Trump’s latest statement blows up GOP’s 2022 messaging and strategy alike

It’s not going exactly as planned for the geniuses in the Republican Party. The whole idea was that, instead of killing off Donald Trump when they had the chance during impeachment, they would keep him around so they could thread the needle of pinching his supporters while still appealing to the GOP’s more traditional upper-income voters.

Except that strategy somehow assumed that Trump would play nice, take an interest in boosting the GOP’s electoral prospects, and stay on message. Good bet, right?

In that vein, Trump issued a statement Wednesday, “If we don’t solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020 (which we have thoroughly and conclusively documented), Republicans will not be voting in ’22 or ’24. It is the single most important thing for Republicans to do.”

Just a quick fact check: Exactly zero systemic fraud has been documented after 60-plus visits to the courthouse and dozens of recounts in multiple swing states. Even Arizona’s pro-Trump, partisan-driven sham audit came up dry on the fraud front.

Anyway, not to distract from the GOP’s forward-looking message of positivity about 2022 and all the policy fixes Republicans have proposed to move the country forward. (Honest question: Has anyone heard a single Republican offer a single policy to support their mystery vision for America?)

So back to Trump’s threat of flagging GOP voter enthusiasm and non-participation in the midterms—it’s Republicans’ worst fear come true. It’s the scenario where they make a deal with the devil, and then the devil screws them, walking away with their souls while delivering nothing in return. Based on Trump’s statement, that’s exactly the deal Republicans have signed.

The enthusiasm expressed by the House GOP’s campaign chair in response Trump’s statement speaks volumes.

“He’s a private citizen and he’s entitled to his own opinion,” said Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota, chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, when asked about Trump’s continued obsession with the 2020 election.

But it’s important to note here that the statement Trump issued isn’t just a messaging problem for the GOP—it’s a strategy problem. It’s entirely possible—and some might argue, probable—that Trump is correct. A bunch of his voters don’t seem to be interested in any election where Trump isn’t the focal point (i.e. on the ballot).

That’s proven out in multiple elections—including gubernatorial races in Kentucky (2019) and Louisiana (2020) where Trump begged his supporters to turn out only to watch Democrats prevail.

And then there are the Georgia runoffs in January, where Republicans made almost the same exact bet they have in the 2022 cycle—they kept loser Trump close, hoping to keep his voters engaged even as he groused about 2020 and the Georgia GOP’s failure to overturn the results. We all know what happened there—two Democrats replaced two sitting GOP Senators. But why that happened is what really matters.

Following an analysis of voting records, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote in February:

Control of the U.S. Senate was on the line, but many Georgia Republicans — at least some deterred by Donald Trump’s loss — stayed home rather than cast ballots in January’s runoffs.

Their absence at the polls helped swing Georgia and the Senate to the Democrats.

Over 752,000 Georgia voters who cast ballots in the presidential election didn’t show up again for the runoffs just two months later...

Democratic voters were also juiced by Biden’s win, but the point for the purposes of this piece is Trump’s dismal effect on GOP turnout.

Trump is now promising a repeat performance next year if Republicans fail to find a way to “solve” the non-existent 2020 voter fraud and overturn the election. So Trump is now damning Republicans to do something that’s impossible for them to do.

Republicans in leadership positions can now expect to be repeatedly questioned on Trump’s statement and the assertion he made about depressed turnout. Trump’s statement actually pushes beyond the “steal” narrative, prompting questions about what kind of action Republicans plan to take. It’s a two-part test now for GOP lawmakers: Do you support Trump’s fabricated “fraud” lies, and what are you going to do about it?

And sure, Republicans can grandstand, but ultimately they can’t do squat other than rail about Trump losing the election. That doesn’t seem likely to enthuse Trump’s voters any more than Georgia’s Senate runoffs enthused them after Trump spent two months blasting the state’s top GOP officials.

At the same time, constantly being dragged back into questions about supposed fraud that’s never been proven isn’t exactly a focal point that is likely to woo back erstwhile Republican voters who rejected Trump at the ballot box.

Simply put, there’s no way for Republicans to express enough anger over 2020 to satisfy Trumpers while also appealing to the suburban voters who defected from the GOP in both 2018 and 2020. It’s a lose-lose proposition: depressing turnout among one cohort while alienating more high-propensity voters.

Matt Gaetz boosts neo-Nazi ‘Great Replacement Theory’ as Republicans turn full fascist

In the wake of sex trafficking allegations that would have forced his resignation in any prior version of the Republican Party before it turned into a bucket of bubbling fascism, Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz has been doing his level best to be a deplorable sleazebag in all—and we do mean all—circumstances. He has gone out of his way to broadcast his devotion to the Mar-a-Lago ruler of golf courses and buffets; he has gone on an ersatz promotional tour with top sedition backer Marjorie Taylor Greene, and on and on.

