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Some Cold Water on the King Over the Water

December 8, 2020 8:56 a.m.

TPM Reader MM throws some water on TPM Reader MA’s warnings. I should add that to the extent anyone thinks Trump is going to be calling the shots or even influencing the shots at the Pentagon after January 20th I completely agree with MM. What interests me in all this is Trump’s apparent desire to set up something like a court in exile that not only gratifies his ego (central goal) but also keeps the GOP in his thrall and under his control. In a way that is Trump’s ideal presidency: all adulation and no responsibility or even work.

I share an initial with MA, and I think I understand pretty well why he feels as he feels, but I respectfully disagree with him more or less completely.

As to MA’s “military leadership” point, Trump has effectively near-zero ability to affect Joe Biden’s Department of Defense, even in the short term. “Gutting the leadership” is playing musical deck chairs on the Trump Titanic: all those bozos tender their resignations effective 12:01 pm 20 January (or whenever exactly those resignations are formally required to be submitted). Appointing turds like Lewandowski and Bossie to the Defense Business Board is meaningless. They can be dismissed with a stroke of the Biden pen, just as easily as Trump fired the nine “outgoing” members. Long-faced comments about “political loyalty tests” are equally without significance. All of that means less than zero.

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