Continuing to define the presidency downward


Today, we have our own Lindsey Graham calling Donald Trump to task for his continued efforts to degrade the office of president:

He was responding to these childish, crude outbursts:

That gross effort to defame a woman based on her appearance was not, apparently, even loosely based in fact. As a post at CNN dryly noted, “For the record, photos from Mar-a-Lago do not show any blood or bandages on Brzezinski’s face.”

But what if it had been accurate? Seriously, can anyone even begin to imagine a previous president of the United States of America publicly making such a crude observation?

And so it goes, as Donald J. Trump continues to go far, far out of his way to define the presidency downward…

42 thoughts on “Continuing to define the presidency downward

  1. bud

    While appreciated Lindsey’s comments are not sufficient to make any difference. There needs to at least be some type of official congressional censure of these disgusting comments.

        1. Phillip

          Foreign policy may be all over the place, but what matters to Trump besides his ego is mostly trying to undo everything Obama did, and to implement a radical-right agenda on domestic issues: knock as many low-income and lower-middle-income people off health insurance as possible, cut taxes for the wealthy, turn over environmental regulation entirely to industry, and so on.

          In other words, your basic Republican agenda. You said it yourself on another thread— Lindsey is a conservative Republican so why should we expect him to act otherwise? He’ll disagree with Trump about Russia, and a few other things in foreign policy, and no doubt finds Trump’s personality and tweeting habits a bit revolting, but like pretty much every other GOP-er in the Senate and House, will accept those things because he likes the vast majority of Trump’s domestic agenda—as Lynn says, everything that matters.
          Lindsey and Trump probably agree on about 85% of everything, with the 15% disagreement mostly on foreign policy and Trump’s personal conduct.

  2. Karen Pearson

    Trump’s behavior is like dragging the flag through the mud. It’s an active insult to this country.

  3. Harry Harris

    Brezinski’s retort was a jump into the mudpile with ol’ Pigpin himself. Why can’t folks maintain dignity when it’s most needed instead of playing a fool’s game with a fool?

    1. Mark Stewart

      Yup. It’s like arguing with the Personality Disordered. Strike that, that’s exactly what she did.

    2. bud

      I agree, sort of. But how often can you turn the other cheek? At least her retort was a bit humorous. But as Marco demonstrated you just can’t win playing his game. Plus, his minions will only see the Cheerios response and ignore the original so she gets nowhere with them. On the other side of the political spectrum sensible folks like Harry only see the juvenile aspect of her tweet. Finally, the Bryans of the world will get onto her case for being condescending. Still, it’s hard to just let this mean spirited, hateful crap go without response. But how?

      1. Harry Harris

        In this case, I never advocated turning a cheek, but believe strongly in answering insult with a legitimate criticism, bluster with fact, or just a simple criticism of the offensive language used. President Obama has answered every outlandish statement or charge he chose to answer with facts, dignified and measured disdain, or well-crafted criticism. Not all of us have his level of restraint, but many have come to appreciate it.

      1. Mark Stewart

        Ah, a Presidential mimic. What a high-minded sentiment to share here. Thanks for your contributions to civic discourse. Your mother must be proud of the man you have worked so hard to become.

          1. Claus2

            That makes two of us.

            Yes my mother was proud of what I’ve become. In fact I’m sure she’d be proud of the nice funeral I provided her with too. What she has to do with this I don’t know, Mark will have to explain why he drug her into the conversation. Just being classy with no other point to present I’m guessing.

  4. Mike F.

    He’s the president of the United States, with the biggest bully pulpit ever. There is no “above it” for anybody, unfortunately.

  5. Phillip

    Doesn’t matter what DT says or does. The more bipartisan the criticism, the more the True Believers will cheer the Supreme Leader on for casting a blow against the Deep State. And, as today’s NRA video reminds us, in exhorting the “closed fist of truth,” that segment of the populace is on average more heavily armed than the remainder of population as a whole. No matter what Trump does (beyond the merely stupid and graceless to the more illegal and unconstitutional), this armed, pro-authoritarian core of support is Trump’s ultimate line of defense against any attempt to remove him from office. They will simply not allow that to happen, I don’t believe.

