[Doug Jones’ win hastens downfall of Trump and Trumpism]

— RECENT HEADLINES —
“WH Comms. Director Hope Hicks Questioned by Mueller’s Team Over Past 2 Full Days” (12/8/2017)
“Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Releases 1-Page ‘Report’ Declaring Tax Plan Pays for Itself” (12/11/2017)
“VP Pence Possibly Complicit in Flynn’s False Denials of Sanctions Discussions With Russia” (12/11/2017)
“Mueller Focusing on 18 Days Between FBI’s Flynn Warning to WH and Flynn’s Firing” (12/11/2017)
“Fox News, WH, GOP Campaign to Falsely Discredit Special Counsel Mueller Gains Steam” (12/11/2017)
“Trump Tweets Sexually Demeaning Comments Toward Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)” (12/12/2017)
“WH’s Sanders Denies What all of America Knows: Trump Called Sen. Gillibrand a ‘Whore’” (12/12/2017)
“Democratic Senators Calling for President’s Resignation Now Total 6” (12/12/2017)
“Doug Jones (D) Beats Roy Moore (R) by 2 Points in AL Senatorial Special Election” (12/12/2017)
“President Tweets Sour Grapes Soaked in Outraged Humiliation Over Moore (R-AL) Loss” (12/13/2017)
“Deputy AG Rosenstein Defends FBI, DOJ, Mueller at House Judiciary Cmte. Hearings” (12/13/2017)
“Trump Concedes Moore Loss, Sends Congrats to Jones, Blames all but Self for Loss” (12/13/2017)
“Roy Moore (R-AL) Still Refuses to Concede Senate Special Election 2-Point Loss” (12/14/2017)
“FCC Repeals Net Neutrality; Party Line Vote Gives Providers Power to Control Access” (12/14/2017)
“GOP Senate Blocks 2 Unqualified Trump Nominees; President Weakened by Jones Win” (12/14/2017)
“Federal Reserve Raises Interest Rates for 3rd Time This Year” (12/14/2017)

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“‘I do respect him. Well, I respect a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean I’ll get along with them,’ [President] Trump told [Bill] O’Reilly. O’Reilly pressed on, declaring to the president that ‘Putin is a killer.’ Unfazed, Trump didn’t back away, but rather compared Putin’s reputation for extrajudicial killings with the United States’ [reputation]. ‘There are a lot of killers. We have a lot of killers,’ Trump said. ‘Well, you think our country is so innocent?’”

(Phillip, Abby; “O’Reilly Told Trump That Putin Is a Killer. Trump’s Reply: ‘You Think Our Country Is so Innocent?’”; The Washington Post; 2/4/2017.)

“Roy Moore is offering up a Trumpian buffet of prejudices.”

(Raines, Howell, former New York Times executive editor; MSNBC’s The Beat with Ari Melber; 12/11/2017.)

“Fake news would tell you that we don’t care for Jews. I tell you all this because I’ve seen it all so I just want to set the record straight while they’re here.” (she smiles snidely and waves to the press; crowd applauds) “One of our attorneys — is a Jew.” (she smiles very snidely; crowd titters)

(Moore, Kayla, spouse of Roy, R-Ala., U.S. senatorial candidate; campaign event; Midland City, Ala.; 12/11/2017.)

“Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office ‘begging’ for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!”

(Trump, Donald, R-N.Y., U.S. president; Twitter post; 12/12/2017.)

“A president who would all but call Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand a whore is not fit to clean the toilets in the Barack Obama Presidential Library or to shine the shoes of George W. Bush.”

(Editorial board; “Will Trump’s Lows Ever Hit Rock Bottom?”; USA Today; 12/12/2012.)

“This entire race has been about dignity and respect. This campaign has been about the rule of law. … As Dr. King liked to quote, ‘The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends toward justice.’ … You helped bend that moral arc a little closer to that justice and … you sent it right through the heart of the great state of Alabama.”

(Jones, Doug, D-Ala., U.S. senator-elect; victory speech; Birmingham, Ala.; 12/12/2017.)



As I was digesting Wednesday morning’s shocking news that Doug Jones (D-Ala.) had won the special election to replace former Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), an older presidential quote came to mind, along with comments from the last few days. I present these as a microcosmic montage of where this country has been during the past year and where I think it is going.

“You Think Our Country Is so Innocent?”

Two weeks into his presidency, Donald Trump continued defending and respecting Vladimir Putin. Upon hearing Fox News interviewer Bill O’Reilly point out that Putin is a “killer,” Donald stood up for the killer, essentially telling Bill the United States is just as bad: “We have a lot of killers. Well, you think our country is so innocent?”

I say, whatever happened to American exceptionalism? It is still astonishing to me and many thoughtful Republicans that the vast majority of GOP voters and congressional members could tolerate this type of Russian apologist sentimentality and the concurrent dissing of our country. Trump-mania has been a form of mass hypnosis, mass hysteria — or a reverse witch hunt, if you will. In this case, the (colossal) evil in the “witch” does exist, but Republicans don’t see it or won’t look at it.

The president exhibits his incompetence and depravity in many ways: Russian conspiracy and collusion; pecuniary conflicts of interest; financial corruption; obstruction of justice; racism, nativism, and xenophobia; a cornucopia of other discriminatory beliefs and policies; sexual misconduct and misogyny; blatant nepotism resulting in unqualified advisers; spine-chilling swamp-filling appointments; dangerous narcissism; exceptionally low emotional intelligence; exceptionally low intellectual intelligence; unhinged temperament begetting frighteningly poor judgment; terrifying impulse control; dreadful constitutional ignorance; knuckle-headed climate change denial; embarrassing boorishness on the world stage; and more. Play along at home. Add your own reasons to call for his resignation.

I believe President Trump is going down sometime in 2018 due to one or more of the personal shortfalls mentioned above. (I’m hoping for “pecuniary conflicts of interest.” I like the sound of that one.) My partial Greatest Hits of quotes presents a roundup of reasons he must go.



“A Trumpian Buffet of Prejudices”

Howell Raines is not a well-known face on the political pundit stage. He left his position as executive editor at The New York Times under a cloud that overhung the Jayson Blair affair, in which Times reporter Blair was exposed and fired for plagiarism and fabrication over a six-month period in the early 2000s. But Raines’ quote about the Alabama senatorial special election sums up the symbiotic political relationship between the worldviews of Donald Trump and Roy Moore:

“Roy Moore is offering up a Trumpian buffet of prejudices.”

If you follow politics much, you probably know that President Trump wanted to endorse Mr. Moore in the Alabama special election GOP primary. But so-called establishment Republicans talked him out of it. They believed, rightly so, that Moore’s white nationalist, homophobic, hyperbolic far-right Christian views were toxic to the party. But since that’s right where Trump is (though his Christian angle is completely opportunistic), Moore and Trump were the real ideological brothers.

Donald was persuaded to support primary candidate Luther Strange instead — the “respectable” Republican who was keeping the Senate seat warm between Jeff Sessions’ ascendency to Trump attorney general and the special election.

Roy Moore beat Luther Strange in the primary by 9 percentage points. The president was humiliated and furious. See, he hates to be on the losing side. And his gut had told him Moore was his guy all along.

Then nine women credibly accused Moore of sexual misconduct and child sexual molestation. Then the Republican National Committee pulled their financial support for Moore. Then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other prominent Republicans — to their credit — told Moore to drop out of the race. The president stayed mum. Moore refused to drop out. Republicans gradually warmed back up to Moore, and the RNC resumed support.

Then President Trump went all in for the child molester because 1) if he gave an inch to Moore’s accusers, he would have to do more Trump-‘splainin’ about his own multiple accusers, and 2) he wanted to maintain the current level of GOP control of the Senate (52-48), no matter the cost to his party, to pass something — anything.

Then Roy Moore lost to Doug Jones by 2 percentage points. Alabama has not elected a Democratic senator since 1992 — and even that guy later converted to GOP-ism. The white nationalist Republicans were stunned. The thoughtful Republicans were relieved not to have the Moore albatross around their necks. Trump was furious — again. And the country was given hope that Trumpism can be defeated, even in one of the reddest states in the union.

Oh, and then Trump said he knew Moore wouldn’t win anyway (with an exclamation point!):

“The reason I originally endorsed Luther Strange (and his numbers went up mightily), is that I said Roy Moore will not be able to win the General Election. I was right! Roy worked hard but the deck was stacked against him!”

(Trump, Donald, R-N.Y., U.S. president; Twitter post; 12/13/2017.)

“One of Our Attorneys — Is a Jew

The day before the Alabama election, Team Moore decided they needed to push back against anti-Semitic accusations. Apparently, Roy slammed billionaire Democratic supporter George Soros recently, clearly implying the Jewish Soros was going to hell because of his faith:

“His agenda is sexual in nature, his agenda is liberal and not what Americans need. It’s not our American culture. Soros comes from another world that I don’t identify with. No matter how much money he’s got, he’s still going to the same place that people who don’t recognize God and morality and accept his salvation are going. And that’s not a good place.”

