Let’s make “Trump” the new “Quisling”

A screenshot from today’s New York Times:

This story is minor, but it expresses the essential nature of Trump on literal and metaphorical levels: Trump stole another family’s crest and replaced the “Integrity” motto with his own name. The rightful owners of the crest considered suing but decided not to when they were made aware of Trump’s typical response to suits: exhausting plaintiffs in court until they drop the matter.

But there’s another family property — a surname — that is far more fitting for Trump to usurp: Quisling. Most of us here have probably heard it, but I doubt one teenager in a thousand has.

It originated with Vidkun Quisling, who was installed as the leader of occupied Norway and who collaborated with the Nazis during WW2. Here he is seated with Heinrich Himmler:

Here’s how Churchill turned Quisling’s name into a synonym for “traitor” and “collaborator” in 1941:

“A vile race of Quislings — to use a new word which will carry the scorn of mankind down the centuries — is hired to fawn upon the conqueror, to collaborate in his designs and to enforce his rule upon their fellow countrymen while grovelling low themselves.”

Fellow citizens, we’ve got our own “vile race of Quislings” abroad in the land. They fanned out on the Sunday political gabfests this weekend to make the absurd claim that it was normal for Trump’s son-in-law to seek the use of Russian technology to hide the incoming administration’s communications with Moscow.

Some of our modern-day Quislings are sitting in Congress, like Representative Brian Mast (R-FL), whose campaign consultant used stolen data provided by a Russian hacker to guide ad buys and voter outreach, thus helping a hostile foreign power rig a U.S. election and lying about it after the fact.

The “vile race of Quislings” includes almost everyone at Fox News, including folksy fraud Mike Huckabee, Sean Hannity, etc., and most Republican politicians at virtually every level. They are collaborating to obscure the fact that a foreign authoritarian conspired to install an ignorant demagogue in the White House to further the interests of Russia.

In a way, our American quislings are even more contemptible than their historic counterparts, some of whom could at least lay claim to grave national peril in the face of an overwhelming military force as an excuse for their cowardice and disloyalty. Our gang is selling out their country to a relatively weak gangster for personal enrichment and political gain.

It’s a cheap and tawdry sellout, which is why the name “Trump” is a fitting replacement for “Quisling.” Assuming that we survive this assault on our democracy and eventually face the truth of what happened so that elections without outside interference can occur in the future.

It would be a fitting fate for the Trump brand as well. My most optimistic hope is that within a generation, there won’t be a building, golf course, necktie, handbag, shoe or fancy private club that will countenance the shame of bearing the name “Trump.”

Warm Breezes (Hot Air) Open Thread: Further Reviews of Trump’s Overseas Tour

When a cranky old man embarrasses even his own dog…

Why wingy can’t read

The last two Republican presidents, Trump and W, are among the worst in American history. I’d say that in terms of qualifications and intellect, they are probably the two worst candidates to be nominated by a major party since World War II. There’s no way a Democrat like Trump or W would ever be nominated, let alone elected.

The Republican health care bill is a joke, and it was designed by the man the media holds up as the leading intellectual light of the Republican party. If the Democrats put a bill that bad, they’d be crucified.

How much of what’s going on with the Republican party is the result of the low standards they’ve been held to for the last 25 years (or longer) by establishment media? I don’t have the most generous view of human nature, and I think that if people can skate by with bullshit and shoddy work, they usually will.

I realize the dynamic is somewhat complicated. Democrats became the party of reality-based policy making, so of course most journalists end up favoring Democratic policies. Then they bend over backwards to be nice to Republicans to prove they don’t have teh bias. And then on top of that you have a conservative media that is totally unhinged that Republicans can run to if they get asked tough questions by regular media, and that makes regular media double down on lowering its standards for Republicans.

Is there anyway this turns around anytime soon? I just don’t see it.

Schadenfreude Open Thread: The Bucket Brigade Arrives!

… and to put out the fires, per the Washington Post — the other Trump kids!:

Amid mounting questions at the White House about Russia, three prominent members of President Trump’s family — his sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., and Eric’s wife, Lara — have ramped up their engagement with the Republican Party’s national political operation, having met privately with GOP leaders to share their concerns and outlook.

Their most recent effort came Thursday, when the president’s eldest sons and Lara Trump visited the Republican National Committee’s headquarters in Washington. Those three family members, who were invited by the RNC, stayed for about two hours, according to four people who were not authorized to speak publicly.

Their appearance at the RNC irked at least two prominent Republicans who were briefed on the session, who wondered whether it was appropriate for the president’s sons, who run the Trump family real estate business, to be highly involved in discussing the party’s strategy and resources.

But two other people familiar with the meeting said it was appropriate for the president’s sons and daughter-in-law, who all volunteered for Trump’s campaign, to huddle with Republican leaders and offer their perspective on what would be most helpful to President Trump ahead of the 2018 midterm elections and the 2020 presidential race…

A number of RNC figures and Trump allies also attended the Thursday meeting: RNC chair Ronna Romney McDaniel, RNC chief of staff Sara Armstrong, former Trump campaign digital strategist Brad Parscale, Trump campaign committee director Michael Glassner, and former White House deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh, who now advises a pro-Trump nonprofit group…

White House officials declined on Saturday to comment on the meeting.

Be more useful if Eric wasn’t wearing the bucket over his head, and Donald Jr wasn’t standing in his.

Ya gotta wonder how irked Sarah Palin must be, given all the abuse her family took, when the Palin clan grifting didn’t amount to more than a few thousand dollars in free swag and fancy accommodations. Sure, they can see Russia from their compound, but they never tried to sell the whole country off to Putin in return for propping up a bunch of dirty real-estate deals.

Peak Dude Bro

As predicted yesterday, Hillary Clinton’s Wellesley commencement speech riled up the usual suspects because Hillary Clinton. But I found the reaction from unpaid New Republic intern (I hope) Graham Vyse particularly irritating.

Not because it was worse than the drivel poured forth at Fox News, etc., but because it exemplifies a particular strain of post-election posturing about Clinton that makes me want to gather the sisterhood and embark on a cross-country nut-punching spree. The first fucking line is infuriating:

Hillary Clinton is auditioning for a role in the Trump resistance.

Motherfucker, do you even know WHY there is a Trump resistance? Do you understand how it launched? It’s because on November 8, 2016, the retrograde racist, sexist, xenophobic, authoritarian element that has sandbagged this country from its founding banded together with Eurotrash white nationalists to push a highly qualified woman aside and deliver the presidency to an ambulatory genital wart.

This outrage was unprecedented in its scale. But it reflected literally hundreds of millions of incidents every competent woman in this country has experienced at multiple points in her life. It was the ultimate confirmation of what women have felt in their bones from toddlerhood: We’ll never be good enough. We are second-class citizens.

Vyse goes on, citing as evidence of Clinton’s overweening ambition tweets from fellow dudes:

Clinton is adopting the language of the Trump resistance, and indeed there are indications that she wants to be a key figure in that movement.

Motherfucker, Clinton IS a “key figure in that movement,” whether she wants to be or not. Trump’s elevation to the presidency was and is a tragedy for the entire planet. Everyone who comprehends that fact has a role to play in mitigating the damage, pointing out the corruption and attempting to roll back this grave injustice.

But you can’t erase the most high profile victim of this crime and delegate Michael Moore or Bernie Sanders to lead the movement that sprang up in response to that outrage. We won’t let you.

And by “we,” I mean the millions of women who knitted caps until there was no more pink yarn. The women who drove all night to descend on Washington DC on January 21 and dwarf Trump’s inaugural crowd. Those who turned up to march in cities all around the world to form the largest single-day protest in the history of the planet. And the millions of women who are still calling, faxing and emailing their elected representatives to this day.

