The Anti-Trump Party: How The Democratic Party Has Lost Its Defining Values In The Obsession With Trump

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the evolution of the Democratic Party under the Trump Administration.

Here is the column:

Washington has long been a stranger to principle other than the principle of self advancement. Yet, something new seems to be emerging across the country. Politicians have long felt the need to disguise raw political agendas in the pretense of principle. That pretense has disappeared.

In this age of rage, voters seem to have no patience, let alone need, for leaders speaking of abstract principles. They want immediate unequivocal action in supporting or opposing President Trump. For Democrats, that all consuming purpose has led to the abandonment of core unifying values, including many that first drew me to the Democratic Party. While they would vehemently deny it, Trump is remaking the party in his inverse image. This past month shows how far that transformation has gone.

The remaking of the Democratic Party was evident last week with the reaction to the decision to withdraw troops from Syria. There was a time when a sizable number of Democrats opposed undeclared wars and unending military campaigns. Now, they are appalled that Trump would not continue a war in one of the myriad countries with American troops engaged in combat operations. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the withdrawal a “Christmas gift to Vladimir Putin,” while Tim KaineDavid Cicilline, and other Democrats called it “irresponsible” or “hasty.”

Of course, this “hasty” move is after seven years of intervention in the civil war, including personnel on the ground since 2012. Our military also has been in Iraq since 2003 and in Afghanistan since 2001. One study estimated the costs of the wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan at $5.6 trillion. More importantly, thousands of military personnel have been killed and tens of thousands have been wounded. Yet, Democrats now espouse the same lines denounced during the Bush administration.

Popular cable programs with Democratic and liberal viewers are equally full of recriminations over withdrawing from these wars. MSNBC host Rachel Maddow criticized the plan to withdraw troops as merely an effort to distract the public, despite Trump campaigning in 2016 on promises to withdraw from such wars. “Morning Joe” host and former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough denounced the president as a “quivering coward” who failed to understand that we must fight “enemies like ISIS abroad, so we do not have to fight them in our own schools, churches and airports.” Liberals once rejected the premise that we should engage in continual wars in other countries or face terrorism on our streets at home.

Democrats are now defined by Trump the way that antimatter is defined by matter, with each particle of matter corresponding to an antiparticle. Take the secrecy. Democrats once were the party that fought against the misuse of secret classification laws by the FBI and other agencies. They demanded greater transparency from the executive branch, which is a position that I have readily supported. Yet, when oversight committees sought documents related to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act investigation of Trump associates, Democrats denounced the very thought that Republicans would question the judgment of the FBI that any such disclosures would be tantamount to jeopardizing national security.

Democratic Party leaders including Pelosi declared that the oversight committees had moved beyond “dangerous irresponsibility and disregard for our national security” and “disregarded the warnings of the Justice Department and the FBI.” Likewise, House Intelligence Committee ranking minority member Adam Schiff expressed shock that the FBI was not given deference in withholding the information in the surveillance investigation.

Yet, when the information was finally forced out of the FBI, including the disclosure of previously redacted material, it was clear that the FBI had engaged in overclassification to shield not national security but to shield the bureau itself from criticism. It included discussion of the roles of high ranking FBI officials and their reliance on such sources as the Christopher Steele dossier, which were already publicly known. Democratic House members like Schiff presumably knew what was in the redactions and, nevertheless, wanted deference to the classification decisions of the FBI.

In supporting the investigation of Trump, Democrats have embraced expanding definitions of crimes like obstruction, conspiracy, and the like. Historically, Democrats have resisted such efforts to stretch the criminal code to criminalize broader and broader areas of conduct. During the Trump administration, Democrats sound like legal hawks in demanding criminal charges for conduct long treated as civil matters, such as campaign finance violations and foreign agent registration violations.

In pursuing Trump, Democrats have also adopted a type of “red scare” mindset. While Republicans long pumped up the Russian menace as a political Cold War narrative, Democrats are now adopting the same type of rhetoric over the Russian attempt to interfere with the 2016 president election. Democrats for the past two years speak about how Russians “stole” the election or destroyed the legitimacy of the results, with little empirical data to support such irresponsible and unfounded claims.

While many of us support the Mueller investigation and the need for sanctions against Russia for its interference, Democrats now routinely refer to Russia as our “enemy” and accuse any people with alleged connections to Russians as “traitors.” Special counsel Robert Mueller may have more to reveal on Russian hacking, but there is little evidence that either the trolling operation or leaked emails of the Hillary Clinton campaign had a material impact on the 2016 presidential election.

In building up the Russian menace, Democrats ignore that we have not only hacked the emails of our enemies but of our allies as well for years. Moreover, we have routinely intervened in or influenced foreign elections. Likewise, other nations from Israel to Mexico to China and many more, have long tried to influence our elections. Still, Democrats are escalating their calls for greater action against Russia, including criticism of being too dovish in not confronting Russian military elements around the world.

A party requires more than hatred for an individual. A party has to stand for something that transcends the immediate or the visceral. Yet, in the age of Trump, the public is not interested in nuance or niceties. The watchword is “resist” and that means to push back at all costs, even against our core values. So the question is not what the Democratic Party will do but what it will be after Donald Trump eventually leaves office.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

201 thoughts on “The Anti-Trump Party: How The Democratic Party Has Lost Its Defining Values In The Obsession With Trump”

  1. Where to start, other than, for me, the obvious: it must cost a lot of money to take 4 kids and a wife on exotic vacations, brag about purchasing expensive hooch for anniversaries, and to save for college. So, we sell what we have while we have it. Use the position as a “constitutional scholar” to write pro-Trump pieces that are so defective in reasoning and so slanted that no other conclusion is possible. That’s what’s most obvious to me.

