January 20, 2017. A protest rally and march from the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, organized quickly via social media, with over a thousand participating:
It feels like a lifetime.
Funeral for Democracy – Warrensburg – January 20, 2017 (January 20, 2017)
Anti-Trump march in Kansas City – January 20, 2017 (January 20, 2017)
Anti-Trump march in Kansas City – January 20, 2017 – part 2 (January 21, 2017)
Anti-Trump march in Kansas City – January 20, 2017 – part 3 – marching (January 21, 2017)
A colossal waste of time.
Republican Justin Amash stands by position to start impeachment proceedings despite criticism
The Michigan lawmaker is the only Republican member of Congress who has said he supports impeachment proceedings.
May 28, 2019, 10:25 PM CDT / Updated May 28, 2019, 10:36 PM CDT
By Leigh Ann Caldwell and Alex Moe
…a Republican who supported Amash and the president said she was upset about Amash’s position but wanted to hear his reasoning. She said that she will definitely support Trump in 2020 but that Tuesday night was the first time she had heard that the Mueller report didn’t completely exonerate the president.
“I was surprised to hear there was anything negative in the Mueller report at all about President Trump. I hadn’t heard that before,” she said. “I’ve mainly listened to conservative news and I hadn’t heard anything negative about that report and President Trump has been exonerated….”
Because she couldn’t be bothered to find the easily available report on-line and actually read it.
Chicago Tribune @chicagotribune
President Trump announces plan to sign executive order ending constitutional right to citizenship for children born in United States to non-citizen parents
7:03 AM – 30 Oct 2018
And, a conversation starts:
𝑴𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒓𝑱𝒂𝒚𝑬𝒎 R.I.P. @MisterJayEm
In a representative democracy, an executive order CANNOT alter the Constitution.
7:17 AM – 30 Oct 2018
Michael Bersin @MBersin
Yes, but in an Idiocracy it can.
7:34 AM – 30 Oct 2018
𝑴𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒓𝑱𝒂𝒚𝑬𝒎 R.I.P. @MisterJayEm
This is the problem
7:47 AM – 30 Oct 2018
There you have it.
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News. It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!
6:18 AM – 25 Oct 2018
Suffice to say self awareness is not one of his strong character traits.
This morning, via Twitter:
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
What’s going on at @CNN is happening, to different degrees, at other networks – with @NBCNews being the worst. The good news is that Andy Lack(y) is about to be fired(?) for incompetence, and much worse. When Lester Holt got caught fudging my tape on Russia, they were hurt badly!
6:02 AM – 30 Aug 2018
…with a major in Fascism.
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
I just cannot state strongly enough how totally dishonest much of the Media is. Truth doesn’t matter to them, they only have their hatred & agenda. This includes fake books, which come out about me all the time, always anonymous sources, and are pure fiction. Enemy of the People!
6:11 AM – 30 Aug 2018
Wish I had a nickel, dime or whatever for every time I’ve heard somebody excusing Mussolini’s fascist coup by referring to those timely trains. Which may be why I was so gob-smacked by Republican Senator Roy Blunt’s comments when asked to react to the fact that the current occupant of the White House lies consistently. Blunt refused to engage with the substance, declaring that :
It would [be a problem] “if we weren’t getting things done,” Blunt responded. “What the regulators are doing. … The tax package, better than I would have expected. I think the foreign policy, the president was left with lots of problems. We had about eight years where we acted like the United States of America was basically any other country in the world. And a lot of things got off track during that eight years.”
So, as far as Blunt is concerned, Trump can do no wrong, he can lie, collude with Russians and curry favor from Vladimir Putin, and enrich himself with taxpayer money as long as he delivers on goodies that Blunt has been trying to get for his rich cronies. Because that’s what “getting things done” means.
Stop and think about that list of achievements: The justly unpopular and deficit-busting tax cut for the wealthy? Deregulation? Tell me in a few years how you like living in a country where basic health, consumer and social protections – air and water pollution and our food supply, for instance – are left to the tender mercies of corporate America. Foreign policy? You gotta be joking. – and don’t give me any backchat about Korea now that it seems more and more likely that the naive and egoistic Trump is getting played two ways to Sunday.
Funny thing is, the claim that Italian fascists managed to make the trains run on time is equally spurious. As Brian Cathcart put it in The Independent, “like almost all the supposed achievements of Fascism, the timely trains are a myth, nurtured and propagated by a leader with a journalist’s flair for symbolism, verbal trickery and illusion.”
Sounds a bit like that prominent liar that Blunt is so eager to defend, doesn’t it?
Meanwhile, folks like Madeleine Albright* are warning us that if the tendencies that Trump embodies are left unchecked, the U.S., like Italy, could also go the fascist route:
“The possibility that fascism will be accorded a fresh chance to strut around the world stage is enhanced by the volatile presidency of Donald Trump,” Albright warns. “Instead of standing up for the values of a free society, Mr. Trump’s oft-vented scorn for democracy’s building blocks has strengthened the hands of dictators. No longer need they fear United States criticism regarding human rights or civil liberties. On the contrary, they can and do point to Mr. Trump’s own words to justify their repressive actions,” she adds.
In order to save our democracy Albright recommends “defending the truth in the press, [and] recognizing that no one is above the law, ” both efforts that Blunt eschews because, under Trump, “we” are “getting things done.” I can hear that fascist choo-choo train pulling into the station right on time.
As Snopes observes about Mussolini and the ubiquitous trains trope, if you can’t – or won’t – govern to benefit the majority of the people, “the next best thing is to convince them that you have done something of benefit to them, even though you really haven’t.” Trumpism – and today’s GOP – in a nutshell.
