A Punch-Drunk President

Trump isn't out, and maybe not down, but he's taken some staggering hits.

If there's anything remaining that Americans can agree on, it's that Donald Trump and his three years as President have been like no other similar time in our lifetimes or in any other Presidency ever.

For most Scragged authors and readers, this has predominantly done far more good than any other presidency we recall, maybe as far back as Andrew Jackson.  No matter what is said about him, President Trump has at least tried to resist the siren song of the power elites who currently ride roughshod over American liberties, traditions, and good sense.

Unlike when Jackson was President, though, the elites have a lot more power and the Trump administration seems to have had a far harder time finding trustworthy and competent allies.  It's also true that the Trumpian style can be, shall we say, a bit disorienting at times, which tends to put off the mentally-orderly sort of folks that are effective in bureaucracies.

Still, when you stand pretty much alone as Mr. Trump does, keeping your enemies in a constant state of utter confusion and disarray is not only an effective tactic, it may be the only one with a prayer of working.  Sun Tzu emphasized the importance of always doing the unexpected and hitting your enemy when he thinks you aren't anywhere nearby.

Those were the days...

Watching Mr. Trump constantly do this, repeatedly kneecapping and blindsiding his enemies in the media and in office, has been a thing of beauty.  We've seen so much of this, in fact, that at times we fall into musing about the legendary four-dimensional chess he might be playing - is he really that smart, or just insanely lucky?

Well, all that may be coming to an end.  Whether Mr. Trump may have been outmaneuvering and out thinking his opponents all this time, or Lady Luck was just on his side, clearly neither is the case anymore.  He stumbles from smashing impact to smashing impact, roaring and flailing to apparently little impact.

How Much is Too Much?

Before we judge him too harshly, though, we must establish a little perspective.

There's no doubt that presidents have been hit by disasters before.  We think of Abraham Lincoln and the shots fired at Ft. Sumter by Democrat insurrectionists; we remember the disastrous attack on Pearl Harbor that Franklin Roosevelt had to deal with.  Both of them rose to the occasion and are considered among our greatest leaders.

Is it really that unjustified to compare the Democrat-supported BLM destruction of our cities with the open armed rebellion of the Southern Democrats?  Like the Southern states, Democrat cities have openly defied federal laws and constitutional rights for years, from immigration controls to the Second Amendment.

Now they are using violence to drive out federal authority, represented by President Trump, that they don't agree with, while encouraging widespread invasion by ill-educated mobs crossing our southern border.  Future historians may come to consider the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse in Portland, OR much as we think of Fort Sumter, SC.

There are also striking similarities to the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor by our duplicitous undeclared Japanese enemy of the day, and the lies and political machinations of the Chinese Communist Party that led to the Chinese coronavirus infecting the entire world.  Certainly, the consequences are if anything more dire and far more costly - a mere 2,000 people died in the Pearl Harbor attack, whereas if you choose to believe our mainstream media, hundreds of times that number are victims of the bat-soup flu.

What's never happened before, is a president having to deal with two such severe onslaughts at the same time.

This would be challenging enough under any circumstances - but FDR, at least, had pretty much the entire country united behind him, and as a Democrat, certainly all of the media.  Lincoln had neither, which is one reason we consider him to be greater than FDR, but at least there was general agreement that he was fighting a war, which allowed him to do things like throw seditious journalists in jail.  Mr. Trump can't.

In reality, how is our mainstream media, which encourages insurrectionists to assault federal officers and defy federal laws, any different than Southern sympathizers in Northern presses who encouraged rioters to attack Federal troops on their way south through Baltimore?

Mr. Lincoln arrested journalists who published sedition, as nearly all of our major news outlets do today.  More than that: Mr. Lincoln's subordinates were even more aggressive about locking up seditionists than he was.  Mr. Trump has, maybe, possibly, one single subordinate - Attorney General Barr - who maybe, possibly, after extensive and thorough investigations, just might file charges for blatantly seditious behavior, years after it took place.  If only.

Now, the South was engaging in a violent, armed civil war of insurrection.  In what way is what BLM, the Democrats, and the mainstream media are doing any different?   Only one: Mr. Trump has chosen not to call it for what it is, and formally declare an insurrection.

One can understand this hesitation - what President wants to be the one who history records as landing us in a second Civil War?  Mr. Lincoln didn't want to wind up leading the first Civil War either, but history, and the solid Democrat South, had other plans.  Mr. Lincoln was wise enough to recognize reality and act accordingly.

When Donald Trump whines about having been treated worse than any previous President in our history, it's unseemly and it makes him look weak, but he's not wrong.  He is dealing with the equivalent of the challenges of FDR and Lincoln at one and the same time, without the unified-nation advantage FDR had, and without the laws-of-war and fireable-bureaucracy advantages that Mr. Lincoln had.

And yet he's still standing. He may be stumbling around like Rocky after taking one too many hits from Apollo Creed.  He may even be on the ropes, but he's not yet on the mat.

What he needs is for the ref to do a count, giving him a chance to catch his breath and get back on his feet.  Pray that the Almighty Ref in the Sky does so - for with open Marxists rampaging in the streets and measuring the curtains for the White House, if Mr. Trump falls and stays down, America falls with him.

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Petrarch or other articles on Partisanship.
Reader Comments

We need to get this message out to people who only read WAPO or the local newspaper so they can get some perspective. Most of the 'anti-Trump" people I can actually talk with will admit Hillary would have been worse and Biden will be terrible. Nonetheless, they are anti-Trump. Go figure.

