No Trumps๐Ÿ‘ฑ‍♂️ Newsbites
The Republican Party is in disarray post-Trump and faces a crisis bigger than after Watergate, says veteran GOP Congressman
  • Veteran GOP congressman Tom Cole warned that the Republican Party faces a worse crisis than it did after Watergate.
  • A rift has opened between GOP lawmakers who want Trump's legacy purged and lawmakers and grassroots supporters who remain steadfastly loyal.
  • The GOP was able to bounce back from the scandal that followed the 1970s Watergate scandal quickly, but experts say the problems it faces now are in some ways deeper.
"I've been in Republican politics for 40 years professionally — so, just after Watergate — and I will tell you this has been the worst period of the entire time," Cole told the Times.

His remarks come amid chaos in the GOP following Trump's departure from office.

A rift has between lawmakers who want to distance the party from Donald Trump in the wake of the Capitol riot and his bid to subvert the election and a group who've remained steadfastly loyal to the former president.

... But in the past week, both have shifted their stance, with polls showing the former president remains hugely popular with the party's grassroots supporters despite his role in inciting the riot.

... The fallout from the Watergate break-in in 1972 is widely regarded as the biggest political scandal in recent US history, with Republican President Richard Nixon resigning in 1974 when his role in the crime was exposed.

The party was able to bounce back fairly quickly from the Nixon scandals, with Gerald Ford taking over as president for the remainder of Nixon's term and the party winning back power in 1980 after Democrat Jimmy Carter's one-term presidency.

Writing in New York magazine, political analyst Ed Kilgore identified several key differences that would make it more difficult for the GOP to bounce back from Trump's scandals than from Nixon's, including his enduring popularity and a lack of alternative leaders.
Read the full article:

Democratic presidents keep having to save the US economy after Republican presidents run it into the ground
  • Since the 1990s, GOP presidents keep running the US economy into recessions.
  • And then Democratic presidents come in and save the economy.
  • Democrats should remind voters of this every chance they get.
Repeat after me: The last three Republican presidencies ended in economic turmoil. And their Democratic successors had to clean up the mess. Voters need to be reminded – again and again – that putting Republicans in the White House puts our country in recession.

It seems quaint compared to 2008 or our current crisis, but President George H. W. Bush ended his one term in office in recession. After what was then the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in US history, in July 1990 the country entered a recession that saw unemployment rise to a peak of 7.8% in June 1992.

His challenger Bill Clinton made the economic pain that families were feeling the mantra of his campaign and handily beat Bush, who came across as out of touch with working Americans.

One of Clinton's first legislative achievements was an economic recovery bill that, among other things, put a greater tax burden on the wealthy and increased tax credits and wage subsidies for the working poor. As a result, during his eight years in office, Clinton oversaw economic growth that averaged 3.5% annual GDP growth but topped 4% throughout his second term. Unemployment fell from 7.4% to 3.9%, and the labor market added an average of 2.9 million jobs per year.

Cut to President George W. Bush and his policies that cut taxes for the rich, grew our national debt and trade deficit to record levels, left the US dollar severely weakened, decreased regulation of Wall Street, and ultimately helped bring about the Great Recession.

The Great Recession was man-made, caused by reckless lending by financial institutions – not the result of the natural cycles of our economy. The devastation was – and continues to be – enormous, with America more unequal, less productive, and poorer because of the severity of the crisis.

President Barack Obama came to office needing to help bail out entire industries that our country runs on. The depth of the decline was the worst in 80 years, and the recovery Obama initiated was slow – but effective.

After taking over in early 2017, former-President Donald Trump maintained the Obama recovery in some ways – but in other ways economic disparity grew deeper. Then, he treated the pandemic more like a political issue than a health issue, and the economy went into freefall on every metric. Millions of jobs were lost – some for good. Unemployment still sits at 6.7% despite some improvement in recent months, with communities of color hit hardest.

Now, as part of the promise of President Joe Biden, we will get through the pandemic and renew our economic strength in turn: another Democrat fixing a Republican mess.

... Much like the GOP did with Carter, Democrats need to make the Bushes and particularly Trump their punching bag for the next generation. The Democrats need to make it clear that they are the stewards of steady, strong economic growth and are always cleaning up after the GOP.

In most election years, voters think first about the economy and their own pocketbooks. That is the primary driver of most elections at most levels. Every Democrat needs to make the contrast in economic success their mantra – for the sake of the party and the country.
Read the full article:

The Lincoln Project threatens Rudy Giuliani with legal action after he linked the group to the Capitol riot
  • The Lincoln Project threatened to sue Rudy Giuliani for defamation on Saturday.
  • The legal threat comes after Giuliani alleged that the group had helped organize the Capitol siege.
  • The anti-Trump group has given Giuliani until February 3 to apologize and retract his false statements.
During an interview on Steve Bannon's "War Room" podcast on Friday, Giuliani alleged that the Republican group had secretly disguised themselves as Trump supporters during the January 6 riot, which resulted in the deaths of five people including a police officer.

Bannon himself challenged Giuliani on that claim, repeatedly asking him during the interview where he got that information from.

"I don't know if I can reveal his name," Giuliani responded. "Because we have that from anonymous sources. But he worked in the past for [Utah Senator Mitt] Romney."

The founder of the Lincoln Project, Steve Schmidt, told MSNBC on Saturday he was "thrilled" at the prospect of not only suing Giuliani for defamation but also going after Trump and Bannon.

" Steve Bannon knows he's going to get sued by us also, and he is, and so is Donald Trump who is Rudy Giuliani's client, and Rudy Giuliani is acting on his behest," Schmidt said, according to MSNBC.

"But look, it is very difficult to sue somebody for defamation or libel in the United States, but our lawyers are telling us that Rudy is well across the line so we're thrilled about this," he added.

On the same day, the group's attorney posted a letter on Twitter warning of a lawsuit unless Giuliani publicly apologizes for his accusations.

"You committed a textbook case of defamation," Matthew Sanderson wrote in the letter. "You publicly accused The Lincoln Project of an infamous and criminal act it had nothing to do with, as you very well knew. You lied."
Read the full article:

77 Days: Trump’s Campaign to Subvert the Election
Hours after the United States voted, the president declared the election a fraud — a lie that unleashed a movement that would shatter democratic norms and upend the peaceful transfer of power.

By Thursday the 12th of November, President Donald J. Trump’s election lawyers were concluding that the reality he faced was the inverse of the narrative he was promoting in his comments and on Twitter. There was no substantial evidence of election fraud, and there were nowhere near enough “irregularities” to reverse the outcome in the courts.

Mr. Trump did not, could not, win the election, not by “a lot” or even a little. His presidency would soon be over.

Allegations of Democratic malfeasance had disintegrated in embarrassing fashion. A supposed suitcase of illegal ballots in Detroit proved to be a box of camera equipment. “Dead voters” were turning up alive in television and newspaper interviews.

... Weeks later, Mr. Trump is the former President Trump. In coming days, a presidential transition like no other will be dissected when he stands trial in the Senate on an impeachment charge of “incitement of insurrection.” Yet his lie of an election stolen by corrupt and evil forces lives on in a divided America.

A New York Times examination of the 77 democracy-bending days between election and inauguration shows how, with conspiratorial belief rife in a country ravaged by pandemic, a lie that Mr. Trump had been grooming for years finally overwhelmed the Republican Party and, as brake after brake fell away, was propelled forward by new and more radical lawyers, political organizers, financiers and the surround-sound right-wing media.

In the aftermath of that broken afternoon at the Capitol, a picture has emerged of entropic forces coming together on Trump’s behalf in an ad hoc, yet calamitous, crash of rage and denial.

... Across those 77 days, the forces of disorder were summoned and directed by the departing president, who wielded the power derived from his near-infallible status among the party faithful in one final norm-defying act of a reality-denying presidency.

Throughout, he was enabled by influential Republicans motivated by ambition, fear or a misplaced belief that he would not go too far.

... With each passing day the lie grew, finally managing to do what the political process and the courts would not: upend the peaceful transfer of power that for 224 years had been the bedrock of American democracy.

... The violence at the Capitol, and Congress’s eventual certification of Mr. Biden’s victory that day, may have spelled the end of Mr. Trump’s postelection campaign. The same cannot be said about the political staying power, the grip on the Republican faithful, of the lie he set in motion.
Read the full article:

GOP Rep Kinzinger starts PAC to resist party's Trump embrace
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump, is launching a political action committee to push back against a House GOP leadership team and party that he says have become too closely aligned to the former president.

The "Country 1st" PAC, unveiled in a six-minute video released Sunday, will challenge the current direction of a GOP that Kinzinger says has wrongly become a "Trump-first party" to the detriment of the nation, as seen by the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

The Illinois congressman cited most Republicans' seeming unwillingness to hold Trump accountable for his role in encouraging the violent protests, as well as the party's support of lawmakers such as Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has drawn criticism for past social media posts reported by various news organizations in which she's suggested support for killing Democratic politicians, unfounded QAnon theories and racist views.

