Jim Jones or George Washington? The Extreme Divide Over Donald Trump Widens

The divide over President Donald Trump was vividly demonstrated by two comments this week. Fox host Lou Dobbs declared Trump to be “the greatest president in the history of our country” while former Trump associate (and Communications director) Anthony Scaramucci called him a “cult leader” in the vein of Jim Jones.

Trump himself highlighted the comments of Dobbs in a signature self-aggrandizing moment. He told a crowd in Kentucky:

“I was watching the other night, the great Lou Dobbs. He said, when Trump took over,— when Trump took over, President Trump, he used to say ‘Trump is a great president,’ then he said ‘the greatest president since Ronald Reagan,’ then he said ‘No, no, Trump is an even better president than Ronald Reagan.’ And now he has me down as the greatest president in the history of our country, including George Washington and Abraham Lincoln!”

I still find it extremely odd to hear such self-praise, but the crowd appears to have loved it. The suggestion that a president was greater than Washington and Lincoln would have once been viewed as not just comically exaggerated but somewhat sacrilegious in American politics.

Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci had a distinctly different view. He told Yahoo Finance’s On the Move that “When you talk to elected Republicans privately they can’t stand the president. They know the president is a lawless person and basically a criminal.” He added “The president tries to shame people. He’ll bully people. Remember, we have to be 100% loyal to him like he’s David Koresh, or Jim Jones from the Jonestown Kool-Aid punch. If you’re not 100% loyal to him he flips out.”

The contrast in comments captures the insane divide in this country. There is no ground between these extremes for meaningful discussion which is a dangerous place for this country to find itself before a national election.

369 thoughts on “Jim Jones or George Washington? The Extreme Divide Over Donald Trump Widens”

  1. “this web log only permits two hyperlinks per comment” – but you can circumvent this rule “by using multiple comments of two links each”. Talk about legalese double-talk fitting for a site run by America’s leading attorney!

    1. Reply was to the Moderator below but site did not append to comment:

      Darren Smith says:
      November 7, 2019 at 1:35 PM


      You might not have been aware but this web log only permits two hyperlinks per comment. I edited the above so that it will be visible.

      If you would like for the readership to review more than two links, this may be accomplished by using multiple comments of two links each.

    2. cyrus – I think the two hyperlink limit is a WordPress limit, not a Turley limit. And Darren is usually nice enough to unravel them for you.

  2. You and I had breakfast in Chicago once at a place called Wishbone. You remarked how strange it was that I put honey on my biscuits even though I wasn’t from the South. I’ve since looked to you as a voice of reason on matters of law in politics. Why is this a dangerous spot for our country to be in before a national election?

    1. I agree. People are hysterical. But there are independents like me that want nothing to do with this extremism. 40 percent of the electorate are independents. And I am willing to bet there is a significant number If individuals in this country who view the two extremes outlined above to be partisan nonsense.

  3. https://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime/2018/04/18/how-the-branch-davidians-set-the-fires-for-a-self-fulfilling-prophecy-of-their-doomsday/
    It didn’t sound like the fire was an accidental; I think Koresh planned a “Jonestown type” of mass casualties when the raid commenced after a two month standoff.
    I don’t know if the tear gas contributed/added to the fires, but there seems to have been a doomsday plan in place once it became clear that the raid on the complex started. I think Koresh wanted to be sure he took everyone else with him.
    With the previous fatalities of the federal agents, Koresh probably realized he had a long prison term ahead of him.

      1. Estovir,

        You might not have been aware but this web log only permits two hyperlinks per comment. I edited the above so that it will be visible.

        If you would like for the readership to review more than two links, this may be accomplished by using multiple comments of two links each.

      2. the worst kind of gun violence is when the bad guy has a gun aimed on you and you don’t have one on him, first

      3. NEJM was the outfit that let Stanley Prusiner peer review Paul Brown’s paper which described the infectious agent of kuru; Prusiner rejected Brown’s paper and submitted his own “prion” paper (same category of agent), which NEJM cluelessly accepted. NEJM had be shamed into doing the right thing for Brown by Carleton Gajudsek (which is like Bill Clinton representing you before chancery court and gettting it to rule on the ethics of your case).