August 5, 2020 2:14 PM

I like the analogy to Lincoln. He was an out sider and not part of mainstream eastern Republican/Whigs. One thing he did well was form a coalition of political enemies to fight the Democrats who were trying to dissolve the Union. It was pretty well documented in Doris Kerns Goodwin's book Team of Rivals. Trump needs to do a better job of making Republicans and like minded Independents realize that there is a real existential threat to the country. We can end up with a Democrat government run by an incompetent. That will mean that Dem factions will take over. And the one thing they can agree on is that stealing other people's money is easier than earning it. BLM wants reparations and free fire crime zones. Lefties wants piles of free stuff. Govt unions want their unfunded pensions funded. Globalists want to sell out to China. Unlikely that sleepy Joe can bring order out of this chaos. So Dem congress will take over and snatch what they can.
It will be hard for Trump to fly solo on this. He will need a lot of wing men/women. He will have to humble himself, end his silly feuds, and ask for help to defeat this enemy.

August 5, 2020 4:00 PM

I have to agree, President Trump is in a fight, not just for HIS life, but a fight for the very heart and soul of America - HER life, and OURS! Whether it is true or not (and we may never know), it certainly FEELS as IF every single battle and barrier our President has come up against - from the Russia Saga, to the Ukraine Impeachment Fiasco, to the Chicom Bat Soup Flu, to the George Floyd Death/George Soros funded ANTIFA/BLM Riotous Rampages - has been carefully planned out and coordinated in succession, with the battles coming more often, and with much greater intensity and ferocity the closer and closer we get to the election in November. Am I nuts? I don't "think" I've lost my senses. The worst of the worst of the violent, err, 'peaceful' protests appear to be slowly winding down, but I sure as hell DON'T feel optimistic! Far from it!! The logical part of my brain is trying to tell me, "Relax! Take a chill pill, the worst is over!" But then the illogical(??) part of my brain immediately hears sirens, sees red flashing warning signs, and the voice of Will Robinson's Robot is sounding off in my head, "WARNING!! WARNING!! DANGER!! DANGER!!"

It seriously feels like EVERYTHING that has happened, particularly the "Peaceful" protests, violence, rioting, and looting was nothing more than a trial run for what is coming on November 3rd, 2020, when Soros's ANTIFA Military take to the streets to target and destroy every single voter precinct in every Town and City across the entirety on these United States!

Someone, please tell me I'm wrong.

August 6, 2020 7:11 PM

River, you're wrong. Stop listening to the church. They're not your friends, you're Rory and Amy's daughter!

August 9, 2020 1:33 AM

Shame on you, sweetie! Trying to impersonate my husband, the real, and ONLY Doctor! And yes, yes, yes, I know quite well who my Mum and Dad are, (and even remember what a CRAZY conception I was!) Ahhh, yes, MY Doctor would also know my upbringing never allowed for such 'niceties' as churchgoing, did you not know? Of course you didn't know! But hey, thanks for playing, sweetie!

August 10, 2020 4:55 PM

The Fall of Scragged - Part 1

[I respectfully request that if any part (1, 2, or 3) of my comment is rejected for post or removed, then it be rejected/removed in its entirety....Thank you in advance.]

Petrarch, we have come a long way, you and me...And it pains me to say that I am truly saddened by what Scragged, and, by extension -as evidenced by your recent writings- you yourself have become.

I recall that day, or should I say evening, on November 14, 2008, roughly a week after President Obama's election, when after scouring the internet for a good discussion on the results of that momentous election, I discovered an article on Scragged.com, whose thesis was just so jarringly counter to the plainly observable evidence, but so intellectually and eloquently stated, I could not refrain from responding. My initial comment was short, fairly innocuous, and tossed off without much thought because the evidence to the contrary was so obvious, I really didn't expect anyone to respond. Well lo-and-behold, the author himself responded with a meaningful counter argument. That author was you Petrarch.

I couldn't believe I had ACTUALLY found a "conservative" blog where not only were the articles well-written, and intellectual -albeit misguided-, but the comment section wasn't overrun by hordes of knuckle draggers flinging poop and mindless invective, and whose authors would actually occasionally, and politely, engage their commenters. I was amazed! So I responded back. And, although a few "poop flingers" chimed in as expected, we went back-and-forth making our arguments for at least TEN posts. To this day, almost twelve years later, for me, that STILL remains hands down, the best internet debate I've ever had the pleasure of participating.

There were other debates and discussions that I recall almost equally as fondly, but that was my first experience of what in my mind, a real, internet discussion could truly be. So much so, every so often, I find myself nostalgically drawn back to re-read it...Whereupon I stumbled upon this, your latest offering...

August 16, 2020 11:24 AM

The Fall of Scragged - Part 2
[I respectfully request that if any part (1, 2, or 3) of my comment is rejected for post or removed, then it be rejected/removed in its entirety....Thank you in advance.]

In 2016, following a significant period of absence, I again started posting comments, but quickly became dissatisfied with what was in my opinion, an increasing level of disingenuousness, hypocrisy, and intellectual dishonesty in both the articles and our interactions

Here we are today, and with THIS article, Scragg's precipitous fall is now complete.

How many hair-on-fire articles did Scragged post criticizing President Obama for some imagined impropriety, minor peccadillo, or faux pas? I remember when President Obama simply having the temerity to offer a benign, and woefully inadequate criticism of a stupid cop dragging Louis Gates off his door stoop and arresting him because he sassed him, you guys wrote no less than two full articles castigating President Obama for it (one even quadrupling down, in response to him not only back-tracking from his initial comments, but even going so far as to praise that idiot cop). Or the seemingly endless barrage of articles leveling completely absurd and baseless accusations of racism, race-bating, race-mongering, race-mixing (ok, I'm being facetious here), race-pick your active verb, ad infinitum. If it wasn't his "racism", it was his "lawlessness". It was just completely over-the-top ridiculous.

