Democrats Dally While Trump Guts Constitution, Decency, Democracy


While the tyrant Donald Trump has rewarded Republican donors with prime seating for his taxpayer-funded July Fourth political rally on the National Mall, the public deserves answers about why other top officials cannot muster effective responses to his years of law breaking, including his corrupt giveaways as president to family and business cronies — and his financial alliances with murderous dictators.

democratic debate june27 2019 nypost health for illegals SmallNBC's Democratic 2020 presidential "debates" last week showcased 20 Democratic candidates who specialize for the most part in self-righteous grievances, soaring personal ambition, and impractical giveaways that they promise for their own hoped-for voting blocs.

Meanwhile, the candidates provided diminished hope that one of them can win next year's election and carry into office a Senate majority, as a New York Post front page at right aptly noted. 

The Democratic contenders launched the most visible phase of their primary campaign with two nights of debates on June 27 and 28 in Miami.

They pushed their failed themes of "identity politics" near-certain to fall flat at the same time that Trump's corrupt political machine is raising record amounts from GOP donors to fund the kind of propaganda and election-rigging that brought him into office in 2016.

This cycle, Trump is augmenting his chances by ruthlessly exploiting his presidential power, including via the greedy and craven Senate GOP majority and an increasingly partisan federal judiciary. They are delivering a radical right overthrow of U.S. government Constitutional checks-and-balances and other norms.

Such Democratic "solutions" as non-criminal status and free health care for illegal immigrants and "free college" for students loom as failed democratic 20 debate candidates Smallstrategies to win the presidential and Senate elections. They are transparent leftist sops to presumed voting blocs.

Even Democratic-leaning pundits are pointing out their economic and other structural flaws, as in a column by Washington Post business commentator Steve Pearlstein. Regarding "free college," for example, he noted that turning a slogan into a program would create many problems, including unfairness to non-college youth and those who have paid off their student debt.

The real trouble would begin when the well-funded and right-dominated media ramp up their ridicule against Democrats for their poorly conceived policy programs.


Meanwhile, Democrats have failed to put their self-centered ambitions and flawed strategies aside long enough to expose in an understandable way the deep and sinister corruption of the Trump Family regime.

One such way would be to shorten the 11-day congressional Fourth of July holiday and convene high-profile public hearings to bring forward such compelling witnesses as former President Jimmy Carter.

The usually mild-speaking U.S. president from 1977 to 1981 has assessed the current president in the kind of frank language never voiced publicly by any of his predecessors about one another.

jimmy carter portrait deftnewsSpeaking at the Carter Center in his native Georgia, Carter made the little-noticed but vitally important historical judgment that Trump is an illegitimate president who stole the 2016 election with the help of Russians, as reported here by the Washington Post: Jimmy Carter says Trump wouldn’t be president without help from Russia. The Carter Center is a world-renowned locale for human rights, including advocacy for honest elections worldwide.

“There’s no doubt that the Russians did interfere in the election, and I think the interference, although not yet quantified, if fully investigated would show that Trump didn’t actually win the election in 2016,” said Carter, shown in a file photo. “He lost e jean carroll twitterthe election, and he was put into office because the Russians interfered on his behalf.”

Yet the former president failed to garner the front-page coverage such comments deserve even though they were backed by similar words from his vice president, Walter Mondale of Minnesota. Similarly, few in the press covered Carter's comments several years ago that the United States may not be a democracy any longer.

Democrats should lead the way in providing a Capitol forum for such a unique voice. Separately, they should invite journalist author and advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, shown right in a file photo, to answer questions posed by her rape allegation against the president, as first reported June 21 by New York Magazine in E. Jean Carroll: “Trump attacked me in the dressing room of Bergdorf Goodman, excerpting her new book.

Debates Failed On Format, Substance

Our main focus, however, is how last week's Democratic debates showed vast dangers for both Democrats and the rest of the country before the next elections.


tom perez file w brown daily herald Custom 2First, we note the failures in format devised by the Democratic National Committee (DNC)  and its chairman Tom Perez (shown at right), who decided eligibility rules, and hosts from MSNBC who ran the questioning.

The rules using a combination of polling and donation results excluded Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, the one Democrat who had won office in a heavily Republican constituency. Bullock had started his campaign late in order to focus on his state's legislative session and so must take at least partial responsibility for his exclusion, which he protested. Nonetheless, Democrats were presenting themselves as problem-solvers and this was a missed opportunity for Democrats to broaden their messaging.