    Turley actually tries to make the argument that Democrats are engaging in the “principle of self-advancement” by passionately opposing Trump to the point of losing their identity and core values. Is there any other person in politics or entertainment who more exemplifies the “principle of self-advancement” than Trump? Kanye West comes in at a close second, but he’s an entertainer. He doesn’t purport to be the leader of the free world, and he and his concubine exist to entertain the masses by outdoing themselves with outrageous and stupid things for reality television. Trump isn’t much different. He isn’t the leader of the free world either, truth be told. He can’t even effectively lead the White House. He isn’t even smart enough to delegate to wiser people and just be a figurehead. His concubine also exists to entertain the masses. Her “I really don’t care–do u” jacket said it all.

    Turley speaks of a “raw political agenda”. What on earth does Trump do other than carry out the “raw political agenda” of the Koch brothers and his own ego? He keeps insisting on a 2,000 mile concrete wall, and when his minions attempt to paint it as “border security” or a “steel slat” barrier, Trump even corrects them. Never mind that experts in border security say it would be ineffective, and even point out better, less expensive and more effective means to accomplish border security, which the Democrats are ready and willing to support. Trump promised a wall. He also promised that Mexico would pay for it. Mexico won’t pay for it, and the American taxpayers won’t either, which is one reason why they voted in record numbers for Democrats in November. In resisting Trump, Pelosi, Schumer and the Democrats are only doing what they were elected to do by the American people. Most Americans DO NOT want a wall. Polls make that clear. Trump initially agreed to fund the government without the wall, but Coulter, Faux News and Limbaugh called him a wimp for giving in and got him to back down, so the government is closed. If this doesn’t stink of a “raw political agenda”, then what is it? If this doesn’t stink of a man who can’t think on his own, who can’t lead, who tries to get his way by bullying, and who takes his direction from Faux News, then what is it?

    As to withdrawal of American troops in Syria, the criticism isn’t that Trump did that, which Turley points out he said he would do, it’s HOW and WHY he did it. Knee-jerk wise, because it was requested by Erdogan, on the false grounds that ISIS was defeated, and without even consulting his military leaders before publicly announcing it. Those were the points raised by Rachel Maddow and others. That’s not leadership. That’s not smart, either. ISIS will back-build, kill more people, and it will be Trump’s fault.

    As to Democrats being in favor of open government, why would this apply to a criminal investigation involving Trump? The reason the Republicans demanded information regarding the FISA warrants was purely political–something to counter the mounting indictments and guilty pleas. Turley claims: “Yet, when the information was finally forced out of the FBI, including the disclosure of previously redacted material, it was clear that the FBI had engaged in overclassification to shield not national security but to shield the bureau itself from criticism. It included discussion of the roles of high ranking FBI officials and their reliance on such sources as the Christopher Steele dossier, which were already publicly known. Democratic House members like Schiff presumably knew what was in the redactions and, nevertheless, wanted deference to the classification decisions of the FBI.” Why shouldn’t Congress defer to the FBI? Because it was investigating Trump and his crimes? Who says they “overclassified” information? Republicans? This claim is also purely political.

    Turley claims, along with Faux News and Republicans, that even though Russia interfered with the 2016 election, that interference didn’t change the outcome. How can you say this? What proof do you have? The purpose for Russia’s interference was to influence the election, so the e-mails were hacked and leaked by Wikileaks.

    Trump is emotionally and ethically unfit to serve as POTUS. He proves this every single day. Democrats would be engaging in political malpractice not to oppose him, but they aren’t defined by him.

        1. But wait! Hank (Guam-might-capsize) Johnson is at it again and he’s the best. Even better than Natacha 😉

          Have you heard his most recent deep thoughts?

          Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA): “Donald Trump and his Make America Great Again followers…are older, less educated, less prosperous, and they are dying early. Their life spans are decreasing, and many are dying from alcoholism, drug overdoses, liver disease, or simply a broken heart.”

    1. As usual, truth speaks. The peanut gallery cannot recognize factual truth but we patriots who actually love OUR country have begun to rectify the errors of the gullible rubes, dupes, klan wannabees, pocket-traitors and grifters on the make who fell for the big con pulled by the day glo bozo.

      to natacha

  2. For 8 years during the Bush Administration, Jonathan Turley was accused of being a liberal working for the Democrats. The most accurate label for Turley was “integrity” in upholding the principles of a “constitutional rule of law” system of government. Unless there was a constitutional amendment, Turley simply pointed out that no government official – not even a president – was above the U.S. Constitution or above constitutional statutes. Bush officials did not have the legal authority to torture, to operate gulags, to lock people up without charge or trial, to warrantless wiretap. If we simply agree with “authoritarian” practices of our own party leader, we no longer have a “constitutional rule of law” government that makes America great, we are simply another version of foreign-style “authoritarianism”. Essentially we elect dictators every few years, hoping they support our issues. In that system you get rewarded when your dictator wins and penalized when the opposite party has police powers (aka: third-world style Banana Republic). The smart move for Democrats would be to indict the former DOJ attorneys that greenlighted things like torture, assassinations and warrantless spying. It would provide a “deterrent effect” to Trump’s attorneys. That would restore America’s reputation and constitutional rule of law! It would restore the principles of the Democratic Party.

  3. Bit clueless, Professor. The Democratic Party corrupted itself almost irreparably by turning to the Clintons in 1992, a pair we cannot miss because they will not go away. It lost the residue of its ‘defining values’ around about 2005. You might suggest Bernie Sanders performance in 2015 / 16 suggests there’s some there there; provided you make yourself forget that from 1962 to 2015 he was not a registered Democrat. It’s just a cruddy criminal organization, and it’s supporters are a mix of dupes and frauds.

    1. Tabby, are we to believe the Republican party is the same today as it was in Reagan’s time??? I don’t think so! I don’t think Reagan would recognize this GOP. Nor would Gerald Ford.

      This current GOP is thoroughly linked to Fox News and the Koch Bros network. Trump, in fact, is now recruiting most of his ‘talent’ from Fox. There’s even talk of replacing the presidential seal with the Fox News logo.

      1. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the advocacy of the Koch brothers (who disagree with Trump on signature issues, btw) or with that of Fox News. You just have neuralgic reactions to articulated disagreement. Grow up. You’ve had plenty of time.

        And you know nothing. What’s interesting about the GOP is that articulated aspirations and actual performance were absolutely constant from 1981 to 2015. Trump was a game-changer on a modest selection of issues.

        No clue why you fancy most of Trump’s cabinet consists of quondam opinion journalists.

        1. Tabby, Trump is appointing former Fox News personality Robin Wright to replace Niki Haley as U.N. Ambassador. Almost no one thinks she’s qualified!

          So far Trump has hired no less than 10 people who had been either full time employees of Fox News, or part time contributors. And when James Mattis resigned as Defense Secretary, Trump immediately put out feelers to Fox News’ military analyst (who declined consideration).

          I can’t remember any president in our lifetime who kept recruiting appointees from his favorite news source. It’s totally bizarre!

            1. Peter, you have 3,000 discretionary employees in the federal government and you’re pissing over 10 people, all of whom were hired for public relations positions or whose association with Fox was to provide occasional topical commentary under contract. John Bolton is not in the position he’s in because he had a gig at Fox. He’s been in and out of diplomatic positions in Republican administrations for 30 years.

              1. Peter doesn’t seem to be able to say anything without a correction being necessary. I think Peter wins the award for the most misinformation provided on this blog. I note how seldom Peter even tries to rebut the solid information sent his way.

          1. I don’t think Nikki Haley was that great either.

            as for news staff being a source for government appointments, you are incorrect. Journalism and government staff have huge overlaps. in some areas there is a revolving door almost.

            And a lot of close relations. For example this morning NPR had a long thing with alexandra pelosi, Nancy’s daughter, who is a documentary filmmaker working for Vice News, who was on cheerleading for Congress and her mom. The host clearly was on their side too. NPR even though nominally a government news source is roundly staffed by leftists and Democrats.

            1. Kurtz, NPR gets only 1% of their funding from the government. In fact, the Koch Bros now contribute ‘more’ than the government. Furthermore, NPR is one of the few stations worth listening to in many small radio markets.

              Sadly large swaths of the country now get robotic radio stations programmed from cities far away. In states like North Dakota, for instance, there might be little, if any, local news on radio stations that seem to be local. In markets like that, NPR fills a crucial void.

              1. Kurtz, NPR gets only 1% of their funding from the government.

                They get their revenues from member stations, who get about 1/4 of their revenues from public agencies.

                1. Wrong, Tabby..! Here’s a paragraph from FORTUNE magazine bolstering my contentions:

                  If the government does succeed in cutting funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, however, it may not be high-profile national outlets like NPR and PBS that suffer the most. Both of those networks rely on government funding for a relatively small portion of their revenue—only 7% in the case of PBS and about 1% for NPR, according to financial reports from 2014.

                  The hardest hit by such a measure, some argue, would be regional public-broadcasting players that provide much-needed news and entertainment alternatives for smaller communities.

                  “The federal investment in public media is vital seed money — especially for stations located in rural America, and those serving underserved populations where the appropriation counts for 40 to 50 percent of their budget,” the CPB said in response to a recent bill that recommended a cut in funding. “The loss of this seed money would have a devastating effect.”

                  See that, Tabby..?? “1% for NPR”

                  Edited from: “Trump Budget Has Broadcasting In Fight Of Its Life”

                  FORTUNE magazine, 3/16/17

                    1. Peter, I suggest you look at the IRS forms and the bookkeeping. Direct government subsidies account for less than 1% but that number is dwarfed by the money provided from a related organization that I believe receives over one-half Billion dollars in government grants and part of that goes to NPR. That would put DSS’s numbers in the right ball park.

                      Your ability to think and extract data appears very limited.

                  1. who’s the local NPR station here?

                    a public university sponsor. that’s who. that’s who provides the equipment. so yeah there is direct and indirect funding.

                    NPR is not super bad as radio goes, I listen to it, but its very biased against Trump.

                    1. Kurtz, Trump will always look bad in mainstream coverage because he averages 15 false claims per day. Half of what Trump says is either false, stupid or irresponsible.

                      Of course Trump looks bad in mainstream coverage. How can he not?

                    2. “Trump will always look bad in mainstream coverage because he averages 15 false claims per day.”

                      If Trump averages 15 false claims a day then Peter could document 3 of them a day with ease using Trump’s own words in context. However, we have seen Peter is unable to substantiate almost any claims when asked unless he lies or takes the claims out of context. Opinion is not a lie.

                    3. Assuming you statement to be true, it means that the NPR journalists are merely sticking to the facts, which accurately reflect the ineptitude, immorality and criminogenic character of the day glo bozo. Pro tip: most of America is “biased” against the buffoonish fraudster; your day glo bozo. You keep on doin’ you though.

                      this is “by hannity is never a meanie to my hero” kurtzie

              2. i still listen to it and im’ aware of their self promoting schtick. i tune out every time they pass that hat.

                they’re very biased but as you say it is better than nothing…some positives

          2. Tabby, Trump is appointing former Fox News personality Robin Wright to replace Niki Haley as U.N. Ambassador. Almost no one thinks she’s qualified!

            The woman’s name is ‘Heather Nauert’ As for ‘no one’, you need to get over high school, Peter.

            You fancy a woman in the news business (who has been press secretary to the Secretary of State) is ‘unqualified’ to occupy a post whose book is … public diplomacy? You are aware that previous occupants of the position have included Henry Cabot Lodge (lapsed newspaper editor), Russell Wiggins (newspaper editor from the WaPo), John Scali (reporter, ABC News), and Andrew Young (blowhard on the staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and then blowhard in Congress)?

            1. Thanks, Absurd… saved me the trouble of responding to Peter’s mistake.

            2. Hmmm. Unqualified. Adjunct law professor come Prez of US? I do appreciate the comedic break PH provides. It’s been a while.

