Thursday, November 02, 2017


About an hour ago, the president of the United States tweeted this:

Here's the perfect response:

This is what I've been saying for months: Trump is awful, and he'd probably enjoy being a fascist dictator, but he just doesn't have the imagination, the will, or the get-up-and-go necessary to fully transform America into a totalitarian state. He's violating norms and perverting our institutions, but he's not systematically challenging the limits on his own power that protect American citizens. He's not killing journalists. He's not defying court orders. He hasn't even fired Bob Mueller.

As terrible as his presidency is, he's still thinking within the lines. He's filling his Cabinet and the federal courts with right-wing extremists, but he's doing it through the standard appointment processes. He's shamelessly violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution, but he's arguing that the language of the Constitution doesn't apply to him, and that he's exempted from statutory restrictions on his profit-seeking.

A true fascist would dispatch troops to seize the Manhattan terror suspect and have him sentenced to death in a one-hour trial by a special kangaroo court, after which he'd be swiftly hanged or shot in a football stadium on prime-time TV. We don't need no stinking due process.

On some level, Trump seems to like the restrictions on his power that continually frustrate him. He may be the president of the United States, but he's also a Fox viewer, which means he believes the world is arrayed against him in a vast conspiracy to thwart common sense, which, of course, he defines as his political opinions. Trump always liked having squabbles with people, even before he became political. I think he likes fighting more than winning. (In his lifetime he's certainly donethe former more consistently than the latter.)

So he'll continue to be a horrible president, but he'll never be a true fascist.

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