This week on the Sunday shows: Which intrepid journalists will ask their Republican guests about Donald Trump’s latest Nazi-redolent rhetoric? Which Republicans will condemn said rhetoric—without immediately claiming he’s still a better choice than the Democrat who didn’t keep a book full of Hitler speeches in his bedside cabinet. Or say “Hitler did a lot of good things.” Or request a pop-up version of “Mein Kampf” from the Palm Beach Public Library.
We’ll see, won’t we? And soon.
Let’s unroll this scroll and see what unfolds. Maybe Trump’s latest outrage will manage to do what the previous 10,000 outrages (10,026 if you count the Cosbyian profusion of sexual assault accusations against him) failed to do. That is, finally shame craven GOPsters not named Liz Cheney or Adam Kinzinger into decisively canceling this creep.
And we’re off!
Well, maybe the fact that Trump is cribbing from Hitler’s playbook, diary, cookbook, scrapbook, and unfinished off-Broadway musical “Little Aryan Annie” is just a two- or three-day story after all. I mean, it's been a while since we checked if Joe Biden has fallen off his bike. Say, maybe Biden should try falling off one of those German World War II motorcycles with the Nazi flags and a sidecar full of Joseph Goebbels bobbleheads, because it would surely get less coverage than if he tumbled off his Schwinn on the way to Baskin-Robbins.
Of course, I happen to think—naively, perhaps—that Trump’s Hitler fetish should be a “however many days are left until the election”-day story, but what do I know? Whatevs. Let’s just go to yet another clip showing how screwed Republicans are on abortion going into 2024.
Gov. Chris Christie joined Kristen Welker on “Meet the Press” and, boy oh boy—did I mention how screwed Republicans are on abortion?
This is a long one, so feel free to skim the transcript.
WELKER: “Governor, let me ask you about one of the biggest policy positions for Republicans right now, which is the issue of abortion. Your rival Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a six-week ban in Florida, as you know. Donald Trump said that was a, quote, ‘terrible mistake.’ And just this weekend Nikki Haley said on Friday she would have signed a six-week ban as the governor of South Carolina. Where are you on this issue of a six-week ban, Governor? Can you be clear for voters?”
CHRISTIE: “Yeah, I sure can be. I think each state should make their own decision, Kristen. And I think that that’s what Dobbs was all about, was that each state and its people make their own decision. And we’ve seen referenda go on in places like Kansas and Ohio and other places where voters are getting to express their view on this. I think that’s the way it should have always been. This is not a federal constitutional issue. This is a state issue, Kristen. And each state should make their own judgment on this. And I think the president or people running for president should not be in a position of picking a certain number of weeks.”
WELKER: “Governor, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told me last week on this show, quote, ‘We can’t just say it’s a states’ issue and be done. Voters want clarity.’ So can you give them some? Where do you stand on a six-week ban, Governor? Would you sign it, for example, if it had come to your desk in New Jersey?”
CHRISTIE: “With my Democratic legislature in New Jersey, no ban would have come to my desk, Kristen, so it’s a ridiculous question, with all due respect.”
WELKER: “But Governor ...”
CHRISTIE: “No, I’m not going to get into hypotheticals. I’m not going to get into hypotheticals, Kristen, I’m simply not.”
WELKER: “Do you support a six-week ban? How do you feel about a six-week ban? You, Gov. Christie.”
CHRISTIE: “Kristen, I have said my position on this, which is that every state and its people should make its own judgment on this issue. I have governed as a pro-life governor in New Jersey, and I believe in the sanctity of human life, but I’m not going to get into this media game of six weeks, 12 weeks, 15 weeks, 20 weeks. I want the American people to decide. That’s the right way to make this judgment. And with all due respect to Ronna, she’s not running for president, and she’s never governed. So she doesn’t know how hard these choices are and how you have to interact with people. Look, this is an extraordinarily emotional issue for the American people, and I believe that the Supreme Court has robbed the American people of their right to be heard on this. They should be heard, and nobody in Washington, D.C., should rob the American people of their right to be heard in each and every state, and when I’m president, I won’t do that.”
