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Donald, Your Desperation’s Showing

Long ago, we had president’s who delivered fireside chats to calm an anxious electorate, labored over short speeches to memorialize lost soldiers and whose contents would be remembered for generations, and carefully watched their every step knowing that their actions would serve as precedent for generations to come.  Now, we have a president whose early morning tweet storms reveal a deeply insecure, illiberal demagogue trying his hardest to salvage a failed administration through lies meant to rally a base willing to overlook bigotry, sexual predation, and ignorance.

And recently, these tweets — to which we can set our alarms — have sounded increasingly desperate.  It seems the looming threat of Robert Mueller indicting his campaign staff and other aides coupled with a 35% approval rating and an inability to enact any of his promised agenda leaves Mr. Trump riddled with anxiety that he tries to clear through boisterous tweets.  Maybe he needs to spend more time golfing.

Trump’s 10/29 morning tweets might have shown a new low, which says a lot given he used Twitter to falsely accuse President Barack Obama of wiretapping his phone.  A Department of Justice investigation found the obvious: Trump lied.  Again.  Yet despite that libel, Trump’s tweets on 10/29 show a new low because of their desperation and further descent into illiberal rhetoric.

Here Trump touts the unity of the Republican Party even though earlier in the week, Republican Senator Jeff Flake took to the Senate floor to decry Trumpism and the rotten nativist populism it inspires among the electorate.  Another GOP senator, Bob Corker, said the White House amounted to an “adult daycare center.”  John McCain, in a notable speech, decried the “spurious nationalism” that now plagues the race-baiting Republican Party.

With regards to the Steele dossier, it seems strange to deride as “Fake” a document that encouraged an FBI investigation and whose central point — Trump’s liability to Russian influence — certainly seems truer by the day (why did Trump retain Michael Flynn after pointed warnings about Flynn’s susceptibility to Russian blackmail?).

Furthermore, why should there be any investigation into the Clinton campaign funding routine opposition research?  Unlike Donald Trump Jr holding a meeting with Russian agents after being promised dirt on his father’s political opponent (a meeting attended by then campaign manager Paul Manafort and digital strategist Jared Kushner), hiring a firm to conduct research is not collusion and certainly not a crime.

The Uranium One deal, to which right-wing propagandists have latched as an effort to vilify a now private citizen — the only way to boost Trump’s image — is perhaps the most ridiculous “scandal” ever presented by Clinton haters.  No facts support their claims, but falsely alleging corruption shits focus away from Trump’s improprieties.

Trump’s accusation of a “Comey fix” makes no sense, unless Trump doesn’t understand the law and ignored Comey’s press conference wherein he correctly stated that “no reasonable prosecutor” would recommend charges be brought against her.  It also seems strange to allege some “fix” when James Comey’s letter to one of the most unscrupulous member of Congress tilted the election to Trump.

Donald J. Trump led the racist birther crusade that wrongly claimed Obama was born in Kenya, not America (because all blacks are born in Africa, specifically Kenya, right?).  This endeavor lasted years and only months before Election Day did Trump disavow his crusade that caused millions to doubt Obama’s legitimacy and which mobilized, for the first time in generations, the angry nationalists who later became Trump’s core base.

He also accused Ted Cruz of having multiple affairs and claimed Cruz’s father participated in the John F. Kennedy assassination.  He’s claimed that vaccines cause autism (they don’t) and called climate change a “Chinese hoax” (it’s not).

Looking into collusion with a foreign enemy to win an election is not a “Witch Hunt.”  It shouldn’t even be a partisan issue.

There are no facts pouring out.  Trump lies about alleged Democrat and Clinton guilt because he needs a foil.  Importantly, though, he’s casting the political opposition — dissidents — as guilty of corruption and as an illegitimate political force.  How would conservatives react if Obama unilaterally condemned the GOP as guilty and urged Democrats in Congress to investigate the opposition party?

How would we react if a far-right party somehow assumed leadership in Germany and then called for the Bundestag to investigate the Christian Democrat Union or other centrist parties?  Questioning the legitimacy of political opposition is a purely authoritarian move.

Trump’s desperation leads to illiberal calls on Twitter for an authoritarian investigation into political opposition.  No dedicated democrat — small “d,” meaning those who support free and fair elections and political competition — should tolerate Trump’s rhetoric.  Scared as he may be, he’s normalizing creeping authoritarianism and, as in most democratic backslides, too few stand in his way.

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