Why Trump’s “First Amendment” defense is bullshit

Trump is not being punished for speaking. No one is censoring him.

Ever since the founding of the nation, it’s been clear that “inciting a riot” is what is being punished, not the words. It’s the action that is illegal.

For instance, if you stand on a street corner and say “Let’s all get guns and attack the Capitol” and no one pays any attention to you, no one is going to charge you.

Further, you can be impeached for things you say, especially when those things are clear intentions to ignore the Constitution you took an oath to uphold.

I’m sure the lawyers know this. It’s basic stuff. But facts apparently don’t matter to Republicans these days.

Impeachment is a win/win for Democrats

Sure, the Republicans are going to fight against a second Impeachment, but there are two possible resolutions:

First: They agree and we get Trump removed from ever holding office again. We set the standard for the future that a President doesn’t get a break from encouraging an insurrection against his own country; that he’s not above the law. We show that the United States stands for something. And those Republicans that do the right thing and join us will get attacked by the crazies in their party, who will run Trumpies against them in the next primary, thus making them easier to beat. The infighting in the party only benefits us.

Second: They don’t do that. (This is much more likely. I mean, come on, how can you have a trial when the jury is full of co-conspirators?) Trump remains popular, might run again, might start a new party that will siphon votes away from Republicans. (Or he gets arrested and can’t lead his sheep from jail). We get to hang this unpopular ex-President around the necks of those Republicans who placed politics above the country. The longer Trump is away, the less his popularity will carry him. Moderates and independents won’t look back fondly on the Trump years, and the support Trump had does not always flow to his sycophants.

So yeah, those Democrats who are saying his impeachment is ridiculous or a waste of time aren’t looking at the big picture here. Pelosi and Schumer know exactly what they’re doing.

Why Trump-appointed judges have ruled against him

Donald Trump knows nothing about how government works, and was clearly under the impression that all the judges he appointed would be loyal to him.

But now his lawsuits have had more than fifty losses and only one procedural win early on (having to do with forcing Pennsylvania to do something it was already doing, so it’s kind of moot). Judges from every state have ruled against the GOP’s attempt to destroy democracy. The Supreme Court twice (and swiftly) refused to hear the appeals and not one Justice filed a dissent.

And many of these judges were Trump-appointed.

And here’s why that happened:

The GOP has been filling the courts for years with right-wing ideologues, many of whom are deemed “unqualified” by the American Bar Association. These radical judges have done a great job in destroying many of our basic civil liberties and bending over backwards to give corporations wins.

But these people were nominated in the first place because they are (what I call in my Constitution book) “Constitutional Fundamentalists.” Like religious fundamentalists, they believe there is only one interpretation of their holy document and lo and behold, they know exactly what it is and it matches their own views perfectly.

Justice Scalia was one of the prime movers of this idea on the Supreme Court, believing not only that his view of what the Constitution was correct, but that everyone who disagreed with him was not only wrong but very likely evil as well. Fortunately, he no longer does this, primarily because he is dead, but his views live on.

These fundamentalist judges honestly believe that they are being fair in their decisions and are fanatics to the fantasy document that exists in their head. They don’t think they are interpreting the Constitution in any way, ignoring the fact that every decision a court ever makes about the Constitution is an interpretation. (If the Constitution was as clear as they believe, there would never be a need for a judge at all.)

This mindless refusal to acknowledge that other people’s views may be valid is typical of conservatives who are not known for their tolerance of anyone different, but it’s important to consider now — because these judges think they are doing the will of the founders in the same way religious fundamentalists believe they are doing the will of their god.

And that’s why these judges are never going to ignore that Constitution like the Trump lawsuits require. These suits have no basis in our laws, are completely frivolous, and ask the courts to ignore democracy and our system of elections completely and just hand over the presidency to the loser who wants to be a dictator.

These judges are fanatics for the Constitution, not for Trump. And that’s why he keeps losing.

Keeping the cultists happy

Despite not winning one serious case of voter fraud after filing over 50, the Trump camp is continuing in its ridiculous quest to try to negate an obvious huge loss to the president. Judges, on the other hand, are loving it because they can write scathing decisions with the same sort of glee that a film critic has in panning an awful movie. The incompetence of the lawyers filing these things is fun to destroy.

And they’re not even pretending this is about fair elections any more, are they? They only file suits and claim there was something wrong in states Trump lost. And note that none of these lawsuits ever uses the word “fraud” because the lawyers know it isn’t.



They’re just filing these frivolous lawsuits so the rubes will keep contributing and they can con them into believing in outrageous conspiracy theories. Gotta keep the cultists loyal.


The real reason they’re fighting over the election

In case it’s not obvious, the real goal of the Republican efforts to fight the election results is to keep getting donations from their gullible cultists.

This entire presidential administration has been about making the Trump family richer, by ignoring all laws about conflicts of interest and nepotism and by moving government funds to their own personal use. No reason to think they’re going to stop doing that simply because they lost the election.

Seriously: If you go to their donations page, you can see where they are asking for money to fight the election and then, in small print at the bottom, it says that the money will mostly be used to pay down their campaign debt.

I am not making this up. The Wall Street Journal today pointed out that the “Official Election Defense Fund” explains that 60% of contributions to the fund will go toward paying off Trump’s election debt, and 40% to the operating account of the Republican National Committee. Only after a donation hits the legal limit will the remainder go toward legal expenses.” 

So why is their campaign is in debt? You’ll see that they spent a ton of campaign money on fancy hotel rooms and cars and meals for the campaign higher ups, and there’s probably more abuse we just don’t know about. It’s clear that his campaign violated the law by laundering money meant for the campaign into other places, but as long as the Attorney General works for Trump instead of the people of the United States, don’t expect much to happen.

And, of course, these lawsuits are frivolous and have no chance of success, as plenty of experts have said.

Trump tests positive

As you may know, I have a number of novels and short stories published, including one book about a Presidential election (with vampires).  I often comment about how the whole Trump presidency has a plotline that is so outrageous and ridiculous that no acquisition editor would ever accept it.

But I have to admit, finding out that Trump has the “hoax” disease certainly has been foreshadowed greatly. If this were a standard book following the trend, this would be the point where the main character would realize the consequences of his actions and come out of this a better man.

I certainly don’t expect that to happen. I don’t think there is a “better man” inside of Trump.

But this diagnosis leads us to a few points I want to make:

First:  Have you noticed that many people are assuming this isn’t true? And you have to admit — Trump has lied so often that you have to wonder. Isn’t it sad that we have a President who is so dishonest that we automatically assume anything he says is a lie?

Second: No, the elections will not be cancelled. The debates may, but voting has already begun in many places. And elections are run by the states, not the federal government in any event.

Third: Trump is certainly in the most vulnerable population for this disease:  elderly, overweight, and unhealthy to begin with. But if he comes out of this fine, it won’t be because covid is a hoax or he’s a superhuman. It will be because he will have the best health care available in the world that the rest of us can’t get.

Fourth: I don’t want anyone getting this disease or dying from it, and that includes Trump. I want him to live, lose the election terribly, and then go to jail.

Fifth: It’s not like Dr. Fauci and others didn’t warn anyone. Maybe people should take medical advice from doctors instead of from politicians.

There is no Republican party. Only Zuul

There is no longer a Republican party, apparently. Only Trump.

They’ve decided not to have a platform at the convention, so we don’t know what they stand for other than Trump. Trump and his family will be the main speakers, and Trump will speak every night at the convention.

You know, it used to be funny to call his followers cultists, but jeez, it really applies these days.

Criticism of the President is patriotic

Conservatives when a Democrat is President: “Impeach him! Attack him! Don’t let him get a single thing passed!”

Conservatives when a Republican is President: “He’s the President so he can do what he wants! Anyone who protests against a president is unamerican!”Trump-afraid-of-debates

I’m just tired of conservatives screaming “You hate America!” when we criticize them or their leaders. And when I say it to them ironically when they criticize our leaders, they always respond “No, I love America and that’s why I am criticizing them!”

Which is exactly why I criticize Trump and his followers. We call out Trump because we do love America and hate to see what he’s done to it.

We have a country founded on the idea that we can criticize our government. The founding fathers even worked that into the First Amendment, which includes not only freedom of speech but freedom of assembly (to stage protests) and freedom to petition the government and therefore criticize it.

And anyone who knows the slightest bit of American history is aware of how presidents have been criticized from the time of George Washington by people who were completely patriotic.

The inability of his supporters to understand this should amaze me …. but it doesn’t.

Part of the problem is that their definition of “America” is pretty much “white, Christian, straight, and conservative” and anyone who isn’t is therefore “anti-American.”

It’s why they are so afraid of immigrants, because in their mind, an America where white people aren’t prominent can’t really be “America.”

Those of us who actually love America and all it stands for believe that it is our diversity, tolerance, and willingness to accept everyone that makes us great.

 

Selfish stupidity is killing us

Our parents and grandparents understood the need for personal sacrifice for the good of the country during World War II. They rationed food and supplies and limited their own personal desires so that everyone would benefit in the end. They understood that selfishness was not an admirable trait, especially when people’s lives were on the line.

Of course, during that time, we had one of the greatest US Presidents, who inspired Americans to do the right thing.

Imagine if we had a President like that now — a leader who could actually help us through a difficult time instead of pretending the problem doesn’t exist, calling it a hoax, and encouraging people to do the exact opposite of what is needed. protest

Other countries with inspiring leaders have seen their covid rates drop tremendously, and in some cases, they have even been able to open the country up for sporting events and other public activities. Then there are those leaders like Trump, and, as anyone with a brain could predict, are in the same situation we are here in America.

This dumbing-down of society is not new, and there have always been selfish people — even during WWII there were those who refused to abide by the rules. The difference was that these people were shamed by everyone else, including and especially the leaders of the country. Now we have not just a President who embraces stupidity and the denial of science, but an entire party full of know-nothings who treat ignorance like it’s a virtue.

Until Trump is removed from office and the Democrats can control the Senate, we might as well get used to this virus staying with us long past the time when the rest of the world is out enjoying themselves in public, free from the worry that they could die because some selfish idiot is out there who listens to Republican politicians instead of the scientists and doctors and experts.

