Social Question

stanleybmanly's avatar

Is Trump really a criminal or merely inept beyond belief?

Asked by stanleybmanly (15970points) June 7th, 2017 from iPhone

Things are clearly headed in a direction where these are the choices available. As this saga shakes out, it becomes increasingly apparent that the man is operating out of his depth. And the mistakes he makes are just too stupid to be intentional.

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84 Answers

rojo's avatar

I am gonna go with A.

kritiper's avatar

A little of both. More inept than criminal, like 80/20.

johnpowell's avatar

Just to be clear. Not knowing what a cashier is doesn’t make it legal to walk into 7–11 and walk out with want you want without paying.

But if you want to run with this narrative you have to pick between criminal or incompetent. Both are grounds for being removed the the job.

PullMyFinger's avatar

Hangonletmethinkaboutityesheisacrook.

Mimishu1995's avatar

He started out as being inept. But he also has an ego the size of a mountain. The ego refused to let him see himself as who he is, and he did everything to make sure it stayed safe. Before he knew it, he became a criminal.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Politicians, at that level, are all criminals. The ineptitude lies in the people of the USA.

We let Cheney use us to make money killing people. We never held him accountable for his actions.

Now, Trump is destroying the US government, as it was known, piece by piece. Most are mad, but they just watch…

ucme's avatar

It’s the american people who are inept, half of you voted him in & the other half constantly whine & chew yourselves up with bitterness & frustration.
America, fucking itself up from within for generations…have a nice day y’all.

JLeslie's avatar

Why do Brits always do a Southern accent when they make fun of Americans?

I have serious doubts Trump will actually be impeached. Is he a criminal? Probably. He might be a little inept, but he also seems to be stupid like a fox, or event smart sometimes. I’m sure the “other side” thought Clinton and Obama were criminals, and hoped he would be impeached, oh yeah, they did impeach Bill Clinton, and from their POV it’s the same way Democrats feel now.

I’m pretty much with @ucme, that half of America put Trump in office, and half are chewing themselves up with bitterness. This happens over and over again with each presidential election. It’s not half, it’s less than half, but symbolically it’s half.

Not that I don’t think Trump should be investigated for some of the crap going on. I definitely do. I worry he could do something really horrible that could put the country at risk. I’m happy that many eyes are watching.

jca's avatar

I think Trump is inept and incompetent, but that doesn’t mean that some things he’s doing are not criminal. He was brought up a rich boy that probably did whatever he wanted. He knows it’s better to ask forgiveness than ask permission. He’s doing what he wants and for the most part, nobody’s stopping him. This is how he behaved his whole life. Spoiled boy, spoiled despot adult.

CWOTUS's avatar

Why can’t he be both?

Really, if one understands the laws – all of the laws – under which we live now, we probably all routinely commit crimes. In fact, this isn’t an idea that I just came up with, there’s a book that addresses the topic directly. Three Felonies a Day is about that very topic. In his more elevated position, and with the enemies that he has generated, I have zero doubt that he has committed crimes, whether he did that with intent or not, and some would love to bring him down regardless of that mens rea.

After that, the office of the Presidency, being the executive in charge of an organization as large, cumbersome and amorphous – and grasping – as the executive branch of the US federal government is certainly one that takes some growing into. And no, his personality does not seem to take kindly to “growing into” things. So he’s bound to actually be inept in the beginning – and probably as long as he keeps the job, to be honest – and with the enemies that he has made gleefully pouncing on every mistake that he has made (and making up several that he hasn’t), I’m sure you’ll never be disabused of the notion, even when it’s incorrect.

ucme's avatar

@JLeslie Same principle when americans see us as bowler hat wearing toffs who adore the queen ;-}

JLeslie's avatar

Do we do that? Lol. I wasn’t even aware.

marinelife's avatar

Criminal, without doubt. He is in the presidency to rape America.

ucme's avatar

Oh yes, I mean, Carstairs says i’m far from being a toff…

Zaku's avatar

A person isn’t technically a criminal until they’re convicted of a felony. Before that, that label is about how clearly a person could be charged and convicted, which IIRC is nearly impossible until they get kicked out of office first by impeachment, which is often followed by pardoning…

I have no doubt Trump could be convicted of several things, if any prosecutor can manage to pull that off in the face of all the political forces who would like to avoid that, including the POTUS protections and impeachment/pardon stuff.

Seems to me there are some laws about not using the POTUS position for personal gain? No? Never mind all the stuff with Russia/Putin, Rex Tillerson, etc.

And of course he’s also criminally inept and infantile and dreadful in so many ways.

Brian1946's avatar

He could be both.

He probably is a criminal but because his actions and utterances since 2015 suggest that he has little or no prefrontal cortex, almost any ineptitude he exhibits is believable.

tinyfaery's avatar

@ucme To be fair only about half of Americans actually voted and of that half a bit less than half voted for Trump. So we are looking at ¼ of Americans voting for Trump and other ¼ for Hillary and half are either unable to vote, have been disenfranchised by voter laws or simply do not care.

jca's avatar

@Zaku: One can also be a criminal if one has been convicted of a misdemeanor.

ragingloli's avatar

@JLeslie
Because like it or not, when the world thinks of your country, they think of southern rednecks.
Just like germany is reduced to Lederhosen, Bratwurst, and Hitler.

ucme's avatar

And the French use cheese & onion as deodorant…

@tinyfaery It’s a valid point well made, as usual :)

CWOTUS's avatar

@Zaku are you even a little bit aware of the cognitive dissonance you put on display in your last response?

In the first place you stake a philosophical position – and for the sake of argument, let’s stipulate that it’s a fair position on its face – that a person “isn’t technically a criminal until they’re convicted of a felony”. So, okay, since Trump apparently has not even been tried for a felony, then he can’t even be convicted, and he’s not a criminal. That’s your logic.

You go on to assert rather blithely that he “could be convicted of several things”, without even mentioning what any of them are or the evidence that you seem to have.

And then you close by noting that he is “criminally inept” ... among other failings.

Well, words fail me in any attempt to criticize the illogic of that one post. It speaks for itself. Mostly it seems to sit in a corner and babble to itself.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I think it will be difficult to impeach him on criminal charges simply because the obvious defense of “I am an idiot” is just too viable. Again, the Repubs will certainly avoid the humiliating embarrassment of the impeachment process and invoke the 25th amendment. That way you get rid of him with the simple declaration that he is unfit for office, with no further action or details required.

JLeslie's avatar

:) Smiley face to the stereotypes. Lol.

Yellowdog's avatar

Twenty six answers thus far.

No criminal activity. Comey testified that he was never pressured to end a Russian investigation.

rojo's avatar

@Yellowdog As Trump supporters are fond of saying “Give it time”. It’s coming.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@Yellowdog if Trump escapes the Comey firing unscathed there. are now so many torpedoes headed his way that the possibility of escape is beyond remote. Better than half his cabinet is either under criminal investigation or dull witted to the point of excruciating embarrassment. The turmoil inflicted on the country has rendered the idea of governance an afterthought to its chief executive wallowing in his own sh*t. Do you really see a sensible way out for the Donald, or for that matter, the country itself?

MrGrimm888's avatar

^For future reference, you shouldn’t use the word “sensible” in the same sentence as Trump…

Dutchess_III's avatar

He’s really a criminal and he is inept.

stanleybmanly's avatar

But can you be a criminal if you are unable to distinguish self aggrandizement from criminal conspiracy? I mean how would a man more than accustomed to fudging the line between business and criminal enyerprise- how is such a man supposed to understand that it might be illegal to suggest to a “henchman” that he “lean on” someone investigating “the business”?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Because that’s how he’s run his entire life, threatening people, leaning on people, with no fear of consequences because he can just buy his way out. It’s not a question of right or wrong for him. It’s a question of getting what he wants by any means necessary.

Yellowdog's avatar

Actually, Stanley, no one in the Trump cabinet is under criminal investigation.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Those who aren’t certified idiots have either resigned in disgrace or been fired
The AG has been forced to recuse himself from the primary investigations in his own dept. of Justice. Comey stated point blank that Trump lied blatantly about the circumstances of Comey’s firing as well as the credibility of Comey’s reputation and character within the bureau. In fact the integrety of Comey (and virtually anyone else) is virtually sterling pitted against that of the current President who to this day cannot recognize the truth when it slaps him in the face. And if you think Comey’s statement that Trump did not directly order him to lay off Flynn clears Trump of all possible involvement with Russian entanglements—think again. This is just the preview of what’s to come. Flynn all by himself is iceberg enough to send the SS Trump to the bottom with all hands. Moreover, Flynn and Comey are just 2 of the avenues on the map of manifest highways to Trump’s most assured demise.

Zaku's avatar

@CWOTUS Cognitive dissonance is what’s going on, so, yes. It’s what we have. A clearly sick, childish clod as POTUS, who violates so many things at once and yet was elected and isn’t yet arrested or impeached or laughed out of office and is even still supported by WAY too many people in this country. Do you really need me to point to specific ones? Really? And yet, technically, he’s still POTUS and not officially a criminal. And he’s nearly immune from prosecution while in office .

I didn’t make that shit up. It’s the situation. Please don’t try to call it my cognitive dissonance.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Bet he goes to jail the instant he loses the office, whenever that may be.

I find it so ironic that so many Trump supporters are still spouting “Hillary for Jail,” when she didn’t do a thing wrong.

Soubresaut's avatar

For what it’s worth, I also watched the Comey hearing… What I took away, all partisanship aside, is there’s a whole lot we (the public) don’t yet know… also, the FBI’s investigation is a serious and important one.

Yellowdog's avatar

Dutchess—Actually, on July 5th, Comey listed and described sixteen felonies in thirteen minutes committed by Hillary Clinton—but she was given a pass.

The day before, Bill Clinton was talking with Loretta Lynch, the Attorney General, on an airport tarmac. Yesterday, Comey said Lynch told him (Comey) to call the investigation a “matter” and not an investigation. Clinton was given a pass.

There has been no evidence or charges of crime involving Donald Trump. Hillary even smashed blackberries and laptops and used bleachbit to hide evidences. Hillary is a criminal but couldn;t be touched. Trump has had nothing but a continual stream of accusations and character assaults

stanleybmanly's avatar

That’s right. It’s all one big smear. Let’s sit back and see how the martyrdom of St Donald proceeds.

Yellowdog's avatar

So, are you denying what Comey said July 4th?

PullMyFinger's avatar

THIS was what every reliable news wire reported on that date:

On 5 July 2016, Comey released a statement saying that the FBI had found no clear evidence that Secretary Clinton intended to violate any laws. However, he castigated Clinton and her colleagues for being “extremely careless”:

@Yellowdog please indicate exactly where your ‘Comey listed and described 16 felonies’ statement originated..

I am interested.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I suppose the debate will rage eternally over whether Hillary was given a pass. The difference between Clinton’s ordeal and the hurdles facing Trump is that it is Trump himself who with the consistency of clockwork labors tirelessly in excavating his own grave. To get what I mean @Yellowdog, what’s your answer to the question: Is or isn’t the President of the United States an inveterate and pathological liar?

stanleybmanly's avatar

There are other differences, beginning with the intensity and extent of these investigations, the bipartisan and universal participation and the all but guaranteed certainty of criminal indictments looming in this President’s inner circle. There is the now undisputed fact that the Russians sought to manipulate the Presidential election to the benefit of Mr. Trump. And there is the glaring entanglement of Trump and his associates with with Russsian banks, business conglomerations and the kleptocrats behind them. The bottom line is that an unprecedented spotlight of investigation is destined to shine on a man distinguished for a lifetime of sharp and shady dealings. The accumulated dirt on Trump is anybody’s guess, but you can bet the farm that it is both extensive and now relevant. Our boy is going to have the covers snatched off him, and a pretty picture is not in the cards.

PullMyFinger's avatar

To me, it is FAR more important and worrisome that we have so many Kardashian-watching, “I-heard-it-somewhere”-believing lazy people in this country who can’t be bothered with…..you know…..checking the actual FACTS before blathering an opinion for the whole world to read on this,or any other site.

My mother, bless her soul, via email passes along every goddamn “fact” which somebody else emails to her without bothering to check (and it is VERY goddamn EASY) on whether the information is anywhere CLOSE to being accurate. I asked her to PLEASE do this, but her response has apparently been to just not send phony-baloney horseshit to me anymore.

It is epidemic in our country.

I suspect we’re on the highway to being screwed….

Yellowdog's avatar

There has been, and will be, a continued series of accusations against Trump. I, by the way, was a Rubio supporter. Even before the election, the first accusations was that he’s a racist. That was what Hillary campaigned for. The next accusation was that he was a Russian agent posing as a Real Estate billionare.

The only evidence of collusion with the Russians was the Buzzfeed dossier about Trump renting a hotel room where the Obama’s stayed—that Trump hired prostitutes to urinate on the bed. That’s the only document the Russians produced but I don’t know how that support from Russia was supposed to help the Trump campaign.

PullMyFinger's avatar

Well….Rubio or no Rubio…...it’s too late now.

I happened to listen to Senator Rubio speak at a business dinner a few years ago, and he sleep-walked through the whole thing. Very unimpressive.

But I digress…..

I was working out at a local gym on the day after Election Day in November. I was stunned, and pretty angry. It occurred to me that I would rather have the next random person who walked into the gym as our president, rather than the phony-baloney jackass we are (for now) stuck with.

I meant it then, and I absolutely mean it now…..

CWOTUS's avatar

I felt the same – and have felt ever since, @PullMyFinger – but with one exception. There were two people in the country who would have made a worse job of being president, and after the first one sabotaged the second one’s chance at that, and Trump went on to win over the first, I was more or less happy. Not “thrilled”, but … not unhappy.

rojo's avatar

@Yellowdog as @stanleybmanly asked ” .... what’s your answer to the question: Is or isn’t the President of the United States an inveterate and pathological liar?”

I too would like your take on him.

In your opinion, is he a liar?

And to be clear. I am asking about him and him alone. Not as compared to Clinton or Obama or any or every other politician. The focus of this question is Trump and only Trump.

Is the President of the United States a liar?

PullMyFinger's avatar

@CWOTUS

With all respect…..there WILL be a day when you conveniently “remember things differently”, and tell your grandchildren that you…..well…..“just made a mistake”.......

But PLEASE don’t say that “nobody told me”......because I just told you…..

rojo's avatar

I would like to point out that we went from “No one in my Administration talked to the Russians” to “Ok, maybe Flynn did” to “Ok, Flynn and Sessions” to “Ok, Flynn, Sessions and several others on my staff and administration, past and present” to “Ok, Flynn, Sessions, several others and my son-in-law” to “they were acting on their own accord” to…...... What is the next step? We are still early in the investigation yet. Stay tuned for more damning details.

rojo's avatar

@Yellowdog

It might make it easier to answer if you recall the quote by Theodore Roosevelt:

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else.”

stanleybmanly's avatar

@Yellowdog your decision to let my question hang demonstrates only one of the things Trump is up against in the upcoming investigations and the proceedings that will result. Those of you who insist that all of the charges and accusations building against the President are inventions from the left have to face the fact that the man is defenseless against any charge or even slander requiring his personal character or integrity as a factor of consideration. Thanks to his loud, loose and busy mouth, Donald J must enter the arenas and face the showcase trials of the century with the established fact that his word on any matter involving truth or fact is WORTHLESS.

ragingloli's avatar

And we are also still waiting for Drumpf’s “grand revelation” about Obama’s birth certificate.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Yeah… Hard to even approach sympathy for Trump.

He’s apparently, ‘someone who can dish it, but can’t take it.’ Classic example…
He is at least as bad as the media he so aggressively scolds, for using his tools of manipulation.
The words/phrases cry baby, hypocrite, liar, among many others come to mind.

