Tuesday, October 03, 2023


The New Republic's Michael Tomasky believes that Donald Trump's upcoming trials will do a great deal of damage to him, beginning with the first one:
Let’s start with this week’s case. New York Attorney General Letitia James has charged that Trump and his family repeatedly inflated the value of their properties from 2014 to 2021....

There’s a reasonable chance that Trump will be ordered to fork over something close to the $250 million James seeks. He can afford it (or so he says), and of course he’ll appeal. But he’ll have been forced to drink a humiliating cup of truth over a scam he’s been pulling for years. There will be weeks of headlines about how he might lose Trump Tower.
Tomasky concludes:
Swing voters will notice, and not sympathetically.
But will they? They didn't seem to notice when Trump agreed to pay $25 million shortly after the 2016 election to settle lawsuits involving his fraudulent Trump University. Nor do they seem to have paid attention to Trump's court losses in the E. Jean Carroll case.

Sure, this is different -- Trump is on the hook for much more money than he was in the Trump University case. His business might be disbanded -- although appeals are likely to stretch past November 2024.

Democrats aren't doing a very good job of making ordinary citizens feel angry about Trump's financial criminality; it's my sense that most Americans see his fraudulent valuations of his properties as remote and unrelatable. There's a dispute between a rich New York real estate guy in an expensive suit and wonky government officials who say he violated eye-glazing financial regulations. No anti-Trump partisan ever says, If you, the average citizen, tried to get away with lying on a loan application the way Trump regularly lies, you'd suffer severe consequences.

The sense that Trump's court battles are part of a war between elitists is reinforced by the news coverage:

It's always that way with Trump. Remember the day in August when he turned himself in to the authorities in Georgia?
Donald Trump’s motorcade zoomed into an Atlanta detention facility last week escorted by a convoy of police motorcycles leading more than a dozen other vehicles. It was like he was still in office — not facing 91 felony charges .

There were police cruisers, black Secret Service Chevrolet Suburbans with shiny tires and rims, an armored police vehicle, vans for aides and press, and even a yellow ambulance. As the convoy approached the jail, a phalanx of officers on motorcycles led the way. An A-list movie producer would have struggled to create such a perfect, and presidential, visual.

The highways and urban streets that the motorcade traversed were free of any other traffic traveling in the same direction, and side streets were blocked off. Local and federal officers in Kevlar vests kept an eye on bystanders eager to get a glimpse of Trump’s latest spectacle.

The motorcade was a co-star in Trump’s latest made-for-television event, turning a 22-minute booking at the so-called “Rice Street Jail” into a dramatic six-hour prime-time spectacle.
Trump is an elitist to his fans as well -- but he tells them he's an elitist fighting for them, and they believe him.
Trump’s campaign blasted out a fundraising email with a subject line of “I just left the courthouse” roughly 20 minutes after court was dismissed in Manhattan, where the former president had been present....

“Politicians, drunk with power, are weaponizing the legal system to try and completely destroy me — and, ultimately, imprison me for the rest of my life as an innocent man. And why do they want to stop me so bad?” the email asks.

“Because they know that I’m on the verge of winning the 2024 election in a landslide and upon taking office, will take away their power and return it to YOU, the American people,” it continues.
Trump often tells his followers that they are the real target (of the authorities, of the Democrats, of the media). I wrote about this after he was indicted in the classified documents case:
Immediately after Trump's most recent indictment, he pinned a message to the top of his Truth Social feed: “THEY’RE NOT COMING AFTER ME, THEY’RE COMING AFTER YOU—I’M JUST STANDING IN THEIR WAY!” He said this in his first speech after the recent indictment. He also said it in March when his New York indictment was imminent. He said it when he was president:

I wrote that Trump probably learned to do this from Fox News:
The message of Fox and the rest of the right-wing media is THEY'RE COMING FOR YOU! In April of last year, The New York Times published an analysis of hundreds of Tucker Carlson broadcasts and noted that his go-to message was that "they" want to do bad things to "you."

