Just finished Larry Tye's "Demagogue," on Joe McCarthy, and there's a lot of interesting stuff there for the present moment (as Tye himself acknowledges). Chiefly: Tye argues that McCarthy's collapse began when networks started airing the Army-McCarthy hearings round the clock...
...and people tuned in and finally saw what an unpleasant bully McCarthy was instead of a crusading white knight. This was (in part) the moment where the magic fell away, Tye argues.
Pretty depressing when you compare to today. The problem isn't that people don't know who Trump is and what he sounds like. It's that 30-40% of them know exactly what kind of bully he is and they love it.
Coverage of the whistleblower complaint is focused on efforts to minimize Russian election interference, but it's just as much about DHS trying to exaggerate the "threat" of antifa/downplay the danger posed by far-right groups, along with lying about danger posed by immigrants
The joke is that this time the tapes won't matter at all
The obsession with tapes (the pee tape! the elevator tape! the n-word tape! Omarosa! Melania! Comey! Woodward!) is an expression of our hope that something, ANYTHING, could ground us back in reality. But the problem isn't the absence of hard evidence
describing Bridgegate as "the Gotti family if they lived in Whoville" far, far understates the impact of the bridge closures on the actual people who live in Fort Lee, imo nymag.com/intelligencer/…
from Kagan's opinion in the Supreme Court's Bridgegate decision—ambulances had trouble reaching victims in urgent medical distress. police had trouble searching for a missing child! just cute things that happen in whoville supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf…
the director of the port authority reversed the lane changes because he didn't want to "have someone die in the back of an ambulance ... on my watch.”qz.com/1782309/a-crim…
On USPS: sometimes the administration tries malevolent things that it gets away with because there’s just too much going on. Sometimes the administration fails to get away with things bc, for whatever reason, public attention becomes focused on the wrongdoing & kicks up backlash
... which then becomes a locus for anti-Trump activism and attention and sparks a positive feedback loop of outrage and media coverage. The administration backs down. This happened w family separations. I wonder if it’s happening now w the Post Office.
(The family separation feedback loop was SO successful that years later people still think separations are still taking place like they were at the beginning, as @DLind has noted)
thinking of this in context of Hannah Arendt's writing on responsibility in "The Human Condition"—taking action and accepting responsibility is part of what it means to be human and act politically washingtonpost.com/politics/trump…
from The Human Condition: "Because the actor always moves among and in relation to other acting beings, he is never merely a 'doer' but always and at the same time a sufferer." Trump does not like to be a sufferer (sad!)
Arendt argues that this is part of why tyrants and monarchs are so terribly lonely: they understand themselves as the only people capable of action, which means that they also bear responsibility for an enormous amount of suffering, and no one can forgive them.
It's still very not good he even suggested it, to be clear, but I think everyone commenting on this from a position of authority owes it to readers to make clear what is and is not possible. Part of being honest about the threats here is clarifying what is legally impossible
as the article notes, the thing about this fearmongering campaign is that there's no evidence it will work. Trump tried it in 2018 and it flopped. polling doesn't indicate that people are responding positively to this fashy cosplay nytimes.com/2020/07/21/us/…
the reason, I think, is that—as @DLind wrote long ago ago—Trump has only one note to play when he's called upon to look like a Leader: Immigrants Are Coming Across The Border To Kill You. He wants reelection; reelection requires looking like a leader; so we pull out IACATBTKY
The difference is that IACATBTKY has now become a kind of all-purpose floating anxiety that isn't actually attached to the border as such or immigrants as such, but rather encompasses any perceived threat or dissent
At risk of being pedantic, Cotton was arguing that the president should invoke the Insurrection Act and send military troops into cities to act as law enforcement. The goons in Portland appear to be from the Department of Homeland Security—not military
"Roger Stone made several attempts to contact WikiLeaks founder Assange, boasted of his access to Assange, and was in regular contact with Campaign officials about the releases that Assange made and was believed to be planning."
"Stone spoke about WikiLeaks with senior Campaign officials, including candidate Trump.”
I read through the original Mueller Report and the less-redacted version released thanks to @BuzzFeedNews. Here is a page-by-page rundown of the unsealed material—what's genuinely new and what was available before from different sources: lawfareblog.com/whats-new-unre…
also featuring PDF copies of the unredacted pages, set side by side next to the original redacted pages, so you can look through and see what's changed! lawfareblog.com/whats-new-unre…
None of this, obviously, would have been possible without @JasonLeopold and the rest of the BuzzFeed News team, who deserve serious kudos for getting this material unsealed
the instinct to mock Trump for appearing disabled comes, I think, from the same place as the instinct to make fun of him as queer/feminine or Russian—they're all ways of putting him in the box of "other"
FDR is the clearest example of a disabled president, of course. but it's also worth noting that this photo of Kennedy—titled "The Loneliest Job" and often used as a means of illustrating the terrible burden of the office and masculine strength—is actually a portrait of disability
per George Tames, the photographer, Kennedy was standing that way not because the weight of the world was on his shoulders but because that posture eased his severe back pain