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CSotD: 13 O’Clock at the Ministry of Truth

Darrin Bell leads off today because the major issue facing us is that we might be better off if we had a deliberate, Machiavellian liar in the White House.

But it’s becoming increasingly clear that this is not some cunning plan.

We knew Trump was devoid of empathy, but it’s not just that he can’t identify with the pain of those who suffer under heartless policies, and it’s not just that he has no sympathy for the victims of his bullying.

He doesn’t attach to basic values. I’m not saying he’s 25th Amendment crazy. He knows that a doorknob is a doorknob and what it’s for. He understands the idea of putting up an umbrella in the rain.


But there are things he says that a rational person would only put forth as a deliberate lie, and I’m not convinced he’s deliberately lying.

Nick Anderson barely twitches a muscle in turning a quote from the 60 Minutes interview into an editorial cartoon. You don’t have to exaggerate things that made such little sense in the first place.

Trump truly does not understand that there is a difference between fact and opinion. Stop right there. It explains everything he says: If it’s favorable to his goals, it’s a fact. Period. That’s what a fact is.

He really did have an uncle who was a brilliant scientist and who taught at MIT. But the guy was an electrical engineer.

My dad got a degree from MIT, but he was a mining engineer. He did some ground-breaking research on taconite pelletizing, but if our car stopped running, he was as helpless as a poet or a pastry chef.

Similarly, there’s no reason to think John G. Trump knew a damn thing about climate because that wasn’t his field. And he wouldn’t have had a chance to pass it on to his nephew anyway, because “I didn’t talk to him about this particular subject, but I have a natural instinct for science, and I will say that you have scientists on both sides of the picture.”

It’s not an issue of being “liberal” or being “conservative.”

It’s an issue of simply being full of shit.

Jennifer Rubin says as much at greater length and with greater eloquence, including this:

It is not “conservative” to believe that Post Global Opinions columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed by “rogue killers,” massive tax cuts were going to pay for themselves, immigrants steal jobs and cause a crime wave, Russia (or Russia alone) might not have meddled in the 2016 election and other such poppycock. These are out and out falsehoods, and the determination to maintain them and label truth-tellers as enemies is indicative not of conservatism but of a totalitarian mind-set in which leaders make up their own reality and avoid the consequences for their real-world calamities.


And so, as Pat Bagley notes, Republicans love him, even Republicans who previously said “Here’s what I know. Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He’s playing the members of the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat.”

Well, a lousy hat and an endorsement. And so things have changed.

He’s full of shit, but he’s advancing our agenda.


I suppose the individual acts of bullying, deceit and dishonor don’t matter so much, except as an indication of his utter lack of character. I do, however, agree with Mike Marland‘s observation: It’s not so much that he’s a bully but that he’s also a misogynist and a coward.

As Lili Loofbourow noted during the Kavanaugh hearings, it’s not about the women: It’s about showing off for each other.

And he is also willing to ignore murder if there’s money in it.


Jim Morin expresses it this way.

The only difference between a cop who takes a bribe to let gangsters operate in his neighborhood and a world leader who does the same is the size of the neighborhood and the number of zeroes in the payoff.

And the fact that the cop gets his money handed to him discretely, in a plain envelope.

He doesn’t send someone off on national television to collect the bribe, which brings us to our …


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Dwane Powell)

(Jack Ohman)

The contrast here is that Powell plays along with the charade and makes a joke of a situation everyone knew was a joke, while Ohman cuts through the bullshit and just lays it out.

And leave us not kid one another: We all know what’s going on.

Stick with Morin’s metaphor: A few years after college, I read an interview with Lloyd Haines, a South Bend native then starring in “Room 222,” in which he said that South Bend was so racist on the one hand, and so mobbed up on the other, that he knew he couldn’t get anywhere there.

There were two families, and I had a black friend from town who opened a nightclub that was promptly, permanently shut down for a variety of fire safety code violations.

He was less upset with being closed than he was with his own naive belief that, if he paid off one family, they would protect him against the other.

Which was more or less what Lloyd Haines was driving at.

And everybody in town knew the game.

Though they had the dignity not to advertise what suckers they were by wearing red ball caps.


Which I mention because, as Manik suggests, we all need to consider what it would cost us to run afoul of the godfather.

And, since he’s South African, he’s in the part of the world where you might feel like my friend from South Bend, that you had to pay off both families, because they wouldn’t protect you, one from the other.

Particularly since they appear to be on the same side.

Meanwhile, John Deering is not the only cartoonist to suggest that perhaps we all knew the score and just pretended not to.


Community Comments

#1 Sean Martin
@ 9:29 am

So when Christine Freeland, our Minister of Foreign Affairs, tweeted — nicely — that the Sauds should release womens’ rights activists behind imprisoned in SA, the Crown Prince got all pissy and complained that a mere woman was trying to tell him what to do, and the rest of the world all said, “Now, now, Canada. Shouldnt have done that.” For decades the Sauds and their friends have thrown men who were merely suspected of being gay off rooftops, and the world said nothing, save that “Well, it’s a n internal affair. Who are we to criticize?” And yes, we all knew a long time ago who was paying the bills for the 911 attackers, but, you know, there was no *real* proof, so… :: insert shoulder shrug here::

So now a journalist has most likely been killed and hacked up, and the world finally decides, Okay, that’s a bridge too far. While I certainly feel sorry for the man and his family, I have to ask… WHY DID IT TAKE ALL OF YOU SO LONG TO FIGURE THIS OUT?

And now #CommanderBabyfingers is saying, Well, gosh, no real evidence, but we should believe them anyway. Strange that he wouldnt extend the same courtesy to Ford.

Oh. Wait. I forgot. She’s a mere woman.

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