To the right, the arrests and convictions that followed January 6 are proof of concept. People aren't being arrested and convicted because they're actually guilty of crimes -- they're being arrested and convicted because they're out to get you.
This is absurd, but it's effective. Democrats, in contrast, don't personalize Trump's crimes this way. They don't say that you couldn't get away with fake valuations of your assets on a loan application, they don't say that Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election results would have deprived you of your vote, they don't say that Trump's mishandling of classified documents put you at risk, and they don't even say that you or a woman you love could have been the victim of a Trump sexual assault, or that you or someone you care about could have lost money by falling for the lies of Trump University.

In his New Republic piece, Tomasky writes about an upcoming Trump case I rarely hear about:
This is a class-action suit accusing Trump and children of fraud by convincing customers to invest in get-rich-quick schemes while accepting “large, secret payments” from the companies they were pitching. One plaintiff, a hospice caregiver in California, paid $499 to register for a course and says she spent thousands attending seminars to earn a whopping $38. This is the kind of matter Trump has a history of settling—remember, he paid $25 million to avoid facing the music over Trump University. But if this one goes to trial, imagine the stories we’ll hear. Here’s hoping the plaintiffs refuse to settle so that the voting public can hear every detail of what cheap, sleazy people these are.
This is a perfect opportunity for Democrats to say that Trump is dangerous for people like you. Instead, Democrats focus almost exclusively on real and potential damage to institutions. They don't describe the danger Trump posers as one that affects ordinary people. And Trump benefits from that.

Monday, October 02, 2023


No, I don't believe the outlier Washington Post/ABC poll that gave Donald Trump a 10-point lead over Joe Biden -- but I am concerned that other polling says the race is neck-and-neck, a bad sign given the fact that 2020 polling had Biden up by 7.2, after which he won the popular vote by 4.5 and barely won the Electoral College. Maybe Biden will exceed expectations, as other Democrats have recently. Or it's possible that the presidential race won't go the way other recent races have gone.

There is a big difference between, say, the Wisconsin judicial race that took place earlier this year (in which the candidate supported by the Democrats won a blowout victory) and the 2024 presidential race. The difference is that Democrats in state and local races are running against Republican power. They're running against abortion bans and book bans, against crackdowns on trans people, against efforts to remove facts about race in America from children's education.

By contrast, Biden is gearing up to run against a candidate whose top selling point is that he's being denied power.
Former President Donald J. Trump detoured from the campaign trail on Monday to attend the opening of the civil trial in the New York attorney general’s fraud case against him, as his political team seeks to turn the spectacle into a rallying cry for supporters....

The move ... reveals how inverted the norms of politics have become in the Trump-era Republican Party: Being accused of wrongdoing could be politically beneficial despite the very real legal jeopardy....

Over the weekend, Mr. Trump’s campaign openly sought to take advantage of the attention, sending fund-raising solicitations that teased his possible attendance and accusing Democrats of “trying to keep me off the campaign trail.”

“After four sham arrests, indictments, and even a mug shot failed to break me, a Democrat judge is now trying to destroy my Family Business,” Mr. Trump wrote in a fund-raising message on Saturday.
The Democrats' Trump narrative is: You can't be seriously considering a vote for this criminal degenerate, can you? But every day that Trump's legal problems are in the news is a day when people who don't like how the country is being run are reminded that Trump is not one of the people running the country. So if they're on the fence about their 2024 vote and they're upset about high gas prices or some other meat-and-potatoes issue, they're reminded -- by Democrats and the mainstream media as well by Trump himself -- that Trump is a person the government does things to, not a person with government power.

We need these voters to think about what Trump would do with power if he's elected again. We need to link him to all the bad things Republicans are doing. Instead, we've got him in the dock, where he doesn't look as dangerous as he actually is.

Sunday, October 01, 2023


Matt Gaetz says he'll file a motion in the House this week intended to force a vote on ousting Speaker Kevin McCarthy. McCarthy's allies say they aren't worried. The Messenger reports:
“I think Kevin McCarthy continues to be in a strong position,” Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., said. “Nothing is easy to accomplish in this Republican House. But Kevin McCarthy keeps pulling off wins.”

McCarthy allies are so confident about the speaker's support, they are welcoming a removal vote as a way to silence his critics.
And The Hill tells us:
When asked on Fox News Business’s “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo,” about Gaetz’s threat, [House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason] Smith said, “It’s an absolute waste of time if he brings a motion to vacate.”

