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Confounding principled conservatives — and virtually all Democrats — is how currently serving Republicans have thrown their reputations out the window to support Trump. For most of them, their malfeasance is based wholly upon tweet-attack-a-phobia and self-preservation. Any daylight between a sitting GOP legislator and President Trump’s base of support spells a primary challenge in his (or much less likely, a Republican “her”) next election. So active Republican politicians are a lost cause for now. Donald fires his six-shooter near their feet, yells “Dance, partner!” and they dance. But we have an unprecedented number of nationally known political thinkers, operatives, and former elected officials who have gone on record with the belief that a sitting president of their own party is a danger to our democracy. (scroll down for full article)

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— RECENT HEADLINES –
“Voicemail Recording Released, Showing Trump Lawyer Threatening Michael Flynn Lawyer, Speaking in Code to Offer Pardon for Flynn’s Silence, Non-Cooperation” (6/6/2019)
“Presidential Candidate Joe Biden (D-DE) Decides No Longer to Support Hyde Amendment (Which Outlaws Federal Funds, Medicaid for Abortion), 24 Hrs. After Heavy Criticism From Rivals” (6/6/2019)
“Trump Ruins European D-Day Ceremonies w/ Boorish Political Sniping at Dems. in Front of Fallen Normandy Soldiers’ Graves; Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Respects Occasion, Refuses to Engage” (6/6/2019)
“Federal Judge Orders Fmr. FBI Director James Comey’s Trump Memos Unredacted” (6/7/2019)
“Trump Brutally Attacks House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Personally After Her Private Remark That She Thinks He Should Go to Prison for His Crimes Against America” (6/7/2019)
“Trump Backs off Mexican Tariff Threats, Claims Concessions, Though Mexico Merely Re-Agreed to Moves Decided Months Ago; Another Instance of ‘Trump the Arsonist and Firefighter’” (6/9/2019)
“Watergate WH Counsel John Dean Testifies to Congress About Parallels to Trump-Russia Corruption Case; Fmr. U.S. Attorneys Testify Trump Would Be Indicted Were He Not a Sitting Pres.” (6/10/2019)
“DOJ Offers Redacted Mueller Content, Underlying Docs.; AG Barr Contempt Deferred” (6/10/2019)
“Trump Continues to Lie About Mysterious Future Mexican Immigration Agreement” (6/10/2019)
“Illegal Influence Scandal Brewing for Transportation Sec. Elaine Chao, Husband Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY); Chao Has Been Steering Gov. Contracts to KY for McConnell” (6/10/2019)
“More Than 10 Cabinet Leaders, Other Top Admin. Officials Are Still ‘Acting’ Status” (6/11/2019)
“Kim Jong Un’s Half-Brother (Whom Kim Had Murdered) Was CIA Informant; Trump Declares to Kim, World That He Wouldn’t Have Allowed This ‘under my auspices’; Trump Declaration, Love Affair (‘We fell in love’) With Kim Seen as Traitorous by Many, Jeopardizes CIA Informants Everywhere” (6/11/2019)
“Nat’l Quinnipiac Poll: Biden Would Beat Trump Today by 13 Points, 5 Other Dem. Candidates Would Win by Varying High Single Digits; Trump’s Own Internal Polling Shows Similar Results” (6/11/2019)
“Donald Trump Jr. Testifies to Congress Again, to Clear Up Alleged Misstatements” (6/12/2019)
Hong Kong Erupts in Massive Protests Over Bill That Would Allow Extraditions to China” (6/12/2019)
“Fmr. WH Comms. Director Hope Hicks Defies Trump, Will Testify to Congress Next Week” (6/12/2019)
“House Holds AG Barr, Commerce Sec. Ross in Contempt Over Census Citizenship Question” (6/12/2019)
“Trump: 1) OK to Accept Foreign Election Help; 2) ‘All congressmen do it’; 3) Would Not Call FBI if Approached; 4) FBI Director Wray Is ‘Wrong’ to Say Approached Campaigns Should Call FBI” (6/12/2019)

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This week, I wanted to review something that is on my mind often: the many conservatives, Republicans, and former Republicans who have made clear their opposition to President Donald Trump.

There is currently one sitting national GOP legislator who has come out for beginning impeachment hearings. That is Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.), a co-founder of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus. This man deserves a ton of credit. Many in his party have excommunicated him, and he almost certainly will lose his next House primary election.

Many more Republicans — prominent consultants, strategists, commentators, and former politicians — also have expressed their opposition to Donald as president. Granted, non-elected political professionals have much less to lose for defying this administration, but their voices still are essential. Their importance cannot be overstated.

