Republicans Railed Against Secret Impeachment Hearings, But Now Say They Won’t Watch The Public Ones
Days after a decorated Army lieutenant colonel offered damaging testimony about President Trump’s conduct on a July phone call with Ukraine’s leader, Mr. Trump stood on the South Lawn and issued a vague but ominous warning.
“You’ll be seeing very soon what comes out,” Mr. Trump said on Saturday, referring to the officer, Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman.
Mr. Trump was not more specific. But an attack on Colonel Vindman’s character and motives was already making its way from the dark corners of Mr. Trump’s social media following to the front lines of the impeachment battle.
One day earlier, the right-wing commentator Jack Posobiec had retweeted a lengthy thread by a Florida man — a fan of QAnon, a fringe conspiracy about the “deep state” — claiming to have witnessed Colonel Vindman “bash America” in conversation with Russian officers during a joint military exercise in Germany in 2013.
That accusation was unsubstantiated and has been rejected by some of the colonel’s colleagues. Even so, Mr. Posobiec’s post was retweeted by Mr. Trump’s son and chief defender, Donald Trump Jr., driving it through conservative social media circles and onto pro-Trump websites, whose stories the younger Mr. Trump promoted to his four million followers.
It’d be nice if one left of center billionaire recognized the glaring need for investments in progressive media platforms to counter the Fox-Sinclair-Breitbart-right wing propaganda machine.
Among the people I love is a sibling who works at Walmart cleaning toilets at night in a thinly populated part of eastern Oregon. She’s been there more than 25 years and has trouble saving a dime and certainly no path to retirement. She’s likely to vote, again, for President Trump.
No matter how much I point out that Trump is trying to take away her health care protections by litigating to kill Obamacare, that his tariffs have made it harder to pay her bills, that he is the most repulsive and creepy man ever to occupy the White House, she holds firm.
Why? One reason is what she hears from the other side. Many Democrats, she says, are dismissive of her religious beliefs and condescending of her lot in life. She’s turned off by the virtue-signaling know-it-alls.
It’s no mystery why so many Democrats can no longer connect to the white working class. Progressives promise free college, free health care, free child care, and scream in bafflement, What’s wrong with you people?
No doubt, some of those people are racist and xenophobic. But many others simply feel insulted and dismissed. And these are voters who can still be persuaded to save our country from a disastrous second term of a corrupt and unstable president.
Barack Obama, still the smartest politician in the land, knows this; a week ago, he rightfully called out the call-out culture that marginalizes so many people who are ready to vote against Trump.
“This idea of purity and you’re never compromised and you’re always politically ‘woke’ and all that stuff,” he said, to a round of applause. “You should get over that quickly.” He was talking about an attitude, not necessarily policies — an attitude that dominates the bullying fringe of his own party. Predictably, he was called out for being paternalistic, with a boomer attitude.
If anyone should feel victimized by social media hatred and cancel culture of a different sort it is Obama. More than a third of Republicans tried to delegitimize him, believing in the monstrous falsity that he was born in Kenya.
Joe Biden has picked up Obama’s charge against the puritanical keepers of undiluted progressivism, in self-defense. He wrote this week of a “my way or the highway” approach that is “condescending to the millions of Democrats who have a different view.” He said, “It’s representative of an elitism that working and middle class people do not share: ‘We know best; you know nothing.’”
For the record, I’m agnostic on the Democratic field. I would vote for a tree stump if it could beat Trump. Biden, Obama and Nancy Pelosi, along with recent polling and the election results on Tuesday, all show that the best way to rid this country of Trump is for Democrats to dial back the condescension of their natural allies and dig into the gritty concerns of daily life.
Pete Buttigieg, looking to pick up the moderate left vote if Biden falters, has already taken Obama’s lesson to heart. “I’m not about being in the right place ideologically, whatever that means,” he said in Iowa last week. “I’m about having answers that are going to make sense.”
One of the biggest takeaways from the recent New York Times/Siena College survey of battleground states is that Elizabeth Warren is not connecting with the very people her policies are supposed to help. Trump beats her or runs even in every tossup state but one. The persuadable voters in these states, many of them working class, say political correctness has gotten out of control, and they prefer someone seeking common ground over someone with a militantly progressive agenda.
It’s worth remembering that nearly two-thirds of all American adults do not have a four-year college degree. Warren, the Harvard professor who recently suggested that moderate Democrats belong with the other party, could be more effective with these folks if she showed more of her daughter-of-a-janitor side.
You can try to win the election by expanding the pool of progressive voters over all. But the inconvenient fact remains that a relatively small pool of working-class voters in the handful of battleground states are still likely to determine the fate of the country next year.
Democrats flipped 40 House seats in 2018 and attracted more white working-class voters — without insufferable wokedness. They hammered away on health care and kitchen table concerns. The same approach helped Democrats pull off an apparent upset in the Kentucky governor’s race this week.
Next year, Trump will be the greatest motivator and unifier for a majority of Americans poised to throw him out. For his core 40 percent, there’s no crime or debasement that will change their minds. He can indeed shoot someone, as a focus group participant helpfully clarified this week, and likely get a pass from the Cult of Trump.
But for others, those like my sister, a word to Democrats: Talk to them. Don’t talk over them. Save the piety, the circular firing squad, the shaming on social media for after the election. Otherwise, the woke will wake next Nov. 3 to a tragedy.
Warren, the Harvard professor who recently suggested that moderate Democrats belong with the other party...