  6. Harry Harris

    I don’t want Trump removed from office unless it’s discovered, then proven that he committed an impeachable offense. Many of us would put money on the likelihood that he will find a way to do so. What I want is such a strong rebuke at the polls in 2018 that many of the Republicans in Congress will repent – yes, repent of going along with his coarsening and de-gracing of politics and return to some of the more admirable and sensible qualities of their history. They will have to go back a decade or two in behavior patterns, but a really good whipping at the poles might be a good start to the process. I can assure anyone that a move to more centrist activity and attitude will attract a good number of Democratic lawmakers to move toward more civil interaction and lawmaking as well. Many of the present group of Republicans dislike Trump, but see him as useful in getting some of their long-desired goals (Soc Sec/Medicare changes, inheritance tax demise, upper-income tax rate drops, and more). quite a few know he just might blow up in their faces.

    1. Richard

      And after the latest elections you expect things to swing to the Democrats in a year?

      1. Harry Harris

        Depends partly on how the Gerrymandering cases go in court. With Gorsuch on the SCOTUS, their could be a problem. The organizing and activism going on bodes well for a strong showing despite the Koch brothers $400 million pledge.

        1. Claus2

          If the Democrats were in conotrol, they’d draw the lines in their favor just like it’s always been done. Would the media and liberals be screaming then? Nope… they’d be telling Republicans that they can redraw the lines when they’re in control. End of story.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            “Would the media… be screaming then?”

            Well, I certainly would be. This has been a big topic for me for decades. It’s destroying the country.

            It’s also, by the way, destroying the Republican Party. It’s been doing so for some time…

            1. bud

              Gerrymandering is one of the 3 horsemen of the political apocalypse. The others are voter suppression and the electoral college.

              1. Richard

                District lines need to be drawn along county lines, large counties like Los Angeles would have lines drawn down major roadways and in as straight of a line as possible… no question mark shaped districts.

      1. Harry Harris

        Offensive – almost immeasurably so, and it’s nothing new. Impeachable? Well, there’s that rule of law issue. Given time, he’ll probably cross that line. He doesn’t, like most people, adjust his behavior when mistakes are highlighted. He just doubles down and gambles he can bluff and bluster his way through. Unfortunately, he has people’s lives at stake here, not just money and “deals” he can bankruptcy out of.

        1. To follow up

          Impeachment is a political act, not a juridical act. It’s our counterpart to a parliamentary system’s vote of no confidence – or should be in this case. If you need a legal hook to hang it from, then look no further than the Emoluments Clause.

          1. Mark Stewart

            Trump is absolutely in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. It is a blight on our democracy that the Congress has not called him on this. That is their Constitutional responsibility.

            To duck living up to their oath of office for partisan politics is something each should be weighing. It’s a moral failing of the highest order.

            1. Harry Harris

              Bold, and right to an important point. If representatives will sell-out on this, what more will they do to get what they want?

              1. Phillip

                We’ll have ample opportunity to find out, I’m afraid. Look, I have no doubt that most GOP Senators and Representatives think Trump is crazy, disgraceful, appalling in many ways—but you know the saying, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

                Far-right ideologues have their biggest and best chance to make some real fundamental changes to the country now. It’s mostly disorganization and incompetence within the Administration that’s sabotaged some of that, but where there is efficiency and determination—such as seems to be the case, unfortunately, with Scott Pruitt at the EPA, enormous and in my opinion very damaging changes can happen, are happening, very quickly.

                So I expect some tut-tutting now and then from GOP legislators on this or that Trump outrage, (with the occasional real dissenter, like Kasich) but fundamentally Trump is the best chance for conservatives’ (present-day radicalized version that is) dreams to be realized, and they’re not going to let much stand in the way. Certainly the President’s many conflicts of interest are not going to bother them in the slightest. The irony here is that Sarah Palin’s 2008 rants against “crony capitalism” are but a faint memory—Trump is the ultimate crony capitalist.

                1. Mark Stewart

                  I think this is true until it becomes clear that the majority of Americans are appalled – and determined to see Trump’s removal. At some point, even Mitch McConnell will have to reconcile his desire for present day power with his place in history. If it becomes clear that his legacy will be forever tarnished, he will pivot on the GOP’s opportunity in a heartbeat.

  7. Bryan Caskey

    It’s days like this that I think: no matter what you think of their politics and policies, both Obama and George W. Bush were exemplary in their personal conduct.

    1. Scout

      Yep. I’m with you there.

      Even though back when George W. Bush was first running for President, I remember being very put off by how almost gleeful and boastful he seemed about how often Texas had used the death penalty – like he was proud of it – in an interview leading up to the election.

      But even so, he seems like a Saint just now.

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