But this is Trump-era Republicanism we're talking about, so Gaetz was all but certain to cap things off by going full white nationalist. Fox News' own white nationalist host gave him the opportunity, and Gaetz took it.

.@TuckerCarlson is CORRECT about Replacement Theory as he explains what is happening to America. The ADL is a racist organization. https://t.co/32Vu60HrJK

— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) September 25, 2021

What the accused cocaine-party-having sex-trafficking Gaetz is referring to is a neo-Nazi conspiracy theory that Tucker and other white nationalists have been injecting into "mainstream" conservatism with increasing insistence after Trump's loss and the subsequent fascist attempt at insurrection. "Replacement Theory," otherwise known as The Great Replacement, is a conspiracy theory claiming that powerful figures (globalists, socialists, Democrats, or the usual "secret worldwide cabal" of "wealthy Jews") are attempting to bring massive numbers of nonwhite immigrants into the United States in order to dilute the white "essence" of the nation and reduce slab-haired white child rapists and their supporters to minority status.

It's very literally a conspiracy theory torn from the neo-Nazi corners of the internet. It's completely batshit, it's very often paired with conspiracy claims against liberal American billionaire George Soros, and up until Rupert Murdoch and his kin decided to go full fascist, you would never hear such a thing claimed on television because television shows in general tried to avoid giving airtime to obviously unhinged white supremacist groups. It's the sort of delusional rant that would convince a past version of Fox News to part with an increasingly unstable Glenn Beck; you can promote a lot of nonsense on the news networks, but executives generally drew the line at conspiracy theories that were likely to result in domestic terrorism if an audience believed them.

That line has now been crossed repeatedly, but even Carlson dared no more than play smirking footsie with one of neo-Nazism's defining conspiracy phrases—until now. Last week the Fox Host explicitly embraced "replacement theory" as supposedly factual, smashing the network's previous plausible deniability on the subject. Fox News is now promoting a neo-Nazi conspiracy claim; Fox News executives are now signaling they'll support the conspiracy claims.

If you're wondering which side of this supposed debate the sex trafficking cocaine-party-with-college-students sedition-backing would-be-election-nullifying helmet-haired treasonbag would take, you haven't been paying attention. Of course Gaetz was going to come out backing neo-Nazi conspiracies. Gaetz doesn't give a rat's ass, Gaetz needs to hitch his wagon to whatever fascist cause he runs across because Gaetz is desperately trying to avoid criminal charges for all that crap he's done.

No government? No charges. It's not likely the twit has an agenda any more substantive than that. You'd be hard pressed to be one of Dear Leader's biggest bootlickers, even after all that the nation has been through in the last half-decade, unless you very specifically don't care about anything but your ability to keep getting away with crimes.

Dunno what to tell you on this one, America. The adaptation of one of the most infamous and dangerous conspiracy theories of the fascist right is absolutely assured to result in domestic terrorism, just as it has repeatedly in the recent past. Tucker appears at this point to be intending that. Gaetz probably doesn't give a damn one way or the other; to him, he just needs an unending series of signals he can send to reassure his far-right Florida base that no matter what he might be accused of doing with their daughters, his devotion to remaking America into a fascist nation should be more than enough to allow them to look the other way.

This one quote shows how out of touch Mitch McConnell is with the GOP base

At some point during the reporting of the newly released book Peril by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky seemed to believe Trumpism was just a passing fancy.

In the book, McConnell called Donald Trump “a fading brand. Retired. OTTB as they say in Kentucky -- off-the-track Thoroughbred,” according to the Lexington Herald Leader

“There is a clear trend moving,” McConnell predicted, toward a Republican Party not dominated by Trump. “Sucking up to Donald Trump is not a strategy that works,” he added.

It's unclear exactly when McConnell offered those keen insights to Woodward and Costa, but what is clear is just how badly the GOP leader has misjudged Trump-era politics.

Though McConnell is correct that playing suck-up never works, Trump and his acolytes are presently running roughshod over the McConnell wing of the party.

Nowhere is this more clear than in the way Trump is already pushing GOP primaries toward extremism rather than promoting the policies and candidates most likely to prevail in competitive general elections. Trump's obsession with endorsing pushers of his 2020 election fraud lies is already narrowing the Senate GOP's chances of netting the one seat they need to regain control of the Senate. 

At the same time, moderates and one-time "rising stars" in the Republican Party—such as Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio—are opting to retire rather than trying to swim upstream in a sea of GOP disinformation about vaccines, 2020, Jan. 6, and myriad other issues.  

