My Daughter – The Tea Party Tribalist

My daughter was raised to be hostile to me, the father she never knew. She and her family approved of the Cornwells who wanted my grandson. They called me insane and unfit to be a father and grandfather.

Jon

Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon has described the Trump Tower meeting between the president’s son and a group of Russians during the 2016 election campaign as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic”, according to an explosive new book seen by the Guardian

President Trump unleashed on his former chief strategist and campaign manager Wednesday, issuing a long and unusual statement questioning Stephen K. Bannon’s mental stability, honesty and political influence.

“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating seventeen candidates, often described as the most talented field ever assembled in the Republican party.”

s://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/fusion-gps-co-founders-slam-gops-fake-investigations-into-trump-camps-russia-ties/ar-BBHPtGW?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-slams-bannon-‘when-he-was-fired-he-not-only-lost-his-job-he-lost-his-mind’/ar-BBHPYRo?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp

http://www.startribune.com/israeli-lawmakers-pass-law-to-hamstring-dividing-jerusalem/467632683/

“To think about how many on the Christian right, the Trumpist right and elements of the Trumpist media actually supported Roy Moore despite all the things he’s said and done is truly amazing,” said Charlie Sykes, who was a conservative radio host in Wisconsin and is now a Trump critic and the author of the recent book, “How the Right Lost its Mind.” “It can’t be explained in any other way than as a sign of extreme tribalism.”

Related: Trump-Russia investigation: the key questions answered

Does this big nuclear button make my hands look small? | Opinion

People watch a TV news program showing the Twitter post of U.S. President Donald Trump while reporting North Korea's nuclear issue, at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
People watch a TV news program showing the Twitter post of U.S. President Donald Trump while reporting North Korea’s nuclear issue, at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
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Dialing back on the number and tone of his tweets apparently was not among President Donald Trump‘s New Year’s resolutions.

The year was barely 48 hours old before the president had taken after an aide to 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, threatened  hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. aid to Pakistan and the Palestinians, accused Democrats of playing politics on immigration and announced that winners would soon be named in his own “THE MOST DISHONEST & CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS OF THE YEAR.”

But his most caustic volley — and the one generally considered most likely to start an actual nuclear war — was aimed at Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea.

Trump was responding a New Year’s Day speech in which Kim floated the idea of talks with South Korea while also doing a little sabre rattling.

“It’s not a mere threat but a reality that I have a nuclear button on the desk in my office,” he said. “All of the mainland United States is within the range of our nuclear strike.”

Bannon, speaking to author Michael Wolff, warned that the investigation into alleged collusion with the Kremlin will focus on money laundering and predicted: “They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.”

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, reportedly based on more than 200 interviews with the president, his inner circle and players in and around the administration, is one of the most eagerly awaited political books of the year. In it, Wolff lifts the lid on a White House lurching from crisis to crisis amid internecine warfare, with even some of Trump’s closest allies expressing contempt for him.

Bannon, who was chief executive of the Trump campaign in its final three months, then White House chief strategist for seven months before returning to the rightwing Breitbart News, is a central figure in the nasty, cutthroat drama, quoted extensively, often in salty language.

He is particularly scathing about a June 2016 meeting involving Trump’s son Donald Jr, son-in-law Jared Kushner, then campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower in New York. A trusted intermediary had promised documents that would “incriminate” rival Hillary Clinton but instead of alerting the FBI to a potential assault on American democracy by a foreign power, Trump Jr replied in an email: “I love it.”

The meeting was revealed by the New York Times in July last year, prompting Trump Jr to say no consequential material was produced. Soon after, Wolff writes, Bannon remarked mockingly: “The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor – with no lawyers. They didn’t have any lawyers.

“Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad sh- t, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately.”

Bannon went on, Wolffe writes, to say that if any such meeting had to take place, it should have been set up “in a Holiday Inn in Manchester, New Hampshire, with your lawyers who meet with these people”. Any information, he said, could then be “dump[ed] … down to Breitbart or something like that, or maybe some other more legitimate publication”.

Bannon added: “You never see it, you never know it, because you don’t need to … But that’s the brain trust that they had.”

Trump predicted in an interview with the New York Times last week that the special counsel was “going to be fair”, though he also said the investigation “makes the country look very bad”. The president and his allies deny any collusion with Russia and the Kremlin has denied interfering.Special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed last May, following Trump’s dismissal of FBI director James Comey, to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 election. This has led to the indictments of four members of Trump’s inner circle, including

WASHINGTON – In Washington, President Donald Trump struggles with record-low approval ratings –– but 80 percent of Republicans rate him highly.

In Montana, Republican Greg Gianforte assaulted a reporter before a special congressional election, but he triumphed anyway, with Trump hailing his “great win.”

And in Alabama, failed Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore was accused of child molestation, but 91 percent of Republican voters still backed him, as did Trump himself.

The tensions between a Republican base unshakably committed to the Trump party line and a broader populace that is becoming ever more disillusioned have some conservatives worried about what Trumpian tribalism means electorally and to the soul of their party as the 2018 election year opens.

“It’s not about ideology anymore. It’s about loyalty to the president,” Rep. Charlie Dent, a retiring Pennsylvania Republican, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “Now the litmus test has changed. The issue is loyalty to the man, to the president.”

Activists on both sides of the ideological spectrum in 2017 settled into the habit of assessing nearly every policy and political issue through the charged, often emotional lens of whether it would help or hurt Trump and everything he represents.

The 2016 presidential campaign laid the groundwork for this explosive climate, drawing the battle lines over race, class, and –– according to Trump’s critics –– basic decency. New Republican splits emerged in the party’s civil war over whether party affiliation was reason enough to overlook the uniquely serious misgivings some had about their party’s candidate.

Ultimately, for most Republicans, the answer to that question was yes, for reasons including concern for the Supreme Court, economic interests and distaste for the Democrats.

And in special elections since then, culminating in Alabama last month, “yes” has continued to be the answer. Moore won Trump’s blessing, and Republicans rallied around a man accused of preying on children, who was so flawed that the party lost what should have been an easy election.

“To think about how many on the Christian right, the Trumpist right and elements of the Trumpist media actually supported Roy Moore despite all the things he’s said and done is truly amazing,” said Charlie Sykes, who was a conservative radio host in Wisconsin and is now a Trump critic and the author of the recent book, “How the Right Lost its Mind.” “It can’t be explained in any other way than as a sign of extreme tribalism.”

That backdrop creates concrete challenges for Republican lawmakers now, as the 2018 congressional election cycle begins in earnest. Polls show that many Republican candidates can’t afford to alienate their base by being perceived as breaking with Trump or hurting his cause. But in key races that will determine control of Congress, candidates have to appeal to independents as Trump’s popularity remains at historic lows.

Meanwhile, the kinds of issues on which voters and lawmakers have had to take sides last year have often turned into charged debates over the morality and character of individuals –– and of the political parties themselves. Partisanship tests have been pushed to new limits with allegations of sexual assault against lawmakers in both parties, and questions of White House racial sensitivities after the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

“The more we’ve gotten away from basing decisions, politically, on whether or not this is something we find morally and personally tenable, the more we’ve devolved into this miasma of factionalism, of partisanship,” said former Ohio Republican Chairman Matt Borges, who clashed with Trump during the campaign. “It really comes down to a matter of personal tolerance. Are you able to, at some point in time, point to something and say that’s fundamentally wrong? Call it for what it is? … Can you look at the other side and say, ‘I applaud them for doing something right’?

“There doesn’t seem to be any appetite to do that either”.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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