Patterico's Pontifications

7/3/2024

Potential Fallout From Immunity Ruling

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:14 am



[guest post by Dana]

While some prominent Democrats and deep-pocketed donors are clamoring for President Biden to step down because of his lackluster appearance at the debate, we’ve heard no one clamoring for Donald Trump, a convicted felon, to step down – or at the very least, we haven’t heard Republican leadership verbally thrash him for his latest outrageous attack on Liz Cheney:

On Sunday, Trump “retruthed” a post to Truth Social, his social media platform, accusing her of “treason.”

“Elizabeth Lynne Cheney is guilty of treason. Retruth if you want televised military tribunals,” the post, which was originally from a meme account on the platform, reads.

That Donald Trump is amplifying the lie that Liz Cheney is a traitor is a yawner. When *isn’t* he making some ridiculous attack on her. But as someone running for the U.S. presidency, calling for a “televised military tribunal” – a type of military court reserved for enemy combatants and war criminals – for a law abiding American who risked her political career to defend the Constitution, it’s a big concern. This especially as we already know about Trump’s admiration for authoritarian leaders, especially those that rule with an iron fist. And especially as we already know that Trump has an enemies list and has talked about retribution against his opponents. However, most importantly is the fact that, if Trump becomes our next President, and in light of the SCOTUS ruling about immunity, how can one *not* see the BIG concern here? This is a man who said he will fire all the “woke” generals and replace them with loyal MAGA generals. So, if he were to attempt an illegal war tribunal focused on Liz Cheney, who’s going to stop him? Congress? Uh, nope. The voters who voted him into office? Oh please. The DOJ? As if. Trump has already made it clear that he plans to fill key positions in various agencies with “his people”. Thus, as the newly elected president and with an important guardrail no longer in place, he will only have to chirp “official act,” and he’ll have presidential power to seek revenge against his political enemies.

So how is it that nothing is being made of this by the “law and order” party? If Trump is involved, the rule of thumb for his supporters is to simply keep up the denials. If you’re a Republican congressperson, double-down on the denials and launch an outward attack on Democrats and Joe Biden, and throw around the word impeachment. Just do whatever it takes to remain in Trump’s good graces. And now with the SCOTUS ruling in place, if he does become the next president, he will be even more of a threat to Democracy.

Anyway, Trump’s campaign responded to concerns about Trump’s amplification of the military tribunal post exactly how we’ve come to expect them to respond to any reasonable concern:

In a statement, the Trump campaign did not address Mr. Trump’s posts, instead repeating allegations of misconduct by members of the committee, saying “Liz Cheney and the sham January 6th committee banned key witnesses, shielded important evidence, and destroyed documents” related to their investigation.

For her part, Cheney responded to Trump’s latest absurdities with her usual bite:

P.S. I don’t remember where I read this but it was suggested that if Trump is elected, he will challenge the 22nd Amendment by claiming that it means two consecutive terms, not just two terms…

—Dana

123 Responses to “Potential Fallout From Immunity Ruling”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (f95e05)

  2. “So many former conservatives showing their true colors. Vote for the leftist plutocracy. It’s important.”

    Paul Montagu (60ca31)

  3. Paul Montagu @2. A takeoff on the campaign slogan or bumper sticker or whatever it was in the 1991 jungle primary runoff election for Governor of Louisiana between incumbent governor Edwin Edwards and David Duke.

    “Vote for the crook. It’s important.”

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  4. I’m baack! Republicans want biden to run more then democrats! Gavin newsom has no fear of going on fox. Biden won’t send seal team 6 (probably)

    asset (e04d5e)

  5. Shades of 2020: all Donald Trump has to do to win is probably just keep his dumb mouth (and typing fingers) shut and put aside his petty grievances, but he is too selfish and undisciplined to do so and thus will lose to a brain-dead Democrat.

    JVW (b02843)

  6. Charlie Sykes, via Patterico…

    Alexander Hamilton. Federalist 69 ,on the difference between the president and a king:
    “The President of the United States would be liable to be impeached, tried, and upon conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crime or misdemeanors, removed from office; and would afterwards be liable to prosecution and punishment in the ordinary course of law. The person of the King of Great-Britain is sacred and inviolable: There is no constitutional tribunal to which he is amenable; no punishment to which he can be subjected without involving the crisis of a national revolution.”

    I remember when Mitch McConnell said something similar, after voting Trump not guilty, that Trump “would afterwards be liable to prosecution and punishment in the ordinary course of law”, and now the joke is on America.

    Paul Montagu (e7d63b)

  7. ‘Trump Will Imprison His Political Opponents!’ Says Guy Imprisoning His Political Opponents

    Nevertrump’s worst fear is that Trump will follow their example.

    lloyd (0501a7)

  8. Cheney lied, hid and destroyed evidence and used her position of power to give an illusion of bipartisanship to a partisan campaign to attack Trump.

    No surprise he holds her in such poor esteem.

    NJRob (998b3c)

  9. Cheney lied, hid and destroyed evidence…

    Debunked.

    Paul Montagu (e7d63b)

  10. NJRob (998b3c) — 7/3/2024 @ 12:55 pm

    Cheney lied, hid and destroyed evidence and used her position of power to give an illusion of bipartisanship to a partisan campaign to attack Trump.

    I don’t think Liz Cheney lied -she just was stupid, and accepted Democratic spin(which itself was mostly stupid to do) on a number of points:

    1.The presentation attempted to ignore, as much as possible, Trump’s actual plans for January 6, which involved votes inn Congress and which the riot interfered with. Trump was extremely concerned that the objections would be dropped and just about the first thing he did when he became aware that the disturbances were a real problem was call Senator Tommy Tuberville to urge him not to drop the objections.

    2.They said that Trump sat around for 3 hours and did nothing. Actually, it took about an hour for the proceedings to stop, and it took about half an hour for him to issue his first tweet. It wasn’t what they wanted but it was something. He called upon the people there not to attack the police. (People on the scene wanted him to call for the rallyers to disperse, not just go back to being peaceful)

    He also before that, tried, in effect, to excuse the “Hang Mike Pence” chants

    3.They claimed that police died as a result of the events of January 6,2021. Not a fair conclusion.

    4.They would not alert the public that Trump did not, and could not, have tried to grab a steering wheel, while missing the important point of Cassidy Hutchison’s testimony – that Trump wanted to go to the Capitol to speak (meaning he did not lie to the crowd at the Ellipse that he would be there with them, as was claimed at the second impeachment, and probably to personally lobby members of Congress to reject Electoral votes and have him win as well as ruling out any notion that he had any advance warning or anticipation of a riot (the same cannot be said for Mark Meadows and others who successfully kept him away from the Capitol that day)

    5.And there are some other accusations.

    None of this is grounds for any proceedings at all against the members of the committee, for as the constitution says:

    Article I, Section 6, Clause 1:

    The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

    And this last clause has been held to include committee hearings.

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  11. This strident advocacy is getting tiring. It’s like the guy yelling in English so that the foreigner can understand.

    Let me see if I can put this into words. Trump is a giant assh0le. He’s not to be trusted. But Biden is dead and his party is a front for the far Left. I’ve spent some time with Kamala Harris in high office and I gotta tell you she is no more a democrat than Trump is. The idea of this decision with Harris as President scares me more, because her crimes would be aimed at victimizing ME. Her utterly dishonest manipulation of the CA pistol allowed list (that will shortly be a ban on all semi-auto handguns) is just the tip of her iceberg.