Trump has also succeed in bullying GOP lawmakers in swing states like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania into initiating Arizona-style fraudits, ensuring that supporting them will become a litmus-test issue for every Republican lawmaker and candidate in the state. If there’s one thing Republican leaders have wanted to avoid, it’s having their message entirely overshadowed Trump’s election lies.

Any way one slices it, Trump's stranglehold on the party isn't exactly what one would characterize as "fading" at the moment.

In a candid moment several months ago, McConnell even admitted that he has no control whatsoever over Trump's involvement in the midterms, saying bluntly, "Well, he has his own agenda."

Indeed.

In the book, McConnell said the only way he imagined Trump and him "at loggerheads" would be "if he gets behind some clown who clearly can’t win."

“To have a chance of getting the Senate back, you have to have the most electable candidates possible," McConnell added.

Genius. Too bad McConnell didn't take the chance to bury Trump during the impeachment trial earlier this year. McConnell either didn't have the vision or the political juice with his caucus to finally put Trump away. But whether it was lack of insight or lack of leadership, McConnell missed his single best opportunity to render Trump "a fading brand."

Now, McConnell and the GOP—along with the rest of the nation—are paying the price for that incompetence. 

Report: Trump Wants To Oust Mitch McConnell, Republicans Not Cooperating

Former President Trump has reportedly held conversations with allies in the Senate about ousting Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Trump has had simmering tension with McConnell ever since the Kentucky Senator attacked him for challenging the 2020 presidential election results.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on the effort to remove McConnell.

Trump, they write, has “spoken recently with senators and allies about trying to depose Mr. McConnell and whether any Republicans are interested in mounting a challenge.”

RELATED: Mitch McConnell: Get Vaccinated Or Lockdowns Are Coming Back – It’s ‘Not Complicated’

Republicans Not Interested In Joining Trump To Oust Mitch McConnell

The Journal report indicates that Republicans – even those who support the former President – have little stomach for trying to oust Mitch McConnell.

“There is little appetite among Senate Republicans for such a plan, lawmakers and aides said, but the discussions risk driving a wedge deeper between the most influential figure in the Republican Party and its highest-ranking member in elected office,” they write.

Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) said the odds weren’t in Trump’s favor regarding a move to rid the Senate of Mitch McConnell, even if it might be the best thing to do.

“I just don’t realistically see that happening,” Kennedy, a Trump supporter, said, equating the odds to that of teaching a donkey how to fly.

RELATED: Trump Calls Mitch McConnell ‘A Stupid Person’ For… Not Getting Rid Of The Filibuster?

Trump: McConnell Bad For The Republican Party

In an interview earlier this week, Trump suggested that Senate Republicans should fire Mitch McConnell themselves.

“I think Mitch McConnell has proven to be a disaster,” Trump told The Federalist. “He’s not good for the Republican Party as a leader, and I wish I wouldn’t have endorsed him.”

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“The Senate has to make a change at some point,” he added. “I don’t think it’s acceptable having him as a leader.”

This past April, McConnell was reportedly seeking a truce with the former President.

“The leader has no animosity and he’s made it very clear he wants to work with the president to get the majority back,” McConnell’s top deputy said at the time.

McConnell, following the Capitol riot, joined Democrats in calls for impeachment according to a Fox News report at the time, telling associates that the move “will help rid the Republican Party of Trump and his movement.”

Trump ravaged the GOP leader, issuing a statement saying McConnell is “a dour, sullen and unsmiling political hack.”

“The Republican Party can never again be respected or strong with political ‘leaders’ like Sen. Mitch McConnell at its helm,” he added.

poll almost immediately after the Capitol riot from Axios-Ipsos showed Republican voters overwhelmingly “siding with President Trump over Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — big time.”

 

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Matt Gaetz’s campaign donated $100,000 to a pro-Trump nonprofit on day of Trump’s second impeachment

It's been a while since we've heard news about Rep. Matt Gaetz, which once again raises the question: Why the hell aren't we hearing more news about Matt Gaetz? The Republican congressman is purportedly under investigation for the sex trafficking of a minor, but even that phrase hardly describes what's already publicly known about the case. The crooked Florida Republican and Gaetz pal at the center of the sex trafficking investigation is said to be cooperating with authorities; reporters have been able to contact several of the women involved and they have seemingly confirmed Gaetz's involvement; new stories of cocaine-fueled sex parties, an alleged proclivity to share nude photos of his "dates" with fellow Republicans in the Capitol—there's no end to it.

There was once a time when even half of that would have forced a congresscreature into early retirement, but that was before Republicanism decided that grifting serial rapists were presidential material. Gaetz is looking to stick it out, and has even been going on national tours with other, equally tawdry House Republicans in an effort to God-knows-what.

