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Adolf Hitler talks about Donald J. Trump

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Why I chose to come back at this time is simple: I’ve come back before; I will come back again. I like visiting Earth whenever when interesting leaders are present. Having myself been a leader, and a historic one at that, I have some personal interest in leadership, particularly in strong men, who do not shy away from authoritarian practices when they are needed, as they always are in times of threat such as America is now facing. Nations do not become great, and remain great, by accident. It takes a leader, with the necessary vision, historical understanding and powers of persuasion, to lift a nation above its ordinary inertia to world power. I was that person for Germany, in my time, and would have succeeded, had I not been betrayed on so many fronts, by so many weaklings whom I trusted. But that is a tale for another day.

The man who has most impressed me—until now–since my departure from Earth, in 1945, was Pol Pot. Now there was a strong dictator! He knew exactly what he wanted and did not allow weaklings, doubters or naysayers to influence him. He knew how to deal with them. Summarily! Pol Pot was a leader in my mold—in fact, he said many times that he admired me more than any other world leader in history. That is not faint praise! I liked also Stalin and Idi Amin, but not as much as Pol Pot. Now, some have asked me if I admired North Korea’s Kim family. The answer—I must be honest—is, No. They were strong, and did not hesitate to be ruthless, but their strategy was too unremitting, too inflexible. A leader must be willing to turn instantly from one direction to another, if such a change is called for. I did that when I made my pact with the Soviet Union, in 1939, and then again, two years later, when I invaded Russia. The Kims have proven unable to be creatively resilient, particularly this current one, Jong Un. Perhaps he will change.

So why have I returned now? Ach, it is a good question! I think you know the answer. There is a world leader today who bears my closest and most careful scrutiny. He might almost have read my various books and speeches, so closely does he hew to my methods. His use of propaganda is most skillful; his lies masterful in their ability to thwart and confuse his opponents; the way he plays to his followers’ resentments is exactly the way I played to mine. And his hatreds! Ach, positively Hitlerian. His unpredictability leaves his enemies off balance. It reminds me of how I kept all Europe, indeed the whole world, guessing as to my next move, in the 1930s. First, rearming; then, the Rhineland; then Austria; then the Sudetenland and all of Czechoslovakia; finally, the Corridor, Danzig and Poland. But nobody ever knew if, where or when I would move. If you can keep your opponent guessing, he will be that much more unguarded when the blow lands.

That is what I like about this President Trump. It is true that, personally, he is repugnant to me, a vulgar, greedy billionaire, with a nepotistic family, the kind of bloodsucker I used in my rise to power and then discarded. But one need not like a man in order to admire his achievements, and I respect Trump. So ambitious! Like me, he dreams of unlimited power and authority. Like me, he makes no secret of his goals. I spelled them out for all to see in Mein Kampf. Trump did so, obliquely, in The Art of the Deal. He is perhaps not quite so audacious as I was; I was in a far more advantageous position because, in Germany in 1933, when I seized power, there were virtually no checks and balances with which to stop me. Trump faces a determined internal opposition, these damned Democrats, most of whom are Jews–the same cabal that was behind Roosevelt. But I believe that Trump has plans for dealing with them. I cannot read minds—that is not a talent of the dead. But I can read body language, and I see that this man—so belligerent, so allergic to normal ethics, so uncaring of what anyone thinks about him—has the stuff to dispatch his enemies. He merely awaits the opportune time. A great leader possesses, above all, patience.

And so I have returned. I cannot know for sure if Trump is aware that I hover around him, whispering in his inner ear. I like to think I have influenced some of his decisions: the Arpaio pardon, for instance, I was heavily in favor of. And—let me be entirely truthful—I think I put the Obama birther idea into his head. Trump’s scapegoating of colored people is exactly equivalent to my scapegoating of the Jews. I have other ideas for Trump, which I will not spell out publicly. But next time you see him on T.V., stirring up resentment and fear amongst his base, you might notice a slight shadow behind him, a crackling of the air; and you would not be mistaken if you said to yourself, “That is Hitler, murmuring to Donald Trump’s subconscious.”