    Harris is the leader of the post-liberal Left, and If I am FORCED to pick between the post-liberal Left and the post-liberal Right, it’s not a hard call.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  12. Shorter: there’s lot of denial going on. Stop yelling about the guy you detest and take a good look at what you are blindly supporting.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  13. I’m baack!

    Plotting AOC’s stealth candidacy took a while I guess.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  14. all Donald Trump has to do to win is probably just keep his dumb mouth (and typing fingers) shut and put aside his petty grievances, but he is too selfish and undisciplined to do so and thus will lose to a brain-dead Democrat.

    Wouldn’t help. The press would just regurgitate old stuff to scare people.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  15. Be all that as it may, I will find it gratifying to not only deny Donnie a cookie but to also deny Thomas and Alito, and maybe Roberts, Trumpie replacements. They should have kept the leash on their dog.

    nk (13863a)

  16. Democrats’ lack of confidence in Harris is reflected in their calls for other politicians to replace Biden. No confidence in the woman that their team pushed to be selected as the vice-president. Almost makes me think she was little more than a token choice. . .

    Dana (182f97)

  17. Almost makes me think she was little more than a token choice. . .

    “You might think that. I couldn’t possibly comment.”

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  18. There’s the theory that Biden really wanted to name Susan Rice. But he till could have named the mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms.

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  19. @6:

    I fairness, the Presidency that Hamilton created is not the Presidency that we have now. I think that the Founders would be astonished at the amount of plenary power the Congress has delegated to the Executive over the last 100 years. This decision is just a recognition of that.

    If you don’t want an emperor, don’t give him imperial powers. This decision did not create the monster, it just accepts it.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  20. @16, Harris is not a doorstop. She spoke up for Biden after the debate. You can argue…as I would…that she missed the point, but she’s not as incompetent or incoherent as people assume. Yes, she is saddled with being Biden’s point person on the border….fail. And yes, she had staff dysfunction early that calls into question her organizational and leadership skills. And finally yes, she lapses off script into some awful word salad…that leaves one head scratching. I also think she should at minimum be replaced….and that if Joe drops, there are much better alternatives. But a good part of her problem is that there was no attempt to groom her (in the positive sense) and set her up for success. That is tricky with the VP who can’t ever overshadow the P…while not having much actual power or authority. But a more functional DEM party would have sought to do so rather than letting her get mired in the initial impressions and not getting her to dig out. There’s rehabilitation that could have been done that simply wasn’t. It’s one more sign of our political parties not working thoughtfully.

    AJ_Liberty (86087a)

  21. Had someone decided to prosecute Bill Clinton for conducting the Kosovo war without an AUMF, I think you would have just gotten this decision sooner.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  22. The problem they had was that the things Harris would have been strong at were things that they didn’t want here near. Gun policy, for example. So they sent her down to fix a border that she did not want to fix. You say “fail” but I don’t think she does.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  23. * here her

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  24. She has been an adequate spokesperson for “women’s health” issues.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  25. I don’t remember where I read this but it was suggested that if Trump is elected, he will challenge the 22nd Amendment by claiming that it means two consecutive terms, not just two terms…

    Like Jerry Brown did in California.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  26. I don’t remember where I read this but it was suggested that if Trump is elected, he will challenge the 22nd Amendment by claiming that it means two consecutive terms, not just two terms…

    Like Jerry Brown did in California.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 7/3/2024 @ 4:29 pm

    Brown didn’t challenge term limits in the courts (which Trump would need to do); Brown served two terms as governor before there were term limits, and after a hiatus as mayor of Oakland and State Attorney General, he ran and served two additional terms as governor after term limits were enacted.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  27. I cannot support Kamala Harris. When the Jussie Smollett stuff was happening, I remember that the former attorney general of California determined that Smollett was innocent and the victim of a hate crime – even before the investigation took place.

    Dana (e213f7)

  28. he ran and served two additional terms as governor after term limits were enacted.

    I guess this makes a difference to you. He ran for a 3rd and 4th term.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  29. I don’t remember where I read this but it was suggested that if Trump is elected, he will challenge the 22nd Amendment by claiming that it means two consecutive terms, not just two terms…

    But really. Someone somewhere on the Internet had a fever dream and, while being unable to link to it, you think it’s somehow meaningful? *I* heard that Biden was hiding contact with space aliens. Whaddaya think about that?!

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  30. If Biden resigned now, Harris would be able to technically be president for 3ish-something terms. I don’t think that’s realistic, I’d bet that anyone on this ticket won’t be primaried in 28. That might be one of the reasons the folks on the bench don’t want to be hamstrung by parachuting in at this point with all the handicaps it would have.

    I’ve been watching the focus groups, and any of the undecideds were all looking for someone with a pulse that isn’t Trump, Biden barely cleared that bar. I’m shocked that the polling for Biden isn’t worse, that just means that 42-45% are not voting for Trump regardless. Again, it’s who’s going to lose the least amount of voters from last time. Could Harris stem the losses and convince some of the Biden voters from last time to not stay home? I don’t know, but at this stage, give it a shot, nothing to lose.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  31. will be primaried

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  32. I don’t know, but at this stage, give it a shot, nothing to lose.

    Sure there is. Hardly anyone in American politics, left or right, could lose my vote against Trump, but Harris comes a lot closer than Biden. I doubt I’m alone.

    lurker (c23034)

  33. But if you are voting for a Biden/Harris, you are getting a Harris presidency. No chance Biden serves another term.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  34. I’m not saying I’m not in the same frame of mind, but I know the outcome of this election will either be a Trump presidency or someone else. For me the answer is someone else, knowing it will end up being Harris.

    I want the Dems to bounce the whole ticket, but I just don’t see the logistical requirements being able to be overcome. biden/HARRIS/new person is the end result.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  35. Though the chances of Biden serving and completing another term may not be great, they’re much higher than zero. But yes, the considerable possibility that my vote for Biden will get me some combination of Presidents Biden and Harris is absolutely priced into my choice. As I said, the Harris part weighs on that choice a lot more than the Biden part does. And though I’d prefer any number of alternatives to either or both of them (e.g., Klobuchar/X, Pritzker/X, Whitmer/X, Shapiro/X), I doubt any of those alternatives would stand a chance in the general due to the suppressed black/feminist/other culturally left turnout removing Harris would cause. I can’t say I envisioned this particular turn of events, but I’ve been generally afraid that having Harris on the ticket would somehow come back to bite us from the minute Biden named her in 2020. What I’ve feared was coming since 2020 has arrived, and we’re $crewed.

    lurker (c23034)

  36. 29,
    You may think it’s a fever dream. Some don’t. No need to be a snot about it.

    Dana (3d6687)

  37. Catoggio bringing the heat:

    https://thedispatch.com/newsletter/boilingfrogs/points-of-no-return/

    The president seemingly won’t do the right thing willingly, so his formerly loyal aides are going to humiliate him in print until his candidacy is so hopeless that staying in the race would be a greater humiliation than dropping out.

    And he will drop out, whether he realizes it right now or not.

    The fact that he hasn’t done a series of live interviews or held an extended press conference since the debate to ease voters’ doubts about him speaks volumes about the state of his health.

    He goes on to state that Kamala is all but certain to be the nominee, and that she will lose.

    It makes sense to me.

    As I think about it, Joe has inflicted Kamala on us twice–first by selecting her to be his running mate in 2020, and second by waiting too long to drop out of the race. Had he stated earlier that he would not seek re-election, candidates better than Kamala would have challenged her for the nomination.

    norcal (deec1e)

  38. @35, I think a Whitmer/Warnock ticket might be an interesting electoral option given that both Michigan and Georgia are swinging….and that Warnock would add back the required melanin consideration that many on the Left need. Yes, Harris would be embarrassed…of sorts but she’s a wounded candidate…not strong enough to elevate to the #1 position and not especially compelling enough to add much to the #2 position. Trump is either an existential problem that people of color recognize…or he’s not.