Fear not, however. While Matt Gaetz is sticking close to Rep. Jim Jordan, the House Republican now famous for not giving a damn whether those around him are committing sex crimes, more additions to the "Matt Gaetz is sketchy as hell" pile continue to be stacked gently on the heap. Many of them involve money, because of course they do.

That brings us to today's new news. Roger Sollenberger at the Daily Beast is reporting on a newly discovered $100,000 donation made by Matt Gaetz's campaign to a bizarre little nonprofit originally formed by pro-Trump Republican Chris Christie, the scandal-plagued former governor of New Jersey, as a Trump-boosting organization. Normally that would be standard-fare political news, but Sollenberger found a whole lot of sketchy under the surface.

Gaetz's campaign made the contribution the very day that Donald Trump's second impeachment trial got underway in the Senate. What's notable about this time period is that it was a time when Gaetz was very publicly giving Trump sloppy kisses of support after evidently failing to procure a much-desired blanket Trump pardon during Trump's last weeks in office. Apparently this behavior extended to funneling $100,000 of campaign funds into a Trump-boosting "nonprofit," but:

• The Gaetz campaign says no, actually it was to support Sarah Huckabee Sanders' bid to be Arkansas governor.

• But the nonprofit has never said it's supporting Sanders, and neither Gaetz nor his campaign have ever donated to Sanders directly.

• And nobody involved with the nonprofit (Christie is no longer associated with it) is willing to say what the group has been doing, and there's no record of them doing anything since August of 2020, and Gaetz appears to be the only politico who's given money to the group.

• And given that the group, "Right Direction America," is a 501(c)4 nonprofit that by law must devote itself primarily to social welfare causes and not politics, the inability of anyone involved to come up with a reason for the group's existence that doesn't hinge on politics makes the whole thing look a bit scammy. Or a lot scammy.

As with seemingly everything else involving Matt Gaetz, we don't know much but everything we do know points in the vague direction of somebody doing a crime. It's a bit odd that the Gaetz campaign forked over $100,000 to a pro-Trump "nonprofit" on the very day of Trump's second impeachment trial, and odder still for the campaign to be insisting that no, Actually it was meant to support a campaign the nonprofit has shown no record of supporting. It's a bit odd that this all came on the heels of frantic negotiations to try to secure a sex crimes pardon from a sex crimes president. It's a bit odd that the nonprofit in question does not seem to meaningfully exist, or do anything, or have any "social welfare" cause to it at all.

If there's one thing we've learned, however, it's that the Gaetz family has a recent history of attracting (alleged) money scammers. A Florida man was just indicted for attempting to extract $25 million from Gaetz's father in a bizarrely premised scheme promising a Trump pardon. Separately, Gaetz and his fiancee claim to have lost $155,000 after the money they wired to purchase a 41-foot yacht "went missing" due to "malicious actors."

And this isn't even the first sketchy cash transfer the Gaetz campaign itself has been involved with: Several months ago, it was discovered that among the mountains of cash the Gaetz campaign doled out in attempts to steer Gaetz through his sex-crime-premised political shipwreck was $20,000 to a Roger Stone company the Department of Justice says the Stone family has been using as a tax dodge.

In short, there's been a lot going on here. It's not out of the realm of possibility that Matt Gaetz and his campaign were simply bamboozled out of $100,000 by someone promising to deliver a new boat with a Roger Stone-delivered presidential pardon stapled to the hull, or were trying to get their hands on $100,000 of Sarah Sanders-produced t-shirts with secret presidential pardons stitched into their laundry tags. You really can't go wrong assuming that the real explanation will be wackier than it first appears, when any new Gaetz story appears. The guy's a walking scandal magnet.

Anyhoo, there you go. There's your new Matt Gaetz news. Do you regret knowing it? Yeah. Yeah, so do I. Federal agents could do us all a nice favor here and get on with indicting Gaetz for, honestly, take your pick, but it appears the Gaetz case has gone into the same unseen wormhole every last Trump investigation went into during his tenure. It might pop back up eventually, somewhere in the vicinity of Alpha Centauri.

Serial sex crime defender Jim Jordan has thoughts on what counts as ‘American’

Despite (or perhaps because of) his role in enabling sexual assaults, Republican Rep. Jim Jordan remains in Congress, where he has become something of a poster child for sweaty conservative yelling in defense of monstrous conservative behavior. And if you think that description is too harsh, I promise you it's the toned-down version.