              1. However, your unsupported opinion fails to recognize many salient facts. You see, President Barack HUSSEIN Obama was not only the greatest President of the United States and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, but prior to his marriage, he unquestionably had “access” to the white women.

                this is to “in the good ‘ole days it was agin’ the law for them fellers to date white women” sloh

                1. did he have access to your mama, mark? is that why you say this every few months? or you just got some sick fantasy about that too?

        2. Nothing wrong with Koch bros having an opinion nor advancing it. I personally don’t agree with them on all points, specifically, i am told they are big supporters of “right to work” laws that in my opinion are not good. Needless to say, organized labor hates these initiatives.

          Trump has by contrast earned the respect of organized labor for his modifications to NAFTA and other trade arrangements. Democrats, who have screwed over organized labor since Clintons signed NAFTA, in many ways, saw rank and file voting for Trump in pres election.

          And it was “the suburbs” that supposedly won them the midterms: are “the suburbs” organized labor enclaves? I don’t think so. I suspect organized labor rank and file remain firmly behind Trump, even if Sally Soccermom does not.

      2. you consistently ignore how divergent Trump’s agenda is from the Koch bros. and wrongly lump them together. this is propaganda.

        sadly your posts have decayed to anti trump all the time with a laserlike focus. so much for mutual exchange of ideas

        1. Kurtz to Peter: “you consistently ignore how divergent Trump’s agenda is from the Koch bros. and wrongly lump them together. this is propaganda.”

          Peter isn’t ignoring anything. Peter doesn’t know any better. Peter’s is almost completely ignorant of the facts on the ground. That is why he makes so many errors.

          That he can’t tell the difference between Koch and Trump is amazing. I don’t think he has any knowledge regarding political theory.

          1. oh he does. the leftist political theory from bolshevism that you always demonize your adversary and attribute nothing good to them at all and never stop fighting even when there is no fight. this is what trotsky called permanent revolution, but in a different context, albeit, against the current and emergent class enemies. Well, that’s how they see it now. Yesterday kluckers, or male chauvanists, today, Trumpophiles, “nativists”
            “isolationists,” racists, whatever they call you.

            now, they are not really Marxists but this principle now pervades our politics and is sometimes called “permanent campaign”


    2. Yes, that’s the point I wanted to make. I don’t really think Prof. Turley is that naive; I think he’s making a point. I also question: “Yet, in the age of Trump, the public is not interested in nuance or niceties.”

      It isn’t the public, at least no more than usual – Sanders campaigned on policies and principles and did well; It’s the party, suffering from mass Trump derangement – like Natacha, just above. Not that their “principles” were ever more than, umm, transactional.

      1. well they have a lot of important things to teach us, like how to paint with a broad brush and sort out adversaries decisively unhampered by “principles”

        these kinds of things will be useful psychological perspectives and habits to have mastered come the next phase of conflict.

  4. Perhaps the author is unaware of some work by Bill Clinton’s mentor Quigley, Historian of the Anglo American Empire:

    “The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies… is a foolish idea. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can throw the rascals out at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies.”
    ― Carroll Quigley

  5. A number of good points, sir, but I find it difficult to understand that you place no importance on election fraud and manipulation.

    1. Chris, Turley is all over the map on that. He half-agrees that Russia may have hacked the DNC. But then Turley thinks the Steele dossier was ‘manufactured’ to frame Trump. Though it’s hard to tell when Turley is just humoring Trump supporters. Because on alternate days Turley seems aware of Trump’s instability.

        1. Oh sure, I’m the Democrat opposed to ‘my own values’ because I hate Trump so much.

          If that’s true, where is Trump’s plan for infrastructure? And where is Trump’s plan for a ‘fantastic’ healthcare system?

          1. he had no plan for health care i think
            but on infrastructure it was constant sabotage
            maybe the Dems will breath life into that. they love to spend ya know, so long as Dem contractors are getting paid they may all come together

      1. Peter,…
        If you believe that JT “half agrees that Russia may have hacked the DNC”, please point out where and when he questioned the Russian hacking.
        Some who comment here have questioned whether the DNC was hacked by Russia, but I’ve never seen JT dispute the official story that “all 17 government agencies” agree it was the Russians, based on the conclusions of the cyberfirm Crowdstrike.
        After 2 1/2 years of investigations, it’s time to reach some conclusions about the allegations in the Steele Russian Dossier opposition research.
        It’s not enough to say “well, it hasn’t been disproved” or “It must be true because I want to believe it’s true”.
        To have this crap dragging on and on, with a mute Special Counsel giving no indication of where he’s going, if or when he’ll answer the Trump “collusion” allegations, is a good way to piss people off and turn their suspicions and anger on the handling of the investigation itself.

        1. Tom, if all 17 intelligence agencies were correct in their determination that Russia hacked the election, then the Steele dossier is ‘not’ a fabrication.

          Long before Trump took office there were numerous stories in the Business Media regarding Trump’s odd connections with Russian ‘investors’. The Steele dossier merely echoed those reports.

          And then we have Trump’s utterances like, “I love Wikileaks!”. And, “Vladimir Putin if you are listening– What’s more, Trump has referred to Russian meddling as ‘fake news’ literally hundreds of times. I don’t know how any intelligent person can call the Steele dossier a fabrication when Trump continues employing this ‘fake news’ dismissal.

          No president of any honor keeps labeling as ‘fake news’ a threat that every intelligence agency recognizes. These ‘fake news’ dismissals completely validate the Steele dossier. I’m just shocked that seemingly intelligent commenters like you can’t put those two together.

          1. Peter,…
            – The FBI was denied permission from the DNC to examine its computers; that was farmed out to a private firm.
            Based on the conclusions of ONE private firm, “all 17 intelligence agencies” agreed that it was Russian hacking.
            The implication in repeating the “all 17” mantra is that they all independently did their own examinations and independently reached their own conclusions.
            That was hardly the case; and the denial of access to the FBI by the DNC helps to fuel the skepticism about the conclusions of “all 17”.
            Russian hacking does not prove a damn thing about the
            Steele Russian Dossier. I’m surprised that you’d even make such a ridiculous claim.
            That’s like saying that there was an election in 2016, the Steele Dossier says there was an election in 2016, therefore that “validates the Steele Dossier”.

