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The Apotheosis of Nixonism

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We really are living through Nixon redux. Except with an idiot playing the part of Nixon and a totally plaint congress.

The Trump White House and its allies, over the past 18 months, assembled detailed lists of disloyal government officials to oust — and trusted pro-Trump people to replace them — according to more than a dozen sources familiar with the effort….

By the time President Trump instructed his 29-year-old former body man and new head of presidential personnel to rid his government of anti-Trump officials, he’d gathered reams of material to support his suspicions….

Trump’s distrust has only intensified since his impeachment and acquittal, he has long been on the hunt for “bad people” inside the White House and U.S. government, and fresh “pro-Trump” options. Outside advisers have been happy to oblige….

A well-connected network of conservative activists with close ties to Trump and top administration officials is quietly helping develop these “Never Trump”/pro-Trump lists, and some sent memos to Trump to shape his views….

Members of this network include Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and Republican Senate staffer Barbara Ledeen.

I really can’t do this Jonathan Swann report justice with these excerpts. You need to read the whole, rather short, thing. But my key takeaways are that, if the report is accurate, then:

  • It’s filled with more indicators that the Trump administration will use the powers of the executive branch to persecute foes – real and imagined – and attempt to ratfuck the 2020 election.
  • There were, in fact, guardrails and these are pretty much gone, so you can expect a second Trump term to be totally disastrous at home and abroad.
  • The Nixonian character of this moment doesn’t just mark the victory of the faction of the GOP that thought he got a raw deal. It also underscores the likely trajectory of democratic deconsolidation in the United States– one patterned on a return to illiberal practices from the 1960s and 1970s. MAGA, indeed.

But, you know, the Democrats might nominate a guy who will raise your taxes and expand government-provided health insurance, so I guess the center-right’s just gotta vote for the “lawless authoritarian nationalist“.

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