ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles for July, 2018

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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Donald Trump's Delusional Worldview

[ Posted Thursday, July 12th, 2018 – 17:10 PDT ]

Lying about the scope of his electoral victory is rather minor, though. Having a delusional worldview while meeting with other nations' leaders is quite another. That impacts America as a whole, because it serves to undermine our standing in the world. In Trump's rather unique worldview, Europe and Canada are our enemies, while Russia and North Korea should be our friends. That would be a jaw-dropping statement to make about any U.S. president, but with Trump it is merely par for one of his many golf courses. Trump has shown, in two recent multilateral meetings between America's closest allies, that he is deeply distrustful of America's staunchest friends and is quite willing to punish them for all their perceived faults. Trump has actually instituted tariffs against our allies using an obscure clause in U.S. law that allows the president to do so unilaterally (without the consent of Congress, in other words) when "national security" is at stake. Trump has claimed (with zero proof) that Canadian steel and European cars sold in this country actually threaten our national security. Again, this is simply jaw-dropping stuff, but so far Congress has not bothered to directly challenge Trump's delusions. The Senate just passed a very weak "perhaps you shouldn't do this" state-of-the-Senate resolution against Trump's national security tariffs, but they failed to even vote on any stronger measure which would have removed Trump's ability to singlehandedly levy such tariffs. So they've dipped one very timid toe in the water, but they refuse to dive in yet.

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Democrats Should Be Prepared To Lose This Nomination Battle

[ Posted Wednesday, July 11th, 2018 – 16:26 PDT ]

I normally prefer optimism over pessimism when writing about politics, and I always try to steer completely clear of downright defeatism. I think my work over the years would prove this to be generally true. At the same time, I always strive to be realistic, which leads me to the sad conclusion that Democrats are almost sure to lose the upcoming battle over Donald Trump's most-recent Supreme Court nomination. Democratic politicians and their supporters should be mentally prepared for this outcome, because it is far and away the most likely to occur. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this is probably going to be a fight Democrats are going to wage unsuccessfully on the Senate floor.

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The Battle Of The Bluster

[ Posted Tuesday, July 10th, 2018 – 16:52 PDT ]

There are more imminent foreign policy problems for Donald Trump than North Korea this particular week, but I'm sure we'll have plenty of time to talk about NATO, Trump's visit with the Queen of England, and the summit between Trump and Vladimir Putin in the days to come. For now, I think it's worth turning our attention to the apparent deterioration of the comity between America and North Korea. Trump, a master blusterer if ever there was one, has been overselling what happened between him and Kim Jong Un pretty much since the two men parted in Singapore. He sees the meeting and the agreement as a great achievement, thus he has his own political reasons for praising Kim and the North Koreans. However, the North Koreans are no slouch in the blustering game themselves, as they proved this week by hurling insults and mockery at Mike Pompeo after the first high-level meeting since the Trump-Kim summit. Pompeo appeared blindsided by this bluster, after already having publicly said that it was a productive meeting. So far, Trump has been too busy with other matters (foreign and domestic), and has not really responded to the deterioration in relations. But sooner or later, he's going to have to address it in one way or another. We've seen some potshots, but the full-on battle of the bluster has not yet been truly joined, to extend the metaphor.

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Has Michael Cohen Already Flipped On Trump?

[ Posted Monday, July 9th, 2018 – 15:16 PDT ]

Last week, there was much speculation among politics-watchers over whether Michael Cohen was possibly on the brink of flipping on Donald Trump. This would be big news, of course, since Cohen himself regularly described himself as "Trump's fixer," meaning he probably knows where a whole lot of metaphorical bodies were buried from the Trump organization's various antics and shenanigans over the past decade or so. One week later, I can't help but wonder if that point has already passed. Perhaps the question now isn't whether Cohen will flip sometime soon -- but whether he already has.

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