“The only way a motion to vacate could be successful is is Matt Gaetz did exactly what he yells at Speaker McCarthy doing and that’s working with the Democrats,” Smith continued.

The Missouri Republican argued Gaetz would need over 200 Democrats to vote for McCarthy’s removal due to the over 200 Republicans that he said are “100 percent” behind McCarthy.
A couple of weeks ago, The Hill reported on Democrats' leanings if there's a motion to oust McCarthy:
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) over the weekend said the Democratic caucus “haven’t given it any thought one way or the other” when asked about a potential vote on ousting McCarthy, adding that the group will “cross that bridge when we get to it.”

House Minority Whip Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) would not say if leadership would whip a vote on ousting McCarthy — “we’re gonna cross that” — but she predicted that Democrats will remain united.

“We have been unified on every single vote, so we’ll stay that way,” Clark told The Hill.

Some Democrats have flat out said or suggested that they would support an effort to oust McCarthy, upping the pressure on the Speaker.

“I don’t see any Democrats out to save McCarthy, like we’re on Team Jeffries,” Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), who has sparred with McCarthy in the past, told The Hill last week. “And so, you know, we would try and put up the votes for Speaker Jeffries, like that’s what we did on the last Speaker vote.”
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said today that she's ready to vote for McCarthy's ouster ("it’s not up to Democrats to save Republicans, from themselves especially"):
“I certainly don’t think that we would expect to see that unless there’s a real conversation between the Republican and Democratic caucuses and Republican Democratic leadership about what that would mean, but I don’t think we give up votes for free,” she said.
Yet McCarthy's allies think enough Democrats will come around to save McCarthy, and it's not clear what if anything they'll ask for in return. Dean Obeidallah believes they should ask for a power-sharing arrangement:
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)—chair of the 102-member Congressional Progressive Caucus—on Thursday [said] ... a deal could be reached to keep McCarthy Speaker if certain conditions were met. Jayapal explained, “There are things we can do in codifying the rules of the House that would give Hakeem Jeffries, our leadership, real power over the floor, over committees, etc.” ...

Rep. Ilhan Omar ... shared Friday on MNSBC that she had spoken to some fellow House Democrats open to a deal to keep McCarthy as Speaker if he agreed to a 50-50 power sharing deal. Omar explained that such an agreement would mean Democrats holding 50 percent of House committees and a shared agreement on legislation brought to a vote.
That's unrealistic. I'm guessing that Democrats will settle for much less. And if that happens, I'm not sure why it's worth it.

Until a new Speaker is chosen, the House is unlikely to be in the hands of maniacs:
Under continuity of Congress procedures enacted after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, there is a list of people who can act as speaker pro tempore in an event where the speakership is vacated. This was created in anticipation of a mass casualty event like a terrorist attack, but it would apply if the speakership is vacated. The irony is that list is written by the sitting speaker — so McCarthy knows who is on the list — and it is kept by the House Clerk and only to be made public in the event of a vacancy.
This is a list McCarthy compiled knowing it would remain secret until his ouster, so it's unlikely that the list would include Marjorie Taylor Greene or any other bomb-thrower. So if Democrats want to save McCarthy simply in order to keep the House under adult supervision, they should realize that it will probably remain under adult supervision at least through the inevitable multiple votes for a new Speaker.

And they really shouldn't care whether the crazies ultimately win. As I look ahead to 2024, I think it might be bad for President Biden and congressional Democrats that McCarthy and his not-as-crazy caucus keep preventing the country from plunging into utter chaos. If Republicans under McCarthy (and Mitch McConnell) don't appear horribly dangerous, then voters in 2024 are likely to believe they can be trusted to run the country again. That's good for all GOP candidates in 2024, including Donald Trump.

We can have Republican chaos now or worse chaos in 2025 under a reelected Trump and, quite possibly, a GOP-run Congress. I'm in favor of chaos now rather than chaos then.

Saturday, September 30, 2023


I'm back. Thank you, Yas and Tom, for some great posts while I was away from the blog (and the end-of-days New York rain).