            1. Lame analogy, Tom, I’m sure you can do better.

              The fact that a U.S. president keeps dismissing as ‘Fake News” the conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies indicates that president is NOT to be trusted.

              What if Harry Truman had kept dismissing as ‘fake news’ reports the Russia was building an atomic bomb? Would anyone have trusted Truman in the wake of those dismissals?

              What if LBJ had dismissed as ‘fake news’ the murders of Civil Rights workers in the South? How credible would LBJ have been after that?

              What if Obama had dismissed as ‘fake news’ the military offenses by ISIS against Iraqi troops? People would have thought for sure that Obama was collaborating with ISIS. ‘I’ would have thought that!

              Yet Donald Trump continually dismisses Russian interference as ‘fake news’ when almost everyone in his administration acknowledges it. How bizarre! Trump even stood beside Vladimir Putin to dismiss those intelligence reports.

              Trump’s odd behavior completely validates The Steele Dossier. Trump is indeed the threat to western security portrayed by Christopher Steele.

              1. I’m not about to get play your “what if/ 20 questiobs” game.
                You’ve hit a perfect trifecta in this thread in making baseless, inaccurate claims, and it does not even seem to phase you.
                You just go on to something else when you’re called on the crap you write, like claiming that JT has questioned if the Russians hacked the DNC, or claiming that Robin Wright was Trump’s pick for the new U.N. Ambassador.
                Then you bombard people with a bunch of half-assed “what if” questions to mask your mistakes.

            2. Tom, even left wing hit blogs like Politifact say that Peter Shill is wrong admitting that only four out of the 17 were involved in the January assessment about Russia.

          2. “Russia hacked the election”
            What does that even mean?

            Did Russians cast votes? Did they have voting machines turn in Repo votes that should have been Demo? Did they prevent Demos from voting by blocking their path to the polls with intimidation?

            Please explain how “Russia hacked the election”.

          3. And we all know how reliable “intelligence” agencies are. Was it James Clapper that testified under oath that the government had no program that collected nearly every U.S. Citizens cell phone call logs?

            Yep, I sure believe everything the “intelligence” agencies tell us.

          4. a few things. first there were not 17 just 4. so maybe your logic is flawed there.



            secondly the conclusions and the dossier are two things. the dossier has its own allegations which are totally separate., so again flawed logic

            thirdly the conclusions themselves may be self serving and flawed. but i will leave it at that.

          5. “Tom, if all 17 intelligence agencies were correct in their determination that Russia hacked the election, then the Steele dossier is ‘not’ a fabrication. ”

            Thanks for the enduring laughs. I think it’s been pretty well proven that these organizations exist for their own benefit and work had to CYA.

            Silly man.

  6. Terrific line. Well stated Professor JT

    “Democrats are now defined by Trump the way that antimatter is defined by matter, with each particle of matter corresponding to an antiparticle”

  7. Is Trump the disease or just a symptom? I want to believe the former and that the GOP will recover it’s humanity.

    1. GOP leadership was full of rotten boot-lickers of the MIC and Wall street before Trump stole the show. With some exceptions of course. But he gave them a hard kick in the pants. I don’t know what your version of humanity was before Trump but I like them a lot better since.

  8. Agree 100%. When he announced the pullout from Syria I predicted the Demos would act like idiots. Their anger clouds their thinking. If Trump does it, it must be bad. Fools. Even a stopped clock is right twice/day. We are way over extended in causing havoc all over the world with our military. Please bring our troops home from almost every foreign country, NOW.

  9. Hurry on down to Viet Nam!
    For it’s one, two, three, …
    What are we fighting for?
    Don’t ask me I don’t give a damn!
    Next stop is Viet Nam!
    And its five, six severn open up the Pearly Gates!
    Ain’t no time to wonder why….
    Whoopee! We’re all gonna die!

    Bumper sticker:

    Don’t Change Dicks In the Middle of a Screw!
    Vote For Nixon in ’72!

  10. Well said Prof Turley – ! The pullout from Syria timely and appropriate.



    Presumably the theme of this column is that Democrats have lost their principles and merely resist any move Trump makes even when their resistance conflicts with traditionally Democratic values. In making this argument, Professor Turley reveals again that he is coming from inside the right-wing media bubble.

    Only inside the right-wing media bubble could any move by Donald Trump be seen as conforming to traditional Democratic values. Trump isn’t pulling out of Syria because he wants to ‘bring our troops home’ or ‘end our involvement in a foreign war’. Trump rashly decided on this pullout after a phone conversation with President Erdogan of Turkey.

    Trump never consulted his generals or national security team. Trump never consulted the State Department. Trump just suddenly tweeted the Syria pullout taking everyone by surprise. That’s not how sensible presidents arrive at decisions! And coincidently this pullout from Syria aligns just perfectly with the wishes of Vladimir Putin. Russia ‘wants’ America out of Syria, a longtime ally of their’s.

    Ironically an American withdrawal from Syria would benefit Iran as well as Russia and Turkey. Iran, like Russia, is strongly allied with the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad. Iran has had military forces inside Syria fighting for the regime. Therefore it is strange that Trump would make any move that benefits Iran when he has so often declared Iran a major threat to that region.

    Why did Trump sabotage Obama’s nuclear accord with Iran if he trusts their presence in Syria (next door to Israel)? This makes no sense whatsoever! And neither does Professor Turley when he tries to argue that Democrats are resisting their own values in resisting Donald Trump.

    1. PH:
      “In making this argument, Professor Turley reveals again that he is coming from inside the right-wing media bubble.”
      Which raises the interesting question about why you deem it necessary to comment here. Commenting raises the status of the blog no matter how silly the thought since it ups the hit rate. Upping the hit rate, magnifies the reach of the blog which, in turn, inures to the benefit of the owner of the blog. Benefiting the owner, supports the philosophy of the owner which you say derives from his insulation from the enlightened philosophy you and your ilk espouse. So your best course of conduct would be to refrain from commenting elsewise you are directly supporting the philosophy you claim to abhor and directly injuring the philosophy you claim to support.