        When I worked for one of the centers in the Palmaz-Schatz intracoronary stent clinical trial, NEJM were the folks editorializing about results in transluminal angioplasty being like elephants mating – a lot of noise and commotion and two years later, modest results. Of course, now, lots of people have stents placed and avoid all the pain and risk of coronary bypass surgery.

  4. Odd that Trump’s alleged involvement with money laundering, “the Russian mob”, etc. never was an issue until he was elected president.
    Looks like he could have continued all of these allegednefarious activities unimpeded had he not committed the offense of pulling off a stunning upset win in the election.

    1. Anonymous. There already was a long paper trail of news stories regarding Trump and Russia. That’s where Christopher Steele began his investigation. It was all out there for anyone paying attention. Time Magazine even ran a cover story on Trump and Russians in August of 2016.

  5. I wonder if Americans really understand the Washington and Lincoln presidencies? Older Americans were taught from first grade that they were basically gods, but we really know very little about George Washington as president. What we do know is from partisan historians. Since Lincoln was more recent, we know that he, personally, divided the country far more than Donald Trump has and his insistence on forcing the seceded states back into the Union at the point of a bayonet led to the deaths of around 3/4’s of a million of his fellow citizens. Yet, he is lauded as a “great president” and the “savior of the Union.”

    1. Sam, your history is worthless. What makes you think we know nothing of Washington’s presidency? You think no one made notes of what happened then?? Washington was great because he was trusted by most everyone.

      With regards to Lincoln, he took a huge risk in pursuing the Civil War. Had Lincoln lost that war, American history would have turned out much differently and Lincoln’s name would be synonymous with defeat.

      1. John, your history is propaganda. Washington had no more trust than Trump (prove me wrong, i’ll wait). No little man running around behind Washington with a notepad, very little is really known about Washington.

        As far as good ol’ Abe, he was an authoritarian, who decided that it was better for people to die, than break up the union.

        Surprising how people with little knowledge (you), tell others they are wrong.

        1. Anti-Mame-wellian,

          You’re lying. Prove me wrong.
          You’re psychotic. Prove me wrong.
          you’re off of your meds. Prove me wrong.
          You’re a paid Russian troll. Prove me wrong.

          See how that works? Prove me wrong


          the trolls engage in such sophomoric rants and if you don’t believe me, wait for is, prove me wrong


          1. Thank you, M S. I dont follow right-wing media so I didn’t know this nonsense was circulating. But it proves that a Trump cult exists.

  6. This is a tweet from the ‘whistleblowers’ lawyer, immediately after Trump’s inauguration. “coup has started. first of many steps. impeachment will follow…”

    Mark S. Zaid
    Jan 30, 2017
    #coup has started. First of many steps. #rebellion. #impeachment will follow ultimately. #lawyers https://twitter.com/jaketapper/status/826255624610729985

