• Trump and Kryptonite

    September 6, 2023

    Tags: , , ,
    Posted in: Biden, Democracy

    As of summer 2023 we have in America reached an amazing place politically: the Republican front-runner and very possibly the next re-president of the United States, Donald Trump, is campaigning while basically on bail in four different jurisdictions. And nobody in America cares much. Actually, Americans sort of care, but not in any way that makes more sense than not caring. In the words of another pundit, “cheer, scream, or shrug… and sip a banana republic daquiri.”

    Americans, depending on their beliefs, expect and would be satisfied if Trump was either in a jail cell or the Oval Office as of January 2025. Painting with a broad brush, for Republicans, they are convinced the charges against Trump are Third World-style political warfare waged by Democrats and mean little. Democrats see Trump as a Great Satan and view the charges as the last, best (after two impeachments and Mueller) hope for our democracy. Despite accomplishing fairly little as president (the Supreme Court appointments, though impactful, were basically luck, and no LBTQ concentration camps were opened or nuclear wars started) another four years of Trump will either save us or destroy us. Friends, there is little gray area out there, and even less appetite for the reality of the cases against Trump.

    So maybe it is not such a surprise that 38 percent of us feel “exhaustion” over the possibility of a Biden-Trump rematch in 2024. Some 52 percent feel either sadness or fear, or both, over the prospect. There is one area where a significant share of each party finds common ground: the belief that the country is headed toward failure. Overall, 37 percent of registered voters say the problems are so bad that we are in danger of failing as a nation, according to the latest New York Times/Siena College poll. Some 56 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said we are in danger of such failure. Around 20 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say they feel the same way.

    In the face of all this, the challenge for the judicial system to preserve faith in our democracy comes in several ways.

    For example, how clear and “obvious” are the charges in each instance? There is a ever-growing distrust in public institutions, whether the government in general for failing to respond to public demands for more or less abortion rights, or the electoral system as a whole, or in this specific case, whether the judicial system can respond to what some perceive as unfair charges against Donald Trump. And make no mistake, each side sees a kind of unfairness in play; Republicans by and large see the charges as attempts to drive Trump out of the election or cripple him as a candidate while Democrats see the charges as a whole as the best of bad options, charging defamation when the real crime is rape, charging conspiracy when the real crime is the attempted overthrow of our democratic system.

    Prosecutors must make the charges plain and of the “make sense” type, with no “ambitious charging.” Everything must be able to be explained and pass the sniff test to all but the most hardened opponents, whether they agree or not. This will be especially challenging for the thought crimes, the claimed conspiracies, whether Trump is somehow still guilty of something even though he not only did not overthrow the government and reverse the election, but that he had no realistic pathway to doing so. People will remember the impeachments beta, the Mueller Report, which came close to charging Trump with obstruction of an investigation which actually cleared him and found no predicate crime. The defense will try and muddle the waters and leave the public with a sense that Trump did nothing wrong really but the system was set up to get him somehow (not a hard case to make in several of the total of 90-some counts.) The more prosecutorial creativity (example, use of RICO in Georgia) and the more attempts to squeeze events into legal boxes they don’t quite fit in, the more challenge for the system to find a balance in explaining what is happening for the public to digest. Walking the public through the the minefield of ambiguity over classification in the Mar-a-Lago case is an example. Anything that is seen as partisan (conspiracy to do this, conspiracy to do that) fails the democracy in a mighty way.

    Can the judicial system keep the language neutral? The most obvious partisan tells come from the language used, calling January 6 an insurrection for example. The judicial system should stick itself to neutral language and press both sides to do the same, perhaps agreeing to some terminology. Falling into the media trap of weaponizing the language is a real danger. Trump must be prosecuted based on what he did, not who he is. Acts must be on-their-face criminal, or they will be seen as political, Trump convicted of something, anything, just because he’s Trump and we need to send him to jail because all the other kryptonite failed. It’s a big ask; already the judge in his J6 trial has called those events a “mob attack” on “the very foundation of our democracy” and branded Trump’s claim the 2020 election was stolen a conspiracy theory.

    Venue is important, and the system must show the flexibility to move cases to neutral venues when possible. Trying a case in a place like Manhattan or Fulton County, Georgia risks appearing to be the equivalent of an all-white jury in a 1950’s racial case. The jury pool in both states swings decidedly Democrat. Yet even then Salon decries the fact that a non-rigged jury might ruin the plan to convict Trump; “one MAGA juror can ruin it all,” they write. Both venues feature a local Democratic prosecutor (Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Georgia’s Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis) in a one-party jurisdiction. Would the indictments even have come down elsewhere?

