By Rick Wilson
The Daily Beast (2/6/18)
You may have noticed by now, but I’m not one to pull any punches on DonaldTrump. As a conservative, I see him as a statist abomination, a plump, be-wattled authoritarian-wannabe man-baby with the intellectual horsepower of a toaster oven.
One thing we’ve learned in the last two years is that no legal, moral, or cultural strictures bind Trump and that he is immune to the better angels of human nature. The moral event horizon around him consumes the good in anyone who becomes one of his vassals. There is no better version of Trump, ever. He can only degrade and destroy everything he touches, but Monday was remarkable, even for him.
Monday’s simpering, prissy, self-indulgent performance in Ohio was just another raree-show with our Kentucky Fried Nero fiddling while the stock market burned. Then came the moment where he broke another seal, and cracked another seam in the foundation of our Republic.
We can remember men of both parties who no one could even imagine betraying this nation to a hostile foreign power. Not this man. We don’t need to imagine it. We can see it.
That was when Trump, in his typical sneering, sniggling, purse-lipped way said of the Democrats watching his State of the Union speech: “They were like death. And un-American. Un-American. Somebody said ‘treasonous.’ I mean, yeah, I guess, why not? Can we call that treason? Why not? I mean they certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.”
Even for Trump, on an endless quest to define American decency down, this was a new low. His followers and congressional cheering section will love it, of course. A few Republicans in Congress may furrow a brow or intone some anodyne statement like, “I wouldn’t have put it that way, but…”
Trump lacks the mental capacity to see where this very slippery slope leads, but the political arsonists around him do. With that, prepare to reap the whirlwind.
Our Founders viewed treason as the most severe crime against the Republic. Treason was an act without shades of gray, without gradiations, without rationalization. It is the one crime we punish by stripping those found guilty of it of their citizenship, or even their lives.
Trump on Monday decided he would be the arbiter of what constitutes treason in America. He’s mainstreamed the t-word.
Well, then: If you’re looking for someone who is betraying this nation, look for a person who would deliberately and systematically wreck the institutions that guarantee the separation of powers and the accountability of the Executive and Legislative Branches. Look for a person who would suborn the rule of law to protect himself, his family, and his cronies from justice.
If you’re looking for someone in the act of betraying the glorious vision of our Founders and our Constitution, look no further than the vulgar, prancing, reality-show clown who holds the presidency.
Look no further than the man who swore to uphold the Constitution and obey the laws of this land, yet ignores them, and attacks those who would carry them out. …
Cap Times Editorial: Ron Johnson A Liar, Or A Fool, Or Both?
Cap Times, Editorial (1/31/18)
Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, at his most harmless, simply takes up space on Capitol Hill.
Even his fellow Republicans struggle to explain the point of the senator’s service, which on most days appears to involve nothing more than doing what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tells him to do.
But sometimes Johnson acts on his own. And then all hell breaks loose.
Ron Johnson is not serving as Wisconsin’s senator. He is serving as Donald Trump’s errand boy. And he is doing a lousy job of it.
That’s what happened last week, when Johnson shamed himself and the Senate in a hopeless attempt to defend his political ally, President Donald Trump. It is not news that the millionaire businessman from Oshkosh has a thing for the billionaire businessman from New York. When most Wisconsin Republicans were distancing themselves from Trump before the state’s 2016 party primary, Johnson embraced the candidate — prattling on about how he could campaign with Trump as “the Ronald and the Donald.”
From dopey to delusional
During the 2016 campaign, Johnson’s Trump worship simply made the senator sound dopey. But since Trump has assumed the presidency, the senator has begun to sound delusional.
Johnson is not just a Trump “yes man.” He is a Trump propagandist. And so it probably should not have come as that much of a surprise when the senator got caught last week peddling a conspiracy theory about a “secret society” of rogue FBI agents trying to undermine the president.
Johnson engaged in his latest flight of fancy on national television, when he appeared on Fox News to attack Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. No surprise there — Trump’s minions are doing everything in their power to discredit the Mueller inquiry as it draws closer and closer to the president’s inner circle and the president himself.
But what was surprising was Johnson’s claim that a cloak-and-dagger cabal within the Federal Bureau of Investigation was trying to undermine Trump.
“What this is all about is further evidence of corruption — more than bias — but corruption at the highest levels of the FBI,” claimed Johnson, who went on and on about “that secret society — we have an informant talking about a group that were holding secret meetings off-site. There’s so much smoke here, there’s so much suspicion …”
That sounded weird. So weird that Fox host Bret Baier interrupted the senator. “Boy! Let’s stop there,” said Baier. “A secret society? Secret meetings off-site of the Justice Department?”
“Correct,” replied Johnson.
“And you have an informant saying that?” asked Baier.
“Yes,” Johnson announced.
That’s definitive, right?
(Commoner Call cartoons by Mark L. Taylor, 2018. Open source and free to use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )