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Pierce writes: "President* Donald Trump is running the dare - and winning."

Donald Trump Jr. speaks at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio U.S. July 19, 2016. (photo: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)
Donald Trump Jr. speaks at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio U.S. July 19, 2016. (photo: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)

This Isn't a Government Anymore. It's a Game of Truth or Dare.

By Charles Pierce, Esquire

06 August 18

President* Donald Trump is running the dare—and winning.

don't remember who it was exactly, but someone mentioned over the weekend that the president*'s perception of his political invulnerability seems to have evolved from "I could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue" to "Yeah, I shot at somebody on Fifth Avenue, but I missed him, so there's no crime here." Any weekend is remarkable when the president* admits being in cahoots with a foreign government full of kleptocratic thugs, thereby contradicting almost three years of official prevarication, and tosses his eldest son under the wheels as a bonus. Of all the tweets in all the gin joints in all the word, this one is the all-timer.

This isn't a government any more. It's an elaborate game of Truth or Dare and, so far, the president* is winning. Contrary to god alone knows how many previous public statements, he now admits the following: that the brain trust of his campaign did indeed take a meeting with Russian ratfckers for the purpose of gaining access to materials stolen from his political opposition; using this material, the rats were successfully fcked during the campaign, and, when the meeting with the ratfckers came to light, it was the president* who concocted the cover story and sent his wonderful son out to peddle the bullshit. One odd thing about the Oval Office—given the right circumstances, you can find yourself cornered there.

That's the truth. The president* is running the dare. He has admitted lying to the country on a profound issue of national security. He is doing next to nothing to prevent a similar attack this fall, and in 2020. He is clearly in league with—or, more likely, in hock to—an authoritarian goon presiding over an economic basket case complete with its own huge and threadbare nuclear arsenal. He is daring the institutions of democracy to do something about him. He is daring the system to work the way it's supposed to work. Waiting until after the midterms is not the way the system is supposed to work. Waiting for the special counsel to do the job for you is not the way the system is supposed to work. God knows, the supine behavior of the Republican congressional majorities is not the way the system is supposed to work.

The process of dealing with a lawless president* who admits to his own lawlessness should be easy, if the system works the way it's supposed to work. Instead, everybody along Fifth Avenue hears gunfire and hides behind a cab. But Robert Mueller, with no expression on his face, reaches across his desk for another file. your social media marketing partner


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+19 # indian weaving 2018-08-06 17:33
"One odd thing about the Oval Office—given the right circumstances, you can find yourself cornered there."
Great line. Only the most stupid idiot can corner themselves in a circle! Takes a certain kind of "talent". Gee, and the winner is ... no surprise there.
-24 # PABLO DIABLO 2018-08-06 23:07
"He is clearly in league with—or, more likely, in hock to—an authoritarian goon presiding over an economic basket case complete with its own huge and threadbare nuclear arsenal."
What planet are you on? Just a BIT of hyperbole. You couldn't make up this shit. OH! You just did.
-16 # librarian1984 2018-08-07 10:35
For as long as I've been reading Pierce he strikes me as someone who cares more about being clever than being accurate.
+15 # Realist1948 2018-08-07 11:13
Maybe you didn't get the reference? The "authoritarian goon" in the article is Putin. Nothing about this was made up.
+27 # margefromtn 2018-08-06 23:11
Yes. This. What will it take for the elected representatives to act.. to serve the constitution and the country they are sworn to serve.
+9 # margpark 2018-08-07 16:31
And they decline to act which means our only recourse is to vote them out of office. I do not know why they decline to act but the fact is that they have and do decline to act.
+21 # LionMousePudding 2018-08-07 00:58
The viewpoint of every action of Trump's being a dare, is a very good description.
+12 # janie1893 2018-08-07 01:01
Can a maniac be charged with treason?
+29 # relegn 2018-08-07 05:40
As long as Corporations and the Wealthy continue to have their taxes lowered and business regulations removed our Supreme Leader's base, the above Corporations and Wealthy, will fight tooth and nail to keep him in office.
+25 # Realist1948 2018-08-07 06:49
As several people have observed, Donald J. Trump and his base have all the attributes of a cult leader with devoted followers. The extent to which Trump is "invulnerable" is IMHO linked to his status as a cult leader. In the Cult of Trump:
Criticism of The Leader is not tolerated.
A cult member who turns critic of The Leader is ostracized.
Any news outlet that dares to publish criticism of The Leader is branded as "fake news" and "enemy of the people."
Members of the Cult of Trump are easy to find. They flock to his rallies, and post glowing praise of The Leader on Breitbart and Town Hall comment pages.

What will it take in order for the cult members to see Trump for what he is? Maybe Trump's throwing Don Jr. under the bus of the infamous "Trump Tower meeting with Russians" will do it. Maybe the final report from Mueller's team will do it.

We can only hope that when the cult finally turns on Trump, they will do so quickly, en masse.
+2 # librarian1984 2018-08-07 10:46
Sounds an awful lot like Hillary supporters too. Except no one was flocking to her rallies.

Anyone who criticized her or the campaign she ran was marked as a traitor, and no matter what evidence came out no one seemed to care.

In Hillary's case several journalists told us there was an implicit agreement among media folk that no one would publish anything negative about her during the election season -- and no one seems to care about that either.

Cult of Trump, Cult of Clinton?

Reagan was another Teflon president and no one held W or Cheney accountable either. No one was held accountable for the financial collapse or torture or starting two wars by falsifying evidence and manipulating the media.

The only people who ARE held accountable in the US anymore are the poor and middle class. The rich and powerful can do anything they want.
+4 # EternalTruth 2018-08-07 13:51
That’s outrageous! You’re clearly a paid Russian troll gearing up early to smear Clinton. ;-D
+1 # Realist1948 2018-08-07 14:08
Perhaps. Except you overlooked another significant difference: Trump now occupies the White House.

And although I recall a certain amount of fawning over the Kennedy's "Camelot" in the early sixties, it was nothing like what we see now from Trump's base.

BTW, JFK maintained fairly good relations with the press. Trump is constantly at war with the press.
+4 # librarian1984 2018-08-07 17:23
Government and the press SHOULD have an adversarial relationship but that hasn't been true since Reagan and Clinton worked their magic.

Trump and the msm have a dysfunctional love-hate relationship. He always wants to be the center of attention and they oblige. They want an eternal eyeball draw, and Trump gives them that.

They say they hate each other, but imagine if the press stopped going to his rallies. He'd hate it. Imagine if he quit being outrageous. They'd hate it.
+6 # Realist1948 2018-08-08 05:24
Trump and Fox "News" do not have an adversarial relationship. Fox is Trump's propaganda machine, and Trump at times appears to be guided by what he hears on Fox.

The mainstream news organizations are often at odds with Trump for a simple reason. Journalists have as a prime objective the disclosure of the truth. But since Trump lies so much, the last thing Trump wants is to have his frequent lies exposed. The Trump/press relationship wouldn't be nearly so dysfunctional if it weren't for Trump's lying so much.
+5 # librarian1984 2018-08-08 09:28
I agree with you that Fox is outside the realm of news organizations and should be considered almost totally a propagandist group. (There are a few decent journalists there and some stories are done well.)

But I disagree that the msm's primary objective is the truth. I'd characterize their objectives as corporate. We just happen to have similar interests at the moment. (This is also true of the left and the intelligence agencies.)

As for Trump's lies, do you think that exposing his lies hasn't been going on for two+ years? Does it seem to have made a difference? Trump stands right in front of thousands at his rallies and blatantly lies -- and his supporters eat it up. It's part of the show. He lies constantly and with impunity. What makes you think he's afraid of the press exposing him?

OTOH it seems to me there are plenty of lies that politicians and the media ignore. Why aren't they talking about the GOP tax cut more? Why don't they talk about real healthcare reform?

The press of today is not the press of the 1950s. It's a mistake to think so. One might say it is unrealistic. :-)
+1 # hkatzman 2018-08-08 07:03
Quoting librarian1984:
Government and the press SHOULD have an adversarial relationship but that hasn't been true since Reagan and Clinton worked their magic.

An adverserial approach is one thing, I have been wanting the press to stop coddling past administrations . But refusing to take questions from CNN, because it is "fake news," is not adversarial, (has this ever happened before?) it is official obstructionism.

Please do not mix this up.
+4 # librarian1984 2018-08-08 09:36
I don't believe I am mixing it up. At no point was I talking about excluding CNN from the WH press corps, so I don't want anything I've said to be construed as approval of Trump's treatment of the press. But even if we talk about that there are remedies that I haven't seen the press itself take.

Other reporters could agree to ask questions that CNN poses. Or the entire press corps could refuse to participate, in protest.

Part of my point is that this is, to some degree, theater. Trump and the press have a symbiotic relationship that neither is willing to give up.

Also, I don't personally care all that much if CNN is there. They ask bullshit questions and SH Sanders gives bullshit answers and then the networks show bullshit clips. None of it is very honest or informative. I'd much rather see Thom Hartmann or Chris Hedges or Ralph Nader asking questions at a press conference, or doing analysis.

I don't feel all that invested in what the press and Trump are doing because none of them are speaking for me or to me.
+3 # hkatzman 2018-08-08 06:57
Quoting librarian1984:
Cult of Trump, Cult of Clinton?

Yes, but Hilary lost! It was a political campaign. She never brought it to the White House. Maybe she might have. We do not know and so it is irrelevant and takes the attention from the present regime and removes his responsibility.

Saying Hilary might have done it, does not change the fact that this guy IS doing it. No one has ever done it before, and he has broken all precedents of those before him.
+3 # librarian1984 2018-08-08 09:42
I am saying that BOTH sides have adopted a tribalistic mentality that does not allow truth to peek its nose under the tent.

I'm not exactly sure what you think I'm saying. My post was a response to Realist1948 saying that Trump supporters are like a cult, so when you say 'Hillary might have done it' idk what you mean.

The fact the press abandoned journalistic principles for Clinton is very troubling. That is still happening. The press is corporate and advocating an agenda, no matter who is in the WH.

That is a problem.

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