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  • National Republican Party Formally Backs QAnon Supporter

    After weeks of wavering, the national Republican party has formally thrown its support behind Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Georgia Republican House candidate who is openly supportive of QAnon.

    The National Republican Congressional Committee donated $5,000 to Greene’s congressional campaign on September 25, according to campaign finance records—the maximum amount the committee can donate.

    The donation formalizes the GOP’s acceptance of Greene’s candidacy after top officials in the party had signaled hesitancy in backing her. Greene has not shied away from expressing her support for QAnon, a conspiracy theory that holds that President Donald Trump is engaged in a covert war against a pedophile-obsessive “cabal” that’s being fostered by the Democratic Party and other prominent cultural institutions. She has also pushed a variety of inflammatory conspiracies on various platforms, suggesting that blacks are “slaves” to the Democratic Party, that George Soros is actually a Nazi, and that Muslims do not belong in government.

    After POLITICO surfaced past incendiary remarks, top House Republicans sought to distance themselves from Greene.

    “These comments are appalling, and Leader McCarthy has no tolerance for them,” said Drew Florio, a spokesman for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

    In late August, the chair of the NRCC, Tom Emmer, declined to commit to financially supporting Greene’s campaign, telling The Hill in an interview: “The conversations that we’ve had basically are congratulations and let us know how we can be of assistance.”

    But other GOP leaders have embraced Greene. President Donald Trump congratulated her on Twitter and, more recently, Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) touted Greene’s endorsement of her own candidacy.

    The NRCC did not immediately return a request for comment.

    Greene won a Republican primary run-off in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District and is all but guaranteed to be elected to the House in November. She is running in a conservative district and in mid-September her Democratic opponent in the race dropped out.
    ____________

    Welp, so much for the GOP course-correcting after their Surrender To Trump. Sure you don't want to admit your belief and support in QAnon there surfgun? I mean, it's practically cult orthodoxy now.
    “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
    ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

    Comment


    • 'This will make lib heads explode': Donald Trump Jr posts 2024 picture

      Donald Trump Jr posed in front of a “Don Jr 2024” sign in Nevada on Saturday, posted the picture online and waited for “the lib heads to explode”.

      “Hahahahaha,” wrote the president’s oldest son, on Instagram. “Oh boy. This was a sign up at the Fallon Nevada Livestock Auction. This will make the lib heads explode.” (“Lib” being short for liberal.)

      “To whomever made that thanks for the compliment … but let’s get through 2020 with a big win first!!!!!”

      Though Nevada went for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden leads Donald Trump Sr there this year, it is considered a swing state. Democratic voters are concentrated in Las Vegas and its suburbs while Republicans can be found in more rural areas.

      Trump Jr, 42, is best known as an internet provocateur who shares both his father’s brashness and his inclination for sharing disinformation.

      Since his father won the White House he has not been involved in policy like his sister, Ivanka, and her husband, Jared Kushner, or as active in running the Trump Organization as his brother, Eric. He also has two half-siblings, Tiffany and Barron.

      But Don Jr does seem to be the Trump offspring most inclined to politics and he has turned into a valuable campaign surrogate with a knack for communicating with the president’s base.

      “Don Jr represents the emotional center of the MAGA universe,” Jason Miller, a senior advisor on Trump’s campaign, told the New York Times, using an acronym for “Make America Great Again”, a Trump slogan.

      Trump Jr has only joked about running for office but he – and his sister – have registered strongly in polls regarding notional Republican candidates for 2024, whether to succeed his father or to attempt to deny Joe Biden a second term.

      The president’s oldest son has also published two books with political themes, seeing the first top bestseller lists, if with help from the party, and suffering embarrassment over a mistake on the cover of the second.

      A Vice reporter recently suggested that Pennsylvania Republicans were floating the idea of Trump Jr replacing Pat Toomey, a Republican senator who has announced he will retire. Trump Jr himself has not spoken about the Pennsylvania seat.

      Speaking to the Guardian this week, Rick Wilson, a former Republican consultant and member of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, called Trump Jr “a post-Republican Republican … there only to engage in that performative dickery that is lib-owning in the Trump world. It is a political performance art to show your contempt for norms, institutions and education.”

      Wilson went on to explain why, should Trump Jr actually consider a run for office, that might be an asset.

      “It has become the ideological underpinning of the GOP. There’s no party of ideas any longer. There’s no there there except for sort of the screeching fury of Trumpism.”
      _______________
      “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
      ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

      Comment


      • GOP lawmaker: Republican appeals to QAnon supporters show "we've lost our way"

        Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.) believes that the Republican Party's endorsement of a candidate who supports the QAnon conspiracy theory and its misinformation shows the GOP has "lost our way," he told NBC's Chuck Todd on Sunday.

        Driving the news: Marjorie Taylor Greene, a QAnon supporter and Republican nominee for Georgia's 14th Congressional District, received $5,000 from the National Republican Congressional Committee on Sept. 25 as a formal endorsement of her campaign, the Daily Beast first reported.

        What he's saying: "So I might as well just piss everybody off, Chuck. So I think if we're doing this, if we're looking at the spread of misinformation as part of something just to pander to a certain subset of voters, I think we've lost our way," Riggleman said on "Meet the Press" after being asked about the message the endorsement of Greene sends.
        • Riggleman underlined his supportfor Republican ideas and "a lot of what President Trump has done," but he added that "when we start to actually represent as a party that's part of this anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that believes there's some kind of pedophilic cabal on the Democratic side of the House, I think we're in for a rough ride."
        • Pointing to his background as a former intelligence officer, Riggleman said, "I guess I scratch my head ... cause what are we doing here? Like I said before, these are people that believe 'Lord of the Rings' is a documentary, and the fact that we're trying to appeal to them is just ridiculous to me."
        Between the lines: President Trump has repeatedly refused to condemn QAnon.
        • Trump said during NBC's 2020 town hall event that he did not know much about the far-right conspiracy theory, despite the FBI labeling it as a domestic terrorist threat in 2019.
        • Several QAnon supporters are running for Congress.
        “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
        ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

        Comment


        • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
          GOP lawmaker: Republican appeals to QAnon supporters show "we've lost our way"

          Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.) believes that the Republican Party's endorsement of a candidate who supports the QAnon conspiracy theory and its misinformation shows the GOP has "lost our way," he told NBC's Chuck Todd on Sunday.

          Driving the news: Marjorie Taylor Greene, a QAnon supporter and Republican nominee for Georgia's 14th Congressional District, received $5,000 from the National Republican Congressional Committee on Sept. 25 as a formal endorsement of her campaign, the Daily Beast first reported.

          What he's saying: "So I might as well just piss everybody off, Chuck. So I think if we're doing this, if we're looking at the spread of misinformation as part of something just to pander to a certain subset of voters, I think we've lost our way," Riggleman said on "Meet the Press" after being asked about the message the endorsement of Greene sends.
          • Riggleman underlined his supportfor Republican ideas and "a lot of what President Trump has done," but he added that "when we start to actually represent as a party that's part of this anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that believes there's some kind of pedophilic cabal on the Democratic side of the House, I think we're in for a rough ride."
          • Pointing to his background as a former intelligence officer, Riggleman said, "I guess I scratch my head ... cause what are we doing here? Like I said before, these are people that believe 'Lord of the Rings' is a documentary, and the fact that we're trying to appeal to them is just ridiculous to me."
          Between the lines: President Trump has repeatedly refused to condemn QAnon.
          • Trump said during NBC's 2020 town hall event that he did not know much about the far-right conspiracy theory, despite the FBI labeling it as a domestic terrorist threat in 2019.
          • Several QAnon supporters are running for Congress.
          RIggleman used to be at the core of the 21st Century GOP in Virginia....businessman, impeccable NAT SEC credentials, gun rights, but less of a culture warrior. He got primaried...not even primaried....defeated in a drive through convention...by a religious conservative. His crime? Residing at the wedding of 2 Log Cabin Republicans... members of his staff.

          When the GOP has lost the Rigglemans....
          “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
          Mark Twain

          Comment


          • AR, could you enlighten me on this Executive Order that changes government employees from competitive service to excepted service. Seems like that is a way to now get rid of anyone who doesn't agree with Trump and toe his line verbatim.

            Comment


            • Enablement: The tortured self-justification of one very powerful Trump-loathing anonymous Republican

              Said the Republican of President Trump: “I thought he would lose! I mean, everyone thought he would lose. The idea that he won is still shocking. This is a man who is so completely alien to what this country — the best principles of what this country is about. When I think about the fact that a hundred years from now, people will look back and say, ‘How the fuck did they think this was normal?,’ it makes me sad for the country. He’s a permanent scar on the face of our country.”
              _______

              Click on the title for the full article, it can't be re-posted here
              “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
              ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

              Comment


              • Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post
                AR, could you enlighten me on this Executive Order that changes government employees from competitive service to excepted service. Seems like that is a way to now get rid of anyone who doesn't agree with Trump and toe his line verbatim.
                That's the current read within DOD.

                The union is reviewing before management tells who is impacted. I am at risk because I am management but the union is working, hard, to get this reversed or at least get some folks grandfathered.

                If I hear more I'll let you know.
                “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                Mark Twain

                Comment


                • ‘I’m Absolutely Expecting Him to Do Something Weird’: How Trump Could End His Presidency

                  As we count down the days to Election Day, the pundit class is wringing its hands in worry over whether President Donald Trump will accept a possible win by Joe Biden and agree to leave the White House.

                  But even if Trump calmly walks out the door of the White House on the morning of January 20th, a more immediate problem looms: What might Trump do with the final 77 days of his presidency if he loses? There are 1,860 hours between Wednesday, Nov. 4, and noon on Jan. 20, when Trump’s first term expires. And that’s plenty of time for him to upend plenty of presidential traditions.
                  he lame duck period is always a time when outgoing presidents feel free to stir up controversy. Even presidents who care deeply about their legacies and abide by democratic norms often take uniquely unpopular actions in the closing weeks of their presidencies: George H.W. Bush pardoned six officials behind the Iran-Contra scandal; Bill Clinton pardoned more than 140 people on his final day in office — a third of all the clemencies he granted as president — including financier Marc Rich, a controversy that dogged him as he moved into the post-presidency and launched one final investigation of his time in office. Just days before he left office, Barack Obama commuted the sentence of leaker Chelsea Manning.
                  So, imagine what might happen in a post-election period when Trump — a president who has spent four years demonstrating his lack of interest in norms and practices of a democracy — retains all the powers and authority of the presidency and officially has nothing left to lose?

                  Conversations with presidential legal experts, Constitutional scholars and national security officials identified six areas where Trump could do real damage to the country, his successor or presidential traditions — a list informed both by his past executive actions as well as the considerations he’d face as he considered a life outside the White House for him and his family. From a last-minute resignation to guarantee himself legal immunity to destroying historic records to launching a war, there’s reason to wonder if a Trump transition might actually be the start of the wildest chapter of an already controversial presidency.

                  Here’s what a Trump transition could include:

                  1) A pardon-a-palooza: If Trump loses, nearly everyone expects an unprecedented flurry of presidential pardons in his last 77 days — a way both to reward friends, protect his family, tweak his opponents and curry favor with those who may help him when he is back in private life. “The pardon power operates in the way he imagines the presidency to operate — you wave your hand and it’s done,” says Quinta Jurecic, the managing editor of the blog Lawfare. “I’m absolutely expecting him to do something weird.”

                  “The pardon power is the easiest to exercise,” says law professor Jack Goldsmith, who used to head the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel.

                  Presidential clemency, which Trump seems to remember from time to time and then issue a flurry of pardons in short order, has already proven to be one of his most controversial areas of executive action. And given his willingness to self-servingly commute the sentence of associate Roger Stone even while his reelection hung in the balance this summer, it’s clear that loosed from any political restraints, he might hand out pardons far and wide.

                  Experts expect a few different buckets of post-election pardons: First, presidential get-out-of-jail-free cards for those already caught up in the Russia investigation — people like Michael Flynn, Roger Stone and perhaps including Paul Manafort, who has repeatedly obstructed and stymied efforts to pierce what really transpired during the 2016 campaign. The one exception who might be left out in the cold? His former lawyer Michael Cohen, who Trump believes betrayed him by cooperating with investigators and speaking publicly.

                  Second, look for the possibility of blanket, preemptive pardons for the president’s own family, close friends and campaign associates. Presidential pardons — as Gerald Ford demonstrated in pardoning Nixon — don’t require existing criminal charges; they can also be used to block attempts to bring federal charges in the future. Trump’s application in this category could include both people already under criminal indictment — like Steve Bannon — those who appear to be under federal investigation, like Brad Parscale and Rudy Giuliani, as well as perhaps even family members like Jared Kushner, Ivanka, Don Jr., and Eric who may face investigation and charges after Trump leaves office. As president, he’s repeatedly offered pardons to officials involved in some of his controversial policies, like immigration enforcement and child separation, and he could also issue blanket pardons to cabinet secretaries, agency heads and other loyal government officials that would allow them to skirt any post-Trump investigations into their actions in office. Any actions along these lines would surely ignite political firestorms — and might lead to Congress attempting to legislate limits on presidential pardon authority going forward — but for now there’s not much that can be done to appeal or fight a presidential pardon.
                  President Donald Trump stands alongside Steve Bannon in 2017. | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

                  The third type of presidential pardons or commutations that might emerge from the White House post-election is what might be called the “Fox & Friends and Friends of Fox” category. Throughout his presidency, Trump has seemed uniquely susceptible to being lobbied directly on-air through his favorite TV programs for presidential clemency. He has pardoned high-profile conservatives like Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Dinesh D’Souza, Scooter Libby, Rod Blagojevich, Bernard Kerik, Conrad Black and the Hammond family — and he also intervened in the case of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher’s war-crimes courts-martial — causes championed by Fox hosts, guests or others with the president’s ear outside the normal clemency process run by the Justice Department Office of the Pardon Attorney. He pardoned one Tennessee woman at the request of Kim Kardashian West, who lobbied Trump to grant her a pardon through his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

                  He’s also shown an odd flair for “historic” pardons, including suffragette Susan B. Anthony and boxer Jack Johnson. While he’s talked publicly about pardoning Martha Stewart, the most controversial pardon that might be on Trump’s mind appears to be whistleblower Edward Snowden, a move so stunningly explosive that even attorney general Bill Barr opposes it. “I’m going to take a very good look at it,” Trump said this summer.

                  Most experts don’t think Trump would pursue more sweeping actions aimed at bolstering his historical legacy, like, say, pardoning everyone in federal prison convicted of a marijuana-related offense or every police officer convicted of murder — or further tweaking his foes, as in pardoning everyone ever prosecuted by Jim Comey. Trump, our experts suggested, is simply too transactional for such grand gestures — and it’s not clear how such moves would play nor what benefit would accrue to him for doing them. Moreover, the more complicated and sweeping the legal action, the less easy it is to execute quickly or cleanly — and the Trump administration has demonstrated time and again that attention-to-detail is not its strength.

                  Regardless of who ends up getting clemency in the closing days of a Trump presidency, his pardons aren’t all-powerful and wouldn’t necessarily allow anyone to escape criminal sanctions entirely: Presidential pardons only wipe away federal charges, and there’s plenty of reason to believe that state and local prosecutors — particularly in New York — are pursuing separate investigations of his family and other associates. New York actually tried just that tack with Manafort, indicting him on state fraud charges, but a judge dismissed the charges after deciding that it overlapped with his federal case too much.

                  The biggest open question would be if Trump could engineer a way to ensure that he himself isn’t charged: The Mueller Report accepted that a president has federal legal immunity while in office, but currently there’s nothing to stop a federal prosecutor from picking up post-January 20 where Mueller left off. Trump has previously asserted he has the “absolute right to PARDON myself,” but legal experts doubt whether a president could successfully “self-pardon,” and the legal battle over such an attempt would unfold only after criminal charges were brought against the former president and he sought to offer as a defense the fact that he’d pardoned himself.

                  The cleanest — and legally bulletproof — way for Trump to escape any further federal investigation post-presidency would be for him to resign early, even just minutes before noon on January 20, and have a newly sworn-in President Mike Pence grant him a full and complete pardon. However, such a move would seem to be un-Trump — he seems unlikely to be willing to leave the presidency a minute early — and would be incredibly dicey politically for Pence, who clearly has own presidential ambitions for 2024.

                  2) Revenge on the Deep State: The area where a defeated Trump’s transition might look most normal is in its rush and whirl of actions to codify and cement various policies and practices before the clock expires on his presidency — but it’s clear that Trump’s reserving his biggest battles for the imagined forces that have held him back in office, as well as perhaps one final stab at cementing a decade-long tilt to the GOP in Congress. As is often the case as a presidential term winds down, government agencies already appear to be racing to unveil major actions, from the long-awaited filing of an antitrust case against Google to the settlement of a long-running lawsuit against Purdue Pharma for its role in opioids.

                  But, experts say, Trump could go farther than his predecessors in trying to unravel the way the federal government operates.In recent weeks, there have been a flurry of actions that appear aimed at exacting lasting change on the government — particularly if Trump wins reelection. In particular came a surprise, sweeping executive order last week that would undo decades of civil service protections and allow the president to reach deep into the bureaucracy to fire federal employees he disliked. The move — met with shock, an immediate lawsuit and at least one protest resignation from a Trump official — had been in the works for years.

                  While the executive order changes might be short-lived if Biden takes office, the carefully laid groundwork suggests that Trump will continue to wage war on his imagined “Deep State” until the final hours of his presidency. “They’ve actually given some thought to this already — it’s a little bit surprising. I’m even a little taken aback by the institutional-type things that have unfolded just in the last week,” says one legal observer.

