What Should Concern Us: Trump

Today we seem to be in a waiting mode. Lots of things are about to happen. I’m looking forward to what happens with President Biden on the UAW picket line tomorrow. This could be a real turning point for the 2024 campaign, and maybe for the Democratic Party. It would be great if it could become an unabashedly pro-union party again, which it hasn’t been for more than fifty years, IMO. See also Biden is presiding over a labor renaissance.

And let me just say I’m really tired of the way media are covering Biden. If you cruise around looking at headlines and news roundups, over and over it’s People are concerned about Biden’s age; Democrats are worried about Biden’s poor poll numbers; “Biden World” is worried about Biden’s re-election chances for one reason or another; Maybe Biden shouldn’t run. Etc. It’s no wonder people who aren’t news/politics junkies think they should be concerned about Biden’s age and think he really isn’t doing much. I have been pleasantly surprised by Joe Biden as President. There have been some things that could have been done better, but on the whole he’s been more progressive than I thought he’d be.

Trump, on the other hand, may be descending into new depths of crazy. His thing right now is to accuse everybody he doesn’t like of treason. This was him over the weekend:

Late Friday night, the former president of the United States—and a leading candidate to be the next president—insinuated that America’s top general deserves to be put to death.

That extraordinary sentence would be unthinkable in any other rich democracy. But Donald Trump, on his social-media network, Truth Social, wrote that Mark Milley’s phone call to reassure China in the aftermath of the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021, was “an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH.” (The phone call was, in fact, explicitly authorized by Trump-administration officials.) Trump’s threats against Milley came after The Atlantic’s publication of a profile of Milley, by this magazine’s editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg, who detailed the ways in which Milley attempted to protect the Constitution from Trump.

Here’s the kicker:

And yet, none of the nation’s front pages blared “Trump Suggests That Top General Deserves Execution” or “Former President Accuses General of Treason.” Instead, the post barely made the news. Most Americans who don’t follow Trump on social media probably don’t even know it happened.

Of course not. The news needs to fill up with more headlines about how everyone is worried about Joe Biden’s age. When Trump is a meaningless three years younger and no doubt in worse health.

And then this happened:

Former President Donald Trump spent his Sunday night threatening Comcast and NBC, saying if he gets a second term in the White House he would investigate the independent media outlets for “treason” and make them “pay a big price.”  

“Comcast, with its one-side and vicious coverage by NBC NEWS, and in particular MSNBC … should be investigated for its ‘Country Threatening Treason,’” Trump wrote on his favorite bootleg social media platform Truth Social. 

“I say up front, openly, and proudly, that when I WIN the Presidency of the United States, they and others of the LameStream Media will be thoroughly scrutinized for their knowingly dishonest and corrupt coverage of people, things, and events,” Trump added. “The Fake News Media should pay a big price for what they have done to our once great Country!” 

Trump going after members of the media is nothing new for the man who thinks he coined the term “fake news,” but campaigning on targeted threats of retribution takes things to a more alarming level. 

You’d think media would be more proactive in bringing this to people’s attention. They’re the ones he’s going to target if he gets back in the White House, and there will be nothing to stop him. Especially after he’s purged the civil service of everyone who questions his views.

Until then, though, l’État n’est pas Trump.

The good news is that Sen. Bob Menendez is up for re-election next year. He made a statement this morning in which he said the many other Democrats calling for him to step down were just taking advantage of a “political opportunity.” He was, I think, supposed to declare he is definitely running for re-election, and I’m not sure he did. But he’s not resigning, either.

13 thoughts on “What Should Concern Us: Trump

  1. There's a range of media in this country, that's kind of arrayed like a bell curve. At one end, you have people who understand what's going on, but who don't have a huge audience. I've been watching Steven Schmidt lately, and I've long been a subscriber to Heather Cox Richardson ("the queen of substack"), she has a new book out.

    In the middle is the mainstream media, usually the last to figure things out and state the obvious. I remember what a huge breakthrough it was for them to start using the word "lie" when Trump was in office. It took years and was very hard for them at first. It was huge when it happened – like watching a baby first learn to speak. They still don't get what it all means.

    Then there's the other tail, wingnut media. Pure garbage for idiots.

    I don't know how you make that middle part of the bell curve smarter. It's something Jennifer Rubin talks about all the time.

    As for Biden's age, it's absolutely a concern, and unfortunately, it's much easier for anybody to talk about (look honey, see the old man over there), than it is to understand his achievements. The former is visual – you can't miss it – the latter requires research and thinking.

    I remember how the presidency aged Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama. Joe Biden isn't going to live forever, and the last thing we need is a stumble now. People like MTG – who said she wanted to make Biden's impeachment as long and as painful as possible – are effectively trying to murder an old man. And she's just one person out of an army of murderers, who absolutely want Biden to fall. It's risking a lot to stay with him, but I realize we have no other choice. Biden IMO is making the same mistake Ruth Bader Ginsberg made, but there's no realistic way for him to designate a successor, even if he wanted to.

    The tragedy is we have a great backbench of people who could easily take over and energize the country, and negate the old age problem. To say nothing of younger more powerful voices that can effectively rebut Trumpist nonsense. Showing up for the rhetorical fight is 80% of the battle, and someone as old as Biden isn't really capable in this area. And so we're fighting with one hand tied behind our back.

    • I agree with your concerns about Biden, but I don't see a "great backbench" in the Democratic Party.  Who do you see there?

      Gavin Newsome is the only obvious choice I see, but (1) he lacks Foreign Policy experiences, and (2) GOP propagandists have been hacking away at him for years.

      VP Harris is an "obvious" choice, but I think she'd lose badly (negative charisma, mediocre political competency, easy target for GOP dirt).

      Same for Mayor Pete and most of the other 2020 candidates that stepped aside to help Biden beat Bernie.

      (Oh, yeah, Bernie's too old, and seems to have admitted that it's time to pass the torch)

      Amy Klobuchar is the only other 2020 candidate that I see as having the required political competence, but I doubt she can win the Primaries.

      Who else, then?

      • You made me scratch my head at what I said. Klobuchar comes to mind, as do many of the people who were on the debate stage in 2016. 

        It would be interesting to see how Kamala Harris would fare today. Besides on-the-job training next to Joe Biden's decades of experience, she's done the rounds internationally, and is being deployed to connect with the youth vote. It's just excellent how Biden is doing old-school stuff – connect with unions – and Kamala is out connecting with young people – the future. I suspect in a rematch, she would do better than she did in 2016.

        And as much as I love Gavin Newsom, he’s got a tough sell to the middle of the country.

    • "As for Biden's age, it's absolutely a concern"

      His age doesn't concern me one bit. Not every 80 year old is the same? My mom is 86 and sharp as a whip. Biden seems just fine to me, he walks a little stiff but who fucking cares. The man has his faculties, and he actually seems to be in good physical shape, you don't see too many 80 year old on a fucking bike ride? I'd say he's in better shape than most people I know in their late 60's to middle 70's. He is certainly more competent than anyone running in the GQP. I don't see his age as an issue at all. Constantly questioning his age is certainly an issue, and the favorite pastime of the horse race media and those on the other side.

      • All the old people we know typically have near zero responsibility and zero job stress. The presidency isn't like that, especially in these times.

        • Name one thing Biden hasn't handled well that a 10 year younger Biden would be doing right? The major fault I see with his presidency is the 40 somethings that run his communication shop.

  2. Stump and the GQP are smearing Gen Miley ahead of his retirement. Once he is a civilian he will be free to drop the hammer on all the shit stump pulled as comander in chief. Its pretty obvious what they are up to but still our corporate media is all to willing to play along. We have a serious disinformation problem in this country and it aint getting better anytime soon.

  3. This question has carried over from one to the other over the last several elections:

    "Is our media learning?"

