Too Dangerous For Bail
Adam Kinzinger's twitter account was on a tear yesterday. Not only did he send out the tweet above, earlier he retweeted Bill Kristol: "Talk about saying the quiet part loud. Trump here admits or rather boasts that what he wanted Mike Pence to do was to 'overturn the election.'" He also retweeted Kurt Bardella: "Every Republican in Congress and candidate running for House/Senate should be asked if they support pardons for the 1.6 domestic terrorists." Believe me, this will not make Kinzinger any more popular among his colleagues in Congress, nor at the NRCC.
Nor was Kinzinger the only Republican thinking about the damage Trump's statement on overthrowing the election could do to Republican midterm prospects. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) was on Fox yesterday bolstering Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson's comments from the day before that the Republican party needs to move on from Trump. Hogan: "With America on the wrong path, the stakes are too high to double down on failure. My friend Governor Hutchinson is exactly right. As we’ve already proven in Maryland, the best path for Republican success is a big tent GOP focused on the future and common-sense conservative solutions."
Look at the last sentence of this statement from the self-sabotaging degenerate:
Referring to Pence, he said "Unfortunately, he didn't exercise that power, he could have overturned the election." More evidence in plain view for the select committee investigating the insurrection and coup attempt. Just like his open musing about pardoning-- should he get back into office-- the characters who have been subpoenaed to testify about his activities as the coup was being plan and then unfolded. And referring to the first part of the now infamous statement, Trump-nemisis, conservative legal scholar George Conway, reminded Trump and whoever wrote the statement for him that "sometimes we want to make laws even clearer so that even semiliterate psychopaths have a chance at understanding them."
Early this morning, CNN's Stephen Collison reported that Señor T "conjured a vision of a second term that would function as a tool of personal vengeance, and become even more authoritarian than his first, when he vowed to pardon US Capitol insurrectionists if he runs for the White House again and wins. His pledge at a Texas rally Saturday was accompanied by a call for demonstrations if prosecutors in New York, who are probing Trump's business practices, and those in Georgia, looking into his attempts to reverse his election loss in the state, do anything that he defined as wrong or illegal. The comments underscore Trump's obsession with delusional lies that he won the 2020 election, and his determination to put that falsehood at the core of the Republican worldview. As was often the case during his four years in office, Trump's pardons threat shows that he still makes no distinction between his personal goals and the national interest or rule of law. But the former President's new rhetorical outburst also at times hinted at concern with his own legal position, and comes at a moment when various criminal and congressional lines of investigation seem to be tightening around him. The House select committee probing the January 6, 2021 riot has now penetrated deep inside Trump's West Wing inner circle, and he lost a Supreme Court bid to keep key documents secret. The likelihood of a damning accounting from the committee, bristling with new details about Trump's attempt to destroy American democracy, is growing, though the GOP has sought to thwart it at every turn. As well as further threatening US democracy on Saturday night, Trump was preoccupied with his personal legal exposure. He fired off a wild attack, which looked to be racially-motivated, on two Black New York prosecutors investigating whether his business empire deliberately falsified accounts to get preferential treatment on loans and income taxes. He also alluded to potential legal peril he's facing in Fulton County, Georgia, where a Black district attorney has been granted a special grand jury to examine his attempt to steal President Joe Biden's win in the state."
With Trump and his fans already referring to him as the 45th and the 47th President, his fixation with the 2020 election may also represent a growing problem for the Republican Party. In the midterm elections in November and beyond, the GOP wants to build a case that Biden is weak, flailing at home and abroad and has lost his grip on inflation. But Trump, who wants to use the elections to demonstrate his hold on the GOP grassroots, threatens to detract from that simple Republican message. While the ex-President remains wildly popular with the "Make America Great Again" crowd, his loss in 2020 poses the question of whether Republicans-- and independents and suburban swing voters-- want to get stuck forever in Trump's unhinged 2020 feedback loop. Some other potential 2024 presidential candidates, like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, are meanwhile demonstrating that Trump's populist nationalism and assault on what supporters view as liberal elites will be waged long after the 45th President has left the scene.
...The House Republican conference has already demonstrated that it would act as a vessel of Trump's power and vengeance if it wins the majority in November. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has put the ex-President at the center of his efforts to become speaker of the House and has been put on notice by pro-Trump members like Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene that departures from the ex-President's dogma could doom his hopes. And former Speaker Newt Gingrich encapsulated the extremism of the House GOP when he suggested last week that a new majority should throw members of the January 6 committee in jail.
The ex-President's speech was also notable for an extraordinary assault on prosecutors in New York who are investigating allegations of fraud at his business empire. The ex-President called for "the biggest protests we have ever had" if the prosecutors "do anything wrong or illegal." New York Attorney General Letitia James and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Jr. are both leading investigations into Trump's business empire. And both are Black, a point that Trump hinted at in his complaints about his treatment.
"These prosecutors are vicious, horrible people. They're racists and they're very sick-- they're mentally sick," he said. "They're going after me without any protection of my rights from the Supreme Court or most other courts. In reality, they're not after me, they're after you," he told his crowd.
It was the second recent occasion when Trump has sought to stir up racial hatred as part of his increasingly dangerous rhetoric. He claimed at a rally in Arizona two weeks ago that White people could not get Covid-19 treatment or vaccines in New York, grossly distorting a policy that says that race should be one factor in the use of limited therapies for a disease that disproportionately affects Black and Hispanic populations.
Trump's speech once again presented a conundrum about how much attention should be paid to an ex-President who is using his high profile to stir division and outrage in order to stay politically relevant. Yet given his power in the Republican Party and the intensity of those who follow a once and possible future President who has already incited a coup to overthrow an election, it would be unwise to ignore the implications of his rage.
Even out of office, Trump has convinced millions of Americans that the election was stolen and Biden is an illegitimate president. Multiple Republican-run states have passed laws that make it harder to vote and easier for political officials to interfere in election results rooted in his false claims of voter fraud. And Trump is touring the country inciting polarization and racial animus as the hot favorite for the GOP 2024 nomination.
Many people who oppose the death penalty feel that Trump should spend the rest of his life in a super-max prison.