Late Night Open Thread: V-Day on Political Twitter

Bouie’s tweet naturally attracted a bunch of angry MAGAts, but it’s worth clicking on Kruse’s follow-up for more:

Susan Glasser, in the New Yorker“The New Republican Strategy for Dealing with the Emergency That Is Trump: Pray”

No one these days, not even the loyal Republican guard on Capitol Hill, can predict what Trump, increasingly cornered by the results of a midterm election that handed Democrats control of the House of Representatives, will do or say. There is no Team Trump from the President’s point of view, only a leader and his followers, yet the entire Trump Presidency is an extended reminder of the fact that it’s awfully hard to follow if you don’t know where the leader wants you to go. “I would have preferred we not had the shutdown,” Steve Scalise, the Republican Whip in the House, said Thursday morning, without knowing if there might be another. When CNN caught up with his G.O.P. colleague Richard Shelby, the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, who cut the deal, Shelby was unsure of what Trump would do, as well. “I pray” that he will sign the spending bill, Shelby said. At around that same time, the Republican Chuck Grassley was on the Senate floor, asking the entire chamber to join in seeking divine intervention with Trump. “Let’s all pray that the President will have the wisdom to sign the bill, so that the government doesn’t shut down,” he said, as Washington waited, once again, on its capricious President.

So it’s finally come to this: only God can stop Trump, as members of his own party are admitting that they’ve basically given up trying. Sure enough, a few hours after Grassley spoke, McConnell returned to the Senate floor and announced that the President would sign the bill but also declare a national emergency in order to fund the wall. The whole episode served only to underscore the plight of congressional Republicans under Trump: holding their breath and praying that Trump doesn’t humiliate them even more than he already has with the shutdown drama; praying that something worse doesn’t happen, such as a Mueller report that forces them to publicly choose between their President and their country; praying that the Democrats will somehow overplay their hand so badly that it changes the subject in next year’s elections from Trump and all his divisiveness. “That soft, shuffling sound you hear is congressional Republicans stepping away from President Trump,” the political commentator John Harwood wrote, in his CNBC column on Tuesday. In the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, the lead editorial begged Trump to declare “border victory” and go home. “The bipartisan deal is his only good way out of this budget box canyon,” the paper said. Underscoring the point, the editors ran an op-ed on the page across from the editorial headlined “Trump’s wall crumbles under the law of diminishing returns.” The piece argued that Trump is in such trouble now because he “promised to be a dealmaker, not a conviction politician,” and he just doesn’t have deals to brag about…

… Trump, however, has already begun the process of memorializing his epic defeat as a victory, and will claim that his emergency declaration is more than sufficient grounds to move money around from elsewhere in the federal budget to accomplish his border plans. Even if the courts shoot him down on that one, it still probably won’t matter to the President, who is likely to brag that he has won, anyway. On Monday, in fact, he held a campaign rally in El Paso underneath a banner that urged, “Finish the Wall!” Never mind that the wall is not even begun, and likely never will be; never mind that Mexico, despite the President’s oft-repeated promise, is not going to pay for it; never mind the details of the congressional compromise. Trump’s self-protective alternate-reality machine found a way around the facts. “The wall is very, very on its way,” he said on Wednesday. “We are building as we speak.” He added that the nonexistent wall, which is not being finished or even built, would, in fact, be harder than Mount Everest to climb, which instantly became one of those Trump-era tweets that you’re not sure is a joke or something the President of the United States actually said…

Meanwhile, not everyone has been taking a vacation from reality, and the nature of the Democratic threat to Trump from the newly empowered House leaders is becoming clearer. This week, two House committees, Intelligence and Judiciary, signalled an aggressive approach to investigating Trump—without waiting for the report of the special counsel, Robert Mueller. House Democrats “plan a vast probe of Trump and Russia—with a heavy focus on money-laundering,” as Mike Allen declared in his Axios morning newsletter, reporting from a briefing, which we both attended, with a House Democrat. Trump “is not in a position to draw red lines” and block Democrats from looking into his finances, the member told a roomful of reporters. The House Democrats’ investigation could include the financial dealings of Trump and his family not only with Russian interests but also with Saudis and other Gulf states. On the House Judiciary Committee, the new chairman this week hired two well-known Democratic lawyers who have publicly led the calls for an obstruction-of-justice investigation of Trump, which could lead to his impeachment…

