There is much of the positive to appreciate in Teixeira's "verbal strategies." Indeed, there has been a dearth of common sense manifested by members of both parties these last few years. When common sense prevails, compromise is possible and liberal democracy is preserved.

Expand full comment

"This is an era of disorderly conduct—homelessness, opioid addiction, flagrant public behavior, crude public language. A trans activist takes off her blouse and shows her breasts at a White House ceremony"

I was born after the late 60s and 70s..but are the documentaries (and my parents/grandparents stories) showing homelessness, shooting herion in the street, people lining up for miles for gas, women burning their bras and in some cases going topless, queer people protesting, Paris is burning, playboy and hustler magazines, etc. Is this part of the 21st century really so disorderly as to be unrecognizable? Didn't most of the people complaining that our country is going" down the drain" live thru the same times? All in the Family, Maude, Good Times....did these shows not grapple with similar issues as today?

Though I will concede the language is more.....explicit.

Otherwise, what exactly makes 2023 more worse than sat 1971 to the point where the only answer is Trump and burn it all down?

Expand full comment

Trump's rantings are not insane insofar as they are tactical and deliberate. He pushes boundaries aiming to gain advantage on the basis that even if he loses, he wins. Yes he is risking being banged up by his endless rubbishing of Smith and now the judge and others, and his endless insinuations of what he is going to do to his enemies once he's back on his golden throne. If he's not banged up he gets to keep doing it and past experience shows it is effective. It's a risk to him that he might be put inside, but if he is, he will regard that as a great propaganda coup. He's now framing his appalling behaviour and language as a "free speech" issue. Even if he is restricted in who he can see, he'll milk it and milk it and milk it. Trump's abilities at manipulating and conniving are repeatedly underestimated. I find this hard to understand.

Jiill Lawrence's piece is important. Hunter Biden has been allowed to manipulate his family and he's still doing it when he's hanging around the White House and attending state dinners. Joe Biden seems to have been, Lear-like, guilty of loving not wisely but too well. A clear demarcation needs to be set out. If I were Joe, which thankfully I am not, I would isolate Hunter, just shut him up, and make a public statement that he is aware of public concern about his relationship with his son, and about the business affairs of his family, and that he has nothing to hide and if he or other members of his family have broken the law he would expect any and all to face justice for it. Joe Biden needs to put clear water between his family's affairs and those of his chief rival, and that's the only truly effective way to do it So far, as Jill L says, it's been handled really badly.

Expand full comment

I have never in my life heard a "president" who talks as much like a thug as tfg. And yeah, screw it, if he keeps threatening the judges, prosecutors, and assorted witnesses, then throw his butt in jail for a night. I am so.effing.sick.of.him.

Expand full comment

The Jill Lawrence piece - this stood out for me: "Multiple investigations of the Benghazi tragedy found no serious wrongdoing or lapses, but that was politically irrelevant."

Expand full comment

We need to put Trump in jail for his obvious crimes, or this will never stop. If his supporters want Civil War, they can go to jail, too. We didn't let the Manson Family run the country, and there's no need to let the MAGA cowards run it either. Put them in prison if they keep making threats.

Expand full comment

Kindly tell Joe Klein he’s the 759th white, middle-aged dude to write a piece lecturing Democrats on the need for us to understand (ie, capitulate to) the irrational fears of the MAGA demo. Not *once* have I read a similar column urging MAGA to consider the POV & concerns of people like me. And may I (again) remind all of you enamored with this played out, paternalistic trope: everything MAGA claims to fear we will do to the country they are *actually* perpetrating against us: 1) they are suppressing vote; 2) they are ramming through unpopular, extreme social policy; 3) they are stripping us of constitutional rights; 4) they are targeting our Black, brown, Muslim & LGBTQ+ family & friends & showing up in our public spaces w/swastikas & AR-14s; 5) they attempted to violently overthrow the democratically elected gvt & install a malignant narcissist dictator, thereby nullifying our votes & our very citizenship.

The next time you want to publish a gentle, chiding piece of this nature, DON’T. Please and thank you.

Expand full comment

It’s behind time enough to admit and acknowledge 2 things; Hunter Biden is Joe’s last living son and loved him with all his heart, and, Hunter Biden is a morally and perhaps legally compromised individual who needs help. Any responsible father can admit to both realities. I know I have. The only way forward from addiction and immoral behavior is admitting that one’s life is unmanageable and out of control and that he/she cannot on their own fix it. Making excuses for Hunters behavior and blaming Republicans for what, being mean, is stupid and unworkable and not believable. Americans do nog lack compassion, and they also aren’t stupid.

Time to admit the facts and make Hunter part of the past and not any part of the future. That’s the best thing that Joe and Dems can do for him, and for us

Expand full comment

As I have said in the past and as others have said:

Fīat jūstitia ruat cælum

Let justice be done, though the heavens fall.

At a certain point, you are faced with a choice. You can surrender and deal with the consequences or you can stand by your principles... and deal with the consequences. The continued avoidance of difficult choices over the last several decades has led us to our current difficult pass.

Continually kicking the can down the road... the problem is that we are just about out of road.

It is, I think better to deal with consequences at a time and place of your choosing, from a position of strength (if possible). In our current context it is better to deal with Trump NOW than it is to simply hope that things will turn out okay.

And the problem isn't only with Trump, but with the larger problem of the people and institutions who got him to where he is. Getting rid of Trump is merely the beginning of things, merely dealing with the IMMEDIATE problem.

It seems obvious to me that some fundamental changes need to be made to our system. Changes to the electoral processes. Changes to how the justice system works. Larger cultural changes that make for a healthier culture and political society.

I am not sure how possible any of that is without this country having to pass through some kind of crisis (and actually surviving that crisis)--and that is a natural outcome of putting things off for too long.

But screw your courage to the sticking place

And we’ll not fail

Macbeth, Act 1 Scene 7

Expand full comment

If Trump really wants a Contempt charge, then give it to him. Grant his wish. Keep him talking.

If there is one thing we know about Donald Trump, then it is his obsessive love to run his mouth & be center of attention. We *also* know that in his desire to be center of attention, he frequently drops dimes on himself. Keep him talking. Keep him talking 24 hours a day. The Justice Department needs to have teams watching his Bleets & writing down *everything*.

As Miranda Rights say "You have the right to remain silent. If you do not use that right everything you say can & will be used against you in a court of law"--KEEP THAT GELATINOUS BLIMP TALKING.

Expand full comment

People are unhappy with Joe Biden because he was supposed to be the end of Trump and to unify everyone and then step down and he hasn’t done any of those

Expand full comment

This week’s Corruption of Lindsey Graham is particularly aggravating

Expand full comment

The idea of defusing the culture wars makes so much sense. And thanks for giving me some good strategies for doing this. I’m a liberal and a democrat. I live in Oakland CA where we are experiencing a crime wave that is basically terrorizing the city. We are without a police chief and we elected an inexperienced mayor through ranked choice voting. Your advice on how to defuse the police issue is really helpful. Defund the police was definitely a stupid idea. Police reform and better training is definitely a win. We’ll all do better by diffusing extremism.

Expand full comment

Smith : “If the defendant were to begin issuing public posts using details . . . it could have a harmful chilling effect on witnesses or adversely affect the fair administration of justice in this case.”

Trump: "What a great idea!"

Expand full comment

How can any American with any sense read those bleats from Trump and support him in good faith and with a straight face?!?!

It is beyond rational thinking and understanding.

I truly think the GOP will have to burn it all down and start over. Right now they are just rearranging the chairs on the Titanic pretending there’s not a problem!

Expand full comment

All this whining from Trump. Seems to me you'd hear this kind of nonsense any morning down at the county courthouse.

From the Lower East Bug Tussle Argus-Dispatch:

Police Blotter

"Cletus VanIvermectin, 1122 Boogie-Woogie Ave, was arrested and taken into custody by Lower East Bug Tussle police early this morning and charged with Public Urination, Drunk and Disorderly Conduct and Public Intoxication. Mr. VanIvermectin appeared before Judge Boofhead this morning and pleaded Not Guilty to all charges and claimed that 1) the police were corrupt, 2) the judge is a racist, 3) the judge is a deranged, lunatic, Communist who should recuse himself and 4) his often-expressed conservative views require a change of venue to a jurisdiction where a fair-minded jury might be found to hear his case."

Would this fly? Would anyone give this knucklehead the time of day? Why do we treat Trump differently? If he's got a case, he'll have the opportunity to present it. If he acted lawfully, he'll be acquitted. Drives me nuts.

Expand full comment