What Did Reince Priebus Do?

There is too much going on. I can’t keep up. Just for the record, here’s a brief recap of stuff I haven’t written full posts about:

Gen. John Kelly was so pissed off over Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey that he considered resigning as secretary of homeland security. But he stayed, and now he’s Trump’s chief of staff. This suggests that maybe Kelly doesn’t have a tremendous amount of respect for Trump’s judgment.

A prankster emailed Anthony Scaramucci pretending to be Reince Priebus, the day after Priebus was fired. He told Scaramucci that he wasn’t a very classy guy:

The very real Scaramucci responded: “You know what you did. We all do. Even today. But rest assured we were prepared. A Man would apologize.” Fake Priebus wrote back: “I can’t believe you are questioning my ethics! The so called ‘Mooch’, who can’t even manage his first week in the White House without leaving upset in his wake. I have nothing to apologize for.” Actual Scaramucci responded: “Read Shakespeare. Particularly Othello. You are right there. My family is fine by the way and will thrive. I know what you did. No more replies from me.”

I think we would all like to know very much what the Mooch knows that Priebus did.

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake—a Republican—decided to trash the Republican Party today. He writes in Politico that Republicans acted really badly during Obama’s presidency, and in the Trump era they’re still being cowardly:

Under our Constitution, there simply are not that many people who are in a position to do something about an executive branch in chaos….Silence in the face of an erratic executive branch is an abdication, and those in positions of leadership bear particular responsibility.

There was a time when the leadership of the Congress from both parties felt an institutional loyalty that would frequently create bonds across party lines in defense of congressional prerogatives in a unified front against the White House, regardless of the president’s party….But then the period of collapse and dysfunction set in, amplified by the internet and our growing sense of alienation from each other, and we lost our way and began to rationalize away our principles in the process. But where does such capitulation take us? If by 2017 the conservative bargain was to go along for the very bumpy ride because with congressional hegemony and the White House we had the numbers to achieve some long-held policy goals—even as we put at risk our institutions and our values—then it was a very real question whether any such policy victories wouldn’t be Pyrrhic ones. If this was our Faustian bargain, then it was not worth it. If ultimately our principles were so malleable as to no longer be principles, then what was the point of political victories in the first place?

Finally, a number of Republicans have made it clear that they have no enthusiasm for making another run at health care. For now, Obamacare is safe from Congress. Whether it’s safe from Donald Trump’s vindictive personality is another question entirely.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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