 


Strange v. Moore? Who the hell cares

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I don’t see what all the sturm und drang is about that Alabama Republican Senate primary. So Moore won instead of Strange. So what? They’re both toxic versions of the same person: homophobic, extreme right-wing religious fanatics, who would trample the Constitution under their jackboots and use the Bible instead of U.S. law in their legislative rule-making.

Moore’s bizarre radical Christian ideology is well-known and is best exemplified by his psychotic view of gay rights. “Homosexual conduct should be illegal,” he told C-SPAN, adding that gay sex “is the same thing” as having sex with “a cow, or a horse, or a dog.”

Shades of Rick “Man on Dog” Santorum! Can we agree people like Santorum and Moore suffer from serious mental health issues?

But Luther Strange isn’t any better. After the U.S. Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage constitutional, Strange declared his unyielding opposition. Recognizing the difficulty of going against a direct Supreme Court ruling, Strange—who was Alabama’s Attorney-General at the time—said he’d work out more creative ways to prevent queer people from marrying. I expect the focus will now turn to the exercise of one’s religious liberty,” he announced. “I will continue to defend the religious liberties of Alabamians and ensure that people and businesses honoring their religious beliefs are protected.” This clever, mean-spirited scheme by the Christian right was dreamed up to make same-sex marriage as difficult as it can be for decent, law-abiding gay people, under the phony guise of “religious liberties.”

So really, from the point of view of reason, fairness, logic and sanity, what difference does it make which Republican is elected in Alabama? That state—which also has given us the inestimable gift of former KKK member Jefferson Beauregard Sessions–lost its moral authority decades ago, about the time they elected a guy named John Patterson as governor. As Attorney-General, Patterson repeatedly “frustrated and opposed” attempts by African-Americans to have Brown v. Board of Education (the Supreme Court decision that struck down segregated public schools) enforced. As governor, Patterson promised [that] if a school is ordered to be integrated, it will be closed down,” and he had black students who staged a sit-in at Alabama State University expelled.

Sounds like a certain Republican president who wants professional athletes fired for expressing their right of free speech! And then, of course, Alabama also gave us the immortal white supremacist, George Wallace, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions’ spiritual godfather.

The mainstream media claim is that this Strange-Moore showdown portends some kind of internecine war within the Republican Party “that could undermine their best-laid plans to defeat Democrats in 2018” by draining financial resources away from the general election into the primaries.

But that argument doesn’t hold water. America has clearly entered a post-two party era in which primaries on the left and the right are a given. (Just ask Hillary Clinton.) There will be primaries regardless of what happened in Alabama or anyplace else.

The thought of Roy Moore in the Senate is hardly a cheerful one, and one despairs at the utter sickness now epidemic among poor white Alabama voters addicted to pathological interpretations of the Bible. One can only hope this fanatic, Moore, will be an isolated voice of cranky craziness in the Senate, even among his fellow Republicans. Yet, had Strange been elected instead, he would probably have voted 100% the same way Moore will (assuming he beats the Democrat, which seems likely). So, as I said, for me, it’s Tweedledum and Tweedledee: two seriously deranged, morally-impaired, dangerous and ignorant theocratic bigots, both in the fascist mold of the Donald J. Trump, both out of step with history, both profoundly wrong for America.


Wall Street Journal is Trump’s Der Stürmer

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Der Stürmer was the newspaper of the nazi regime in the 1930s in Germany.

“Everybody read Der Stürmer,” Julius Streicher, its publisher and founder, told his American psychiatrist in Nuremberg Prison, as Streicher was waiting to be hung for war crimes. “I had Hitler’s greatest respect. The aim of reading Der Stürmer was to unite Germans and to awaken them against Jewish influence which might ruin our noble culture.”

Streicher bore much in common with Donald Trump. Like Trump, he was very rich, lived grandly, had a toilet mouth, and did not like the media. “Most of them are Schweinehunde, pig-dogs,” he snarled to the American reporter Ernest Pope, during a 1938 interview. Streicher’s enemies were Jews. “The devil is a Jew,” he declared. Trump’s enemies do not include Jews, but Mexicans, African-Americans, liberals and professional athletes and, of course, the media.

Der Stürmer, routinely published lurid, pornographic cartoons depicting Jews as old, hook-nosed money grubbers, often seducing young girls.

                                                               

Streicher was repulsive even to most of the leading Nazis. He “was always an outsider in the party because of his sex-obsessed antisemitism and his flagrant corruption,” wrote Albert Speer, Hitler’s armaments minister, in his memoirs. Hitler himself was aware of Streicher’s reputation. “Streicher is reproached for his Stürmer,” Hitler was recorded by a stenographer as saying at a dinner. “But one could not hope for the triumph of National Socialism without giving one’s support to men like Streicher.”

Like Der Stürmer, the Wall Street Journal is required reading on the right. “Everybody” who’s anyone in the Republican Party reads it—not necessarily the front page, but the editorial pages. That is where Republicans learn what to think, what to say, what positions to take on issues, and how to justify them to critics. And just as there was one man—Julius Streicher—who determined all these things at Der Stürmer, there is one man with that task at the Wall Street Journal: Rupert Murdoch.

This is not to say that Murdoch is an anti-Semite, or a sexual pervert, although his four wives, including his current one, the ex-model Jerry Hall, who used to be married to Mick Jagger, suggest that his amorous life has been an active one. But, like Der Stürmer, the Wall Street Journal makes no secret of its biases on behalf of the extreme right wing, and particularly the billionaire class, of which Murdoch and Trump both are members. And, like Der Stürmer, the Wall Street Journal has never hesitated to go over the line in insulting their enemies (Democrats, liberals, people of color, the poor) and casting aspersions on them, even to the extent of insinuating that they are anti-American.

It’s one thing to have an active press on both sides of the political spectrum, in which issues are carefully analyzed by those capable of understanding the details, and then explained, in clear English, to the American people. There are newspapers, on the left and the right, that do that. But the Wall Street Journal is not one of them. It is, like Der Stürmer, a blatant piece of propaganda, meant to shore up the billionaire/capitalist class of the Republican Party. What has always struck me as bizarre is why its columnists—who cannot be very wealthy themselves (unless they come from money) because people who write for newspapers are not highly paid—take such stridently pro-billionaire positions on things like not raising taxes on the rich, or not providing healthcare to all Americans (which group presumably includes their own family members who may be suffering), or defending the uncountable lies told by their president. This last is particularly ironic, since the fundamental vow of a newspaper writer is, or should be, to tell the truth. Perhaps they think they’re adhering to Churchill’s famous dictum, “Truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.” But Churchill was speaking specifically of spying during World War II, when such secrets as Britain’s codebreaking of German signals, and the Manhattan Project, had to be protected. What secrets are Street Journal and their client Republican Party trying to protect?

Well, we’re learning more about that every day. Jane Mayer’s Dark Money peeled away the layers to tell us of the greed and mendacity that are the Republican Party’s modern-day tenets. We now know that billionaire radicals like the Kochs, the DeVos family, Sheldon Adelson, Foster Friess and Robert Mercer have effectively taken over the Republican Party, for the sole reason of lowering if not eliminating their taxes and helping their businesses pile up more profits, which devolve, not to their workers, but to their families, in offshore banking accounts that are untraceable and untaxable due to Republican policies.

What Der Strürmer was to Hitler and his fascist regime, the WSJ is to Donald Trump. What Julius Streicher was 80 years ago—Hitler’s defender and alibi–is what Rupert Murdoch is today for Trump. Murdoch might be a little more sophisticated around the edges and not quite as personally reprehensible as Streicher, but he nonetheless has ensured—through the Wall Street Journal and his faux-news station, Fox–America’s “noble culture” of white supremacy, economic unfairness, political mendacity and crassness. Indeed, one might say that Republicans could not hope for the triumph of Trumpism without men like Rupert Murdoch.

 


Wall Street Journal can’t stop lying (just like their president)

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Of all the slanders that have appeared in the Wall Street Journal’s editorial pages, none is more offensive to truth than this statement, which led off yesterday’s paper concerning the NFL fiasco Trump engineered.

“The progressive forces of identity politics started this poisoning of America’s spectator sport last year by making a hero of Colin Kaepernick…”.

I honestly had to pause and take a deep breath when I read that. The sheer effrontery of blaming the divisiveness and rancor in which America finds itself on Colin Kaepernick!

Colin didn’t start this. Progressives didn’t start this. Democrats didn’t start this. There has been a single casus belli, the spark that ignited the passions that are tearing this country apart: Donald J. Trump.

Oh, sure, the proximate cause of Sunday’s historic “take a knee” explosion was Colin’s decision, in the summer of 2016, not to stand during the national anthem.

But few even noticed before the right decided to make this a do-or-die wedge issue, to rile up their base of resentful white men. For the Wall Street Journal to now allege that Colin “put partisanship above a symbol of nationhood” is neither historically accurate nor intellectually honest. Trump was the divider who began this current civil war. Trump was the racist birther who still has never apologized for his slur of Barack Obama. Trump was the pussy groper, the hater of Mexican immigrants, the mocker of disabled people, the insulter of Hillary Clinton, the disparager of everyone who doesn’t agree with him, the defender of the KKK, the heterosexual, three-times married hero of Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, the inciter, the race-baiter, whose angry, fallacious invective ripped apart an already fraying consensus in America. It wasn’t Colin Kaepernick who started this, and for Rupert Murdoch’s paper to say it was is a fib of the highest order.

Among the other lies in their lead editorial is this: “Most Americans agree with Mr. Trump that they don’t want their flag disrespected, especially by millionaire athletes.” Let’s break that down, starting with the “millionaire athletes” quote. It’s odd, to the point of crazy, that the Wall Street Journal is suddenly whipping up class resentment against “millionaire athletes.” The Journal is, after all, the newspaper that regularly features a section called “Mansions” that celebrates the accumulation of wealth as the highest of all human ideals. Of course, most of the millionaires and billionaires routinely celebrated in the Wall Street Journal are white men; perhaps it’s the fact that most of the NFL players who are taking a knee are black is what is so galling to Murdoch & Co.

As to “most Americans” agreeing with Trump, first of all, we have no polls yet to support this statement; it’s wishful thinking. But we do have a poll, taken shortly before the NFL situation, in which an astonishing 66% of all Americans say that Trump is a divisive figure. That number can only go higher the next time the question is asked.

I would wager that “most Americans” support the right of NFL players to take a knee. Besides, the message from the players—which I believe is truthful—is that this has nothing to do with the flag, or the anthem, or first responders, or how many American soldiers have died in war, or any of those other smokescreens of patriotism. By refusing to stand during the anthem, the players are declaring their personal opposition to Donald J. Trump. The NFL has joined The Resistance.

About time.

ESPN, the leading sports network, is not known as a liberal mainstay. This is sports T.V., America in its purest essence: conservative, family-oriented, beyond politics. And yet, here’s ESPN the other day calling Kaepernick “the biggest winner” of Trump’s war on professional sports. “This [Sunday] show of solidarity was a blowout victory for Kaepernick,” the network declared, which means that it was also a blowout defeat for Trump.

(Some rightwingers will point out that ESPN is partly owned by Disney, which Breitbart will portray as a Jewish-liberal corporation; but the other co-owner is the Hearst Corp., a conservative media outlet. So that argument is just another way to deflect attention from the issue.)

Has Trump gone too far this time? I hope so. But so lost in their spleen of white supremacy and resentment are his followers that I no longer put any hope in their coming to reason. Even though they stand to inherit Pence—arguably far more rightwing than Trump—if Trump is overthrown, their fragile egos cannot abide a desertion from the cause. Like Hitler’s nazi stalwarts, who continued to believe even after the Chancellery was blown to bits and the fuhrer lay dead by his own hands—like the Japanese soldiers on Pacific atolls, who hunkered down in caves for decades after Japan surrendered, fighting a fantasy war which, for them, never ended—Trump’s militant fans will stand by their man. He will go down, for sure; they will not. This is going to be a problem.


TrumpCare: Once again a loser?

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I put a question mark in my headline because, as I write this post on Sunday evening for publication Monday, we still didn’t know if Graham-Cassidy will pass. Things change so quickly that, for all I know, by Monday morning as you read this, Lindsay Graham may be denouncing his own bill. But right now, it looks like TrumpCare is, once again, dead.

Opponent need one more Republican defection. I watched the much-anticipated interview with Sen. Collins on Face the Nation Sunday morning, but she remained as coy as ever, saying she’s still waiting for a CBO analysis. But given Collins’ list of concerns about the bill, she seems likely to vote against it—thus killing TrumpCare 2.0.

All of which makes reading last Friday’s column in the Wall Street Journal by the rightwinger, Kimberley Strassel, so amusing. Strassel, an unwavering champion of Trump and strident antagonist to Democrats, got so much wrong in her op-ed piece that she ought to publish a Mea Culpa—not that she will, because it’s not her style. First of all, she said that the fate of Graham-Cassidy was “in the hands of Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski.” That was, of course, before John McCain famously repeated his previous thumbs-down and announced he’s resolutely against the bill.

So what did Strassel say about McCain? He “seems unlikely to repeat his performance and sandbag his BFF, Mr. Graham.”

Wow. If that’s the kind of political prognostication that passes muster these days at the Wall Street Journal, that paper is in deep doo doo. Sen. McCain did indeed “repeat his performance,” although both he and his Best Friend Forever, Sen. Graham, vowed that their bromance continues.

So Strassel got that wrong, bigtime. What else did she have to say? She blamed the attacks on Graham-Cassidy—which have ranged from the American Medical Association and the American Cancer Society to all fifty State Medicaid directors—not on the bill’s substance, but on—guess who?—“the media and liberal analysts”!!! Isn’t that the typical Republican playbook? When you’re caught in a lie, blame Democrats! Then she wades further into the fever swamp by a faux-analysis of Murkowski’s political considerations. Well, none of that matters anymore, because Lisa Murkowski doesn’t matter anymore. It’s all about Susan Collins.

I know the State of Maine. Lived there, have a ton of friends there. And believe me, Mainers are flooding Susan Collins’s inbox with “Vote No on Graham-Cassidy.” Mainers are independent—just take a look at Angus King, Collins’ counterpart in the Senate. But they’re also fair-minded, with a flinty sense of justice. They behave according to a strict ethical code that includes hard work and respect for your neighbor, and they know when something is fundamentally wrong. And they’re seeing that, in spades, from this administration and its maniacal supporters, like Strassel. Maine is a white state, but they repudiate white supremacism of the kind that Rupert Murdoch’s media routinely support. People tend of think of Maine as a Republican state, but more people (31.5%) are registered as Democrats than as Republicans (27%), the remainder being scattered among various independent groups.

So Susan Collins’ opposition to Graham-Cassidy, and indeed to any bill that would throw tens of millions of people off healthcare, and virtually destroy Medicaid, is based on the ardent beliefs of her constituents.

When you think about it, Kimberley Strassel’s embarrassing misreading of the politics of healthcare is matched only by Donald Trump’s strategic mishandling of his own political health. This war against the NFL, and against pro sports in general, is one he cannot and will not win. #TakingTheKnee, as I write, is the number-one trending topic on Twitter. And, as we saw all day Sunday, more and more NFL players (and owners) are refusing to stand during the anthem, or are raising fists, or simply linking arms; and it’s not only football: here in Oakland, our beloved Warriors, including Steph Curry, were just disinvited to the White House to celebrate the NBA Championship. As their great Coach Steve Kerr observed, “He [Trump] was going to break up with us before we could break up with him.” This is no longer about the flag, or the national anthem: This is about Trump. These professional athletes are personally repudiating him.

Factor in the Jimmy Kimmel effect, and it’s clear that Trump’s coalition, already fraying seriously at the edges, is starting to come unglued, as even conservative Republicans see his mental derangement. Hashtag #BeginningOfTheEnd.


Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant: an East Bay treasure

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When I moved to the East Bay, in 1987, Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant was the first wine shop I wanted to check out.

Kermit—the man—had started the shop back in 1972. My trip there brought me driving down crowded, trafficky San Pablo Avenue, to an industrial part of Berkeley filled with auto body shops and Chinese restaurants. There, tucked along the side of a parking lot, with the Acme Bread Company kitty-corner next door, was a non-descript storefront leading to a not very sizable shop, where stacks of the most interesting wines I’d ever seen were piled up everywhere. And the floor staff did not make me feel like I didn’t belong, despite my jeans and T-shirt, the way they did at Draper & Esquin, the notoriously snooty wine store in San Francisco’s Financial District.

I shopped a lot at KLWM in the late 1980s and 1990s, buying the wines Kermit imported from Europe, especially those from France: Minervois, Fitou, Alsace, Chablis, Bandol, Chateauneauf and the occasional inexpensive red Burgundy. I went, also, to Kermit’s annual Beaujolais Nouveau party, which took place in the parking lot (rain or shine), with tons of aromatic purple wine, grilled sausages and delicious bread from Acme. And, of course, I eagerly read Kermit’s monthly newsletter, among the liveliest in California. But by the mid-1990s my career as a wine writer with a specialty in California took off, with the predictable result that I lost touch with the wines from anywhere except the Golden State. (When you’re reviewing 5,000 wines a year, it’s hard to drink much else!) It was a sad tradeoff. So I found myself shopping at Kermit Lynch less and less. I’d tell myself every month, “I really must go back to Kermit,” because their mixed-case sampler deals were so great. But it just never seemed to happen.

Then, a few weeks ago, I got an evite from Kermit Lynch’s marketing director, Clark Terry, inviting me to a Champagne tasting. It was at Jardiniere, the great restaurant over in Hayes Valley, in the shadow of City Hall. I asked Maxine to accompany me, and we went last Monday. What a treat. Not too crowded (as many of these walkaround tastings tend to be), with the wines properly organized, and piles of charcuterie and paté—the perfect pairings for bubbly.

I didn’t take official notes, but I will say that, in every flight, it turned out that my favorite wine was always the most expensive! That’s always been my problem: Champagne taste, Prosecco budget. For example, in the J. Lassalle Champagnes, the 2006 Blanc de Blancs blew me away. It was picking up bottle bouquet, toasty and clean; at $656 the case wholesale, a single bottle at retail, by my calculations, would run you a cool $110—not bad, actually, for what you get.

They had some still wines too, and in the white Burgundies, as I made my way from Kermit’s entry-level Dom. Costal Chablis ($240) through the seven wines, the final one—Bruno Colin 2015 Chassagne-Montrachet “Les Vergers”—was thrilling beyond my words to describe it, so rich and massive it awed me, although it needed some time. But once again, it was a very pricy wine: $1,008 the case wholesale. And exactly the same thing happened with the red Burgundies: they were all fine, from a rather ascetic Marsannay to a plumper Aloxe-Corton, but the star was a 2014 Nuits-Saint-Georges “Les Cailles,” from Robert Chevillon, that was so wonderful, I brought Maxine a glass, and we sipped together over fatty little chunks of paté with pistachios.

I was grateful to Clark for the invitation, all the more so because he’s well aware that I’m retired and really have no platform to write about those wines, except for this blog. The tasting brought back many happy memories of more youthful days, when I was a budding wine writer and getting a dozen or more tasting invitations a week. The new German Rieslings at Fort Mason – old Bordeaux at the London Wine Bar – Napa Cabernets at some now defunct downtown restaurant – Peter Granoff’s historic tastings at Square One – the Union des Grands Crus at the Palace Hotel – the fabulous tastings of Les Amis du Vin — or just the tasting bar at the old Liquor Barn, down on Bayshore, where I befriended the bar manager, who would open bottles at my request: Yquem, Lafite, Petrus. (I don’t think that would happen these days!) But somehow, at the back of my mind, always lurked Kermit Lynch. Just knowing it was there made me happy.

