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Well, yes, this is true

As Donald Trump and his allies start plotting another presidency, an emerging priority is to find hard-right lawyers who display total fealty to Trump, as a way to enhance his power and seek “retribution” against political foes.

Stocking a future administration with more ideological lawyers loyal to Trump in key posts at the justice department, other agencies and the White House is alarming to former DoJ officials and analysts who say such plans endanger the rule of law.

As the headline says:

‘Grifters and sycophants’: the radicals who would fill key posts if Trump is re-elected

Democracy is – supposed at least – to mean that if the voters change their minds then so do policies and the system.

But now for the really revealing question. Trump’s lot would be worse than Lina Khan and Gary Gensler, would they?

31 thoughts on “Well, yes, this is true”

  1. What happened to that bald tranny the Biden administration put in charge of nuclear waste?

    He looked like a supervillain whose entire schtick was wacky child molestation, so maybe Batman killed him or something.

  2. Stephen Miller, pictured in 2018, is searching for lawyers with unswerving loyalty to Trump.

    I’m shocked and outraged and alarmed and possibly slightly aroused that Donald Trump is looking to hire people who won’t immediately betray him this time.

    That’s not very fucking conservative of him, is it?

  3. A particular part of his kink seemed to be stealing women’s suitcases at the airport baggage collection then wearing the clothes inside. Which is a bit too odd even for the Democrats so they fired him.

  4. Since the first thing they did last time he got in was to convict him of spying for Russia, I’d have to agree he certainly needs lots and lots of loyal lawyers.

  5. And the complete takeover of the e legal profession by ‘woke’ types has of course been entirely on the level. I hope he expands the death penalty to a Federal law and facilitates the complete removal of Antifa, BLM and All the other ‘woke’ movements – proof that we don’t have to tolerate the Hard Left. We can simply kill them. As we can see in Israel they have absolutely no compunction about doing the same to those who disagree with them.

  6. Translated this says “We are really concerned and worried that Trump might try to do to us what we’re doing to him…”

  7. I think, and hope, that Trump has learned from his first go at the Presidency and will do things differently this time, i.e a big clear-out of regime loyalists, and their replacement by pro-Americans.
    Given that he is currently being subjected to massive lawfare by the current US regime, I’d say they’re running scared.

  8. This is all about making DJT seem so toxic that any action against him can be justified. These articles are not to sway the undecided, they are for activists who already believe something along those lines in the hope that he will be assassinated, or judges in his various indictments will rule against him not on the law but for the common good and so any election fiddling required will be justified to save democracy.

    I’ve commented on these lines at samizdata, apologies if it’s a repeat for anyone.

  9. Rhoda – Well, yarp, that’s indeed what they did.

    Trump was elected, but the government + allies and owners refused to accept his election as legitimate, and so it wasn’t. He couldn’t even get the Pentagon to follow his direct orders when he was the Commander in Chief.

    Boris (whatever you may think of him) was treated similarly.

    This is a new and concerning development for fans of improving society somewhat, for reasons too obvs and previously discussed to go into. But they broke democracy and the rule of law to punish us for Brexit and Trump (and all those other annoying things Western peoples keep voting for out of desperation), and what happens next is anybody’s business.

  10. Death by a thousand paper cuts…

    Those on the left justify their extremes by saying “Well, at least they’re not outright ignoring the rule of law as Trump attempted to..”

    Then those on the right justify their extremes by saying “Well Trump is hardly any worse than the nutjobs on the left”

    And incrementally, each side feels justified, embattled, defensively correct to let their representatives slide into deeper and deeper dysfunction. “It’s ok, because we’ve got to fight the other side”. That’s the key psychological shift in modern politics – away from having better ideas about running the country, and towards living in fear of the ‘others’.

    A pox on all their houses. Trump’s presidency was dysfunctional, and the end of it was chaotic – and saying “at least he’s not as bad as these others” does not make his behaviour any more acceptable. The Republican party as a whole would do better to find a candidate who genuinely represents what the people want rather than what they fear.

  11. So Trump has Nefarious Plans….

    Good.. That one alone would get me to vote for him if I could.
    You know where you stand with an Evil Overlord with Plans that have the Establishment running around in fear like headless chickens.

  12. Arguably Orban is more competent than Trump – don’t mean nicer or “better”, but more successful at changing facts on the ground. He gets a head start from the Hungarian constitution giving him enough power not to get bogged down when trying to bring in his policies, whereas Trump always had a hand tied behind his back by the US constitution. But for a supposedly successful businessman, was there really any excuse for the constant internal turmoil in Trump’s administration? The turnover of key position was dysfunctional. You’d think a business leader would know how to build a team. And there was a distinct desperation in Trump’s post-election planning, as well as a failure to know when to hold’em and when to fold’em. Again, doesn’t business teach you when to cut your losses?

