A Manchin on the Hill

Jerry Moore

WATERTOWN — Former President Donald Trump will resume his notorious rallies next month.

Other than to assuage his ego, I’m not sure what this will accomplish. But Trump often goes out of his way to engage in activities for no other reason than to make himself feel good.

Trump still cannot come to grips with the fact that he failed to win the 2020 election. Shortly after leaving office, he established the Office of Former President Donald Trump.

But this apparently didn’t sit well with him. The website for his post-presidency enterprise has scrubbed the use of the word “former,” and he issues every statement (either from 45Office.com or his Save America PAC) with the phrase, “Donald Trump, 45th president of the United States …” This allows him to pretend that he’s still presiding over the White House.

So Trump is a 74-year-old man who needs to wallow in make-believe scenarios. And for some bizarre reason, many Republicans want this person to continue leading their party.

I thought that the carnage Trump left in his wake would have led more than a few GOP loyalists to say, “Enough is enough.” Let’s be honest: Sitting on your hands while hundreds, then thousands, then tens of thousands, then hundreds of thousands of your fellow citizens die atrocious deaths doesn’t look good on the resume of a head of government. However, Trump’s incompetence did little to shake the support of his fan base.

But then again, I also thought Trump’s utterly childish reactions to the numerous criticisms that come with the job would have put off more Republicans who claimed to believe that we should have an adult running the country. I suppose not.

Many in the GOP have waged a campaign against reality. From boasts that Trump had the largest inauguration audience ever to declarations that the novel coronavirus is a huge hoax and repeated assertions that the 2020 election was stolen, they are living according to what former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway once brilliantly described (this was unintentional on her part) as “alternative facts.” They just see things the way they want to, and no one is going to tell them any differently.

This was the rationale behind Wednesday’s ouster of U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming as chairwoman of the House Republican Conference. She crossed Trump too many times, so she had to go.

When word spread the week before that House Republicans wanted to give Cheney the boot, Northern New York’s representative on Capitol Hill began lobbying for the job. And on Friday, her colleagues gave it to her.

U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, spoke of unity in casting herself as the ideal candidate to take the No. 3 position in the House GOP leadership. But it’s obvious that the unity she and many other Republicans want is the party’s focus on acquiescing to Trump.

Steve Scully interviewed me Thursday for a segment on his C-SPAN Radio program, “Washington Today.” We discussed Stefanik’s background and how people in the 21st Congressional District were responding to her pending promotion in the House Republican leadership. (To listen to my interview, visit http://wdt.me/ptfkFt; my portion of the program begins at the 29 minute mark in the podcast.)

This conversation got me thinking about what Stefanik’s ascension within the GOP means for the party and our nation. Unfortunately, it’s not good.

Stefanik placates Trump in his fantasies. In a recent podcast with Steve Bannon, she referred to Trump as “the president” at least twice.

She also played along with his claims of a presidential election that lacked integrity. Contesting the results in several states, she said that “tens of millions of Americans are rightly concerned that the 2020 election featured unprecedented voting irregularities.”

Of course they’re concerned about this. They followed a con artist who lied to them time and again.

And not wanting to admit they were duped, they stuck with his falsehoods despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. So when the results weren’t what they wanted, they chose an alternative fact over the clear reality of the election’s outcome.

Pushing Cheney out of this position and installing Stefanik sent the message that House Republicans need to get in line. Strong opposition to Trump will not be tolerated.

We as a nation have numerous issues to resolve. The Democrats have razor thin majorities in both the House and Senate, and they’ll need Republican cooperation to accomplish some big items.

This is how our government is supposed to work, so it’s good that Republicans have some leverage. Their voices must be heard on key pieces of legislation and policies to be implemented.

But if they’re going to filter much of what they do through the lens of Trump’s fantasies, we’re in serious trouble. Many in the Republican Party have developed contempt for the truth, and this does not bode well for us.

Jerry Moore is the editorial page editor for the Watertown Daily Times. Readers may call him at 315-661-2369 or send emails to jmoore@wdt.net. They also may follow him on Twitter: @WDT_OpEd.

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(11) comments

rdsouth

This will pass.

KRobbins

In a recent podcast with Steve Bannon, she referred to Trump as “the president” at least twice.

Stefanik never did congratulate Biden and Harris on winning, only on being sworn in. It seemed pathetically childish back then, but predictable now.

It seems like such a dilemma Republicans are in now. On one hand they can’t admit that Biden won. But, if they don’t admit Trump lost, he remains the leader of the party because he “won” in November. He’s really unpopular in a lot of places probably lower than the majority disapproval he had as president. If 40% of the country are Republicans and 70% of Republicans support Trump that only adds up to 28% of the electorate. And he’s not likely to get more coherent or likable as time goes by.

Apparently, believing the Big Lie of election fraud is no longer sufficient either. It seems like no coincidence that various Congressional Republicans are putting out this notion that January 6th was no big deal. So, I suppose that’s next piece of reality that the members of the cult are going to have to enthusiastically believe and defend.

KRobbins

On that Bannon podcast she also expressed support support for the Arizona nonsense where the Cyber Ninjas are looking for bamboo fibers in the ballots because of a conspiracy theory about 40,000 ballots supposedly dropped in from China.

The board of supervisors of Maricopa County, Arizona railed against a review of the county’s 2020 election results ordered by the state Senate during a fiery board meeting Monday.

“As chairman of this board, I just want to make it clear: I will not be responding to any more requests from this sham process,” board Chairman Jack Sellers (R) said at the end of the meeting. “Finish what you’re calling an audit and be ready to defend your report in a court of law. We all look forward to it.” TPM

That’s a board dominated by Republicans. Thank God there are still some Republicans with a sense of honor. I wish Cheney, Kinzinger, Romney, Katko and the handful of others in Congress all the best.

Say what you want about the Democrats, but there’s no Matt Gaetz or Marjorie Taylor Greene. I used to feel a little smug because I don’t live in a district that sends one of the many Republican lions to Congress. Then I remembered Elise Stefanik is my rep.

Holmes

Pretty much covers today’s’media’

https://www.breitbart.com/radio/2021/05/16/alex-marlow-breaking-the-news-reveals-left-wing-bias-only-tip-media-corruption-iceberg/

Airball55

Ah yes, the daily attack on stefanik. Pathetic. Now let’s chat real world. When given the chance to rise to a position like this, all politicians will do it. Stefanik is so ahead of the curve. She knows to win the White House she needs trumps voters. There are still a lot of them. Her voting record is exemplary. She thinks on her own. She wants to win, plain and simple. Joe Biden is also setting records for lies in office. The country is suffering. Products are disappearing. Prices are rising. Gas is going to be 4$ and up soon. The Middle East is on fire again. Biden is promoting evil people who’s history of online attacks are in plain view of the public. Stefanik?? Just looking for the bigger prize and the path to victory. And online smears and attacks from local newspapers have only helped her. This article totally misses the point. You can’t win in 2022 and 2024 without the 70000000 plus who like America first. I am in no way a trump guy, I didn’t vote for president the past two elections but the sheer absurdity of this opinion hit piece is laughable. It would be like a democratic candidate admitting Biden and Harris have been absent, can’t lead, and have been wrong on almost every decision they made and then ask those close to 8000000 to vote for them. Typical of this writer. Meanwhile here in New York, cuomo is still hitler 2021...and not much from the suppressed press whom he will attack and shakedown. Crazy.

Holmes

Uh oh, Breaking News! New polling by CBS News on the state of the Republican Party (which is very strong!). ‘President Trump has a strong hold on the GOP.’ 80% of Republicans agree with the removal of Liz Cheney from GOP Leadership and only 20% disagree,” Trump wrote. “The poll also showed that 67% of Republicans said that they do not consider Sleepy Joe Biden to be the legitimate winner of the 2020 Presidential Election. I agree with them 100%, just look at the facts and the data—there is no way he won the 2020 Presidential Election!”

Pitbull

The only people who have a disconnect with reality are the Democrats. Jerry Moore, who has repeatedly betrayed his outright partisanship, is in the bag for the aforementioned party. The Dems, who got a feeble old doodling fool elected by not requiring him to show even a modicum of transparency (from his basement), have continued to hide from the truth. The truth is the current president is incompetent. Look at the past week. Incoherent and weak response to the Colonial Pipeline fiasco. Tepid response to self created problems in the Middle East. Continued chaos at the southern border. Jerry Moore and the rest of the liberal hacks who run this paper are the reason I will let my subscription lapse. The WDT, as evidenced by this terrible editor is too far to the left for me to tolerate. Waste other's time Jerry but you won't waste mine. I'll get my news elsewhere.

Holmes

Elise pretty much covers this editor.

https://www.newsmax.com/t/newsmax/article/1021582/16

She's back

Trump is something much more dangerous than a mere con man, HE is To put it simply Insane. This is the conclusion widely held by those who deal with violent pathological narcissists. SEE Link .

From the interview:

>>"Do you think Trump is truly exhibiting delusional or psychotic behavior? Or is he simply behaving like an autocrat making a bald-faced attempt to hold onto his power?

I believe it is both."<<

Trump actually does believe the "Big Lie", as well as many of the other Narcissistic lies and delusions that he has spouted (Well over 30 thousand in the 4 years). If you knew what to watch for, You could observe Trump becoming increasingly out of touch with reality.

Now there are those , I hope Stefanik is one, who are merely using fidelity to Trump and his lies for political purposes . While that is simply disgraceful, it is better than the alternative, that she actually believes Trump's delusions, and is suffering from what Dr. Bandy X. Lee calls "shared psychosis" and "narcissistic symbiosis".

The following article from Scientific American written just days after the insurrection doe more to explain how Trump and his followers were easily drawn to violence.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-shared-psychosis-of-donald-trump-and-his-loyalists/

I have spent mush of the past 4 years wondering how Trump's suppoter

Holmes

“repeated assertions that the 2020 election was stolen” if you don’t think some shenanigans didn’t go on in 2020 election then why is the Biden DOJ attempting to block the AZ election audit? Why is Dominion refusing a court order to turn over the passwords for the machines and who erased the results on the machines?

hermit thrush

And not wanting to admit they were duped, they stuck with his falsehoods despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. So when the results weren’t what they wanted, they chose an alternative fact over the clear reality of the election’s outcome.

exactly right. doing the work to seek out and believe the truth -- especially when it's not what you're hoping it will be -- is a basic tenet of personal integrity and morality. the gop is in a state of deep moral rot.

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