Sunday, December 04, 2022

White House rebukes Trump’s suggestion to suspend Constitution over 2020 election. (WsPo)

Could it be that DONALD JOHN TRUMP is now trying for an insanity defense for his crimes, including his theft of classified national security documents and storing them at his hotel-home in Florida? 


White House rebukes Trump’s suggestion to suspend Constitution over 2020 election

The White House rebuked former president Donald Trump for suggesting suspending the Constitution over his baseless claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential election. (Thomas Simonetti for The Washington Post)
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The White House issued a stern rebuke on Saturday after former president Donald Trump suggested suspending the Constitution in his ongoing crusade to discredit the results of the 2020 election.

“Attacking the Constitution and all it stands for is anathema to the soul of our nation and should be universally condemned,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement, calling the Constitution a “sacrosanct document.”

“You cannot only love America when you win,” he added.

Trump’s message on the Truth Social platform reiterated the baseless claims he has made since 2020 that the election was stolen. But he went further by suggesting that the country abandon one of its founding documents.

“A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” Trump wrote.

Elon Musk’s ‘Twitter Files’ ignite divisions, but haven’t changed minds

The post came a day after Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, claimed he would expose how Twitter engaged in “free speech suppression” in the run-up to the 2020 election. But his “Twitter Files” did not show that the tech giant bent to the will of Democrats.

“UNPRECEDENTED FRAUD REQUIRES UNPRECEDENTED CURE!” Trump followed up in another post on Saturday afternoon on Truth Social.

Trump, who last month announced he would run again for president, helped launch Truth Social after he was banned from Twitter following the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Musk has said he would allow Trump back on Twitter but the former president has not rejoined the platform.

Before, During and After: An investigation of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection and its aftermath

Trump’s sustained and unfounded attacks on the 2020 election result culminated in the attack by his supporters on the U.S. Capitol. Many GOP candidates also echoed his false claims ahead of this year’s midterms, but lost their efforts to win key state posts.

In the weeks since the midterms, Trump has continued to press the lie that the 2020 election was rigged as he has announced his next White House bid.

The Democratic National Committee condemned his comments on Saturday, as did several other politicians.

“Trump’s words and actions are unacceptable, they stoke hatred and political violence, and they are dangerous,” Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) wrote in a tweet.

“Trump just called for the suspension of the Constitution and it is the final straw for zero republicans, especially the ones who call themselves ‘constitutional conservatives,’” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) wrote on Twitter.

As he has done before, the former president also baited GOP leaders into weighing in on his claims.

“I wonder what Mitch McConnell, the RINOS, and all of the weak Republicans who couldn’t get the Presidential Election of 2020 approved and out of the way fast enough, are thinking now?” he wrote Saturday in a subsequent Truth Social post.

Karoun Demirjian is a Pentagon correspondent for the Post. She was previously a national security reporter covering Capitol Hill, focusing on defense, foreign affairs, intelligence and policy matters concerning the Justice Department. She began working for The Post based in its Moscow bureau.  Twitter
Toluse "Tolu" Olorunnipa is the White House Bureau Chief of The Washington Post, and the co-author of "His Name is George Floyd." He joined The Post in 2019 and has covered the last three presidents. Previously, he spent five years at Bloomberg News, where he reported on politics and policy from Washington and Florida.  Twitter

Saturday, December 03, 2022

'Trying to silence us': Crowd gives Florida agency an earful over Capitol protest rules. (James Call, Tallahassee Democrat)

For those who took Governor RONALD DION DeSANTIS at his word, that Florida was a state that respected freedom, wake up.  DeSANTIS is a fascist.  Our Florida hangovernment is in the hands of corporate oligarchs, now more than ever.  Enough already.

From Tallahassee Democrat:

'Trying to silence us': Crowd gives Florida agency an earful over Capitol protest rules

James Call
Tallahassee Democrat

A 15-year-old planted the flag for free speech when officials met with the public to discuss new rules that would regulate protests at the state Capitol. Seneca Bristol made the six-hour trip from Bradenton to tell the Department of ManagementShe is angry about gun violence.

About the loss of rights.

About hate permeating in Florida.

"Now you're proposing that you are not going to listen to us when we're angry. Why?" Bristol asked DMS Deputy Secretary Patrick Gillespie and two department attorneys conducting a hearing on a rewrite of Rule 60H.

What the proposed rules would do

DMS attorneys maintain that "because the Capitol Complex is often a destination for children learning about their state government, individuals can be removed from the premises and charged with trespassing when law enforcement believes their behavior includes:

  • Displays and sounds (that) are gratuitous and indecent,
  • Material arouses prurient interests,
  • Unreasonably obstructs the usual and customary use of a building,
  • Create a disruption to the performance of official duties.

A Planned Parenthood of Florida lobbyist said the proposal will allow Capitol Police and DMS to ban from the Capitol campus any organized group or event on the "suspicion of disruption" without having to cite a previous incident.

"Our concern is being able to hold press conferences and bring large numbers of people to the Capitol who want to make their voices heard and participate in the process," said Melanie Andrade Williams, Planned Parenthood's legislative manager

The Florida ACLU views the proposal as part of a concerted effort launched over two years ago "to censor speech those in power do not want to hear."

The new rules could be in effect when the Legislature convenes its 2023 session in March.

The last session was disrupted by protests when lawmakers approved a 15-week abortion ban, restrictions on the teaching of sexuality, and racial history, and new political boundaries that eliminated Congressional minority-access districts.

Back story:State looks to limit protests at Capitol with rules to protect children from 'harmful materials'

Kaity Kate Danehy-Samitz, vice president of Women's Voices of SWFL, a civil liberties group focused on reproductive rights founded in Manatee County, told Gillespie the state was not fooling anyone with a rules rewrite after last session.

"The fact that this is being pushed right before the legislative session shows clearly, they know what to expect in 2023. They know their constituents are not happy with what they're doing if they are trying to silence us this far ahead of session," said Danehy-Samitz.

Twenty-one-year-old Emma Moses was among those who told the panel the rule change was unnecessary. Moses said Capitol Police were able to silence her and ban her from the Capitol under current regulations.

The Florida State University philosophy student is not allow to step into the Florida Capitol until Feb. 17, 2023.

The Lakeland native is serving a one-year banishment because she wore a black T shirt with ARTICLE I SECTION 23 in white lettering to the Capitol when lawmakers voted to approve a 15-week abortion ban - the shirt referenced the privacy cause in the Florida Constitution.

When others in the House gallery began chanting "my body, my choice," Moses said she exited the gallery but was prevented by Capitol Police from leaving the building.

"They held us until well after midnight and issued trespass warnings simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and because we were wearing T-shirts that aligned with the pro-choice cause, we are banned. Banned from the House for a year," said Moses.

Capitol Police said if Moses has official business to conduct she can contact them for permission to enter the building.

The student activists and women groups warned such banishments will become more likely if the new rule is adopted.

The DMS proposal comes in the wake of the Institute for Free Speech, a nonpartisan nonprofit ranking of Florida as the eighth worst state for free speech with a score of 29%.

On a measurement of ten factors in how state's protect individuals' free speech rights in the political process, Florida scored better than other mega-states like California and New York – last at 15%, but significantly lower than Michigan, second with 77%, and Wisconsin, first with 86%.

From purple to red?: Republicans now have supermajority in Florida. Here’s what it means.

'Stop Woke Act': Gov. Ron DeSantis dealt 'Stop Woke' setback, after promoting policy on Election Night

'There is nothing to fix here'

Since the 2020 summer of protests over the death of George Floyd while in police custody, numerous states have passed broad sweeping bills defining what kind of groups and activities must be regulated. The use of vague and expansive terms in these new laws, including Florida's anti-riot bill HB 1, tramples First Amendment rights, according to Scott Blackburn, the Institute of Free Speech director.

Groups like the Tallahassee-based Florida People's Advocacy Center, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, the AFL-CIO, the National Conference of Jewish Women echo Blackburn that the new laws and rules treat free speech as an afterthought.

Mary Anne Hoffman is with the Tallahassee Citizens Against the Death Penalty and has participated in protests at the Capitol for 30 years, each time Florida executes an inmate.

The group holds a banner, signs hymns, recites prayers and delivers a copy of their program for the protest to the governor's office.

"I don't think any kids passing are damaged by this," said Hoffman. "This to me smacks of suppression of speech. Suppression of our right to come here."

Rich Templin of the AFL-CIO told DMS he has lobbied the Capitol for more than 20 years and has never seen a demonstration that disrupted the process for any significant amount of time.

He said he never witnessed a protest that engaged in gratuitous violence or aroused an unwholesome interest or sexual desire.

"I've never seen any of those things because the Capitol Police have everything they need to keep the complex safe and secure and to keep the process going," said Templin.

The choice before DMS, Templin told Gillespie, is to continue to pursue a rule change and waste staff time and taxpayers' dollars in a lost cause, or to forget about it and go home and enjoy the holidays.

"There is nothing to fix here. There is no need to institute new rules for a problem that nobody can identify," said Templin.

DMS is accepting public comments on the proposal until the end of business Dec. 8.

Gillespie said the agency will then publish a new draft of the rule. The publication of the draft opens a 21-day public comment period with the potential for someone to request another public hearing.

Questions and comments about the proposal can be sent via email to the DMS Property Logistics Administrator at, the postal address is 4050 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee, Florida 32399.

James Call is a member of the USA TODAY NETWORK-Florida Capital Bureau. He can be reached at Follow on him Twitter: @CallTallahassee

Never miss a story:  Subscribe to the Tallahassee Democrat using the link at the top of the page.

Questions and comments about the proposal can be sent via email to the DMS Property Logistics Administrator at, the postal address is 4050 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee, Florida 32399.

James Call is a member of the USA TODAY NETWORK-Florida Capital Bureau. He can be reached at Follow on him Twitter: @CallTallahassee

Never miss a story:  Subscribe to the Tallahassee Democrat using the link at the top of the page.

Questions and comments about the proposal can be sent via email to the DMS Property Logistics Administrator at, the postal address is 4050 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee, Florida 32399.

James Call is a member of the USA TODAY NETWORK-Florida Capital Bureau. He can be reached at Follow on him Twitter: @CallTallahassee

Opinion The GOP is stuck in a doom loop begun 30 years ago. (WaPo)

Once upon a time, there were conservative Republicans with some principles and courage, who supported civil rights and exposed the barbarians in the extremist John Birch Society.  The late National Review editor and Firing Line host William F. Buckley, Jr. helped out PATRICK J. BUCHANAN as a Jew-hatikng anti-Semite, and earlier helped expose the KOCH-funded John Birch Society for its inanities and insanities, including calling President Dwight Eisenhower a "Communist."  Then JBS's ideological descendants, the KOCH BROTHERS, spent there millions electing Yahoos like Florida Governor RONALD DION DeSANTIS, an alien implantt from KOCH INDUSTRIES. 

David von Drehle describes and explains the crumbling of the Republican Party since the KooKooKlan, PATRICK J. BUCHANNAN and DONALD JOHN TRUMP captured the once Grand Old Party.  From The Washington Post:

Opinion The GOP is stuck in a doom loop begun 30 years ago

Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan declares victory Feb. 20, 1996, at his rally in Manchester, N.H., after the polls closed in the New Hampshire Primary. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images) 

One cannot be surprised to find the Republican Party adrift. This is what happens to ships boarded by pirates, plundered and set aflame on the high seas.

Poor Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), leader of the House majority-to-be: How glum he looks as the Cuckoo Caucus binds his hands to walk the plank of a doomed speakership. He knows he will soon bob helplessly amid the same swarm of sharks that devoured predecessors Paul D. Ryan and John A. Boehner.