    Risking blowing up the system to cling on for four more years, when anyone with any nous could tell you that wasn’t a realistic outcome once the votes had been tallied, was fundamentally unconservative and very selfish. It also betrayed a a kind of delusional thinking if he thought he could get away with it. Perhaps the mentality was rooted in catastrophism – if the Dems get in, we’ll never win an election again, they’ll gerrymander everything, bring in statehood for DC and Puerto Rico, rig the voting machines… But looking at the polls and betting odds now, Trump has a very good chance of winning the next election and four years of Biden were never going to be the end of the world. You don’t have to think Biden is good, just remember that there is a lot of ruin in a nation and we’re not at the end of it yet.

    I’m not saying Trump even needed to take the L gracefully. He could have kept whining about the fairness of the elections if he thought there were votes in it and it didn’t make him look too bad a loser – no election can be 100% fraud free. Has to be said he would have helped his cause if his lawyers had done a better job serving up evidence that the result should have been flipped. It’s not just their ideological loyalty that’s an issue, you do need competence, or preferably excellence, too. In the end, the only thing that saved Trump from digging an incredibly deep hole for himself was Pence having the backbone to stand up to him. Had Pence been replaced by a Trump toady, or as Trump supporters would see it, someone with loyalty and the backbone to stand up against the establishment and declare the “true” election results, then things could have ended very messily indeed. And ironically Trump might well have missed out on having such a strong position today, though I doubt he’ll see that Pence did him a favour.

    Just can’t see Orban getting into a similar mess. Firstly because he makes sure he actually wins his elections. But if he ever does lose, he isn’t (as much as the EU and western media likes to brand him) a dictator figure who’s going to cling on by his fingertips. You can be sure he, or an ideological stablemate, will be pushing hard to win the next election, though.

  13. But for a supposedly successful businessman, was there really any excuse for the constant internal turmoil in Trump’s administration? The turnover of key position was dysfunctional. You’d think a business leader would know how to build a team.

    I’m sure he does, after all, he has run several successful businesses.

    His problems stemmed from two fundamental errors of assumption: 1) thinking he could parlay his business success, and particularly his negotiating skills, into political success; and 2) thinking that his winning the election would be more or less respected by the other players in the political game the way all previous US presidential elections were.

    But nobody in power was in the slightest bit interested in doing a deal with President Trump, or in allowing him to govern. Not the GOP, which was working against him from the start. Not the alphabet agencies, which are still trying to imprison him. Certainly not the opposition, which would rather kill every firstborn child in the United States than slow down the invasion of America’s borders.

    Because they treated his election as illegitimate, Trump couldn’t get appointees approved in the normal way. The appointees he could get approved by the Swamp turned out to be – you guessed it – swamp creatures.

    As a Baby Boomer, Trump was particularly gullible when it came to military men. American Boomers love all that stuff about patriotic tough guys who “have a plan to kill everyone they meet”. They lap that shit up like it was Viagra Ice Cream.

    Unfortunately it’s utter bollocks: as Trump found out, the armed forces are just another woke joke and the orifices in charge are effete uniformed civil servants who festooned themselves with medals for losing to the Taliban.

    Naturally Trump only discovered this after appointing a bunch of the highly ranked cunts to his administration. Which was chaotic because about 95% of the people in it at any given time were engaged in various treasonous plots against their boss.

  14. Inquiring minds will wish to know just what the correct procedure is when there seems to have been voter fraud in a US state election. Evidently it must be done at State level, for it is the selection of electors and their instructions which are at stake. If there is a prima facie appearance of, let’s say irregularities, what happens next. What it is time at which objections should be raised? What is the process to resolve them?
    Who has standing to complain, candidates and/or voters?

  15. Dennis, Tiresome Denizen of Central Ohio

    Peter Stone holds the Unesco chair in cultural property, protection and peace at Newcastle University

    Right up there with being a part-time Professor of Accounting Practice at Sheffield University Management School.

  16. Dems win even when there is evidence of vote meddling = democracy in action
    People who are not Dems daring to stand in an election = plotting.

    See also populism = a democratic outcome we don’t like.
    Populists = people we don’t like who dare to disagree with us. Literal Nazis.

  17. @rhoda

    Not fraud per se, but an example of how the system is supposed to work when there’s a dispute about the true result is the way the Bush-Gore contest in Florida was settled. The legal reasoning the Supreme Court used is controversial and the fact the judges split 5-4 on an ideological basis which “coincidentally” favoured their preferred party doesn’t fill you with great confidence in the system – one has to wonder what the judges would have reasoned if it was Bush pushing for the recount and Gore trying to stop it. But the way the case went up and down the court system shows that disputes can, in principle, be resolved in an orderly (but not necessarily wholly satisfactory) way that doesn’t risk blowing the whole system up.

