I would have thought the reason Graham, McCarthy, et al clung to Trump is because they're sharp enough to realize their own voters like Trump one helluva lot more than them, and those voters would NEVER FORGIVE them if they didn't suck up to Trump whenever ordered to do so. I mean, it's not as if those voters believed Graham, McCarthy, . . . had spines.

Expand full comment

Re: RonAnon

It must be nice, as a politician, to just be able to make stuff up and have your voters nod along to whatever crazy bullshit you decide to blab. Other politicians might have to do research, or read stuff, or have a team of employees and interns who spend their days looking up facts.

No the modern Republican party. Just say whatever comes to mind. Invent conspiracies. Accuse aliens. Blame Mecha-Satan.

Sounds relaxing, honestly.

Expand full comment

LOL! The ultra-right's "savior" for Twitter has changed his mind and won't buy Twitter. Lord, the right's grifters just keep conning the people dumb enough to believe them.

Expand full comment
Jul 8, 2022·edited Jul 8, 2022

I remember during Trump's tenure when people were arguing about whether it would be best for Trump to be impeached (for, say, obstruction of justice, or one of his other myriad abuses of power) or voted out of office, the general consensus seemed to be the latter. A lot of smart people made eloquent defenses for this position - I particularly recall James Comey as a prominent example, among many.

I, however, strenuously disagreed with this position. Ironically, this was where the whole idea of "we're a republic, not a democracy" was supposed to apply, despite how often this principle is abused in Trump's defense.

The United States is indeed a republic, as is basically every real-world democratic nation, and that means that elected representatives have a duty, as Edmund Burke once noted, to exercise judgement on behalf of the people who elected them. They are not there to be a vessel for every ignorant notion to which the people fall captive. Our Founding Fathers, in particular, were clear-minded about the importance of this.

In particular, the United States has long been relied upon for foreign policy continuity, if not complete consistency, despite the inherently volatile nature of politics in a democracy. Obviously different administrations have come to different conclusions about specific actions and points of focus, and some of our most critical decisions have been worthy of a great deal of criticism, to say the least.

But the broad strokes of our philosophy have been consistent - America is the leader of the free world and has long been the principle benefactor and guarantor of the global international order. Even presidents like Obama and Biden who have sought to diminish our influence in some areas (the Middle East) have sought to bolster it elsewhere (the Pacific rim). We successfully kept short-sighted isolationists out of office for years before Trump, despite there undeniably being a constituency for such an outlook.

Domestically, the strength of our democracy had long belied the volatile nature of our polity, the American swagger and indivudualistic character, and the hot-headed arrogance and bold disruptiveness of many of our most visible public figures. In part this had been due to our superior standard of living in the world - talk is cheap, and rocking the boat unnecessary when you've got it good.

But a big part of our stability, both domestically and internationally, has been the strength of our institutions. They had long been the marvel of the world, with our unblemished record of peaceful transitions of power from one presidential administration to the next being among their more impressive accomplishments. They were the buffer against the destructive, raw passions of a democratic polity, and we relied on them for this, despite all of our most populist political rhetoric.

In the end, this is why I thought Trump needed to be impeached. Our people already had the chance to make the right choice, and failed. Granted, it was a minority of our people, aided by one of our most dysfunctional institutions (the Electoral College) at that. But this was all the more reason why it was important to demonstrate that the strength of American institutions and constitutional guardrails was undiminished in the face of a populist demagogue. That we weren't so easily usurped by a con-man with a devoted following, that we weren't doomed to four years under someone manifestly unfit for office because of a fluke election result, that other American institutions could still compensate for a breach of one of the more vulnerable ones.

Yes, ultimately the American people voted Donald Trump out of office. Barely. But we disgraced ourselves in the eyes of the world by failing to prevent this man from running for office after committing the most obviously impeachable act in our nation's history. Once again, our institutions proved feckless and not up to the task of defending us from a clear threat to our democracy. The world sees Donald Trump waiting in the wings again and continues to eye us with suspicion, or at best, guarded optimism. And who can blame them? The "American people" are still a danger to the world.

Today, I am jealous of our friends across the pond. They handled their business, the way we should have. Like a republic, not a democracy.

Expand full comment

"He spouts falsehoods “like he’s breathing,” this adviser said—so much so that his own campaign stopped believing him long ago.

“He’s lied so much that we don’t know what’s true,” the person said, adding that aides have “zero” trust in the candidate. Three people interviewed for this article independently called him a “pathological liar.”

Gee, Herschel sounds just like his godfather. A real chip off the old block.

Expand full comment

Ummm….. does this mean it’s safe to hope we are not all doomed? That feels dangerous like Lucy and the football. Hard to imagine the world without the Trump doom cloud hanging over it, sucking all the hope out of the world. One ray of hope after seven years of doom. Maybe still a little soon. But it opens the possibility…….

Expand full comment

Off topic - Supreme Court - been listening to a lot of discussion that Dobbs decision opens up review on gay marriage, contraception, etc.

Does the Constitution spell out our (heterosexual) right to have sex at all? Masturbation? Sex outside of marriage?

Expand full comment

The articles by Reuben F. Johnson in today's Bulwark and Mark Liebovich in the Atlantic are outstanding. Many thanks for the heads-up.

Expand full comment

Possible typo, Charlie: "This does mean that Masters is actually a Nazi, Chait writes."

It doesn't seem to fit the context of the block quote that follows it. It's also scary as shit, accurate or not, but that's another show.

Expand full comment

The "Ground Truths in Ukraine" message is correct, which is why I said we should have Kuwait '91ed all of Putin's forces in Ukraine in March. We didn't do that, and now we have the inflation, and the resulting interest rates and food/energy crises associated with them. We reap what we sow folks.

Expand full comment

I really don't want to be fair to this Masters idiot, but:

"Also on the CrossFit chat room, Mr. Masters, then 20, argued that Iraq and Al Qaeda did not “constitute substantial threats to Americans.”

Depends on the definition of 'substantial' of course, but compared to Russia and right wing extremism, I'd say he actually wasn't wrong in what looks like 2006.

Since 2006 Iraq hasn't and isn't in a position to threaten global security or induce a famine that could claim millions of lives. And Al Queda, for all the trouble they've caused since then couldn't even dream of breaching the US capital and almost toppling democratic government in the US, nor do the seem capable of carrying out terror attacks on about a monthly basis on US soil.

For the rest, to hell with that guy and everything he is and represents.

Expand full comment

I guess all those political consultants working for Blake Master, Hershel Walker and the rest of the "Island of Misfit" GOP candidates need to read Tim Miller's book.

On a different subject, when did the media anoint Bill Bradley to be Bill Clinton's Democratic successor in 2000? It didn't happen. Sure, Bradley enjoyed an impressive lead in primary polls against Gore. But once Team Gore focused, they beat Bradley by 2 points in New Hampshire and, despite a close loss to a sitting Vice President, the media left Bradley for dead. Yup, I was for Gary Hart (1984 vintage), before I was for Bill Bradley and I do think we'd be in a better place if either were elected (warts and all).

Expand full comment

Poor Kevin McCarthy. He’s still not going to be Speaker even with all the Trump asskissing. Elise Stefanik is going to snatch it from him this time.

Expand full comment

David French wrote this week that liberals are concerned about men being too toxic and conservatives are responding with, let me show you toxic masculinity. The right is now obsessed with power for power's sake and then using that power to squash the libs. Not for making America great, with first rate infrastructure, education, and quality of life (I am using the term literally, not in its MAGA usage), but just to be petty.

Expand full comment

The AZ Nazi is just saying aloud what many conservatives have thought for decades

Expand full comment

You know, I have to wonder what the coattails on other GOP candidates folks like Walker, Oz, Masters, and to a lesser extent Vance will have? Each is problematic in their own, perverse, normally politically toxic way...will that lead to damage to downballot republicans? Can only hope

Expand full comment