Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Senator Martha McSally copies Trump's presidential psychological projection

Nyah, Nyah, Nyah-NYAH, Nyah, You’re immature-ure. Scriber’s Usually Unreliable Sources report hearing President Trump taunt House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with this sing-song instance of psychological projection. Steve Benen (MSNBC/MaddowBlog) has stronger evidence.

For many years, Donald Trump has responded to criticisms with I’m-rubber-and-you’re-glue projection: his sins become his opponents’ sins. Whatever the president has done wrong becomes the thing he accuses his detractors of doing.

It’s sometimes described as Trump’s “no puppet” problem because during a 2016 debate, Hillary Clinton accused the Republican of being a “puppet” for his allies in Moscow. The future president, showing all of the sophistication of a slow toddler, responded, “No puppet. No puppet. You’re the puppet. No, you’re the puppet.”

But we’re occasionally reminded that Trump isn’t the only one who embraces this tactic.

Benen continues, reporting that Despite evidence, Arizona’s McSally accuses Dems, not Trump, of abuses.

The Associated Press reported this week, for example, on appointed Sen. Martha McSally (R) of Arizona, who reflected on the ongoing impeachment proceedings.

McSally, who’s one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the U.S. Senate, has repeatedly avoided saying whether she thinks it was wrong for Trump to ask Ukraine’s government to investigate his political rival.

But she was much more candid when speaking to a supportive audience in Tucson on Saturday, saying only the Democrats have abused their power.

She said Republicans want to “make sure that we continue to highlight the abuse of power” that Democrats have committed, “which is the only abuse of power that we’ve seen going on here,” apparently referring to the impeachment inquiry.

Exactly. Presented with striking evidence of presidential abuses, the appointed GOP senator believes it’s actually Democrats, not Trump, who are guilty of abuses.

The AP report further suggested that McSally appears to be taking a rather partisan approach to the likely Senate impeachment trial, telling her friendly Arizona audience that Republicans are working through the best way to handle a trial “without inadvertently planting our own landmines and walking into a minefield.”

“If we want to drag in some people, some other people may get dragged in, and, you know, we don’t know how that’s going to go,” the senator was quoted saying.

McSally added that GOP senators are “working closely with the White House” on the process for impeachment.

Senate rules require members to take a specific oath before an impeachment trial gets underway: “I solemnly swear (or affirm) that in all things appertaining to the trial of ____, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help me God.”

The list of Senate Republicans who appear to be focused on considerations other than “impartial justice” appears to be growing.

Given this reporting, it is highly likely that McSally will be in violation of her oath even as she speaks it.

Another case of presidential projection

Trump Denounces ‘Partisan Impeachment Crusade’ on Eve of House Vote. In an irate, six-page letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Trump denounced the impeachment inquiry in scathing terms, asserting that he had done nothing wrong and that Democrats would pay a political price in 2020.

You can read the full letter in that Times report.

Suspecting that Trump would revert to form, blaming everyone but Trump for his impeachment, I combed through the letter and found these instances of projection - copied here verbatim.

  • abuse of power by Democrat Lawmakers
  • you are violating your oaths of office
  • declaring open war on American Democracyyour spiteful actions display unfettered contempt for America’s founding
  • second conversation [w/ Zelenskyy] that has been misquoted, mischaracterized, and fraudulently misrepresented.
  • your attempt to undo the election of 2016 and steal the election of 2020!
  • failed with the Mueller report because there was nothing to find,
  • You are the ones interfering in America’s elections.
  • You are the ones subverting America’s Democracy.
  • You are the ones Obstructing Justice. You are the ones bringing pain and suffering to our Republic for your own selfish personal, political, and partisan gain.
  • your perversion of justice and abuse of power.
  • Any member of Congress who votes in support of impeachment — against every shred of truth, fact, evidence, and legal principle — is showing how deeply they revile the voters and how truly they detest America’s Constitutional order. Our Founders feared the tribalization of partisan politics, and you are bringing their worst fears to life.

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