37 replies
  1. 1

    “congress won’t give me what i want so i will declare a fake emergency and take the power for myself” is uh, not typically a good development for democracies

    Yeah, also it’s a particularly bad look when someone says “I’ll just tell the Army to do whatever I want”.

  2. 2
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    Isn’t Guy Gavriel Kay a science fiction/fantasy author?

  3. 3
    sempronia says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: I was surprised to see that name here too. I stopped reading him after “Tigana” – so overwrought and wallowing in its own pathos that I nearly hucked the book across the room.

  4. 4
    Tony Jay says:


    Yes. I seem to recall he was an editor for the Tolkien Empire before penning the Fionavar Tapestry (stop making me cry, Diarmuid!) and a whole raft of linked fantasies set in Suspiciously Similar Substitites of Byzantium, Andalusia, etc.

    Hardly surprising he’s down on the Dark Republicans, since he’s no stranger to Orcs.

  5. 5
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @John Revolta: He may find telling the Army to do what he wants more difficult than he can imagine, as he wants to steal from the funds allocated for housing of soldiers and their families.

  6. 6
    Ruckus says:

    He seems to be clear and concise in this tweet.

  7. 7
    Mary G says:

    Well, we’re going to find out if any Republicans have any limits on how far from the rule of law they’re willing to go.

  8. 8
  9. 9
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    Presidential vs Parliamentary, which is the better system of governance?

    At the moment Parliamentary is winning by a length and that’s even with the Brexit handicap.

    One thing you can say about conservatives the world over, they certainly show how good government depends on co-operation and convention.

    Principally by destroying both.

  10. 10
  11. 11
    Sab says:

    @Aleta: That is hilariously appalling.

    I’m very literal minded. Took me a bit of listening to get it.

    Badger cousin in the mix?

  12. 12
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    At the moment Parliamentary is winning by a length and that’s even with the Brexit handicap.

    You may want to find a better example of Parliamentary than the UK to prove your point. Theresa May defeated on Brexit again as ERG Tories abstain

  13. 13
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Aleta: This. We need more of this.

  14. 14
    Amir Khalid says:

    She did mention

    even with the Brexit handicap.

  15. 15
    Sab says:

    @Ruckus: Have you ever seen this commenter before? Pertinent Canadian content (e.g. Guy Gavriel Kay) sure seems to bring out odd comments. The book you hate came out in 1990. That’s all semp has?

  16. 16
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Humanity Experiment nears it’s inevitable end: New AI fake text generator may be too dangerous to release, say creators

  17. 17
    Sab says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I saw a family at my local park about ten years ago. Dad was pitcher. Mom was catcher. 3 kids were the batters. The entire infield and outfield was one lone labrador retriever. And he won, even though he had no arms so he couldn’t throw while fielding. Sheer grit and enthusiasm, and faster legs than the kids.

  18. 18
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Amir Khalid: Calling Brexit a “handicap” is a bit of an understatement, It’s more like the Sword of Damocles.

  19. 19
    sempronia says:

    @Sab: I lurk, and I’ve met Ruckus before at an LA meetup.

  20. 20
    Sab says:

    @Sab: I didn’t mean book you hate. I meant book semp hated. Odd response to 2019 comment is to criticize 1990 book. 40 year gap there. Not exactly relevant to much of anything.

