Let's turn to the experts on conservatives... conservatives!
Whoa-Ho, and do they have a lot to say about each other! We'll start with conservative critiques of basic Republican "values," conservative Christians and the official propaganda television station for conservative ideology, Fox News. Then we will learn what conservatives think about other conservatives individuals, in alphabetical order. Scroll down to your favorite Con-man (or Con-Gal) to see what other conservatives really think of them.
"Today's Republican Party is a radical insurgency – ideologically extreme, scornful of facts and compromise, dismissive of its political opposition."
"My great concern, manifested especially since 9/11, is the assaults on our fundamental civil liberties by this administration. For example, in the disregard for the rule of law as exhibited by the warrantless NSA (National Security Agency) electronic surveillance in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. More recently, the documented abuses at the FBI in carrying out certain of the expanded powers granted in the Patriot Act, namely, national security letters. And in January of this year (2007), the testimony by the attorney general that this administration does not believe that the fundamental right to a writ of habeas corpus is an important, fundamental, constitutional guarantee. So what we have is a party, the Republican Party, to which I was very proud to belong for many, many years, no longer being committed to a core conservative philosophy."
"Republican Party identification has begun requiring intellectual vacuity."
"Now would be a good time for the adults — former presidents, secretaries of state and defense, former FBI and CIA directors and past heads of the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee — to speak up in unison. The president has either confessed to a pattern of conduct that is unacceptable or he is so out of it that he would make up facts that suggest a pattern of conduct that it is unacceptable. Action needs to be taken before too much damage is done to the republic. The GOP is lost, but the country can be protected."
"The problem for Republicans is that given who Trump is — given that his problems are temperamental and characterological and therefore won’t be cured — I think it’s quite likely that at some point many of them will be forced to break with him; that his actions will be so transgressive, so problematic, so embarrassing and so unpopular that it’ll become in their self-interest to distance themselves from a president who clearly is not a well man. Right now Republicans are in the water, it’s beginning to boil, and if they don’t jump soon, this will have a very bad ending for them."
"The Republican Party looks at massive immigration, legal and illegal, as a source of cheap labor, satisfying a very important constituency."
"I thought I was a conservative, but we've got some in Congress now who are so far right they're about to fall out of the Capitol."
"Reagan couldn’t have made it. Certainly Nixon could not have made it because he had ideas. (I) might have made it (in the current Republican Party scheme), but I doubt it."
"It's always the wacko-birds that get the media megaphone."
"They (Tea Party Republicans) are good at getting Facebook likes, and town halls, not much else."
"The Republican Party is drifting toward a dangerous path that puts extreme party ideology above national interest."
"We've had enough of this dumbed-down conservativism. We need to stop being so simplistic; we need to trust the intelligence of the American people, and stop insulting the intelligence of the voters."
"Ask your Republican member of Congress, 'What is your replacement for Obamacare?' And they will have zero answer. We are caught up right now in a culture... and you see it every day... where as long as we are negative, as long as we are vicious, as long as we can tear down our opponent, we don't have to worry. So we don't. This is a very deep problem. I'm being totally candid with you."
"I just want us to be really cautious, because this strain of libertarianism that’s going through the party right now and making big headlines, I think, is a very dangerous thought. You can name any one of them that’s engaged in this. I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation. I’m very nervous about the direction this is moving in."
"It's the dumbest idea I've ever heard of."
"There are between 180 and 200 members of the House Republican conference on any given day who have an affirmative sense of governance, OK? They want to get things done for the good of the country, realize that we have very real governing responsibilities and take them seriously. As I’ve said, there are a few dozen members who don’t share that sense of governance. I mean you can go out there and try to identify the folks if you want. I’m not going to call anybody out by name – it’s not my role to do that."
"One funder of the Club for Growth (Tea Party organization) has invested in a project to explore the creation of floating libertarian cities, called 'seasteads.' What type of ideology would cause men and women to forsake their green and pleasant land to start anew on an oil derrick. It is certainly not conservatism."
"My party has gone batshit crazy."
"The thing that's guiding the Republican Party today is just abject fear, and they're afraid of the wrong things."
"With its descent to baiting blacks, Mexicans and Muslims, its accomodation of conspiracy theories and an increasing nastiness and vulgarity, the conservative movement has undergone a shift toward demagoguery and hucksterism. Once the talk was of neocons versus palecons. Now we observe the rule of the crazy-cons."
"The GOP has scores of racists. Under Richard Nixon’s blessing, the GOP took advantage of disgruntled Democrats in the South. They are still there and their children are there. This is very much known in our party. This was a conscious strategy."
"They took the intelligence and cherry-picked it, reinforcing the idea that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. There are several reasons. President George W. Bush wanted a stellar victory. Vice President Dick Cheney and Bush are both oil men and wanted to ensure 300 billion barrels didn’t stay in Saddam’s hands. The Israel lobby and [former Deputy Secretary of Defense] Paul Wolfowitz wanted to get rid of Saddam. There is no singular motivation. There are many, including wanting to send a message to all concerned after 9/11 that said, very forcefully, 'Don’t mess with America.' We wasted a ton of money. It went into people’s pockets, like Halliburton and Lockheed Martin and Bechtel — and a lot of Iraqis like Ahmed Chalabi."
"I've about had it with these people. We've got one candidate who says that we ought to abolish Medicaid and Medicare. Have you ever heard anything as crazy as that? We're going to tell seniors or out-to-be-seniors in America that we're going to abolish Medicaid and Medicare? We've got one person saying we ought to have a ten percent flat tax. That will drive up the deficit in this country by trillions of dollars that my daughters will have to spend the rest of their lives having to pay off. We've got one guy who says we ought to take 10 or 11 million people, and pick them up and take them to the border and scream at them to 'get out of our country.' That's just crazy. We've got people proposing health care reform that's going to leave, I believe, millions of people without health insurance. What has happened to our party?"
"Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists. And the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander-in-chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin. And that's despicable!"
"This is exactly what has been happening in the Republican Party for the past half century. Over these decades, one pattern has been constant: Wingers fight to take over the party, mainstream Republican bob and weave to keep their seats. Republicans on the extreme ferociously attack their fellow party members. Those in the middle backpedal to avoid conflict. The Republicans on the extreme are willing to lose elections to promote their principles. Conservatives have trounced the moderates and driven them from the party. These days the fight is between the protesters and the professionals. The protesters don't believe in governance. They have zero tolerance for the compromises needed to get legislation passed. They dont' believe in trimming and coalition building. All across the nation there are mainstream Republicans lamenting how the party has grown more and more insular, more and more rigid... while wingers have trashed the party's reputation by swinging from one embarrassing and unelectable option to the next: Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum. Where were the party leaders when all the forces that distort the GOP were mestastasizing, during the rise of Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck? Where were they when Arizona passed its beyond-the-fringe immigration law? Where were they in the summer of 2011 when the House Republicans rejected even the possibility of budget compromise? We've had a primary campaign that isn't about issues, it's a series of heresy trials in which each of the candidates accuse the others of tribal impurity. Leaders of a party are supposed to educate the party, to police against its worst indulgences. They're supposed to define a creed and establish boundaries. Republican leaders haven't done that."
"If another Republican man says anything about rape other than it is a horrific, violent crime, I want to personally cut out his tongue."
"For the last couple of years, we’ve had this wing of the party running roughshod over the rest of the party. Tossing out terms like RINO saying we’re going to purge, you know, the moderates out of the party. We’ve lost five U.S. Senate seats over the last two election cycles. And fundamentally we need Republicans, whether they’re running for president, whether they’re in the leadership of the Congress, to stand up against a lot of this assininity."
"What is being proposed (by Republicans) by several governors and politicians is morally reprehensible, un-American and in some instances legally untenable. If I may be blunt."
"Everything they have touched has failed or backfired."
"For years, as a conservative radio talk show host, I played a role in that conditioning by hammering the mainstream media for its bias and double standards. But the price turned out to be far higher than I imagined. The cumulative effect of the attacks was to delegitimize those outlets and essentially destroy much of the right’s immunity to false information. We thought we were creating a savvier, more skeptical audience. Instead, we opened the door for President Trump, who found an audience that could be easily misled. All administrations lie, but what we are seeing here is an attack on credibility itself. The Russian dissident and chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov drew upon long familiarity with that process when he explained: 'The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.' Mr. Kasparov grasps that the real threat is not merely that a large number of Americans have become accustomed to rejecting factual information, or even that they have become habituated to believing hoaxes. The real danger is that, inundated with 'alternative facts,' many voters will simply shrug, asking, 'What is truth?' — and not wait for an answer. Mr. Trump and company seem to be betting that much of the electorate will not care if the president tells demonstrable lies, and will pick and choose whatever 'alternative facts' confirm their views.”
"Trump, for his part, echoes the proto-fascist America First movement championed by Charles Lindbergh. He wants to close off America from the rest of the world. He quite simply doesn't have a clue about foreign policy. How can you tell when Trump is lying? Answer: When he is moving his lips. You really can't predict what he will say from one day to the next, or if he will say the same thing again the following day. He is an unstable egomaniac who is unfit for public office, any office. We Republicans brought Trump on ourselves. The congressional leadership, K Street lobbyists and public policy intellectuals (save a few) only talked to themselves. They had no clue as to what was going on out in the country and lost touch with the party's working-class base. Instead of the tony restaurants of D.C., I suggest they visit the fast-food joints and bars of the Midwest, the South and California's Central Valley. Simply put, a whole lot of soul-searching is ahead of us."
"Movements like this, with toxic and nasty stuff, have existed in one form or another, but they've been kept on the outer fringes of American political life. Now it's command and control at headquarters. If the GOP fully becomes the home to the Breitbart and alt-right movement, it'll cease to be the Republican Party as we've known it. There will be a huge crack-up beyond anything we've seen."
"OVER the last seven years, the Republican Party has engaged in increasingly elaborate political suicide attempts. The G.O.P. has nominated cranks and erstwhile witches and Todd Akin in winnable Senate races. It has engaged in Somme-esque trench warfare within its own congressional caucus, shut down the government without a strategy for winning anything out of it, and campaigned on a sub-Ayn Randian narrative about the heroic businessman and the mooching 47 percent. And then, after all its prior efforts at seppuku failed, the party nominated Donald Trump for the presidency. You know how that turned out. So it would be a foolish prognosticator indeed who assumed that Thursday’s House vote for the American Health Care Act, a misbegotten Obamacare quasi-replacement with the favorable ratings of diphtheria and the strong support of almost nobody on the right who cares about health policy, will necessarily be the undoing of the congressional G.O.P."
"With a horde of vocal Trump supporters cheering on every inane statement, delusion, lie and bad act, the majority of the American people can be forgiven for thinking the GOP as a whole has lost its mind. The Republicans may soon lose a generation of voters through a combination of the sheer incompetence of Trump and a party rank and file with no ability to control its leader."
"What group believes that American society has gotten better since the 1950s? About 60 percent of African Americans and Hispanics. On a moment’s reflection, this makes perfect sense. Compared with life 70 years ago — when much of the country was legally segregated — daily life has improved for racial and ethnic minorities. As it has for gays and women seeking positions of social and economic leadership. Many conservatives have failed to appreciate the mixed legacy of modernity. Who would not prefer to be in a racially mixed marriage today compared with 70 years ago? Or to have biracial children? When conservatives express unreserved nostalgia for the 1950s, they are also expressing a damning tolerance for oppression. It does appear like a longing for lost privilege."
"Trump’s energy, unleavened by intellect and untethered to principle, serves only his sovereign instinct to pander to those who adore him as much as he does. Unshakably smitten, they are impervious to the Everest of evidence that he disdains them as a basket of gullibles. He understands that his unremitting coarseness satisfies their unpolitical agenda of smashing crockery, even though his self-indulgent floundering precludes fulfillment of the promises he flippantly made to assuage their sense of being disdained. He gives his gullibles not governance by tantrum, but tantrum as governance."
"What are Republicans doing? Are they just passing these things and people are praising what the president did because of politics? I mean, do they understand the impact that this has on families and people?"
"Donald Trump never stops asking. First, he asked the party to swallow the idea of a narcissistic sexual harasser and a routine liar as its party leader. Then he asked the party to accept his comprehensive ignorance and his politics of racial division. Now he asks the party to give up its reputation for fiscal conservatism. At the same time he asks the party to become the party of Roy Moore, the party of bigotry, alleged sexual harassment and child assault... That’s the way these corrupt bargains always work. You think you’re only giving your tormentor a little piece of yourself, but he keeps asking and asking, and before long he owns your entire soul... You don’t help your cause by wrapping your arms around an alleged sexual predator and a patriarchic bigot. You don’t help your cause by putting the pursuit of power above character, by worshiping at the feet of some loutish man or another, by claiming the ends justify any means. You don’t successfully rationalize your own tawdriness by claiming your opponents are satanic. You don’t save Christianity by betraying its message... The rot that has brought us to the brink of Senator Roy Moore began long ago. Starting with Sarah Palin and the spread of Fox News, the G.O.P. traded an ethos of excellence for an ethos of hucksterism. The Republican Party is doing harm to every cause it purports to serve. If Republicans accept Roy Moore as a United States senator, they may, for a couple years, have one more vote for a justice or a tax cut, but they will have made their party loathsome for an entire generation. The pro-life cause will be forever associated with moral hypocrisy on an epic scale. The word “evangelical” is already being discredited for an entire generation. Young people and people of color look at the Trump-Moore G.O.P. and they are repulsed, maybe forever. There is no end to what Trump will ask of his party. He is defined by shamelessness, and so there is no bottom. And apparently there is no end to what regular Republicans are willing to give him. The rot afflicting the G.O.P. is comprehensive — moral, intellectual, political and reputational. More and more former Republicans wake up every day and realize: 'I’m homeless. I’m politically homeless.'"
