On Thursday, July 20th Trump reported that he received a target letter from the DOJ. Even though a target letter does not always mean the recipient will be indicted, there is no way Jack Smith  would send a target letter to Trump and not indict him. We know now that Trump WILL be indicted for at least some of his activities leading up to January 6th insurrection. We do not yet know how extensive the charges will be, but three federal crimes are identified in the target letter. One of the charges will likely be a conspiracy to defraud the American people. If found guilty, it would not prevent him from running for office again. That is for the best. The voters need to vote to stop this authoritarian movement in America.
A judge in New York just shot down Trump’s claim on appeal that his case against E. Jean Carroll should be overturned because he did not rape her.  The judge, relying on broader legal definitions beyond NY law shot that idea down saying Trump DID rape her.
Judge Aileen Cannon presiding over the documents case in Florida expressed skepticism about Trump’s request to delay trial until after the election and set the trial date for May 20, 2024. It looks like Judge Cannon will not be a total push over for Trump as some had anticipated. But that will become clearer as case proceeds.
In Georgia, DA Fani Willis moves ever closer to an indictment coming out of the recently seated grand jury that will not only indict Trump but many other players in the attempt to overturn the will of the voters in Georgia in the 2020 election.
The legal walls are closing in on Trump. Yet Trump’s grip on the base continues to hold and even tighten in the wake of this news. He leads De Santis, his closest rival, by about 30 points. If nothing changes in this political landscape before the Republican Convention in 2024, Trump will be the GOP nominee. These legal threats make him more appealing to the MAGA Republican primary voter even while he becomes less appealing to the all important Independent voters who usually determine the outcome of the general election.  It sure looks like the GOP will be saddled with Trump, a horrible candidate for the general election. Yet Trump could still win the presidency back and MAGAs could still rule in the House and Senate because of extensive gerrymandering by red states, voter suppression, and the way our founding fathers set up our system to favor rural states.


On Tuesday I attended a fascinating webinar “How to Lose and Save a Constitutional Democracy,” offered by the Chicago Bar Association. The two presenters have studied how democracies die and how they can be saved, retrieved or revived. The threat to democracy is global.
These days democracies typically die when a fearful minority in the country believes there is an existential threat to their culture and way of life. That creates a powerful felt need in millions of people to find a strongman to take charge of the country and reinstate the culture and way of life they want to keep in the face of change.
Sound familiar?
The threat to the continuation of democracy rises up from within the country itself as a large portion of the electorate hunts for that trusted wannabe dictator, strong leader, who will remake the form of government from one in which they have to compromise to one that protects their interests and is not afraid to break the rules to stay in power. In other words they purposely seek out a bully and a rule breaker to be their leader. They purposely want to change the government from a democracy to a dictatorship.  In this context, Trump’s first term was his trial run, his rehearsal for the job of dictator. Clearly MAGAs liked what they saw and they continue to be all in on Trump.
What Trump is offering America in 2024 is a dictatorship.
Trump is openly agreeing with the Heritage Foundation and 64 rightwing groups that signed onto “Project 2025”. They believe our country should abandon democracy and install a dictator who will protect them: the elite who want to stay rich, the evangelicals, low information white guys, white supremacists, and the MAGAs who want to make America great again.  Trump is promising to maintain and reinstall the old ways of the world to make these groups feel safe once more.
In that world, racism is okay, misogyny is okay, Christianity is the only true religion, and white men rule. This is the platform Trump is running on and he is doing it openly. Elect me as your tyrant! This is also why when Trump breaks the law he does better in the polls. His base expects him to break the law– they want him to do that. Because it is proof that he will be the dictator they are looking for. He will change laws and rules and norms that they want changed to favor them and only them. If Trump breaks the law and is held to account by a system that the MAGAs want to crush, that is just more evidence that Trump is exactly who they want and need to lead the country.


