Home | About | Donate

In One Wretched Day, All You Need to Know About Donald J. Trump


#1

In One Wretched Day, All You Need to Know About Donald J. Trump

Michael Winship

As the hero croons in that classic old musical Brigadoon, what a day this has been, what a rare mood I’m in.


#2

I would not count on the Republicans to do anything of value on this.Their base is largely white supremacists and people who favor either authoritarian government or a theocracy. The Republican conservatives brought in the right wing extremists to get more votes and now these extremists have taken over the party. The US really cannot function as the Founding Fathers more or less intended unless the right wing extremists are again marginalized.


#3

Then there’s this, this morning the The Hill ran a story about Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.). He claimed the govt. shut down wouldn’t truly impact employees, and scoffed at the idea that a federal worker would need their next paycheck to make ends meet. “Who’s living that they’re not going to make it to the next paycheck ?”.
With 78% of full time workers living pay check to paycheck, how clueless do you have to be to make this statement ? Maybe it’s time for congress to recess for a year, without pay, to gain a tiny amount of perspective.


#4

Considering the fact that the majority of congresscum are multimillionaires that probably wouldn’t be a good move. They will simply live for a year off of the interest generated by their excessive wealth then regroup in a year telling us of the 99% how we whine too much about insufficient income.


#5

Federal Employees will not be paid - but the banks and foreign investors holding the U.S. Debt will be.

Yet with all of the stuff mentioned in the article - the worst news of the day today is that RGB was hospitalized and had two malignant nodules removed from her lung. I wish her a speedy recovery.


#6

Deeply concerning and I wish her a speedy recovery as well.


#7

I would not count on the Democrats to do anything of value on this. Their power structure is largely neoliberal/neocons and people who favor either the status quo or compromise with the extreme right. The Democratic centrists brought in the right wing extremists to get more votes and now these extremists have taken over the party. The US really cannot function as the Founding Fathers more or less intended unless the right wing extremists are again marginalized.


#8

Yes. If we lose RBG, we’re screwed for a generation or more to come – assuming humanity lasts that long.


#9

His announcement came the day after Trump declared he was pulling our 2,000 troops from Syria and just hours before word got out that the president has told the Pentagon to reduce our troop presence in Afghanistan by nearly half.

I feel bad for you Michael. You may now have two less wars to root for.


#10

“What a day this has been
What a foul mood I’m in
Why it’s almost like being on
The brown acid.”


#11

What worries me least about Donald Trump is his disagreements with the Republican Party and the warlike conservative Democrats.

Of course that leaves enough worry. But it does not leave me imagining that the Republicans or blue dogs ought to be reigning him in. Have we forgotten the other nut jobs who were on the debate platform beside Donald Trump? Have we forgotten the fraud and war and torture and extrajudicial execution of each of our recent administrations?

I suspect that it behooves Democrats and fellow travelers to know a bit about our Republicans. Republicans can be usefully though very roughly divided into 3 camps, with considerable overlap. The smallest is the post-Ayn Randian libertarians. These guys are abysmal about most any sort of social issue and pollyanna about corporate power, but very set against 1st and 4th Amendment violations, at least by government.

A larger group we refer to as “the Bible Belt” or conservative Christian crowd, but this also includes a lot of xenophobes from so-called “flyover” states. They have some not-unreasoned fear of control by larger urban demographics, but often (not always!) also a lot of unreasoned hatred of those whom they find weird–different races, ethnicities, gender identities, lifestyles, or social strata.

The next group is the CIA and military-aligned neoliberal or neoconservative camp that spawned the Bushes, the Clintons, and the Barack Obama who actually governed, though not his campaign persona. This group is also particularly tied in to what we call shadow government or deep state players. This group is also disproportionately responsible for nearly the entire range of commercial media, whether in Democrat or Republican-leaning flavors. So Fox will tend to criticize Dems and MSNBC Republicans, but based on something like the same standards, the same framework, the same ideas, and the same neocon-favored vocabulary. Reporting is seen as “balanced” if it reflects both neocon-red and neocon-blue points of view.

A lot of factors had to come together to move Donald Trump from clown to candidate to president over the course of a few months. But one of them is that Republicans in the libertarian and Bible Belt groups refused to support their neoconservative Crown Prince Jeb. They wanted someone “outside the beltway.” For various reasons, Democrats failed to do the same with Mrs. Clinton.

Sadly, there’s no denying that we are left with a mess. But no, it is not going to solve anything to wait for the neoconservatives of both parties to conjoin to present their preferred version of any of it.


#12

Winship sez:
“A greater scandal could be revealed that might shake even Trump’s fanatical supporters to the core.”

I doubt that level of scandal exists.