    Lastly, can the judicial system be seen as “timely?” Most everyone agrees the judicial system is failing on timing. Prosecutors in one batch of charges stemming from the events of January 6 want the trial to start at the beginning of the new year, ridiculously early for a case that has already produced 11.5 million pages of discovery (“Even assuming we could begin reviewing the documents today, we would need to proceed at a pace of 99,762 pages per day to finish the government’s initial production by its proposed date for jury selection,” a Trump lawyer wrote. “That is the entirety of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, cover to cover, 78 times a day, every day, from now until jury selection.” Can it all be relevant?) Lawyers for Trump instead asked a judge to push back the proceeding until April 2026, nearly a year and a half after the 2024 election and some five years after the fact when Trump will either be immune one way or another as president, or a regular on Dancing with the Stars having failed at the polls. Both political sides walk away sure the game is rigged. The other cases against Trump face similar demands to begin very soon or for lengthy delays.

    They’re right in a way over at MSNBC, democracy is indeed on trial, but not in the way most people who say that mean. Instead, what is on trial is our judicial system as it struggles to answer the cornerstone question here: can the system rise above partisanship, even when partisanship is the intent of one side or both, and produce results which however reluctantly will be considered fair by the majority of Americans? A “no” answer risks further shattering of public trust in our institutions, and further polarization of our politics, if not violence. It may just be that it is not whether you win or lose in this battle, but how the game is played.



    Related Articles:

    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Okay, so we all can agree the problem is the Trump Cult can’t read at a higher level than a comic book. The comic book Batman-shit crazy cult is fearful their super-Zero will be their last stand against the growing brown menace that will win every election after 2024. (Of course, if the Electoral College had not been around in 2016…) But back to the future, the Trump Cult needs to create a new super-Zero to replace the one that will be in house arrest for the next four years. Super-villain DeathSantis was the Chosen One by the comic writers at the WSJ and the New York Post. But He shot himself in the foot by exposing his comically incompetent inability to talk to real people…(sorry Elon-talk about a real comic book villain). Vivek is not the next super-Zero when the Trump Cult fears brown people.

      If you read the comics that pass for news these days, a recent poll take indicates the majority of voters SAY they would vote for anyone other than Biden. MSG OMG. So why not Barbie Ivanka? She wouldn’t be hard on the eyes. Wonder Woman for the next generation.

      One has to wonder why Peter writes detailed articles the Trump Cult can’t read. He needs to put his deep thoughts in a comic strip other than the comic strip known as Am Con. Ignorance isn’t only Trump’s kryptonite.

      09/7/23 8:19 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      It may be that there are a lot of George Constanzas in the Republican Party (it’s not a coup if you believe the election was stolen). Stopping an illegitimate inauguration is one’s civic responsibility not a crime. I’m unsure whether Trump has been proven to admit he knew he lost in a fair election. He may truly have believed there were massive voter fraud counts. Such is the mind of megalomaniac.

      09/7/23 10:01 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Our two party form of government is adversarial in nature so partisanship is guaranteed. The USA may indeed be a one party with two wings rule so we’re stuck at best with both wings agreeing to share the spoils in a reasonable way. Election interference? 70 million or so misinformed, ignorant, stubborn and mean spirited voters personally interfere with the democratic striving towards coherent governance.

      09/7/23 11:07 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...



      Don’t fault the Trump Cult alone. Our two-party system is designed to fool the morons that change is possible, and to ignore the 1 percent wizard behind the curtain robbing them blind.

      Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

      09/7/23 2:59 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      “They’re right in a way over at MSNBC, democracy is indeed on trial, but not in the way most people who say that mean. Instead, what is on trial is our judicial system as it struggles to answer the cornerstone question here:”

      Well, that question would be how to level the playing field controlled by the RICH. The rich game the system while the rest of US pay our fines. Trump can run out the clock with appeals made possible by endless funds for his lawyers. His ignorant followers can’t read the fine print.

      09/8/23 12:25 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Bauer- so far the proles can still afford to sit in front of their cabled TV and watch their favorite sports heroes in a state of vicarious bliss. Mahomes of the Chiefs I believe signed for $500 million. The entertainment industry has been a part of the MICC complex for decades which means it knows how to keep the proles compliant and artificially happy (amused to death as Neil Postman wrote a while back).

      Are you hoping the proles will heed the next wake up call? They’ve been put on hold too long with soothing Muzak. They are content with a droning dial tone and if they do get through by accident they hear the message, “Please stay on the line and a special operator will soon be free to respond to your needs and questions.” Then they vote for the next politician who poses as that special operator ready to finally take their call. Then the line goes dead…but they dial again just to hear the sappy Muzak.

      09/8/23 7:01 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...



      Your analysis is basically the ol Bread and Circus that the powers-that-be since Rome have used to delude the peons. And we all know Rome wasn’t destroyed in a day. Yes, there is a real danger of entertaining ourselves while the world goes down the drain. In the Endgame the Fossil Fuel Kings will continue to rule until it all comes crashing down. No Hail Marys to save US and the rest when Heil Hitlers are waiting for their moment. Putin and Trump are just the latest Circus clowns.

      09/9/23 9:25 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      “As of summer 2023, we have in America reached an amazing place politically: the Republican front-runner and very possibly the next re-president of the United States, Donald Trump, is campaigning while basically on bail in four different jurisdictions.”

      Actually, the most “amazing place politically” is the possibility the next re-president of the United States , Donald Trump, could win the EC but lose the popular vote by 10,000,000 votes, and serve his second term in house arrest.

      09/12/23 6:28 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Bauer: No mention of who Trump’s running mate will be since he/she may have to “fill in” for Trump most of the time?

      09/14/23 10:45 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...



      Nikki Haley should be, but she is too smart for the Republican Party. The Fox Propaganda Network has reduced the intelligence of its dumbass viewers to the point morons like Marge and Boobert are the ones most GOP voters can relate. Fox has made a sport of making fun of its stupid GOPers, (fyi: sport was created by the Greeks as theater for stupid people. Back then Naked Greek wrestling was a ratings bonanza. Today we have female beach volleyball.)

      09/14/23 11:10 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Bauer- They have naked female beach volleyball now? Kidding. Maybe Hillary should run with Trump. He’d definitely win and of course never complete his interrupted “second” term. Who knew he would shoot himself down by the river?

      09/15/23 8:46 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...



      Lock them both up. Would love to see Trump and Hillary have to share a prison cell for the rest of their pathetic lives. Bet your Money on Hillary to pull a Jeff Epstein on old Trump. One could make Millions on their 24/7 pervert camera coverage.

      The human primitive brain is wired for sex and violence, which got us to this disgusting stage of our evolution. It is essential in most of our entertainment. Cant have football players crushing their brains without sexy cheerleaders gyrating. It puzzles me why voters would choose senile people like Biden and Trump over a sexy, violent candidate. We want to be entertained, not bored. Marj and DeathSantis are violent as hell but have the sex appeal of a shriveled prune.

      Would not be surprised if old plodders Biden and Trump don’t make it to the finish line. They shoot horses, don’t they? Put your money on a violent sexy dark-horse as a late entrant in the race. Josh Hawley still running ?

      09/15/23 8:34 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Of course, Peter ignores the Repug intent to impeach Biden on “something”, regardless of the lack of “something” so far identified to impeach him. In this bizarre case perhaps it would be wise for the Dems to allow it. Biden is not physically able to serve another term. If one believes in polls, several indicate the Trump Biden race is actually close. Biden wont leave the race. A DQ would allow someone Newsome to enter the race. It is also in the Dems interest to keep Trump in the race, as he is the least like candidate in the Repug field.

      09/16/23 9:17 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Now let’s talk about sex discrimination in the GOP. The evilgelicals are all upset that teenie Boebert, the gunnut pro violencer who they canceled from their values meeting because of the handjob she gave her date, but are so happy to vote for pussygrabber Trump. Where is the justice? We need SCOTUS Clarence the SEX FIEND to rule on this.

      09/19/23 1:42 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      If Demented has more tiptop secret docs hidden in his underwear, he should be making a to-do list on the back of them:

      1. Get fitted for his orange prison jumpsuit.
      2. Experiment how many candy bars he can hide in his fat ass.
      3. Practice his dementia routine to avoid lengthy prison sentence.
      4. Say goodbye to Melania. Wont see her again.
      5. Get fatter so he won’t be physically attractive to his cellmate.
      6. Ask Putin for his sex tape. He wont be having any…with women.

      09/20/23 4:45 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Trump is a SuperZero whose kryptonite is really all the Big Macs he has swallowed. That ticking time bomb in his bloodstream will stroke the fathead down one day.

      While SuperZero has feared the Deep State would be his kryptonite, he may not be off the mark. Trump had a fractious relationship with the Pentagon, from whom he reportedly expected unswerving loyalty.

      “You f—ing generals, why can’t you be like the German generals?” Trump told then-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly

      “Which generals?” Kelly asked.

      “Those German generals in World War II,” Trump reportedly responded.

