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John Roberts caused a ‘crisis of democratic legitimacy’ — it’s ‘entirely fitting’ he has to preside over his mess: columnist

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Supreme Court Justice John Roberts was blasted in The Washington Post on Thursday for his culpability in creating the dynamics that resulted in President Donald Trump — and his impeachment.

“There is justice in John Roberts being forced to preside silently over the impeachment trial of President Trump, hour after hour, day after tedious day,” Dana Milbank wrote. “Roberts’s captivity is entirely fitting: He is forced to witness, with his own eyes, the mess he and his colleagues on the Supreme Court have made of the U.S. political system. As representatives of all three branches of government attend this unhappy family reunion, the living consequences of the Roberts Court’s decisions, and their corrosive effect on democracy, are plain to see.”

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“Ten years to the day before Trump’s impeachment trial began, the Supreme Court released its Citizens United decision, plunging the country into the era of super PACs and unlimited, unregulated, secret campaign money from billionaires and foreign interests. Citizens United, and the resulting rise of the super PAC, led directly to this impeachment,” he wrote. “The two Rudy Giuliani associates engaged in key abuses — the ouster of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, the attempts to force Ukraine’s president to announce investigations into Trump’s political opponents — gained access to Trump by funneling money from a Ukrainian oligarch to the president’s super PAC.”

The culpability is not just for the direct decisions, but also indirect ways.

“The court’s 2013 ruling in Shelby County gutted the Voting Rights Act and spurred a new wave of voter suppression. The decision in 2014′s McCutcheon further surrendered campaign finance to the wealthiest. The 2018 Janus decision hobbled the ability of labor unions to counter wealthy donors, while the 2019 Rucho ruling blessed partisan gerrymandering, expanding anti-democratic tendencies,” Milbank explained.

“The consequences? Falling confidence in government, and a growing perception that Washington had become a “swamp” corrupted by political money, fueled Trump’s victory. The Republican Party, weakened by the new dominance of outside money, couldn’t stop Trump’s hostile takeover of the party or the takeover of the congressional GOP ranks by far-right candidates. The new dominance of ideologically extreme outside groups and donors led lawmakers on both sides to give their patrons what they wanted: conflict over collaboration and purity at the cost of paralysis. The various decisions also suppress the influence of poorer and non-white Americans and extend the electoral power of Republicans in disproportion to the popular vote,” he continued.

“Now, we are in a crisis of democratic legitimacy: A president who has plainly abused his office and broken the law, a legislature too paralyzed to do anything about it — and a chief justice coming face to face with the system he broke,” Milbank concluded.

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2020 Election

High-ranking Trump campaign official questioning RNC spending on election as president continues to flounder: report

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In a deep dive into Donald Trump's very bad June that saw his poll numbers plummet while COVID-19 infections rocketed upward in the U.S., Politico reports that the shake-up in the president's re-election campaign has led to questions, not only about how the Trump 2020 campaign is being run, but also what is going on with the Republican National Committee's campaign arm.

Reporting that White House jack-of-all-trades Jared Kushner is said to be behind the demotion of campaign’s chief operating officer Michael Glassner with protege Jeff DeWit -- who reportedly walked into Glassner's office and informed him of the change -- Politico notes that DeWit then visited the RNC's offices to find out how they were spending money which was not well-received.

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‘America the racist and pitiful’: Columnist says Trump has turned the US into a laughingstock

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On Friday, writing for The New Yorker, Robin Wright lamented that under President Donald Trump, the rest of the world has cemented a view of America as racist and incompetent — and the country may struggle to redefine itself even after he is gone.

"On the eve of America’s anniversary — our two hundred and forty-fourth — much of the world believes that the country is racist, battered and bruised," wrote Wright. "'Europe has long been suspicious — even jealous — of the way America has been able to pursue national wealth and power despite its deep social inequities,' Robin Niblett, the director of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, also known as Chatham House, in London, told me. 'When you take the Acela and pass through the poorest areas of Baltimore, you can’t believe you’re looking at part of the United States. There’s always been this sense of an underlying flaw in the U.S. system that it was getting away with — that somehow America was keeping just one step ahead of the grim reaper.'"

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Suspicions mount that this Fox News host will run for president in 2024

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Although Fox News’ Tucker Carlson is an incredibly polarizing and divisive figure, he is by no means obscure: the far-right host of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” gets huge ratings. And according to Politico’s Alex Thompson, there is talk in right-wing circles of Carlson possibly running for president as a Republican in 2024.

Thompson, in an article published on July 2, explains, “Tucker Carlson’s audience is booming — and so is chatter that the popular Fox News host will parlay his TV perch into a run for president in 2024. Republican strategists, conservative commentators and former Trump campaign and administration officials are buzzing about Carlson as the next-generation leader of Donald Trump’s movement — with many believing he would be an immediate frontrunner in a Republican primary.”

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