"Here we see the four defining features of the GOP — indifference to substance, anti-populism (the bill is right-wing, supply-side economics in its most cartoonish form), contempt for voters and intellectual incoherence. The result will be a hugely unpopular bill that favors the rich, grows the debt and widens inequality."
"All this (Trump and his lies and incompetence) presents a particular problem for elected Republicans. At the beginning, they could engage in wishful thinking about Trump’s fitness. Now they must know he is not emotionally equipped to be president. Yet, they also know this can’t be admitted, lest they be accused of letting down their partisan team. So GOP leaders are engaged in an intentional deception, pretending the president is a normal and capable leader. I empathize with their political dilemma. But they will, eventually, be exposed. And by then, the country may not be in a forgiving mood."
"It’s not a small thing that the Republican electorate is cordoned off from reality and common sense. They’ve been fed a steady diet of lunacy from right-wing media outlets."
"The uptick in racial violence, anti-Semitic acts and hateful rhetoric that have become omnipresent in the Trump years did not arise out of thin air. We must all be more specific in identifying names of those who share responsibility for the toxic fumes that violent, unstable people inhale. So here goes... Fox is home to anti-immigrant cranks such as Lou Dobbs and Laura Ingraham. It’s where the caravan is attributed to Jewish billionaire George Soros, where Sean Hannity leads his audience to believe immigrants are especially prone to commit crimes and where Tucker Carlson has adopted the language of white nationalism, decrying diversity in America. Unless and until Fox cleans up its act — drop conspiracies made up out of whole cloth, end demonization and hysteria about immigrants, and stop invoking Soros to explain every political threat (real or imagined) — people of good will should not appear on Fox News, advertise on it or watch it... House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and other Republicans should throw out of the GOP caucus Rep. Steve King, who spews anti-immigrant venom and appears with Austrian neo-Nazis. Members can vote to expel him from the House, come to think of it, for conduct unbecoming a congressman. Iowa voters should have voted him out long ago. Their responsibility — voters and GOP leadership — is to remove toxic leaders from positions of power where they can influence others. The greatest moral failure of Ryan’s career will be his spinelessness in the face of insane conspiracies and hateful speech. In silence, he gave cover to Trump for nonstop lying and detestable language. Republican politicians including Trump and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and right-wing publications and websites must cease using Soros, an anti-Semitic bogeyman, to rile up their base. The GOP and the president should denounce, not celebrate “nationalism” — as that term is now understood... And while they have largely stopped doing it, cable TV should not be carrying Trump’s bile-filled campaign speeches live. They can report after the fact on his remarks, pointing out where they depart from reality...There are people who say, write and do hateful things. And they should be held accountable. Let’s end the lazy thinking and the moral denseness. Lots of people have behaved in ways that degrade our culture and give oxygen and inspiration to dangerous people. We should call them out — by name."
"This is the political culture blessed and cheered on by evangelical leaders — for whom nothing Trump or his cronies do (be it paying hush money to a porn star or slandering a POW or endorsing an alleged child molester) is over the line. There is something dark and twisted at the core of the Trumpian political movement and philosophy (if you can call it that). You don’t get criticized, let alone fired, for perpetuating hurtful conspiracy theories (about Seth Rich’s death, President Obama’s birth certificate or McCain’s captivity) or for voicing hateful views. In short, not all of Trump’s followers and enablers are bad people, but in the Trump universe, bad people sure do flourish."
"The Republicans, however, have now eclipsed the Democrats as a threat to the rule of law and to the constitutional norms of American society. They have become all about winning. Winning means not losing, and so instead of acting like a co-equal branch of government responsible for advice and consent, congressional Republicans now act like a parliamentary party facing the constant threat of a vote of no confidence... Raw power, wielded so deftly by Senator Mitch McConnell, is exercised for its own sake, and by that I mean for the sake of fleecing gullible voters on hot-button social issues so that Republicans can stay in power... The new Trumpist GOP is not exercising power in the pursuit of anything resembling principles, and certainly not for conservative or Republican principles. Free trade? Republicans are suddenly in love with tariffs, and now sound like bad imitations of early-1980s protectionist Democrats. A robust foreign policy? Not only have Republicans abandoned their claim to being the national-security party, they have managed to convince the party faithful that Russia—an avowed enemy that directly attacked our political institutions—is less of a threat than their neighbors who might be voting for Democrats. Respect for law enforcement? The GOP is backing Trump in attacks on the FBI and the entire intelligence community as Special Counsel Robert Mueller closes in on the web of lies, financial arrangements, and Russian entanglements known collectively as the Trump campaign. And most important, on the rule of law, congressional Republicans have utterly collapsed. They have sold their souls, purely at Trump’s behest, living in fear of the dreaded primary challenges that would take them away from the Forbidden City and send them back home to the provinces. Yes, an anti-constitutional senator like Hirono is unnerving, but she’s a piker next to her Republican colleagues, who have completely reversed themselves on everything from the limits of executive power to the independence of the judiciary, all to serve their leader in a way that would make the most devoted cult follower of Kim Jong Un blush... So I’m out. The Trumpers and the hucksters and the consultants and the hangers-on, like a colony of bees that exist only to sting and die, have swarmed together in a dangerous but suicidal cloud, and when that mindless hive finally extinguishes itself in a blaze of venom, there will be nothing left."
"For the first 85 percent of my adult life, I was a registered Republican. But I have always voted as an American. And this critical Election Day, I will do so by voting for leaders committed to rebuilding our common values and not pandering to our basest impulses. Today, tragically, too many people in power are projecting the worst. Many are cowardly, complicit enablers, acting against the interests of the United States, our allies and democracy; encouraging extremists at home and emboldening our adversaries abroad; and threatening the livability of our planet. Many do not respect the offices they hold; they lack — or disregard — a basic knowledge of history, science and leadership; and they act impulsively, worsening a toxic political environment. As a result, we are in a struggle for who and what we are as a people. We have lost what in the military we call unit cohesion. The fabric of our nation is under attack, while shame — a timeless beacon of right and wrong — seems dead. We must hold accountable those who fail to defend our nation and all our people. This is not the America I know and love. We’re better than this. Our ideals, shared facts and common humanity are what bind us together as a nation and a people. Not one of these values is a political issue, but the lack of them is. We cannot wait for someone to save us. We must do it ourselves. After Flight 1549, I realized that because of the sudden worldwide fame, I had been given a greater voice. I knew I could not walk away but had an obligation to use this bully pulpit for good and as an advocate for the safety of the traveling public. I feel that I now have yet another mission, as a defender of our democracy.... To navigate complex challenges, all leaders must take responsibility and have a moral compass grounded in competence, integrity and concern for the greater good. Right now the majority party (Republicans) in the House and the Senate are not fulfilling their oath of office. They are not acting as a check and balance (upon the presidency of Donald Trump), and we must replace them with those who will (Democrats). This Election Day is a crucial opportunity to again demonstrate the best in each of us by doing our duty and voting for leaders who are committed to the values that will unite and protect us. We are the ultimate check and balance. We must vote in massive numbers. Years from now, when our grandchildren learn about this critical time in our nation’s history, they may ask if we got involved, if we made our voices heard. I know what my answer will be... As a Republican, I've already voted, and I voted for Democrats."
"As Republicans, we’ve drifted from our roots. The party, in fact, has a remarkable legacy on conservation and the environment — and this race suggests we should recommit ourselves to it. Two, financial irresponsibility proved a drag. Even in a hyperpartisan world, you still need reasons for traditional conservatives like myself to show up. It’s got to be more than the blue team is bad. One of the underpinnings of the Republican Party has long been financial responsibility, but here, again, the party has drifted. The president has done very little to trim the size of the federal government or entitlement spending, even as he asks for more money for corn farmers hit by his tariffs. That’s hardly motivating for a traditional conservative. We need to once again be the party of not just lower taxes, but less spending. Third, civility is important. What happened to Ronald Reagan’s notion of being a happy warrior? Like his policies or not, he was pleasant. He smiled. He joked. He played to optimism rather than fear. He and Tip O’Neill, the Democratic speaker of the House, had a famously strong working relationship despite their political differences. The Republican Party that so many of us care deeply about continues to be held hostage these days, and what I saw last week in a district I grew up in and know well is that there is a half-life to insults, bullying and an embrace of a post-truth world. I heard it from young soccer moms and longtime Republican voters alike. They don’t want to condone behavior that is counter to what they’ve taught their children. In this district, my former opponent adopted Mr. Trump’s highly combative style. It worked in the primary, but it fell flat in the general election. Mr. Cunningham presented himself as warm and affable. Republicans got a wake-up call last week. But will we wake up? My party would be wise to take a step back from President Trump’s approach to politics. We should renew our commitment to tenets like environmental conservation and financial responsibility. We should run from the president’s zero-sum approach to politics."
"The Repuoblican Party will die if it doesn't begin to fairly represent middle-class American voters."
"Traditional Republican presidents such as Calvin Coolidge, Dwight D. Eisenhower and George H.W. Bush were not very exciting, but they were very responsible. They wanted to manage the government effectively and to live within our means. Those days are long gone. The GOP has metamorphosed from the preternaturally mature 'Father Knows Best' party to the perpetually juvenile 'Van Wilder' party. It wants to live it up, moon the grown-ups and dodge the consequences.
The transformation began during the Reagan administration. That was when supply-side economics (what Bush called 'voodoo economics') and unremitting hostility toward government ('the problem,' Ronald Reagan called it, 'not the solution to our problem') became the regnant party orthodoxy. The supply-siders argued that cuts in marginal income tax rates could pay for themselves. It did not, of course, happen. But for the drunken frat-boy party, the damage inflicted by its ideological bender is no reason to sober up."
"I think that the Republican Party is stumbling around because there have been no new really exciting ideas coming out of the Republican Party for a number of years. They keep going back to Reagan. Well, I knew Reagan — it was 100 hundred years ago. They don’t focus on the issue of workforce training, of dramatic reforms in education, the need to address climate change — it’s like we’re sunk. And then you add where the party is right now. I don’t even recognize it. It’s Luddite in a way. I mean, it’s unbelievable. I think members of the Republican Party are in a coma right now, is what I think. And at some point they’ll wake up and say, What’s happened? There’s a tribal instinct, and a willingness to only absorb that that supports what you currently think. Anything that is dissonant information should be rejected. "
"My parents, both immigrants, were Republicans. I supported Republican candidates throughout my early adult life and then successfully ran for office as a Republican. The Republican Party, I believed, stood for limited government, economic freedom and individual liberty — principles that had made the American Dream possible for my family. In recent years, though, I’ve become disenchanted with party politics and frightened by what I see from it. "
"You've just got to be honest. Today's Republican Party has spineless politicians, rotten to the core, without virtue, without any level of human integrity, devoid of self-respect, self-reflection, without courage, and without the moral compass to recognize their own malevolence. One day, maybe, they will have the recognition of how they failed and the country and themselves at this moment, but that would be giving them credit that somewhere down deep they have the goodness to recognize how to reconcile their own failings with what is right and just in American politics, and frankly what is right and wrong in the eyes of adults and children alike. They are now saying that only Donald Trump speaks the truth. There is no greater example of selling your soul to a charlatan than what Republicans are doing right now in the House and the Senate. And their legacies are on the line as much as Donald Trump's We know the character of Donald Trump. We know the failings of Donald Trump. What we are watching play out right now are the failings of the Republican Party and every single member that goes along with this. "
"(Mr. Trump) has neither the moral compass nor the temperament to serve. But this president’s actions are possible only with the craven acquiescence of congressional Republicans. They have done no less than abdicate their Article I responsibilities. Indeed, national Republicans have done far worse than simply march along to Mr. Trump’s beat. Their defense of him is imbued with an ugliness, a meanness and a willingness to attack and slander those who have shed blood for our country, who have dedicated their lives and careers to its defense and its security, and whose job is to preserve the nation’s status as a beacon of hope. Congressional Republicans have embraced and copied Mr. Trump’s cruelty and defended and even adopted his corruption. Mr. Trump and his enablers have abandoned conservatism and longstanding Republican principles and replaced it with Trumpism, an empty faith led by a bogus prophet. In a recent survey, a majority of Republican voters reported that they consider Mr. Trump a better president than Lincoln. Mr. Trump and his fellow travelers daily undermine the proposition we as a people have a responsibility and an obligation to continually bend the arc of history toward justice. They mock our belief in America as something more meaningful than lines on a map."
"When you say 'radical right' today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican Party away from the Republican Party, and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye."
"I think every good Christian ought to kick (Jerry) Falwell right in the ass."
"For years, Democrats accused Christian conservatives of being closet theocrats, seeking to impose Christianity on the country and refusing to accept, let alone embrace, American diversity. That was a generalization, but it turned out to be more true than not. That’s stunning to the many Americans who think the divine right of kings was what we fought against in the American Revolution. A God-chosen president can do no wrong, tell no lie, make no error. And that, it seems, has been the default setting for many of Trump’s most loyal supporters among the religious right. Trump’s coterie of evangelical pastors is among the inaptly named “values voters” leadership that, having lost on gay marriage, on legalized abortion and on cultural decay, now takes refuge in nativism, xenophobia and white grievance. For these evangelical figureheads, “us vs. them” has replaced a message of brotherly love and Christian charity. This phenomenon is deeply troubling for both religion and politics. If religion becomes a tool of the state, its influence as a force for morality, public virtue and social cohesion crumbles. It is a blow to civil society, the vital portion of our segment defined by voluntary association and civic institutions. And if politics is now a matter of religious faith, not unlike Europe in the age of religious wars, we surely will lose the distinctive character of America, its devotion to tolerance, its ability to resolve conflicts peacefully and its commitment to equal treatment under the law."
"I don’t mean to imply that politics and religion are a perfect fit. Often they’re not, and over the years Christians, myself included, have not gotten the balance right. But overall I felt that the Republican Party and the evangelical movement were imperfect forces for good, and I spent a large part of my life defending them. Yet the support being given by many Republicans and white evangelicals to President Trump and now to Mr. Moore have caused me to rethink my identification with both groups. Not because my attachment to conservatism and Christianity has weakened, but rather the opposite. I consider Mr. Trump’s Republican Party to be a threat to conservatism, and I have concluded that the term evangelical — despite its rich history of proclaiming the “good news” of Christ to a broken world — has been so distorted that it is now undermining the Christian witness. I hoped the Trump era would be seen as an aberration and made less ugly by those who might have influence over the president. That hasn’t happened. Rather than Republicans and people of faith checking his most unappealing sides, the president is dragging down virtually everyone within his orbit. Prominent evangelical leaders, rather than challenging the president to become a man of integrity, have become courtiers. What’s happening with Mr. Moore in Alabama — with the president, the Republican National Committee, the state party and many white evangelicals rallying around him — is a bridge too far for many of us. Where exactly is the bottom? And at what point do you pull back from associating yourself with a political party and a religious term you once took pride in but that are now doing harm to the things you treasure?"
"Over my decade with Fox, I long was proud of the association. Now I am ashamed. I declined to renew my contract as Fox News’s strategic analyst because of the network’s propagandizing for the Trump administration. As a retired military officer, I simply could not continue with Fox in good conscience. Today’s Fox prime-time lineup preaches paranoia, attacking processes and institutions vital to our republic and challenging the rule of law. As Fox’s assault on our constitutional order intensified, spearheaded by its after-dinner demagogues, I had no choice but to leave. In my view, Fox has degenerated from providing a legitimate and much-needed outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration. Trump idolaters and the merrily hypocritical prime-time hosts are destroying the network — no matter how profitable it may remain."
"Fox News’s business model is built on promoting crackpot ideas and airing hateful rhetoric that feed the anger and resentment of its base. That means tearing down genuine heroes who challenge the Great Leader Trump. They are utterly comfortable voicing obnoxious slurs, revealing a stunning lack of human decency. They are superstars in the right-wing ecosystem, not in spite of their crass, bigoted views, but because of them."
"It was you and people on Fox that said about Libya, ‘We don’t know who they were and let’s not help these people,’ They had an election and they elected moderates. They rejected Islamists. And yes, there are al-Qaida factors and there are extremists in Libya today, but the Libyan people are friends of ours, and they support us, and they support democracy. So you were wrong — you were wrong about Libya." -- John McCain, Republican senator pointing out just one tiny example of the general wrongness of Fox News.
"Fox News doesn't tell the truth." -- Tim Walberg, Michigan Republican Congressman.
"Rupert Murdoch, the executives, on-air talent and shareholders of Fox need to self-reflect. Fox is home to anti-immigrant cranks such as Lou Dobbs and Laura Ingraham. It’s where the caravan is attributed to Jewish billionaire George Soros, where Sean Hannity leads his audience to believe immigrants are especially prone to commit crimes and where Tucker Carlson has adopted the language of white nationalism, decrying diversity in America. Unless and until Fox cleans up its act — drop conspiracies made up out of whole cloth, end demonization and hysteria about immigrants, and stop invoking Soros to explain every political threat (real or imagined) — people of good will should not appear on Fox News, advertise on it or watch it."
GREG ABBOTT(Texas governor, Republican)
"Your letter pandering to idiots who believe that US Navy Seals and other military personnel are somehow a threat to be watched has left me livid. As a 16-year Republican member of the Texas House and a patriotic AMERICAN, I am horrified that I have to choose between the possibility that my Governor actually believes this stuff and the possibility that my Governor doesn't have the backbone to stand up to those who do. I'm not sure which is worse. I am appalled that you would give credence to the nonsense mouthed by those who instead make decisions based on internet or radio shock jock driven hysteria. Is there ANYBODY who is going to stand up to this radical nonsense that is cancer on our State and Party? Enough is enough. You have embarrassed and disappointed all Texans who are informed, patriotic Americans."
MICHELE BACHMANN(former Republican Congressional representative, MN)
"She's got a record of misstating and making false statements. There's a big difference between talking and getting stuff done. Her record in Congress is non-existent."
JOHN BOLTON(former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and presidential advisor under George W. Bush)
"SBolton will be the second-most dangerous American (after Trump). He will be the first national security adviser who, upon taking up residence down the hall from the Oval Office, will be suggesting that the United States should seriously consider embarking on war crimes. Bolton’s belief in the U.S. power to make the world behave and eat its broccoli reflects what has been called 'narcissistic policy disorder' — the belief that whatever happens in the world happens because of something the United States did or did not do. This is a recipe for diplomatic delusions and military overreaching."
BRENT BOZELL(conservative writer, and founder and president of Media Research Center, a conservative media "watchdog")
"Bozell is a hater, and he has a long, sordid history with weird personal axes to grind."
GEORGE W. BUSH(former Republican president of the U.S.)
"I wondered from the first, if the President didn't know the questions to ask, or if he did know and just not want to know the answers? He's like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people."
"If you had a European prime minister who experienced what we’ve experienced it would be expected that he would retire or resign."
“One can't doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed....different plans have to be made. And the kernel here is the acknowledgement of defeat.”
"He's a Pat Robertson Republican."
"There has not been a more destructive presidency than George Bush’s."
TOM COTTON(Republican senator, AR)
"There is no honor among anti-immigrant advocates and liars, I suppose. After dutifully lying on behalf of the president regarding his abhorrent language (“shithole countries”), Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) were outed by the White House. Not only did these two repeatedly lie, but Cotton also impugned the integrity of Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), who told the truth. Asked whether the accusation that Trump spoke the offending words or the sentiment was phony, Cotton lied. This raises several questions: Why should these Republicans hold elected office? Why should anyone believe them in the future? And lastly, what is the appropriate response to them? Given that the two senators lied to the faces of interviewers on the Sunday talk shows, network bookers might consider never having them on air again. They are known prevaricators, so whatever they say on their shows cannot be relied upon as credible. News outlets should respect their viewers by denying airtime for those with so little respect for the truth."
TED CRUZ(Republican senator, TX)
"If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you."
"I also think that when, you know, it’s always the wacko birds on right and left that get the media megaphone."
"You finally you saw it with Ted Cruz. Maybe he was the one that who’s got a bridge too far. Maybe we’ll start seeing our elected leaders stop being intimidated by this nonsense, have the nerve, have the guts to stand up and to fight to take conservatism’s good name back from the freak show that’s been running wild for four years and that I have deep regret in my part, certainly, in initiating."
"He's a fraud. What he is doing is just a form of governmental terrorism."
"He's a false prophet."
"The fact is, if you come up with a strategy that's going to shut down the government of the United States, and you have no way of winning, you're either a fraud or totally incompetent. We are not going to allow Ted Cruz to hijack this party."
"I didn't go to Harvard or Princeton, but I can count. Defunding (ObamaCare) is a box canyon."
"Then we have Ted Cruz. There's been 1,950 senators in the history of this country, and I can't imagine there's been a more peculiar career than the one he's having right now. He is completely, almost insoucicantly indifferent to the idea that politics is a team sport. He is frankly loathed within the Republican Conference."
"If you're somebody who is going to say you stand on principle, you can't have foreign policy views that shift in the wind."
"In kindergarten you learn to work well together and play by the rules. Another thing you learn in kindergarten is to respect one another."
"Squabbling and sanctimony may be tolerated in other venues, or perhaps on the campaign trail, but they have no place among colleagues in the United States Senate."
"I would never contemplate going to the floor of the Senate and impugning the integrity of another senator. That's just not something we do here."
"Ted Cruz is now running strongly among evangelical voters... but in his career and public presentation Cruz is a stranger to most of what would generally be considered the Christian virtues: humility, mercy, compassion and grace... almost the dictionary definition of pharisaism: an overzealous application of the letter of the law in a way that violates the spirit of the law, as well as fairness and mercy. Cruz’s speeches are marked by what you might call pagan brutalism. There is not a hint of compassion, gentleness and mercy. Instead, his speeches are marked by a long list of enemies, and vows to crush, shred, destroy, bomb them. When he is speaking in a church the contrast between the setting and the emotional tone he sets is jarring. The best conservatism balances support for free markets with a Judeo-Christian spirit of charity, compassion and solidarity. Cruz replaces this spirit with Spartan belligerence. He sows bitterness, influences his followers to lose all sense of proportion and teaches them to answer hate with hate. This Trump-Cruz conservatism looks more like tribal, blood and soil European conservatism than the pluralistic American kind."
"He's Lucifer in the flesh. I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life."
"Ted Cruz is like any other politician. He says one thing in Manhattan, he says another thing in Iowa; he says whatever he needs to say to get elected."
"He's a nasty guy. Nobody likes him. Nobody in Congress likes him. Nobody likes him anywhere once they get to know him."
"I just don't like the guy."
"He's a carnival barker, a counterfeit, with no qualifications and appealing to the lowest common denominator. He's just a guy with a big mouth and no results."
"Wow, Lyin' Ted Cruz really went wacko today. Made all sorts of crazy charges. He can't function under pressure. He's a very agnry man. He's unhinged and desperate. Today's ridiculous outburst only proves what I have been saying for a long time, that Ted Cruz does not have the temperament to be president of the United States."
NEWT GINGRICH(former Republican speaker of the house)
"I’m not inclined to be a supporter of Newt Gingrich’s having served under him for four years and personally experienced his leadership. There’s all types of leaders. Leaders that instill confidence, leaders that are somewhat abrupt and brisk. Leaders that have one standard for the people that they’re leading and a different standard for themselves. I just found his leadership lacking."
"I'm getting emails all morning, 'Rush, will you explain it.' Why do I have to explain it? I'm not going to justify this. I'm not going to explain this. The attack on Paul Ryan. The support for an individual mandate in health care. Folks don't ask me to explain this. There is no explanation. First off, it cuts Paul Ryan off at the knees. It supports the Obama adminstration in the lawsuit that 26 states have filed over the mandate. I know back in 1993 or something Newt supported a mandate that everyone should have to buy insurance. I am as befuddled as anyone else, is what I'm telling you. He also said that social engineering is bad, whether it's rightwing social engineering or leftwing. We're not social engineering anything; we're trying to reduce the size of government. It is inexplicable is my point."
"People are saying, 'How come I lost my mortgage and Fannie Mae paid YOU a million dollars?'"
LOUIE GOHMERT(Republican Congressional representative, TX)
"Sometimes comments like that are made out of malice, but if someone has no intelligence, I don’t view it as being a malicious statement."
LINDSEY GRAHAM(Republican senator, SC)
"He has no honor. I ran him out of the race like a little boy. He is all talk and no action. He's nasty. He had zero cred in his presidential run before dropping out in disgrace. So easy to beat."
HERBERT HOOVER(Republican president of the U.S.)
"For six years that man has given me unsolicited advice... all of it bad."
JOHN KASICH(Republican governor, OH)
"He's a typical politician, bought and paid for by lobbyists. He doesn't have what it takes. He can't debate. He's one of the worst presidential candidates in history. He's so easy to beat, a total failure, a total dud. He's just wasting time and money. "
WILLIAM (BILL) KRISTOL(conservative writer and speaker)
"Despite being wrong about most everything, he remains an influential voice in politics."