    And the answer remains the same:


  4. Corporate media are also doing bogus polling — adding in extra red-leaning folks — to make the next election look like a horse race. Maybe THAT isn’t so bad, if it spurs actual Americans to vote. 

    With regard to age, how conveniently they forget that a President passes, the VP takes his place. Harris would be fine. And the first woman President in the US.

    With Trump — well, he’s not picking Pence again. Pence, who reminds me of Lurch the butler from The Munsters. Trump would likely go with an invasive mosquito, like Steve Miller, or a member of the crime family, Jared or Donny Cocaine.

  5. It should be noted that CBS produces "Meet The Press."  Nothing in Trump's tantrum suggested that he was pleased or happy with the interview liberals were so angry about. I'd say Trump was more unhappy about his treatment by Kristin Welker on MTP. 

    If the MTP interview is what triggered Trump in the rant against Comcast, we're seeing a demand by Trump that in exchange for giving interviews, Trump expects softball questions and no pushback in the interview or fact-checking afterward. 

    Trump is not smart but he has good instincts. He knows he has to win in November or he'll go to jail. Trump has a lock on about 80% of Republican voters, There's a larger chunk of voters that despise Trump. To squeeze out a win, Trump has to con low-info voters in the center. Trump wants to go on MTP and CNN  and not be challenged for his lies.

    Example: Today, Trump was spouting his displeasure with the six-week ban on abortion and proclaiming his support of the three exceptions. Why? Because Trump will get killed in the 2024 election on abortion if he goes rabid pro-life. And the fetus people will freak if Trump moderates. So Trump wants to tell all voters exactly what they want to hear – different positions on different networks. 

    The first of the trials in GA (Ken Cheesbro and Sydney Powell) starts in six weeks. AND will be televised. AND will include much of the overview of the total conspiracy, including Trump's central role. SIX weeks!  The NY civil fraud trial begins Oct 2. (Trump has filed a hail-mary suit to derail that trial.)

    Trump filed a civil suit against Michael Cohen (stupid move) and the judge ruled Trump has to submit to a deposition. Which they could not schedule because Trump's lawyers refused to talk to Cohen's lawyers about when. So the judge ruled that Cohen's lawyers would unilaterally set the time and place and Trump would be deposed for up to nine hours. That's in Oct. Trump could take the fifth but it's ludicrous. Trump sues Cohen and won't discuss the facts surrounding the case because it might incriminate Trump in crimes???? And the jury would see it? I consider it likely Trump will withdraw the suit and Cohen will file for legal fees.

    This is Trump's life in the election. One loss after the other in court. Trump wants the press to not report that the courts are kicking the sh^t out of him. He wants to do interviews other than Sean Hannity. He's got those voters. Trump has to fish in other venues, but they insist on telling the truth. 

    Right now, Trump and Biden are polling even in the popular vote. (More important is the results in the swing states, but no one is doing state-level polls yet.) IMO, Trump is going to trend down from now until November '24. I think the swing states will almost ALL swing against Trump by election day. That doesn't mean I am taking anything for granted but the trials are all starting (or finished) by election day and none of the trials will be good news for Trump.

  6. It is not the Donald, me thinks, that is our problem but rather his trusty sidekicks, his Soncho Ponzas if you will that are the problem.  Yes, the Don is psycho, mad, crazy, or even cray-cray, but that only makes him more attractive to his ass-riding followers.  He has promised them a fiefdom and it is their only hope for power.  

    Windmills are a problem for the Don, and he, like the fictional Don, cannot resist the urge to joust with them.  His lance is his tongue and the first amendment his shield as he engages in his wars of madness.  His Sancho Ponzas revel at the show and send him more money to fund his crusade.  Oh, the glorious madness, the hate, and the pursuit of the just revenge.  They will be with him until the last windmill is vanquished or they run out of money.  The show goes on seemingly forever.  Will the story please get to an end.  


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