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Comment of the Day: Wash Post commenter “Dave Longtin” schools us on the history of He who must not be named; He will start a civil war if he loses the 2020 election.



From Washington Post reader and commenter “Dave Longtin”:

@smeener As a conservative Democratic Party mega-donor, I know that Trump will not get impeached. Doing so would only ensure the Donald’s 2020 re-election, as sports and political statistician Nate Silver has warned. In 1869, after the American Civil War, President Andrew Johnson, a Southern sympathizer, essentially tried to let England off the hook for supplying warships to the Confederacy by forming an Anglo-American commission to study the issue, a move that Congress overwhelmingly rejected. Does that seem at all similar to Putin’s disingenuous offer to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation? In 1872, Britain finally agreed to compensate the United States for its illegal aid to the South during the conflict. Trump’s obsequious posture toward Putin truly shocks the entire planet, but it is not unprecedented in the long scope of American history. In no way am I excusing Trump, yet observers should use caution when claiming that anything the Donald has done is novel. He is not that clever –  Nixon committed many of the same crimes as Trump, including secretly conspiring with the South Vietnamese regime to scuttle peace talks, handing Nixon a narrow win in 1968 over Democrat Hubert Humphrey. Instead of ending the conflict as he promised, Nixon expanded the war, secretly bombing Cambodia and unwittingly helping the genocidal Khmer Rouge to seize Phenom Penh, a regime that murdered two million of its own citizens – The Kremlin expected Trump to lose in 2016. It was FBI Director James Comey’s second 28 October 2016 letter to Congress, implying to careless listeners that Hillary Clinton had somehow broken the law with her private email server that boosted Trump the most – Comey regrets it now.

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@getarake Yes, unfortunately, it is true. Nevada Democratic Congresswoman Susie Lee (NV – CD 3) told me that the Donald will not get impeached. I lose sleep worrying about what Trump will do next. The GOP tax law, the Donald’s tariffs, his incoherence, and his government shutdown are destroying this country in ways you can hardly imagine. If the government remains closed throughout 2019, we will gradually lose the ability to practice modern medicine over the next forty or fifty years. Unlike other pharmaceuticals, antibiotics are not profitable, in part because they are the sole class of drugs that lose effectiveness the more they get used. They also are the only pharmaceuticals that actually cure people – when they work. Most other medicines simply manage chronic conditions. Humanity will survive antimicrobial resistance, but it won’t live well. Far from I having a vested interest in solving this issue, I have spent thousands of dollars trying to fix the moribund antibiotics pipeline, with the assistance of retired infectious diseases expert David M. Shlaes, who is one of the last people on Earth with the knowledge to make usable antibiotics. During Dr. Shlaes’ more than three-decade career, he helped to shepherd several broad-spectrum antibiotics with novel mechanisms of action to market, including tigecycline, avibactam, and eravacycline. Another promising antimicrobial agent in which Dr. Shlaes played a part was lefamulin, but that has not yet been FDA-approved, and might become more collateral damage of the shutdown. Any conflicts of interest that Dr. Shlaes had have now been eliminated, because he is retired and spends much of his free time relaxing with his precious horse. There is a dirt-cheap legislative solution to this global tragedy, but it won’t happen if this standoff continues much longer. Read Dr. Shlaes’ latest two blog posts, if you want to panic like me. Dr. Shlaes has lost all hope –

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@LarrySP No, I don’t read Chomsky. Trump can’t simply rule by decree, because he is hemorrhaging support within the U.S. Armed Forces. This survey was taken before Trump fired the wildly popular Jim Mattis two months early, before the Donald point-blank lied to our troops about a pay increase they never received, and before he used them as stage props on the Mexican border, a mission they despised as a gratuitous political stunt  – As Ted Koppel writes, Trump will incite his followers to violence if he loses the 2020 election – Regardless of political affiliation, the more educated you are, the less likely you are to back the Donald. In most states, the Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Trump in 2016. Cops are blue collar workers, typically without much formal education, and probably would fight for Trump. Far-right militias already have acquired undetectable and untraceable weapons, capable of killing thousands of civilians at once – Welcome to my personal Hell, scared silly over events that I alone can’t stop.

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@LarrySP Congress already has prohibited Trump from withdrawing American troops from South Korea – Legal scholars have concluded that Trump could unilaterally pull the United States out of the 70-year-old North Atlantic Treaty Organization, against the will of the American people and the Armed Forces itself – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opposes Trump on this issue – year, the Senate passed a non-binding measure to thwart the Donald by a 97 to 2 margin, with only Kentucky’s Raul Paul and Utah’s Mike Lee actively opposing it. Virginia Democratic Senator Tim Kaine has introduced a new legally binding bipartisan bill to prevent Trump from doing so, with the blessing of Cory Gardner (R-CO), Jack Reed (D-RI), Lindsey Graham, (R-SC), Chris Coons (D-DE), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Susan Collins (R-ME). Democratic New Jersey Senator Bob Mendendez, another cosponsor, may go to prison soon. After initially dropping the corruption charges against Senator Mendendez, the Donald’s Justice Department has reinstated them –  I am desperately contacting Democratic Senators, urging them to support Tim Kaine’s putative pro-Atlantic Alliance law –

