#MansMansMansMansWorld | #WhatTheyVotedFor
This is interesting:
More than being lampooned as a press secretary who makes up facts, it was Spicer’s portrayal by a woman that was most problematic in the president’s eyes, according to sources close to him. And the unflattering send-up by a female comedian was not considered helpful for Spicer’s longevity in the grueling, high-profile job in which he has struggled to strike the right balance between representing an administration that considers the media the “opposition party,” and developing a functional relationship with the press.
“Trump doesn’t like his people to look weak,” added a top Trump donor.
It seems Politico wasn’t kidding. That is to say, the headline, “White House rattled by McCarthy’s spoof of Spicer”, now seems nearly quaint. CNN hit today with, “White House ramping up search for communications director after Spicer’s rocky start”, and The Hill piles on with, “CNN: Trump regrets hiring Spicer, blames Priebus”.
And we should probably tip our proverbial hat to DailyKos diarist Th0rn, who reminds:
First it was millions of women in pussy hats making Donald Trump squirm. Now it’s one woman in a wig.
In my world, woman does not equal weak.
The eternal choice. Either, or. The accursed Democratic bargain. This is one of those ideas that never seems to work out well. And if we should expect no better on this occasion, that might well be the point.
You’d have to ask Matt Bors, of course. Meanwhile, yeah, one more time around. You know?
Oh … er … ah … right. Get used to it.
Image note: False dichotomy ― Detail of cartoon by Matt Bors, 27 December 2016.
#pizzagate | #WhatTheyVotedFor
The underlying question of the #trumpswindle seems at once both straightforward and incredibly twisted. It is, after all, a complicated question of expectation and interpretation, of what one says versus what one means, and it might be that Freud was correct and they’re all hung up on something about their mothers, or maybe object relations subsumes that neurotic array as some primary identification of something having to do with authority accommodated and assimilated. And while it is just as true that the preceding sentence is likely as vapid as it is correct, the simpler expression is that it never really was about all those other things because Donald Trump’s supporters are, at heart, after the thrill of wicked and vicious empowerment, which is the legendary birthright of every superior intellect and conscience.
If it seems really easy to overstate the #trumpswindle, remember why truth is stranger than fiction.
Let us start, then, at Slate, with Ben Mathis-Lilley:
In Florida, meanwhile, the Department of Justice has just announced the arrest of a Tampa, Florida–area woman who—believing, like [InfoWars host Alex] Jones, that the deaths at Sandy Hook were faked—threatened to kill one of the bereaved parents of a Sandy Hook victim ....
The parent in question, Len Pozner, is what New York magazine described in a September piece as “the de facto leader of the [Sandy Hook] anti-hoaxer movement”; he operates an advocacy organization for family members of mass-killing victims who’ve been harassed by truthers and has filed a lawsuit against one prominent Sandy Hook denier for invasion of privacy. Pozner told the magazine that he was actually once an Infowars listener himself before losing his 6-year-old son Noah in Newtown. Said Pozner: “I probably listened to an Alex Jones podcast after I dropped the kids off at school that morning” ....
#trumpswindle | #WhatTheyVotedFor
To: Republican voters
And then it was over:
Donald Trump’s economic adviser Stephen Moore told a group of top Republicans last week that they now belong to a fundamentally different political party.
Moore surprised some of the Republican lawmakers assembled at their closed-door whip meeting last Tuesday when he told them they should no longer think of themselves as belonging to the conservative party of Ronald Reagan.
They now belong to Trump’s populist working-class party, he said.
A source briefed on the House GOP whip meeting―which Moore attended as a guest of Majority Whip Steve Scalise―said several lawmakers told him they were taken aback by the economist’s comments.
“For God’s sake, it’s Stephen Moore!” the source said, explaining some of the lawmakers’ reactions to Moore’s statement. “He’s the guy who started Club for Growth. He’s Mr. Supply Side economics.”
Do you understand that shortly all you will have left is the bigotry and supremacism? You built this. You don’t get to blame Democrats, nor Hillary Clinton. You can’t blame the mainstream media. And you don’t get to pretend this was the plan the whole time.
Congratulations. I do hope you have the courage to be proud of yourselves.
Image note: Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP Photo.
Swan, Jonathan. “Trump adviser tells House Republicans: You’re no longer Reagan’s party”. The Hill. 23 November 2016.
This is a long problem in the political discourse:
If you follow Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight site, you already know that statistics suggest that if only women voted for president, Hillary Clinton would win in a landslide. Yet Trump’s female supporters are some of the most ardent folks on his side. He seems to appeal to women supporters as a candidate who will keep them safe and protect the borders from the bad hombres.
They don’t trust Clinton. And the endless stories about her emails don’t help build confidence with supporters of either gender. Yet when I ask for examples of what bothers people most about the emails, the answers seem to come directly from the Trump playbook. According to Trump supporters, the emails prove that Clinton is funding ISIS, ordered the massacre in Benghazi, is plotting to steal the election and is actually a pimp who procures women for her husband. “It just proves just how nasty she is,” one male voter told me.
When asked about the notion of breaking the glass ceiling by electing a woman to the White House, they all resoundingly said, “Not that woman.” Several women suggested that Sarah Palin, John McCain’s running mate in 2008, would make a great first woman candidate. “She is so much more prepared to serve than Hillary Clinton,” a stay-at-home mom from California said.
It’s very nearly petulant, and comes in a variety of flavors. This time around it’s pretty straightforward: It is not that your voice does not matter; rather, forfeiture of reality simply does not constitute a middle ground. There is nothing we can do when the compromise point with conspiracists is granting the conspiracy theory.
