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Brexit may have begun but it is not over, indeed it may never be finished.

Former Trump aides put fear, partisanship over saving the country


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Talk about a buried lede. Nine paragraphs into this Washington Post story about former Donald Trump cabinet and staff members who are terrified that Donald Trump will regain the presidency, there’s this sentence:

At the same time, even some who have publicly declared Trump unfit for office have said they would still support him over Biden in 2024.

Maybe a Republican Party that is willingly choosing fascism over the other guy is a larger problem than the angst these individuals feel over Trump’s return.

“Interviews with 16 former Trump advisers—some of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss their former boss—show they are grappling with how they can puncture Trump’s candidacy in 2024, whether they can or should coordinate with one another and whether their voices will even matter,” the Post’s Josh Dawsey reports. It’s not that they don’t know the scope of the threat. “He has never cared about America, its citizens, its future or anything but himself,” Trump’s former lawyer, Ty Cobb, told the Post.

“In fact, as history well shows from his divisive lies, as well as from his unrestrained contempt for the rule of law and his related crimes, his conduct and mere existence have hastened the demise of democracy and of the nation,” Cobb continued. “Our adversaries and our allies both recognize that even his potential reelection diminishes America on the world stage and ensures continued acceleration of the domestic decline we are currently enduring. If that reelection actually happens, the consequences will extinguish what, if anything, remains of the American Dream.”

But when it comes to doing something about it, all these former Trump people have all kinds of excuses for staying on the sidelines, including Democrats being mean to them. “Anytime you speak out, all the haters come out and say you’re just disgruntled,” said Stephanie Grisham, 2016 Trump campaign aid and former chief of staff to Melania Trump. “All the Democrats come out and say it’s too little, too late. I do think that’s where so many people are.” She says that former staff have talked about joining together to do … something. But, as the Post says, “Some of the members didn’t get along, and the calls soon stopped.”

There’s also the fear. “It’s actual threats for your safety and your family. As we get closer to the election, it’s only going to get more intense. Why am I putting my family and my friends through this if we’re now going to get threats?” Grisham said.

If it’s not fear for your family, it’s fear for your career, one anonymous former official said. “If I thought it would make a difference, I’d be more willing to do it. But you’re taking a lot of financial risks, and I haven’t seen any evidence it really matters,” this person told the Post.

Then there’s the bunch, like former Attorney General Bill Barr, who have lambasted Trump and said that “someone who engaged in that kind of bullying about a process that is fundamental to our system and to our self-government shouldn’t be anywhere near the Oval Office.” But if it means voting for President Joe Biden? Well, maybe he’ll just have to go with Trump again. “I will have to wait to see what the situation is and I will pick my poison at that point,” Barr said.

Marc Short, former chief of staff to Mike Pence—the guy Trump tried to get killed on Jan. 6, 2021—is more explicit about that. “If it’s Biden versus Trump, the implicit assumption is, efforts to hurt Trump are going to benefit Biden,” Short said. “If you’re putting yourself against the Constitution, I think it’s disqualifying, but I wouldn’t want to be helping Biden.”

All this while Trump’s descent into fascism and Nazism is getting louder and more explicit by the day. So, yes, all the hand-wringing about Trump now does smack of too little, too late. And yes, opposing Trump can be dangerous. Which is precisely why the people who best know what he’s capable of have the greatest responsibility to save democracy from him.


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Republicans are challenging labor leaders to fights and allegedly physically assaulting one another. Donald Trump says he will abolish reproductive rights entirely and is openly calling for the extermination of his detractors, referring to them as “vermin” on Veterans Day. The Republican Party has emerged from its corruption cocoon as a full-blown fascist movement.

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