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Oct 09 2020

Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news media and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

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Paul Krugman: Trump Is Killing the Economy Out of Spite

So what will he do if he loses the election?

Last year Donald Trump called Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker, a “nasty, vindictive, horrible person.” Actually, she isn’t — but he is.

Trump’s vindictiveness has become a major worry as the election approaches. He has already signaled that he won’t accept the result if he loses, which seems increasingly likely though not certain. Nobody knows what chaos, possibly including violence, he may unleash if the election doesn’t go his way.

Even aside from that concern, however, a defeated Trump would still be president for two and a half months. Would he spend that time acting destructively, in effect taking revenge on America for rejecting him?

Well, we got a preview of what a lame-duck Trump presidency might look like Tuesday. Trump hasn’t even lost yet, but he abruptly cut off talks on an economic relief package millions of Americans desperately need (although as of Thursday he seemed to be backtracking). And his motivation seems to have been sheer spite.

Eugene Robinson: Trump’s frantic desperation will only get worse

Another day, another flood of dangerous and offensive nonsense.

Predictions are risky these days, but I make this one confidently: President Trump’s frantic desperation at the prospect of losing the election will only get worse. Probably much worse.

I know that seems impossible, given the volume of vitriol now spewing hourly from the president. And I know it makes no political sense for Trump to continue to sound like a deranged end-of-days preacher yelling at random passersby. But nothing in Trump’s history suggests he will abandon his reelection “strategy” of unceasing bombast, transparent lies, manufactured grievance, unhinged conspiracy-mongering and an unforgivable attempt to disrupt the electoral process itself. [..]

The most important thing we can do is vote. Republicans can make it inconvenient for voters to cast their ballots, but they can’t make it impossible. Vote early by mail and track your ballot online. Vote early in person, wearing a mask and taking all precautions. Have a plan for Election Day, and follow through. Be patient, be determined, don’t give up.

And as for Trump, let him howl at the moon all he wants. He’s scared. And he has good reason to be.

Gretchen Whitmer: I will hold the president accountable for endangering and dividing America
Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, is governor of Michigan.

When I addressed the people of Michigan on Thursday to comment on the unprecedented terrorism, conspiracy and weapons charges against 13 men, some of whom were preparing to kidnap and possibly kill me, I said, “Hatred, bigotry and violence have no place in the great state of Michigan.” I meant it. But just moments later, President Trump’s campaign adviser, Jason Miller, appeared on national television accusing me of fostering hatred.

I’m not going to waste my time arguing with the president. But I will always hold him accountable. Because when our leaders speak, their words carry weight.

When our leaders encourage domestic terrorists, they legitimize their actions. When they stoke and contribute to hate speech, they are complicit. And when a sitting president stands on a national stage refusing to condemn white supremacists and hate groups, as President Trump did when he told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” during the first presidential debate, he is complicit. Hate groups heard the president’s words not as a rebuke, but as a rallying cry. As a call to action.

Jonathan Freedland: Covid-19 has unmasked the true nature of Donald Trump and Trumpism

The pandemic has exposed the hollowness of this presidency – and senior Republicans suspect their party could pay the price

Just in case you were about to feel an unfamiliar spasm of sympathy for Donald Trump following his contraction of coronavirus, this week has provided a helpful reminder not only of his morally repugnant character but also of the danger he poses to the United States and the wider world.

Firmly in the first category is his attempt to blame his infection on the grieving relatives of slain soldiers, citing Gold Star families’ tendency to “come within an inch of my face”. Speaking to Fox Business on Thursday, Trump said, “They want to hug me and they want to kiss me”, and so perhaps it was them who had made him sick. Clearly keen not to keep all that viral load to himself, Trump later told Fox News – in between coughing bouts – that he plans to host a rally in Florida on Saturday and another in Pennsylvania. He’ll doubtless repeat the gesture he premiered in his bargain-bin Mussolini performance on the White House balcony on Monday night, ripping off his mask with a flourish – as if to prove that nothing and nobody will stop him shrouding his devotees in a cloud of his contaminated breath.

Paul Waldman: The secret Republican health-care plan, revealed

How are they going to protect people with preexisting conditions while trying to destroy the law that does just that? You’ll never guess.

There has been a good deal of talk lately about how Republicans want to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, which would revoke the protection for those with preexisting conditions that ACA created for the first time in U.S. history. Spurred to action by the moral urgency of terrifying poll numbers, Republicans have responded “Nuh-uh” and insisted that they have a plan to protect the thing that is already protected by law, and that is threatened only by Republicans themselves.

Democrats counter that this “plan” is a phantom, a fantasy, something President Trump and other Republicans keep promising but never deliver. It’s as though the GOP says, “We have a plan to make car theft illegal!” while its members go around smashing people’s car windows.

On a purely factual basis, the Democrats are absolutely correct. But it’s also the case that Republicans do have a plan of a sort, to be explained below.

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