The coatless wonder has again piped up with A Thing, and again the Thing is the same incoherent gibberish now favored by his nationalist crapsack allies. It is worth using as a launching pad for yet another reminder of just how radical the party has become, and especially how its radicalism is primarily just furious contrarianism to anything a book-learning American says. I'll embed his Thing into the most concise rebuttal I've seen.

i'm sure everyone on this website has already mentioned it, but george washington, america's first president and the face of america's money, literally forced smallpox inoculations during the fight for american independence https://t.co/KJZrl5i6hh

— Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) September 7, 2021

Yes, as approximately everyfkingbody in the nation is well aware, vaccination mandates are as American as apple pie, baseball, and (if you’re a particular R-OH) enabling the sexual assault of teenage athletes under the pretense of helping them further their careers. Vaccination mandates are everywhere.

If your child goes to school, vaccinations are mandated so that your child does not spread pestilence and death to every other family in town.

If your child goes to college, vaccinations are mandated again and for the same reasons.

If you want to leave the country, many vaccinations are required—or you're not going to be getting off the plane after your flight.

If you join the military, you will be assembly-line vaccinated against a long string of diseases or be placed outside the front gates and invited to walk home.

Individual employers—most notably, medical providers—can mandate vaccinations as a condition of employment because, again, being a gainfully employed petri dish is not an American right. Letting employers do whatever they want to employees is a patriotic American right—one that Ol' Sweaty vigorously and sweatily supports in seemingly all other contexts.

The Republican version of Americanism has little to do with anything happening on the ground in actual America, past or present. It consists entirely of contrarianism. If the man wearing pancake makeup says that masks are bad, masks are now bad. Suppose a worldwide and deadly new disease emerges requiring massive government response to save lives, but the self-absorbed would-be strongman in charge of that government response believes the disease is a hoax invented to make him look bad. In that case, Jim Jordan will say the disease is a hoax created to make his friends look bad.

Jordan has a lot of things he believes to be American. They consist of a set of opportunistic nothings with no common thread other than Jim Jordan's friends get to do crimes, and Jim Jordan's enemies are "un-American" for asking Jim Jordan's voters to keep themselves safe even when Jim Jordan's voters would much rather be marching around government buildings with weapons demanding that other people be less safe.

If you have any sense of patriotism left, I beg of you, America, treat Jim Jordan like a bag of dirt. Always. Every day. Take special time out of your day to note to someone around you that Jim Jordan, personally, is a grotesque and loathsome and gutless toad of a human being. Do not treat these people with respect. Do not let the media pretend that they are worth respect. Do not let television interviews go by without reminding the interviewers that they sanction people who have made getting away with criminal acts a core plank of the party's platform.

As we speak, Jim Jordan remains the most prominent House supporter of a fellow Republican being investigated for sex crimes—in an investigation whose public components have now thoroughly established the man to have engaged in illegal acts. Jim Jordan continues to support Matt Gaetz for the same reason all Republicans do: They believe Republican-led crimes should be permitted.

This was the sole message of two separate impeachment trials; one put into motion after an attempt at international extortion and another for orchestrating an attack on our democracy itself.

Jim Jordan is the shouting, hoarse voice of Republicanism. Republicans want it that way; Republicans can think of no more fitting figure to be the screaming defense whenever any Republican, anywhere, does something crooked or criminal that requires investigation or possible sanctions.

I don't care that Jim Jordan thinks vaccine requirements are now "un-American." Of course he does. Republicanism has now been forced into that position because treating the pandemic with seriousness would expose, after 600,000 American deaths, the malevolent incompetence of conservative responses. Jim Jordan's only thoughts come from other people. Jim Jordan can't so much as use a toilet by himself unless a more powerful Republican tells him when and where and how, or a Democrat tells him not to.

Jim Jordan's caucus is willing to kill Americans if that's what it takes to pretend that their movement's bumbling, buffoonish mishandling of government has been anything but a fiasco. Don't ignore these people. Despise them. Be on the record as one of the "real" Americans willing to treat these crooked crime-protecting hacks with half the contempt they deserve.

Mitch McConnell Won’t Fight To Impeach Biden – Says He ‘Is Not Going To Be Removed From Office’

On Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he and his party would not fight to impeach President Joe Biden and said Republicans should focus more on the midterm election.

McConnell argued that it’s better to wait and vote – and that impeachment won’t happen because Democrats are in charge.

“Well, look, the president is not going to be removed from office,” McConnell said at a Kentucky event. “There’s a Democratic House, a narrowly Democratic Senate. That’s not going to happen.”

Democrats hold a razor thin majority in both houses of Congress.

RELATED: Republican Introduces Bill To Award Congressional Gold Medal To 13 Servicemen Killed In Terror Attack

McConnell: ‘There Isn’t Going To Be An Impeachment’

When McConnell was asked if Biden’s botched Afghanistan withdrawal warranted an impeachment, McConnell sternly answered, “There isn’t going to be an impeachment.”

