Speaking with “State of the Union” host Jake Tapper on Sunday morning, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) ridiculed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — saying the GOP leader is overseeing a party that has lost its way.
With CNN host noting McConnell has admitted he will do everything he can to obstruct President Joe Biden, Clyburn jumped all over the Senate Republican’s remarks.
“What’s your take on that comment? Does that mean there’s no hope for bipartisanship in the Senate?” Tapper asked.
“No,” Clyburn shot back. “I think the Republicans are going to remember that it was Mitch McConnell who told them that his number one priority was to make sure that Barack Obama was a one-term president. Last time I checked, he was a miserable failure in 2012 and Barack Obama was a two-term president and a very successful one at that.”
“I think they are going to get the same thing here,” he continued. “Mitch McConnell has some personal animus towards Democrats that ought not to be. We are one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all — let’s operate like that. This Republican Party is losing its way on all fronts, and Mitch McConnell is contributing to that in a big way.”
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Right Wing Evangelicals Are ‘Marinating’ in ‘Information Aimed at Making Them Fearful, Hostile’: Journalist
Rather, he argued, it is part of a deliberate campaign to radicalize and terrify them into loyalty — and part of what’s driving that is a “disproportionality crisis” of the information they are receiving.
““If you go to church on Sunday morning, you are going to be in the word with your pastor for, you know, 30 minutes, maybe 40, 45 minutes, and you sing some songs, and you say the prayers, and then you are out in the world for the rest of the week,” said Alberta. “And for most of these folks, as they’re out in the world, they are marinating in talk radio, in cable news, in social media—all of this information that is aimed at making them angry, fearful, hostile.”
Whereas they may hear Jesus’ message of tolerance, love, and forgiveness “on Sunday morning for 45 minutes, but then for 4, 5, 6, 10 hours during the week, you’re hearing the exact opposite. And it’s that ratio being so far out of whack that I think is really at the heart of the crisis here.”
And that’s assuming they’re at a church that will even give them messages of love and forgiveness in the first place — many pro-Trump pastors, like Greg Locke of Tennessee, have messages that are far angrier.
“[Trump] may not share their views, he may not sit in the pews with them, he may not read the good book like they do, but in some way, that’s his superpower,” Alberta explained. “He is free to fight in ways that are, you know, unrestrained, unmoored from biblical virtue. And that relationship with Trump has obviously evolved over the last eight years. What started as this very uneasy alliance for a lot of evangelicals with Trump has now morphed into this situation where, look, desperate times call for desperate measures. The barbarians are at the gates and we need a barbarian to keep them at bay.” This means that Trump’s increasingly dictatorial rhetoric is a natural outlet for the rage and frustration these evangelical voters are being fed.
None of this is to say that Trump has completely unified the evangelical world. Cracks have appeared in recent months, with prominent evangelical leaders like Bob Vander Plaats of Iowa endorsing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis out of concern about Trump’s electoral viability.
Editor’s note: Tim Alberta is an award-winning g journalist, a staff writer for The Atlantic, and author of “The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: American Evangelicals in an Age of Extremism,” and “American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump.”
‘Straight Up Flout the Law’: Trump Declares Judge Chutkan No Longer Has Power Over His Case
Reacting to U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan’s ruling last week that Donald Trump is not immune from prosecution just because he was President during the time he attempted to subvert the U.S. Constitution and overthrow the government by overturning the results of the election, attorneys for the criminally-indicted ex-president on Thursday declared the judge no longer has any power over the case while they appeal her ruling.
Noting that the appeal “could take weeks or months,” Politico reports, “In the meantime, he says, Chutkan must postpone all deadlines and cede her authority over the matter.”
“Citing ‘political costs to President Trump and this country’ if the case were to move forward, Trump’s lawyers argued Thursday that he’s entitled to an ‘automatic stay’ while he appeals Chutkan’s ruling last week.”
Trump’s appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is “asking that court to overturn Chutkan’s ruling and dismiss the indictment against him,” Forbes adds.
Trump had also argued that he is immune from prosecution because the Senate did not convict him after his second House impeachment, this one for “incitement of insurrection.” Judge Chutkan also denied that claim.
“’The filing of President Trump’s notice of appeal has deprived this Court of jurisdiction over this case in its entirety pending resolution of the appeal,’ Trump attorneys Todd Blanche and John Lauro wrote. ‘Therefore, a stay of all further proceedings is mandatory and automatic,'” Politico reports. “Trump’s attorneys indicated that even if Chutkan doesn’t grant the stay, they plan to ask the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to do so and intend to operate as if there is one in place.”
Trump lawyers say unless Chutkan reverses her ruling, they will ignore all deadlines and other court procedures, unless they are told otherwise.
The Trump lawyers’ motion says, “all current deadlines must be held in abeyance until, at minimum, this motion is resolved. President Trump will proceed based on that understanding and the authorities set forth herein absent further order of the Court.”
“Very much in character,” The Economist’s Supreme Court reporter Steven Mazie wrote of the move by attorneys for the ex-president. “Trump is purporting to straight up flout the law.”
Former U.S. DOJ official and FBI General Counsel Andrew Weissman, a professor of law, said Trump was acting “Impudently.”
Former federal prosecutor Dennis Aftergut, of counsel to Lawyers Defending American Democracy, on Monday at Slate wrote Judge Chutkan’s opinion ruling Trump cannot claim presidential immunity for trying to overturn the 2020 election, “is meticulously crafted with the Supreme Court in mind. The decision deploys every methodology of constitutional interpretation, including textualism, each variety of so-called originalism, attention to constitutional structure and underlying premises, functional considerations, and history.”
