Showing posts with label Secret Authoritarians. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Secret Authoritarians. Show all posts

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Trump Has Made It to 80% Dictator

Back in 2016, Steven M Walt, a Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University, put up a post about how you can tell if your leader is a dictator. He recently updated this last week and Trump is "failing" his dictatorship test. By "failing," Walt means that he's only 80% of the way there. He ranks Trump as "Flashing Red Light" on 3 and "Checked" on 5.

Here is the one that bothers me the most.
3. Politicizing the civil service, military, National Guard, or domestic security agencies.
Trump has railed against the so-called Deep State ever since he became president, for one simple reason: He objects to any institution that might serve as a check on his own actions. That’s not how presidents behave; it’s what dictators do. Look what happened last year: Following well-established legal procedures, patriotic civil service members brought a case of questionable presidential conduct to light, beginning with the whistleblower’s report about Trump’s attempt to get the government of Ukraine to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden’s son. This revelation led to Trump’s impeachment, where we learned that he had relieved the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, because she objected to Trump’s politically motivated machinations in that country.

Since his acquittal by Senate Republicans, Trump has launched a vicious campaign of payback. He fired former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland (whom Trump had appointed) because Sondland reluctantly gave damaging testimony to the House impeachment inquiry. He fired National Security Council staffer (and Purple Heart recipient) Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and then suggested Vindman ought to be disciplined further by the U.S. Army. In proper mafialike fashion, his vengeance also extended to Vindman’s twin brother (also a serving Army officer), even though the latter wasn’t involved in any of these machinations. And let’s not forget his personal interference in the military’s disciplinary proceedings against former Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, who was accused of serious war crimes by numerous other SEALs and convicted by the military justice system for lesser offenses.

The unifying purpose behind all of these actions is obvious. What matters to Trump is not someone’s expertise, professionalism, loyalty to the country, or dedication to the Constitution. What matters to Trump is whether members of the foreign service, the civil service, or the military are personally loyal to him. That’s the demand he made of former FBI Director James Comey, and when he didn’t get it, Comey was fired, too. Right out of the dictator’s playbook.

Folks, there is no such thing as a “Deep State.” What we have is a president who is actively politicizing the civil service, the military and domestic security agencies and getting push back from it from people that know how wrong this is. We lost a president (Garfield) because of civil service corruption. We passed a law (the Pendleton Act) to prevent exactly what Trump is doing. People need to study this law and how our government actually works as opposed to having irrational and emotional feelings get the better of them. In short, Trump and his supporters are lying (again) about the government.

Don’t believe them.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Totalitarians All Along

For years, conservatives warned of liberal totalitarianism. It turns out it was really them all along that want a state similar to the Soviet Union.

By using the phrase and placing himself in such infamous company, at least in his choice of vocabulary to attack his critics, Mr. Trump has demonstrated, Ms. Khrushcheva said, that the language of “autocracy, of state nationalism is always the same regardless of the country, and no nation is exempt.” She added that, in all likelihood, Mr. Trump had not read Lenin, Stalin or Mao Zedong, but the “formulas of insult, humiliation, domination, branding, enemy-forming and name calling are always the same.”


I've said this for years. Whenever conservatives bitch liberals being ____________, it's invariably them that are being ____________.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Two Articles of Warning

Two great pieces popped up in my news feed this week. The first was written right after Brexit on July 23 of this year.

History tells us what may happen next with Brexit & Trump

At a local level in time people think things are fine, then things rapidly spiral out of control until they become unstoppable, and we wreak massive destruction on ourselves. For the people living in the midst of this it is hard to see happening and hard to understand. To historians later it all makes sense and we see clearly how one thing led to another. During the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme I was struck that it was a direct outcome of the assassination of an Austrian Arch Duke in Bosnia. I very much doubt anyone at the time thought the killing of a European royal would lead to the death of 17 million people.

This is, of course, what the right wing bloggers have been predicting for years would happen for years if Democrats were allowed to lead. But, as is usually the case, they engage in projection and completely fail to see that it's THEM that are taking steps toward this. If they could only see how they are secret authoritarians...

The other article is about the value of alarmism,

Alarmism saved my family from Hitler: Why I won’t tell anyone to calm down about Trump

Again, the alt right has been saying for years that Obama is Hitler but that's more of an adolescent whine about doing things they don't wanna do, dad gubmit! Hitler rose to power by using an ethnic group as a scapegoat (the Jews) to cement his fascist power. The Democrats never had such a scapegoat.

But the alt right and Donald Trump certainly do. In fact, they have several.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

WTF, Right Wing Bloggers?

Remember this?

This was a headline to the Drudge Report a while back in which he very clearly intimated that our country, under Barack Obama and the Democrats, was going to become a totalitarian state like the Soviet Union. Right wing bloggers like Drudge have been foaming at the mouth that we don't take Putin seriously and that liberals are still plotting a secret government take over that will result in a Russia style state.

Yet in the same breath, folks like Matt Drudge support Donald Trump,  a man who has now tripled down on his love for Vladimir Putin, calling him a "great leader." A great leader?!? Really!!!? This is a guy who kills journalists and rules his country much like Stalin did. How on earth can right wing bloggers support the very thing that supposedly keeps them up at night? Consider all of Trump's very clear connections to Russia and how that makes him essentially a puppet of Putin.

Despite denial, Trump's connections to Russia go back years

Here’s what we know about Donald Trump and his ties to Russia

Donald Trump’s Many, Many, Many, Many Ties to Russia

Even folks like semi-retired gun blogger Kevin Baker and his readers are going to vote for Donald Trump. Why? Because they think Hillary is going to take away their guns. Personally, I wish she would and start with those guys but it's not going to happen. Kevin has spent years writing on his blog about the education system and Yuri Bezmenov, an ex KGB guy, who has warned the US about a totalitarian takeover. Now he and others like him in the right wing blogsphere are ACTUALLY VOTING FOR THIS TO HAPPEN.

Kevin, I had planned on leaving you alone but this complete capitulation to Putin via Trump is such a monumental example of hypocrisy that it necessitate inquiry. You rail against Russia's influence in the US and now you are going to help make that happen by voting for Putin's puppet. I have to wonder...WTF, dude? All of the long posts about Bezmenov...the education system...communists plots...ALL now rendered worthless. Where is your integrity, man? I'll be looking for your response on your site.

Given the right wing bloggers' penchant for authoritarianism, illustrated quite well in any sort of engagement with them in comments sections, my only guess here is that they are for totalitarianism if the right people are in charge. If they have some naggy liberal trying to make the world a better place and making them do stuff that they don't wanna, well, fuck that!

But if they have a system where they can keep their guns to guard against government tyranny and still jail people for being against that government and not being patriotic enough then, by gum, the are ALL IN!!!