      1. Mespo, ‘you’ might be wise to stay away from this blog. Your comments create the impression that Turley is appealing to people inside the right-media bubble who are self-aware of the bubble; which spoils the bubble for those who lack that awareness.

      2. Mespo,…
        I don’t think you need the security blanket of a “media bubble” ( as PH calls it), but if I’m wrong, you can always wrap yourself up in Peter’s left wing media bubble, easily found here under HHHNN all-cap headlines.

        1. Tom, there are several so-called left-wing media sites that I never bother with. And two years ago the Bernie Bros were appalled by my politics. They certainly didn’t consider me an ally of any kind.

          1. Peter,…
            I’ll take you at your word that you “never bother with” left-wing media sites; you’re too busy running your own.😉😀

            1. Tom, you know my favorite sources are the N.Y. Times and Wa Po.

              Now tell us ‘your’ two favorite sources.

              1. We’ve been over this before; Weekly World News and The Onion.
                Have you found the statements yet by JT where he allegedly questioned Russian hack ng?
                Since you made that claim, I thought you might want to provide evidence to back it up.
                ( this will post as anonymous since there is no room to provide email and name info)

    2. Careful Turley, you know what happened when the disciples tried to leave Jonestown. Oops, too late. Here comes the Demtown enforcement squad.

    3. You gotta be joking.

      Name ONE…just ONE country and its citizens that are better off because of our intervention over the last 20 years.

      You cannot. Are Iraq’s actually better off than under Hussein? No. Not only that, but we eliminated the primary check on Iran. Are the Syrian’s or Kurds better off? No. Just slaughter and destruction all around with Assad still there and the Russians still there and Turkey ready to invade. Are the Libyans better off? No. They now live in a failed state with roving gangs engaging in slavery and murder.

      On top of that, the refugees from these countries flowing into Europe have shattered the EU, perhaps irrevocably.

      Hundreds of thousands dead, mainly civilians, many children.

      The Middle East in disarray.

      Trillions of dollars WASTED that translate to both debt on our children and lost opportunity to improve infrastructure and education at home.

      This is what the democrats stand for?

      Perhaps it is really what all the military contractors, one of which is my employer, stand for and why they support democrats and republicans with campaign money.

      Perhaps it is what the generals who hope to get onboard with military contractors and the think tanks they support in order to make a lot of money support.

      Perhaps it is supported by the CIA, NSA and DoD professionals support because it means bigger budgets and career advancement.

      1. Dan, I challenge you to show me ‘one’ article from a recognizable mainstream source reporting that Iraqi Kurds and Shias mourn the loss of Saddam Hussein.

        I didn’t vote for George W. And I don’t think his administration was forthcoming with regards to the costs of invading Iraq. But it’s impossible to believe the Kurds and Shias would want the Hussein family back in power. Under Hussein they were subjected to apartheid-like policies.

        1. “But it’s impossible to believe the Kurds and Shias would want the Hussein family back in power. Under Hussein they were subjected to apartheid-like policies.”

          And how is that exactly our problem? If you want to protect those people, please go over there and do what you can. Quit being so generous with other people’s money. It’s the virtue-signally Democratic solution to everything. Offer your own life and money to help those people, then come back and talk to us.

          1. What Trump is doing in Syria may be debatable but it has a lot of merit. I think his intentions and rationals are excellent and follow an excellent strategy which I won’t argue is also debateable.

            What is difficult to understand is the policies of those on the left that are fighting this Trump policy because previously their actions contradict their rationals for their policies of today.

          2. I think that the majority of Iraqis wanted to see Saddam overthrown.
            When the U.S. toppled him, it freed the Iraqis to start slaughtering each other , along with the Americans in the military who threw Saddam out.
            The predicted “gratitude” of the Iraqi population for the American “liberation” was short-lived, given the aftermath of Saddam’s ouster.
            That’s the problem with demanding and forcing regime change; and those American politicians subsequently demanding that “Mubarek must go”, “Gaddafi must go”, and “Assad must go” seemingly did not learn a damn thing from the Iraq experience.

      2. You’re just catching on to the William J. Lepetomanes in big gov?
        Since you asked for someone to Name ONE…just ONE country and its citizens that are better off because of our intervention, I’ll do you one better, I’ll name a planet. Earth. I won’t bother to mention US intervention in WW2 since you put the 20 year timeline on it.
        The United States spends trillions intervening to sustain unsustainable countries, including the ones who hate us and are actively trying to kill us. We freely give away food, medical technology, build infrastructures and give everything else this country has to offer to help other countries live decent lives. No other country has stepped up to give to the degree this country has. If the United States stopped being the worlds welfare check famine would begin in months and millions would die of starvation and disease within a year. A lot of those conditions you mentioned developed because Democrats since Johnson just can’t seem to catch on to the fact that sucessful military operations are conducted by strategies, goals and a mission to win, NOT reactions to polls and focus groups and the internal Democrat election agenda.
        I know your talking intervention of the military complex you seem to hate so much, so since we’re naming those kinds of things I’ll ask you to name one, just one sucessful repeat of a 9/11 caliber attack in the United States in the last 20 years.

    4. “Presumably the theme of this column is that Democrats have lost their principles”

      That is assuming they had principles in the first place. All one has to do is listen to video’s on the wall by the leading Democrats of today and what they said 10+ years ago. Of course some like Peter Shill never had principles in the first place.