‘Dystopian’: Potential Trump Cabinet Picks Send ‘5-Alarm’ Shock Waves of Terror
Attorney General Stephen Miller? Vice President Tucker Carlson? White House Chief of Staff Steve Bannon? CIA Director Kash Patel? A new report detailing a second Donald Trump presidency’s “loyalty first” potential cabinet nominees is sending shock waves over their extremist positions and in some cases an entirely insufficient level of experience for the job.
“Former President Trump, if elected, would build a Cabinet and White House staff based mainly on two imperatives: pre-vetted loyalty to him and a commitment to stretch legal and governance boundaries, sources who talk often with the leading GOP presidential candidate tell Axios,” the news outlet reported in an exclusive Thursday morning. “If Trump won in 2024, he’d turn to loyalists who share his zeal to punish critics, purge non-believers, and take controversial legal and military action, the sources tell us.”
Some of these possible picks for the very top levels of government hold or have promoted white supremacist, Christian nationalist, authoritarian, or fascistic policies or beliefs.
Axios calls them “full, proud MAGA warriors, anti-GOP establishment zealots, and eager and willing to test the boundaries of executive power to get Trump’s way.”
“They want to target and jail critics, including government officials and journalists; deport undocumented immigrants or put them in detainment camps, and unleash the military to target drug cartels in Mexico, or possibly crack down on criminals or protesters at home,” Axios’ Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei report, adding, “They want to scrap rules that limit their ability to purge government workers deemed disloyal.”
“Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas — a former Army infantry officer known for his hard edge, and who wrote a New York Times op-ed in Trump’s first term supporting use of the Insurrection Act against civil disorder — would be considered to head the Pentagon,” according to Axios.
Most of the names mentioned in the Axios report are well-known, and they are being promoted by many surrounding the disgraced criminally-indicted ex-president.
“Donald Trump Jr. has floated [Mike] Davis, the former chief counsel for nominations to then-Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), to be Trump’s interim attorney general — saying it would be a ‘shot across the bow of the swamp,'” Axios reports. “In his public auditions for the job, the bombastic Davis has promised a ‘three-week reign of terror‘ in which he would ‘put kids in cages’ and jail prosecutors and journalists who have gone after Trump — even telling MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan that he has ‘his spot picked out in the D.C. gulag.'”
Meanwhile, Melania Trump is pushing for “booted” Fox News propagandist Tucker Carlson to be Trump’s running mate.
Other vice presidential possibilities mentioned include Arkansas governor and former Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, U.S. Senator J.D Vance, and U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.
Some close to Trump are promoting themselves for the vice presidential role, including U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL).
Axios also reports that “Johnny McEntee, Trump’s loyalty vetter and enforcer, [who] headed presidential personnel in the first term … might return to that role with even more power. He also could be Trump’s gatekeeper as head of Oval Office operations, or could be Cabinet secretary, riding herd on the White House liaisons to each department.”
“By late 2020, McEntee had explicit lists of top officials to fire and hire in a Trump second term, reaching far down the federal bureaucracy in a mission to truly ‘clean out’ the ‘Deep State.’ That project has continued outside of government with a $22 million presidential transition project led by the Heritage Foundation.”
On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Axios’ Jim VandeHei, who co-authored the report, dove even further into how concerning these potential picks are, leading the Biden campaign to post a clip of a small portion of his remarks on social media:
Vandehei: For Trump’s Cabinet, Tucker Carlson could be the VP pick. Stephen Miller could be AG and has said that he wants detainment camps and mass deportations. Kash Patel has talked about using government to go after the media and could be the head of the CIA or NSC pic.twitter.com/u62nO4s5ZX
— Biden-Harris HQ (@BidenHQ) December 7, 2023
Vandehei went on to say, “you might like that, then you’re going to be electrified by this group but if you don’t like it, you’re probably going to be horrified by some of the picks. But what’s in common with all of these people is they share at least a willingness to do all the things that Donald Trump would say.”
And he reminded that none of Trump’s previous team that guarded the American people against his worst instincts will be part of a second Trump administration.
“None of those shackles will exist. He’s going to come in with a group of enablers and a group of executors. So whatever you thought about the first term, he’s going to be able to do things at a velocity rate he wasn’t capable of because he didn’t really know how to govern,” Vandehei added. “Now he knows a little bit better, but he’s surrounded by people and there’s these multimillion dollar efforts outside of his own orbit at the Heritage Foundation.”
“It’s not necessarily about substance,” he said of how the people choosing who becomes part of any next Trump administration would be, “it’s basically an ideological litmus test. Are you willing to believe wholly in Donald Trump, serve loyalty to Donald Trump and then implement his view of what the world should look like? If you can pass that test you might be one of the 50,000 people who get to come into [his] government.”
Meanwhile, critics responding to the Axios report are voicing extreme concern.
“This is about the most dystopian article ever written,” observed The Bulwark’s Tim Miller. “Like asking ChatGPT to write about a fantasy Trump administration cabinet that blends Nazis and celebrities in the style of 2008 Politico playbook.”
Former Biden Commerce Dept. official Caitlin Legacki wrote, “This Axios reporting should be a 5-alarm fire. Terrifying stuff in here and it’s barely making waves.”
U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) warned, “This is what is at stake in 2024 & lurking behind every single thing the extreme MAGA GOP is doing. Don’t lose the plot in their chaos or we will lose our democracy.”
New Jersey Treasury Dept. official Darryl Isherwood summed up what many seemed to be saying: “If this doesn’t scare you, you’re not paying attention.”
Watch the video above or at this link.
Image: Screenshot from Trump’s first cabinet meeting in 2019
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