No, it wasn’t all about Hillary Clinton. It never was! But when you try to sideline her, many of us perceive that as a dismissal akin to the one we heard loud and clear on November 8. That pisses us off. And you wouldn’t like us when we’re pissed off.

Vyse concludes:

Clinton shouldn’t be a central resistance figure. What losing presidential candidate, after all, has ever returned to lead the opposition? Not John Kerry, not Al Gore, not Michael Dukakis. The Democratic Party is right to be elevating its younger rising stars. But clearly she still feels the pull of politics, and who’s going to stop her from giving speeches and interviews whenever she pleases? The Bernie Sanders wing of the party might want to wish her away, but only she has the power to decide that.

Kerry, Gore and Dukakis? Just shut the fuck up right there, Mr. Vyse. Kerry, Gore and Dukakis weren’t trying to become the first woman to ascend to the presidency in the 241-year history of our republic. They didn’t win more popular votes than anyone besides Barack Obama only to be robbed by corrupt traitors colluding with a hostile foreign power to install an embarrassing and incompetent demagogue.

And in case you didn’t notice while cherry-picking Clinton’s speech to find triggering evidence of female ambition, the central theme of it was to motivate the enthusiastic young women graduating that day to take leadership and create change. Hell, she even said “run for office.” It’s right there in her speech. We heard her. Did you?

As for the “Bernie Sanders wing of the party,” I can only speak for myself when I say I stand with all Democrats who are united in resisting Trump and the Republicans’ disastrous agenda. I’m glad Clinton called it what it is — a con. I’m glad a $15 minimum wage is now official Democratic Party policy. But no faction within our party gets to tell the other to sit down and shut up. Not now. Not ever.

That said, I would like to offer a piping hot mug of shut the fuck up to Mr. Vyse and the countless other young white fellas in prominent perches throughout our liberal media. But after that, the fucking kitchen is closed. Make your own goddamned sammitch.

Late Night Spy-vs-Spy Open Thread: How Badly Did Ivanka Want A Divorce?

She had a nice lifestyle, a profitable brand, the envy of all her Park Slope peers, until somebody talked Daddy into running for President…

Yes, “Melania’s pre-nup” would be the obvious joke, but who believes Melania was paying that much attention to what the old man’s cronies were up to?

(General speculation, if you click on the tweets and read the replies, seems to be that Trump should’ve had the smarts to be nicer to Christie.)

Apparently Fox News had a really frantic evening, looking for substitute target for the evening’s Ten Minute Hate…

(You probably don’t want to read the replies to that tweet… )

Kushnergate Open Thread: The Trickster God Is Not A Subtle Scripter

As Donald Trump surged in the Republican primary polls in the early months of 2016, his outsider campaign faced growing pressure to show that the former reality-TV star and noted provocateur was forming a coherent and credible world view.

So when Carter Page, an international businessman with an office near Trump Tower, volunteered his services, former officials recall, Trump aides were quick to make him feel welcome.
He had come with a referral from the son-in-law of Richard Nixon, New York state Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox, who had conveyed Page’s interest to the campaign, Cox said.

A top Trump adviser, Sam Clovis, then employed what campaign aides now acknowledge was their go-to vetting process — a quick Google search — to check out the newcomer. He seemed to have the right qualifications, according to former campaign officials — head of an energy investment firm, business degree from New York University, doctorate from the University of London.

But what the Google search had not shown was that Page had been on the FBI’s radar since at least 2013, when Russian officials allegedly tried to use him to get information about the energy business…

The circumstances that led to Page’s easy access to the Trump campaign represent one of the main questions facing investigators: Were Trump’s connections to multiple Russia-friendly advisers mere coincidence, or evidence of a coordinated attempt to collude with a foreign government? Or were they the result of incompetent vetting that left a neophyte candidate vulnerable to influence from people with nefarious agendas?…

(Spoiler: That ‘crack idea’ is how Chris Christie eventually put Kushner Senior in federal prison)