Now that the election is over, Donald Trump is cleaning house (again). His first move was to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Trump was upset that Sessions didn’t do enough to protect him personally. He wanted an attorney general that would shield him from any investigations of his misdeeds.
Sessions wouldn’t do this, even after Trump repeatedly insulted him in public and on Twitter. In retrospect, it shouldn’t be surprising that an accused racist would have a thick skin.
There are several candidates to replace Sessions, but Rudi Giuliani should be on Trump’s shortlist. He has the political chops, he’s a former prosecutor and most importantly, he’s a Trump lap dog.
Sure, it would look bad if the lawyer defending Trump in Robert Mueller’s investigation became Mueller’s supervisor. But hey, the election’s over and who cares what people say. Trump certainly doesn’t – he has a thicker skin than Sessions.
In retrospect, we should have anticipated this. Our assumption was that a last minute election surprise would involve Donald Trump. It didn’t. It involved one of his most loyal wannabees.
Yesterday Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp declared that his office was investigating the Democrats for trying to hack Georgia’s voting system. It was a textbook Trumpian move: if your opponents accuse you of something, don’t defend yourself. Instead, accuse them of the same thing, only worse.
For months Kemp’s department has been accused of unfairly kicking people off the voter rolls to keep Democrats from voting. On Friday, a judge agreed and ordered the voters reinstated. There wasn’t much Kemp could do to defend himself, so instead, two days later, he accused the Democrats of malfeasance.
It is a technique that Trump is a master of. Trump has some kind of Teflon coating, and the media until very recently have been easily distracted by his schoolyard “no you did’ accusations. Kemp is not Trump though, so it remains to be seen whether he’ll get away with it. We’ll know soon enough.
The 2018 campaign is almost over and no matter who wins or looses this week, one thing is abundantly clear. No one comes even close to matching Donald Trump on the campaign trail.
For the past several weeks, Trump has been able to command an incredible amount of press coverage while crowding out anyone from the Democratic side. Yes, Barak Obama got some press, as did Bernie Saunders. And two-time loser Hillary Clinton is still kicking around and acting like she has a political future, which is catnip to the press.
But no one can put out a message on the campaign trail like Trump. Quite frankly, the Republicans are going have to think about lifting the ‘Great Communicator’ mantle from Ronald Reagan and giving it to Trump instead.
For the Dems to have any chance in 2020 they are going to have to find people that can take campaigning to a higher level. Maybe not at the Trump level, but at least close.
Here’s a scenario. Donald Trump stonewalls on talking to special counsel Robert Mueller. He decides he has nothing to gain by answering his questions. Mueller cannot subpoena the President, so we are done.
Or are we?
Assuming the Dems take power in the House (not a safe assumption at all), a number of House committees will start investigating Trump for this and that. He will stonewall all of them. And there the matter will end.
Or will it?
Suppose the House votes to impeach Trump, knowing that they have no hope of winning a conviction in the Senate. But the reason for impeaching him is not to kick him out of office. It is to force a trial in the Senate where the President will have to testify under oath. In other words, the House tells Mueller, “Give us your questions – we’ll get the answers for you”.
Mitch McConnell will do everything he can to delay a trial. Brett Kavanaugh will likely help him. But you have to admin it would be a pretty sneaky way for the Dems to get Mueller the information he needs to build his case(s).
It is a week before election day and one wonders whether there will be some sort of last minute surprise. Like in 2016 when the FBI Director announced 11 days before the election that Hillary Clinton’s emails were again under investigation, only to say ‘nevermind’ a week later.
- Will there be a leak from Robert Mueller’s office or any of the attorney generals investigating Trump, Inc?
- Will Hillary Clinton say something stupid? (And why is she still in the public eye?)
- Does Michael Avenatti have another client in the wings ready to spill?
- Will the Russians get caught red handed?
- Will extreme Trump supporters try to kill more people?
The odds are at least 50/50 on something happening. If it does, which side will it help? The last minute Kavenaugh kerfuffle turned out to be a great motivator for Trump’s Republican base. Is there anything that will get more millennials or Hispanics to the polls for the Democrats without firing up the other side as well?
We will know soon enough.
Donald Trump recently proposed a new tax cut for the middle class. The pundits have noted that he did this because the big tax cut that the Republicans passed last year does not seem to be resonating with the voters, at least the middle class ones.
They are missing the point.
Trump is openly admitting that last year’s tax cut was really for the corporations and the wealthy.
It should be an easy point for the Democrats to make. “Hey middle class, Trump promised you a tax cut but pulled a bait and switch. He admits it. Listen to him. Now he says he’ll make it up to you with another “middle class” tax cut. He’s hoping you’ll fall for the bait and switch again so he and the wealthy can do more to help their kids at the expense of yours.”
Will the inept Dems, who are sliding in the polls, figure that message out? Not likely.
Over the past week or so we’ve seen a real turnaround in the mainstream media. They are using the word ‘lie’ to describe Donald Trump’s pronouncements. As in “Donald Trump Is Lyin’ Up a Storm” (New York Times) and “Trump’s Lies Are Becoming Exponentially More Brazen” (Vanity Fair) or simply “Donald Trump Lies.” (CNN).
This is new. Until now, the media used words like “misstatements” and “falsehoods” to describe the President’s lies. For organizations that consider themselves objective reporters of the facts, it is amazing that it has taken them this long to call Trump a liar. He’s been lying all along.
Trump does it because it works. So why shouldn’t he? His opponents tear their hair out when he lies, and Trump and his supporters love watching them go nuts trying to prove that he’s wrong. It is like watching an old Saturday Night Live sketch of Jon Lovitz’ pathological liar. If you were in on the joke it was hilarious, and Trump’s supporters are definitely in on the joke.
The only time Trump doesn’t lie is when he is testifying in court. Which he did sometimes in his business career, but the truth is that he mostly settled legal challenges outside of court so he wouldn’t have to go under oath and tell the truth. And now that Brett Kavanaugh is on the Supreme Court, the chances of Trump having to testify under oath for the remainder of his presidency are very slim. And that’s no lie.