Roger Stone has always lived in a dog-eat-dog world.
So it was apt that he was charged with skulduggery in part for threatening to kidnap a therapy dog, a fluffy, sweet-faced Coton de Tuléar, belonging to Randy Credico, a New York radio host.
Robert Mueller believes that Credico, a pal of Julian Assange, served as an intermediary with WikiLeaks for Stone. Mueller’s indictment charges that Stone called Credico “a rat” and “a stoolie” because he believed that the radio host was not going to back up what the special counsel says is Stone’s false story about contacts with WikiLeaks, which disseminated Russia’s hacked emails from the D.N.C. and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.
Stone emailed Credico that he would “take that dog away from you,” the indictment says, later adding: “I am so ready. Let’s get it on. Prepare to die (expletive).”
As the owner of two Yorkies, Stone clearly knows how scary it is when a beloved dog is in harm’s way. When he emerged from court on Friday, he immediately complained that F.B.I. agents had “terrorized” his dogs when they came to arrest him at dawn at his home in Fort Lauderdale.
.. Always bespoke and natty, living by the mantra that it’s better to be infamous than never famous, Stone looked strangely unadorned as he came out of court to meet the press in a navy polo shirt and bluejeans.
He has always said Florida suited him because “it was a sunny place for shady people,” borrowing a Somerset Maugham line. But now the cat’s cradle of lies and dirty tricks had tripped up the putative dognapper. And it went down on the very same day that Paul Manafort — his former associate in a seamy lobbying firm with rancid dictators as clients, and then later his pal in the seamy campaign of Donald Trump — was also in federal court on charges related to the Mueller probe. Manafort’s hair is now almost completely white.
.. One of Stone’s rules — along with soaking his martini olives in vermouth and never wearing a double-breasted suit with a button-down collar — is “Deny, deny, deny.” But his arrest for lying, obstructing and witness tampering raised the inevitable question about his on-and-off friend in the White House, the man who is the last jigsaw-puzzle piece in the investigation of Trumpworld’s alleged coordination with Russia: Is being Donald Trump finally about to catch up with Donald Trump?
Stone, who famously has Nixon’s face tattooed on his back, is the agent provocateur who is the through line from Nixon, and his impeachment, to Trump, and his possible impeachment.
.. Turnout is a big reason. Last year, Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 voted for Clinton over Trump in a landslide. Only 43 percent of citizens in that age group voted, however.
.. By contrast, Americans over age 65 supported Trump — and 71 percent of them voted.
.. First, don’t make the mistake of blaming everything on nefarious Republicans. Yes, Republicans have gerrymandered districts and shamefully suppressed votes (and Democrats should keep pushing for laws that make voting easier). But the turnout gap is bigger than any Republican scheme... My instinct is that the answer for Democrats involves a passionate message of fairness — of providing jobs, lifting wages, protecting rights and fighting Trump’s plutocracy... It can be bolder than Democrats have been in decades. But it should not resemble a complete progressive wish list, which could turn off swing voters without even raising turnout... The country’s real silent majority prefers Democrats, if only that majority could be stirred to vote.
Every time Mr. Medford dips into the political debate — either with strangers on Facebook or friends in New York and Los Angeles — he comes away feeling battered by contempt and an attitude of moral superiority.
.. “There are at least some things about Trump I find to be defensible. But they are saying: ‘Agree with us 100 percent or you are morally bankrupt. You’re an idiot if you support any part of Trump.’ ”
.. But that momentum is provoking an equal and opposite reaction on the right.
.. conservative voters said they felt assaulted by what they said was a kind of moral Bolshevism — the belief that the liberal vision for the country was the only right one. Disagreeing meant being publicly shamed.
.. Protests and righteous indignation on social media and in Hollywood may seem to liberals to be about policy and persuasion. But moderate conservatives say they are having the opposite effect, chipping away at their middle ground and pushing them closer to Mr. Trump.
.. “They are complaining that Trump calls people names, but they turned into some mean people.”
.. Yet many seemingly persuadable conservatives say that liberals are burning bridges rather than building them.
.. Many experts compare today with the 1960s and the Vietnam War protests. That period was far more violent but culminated in a landslide victory for Richard Nixon in 1972, after he famously appealed to the “silent majority,” who he believed resented what they saw as disrespect for American institutions.
.. And for many Trump voters, even peaceful protests are unsettling.
.. But she has drifted away from the party over what she said was a move from its middle-class economic roots toward identity politics.
.. “The Democratic Party has changed so much that I don’t even recognize it anymore,” she said. “These people are destroying our democracy. They are scarier to me than these Islamic terrorists. I feel absolutely disgusted with them and their antics. It strengthens people’s resolve in wanting to support President Trump. It really does.”
.. he has high marks among moderates who lean Republican: 70 percent approve, while 20 percent disapprove.