The first evening's debate proceeded in a reasonably productive manner. It enabled the 10 participants to introduce themselves, with only Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren among the front-runners, according to polls.

bill de blasio 11 2 2013Several candidates, most notably New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, left, repeatedly interrupted or otherwise spoke without being called up. This generated adverse comment by the moderators and their colleagues during analysis afterward. The second evening featured even more such interruptions, creating a bad look for the candidates, their causes and the party.

Yet the debate organizers and moderators deserve most of the blame. They gave some candidates vastly more time than others in ways not correlated with pre-debate polling or any other obvious method. As more unfairness, only a few tulsi gabbardcandidates, especially Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, right, the military veteran and war sceptic, received hostile, "gotcha" questions.

Under those circumstances, the disfavoured candidates had to speak up or else face a heavy disadvantage.

Both de Blasio and Gabbard made comments late in their debate but still finished with far less time to speak than Warren or New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker (below left), who polls only slightly higher than Gabbard. The word counts at the end of the evening were: Booker 2,181; former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke 1,932; Warren 1,637; and de Blasio 881 (even with his late-debate interruptions).

Those at home monitoring the debate speaking times during the events could see the unfair disparities but the moderators remained oblivious, with NBC/MSNBC self-important anchor Chuck Todd ranking fourth among the 16 candidates and moderators in talk time with more than 1,600 words.

Most viewers are not closely calibrating that important statistic, which is readily available on the web, however. More generally, NBC co-moderator Savannah Guthrie often enforced rules — broken by some but enforced against others — in a way that made her look like Nurse Ratched, the control-freak nurse in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

cory booker headThe easy solution for future debates is for each candidate's talk time to be visible to debaters and audience alike. Moderators should cut off the microphones for those candidates who fail to heed warnings that they are exceeding their fair share of time.

That should take only minor adjustments. Democratic candidate Andrew Yang complained after the debate that MSNBC had cut off his mic and allowed other candidates to interrupt him even though he was receiving less speaking time than most participants.


The bigger problem for the candidates during the debate, although few of them seemed to notice, was their shared strategy of backing simplistic and radical solutions to complex problems, obviously to boost their popularity promptly with one demographic group or another.

Moderators encouraged this group-think by encouraging a "show of hands" signifying support for issues.

msnbc logo CustomMSNBC's "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough was among many commentators afterward who described the display as a "disaster" for Democrats in both the forthcoming presidential election and for "down-ticket" races in 2020 for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House and state government offices.

joe scarborough headshot"I hope people weren't watching," Scarborough, left, warned the top 20 Democratic presidential candidates Friday morning on air. His comments summarized in a column: Scarborough: First Round Of Debates Was A "Disaster" For Democratic Party, excerpted below:

"They're lined up in trench warfare, ready to get out of the trenches and charge Donald Trump," he continued. "Instead, they all turn their guns on each other and shoot each other, and everybody is yelling at each other all night."

Scarborough continued:

"If you’re an American and this is your introduction to these candidates and the Democratic Party, and all you see are 12 people yelling at each other, trying to interrupt each other, insulting each other, you’re like, ‘You know what. I thought Donald Trump was a clown show. I’m changing the channel.'”

He went on to explain that the unanimous position of the candidates on night one that illegal immigration should not be a crime combined with the unanimous position of the candidates on night two that illegal immigrants deserve free health care is a recipe for losing to Donald Trump. "There is a vast middle ground between Donald Trump's immigration policies and the free-for-all immigration policies that were pushed last night," he said.

More generally, he continued:

[H]ave to say the front-runner, Joe Biden, man, he was off his game. I must say, won't make friends here. It was one of the more disturbing debate performances I have seen since Ronald Reagan's first debate in 1984. It was one of those moments where you're going, 'my god, is he going to complete his sentence?' There were times he said he was going to give us three points. He gave us one and a half. And then did something that Joe Biden has never done, gave back his time. 'My time is up.' No, Joe Biden doesn't do that. Joe Biden runs through stop signs. He did that last night.

Bernie Sanders was yelling all night. Bernie Sanders didn't prepare for the debate. It showed because he basically gave the same debate performances this year that he gave four years ago. And it may have worked when it was Bernie Sanders against Hillary Clinton. It did not work last night. And I can go on and on.

Scarborough is a former conservative Republican representing Florida's Panhandle. So, some Democrats are inclined to dismiss his remarks even though he is clearly anti-Trump now and well-paid to co-host with his wife Mika Brzezinski a top-rated show on MSNBC, the leading pro-Democratic cable news network. 

Other Democratic Critics

Political writers Michael Scherer of the Washington Post along with Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin of the New York Times were among those who concurred, in effect, with Scarborough's views.

Scherer's analysis, headlined Democratic candidates veer left, ditching successful midterm strategy, began: "Embracing liberal positions on immigration, health care, taxes and abortion, the Democratic presidential field has abandoned the strategy that propelled the party to a landslide victory in the 2018 midterms."

Burns and Martin wrote, in a piece headlined  Liberals Dominated Debates, and It’s Making Moderates Anxious, "Some came away from the debates fearful that the party was squandering the chance to make the election a referendum on President Trump. The Democratic debates this past week provided the clearest evidence yet that many of the leading presidential candidates are breaking with the incremental politics of the Clinton and Obama eras, and are embracing sweeping liberal policy changes on some of the most charged public issues in American life, even at the risk of political backlash."

But with moderate Democrats repeatedly drowned out or on the defensive in the debates, the sprint to the left has deeply unnerved establishment Democrats, who have largely picked the party nominees in recent decades. They fear that advocating a government-run health care system could alienate suburban and upper-income voters who are otherwise eager to eject Mr. Trump from office, while the most progressive immigration policies might turn off the working-class white voters who backed Mr. Trump after twice supporting former President Barack Obama.

Liberals point to polls showing that policies like universal health care and tuition-free college are growing in popularity, and argue that victory in 2020 depends in part on inspiring turnout from young voters and progressives. Yet other Democrats came away from the debates fearful that the party was squandering the chance to make the election a referendum on an unpopular president, and staking its fortunes on untested policy promises instead.

Some Plans Can't Work

That kind of policy debate might resemble those of sports fans or other armchair enthusiasts except for two critical points involving next year's election.

First is that some these radical measures seem highly unlikely to pass into law, even with a Democratic president, or work as a practical matter. Second, the Trump presidency is gutting of basic Constitutional procedures and busting the federal budget with his tax giveaways to the wealthy. That means that his re-election could destroy life as traditionally known in the United States after the temporary financial fixes (like the tax cuts and printing more money to cover debts) lose their impact during the inevitable crash.

Regarding that first point: Control of the U.S. Senate will be vital even for a Democratic president to enact an agenda and appointments. The state offices will be vital in creating reasonably fair voting districts for the next decade. The stakes are especially high because the U.S. Supreme Court last month ruled that it will defer to states to decide whether heavily gerrymandered districts are too unfair.

Most of the current districts were created after the 2010 census and Republican Tea Party victories to ensure Republican domination. jim jordan headshot CustomRegarding Ohio's 16 congressional seats, for example, the Republican-run Ohio legislature created district maps that in effect create 12 Republican safe seats compared to four Democratic.

Democrats narrowly won the 2018 popular vote for Ohio's congressional seats. But the Republican control of the legislative gerrymandering process gave their party its 12-4 congressional advantage, which includes the snake-shaped rural district of the fanatic Trump-supporter and Democrat-hater, Rep. Jim Jordan, right.

Many of the candidates' messages poorly calibrated in the Democratic debate to make up ground lost during the Obama years in red states. Democrats lost nearly a thousand state legislative seats to Republicans during Obama's two terms.

Given that electoral disaster, some of the Democratic candidates should have put aside their long-shot presidential ambitions.

One obvious alternative would be to perform their current jobs better or reach for higher-level state jobs as U.S. Senators or state governors. Stacey Abrams, the Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate in 2018, for another example, is putting her energies now into a much-needed election reform effort instead of joining at least 22 others in seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination..

marianne williamson vox com june28 2019 dcmaBut the personal incentives for running can be big, as illustrated by at least one pundit who argued How Marianne Williamson Won Thursday's Debate. She is shown at left with former two-term Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Clearly, some candidates are simply building name recognition for other careers in potential cabinet, non-profit, lecture or political news punditry gigs, whatever the consequences to the Democratic Party's 2020 prospects.

This kind of career advancement has long been a problem in presidential races (as illustrated also by the 2016 GOP primary, where one-time front-runner Herman Cain was selling books and lining up his post-candidacy speaking gigs). But, like the "tragedy of the commons," when herders allowed their flocks to over-gaze lands owned in common, each candidate has strong incentives to pursue self-interest, not public interest.

Regarding our second point about substance, the main problem is that some of the candidates' positions fail the common sense test necessary to win elections.

Let's look at immigration policy, for example. The entire nation should be outraged at the near-fascist techniques of Trump administration in cruelly treating undocumented immigrants, including separating children from parents and caging children in squalid conditions and losing track of many of their locations. The list of horrifying treatments goes on and on, as well documented here and elsewhere.

But sooner or later, Democrats need to agree on comprehensive policies that are politically viable against Trump, who won the 2016 electoral college majority far more on the immigrant issue than on Russian meddling or other election trickery.

Can Dems Sell Solutions?

In one of the MSNBC "show of hands" questions, it appeared that all 10 candidates on stage agreed with the plan by former Housing and julián castroUrban Development Secretary Julián Castro, right, that understaffed federal agencies should treat illegal immigrants as civil offenders except in cases of new crimes unrelated to immigration committed in the United States.

That was one of several issues creating alarm among some pro-Democratic observers, particularly those who understand the power of the well-funded and increasingly pro-Trump and near-fascist conservative media, which is lavishly funded by those who benefit from his giveaways to the ultra-rich.

True, many progressives, particularly young ones, genuinely advocate in effect "open borders" or at least severely limited enforcement of current laws. So it may be that it's an issue that the party's candidates will seek to avoid.

The problem is that the debates generated wide support on other issues likely to boomerang in general elections against candidates and a party that seems woefully unprepared to deal with the media and financial clout of Republicans, as well as their array of voter suppression tactics and other dirty tricks.

Most such idealists seem to ignore the real "hardball" in politics, in part because their outlets like MSNBC do not want to report, as we do here, on the full range of horrific tactics in modern politics. That includes not just voter suppression but concocted sex scandals and blackmail, false flag military scares and laundering drug and other foreign money through banks and foundations into American politics, and on and on.

We treat those topics on a near-daily basis in this site's Deep State and Trump Watch sections.

For purposes of this column, we recommend Washington Post syndicated business columnist Steve Pearlstein's post-debate column analysing serious economic flaws in major plans floated during the debates by a number of candidates, especially Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. 

Pearlstein's insights, headlined In the Democratic debates, candidates spouted too many economic fairy tales, were subtitled, "The nights were filled with anger, passion and high drama, but policies lacked much economic sense."

Pearlstein began:

As our best president [Abraham Lincoln, shown in 1860] famously warned — and as our worst president daily reminds us — you can fool some of the abraham lincoln 1860 matthew brady cooper unionpeople all of the time. Indeed, Donald Trump has so mastered the art of the big lie that I doubt Democrats will be able to evict him from the White House by trying to fool all of the people any of the time. The better strategy will be to follow President Abraham Lincoln’s advice and example and offer honesty, integrity, dignity and civility. Binding up the nation’s wounds will require a candidate willing to level with the American people.

In that respect, the debate this week among 20 Democratic presidential candidates was something of a disappointment.

Let’s begin with the candidates’ description of the economy, in which all but the richest are described as working two or three jobs, living paycheck to paycheck, drowning in college loans and afraid to take their kids to the emergency room. Yes, inequality is a problem and too many people are being left behind. But this is also an economy where unemployment is low, wages are rising, 17 million new cars were sold last year, and the reason the middle class is shrinking is that people are moving up as well as down. Bad diagnoses lead to bad prescriptions.

Democratic-Republican Campaign logosThere’s no better example of this than proposals for tuition-free college and wiping out all student debt. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Mayor Pete Buttigieg get credit for standing up to the progressive mob and pointing out how regressive it would be for lower-income Americans who do not have college degrees to help pay the tuitions of higher-income Americans who do.

But the bigger reason more children don’t complete college isn’t the cost — it is that the K-12 public education system failed to prepare them, which is where the real focus should be. As a former Denver schools superintendent, Sen. Michael F. Bennet might have explained that if he had been given that opportunity. And as successful businessmen, Andrew Yang and John Delaney might have note

'Dems: Don't Drive Me Away'

A similar complaint came from New York Times oped columnist David Brooks, his paper's most prominent conservative opinion writer. In Dems, Please Don’t Drive Me Away, Brooks wrote after the first debate on June 27. "I could never in a million years vote for Donald Trump. So my question to Democrats is: Will there be a candidate I can vote for?"

Brooks continued:

According to a recent Gallup poll, 35 percent of Americans call themselves conservative, 35 percent call themselves moderate and 26 percent call themselves liberal. The candidates at the debates this week fall mostly within the 26 percent. The party seems to think it can win without any of the 35 percent of us in the moderate camp, the ones who actually delivered the 2018 midterm win.

The progressive narrative is dominating in part because progressives these days have a direct and forceful story to tell and no interest in compromising it. It’s dominating because no moderate wants to bear the brunt of progressive fury by opposing it.

It’s also dominating because the driving dynamic in this campaign right now is not who can knock off Joe Biden, the more moderate front-runner. It’s who can survive the intense struggle between Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and others to be the surviving left-wing alternative. All the energy and competition is on the progressive side. Biden tries to bob and weave above it all while the whole debate pulls sharply leftward.

The party is moving toward all sorts of positions that drive away moderates and make it more likely the nominee will be unelectable. And it’s doing it without too much dissent.

The candidates' most impassioned supporters will be inclined to dismiss such criticisms, but at their peril.

Most people who use and study Medicare realize that its current funding cannot support opening the system to all Americans. And most Americans, according to polls, are not willing to give up their employer-generated insurance. These are problems requiring strong majorities in Congress, not sound bites on a debate stage.

As a related problem for Democrats, none but Gabbard clearly opposed U.S. empire-building in overseas military adventures to the degree necessary to generate funding for domestic U.S. programs.

Yes, several candidates expressed a desire to withdraw from the war in Afghanistan nearly 18 years after the United States launched it.

But none generated the kind of advocacy needed to overcome the huge ingrained power of the military-intelligence complex that generates vast sums for supportive politicians, as we reported in our most recent column, a retrospective on how such dark money from the 1980s funded current Republican networks.

Gabbard engaged in a telling verbal exchange with fellow candidate Tim Ryan, an Ohio congressman who has sought to represent swing voters in both the presidential race and in leadership challenges to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Gabbard showed that Ryan did not know the difference between the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, much less the respective roles of these organizations that are even arguably associated with the 2001 9/11 attacks that are the supposed basis for U.S. involvement in the Afghan, Iraq and Syrian wars.

Harris Challenges Biden On Race

2020 Democratic Presidential candidates Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Kamal Harris on June 28, 2019 ( left to right, screengrab).

As a final topic in our review of the Democratic debates, we note that California Senator Kamala Harris created a double-edged sword in ambushing former Vice President Joe Biden on his decades ago busing policies. Yes, she damaged him, in part by showing his lack of preparation.

Harris (shown with Biden at left and Sanders) boosted her polling results. That places her for now with Sanders and Warren as Biden's leading challengers, according to the latest polling as of July 4.

But she generated also some ill-will, as reported by Politico in Her ambition got it wrong about Joe’: Harris faces debate backlash because she showed that it was a planned attack: “She played low ball, which was out of character. And he didn’t expect it, nor did I,” said Lee White, an African-American Biden supporter who attended his remarks at the Jesse Jackson Rainbow PUSH Coalition. “She should not have gone that route. She’s much too intelligent, she’s been able to be successful thus far, why do you have to do that.”

kamala harris debate june 27 2019 fileHer posture as the righteous liberal and victim of bias (she was born in California, the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India) is being undermined also by reports of her law-and-order advocacy as a California prosecutor and her prodigious fund-raising among the financial elites. Thus, Wall Street on Parade reported on July 3, for example, Paul Weiss, the Law Firm that Has Represented Citigroup through Serial Fraud Charges, Is the Number One Donor to Democratic Presidential Hopeful Kamala Harris.

In sum, an Obama-style candidacy for Harris, shown at right, as the so-far leading black candidate may be difficult to carry to victory. President Obama remains highly popular with Democrats but his track record revealed how many compromises he took once in office with his campaign rhetoric.

More Candidate Vulnerabilities

Another problem for Democrats defending "innovative" policies in a campaign against a lying, cheap-shot provocateur like Trump is they are not only out-gunned in terms of allies like Fox News and the National Enquirer run by rich friends of Trump but the Democrats show scant talent for the gutter-fighting and criticism-deflection in which he excels.

Biden showed in the debate that he has trouble responding to attacks. Similarly, he is still suffering from the plagiarism claims that arose during his 1988 candidacy. The major claim was brought on dubious and surreptitious grounds by the staff of a Democratic rival, Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, not a Republican.

Similarly, Warren is just recently extricating herself from Trump's juvenile "Pocahontas" slur, which is racist in origin and intent.

And if Bernie Sanders, a political Independent who has usually supported non-Democrats for president, becomes the party's nominee, the public will hear a constant drumbeat from Republicans of tirades against his supposed "socialism." They play into a meme that includes his wife, Jane O'Meara Sanders, who led Burlington College from 2014 to 2011 as president with a handsome salary before the college closed in financial ruin in 2016. 

The list can go on and on. One example that has not hit the mainstream, but certainly would if New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's campaign ever gained traction is a series of revelations about the sex cult NXIVM [pronounced "Nexium"] by investigative reporter Wayne Madsen. His findings are best summarized in his April 2018 column on his subscription-only site, Al Franken's chief inquisitor, Kirsten Gillibrand, linked to New York sex slave cult.

Madsen wrote:

kirsten gillibrand president buttonGillibrand is the daughter of longtime Albany lobbyist and political fixer Doug Rutnik....Rutnik, who divorced Gillibrand's mother, also served as the attorney for the NXIVM sex slave cult, which maintains its headquarters in Clifton Park, 20 miles north of Albany, and branded female sex slaves with cult leader [Keith] Raniere's initials. Raniere also required his female members to submit to photographs of their vaginas, "collateral" he would then make public in the event they failed to obey his orders.

For Gillibrand to have called for Franken's resignation over a few innocuous hand gestures and comments, which Gillibrand believed constituted serious sexual harassment unworthy of a senator, makes the junior senator from New York a paragon of hypocrisy.

Rutnik received $25,000 a month from NXIVM for his legal services....NXIVM also had Trump's close friend and adviser Roger Stone, a notorious Republican dirty tricks operative, on its payroll....It is not just Rutnik who has had a relationship with NXIVM. It turns out that his wife, Gwen Bellcourt, Gillibrand's stepmother, was deeply involved with NXIVM through its president, Nancy Salzman, a neuro-linguistic programming "nurse."

Gillibrand is polling close to zero even after last week's debate. So, she may not face much scrutiny over such hypocrisy.

But one telling takeaway is the hubris (or perhaps inner torment?) and lack of staff advice involved in running a special interest campaign aimed at feminists with such a vulnerability that is still keith raniere nxivmvirtually unknown to the public even after the sensational trial and conviction this spring of NXIVM's leader Raniere and guilty pleas by several of his top enablers.

More generally, Democrats as a whole have not yet mustered effective responses even regarding such 2020 campaign basics as showing the Trump Team's obvious corruption.

The House Democrats have primarily and foolishly relied on cooperation from Republican witnesses. So, the House leadership has not progressed in nearly six months much beyond court filings to compel cooperation and the  months-ago appearance of former Trump counsel Michael Cohen. They are planning to question former Special Counsel Robert Mueller on July 15. But he is another lifelong Republican who has previously indicated that he does not want to say much. More on that in our next column.

Trump is shown in a graphic by A Banana Peeled.

donald trump monster abananapeeledcom dcmaBy contrast, Trump, a draft dodger from the Vietnam War, presents himself as supporter of the military adored by the troops, with events like his July Fourth extravaganza used as proof. 

For now, the conclusion from here is that New York MSNBC host and longtime Trump watcher Donny Deutsch, a longtime New York City marketing expert and broadcast commentator, was correct in his post-debate argument to his MSNBC colleague that almost none of the Democratic contenders looked tough enough — at least to the public — to stand up to Trump's lies, force of personality and alliances with powerful media propagandists. 

We'll be finding out more soon enough.   

Born To Lose

In closing, we come full circle to our opening concern, shared by a number of prominent commentators, thatthe United States seems on the verge of losing our Constitutional framework, especially if Trump is re-elected.

Trump has, for example, rejected the concept of complying for the most part with House requests for documents and witnesses as part of any oversight, not just for Mueller-style investigative issues. This is a radical, revolutionary assault on the Constitution's checks-and-balances but is occurring with virtually no protests from elected Republicans or effective counter-measures by Democrats, at least so far.

Five recent warnings are headlined as follows:

ej dionne w open neck● Washington Post, Opinion: The 2020 issue that matters is democracy itself, E.J. Dionne Jr., right, July 1, 2019. The future of U.S. democracy will be on the ballot next year. No one should pretend otherwise. We witnessed President Trump’s obvious disdain for democratic rights and liberties once again last week during his warm encounter in Japan with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.

● New York Times, Opinion: Do the Republicans Even Believe in Democracy Anymore? Michael Tomasky, July 1, 2019. They pay lip service to it, but they actively try to undermine its institutions. A number of observers, myself included, have written pieces in recent years arguing that the Republican Party is no longer simply trying to compete with and defeat the Democratic Party on a level playing field. Today, rather than simply playing the game, the Republicans are simultaneously trying to rig the game’s rules so that they never lose.

●The Atlantic, Opinion: Bill Barr’s Dangerous Pursuit of Executive Power, Donald Ayer (Former U.S. Deputy Attorney General under George H. W. Bush), June 30, 2019. Shown in a screenshot above, Barr is using the office he holds to advance his extraordinary lifetime project of assigning unchecked power to the president. Buried behind our president’s endless stream of lies and malicious self-serving remarks are actions that far transcend any reasonable Donald Trump (Defense Department photo by Dominique Pineiro)understanding of his legal authority. Donald Trump (shown in a Defense Department photo) disdains, more than anything else, the limitations of checks and balances on his power. Witness his assertion of a right to flout all congressional subpoenas; his continuing refusal to disclose his tax returns, notwithstanding Congress’s statutory right to secure them; his specific actions to bar congressional testimony by government officials; and his personal attacks on judges who dare to subject the acts of his administration to judicial review.

