That Donald Trump enjoys a seemingly insurmountable lead over Ron DeSantis among likely Republican primary voters in a New York Times/Sienna College poll is not surprising. The Trumpster outpolls his main challenger among all demographic and ideological Republicans (https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/31/us/politics/2024-poll-nyt-siena-trump-republicans.html?smid=url-share).
The most fascinating finding to me was their head to head scores on the question of morality. Forty-five percent think the Florida governor is more moral than Trump. I can see that. DeSantis projects a certain All-Americanism: married to the same woman, nice looking kids, nothing outrageous in the way he walks, talks, dresses, does his thick, dark hair.
Compared to DeSantis, Trump has 30 more years of eating KFC buckets to explain his girth. He’s also used those decades for two more marriages and divorces, plus an unknown number of out of wedlock liaisons, failed businesses, countless civil lawsuits and now federal and state criminal litigations. All that and more.
Yet, 37% think he is more moral that DeSantis.
As Nate Cohen explained in an accompanying analysis in The Times, “The MAGA base doesn’t support Mr. Trump in spite of his flaws. It supports him because it doesn’t seem to believe he has flaws.”
He is truly the Teflon Don. “Only 19 percent of the electorate said Mr. Trump’s behavior after his 2020 defeat threatened American democracy. And only 17 percent see the former president as having committed any serious federal crimes, despite his indictment by a federal grand jury on charges of mishandling classified documents and his receipt of a so-called target letter in the separate election interference case being brought by the office of the special counsel, Jack Smith,” The Times reported.
Which begs the question—have these Republicans forgotten what they learned, or what they were supposed to have learned, in school?
My friend Arthur, who served our government for more than three decades, had the following comment after watching a CSPAN newscast of Trumpsters on line to attend Trump’s rally in Erie, PA, Saturday night:
“All I could think is that civics has not been taught in the American educational system for the past 30-years. These are decent people, many veterans. So clueless about what a Republic is; what Federalism is; what is checks and balances; how Trump is a threat to their receiving Social Security, a pension, and Medicare benefits.
“So clueless that immigrants pick the vegetables that they buy in Walmart; so clueless that immigrants work the Tysons poultry line, the chicken they buy at Costco; so clueless that immigrants work the take out coffee window at McDonald’s.
“What is so ironic is that many on line in Erie are veterans and don’t understand that Trump is such a threat to American democracy—the ideal for which they fought and bled overseas!!”
These indeed are bewildering times. Not just in America but in Israel, as well. Anti-Bibi observers, as I am, denounce his government’s watering down the power of the Supreme Court to use “reasonable judgement” to overturn government actions. Massive demonstrations, including threats by reservists to boycott military duty, could not prevent Bibi’s right wing and religious coalition from passing what it considers to be judicial reform legislation.
On the other hand, there’s an argument to be made that opposition to Netanyahu’s forces is a form of military coup. Take a few minutes to read the following: (https://open.substack.com/pub/melaniephillips/p/the-real-coup-against-israels-democracy?r=8sxnm&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web).
Now that you’ve absorbed that point of view, here’s a lawyer’s analysis of Israel’s predicament first published in The Algemeiner: (https://www.algemeiner.com/2023/07/27/balance-of-chaos-a-lawyer-explains-israels-judicial-reform/).