solution.

    or any previous President who openly proclaims that he has the *absolute right* to interfere in any federal investigation he wishes to?

    Both of these positions are massively corruptive of the rule of law.

    aphrael (971fba) — 2/18/2020 @ 10:36 am

    President can interfere investigations…whether it is wise to do so, is a different question as well as any consequences.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  81. Also pardoned today, Bernie Kerik, Eddie DeBartolo, and Mike Milken. What do they have in common, fraud, lots and lots of fraud. Which is no bad thing in the mind of the Donny Orange-O-Tan

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (5cde89)

  82. Russia

    No. Fascism rose to confront Communism. Soviet Russia was literally an Internalist globalist movement, which was trying to foment Communism in country after country, including Britain, Japan, Germany, Italy, and the United States.

    Make America Ordered Again (afc191)

  83. Yeah, familiar with their banking system are you? There, that was easy.

    Yep. Pretty. Sort of the opposite of corrupt. Pretty careful with your money and your privacy.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  84. Right now….I simply don’t see a lot of courage of conviction within the GOP. Few Republican politicians are able to say the emperor is naked…..or offer a third way….or at least an adult way. The pro-Trump ideological stranglehold on Fox News and Talk Radio has made opposition at best painful…at worst career ending. Mix in the adoring affection of Evangelicals….and we see a somewhat brilliant….if not Machiavellian…takeover and transformation of a party that used to care as much about appearance and process as it did about result. No longer…being “no worse than [what we imagine about] Obama”….and being disappointed….but not terribly disappointed….in those tweets and unnecessary “punching downs”….is where we are at. The A-team of advisors…..Kelly, McMaster, Mattis, Haley, yeah even Tillerson….has given way to the C-team…..where Giuliani skullduggery is excused as “everyone does it” and the Stephen Miller’s have more sway.

    But you didn’t ask that….you asked what should be done. Well, Clinton and Obama have shown me that sometimes divided government is the best that can be hoped for….except that it also drives the Executive to questionable unilateral actions….and Courts being further politicized. I don’t trust the GOP checking Trump….heck they didn’t even think it appropriate to hear from his key foreign policy advisors on Ukraine [or maybe they knew what they would hear and didn’t want to have to spin even more justifications]. It certainly is a delicate balance because the socialist agenda is terrible though it is highly unlikely that you will see 60 Democrat votes in the Senate to implement it. Good economic times….and another weak Democrat field….makes replacing Trump difficult…..especially once a head-to-head race replaces the current nebulous preference. Biden, Bloomberg, Klobuchar…..who’s the person of character that will restore trust in the institution….who can at least pretend to be the President of all of us? Who can recreate a political center and be the adult in the room? Do I want the super-rich buying the Presidency….rather than being drafted into it?

    I’ll keep watching and listening. The bigger call is whether my GOP Senator gets my vote. I do like conservative judges being confirmed….and don’t want taxes taking a hard leftward turn….and like my foreign policy to lead from out front…..but I don’t want enablers….and excusers…..and rationalizers. Leadership demands more. What will you do to change the tone…and think out beyond 6 years? If you just want to play politics on Fox News or Hannity’s radio show….you’re part of the problem. My vote still needs to be earned……

    AJ_Liberty (165d19)

  85. Russia all were controlled by nationalist populist movements in various forms.

    Yeah, them serfs. Real populist crowd they were. But then I’m arguing with a guy who claims to be able to see a lighthouse from 100 miles away in broad daylight, so who’s the real fool, eh?

    PTw (894877)

  86. Time123 (daab2f) — 2/18/2020 @ 11:19 am

    No, I should’ve said something like “Nobody can take seriously anyone who was silent while Holder and Lynch politicized the DOJ. That’s the deal they made.”

    That sort of phasing seems to go over well.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  87. Soviet Russia was literally an Internalist globalist movement.

    For Trotsky. The opposite was true of Stalin in reality.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  88. The New York Times had an Op-ed piece arguing for commuting the sentence of Bernard Madoff – and others.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/17/opinion/bernie-madoff-release.html

    Even some who claim to detest the ravages of mass incarceration argue that Mr. Madoff should be denied compassionate release. He is as close to the financial equivalent of a serial killer as one might encounter. Still, there is a good argument to be made for compassionate release. It has little to do with Bernie Madoff, though, and how we feel about his horrendous actions.

    If our societal goal is to reduce incarceration, we are going to have to confront the inconvenient truth that retribution cannot be our only penological aim, and justice for victims has to be much more extensive than the incarceration of those who have caused them harm. We desperately need to shift our cultural impulse to punish harshly and degradingly, and for long periods….

    …Mr. Madoff lost both his sons while incarcerated (one died of cancer) and was unable to attend their funerals; is a social pariah, almost universally condemned; and has spent 11 years in federal prison. This is not to say he deserves sympathy, but he has been punished…Our American punitiveness has distorted our sense of what is an adequate sentence for serious offenses…

    Sammy Finkelman (393233)

  89. Speaking of “danger”, in Trump’s ongoing quest to free his criminal friends and persecute his political enemies, his AG acquiesced to help block the US prosecution of a corrupt Turkish bank. Fortunately, Barr’s efforts fell short. As they say, don’t watch they say (“making it impossible to do my job”), watch what they do.

    Attorney General William Barr attempted to block U.S. prosecution of a Turkish bank last year after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan asked Donald Trump for help in the matter, according to a new CNN report that supports earlier accounts.
    Barr personally attempted to head off prosecution of Halkbank in a suspected multibillion-dollar scheme to evade sanctions against Iran, CNN reported, citing “a person familiar with the discussions.” He reportedly tried to steer a settlement that would have allowed the bank to dodge an indictment shortly after Erdogan pressed Trump for help last spring.
    Barr ultimately failed to stop an indictment, however. U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman of the Southern District of New York insisted on criminal prosecution, CNN reported.
    Barr faces increasing criticism for appearing to do Trump’s bidding to manipulate Justice Department cases to punish the president’s enemies or help his allies. In this situation, Barr’s reported efforts seemed aimed at attempting to satisfy the request of an authoritarian foreign leader.

    Three words: Trump Towers Istanbul.

    Paul Montagu (ae8832)

  90. What to do?

    Support adoption of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact in your state (and deal with the Constitutional issues later).

    Do everything you can to undermine the two party system, first and foremost by working to achieve rank-choice voting at all levels of election across the country.

    Work to amend state constitutions to implement proportional representation for state legislatures.

    Pray for one Big Mac too many.

    Leviticus (b56671)

  91. @87 I’ll try and type this slowly so you can follow along.

    Lorretta Lynch was the AG, she met with Bill Clinton who was Hillary’s spouse, not her lawyer. To make the parallel correct you should have written Spouse. Do you follow now? Or do you need some sort of diagram? It doesn’t seem that complicated…

    Time123 (daab2f)

  92. Yeah, them serfs. Real populist crowd they were. But then I’m arguing with a guy who claims to be able to see a lighthouse from 100 miles away in broad daylight, so who’s the real fool, eh?

    You. Because you obviously have no real understanding of what Nazism or Russian Communism was. Stalin fomented international Communism as a means of building a Russian Empire, not anything more. The Nazis were explicitly populist. Etc.

    Best read up on history, because you seem to know a lot less about it than you think you do.

    kishnevi (845597)

  93. And again, why do I care what a Brit or a Frenchy thinks?

    Your ignorance today is astounding. Sorry, I can’t call it anything else. I care what British and French think because if they are sympathetic to us, it makes controlling jihadis easier, makes restraining Iran and China easier, and so forth.

    kishnevi (845597)

  94. The Rev. French also seems to be rather low on Christian charity toward Mr. Trump and always willing to beholdest the mote in the eye of others and ignore his own.

    But it would be TOTALLY UNFAIR to judge Trump by the same standard you’re apply to French. Right?
    I mean, only a deranged hater would notice that Donald Trump surpasses all others in his unwillingness to admit that he ever even makes a mistake, let alone sins, while he shows great alacrity in hurling all manner of accusations and insults against other people and a vindictive lust to “hit back ten times harder” against the slightest offense.

    Radegunda (8090a8)

  95. @61/@62/@70.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekUJPxMqteY

    ‘Draining the swamp indeed.’ And great TeeVee: Trump fired Blaggo off The Apprentice. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  96. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekUJPxMqteY

    ‘Draining the swamp indeed.’ And great TeeVee: Trump fired Blaggo off The Apprentice. 😉

    And Trump addressed Blago today.

    “He served eight years in jail, a long time. He seems like a very nice person, don’t know him.”

    Ignore the video evidence to the contrary, never met him, don’t know him. New phone, who dis?

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (5cde89)

  97. What makes Trump dangerous (besides his ignorance and the signs of mental deterioration) is his unabashedly solipsistic view of right and wrong, true and false, and his belief that whatever he does for his own purposes and his own benefit cannot possibly be wrong. No principle or policy or ideal will ever stand above the boundless cravings of his ego.

    Radegunda (8090a8)

  98. “To make the parallel correct you should have written Spouse. Do you follow now? Or do you need some sort of diagram? It doesn’t seem that complicated…”
    Time123 (daab2f) — 2/18/2020 @ 11:36 am

    Ok, consider it changed to spouse, to make you happy. And, with that change — so glad to know we agree. That’s quite a 180 for you.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  99. “Everything having to do with this fraudulent investigation is badly tainted and, in my opinion, should be thrown out,” Trump tweeted.

    “The whole deal was a total SCAM. If I wasn’t President, I’d be suing everyone all over the place BUT MAYBE I STILL WILL. WITCH HUNT!” he added.

    Oh, please, please, please, please sue. Don’t let those advisors hold you back! Just let it rrrrrip!

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  100. “ Still, there is a good argument to be made for compassionate release. It has little to do with Bernie Madoff, though, and how we feel about his horrendous actions.”

    If you don’t consider the criminal or the crimes, there is an argument to made for his release?

    Wtf did I just read?

    harkin (b64479)

  101. I think we do agree. It appeared inappropriate for Lynch to meet with Bill Clinton while Hillary was being investigated.

    Had we known that he was lobbying her to impact the investigation it would have been 100% wrong.

    Just like Trump’s public statements about the sentencing of Roger stone is wrong.

    I can see that, and admit it. For some reason you can’t.

    Time123 (89dfb2)

  102. Giving Donald Trump the power to pardon criminals. What could possibly go wrong?

    noel (4d3313)

  103. Time123 (89dfb2) — 2/18/2020 @ 12:21 pm

    The subject was Donald Ayer, and I can see that he can’t be taken seriously. So, it seems we don’t agree.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  104. Earning a pardon if you are a high profile criminal…

    Step One: Get an associate on Fox News.

    Step Two: Compliment Donald Trump.

    Step Three: Be patient. These things take weeks to work out.

    noel (4d3313)

  105. Time123 (89dfb2) — 2/18/2020 @ 12:21 pm

    It appeared inappropriate for Lynch to meet with Bill Clinton while Hillary was being investigated.

    She didn’t schedule the meeting.

    Bill Clinton arranged for them to be in the same airport near each other;s planes. He wanted to see to what lengths she would go to avoid him.

    He knew she wouldn’t schedule ameeting with him. He knew that if they were at the same event it would mean nothing/ He needed something like this.

    It was a test. If she avoided him utterly it meant that she had been warned not to see him and that would mean he was the target of an investigation, probably a RICO investigation that included the Clinton Foundation. If she didn’t avoid him, it meant he was not. And that meant there was no other investigation of Hillary going on and she could safely submit to an interview, which she’d been postponing using various excuses.

    Bill Clinton knew that the no indictment window was approaching. If the investigation against Hillary could be closed he wanted it closed. (He knew it would be announced) He wanted it closed so that there would be no speculation that Hillary could be indicted after the election. If there was something else, he didn’t want an interview, in order to prevent an immediate indictment.

    Sammy Finkelman (393233)

  106. “If You Think Trump is a Danger…” now, wait till pardon season is over.

    noel (4d3313)

  107. noel (4d3313) — 2/18/2020 @ 12:35 pm

    After the McCabe skate, I see we’re back to the law and order fake outrage pose.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  108. Trump needs to pardon General Flynn and Fabulist Stone.

    Make America Ordered Again (afc191)

  109. 101. harkin (b64479) — 2/18/2020 @ 12:20 pm

    If you don’t consider the criminal or the crimes, there is an argument to made for his release?

    Age, health, no fear of further crimes. Also: Sentence was already long enough for deterrence, or the idea that the fact that he only got out because of very very serious and debilitating medical condition does not diminish deterrent effect.

    Sammy Finkelman (393233)

  110. Every Trump outrage is defended by a shiny object.

    noel (4d3313)

  111. What outrage?

    Make America Ordered Again (afc191)

  112. I see nothing! Nothing!

    noel (4d3313)

  113. Every Trump outrage is defended by a intentionally stupid, amoral shiny object.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  114. I see nothing! Nothing!

    I seriously have no idea what you’re talk about.

    He’s all too frequently a blowhard, but as far as what he’s done that’s so bad, I don’t believe there’s anything that rises to the level of an “outrage.”

    Make America Ordered Again (afc191)

  115. Age, health, no fear of further crimes. Also: Sentence was already long enough for deterrence, or the idea that the fact that he only got out because of very very serious and debilitating medical condition does not diminish deterrent effect.

    Are criminal sentences punishment of said crimes, or is there something I’m missing here? Most old’s are probably not going to do a lot of crimes, so youngs don’t get equal justice under the law just because they were convicted earlier?

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (5cde89)

  116. Age, health, no fear of further crimes.

    I don’t know how much vigor one needs for fraud or corruption. I mean, Duh Donald seems to to hum along pretty well…

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  117. I seriously have no idea what you’re talk about.

    But that’s so often true.

    Or you know and pretend not to.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  118. @70

    Trump fans need to understand that the main reason their guy showed mercy to Blago is because he thought that Blago didn’t do anything that other politicians haven’t done, and if you read between the lines it’s not hard to hear Trump admitting that Blago didn’t do anything that Trump himself wouldn’t have done in that situation. So yeah, a real swamp-drainer that clown has turned out to be.

    JVW (54fd0b) — 2/18/2020 @ 11:14 am

    Yeah… on it’s face, this is disturbing.

    Couple of things:
    1) At the very least, this is something that becomes a voting issue in 2020. Unlike other presidents, Trump is willing to use controversial pardon power and this can become an issue electorally (ie, pardoning Joe Arapio).
    2) I don’t remember all the details, but I always thought the prison sentencing was a wee excessive (originally, wasn’t it something like 18 years?)

    whembly (fd57f6)

  119. 117. It isn’t only vigor that stop Madoff from committing further massive fraud like what he did. He’s busted.

    Sammy Finkelman (393233)

  120. It isn’t only vigor that stop Madoff from committing further massive fraud like what he did. He’s busted.

    C’mon, Sammy! How hard would it be for a Madoff (or Trump) to find a Cohan to use as stalking horse?

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  121. By my count, today’s action brings Pres Trump’s clemency count to 19 pardons and 4 commutations.

    Compares at same point in presidency to:
    OBAMA: 22 pardons, 1 commuttions
    GW BUSH: 12 pardons, 0 commutations

    — Mark Knoller (@markknoller) February 18, 2020

    Is it weird that I though Trump had waaaaaay more pardons by now…???

    whembly (fd57f6)

  122. With all the Oprah-ish pardonings today… I would bet significant money that pardons or commutations of Manafort, Stone, Flynn, Poppadopulous and others caught up in the Mueller probe is in the works now.
    It’s a matter of when, not if imo…what’s the before/after for this to be done before November?

    I’m going to say before…

    whembly (fd57f6)

  123. Blagovich was not a pardon, it was a commutation. He was sentenced to 14 years, and served 8.

    Not what I would have done, but hardly an outrage.

    The notion that Trump did this because Blagovich was his friend or crony is also unsupported. He denies knowing him, and I have seen no indication he knew him other than that he appeared on The Apprentice years ago.

    From what I can tell, Trump thinks these sentences are inflated, not completely undeserved.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  124. Here’s the press report of all the pardons/commutations:
    https://publicpool.kinja.com/subject-statement-from-the-press-secretary-regarding-e-1841768896

    whembly (fd57f6)

  125. To be fair, Blago did write an anti-impeachment op-ed:
    https://www.newsmax.com/t/newsmax/article/948017?section=newsfront&keywords=trum

    whembly (fd57f6)

  126. Not what I would have done, but hardly an outrage.

    Oh, I kinda feel that T-rump’s high-handedness might just be an outrage to the people of Illinois.

    I wouldn’t give a tinker’s damn about why he did it.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  127. Here’s some of my political calculus.

    1. We know that Trump is doing illegal and unConstitutional things. The Dems might or might not. I’ll take the chance of “might not”.

    2. The people Trump surrounds himself with are corrupt and corrupting others. Everyone who is not totally corrupt or has any commitment to any kind of ethics or to the country itself or anything other than Trump himself gets fired for having other loyalties than pure loyalty to Trump. That’s also an invitation to more and more and more and more and more and more and more corruption.

    3. How have the Dems been expanding their reach? They have listened to the local districts in getting candidates that can win and, since the lib districts were already theirs, they have been winning more conservative districts by running more conservative candidates. Those representatives will not be on board with crazy radical policy (we can know this because we saw it in the impeachment process. Pelosi was very careful in what she charged.) and so despite some of the more… excitable… members of the democratic party, the radical stuff won’t get done, even if it’s radical stuff the President wants.

    4. How have the Rs been expanding their reach? By riling up the base to get more R. voter engagement and turnout. The Representatives elected by this process are more on board with the crazy R radical stuff and so are more likely to give a pass to whatever crazy the President gets up to. Trump is good for them, he riles the base.

    5. If Trump wins, do the political parties get more respectful of the law or less? Less. If the country spanks Trump, the lesson learned (by both parties) is that you can go too far and he did. If we don’t, the lesson learned (by both parties) is that it doesn’t matter how far you can go.

    Here’s what I want: I want a genuine reform election, where the dems scream about the corruption and put enough bills through that they feel like they need to at least pass some of them in 2021. Barring that, I’ll take a bash you in the nose, you’ve been a bad boy election where the Rs just get spanked for their rank obsequiousness. This is the United States of America, we don’t bow to the king. All of Trumps means are wrong. Just because he give judges you like doesn’t mean you bow to the King. We Have No King, don’t accept one because you like his oration and judges.

    Nic (896fdf)

  128. Andrew Jerell Jones
    @sluggahjells
    “So we need to elect Bernie and we need a new party of, by and for working people. We need a powerful socialist movement to end all capitalist oppression and exploitation.”

    The highlights from Kshama Sawant (@cmkshama) at the @TacomaDome rally.
    __ _

    Stephen Miller
    @redsteeze

    Hey I think I’m beginning to understand why there’s a widespread media blackout about what surrogates and Sanders say at his rallies.’
    __

    harkin (b64479)

  129. California has 3 great things going for it.
    Cypress Point G.C.
    S.F. G.C.
    Pasatiempo G.C.

    mg (b465cb)

  130. I didn’t vote for Trump before, and I will not vote for Trump again, or any Republican who supports, defends or excuses him. In real estate, I’ve seen his ilk before.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  131. I didn’t vote for Trump before, and I will not vote for Trump again, or any Republican who supports, defends or excuses him.

    That’s interesting. I don’t plan on voting for President Trump this fall, but I am completely and unreservedly willing to absolve any Republican lawmaker who determined that it was a necessary evil to support him. Yes judges and tax-cuts and all that, but also just a general sense that Mr. Trump’s opponents are every bit as venal, reckless, and dishonest as he is, yet they agree with the GOP on virtually nothing. I think we’ll all regret that we placed so much faith in such a weak vessel, especially when he wins reelection later this year and Democrats absolutely clean up in the 2022 midterms (capping off the humiliation by winning the governor’s office in Texas, Georgia, and Florida) and then AOC trounces GOP Presidential nominee Matt Gaetz in 2024.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  132. Who one pardons, and why, matters. By the time he is done, all of his white-collar criminal friends will be pardoned while prosecutors who dare touch any of his buddies will be under the investigative microscope. Just a wild guess.

    noel (4d3313)

  133. Trump loves to pardon people. I’m sorta shocked at the response to Gov. Blogawhatver commutation. Guess a lot of people want him to rot in jail for 14 years, as if 8 years isn’t enough. I mean, the dude’s over 60. His political career is ruined. And Marc Rich, one of the biggest crooks EVER didn’t spend one day in jail – because Clinton pardoned him in his last day in office.

    Its hard to get upset at Corrupt Illinois politicians since the Illinois voters seem to love them and keep electing the same type of crook over and over. How many Illinois GOvernors have spent time in the slammer? I guess if have enough crooked voters you get crooked Pols. Senator Robert Crook (D-NJ) not only skated by a technicality, he got the NJ voters to re-elect him.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  134. but I am completely and unreservedly willing to absolve any Republican lawmaker who determined that it was a necessary evil to support him.

    I don’t share that feeling. They should be ought there finding someone who can credibly claim the same goals as Trump, but don’t share his ignorance, incoherence, and reflexive corruption.

    If Trump wins in 2020, I do expect a substantial push among some Trumpniki to nominate either Donald Jr or Eric in 2024.

    Kishnevi (4a5f25)

  135. Went to double check. AOC will be just barely eligible to run for POTUS in 2024: she’ll turn 35 roughly three weeks before the election.

    Kishnevi (4a5f25)

  136. Trump loves to pardon people. I’m sorta shocked at the response to Gov. Blogawhatver commutation. Guess a lot of people want him to rot in jail for 14 years, as if 8 years isn’t enough. I mean, the dude’s over 60.

    Make sure you don’t get caught being corrupt until your late 50s and you too can use your age to cut short your mandated sentence. I mentioned earlier that his jail was two blocks down from where my cousin’s kids attended school. That should tell you that this wasn’t a correctional facility serving hardened criminals. I don’t think Blago was out there breaking rocks in the hot sun or making license plates in the prison shop to earn money to buy smokes; he was probably playing tennis against some disgraced banker (perhaps even an old boyhood friend of mine who was sent up for defrauding clients in a pyramid scheme) and then playing on the internet at the facility’s library. So no, asking that his freedom be curtailed for the federally-imposed minimum of 12 years doesn’t seem like a stretch or some unduly punitive hardship. And sorry, if your man Trump is such a serious swamp cleaner then why would he be pardoning the likes of Blago?

    JVW (54fd0b)

  137. I don’t share that feeling. They should be ought there finding someone who can credibly claim the same goals as Trump, but don’t share his ignorance, incoherence, and reflexive corruption.

    Yeah, but to hear the Donald Trump Amen Chorus tell it, these GOP “establishment” types are trying to find someone other than DJT to be at the head of the party. They are just being stymied by the MAGA crowd.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  138. Is it weird that I though Trump had waaaaaay more pardons by now…???

