Trump Is Playing A Losing Hand In Every Legal Case Against Him

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A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo. Sign up for the email version.

Trump Trial Testimony: What Losing Looks Like

Look, Donald Trump wouldn’t resort to the name-calling, the prickly attacks on judges and prosecutors, the self-defeating effort to appeal to his base even when it hurts him in court if – and I can’t emphasize this enough – he weren’t losing.

It’s a losing man’s bet to gamble that instead of winning in court you’re going to win at the polls on Election Day and make this all go away.

It’s a loser’s play to chide, ridicule, and threaten the judge who is hearing the big fraud case against you.

It’s a desperate man’s Hail Mary to ignore the overwhelming evidence against you and play to the cameras and friendly audiences.

You step back and look at the Trump arc since 2017 and I’m only being partly glib when I offer this summation of the Trump message to the base: “I’m a loser just like you.”

The losses keep piling up: election defeats in midterms and in 2020, multiple indictments, his foundation dissolved, and his business empire facing massive fraud findings. Other than a couple of Senate impeachment acquittals, it’s a loser’s string of defeats.

It all played out in open court yesterday in the civil fraud trial in New York. And yet … the media fascination with Trump’s bombast, with the pissing matches he sets up and then participates in, and with his transgressive behavior sidesteps what a loser he is. It’s similar to the hackneyed tendency to ascribe to Trump 3D chess skills and brilliant maneuvering that mere mortals simply can’t fathom.

I often wonder what it will take. Trump in a prison uniform and fulminating behind bars? I somehow doubt even that will break the spell.

Quote Of The Day

Special Counsel Jack Smith, on Donald Trump:

But the defendant stands alone in American history for his alleged crimes. No other president has engaged in conspiracy and obstruction to overturn valid election results and illegitimately retain power.

Jack Smith Tries To Keep Jan. 6 Trial On Track

Special Counsel Jack Smith on Monday filed a flurry of responses to various Trump bid’s to derail the case, but the most important strategic move was to urge U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan to decide quickly on Trump’s immunity and double jeopardy claims so that the appeals can begin promptly and not derail the March 2024 trial date.

John Eastman On 60 Minutes

Just keep on talking, buddy:

NEW: Society for Rule of Law

A group of anti-Trump conservative lawyers is launching a new project called the Society for Rule of Law.

Election Day

A relatively quiet off-year Election Day. What to watch:

  • Ohio: Voters consider a referendum on enshrining abortion rights in the state constitution
  • Virginia: Control of the state legislature is at stake, with abortion rights a central issue
  • Kentucky: Gov. Andy Beshear (D) tries to fend off state Attorney General Daniel Cameron, the first Black person to hold that office.

2024 Ephemera

  • POTUS: The NYT poll over the weekend showing President Biden trailing Donald Trump in key battleground stories has unleashed a fresh round of “Democrats worry” stories.
  • MI-Sen: Former Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI), who voted to impeach President Trump over Jan. 6, threw his hat into the crowded GOP primary ring for the open seat held by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). The Senate GOP’s campaign arm immediately crapped all over his campaign.

SCOTUS Hears Important Gun Case

The court will consider whether a federal law that bans people under domestic violence restraining orders from possessing firearms runs afoul of the Second Amendment, offering the conservative supermajority a chance to demarcate more clearly what the limits of gun regulation are under the Constitution.

Keeping Track Of House GOP Conspiracies Is Hard

This lede from The Messenger made me laugh:

House Republicans finally get a shot to grill a sought after antagonist in their impeachment pursuit of Joe Biden: the special counsel in charge of prosecuting the president’s son, Hunter Biden.

Imagine trying to explain this to a visitor from elsewhere.

“So the president’s son is being prosecuted?” Yes.

“By a prosecutor appointed by Trump?” You got it.

“And the president’s opponents are mad about that?” Oh, yes.

“But didn’t the president’s opponents want his son prosecuted?” Quite so.

“So they’re mad because … ?” Exactly.

Israel-Gaza Watch

  • Netanyahu: Israel will be responsible for overall security in Gaza for “indefinite period.”
  • United Nations says 89 of its employees have been killed in Gaza since Oct. 7
  • Jewish man dies after altercation during dueling protests in California.
  • Confused anti-Semitic American plows her car into what she thought was an “Israel school” in Indiana but was actually occupied by an anti-Semitic hate group.
  • UMass student arrested for punching Jewish student at Hillel vigil.

Be Careful With This One

I’ve been intrigued by how property insurance companies have started responding to the risk of climate change. My concern is that the risk is very real, but that insurance companies – which are so easy to demonize – will end up becoming the pariah here at the expense of dealing with the actual policy issues the growing risk implicates. Hating on insurance companies offers an easy political out rather than actually contending with the gargantuan risk the real estate market faces. At this point, we seem to be in the data-gathering phase, which is fine as far as it goes.

13B-Year-Old Supermassive Black Hole Found

A composite picture shows the galaxy cluster Abell 2744 in X-rays from Chandra and infrared light from Webb, as well as close-ups of the black hole host galaxy UHZ1. (X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/Ákos Bogdán; Infrared: NASA/ESA/CSA/STScI; Image Processing: NASA/CXC/SAO/L. Frattare & K. Arcand)

WaPo:

Two NASA space telescopes teamed up to scrutinize a distant galaxy and discovered something mind-boggling: a gargantuan black hole inside a galaxy that’s more than 13 billion years old. The “supermassive” object — hailed as the oldest black hole yet confirmed — has roughly the same mass as all the stars in that galaxy combined.

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