As first reported in NY Mag, Trump plans to maintain his own private security detail while in the White House. That can serve no conceivable purpose other than to circumvent the Secret Service and, you know, the basic tenets of legal conduct that it adheres to. He's just smart enough to realize that the Secret Service isn't going to go around beating up protesters at his command. You know who will? Glorified mall cop private security guards.

I'm starting to wonder if part of the transition plan involved Googling "All the things Hitler did" and then seeing how many of them he could imitate before anyone could stop him. Hitler analogies are reductive and hyperbolic in most cases, anyone who doesn't know about the centrality of a party security apparatus loyal only to Hitler himself and functionally above the law to the erosion of the German state in the 1930s should read up on it presently. References like "SA" and "Sturmabteilung" probably don't mean much to most Americans today – hell, a lot of us couldn't give a coherent explanation of "Nazi" at this point – but between Trump's army of shut-ins ready to harass and bombard with death threats anyone he identifies as The Enemy and this bizarre move toward sidestepping the legal restrictions on Federal law enforcement employees, we may be in for a crash course.


  • Until Trump signs up the Oath Keepers as his security detail I won't get too worried. Glorified mall cops perhaps…the SA certainly WEREN'T. They were an authentically murderous band of hard right wingers, racists, nationalists and, surprisingly, open homosexuals.

    What Trump wants is for any and everyone around him to be forced to sign an NDA.

  • There are some similarities to the SA in the early 1920s: A band of thugs brought in to police party rallies and beat up political opponents.

    That said, this is not on anything like the same scale. At its peak in 1933, the SA numbered more than 3 million. The population of Germany at the time was was 66 million; they were 4.5% of all Germans and must have been more like 15% of adult men.

    A couple of dozen private security guards? In the words of Jules from Pulp Fiction, that ain't the same ballpark, it ain't the same league, it ain't even the same fuckin' sport. Like many things Trump does, it's fucking awful in its own right, but it's not the Nazis.


    The SA were good at beating up unarmed socialists, but they didn't have military training or discipline. When they went up against the SS and Wehrmacht on the Night of the Long Knives, they folded like Superman on laundry day. In that sense the "glorified mall cop" comparison may be valid.

  • I used to dismiss and laugh at Nazi analogies. And they are 99% of the time dismissible and laughable. But I used to laugh at the idea that Donald Trump could get elected to any position, let alone the presidency. I used to have faith that the American people, fickle and ignorant and lazy as we can be in the mass, had enough wisdom-of-the-crowd going on to keep us from completely throwing away our flawed but ultimately good system. No more. I think we could be Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia and your favorite sci-fi dystopia all rolled into one within the next 20 years.

  • @HoosierPoli, given Erik Prince's (Blackwater/ Xe/ Academi) sister Betsy DeVos is slated to be Sec. of Education (HAHAHA), maybe the GEB'll upgrade from his retired NYPD guys to some badass ex-SEAL type mercs. What could go wrong?

  • I think the problem with Nazi analogies is that the Nazis were so over the top. Unless storm troopers are goose-stepping down Main Street nobody thinks it's a dictatorship.

    There have been plenty of garden-variety, run-of-the-mill dictators and military juntas in the 20th Century that weren't Nazis, but plenty bad if you lived under one.

    Somoza I and II
    Rios Montt
    Duvalier I and II
    The Shah
    Park Chung-hee

    Just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

  • He probably wants to use private guards because he can't force the Secret Service guys to sign non-disclosure agreements.

  • Yeah, Mr. Trump wants to be sure that all his private activities are private. Not that Secret Service agents have a habit of flapping their gums. But his private security force is headed up by a very loyal rightwing fuck. That ain't good. But you know, maybe it isn't a bad thing if this private security service isn't very good at their jobs…

  • Well, let's see. This is a slap in the face to the Secret Service — people who are supposed to take a bullet for him if necessary. He is doing his best to piss off the CIA. He has humiliated corporate leaders by texting trash about them, tanking their stocks with tweets, and summoning them to his mansion to meet with his children. He is humiliating foreign leaders by also making them perform for his kids. None of these, taken individually, are good career moves. When you start adding them up, he is skating on thin ice before he even takes the oath of office.

  • Fer crying out loud, Trump doesn't have the attention span that fascism requires. All he wants are cheering crowds, overdone steaks, and tall blondes with big racks. He's going to do all kinds of horrible shit, but the systematic abuses will be carried out by those parts of the GOP that have been waiting for a President either dumb or evil enough to sign off on them. Cruz, Rubio, or Fiorina would all be cutting the ACA and boosting military spending and cutting taxes for rich people.

  • Emerson Dameron says:

    When a lot of people hear "Never Again," they think, "Never again will we allow a funny little man with a weird mustache and impeccable fashion sense to gas to death exactly six million people in Germany."

    Wolf has been cried so many times at fundamentally un-Hitlerian figures such as W. One has to dance around the "Trumpitler" rhetoric when saying, "Hey, it looks like we've elected a classic bile-fueled Strongman leader and that hasn't always ended well, historically."

  • No Real Americans allowed in torchlight parades without a red cap. . Trump black helicopters will keep order.

    This is what it's like when America is made great again. "The Twilight Zone" was behind the curve on this one.

  • My recollection is that the Secret Service were famous for never talking, even after the fact—no tell-all books, no speaking tours. And that the only time that hasn't held true was under Clinton.

  • Trump, unlike the Austrian corporal is a physical coward. As are most of his supporters, some of whom can't muster the courage to leave the house unless they are armed.

    Furthermore we are smarter, richer and more numerous than they are. They are the ones who have more reason to be afraid.

  • Amen, BigHank53 re: Cruz, Rubio or Fiorina. All I can figure with the private security detail is that he's got some pussy grabbing left in him. He's had a girlfriend since he married Melania, a Miss USA contestant. But his buddy at National Enquirer bought her story and didn't publish it. Forward and onward in the goddamn upside down world we entered November 8th. And to think I thought Stranger Things got a little too sci fi with that story about the upside down world and now we are fucking living it!

  • No doubt he likes being guarded by men in black that have been hired by starlets at one time or another. Fun exchanging crotch grabbing stories too.

  • Anyone here heard of Saparmurat Niyazov? Out of nowhere, I recently recalled having read a profile of him, years ago. He was the post-Soviet dictator of Turkmenistan, up until his death in 2008; he was succeeded, somehow, by his longtime dentist. He approached Kim Il Sung levels of megalomania: renaming months of the year after himself and his mother, inflicting a goofy compendium of his wisdom on absolutely everybody, building a huge golden statue of himself, etc. Lots of strongmen in the 'Stans have huge golden statues of themselves, but his had a difference: it rotated throughout the day, so it always faced the sun.

    Look at this godawful thing. How hard is it to imagine that same thing with Trump's face?

    (The dentist has been doing well for himself, too. Check out this monstrosity:
    Wouldn't work for Trump, though. Even though he actually was a jock in college, you can't imagine him on horseback. Maybe substitute a golf cart?)

  • Without going into too much detail, USSS protective ops are much, much more broad than any private security detail. Rest assured, even if Trump maintains his own bodyguards there will still be successive rings of USSS.

  • @Major Kong; great point about Batista; the USA installed him in Cuba and he ran an absolutely hellish regime for the average Cuban. It's easy for the average USAian to miss because the Miami Cubans are all a bunch of rich, spoiled crybabies, but Castro was a huge, huge improvement for the average Cuban.

  • First, he's setting up the turf battle to end all turf battles. Government agencies like the SS don't like sharing — even with other government agencies — never mind with a bunch of rent-a-cops. The SS doesn't want a bunch of people they don't know wandering around the White House — or anywhere near the first family — armed or unarmed. That just creates a major security hole.

    When Bill Clinton decided to pay a questionable call on the AG at the Phoenix airport, it caused a major security clusterfuck because Clinton is guarded by the SS and Loretta Lynch is guarded by the FBI. Co-ordination of security was a bitch.

    Second, anyone who thinks the private praetorian guard is designed to protect his bimbo-banging secrets should remember that they are mercenaries and they are for sale to the highest bidder. Anyone who outbids Trump owns them. The same goes for his personal safety.

    Third, and following on that note, Trump is so gung-ho about vetting immigrants. How well did he vet these thugs? Does he know who they really work for? If I were a foreign power, I would do everything I could to insert some of my agents in his private "security team." I would be be surprised if a few of his security team members weren't cashing checks from two bosses.

  • I still don't see how anyone can believe this asswipe is going to make it more than 6 months without shitting the bed and getting himself impeached, then peace-sign-Nixon-ing his way out and never looking back. He's got much more "important" (read: purely self-centered) things to attend to than the middle-management position that is the POTUS.

  • @ Major Also Nicolae Ceaușescu. One of my teachers is Romanian and lived under him.
    @Mike Furlan Like the cut of your jib, man. We need voices like yours to keep our spirits up!
    @ Megan – ditto

  • Emerson Dameron says:

    @other bill –

    I would have put money on Trump dropping out of the GOP primary by this time last year. I like what you're saying, but.

  • Dissent is already being suppressed by tweet abuse, social media hacking, doxxing, and threatening phone calls.

    It will get worse, and the genpop will know, and shut themselves up.

  • Death Panel Truck says:

    I still don't see how anyone can believe this asswipe is going to make it more than 6 months without shitting the bed and getting himself impeached, then peace-sign-Nixon-ing his way out and never looking back.

    I don't think the Republican Congress will impeach him; he'll sign any bill they drop onto his desktop. He won't make it to a Palin-Unit (two-years) before resigning, though. Presidentin' is hard work. Trump's never done an honest day's work in his life. Why would he start now?

  • @DeathPanelTruck; Palin didn't make it even 2 years as governor of 600,000 people; she went 18 months and quit–likely in a deal struck because all her misdeeds and criminal activities had caught up to her. Before that, she was an in-name-only mayor of a tiny town of 6,000, where she was so incompetent she had to hire someone to actually do the running of the town (but not before leaving the town millions in debt). The GEB is more savvy than that and has people to manage his misdeeds.

  • Glad to see the GEB (giant evil baby) designation gaining some traction! Here's where (I think) it first appeared, from UK journo Laurie Penny:

    "The Democratic Party, like the British Labour Party, has decided in advance what is politically possible- but they may have made a terrible mistake. In the face of the collapse of the centre-left consensus, the right is terrifying in its grudging unity, and the left is terrifying in its disarray. Consider that after some initial brouhaha, the Republicans cheered on cue as their party was taken over by a giant evil baby. This is because the right runs on fear and is generally good at being told what to do. Meanwhile, Democrats who didn’t get the candidate they wanted were all but throwing punches on the convention floor. When you actually care about the world not sliding into fascism, compromise doesn’t hurt any less. It hurts more.

    There’s a bad moon rising, the best lack all conviction and the worst have a million branded baseball caps and greasy little fingers grasping for the nuclear button. Good luck to us all."

  • @Mike Furlan

    "Furthermore we are smarter, richer and more numerous than they are."

    Education time please.

    Who is/are 'We' ? I assume 'They' are Trump supporters.

    Does 'smarter' == More Formal Education ?

    Who is more numerous ?

    People who voted for the D ?

    Are you equating PWVftD with the Liberal position (on most things)?

    Please & Thank You


  • Dear anonymous person who may or may not be in Georgia.

    "When we look at all of these maps in totality, we are left with the inescapable conclusion that American conservatism is correlated with a less developed society. On average, states which are controlled by conservatives have poorer, sicker, and less educated populations than more progressive states; additionally, these states tend to have higher incarceration and unwanted pregnancy rates."

    And we beat you at the polls by 3 million votes.

  • Robert Walker-Smith says:

    Thank you, Mike Furlan.

    I find it mordantly amusing that living in Oakland California will provide me with some protection against the 'Murkah Morlocks who have been emboldened by the Recent Unpleasantness. The humor is that my fair city has an unsavory reputation among the Morlocks themselves.

  • Hey, Mike, bb is a frequent and longtime commenter here. While I disagree with much of what he says, I respect that he says it politely–he is no troll. I appreciate that he does his research and thinks for himself (even if I disagree with his conclusions, I respect him). Whether he's actually named bb or actually in Georgia is rather irrelevant–as they say, on the internet, nobody knows if you're a dog. I might just be a Miniature Schnauzer, myself.

    My advice to you is to read bb's viewpoint and think about it the next time you deal with your crazy relatives/coworkers/people in line at the grocery store.

  • Katydid,

    1. I am very tired of the "What? Cigarettes cause cancer?", "The Confederate Battle Flag is Heritage not Hate!" "Global Warming doesn't exist because I threw a snowball on the Senate Floor" style of argument. If I had expressed surprise and asked to be educated on the subject "Illinois Governors, Corrupt or Not?" I'd be an a**, not a sincere seeker of the truth.

    2. I try to ignore all anonymous (pseudo-anonymous if you must) posts unless they are directed at me. The neo-Klansmen need to take public blame for their idiocy, and the good people need to stand up and be counted. If there is a made up name I assume a sock-puppet being run from the Czech Republic.

  • @Mike; not disagreeing with you here. I'm sick and tired of "it's mah HERITAGE" and "I'm not the racist, YOUR the racist for pointing out my racism" crap. Just in this case, bb's not a random drive-by troll; he's posted here for a long time–and I've never read anything racist from him. Also, I've provoked him plenty (not proud of this) and he's always taken the high road. As I prepare to gird my loins to spend the day tomorrow with extended family who are just as rightwing but less coherent/logical/thoughtful and absolutely less polite, I appreciate the overall collection of bb's comments.

    I try to think of it this way; bb comes here, he reads, and he thinks. Maybe something he reads will change his mind.

  • @katydid

    Merry Christmas back at you.

    Thank you for your kind words. We disagree on many things for sure, but I bear no hatred for anyone here.

    However, this is kind of the Lion's den for anyone who doesn't swing significantly to the Left.

    I understand that some abuse is approximately the Price of Admission to interact here.

    I am an old man (70) compared to most posters here and I understand youth and passion.

    May all of G&T posters be blessed with health and clarity of thought in the New Year.


  • The fact @bb thinks his trolling* on a liberal blog is similar to a biblical hero sneaking past sleeping alpha-predators trained to view humans as food probably tells you all you need to know.

    *"Whaadaya mean, more of you?" Just days after the final count showed a clear majority of votes, despite low-ish D turnout and vast voter suppression efforts? That's trolling.

  • @eau

    I don't know if you care and it certainly isn't required of you to notice, but I don't comment very often and I truly ask questions to clarify things (for me.)

    And sometimes I disagree. For instance , you see voter suppression..I see the GA voter ID law as perfectly reasonable. And I'm guessing (could be wrong) you are not familiar with the details…

    I think that you are expressing a commonly felt emotion here "We know everything about that wrong position you hold and your stinking attitude – so STFU and go away. You are too stupid to participate."

    Sorry about that…


  • Robert Walker-Smith says:

    Drew – excellent point. bb is somebody I disagree with; carrstone is somebody disagreeable. SigNIFicant difference.

  • Any voting laws that are inherently restrictive, whether from the drafters' ignorance or racism, are wrong. Georgia and the rest of the unrepentant treasonous scumbag states of the former Confederacy still can't abide having their property roaming around sans fetters or, GOD forbid, voting.

  • @democommie; it's no accident that the voting laws and "oopsie!" deletions from the roles always seem to deprive Democrats of their right to vote. And despite the incessant bleating from the Republicans about voter fraud, it always seems to be done by the Republicans themselves.

    The day after the 2000 election, an African-American person I supervised came in ranting about her extended family in Florida, a good number of whom had been turned away at the polls for the stupidest of reasons–they shared first name with a felon, they shared a birthday (but not name) with someone in jail, etc. etc. How coincidental that this should happen in a state whose governor was the brother of the Republican candidate! And what a remarkable coincidence that the woman in charge of certifying the election count just happened to be a huge Republican donor! That opened my eyes to the voter suppression going on, which has only grown from that point.

  • Katydid:

    All current voter restriction, er, "registration" laws are being crafted and passed in the former confederacy or NeoCSA wannabe states, like Wississippi.

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