#13

HI dpearl: The best Justice on the court is a tough lady and that’s what I love about her. Brains with humanity is such a wonderful combination : ) She has all the qualities that I wish all the Justices could be.


#14

Agreed. I love the way she gently uses small symbols like her collars to say big things. Or how she often writes two dissenting opinions - an official one in legalistic language and one in common language she reads from the bench so everyday people could understand why she was objecting to the majority opinion.
Her wonderful dissent in the Lily Ledbetter case laid out the issues clearly and lead directly to the law being changed for better.


#15

The Democrats did support Clinton in the primary and the Republicans did not support Jeb Bush. That is because Democrats have not moved to the extreme left but Republicans have moved to the extreme right. The result is most Democrats support the Democratic establishment but most Republicans had enough of the Republican establishment. The Republicans have been promising their extreme right base a number of things and never delivered. Trump was able to take advantage of that and was the Republican most in tune with the extreme right wingers in the Republican Party. He was against political correctness, against allowing non-whites to enter the US as immigrants, against letting Muslims in the US as immigrants, etc.


#16

Wow! Who could have predicted any of this?


#17

I never had the Brown Acid, but I did have some Jerry Garcia blotter that was for shit.


#18

We can argue about where right and left start or stop, but to an extent that’s arbitrary.

More critically, in a nation where so-called “centrist” factions bomb a half-dozen countries at a time, kill citizens without trial by pinpointing cell phones, engage in universal surveillance, maintain enormous and deadly differences between individuals with respect to access to resources, where the society as a whole steadily erodes the bases of its ecological viability, it seems appropriate to ask you what you mean by extreme.

That is not a rhetorical question.

In what sense are Trump’s supporters particularly farther to the right than those of George Bush, John McCain, or Mitt Romney? In most cases, these are the same people, though perhaps not in the same year. It would be foolish to deny that Trump draws racists, but of course that has been true of Republican tickets since 1972, and deliberately so. Trump was less popular than any recent presidential candidate, arguably except for Clinton. A large number of people voted for him as a least-worst candidate, holding their figurative noses.

To surmise a bit, perhaps incorrectly but in an attempt to get a bit closer to the differences here, it seems to me likely that different parts of the spectrum of political issues effect people more strongly, so that our impressions of right and left as they apply to some given candidate might thereby differ.

Along those lines, I am tempted, reading your response above, to insist that race and gender are not the only relevant issues (whether as regards left and right, extremity, or contemporary politics) but I suspect that you do not believe that they are. They do seem to be the only ones that you mention here; perhaps they figure particularly prominently for you. Or perhaps you believe that someone who uses vulgar language in one or another context is generally more apt to approve of military measures or abusive economic sanctions. But I suspect that you know of exceptions to that, too.

In any event, the electorate has a range of concerns–of course; I know that’s not news. I think that we should have a range of concerns, but should or should not, we do. There are racists, militarists, corporatists, climate-deniers who have more insight about one or another thing–sexists who favor economic equality, racists who believe in constitutional protection of civil rights. But I don’t see how we work out that people are moderate or centrist who decide to go destroy one and another country, more or less entire, or who set aside basic principles of democratic selection and balance of power. Such action strikes me as being not politically correct in the extreme, though it is in such an extreme that we tend to use other language for it. I do not mean to suggest that language and vocabulary do not matter at some level, but I am sure that you can see where a drone bombing would take away someone’s “safe space.”

Do higher valence actions constitute a greater part of our reasoning of who is left or right?

For what it is worth, I would characterize the neoliberal | neoconservative element that goes through both Republican and Democratic parties as the most extreme right-wing faction embraced by a largish portion of the population and government. I mean by this that it is coercive and exclusionary, and more so than other large factions, particularly in that it places little value on the lives of other people.

No one will want to deal with all the background of that argument here, but my empirical grounding here is roundly what we know of the violence of pursuit of empire at home and abroad–the wars, the bombings, the torture, the black ops and persistent drug and arms dealing over decades, the classist as well as racist and sexist bigotry, but also the callous destruction of ecologies and economies by the systematic levering of bribery and loans to create a world largely driven by odious debt.

These are essentially the center of the neoconservative and neoliberal program, though people from other parts of the political spectrum may ally themselves with one or another part thereof. It is also carried forth by both Republican and Democratic administrations, though not always equally from year to year.

As I see it, for what-all that may be worth, this is the juggernaut that we need to disassemble: we need to remove its politicians, divest from its businesses, contradict and disassemble its ideas and cultural assumptions.

We need to displace and overgrow the lot of it. It’s not just one jerk.


#19

Well and truly written, Michael.


#20

Yours is also well and truly written, reminding us that this is all much more complex than any single individual. There is a great degree of delusion, and illusion, at play in our present situation.

No matter the outcome, the rich will prosper. Everyone else, not so much.