"A sad case. His predictions are always wrong. Dopey. He's lost all credibility."
RUSH LIMBAUGH(conservative radio talk show host)
"Don't you remember Rush Limbaugh, the great blowhard himself, Rush Limbaugh, when he was finally caught a few years ago for being a water-boy for the Republicans, was forced to admit on his own show in his own words when he said, 'I've been a water carrier for the Republicans, but I will no longer be so.' Do you recall that particular confession of his? So he said that, and then, of course, the Bush bots and the Rush bots said, 'You see, he's an independent.' But now he's put that all behind himself, and he's going it all over again. He has always been in my opinion a frontman for the mainstream checkpants Republican establishment, which is how this talented hack got where he is."
"He's just being absurd. But an entertainer can be absurd."
"The point is that Limbaugh has so offended with his remarks that he has further muddled the issues. I realize he's 'just an entertainer,' as his apologists insist, but he is also considered a leading and powerful conservative voice. By his remarks, he has marginalized legitimate arguments and provided a trove of ammunition to those seeking to demonize Republicans who, along with at least some of their Democratic colleagues, are legitimately concerned with religious liberty."
"I would have used different words."
JOHN MCCAIN(Republican senator, AZ, and presidential nominee)
In the 2000 Republican primary, only four out of 55 Republican senators (those who should know him best) supported McCain for president.
"I don't think [McCain] has the temperament and leadership ability to move the country in the right direction ... I don't know anybody in Washington who has worked extensively with the senator from Arizona who doesn't have a story to tell."
"The thought of McCain being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."
"I didn't want this guy anywhere near a trigger."
"Here this poor guy is thinking he has done a good job, and he gets a new butt ripped because McCain didn't look good on television. There were an awful lot of people in the room. You'd have to stick cotton in your ears not to hear it. McCain was screaming at him, and he was red in the face."
"We’re in a different place on immigration; we’re in a different place on campaign reform; we’re in a different place on same–sex marriage; we’re in a different place on the president’s policy on interrogation of detainees. I'm a conservative Republican."
"His whole career is wrapped up in the military, national security. He's in Putin's face. He's threatening the Iranians. He wants to stay in Iraq for 100 years. What John McCain is telling you is what he's promising you. What he said is, "Make no mistake, there are going to be more wars." That is straight talk. To be quite frank, you get John McCain in the White House and I do believe we will be at war with Iran. That is one of the things that makes me very nervous about him."
"When deregulation was the wave through Washington, he surfed that wave. Now it's not, and the populist inside John McCain is out."
"The number of fellow Senators who think John McCain is psychologically unstable is large. 'The man is unhinged,' one Senator told me. 'He is frighteningly unfit to be Commander-in-Chief.'"
"A McCain presidency will be the destruction of the Republican Party."
"He has done nothing. I am no fan. All he does is go on television and talk, talk talk. He's incapable of doing anything. He has failed miserably. He's doing a lousy job in taking care of our vets. He's let us down. Graduated last in his class. Hopefully, he'll be defeated in the primaries."
RICHARD NIXON(former Republican U.S. president)
"Richard Nixon was the most dishonest person I ever met in my entire life. He lied to his wife, his family, his friends, his colleagues in the Congress, lifetime members of his own political party, the American people and the world."
"The political lesson of Watergate is this: Never again must America allow an arrogant, elite guard of political adolescents to by-pass the regular party organization and dictate the terms of a national election."
"I know I will go to hell, because I pardoned Richard Nixon."
BILL O'REILLY(former Fox News personality)
"You’re something of an expert on actively misleading people.”
"If you got it wrong, it would not be the first time you got it wrong.”
SARAH PALIN(former Republican governor, AK, and 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee))
"She doesn't have any foreign policy credentials. You get a passport for the first time in your life last year? I mean, I don't know what to say. You can't say anything. I think they ought to be honest about it and stop the nonsense about, 'I look out my window and see Russia and so therefore I know something about Russia.' That kind of thing is insulting to the American people."
"The choice of Palin remains deeply problematic. It's clear that McCain picked her because he had decided that he needed a game-changer. The vice president's only constitutional duty of any significance is to become president at a moment's notice. Palin is not ready."
"The man who would be the oldest to embark on a first presidential term has chosen as his possible successor a person of negligible experience."
"The most qualified? No. I think they went for (Palin), excuse me, political (expletive) about narratives. Every time the Republicans do that because that's not where they live and it's not what they're good at and they blow it."
"She's not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president? Look at what she's done to this state. What would she do to the nation?"
"She's not qualified, she doesn't have the judgment to be next in line to the president of the United States."
"(Trying to make Palin) the VP of our country is probably the worst mistake of (McCain's) entire life."
"Most people would acknowledge that, regardless of her charm and good intentions, Palin is not ready for the top job. McCain seems to have put his political interests ahead of the nation’s when he created the possibility that she might fill it."
"She doesn't know enough about economics or foreign policy to make Americans comfortable with a President Palin should conditions warrant her promotion. Palin's recent interviews... have revealed a candidate who is out of her league. If BS was currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself. She should bow out."
"I have been disturbed about the choice (of Palin) from the start, as you know. And I have not seen any reason to feel less disturbed ... She really could be president! And here's where my fellow conservatives really worry me. They are so attracted by the symbolism of the selection that they show no concern — never mind for her executive competence — even for her views."
"The longer I think about it, the less well this selection sits with me. And I increasingly doubt that it will prove good politics. The Palin choice looks cynical. Ms. Palin's experience in government makes Barack Obama look like George C. Marshall. She has zero foreign policy experience, and no record on national security issues. The McCain campaign's slogan is 'Country First.' But question: If it were your decision, and you were putting your country first, would you put an untested small-town mayor a heartbeat away from the presidency?"
"There’s healthy and unhealthy populism. When populism becomes purely anti-intellectual, it can become unhealthy and destructive."
"She seems at best disinterested in ideas or least lacks the ability to articulate any philosophical justification for them. She relies instead on shallow talking points. She seems to me to be extremely defensive and embittered."
"If you close your eyes and listen to Palin and her most irate supporters constantly squawk or bellyache or tweet about how unfair a ride she gets from evil mustache-twirling elites and RINO saboteurs, she sounds like a professional victimologist, the flip side of any lefty grievance group leader. She’s becoming Al Sharpton, Alaska edition. The only difference being, she looks like a librarian instead of James Brown."
"She is living up to the most skeptical assessment of her."
"She has some demands on her time, and a lot of them have financial benefit attached to them."
"I sat next to her once. Thought she was beautiful. She’s very happy in Alaska, and I hope she’ll stay there."
"And just a more corporate problem is I think our party and particularly our movement, the conservative movement, does have more of a problem with con men and charlatans than the Democratic Party. I mean, the incentives seem to be set up to allow people — as long as you have a band of a few million fanatical followers, you can make money."
"She was a net negative because someone was nominated to the vice presidency who was manifestly unprepared to take the oath of office should it become necessary and as it has become necessary many times in American history. The notion of Sarah Palin being president of the United States is something that frightens me, frankly. And I played a part in that. And I played a part in that because we were fueled by ambition to win. I hope she does not have a future as a leader in the GOP. And the reason I say that is because if you look at, over the last four years, all of the deficiencies in knowledge, all the deficiencies in preparedness, she’s done not one thing to rectify them, to correct them. She has become a person who I think is filled with grievance, filled with anger who has a divisive message for the national stage when we need leaders in both parties to have a unifying message. The lack of preparedness was a bad thing, and the total disinterest in being more prepared and rectifying that is something that disqualifies."
GEORGE PATAKI(former Repblican governor, NY)
"He couldn't be elected dog catcher if he ran again. He was a terrible governor of New York, one of the worst."
RAND PAUL(Republican senator, KY)
"He made a fool of himself. Why is Rand Paul allowed to take advantage of the people of Kentucky. He's truly weird, reminds me of a spoiled brat without a properly functioning brain. "
RON PAUL(former Republican Congressional representative, TX)
"I'm sorry, this Ron Paul is going to destroy this party. This is nuts on parade. The media loves this guy. They want the whole Republican Party to be identified with the kookiness of Ron Paul. 'Hey, let Iran get nukes. It's our fault anyway.' The audience goes nuts, and oh, my God. What am I watching here? Oh, look who's on Fox. There he is outside the ice cream stand, good old Ron Paul. Yeah, that's what we need, more of that."
"I’m weary from all those who tell me Ron Paul is a conservative, because in fact, he is not. Instead, he’s a libertarian, and he’s in the wrong party, and I have no problem suggesting he should take his act elsewhere, and if need be, take his followers with him. Conservatives don’t pander to so-called “truthers” or to the hemp lobby, but that is the core of his support. Conservatives don’t blame America for the September 11th attacks of 2001. Ron Paul does."
MIKE PENCE(former Republican Congressional rep, governor, IN, and Vice-President under Donald Trump)
"With eyes wide open, Mike Pence eagerly auditioned for the role as Donald Trump’s poodle. Now comfortably leashed, he deserves the degradations that he seems too sycophantic to recognize as such. No unblinkered observer can still cling to the hope that Pence has the inclination, never mind the capacity, to restrain, never mind educate, the man who elevated him to his current glory. Pence is a reminder that no one can have sustained transactions with Trump without becoming too soiled for subsequent scrubbing."
"The divestment of self-respect is a qualification for employment in the Trump administration. Praising the Dear Leader in a Pence-like fashion seems to be what the Dear Leader requires — not in the way we might need dessert after dinner, but in the way an addict needs drugs. President Trump divides the world into two categories: flunkies and enemies. Pence is the cringing, fawning high priest of flunkiness. It is hard to know whether to laugh or puke (and difficult to do both at the same time)."
"Trump is what he is, a floundering, inarticulate jumble of gnawing insecurities and not-at-all compensating vanities, which is pathetic. Pence is what he has chosen to be, which is horrifying."
DAVID PERDUE(Republican senator, GA)
"There is no honor among anti-immigrant advocates and liars, I suppose. After dutifully lying on behalf of the president regarding his abhorrent language (“shithole countries”), Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) were outed by the White House. Not only did these two repeatedly lie, but Cotton also impugned the integrity of Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), who told the truth. Asked whether the accusation that Trump spoke the offending words or the sentiment was phony, Cotton lied. This raises several questions: Why should these Republicans hold elected office? Why should anyone believe them in the future? And lastly, what is the appropriate response to them? Given that the two senators lied to the faces of interviewers on the Sunday talk shows, network bookers might consider never having them on air again. They are known prevaricators, so whatever they say on their shows cannot be relied upon as credible. News outlets should respect their viewers by denying airtime for those with so little respect for the truth."
MITT ROMNEY(former Republican governor, MA, and presidential nominee)
"Mitt Romney heads a party remaining on that dangerous path, proving the emptiness of their praise as they abandon our service members, veterans and military families along the way. As a former member of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee, the Senate Finance Committee and Chairman of the then Commerce Committee, I came to know the federal budget in detail. I’m disappointed that just as our troops are returning home after a decade of war, Romney and Ryan might gut by up to 20 percent investments in the Department of Veterans Affairs — and even suggest privatizing the veterans’ health care. Again, they would short change our national security and the education, health care and employment benefits our veterans have earned and deserve just to cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans. Let’s be clear, Romney and Ryan would be disastrous for America’s service members, veterans and military families. Public praise rings hollow when you fail to mention an ongoing war in accepting your party’s nomination to be president, or veterans in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, a so-called jobs plan or in a budget that should be a blue print of our nation’s values."
"Governor Romney is trying to divide the Republican Party and his disparagement of one of our Party's greatest leaders is a sad commentary on Governor Romney's increasingly bitter campaign."
"As the liberal governor of Massachusetts, he raised taxes $750 million. He is involved in a wholesale deception of voters. He has been entirely consistent. He has consistently taken two sides of every major issue, sometimes more than two. So congratulations."
"We vetted Mitt Romney for the job. We thought Sarah Palin was the better candidate."
"I have no doubt that Mitt Romney was worried about pink slips — whether he was going to have enough of them to hand out because his company Bain Capital with all the jobs that they killed, I’m sure he was worried that he’d run out of pink slips."
"Mitt Romney is a vulture capitalist. For instance, Gaffney, South Carolina was one of those cities that had a business, and those people are out of work today because Bain Capital bsaically gutted the company, took $20 million. Mitt Romney's going to have a hard time coming into South Carolina and convincing people that he's anything other than a rich Wall-Streeter who took advantage of their businesses. People lost their jobs, they lost their pensions, they lost a lot because of Bain Capital."
"Release the tax returns tomorrow. It's crazy. You've got to release six, eight, ten years of back tax returns. "
"There's obviously something there, because if there was nothing there he would say, 'have at it.'"
"The cost of not releasing his returns are clear, therefore he must have calculated that there are higher costs to releasing them."
"If there's anything in there that is going to help us lose the election we should know about it before the nomination; if there's nothing in there then why not release it? It's a very simple model."
"Governor Romney is extraordinarily insensitive to religious freedom in America."
"If Governor Romney would give back all the money he's earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain, then I'd be glad to listen to him."
"Romney's the guy who will manage the decay. He's not the guy who will change Washington."
"First he was pro-choice. After he had become pro-life, he did appoint pro-abortion judges, and a branch of the government of Massachusetts, which included his appointees, did agree to fund an abortion clinic. All that occurred after he had become pro-life."
"You cannot debate somebody who is dishonest. You just can't."
"Somebody who will lie to you to get to be President will lie to you when they are President."
"Yes. You seem shocked by it, but yes."
"He's a liar, a serial flip-flopper, a relatively timid Masschusetts moderate, and, can we drop the pious baloney, the only reason he didn't become a career politician is that he lost to Ted Kennedy for the Senate in 1994. He's been running for political office most of his adult life."
"Those of us who believe in free markets and the whole goal of investment is about entrepreneurship and job creation would find it prett hard to justify rich people figuring out clever legal ways to loot a company, leaving behind 1700 families without a job."
"Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch-A-Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all of over again."
"Mitt Romney was not a businessman; he was a master financial speculator who bought, sold, flipped, and stripped businesses. He did not build enterprise the old-fashioined way - out of inspiration, perspiration... Instead, he spent his 15 years raising debt in prodigious amounts on Wall Street so that Bain could purchase the pots and pans and castoffs of corporate American, leverage them to the hilt, gussy them up as reborn "roll-ups," and then deliver them back to Wall Street for resale -- the fast the better."
"He's certainly being dishonest about his own record. When he says he had the endorsement of the NRA; he did not. When he says he didn't raise taxes, in fact there were $500 million in fees that were raised during his time (as governor). When he talks about my record or John McCain's, he's making up stuff. It's just incredible. Maybe you have another word for it; in Arkansas we call it 'dishonest.'"
"Mitt Romney and his campaign are going around asking people, 'Are you better off than you were four years ago?' Are they crazy? Four years ago this country was in crisis. Why in the world would you pick that particular date to compare with."
"When you look at his record as governor, it wasn't totally stellar. His jobs production was not great at all; in fact it was the third worst in the nation. "
"Romney not too long ago said that the Russan Federation is our No 1 geostrategic threat. Well, you know, come on, think; that isn't the case."
"Mitt Romney is completely out of touch with America."
"I am not convinced, and I don’t think that the majority of GOP and Independent voters are convinced. I want an instinctive conservative. He's spent millions and millions of dollars running for president for, oh about six years now. Gov. Romney has claimed to have created 100,000 jobs at Bain, and people are wanting to know, is there proof of that claim, and was it U.S. jobs created for U.S. citizens? Nobody should be surprised that things at Bain Capital, and maybe tax returns not being released, and maybe some records not being as transparently provided to the public as voters deserve to see right now. Let's hear the defense of the candidate who's being charged with some of this."
"The reason Romney is slipping in the polls is because he stands for apparently nothing. What's there to like if you don't know what the man stands for? He's playing it so close to the center that people are not rallying behind him. What does he stand for? What, he's a nice guy in a nice suit with a wife and nice kids? Great. Let him go run an Amway dealership somewhere. Him and McCain can open up a Buick dealership in Mongolia together."
"He is the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama."
"This is someone who doesn't have a core. He's been on both sides of every single issue in the past 10 years. This is someone who will say anything to get elected."
"If Mitt Romney is an economic 'heavyweight,' we're in trouble because he was 47th out of 50 in job creation when he was governor."
"He's a serial flip-flopper."
"I've run in a lot of elections, supported a lot of people, opposed a lot of people, I've never seen a guy change his position on so many things so fast, on a dime."
"You're only allowed a certain number of flips before people begin to doubt your character. Romney exhausted his quota some time back."
"If you're not sure about wanting to support Mitt Romney, whether you're liberal, whether you're very conservative, you ought to be excited because he's been on your side at one time or another."
"Romney's comments sounded callous and merciless, and will haunt him throughout the election. They also revealed something we hadn't previously seen. Unguarded, Romney is no compassionate conservative. At his core, he is a cyborg. Dry-eyed and awkward, he was born lucky and seems to lack the empathy born of struggle."
"Romney, who criticizes President Obama for dividing the nation, divided the nation into two groups: the makers and the moochers. Forty-seven percent of the country, he said, are people 'who are dependent upon government, who believe they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to take care of them, who believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.' This comment suggests a few things. First, it suggests that he really doesn’t know much about the country he inhabits. Who are these freeloaders? Is it the Iraq war veteran who goes to the V.A.? Is it the student getting a loan to go to college? Is it the retiree on Social Security or Medicare? The people who receive the disproportionate share of government spending are not big-government lovers. They are Republicans. They are senior citizens. They are white men with high school degrees. Romney doesn't know much about the culture of America. He has lost any sense of the social compact. The Republican Party, and apparently Mitt Romney, too, has shifted over toward a much more hyperindividualistic and atomistic social view. The final thing the comment suggests is that Romney knows nothing about ambition and motivation. When will the incompetence stop?"
"It remains important for the country that Romney wins in November (unless he chooses to step down and we get the Ryan-Rubio ticket we deserve!). But that shouldn't blind us to the fact that Romney's comments ... are stupid and arrogant."
"I disagree with Gov. Romney’s insinuation that 47 percent of Americans believe they are victims who must depend on the government for their care. ... I know that the vast majority of those who rely on government are not in that situation because they want to be."
"He said he has a terrific campaign. Actually he doesn't. He says that the campaign workers are working well together, well, actually, no, they're not working well together, and that his campaign's going in the right direction. No, it's not. And this is not being said by liberals ... these are conservatives."
"A mixed up man who doesn't have a clue. No wonder he lost. He's a total joke and everyone knows it. He should have easily beaten Barack Obama. One of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of Republican politics. Why would anyone listen to him?"
KARL ROVE(former Republican political strategist, and current fund-raiser and media personality)
"Karl Rove is way beyond anything Nixon had at his disposal. He is closer to a behind-the-scenes Nixon operator named Murray Chotiner, who could cut off an opponent at the knees so quickly the person did not immediately realize he had been crippled. As I note in the book, the first time I heard the name Karl Rove was when I was asked if I knew anything about him by one of the Watergate special prosecutors who was investigating campaign dirty tricks. I didn't have any knowledge. But I recalled that question when working on this book, and located a memorandum in the files of the Watergate prosecutor's office that indicates they were asking others as well about Rove. Based on my review of the files, it appears the Watergate prosecutors were interested in Rove's activities in 1972, but because they had bigger fish to fry they did not aggressively investigate him."
"Rove spends more for Republican candidates than the NRSC and the NRCC. He’s running things. Rove is definitely a problem."
"Every race Crossroads GPS (Rove's SuperPAC) ran ads in, the Republican lost. What a waste of money."
MARCO RUBIO(Republican senator, FL)
"He is bought and paid for by lobbyists. He's a lightweight, dishonest, never shows up to vote, worst attendance record in the Senate, a failed presidential candidate. He is scamming Florida. He's a phony, a lying choker. He looks like a little boy on stage."
PAUL RYAN(Republican Congressional representative and speaker of the house, WI)
"I don’t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering. It's too big a jump for the country. I don’t think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate."
"Ryan’s legacy will be not only of someone who politically enabled an unfit president, but also of someone who presided over the erosion of trust required for a proper intelligence oversight process. Ryan has done his party no favors in permitting it to become irrational conspiratorialists and antagonists of our intelligence community. His passivity has only encouraged Trump to abuse his powers, which may, when the facts are laid bare, amount to obstruction of justice."
RICK SANTELLI(CNBC conservative financial commentator)
"It's impossible for you to have been more wrong, Rick. Your call for inflation, the destruction of the dollar, the failure of the U.S. economy to rebound. Rick, it's impossible for you to have been more wrong. Every single bit of advice you gave would have lost people money, Rick... There is no piece of advice that you've given that's worked, Rick. Not a single one... The higher interest rates never came. The inability of the U.S. to sell bonds never happened. The dollar never crashed, Rick. There isn't a single one that's worked for you."
RICK SANTORUM(former Republican senator, PA)
"He's a fake."
"He's an economic lightweight."
DONALD TRUMP(Republican president of the U.S.)
"Donald Trump is redundant evidence that if your net worth is high enough, your IQ can be very low and you can still intrude into American politics."
"The nation is not immune to the lasting damage that is being done to it by Trump's success in normalizing post-factual politics. It is being poisoned by the injection into its bloodstream of the cynicism required of those Republicans who persist in pretending that although Trump lies constantly and knows nothing, these blemishes do not disqualify him from being president."
"Trump makes me embarrassed to say that I'm a Republican."
"We cannot be a party that nominates someone who refused to condemn white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan."
"Of course he's not a conservative. He was for Nancy Pelosi before he was against Nancy Pelosi. Celebrity is everything in this country. And if these guys (other would-be candidates) don't learn how to play the media the way that Barack Obama played the media last election cycle and the way that Donald Trump is playing the election cycle, we're going to probably get a celebrity candidate."
"He's one of the carnival barkers of today. Showtime is over. We are not electing an entertainer-in-chief. Showmanship is fun, but it is not the kind of leadership that will truly change America."
"That's the kind of thing that people say when they have no experience and don't know what they're talking about. That's a ridiculous position and one that won't even be productive."
"I tell everybody who goes to a Donald Trump event, if you get to ask a question, just ask him 'how?'" Christie said. "I don't care which of the things he talks about just ask him, 'How? How?'"
"He shouldn't be making fun of people with disabilities. It's just not worthy of someone running for the president of the United States."
"Is Donald Trump a serious candidate? If he is going to close the internet, that entails getting rid of the First Amendment. It's no small feat. If you are going to kill the families of terrorists, realize there's something called the Geneva Convention we're going to have to pull out of. It would defy every norm that is America. So when you ask yourself, whoever you are, who think you are going to support Donald Trump, think do you believe in the Constitution. Are you going to change the Constitution?"
"Donald Trump channeled the worst fears, frustrations and anxiety of voters, but he also magnified those same feelings."
"I don't want my children to look at that man and say, 'Yeah, he's my President.' I won't have that. I will not endorse it. I will not tolerate it."
"He isn't just coarse and rude, but is also often vile. The tragedy is that, of all those mentioned here, the most untrustworthy and dishonest is Trump."
"Trump is supported by one in five younger voters -- an astonishing and consequential collapse for the GOP. I would venture that Trump's failure among the young has something to do with his assult on the idea of tolerance, particularly racial and religious tolerance. While (Hillary) Clinton has an ethics problem, Trump has a humanity problem. (His) are not violations of political correctness, they are violations of human dignity, revealing serious moral impairment."
"Trump has shown that he is not a normal candidate. He is a political rampage charging ever more wildly out of control. And no, he cannot be changed. He cannot be contained because he is psychologically off the chain. With each passing week he displays the classic symptoms of medium-grade mania in more disturbing forms: inflated self-esteem, sleeplessness, impulsivity, aggression and a compulsion to offer advice on subjects he knows nothing about. He also cannot be contained because he lacks the inner equipment that makes decent behavior possible. So many of our daily social interactions depend on a basic capacity for empathy. But Trump displays an absence of this quality. He looks at the grieving mother of a war hero and is unable to recognize her pain. He hears a crying baby and is unable to recognize the infant's emotion or the mother's discomfort. He is told of women being sexually harassed at Fox News and is unable to recognize their trauma. The same blindness that makes him impervious to global outrage makes it impossible for him to make empathetic connection. Fear is his only bond. Some people compare Trump to the great authoritarians of history, but that's wrong. They were generally disciplined men with grandiose plans. Trump is underdeveloped and unregulated. He is a slave to his own pride, compelled by a childlike impulse to lash out at anything that threatens his fragile identity. He appears to have no ability to experience reverence, which is the foundation for any capacity to admire or serve anything bigger than self, to want to learn about anything beyond self, to want to know and deeply honor the people around you."
"Trump a world class con-artist. He's unelectable, and unfit for office. He's defrauding the voters like he defrauded the students at Trump University. He's pretending to be a great leader. It's just one con-job after another. If he is the nominee of our party, and defines the conservative movement, that will destroy the Republican Party and be a disaster for America."
"Do I like Donald Trump? No. I think he’s a terrible human being."
"Trump is so thin-skinned. He's great at dishing out insults, but boy does he get touchy when someone hits him back. That's very typical of insecure people. He's a bully, and sometimes you have to stand up to a bully. He's been making fun of everyone, women, the disabled, Jeb Bush's mom, he's mocked everybody. This guy is a vulgarian who goes around insulting people, and he wants us to make him president. We'll have to explain to our children every single day why they should not look up to or imitate the President of the United States."
"If he hadn't inherited 200 million dollars, you know what he'd be doing right now? Selling watches in Manhattan."
"I will not be voting for Donald Trump for president. This is not a decision I make lightly, for I am a lifelong Republican. But Donald Trump does not reflect historical Republican values nor the inclusive approach to governing that is critical to healing the divisions in our country. My conclusion about Mr. Trump's unsuitability for office is based on his disregard for the precept of treating others with respect, an idea that should transcend politics. Instead, he opts to mock the vulnerable and inflame prejudices by attacking ethnic and religious minorities. Three incidents in particular have led me to the inescapable conclusion that Mr. Trump lacks the temperament, self-discipline and judgment required to be president. Regrettably, his essential character appears to be fixed, and he seems incapable of change or growth."
"There is no morally good presidential candidate in this election. I previously called Donald Trump a ‘good candidate with flaws’ and a ‘flawed candidate’ but I now regret that I did not more strongly condemn his moral character. I cannot commend Trump’s moral character, and I strongly urge him to withdraw from the election."
"Trump's conception of leadership is to become large by making others small. In a reality television star, this is a job qualification. In a president, it would raise the prospect of serious damage to our democratic system."
"Trump is sickeningly cruel, boorish, bonkers, subversive, conspiratorial, obsessive, authoritarian and reckless with the reputation of American democracy. He is easily baited, highly sensitive to slights, prone to using faulty information from the Internet, hyperbolic and vengeful. Now imagine those characteristics during a confrontation with China in the South China Sea. Trump’s crackup complicates American political life in a variety of ways but simplifies one point: This man is temperamentally, ideologically and morally unfit to be president of the United States."
"Donald Trump is epically unprepared to be president. He has no realistic policies, no advisers, no capacity to learn. His vast narcissism makes him a closed fortress. He doesn't know what he doesn't know and he's uninterested in finding out. He insults the office Abraham Lincoln once occupied by running for it with less preparation than most of us would undertake to buy a sofa. Trump is perhaps the most dishonest person to run for high office in our lifetimes. All politicians stretch the truth, but Trump has a steady obliviousness to accuracy. Donald Trump is an affront to basic standards of honesty, virtue and citizenship. He pollutes the atmosphere in which our children are raised. He has already shredded the unspoken rules of political civility that make conversation possible. In his savage regime, public life is just a dog-eat-dog war of all against all.
As the founders would have understood, he is a threat to the long and glorious experiment of American self-government. He is precisely the kind of scapegoating, promise-making, fear-driving and deceiving demagogue they feared. Trump's supporters deserve respect. They are left out of this economy. But Trump himself? No, not Trump, not ever.
"Donald is a chaos candidate, and he would be a chaos president."
"It's amazing to me that anyone is still having a discussion about having some kind of intervention of bringing him back on message. This is his message. His message is being a loud-mouthed dick, going out there and offending people, and engaging in a bunch of airing of grievances. That's what he does. He doesn't have another message. He doesn't have anything else he really wants to convey. We're going to continue to see the Republican nominee basically acting as if he's on a suicide mission and aiming to take the whole rest of the party down with him."
"Banning all Muslims will make it harder to do exactly what we need to do, which is to destroy ISIS (ISIL). We need to engage with the Arab world to make this happen. It is not a serious proposal to say to the people you are asking for their support that they can't even come into this country. How are we going to garner the international support to take out ISIS with talk like this? This strategy would be an unmitigated disaster, and he knows that. This is dog-whistle talk. This is to get people who are fearful to latch on to him. But we're not a country of idiots. And we have to act that way. I don't think Donald Trump understands that."
"This is a religious war between radical Islam and the rest of the world. And the only way you're going to win this war is to help people in Islam to reject radical Islam, to fight over there, and destroy this ideology. Donald Trump has done the one single thing you cannot do, declare war on Islam itself. ISIL (ISIS) would be dancing in the streets. This is coup for them. And for all of our Muslim friends throughout the world, like the king of Jordan, and the president of Egypt, I am sorry. He does not represent us. If I am president, we will work together, people in the faith through all of the world to destroy this radical ideology. Declaring war on the religious only helps ISIL. "
"Any doubt left Trump is completely unhinged? His assertion Ted Cruz's father was associated with Lee Harvey Oswald should remove ALL doubt."
"The man is a pathological liar, he doesn't know the truth between truth and lies. Yet in a pattern that is straight out of a psychology text book, he accuses everyone else of lying. Whatever lie he's telling at that minute he believes it. He is a narcissist at a level I don't think this country has ever seen. The man is utterly amoral. He's a serial philanderer. Donald is a bully. Bullies don't come from strength, they come from weakness. "
"His problem isn't a lack of normal propriety but the absence of basic human decency. He is morally unfit for any office, high or low."
"He is unfit to serve our party and cannot lead this country. While I disagree with her on many issues, I will vote for Mrs. Clinton."
"There used to be some things that were sacred in American politics, that you don't do."
"Never attack a Gold Star family. Not just because it alienates a vital constituency but because it reveals a schoking absence of elementary empathy for the most profound of human sorrows - parental grief. Why did Trump do it? It wasn't a mistake. It was a revelation. It's that he can't help himslef. His governing rule in life is to strike back when attacked, disrespected or even slighted. Of course we all try to protect our own dignity and command respect. But Trump's hypersensitivity and unedited, untempered Pavlovian responses are, shall we say, unusual in both ferocity and predictability. This is beyond narcissism. I used to think Trump was an 11-year-old, an undeveloped school-yard bully. I was off by about 10 years. His needs are more primitive, an infantile hunger for approval and praise, a craving that can never be satisfied. He lives in a cocoon of solipsism where the world outside himself has balue - indeed exists - only insofar as it sustains and inflates him."
"I agree with the Khans and families across the country that a travel ban on all members of a religion is simply contrary to American values."
"One wonders if Republican leaders have begun to realize that they may have hitched their fate and the fate of their party to a man with a disordered personality. Suffice to say that Donald Trump's response to the assorted speakers at the Democratic National Convention has not been rational. If you are a Republican, the real problem, and the thing that ought to keep you up nights as we head into the final 100 days of this campaign, is that the man cannot control himself. He cannot hold back even when it is manifestly in his interest to do so. What's more, his psychological pathologies are ultimately self-destructive. The most important fact is that he is unable to control his responses to criticism. He must double down every time, even if it means digging himself deeper and deeper into the hole. Imagine such a person as president. What we have seen in the Trump campaign is not only a clever method of stirring up the anger in people. It is also a personality defect that has had the effect of stirring up anger. And because it is a defect and not a tactic, it would continue to affect Trump's behavior in the White House. It would determine how he dealt with other nations. It would determine how he dealt with critics at home. It would determine how he governed, how he executed the laws, how he instructed the law-enforcement and intelligence agencies under his command, how he dealt with the press, how he dealt with the opposition party and how he handled dissent within his own party. His personality defect would be the dominating factor in his presidency, just as it has been the dominating factor in his campaign. His ultimately self-destructive tendencies would play out on the biggest stage in the world, with consequences at home and abroad that one can barely begin to imagine. It would make him the closest thing the United States has ever had to a dictator, but a dictator with a dangerously unstable temperament that neither he nor anyone else can control. In all likelihood, his defects will destroy him before he reaches the White House. He will bring himself down, and he will bring the Republican Party and its leaders down with him. This would be a tragedy were it not that the party and its leaders, who chose him as their nominee and who now cover and shill for this troubled man, so richly deserve their fate."
"Not only will Trump lose the 2016 election, but also his brand — such as it is now — is that of a creepy old man, a bigot, a misogynist. His pre-debate stunt parading accusers of Bill Clinton only confirmed his reputation as a tawdry manipulator of women, someone lacking an ounce of common decency. As he blustered and rambled, stalked and hovered over Hillary Clinton he reminded us that he's no genius business mogul. He's a loser, a phony and a jerk. (He is) the country's most infamous sleazebag? His name has long been associated with crass excess and garish taste, a poor man's version of how the rich live. Now his name is synonymous with gross lechery. The campaign revealed what a damaged, repugnant character he is and how lacking in true business acumen he is. After November he will, quite simply, be a loser."
"Trump’s debate performance was appalling, contemptible, shameful, squalid, vile. Do we really want a president who views the rule of law as a means to imprison his opposition? A president who dismisses talk of sexual assault on the theory that boys will be boys? A president who urges a foreign power to hack his opponent, then excuses that power when it is caught? A president who accuses his opponent of killing American soldiers based on a position he actually took himself? The Trump evangelicals deserve a special shout-out in all this. By accepting, or even excusing, Trump’s talk of sexual predation, they are demonstrating a political polarization that runs so deep that even common decency no longer matters. Now some evangelical Christians are making a similar case — playing down the importance of integrity, morality and character in leadership. The deep partisanship of Trump evangelicals — fighting for a team rather than standing for principles — is actually aiding the secularization of American politics. And so, it turns out, some are making a graven image — of a figure who deserves contempt."
"He pulls people close to him who reinforce his anger, his prejudice, his megalomania, his conspiracy-mindedness. He is both impossibly ignorant and insanely confident in his own flawed judgment. He thinks he should be exempt from the normal rules of transparency — by refusing to supply his tax returns — while using a presidential campaign to pimp his brand. He is acting as a propaganda arm of the Putin administration, defying the judgment of U.S. intelligence agencies, in a manner that raises serious questions about his motives. Trump has dramatically lowered public standards of civility, of honesty, of tolerance, of decency and of ethics. Only one option is precluded — to vote for Trump. And here are the postcard reasons: Trump is a man of dangerously erratic temperament who should not be allowed to control American foreign and military policy. Trump lacks a commitment to democratic ideals and institutions, demonstrated by his attempt to discredit any electoral outcome unfavorable to him. Trump operates by a materialistic, Nietzschean ethic — an ethic of dominance and revenge in which power and success are worshiped and the weak are treated with contempt and cruelty. And Trump is deeply and defiantly ignorant, with no basis or background to make informed choices on complex issues. America has two bad choices, but not equally bad."
"Enough! Donald Trump should not be President. He should withdraw."
"The president (Trump) has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate."
"Mr. President: Words spoken by the President of the United States matter. Are you tonight recanting the oath you took on January 20th to preserve, protect, and defend the First Amendment?"
"Twenty minutes into his presidency, Donald Trump, who is always claiming to have made, or to be about to make, astonishing history, had done so. Living down to expectations, he had delivered the most dreadful inaugural address in history. Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s White House counselor, had promised that the speech would be 'elegant.' This is not the adjective that came to mind as he described 'American carnage.' That was a phrase the likes of which has never hitherto been spoken at an inauguration. In what should have been a civic liturgy serving national unity and confidence, he vindicated his severest critics by serving up reheated campaign rhetoric about 'rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape' and an education system producing students 'deprived of all knowledge.' Yes, all knowledge. As James Madison anticipated and as the nation was reminded on Friday, 'Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm.'"
"Three powerful American leaders (President Trump, Vice-President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary James Mattis), targeting and dehumanizing some of the most vulnerable people on earth. A picture of cruelty. A picture of national shame. Trump came to power promising that masterful leadership would replace the 'stupid' kind. But this action was malicious, countrproductive and inept - the half-baked work of amateurs who know little about security, little about immigration law, and nothing about compassion."
"Many Republican members of Congress have made a Faustian bargain with Donald Trump. They don’t particularly admire him as a man, they don’t trust him as an administrator, they don’t agree with him on major issues, but they respect the grip he has on their voters, they hope he’ll sign their legislation and they certainly don’t want to be seen siding with the inflamed progressives or the hyperventilating media. But if the last 10 days have made anything clear, it’s this: The Republican Fausts are in an untenable position. The deal they’ve struck with the devil comes at too high a price. It really will cost them their soul. Even if Trump’s ideology were not noxious, his incompetence is a threat to all around him. To say that it is amateur hour at the White House is to slander amateurs. The recent executive orders were drafted and signed without any normal agency review or even semicoherent legal advice, filled with elemental errors that any nursery school student would have caught. It is hard to think of any administration in recent memory, on any level, whose identity is so tainted by cruelty. The Trump administration is often harsh and never kind. It is quick to inflict suffering on the 8-year-old Syrian girl who’s been bombed and strafed and lost her dad. Its deportation vows mean that in the years ahead, the TV screens will be filled with weeping families being pulled apart.
None of these traits will improve with time."
"The court found that 'the States have offered evidence of numerous statements by the President about his intent to implement a ‘Muslim ban.'' On this, Trump dug his own legal grave. This is a humiliating defeat for the White House, revealing just how amateurish the president and his advisers are. The frightful part is that if they cannot handle a simple executive order, what makes anyone think they can handle far more difficult challenges?"
"I still have trouble seeing how the Trump administration survives a full term. Judging by his Thursday press conference, President Trump’s mental state is like a train that long ago left freewheeling and iconoclastic, has raced through indulgent, chaotic and unnerving, and is now careening past unhinged, unmoored and unglued."
"Trump said he was going to D.C. to drain the swamp, but now it looks like we’ve got the Creature from the Black Lagoon in the White House."
"At base, Trump is an infantalist. There are three tasks that most mature adults have sort of figured out by the time they hit 25. Trump has mastered none of them. Immaturity is becoming the dominant note of his presidency, lack of self-control his leitmotif. First, most adults have learned to sit still. But mentally, Trump is still a 7-year-old boy who is bouncing around the classroom. His inability to focus his attention makes it hard for him to learn and master facts. He is ill informed about his own policies and tramples his own talking points. It makes it hard to control his mouth. Our institutions depend on people who have enough engraved character traits to fulfill their assigned duties. But there is perpetually less to Trump than it appears."
"(To be President) one does not need to be a Marvel superhero or Nietzschean Übermensch to rise to this responsibility. But one needs some basic attributes: a reasonable level of intellectual curiosity, a certain seriousness of purpose, a basic level of managerial competence, a decent attention span, a functional moral compass, a measure of restraint and self-control. And if a president is deficient in one or more of them, you can be sure it will be exposed. Trump is seemingly deficient in them all."
"Turkey behaves this way in part because Trump ignores, even rewards (by praising an arguably stolen election) bad behavior. He is not putting American values or interests first. He has allowed himself to be “played,” just as he has been by Russia by setting up assistance in the fight against the Islamic State as the sole concern of U.S. foreign policy. This simplistic, inept brand of foreign policy sprinkled with admiration for thuggish leaders has become standard operating procedure in an administration without vision, experience or conscience."
"The president exudes incompetence and instability. The sad reality is that the greatest defense of the president available at this point is one his team could never give on the record: He is an idiot who does not know any better."
"On most issues Trump’s promised war with the establishment has been fizzling almost from day one. The people who voted for our president do deserve a tribune. But Trump is not that figure. As a populist he’s a paper tiger, too lazy to figure out what policies he should champion and too incompetent and self-absorbed to fight for them."
"Aside from his approach to fighting ISIS everything he (Trump) has done has been a complete disaster."
"It pains me to write this — our president acted like a clod, a heartless and dull-witted thug in sending out a series of tweets. One is prompted to ask if he is off his rocker. But this is vintage Trump — impulsive and cruel, without an ounce of class or human decency. His behavior no longer surprises us, but it should offend and disturb us, first, that he remains the face and voice of America in the world and, second, that his fans hoot and holler, seeing this as inconsequential or acceptable conduct. We wound up with this president because millions of Republicans could not prioritize character, decency and overall fitness to serve over their mundane and frankly petty partisan wish list (28 percent top marginal tax rate!). Self-appointed religious leaders fail to see that this soullessness — not the dreaded liberal elite who insist on saying “Happy Holidays” or refuse to countenance discrimination against gay customers — is a threat to the moral fiber of a democracy that requires a modicum of common sense and human decency to function. Sure, Trump’s policies and rhetoric are incoherent and based on a tower of lies. Far worse, however, is his appalling character, which accelerates the erosion of democratic norms and social cohesion a diverse democracy requires."
"He isn't just coarse and rude, but is also often vile. The tragedy is that, of all those mentioned here, the most untrustworthy and dishonest is Trump."
"I'm worried (about Trump)."
"The President has not yet been able to demonstrate the abiliyty nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate to be successful. He's also not demonstrated that he understands the character of this nation."
"I don't know why the President tweets out things that are not true. You know he does it, everyone knows he does it, but he does."
"He concerns me. He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation."
"You know, Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Mattis and Chief of Staff Kelly, they are among the people separating us from chaos."
"It's a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning."
"Trump may be setting the U.S. on the path to World War III."
"I don't know why the president tweets out things that are not true. He acts like he's doing 'The Apprentice' or something."
"The President speaks for himself."
"He's a fucking moron."
"He's dumb as shit." (according to reports)
"He's an idiot." (according to reports)
"He's an idiot." (according to reports)
"He's a fucking idiot." (according to reports)
"He's a dope." (according to reports)
"(Working for Trump) is like trying to figure out what a child wants." (according to reports)
"He's like a 9-year-old." (according to reports)
"He's not only crazy, but stupid." (according to reports)
"The real problem has always been Trump’s fundamental unfitness for high office. It is not Trump’s indiscipline and lack of leadership, which make carrying a legislative agenda forward nearly impossible. It is not his vulgarity and smallness, which have been the equivalent of spray-painting graffiti on the Washington Monument. It is not his nearly complete ignorance of policy and history, which condemns him to live in the eternal present of his own immediate desires."
"The Republican case for Trump comes down to: the appointment of conservative judges; the “defeat” of the Islamic State; and tax and regulatory reform. There is less here than meets the eye. Trump chose Gorsuch from a Federalist Society list and didn’t fatally undermine Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) careful confirmation effort. The demolition of the Islamic State was largely the continuation and culmination of an Obama-era strategy. And the tax overhaul, with serious virtues such as the cut in corporate rates, also has serious distributional and deficit problems. This agenda was remarkable only for being so typical. Any Republican president from the 2016 primary field would have appointed conservative judges, continued the offensive against the Islamic State, and cut taxes and regulations. (He or she would also, in all likelihood, have succeeded at an Obamacare replacement.) But this is precisely the point. Trump spent the political capital of his first year — the highest it will ever be — on a few, generic GOP goals. (Meanwhile) the war against terrorism has been rebooted on the basis of anti-Muslim bigotry, which undermines domestic law enforcement and anti-radicalization efforts. Authoritarian regimes around the world — now shielded from human rights criticism — feel more secure. Dissidents and democratic activists feel more lonely and abandoned. Fleeing refugees feel more desperate and friendless. The president is conducting delicate nuclear negotiations with demeaning pet names. Morale at the State Department is in collapse, leading to the hemorrhaging of diplomatic talent and experience. Trump has alienated important allies with demands for protection money. The United States has stepped back from effective economic competition in Asia, leaving China a more dominant regional power. Russia, in all likelihood, has helped elect a favorable U.S. president in the largest intelligence coup of modern history. Trump has tried to undermine the credibility of important institutions — the courts, the FBI, intelligence agencies, the media — that check his power and expose his duplicity. He has used his office (and Twitter account) to target individual Americans for harm without due process. He attacks the very idea of truth in a daily torrent of despicable lies. The moral authority of the presidency is in tatters. He has made our common life more vulgar and brutal, and complicated the moral education of children. Racists are emboldened and included in the GOP coalition. He has caused a large portion of Republicans to live in an alternate reality of resentment and hatred, which complicates the possibility of governing and is likely to discredit the party among the young, minorities, women and college-educated voters for decades to come. Almost all of Trump’s accomplishments are the work of traditional Republican policy staffers and congressional leaders. Almost all of Trump’s failures are functions of his character."
"In a short political career, Trump has maligned the CIA (comparing it to the Nazis), the electoral system ('rigged'), the media ('fake news'), the federal judiciary (U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel is a 'hater' and a 'Mexican') and the Justice Department (harboring the 'deep state'). Any institution that checks him is smeared. Trump has reportedly demanded loyalty from law enforcement officials, attacked them after they refused. Trump has built his scandal strategy on a foundation of conspiracy theories, targeted by partisan media to the most receptive. We have a coup on our hands in America, said Fox News host Jesse Watters. Does Trump believe this? Who knows? In this matter, sincerity is downright scary. It means we have a conspiracy-minded, 71-year-old Fox News viewer engaged in a strange feedback loop with conservative cable television — each encouraging the delusions of the other.
Why is this a danger to democracy? People who believe conspiracy theories cease to believe in the possibility of discourse and deliberation. When the whole game is rigged, debates can only be decided by power. At stake in our political moment is respect for the rule of law itself. A president who doesn’t like being subject to the rules is attempting to discredit the enforcers of the rules. It has been tried before, but seldom with a heavier hand. Perhaps most frightening is how enthusiastically some GOP members of Congress have taken to Trump’s strategy — and how quickly this has intimidated most others in the caucus. In one of those shocking ironies that have become common in the Trump era, law-and-order Republicans call on America’s leading law enforcement agency to be 'purged' for political reasons. It is the triumph of partisanship over ideology. It is the triumph of partisanship over sanity. Trump has made his response clear: If law enforcement does its job, it will be evidence of a conspiracy to abuse its power. One question, at that point, would dominate our politics: Will Republicans choose to live within this lie?"
"We already knew he holds almost no firm political convictions — but that what passes for a Republican policy proposal in his administration is up for grabs and that his most loyal followers don’t really seem to care. Trump is a creature almost preternaturally attuned to the shifting moods of the public and deeply influenced by what he sees on television. For him, ideology and philosophy do not mediate politics, politics is mediated by TV; specifically, how he is personally portrayed on TV. He thinks he is, or should be, the star of every story. Trump has a long-standing pattern of shifting under the influence of the news cycle and whatever he perceives as the popular view — a make-believe strongman whose idea of being the people’s champion is to mold himself, Play-Doh-like, to conform to whatever pleases the audience immediately in front of him. He believes in nothing, but has infinite moods. He’s poorly briefed, malleable, crass and dishonest, and all he cares about is how he comes across in the press. Which makes it damn-near impossible for any self-respecting conservative to understand him, anticipate his positions or trust him on policy. Over the course of his life and career, from guns, to health care, to abortion, to the Iraq War, to whether the federal government’s monthly employment numbers are “phony,” Trump hasn’t been even close to the get-it-done, never-back-down, super negotiator of his own daydreams."
"Now, anyone who is surprised by the utter chaos, the ethical sleaze, the policy incoherence and the nepotism/cronyism was not paying attention during Trump’s career in real estate or during his campaign. This is how Trump ran his family operation, stumbling through one failed venture after another. This is how Trump wound up declaring bankruptcy multiple times. No one — not Kelly, Ivanka, Jared, the GOP Congress or even Hicks — can keep him on task. Trump is still indifferent to learning policy and is prone to prattle in public about subjects he doesn’t bother to study. No one else can make up for his lack of diligence, ethics and decency. This is not so much as an administration as a weird fusion of the court of Louis XIV and the Mafia, all built around a cult of personality that lacks any self-restraint or awareness. Republicans who empowered him and refused to stand up to him have a giant mess on their hands — a dysfunctional government and a looming electoral disaster. Trump will either be compelled to leave office or will continue to spin out of control. Aides tell the press this is a new level of chaos. Don’t worry — it’ll get worse. It always does."
"The promise that one day he would pivot, or become presidential, was ludicrous. In fact, he has gotten worse with time. We now see unrestrained Trump — the one who hates criticism; who must continually pummel his opponents; who never bothers to learn about subjects on which he expounds; who thinks everyone in government owes their personal loyalty to him; who means what he says for only a fleeting instance; who confounds allies with policy zigzags; who bullies and blusters; who lies continually; and who, despite his bravado, cannot take on those to whom he apparently owes his presidency (e.g., the National Rifle Association, the Kremlin)."
"Trump is a weak person's idea of a strong person. Let’s say this one more time: Trump. Has. No. Convictions."
"Trump is what he is, a floundering, inarticulate jumble of gnawing insecurities and not-at-all compensating vanities, which is pathetic. "
"I knew he was a shallow, lazy ignoramus, but I didn’t care. We’re halfway through the semester and he’s failing. Stormy says she and Trump had sex only once. I guess if you want the guy to screw you repeatedly you have to be one of his voters."
"At the top, you have someone who consistently does not tell the truth. That’s a signal to the people below him that they don’t have to tell the truth either, that this is the way we conduct government — we lie when we have to, we mistreat people when we have to, we humiliate them."
"If our leaders seek to conceal the truth, or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as American citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing our freedom. When we as people, a free people, go wobbly on the truth even on what may seem the most trivial matters, we go wobbly on America. If we do not as Americans confront the crisis of ethics and integrity in our society and among our leaders in both the public and private sector — and regrettably at times even the nonprofit sector — then American democracy as we know it is entering its twilight years."
"Trump has eradicated red lines of civility, refused to condemn neo-Nazis and offered a steady diet of grotesque stereotypes of immigrants. He has demonized the press and raised fear of foreign terrorists embedded among refugees. His campaign and now his presidency fan the flames of white grievance; he has done more to mainstream nonfactual conspiracies than any president. To say he bears no moral or political responsibility when disturbed or fringe characters hear him, take him seriously, extrapolate from his remarks and engage in horrible acts is willful blindness. He is not solely responsible. He is not mainly responsible. But the guy with the biggest megaphone on the planet is partly responsible when unbalanced people are inspired by his toxic rhetoric and that of followers whom he refuses to repudiate."
"To deal with the harassment and filth spewed by GOP members of Congress in tough seats every day for two years because of POTUS (President of the United States), to bite your lip more times than you'd care to, to disagree and separate from POTUS on principle and civility in your campaign, to lose because of POTUS and have him piss on you... angers me to my core. These are hardworking, independent, center-right Republicans who took tough votes and woke up every single day and got angry phone calls and protests and unending amounts of criticism not because of anything they particularly did but because they're Republicans and there is such angst and anger against the President. And if it was anger based on policy that's one thing, but a lot of the anger emanates, right so, from things that he says. The ignorant, mean name-calling, snide type stuff that you would't want your 12-year old to say, let alone the President of the United States to say. And yet every Republican member of Congress has chosen, usually with a degree of restraint, to not call out the President every time he would say something they would disagree with because they were trying to focus on their jobs. Imagine you had a boss that drove you crazy a lot of the time, but you poured your heart and soul into a job, and somehow, someway you were in the type of professon where you failed, you didn't win. And the next day even that boss who bothered you, who you disagreed with, and you bit your tongue, but that boss instead of coming to you and saying 'I know we didn't always see eye to eye, but thanks for your service; I hope you move on to bigger and better things,' instead that boss says, 'You're a loser; I don't really care if you won or lost; it's no big deal.' It's like dancing on somebody's grave. It's highly inappropriate and deeply offensive. When you see them lose, it's tough enough, but when you see them lose because of the President and the President not only doesn't acknowledge that -- instead he says if they would have just embraced him, they would have won, which is a total joke, nobody believes that. But then to insult them and mock them on their way out, it's just the height of pettiness."
"I don't think he (Trump) is capable of change. I think he is remarkably incurious, and doesn't value learning."
"Trump is one of the most impeachable presidents we’ve ever had...It isn’t just that he’s already implicated in actions (for instance, paying off a porn-star mistress in possible violation of campaign-finance laws) that a hostile Congress might reasonably cite as a reason for impeachment. It’s that the whole Trump operation, now lying exposed on Mueller’s table — the shady business empire, the constant practice of deceit, the dim-bulb hangers-on — screams corruption in a way that few politicians’ circles do. With Trump there is no pretense of respectability or rectitude. There is only the open, shrugging grift."
"I've been with him on multiple occasions to try to create some kind of aspirational approach to the way that he conducts himself. But I don't think that's possible, and I don't think he's going to rise to the occasion as president. (Is he a role model for children?) No, absolutely not. You know the things that are happening right now that are harmful to our nation, whether it's his breaking down relationships around the world that have been useful to our nation, at the end of the day, when his term is over, the debasing of our nation, the constant non-truth telling, the name-calling, , I think the debasement will be what he is remembered most for, and that's regretful. We have young people who for the first time are watching a president stating absolute non-truths, non-stop, and personalizing things in the way he does. It's very sad for our nation."
"I never thought I’d see the day a White House would moonlight as a public relations firm for the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia."
"His chief promises were that he would build the wall, defund Planned Parenthood and repeal Obamacare, and he hasn’t done any of those things. He doesn't understand the system. He knows very little about the legislative process, hasn’t learned anything, hasn’t surrounded himself with people that can get it done, hasn’t done all the things you need to do, so it’s mostly his fault that he hasn’t achieved those things. On immigration, it's a completely different person than we saw on the campaign trail just two years ago. I don’t think he’s capable."
"Dislike of him should be tempered by this consideration: He is an almost inexpressibly sad specimen. It must be misery to awaken to another day of being Donald Trump. He seems to have as many friends as his pluperfect self-centeredness allows, and as he has earned in an entirely transactional life. His historical ignorance deprives him of the satisfaction of working in a house where much magnificent history has been made. His childlike ignorance — preserved by a lifetime of single-minded self-promotion — concerning governance and economics guarantees that whenever he must interact with experienced and accomplished people, he is as bewildered as a kindergartener at a seminar on string theory. Which is why this fountain of self-refuting boasts (“I have a very good brain”) lies so much. He does so less to deceive anyone than to reassure himself. And as balm for his base, which remains oblivious to his likely contempt for them as sheep who can be effortlessly gulled by preposterous fictions. The tungsten strength of his supporters’ loyalty is as impressive as his indifference to expanding their numbers."
"I’m telling you, he didn’t know anything about government. I wanted to scold him all the time. Those of us around him really helped to stop him from making bad decisions. All the time. We helped him make much better decisions, which were contrary to kind of what his knee-jerk reaction was. Now I think he’s making some of these knee-jerk reactions."
"The president is guilty, in a broad sense, of a form of incitement. The president is a disgrace to his office, an insult to our dignity, a threat to our Union, and a danger to our safety.."
"The American presidency transcends the individuals who occupy the Oval Office. Their personality becomes part of our national character. Their actions become our actions, for which we all share responsibility. Their willingness to act in accordance with the law and our tradition dictate how current and future leaders will act. Their commitment to order, civility and decency are reflected in American society. Mr. Trump fails to meet the bar for this commitment. He has neither the moral compass nor the temperament to serve. His vision is limited to what immediately faces him — the problems and risks he chronically brings upon himself and for which others, from countless contractors and companies to the American people, ultimately bear the heaviest burden."
"Someday presidential historians will fully explore the defects of heart and character that led Donald Trump, in the midst of an unprecedented national crisis (the Covid-19 pandemic) threatening hundreds of thousands of deaths, to brag that the television ratings for his afternoon briefings rivaled the "Bachelor" finale or "Monday Night Football." This is not mere pettiness. It is clinical solipsism. Exploiting this type of tragedy in the cause of personal vanity reveals Trump's spirit to be a vast, trackless wasteland. Trump seems incapable of imagining and reflecting the fears, suffering and grief of his fellow citizens. We have witnessed the total failure of empathy in presidential leadership."
EDITOR'S NOTE: In May 2020, as the U.S. death toll from the Covid-19 pandemic hit 100,000, Donald Trump decided it was a great time to roll out yet another conspiracy theory. This one was a doozy, certain to go down in history as one of the vilest action of any American politician, the attempt to frame an innocent person for murder. The person in question was former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough, the host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program, and also a sharp Trump critic. Trumps' scurrilous theory has it that Scarborough had something to do with the death of a staff member two decades ago. This accusation has been thoroughly debunked, but what does that matter to Trump, the liar, lout, loathsome narcissist beyond measure? Not at all. Republicans, em masse, showed their dearth of morality by hardly saying a word. But for a select few, this was, even for them, beyond the pale. Here's a sampling:
"I would urge him to stop it."
"Trust us, you did not look like the bigger man."
"Incompatible with leadership and vile."
"Ugly, even for him."
"Completely unfounded conspiracy. Just stop. Stop spreading it, stop creating paranoia. It will destroy us."
"I can't defend the president suggesting without a shred of evidence that a cable news guy, however rough his criticism, might be linked to murder."
EDITOR'S NOTE: Almost concurrent with the death toll from the Covid-91 pandemic reached the 100,000 mark in the U.S., four police officers in Minneapolis were caught on video murdering a black man, George Floyd, by sitting him, one with his knee on Floyd's neck, until he was dead. Protests and riot erupted around the nation, and continued for days. Trump's response was to boast, "When the looting starts, the shooting starts," a remark used long ago by Miami's racist mayor during a period of unrest. Trump urged governors to "dominate" the protesters. The day after an evening during which he was embarrassed to be reported cowering in a White House "bunker" as protests and looting was going on within his sight, he had the military use rubber bullets, tear gas, flash bombs and low-flying military helicopters to clear peaceful protesters from Lafayette Park, the People's Park, across from the White House, so that he could walk to St. John's church for a quick photo op. After the crowd and teargas was cleared, he (and a gaggle of sychophants) walked through a phalanx of soldiers to the church, where he held up a Bible. It was the kind of childish bravado-stunt that this chicken-hawk of a president would concoct: run roughshod over peaceful protesters, push them out of their own park, be protected by heavy military presence in the United States of America, and then have the audacity as a non-believer (he couldn't finish the sentence "Our Father, who art in.... ". Another low, low day for Donald Trump, who is melting down into the sniveling bully he really is before the eyes of the nation. Yet, his cultists, particularly the religious types, will lap it up... as he plays the dupes like a violin once again.
"The president who called NFL protesters peacefully taking a knee "sons of bitches," lied when he declared that he is a friend of peaceful demonstrators. The police firing rubber bullets and launching tear gas at protesters in Lafayette Square in front of the White House said otherwise. Then, as if the scene was not evidence enough of his desire to raise the level of violence, he pledged to deploy the U.S. military on U.S. soil, against U.S. civilians, if governors did not heed his incendiary advice to fill the streets with National Guard troops. It was later revealed that Trump instigated the assault on protesters specifically to make a gesture of walking to St. John's church. His stunt was designed to play to the most rabid white evangelicals, who inexplicably have always seen themselves - not African Americans - as the true victims. The invocation of a religious institution to justify an assault on peaceful protesters was as great an abuse of religious symbols as anything Trump has done. Surely, he never heard of the "Blessed are the peacemakers" passage from the Christian bible. He worships not peacemakers but instruments of brute force. It does not take much imagination to conclude Trump is attempting to escalate violence around the country so he can deploy the military. This is the conduct of a tin-pot dictator - someone resorting to violent suppression of our most closely cherished rights. More than ever, we should all recognize that, as former vice president Joe Biden put it, this is an election about the soul of our country and the survival of peaceful self-governance."
"This unraveling presidency began with the Crybaby-in-Chief banging his spoon on his highchair tray to protest a photograph - a photograph - showing that his inauguration crowd the day before had been smaller than the one four years previous. Since then, this weak person's idea of a strong person, this chest-pounding advertisement of his own gnawing insecurities, this low-rent Lear raging on his Twitter-heath has proven that the phrase malignant buffoon is not an oxymoron. Presidents, exploiting modern communications technologies and abetted today by journalists preening as the "resistance" - like members of the French Resistance 1940-1944, minus the bravery - can set the tone of American society, which is regrettably soft wax on which presidents leave their marks. The president's provocations - his coarsening of public discourse that lowers the threshold for acting out by people as mentally crippled as he - do not excuse the violent few. They must be punished. He must be removed."
"We are in the midst of an unprecedented national catastrophe. The catastrophe is not the pandemic, or an economic depression, or killer cops, or looted cities, or racial inequities. These are all too precedented. What's unprecedented is that never before have we been led by a man who so completely inverts the spirit of Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address. With malice toward all; with charity for none: eight words that encapsulate everything this president is, does and stands for. Trump doesn't lead his base, as most politicians do. He personifies it. He speaks to his followers as if he were them. He cultivates their resentments, demonizes their opponents, validates their hatreds. He glorifies himself so they may bask in the reflection. Whatever this has achieved for him, or them, it's a calamity for us. At a moment when disease has left more than 100,000 American families bereft, we have a president incapable of expressing the nation's heartbreak. At a moment of the most bitter racial grief since the 1960s, we have a president who has bankrupted the moral capital of the office he holds."
"When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens - much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside. Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people - does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We know that we are better than the abuse of executive authority that we witnessed in Lafayette Square. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution. At the same time, we must remember Lincoln's "better angels," and listen to them, as we work to unite."
"All he wants to do is appeal to his base. He has no principles. None. None. And his base, I mean. His goddamned tweet and lying, oh my God... No. He doesn't read. I'm talking too freely, but you know. The change of stories. The lack of preparation. The lying. Holy shit. It's the phoniness of it all. It's the phoniness and this cruelty. Donald is cruel. He was a brat. I did his homework for him, and I drove him around New York City to try to get him into college. Donald is out for Donald, period. You can't trust him."
Donald Trump has (deservedly) taken more friendly fire than any other conservative we can think of. So to be "Fair and Balanced" (like Fox News), we should give Trump the opportunity here to rebut some of these individuals. Here is how this juvenile brat, er, President of the United States, describes these conservative figures:
JEB BUSH, Former Republican Florida Governor: "Low Energy Jeb."
KELLYANNE CONWAY, Senior Advisor: "Crybaby."
BOB CORKER, Republican Senator (TN): "Liddle' Bob Corker."
TED CRUZ, Rebublican Senator (TX): "Lyin' Ted."
JEFF FLAKE, Republican Senator (AZ): "Jeff Flakey."
JOHN KASICH, Republican Ohio Governor: "1 for 38" (for the number of primaries Kasich won in 2016)
MEGYN KELLY, Former Fox News show host: "Crazy Megyn."
JARED KUSHNER, his son-in-law: "Suck-up."
REINCE PREIBUS, his Chief-of-Staff: "Weak, Midget."
MARCO RUBIO, Republican Senator (FL): "Little Marco."
PAUL RYAN, Former Republican Speaker of the House (WI): "Weak, Ineffective, Failed Paul. Frankly, a baby."
JOE SCARBOROUGH, Conservative television show host: "Psycho Joe."
SEAN SPICER, his Communications Director: "Stupid."
ERIC AND DONALD TRUMP JR., his sons: "Uday and Qusay" (Saddam Hussein's famously loutish and cruel sons)
(more to come)
SCOTT WALKER(Republican governor, WI)
"He is a puppet. He cratered as a presidential candidate. His state has massive deficit, bad jobs forecast; it's a mess. He is not very smart."
GEORGE WILL(conservative writer and media personality)
"You’re a hack. You are lying. You’re in with the cabal of the Reagan loyalists who don’t want the truth to be told."
"Deadpan, boring, dopey, broken down political pundit, wrong almost all of the time, should be thrown off Fox News, wrong on so many subjects."