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CSotD: A Coalition of the Willing

Matt Wuerker ran this piece several days ago, but it continues not simply to be relevant but to increase in relevance.

Never mind Epstein, at least for the moment, though I’d like to see his case sorted out: There is, apparently, an actual affidavit or piece of testimony or something quasi-legal that connects Trump to the rape of an adolescent, and the response of his toadies was “Clinton knew him, too.”

That garnered the appropriate response, “Then Clinton should also be charged,” but that seems to have morphed into “They’re both guilty” and I haven’t seen any testimony tying Clinton to the rapes.

I don’t want the dogs to abandon that bone, but I’d like to see some evidence and maybe a trial before we start stringing people up.

I’m still naive enough to believe in the system, even though I know that people can game it if they have enough money and that people can get swallowed up by it if they have very little money.

And I’m old enough to remember that, if it weren’t for the tapes, Nixon wouldn’t have had to resign.

And old enough to remember how people continued to defend him and wish aloud that he had burned the tapes.

And smart enough to be grateful we didn’t have an Internet then upon which they could amplify their lack of loyalty to the Constitution and to common human decency.

 

Steve Sack suggests that Trump is marshalling his forces, and I’ve noticed an uptick in staunch defenders of the indefensible on-line.

I don’t know if that’s just part of the campaign season ramping up, or some talk-radio encouragement or a resurgence of Russian trollery, or a combination of ingredients and I’m not sure how much it matters.

 

Bob Gorrell acknowledges the poison flowing from Trump’s tiny little fingers, but his labeling of it as a “distraction” is a bit unclear.

There was a point when Trump’s foolish, transparent lies about, for instance, the size of his inaugural crowd were a distraction from watching what he did with his other hand, such as stacking up a pile of blank paper and claiming it documented the ethical restrictions he would be operating under.

 

Which, yeah, I suppose it was.

But his tweets have become increasingly toxic, the latest being his overt appeal to nativism and racism in which he simply lied through his teeth about where opposing congressional representatives were born, just as, before he was elected, he lied through his teeth about where the previous president was born.

That’s not a distraction. Not simply pandering to racists but actively stirring them up is the Main Event, and it’s time to check the batteries in the smoke detectors at the Capitol.

 

Phil Hands notes the party unity we’ve already got, even without a Reichstag fire, and, if “All Hail Trump” seems a little over the top (You do know it’s a cartoon, right?), the silence over his blatantly racist, lying attack on “The Squad” gives credence to Hands’ language.

Can you imagine Scoop Jackson or Ev Dirksen or Howard Baker or George Romney or Nelson Rockefeller or Barry Goldwater maintaining silence at this moment?

Though, at this moment, it’s hard to imagine any of them getting elected on a Republican ticket.

And pointlessly hypothetical.

Might as well ask how things would have been different if Paul Von Hindenburg had been 20 years younger, and healthy.

 

I suppose I should have provided links to all those long forgotten politicians, but even young folks like Matt Bors can comment intelligently on how things have changed in the past eight years.

I don’t know why he swapped the normal positions of “Then” and “Now,” but here’s what I do know: Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher was not a plumber but neither was he a Latina.

And there is nothing “socialistic” about thinking children should not be kept in cages and that nobody should be forced to drink out of a toilet.

But even when reporters and members of Congress have described what they have seen in those camps, the Republican party continues to deny the problem, and to compound it by blaming the Democrats for forcing them to violate human rights and basic decency, which, remember, they aren’t doing.

 

Perhaps Mort Gerberg has the explanation for the astonishing lack of moral leadership, because the smile on that fellow’s face says it all.

And please don’t play the “They all do it” card because they don’t all do it and, even if they do, the answer is reform, not bleating “Four legs good, two legs better.”

Which reminds me: After the reporter workshop I conducted Saturday in Denver, I was talking to one of my reporters’ mothers, who said her daughter was reading “1984” in school and hating it.

I said that, instead, she should be reading “Animal Farm,” because “1984” is about what they do with power, while “Animal Farm” is about how they get that power in the first place.

We’re still in “Animal Farm,” blaming Obama for the collapse of the windmill and the resulting concentration camps which aren’t concentration camps.

I’m less dismayed by the corruption of the Republicans than I am by their support, and, as I said the other day, if you still think Trump won because people assumed he’d lose and so either registered protest votes or didn’t vote at all, look around you.

He was elected. And he can do it again.

 

And if you think he is a tool for Putin but a laughingstock for all other politicians, Ben Jennings is only one of several British cartoonists protesting the new bromance between Trump and Boris Johnson, who has an excellent chance of becoming the UK’s next prime minister.

 

 

When a memo from Kim Darroch, Britain’s ambassador to the US, describing Trump in highly unflattering terms was leaked, Johnson looked the situation over and decided, as Peter Brookes puts it, to throw Darroch under the bus.

Though Johnson has not yet won the race, Darroch resigned.

And, BTW, nobody thought voters would go for Brexit, either.

 

 

Community Comments

#1 Paul Berge
July/15/2019
@ 7:13 am

Wasn’t Scoop Jackson a Democrat?

#2 Mike Peterson
July/15/2019
@ 8:18 am

Whoops. Yeah.

Well, he wouldn’t have put up with it either.

#3 Brad Perri
July/15/2019
@ 9:52 am

For the satirists, there’s something missing in the critique of Trump and his cult. I don’t know what it is, but there’s a key there somewhere that if someone could find it, we’d have an Emperor’s New Clothes moment. But until then, we march ahead as if under a spell. It’s like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Fanaticism is a tough nut to crack. Further, and I can’t remember who said it, the one thing a sucker hates is to be told he’s a sucker, so all the satire telling Trumpists they are suckers backfires. They just dig in, to the detriment of us all. But I remain hopeful there will soon be a “have you no sense of decency” moment where the scales will fall from our eyes.

#4 Brad Perri
July/15/2019
@ 10:04 am

It’s Carl Sagan:

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

? Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/85171-one-of-the-saddest-lessons-of-history-is-this-if

#5 gezorkin
July/15/2019
@ 12:43 pm

You have accurately described Trump’s tweets.

Gorrell’s cartoon(s) is, in itself, a distraction from from the nature of those tweets by calling them a ‘distraction’ rather than a collection of lies, etc., as you have described.

So, whenever a Republican does it, it’s not really racist and lying, it’s merely a ‘distraction’. Harmless, really.

#6 Mary McNeil
July/15/2019
@ 6:24 pm

You left one name out of the list of the ones who would be yelling if they were here today : John McCain.

#7 Kip Williams
July/16/2019
@ 8:39 pm

Distraction is accurate. Trump and his party are perfectly willing to do horrendous things to other people, not only for their own sake, but as a distraction. He’s like the movie villain who’s willing to shoot hostages to slow the pursuing hero down.

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