More high level criticism of Trump

President Donald Trump had a bit of a surge of support in approval polls when Covid-19 struck, but as his poor handling and bizarre behaviour increased the polls swung against him.

Then Trump handled the death of George Floyd poorly.

The only things Trump seems to be consistent with is praising himself, blaming others, and dumping on anyone who criticises him. He is getting more opportunities to do the latter as high level criticism of him is coming out more now.

NBC: General Mattis’ statement on Trump reveals America’s constitutional crisis

In a series of striking critiques this week, senior retired military officers including former Secretary of Defense and retired Gen. James Mattis spoke out forcefully and unequivocally against the president. This is not a disagreement over policy, but rather an indictment of the commander in chief’s leadership and competency at a critical moment for the nation. For senior retired military officers to level such criticism against a serving president is unprecedented and signals a true constitutional crisis over American civil-military relations.

In a stunning critique published in the Atlantic, Mattis argued that citizens’ rights “peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances,” as outlined in the Bill of Rights, have been violated across America. He urged “those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution” be held accountable. Such strong political condemnation from a former general is extraordinary for many reasons — but Mattis went even further. He excoriated Trump for dividing the nation and declared the country is “witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.”

Trump dumped on Mattis for this, but as this was predictable the carping bark lacked bite.

Mattis is widely respected in the military and his criticism of trump is unlikely to affect that.

Business Insider – ‘The president did not fire him’: Trump’s former chief of staff John Kelly defends Mattis after Twitter attacks

President Donald Trump’s former White House chief of staff John Kelly defended former Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis on Thursday, calling him an “honorable man” and rejecting the president’s claim that he fired the retired Marine Corps general.

“The president has clearly forgotten how it actually happened or is confused,” he added. “The president tweeted a very positive tweet about Jim until he started to see on Fox News their interpretation of his letter. Then he got nasty.”

“Jim Mattis is a honorable man,” Kelly said.

So Trump dumped on Kelly. Same old.

NBC News – Colin Powell calls Trump a liar, says he skirts the Constitution, will vote Biden

Several other former military leaders condemned the president during appearances on the Sunday shows.

Powell, who served as Secretary of State under former President George W. Bush and was previously chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told CNN’s “State of the Union” that Trump is “drifting” away from the Constitution and said he’s a habitual liar.

“We have a Constitution. We have to follow that Constitution. And the president’s drifted away from it,” Powell said, offering praise for military leaders who have spoken out against the president in recent days.

Echoing Trump’s former Defense Secretary James Mattis, Powell said he agreed that Trump is the first president in his lifetime who is not trying to unite the country. Powell said the protests have shown him the country is at “a turning point.”

“The one word I have to use with respect to what he’s been doing for the last several years is the word I would never have used before, never would have used with any of the four presidents I worked for, he lies,” Powell added. “He lies about things. And he gets away with it because people will not hold him accountable.”

Trump annoyed military people and others with his threat to turn the military against protesters.

On ABC’s “This Week,” retired Army. Gen. Martin Dempsey, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Trump’s “inflammatory language” could significantly strain post-Vietnam War efforts to regain citizen trust in the military.

“It seems to me (the protests) are all about…trying to allow people to actually fulfill their potential, one of the great promises of living in this country,” Dempsey said. “So we absolutely have to be very careful about how the military is used in that circumstance.”

On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” retired Navy Adm. James Stavridis said the protests aren’t “a battlespace to be dominated,'” pointing to comments from Trump and his administration. And on “Fox News Sunday,” retired Navy Adm. Michael Mullen, also a former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, said the military “should never be called to fight our own people as enemies of the state,” adding, “We have a military to fight our enemies, not our own people.”

Elsewhere, Attorney General William Barr told CBS’s “Face the Nation,” that he, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, agreed that active duty military should only be used “as a last resort and that we didn’t think we would need them.”

Also on “Face the Nation,” Condoleeza Rice, who served as secretary of state and national security adviser under Bush, said she would “absolutely advise against” using active duty military in response to the protests, saying the National Guard is trained for such instances.

“Our military isn’t trained to do this,” she said. “Our military is trained for the battlefield. And this isn’t a battlefield, in that sense.”

Republicans seeking re-election are not standing up against Trump, but that’s in part at least to avoid him dumping on their campaigns.

Cad Pergram (Fox News): GOPers on Capitol Hill aren’t wavering in support of Trump despite criticism

It’s about inertia. And with few exceptions, President Trump has inertia on his side when it comes to the support of congressional Republicans.

Now congressional Republicans stare at a cratered economy – despite significantly better than expected jobs numbers Friday. There’s a global pandemic. Protests in the streets. Also lurking are the geometric repercussions over threats to use the military to quash the demonstrations. Questions swirl about what happened in Lafayette Square, potentially leading to one of the most ignominious photo-ops in presidential history.

Most Republicans continued to support the president. Most Republicans would defend his actions. Most Republicans wouldn’t go out of their way to lash out at Trump if they thought he strayed too far from the Constitution or attempted to institute a controversial policy. Most Republicans barely waver.

It’s not about wavering, it’s about saving their political skins.

Trump’s Twitter feed practically radiates political isotopes. Republicans fear his wrath if they duck out of line.

Trump’s memory is elephantine, especially for those who cross him. Murkowski’s dare to deviate from Republican doctrine prompted the president to tweet about her a few hours later – even if he didn’t precisely portray her roll call votes.

Trump tweeted he would be “campaigning against Senator Lisa Murkowski” when she faces reelection in 2022. “Get any candidate, good or bad, I don’t care. I’m endorsing. If you have a pulse, I’m with you!”

In other words, Murkowski’s vote against conviction in the impeachment trial doesn’t count for anything. Murkowski’s yea vote on tax reform doesn’t matter. The president’s message is that anyone “with a pulse” is better than anyone who speaks out against him.

So, it’s better for GOPers to just keep their head down and not say anything at all. That may protect their political status for now. And, if the resident loses this fall and it’s a Republican bloodbath at the polls as some models are starting to predict, perhaps some of those individual members live to fight another day. They are neither on the record for or against President Trump.

The president governs by Twitter and cable news. Yet some Republican leaders long ago decided that their best defense was to either ignore Trump’s latest tweet or who he scorched verbally in the Rose Garden. Or at least they feigned such ignorance.

“I’m not going to critique somebody’s else’s performances,” said McConnell when asked about the photo op.

Perhaps there was more than meets the ear in McConnell’s answer. After all, the president was trying to stage a photo op – an inherently theatrical diorama in politics – in front of St. John’s Church. So a second parsing of McConnell’s choice of the word “performances” could reveal an observation ignored by the press corps.

This is how congressional Republicans often finesse challenging questions from reporters in the age of President Trump. And some just uncomfortably dodge them, as they did last week.

“I haven’t seen it,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., when asked about criticism from Mattis.

“I have a phone call,” said Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., when asked the same.

“I’m late for lunch,” said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.

It’s a long way to the November election. But the increasing amount of high level criticism of Trump may take it’s toll, and not just on Trump’s re-election chances.

There seem to be some who will defend and excuse Trump no matter what he does or says, but he needs a lot more votes than from them.

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35 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  8th June 2020

    Trump’s such an arsehole that the Republicans in Congress are scared stiff of him & what he can do them. He’s an obvious embarrassment to many of them. If only the Democrats had a decent challenger by now it’d be clear Trump wouldn’t get a second term.

    Reply
    • a direct consequence of Trump dangerously speculating that disinfectants could be taken internally, “by injection inside or almost a cleaning”

      FIFY

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  8th June 2020

        Ishmael, what happened to that Lancet study you posted last week. Has there been an update?

        Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  8th June 2020

        No-one would have taken the slightest notice of an offhand comment during a long scientific report on the successful use of isopropyl alcohol as a disinfectant if the loony Left and their media accomplices hadn’t seized on it as an opportunity to misrepresent and ridicule Trump. If the cap fits, wear it, Ishmael.

        Reply
    • also a direct consequence of people who support Trump listening to him and believing what he says is intelligent advice

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  8th June 2020

        They didn’t listen to him. They listened to the media’s misreporting of him. Probably like the woman who killed her husband with fish tank cleaner they were idiot Lefties and Democrats.

        Reply
        • Pink David

           /  8th June 2020

          “Probably like the woman who killed her husband with fish tank cleaner they were idiot Lefties and Democrats.”

          She wasn’t an idiot, she was a paid up Hillary donner with a history of spousal abuse. She got away with it playing the right part for the media.

          Reply
          • Patzcuaro

             /  8th June 2020

            How much did she donate to Hillary, was she a mega donor or just a drop in the bucket donor? You do realize the Hillary lost the election?

            Reply
            • Pink David

               /  8th June 2020

              “You do realize the Hillary lost the election?”

              You know what, I hadn’t noticed. Thank’s for the update.

        • Fight4nz

           /  8th June 2020

          Or, that’s what he said.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  9th June 2020

            B.s. Quote his words.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  9th June 2020

              You can hear Trump quoting his own words for yourself.
              https://yournz.org/2020/06/08/more-high-level-criticism-of-trump/#comment-424918

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  9th June 2020

              Context: the disinfectant being discussed was isopropyl alcohol, the speculation by Trump was there could be research to see if there was some way the virus could be killed in the lungs similarly.

              The media presented it as if Trump was urging people to drink bleach. So some did. Nuts.

            • Gezza

               /  9th June 2020

              More context: Trump is a blithering idiot. He blithers incessantly. If that is what he meant, that is what any intelligent person would have said. His blithering is the biggest clue to his towering ignorance.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  9th June 2020

              That is what he did say. The media deliberately misrepresented it in order to ridicule him.

      • Patzcuaro

         /  8th June 2020

        I thought that you wore rose tinted glasses but in reality you wear blinkers.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  8th June 2020

          I just call b.s. when I see it, Patz, and there is plenty to see at present.

          Reply
          • Patzcuaro

             /  8th June 2020

            I guess bullshit is in the eye of the beholder.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  9th June 2020

              Usually in the mouth of the speaker first.

    • Patzcuaro

       /  8th June 2020

      Reply
  2. Pink David

     /  8th June 2020

    Perhaps some attention should also be paid to what the opposition wants…nothing short of the cultural revolution.

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  8th June 2020

      It is always a good idea to look for the dog that does not bark, What are they leaving out?

      Notice it is ‘zero police murder’, not zero murder. Because there will be murder.

      I’m all for experimentation. We can collect the data from this and made better decisions in the future. I’d recommend a wall before they start this experiment though.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  8th June 2020

        Nutters. The left & anarchist extreme end fringe loons that counterbalance the right wing, racist & facist extreme end fringe loons who think Trump’s hearing their call & speaking to them in code. Nobody takes them seriously but themselves.

        Reply
  3. Tom Hunter

     /  8th June 2020

    peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances,”

    I’m glad to hear the General Mattis has come out on defence of people assembling to protest against the lockdown policies of various states.

    In this I’m sure he will be joined by Public Health officials who now admit that even though such protests raise the risk of spreading the Wuhan Flu virus there are some things more important than that.

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  8th June 2020

      That was a dog that did not bark. Interesting don’t you think? I’d love to hear what he believes the difference between these two things is.

      Let us remember how he himself has dealt with civil unrest’

      “I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all.”

      Reply
  4. “I also want to congratulate tonight’s Lincoln Medal recipients, a man I have a lot of respect for, Gen. Colin Powell and his wife, Alma… you have been outstanding. Two people to really look up to.”
    – Donald Trump, exactly one year ago

    Reply
    • Gerrit

       /  8th June 2020

      Your point is? We can all respect people we may be in disagreement with,

      Your TDS has gotten to you big time.

      Part of the cut and thrust of grown up life is agreeing to disagree without rancour.

      Reply
      • Fight4nz

         /  8th June 2020

        Yep. One thing I’d be surprised to see from Trump now would be anything approaching rancour directed at Powell or any of the others!
        That would just make Ishmael‘s point.

        Reply

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