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How Trump Apologists Will Defend the Indefensible Next

Making excuses for power is a bipartisan disease. Here’s how to recognize the sickness.

Hoo boy. ||| CNNCNNBut what about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama?, I can already hear those of you who flinched at the above headline retort. So let me jump down to the end of my new L.A. Times column about "The six categories of Trump apologetics":

Republicans rightly criticized Clinton and her apologists for serially lying about her handling of emails as secretary of State. They were correct in roasting President Obama for endlessly prevaricating about so many aspects of his signature legislative accomplishment. Those who participate now in the whitewashing of an administration's mounting pile of bull are not only soiling themselves, but encouraging their political adversaries to treat legitimate criticism like a cynical partisan club.

We will not soon climb out of this 21st century political black hole we find ourselves in until we begin holding everyone to a higher standard, beginning with ourselves.

Whatabout whatabout whatabout-bout-bout ||| ReasonReasonThe column accepts as already understood the first three broad categories of Trump apologia—Whataboutism, the Fake News Head-Fake, and Anti-Anti-Trumpism. It then adds three more: Two Plus Two DOES Equal Five (see Mnuchin, Steve), the Inverted Rumsfeld (no, not a sexual postion…yet), and the Goalpost Transplant, because "shift" just doesn't do the thing justice. Excerpt from that bit:

Donald Trump Jr. and various members of the administration have been caught up in repeated, sometimes belligerent lies about whether members of the Trump campaign met with various Russians in 2016. Confronted on CNN with this track record — and asked point blank, "Was it a good idea for Don Jr. to meet with this Russian lawyer?" — deputy assistant to the president Sebastian Gorka trotted out some whataboutism ("Was it a good idea for the DNC to send its operatives to the Ukrainian Embassy?") before declaring that the meeting was just fine because Trump was a "private citizen," and digging for dirt "is what political campaigns do."

This is not hard. It was not a good idea for the son of the president to respond enthusiastically ("I love it") and hastily organize a secretive high-level campaign meeting with a Russian lawyer in Trump tower after an intermediary promised "information that would incriminate Hillary" Clinton as part of "Russia and its government's support" for Donald Trump, and then lie about it. (BTW if you haven't seen Gorka's exchanges this week with Alisyn Camerota, Stephanie Ruhle, and Anderson Cooper, they are really something to behold.)

You can read the whole column here.

Photo Credit: CNN

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  • Rhywun||

    I'll pop the popcorn.

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    Just as long as you don't pop the Inverted Rumsfeld.
    [Shudders]

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    It looks like the Inverted Rumsfeld is when Tony comes early and all over the thread.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Isn't the Russia thing just another form of shoot the messenger? If they had truthful but incriminating information about Hillary, how is this any different from Wikileaks? Don't we like wikileaks?

    It would be helpful to know what information they actually provided that wasn't disclosed elsewhere. And it would be problematic if they were manufacturing information that skewed the election. WHATABOUT PISSING PROSTITUTES!?!?!?

    This all seems like political inside baseball to me. I don't understand the point. Yes, it is bad form for Donald Jr to meet with the Russians, but what really matters is whether anything bad actually happened. Did it?

  • Tony||

    Did anything bad happen? Trump is president isn't he?

    Though not because the Russians had any dirt on Clinton. They had John Podesta's risotto recipe, and it turns out that was enough.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Did anything bad happen? There's a president isn't there?
    Given the choices, we got something bad instead of something worse. There were no good choices. There pretty much never are, by the nature of the beast.

  • Tony||

    We got the worst person in the country as president with the help of a Russian regime whose main priority is chaos in the world.

  • Bubba Jones||

    How did Russia help?

  • Tony||

    Hacking DNC emails, large social media propaganda effort, being in direct collusion with the Trump campaign...

  • damikesc||

    But they didn't have the DNC emails (and the DNC refused to assist the FBI in investigating). There was no large social media propaganda effort and I anxiously await your evidence of "direct collusion" with the Trump campaign.

    Trump is blessed that his opponents are such idiots.

  • ThomasD||

    I really don't fault the DNC for not turning over their server to the FBI.

    Because they were not hacked. They were phished.

    Which is the computer equivalent of being given a copy of the front door key. Hacking generally leaves signature elements, much like a physical break in . When you come in through the unlocked front door you generally don't leave much evidence. So an FBI examination would have been of no real use.

    What I do object to is anyone clinging to the term 'hacked' when describing what happened to the DNC. At this point it is either ignorance, or dishonesty. And either way it should discredit anyone who employs that usage.

  • Tony||

    You've got a lot of work to do downthread with some real specious bullshit if you're going to worry about this bit of pedantry.

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    It's not pedantry. It is facially important in the imagery used to portray what transpired. Details so matter, especially in the computer industry, and any attempt to call clarifications pedantic is either ignorant or dishonest as previously stated.

    So which one is it, Tony?

  • BYODB||

    Didn't you know that the DNC's terrible cyber-security is proof that the Russian's colluded with the GOP, regardless of how good the GOP's cyber-security might have been and regardless of the fact both were attacked?

    The whole thing reeks of political malfeasance by all parties. The Trump people behaved unethically, and the DNC itself behaved unethically. However, only one group actually received information from the Kremlin and distributed that information far and wide in an attempt to sway voters. That campaign, by the way, was the Clinton campaign.

    It isn't a 'Whataboutism' to point this out, it's an acknowledgement that if the Trump campaign 'colluded' then so to did the DNC and the Clinton campaign, only more so since there is in fact a money trail of who in the DNC paid the lobby group that got the information from Russia. We don't know who that was, yet, but hopefully we'll find out.

    The claim, which is hard to keep up with given the sheer volume of shit being flung at the wall, is that the Trump campaign orchestrated the DNC hack along with Russia. Zero proof of this. Zero. So...what's the point? That everyone in both the DNC and the GOP were playing the dirty tricks game, but only the DNC actually went all the way with it?

    If it wasn't for double standards, Washington wouldn't have any at all.

  • ||

    The whole thing reeks of political malfeasance by all parties.

    Are you trying to say that there are no Good Guys here?

    How do I know which Team to root for?

  • BYODB||

    Unfortunately, I'm in the position of supporting the person who legitimately won the election since there is so far zero evidence to corroborate the charges leveled against the President and for which the Democrats have filed spurious articles of impeachment.

    Unfortunately for us, unethical behavior is the norm but so far it doesn't look like anyone did anything that is technically illegal. I also find the way that the DNC has gone about obtaining information, and the way they've decided to conduct themselves, most closely resembles a coup so those of us who actually give a shit about rule of law are in an awkward position of defending a guy we don't like, for doing things we don't like, because the law and truth should matter.

  • ||

    Unfortunately, I'm in the position of supporting the person who legitimately won the election since there is so far zero evidence to corroborate the charges leveled against the President and for which the Democrats have filed spurious articles of impeachment.

    Well aren't you Mr. Stick-in-the-Mud.

  • ThomasD||

    They succeeded in hacking DNC emails. Largely thanks to the idiots in charge of the DNC.

    They tried hacking the RNC as well, but largely failed (compromised one ultra low level staffer's account.)

    And you have absolutely zero evidence of collusion.

  • Tony||

    You idiots never needed evidence before attacking Obama for whatever the fuck.

    There is an ongoing investigation in this, and Jr. just admitted to collusion on live TV a couple days ago.

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    So now you shifted this to Obama when asked to back up your erroneous claims. That sounds like you admitted you are wrong to me.

  • ThomasD||

    Shit, I ninja'd myself.

  • Eek Barba Durkle||

    Hacking DNC emails

    An allegation for which exactly zero evidence exists.

    large social media propaganda effort

    An allegation for which exactly zero evidence exists.

    being in direct collusion with the Trump campaign

    An allegation for which exactly zero evidence exists.

  • ||

    An allegation for which exactly zero evidence exists....

    And even this is being exceedingly generous. These things are between 'not a crime' and torts at best, much like having an affair in the Oval Office. Colluding to social media whatever isn't a crime and, if it is, all of social media becomes game as it's intrinsically collusive and there's no evidence that anything defamatory was (deliberately) false.

    Even if you had the stained blue dress to show that Trump paid the Russians to defame Clinton, you impeach him and get Pence, maybe.

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    Halp! The Russians are telling me how to vote! Their soothing icy-breath whispers are irrrrrresistibbbble!

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    That is how they do it in mother Russia. Just saying.

  • XM||

    The hacked DNC email revealed unethical behavior by the democrats. So......

    There's no evidence of collusion. Clinton met with Russians too.

    Only a TINY fraction of the voters ever saw "fake news" sites.

  • ||

    We got the worst person in the country as president with the help of a Russian regime whose main priority is chaos in the world.

    Don't forget that one of the things revealed by the evil Russian hacking scheme is that Podesta was using his contacts at major media outlets to help push Trump as the prime Republican candidate and to bury the more reasonable seeming ones (like Rand Paul).

    So how does the fact that the Clinton campaign directly helped Trump into power figure into your schema here?

  • BYODB||

    Indeed, and I'm pretty sure they're kicking themselves for that little bit of cloak and dagger now.

    I think the inherent problem with the whole Trump/Russia/DNC issue is that nobody was right. Everyone behaved badly, and they all behaved badly to relatively the same extent. So it's really everyone twisting themselves into knots to point fingers, when really the true solution is throw every single last one of them into jail and be done with it. Convention of the States is really, and truly, the only path forward to reform the FedGov.

    Since that will never happen, we're left impotently pointing fingers at a regime that is entirely beyond the control of the American people. Trump, Hillary, GOP, DNC, it doesn't really matter. They're all playing the same game, with the same dirty pieces.

    What I've managed to gather is that no one really has a problem with the game, they just all seem to have problems with various players. That says pretty much everything you need to know about the situation, in my book.

    'Whataboutism' doesn't really even begin to cover what's going on here.

  • BYODB||

    I should say at least one thing, in that the DNC seems to be playing marginally dirtier and more effectively in the dirty tricks game. The fact that two Democrats voted to impeach Trump with exactly zero evidence is actually pretty shocking, and I expected more of the same in the coming months with about the same level of success.

    Say what you will about Republican's distaste for Obama, they never voted to impeach him. Not once. That says a whole fucking lot, to me.

  • ||

    Say what you will about Republican's distaste for Obama, they never voted to impeach him. Not once. That says a whole fucking lot, to me.

    Well, in fairness, they did it to Clinton, and it backfired. I think they hesitate to step in that mess again. An actual impeachment vote against Obama would have been even worse.

    I think you're right that these "debates" are like people arguing over whether they want the Joker or the Riddler as Mayor of Gotham. Sure you might be able to come up with some convoluted arguments as to why one would be preferable to the other, but as Dead Abe Lincoln said during the campaign, why wouldn't you want freaking Batman?

  • BYODB||

    I'll absolutely agree that the impeachment attempt definitely backfired, regardless of if you think it was a justified impeachment or not, but why the Democrats think that won't be the case this time is a mystery when they absolutely do not have the votes, let alone any actionable proof.

    Of course, you don't technically need any proof to impeach the President but if they continue down this path they're going to regret it, and say what you will the Democrats need to increase or mobilize their base if they want to win back anything and I suspect this isn't the way to do so for them. Trump pulled away some of their traditional base, and if they torpedo him I doubt those former Democrats will jump back on their ship afterwards

    While Trump isn't really popular with some Republicans, without some sort of proof I find it unlikely Republicans will go along with it. Democrats are shooting themselves in the foot with this whole debacle. Maybe, just maybe, we'll see a moderate Democrat emerge to rein in their party and win back the Presidency but lets just say I'm not holding my breath.

  • ||

    My working theory is that they're building the narrative that they tried as hard as they could to impeach the monster, but the Republicans chose Party over Country, so there was nothing they could do.

    I doubt they really want to go to vote - I think they want a situation where they can portray the Republicans as having squashed it without giving it a fair hearing.

    But, never rule out plain-old stupid.

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    I'd be happy with Robin. Or Batgirl. Hell, one of Jokers henchmen would be an improvement.

  • Eek Barba Durkle||

    We got the worst person in the country as president

    You do realize there are actual violent rapists, murderers and child molesters in this country, right?

    I mean - Trump IS a flaming piece of shit, but I don't think I've ever seen him make the case that slavery is totally cool as long as the law allows for it, and I've seen you make EXACTLY that argument.

    So...Trump wouldn't even be the worst person in this commentariat, much less the whole country.

  • Tony||

    Trump is an admitted rapist and has at least a predilection for thinking of children in sexual terms. But then there's all the other insane shit. So he's the worst human in the country who had any genuine ambitions to be president.

  • ||

    So he's the worst human in the country who had any genuine ambitions to be president.

    So if we really, reallly narrow the pool, then what you said isn't so wildly inaccurate. Still not really true, but no longer batshit insane.

  • Eek Barba Durkle||

    He lied in his response to the pointing out of his original lie. If he responds again, he will almost certainly lie again.

    He never acknowledges when his lies are proven to be lies, so what's the point?

  • The Last American Hero||

    There is no evidence he raped anyone. Zero. Unless you count that time he told Billy Bush what everybody who's ever attended high school knows - rich, good looking guys have no problems getting laid.

    Also, of the declared candidates, both Sanders and Clinton are far worse human beings than Trump. Especially Sanders, what with his whole advocating for bringing a murderous oppressive system of government and whatnot.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    "good looking"

    GTFO

  • Tony||

    His ex-wife testified under oath that he raped her. Or does sworn testimony not count as evidence?

  • damikesc||

    The same one who said he didn't and supported him for President over the woman whose husband was accused of rape?

  • Bubba Jones||

    Trump won because Russia was truthful about Hillary?

    If that was the difference, perhaps the Dems made a strategic error in their nomination.

  • Tony||

    I'm sure that risotto recipe was indeed Podesta's own.

  • Crusty Juggler - Double Great||

    That wasn't a risotto recipe, that was a secret message about pizza basement kiddie-fucking. Open your eyes.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Was there ever a plausible explanation of what Pizza was code for? I think it's probably pretty fcking corrupt if the cover up was to spread rumors about child sex slaves.

  • Crusty Juggler - Double Great||

    The only plausible explanation is the worldwide pizza basement kiddie-fucking conspiracy that the government refuses to investigate.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    It was just some inside joke that came about from some random mishap at their worldwide underground kiddie fucking ring.

  • damikesc||

    So, you want to go to war with Russia and impeach Trump over risotto recipes?

    Really?

    I don't want to hear you comment on how stupid Iraq was ever again.

  • Tony||

    I want to do neither. There is a gray area between being a puppet of the Russian oligarchy and nuking each other into oblivion. I understand you people struggle with gray areas.

  • ||

    There is a gray area between being a puppet of the Russian oligarchy and nuking each other into oblivion. I understand you people struggle with gray areas.

    You in particular seem to be struggling with this exact gray area.

  • Sevo||

    "Did anything bad happen? Trump is president isn't he?"

    So something happened that isn't nearly as bad as the alternative, loser.

  • Tony||

    Why? Cankles? Pantsuits? Center-left policy platform? Too much competence for your taste?

  • ||

    Too much competence for your taste?

    Competence at what, exactly? Please provide a list of accomplishments for us to marvel at.

  • Tony||

    Moot point considering the alternative we got, but you're welcome to read her Wikipedia page.

  • ||

    I've read it. Unimpressed.

    You fail.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Selling US foreign policy to the highest bidder?

  • Loss of Reason||

    Poor poor Tony still in his mom's basement sobbing "The Russians..The Russians"
    Can't be Hillary was a horrible candidate. Can't be that Obama has set the Democratic party back at all levels. it has to be something else.

    Hillary is the worst person in the country. You are just blind because she has a D. Trump is no price but Hillary is so much worse. You are just to dumb to understand

  • Domestic Dissident||

    "We must slap economic sanctions on Russia and perhaps even start World War III immediately!"

    -The "libertarian" Reason Foundation

  • Tony||

    "Let's be besties with a regime that kills journalists, imprisons anti-establishment musicians, occupies neighboring countries, and propagandizes libertarians, conservatives, and greens on FaceBook because they know how fucking stupid and gullible we are."

    --Libertarians, conservatives, greens

  • Domestic Dissident||

    Here's hoping you're the first guy that gets shipped off to the eastern front. Go get 'em, killer!

  • Bubba Jones||

    We're going to invade Georgia?

  • ThomasD||

    Atlanta sucks in the summer.

    Actually, Atlanta just plain sucks all year round.

  • Bubba Jones||

    They have good strip clubs.

  • ThomasD||

    Last time I was in one was the Cheetah III in about 1989.

  • damikesc||

    "Let's be besties with a regime that kills journalists, imprisons anti-establishment musicians, occupies neighboring countries, and propagandizes libertarians, conservatives, and greens on FaceBook because they know how fucking stupid and gullible we are."

    --Libertarians, conservatives, greens

    Tony, how many deaths are worth fighting this over?

    Give us a number.

    How many US troops are worth dying for any of this?

  • Tony||

    Perhaps the single biggest piece of Russian propaganda horsehit spread on social media was "Elect Hillary and we start WWIII with Russia!!"

    I heard it from you and Steiniacs alike. And I'm still hearing it this very moment. Right after I just explained how this works. Unbefuckinglievable.

  • damikesc||

    Perhaps the single biggest piece of Russian propaganda horsehit spread on social media was "Elect Hillary and we start WWIII with Russia!!"

    Given that the Dems now believe Russia is the biggest threat on Earth, yes, it is a very real concern. Imagine if the same Dems demonizing Russia had the power to attack them. We've seen the Left has few qualms violently attacking critics. Outright opponents would be no-brainers for them.

    I heard it from you and Steiniacs alike. And I'm still hearing it this very moment. Right after I just explained how this works. Unbefuckinglievable.

    True, the Left is bought and owned by Russia (who do you think is funding basically ALL of the anti-fracking propaganda?). It is just funny watching you lash out like this.

    So, again, how many people should die to punish Russia to satisfy you?

  • Tony||

    No, it's not a real concern. Do you agree or not that Russia paid people to spread bullshit like this on Facebook? Do you actually think Hillary Clinton, more than Donald fucking "I grab pussies" Trump, would be eager to start a war between the world's biggest nuclear powers? Did everyone start eating paint sometime last year?

  • ||

    Do you actually think Hillary Clinton, more than Donald fucking "I grab pussies" Trump, would be eager to start a war between the world's biggest nuclear powers?

    Well, let's see -

    Clinton campaigned on overthrowing Assad, and by implication shutting down Russia's naval base in Syria, establishing a No-Fly zone over Syria which would be enforced violently against Russian planes, and in the final days before the election promised after the conquest of Mosul that we would, from there, "push into Syria" with ground troops with the stated goal of overthrowing Assad and, hence, starting an actual shooting war with Russia.

    Trump campaigned on working with Russia to stamp out ISIS - remember ISIS? - and on being somewhat skeptical of ME interventions.

    Yet you frantically assert that only deluded people would find HRC's rhetoric toward Russia belligerent.

    Un-fucking-believable.

  • BYODB||


    Yet you frantically assert that only deluded people would find HRC's rhetoric toward Russia belligerent.

    Un-fucking-believable.

    In Tony's defense, he doesn't actually bother reading the news and has no idea what actually goes on in the world. How someone could have possibly watched HRC during the final months of the campaign and concluded that she was not belligerent towards Russia is baffling until you realize that the person you're talking to literally only cares about the (D) or the (R). That is it. That is the full extent of Tony's political opinions.

    The sad part is it's pretty clear he only does this because he hates where he lives, and hates his neighbors. His is a purely antagonistic political view, intended to punish people he doesn't like for reasons he doesn't understand.

  • paranoid android||

    Do you actually think Hillary Clinton, more than Donald fucking "I grab pussies" Trump, would be eager to start a war between the world's biggest nuclear powers?

    I mean, she did explicitly promise to create a no-fly zone in Syria, at a time when Russian planes were flying missions in Syria, which makes the creation of a no-fly zone a de facto promise to shoot down Russian planes, which would be an act of war. So her campaign promises were either lies or a call to war, which do you prefer?

  • The Last American Hero||

    Name one war she has been against during her adult life, Tony.

    She was pro-Vietnam, for God's sakes.

  • damikesc||

    Do you agree or not that Russia paid people to spread bullshit like this on Facebook?

    You're mistaking me for somebody who cares what idiots on Facebook think. Given the sheer volume of retarded bullshit posted there on a daily basis, I saw no difference in 2016.

    Oh dear, do YOU go to Facebook for the news?

    *shakes head*

    Do you actually think Hillary Clinton, more than Donald fucking "I grab pussies" Trump, would be eager to start a war between the world's biggest nuclear powers?

    I'm confused...is Trump Putin's "cock holster" or is he begging to bomb him?

    You know, he really cannot be BOTH.

    So, given that people like you think Trump is in Putin's back pocket, arguing that he'd be MORE likely to attack seems specious.

    Did everyone start eating paint sometime last year?

    You're not the trend-setter you seem to think.

  • Loss of Reason||

    The Russians setup Hillary's illegal email server in a closet!! Right Tony? Hillary wasn't smart enough to know it was illegal.

    You know others have tried that defense and gone to jail.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|7.13.17 @ 11:12AM|#
    "Perhaps the single biggest piece of Russian propaganda horsehit spread on social media was "Elect Hillary and we start WWIII with Russia!!""

    Naah.
    That's just one of you average daily lies.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Right after I just explained how this works.

    My goodness, i hope you're not under the impression that anyone considers you a credible source on anything.

  • Loss of Reason||

    Hummm, Russia wasn't a problem in the past during Obama right Tony? You laughed at Mitt. You gave them a reset. It's because you didn't get your way and Hillary lost. You and your party need an excuse. It can't be use! It can't be. Hint - it is.

    At least the Repub voters, not the elite, understood that McCain was a horrible candidate and Mitt was uninspiring even if a good businessman.

    Hope your mom brings you cookies down there

  • Dillinger||

    >>>Let's be besties with a regime that _____...

    don't they all?

  • damikesc||

    Iran CLEARLY doesn't. Or else the Left would be bitching about it and they are not.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    By all means, please leave and go find a "real" libertarian site to hang out on.

    No one will miss you.

  • Zeb||

    You know, it is actually possible to be critical of Russia and not want war with Russia.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    ^This.

  • damikesc||

    Very much is. The Dems, however, aren't doing that.

    McCarthy was less obsessed. And, unlike the Dems, he was actually correct in his allegations.

    Let that sink in, Progs: MCCARTHY WAS A MORE SOBER AND ACCURATE SOURCE OF CRITICISM THAN THE ENTIRE PROGRESSIVE LEFT.

  • Zeb||

    I'm not going to pretend I know what they want, but they sure seem like they are angling for at least a renewed cold war.

    But there are a fair number of commenters here that seem to assume that anyone who doesn't dismiss any criticism of Russia or suggestion that they tried to influence US elections as a "fever dream" is a secret progressive leftist determined to start a war with Russia.

  • Bubba Jones||

    And I'll reiterate that the real problem isn't (or shouldn't be) that Hillary lied about her email server. It's that she actually set up an insecure server and actually destroyed evidence. The lies support the allegation that destruction of evidence wasn't accidental. Just like lying about meeting with the Russians supports the allegation that they were colluding. But unlike unsecured servers full of classified information, I lack the imagination to guess what the Russians were actually offering. Perhaps the Hillary intel could be considered a form of bribe to Trump?

  • WakaWaka||

    Good article.

    Here's an idea for your next column: "Pro-War 'Libertarians'- How Nominal 'Libertarians' Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Max Boot"

  • Domestic Dissident||

    "I'm a liberal."
    -Matt Welch

    "I am a hybrid of libertarian and neocon."
    -Yekaterina Yung, aka "Cathy Young"

  • Crusty Juggler - Double Great||

    Yekaterina Yung

    Oh my.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    To be fair, he got that one from Justin Raimondo.

  • ||

    you mean Dennis Raimondo

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    This is the new "Jon Leibowitz."

  • Domestic Dissident||

    What's a Russian with an all-American sounding fake name doing working at Reason anyway? How do we know she's not some kind of double agent or something? Maybe we should have an investigation or something!

  • Crusty Juggler - Double Great||

    Theory: Mikey is one of those Russian troll farm guys, working to sully American comment boards with his pro-Russian propoganda.

  • Domestic Dissident||

    Maybe we can airdrop you into Red Square along with Tony, Matt, and Yekaterina. Think of what a hero of the people you'll be when you kill Purin and restore the glory of the old Soviet Stalinist regime!

  • Crusty Juggler - Double Great||

    That is exactly what Vlad would want you to say, Russian stooge.

  • Domestic Dissident||

    Go suck Block Yomomma's cock.

  • Crusty Juggler - Double Great||

    I don't Vlad would approve of that message.

  • WakaWaka||

    ^ Replace 'Vlad' with 'Saddam' and you essentially have the argumentation of Republicans before the run-up to the Iraq War. So pathetic. You cosmotarians are more concerned with disagreeing with Republicans than you are with standing on principle.

    Are cosmotarians anti-interventionists? It depends- is there a Republican in the White House?

  • Crusty Juggler - Double Great||

    I wish my libertarian soul was as pure as yours.

  • WakaWaka||

    It's fine. I know that when Trump finally does commit ground troops in Syria you will flip and suddenly become totally non-interventionist, because let's not kid ourselves- you're not a principled man.

  • Domestic Dissident||

    Crusty Citizen is an Obama/Hillary/status quo left liberal whose main job here is to push the preferred mainstream narrative on pretty much every single subject.

    Hell, he probably IS a member of the JournoList himself. I wouldn't be shocked if he worked for the Washington Post or something.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Good stuff, Simple Mikey. Keep banging that retarded drum, i feel like dancing.

  • Crusty Juggler - Double Great||

    I didn't realize I was an interventionist. Thanks, He Who Is Pure!

  • Zeb||

    Are cosmotarians anti-interventionists? It depends- is there a Republican in the White House?

    What the fuck are you talking about? Seriously, you are beyond the point of self-parody and seem completely unaware of it.

  • WakaWaka||

    No, Zeb, this is parody:

    Reason, January 2017: "Trump Isn't a Non-Interventionist Because He Might Nominate Bolton"

    Reason, January 2017: "Trump Is Going to Start a Trade War with China"

    Good on you.

    Reason, July 2017: "Trump Should Impose Trade Sanctions on Russia"

    ....which would have been Bolton's position

  • Zeb||

    And Crusty wrote all of those articles.

  • ThomasD||

    " It was not a good idea for the son of the president to respond enthusiastically ("I love it") and hastily organize a secretive high-level campaign meeting with a Russian lawyer in Trump tower after an intermediary promised "information that would incriminate Hillary" Clinton as part of "Russia and its government's support" for Donald Trump"

    No, probably not. Especially given the characterization came from an "intermediary." But going to the mattresses over it is an even worse idea, for either side.

    Not a whole lot of reasonableness at Reason lately.

  • ThomasD||

    If Kin Jung Un himself called the Reason offices and said he had proof of criminal activity by Trump would they refuse to hear him out?

  • Bubba Jones||

    Hmmm. I always thought that "going to the mat" referred to a wrestling mat, not a mattress. But google tells me that "going to the mattress" is an alternative form.

    Now I have no idea wtf that means.

  • ThomasD||

  • Bubba Jones||

    Thanks. That was helpful.

  • Crusty Juggler - Double Great||

    You've never watched The Godfather?

  • Bubba Jones||

    As a kid.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    "Going to the mattresses" is when shit gets real between your Family and a rival Family, so you hole up in a secure location and put mattresses all over the floor for your goombahs, made guys, et al. to sleep on while they're guarding you.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    And you're saying that's not happening at the Reason offices?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    That's just Suderman, and he's only sleeping there until McArdle forgives him for whatever.

  • ThomasD||

    Bad risotto?

  • The Last American Hero||

    Pay attention, you may have to cook for 10 men one day.

  • Crusty Juggler - Double Great||

    Not a whole lot of reasonableness at Reason lately.

    How was this piece unreasonable?

  • Bubba Jones||

    Not unreasonable. Just a lot more "politics" than "policy."

  • Domestic Dissident||

    Apparently this garbage is supposed to be our causus belli for World War III, according to our so-called "mainstream media".

  • Crusty Juggler - Double Great||

    You hit the nail on the head once again, Mikey.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I think he's referring to the fact that Tony and amsoc have finally found antidepressants that work and won't stop shitting into threads.

  • Bubba Jones||

    It's a thread without substance. Therefore Tony.

  • Tony||

    Can't we jerk off to our favorite president Donald Trump in peace!

  • Citizen X - #6||

    If tiny hands and bluster are your thing, go for it.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    My anti-depressants don't work, yet I still manage to come and shit up threads. If you love what you're doing, you can push through the darkness ; you can find a way.

  • Hail Rataxes||

    Look, Tulpa has to come home to bitch about Trump because the Glibs won't allow it.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Shut up, Tulpa.

  • Hail Rataxes||

    Lol. Have fun with your troll friend.

  • ThomasD||

    Welch wants us to believe that Trump Jr. chose poorly in seeking more information form a source purporting to have useful information about Hillary Clinton.

    As if Reason would likewise refuse to hear out a questionable source purporting to have info on pretty much anyone (but especially so a sitting President.)

    I find that proposition to be rather unreasonable.

    Either that or Welch thinks journalists are special.

  • Crusty Juggler - Double Great||

    At least Don Jr. didn't lie about any of this happening.

  • damikesc||

    A one-time meeting that led to nothing.

    I'm betting they aren't recorded in calendars.

  • Crusty Juggler - Double Great||

    Good point - Don Jr. and Kushner probably just forgot. And then kept forgetting. I mean, that's what Hillary and the left do, right?

  • damikesc||

    Hillary didn't KNOW it was illegal to set up a server and run government business on it.

    You know, no harm, no foul.

    A one-time meeting where, by all accounts, nothing happened --- yeah, that seems hella memorable.

  • Calidissident||

    The key part of the story about the meeting isn't what was said at the meeting, but the fact that key figures in the Trump campaign were willing to meet with someone who they believed was a Russian government official giving them information on Clinton as part of the Russian government's attempts to get Trump elected. It shows their intentions, regardless of what ultimately came of the meeting whose pretext seems to have been a farce. On top of that, Trump Jr. and the team have lied about it repeatedly.

    And for the record, none of this is a defense of the first line about Clinton. I'm solely talking about the third line of your post.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    So if I tell you I'm barry and you agree to meet with me only to find out thst I'm not, that's clear evidence that you did indeed collude with barry, right? If you go on to say that you never met with barry (as opposed to never wanted) that's clearly a lie then, right?

    The optics certainly look bad (where have I heard that before?) but beyond that you really can't say much.

  • Calidissident||

    That's not what I said, I said it's evidence that you intended to collude with barry (to take your analogy).

    When the story first came out (when it was reported that the lawyer was "Kremlin-connected," but nothing about the content of the meeting or him being told she was part of a government effort to elect Trump), Trump Jr. responded with trickle truth - "Oh it was just about adoption," then "Oh yeah I was seeking opposition research, but she didn't have any," and then when it was finally reported that he was told she was part of the Russian government and its effort to elect Trump and the NYT was about to release the emails, only then did he preemptively release the emails. If you want to say "well, technically his statements weren't lies" then ok, but he clearly was trying to deceptively mislead people about the background the meeting until it became clear that he couldn't do it any more.

    Also, Trump Jr. for the past year plus has attacked the notion that they'd even be willing to collude with Russia as ridiculous, so it looks pretty sketchy when it comes out that, at a minimum, three prominent members of the campaign were willing to take that meeting given what they were told. And there's debate in legal circles whether or not accepting or soliciting such information from foreign nationals violates election law (I've seen reasonable arguments on both sides and don't have the legal knowledge to say which is more valid) so there may be more to it than optics.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    If truth is a technicality, thrn i guess it's a technicality that he didn't lie about working with the russian gov't. And again if this was illegal then there shoild be some major prosecutions of the NYT and the DNC. Volokh's take on this is the only reasonable one.

  • ThomasD||

    So, if I fail to tell you something I have no obligation to tell you this means what exactly?

    Bootstrapping only works there is actually a boot at the end of the strap...

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    No. Politicians are special.

