As we’ve been noting for 18 months, EVERY TIME Trump goes on what he thinks is brilliant offense over anything, it always is a false attack on something HE has been guilty of. Always. The rubber-glue/I know you are but what am I? technique. Here, in extending his singular fake outrage (vp-elect Mike Pence says he was not offended in the least), he turns his classic deficits away from himself onto others. And we won’t allege much of this is deflective drivel designed to get everyone to move on immediately from Mr. Never Settle settling in the Trump “University” scam case. We wouldn’t do that, so we didn’t.
These great stars of Broadway who perform intricate dialogue from memory, according to Trump…. are idiots. In fact, the president-elect says the current star of Hamilton, Brandon Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr, is so pathetic, that Trump thought he’d score by saying Dixon “couldn’t even memorize lines,” when he read the very respectful statement to Pence. This, from the guy who was saved from HIMSELF by finally agreeing to be his version of being “presidential” and “on message” the past few weeks of his campaign by being force-fed words on a teleprompter. The guy, who even earlier in the campaign, several times whipped out a script and read precise words about not admitting Muslims. From December, when he apparently even needed to read his own name: “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on…” Earlier, his original 3rd grade outburst was, “The cast and producers of Hamilton, which I hear is highly overrated, should immediately apologize to Mike Pence for their terrible behavior.”
What kind of sick human being in his position would think it elevates him in the eyes of anyone by throwing in the pointless aside “which I hear is highly overrated?” Is it even necessary to refute that well-reasoned, well-sourced, scholarly theater review by using Trump’s own measuring techniques for success in anything: winning (11 Tony Awards), tv ratings (highest tv ratings for Tony Awards show in 15 years) and money (most expensive Broadway ticket ever… over $1,000 and sold out for years. Trump has been in the process of practicing his “bully pulpit” technique for 70 years. Up until now, I can’t recall a president ever not being, at least somewhat aware of the power of his words to crash markets, start wars, destroy reputations, or shred the dignity and credibility of the presidency itself. But then, we’ve never had a true bully at the presidential pulpit. Until now.
The headline above is the Daily Kos version of a widely reported story late in the week.
When Republicans don’t win, they change the rules of the game to suit their needs. It’s become the GOP way nationwide, and that could play out in North Carolina. One of the bright spots that emerged for Tar Heel Democrats on Tuesday was the election of a progressive judge over a conservative one, giving the court a 4-3 Democratic majority as of next year. Unless GOP lawmakers find a way to add seats to the court, reports Mitch Kokai.
“State lawmakers could vote to expand North Carolina’s Supreme Court by up to two additional members, according to the N.C. Constitution. There’s been speculation about such a move in the wake of challenger Mike Morgan’s victory over incumbent Bob Edmunds in this week’s state Supreme Court election. […]
Observers have asked whether the N.C. General Assembly could expand the number of justices to blunt the election’s impact. The answer is yes.”
The court currently has one chief justice and six associate justices, but the state constitution says, “the General Assembly may increase the number of Associate Justices to not more than eight.” Adding more than two associate judges would require a constitutional amendment.
But time is of the essence there if Democrat Roy Cooper ultimately succeeds in defeating Gov. Pat McCrory. Governors are responsible for appointing new justices. If Cooper prevails, he’ll take office on Jan. 11, 2017.
The newspaper dropped on my driveway each day is the News and Record. Its version is this:
Within that article are comments from Bob Hall, executive director of some commie outfit known as Democracy NC (we know when they call it “Democracy NC” what THAT means!). Bob says “he has not heard specifically of a legislative effort to add justices to the Supreme Court.
If it is true, Hall said, then
“it’s completely hypocritical and astonishing that a group of elected leaders who say that the will of the people matters would try to circumvent the will of the people in this Supreme Court race.”
Hall said the same voters chose to elect Republican Donald Trump as president, re-elect Republicans U.S. Sen. Richard Burr and N.C. Lt. Gov. Dan Forest and, apparently, deny McCrory a second term.
“That shows a will of the people to have both parties with a role in control of the political process in North Carolina,” Hall said.
“Therefore, it would be expressively outrageous and an abuse of power to permit the additions to the Supreme Court because it would allow the legislature to conduct an outright takeover of another branch of government.
Bob is being kind and charitable and diplomatic in his language, as strong and unmistakably true as it is. When you lose, you lose. You don’t work the refs, you don’t get to change the rules, you don’t get to put extra time on the clock. Cleveland Indians Lost The World Series, But Are They Plotting To Steal It By Adding 2 More Games?
The disgusting chutzpah, the towering arrogance, the unmitigated, transparent attempt by North Carolina Republicans to control each and every aspect of state government in ways like adding more justices is no different than a military coup, just without the guns. But it fits perfectly with what we saw last week in the presidential election. A guy who nakedly ran on all kinds of caudillo, strongman, dictator precepts… the wall, the ethnic slurring and scapegoating for all problems, America First, the threats to jail the opponent, militarism, drain the swamp (but scrape bottom of swamp and dredge up Gingrich and Giuliani)… who could be surprised that the Triple-A teams at the state level wouldn’t be inspired to justify their anti-democratic means to their one-party, autocratic ends, even more boldly and brazenly than ever?
