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February 12, 2024 08:15 AM UTC

Monday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“Only very intelligent people don’t wish they were in politics, and I’m dumb enough to want to be in there.”

–Orson Welles


7 thoughts on “Monday Open Thread

  1. The Chaos IS the Plan. Talking Points Memo

    In the first installment, we report the plan to have January 6th essentially never end, or rather continue up to inauguration day, January 20th. The plan wasn’t so much to directly achieve the goal of installing Trump as President as to create so much spectacle and chaos with no end in sight that the Supreme Court would feel compelled to step in and, Trump’s lawyers hoped, install Donald Trump as President, much as it did 20 years earlier in the disputed election which ended with Bush v Gore.

    There’s also the planned game of chicken, with contemplation of whether Nancy Pelosi or Mike Pence might become acting President first as the coup plotters worked to gum up the legislative process enough lure SCOTUS into the action.

    One point about this plan which is worth noting explicitly is that it is a microcosm of the chaos-based authoritarianism we have now seen unfolding around us for years, and saw again in spades in the legislative chaos last week. As I mentioned, the plan outlined here was not really to allow or make it possible for Congress to install Donald Trump as President. It was rather to make Congress play the role of chaotic, dysfunctional laughingstock, a body which was clearly unable to bring the electoral chaos to a conclusion. In other words, the plan was to discredit parliamentary democracy as a functional system and thus provide an opening and justification for the Supreme Court to step in, as an unreviewable power, to install Trump as President against the electorally expressed choice of the American people.

    It is a common, recognizable part of the authoritarian toolkit. It is difficult to justify or make good on extra-constitutional or dictatorial actions without first discrediting the processes and institutions to which these choices are properly and constitutionally assigned. That is why chaos in Congress like we saw last week is not just a show of incompetence or undisciplined exuberance on the part of feral right-wingers. It’s part of discrediting the institutions to make way for something else. 

    1. This is an interesting and historically supported explanation of something that most of us have been saying about the Republicans for many years. To prove that the government is incompetent, they are incompetent. To prove politicians are dishonest, craven, and wholly self-interested, they are all of these things. They destroy from within. 

  2. As expected Trump's attorneys have filed a request with SCOTUS regarding his immunity claim to prevent the D.C. criminal trial from picking up steam.  But an interesting twist could be coming from SCOTUS:

    If the high court takes the case and does not expedite review, that would further delay Trump’s D.C. trial — a key element in his legal strategy.

    “Everyone knows that’s been Trump’s goal,” Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, said during a panel discussion last week that focused on the former president’s legal troubles. “If he can drag this on until after the election, and if he wins, he will quickly kill this case.”

    Even though the immunity case and questions about Trump’s ballot eligibility are distinct, legal observers have suggested the justices may seek a compromise when it comes to resolving the matters involving the former president. After oral argument in the Colorado case, Richard Hasen, a UCLA law professor, said a “grand bargain” appears to be emerging.

    Hasen characterized Trump’s immunity claims as “exceptionally weak” and suggested the court could both restore Trump to the ballot and force him to face trial.

    “Together, these decisions let the voters decide if Trump really is disqualified from serving as president,” Hasen wrote for Slate, adding that it would be a “nice Kumbaya moment” for the court.


    1. Republicans: You never listen to us or Trump. You don't take us seriously!

      The rest of us: What do you mean by demolishing, expelling, driving out, casting out, throwing off and routing people to "liberate" your country from "tyrants and villians"?

      Republicans: … … … Look, that's just political rhetoric. It doesn't mean anything!

      Fuck right off, Republicans.

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