We are in the retreat-from-Moscow phase of the Trump presidency

  

Category:  Op/Ed

By:  john-russell  •  one month ago  •  26 comments

We are in the retreat-from-Moscow phase of the Trump presidency


we are in the retreat-from-Moscow phase of the Trump presidency

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/13/opinion/sunday/trump-presidency.html

We are in the Götterdämmerung now, the final phase of the Trump era .

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/06/weve-now-entered-the-final-phase-of-the-trump-era/612508/

According to Ross Douhat , a "conservative", as opposed to Trumpian , columnist for the New York Times,  we are in the twilight of Trump's reign as king Republican honcho, but Douhat also makes it known that he believes there will be a toxic after effect of Trump's ascendancy. 


Conservatism needs a way to either claim more space in America's existing elite institutions, or else a path to building new ones. Trump offers a retreat to the fortresses of OANN, TPUSA, QAnon.

Above all, conservatism, now a worldview for old people and contrarians in a country trending leftward, needs a mix of converts and sympathizers to be something other than a rump. Trump did win some converts in 2016, but he has spent four years making far more enemies, and their numbers are growing every day.

What we are seeing right now in America, an accelerated leftward shift, probably won't continue at this pace through 2024. But it's likely to continue in some form so long as Trump is conservatism, and conservatism is Trump -- and four more years of trying to use him as a defensive salient is not a strategy of survival, but defeat.

For a couple years after Trump's election, many "conservatives" were happy enough, although they dishonorably accepted Trump's lies and personal corruption as a tradeoff for right wing judicial appointments and the fun of seeing Trump oafishly insult their favorite punching bags such as Obama and Hillary Clinton. 

But in the latter half of Trump's term more and more conservatives in the media have turned on Trump, likely influenced by the sinking feeling that things would never get "better" in terms of Trump's behavior. He is after all a serial liar and malignant narcissist.  Now , also, the military has had it with Trump. A number of high ranking former generals and admirals have openly criticized Trump in recent weeks. 

Douhat seems to think a thumping is on the horizon

Now we are in the retreat-from-Moscow phase of the Trump presidency, with crises arriving all together -- pandemic, recession, mass protests -- and the president incapable of coping. If the election were held today, the result could easily resemble 2008, the closest thing to a landslide our divided system has recently produced.


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JohnRussell
1  author  JohnRussell    one month ago
...Now we are in the retreat-from-Moscow phase of the Trump presidency, with crises arriving all together -- pandemic, recession, mass protests -- and the president incapable of coping. If the election were held today, the result could easily resemble 2008, the closest thing to a landslide our divided system has recently produced. Meanwhile across corporate and journalistic and academic America, a 1968-ish spirit is pulling liberalism toward an uncertain destination, with what remains of conservatism turtled for safety or extinct.

In this environment, few conservatives outside the MAGA core would declare Trump's presidency a ringing success. But many will stand by him out of a sense of self-protection, hoping a miracle keeps him in the White House as a firewall against whatever post-2020 liberalism might become.

This is a natural impulse, but they should consider another possibility: That so long as he remains in office, Trump will be an accelerant of the right's erasure, an agent of its marginalization and defeat, no matter how many of his appointees occupy the federal bench.

In situations of crisis or grave difficulty, Trump displays three qualities, three spirits, that all redound against the movement that he leads. His spirit of authoritarianism creates a sense of perpetual crisis among his opponents, uniting left-wingers and liberals despite their differences. His spirit of chaos, the sense that nothing is planned or under control, turns moderates and normies against him. And finally his spirit of incompetence means that conservatives get far less out of his administration than they would from a genuine imperial president, a man of iron rather than of pasteboard.

You can see the convergence of these spirits in the disaster at Lafayette Park, where an authoritarian instinct led to a chaotic and violent police intervention, a massive media freakout, blowback from the military -- and left the president with an impious photo op and control of six blocks around the White House to show for it.

That last image, the president as a dictator of an island and impotent beyond it, seems like a foretaste of what would await conservatives if Trump somehow slipped through to a second term. Maybe he would get to replace another Supreme Court justice -- maybe. (In a Democratic Senate, not.) But everything else the right needs would slip further out of reach.

Conservatism needs a response to the current movement for social justice that answers just claims and rejects destructive ones. Trump delivers a conservatism of Confederate war memorials that vindicates the left.

Conservatism needs new ideas about how to use power, a better theory of the relationship between state, economy and culture than the decadent Reaganism that Trump half-overthrew. Trump offers only a daily lesson in how to let power go to waste.

Conservatism needs a way to either claim more space in America's existing elite institutions, or else a path to building new ones. Trump offers a retreat to the fortresses of OANN, TPUSA, QAnon.

Above all, conservatism, now a worldview for old people and contrarians in a country trending leftward, needs a mix of converts and sympathizers to be something other than a rump. Trump did win some converts in 2016, but he has spent four years making far more enemies, and their numbers are growing every day.

What we are seeing right now in America, an accelerated leftward shift, probably won't continue at this pace through 2024. But it's likely to continue in some form so long as Trump is conservatism, and conservatism is Trump -- and four more years of trying to use him as a defensive salient is not a strategy of survival, but defeat.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
1.1  Greg Jones  replied to  JohnRussell @1    one month ago

We've heard all this nonsense before. Nothing you say will stop the Trump landslide victory, because the Democrats don't have anyone who is capable of replacing him. Biden/take the chump of your choice, will not win the minds and hearts of the majority of good and decent citizens, who are very worried about the left's view of things.

Trump is not, nor has he ever been a conservative. He's an anti-Dem, just like most of his supporters. In times of crisis, it would be foolish and self defeating to "change horses in midstream" Most American citizens believe in law and order, the presumption of innocence, due process,  and support the police to defend us from the criminal element. Tragically, it seems that a large portion of the left wing candidates and supporters seem to eschew these sacred values.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
1.1.1  author  JohnRussell  replied to  Greg Jones @1.1    one month ago

Trump is making sure that the young and minorities will be more likely to vote, and they will vote in overwhelming numbers against him. He appears to have a political death wish, which I ascribe to him knowing deep down inside that he is an unworthy piece of shit. 

 
 
 
Greg Jones
1.1.2  Greg Jones  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.1    one month ago

The young and uneducated usually don't vote unless the get a socialist radical like Bernie....they have no interest in supporting an old and senile moderate chump like Biden.

Considering all the lies the Democrats have told minorities over the years, and all the promises they've failed to keep or have broken, it would reasonable to expect a substantial increase in minority votes for Trump.

 
 
 
Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
1.1.3  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom  replied to  Greg Jones @1.1    one month ago
Nothing you say will stop the Trump landslide victory,...

You can't be serious.  We are already the laughing stock of the entire world because of Trump's moral and intellectual depravity.  Why would anyone, regardless of partisanship, wish that for this country for four more years?  

And this:

He's an anti-Dem, just like most of his supporters.

...illustrates a desire to keep this country divided.  Divide and conquer has been a winning strategy for many of the world's dictators, present and past.  That's not ok with me.  Is it ok with you?

 
 
 
XDm9mm
1.1.4  XDm9mm  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @1.1.3    one month ago
Divide and conquer has been a winning strategy for many of the world's dictators, present and past.

Then why does the left continually engage in it?  The D in DNC is in reality for DIVISIVE.

 
 
 
devangelical
1.1.5  devangelical  replied to  XDm9mm @1.1.4    one month ago
The D in DNC is in reality for DIVISIVE.

...and the R in RNC is for racist.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
1.1.6  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  devangelical @1.1.5    one month ago

R - Racist

N - Nut

C - Cases

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
1.1.7  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  XDm9mm @1.1.4    one month ago
Then why does the left continually engage in it?

The "left" says everyone is welcome regardless of race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, faith or lack thereof. I don't have any problem with conservatives or Republicans being here in America, even the evangelicals are welcome.

The "right" says everyone is welcome... except if you're gay, trans, black, Muslim or atheist, those are the folk they want to reserve their right to discriminate against and they're only allowed in America if they accept their role as second class citizens. As long as the minorities that aren't straight white Christians sit down and shut up, then the supposedly magnanimous "right" will allow them to stay and expect those minorities to be thankful to them for it. They act as if this is "their" country so they have the right to decide who can come here and who can stay.

It's obvious who the party of division is, it's the party that is the least diverse, the least open to new ideas, the group that wants to "conserve" the status quo of the white Christian patriarchy just as they have always done throughout American history. Conservatives have worn many colors and been members of many parties, always shifting allegiances to those who they feel will support their refusal to change most. Their current preferred party is the GOP, but when they fought to conserve slavery they called themselves Southern Democrats or Constitutional Unionists. But the thing that has never changed, that has been passed down from one generation to the next, is their conservatism which by its nature of clinging to discriminatory laws and strictures, has been the most divisive group in our nations history. They started the civil war and after losing then created Jim Crow laws and reintroduced legalized segregation, they fought to keep women from voting, they fought to keep black Americans from voting, they fought to keep interracial couples from marrying, they fought to keep gay couples from marrying. They are the ones dividing America, and while they are welcome in this great and beautiful promise that is America, they do not get to decide who else can share in that dream.

Conservatives can prove they aren't the dividers by treating everyone else they way they expect to be treated. Serve that lgtbq patron in your business, don't fire someone just because you find out they're gay. They could go out of their way to make the Muslims, atheists and Wiccans in their neighborhoods feel welcome instead of treating them like lepers. They could even be pro-education and support a higher education and encourage them to go visit Americas big cities instead of telling them to fear the "coastal elites".

 
 
 
Pedro
1.1.8  Pedro  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @1.1.3    one month ago

What you are saying is factual and represented literally by Trump's campaign.

https://www.donaldjtrump.com/landing/2020-trump-vs-dem-poll

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
1.1.9  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @1.1.6    one month ago

I guess you haven't done any research on the DNC and GOP.  It's obvious you haven't or you wouldn't have said something that stupid.

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.1.10  Sparty On  replied to  XDm9mm @1.1.4    one month ago

Or Dummkoff ....

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.1.11  Sparty On  replied to  devangelical @1.1.5    one month ago

Tell that to Abe Lincoln .....

 
 
 
Ronin2
1.1.12  Ronin2  replied to  devangelical @1.1.5    4 weeks ago

As compared to:

Demented

Nut

Cases

 
 
 
dennis smith
1.1.13  dennis smith  replied to  Greg Jones @1.1    4 weeks ago

The Dems only chance to win the WH in Nov will be if they replace Biden as their candidate. Two options come to mind .

Hillary and Sanders. HIllary burned too many bridges to be considered viable and Sanders is too far left as evidenced by Biden being selected over him.

 
 
 
dennis smith
1.1.14  dennis smith  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.1    4 weeks ago

Your first sentence is a repeat of what the Dems said in 2016.

Second sentence is typical TDR nonsense.

 
 
 
dennis smith
1.1.15  dennis smith  replied to  devangelical @1.1.5    4 weeks ago
Brilliant comment - NOT

 
 
 
dennis smith
1.1.16  dennis smith  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @1.1.3    4 weeks ago

Your first paragraph would be more accurate if you substituted Obama for Trump.

Definitely agree with your last paragraph, Divide and conquer has been the norm in politics for decades in America and it just keeps getting worse.

Both parties are guilty 

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
1.2  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  JohnRussell @1    one month ago
What we are seeing right now in America, an accelerated leftward shift

So THAT explains the riots; it's "an accelerated leftward shift".  

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.2.1  Sparty On  replied to  Jeremy Retired in NC @1.2    one month ago

They are the left-tard branch of the liberal party.    Or course that tree doesn’t have many branches.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
3  XDm9mm    one month ago

The left should listen to this man.   Even he notes near the end of this clip that the Democrats are offending him.  A civil rights attorney, DNC commentator and advisor,

 
 
 
Texan1211
4  Texan1211    one month ago

"Retreat from Russia"

Are you serious?

Really want to go there?

After nothing but article after article after article for almost 4 years now how Trump is a Russian stooge?

Ya'll need to get your conspiracy theories straightened out.

 
 
 
bbl-1
5  bbl-1    one month ago

The Trump Presidency will be an asterisk of American history.

The retreat of Trump, by Trump and Trumpism will culminate when his financial underpinnings completely degrade him and those dozens or hundreds of NDA's jam up the courts with every single one demanding their pound of flesh.

And of course let us not forget the thousands of workers, hundreds of small businesses and dozens upon dozens of investors who in the past few decades have been bilked, stolen from, personally slandered and their livelihoods destroyed by this man Trump.

I wonder this too.  If Trump loses the upcoming election, in some time before the inauguration will Melania with Barron in tow transfer herself back to Slovenia?  After all, there must be a reason Barron has dual citizenship, US and Slovenian.  This too, Barron is more fluent in Slovenian than English.  Taught by Melania from birth.   This fact has been confirmed by many within and out of the WH. 

Could it also be that if Trump loses in 2020, the day after the election he is served with divorce papers and the ( Trump kids ) will immediately attack Melania in an attempt to see to it she does not receive her fair share from their marriage agreement?

Inquisitive minds want to know.  Does anyone else?

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
5.1  FLYNAVY1  replied to  bbl-1 @5    4 weeks ago

It will be a shit-show for sure.    A soon to be "Netflix Original".

 
 
 
Sparty On
5.1.1  Sparty On  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @5.1    4 weeks ago
A soon to be "Netflix Original".

More like a daytime soap opera as described above.

"As the loony left turns"

Maybe they can get Susan Lucci to come back to play Melania .......

 
 
 
JBB
6  JBB    4 weeks ago

It is no secret that is never ends well for tyrants...

 
 
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