  • callahan2211||

    Agreed, time to cancel subscription

  • Ron||

    I'd still like to know how is it illegal to meet with foreigners of any nation. Why would it have been legal for a reporter to meet with any foreigner but not any other citizen what gives special privilage to "reporters".

    If it was illegal for Don Jr to meet Russians then it is just as illegal for the DNC to meet with the Ukranians and both should be in jail then.

    the only maybe crime here was that the Trump camp kept claiming they never meet with Russians or did they ever make that claim since they found out the person they meet with had no ties to the Russian government., maybe did maybe didn't that is not very clear either and interestingly enough i think both parties have been played here by both the DNC and the Russians

  • ThomasD||

    All reasonable arguments about the particular events and behaviors, based on principles, not principals.

    Which Welch wants to dismiss as 'defending Trump.'

  • Stormy Dragon||

    hose who participate now in the whitewashing of an administration's mounting pile of bull are not only soiling themselves, but encouraging their political adversaries to treat legitimate criticism like a cynical partisan club.

    95% of legitimate criticism IS just cynical partisanship.

  • creech||

    My Trumper brother in law put a nice little spin on Don Jr.s meeting, agreeing that "it was about treason." But his take is that Don Jr. was giddy to uncover evidence of Hillary's treason, that her unsecured e-mails were in the hands of the Russians and they were about to lay out evidence of said treason. Therefore, Don Jr. was acting in America's best interests by hoping to stop a treasonable Hillary from winning the presidency. And wasn't the meme at the time that foreign agencies had hacked into her e-mails and found all sorts of confidential info?

  • Robespierre Josef Stalin||

    What treason did she commit?

  • damikesc||

    What treason did she commit?

    Trump committed "Treason" with his son meeting with a lawyer.

    Hillary sold to Russia a lot of uranium.

    That seems far more worrisome than meeting with a lawyer and getting nothing. Clinton got a lot of money and Russia got a lot of uranium.

  • Tony||

    At this point it's on you that this bullshit is still inhabiting a place in your brain.

    Snopes is part of the Clinton conspiracy

  • damikesc||

    Snopes? Adorable. Their main political writer:

    said Bush was criminally negligent in regards to 9/11

    that food stamp fraud does not exist,

    referred to Tea Partiers as "teahadists"

    claimed Omar Mateen wasn't a Democrat

    Hillary didn't buy a $13,000 Armani jacket (nobody claimed she bought it, just that she was wearing it) while speaking about income inequality

    Snopes has become a political opinion outfit more than anything else.

  • Tony||

    And all polls are meaningless because they were off this one time. And the NYT only prints lies because you prefer to believe what comes out of fat greasy morons on FOX News.

    The Enlightenment, it was fun while it lasted.

    I suppose you have contrary evidence from what is presented on that Snopes article, or are you just going to play stupid moron and cry bias and run away if I ask for a link because you're too embarrassed to link to Breitbart, even though you gobble up whatever they say like it's cheetos?

  • damikesc||

    And all polls are meaningless because they were off this one time.

    Pretty off in regards to FL in 2000, leading to a state actually being close.
    Also got Brexit wrong.

    Given that pollsters seem utterly unconcerned that their polls are not that good is a bit sad. Doesn't provide one hope that they will improve.

    I suppose you have contrary evidence from what is presented on that Snopes article

    That she helped with the deal?

    Her being involved and the deal being done is pretty damning.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Funny how you missed the concluding paragraph from snopes:

    At the same time, for the sake of accuracy it's crucial to differentiate between partisan accusations and what we actually know about it — however little that may be.

    And isn't it amazing the way the clinton foundation fixed all of the world's problems last year so they don't need those pesky donations this year?

  • Robespierre Josef Stalin||

    Well, she's not President now so I worry a lot more-- as a libertarian-- about what the current President and his administration is doing. What has happened to Reason libertarians? Now, you're defending the President on some legalistic bullshit? You sick or something?

  • Tony||

    It's worse than even I thought it would be. You'd think they'd have at least the presence of mind to realize that Trump's presidency is inevitably going to be a failure, so why not at least wait for the next (R) to throw their credibility away on.

  • ||

    You'd think they'd have at least the presence of mind to realize that Trump's presidency is inevitably going to be a failure, so why not at least wait for the next (R) to throw their credibility away on.

    They made a libertarian case for Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, their credibility is pretty shitty to begin with.

    I'd love to see them discover information that conclusively proves Trump colluded with Russia to directly change votes. Not only would it mean that we have gut the current administration, but the former administration would have to be run through the woodchipper for so ham-handedly fumbling the keys to the democracy into Putin's hands.

    Unfortunately, they don't have the evidence or credibility for such an undertaking. Worse still, a fundamental principle of libertarianism and/or democracy is that the keys aren't in anybody's hands to be fumbled.

  • Tony||

    A car with no driver, presumably on unpaved ground (since government usually makes the roads). Not the worst metaphor for libertarianism I've heard.

  • Zeb||

    They made a libertarian case for Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton

    Where is the Clinton one? I can't recall anything remotely positive about her.

    And the case for Sanders was simply that he was the most anti-war candidate.

  • ||

    There were a couple of articles, IIRC, arguing that Clinton would have been the more "libertarian" of the two, given that she was almost certainly lying in her expressed support for a lot of Sanders' economic positions. She clearly had to be dragged into the $15 minimum wage thing, for example, and was really obviously lying when she said she would oppose the TPP (setting aside the question of whether that counts as moving toward or away from freer markets).

    It was labelled by many here as "the Libertarian case for Hillary Clinton," but that's putting it a bit strongly.

  • ||

    And by "of the two" I mean between Clinton and Trump. I think given the choice between Clinton and Sanders, most reason writers would have chosen Sanders.

  • ||

    Where is the Clinton one? I can't recall anything remotely positive about her.

    Not literally titled as 'a libertarian case for' but, Hillary Clinton's Brilliant Amnesty Move.

    I could understand how you'd reach your position if you'd cognitively severed Dalmia from Reason.

  • ||

  • Zeb||

    if you'd cognitively severed Dalmia from Reason.

    That's pretty much what I've done.

  • Loss of Reason||

    Are you going to admit that Obama's presidency was a failure? Going to move the goal posts again.

    So far for Trump - record stock market, energy sector growing, not bowing to dictators, trade argument is actually working with partners, conservative judge on Supreme court and less government regulations. You do realize that the last 2 make him a success in almost everyone's eyes.

  • Slocum||

    I worry a lot more-- as a libertarian-- about what the current President and his administration is doing.

    So do I. I worry about Jeff Sessions reigniting the drug war. I worry about the wall, and free trade, and immigration. I worry about the stupidity of reversing the opening to Cuba. I worry that the Trump administration will do something really dumb and dangerous with respect to North Korea. But this stuff? Meh. Unless we see some evidence of an actual crime (e.g. the Trump campaign paying Russian hackers to steal the DNC's emails), I just can't get too worked up about it.

  • ||

    I worry about Jeff Sessions reigniting the drug war. I worry about the wall, and free trade, and immigration. I worry about the stupidity of reversing the opening to Cuba. I worry that the Trump administration will do something really dumb and dangerous with respect to North Korea. But this stuff? Meh. Unless we see some evidence of an actual crime (e.g. the Trump campaign paying Russian hackers to steal the DNC's emails), I just can't get too worked up about it.

    ^ Exactly this.

  • Tony||

    So that makes you guys more forgiving of the president than the FBI and the Republican-controlled congress.

  • ||

    Maybe so. What's your point?

  • Tony||

    So stop whining when I call you apologists for a Republican president.

    Because you're being more of one than the fucking Republican congress is, and they're not known lately to be especially nonpartisan.

  • Slocum||

    But I'm not doing that. I didn't vote for him, won't vote for him next time, and criticized him specifically on several issues I consider important. It's just that, so far, this really isn't one of them. That opinion, of course, is subject to change if evidence of actual crimes emerge.

  • ||

    So stop whining when I call you apologists for a Republican president.

    And there go the goalposts again.

    What is it about not-automatically-trusting Republicans in Congress and, let's face it, in the intelligence agencies, that makes one a partisan Republican?

    Trump has spent most of his adult life as a Democrat. He's pretty soft on much of the more offensive parts of the Republican platform. He's the least antagonistic towards the LGBT community of pretty much any prominent Republican for the last several decades.

    But somehow you think that taking the word of cousin-fucking, Bible-thumping, gay-bashing Congressional Republicans is less partisan than being skeptical of their claims?

    Do you even know what you stand for anymore on any issue whatsoever?

  • Eric||

    Spot on Slocum. The Dems are shooting their wad waaaaay too early on piddly shit.... and wrecking their credibility with regard to future opportunities. Which will almost certainly present themselves.

  • ||

    What has happened to Reason libertarians? Now, you're defending the President on some legalistic bullshit? You sick or something?

    Yes or no; should Bill Clinton have been impeached for his crimes?

  • ||

    You guys have no idea how hilarious you are.

    You think damikesc is a libertarian?

    You're like the Team Red trolls who think we're all socialists because you guys are here.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Tony earned the moniker Blue John for a reason, in the Before Times.

  • ||

    Huh - I never heard that one, although I've heard John referred to as "Red Tony" many times.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    They are opposite sides of the same worthless coin.

  • damikesc||

    I'm a conservative with libertarian leanings. But I realize Libertarians are a collection of fucking morons who thought Gary Johnson was a solid candidate for President and seem to wet themselves over every Libertarian candidate for any office out there.

    libertarians are great.
    Libertarians shouldn't be permitted to wield anything more dangerous than crayons.

  • ||

    But I realize Libertarians are a collection of fucking morons who thought Gary Johnson was a solid candidate for President and seem to wet themselves over every Libertarian candidate for any office out there.

    And Tony considers himself a "libertarian-leaning" liberal. Neither you nor Tony are actual libertarians, but the difference is that you realize that, and can articulate why you disagree with libertarians. Tony cannot, but he's sure we're wrong. About everything.

  • damikesc||

    If the party found credible candidates, stopped championing oppressive laws as long as they like the people being "helped", and seemed to recognize that some of their goals will have a ton of "unforeseen consequences", I'd take them seriously. I voted Barr in 2008, not because I liked him but because McCain and Obama were so damned awful.

  • BYODB||


    If the party found credible candidates...

    Yeah, lets not pretend that the LP has done a great job on this one.

  • ||

    No one did a great job on this one. Personally, I thought GJ was the least unfavorable option on the table.

  • creech||

    Who knows? The point my BIL was making is that Don Jr. thought the Russian lawyer would be showing him something that indicated something treasonable.

  • Robespierre Josef Stalin||

    At least Matt acknowledges the problem if only to justify his Clinton hysteria.

  • damikesc||

    This is not hard. It was not a good idea for the son of the president to respond enthusiastically ("I love it") and hastily organize a secretive high-level campaign meeting with a Russian lawyer in Trump tower after an intermediary promised "information that would incriminate Hillary" Clinton as part of "Russia and its government's support" for Donald Trump, and then lie about it. (BTW if you haven't seen Gorka's exchanges this week with Alisyn Camerota, Stephanie Ruhle, and Anderson Cooper, they are really something to behold.)

    I'll bite...why?

    Somebody has dirt on your rival and is offering it to you. Why would you say no? The comment about "Russian support" is, months later, STILL lacking any evidence of, you know, support.

    How is this "indefensible"? You keep saying "Whataboutism" is wrong...but you're suddenly building up standards nobody has been held to. "Getting dirt on your rival" is now wrong?

    Can you point, at all, to anything illegal? Or even morally wrong here? Info the Democrats didn't want to get made public was made public. C'est la vie. It showed that CNN and a lot of other media outlets were in bed with the Clinton campaign. And Reason is here saying that this is info we should not have known. "Well, it came from 'bad' sources" --- as opposed to the "good" ones WHO WERE IN BED WITH THE CLINTON CAMPAIGN ALREADY.

    You cannot point to anything wrong at all with what happened outside of "Ew, Russia is icky".

  • Tony||

    Getting foreign governments to help win you an election is fucking illegal as fuck. Pretend the ridiculous orange daughter fucker in chief has a (D) after his name, then see how you feel about it.

  • damikesc||

    Getting foreign governments to help win you an election is fucking illegal as fuck.

    They didn't do so. Wikileaks revealed the emails and they've said, repeatedly, Russia wasn't the source. Feel free to explain how Russia "helped" him win the election. You've not done so YET, but hope springs eternal.

    Pretend the ridiculous orange daughter fucker in chief has a (D) after his name, then see how you feel about it.

    "Daughter fucker in chief"?

    Yeah, you're rational.

    Can you ask your mom to give you a juice pouch and a Hot Pocket and try and calm down, sparkles?

  • Tony||

    Oh, Wikileaks says so, that makes it true, despite the findings of the US intelligence community.

    Believe whatever you want dude. You clearly don't need my permission. How liberating it must be too to be completely unrestrained by facts.

  • ThomasD||

    "Oh, Wikileaks says so, that makes it true, despite the findings of the US intelligence community."

    Gonna save that one for future use.

  • Microaggressor||

    Good call. It captures Tony's inner bootlicker in one, un-self-aware soundbite. The very agencies that deceived us into Iraq are the Ministry of Truth to Tony.

  • ThomasD||

    "The very agencies that deceived us into Iraq are the Ministry of Truth to Tony."

    But only right now, and only temporarily. The meaning of the statement will eventually be inverted as conditions warrant.

  • Eek Barba Durkle||

    Oh, Wikileaks says so, that makes it true, despite the findings of the US intelligence community.

    WikiLeaks has NEVER been found to be wrong or dishonest about anything. Never. Not one single time. Ever. In history. They are - objectively and factually - the most credible news service in human history.

    The intelligence community has been wrong/dishonest about nearly everything for the entirety of their history. If there is ANY attribute you would align most strongly with our intelligence community, it would be 'dishonest'. 'Incompetent' would be the clear leader in the clubhouse for second-place.

    FUCK. YES. WikiLeaks' word lends far, far, far, far, far, far more credibility than the conclusions and assertions of the intelligence community. Beyond any rational question or dispute.

    If you disagree, this is only a testament to your intellectual bankruptcy, and total lack of objectivity and/or knowledge of basic facts and history. In short, you are a complete fucking moron, and/or a complete fucking sockpuppet. Luckily, we've known you long enough to know conclusively that it's both.

  • Tony||

    Rape anyone lately, Julian?

  • Eek Barba Durkle||

    Sick burn, brah.

  • Tony||

    The US intelligence community has been wrong about almost literally everything forever, and Wikileaks has been right about literally everything forever (whatever it means to be "right" when they're just dumping documents). But I'm the yokel who can't reason his way out of a paper bag.

  • Eek Barba Durkle||

    I never said WikiLeaks was 'right', and yet you quoted the word as if I had. It's almost like you're a dishonest piece of shit.

    I said WikiLeaks is more credible. They are. As a fact. Their track record makes them exponentially more credible. As a fact.

    And your response is to lie about what I said, to represent accurate facts mockingly, argue a different point, and then lie again.

    So yes, you ARE the yokel who can't reason for shit. It's as obvious as the credibility gap you are somehow missing here.

  • damikesc||

    Oh, Wikileaks says so, that makes it true, despite the findings of the US intelligence community.

    For tools available on fucking 4chan and with the basic knowledge that concealing the source of the intrusion isn't remotely difficult.

    The people who published said it didn't come from Russia. Seems the burden of proof that it did lies pretty much exclusively on you.

    Believe whatever you want dude. You clearly don't need my permission. How liberating it must be too to be completely unrestrained by facts.

    Pot.
    Kettle.
    Black.

  • Calidissident||

    You're right that there isn't evidence that the Trump team had anything to do with the emails, whether Russia was the source or not. And it seems that either the lawyer in this instance lied about her background to the British guy who informed Trump Jr. about her wanting to meet. That said, the emails show that Trump Jr. (as well as Manafort and Kushner) were willing to accept help from the Russian government to win the election. The fact that the pretext for the meeting was a farce doesn't change their intentions based on what they believed at the time.

    What bothers me is how quickly many Trump defenders are shifting from "They clearly didn't get any help from Russia! Fake News!" to "Who even cares if they did get help from Russia, it's not illegal!"

    The MSM's coverage of the issue has been partisan, hyperbolic, and at times outright false or misleading in order to push an anti-Trump narrative. But it seems that many on the right think that means Trump and his team must be honest and clean. It's like Democrats who think "Well Fox News and Breitbart lie about Hillary and Obama, so they must be great!" A lot of people seem to care more about kneejerk opposition to the media and the left than holding the President of the United States accountable.

  • Idle Hands||

    A lot of people seem to care more about kneejerk opposition to the media and the left than holding the President of the United States accountable.

    IMHO this is the problem hold him accountable for what? he didn't break a law did he? he lied but we already knew he was a liar so where exactly does that put us? This whole thing is still bullshit that doesn't matter besides freezing up congress which is good so embrace the debate.

  • Calidissident||

    I don't think the fact that he lies constantly is a reason to suddenly be ok with more lies. Whether he actually did break the law or not, the attitude of many on the right jumping to conclusions that nothing happened and demanding the investigation close (mirroring those on the left jumping to conclusions of TREASON!!!) aren't productive to reaching the truth of the matter. If he did break the law, it wouldn't be surprising if it wasn't instantly uncovered.

    Beyond that, he surrounded himself with shady people like Manafort and Flynn, and then acts shocked that people might think something's going on. And then offers a transparently ridiculous justification for firing the FBI director before admitting it was because of the Russia investigation - that's not suspicious? For the record, I wasn't a fan of Comey either, but that doesn't mean Trump's firing of him and the way it went down doesn't raise any red flags. If Obama or Clinton would have fired him, it would have looked an awful lot like it was retaliation for his letter, and that would be suspicious too even if the end result (Comey gone) isn't bad by itself.

  • Calidissident||

    Regarding this specific story - there's debate in legal circles from what I've seen whether or not Trump Jr. (and Manafort and Kushner) broke election law here. I've seen reasonable arguments on both sides. So that is a potential crime, though Trump himself couldn't be implicated. But either way, it's pretty shady that key people in his campaign were willing to work with someone they believed was part of a Russian government operation to get Trump elected. You don't have to be a partisan Democrat to think that kind of behavior is unacceptable from either party.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    And yet we have clear evidence that the DNC did work with a foreign government to influence the election vs. a desire to do so. The fusion gps dossier was also a work product produced by Russians for the dnc. If this was illegal then the NYT needs to be tried for illegal campaign contributions to hillary.

    I guess that's just a false equivalence.

  • Calidissident||

    Despite your perpetual insistence that I secretly love Hillary and the DNC, I do not and I have no interest in defending their crimes. But please, continue with the whataboutism in discussions about the sitting president and his campaign.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Why weren't you clutching yoir pearls in january when politico reported the ukranian involvement? You may have no interest in defending their crimes but you also have no interest in prosecuting them either.

  • damikesc||

    Regarding this specific story - there's debate in legal circles from what I've seen whether or not Trump Jr. (and Manafort and Kushner) broke election law here. I've seen reasonable arguments on both sides. So that is a potential crime, though Trump himself couldn't be implicated. But either way, it's pretty shady that key people in his campaign were willing to work with someone they believed was part of a Russian government operation to get Trump elected. You don't have to be a partisan Democrat to think that kind of behavior is unacceptable from either party.

    Simple question:

    Why was this lawyer allowed in the country?

  • ThomasD||

    Is the problem that the info came from the Russians, or is any foreign government info a bad thing?

  • Calidissident||

    I don't think any candidates should be teaming up with foreign governments to win elections. And from what I've read, it's potentially illegal to accept or solicit valuable campaign information from foreign nationals (not just governments) - I've seen reasonable arguments on both sides. The fact that Russia is a top geopolitical adversary might make it worse, but to me that's not really the key factor.

  • ThomasD||

    I didn't ask about 'teaming up.'

    I asked if it was a problem to receive information from any foreign governments or only the Russians.

    From what you have replied so far I read you as being in the "only the Russians" camp.

    Is that an accurate assessment?

  • Calidissident||

    How have you gotten that from my statements?

    I think accepting campaign-related information from foreign governments is wrong, Russia or not, Republican, Democrat, etc. Does that clarify things?

  • Bubba Jones||

    Why is it wrong to accept factual information?

  • Tony||

    Imagine a Democrat had done it, then you might be able to see the issue more clearly.

    Christ.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    We don't have to imagine it. They did.

  • ThomasD||

    "Imagine a Democrat had done it"

    I don't have to imagine it. It's been done, and not just by Hillary. It happens over and over and over.

  • ThomasD||

    "Why is it wrong to accept factual information?"

    Take it one step further. You are Trump, running for re-election, and the Canadian government comes to our government with credible information that one of his opponents (be it (R) or (D) has been passing classified info to the Iranians. How does a President, much less Presidential Candidate recuse himself from that?

    Is there an exception, does he get a pass because the info came via government to government channels? If so then just call it 'the Incumbent Protection Act" and be done with it all.

  • Calidissident||

    I don't think foreign governments manipulating our elections is a good thing that should be encouraged by campaigns. They are interested in furthering their interests, not promoting transparency. And how is Trump Jr. really supposed to verify if the information (had there been any) was accurate?

  • ThomasD||

    "I don't think foreign governments manipulating our elections is a good thing"

    Nor do I, but I do think it is A) nothing new under the Sun and B) a reality that must be confronted and well managed.

    Not sure Trump Jr. managed it well, but seeing no evidence that Trump did anything worth Welch's level of ire.

  • ThomasD||

    I'd also add that playing, much less doing, a head-in-the-sand act is NOT a viable approach to the problem.

  • ThomasD||

    "I think accepting campaign-related information from foreign governments is wrong, Russia or not, Republican, Democrat, etc. Does that clarify things?"

    Crystal. Thanks for the reply.

  • Robert||

    "Adversary" how? What've they been doing lately adverse to US interests? I'm not saying adverse to US policies, mind you, but to US interests?

  • ThomasD||

    It's a simple question of principle, that could be equally applied to everyone.

  • Calidissident||

    Did you read my reply?

  • ThomasD||

    "Did you read my reply?"

    Timestamps say we are talking at the same time, sorry.

  • ThomasD||

    So I'll cut to the chase. I do not care one whit about the source of campaign information, so long as it is accurate. Free association and the First amendment at all times abide.

    But, I'd also add that anyone seeking to use such information should know that without corroboration determining accuracy is problematic and so then credibility does matter.

    Which is why, were I Trump Jr., I would not have been so pumped about what was being dangled in front of me. Makes what he did unwise, but hardly more. And anyone trying to make more of it surely must account for Hillary and the Ukrainians.

  • ThomasD||

    And by 'what he did' I mean 'demonstrate such enthusiasm.'

    Again, were I in his shoes, and even if I didn't believe a word of what was being proffered I'd still want to hear all of it, just to know what sort of disinformation was being pimped by the Russians.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Exactly this.

  • Rhywun||

    the ridiculous orange daughter fucker in chief

    You are a sad, sad person.

  • Tony||

    I'm not the one who wants to fuck my daughter.

    On the other hand, the president everyone on this thread is defending for god knows what reason has expressed his desire to do so on multiple occasions. How would things be if Obama had done the same, I wonder.

  • Microaggressor||

    1. Make ridiculous assertion like "daughter fucker"
    2. Rational people point out that you're retarded and a hindrance to genuine criticism of Trump
    3. "TRUMP DEFENDER!!!!"

    It speaks to the Total War mentality of Tony and the broader progressive movement I've observed. They claim you can't be neutral in the culture war when you're unwittingly supporting one side by having principles. It reveals a lack of critical thinking besides furthering the goals of your TEAM. Your motivations are plain as day, and your dishonesty is overt to anyone who isn't a member of the cult.

  • Tony||

    My insistence on picking a team is a calculated, rational decision. Because there are only two teams, and you don't get anything you want if your team loses.

    People who say they're above it all are motivated by something other than policy goals, namely, "Hey look how smart and special I am for being above it all!"

    People who pretend to be above it all while shamelessly cheerleading for a team nonetheless are, well you know the word.

  • ||

    My insistence on picking a team is a calculated, rational decision.

    No - it's intellectual laziness pure and simple. You pick a team and then defend them, logical consistency be damned.

    Because there are only two teams, and you don't get anything you want if your team loses.

    No - that's just you rationalizing your intellectual laziness and pretending you have no choice about it. And also revealing a pretty disturbing attitude toward the political process.

  • Tony||

    Then perhaps you'll be the first to take me up on my standing $10,000 wager that the next president will either be a Republican or a Democrat.

    And you can repeat it for like 95% of the rest of the political offices in this country. I didn't make the rules, I just incorporate them into my political beliefs.

  • ||

    Then perhaps you'll be the first to take me up on my standing $10,000 wager that the next president will either be a Republican or a Democrat.

    I think you're almost certainly right about that. That doesn't make either one of them good people who deserve your full ideological support.

  • Brian||

    That will all make perfect sense, when you show me which election you voted in, where the outcome would have been different had you done anything else.

    Go.

  • BYODB||

    So you admit that Hillary should be in jail along with Trump, yes? Along with whomever in the DNC paid for opposition research produced by the literal Russian government?

  • Ron||

    getting foreign governments to pay campaigns is illegal. Information has not been ruled illegal. and if that information had facts about criminal activity of another american that information would be critical and criminal to not report

  • Eek Barba Durkle||

    "If you support free speech, you are pro-Nazi!" - literally the logic of equating resistance to false narratives with support for the targets of those narratives.

    I hate Trump. I campaigned against him. I find it embarrassing that he is the chief executive of my country.

    But the media DOES lie about him constantly. The media HAS abandoned nearly every precept of journalistic integrity to take an avowed political position. The media HAS exaggerated and invented a Russia story out of thin air, rumor and innuendo to delegitimize his Presidency. The intelligence community HAS fed the rumor and innuendo with unsourced and unsupported lies and allegations to push belligerency with Russia. These things HAVE happened. Factually.

    Attacking those who admit these facts, just because Trump himself is so loathsome, is an abdication of EVERYTHING we allegedly believe as classical liberals. The fact that I am called a "Trump supporter", "Trump fan" or "Trump apologist" nearly every single day, despite the fact that I've never one single time defended Trump on anything, but have consistently defended OBJECTIVE REALITY against its overt enemies, tells you how disingenuous all this bullshit really is.

    It's also intellectually lazy as a motherfucker.

  • Tony||

    You learned all about intellectual rigor by tuning in to Hannity and only Hannity.

  • ||

    Read what he said again, but more slowly this time. Tie your knee down to your chair, or something.

  • Eek Barba Durkle||

    I've never listened to Hannity, stupid. I don't consume any right-wing media, to include Fox News, to save you your next inane attempt at a simplistic ad hom.

    Any time - ANY time - you want to have an actual intellectual discussion about any piece of history or politics, just let me know, chump.

    You're a self-loathing queen in the shittiest, stupidest state in the country, without a single argument containing any intellectual rigor or depth. I've lived in more countries, and learned more languages, than you've read non-ficiton books in your shallow and sad little shell of a life.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Tony doesn't argue against actual people who are on Hit'n'Run. He fires off bitchy non-sequiturs that he thinks sound clever at the fictional Ur-Libertarian in his mind, who is actually a Republican, and who contains within himself every commenter who doesn't agree with him.

    This is how he is able to accuse individual Reason commenters of supporting Trump in threads where those exact same commenters have vocally and repeatedly bashed Trump, for example. Yes, it makes him look like an idiot. No, he doesn't care.

  • ||

    Tony doesn't argue against actual people who are on Hit'n'Run. He fires off bitchy non-sequiturs that he thinks sound clever at the fictional Ur-Libertarian in his mind, who is actually a Republican, and who contains within himself every commenter who doesn't agree with him.

    That's a strikingly good characterization. Well said.

    I can't help but suspect that the Ur-Libertarian-Stealth-Republican in his mind is one or both of his parents.

  • Tony||

    Stop defending Trump like you're one of his spawn and I'll stop calling you on it. You're libertarians. You're not supposed to defend ridiculous wannabe tinpot dictators.

  • ||

    Like I said the other day, and as so many people have said to you, some of the people pointing out that the ridiculous things you say about Trump aren't defending Trump, they're defending truth.

    And to cut you off at the pass, yes I did call people out on birtherism and repeatedly point out that none of Obama, Clinton or Sanders are actually socialists.

    Response I anticipate from Tony:

    "Stop defending Trump because you love him sooo much!"

  • Tony||

    You wouldn't know truth if it grabbed your pussy.

  • ||

    You really do suck at this.

  • BYODB||


    I can't help but suspect that the Ur-Libertarian-Stealth-Republican in his mind is one or both of his parents.

    For what it's worth, he's basically admitted as much in the past.

    Pretty classic case of small-town progressive, where the person isn't really a liberal or progressive but they claim to be because they've been marginalized by their community in some form or fashion. (Being gay, ugly, an idiot, etc.)

    It's sad, really, but the more he says the more he inadvertently reveals about his fragile ego and carefully constructed world where he's the only 'smart' one.

  • ||

    Yeah - I actually suspect he prefers living in OK, when he could move to SF and fit right in. Because he would fit right in.

  • Tony||

    Surely I won't be the first to break it to you that libertarians are considered the special ed class of the political world by everyone else. So it's not hard to be the smartest one in this room. And I didn't grow up in a small town and I'm constantly being mistaken for a young Matt Damon.

  • ||

    Getting defensive, are we?

  • Tony||

    Calling the entire news media liars because you don't like what's coming out about Trump and Russia might be why lots of people mistake you for a Trump supporter. Just saying.

  • Eek Barba Durkle||

    Calling the entire news media liars

    This LITERALLY never happened, you lying piece of shit.

  • Crusty Juggler - Double Great||

    But the media DOES lie about him constantly.

    And Trump and his people lie constantly as well. One does not cancel out the other. The problem, of course, is that one is chief executive of the powerful country in the world, and the others are impotent journalists.

  • ThomasD||

    And the worst part is that those journalists are largely rendering themselves even more impotent. Meanwhile a POTUS largely remains a POTUS.

  • Crusty Juggler - Double Great||

    How is that the worst part?

  • ThomasD||

    Oh, I don't know, maybe something about unconstrained power and a lack of credible information sources.

    It's not like these people only report on Trump.

  • ThomasD||

    But hey. if you are the sort who thinks that government can give you your preferred form of libertarianism this might not be a bug.

  • Crusty Juggler - Double Great||

    Yes, that is exactly what I think. CNN's pathetic behavior is far worse than a Trump administration which cannot be truthful.

  • ThomasD||

    If the problem were restricted to CNN it really wouldn't be much of a problem now would it?

  • Eek Barba Durkle||

    And Trump and his people lie constantly as well.

    And there's some of that whataboutism.

    How clearly do I have to say this - I DO NOT GIVE A FUCK ABOUT DONALD TRUMP. I think he's a dishonest, pathological, narcissist half-wit piece of human shit.

    The fact that some of y'all read my post, and responded with more of this nonsense, is only proof of what my post said. It's the old Eleanor Roosevelt quote, in living color - nobody gives a shit about the facts I stated, all that matters is "Trump good or "Trump bad".

    Y'all need to grow the fuck up. This whole country does.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    One does not cancel out the other.

    whataboutist af

  • Eek Barba Durkle||

    My post contained absolutely nothing that could logically be taken as saying that one cancels the other. My post contained absolutely nothing that could be logically taken as mitigation of or excuse for literally anything Trump does. In fact, I explicitly outlined the exact opposite. I already inserted the disclaimer that nothing I was saying was redemptive of Trump, right into my post, multiple times.

    And the VERY first non-dumbshit response is "But Trump lies, too!"

    This is the sickness that has destroyed our political system. Nobody gives a shit about what the other person has to say - they have their team, and they're going to run their team's plays. It's all a bunch of monkeys flinging shit. Tony is only an poor man's hyper-exaggeration of this trend.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    He didn't say "But," he said "And." The "but" is that Trump has considerable power while journalists are impotent. Instead of engaging that argument, you continue playing up this persecution complex that seemed to be your motive for posting.

    Myself, I think you have too much faith in the political system.

  • Eek Barba Durkle||

    His comment was a total non-sequitur that makes no sense as a response to my post, for the reasons already listed. Instead of engaging my argument, he played whataboutism, and instead of engaging my follow-on argument, you slipped in more non-sequitur.

    I'm ignoring his argument because it was an irrelevant piece of spin. It has both jack and shit to do with what was being discussed.

    Glad you've invented a persecution complex into my statements about political discourse in general, though. Thanks for so fully and capably filling out my point for me.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    I admit I'm not sure I know what your point is, other than how mean people are to you because you call the media liars. If your point is that we can't have a discussion about this without it devolving into "Trump good" or "Trump bad," then you're the one proving your own point. None of us have said you're a Trump fan, and his post was relevant to your argument.'

    Trump's people and many media people are liars, we can both recognize they're liars, but are one group's lies more immediately alarming than the others'? This is engaging your complaint.

  • Rhywun||

    I think he's a dishonest, pathological, narcissist half-wit piece of human shit.

    Me, I don't care about his character one way or the other - although I personally find him less loathsome than the previous occupant of the office. I do care about the people he puts in various positions of power and so far it's leaning positive. I also suspect that the majority of the folks (not here) arguing so vehemently against his character are only doing so because they disapprove of his policies.

  • Tony||

    So are you a drug warrior, Christ warrior, or do you just hate the planet?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    You're free to continue your jihad.

  • ||

    When did you stop beating your partner, Tony?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Partner? No. Tony is so, so lonely.

  • BYODB||

    Pretty much this. Good post Eek, if that is your real name. ^_^

  • CatoTheChipper||

    Indeed, Eek's is a great post.

    A pox on both the red and the blue houses.

  • ThomasD||

    It sure would be nice to see the Bearded Spock version of this article. Where someone calls out the people willing to throw away basic principles about free association and the First amendment in order to attack Trump.

  • Azathoth!!||

    This is just getting sad.

    Matt's gone all in on accepting whatever blather--no matter how far fetched--as the god's honest truth if it seems that it might make Trump look bad..

    I think Stossel said it best, Matt--Trump's done enough to worry about without making it up.

  • I can't even||

    Full disclosure - I met a Russian guy once. And I think the ladies who clean the house are Ukrainian but that might be a cover.

  • sarcasmic||

    Full disclosure - I met a Russian guy once.

    It's your fault Trump is president! Die motherfucker! It's your fucking fault!!1!!!!!

  • ThomasD||

    "I think the ladies who clean the house are Ukrainian"

    If they shave their faces more than once a week they are not Ukrainian ladies.

  • ||

    And I think the ladies who clean the house are Ukrainian but that might be a cover.

    I'm fairly certain that ~30% of the strippers I've conversed with had a fake foreign accents. Most were Russian/E. European.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    Oh, jeez ... I hadn't thought of that!

    I've actually worked with Russians before. And I communicated with them via e-mail. Not just Russian-Americans, but actual Russians, in Russia. And they worked for a Russian oil company, and you know what that means.

    Unlike Trump Junior, I actually profited from the exchange.

  • Uncle Jay||

    RE: How Trump Apologists Will Defend the Indefensible Next

    The Trump aplogists will wilt away if he did indeed had help from the Russians in winning the election.
    We'll have to wait what happens next.
    However, if Trump did have the Russians fix the election in his favor, does this mean Pence or Hitlery will be the next president?

  • sarcasmic||

    Trump Jr met with the Russians and that's why Hillary isn't president!

    It's all his fault!

    Hang the motherfucker!

    Kill him!

    Kill!!!!11!!ELEVENTY!1!!!

  • Tony||

    Sarcasmic, voice of level-headed neutrality.

  • sarcasmic||

    I've never claimed to be either of those things.

  • ThomasD||

    So you say.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    Tony, voice of batshit-crazy Team Blue insanity.

  • Idle Hands||

    I had a long pro team red diatribe written about this but fuck it. Good article Matt. this is just a giant fucking Rostarch Test and I honestly don't know what it looks like besides the fact that people on both sides have good points.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    I think I'll just go ahead and sit out this comment thread. 115 comments and counting. Most of which is probably shit flinging from our resident Trump apologists and Tony the tardo.

  • Red Twilight||

    Nice job, Welch. Your article is a perfect illustration.

    The click bait of a headline, followed by bothsiditis form of concern trolling and half the article on how Republicans were right to criticize Hillary and Obama.

    That is precisely how.

  • Calidissident||

    Nice to see Matt's articles get attacked for being too harsh on both Trump and the Democrats.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    He must be doing something right.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    The entirety of the Russian collusion "scandal" is analogous to the Obama birth certificate "scandal". They are both bullshit partisan distractions.

    There is a myriad of factually indisputable and ideologically defensible criticisms that can be made of both the Trump and Obama from any side of the political spectrum.

    But, for some reason, people -- even some Reason writers -- prefer to construct novel and scandalous theories based on bullshit.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    I should have added that Trump deserves all that he's getting for having been a celebrity promoter of the bullshit birther "scandal".

  • ThomasD||

    "I should have added that Trump deserves all that he's getting"

    All this and more, and that's only for being a game show host.

    Not sure what he's going to get for whatever he does as POTUS.

  • AlmightyJB||

    The biggest problem with the Russia story is how many times the media can cry wolf before everyone stops listening to them. During his campaign Trump said he could shoot someone and his poll numbers would go up, now if the media reported he shot someone, no one would believe then. This is as much if not more about media credibility than apologetics I think although I'm sure that's probably a factor.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    It was not a good idea for the son of the president to respond enthusiastically ("I love it") and hastily organize a secretive high-level campaign meeting with a Russian lawyer in Trump tower after an intermediary promised "information that would incriminate Hillary" Clinton as part of "Russia and its government's support" for Donald Trump, and then lie about it.
    All the complaining about how evil Trump is and months to find something and this is it?

    Its not unethical. Its not illegal. The left has lost their minds.

  • Tony||

    Sen. Chuck Grassley of the Senate Judiciary Committee is "the left"? Or is he asking Jr. to testify on trends in hair products?

  • sarcasmic||

    They need some explanation for losing the election. After all, it isn't their fault. Hillary was the better candidate, ran a better campaign, had better poll numbers, and was going to win. Somehow Trump stole the election. So the Russians must have done it. They were involved, therefore they swung the election to Trump. It's their fault. And for this someone must pay. Preferably with their life.

  • Tony||

    Plus or minus 17 Benghazi hearings, just exactly how much attention do you feel is appropriate for what the entire US intelligence community has concluded was direct interference in the election by Russia?

  • sarcasmic||

    How do I feel or what do I think?

    I feel amusement more than anything else. You leftists have always been sore losers. I don't really give a shit thought. Both candidates sucked so I didn't vote for either of them.

    My understanding of what happened was that the Russians allegedly got their hands on information that the Democrats wanted to keep secret, and put it out in the open. This information made the Democrats look bad, and that supposedly cost them the election. So it appears to me that the Democrats are mad because the truth got out, and there's nothing that leftists like you hate more than the truth.

  • Tony||

    That truth being what? Risotto? Are we going to sit here and pretend that if the victim had an (R) after his name, you wouldn't be shitting fireworks?

  • sarcasmic||

    Are we going to sit here and pretend that if the victim had an (R) after his name, you wouldn't be shitting fireworks?

    What part of "Both candidates sucked so I didn't vote for either of them" did you not understand?

  • Tony||

    The part where you spent 8 years acting like some Breitbartian rock scum whenever Obama was mentioned and are now defending Trump despite the obvious fact that Obama is 100 times the man and president Trump is, which you'd be able to acknowledge if you really were so "above it all" and nonpartisan.

  • sarcasmic||

    Defending Trump? Where did you get that? I'm making fun of the histrionics from the left and otherwise busy not giving a shit. Can't you read?

  • ||

    Are we going to sit here and pretend that if the victim had an (R) after his name, you wouldn't be shitting fireworks?

    sarcasmic?

    No. He wouldn't be.

  • ||

    And, Tony -

    It might worth considering for all your self-righteous bluster about how morally superior you are to all of us heartless libertarians, that as long you've been hanging out here, and as rude and disrespectful as you are to pretty much everyone here, there are a lot of people here who have honestly engaged you and learned a lot about your particular individual perspective (what there is of it).

    Meanwhile, you don't seem to recognize different people here at all, even people you've been interacting with regularly for like a decade now.

    What does that say about you?

  • Tony||

    Look I don't come to where you work and knock the Build-a-Bears out of your mouth. Let me have fun. I took the brunt of stupidity when Obama was president, so now it's my turn to bash the president mercilessly to people who defend him. I'll meet you on a thread that's about something other than whether the president is an asshole if you want to talk deep thoughts.

  • sarcasmic||

    I took the brunt of stupidity when Obama was president, so now it's my turn to bash the president mercilessly to people who defend him.

    Who here is defending him? That's the part I'm still trying to figure out. Refusing to jump on the TDS bandwagon is not the same as defending him.

  • Tony||

    If you were ODS all day every day, it kind of amounts to it, especially if you're claiming to be a special nonpartisan snowflake.

  • sarcasmic||

    you were ODS all day every day

    Um, no. You are mistaken. As usual.

  • ||

    You know, Tony, I was thinking about this the other day (yes - I find you an interesting case, and I know you get off on that).

    The reason you don't get sympathy for your Trump hatred here?

    Because through 8 years of you defending absolutely every single thing Obama did and said no matter what, we kept trying to explain to you over and over and over again that someday there was going to be a president you don't like who was going to use all those power in ways that horrify you.

    Well, here we are.

    So when you come crying about what a big meanie Trump is and what a threat to the world he is, even where we agree with you we're mostly going to tell you to fuck off.

  • Tony||

    If you know me so well you'd know my specific argument on presidential power was certainly not "it's OK when Obama does it." And that's not the subject anyone was talking about anyway. I happen to believe that Obama was a really good president who did his best not to fuck the world up too badly. I get that a difference on marginal tax rates for billionaires determines whether a politician is all-evil or all-good in these parts, but if you think that I am going to concede to--or of you think that there is an actual--equivalence between the two men, you're crazy. Any sane person of any political persuasion should prefer Obama to Trump, because apart from all his other problems, Trump is apparently incapable of wrapping his mind around even simple concepts.

  • Tony||

    And anyway you're the one doing the lying when you say everyone here agrees with me. I can't even get away with calling out on saying he wants to fuck his daughter without the pedantry police rushing to his defense.

  • sarcasmic||

    Any sane person of any political persuasion should prefer Obama to Trump, because apart from all his other problems, Trump is apparently incapable of wrapping his mind around even simple concepts.

    My health care costs have tripled as a result of the Unaffordable Care Act. Literally. My insurance costs the more than it did before, but the deductible is like ten grand. So I have to put basically the same amount I am paying for the policy into an HSA. Because the insurance doesn't pay for anything.