    Maybe it was all the drug dealers and addicts he let out of prison a while back?

    Dave (a7ebda)

  139. If you’re not going to vote for the GOP nominee next election, is it too much to ask that you all agree on somebody? Truth is, you can’t.

    Is there a more fickle bunch than the anti-Trump crowd? Yay Cruz, I stand with Rand, McMuffin, Sasse, Gary “What is Aleppo?” pothead Johnson, HRC ain’t so bad — then boo Cruz and Rand and Sasse— yay Romney and Amash, and Schiff is making sense, hey Klobuchar sounds good.

    You guys can’t even settle on one knucklehead for more than a month or two tops before they disappoint you for something or other then it’s on to some other knucklehead.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  140. I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016 because he’s a lying, amoral, greedy ignoramus unworthy of the presidency. I didn’t vote for Clinton because she was a mendacious snake and I couldn’t stand 4 years of her. I also live in Texas where my protest vote wouldn’t matter.

    But 3 1/2 years of “Article II says I can do anything I want” has made me realize that I’ll take 4 years of any Democrat over more Trump. Trump’s reckless foreign policy scares the s$&@ out of me and that’s enough. I’m voting straight ticket Democrat and I hope to take out a few rat bastards down ticket if possible. I’m mobilizing my husband and my kids to vote as a block.

    Twenty-two years voting Republican is gone.

    Sharon (f15354)

  141. 140. The problem isn’t the nominees or the prospective general election candidates. The problem is that the system is broken and Trump is a symptom of dire things to come. The idea that I somehow *have to* decide on a candidate is presenting me with a false choice, which I utterly and completely reject.

    Gryph (08c844)

  142. No pardon for YOU then.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  143. like a grave-moldered zombie Liberace with a bad makeup job

    Boom.

    Dave (a7ebda)

  144. When Clinton pardoned Mark Rich (who absconded to Cuba with hundreds of millions), the Dems got a sizable campaign donation. I wonder what the GOP will get from Milkin.

    Will Madoff be next? He stole $10 billion net from 4800 families — that’s $20 million EACH. I’d be really pissed if someone stole $20 million from me. I have no doubt that some of those folks lost everything.

    Madoff should die in prison. I’m upset he gets medical attention.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  145. @141 I hate hate hate that Trump is president. However, depending on what happens in this election, I wonder if it won’t ultimately be good for our political system and the country as a whole if Trump having beaten Hillary forced that Dems to rethink and then maybe a Dem beating Trump might force the same on the Rs.

    Nic (896fdf)

  146. 145. All criminals do. I’m personally more upset that there are pyramid scheme administrators in Congress — the whole lot of them.

    Gryph (08c844)

  147. Trump: ‘temporary inconvenience; permanent improvement.’

    This cycle is a win/win no matter who grabs the brass ring.

    Welcome to 1964, kids.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  148. Eight years was enough of a sentence for Blagojevich. The other six years were trial penalty and the judge being a showboating asshole (in fact he moonlights as an actor under the show-biz name J.S Block) (while a judge).

    Milken has been out of the pokey for nearly 20 years. The pardon is mostly lipstick on a pig.

    nk (1d9030)

  149. So no, asking that his freedom be curtailed for the federally-imposed minimum of 12 years doesn’t seem like a stretch or some unduly punitive hardship.

    The sentence was 14 years, which means 6 more years in Prison with a release at age 69. For what purpose? I think 8 years is more than enough, given Hillary and Bill are walking around free as birds, not to mention Senator Bob Menendez.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  150. Correction: Milken has been out of the pokey for nearly 30 years.

    nk (1d9030)

  151. rcocean:

    There is no “Rule of Law”. Nobody cares anymore. Its just something the other guy is supposed to do.

    rcocean (1a839e) — 2/18/2020 @ 9:06 am

    That is helpful to know. Thank you for your candor.

    whembly, I agree with the answers given by Time123 in comment 54.

    DRJ (15874d)

  152. > I’m sorta shocked at the response to Gov. Blogawhatver commutation

    The man was caught on tape trying to sell an appointment to the United States Senate to the highest bidder.

    This sort of behavior is utterly intolerable in a democracy. I’m usually the guy who says that sentences are too long, but in this case I think the *original* sentence wasn’t long enough.

    aphrael (971fba)

  153. Obama’s Senate seat, to be exact. He could have been charged with reselling stolen goods.

    nk (1d9030)

  154. “So shed no tear for Roger Stone. He’s a lifelong political hack, and who among us objects to political hacks spending some time in prison orange? His main mistake was not being a senior executive of a large law enforcement or intelligence agency, where you can lie under oath but not much happens to you. Sorry, Roger, you’re just a party operative. You don’t get those courtesies.

    But even political tricksters, painful as it might be, deserve considerations of fairness, and Stone’s case raises some troubling questions.

    It is well-established case law that a defendant cannot be convicted on evidence that was wrongfully collected by law enforcement. The interesting and equitable question is whether Congress and, subsequently, the special counsel had a sufficiently justifiable reason to investigate Stone in the first place. The same question can be asked regarding those other Trump campaign associates George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, and possibly Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

    The DOJ inspector general’s sterile report notwithstanding, I don’t believe — based on considerable experience conducting and managing counterintelligence investigations — that McCabe and fired FBI director James Comey had sufficient legal basis to open the original FBI investigation, particularly one to target U.S. persons, and from which flowed the prosecution of Stone. There is a reasonable chance that U.S. Attorney John Durham may reach the same conclusion as a result of his investigative efforts.

    That original FBI investigation was subsumed by special counsel Robert Mueller who determined that the ostensible reason for starting the investigation — namely, collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign — didn’t actually exist.

    In other words, there is a strong argument that the government had no legal basis or right to reach out and frisk Roger Stone in the first place and subsequently place him in a position of legal peril of the government’s making.

    Roger Stone shouldn’t have lied. If lying is not confronted always and everywhere, we have no credible system of justice. But, equally, it is at least plausible that he was wrongly placed in a position to lie absent a legal reason to confront him. That erodes faith in our justice system just as much.“

    A tale of two lies: Stone, McCabe and the danger of a double standard for justice

    https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/483338-a-tale-of-two-lies-stone-mccabe-and-the-danger-of-a-double-standard-for
    _

    harkin (b64479)

  155. Milken has been out of the pokey for nearly [30] years. The pardon is mostly lipstick on a pig.

    Yes, I wondered what the point of the Milliken pardon actually was, given that he has been out so long. Does he now qualify for something he did not pre-pardon? Or is this pure symbolism? Or a reward for rehabilitation?

    Bored Lawyer (56c962)

  156. @155

    Nope, Stone is worse than than McCabe. He pressured a witness to lie under oath, and arguably used threats.

    The better comparison is Flynn, who lied less than McCabe and will be punished more. That really is a double standard.

    Bored Lawyer (56c962)

  157. @156 It might make travel easier. Aren’t you disallowed from Canada if you have a conviction on your record?

    Nic (896fdf)

  158. Did Milken and Trump know each other in Milken’s glory days? If Wikipedia is correct with dates, they just missed each other at Wharton, since Trump was a member if the Class of 1968, and Milken started there in 1968 (presumably, the fall semester).

    Someone who was once tangentially my relative (the husband of my stepfather’s niece–is there a non-cumbersome term for that?) worked under Milken at Drexel Burnham. The SEC told him they would not prosecute him if he stopped working in banking and finance. So he stopped working, and lived thereafter on his investments (to the best if my knowledge: it’s been perhaps 20 years since I had any contact with that branch of the family).

    Kishnevi (e931a3)

  159. @156. Both are Wharton grads. Did you sleep through the anything-goes-go-go-Reagan-80s? Save any psycho-babble about “rule of law”– Americans know it is a load of crap; because crime pays:

    “Milken’s compensation while head of the high-yield bond department at Drexel Burnham Lambert in the late 1980s exceeded $1 billion over a four-year period, a record for U.S. income at that time. With an estimated net worth of around $3.7 billion as of 2018, he is ranked by Forbes magazine as the 606th richest person in the world.” -source, wikicrooks

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  160. 159.Did Milken and Trump know each other in Milken’s glory days?

    Boesky, Milken, Giuliani, Trump, Steady Eddie Koch, Leona Helmsley, George Steinbrenner… they ran the city; if you were in NYC in the ‘glory days’ of Reaganomics in the 80s. Yes, Ronnie’s legacy done dood us proud.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  161. whembly (fd57f6) — 2/18/2020 @ 1:11 pm

    Is it weird that I though Trump had waaaaaay more pardons by now…???

    Recent presidents have issued very few pardons, except when they are about to leave office and even then not so many. Many of Trump’s pardons and commutations have been newsworthy Obama;s at this point were routine, and went through a process. He maybe did some just to do a few and not have it said nobody got clemency. The ones that go through a process are usually given to people who have been long out of jail I think, and are kind of the capstone on someone’s rehabilitation.

    Sammy Finkelman (393233)

  162. For me, it’s all about the judges (and particularly, the justices). That will have a more significant and long-lasting effect on the country than any damage being done to the office of the president.

    Rick (f91abc)

  163. Re-elect Trump and you ratify all the corruption, abuse of the rule of law, nastiness, dumbing down of everything, policy-by-TV, neglect of reading, and above all the placement of the President above the law.

    OK, I’ll play. I find the choice of Trump or massive statism to be terrible either way. The “placement of the president above the law” isn’t so much of a problem — he’s not the first — but the placement of THIS president above the law is.

    I think my misgivings, though, are different from yours. I find his foreign policy to be deranged, and likely the longest-term damage he will do (the deficit is bad, too, but I can’t just pick on Trump).

    I’d say he was superficial, but really he aspires to superficiality. To the degree that he does things I dislike, he is at least incompetent in doing so. He’s also incompetent in doing things I DO like. I think that the GOP senators are picking the judges.

    It is too bad that he has not been opposed within the GOP. Failing that, I suggest he get more carbs.

    But the other side. Socialist control freaks and/or nanny statists. It is ironic that people like AOC call Trump “authoritarian.” He has nothing on what they have on offer — and there is a good chance they will be COMPETENT at delivering it.

    What I want at this point is a hung government. Since a Trump loss would get a Dem Senate, too, I want him to win, but not to win the House. Keeping either the Senate or the WH will allay most of my fears, and keeping both would let the judge thing to continue.

    This is not the best of all possible worlds, of course. I think it’s too late to hope for that.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  164. I may vote for Mike Pence for Vice-President and renew the call for impeaching and removing Trump.

    Another James (4cd44d)

  165. 157. Bored Lawyer (56c962) — 2/18/2020 @ 4:48 pm

    he better comparison is Flynn, who lied less than McCabe and will be punished more. That really is a double standard.

    But that was a plea bargain.

    Sammy Finkelman (393233)

  166. 166. Another James

    I may vote for Mike Pence for Vice-President and renew the call for impeaching and removing Trump.

    You can’t vote separately for president and vice president, unless you are an Elector, because what you are voting for is Electors pledged to certain candidates for president and vice president. (that’s what it says in the fine print)

    You can say: I’m voting for this ticket because of the vice president, and hope that the president gets impeached and removed from office.

    Sammy Finkelman (393233)

  167. “I have never said, and likely never will say, that people are dumb or ignorant or immoral simply because they have said they support Donald Trump. There are plenty of reasons to vote for him that are arguably sensible: judges, immigration, taxes, and regulation come to mind. Anyone who recognizes that he is dishonest, ignorant, impulsive, narcissistic, and so forth, but supports him anyway as a better alternative to the Dems … that’s not someone I am going to mock or condemn.” -Patterico, 1/28/20

    “Re-elect Trump and you ratify all the corruption, abuse of the rule of law, nastiness, dumbing down of everything, policy-by-TV, neglect of reading, and above all the placement of the President above the law. I’m honestly not sure what to do.” – Patterico, 2/18/20

    You’re at war with yourself. Consider the alternatives- what’s another 4 years; more judges, the SCOTUS you’ve dreamed of; more entertainment and Big Gulps kept safe for democracy. If anything, he is demonstrating just how resilient the system actually is to the stresses he puts on it. I lived in a city and knew people who proudly toughed it out through 57 days and nights of relentless bombing. They knew what to do; here’s what you do: “If you’re going through Hell, keep going.” – Churchill

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  168. Nunc pro tunc sonuvab!tch in 10, 9, 8 ….

    Barr has told those close to Trump he is considering quitting over the president’s tweets about Justice Dept. investigations

    Attorney General William P. Barr has told people close to President Trump — both inside and outside the White House — that he is considering quitting over Trump’s tweets about Justice Department investigations, three administration officials said, foreshadowing a possible confrontation between the president and his attorney general over the independence of the Justice Department.

    nk (1d9030)

  169. @170. Pffffft.

    “Tell me no dreams; Filled with desire. If you’re on fire, Show me!” – ‘My Fair Lady’ 1964

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  170. nk (1d9030) — 2/18/2020 @ 7:42 pm

    I have no sympathy for him. He’s like the man who bought a house that was priced cheaply because it needed lots of repairs, and now complains that it needs a lot of repairs.

    Kishnevi (e931a3)

  171. He’s one of those “unitary executive” guys, dating back to Bush 41, I mentioned the other day. He wants a strong Executive but with himself being the strong man in his department, a practice that flourished with Reagan.

    nk (1d9030)

  172. a practice that flourished with Reagan.

    Yeah, but Reagan brung the A team, mostly.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  173. @174. Yeah, but Reagan brung the A team, mostly.

    “Mostly:”

    “By the end of his term, 138 Reagan administration officials had been convicted, had been indicted, or had been the subject of official investigations for official misconduct and/or criminal violations. In terms of number of officials involved, the record of his administration was the worst ever.” – source, yahooanswers

    “I love it when a plan comes together.” – John ‘Hannibal’ Smith ‘The A-Team,’ NBC TV 1983-1987

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  174. You’re not thinking this through. What good is a less awful president if Trump doesn’t leave? We need someone who can dig him out when he burrows into a West Wing hidey hole like a dear tick on a White House intern. Buttigieg has battle experience, which is nice, but field stripping an M4 probably won’t be required when Trump is hunkered down behind the Resolute desk. Our candidate needs expertise in the exquisite art of office warfare. That means only one person: Amy Klobuchar. If Trump so much as looks at her sideways, she’ll drop him with a stapler from 20 paces while ridiculing a secret service detail and some schoolchildren on the White House tour.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  175. Time123 (89dfb2) — 2/18/2020 @ 12:21 pm

    The subject was Donald Ayer, and I can see that he can’t be taken seriously. So, it seems we don’t agree.

    Munroe (dd6b64) — 2/18/2020 @ 12:28 pm

    I’m sorry, since you replied directly to my comment I assumed you were talking to and about me. I’ll leave it to the other guy to respond and address your concern. I really don’t know enough about him to try and speak on his behalf.

    Time123 (353edd)

  176. @155
    Nope, Stone is worse than than McCabe. He pressured a witness to lie under oath, and arguably used threats.
    The better comparison is Flynn, who lied less than McCabe and will be punished more. That really is a double standard.
    Bored Lawyer (56c962) — 2/18/2020 @ 4:48 pm

    Flynn plead guilt and had a plea bargain that would likely have resulted in probation had he cooperated with the government investigation. Maybe if he’d fought the charges this would be different but he chose to plead guilty and admit he lied.

    Time123 (66d88c)

  177. We need someone who can dig him out when he burrows into a West Wing hidey hole like a dear [sic] tick on a White House intern.

    Meh. Amateurs talk tactics. Professionals talk logistics.

    Cut off his Diet Coke supply and cable feed and he’ll be on the way to Gitmo for enhanced interrogation within the hour.

    Dave (1bb933)

  178. There is no “Rule of Law”. Nobody cares anymore. Its just something the other guy is supposed to do.
    rcocean (1a839e) — 2/18/2020 @ 9:06 am

    Repudiating this as a viable electoral strategy is a great reason to vote against Trump.

    Time123 (66d88c)

  179. 1. Corruption? Trump has been investigated more thoroughly than anyone. He is far less corrupt than Hillary or Biden or Warren.
    2. Abuse of the rule of law? He was set up by the FBI in the Russia-Collusion case. A vote for Trump is a vote against the abuse of the rule of law.
    3. Nastiness – yes. If you want a president who will just take abuse from journalists, FBI, and State Department employees, Trump is not your guy. I do wish he could respond forcefully without the nastiness.
    Dumbing down of everything??? I don’t know what you are referring to here. Are any of the Dem candidates noticeably smarter than Trump?
    Policy by TV? Trump’s Tweets are not policy. He could do better, but what Dem candidate comes remotely close to Trump on policy if you are a conservative.
    Neglect of reading? What’s Biden reading?
    Placement of the President above the law? That’s a Dem talking point. He has the same status under the law as any other president, and he has made less significant executive orders than Obama.

    Mike S (4125f8)

  180. “By the end of his term, 138 Reagan administration officials had been convicted, had been indicted, or had been the subject of official investigations for official misconduct and/or criminal violations.

    Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.
    How many were Reagan appointees and not Deep State goniffs that he cleaned out? Comey, McCabe, Vindman, and the jail guards who murdered Epstein are Trump administration officials.
    had been indicted,
    Only convicted (Reagan appointees) count.
    or had been the subject of official investigations for official misconduct and/or criminal violations.
    Only convicted or disciplined (Reagan appointees) count.

    nk (1d9030)

  181. Mike, you brought in a bushel basket of whataboutism, with a few false dichotomies scattered in for good measure.

    Considering what you have to deal with, you did the best you could.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  182. Ragspierre,

    Would I vote for Ted Cruz over Trump? YES!!

    Would I sit out or vote for any of the viable or non-viable Dem candidates over Trump? No

    I don’t think my comment was what-aboutism. I pointed out that a vote for any of the Democrats is a vote for some or all of the same bad personal characteristics plus bad policies.

    Mike S (4125f8)

  183. “Repudiating this as a viable electoral strategy is a great reason to vote against Trump.”
    Time123 (66d88c) — 2/19/2020 @ 4:35 am

    That would be a total 180 from the anti-Trump electoral strategy seen to this point, but it’s never too late to change.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  184. Mike, I understand your position(s).

    Maybe this is a good time for a small clinic on whataboutism.

    “Neglect of reading? What’s Biden reading?”

    This is a classic whatabout statement. It is a fallacious response to a critique of T-rump (he doesn’t read important documents). It fails to address the critique and answers with an ad hominem.

    You can see one false dichotomy in the “nastiness” statement. There aren’t just two choices; nasty or ineffective. You can have several more choices.

    For me, the analysis starts with the threshold question; is T-rump someone worthy of my vote for the highest office in our nation? I’ve never needed to go beyond that to a comparison.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  185. My answer would be, nominate a sane and rational Democrat like Klobuchar.

    But it looks like Bernie could win the SC primary and if he wins there he can win anywhere.

    As the guy in the White House likes to say, “not good.”

    (btw interesting how quickly all the conventional BS about “can’t win the black vote” dissipates. Also interesting what a disaster Biden turned out to be).

    JRH (52aed3)

  186. Biden should drop out and let Steyer win SC, for the good of the country. But he won’t.

    JRH (52aed3)

  187. Rags,

    I think of what-aboutism as bringing in someone or something unrelated to the problem.

    Example: Should Trump have hired Ivanka into the Whitehouse? What about JFK? He made RFK his attorney general. But Ivanka and RFK have different qualifications (or lack thereof) and attorney general is clearly defined position.

    This post is all about a binary choice in November. Reading? Bill Gates is not coming through that door.

    Mike S (4125f8)

  188. What to do?

    Support adoption of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact in your state (and deal with the Constitutional issues later).

    Do everything you can to undermine the two party system, first and foremost by working to achieve rank-choice voting at all levels of election across the country.

    Work to amend state constitutions to implement proportional representation for state legislatures.

    Pray for one Big Mac too many.

    Leviticus (b56671) — 2/18/2020 @ 11:36 am

    So you have no problem violating the Constitution as long as it suits your purposes. Good to know.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  189. @182. Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.

    Go figure; there’s no such thing as ‘Deep State,’ nk.

    It’s ‘fake news.’ 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  190. JVW wrote:

    Yes judges and tax-cuts and all that, but also just a general sense that Mr. Trump’s opponents are every bit as venal, reckless, and dishonest as he is, yet they agree with the GOP on virtually nothing.

    Even if the Democrats some as pure as the wind-driven snow, President Trump is the better choice due to the policies he has, versus those of the Democrats. Is getting rid of “venal, reckless, and dishonest” President, one who will be term-limited out by January 20, 2025, really worth seeing our Second Amendment rights abrogated? Is getting rid of an [insert slang term for the rectum here] of a President more important than having one who will use the power of the presidency to open the floodgates to illegal immigration, raise refugee acceptance limits, cater to the social destruction lobby, and impose ridiculous ‘Green New Deal’ regulations that will require everyone to eventually buy plug in electric cars, and try to impose as much of socialism as he possibly can? All of those things would impact us far beyond January 20, 2025, damaging this country for decades to come.

    The Dana in Kentucky (b7cfab)

  191. Mr nevi wrote:

    If Trump wins in 2020, I do expect a substantial push among some Trumpniki to nominate either Donald Jr or Eric in 2024.

    If Mr Trump is re-elected, it’s highly probable that the Democratic nominee will win the 2024 election. The elder George Bush broke a pattern that had held since 1932, of the opposition party capturing the White House in a non-incumbent year.

    The Dana in Kentucky (b7cfab)

  192. Simple vote trump and democrat senate and house they can counter each other.

    asset (bba081)

  193. Easy choice for me, just as in 2016. I live in NY. The electoral votes are going to the Democrat. I’ll vote for Trump to add to the votes of those who want to make sure that everyone knows that there are plenty of people who loathe the Democrat enough that they’re willing to vote for Trump. I did this in 2016. Does Trump worry me? Of course, but as always in a relative way. He’ll leave behind a judiciary that I like. He’ll leave rollback of lots of silly regulations that were harmful. He’ll likely get us out of Afghanistan. He’ll also leave us with a mountain of debt and will work with his opponents further to undermine civility, but they will if they get into power too. And I’m more than happy to use Trump vote get-out for people to vote for more Republicans downstream.

    I’d be this way in CA, MA, NJ, IL….and I’m pretty sure I’d end up this way in FL, NC, MI, PA, MN, OH, or other swing states.

    Lazlo Toth (cbb623)

  194. “ So you have no problem violating the Constitution as long as it suits your purposes. Good to know.”

    – NJRob

    You have ceded any scintilla of moral high ground you ever possessed by “virtue” of your Trumpkin boot-licking. Don’t presume to tut-tut me about the Constitution.

    Leviticus (ecabd5)


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