    1. A great reminder of the scope of the pathology currently infecting the White House:

      The problem with being a frog in a beaker is that you may not notice the water temperature rising to a boil.
      Humans, too. In New Delhi, people get used to air that is filthy. In Syria, to checkpoints. In Angola, to corruption. In China, to propaganda. And in America, we risk becoming numbed to a political, social and moral breakdown. Scandal and dysfunction dribble out from Washington day by day, numbing us so that we may forget just how unprecedented and outrageous the trends are. It was only five years ago that Fox News was deploring a “shocking” and “desperate” presidential scandal that Republican Representative Peter King described as inexcusable: Barack Obama wore a tan suit! Now we can’t even keep track of how many countries President Trump has asked to do him political favors.
      I’ve been traveling abroad, so I’ve been asking journalists and officials how they see America, and from a distance they offer blunt assessments. “If your president isn’t a Manchurian candidate,” one senior European official said, “he’s doing a pretty good imitation of one.”
      That distance can be useful to see the big picture. To resist complacency, let’s take stock:
      In 2016, Obama’s passivity and Republican intransigence may have allowed Russian cyberattacks to swing the presidency to Trump (there’s no way to be sure, but that’s what the forensic work of Kathleen Hall Jamieson suggests). Yet despite improvement, the United States still doesn’t have an adequate strategy to foil Russian or Chinese interference in the 2020 election.
      Trump is a hero of many evangelical Christians who previously emphasized the importance of personal values and restoring “honor and dignity” to the White House. Meanwhile, he is on his third wife, has cheated on all three and has been accused of sexual misconduct by 25 women. And Trump tweeted a supporter’s praise likening him to “the second coming of God.”
      Since taking office, Trump has made more than 13,400 false or misleading statements, according to a Washington Post database. The Post found that he has recently accelerated his falsehoods to a rate of 22 per day, more than one per waking hour. (I’ve covered many world leaders, and the only two whom I consider pathological liars are Trump and former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.)
      Trump has declared “I am the chosen one.” His press secretary last month spoke of “the genius of our great President.” Trump, who according to a Times investigation is wealthy partly because of fraud, pledged to fight corruption and “drain the swamp.”
      Since then, he has lost more first-term cabinet members to scandal than any president in history. “I’m not going to have time to go play golf,” Trump said before his election. In fact, he has visited golf clubs approximately 224 times since taking office, including more than three months in total at Mar-a-Lago. These vacation trips have cost taxpayers more than $100 million.
      Trump’s mother was an immigrant, as are two of the women he married (his current wife may have been undocumented). Yet he has ripped children from parents at the border, and his administration has argued that detained immigrant children do not need soap or
      toothbrushes. We haven’t even gotten to Trump trying to buy Greenland, marching into women’s changing rooms to admire undressed teenagers, borrowing Stalinist language to denounce the press as the “enemy of the people,” claiming that climate change is a Chinese conspiracy, banning Muslims or diverting money to build the wall that Mexico supposedly would pay for. Oh, and that multibillion-dollar wall is now being cut open by smugglers with $100 saws. Yet America’s dysfunction goes beyond Trump, and it will outlast Trump, even as it is aggravated by him.
      American kids ages 1 through 19 are 57 percent more likely to die than those in other advanced nations, according to a study in the journal Health Affairs. That’s partly because the United States is virtually alone in failing to provide universal health coverage: Trump didn’t create that problem, but he did magnify it so that the number of uninsured children is now increasing. Longstanding economic inequality in the United States, exacerbated by Trump’s tax cuts and other policies, is staggering. A single hedge fund tycoon, James Simons, made $1.6 billion last year, or more than $4 million each day — yet the United States has 100,000 children who on any given night are homeless. Since 2000, 61,000 foster kids have simply gone missing. Girls and boys are sold by pimps for sex in
      every American city.
      America is not, as President Trump once called it, a “hellhole.” It is a nation of enormous strengths and resources, but we need to muster them now. A merit of our species is that we are adaptable and resilient and can get used to almost anything. But we should never get accustomed to all this. Let’s not let ourselves be numbed by the daily drip into accepting a level of Trumpian dysfunction that should always be unacceptable.

      NICHOLAS KRISTOFʼS NEWSLETTER Get a behind-the-scenes look at Nick’s gritty journalism as he travels around the United States and the world. Sign
      up here.
      The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. Weʼd like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And hereʼs our
      email: letters@nytimes.com.
      Nicholas Kristof has been a columnist for The Times since 2001. He has won two Pulitzer Prizes, for his coverage of China and of the genocide in Darfur. You can sign up
      for his free, twice-weekly email newsletter and follow him on Instagram. His next book will be published in January. @NickKristof • Facebook

      1. Karma, that’s a nice article from Kristof, but among this crowd it’s unlikely to have an effect.

        Unfortunately it’s not a matter of merely reasoning with these folks. Just as with religions, any threat to their “faith” is frightening. They reduce their perceived opponents to caricature (with the help of disinformation propaganda from “State TV” and other right wing sources), deliberately distorting facts to favor what they wish was the case. It’s tribal & cultish, and reason rarely penetrates.

        On this site I have seen people promoting a self-evidently false story about Joe Biden, and one individual actually provided a video of Biden so that I could see for myself. To any reasonably informed person it’s clear what we’re actually seeing; how do ordinary people get a simple fact so completely wrong, and so obviously embarrass themselves? No one wants to look so foolish, and that’s why I say they’ve succumbed to a cult; being mistaken about things like facts no longer matters as long as you’re in pursuit of the greater glory. You begin to “interpret” things in accord with the cult mindset; facts matter less than what feels true and what fits your faith.

