Tag: elections
What Are The Odds That Trump Shows Up To Debate Biden?

What Are The Odds That Trump Shows Up To Debate Biden?

The problem with right-wing propaganda is that they actually start believing their bullshit, such as “Joe Biden is suffering from cognitive decline.” In the case of the upcoming debate later this month, it led Donald Trump to make a disastrous strategic decision, and he has no good options moving forward.

Hence, it makes the most sense for him to pull out like the coward he is.

Biden is dealing with two major challenges at the moment:

  1. People aren’t tuned in, so Trump’s antics are lost on a significant percentage of potential voters. The more people pay attention, the better Biden does.
  2. Many people (17% according to one poll!) think that Biden is responsible for the loss of abortion rights, as he was president when it happened.

So what does the June 27 debate do? It gets people to tune in and start paying attention, much earlier than they otherwise would (essentially, the Republican convention in mid-July, and that’s on their terms).

And Biden can begin setting the record straight on abortion, as the question will come up, and Trump won’t be able to help bragging about how he was the reason we’ve lost those rights.

But there’s more.

We all know the first question Trump will get about his 34 felony convictions. Is that really how Trump wants to introduce himself to people tuning in to the race for the first time? All the rants about “lawfare” and “Biden’s DoJ” won’t inoculate him from the damage being a felon causes him.

Given the fact that Trump immediately accepted Biden’s “no studio audience” stipulation, there won’t be anyone to cheer Trump on. He needs his culty followers cheering his nonsense to fuel him on. And the moderators’ ability to cut off mics means that Trump can’t spend all evening yelling over Biden.

Remember, this wasn’t the Trump campaign’s idea. Trump was baited into making an impulsive, immediate decision to accept terms that the Biden campaign couldn’t have thought would be accepted. It truly was a boss alpha move by the president.

So the big question is this: What does Trump get out of this debate?

If conservative propaganda was reality based, and Biden shuffled onto the stage drooling on himself, that would be something. But it’s not. And whether Trump believes it or not, you know his campaign does. So what else is there?

Nothing. There is literally no upside for Trump.

And that’s why the Republican Party’s de facto leader, Sean Hannity, is laying the groundwork for backing out of the debates, saying, “There are some even saying that Donald Trump might be wise to just pass on the first debate, wait until he's nominated, then debate him."

That’s a nice way for Hannity to say, “Trump f’d up.” It certainly wasn’t wise to accept Biden’s debate terms. And if I had to guess, the “some” people that Hannity is talking about is every Republican campaign and elected official. Indeed, they have gotten a closer look at their nominee than anyone else, and it isn’t pretty. Just Thursday …

In exchange for their promises of fealty, Trump focused hard on important issues and policies. Like his anger over how Taylor Swift refused to endorse him and incomprehensible claims about Nancy Pelosi’s daughter.

Trump also reportedly ran through his recent campaign bit about fictional serial killer Hannibal Lector calling him a “nice guy who even had a friend over for dinner.” As with his shark vs. battery ramble, no one really knows what Trump is talking about, or why he’s so obsessed with this. He just is.

Republicans have to be terrified of any of that spewing out of Trump’s mouth at a debate. It would be impossible for even the political press to ignore Trump’s obvious cognitive decline at that point. Trump can get away with lying, it’s baked into the narrative. But being weird? That’s far more damaging.

For its part, the Biden campaign has been working hard to raise expectations, the exact opposite of the usual approach of lowering them. They know they have the upper hand in any debate.

So given all that, why would Trump debate?

If he drops out of the debate, he’ll get called a coward and liberals will laugh for a few days. Sure, that would suck.

But if he doesn’t? The real campaign will kick off weeks early, in a forum specifically designed to benefit Biden. He will immediately have to answer questions about being a convicted felon, and confirm his culpability in ending abortion rights. For several hours, he’ll have to answer questions from actual journalists, not friendly conservative pundits, without a crowd to give his performance energy. The odds of him saying something weird are 100%. And he and his pals have set the bar so low for Biden, that all he has to do is not drool on himself to exceed expectations.

Given the dangers of debating and any lack of upside, there’s no logical reason for Trump to debate beyond pride. And maybe that’s enough to force him to show up.

But there will be lots of people doing everything possible to convince him that wounded pride is the best possible outcome.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Mike Johnson

Servile Speaker Johnson 'Very Grateful' That Trump Praised Him

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, the most-powerful elected Republican in the nation, second in line to the presidency, is under fire after appearing to subordinate himself to the criminally-indicted and criminally-convicted one-term ex-president, as he glowingly delivered a report of his Thursday meeting with Donald Trump.

Trump “said very complementary things about all of us. We had sustained applause. He said I’m doing a very good job. We’re grateful for that,” Speaker Johnson told reporters (vide below) after he and members of his Republican conference met with the ex-president barely blocks from where the January 6, 2021 insurrection Trump incited took place. Thursday marks the first time since that fatal and violent day Trump has returned to Capitol Hill.

The Speaker of the House is the co-head of a co-equal branch of the federal government. Donald Trump is no longer president, so is no longer head of the executive branch.

House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik told reporters it was a “very successful special political conference with our special guest, President Donald J. Trump.”

“Johnson has openly embraced Trump, who was crucial in supporting him when he faced the threat of being ousted … by conservative GOP House hard-liners, saying coordination with Trump is important heading into November’s election and a potential second Trump presidency,” ABC News reports.

“I think it’s important for the country, to have us, to have close coordination,” Johnson also said Wednesday. “I believe he’ll have, can be, the most consequential president of the modern era, because we have to fix effectively every area of public policy.”

Presidential historian Michael Beschloss, who has written nine books on the American presidency, slammed Johnson.

“Speaker of the House is incumbent elected officer of coequal branch of American government—shouldn’t feel need to publicly pronounce himself ‘grateful’ to an ex-President for saying he and party colleagues are doing a ‘good job.’ ”

“Half the US Congress is now weaponized, obstructing justice, and abusing power to help trump launder away his criminality, malfeasance, and failure—while also conflating government business with his campaign and insurrection with government,” observed Condé Nast legal affairs editor Luke Zaleski. “Trump owns the House. Is America next?”

Former Obama senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer noted, “Trump’s supporters almost murdered these folks less than four years ago.”

U.S. Rep. Sean Casten (D-IL) added, “The guy who found ‘very fine people on both sides’ of a neo-Nazi rally thinks Mike Johnson is doing a good job. And Mike Johnson is proud of that. These people.”

Watch Speaker Johnson’s remarks below or at this link.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Former President Donald Trump

Trump's Latest 'Guillotine' Rhetoric Reeks Of Fascist Intent

Donald Trump's fundraising emails have long been viewed as over-the-top. But recently, they have, according to Rolling Stone and The New Republic, taken an especially dark turn.

On Wednesday morning, June 12, Trump's campaign sent out an e-mail that read, in all caps, "HAUL OUT THE GUILLOTINE!"

Rolling Stone's Nikki McCann Ramirez notes that "thankfully," the e-mail "was not a declaration of intent by Trump, but a melodramatic fundraising pitch accusing his political opponents of wanting to behead him."

The e-mail read, "Remember when that Sicko Kathy Griffin made the rounds parading my BEHEADED head when I was President?! The radical-left CHEERED! Obama and Biden were SILENT! And the Fake News BLASTED it everywhere! The SAD and HORRIFIC TRUTH is that this is STILL the Sick Dream of every Trump-Deranged lunatic out there! And it's not just me they want gone, THEY'RE REALLY COMING AFTER YOU."

In an article published by The New Republic the same day, reporter Talia Jane cites the "guillotine" pitch as an example of how paranoid Trump's fundraising pitches are sounding.

"The e-mails, written by Trump's campaign but styled to sound like they're coming directly from Trump, intend to provoke supporters into donating," Jane observes. "A fundraising e-mail sent last week falsely claimed Biden directed the FBI to assassinate Trump, saying, 'He tried to publicly torture and humiliate me.… but he failed. He tried to raid my home and take me out with deadly force.… but he failed."

When CNN's Jim Acosta noted the "guillotine" e-mail on X, formerly Twitter, historian/author Ruth Ben-Ghiat — known for her expertise on fascism and authoritarianism — gave her take on Trump's email with a tweet.

"From Fascism onward, authoritarians have prepared people to accept and commit violence by conjuring existential threats," she wrote. "Those threats must be not only to the beloved leader, but also to his followers. January 6 was another [example]: it was a rescue operation of a cult leader in distress. Now a desperate convicted felon, Trump conjures a guillotine meant for them too. #Strongmen."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

When Trump Rants About Abortion, Women Voters Must Listen

When Trump Rants About Abortion, Women Voters Must Listen

It was one of those rants that would disqualify a normal candidate. Speaking to Sean Hannity on Wednesday night, Donald Trump took off on abortion, saying things that are flat-out untrue and mouthing opinions entirely out of the mainstream. Most of the media ignored it, Trump being Trump.

"It's a beautiful thing to watch," Trump said of states passing extreme and near total bans on access to abortion. The consequences of those bans — horrific consequences — have been documented. A 13-year-old rape victim in Mississippi forced to carry a pregnancy to term because she was denied access to a safe and legal abortion — what is beautiful about that? A young woman in Texas who almost died because doctors were afraid to treat her — does Donald Trump find that beautiful? A Florida woman who was turned away from the emergency room and lost roughly half her blood in a single day after experiencing a miscarriage — beautiful to watch?

Twenty states now have near or total bans on abortion, forcing women to travel out of state to secure needed and necessary medical care. The most vulnerable are the most seriously affected — teenagers who don't even know that they are pregnant, poor women who lack the resources and connections to find or afford help in distant states. It is dangerous and downright cruel. Trump claims he supports exceptions for rape and incest and the life of the mother, but he finds it a "beautiful thing to watch" states pass laws that include no such exceptions.

And he spouts lies and spreads misinformation about abortion. Trump claimed, as he has repeatedly, that "everyone" has been in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade since the case was first decided in 1973. It is simply not so that legal scholars on all sides were united in criticizing the decision. Indeed, what is noteworthy is that as the years have passed, Roe became more firmly entrenched in the nation's jurisprudence, leading some early critics, such as the late conservative Solicitor General Charles Fried, to reverse his critical position on Roe and support it as firmly established precedent.

Trump is right that he is responsible for overturning Roe, because he appointed the three justices who cast the deciding votes to do so. But they turned themselves into pretzels to avoid telling the Senate Judiciary Committee that they planned to do so, mouthing words that they did not believe and did not abide by about respecting precedent. They didn't do that because "everyone" wanted to see Roe overturned — just the opposite.

Trump lied about Democrats approving abortion in the eighth and ninth months and "even after birth."

"Everybody knows that in the eighth month and the ninth month and beyond that — hard to believe, they have some states passing legislation where you can execute the baby after birth," Trump said. "It's crazy." Another lie. Executing newborn babies is homicide, and no state and no Democrats support legislation to allow it. More than 90 percent of abortions take place in the first trimester, and the one percent that take place after 21 weeks legally involve women whose lives are in danger or who are carrying much-wanted pregnancies where they receive a fatal fetal diagnosis late in their terms. To suggest otherwise is simply irresponsible.

Trump has been trying to "defang" the abortion issue by his stance that it should be left to the states, and then applauding what the states do, even at the expense of women's lives. It is a purely political move, reflecting no principles at all. The anti-abortion movement, which has lost at the ballot box in Ohio and Kansas, has almost as much reason to turn on Trump, who was pro-choice before he bargained away his soul to the right to win their support in 2016, as the pro-choice movement does. When it comes to abortion, he has no principles at all. And that is so typical that he gets away with it, sloppy rants and all.

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

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