Friday, March 22, 2024

America's 2024 Republican Party Disaster

2235 Words


I GET IT that Republican Congressmen and women want to get re-elected--and that the Republican Party wants to control Congress. This is reasonable for American democracy. Within the past few weeks, Trump has asked for and received endorsements from most all of the republican members of Congress.


But America has now lived through almost seven years of Trump and the Republican Party promoting lies and disinformation--failing to speak honestly to the American people.

The republicans have embarrassed themselves by broadcasting their hopeless attempts to impeach President Biden without credible evidence. The republicans did impeach Alejandro Mayorkas, but there is little chance of any conviction.  Half the republicans were slapping each other on the back; the others were embarrassed  and shaking their heads.

Recently, when the Congress was ready to pass badly needed Immigration Reform, Trump, while not even in office, pulled the strings necessary to shut it down. Multiple news agencies describe Trump as having “emasculated” the GOP, or the Republicans, or the Republican-run House. (available at Google search phrase of “trump emasculated the congress 2024.”)




The big failure of AMERICAN VOTERS in 2016 and beyond:   American voters failed to believe the obvious facts that Trump had neither the personal character nor the skills required of a president. Prior to his one-term presidency, he had never been a political office holder. And while Trump then didn’t have a criminal history, he was credibly labeled a fraud by Senator Mitt Romney. (Previous blogs have covered all this material.)

By the end of the 2016 Republican Presidential Debates, voters would have seen Trump’s general arrogance, rudeness, and failure to present realistic political agendas serving American values. The operative issue here is what the citizens want, not Trump. The American President is to serve the people, not merely personal biases.

Trump’s problems have always been on full, public display. Unfortunately, average citizens know too few facts by which to judge which U.S. presidential candidates would be good for them to vote for. Average citizens have some strong feelings about candidates, but they are not strong on solid information on which to make a decision.

From the very first, Trump, without factual information, regularly issued conspiracy theories about election fraud. This was accompanied by dire warnings that if he lost the election it would be due to voter fraud. Trump promised the voters he would go to Washington and “drain the swamp.” But Trump’s years in office would reveal Trump IS THE SWAMP because he serves only himself, is disorganized, and doesn’t care who he hurts.

In the 2016 election, Hilary Clinton won the popular vote by 2.9 million votes; however, Trump won the presidency by getting 304 electoral votes compared to Hillary Clinton’s 227 electoral votes. And it is the electoral votes that determine who won.


The big failure of THE REPUBLICAN PARTY as an organization from 2016 and forward:  There was little public evidence the Republican Party recognized the wrecking-ball aspects of Trump. And if they did see the danger, they didn’t show it in public or make it part of the public political discussions.   

Instead, the Republican Party and almost every republican politician USED Trump’s popularity in the belief it would help them win their elections. At the midterm elections, however, the republicans lost Congressional seats and the democrats gained seats.

The Republican Party was too loyal to hold Trump accountable for his inspiring and setting in motion the January 6th insurrection. Over the last several years Trump has put out propaganda that the January 6th participants were good people persecuted by the bad criminal justice system. Trump’s position was that the insurrectionists were the victims and the criminal justice system was the bad guy. For three years he has harped on this theme.


The big failure of the INDIVIDUAL REPUBLICAN HOUSE AND SENATE OFFICE HOLDERS before during and after January 6th, 2021.

Only a very few republican members of Congress supported:

1.  The creation of the January 6th Committee for investigating the insurrection,

2.  impeachment of Trump in the House of Representatives (Trump was impeached twice.),

3.  and conviction in the Senate (Trump was never convicted because of insufficient republican votes.)

Ninety-five percent of republican members of congress excused Trump from any negative consequences for his insurrectionist actions. The majority of these republicans repeated conspiracy theories of election fraud, vaguely implied such fraud, or had nothing to say about the well proven accuracy of the 2021 election win for Biden.

Over fifty lawsuits claiming election fraud were dismissed or lost at trial. The election itself was legal and fair. It was Trump and his fellow criminals who were busy corrupting the system. Some members of Trump’s White House and/or Congress were trying to interfere with the Department Of Criminal Justice.  Many Congressional republicans were condoning Trump’s insurrection activities by remaining silent. And many, perhaps a majority of republicans, were opposing any efforts to hold Trump accountable.


Trump’s relentless election denialism and wrecking-ball destruction of governmental norms were supported or condoned by the Republican Party. Trump effectively captivated or “owned” the Republican Party, which now has many properties of a personality cult. This helped Trump successfully propagandize 35% to 45% of the electorate into so loyally believing in him that they become oblivious to his unsuitability for the Presidency.  




Take seriously Trump’s dangerousness!


Bob Woodward is America’s presidential expert. He has written nine books these presidents: Biden, Trump, Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Reagan, Carter, Ford, and Nixon.

Woodward also wrote books on the CIA, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Supreme Court. His reporting on the Watergate Scandal and the 9/11 terrorist attacks were honored with two Pulitzer Prizes. Woodward knows his stuff!


What follows below are five categories of Trump’s serous problems which Woodward illustrated with the two 400 page books: FEAR: Trump in the White House and RAGE.


Signs of Trump’s Disorganization and Chaos

From Woodward’s book, FEAR: Trump in the White House 2018:

In the first months of Trump’s presidency, Trump and the Cabinet suffered through a difficult staff meeting. And Chief of Staff Priebus could see that the group had a “fundamental problem of goal setting” (225). The meeting was summarized as follows: “The president proceeded to lecture and insult the entire group about how they didn’t know anything when it came to defense or national security. It seems clear that many of the president’s senior advisers, especially those in the national security realm, are extremely concerned with his erratic nature, his relative ignorance, his inability to learn, as well as what they consider his dangerous views” (226).

Trump seemed to believe that “improvising was his strength. He could read the situation.” “He acted like doing too much advance preparation would diminish his skills in improvising. He did not want to be derailed by forethought. As if a plan would take away his power, his sixth sense” (231).

“Grievance was a big part of Trump’s core, very much like a 14 year old boy who felt he was being picked on unfairly. You couldn’t talk to him in adult logic. Teenage logic was necessary” (299).


From Woodward’s book, Rage, 2020.

Woodward inquired of Trump his plan for the next ten months in office. “Just do well,” Trump said, “Just do well. Run the country well.”  Woodward asked, “Help me define well.”  Trump replied, “Look, when you’re running a country it’s full of surprises. There’s dynamite behind every door” (xx).

To Trump’s Staff Secretary, Rob Porter, the Charlottesville Unite The Right rally (August 11-12, 2017) was a Trump administration breaking point:

“Trump rejected the better judgement of almost all of his staff. He had done that before. His perverse independence and irrationality ebbed and flowed. But with Charlottesville the floodgates just opened. For the sake of a few words, he had drawn a stark line. ‘This was no longer a presidency,’ Porter said. ‘This is no longer the White House. This is a man being who he is.’ Trump was going ahead no matter what” (252).


Trump came to the presidency with deeply entrenched beliefs that South Korea was costing the America untold millions and we weren’t getting anything back. Trump had no understanding of how our stationing thousands of troops in South Korea stabilized the area and our treaties with other nations. So one day he decided all troop in South Korea and Afghanistan should be withdrawn and brought home. Trump did not start a study of the problem. He was impulsive and insistently said, “Get them out”!

Then, Defense Secretary Mattis told the Director of National Intelligence Coates, “That’s crazy. that’s dangerous.” There had been no logistical planning and no consideration of the impacts on troops, allies, or the world. Mattis said, “The president has no moral compass.” This statement was not a shock to Coates, who had already come to such a conclusion about Trump’s lack of moral compass. Coats said about Trump, “To him, a lie is not a lie. It’s just what he thinks. He doesn’t know the difference between the truth and a lie” (69).



Signs of Trump’s Volatile Anger

From Fear, 2018

“Republican Senator Bob Corker had told reporters ‘the president has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence’ needed to succeed in office. And Politico had run a long piece on Trump’s anger issues, calling Trump ‘driven by his temper’ and saying ‘anger serves as a way to manage staff, express his displeasure or simply as an outlet that soothes him” (253).

Trump concluded that North Korea Leader Kim Jong Un was a tough guy. Trump decided he needed to be tougher. When Kim Jong Un said he had a nuclear button on his desk at all times, Trump tweeted back, “Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one that his, and my Button works!” (300). Across many interpersonal situations, Trump tends to attack his adversary or competitor with insults and challenges, and he has dealt with both American and foreign politicians in this way.



Signs of Trump’s Lack of Empathy and Cruelty

From Fear, 2018

Trump fired many of his White House Cabinet and staff. Frequently cabinet and staff were wanting to resign and would talk with Trump about it. Sometimes he wouldn’t want them to leave. But generally, Trump became resentful and didn’t personally inform his people prior to them being fired in a tweet! He had that little empathy.

Even worse, he could be extremely cruel. This was illustrated in how he eventually fired FBI Director James Comey. While Comey was away in California on Federal business, Trump announced his immediate firing as a news item which showed up on a TV screen for Comey to see. Comey was able to fly back on a government plane which had to return to Washington. When Trump found out Comey had come back on that plane, he flew into a rage against whomever had been involved in Comey’s using that airplane to fly back in (163).

Though Chief of Staff Priebus had just spoken to Trump about resigning eventually, Trump for some reason decided to tweet out someone new for Priebus’ position! Priebus was caught entirely by surprise and realized, “It made no sense, unless you understood the way Trump made decisions.” He said, “The president has zero psychological ability to recognize empathy or pity in any way” (page 235).



Signs of Trump’s Ignorance of Basic History and Government Processes

Trump often held uninformed opinions on economics and world trade. He had strong opinions but rarely, if ever, relevant facts. When staff would attempt to overcome his ignorance, he showed his stubbornness and lack of flexibility in thinking. Whenever Trump’s staff would challenge his misunderstandings about trade deficits and tariffs, “Trump was unmovable. ‘I know I’m right,’ he said. ‘If you disagree with me, you’re wrong’” (from Fear, 2018, 273).



Signs of Trump’s Deficient Capacity for Rational Thought, Reading, Listening, Weighing Alternatives

From Fear, 2018

Defense Secretary Mattis, early on, believed there were ways to help Trump be tough but also keep peace. Mattis told the following to an associate:

“But not with the current occupant (Trump). Because he doesn’t understand. He has no mental framework or mode for these things. He hasn’t read, you know.”

“Reading, listening, debating and having a process for weighing alternatives and determining policy were essential, Mattis believed. ‘I was often trying to impose reason over impulse. And you see where I wasn’t able to, because the tweets would get out there’” (80).

Mattis and the Director of National Intelligence discussed Trump’s dangerousness:

“I don’t know,” Mattis replied, “but we can’t let the country keep going” on this course. He repeated, “He’s dangerous.”

“Look,” Coats said, “others have tried and it’s had no impact whatsoever. They get tarred and feathered” (167).



“All presidents have a large obligation to inform, warn, protect, to define goals and the true national interest. It should be a truth-telling response to the world, especially in crisis. Trump has, instead, enshrined personal impulse as a governing principle of his presidency.

When his performance as a president is taken in its entirety I can only reach one conclusion: Trump is the wrong man for the job” (Rage, 2020, page 292).


Any references not found above are on the page  BIBLIOGRAPHY / WORKS CITED  in the blog.

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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Trump Excels At Shooting Himself In The Foot . . .


. . . And Anyone Else’s Foot He Can Target.


Will Saletan, at THEBULWARK+,  began an outstanding essay with the title:  

Decision 2024:  A ‘Well-Meaning’ Old Man vs. a Corrupt Old Man

Special Counsel Robert Hur’s investigations found that, “These two investigations have exposed two fundamental differences between the candidates. First, Biden is well-meaning, but Trump isn’t, and that’s why Trump, unlike Biden, committed crimes. And second, Biden’s cognitive flaws are small and benign, while Trump’s are enormous and dangerous.”,c_limit,f_webp,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/

Folks, be sure to click the above link and read the whole, short article! Vitally important and easily read.  