It’s really quite an amazing thing to watch. Something like a terrible calamity… An apocalypse movie… Trump is just as bad as his detractors feared… Why anyone would support this war on the middle class, and poor,dressed as a mockery of a democracy is beyond me…

I think what I could tolerate about previous criminals (politicians,) was the fact that the good ones hid their faults. Trump displays them….. And still, as his supporters watch him piss in their pockets and tell them it’s rain, they believe him….? Watching the urine stream from his member straight to their pockets isn’t enough… I think I would understand if he spoke like Obama. Or was charming like Bill. Or famous like Reagan. Or had ANY redeeming qualities.

Trump is selling bullshit sandwiches to his supporters. AND BUSINESSES IS GOOD!!!!

PullMyFinger's avatar

Yeah, they’re coming out of the woodwork now.

“Facts” ??.....Screw that !! Look how far that waddling outhouse got, sometimes contradicting himself more than once before he even finishes the SENTENCE (such as it is) that he’s working on.

Anyway, for the record, ladies…..I am two inches taller than I am, and have a thick, full head of hair…..and can play guitar better than Eric Clapton !!

And, oh yeah…..I can bench-press 750 lbs…...using only one hand !!

Most people can’t do THAT !!

Sad.

Soubresaut's avatar

@Yellowdog, This is the text from Comey’s statement. Could you point to the 16 felonies for me? I don’t know enough about what the legal statues are individually to identify them myself.

I do see, in Comey’s recommendations, however, this passage, which I feel more comfortable in understanding;

Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before bringing charges. There are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent. Responsible decisions also consider the context of a person’s actions, and how similar situations have been handled in the past.

In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.

To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.

The way I read this, the FBI could not find evidence that what Hillary or her team did was in any way intentional or nefarious. They ultimately found that Hillary and her team acted unwisely, in Comey’s now famous words “extremely careless,” with the setup and use of the private email server. However, as the last paragraph explains, the repercussions for this kind of activity may be “security or administrative sanctions,” (which, as Comey says, isn’t what they’re deciding now, isn’t the issue at hand right now), not charges of felony and prosecution.

In other words, her use of a private email server was stupid, but not criminal.

Comey also says: I know there will be intense public debate in the wake of this recommendation, as there was throughout this investigation. What I can assure the American people is that this investigation was done competently, honestly, and independently. No outside influence of any kind was brought to bear.

Here is Comey giving a brief restatement to clarify his decision a few days later, in the wake of the immediate outcry, where he tries to clarify the laws surrounding the mishandling of classified information, and the established legal precedents.

And here is a Politico article explaining Comey’s reference to that one “case involving espionage,” that also goes further into the history surrounding this broader issue.

In nutshell/soundbite form, Comey “suggested the Smith case was starkly different than Clinton’s,” (see Politico link).

… Which I think means, to prosecute Clinton, the Justice Department would be defining new legal precedent, new boundaries for the law’s application. Not criminally prosecuting her isn’t treating her differently than other citizens under the eyes of the law; it’s actually treating her the same, which is ultimately what we want for our society, and for justice more broadly.

Sorry this got so lengthy… I blame the citations!

stanleybmanly's avatar

I actually believe we should prepare ourselves for his abrupt removal. Behind the scenes you can bet there are movements afoot in all quarters on solutions to the current President. The key (particularly for the Republicans) lies in the vague flexibility inherent in the wording of the 25th amendment. So the question comes down to just which characteristics render an individual unfit for office. It seems to me that a pathological inability to distinguish the truth might do the trick.

Myusernamenotyours's avatar

My entire family is betting that he will be impeached. that egotistical, orange-skinned, maniacal, gmfdmkbjdflmkfd…

Yellowdog's avatar

I think your comment is in rather poor taste after today’s assassination attempts on Republican senators—fueled by so many months of anti-republican hate. But I never was one for censorship and your right to say what you want.

Again, no crime so no impeachment. Since this thread was started, we’ve learned that there never was any Russian collusion. En lieu of this, the dems are attempting now to make an obstruction’ case. A safer bet is that there will be an assassination of the president. Many are secretly hoping for this because I can tell by their rhetoric and innuendo. When that happens (and I’d give it a possible to likely possibility)—all hell will break lose in the country and it will be impossible to keep order. The campus riots and other dissident groups and racist groups like Black Lives Matter will decimate the country. I believe this will happen because with no evidence of a crime, the vitriol is strong enough that many will take him out by any means necessary. Gory and bloody violence against Trump is showing up on prime-time and on ‘comedy’ T.V. with surprising regularity. Today;s attempt at killing 25 congressmen on a field—where a bipartisain charity event was being rehearsed, is just a symptom of something much worse than the usual vitriol over losing an election.

I didn’t see an egotistical president today. And again, your comment is in poor taste but I am commenting just to document here that your comment was made on a day of an attempted slaughter of 25 people—just because they were Republican.

stanleybmanly's avatar

You mean Trump is not an egotistical, maniacal, orange skinned gmfdmkbjdflmkfd? Or is he just entitled to respect on days when Republicans are shot?

MrGrimm888's avatar

^That’s just it. They (Republicans) only care about themselves. There have been lots of mass shootings. It’s a problem now?...

They won’t care about issues that don’t affect them.directly. $10 bucks says that some new gun control laws will be a priority, all of a sudden…..

Fucking hypocrites.

I feel just as sorry for them, as they have for victims of every other mass shooting. Extremely small, obvious changes, could be made with gun laws that would maybe stop some of these incidents. But our government, especially the GOP, are whores of the NRA.

@Yellowdog. With all due respect, I find it in poor taste that you pick this thread, to decide to mention mass shootings…. They’ve been a menace, long before the aforementioned incident. Sorry it was a bunch of rich white people this time….

rojo's avatar

@Yellowdog a couple of points.

First, this question was posed before the shooting. The shooting, while abhorrent, has no relationship as to whether or not Trump is inept or criminal. Unless he and his administration staged for their own benefit. Something that I personally would not put past them, but that is irrelevant at this time.

The shooter appears to have been motivated by the ongoing attempt to eliminate the ACA and healthcare for a large number of Americans, not by the fact that these people had an “R” after their names. He would have been after Whigs if they had been trying to dismantle US healthcare. The fact that the Republicans have taken it upon themselves while excluding any kind of bipartisan input means that he was able to single them out. If it had been the Democrats doing it or had there been a true bipartisan effort to overhaul the system then he would have been after them also.

Second, whether or not a crime has been committed IS STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION and will be for some time. IF it is determined there was a crime THEN you will see impeachment proceedings (if we are lucky and the Republican controlled Congress does not stonewall such), Stop trying to put the cart before the horse. Seriously, you want an impeachment first then the facts found later???

Third, since this thread was started, we’ve learned that there has been a concerted effort by both the White House and members of the presidents party to stonewall, obscure and otherwise impede the ability of the committees and the American people to learn whether or not there was collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

Third and a half, We have learned that there WAS Russian interference into the US election process.

Fourth, the hearings have brought out enough evidence for the special prosecutor to begin an investigation into possible obstruction of justice by the WH. This is not because of the investigations but because of the actions of people in the White House..

Fifth, there is always a chance that there will be an assassination attempt on the President, any and every President. It happens, and as divisive as Trump was, is and continues to be and as antagonistic as politicians have become since the era of Newt Gingrich it has a higher probability than even Obama faced and that was a major concern. If there an attempt then no group would be happier than the Republican party elite. Many are secretly hoping for this because I can tell by their rhetoric and innuendo. If it succeeds they will be rid of a major problem and even if it fails they will use it to enact further legislation to reduce the rights and freedoms of the American people. For our own safety of course. If an attempt happens (and I’d give it a slim to non-existent possibility)—all hell will break lose in the country and it will be impossible to keep order. Police forces will become even more militarized. Identification will be required at all times. Protest and dissent will be outlawed or seriously limited Left wing groups will spring up to counter the raging right-wing nationalists that take revenge into their own hands decimating the country and killing indiscriminately.

Sixth, if this happens it will be because the Republican party, with a little help from their comrades, have intentionally split this nation apart with divisive politics and policies, refusal to work with the opposition party for the last twenty-four years, demonization of liberals, liberal thinking, priorities and concerns, using fear and suspicion as the driving force for their party base and a refusal to even engage in dialog for sensible gun ownership laws. The vitriol they have spewn is being returned in kind. They reap what they have sewn. And there are enough people out there of all persuasions who may not be as mentally stable as we might like and who have been inculcated by this venomous hatred for the other side.and who have unencumbered access to firearms and other weapons of war whose only purpose is the killing of large numbers of people in a short amount of time.

Seventh, it is somewhat humorous and certainly ironic that, after twenty-four years of total blindness and deafness to the hatred and malevolence their talk show hosts and Fox news commentators initiated against liberals, they have suddenly discovered it, but only when it is directed against their conservative stalwarts.

Eighth, today;s attempt at killing 25 congressmen on a field—where a bipartisan charity event was being rehearsed, is just a symptom of being left out of the governing process. Something that led to the election of Trump and something that both conservatives and liberals should be able to relate to. Inclusion and bi-partisanship would be the intelligent and responsible response and is therefor unlikely with this White House and this Congress.

Ninth, today I saw an misogynistic, egotistical bully reading from a script, written by others, trying to convey feelings of sadness, sorrow and compassion. Unfortunately, it was a failure. His tone and mannerisms betrayed him and made it obvious that he really did not care (since it didn’t happen to him) and was just going through the motions because someone told him he had to.

And finally, I still don’t see why you think why a question about whether or not Trump is inept, criminal or both has any bearing on the tragedy that happened today in Virginia.

Ps. You never did answer the question raised in a prior post. Does Trump lie and can you answer yes or no without invoking the actions of others?

Myusernamenotyours's avatar

And now, more than half this country, (58%) disapprove of him. Only 36% do. I find it hard to believe that at one point, more people approved of him than disapproved.

Yellowdog's avatar

“And finally, I still don’t see why you think why a question about whether or not Trump is inept, criminal or both has any bearing on the tragedy that happened today in Virginia.”

Hmmm… The post by MyUserNameNotYours—which my response was in direct response to, was indeed written six hours after the shooting.

Can you name a single act Trump has instigated to stonewall or obfuscate an investigation?
Can you cite a single example of a mass Right Wing shooting or massacre in this country aside from the South Carolina church shooting by two Aryan Nation youth (not really a part of the right—this is an antisemitic group primarily with delusional ties to the Confederacy—not an interest of right-wing politics).

I do not blame Bernie Sanders or the Democrats for the shooting. Just how poor taste it was for Myusernamenotyours (who is currently crafting a response) to post this in the wake of the shooting. The shooter may have been deranged but his inept brain was programmed by bookoos of leftist, anti-Trump and Kill Republicans rhetoric that has been festering for years.

Trump has responded appropriately to every act of terror on his watch. The speech was written by Trump and Pence.

Again, after seven months of investigations and continued statements by democrat senators AND leaders of intelligence, Trump IS NOT and never has been under investigation for collusion with Russians. Most of the evidence cited by The New York Times states that Trump has had business deals with Russians .Hillary and Obama had far more dubious and harmful deals with Russia, Iran, and Syria. If this were a serious inquiry, more would be concerned about the real Russian threat and its influence in politics, the media, the universities, and their very real and dangerous technology which is a proven, serious threat..

ragingloli's avatar

“Can you name a single act Trump has instigated to stonewall or obfuscate an investigation?”
1. Tried to pressure Comey into dropping the investigation into Flynn.
2. Fired Comey.
3. Is now reportedly considering firing Müller as well.

rojo's avatar

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd there we go. Had to bring Obama and Hillary into it as an attempted foil for whatever Trump is/was/will have done.

As for it being a “serious” threat, everyone who know anything about it in the intelligence community, the ones who should know, are concerned and have voiced their concern and because of this every politician that does not have an “R” following his title is also concerned. The only group that is not excited about it is the Republicans and I can only surmise the reason for that is they want as little investigation into it as much as possible because of the probably repercussions toward their man in the WH.

To whom your answer was directed was unclear. I apologize for assuming it was to the original question. However, I still don’t agree with you that even that post was in poor taste. He/she tastefully concealed the bad words. And while certainly negative it was not vitriolic or an incitement to violence.

Trumps entire candidacy and term thus far has been NOTHING BUT stonewalling, obfuscation, bullying and attempted intimidation. It is what he calls “making a deal”.

Myusernamenotyours's avatar

He may have sent his condolences to the congressmen, but it did seem half-assed to me.

Myusernamenotyours's avatar

He did it as if to say “There, I did it, you happy?”

rojo's avatar

One final word. a political scientist at Monmouth College, Nathan Kalmoe, did research which found that a disturbingly large number of Americans find political violence acceptable.

He also noted, and this is important @Yellowdog, that “Republicans and Democrats were indistinguishable in their support for political violence, and liberals and conservatives were too.”

Just thought pass this on before the blame and name calling gets too intense.

Yellowdog's avatar

Comey was very unpopular with the Democrats at the time of his firing. It was also known at the time, though not released publicly (but affirmed in Comey’s own testimony last week) that he was leaking classified information from intelligence and from the White House to a law professor at Columbia to the New York Times and Washington Post.

Hillary Clinton was even calling for his resignation just the day before. He was fired at the recommendation of Attorney General Rod Rosenstien and Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the interests of both parties.. The actual letter of recommendation is on the webpage of The Atlantic Magazine.

If you don’t want tp read the memo—scroll down to the arrows (>>>) as my computer seems incapable of highlighting.

Here’s the actual memo, from The Atlantic. Vis:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has long been regarded as our nation’s premier federal investigative agency. Over the past year, however, the FBI’s reputation and credibility have suffered substantial damage, and it has affected the entire Department of Justice. That is deeply troubling to many Department employees and veterans, legislators and citizens.

The current FBI Director is an articulate and persuasive speaker about leadership and the immutable principles of the Department of Justice. He deserves our appreciation for his public service. As you and I have discussed, however, I cannot defend the Director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken. Almost everyone agrees that the Director made serious mistakes; it is one of the few issues that unites people of diverse perspectives.
The director was wrong to usurp the Attorney General’s authority on July 5, 2016, and announce his conclusion that the case should be closed without prosecution.

It is not the function of the Director to make such an announcement. At most, the Director should have said the FBI had completed its investigation and presented its findings to federal prosecutors. The Director now defends his decision by asserting that he believed attorney General Loretta Lynch had a conflict. But the FBI Director is never empowered to supplant federal prosecutors and assume command of the Justice Department. There is a well-established process for other officials to step in when a conflict requires the recusal of the Attorney General. On July 5, however, the Director announced his own conclusions about the nation’s most sensitive criminal investigation, without the authorization of duly appointed Justice Department leaders.

Compounding the error, the Director ignored another longstanding principle: we do not hold press conferences to release derogatory information about the subject of a declined criminal investigation. Derogatory information sometimes is disclosed in the course of criminal investigations and prosecutions, but we never release it gratuitously. The Director laid out his version of the facts for the news media as if it were a closing argument, but without a trial. It is a textbook example of what federal prosecutors and agents are taught not to do.

In response to skeptical question at a congressional hearing, the Director defended his remarks by saying that his “goal was to say what is true. What did we do, what did we find, what do we think about it.” But the goal of a federal criminal investigation is not to announce our thoughts at a press conference. The goal is to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to justify a federal criminal prosecution, then allow a federal prosecutor who exercises authority delegated by the Attorney General to make a prosecutorial decision, and then – if prosecution is warranted – let the judge and jury determine the facts. We sometimes release information about closed investigations in appropriate ways, but the FBI does not do it sua sponte.

