Nothing said at the debate matters more than this: If Trump politicizes the civil service, American government is finished. Someone's unqualified second cousin will be making important decisions about water quality or food safety instead of a scientist.…
this is the first thing - the very first thing - that authoritarian leaders do when they take power: Replace all the competent people with lackeys. Trump didn't know enough about government to do it in his first term, but he will do it if he wins a second one.
The politicization of the CDC has already begun. Inspectors-general and watchdogs are being removed. Trump's team of political appointees us already stuffed with incompetents and people with conflicts of interest. This is one more step in the wrong direction.
I wrote this on the same subject in 2018…

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More from @anneapplebaum

20 Oct
Wow, I missed the context of this, which is worse than I thought. Trump was talking about how he could extort money out of companies like Exxon. Exact quote: “How are you doing? How’s energy coming? When are you doing the exploration? Oh, you need a couple of permits?”
This is so close in spirit to things that we know for a fact he has said (to the Ukrainian president for example) that the CEO of Exxon rushed to deny it happened…
Read 4 tweets
15 Oct
Mark your calendars: Today we have witnessed the first major political arrest in Poland since 1989. A prominent government critic, a lawyer, has been taken into custody on dubious charges, to do with business transactions a decade ago. Police are now searching his house.
The arrest of Roman Giertych represents another blow against the rule of law in Poland. For background - I wrote about the harassment of Poland's independent judges here:…
Giertych was the lawyer for an Austrian businessman who accused the ruling party's leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, of defrauding him, and who also leaked embarassing tapes of Kaczynski talking about his business interests…
Read 8 tweets
10 Oct
Good morning! 24 days to go until the election - which means 24 days to think about how you can help make sure it is free and fair, and what you will do if it isn't. I wrote down some ideas here, will attach some to this email and add a few more:…
Vote. Here are the rules, in all 50 states, if you have any doubts:
Vote early. Here are the rules, in all of the states that allow it:…
Read 13 tweets
4 Oct
Since I wrote this, Trump had himself photographed "working": signing a blank piece of paper, with a binder photoshopped in afterwards to make it seem more serious. He can't even lie competently.…
Read 5 tweets
3 Oct
Do a thought experiment: if Biden were sick, what would happen? Here's my guess: Trump would be openly gloating, Republicans would be loudly celebrating, their campaigns would put out ads trying to raise money on the back of his illness.
I should add that I am very glad, and not at all surprised, that the Biden campaign is so very different.
Read 4 tweets

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