The Big Election Lie Built on the Last Big Election Lie

Welcome to Byron York’s readers! Since you’re here, you may be interested that Byron didn’t tell you in his error-riddled piece that I was years ahead of the Right Wing in debunking the dossier, and have even noted how Byron ran interference for Oleg Deripaska, thereby hiding the way Deripaska was really fucking over Paul Manafort. And not only did I not attribute Hillary’s loss to Russia, I even challenged the easy claims it was all Comey’s fault. You might ask yourself why Byron didn’t reveal any of that to you (to say nothing of misrepresenting what this post says).

NPR did a good piece last week on Trump’s Big Lie about winning the election.

Call it an insurrection or a coup attempt, it was fueled by what’s known as the “Big Lie”: the verifiably false assertion that Trump won. Joe Biden won 306 votes in the Electoral College, while Trump received 232. In the popular vote, Biden won by more than 7 million votes.

Many are warning that over the past year, that “big lie” of a stolen election has grown more entrenched and more dangerous.

It quoted Tim Snyder, an expert on authoritarians, on how the tactic of telling lies to turn a powerful person into a victim comes right out of Mein Kampf.

A couple of weeks later, he repeated the fiction at a rally in Iowa. “We didn’t lose,” he insisted to a crowd that rewarded him with chants of “Trump won!”

By inverting the narrative, attempting to slough off the “big lie” and pin it instead on his opponents, Trump exploited an age-old tactic, says Yale University history professor Timothy Snyder.

“Part of the character of the ‘big lie’ is that it turns the powerful person into the victim,” he says. “And then that allows the powerful person to actually exact revenge, like it’s a promise for the future.”

Snyder, author of the books The Road to Unfreedom and On Tyranny, has spent years studying the ways tyrants skewer truth. Snyder points to Hitler’s original definition of the “big lie” in his manifesto, Mein Kampf and the ways he used it to blame Jews for all of Germany’s woes.

“The lie is so big that it reorders the world,” Snyder says. “And so part of telling the big lie is that you immediately say it’s the other side that tells the big lie. Sadly, but it’s just a matter of record, all of that is in Mein Kampf.

That’s all true. As someone who has read virtually all of the statements of offense for those who have pled guilty for January 6, many credibly claim they really believed this Big Lie. Some still believe it. Their lives will be forever changed — some ruined — because they believed Trump was a victim and acted to avenge him.

But there’s something missing from all the worthwhile discussions of the Big Lie. It’s the lie those who helped tell this most recent Big Lie tell.

Consider this interview Chris Hayes did with Dustin Stockton and Jennifer Lynn Lawrence, who’ve been doing a media tour to claim they were betrayed when Trump launched his mobsters on the Capitol.

When Hayes asked them whether they now admit that the election wasn’t stolen, Stockton instead attempted to turn the question around:

Do you now admit that the “Russia memes” that you guys ran 24-hours a day in the early days of the Trump that got maybe several million impressions which our pages often do. [cross chatter] There were tons of ridiculous stuff.


Democrats and Republicans, every four years, whoever loses, right, then goes on to say, “oh, it was broken this way, it was broken this way.” It’s not that there aren’t things that aren’t broken and should be done better with mail-in balloting, with the way we verify people, the way we, make sure everybody has access to voting. There is common ground here. The problem is partisanly the Left fights, when they lose, the Right fights, when they lose.


Or widespread Russian interference.

Stockton did, ultimately, concede that Biden is President and that there were tons of ridiculous claims about the election. But he excused his own contributions to sowing The Big Lie by equating lies about Trump’s loss with reporting about Russia’s attempt to interfere in the 2016 election, and claimed that reporting arose out of Democratic excuses to explain Hillary’s loss.

That is, a key purveyor of the The Big Lie excuses his actions because MSNBC reported on a Russian investigation that was based off real facts, an investigation that led to the prosecution of Trump’s National Security Advisor, Trump’s Coffee Boy, Trump’s personal lawyer, Trump’s Campaign Manager, and Trump’s rat-fucker, all of whom covered up aspects of the Trump camp’s outreach to Russia in advance of becoming President (Paul Manafort wasn’t prosecuted for his lies, but Amy Berman Jackson agreed with the Mueller team that he lied to cover up, among other things, why he traded campaign strategy for $19 million in debt relief). Stockton equates reporting on all that — plus the dossier and Alfa Bank and the failson’s meeting to trade campaign dirt for sanctions relief, as well as details of the disinformation campaign that had as a primary goal sowing division — Stockton equates all that with a deliberate attempt, over the course of months, to completely dismantle the credibility of our electoral system.

The equation is all the crazier given that, while Hillary herself did put some of the blame for her loss on Russia’s interference, most Democrats blame Jim Comey, the guy whom Trump fired in an attempt to undermine the Russian investigation. Those of us who live(d) in states that Hillary neglected were perfectly happy to blame Hillary’s own mistakes. More importantly, Hillary ceded power with no contest of the results even in closely fought states like Michigan.

This is just one example where Trumpsters excuse their own participation in The Big Lie by turning a bunch of different prongs of reporting on Russia in 2017 — some undoubtedly overblown but much based on real facts about real actions that Trump and his aides really took — into the equivalent of wild hoaxes about efforts to steal the 2020 election.

And it’s not just those who fostered The Big Lie. As I’ve noted, a viral thread earlier this year went further still, blaming January 6 on the Steele dossier (which most Republicans agree was larded with Russian disinformation).

This use of the Russian investigation, the Democratic-paid dossier, and the legitimate reporting on both to rationalize Trump’s actions post-2020 is no accident. That’s one reason I persist in reporting on the dossier: because Paul Manafort came back from a meeting with an Oleg Deripaska associate and encouraged everyone to discredit the Russian investigation by focusing on the dossier. Because it was so full of garbage (some of it placed there at the behest of Russian intelligence, if you believe all the Republican members of Congress to focus on it), it was an easy way to make the real Russian investigation look corrupt to people like Dustin Stockton, to say nothing of the real cover-up disclosed by the investigation.

Before Trump claimed to be the victim of vote fraud, Trump claimed to be the victim of an investigation into the many documented ways in which Trump tried to optimize Russian help to get elected. That claim — that he was the real victim of the Russian investigation — is how Trump trained so many Republicans to put his fate over the fate of the country.

And so as the traditional press turns its attention to the lies that Trump tells to claim he’s a victim, that first lie cannot be forgotten.

159 replies
  1. dadidoc1 says:

    Donald R. Trump continues to spread the Big Lie. Unfortunately, believers in this are susceptible to lies about COVID-19, vaccine safety, mask safety, etc. and are dying of COVID-19. That they are dying unnecessarily is tragic, but in the process they’re bludgeoning our hospitals and healthcare workers with their lunacy. If you think of Donald Trump as another Jim Jones, both sets of followers drank the Koolaid and believed they were correct to the very end.

