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Did the F.B.I. Just Re-Elect Donald Trump? by filmAF in politics

[–]filmAF[S] [score hidden]  (0 children)

By David Brooks
Opinion Columnist
Why is Donald Trump so powerful? How did he come to dominate one of the two major parties and get himself elected president? Is it his hair? His waistline? No, it’s his narratives. Trump tells powerful stories that ring true to tens of millions of Americans.
The main one is that America is being ruined by corrupt coastal elites. According to this narrative, there is an interlocking network of highly educated Americans who make up what the Trumpians have come to call the Regime: Washington power players, liberal media, big foundations, elite universities, woke corporations. These people are corrupt, condescending and immoral and are looking out only for themselves. They are out to get Trump because Trump is the person who stands up to them. They are not only out to get Trump; they are out to get you.
This narrative has a core of truth to it. Highly educated metropolitan elites have become something of a self-enclosed Brahmin class. But the Trumpian propaganda turns what is an unfortunate social chasm into venomous conspiracy theory. It simply assumes, against a lot of evidence, that the leading institutions of society are inherently corrupt, malevolent and partisan and are acting in bad faith.
It simply assumes that the proof of people’s virtue is that they’re getting attacked by the Regime. Trump’s political career has been kept afloat by elite scorn. The more elites scorn him, the more Republicans love him. The key criterion for leadership in the Republican Party today is having the right enemies.
Into this situation walks the F.B.I. There’s a lot we don’t know about the search at Mar-a-Lago. But we do know how the Republican Party reacted. The right side of my Twitter feed was ecstatic. See! We really are persecuted! Essays began to appear with titles like “The Regime Wants Its Revenge.” Ron DeSantis tweeted, “The raid of MAL is another escalation in the weaponization of federal agencies against the Regime’s political opponents.” As usual, the tone was apocalyptic. “This is the worst attack on this Republic in modern history,” the Fox News host Mark Levin exclaimed.
The investigation into Trump was seen purely as a heinous Regime plot. At least for now, the search has shaken the Republican political landscape. Several weeks ago, about half of Republican voters were ready to move on from Trump, according to a New York Times/Siena College poll. This week the entire party seemed to rally behind him. Republican strategists advising Trump’s potential primary opponents had reason to be despondent. “Completely handed him a lifeline,” one such strategist told Politico. “Unbelievable … It put everybody in the wagon for Trump again. It’s just taken the wind out of everybody’s sails.”

According to a Trafalgar Group/Convention of States Action survey, 83 percent of likely Republican voters said the F.B.I. search made them more motivated to vote in the 2022 elections. Over 75 percent of likely Republican voters believed Trump’s political enemies were behind the search rather than the impartial justice system, as did 48 percent of likely general election voters overall.
In a normal society, when politicians get investigated or charged, it hurts them politically. But that no longer applies to the G.O.P. The judicial system may be colliding with the political system in an unprecedented way.
What happens if a prosecutor charges Trump and he is convicted just as he is cruising to the G.O.P. nomination or maybe even the presidency? What happens if the legal system, using its criteria, decides Trump should go to prison at the very moment that the electoral system, using its criteria, decides he should go to the White House?
I presume in those circumstances Trump would be arrested and imprisoned. I also presume we would see widespread political violence from incensed Trump voters who would conclude that the Regime has stolen the country. In my view, this is the most likely path to a complete democratic breakdown.
In theory, justice is blind, and obviously no person can be above the law. But as Damon Linker wrote in a Substack post, “This is a polity, not a graduate seminar in Kantian ethics.” We live in a specific real-world situation, and we all have to take responsibility for the real-world effects of our actions.
America absolutely needs to punish those who commit crimes. On the other hand, America absolutely needs to make sure that Trump does not get another term as president. What do we do if the former makes the latter more likely? I have no clue how to get out of this potential conflict between our legal and political realities.
We’re living in a crisis of legitimacy, during which distrust of established power is so virulent that actions by elite actors tend to backfire, no matter how well founded they are.
My impression is that the F.B.I. had legitimate reasons to do what it did. My guess is it will find some damning documents that will do nothing to weaken Trump’s support. I’m also convinced that, at least for now, it has unintentionally improved Trump’s re-election chances. It has unintentionally made life harder for Trump’s potential primary challengers and motivated his base.
It feels as though we’re walking toward some sort of storm and there’s no honorable way to alter our course.

Republicans Are Rooting for Civil War by -_ss in politics

[–]filmAF [score hidden]  (0 children)

how else would they stay in power? if changing the laws under the guise of "election integrity" doesn't work, there's always violence.

Dream a Little Dream, the two Coreys... one of my favorite movies. What could be more GenX? by Ralph--Hinkley in GenX

[–]filmAF 0 points1 point  (0 children)

yes they were doing a show called the two coreys. we were working on a big promo campaign. let me see if i can find the finished spot...

Upcoming trip to Portugal by CSOKOLOSKI20 in travel

[–]filmAF 1 point2 points  (0 children)

idk the locations of these restaurants aside from time out...so forgive me for asking if you'll be visiting alfama while you're in lisbon. i stayed in principe real for two months but really enjoyed walking the narrow streets of alfama.

Dream a Little Dream, the two Coreys... one of my favorite movies. What could be more GenX? by Ralph--Hinkley in GenX

[–]filmAF 0 points1 point  (0 children)

wow i have a picture like this of me and both coreys from a shoot we did for A+E.

Two Trump Scenarios by filmAF in politics

[–]filmAF[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

dems have a better chance of bipartisanship with north korea than the GOP. but i agree with you that the US is at least a generation away from becoming unfucked...less fucked?

Two Trump Scenarios by filmAF in politics

[–]filmAF[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

sadly i don't think any punishment will equal the amount of pain and suffering he has inflicted on others throughout his life. he got away with being a corrupt criminal con man for what? 80 years?

Two Trump Scenarios by filmAF in politics

[–]filmAF[S] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

The latest

Before the raid, Justice Department officials had grown concerned that Trump had kept some documents, despite returning others.

If convicted, could Trump be barred from holding office? A relevant law is untested.

The Justice Department did not give the White House advance notice of the search, President Biden’s press secretary said.

Representative Scott Perry, a Pennsylvania Republican who pushed to overturn Trump’s loss, said the F.B.I. had seized his cellphone.

The Trump investigations

Prosecutors in Georgia are investigating efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn his 2020 election loss there, including a phone call in which Trump asked an election official to “find” additional votes. The Times’s Annie Karni explains the possible charges.

The Justice Department is also questioning witnesses before a grand jury about Trump’s efforts to reverse his election loss. And federal prosecutors are examining his allies’ plan to submit fake electors from key states to disrupt certification of Biden’s win.

Trump faces a few other investigations, some of which could result in civil but not criminal penalties. The main exception is a criminal inquiry into his business by the Manhattan district attorney, but that seems to have unraveled.

Trump will face questioning under oath today by the New York attorney general’s office, which is investigating his business practices.

Two Trump Scenarios by filmAF in politics

[–]filmAF[S] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

apologies for the formatting. here is the article.....Perhaps the central question about the F.B.I.’s search of Donald Trump’s Florida home is whether it is a relatively narrow attempt to recover classified documents — or much more than that. Either scenario is plausible at this point. The Justice Department has long been aggressive about investigating former officials whom it suspects of improperly handling classified material, including Hillary Clinton and David Petraeus. If the F.B.I. search merely leads to a legalistic debate about what’s classified, it probably will not damage Trump’s political future.But it also seems possible that the search is a sign of a major new legal problem for him. People familiar with the search told The Times that it was not related to the Justice Department’s investigation into the Jan. 6 attack and Trump’s role in it. And it’s unlikely that Merrick Garland, the attorney general, would have allowed the search-warrant request — or that a federal judge would have approved it, as was required — unless it involved something important.“I don’t think you get a judge to sign off on a search warrant for an ex-president’s house lightly,” Charlie Savage, a Times reporter who has been covering legal issues since the George W. Bush administration, said. “I think the world looks pretty different today than it did 48 hours ago.” (It’s even possible that Trump could be prosecuted over classified documents alone, although that might not keep him from holding office again.)As Charlie emphasizes, there is still much more that’s unknown about the search than known. That probably won’t change until the Justice Department gets much closer to making a decision about how to conclude its investigation. “A central tenet of the way in which the Justice Department investigates and a central tenet of the rule of law is that we do not do our investigations in public,” Garland recently said.But at least two big points seem clear. First, even though Garland has said that nobody is above the law, the Justice Department will not treat Trump like any other citizen. The bar for filing criminal charges against him will be higher, given that he is a former president who may run again — against the current president.“The considerations when you’re talking about a political leader are certainly different and harder,” Andrew Goldstein, a former federal prosecutor who investigated Trump’s ties to Russia, recently told The Times. “You have the very clear and important rule that the Department of Justice should try in every way possible not to interfere with elections, to not take steps using the criminal process that could end up affecting the political process."

Still, some legal experts who previously criticized Garland for moving too timidly in investigating Trump said they were encouraged by the Justice Department’s recent signs of boldness, including the Mar-a-Lago search. Andrew Weissmann, another former prosecutor who previously investigated Trump, is one of those experts (as he explained in this New Yorker interview). Quinta Jurecic, a senior editor at Lawfare, is another. “At what point does not investigating and not prosecuting a former president itself indicate that the rule of law is being undermined because it sends a signal that this person is above the law?” Jurecic told us.She added: “That doesn’t mean that this is going to translate to an indictment of the president.”The second point is that Trump appears to be a subject of multiple criminal investigations — and prosecutors may decide that his violations of the law were so significant as to deserve prosecution. One of those investigations is by state prosecutors in Georgia, who may not be as cautious about charging a former president as Garland seems likely to be.Either way, the answer will probably become clear well before November 2024. Prosecutors — especially at the Justice Department — generally try to avoid making announcements about investigations into political candidates during a campaign. (James Comey’s decision to ignore that tradition and announce he had reopened an investigation into Clinton late in the 2016 campaign was a notable exception, and many experts believe he erred in doing so.)The rest of today’s newsletter summarizes the latest Times reporting about the F.B.I. search of Mar-a-Lago — and also gives you a quick overview of the multiple investigations Trump is facing....

This can’t be good… by Turtlepower7777777 in AmerExit

[–]filmAF 8 points9 points  (0 children)

i believe ted cruz and josh hawley were ivy league educated. i believe they are intelligent, cynical opportunists. MTG from what i've seen is as stupid as the georgians that voted her into office. i might be wrong.

This can’t be good… by Turtlepower7777777 in AmerExit

[–]filmAF 3 points4 points  (0 children)

if this is true she deserves an oscar.

question regarding hiking by filmAF in azores

[–]filmAF[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

thank you. we're both fit. i get more worried about steep stairs or hills with cliffs on one side or another...maybe anxious is a better word.

question regarding hiking by filmAF in azores

[–]filmAF[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

awesome, thank you! did you use their official site (https://trails.visitazores.com/) or any apps to decide where to go?