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Thu Oct 3, 2019, 08:52 PM

Dahlia Lithwick: Trump Can't Outrun This One

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/10/trump-ukraine-scandal-playbook-finally-not-working.html

Trump Canít Outrun This One
Every Trump scandal follows a playbook. With Ukraine, the playbook finally might not work.
By Dahlia Lithwick
Oct 03, 20197:51 PM

snip//

Just two days ago, Trump was being clobbered in the media for trading military aid to Ukraine for their promise to cook up some oppo research. Today he is openly calling on China to do the same, because if heís doing it in public, it must be OK. Two days ago, Mike Pompeo was openly denying involvement in that phone call. Now heís proud of it. Attempts to shame the un-shameable slide right off the plate. That pattern: deny it, continue to do it secretly, then do it openly, is the entirety of the Trumpian rinse cycle. It is by way of that pattern that Trump persuaded millions of Americans that locking children in cages without soap is acceptable, or that declining congressional subpoenas is permissible and just. Elapsed time and flagrant lies have so far had the desired effect. Mondayís scandal becomes Fridayís meh. And so, heís spinning the message that inviting foreign powers to interfere with American elections to harm his electoral opponents is normal. Itís really just a smart thing smart people do all the time, and Republicans should come along for the ride. Thursdayís bombshells dream of becoming Fridayís meh.

Indeed, Trumpís minions are now openly circumnavigating the globe, enrolling and coercing foreign interference in elections in service of a conspiracy theory too extraordinary to be comprehended, much less explained. (Itís explained here). And in a week or two, the hope is that inviting and indeed bribing foreign allies into participating in election- stealing, while undermining oneís own domestic intelligence apparatus, will seem rather benign. What Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats appear to be doing here, is attempting to outrun the normalization cycle.

Maybe this time feels different because, well, they are exceptionally bad at this one. Or maybe it feels different because the bombshells are coming from whistleblowers and Inspectors General who have been silent until they couldnít be. Or maybe it feels different because no matter how you spin it, the president appears to be losing his shit. But maybe it just feels different because this time Donald Trump looks weak and pathetic. Itís not like the other un-scandals, when he didnít pay his taxes and told people he was smart, or when he treated women like garbage and told people he was sexy, or when he profited from the businesses from which he refused to divest himself and told people he was just too fantastic a businessman, or even when he destroyed the lives of immigrants and asylum seekers and told people he was tough.

No, this time, even as he admits to the impeachable act and says itís what smart people do, he mostly looks nuts. He looks like a desperate man chasing an imaginary enemyónot his political opponent but his opponentís sonóaround the globe, firing ambassadors, plotting with Paul Manafort, shaking down the Australians and the Italians and begging the Chinese to get in on the action, all because heís hell-bent on destroying a political opponent who isnít even his opponent yet. Heís twisted and bent the State Department and the Justice Department and the Republican Senate into confederates in whatís emerged as the saddest little snipe hunt in the world. Heís ripping up the carpeting on constitutional democracy for, well, an imaginary grudge.

The Ukraine scandal may stick to him, and not simply because the president cannot seem to outrun it, but because even if he finally catches up, begging Australia and China to help him steal another election doesnít have the look of a winner. Itís small, and weak. This time, maybe, bragging about that doesnít help.

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Reply Dahlia Lithwick: Trump Can't Outrun This One (Original post)
babylonsister Oct 3 OP
Claritie Pixie Oct 3 #1
Arazi Oct 3 #2

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Oct 3, 2019, 08:59 PM

1. He does look weak, desperate too. Good article!

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Oct 3, 2019, 09:02 PM

2. Big rec. I fervently hope the dam is breaking

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