Ask 10 different Republicans where they stand on abortion and you’re likely to get 30 different answers, depending on the day, who they’re with, and how much the voters they’re wooing smell like Chick-fil-A. Meanwhile, Democrats are pretty well united: Reproductive health care decisions should be made by women in consultation with their doctors. We want our Roe back. Easy-peasy.
Isn’t it nice to be on the side of simple messaging for once?
Of course, Christie knows how unpopular Republican abortion rhetoric is—everyone knows—so he’s decided to fall back on a states’ rights talking point and bugle like a dying elk when asked for specifics.
But you heard him. A six-week abortion ban is hypothetical. Unless he’s president, of course, and MAGA Mike Johnson drops a six-week abortion ban on his desk—along with a bill diverting Los Alamos National Laboratories’ entire annual budget to the Ark Encounter. Ironically, a Chris Christie presidency is the hypothetical of hypotheticals. Sure, it’s possible. It’s also possible Chuck Grassley will find the Higgs boson in his Grape-Nuts. But we don’t deal in hypotheticals here. Because that would be wrong.
RELATED: Sunday Four-Play: RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel tries to appear 'moderate' on abortion, fails miserably
Oh, look! A guest who wants to forcefully condemn Trump’s Hitler cosplaying! By providing history and context! Which GOP presidential hopeful is this?
Ah, never mind. It’s a New Yorker writer. Team her up with the latest Dorothy Parker chatbot and we’ll take back Trump Country one twee dress boutique at a time. Then again, she does have some important—even vital—things to say. Which is why we’re running this clip.
New Yorker staff writer Susan Glasser appeared on “The Saturday/Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart” to talk about the only wannabe dictator in history to suggest his supporters be injected with bleach.
CAPEHART: “Trump’s rhetoric is beyond alarming. Not only did he use the word vermin, a few weeks ago he said that undocumented immigrants were, quote, ‘poisoning the blood of our country,’ end quote. Again, echoing language used by Hitler. Why should the American people take him literally and seriously when he talks like this?”
GLASSER: “Jonathan, the dehumanizing rhetoric that Donald Trump employs—which, by the way, he has done through his political career. I remember writing a whole column when he was president about [him] calling his enemies ‘human scum.’ You know who else uses this rhetoric? It’s not just Hitler; it’s the worst dictators in history. Those are the only people. When you look to find other examples of democratically elected leaders using this language, you will not find it. And the reason is because it’s not democratic. Fundamentally, what it is is the language of a strongman who is inciting followers to believe that their opponents are subhuman. It is a call in a way to violence. It is a call to be able to do whatever you want in the name of defeating those opponents. It is a prelude in many societies to disaster, and listening to that clip, to me it was chilling. It was as if I was hearing a live speech by Joseph Stalin. It was that scary.”
You know, it was scary. Hella scary. And if I’m not mistaken, that speech was written down on a teleprompter. Meaning he—or maybe Stephen Miller—meticulously crafted those comments. Which only makes sense, considering Trump’s inner dialogue is typically just The Three Stooges poking each other in the eyes for 20 minutes at a time. Well, that and a few scattered thoughts on the serial depredations of whale-murdering windmills.
RELATED: Sunday Four-Play: Mike Johnson is a skilled (as in sociopathic) liar, and the GOP still loves Putin
Speaking of virulent antisemites (and chatbots), Elon Musk’s name came up during a “State of the Union” interview with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who’s best known for eating pudding with his fingers, trying to murder as many Floridians with COVID as possible, and laughing like a factory irregular Tickle Me Elmo.
Host Jake Tapper asked DeSantis, an Elon Musk chum, about the billionaire entrepreneur’s latest antisemitic remarks, and DeSantis somehow came off more weaselly than Chris Christie on the topic of abortion.