There always have been pundits and politicians of a president’s own party who have criticized or disagreed with him. (So far they are all hims.) This is healthy. This is normal. This is democracy. But in the modern era, other than at the bitter end of Richard M. Nixon’s administration, we have not seen this Trumpian level of same-party resistance to a current president’s behavior, policies, and corruption. And even the bulk of Nixon’s GOP detractors didn’t detract until the infamous smoking gun tape was uncovered prompting the dam to break.

Today, an unprecedented number of prominent members of a commander in chief’s own party want him gone.

Confounding these principled conservatives — and virtually all Democrats — is how currently serving Republicans have thrown their reputations and ethical currency out the window to support Trump. For most of them, their malfeasance is based wholly upon tweet-attack-a-phobia and self-preservation. Any daylight between a sitting GOP House representative or senator and President Trump’s base of support spells a primary challenge in his (or much less likely, a Republican her) next election. So active Grand Old Party politicians are a lost cause for now. Donald fires his six-shooter near their feet, yells “Dance, partner!” and they dance.

But we have upwards of 40 — and still counting — nationally known political thinkers, operatives, and former elected officials who have gone on record with the belief that a sitting president of their own political tribe is a danger to our democracy.




PROMINENT ANTI-TRUMP REPUBLICANS/CONSERVATIVES

[Organizations]

National Reviewtried to op-ed Republicans into defeating Trump in the 2016 primary
Washington Free Beaconhired Fusion GPS (Steele Dossier) to defeat Trump in the 2016 primary

[Individuals]

Al Cardenaspolitical consultant, commentator
Ana Navarropolitical consultant, commentator
Barbara Bushfmr. First Lady
Bill Kristol political consultant, commentator
Bill Weldfmr. governor (Mass.)
Bob Corker — fmr. senator (Tenn.)
Charlie Sykes political commentator
Christine Todd Whitmanfmr. EPA administrator (George W. Bush), fmr. governor (N.J.)
Colin Powellfmr. Secretary of State (George W. Bush), fmr. Joint Chiefs Chairman (George H. W. Bush)
Dan Senorpolitical consultant
David Brooksauthor, political commentator
David Frumpolitical consultant, commentator
Elise Jordanpolitical consultant, commentator
Evan McMullinfmr. CIA operations officer, fmr. presidential candidate
George ConwayWashington, D.C., attorney, spouse of Kellyanne
George H. W. Bushfmr. president
George W. Bushfmr. president
George Will author, political commentator
Jeb Bushfmr. governor (Fla.)
Jeff Flakefmr. senator (Ariz.)
Jennifer Rubin political commentator
Joe Scarborough political commentator, fmr. U.S. representative (Fla.)
John Kasichfmr. governor (Ohio)
John McCainfmr. senator (Ariz.)
John Podhoretzpolitical commentator
Justin AmashU.S. representative (Mich.)
Laura Bushfmr. First Lady
Mark Sanfordfmr. U.S. representative (S.C.), fmr. governor (S.C.)
Max Bootmilitary historian, political commentator
Michael Steelpolitical consultant, commentator
Michael S. Steelefmr. RNC Chair, political consultant, commentator
Mike Murphypolitical consultant, commentator
Mitt Romneysenator (Utah), fmr. governor (Mass.)
Nicolle Wallacepolitical consultant, commentator
Richard Painterfmr. chief White House ethics lawyer (George W. Bush)
Rick Wilsonpolitical consultant, commentator
Sophia A. Nelsonpolitical consultant, commentator
Steve Schmidtpolitical consultant, commentator
Stuart Stevenspolitical consultant
Susan Del Perciopolitical consultant, commentator
Tom Colemanfmr. U.S. representative (Mo.)
William Millikenfmr. governor (Mich.)

__________

I’ve also included my partial list of Trump associates, administration hires, and organizations who define the swamp metaphor.

JUST FOR FUN — TRUMP SWAMP CREATURES

[Organizations]

Trump 2016 Campaignunder criminal investigation
Trump (“charitable”) Foundationunder criminal investigation
Trump Inaugural Committeeunder criminal investigation
Trump Organizationunder criminal investigation
Trump Transition Committeeunder criminal investigation

[Individuals]

Allen WeisselbergTrump Organization CFO (granted immunity to testify)
Brenda FitzgeraldCDC Director (resigned – self-enrichment)
Brock LongFEMA administrator (resigned – self-enrichment)
David BernhardtInterior Secretary (resigned – self-enrichment)
David ShulkinVA Secretary (resigned – self-enrichment)
George PapadopoulosTrump Campaign foreign policy adviser (indicted, pleaded guilty)
Michael CohenTrump personal lawyer (indicted, pleaded guilty)
Michael FlynnNational Security Advisor (indicted, pleaded guilty)
Paul Manafort Trump Campaign Manager (indicted, pleaded guilty)
Rick GatesDeputy Trump Campaign Manager (indicted, pleaded guilty)
Rob Porterfmr. White House staff secretary (domestic abuse, improper security clearance)
Roger StoneTrump adviser (indicted, awaiting trial)
Ronny JacksonPhysician to the President (incompetence, improper drug dispensing)
Ryan ZinkeInterior Secretary (resigned – self-enrichment)
Scott PruittEPA administrator (resigned – self-enrichment)
Tom PriceHHS Secretary (resigned – self-enrichment)

