This is a forum based out of Pensacola Florida.


You are not connected. Please login or register

Wonderful assessment of where we are in America right now . . .

View previous topic View next topic Go down  Message [Page 1 of 1]

The following brilliant conversation was extracted from an RSN article which is also cited below... Enjoy!:



Sean Illing

So congrats on calling it last week! Obviously you weren’t surprised by the Mooch’s hasty departure.

Matt Taibbi

Thanks, I guess. It's not exactly a miracle of prognostication, though. All these guys enter Trump’s White House with a guillotine over their heads.

Sean Illing

What do you think happened here?

Matt Taibbi

Well, it's interesting. When [former Chief of Staff Reince] Priebus left, I actually thought that was a sign that Trump was going all in with a kind of bunker mentality move to expel all of the RNC [Republican National Committee] types, the Republican Party lifers. He had this weird detente with a few of them, and it clearly wasn't working for him. And when the Mooch called out Priebus as the source of a lot of the leaks, I figured an RNC purge was imminent.

But what the hell do I know? I also thought Scaramucci would hang in there a little bit more because it looked like Trump was throwing his lot in with the hardcore loyalists. But then [new Chief of Staff Gen. John] Kelly came in and canned the Mooch. So yeah, no one has any idea what’s happening.

Sean Illing

You’ve covered Wall Street more than most. What did you know about Scaramucci before he bulldozed his way into the White House?

Matt Taibbi

Well, he came out of Goldman Sachs, but he’s not a classic Goldman personality. A lot of the more famous Goldman guys have these kind of Vulcan personalities, people like Gary Cohn or Lloyd Blankfein. They’re bloodless, heartless, analytical pragmatists. Scaramucci is the opposite of this. He’s a glad-hander and a talker, the guy whose job is basically to charm people. There’s plenty of guys like him on Wall Street because a lot of what the financial services industry is about is sales and schmoozing, and obviously the Mooch was born to sell shit.

Sean Illing

Well, for better or worse, the Mooch has flamed out, so let’s zoom back and talk about the administration. The last time we spoke, you said that part of Trump’s appeal to voters was that he would come to DC and just blow everything up. As you put it, his pitch was basically, “Pull the lever for me and you’ll horrify them all.”

We’re now six months into the Trump presidency. Do you think those voters are getting what they wanted?

Matt Taibbi

Probably not so much. I think the average Trump voter, when he or she turns on the news, is more convinced than ever that there's a coastal liberal media conspiracy out to get the president. But I'm sure they would much prefer a narrative of unbridled success, as opposed to this ongoing embarrassment. Although I think the defections seem to be worse with the political class than with the voters. Even though Trump’s approval rating is down pretty low, Democrats are hardly more popular.

My sense is that the entire Trump era has just turned off most voters. I’m sure there was a large contingent of Trump voters that delighted in seeing him stride into town and blow shit up, but I don’t think he’s really delivering much on that front anymore.

It’s just an embarrassing spectacle at this point.

Sean Illing

I’m not sure that’s true — at least not entirely. I think the Trump era has definitely turned a lot of people off from politics, but it’s also amplified our worst tribal instincts. If you’re emotionally invested in this circus, every day is another opportunity to wake up and hurl shit at your political enemies. So I think it’s invigorated as many people as it’s offended.

Matt Taibbi

For sure. Politics is like sports now. I mean, how many sports fans do you know who will pick up the news one morning and say, "You know what? I'm not gonna be a Yankees fan anymore.” They’re Yankees fans for life. And that’s how people are about politics now, certainly more than they were before.

When Trump said last year that he could shoot somebody in the middle of Fifth Avenue and not lose any voters, he was right — and I think that’s probably more true now than it was during the campaign. This entire two-year period has become a pitched cultural battle. People have picked sides, and once you’ve chosen a side, that’s it.

From my point of view, Trump looks like a historically incompetent politician. From his voters’ point of view, it's a conspiracy of elites out to get him. So I wouldn't expect to see mass defections anytime soon.

Sean Illing

What’s the end game here? How bad will it get?

Matt Taibbi

Well, we have a long way to go before we get to the bottom of how bad things could be. I mean, right now it's mostly just amusing. There is no nuclear war or constitutional crisis or troops in the street or financial bubbles bursting or a currency devaluation. Until something terrible happens, it’s just a fucking game for a lot of people.

I was in Russia when the ruble devalued in the early ’90s, and people who’d been saving cash their whole lives in their mattresses woke up one morning and it was all worthless — and it all happened in what felt like overnight. After that, there were catastrophic changes in society happening every 10 seconds. We’re nowhere near this kind of disorder.

We basically have a highly functioning society that is going through a lot of embarrassment. The country hasn’t started to disintegrate yet. Americans who haven't been through the experience of seeing a full-blown collapse of an industrial power have no idea how bad it can get.

Sean Illing

When I talk to pundits and political scientists, I tend to hear one of two stories. The first is that democracy is broken and we’re in the midst of a mild constitutional crisis. The other story is that our constitutional system is actually working as intended — Congress is asserting itself, the courts are holding firm, the media is pushing back.

What’s your view?

Matt Taibbi

It’s complicated. I know this will sound weird, but I actually thought Trump’s victory was a kind of triumph of American democracy. I mean, I’m completely opposed to everything that Trump believes in. But the notion that somebody completely outside the American political system, who had virtually no institutional support from either of the two parties, could actually win the presidency is something that I wouldn't have believed eight years ago. So I took his election as a sign that our democracy was functioning correctly.