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@LarrySP Actually, I have no clue where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stands on NATO. He has supported the Alliance in the past, but also trusts that the Donald will not pull out –

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@Critical Rationalist The Mueller report might get buried, if Trump has his way. You might not appreciate that legal constraints under which that investigation operates, now that the independent counsel statute no longer exists – Because Trump’s people answer no subpoenas voluntarily, these legal experts warn that House Democrats would have to incarcerate those closest to the Donald, destabilizing society – Multiple House members have assured me that they won’t physically detain anyone, because of the fierce backlash that would result. The best course is to let the Democratic Attorneys General of Maryland and the District of Columbia expose the Donald’s shady business deals, because Brian Frosh and Karl Racine can imprison all sorts of recalcitrant folks. On Brian Frosh’s advice, I have donated to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), who are acting in tandem with Frosh and Racine – No President or Vice President has ever spent a single day in jail, no matter how illicit their activities have been. The greatest threat to Trump are all of the state-based civil lawsuits he faces that no president can pardon. New York State’s Democratic Attorney Letitia James seeks not to imprison the Donald, but to ensure that he dies in poverty, a fate worse than any jail, since he cares about nothing except his money –

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@BLACKCAT66 At times like these, humor sometimes helps. Watch Trump stand in the middle of Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue and shoot himself in the foot over the government shutdown – Expecting heavy Russian interference in the 2018 midterm elections, I gave some Democrats too much help, even though the Kremlin did not meddle very much last year. Putin might save his best bolt for 2020, but by then, I hope that most Americans don’t fall for it – The longer the government shutdown continues, the more society will crumble around us –

21 hr ago:

@Critical Rationalist Sure, House Democrats will invite Bob Mueller to testify, but Trump’s followers don’t seem to mind that the Donald conspired with Putin – And you seriously believe that Trump is the first American politician to threaten the Constitution and the rule of law? On 10 October 1798, President John Adams imprisoned popular Vermont Congressman Matthew Lyon merely for supporting Adams’ rival Thomas Jefferson – Kindly read this Op-ed piece in The New York Times. Liberals demonized their opponents as racists, fascists, and even Nazis far too much – If we Democrats aren’t careful, the next autocratic figure could emerge from within our Party. Taking office in 1928, Louisiana Governor Huey Long was a Democrat. He also was a quasi-fascist and a Bernie Sanders-type dictator on steroids. He was not a racist, because he took on the Ku Klux Klan, that actually was a brave thing to do at the time. He wanted to help African-Americans under his regime. But he guaranteed every Louisianan a minimum annual income of $5,000, an impossibly high sum in that era. Initially, he supported President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal program, but came to believe that the New Deal did not go far enough. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1932, but retained his ironclad grip on Louisiana politics through his surrogates and a compliant State legislature until his assassination in 1935 – I could go on citing American historical precedents, but they just seem to bounce off of you. At least two potential Democratic presidential candidates have autocratic tendencies, Michael Bloomberg and Oprah Winfrey.

still 21 hr ago:

@Critical Rationalist Michael Bloomberg agrees with Trump about stop and frisk police tactics – And Oprah Winfrey has a reputation as a “benevolent dictator,” because she runs her business enterprises that way – She also spouts a lot of dangerous pseudoscientific nonsense – Although Oprah has said that running for the Oval Office is not in her DNA, that could be false modesty. Should she ever change her mind, Oprah’s public approval rating is sky-high –

23 hr ago:

@guiwhiz You overestimate my importance. I gave to centrist and conservative elements within the Democratic Party last year, only because I thought that other Americans shared my basic worldview. Kirsten Gillibrand, who used to be one of the most conservative House Democrats when she represented a red district in upstate New York, has transformed herself into the single most liberal member of the Senate, voting with Trump only 11.4% of the time. She has gone through contortions, trying to explain away her vast ideological shift. By contrast, Arizona’s Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema was once a “Prada Socialist,” as she now calls her former self. Unlike Gillibrand, Ms. Sinema does not disavow her progressivist past. In 2003, she simply decided that she was too liberal to win elections in purple Arizona, and changed to appeal to her constituents. She now votes with Trump 60% of the time. She could not have narrowly defeated Martha McSally, who votes with Trump a whopping 96% of the time with Gillibrand’s current leftist record – Unlike Trump, I alone cannot fix it. One individual can alter some policy specifics, but the grand course of history is shaped by impersonal factors, however uninspiring that truth may be. Arrogant Democratic mega donor George Soros, with a personal fortune of $8 billion, had a massive civil-society organization that had been operating in his native Hungary since 1984. That’s right, the Soviet-backed Communist regime invited his staff to come. But his group recently announced that it was fleeing his homeland of less than ten million people, after failing to prevent Hungary from becoming an “illiberal democracy” –

23 hr ago:

@guiwhiz You seem not to realize that Florida’s GOP has tried mightily to stop ex-felons from exercising their newly won right to vote – Tallahassee Republicans aren’t just thwarting the people’s will, they also are endangering society by increasing the recidivism rate among disgruntled ex-felons who mistakenly thought that they had gained the ability to cast ballots. After donating a small fortune to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, the only bipartisan organization pushing for a “Yes” on that referendum, I have again contributed substantially to the Florida Chapter of the ACLU, who is trying to fix this bloody mess –


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