Despite 4 Indictments, Trump Will Still Be the GOP Nominee

Yves here. I trust Democratic party operatives understand that there’s no such thing as bad press, and all that bad press that Trump got and even generated all on his own (remember the Gold Star parents fiasco during the Republican convention?) just made him more visible and gave him the appearance of a force to be reckoned with.

One assumes their calculus is that the barrage against Trump may rally his base, but will also rally Democrats. However, what about the effect on independents? Even if you concede Trump is awful, you can’t beat something with nothing, and the Democrats sure look like they have nothing beyond being not Trump.
And that’s before the “not Trump” being not as clear cut if Biden is still set to be the nominee and the Republicans start to draw blood on the Hunter Biden front.

Perhaps the Democrats will get a tail wind from the economy, particularly if some food prices were to fall, but ex that, many independents may just stay home, particularly if they develop a liking for RFK, Jr. and see how the party gives him the Sanders treatment.

It is noteworthy how this post unwittingly demonstrates how much Trump lives rent-free in many Democrats’ heads. There is nothing here about what voters want, least of all their material needs. It’s all reduced to the tunnel vision of the strategy of getting Trump in court.

By Chris Winters is Senior Editor at YES! Magazine. Originally published at Common Dreams

It’s election season, and the leading candidates for president are barnstorming from state to state on the stump-speech circuit. Or, in the case of former president Donald Trump, to keep court dates.

As they say: priorities.

Trump was indicted last week, along with 18 other defendants, in Fulton County, Georgia. That makes the fourth jurisdiction in which the former president is facing criminal penalties, following the cases in Washington, D.C., where he was charged in federal court with conspiracy to overturn the election (four counts), and in Florida for illegally possessing classified documents (40 counts, including superseding indictments, for obstructing the government’s efforts to get them back), and in New York for paying off an adult film star to cover up an affair (34 counts of falsifying business records).

In Georgia, Trump himself faces 13 counts in the latest indictment, out of 41 total charges that also target 18 co-defendants. Trump’s charges include violating Georgia’s racketeering laws, and several that stem from the conspiracy to submit a false slate of electors to the Electoral College—and which also include the “absolutely perfect phone call” to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, asking him to “find 11,780 votes” to change the outcome of the election.

Among the flurry of indictments and addenda and superseding indictments, it’s hard to keep track of which ones are important. The answer is that all of them are vitally important. If four indictments seem excessive, it’s because Donald Trump was excessive in committing crimes in multiple jurisdictions.

In the words of another former president, Trump is in deep doo-doo. But that doesn’t mean we can let down our guard.

We need to come to terms with an uncomfortable truth: the fact that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee for president. His ability to campaign may be limited by his legal woes, but his supporters will vote for him anyway. We’re entering a presidential election phase where the Biden-vs.-Trump rematch is 99% certain, and that 1% hedge has only to do with both candidates being decades older than the average American president.

No viable candidate is going to emerge on the Democratic side to challenge an incumbent president with a largely successful term in office under his belt. First, we have Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a new darling of the right whose dangerous anti-vaccine crusade has been shown to be just the surface of his conspiracy-mongering and transphobia. Second, we have Marianne Williamson, whose “politics of love” nonetheless failed to win over American hearts in 2020, and whose own views on vaccines are likewise suspect, even if they’ve since been eclipsed by those of RFK Jr.

And it’s been obvious from day one that the Republican Party is setting itself up to repeat the 2015 primary race, where Trump picks off, one by one, a large number of third-tier politicians too cowardly to challenge him directly. Just as in 2015, he won’t even need a majority of the Republican vote, because he’s the only candidate who will have more than 20% to begin with.

(The one possible exception to this is former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has said he’s in the race specifically to try to take Trump down. More power to him if he does, because no one can defeat Trump by ignoring him—he has to be confronted head-on and destroyed. Maybe Christie is the one to do that, but I’m still waiting for evidence.)

In 2023 though, Trump’s already polling well above 50% among Republicans, despite the indictments. That’s because the GOP since 2015 has largely purged itself of its establishment wing, leaving the extremists in control. (Meanwhile, 53% of Americans actually approve of the indictments, and they may be hurting Trump’s overall favorability as the campaign season begins.)

And, while the indictments seem to be fueling a modest dip in Trump’s national polling numbers, the indictments are boosting his polling numbers within the Republican primary. That’s because his followers believe, with all the fervent religiosity of cult members, that the Big Bad Woke Government is persecuting loyal, patriotic Republicans. The charges only feed their persecution complex, which is what feeds the hand-wringing commentators urging us not to prosecute Trump, out of fear of what his supporters will do. As if his supporters haven’t already tried to violently overthrow the government.

Let’s disabuse ourselves of another fantasy. Even if Trump goes to prison because he’s found guilty, or he’s put in jail for contempt by a judge who refuses to tolerate his taunts and threats, he will continue running for president, he will win the GOP nomination, and he could indeed be reelected. There ought to be a law, but there isn’t. The narrowly divided Congress has been unable to do the sensible thing and pass legislation barring him under the 14th Amendment from holding public office, or even just in response to his two impeachments.

I wouldn’t put much stock in the recent “conservative argument for barring Trump” articles either. They’re interesting arguments, and the law professors making the case are perhaps even correct that the 14th Amendment prohibition is automatic, with no Congressional action needed. But most state GOP officials who have the power to boot Trump from the ballot aren’t going to do that without a court order, and this is a party that has increasingly shown its willingness to ignore the law entirely.

This doesn’t mean Trump won’t eventually go to prison. But it’s very unlikely to happen before the next election, given the inevitable appeals and Trump’s expertise in delay tactics and avoiding accountability. After all, he still insists he won the 2020 election. This could go on for a long time.

But there are signs we will see some major results before the election.

Special Prosecutor Jack Smith, who brought both the classified documents case in Florida and the election interference case in Washington, D.C., has indicated he isn’t going to accommodate Trump’s usual tactics and requested January 2 as a date for Trump’s election interference trial. Smith even indicated he’d allow the documents trial to be postponed to accommodate this one.

That’s important for two reasons. One, voters have a right to know if Trump is guilty or not guilty before casting their votes. More importantly, if Trump wins, he can, and will, simply dismiss any federal cases that are still pending. Maybe he’ll even settle the cases with a payout from the government to himself to cover his (likely inflated) legal fees. He may pardon himself if he’s both found guilty and wins the election, because his handpicked, subservient attorney general won’t stop him—and that’s even more of an argument to make sure Trump never again obtains power.

Fortunately, U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan also appears to be resistant to Trumpian antics, granting Smith’s early request to prevent Trump from sharing trial evidence publicly, as he is almost certainly going to do. She’s also issued a warning to Trump, indicating that she will take any necessary measures to stop Trump from intimidating witnesses or tainting the jury pool with his trial-by-tantrum strategy.

In 2016, someone who hadn’t been paying attention might be forgiven for not expecting the rampancy of criminal behavior once Trump ascended to national office. But the mass media can’t be forgiven, since it’s their job to be paying attention. And, speaking personally as someone who grew up on the East Coast in the 1970s and ’80s, it was pretty obvious back then that Trump was, at best, a tawdry huckster with a long line of shady deals and business failures to his name, both his own and others’. He was a regular of the New York Post’s “Page Six” gossip column and grocery store checkout-line magazines. By extension, the “serious” media should have done a better job warning American voters about someone they only knew from highly scripted appearances on The Apprentice.

In 2023, mass media no longer have an excuse, and largely they’ve been fairly good. But they’re still acting as if the Republican nomination isn’t a foregone conclusion. And the possibilities of more Trumpian violence, let alone another January 6-style insurrection, can’t be understated.

The United States is quite imperfect in living up to its ideals, but the general trend has been to get better at it. Allowing someone to escape justice just because he’s a former president, or because we’re afraid of his followers, undermines our commitment to have justice for all.

Fortunately, it appears we aren’t going to allow justice to be denied in this case. Prosecuting (and convicting) Trump won’t change the minds of his loyal base, and it may indeed push some of them over the edge. But it will show that the rest of the nation is willing to live up to its principles.

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      1. Lee

        Not if you’re a heavy weight boxer. According to the ideal weight to height chart I checked, at 6′ 3″, he’s about 20 pounds too heavy. Not so bad for a big guy. Plus, those ideal weights don’t necessarily account for variations in body types, gracile vs. robust, or skeletal and muscle mass.

      2. Mickey Hickey

        Not for an elderly male 6′ 3″, in America he should be considered skinny. He has his 60 million core supporters, people who actually work for a living. In a substantially financialised fantasy world there is very little realpolitik.

        1. some guy

          How many of them actually do work for a living? As against . . . how many BidenDem supporters also actually work for a living?

      3. juno mas

        If most of it is around the belly, yes.

        (When Trump was in the WH the resident physician reported his weight to be in the 240 range.)

    1. Glen

      Personally, voting for a convicted and jailed felon for President that is hated by the “elites” is starting to rise on my bucket list. If given the opportunity, it will be very hard to pass up.

      Then again, there are a number of issues which are supported by a majority of Americans, and if one of the candidates of either wing of the uniparty decides to support those – they could get my vote. But this whole “you have to vote for the lesser evil”, no, done with that. Give me something to vote FOR.

      And that’s the real joke of it all, either wing of the uniparty could do the stuff that the majority of Americans want done, but the uniparty is owned by the billionaires so that never happens:

      Study: Politicians listen to rich people, not you

      1. JonnyJames

        Very few want to admit the ugly truth. Most commenters on this topic have suspended rationality and allowed themselves to be emotionally manipulated.

        Which pile of dog excrement do we want to “vote” for? Which one is the least smelly? How much does it weigh? What does it look like?
        That’s what we call “democracy” in ‘merka.

      2. some guy

        Cornel West is also running for President. You could vote FOR Cornell West if you value parts of his agenda.

      3. Felix_47

        What a dramatic way to say FU to the greedy, bribe seeking political class. Vote Trump whether you like him or not. And just pray he learned something the first time. Those of all races who have been arrested and incarcerated may end up seeing him as one of them. And we know the criminal justice system is beyond corrupt. How many innocent kids are in jail for long times due to plea bargains because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time and had no fancy Ivy league lawyer or political dad? How many young men are in jail because of violations like Hunter’s based on laws Biden pushed? The Dems want to let more felons vote. Trump thinks….bring it on. The dems made him cool in the eyes of many younger Americans.

  1. Pat

    No viable candidate is going to emerge on the Democratic side to challenge an incumbent president with a largely successful term in office under his belt.

    While I agree that without a significant change on the Biden front (health meltdown, losing it completely in public, indictments or a an impeachment that draws blood) the Democrats have decided to go with him, I really do have to wonder what constitutes “largely successful” for Chris Winters. I am hard pressed to think of one thing that I would point to as successful.

    But that could be part of why there is nothing about voters’ needs and desires, the author doesn’t even realize that they might have a completely different metric for Biden’s success. And even worse, doesn’t realize those voters can make a better case for their opinion than Mr/Ms/It Winters can for theirs.

    1. Louis Fyne

      Biden is one fall/broken hip away from a cascade of health failures. (just like a big bulk of 80-somethings)

      And despite the meticulously staged photo ops, POTUS still has to pound the pavement to get votes.

      Joe and Jill Biden are playing with fire in the hubristic thinking that Joe can withstand the demands of another campaign.

      Insert your-favorite-reason on why Joe (or better yet, his handlers and inner circle) can’t just spike the football, declare victory, retire in 2024, then milk the private sector and think tanks post-White House.

      1. JonnyJames

        Do we still believe in the fairy tale of US democracy? Do we have any meaningful choice?
        Looks like some folks are still in denial

        1. John

          Largely successful … for your definition of successful … a successful foreign policy? Not by a long shot. … but then no one pays attention to foreign policy and what’s a few billion laundered through Ukraine anyway. I see no worthwhile candidates for the 2024 election.

          1. some guy

            Not even Cornell West?

            ( Or at the stage of DemParty primaries — if any State Democrat Parties decide to hold wildcat primaries in defiance of the National Inner Democratic Party — there is still Kennedy and Williamson.)

        2. Cassandra

          >Do we have any meaningful choice?

          Here is a comment I made on a different site before the 2020 election, regarding those who refused to vote for Biden in order to stop Trump:

          While I will not be voting for Trump, I do understand their choice. Let me explain it to you. People see that they are being offered a choice between a corrupt, lying, racist, imperialist mentally ill guy with weird hair who paws women and little girls, and another corrupt, lying, racist, imperialist mentally ill guy with weird hair who paws women and little girls. One of them admits that nothing will fundamentally change for the oligarchs and is telling the truth. One of them says he will make things better for the regular guy and lies. These choices are being offered by people who say the only consideration is that their candidate is NotTrump, but they refuse to consider a candidate who is NotTrump but who would also try to ameliorate the social and ecological disasters immiserating the vast majority of people in this world. Some Berners feel the best way to change the situation with the extortionists demanding their votes while denying them hope, is to vote for a Third Party candidate who represents their goals. Others feel the best strategy against the extortionists is to vote Republican until the Democrats offer a candidate that represents their goals. Given that WE ARE OUT OF TIME, I don’t see that it makes a lot of difference.

    2. redleg

      Two successes come to mind: 1. tipping the scales towards anti-monopoly, which the Trump administration actually started, and 2. bailing out of Afghanistan.

      If you’re a warmonger or an oligarch, there are other successes but none of the rest of us would consider them so.

      1. Pat

        I give you the first, but still not enough to merit a successful rating much less mostly.

        The second I would have if I didn’t have a giant sneaking suspicion it was part of shifting focus and funneling money to (and from) Ukraine. Yes, I do believe that Ukraine is as much about changing who benefits from the grift as it is about hating on Russia, and that nobody in Biden’s inner circle benefited from Afghanistan. There is far too much history of war mongering in Biden’s history for it to really be about ending a military front or doing the right thing.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        Trump gave an order to leave Afghanistan before the end of his term and went through the process to make that an order. Douglas Macgregeor has described long form how Trump was disobeyed.

        Macgregor further points out winter would have been a vastly better time to leave. The tribes were mainly in the hills, so the US and many of its hangers-on could have made a much cleaner exit.

