breathtaking

Breathtaking Grotesquerie

#violenceagainstwomen | #WhatTheyVotedFor

U.S. President Donald Trump pauses as he talks to members of the travel pool aboard Air Force One during a trip to Palm Beach, Florida, while flying over South Carolina, 3 February 2017. (Reuters/Carlos Barria)

“The latest excuse for assaulting women minimizes the violence so much we can contain it in just one short word: ‘it’.”

Laura McGann

Quibbling over what passes for mastery is probably not helpful. To go down the line from Vox:

• Coaston, Jane. “The White House had to protect Rob Porter to save Donald Trump”. Vox. 9 February 2018.

For the White House, the politics are simple: Protect Trump. Because Trump himself is accused of assaulting dozens of women, they’ve had to lower the bar for male behavior so that even he can meet it. Any allegation of misconduct made against anyone close to Trump, then, must be dismissed as if it were being made against Trump himself.

• Kirby, Jen. “A second White House aide resigns over domestic abuse allegations”. Vox. 9 February 2018.

Another Trump administration official is resigning amid accusations of domestic abuse, just days after White House staff secretary Rob Porter stepped down after he faced similar allegations . . . [Speechwriter David] Sorensen denied the allegations to the Post, saying that he was the victim and that he resigned because he didn’t want the allegations to be a “distraction.” The Post was working on the story when he resigned.

• McGann, Laura. “Trump just taught a master class in manipulating language to excuse abuse”. Vox. 9 February 2018.

Trump’s attempt to help Porter on Friday shows he understands the root of #MeToo’s power. When victims speak, when they take action, when they force us to see, the power of predators fades away. The best Trump could do for Porter was to take away his victims’ humanity, their active descriptions, and replace it all with just one word: ‘it’.

• North, Anna. “Trump’s long history of employing — and defending — men accused of hurting women”. Vox. 9 February 2018.

At least five administration and campaign figures (including Trump himself) have been the subject of abuse allegations. Rather than treat such allegations with gravity, Trump and his team have chosen to ignore them, to fire back at the women on Twitter, or to parrot men’s assurances of their innocence over women’s reports . . . [Staff Secretary Rob] Porter resigned amid public pressure, but Trump’s response is a good reminder of the lesson he’s learned from escaping the reckoning sweeping much of the rest of the country — #MeToo does not apply to him. And given his tolerance for men accused of abuse inside his very inner circle, it’s clear he doesn’t think it applies to his closest associates, either. Trump’s team may lose men like Porter periodically, but the message the president sent on Friday was clear: to him, violence against women really doesn’t matter.

What a day. That is, of course they did, of course he did, of course he did, and of course he does. Nor is that all.   (more…)

The Blind Chaos of Futility

#DimensionTrump | #WhatTheyVotedFor

U.S. President Donald Trump pauses as he talks to members of the travel pool aboard Air Force One during a trip to Palm Beach, Florida, while flying over South Carolina, 3 February 2017. (Reuters/Carlos Barria)

Somewhere between the joke about how conservatives in general cannot tell the difference, particular observations about the breathtaking naïveté we are supposed to believe about the Trump administration—

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Thursday dodged questions about the existence of possible recordings of conversations between President Trump and former FBI Director James Comey.

Kellyanne Conway speaks at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, 4 March 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)“I can’t comment on that,” Conway said on Fox News before moving to discuss other portions of Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier in the day.

Pressed twice more about the existence of possible tapes, Conway responded, “I can’t comment on that and actually the president himself has said he won’t comment any further on that.”

(Byrnes)

—we might find echoes of Sen. Martin Heinrich’s (D-NM) point to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats when the latter decided he simply did not feel like answering: “You realize how simple it would be to simply say no, that never happened?”

(more…)

What Goes On In Nevada (What’s Going On?)

Jon Ralston posted some interesting insight into the electoral outlook in Nevada:

Tarkanian: CD3 Republican Early Vote Is Underperforming. At a discussion with the Southern Hills Republican Women’s Club, Danny Tarkanian said, “I haven’t slept for the last two days, and it’s because you guys are letting us down out here. I mean that. You’ve got a little shrug of the eyes, a little nervous. Tarkanian: CD3 Republican Early Vote Is Underperforming. At a discussion with the Southern Hills Republican Women's Club, Danny Tarkanian said, "I haven't slept for the last two days, and it's because you guys are letting us down out here. I mean that. You've got a little shrug of the eyes, a little nervous. I'm going to be very honest with you right now. Congressional District 3 is underperforming by far of any district in the whole state. The Republican Party is down substantially in early voting; even more so that [than] it was in 2012. That in itself is bad, but Congressional District 3 is underperforming the rest of the state by 6 percentage points. Meaning that Democrats are voting at a 6 percent higher rate with respect to registration here in CD3 than Republicans are, and most of it is not so much that there's been more Democrats that have voted, we haven't got our Republicans out to vote." [Southern Hills Republican Women's Club, 10/25/16] Tarkanian: If Republican Turnout Doesn't Improve "We're All Going Down" And "Joe Heck Is Going to Go Down." At a discussion with the Southern Hills Republican Women's Club, Danny Tarkanian said, "We need your help right now, because I'll tell you, if this doesn't change we're all going down in CD3. Every one of the people that spoke here, if you're in CD3 you're going to be in the same boat as I am, and Joe Heck is going to go down." [Southern Hills Republican Women's Club, 10/25/16] I’m going to be very honest with you right now. Congressional District 3 is underperforming by far of any district in the whole state. The Republican Party is down substantially in early voting; even more so that [than] it was in 2012. That in itself is bad, but Congressional District 3 is underperforming the rest of the state by 6 percentage points. Meaning that Democrats are voting at a 6 percent higher rate with respect to registration here in CD3 than Republicans are, and most of it is not so much that there’s been more Democrats that have voted, we haven’t got our Republicans out to vote.” [Southern Hills Republican Women’s Club, 10/25/16]

Tarkanian: If Republican Turnout Doesn’t Improve “We’re All Going Down” And “Joe Heck Is Going to Go Down.” At a discussion with the Southern Hills Republican Women’s Club, Danny Tarkanian said, “We need your help right now, because I’ll tell you, if this doesn’t change we’re all going down in CD3. Every one of the people that spoke here, if you’re in CD3 you’re going to be in the same boat as I am, and Joe Heck is going to go down.” [Southern Hills Republican Women’s Club, 10/25/16]

Daily Kos diarist First Amendment notes, “This is the reason Democrats are shifting volunteers from Nevada to Arizona”, and if that sounds strange at least we know where it’s coming from. To the other, it just doesn’t sound strange. Rasmussen/KNTV poll numbers coming down this week show Clinton leading Trump in Nevada, and, yes, incumbent U.S. Senator Joe Heck (R) trailing Democratic challenger Catherine Cortez Masto. It’s a thin lead, and the first time Cortez Masto has led during the cycle. Perhaps Danny Tarkanian overstates this part, or maybe not. Donald Trump continues his breathtaking plummet, dragging the Republican Party with him.

____________________

First Amendment. “Republican panic in Nevada. ‘We’re all going down.'” Daily Kos. 26 October 2016.

Giordano, Al. “Breaking”. Twitter. 25 October 2016.

Ralston, Jon. “How bad has early voting been for GOP in NV?” twitter. 26 October 2016.

Snyder, Riley. “KTNV/RASMUSSEN POLL: Clinton pulls ahead of Trump in Nevada as early voting starts”. KNTV. 24 October 2016.

—————. “KTNV/RASMUSSEN POLL: Cortez Masto narrowly eclipsing Heck in close Nevada Senate race”. KNTV. 25 October 2016.