But in FOUR years since his election, Scragged has posted NOT ONE SINGLE meaningfully critical article of Trump, in spite of him doing or saying things that had President Obama said or done just ONE of, Scragged would have been calling for the armed overthrow of his administration. Trump has been guilty of EVERYTHING and more -on numerous occasions-, of the "offenses" that were the subjects of numerous Scragged diatribes and screeds, and breathlessly and hyperbolically "reported" on ad nauseum during President Obama's administration. And now that there has TRULY been FOUR years of outrage and criminality to write about, we're treated to A cacophony of silence from Scragged.


I take time here to address the question I'm sure some might snidely ask in an attempt to offer a "burn": "Well, why do you keep coming back here if it's so bad?"

To that I would answer, Inasmuch as posting every four-plus years or so can be considered as "keep coming back", I suppose I've held on to a memory of a time here that is obviously no more, and which hasn't been for a long time...

August 16, 2020 11:28 AM

The Fall of Scragged - Part 3
[I respectfully request that if any part (1, 2, or 3) of my comment is rejected for post or removed, then it be rejected/removed in its entirety....Thank you in advance.]

Which brings me finally, and specifically to you Petrarch. As someone I have been previously friendly with, I offer my regrets in advance for the well-justified harshness of my criticism.

Even after Trumps election, I used to take SOME solace from the fact that at least as far as I could see, you had not sold your soul like the Cruz's, Collins', and Graham's of the world. That the lack of Trump articles from you, meant that you were observing, albeit hypocritically of course, the "If you can't say something nice..." bromide, and that you were in fact, quietly gnashing your teeth in well-justified outrage at the antics of this President. That was obviously not the case. Listen, if you were writing about President Reagan, while I would not completely agree with the words, I would agree with the sentiment, because he actually DID do some great things.

But this? This obsequious, ostentatiously flattering article, overflowing with patently false attributions of virtues, and bowing-and-scraping in service of someone we BOTH well know, is not deserving of a single word of the praise bestowed upon him here. If a cretin like Trump is worthy of these glowing words of praise from you, then henceforth, any such compliments and praise in regard to anyone else, is completely without meaning or value.

In the past, while I completely disagreed with most of your positions, I could mostly respect them, because I felt they mostly came from a place of sincerity, and intellectual honesty, and integrity. So much so, that believe it or not, I actually used to see you as kind of a "poor man's" Bill Kristol, or Charles Krauthammer (R.I.P.), or even George F. Will. Again, I don't/didn't agree with these guys on ANYTHING (except of course their well-justified disdain for Trump), but I respected them. And looking back, it completely blows my mind that I once thought of you in relation to that hallowed company, when today, as I read your writing, I am reminded more of Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs, but with better vocabularies.

How can anyone who is truly conservative, be in support of such a completely amoral, unqualified President who is presiding over the literal and ongoing destruction of our judicial and democratic institutions and norms for his own personal benefit? Is "owning the libs" REALLY that much more important than our democratic institutions, norms and ideals? Our Justice Department? National Intelligence? National Security? The sanctity of our Elections? National Sovereignty? Even the most American of institutions, THE United States Postal Service??? Why are so many elected republicans taken leave of their senses, and governing in a way that suggests they actually believe that the republican party will NEVER be out of power? I mean, how did it come to this?

As with the last time I posted a comment to one of your articles roughly four years ago, I again ask you Petrarch, What has happened to you?

August 16, 2020 11:32 AM

Well, good to hear from you, Tony!

You raise legitimate and worthy questions - most of which we've addressed in previous articles. Here is our explanation of why we preferred Trump back during the 2016 primary:


It harked back to 2008, when we endorsed Mickey Mouse over either Obama or McCain, because neither of them intended to do anything about the three growing problems that can and ultimately will destroy America: unlimited immigration, collapsing education, and overgrown bureaucracy.

Four years on. Mr. Trump has objectively been more successful in trimming the bureaucracy than Ronald Reagan. He has accomplished less against illegal immigration, but he has at least accomplished *something*. With education it's far worse, but some of the most ghastly Federal policies have been rolled back by his appointee Betsy DeVos.

In the meantime, though, more immediate problems have arisen: the aggressively anti-Constitutional fascism of antifa, BLM, and their supporters throughout the Democrat party. The clear policies of "cancel culture" call for conservatism not merely to lose, but to be incapable of even making a voice heard. This is, as Scott Adams puts it, a political extinction event.


In 2017, we explained why evangelicals support Mr. Trump despite his personal faults:


Since then the situation has only gotten worse - elected Democrats are actively using the force of government to shut down churches. Is Mr. Trump a godly man? Hardly - but he strongly supports the right of godly people to publicly proclaim and worship God as they see fit, whereas the Democrat policies clearly call for Christian beliefs to be driven from the public square by force. That's what antifa has been doing on college campuses for years now, and what the governor of California, mayor of Chicago, and others elsewhere are now doing with their officials.

These are desperate times, and getting more so. Why, then, do we support an arrogant, foul-mouthed, intemperate blowhard? For the same reason Abraham Lincoln supported a drunk: "he fights." Trump, like U.S. Grant, appears to be the only leader who recognizes the need to fight the enemy - and, yes, given their declared policies and visible actions in 2020, I see no other way to view antifa and BLM thugs and rioters and their elected Democrat enablers as anything other than the enemies of freedom, America, and civilization in general.

We've had many disagreements over the years, Tony, but the time is coming when you will have to make a choice.

Will you choose to support the right of people you respectfully disagree with, and who respectfully disagree with you, to continue in their respectful disagreement?

