ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles for July, 2018

Friday Talking Points [494] -- It's Always Silly Season Now

[ Posted Friday, July 27th, 2018 – 15:44 PDT ]

The beginning of August, in any normal political year, is when we would usually devote at least one column to trying to predict what the upcoming "silly season" will bring. August may be the dog days for most folks, but in politics it is usually the silliest season of the year. Congress scarpers off to enjoy a month-long vacation, which leaves a vacuum of political news in Washington, which leaves political reporters and commenters desperate for an angle to write about -- any angle at all. This normally leads to focusing on some extraordinarily silly subject matter (to the exclusion of all else), for weeks on end -- hence the season's unofficial name. But these are not normal times, of course, and part of the abnormality that Donald Trump has ushered in is such a vast extension of the silly season that it can now be accurately said to have encompassed the entire calendar year. There is no more silly season anymore, in other words, because it is now silly season all the time. Just check Trump's Twitter feed on any given day, if you require proof.

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Memo To Myself: Maintain Skepticism Next Week

[ Posted Wednesday, July 25th, 2018 – 17:13 PDT ]

Although I intend to take to task two of my favorite targets in this column (the mainstream media and the inside-the-Beltway cocktail-circuit chattering class), my real purpose in writing today is to create a memorandum to myself. Next week I will be attending the Netroots Nation conference in New Orleans, which will be as intense a gathering of lefties as is possible to imagine. This year, obviously, feelings will be running high and the rampant enthusiasm and optimistic expectations for the upcoming midterm elections should be off the charts. A little more than 100 days from now, America will vote -- and midterms are always seen as a referendum on the job the current president is doing. But like all ideological gatherings, Netroots Nation will be an echo chamber or (to be more polite) "speaking with only one voice." And it's important, when joining such a gathering, to maintain a healthy degree of skepticism. I guess what I'm trying to say was best said by that learnèd philosopher Yogi Berra, when he quipped: "It ain't over 'til it's over."

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Would A "Tea Party Of The Left" Be Effective Or Not?

[ Posted Tuesday, July 24th, 2018 – 16:49 PDT ]

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is certainly stirring things up in a big way. After her stunning primary defeat of the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House, the 28-year-old from the Bronx has become one of the leading voices for the youthful resurgence of energy Democrats are now enjoying. But precisely because she has become so visible so quickly, she is now beginning to cause some pearl-clutching among establishment Democrats (the ones who are routinely frightened by their own shadows, it's worth mentioning). They counsel the party "not to go too far left" in their eternal quest for centrism to reign supreme in American politics.

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Trump Takes His Trade War To Iowa

[ Posted Monday, July 23rd, 2018 – 17:12 PDT ]

President Donald Trump is going to attempt to pivot this week to domestic policy, after his disastrous summit with Vladimir Putin didn't exactly turn out as planned. Trump has a meeting with a European leader this week where Trump's proposed European automobile tariffs will be high on the agenda, and Trump will also head out to Iowa to hit the campaign trail for Republicans. Iowa is already one of the front lines of Trump's trade war, since a lot of soybeans are grown there. So far, his farm country base seem to be supporting Trump's trade war (for the moment), but their patience isn't going to be inexhaustible. At some point blind faith in Trump's dealmaking prowess is going to hit the brick wall of reality, in the form of a seriously depressed agricultural market.

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Friday Talking Points [493] -- Colluding In Plain Sight

[ Posted Friday, July 20th, 2018 – 17:03 PDT ]

President Donald Trump is now openly colluding with Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin, in everyone's plain sight. That's an astonishing thing to type, but there is simply no other way to put it. Trump is now Putin's ultimate "useful idiot," to resurrect an old Cold War term. The subject of whether the president of the United States has just committed treason is now being seriously discussed. That's where we, as a nation, find ourselves at the present moment.

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Historical Presidential Strength Versus Trump's Weakness On Russia

[ Posted Thursday, July 19th, 2018 – 15:59 PDT ]

President Donald Trump, who never met a superlative he didn't love (when it describes him in glowing terms, of course), claimed after his disastrous performance in Helsinki this week that: "No president ever has been as tough as I have been on Russia." That's a pretty tall order, especially when many others are saying exactly the opposite -- that no American president has ever been as weak as Trump was this week towards Russia. John McCain even offered up his own lyrical superlative to describe what just took place: "No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant."

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The Real Double-Negative: Trump's Non-Denial Denial

[ Posted Wednesday, July 18th, 2018 – 16:21 PDT ]

Does anyone truly believe President Donald Trump's explanation of how he says he misspoke during his press conference with Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin? Does anyone even believe that he knew what "double-negative" meant before his staff forced him to read his prepared statement? That second question is a stretch, but the first is just downright laughable. Trump might have convinced some Republican politicians desperate for a way to publicly give Trump the benefit of the doubt -- any doubt, at this point -- but that's for purely self-protective reasons. They can now say they believe Trump's walk-back, so they don't have to face angry pro-Trump voters this November. But anyone outside this tawdry equation of believing obvious lies for political reasons knows full well that Trump didn't mean what he said when explaining what he did and didn't mean. Perhaps that's a triple-negative? I leave it to the semanticians to decide.

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Comrade Trump!

[ Posted Tuesday, July 17th, 2018 – 17:04 PDT ]

President Donald Trump loves to come up with sneering put-downs of his political opponents, both Democrats and Republicans alike. "Crooked Hillary" and "Lyin' Ted Cruz" immediately spring to mind, but there are literally dozens of these snide Trump taunts to choose from. Trump has singlehandedly reduced the political game to the level of schoolyard taunting, and the fact is that he's quite good at it. Once one of his labels sticks, it's hard to get rid of, in other words. But he's just handed his opponents a dandy opportunity to return the favor. Starting today, Democrats should all start speaking with one voice whenever Trump's name arises, by attaching one simple word as a defining taunt. Because the time has now come to start universally calling him "Comrade Trump."

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If I May, I'd Throw In Some Two Cents

[ Posted Monday, July 16th, 2018 – 17:12 PDT ]

President of the United States Donald Trump and Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin met today in Helsinki, Finland, and after their two-hour one-on-one meeting they gave a joint press conference. Trump wanted to make some history at the summit meeting, and the press conference certainly accomplished that -- but not exactly in the way Trump had wanted. By all accounts -- even those from Fox News, mind you -- Trump gave the weakest performance next to a Russian leader of any American president, ever. It's as if he changed his campaign slogan to "Russia first!" in fact -- it was truly that bad.

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Friday Talking Points [492] -- Super Callous Fragile Ego Trump You Are Atrocious

[ Posted Friday, July 13th, 2018 – 17:57 PDT ]

We certainly can't claim authorship for that rather brilliant title. It was seen on a protest sign in the midst of the 100,000 people who marched in London in opposition to President Donald Trump's visit to Britain. Accompanying the march was a giant "Trump Baby" blimp floating in the breeze, which depicted Trump in diapers with a cell phone in his tiny, tiny hand. The wranglers of the blimp all wore outfits with "Trump Babysitter" written on them, for extra emphasis. Where is Mary Poppins, when you need her the most?

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