Trump Again Threatens War on Dissidents

Over the weekend, Saturday Night Live aired a new episode, which meant more material about Donald Trump and the mephitic calamity that is his presidency.

Naturally, because Trump has the self-control of an industrial wood chipper, he tweeted about it early yesterday morning: "A REAL scandal is the one sided coverage, hour by hour, of networks like NBC & Democrat spin machines like Saturday Night Live. It is all nothing less than unfair news coverage and Dem commercials. Should be tested in courts, can't be legal? Only defame & belittle! Collusion?"

In typical fashion, the true horror of this disgorgement of authoritarianism was overshadowed by the absurdity of Trump's nonsensical language. Which is unfortunate — because this is another terrifying example of Trump's threat against dissidents.

I did a brief thread on Twitter:
"Should be tested in courts." Says the authoritarian who's busily stacking the courts, after McConnell made sure to hold vacant one SCOTUS seat and *more than 100* federal court seats for him.

People are laughing at Trump drawing an equivalency between SNL and news media, but it's not that he doesn't understand SNL is satire; it's that he sees SNL &and the political press as enemies because they criticize him. In that context, his suggestion they be investigated is chilling.

The distinction between satire and news is *irrelevant* to Trump. The only thing that matters to him is that they are both critical of him, which he is suggesting *should be a crime*.
It didn't get much coverage, but, last week, Melania Trump did a softball interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News, during which Hannity asked her: "What's been the hardest thing that you have to deal with?" To which she replied: "I would say the opportunists who are using my name or my family name to advance themselves — from comedians, to journalists, to performers, book writers."

The president, the First Lady, their family, and members of their administration routinely denounce critics as threats and opportunists, who are doing something unethical at best and possibly criminal.

That is wholly incompatible with democratic tenets.

We the People have got to make an effort to respond more thoughtfully to this attack on our democracy than with torrents of jokes. The president is threatening to wage war on us for criticizing him. It would be great if we could take that fucking seriously, and stop coasting on our misplaced trust in American Exceptionalism and gripping onto a misplaced belief that it could never happen here.

It could and it is. And it's going to get worse if we don't treat it with the gravity it deserves.

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