TAPPER: “Something happened the other day that I wondered what you thought about, because you launched your campaign on Twitter, now known as X. And right now major companies such as Apple and Disney are pulling their ads from X because Elon Musk openly endorsed this antisemitic conspiracy theory that Jews are conspiring to replace white Americans with minority immigrants. I wondered if you saw the comment and if you condemn it.”
DESANTIS: “I did not see the comment, and so I know that Elon has had a target on his back ever since he purchased Twitter, because I think he’s taking it in a direction that a lot of people who are used to controlling the narrative don’t like. So I was a big supporter of him purchasing Twitter. I think they’re obviously still working some stuff out, but I did not see those comments.”
Really? He didn’t see the comments? I have to think that if Joe Biden had said something similar, DeSantis might have seen it. And tweeted it out. And somehow connected the dots between the comment, Hunter Biden’s laptop, and the recent spike in Black Disney mermaids.
Rep. Jamie Raskin has seen Musk’s comments, and he’s not buying DeSantis’ denials.
TAPPER: “[You] wanted to weigh in on the interview I just did with Gov. DeSantis, specifically about Elon Musk. What did you want to say?”
RASKIN: “Well, the guy is running for president and Elon Musk did that on Wednesday. It’s Sunday, so this is four days later, and he has not had the chance to read what Elon Musk wrote? That is very hard for me to believe. In any event, you showed it to him, and he still refused to condemn it. So if you’re serious about condemning and confronting antisemitism and racism and these bigotries, which are the gateway to the destruction of liberal democracy, you’ve got to be explicit and open and full-throated about it, and you’ve got to denounce antisemitism and racism across the board.”
TAPPER: “What was your reaction to what Elon Musk [wrote]?
RASKIN: “I thought it was outrageous and dangerous.”
Sure, Jamie. That’s easy for you to say. But your voters aren’t a bunch of racist yahoos. Try campaigning as a Republican without winking at vicious bigots. It can’t be done!
Hey, it’s Sunday at Fox News, too! On another planet. In a different dimension. One where Jan. 6 didn’t happen the way you remember it at all. It was a white-glove cotillion featuring cucumber sandwiches and just a soupçon of bear spray—delicately applied to Capitol officers’ rheumy eyes with a dowager’s heirloom doily.
Or maybe the FBI was behind the whole thing. Sure, let’s just go with that.
Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy joined Maria Bartiromo on the “I Tried to End Western Liberal Democracy and All I Got Was This Lousy Sunday Morning Show” show to float outlandish conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and its aftermath. Because costing your employer $787 million apparently isn’t quite as chastening as you’d think.
BARTIROMO: “Speaker, I want to be real specific. There are questions regarding FBI informants that were in Trump clothing around the Capitol on that day throughout the crowd. Do you have any insights for us regarding their role in those events? The FBI’s role?”
MCCARTHY: “I personally don’t. That’s the committee. I would make sure to go look at that and see all that and we need to get more information. I know the director of the FBI has been asked this question numerous times. [Rep.] Thomas Massie is the one who’s been working on this and I think he’d have greater insight for you.”
Gee, another Republican with a fuzzy memory. Be patient, guys! Joe Biden is replacing our country’s lead pipes just as fast as he can! It’s too late for some of you, but with any luck, coming generations will be far less susceptible to this kind of conspiracy nonsense.
Of course, Kev was pretty convinced that these were Trump’s people on Jan. 6, 2021, when he begged the ocher abomination to call them off. He might want to clue Maria in. Or he could keep publicly disgracing himself. Either way. He’s already sold his soul, which has somehow ended up in a Goodwill bargain bin next to three Chinese knockoff Cabbage Patch dolls and a VHS copy of “Look Who’s Talking Too.”
But wait! There’s more!
That’s all for now! See you next week. Try not to make any Hitler-adjacent speeches in the meantime!
Check out Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s four-volume Trump-trashing compendium, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. Or, if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE.