Don’t Call It Appeasement

Lilli Loofbourow at Slate argues that Trump isn't appeasing Putin.

… Trump has been told—by the very men he hired—that the United States has been and is currently under cyberattack by Russia. And his response was to praise Putin, defend his denials, and blame the United States for poor relations between the two countries. That is not appeasement toward another country; it is aggression against your own.

Calling Trump’s behavior appeasement … pre-emptively grants that Trump is trying to help his country rather than himself, even though those two interests are to his mind plainly opposed. Trump has made his loyalties clear, and they are not to the country he governs.

 Trump has made no secret of the fact that he operates according to naked self-interest—…

Russia’s “election meddling” was done to help elect Trump. Trump benefited enormously from those efforts, and he is not in the habit of condemning those who personally benefit him until they stop. Putin … hasn’t stopped.

… Trump … is willingly and actively trading against his country, as its president. This is … unprecedented.

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Hear Texas Republican and former CIA operative Rep. Will Hurd.

"Over the course of my career as an undercover officer in the C.I.A., I saw Russian intelligence manipulate many people. I never thought I would see the day when an American president would be one of them.

The president's failure to defend the United States intelligence community's unanimous conclusions of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and condemn Russian covert counterinfluence campaigns and his standing idle on the world stage while a Russian dictator spouted lies ... should concern all Americans. By playing into Vladimir Putin's hands, the leader of the free world actively participated in a Russian disinformation campaign that legitimized Russian denial and weakened the credibility of the United States ..." [emphasis mine]

1 House Republican's chilling warning on Trump and Russia

It's good to hear even a lone voice of truth from a House Republican.

This was sent to me by a FB friend. Written by Sparrow R. Jones
I am unconcerned that we have different politics. I do not think less of you because you voted one way and I voted another. We need people to vote and the candidate we select is not always going to win. It is hoped that we will have someone who is competent enough to run our country. That didn’t happen in the last election. We got a thin-skinned egomaniac who has never been held accountable for any atrocities he has committed.
Let me be clear. I think less of you because you watched an adult mock a disabled man in front of a crowd and you still supported him. I think less of you because you saw a man spouting clear racism and you cheered for him. I think less of you because of your willingness to support someone who openly admires dictators and demonizes the press and anyone who criticizes him. I think less of you because you heard him advocate for war crimes and you still thought he should run this country. I think less of you because you watched him equate a woman’s worth to her appearance and you thought that was okay. I think less of you because you’ve seen his appointees systematically destroy legal protections and loot the tax payers money and you are ok with that. You watched, along with the rest of the nation, as he separated families and locked innocent children in dog cages and you were not horrified as the rest of us were. You refuse to accept the fact that this man wants to work with dictators but has alienated our long standing allies. I think less of you because you refuse to review the facts and accept that this man is lying to you on a daily basis. It isn’t your politics I find repulsive. It is your willingness to support racism, sexism, misogyny, and cruelty that I find repulsive. You supported a tyrant and bully when it mattered and that is something I will never forgive or forget. Your lack of morals and basic humanity are devastating to me.
There are some things I can never be civil about: concentration camps, genocide, white supremacy, misogyny, harm to children, mass trauma, state violence, rising fascism, to name a few. There is NO civil discussion with someone who agrees with putting children in dog cages.
So, and I will never be “coming together” to move forward or whatever. Trump literally disgusts me and I hate the sound of his voice spewing hate and dividing the country but, the fact that he doesn’t disgust you is something that is going to stick with me long after this presidency. You have shown me who you really are and the fact that you still support this monster and rush to justify everything he does makes me feel that we have nothing to discuss.

Michael, Sparrow R. Jones thinks less of many people for many reasons but he is blind to the reasons that so many of the Republican ‘rank and file’ voted for Trump.

He can divorce himself from all of humanity and few will miss him.

What had the Republican Establishment been doing that caused the defection of so many?

Trump plainly loved campaigning (including his lying) while Clinton plainly hated campaigning.

We Americans have a problem.

The problem is with both major parties and Jones makes it harder to remedy.

