About the time I file today’s posting, Donald Trump will be appearing in federal court attempting to claim immunity for soliciting fraudulent election results in Georgia. He has another appeal pending in Georgia, seeking immunity on state charges in the case.
Jimmy Margulies (KFS) comments here on a separate attempt by the former president to get a court to agree that, in the words of Richard Nixon, “Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.”
For those too young to remember, Nixon was accused of ordering or condoning or helping to cover up burglary, forgery, bribery and a host of other indisputable crimes. Once the Supreme Court denied his executive privilege to withhold evidence, he had the good sense and the good grace to resign.
The chief argument against President Ford’s decision to pardon Nixon was not that it would spare him punishment. He was a broken man. But, while Ford wanted to spare the nation the continuing agony of a divisive argument, those opposed to the pardon wanted a full accounting of the crimes as well as a demonstration that the president is not above the law.
Nixon’s statement, quoted above, came in an interview several years after the pardon. He still believed he was immune.
Nixon had an imperial view of the presidency, the most ridiculous aspect of which was his dressing the White House Guard in something out of the Student Prince.
As Pat Oliphant noted, they were only formally unveiled once, when British PM Harold Wilson visited the White House. The jokes that ensued caused the uniforms to be withdrawn, until, in a wonderous example of “You can’t make this up,” they were purchased by a high school marching band.
The difference between Nixon’s absurd self-image and Barry Blitt’s New Yorker cover being that Nixon only wanted to enhance the presidency, while Trump has openly declared his intention to enhance his own power.
It seems doubtful that Nixon wanted any more than to serve two terms, and, while he was willing to keep the Vietnam War going to enhance his chances of being elected, his efforts to steal the election remained within the framework of serving eight years.
It’s not entirely clear that Trump, who attempted to avoid surrendering the presidency after one defeat, would surrender it at the end of a second term. It is abundantly clear that he has more respect for the world’s dictators than he has for the Constitution, because he has said so.
As Nick Anderson indicates, he has plenty of willing followers, however you want to depict the voluntary nature of their loyalty.
As I’ve noted before, reporters who go to rallies to interview the faithful are likely to discover that people who travel to Trump rallies support Donald Trump. Astonishing!
They skew the sample even more by picking out the most outrageously clad groupies, which results in promoting the idea that Trump followers are uneducated, inarticulate morons. Anderson’s “hostage” looks like a simpleton, which is fair exaggeration in a cartoon, but plenty of Trump contributors dress in three-piece suits, whether they attend rallies or not.
After all, Clarence Thomas didn’t get that RV from a McDonald’s worker.
Viewing the MAGAts simply as bumpkins greatly underestimates the power behind this anti-democratic movement and suggests a type of immunity from seditious overthrow that no nation can possibly possess.
Juxtaposition of the Day
There is plenty of overt, rampant hypocrisy at work in our world.
As Wuerker notes, the right is delighted with having driven Claudine Guy from her job with accusations of antisemitism, despite the obvious fact that their own cause is steeped in solidarity with the antisemitic marchers of Charlottesville and those who see George Soros behind every potted plant.
The other half of their attack on Gay was mirrored by a revelation in Business Insider that the wife of Bill Ackman, one of the leaders of the charge against Gay for plagiarism, was herself guilty of the same faults in her academic papers. As Oliver Darcy reports, the result is that Axel Springer, the company that owns Business Insider, is investigating its own publication for printing those revelations.
Still think this is a bunch of underemployed nitwits in red ball caps?
Meanwhile, as Luckovich points out, the rightwing is demanding border reforms, but refusing to approve the reforms being offered. As several observers have suggested, the last thing the Freedom Caucus wants is a solution to the border crisis, since it is one of their most potent weapons against Joe Biden.
And Bill Bramhall points out that, while the GOP has leveled constant accusations against Biden for having earned money from foreign nations, they’ve produced absolutely no evidence to back up their claims, while recent reports indicate that Trump enriched himself by millions during his time in the White House.
So what? They are immune to logic, immune to evidence, immune to facts. And so Gym Jordan, who defied a subpoena to testify before the Jan 6 Committee, is leveling contempt charges against Hunter Biden for offering to testify before the Lynch Mob Committee only if his testimony were public.
Juxtaposition of the Day #2
Jones gets a laugh, ridiculing the horrific cruelty of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s wars on immigrants and on his own state’s women. It wouldn’t work without the silly costumes, which would be offensive if offered seriously, but are hilarious as an example of the heartless ignorance behind both controversies.
Molina, having lived through and fled dictatorship, is not amused by the rightwing’s efforts to win support through stoking hatred and appealing to bigotry.
At Presswatchers, Dan Froomkin makes the case for the mainstream press to quit underplaying racism with nicey-nice terms like “polarizing” and “divisive” and frankly report racism as racism.
He’s right: Euphemisms make racists immune to the impact of their own hateful statements.
Now, ICYMI, here’s how you get good grades, get into a good college and then rise to the heights of power in Congress: You say whatever your teachers, your professors and your legislative leaders want to hear, whether you believe it or not, whether it is factual or not, whether it makes sense or not, whether it is even marginally decent or not: