Trump diplomacy: Pull my finger.

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I'll say this about you Mona, with this rapier article you prove Nikki Haley's point about kicking with heels. You nailed it with your liberal use of idiot, moron, and child and somehow it just hits harder coming from you. But may I recommend mixing in buffoon, lout, and twit so that we can all settle on a nickname for this schoolyard bully. Let's all casually mention {whatever the agreed upon name slur} in every interaction we have about him and see if we can get momentum behind a nickname that will really send him into the stratosphere. After all, for all he's done for us and to others, he deserves our best.

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Thank you for highlighting Garry Kasparov's important analysis.

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How is it possible the MAGAT’s think Biden is disrespected by the world, and we were never more respected than under Trump? They REALLLLY believe this. To quote my fav philosophical source (Zoolander) “I feel like I’m taking crazy pills”

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Jail for trump. Seems like a convicted and sentenced to prison former POTUS could/should LOSE by disqualification his life-long Secret Service protection. How hard is that to enact?

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Jul 13·edited Jul 13

Regarding the Jill Lawrence post:

It's not quoted here, but she takes special care in the final few paragraphs to state how wrong she was about her earlier desire for Biden to drop out of the 2024 race.

With respect, I think the author of THIS post needs to take note, and apply that same logic to her previously-stated desire for Kamala Harris to drop out of the 2024 VP race (presumably in favor of some unnamed, ephemeral Other Exciting Politician).

Neither Biden nor Harris are going to drop out of the 2024 race. (Barring some acute medical reason, that is.) They are our nominees, and the incumbent president and vice president of the United States. We need to support them and have their back.

The reason so many pundits and voters alike are fantasizing about some exciting Democrat primary that will never happen is the same reason I slam them for it: Donald Trump and his looming authoritarianism freak us out.

At our best, that keeps us mindful and on the alert to defend democracy. At our worst, it make us panic. We need to stop panicking.

I'm guessing that if anyone reading this is a Bulwark reader in general, you think President Biden and Vice President Harris have done a pretty good job. All things being equal, the thing you do with people who've done a good job is simple: Give them more job to do.

Things, of course, are not equal, and brewing beasts like Trump (and Trump wannabes like DeSantis) are changing the equation a bit. We are even more risk-averse and less brave than we usually are, and the slightest hint of a tied poll or high unfavorability rating makes us queasy at the prospect standing with our nominees.

What if the public doesn't agree with us, we fret. What if Biden trips again. What if Kamala makes another cringey lib speech. What if what if what if (etc.)

The public, however, is what will ultimately decide this. And one of the things they decide on the basis of: Confidence.

Be confident in our leaders. Be confident that the good job they've done will act, in some ways, as its own persuasion. And be confident that that persuasion will keep autocracy at bay, and preserve the United States as the best hope for the world.

Exude that confidence, and act on it. If you do, many, if not most, of your fears and frets about "woke lib Kamala Harris" or "old Joe Biden" will take care of themselves.

Don't be confident, and they won't. My two cents to Mona, for what they're worth.

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It's so not on brand, but I was really hoping for Mona's version of a cheap shot at the end!

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Can we get off Biden's age, please??? He has accomplished so much in such a short time, rebuilt our image around the world, expanded NATO, Gave new hope to our allies and we are no longer a laughingstock. This guy has forgotten more about foreign policy than most people in Washington know. Yet he gets no credit for any of this. He isn't sitting and tweeting all day, he's getting shit done. But all the media wants to talk about is, hey, he's 80, ya know. Well, look at all the people living and thriving well into their 90s.

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Republicans, especially in the states Biden won like WI and GA have been relentlessly trying to do away with all the people that did such a yeoman's job of running a free and fair election in 2020, likely the most difficult ever because of the pandemic. The refusal of the republican party to accept their loss, as well as their refusal to accept their considerable losses in 2022 is now bordering on the absurd. Oh and BTW inflation was down to 3% in June yet more bad news for the republican party.

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Outstanding! Ive noticed Charlie always chooses the best people to fill in for him. Thank you, Mona! Compelling read!!

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Mona, unrelated comment, so bear with me...

I listened to your conversation with Nordlinger...and I am just going to say it--the man is HYPOCRITICALLY full of sh*t on the Legacy Admissions issue. His rationale that going to Penn, or Duke, or USC should be a family tradition is totally full of crap. If it is wrong to make special allowances for college admission for racial and ethnic minorities, then it is wrong to admit someone to a school just because a family member went there. He came off sounding both hypocritical AND condescending during that portion of the discussion. If we want "equal treatment" in college admissions, then *NOBODY* gets special consideration of any sort. I know you and Nordlinger are tight, but this needed to be said from my seat in the gutter.

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Jul 12·edited Jul 12

Let me offer a clarification Nordlinger's comments about legacy admissions. He mentioned Japan, where he said college admission makes a huge difference to young people's futures, and legacy admissions at the leading universities would be grossly unfair. It would be unfair, but it would never happen. The leading universities are all public. Admission is strictly by anonymous test results. * In the postwar period, even the Emperor's son could not get in except by exam. (He didn't get in.)

Also, I think people's futures are not quite so dependent on the university. Fast track admission to major government agencies or becoming a judge may be. They used to be. But things are more open these days. I think Korea is more of an examination hell than Japan.

Japan has some very impressive private universities such as Waseda. I do not think they have legacy admissions, but I could be wrong about that.

A big advantage of the national universities is the tuition is practically zero. It used to be, anyway. The private universities charge a lot.

* Except for foreign exchange students! Including me, in the 1970s. All classes were in Japanese, which I spoke and wrote, but not well enough to pass the exams. Also, by the way, they actually did serve grilled whale meat in the Student U. It tastes like rancid leather.

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This was a great piece this morning – particularly regarding how Trump made us look on the world stage. And since Mona wrote it, I wonder how she squares it with her belief – influenced by Damon Linker – that Trump shouldn't be indicted?

Back when we were talking about Trump's impending (first) impeachment, the consensus among a lot of smart people was that Trump should only be removed from office by the American people. I respectfully, and strenuously disagreed.

The "American people" already had a full-frontal view of what Trump was when they elected him. And in a very real sense, he wasn't chosen by the American people anyway – he was chosen by the Electoral College despite being rejected by the American people. And somehow, despite his near-disastrous tenure as President, he was well positioned to be chosen again despite an even greater public mandate against him.

What we have shown the rest of the world is that a significant portion of the American public is severely hampering American reliability, through a combination of being exceptionally misinformed and ethically callow. Much of the former is a direct result of the ways in which American capitalism encourages abuse of our First Amendment rights; the latter, an indictment of our national complacency and our over-confidence in American hegemony.

And because of our broken democratic institutions, if we have any intention of showing the rest of the world that America is still a reliable partner – much less leader – we must show them that those who steer the ship can suppress a mutiny by a dangerous minority. If that sounds troubling to you, tell it to all of the people who like to rationalize the Republican structural advantage by pointing out that we are a republic, not a democracy. Because mollifying the temper of a public fraudulently inflamed by mendacious demagoguery is *precisely* the flaw in direct democracy that republican democracy aims to correct.

But when elected representatives refuse to exercise the judgement entrusted to them for the sake of political expediency, there is no longer a true republic, but only a flawed democracy. And as such, we demonstrated the weakness of our political institutions at the elite level by failing two impeachments, in one case for the most obviously impeachable offense any president has ever been guilty of. Subsequently, we demonstrated that the American electorate is *just barely* up to the task of correcting the failings of the political class.

But that may not hold. And now our legal system, easily the strongest, most reliable, and least vulnerable to chicanery of our public institutions, must step in. One of the most head-scratching assertions made by Linker recently is that he is concerned about the implications for our legal system if it failed to hold Trump accountable. As if declining to prosecute Trump for fear of failure – or worse, for fear of success – is any less a threat to the legitimacy of that system.

We thought we could paper over the damage Nixon did to the rule of law in this country, but all we did was allow the fire to smoulder under the ruins of presidential integrity left in his wake. And now a new generation is paying the price, while the world watches. While we must be careful about allowing the political to corrupt the legal, we must be clear-eyed about the reality that the legal action against Trump is but one leg of our collective war against the lethally dangerous forces he has unleashed. The rest of the world – beseiged as *they* are by the advancing right-wing menace – will be hard-pressed to accept our leadership of the free world if we fail. And as Trump will not go away quietly, declining to even attempt holding him accountable will be, as the kids say, an EPIC FAIL.

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T is sickening rot! Just the amount of publicity he gets must feed his ego-less fabric of a monster that he is.

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Let's hope that sooner or later, a judge sees through his "strategy" of saying, "Not now, I'm president," and also "Not now, I'm running for president." When, then?

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She knew. She thought, "Democrats and half the Independents won't vote for me no matter what I do. I better keep the Republicans happy." And so she voted to confirm.

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