        • Peterr says:

          And at the other end of the sanity spectrum, Dr Oz is running for the US Senate in Pennsylvania. The NYT did a story on him today that opens with this:

          A wealth of evidence now shows that the malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine were not effective at treating Covid-19 and carried potential risks.

          But in the early months of the pandemic, Dr. Mehmet Oz, the celebrity physician with a daytime TV show, positioned himself as one of the chief promoters of the drugs on Fox News. In the same be-the-best-you tone that he used to promote miracle weight-loss cures on “The Dr. Oz Show,” he elevated limited studies that he said showed wondrous promise.

          This is not new, as the Times points out further down:

          Over the years, Dr. Oz, 61, has faced a bipartisan scolding before a Senate committee over claims he made about weight-loss pills, as well as the opposition of some of his physician peers, including a group of 10 doctors who sought his firing from Columbia University’s medical faculty in 2015, arguing that he had “repeatedly shown disdain for science and for evidence-based medicine.” Dr. Oz questioned his critics’ motives and Columbia took no action, saying it did not regulate faculty members’ participation in public discourse.
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          He has warned parents that apple juice contained unsafe levels of arsenic, advice that the Food and Drug Administration called “irresponsible and misleading.” In 2013, he warned women that carrying cellphones in their bras could cause breast cancer, a claim without scientific merit. In 2014, the British Medical Journal analyzed 80 recommendations on Dr. Oz’s show, and concluded that fewer than half were supported by evidence.


          In Dr. Oz’s 2014 appearance before the Senate subcommittee on consumer protection, Claire McCaskill, then a Democratic senator from Missouri, quoted a bit of his TV sales patter back to him: “You may think magic is make-believe, but this little bean has scientists saying they’ve found the magic weight-loss cure for every body type — it’s green coffee extract.”

          Dr. Oz admitted to the senators that his claims often “don’t have the scientific muster to present as fact.” A study he had cited about green-coffee bean extract was later retracted and described by federal regulators as “hopelessly flawed.” The supplier of the extract paid $3.5 million to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission.

          Sounds like he has the Trump schtick down pat.

      • emptywheel says:

        Me too. I’ve wondered whether Trump is pushing back on anti-vax bc he’s seen the polling (as one person I saw posited) or because he’s seen comparative mortality figures for Biden versus Trump supporters.

        • jc says:

          Perhaps tfg recognizes that most dead people will be unable to vote for him with more stringent voter verification

        • rattlemullet says:

          A dead republican is just another opportunity for another republican to vote twice. Based all the voter fraud published to date, republicans have committed the vast majority. Your ethics are marginal when your believe lies, what’s a little voter fraud?

        • chum'sfriend says:

          I think Trump is trying to rehabilitate himself after the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis issued their damning report on his administration’s handling of the epidemic. Trump is potentially facing charges of negligent homicide for the excessive deaths in each and every state.

        • dave_mb says:

          I think it’s much simpler than that. Biden gave him praise for pushing the vaccine and now he’s pushing it. Trump is very ego driven.

        • skua says:

          Trump may be; wedging DeSantis, creating a Trump-has-always-been-pro-vax narrative, magnifing WarpSpeed kudos, countering Biden-saved-the-USA-from-COVID-unlike-TFG narrative, and getting distance from the hundreds of thousands of deaths that he steered the nation into.

          I think that the whole thing with Reilly, including the small group of boo-ers, and Trump’s negation of them, was very likely all pre-planned.

      • timbo says:

        I’ve been thinking about Stalingrad for the past five years now. You have to lose a lot of bodies before people wake up—a LOT! That’s the sad things with people like those GQP folks on Fox and elsewhere. They won’t learn until the personal loses and loses to the nation are higher than the current pandemic…

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Which is what many people have on their nightstands. But given how threatening Trump finds reading, he’s more likely to have a bag of Keebler’s there than a book.

      • Raven Eye says:

        If you opened the cover, you’d have seen that the “book” was hollowed out to hold a stash of Keebler Vienna Fingers and Oreos.

      • chum'sfriend says:

        It was Donald’s first wife Ivana who reported this. The book was “My New Order”, a collection of speeches by Adolph Hitler. Donald studied it every night before going to sleep.

    • Ruthie says:

      I have a brother who was very I’ll with a bad case of disinformation. I guess as COVID cases go, it could have been a lot worse, but he was in the icu on a ventilator for about 2 weeks. And I have at least 3 other siblings, not to mention their offspring, who hold similar views. Another sister couldn’t understand why I was angry at my brother for making such a dumb decision and rejecting the vaccine. I sometimes wonder how I can be related to them…

      • rip says:

        I’m very sorry to hear about the cases of that disorder, Ruthie.

        I think it is time that the mainstream medical community as well as the psych types (DSM-VI?) start to treat this tendency towards disinformation as a true disease. Just like alcohol/drug misuse, gambling, lying.

      • dadidoc1 says:

        Would it be too much to ask the FCC to send a warning letter to broadcasters that regularly spew disinformation stating that they either stop with the disinformation or their license to broadcast will be suspended? By the time the people who bought into the big lies show up in a healthcare facility, it’s too late.

        • Peacerme says:

          I just want to add that as a therapist, I see how this stuff is tearing American families apart. I work with many educated couples in which one will not allow the vaccination of the children. Heart breaking.

          Finally the sane parent will break all the rules for a healthy marriage to protect their children or elderly parents or a loved one at risk. (Sanity and safety over marriage but such a hard decision to make living in a red state and in the middle of a pandemic-when the desire to cling to our loved ones feel like survival.)

          It’s excruciating to watch much less to live in that level of life threatening conflict. The election big lie adds to another level of insecurity. But the Covid conflict, the misinformation is gut wrenching where highly educated (usually one evangelical) parents cannot agree on safety. (In one case a lawyer and a therapist-the lawyer evangelical.) And this lawyer can argue his case with what seems like is an endless supply of bad science and bogus research that can only be dismantled by arguing methodology. It’s maddening and I am just the therapist!! There is no tolerance for that level of discussion when emotion is so high and fear so ruling the frontal cortex.

          Anyway, just validation the extreme damage this is doing to the very core of our connections to each other. (Without safe connections what becomes of humanity?)

  2. GKJames says:

    Yours is a thankless task. All you can do is lay out the facts again and again. That 74 million chose Trump regardless of the abundance of evidence related to 2016 tells us that reality has no place in minds that willfully reject it. To counter psychosis on this scale before it does permanent damage is a monumental task for the rest.

  3. jc says:

    Hayes interview proves that crazy liars will tell crazy lies to justify earlier crazy lies, especially when given a forum.

    • Marinela says:

      And the smirk on their faces. They always lie and smirk…

      They admit one truth, then they spread 3 more lies. It is hard to keep up in real time. So what is the point of these interviews anyway? The audience, is going to see how they keep lying, fox type audience most likely is not going to see these interviews. Overall, Chris Hayes did ok, but I don’t know how you handle these pricks when they are not debating in good faith.

      • BG Pelaire says:

        Unfortunately, it’s not only “these” pricks who are not debating in good faith. You’ve got half of Congress doing the same.

        • xy xy says:

          In the Wisconsin midterm elections, Republicans won just 46 percent of the overall popular vote for the U.S. House, but 63 percent of the seats — 5 out of 8. The weekly Isthmus newspaper based in Madison reports that Democrats won 54 percent of the popular vote for Wisconsin State Assembly but, due to the Republican-friendly map, only 36 percent of the seats.

  4. Quake says:

    The Steele dossier played the same role as the (apparently) faked docs fed to Dan Rather about GW Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard (TANG). Somehow once the allegedly fake docs were (apparently) discredited, all discussion of Bush’s service record became taboo and Rather was shitcanned.

    “Deja vu all over again,” as the great philosopher Yogi Berra would say.

    • Rugger9 says:

      W’s TANG attendance records were never found even with the promise of a triple promotion for the one who did find them. There’s a reason his nickname was AWOL.

  5. Jenny says:

    Thank you Dr. Marcy. Yep, Trump claims to be a victim more ways than one.

    “If you always play the victim you’ll always be a victim.” Steven Aitchson

    • Rugger9 says:

      It’s a GQP thing as well, and predates DJT (i.e. ‘You won’t have Nixon to kick around any more’). The Jared from OR bozo is claiming he was the victim, backed by Stephen Miller emerging from his casket to say it was an ‘insidious’ Biden plot to trap said bozo.

      As noted above, you can’t argue with habitual liars.

      • TooLoose LeTruck says:

        In my experience, there are three groups of people it does no good to argue w/:

        1. habitual liars
        2. the congenitally stupid
        3. the bedrock crazy

        If you were to do a Venn diagram of those three groups and throw in Trump supporters for good measure, I’m pretty sure you’d see some serious overlapping…

        In other words, yes, we have a serious problem here…

  6. Tom Marney says:

    I’m so far out of my depth here, but I’m gonna post this anyway:

    One lazy Sunday afternoon several years ago, I stumbled upon “The Authoritarians” by Bob Altemeyer, basically about how roughly thirty percent of the population are congenitally unable to understand democratic principles or even to think about such things coherently. It was a revelation to me. After reading it, so much of our political and cultural world made sense. That includes the fact that the way our elections are set up inexorably leads to two parties that each claim about half of the electorate. When the authoritarian thirty percent of the body politic migrates into a fifty percent party, they dominate it. And, for the first couple of years under Trump, that’s where we were at.

    However, more recently I’ve been horrified to discover that the authoritarian mindset now afflicts far more than thirty percent of the population, including many people who are both too intelligent and too well informed to believe the things they purport to believe. Given a choice between democracy and the memory of cheap gas prices, they’ve chosen the latter. They’re even literally killing their own people to serve their conspiratory narrative about the pandemic.

    I like to remind people that when Putin decided to put the full weight of the Russian state behind the Trump campaign in 2016, he did so in the knowledge that the prospects of Trump actually winning the election were remote. Clearly, he made the calculation that the damage that Trump could do to the US *even as a failed presidential candidate* was worth enduring whatever the Hillary Clinton administration might do in response. Similarly, January 6th was bound to be a win for Trump whether or not it succeeded in keeping him in office. Now, a rubicon has been crossed, with the few remaining actual conservatives choosing to cast their lot with the wackadoodles rather than tactically supporting the Democrats until the threat to democracy has subsided. And, as this post illustrates, these people are increasingly embracing the evil outright rather than merely tolerating it.

    I don’t mind admitting that I have no idea what to do about it.

        • Bobby Gladd says:

          Thanks! “Don’t look up“ is on Netflix. It is totally wild. Painfully funny. Sadly, a lot of people won’t get the joke.

          Our family Christmas gathering has been mauled by Covid. I won’t go into the details, suffice it to say that it was not what we had planned. We are still dealing with it. Ugh.

          Hope you and your family and everyone in the EW tribe are fine.

    • Marinela says:

      When the authoritarian thirty percent of the body politic migrates into a fifty percent party, they dominate it.

      Yes, but there is a silver lining on this. The 30% authoritarians racists all migrated to GOP, they are no longer spread among the two parties. Which means, we should have a chance to real lasting democratic changes, but there is no room for failures. However, I am worried sick that the GOP will grab power, and that creates a disconnect between the majority of the population and the few in power.

  7. Badger Robert says:

    Perhaps its just a game of pronouncement and perception. But the Covid pandemic may be presenting real consequences that force dissonance on the MAGA movement. As new cases grow exponentially, almost all in red voting counties, as noted above, even Trump has to concede to the virus, and a fracture becomes visible between Trump and the anti-vax movement. And the anti-vax movement is also shrinking. 204M people are fully vaccinated. Only about 130M are not vaccinated, and many of those are children.
    And there is a small, but powerful fragment of the Republican party that correctly views Trump as a ruinous outsider.
    So there are at least two fragments that no longer perceive Trump as the leader.
    TV and production values made Trump look larger than life. But in reality, isn’t his foolish lack of discipline, and his aggressive ignorance beginning to show?

    • Zirc says:

      “But in reality, isn’t his foolish lack of discipline, and his aggressive ignorance beginning to show?”

      Beginning? It was always on display. The unfortunate truth is that as stupid and spiteful as he is, he has a quality in him that made millions of our fellow citizens latch on to him. Many of them will never let go. Others will be like those who fell for the Royal Nonesuch in Huck Finn. They may know they’ve been suckered, but they’re in it for the long haul until everyone has been suckered. It really doesn’t matter what Trump says or does. There are tens of millions of voting age people who will stick with him. But he’s 75, overweight, with a bad diet and aversion to exercise. How long can he last? I wonder whether Scott, Hawley, DeSantis, Cotton . . . (all of whom are smarter than he in some ways) have enough of that suck-them-in grifter magic that Trump still has to keep the movement going.


      • Tom Marney says:

        Exactly. Trumpism is largely a matter of assholes and asshole wannabes living vicariously through the asshole in chief. Ignorance and impunity is a big part of his appeal.

        It’s idle speculation on my part, but I think that the Russian intelligence apparatus has been on the lookout for the next Hitler pretty well since the demise of the last one. With the demise of communism and the survival of the intelligence apparatus into the current era of thuggism, the emphasis changed from fascism prevention to fascism promotion. A while back, the bad guys realized that they’d found their golden child, and, some years later, decided the time had come to unleash him. T

        Are there any truly worthy successors waiting in the wings? I doubt it, but I presume we’ll find out in the next few years.

          • rip says:

            Thanks for the link to your blog. Lots of stuff there to digest – as I figured there would be after reading your postings here.

        • amanda mclane says:

          Enfin. Thank you Tom Marney, from the bottom of my expat heart. Your description of the peeps who follow this deplorable among deplorables has helped me. You’ve placed your proverbial finger right on the spot where the bât blesse. I can finally understand how and why these people are outdoing themselves and each other in what is a race to the bottom.
          Mille mercis. I needed that.

      • Neil says:

        I’m hoping for Trump’s obvious early-stage dementia to hit an acceleration phase, and a few media encounters to make it painfully obvious that he doesn’t have anything together anymore. Crossing my fingers for sooner rather than later, as it would help underline what he was like while in office.
        The downside to this is a reduction in the chances that he might actually hit significant legal consequences for his various shenanigans.
        I don’t know which path would be preferable…

        • skua says:

          DJT’s withdrawal right now would create a power vacuum.
          Into which would succeed the fittest populist authoritarian.
          They may be more competent and effective than Trump. Or would have backers with those skills.
          I think better the incontinent, fowl-killing, lying dog that you know than a possible wild-dog pack.

      • John Paul Jones says:

        He has the money to afford gold-plated health care, should anything happen to require it. His dad had dementia, but that’s not hereditary (though anecdotally, it does seem to run in some families – my stepfather’s for example, both the mother and two sons). I would guess that TFG is good for at least another fifteen years, ten of them active. Plus, dementia is a pretty horrible way to go, even if he sufferer is in the end unaware of it; it’s the bits before the end which hurt, and mostly hurt the other members of the family. I’m always up for a bit of schadenfreude, but it would probably not be a good bet to pin one’s hopes on either death or debility taking him off the board.

        • Neil says:

          Yes, my dad (83) has completely lost any logic by now, doesn’t recognize anybody he doesn’t see all day long, has no grasp of his vocabulary, and can’t follow any conversation at all. He had at least two aunts with dementia, but we have no clue on the male side, as he’s by far the oldest male in his family we’re aware of, pretty much “ever”.

          But 5 years ago, physically, he was in much better shape than Trump is. Like Trump, however, he had been making less and less coherent verbal argument, for the last decade, relying more on stubbornness. Trump talks just like my dad did some years ago.

          Things change as Hemingway quipped about bankruptcy, from my observation.

    • earthworm says:

      Our country has become a nation with a dismaying proportion of under-educated, superstitious, crafty & calculating oafs, fixated on lottery cards, scams, and any way to support themselves and their dependents. (am not blaming the victims; we all reap the whirlwind, too.)
      Wasn’t that the goal and objective put into motion by the Reagan administration and ripening throughout our political life since?

  8. joel fisher says:

    “that first lie cannot be forgotten”
    But it has been. It appears that Garland is giving the entire Russia/2016 gang a pass on further information collection. This despite the fact that–in what might have been criminal transactional pardons–they don’t have the 5th A privileges they once had. People say Garland is working quietly and we just don’t see his work and he has everything in hand. Sure. Am I the only one who smells BS?

    • emptywheel says:

      I am neither saying that Garland is giving everything a pass: there’s tangible proof that’s false (in part, bc he went after Tom Barrack, which was a Mueller referral). Nor am I saying that he has everything in hand. In recent days I’ve heard of another such example, from someone subpoenaed. Then there is the Rudy phone seizure that includes the full scope of Rudy’s obstruction and his role in the coup, though we only know of warrants targeting the Ukraine stuff.

      It would be impossible to say that he has it all in hand bc no matter what he is facing down incredibly powerful people. To get to Trump in the Jan 6 conspiracy, for example, DOJ is going to need any of about 4 of his most loyal flunkies to flip on him.

      • bmaz says:

        Yes. And the way DOJ gets there, if they are going to, is to methodically plod along in silence. I’d actually be more worried if more was public so it could be attacked publicly.

      • joel fisher says:

        I can’t see why a pardoned flunky would flip until there was a new crime that needed fixin’. “So, Mr. Stone, WTF really happened?” Two outcomes: 1) Lies and perjury charges; 2) Phony 5th A claim, quick trip to court, not so quick trip up the ladder, eventually, contempt. I know that neither of these could have occurred in “silence” and, thus, escaping the attention of the incredibly well informed national security wizards at Emptywheel.

        • Rugger9 says:

          Since it is doubtful that Stone tells the truth unless all other options are gone, it might be worth a trash talk topic in the coming off-season to speculate who or what he will blame.

          • joel fisher says:

            The thing is, he neither tells the truth, nor lies until his degenerate, evil, treasonous, rat-fucking ass is in a witness chair and nobody seems in too much of a hurry to put him there.

            • Peterr says:

              I disagree.

              I think Stone will continue to lie even when “his degenerate, evil, treasonous, rat-fucking ass is in a witness chair.” It’s just how he rolls.

              Whether anyone is in a hurry to put him there makes no difference at all to Stone.

              • AndTheSlithyToves says:

                Perhaps Roger’s time is up… just like Roy Cohn’s was eventually.
                Jennifer Cohn ✍🏻 Public address loudspeaker @jennycohn1
                Fire ”The young, college-aged kids, who were screaming at Ellsberg through bullhorns, were organized by 19-year-old Roger Stone, who was recruited for the task by Nixon White House staff. ***The person Stone recruited to organize the counterdemonstrators was 22-year-old Karl Rove…”

                Quote Twee Roger Stone Wants To Set Me On Fire @RogerWants
                · 23h
                If you want to understand who Roger Stone & the men he works with & his clients are now
                Go back to who they were then.
                The evil started early and they always worked together hiding in darkness.
                Drag them in to the light.
                Make them infamous.

                • Dutch Louis says:

                  Circumstantial, but nevertheless the combination of the name (Stone) and de MO (using chaos and a group of protestors as a cover for premeditated violence) in both events (1972 / 2021) bear a striking resemblance.

              • emptywheel says:

                I think that’s true but I think it also hints at how to undercut his power.

                Stone had great leeway during the Trump Admin bc he had a book of blackmail on him, which is how he ultimately got the pardon. Here, he’s trying to flip a mutually vulnerable position onto Bannon to blame things they share mutual responsibility for on him. That’s less likely to work.

              • joel fisher says:

                There won’t be any consequences unless he is compelled by subpoena to testify and he then lies or is prosecuted for post pardon behavior, which he almost certainly will happen but not until Speed Garland GETS UP OFF HIS DUFF.

                • bmaz says:

                  Stone was subpoenaed by the January 6 Committee on November 22. And he has an absolute right to take the 5th as to any post pardon conduct.

                  Garland’s DOJ is doing fine. People that relentlessly scream he is sitting on his ass do not have a clue about how difficult a complex conspiracy is, and how hard it is to prosecute at the light speed people on the internet whine about. Take a chill pill.

                  • joel fisher says:

                    Of course he does and the 1/6 Committee will have to pound sand for anything post 12/23/20. But Rat-Fucker has been a felony machine for years so there’s plenty of pre-12/23/20 stuff to chat about with much less or no privilege. No evidence of interest so far as near as I can figure.

                    • bmaz says:

                      Not within pertinent statutes of limitation there are not. When you get off of internet grievance, and into court, things are one hell of a lot different.

                    • timbo says:

                      That’s an excellent point. Like extorting and bribing a government official for one thing. Did he or didn’t he? And what about some of the other dubious stuff he was pardoned for. Oh yeah, make him testify and prosecute him if tries to take the 5th for testimony covered by his pardon. Big. Time.

                  • joel fisher says:

                    The 5 year SOL for US v Trump, an apparently prosecution ready obstruction of justice charge as outlined in the Mueller Report Vol II, will be running next year. I hope you are right and I’m a shrill, no-nothing, internet moron, but if that statute runs and there’s no charges? Then what will we be saying about Garland?

                    • bmaz says:

                      Yeah, and what is your basis for that? Please specify. Or stop your overwrought handwringing.

                      And, just to be clear, I understand SOLs just fine, in fact I am the one that relentlessly notes them. But you have to be specific, or it is garbage.

                      I’ll add one other thing, anybody who thinks the Mueller report will ever be prosecuted is wearing rose colored glasses and has their head in the sky. At this point, it would never even meet DOJ charging standards because there would be little chance of conviction.

                  • joel fisher says:

                    I thought I was being specific, and, I regret to say, you have committed an in def pro ref*: “what is my basis for that”. “That”, what? I think you mean am I just making shit up? Here’s a highly trusted source:
                    Less so, but not idiots:

                    *Indefinite pronoun reference; got hit for it in 7th grade

  9. Tom says:

    I enjoyed hearing Tim Snyder’s hard-hitting comments about Trump’s use of the Big Lie, but I’m not sure that casting Trump in the role of would-be dictator fits him as well as that of longtime grifter, conman, and general all-purpose liar. I think Trump is far more concerned these days with staying out of jail than getting back into the White House.

    Also, how ironic to see Trump getting blowback from Alex Jones for his (Trump’s) recent interview with Candace Owens in which he endorsed the efficacy of the Covid vaccines developed under his administration. One of the rare occasions when Trump tells the truth and his supporters reject what he has to say.

    • MB says:

      What would an American dictator actually look like? It wouldn’t be the “strongman” dictator that fits the stereotype of the word. I posit that an American dictator would be part-entertainer, part-conman, great with the crowds and an expert liar. Who fits that description better than Trump? Remember in the first year or two of his administration when the big excuse coming from those of his supporters who were offering excuses was that he should be taken “seriously” but not taken “literally”. A goofy clowny dictator makes the large spoonfuls of fascism in the medicine go down smoother. I guess.

      • rip says:

        And maybe none of the strongmen of the past are really what they appeared to be. Maybe they were all puppets at the beck-and-call of their own masters.

        Trump is obvious – he has been played by those that hold his loans and probable blackmail information.

        Putin, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, others? I’m guessing the reach of the wealthy class of the day has far more clout that adherence to some “ideology”.

        But then, there is always psychopathy where the rules don’t apply nicely.

      • Tom says:

        I’m not sure what an American dictator would look like, but I don’t think it would be Donald J. Trump. I doubt Trump ever even wanted to be President. He’s fundamentally lazy. He lacks the driving ambition and ‘fire in the belly’ to hold such an office. He shirks responsibility and avoids difficult decisions. He looks for the easy way out. His only fixed political views are whatever is best for Donald Trump. Rather than being ruthless and independent he’s emotionally needy and shrinks from direct confrontation. The clownish and goofy aspects of his Presidency were the unintended consequences of his own lack of competence. Furthermore, I think Donald Trump has enough insight into his character to realize he’s not cut out for the strongman role.

        • MB says:

          So…he breaks a new mold in creating the categories of “dictator-by-convenience”, “falling-backwards-into-dictatorship” or “accidental dictator”.

          “Despite lacking the ambition to hold such an office”, we actually let him hold that office anyway and he still hasn’t let go of it. And despite not succeeding in putting his political enemies and detractors into prison and scapegoated populations into death camps like some dictators have, he did put kids in cages. Lack of competence is maybe a saving grace in this situation. (Imagine deSantis as president… )

    • Peterr says:

      I think Trump sees getting back into the White House as the best way to stay out of jail.

      At which point we will see the oft-predicted self-pardon.

      • Tom says:

        I agree. I didn’t express my thoughts accurately. But Trump’s only motive for being President again is to avoid jail. He has no other agenda or vision for the country.

  10. MB says:

    My first (and lasting) impression when I saw the Dustin Stockton/Jennifer Lawrence “interview” with Hayes was that: 1) MSNBC had them on mainly because they just had a closed-door deposition with the 1/6 committee and 2) It was a golden opportunity for them to publicly whitewash their culpability in the larger maelstrom of events and to use the exit ramp offered to basically say “hey, we were crazy but not THAT crazy”. And Jennifer barely said anything in that interview, she basically just radiated that toothy smile whenever the camera went to her, but let Dustin be the BS spinner-in-chief, and boy did he. I didn’t believe a word he said, frankly. Just thought it was a CYA opportunity and an exercise in image rehab, which is the route they’ve apparently chosen…

    • John Paul Jones says:

      After the interview, Hayes and Maddow talked briefly about it, with Hayes essentially apologizing for putting the two on air but claiming that he did at least manage to nail them on a couple of lies. The day before, Hayes and Maddow had a similar colloquy, and again Hayes argued that the value of Stockton’s and Laurence’s evidence that they were working at the behest of the White House was greater than the potential damage they could do with the lies and spinning.

  11. RMD says:

    Slightly off topic, but very much in the mix on matters Trump, it was disappointing to learn that SDNY’s Cyrus Vance left office without bringing criminal charges against Trump in their year long investigation.
    The case will continue under his successor, Bragg. But Vance promised to bring charges.
    On 12/24, a post on DKos raised serious questions about Vance’s history and dealings w Trump.

    Should this case become a dead end….it will have the unfortunate effect of giving credence to Trump’s cries about being wrongfully charged.

    I wondered if Marcy, bmaz or others are familiar with these reports, and have additional insights into this case?

      • RMD says:

        Appreciate the reply. the post pointed out a series of deeply troubling items wrt Vance and his Trump ties. flowery letters seeking opportunities w his admin, dropped charges against Ivanka, received substantial “campaign” contributions from Trump’s attorney during a case, wrote letter of defense as Trump faced charges of rape of 13 yo girl….
        …and wait!..there’s more!….
        yowza….had no idea…

    • Riktol says:

      >>But Vance promised to bring charges.