[Those Accused or Under Investigation]

Ben CarsonHUD Secretary (conflict-of-interest, self-enrichment)
Elliott Broidyfmr. RNC deputy finance chairman, Trump fundraiser (self-enrichment)
Jared Kushnersenior White House adviser (self-enrichment, improper security clearance)
Mick MulvaneyActing White House chief of staff and Director of OMB (conflict-of-interest)
Steven MnuchinTreasury Secretary (self-enrichment)
Wilbur RossCommerce Secretary (conflict-of-interest, self-enrichment, corruption)

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The colossal, galactic hypocrisy of the Trump “Drain the Swamp” slogan should be enough, alone, to convince any fence sitters that this president is a colossal embarrassment and galactic danger to our country.

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HEADLINES & MORE (Week Ending 6/13/19)

As always, there is a plethora, a surfeit, a superfluity — and many other synonym-alicious words for a lot — of disturbing Trump-related news this week. It never stops. And it will never stop until he’s removed. See my list of headlines for an overview. Three stand out:

Illegal Influence Scandal Brewing for Transportation Sec. Elaine Chao and Husband Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (6/10/2019)

“U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao designated one of her staffers to direct $78 million in federal grants specifically to transportation projects in her husband Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home state of Kentucky. …

“Over the past few weeks, Chao has come under scrutiny for other actions that appeared to be a possible conflict of interest. [She has yet to divest her holdings in a large road-building materials company, which benefits every time the Trump Administration mentions ‘Infrastructure Week.’] … Chao attempted to arrange for members of her family — who own a major shipping company in China — to travel with her on a 2017 government trip to China and sit in on official meetings with her, but ended up canceling the trip altogether when officials from the State and Transportation Department raised ethics concerns.”

(Panetta, Grace; “Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao Reportedly Steered $78 Million in Federal Grants to Kentucky, Her Husband Sen. Mitch McConnell’s Home State”; Markets Insider; 6/10/2019.)

Kim Jong Un’s Half-Brother Was CIA Informant; Trump Publicly Declares to Kim That He Wouldn’t Have Allowed This “under my auspices” (6/11/2019)

“Asked about new reports that Kim [Jong Un]’s half-brother, Kim Jong Nam — who was murdered with VX nerve agent in Kuala Lumpur airport in 2017 — had been a CIA informant, Trump said he would not have allowed that to happen. … ‘I would tell [Kim] that would not happen under my auspice, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t let that happen under my auspices,’ Trump said. It was the latest occasion on which Trump has appeared to side with an adversary over U.S. intelligence. In July last year, he made clear he believed President Vladimir Putin’s denials over U.S. intelligence assessments that Russia had interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.”

(Borger, Julian; “Trump Claims He Wouldn’t Have Allowed CIA to Recruit Kim Jong Un’s Relatives”; The Guardian; 6/11/2019.)

Trump: 1) It’s OK to Accept Foreign Election Help; 2) He Would Not Call FBI if Approached; 3) FBI Director Chris Wray Is “Wrong” (6/12/2019)

“‘If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said] “we have information on your opponent” — oh, I think I’d want to hear it. It’s not an interference, they have information — I think I’d take it,’ Trump said. [He continued,] ‘If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI — if I thought there was something wrong. But when somebody comes up with oppo research, right, they come up with oppo research, “oh let’s call the FBI.” The FBI doesn’t have enough agents to take care of it. When you go and talk, honestly, to congressmen, they all do it, they always have, and that’s the way it is. It’s called oppo research.’

“‘Somebody comes up and says, “hey, I have information on your opponent,” do you call the FBI?’ Trump responded. ‘I’ll tell you what, I’ve seen a lot of things over my life. I don’t think in my whole life I’ve ever called the FBI. In my whole life. You don’t call the FBI. You throw somebody out of your office, you do whatever you do,’ Trump continued. ‘Oh, give me a break — life doesn’t work that way.’

“‘The FBI director said that is what should happen,’ [ABC News Chief Anchor George] Stephanopoulos replied. …

“‘The FBI director is wrong, because frankly it doesn’t happen like that in life,’ Trump said.”

(Bruggeman, Lucien; “‘I Think I’d Take It’: In Exclusive Interview, Trump Says He Would Listen if Foreigners Offered Dirt on Opponents”; ABCNews.com; 6/13/2019.)

Business as usual. ■

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Trump Corruption Chronicles — We Must Never Forget