BREAKING: Did Donald J. Trump "defraud democracy?"


Fascinating letters to the Times:
Yesterday morning, the New York Times published three letters concerning the claim that Donald J. Trump "defrauded democracy" when Michael Cohen paid Stephanie Clifford to refrain from "telling her truth."

To read those letters, click here.

Clifford says that she and Trump had sex on one occasion, in 2006; Trump says they didn't. After trying to score a big sack of cash for years, Clifford finally accepted $130,000 from Michael Cohen to keep her truth to herself.

Did Barrister Cohen "defraud democracy" when he arranged this payment? Did Trump commit the same offence? The first letter, from Beverly Hills, chose to keep it "plain and simple" and said that they certainly did:
LETTER TO THE NEW YORK TIMES (12/11/18): Plain and simple, Donald Trump violated campaign finance laws meant to ensure full disclosure of campaign contributions and expenditures to hide from public view two extramarital affairs. If this information had become public during the final phases of the 2016 campaign, it is likely that Mr. Trump would have lost the election. And that’s how he defrauded the American public.

This is not a victimless crime.
American democracy, American spirit, the fabric of our country and the American people are the victims, as are the poor, immigrants, the environment and longstanding relationships with historical allies. As Mr. Trump might tweet, “Shame.”
If you have sex with someone once, have you had "an affair" with that person? We'd be inclined to view that as a special case of "the power of pluralization." Given the fact that a stampede's on, your results may differ.

Whatever! The writer assumes the truth of Clifford's claim; assumes the accuracy of claims by Michael Cohen; and, perhaps most significantly, uncritically accepts the legal judgments of Southern District prosecutors.

On this familiar basis, he declares that the American people are victims of a crime. As we tried to select the president of the United States, we were kept from knowing that Donald J. Trump may have had sex, on one occasion, with Clifford some ten years before!

Forget the legalities here. That strikes us as one of the most insane political and cultural judgments we've encountered in twenty-one years at this mind-numbing post. That said, it's now the defining political/cultural judgment of the liberal and mainstream worlds.

The second writer, from the calmer climate of Toronto, said we should maybe hold on:
LETTER TO THE NEW YORK TIMES (12/11/18): If the Democrats push for impeachment in the House and if the House does impeach, with the Republicans controlling the Senate, that will be as pointlessly distracting and destructive as the Republican-controlled House’s impeachment of President Bill Clinton was. Nothing will be gained. The country will suffer.

The House, and hence the Democratic Party, will be shooting itself in the foot. President Trump’s crimes, if they are proved, will speak for themselves. Whether they have an effect on his ability to be re-elected will be determined by the electorate, which is where it should be determined.
This Canadian is withholding judgment, at this time, about Trump's possible crimes.

He doesn't specifically mention the "crime" in which we voters were kept from learning who may have had sex with whom on one ten-year-old occasion. He further suggests that the system is meant to run on elections, not on impeachment, except where necessity calls.

The third letter came from Manhattan Beach, CA. In our view, this writer makes a sound overall point:
LETTER TO THE NEW YORK TIMES (12/11/18): In your reporting on the latest from the special counsel, Robert Mueller, you say the prosecutors wrote that Michael Cohen, the president’s onetime lawyer, “deceived the voting public by hiding alleged facts that he believed would have had a substantial effect on the election.”

If our election laws criminalize that, then we have criminalized politics.

All politicians push good news and hide the bad.
Have we made our political process any better from this labyrinth of laws? No. And calling it a fraud on voters is more evidence of lawyers going wild.
According to the prosecutors, Cohen “deceived the voting public by hiding alleged facts that he believed would have had a substantial effect on the election.”

The writer says all politicians hide unflattering facts. We think he has a solid point. Consider:

According to a wealth of whispers, the recently canonized George H. W. Bush had an affair along the way with a particular aide who we won't name in this place. If that suspicion was correct, did Candidate Bush "deceive the public" in 1988 and 1992 by failing to inform them about this exciting fact?

According to Carl Bernstein's 2007 book, A Woman in Charge, Bill Clinton had a substantial, heartfelt love affair with an Arkansas woman who Bernstein names during his years as governor. If that's true, did Candidate Clinton "deceive the public" in 1992 and 1996 by failing to share this exciting news?

Is the public being "deceived" when it isn't told about such matters? Does this make us "victims?" This notion strikes us as insane, as the sort of judgment which tends to merge from our unbalanced species' "cultural revolutions."

That said, we're currently watching a stampede unfold. In the course of our tribal stampedes, we tend to make the darnedest judgments.

Tribes devise the darnedest claims! We're strongly inclined to function this way, and we always have been.


  1. Is this stampede made up of the same people who think Trump has two dimes to rub together?
    If so, you should get that Bill of Sale for the Brooklyn Bridge printed up pronto.

  2. "On this familiar basis, he declares that the American people are victims of a crime."

    They sure are. The crime of zombifying the American population by the goebbelsian establishment media, non-stop, day in and day out...

    1. Not everyone who was bottle fed Fox ends up like you, Republodscum.

    2. Public Service Announcement

      Mao in Cal sez "No point. Thanks for your participation."

      Take him at his word. All he wants is your response.

      Please stop feeding the troll.

  3. The character flaws revealed by Trump's actions are different than what is revealed by those other examples.

    Where is the line drawn? What if Trump's past included sexual activity with someone underage?

    Unfortunately that does appear to be a strong possibility, vis a vis Jeffrey Epstein, Trump's good buddy that also happens to be a convicted sex offender that provided young girls as sexual toys for certain wealthy and powerful men like Trump and his other buddy Dershowitz.

    On the other hand, if Bob wants to bolster his case, he would likely enjoy Sen Hatch's take:

    GOP senator on Trump allegations: I don't care

    1. Other evidence suggesting an interest in underage girls includes his own inappropriate sexual remarks and posing with Ivanka when she was a preteen, his hands-on management of his modeling and escort businesses (which include young teens as hopeful employees), his propensity for walking in on teenage girls while they were dressing during beauty contests, and similar sexualizing of young girls in his interviews with Howard Stern. He always takes care to say something to show that he understands the legal limits, but with a wink-wink-nod-nod tone. In a real sense, Trump has trafficked in women, including young girls. His actions may have been legal (the ones we know about), but they are unsavory and on that continuum with guys like Epstein.

      Hatch is no different than the rest of the Republicans. Somerby would take it a step further and excuse the lusting after young girls, as long as their mothers approve or it gets them a green card, or whatever. He seems to object to Stormy because she tried to name her own price. Uppity.

  4. “we were kept from knowing that Donald J. Trump may have had sex, on one occasion, with Clifford some ten years before!”

    Speaking of paraphrase...

    The SDNY is concerned about the campaign finance violations, not the thing that Cohen and Trump tried to hide. It could just as well have been information about Trump’s tax returns or questionable business practices that they were trying to hide. The arguments made by the SDNY as to why the payments helped Trump’s campaign would have been precisely the same. Their arguments establish why it helped Trump’s campaign and was therefore a violation of campaign finance laws. And it’s certainly the case that Trump and Cohen were concerned that the information would hurt his campaign, concerned enough to create an elaborate framework of paying off the two women...during the campaign.

    1. "The SDNY is concerned about the campaign finance violations"

      What about Bubba The Demigod, dembot. Were his accusers concerned about perjury and obstruction of justice, or was it all about consensual sex?

      Tell me, dembot.

    2. The last time I checked, the SDNY isn’t impeaching Trump.

    3. Rrrright. Anyone else?

    4. Got nothing, Mao? So, Clinton lied. Trump committed campaign finance violations. And, your point was...?

    5. No point, dembot. Just an opportunity for you dembots to demonstrate your being full of shit.

      Thanks for your participation.

    6. Public Service Announcement

      Mao in Cal sez "No point. Thanks for your participation."

      Take him at his word. All he wants is your response.

      Please stop feeding the troll.

    7. Thanks dembot. Anyone else?

    8. All of them, Katie.

  5. The real crime for which Trumpe-l'oeil will never be impeached despite the notoriety of his actions, is MURDER--accomplice before, during and after the fact to the murder of Kashoggi and countless Yemeni children and other civilians by his good friend MBS and the rest of the Saudi gang.

    1. That was all Brian’s fault. And Rachel’s.

  6. We are basically back with Professor Derz here and making Politics
    Criminal, and it all has the veracity of Al's shinning moment, successfully
    springing the innocent O.J.
    Bob seems pretty desperate, his nonsensical premise that this is
    all about Trump's sex life has HIM playing up Clinton's sex life. Does
    he still his copy of "The Hunting of The President?" Lost in this
    are the latest round of We-Can't-Do-This-Stuff-In-Public-Anymore
    Comey hearings, a last ditch (farewell sex?) attempt to get Hillary.
    They have had their own DOJ for almost two years, why haven't
    THEY indicted her? Oh well.....

    A new set of hearings are coming, Bob, you insane dunce.
    I think you may be wasting your time auditions for some kind
    of job at Fox, they are stocked up on crazy over there.

    1. Oh, God. More hearings, more opportunities for Somerby to drag out his “Yay!Yay!Yay! We liberals like to put the Others in jail cause we can’t win!”

  7. This is what Somerby has been reduced to- not critiquing actual journalism, just yelling at randoms writing Letters to the Editor. That will show those liberals! I have no idea why Somerby hates Stormy Daniels so much. "That lying strumpet!" But his misogyny is pretty clear.

  8. It really doesn't matter what he spent the money on as long as it was campaign related. Say he spent the money on ads instead of buying the silence of women who he may or may not have slept with. The crime here would be exactly and precisely the same and a crime for the exact and precise same reason. If you don't require that campaign contributions be disclosed in a timely manner then for all we know drug cartels could be buying our politicians. Trump took money from Cohen and spent it on a campaign related expense. We literally have him on tape saying he paid off the woman due to the election. We also have limits on campaign contributions, which are also illegal for a very good reason. Letting a person literally buy a politician is problematic. Again, Trump took a huge amount of money, didn't disclose it, and spent it on a campaign related expense. That is a crime. It doesn't matter if the expense was buying ads, paying staff, or paying hush money.

    1. " Say he spent the money on ads instead of buying the silence of women who he may or may not have slept with"

      Hmm. Buying ads definitely falls into the category of campaign spending.

      But "buying the silence of women who he may or may not have slept with" could easily be done for different reasons. For example: to avoid personal embarrassment.

      What say you, dembot?

    2. He is literally caught on tape discussing the payment. It is clear he paid for the purpose of keeping it secret from the electorate not his wife.

    3. I don't read the Washington Stormer, sorry.

      So, it sounds like you agree that buying campaign ads is not at all similar to buying the silence of a blackmailing whore?

      Tsk. Surprising, but refreshing.

    4. The tape is what it is. You can find audio of it if you choose (I thought a transcript would be easier to digest and it didn't have ads). I also want to answer one other thing. It is very hard to not think they Impeached Clinton for being a Democrat (or having gotten oral sex) given the reaction of the people who are still in Congress who Impeached him and/or voted for removal. To a person they voted to confirm Kavenaugh who clearly lied under oath about a matter important to what was being discussed on more than on occasion. The description of the year book quote about Renate is one time. His dishonesty about his role in receiving stolen info from Democratic staffers is another. Given that they were hunky dory with Kavanaugh lying under oath it puts the lie to the idea that they had a problem with Clinton doing so.

    5. "It is very hard to not think they Impeached Clinton for being a Democrat (or having gotten oral sex) "

      You can easily find articles of impeachment, I don't think you'll find either one in there.

      "Kavenaugh who clearly lied under oath"

      What nonsense. If you aren't bullshitting me and you really believe you say, then you need to get your head examined. Given the ridiculousness of the accusation, he had no reasons whatsoever to "clearly lie".

      Also, what does any of this have to do with my point (in response to your point) that buying campaign ads is not at all similar to buying the silence of a blackmailing whore? What's with changing the subject?

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