So, armed with these memories, I make a vow: One of these days, soon, I’ll make my way back to Kermit Lynch, to resume a practice I loved, but abandoned, twenty-five years ago: buying well-priced, carefully-curated French wine.


A stalwart of the Far Right warns Trump of “legal peril”

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It’s unusual for Fox’s right wing opinionators to say how much trouble Trump is in because of RussiaGate and the Mueller investigation. Instead, they whistle past the graveyard, pretending all is well and he’s doing a great job, ha ha, and when he does something so stupid that not even they can defend, they bait and switch to an attack on Hillary or Obama or Jimmy Kimmel. After all, given the gathering likelihood that Trump broke the law, Fox–which is not a real news station–wouldn’t want to upset their viewers, the same people, you’ll recall, about whom Trump said he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and they wouldn’t care.

But lo and behold, someone at Fox just came out and said the emperor has no clothes—and it’s one of that “news” station’s most belligerently conservative talking heads, Andrew Napolitano, who has some pretense to understanding legal issues. The network calls him “Judge” Napolitano, which is technically correct: he was a Superior Court judge for eight years.

His history at Fox is checkered. In 2012, Fox fired him (according to InfoWars), but he continued to appear as an occasional commentator, only to be dropped from the network a second time, last March, for his claim that Obama wiretapped Trump at Trump Tower—an allegation for which proof has never been provided. Somehow, though, Napolitano keeps surfacing at Fox, Dracula-like. In his latest incarnation he has issued a stark and (for him) surprising warning to Trump: there is a tightening and frightening legal noose around him.”

Napolitano examines what is known of Mueller’s investigation (“very aggressive”), and Trump’s legal defense team (“incompetent”), and wonders if Trump grasps the gravity of the legal peril that is beginning to show up around him.”

If the rightwing intelligentsia, of which Napolitano is a part, that gave Trump a few shreds of intellectual credibility is afraid, that is very serious for him. It’s a slippery slope he greatly fears.

Still, Trump’s base stands by their man; in their eyes, he can do no wrong. If he’s indicted, we can expect them to fight back with all the strength at their disposal—which is considerable. Which leads to a thought experiment.

Let’s say the indictment comes sometime next year, before the midterm elections. Mueller issues his report; it is scathing, and accompanied by a Grand Jury indictment of Trump for, say, obstruction of justice. Democrats go wild with glee. Embarrassed Republicans vary in their reactions, with most withholding comment until they can figure out which way the wind is blowing.

But the base isn’t known for withholding comment. These people are not shy about expressing themselves (just read through their comments on any Breitbart article). They’re angry as hell and not gonna take it anymore. So here’s their Great Leader accused of serious crimes. The nation is in an uproar. What is that base going to do?

They’ll growl and snarl. They’ll demonstrate. They’ll write outraged letters to editors and post angry comments online. But that’s pretty much all they can do—just as the Left is pretty limited in its options when it’s up in arms over something. Neither side is ready or able to go beyond public expressions of outrage and complaining to pollsters. After all, what would such a “beyond” look like for the Right? Armed rebellion? Attacks on “fake news” companies or local Democratic offices? Political assassinations? General strikes? We’ve seen these things in faltering countries when there are political crises, but nothing of that sort here.

Not yet.

But I have a feeling we’re about to. The tea party/Breitbart/white supremacist Trumpites’ paranoia level is bursting through their skulls. And who knows what these crazies are capable of when they’re angry, organized and armed?

By the way, I give Trump credit for handling the North Korean problem pretty well. I know that Democrats aren’t supposed to give him credit for anything, but really, he’s been tough on them, as he should be. I like to think any Democratic president would have been tough on them, too. I don’t think Obama would have resorted to the bombast that Trump did, with “Rocket Man” and all that stupid stuff. But Obama would have been just as diligent–although the right will never admit that, because in their blind racist fury, they can’t give him credit for anything. Trump simply did what he had to do. Despite that, he remains a horrible, awful president, a deplorable role model for our children, a pathological liar who, it looks like, broke all kinds of laws. I continue to believe he will not legally last through his term.

Have a great weekend!


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