Judy Woodruff, Sarah C. Hartman, and Frank Carlson are the author’s of the America at a Crossroads series.  In January they published online their valuable article, “Conservative Trump critic discusses his impact on the GOP and a divided America. 


Judy Woodruff, a political conservative, is a well-regarded journalist and a known Trump critic. David Frum, Senior Editor of the Atlantic, asks the questions of Judy Woodruff.

DAVID FRUM asks: “Does Trump fit in with traditions of conservative thought in the U.S?”

JUDY WOODRUFF answers: Trump is “exactly the person and exactly the thing that conservative thought has always sought to exclude from power.”  And further, “The anger and rage, the desire to target, the willingness to use methods that are anti-constitutional, the fascination with violence, these are characteristics of a different kind of politics than the kinds of politics in the past we have called conservative.”

Then, JUDY WOODRUFF asks of FRUM: “How do you explain the loyalty that Donald Trump has today?

DAVID FRUM answers:  “[T]hey use hurts and grievances as permission to break rules, and because they have convinced people that the people who are enforcing the rules are your cultural enemies. . .[that] “even if I did break the rule, the fact is, you’re still—I’m on your side and they’re not.”  And further, “I don’t think we have ever seen this before with a federal—successful federal politician who said, I want to speak to hurts and grievances across the whole culture, across the whole country, and everyone who tries to enforce rules on me is an enemy of yours.”

FRUM goes on to assert that Trump will want to exploit the “demons” that exist in American society; Trump will provoke and amplify those tensions of his followers “in order to impose his lawless will upon the constitutional system.”

FRUM further predicts Trump's goals will be like:

  • getting away with something like Watergate
  • pardoning himself
  •      firing prosecutors
  •      telling people in advance what he’s going to do to them
  •       and “frightening the political system into letting me have my way.”

These are extremely useful questions and insights. Frum’s credible analysis of Trump’s political tactics is both a descriptively accurate and useful in predicting at any given time what his most likely reaction will be. Anyone closely following Trump’s political moves can recognize this endlessly repeated behavior.  




In the most simple terms, Trump has aptly been called a “wrecking ball.” And I will explain why this captures much of Trump’s effects on the political realities around him.

·         At the Republican Presidential Debates, Trump’s behavior and words were very unlike the other dozen candidates. He was the odd ball. He didn’t talk about politics. So what did he do? He made outlandish proposals like “I’ll build a wall and Mexico will pay for it.” He did not show respect for the other debaters. Once while Hilary Clinton was speaking he walked around the stage behind her (odd behavior useful for diverting attention from Clinton to him. When others called him out for being factually incorrect, it didn’t bother him at all. He had enormous self-confidence without a legitimate basis.

·         When he won the Presidency, he did not have an organized plan for beginning his term. When his very skilled cabinet sought to bring him up to speed with a schedule and agenda, he resisted. When his own cabinet secretaries (experts in their fields) made reasonable recommendations, Trump would often be uninterested; if his staff tried to reorient him to reasonable approaches, he would tell them they were wrong, or stupid, or mock them. After a mere couple months in office, his staff were beginning to realize Trump didn’t know much of anything about how politicians actually collaborate and get work done!  The interpersonal environment of the Trump White House was extremely poor. The wrecking ball had the effect of disrupting the staff’s professional routines.  Bright and capable men eventually began leaving when the saw their best efforts wasted.  

·         Trump lacked the normal interpersonal skills necessary for teamwork. When he had to act and make decisions, he often resorted to biased personal preferences because he didn’t understand how domestic or international politics worked—and he wasn’t interested in learning.


Detailed information on Trump’s inadequacies in the White House can be found in the following books.

Woodward, Bob. FEAR: Trump in the White House, 2018. Woodward is probably the world’s expert on the American Presidency and I have read a half dozen of his books.

Bolton, John.  The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, 2020.

