PHILADELPHIA — The ranks of Republicans rejecting State Sen. Doug Mastriano, their party’s nominee for governor in Pennsylvania, grew this week as a former national security Cabinet member and a former Trump administration lawyer endorsed the Democratic nominee, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro. Michael Chertoff, who served as secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from 2005 to 2009 under then-President George W. Bush, said he considers Mastriano “a real threat to the values of the rule of law” because Mastriano has pushed lies about the 2020 presidential election and was pr...
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New York Magazine writer Jonathan Chait warned that there's no chance that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) is going to do anything to fix the extremism problem in the Republican Party were he to take over after Donald Trump.
Last week, Trump welcomed white supremacists and neo-Nazis Kanye "Ye" West and Nick Fuentes to Mar-a-Lago. Republicans have remained largely silent while others claimed Trump didn't know who Fuentes was. Trump also said he didn't know who David Duke was despite being told that he was a previous member of a racist hate group. Retired Gen. John Kelly, who worked last Trump's longest-serving chief of staff, said that the former president praised Adolf Hitler and those that remained loyal to him, while they were traveling in Europe to commemorate the World War II allies. Trump also championed Hitler's "economic miricle," which was previously a 1930s Nazi talking point.
Chait cited some of the top headlines in wake of the meeting.
"Well, he certainly needs better judgment in who he dines with,” said Republican Rep. James Comer (KY) speaking to NBC.
"Republicans who continue to go along for the ride with Mr. Trump are teeing themselves up for disaster in 2024," warns The Wall Street Journal editorial page.
"If people are looking at DeSantis to run against Trump, here’s another reason why," a longtime Trump adviser told NBC.
"The issue is that Trump has expanded the Republican coalition to the right, activating and encompassing undisguised white supremacists, who, through their entry into the two-party system, have gained newfound influence. This is a dangerous and historically significant change to the American political scene. And hardly anybody in the GOP — certainly not Ron DeSantis — intends to reverse it," said Chait.
Trump has played coy with extremist groups since coming down the elevator in 2015 to announce his candidacy. He shares videos saluting Nazi loyalists and J6 martyrs. Trump allies Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) have both palled around with white nationalists. They're still in Congress and embraced by the GOP.
"The Republican mainstream has shrugged off Trump as an idiosyncratic personality whose behavior indicates no deeper racist or authoritarian tendency within the party. They have accordingly presented DeSantis as the solution," said Chait.
Jim Geraghty wrote that DeSantis might garner power if Donald Trump's worst impulses take over his 2024 efforts, but that doesn't mean somehow the GOP would find a conscious.
"DeSantis would reify its Trump-era transformation. One way he would do this would be to carry forward Trump’s goal of turning the state into an Orbanist weapon to entrench Republican rule. But the other is to preserve the new coalition Trump created," Chait anticipates, noting that the governor is deliberate about it.
DeSantis reached out to QAnon supporters and insurrectionists and when given the opportunity to attack a gang of Nazis attacking local Jews in Orlando, DeSantis refused to denounce them. As for pro-democracy Republicans, like Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), DeSantis is against her.
Waiting for DeSantis to denounce white supremacy or Nazis has become a kind of joke. Chait cited Tablet’s Noam Blum, who claimed DeSantis is too busy to denounce Nazis or white supremacists. It simply isn't a priority.
The National Review’s Dan McLaughlin dismissed the issue entirely, saying, "Contrary to how he is characterized in the national media, Ron DeSantis’ personal approval is not required for the list of guests Floridians may invite to dinner."
Chait said they aren't the same as the trolls on Twitter, they're the right's political elite and thy know "perfectly well that DeSantis weighs in on national political and culture fights routinely. He is not too busy to attack the white-nationalist right. He wants to maintain its support but quietly."
On Monday, The New York Times reported that five Connecticut police officers have been charged in connection with an incident that left a Black suspect paralyzed.
"The man, Randy Cox, 36, was being taken to a police station in New Haven on June 19 on a weapons-related charge. He smashed headfirst into the van’s side, and the incident was captured on video," reported Sarah Maslin Nir. "The officers appeared to treat him callously following his injuries, mocking his inability to sit up, police video and audio released by lawyers for his family show."
"On Monday the five officers involved, Oscar Diaz, Ronald Pressley, Jocelyn Lavandier, Luis Rivera and Sgt. Betsy Segui, who face reckless endangerment and cruelty charges, turned themselves in at Connecticut State Police barracks, according to the state police," the report continued. "They have each been released on $25,000 bond, with a court date set for Dec. 8."
According to the report, attorneys representing the officers have not yet offered comment.
The incident has echoes of the nationally-publicized death of Freddie Gray in West Baltimore in 2015. Gray was being transported in the back of a police van, and died after the way he was restrained caused him to be tossed around sharply in the back of a BPD van, nearly severing his spinal cord; autopsy results suggested his head had been slammed against a hard surface. Prosecutors alleged the way police restrained Gray amounted to reckless endangerment; three of the officers involved in the incident were acquitted, and charges against a fourth ended in mistrial.
This comes amid national scrutiny into police conduct, as well as an election where Republicans ran on an aggressive message raising the specter of crime to oppose reforms of the criminal justice system.
Former Justice Department official and ex-federal prosecutor Harry Litman noted the latest court filing by special counsel Jack Smith on Thanksgiving day. He joined MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace in saying the tone was the part that really made him take notice.
"They made a misrepresentation of what a case stood for," Litman said about Donald Trump's lawyers. "It's the kind of thing, you're new to the case, maybe people would say, 'You know, don't jump in here, Jack. Show that you're prudent. Don't want to look too combative, Jack Smith.' Uh-uh. He came right back with that paragraph that sounded around the world, not just in that court, holding their feet to the fire. And he's got a reputation for being aggressive. This was an aggressive move. They were wrong but he could have thought the court will figure it out, don't come in guns a' blazing. He did, however. And I think it's a real indication of the kind of special counsel he's going to be."
Former Sen. Claire McCaskill (R-MO) agreed, noting that all of the people she spoke to anticipated it would result in legal fireworks.
"I got on the phone after he was appointed and called around to some people who have worked at DOJ," McCaskill revealed. "And I think Harry would agree with me that he has an incredibly strong reputation. And this is a guy who is a slave to the law, period. Just the law. not any of the political machinations that we like to talk about on this show. And he's a real prosecutor. He actually -- I don't mean to besmirch my friends in the feds, but many of them don't have a lot of experience up close and personal with juries. They do a lot on paper but they don't do as much courtroom work. But Jack Smith is the real deal. And I think he's going to do a great job."
See the conversation below or at this link.
special counsel is 'coming in guns blazing' www.youtube.com