Trump Concedes, Kind of

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Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonderandhome.com

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  1. Avatar veronica d
    Ignored
    says:

    That was unexpected.Report

  2. Avatar Mike Schilling
    Ignored
    says:

    Is that a knockoff Trump impersonator from Eastern Europe? It gives the impression of being read phonetically bu a non-English speaker.Report

  3. Avatar Oscar Gordon
    Ignored
    says:

    Deep-Fake Trump!Report

  4. Avatar Philip H
    Ignored
    says:

    He’s trying to avoid impeachment.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      I personally think Trump’s trying to avoid prosecution.

      So, look, I don’t want to get into conspiracy theories here, but Rudy Giuliani misdialed some people during the coup when trying to Tuberville, and it is _starting_ to look like we have an explanation of what was actually the point of what happened. If people haven’t heard his voicemail moronically left on someone else’s phone: https://thedispatch.com/p/giuliani-to-senator-try-to-just-slow

      So, we have Giuliani’s brain-worm ramblings about evidence that will be showing up soon, and all anyone has to do is delay.

      So, and I repeat this is a theory that doesn’t have a lot of evidence, but it does explain things, that Trump was attempting to cause enough chaos outside, and Tuberville enough chaos inside, that Biden would not be certified. A combination of Tuberville and the GOP stretching things out, and riots continually breaking the process up and causing more delays.

      .,..until enough of this ‘evidence’ could magically pour from the sky.

      And I know part of that seems sort of obvious, but there’s still a lot of people falling into the ‘Trump was just talking to talk, and didn’t actually mean to incite what happened, he’s just a moron with no idea of consequences’, and…that’s not the only interpretation of what happened.

      Like…maybe he did. Maybe this really is part of a ‘conspiracy’. Not to ‘overthrow’ anything, but to delay the end just a little bit more, so all the evidence Giuliani has hallucinated will _finally_ shows up.

      This means our president just committed several felony murders. I don’t mean that as hyperbole, or he did the moral equivalent of that, I mean that literally.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to DavidTC
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        says:

        BTW, for those looking to arguing that felony murder is a bad rule…I’ve actually argued that before. I argue that the police shouldn’t be able to kill people, and then increase the penalties for others based on that. And also counting medical emergencies where someone participating died due to medical issues is…somewhat dubious.

        As for the cop…I’m somewhat on the fence for that. Again, it was a medical thing and not an injury, and I really do think felony murder should be limited to ‘actions that in some way happen due to what is planned and what response would be understood’ and not ‘this person died due to unrelated things’.

        But…someone died from a crush injury, aka, being trampled by the crowd. Now, prosecuting crush injuries as a specific murder committed by someone is..very hard. When people are crushed to death, usually everyone around them is being crushed too. But that is a death that is, outright, caused by the actual riot. Not indirectly by medical issues, not by police shooting someone, but…directly attributable to the fact a crime was in progress. People causing riots should understand that ‘people dying from crowd behavior’ is a likely thing!

        So to recap:

        a) Trump (possibly) conspired with a group of people to riot at the Capitol. That is a conspiracy.

        a) The same people, as for part of that, conspired to plant bombs at the DNC and RNC, and it doesn’t matter that Trump probably didn’t know about _that_, it’s part of the same conspiracy. That makes it a felony. (There were probably other felonies too, that’s just the most obvious.)

        c) Someone died due to being trampled to death, and that makes it felony murder.

        Prove the first thing, the last thing is true.Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
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          says:

          RE: I personally think Trump’s trying to avoid prosecution.

          Probably.

          RE: Trump (possibly) conspired with a group of people to riot at the Capitol. That is a conspiracy.

          I’m not following this closely enough for details, but it’s probably more “the election was stolen, you should do something” rather than “go there tomorrow and set stuff on fire”.

          All the risk is on the idiots who listen to him, if what they do works then he’s the winner and if it doesn’t then they’re the losers.

          And in theory he could pardon all of them on the way out the door, but since he doesn’t need them any more and there’s no benefit for him I doubt he will.Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Dark Matter
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            says:

            The made him look bad, no way he pardons any of them.Report

          • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
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            says:

            I’m not following this closely enough for details, but it’s probably more “the election was stolen, you should do something” rather than “go there tomorrow and set stuff on fire”.

            It wasn’t ‘tomorrow’. It was ‘Go down the street right there, and do the thing’. Which is ‘imminent lawless action’.

            Here’s the legal test of incitement: (1) is the speech directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action, and (2) is the speech likely to incite or produce such action?

            #2 is already satisfied, considering it _did_ produce such action, any incitement clearly was ‘likely’ to do so. So the question is only did the president ‘incite that behavior’?

            Here’s the speech:
            https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/donald-trump-speech-save-america-rally-transcript-january-6

            I recommend reading the end, which is the incitement:

            With your help over the last four years, we built the greatest political movement in the history of our country and nobody even challenges that. I say that over and over, and I never get challenged by the fake news, and they challenge almost everything we say. But our fight against the big donors, big media, big tech and others is just getting started. This is the greatest in history. There’s never been a movement like that. You look back there all the way to the Washington Monument. It’s hard to believe. We must stop the steal and then we must ensure that such outrageous election fraud never happens again, can never be allowed to happen again, but we’re going forward. We’ll take care of going forward. We got to take care of going back. Don’t let them talk, “Okay, well we promise,” I’ve had a lot of people, “Sir, you’re at 96% for four years.” I said, “I’m not interested right now. I’m interested in right there.” [snip bunch of gibberish about voter ID and big tech]

            Looking out at all the amazing patriots here today, I have never been more confident in our nation’s future. Well, I have to say we have to be a little bit careful. That’s a nice statement, but we have to be a little careful with that statement. If we allow this group of people to illegally take over our country, because it’s illegal when the votes are illegal, when the way they got there is illegal, when the States that vote are given false and fraudulent information. [snip gibberish about the wall] As this enormous crowd shows, we have truth and justice on our side. We have a deep and enduring love for America in our hearts. We love our country. We have overwhelming pride in this great country, and we have it deep in our souls. Together we are determined to defend and preserve government of the people, by the people and for the people.

            Our brightest days are before us, our greatest achievements still wait. I think one of our great achievements will be election security because nobody until I came along, had any idea how corrupt our elections were. And again, most people would stand there at 9:00 in the evening and say, “I want to thank you very much,” and they go off to some other life, but I said, “Something’s wrong here. Something’s really wrong. Can’t have happened.” And we fight. We fight like Hell and if you don’t fight like Hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.

            Our exciting adventures and boldest endeavors have not yet begun. My fellow Americans for our movement, for our children and for our beloved country and I say this, despite all that’s happened, the best is yet to come. So we’re going to, we’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, I love Pennsylvania Avenue, and we’re going to the Capitol and we’re going to try and give… The Democrats are hopeless. They’re never voting for anything, not even one vote. But we’re going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country. So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue. I want to thank you all. God bless you and God bless America. Thank you all for being here, this is incredible. Thank you very much. Thank you.

            So, to summarize: He said we (him and the movement, not the Republican Congress people) were going to ‘stop the steal, and asserted that something illegally is happening, and that people should ‘fight like Hell’. And then he directed them down the street to the Capitol to give people…pride and boldness.

            Yes, ‘pride and boldness’.

            Does managing to catch yourself and not saying the last bit means it’s not incidentment? No, it does not. The literal words are not important, the intent is, and the _intent_ of that speech is whip up the audience into violence and direct them at the Capitol.

            And note the threshold isn’t actually _violence_, or even a riot, it’s _lawless action_. Any lawless actions.

            Of course, it’s worth pointing out that the mindset of the crowd matters, and the literally the speech before them had Rudy Giuliani saying “Let’s have trial by combat.” Something which *check notes* is lawless.

            I mean, this is what we have currently, legally speaking: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/08/capitol-riot-trump-will-not-face-charges-for-inciting-mob-doj-says.html

            Note that URL is a bit misleading. The actual article: “We don’t expect any charges of that nature,” the official said Friday during a conference call with reporters when asked if the DOJ was considering charges against speakers at a rally for Trump right before Wednesday’s riot.

            And: Another DOJ official said that at this point the federal investigation is focused solely on criminal acts at the Capitol building.

            Like, so they’re not looking at charging Trump yet…but, I mean, they _can’t_ charge Trump yet, and it’s much better to spend the time collecting the rioters.

            And in theory he could pardon all of them on the way out the door, but since he doesn’t need them any more and there’s no benefit for him I doubt he will.

            Yeah, but that won’t make _his_ felony murder charge go away, just because conspirators were pardoned.Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
              Ignored
              says:

              I’m sorry, I don’t see him black letter calling for illegal action. He’s calling for “pride and boldness that they need to take back our country. So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.”

              His lawyers will argue that he was calling for, at most, protest.

              The literal words are not important, the intent is, and the _intent_ of that speech is whip up the audience into violence and direct them at the Capitol.

              So all we need to convict him is a way to read his mind about his “intent”? My guess is there isn’t a lot of planning there or there was magic thinking.

              His master plan seems to have been something like “find the legal votes to prove he won the election”. We might even be looking at dementia. Certainly my family’s lunatic had/has similar disagreements on the definition of reality.

              Much worse, my expectation is Obama wasn’t inciting violence when he told his followers to bring guns to knife fights. That suggests strongly that efforts to convict him of conspiracy rely on “because Trump” lowering the bar.

              https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/bringing-a-gun-to-a-knife-fight/Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                You’re sorta looking at the wrong part of this as the important test. The speech doesn’t have tell people to do any lawless action. At all. It just has to be ‘directed’ at ‘inciting’ or ‘producing’ lawless action. If you give a speech that does not, at any point, say to do anything illegal, but you give the speech with the intent of causing people to do illegal things, you’ve hit that threshold. You can’t wink wink nudge nudge into legality. There’s no ‘black letter calling for illegal action’ requirement.

                There’s been people charged with inciting riots who proposed _no actions at all_. They simply stood there and told an angry mob what they thought about a person, listing their crimes, while that person locked up in a courthouse, and the crowd was already talking about breaking in to string him up. You do not have to tell a mob to do anything illegal, you just have to say things you think will result in illegal actions. There’s a very low threshold on _that_ bit.

                It’s the _other_ two requirements that generally stops speech from being incitement. ‘Imminent’ and ‘likely’.

                Much worse, my expectation is Obama wasn’t inciting violence when he told his followers to bring guns to knife fights.

                That’s because Obama’s speech fails the both imminent test and the likely test. (Also, weirdly, inciting a murder that doesn’t happen isn’t illegal anyway in DC, but, constitutionally, it could be, and maybe it was in whatever state he was in, so let’s pretend it is.)

                Obama likelihood test: The idea that Obama’s speech to donors was likely to result said donors grabbing their guns and going to some pre-existing knife fight is…a bit silly.

                Obama imminency test: The knife fight presumably wasn’t to happen there, and Obama didn’t then direct the listeners to the location of this knife fight. It also directed people to do things at an unspecified time in the future, hence not ‘imminent’.

                The way that ‘imminent’ worked, even if, the very next day, Democrats started wandering around with guns and shooting Republicans while explicitly saying Obama specifically told them to do that…_he would still not be guilty_ of incitement. That is not imminent enough, ‘imminent’ is incredibly restrictive. It has to be something the speaker wants the listener to turn around and do right then. The mob basically has to be standing there tapping the baseball bats against their palms.

                And ‘violent things’ has nothing to do with this. There’s no requirement for violence at all. The question is ‘Did he incite lawless actions?’ not ‘Did he incite a riot?’

                While ‘inciting a riot’ is indeed an explicit crime, and does require some level of violence, inciting any sort of crime, at any level, that then happens is called ‘being an accessory before the fact’, and in DC, they can be charged with the full crime itself

                Under DC law, if I see someone holding an empty water bottle and they say ‘I don’t know where to throw this away’, and I say ‘It doesn’t matter if it all just piles up in street, the city is going to hell anyway’, and they throw it on the ground…they clearly have just littered, and also I have just littered. I can be charged with actual, real littering, because I incited them to do an imminent lawless action, aka, litter, and they did. (Note this isn’t conspiracy, however, because I took no overt action to further the crime.)

                That said, what happened does legally qualify as a riot. But, while he could be charged with inciting one, he could also be charged with rioting itself, as the crime actually happened, and he’s an accessory before the fact.

                His master plan seems to have been something like “find the legal votes to prove he won the election”. We might even be looking at dementia. Certainly my family’s lunatic had/has similar disagreements on the definition of reality.

                Trump does not have dementia anywhere near enough to escape any sort of legal culpability.

                And his master plan seemed to be ‘delay the EC counting until Giuliani can get evidence’. He literally was calling Congresspeople during this urging them to delay it too. He knew he didn’t have the votes, he wanted things _delayed_ until he could produce evidence to get people to change their votes.

                The question is: How exactly did he think a crowd outside the building could delay things? What legal things did he think was going to happen? That voting had actually already started, so it’s not like Congresspeople would even walk past them.

                It’s worth pointing that attempting to interfere with the working of Congress is illegal by itself. In fact, people have gotten charged with exactly that for protesting in such a way it was likely to delay votes.

                Trump, of course, probably(?) has a right to ask Congress to vote in any manner. As does anyone. But…how do people outside the building impact people inside the building enough to alter how they vote?

                We once against appear to be in the ‘Trump is too stupid to realize he’s breaking the law’ theory, but here’s the thing: The law does not actually require Trump to understand what he expects from his speech _is_ illegal. Just that he intended to do things that, even unbeknownst to him, are illegal.

                I assert that: He (And Rudy) intended to influence the people he was talking to into disrupting Congress in some manner to slow down the process, and we have as evidence that he was trying to slow the process because we know he (And Rudy) were doing the same thing _inside_ Congress by talking to Congressmen.

                But unlike talking to Congressmen, disrupting the official actions of Congress is an illegal action. And Trump inciting people to immediately disrupt the official actions of Congress makes him an accessory before the fact, and he can be charged with disrupting the official actions of Congress. He doesn’t need to know it was going to turn into a riot, if he intended it to cause a ten-minute recess for security purposes it was illegal.

                (And, a reminder, if it’s found he knew that Proud Boys were going to be doing illegal things, and he took a single overt action to help them, even if that action was completely legal, he’s in a criminal conspiracy. If that’s the case, ‘incitement’ is the least of his problem, he just committed felony murder. See my other post.)Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
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                says:

                if it’s found he knew that Proud Boys were going to be doing illegal things, and he took a single overt action to help them, even if that action was completely legal, he’s in a criminal conspiracy.

                Like refusing to send in the national guard?

                RE: Everything else.

                Sounds like there’s a much stronger case than I thought. Maybe strong enough to get Team Red impeachment votes.

                It’d be interesting to have a President Pence for an hour or so. Be one for the history books.

                Trump does not have dementia anywhere near enough to escape any sort of legal culpability.

                Legally? No.

                Practically? Unclear.

                From personal experience, the legal system struggles with non-violent crazy people who have money.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                Like refusing to send in the national guard?

                Yes, and no.

                I don’t know if ‘failing to do something’ is an overt act, but it’s entirely possible he altered some existing deployment plan, which would be overt. But…almost anything would be an overt act. Honestly, the rally itself could be. Or his tweets. As long as he is helping a crime along that he is part of, he’s part of the conspiracy.

                The question for ‘conspiracy’ is solely: Ddid he talk to the Proud Boys or a group like them (Or did he talk to Rudy, who talked to them) about them doing any criminal act? Even just trespassing.

                But if there was no communcation…no, it’s not a conspiracy. And not being part of a conspiracy, it’s not felony murder.

                It is still incitement, though. (Well, unless you can prove he was intending to incite a felony, which would make it felony murder…but that’s a higher threshold.)

                Sounds like there’s a much stronger case than I thought. Maybe strong enough to get Team Red impeachment votes.

                Maybe you haven’t heard, the news is so disjointed, but apparently calling the Senate back into session before the 19th requires unanimous consent, and at least one member has refused. So there is going to be no removal from office.

                And if we make it until the 19th, I don’t know why we shouldn’t wait until the 20th and impeach him and bar him from office at our leisure.

                I know people getting worried about him getting increasingly desperate, but I think people have failed to notice exactly how incompetent he is, and honestly a good chunk of what he did was done via Twitter and dumb orders and his aides having to make sense of it.

                Like, at this point, if his aides all stand back and refuse to help with _anything_, he is functionally not able to do anything anymore.

                I know this is a completely insane precedent to be setting, where the president’s staff basically babysit him for two weeks and don’t let him break things. This is why we shouldn’t have allowed ourselves to _get into this situation_.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to DavidTC
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                says:

                The only way we avoid another Trump is for both parties to fix their primary system.

                And frankly, I don’t think either will, because there is a “Smartest Person In The Room” problem, where the PTB will be certain they won’t make the same mistakes made with Trump, and that they’ll better control the Demagogue whose coattails they rode to power on.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                says:

                The only way we avoid another Trump is for both parties to fix their primary system.

                In some number of states, at least part of the primary structure is determined by the state, not by the parties (eg, open versus closed). It is likely that those states control who can be on the ballot as well.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                says:

                Define “fix”.

                I’m not totally sure we should do anything.

                A demagogue came along and offered the under-served people bread and circuses. We tried his ideas, some worked, others didn’t. Overall he wasn’t popular enough to stay in office.

                This seems like the system as it’s supposed to work.

                Trump is such an outlier that making serious changes to the system to stop him will almost certainly cause other problems.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                How about, Don’t let someone run on your ticket who has been a member of the party for all of 10 minutes, or who hasn’t held any significant public office before (to allow for defectors who are currently holding office).Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                says:

                Same as above… Lots of states where the state party doesn’t control who can get into primary. And most states ignore the national parties entirely.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                The logic behind that is?Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                says:

                The usual. Little-d democracy. Anti-corruption and anti-machine. In many western states, (somewhat historically justified) fear of Eastern interests.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                I guess I look at it as a party should be able to say, “Not on our ticket!”.

                Of course, if we had more than 2 parties, and they hadn’t locked themselves in via all manner of state and federal laws, perhaps they’d have the ability to deny a ticket.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                says:

                Define “party”. A half-dozen senior Congress Critters in a back room in the Capitol?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Michael Cain
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                says:

                Yes, if they are the leaders of the party.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                says:

                RE: Don’t let someone run on your ticket who has been a member of the party for all of 10 minutes, or who hasn’t held any significant public office before

                In 2008 Team Blue ends up with the party elites giving the nod to HRC rather than a politically inexperienced Black man from Chicago.

                Sanders avoids this by just becoming a Dem.

                This doesn’t come close to stopping Trump. He was with the GOP in 1987, 2009, and 2012. He was with the NY Reform Party in 1999, and the Dems in 2001.

                With his media power he could have trivially won a House seat in some Red area in 2012 and/or 2014. He’s got lots of property he could call “home”, he doesn’t have to run in NY.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                I’d have preferred if he’d won some house seat first, we’d have had a better picture of what he was like as a politician.

                Sure, he still might have won, or he’d have spent some time being another Gohmert.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                A lack of knowledge of what he was like wasn’t the issue.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                How many people spent the first year of his presidency trying to convince themselves and others that he’ll calm down and be presidential, any day now.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                says:

                The Presidential run started with a 15 horse race and a guy inhumanly good at focusing attention on himself. Giving him 2 more years of exposure in politics wouldn’t change the outcome.

                Trump got the nod in spite of everything the majority of the GOP (and it’s leaders) could do.

                To block him we need a smoke filled back room with elites deciding who gets the nod. Nothing short of that is going to work.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                In 2008 Team Blue ends up with the party elites giving the nod to HRC rather than a politically inexperienced Black man from Chicago.

