Graham— as a Trump ally—is behaving according to script.
After the house voted overwhelmingly to release a Mueller report, Graham blocked the Senate from voting & insisted that the Senate vote to look into alleged DOJ/ FBI misconduct . . .
This kind of maneuver is exactly what we can expect as investigations close in on Trump.
I’ve argued that Trump isn't planning a traditional legal defense as investigations close in.
Remember “I have nothing to do with Russia, folks.” Oct. 2016.
And all those denials about business deals in Russia?
Plus Trump keeps obstructing justice (a crime) right there in plain sight.
He came right out and said he will “fight back” against the Mueller probe! (obstruct) politico.com/story/2018/04/…
I believe there’s method to the madness (can happen at the same time as actual madness)
People ask what Trump will do when he’s cornered. You're seeing it.
21st century authoritarians have more effective, less bloody, and less costly methods.
I'll present 4 related and overlapping modern-autocrat-defenses.
This involves persuading people that ALL politicians are dishonest (which makes going after Trump political). The “whataboutism” defense is steeped in cynicism, and results in the nation dissolving into tribes . . .
This is why the GOP keeps talking about Hillary Clinton. She's the "enemy liar." Trump is "our liar."
Part of this strategy involves what Steve Bannon called “Flood the zone with shit” and what the Rand Institute calls a “Firehose of falsehoods.”
Defense #4: Divide and Conquer
Trump is working to divide the country into who is "for" or "against" him.
As this WaPo article argued, Trump tried to make the border “emergency” about him—either GOP members are for him, or they are against him.
Dividing Americans is a goal that Putin and Trump share. (They're on the same "team")
I suggest that an appropriate response is: “A few fringe kooks on the far right are talking about Civil War. That’s what we can expect from fringe kooks.”
I suggest a simpler message: “The president is lying again & trying to undermine faith in our institutions. All Americans should oppose this. We don’t always like what law enforcement or courts do, but we accept their decisions.”
Tweet 7 should have been "21 century" (but that should be obvious). I keep looking for that edit button!
I will delete this tweet later and add a link to the blog post.
In my blog posts, I can make all the small corrections and tinkers that people point out, or I catch later.