Donald Trump

Donald Trump's Chaotic Presidency Has One Fixed Principle: Retaliation

Is there a limit to how far he'll go to take down opponents and critics?

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In recent days, President Donald Trump has threatened the Ukraine whistleblower with the treatment meted out in "old times" to "spies," which means execution. He has suggested that Rep. Adam Schiff (D–Calif.)—chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which is investigating the scandal—should be arrested and charged with treason for unfairly characterizing Trump's comments soliciting dirt about former Vice President Joe Biden from the Ukrainian president. And he has warned that if Democrats try to remove him from office through impeachment, they will trigger another "civil war" in the country.

This language may be spooky, but it is not surprising. Trump thrives on chaos. But the one constant in everything he does is that he will pull out all the stops to retaliate against anyone who crosses him—friend or foe, domestic or foreign. This would be a dangerous trait in a person with any degree of power, let alone the most powerful man on the planet.

Trump launched his politics of retaliation the moment he announced his bid for the presidency. He belittled his Republican rivals, inventing insulting epithets for them. He viciously attacked any conservative who stood up to him—publicly musing, for example, about whether Sen. John McCain (R–Ariz.) could be a genuine war hero since he got captured in Vietnam (never mind that Trump himself got a doctor's note to avoid the draft). He encouraged violence against protesters at this rallies and delighted in chants of "lock her up" against Hillary Clinton.

Any hope that the responsibilities of the office would temper such personal attacks after he was elected were dashed. And it isn't Republican lawmakers such as the neo-Nazi-courting Rep. Steve King of Iowa who earn Trump's wrath, but his critics, like former South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford and current Michigan Rep. Justin Amash. He openly celebrated when Sanford lost his re-election bid, lampooning his romantic dalliance on Twitter, and he called Amash, easily the most principled and decent conservative around, not only "one of the dumbest" but also the "most disloyal" person in Congress.

The upshot is that Trump's Republican critics simply cannot survive with their integrity intact. This reality has forced many to quit or retire, turning the Grand Old Party into Trump's Own Party. Many state chapters of the GOP have already scrapped 2020 primaries to avoid weakening Trump, even though three Republicans are challenging him.

Trump has also never let up on his attacks on the press. Since he assumed office, he has averaged more than one anti-media tweet per day. He dubs all unfavorable coverage "fake news" and calls the media the "enemy of the people." But he doesn't merely stop at generic rhetoric. He names names and uses his power to go after individual journalists and newspapers he personally dislikes. He scrapped the press credentials of The Washington Post's Jim Acosta after he asked Trump some tough questions at a press conference, and he threatened to do the same to other journalists who "don't show respect." And as if eliminating access to the White House isn't enough, he wants to eliminate entire news outfits by scrapping the broadcast licenses of NBC and other television outlets whose coverage he dislikes.

What's even more alarming is that Trump isn't simply trying to retaliate against media critics and outfits that challenge him using media-related tools at his disposal. He deploys the massive regulatory powers of the state to go after them. He issued an executive order to explore raising postal rates to punish Amazon.com because its founder, Jeff Bezos, publishes The Washington Post, whose coverage Trump hates. He directed the Department of Justice to challenge the merger between Time Warner and AT&T because he dislikes how CNN, a Time Warner subsidiary, covers him. Much of this has become the subject of a First Amendment lawsuit against the administration by PEN, a nonprofit that defends free speech rights around the world.

In foreign policy, too, Trump has unleashed a new style of retaliatory diplomacy. After the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, when some countries overreacted and issued travel warnings against the United States, Trump responded that America would do the same to them—never mind that some of them, like Japan, might be safer for Americans than America itself. "If they did that, we'd just reciprocate," Trump declared. "We are a very reciprocal nation with me as the head. When somebody does something negative to us in terms of a country, we do the same to them."

Trump's worst retaliatory instincts come out on trade, especially against China. He has been locked in a tit-for-tat trade war with China ever since he fired his opening volley last summer and slapped tariffs on foreign washing machines and solar panels, major Chinese exports. But that failed to bring China's autocracy to heel, enraging Trump so much that he hilariously issued an "order" via twitter that American companies "immediately start looking for an alternative to China."

"The personal is the political" used to be a left-wing slogan, but Trump has given it new meaning. Settling scores is the only fixed principle in his presidency. Trump's tweet that impeachment will lead to a civil war is not a prediction—it's a warning that he plans to take his politics of retaliatory destruction to a whole new level.

A version of this column originally appeared in The Week.

 

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  1. Politician attacks his political opponent. This is news how? There is no point nor need to run down the long list of appalling and horrible things Democrats have said about and done to Republicans over the years. Suffice it to say that politics is often a contact sport. Why Shika thinks everyone but Trump is entitled to play it remains a mystery to the reader.

    1. “There is no point nor need to run down the long list of appalling and horrible things Democrats have said about and done to Republicans”

      And vice versa! The only important question you should be asking is whether Adam Schiff will deliver a Christmas gift of impeachment to the American people just like Drumpf did with his “wonderful tax break”.

      1. I am pretty sure the impeachment would be a gift to Republicans and Trump in particular. But whatever you want to tell yourself.

        1. I agree! Maybe then I can change my voting party back to (R). I’ll go with that! Anyway, nice talking to you John.

          1. You have never been a republican.

            Nigga, please…….

          2. I think you’re a little confused on how this works. If the House votes to impeach, the Senate will either dismiss the impeachment by a simple majority vote, or use its subpoena power to go after every dirty thing Democrats have done over the last decade and then vote to not remove Trump from office.

            Either way, Trump will remain president. Either way, Democrats will be damaged.

            Perhaps Pelosi should effing read the stuff she brings to the House floor. But I suppose we can’t expect intellectual honesty or responsibility from someone with her age, pedigree, wealth, and privilege.

      2. I love that you’re going all in with Adam Schiff.
        Great call

      3. “…Drumpf…”

        Lefty ‘tards must spend most of their time coming up with nick-names which would make a 1st-grade kid wince.
        Do you have to be abysmally stupid to be a lefty, or is that the cause of the condition?
        BTW, Wearenotperfect, fuck off and die where we can’t smell you.

        1. “Lefty ‘tards”? Nice argument you pathetic piece of shit!

          1. You deserve rape.

    2. Politician attacks his political opponent. This is news how? There is no point nor need to run down the long list of appalling and horrible things Democrats have said about and done to Republicans over the years.

      Whataboutism is a rather pathetic excuse here. Trump’s not emulating D’s in some petty demeaning tit-for-tat. He was mentored by Roy fucking Cohn. Show some fucking respect. Very few people were as bullying, sadistic, malevolent, reckless, unbound by either ethics or truth, and indecent. Trump learned from the best

      1. “Whataboutism is a rather pathetic excuse here.”

        It’s also not the point, but lefty ‘tards like JFree are pretty much unable to understand much of anything.
        Pathetic, but expected.

      2. “Very few people were as bullying, sadistic, malevolent, reckless, unbound by either ethics or truth, and indecent”

        Except almost the entirety of Leftists.
        Though I guess a hive mind isn’t necessarily people

      3. Imagine: Car in front of me with large blue “D” on the roof turns right on red in front of cop. Cop does nothing. I with my large red “R” on my roof then turn right on red. Cop gives me ticket. I say “What about that other guy?” He says “Whataboutism!”.

      4. Whataboutism is a rather pathetic excuse here.

        Why does anybody need an “excuse” to insult someone else? It’s legal and often appropriate to insult people.

        In any case, we’re talking PR and politics here. The insults Democrats are hurling at Trump are carefully calculated political propaganda tools, and Trump is the first Republican who has actually figured out how to stand up to them.

        Mitt Romney, for example, was destroyed by them and made a laughing stock.

  2. You go Trump, the bigger the lies they tell to unseat a duly elected president the harder he should fight

    1. Sad, unamerican delusion.

      1. In what way or in what are you referring to?

        1. Himself.
          It’s a confession

          1. At least the stupid fucking sock stopped pretending he was here for nuanced discussion.

      2. Is that your next sock’s name Jeff?

      3. De Oppresso Liber
        October.7.2019 at 11:23 am
        “Sad, unamerican delusion.”

        Hey, shitbag:
        De Oppresso Liber
        October.3.2019 at 3:43 pm
        “tu quoque
        they were/are both bad presidents. One made bad policy a priority, the other will destroy the republic to get what he wants.”

        Trump’s till POTUS and I notice the republic has yet to collapse.
        Care to make that claim more specific or just admit
        you
        are
        full
        of
        shit?

  3. And Reason staffer Brian Doherty wrote and an entire book about “War Hero John McCain” that completely and in most cases correctly trashed him as one of the worst political figures of the last 40 years. Does Dalmia not know this? Or has Doherty’s book been sent down the wokeltarian memory hole because Orange Man Bad or something?

    1. What amazes me is Dalmia is a senior analyst at Reason.
      Whoooooo boy.

      1. To see reason claiming to be shocked at someone attacking John McCain is pretty rich even by their high standards.

      2. I think that means “was an analyst who moved on to another job, but we second-publish stuff she writes for her new job”. Note how much of her stuff first runs on The Week?

      3. I’m curious to see if she’s as stupid in person as she is in writing. If so, it would be quite something.

      4. What amazes me is Dalmia is a senior analyst at Reason

        The designation may be based on appearance rather than experience.

      5. Dalmia might be senior at Reason but her hysterical drivel never comes close to analysis.
        In the past, my subscription has not been renewed because of her annoying scribbles.

    2. probably that second thing you said.

  4. During Obama’s terms the Democrats imagined that Obama would be their eternal ruler. Then one day he wasn’t and he shit their pants. They simply could not imagine a time when Obama was not their Dear Leader.

    The Republicans are doing the same with Trump. They can’t (or won’t) imagine a time when he won’t be president. The man is destroying the party but they don’t care. After Trump is gone the party will implode because it has defined itself by Trump.

    Looking back to the “glory years” of Reagan is one thing. Reagan had great speeches and an actual set of ideas and actual accomplishments. But how would one look back on Trump?

    That Republicans cannot see this just means we are doomed to live under perpetual Democrat rule after he is gone. The Republicans are too busy fellating the man to understand the party no longer has any principles or ideas, is not longer a coalition of interests, does not stand for anything substantive, and lacks any theory of governance. “Rule of law” now means “do what Trump says or you’re a traitor”.

    1. >>>The man is destroying the party but they don’t care.

      i think it’s beautiful and deserved.

      1. How is he “destroying the party”? I love how people say this shit like it is self evident or that there isn’t a mountain of counter evidence. The Republicans still control a large majority of the state houses and governor’s mansions and the Senate. They lost the House but suffered below average losses in the 2018 midterms for a party in their position.

        Honestly WTF are these people talking about? Is it just a canned talking point that they mouth to sooth themselves like saying the rosary or something?

        1. i wouldn’t go that far but the resignations alone are lovely.

          1. That far how? I don’t see any objective evidence Trump is “destroying the Republican Party”. I can’t understand how anyone could say that.

            1. i never have to see or hear from Paul Ryan again. Romney is basically eliminated as an anything. the Bush dynasty is ovah.
              these please me.

              1. Me too. But running those clowns out of office is not the same thing as “destroying the party”. Even if I liked them and were angry about it, I still can’t see how I could say he is destroying the party.

                1. brandybuck chose the word i just rolled w/it.

                2. Because Trump has radicalized large numbers of previously apolitical people to hate the Republicans.

                  1. No he didn’t. If he had, the Republicans would have gotten slaughtered in the midterms the way the Democrats did in 2010.

                    Again, the actual evidence shows the opposite of what you are saying. So why do you continue to say it?

                    1. Your implication is as nebulous as it is incorrect. Define “slaughtered,” and then explain why less than that precise number of lost GOP seats would imply an insignificant radicalization of previously apolitical people.

                    2. I define “slaughtered” as losing more than the party holding the White House and both Houses of Congress loses on average in its first midterm election. I would define “slaughtered” as losing control of large numbers of state governments the way the Demcorats did in 2010. Returning to the weakest position your party has been in since Reconstruction is “slaughtered”. That didn’t happen in 2018. The Democrats won a small minority in the House, lost seats in the Senate and stayed about even at the state level.

                      There is no way you can square that actual data with your contention that Trump has turned millions of supporters against Republicans. It is just not true. And you sound retarded when you say it.

                  2. to hate everybody maybe … (D) isn’t flourishing outside Germany right now

                    1. Flourishing D was my nickname in college.

                    2. Flourishing it was the only way anyone could tell you had it out.

                  3. By that logic, Obama radicalized even larger numbers of previously apolitical people to hate the Democrats, because his party’s losses in 2010 were a hell of a lot worse than what the Republicans experienced last year.

                  4. I have always hated both parties and never voted, never will, but to me it looks like the d’s are completely insane.

              2. that pleases us as well considering they weren’t very conservative, neither is Trump but at least he countering the left and trying to accomplish what he ran on. I’d rather see a person try to do what they said they do even if they fail rather than simply fold and do the opposite like most republicans before

            2. But, John, you don’t understand! The Republican party is no longer respectable in the right circles. I mean before Trump, being a Republican was sort of a roguish eccentricity that could be tolerated, as long as you weren’t actually thinking about doing any of the stuff that you campaigned on. But, after Trump?! It’s nearly impossible to get any good invites for the social season, never mind one of those sweet gigs on MSNBC or the Daily Beast. Christ, you’re reduced to having to churn out wordbabble for a Canadian news weekly.

              1. He is destroying them as a false flag opposition and actually fighting back. That is not supposed to happen.

        2. Trump’s not destroying the party. The party is destroying the party.

          Why should people vote for a party that does not stand for anything. A lot of people will of course vote AGAINST the Democrats. But they sure as hell won’t be voting FOR the Republican unless the candidate happens to be a a personality of some sort. And there just aren’t enough personalities keep the party going. It’s what happens when you abandon all principles in favor of a personality.

          1. They haven’t abandoned all principles. They have just gone back to principles you don’t like. If you don’t like that, don’t vote for them. But don’t delude yourself into thinking anything deeper is going on.

            1. They’ve actually gone back to the principles of McKinley/Harding/Coolidge. Tariffs as a measure to fight protectionism were a staple of early 20th century Republican policy to defend against exactly the kind of predatory destabilization from Europe that China is engaging in today. Those were policies that helped sustain a long period of economic growth.

              People who screech about how Trump is destroying “traditional” Republican values don’t have a clue what traditional Republican values are and think they were defined by the Bushes…a couple of East Coast liberals.

          2. The problem is that because the democrats are treasonous Marxist trash that it is much less awful to elect a shitty republican candidate in the alternative. That’s how people like Ryan weaseled their way in.

    2. The GOP is setting dangerous precedents by tolerating and covering for this self interested, foreign interest compromised, corrupt president. They are potentially destroying much more than their party.

      1. After the Clintons, none of this is setting any sort of precedent.

        1. The Clintons were so far in bed with the Chinese that they were able to sell military technology for campaign contributions to both themselves and the DNC. But Trump is somehow setting new standards in political corruption.

          1. HRC selling political access to foreign governments for contributions to her (cough) ‘foundation’ while a sitting SoS:
            https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/emails-
            reveal-how-foundation-donors-got-access-
            to-clinton-and-her-close-aides-at-state-
            dept/2016/08/22/345b5200-6882-11e6-
            8225-fbb8a6fc65bc_story.html?utm_
            term=.2cbca4a77536

            1. Oh, but this is OK as De Oppresso Liber is a fucking ignoramus.

      2. But enough about the Bidens. Ph wait, only one party has had the media basically declare ethical issues debunked.

        Please claim again how you arent a democrat Jeffrey.

      3. De Oppresso Liber
        October.7.2019 at 11:25 am
        “The GOP is setting dangerous precedents by tolerating and covering for this self interested, foreign interest compromised, corrupt president.”

        OMG, THE WORLD IS COMING TO AN END!!!!!!!!!!
        Fuck off, you stinking piece of shit.

    3. I wouldn’t pretend to guess the results of the 2024 election but to claim we are now doomed to live under Demcoratic rule for all time because Trump!! is weapons grade stupid and indeed every bit as stupid as to pretend Trump is going to usher in an endless era of Republican leadership.

      And as far as accomplishments, Reagan reformed taxes and won the cold war. He did exactly jack shit about the administrative state and expanded the drug war. Trump is the first President since Harding to reduce the administrative state and is responsible for tax reform every bit as significant as Reagan’s.

      1. Enough with this “Reagan won the Cold War” nonsense. Either you believe communism works or you believe it doesn’t. If it doesn’t work, then it is enough to explain why the Soviet Union eventually collapsed. If you claim runaway military spending is necessary to end a communist empire, then maybe deep down you believe that communism is sustainable.

        1. That is a fair point. Reagan did more than build up the military. Reagan stood up and told the truth and rejected the idea that communism was going to likely prevail or at worst forever coexist as an equal alternative to the West. That did a tremendous amount to encourage the people living under it to stand up and demand freedom. Every communist dissident I have ever seen interviewed or read about said Reagan’s rhetoric did a tremendous amount of good by telling people that the world not just hey individually understood how illegitimate their government’s were. Reagan deserves a lot of credit for that because it wasn’t something that was being done before him. Reagan was called a war monger and a crazy old man for saying the USSR was an evil empire, which was of course the truth.

          1. That is a good point, John. I hadn’t thought about how much Reagan’s speeches might have encouraged Russians to stand up to their communist regime.

            1. Not so much Russians but Poles and Germans and eastern Europeans. Havel, Walenski and all of the prominent dissidents say it did. A totalitarian government exists by making people feel isolated. Everyone hates the government but they think they are alone and standing up will just be a pointless act of self destruction.

              This is why protests are such a waste of time in a free society and so dangerous to the government in a nonfree society. In a free society like ours no one looks out their window and sees people protesting Trump and goes “my God I am not alone in hating that guy”. People are free to criticize the government and the President so no one feels they are the only one or that their objection would be a single fruitless act. But in a society like the old Communist block, a foreign leader contradicting the government propaganda means something. It tells people that they are not alone in objecting to the government. And a demonstration is potentially fatal because if it spreads, everyone feels safe to stand up and that is the end of the regime.

              1. Your comment has an interesting application to Hong Kong, does it not?

                How long will the Red Chinese hold off before cracking down again like Tienamen Square 30 years ago?

                1. Not very much longer, I think. They were just going easy while they got the troops into place.

                2. There comes a point where ‘cracking down’ provides the final fracturing blow. Red Chinese society is as fragile as fine China. Crack-away! I got my popcorn ready.

                3. Atlas_Shrugged…I think I accidentally flagged your comment. My bad.

            2. ” I hadn’t thought about”

              Chipper’s actual nickname in college.

              Lolol “enough with this Reagan NONSENSE”

              John slaps him

              “I hadn’t thought of that” lollol

              1. I have to wonder if his nickname wasn’t always ‘eunuch’

        2. Communism can exist without capitalism but it takes capitalism to show the failures of communism and that is what Reagan did. Without capitalism Communism would just be one failure after another with ever more burdensome regulations and/or violence in an attempt to control its failings.

        3. “Enough with this “Reagan won the Cold War””

          Fuck you, you can not like reality all you want, but there it is, cold and stark for your sad leftist ass.

      2. The only good thing about Trump is that someone managed to get him a short list of court nominees from the Federalist Society. In the long run that’s huge. And he similarly has lists for other appointments.

        Otherwise I don’t see how he himself ha actually done anything other than some of his appointments. Ajit Pai is wonderful, but it’s because of Ajit Pai, not because Trump has any clue about FCC policy. Overall I think DeVos is mostly positive, but that’s DeVos and not Trump. I don’t think Trump has much of an idea about education policy.

        Where Trump is making direct decisions on his own, he’s been mostly awful. With the exception that he seems to be mostly against using the military as the sole tool in his foreign policy tool box. But that’s outweighed by his constant hands-on micromanaging of trade and immigration.

        1. So none of the good things that happen are because of Trump. No. You know it was the people below him and he had nothing to do with it even though he hired those people and they work for him

          Whatever dude. Go virtue signal somewhere else.