I'm amused by this news:
2024 presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. plans to announce he will run as an independent on October 9 in Pennsylvania, Mediaite has learned.
Kennedy, whose admirers include Steve Bannon, Alex Jones, and Roger Stone, was in the race to damage President Biden, but Biden has led him by 50 points or more for months. The right-wing ratfuckers who thought he could hurt Biden appear to believe that Democrats are just as skeptical of vaccines as Republicans, because they think everybody is just like Republicans. They live in a bubble where vaccine skepticism is normal and trust in science is something only weirdos and freaks have. But Democrats aren't like Republicans:
As the National Review’s Jim Geraghty pointed out in July, when a survey asked New Hampshire Democrats to describe Kennedy in one word, the top responses were “crazy,” “dangerous,” “insane,” “conspiracy,” and “unknown.”
On the vaccines, a Kaiser Family Foundation survey finds:
Seven in ten Democrats say they will get the latest COVID-19 vaccine compared to about a quarter of Republicans. Confidence in safety of the new vaccine is also largely partisan. More than eight in ten Democrats (84%) say they are confident in the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine, compared to one in three (36%) Republicans.
And as a result:

Some liberals worry that a minor-party run by Kennedy could help Donald Trump, but on the right there's some recognition that Republican voters are more likely to vote for Kennedy than Democrats:

The new strategy is to try to turn Kennedy into Bernie Sanders, in the hope that he can appeal to Democratic voters:
Kennedy’s campaign ... plans to launch “attack ads” against the Democrat National Committee (DNC) to “pave the way” for his announcement.

A Kennedy campaign insider told [Mediaite] that Kennedy “feels that the DNC is changing the rules to exclude his candidacy, so an independent run is the only way to go.”

The insider’s comments align with remarks Kennedy made publicly earlier this month. Kennedy claimed the DNC is “trying to make sure that I can’t participate at all in the political process, and so I’m going to keep all my options open,” when a South Carolina voter questioned him about the possibility of a third-party run as an independent.
But if you want to play the Bernie card, you first have to be popular with a large segment of the Democratic coalition. Kennedy isn't. No actual Democrat or Democrat-leaner thinks he's being denied the opportunity to participate in the political process -- he's in the media every day, which is all there is to the Democratic race so far. He hasn't landed a debate with Biden, but neither has anyone else. No one's voted yet, so there's no voting process to critique.

Cornel West's likiely Green Party run makes it impossible for Kennedy to claim that he's the genuine progressive who's being marginalized -- and if West runs as a Green while Kennedy runs as a Libertarian, which appears quite possible, Kennedy will have even less appeal to Bernie voters.

So I don't see why he continues to run. It's a failing ratfuck, and it looks as if it will continue to fail -- and maybe help Biden.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Literary Corner: Perfect


The Worthless Clause

by Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States

I have a clause in there
that says, don't believe the statement,
go out and do your own work:
this statement is worthless.
It means nothing. Well,
they call it a "disclaimer"--
they call it "worthless clause" too,
because it makes the statement worthless.

I hate to be boring and tell you this.
When you have the worthless clause
on a piece of paper and the first--
literally the first page
you're reading about how
this is a worthless statement
from the standpoint of your using it
as a bank or whatever--
whoever may be using it, you tend
not to get overly excited about it.
I think it had very little impact,
if any impact on the banks.

Arranged from the text of Trump's sworn deposition in the case of People of New York State vs. Donald Trump et al., as quoted in Judge Arthur F. Engoron's response to motions on both sides for summary judgment, released, I guess, on Tuesday (granting it in part, as you probably know by now, to the people, and denying it to the Trump, who is now in the first phase of losing the right to do business in New York State, which will mean he and his children and his 500 LLCs and the Trump Organization also have to give up a lot of properties run from New York, including Mar-a-Lago, the Aberdeenshire golf club, and golf courses in Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and I don't know how many more, unless he manages to absorb them into a reconstituted Trump Organization in Delaware, which Attorney General James has been trying to stop him from doing), on Trump's poetic theory of the "worthless clause", actually a whole bunch of clauses, of boilerplate that the organization prefixes to its annual Statement of Financial Conditions, which is used by financial organizations to figure out how risky it is to work with them:

Assets are stated at their estimated current values and liabilities at their estimated current amounts using various valuation methods. Such valuation methods include, but are not limited to, the use of appraisals, capitalization of anticipated earnings, recent sales and offers, and estimates of current values as determined by Mr. Trump in conjunction with his associates and, in some instances, outside professionals. Considerable judgment is necessary to interpret market data and develop the related estimates of current value. Accordingly, the estimates presented herein are not necessarily indicative of the amount that could be realized upon the disposition of the assets or payment of the related liabilities. The use of different market assumptions and/or estimation methodologies may have a material effect on the estimated current value amounts.