Attorney General William Barr has not had the lead public role in advancing the president’s claims to these unprecedented powers, which have come to us, like most everything about this president, as spontaneous assertions of Trump’s own will. To the contrary, in securing william barr o 1992his confirmation as attorney general, Barr (shown in a 1992 photo) successfully used his prior service as attorney general in the by-the-book, norm-following administration of George H. W. Bush to present himself as a mature adult dedicated to the rule of law who could be expected hold the Trump administration to established legal rules.

But the first few months of his current tenure, and in particular, and his handling of the Mueller report suggest something very different — that he is using the office he holds to advance his extraordinary lifetime project of assigning unchecked power to the president.

● WhoWhatWhy, Opinion: The Rule of Outlaws, Klaus Marre and DonkeyHotey, June 30, 2019. Let’s stop pretending the US is still a country of laws, because some people are allowed to get away with even the most blatant violations of society’s rules. The president is a crook, his staff brazenly disregards laws, he dangles pardons in front of indicted former associates, and is considering pardoning war criminals. And while many companies are not breaking the law, they don’t have to because they helped write them, which means they no longer pay their fair share of taxes — if they pay any at all. And they don’t have to comply with regulations, e.g. to protect the environment, because those are being dismantled. At the same time, the vast majority of Americans are at the mercy of a justice system that is stacked against them.

tucker carlson djt● Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), On the anniversary of U.S. independence, a Nazi shadow is cast across the land, Wayne Madsen, July 3, 2019 (subscription required, excerpted with permission). On the anniversary of U.S. independence, a Nazi shadow is cast across the land. Fox News opinion show host and unofficial Trump national security adviser Tucker Carlson and Trump [shown in file photos] discussed America’s homeless population and agreed that it should be called “filth.” Trump also iterated to Carlson that the administration “may intercede” to clean the “filth” from cities like Washington, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Calling homeless people “filth” – Trump did add that some homeless are mentally ill, a wink and a nod to them being useless members of society – comes right out of the playbook of Nazi genocide engineers like Heinrich Himmler, Adolf Eichmann, and Dr. Josef Mengele.

The last column by this editor's colleague Wayne Madsen, an author and former Navy intelligence officer shown in a file photo, will strike wayne madsen may 29 2015 cropped Smallsome readers here as excessively hostile to Trump.

Yet few Trump defenders can match Madsen's extensive contacts among diverse knowledgeable sources or his research into the Trump network's sinister connections. He has published, for example, a relationship chart showing more than 3,500 business entities related to the Trump-Kushner-Manafort circle, many of these entities with mob, money-laundering or other suspicious implications.

Madsen and others have portrayed the Trump team as a long-running criminal conspiracy enabled by Mafia ties, foreign oligarchs and a clegal system that coddles wealthy and well-lawyer organizations.

That trend is vastly worse now that Trump has installed the longtime GOP fixer William Barr as attorney general to use the Justice Department's resources, including its influence with judicial selection and other court business, to protect Trump and his supporters, as we documented last month here in Trump Found His Roy Cohn In Deep State Fixer Bill Barr.

Madsen's research includes extensive analysis of the Trump family, including the 1927 arrest of Trump's father, Fred Trump, as a white-robed Ku Klux Klan marching on Memorial Day in Queens, New York. Investigative reporters like Madsen and Julie Brown of the Miami Herald are well versed also, unlike anyone in Congress apparently, in the extensive catalog of sexual assault allegations against Trump and his billionaire pervert friend Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex trafficker who was allowed a wrist-slap plea deal by Trump's current Labor Secretary Alex Acosta. Acosta, a notorious fixer for the powerful when he was U.S. attorney in Miami a decade ago, currently holds a cabinet post putting him in charge of the Trump administration's supposed efforts to protect children from sex traffickers.

Madsen's most recent column, focused on the ironies of Trump's takeover of Independence Day ceremonies in the U.S. capital, continued:

american flag upside down distressThe menace of the Trump administration to American citizens and others is compounded by the establishment of concentration camps for asylum seekers striving for refuge from the killing fields and shooting gallery mountains of Central America. Trump’s friend, Rush Limbaugh, commented that incarcerated women and children being forced by Customs and Border Patrol officers to drink water from toilets is fine because it beats what they were drinking in their native countries.

The United States is on the verge of becoming a Nazi dictatorship. It’s not “Nazi-Lite” or “Nazi-like.” It is pure full-fledged and unadulterated Adolf Hitler-style Nazism.

This did not happen overnight; in fact, it can be traced back to the George W. Bush / Dick Cheney administration when the U.S. discarded the Geneva Conventions and subjected occupied countries’ detained civilians and prisoners of war to torture and other inhumane treatment.

July Fourth Holiday Preparations

Republicans his week announced funding totals reported as follows: President Trump and the Republican National Committee said they rnc logoraised $105 million, Outdoing Obama. The announcement came just before Trump and the committee embarked on the especially brazen move of providing tickets to GOP donors in a security-protected area of the National Mall as part of the traditionally taxpayer-funded July Fourth holiday fireworks display.

Meanwhile: Michigan Rep. Justin Amash leaves GOP, declares independence Simone Pathé reported for Roll Call on July 4, with this amplification: Amash was only Republican to say Trump committed impeachable offenses. The co-founder of the right-leaning Freedom Caucus is shown in a file photo.

justin amashThe Justice Integrity Project is located on Pennsylvania Avenue just a golf ball's distance from the Justice Department headquarters and the nearly adjoining Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue and the National Mall along Constitution Avenue.

So, we have closely followed the preparations for Trump's insinuation of himself, his donors and military forces into the traditional family-style, non-partisan holiday focused on picnicking, fireworks and a patriotic concert on the National Mall.

Trump's obsession with grandiose displays of military might with tanks and an Air Force flyover is fraught with history and potential danger, not simply of the irony of a draft-dodging coward, using a paid-off medical excuse of "bone spurds" to avoid Vietnam War service, now seeking to buttress his appeal to veterans.

Tanks For Trump

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Who else besides Trump put tanks on the Mall?

GOP President Herbert Hoover, who unleashed the military and police in July 1932 to fight 17,000 World War I veterans plus their family members and supporters totalling 43,000 who were encamped in the nation's capital. They were seeking immediate compensation that had been deferred until 1945 for their wartime service, as shown in Library of Congress photo illustrating When Patton Rolled Tanks Over Veterans in Washington, D.C. by Matthew Gault, published by Medium.

Tanks are a favorite prop for dictators everywhere, as further illustrated by the iconic 1989 photo of "Tank Man" by Associated Press photographer Jeff Weidner of an unknown protester in China's capital of Beijing. 

As journalist Lily Kuo described the scene in a 2013 Quartz retrospective:

tank man china near tiananmen square bejing june 5 1989 jeff weidner ap

A wiry man in a white shirt stepped in front of a line of moving tanks near Tiananmen Square and become one of the most famous protesters of the 20th century. The man blocked the path of the tanks, even as they gunned their engines.

He climbed onto the first tank, pounded on the hatchet, and appeared to speak to the soldiers inside. When he stepped back down in front of the tank, two men ran into the street and pulled him away.

The confrontation became one of the most enduring images of the pro-democracy, anti-corruption protests that swept China that spring and summer. His identity is still a mystery.

Fascist Themes

Trump does not restrain his impulses to fascist-sounding themes, whether in his affection for the murderous leaders of North Korea and Saudi Arabia, both of whom are his close friends if not role models, or for those others like Russia's leader Vladimir Putin, whom Trump praises for cult-like loyalty (mostly likely engendered by personal business prospects and blackmail, not loyalty to the United States).

breitbart logoIn March, for example, Trump told Breitbart Magazine, [funded in 2016 by the billionaire Mercer family that was also funding election 2016 pro-Trump data-miners and neo-conservative war-mongers at Cambridge Analytica], "I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump — I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad."

Storm troopers are often instrumental in fascist takeovers, as during the early 1930s when Hitler's Nazi officers and "brownshirt" thugs helped topple liberal institutions in Germany, which had a well-educated but politically divided and economically depressed and frightened population.

The German public proved vulnerable to Hitler's fear-mongering, demonization of religious and ethnic minorities and his creation of a political cult with the help of industrial barons, church leaders and foreign governments who saw him as useful tool until he became, in effect, "Frankenstein's monster" too powerful to oppose.

Trump's first wife, Ivana, has shared that the man she knew as husband kept a collection Hitler's speeches on his nightable. This is a rare insight into the book interests of a man, self-described as a "stable genius," who has gone to great effort to prevent his school records from ever becoming public. 

A curious thought in conclusion to this column: Do bikers and Democratic presidential candidates have something in common?

Perhaps they have a mutual association with the slogan, "Born To Lose," which bikers sometimes use as a tattoo. It can also be an unintended fate for idealists and cerebral thinkers of many kinds who fail to apply common sense.

It can happen here in the United States, in 2020.

Coming Next: What Patriots Should Do! (Hint: It's not "impeachment.")


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An appendix to the column above provides optional reading, including source articles. These supplementary materials can be seen by clicking here



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