I call it treason. Imagine for just one moment that George W.Bush had this Helsinki meeting with Putin, private and one on one with only the interpreters present and later we have both men answering questions from the press about it. What was this meeting really about? Ardent Trump supporters in my area simply cannot tell me. The Trump support base is equally quiet as Trump tells more lies to cover for already said lies. Video even proves that he lied. Would becomes wouldn't on video too new to have been doctored in any way. 

So, what gives? If George W. Bush would have had this same meeting with the same words and circumstances the GOP would even call it treason. I don't think it would take them too long to reach that conclusion.

Treason it is, but impeachment requires a majority in the House and a two-thirds majoritty in the Senate. Republicans in both places fear Republican voters.

I think they fear Koch money, which reliably buys voters through attack ads and sophisticated media manipulation.

Ruth, decades ago a very wealthy man named Huffington challenged a wealthy woman named Feinstein who was a US Senator.

He spent a vast amount and won a few votes. She spent much less and won hugely. I no longer have the numbers but Huffington spent many times what Feinstein spent PER VOTE.

Money does not reliably win elections.

Tom, politics has changed radically from decades ago, and continues to mutate at dizzying speed. Money now buys mind control.

Russia Was Just the Beginning: Here's How Social Media Became Infes...

... tens of millions of dollars are being spent on social media manipulation campaigns, involving tens of thousands of professional staff."

... the massive, easily accessible, and lightly regulated platforms offered by Facebook and Twitter have become enormously powerful tools in the hands of political actors, ...

... what makes this phenomenon unique is the deliberate use of computational  propaganda to manipulate voters and shape the outcome of elections," ...

In emerging and Western democracies, sophisticated data analytics and political bots are being used to poison the information environment, promote skepticism and distrust, polarize voting constituencies, and undermine the integrity of democratic processes."

...the use of bots to quickly spread disinformation is growing exponentially.

Money does buys some stuff, Ruth, and doesn’t buy other stuff.

It reliably buys legislators’ votes.

It does not reliably buy voters’ votes.

Bert, your pessimism and your love for wordplay are showing.

When audiences are gullible or needy, bullshit can win.

Evangelical xians are gullible and Reagan invited them into the GOP.

After almost 30 years of exploitation by the GOP establishment, they were pissed. Trump, a bullshitter, loved campaigning and gave them bullshit. They were needy and bought it.

Don’t forget the Wall Street Dems.

Rejecting a progressive who loved campaigning, they nominated Hillary.

In 2008 she had lost the nomination to a better campaigner. In 2016 she failed to campaign and still won the popular vote.

The party has much changed. As Noam Chomsky advised, it no longer functions as a political party. It doesn't answer to constituents as it did long ago, not even to polls about what Republicans want. Newt Gingrich remade the "party" to be entirely responsive to moneyed interests. Their true constituency is corporate power and the super wealthy, which pride themselves above nations.

"So, what gives?" When a political party is no longer anchored to national interest or the common good of a particular nation, what does "treason" mean? 

Chris Cillizza points out that threatening Iran and stripping critics of their national security clearance are Trump moves to distract us from his Russia treason behavior. <ach!> US media are such fools! Let us not be so easily tricked at AN.

Donald Trump's Russia distraction game reaches new heights

If you don't like a story or narrative out there about yourself, give the media something else to chew on -- something that works better for you.

It's the Shiny Object Strategy. The media, like a cat, is often easily distracted.

Since last Monday's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Trump has been crushed with negative headlines about his statements in that meeting.

But there is danger for the country when the President is willing to float the idea of a war with Iran or the creation of an enemies list in order to keep us from talking about his odd behavior with the Russians and the ongoing special counsel investigation into Russia's attempts to interfere in the 2016 election.

Why danger? Because Iran, judging from their initial reaction, doesn't take Trump's threat lightly -- or see it solely as a way to change the subject domestically from Russia. And because suggesting that people who disagree with you but have done nothing else wrong should be punished solely because they are willing to speak out about their issues with your decisions sends a chilling message to the country (and the world) about how the world's greatest democracy handles dissent. [emphasis mine]




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