  12. Denouncing Obama
    By Professor Francis A. Boyle
    University of Illinois College of Law, Before the Foellinger Auditorium, September 7, 2018
    (Transcript revised)

    September 14, 2018 “Information Clearing House” – I am Francis Boyle, Professor of Law here at the College of Law. I’m the Senior Professor at the College of Law. I’ve taught here 41 years in a row without a break. I know Obama. He was behind me at Harvard Law School. Obama abandoned and betrayed every Principle about the Rule of Law that I learned at Harvard Law School including the United States Constitution.
    I was fairly disposed towards Obama. When the Black Law Students brought him over here to the Law School from Springfield to speak, I went over there. I sat next to Obama. I introduced myself to Obama. I told Obama I couldn’t stay. I had to go home for dinner with my family. He said he understood. I wished him well and I shook his hand. I was the only Law Professor there that day. I am here to condemn Obama as a war criminal and worse.
    The University of Illinois is giving him an “ethics in government” award. This is a sick joke and a demented fraud! The University of Illinois, for its own typical bootlicking reasons, wants to whitewash all of Obama’s international crimes. Obama should be sitting in a jail cell in The Hague with the International Criminal Court and not here getting some bogus “ethics in government” award from the bootlickers of the University of Illinois campus bigwigs.
    I’m not the only one to say that. Obama and I had the same Jurisprudence Teacher – Philosophy of Law – at Harvard Law School, Professor Roberto Unger, the founder of the Critical Legal Studies Movement. What did our Teacher say about Obama on BBC Hard Talk and elsewhere?: “Obama is a disaster!” Again, Professor Unger, our teacher, said: “Obama is a disaster!” I agree with Professor Unger, one of the great philosophers of law in the post-World War 2 era. And I’ve been teaching Jurisprudence since I came here in 1978.
    Now don’t just take Professor Unger’s words for it. What does Professor Noam Chomsky have to say about Obama and his drone murder extermination campaign against Muslims, Arabs, Asians of Color all over the world? Here’s Professor Noam Chomsky: “…particularly to the drone assassinations, the most extreme terrorist campaign of modern times – which have killed more than 5,000 people, including U.S. citizens and hundreds of children.” That is Noam Chomsky, one of the great intellectuals in the world and a personal hero of mine when he was leading the forces of opposition to the Vietnam War that I was opposing as a young man. That’s how Chomsky referred to Obama’s drone murder campaign: “…the most extreme terrorist campaign of modern times…” That’s amazing to think of! That’s the person here that the University of Illinois is whitewashing. That figure today on his drone murder extermination campaign is up to at least ten thousand. Trump is just continuing it.
    Indeed, Trump is just continuing across the board policies that Obama put in place. The difference between Trump and Obama and Obama and Bush Jr. is that Obama knows better. He’s a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School just like I am. Obama has abandoned and betrayed every known Principle of the Rule of Law that I ever learned at Harvard Law School including the United States Constitution which he doesn’t give diddly-squat about. Indeed referring to his drone murder extermination campaign Obama bragged: “…I’m really good at killing people!” Those are Obama’s own words. That’s the man the University of Illinois is whitewashing today with their “ethics in government” award. Indeed Obama murdered four U.S. citizens at least that we know of, including Mr. Awlaki and his 16 year old son who was completely innocent of anything. Obama is a monster! He’s a criminal! As I said he should be in jail, not getting some bogus “ethics” award from the bootlickers at the University of Illinois administration.
    Let’s review his record. The first thing Obama does when he comes into office, Bush Jr. has about 26,000 troops in Afghanistan, and Obama escalates that immediately by 100,000 troops. 100,000 extra troops murdering, killing, exterminating Afghans all up and down. We don’t even have a body count because the Pentagon won’t give us the numbers. My estimate maybe a million people. Obama is like Genghis Khan and His Mongol Horde, raping, robbing, pillaging and murdering all over the world innocent men, women, and children. That’s the guy they’re giving their “ethics in government” award to.
    After he had done his genocidal work in Afghanistan, Obama moved on to Libya in order to steal their oil. Obama launched his war against Libya and exterminated about 50,000 Libyans – needlessly for no reason except Obama wanted to steal Libya’s oil. Indeed it was outright genocide for Black Africans living in Libya that Obama perpetrated upon them. Obama destroyed Libya as a State completely. It no longer exists and we the have the massive refugee crisis coming out of Libya with thousands of Africans – Blacks, and Arabs – drowning in the Mediterranean all thanks to Obama this war criminal.
    After he was done with Libya, then Obama moved on to Syria and destroyed Syria. He worked with his jihadi terrorists to overthrow the government of Syria and create a total catastrophe. Maybe 500,000 Syrians have been murdered because of Obama, and that country is a catastrophe today. The battles still go on. We have no idea what’s going to happen over there. Just like he did in Libya, Obama used jihadi extremists to wage his wars for him. And America in Libya, became the air force for Obama’s jihadi extremists. Then he turned them on Syria and there the death and destruction by Obama goes on today. A second state that Obama has pretty much destroyed all by himself with his jihadi extremists – Genghis Khan and His Horde of Mongols.
    Now, we come to Yemen started by Obama. Massive death and destruction in Yemen right now as we speak today. Obama supported Saudi Arabia and the UAE against Yemen and has killed close to 10,000 Houthis. Outright genocide. All to steal their oil and set off a humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen. Maybe 2 million Yemenis over there are suffering from cholera. It’s the largest outbreak of cholera in the world today. And they are starving. Obama starved them to death. There’s an embargo on them right now. They can’t even eat. Obama started this policy.
    I could go on here forever but I’m not going to because I teach Obama’s atrocities to my law students. I think we could have no better indication of where Obama really stands than the eulogy he gave last weekend in honor of the war criminal and warmonger John McCain. John McCain was a war criminal. He bombed Hanoi killing innocent civilians when he was shot down. Outright war criminal. And when he got home McCain mongered for every war the U.S. ever waged since then including in Syria and supporting Obama’s Nazis in Ukraine. Let us recall John McCain’s theme song: “Bomb, bomb, bomb! Bomb, bomb, Iran!” Sixty million people and McCain did his best to start a war against them and kill them. Obama then appeared there to give a eulogy in support of this long-standing war criminal and warmonger.
    Who else was there? Bush Jr. another Genghis Khan and His Horde of Mongols. They’re best buddies – Bush Jr and Obama. Who else did they trot out to honor McCain? Henry Kissinger! The three of them, yes, they all spoke right after each other: Kissinger, Bush Jr., and Obama. Kissinger of the genocidal Vietnam War. Murdering 58,000 young men of my generation and exterminating 3 million Vietnamese. I call him Hank Half-An-Eichmann Kissinger. I say that from personal experience. I went through the exact same Ph.D. program at Harvard that produced Kissinger before me. They gave me Kissinger’s Old Office at Harvard’s Center for International Affairs. “There but for the grace of God go I!” So here we have three major warmongers and war criminals honoring a fourth. You have Kissinger, Bush Jr. and Obama honoring McCain. Well as I say: Warbirds of a feather flock together!
    I have one message for Obama that I want to deliver him here today personally as a lawyer and a law professor and a graduate of Harvard Law School:
    Hey! Hey!
    Obama say!
    How many kids!
    Did you kill today!
    Hey! Hey!
    Obama say!
    How many kids!
    Did you kill today!
    Hey! Hey!
    Obama say!
    How many kids!
    Did you kill today!
    Thank you.
    Francis Anthony Boyle is a professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He has served as counsel for Bosnia and Herzegovina and has been a staunch supporter of the rights of indigenous peoples and Palestinians.

