'This sad, embarrassing wreck of a man', says conservative columnist George Will

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jserraglio
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'This sad, embarrassing wreck of a man', says conservative columnist George Will

Post by jserraglio » Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:06 am

Washington Post Column
This sad, embarrassing wreck of a man
By George F. Will
Opinion writer
July 17


America’s child president had a play date with a KGB alumnus, who surely enjoyed providing day care. It was a useful, because illuminating, event: Now we shall see how many Republicans retain a capacity for embarrassment.

Jeane Kirkpatrick, a Democrat closely associated with such Democratic national security stalwarts as former senator Henry Jackson and former senator and former vice president Hubert Humphrey, was President Ronald Reagan’s ambassador to the United Nations. In her speech at the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, she explained her disaffection from her party: “They always blame America first.” In Helsinki, the president who bandies the phrase “America First” put himself first, as always, and America last, behind President Vladimir Putin’s regime.

Because the Democrats had just held their convention in San Francisco, Kirkpatrick branded the “blame America first” cohort as “San Francisco Democrats.” Thirty-four years on, how numerous are the “Helsinki Republicans”?

What, precisely, did President Trump say about the diametrically opposed statements by U.S. intelligence agencies (and the Senate Intelligence Committee) and by Putin concerning Russia and the 2016 U.S. elections? Precision is not part of Trump’s repertoire: He speaks English as though it is a second language that he learned from someone who learned English last week. So, it is usually difficult to sift meanings from Trump’s word salads. But in Helsinki he was, for him, crystal clear about feeling no allegiance to the intelligence institutions that work at his direction and under leaders he chose.

Speaking of Republicans incapable of blushing — those with the peculiar strength that comes from being incapable of embarrassment — consider Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), who for years enjoyed derivative gravitas from his association with Sen. John McCain (Ariz.). Graham tweeted about Helsinki: “Missed opportunity by President Trump to firmly hold Russia accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections.” A “missed opportunity” by a man who had not acknowledged the meddling?

Contrast Graham’s mush with this on Monday from McCain, still vinegary: “Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.” Or this from Arizona’s other senator, Jeff Flake (R): “I never thought I would see the day when our American president would stand on the stage with the Russian President and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression.” Blame America only.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and others might believe that they must stay in their positions lest there be no adult supervision of the Oval playpen. This is a serious worry, but so is this: Can those people do their jobs for someone who has neither respect nor loyalty for them?

Like the purloined letter in Edgar Allan Poe’s short story with that title, collusion with Russia is hiding in plain sight. We shall learn from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation whether in 2016 there was collusion with Russia by members of the Trump campaign. The world, however, saw in Helsinki something more grave — ongoing collusion between Trump, now in power, and Russia. The collusion is in what Trump says (refusing to back the United States’ intelligence agencies) and in what evidently went unsaid (such as: You ought to stop disrupting Ukraine, downing civilian airliners, attempting to assassinate people abroad using poisons, and so on, and on).

Americans elected a president who — this is a safe surmise — knew that he had more to fear from making his tax returns public than from keeping them secret. The most innocent inference is that for decades he has depended on an American weakness, susceptibility to the tacky charisma of wealth, which would evaporate when his tax returns revealed that he has always lied about his wealth, too. A more ominous explanation might be that his redundantly demonstrated incompetence as a businessman tumbled him into unsavory financial dependencies on Russians. A still more sinister explanation might be that the Russians have something else, something worse, to keep him compliant.

The explanation is in doubt; what needs to be explained — his compliance — is not. Granted, Trump has a weak man’s banal fascination with strong men whose disdain for him is evidently unimaginable to him. And, yes, he only perfunctorily pretends to have priorities beyond personal aggrandizement. But just as astronomers inferred, from anomalies in the orbits of the planet Uranus, the existence of Neptune before actually seeing it, Mueller might infer, and then find, still-hidden sources of the behavior of this sad, embarrassing wreck of a man.
Last edited by jserraglio on Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

John F
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Re: 'This sad, embarrassing wreck of a man', says GOP-defector George Will

Post by John F » Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:51 am

Will is not a "GOP-defector." He's a mainstream Republican supporter who, like many others, has never thought well of Donald Trump but, unlike many others, is not afraid to say so publicly. Which he can afford to do as he doesn't have to put his opinions on the line in an election. It's just talk. But it's pleasing to see a rock-ribbed Republican denouncing a president nominally of his own party.
John Francis

jserraglio
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Re: 'This sad, embarrassing wreck of a man', says GOP-defector George Will

Post by jserraglio » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:46 am

John F wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:51 am
Will is not a "GOP-defector." He's a mainstream Republican supporter who, like many others, has never thought well of Donald Trump but, unlike many others, is not afraid to say so publicly. Which he can afford to do as he doesn't have to put his opinions on the line in an election. It's just talk. But it's pleasing to see a rock-ribbed Republican denouncing a president nominally of his own party.
In fact, George Will defected long ago. He is no longer a Republican.

But let's cut to the chase here. The real issue is not Will's pursuit of a higher loyalty to the GOP by leaving the Party in protest, but his undying, unshakable loyalty to baseball. For that reason, and not because I love Indians the less or Cubs the more, I declare old Will to be of good esteem.
Vote against the GOP this November
by George Will
June 22, 2018


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions ... 73e9e5dc89

The principle: The congressional Republican caucuses must be substantially reduced. So substantially that their remnants, reduced to minorities, will be stripped of the Constitution’s Article I powers that they have been too invertebrate to use against the current wielder of Article II powers. They will then have leisure time to wonder why they worked so hard to achieve membership in a legislature whose unexercised muscles have atrophied because of people like them.

. . . In today’s GOP, which is the president’s plaything, he is the mainstream. So, to vote against his party’s cowering congressional caucuses is to affirm the nation’s honor while quarantining him. A Democratic-controlled Congress would be a basket of deplorables, but there would be enough Republicans to gum up the Senate’s machinery, keeping the institution as peripheral as it has been under their control and asphyxiating mischief from a Democratic House. And to those who say, “But the judges, the judges!” the answer is: Article III institutions are not more important than those of Articles I and II combined.
George Will before the 2016 election wrote:At a Federalist Society lunch in Washington yesterday, conservative columnist and TV commentator George Will announced that he changed his Maryland voter registration this month from Republican to unaffiliated. "This is not my party," he told the crowd.
WASHINGTON – Conservative columnist George Will told PJM he has officially left the Republican Party and urged conservatives not to support presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump even if it leads to a Democratic victory in the 2016 presidential election.

Will, who writes for the Washington Post, acknowledged it is a “little too late” for the Republican Party to find a replacement for Trump but had a message for Republican voters.

“Make sure he loses. Grit their teeth for four years and win the White House,” Will said during an interview after his speech at a Federalist Society luncheon.

Will said he changed his voter registration this month from Republican to “unaffiliated” in the state of Maryland.

“This is not my party,” Will said during his speech at the event.

John F
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Re: 'This sad, embarrassing wreck of a man', says GOP-defector George Will

Post by John F » Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:33 pm

Now that's interesting - I didn't see it. Will is just as conservative as ever, and in the same way, so perhaps it would be fair to say that the GOP defected from him in the election of 2014. But clearly you're right.
John Francis

jserraglio
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Re: 'This sad, embarrassing wreck of a man', says GOP-defector George Will

Post by jserraglio » Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:47 pm

John F wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:33 pm
Now that's interesting - I didn't see it. Will is just as conservative as ever, and in the same way, so perhaps it would be fair to say that the GOP defected from him in the election of 2014. But clearly you're right.
Yes, and that's the way he himself put it: the GOP left me: divorce by reason of 'abandonment'.

Since it really wasn't a defection, I changed the thread headline.

jbuck919
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Re: 'This sad, embarrassing wreck of a man', says conservative columnist George Will

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:07 pm

Don't trust anything George Will says, unless the subject is baseball. He once wrote that the Tea Party was the rich fulfillment of the promise of Ronald Reagan.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
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Re: 'This sad, embarrassing wreck of a man', says conservative columnist George Will

Post by jserraglio » Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:42 pm

Doveryai, no proveryai.

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