Or, will you instead side with people that are in much closer agreement to your views, but consider themselves justified in using force and government power to eliminate any disagreement from the way they believe things ought to be - hoping that their views never happen to diverge from your own, making *you* their next enemy to be eliminated?

If you don't believe that's the choice in front of you, take a look at the liberal editors of the New York Times and other publications who've been cancelled for not being liberal enough - at Evergreen College, where liberal professors were run off campus by far-left mobs for the same reason - at cities all across America where statues of ex-slave Frederick Douglass and black Civil War veterans were desecrated and torn down by rioting mobs.

If that's the world you want to live in, then vote for those who wholeheartedly support those evils - it might protect you for a time. But I don't believe that's truly what you want.

August 16, 2020 3:29 PM

Likewise, it's good hear from you as well Petrarch.

"Here is our explanation of why we preferred Trump back during the 2016 primary"

C'mon Petrarch, that only explains Scragged's INITIAL support when Trump was, from a "Leader of the free world" standpoint, an unknown quantity. But you've had almost four years to evaluate this man as President, and his failings are manifest on almost ALL counts of major import.

And, yes, yes, yes, of course, he's done a few things that you like. But this isn't about the normal disagreements over the deficit/debt, and other typical -and by comparison these days- petty policy differences. This is about our institutions of Democracy, and our very lives.

Look at his handling of the Coronavirus which has led to millions infected, and before all is said and done, hundreds of thousands of dead Americans.

You say: "In the meantime, though, more immediate problems have arisen: the aggressively anti-Constitutional fascism of antifa, BLM, , and their supporters throughout the Democrat party."

Yet you say nothing of Trump's anti-Constitutional fascism, and unfettered corruption and cronyism.

You ask: "...Or, will you instead side with people that are in much closer agreement to your views, but consider themselves justified in using force and government power to eliminate any disagreement..."?

How can you talk about "people closer to my views...using force and government power to eliminate any disagreement" with a straight face, when the man you support, who ACTUALLY DOES have control of government forces this very instant, is literally doing exactly THAT...TODAY!?! He's sending unmarked, jack-booted federal thugs into cities, to terrorize, abuse, and stifle peaceful protest, while employing "state-side rendition", to kidnap people off the street without due process. Yet you see no problem with that?

Good God man! You're going on about what government abuses MIGHT happen in the future, when it's happening RIGHT NOW under Trump!

I'm sorry, but this is the type of hypocrisy, and intellectual dishonesty I continue to speak of.

You're using complaints of "cancel culture"; occasional, but completely justified instances of public unrest in which a comparatively small number of bad actors from "boogaloo boys" and other white supremacist groups, are using the protests for cover to sew anarchy and chaos; and other typical right wing culture-war complaints, to justify Trump's unmaking of our democracy, and your's, and people in much closer agreement to your views' nihilism.

You've also neatly avoided one of the other central tenets of my argument, which is that you'd never have silently tolerated even one one-thousandth of a percent of what Trump's doing, from President Obama. That by definition is hypocrisy. And that's not speculation either. All one has to do is look at the eight years, and hundreds of scathing Scragg screeds posted during his Presidency to see that that's the case.

I'd also present you with the choice of what kind of future YOU want to live in, but it's obvious you've already thrown your lot in with those who've readily admitted to blatantly attempting to destroy two of the most cherished pillars of our democracy: The right to vote, and fair elections.

After almost four years on the path towards a fascist autocracy, I can only hope that America has not already reached the tipping point, and that Joe Biden/Kamala Harris will be able to pull us back from the brink.

August 16, 2020 5:46 PM

Ah, Tony... once again you remind my of why I do value your input. Just about everything you've stated is factually wrong - but, it is exactly what the media have told you is the truth. I do not believe you to be a liar - in this, I think, you are representative of many tens of millions of decent, moral, well-meaning Americans who have been deliberately misinformed.

It would take a series of articles to debunk each of the claims you reference, but I'll concentrate on the most egregious

"completely justified instances of public unrest in which a comparatively small number of bad actors from "boogaloo boys" and other white supremacist groups, are using the protests for cover to sew anarchy and chaos."

Please cite *one* example of where a mob of white supremacists committed mass arson in a major U.S. city in this millennium.

In contrast, just about every major U.S. city has buildings burnt down by BLM mobs, and in some cities like Portland OR, nearly every night. Do you realize that the Federal courthouse in Portland has been under siege every night by mobs armed with commercial-grade fireworks, high-energy lasers, and an array of blunt instruments for nearly three months running? Or, do you consider it acceptable for mobs to attack and destroy public buildings, and appropriate for law enforcement to simply allow this?

"He's sending unmarked, jack-booted federal thugs into cities, to terrorize, abuse, and stifle peaceful protest."

And there, I think, lies the crux of the matter. Throwing Molotov cocktails, destroying police vehicles, smashing windows, and looting, is NOT peaceful protest.

Peaceful protest is, well, peaceful. Go look at MLK's civil rights marches in the 60s for an example of how it's done. Those Americans dressed in their best, holding non-profane signs, and marched in neat order. They were attacked by racists who we now rightfully condemn and remember with disgust.

Even when they were in fact violently attacked, they still never responded with any arson or looting.

Today, the police have shown an exceptional degree of restraint - too much, in our opinion. Yes, people throwing Molotov cocktails need to be snatched up off the street and thrown into prison, by way of a court.

August 16, 2020 8:51 PM

Lol, as I always said upon returning from my sabbaticals, I've missed these types of "respectfully" biting and acerbic back-and-forths.