        2. So deregulation and tax cuts are bad now? Withdrawing from wars is bad?

    4. Why don’t you look back to Eisenhower? Balanced budgets, no new wars and deportations of illegals.

      1. And ended the Korean War, which killed nearly 50,000 Americans in less than three years.

      2. I do look back to Eisenhower. His deportation shit was very short lived, by the way. Otherwise he wasn’t great but still on the positive side of the rankings. We could do well under another Eisenhower.

    5. “The Republicans are doing the same with Trump”

      Except I don’t know a single Trump supporter who views Trump with the kind of near-religious reverence that a disturbing number of otherwise-normal liberals have for Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, even Greta Thunberg (until the next great leader comes along.) Trump is appreciated for standing and fighting, and for keeping >0 of his campaign promises, unlike any other politician of either party in living memory. If he stops doing these things, he’ll be out–probably to be replaced by something more resembling the 19th-century atavism the media imagines him to be.

      This is quite simply a fundamental difference between left and right. The left goes in for personality cults, while the right votes for policy priorities. Or did, until it became obvious even to the biggest dolt that people like Mitt Romney, or even the Bushes, care more about their own social status than they do about any form of conservatism.

      Or to put it another way, the liberal media openly wished Obama could serve beyond his second term, even while he was still in office. The noises about Trump serving past his second term come from … also the liberal media, as they project their own vices onto the other side.

      1. Trump’s supporters like him because he represents their interests and is doing what they elected him to do. They also support him because they understand the Democrats hate their guts and mean them real harm. How that somehow makes Trump a “cult of personality” is beyond me.

        1. He also put his finger on what is perhaps most important. He fights back.

          If they had never begun the irrational attacks, he might never have gotten elected. But they did, and it allowed him to stick his thumb in their eye.

          And the Trump core supporter had had just about enough of being forced to eat it day in and day out. So when he came along and told the mob to stick it, they cheered loudly! Because someone, anyone finally stood up to the bully instead of cowering in the corner if the magic words were uttered… “Sexist!”… “Racist!”. …

          And they never figured that out. If they had just shut up about made-up nonsense and opposed him on a rational basis, he’d have sunk himself in no time. But they couldn’t do it, because they don’t operate on rational bases.

          They are out there right now celebrating/protesting the anniversary of their attacks on Kavenaugh. They think this is a winner for them… that they smeared what is by all accounts a guy who is so upstanding that he’s got a giant stick up his butt. And they did it with lies so vile yet have no shame whatsoever just reminds us all that they are never to be trusted with power of any sort.

        2. Yeah, I like Trump best when I studiously ignore his personality.

      2. Except I don’t know a single Trump supporter who views Trump with the kind of near-religious reverence

        “Along with 250+ Christian leaders, I am asking followers of Christ across our nation to set aside next Sunday, June 2, as a special day of prayer for the President, Donald J. Trump.” — Franklin Graham

        https://www.huffpost.com/entry/frankin-graham-day-of-prayer-trump_n_5ced3ce3e4b0bbe6e3338b8c

        1. Praying for someone is not holding them in reverence you fucking moron. Christians pray for everyone, even their enemies. Every Catholic church in America has a part of mass where they pray for our political leaders to have wisdom and success. They do that regardless of the President.

          Sometimes you are annoying. Other times you are just comically stupid.

          1. He’ll come back and insist he never actually SAID that means they view him with near religious reverence, because Jeff is a passive aggressive coward who refuses to admit what we can all see, in case he’s wrong.

        2. So wait, you think that means they view him with near religious reverence?

          They’re CHRISTIANS YOU STUPID FUCK, THEY PRAY FOR PEOPLE

          LOLOLO how do you keep stepping on your dick like this Liber?

          1. I’ve never seen baby jeffrey run away this fast lol.

            1. I do got to admit this is Rev level of stupidity on Jeff’s part. I couldn’t believe he posted it when I read it at lunch. Does he not understand that this is par normal for many Christian denominations. I am a lifelong Lutheran, we always pray for our “leaders” that they may make wise and compassionate decisions. I guess every President since Ford (who was president when I was born, not going to testify what happened before that) was equally a cult of personality by Jeff’s standards.

        3. Go back to your sock jeffrey, this is stupid even by your standards.

        4. Evangelicals have been doing that since back when I was one, well over twenty years ago.

      3. >> supporter who views Trump with the kind of near-religious reverence …

        this is very true and why I was happy he ran. politicians everywhere became idols, now not so much.

      4. I’m not talking about religious reverence. What I’m talking about is that the only reason to vote Republican is that they aren’t Democrats. That’s not good enough in my book.

        Is there ANYONE in the Republican roster that looks palatable in 2024? I sure as hell can’t think of anyone. Whoever they pick will certainly be better than whoever the Democrats pick, but that’s not good enough. The party should be concerned about people voting FOR Republicans instead of AGAINST Democrats.

        1. “That’s not good enough in my book.”

          Irony

          1. I agreed with that for the last 30+ years.

            I was all-in on the L ticket, despite our usually suspect candidates.

            But this time….

            I can’t stand Trump. He’s an idiot. And I can’t make any sense of his positions.

            But after the abuse of power that has been unleashed since before he’s taken office, I have no intention of ever allowing them to take the reins of power again. Once you start bragging about how you used the FBI, CIA, DOJ, State Department and the Russian and Ukrainian government to spy on the opposing party’s presidential candidate, you’ve lost me. I was raised in the era of Vietnam and Watergate. Back then, simply the suggestion that you might have used the government for political gain was enough to destroy a career. One did not go around bragging about how you distributed classified information around the government to be leaked after the inauguration in order to bring down the incoming president.

            They used the IRS to attack political enemies. They are proudly using state and city attorney’s offices to attack political enemies. Not because of any specific criminal allegation – but openly because they want to force them out of office because they oppose them politically.

            These people cannot be allowed to seize power again. They have already demonstrated that they will spy on journalists and political opponents and use the apparatus of state to harm their enemies.

            One cannot argue that it won’t happen again, as they are proudly proclaiming that they are going to do more of the same, right now. They didn’t even bother to hide it, because they have willing accomplices in the media who are proudly telling us that two legs are indeed better!

            1. Well said.
              It is something of a relief that the mask hiding progressive totalitarianism has finally been dropped

              1. Dropped? That bitch was thrown.

    6. “The man is destroying the party but they don’t care”

      Or maybe, and you’re stupid and censorious so you don’t get this, THAT IS WHAT THEY WANT BECAUSE THEY ARE TIRED OF SQUISH LIARS.

      1. It amazes me how people think Trump complaining about journalist is beneath the office. Obama complained/whined about Fox news and tried to get them barred from the Whitehouse press Corp, FDR, Wilson, Lincoln and Adams (the senior) jailed journalist critics. Lyndon Johnson exposed himself to journalist. All in all Trump tweeting a few mean things pales in comparison to a number of his predecessors. It is almost like Reason no longer believes that the President also has freedom of speech.

    7. The man is destroying the party but they don’t care

      You mean Trump is destroying the party of neocon war mongers, privacy invaders, social conservative authoritarians, and irresponsible spenders? Of jerks like McCain and fools like Bob Dole? Good! The old Republican party deserved to be destroyed; it was obsolete. Trump, despite his bluster, is a fairly middle of the road guy, politically probably pretty close to Bill Clinton. If the Republicans coalesce around that political program, good for them.

      The Democratic party is also falling apart. But it is showing signs of fully turning into a party of socialism and neo-Marxist ideology, and that should really worry you, because either it’s going to destroy the Democratic party, or it’s going to destroy the country.

    8. “The Republicans are doing the same with Trump. They can’t (or won’t) imagine a time when he won’t be president. ”

      To give you a heads up, most see this as a coup and just letting this go is not a viable option. It would only serve to bolster the coup plotters.

  5. Indeed, Orange Hitler clearly lacks the temperament to be President. With such an erratic and childish person leading the US, it’s no surprise the country — actually, the entire planet — is literally melting down.

    His foreign policy consists of one blunder after another, making me long for the early 2000s neocon GOP. Although he has not built a wall, he’s running concentration camps, putting kids in cages, and forcing people to drink from toilets. The vile hatred emanating from the White House has emboldened the alt-right, causing a surge in hate crimes against marginalized people like Jussie Smollett. Finally, Drumpf has fulfilled Paul Krugman’s prophecy of “a global recession, with no end in sight” by destroying our economy with tariffs.

    This. Is. Not. Normal.

    #Resist

    1. Shikha has one fixed principle: being an intellectual dilettante.

      1. Shikha has one fixed principle: being an intellectual dilettante.

        That’s giving her too much credit. Dilettantes are non-professionals who can be quite good at what they are doing. Shikha is just an intellectual lightweight.

    2. You.never.read.a.book.on.Hitler,stop.your.pathetic.affectation.

  6. Defending yourself is retaliation in clown world.

    1. In Clown World, Shikha is Press Secretary.

      1. In clown world Shikha is a senior editor at a prominent magazine.

  7. Trump has also never let up on his attacks on the press.

    And vice versa. Let’s not pretend this is a one-way street. We expect more of the presidency and more from the Fourth Estate and we have been disappointed in both. Both have peddled half-truths, exaggerations and outright lies. Focus on the president if you want, but don’t think that once Trump is finally gone journalism will return to any pretense of respectability.

    1. Why can’t the President attack the press? Every President has. Indeed, Trump has said nothing about the Democratic Press that Obama didn’t say about the dreaded “Fox News”.

      The media wants to set itself up as some kind of Praetorian guard above criticism from the prols or politicians. Fuck that and fuck them. The media are garbage and deserve to be attacked. If they were not such liars, the attacks wouldn’t be so effective.

      1. Obama even used warrants and prosecutions to go after the press.

        1. Yeah, but the press didn’t fight back.

          So that was different.

          1. Other than when Obama attempted to block Fox News from the Whitehouse press Corp. Somehow that incident has been memory holed.

    2. I prefer to pretend it’s a one way street with Trump driving down it the wrong way in a big yellow H2.

      1. And Shikha standing in the middle?

    3. I’m with you Fist…

      The fourth estate was an embarrassment long before Trump… he’s just the first one to really, really, really underline how bad it is.

      Obama got the straight-up communist dictator treatment from the press, right down to the worshipful images being produced from the Obama press office and published without complaint on the front page as any dutiful publisher would do. They spent his entire administration working on image building and forgot to do any actual reporting.

      I never thought we’d see a day like this in the US. We used to use Pravda as a whipping boy to demonstrate the superiority of the US and our 1st amendment. Boy, are those days long gone.

  8. >>>Trump thrives on chaos.

    the status quo is the lie.

  9. Is there any limit to what Trump won’t do? Well, obviously, actually translating his words into actions seems to be a limiting factor. He’s a whiny little bitch always bawling about how unfairly the mean girls are picking on him – which is an utter embarrassment for a Literal Hitler. I was promised Muslims would be rounded up and sent to the gas chambers, slavery would be re-instituted, women’s suffrage revoked, half the Middle East would be nuked, the Democratic Party would be outlawed, Trump would declare himself emperor, Mexico would be annexed as lebensraum – and that pussy hasn’t done a goddamn one of those things. I sold off my orphans and my acid mines in anticipation that Mexican weed farms worked by adult Negro slaves would be much more profitable and that bastard screwed me over.

    1. I think you may have been lied to Jerry.

    2. You sold off your orphans?
      [rips up Jerryskids’ libertarian card and throws the pieces in his face]

    3. wait wait wait I could be working in an acid mine?

      1. Not that kind of acid.

    4. “He’s a whiny little bitch always bawling”

      Irony.

  10. But the one constant in everything he does is that he will pull out all the stops to retaliate against anyone who crosses him

    Which is why this entire article has been posted anonymously from overseas, in order to ensure the author is not retaliated against.

    1. In fairness Trump is the President who ordered the assassination of an American citizen who had never been indicted of anything much less convicted, right? That was Trump wasn’t it?

      1. Or ordered a full prosecution of a film maker who may have said things he didnt like.

        1. And who used the IRS to block political opponents.

    2. Bingo.

      But they like to THINK that he’s this horrible dictator, because it makes them feel so brave to “resist” him. A lot of the left’s world view is predicated on the need to think themselves involved in some world shattering fight against ultimate cosmic evil. Both so that they can feel like heroes, and so that they can do anything they want, lie, steal, even kill, and still be the good guys, because the other side is just THAT bad.

  11. [sigh]. It’s like the whole 19th century has been forgotten.

    Trump is no more of a partisan attack dog than any single other member of either party. Please.

    1. Trump is downright polite and gentile compared to what the founders said about each other after Washington left office and the real politics began.

    2. Knowledge of history is for people doomed to repeat it!

    3. Trump is no more of a partisan attack dog than any single other member of either party. Please.

      Actually, I find Trump’s responses to being called a “Nazi” rather restrained.

      And Trump hasn’t retaliated at all against political opponents, unlike his predecessor, who is guilty of numerous abuses of power for political purposes.

  12. “Donald Trump’s Chaotic Presidency Has One Fixed Principle: Retaliation”

    Reason’s chaotic articles have one fixed principle: Support coercive monopolies like the state ! A violation of freedom of association and the free market.

  13. Trump’s presidency exists to bulldoze progressivism, and it’s the only effort that has worked this far. Democrats want two things: to stop the destruction, and to set a precedent that if any non-establishment person decides he wants to run for president again, they will understand that their lives will be summarily destroyed by bogus investigations.

    And reason is carrying water for this effort.

    1. Yes they are. This raises the question, does reason just not understand that what is happening to Trump would also happen to a Libertarian President should one ever be elected and thus don’t understand that by destroying Trump they are ensuring their side could never reform the system even if one of them one the Presidency or do they do understand that and are just running a tame opposition?

      1. not-so-secret lefties.

      2. Just like the Republican political class, libertarians are happy to be also-rans. They don’t really want power, and are satisfied to be the “principaled opposition”. It gives them status, without having any real responsibility. Trump is upsetting that applecart, and so they must join the effort to stop it.

        1. I think you are right. Winning means accepting power and responsibility. It also means compromising and doing what is necessary to accomplish something. And what you accomplish will always be a mixed bag of good and bad.

          That is hard and messy. Being a principled loser feeling smug about how everyone but you has principles is much easier.

  14. This has a familiar ring to one of your previous articles…

    https://reason.com/2019/03/17/why-the-rights-identity-politics-is-more/

    One thing I noticed missing in the article is the 90% negative media coverage he receives… perhaps you should reread your article to figure out why he has so much hatred by the establishment and so much support from those who consider themselves anti-establishment

  15. Is there a limit to how far Democrats will go to take down Trump? Tell us about the collusions with the Ruskies.

    TDS begins on Monday this week.

    1. To be fair, they would have won that one but Adam Schiff is sitting on all the evidence and wouldn’t let Muller see it. I know because he the told the American people about it over, and over, and over, and over……

  16. At this stage I think it would be hysterical if Trump used his powers as leader of the United States to dig into reporter’s pasts and have them lose their jobs.
    Wouldn’t that be funny?

    “My buddies over at the NSA gave me this phone call you made a few years back. Good people at the NSA. Just the best people. Really amazing people they are. In the phone call you state that you would never have ‘intimate relations’, my wording, with a black man. Why is that? Oh, we have the rest of the phone call where you explain why. NSA. Good people. Want me to read it or should I just play it for everyone?”

    It would be a game-changer. Makes me thankful I have a documented history of being a despicable person. Anything unearthed would probably be a more positive thing I’ve said or done when you look at the bigger picture.

  17. Good grief what garbage. Can I have my URL hit back please?

  18. John Q. Adams v Andrew Jackson. Game. Set. Match.

  19. Trump should never retaliate his attackers.
    Such political violence only shows what a Neanderthal he is.
    After all, you did not see Obama or Bill Clinton retaliate against their detractors, now did you?
    No, you did not.
    Instead Saints Bill and Obama welcomed different opinions with open arms and gently convinced their opposition the errors of not only their ways but the ways of the always nefarious capitalist ways of America.
    Indeed, Jesus Christ was right.
    Turn the other cheek.
    Avoid confrontation.
    Give in to your enemy’s ways.
    Appeasement works.
    Just ask Hitler.

  20. It’s pretty simple, really. If you don’t like President Trump to retaliate against you, then don’t attack him.

    We finally have a Republican President with Balls! Libtards are used to pussy Republicans and don’t like it that we fight back now.

  21. Everybody knows the media have been eminently fair to Donald Trump and have never, ever uttered a false word about him. The reporting, to date, has been top notch and, across all major networks, the factual assertions have been – without exception – accurate, verified, and balanced every single time. And, to think, Trump has the audacity to attack the journalistic integrity of unimpeachable individuals such as Jim Acosta, Chris Matthews, and Rachel Maddow.

    That was jut a parody. But, the truth is, Dalmia is utterly fucking delusional.

    Trump is just being mean for no reason.

    https://www.npr.org/2017/10/02/555092743/study-news-coverage-of-trump-more-negative-than-for-other-presidents

    1. Look, coverage of Obama often drifted down into the 70-30 or even 60-40 positive range when times were tough.

      So they were tough on him too. I mean, Trump got almost 5% positive coverage when it came out that minority unemployment had reached record lows. What more do you want? Hell, his inauguration almost got 10% positive coverage.

      There’s no satisfying some people….

  22. Cet animal est très méchant; quand on l’attaque il se défend

  23. Personally I am sick and tired of REASON attacking President Trump. REASON has gone liberal unless nobody has noticed and I am sick and tired of it. The Tea Party has been infiltrated by sneaky LIBERALS OR RINOS who pose as conservatives but spew out of their mouth liberal agenda. They have become a pawn of the DUMBOCRATS AND RINOS.

  24. I am passing this along to everybody in the social media.

    cmcclung
    October.7.2019 at 8:27 pm
    Personally I am sick and tired of REASON attacking President Trump. REASON has gone liberal unless nobody has noticed and I am sick and tired of it. The Tea Party has been infiltrated by sneaky LIBERALS OR RINOS who pose as conservatives but spew out of their mouth liberal agenda. They have become a pawn of the DUMBOCRATS AND RINOS.

    1. I think Reason is reflective of the Libertarian party today, which has been taken over by a bunch of war mongering nobodies with TDS. All they want is free dope, free guns, and open borders and they viciously attack anybody who disagrees with them.

  25. I cannot believe that Trump would dare retaliate for the Obama administration using the tools of state to attack him and prevent him from taking office after winning the election!

    I mean, how dare he have the Department of Justice investigate people who spied on political enemies?

    And what kind of government are we running if we can give foreign governments the green light to resume anti-corruption investigations after former US officials who used billions in foreign aid to prevent those investigations are no longer in power?

    This stuff is outrageous!! I mean, when the Attorney General of New York runs for office on a platform of using the office in order to prosecute and smear Trump, his family and anyone associated with him, he should simply take that as their patriotic duty as Americans and cooperate fully…. I cannot believe he would dare to fight back. I know, you might think that since the Democrats in congress were claiming they were going to impeach him before he even took office, he’d have reason to be skeptical of their motivations. But you’d be wrong! There’s no way that Schiff’s office working with former Obama administration democrats positioned in and near the White House to spy on Trump and attempt to bring him down is in any way underhanded or even worthy of criticism. We all know these are the true saviors of the republic.

  26. Wait, is Reason now in the “words are violence” camp? Of all the “retaliation” you claim Trump wants, how much has actually happened, beyond postings on social media?

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  28. But the one constant in everything he does is that he will pull out all the stops to retaliate against anyone who crosses him—friend or foe, domestic or foreign. This would be a dangerous trait in a person with any degree of power, let alone the most powerful man on the planet. Trump launched his politics of retaliation the moment he announced his bid for the presidency. He belittled his Republican rivals, inventing insulting epithets for them. Trump has also never let up on his attacks on the press.

    Shikha: in English, to “retaliate” refers to actions that actually cause harm, not just calling people names.

    And, yes, the only way Trump or any Republican is going to get elected against a left wing mob that calls him a “Nazi” and a “dictator” is to stand up for himself, rather than be mowed down like the last few presidential candidates.

    But, hey, shitty shallow Shikha thinks that Republicans should just let Democrats hurl vile insults at them and then go cower in a corner.

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