Trumpism 🐘 Newsbites
'It's time for us to move on': Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan fears that Trump's election legal battles are hurting the GOP's image
  • Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, a Republican, on Tuesday said that President Donald Trump's continued legal challenges against the election results could tarnish the party's image.
  • "It's time for us as a country and as a party to move on," he said. "I'm very, very worried that this affects our brand of conservatism."
  • The chasm between Duncan and the GOP blew open when Trump slammed the lieutenant governor on Twitter, calling him "a RINO Never Trumper" who was elected "by falsely claiming to be 'pro-Trump.'"
Duncan, who was elected to his position in 2018, has accepted President-elect Joe Biden's win, while most of his party has either chosen to remain silent on the matter or deny the Democrat's victory. The lieutenant governor has rejected efforts to both prove fealty to Trump and spread debunked claims of voter fraud.

"It's time for us as a country and as a party to move on," Duncan said. "I'm very, very worried that this affects our brand of conservatism. The Republican Party, we've got good days in front of us. We need to keep looking for opportunities to improve."

In a direct criticism of Trump's online behavior, he added: "We need to communicate better. Two hundred and eighty characters on Twitter is not enough for us to be able to communicate to America, and especially those folks that maybe aren't with us on every single issue."

The disconnect between Duncan and most of the GOP was thrust into the national spotlight when the president on Monday attacked the lieutenant governor on Twitter, calling him "a RINO Never Trumper who got himself elected as LG by falsely claiming to be 'pro-Trump'" and "too dumb or corrupt to recognize massive evidence of fraud."

Like I said, Trump is going to ghost us
Trump was a sore winner in 2016, he's an even more sore loser now. Instead of performing his duties through his entire term and then offering his office and the American people a dignified farewell, he's reportedly thinking about having a rally to compete with Inauguration Day.

Consider this like spotting the person who ghosted you on a date with their new love interest. None of this is surprising from Trump. It's also not surprising that he's more than abdicated his responsibility to the American people — he's highjacked it.

Our lame duck President's public schedule is virtually empty. Those close to him tell reporters that he spends his days raging at his enemies, complaining to his friends, watching tons of TV, and of course spreading lies about how the election was stolen from him.

In short, he's showing even less interest in the job than he did over his last four years in office.

... At the same time, coronavirus cases continue to explode across the country, and it's unclear if the White House plans on doing anything about that at all.

None of this is to say that once Trump ghosts the White House he'll leave politics entirely. In his case there will be a haunting. And there will be a haunting because Donald Trump needs the cash.

Both Trump and the GOP have realized that his followers will believe any lie he tells them, and they will fund any endeavor that allows them to engage with him or those lies. Already the Republican National Committee and a Trump Super PAC called Save America have raised over $200 million off of the "Stop the Steal" campaign — the unsuccessful, sometimes hilarious, entirely pathetic effort to get Americans and the courts to recognize Trump as the winner of the 2020 election.

Yes, Trump lost. Yes, he and his cronies embarrassed themselves all over the country. But if the money keeps flowing why stop the show? A veritable cottage industry of scammers have popped up to support Trump's lies for cash — some are internet trolls, some are experienced right-wing, fringe Tea Party types. They know where the easy money is, and it's with the marks who support Donald Trump.

In this way, Trump has transcended from being a scammer to being a scam in and of himself. This would be impressive if it weren't an existential danger to democracy. Thanks to all of this clownery there will be people in our country who will forever believe they have been betrayed, that their vote was stolen from them, and that Trump is truly President of the United States.

Trump and his family will raise money off of that grievance for as long as they can. They have a dizzying number legal battles to fund, a business to save, and a general lack of shame that means there is no limit to their entitlement to riches. Unlike most people who leave the White House, they will not enter some form of retirement.

Trump is attempting a scam that will never end. That's the real haunting, and it is equal parts disquieting and despicable.

