The Monday Morning Teaser

This week the hole Donald Trump is in got deeper. And as he so often does, he did a lot of the digging himself. In his motion for a Trump-appointed judge to put an independent special master between the Department of Justice and the documents the FBI took from Mar-a-Lago under a search warrant, Trump’s lawyers included so much disinformation and outright falsehood that DoJ felt obligated to respond with a full history of their attempts to recover Trump’s stolen documents. The filing ended with an evidence photo of clearly labeled secret and top-secret documents spread across the floor in Mar-a-Lago and sitting next to one of the flimsy bankers’ boxes where these documents had been stored.

The photo was a holy-shit moment for me and just about anybody else who has ever had a security clearance. There’s no nuance here, no argument to be had about where to draw the line between legal and illegal: He knew he had the documents. He knew he had no right to them. And he lied to the government to keep them. One of the TV talking heads appropriately compared the situation to a drug bust: “If they find the heroin in your basement, you’re in trouble.”

But this week’s two featured posts aren’t about that. In “Fascist is a description, not an insult”, I talk about President Biden’s decision to publicly push back against the anti-democracy trends in the GOP, including labeling the MAGA Republicans as “semi-fascist”.

I started applying the F-word to Trump in 2015. At the time, I felt an obligation to define what I meant and why I thought the word applied, so that it wouldn’t just be another insult to throw at someone I didn’t like. Seven years later, I stand by my definition and my decision to call Trump a fascist. That article should be out shortly.

The second featured post doesn’t have a title yet, but it concerns the politics of abortion. The big shift that has happened after Dobbs is that Democrats have taken what I call the “advantage of fantasy” away from Republicans. The hypothetical cases at the center of the debate these days are ones that favor abortion rights. (What if your 12-year-old gets pregnant from a rape?) Sooner or later, Republicans will try to take that advantage back. (What if some perfectly healthy woman wants to abort a perfectly healthy fetus moments before birth?) How should the argument go then?

That still needs work, so don’t expect to see it before 11 EDT.

That leaves a lot for the weekly summary to cover: the Trump stuff, the water problem in Jackson, CNN’s apparent desire to move to the right, a biography of a great American you probably haven’t heard of, and a few other things. And it’s not just Labor Day, it’s Labor Day falling on 9-5, which means we have to hear from Dolly Parton.

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  • philipfinn  On September 5, 2022 at 6:02 pm

    We’re old enough to remember the 1968 Democrat Convention in Chicago, where William F Buckley, jr called Gore Vidal a “qXXXr” (or a “the other f-word”, depending on whose memory – most recorded copies are “bleeped”) on live TV in response to Vidal having called him a “crypto-fascist”.
    I think that’s a better insult than Biden’s “semi-fascist” or at least more accurate. The nature of fascism, with its inevitable genocidal endgame, excludes any half-measures. “Semi-Fascism”, “Fascism-Lite”, “Conservative-Fascism”, “Neo-Conservatism”, “Neo-Liberalism” are all half-measures which simply don’t exist. Like the old joke about the little boy caught in flagrante and warned he’ll go blind, it simply isn’t possible to Fascist merely until you need glasses.

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