                Yes, but there’s a difference between ‘The party elites should pick the candidate’, vs. ‘The party elites should be able to veto candidates that are vastly different than the current party position’. Obama was not some weird outlier, he was a perfectly normal Dem politician.

                At least, in theory there’s a difference between those two things. However…allowing a veto certainly could result in a party misusing it to just put their favored candidates forward.

                With his media power he could have trivially won a House seat in some Red area in 2012 and/or 2014.

                In case anyone thinks that’s improbable, we literally have dumber Representatives than Trump right now. Like Gohmert, who is almost indescribably stupid. (EDIT: Ha, I see Oscar said the same thing.)

                Although with Trump…I’m fairly certain he would have gotten immediately bored of a Representative position the second his ‘deal-making’ didn’t work, and rage quit.

                …but what we _don’t_ need to do is build entire systems to stop ‘People exactly like Trump’ from being president.

                We need to stop lying demagogues with obvious fascist tendencies from becoming president. Not stop ‘Identical Clone of Trump’.

                Actually, what we need to do is stop one party from egging on a system of beliefs that leads to people supporting such a person.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
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                says:

                allowing a veto certainly could result in a party misusing it to just put their favored candidates forward.

                That, exactly.

                he would have gotten immediately bored of a Representative position the second his ‘deal-making’ didn’t work, and rage quit.

                He would have delegated the work to his daughter or some minion because the entire point of it would be to let him run for President. Like Obama, he phones it in and does nothing but run for the next office.

                We need to stop lying demagogues with obvious fascist tendencies from becoming president.

                Ted Cruz.

                Actually, what we need to do is stop one party from egging on a system of beliefs that leads to people supporting such a person.

                I’m open to specific suggestions. However it’s worth pointing out that the communists have probably done more damage and are a more likely threat.

                My inclination is to blame magic thinking (and the backing of that by religion) but that might be me drawing a line from something I don’t like to something else I don’t like.

                Big picture we instantly run into the problem of “who decides what is the truth” and “who has the ability to decide who is a lying demagogue”. Is Bernie one? Do we have some way to tell?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                In the news, a lot of corporations are busy halting services and campaign contributions to GOP members and PACs. My wife and I were discussing that this morning and how it’s all very pat that they are doing that now, as Trump is out and the GOP is in the minority.

                Which of course makes a lot of sense because Trump demonstrated very early on that he was more than willing to leverage the power of the office to settle personal vendettas, and the GOP was happy to let him.

                Which brings back my old horse corpse, the federal government has too much power. Corporations and the people running them should not be afraid to publicly denounce a politician or party just because they are in power. And this is not to say that we should strip power to go after bad actors, but we can not really rely upon unenforceable norms to prevent politicians from abusing those powers, even against corporations.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                More like they are writing off their investments and looking for new opportunities.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                “So all we need to convict him is a way to read his mind about his “intent”?”

                Yes. Seriously.

                Happens every day of the week, all across the country, people are tried, convicted and do serious time based on a jury “reading his mind about intent.”Report

          • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
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            says:

            However, here’s a fun thing: Conspiracy does not require even a single lawless action on your part. It just requires an _overt_ action. You can be charged with conspiracy even if literally everything you did was legal, if you did it to help other people do illegal things.

            Even if Trump’s speech is someone _entirely lawful_ because it doesn’t cross the incitement threshold. If he did that speech to make the crowd merely more ‘boisterous’ or something, with the intent of furthering the cause of illegal trespassing that he knew the Proud Boys were planning, that’s entering a conspiracy. (Although it would be fairly harmless if that was what they were conspiring.)

            But being part of a conspiracy that includes felonies, even if you don’t know about those felonies, is a felony. Nothing requires you to know the entire plan. If you enter a conspiracy to cause some mostly harmless trespassing on the Capitol steps, but ended up in participating in a plot to kidnap Federal officials, guess what you just did.

            Being part of a felony where people die is felony murder.

            Moral of the story: Don’t enter into conspiracies with incompetent violent lunatics.

            (Gah, my stupid other comment about whether he hit the threshold for incitement is in moderation.)Report

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