Republicans versus the Republic

If the controversy over the firing of James Comey, the F.B.I. director, has done anything, it has confirmed my decision on Nov. 9 to leave the Republican Party after a lifetime as a loyal member.

While the president has the authority to fire the F.B.I. director, to do so under these circumstances and for these reasons is a gross violation of the trust citizens place in the president to ensure that the laws “be faithfully executed.” If this is not a prima facie case of obstruction of justice — an impeachable offense — it’s hard to know what is.

Republicans would understand this and say so if these actions were taken by President Hillary Clinton. But when it comes to President Trump, they have checked their principles at the Oval Office door.

Are there even three principled Republicans left who will put their devotion to the Republic above their fealty to the Republican Party?

Max Boot: When Will Republicans Stand Up to Trump?

Signs point to no. If Trump bragging about serial sexual assault wasn’t enough to keep them from supporting him, legal abuses of power seem unlikely to do so.

Trolling is All That Remains

But the real heart of anti-anti-Trumpism is the delight in the frustration and anger of his opponents. Mr. Trump’s base is unlikely to hold him either to promises or tangible achievements, because conservative politics is now less about ideas or accomplishments than it is about making the right enemies cry out in anguish.

In many ways anti-anti-Trumpism mirrors Donald Trump himself, because at its core there are no fixed values, no respect for constitutional government or ideas of personal character, only a free-floating nihilism cloaked in insult, mockery and bombast.

Charlie Sykes: If Liberals Hate Him, Then Trump Must Be Doing Something Right

A desire for transgression is all that’s left of the American right.

Trump (Does Not) Care

The second [mirage] is that Trumpcare is a health-care bill. It’s not. It’s a trillion dollar tax cut for the top 2 percent that’s paid for with a trillion dollars of health-care cuts for the poor and middle class. Or, as Trump would call it, “something terrific.” He just left out that that’s only for people making $200,000 or more.

The Washington Post: Republicans’ plan to protect sick people has a long history of not protecting sick people

The Same Kind of People

“My fear is that this is probably the first time in my memory that it seems we have the same kind of people on both sides — in the Kremlin and in the White House. The same people. It’s probably why they like each other. It’s not a matter of policy, but it’s that they feel that they are alike. They care less for democracy and values, and more for personal success, however that is defined.”

The New Yorker: Trump, Putin, and the New Cold War

Our Post-Factual World

Mr. Trump understands that attacking the media is the reddest of meat for his base, which has been conditioned to reject reporting from news sites outside of the conservative media ecosystem.

For years, as a conservative radio talk show host, I played a role in that conditioning by hammering the mainstream media for its bias and double standards. But the price turned out to be far higher than I imagined. The cumulative effect of the attacks was to delegitimize those outlets and essentially destroy much of the right’s immunity to false information. We thought we were creating a savvier, more skeptical audience. Instead, we opened the door for President Trump, who found an audience that could be easily misled.

Charles Sykes: Why Nobody Cares the President is Lying

A Useful Idiot

The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.

Washington Post: Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House

Furthermore, “Putin Personally Involved in U.S. Election Hack”

Not Going to Cut It

At the Pentagon, interviews with more than a dozen top generals revealed alarm over many of Mr. Trump's proposals for the use of American power, even among officers who said privately that they lean Republican. While no serving officer interviewed was willing to speak publicly about Mr. Trump — reasons ranged from wanting to maintain a distance between the military and politics to not wanting to criticize a potential commander in chief — a number of top-ranking admirals and generals said the military is governed by laws and rules of engagement that are far stricter than politicians may realize.

And justifications that troops would be “following orders” are unlikely to sway war-crimes courts, they said.

“We remember the Nuremberg trials,” said Maj. Gen. Paul D. Eaton, now retired, who was in charge of training the Iraqi Army in 2003. “Just following orders is not going to cut it.”

Trump Wants War Declared on ISIS and ‘Extreme Vetting’ of Immigrants

Great support!

Donald Trump remains overwhelmingly unpopular with Latinos, a new NBC News/ Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll shows, with only about one in seven Latino voters say they support the presumptive GOP nominee.

A whopping 76 percent of the 300 Latino registered voters in the poll said they back Hillary Clinton in a head-to-head race, while just 14 percent said they back Trump.

What’s more, 82 percent of Latino voters say they have an unfavorable view of Trump, while just 11 percent view him positively.

NBC News: Clinton Beats Trump Among Latinos 76 Percent to 14 Percent

I guess Trump’s support among Latino voters has really cratered since July 7.

Not on the ballot this year

Trump said at the meeting that he has yet to attack Flake hard but threatened to begin doing so. Flake stood up to Trump by urging him to stop attacking Mexicans. Trump predicted that Flake would lose his reelection, at which point Flake informed Trump that he was not on the ballot this year, the sources said.

Several lawmakers said questions were raised about derogatory comments Trump has made about minorities and women, as well as his inability to stay on message.

Trump dismissed the issue and insisted he has great support from Hispanics, Dent said.

WaPo: Trump, seeking GOP unity, has tense meeting with Senate Republicans

Sounds about right.