And, frankly, it sounds like neurotic desperation, an excuse for supporting terrible people and ideas. The thing about self-indictment is that, for the most part, conscience will out; it’s part of being human. Relatively few of the infamously-designated deplorables actually celebrate their hatred; most of them try to find some way to believe they’re good people. We should find that encouraging; they want to be good. It’s just … I don’t know. This is the challenge. Pathos is one thing; self-imposed alienation is something else entirely.
Image note: Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks during the 2016 Republican Jewish Coalition Presidential Candidates Forum in Washington, D.C., 3 December 2015 (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)
King Collier, Andrea. “What are they thinking? Talking to Trump voters without judgment (and while black)”. Salon. 5 November 2016.
This is not what we would ordinarily call a profile in courage:
Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz again reversed his position on Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy on Wednesday night, saying he’d vote for the Republican nominee but wouldn’t endorse him.
“I will not defend or endorse @realDonaldTrump, but I am voting for him,” Chaffetz tweeted Wednesday. “[Hillary Rodham Clinton] is that bad. HRC is bad for the USA.”
The House Oversight Committee chairman had previously backed Trump’s candidacy before withdrawing his endorsement on Oct. 8 following the revelation that the Republican nominee had made lewd and sexually aggressive comments while filming for an “Access Hollywood” interview in 2005.
Then again, this is Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT03) we’re talking about, so it’s not like anyone expects a lot. To that end, we should at least note the accomplishment, the e’er graceless flip-flop-flip.
It really is hard to keep up:
• FiveThirtyEight undertakes the obvious question―“Is This What It Looks Like When A Party Falls Apart?”―and, well, the answer is about as vague as you might imagine, but the conversation is either worth your time or not.
(Maggie Koerth-Baker’s feature on “The Secret Lives Of Rocks” is probably a more enriching read while offering just as much utility in comprehending the election in general or Republicans in particular.)
• Nate Silver offers a headline that ought to be encouraging: “Women are defeating Donald Trump”.
• Jack Shafer of Politico reminds why the devastating Trump video footage is “The Least Surprising ‘Surprise’ of the Campaign”.
• Speaking of Politico that is where historian Josh Zeitz recalls Horace Greely, whose death shortly after the 1872 election represents “the last time a major-party presidential candidate was unable to make it to the actual vote of the Electoral College”, which in turn raises all manner of whispers and rumors about potential chaos, thus somehow inspiring the question, “Is a Historic Hail Mary Possible for the GOP?”
• The Associated Press, by dint of its reporting, obliges an interesting question about Rudy Giuliani: If “Giuliani says Trump is better for the US ‘than a woman'”, how much longer is society oblieged to give just how much of a damn about what Rudy Giuliani has to say?
• Phillip Bump chastises Kurt Eichenwald for missing a deleted tweet, or something, and, really, there’s nothing that could possibly go wrong with being so definitive as “The Trump-Putin link that wasn’t”.
• Also at WaPo, Aaron Blake explains, “Kellyanne Conway just demonstrated how impossible it is to defend Donald Trump right now”, which by no means should be construed as any reason to feel sorry for her; she did this to herself.
• Speaking of self-infliction, Matthew Rozsa of Salon takes a moment or three to marvel at how “The big loser in Donald Trump’s war against the GOP is Ted Cruz somehow”, and the only part of that we might contest is the last word, which seems to suggest uncertainty, though in the end the difference between Ted Cruz and the nation is a matter of priorities―some people reasonably argue that the American people are the biggest losers, but the American people also did this to themselves, and in any practical question that doesn’t render itself moot, yes, Ted Cruz is, well, a big freaking loser. Oh, right; but I digress.
• Jonathan Swan of The Hill broke an interesting headline: “Trump campaign CEO wanted to destroy Ryan”.
Image note: Donald Trump speaks to South Carolina voters in North Charleston, 19 February 2016. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
“When Trump recently told African-American communities, ‘What do you have to lose?’ he neglected to mention the answer: Fourth Amendment rights.”
Or, more specifically:
At a Fox News event this week, Donald Trump seemed to endorse taking “stop-and-frisk” policies to a national level to address urban crime. “I would do stop-and-frisk,” the Republican said. “I think you have to. We did it in New York, it worked incredibly well and you have to be proactive and, you know, you really help people sort of change their mind automatically.”
Of course, what Trump doesn’t seem to understand is that stop-and-frisk didn’t work “incredibly well” at all, and when challenged in the courts, the policy was ruled unconstitutional.
When Trump recently told African-American communities, “What do you have to lose?” he neglected to mention the answer: Fourth Amendment rights.
Nor is the punch line the whole of it. The msnbc producer continues:
Trump, who’s never demonstrated any real understanding of criminal-justice policy, apparently likes the idea of police being able to stop-and-frisk Americans―including those who’ve done nothing wrong and have been accused of no crimes―effectively at the discretion of individual officers. If the police find a gun, under Trump’s vision, it will be taken away.
In other words, the NRA’s favorite presidential candidate―the Republican who’s benefiting from millions of dollars in NRA campaign money and claims to be a great champion of the Second Amendment―is on board with a policy in which government officials approach random American pedestrians and confiscate their firearms without due process.
“Essentially they want to recapture an America that no longer exists, one that has white people at the center of the culture, on top of the world, secure in their place as the highest caste. That’s what they hear when he says he will ‘Make America Great Again.’ And that’s just not something that anyone deliver for them, not even Donald Trump.”
There is always a reason.
Image note: Detail of cartoon by Mr. Fish, via Clowncrack, 30 November 2014.
Digby Parton, Heather. “Birtherism and bigotry: These are the vile impulses driving voters to Trump — stop thinking it’s anything else”. Salon. 3 June 2016.