The good news is that in countries that are economically stable, where most people feel the country is going in the right direction, the urge to dismantle democracy from within has not been strong enough to succeed.  At least not yet.
The problem we have in America is that many Americans do not understand what Biden has done to help our country and make their lives better. Americans have short memories and many are also swayed by mis and dis information. The reason I say this model is good news is because Biden and his team understand how democracies die and they are working hard to steady the helm of the American economic ship and doing a good job of it.
Biden is launching a campaign across the country as part of his re-election bid to explain what his administration has done in the first two years of his first term when Democrats were able to pass massive legislation to help Americans have better lives from expanded access to broadband to infrastructure, plentiful jobs that pay well, and much more. Biden is doing exactly what he needs to do to save our democracy. If he were a younger version of himself he might be more appealing to Democrats but he wouldn’t have the wisdom or relationships he has today that  help him know what needs to be done, to work with people he has met before and has an ability to relate to, and to navigate this dangerous time in our country. His campaign to amplify what his administration has done is important because it not only helps Biden win re-election, it should have a positive down ballot effect.
Also helpful to the cause of saving democracy are the shockingly self-defeating policy positions many Republicans have taken and continue to support. Many are not supported by 70% to 80% of Americans. They are against a lot of things Americans like. Republicans want to deprive women of the right to abortion, attack people who are different (LGBTQ), not support the social safety net (Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, ACA), not help the next generation manage student loan debt, not implement climate change legislation, ban books they don’t like, refuse to put limits on gun possession even with crazy, angry people, attack “wokeness” from Disneyland to the military, and they still have faith in trickle down economics which has been proven not to work. These policy positions excite the rightwing and  horrify most women, especially suburban women, Next Gen, people of color and even more educated white males. Do MAGA Republicans understand how bad their policy positions are? Do they realize their attacks on Biden’s policies will hurt them with the general electorate?
Joe Biden is using Marjorie Taylor Greene’s own words to mock her and to elevate what he and the Dems have done to make life better for Americans.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday posted a campaign ad promoting his legislative wins by using clips from a recent speech GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene gave at the Turning Point Action Conference where she compared Biden to Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson.

“Joe Biden had the largest public investment in social infrastructure and environmental programs, that is actually finishing what FDR started, that LBJ expanded on, and Joe Biden is attempting to complete,” Greene said in the video set to cheerful music.

The ad continues with another clip from the speech Greene gave over the weekend in which she explains the Biden administration’s investments. “Programs to address education, medical care, urban problems, rural poverty, transportation, Medicare, Medicaid labor unions, and he still is working on it,” Greene said.

Yes he is! And a majority of Americans like what he is doing once they understand it.
Trump may not be able to win in 2024. Currently Biden is polling about 5 points ahead of Trump (49% to 44%).  But Democrats must overperform Republicans by about 5% to win in the Electoral College. This current polling puts Biden and Trump is a neck and neck race.
How can this be?
The answer is that the threat to our democracy is supported more broadly by the Republican Party. A party once known for supporting law and order, our military, our constitution and our rules and norms has been hijacked and gone to the dark side. The GOP is beginning to see backlash for their culture war ideas, their support of gas and oil companies, banning rights and banning book are not appealing to the majority of Americans  If they are forced to be too extreme in the primary and cannot appeal to the majority in a general election, they will have to resort to winning general elections by cheating. They are between a rock and a hard place. They must see that the next generation of voters do not want what they are selling. But if they can install a dictator who stays in power by fiat, that could be their last best chance to keep power maybe even forever.
The fact that Trump and others in the GOP are getting indicted and will face accountability is crucial to rescue our democracy. Reinforcement of the idea that no one is above the law and following through on that idea is part of the bedrock of a constitutional democracy which is based on laws that affect the behavior of all of us instead of the dictates of a tyrant: He who must be obeyed.
If we didn’t know it before, we know it now that the threat to our democracy goes far deeper than Trump. It is clear that the next elections we have will be referendums on the strength of our constitutional democracy. Races for governor, secretary of state, AGs, state legislators and more are all important and will make the difference in whether our democracy makes it or not.
To make sure we continue to have a strong democracy We the People need to be engaged and stay engaged. Just because Biden is president does not mean we can relax. The wish to crush democracy runs deep in this GOP. We saw that in the fake elector schemes. Those Republicans who signed up as fake electors were not going to get any perks from Donald Trump. They did it because they are ready to throw out democracy and replace it with a dictatorship. They are part of a group of Americans who have been lied to but they also choose to believe the lies.
If we believe in democracy we all need to clap for Tinkerbell to keep her alive like in Peter Pan when Tinkerbell drank the poison left by Captain Hook and Peter Pan called on everyone who believes in fairies to clap their hands to help her revive– we need to be active and focused. We have work to do.
1) Actively tell everyone you know that Biden is the right guy for the job and stop complaining about his age.
2) Canvas and text and make calls and donate to get Democrats elected.
3) Explain why all Republicans are too scary to elect even if their name is not Donald Trump (they are all part of the movement to dismantle democracy)
4) Volunteer to be election workers so that there is a counter to the MAGA GOP election deniers who are going to volunteer to oversee elections.
5) Share this post and others that help people understand the threat.
The threat to our democracy is much bigger than Donald Trump.