Overwhelmed by Trump’s Unfettered Lying and Worried About the Election

“People will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; repeat it frequently enough people will believe it.”

Adolph Hitler

Yes, it is time to bring out the risky Hitler card.  No.  I don’t see Trump as a budding mass murderer, but when it comes to unfettered lying the comparison seems more than fair, especially in recent days.   Trump is in overdrive to produce that big lie by election day.

I haven’t written since my failed judgement that Judge Kavanaugh would lose his battle for confirmation, not because that devastated me – I figured my prediction was chancy – but because I have been overwhelmed by the wave of subsequent events and Trump’s misleading statements and lies about them.

The issue these days is often not really what occurred, but the ability of one side or the other to shape the narrative.   In the Kavanaugh hearing the Democrats saw Blasey Ford as the victim, and her testimony was very convincing, but by the end Republicans had made Kavanaugh the victim of a sneaky last minute attack.   The odd situation made it seem like a trial of Kavanaugh, and as such one is innocent until proven guilty.

That wins the narrative battle, as indicated by Trump often sighting Kavanaugh and the Democrats not mentioning Blasey Ford.  That event seems to have revved up more Republicans and those “tweeners” than those of us who are already never Trumpers.  We just became sicker and angrier.

But what is most striking at the moment is the untethered flourish of hyperbole, fabrications and distortions – yes, even more than usual – that Trump is churning out now.  He just makes things up by the hour, such as the middle class tax cut his team is hoping to pass before the election, with no evidence of that, perhaps because there are not enough days before the election to pass anything.  It just sounds good.

The lie provides one more mental sugar plum for voters heading to the poles.  There is no stated progress with North Korea on denuclearization, either, but he keeps acting as if there were and its better than his ranting.   So, one more sugar plum….

Trump creates problems and then boasts about fixing them.  But it is the image of his fixing the problem that sticks in our minds.  He says we should pull out of a missile deal we have with Russia, so now his Security Adviser Bolton is there talking with them.  My guess is he’ll come back with good news, promises of working together.  Another sugar plum.

It is the latest flurry of outright lies that is most Hitleresque, though, such as the image he has created of the caravan of refugees heading here from Central America, an image of terrorists and MS13  and rapists (and lions and tiger and bears, oh my!).  No matter he has no evidence for any of this according to several sources, including Fox News.

Shepard Smith, the director of news there (real news as opposed to the opinion misshapers headed up by Hannity) examined the situation and reported:  “Fox News knows of no evidence to suggest the president is accurate on that matter.”

In doing so, he contradicted the theory of the evil invasion cooked up on Fox and Friends that morning, which quite likely was Trump’s “news source”.   (Read this for some details.)  In case you don’t know, Trump calls the Friends often giving the impression many of his spur of the moment  “insights” originate there.

Over the next two weeks or so Trump will say and do anything to make his administration look good, including more baseless promises and warrant-less accusations.  A recent poll shows Trump with a 47% approval rating and reports of early voting suggest Republicans are off to a better start.

So frankly I am scared that too much of the big lie will be bought by too many.

Advertisements

Bye Bye Judge Kavanaugh

Dear Judge Kavanaugh,

While I do realize your impending demise is hardly a laughing matter, I’m flippant in my title because you brought this personal tragedy on by creating a false choir boy image of yourself in high school and college, a self-portrait that has plenty of holes already reported.  I will be surprised if the FBI does not come up with more this week, even though I fear their efforts will be severely curtailed by White House restrictions as to what are “current credible accusations.”

Your Achilles heel is you drank much more in your teen years than you admit to.  There are several reports to that effect along with the confessional book (titled Wasted) by one of your high school pals, Mark Judge, who describes often drinking back then to the point of “annihilation”.   If he did it often, are we to believe you never got blottoed, never had a at least one memory black out?  You keep insisting on your purity in this regard.  You are clinging to that story like a life vest, but it is really a huge stone.

It is not your teen drinking but your lying about it that will bring you down.  G. W. Bush was a problem drinker, but stopped and did not hide his past.   It is your pinning your integrity on a lie that is going to sink you, even if conclusive evidence of sexual molestation isn’t established this week.

If you will steadfastly lie about this what else might you lie about?

You seemed particularly irked when Democrat senators pushed you on this point of never blacking out, at one point petulantly asking your questioner if she had ever blacked out.   (by the way, petulance is not a good look for an aspiring Supreme court judge…..just saying).

While some of your expressions of anger seemed real, your furious reactions to questions on your drinking excessively seemed more the self-righteous delusion woven by a liar who feels above being questioned.  I recall star pitcher Roger Clemens when he furiously denied the use of steroids to a congressional committee, as if the committee was not giving him his just due for all of his accomplishments.  How dare you question my integrity?  Later he was convicted on several charges of perjury.

For many of us Christine Blasey Ford’s “incredibly credible” testimony was confirmation enough that you should not be confirmed, given the fact she had nothing to gain and much to lose in coming forth.  Your defense against her accusations is that you are too nice, on the one hand, and on the other, you have never drank so much in your entire life as to black out and not remember.