  21. 21
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sab: Labs do love retrieving. Mine is old, a little long in the tooth and in early stages of congestive heart disease, but every evening as the sun gets low he parks his fat butt in the yard with an unobstructed view of the door, and waits. He knows it’s coming. If he just stares at the door long enough it will happen again. Sometimes before the sun sets, sometimes soon after but always, always, always it happens:


  22. 22
    raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’m packed for my long Florida fishing weekend and waiting for the dudes to pick me up. The drive to the Space Coast should be fun with the 500 this weekend but that’s the deal. Bohdi came up with a limp last night and he’s lying at the feet and not happy because I have my shit packed and at the door. He can’t chase the ball anymore but I can throw it right to him and it makes him so happy.

  23. 23
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @raven: TIGHT LINES! My wife says the Woofmeister and Percy both get terribly depressed whenever I leave without them.

    I’m already making allowances for Woof’s health, throwing on level ground, making shorter throws as the session progresses, and never never throwing it where he isn’t expecting it. He was always so happy when he had to search for the frisbee, running this way and that, with his nose to the ground and his tail in the air furiously wagging, gleefully pouncing on the frisbee when he finally found it.

  24. 24
    Ruckus says:

    I believe this commenter has been around for a long time. Either that or someone with a name very close.
    If it’s who I think it is, haven’t seen them for a long time.

  25. 25
    Waldo says:

    @Aleta: Kid’s got game. Dog too.

  26. 26
  27. 27
    Ken says:

    Meanwhile, not everyone has been taking a vacation from reality,

    Quite a lot of shade around here.

  28. 28
    SFAW says:

    So it’s finally come to this: only God can stop Trump,

    Hmmm … if only there were some way to deal with a would-be dictator trying to subvert the … what was the name of that document again? I’m sure it will come to me …

  29. 29
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: If supposedly allegedly literate jackals can’t keep straight the distinction between “it’s” and “its,” perhaps the Humanity Experiment ought to be nearing “it’s inevitable end.” /pedant? goddamn straight

  30. 30
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Not the British “hand” that’s capped. The knees. Both of them.

  31. 31
    burnspbesq says:


    Never bet against the Retrievers. Just ask UVa.

  32. 32
    SFAW says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:
    Chill you’re jets. Sometime’s typo’s creep in.

    To be more clear: although I know the difference between “its” and “it’s,” and have known that difference for 50-plus years, I sometimes find I have typo-ed an apostrophe in or out. I’d be more concerned if Ozark started greeting us with “Belch” in the AM.

  33. 33
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    The word is McConnell talked Trump into this because Trump wanted to do a second shut down and on top of it clamming the Dems got routed on the budget deal. So basically the Repubilicans are gaslighting their own president. Makes me wonder if we will see President Pence by the end of the year.

  34. 34
    chopper says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    i figured. mcconnell seemed really excited about this emergency bullshit. he got trump to take on the mantle for it with a bullshit emergency, so mitch and his buddies don’t have to watch their approval numbers plummet again in another shutdown.

  35. 35
    Dev Null says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:

    perhaps the Humanity Experiment ought to be nearing “it’s inevitable end.”

    Perhaps I’m (once again) misreading, but you’re comment seems to assume that it isn’t.

    The “Humanity Experiment”, I mean.

    PS: “you’re” is snark, not a typo. De Debbil made me do it.

  36. 36
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Sab: Eh? Not seeing the problem with a pretty innocuous comment. Surely new commentors are welcome. Not a private club where one must be recommended by a member I hope. Old books just as pertinent as many of the other things seen on this full service blog.

  37. 37
    Sab says:

    @sempronia: This is so late you won’t see it. One of the things I hate about late night BJ is assuming everyone unfamiliar is a troll. I did that tonight to you.

    I am very sorry. You were just a regular reader and occasional commenter and I implied (trollishnesh) about you. I wil, keep apologizing later until you unlurk. I am sorry. I overreacted to a normal comment. I certainly did my part to make this site unwelcoming to you and to others Sorry.

    Also I was defendingn a writer I loved thirty years ago that you didn’t like twenty years ago. Talk about me not listening.

    I am going to read more recent him. Not to fight or agree. Just to think.

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