Devotion to the Cult of Trump Risks the GOP Having No Presidential Candidate in 2020

Time is running out. It’s running out for Donald Trump as Congress is on a fast track toward impeachment. And as the walls close in around him, he is becoming ever more unhinged and incoherent. He’s even taken to crying “coup” about the constitutional process for considering the removal of a corrupt leader. It’s a sad spectacle that diminishes the stature of the nation.

Donald Trump Tyrant Dictator

But time also running out for the Republican Party that seems to have no strategy for a post-impeachment electoral landscape. As the prospects for impeachment grow by the hour – mainly due to Trump’s own panicky and desperate outbursts – the GOP continues to fortify their bunker as it is under siege from all directions. Even the Senior Legal Analyst at Fox News, Andrew Napolitano, is now saying that Trump’s “conversation [with Ukrainian President Zelensky] manifested both criminal and impeachable behavior.” Nevertheless, Republicans are all in on Dear Leader Trump and if he goes down, well dammit, they’re all going down with him.

The 2020 election is just a little more than a year away. Deadlines will soon be expiring for challengers to declare their candidacy. So what happens if Trump is impeached and the Republican Party has no one on the ballot running against whoever the Democratic nominee is? Pence will not automatically become the GOP’s candidate. There is a process for determining that which we all know as primaries. But the Republican National Committing has been working to cancel primaries in order to stifle any opposition to Trump. They also recently tightened the rules to “squelch dissent at the Republican National Convention next year.”

Currently there are three Republicans, other than Trump, running for the GOP nomination: Bill Weld, Joe Walsh, and Mark Sanford. The only reasonably qualified candidate among them is Weld, a two-term governor of Massachusetts. But other Republicans with qualifications and national name ID are keep their distance. They include Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, former South Carolina governor and UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, and former Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker.

All of this leaves Trump feeling pretty cocky. He tweeted Thursday that he has “95% Approval Rating in the Republican Party.” Which won’t help him in the least if he’s found to be guilty of impeachable crimes. After all, he isn’t President of the GOP. His national approval rating is still mired in the low 40’s (it’s never hit 50). And even his favorite pollster, the utterly disreputable and biased Rasmussen, shows him dropping six points in the last week (to 47) as impeachment heats up.

The Cult of Trump is in full force in the Republican precincts of America. They simply will not stand up for the principles of law and order and patriotism that they once heralded as their party’s brand. Not if that means going against their totalitarian boss. So if Trump is impeached, and there is little or no time to field alternatives in the primaries, the party may wind up invoking some arcane rule and shoving whatever candidate the party elites choose down the throats of their voters.

And Trump isn’t making it any easier for them. On Thursday morning, Trump admitted to a national television audience that he asked Zelensky to interfere in an American election by digging up dirt on Joe Biden. That’s actually one of the anticipated articles of impeachment. And to add fuel to this dumpster fire, he added a request for China to do the same. Let that sink in. Trump wants China – a nation known for its corruption and absence of any ethical legal system – to conduct an investigation/smear campaign on an American citizen and candidate for president. That should go down well with voters. And still the GOP is marching lock-step with Trump, even though he may not even be their candidate next year. The whole party seems to be as confused and incompetent as Trump.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Fox News Smears Democratic Debate Host Rachel Maddow in a Fit of Hysterical Hypocrisy

The first night of the 2020 Democratic primary debate was a refreshing departure from the infantile politics of the Donald Trump era. There was no childish name-calling; no hostile outbursts; no hateful displays of misogyny, racism, or other forms of bigotry; no narcissistic delusions of grandeur; and no shameless lies. Remember when politics used be like that?

Rachel Maddow, Fox News

However, Trump himself was watching and couldn’t help injecting his unique brand of loathsome immaturity. He began with a typically whiny criticism in a one-word tweet that just said “BORING.” Probably because it lacked the histrionics of a kindergarten full of cholicky crybabies like Trump. And it went downhill from there. He later mocked a brief technical glitch that lasted about six seconds. And he followed that up with a fake video of the glitch.

It didn’t take long for State TV (aka Fox News) to weigh in with their own “fair and balanced” debate analysis. It consisted of a report by their media correspondent Brian Flood, and was headlined “PEACOCK PROPAGANDA? Media critics blast NBC over far-left opinion host Rachel Maddow’s role at Democratic debate.” It’s cute that Fox News still has the gumption to criticize other networks for being biased. But this report really stretched the boundaries of idiocy.

First of all, Flood quoted four “media critics” for his article. All four of them from ultra-rightist outlets that could be relied on to despise MSNBC and Rachel Maddow regardless of how they performed. They included Glenn Beck’s BlazeTV, the noxious Accuracy in Media, the venerable wingnuts at the Media Research Center, and the Daily Caller, a website founded by Fox’s own Senior White Nationalist, Tucker Carlson.

Flood began his rant by lying about Maddow being “too biased for The New York Times.” In fact, the Times only indicated that they would prefer their reporters sticking to programs that were focused on news without opinion. Flood failed to mention that the Times had the very same restrictions on almost every program on Fox News.

Then Flood tried to portray Maddow’s debate questions as a “softball fest” because she asked about things like climate change and the report by special counsel Robert Mueller. Of course these are serious issues that every candidate should address. Particularly Democratic candidates because these are the issues that are most important to their constituents.

Holding candidates accountable on the subjects that matter most to the electorate is apparently being too soft according to Flood and Fox News. But then again, Fox is the network that has been working overtime to spin the Mueller report as having exonerated Trump when it explicitly said that it didn’t. And lately they have been frantically trying to sweep the latest allegations of rape against Trump under the carpet.

Finally, Flood posted a flurry of tweets that criticised Maddow and MSNBC. They included frequent Fox News contributors like Mollie Hemingway, Jonah Goldberg, and Dan Bongino. Every one of them are virulent opponents of all things liberal or Democratic. Is it any wonder that Flood’s article concluded that “media critics” were universally negative toward the debate? He didn’t bother to ask anyone who was independent or left leaning.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

It would be interesting to see how Fox News would handle a Republican primary debate. But it doesn’t appear that we’ll have the opportunity, even though there is a credible candidate running against Trump. Bill Weld is the former two-term Republican governor of Massachusetts, but he can’t even get a town hall or an interview on Fox News. Did they get an order from Trump to bury Weld? What do you suppose they are afraid of? Other than – obviously – Rachel Maddow.

Here’s a Solution for Trump’s Whining that ‘Something Strange is Going on at Fox News’

The single most predictable expression emanating from Donald Trump at any given moment is his relentless, childish whining. If he isn’t whining about the Mueller investigation, he’s whining about something a Democrat said, or the “fake news,” or Hillary Clinton’s emails, or invading caravans of refugees at the border, or China, or Iran, or worst of all, Obama. And that’s the short list.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Strange

A new entry into Trump’s parade of targets for his whine-feasting is one that many might not have expected. Although no one and nothing is safe from his wrath because all it takes is one slip up and you’re on his shitlist. But his recent attack on Fox News certainly raised some eyebrows.

During his latest cult rally in Pennsylvania, Trump ricocheted from one random nuisance to another with his typical flair for incoherence. He threatened to have his Attorney General, William Barr, investigate Democrats and the FBI for treason. He “joked” about serving five terms as president. And he accused Joe Biden of “deserting” Pennsylvania by moving to Delaware with his parents – when he was ten years old. This is a new wrinkle on his abhorrent policy of separating families. And then he unleashed this brilliant bit of paranoid mush (video below):

“What’s going on with Fox, by the way? They’re putting more Democrats on than Republicans. Something strange is going on at Fox, folks! Something very strange. […] Somebody’s gonna have to explain the whole Fox deal to me?”

Somebody’s gonna have to explain nearly everything to Trump. But more to the point, that was Trump’s response to the town hall Fox News aired on Monday with Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. But more importantly, it was Trump’s admission that he regards Fox News as his personal publicity shop where only his views – and those of his GOP allies – are authorized to be broadcast. And if Fox should dare to stray from Trumpian orthodoxy, they are officially guilty of betraying the cause of white-wing nationalism, and him personally. He did exactly the same thing after the Bernie Sanders town hall on Fox.

Trump is actually right in an odd way. Research by Media Matters found that Democrats do appear on Fox News with some frequency. In fact, that occurs far more often than the cowardly Republicans appear on CNN or MSNBC. Trump himself is the King of the Cowards. He has not done an interview with either of those networks since becoming President.

Part of the reason that Fox News is hosting more Democrats than usual is that the Democratic primary field currently consists of twenty-four candidates. However, there is solution to this foreboding problem. Since Trump believes that there are too many Democrats taking up airtime on Fox News, all they need to do is schedule some more Republicans to even out the alleged imbalance. At the moment there is only one other Republican challenging Trump for the GOP nomination. That’s former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld.

As the chief executive of a large state that generally skews blue, Weld should be considered at least as viable a candidate as Buttigieg, the mayor of a small town in rural Indiana. Although Weld is taking on an incumbent president, that shouldn’t be a consideration for a legitimate, independent news network. If Fox News isn’t a Trump-fluffing propaganda operation, they should have no problem inviting Weld to do a town hall.

On the other hand, if Fox fails to offer an invitation to Weld, they are conceding that they are in the tank for Trump and will abide no opposition. To date there is no indication that any such invitation has been proffered. This seems like a perfect opportunity for Weld to approach Fox and insist that he be given the same consideration as Buttigieg, Sanders, and Trump. He is a serious contender with a platform that resonates with millions of Americans. And he would satisfy Trump’s call for Fox News to book more Republicans. So it’s time for Fox to step up and try to prove that they have at least a sliver of journalistic integrity. That, of course, may be too much to ask.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.