Anyways, as typical of right wing supporters who's world view is shaped by what they're fed by Fox News and Info Wars, rather than directly refute the ACTUAL arguments being made, you attempt to deflect. You've basically seized upon two sentences out of thousands of characters, when the only reason they were there in the first place, was that I made the mistake of taking the bait when you mentioned BLM in your first response.

That whole thing about it requiring "several articles" to address my core arguments, is no more than a ruse to avoid doing so.

Instead, you'd like the discussion to be sidetracked by a rabbit-hole discussion about one of Scragged's favorite boogey men, BLM, and I'll admit, you'd be on slightly more solid ground in such a debate, but your positions would still be just as indefensible.

Perfect example:

"Yes, people throwing Molotov cocktails need to be snatched up off the street and thrown into prison, by way of a court"

Ok, but in your initial response, you attempted to rationalize your support for Trump based on dire warnings and threats of FUTURE "government fascism" by people "in agreement with my views". But then here, you show the utter insincerity and vacuousness of that rationalization, by justifying random kidnappings of civilians by the federal government, when clearly there was no probable cause to abduct them, or they wouldn't have been summarily released without being charged.

That is the textbook definition of government fascism...Yet you plainly support it. To use one of your previous arguments which of course you now discard in support of fascism you can agree with: Today it's a BLM supporter, but tomorrow, it may be idiot thugs who are in much closer agreement to your views, with long rifles slung across their chests, protesting efforts to protect them from a deadly pandemic.

But, be that as it may, and although it would be easy to do so, you well know I didn't come here to argue the merits of BLM, and the accompanying issues of the systemic racism and brutality within American "law enforcement" in this country. No, that's not the issue here...

August 17, 2020 9:54 AM

...No, The real issue here, is your's and Scragged's hypocrisy and nihilism in continuing to support a man who by actions in office, has actually shown 1000-fold the moral and intellectual failings, corruption, and level of lawlessness that you continuously, and falsely attributed to President Obama for eight years. This man is slowly tearing down our government right before our eyes, but you want to talk about "cancel culture", and a few bad actors in protests against the police torture and murder of unarmed citizens.

Our democratic institutions are in no danger from a small number of instigators burning a few buildings here and there, but they will NOT survive a traitorous President and a complicit cabal of cabinet appointees and legislators openly working in concert to destroy them.

And again, not to mention, the untold suffering and death due to Trump's complete ineptitude, malfeasance, and intentional mishandling of the Coronavirus epidemic.

For the umpteenth time, I say again that which you have studiously, and obviously avoided addressing: If President Obama had committed even ONE of the major acts of corruption Trump and/or his toadies has committed, and continues to commit while in office, you and Scragged's reactions would be completely unhinged (even more unhinged than they were for the mere "objectionable" statements uttered by President Obama)...And you'd have been completely justified.

Some of the staunchest, and unassailable conservatives have rightly condemned Trump's actions, but for some reason, you're willing to give Trump a pass for everything (meaningless, token "pooh-poohing doesn't count). I mean conservatives with impeccable credentials, have formed actual organizations and PACS which are actively working to ensure that Trump isn't re-elected. But let me guess, like all news of Trump's misdeeds and failings is "fake news", all of these conservative anti-Trump groups are only so, because they're "the establishment". Amiright? Lol...ahem, sorry.

I'm sorry, but what I've read here the last three-plus years, from the standpoint of consistency, credibility, intellectual integrity, and logical justification, has been akin to what I read on Facebook, or in the Yahoo comments section (and, if I bothered to look, probably 4-chan as well, which brought us Pizzagate). Albeit, again, with a better command of the English language.

You have truly lost your way my friend.

August 17, 2020 9:55 AM

Again Tony, you are plainly illustrating why I have a hard time not being in despair for the state of the Union. You are so thoroughly misinformed that I don't even know where to start.

Please indulge me one moment of glee:

"as typical of right wing supporters who's world view is shaped by what they're fed by Fox News and Info Wars"

As a matter of policy, for this precise reason, I make it my habit never to watch Fox News, nor to read Info Wars. So my views are entirely un-shaped by those two sources. And, before you ask, I also rarely listen to talk radio - I have better things to do with my time.

"justifying random kidnappings of civilians by the federal government, when clearly there was no probable cause to abduct them, or they wouldn't have been summarily released without being charged."

I can only assume you have familiarity neither with police work nor with the law. When a "riotous assembly" is declared by law enforcement, anyone who remains present creates probable cause for arrest. "Snatching such people off the street" is perfectly proper and appropriate.

Your accusations of fascism are given the lie by your very own sentence. Since when did the Gestapo snatch people off the street... and then release them unharmed shortly thereafter? What happened here, of course, is that the police grabbed "likely looking suspects" in the dark, but after review of the evidence, determined that those *specific* people had committed no crime - so quite properly let them go.

"ONE of the major acts of corruption Trump and/or his toadies has committed"

I can't speak for every member of his administration, but despite every accusation being thrown at him up to and including being an alien lizard, I have seen no evidence of any kind of corruption on the part of Trump. Regarding the Obama administration, here is a handy list:


Regarding criticizing Trump's handling of covid, you are on firmer ground, though nowhere near where you think. Trump has failed in leadership, by listening to the appalling fraud Dr. Fauci and allowing him a platform. Wrongfully deferring to this man has directly led to the deaths of many thousands whose lives could have saved through proper use of HSC, as Trump tried to point out but allowed himself to be shouted down.


The CDC now admits that there are more excess suicide deaths, presumably brought on by the lockdown and force-crashed economy, than there are from covid:


So yes, Trump was gulled, and he bears the responsibility for this. But at least he's trying to keep the country and our liberties alive - whereas his opponent is calling for a Federal mask mandate:


This despite the complete lack of scientific evidence that ordinary (non-N85) masks do a lick of good, and increasing evidence that they do harm.


