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Tue Jan 7, 2020, 11:14 AM

What Will Happen to The Trump Toadies? By Frank Rich

What Will Happen to The Trump Toadies? Look to Nixon’s defenders, and the Vichy collaborators, for clues.
By Frank Rich

Irony, declared dead after 9/11, is alive and kicking in Trump’s America. It’s the concepts of truth and shame that are on life support. The definition of “facts” has been so thoroughly vandalized that Americans can no longer agree on what one is, and our president has barreled through so many crimes and misdemeanors with so few consequences that it’s impossible to gainsay his claim that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it. Donald Trump proves daily that there is no longer any penalty for doing wrong as long as you deny everything, never say you’re sorry, and have co-conspirators stashed in powerful places to put the fix in.

...........

You don’t have to be a card-carrying fascist to collaborate with fascists and help them seize power; you just have to be morally bankrupt and self-serving. As the authoritative American historian of Vichy France, Robert O. Paxton, has pointed out, it was only “a rather small minority” of France’s wartime collaborators who were motivated by an actual “ideological sympathy with Nazism and Fascism” to go along with the Nazi puppet regime fronted by Marshal Philippe Pétain in Vichy. A more widespread incentive was “personal gain.” Others rationalized their complicity by persuading themselves they were acting in the “national interest.” It would be no surprise if that distribution of motivations persists among Trump collaborators today. Such backers as the financier Stephen Schwarzman and New York real-estate titans like Stephen Ross of Hudson Yards no doubt congratulate themselves on acting in the “national interest” while pocketing personal gains measured in either political influence or on a profit-and-loss statement.

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If you look back at the elite figures who lent their clout and prestige to clearing Hitler’s path before or during World War II, it’s striking how such folly and inhumanity remains immutable across national boundaries and centuries. The amalgam of nationalism, isolationism, and nativism embraced by Trump shares its DNA not just with the Pétainists of France but Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement cohort in England and America First, the movement whose name Trump appropriated without (of course) knowing what it was. America First, though originating as a campus-centric peace campaign, was hijacked by a rancid mob of Hitler acolytes and peace-at-any-price dupes that included, most famously, Charles Lindbergh. Many of these Hitler enablers had elaborate rationalizations for their actions that mirror those of Trump’s highest-profile shills today. Robert Taft, the hard-right isolationist senator from Ohio, wrote the script for Better Trump than Hillary–ism nearly a century ago: America should not go to war with Germany, he argued, because “there is a good deal more danger of the infiltration of totalitarian ideas from the New Deal circles in Washington than there will ever be from the activities of the … Nazis.”

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No one can predict posterity’s judgments, but if the past is any guide at all, this is not going to end well for Trump’s collaborators. The Reverend Sun Myung Moon, the Unification Church cult leader who was welcomed into the Oval Office by Nixon and whose brainwashed “Moonies” gathered en masse on the Capitol steps to pray and fast for three days during impeachment, may have found his farcical descendants in Trump’s Christian stooges. Witness the offspring of Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell — the Donald Trump Jr.’s, if you will, of America’s pagan Evangelical racket. Franklin Graham has preached an Old Testament parallel between Trump and David, while Jerry Jr. is now fending off inquiries into his and his wife’s antics, business or otherwise, with a pool boy they befriended at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. (For his part, Moon was eventually engulfed by repeated post-Watergate scandals, including a conviction for tax fraud and obstruction of justice that sent him to prison in 1982.) The rhetoric of Nixon’s and Trump’s mad-dog defenders can be interchangeable, too. There’s more than a little of the degraded Lindsey Graham in the legendary Today show appearance by Earl Landgrebe, a die-hard anti-impeachment vote on the House Judiciary Committee, the day before Nixon resigned in August 1974. “Don’t confuse me with the facts. I’ve got a closed mind,” he said. “I will not vote for impeachment. I’m going to stick with my president even if he and I have to be taken out of this building and shot.” (The voters shot him soon enough; he received only 39 percent of the vote in his safe Indiana district three months later.)

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Really GREAT Read:
http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/01/what-will-happen-to-trumps-republican-collaborators.html

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply What Will Happen to The Trump Toadies? By Frank Rich (Original post)
kpete Jan 7 OP
BKDem Jan 7 #1
NewJeffCT Jan 7 #2
grumpyduck Jan 7 #3
pangaia Jan 7 #4
Greybnk48 Jan 7 #5
JHB Jan 7 #6
malaise Jan 7 #7
bucolic_frolic Jan 7 #8
SWBTATTReg Jan 7 #9
moondust Jan 7 #10
The Blue Flower Jan 7 #11

Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jan 7, 2020, 11:19 AM

1. So it won't end well for Trump's willing executioners?

I have no shits to spare.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jan 7, 2020, 11:28 AM

2. sadly

Nixon did not have the support of a massive right wing propaganda network like Trump - Fox News and OANN nationally, Sinclair Broadcasting regionally on TV, Rush Limbaugh and dozens and dozens of other RW radio hosts and hundreds of local and regional newspapers.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jan 7, 2020, 11:31 AM

3. Well, there's room at Gitmo.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jan 7, 2020, 11:34 AM

4. In my lowly ignorance, I would say this is no comparison

to any of those others events...well, Hitler, perhaps-- except we are under attack from within.


But, speaking of Hitler, he was done away with by other countries in a horrendous war. Is THIS the way it will end again?

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jan 7, 2020, 12:17 PM

5. This article is the best I've read in a long time!

I highly recommend everyone read the whole thing.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jan 7, 2020, 12:55 PM

6. Rich makes a mistake by ending Moon's part as if he were washed up in '82

Moon made heavy investments in conservative messaging infrastructure. He may have gone to prison in 1982, but only for 13 months, and before he went he founded the Washington Times newspaper, supposedly as a conservative counterweight to the WaPo. It conveniently provided headlines and props for Republicans in congress to wave around as supposedly neutral reporting about the usual conservative axe-grinding points, or inveighing against investigations of Reagan-Bush scandals. It served as a precursor to FOX as a "mainstream" conservative spin factory.

It also happened to lose lots of money, and Moon sunk about $2 billion into it over the years. He did not expect to get that money back selling newspapers.


He also provided support to other conservative projects. When the Falwell's own Liberty University was on the verge of failing in 1995 due to high debt, Moon bailed it out. Staying out of the sort of scandals Rich alludes to was easier as Moon fostered allies among more conventionally home-grown conservative extremists.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jan 7, 2020, 12:58 PM

7. MUST READ

K & R

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jan 7, 2020, 02:06 PM

8. "pagan Evangelical racket" says it all /nt

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jan 7, 2020, 02:21 PM

9. I find it deliciously ironic that those surrounding rump and cronies are ignoring history at ...

their peril, despite early warning signs with the convictions and jail terms of those already convicted of wrong doing. History has a way of repeating itself (Watergate, turbo charged). History will not be kind to these people who have enabled rump and his followers.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jan 7, 2020, 02:25 PM

10. K/R

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jan 7, 2020, 02:51 PM

11. Best thing I've read in a long while

How does one kick and recommend?

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