Free Chicken: Alexander Vindman on Trump, Stone and All the Other Deadly Useful Idiots

 Rogues gallery. Photo from Jim Health TV. Front photo by Reuters

Man we're glad Trump wisely pardoned longtime crony, scammer, ratfucker and fellow mobster Roger Stone, who as promised is now roaming the country talking up Trump's re-election by any means necessary, mostly lying, cheating and terrorizing. In this,  he is unswervingly on rabid message as the GOP goes full, mass, deep-state conspiracy theorist. At one wild end we have Health and Human Services' Michael Caputo, who allegedly tried to block accurate CDC reports on COVID, now accusing scientists of forming a "resistance unit" of left-wing hit squads for "sedition" against Trump and urging MAGA fans to buy ammunition for when Biden refuses to concede and the shooting starts - though he also notes that, these dark days, his mental health "has definitely failed." At the other end, we have Trump making increasingly wild-eyed claims, from using "death-squad logic" to justify the murder of activist Michael Reinoehl - "There has to be retribution" - to proudly declaring himself a fanboy for dictators to telling Fox News he would happily “put down...within minutes" any left-wing protests to his inevitable re-election: “We have the right to do that. Look, it’s called insurrection." Re-enforcing his entirely baseless claims about voter fraud, Trump spent his time in Nevada this weekend not just just killing off a few hundred more supporters at his indoor rally but repeatedly arguing, "The only way the Democrats can win the election is if they rig it.” Forming a freakish tag team, Roger Stone was also in Nevada, raising money for himself - toward an unclear end - and sounding the same frantic theme.

Stone outlined his sound counsel to fellow-wingnut Alex Jones in a call on his ever-appalling Infowars show. Once agitators steal the election through imaginary voter fraud, Stone advised, Trump should declare martial law - maybe also invoke the Insurrection Act - nationalize state police forces, create a team of FBI and GOP officials to file legal objections to the results, and send in federal marshals to seize all ballots from battleground Nevada because they are "completely corrupted" and "flooded with illegals." After seeing a Daily Beast report about contingency plans by activist groups, he urged its staff be taken into custody and its office be shut down for "seditious" stuff: "They wanna play war, this is war.” For good measure he also suggested arresting the Clintons, Harry Reid, Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg - we might be with him there - and “anybody else who can be proven to be involved in illegal activity.” Thus can democracy die, warns Alexander Vindman in his first post-firing interview, not just in darkness but in broad daylight. Seeking to make use of his knowledge of authoritarianism “before it’s too late,” Vindman cites the history of Hungary, Turkey, Nazi Germany, where fascist regimes took hold as a result not just of strong leaders but of a population so complacent they "gave away their democracy." He considers Trump "a useful idiot...which makes him an unwitting agent of Putin." “In the Army we call this ‘free chicken’ - something you don’t have to work for, it just comes to you," he says. "This is what the Russians have in Trump: free chicken.” The Orwellian bottom line: “Truth is a victim in this administration...The ultimate goal of this president is to get you to disbelieve what you’ve seen and what you’ve heard."

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D.C. police guard the Great Pretender for his Bible photo-op. Pentagon photo

What came before. Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

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