    I’m sure they are poll testing the hell out of each combo and getting some interesting data. Biden will probably do better than Harris at the top of a ticket….and I think Biden loses….maybe in all of the swing states. Personally I see the DEMs needing a clean slate…as much risk as that imposes. It’s the shock move that creates buzz and some excitement for those that Biden just freakin’ scares.

    The whole thing is cringe worthy. For me, it’s prepare for worst case. The GOP has cast its die. In my eyes, the country has already sadly lost…now remains only learning by how much…

    AJ_Liberty (86087a)

  39. You may think it’s a fever dream. Some don’t. No need to be a snot about it.

    Dana, look at what you wrote. You aver that someone’s comment about what they think Trump might do has any bearing on anything. Do you think it adds to the conversation, to haul out some wild opinion as if it was meaningful?

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  40. If it means anything, AJ, it looks as if the Trumpie Senate candidates are going to lose it again. It’s looking like another 50-50 Senate. 7 out of the 8 tossups are leaning Dem. Even Montana.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  41. The GOP has cast its die

    Yes, but to be fair, so have the Democrats. Although they are having second thoughts, but really, the whole “who knew?!” shtick is a bit unbelievable. They just thought they’d get past the election with Trump self-immolating as usual. It’s now looking like Trump wins in a landslide. A pox on both their houses.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  42. nocal,

    Yeah, Cattagio is on point today. Brief summary: The sunk-cost fallacy make everyone (including the press which KNEW) keep their traps shut because it had gone too far.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  43. Trump has never been elected to the Office of President and therefore the Twenty-second Amendment does not yet apply to him either “consecutively” or “non-consecutively”.

    His occupation of the White House from 2017 to 2021 was illegitimate, and his purported official acts during that period, including his judicial appointments, are all null and void.

    Further, he should be made to disgorge his salary and benefits, and other expenses incurred by the Treasury on his behalf during that period, and a special military tribunal should be convened to determine whether his usurpation of the Office amounted to waging war against the United States.

    Happy Birthday, America!

    nk (b94a9b)

  44. “Yes, but to be fair, so have the Democrats. Although they are having second thoughts”

    Republicans by wide margins want Trump. Opposition is relegated to the 10% on the edge of the party. I am even hearing more and more defenses of J6 as a historical nothing-burger. If there’s any buyer’s remorse, I’m not seeing it.

    On the other side, it’s astounding that Biden has lost the NYT and many of the talking heads on CNN. The majority see the issue and can say, “Houston, we’ve got a problem”. Should it have been equally apparent last summer? Yeah, but there was never excitement or energy for Biden. It was more grim resolution….exacerbated by a thin bench of national talent. The GOP had a hand full of candidates that could win and had the chops to lead on the world stage. The DEMs don’t really have national security candidates with any cache….other than Biden. There’s no dusting Hillary off…and the Virginia Senators are stuck because of the governor.

    I get that we shouldn’t be happy with either side, but one side is at least struggling…probably because it is losing. I at least see normal candidates on the horizon of the DEMs…Overton wise. Who are the GOP incubating? Maybe Youngkin but I have no confidence that we will evade a Don Jr or Tucker cycle. The Right continues to tilt away at windmills….

    AJ_Liberty (86087a)

  45. “but I’ve been generally afraid that having Harris on the ticket would somehow come back to bite us from the minute Biden named her in 2020. What I’ve feared was coming since 2020 has arrived, and we’re $crewed.”

    This. As a Dem leaner I say: If it had to be a black woman I wish it had been Val Demings — more do I wish it had been Whitmer, or Klobuchar, or Buttagieg. there were more capable people out there. Harris is a dishonest dud, and not quick on her feet. During that 2020 debate with Pence — the one with the fly. I thought, in normal-land he’d be the nominee and would be running circles around Biden.

    JRH (e05d60)

  46. @45, Harris was never set up to evolve beyond her caricature…but probably like Dan Quayle….her ceiling too is pretty low. She was not the choice for a President who would be 82 at the end of his first term. It’s just more questionable Biden strategic thinking.

    The DEMs needed a competitive primary both to foreshadow a Biden campaign….and expose any weaknesses… and to build consensus (national buzz) for an alternative. By fearing to weaken Biden with a primary, DEMs got instead caught with their collective heads in the sand. As hard as it will be, they can still do the right thing

    AJ_Liberty (86087a)

  47. I think a Whitmer/Warnock ticket might be an interesting electoral option given that both Michigan and Georgia are swinging……

    The problem with a presidential ticket that doesn’t have Biden or Harris at the top is that they would lose the $90M or so raised by the Biden campaign. They would start the race with $0 in the bank.

    Harris’ name is listed on FEC filings for both Biden’s statement of candidacy and his campaign account’s statement of organization, meaning she would likely be able to use the funds if she continues with the campaign. Campaign finance law also states that a campaign committee designated by a presidential candidate can be used by the party’s vice presidential candidate.

    “Both candidates are on the account,” (Kenneth Gross, a senior political law counsel at Akin Gump and former associate general counsel for the Federal Election Commission) said. “And I would think that she would be able to use the money if she is running for president. She would be the only one that could do that.”

    The Campaign Legal Center’s campaign finance team also determined that Harris could access the money in the account if she succeeded Biden as the party’s presidential nominee.

    But they noted via email that Harris would only be able to access those funds if she is at the top of the ticket. In other words, if she remained the vice presidential nominee and the party picked a different presidential nominee, that would be a different campaign.
    ………….

    Rip Murdock (bf8ea8)

  48. (Jerry Brown) ran and served two additional terms as governor after term limits were enacted.

    I guess this makes a difference to you. He ran for a 3rd and 4th term.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 7/3/2024 @ 6:37 pm

    The term limits law “grandfather clause” allowed him to do so, just as the 22nd Amendment allowed Truman to run more than two terms:

    ……….. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this Article was proposed by the Congress……….

    Again, so what if Brown win an additional two elections. The law allowed to do so, and the voters elected him.

    Personally, I oppose term limits. Voters should be able to vote for their preferred candidate as often as they like. Every election is the opportunity to impose a term limit.

    Rip Murdock (bf8ea8)

  49. I don’t remember where I read this but it was suggested that if Trump is elected, he will challenge the 22nd Amendment by claiming that it means two consecutive terms, not just two terms…

    But really. Someone somewhere on the Internet had a fever dream and, while being unable to link to it, you think it’s somehow meaningful?……..

    It was Trump himself at the NRA Convention that suggested he should be considered a third term president, though it appears to be in the context of his false claim that he won the 2020 election:

    Speaking to the National Rifle Association (in May), Trump questioned whether he would be a two- or three-term president if he secures a win in the 2024 presidential election.

    “You know, FDR 16 years, almost 16 years, he was four-term. I don’t know, are we going to be considered three term or two term?” he asked the crowd Saturday.

    “Are we three term or two term if we win?” he added.

    Someone could be heard shouting “three” as he continued to speak.
    ……………
    “I wouldn’t be in favor of a challenge (to the two-term limit in the 22nd Amendment). Not for me. I wouldn’t be in favor of it at all. I intend to serve four years and do a great job. And I want to bring our country back. I want to put it back on the right track,” he said (in his Time magazine interview in April).
    …………

    Rip Murdock (bf8ea8)

  50. Rip Murdock (bf8ea8) — 7/4/2024 @ 9:06 am

    Besides, in four years Trump will be 82, older than Biden is now. There will be much younger acolytes to take over MAGA: DJT, Jr., JD Vance, Kristi “Dog Killer” Noem, Ron DeSantis, etc.

    Rip Murdock (bf8ea8)

  51. Trump is appealing to ignorance here, as he frequently does.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  52. Dana (e213f7) — 7/3/2024 @ 6:33 pm

    It’s not just the Smollett thing, Dana. Harris falsely accused the Ferguson police officer of murdering Michael Brown.

    Paul Montagu (3a796b)

  53. Trump himself brought up violating the 22nd Amendment.

    Paul Montagu (3a796b)

  54. Better link here.

    Paul Montagu (3a796b)

  55. a special military tribunal should be convened to determine whether his usurpation of the Office amounted to waging war against the United States.

    I was OK with that on J7. Whatever his core duties were, they did not include inciting a mob to threaten Congress. That *was* waging war on the United States. GO after him for what he did, not for something imagined.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  56. Personally, I oppose term limits.

    I never would have guessed.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  57. Personally, I oppose term limits.

    I never would have guessed.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 7/4/2024 @ 10:11 am

    As I said, I don’t think the choices available to voters should be restricted, certainly in by the government.

    The UK Conservative Party is about to be term limited today with prejudice, the way it should be done-by the voters.

    Rip Murdock (bf8ea8)

  58. AJ,

    The Democrats voted 80% for Biden, too. That his inner circle knew of his decline 2 years ago, and congressional leaders and party bigwigs soon after — and did nothing to stop him from running — is as much an indictment of the Democrat leadership as is the GOP Senate’s failure to convict and that party’s subsequent accommodation of MAGA.

    The difference is in the electorate. Rank-and-file Republicans had, for very mixed reasons, line up behind the blatantly unfit Donald Trump. In part this was due to no alternative candidate who expressed their concerns. DeSantis had a chance but blew it playing small ball.

    Rank-and-file Democrats were lied to, both by their party and (worse) by the mainstream press and so they supported their President as they normally would, unaware he was mentally unfit.

    Cattagio has this nailed in his July 3 piece.

    Many White House reporters were already inclined not to [report Biden’s true condition] because of the “Fox News effect,” in which subjects that grassroots right-wingers fulminate about, like Biden’s mental fitness, are deemed presumptively non-newsworthy by the mainstream press. “The right-wing media was calling him senile from day one, and that wasn’t true,” one journalist told CNN. “Then whenever you report on the age you were in some ways solidifying, giving credence to some people that were actually of bad faith.” Refusing to report on the president’s mental impairment for fear of proving bad people right is certainly an interesting approach to journalism. But once Trump’s political resurrection was in full swing, that interesting approach was reinforced with a powerful electoral motive toward continued incuriosity about the impairment.

    That was probably the media’s point of no return. Once the election became a referendum on the future of the constitutional order, the cost of shaking the public’s faith in the presumptive Democratic nominee grew so high that not even the benefits of a blockbuster scoop about the president’s faltering brain could outweigh it.

    Even if reporters wanted to expose the truth about Biden’s decline—and some did—the suddenly real prospect of Trump 2.0 appeared to instill a remarkable degree of reluctance to discuss the subject in Democratic aides who otherwise would have been sources. Remember, the closest we got to a bombshell scoop about the president’s senescence before the debate was a story in the Wall Street Journal that was forced to rely mainly on Republicans Mike Johnson and Kevin McCarthy for sourcing. Democrats in the know simply would not talk about Joe Biden’s condition. The stakes of midwifing a second Trump presidency by doing so were too high.

    And now, in an election the Democrats claim (and others believe) is existential, the Democrat alternative has collapsed. Why? Not real clear, history will have to tell us. But I suspect that it will tell us that Biden and/or the Democrat Party are not the paragons they pretend to be.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  59. IT would be fun if someone challenged Trump’s candidacy on the basis that he had already been elected twice to the Presidency.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  60. a special military tribunal should be convened to determine whether his usurpation of the Office amounted to waging war against the United States.

    I was OK with that on J7. Whatever his core duties were, they did not include inciting a mob to threaten Congress. That *was* waging war on the United States. GO after him for what he did, not for something imagined.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 7/4/2024 @ 10:09 am

    Since the civilian courts are available, civilians cannot be tried by military authorities. And even if Trump “incited the mob,” it was not “waging war” on the United States.

    Talk about “something imagined.”

    Rip Murdock (bf8ea8)

  61. Rip Murdock (bf8ea8) — 7/4/2024 @ 10:41 am

    Since the Special Counsel has not charged Trump with insurrection (which would include incitement), there may have been not enough evidence of wrongdoing.

    Rip Murdock (bf8ea8)

  62. Wasn’t my point at all.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  63. One, July the 4th be with you. Us Montagu folk are going to freeload on a neighbor’s high five-figure fireworks blowout, as we’re freeloading in a friend’s 88-degree pool.

    Two, six years ago today Ron Johnson and seven other elected GOP members of Congress thought it was a good idea to celebrate the 4th in Moscow.

    Three, I’ll chime in and say Catoggio is right in every respect.

    Four, the latest two polls in RCP show Biden down by 6 in a general election, which means a an embarrassing landslide debacle in the Electoral College for the Dem ticket.
    Four years ago today, Biden was up by 8.7. The battlegrounds are even worse. Except for a tie in Wisconsin, Biden is losing every battleground state. Oh, and his job approval is sub-40%. Stick a fork in this campaign.

    Five, post-debate, Trump has been relatively quiet and non-crazy (except for an outburst on Liz Cheney or two), apparently heeding the good advice of his good campaign advisors of sitting back and watching the Biden campaign self-destruct.

    Six, assuming Biden does the right thing by taking age off the table and withdrawing, if the powers-that-be are smart, Kamala would stay on as a VP running mate (thereby keeping all those Biden-Harris fundraising dollars) because she would lose if she were in the top spot.

    However, if a moderate Democrat can be nominated to the top spot (say Whitmer or Cory Booker or even Beshear), maybe there’s a chance, because they could focus their campaign on who they’re not, as in, they’re not convicted felons, they’re not frauds, they’re not sexual abusers, they’re not toadies to terrorists like Putin, they’re not court-affirmed liars, and they didn’t attempt a coup.

    Paul Montagu (3a796b)

  64. Remember that the campaign traditionally starts on Labor Day and that in years past the actual candidate was not known until August. Biden’s campaign machine can be co-opted here, so it’s not really a case of working from scratch.

    But they need to do this soon, and they need to all be on the same page. If it’s not to be Harris at the top then she needs to find a graceful way out (and continuing as VP is death by small praise). She has a potential future back in the Senate, the Court or back in California from which she may have another shot at the WH in a decade or two.

    If instead, Biden is dragged from the ticket, kicking and screaming, the Democrats have no hope and we need to pray that the danger from Trump is overblown. The 50-50 Senate will be a help there.

    On the other hand, there is this:

    Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina told reporters last week there’s “no better Democrat” than Biden to lead the party into November’s general election.

    God help the Democrat Party if that is true.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  65. I think the DNC plan to prenominate Biden is as dead as Caesar. The convention may just coronate Harris, or it may be a great deal of fun.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  66. I think the DNC plan to prenominate Biden is as dead as Caesar. The convention may just coronate Harris, or it may be a great deal of fun.

    Ohio! They need to “prenominate” someone 90 days before the election if they want to be on the Ohio ballot. The convention in Chicago leaves less than those 90 days.

    nk (9a8070)

  67. This is a test

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  68. Ohio! They need to “prenominate” someone 90 days before the election if they want to be on the Ohio ballot.

    No, they just need to give Ohio some names. It doesn’t mean the electors have to vote for them.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  69. if the powers-that-be are smart, Kamala would stay on as a VP running mate (thereby keeping all those Biden-Harris fundraising dollars) because she would lose if she were in the top spot.

    As I posted above, only a ticket headed by Harris would retain the $90M that has been raised by the Biden/Harris team. A ticket lead by someone else with Harris as VP would be considered a new ticket by the FEC.

    Rip Murdock (bf8ea8)

  70. I was OK with that on J7. Whatever his core duties were, they did not include inciting a mob to threaten Congress. That *was* waging war on the United States. GO after him for what he did, not for something imagined.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 7/4/2024 @ 10:09 am

    You’re never going to give this up, are you? It was not levying war under the treason statute. You’re indignant over an alleged injustice in the Bragg prosecution, yet you persist in arguing Trump should have been charged with a capital crime no serious person believes he committed. Pick a lane because your latter position makes a mockery of the principle you purport to stand for in the former.

    lurker (c23034)

  71. Correction:

    A ticket lead by someone else with Harris as VP would be considered a new ticket a new campaign organization by the FEC. Only Biden and Harris are named in the current FEC registration documents.

    Rip Murdock (bf8ea8)

  72. A ticket lead by someone else with Harris as VP would be considered a new ticket by the FEC.

    Campaigns can transfer money. The DNC does it all the time. Are there limits on what one politician can give another? If so, what governmental purpose does it serve?

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  73. Pick a lane because your latter position makes a mockery of the principle you purport to stand for in the former.

    So you say. I find the two things (prosecution for actual crime, non-prosecution of nothingburgers) to be consistent. We used to have a floor for what presidents could be charged for (see Clinton, Bill), now we don’t. The Supreme Court decision was a result of that lost virginity.

    You may well be right that what Trump did on J6 wasn’t “treason.” Or not. But what he did was still a crime. An actual, unleveraged crime.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  74. Or do you assert that he had no intention of sending a mob to intimidate Congress? If so, why all the sturm und drang over his coming election?

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  75. if the powers-that-be are smart, Kamala would stay on as a VP running mate

    You might as well leave her off the ballot. The insult of passing her over for the top spot, with the likely alienation of enough identitarian voters to turn a close election, would be the same. At least with her off the ticket we wouldn’t continue to be haunted by the specter of a Harris presidency.

    Not that it matters. I don’t see how the math works, whatever they do. At this point I doubt they can win with Biden, and I doubt they can win without him. I doubt they can win with Harris, and I doubt they can win without her. Sorry for repeating myself, but we’re $crewed. I pray I’ll have to eat crow, but I seriously doubt I will.

    lurker (c23034)

  76. Or do you assert that he had no intention of sending a mob to intimidate Congress? If so, why all the sturm und drang over his coming election?

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 7/4/2024 @ 12:19 pm

    I don’t know what his plan was for the crowd before the fact. He certainly celebrated what they did in real time, and did nothing to call them off. That’s morally treasonous, but absent more evidence, which Jack Smith, given the opportunity, might have produced at trial, I doubt it was criminal. It definitely wasn’t the capital crime of treason. Until SCOTUS weighed in on Monday, I’d have said his other activities leading up to that day, e.g., the fake electors scheme, were (non-treason) crimes, but now I’m not even sure about that. I guess we’ll see. Actually we won’t. The morally treasonous dirtbag is going to fire everybody and have all the charges dropped before we get a chance to find out.

    In case you’re still wondering what the sturm und drang is over, he tried to overthrow a free and fair election. He tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power. Maybe those things were crimes, maybe not. If they weren’t, all it proves is that not everything worth getting worked up about is criminal. Nobody with any part in 1/6, the run-up to it and its attendant schemes is fit to hold any office or position of trust. Certainly not President of the United States. Certainly not control over the world’s greatest military and the button to our nuclear arsenal.

    Is that sturm and drangy enough?

    lurker (c23034)

  77. nk (9a8070) — 7/4/2024 @ 11:46 am

    Ohio! They need to “prenominate” someone 90 days before the election if they want to be on the Ohio ballot.

    No, they don’t.

    That law was changed at the beginning of June. The Democrats who are telling reporters that this is a problem are lying — because they surely can’t be mistaken about that — and lying not about what’s going on behind closed doors, but about basic background facts, which reporters would less suspect them of lying about.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2024/07/03/us/politics/biden-drop-out-2024-election.html

    July 3, 2024 Editors Note: An earlier version of this article misstated Ohio’s deadline for a candidate to be certified. Ohio legislators passed a bill extending the deadline, and it is no longer before the Democratic convention.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  78. I don’t know what his plan was for the crowd before the fact. He certainly celebrated what they did in real time, and did nothing to call them off. That’s morally treasonous, but absent more evidence, which Jack Smith, given the opportunity, might have produced at trial, I doubt it was criminal. It definitely wasn’t the capital crime of treason. Until SCOTUS weighed in on Monday, I’d have said his other activities leading up to that day, e.g., the fake electors scheme, were (non-treason) crimes, but now I’m not even sure about that. I guess we’ll see. Actually we won’t. The morally treasonous dirtbag is going to fire everybody and have all the charges dropped before we get a chance to find out.

    In case you’re still wondering what the sturm und drang is over, he tried to overthrow a free and fair election. He tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power. Maybe those things were crimes, maybe not. If they weren’t, all it proves is that not everything worth getting worked up about is criminal. Nobody with any part in 1/6, the run-up to it and its attendant schemes is fit to hold any office or position of trust. Certainly not President of the United States. Certainly not control over the world’s greatest military and the button to our nuclear arsenal.

    Is that sturm and drangy enough?

    lurker (c23034) — 7/4/2024 @ 1:12 pm

    I don’t know what his plan was for the crowd before the fact.

    He was going to address them, nd then walk into the offices of McCarthy and/or McConnell and personally lobby them to elect him president, while claiming that the crowd was much bigger than it was and that it was their base.

    He certainly celebrated what they did in real time,

    He was making excuses for them, not celebrating them.

    and did nothing to call them off.

    He wanted them to be peaceful and stay there but he was resistant to calling upon them to disperse.

    In case you’re still wondering what the sturm und drang is over, he tried to overthrow a free and fair election. He tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power

    .

    No. He tried to prevent the transfer of power period, but he had no plans to disturb the peace. That would have been counterproductive.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  79. Preventing the certification if the vote past noon on January 20, 2021 would only have made House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Acting president, He needed positive action from Congress,

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  80. I’d have said his other activities leading up to that day, e.g., the fake electors scheme, were (non-treason) crimes, but now I’m not even sure about that. I guess we’ll see. Actually we won’t.

    I’d still say that. There is no way that fake electors are part of his duties to the nation.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  81. In case you’re still wondering what the sturm und drang is over, he tried to overthrow a free and fair election. He tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power. Maybe those things were crimes, maybe not. If they weren’t, all it proves is that not everything worth getting worked up about is criminal. Nobody with any part in 1/6, the run-up to it and its attendant schemes is fit to hold any office or position of trust. Certainly not President of the United States. Certainly not control over the world’s greatest military and the button to our nuclear arsenal.

    But without proof of a crime — which I think there is — you can’t just strike him off the ballot on suspicion. To me, the slow-walked it all to align to the election and limited the charges so that he could NOT be struck off. So that Biden would have an easy win.

    And now the plan is in a shambles, and the rough beast slouches towards Bethlehem.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  82. Campaigns can transfer money. The DNC does it all the time. Are there limits on what one politician can give another? If so, what governmental purpose does it serve?

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 7/4/2024 @ 12:12 pm

    The national committees and PACs are set up differently than presidential campaigns, and different limits apply to different organizations.

    From the article I quoted above:

    ………Harris would only be able to access those funds if she is at the top of the ticket. In other words, if she remained the vice presidential nominee and the party picked a different presidential nominee, that would be a different campaign.
    …………..
    If Harris did not become the nominee under this scenario, the Campaign Legal Center’s campaign finance team noted that Biden’s campaign money could be converted into a political action committee. But a PAC can only make a small maximum donation of $3,300 per election to another candidate. The Biden campaign could also refund donors’ contributions, who could in turn donate to a new candidate.

    As to what governmental purpose it serves, you need to ask the FEC.

    Rip Murdock (bf8ea8)

  83. Not that it matters. I don’t see how the math works, whatever they do. At this point I doubt they can win with Biden, and I doubt they can win without him. I doubt they can win with Harris, and I doubt they can win without her. Sorry for repeating myself, but we’re $crewed. I pray I’ll have to eat crow, but I seriously doubt I will.

    As I pointed out elsewhere, in days of yore there wasn’t a ticket until August and the campaign didn’t start until Labor Day. If they can discard Harris somehow (and I agree continuing as VP is worse than getting dumped), there is plenty of time for the convention to nominate someone like Whitmer. IIRC, they came to a consensus on Biden pretty quickly in 2020. But both Biden and Harris have to bow out.

    My new plan: Biden resigns and President Harris spontaneously, for the good of the party, says she won’t be a candidate in 2024. And pockets an amazing number of IOUs.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  84. After all, someone has to be California’s governor after Newsom.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  85. The Biden campaign could also refund donors’ contributions, who could in turn donate to a new candidate.

    I bet you they’d come up with an opt-out system where that was the default.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  86. why all the sturm und drang over his coming election?

    Beyond what happened on January 6th, there is a lot of “sturm and drang” over his policy proposals and those of his allies.

    Rip Murdock (bf8ea8)

  87. Kevin M (a9545f) — 7/4/2024 @ 3:39 pm

    Outside of Biden possibly deciding not to run and backing Harris, this is all Biden nomination fantasy camp.

    Rip Murdock (bf8ea8)

  88. …….in days of yore……..

    There’s no going back.

    Rip Murdock (bf8ea8)

  89. Dana, look at what you wrote. You aver that someone’s comment about what they think Trump might do has any bearing on anything. Do you think it adds to the conversation, to haul out some wild opinion as if it was meaningful?

    Good grief, Kevin, read what you wrote. Because someone believes or posits that Trump may attempt to do something you believe is a fever dream or nonsense, in my opinion is to be naive or in denial. Because of the SCOTUS immunity ruling and Trump’s belief that he is above the law (and he kind of is now!) , if he becomes the president, I think it’s realistic to plan on him trying any and every outlandish thing to push the boundaries of what has historically been just to increase his own political power.

    Dana (3c42a9)

  90. What I believe is that he will either attempt to serve the people who vote for him or, if he doesn’t do that and instead plays a bunch of stupid games he’ll be impeached and convicted after he loses their support. We’ve just seen a preference cascade and it can happen to Trump, too.

    Do you think that Trump gets up every day and thinks “How can I make everyone’s life miserable”? Because that’s what some of this stuff sounds like. Yes, he has an agenda and I don’t like some of it at all. But if he’s elected it’s Democracy with a capital D. And, within bounds, he gets to try to enact it.

    There is an awful lot of propaganda being spewed by both sides. I am repulsed and I do not intend to let any of it go unexamined. Your post was completely without foundation, just something “you heard somewhere.” And you tossed it into this fear-frenzy as if it had a basis.

    There are enough reasons to dislike Trump without making them up out of supposition. The wilder the claims get, the more people stop listening to them.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  91. @ 77. Thank you, Sammy!

    nk (198c31)

  92. There’s no going back.

    It’s not ancient history. Barack Obama was not the presumptive nominee until June 2008. Romney did not have a lock until the end of May 2012. Trump wasn’t a sure thing until May 2026.

    Like Obama at Benghazi, we continue down this “it’s too late to do anything” sunk cost fallacy at our peril.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  93. * 2016, of course.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  94. Don’t want to borrow trouble.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  95. Then again, here’s some history:

    By January 1932, at the age of 84, Hindenburg was vacillating about running for a second term. Brüning recalled that once the president came to meet him at the railway station, but failed to recognize him. On the other hand, Franz von Papen, a later chancellor, found that despite minor lapses the president remained competent until his last days. Hindenburg was persuaded to run by the Kamarilla, and supported by the Centre Party, the Deutsche Volkspartei (DVP) and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), which regarded him as the only hope of defeating Hitler. His fighting spirit was evoked by Nazi taunts when he appeared in public and in a few weeks three million Germans signed a petition urging him to carry on.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  96. There’s no going back.

    It’s not ancient history. Barack Obama was not the presumptive nominee until June 2008. Romney did not have a lock until the end of May 2012. Trump wasn’t a sure thing until May 2016.

    All of those candidates were in competitive primaries, something that obviously didn’t occur in 2024.

    Maybe in 2028 both parties will have long, drawn out primary campaigns and to drag out until the conventions. Who knows?

    Rip Murdock (bf8ea8)

  97. Do you think that Trump gets up every day and thinks “How can I make everyone’s life miserable”? Because that’s what some of this stuff sounds like. Yes, he has an agenda and I don’t like some of it at all. But if he’s elected it’s Democracy with a capital D. And, within bounds, he gets to try to enact it.

    You talk as if you don’t even know who Trump is and what he’s made of. That’s unfortunate. I don’t any evidence that would cause me to think Trump even thinks about the American people and their best interest. Do I think he wakes up every day and wonders how he can make everyone’s life miserable. That’s not because he’s a thoughtful contemplative guy. It’s because he lives for himself and the vast majority of his decisions are rooted in how can financially benefit and how he can promote the Trump Brand. Of course, if it’s in bounds, he gets to try and enact it. But don’t mistake that for being a thoughtful leader.

    Your post was completely without foundation, just something “you heard somewhere.” And you tossed it into this fear-frenzy as if it had a basis.

    It was with foundation: Trump is a barely self-controlled individual who will do what benefits him. Thanks to SCOTUS he now has much more leeway. To have foreknowledge of an individual, to have lived through their history is to understand, in Trump’s case, that this isn’t any fear-frenzy, but rather a likelihood given what we have seen and heard and witnessed firsthand.

    Dana (ce9372)

  98. Dana, is there any bound to what awful thing you will believe about Donald Trump? Because the ratchet here is over to 11 and beyond.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  99. In your opinion, Kevin.

    Dana (083a7a)

  100. More to the point, it’s making you look as unhinged as a couple people on the other side here. If Trump wins this election it will be largely because all these stories about how awful he is have been discounted as propaganda and ramping up the level is not going to work in your favor.

    Cataggio described the problem last week, talking about how Biden was gambling his entire campaign on the terribleness of Donald Trump.

    We’re now almost three weeks removed from Donald Trump’s criminal conviction in Manhattan, plenty of time for the public to process the verdict and to have it influence their presidential vote. According to the national polling, it hasn’t: Trump has gone from leading by 0.9 points on May 30, the day he was found guilty, to leading by 0.8 points now. In the battleground states that will decide the election, he’s actually gained two-tenths of a point on Biden over that same stretch in the RealClearPolitics average.

    If the sudden prospect of electing the first president who is a convicted felon hasn’t put Americans off Trump, why would Joe Biden, Mike Donilon, or anyone else think that reminding them of his coup plot and the insurrection it led to will do so?

    On the other hand, how can one run against Donald Trump and not make his authoritarian ambitions the centerpiece of the campaign? He’s not shy about expressing those ambitions; should he win in November, the next four years will in fact be defined by his attempts to subvert the constitutional order. The right’s hostility to Western liberalism is the elephant in the room of this election. How can the president resist making a spectacle of it?

    I think his and Donilon’s strategy of making the race about democracy is simultaneously weak and quite possibly the strongest one available to them.

    He then goes on to argue that Biden doesn’t have much of a record to turn to, so

    Remember, this race will be decided by the vast number of “double haters” who hold unfavorable opinions of both candidates. Among the president’s own supporters, more than half say they’re voting for him mainly to oppose Trump; just 27 percent say they’re voting for him because they like him. The winner in November will have prevailed not by persuading Americans to like him more than the other guy but by persuading them to hate him a little bit less.

    The Donilon strategy recognizes that. Sure, Joe Biden gave us inflation, a border crisis, and an era of high international tensions, it concedes—but he didn’t plot a coup, or rile up a mob to attack Congress, or commit any crimes, or make “retribution” a higher priority for his second term than serving the American people.

    The least unfit candidate will win. January 6 is Democrats’ strongest argument that Grandpa Joe, for all his flaws, remains less unfit than Trump.

    And now that argument is diminished, at best.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  101. Dana,

    I’m sorry if I’ve come off as uncivil. That’s not my intention, and if I have I am sincerely sorry.

    My intent is to push back against the “all you need to know is that Donald Trump is a bad person.”

    These are two terrible people and while Biden hasn’t tried to steal an election, he hasn’t had the need. Do you think that if Trump wins in a squeaker, they won’t give it the best they’ve got? Given that he’s the Destroyer of Democracy? Not only do I think that (in a close election) mobs will descend on Congress, I think they’ll be larger and more violent. I mean, the stakes, man!

    This thing needs to be dialed back or this country is gone no matter who wins.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  102. What kind of person is it who hides the fact that he’s severely impaired, in order to get over on the voters? It’s no defense that he’s too impaired to realize what he’s doing either. He should never have run. With a capable VP he should have resigned last year.

    But he ran anyway. If this is a “character” election, I’m at a loss.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  103. “What kind of person is it who hides the fact that he’s severely impaired”

    If he was actually “severely impaired” would he have the capacity to hide it? With a camera capturing every public moment? Slowing down, sometimes confused, and grasping at words is NOT severely impaired. It might make him suspect for the office that requires much more, but it’s not like he’s propelled us into crisis because he can’t answer the 3am call.

    Biden is unquestionably stubborn. Many of his gut instincts have landed him on the wrong side of history. He too willingly plays the worse brand of racial and tribal politics. He has little capacity to reach out to the other side or change our dreadful tone. He was unexceptional in his prime and age hasn’t improved that. There is certainly a character element to understanding one’s own limitations and doing what’s right for the country. But there is a lot of inertia to running for President and it’s not at all clear whether rebooting with 4 months left is REALLY in the best interest of the country. It’s easy to pound the keyboard about it when you have no responsibility or accountability for executing the change….a change that would be truly historic.

    “You talk as if you don’t even know who Trump is and what he’s made of. That’s unfortunate.”

    Yes, Kevin is trapped in his own world where he is the only one who can objectively see the truth…and we’re all just too blindly driven by our tribal hatred to see the equivalence. There’s a reason that 40 out of 44 past Trump advisers cannot support him. And even someone like Bill Barr, who will vote for him, delivered criticism that bluntly questions Trump’s character and fitness. These are people who were there, have the personal anecdotes, and are choosing country over party. Trump’s personal, business, and political character is well understood….and it will create a crisis. Kevin believes that we must go through that crisis and the inevitable impeachment because of a handful of Republican policies that may or may not see light of day in a narrowly divided government. Personally, I don’t want to see WW3 because Kevin is wrong and needs to lazily equate Trump and Biden. Biden is weak; Trump is immoral. The difference matters….

    AJ_Liberty (711913)

  104. Whatever.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  105. Aj,

    It’s like this. I was going to — against all instinct — vote for Joe Biden in November. I still will not vote for Trump, but I won’t vote for a man who, with his handlers, has attempted to defraud the public to hide his decline over the past year.

    He could have announced his withdrawal last October and given his party the ability to choose a winning candidate. But he did not, for purely selfish reasons. Calling him “stubborn” does not excuse this horrific choice. If Trump is the danger he and others claim, sabotaging the opposition to Trump seems particularly callous.

    Anyway, I’ve been lied to by Biden for the very last time (his 2020 “centrist” campaign was also a lie). Even when he isn’t lying, his judgement is terrible (Harris, Afghanistan, the over-stimulus, tax policy (he lies there too), energy policy and the turn to command economics).

    So I am pissed off. “A long train of abuses.” And he continues to sabotage the opposition to Trump, which you may care about more than I do, so I don’t understand why you aren’t pissed off too.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  106. Kevin is being honest. He knows what Trump is yet understands we have institutions in place to stop the worst of his tendencies. He also knows what tye left will do as it has done for the past 4 years if they remain in power

    The choice is obvious for all but the most partisan.

    NJRob (00e7c4)

  107. I’m realistic about my vote in a non-swing state. I’m fine with writing in once again an actual conservative. My views are largely advisory for those in a tougher situation, say Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, or Georgia. I feel their pain.

    I agree that Biden should have dropped out at the end of last summer. I don’t think it is fair to say that Biden has lied to anyone about his capacity. It is what it is. I’ve long said he is a marketing disaster…on a good day. I still think he will drop out.

    But if he doesn’t…what I would call the state-funeral-choice, then his team is still more normal than team Trump. And Trump winning validates Trumpism…and short circuits any sort of justice for Trump’s serious federal charges. It does make a mockery out of accountability and emboldens his worst instincts. With Biden lagging behind, there is little political pressure on Trump to normalize…his behavior or his agenda. If he pulls out of Ukraine or sabotages NATO’s efforts….it’s not something that gets fixed easily. With broad executive branch national security powers, it’s unclear what could be readily impeachable. If you say he won’t do it, then it should be easy to point to advisers and spokespeople who are saying it will not happen. I don’t see that.

    Biden/Harris won’t kneecap NATO, abandon S. Korea, and saber rattle Iran. I’m not sure who will lead Trump’s foreign policy team. I’ll reassess if normal people emerge….but I’m not counting on it. This is about retribution and loyalty…and that gives me little reassurance.

    AJ_Liberty (c4492f)

  108. Kevin is being honest. He knows what Trump is yet understands we have institutions in place to stop the worst of his tendencies. He also knows what tye left will do as it has done for the past 4 years if they remain in power

    I’m amazed that, after the SCOTUS ruling, coupled with what we know about Trump and who he is *and* if elected, he would respect those institutions. I mean, why would he start now? Especially as he will have even more room to do what he wants and a far less chance of being prosecuted and held accountable. The SCOTUS ruling removed a huge and important guardrail. Trump is cheering that on.

    Dana (8fd3f2)

  109. AJ_Liberty (711913) — 7/5/2024 @ 3:50 am

    Personally, I don’t want to see WW3 because Kevin is wrong and needs to lazily equate Trump and Biden. Biden is weak; Trump is immoral. The difference matters….