But obviously he’s crazy and unfit for the job. And when he started nominating people whose sole qualification for office was that they weren’t qualified or that they actively disbelieved in the missions of the agencies they were tapped to run, that’s when you knew our defense mechanisms had to assert themselves.

Today, I’m not sure how healthy our system is. I know we’re in a very divided time. And we’ve got this maniac in office who probably feels like he can’t leave because he’ll be prosecuted if he does, so his best chance of staying out of trouble is to clutch power like a Third World kleptocrat.

Sean Illing

In your last book, you talked about how politics and entertainment have gradually folded into one sphere, reaching a bizarre apogee with Trump. I’m not sure we’ll ever get out of this trap. Trump will eventually fade away — but I suspect he’s changed things forever. Politics as reality TV was always good for business, but it’s never been this good.

Matt Taibbi

Trump has revolutionized the news business. He has singlehandedly saved the news business, financially. The ratings are sky-high. They normally steeply drop off after Election Day, and they've instead stayed as high as they were in the first week of November, which is unprecedented.

I see two data points that are really scary. On the one hand, ratings for cable news programs are higher than ever. And on the other hand, every poll shows that both Democrats and Republicans have less confidence in the news media than ever. They believe us less and they watch us more, so what does that mean? That means we are beginning to occupy the entertainment space more than we ever were before.

People like watching reality shows and they because they like to see what fucked-up thing will happen next. The Scaramucci saga is a classic example. Is that news? I don’t know. But it’s great TV. Will this model survive Trump? It’s hard to say.

Sean Illing

Cable news and the internet changed everything. We’re now hostage to spectacle and theater in a way we never were before. Someone like Trump was destined to rise in a system like this.

Matt Taibbi

Absolutely. It predates Trump. We’ve gradually turned the electoral process into a reality show over the last two decades or so. The only thing different about Trump is that he was better at it than everyone else. Trump understood that politics has been reduced to a TV show, and so he made it a kick-ass show that gets awesome ratings.

Sean Illing

Who’s most responsible for this? The media, the politicians, the consumers?

Matt Taibbi

It's a tough call. I think it's a combination of a lot of things. On the one hand, you have to blame the two parties, because part of what they've been doing is putting forward candidates whose job is to basically say nothing. They can’t be real about their politics. They can’t say, “I took $30 million from the financial services industry, so I’m going to repeal this or pass that.” They can’t be honest about their motivations, about what politics actually is in this country, so they’re obliged to be full of shit all the time.

So their phoniness has made the process less authentic and more vapid. They’ve made politics a contest of performers, not ideas. They want people who look the part, not people who actually have an agenda or a backbone. So voters got used to the idea of voting for someone they wanted to have a beer with as opposed to someone who is going to provide jobs or health care.

And now we’re stuck with — this.


http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/45079-focus-qits-just-an-embarrassing-spectacle-at-this-pointq-matt-taibbi-on-trumps-america

View user profile
The country is basically being held hostage by a cult. They don't care what Trump does, because they belieeeeeeve, and they're going to keep believing because that's what they want to do, and, thanks to FOX and the internet, they can always find some deluded support group to tell them than keeping on believing the bullshit is okay and even "patriotic."

It's not a sustainable situation, but when America finally collapses under the weight of the insanity and declines, they'll do what they always do -- blame somebody else. They believe the best about their cult, and the worst about everyone outside of it, and, that's it. Trying to make them see reality gets you about the same results as dealing with any other true-believer fanatic. We're in a country full of people who are completely convinced of absurdities like the Earth is only 6,000 years old, so getting them to believe all the things counter to what they want to think are "fake news" becomes the easiest thing in the world.

The real problem isn't Trump. He could be disposed of and, through work, the damage he's done repaired. The real problem is his base of support. No civilized society can maintain that level of willfully brainwashed stupidity. Trying to appease those people and work around them is what's going to hold all of us back.

View user profile
zsomething wrote:The country is basically being held hostage by a cult.  They don't care what Trump does, because they belieeeeeeve,  and they're going to keep believing because that's what they want to do, and, thanks to FOX and the internet, they can always find some deluded support group to tell them than keeping on believing the bullshit is okay and even "patriotic."  

It's not a sustainable situation, but when America finally collapses under the weight of the insanity and declines, they'll do what they always do -- blame somebody else.  They believe the best about their cult, and the worst about everyone outside of it, and, that's it.  Trying to make them see reality gets you about the same results as dealing with any other true-believer fanatic.   We're in a country full of people who are completely convinced of absurdities like the Earth is only 6,000 years old, so getting them to believe all the things counter to what they want to think are "fake news" becomes the easiest thing in the world.

The real problem isn't Trump.  He could be disposed of and, through work, the damage he's done repaired.  The real problem is his base of support.  No civilized society can maintain that level of willfully brainwashed stupidity.  Trying to appease those people and work around them is what's going to hold all of us back.




Who are you going to believe, the cult of right wingnut lies or your own eyes and ears?

View user profile
Watching my favorite Fox news program yesterday Media Buzz, just the premise of this show I find hilarious, Katrina Pierson was their guest. At one point discussing the fake news media she said with pride "collusion is not a crime". It was just the way she said it like yes we did it and there's nothing you can do about it. Then the host called her out on things they said we're fake news like Flynn and Don Jr that later turned out to be true and she blew that off as "separate issues" LOL
Alternative facts you got to love them.

View user profile
Very honorable that trump tweeted this morning about the soldiers that lost there lives last week in Australia and Afghanistan and speaking about the mosque that was bombed in Minnesota...
wait what? His tweets were all about himself, oh well nevermind.

View user profile

Sponsored content


View previous topic View next topic Back to top  Message [Page 1 of 1]

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum