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Celebrity Apprentice President (Update)

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Being president is haaaaaard. For Republicans.

House Speaker Paul Ryan wants the American people to know that they should excuse Donald Trump’s multiple, ongoing failures during his presidency because he is “new to this.”

Ryan made his remark about Trump during his weekly news conference, conducted while former FBI director James Comey was detailing how Trump repeatedly leaned on him to obstruct justice in the agency’s probe of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

“The president’s new at this,” Ryan claimed. “He’s new to government, and so he probably wasn’t steeped in the long-running protocols that establish the relationships between DOJ, FBI and White Houses. He’s just new to this.”

What a pity it is the Orange Clown has to figure out all of this complicated government stuff on his own. No wonder he sent people out of the room so he could talk to Comey alone. He didn’t want them laughing at his naivety. #Unfair!

This defense may or may not sit well with tRump, who seems to hate taking responsibility for anything that goes wrong as much as he hates anything that implies he’s less than perfect.

But that would be Ryan’s problem.

Update: The above linked article provides a few examples of times Republicans called Obama inexperienced, but commentarian Ronnie James, DO has provided Ryan’s follow up to his Don’t blame the new kid remark:

“You said the President is new at this, he’s not steeped in the long-running protocols,” one reporter followed up later in the briefing. “He has a staff. He has a White House counsel. Why is that an acceptable excuse for him?”

“I’m not saying it’s an acceptable excuse. It’s just my observation,” Ryan said.

“So there’s nothing — is this something that should be corrected?” the reporter asked.

“He’s new at government, and so therefore I think that he — he is learning as he goes,” Ryan responded.

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  • N__B

    Ryan fucked up the party line. It’s supposed to be: DJT is a businessman and business experience is infinitely more valuable than government experience, so it’s good that he ignores DC’s traditions and practices.

    When you can’t even manage your own bullshit, you’re pretty much the definition of useless.

    • DAS

      Trump could just admit he’s not aware of all internet presidential traditions.

      • N__B

        But in order to say that, he’d have to be aware of internet traditions. Trippy.

        • so-in-so

          But in order to say that, he’d have to be aware of internet traditions. Trippy.

        • q-tip

          But just SOME internet traditions. One, actually. My mind remains unblown.

    • Pat

      Ryan believes that the Russians will continue to help the Republicans get re-elected, so he can do anything he really wants to.

      • humanoid.panda

        Republican incompetence and ideological extremism didn’t exist until Putin implanted it in their minds c. 2015. i

        • Owlbear1

          Republicans have sold America to Putin.

        • Pat

          While I can’t say for certain when Vladimir Vladimirovich decided to direct resources towards getting Republicans elected, panda, I can say that tons of Russian oligarch money has been keeping Trump afloat since at least 2012.

          Note that Comey mentioned continuing and ongoing efforts by the Russian military to intervene in our elections.

    • DrDick

      I do rather enjoy the fact that their defense of him is that he is unqualified to be president.

      • bender

        Ryan’s defense of Trump is literally that Trump doesn’t know what he is doing.

        Unlike Ryan.

        That is an interesting defense from several angles.

    • Hondo

      If only LBJ was still around:

      “That boy couldn’t pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were printed on the heel.”

      • N__B

        I find that, as I get older, I have a hard time distinguishing between quotes from LBJ and quotes from Foghorn Leghorn.

        • so-in-so

          Pretty sure Foghorn wasn’t allowed to say “piss”.

        • tsam

          I know Foghorn came before LBJ, but wiki indicates that the end of Foghorn’s run came in –PREPARE TO HAVE YOUR MIND BLOWN–

          1963.

          He was created by Robert McKimson and writer Warren Foster, and starred in 28 cartoons from 1946 to 1963 in the Golden Age of American Animation.

          This concludes today’s edition of I FUCKING KNEW IT

          • so-in-so

            OMG, you mean I was watching RERUNS on Saturday mornings? Say it ain’t so.

          • N__B

            So, tsam – if that is your real name – your theory is that LBJ voiced Foghorn Leghorn while in the Senate and as veep but gave it up upon his swearing in as president? Did Henery Hawk shoot at JFK from the grassy knoll?

            • tsam

              Well, see, I have a few working theories.

              The most viable one I got is that Foghorn stepped out of the animated world to lead our nation in a time of crisis.

              The 2nd Shooter theory has way too many variables to pin it down, but the chickenhawk is definitely my prime suspect. It’s the shifty eyes. That little fucker is guilty of SOMETHING.

        • The Lorax

          So funny.

      • Daglock

        Variation: “That boy couldn’t pour piss out of a boot if there directions on the heel and a spout on the toe.”

    • efgoldman

      When you can’t even manage your own bullshit, you’re pretty much the definition of useless.

      Granny Starver is pure shitweasel, but he isn’t even good at shitweaseling.
      All the late speakers must be spinning in their graves.

  • Derelict

    Last I heard, ignorance of the law is no excuse. At least, that’s what they keep telling people who get arrested for violating arcane laws.

    • LosGatosCA

      Last I heard ignorance is one of the most prized attributes for Republican presidents and Vice Presidents. No snooty, well prepared, highly motivated elites for them.

      All the best governing theories have been developed by Cliff Clayburn Dan Quayle, Sarah Palin, Bush II and Donald Jackass Trump.

      • twbb

        3 of the 4 past Republican presidents have been Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump. The Republican base loves them some ignorant, incompetent leaders.

        • NonyNony

          And the fourth one, who doesn’t fit the pattern, is the guy who was basically the incumbent for Ronald Reagan, faced a bit of a headwind to take the nomination despite that fact, and was widely hated by the base for most of his time in office.

        • so-in-so

          Reagan was described by his own staff as “an amiable dunce”. Bush the Lesser was brighter, if uncurious, but largely played the “amiable dunce” role well. Now they have totally discarded the “amiable” bit.

          • Actually, I’m fairly certain it was the late Clark Clifford, a Democrat, who called Reagan an “amiable dunce.”

          • Trump would have to like triple his intelligence to come up to ‘dunce’ level…

        • Mike G

          The essence of Republican ideology is that there is an overclass anointed to rule either by their wealth or willingness to serve the wealthy; protected by the law but not bound by it, and not subject to standards of performance, intelligence or competence that apply to the little people; and entitled to lie, cheat and loot the government on their own personal whims.

      • AB

        Vice-President Pence was trained in and practiced law.

        • efgoldman

          Vice-President Pence was trained in and practiced law.

          You ought to read some of Campos’ posts about law schools.
          Dense was widely considered the dumbest person in congress in the same house with the likes of Gohmert and Yolo.

      • Hondo

        Who the hell would want to have a beer with a Rhodes Scholar or some similar elite bastard? All they would want to talk about would be Larry Summer’s latest academic paper, or his favorite passage from Clausewitz, or which parts of Piketty’s argument he doesn’t agree with.
        Fuck that shit.
        The acceptable beer conversation is limited to, “How ’bout them Yankees?” Or, “Yeah, exactly dude, Bryce Harper is a fucking douche bag. That’s what I’m talking about.”

    • njorl

      Ignorance of the law can be a mitigating circumstance, however, when you have the Attorney General of the United States in the room while you’re contemplating your crime, and send him out of the room so you can commit your crime without him seeing it, the mitigation should probably be decreased into the negative.

    • q-tip

      obligatory Dave Chapelle bit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJ3dk6KAvQM

    • tsam

      Last I heard, ignorance of the law is no excuse. At least, that’s what they keep telling people who get arrested for violating arcane laws.

      Hold up now–authoritarians, when in a position of authority, ARE the law, therefore it’s not ignorant is a blessing from the LORD himself.

      At least that’s what unhinged randos on the interweb have decreed.

  • cleek

    Google obama inexperienced

    500,000 hits. all of them from “conservatives” whining.

    • Rob in CT

      But, (many, maybe a majority of them) being authoritarians who just want One of Theirs in power, their staggering hypocrisy will not bother them one bit. Some will be a little queasy, but Tax Cuts so whatever.

    • twbb

      Every Democratic public statement should end with “and this is why the Republicans are hypocrites who can’t be trusted.”

      • NonyNony

        Every Republican accusation is basically an admission.

    • q-tip

      (Code) those results are at least 10% Hill-bot/PUMA (/code)

      (Forgot whether the tags here are in brackets or what, so I’m just gonna show my ass when I use them for now — which might be an incentive to bring back the buttons, given what my ass looks like)

      • efgoldman

        html tags require pointy things before <<<>>> and after (only one each(

      • so-in-so

        A pity you aren't on the internet where you could use something like Google.

        • q-tip

          Hey, googling "how do I do HTML tags on the Lawyers, Guns, and Money blog?" may be something YOU are willing to do. Me, I'd rather go passive-aggressive and use the time I save to smell a flower.

  • CP

    He is such a fucking child. Needs his mommy at all times to make excuses for him, explain away his fuckups, and tell the teacher that his bad grades just prove that he needs to be graded on a curve because you guys school is so hard.

    Not to mention that he needed no less than three adults in the room with him at all times yesterday to prevent him from going on a Twitter-tantrum in which he might have said something unwise. For which the “liberal” media, of course, praised him as showing surprising restraint.

    To quote myself yesterday, I don’t know what’s more pathetic about mediocre white conservatives: that the bar for them is set so low in the first place, that they continually fail to clear even that bar, or that when they fail to clear it, the powers-that-be invariably decide that the bar needs to be set even lower, because clearly it’s unreasonable to hold them to any standard at all that they might fail to meet if they don’t even try.

    • so-in-so

      Until a Democrat comes along, suddenly he should know EVERYTHING or GTFO. Its almost like they only believe they should ever be in power. Weird.

  • Karen24

    We need to spread the idea that Theresa May lost because of Trump’s bumbling and idiocy. “Conservative parties lose European elections because of perceived ties to moron and incompetent American President” should be on every liberal website from now on. Conservatives do this – and I note the crickets chirping on RW sites this morning after the Tory debacle yesterday — and we should too. Crow, brag, puff, anything to make us look bigger and him look smaller.

    • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

      AFAIK, in every major election held since January, *foreign and domestic*, candidates aligned with Trump have underperformed their party’s margin in the previous election. Pre-test, meet post-test.

      Can you define “politically toxic” any better than that?

      • Karen24

        Agreed, and we still need to brag about this all day every day until January 21, 2021

        • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

          Yes – the words “Trump” and “politically toxic brand” need to be bolted together and the association reinforced as often as possible.

          • so-in-so

            Yes – the words “TrumpRepublican” and “politically toxic brand” need to be bolted together and the association reinforced as often as possible.

            Fixorated.

            • q-tip

              You’re saying the quiet part loud

    • DAS

      Trump’s supporters view Yurp hating him as a feature rather than a bug. And there were enough Trumpistas to get Trump and the GOoP Congress elected.

  • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

    It’s always a bad sign when you have to walk back your talking point before it’s echoed off the back wall of the room:

    *****
    “You said the President is new at this, he’s not steeped in the long-running protocols,” one reporter followed up later in the briefing. “He has a staff. He has a White House counsel. Why is that an acceptable excuse for him?”

    “I’m not saying it’s an acceptable excuse. It’s just my observation,” Ryan said.

    “So there’s nothing — is this something that should be corrected?” the reporter asked.

    “He’s new at government, and so therefore I think that he — he is learning as he goes,” Ryan responded.
    *****

    Heckuva job, Pisces.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/ryan-not-saying-its-an-acceptable-excuse-trump-new

    • CP

      he is learning as he goes

      He’s been “going” at this for half a year now. How much longer is this going to take? At this point in Obama’s presidency, he certainly wasn’t being given this many breaks.

      • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

        Pro tip: another great time to learn about your job is when you’re actively applying for it. Or even before!

        • CP

          The U.S. government is the only employer in the world where job applicants, when asked “tell me a little bit about yourself,” routinely answer “I don’t know anything about your field or your company, all my experience is in something better, because everyone and everything in this field sucks” – and then the shareholders respond “insightful! Promising! Brilliant! You’re hired!”

          • Derelict

            It’s worse than that–many of the applicants sit across the desk from the interviewer and say, “You know, I don’t think your company should even exist. If you hire me, I will do my best to devolve all of your company’s business to other businesses, and to undermine whatever is left.”

            And that, too, gets the shareholders saying “YAY! Hired yesterday!!!”

            • CP

              Yep. The U.S. government is currently a company owned by its competitors, and has been to some extent ever since 1980.

          • Junipermo

            Exactly.

            What I don’t get is why. No one, not even the most blinkered Trump supporter, would hire their plumber for a root canal. So why do people think that inexperience is qualifying for the single most powerful, complicated, and important job in the country?

            Clearly, people really don’t understand what the job of the president actually entails, and more than that, really don’t understand how our democracy is supposed to work. I’ve heard Trump voters on TV refer to James Comey as Trump’s employee. They don’t grasp the concept of public service, and they either ignore or don’t grasp that Comey et al took an oath to uphold the Constitution, not genuflect to Trump. But that doesn’t really explain why they think it makes sense to have an inexperienced and clueless man-baby knowing our launch codes.

            • so-in-so

              First, because the GOP have spent forty years drilling in the theme of “government isn’t the solution”. Second, because the people attracted to the GOP are all LOOKING for a boss, and expect him to have his Cossacks.

              Third, their version of “anybody can grow up to be President” is “including an ignorant, racist bully like me”.

            • NonyNony

              So why do people think that inexperience is qualifying for the single most powerful, complicated, and important job in the country?

              Many of them don’t. What they actually believe is that “any Republican is better than a Democrat” and will reverse-justify it to themselves with whatever arguments happen to be handy.

              Of the ones who do believe it, it’s because they’ve swallowed our national myth that is taught to kids from elementary school. “The US is a place where anyone can be president.” That seemingly banal statement about the fact that you don’t have to be from a particular bloodline to hold office is morphed into an idea that there are no qualifications required to actually do the job.

              It’s a pernicious myth. It poisons our discourse too – people devalue the work that politicians of all stripes do because “anyone can be a politician”. And so we get politicians into office who can’t do the jobs they’re elected to do because you actually have to have some competence to do that job, but nobody makes it a requirement when they cast ballots.

              • Rob in CT

                That doesn’t really capture all of it.

                There is also the idea that The Government, instead of being representative of us, is actually a hostile, alien force that takes from Us and gives to on Them.

                “Work hard – millions on welfare depend on it” – bumper sticker (an old one, I’d wager) I saw just the other day. Family is middle class. White, of course.

                WE are hard-working deserving people.
                THEY are worthless moochers, coddled by foolish/perfidious liberals pandering for votes.

                That’s powerful. It tells you that not only is your success (such as it is) entirely your own, but also that you are actually oppressed and would be even better off if not for the fact that you have to carry those other people on your back. Think about it, you’re AWESOME. Not like those other people.

                Most people – myself included if I’m entirely honest – want to feel superior in some way. I know this tendency exists and fight it, but it’s real.

                • so-in-so

                  Yes, and this is not unique to the U.S.

                  Recall Thatcher’s “the problem with socialism is you run out of other people’s money”.

                • Rob in CT

                  Oy. The number of times I heard that from my (British, Tory, Thacher-loving) father…

              • searcher

                > What they actually believe is that “any Republican is better than a Democrat”

                The essence of all good isms (racism, sexism) is to assert that all members of group A are superior to all members of group B.

            • humanoid.panda

              “What I don’t get is why. No one, not even the most blinkered Trump supporter, would hire their plumber for a root canal. So why do people think that inexperience is qualifying for the single most powerful, complicated, and important job in the country?”