Which sounds pretty sensible to me—you don't want people suing your ass because your million-dollar investment realized $900,549—but methods that "include, but are not limited to" normal methods should not extend to whatever number Donald imagines, as with his Briarcliff golf course in Westchester County, assessed in 2014 at a value of $16,500,000 and valued in that year's Trump Org SFC at $73,430,217, a difference of over 300%; or his 30% interest in office buildings at 1290 Sixth Avenue in Manhattan and 550 California Street in San Francisco in partnership with Vornado Real Estate which the SFCs in 2013 to 2021 said gave him access to between $14,221,800 and $93,126,589 in cash when the partnership didn't give him access to any cash at all.

And so on, culminating maybe in his own triplex apartment in Trump Tower, which the SFC listed as worth $114–207 million dollars (the most expensive apartment ever sold in Manhattan at that point went for $88 million), based on a floor area of 30,000 square feet, which might have been reasonable, except the appartment is actually 10,996 square feet, or a little over a third that size; or his Palm Beach business/home at the old Marjorie Merriweather Post estate of Mar-a-Lago, valued by the Palm Beach County Assessor at $18 million to $27.6 million after Trump promised not to develop it for anything other than the social club it is today, but claimed in the SFCs (on the basis of what he might make if he did turn it into a condo development) as worth between $426,529,614 and $612,110,496, an inflation of at least 2,300%. I particularly like that example because it's so evident that the low value was getting him a sweet tax rate on the place:

(It should probably have been valued at $75 million, according to the Miami Herald. This is one of the rarely spotted cases of his lowballing a property value for tax fraud, which I hope will be getting some federal attention after Attorney General James gave the feds her data.)

Anyway there you are. It's a lot like the "perfection" of Trump's phone calls to President Zelenskyy or Secretary Raffensberger, as I described them—where Trump thinks he's come up with the perfect hedge for denying his criminality: it's OK for him to lie his head off in his Statement of Financial Condition because he's prefaced them with a "worthless clause". It's never occurred to him that the people he makes deals with have a right to honest information.

Trump's lawyers argued that it shouldn't be punished since no harm has been done, the organization has continued to pay its debts on time, but that's certainly not legally true, as Judge Engoron is anxious to point out: laws against fraud are meant to keep the community honest. not just to deal with particular outrages, and must be enforced even when they haven't done any special damage. It's also not clear that people won't suffer as the enormity of these financial crimes becomes clear and Trump begins to go out of business. They certainly should, because the business isn't sound. If the theory of capitalism is worth anything, Trump ought to be drummed out of it, and accomplices like Deutsche Bank with him. That's all I can say. It could turn out that the banks should have paid more attention—they definitely did a shitty job.

Cross-posted at The Rectification of Names.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Please Stop


I'm really bent out of shape over this cover, partly no doubt because I've been using one of these devices myself (a wheeled model like the one assigned to the Speaker Emerita here), though I'm younger than any of them, having broken my leg in a physical exploit only one of them, Biden, could possibly have attempted—in the process of being liberated from it now, I'm pleased to report, but my PT advises me I should hold on to it for the purpose of cutting the line at Trader Joe's.

