Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018 December 2018 January 2019


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Monday, October 09, 2017

Grooming the next generation of lunatics

by digby

I wrote about the latest Steve Bannon gambit for Salon this morning:

Over the week-end, in between tweeting insults to Senator Bob Corker and running "Mission Accomplished" videos that would have made Leni Rieffesntahl proud, Donald Trump re-tweeted this:

He also told the press corps that he believes Chief of Staff John Kelly would be around for "7 years" indicating that he assumes he'll have the White House for two terms. Politico's Gabriel DeBenedetti reports that he's already gearing up for the campaign, looking at upcoming midterms in certain states for insight into the best path forward:
The stepped-up attention to 2020 is partly a recognition that dozens of Democrats are already seriously eyeing presidential runs of their own. But it’s also a reflection of the near-obsession with keeping Trump’s base voters on his side — a mind-set that permeates the White House, said multiple Republican operatives and lawmakers.

What’s unclear to Trump-backing Republicans: the degree to which the president’s base support in the industrial Midwest is waning or holding fast; whether the young minority voters who failed to show up for Hillary Clinton after supporting Barack Obama will return to the next Democratic nominee; and whether the power of Trump’s political celebrity is wearing off.
It's quite clear that Trump dislikes governing and really just wants to hold rallies and have everyone cheer him like rock star then go and play golf. It's not surprising that he would prefer to think about the 2020 campaign since that's where all the fun is for him. I think we can be sure that he'll be hitting the trail on a regular basis very, very soon.

His public feuds with Senators Mitch McConnell, John McCain and now Bob Corker show that he has no interest in shoring up his relationship with the party establishment and will attack anyone he feels someone has been unfaithful to him. Most elected GOP officials have assiduously avoided doing anything to displease him, following the lead of Speaker Paul Ryan whose unctuous obsequiousness reached new heights last week when he solemnly affirmed that Trump's "heart is in the right place" on racial issues and declared that "he has tremendous compassion" which can be discerned by the fact that he "drops everything" to go to disaster areas.

Trump appreciates that, no doubt, but it won't buy Ryan any good will from the president. He should remember that even Trump's most submissive sycophants have been tossed aside without a second thought if he wakes up on the wrong side of the bed one morning.

To the extent Trump's following any plan or strategy, it would appear that the aforementioned base stroking is about it. But that will dovetail nicely with his former senior adviser and keeper of the alt-right flame, Steve Bannon's plan to stoke division within the party and oust incumbents so as to replace them with people who are more likely to advance his apocalyptic vision of the future. His endorsement of the odious wingnut Judge Roy Moore is a perfect example of the type of person he'd like to see in the US Congress. The crazier the better as far as he's concerned.

On Sunday, the New York Times reported that he's chosen his next candidate, Erik Prince, the founder of the notorious Blackwater security which came under investigation for killing civilians in Iraq. He's been under investigation by the government for money laundering and attempts to broker military services to foreign governments. According to Jeremy Scahill and Matthew Cole of the Intercept, "working with a small cadre of loyalists — including a former South African commando, a former Australian air force pilot, and a lawyer with dual citizenship in the U.S. and Israel — Prince sought to secretly rebuild his private CIA and special operations enterprise by setting up foreign shell companies and offering paramilitary services."

Is it any surprise that he's welcomed into Trump's inner circle?

More recently, he has been implicated in the Russia investigation after attempting to set up a back channel between Trump and Russian President Vadimir Putin in the Seychelles islands. Oh, and he has been pushing the idea of mercenaries taking over many of the duties of the "inefficient" US Military which is unfortunately hamstrung by laws against war crime. He got Trump interested in his plan to privatize the war in Afghanistan using the colonial British East India Company as his model and installing himself as the Viceroy by telling him that there were many minerals available for the taking. (We know how Trump feels about that --- to the victors belong the spoils). Luckily Defense Secretary Mattis chased Bannon and Prince out the door when they presented him their nifty plan.

But Prince is just the right combination of radical and crazy for Bannon's total GOP destruction strategy. He's got access to lots and lots of the family's Amway money and they are all far right evangelicals who have run in Mike Pence's circles for years. Prince could be a real asset to the Trump-Bannon chaos crusade.

He's planning to take on Wyoming Senator John Barasso, a hard core conservative who's backed Trump every step of the way. Taking on someone like Barasso is seen as Bannon's shot at a random conservative, someone with whom he and Trump have no particular beef, just to prove he can.  Installing an unstable radical in office is his specialty so he might just do it.

Normally, I'd think exchanging Barasso for Prince is fine. They would likely vote the same way at least 90% of the time anyway and it might keep Prince out of trouble to be stuck in the slow moving rich man's club of the US Senate instead of being out causing trouble in the real world.  But Prince is very rich and he's got a certain creepy charisma, which is Bannon's special presidential recipe. If Trump manages to win again in 2020, Senator Erik Prince would be a much more logical successor. And Trump wouldn't think twice about throwing the subservient Mike Pence overboard do a macho ex-Navy Seal could follow in his footsteps.