The pendulum of history suggests that something will eventually be salvaged of the GOP. But it won’t be a quick fix, because righting the ship is not simply a matter of striking the orange skull and crossbones and raising the standard of some better-behaved buccaneer. Deeper problems made the party vulnerable to raiding in the first place.

The Post’s JM Rieger breaks down how a narrow Republican House majority could deliver or block the House speakership from Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). (Video: JM Rieger/The Washington Post, Photo: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post)

The problems go back 30 years. Republicans created in the 1970s and 1980s some of the strongest presidential mojo in American history. The five nationwide elections during that period — 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984 and 1988 — produced four GOP landslides, including some of the largest on record. Republicans lost only once, in 1976, in a squeaker, when the economy was mired in stagflation and the Republican incumbent had resigned in disgrace two years earlier.

The combined electoral college votes in those five elections was 2,200 for the Republican candidates to 487 for the Democrats. Republicans won more than 425 electoral votes four times; no Democrat won as many as 300 even once in those two decades.

Follow David Von Drehle's opinionsFollow

Americans have voted in eight presidential elections in the three decades since. Only once, in 2004, has the Republican won a majority of the popular vote. Running as an incumbent in wartime, George W. Bush eked out 51 percent of the popular vote against a weak opponent named John F. Kerry.

What happened? Until the GOP faces the answer, it will continue to drift as a national party.

The landslides ended in 1992. Many Republicans remember it as the year Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot flew a suicide mission into George H.W. Bush’s reelection campaign. But the first fatal blow to Bush Sr. was dealt by hard-right pundit Patrick J. Buchanan. His angry populist campaign carried all the way to the convention, where he traded a grudging endorsement of Bush for influence over the opening-night program. Buchanan anchored an evening of hatreds and resentments that presaged the politics of today.

The Opinions Essay: The GOP is sick. It didn’t start with Trump — and won’t end with him.

With Bush Sr. gone, de facto leadership of the GOP passed to Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), who had risen from the backbenches of the House by perfecting a politics of personal destruction. Gingrich was the first speaker of the House to stir up a presidential impeachment that had no chance of success in the Senate — a bad idea on which the Democrats later doubled down.

One of the fathers of modern American conservatism, William F. Buckley Jr., had Buchanan on his mind in the months leading up to that fateful 1992 campaign. In a 40,000-word essay published late in 1991, Buckley examined the pitchfork populist’s tendency to deal in antisemitic tropes and allusions. His conclusion: “I find it impossible to defend Pat Buchanan against the charge that what he did and said during the period under examination amounted to anti-Semitism, whatever it was that drove him to say and do it.”

George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign was a repudiation of the Buchanan movement. Bush promised to govern as a “compassionate conservative” — welcoming of immigrants, tolerant of difference, approving of compromise. But he did no more to vindicate this approach than his father had, leaving office amid a failing war and a crashed economy.

Buchananism, with its ugly undertones and shades of paranoid grievance, was the only energy remaining in the GOP. It expressed itself in the tea party movement of 2010. Mitt Romney’s failed 2012 campaignwas the last gasp of the party elite, which was too exhausted to resist Donald Trump’s takeover four years later.

From Buchanan to Gingrich to Trump, the drivers of the Republican Party have pushed relentlessly toward anger, accusation, isolationism, pessimism and paranoia. In the guise of battling the left, they wage their most effective warfare against their fellow Republicans. Having purged proponents of the overwhelmingly popular ideas of the 1970s and 1980s — strong alliances and free markets, individual freedom and personal responsibility, the rule of law, faith in the future — they offer nothing positive. Literally: In 2020, the GOP did not offer any platform.

Trump’s supper with a Holocaust denier brings Buchanan’s assault on the GOP to its dismal conclusion — at a hateful dead end. Individual Republicans will continue to win races, if only because the Democrats have their own self-destructive elements. But the party will not be popular as long as the dark side’s in charge.

Opinion by 
David Von Drehle writes a twice-weekly column for The Post. He was previously an editor-at-large for Time Magazine, and is the author of four books, including "Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America’s Most Perilous Year" and "Triangle: The Fire That Changed America."