    Trump claimed in the debate, without elaborating on it, that Biden is leading us into World War III. (Wouldn’t he do better to blame Iran or China?)

    Biden then said that Trump is the one will lead us into World War III (by flirting with not meeting commitments to NATO although he didn’t say that clearly)

    https://www.cnn.com/2024/06/27/politics/read-biden-trump-debate-rush-transcript/index.html

    …His policies are so bad. His military policies are insane. They’re insane.

    These are wars that will never end with him. He will drive us into World War Three and we’re closer to World War Three than anybody can imagine. We are very, very close to World War Three, and he’s driving us there.

    And Kim Jong-Un, and President Xi of China – Kim Jong-Un of North Korea, all of these – Putin – they don’t respect him. They don’t fear him. They have nothing going with this gentleman and he’s going to drive us into World War Three.

    BIDEN: If you want a World War Three, let him follow (ph) and win, and let Putin say, do what you want to NATO – just do what you want…

    Trump didn’t say “NATO” I think he said something that he said he he might say to certain countries who didn’t want to spend enough money on their defense

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  110. @108, Trump is a Rorschach test…it’s all a big gamble over what he will do and who he will surround himself with. He does have “a thing” for Viktor Orban which suggests a move to cement in populism…at least in the GOP. The problem is that very little constrains him….especially since he will not have to re-face the electorate. The GOP is not putting any requirements on him….they love him no matter what he does. His first priority will be to protect himself….and to payback the legal system….whatever that might look like. There’s nothing conventional about having an ex-President with multiple indictments being propelled back into the White House. This is a gambler’s dream….

    AJ_Liberty (c4492f)

  111. 95.

    His fighting spirit was evoked by Nazi taunts when he appeared in public and in a few weeks three million Germans signed a petition urging him to carry on.

    Hindenburg won. But Hitler had to win only one election. (or head a minority government)

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 7/4/2024 @ 4:46 pm

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  112. Dana (8fd3f2) — 7/5/2024 @ 11:07 am

    I should point out that NJ Rob does not speak for me as we have several points of disagreement.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  113. I have no idea who is leading us into what, but war comes when someone is perceived as weak. Both Biden and Trump have weakness in them.

    Biden is hesitant and incremental, unable to convince an opponent he will hurt them badly and he has also cut and run once. Twice if you count Iraq. His Ukraine policy in fine strategically and hopeless tactically. It’s possible they’ve received 5 or 6 tanks 2 years late, and pilot training should start real soon now.

    Trump is weak strategically, but often good tactically. He also undercuts himself mouth-wise. He did threaten to pull out of NATO if the Euros didn’t step up, but they did step up, so maybe he owes them now. Assuming he understands that concept.

    The only thing I am sure of on Ukraine is that he will not follow Biden’s incremental policy, which has cost enormous money for an unsustainable holding action. He might cut them off and disparage NATO, he might send in the 101st Airborne and start up Reforger. He has a coward/bully dichotomy.

    His statements about not getting into WW3 are worrisome as it indicates he’ll succumb to Putin’s wild saber rattling. And if we don’t hold here, where do we hold? The threat is the same next time. Do we risk the eastern seaboard for Latvia?

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  114. (Biden’s) Ukraine policy in fine strategically and hopeless tactically. It’s possible they’ve received 5 or 6 tanks 2 years late, and pilot training should start real soon now.

    The US sent 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine; apparently five were destroyed by Russian forces and the rest pulled out of action by the Ukrainians because of their vulnerability to Russian drone attacks.

    F-16 pilot training has been ongoing. The problem with that is a) most of training slots have been filled by US allies; and b) they will be ineffective against Russian glide bomb attacks.

    Even when the long-awaited pan-European F-16s and later planned Swedish Gripen C and French Mirage 2000-5F fighters are delivered to Ukraine, the glide bomb sorties will be very challenging to intercept regularly. When close to the frontlines, Ukrainian pilots will have to fly them at very low altitudes to avoid being detected and shot down by layered Russian (short to long range missiles). As a result, the AIM-120C AMRAAM air-to-air missiles carried by the F-16 and Gripen C, and the shorter-range MICA IR/RF missiles carried by Mirage 2000-5F, will struggle to reach Russian fighters at high altitudes and high speeds 60–70 km behind the lines.

    This is because at such low altitudes, the missiles start out in dense air with a lot of aerodynamic drag and must climb against gravity to reach the altitudes where their targets are. As a result, by the time their rocket motors burn out after the first few seconds of flight, they have not gained nearly as much speed or altitude as if they were launched from a fighter flying in the thin air at high altitudes and at supersonic speeds, and so only have a comparatively short effective range.

    Only the European Meteor missile is likely to have the practical range required, and of the three fighter options now publicly discussed for Ukraine, only the Gripen C can carry and launch it.

    Paragraph breaks added.

    Rip Murdock (19ce52)

  115. As we all know, the 22nd Amendment does not explicitly state the maximum number of terms that a president can serve, or the maximum number of years that can be served. It simply states that no person can be elected president “more than twice”. Gerald Ford served something like 29 months as president, but was never elected, so if he had won election in 1976 and 1980, he would have served as president for more than 10 years without being in violation of the 22nd Amendment.

    John W (f5d8ec)

  116. Rip Murdock (19ce52) — 7/5/2024 @ 3:17 pm

    Combat hardened Russian pilots, with years of training and experience in their fighter aircraft, will chew up and spit out Ukrainian pilots flying a completely foreign plane into combat for the first time. It will be a massacre.

    What’s needed is direct intervention by the US and European air forces to defend Ukraine to fly all manner of Western aircraft. But the political climate won’t allow that, as Americans generally don’t care about what happens in Ukraine, and it would allow Trump to run as the peace candidate.

    Rip Murdock (19ce52)

  117. John W,

    If you actually read the amendment, you wouldn’t be saying that.

    No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  118. If Harris became President today, she could be elected twice. Gerald Ford, having served 2 1/2 years, could only have been elected once.

    They CAN be defeated any number of times though.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  119. it would allow Trump to run as the peace candidate.

    Peace through strength, not though running away.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  120. I guess it is possible to succeed 4 or 5 elected presidents and serve for many years, but they’ll eventually catch on.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  121. Peace through strength, not though running away.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 7/5/2024 @ 4:14 pm

    As usual, ignoring the larger point, which is that F-16s will not be Ukraine’s saviors.

    Rip Murdock (19ce52)

  122. @110

    @108, Trump is a Rorschach test…

    AJ_Liberty (c4492f) — 7/5/2024 @ 11:21 am

    This is it. AJ’s succicinctly nailed it.

    It’s The Rorschach Test Election of 2024™.

    …but…amongst the “tip of the spear” election junkies.

    That vast majority of regular voters, independent voters… normie joe and normie janes… don’t care really care about who the person is.

    They care about their grocery bills.

    They care about their mortgage.

    They care about their rent.

    They care about their utilities.

    They care about gas.

    They care about their job.

    What they see… is a Biden administration who keeps harping about how the economy is great…despite what their lying eyes are seeing.

    This is really going to be about the person that is Trump nor about the puppet-masters that is the folks running the Biden administration.

    It’s about this salient point:
    Are you better off now than the former president’s tenure.

    That’s it.

    Any caterwauling over the personalities of Trump and Biden is simply just noise to the normies.

    whembly (41bf07)

  123. 115 117. but Lyndon Baines Johnson could have been elected in 1068, because he only became president on November 22, 1963, which was less than 2 years before the end of JFK’s term. But Gerald Ford became president on August 9, 1974, which was less than two years into Richard Nixon’s second term. (Clue: it was an even numbered year)

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

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