'You don't mean save the country, you mean save your a--': Chris Cuomo lashes out at Sen. Lindsey Graham for defending Trump's election disinformation
  • CNN anchor Chris Cuomo ripped into Sen. Lindsey Graham on Tuesday night, bashing the Republican for supporting President Donald Trump's baseless claims of election fraud.
  • "Seriously, senator? Do your words still come from your brain, or just some reservoir of bile?" Cuomo said.
  • Cuomo played a Fox News clip of Graham defending Trump's accusations of voting irregularities in Georgia.
  • "What is unreasonable is to sit on your a--, and do nothing, when you've got a chance to save the country," Graham said in the Monday evening.
  • "No, you don't mean save the country, you mean save your a--," Cuomo responded.

YouTube to Start Removing Videos Containing Election Misinformation
YouTube starting Wednesday will remove videos uploaded to its site that claim that widespread voter fraud or other irregularities occurred in the 2020 election and influenced the outcome of the race.

The new policy, which comes roughly a month after Joe Biden was projected the winner of the election, goes beyond the actions taken by Facebook and Twitter, which have both used labels to mark posts including misinformation about the election but have generally not removed them.

YouTube's policy, however, will only apply to videos uploaded Wednesday or after, leaving content shared in the five weeks since the election touting claims of voter fraud or rejecting Biden's victory still available. ... YouTube said it is implementing its new policy Wednesday because Tuesday marked what is known as the safe harbor deadline. Federal law stipulates that Congress must accept the electoral votes from states that finalize their election results, choose their presidential electors and resolve legal disputes by the deadline, which falls six days before electors actually cast their votes to formally elect the next president.

Trump says he wants to bring troops home, but he's really setting the stage for much more violent war
  • President Donald Trump's final weeks in office have been marked by his scramble to end the ongoing US conflicts in the Middle East, which have become known as the "forever wars."
  • But throughout his presidency, Trump has tried to convert the US military from a global counterterror force into one designed to fight an all-out war with Russia or China.
  • That is Trump's true military legacy, and it sets the stage for a potentially cataclysmic war in the future.
In the military realm, Donald Trump will most likely be remembered for his insistence on ending America's involvement in its 21st-century "forever wars" — the fruitless, relentless, mind-crushing military campaigns undertaken by Presidents Bush and Obama in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Somalia.

After all, as a candidate, Trump pledged to bring US troops home from those dreaded war zones and, in his last days in office, he's been promising to get at least most of the way to that objective. The president's fixation on this issue (and the opposition of his own generals and other officials on the subject) has generated a fair amount of media coverage and endeared him to his isolationist supporters.

Yet, however newsworthy it may be, this focus on Trump's belated troop withdrawals obscures a far more significant aspect of his military legacy: the conversion of the US military from a global counterterror force into one designed to fight an all-out, cataclysmic, potentially nuclear war with China and/or Russia.

People seldom notice that Trump's approach to military policy has always been two-faced. Even as he repeatedly denounced the failure of his predecessors to abandon those endless counterinsurgency wars, he bemoaned their alleged neglect of America's regular armed forces and promised to spend whatever it took to "restore" their fighting strength.

... The posture he's bequeathing to Joe Biden is almost entirely focused on defeating China and Russia in future "high-end" conflicts waged directly against those two countries — fighting that would undoubtedly involve high-tech conventional weapons on a staggering scale and could easily trigger nuclear war.

'I'd get my house bombed tonight': Pennsylvania Republican leaders details pressure to support Trump's efforts to overturn the election
  • President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election results may not be going well on the legal front, but a high-ranking Pennsylvania Republican leader is feeling the pressure.
  • State Sen. Kim Ward, the Pennsylvania's Republican Senate majority leader, told The New York Times not only that Trump called her, but that she feels a looming threat from his most fervent supporters.
  • "If I would say to you, 'I don't want to do it,' I'd get my house bombed tonight," Ward said of a letter calling on state lawmakers to pressure Pennsylvania's congressional delegation to make their own electoral college picks so Trump could take President-elect Joe Biden's victory from him.
  • Trump is running out of options, with the Supreme Court passing on a challenge to Pennsylvania's results and his campaign's legal team unable to win any of the 38 lawsuits they've filed since Election Day.
Beyond Trump pushing her to help put the Keystone State's 20 electoral votes into his column more than a month after Election Day, Ward said the president's efforts could be putting her in danger.

Ward's leadership position is key to Trump's efforts to overturn the results of the election, mainly by calling on GOP-controlled state legislatures to make their own picks for the electoral college so the president could carry the state, effectively nullifying the will of the people.

The legal precedent for such a maneuver has not been on Trump's side, and most GOP state house leaders in key battleground states have not acquiesced to his demands so far. Furthermore, time has effectively run out for the Trump campaign since the "safe harbor" deadline for states to certify their election results was on Tuesday.

However, Ward pointed to the overall mood among Trump's base as a more pressing issue.

She told The Times that were she to come out and say she would not sign a letter drafted by Republicans in the lower chamber — which calls for Pennsylvania's congressional delegation to reject the state's electoral votes for President-elect Joe Biden — she would face the wrath of Trump's most fervent supporters.

Kim Kardashian West calls on Trump to stop a man's upcoming execution and allow him life in prison
  • In her latest fight for criminal justice reform, Kim Kardashian West is urging President Donald Trump to halt an upcoming government execution.
  • Kardashian West has advocated for 40-year-old Brandon Bernard's death sentence to be commuted to life in prison.
  • Bernard was convicted for his involvement in the murders of two youth ministers in Texas when he was 18 years old.
  • His federal execution is scheduled for Thursday.
  • The Trump administration relaunched the federal death penalty in July and has carried out eight executions so far, following a 17-year suspension of the punishment.
Bernard was convicted two decades ago for his involvement in the 1999 murders of two youth ministers, Todd and Stacie Bagley, in Texas, when he was 18 years old. Now, aged 40, Bernard is awaiting his execution scheduled on Thursday. He's currently held in federal custody at the US Penitentiary in Terre Haute.

... "While Brandon did participate in this crime, his role was minor compared to that of the other teens involved, two of whom are home from prison now," she added. "Instead of being executed, Brandon could live out his sentence in prison." ... The Attorney General's office said in a statement that Bernard is set to be executed by lethal injection.

GOP senator says he's 'unconvinced' by a Texas lawsuit — backed by Trump and 17 states — that aims to overturn the 2020 election
  • US Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, told CNN he's not convinced by a Republican lawsuit aimed at overturning the 2020 election.
  • "I read just the summary of it, and I frankly struggle to understand the legal theory of it," Cornyn said Wednesday.
  • The lawsuit in question was filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and seeks to invalidate votes in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Georgia.
  • While highly unlikely to succeed, the lawsuit has been welcomed by outgoing President Donald Trump and the likes of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who has agreed to argue the case should it be heard by the US Supreme Court.
A lawsuit from President Donald Trump and 18 Republican-led states aimed at overturning the results of the 2020 election is based on dubious legal reasoning, US Senator John Cornyn said Wednesday.

... "Number one, why would a state, even such a great state as Texas, have a say so on how other states administer their elections?" he continued. "It's an interesting theory, but I'm not convinced."

The lawsuit, filed this week by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, seeks to disenfranchise voters in the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Georgia, arguing their votes are "tainted."

The unprecedented legal push, in which Paxton has been joined by Trump's legal team and 17 other GOP state attorneys general, would deliver the presidency, if successful, to the certified loser of the election in each of the four states, where even Republican officials have rejected the president's claims of widespread fraud. It calls for Republican-led legislatures to override the public's vote and choose pro-Trump presidential electors instead.

Experts have said the push is likely to fail.

"The litigation is legally incoherent, factually untethered and based on theories of remedy that fundamentally misunderstand the electoral process," Lisa Marshall Manheim, an associate professor at the University of Washington School of Law, wrote in The Washington Post.

... In a court filing, a group of moderate Republicans, however, including former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, has urged the lawsuit to be thrown out, The Dallas Morning News reported, characterizing it as an "unprecedented argument that a presidential election dispute is a controversy between two or more states."

Trumpism
or Trump-ism

Trumpism refers to the nontraditional political philosophy and approach espoused by US President Donald Trump and his supporters. The term Trumpism can also be used to directly refer to an outrageous or idiosyncratic statement made by Donald Trump.

Trumpisms are Bushisms on steroids.