(Moore, Roy, R-Ala., U.S. senatorial candidate; interview conducted by Fischer, Bryan; American Family Radio’s The Ordinary People Society; 12/4/2017.)

So during one of Roy’s rare appearances in the campaign’s last week, they trotted out his wife, Kayla, to tell supporters this:

“Fake news would tell you that we don’t care for Jews. I tell you all this because I’ve seen it all so I just want to set the record straight while they’re here.” (she smiles snidely and waves to the press; crowd applauds) “One of our attorneys — is a Jew.” (she smiles very snidely; crowd titters)

The performance was so laughable that many pundits suspected Roy and Kayla knew this would only buoy the anti-Semitic accusations, but that they didn’t care. The contemptuous emphasis Kayla snarled when she said, “… is a Jew” — followed by the smart-ass smile she flashed — could only confirm to the world that, yes, “we don’t care for Jews.”

This type of stunt is very close to Donald’s heart. Yeah, son-in-law Jared is an Orthodox Jew and daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism when she married Jared. But when the microphones and cameras are off (or at least, when he thinks they’re off) Trump would say, “they are two of the good ones, a credit to their race — or whatever you call Jewishness.”

“Kirsten Gillibrand Would Do Anything for Campaign Contributions”

The other day, Sen. Gillibrand called for President Trump’s resignation over the 17-or-so credible accusations of sexual misconduct and assault by Donald. “Oh, snap. Where’s my phone?”:

“Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office ‘begging’ for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!”

The president tweeted this on the day of the Alabama election. Some people were still deciding for whom to vote. And among those people were women. Some experts believe this tweet played a role in tilting the election for the Democrat, Jones. Note that exit polls showed Trump’s job performance rating in the state at 48 percent approval, 48 percent disapproval. He has lost the supermajority of voters who will follow him blindly.

It took eight years for a majority of Americans to decide they like the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare. Interestingly, the tipping point seemed to come when they were threatened with losing it. It has taken less than one year for a majority to decide they do not like Donald Trump: the man or his policies. As of Wednesday, the Monmouth University Polling Institute and the Pew Research Center show the president with a 32 percent approval rating, the lowest for these two polls since Inauguration Day.

Poll numbers fly around like crazy, and it’s always important to check sources. But the numbers representing poll questions like, “Should President Trump be impeached?” or “Should Congress investigate the accusations of Trump sexual misconduct?” or “Do you think the president is untrustworthy?” continue to rise persistently, month by month.

“Not Fit to Clean the Toilets in the Barack Obama Presidential Library”

USA Today is traditionally politically neutral. It has never endorsed a political candidate and has only “non-endorsed” two in its history, one being David Duke. It is the paper of travelers throughout airports and hotels in America. It has earned the sobriquet McPaper for a reason: Like McDonalds, USA Today maintains their national customer base by being predictable and consistently inoffensive.

But the president went a step too far for the editorial board of the periodical you find outside your Holiday Inn Express room door each weekday morning:

“A president who would all but call Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand a whore is not fit to clean the toilets in the Barack Obama Presidential Library or to shine the shoes of George W. Bush.”

This classic will go down in history. This is like Ronald McDonald saying, “Everybody likes a Big Mac, but presidential sexual predators like them the most.” Of course, if McDonalds ever dissed President Trump — a notorious consumer of two Big Macs, two Filets-o-Fish, and a large chocolate shake for dinner — their stock would fall dramatically.

“This Entire Race Has Been About Dignity and Respect”

Which brings us to Doug Jones:

“This entire race has been about dignity and respect. This campaign has been about the rule of law. … As Dr. King liked to quote, ‘The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends toward justice.’ … You helped bend that moral arc a little closer to that justice and … you sent it right through the heart of the great state of Alabama.”

Even though Roy Moore lost, the GOP has been stained as the party that supports sexual assaulters, the party of Trump and Moore. Though Mr. Moore lost, it still stands that the president, himself, threw the entire weight of his office behind the Alabama Republican. Many other prominent Grand Old Party members did the same. Heck, Alabama’s governor, Kay Ivey, actually said she believed Roy Moore’s accusers, but she was still voting for him. At least Donald hid behind his smug, phony belief that Moore’s weak denials were exculpatory.

One of the reddest of red states, Alabama, has decided that “dignity and respect” trump blind party loyalty.

I like it: “dignity and respect.” ■

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