Concerning his letter to the Congress on October 28, 2016, the Director cast his decision as a choice between whether he would “speak” about the decision to investigate the newly-discovered email messages or “conceal” it. “Conceal” is a loaded term that misstates the issue. When federal agents and prosecutors quietly open a criminal investigation, we are not concealing anything; we are simply following the longstanding policy that we refrain from publicizing non-public information. In that context, silence is not concealment.

My perspective on these issues is shared by former Attorneys General and Deputy Attorneys General from different eras and both political parties. Judge Laurence Silberman, who served as Deputy Attorney General under President Ford, wrote that “it is not the bureau’s responsibility to opine on whether a matter should be prosecuted.” Silberman believes that the Director’s “Performance was so inappropriate for an FBI director that [he] doubt[s] the bureau will ever completely recover.” Jamie Gorelick, Deputy Attorney General under President Clinton, joined with Larry Thompson, Deputy Attorney General under President George W. Bush, to opine that the Director had “chosen personally to restrike the balance between transparency and fairness, departing from the department’s traditions.” They concluded that the Director violated his obligation to “preserve, protect and defend” the traditions of the Department and the FBI.
Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who served under President George W. Bush, observed the Director “stepped way outside his job in disclosing the recommendation in that fashion” because the FBI director “doesn’t make that decision.”

Alberto Gonzales, who also served as Attorney General under President George W. Bush, called the decision “an error in judgement.” Eric Holder, who served as Deputy Attorney General under President Clinton and Attorney General under President Obama, said the Director’s decision“was incorrect. It violated long-standing Justice Department policies and traditions. And it ran counter to guidance that I put in place four years ago laying out the proper way to conduct investigations during an election season.” Holder concluded that the Director “broke with these fundamental principles” and “negatively affected public trust in both the Justice Department and the FBI.”
Former Deputy Attorneys General Gorelick and Thompson described the unusual events as“real-time, raw-take transparency taken to its illogical limit, a kind of reality TV of federal criminal investigation,” that is “antithetical to the interests of justice.”
Donald Ayer, who served as Deputy Attorney General under President H.W. Bush, along with former Justice Department officials, was“astonished and perplexed” by the decision to “break[] with longstanding practices followed by officials of both parties during past elections.” Ayer’s letter noted, “Perhaps most troubling… is the precedent set by this departure from the Department’s widely-respected, non-partisan traditions.”
We should reject the departure and return to the traditions.

Although the President has the power to remove an FBI director, the decision should not be taken lightly. I agree with the nearly unanimous opinions of former Department officials. The way the Director handled the conclusion of the email investigation was wrong. As a result, the FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them. Having refused to admit his errors, the Director cannot be expected to implement the necessary corrective actions

- >>>>>> – now, you can call Trump what you want, but lets go with actual documents and information.

Oddly enough—Comey is a personal friend of Muller, who was put in charge of this Special Council. Comey and Muller have a long, close relationship. Muller says Comey is his progeny—and Comey calls Muller his “mentor”. Do we really think Muller should be in charge of a Special Counsel or Investigation involving Comey’s allegations against the accused, Donald Trump? I think there would be clearly an illegal conflict of interest—and the President SHOULD fire Muller.’

ragingloli's avatar

Once again, nothing but vapid excuses and rationalisations from the Orangutan’s desciples.

tinyfaery's avatar

^^Stop calling him a beautiful gentle creature.

ragingloli's avatar

Reminds me of that dialogue between Gul Dukat and Captain Sisko, where Dukat tried to argue, that rounding up and executing random Bajorans was totally justified, because “an eye for an eye”.

Yellowdog's avatar

Except that Rosenstein is a democrat—a 97% approval rating. Ironically, he is the one who appointed Mueller over the Special Council—yet he recommended Comey’s firing.

Yellowdog's avatar

Keep up with this stuff, dudes. Its far more complex than what some of you seem to believe.

To tell you honestly, the next move WILL probably be an alt-right kook who retaliates—probably someone from the David Duke camp. Then you’ll say that was us all along, That sort of in-fighting has no limit but will be a tremendous distraction from the threats of radical Islamic terror, North Korean missiles and, yes, Russia

Yellowdog's avatar

Name-calling about orangutans only says you don’t consider our national situation a serious problem, Maybe it still seems distant to you.

You have never lived in a REAL dictatorship or been the part of a REAL resistance movement to a foreign power taking over as you preport to be, under a president you do not support. But the threat of loss to your national security and way of life IS happening, and if you are successful there will be killing and revelry in the streets until all is lost. Russia and Terrorism and North Korea are real threats to you. But the worst infighting will be among the fallen America, from which there could be no recovery.

rojo's avatar

Oddly enough Democrats still don’t like Comey. They just like him more than the Republicans do at this time.

Gotta call bullshit on your contention that Rosenstein is a democrat Rosensteins Political Affiliation although I feel fairly certain you will read into it what you want to believe and probably be able to find some, to your mind anyway, justification for your statement.

Also, Rosenstein did what he was ordered to do: write up a justification for Trump to fire Comey. (If you believe it was his idea I have a great land bridge deal for you). He was then thrown under the bus by Trump so I suppose he could now be harboring some ill will so perhaps his then appointment of Mueller as special council can be seen in these terms. Also, just to clarify, the firing came before the hiring

Perhaps what is and is not a threat or perceived to be a threat depends on your particular indoctrination. Some of us believe that Trump and a Government controlled by big business and banking is a much greater threat to freedom and the survival of humanity than any external source. Not saying that your Big Three are not a threat, just not as much of a threat.

And finally, if we cannot survive this then perhaps we were not meant to, so, call it predestination or whatever but if it does hit the fan I know where I will place the blame and it will not be with the Russians, ISIS or the NK’s

Yellowdog's avatar

You are right—Rosenstein is not a Democrat. Rosenstein has served under both Democratic and Republican presidents. George W. Bush in 2005 appointed Rosenstein to serve as the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland, but Rosenstein remained in that position under Barack Obama.

In fact, Rosenstein was the only U.S. attorney appointed by a previous administration who served for the entire length of the Obama administration, according to The New York Times.

Rosenstein also previously served as counsel to Deputy Attorney General Philip B. Heymann, a Democrat, during the Bill Clinton administration.

He had an approval rating of 90-something percent among Democrats, however

It is always the lunatic fringe of either side that commits acts of violence— I am not saying the regular, “normal” Democrats are. But (there’s always a ‘but’) I’m seeing a lot of vitriol and sensationalism from the Left—intended to just stir up disfavor of the President—that is causing a lot of low-information and gullible people to believe they must take matters into their own hands

Yellowdog's avatar

“He may have sent his condolences to the congressmen, but it did seem half-assed to me.
He did it as if to say “There, I did it, you happy?””—Myusernamenotyours

Still a pretty stupid and tasteless comment. The congressmen and their families have been interviewed on Hannity. They all seem close to the Trump family. I know they were all personally acquainted.

No one who saw the speech could have concluded with the idea that it was egotistical or scripted. I know there was help writing it from Pence. But Trump did write the preliminary statements that same morning and issued the statement within a few hours.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It always fascinates me when the right makes the claim that David Duke, the Klan, birthers, skin heads, Arian nation or brotherhood- such folks aren’t conservatives. To this I would ask just which of the 2 candidates garnered the votes from these people?

stanleybmanly's avatar

@Yellowdog the thing about the claim that Trump’s expanding list of troubles result from underhanded leftist tactics- that claim is actually believable simply because you will never find a man more accommodating in such pursuits than Donald J. The right sought mightily for 30 years to nail the Clintons on trumped up (no pun intended) shit. Why are there so many and varied pursuits of Trump gaining ground?

rojo's avatar

Respectfully @Yellowdog I did see the speech and I both concur with @Myusernamenotyours and did conclude that the speech was egotistical and scripted as I mentioned earlier.

As for Hannity and his opinion, I turned to his program this evening and in less than thirty seconds, immediately after his lead in about the baseball game and his description of the gunman as a “liberal shooter”, I had to turn him off. I could not even stomach any more of his obviously vitriolic hatred and unwarranted characterizations intended to disparage all people of liberal persuasion with the same brush.

He reminded me that while all I have heard from Democrats and liberals is condemnation of the shooting and calls for solidarity and compassion for the Republicans and the police who suffered from the actions of this obviously unstable individual, the only negative reactions I am hearing are from the right trying to use this terrible event to vilify those who are more to the left of their own views and their attempt to convince their core that liberals are all alike and all of them bear responsibility for this shooting.

If there was ever a time to try to mend the rift this is it but I am not seeing any effort at all to do so from the right leaning media; they seem to only be able to attempt to assign blame and spew hatred.

Yellowdog's avatar

Stanleybmanley. I probably think differently from the way you might pigeonhole things—the David Duke types are conservatives but not the same type as Fox News and the Tea Party. It is certainly true that both are Nationalists and Conservatives.

When you read a website like Stormfront, and are familiar with the Tea Party, the differences are remarkable. Stormfront is DEFINITELY Racist— the racism even there is pretty low key – not really spewing hate but more of a calm acceptance of the fact that blacks are inferior and other cultures clearly don’t share our values and America is for whites only. There is also a glaring antisemitism among the David Duke and Stormfront types.

The Tea Party conservatives, by contrast, want to keep illegals who commit crimes and harm other people but don’t broadbrush—as long as they come in legally. Tea Party conservatives and the “Christian Coalition” types are far more multicultural and are definite friends of Israel—whereas the David Duke types are strongly anti-Israel and anti-Jew. They really believe a Zionist Israel controls the world, Hollywood, etc etc.

The Tea Party Conservatives and the David Duke Stormfront types both ended up in similar places insofar as being Conservative Nationalists. But the Klan and Neo-Nazis and Stormfront actually degenerated from old-school Dixiecrats and National Socialists. Tea Party types are the far right of the Republican party which has always been Republican.

The David Duke types and the leftist Dixiecrat sorts are probably very scary to the mainstream left. To me, they seem cultlike—maybe like Christian Identity who believe White people are the true Israel. As a right-winger I sometimes read their material but am constantly thrown off by their incessant belief that the Jews and Israel are the epitome of evil in the world. And their incessant belief that America is for Anglo-Saxon whites. I am pro-Israel and appreciate other cultures even though I personally identify with European ones.

I might add, respectfully, that even the leaders of the Democrat party are European Whites primarily Barrack Obama was very welcome because, at least in part, he shed some diversity within the Ivy-league look of the Left and thinks more like a mainstream liberal —not like an African American NAACP type. Elizabeth Warren believes she is a Cherokee Indian, but she is so lily-white, blond and blue-eyed and from such an upper-class white background that for her to claim minority status seems fraudulent or like a Saturday Night Live skit.

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