*Typo corrected; Albrecht changed to Albright 5/20/18, 11:19.
By now, if you hang out on the Interwebs at all, you’ve seen or heard about the latest NRA fundraising atrocity, a video featuring former St. Louisian, Dana Loesch. Normally, I’d think twice about directing traffic to such an abomination, but, it’s everywhere now – I’ve linked to it on Vox – and it should be. We need to know who it is we’re dealing with and what they’re capable of – which this video amply illustrates.
Here’s the script Loesch reads against a backdrop showing images of seething street violence:
They use their media to assassinate real news. They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler. They use their movie stars and singers and comedy shows and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again. And then they use their ex-president to endorse “the resistance.”
All to make them march. Make them protest. Make them scream racism and sexism and xenophobia and homophobia. To smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law-abiding — until the only option left is for the police to do their jobs and stop the madness.
And when that happens, they’ll use it as an excuse for their outrage. The only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom, is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth.
I’m the National Rifle Association of America. And I’m freedom’s safest place.
In case you haven’t guessed, “they” are “us,” or at least a subset of the American “us,” the folks represented by the hated liberal trifecta of academia, entertainment and politics, all neatly “targeted” by the NRA in this fundraising exercise. As Zack Beauchamp observes in the Vox article, the message conveyed is that “the ‘only way’ to protect yourself from this surge in left-wing violence (a made-up threat, to be clear) is to donate to the NRA — an organization that exists solely to help people buy guns.”
So, was it money and/or notoriety that tempted the former St. Louis Tea Party maven, Loesch, to identify herself with this exercise in fascist rhetoric, or has she always been this toxic? She’s had her low moments to be sure – during her short-lived tenure as a “political analysist” on CNN, she once expressed her willingness to “drop trow” and defecate on a Koran – but the NRA ad which she narrates is not just distasteful, but crosses the line into incitement. It offers, as Richard Wolffe puts it, “the kind of argument made by the fascist paramilitaries and dictatorship who terrorized Latin America for several decades.”
Apart from whether or not Loesch is really a true-believer or just depraved, the video also suggests why efforts to claim that “both sides do it” fails to capture the dynamic that motivates the levels of political polarization that we are now experiencing. Beauchamp notes that:
The problem with this rhetoric isn’t, again, that it’s telling people to use violence against others. It’s that it functions as a kind of anti-politics — casting the NRA’s political opponents as devious enemies who can’t be opposed through normal politics. Republicans control all three branches of government and a large majority of statehouses nationwide. There is literally zero chance that any kind of major gun control passes in America in the foreseeable future.
The threat, instead, is from a kind of liberal-cultural fifth column: People who are acting outside of legitimate political channels to upend American freedoms, through protest and violence. It’s a paranoid vision of American life that encourages the NRA’s fans to see liberals not as political opponents, but as monsters.
In other words, the goal is to manufactures a hobgoblin for the gullible. There’s no there there, nothing but fake images used to ratchet up division and if it creates the potential for violent confrontation, well, that’s just collateral damage in the service of the almighty dollar. At this time, in this country, as Kurt Eichenwald pointed out in a report published in Newsweek, rightwing militias – Trump’s spiritual homeboys – pose a greater threat to public safety than Muslim terrorists. That’s the mindset that the NRA now serves.
The Loesch NRA ad may be one of the more overt manifestations of this false narrative, but it is not unique. It grew from the willingness of the Nixonian Republican Party to exploit white fear and racial resentment and culminated in the racially loaded, apocalyptic rhetoric employed by Donald Trump as he endeavored to aid the Russians in his election effort. It may have been a winning strategy in the past, but it’s not an invitation to the civility to which “moderate” Republicans and “centrist” Democrats pretend to aspire. Ads like this – and I suspect we’ll see worse – are the natural outcome of a trend that has been developing almost exclusively on the right over several years.
In contrast, the self-labeled resistance, the folks on the left who are making themselves heard in opposition to the current Republican power structure, may use harsh language and, given the ripe target presented by Trump and his cohorts, resort to ridicule as often as not, but they’re frightened too. The difference is that the object of their fear is real and immediate, not a tool for politicians or, as in the case of the NRA ad, a chimera manufactured by a lobbying organization intent on cashing in. It consists of more than turgid emotions. It reflects the intellectual apprehension of destructive policies that will be imposed if they – we, that is, don’t stand up and make our voices heard. Notice that I said voices, not “clenched fists” or guns – no NRA payola here.
Now we can also add to our list of things of which we are afraid the NRA’s cultural warriors, armed to the teeth and out to intimidate the outspoken. And what’s worst of all about the hate speech and lies promulgated by Loesch and the NRA is that they serve nothing but greed. No black bogeyman in the White House to drive up sales, how you gonna keep the good ‘ol boys and girls buying guns? You give ’em another target: their fellow Americans.
Addendum: Francine Prose makes an important point about the message of this video in today’s Guardian:
Interestingly, the video makes no mention of the NRA’s traditional role: to preserve the American citizen’s right to bear arms, a right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. Perhaps this is because Loesch is encouraging her viewers to deter other Americans from exercising their Constitutional rights.
And she’s doing it by encouraging violence.
It’s a cesspool.
From a game show host:
Chuck Woolery @chuckwoolery
Not to stir the pot but, #BernieSanders is a #Jew and a #Communist. Am I incorrect or does this make me an antisemite as well? Another Fact.
10:49 AM – 30 May 2017
A true believer.
One of many responses:
Ellen Barkin @EllenBarkin
What makes you an anti-semite is not your ability to identify Jews but rather your need to.
12:47 PM – 30 May 2017