The goal of the PAC is to say, "Let's take a look at the last four years, how far we have come in a bad way," Kinzinger said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "How backward-looking we are, how much we peddle darkness and division. And that's not the party I ever signed up for. And I think most Republicans didn't sign up for that."

... "Republicans must say enough is enough," Kinzinger says in the video. "It's time to unplug the outrage machine, reject the politics of personality, and cast aside the conspiracy theories and the rage."
Read the full article:

The GOP's post-Trump dilemma
First are the vocal opponents who have expressed outraged opposition to Trump, specifically Sens. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse and Pat Toomey. On the other end of the spectrum are Trump's true believers, like Sen. Lindsey Graham, who arguably qualifies for Stockholm syndrome in his slavish devotion to Trump (Graham's vote to certify the election result on January 6 -- after the riot at the Capitol -- is notably too little, too late), along with wanna-be Trump heir-apparents like Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, who earned their place in the political Hall of Shame. In their zeal to curry favor with Trump supporters and presumably run for President themselves, they offered credibility to the Stop the Steal Movement, which led to the riot.

Then you have conservative constitutionalists, such as Sens. Tom Cotton and Rand Paul, who sincerely believe the impeachment trial is illegitimate but are silent on the grounds for the impeachment itself; political calculators, like Sens. Marco Rubio and John Thune, who need to avoid getting primaried back home by Trump-inspired challengers in 2022; and, fence-sitters, such as Sen. Roy Blunt, who denounced the January 6 rioters, but failed to admit Trump's culpability in inciting them. This group of approximately 30 senators are kicking the Trump-can down the road pending further developments.

Some senators, including Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rob Portman, could vote against Trump during the impeachment trial, though it is unlikely that 17 Republicans will join 50 Democrats to get the majority needed to convict him. Still, the situation is fluid.

... At its root, Trump leads a cult of personality, enabling him to scare Republican leaders and possibly deter some Senate impeachment votes. His big-lie tactics have brainwashed Americans across the nation into believing whatever he says. This is perhaps the most powerful -- and utterly morally reprehensible -- tool that Trump can use to control the GOP going forward.

Post-impeachment, there is a fork in the road for the GOP. What lies ahead for Republicans? Trump-lite, with the former president fading over the next few years? Or Trump-heavy, with the former President making a comeback while navigating shark-infested waters of his own making? Only time will tell.
Read the full article:

Donald Trump has these 7 distinct weapons in his arsenal that show he isn't going away anytime soon
  • It may seem as if President Donald Trump just disappeared. He hasn't.
  • Political committees, government facilities, and media are all part of Trump's comeback plan.
  • Creating a new political party and running for president in 2024 are Trump's two biggest decisions.
You're forgiven if President Donald Trump has lulled you into believing he's canceled.

After all, on a charge of inciting an insurrection, the US House just impeached him. The US Senate will soon try him, if not convict him. Twitter banished him. So did Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat.

Trump fled Washington, DC, on January 20 for his gilded Florida redoubt of Mar-a-Lago after promising to "never" give up his fight for four more years.

And since the moment President-elect Joe Biden became President Joe Biden, Trump has all but disappeared. He hasn't made a speech. He hasn't appeared for an interview. He hasn't cut a trademark straight-to-camera video.

But don't fool yourself. Trump's still here.

He's waiting, and scheming, and calculating, and building. He might start a new political party. He might even run for president again.

In a year, or a month, or a day, Trump will roar back — exasperating Democrats, independents, and a good many Republicans.

And when he does, Insider has identified seven distinct weapons in his arsenal — from political committees to government facilities to media platforms — with which the former president is primed to stage his comeback.
  • Save America PAC: a new, grifty tip of Trump's political spear
  • Office of the Former President: the exile White House
  • 'Patriot Party': the result of a Trump-Republican divorce?
  • Trump's presidential campaign committee: sitting on a 'gold mine'
  • Presidential library: a monument to Trumpism
  • The Trump Organization: a passport to attention
  • MAGA media: Trump's new megaphone
Read the full article:

When Trump started his speech before the Capitol riot, talk on Parler turned to civil war
Text analysis shows calls for civil war intensified on the right-leaning social media app Parler as Trump urged his followers to march on the Capitol.

... In the minute between 12:15 and 12:16 p.m., Trump told the crowd to head to the Capitol and that “you’ll never take back our country with weakness.” One minute later, a Parler user wrote: “Time to fight. Civil war is upon us.” Another wrote: “We are going to have a civil war. Get ready!!”

On the ground, the sentiment was more tactical. A Parler video that captured Trump’s voice saying “show strength” captures one man in the crowd responding, “Invade the Capitol building.” “Let’s take the Capitol,” others in the crowd shouted in the video. “Take the Capitol right now!”

During Trump’s speech, mentions of “civil war” on Parler surged to nearly four times the level the phrase was being shared previously. “Civil war” was used 40 times in the hour before 12:15 p.m., the approximate time Trump told the crowd they had to “show strength.” In the hour following his words, mentions of “civil war” jumped to 156.

Using a dictionary that researchers use to rate words for positivity or negativity, USA TODAY examined a trove of 80,146 Parler posts captured by analysts at the Social Media Analysis Toolkit before Parler went offline. The posts run from 9 a.m. when Trump supporters ramped up their Save America rally in Washington to 2:30 p.m. when the Capitol was under full siege.

... The analysis adds weight to reports quoting attorneys for riot suspects saying Trump’s speech inspired the attack on the Capitol. Such interpretations of Trump’s words are likely to be at the center of an impeachment trial of the president in the Senate that begins the week of Feb. 8.

... It’s impossible to see inside a social media user’s mind and know whether Trump’s speech prompted their postings, and much of the discussion on Parler was among people not physically at the event.

However, experts who study language, social media use and extremism see strong connections between the words of Trump, Parler users and people in the Washington mob that day.

"In those crucial moments, it appears that for many Parler users – including some who marched to the Capitol and participated in the rampage – vague hostility hardened into a call for violent action," Paul Barrett, deputy director of the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights who studies social media, said in an email. "Trump helped transform an angry protest into a mob whose insurrection left five people dead."

... Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. warned shortly before 10:30 a.m., "Friend or foe today, Republicans, you get to pick a side for the future of this party.” In an apparent reference to GOP primary challenges, the president’s son said: “If you're going to be the zero and not the hero, we're coming for you, and we're going to have a good time doing it.”
Read the full article:

Dozens of former Bush officials leave Republican Party, calling it 'Trump cult'
Dozens of Republicans in former President George W. Bush’s administration are leaving the party, dismayed by a failure of many elected Republicans to disown Donald Trump after his false claims of election fraud sparked a deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol last month.

These officials, some who served in the highest echelons of the Bush administration, said they had hoped that a Trump defeat would lead party leaders to move on from the former president and denounce his baseless claims that the November presidential election was stolen.

But with most Republican lawmakers sticking to Trump, these officials say they no longer recognize the party they served. Some have ended their membership, others are letting it lapse while a few are newly registered as independents, according to a dozen former Bush officials who spoke with Reuters.

“The Republican Party as I knew it no longer exists. I’d call it the cult of Trump,” said Jimmy Gurulรฉ, who was Undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence in the Bush administration.

Kristopher Purcell, who worked in the Bush White House’s communications office for six years, said roughly 60 to 70 former Bush officials have decided to leave the party or are cutting ties with it, from conversations he has been having. “The number is growing every day,” Purcell said.

Their defection from the Republican Party after a lifetime of service for many is another clear sign of how a growing intraparty conflict over Trump and his legacy is fracturing it.

The party is currently caught between disaffected moderate Republicans and independents disgusted by the hold Trump still has over elected officials, and Trump’s fervently loyal base. Without the enthusiastic support of both groups, the party will struggle to win national elections, according to polling, Republican officials and strategists. ... “If it continues to be the party of Trump, many of us are not going back,” Rosario Marin, a former Treasurer of the U.S. under Bush, told Reuters. “Unless the Senate convicts him, and rids themselves of the Trump cancer, many of us will not be going back to vote for Republican leaders.”

... “We have QAnon members of Congress. It’s appalling,” Purcell said.
Read the full article:

One of Trump’s new lawyers declined to charge Bill Cosby. The other maintains Jeffrey Epstein was murdered.
His suit, which was dismissed in 2018, made national headlines as the prosecutor who defeated him criminally charged Cosby, eventually sending him to prison.

Now, Castor is poised to represent another politician dismayed over a recent election loss: former president Donald Trump.

Following a sudden exodus of lawyers who had been working on Trump’s defense for his Feb. 9 impeachment trial, the former president on Sunday announced that he’ll be represented by Castor and David Schoen, another attorney with ties to several high-profile, controversial defendants, including Roger Stone and Jeffrey Epstein.
Read the full article:

No Trumps๐Ÿ‘ฑ‍♂️ Newsbites was formerly Trumpism ๐Ÿ˜ Newsbites.

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.