      That strikes me as a dumb thing to do. Great for “firing up the base”, bad for expectation management, terrible as a matter of following the law. Also liable to offend people who have principles and actually follow them (which I don’t normally count myself among but anyway).

      >>Should this case become a dead end….it will have the unfortunate effect of giving credence to Trump’s cries about being wrongfully charged.

      Are you expecting someone to make an announcement that he’s not being prosecuted? Is that a thing they do in NY? I think that would be stupid, although Comey sort of kind of set a precedent.

      (edit how does one make these bits look like quotes?)

      • bmaz says:

        Eh, can you point to where Cy Vance “promised” to charge as opposed to promising to investigate? Maybe that is so, but I can neither remember nor find any such thing.

        • Riktol says:

          I based my comment off what RMD said (hence the attempt at quotes), maybe I took it too literally. I don’t really have the energy to chase down what Cy Vance said now.

  12. greengiant says:

    I heard of the latest Trump vaccine Big Lie on Dec 21. “the vaccines would never have been developed under the Democrats, Trump fast tracked them over the FDA do nothings … blah blah blah”
    A well oiled machine.
    Suspect it is all about pushing the adrenaline through agitation for the junkies.

  13. Bay State Librul says:

    DOJ needs four (4) flippers to catch the King.
    That comment made me go for a long jog on our icy streets.
    I might never recover.

    • Savage Librarian says:

      Marcy actually said, “…DOJ is going to need any of about 4 of his most loyal flunkies to flip on him.”

      I can’t speak for her, but I’m hoping this means 1 out of the 4 as opposed to 4 out of an assortment of others…

  14. BobCon says:

    I’m glad to see NPR is apparently seeing a bit of a move away from the oppressive both sides framing that would have traditionally diluted that big lie piece. But the press is still a million miles from admitting what is happening.

    The entire mainstream press ought to be on red alert over the NY Times defamation case ruling where a minor league state judge in NY has upheld sweeping interference with their reporting on Project Veritas.

    Not because the Times won’t somehow limp their way through this in the end, after no end of legal wrangling. The Times will probably get some kind of victory. But the odds of this being a Pyrrhic victory are enormous.

    The prospect of a single minor piece of the right wing machine hobbling one of the richest media empires with the help of a single bozo judge is only going to see endless other minor league judges throwing out constitutional standards all over the country to silence honest reporting about the right wing.

    The press accommodates formats like these idiotic live interviews with Chris Hayes and run endless poorly reported pieces about the Dossier because they do not have a clue about how the right wing voices they enable are operating.

    The judge in the PV case and Trump’s recent brazen antisemitic attack on the Times and its publisher AG Sulzberger are signs they need to be on war footing today. They need top management to insititute an immediate rewiring of their coverage. Instead, the Times today is running yet another front page article, this time by the incompetent Sabrina Tavernise, giving endless column inches to completely disingenous claims by right wingers, this time in support of killing people by spreading Covid.

    It’s not just Tavernise who is the problem — the bigger issue is the Times editors and managers who assign and promote this moronic anti-journalism, and by extension crowd out the kind of reporting we desperately need. They spread and enable big lies, even when the people behind them are aiming at the heart of journalism itself.

    • MB says:

      “The press accommodates formats like these idiotic live interviews with Chris Hayes and run endless poorly reported pieces about the Dossier because they do not have a clue about how the right wing voices they enable are operating.”
      I second this POV. I remember when Bill Maher interviewed Jenna Ellis, one of the Trump “election lawyers”, 2 weeks after the 2020 election. Although Maher is an entertainer, not a journalist, he had no clue how to handle her.

      She just used his platform for all it was worth to push the “election fraud” theory, and Maher, who was totally unprepared for a guest like her, just sputtered. At least Hayes made a concerted effort at pushback, but the situation of giving these idiots any major air time at all, was the real mistake in journalistic judgment…

      • BobCon says:

        One of the things that has me pulling out my hair is that these talking head pieces aren’t just awful from a journalistic standpoint, they’re awful from a ratings perspective.

        People may tune into MSNBC to hear an intelligent, articulate person like AOC, but nobody tunes in to hear dumb stumbling bad faith repetition of programmed talking points.

        The whole claim that there is something enlightening about hearing differing points of view doesn’t even hold up when there isn’t even a real point of view on display.

        Cable news desperately needs new forms, not only for the public value but because their ratings are in the tank. But the clowns running these shows and papers have less idea how to reach an audience than the producers of the Lucky Strikes Variety Hour on the Mutual Radio Network in 1935.

  15. !? says:

    The ‘big lie’ started in 2016 when Trump’s ego couldn’t handle the fact he lost the popular vote to Clinton. Trump instigated multiple investigations to overturn the humiliating truth… nothing evidentiary ever came from those, and the whole thing was done for political theatre so Trump could continue the grift in office.

    It wasn’t all for naught. Aperachics across the land were put on high alert that terrorist Trump would be back in 4 years to slander them again, and they prepared for the onslaught of innuendo that was sure to come in 2020 regardless of facts. We saw the result in their response to multiple lawfare attacks over the 2020 election results – the general consensus seems to be that for the most part the States were well prepared to respond. The 2016 Big Lie seems conveniently ignored by the GOP, and battle fatigue forgotten by the Dems.

  16. Hoping4Better_Times says:

    The Watergate scandal was exposed in Senate hearings with the dramatic testimony of two witnesses, John Dean and Alexander Butterfield. Dean was Nixon’s White House counsel and Butterfield told the Senators that Nixon had taped conversations in the Oval office, a revelation at the time.

    Now onto Jan 6 attempted coup by trump et al: I doubt Pat Cipollone, trump’s WH counsel, would “out him”, although Cipollone believed trump would be arrested after the Jan 6 attack. Tapes? There is the Georgia phone call to Georgia’s Secretary of State. There are WH documents that may incriminate trump and his aides involving the Jan 6 attack and the attempted coup. And trump has tried to block NARA from turning over documents to the Jan 6 Select Committee. Those documents may be embarrassing and/or incriminating. The decision to release documents rests with SCOTUS come January 2022.

    • Peterr says:

      The Georgia state investigation into the calls by Trump and others to GA officials to get them to find votes is still very much an ongoing investigation.

      Whatever may happen with the Jan 6 select committee, that investigation could result in charges that would make for a very powerful state trial.

  17. Tom R. says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment about the multiple lies, and I don’t want to get too nitpicky, but we should be careful about the terminology of “first” and “second” big lie. This is like Murder on the Orient Express, where the decedent has so many stab wounds that it’s impossible to say which came first. And it doesn’t matter.

    As !? and others have pointed out, you-know-who has been claiming to be the “victim” of “stolen elections” since 2016. He still claims Felito Cruz stole the Iowa caucuses. He still claims he won the 2016 popular vote in general, and California in particular. So one could argue that this lie predates all the Russian conspiracy lies. The modus operandi is to lie about almost everything, large and small, all the time. The exact sequence doesn’t matter; it’s all part of the same MO.

    He said on national TV in October 2016 that he would accept the outcome of the election only if he won. He was telling the truth about that.

    It makes my head spin when people say it will be hard to prove intent, based on the wording of his Jan. 6th speech. C’mon folks, look at the totality of the evidence. Some of these lies go back five years or more.

  18. darms says:

    likely talking to the wind here but it’s that damned electoral college that allowed the presidential election to be gamed like this in first place. If the president was elected by a simple majority all this post-election baloney would have been for naught…

    • Greg Hunter says:

      Lots of interesting Amendments pushed through in the early 1900’s and everyone of them benefited the elite in the East.

      The one that that wrecked the Electoral College was the passage of the 17th Amendment, which required the popular election of Senators, but kept the EC for the Presidency. It allowed Carpet Baggers from the East to usurp State Power in selecting Senators.

      The USA would have more turnover in the Senate had the USA not passed it. Now people will say corruption or democracy but I say BS as there has been no good argument postulated for passing the 17th Amendment.

      Look at those amendments closely and think about why they were passed.

      • Leoghann says:

        Huh?!? Carpetbaggers from the East? Usurp State Power in selecting Senators? Who do you think elects US Senators now? Were you under the impression it’s a nationwide election? And you would do well to look up the definition of “carpetbagger” somewhere besides the YouTube Dictionary of Opinion. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen so much mumbo-jumbo in a comment in this forum.

          • Leoghann says:

            Thanks. That’s quite a piece.

            From my position in Texas, McCain always seemed to be surprisingly devoid of any ideological mooring, except for that of his backers. That’s especially surprising for someone so stubborn. And when he was on the ticket in 2008, it really showed. “I’m a maverick” is not a political stance.

            But all that fits perfectly for a proponent of the Ideology of Self.

        • Greg Hunter says:

          Yeah I always get the visceral response without any real analysis. I think we can safely say Money elects Senators and that Money floods from everywhere, but mainly from the vested interests in the East.

          Prior to the 17th Amendment, there would be no money flowing to a Senatorial campaign but all the focus would be on the Governor as that position typically held the power to appoint one Senator per each 4 year term elected. Typically the Senator chosen would not be an out of state carpetbagger like McCain or say John Barrasso. The Senators selected would have to have some prominence in the State or provided money that elected the Governor.

          Repealing the 17th Amendment disconnected the State’s interest and power in Federal actions and has gone a long way in keeping the same Senators entrenched in the positions. When I researched the repeal of the 17th I could never find any real reason given except for corruption. Well I would rather have the corruption occur inside my State than out of State money being used to buy a Barrasso or a McCain.

          Peterr makes a funny about the 19th Amendment but that Amendment as well as the 17th and 18th were all done near the same time and control of the legislative agenda in DC was used instead of the State Ratification process. I would contend it was Eastern Elites that recognized the advantages of popularly electing Senators (17th) as its far easier to influence the electorate than messing in each Governor’s race.

          I would also contend that same cohort wanted less drunken men with too many children working in their factories and instead of providing sex and alcohol education unknowingly began the largest crime wave in American history by passing the 18th Amendment. Then this same cohort also knew that women had as much right to vote as men pushed the 19th Amendment.

          • BobCon says:

            Be really careful about statements like “Money floods from everywhere, but mainly from the vested interests in the East” for a a number of reasons.

            One is that it’s really weak. The Koch family is from Kansas, the Uihlines from Wisconsin, the Waltons from Arkansas, the Mercers and Thiel are Californians, and the Bushes are proof of the huge funding that flows out of Texas.

            Second, trying to say pre-19th Amendment senators were raised in their states and now they’re not ignores a couple of Ohioans — Wilbur and Orville Wright.

            The US is a vastly more mobile society than it was, and any talk about “carpetbaggers” is pointless. Tommy Tuberville was born in Arkansas and before he was elected from Alabama also lived in Florida, Texas, Mississippi and the home of those Wright brothers, Ohio. It’s not the 19th Amendment that led to out of stater Tuberville being elected from Alabama, it was Boeing, Pratt and Whitney.

            Money is even more fluid. The fact that $5 billion technically has a home in a shell corporation in a PO Box in Wilmington Delaware doesn’t mean it has some artisinal terroir, any more than Paul Manafort’s occasional stays in Trump Tower made him a Manhattanite. Modern elites and money transcend borders.

            And finally, be explicit about rejecting the coded language that comes loaded with “vested interests from the East’ even when it’s not intended. Trump is actively stoking paranoia about Jews controlling the NY Times, and blanket statements evoking old dog whistles about Eastern money only add to that.

            • P J Evans says:

              Alvin Saunders, 19th-century senator from Nebraska. Born in KY, raised in Iowa, last territorial governor of Nebraska, and daughter married the son of Benjamin Harrison. Sauders was grandfather of congressman William H Harrison of Indiana and Wyoming. (He was a cousin of a great-grandmother.)

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              The Robber Baron era, as only one example, demonstrates that corrupt legislators and their pet federal Senators long pre-dated the 17th Amendment. I would also note that the income tax, authorized by the 16th Amendment, also came into force in the same progressive era that gave us the 17th – 19th amendments. Until recently, senatorial election campaigns – like their House counterparts – were funded overwhelmingly by donors from their respective states. Federalizing them was not an outcome of the 17th Amendment.

              The Bush-Walker family’s money, depending on the branch, also came from Ohio manufacturing and Wall Street investment banking, which demonstrates your point. They had so much of it in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, that their scions shared rail cars with the notoriously private John D. Rockefeller. It also demonstrates GW’s lie that he was a good ol’ boy from West Texas – as opposed to CT, Yale and Harvard.

              • Greg Hunter says:

                I would say this is closer to the mark…the Robber Barons could send scions and money west, but as the west became settled I would argue they discussed the repeal of the 17th in their rail cars. The Robber Barons knew what they were doing in the long term as influencing elections of the right brand of person was becoming a media matter and not a scion/palm greasing matter?

                • earlofhuntingdon says:

                  Closer to the mark is that – as with today’s GOP – how Senators are elected is irrelevant. The purpose of their corruption is to make elections themselves irrelevant to the effectiveness of their corruption.

            • Greg Hunter says:

              Sorry I should have used Wall Street interests that financed/revolving door DC interests instead of Eastern interests as I am not attempting any other coding that that….

              I appreciate the feed back from all who took the time to comment, I have not been presented any evidence that supports the passing of the 17th Amendment.

            • Leoghann says:

              Tuberville does have a remarkable political platform: “Roll Tide; and I’ll do whatever them big guys tell me.”

              The western states were, and still are, settled by people from everywhere. Moving to a new state or district simply to run for political office in a less competitive environment does smack of carpetbagging. But for most people it’s more about where the jobs and money are.

              Huntingdon mentioned the Bush family. George H W Bush moved to Midland, Texas, in 1949, in the early years of a 12 year petroleum boom, armed with a new Yale degree, an even newer red Studebaker, and promises of very generous financing from family members. (It didn’t hurt that his wife was from an even richer family.) He started Zapata Oil Co., made a very large amount of money in a short time, and continued to live there at least part time until 1964.

              He wasn’t considered a carpetbagger; he was considered an entrepreneur. But in 1965, he made Houston his home. That was expressly for the purpose of running for US Representative from Texas 7. That was not entrepreneurship.

              • P J Evans says:

                Tom McClintock is a carpetbagger within California: he was in the state legislature representing a district in Ventura county when he ran for Congress in CD4, which is 400 miles north of Ventura county.

  19. gmoke says:

    Curious to me that there is so little discussion of the idea that the 2020 election lie is a sorta kinda funhouse mirror of the 2000 election debacle, including, as it does, many of the people in the Brooks Brothers riot which closed down the Miami-Dade vote counting. It has also been a way to diminish the outrageousness of 2000 ex post facto and to put a Rightwing spin on it: “Oh, Florida in 2000! Well waddabout 2020, huh? huh? huh?”

    Operating on the idea that with Republicanists it’s always projection, ALWAYS, I see on Twitter that there seems to be a casting company which represented or still represents many of the new Republicanists, from Lauren Boebert to Candace Owens, and we know that many of the people present during the “golden escalator” ride Trmp took to announce his 2016 candidacy were paid extras, whom I would like to think actually got paid by Trmp, for once. Alex Jones and others have been ranting about “crisis actors” for decades now and, I suspect, given that it’s always projection, ALWAYS, that quite a lot of the present Republicanist Party (the GQP) are paid shills.

    But then politics is show business for ugly people, as the saying goes, and today’s politics are more than ever a performance piece with a corporate media that is interested only in ratings and distraction as they pull in the profits and expand their empires.

    My bailiwick is energy and I know you could teach people the basics of solar survival with a half an hour’s worth of public service announcements (my attempts are available at ( if anyone is interested). That we haven’t even considered that possibility, preferring instead to debate the problem incessantly instead of working on solutions, is indicative of a) the lack of imagination of our corporate media; b) a refusal to face reality face on; and c) another example of the strength of our society’s collective death wish.

    Debating the problem ad infinitum as a way to avoid working on real solutions I suspect is part of the movie “Don’t Look Up” but I’ll probably have to wait until it’s available on DVD (if it ever is) in order to find out.

  20. FL Resister says:

    Everything Donald Trump and his collaborators in the Republican Party are doing now is destructive –
    from the Big Lie to Anti-Public Health messages. Besides that, the crazy right is simultaneously forcing honest people out of public service and voting themselves new powers to take over election boards.

    Keeping Covid going hurts Democrats. Guys like Alex Jones and Tucker Carlson and a host of Trump syncophants continue to push the idea that vaccines aren’t helping anyone when in fact they’re keeping people from getting serious cases of Covid and even dying.

    It doesn’t seem like 11 months is enough time to make sure that we shore up our voting rights before the 2022 midterms, but I am anticipating some shift away from Republicans once the Jan 6th hearings are televised.
    Let’s hope we’re doing enough to hang on but at this point it feels like we’re just pulling at threads.
    Which is of course what Marcy is especially good at so there’s hope but feels like we’re tied up somewhere watching an hourglass.

  21. Savage Librarian says:

    More On…Miracle

    One day, just like a miracle,
    He will disappear and be gone,
    But if we can rely on the empirical,
    He’ll still be Putin’s pawn.

    We’ll become less atmospherical
    absent a disordered Don,
    And relieved of the chimerical,
    spurn more of the rogue moron.

  22. Bay State Librul says:

    When and if Merrick Garland indicts the obvious, he should start with a ‘Victim Statement”
    The victim, of course democracy.
    He should then go on and kill “executive privilege”
    The only privilege available is awareness.
    Beware the words “until next time”

    Here’s a Nixon-era term that’s tanned, rested, and ready for a comeback — and suddenly much in the news, because of a legal tug-of-war over which executive has the privilege. The term applies to the separation-of-powers-rooted right of the president to withhold (or have his appointees and aides withhold) some information from the legislative or judicial branch. It has burst back into the spotlight because former president Trump and his erstwhile aides and associates are asserting executive privilege to avoid cooperating with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

    Legal precedent is scarce here, but even that’s a dubious claim. Although a former president has some executive privilege rights, the greater power rests with the current president, and President Biden isn’t supporting Trump’s claim of same. Second, it generally applies to officially employed appointees or aides, not rogues and scalawags in the president’s informal circle — and the period the committee wants to question Steve Bannon about occurred long after he left the administration. So: Why is that privilege being invoked? A private remark Richard Nixon made to his close aides way back during the Watergate investigation perhaps sums it up best: “I want you all to stonewall it.”


    • bmaz says:

      So called “victim’s statements” are only germane after a trial and conviction for sentencing purposes. It would be hideously wrong to interject such garbage upon initiation of a case. So wrong and prejudicial as to arguably warrant dismissal of the case.

      • Bay State Librul says:

        I realize that.
        I was making a point?
        If I was a wise guy, I would say it went over your head, like one of those Mack Jones throws yesterday at Gillette

    • matt fischer says:

      Re: Executive Privilege, an irony here is that it’s typically the Right most fiercely pounding the drum of unitary executive theory — that all Executive Branch power vests in the sitting executive. With Trump v. Thompson we have some orange putz private citizen asserting that he is more fit to determine Executive Branch interests, and those of the country, than President Biden.

  23. Tom says:

    If Donald Trump can be led to become an apostate on the issue of Covid vaccines, will his followers begin to have creeping doubts that he’ll backtrack on other articles of MAGA faith, such as the Big Lies about the Russia Hoax and the 2020 Presidential election?

    OT but imagine a Donald J. Trump Presidential Library where every scholar or researcher who requests access to the archives is slapped with a lawsuit and claims of executive privilege.

    • MB says:

      Will there even be a DJT Presidential Library? If not, might be another norm broken. If there is, I think one of the first series of items that must be archived would be the simplified “pictures” his aides used in that first year to help him understand PDBs, which he didn’t read.

    • Leoghann says:

      His placing of personal grudges and ambition, and his focus on his “stolen election,” already were a big factor in two Democrats being elected to the Senate from Georgia. That might repeat itself in other states in 2022 and 2024 if he gets his voluminous panties in a wad again. I’m really hoping his descent into dementia will facilitate another election-season tantrum or two.

Comments are closed.