By 1937, Franklin Roosevelt was having many of his New Deal initiatives struck down by a conservative-leaning Supreme Court. So he came up with the BS idea that the court should add one extra justice for every one that was over 70. This was under the guise of charity to the elderly, since those old judges obviously couldn’t keep up with the workload. Known now as “court packing,” FDR was blasted by nearly everyone for his transparent plan to add more justices friendlier to him. He lost a lot of credibility for that scheme, paid the price and New Deal legislation was finished as the idea went away. More here. By a different name, North Carolina Republicans may try the same thing. This really needs attention to be paid and stopped. But the track record for checking the national and state Republican power grab recently is dismal. Ironically, it is often the courts that have been a last backstop, on voting rights, minority rights, abortion rights… the whole menu. Changing the refs ends all hope. Sadly, it must be said, that if even a small percentage of those who are pissed off enough at Trump being elected who are marching nightly had expressed that anger by voting, we’d be in quite a different place today.
It’s bad enough, if you’re Donald J. Trump, that you may be headed to a devastating loss. The intoxication of the crowds and the applause and the rote chanting–“lock her up,”“Mexico,” and the one he thinks was written just for him, “USA, USA, USA,” will suddenly end, as it would for any presidential loser. People who actually bought into his impossible nightmare will go back to their lives, and Trump will spend the rest of his days blaming and justifying and spinning and trying to reclaim the life he had before becoming a candidate. Most of us would be happy if that’s all he did, conceding gracelessly but leaving the United States relatively intact, having bloodied a major political party, media, basic human decency, and causing a split in the country as wide as Vietnam. No, Donald, Hillary’s email thing wasn’t “worse than Watergate.” You, Donald Trump, singularly may turn out to have been worse than Watergate.
Trump is the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famousguy lyingly claiming he was running as a sacrifice for his country, which he lyingly claimed needed him as the “only I can fix it” guy. One of his most famous lies is the one about wanting to release his taxes but he just can’t because they’re under audit. That’s a classic Trump whopper because it does what he does best: pile misdirection and disinformation on top of a hidden agenda, reaching a conclusion that is then defended by his Excuse Squad, then burying the subject at the back of the line when other outrages displace it. It’s always been about protecting whatever phony image he has projected all these years, now horrendously backfiring. Keeping his taxes under wraps has always been about making sure the world doesn’t know down to the penny what a tax-evading, stingy with charity, not as rich a guy as he’s portrayed himself, preserving that image for after the election. But a presidential campaign really does strip the bark off you, paraphrasing the late Lee Atwater referring to his destruction of Michael Dukakis in service to George HW Bush in 1988. The exposure of the fraud that is Donald Trump has forever tarnished his sacred brand, to the point where new hotels won’t even have his name on them anymore. Any previous perception of high-quality, best-in-breed Trump-anything has been down-scaled by the chattering class’s disgust with Trump and his classless, third-rate, hateful persona overtaking the false image.
Were there ever emptier words from a candidate than the ones that made it clear that his candidacy was never about him, but about “you,” or some variation thereof? Yea, right. From the Dean of the Trump University School of Narcissism….
When the FBI called off the dogs 10 days after releasing the Hounding of Hillary, the entire world breathed a sigh of relief. Financial markets roared their approval that the Greatest Businessman Ever wasn’t going to repeal and replace with nothing, build a wall, End the Fed, and charge everyone 35% more for a Ford subcompact or an air conditioner built in Mexico.
As much as the conventional wisdom leaned on the cliche that Americans, in general, say we’re going in the wrong direction, it’s just a lazy explanation for hate, racism, and (what used to be) conservative complaining that no one takes personal responsibility for anything and it’s The Others’ Fault. Clue…. we ALWAYS think we’re going in the wrong direction…. more on that from Leonard Pitts here: A black man was elected president and white people lost their minds. Trump’s “Make America Great Again,” stolen from Reagan, was always about simply turning back the clock to a mythical thrilling yesteryear that never really was that can never be replicated. Low-skill factory jobs are never coming back, no matter how many promises demagogues like Trump roll out. The steel mills aren’t reopening in Pittsburgh, cheap textiles will never come from South Carolina like they did 50 years ago, and Apple is not about to build iPhones here. The calculations have been made. If you’re too lazy to click…. the answer is $2,000.
Finally, my back of the envelope calculation says this: that things just aren’t really quite bad enough economically for most Americans that they want to take the ultimate chance by rolling the dice with the Unstable One. Gas is really, really cheap these days. It’s amazing how that’s such a big issue around an election when it’s high… and how it disappears when it’s so low on a historical basis like it is now. And the old misery index: Unemployment plus inflation… fuggetabout it.
For way too long, as we now realize, many of us thought that this was really just one big dare, one big joke that got out of hand and took on a life of its own, and that Trump never really wanted to be president as much as he just didn’t want to lose trying to be president. Donald J. Trump always declares himself to be the winner and even if he’s not, he just lies and says he won. Not this time. The national exhaustion at the year-and-a-half of this man’s brain chemistry experiment gone bad is about to end. While we know this isn’t the beginning of the end but the end of the beginning of some legitimate issues Trump clumsily raised, maybe we can start with something small… like adding a ninth justice to the Supreme Court. That would be special.