1. The Trump Progression
We’ve done versions of this dance a dozen times before:
He didn’t do it; there is no story here.
You don’t have irrefutable evidence that he did it.
That “evidence” is a fake-news plant.
Even if he did it, the Dems do it worse.
It isn’t so bad, actually. There’s this obscure loophole / tortured argument that excuses it.
You’re damn right he did it, because he’s a great patriot. We always knew he did it and we want him to do it again.
The “it” in these cases varies: Access Hollywood, Charlottesville, the Zelensky call, the Amy Coney Barrett superspreader event, January 6. Sometimes “it” is a trivial thing. Sometimes “it” is an attempted coup. But the pattern is always the same.
We’re moving through the progression on the Mar-a-Lago search warrant perfectly on schedule.
We started out with the FBI targeting a totally innocent Trump. Then the FBI didn’t have an iron-clad warrant and probable cause. Then the FBI planted any evidence that might have been found. Then what about Hillary/Obama.
And as of this morning we’re at, Actually, President Trump was protecting those classified documents.
Mar-a-Lago is even better than a SCIF! Trump brought those documents with him in order to protect America’s secrets! Preach it Col. Jessup!
I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted by this cycle. Who wants to live like this? Can’t we go back to Republicans trying to pass corporate tax breaks and roll back the regulatory regime while Democrats push to increase social safety-net spending?
Bring back the dysfunctional politics of 1980 - 2015!
The problem is that exhaustion is part of the authoritarian’s tool kit. They want to exhaust you so that you’ll check out of politics and try to take refuge in other areas of life. And then they take over.
Don’t give in to the exhaustion.
2. The Heir to Trumpism
I had a long talk with Sarah yesterday about Ron DeSantis and the future of Trumpism. Bulwark+ members can listen to the show here.
I want to unpack and expand slightly on one aspect of our discussion: My skepticism that Ron DeSantis is necessarily the heir to Trumpism.
Let me set the table with a few thoughts on DeSantis and then I'll move on to crazy Kari Lake: