Trump just declared once again on Fox News that the outcome of the election cannot be legitimate if he loses. This is the third time he's made this claim explicit. Yet the political media just seems to largely tolerate it. That's insane. New piece:
washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/…
When Trump says no outcome can be legitimate in which he loses, it isn't just "crazy Trump playing the media chaos game."

He's telling *his supporters* to gird for the election to be stolen *from them.*

That makes civic damage or violence more likely:

washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/…
Trump's claim that the opposition is illegitimate functions as justification for his own nonstop corruption of the election. If the opposition is illegitimate anything goes.

Conventional political reporting can't handle this imbalance (cc @jayrosen_nyu):

washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/…

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More from @ThePlumLineGS

18 Sep
Remarkable: In new NYT/Siena polls, Biden is more trusted on "law and order" in Arizona, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Why? Maybe because Trump's call for unshackled state and vigilante violence is perceived as the extreme and destructive position. New piece:
washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/…
Trump's position, laid bare, is that he's on the side of empowering police to be more thuggish and brutal, and if you oppose that, you side with violence and criminality.

He doesn't get that most voters seem to be flatly rejecting this false binary:

washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/…
Law and order without rule of law is neither law nor order. It's unshackled state/vigilante violence.

Biden represents the idea that rule of law -- equality before the law -- broadens the possibilities for civic peace.

w/@owasow and @jonathanchait

washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/…
Read 4 tweets
17 Sep
Stop calling Bill Barr crazy and delusional. This is a serious conceptual error. He is a deliberate propagandist who is methodically helping Trump actively weaponize the government in numerous corrupt ways, all serving the end of keeping him in power:

washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/…
Barr also has a genuine worldview. In declaring war on the left and claiming the executive has "virtually unchecked discretion" to prosecute for sedition, he draws on an anti-liberal tradition that glorifies the executive unfettered to act amid crises:

washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/…
Of course, Barr is largely inventing the crisis -- he and other senior law enforcement and national security officials are twisting government resources to fabricate an organized domestic leftist terror threat -- to justify *Trump's* lawlessness:

washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/…
Read 4 tweets
12 Sep
Wow. The WH is now expecting Durham to produce some kind of interim "report" on his review of the origins of the Russia probe, before it's even completed, NYT reports. William Barr is pushing him to move quickly. Naked corruption in plain sight.

nytimes.com/2020/09/11/us/…
Meanwhile:

Emails from politically appointed communications aides to CDC Director Robert Redfield and other top officials "openly complained that the agency’s reports would undermine Trump's optimistic messages about the outbreak," @ddiamond reports:

politico.com/news/2020/09/1…
@ddiamond And DHS whistleblower just revealed intel is getting twisted to fabricate a basis for Trump's law & order agitprop.

Connect the dots. Many top Trump officials have placed their official duties and the levers of government at the disposal of his reelex:

washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/…
Read 4 tweets
10 Sep
Trump and his spinners have a new excuse for him downplaying coronavirus: He sagely wanted to avoid "panic." But I looked at the timeline, and it's pure BS: He mainly wanted to avoid panicking *the markets,* because he feared for his reelection. New piece:
washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/…
Trump's efforts to avoid "panic" were all about doing what was in *his* perceived interests, not the country's.

Throughout that time, Trump said this in his own words. He claimed efforts to stoke panic over the virus were a media/Dem plot against *him.*

washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/…
It gets even worse. Trump's efforts to avoid a "panic" -- in the markets, that is -- badly hampered the governmental response to coronavirus as well.

He literally delayed in acting because business leaders were telling him it would spook the markets:

washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/…
Read 4 tweets
9 Sep
Holy crap. This is from the new DHS whistleblower complaint. He says he was ordered to "modify" a threat assessment, particularly "the section on White Supremacy" to make "the threat appear less severe," and "include information on the prominence of violent 'left-wing' groups."
Please remember that *many* of Trump's top national security and law enforcement officials publicly echoed Trump's propaganda on this, essentially fabricating a leftist domestic terror threat. This included Barr, NSA Robert O'Brien, and CBP chief Morgan:

washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/…
Remarkable. Whistleblower directly implicates DHS chief Chad Wolf & National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien in an effort to hype China and Iran as threats to the election, to false-equivalence away Russia's electoral sabotage.

Whistleblower said this would endanger the country:
Read 4 tweets
9 Sep
Now that Kayleigh McEnany is claiming Trump never downplayed the virus, that's a good excuse to repost my timeline of Trump downplaying the virus. This will come in numerous tweets:

washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/…
Read 5 tweets

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