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Thursday, May 03, 2018

Sounded better in the original Italian

by digby

With all the news today about Rudy Giuliani I went back to look at this and was ... just as astonished as I was when I first saw it. He's as unhinged and filled with hate and bile as Trump.

And the cheers. My God the cheers ...

Rudy's natural authoritarianism is Trumpism personified.

Jonathan Chait had a good piece today discussing right wing authoritarianism and how it's being played out with Trump and Giuliani's shrill denunciations of the justice system even as they call for their political opponents to be jailed on a daily basis. It seems, on the surface, that there's some sort of disconnect there but when you dig beneath the surface there isn't. They believe the laws should not apply to them and that they have political power and therefore should be allowed to use the power of the state to punish their enemies.It should be obvious to anyone who watched some of those ridiculous Benghazi hearings or went through the Starr investigation or watched that disgusting Nuremberg rally of a political convention that these people do not care about civil liberties for anyone but themselves.

An excerpt of Chait's piece:

Earlier this week, Vice-President Mike Pence went out of his way to honor former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio. The case of Arpaio epitomizes the cutting-edge Republican philosophy about the rule of law. Arpaio has devoted his career to running roughshod over the law, including defying court orders, in order to intimidate immigrant communities who may or may not have run afoul of immigration law. The veneration of Arpaio, including Trump’s pardon of him, expresses their simultaneous belief in the law as something to applied with unrestrained brutality in their own hands, but that can be ignored altogether when they run afoul of it.

The duality of thought is the key to understanding it. Just as Giuliani can call the famously straight-laced Comey “perverted” in the very same interview he casually conceded that his own client habitually pays hush money to porn stars, Republicans can both fear the law as an instrument of terror while coveting it for the same purpose. This duality is how they can toggle between demanding ruthless authoritarian power and then, when describing their own legal predicament, squealing like the most unhinged anti-government radicals, comparing the FBI to Nazis. Trump holds this view with long-standing fervor, and has always combined a, shall we say, casual approach to legal scruples with demands for merciless law enforcement against the other (from Hillary Clinton to the Central Park Five) without any cognitive dissonance.

This is why, as wobbly and hypocritical as Democrats and liberals often are regarding civil liberties, they are a different problem than the threat posed by Republicans most of whom have an authoritarian belief system when it comes to what they call "law and order." We're watching them shed all pretenses with a corrupt criminal in the White House who is so undisciplined (and so compromised) that they are forced to bring this right out in the open.

This is the fascist tendency and if you can't see it you are either complicit, are a useful idiot or have your head in the sand. It's right out there.