August 17, 2020 9:29 PM

Petrarch, Petrarch, Petrarch...Fox News and Info Wars were merely placeholders for whatever sources you actually DO happen to get your news from.

I ask you, what difference does the actual source make, when you and others who share your views STILL parrot the exact same talking points espoused by the Fox New's and Info Wars' of the world? I.e.: Interchangeability of POV. It's a distinction without difference. But fine, if it makes you feel better, I'll amend my statement and add nationalreview.com, redstate.com, et al. Or better yet, YOU fill in the sources. Either way, the point of the statement remains valid. There. Feel better?

"I can only assume you have familiarity neither with police work nor with the law."

My my, getting a bit testy aren't we?

"When a "riotous assembly" is declared by law enforcement, anyone who remains present creates probable cause for arrest. "

If the Fed thugs were justified in snatching unsuspecting people off the street, why then did the Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum file suit against DHS, US Customs and Border Protection, the US Marshals Service, and the Federal Protective Service? Why did the U.S. Attorney for Oregon, who actually works for Trumps DOJ, Billy J. Williams issue a statement calling for the Inspector General to open an investigation into the actions of the DHS agents in Portland?

So based on your "argument", they're unfamiliar with police work and the law too I suppose? Or will you now resort to some form of the usual right-wing absurdist claim that they only did so because they're part of some "librul conspiracy to undermine law and order, and sow anarchy"? Sorry, I forgot..."and that they're secret dues-paying, card-carrying members of BLM" Can't forget the BLM boogey man of course. Gotta have the BLM boogey man.

Thank you for confirming the old adage about ASS-uming here, because obviously, the one with questionable familiarity with regards to policing and law here, is not me.

"Your accusations of fascism are given the lie by your very own sentence. Since when did the Gestapo snatch people off the street... and then release them unharmed shortly thereafter?"

Oh NOW you want to move the goalposts, and claim now that LITERALLY, "what would the Gestapo do?" is the proper measure by which to quantify charges of fascism eh?

Well 1. I didn't call the feds the Gestapo, I said they were jackbooted thugs.

2. To answer your question, I am CERTAIN there were instances of gentile Germans who were grabbed off the street, under the suspicion of being Jews, but then released after it was ascertained through bribery, or actual proof, that they were in fact NOT Jews.

3. Don't make me quote the ACTUAL definition of fascism here to further illustrate the straw-grabbing, desperation evident of such a retort.

4. So by the new "what would the Gestapo do" standard, I challenge you to support YOUR accusations of the looming fascism of the Left, to show me YOUR evidence of Liberals' plans to round up dissenters, and ship them off to concentration camps, to be gassed and immolated.

I mean, it IS what the Gestapo did. Is it not?

Go ahead I'll wait...

August 18, 2020 2:07 PM


"I can't speak for every member of his administration...Regarding the Obama administration, here is a handy list"

Wait. What? Are you serious? Did you just attempt to use the "He's not responsible for what his people are doing" defense? Wow, I mean just wow. Are you going to actually try to pretend that the hundreds of Scragged screeds and diatribes haranguing President Obama every day of his eight-year term, were ONLY concerned with his specific, verifiable, personal actions? That you guys NEVER attempted to hold him accountable for the actions of others in his administration? Really???

Don't worry, I'll save you the trouble. From Scragged's own article [http://www.scragged.com/articles/obama-the-ignorant]:

"Whenever something really big goes badly wrong in government, the first defense of whoever is in charge is "I knew nothing about it!"

Or how about this little gem: "Any CEO who allowed this many newsworthy incompetencies to occur on his watch would have been booted out long ago."

Or my favorite: "...If you're the guy wearing the crown, everything is your responsibility. Without that fundamental rule of high office, we get Enron."

So in keeping with the coverage of Trump around here, of course none of that applies to Trump? Right?

I have to say, I find the complete lack of self-awareness evident in the continuous proffering of these types of spurious and effortlessly debunkable arguments curious, because they have only served to strengthen the validity of my charges of hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty.

"I have seen no evidence of any kind of corruption on the part of Trump".

Well of course when one covers their eyes and ears and screams "la la la la la I can't hearrrrrrrrrr you" at the top of their lungs, they're not going to "see" OR hear any evidence. But there it is.

Seriously though. "I have seen no evidence of any kind". Just let that sink in a moment.

it's hard to say if this is just the typical disingenuous word-game playing because you'd use a different term other than "corruption" to describe his crimes; have physically refused to view the widespread evidence made public by Congressional testimony, and the books of former administration officials (Including the one from that well-known liberal John Bolton), or if you actually HAVE considered the overwhelming evidence, and have just decided to take the default Trumpist position that "it's all just a pack of lies". Lol...ahem, sorry.

But in any case, I do have to thank you for one thing. And that's for making me aware of the error in my original criticisms of the views espoused by this blog during the era of Trump. I've used the term hypocritical among other terms to characterize said views and coverage here, but in actuality, the more befitting adjective to describe the overriding tone of Trump-related content I read here, is cultish.

In my travels, it's been my experience that even the most rabid, irrational, diehard Trump supporters still tethered to reality, will at LEAST admit that Trump is guilty of SOME corruption, but then of course, will go on to justify it by saying "Democrats do it too". But, for a writer of a blog that describes its mission as "shining the light...on those dark and shady corners where crooks and liars hide", to say "I have seen no evidence", when the biggest crook and liar is the President of the United States himself scurrying around corrupting everything he touches in broad daylight, is just bizarre. I can only surmise that the batteries in the "light shiners" flashlights must be dead.