 

A Question for the Trump People

by Guest Blogger Peter David

It would be easy to focus on Trump because, as always, not a week passes where he doesn’t say or do something stupid. This week he threatened two states because their Democratic leaders were endeavoring to make sure that people could vote by mail, threatening to try and withhold financial support because of their attempts to encourage election fraud. trumpmaskThis despite the fact that election fraud is not an issue and absentee voting doesn’t tend to favor either Democrats or Republicans. Basically he’s renewing his whole quid pro quo, threatening to keep help out of the hands of people who need it unless those people knuckle under to his demands. And why not? The GOP covered his ass in January, so he believes he can do whatever he wants with impunity.

Which, so far, he can. Inspectors General threaten to ride herd on him? Fire them. People testified before Congress over his actions or reported their concerns to their superiors? They’re gone. Walk around in public without wearing the face mask that his own people are saying should be a part of one’s apparel in pubic? Screw that: the press would take delight in depicting him wearing one, so why not risk being exposed or infecting others?

Because with Trump, it’s all about weakness. He doesn’t want to appear weak in any way, shape or form, because to be weak is to be a loser, and he absolutely cannot ever lose. Ever. This is so much a part of his persona that he literally could not say that the tests he’s taken for the Coronavirus were negative, because to him, a negative test was a failure, and failure is a loss. So he actually said, “I tested positively towards negative.” This yutz actually has the nerve to claim that Biden can’t speak properly when his own twisted psychology prevents him from saying, “I tested negative.” Meanwhile he continues to attack journalists, especially female ones, who have the nerve to ask him actual questions about his contradictions and vagueness. Indeed, for some reason he’s started talking like Yoda: “A rude question that is.” I know he’s been accused of being a Russian puppet, but it was never intended to be a literal charge.

But you know what? Screw Trump. I feel like talking briefly about his followers.

They are the ones whom experts have been describing as being members of a death cult. Although they claim that the left wing is viewing the pandemic through the haze of partisanship, this is actually a classic example of something Trump does all the time: Accuse the opposition of something that you yourself are doing. Because the fact of the matter is that it’s the Trumpies whose perceptions are being governed entirely through the haze of cult membership and tribal partisanship. They condemn Democratic governors for the unspeakable crime of worrying about citizens’ health and obeying the advisories of medical experts and epidemiologists while lauding GOP governors who place the economy above health concerns. Meanwhile evangelical intellectuals are loudly proclaiming that it’s silly to elevate fear of death over spiritual concerns and that people should be ready to die if it will serve the greater good, i.e., the economy and attending services so they can donate to the churches.

And the reason I say their opinions are tribal is because we all know that if Hillary Clinton were President and she were saying the exact same things that Trump was—that the country should reopen, that doctors’ advice should be ignored—the Democrats would be appalled and the right wing’s heads would be exploding. They’d be demanding she be impeached and loudly declaring, “That’s what happens when you put a Democrat in charge!” But no, instead they line up behind Trump, endorse his talking points no matter how stupid they are, and oh, do they hate Democrats. Indeed, that’s really why they love Trump: Because they believe he irritates the left, and it’s all about aggravating the left. Nothing else matters.

So allow me to address their perceptions, their lies, their distortions:

We wanted to be proven wrong about Trump. We really did.

We wanted our concerns to be groundless, our worries to be misplaced. We wanted to believe he would grow into the job, that the whole racist, brainless thing was an act to get elected. That he would rise to the challenges of the position. That he would protect us, and would protect the United States’ position as leader of the free world. That he could grow to be the man we needed.

We wanted our fears that, if confronted with a genuine threat to American health and safety, he would rise to the challenge.

Why?

Because WE LIVE HERE, you dumbasses. Our fates are tied in with yours, and we do not benefit from friends and family members dying, jobs disappearing, and businesses go bankrupt.

We are not so obsessed with Trump losing that we’re happy that over 100,000 people are going to be dead by June 1, that the economy has crashed, that the entire country is spiraling down the drain. Hell, my daughter was supposed to attend a BTS concert tomorrow; that’s not happening. Who knows if it ever is. No one knows anything. We’re living on suppositions, guesses and speculation, and we’re no more comfortable than you are. The difference between us is, our opinions are not shaped by cult like devotion, and yours are. You can and do hate us with all your souls, and by and large, we don’t return that hate. We just feel sorry for you and shake our heads, wondering if there is anything that can shake your faith. Apparently the only thing that can is if you die from the Coronavirus.

Which you’re very likely to do as you hold your idiotic protests and ignore basic safety measures, strutting around with your guns to prove how tough you are. You’ll infect each other because the virus doesn’t give a damn what your political affiliations are. It’ll just make you sick and possibly kill you.

To quote your leader: Sad.

Peter David is a writer whose novels include many of his own stories as well as novels in the world of Star Trek and Babylon 5 (and others).  Besides novels, Peter has written comic books (Incredible Hulk, Aquaman, Supergirl), television shows (Babylon 5, Space Cases, Ben 10), short stories, blogs, and more. Check out his web page and his wikipedia page and prepare to be overwhelmed.