Everyone in Trumpworld Knows He’s an Idiot – by Michelle Goldberg – NYT

DL: Michelle Goldberg is the newest young voice to join the NYT op-ed page as a regular. What a well written piece. I couldn’t recommend any of the top comments to this essay, since they refused to even acknowledge the gifted writer which provided the platform for their add ons, mostly a pile on.

I finally got to reading my new subscription to the Wall Street Journal the other day, and was disappointed at how hateful, scornful and arrogant the lead editorial was against the Democrats, using fake news to attack the Trump administration. The polarization between the parties is the worst I’ve seen in my lifetime, and over the Vietnam war, it was ferocious.

“Trumpworld” might be misleading. It refers to his White house senior staff, cabinet and senior advisors.

“One of the more alarming anecdotes in “Fire and Fury,” Michael Wolff’s incendiary new book about Donald Trump’s White House, involves the firing of James Comey, former director of the F.B.I. It’s not Trump’s motives that are scary; Wolff reports that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were “increasingly panicked” and “frenzied” about what Comey would find if he looked into the family finances, which is incriminating but unsurprising. The terrifying part is how, in Wolff’s telling, Trump sneaked around his aides, some of whom thought they’d contained him.

“For most of the day, almost no one would know that he had decided to take matters into his own hands,” Wolff writes. “In presidential annals, the firing of F.B.I. director James Comey may be the most consequential move ever made by a modern president acting entirely on his own.” Now imagine Trump taking the same approach toward ordering the bombing of North Korea.

Wolff’s scabrous book comes out on Friday — the publication date was moved up amid a media furor — but I was able to get an advance copy. It’s already a consequential work, having precipitated a furious rift between the president and his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who told Wolff that the meeting Donald Trump Jr. brokered with Russians in the hope of getting dirt on Hillary Clinton was “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.” On Thursday the president’s lawyers sent a cease-and-desist letter to Wolff’s publisher, Henry Holt, demanding that it stop publication, claiming, among other things, defamation and invasion of privacy. This move would be fascistic if it weren’t so farcical. (While some have raised questions about Wolff’s methods, Axios reports that he has many hours of interviews recorded.)”

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Democrats Should Embrace Impeachment – by Michelle Goldberg – NYT

“Last week, Tom Steyer, the billionaire progressive donor, announced a $10 million campaign calling for President Trump’s impeachment, beginning with a television commercial running in all 50 states. Trump, the spot says, has “brought us to the brink of nuclear war, obstructed justice at the F.B.I., and in direct violation of the Constitution, he’s taken money from foreign governments and threatened to shut down news organizations that report the truth.” Appearing on screen, Steyer asks, “If that isn’t a case for impeaching and removing a dangerous president, then what has our government become?”

It’s a good question. Yet while most elected Democrats probably agree that Trump’s presidency is a nightmare, they’ve been largely reluctant to use the “I” word. The base wants impeachment — according to an August survey from the Public Religion Research Institute, 72 percent of Democrats support efforts to remove Trump from office. But inside the Beltway, calling for impeachment remains strangely taboo.Some members of Congress are awaiting the results of the investigation being conducted by Robert Mueller, the special counsel, and the case for impeachment may become stronger when his inquiry is complete. Yet whatever Mueller discovers, we have credible reasons for impeachment right now. The Constitution dictates that presidents be impeached for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

But as the Harvard Law scholar Cass Sunstein, author of the recent book “Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide,” told me, that doesn’t mean Congress can impeach only a president who is caught breaking the law. “Crime is neither necessary nor sufficient,” said Sunstein, who emphasizes that his book is not about Trump. “If the president went on vacation in Madagascar for six months, that’s not a crime, but that’s impeachable.”

 

David Lindsay: I do not agree. Foes of Trumpism have to win back the congress first.

Here is a comment I apprpve:

ChristineMcM is a trusted commenter Massachusetts 19 hours ago

Michelle, I disagree with this, not on the merits of impeachment but on the timing. Yes, Hillary Clinton would have been impeached by now–likely just for being a woman, or for Benghazi, or for the hurricanes. But Dems have no power.

Look, nobody wants this monster gone more than I do. But I still feel impeachment (which only Congress can initiate) would be more credible with GOP support that’s currently lacking.

So, for me, it makes more sense for Mueller to complete his investigation, and for Democrats to pick up some seats.

Tom Steyer should stop throwing his money away, and use it to build up the party and get out the vote. There’s a time and a place for everything: now is not the time, because impeachment wouldn’t be weighed by the overabundance of its merits but dismissed as a partisan witch hunt.

Wouldn’t it also just lend credence to what our liar-in-chief has been saying for months, that the Dems are sore losers? The very last thing Democrats need to do right now is give Donald J. Trump more fodder to whip up his base.

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Tyranny of the Minority – by Michelle Goldberg – debut at NYT

“A combination of gerrymandering and the tight clustering of Democrats in urban areas means that even if Democrats get significantly more overall votes than Republicans in the midterms — which polls show is probable — they may not take back the House of Representatives. (According to a Brookings Institution analysis, in 2016, Republicans won 55.2 percent of seats with just under 50 percent of votes cast for Congress.)

And because of the quirks of the 2018 Senate map, Democrats are extremely unlikely to reclaim that chamber, even if most voters would prefer Democratic control. Some analysts have even suggested that Republicans could emerge from 2018 with a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority.

Our Constitution has always had a small-state bias, but the effects have become more pronounced as the population discrepancy between the smallest states and the largest states has grown. “Given contemporary demography, a little bit less than 50 percent of the country lives in 40 of the 50 states,” Sanford Levinson, a constitutional law scholar at the University of Texas, told me. “Roughly half the country gets 80 percent of the votes in the Senate, and the other half of the country gets 20 percent.” ”

Lovely first op-ed. Here are some comments I approved.

hen3ry

is a trusted commenter Westchester County, NY 18 hours ago

Trump’s election has revealed the extent to which the GOP has taken over the country even as a majority of voters disagree with their politics. It also revealed how incompetent and unresponsive the GOP is when it comes to the lives of ordinary Americans. The only people that the GOP is interested in are their donors whether they are rich or big corporations. The rest of us are nowhere to be found in their consciousness. As long as we have the Electoral College it’s not one person one vote. The same goes for the amount of gerrymandering.

There is another not so savory thing that Trump’s election has revealed about America: we do not believe in equality, compassion, or charity. We are racist, anti-intellectual, and selfish to the point of destruction. If we continue to elect representatives who refuse to allocate money to run the country, improve our infrastructure, or do what’s necessary we will become a backwater which is not what our Founding Fathers wanted or expected.

Joe P.

Maryland 18 hours ago

This was one of the best articles I’ve read on our current state of affairs. A point by point analysis, and some offered solutions. let’s get to work.