                  Another particular area of concern for lame duck mischief is the U.S. Census, which the Trump administration has spent all year handicapping and undermining. Just weeks after the election, the Supreme Court is likely to rule on the Trump administration’s hope to exclude noncitizens from its population counts for the purposes of congressional apportionment — a move with potentially dramatic consequences for federal funding and congressional representation in states that have large numbers of undocumented immigrants; the move would likely help largely homogeneous states at the expense of diverse states. One think tank’s analysis suggests that the Trump approach would cost California, Florida and Texas each one congressional seat (and thus, one electoral vote), while delivering an extra congressional district (and electoral vote) to Ohio, Alabama and Minnesota.

                  Census watchers, already alarmed at the Trump administration’s battle to cut short the count mid-pandemic, fear that the White House — rather than acting an honest broker pass-through to Congress for apportionment purposes by the December 31st deadline — might instead doctor the decennial numbers itself.

                  There is a limit to what Trump will be able to pull off. Push-back from the more process-oriented bureaucracy — and the normal checks and balances on executive action — would likely hinder his ability to deploy the powers of the government at whim. And any broadly controversial unilateral executive actions — like say, ordering ICE to embark on a mass deportation campaign in Trump’s final weeks or expanding the administration’s Muslim travel ban — would immediately run into the same problems such programs already have earlier in the Trump administration: Court injunctions, prolonged legal fights and limits imposed by congressional appropriation procedures. But that’s not to say that a defeated Trump might not try some wilder actions anyway.
                  “Early in the administration they threw just a lot of stuff at the wall. ‘We’ve got 100 ideas, let’s just try it all and see what sticks,’ and they weren’t really paying attention to what the odds were whether it got through,” says one legal observer. “It seems like they might try to do the same here — even if it just ties up the Biden administration for a while undoing it.”

                  3) The mass firing of top officials: Trump’s already widely telegraphing that he has a list of people to fire ready in the event of a win. The list includes officials who have rankled him through the year — including FBI Director Christopher Wray, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and CIA Director Gina Haspel — and presumably might include an even wider housecleaning of people viewed insufficiently loyal to Team Trump.

                  Even if Trump loses, though, he may move to fire some officials, simply symbolically or for pure pettiness. It’s unlikely that the Senate in its own lame duck session could move quickly enough to confirm replacements for them, which means the firings of Wray and Haspel in particular would almost certainly be a gift to an incoming Biden administration: No president has ever had the opportunity to immediately select a new FBI director.

                  Other career government officials, like American heartthrob Dr. Anthony Fauci, who serves as the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, would be more isolated from presidential umbrage. Trump, in theory, could order Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar or the head of the National Institutes of Health, Francis Collins, to fire Fauci — and fire them if they refuse — but the current civil service protections would mean that Fauci could likely appeal and successfully run out the clock on the Trump administration before he would be forced to leave his office.

                  4) The destruction of records and obstruction of the new administration: The Presidential Records Act and Federal Records Act in theory guarantee the preservation of the official history of the White House’s work, presidential actions and staff debates. However, just how closely the Trump White House plans to abide by them remains an open question.

                  “They’re just going to not care about the Records Act — just like they didn’t care about the Hatch Act. It falls into the category of nuisance laws that they just don’t think apply to them. Like what’s going to happen to them if they don’t?” says one legal observer. “That’s less indicative of him and more about the type of people he has brought around him.”

                  A coalition of 12 open-government organizations wrote a letter earlier this month to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) asking Archivist David Ferriero to take affirmative steps to preserve Trump records. “We are alarmed and deeply concerned by the Trump administration’s failure to honor its legal responsibility to create and preserve records. Reportedly President Trump rips up his papers and had concealed documents detailing meetings with foreign leaders. Agency leaders have shown similar disregard for records creation and preservation,” the group wrote. “These actions subvert the public’s right to know and obstruct future efforts to hold the administration accountable.”
                  While the automatic backups and preservation procedures for some electronic records of the White House and government agencies would make them difficult to delete or destroy entirely, other sensitive, controversial hard-copy records might be tempting to destroy, even if illegal. “Golly, the documents they must have,” says one observer. “Email is regularized, but the documents kept in safes and SCIFs, next to burn bags? It’s an open temptation.”

                  It already seems likely that historians will never be able to fully reconstruct the foreign and domestic policy thinking in the Trump years: Reports show that Jared Kushner used WhatsApp to communicate with foreign leaders and that White House aides have used secure apps to talk amongst themselves — actions that violate federal law if those exchanges are not preserved.

                  One fact working against any Trump effort to bury the truth: He famously does most of his ethically questionable business face-to-face. In congressional testimonies and interviews damning Trump by figures like Jim Comey, Michael Cohen and Gordon Sondland, they’ve all compared him to a mafia boss who gives opaque — but unmistakable — orders. “Mr. Trump did not directly tell me to lie to Congress. That’s not how he operates,” Cohen said. “He would look me in the eye and tell me there’s no business in Russia and then go out and lie to the American people by saying the same thing. In his way, he was telling me to lie.” As Comey explained pressure from Trump, “I mean, this is a president of the United States with me alone saying, ‘I hope this.’ I took it as, ‘This is what he wants me to do.’” Such behavior, in some ways, would be easier to preserve than a paper record, since the witnesses to it will be walking out of the White House themselves too. As a former government lawyer says, “His verbal orders might live to haunt him. He appears to commit obstruction of justice as a way of life.”

                  Beyond simply making it impossible for the country and historians to ever fully understand what happened — and why — during the Trump administration, the destruction of such records could also make it enormously hard for the Biden administration to assume power smoothly on Jan. 20 as a lack of documentation or institutional history would stymie their ability to understand government plans or actions already underway.

                  Especially if uncertainty about the outcome post-election lingers, Trump may also stall engaging with Biden’s team — or refuse to participate in any transitional conversations at all. Given the acrimony of the year already, it’s not clear that the two sides would even trust each other even if they do engage in normal transition exercises and meetings. Instead, Biden “landing teams” at agencies will likely find a patchwork of cooperation and noncooperation, depending on agency leadership and engagement. The Biden transition team is reportedly already planning for the possibility where the Trump administration refuses customary briefings.

                  While records-destruction presents one problem, the opposite problem seems likely to unfold too in the closing days of any Trump administration: Trump has been rushing to settle scores with past political foes by releasing the Durham report on the origins of the Russia investigation and has been pressuring Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to declassify more emails from Hillary Clinton. The administration might well rush to push out any remaining dirt on political opponents in its final days.

                  5) Military conflict or covert action: Up until the final minutes of a presidency, the so-called “nuclear football” remains close at hand for the commander-in-chief, and while presidents have traditionally delayed potentially escalatory actions during a transition to avoid hamstringing their successor, such restraint is merely a norm.
                  In theory, Trump could launch military strikes, initiate covert actions and even launch a full-scale nuclear war right up until 11:59 a.m. on Jan. 20.

                  There are precedents for other officials in the chain of command attempting to curtail a president’s unilateral nuclear authority; Nixon’s defense secretary, James Schlesinger, said later that he had left orders in the closing days of Nixon’s administration unraveling amid Watergate that if the president gave a launch order, it should be double-checked with him or Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. More recently, under Trump, then-Defense Secretary James Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly are said to have made a pact in the early days of the administration that both men wouldn’t travel abroad at the same time, ensuring one would always remain available in the U.S. to monitor presidential orders.

                  However, such orders or plans are strictly extra-constitutional and wouldn’t necessarily forestall a valid, legal order from the commander-in-chief to execute an attack or operation.

                  Military leaders have previously said they would not comply with an illegal order, but that’s actually a much more narrow viewpoint than the public usually interprets. It’s not a blanket reassurance that the military would ignore an illogical presidential order, it literally means that they would not comply with an order that violates international or military law, a tightly proscribed set of actions that revolve around questions like proportionality and the status of noncombatants.

                  What if Trump begins to up the pressure on China in the South China Sea or decides in his closing weeks as president to go after Iran either in cyberspace or the real world, as he started the year assassinating top military leader Qasem Soleimani? Would the White House staff or military chain of command resist reckless actions that could lead to a lame duck war? “I can imagine a low-level constitutional crisis if he starts being aggressive,” says one former official.

                  It’s possible too that if the president greenlights actions against foreign adversaries in cyberspace or certain covert actions, that his final presidential actions may go publicly unnoticed and emerge only months or years later. Covert actions routinely are handed off from one administration to another; President Bush initiated cyberattacks against the Iranian nuclear program before handing off the operation, known as OLYMPIC GAMES, to Obama in 2009. Obama, for his part, deferred a major special forces operation targeting Yemen for Trump to execute after he took office; the operation, approved just days into Trump’s presidency, went awry and ended with the death of a Navy SEAL. Would Trump offer the same courtesy to a successor — or push forward with any proposed covert actions over the weeks ahead to claim the possible credit himself?

                  6) Giving up on the pandemic: One widespread concern is that if Trump loses, the White House will just cease any effort to combat the pandemic, perhaps slowing the push for a vaccine or abandoning any congressional push to jumpstart the still-ailing economy — a three-month delay ahead of a Biden administration that might have catastrophic consequences for millions of families and hamstring the Biden team even further as they inherit an even-deeper hole to dig out of in 2021. Already, even pre-election, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows appears to be throwing in the towel on the pandemic.

                  The good news — if you can call it that — is that our experts see little real effect if Trump loses next week and then retires to Mar-a-Lago to tweet and golf out the remainder of his presidency. As Meadows’ comment made clear, the sad truth is that the White House has been so disengaged from the pandemic response for so long that a total abdication of its role wouldn’t likely look all that different. Similarly, congressional and administration action on economic relief for the Covid-19 pandemic has already been stalled since May.

                  One area of concern, though, is if the Trump administration decides to take its foot off the gas on vaccine efforts — the president’s much vaunted Operation Warp Speed and relentless push for a pre-election vaccine might quickly lose momentum after Nov. 3. But even if the government attention wanes, so much of the vaccine race is being managed by private companies (as well as by foreign governments) that it may not matter dramatically for the vaccine calendar.
                  ___________

                  1. Kind of a "Duh" factor here. The pardon-palooza is by far the most likely event. Like every other president, Trump will issue a flurry of pardons, but he'll ramp it up to norm-shattering levels of sleaze.
                  2. Also a near-certainty. Trump will practice his usual brand of vindictive retribution, without a shred of remorse.
                  3. Ditto the mass-firing of top officials. But this is also in line with other presidents that usually shake up their administration after the first term, to one degree or another. In Trump's case, it'll be out of sheer malice and spite.
                  4. It's yet another near-certainty that records have already been destroyed. This will only ramp up dramatically if and when the election is called for Biden.
                  5. This is, by an order of magnitude, the least likely of scenarios. Trump is a moral and physical coward, which in this instance is his most admirable trait. Starting a war isn't even on his radar: There's nothing in it for him.
                  6. He gave up on the pandemic long before it even started.
                  “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
                  ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

                  Comment


                  • Giuliani gets irate after Fox News's Kennedy questions his Hunter Biden allegations: 'You better apologize!'

                    Appearing on on Fox Business Channel’s Kennedy Tuesday night, President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani became enraged after being compared to Christopher Steele, the man behind the infamous, and questionable, Steele dossier. The host, whose full name is Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, made the comparison as Giuliani repeatedly pushed uncorroborated allegations about Joe Biden’s son Hunter, allegations that originally appeared in the New York Post. Giuliani supplied the Post with the story that most news outlets passed on over concerns about credibility. Fox News passed on the story for those exact concerns, and it was even reported that the New York Post writer refused to put his name on it. Despite pushing unverified, salacious allegations, as did Steele, Giuliani took the comparison as a personal affront.

                    “Some could say that you are acting like Christopher Steele,” Kennedy said. “That you are abstracting information, and because…” “You gotta be kidding me,” Giuliani interrupted. “I was acting like Christopher Steele?” “That’s what it sounds like,” Kennedy retorted. “When you look at…” “You better apologize!” Giuliani cut her off once more. “You better apologize for that!”

                    From that point on, the interview was pretty much off the rails.

                    “What you are saying is an outrageous defamation of me. Of my reputation. Every single thing is here, and I want you to look at it and then apologize to me!” Giuliani screamed at Kennedy, later adding, “I came on your show in good faith to give you evidence that is being withheld from the American people, and I get defamed! That’s outrageous!”

                    Kennedy tried to move on, asking, “Are you still working on behalf of the president?” But Giuliani had had enough, saying, “I think our interview — I think our interview is now over.” “I haven’t even gotten to the part about Borat,” Kennedy responded.

                    Giuliani may wish he had actually ended the interview right then because Kennedy did eventually get to the part about Borat. Giuliani unwittingly became the target of one of Sacha Baron Cohen’s pranks in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, released last Friday. In it, Giuliani finds himself in a questionable situation with Borat’s 15-year-old daughter Tutar, played by 24-year-old Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova.

                    “Do you regret your interaction in the Borat movie?” Kennedy asked. Giuliani replied, “Now that’s a stupid question, isn’t it?” “No, it’s not stupid at all…” “That’s really a stupid question,” Giuliani interrupted. “I have a 15-year-old daughter,” Kennedy said. “I watched that and I was kinda grossed out by it.”
                    ________

                    Mr. Mayor, you might want to think about retiring to a cabin in the woods, somewhere with no Internet service. Like, right now.
                    “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
                    ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

                    Comment


                    • ‘Bad things are going to happen to him’: Trump threatens unmasked ‘Anonymous’ whistleblower at Florida rally

                      Donald Trump appeared to threaten a former mid-level Department of Homeland Security official who two years ago penned an op-ed under the alias "Anonymous" slamming the president, saying "bad things are going to happen" to Miles Taylor.

                      "There should be major criminal liability for some scum like this. ... He should be prosecuted. Are you listening to me back in Washington? He should be prosecuted" the president said in a message to his own Justice Department....Along with the New York Times."

                      "Bad things are going to happen to him" he added of Mr. Taylor, who has been roundly criticized for panning his former boss while playing a role in the Trump administration's migrant child separation program.

                      Mr. Trump's threat is questionable, however. He has fired others who crossed him, including some who testified in House Democrats impeachment hearings.

                      But Mr. Taylor has left the government, leaving Mr. Trump few options.

                      The whistleblower responded in real-time after contenting during a Wednesday night CNN interview he did not reveal himself for financial gain.

                      "The state of open dissent in America: the President derides critics as "traitors" and "treasonous"; threatens to "prosecute" & "lock them up"; and ominously warns "bad things" will happen to them. Is this who we are?" Mr. Taylor tweeted.

                      The president also boasted about his coronavirus response, saying up to 2m people might have died in the United States. With cases and deaths rising quickly once again, that could still happen.

                      He again downplayed the severity of the virus: "If I can get better anybody can get better," he said of his own bout with Covid-19 that landed him in a Washington, DC-area military facility for parts of four days.

                      On "Anonymous," the president back in September 2018 vowed to find the author, who described themselves as a then-current official who was part of a "two-track" government, with Mr. Trump doing is own thing while rank-and-file employees did another." The dilemma which (Trump) does not fully grasp is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations," Mr. Taylor wrote under the alias. "I would know. I am one of them."

                      "But we believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic," the no-longer-anonymous author wrote in 2018. "That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump's more misguided impulses until he is out of office."

                      On Wednesday night, a rally crowd in Goodyear, Arizona, cheered as Mr. Trump called Mr. Taylor a "sleazebag."
                      __________
                      “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
                      ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

                      Comment


                      • QAnon Isn’t Going To Take Over Congress In 2020. But It’s Found A Home In The GOP.

                        Marjorie Taylor Greene has not been shy about her support for QAnon — a conspiracy theory that alleges the existence of a widespread child sex trafficking ring run by a cabal of satanic and cannibalistic elites, whom only President Trump can stop. She has tweeted “#GreatAwakening” to Alex Jones, called Q “a patriot” and has even hosted videos detailing the evidence she believes proves Q is “the real deal.” When she won the Republican nomination for Georgia’s 14th District, academics called her win a “bellwether” for the movement and for American politics, and media outlets wondered if Greene’s win signified a wider trend. Was there about to be a Qaucus in Congress?

                        Not likely. Greene, who has since tried to distance herself from the conspiracy theory, may very well be the only candidate with ties to QAnon who actually wins her race, according to FiveThirtyEight’s election forecast. But the dozens of Republicans who have voiced support for at least some elements of QAnon show how GOP leadership has allowed QAnon to become a part of the party, even if the GOP hasn’t explicitly embraced it.

                        Fringe candidates with unusual beliefs can be found in every election, of course, but this cohort of QAnon followers on the ballot is somewhat unique.

                        “People with crazy beliefs run for Congress all the time, it’s just a question of whether there’s a unifying force among candidates of their crazy beliefs,” said Kyle Kondik, the managing editor at Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

                        There’s no master list of QAnon-linked candidates, but some organizations and news outlets have compiled running tallies. Media Matters, a liberal media watchdog group, has put together a list of 31 candidates with active campaigns for Congress whom it links to QAnon, but a “link” is a term with broad interpretation. Some candidates, like Derrick Grayson, a Republican running in Georgia’s U.S. Senate special election, have simply tweeted the #WWG1WGA hashtag.1 Others, like Jo Rae Perkins, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Oregon, have been more explicit about their QAnon beliefs.

                        “Some of those links are somewhat tenuous,” said Joseph Uscinski, a political scientist at the University of Miami who studies conspiracy theories. “I would prefer my candidates to have no connections or links at all to QAnon, but that phrase ‘linked to QAnon’ is often taken to mean that they’re true believers. Some of them are true believers, but not all of them.”

                        Few of the candidates Media Matters identified have any chance of winning their races. Of the 31 candidates identified by Media Matters, 26 of them have measurable odds according to the FiveThirtyEight forecast. Aside from Greene, only two other candidates of the 26 have better than a 1 in 100 chance of taking their races (and one of those two, Erin Cruz, who’s running in California’s 36th district, has just a 3 in 100 shot), according to our model.2 Greene is running against a Democrat who has withdrawn from the race but remains on the ballot. And another Republican candidate, gun rights activist Lauren Boebert, who’s running in Colorado’s third district, is currently slightly favored to win her race (she has a 59 in 100 shot of winning the seat). She previously appeared on two different YouTube shows hosted by QAnon believers, and said she was “very familiar” with Q and that she “hoped it is real.” More recently, Boebert has said she does not follow QAnon and does not believe in conspiracy theories.

                        There’s one other Republican candidate not on Media Matters’ list who has a good shot. Burgess Owens, who is running in Utah’s 4th District, has appeared on a pro-QAnon podcast and YouTube channel and has said he thinks the conspiracy theory is worth taking a look at, though he also stated that accusations of him supporting QAnon are “silly.” FiveThirtyEight’s forecast gives Owens a 42 in 100 chance of winning the seat.

                        Media Matters’ list shows 19 candidates who have at some point expressed support for QAnon and have won nominations around the country. Owens makes 20. All all of them are Republican nominees. For its part, the GOP has done little to distance itself from its QAnon-adjacent candidates, instead rejecting the fact that multiple Republican candidates for Congress have links to the group. Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the Republican National Committee, told ABC News it’s “a fringe group. It’s not part of our party.”

                        President Trump, meanwhile, has been repeatedly asked about whether he denounces QAnon, and he consistently demurs, claiming ignorance of the movement and saying its followers “fight” against pedophilia and are people who “love our country.”

                        “Trump has a track record for a decade where all he does is traffic in conspiracy theories,” Uscinski said. “Trump built a coalition on conspiracy theories. He started 10 years ago with birtherism, he pushed anti-vaxx ideas. This is his modus operandi.” Regardless of how many explicit allies QAnon has in Congress next term, a conspiratorial mindset has already taken root in the GOP.
                        _____________

                        “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
                        ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

                        Comment


                        • Some ‘Biden Republicans’ just keep talking about a new political party

                          If Joe Biden wins the presidency next week, it will be with a coalition that spans figures from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez all the way to Carly Fiorina, the former Republican candidate for president and CEO of Hewlett-Packard.

                          Biden’s left flank has already made plenty of noise about how they’d seek to pull him leftward if he wins. His Republican supporters would be pulling in the opposite direction but – perhaps in an acknowledgement of the uphill climb they would face – the idea of a third party in 2021 keeps coming up.

                          And the idea keeps coming up when discussing either scenario: as a check on Democrats or a rejection of Trump in a second term.

                          Asked by Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit this week about different scenarios for the Republican party, Fiorina gamed it out, saying that “every single one of the alternatives” is on the table.

                          “One of the things that I have said publicly and said to many of my colleagues is, we are not asked as citizens of this country to pledge allegiance to a party,” she said.

                          Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who challenged Donald Trump in the 2020 primaries and already voted for Biden, predicted a new party in a recent interview. “I think in January and February, frankly, whether Trump wins or loses, you're going to see an effort by moderate Republicans, joined by moderate Democrats, some practical libertarians, many environmentalists, the old Green Party, come together,” he said. “It'll be a new party.”

                          Another one of President Trump’s 2020 challengers, Joe Walsh, has said “the Republican Party is done. It’s breaking up before our very eyes.”

                          ‘We don’t agree with Joe Biden on every policy’
                          The question will be how much interest a coalition would get behind figures like Fiorina, who dropped out in 2016 after poor showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, and Weld, who dropped his challenge to Trump this year after winning just a single delegate.

                          Trump’s opponents in the Republican party have also been talking about a third party for years. Evan McMullin even ran as an independent in 2016 for disaffected Trump supporters, but he came in fifth with 0.53% of the vote. This time around, he is voting for Biden.

                          Throughout the campaign, Biden has been able to tout the support of former staffers of Sen. Mitt Romney, Sen. John McCain, and President George W. Bush.

                          But the statements leave plenty of wiggle room for these figures in 2021. Romney’s former staffers noted that “we don’t agree with Joe Biden on every policy,” even as they think he’s better than four more years of Trump.

                          Romney himself announced that he did not vote for Trump this year – like he did in 2016 – but didn’t say who he voted for instead.

                          This former wing of the Republican party is also clearly looking to be a political force long after the 2020 voting has ended. The Lincoln Project, a group of former Republican political operatives with a mission of “defeating Trumpism,” is already making moves to transition into a media company in 2021.

                          ‘I am still a Republican’
                          In her interview with Yahoo Finance, Fiorina backed Joe Biden’s plan to raise taxes. Gary Cohn, Trump’s former top economic advisor, also reiterated he was fine with the corporate tax rate being raised to 28%, as Biden has proposed.

                          But other Biden-supporting Republicans disagree even while they announce their support for him.

                          When Michael Steele, the former chairman of the Republican party, announced his vote for Biden he said he did so even as they disagreed on many issues. “It is my fervent hope that he will pursue policies that will help our country heal,” he said.

                          Rick Snyder, the former Republican governor of Michigan, said he’s voting for Biden. But “I am still a Republican who also will be publicly supporting Republican candidates at the local, state and federal level,” he said.

                          Fiorina – while supportive of tax cuts – warned of Democratic pushes for even higher taxes and new regulations that could have the effect of “throttling business.”

                          ‘Perhaps an interesting conversation’
                          The final option for many of these “homeless” Republicans would, of course, be to regain influence in the Republican party if Trump loses.

                          For Fiorina, rejoining the Republican party would clearly be a nonstarter during a second Trump term. But if Trump were to lose, “I think there is perhaps an interesting conversation” that will happen in the party about “the future of the Republican Party after Trump.”

                          Not everyone agrees Trump will go away so easily, even if he comes up short next week. On Thursday, the New York Times unveiled its last magazine cover before Election Day which promised “Win or Lose, It’s Donald Trump’s Republican Party.”
                          ___________

                          A new party homeless Republicans disgusted at the surrender of the GOP to Trump? I'll believe it when I see it.

                          On the other hand, it'd be amusing to see the once-mighty splinter of the Whig Party splinter yet again.
                          “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
                          ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
                            Some ‘Biden Republicans’ just keep talking about a new political party

                            If Joe Biden wins the presidency next week, it will be with a coalition that spans figures from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez all the way to Carly Fiorina, the former Republican candidate for president and CEO of Hewlett-Packard.

                            Biden’s left flank has already made plenty of noise about how they’d seek to pull him leftward if he wins. His Republican supporters would be pulling in the opposite direction but – perhaps in an acknowledgement of the uphill climb they would face – the idea of a third party in 2021 keeps coming up.

                            And the idea keeps coming up when discussing either scenario: as a check on Democrats or a rejection of Trump in a second term.

                            Asked by Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit this week about different scenarios for the Republican party, Fiorina gamed it out, saying that “every single one of the alternatives” is on the table.

                            “One of the things that I have said publicly and said to many of my colleagues is, we are not asked as citizens of this country to pledge allegiance to a party,” she said.

                            Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who challenged Donald Trump in the 2020 primaries and already voted for Biden, predicted a new party in a recent interview. “I think in January and February, frankly, whether Trump wins or loses, you're going to see an effort by moderate Republicans, joined by moderate Democrats, some practical libertarians, many environmentalists, the old Green Party, come together,” he said. “It'll be a new party.”

                            Another one of President Trump’s 2020 challengers, Joe Walsh, has said “the Republican Party is done. It’s breaking up before our very eyes.”

                            ‘We don’t agree with Joe Biden on every policy’
                            The question will be how much interest a coalition would get behind figures like Fiorina, who dropped out in 2016 after poor showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, and Weld, who dropped his challenge to Trump this year after winning just a single delegate.

                            Trump’s opponents in the Republican party have also been talking about a third party for years. Evan McMullin even ran as an independent in 2016 for disaffected Trump supporters, but he came in fifth with 0.53% of the vote. This time around, he is voting for Biden.

                            Throughout the campaign, Biden has been able to tout the support of former staffers of Sen. Mitt Romney, Sen. John McCain, and President George W. Bush.

                            But the statements leave plenty of wiggle room for these figures in 2021. Romney’s former staffers noted that “we don’t agree with Joe Biden on every policy,” even as they think he’s better than four more years of Trump.

                            Romney himself announced that he did not vote for Trump this year – like he did in 2016 – but didn’t say who he voted for instead.

                            This former wing of the Republican party is also clearly looking to be a political force long after the 2020 voting has ended. The Lincoln Project, a group of former Republican political operatives with a mission of “defeating Trumpism,” is already making moves to transition into a media company in 2021.

                            ‘I am still a Republican’
                            In her interview with Yahoo Finance, Fiorina backed Joe Biden’s plan to raise taxes. Gary Cohn, Trump’s former top economic advisor, also reiterated he was fine with the corporate tax rate being raised to 28%, as Biden has proposed.

                            But other Biden-supporting Republicans disagree even while they announce their support for him.

                            When Michael Steele, the former chairman of the Republican party, announced his vote for Biden he said he did so even as they disagreed on many issues. “It is my fervent hope that he will pursue policies that will help our country heal,” he said.

                            Rick Snyder, the former Republican governor of Michigan, said he’s voting for Biden. But “I am still a Republican who also will be publicly supporting Republican candidates at the local, state and federal level,” he said.

                            Fiorina – while supportive of tax cuts – warned of Democratic pushes for even higher taxes and new regulations that could have the effect of “throttling business.”

                            ‘Perhaps an interesting conversation’
                            The final option for many of these “homeless” Republicans would, of course, be to regain influence in the Republican party if Trump loses.

                            For Fiorina, rejoining the Republican party would clearly be a nonstarter during a second Trump term. But if Trump were to lose, “I think there is perhaps an interesting conversation” that will happen in the party about “the future of the Republican Party after Trump.”

                            Not everyone agrees Trump will go away so easily, even if he comes up short next week. On Thursday, the New York Times unveiled its last magazine cover before Election Day which promised “Win or Lose, It’s Donald Trump’s Republican Party.”
                            ___________

                            A new party homeless Republicans disgusted at the surrender of the GOP to Trump? I'll believe it when I see it.

                            On the other hand, it'd be amusing to see the once-mighty splinter of the Whig Party splinter yet again.
                            The so-called Moral Majority was the first split in my lifetime, followed by the Tea Party, and now the Trumpeters.
                            Trust me?
                            I'm an economist!

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by DOR View Post

                              The so-called Moral Majority was the first split in my lifetime, followed by the Tea Party, and now the Trumpeters.
                              I was thinking about actual political parties being formed
                              “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
                              ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

                              Comment


                              • joe,

                                I was thinking about actual political parties being formed
                                that would be the morally courageous choice, like Theodore Roosevelt bolting the Republican Party in 1912 after Taft outright stole the primaries.

                                I do applaud the never-Trumpers/Biden Republicans for choosing country over party, but they are fundamentally deceiving themselves if they think the GOP base will return to Reaganite-style Republicanism anytime soon.

                                Trump's not gonna disappear even if he loses in a landslide. he, and his entire grifting family, will be on the sidelines screeching about voter fraud and the deep state, desperately trying to get their supporters to pay off their enormous debts. the never-Trumpers/Biden Republicans are going to be blamed for being the "dagger in the back".

                                the never-Trumpers don't really talk about it right now, but they really face two choices: either join the Democrats wholesale, or be prepared to create a third party to take down the GOP. they don't face any realistic prospect for re-taking their party.
                                There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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