Russia Scandal -- Predictions about its impact on the future of the GOP in 2018
I’d still like to know who Donald Trump owes $421 million to.
THERE’S A WORD
…for what Trumpism is becoming.
Lessons from the past.
David Frum at his best.
TOP GENERALS FEARED TRUMP WOULD ATTEMPT A COUP AFTER THE ELECTION
According to a new book that releases next week.
From the piece: “This is a Reichstag moment,” [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] Milley told aides, according to the book. “The gospel of the Führer.” Ahead of a November pro-Trump “Million MAGA March” to protest the election results, Milley told aides he feared it “could be the modern American equivalent of ‘brownshirts in the streets,’” referring to the pro-Nazi militia that fueled Hitler’s rise to power.
I’ve got fifty things on my plate at this moment, and US politics isn’t really one of them.
I may make time to read this book. It looks juicy.
Also noted: Nancy Pelosi’s description of how the next Trump might do more serious damage: In an interview with the authors, Pelosi said she fears another president could try to pick up where Trump left off. “We might get somebody of his ilk who’s sane, and that would really be dangerous, because it could be somebody who’s smart, who’s strategic, and the rest,” Pelosi said.
I’ve written the exact same thing, nearly word for word, in many posts somewhere upthread.
Der Orangezollerhn weighs in with a lengthy statement about General Milley: “Sorry to inform you, but an Election is my form of ‘coup,’ and if I was going to do a coup, one of the last people I would want to do it with is General Mark Milley.”
Let’s review Trump’s actions from October 2020 to March 2021:
- He tried to sabotage the USPS to win the election.
- He spent the time between election and certification trying to strongarm officials into changing the vote totals.
- He tried to recruit “alternate” electors to override the states’ votes.
- He coordinated bullshit lawsuits across the nation in an effort to legally overturn the election
Doesn’t sound like an attempted coup at all, does it?
Vaccine resisters can’t be persuaded if they feel disrespected.
So says National Review.
“Your rights end where my feelings begin” applies not only to leftists.
It applies to so-called conservatives as well.
I have a right to live in a pandemic-free society, you goddamn MAGA snowflakes.
Your vague fears of the vaccine are of no concern to me.
BTW, is it only the coronavirus vaccine that you object to, right-wing snowflakes?
Because most American children receive a well-defined schedule of vaccines, and have for decades.
THE DISINFORMATION DOZEN
Just 12 people are responsible for about two-thirds of all vaccine disinformation online, a report finds.
Here’s the report. It’s interesting.
The names of the dozen are listed in the table of contents.
I wonder how many of them are backed by either Russian or GOP entities.
Speaking of the above …
A group of YouTubers have revealed that they’ve been approached by a shady entity named Fazze, and asked to spread disinformation about the coronavirus vaccine.
To nobody’s surprise, Fazze looks very much like a Kremlin front.
From the piece: Fazze is a part of AdNow, which is a digital marketing company, registered in both Russia and the UK.
The BBC has made multiple attempts to contact AdNow by phone, email and even a letter couriered to their Moscow headquarters, but they have not responded.
Eventually we managed to contact Ewan Tolladay, one of two directors of the British arm of AdNow - who lives in Durham.
Mr Tolladay said he had very little to do with Fazze - which he said was a joint venture between his fellow director - a Russian man called Stanislav Fesenko - and another person whose identity he didn’t know.
It’s hilarious that a guy who couldn’t even make money with a casino fleeced the entire GOP.
The whole party has denigrated into a racket.
Fun fact: George Washington forced mass inoculations upon the US military.
He also warned against factionalism (aka political parties).
THE MYPILLOW GUY REALLY COULD DESTROY DEMOCRACY
A good profile of the former crackhead and conspiracy theorist True Believer Mike Lindell:
The journalist wrote a book called Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism.
From the piece: “You guys may not be following the internet the way I do,” Trump said, according to the notes.
This is what happens when you elect a digitally illiterate 74-yr-old with grandiose narcissism.
Fox News Grandpa has ALL the answers.
He reads the Internet!
Over the next two years, we’re going to be hearing a lot of these would-be authoritarian tidbits from in-the-room observers.
Because I can never copypasta this enough…
“If conservatives become convinced that they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will abandon democracy.”
-David Frum, former GW Bush speechwriter
This is interesting.
From The Atlantic:
In 2020, Joe Biden won just 500 or so counties—but together they account for 71 percent of American economic activity, according to the Brookings Institution.
Donald Trump won more than 2,500 counties that together generate only 29 percent of that activity.
THE DISINFORMATION FIREHOSE
Turns out that people become more anti-vaccine if they get their covid news from Facebook than if they get it from Fox News.
All disinformation roads lead to, or thru, Facebook.
I’d still like to know who Donald Trump owes $421 million to.
THREE BAD IDEAS TAKING HOLD OF THE FAR RIGHT
- The idea that the United States is not a democracy, but a republic.
- The theory of “replacement,” recently championed by Newt Gingrich and Tucker Carlson. This is the idea that the Democrats are deliberately encouraging both legal and illegal immigration order to “replace” the existing population with foreigners who do not have the same commitment to our “values.” This allows the far right to present the “crisis at the border” as an existential threat to the country’s existence. (Fact: President Obama, a Democrat, deported more undocumented immigrants than any president in history.)
- The explicit praise for authoritarian leaders abroad. Their thuggery, corruption, and brutal repression of both political enemies and minorities are dismissed as lies and exaggeration by the “lamestream” media.
Put it all together.
The far-right empty argument: Because the Democrats are using illegal methods to “destroy the country,” the right is justified in using all the “republican" methods at its disposal to put a traditionalist, authoritarian figure into power.
It’s working, to a degree. A majority of Republicans still believe that the election was stolen. This clearly indicates that they are receptive to the specious reasoning, and ready to support explicitly authoritarian measures in order to “save the country.”
The US has been forced by Russia to lay off 200 local (Russian) workers at the US Embassy in Moscow.
“Although we regret the actions of the Russian government forcing a reduction in our services and operations, the United States will follow through on our commitments while continuing to pursue a predictable and stable relationship with Russia,” [Sec of State Anthony Blinken] said.
The US is now experiencing a new political sectarianism.
It’s the kind you have in Northern Ireland or Lebanon.
There, groups are so ideologically divided that the mere existence of an opposing group drives the other into blind rage.
It’s happened here too.
We’re no different from the rest of the world. We’re not exceptional.
SAME AUTHORITARIANS, NEW AUTHORITARIANS
These last few years have showed us that there are two types of far-right authoritarians.
GROUP 1 – There were latent elements of authoritarianism already embedded in the GOP. Trump just brought that into the open.
GROUP 2 – Thanks to hostile foreign actors on social media, modern authoritarian populism has warped many previously rational minds and stoked deranged extremism very quickly.
You may have known somebody who was an authoritarian type of personality before Trump (Group 1).
You almost certainly know somebody who has become an authoritarian type of personality during/after Trump (Group 2).
TO 2024, WITH LOVE
Timothy Snyder is a Yale historian of authoritarianism and a global expert in Central Europe and the Holocaust.
He warns: “We’re looking almost certainly at an attempt in 2024 to take power without winning election.”
The piece (at CNN!!) looks at all the dangers our democracy faces – primarily “dark money” (including cash from transnational criminal networks) and election subversion.