    What Trump was pressuring Pence to do was a very different ball game. But if it’s coming from a mindset of “the whole system is rigged against us, so we need to break the system” there was at least some internal logic to it. Trump did wage a hyperactive legal campaign against the 2020 results too, but it was wholly unsuccessful – like I said, he didn’t need just ideologically committed lawyers, he needed excellent lawyers. But he didn’t give them much hard evidence to work with. (This link is provided for summary value, not because I’m claiming Wikipedia gives a neutral and unbiased picture. But I believe the list of 62 lawsuits and their outcomes is correct. )

    You could argue that even brilliant lawyers armed with rock solid evidence can’t win if the whole establishment is rigged against them, but that pessimistic diagnosis would be more convincing if we’d seen a decent attempt. Ultimately any country is vulnerable to electoral manipulation if everyone from local officials to the top judiciary are complicit in a grand conspiracy – constitutional “guarantees” aren’t worth the paper they’re written on if things have got that bad. Soviet bloc countries had all sorts of protections for the democratic and human rights of their citizens – in principle. If things really are that messed up, maybe you do have to blow the system up. But before doing that, you ought to be very sure indeed that your diagnosis of the irredeemable state of the system is correct (if you’re going to have another decent shot in a few years’ time, that doesn’t count), that you have the physical forces available to overturn the system (whether loyalty of the police and army or sufficient mass of citizens on the street – did Trump have either?) and that the majority of the population would back your cause (not just vote for you but agree a revolutionary legal break is required). Also best not to kid yourself that your revolution is “conservative” just because you are.

  18. @Tim Worstall
    “Which is a bit too odd even for the Democrats so they fired him.”

    You forgot to include the words “right now” in the sentence.

  19. Yes, Wikipedia is totally biased. While the headline cases challenging the results may have been tilting at windmills, there have been almost 300 criminal convictions for electoral fraud – false registration, misuse of ballots, and ineligible or multiple voting; the very things that were alleged from day one – over the last three years in the US.

  20. @Sam Duncan

    The problem with Trump’s aborted plan to stay in office is that its legitimacy really did rest on very large scale, systemic electoral fraud against him, and Team Trump being the arbiters of the True Unbiased Results. That needs something stupendous before it becomes a justifiable course of action even to seriously contemplate, and you need to bring a major proportion of the population (and frankly the military) with you. The small fry doesn’t cut it. And anyone who thinks any US election is completely free of fraud (and you can substitute any other major democracy for the US there) is kidding themselves.

  21. Which is a bit too odd even for the Democrats so they fired him.

    It wasn’t the oddness that was the problem, it was the getting caught doing a crime whilst being too small fry.
    The Dems have no problem with government crossdressing, and will happy promote a pretend woman to be a pretend admiral.

    But nobody in power was in the slightest bit interested in doing a deal with President Trump, or in allowing him to govern.

    And still won’t be, which is why I would prefer DeSantis as President. Boring, little drama, things get done.

    As to US governence, it seems to me they need to partially bring back the spoils system. Down to some level of operation it should just be automatic that the winning side fill the slots in the executive with their people.

  22. That last. The US has this, the top 3,000 (or so) appointments in htebureaucracy are political spoils, change with each admin. Same happens, largely, at State level too.

  23. The federal bureaucracy seems to number somewhere between two and three million people (sources differ) so you’d need at least the top thirty thousand to be auto spoils to beat the rest into submission.

  24. Dennis, Bullshit Detector

    Voted for Trump twice, and will vote for him again if he isn’t assassinated between now and 11/24. That being said, you guys need to lose the whole stolen election thing.

    It didn’t happen.


    Were there irregularities? Of course. There always are. That isn’t what did it. Go back and look at the voting when Trump won in 2016. It was a one in a million combination of the absolute minimum number of votes being cast exactly where they needed to be cast for Trump to win.

    You’ll never see that again.


    Trump lost 2020 without any assistance. He didn’t get the one in a million combination. That’s why it’s one in a million.

    Never forget this: Donald Trump is vain, egotistical and a world class narcissist. He’s just the sort of person who couldn’t come to grips with losing an election. The stolen election myth is what he needs to cope. That doesn’t mean you have to buy into it.

  25. Dennis

    I thought Trump declared the election a fraud because they’d tried to convict him of treason for the whole of his term. I suppose because that’s the way I’d have reacted.

    I’m not saying that means I’m not vain, egotistical and a world class narcissist. But I evidently react differently to Trump.

    PS. I note that Biden hasn’t reversed course and declared the Houthis to be terrorists, even though they’ve pirated merchant ships, attacked the US navy, and bombarded Israel. I suppose that means he’s too vain and egotistical to admit that he was wrong. That sounds just like me too.

    It’s a pity though. Without the aid from the US, the Houthis might not be able to hold onto power.

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