Conservative Never Trumper George Will penned an iconic Trump column Friday morning. If he reads, I hope Trump read it. Or, since he's functionally illiterate, maybe he had someone read it to him since he's of the school that "any press is good press." Or maybe no one wants to deliver this message for fear of his wrath. "Floundering in his attempts to wield political power while lacking a political office," wrote Will, "Donald Trump looks increasingly like a stray orange hair to be flicked off the nation’s sleeve. His residual power, which he must use or lose, is to influence his party’s selection of candidates for state and federal offices. This is, however, perilous because he has the power of influence only if he is perceived to have it. That perception will dissipate if his interventions in Republican primaries continue to be unimpressive."
He pointed out that many of Trump's recruits and endorsees are failing and pointed to David Perdue in Georgia, Tedd Budd in North Carolina, Janice McGeachin in Idaho, and Mo Brooks in Alabama, also noting that Trump's shtik is also failing and his appeal is waning. "He is an entertainer whose repertoire is stale."
"A European war," he wrote, "is unhelpful for Trump because it reminds voters that Longfellow was right: Life is real, life is earnest. Trump’s strut through presidential politics was made possible by an American reverie; war in Europe has reminded people that politics is serious." Trump rants and rave that "this country is saturated with corruption, from the top, where dimwits represent the evidently dimwitted voters who elected them, down to municipalities that conduct rigged elections." He's always been big on projectionism. "We are the sum of our choices, and Vladimir Putin has provoked some Trump poodles to make illuminating ones. Their limitless capacity for canine loyalty now encompasses the Kremlin war criminal. (The first count against Nazi defendants at Nuremberg: “Planning, preparation, initiation and waging of wars of aggression.”) For example, the vaudevillian-as-journalist Tucker Carlson, who never lapses into logic, speaks like an arrested-development adolescent: Putin has never called me a racist, so there. J.D. Vance, groveling for Trump’s benediction (Vance covets Ohio’s Republican Senate nomination), two weeks ago said: 'I don’t really care what happens to Ukraine.' Apparently upon discovering that Ohio has 43,000 Ukrainian Americans, Vance underwent a conviction transplant, saying, 'Russia’s assault on Ukraine is unquestionably a tragedy,' and emitting clouds of idolatry for Trump’s supposedly Metternichian diplomacy regarding Putin. For Trump, the suppurating wound on American life, and for those who share his curdled venom, war is a hellacious distraction from their self-absorption. Fortunately, their ability to be major distractions is waning."
Meanwhile back in the USSR or whatever they call it today, Putin, reported the NY Times, "amped up his threats as outgunned Ukrainians continued to fight off his military. The mayor of the first major city to fall to Russia said people were protesting the occupation. And in one besieged city, a cease-fire collapsed within hours." Putin-- a gas slighter in the Trumpist/Stalinist tradition-- ranted this morning that "Ukraine might lose its statehood if its leaders continued to resist his military invasion of the country. 'The current leadership needs to understand that if they continue doing what they are doing, they risk the future of Ukrainian statehood,' he said at a meeting in Moscow on Saturday, in his first extended remarks since the start of the war. 'If that happens,' he said, 'they will have to be blamed for that.'" Not by history-- which is likely to be very unkind to Putin... and Trump.
Isaac Arnsdorf, reporting for ProPublica Wednesday, wasn't focussing on Trump/Putin transgressions in Ukraine, but on Trump's criminality here at home, a takeover of the GOP by the Oath Keeper militia wing of the Republican Party. "The plan, known as the 'precinct strategy,' has been repeatedly promoted on Steve Bannon’s popular podcast. As ProPublica detailed last year, it has already inspired thousands of people to fill positions at the lowest rung of the party ladder. Though these positions are low-profile and often vacant, they hold critical powers: They help elect higher-ranking party officers, influence which candidates appear on the ballot, turn out voters on Election Day and even staff the polling precincts where people vote and the election boards that certify the results."