I think it’s worth setting aside terminological questions and asking instead whether, if he had ruled within a system that allowed him to perpetrate the same kind of evil that fascists perpetrated, Trump would have done it, and I think the answer is clearly yes.
When people call Trump a fascist, and his most violent supporters fascists, that’s what they mean. And it’s a completely reasonable way to use language.
There’s a mishmash of folks who are being pedantic about this point for self-serving reasons—e.g. I’m not as hysterical as THOSE progressives throwing around the f-word. But they’re obscuring more than they’re clarifying. thedailybeast.com/donald-trump-i…
If Trump had the means at his disposal to encamp immigrants and shut down the press he would have done it. That’s an indication of the kind of profound evil and sociopathy many people associate with fascism.
Using the word “fascism” in an academically imprecise way in order to convey the depths of Trumpism’s capacity to do harm describes him and his most violent supporters more accurately than those who adopt softer language because Trump isn’t, like, a neo-Hegelian or whatever.

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More from @brianbeutler

12 Jan
In the @nytimes, @deepakguptalaw and I explore the hidden power of the 14th Amendment’s anti-insurrection provisions, particularly if used as a complement to impeachment, rather than a substitute for it. nytimes.com/2021/01/12/opi…
Most immediately, it’s a cudgel to brandish at Senate Republicans intent on letting Trump serve out his final days, particularly if they believe they can avoid the tough votes of a trial by running out the clock. nytimes.com/2021/01/12/opi…
But the legislative approach we lay out would serve as a font of accountability well into the future, until the full story of the siege is known and all applicable perpetrators (including those in the administration and Congress) are identified. nytimes.com/2021/01/12/opi…
Read 7 tweets
10 Jan
When Twitter banned Trump I thought it was a face-saving move. But their rationale was oddly precise. Then Google and Apple banned Parler. Then Amazon kicked it off the open web. They’re not scared of boycotters. They’re scared their services are being used to organize an attack.
Probably not worth dwelling on, however, because as we all know Trump is an InCoMpEtEnT AuThOrItArIaN.
Seems bad.
Read 4 tweets
9 Jan
Democrats, as is their wont, can interpret this as a reason to give up, which is exactly what Blunt hopes they do, or they can interpret it as an invitation to send articles over and spend the next 12 days making Republicans pay a political price for doing nothing.
The inclination to do nothing unless a magic bullet appears is so self-defeating, particularly as magic bullets don’t exist.
An interesting document, clearly meant to deter the House. It shouldn’t.
Read 4 tweets
8 Jan
If I could impart one non-obvious thing to youngs about Congress it’d be that its famed gridlock isn’t obligatory. Its powers are awesome. Starting from scratch, a concerted House can impeach a president over your lunch break. A concerted Senate can remove him before dinner.
The gridlock stems from trying to get large numbers of people to agree to a course of action. But when a majority reaches consensus, as it has over the view that Trump should be impeached, it can move like lightning.
If it doesn’t then the leadership is choosing a slow pace for its own reasons.
Read 4 tweets
8 Jan
I wrote about this in a bit more detail in the newsletter, but legal consequences aside, Trump’s attempt to overthrow the government makes the democratic reform agenda and the Trump accountability agenda a single agenda.

There were obviously points of overlap before, but now it’s just one thing. Joe Manchin can’t kill the former without leaving the government exposed to the next coup attempt: The most unpatriotic thing a senator could do.
DC statehood, voting rights, court reform etc. All require abolishing the filibuster. But they're not such abstract ideas anymore. They're insurance against the next attempt to seize control of government illegitimately, through corruption or force or both.
Read 4 tweets

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