Category: Georgia

New Book Reveals Republican Hypocrisy in Embracing Trump

//REPUBLICAN=COWARD is as valid a scientific equation as E=MC2.//

Journalist Tim Alberta has written a new book, “American Carnage,” which compiles public reports and on-the-record quotes from prominent Republican officials who criticized Trump before his election, but then changed their tune after he won the GOP presidential nomination and the presidency. The book is not due to be publicly released until next week but some media have reviewed advance copies.

Among the most prominent of the quisling Republicans is Paul Ryan, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, who decided not to seek re-election in 2018. Ryan never wavered in supporting Trump for President, while occasionally voicing criticism of some of Trump’s specific acts or deeds.

Ryan reportedly told Alberta that, once Trump became President, he wanted to “scold” Trump “all the time” because Trump “didn’t know anything about government.” Ryan reportedly claims that he helped Trump to make better decisions, instead of acting on his ill-informed, “knee-jerk reactions.”

Whatever behind-the-scene interventions Ryan may have made, he aggressively pushed Trump’s agenda through Congress. He fully supported Trump’s efforts to gut Obamacare, and he was a key leader in securing Trump’s greatest legislative triumph so far: the 2017 tax cuts that were heavily skewed in favor of the rich and gave the middle class crumbs.

Regular readers of IndieDems will know we are not surprised that Paul Ryan’s exquisite hypocrisy receives prominent coverage in Alberta’s book and in its reviews. Vanity Fair sums it up quite well: “In New Book, Paul Ryan Admits He Was a Fraud All Along.” (Click here for our review of Ryan’s career)

But imagine: it takes a whole book to use Republicans’ own words to sum up how they have produced the morally and intellectually corrupt wreck the Republican Party has become. We leave the final word to The New York Times: “It isn’t really a Trump book at all. Instead it’s a fascinating look at a Republican Party that initially scoffed at the incursion of a philandering reality-TV star with zero political experience and now readily accommodates him… the Republican electoral plan currently consists mainly of riling up the base, gerrymandering and appointing the judges who will decide the gerrymandering cases.”

And remember: Republicans who continue to wallow in the hypocrisy, double-speak, and lies that allow them to continue to support Donald Trump while privately bad-mouthing him prove the ultimate truth about modern-day Republicans: they are a bunch of sniveling cowards. Imagine, being a Republican governor, Senator, or Representative—and living every day in mortal fear that you may say something that offends Donald Trump.

REPUBLICAN=COWARD is as valid a scientific equation as E=MC2.

Georgia Republican Patriarchs Find Another Warped Cretin to Rally Behind

//Another powerful Republican is caught pandering to a sex pervert. No problem, say Isakson, Perdue, and Loudermilk//

During the past few weeks, IndieDems has run a series of articles emphasizing the complicity of Senators Isakson and Perdue and Representative Barry Loudermilk in the racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, incompetent, corrupt, chaotic Administration of Donald Trump. We refer to them as the three stooges, in recognition of their lapdog support for Trump no matter what slander, insult, crime, or misdeed he commits.

The three stooges, we have pointed out, were fully engaged in showing indifference  to the horrid conditions of imprisoned migrant children and to Trump’s trampling on the Constitution and the rule of law in his efforts to include a question about citizenship in the 2020 census.

And now–another case of the three stooges putting loyalty to Trump and Party above concerns for their country. Labor Secretary Alex Acosta has been caught red-handed arranging a sweetheart deal, as a federal prosecutor in 2007, for billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Facing calls for his resignation, he held a press conference on July 10 to address his handling of the case.

Here is the consensus opinion of Acosta’s position:

Acosta defends wealthy sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s plea deal

The Latest: Ex-state attorney disputes Acosta’s account
Barry Krischer says Acosta’s recollection “is completely wrong.”
Krischer said that the U.S. attorney’s office’s always had the ability to file its own federal charges and that a lengthy indictment was prepared but “abandoned after secret negotiations between Mr. Epstein’s lawyers and Mr. Acosta.” 

The big question Acosta failed to answer 

Acosta does himself and Trump no good
“Acosta was unapologetic and weirdly unemotional during a nearly one-hour news conference.”
“Acosta refused to apologize to the victims…He refused to even express regret.” 

Instead of an Apology, Acosta Offers Epstein’s Victims Implicit Blame

The Jeffrey Epstein charges raise grave questions about Alexander Acosta

Here is Donald Trump’s opinion:

President Trump is standing behind Acosta and resisting calls for his resignation. “For two and a half years, he’s been just an excellent secretary of Labor. He’s done a fantastic job…I do hear that there were a lot of people involved in that decision, not just him. I can only say this from what I know, and what I do is he’s been a great—really great—secretary of Labor.”

Here are the opinions of Johnny Isakson, David Perdue, and Barry Loudermilk…

…on a powerful Republican who arranged a sweetheart deal for a  cretin who committed serial sex offenders against minors and, this week, looked the American people in the eye and told flagrant lies about what he had done:

 “RE-ELECT DONALD TRUMP PRESIDENT FOR FOUR MORE YEARS!”

 
Sen. Isakson  Sen. Perdue      Rep. Loudermilk
The three stooges: We are absolutely convinced that Alexander Acosta represents the same Republican standards for public service that we asked of Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, Rick Gates,  George Papadopoulos, Michael Cohen, Scott Pruitt, and Wilbur Ross.  That is to say, what’s a little pedophilia, sex trafficking of minors, and pornography compared to, say, Jared’s having access to the country’s most sensitive information even though national security agencies considered him such a risk, they denied him a security clearance.

We Georgia Republican conservative Christian gentlemen expect Acosta to continue to carry on in the fine tradition shown by President Trump in his embrace of lies, ruthless authoritarian dictators, insults to our chief allies, jokes about Russian interference in our elections, and needless trade wars. We are proud to be a part of a government that exhibits such fine Christian values, as exemplified in the moral  character of Donald Trump. We and Donald Trump are soul brothers, no doubt about it.

GA GOP Supports Trump’s Lies, Obfuscation on Census Citizenship Issue

//Georgia’s Three Stooges Remain Firmly in Trump Corner as Federal Courts Eviscerate His Citizenship Case//

IndieDems continues its series making sure Georgia’s three Donald Trump stooges—Senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue and Representative Barry Loudermilk—are closely linked to the words and deeds of the President they so admire. IndieDems provides their response, based on their track record of three years of unstinting support for Trump—and their desire to re-elect him.

Census farce: Trump, Barr and the Justice Department make a mockery of the law

The Supreme Court ruled last month that “Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross lied when he said the Justice Department had initiated the process (of including a citizenship question in the 2010 census) to enforce the Voting Rights Act.” (It was) “a blatant misrepresentation.”

 
Isakson          Perdue           Loudermilk
The three stooges: What poppycock. William Barr sends his Justice Department mouthpieces to tell a little fib about why we want the citizenship thing, and the Justices throw the case out of court? Our President has spent two and one-half years making America great again by telling over 10,000 lies, and the Justices make a big deal out of this? Heads should roll!

Justice Department lawyers went back to federal court in Maryland to state the Administration was still looking for ways to include the citizenship question. U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel was having none of it.

  • Constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe observes, “The district court’s refusal to go along with the antics of the Justice Department’s legal team has been a reassuring reminder that this dictator-admiring president has not yet succeeded in breaking the judicial guardrails completely.”
  • Tribe argues that Trump “has left little doubt about his willingness to do so if he senses at any given moment that it would serve his theatrical or political interests — interests that he seems incapable of distinguishing.”
  • Ian Bassin, executive director of the nonpartisan nonprofit Protect Democracy, said: “There’s a term for trying to create a structural political advantage for ‘Republicans and non-Hispanic whites,’ and that term is ‘white power.’ And we now know that’s been the purpose all along for adding a citizenship question to the census.”

 
The three stooges: So the citizenship question would deal a heavy blow against minorities gaining more power, influence, and federal largesse. What a fine companion to the decade-old campaign we Republicans have waged to to find ways of suppressing the minority vote. This is exactly why we Republican conservative Christian white males elected this serial liar and adulterer as President and want to keep him there four more years!

Not surprisingly, Trump and his Republican minions for whom it is no big deal to lie to the Supreme Court, and who are obsessed with limiting the political influence of minorities and suppressing the minority vote, were not going to give up.

Justice Dept. Reverses Course on Citizenship Question on Census, Citing Trump’s Orders
Judge Rejects Justice Dept. Request to Change Lawyers on Census Case
  • “The sharply worded order, by United States District Judge Jesse M. Furman, may further hobble an already struggling battle by the administration to save the citizenship question…”
  • “Judge Furman barred the old lawyers from leaving until they met a legal requirement to satisfactorily explain their departure and show that it would not impede the case. “Defendants provide no reasons, let alone ‘satisfactory reasons,’ for the substitution of counsel,” he wrote.”
  • “Multiple people familiar with the case have said that the lawyers resigned from the lawsuit out of ethical concerns and a belief that the suit was unwinnable.”

 
The three stooges: We want to assure the people of Georgia that we stand solidly behind our lying, racist, xenophobic President and his lackey Attorney General as they wage this noble fight against those disreputable federal judges!

The Latest in GA’s Three Stooges Support for Donald Trump

Three patriarchs of Georgia Republicans–Senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue, and Rep. Barry Loudermilk–not only remain staunch supporters of the presidency of Donald Trump, they are eagerly supporting his re-election. IndieDems believes their loyalty to Trump should be duly noted and highlighted, by simply providing the headlines of Trump’s acts, with minimal commentary, knowing that whatever Trump has done, the three stooges support him.
President Trump’s arrogance, ineptitude, and incompetence has created total chaos involving the question of whether the 2020 census should include a citizenship question.
Reversing course, Trump administration will look for a way to add citizenship question to 2020 Census
“The question had seemed settled after the Supreme Court ruled last week against the Trump administration. As late as Tuesday evening, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the census, said the administration was dropping its effort and was printing the census forms without the citizenship question.”
But Trump, in tweets Wednesday and Thursday, said he was not giving up and the Justice Department was still working to have the question included.
The government-by-tweet caught even Justice Department lawyers flatfooted. It produced a simple statement of objective truth by one of them that will live in history as a stunning comment on the sledgehammer blows that Trump and his supporters are delivering against any semblance of orderly government.
The words were spoken by Joshua Gardner, who had led the government defense team in a case on the citizenship question before Judge George J. Hazel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. After seeing Trump’s Wednesday tweet, Hazel held a phone call with lawyers in the Maryland case to try to clarify the government’s plan. In reply to Hazel’s inquiry, Gardner replied:
“The tweet this morning was the first I had heard of the President’s position on this issue, just like the plaintiffs and Your Honor. I do not have a deeper understanding of what that means at this juncture other than what the President has tweeted. But, obviously, as you can imagine, I am doing my absolute best to figure out what’s going on.”

Isakson                  Perdue              Loudermilk

The three stooges: How pleased we are at the fruits of our labors
to make Trump president. Total chaos! An early morning tweet
demolishing the Administration’s own stated policy and pulling
the rug out from under two cabinet departments! The Justice Dept
looking foolish in a federal court! We are so proud of ourselves!

Trump administration scrambles to save citizenship question on census

The three stooges:
Seeing this total chaos continue, we are more
determined than ever to make sure Trump is re-elected!

The three stooges:
Attaboy, Mr. President! Don’t give an inch to those suffering animals! Our policy is gonna work. Make things so miserable, those animals will stop coming. It’s the Democrats fault that, so far, our approach is having the opposite effect.
Pediatricians share migrant children’s disturbing drawings of their time in US custody
“Dr. Sara Goza, the current president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said in an email to CNN that she toured two CBP facilities at the border last week and ‘did not encounter a single pediatrician at either one.’ “
“The first thing that hit me when we walked in the door was the smell. It was the smell of sweat, urine and feces,” she said. “No amount of time spent in these facilities is safe for children.”

The three stooges: Attaboy, Mr. President. Don’t give an inch
to those suffering children! Be cruel, be inhumane–and then
lie about it! We’re Georgia Republicans. Why should we give a
damn about the long term impact on these brown-skinned children?

No Difference Between Democrats & Republicans? U Got to be Kidding

I have no doubt that many liberals and Democrats, including well-educated ones, are misinformed about Republicans and conservatives—and vice-versa. But let’s keep focused on the practical, every day consequences of how the two sides think and act.

Republicans are avidly supporting a racist, xenophobic, misogynist, anti-intellectual agenda. In fact, since Trump became president, the more extremist, demagogic, and unyielding Trump becomes in pursuing his extremist agenda, the more vociferously Republicans support him.

Trump tells baldfaced lies about Obama’s birthplace and about the degree of criminality among Hispanic immigrants, refers to the migrants as “animals,” and demeans the military service of John McCain, and Republicans scream their approval–and Republicans and Democrats are all the same?

If what Trump and the Republicans are doing is so noble and good, why do they have to constantly lie about it to defend it? Plus, name me the Democratic equivalent of someone who has:

  • Made over 10,000 false or misleading statements as President
  • Mocked a handicapped person
  • Locked up children in concentration camps
  • Praised neo-Nazi demonstrators chanting “Jews will not replace us”
  • Run a political campaign overtly supporting racism, xenophobia, and white nationalism
  • Used fear-mongering and race-baiting to support that campaign
  • Incited his followers to violence
  • Bragged about sexually assaulting women
  • Impugned the integrity of a respected judge on the basis of his ethnic origin.
  • Called various women bimbo, dog, ugly, of low intelligence, and “Miss Piggy”
  • Approved Howard Stern’s calling Ivanka “a piece of a–“
  • Belittled a Gold Star American mother
  • Praised the murderous thugs Putin and Kim Jong Un
  • Called foreign countries “s—holes”
  • Supported torture
Democrats and Republicans mirror image each other? What horse manure.

Trump & His Georgia Lackeys Rip American Values to Shreds

The meeting last week between President Trump and the murdering Russian dictator Vladimir Putin during the G20 summit in Japan provided another display of Trump’s obvious disdain for democratic rights and liberties—a disdain shared by Trump’s lapdog Georgia supporters, Senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue and Representative Barry Loudermilk.  They have shown, again, why we unabashedly refer to them as Trump’s three stooges.

Trump used the meeting to make light of Russian interference in our election and joked with Putin president about the nasty journalists who dare to criticize the two of them.

When Trump was asked if he would discuss election interference with Putin, the President turned to the Russian boss, smiled, and said, “Don’t meddle in the election, please. Don’t meddle in the election.” Putin laughed.

IndieDems finds it appalling to see Trump’s bizarre fanboy admiration for Putin rear its noxious head. Trump is once more sucking up to the Russian thug—and sacrificing United States national security interests in doing so. One media commentator summed it up by noting Trump had followed up on

“the farce of Helsinki, when Trump embarrassed himself and America before the world with display of sycophancy so pathetic that you could barely read an article about it without finding a reference to Neville Chamberlain.”

At the Helsinki summit, of course, Trump had taken Putin’s word that he had not interfered in the U.S. 2016 elections over the unanimous judgement of America’s intelligence services that he had—a conclusion overwhelmingly seconded by the Mueller report.

How have Georgia’s three stooges Isakson, Perdue, and Loudermilk treated Trump’s kowtowing to Putin? They have doubled down on their support for him and are aggressively pushing for his re-election! And the interests of their  country be damned.  

Regarding journalists, Trump said: “Get rid of them. ‘Fake news’ is a great term, isn’t it? You don’t have this problem in Russia, but we do.” Putin responded, in English: “We also have. It’s the same.”

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, since Putin took power, 25 journalists have been murdered in Russia. Many of them were investigating his regime when murdered. All very funny, according to Trump and his three stooges from Georgia.

Which is worse: Trump, Isakson, Perdue, and Loudermilk’s seeming appreciation for the brutal control Putin exercises over his country, or the Russian leader claiming our two countries are “the same”?

Trump’s gushing admiration for authoritarian thugs was not limited to Putin. He also:

  • Lavished praise on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, while ignoring evidence that Mohammad directed the killing of American journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
  • Flew from Osaka to hold a summit meeting with North Korean thug Kim Jong Un at the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas, once more fawning all over the North Korean dictator who presides over one of the most inhumane regimes on earth.

IndieDems long ago got sick and tired of those like Georgia’s three stooges who call themselves “constitutional conservatives” while ignoring Trump’s cavalier attitude toward liberty—and toward the rule of law, the 10 Commandments, the Golden Rule, and common human decency.

And remember: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is making sure that no legislation that might secure the American election system against Russian intrusion will ever come to a vote in the Senate.

The White House and our Congressional offices are now occupied by Republicans who have contempt for not only the interests of the United States but also every principle that is supposed to make us what we are. In the words of a political observer,

“If you can watch Trump yukking it up with Putin and not feel sick to your stomach, you might want to take a good hard look at your own commitment to American values.”

GA Republicans Unmoved by Dead and Suffering Migrant Children

In the two and one-half years of Donald Trump as President, Georgia’s two Senators—Johnny Isakson and David Perdue—and Representative Barry Loudermilk have shown themselves to be three of Trump’s more willing lapdogs.  Their stamp of approval for everything Trump has said or done is revealed by one simple fact: they support his re-election for four more years. Whatever Trump’s words and deeds, these three stooges want four more years of it, in addition to the remaining 19 months of his first term.

The most glaring example of the three stooges’ willingness to abandon any respect for the Constitution, the rule of law, God’s 10 Commandments, Jesus’ Golden Rule, and common human decency to keep Trump in power is shown by their support for his cruel immigration policy.

Here is the evolution of Trump’s policy that begin with a big lie and has become steadily more flagrantly racist, depraved, and inhumane, with the full support of the three stooges.

June 2015:

“Mexico not sending their best. They’re sending people bringing drugs, bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” Isakson, Perdue, and Loudermilk (the three stooges): “Sounds OK to us!”

2016

“I’m going to build a wall and Mexico is going to pay for it.” The three stooges: “We support Donald Trump for President!”

2018:

President Donald Trump called immigrants “animals” during a roundtable with California leaders. The three stooges: “We support President Trump!”

2019

News report: Since he began campaigning (for his re-election), President Trump has demonized Latino immigrants as “criminals.” “rapists,” drug dealers, “animals” and “bad hombres” who “infest our country.” The three stooges: “We support President Trump!”

(Comment: Trump is simply lying about the relationship between immigrants and crime. Research has long shown that recent immigrants are no more prone to criminality that native-born Americans. In fact, studies have suggested they are less so. A new analysis by The Marshall Project, published May 13, has also found no connection between crime and increases in local populations of undocumented immigrants.)

June 2019:  News reports:

“A traumatic and dangerous situation is unfolding for some 250 infants, children and teens locked up for up to 27 days without adequate food, water and sanitation, according to a legal team that interviewed dozens of children at a Border Patrol station in Texas.”

 
The three stooges: “What’s the problem?”

“Three girls, ages 10 to 15, said they had been taking turns watching over a sick 2-year-old boy because there was no one else to look after him.”

 
The three stooges: “What’s the problem?”

“When the lawyers saw the boy, he wasn’t wearing a diaper and had wet his pants, and his shirt was smeared in mucus. They said at least 15 children at the facility had the flu, and some were kept in medical quarantine.”

 
The three stooges: “What’s the problem?”

“The children told lawyers that they were fed uncooked frozen food or rice and had gone weeks without bathing or a clean change of clothes at the facility in Clint, in the desert scrubland some 25 miles southeast of El Paso.”

 
The three stooges: “What’s the problem?”
June 2019

 
The three stooges: “Re-Elect Donald Trump!!”

Trump Threatens U.S. Interests and World Peace–with Senate Approval

Trump’s actions regarding Iran over the past two weeks prove beyond a shadow of a doubt he not only is manifestly unfit to be president, he constitutes a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States, to world peace, and to the basic framework of the international order. He is going to stumble-bumble us into an unnecessary war, and a war with Iran will not be a brief shoot-out. The consequences, whoever “wins,” will be catastrophic, and generations to come will live with its dystopian aftermath.

The 53 Republicans who control the United States Senate will share with Trump the responsibility for the horror. This small number of the most pitiful wretches ever to hold public office in America are the only barrier to removing this incompetent, lying, racist xenophobe from office.

These morally and intellectually corrupt human beings who live every minute of their lives in mortal fear they may say something to offend Donald Trump are betraying their country worst than Benedict Arnold. They have no shame, no more than the Republicans of a previous generation who worshiped the lying demagogue Joe McCarthy. How they look themselves in the mirror is incomprehensible.

Georgia’s own Senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue, of course, are charter members of the “Trump at any cost” club.

Johnny Isakson’s Definition of Good Government

I set out a few days ago to gather about two or three days of headlines that show the incompetent, chaotic, and corrupt Trump government that Senator Johnny Isakson finds so acceptable, he intends to support Trump’s re-election, so the two of them can continue to give us such government for four more years. The idea is, the gross incompetence and malfeasance of the Trump Administration has become so flagrant and overt, the headlines alone tell the story. Putting together a critical commentary has become superfluous.

And I began before the fiasco of Trump reportedly ordering air strikes against Iran and then canceling the operation at the last minute!

Here are the fruits of my labors. Most of the headlines were published within about four days of each other in June. Some go back a little more, to give depth to the revelation of what type of government receives Johnny Isakson’s stamp of approval.

Trump ordered an attack on Iran, then called it off

Pentagon is without a chief as US faces many global threats

How Kellyanne Conway exemplifies the administration’s moral rot

Fact-checking President Trump’s reelection campaign kickoff
…littered with the same false or misleading claims he has so often repeated as president.

Trump’s Temporary Cabinet and Vacancy-riddled Government


Hello! I’m Senator Johnny Isakson. All around me, you see headlines showing you
the type of government Donald Trump and I want to bring you for five more years.

Trump/Isakson’s Talk On Preexisting Conditions Doesn’t Match Their Administration’s Actions

How A Lawsuit Challenging Obamacare Could Affect People With Pre-Existing Conditions

Why Trump’s Cabinet vacancies, turnover threaten our government

   Paul Manafort’s transfer from Rikers Island shows how corrupt the DOJ really is

State Department official didn’t disclose ties to the boyfriend of Russian agent Maria Butina

Trump plans to turn the Fourth of July into a political rally in honor of himself

Trump picked Kim Jong Un over the CIA. Is anyone surprised? 

Officials rejected Jared Kushner for top secret security clearance, but were overruled

‘These boys were on a holiday’: Trump family members promote themselves, and businesses, on European trip

These gruesome new Khashoggi revelations reinforce the ugly bargain Trump has struck with Saudi

‘There’s no accountability’: Trump, White House aides signal a willingness to act with impunity in drive for reelection

GOP-leaning Orlando Sentinel Eviscerates Trump/Isakson Agenda

The Orlando Sentinel—a historically Republican newspaper—has recoiled in horror against the America that Johnny Isakson and his Der Fuhrer, Donald Trump, are creating.

The Sentinel Editorial Board yesterday took the occasion of Trump’s visit to Orlando to kick off his 2020 re-election campaign to denounce in unmistakeable terms the warped and twisted agenda that Isakson and Trump have spent three and one-half years implementing—and want to spend another five years implementing.

Here are some excerpts:

  • …there’s no point pretending we would ever recommend that readers vote for Trump.
  • After 2½ years we’ve seen enough.
  • Enough of the chaos, the division, the schoolyard insults, the self-aggrandizement, the corruption, and especially the lies.
  • So many lies — from white lies to whoppers — told out of ignorance, laziness, recklessness, expediency or opportunity.
  • Trump’s capacity for lying isn’t the surprise here, though the frequency is.
  • It’s the tolerance so many Americans (like Johnny Isakson) have for it.

And this:

  • Trump insults political opponents and national heroes alike with middle-school taunts.
  • He demonstrates no capacity for empathy or remorse.
  • He misuses his office to punish opponents, as when he recently called for a boycott of AT&T to get even with his least favorite media outlet, CNN.
  • He tears down institutions, once airily suggesting the U.S. should try having a leader for life as China now allows.
  • He seems incapable of learning a lesson, telling an ABC interviewer last week — just two months after Robert Mueller’s report on election interference was released — that he would accept dirt on an opponent from Russia or China.

Remember: Johnny Isakson not only endorses all the above, he wants to give Trump four more years of doing it!

Here is the editorial in its entirety, with the hope that the Sentinel will show mercy toward any possible copyright violation.


The Orlando Sentinel – Editorial Board
June 18, 2018

Donald Trump is in Orlando to announce the kickoff of his re-election campaign.

We’re here to announce our endorsement for president in 2020, or, at least, who we’re not endorsing: Donald Trump.

Some readers will wonder how we could possibly eliminate a candidate so far before an election, and before knowing the identity of his opponent.

Because there’s no point pretending we would ever recommend that readers vote for Trump.

After 2½ years we’ve seen enough.

Enough of the chaos, the division, the schoolyard insults, the self-aggrandizement, the corruption, and especially the lies.

So many lies — from white lies to whoppers — told out of ignorance, laziness, recklessness, expediency or opportunity.

Trump’s capacity for lying isn’t the surprise here, though the frequency is.

It’s the tolerance so many Americans have for it.

There was a time when even a single lie — a phony college degree, a bogus work history — would doom a politician’s career.

Not so for Trump, who claimed in 2017 that he lost the popular vote because millions of people voted illegally (they didn’t). In 2018 he said North Korea was no longer a nuclear threat (it is). And in 2019 he said windmills cause cancer (they don’t). Just last week he claimed the media fabricated unfavorable results from his campaign’s internal polling (it didn’t).

Just landed – a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2018

According to a Washington Post database, the president has tallied more than 10,000 lies since he took office.

Trump’s successful assault on truth is the great casualty of this presidency, followed closely by his war on decency.

Trump insults political opponents and national heroes alike with middle-school taunts. He demonstrates no capacity for empathy or remorse. He misuses his office to punish opponents, as when he recently called for a boycott of AT&T to get even with his least favorite media outlet, CNN. He tears down institutions, once airily suggesting the U.S. should try having a leader for life as China now allows. He seems incapable of learning a lesson, telling an ABC interviewer last week — just two months after Robert Mueller’s report on election interference was released — that he would accept dirt on an opponent from Russia or China.

I believe that if people stoped using or subscribing to @ATT, they would be forced to make big changes at @CNN, which is dying in the ratings anyway. It is so unfair with such bad, Fake News! Why wouldn’t they act. When the World watches @CNN, it gets a false picture of USA. Sad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 3, 2019

Trump has diminished our standing in the world. He reneges on deals, attacks allies and embraces enemies.

This nation must never forget that humiliating public moment in Helsinki in 2018 when the president of the United States chose to accept Vladimir Putin’s denials of Russian interference in the 2016 election over the unanimous assessment of the American intelligence community.

Such a betrayal by a U.S. president would have been the unforgivable political sin in normal times.

As if that’s not enough, Trump declares his love for North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, a genuine villain who starves and enslaves his people and executes his enemies with antiaircraft guns and flamethrowers.

But he wrote the president a “beautiful letter.” Flattery will get you everywhere with this president, and that’s dangerous.

Domestically, the president’s signature issue — immigration — has moved in fits and starts. Happily, he abandoned pursuing an outright — and unconstitutional — ban on Muslims entering the U.S., opting instead to restrict travel for people from a handful of nations, most of them majority Muslim.

He’s tried separating families, sending troops to the border and declaring a national emergency. For all of that, illegal border crossings are, as the president himself calls it, at crisis levels.

He blames House Democrats because casting blame is Trump’s forte. But Republicans controlled the House and the Senate for two full years. That seemed like an ideal time to fix what the president believes ails our immigration laws.

Even with Democrats now controlling the House, where is Trump’s much-touted deal-making mojo, an attribute he campaigned on?

“But the economy!”

Yes, the market has done well since Trump’s election.

The S&P 500 was up about 21% between Trump’s inauguration and May 31 of his third year in office. Under President Obama, it was up about 56% in that same period.

Unemployment is headed down, as it was during seven straight years under Obama.

Wages are up, and that’s a welcome change. But GDP increases so far are no better than some periods under Obama. Deficit spending under Obama was far too high, in part because of the stimulus needed to dig out of the Great Recession. Under Trump, it’s still headed in the wrong direction, once again pushing $1 trillion even though the economy is healthy.

Trump seems to care nothing about the deficit and the national debt, which once breathed life into the Tea Party.

Through all of this, Trump’s base remains loyal. Sadly, the truest words Trump might ever have spoken was when he said he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose his supporters.

This non-endorsement isn’t defaulting to whomever the Democrats choose. This newspaper has a history of presidential appointments favoring Republicans starting in the mid-20th century. Except for Lyndon Johnson in 1964, the Sentinel backed Republican presidential nominees from 1952 through 2004, when we recommended John Kerry over another four years of George W. Bush.

As recently as 2012 we recommended Republican Mitt Romney because of what seemed at the time to be Obama’s failure to adequately manage the nation’s finances.

If — however unlikely — a Republican like Romney, now a senator from Utah, or former Ohio Gov. John Kasich successfully primaried the president, we would eagerly give them a look. Same if an independent candidate mounted a legitimate campaign.

We’d even consider backing Trump if, say, he found the proverbial cure for cancer or — about as likely — changed the essence of who he is (he won’t).

The nation must endure another 1½ years of Trump. But it needn’t suffer another four beyond that.

We can do better. We have to do better.