I understand.  You feel you have done so much good over the years since, that it is unfair for this to be brought up, and up, and up again…….  You feel you have earned this spot on the Supreme Court, and all these Democrats want to talk about is your behavior as a teen.   So what if I drank too much back then.  Look at what I have become.  That’s what is important.

But judge, your accomplishments do not erase this lie which you continue to tell.  Even if sexual misconduct is not established this week, what the FBI calls a “lack of candor” figures to haunt you.  The choir boy lie combined with your petulant conspiracy laden defense Thursday and Christine Blasey Ford’s indelible testimony figure to prompt at least a few on-the-fence senators  to tip the vote against you.  And it will only take a couple of the in-betweeners to vote no.

You have said this hearing has “destroyed your life.”  Sadly, I think it may be true, but look long in the mirror before pinning the fatal fault on everyone but you.

Kavanaugh and His Accuser: Add Another Ring to the Circus

Permit me to use that tired saw:  You can’t make these things up.   I’d say that fits the whole Trump presidency, but there’s something extra juicy about this.   Two people of sterling reputations (well, at least until they are totally slimed by the opposite side this week), on course to call each other liars face to face under oath in a Senate hearing next Monday.

At stake is whether Judge Kavanaugh will be named to the Supreme Court or not, since only a handful of senators who would otherwise back him, may not now, depending on who they believe once the gun smoke settles.

As you probably know, Christine Blasey Ford, a professor and research psychologist, has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault when both were in high school decades ago.  She raised this issue in letters to Senators which she hoped would remain confidential, but once leaked, she decided to go all in and here we are.

I believe Ford’s recollection over Kavanaugh’s, first because she is inviting hell into her life by stepping forward, so she must believe deeply in the righteousness of her stand.   And second because Kavanaugh was quite a drinker in high school and college as well, something that has failed to draw attention until now.

To whatever extent he was an eagle scout, he was also a party guy.  According to a friend with him that night, Mark Judge, such drunken escapades were not rare for him and his friends.

When hearing of the accusations against his friend, Judge called them “absolutely nuts”.   But this is from a pal who wrote a book titled:  Wasted:  Tales of a Gen X Drunk, in which he talks about being “wild drunk” with girls along with his friends.  (Go here to read more.)

Judge has confessed to “bouts of dehumanizing lust.”  I imagine Kavanaugh has some confessing to do as well.  I’ll be curious to see if he tries to maintain his complete innocence as a youth or come clean.

Blasey Ford’s lawyer went too far in indicating in a TV interview that her client would probably have been raped had the boys not been too drunk to pull it off.  How about the possibility that the boys would not have acted quite so badly had they not been so drunk?  Still, acting like asses, still guilty of molestation, but that is not rape even if Blasey Ford feared that would happen.

Whatever happened that night, Blasey Ford clearly feels she was assaulted and Kavenaugh would do well to deal with that in a humane way instead of insisting “it” never happened and acting as if he were some kind of choir boy back then.

Humpty Trumpty Sat on a Wall. Humpty Trumpty……………..

All these things pushing Trumpty to the ledge.  Like Omarosa and her book and a few tapes and then this past week Bob Woodward’s book Fear, both supporting frequent reporting of a witless president in a wacky White House.  Of course, the account of Watergate press hero Woodward is to be much more respected, but Omarosa’s credibility could be bolstered by more tapes.

Either way it is all grease for Trumpty’s slippery slope.   The plea deals of former fixer/sort-of-personal lawyer Michael Cohen and, just a few days ago, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort seem likely to generate numerous revelations that will push Trump over the edge.

Some time ago Cohen offered all sorts of info to the feds in hopes of preventing a prison cell from becoming a permanent home.  And now  Trump campaign manager (for a crucial five months) Paul Manafort has decided to take his chances with clemency in a similar fashion.

Talk about knowing where all the bodies are buried.  These guys have run the cemetery.

I have assumed Manafort was gambling on a pardon.   Why else would he deny everything in his first court case that led to several convictions?  But the odds seem to have changed in his mind.  Trusting Trump on anything is iffy (unless what is good for you is great for him), but there is an additional consideration now.

This plea shows Manafort placing his chips on some clemency from Mueller if he comes clean rather than a pardon from Trump if he doesn’t.

Perhaps he has concluded Trump might not be around to grant him that pardon.

This is McCain’s Week, so Let’s Keep Trump Out of It.

I know, I know.  I brought up Trump in honoring Senator McCain in my post yesterday, but today I’m urging us all to keep further references to Trump to a minimum.  Accept to his fanatics, Trump is the polar opposite of McCain when it comes to honor, duty, country first, compassion, self-deprecating humor, the capacity to forgive, common decency  ….. qualities that befit a president.  Even though he never made it, McCain had the profile while Trump has been sorely lacking.

Trump’s a small man and a HUGE JERK.   He nixed a statement prepared by his staff praising McCain and, unlike just about everywhere else in America, the flag at the White House is not lowered to half mast in tribute  (it was for awhile, but they already raised it again).

Frankly, I like Trump’s reaction to McCain’s death because, unlike so much he does, it is not B. S.  He loathed McCain as McCain loathed him.  It would be especially phony for Trump to react any other way.   And why should he?  McCain made it known Trump was not invited to his funeral.  Was there any way to insult Trump more?

Both figures acted in line with McCain’s penchant for straight talk.

I’d just like for Trump to exit the stage now.  In these next few days I’d like to see recollections of McCain without dwelling on Trump’s reactions, which will either be non-existent or deplorable, neither deserving of attention.

Attention to Trump takes the spotlight off of Senator McCain and shines it on the little president, who deserves to be ignored as much as possible for a change.

The Founding Fathers Would Have Appreciated John McCain

“Duty, honor, country” is the motto of West Point, and a motto Annapolis graduate John McCain lived his life by.  No other contemporary politician seems to rank with him on that score.  The Washington Post calls his legacy“A sense of honor that has become rare in a polarized Washington.”  A state of affairs that our founding fathers would have found repugnant.

Applying the concept of honor to politicians may seem quaint or at least unrealistic.  One can’t be a successful politician without a certain elasticity in one’s honor.  John McCain showed some stretch in winning his last Senatorial race, emphasizing border security a la Trump and even denying his traditional image of being a maverick.  He held his many criticisms of Trump in check, too.   It would have been hard to win if Trump thoroughly trashed him.

You can’t serve the people in politics if you can’t get elected.  On the others hand, you can’t serve the people well if you have no sense of honor.  Given that caveat,  Senator McCain acted repeatedly throughout his career to put his country foremost before his party or himself.  No one was better at working across the aisle.  And usually he would stand up for what he thought was right, no matter what the political pressure.

For example, it was his vote that sunk the attempt to repeal Obamacare in the Senate given with a dramatic thumb’s down gesture in the middle of the night.  Ironically,  McCain “hated” Obamacare, but he didn’t agree with the helter-skelter way changes were being made, so in the end his “no” vote kept the program alive.  And angered many Republicans.

You have probably seen or heard of the town meeting McCain attended when battling Obama for the 2008 presidency.   A woman in the crowd said she couldn’t trust Obama because he was an Arab.   McCain gently chided her with the fact, no he wasn’t.  That he was a good family man and patriot.  McCain didn’t dislike the man.  He disliked his political positions.

I suggest that confrontation is often mentioned because really, it was honor’s last stand in the Republican party.  Ever since Republican politicians have played a zero sum game, honor be damned.  Anything bad about an opponent was fine, even when an obvious lie, such as Trump’s pushing the birther theory while Republican politicians remained mum.   Polls showed a lot of Republicans believed the theory.   The same could said of the talk of Obama being a Muslim, to which Republicans would often say something like, well he says he isn’t.

A far cry from McCain setting that woman straight and a short step from making Trump’s lying largely OK.

I would say John McCain will be remembered as the last great Republican if for no other reason, the Republican party is no more.  It is the party of Trump and after his political demise I’m baffled by what shape it will take.  Perhaps it will break up into pieces once the cult of Trump loses steam.

I believe John McCain exemplified the best of Republican values and it seems hugely significant that in helping to make his own funeral plans, McCain made it clear Trump was not invited.  Can there be a sharper dismissal?

In contrast, he requested G. W. Bush and Barack Obama give eulogies.  What a fitting end for the Senator, a closing act to unify the country, the two men who beat him for the presidency being asked to speak.  And at the same time giving a definitive thumb’s down to the divider-in-chief, the usurper of the Republican banner, a man who knows no honor.

Is Donald Trump Above the Law?

  A new essay in the Economist explores that question, while stating: ” Revelations and convictions will eventually force America to face” that simple question.

In my last post I advocated attempts by pro anti Trumpers to develop civil discussion.  But if we are to have a civil discussion we should begin with that question and what it means to people.  Trump has shown many signs he has no regard for the rule of law when it gets in his way.  And it hasn’t seemed to faze many of his backers.

Some of that I understand because most often Trump doesn’t break the law but finds ways to work around it.   For example, now he is holding up the possibility of a pardon for Paul Manafort, which he legally can do but shows a contempt for the law itself and all the work of prosecutors and juries to decide the case.   And equally bad it provides signs to anyone in legal struggles that reflect on Trump that he has the power to save them.

The revelations and convictions of the past week suggest that we are getting beyond the endless speculation to hard facts.  I firmly believe the “real Trump” is about to be proven to be a crook and a phony.   I just heard this morning that Allen Weisselberg, the CFO of the Trump organization for decades is getting an immunity deal, which follows one given to David Pecker, the executive in control of the National Enquirer and long time Trump friend.

You don’t get an immunity deal if you don’t have much evidence to offer on bigger fish.  Both men should have much to reveal about how Donald Trump and his family have operated, so I suggest we suspend my idea of trying to find a platform for discussing  Trump until it has been decided how big of a crook we are talking about.