March, 1933 Germany Had One Last Chance To Save Itself From Naziism-- 17,277,180 People (43.9%) Voted For Hitler & That Was The End
Federal Judge Beryl Howell was chief judge of the DC District Court from 2016 until last March and still serves on the bench there. In a speech on Tuesday at the Women’s White Collar Defense Association, she she talked about the Big Lie and the danger democracy faces from authoritarianism. “My D.C. judicial colleagues and I regularly see the impact of big lies at the sentencing of hundreds, hundreds of individuals who have been convicted for offense conduct on Jan. 6, 2021, when they disrupted the certification of the 2020 presidential election at the U.S. Capitol… We are having a very surprising and downright troubling moment in this country when the very importance of facts is dismissed, or ignored. That’s very risky business for all of us in our democracy... The facts matter. She quoted Boston College historian Heather Cox Richardson’s claim in her new book that the U.S. “is at a crossroads teetering on the brink of authoritarianism… Big lies are springboards for authoritarians.”
Howell and Richardson aren’t the only ones sounding the alarm bells about the dangers the country is facing from Trump and his fascist movement. Yesterday, Dan Pfeiffer talked about why a second Trump term would be catastrophic for the country, starting with the voters’ shrunken and shrinking attention span in a “disrupted the time-space continuum” that the Internet— and the pandemic— have left us with. “[T]here is,” he wrote, “a real nostalgia for the pre-pandemic economy— even though that’s the economy Barack Obama and Joe Biden built and Donald Trump destroyed by mismanaging the pandemic. This sentiment may be misguided. Yet, it is understandable as people navigate higher prices and higher interest rates. The misplaced nostalgia doesn’t stop there. In a September Wall Street Journal poll, 52% of voters believe former president Trump “has a strong record of accomplishments” compared to only 40% for Biden. Once again, this is an incorrect assessment of Trump’s presidency. This foggy memory helps explain the declining share of Americans with concerns about Trump’s mental fitness and temperament— two things that were top concerns only a few years ago. This forgetfulness is frustrating to the folks who continue to believe Trump is an existential threat.”
Pfeiffer warned that Trump has already announced he will try repealing Obamacare again. Pfeiffer lists 10 problems that would cause for Americans:
GONE: Medicaid expansion, which covers more than 21 million people.
GONE: 49 million seniors will have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare ‘donut hole’ will be reopened.
GONE: 2.3 million adult children will no longer be able to stay on their parents’ insurance.
GONE: Insurance companies will be able to charge women more than men.
GONE: Premium tax credits that help 80 percent of people who purchase health care on the marketplace.
GONE: Key support for rural hospitals.
GONE: Ban on insurance companies having lifetime caps on coverage.
GONE: Requirements that insurance companies cover prescription drugs and maternity care.
GONE: 61.5 million Medicare beneficiaries will face higher costs and disruptions to their medical care.
What he didn’t mention is that Trump promised to find a “better” replacement. There’s only one better replacement and I wouldn’t put it beyond Trump to announce, after he’s clinched the nomination that he’s going to pass Medicare for All. That would end any chance of Biden being reelected on the spot. Trump has no core values other than winning and if you think he would hesitate a minute top claim he’ll pass Medicare-for-All, you haven’t been paying attention.
Pfeiffer wrote that “Many who talk about politics for a living (and a lot of voters) have fallen for the myth that Trump is less radical on abortion than other Republicans. His personal views don’t matter (on this or any other issue). What matters is what he has done and will do. Let’s take him at his word (for once). Trump recently said to a gathering of Evangelical activists: ‘I'm proud to be the most pro-life president in American history… From my first day in office, I took historic action to protect the unborn, very historic. Nobody else did anything near what we did.’… A second Trump presidency would be a nightmare for abortion rights— even in the states that recently passed laws or constitutional amendments guaranteeing access. If the Republicans have the House, Senate, and White House, they will almost certainly seek to pass a national ban on abortion. Even if that were to fail, a Trump Administration would weaponize the power of the state to make it harder to access abortion services.” Again, Trump has no core values at all and will do whatever he thinks is better for himself.
Pfeifer: “Like most Republicans, Donald Trump is content to complain about the economy without offering solutions to lower costs or raise wages. However, Donald Trump’s economic policies will exacerbate the current problems and make the economy more favorable to major corporations at the expense of workers. First, Joe Biden’s Administration has been the most pro-union in modern history. Don’t get distracted by Trump’s fake visit to Detroit during the UAW strike. His administration would be the most anti-union. Every level of government would be used to make it harder for workers to organize and unions to bargain collectively. Second, earlier this year, Jeff Stein of the Washington Post reported that Trump’s policy advisors were already sketching out plans for another massive corporate tax cut. According to Stein’s report: ‘Trump and his advisers have discussed deeper cuts to both individual and corporate tax rates that would build on his controversial 2017 tax law, which they see as a major accomplishment worth expanding, according to interviews with a half-dozen people close to the former president, some of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations. The cuts could be paid for, at least in theory, with a new 10 percent tariff on all imports to the United States that Trump has called for, which could raise hundreds of billions in revenue. The sharp new tax cuts would help offset higher consumer costs caused by the tariffs.’ The previous Trump tax cut ballooned the deficit and failed to grow the economy because the benefits went to corporate executives and wealthy investors.”
And, for Pfeiffer, last but not least:
The Death of Democracy
While Donald Trump remains vague about a lot of his second-term agenda, he has been VERY specific about his plans to weaponize the government to protect himself and his friends and punish his enemies:
Trump said during a recent campaign in Iowa that he wants to use the military to police crime and protests in U.S. cities.
After some of his appointees blocked his efforts to use the Department of Homeland Security to seize voting machines and deploy the military to help overturn the election, Trump allies concocted a plan to staff the government with lawyers who would bless such unconstitutional actions— think Rudy Giuliani but smarter and sober.
In public and private, Trump pledged to use the Department of Justice to investigate his critics— particularly those who opposed his efforts to steal the 2020 election. According to a frightening report from the Washington Post:
In private, Trump has told advisers and friends in recent months that he wants the Justice Department to investigate onetime officials and allies who have become critical of his time in office, including his former Chief of Staff, John F. Kelly, and former attorney general William P. Barr, as well as his ex-attorney Ty Cobb and former Joint Chief of Staff chairman Gen. Mark A. Milley, according to people who have talked to him, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations. Trump has also talked of prosecuting officials at the FBI and Justice Department, a person familiar with the matter said ‘In public, Trump has vowed to appoint a special prosecutor to “go after” President Biden and his family.’
Trump plans to change a civil service rule called “Schedule F” to purge the federal government of career public servants whom he views as insufficiently loyal to him. The vagaries of federal hiring policy may seem boring and esoteric, but Georgetown University professor Don Moynihan explained in a recent New York Times column why we should all care:
Schedule F would also damage democracy. The framers included a requirement in the Constitution itself, that public officials swear an oath of loyalty to the Constitution, a reminder to public employees that their deepest loyalty is to something greater than whoever occupies the White House or Congress. By using Schedule F to demand personal loyalty, Mr. Trump would make it harder for them to keep that oath.
I didn’t vote to reelect Obama in 2012 and I didn’t vote for Hillary or Biden. I’m long done with supporting the Democraps' lesser evil election strategy. But 2024 is way, way beyond a lesser of two evils confrontation. I’m seeing this as an existential choice and I feel like I really have no responsible option other than to vote for Biden, as much as I don’t want to. Trump is just too dangerous.