Amer­ica hangs by a thread

USA TODAY International Edition - - NEWS -

Tim Miller,

The Daily Beast: “Decades of pres­i­den­tial idol­a­try and de­base­ment of po­lit­i­cal dis­course will not re­verse overnight. But a front row seat for Pres­i­den­tial Ap­pren­tice should at min­i­mum en­sure re­flec­tion as to how we can be­gin to re­store a po­lit­i­cal sys­tem. ... If we re­turn to the Amer­i­can ideal of a pres­i­dent of the peo­ple, a com­mon man, con­strained by laws and courts and leg­is­la­tures, we can pre­serve our repub­lic ( and) safe­guard it against ... au­to­cratic threats.”

Brian Klass,

au­thor of The Despot’s Ac­com­plice, on Twit­ter: “Amer­i­can democ­racy is like the frog slowly be­ing boiled. It’s shock­ing how much the line of ac­cept­abil­ity has shifted in 18 months. ... That we are de­bat­ing whether Don­ald Jr.’ s meet­ing was ac­cept­able is the most hor­ri­fy­ing ex­am­ple.” The Ed­i­to­rial Board, The Wall Street Jour­nal: “The prob­lem is that Pres­i­dent Trump has too of­ten made the im­plau­si­ble plau­si­ble by un­der­min­ing his own cred­i­bil­ity on Rus­sia. He stocked his Cab­i­net with Rus­sia hawks but dal­lied with char­ac­ters like the leg­endary Belt­way ban­dit Mr. ( Paul) Manafort. His Syr­ian bomb­ing and en­ergy pol­icy are tough on Rus­sia, but Mr. Trump thinks that if he says Rus­sia in­ter­fered in 2016 he will play into the Demo­cratic nar­ra­tive that his vic­tory is il­le­git­i­mate. ... The John Podesta and Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee hacks ... did less dam­age to U. S. democ­racy than it has done to the Trump Pres­i­dency.”

Charles M. Blow,

The New York Times: “What be­falls a coun­try riven by a dy­nasty of de­cep­tion and dis­re­pute? What comes of a coun­try be­ing forced by its puerile ‘ pres­i­dent’ to re­treat from its world lead­er­ship, set to a sound­track of world mock­ery? What to make of an en­ter­prise of cor­rup­tion that Trump calls a fam­ily when they aban­don any sem­blance of pro­pri­ety and all things we once found ap­pro­pri­ate? The Amer­ica that I know and love is hang­ing by a thread, and Trump’s scan­dalous ca­mar­illa is play­ing with the shears.”

Jay Caruso,

RedS­tate: “Trump de­fend­ers have en­gaged in men­tal gym­nas­tics that not even Ri­p­ley would be­lieve. Con­vinced the meet­ing was noth­ing but a setup by Democrats, their delu­sion grows deeper day by day to the point where Alex Jones is gig­gling at the ab­sur­dity of it all.”

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