Lock Me Up!
MAGA World has some thoughts
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We have been reliably assured that nothing matters, but Trump’s team seemed to have a case of thin-skinned yips yesterday.
First, there was the attempted push back against suggestions that Trump was channeling Hitler when he called his opponents “vermin”. Trump spokesman Steven Cheung defiantly rejected the suggestion that Trump was sounding fascist-like, declaring that critics’ “entire existence will be crushed when President Trump returns to the White House.”
Surprisingly, this did not have quite the effect he imagined. So, he later asked that his quote be altered to “sad, miserable existence”. Which, of course, changes everything.
Then there is this interesting tidbit from Semafor this morning:
But there were also some signs Trump world is concerned about renewed accusations that the former president is out to dismantle democratic institutions, a message Democrats have hammered home against MAGA-aligned candidates since Jan. 6.
In an unusual statement Monday, the campaign’s top aides Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita pushed back against recent stories about efforts by allied groups to vet potential Trump administration staffers for loyalty and plan reprisals against enemies, calling the news “largely unfounded and an unnecessary distraction” and the outside operations “merely suggestions.”
The New York Times noted, though, that “the most incendiary rhetoric and proposals have come from Mr. Trump’s own mouth” and aligned with reporting on his plans.
In a similar vein, The Daily Caller thought they had a ginormous gotcha yesterday: “Never-Trumper Charlie Sykes Tells ‘Morning Joe’ Hosts Trump Would Build ‘Concentration Camps’ In 2nd Term.”
“Donald Trump is laying out what Trump 2.0 would be,” Sykes said, noting Trump’s praise of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and other “authoritarian thugs.”
“His admiration for Chairman Mao, his admiration for [Chinese] President Xi [Jinping] and [Russian President] Vladimir Putin is intense, to turn the government into a weapon of revenge and retribution, the plans — the detailed plans — for mass deportations and concentration camps,” he added.
MAGA World and its satellites were TRIGGERED.
This inspired a bit of cognitive dissonance: Suggesting that Trump wants to put people in camps is an outrageous, despicable slander… but he should absolutely put people like me in one.
“He should seek retribution and people like Charlie Sykes should be on the ‘List’.”
“Perhaps even take away his citizenship and dump him with the rest of illegals that will be evicted.”
“Trump’s coming to get you Charlie.”
“I hope Charlie Sykes is his first guest.”
Because that would definitely make America Great….
Etc. — for a few thousand posts. I suspect it is unlikely that many of them had actually read this story about Trump’s plans:
Former President Donald J. Trump is planning an extreme expansion of his first-term crackdown on immigration if he returns to power in 2025 — including preparing to round up undocumented people already in the United States on a vast scale and detain them in sprawling camps while they wait to be expelled….
To ease the strain on ICE detention facilities, Mr. Trump wants to build huge camps to detain people while their cases are processed and they await deportation flights….
Mr. Miller said the new camps would likely be built “on open land in Texas near the border.”
He said the military would construct them under the authority and control of the Department of Homeland Security…
Such camps could also enable the government to speed up the pace and volume of deportations of undocumented people who have lived in the United States for years and so are not subject to fast-track removal.
Fake news, amirite? But MAGA loves it anyway.
Punishing the Vermin
On our Monday podcast, Will Saletan and I discussed the new addition to Trump’s vocabulary of invective. Plus, pathological lying fascists, Hamas tunnels, and the day after in Gaza.
You can listen to the whole thing here. Or watch us on YouTube.
**Heads up: Today’s podcast will feature attorney George Conway… Stay tuned.
1. Five Things to Know About the Trump Fraud Trial as the Defense Kicks Off
DONALD TRUMP’S DEFENSE TEAM on Monday began its rebuttal to New York Attorney General Letitia James’s case against him on civil fraud charges. Here are five things to know about the state of play.
2. Counting on the Vote Counters
It’s the morning of November 7, 2023. Election Day. I’m here as an official observer for Brandon Presley, the Democratic candidate for Mississippi governor. My job is to observe the five members of the Harrison County Resolution Board here in the Emergency Management Conference Room at the Harrison County Courthouse in Gulfport, Mississippi. They’re processing in-person and mail-in absentee ballots and recording the names and addresses of rejected ballots.
The Resolution Board consists of two white women, two white men, and Carla, a black woman. Appointed by the Harrison County Election Commission, they are each paid about $200 per day.
“You’re right,” Ted concedes. They each examine the ballot. The voter signed on the wrong line. After a brief discussion, they vote. 3-2. “Accepted,” Ted says.
3. Ukraine’s European Aspirations and Anxiety
Finally, there is the elephant in the room: Ukraine’s security. Appeasers in Western European capitals, and perhaps some in the Biden administration, might already be thinking about how the EU accession process can be used to force President Zelenskyy into negotiations with the Kremlin. But as long as Russia remains governed by a gang of war criminals, Ukrainians understand that the only prospect for a durable peace lies in the effective deterrence of future Russian aggression— either through membership in NATO or by turning Ukraine into a hyper-militarized (possibly nuclear-armed) porcupine.
Ukrainians have good reasons to remain committed to their country’s European future, and the European Commission deserves credit for moving the process along. Yet, the promise of accession without a simultaneous strategy for Ukraine’s victory and long-term security means little. Ukraine’s long-term future is all but decided; yet in the short term it remains in grave peril.
4. Americans Want More Bipartisanship in Congress
There’s no guarantee that Johnson won’t face his own speakership challenge if he reaches a budget deal that leaves the far right of the House Republican conference unhappy—and then we may see a return to the chaos, infighting, and petty showdowns that ruled the House in October.
While the dysfunction we’ve seen in the House all this year is a direct result of the Republicans’ narrow majority, it’s also the result of a troubling culture that has been building in Congress for years. Our politics are splintering around multiple deeply ideological factions, making consensus difficult, even within a single political party, and yielding outcomes that are far out of step with the vast majority of Americans.
The emergence of so much racist, bullying trollery shows how deeply the thrill of self-actualization has tempted young people into a decadent waltz with an ancient and hideous hatred. This behavior is all the more appalling because it comes disproportionately from a privileged class of young men and women who are rationalizing their moral destitution for the sake of a transitory sense of self-satisfaction….
Anti-Semitism is not a cause that can be dismissed as a youthful indiscretion. It is not some innocent blemish that can be backspaced out of a résumé. Chanting “From the river to the sea” after a terrorist onslaught isn’t something that can be rinsed away later merely by adding “But I meant it in the good way.” Ripping down posters of missing children is a hateful and cowardly act, not some gallant moment of defiance (and not a life lesson any of us should want to impart to our own children). It is no defense to support a terrorist organization that calls for the eradication of the State of Israel while adding that you mean only the state itself, with no harm intended for the Jews who actually live there.