              Because the idea is the citizen legislator is so central to our national mythology ? And it’s not like liberals are immune to it : both Sanders and Obama , life long politicians , carefully cultivated the notion of themselves as being outside the system and therefore beyond it ?

              • Junipermo

                Obama had held elective office at the state and federal level before he became POTUS, and also was a constitutional lawyer, so he knew something about the document he was sworn to uphold. So yes, he tried to position himself to some degree as outside the system, but at the end of the day voters knew they were getting someone who had a clue about and a commitment to good governance and the norms that support it.

                So I suppose liberals find the outsider/citizen legislator myth appealing on some level, but have managed not to nominate a presidential candidate with literally no government experience at all.

            • Hondo

              It’s scary to think about how truly ignorant many American’s are regarding their own government, or even the basic principles on which it rests.
              I think it’s the shitty quality of public schools. In my high school, not much was required of me. Spent my time in the auto shop, at wrestling practice or working 25 hours a week in a pallet yard driving a forklift. And I finished in the top 25% or so. Didn’t read no Shakespeare, never got to trig, there wasn’t much in the way of history, or government, no Federalist Papers, Thomas Paine. I know not all schools are this bad, but I suspect most are like mine was. Never pushing students vary hard, and never expecting much from us. Unfortunately, I had to make up for all that wasted time in college, and that wasn’t easy. Most people don’t do that.
              It’s unbelievable the stupid things you hear people say.

              • Thirtyish

                I think it’s the shitty quality of public schools.

                I don’t know. I think that’s part of it, but I also think there’s something broader, more cultural going on. A lot of Americans are simple incurious, cognitive misers. You could argue, probably correctly, that human beings in general tend toward that direction. But something about this society seems to actively breed and encourage it.

                • efgoldman

                  A lot of Americans are simple incurious, cognitive misers.

                  I dunno’ about the “misers” part. I don’t see too many credit card companies going belly up.

                • so-in-so

                  They heard “greed is good” and took that as actual advice.

                • tsam

                  We have a media climate that feeds that lack of curiosity and a juvenile level understanding of how governments work. You can pick up any major publication, read anything about the federal budget, and you’ll get 23 paragraphs concern trolling the deficit. Add partisan media and social media, and now it’s growing even more unstable.

                  It’s not public education’s fault. It has problems, but most of the people squealing about how bad it is are about to give you a sales pitch for “school choice”.

                • so-in-so

                  I graduated high school way back when (1976) and we had no ‘civics’ classes. History or Social Studies had to cover how government worked (a bit). That was it. This was in a very blue state (in modern terms, ‘red’ still meant communist in those days).

                • Daglock

                  Opiates are the opiate of the masses. Karl Marx, III.

              • Linnaeus

                I think it’s the shitty quality of public schools.

                To be honest, I get a little uneasy with statements like these. Which is not to say that there aren’t troubled public schools in the US, but I think it’s a bit too much of a leap to go from “public education quality is more uneven than it should be” to “public schools are shitty”. Mine weren’t, and I grew up in a school district with a wide range of family incomes.

                • Rob in CT

                  Further, it’s not like our public schools were better in 1960 or something. In lots of ways they were worse.

                  Our public schools actually do pretty well overall, contrary to the constant drumbeat of they’re failing they’re failing.

                  I’m with Thirtyish. “Cognitive misers” is pretty good.

        • Domino

          As a millennial, I feel compelled to let you know you can use “Life Hack” instead of “Pro tip” if you want to, though both are acceptable.

        • N__B

          You only get the pro tips if you upgrade to President Pro Gold.

    • bizarroMike

      I’m still laughing at this crap. There are a few details different between an innocent mistake and a private meeting with the FBI director where you say “I hope you’ll drop this.”

      • Rob in CT

        Am I crazy for thinking “I hope you’ll drop this” should become a default snarky Dem response to GOP statements/ideas?

        • Karen24

          I LOVE this idea. “I hope you drop this; nevertheless, she persisted.”

