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Interesting article ahead of its time: 'president winning war on American institutions'

Craig234

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George Packer in The Atlantic in April 2020. He describes the whole 'trump versus the adults in the room' issue before 1/6 made it more clear to everyone. My bolding.

For the Republican Party politicians, it seems clear that nothing mattered except that if they didn't let trump be dictator, he could primary them, and that was that. No loyalty to the country.

When donald trump came into office, there was a sense that he would be outmatched by the vast government he had just inherited.

The new president was impetuous, bottomlessly ignorant, almost chemically inattentive, while the bureaucrats were seasoned, shrewd, protective of themselves and their institutions. They knew where the levers of power lay and how to use them or prevent the president from doing so. Trump’s White House was chaotic and vicious, unlike anything in American history, but it didn’t really matter as long as “the adults” were there to wait out the president’s impulses and deflect his worst ideas and discreetly pocket destructive orders lying around on his desk.

After three years, the adults have all left the room—saying just about nothing on their way out to alert the country to the peril—while Trump is still there.

James Baker, the former general counsel of the FBI, and a target of Trump’s rage against the state, acknowledges that many government officials, not excluding himself, went into the administration convinced “that they are either smarter than the president, or that they can hold their own against the president, or that they can protect the institution against the president because they understand the rules and regulations and how it’s supposed to work, and that they will be able to defend the institution that they love or served in previously against what they perceive to be, I will say neutrally, the inappropriate actions of the president. And I think they are fooling themselves. They’re fooling themselves. He’s light-years ahead of them.”

...They also failed to appreciate the advanced decay of the Republican Party, which by 2016 was far gone in a nihilistic pursuit of power at all costs. They didn’t grasp the readiness of large numbers of Americans to accept, even relish, Trump’s contempt for democratic norms and basic decency. It took the arrival of such a leader to reveal how many things that had always seemed engraved in monumental stone turned out to depend on those flimsy norms, and how much the norms depended on public opinion. Their vanishing exposed the real power of the presidency. Legal precedent could be deleted with a keystroke; law enforcement’s independence from the White House was optional; the separation of powers turned out to be a gentleman’s agreement; transparent lies were more potent than solid facts. None of this was clear to the political class until Trump became president.

But the adults’ greatest miscalculation was to overestimate themselves—particularly in believing that other Americans saw them as selfless public servants, their stature derived from a high-minded commitment to the good of the nation.

When Trump came to power, he believed that the regime was his, property he’d rightfully acquired, and that the 2 million civilians working under him, most of them in obscurity, owed him their total loyalty.

 
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reflechissez

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George Packer in The Atlantic in April 2020. He describes the whole 'trump versus the adults in the room' issue before 1/6 made it more clear to everyone. My bolding.

For the Republican Party politicians, it seems clear that nothing mattered except that if they didn't let trump be dictator, he could primary them, and that was that. No loyalty to the country.



The Atlantic does great, in-depth articles.
 

Checkerboard Strangler

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Perhaps in another two or three months as facts continue to come to light, enough Americans will finally grasp exactly how close we came to watching democracy sink under the waves of dictatorial fascism.
 

Craig234

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Perhaps in another two or three months as facts continue to come to light, enough Americans will finally grasp exactly how close we came to watching democracy sink under the waves of dictatorial fascism.
trump was ONE dangerous crisis to overthrow democracy. There are more coming and they're worse, as Republican insurrectionists take over election offices and learn from their mistakes. There hasn't been an ounce of accountability for the large majority of them who voted to steal the election. Though this thread is about the trump versus the administration history.
 
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