      When Kelly told Trump that Hitler’s generals had tried to kill him on three separate occasions, the president brushed it off, saying: “No, no, no, they were totally loyal to him.”

      Man, those Big Macs have already destroyed his brain.

      09/21/23 6:30 PM | Comment Link

    • Dick Ruby said...


      “And make no mistake, each side sees a kind of unfairness in play; Republicans by and large see the charges as attempts to drive Trump out of the election or cripple him as a candidate while Democrats see the charges as a whole as the best of bad options, charging defamation when the real crime is rape, charging conspiracy when the real crime is the attempted overthrow of our democratic system.”

      Thanks for that, that was really balanced, I just understood the thinking of team blue much better.

      Being from Germany, the American political process fills me with wonder. I don’t understand it and I guess I never will. It seems like a strange form of theater. It’s like you’re watching someone act a role even though they’re at home. It’s like a sitcom within a sitcom.

      Anyway, just to vent a little bit: If I had been allowed to vote in 2016 I would not have voted *for* Trump but I very much would have voted *against Hillary* and against everything she stood for, in a heartbeat. I would have voted for a monkey from the zoo if it had run against Hillary Clinton. And I would have done so because Hillary Clinton, or whoever gets her role and runs in 2024, is synonymous with war. Trump was the peace candidate, whether he could deliver that is another question. The 2024 election looks to me like it may turn out again to be about the choice between peace and war. (The real question is whether I would have still voted for the monkey if it had run against Trump. I think so.)

      The election 2024 will happen while we’re all belligerents in a war between the great military powers which is just a shot or two away from being a direct confrontation. So I think the 2024 election is the point where the US mind of war, the confusion, the illusion, the psychopathy, the alternate realities, the sick, arrogant, murderous mind of the American political class comes to a head. Either the crusading establishment gets its way or the pompous, ageing, effeminate, bragging, but popular and anti-establishment rich guy is voted into office and gets another four years of – what exactly?

      I think the only thing a second Trump term can really promise is not to use nukes. That decision is really one of the only things the POTUS can deliver, from what I’ve read about these decisions anyway. Correct me if I’m wrong. That and of course trendwise some degree of general deescalation of the war. In other ways the POTUS is completely helpless. For example he does not have the power to change the economic trend in any way, not with the scale at which the problems have been mounting. I think the trend of falling living standards for Americans can only turn around after a huge haircut of all kinds of debt and a good deal of Schumpeterian creative destruction, preferably taking the banking monopoly with it. After a rehab like that America might get back to having a real economy which doesn’t need an insane amount of money-printing just so the banking system doesn’t collapse. Same for the EU btw. And such a rehab would be so painful that no politician would survive it. And few politicians would want to initiate it because “it’s the economy stupid” and most politicians would shrink back from a track record of economic chaos and would just start a new bail-out cycle instead. So I don’t think we can expect much of Trump in reversing any economic trends, as sad as that is.

      I think the most important thing is to keep the war conventional and as small as possible. The problem is that the only thing the empire has got left is nukes. The conventional edge is long gone. And Biden himself said that they’re out of artillery ammunition. The Empire is out of ammo, it’s official. And all boats which could ever bring American boots to European soil would be identified by overhead imagery and sunk by submarines. There is no article 5, there is no ammo, there is no partnership, there is no international community, there is only PR.

      The question on most minds who understand how much times have changed is whether the US and its satellites will change into a new form peacefully on the whole the way the Soviet Union died, or whether it will lash out, spreading chaos everywhere. The German perspective so far is that economically we’re being taken down with you at the moment, Stichwort Nord Stream. But we still have a long way to go, it’s only starting to hurt, with the chemical industry now definitely leaving Germany. It’s in the surveys, they’re leaving. Basically every company in an energy-intensive industry can either go insolvent or go to Asia. The only thing keeping Germany halfway stable? Massive blue-leaning PR.

      But as long as noone literally turns Europe into a wasteland, we’ll get over it. That’s why I hope for a second Trump term. America First really is the answer in some respects – deal with your own problems and stop killing us. A second Trump term would automatically mean that the resources of the establishment media, the blob and its corporate and financial backers would be focussed on Getting Trump 2.0. And so he would immediately realize his first campaign promise – America would indeed focus on itself. Hooray!

      Sitting in the office on a Monday morning, drinking coffee and procrastinating on that report I have to write, the thing which really gets me though when I read this blog and others like it is just the misery of those who have to live through today’s disfunctionality, the kids growing up in rotting public schools, the overworked adults in what used to be the lower middle class. I think they are just tired, so tired.

      09/25/23 6:21 AM | Comment Link

    Leave A Comment

    Mail (will not be published) (required)