A few alarming weekend reads.
I’m extremely alarmed. I wake up terrified.
I assumed he hadn't meant to come right out and say it say it. The Daily Beast article went on to say he was handing out Biden Attacks Democracy signs and how he's gonna repeal ACA. Hard to get in the craziest, most dangerous person in America's head.
Yes, we should be alarmed. Very much so. Sadly, writing about the problem will do nothing. That's demonstrable.
Growing up learning German I sometimes heard taunts from other school kids. "Hey, what'ya want to do, become a Nazi." In the 60's and early 70's, that was still the overriding impression of what a German was. Sadly, in 20, 50, 70, 100 years, who can predict, when the USA falls in a post war shambles having been crushed by Russia, China, Iran or any variety of permutations of these and others, Americans will look back and wonder why more wasn't done by their predecessors to stop this train wreck.
Just as people used to fail to differentiate between Nazis and the myriad of opponents in 1920's and 30's Germany (Socialists, Communists, Monarchists to name but a few), no one will differentiate between Republicans and Democrats. We shall all be tainted with the same stain, all a nation of deluded lemmings following Trump where ever his distorted mind led us.
People who think of history (not many in this country, sadly) often wonder why the Germans did nothing to stop Hitler. Of course they're ignorant. There were 20 documented attempts on Hitler's life from the Beer Hall Putsch until Von Stauffenberg's failed attempt at the Wolf's Lair.
Which brings me to my point: Where have we been, Americans? Truly, where have we been? Is it conceivable that there has not been a single attempt on the life of the man who is bent on the destruction of this country?
History shall judge us. It wasn't very kind to the Germans of the 20's and 30's. It won't spend too much time talking about the things we wrote against our coming Führer.
Dems have a five-alarm fire on their hands, but all is calm at the fire houses. Biden's getting whipsawed on Israel. He under water on the economy, illegal immigration and his elderly infirmities. Most Dems don't want him to run. They know damn well there are younger, more talented pols ready grab the torch. Biden can't beat Trump. It's time for the hubristic Bidens and their DC sycophants to be pushed out.
From his "Save America" rally in Iowa last night:
"We've been waging an all-out war on American democracy" - Donald J. Trump
This sad sack, serial loser insists on writing Democrat attack ads.
If Obama had said this in 2012, he would have been immediately disqualified for re-election.
Yet the legacy media will barely give this a mention.
Possible? Indeed! Probable? Maybe. Inevitable, as Kagan likes to write? Bullshit! His use of the word inevitable is ignorant and irresponsible.
To whom is the headline "You Are Really Not Sufficiently Alarmed" addressed? Anyone who is a reader/listener of The Bulwark, like me, is more than sufficiently alarmed. Those who are in a position stop Trump are either (1) alarmed but afraid to do anything about it OR (2) like the idea of having a dictator. That includes most of the Republicans in congress (especially the House) and the Republican voters themselves.
You left out the part where President for Life Trump appoints DJTJ & Eric to be his successors to the Royal Golden Throne.
It is simple: Americans no longer deserve what they have, and are going to lose it. Don’t lose sleep over it.
A couple of late thoughts on this --
(1) The headline was unusual in that the Bulwark usually doesn't use the "Why You Are Wrong About XYZ" style of headlines (thank you for that, Bulwark). I wonder if that might partially account for the noticeably different mood in the comments -- not directly, in a "how dare you" sort of way, but, those headlines create a weird chemistry. I don't like 'em, and If it had been anyone other than Charlie, I would have skipped the article because of that. If that's just me being a weird outlier, ignore. Otherwise it might be worth thinking about.
(2) Anti-complacency is good, but we also can't live perpetually in fight-or-flight mode. It literally physically changes your brain and makes you less effective not more. People have to pace themselves.
(3) When/how to respond to extreme talk and behavior has been a challenge since Day One of this mess, and nobody seems to have solved that yet. Maybe it's important to remember that (a) on this topic at least, you're mostly preaching to the choir here, and (b) things have probably not stopped escalating yet. What are we going to say next week, when the next bottom drops out?
I sure don't know the answer to that; I just think it's worth thinking about.
Thanks for all y'all do!
Geez. Somebody should buy Robert Kagan some rubber sheets for his bed and put him under a suicide watch.
It's not that we don't know what a hellhole a second Trump presidency would be like. And it's not that we're complacent. But heed the advice from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: DON'T PANIC!
We know Trump could win again. Although it's not the near certainty Kagan portrays. He left out a number of things in Biden's favor, like the impact of the Dobbs decision for one.
He's right in that this is no time for complacency and if his targeted audience is those still sitting on the fence then his piece has some value. But other than that he isn't telling us anything we didn't already know.
Re: David Graham "The Dual Threat of Donald Trump": unlike Trump, Biden has committed no crime. There's absolutely no reason for him to fear for his freedom.
Re: the Pamela Paul article: so what? What's the alternative? Should we welcome a latecomer to primary Joe, just because his polling isn't what it could be? That would result in division and a monstrous defeat.
Two articles, two very facile takes.
Re the Cheap Shot, shouldn't that be Moms for Libertines?
The one likely silver lining from Trump going for an, er, extra-constitutional form of government is that he'd need the support of the military, and there have to be several dozen generals and admirals who know they'd do a better job than Trump as dictator. IOW, if he tried this, he wouldn't make it to 2028.
Please forgive me if this has been said. I was never a fan of Liz Cheney and I probably disagreed with her 100% of the time in office...until her work after January 6th. There has not been one person now, in my mind though, that deserved the Presidential Metal of Freedom more than her.
Charlie and those he quotes may be exaggerating Trump’s capability to become a dictator if elected next year, but they are surely right about his desire to govern dictatorially and his general threat to the country. The man is a self-announced enemy of the republic - its Constitution, its laws including those governing selecting presidents by democratic elections, its separation of powers and limits on executive power, and its liberal order. Beyond that he is unfit by knowledge, temperament, judgment, character, and mental stability to command the armed forces or even control the most useless and insignificant federal bureaucracy. It is good to be looking at more ways to stop him.
One place to start is by trying honestly to understand why so many people support him and what might be done to change some of their minds. Writing them off as ignorant, unlettered, bigoted halfwits may provide snarky lefties with an apparently much desired group of people to whom they can feel superior (see a few Bulwark comment threads), but it will do nothing for the job at hand. For millions of them are not those things at all. What many of them are is scared. People often make bad decisions when they are scared. And a lot of people willing to vote for Trump without liking him are very frightened, interestingly of the same thing Charlie, JVL, and those they quote are worried about. They worry that a victory by the Dems next year will lead to a one party authoritarian state.
I think they are wrong in that fear, but I cans see they do have some reasons for it. It is true that there is a powerful and influential authoritarian left wing within the Democratic party. It is true that crusading zealots of the green faith want to diminish the middle class’s standard of living and restrict its members range of choices in many areas of life. It is true that many people in the federal bureaucracy favor the Democrats and sometimes show that bias in their work. It is true that the government has pressured social media organizations to suppress dissent. It is true that political undesirables from parents griping at school board meetings to anti-abortion protesters to those poor losers who followed Trump’s orders to attack the Capitol on January 6th have been treated unusually harshly by officials, while leftist rioters and arsonists have been let off easily. It is true that there is a lot of anti-white, anti-Christian, and antisemitic bigotry that is tolerated or even encouraged within some parts of the Democratic party. It is true that many Democrats want citizens to be disarmed and reasonable to wonder whether people wanting to make you helpless have something bad in mind for you.
Understanding that people fearful of the Dems have their reasons can lead to a possible way to change their minds. Influential Democrats from Biden on down could behave as moderates, as moderate somewhat toward the left end of the center centrists and reject the plans and aspirations of the left and commit to fair and equal treatment and justice for all. (That would require disappointing the party’s hard leftists and risking them defecting to RFK, Stein, or West, but that risk might be small. If Trump is the Republicans’ nominee, it seems likely most of the lefties would get over their tantrums and vote for Biden out of hatred for Trump.) That just might pry enough fearful people away from Trump to make a difference. Regardless it would be a good thing for the country, since moderate Democrats are better for the nation than the party’s socialist, green new deal, bigoted, and pro-Hamas factions.
The average Wisconsin voter isn't going to be subject to internment camps, politically motivated arrest, or Insurrection Act violence, and the prospect of these things doesn't seem to horrify as many people as one would hope. Can someone please give us a message about how ("normal", nonpolitical) people's lives would change under Trump 2.0? Like once grifters control the government, will folks need to pay bribes to get their IRS refunds? If hundreds of thousands of unauthorized immigrants are rounded up, will the agriculture and construction industries tank, leading to dramatically higher food and housing prices? Abortion is a good issue for Democrats because it could plausibly affect many people or their families personally, but surely there must be other similar issues that are less abstract than "preserving democracy."