        Anything can be, and is, justified when people get to this point. It sounds like the script for a zombie movie or something, but we should never underestimate the ability of humans to distort reality when it suits their misguided purposes.

        1. Chikkipop – you write well, but your critical thinking skills are lacking. I give you a video of what you were complaining did not exist, you contend that you viewed it and now you are still saying it does not exist. Tell me, how did I get the facts wrong? How did I embarrass myself? Please state each fact I got wrong and how I got it wrong.

          You can dodge and weave and rope-a-dope all you want, however not one real fact has come from your finger tips.

          As distorting reality goes, what do you think of Hillary blaming her loss on everything except herself and sunspots?

          1. You have got me. I thought I could pull one over you but I cant keep two accounts going at the same time. It confuses me!

          2. Paul:

            “You can dodge and weave and rope-a-dope all you want, however not one real fact has come from your finger tips.”
            Chikkipoop is entering the natacha/Anon1 zone — not worth reading any longer. At least Benson, kept his mindlessness short with an occasional wit, but this new troll is bonkers stupid.

            1. mespo – I am sure you saw the Anon1 IS Chikkipoop. He finally outed himself. 😉

          3. “Tell me, how did I get the facts wrong? How did I embarrass myself? Please state each fact I got wrong and how I got it wrong.”

            Can’t do that yet, because you haven’t stated any facts; you simply provided a video, and I asked you to tell me what you thought it was demonstrating. When you state clearly what you think the point of that video was — your reasons for wanting me to see it — I’ll let you know what I think.

            1. Chikkipop – you said I got the facts wrong. What facts? What wrong? You are back-and-hoeing, dude. It does not make you look good.

          4. Awesome. Hillary. I bet you want MORE BENGHAZI HEARINGS!!!

            this is to “I’ll talk about anything except the day glo bozo’s criminogenic administration” paulie – georgie

            1. Marky Mark Mark – you never change do you. Just one ad hominem after another. Have you actually gone to trial or do you only do plea deals? Your vocabulary is very weak.

              1. Marky Mark had a rider refusing to be called Marky Mark in any and all promos.

                So, if you happen to see a clip of him getting pissed off when an interviewer called him Marky Mark, and he pans to look at his handlers, like wtf….now you know, its a pet peeve of his, once he transitioned into his older and more mature acting career.

                But you didn’t hear this from me. I have lots of tid bits on all sorts of famous types in Hwood.

                And they all drive around on expired driver’s license, and then claim they didn’t know, probably bc they really didn’t know, they expect everyone around them to handle everything in their life, that’s what they pay everyone for….Very frustrating for payroll, you just pray their passport isn’t expired too.

                Usually not, bc they need it to travel halfway across the world to some other famous persons yacht party, so that was payrolls saying grace.

                It’s a tangent, but Paul made me think of it.

  7. A very proud moment for Democrats indeed.

    Joe Morrissey wins Senate District 16

    PETERSBURG, Va. — Democrat Joe Morrissey has defeated Independent Waylin Ross to win the race for Senate District 16.

    Morrissey’s victory is a big win for Democrats who will now hold the majority in both the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate for the first time in nearly 25 years.


    Re: Joe Morrissey… from Wiki

    Disbarment and law license revocation

    As an attorney, Morrissey was cited for contempt of court ten times and was jailed or arrested five times.[12] Records from the Virginia State Bar indicate that Morrissey received a public reprimand in March 1992, and had his law license suspended twice: once in December 1993 and then again in December 1999.[13]

    On December 21, 2001, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Morrissey was disbarred and on April 25, 2003, his license to practice law was revoked by the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board.[2]

    “Frequent episodes of unethical, contumacious, or otherwise inappropriate conduct mar Joseph D. Morrissey’s career as prosecutor and private defense attorney,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit noted in September 2002. The court said, “Evidence … demonstrates Morrissey’s 15-year history of contempt citations, reprimands, fines, suspensions, and even incarcerations arising from unprofessional conduct mostly involving an uncontrollable temper, inappropriate responses to stress and dishonesty.”[7][14]

    On December 16, 2011, the Supreme Court of Virginia approved a petition for his reinstatement to the bar.[15] However, Morrissey remains ineligible to practice in the federal court.[citation needed]

    Conviction for delinquency of a minor

    In August 2013, Morrissey was found by police to be in his home in Henrico County with a 17-year-old girl, who was an employee of his law office. Morrissey, the girl, and her mother, denied any impropriety, but subsequently, a Henrico County court convened a grand jury to investigate a possible improper sexual relationship between Morrissey and the girl.[12] On June 30, 2014, Morrissey was indicted on felony charges of indecent liberties with a minor, possession and distribution of child pornography, and electronic solicitation of a minor, in addition to a misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, for which conviction he served three months of a 12-month sentence. After being convicted, Morrissey resigned as a delegate at the Virginia House.[12]

    According to statements from the prosecutor in court documents, Morrissey had sex with the girl multiple times in his law office in August 2013, and possessed a nude photograph of the girl, which he also sent to a friend.[12] Morrissey allegedly continued the relationship with the girl after she left his law office in August 2013, and the two allegedly shared a hotel room overnight in October 2013.[12]

    Morrissey denied the charges, saying the girl came to him for advice about family problems and was being abused by her father, and that the special prosecutor was out to get him because of a personal vendetta. Morrissey said he rejected a plea bargain for a single misdemeanor in December 2013.[16] He vowed to fight the charges in court, declaring that he would be vindicated, and rejected calls to resign his House seat.[17]

    Morrissey’s case made national headlines in July 2014 when he used an obscenity on live television while reading a text message he claimed was planted on his phone by hackers.[17] He entered into a plea agreement in which he made an Alford plea to one misdemeanor charge and received an active jail sentence. News reports indicated that Morrissey would be eligible to attend sessions of the legislature on work release.[18]

    Leading members of the Virginia Democratic Party, including Governor Terry McAuliffe called for Morrissey to resign his seat.[19] Morrissey resigned his seat on December 18, 2014,[20] but ran in the special election to fill the resulting vacancy. On January 13, 2015, while serving a six-month jail sentence, he won that election to reclaim his seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.[21]

    William Neely, the special prosecutor appointed to investigate the Morrissey case, secured new felony indictments January 21, 2015 against Morrissey for perjury and for presenting forged documents during his sentencing hearing.[22]

    Second License Revocation

    In March 2018, the Virginia State Bar brought new charges of misconduct against Morrissey. A three-judge panel convened on March 26, 2018 to hear three separate allegations of misconduct. First, the Bar contended that Morrissey’s criminal conviction and improper contact with his 17-year-old intern violated rules regarding criminal conduct by an attorney, and that Morrissey had destroyed evidence relating to the criminal case against him.[23] On March 28, the panel found that though the Bar had not shown that Morrissey destroyed evidence, they did find that the Bar had successfully demonstrated that Morrissey’s relationship with his intern was “a criminal or deliberately wrongful act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness to practice law.”[23]

    On March 29, the panel considered charges stemming from Morrissey’s representation of former Virginia governor Douglas Wilder and the United States National Slavery Museum in a tax matter.[24] Despite being subpoenaed, Wilder failed to appear, and so the disciplinary panel found insufficient evidence as to these charges. Wilder would later contest this decision, arguing that service of the subpoena had been improper.[24][25]

    Finally, on March 30, the panel found that Morrissey had also violated legal ethics rules when he allowed another member of his firm to appear in court on behalf of one of the firm’s clients.[25] That employee had passed the Bar Examination a short time before, but had not yet been sworn in by the Virginia Supreme Court. This made her ineligible to represent clients as an attorney, and as a result, Morrissey was found to have violated rules that require a lawyer to ensure that anyone under his or her supervision also follow ethics rules. The panel also noted that Morrissey had not informed his client that someone else would be present, itself a violation of the Bar’s rules.

    Based on the violations that it found Morrissey had committed and considering his prior disciplinary and legal difficulties, the panel ordered that Morrissey’s law license be revoked effective June 15, 2018.[25]

    Morrissey applied to the Virginia Supreme Court on June 13, 2018 for a stay of his revocation as he perfected an appeal to the Richmond Circuit Court ruling. In a 3 paragraph ruling, the Virginia Supreme Court denied the stay on June 14, 2018. Morrissey’s law license was revoked for the second time on June 15, 2018.[26]. Morrissey’s appeal of the revocation was denied by the Virginia Supreme Court on July 18, 2019.[27]

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