Republicans in both the House and Senate have called for the president’s resignation over the Afghanistan debacle, or have called for forcible removal via the 25th Amendment for what they view as Biden’s dereliction of duty as Commander-in-Chief.

McConnell urged Republicans to focus on the upcoming midterm elections where high public disapproval of Biden could work to Republicans’ advantage.

McConnell said voters in the upcoming election could hold Biden and his party accountable. 

“The report card you get is every two years,” McConnell said. “I think the way these behaviors get adjusted in this country is at the ballot box.”

RELATED: New Poll Shows Majority Believe U.S. Has ‘Seriously Gone Off On The Wrong Track’ – And Wow, Ya Think?!

McConnell Won’t Fight

“I do think we’re likely to see a typical kind of midterm reaction to a new administration. … Typically there is some buyer’s remorse,” he said. 

“Most of you are not political junkies, you’ve got better things to do than that,” McConnell continued. “But you’ll be interested in one statistic: only twice in American history – only twice – has the president gained seats in Congress two years into the first term.”

“I think the American people have to decide what kind of government they want,” McConnell added. “I have a feeling the American people didn’t think they voted for this government.”

 

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Kinzinger Refuses To Call For Biden To Resign Or Be Impeached Over ‘Bad Decision’ On Afghanistan

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) went on CNN on Friday to push back at calls from his colleagues that President Joe Biden resign or be impeached over the disaster in Afghanistan.

Kinzinger Defends Biden

Despite Biden’s mishandling of the crisis that led to thirteen U.S. service members being killed in a terror attack in Kabul on Thursday, Kinzinger said he won’t be calling for Biden to resign or be impeached. It should be noted that Kinzinger voted in favor of impeaching former President Donald Trump over the Capitol riot earlier this year.

“I do believe some people on [Biden’s] national security team should resign. That’s up to them, and it’s up to him. But no, I mean, look, we impeach presidents for high crimes and misdemeanors. This is a very bad decision,” Kinzinger explained. “Other presidents have made bad decisions, but I’m not going to call on the president to resign for this nor to be impeached.”

Related: Majority Of Americans Disapprove Of Biden’s Afghanistan Disaster

“Look, we need some stability in our government, and we’ve gotten to this back and forth where it’s just constant battle of power, who can take over next year, instead of looking at this country needs some real help,” he added. “We need actually grown-up politics for once and not just kind of next-day news cycle politics.”

Kinzinger Blames Trump 

Earlier this week, Kinzinger tried to blame Trump for the disaster in Afghanistan.

“What breaks my heart probably more than anything on a political side is that America is being displayed out in the world and embarrassed in the world, and our American allies are saying America looks weak,” Kinzinger said

“Honestly, the Republicans are putting out talking points to make Biden look bad. The Democrats are putting out talking points to the administration — the past administration,” he stated. “They are both responsible. We’re so tribalistic as a country. It’s hard to imagine a Republican saying everybody is responsible.”

Full Story: Kinzinger Says Trump Got ‘Rolled’ By The Taliban – ‘Set This Up To Fail’ In Afghanistan

“Let’s keep in mind, Mike Pompeo met with the Taliban as Donald Trump was publicly saying we have to get out of Afghanistan at all costs, it’s not worth it,” he added. “Mike Pompeo meets with the Taliban and tries to negotiate something.”

“By the way, they end up getting rolled harder than ever, almost as hard as Neville Chamberlain because they knew what the outcome was,” Kinzinger said. “They set this up to fail but always, of course, Joe Biden could have easily turned this around and instead used it as the excuse to get out. Both parties have failed the American people.”

This piece was written by James Samson on August 27, 2021. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

Read more at LifeZette:
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King Of Late Night Gutfeld Bashes The Swamp
Melania Trump Opens Up About ‘Very Special’ Son Barron

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Rosen testifies behind closed doors on Trump administration coup attempt at Justice Department

The full scope of the Trump administration's efforts to nullify an American presidential election is just beginning to come into view. Trump and his top allies engaged in an orchestrated, three-pronged plan to use federal officials to cast illegitimate doubts on the integrity of the election, explicitly pressure state officials to "find" votes or otherwise alter vote totals, and counter the official congressional acknowledgement of the election's results with an organized mob assembled specifically to "march" to the Capitol and intimidate the lawmakers carrying out that constitutionally mandated process. It was an attempted coup by Trump and his deputies, one that Trump himself continued to press even after that coup had exploded into violence.

The New York Times is now reporting that Trump's acting attorney general, Jeffrey Rosen, gave closed-door testimony to the Senate Judiciary on Saturday. The subject of the testimony was the interactions between Rosen and Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark as Clark attempted, on Trump's behalf, to press the Justice Department into issuing false claims suggesting that they were investigating election "fraud" of the sort that Trump's propagandists were claiming as the reason for Trump's loss. It was untrue, and the top two Justice officials rejected Clark's repeated proposals.

Transparently, it was an attempt by Clark and other Trump allies to throw the nation into chaos by claiming the election was so flawed that its results must be overturned—a claim which Trump's hard-right team believed would force the assembling Congress to erase the election's counted votes and, somehow, reinstall Trump as quasilegal national leader.

All three elements of the plan came perilously close to succeeding. All three were thwarted only because individuals remained in place who believed the plan to be insanity, sedition, or both. It is the efforts by Trump-aligned officials within the federal government, using the tools granted to them by government, that elevate the events culminating in violence on January 6 from insurrection to attempted coup.

In a pivotal decision, Rosen rejected Clark's attempt, leading to yet another internal administration crisis as Trump mulled whether to fire him and install Clark in his position so that the plan could be carried out.

In a Sunday CNN appearance, Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Dick Durbin said Rosen had described Trump as being directly involved in Clark's actions. "It was real, very real, and it was very specific."

Significantly, the Times reports that Rosen scheduled his testimony "quickly" so as to allow them to go forward "before any players could ask the courts to block the proceedings." That may be a self-serving interpretation of events. As emptywheel notes, Clark's efforts to overturn the election and Trump's aborted move to fire Rosen and install Clark as acting attorney general was the subject of news reporting in January, even before Trump's second impeachment trial took place. The Senate Judiciary began their requests for documents pertaining to the plan near-immediately, and have been battling the Department of Justice for testimony ever since.

A half-year delay in gaining testimony about a "very real" and "very specific" attempt to overthrow the duly elected next administration by coup does not make it sound like anyone involved is attempting to provide evidence "quickly."

Most significantly of all, perhaps, is that the United States Senate could have investigated the Trump team's plot during the impeachment trial meant to gather evidence and come to judgment on Trump's behavior. For the second time, it did not do so. It avoided examining the evidence, rushing through the trial to again get to the inevitable close of having nearly all Republican lawmakers back Trump's actions, even after they had resulted in violence.

The job now falls to the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection: The moves Clark, Meadows, and other Trump officials made to falsely discredit the election results were intended to provide the backing by which willing insurrectionists could justify their demands that the Constitution be tossed aside for the sake of Trump's reinstallation. The job also falls to federal investigators who now need to examine—swiftly—the criminality of the schemes.

It was not, however, a "Trump" coup. Donald Trump, a known liar and semi-delusional blowhard, had few government powers that would allow him to singlehandedly erase state election counts or make official his declarations that he had lost, after a disastrous single term, only through "fraud" concocted against him. It required the cooperation of top Republican allies, of Republican Party officials, of lawmakers, and others that would press the false claims and work both within and outside of government to give them false legitimacy. It was a Republican coup, an act of sedition backed with specific acts from Mark Meadows, from Jeffrey Clark, from senators such as Josh Hawley, from state Republican officials who eagerly seized on the conspiracy claims specifically so that they could be used to overturn elections they had lost, and from everyday Republican supporters who decided that the zero-evidence nationalist propaganda they were swallowing up was justification enough to storm the U.S. Capitol by force in an overt attempt to erase a democratic election.

Here we sit, waiting with bated breath as evidence dribbles out describing the full scope of what the entire world saw in realtime, from last November to January: top Republican officials spreading knowingly false, propagandistic claims intended to undermine the integrity of our democratic elections so as to justify simply changing that election's results and declaring themselves the victors. It was a fascist act. It continues in the states, as state Republican lawmakers use the same brazenly false claims peddled by Clark to impose new hurdles to voting meant to keep at least some fraction of the Americans who voted against the party last time from being able to vote at all the next time.

A bit more urgency is required, here.

With a three-pronged plan, Trump’s White House tried to topple our democracy

America has not yet internalized what the last Republican administration did, during the last months of Donald Trump's term of office. The country seems rather insistent on not letting the full scope of it drift into their heads, and every new detail seems to be presented with enough context stripped out to keep it vague.

The new release of Justice Department notes documenting conversations between Trump and his acting attorney general put things in very plain terms. From late December to the violent culmination of events on January 6, the Trump White House engaged in a multi-pronged effort to topple the United States government.

It was intentional. It was supported by top White House aides. It had the explicit goal of nullifying a U.S. presidential election so that the Trump White House could, acting in plain defiance of the rules set out in the Constitution, maintain power. That Trump and his top allies had spent the previous twelve months combing through government to remove those seen as insufficiently "loyal" to the White House's increasingly law-bending edicts may or may not have been precursor, but there's not even a little question about what happened in the last days of December and early days of January.

According to notes taken by deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue, Trump asked acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen to "just say that the election was corrupt," then "leave the rest" to the White House and to Republicans in Congress. (Specifically mentioned by Trump in that call was, among others, Rep. Jim Jordan, who is now scurrying to evade questions about his communications with Trump on the day of the January 6 insurrection.) It was not once or twice: the Trump White House is said to have contacted Rosen and other officials "nearly every day" to pressure the agency to publicly cast doubts on the election.

Trump and others within the White House, including chief of staff Mark Meadows, also began calling Republican election officials in at least Arizona and Georgia to similarly pressure them to alter their vote totals in Trump's favor.

In conjunction with both those efforts, Trump was encouraging members of his base to show up for a "march" on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, scheduled to exactly coincide with the formal congressional acknowledgement of the electoral totals. Trump and his allies sought to assemble as large a crowd as possible, for the specifically cited purpose of pressuring the assembled Congress to overturn the election's outcome.

When the crowd turned violent, Trump did nothing. When Republican lawmakers called him personally to ask him for aid, he belittled and refused them.

The justification for each act was a propaganda campaign by Republican allies that fraudulently claimed non-Republicans had "stolen" the election from the party. Many of those claims were invented out of conspiratorial nothing (from Italian satellite links to ballots with "bamboo" in the paper); others were spiraled out from panicked claims about a somebody who saw a somebody with a something. Each of the propaganda claims were so brazenly false that courtroom judges drop-kicked them out out of evidence near-immediately.

There is nothing that needs teasing out, here. The Trump White House plan was in full view. Donald Trump and his top allies engaged in a multi-pronged, extended, pre-plotted campaign to overthrow the next constitutionally appointed U.S. presidency by falsely claiming the election was invalid; by pressuring the Department of Justice to issue statements further casting doubt on the election's integrity; by calling key election officials and asking them to change reported vote totals on Trump's behalf; by using conspiratorial claims to gather a mob of enraged would-be "patriots" convinced that direct action was needed to "stop the steal" from happening; by asking that crowd to march the Capitol; by rebuffing efforts, during the mob's attack, to call off the now-violent mob.

It was an act of plain sedition, pre-planned and premeditated and orchestrated from inside Trump's own inner circle. It was backed by a majority of House Republicans, multiple of which were in communication with Trump and dozens of whom were allied with the effort to falsely dispute the election's results.

Donald Trump and his top aides engaged in a multipart plan to overthrow the United States government so as to retain power. Put that in your head and let it stew there, because there's simply no denying that it's true.

The new notes from the Department of Justice represent, by themselves, an act of official corruption easily besting Nixon's worst. Asking the Department of Justice to falsely cast doubts on the integrity of a U.S. election that booted you from power is by itself an act that would demand impeachment, if Senate Republicans were not themselves so corrupt as to have allied with the idea. Calling a Georgia election official to ask that official to "find" new votes is a demand that should yet land Trump in prison for a decade or longer. Pointedly ignoring lawmakers asking for assistance as his enraged allies broke through windows and sought out his enemies is the stuff of terrorism, not mere corruption.

It is the three-pronged plan that elevates Trump and his top Republican allies from merely corrupt to outright seditionists. It was a plan intended to erase a U.S. presidential election. It sought out allies in the Department of Justice who would publicly discredit the election, allies in state governments who would change the vote totals, and a public mob that would disrupt the vote count and intimidate public officials into approving a Trump return to power.

It was all one plan, not three. Discredit the election using false claims; use the same false claims to stoke a public anger deep enough to justify tossing out the rule of law, in the name of restoring "order."

It was an attempted fascist takeover, and many of its top orchestrators are still featured prominently on the Sunday news shows. Parts of it came very close to succeeding; had different Republican officials been in different offices, it seems quite possible now that Trump's White House could have found state or county allies willing to alter votes in the manner they were requested. Parts of it were seemingly asinine, inventions of deranged and desperate minds; one has a hard time believing that a congressional declaration that Trump was "somehow" still president would be treated as legitimate by the press, the military, or the public at large, if the declaration had come from lawmakers being literally held hostage by a mob demanding they do so.

It was still an attempt, though. Trump and others within the White House engaged in weeks of effort in attempts to enlist both accomplices within government and a paramilitary force outside it. Trump is a traitor to his country. Any outcome that does not see him rotting in prison for his acts will itself be an affront to our would-be democracy.