Esper, Mark T. A Sacred Oath: Memoirs Of A Secretary Of Defense During Extraordinary Times, 2022.

Cummings, Elijah. We’re Better Than This: My Fight For The Future Of Our Democracy, 2020.

Califano, Joseph A. Jr. Our Damage Democracy: We the People Must Act, 2018

All of these books are deeply interesting and reveal the inside story of Trump’s serious ignorance of government and gross lack of integrity.

Woodward, Bolton (Trump’s former National Security Advisor), and Esper (Trump’s Secretary of Defense) have all said in all seriousness that Donald Trump is a threat to democracy.



Many legitimate, honorable Republicans have described Trump as a wrecking ball because he tends to destroy normal political business, and this leads to chaos and confusion. You can google “who has called trump a wrecking ball,” and see all the politicians names that pop up.


Typically, Trump is all about filling up the room with his cynical, sarcastic, puffed up mocking of other people. Trump doesn’t have any well-laid out plans; instead he thrives on public attention and spouts off with non-stop dramatic policy threats. Trump is unusually unfiltered. If he thinks it and feels it he’s going to put it in someone’s face.

Bob Woodward’s book, listed above, gives stunning examples of Trump’s fundamental inability to function as part of a team. Here are some examples:

·     Woodward, pages 274-276 show Trump’s lack of understanding of the economy and international trade agreements.  

·     Woodward, pages 272-273 shows that when his advisers tried to guide him into effective strategies, Trump would prefer his personal (uninformed and biased) opinions. When his advisers challenged Trump he could not be persuaded by intelligent discussion. Instead, Trump said, “I know I’m right. If you disagree with me, you’re wrong.” From my reading the above books, Trump does not show a capacity to prioritize the important issues of the moment; he’s a very poor listener; he responds with his gut and does not display the use of critical thinking skills necessary for reasonable decision making.

·     Woodward, page 276 shows how Trump hated the World Trade Association, claiming we were being taken advantage of and calling it the “worst organization ever created!” Trump’s very knowledgeable staff pointed out that America has won 86% of its cases. Trump responded with, “This is bullshit. This is wrong.” The staff data was, of course, correct. Trump was not interested in the facts and on many occasions would not even read what his staff gave to him to be informed—even on national security intelligence matters.

·     Trump was often cruel to his staff. Sometimes he was cruel by outright personal attacks. Other times he would freeze someone out for months. Trump often talked behind the backs of his staff; and he would seek personal opinions from staff about other staff. These tactics were thought to be destructive.

·     Woodward, page 226: A senior White House official speaking about a White House meeting made two important observations:

Trump “proceeded to lecture and insult the entire group about how they didn’t know anything when it came to defense or national security.”

And, “It seems clear that many of the president’s senior advisers, especially those in the national security realm, are extremely concerned with his erratic nature, his relative ignorance, his inability to learn, as well as what they consider his dangerous views.”




The five high quality, authoritative books are “textbooks” of  the real Donald Trump as president. The authors are experts in how good government functions. Since 2016, about 50% of the voting public liked Trump as a person or as a politician enough to vote for him. Liked is a feeling. It’s not right or wrong.

However, the words and actions of politicians are public actions seen and documented facts.

Donald Trump did not have a criminal record before becoming president. That’s a good thing to know.

But now, in 2024, many of his 90 criminal indictments will one by one be tried in criminal courts. There is tons of evidence to convict him. Many of the lawyers, citizens, and even members of Congress) who performed illegal acts for him have been convicted; and, there are at least ten or twenty who will be testifying against him in court. The federal criminal justice system has already been very successful in getting guilty pleas and prison sentences for those who tried but failed to manipulate electoral votes to corrupt the election into a Trump win.

It would be great news for Trump if he were simply defeated in the next presidential election.


Any references not found above are on the page  BIBLIOGRAPHY / WORKS CITED  in the blog.

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America's 2024 Republican Party Disaster

2235 Words   I GET IT that Republican Congressmen and women want to get re-elected--and that the Republican Party wants to control Co...