But I'd note that Speaker Pelosi has already left the leadership in favor of an extremely dynamic and skillful young successor, 53-year-old Hakeem Jeffries, while McConnell, in what's clearly a last act (he has real physical issues, as we all know, and a 61-year-old successor apparent in John Thune) is doing everything he can to save us from the fecklessness and incompetence of the House's 58-year-old Kevin McCarthy. And don't tell me it's not age-bashing:

Also, the magazine's editor, David Remnick, was defending the cover on the radio this morning, and didn't try to hide the fact that the cartoon really has only one target, President Joe Biden, and the "age issue" that somehow attaches to him alone, though he's clearly the healthiest of the pictured persons, and the most effective president since Harry Truman at least, in every department, including some I could wish he wasn't so good at (does he have to work so hard at creating a Middle East condominium between Saudi Arabia and Israel?). It's "out there, it's our job to cover it," Remnick said, or words to that effect, like a latter-day Cokie Roberts, citing the polls that show it's a "concern" even when they don't (every poll that shows Biden at around 46% is now interpreted as a comment on Biden's age, even though that's not one of the questions addressed). When the interviewer mentioned that Barack Obama had the same kind of poll numbers at this point in the 2012 campaign, he hemmed and hawed and said that was influenced by different factors, which is no doubt true. So what does that prove?

Remnick also talked a lot about the gerontocracy of the dying Soviet Union, which he witnessed up close as a reporter, without drawing the obvious inferences from the fact that those leaders much more sick than old (Brezhnev, the king of stagnation, was broken in health when he died in office at 75; Andropov was just 70; Chernenko left office at 72 and died the following year, while 54-year-old Mikhail Gorbachev began overseeing the country's dissolution brought on by their mistakes; Boris Yeltsin was 60 and already suffering from heart disease and alcoholism when he became president of Russia). Why not mention West Germany's Konrad Adenauer, proudly known as "der Alte" (the old one), who spearheaded his country's Wirtschaftswunder (economic miracle) and the invention of the European Union, and stayed on as Chancellor until he was 86, sufficiently on his toes to continue as party leader, watching over his successors, for another four years after that?

Just stop it, OK? 

Josh Marshall blames it on Trump terror—the fear that he might win makes people crazy

This is the moment we live in in the history of the American republic, a man who talks like a character out of a dystopian novel about the end of America is the choice of about half of Americans to be the next President.


The prospect is so horrible and terrifying that virtually everyone looks for someone else to lash out at or blame. It’s Joe Biden’s age; it’s Democrats’ ineffectiveness; it’s this or that other thing.

and maybe it is that, but it keeps looking to me like an effort to make Democrats lose, by saddling us with an unneeded candidate, Gavin Newsom or Gretchen Whitmer, or maybe replace Vice President Harris with some candidate more appealing to the Times op-ed page, thus breaking up the 2020 coalition. Not that that's going to happen (Newsom in particular has made it clear), but it keeps making the party's situation look more and more discouraging, and it's starting to drive the polls into self-fulfilling prophecy mode.

Cross-posted at The Rectification of Names.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Menendez Talking Points, Plan B

When Senator Menendez was indicted last week, the wingnuts were ready with their talking points: Those awful hypocrites in the Democrat party, amirite? Except for...y'know...Eric Holder. And Andy Kim. And Gov. Phil Murphy. And assorted NJ legislators and county party chairs. All on the day the news broke.

True, Democratic Senators were slower to get on the bus, and Schumer came out with a particularly tone deaf statement that seemed to foreclose any real movement. Fetterman was the first to call for Menendez to resign, but for a day or so he was the only one. So where it mattered, too few Democrats were on board--and they were criticized for it by other Democrats.

In related news, the two parties are not the same.

As of today the Senate landscape is very different:
Here are all 17 senators who've publicly called on Menendez to resign:

Democratic Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Peter Welch of Vermont Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana Democratic Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen of Nevada Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York Democratic Sen. Mazio Hirono of Hawaii Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire
So much for that right-wing talking point.

Today we saw Tom Cotton trying out some replacement talking points: If you had "Democrats are railroading Menendez" on your right-wing bingo card, congratulations! I didn't. But maybe I should have; turning it against the DOJ (and for Trump) seems obvious in retrospect.

Anyway, what we have here is a classic heads-I-win, tails-you-lose ploy from the right. There is, as always, literally nothing Democrats can do in any situation that they won't find a way to attack.

Senator Menendez is corrupt as fuck. Resigning would be the right thing. Calling for his resignation is the right thing. Running against him in the primary is the right thing. And these things may also be good optics, for those who aren't committed right-wingers.

But last I checked Kurt Schlichter's tweet was still up, with no update, and a lot of blue-check types were still liking or RTing it. That's the GOP for you.