#1581 Indicted Authoritarianism Up For Debate

Air Date: 9–6-2023

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The first GOP presidential debate happened without the frontrunner, Donald Trump, being present for the event but rather hanging over the proceedings like a specter. Meanwhile, Trump's legal troubles continue to mount and we examine what it is that is keeping Republican voters and presidential candidates alike, with minor exceptions, firmly defending the former president.

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Ch. 1: The Party of Authoritarianism - In The Thick - Air Date 8-23-23

As the GOP presidential debates make their premiere in Milwaukee, Jeanne Whalen reports on Donald Trump’s failure to make good on a promise of bringing a manufacturing boom to Wisconsin

Ch. 2: Trickle Down Trumpism - Straight White American Jesus - Air Date 8-26-23

The GOP debate, where Trump was somehow both absent and present.

Ch. 3: An Argument at the Kids' Table John Nichols on First GOP Debate Held Without Trump Part 1 - Democracy Now! - Air Date 8-24-23

Highlights from the first Republican presidential debate of the 2023 race and analysis from John Nichols

Ch. 4: Why top Republicans want to bomb Mexico - Today, Explained - Air Date 8-29-23

Long-shot presidential candidate Ron DeSantis said he would send US forces into Mexico “on day one.” Longer-shot presidential candidate Will Hurd explains why that’s a bad idea.

Ch. 5: Trickle Down Trumpism Part 2 - Straight White American Jesus - Air Date 8-26-23

Ch. 6: The Party of Authoritarianism Part 2 - In The Thick - Air Date 8-23-23

Ch. 7: Is America Run By A Psychopathic Cult w Seth D. Norrholm - Thom Hartmann Program - Air Date 8-24-23

Will America’s Democracy be a memory before Trump’s cult wakes up?

Ch. 8: Trickle Down Trumpism Part 3 - Straight White American Jesus - Air Date 8-26-23

Ch. 9: Ticking Bomb Inside GOP’s Plan To Defund Trump Prosecution - Thom Hartmann - Air Date 8-31-23

Far-Right lawmakers want to defund Fani Willis without settling for legal means to stop the persecution of Donald Trump.


Ch. 10: An Argument at the Kids' Table John Nichols on First GOP Debate Held Without Trump Part 2 - Democracy Now! - Air Date 8-24-23

Discussing the 14th Amendment option

Ch. 11: An Argument at the Kids' Table John Nichols on First GOP Debate Held Without Trump Part 3 - Democracy Now! - Air Date 8-24-23

Discussing the GOP debate on support for Ukraine


Ch. 12: Final comments on the need to ban Trump from office in the right way

MUSIC (Blue Dot Sessions)


Description: A four-quadrant layout of photos of GOP presidential candidates, including Chris Christie, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, and Vivek Ramaswamy. At the intersection of the images is a red circle around a photo of Donald Trump’s face, mid-speech, pointing a finger at the camera.

Credit: Composite design by A. Hoffman. Individual image credits: Chris Christie by Michael Vadon, Flickr (License: CC BY-SA 2.0), Changes: Cropped; Photos of Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Donald Trump all by Gage Skidmore, Flickr | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 | Changes: Cropped

Produced by Jay! Tomlinson

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Showing 2 reactions

  • Scott Beatty
    commented 2023-09-15 13:57:33 -0400
    Dear Jay
    Hi Jay, this is Scott from California, long time listener. (and subscriber!),

    I was interested to hear your thoughts on why secretaries of state shouldn’t keep Trump off the ballot. I’m sorry to have to disagree with you on that like I disagree with Jocelyn Benson the Democrat Secretary of State from Michigan.

    This is hard to do because I so often respect your opinions which invariably show amazing wisdom.

    So, I understand your concerns which I will address below with some other concerns, many of which I’m sure you also share.

    I do believe it’s incumbent on secretaries of state with any sense of reality (we know that won’t be all of them) to say Trump does not belong on the ballot simply the way they would automatically disqualify someone who was foreign born or underage.

    The 14th amendment, as conservative legal scholars have recently written does not require criminal conviction. It merely requires candidates who have supported overthrow of the American government to be considered ineligible.

    Trump’s sedition, and outright treason are so well documented. To treat him as still qualified sets a dangerous precedent. I am not implying Jay, that you think Trump is qualified for office or that you don’t consider him a danger to this country, of course you do.

    One concern you mentioned was the need to restore faith in the integrity of elections. But the election was secure! The only reason there is any question about the integrity of American elections is because Donald Trump lied about it, continues to lie about it and now nearly all Republicans are afraid to tell the truth for fear of losing their nifty jobs in Congress. Fox admitted in court they lied and will have to do so again.

    Claiming we have to be extra careful because Trump continues to lie seems like conceding to his lies.

    We don’t need to treat this kind of behavior with kid gloves for fear of offending MAGAs nationwide. MAGAS are never going to admit trump was treasonous. It’s simply too much cognitive dissonance for people who ironically consider themselves the only true patriots to admit their guy is an enemy of America.

    Next, you were are concerned about threats of violence and, actual violence. That’s a legitimate concern. But, the right has been using threats of violence of years now. (most of which I really think are just bluffing except the fact that it does lead to stochastic terrorism on occasion. I really doubt can bring themselves to shoot their neighbors. Bullies are also cowards. That’s why the promised violent rebellions when Trump was indicted several times now never materialized.)
    If Trump gets back in power, there will be far worse violence in America than a bunch of upset MAGAs with AR 15s. . I can easily envision concentration camps for migrants, then trans people, then outspoken liberals which could would then likely turn into death camps. If it happened it Germany, it can happen here.

    They will invade another country. Republican candidates are already talking about invading Mexico to stop fentanyl. That will be their excuse, then they will send in ground troops to invade and steal Mexico’s land. That is what fascist regimes do, they start war out of unchecked power and out of control greed. Trump in power would start WWIII, I have no doubt.
    If Trump and his campaign disagrees with a secretary of state’s decision, he can simply take that state to court. Trump loves taking people to court! That’s his right.
    I fully agree with your position that it would be BETTER if 50 lawsuits were filed in 50 states by the ACLU and or other organizations and the issue was forced to the Supreme Court and decided ultimately for all.

    But, in the meantime. I think it’s better if people get used to the idea that Trump has no chance of being re-elected now because of what he’s already done.

    We have to stop talking about Trump as if he has any kind of legitimacy. That is dangerous too.
    I’m sick of major media treating Trump like just another candidate in a horserace simply out of old bad journalist habits. We’ve had 250 years of peaceful transfers of power, and the US just came frighteningly close to a successful coup and a becoming a dictatorship. Now the media wants to pretend it can’t happen again. (also Major Media does not want to alienate MAGA consumers and, of course major media’s rich owners support Trump’s tax cuts and Republican’s lack of intention to pass any meaningful reforms for working class people.) The mere existence of Trump’s popularity with a certain deluded group of people does not qualify him automatically for consideration.

    Trump is a bully. I know that word is a cliché but I don’t think most people understands what that means beyond just “mean spirited and pushy.”

    Bullies rely entirely on the decency of other people to follow the rules they’ve realized they can get ahead by breaking. That’s why bullies are the first to complain that someone else “broke a rule”, the same rule they’d break in an instant if it served their purposes. Being bullies has worked for the Republican party since Newt Gingrich 1st realized in the 90s that playing fair was for suckers and that’s why our Supreme Court is now stacked with politicians in robes.

    This is why the left fails so frequently against the right, the left often fails to play hard ball against bullies. But, hard ball is ALL bullies ever respect. And I don’t even see us breaking any rules by having secretaries of state leave off his name.

    So, yeah, I will take any advantage we can get over Trump. MAGA is in denial. I don’t think waiting for the Supreme Court or ANYTHING is ever going to convince those poor misinformed MAGA cult members that Trump was wrong.

    Lastly, I’m sorry this rant is so long.

    This is not a question of putting Trump in prison which, I agree, legally we have to be fair. But, Trump is getting all the due process the law affords for those charges. (and then some!)

    Secretaries of State would simply be saying, “By doing the things you did publicly, events which are not in question, you, Donald Trump are disqualified from holding the highest office in the land.” again, just as if Trump was a foreign born citizen or not of age.”

    You don’t get to run for the highest office in the land. Boo hoo. It’s not like that’s everyone’s “right” to be on the ballot. There are all sorts of procedures keeping people off ballots unfairly from party funding to requirements for signatures. The 14th amendment, of course, is specifically written to stop a man like Donald Trump from claiming it is his right!

    (Here’s an aside: Actually, electors in the Electoral College, were also supposed to be the ones to stop a man like Trump from the fickle will of the people. That was the framer’s original intent by creating them. They didn’t trust the masses to not get conned by a guy like Trump. (This was my only hope after November 11 of 2016.) But that didn’t work did it? The original purpose of the Electors in the Electoral College has been forgotten after 250 years of relatively ethical candidates. But, again, I digress.)

    If 95 million idiots write in Trump’s name and he somehow wins the electoral college that way, I’m sure that will end up in court as well. But, in the meantime I think it’s unwise and dangerous to treat Trump as if he is a viable candidate for office until he’s finally somehow proven otherwise.
    So, to summarize, I’m afraid the approach you suggest Jay, taking the political high road in the name of political integrity, first, won’t appease any MAGAs anyway. 2nd, that it continues the dangerous precedent of acting like Trump is just another normal candidate until someone officially decides it so.

    We have to stop treating Trump like he has ANY claim of legitimacy whatsoever .

    Thanks Jay.

    Feel free to shred my points! I’m always impressed when you do after someone calls in and, I often thought, just moments before you replied, that their ideas maybe had some merit!
    Finally, Jay, as well all say, keep up the good work.

    I can’t ever begin to thank you enough for all I’ve learned through your program since, wow, around 2008 or 2009?

    Thanks again!

    I have this in audio form but am having trouble finding the button to upload it if you’d care to play it.
  • Jay Tomlinson
    published this page in Episodes 2023-09-06 23:46:31 -0400
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