It’s the Enablers, Stupid

The big crowds of MAGA fans Trump has summoned to downtown NYC to protest his trial haven’t shown up. But he has been able to draw a collection VP wanabees and high ranking GOP officials to the courthouse steps. On Tuesday, that list included Speaker Mike Johnson who went full Trump. AP: “U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson assailed the U.S. judicial system on Tuesday as he became the highest-ranking Republican to attend court with Donald Trump, echoing unsubstantiated or disproven arguments made by the former president and his allies … Johnson, a lawyer who is second in line for the presidency, called the court system ‘corrupt’ and the case against Trump a ‘sham,’ while alleging without proof that the special counsel who’s charged Trump in two separate cases has doctored evidence.” Ironically, these politicians are coming to bend the knee at a trial over an issue that, when it first arose, had them looking for a candidate to replace Trump. “What a difference seven and a half years makes … The warm embrace was a sign of just how far Mr. Trump’s legal troubles are from making him a party pariah. Instead, the trial over hush-money payments to the porn star Stormy Daniels is a staging ground for aspiring politicians to prove their fealty, the latest litmus test in a party increasingly defined by loyalty to Mr. Trump.” NYT (Gift Article): How Has Trump Changed the G.O.P.? His Criminal-Trial Guest List Tells the Tale. At this point, this level of corrupt, subservient, sycophancy (that exceeds even the blind loyalty shown by today’s witness, Michael Cohen, during his heyday as Trump’s mafia-esque fixer) doesn’t surprise us much. But it is a sign of just how bad things have gotten and that, for lack of a better phrase, it can happen here. You really can’t overstate the impact of the litany of GOP enablers who, with full knowledge of exactly who they’re supporting (and of his obvious guilt in the most important of the cases), have thrown America and its constitution under the Trump bus. When you ask yourself how any voter could possibly still support this guy, you have to consider the role of the enablers. I explained why in a piece I wrote a year after the Jan 6 insurrection, when an ABC/Ipsos poll found that 52% of Republicans say those involved in the riot were ‘protecting democracy.’ Before you get angry at voters who believe the entirely unbelievable, consider the incredible influence of Trump’s great, big, beautiful wall of enablers. Imagine every politician you trust and every news source you consume hammering the constant message that Trump is some sort of victim of the system. Any chance you’d believe it? Blinded By The Lie. When it comes to the Big Lie and all the little lies that go along with it, it’s worth remembering that the first victims are those who believe them.

+ “I regret doing things for him that I should not have. Lying, bullying people to effectuate the goal. I don’t regret working for the Trump Organization; as I expressed before, some very interesting and great times. But to keep a loyalty and to do the things he asked me to do, I violated my moral compass and I suffered the penalty, as has my family.” So said Michael Cohen as he prepared for cross examination. Here’s the latest from NBC and CNN.

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