    1. Patriot, I don’t believe that letter was written by any classmate of Obama’s. It sound like it was written by a staffer to Alex Jones.

      1. He wasn’t a classmate of Obama’s. He’s over a dozen years Obama’s senior. Much of his recent work has been issued by a crank publisher called ‘Clarity Press’. He might have actually said those things. I doubt he ever advocates much that’s decent.

    2. Boyle was doing alright with me until he came to the Bullsh*t about Arab squatters in Israel.

      On that subject he shows he’s an idiot on that subject.

    3. Obama’s drone murder campaign: “…the most extreme terrorist campaign of modern times…”
      Obama was intended to bring his drone program to American soil but the Army couldn’t figure out how to make the drones shoot sideways.

  13. The Zionist Nazi War Party Controls the Congress

    Syria Withdrawal Infuriates Satanists and New World Order Agents

    “Let’s have no more wars for Israel,” said Mark Dankof. The vast majority of Americans, including this writer and the people at Veterans Today, will agree completely. Perhaps 2019 is the time for the American people to tell the regime in Tel Aviv that “we ain’t gonna take it anymore.”

  14. Jon Turley shoots down Muler hoax of an investigation to close out 2018 and opens 2019 shooting down lunacy of Dem Party. Now lefty loon responders to this blog got their panties in a a bunch as they realize this blog is not the safe space they hoped for it to be. No ice cream or bean bag chairs here for lefty loons. You can always count on Morning Joe – guaranteed to spin reality to accommodate your safe comfortable consumption (with full awareness of their targeted demographics/ad revenue).

    1. Bill, fringe commenters like you make this column safe for fringe commenters like you.

      It’s like the ‘Broken Window Theory’ regarding blighted neighborhoods. That is the presence of blight (as represented by broken windows), emboldens criminals to act on their impulses.

      Similarly, fringe comments like your’s embolden more fringe readers to comment. Then typically someone ‘really’ stupid will log a sexist, racist or threatening comment that needs to be scrubbed.

      1. here is a typical remark from a Democrat calling on censorship of opinions that they dont agree with.

        1. Yes, PH writes five sentences without responding to my comments but rather first labels my comments as “fringe” and then wildly implies that my comments are somehow a gateway to “sexist, racist or threatening comment that needs to be scrubbed”. Classic lefty muzzling technique – nice try. Notice how PH misses the point that I agree with two recent Jon Turley posts? If I agree with Jon Turley and per PH I am a “fringe commenter” then we can deduce that PH is of the opinion that Jon Turley is a fringe blogger.

  15. so you’re saying political activism turns people into drooling zombies? yes, this is how pathetic almost all human social collective group behavior is, and has always been, and all the trillions of words written to make it seem more honorable were all complete delusional nonsense.

    some of us knew this instinctively at very early ages. others hold onto the delusions until later in life. others hold onto them into the grave.

  16. It is odd how the direction of a political party seems entirely dependent upon who its opponent is. Every story emanating from the Democrat Party is described as, “How can we turn the narrative so that it hurts [President] Trump?” The facts of the story no longer matter; it’s the narrative.

    I foresee this attitude among the Democrat Party to also have a negative impact upon the mass media in our culture. And since most of the press associates with the Democrat Party, it is the party which will be blamed. Not only will this discredit the press (as they are structured today), it will lead to the downfall of many of their outlets. We are seeing this already, but many outlets refuse to distinguish between reporting and commenting. We will see an increase among the commentariat class, while the reporting will diminish.

  17. Spot-on essay by a disaffected Democrat. Waters, Ocasio-Cortez, Schiff, Cummings and Pelosi. They’re the new Party of Stupid — those Democrats have wrested that hoary title away from the Republicans and that took some doing. They’re too radical, too anti-America/Pro-Corporation and too nasty to accomplish anything. They just want a revolution and they just might get it the way John C. Calhoun got one in 1861 that rocked his world. The population is restless, angry, wary and armed. It wouldn’t take much to light the powder keg but the Dems keep throwing matches by giving working class people nothing to lose and blaming them (and their champion) for every societal ill. It’s an old recipe that will yield the same bitter dish. Think it can’t happen in the West? It sure feels like 1848 and Spring is coming.

    1. Those who don’t learn from history are destined to…die at the hands of those who have.

    2. “Think it can’t happen in the West? It sure feels like 1848 and Spring is coming.”

      That is well-noted. And, over the course of the day given substance by the madness of PH.

      1. slohrss29:

        The obligation of subjects to the sovereign is understood to last as long, and no longer, than the power lasteth by which he is able to protect them.”

        ~ Sir Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan)

        This ought to scare the Hell out of politicians here and abroad.

        1. “This ought to scare the Hell out of politicians here and abroad.”

          Humans have amazingly short memories. Looks like France will be enjoying this scenario in the spring for sure.

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