        • PeteW

          When they come out with their Trump Care scam I can see Pelosi saying to Ryan: “Mr. Speaker, I hope you’ll drop this.” I want that now.

      • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

        What’s truly surreal is Trump is basically doing his bad Old World Crime Boss impression (“I wanna hear…YESSS!!![crushes hazelnut]”), and Ryan’s response isn’t “The President of the United States shouldn’t ever ever be talking to the FBI Director like an Old World Crime Boss,” it’s, “Don Corleone is a simple man…”

        • tsam

          The hazy language he used is straight out of a mob movie.

          The thing. Did you take care of the thing? I hope the thing is handled.

          And Comey’s take was surprisingly on the nose: Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?

        • Hondo

          I’m sure he binged on the Sopranos like everyone else. The difference is most people don’t translate that behavior into their real lives. Now excuse me Mr. Attorney General, I’m gonna speak Italian to Jimmy here.

          • efgoldman

            Now excuse me Mr. Attorney General, I’m gonna speak Italian to Jimmy here.

            The asshole can barely speak English. I expect the only Italian he might know is “parmesan” [yes, pedants, I know that’s not Italian]

            • so-in-so

              I’m also pretty sure he knew about dealing with mobsters before the Sopranos aired.

              • Brad Nailer

                Zackly. He did business with the mob in his earlier days and he probably figures that’s a pretty good model to emulate, especially with himself as the boss.

                What I don’t get is that lots of people–reporters at least, and probably politicians and others as well–knew that Trump had mob connections from his days of actually building things, but as far as I know, that never came out during the campaign, and hasn’t since, for that matter, except for maybe a brief mention here and there by David Cay Johnston on MSNBC.

                Weird.

                • so-in-so

                  I did see a couple of articles, but of course nothing compared to “EMAILS!!!!!”.

                  Plus, even before I read about it, I considered that he was involved with large scale construction in NY/NJ, and casinos and figured his picture was probably in the dictionary beside the term “mobbed-up”.

  • Terok Nor

    And I thought conservatives believed in Personal Responsibility.
    Sorry, forgot for a second that that’s only for untermenschen.

    • so-in-so

      “People”, which those opposing DJT clearly are not…

      • Derelict

        In my local paper this morning was a guest editorial that explained in no uncertain terms that I’m anti-American for opposing Donald Trump. (Not a letter to the editor–an actual guest editorial. Oy.)

        • so-in-so

          Please tell me it was a guest because “both sides deserve representation” or similar claptrap, as opposed to “we really want to say this, but haven’t the balls, so here’s a guest to do it for us”.

          Somebody should at least remind them of Samuel Clemens’ edict, to support your country always and it’s government when they deserve it.

        • Thirtyish

          2017: the year when opposing Putin’s Russia became “objectively despicable anti-American.”

  • PeteW

    The “he’s inexperienced” excuse is total crap. He’s a businessman right? In the business world if the guy who can fire you says “I hope you’ll drop this.” You f’ing drop it. Trump knew exactly what he was doing. This ship is sinking.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      The ship is sinking!

      Who are the ones that we kept in charge?
      Killers, thieves and lawyers.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9mhsW5aWJM

      • FMguru

        I find this video for that song to be much superior: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5X4N2exOsU

        • BiloSagdiyev

          + Many crumbled cookies thrown into mouth

          Yeah, I usually use that one, but I thought I’d be slightly more serious for once. See the Muppets version of “Bohemian Rhapsody” if you haven’t already.

        • Bruce B.

          That’s utterly amazing.

  • BiloSagdiyev

    This is mendacious horseshit. He doesn’t understand goverment and public policy? Yes. But he also doesn’t understand laws, restraints, morals, customs, traditions, mores, rules, or _anything that gets in the way of him getting what he wants right now._

    • Robert M.

      Right. He Asked Comey for a loyalty pledge, and didn’t get it. He said “I hope you’ll drop this,” and it didn’t happen. He asked the NDI and the National Security Adviser to pressure the FBI to drop it and it didn’t happen. (Apparently he was furious with Sessions for recusing himself, because part of the reason for appointing Sessions was to have a partisan in charge of Justice.) So he lost his patience and fired Comey because he was frustrated with the pace of the investigation, wanted the investigation to stop, and thought that was the most expedient way to make it happen.

      He’s used to being surrounded by sycophants who are responsible for making his whims happen. He’s not used to dealing with a job where not only is there simply a great deal of inertia, there are really good reasons (as you say, rules, norms, and ethics) not to take certain actions. And he’s clearly getting more frustrated by the day with the people who do understand that, because he thought being President was going to make him the boss of the US–and never bothered to imagine otherwise, let alone find out.

      • Domino

        David Simon on twitter made a good point based on his experience with homicide detectives – what isn’t said is just as important as what is said.

        Notice how not once has Donald Trump inquired about stopping Russian influence? He hasn’t asked anyone about the extent of Russian interference. He seems completely unconcerned about what the Russians did and trying to stop them. All he cares about his clearing his name.

        • q-tip

          To be the devil’s advocate, I didn’t think Simon’s argument was all that strong. If Trump knows he didn’t collude* — and thinks his campaign didn’t collude — I can see that dumbass not giving a shit about the overall issue. Could just be evidence of extreme cluelessness and irresponsibility and unfitness, not guilt. And we all know Trump is extremely clueless. And irresponsible, and unfit.

          *Or, as is entirely possible, forgot he colluded.

          (Simon used the story of the defense lawyer who says during closing arguments that the victim, whose body was never found, is about to walk through the courtroom door, and when she doesn’t, points out to the jury that they all looked to see if she did, therefore reasonable doubt yadda yadda. The defendant ends up convicted quickly because a juror noticed he DIDN’T look at the door. But I feel bad for the defendant in that case, because there’s a chance the lawyer told him about the ploy and didn’t coach him to look at the door, too! Dumbass, not guilty. Maybe.)

          Edit: while I don’t think Trump’s lack of concern necessarily damns him as guilty, it’s damning nevertheless.

      • BiloSagdiyev

        Also, I would add that I don’t I’ve ever seen a person so incapable of grasping that in this world, there is objective, and then there is subjective. He’s purely subjective.

        Of course, something’s wrong with him, but I’m not a medical professional so it would be so unfair of me to judge. We’ll just have to let him go on holding a vast amount of power, and with a vast military, too.

  • twbb

    BTW, twbb post ranting about how the Democrats don’t message well, Part 342352454:

    Republicans are again successfully working the refs; the investigations were supposed to be about Russia interference and possible connections to people connected with his campaign. So the GOP message machine keeps hammering that there’s no proof of collusion with Trump himself. Their RWNJ-bots online and the right-wing press take it up and keep hammering it.

    Now Chris Matthews, who is of course absurdly easy to work over even by MSM standards, but who can be an early bellwether of ref-working effectiveness, is now proclaiming that Comey’s testimony blew apart the Trump-Russia collusion, as if that was the point of the investigations.

    Nancy Pelosi tried counteracting this earlier, but being a Democrat she did it in the worse way possible, by lecturing other Dems not to pin their hopes on collusion, instead of shoving out every democratic congressperson with a pulse to hammer a coordinated message that this was the Republicans trying to make it about collusion because they were terrified of all the evidence showing . Then saying “we’ve always been rivals but we always thought they put party ahead of country; the fact that they are trying to downplay the fact that a country that’s spent most of the past century being our enemy interfered with our election and they don’t care is heartbreaking.” Or something even more distilled down.

    • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

      “it would be a terrible irony if the party that has spent the last eight years complaining that the Democratic party was on the precipice of destroying American democracy and the Constitution turned out to have enabled these very acts by allowing in this Trojan Horse.”

    • Rob in CT

      There are multiple things from that hearing Dems should hammer.

      1) Trump asked for a loyalty pledge from Comey. How likely is it that he asked for and received such from others? This is who he is. It’s who he’s always been.

      2) He wanted the Flynn investigation squashed and went about it like was Tony Soprano. Our President is unfit for the office he holds. And oh by the way, other Republican leaders knew this all along.

      3) Russia hacked the DNC, Podesta, etc., in a deliberate attempt to influence our election (and they succeeded). Now, think about it. Why would Russia favor a Trump/GOP win? Because putting incompetent buffoons who care more about party than country in power weakens America, that’s why.

      There’s more, of course. But that would do for starters.

    • efgoldman

      the investigations were supposed to be about Russia interference and possible connections to people connected with his campaign. So the GOP message machine keeps hammering that there’s no proof of collusion with Trump himself.

      That’s entirely possible, on a strictly factual basis. Lewandowski, Manafort, etc were colluding and the boss didn’t know, or didn’t want to know, or forgot….
      HOWEVER: The background smoke and mirrors are not going to influence Mueller’s team’s investigation, I don’t believe (yes, I’m betting on Mueller’s integritudiny in a way I’d never bet on Comey’s).
      And I still think they (and NY AG Schneiderman) find financial crimes by the whole family, including Daddy.

      • humanoid.panda

        So much this. Messsagkmg can get only so far, once a serious investigation is in place. For a classical example , Nixon actually did a good job communicating around Watergate ( the coverup wasn’t really worse than the crime) . Didn’t don him much

  • Simple Mind

    I wish the teevee pundits would stop claiming it’s a “he-said, she-said” as if it were Divorce Court.

    • efgoldman

      I wish the teevee pundits would stop claiming it’s a “he-said, she-said”

      I wish there were a unicorn shitting platinum in my back yard.

  • rea

    Q. Mr. Speaker, did the president obstruct justice?

    A. How could he have? He doesn’t even know what justice is!

  • Ryan’s excuse is not even that original. He stole it from some well documented 90’s sex scandal. let’s go the the videotape.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RvNS7JfcMM

  • Owlbear1

    “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” McCarthy (R-Calif.)

    “No leaks. . . . This is how we know we’re a real family here.” Ryan (R-Wisc.)

    Republican leadership has known for some time what was going on.

    “The president’s new at this,” Ryan claimed. “He’s new to government, and so he probably wasn’t steeped in the long-running protocols that establish the relationships between DOJ, FBI and White Houses. He’s just new to this.”

    …and has decided to become accessories after the fact.

    • Rob in CT

      We need to HAMMER on this.

      • Owlbear1

        We should also be pointing out that the “New Guy” they are defending is the type of guy who lies on his resume, shows up late, leaves early, insults everyone in the office daily as incompetent losers, refuses training, pilfers coffee and sugar, and costs the company thousands of dollars of lost man hours cleaning up his constant fucking messes.

  • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

    [blushes] thanks!

  • Tyto

    So, shorter Speaker of the House: “Leave the President aloooooooonnnnnne….!”

  • Bitter Scribe

    So they said Obama was an unprepared amateur.

    They also said he was a thin-skinned hothead who alienated our allies and kissed up to our enemies, while issuing dictatorial executive orders that violated the Constitution.

    Call me crazy, but I’m starting to see a pattern here.

  • paul.c.klos

    GBjr had never been President and was not perhaps the best business man ever (but better than Trump). But he had a team up and running before the hand off and knew exactly what kind and size of tax cut he could get and got it.

    The contrast with Trump is profound.

    • efgoldman

      he had a team up and running before the hand off

      Like Sanctus Ronaldus before him, he’d been a two-term governor of a large state, and had a pretty good idea how all this works.

  • BiloSagdiyev

    Shakes, I did not see the music video earlier today. (50 years after we can put a man on the moon, embedded videos just aren’t reliable (shake fist))

    Were you aware of the Elvis Costello & the Attractions cover of that Yoko song?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mDtb0E8-ps

    I like it.
    I’ve got more patience for Yoko than many but I do like the Costello version better. Then again, I used to love EC a great big bunch. (Unlike our president, I am aware when my subjectivity is affecting my judgement.)

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