But anyway, thanks for the lively debate, and please, do carry on with Trumpism evangelizing here. I'll pop in every so often to offer my heretical take on things. :)

August 18, 2020 2:07 PM

Well, Tony, as we all know, it's pretty rare to actually convince anybody of anything on the Internet. But a couple points worth making.

1. You haven't cited any acts of corruption for me to respond to. Yes, I agree, the man on top is responsible for his underlings. I would imagine that there surely is some corrupt person in the Trump administration (there always is), and if the corruption is real and he wasn't canned, then yes, I would blame Trump for it. Feel free to provide particulars if you like.

But as we all know, the media has been calling Trump and his administration corrupt ever since he descended the Golden Escalator, and yet the actual evidence has indicated nothing of the sort. At this point, for conservatives, the default assumption is that the media is lying - which, yes, is very unhealthy for the country, but we can't make them stop doing it alas. Compare the "Obama had no scandals!" lie with the lists previously cited, and of course the largest political scandal in American history which the media flatly refuses to truthfully report on:



2. "If the Fed thugs were justified in snatching unsuspecting people off the street, why then did the Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum file suit against DHS, US Customs and Border Protection, the US Marshals Service, and the Federal Protective Service? Why did the U.S. Attorney for Oregon, who actually works for Trumps DOJ, Billy J. Williams issue a statement calling for the Inspector General to open an investigation into the actions of the DHS agents in Portland?"

Here we approach an even more severe problem: we have ceased to be a nation of laws. There are abundant examples of leftist AGs, often elected by the support of far-left billionaires, that are explicitly abusing our laws to destroy their political enemies and protect allied criminals. To name but the most prominent examples:

August 20, 2020 5:46 PM

- Soros' Safety and Justice PAC funded the campaign of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner who is bringing felony charges of unlawful use of a weapon against Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who brandished their weapons against protesters who were trespassing on their private property. Their weapons they brandished were incapable of actually being fired, but no matter - the police lab was able to tamper with evidence by fixing them right up so that charges of felonious threatening could be filed.


- New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit seeking to dissolve the NRA, on grounds of fraud - right before an election, where the NRA would reasonably expected to spend tens of millions in support of James' political opponents. There may in fact be fraud by NRA execs, and if so, it's perfectly appropriate to charge them in court - but to *dissolve* one of the largest individual-rights groups in the US? Compare with the Democrat-aligned Teamsters, who were a wholly-owned subsidiary of the mob for decades. Dozens of Teamster-affiliated criminals went to prison, and the government took control of the union for many years to root out corruption - but it was never shut down entirely the way James wants to do with the NRA.

- Former Rep. Steve Stockman was convicted on campaign-finance charges many analysts consider to be bogus. He was imprisoned in a jail that is currently rife with COVID. Every single prisoner over 60 was released to house arrest on compassionate grounds - except for him.



So no, we do not take charges of corruption at face value. We treat convictions far more seriously - but it's hard to forget the case of Sen. Ted Stevens, who was fraudulently convicted of fraud the week before his re-election.


No doubt you are thinking of today's news about Steven Bannon's arrest for fraud. It is certainly *possible* that Bannon is a thief. On past performance, though, and considering the timing - only a fool would trust what either the media or the prosecutors are saying, until the actual evidence has been displayed to all in open court. And even then, it's hard to say how much of that is the truth.

Which means, yes, that it works both ways - we can't be fully confident that ordinary criminals are being convicted fairly either. That's why our society is falling apart.

August 20, 2020 5:46 PM


Not meaning to get in the way of your ongoing, beautifully stated replies to Tony - Liberal, but I just want to say that I very much appreciate you bringing up the case of Steve Stockman. He is being completely railroaded over these dubious "campaign fraud" accusations, and then being denied ANY type of "compassionate release" from prison due to his major health issues even PRIOR to him contracted Covid 19! This is truly a travesty of monumental proportions when it comes to JUSTICE! So many Mayors and Governors all across the Country have released inmates from their prisons who have committed FAR worse crimes than Steve Stockman has; up to, and including murder, yet Mr. Stockman IS DENIED compassion, of ANY KIND?? What is this world coming to?

We, the Left vs. the Right, or however we look at it, will absolutely NEVER be able to even come to the table to talk, to work our problems out, to find common ground, to reach an agreement, on ANYTHING, if this continues like this much longer. I fear the immortal words of Thomas Jefferson will have to come to pass once again -
"The tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of Patriots and Tyrants. It is its natural manure."

A period in time I prayed my children, nor grandchildren would never have to see, to live through, or to die for.

August 20, 2020 9:17 PM

"Well, Tony, as we all know, it's pretty rare to actually convince anybody of anything on the Internet."

I can't speak for anyone else, but for myself, if the information is cogently presented, logically supportable, reliably sourced, provable, and doesn't contradict common sense, scientific laws, and passes the "smell test", then I'm open to considering it. In short, if it makes sense, then I can potentially be persuaded.

"You haven't cited any acts of corruption for me to respond to."

You are correct, and there are several reasons for that fact.

1. The discussion thus far has centered around my contentions of the utter hypocrisy (cultism), and intellectual dishonesty clearly evident in Scragged's disparate and wholly unjustified inconsistency in the treatment of the Presidencies of Trump, and that of President Obama's -which you have yet to rebut btw. Whereas, no minor trifle or utterance by President Obama was too small to elicit a lengthy screed in these pages, NOTHING Trump nor his cronies has done, nor any of the literally thousands of lies, and divisive statements uttered by Trump over the last 3 1/2 years has been enough to warrant any type of meaningful criticism here.

2. Any specific mention of any of Trump's bad behaviors, lies, instances of corruption and/or crimes, would likely be met by one or more of the completely absurd Trumpist rationalizations/denials we've heard for the entirety of Trump's term:
a. It's all lies;
b. It's fake news/liberal MSM dishonest reporting
c. it's a liberal/leftist/Soros conspiracy.

As an example, I point to your response to my rebuttal of your assertion that the fed thug kidnappings were legal. A response which was clearly anticipated, as indicated by my prediction characterizing your anticipated response beforehand. A prediction -which was absolutely borne out- that you'd attribute the actions of the Oregon AG, and US Attorney to some form of the right-wing go-to of wild conspiracies, suggesting that they're somehow guilty of being "Soros-backed, leftist government infiltrators/anarchists acting criminally".

The only surprise in your response, was that you exercised some restraint in avoiding directly referencing the BLM boogeyman. Although, I think we can correctly surmise that BLM is indeed included in the "allied criminals" you accused the Oregon AGs of protecting.

As typical of what I've seen in the Trump era, is that rather than offer disciplined, intellectual, factual arguments in support of their positions, Trumpists eventually fall back on one, two, or all three of their warm blankeys I described above.

You citing purported misconduct by some other AG, in some other jurisdiction as "proof" of misconduct of AGs all the way across the country, and as a rationale to automatically dismiss the legitimacy of their legal challenges to the fed thugs' kidnappings, and thus my rebuttal to your argument supporting said fed thug kidnappings, is just intellectually lazy.

It would be like you presenting an instance of clearly-justified use-of-deadly force by police, and having me to blithely dismiss it by linking to the numerous instances of George Floyd-type murders committed by police all over the country, with no attempt to actually offer evidence directly rebutting THAT specific instance.

I would be embarrassed to offer a rebuttal like that to an argument. And in my opinion, it reflects the indefensibility of a position to insist on doing so....

August 22, 2020 2:17 PM


"So no, we do not take charges of corruption at face value. We treat convictions far more seriously..."

Very well, so tell me, if a few purported misdeeds by AGs and DAs support your tarring ALL law enforcement/judicial authorities whose actions you disagree with, as being part of a leftist conspiracy, what then do the following convictions of so many of Trump's closest associates for wrongdoing say about Trump himself?

Corey Lewandowski
Paul Manafort
Rick Gates
Michael Flynn
George Papadopoulos
Michael Cohen
Roger Stone

and of course, very shortly...
Steve Bannon

3. And most importantly - If I did decide to indulge in such an exercise in futility, just like several of the first few items on the purported list of President Obama "scandals" you kindly provided, I'd be subjected to constant references to intentionally misrepresented, discredited, and/or completely false information in support of your contentions.

Point of fact, let's take two of the first few "scandals" I looked at from your list:
● The Senate seat for sale scandal

Analysis: First off the judicial Watch link was invalid. But after finally intuiting the actual link/document location, there were no smoking gun documents found. The FOIA lawsuit for President Obama's FBI interviews was denied and that denial upheld upon appeal, so there were no "numerous" Judicial Watch documents "contradicting" the Obama Administration's assertion that no inappropriate discussions took place. In fact, the prosecutors on the case cleared President Obama and his staff of any involvement or wrongdoing.

Finding: The accusation is completely false and without merit.

● Obama’s Illegal Firing of an Inspector General

Analysis: The author states: "Walpin’s only crime was that he was investigating Obama’s friend and donor, Kevin Johnson.". Ok. Walpin was fired in June 2009, right? So why is it that in April of that same year, the US attorney for Walpin's district, Lawrence Brown, had submitted a letter to the chair of the Integrity Committee of the Counsel of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, alleging among other instances of Walpin misconduct:

- Walpin had failed to disclose relevant information about the Kevin Johnson case to his office
- Walpin repeatedly violated an order prohibiting publicly discussing the case in the media, even though he had been directed not to discuss ANY cases under investigation in the press, under any circumstances.
- That by his actions, Walpin was hindering the Kevin Johnson investigation

Finding: The firing was completely justified and unrelated to the subject of Wapin's investigation

I wish I could say I was surprised, but these are the typical results when I actually decide to waste my time attempting to validate "evidence" offered in support of Trumpist positions and contentions. It's annoying to go down these rabbit holes with promises of "No, trust me. This time, you'll see!", only to have them ALWAYS end at dead ends, or doubling back on themselves.

So No my friend, my not offering specific instances of Trump's corruption was by design, because this is not a venue for such a debate. These pages are more suitable for debating policy, opinion, and other "philosophical" topics and issues whose essence does not directly boil down to fact. It wasn't always this way (or at least it seemed not to be), but it's clear that that's where we are today in the Trump era.

To quote the words of a great philosopher whose name escapes me at the moment, who recently mused on the largely avoidable, but untold human suffering and carnage wrought by the leader of a nation's handling of global pandemic:

"It is, what it is".

August 22, 2020 2:17 PM

Oh dear, I really wanted to resist the temptation to write a whole article in response... but that's really the only way to do it. That'll be along in due time.

August 26, 2020 10:12 PM

Oh dear indeed. That and a shocked gasp was exactly my response when I read:

"I have seen no evidence of any kind of corruption on the part of Trump".

It was THEN that it became clear to me what I was confronting here.

That said, I'll say this with regards to this, our latest debate; I do appreciate your effort to meaningfully respond to the actual proffered arguments this time around...It reminded me of "old times". :)

I await said article with interest.

August 27, 2020 7:04 AM

And, here you are Tony:


But once again I wasn't able to adequately cover all the worthy themes, so there's another one coming down the pike for next week.

August 28, 2020 12:44 PM

Thanks Petrarch...Disclaimer noted.

I will read and offer any thoughts as soon as I am able.

August 28, 2020 1:51 PM
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