Nick Anderson (Counterpoint) manages the only tasteful riff I’ve seen on that accidental movie set shooting.
It’s not a real gun and GOP claims of a stolen election are equally fake and, alas, they’re both equally deadly.
The question is not whether Donald Trump believes his Big Lie — he’s been a bullshit artist all his life — but why Republican politicians almost unanimously go along with a falsehood so transparently disloyal to the facts, and to the Constitution which they swore to uphold.
Though there is the OJ Simpson/Jeff MacDonald factor, which is that, when a narcissist is afraid of being exposed, he begins to sincerely believe his own version of things, no matter how it confounds both evidence and logic.
Does Trump believe the outrageous things he says? Probably.
Do his Republican allies? Well, what makes you think they’re cut from such different cloth?
People do not wind up in Congress by happenstance except in Jimmy Stewart movies, and then only as intended pawns of powerful men. Which generally works, except in Jimmy Stewart movies.
I’ve quoted the actress Catherine Hicks, a college friend whom I interviewed for a book that didn’t sell, on the topic of why she was the only person in her MFA class who made it into the big time. She said that a lot of people want it, but that’s not enough. You have to have to have it.
Our government is full of people who have to have to have it.
Which sounds simple enough, but, as a need becomes a compulsion, it becomes toxic.
The farther it drives a person up the ladder, the more overpowering that need is, the more you begin to see what it can crowd out of people’s lives, and souls.
It’s not just in politics, either, as seen in our first
Juxtaposition of the Day
Mark Zuckerberg seems to have been an extraordinarily bright college kid who stumbled onto a great idea that went viral, but things don’t just go viral by themselves.
However serendipitous his idea may have been, he groomed and positioned it far beyond other people’s good ideas.
As for his renaming of Facebook, de Adder isn’t the first to scoff, but his is my favorite take, not only for the absurdity of the bunny ears, but for the way it brings to mind crocodile tears, which reportedly flow for purely physiological, not emotional, reasons, as the reptile consumes his prey.
It’s almost bizarre that Zuckerberg could be so detached from normal people that he renamed the corporation but not the app. He obviously lives in a world surrounded by people who see the name on the building, not the name on the product.
Sack doubles down on Zuckerberg’s heartlessness by picking up on the analysis of Facebook algorithms that shows they elevate and promote extreme posts, including hate speech, in order to increase response and build traffic.
Which might be excused as an unintended consequence if there were not internal leaks suggesting it had been brought to his attention, and if he were not known to have met with the Big Liar himself, more than once, and not transparently.
Not a conspiracy. Simply a matter of who you hang out with and the perspective it provides for you.
As Lee Judge (KFS) suggests, his amoral profit-taking hardly makes him stand out in the corporate crowd.
It’s not even a con job. It’s simply the layering in a society in which the lower layers are becoming a larger part of things and the waffer-theen upper layer is beginning to resemble the rich man in “Tale of Two Cities,” whose carriage runs over and kills a small child, and who genuinely cannot comprehend the tragedy, tossing a coin to the grieving father.
This plutocratic stratum, as a social media meme reminds us, would rather spend their millions popping up into near-space than building libraries and museums.
Their goal is to maintain their power and position.
Ann Telnaes notes the letter Dear Ex-Leader wrote to the Wall Street Journal, and which they printed on their editorial page without corrections or revisions.
She may be over-simplifying the content, but I don’t know because the WSJ has a paywall, which adds to the appropriateness of Trump writing to them, since a lot of the nobility will be able to read it, but not so many of the peasants.
According to reports, it’s merely a repetition of his lies and fantasies about the election, which he may well believe but which nobody else does, except, as noted above, out of loyalty and ambition.
(Update: I’ve since seen it. The reports were correct. It’s a list of facts that aren’t facts but which the WSJ printed as if it constituted a rebuttal.)
We joked about the Emperor’s New Clothes, but who’s laughing now?
What I do know is that, back when I was a biz writer and started each morning with the WSJ, I was not the only person who read the news columns but only perused the editorial page for laughs.
There is supposed to be a division, in major papers, between news and commentary, but the Journal was famous for news stories that discounted a false report while the editorial page proclaimed it as true, and raged over the non-facts.
A number of WSJ reporters have publicly objected to the publication of a letter containing known falsehoods — a breach of editorial policy — causing their overlords to explain why they ran it:
Which sounds a lot as if the rules don’t apply to the nobility, only to the peasants.
Which sounds a lot like Rupert Murdoch, who is either a propagandist or a lunatic, a matter which may be tested in Australia.
Threats to democracy are apparently taken more seriously Down Under, though this David Pope cartoon suggest the challenges are not so different from ours.
We’re a more tolerant country, however, allowing people to break into our Capitol, threaten to kill our politicians, assault police officers and crap on the floor, though Steve Brodner points out that at least one grumpy judge objects to it.
My remaining hope being the memory that I thought Nixon would get away with it, until Judge John Sirica got grumpy and began insisting that the laws be enforced.
Perhaps you had to be there.
2 thoughts on “CSotD: I wonder what the peasants are doing tonight?”
The first part of the first sentence in the WSJ quote was like something right out of a Spiro Agnew speech. Talk about memories of the Nixon era!
If the WSJ thinks “… it’s news when an ex-President …”, why did they publish it in the Editorial section instead of the News?
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