Yesterday I was listening to a man from Newsweek giving voice to a creeping fear that I think many of us are harboring. That being, we as a republic are not equipped to handle a sitting president who is so clearly contemptuous of the judicial and legislative branches of government.
Federal judges are ordering that he do this, or relinquish that, but he is basically saying "make me".
You tell me - if Trump decides he ain’t goin' anywhere, who’s going to make him leave?
It will be telling if the Supreme Court starts reversing all the lower court rulings which have been against Trump.
Perhaps we should start making it possible for soldiers to ignore orders whenever the president is a progressive?
The UCMJ actually protects the soldier in this situation as he/she has a moral and legal obligation to the Constitution and not to obey unlawful orders and the people who issue them.
These have to be strong examples of a direct violation of the Constitution and the UCMJ and not the military member’s own opinion.
You're snide remark explicitly shows how little you know about the military and the function of soldiers in said military.
It is in fact legal for military members to openly ignore unlawful military orders. But progressive president's will not likely be giving an unlawful military order like torture or murder of a civilian; theft of civilian property; etc.... That's these examples of unlawful orders go against progressive principles. You can't ignore lawful orders of a commander-in-chief if the orders are legally justified under the Uniform Code of Military Justice or the US Constitution.
Quote:The UCMJ actually protects the soldier in this situation as he/she has a moral and legal obligation to the Constitution and not to obey unlawful orders and the people who issue them.
These have to be strong examples of a direct violation of the Constitution and the UCMJ and not the military member’s own opinion.
AKA, You cannot disobey a lawful order.
I must have touched a nerve with you, you have turned your responses personal.
MILAN — Now it’s impeachment. To many of the world’s ordinary citizens, not well versed in American constitutional procedures, it means one thing only: Donald Trump, 45th president of the United States, is accused of serious foul play. Pressuring the Ukrainian president to dig up dirt on a political rival’s son? Unbelievable. Is the impeachment investigation, which took shape as October yielded to November, an attempt to “overturn” the 2016 presidential election? The European far right will say that, of course. But most people in Italy — and in Europe — will sit back and watch the show. Without fully understanding it. Nor enjoying it.
A few days earlier in October came the announcement that the United States would abandon the Kurds, their (and our) allies in the fight against the Islamic State, which has wreaked carnage on London, Berlin, Paris, Nice, Brussels and several other European cities. That the Kurds had sacrificed 11,000 men and women didn’t seem to matter. In his “great and unmatched wisdom”— his own words — Mr. Trump gave Turkey the green light to invade Syria, kick out the Kurds, and create a buffer zone. With Greece and Italy just across the sea, a new stream of refugees can be expected. So far, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has played the part of a well-paid gatekeeper, but he made it clear he will not tolerate any criticism, let alone a European intervention. Vladimir Putin’s Russia was quick to spot the opportunity: as soon as America retreated, its troops advanced.
All this has left an odd feeling in Italy and southern Europe, that we’ve arrived at a historical watershed and America’s leader has just opened the floodgates to let the water go wherever it wants. The military and geopolitical consequences of America’s actions are important, of course, but there is more. There is a feeling that we — like the Kurds, in a way — must fend for ourselves in what else may come.
This sense of being on our own is a novel one. In the last 75 years, 13 presidents occupied and exited the White House, each with his own plans for Europe. They had hopes, they scored successes, they suffered disappointments. And Europe changed itself significantly after the Second World War — from a bellicose, divided continent to a peaceful community of countries.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, created in 1949, ensured that this new Europe and the United States were firm partners. Quarreling, sometimes, like an old married couple. But loyal to each other, when it mattered most.
Is this History 101? It is. But three years into the Trump presidency, the feeling is that we have to go back to basics. The old couple has not divorced, not yet. But these days Europe and America look at each other in bewilderment. The fact that we share history, people, habits and customs, and faith in democracy seems to us not to matter anymore.
President Trump’s declarations about America’s premier partnership since the 1940s have often been shocking (“The European Union was formed in order to take advantage of us on trade.” “Nobody treats us much worse than the E.U.” “I think the European Union is a foe.”), but they sounded like the braggadocio of a show-business president, not to be taken literally. They did not prepare us for what was coming.
When Mr. Trump decided to withdraw American troops from northern Syria, leaving Europeans to deal with the fallout, we felt betrayed. No warning, no consultation. Trust has been shattered.
Rebuilding trust won’t be easy, but it is vital. Because the United States, for most Europeans, is not just a powerful ally. It is a benchmark. Our achievements and our shortcomings — the economy, personal freedoms, health care, the arts, you name it — are measured against the American yardstick. Even those who dislike America look to it. In a way, anti-Americanism is an admission of love, however tragic the current mistreatment feels. You don’t argue with a nation and a culture you care nothing about.
The United States’ outreach is such that its standing and reputation in the world, although dented, will survive the current president. But have no doubt: Italy — together with the rest of Europe, and perhaps more so, being on the fringe of it — feels a little lost. And lonely, somehow.
The United States has long been our big brother — reassuring for most of us, imposing for some — and now it is absent, preoccupied by Mr. Trump and his destructive excesses. However much Mr. Putin would like it, Russia cannot be a substitute. It lacks the soft power, the language, the wealth, the skills. In Europe, America won’t be replaced or forgotten easily. But it must come back into the family of sensible democracies, where it belongs.
How's Trump U's fooball team?? when do they play Penn State ?
He'll get the Pen in a couple of years!