    That has eaten up all of my pay raises over the last eight years.

    So fuck Obama and fuck you.

    As far as Trump goes, there is are two important concepts that he appears to grasp very well. That people know how to spend their own money better than the government, and that excessive government regulation costs a lot of money for no good purpose.

    Sadly he is a bombastic buffoon, but I'm pretty sure that by the end of his term I will be taking home more money than at the beginning. I can't say that about Obama.

  • Tony||

    You are entitled to complain if your health insurance costs have gone up because that's a real hardship. There weren't going to be 100% winners under Obamacare. But it is the insurance companies raising the rates in response to a market in which they can't simply choose to cover only the healthy. You won't find me holding up Romney/Obamacare as the pinnacle of healthcare policy. Nor anyone else in my political cohort--we want the private sector out of it, ideally. But supposing you had a preexisting condition, it would only be fair for you to be grateful that you can get coverage at all.

    If Trump thinks people know how to spend money better than government then why has his entire career been defined by bad, fraudulent, and infamous deal-making? He couldn't even keep a casino open. And you're both wrong anyway. But that's a gray-area issue where you are only capable of thinking in black and white, so we'll leave it be.

  • Brian||

    I get it: the DNC emails contained nothing but recipes, and that's why Russian treachery gave the election to Trump.

    When you spot the inherent contradiction, let me know.

  • Tony||

    So what was in the emails that was so incriminating?

  • sarcasmic||

    So what was in the emails that was so incriminating?

    Hmm. The emails resulted in the Party chair resigning and Hillary losing the election, but there was nothing in them of any consequence. Whatever you day, dood.

  • Tony||

    So be specific, if it was so bad that we were better off with the odious moron we got.

  • ||

    So what was in the emails that was so incriminating?

    Do you remember how HRC's campaign manager was colluding with the DNC to undermine Sanders' candidacy? A lot of my progressive friends were really, really pissed off about that for like two weeks. They've all forgotten it now, of course.

    And do you remember Podesta coordinating with his contacts in the media to undermine the candidacy of Rand Paul and promote Trump as the Republican frontrunner?

    Do you remember the stuff about HRC's "private positions" and how what she was telling the rubes in the public (i.e. you) was in now way what she actually believed?

    That she visited Columbia at a time when they were using the army to suppress labor unions and she cleared them of human rights violations so as to get an international oil deal approved for a "business associate" of Bill's?

    I could go on - but stuff like that.

  • Tony||

    See, now those are nothingburgers. FOX News should do a compare and contrast session before it wears the word out.

  • sarcasmic||

    I get it: the DNC emails contained nothing but recipes, and that's why Russian treachery gave the election to Trump.

    When you spot the inherent contradiction, let me know.

    I'm pretty sure Tony has mastered doublethink to the point of being completely unable to spot it.

  • SIV||

    Suck it up Weich, your girl lost.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Donald Trump is an asshole. I don't give a shit about him personally, but given some of the horrible, feel-good shit we've done over the past 16+ years, it will take an asshole to do some of the things that need to be done.

    We need to cut Medicaid eligibility.

    We need to make friends with Putin, a vicious dictator, because that's the best way to defeat ISIS and extricate ourselves from Syria.

    We need someone to slash the corporate tax rate, extricate ourselves from the feel-good Paris climate accord, just say no to refugees, deregulate, etc., etc., etc.

    I don't have to like Trump in order to like what he does--if what he does needs to be done. All the awful things Trump does should be condemned for being awful.

    But what this country needs right now is an asshole.

  • Tony||

    Wouldn't you prefer a competent asshole who could stay off Twitter long enough to get some of that stuff accomplished?

    I mean, total control of government, nothing accomplished. Sad! And since his incompetence and mental instability are going to wind up rendering him a historical embarrassment, it will be no huge task reversing whatever he does accomplish (like the "feel good" act of being the only country in the world not in the Paris accord).

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Wouldn't you prefer a competent asshole who could stay off Twitter long enough to get some of that stuff accomplished?"

    Competence is identifying desirable goals, pursuing strategies and plans to achieve those goals, and those polices having the desired outcome.

    It has nothing to do with twitter.

    Are you telling me Trump hasn't tried making friends with Putin in regards to Syria?

    Are you telling me that Trump hasn't sought to cut Medicaid eligibility, reform corporate taxes, deregulate, or hasn't worked to extricate us from the Paris climate accord?

    Not only are you ignorant of the facts, you also have no conception of what competence really is.

  • Tony||

    Yes he's tried to do some of those terrible things in between acting like a 4 year-old.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    So far I'm loving the dismantling of the regulatory state and not being an idiot corruptocrat lemming of the paris accord is just icing on the cake.

  • Rhywun||

    the only country in the world not in the Paris accord

    LOL we're the only country in the world being asked to destroy our standard of living while the rest of the world carries on as usual and oh with some spare billions extracted from us.

  • Tony||

    Where do you get this shit? Seriously. Link me to a site you get your information from. Why won't any of you ever do that?

  • ||

    What obligations does the Paris Accord place on other countries?

    Be specific, now.

  • Tony||

    It doesn't place any enforceable obligations on any country, including the US. Any individual country's contributions are determined by those countries themselves based on a vague framework of ambitiously and progressively addressing the problem.

    Now you tell me what good comes from the US embarrassing itself possibly more than it ever has in its entire history by withdrawing.

  • Ken Shultz||

    My first job in a hospital was chasing down surgeons before and after surgeries to sign their procedure reports. They gave me the desk across the hall from the surgery lounge so I could see them coming and going. Unfortunately, that also gave me a front row seat to some awful conversations with the loved ones of patients who died on the operating table for various reasons. I remember one surgeon in particular--the hospital staff all thought he was a real asshole. He was explaining to this woman why her little boy had just died on the operating table, and she was doing some biblical wailing. It made me want to cry myself just listening to it, but the surgeon didn't cry. Thank God, he was an asshole 'cause there was another child waiting to be anesthetized so that he could do the same procedure that killed the last kid. He saved that second kid's life.

    Sometimes it takes an asshole. Sometimes, you need to be an asshole.

    No need to defend the terrible things Trump does. I condemn them all, but failing to condemn Trump for doing something awful and failing to praise him for doing something fantastic is the same error.

    I read an article here recently defending Medicaid from a libertarian perspective. How will Trump haters condemn the next excellent thing he promises to do?

  • Juice||

    Sometimes it takes an asshole. Sometimes, you need to be an asshole.

    No no no. You've got it all wrong.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    Another topic where both sides disgust me:

    I don't care about them meeting with Russians.

    I care that the entire lot of the Trump crew are disgusting liars and impressively stupid, but then, 99% of politicians are the same way.

    I have zero pity for the Democrats or Clinton. I'm happy they lost, and continue to lose (elections and their minds).

    I do wish I didn't have to spend the next four years listening to a complete idiot (successfully) convince other idiots that he's a competent leader.

    I'd be perfectly happy if they impeached the fuckwit and put Pence in that role, and we got the most boring 3+ years of government we've had in ages.

    P.S. I'm stunned at all of the people here whining about "baseless" impeachment charges... impeachment is an entirely political process. They could impeach, convict, and toss the man out for almost any reason they wanted, and that's A GOOD THING! Fellow libertarians: The more checks on these assholes to keep them from being assholes, the better! I don't want some godking we can't fairly easily throw out if he's acting like a dope. I have no pity for any politician, and certainly not this one.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Get out of here with your well-reasoned take on things, we don't have time for that!

  • ThomasD||

    "Another topic where both sides disgust me"

    Not sure that looking at a complex issue and only seeing 'sides' is all that well-reasoned.

    Principles, not principals.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    Wow, how dense are you? I think you know what I meant.

  • ||

    I'd be perfectly happy if they impeached the fuckwit and put Pence in that role, and we got the most boring 3+ years of government we've had in ages.
    ...
    They could impeach, convict, and toss the man out for almost any reason they wanted, and that's A GOOD THING! Fellow libertarians: The more checks on these assholes to keep them from being assholes, the better!

    I laud your blind optimism. I don't exactly disagree about impeachment, but you're not going to get boredom from a Pence Presidency. Especially after handing the loonies control of the loony bin. As near as I can tell, impeachment did very little to dispell any asshole-like behavior on the part of the Clintons.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    You could be right on your last point, but at least I wouldn't have to hear about Trump's dumb tweeting anymore.

  • ThomasD||

    You'd never get to Pence that way. Once the Senate saw the public reaction to a House vote to impeach they'd choose discretion.

    The only way you get to Pence is find something so egregious that it forces Trump to resign.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Also, I keep waiting for a post that talks about Trump's meetings with the Russians to mention, at some point, that Trump brokered a ceasefire in Syria that's held for the last 96 hours.

    Trump campaigned on working with Russia on Syria, and now that he's actually pursuing that strategy, it seems to be having the intended outcome. There's no telling now if the ceasefire will hold and spread to the rest of the country, but for now it seems to be working.

    It should be noted that in the other two ceasefires that were attempted a) in one of them, Russia never agreed to stop fighting against anyone it considered a "terrorist" (AKA anyone fighting against Assad or his allies) b) in the other one, the rebel forces weren't represented in the talks--the ceasefire was only between Russia's allies and Turkey.

    There are questions about whether Russia can make Iran (and Hezbollah) do what it wants, but ultimately, Iran's primary concern is keeping their ally Assad in power. So long as the ceasefire maintains the status quo, they may be all for it. Like I said, so far the ceasefire is holding. I sure hope it works!

    I doubt the White House press corps does. If the end of the war in Syria means Donald Trump gets credit for it, I bet they'd rather have the misery and bloodshed keep flowing. I see them like so-called "environmentalists", who'd rather see the planet fry than embrace libertarian and capitalist solutions to the risks of climate change.

  • Dave Boz||

    If you want to use the latest revelations to show that Donald Trump and those around him are incompetent clowns or even malevolent stains on our polity, I'm with you. I'll join that parade any day, and bring my own sign. But if you think any of this makes Hillary Clinton look good, or makes any normal citizen pine for her lost presidency, you are wrong. Nothing will ever make me want that evil, grasping, incompetent, third-rate, backbench political hack as our president. Always remember: we didn't have a choice between two decent, wise and sensible candidates. We had a choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. It's why I didn't vote.

  • Robert||

    Heck, I'd've met w a foreigner who wanted to help my campaign. If it helped defeat Hillary, it was a good thing. What is it about being Russian that makes it bad?

  • Robert||

    It was not a good idea for the son of the president to respond enthusiastically ("I love it") and hastily organize a secretive high-level campaign meeting with a Russian lawyer in Trump tower after an intermediary promised "information that would incriminate Hillary" Clinton as part of "Russia and its government's support" for Donald Trump, and then lie about it.


    I disagree. At lest doing it was a good thing. Lying about it, if it makes you more popular, is also a good thing. Truth is valuable; it should not be given away.

  • obatgonore88||

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