        1. JonnyJames

          He also “sanctioned” (economic warfare) Venezuela, Russia, Cuba, Syria, Iran, China… (acts of war), assassinated Gen.Suleimani (act of war), bombed Syria (war crime), threatened, made false claims about China (warmongering), and continued to support the regime in Kiev. Also, he refused to pardon Julian Assange. He did nothing to alter the status quo – he had four years. The D/R dictatorship did manage to cut taxes for the wealthy in typical bipartisan fashion.

          As far as Afghanistan: the invasion and occupation was based on a pack of lies. The US should have never committed the crimes in the first place. The timing of withdrawal is a footnote.

          Besides, the US public is woefully ignorant and misinformed about foreign affairs. There is no meaningful democratic accountability.

          1. Roland

            All those sanctions already existed. I mean, you’re going to blame Trump for sanctions on Cuba? Come on, man…

            Trump not only began serious negotiations with the Taliban to end the occupation of Afghanistan, but he wanted to pull US troops out of Syria, too. He also held direct high-level talks with North Korea.

            Warmongering? Have you blinded yourself to all the actual open wars that Bush, Clinton, and Obama fought during the 20 years before Trump took office? Wars which killed hundreds of thousands of people, and which drove millions from their homes? Iraq, Serbia, Libya–did Trump ever do things like that?

            Are you blind to the potential world war which has developed under Biden?

            Trump killed fewer people in foreign countries than any US president since the demi-term of Gerald Ford.

            Should we blame Trump for not purging the Pentagon, the CIA, and the State Department? But we could all see the way that the bureaucracies and the media fought him every day, over everything–or over nothing. It was Trump who was in danger of being purged.

            Maybe I’m the only man in the world whose opinion of Donald Trump has risen on account of his political career. I thought he was a vanity candidate, until I saw him denounce the Iraq War as a “big, fat mistake.” Then his presidency went by, and no new war. Donald Trump passed the test, which so many failed.

            You know, the guy could have just sat on his money, and gotten a Netflix series like his predecessor. Instead, he wants to end the Ukraine War–and now faces prison.

            1. Al

              The North Korean dictator played Trump like a fiddle. Nothing of consequence resulted from that made-for-media-distraction event.

            2. JonnyJames

              That’s BS and you know it. He INCREASED the sanctions!
              Your willful ignorance and emotional attachment to a fkn conman betrays your lack of rational analysis. Dude has been a mendacious, obnoxious ashhole since I was a kid.
              Please spare me the pathetic excuses. If you are that naive, then go vote for him.
              Meanwhile, the country will continue to collapse, despite your personal Lord and Savior.

              So, which pile of dogshit should we vote for? The lesser of the two Stinks? You call that democracy?

              1. JBird4049

                “So, which pile of dogshit should we vote for? The lesser of the two Stinks? You call that democracy?”

                The current situation our country is in is creating much passion, yes?

                Personally, none of the “acceptable” candidates are acceptable to except Cornel West, as I loathe them all. I am shocked, really, to realize that if I cannot vote for West, I will vote for the Orange Menace as frak you to the whole system. If nothing else, I believe he has not started a war, unlike the the other six of seven presidents who have. It is a very low bar, but it is what I have.

                DeSantis is worse than Biden, and for the moment, Harris is worse than Biden. A egotistical bully, a slowly pickling cabbage head, and a shallow, narcissistic, incompetent harpy are not what I want for president. Still, people are desperately searching for someone, anyone, that they can vote for without projectile vomiting at the voting booth.

                Being that as citizens we have a responsibility, even a duty, to vote, it becomes almost impossible to do so. Even the less bad choice is still voting for the lesser evil. I believe that this is making thinking about, never you mind talking about it, is making the average American afraid, somewhere deep inside, even if they do not will see this.

                1. JonnyJames

                  It’s a grand dilemma: if we “vote” in an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery, we implicitly support the corrupt system. If we don’t “vote” we are seen as irresponsible.
                  In an ideal world, people would figure out that the entire edifice is rotten and collapsing. They would work to build a new structure instead. That’s not going to happen. The ugly reality is that, as the US empire and society collapses, people will fight themselves and tilt at windmills. The oligarchy has mostly pillaged and looted the place already. The country has been hollowed out and de-industrialized. The US has been on a downhill slide for decades, this trend is irreversible now.

  2. Rip Van Winkle

    Trump living rent free… – Honeymooners Blabbermouth episode. When I am talking to someone ‘north of Richmond’ I mentally set the alarm for two minutes. Never fails.

    Chris Christie as a hatchet-man against Trump? Well, I loved him in the Larry David Show!

    Eugene V. Debs – which president imprisoned him and why? Which president released him?

    Reference to 14th Amendment – now we know why the term ‘insurrection’ was used from the get-go. They forgot their guns, but they left their chewed gum on the congressional desks. I have personally witnessed the gates rushed with more passion and vigor at the Six Flags Great America Amusement Park in Gurnee, IL during the annual Halloween Fright Night opening.

    Serious doubts that there will be a 2014 general election for president at all, expressed by such disparate figures as Martin Armstrong, Raul Ilargi Meijer and Douglas MacGregor.

  3. JonnyJames

    How disappointingly predictable.
    Two of some of the most hated political figures in the US are going to be re-tread for the general “elections”. The kakistocracy rolls on and just gets worse with time. Is is just me, or is the “freak factor” gone to 11 during the last few general “elections”?

    Our “democratic choice” is between a senile politician who was a crooked senator since when I was just a baby, and a drug-addled, obese, orange con-man.

    We see these freaks shoved in our faces every day, and now it will be a non-stop freak show until the so-called elections.

    America, “the exceptional, indispensable nation”, a beacon on the hill, the world’s #1 democracy.

    1. JohnA

      I am not American so have no vote anyway, but in what sense is Trump ‘drug-addled and obese’? On the times I have visited the US, what we Europeans would view as a fat person, is on the scale of slim when looking at many Americans who are grossly overweight due to the terrible food and consumption of coca-cola and similar sugar stuffed beverages.
      I have never seen Trump in the flesh but he looks perhaps a bit paunchy but not obese by American standards, and I have no idea of his drugs consumption, be they prescribed or otherwise. So what do you mean?

      1. IM Doc

        To be honest, I was shocked at the fact that he was only 215 lbs.

        That is the weight he was described on his official weigh-in at the jail yesterday. He was listed at 6’3″ tall.

        As a physician in America today, for someone his age, that is on the more healthy side of the weight curve, assuming those numbers are correct. Mind you, that would not have been the case in my youth when I first started my career, but the overall paunch level of Americans has greatly increased. He would be considered to be in the more healthy side of the curve in today’s world.

        He has always appeared to be a bit more heavy than that, but maybe he has been working on it.

        Regardless, he is clearly in much better health both physically and mentally than Biden. It is however a tragedy that we are going to have a choice between two geriatrics patients for this kind of job.

        With regard to the gaze on the mug shot. It is a good sign for mental status reasons that he is able to make an emotive gaze like that. Just looking at the daily pictures of Biden that we see every day, his gaze and emotive facial features are greatly diminished OR are completely inappropriate to the occasion. Yet another very subtle but very clear sign of dementia for those of us who do this every day.

        1. InterestedParty

          Uh, 215 lbs is almost certainly fiction. My understanding is that Trump’s team provided the height/weight figures reported on the intake form.

          For comparison, the self-reported numbers shown on the NY arrest record are 6′-2″ and 240 lbs.

          I doubt he grew an inch and lost 25 lbs in the intervening weeks.

          FWIW, his NY driver license also lists a height of 6′-2″.

          1. JonnyJames

            Who fkn cares? It’s a bunch of BS as usual. Meanwhile, most folks are caught up in the most meaningless superficial nonsense, no wonder we’re fkd.

    2. Richard

      I believe it was established in 2015-2016 that Trump never took drugs. Nor is he a drinker. His vice was women. He has always been a legend in his own mind, and that is — and was — more than enough. No chemical enhancements needed.

    3. digi_owl

      > America, “the exceptional, indispensable nation”, a beacon on the hill, the world’s #1 democracy.

      Worst part is the number of people, across multiple generations, that still hold to that idea outside of USA.

      1. some guy

        ” American Okayness Ordinaryism” would be an antidote to “American Greatness Exceptionalism” and “Indispensible Nationism” and “Shining City On A Hillism”.

        Someone should start an American Okayness Ordinarian movement.

  4. James

    So it is good that the governing administration of a country is not only putting the number one opposition candidate on trial during an election, but it is also good that the judge is putting a gag order on that candidate so the candidate cannot talk about what is happening to him while the election progresses?

    I don’t like Trump one bit – but I fear the long term consequences of the US turning into Pakistan. It’s like going through a trapdoor – once you are on the other side you can’t get back to where you were before.

    1. Matouks

      The rule of law is important and should be seen to be observed.

      Why not fear the consequences of the Republican party deciding to go with Trump?

      Or ask why and how the USA got to this crossroads?

  5. ambrit

    There are so many “dog whistles” in this screed that I half way expect to see Lassie run up.
    If this is typical of the fare at ‘Common Dreams,’ then the magazine’s name is inadvertent humour at it’s best. For, this perfervid piece of partisan ‘communication’ is delusional at it’s core.
    Preaching to the choir? Try, instead, preaching to a mirror.

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      Nay, ambrit. Clickbait. I believe that Yves Smith, slyly, posted this article as pure clickbait.

      Candy is dandy
      Liquor is quicker
      Indictment’s excitement, kiddos

      Brethren and sistren and ambrit, I take as my text these observations indeed made through a glass darkly: “We’re entering a presidential election phase where the Biden-vs.-Trump rematch is 99% certain, and that 1% hedge has only to do with both candidates being decades older than the average American president.”

      And I am the czar of all the Russias. We are talking about two old roosters running for the presidency, with an election to be held in sixteen months, and sixteen months is a long time for two old cocks with kinked arteries such as they likely have.

      I am a skeptic of Kennedy, but he isn’t an addle-brained conspiracy fantasist. I may not like his conveniently loose usages when it comes to science and our experience of science, but he is an astute politician. Likewise, Williamson, for all her flaws.

      Did you note an absence? Cornel West.

      Any article ending with this very fine Methodist Youth Camp line, “But it will show that the rest of the nation is willing to live up to its principles,” but that can’t deign to mention Cornel West, shows that it is simply one more Vote Blue No Matter What We Do to You screed-o-ganza.

      1. DJG, Reality Czar

        I also think, as has been discussed many times in many places, that “conspiracy” is hard to prove in a court of law. So is the flimsy “crime” of looking at “secret” documents. As if none of us know that the U.S. of A. has drawn up plans to bomb bomb bomb Iran (in the words of Saint McCain).

        Conspiracy? I am having a vu ja dé of The Chicago Seven Trial. Now that was a conspiracy!

        Does that make Trump the new Abbie Hoffman?

        Wowsers. The sooner I can get to vote for Cornel West, the better.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        No, I posted it due to end of summer and dearth of suitable material.

        And not clickbait but to get readers talking, which it did!

        As the great former Financial Times columnist Lucy Kellaway said:

        In my experience, prejudices make for good reading. They either confirm your own, or make you cross, either of which is better than nothing in these bland times.

    2. JBird4049

      The writer ignored Senator Biden, R-Mastercard, and now President of the United States, issues; he ignores the reality that the major points of his entire article could be easily rewritten for President Biden, his son Hunter Biden, and the Democratic Party. In fact, that is what I was doing as I read him.

      The more I hear about the evils of Trump and how he could and should be blocked using the Constitution, I remember the same could be said of not only the President, but much of Democratic Party especially its leadership; the more they do this, the more I also recall that I can get into my car and easily view the economic wreckage in the entire Bay Area, but particularly in San Francisco with its empty storefronts and the homeless; the more of this facile tripe, the stronger the urge to vote for the Orange Menace, if only as a drop dead to the Democratic Party, but the man is a grifter. Here is to hoping that I can vote for Cornel West.

  6. TimD

    Trump has tapped into the Americans that Neoliberalism/globalization has left behind. They feel that he is their guy and anything that he does to p^ss off the system and earn its retribution is just more affirmation that he is definitely their guy. Even when he lies about making the rich pay, he can still spin the story enough to make them feel good about him as a leader. There is no rational argument to change this, it is all about emotion – and all about who can get the most ballots in the box. The next 15 months are going to be weird, scary and interesting.

  7. nippersdad

    “The United States is quite imperfect in living up to its ideals, but the general trend has been to get better at it.”

    If it is there at all I haven’t seen it. How well do you think he would stand up to a debate with someone like Cornel West discussing the proposition of “our commitment to justice for all” when we still see the police setting dogs on random black people whose only sin was to drive down the wrong road at the wrong time.

    And that would only be the tip of a very large iceberg in the policing of the poor and marginalized. This guy needs to get out more. Arguing in favor of a man who was one of the the highest profile policy architects of the impoverishment and subsequent policing and prison industrial complex we presently enjoy says a lot about how privileged and out of touch he really is.

  8. lyman alpha blob

    “If four indictments seem excessive, it’s because Donald Trump was excessive in committing crimes in multiple jurisdictions.”

    Maybe if you have some high powered binoculars or squint really hard, the “crimes” are easier to see? But from where i sit, everyone of these indictments has resorted to using some very novel legal arguments precisely because what most people would consider obvious crimes are not readily apparent. Arguments that appear to run roughshod over the first amendment and attorney client privilege.

    Whether what the Biden family has done with their blatant influence peddling is a crime, I don’t know. But it’s certainly corrupt and both the quid and the quo are readily apparent to anyone who hasn’t put blinders on.

    1. Ed S.

      To amplify your comment, Donald Trump has to be one of the most investigated individuals in the history of the US. And for all of the accusations made by his political opponents, and the tens of millions (hundreds??) spent, there are literally no crimes – certainly nothing that a non-rabidly partisan US citizen would consider criminal. Russiagate – nothing. Tax returns – nothing. Congressional investigations – nothing. Media investigations – nothing. You’d think that they would have found an unpaid parking ticket or unreturned library book. But as far as I can tell – it’s all a big fat zero.

      Of the two “impeachments”, one was over a telephone call inquiring about the Bidens’ antics in Ukraine (of which we know much more from Hunter’s laptop and the ongoing House oversight investigation); the second was over the riot on January 6. Both utterly partisan and political.

      Of the four current indictments (and to your point), there’s no “there” there. The only way that, for example, the NY / Bragg indictment gets any public traction is to construe it as a tawdry and possibly illegal payment to Stormy Daniels (as the article calls it, “paying off a porn star to cover up an affair”). In reality, and as mentioned at NC previously, there’s nothing illegal about paying an individual to sign a non-disclosure agreement to maintain confidentiality about a matter that isn’t illegal. So the case is really about whether the payments were properly accounted for in the books and records. Assigning the payments to the wrong account is criminal? Jail time for a book-keeping error?

      You’d think that with all of the investigating, someone would have found something. But Lawfare isn’t about truth and justice; it’s about destroying the enemy. By any means. Few individuals except Donald Trump could afford to defend themselves against the onslaught of charges. What was the number mentioned a few days ago? $25 million? $42 million? Rudy Giuliani appears to be going bankrupt.

      I can’t be the only person who thinks that whenever there’s an anti-Trump screed, it’s nothing more than half-baked fabrications. In the article above, the author says, “53% approve of the indictments”. If you actually look at the survey, there’s no question about approval of indictments. There is a question about the classified documents case and 53% of respondents believe that having the docs was illegal. And that 53% is before looking at the composition of respondents and the phrasing of the question. Even when the facts generally support the contention being made, they have to be recast to appear much worse that they actually are.

      You don’t have to be a Trump partisan to believe that the path being taken to prevent him running is insane.

      1. C P

        You’d think that with all of the investigating, someone would have found something.

        The real quest is finding something of which they aren’t themselves guilty

        1. JBird4049

          “The real quest is finding something of which they aren’t themselves guilty”

          That is the problem, is it not? If the side that was doing the lawfare was remotely honest, they could use the emollient clause in the Constitution to remove him from power; this has been true since the Orange Menace became president, but since both sides’ leadership is equally corrupt, it is not going to happen. I think that even some of the more aware Democratic partisans are uneasy with this because of the Biden family’s corruption.

      2. marym

        “one of the most investigated individuals”

        There were multiple investigations of the Clintons the 90’s and an impeachment. During the Obama years there were investigations of HRC for Benghazi, and Trump – a private citizen – claimed to have sent his minions to Hawaii to investigate Obama’s birth certificated. As president Trump investigated the Clinton Foundation and Russiagate. He tried to investigate Clinton’s server and the Bidens in Ukraine. Now Republicans are investigating Bidens again.

  9. Dr. John Carpenter

    The Dems better hope so. They have been all Trump all the time since Hillary ate it and they literally have nothing else to run on. Even so, I don’t think “not Trump” is going to do it this time, even if he’s behind bars.

    1. Tom Stone

      Especially if he is behind bars.
      I would be very tempted to vote for him if he were jailed and the resonance with Eugene Debs’ run is delicious.
      Strange bedfellows indeed.

  10. some guy

    If indicting and trying Trump for various things is the “right thing to do”, we ( society) should go ahead and do it even though it will raise his chances of getting releected.

    If he were convicted of something, he would definitely get releected. And the more convictions he gets , the higher his margin of victory will be.

    That’s just a feeling, of course.

    1. Alice X

      Trump is a poor excuse for a human being and has no qualifications to be President, but that hasn’t been an impediment for previous Presidents who had only one qualification: the endorsement of the Security State. That one which is a must, and in Trump’s case the absence of which will likely get him elected again.

      That one lacking qualification is the one I always look for, but I never vote for a D or an R, so… We have a power black out here so I can’t refine that thought more for now.

  11. notabanker

    I think the Chris Winters of the world need to come to grips with Trump not just being the nominee but cruising to an easy victory over Biden. I cannot count the number of comments in the Tucker Carlson video of life long Dems saying there is no way they will ever vote Dem in 2024, and further, will vote Trump to send the message.

    Biden may have had a ‘largely successful term’ for his donor base, but they will be vastly outnumbered at the polls by those that view this admin as a disaster, of far worse proportions than Trump.

    Low inflation, low rates, no war and taking on the alphabet soup intel agencies is a winning agenda compared to oops just kidding on student debt and here’s 15% off scripts for seniors.

    1. Commander McBragg

      Rampant cheating is not only feared but expected. President Robert L Peters won with the greatest plurality in any election. Oh sure. Definitely. They no longer care what the plebes, proles and mopes think and very soon the gloves will come off. You’re a problem to be policed now. But as long as you got your mask on when the pople who steal from and kill you order it, whatevs. It’s all good.

  12. JonnyJames

    Then again, who cares? Like we have a choice. Pity, even many informed get caught up in the psycho-drama freak show.

    I must say though, Elections Inc. are a great way to emotionally manipulate the public and entrench the status-quo. AND: the MassMediaCartel, DNC/RNC, political consultancies, candidates, PR firms, advertising agencies… aka. Elections Inc. will make even more billions this election cycle. Now that’s f-in brilliant! : provide an illusion of choice, distract and manipulate the public and make big money in the process.

    1. Commander McBragg

      It may be said that elections only exist now to keep the moribund advertising industry alive.

  13. Tom Stone

    Dude!, Take pity on the Hookers.
    The Republican Convention is even more profitable to that sector of the service industry than the big baptist Conventions.
    Not as much Kink either, from what I have heard..

  14. SocalJimObjects

    There are years when decades happen, and next year will definitely be one of those, and I am looking forward to it.

    Biden has a “largely successful term in office under his belt”? Didn’t he successfully kill 600K plus Americans and counting with his Covid policies? Funny guy, this Chris Winters, and if he’s actually talking about the economy, then he might want to check the history books because there’s never been a time when the Fed has not blown something after increasing interest rates, and there’s still one plus year left till the election. Sorry Chris, but Winter is Coming … sorry can’t help myself.

  15. alfred venison

    I’m an Edmontonian Canuck in King Charles’ Australia (apologies to Sam. Clemens) and I have a question. If, say, there are three candidates for President in next year’s election and none of them scores 270 Electoral College votes what happens? -a.v.

    1. some guy

      It goes to the House of Representatives whose members themselves have to vote on which elector-recieving candidate they will elect.

      If a Third Party runner were able to get enough States’ packages of Electoral Votes to actually deny a victory to either Brand Name candidate, one hopes the voting-citizens of those States who did that would be able to torture and terrorize their Representatives into voting as a solid block for the Third Party winner of those particular States’s sets of Electoral votes. ( I don’t know what kind of majority a Prez-wannabe would have to win with in the House in order to be elected President).

      1. marym

        If the election for president goes to the House each state (DC is totally disenfranchised by this process) gets one vote. Candidate needs a majority (26) be elected. (12th Amendment).

        1. alfred venison

          thank you, very dim prospects for an outlier candidate if it comes to that. -cheers, a.v.

  16. Pat

    As per Wikipedia

    In the United States, a contingent election is used to elect the president or vice president if no candidate receives a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed. A presidential contingent election is decided by a special vote of the United States House of Representatives, while a vice-presidential contingent election is decided by a vote of the United States Senate. During a contingent election in the House, each state delegation votes en bloc to choose the president instead of representatives voting individually. Senators, by contrast, cast votes individually for vice president.

    The contingent election process is specified in Article Two, Section 1, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution. The procedure was modified by the 12th Amendment in 1804, under which the House chooses one of the three candidates who received the most electoral votes, while the Senate chooses one of the two candidates who received the most electoral votes. The phrase “contingent election” is not in the text of the Constitution but has been used to describe this procedure since at least 1823.[1]

    Which means that currently the advantage currently lies with the Republicans. Not only do they have the majority in numbers, the states that are majority Republican are also the majority.

  17. Northeaster

    In Massachusetts we’re called “unenrolled” voters, and we outnumber Democrats and Republicans (60%), most of us are socially liberal and financially conservative. Just because MA gerrymanders like every other state, and we have a super-majority, it isn’t reflective of voters (our voting turnout is abysmal).

    With that said, I didn’t support or vote for Trump (I wrote in my dog). I will be voting for RFK Jr. in The Primary. However, because of the Orwellian actions of Democrats against Trump, I will be holding my nose and vote for him (even though it won’t matter in non-battleground states – or MA).

  18. TomDority

    “There ought to be a law, but there isn’t.”
    But what about the auto-must the constitution provides
    Section 4 of Article Two of the United States Constitution: “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
    Senate may also vote by a simple majority that the removed official be forever disqualified from holding any future office under the United States

  19. orlbucfan

    I didn’t vote for either wrinkle 4 years ago, and won’t again. tRump really needs a competent makeup artist. I hope I can write in Cornel West. We’ll see. I will vote down ballot so there’s that.

  20. Gulag

    It really is a delight to see the analysis of Chris Winters being so out of touch with the real political dynamics of the Trump movement and what may be about to happen in 2024.

    His quaint belief that–the extremists are now in control– rhetorically transforming “deplorables” into “extremists,” only serves to lend emotional sustenance to the 50-60% of the American population who have had enough and, I believe, are now awakening in a way that far transcends the traditional right/left political spectrum.

    My bet is that 2024 will be 100 times more chaotic than 1968.

    One straw in this wind, soon to become a hurricane, is the psychological identification of at least 50% of the population with the label of outlaw–believe me, when uniparty Dems and Repubs begin to grasp this reality, real panic on their part will explode with totally unpredictable political, cultural, and economic consequences.

    A future “bumpy ride” will be seen as a vast understatement.

    1. JonnyJames

      I think what is quaint is the belief in US democracy and that Biden or Trump represent the interests of the vast majority. Like they really give a fk.
      I agree, things will get ugly. The “deplorables” are armed, and when the bullets start flying, innocent people will die.

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