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The essence of Trump

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1 The essence of Trump on 11/27/2018, 2:42 pm

This nails it about as well as anything I've ever seen:

https://theconcourse.deadspin.com/this-is-all-donald-trump-has-left-1830329753?utm_campaign=socialflow_deadspin_twitter&utm_medium=socialflow&utm_source=deadspin_twitter

Some of the best stuff:

Reporters shout something at Trump about a thing he said or did or his response to someone’s else response to something, and then he shouts that he did it because he felt like it or actually didn’t do it at all, or that the criticism of what he did is offensive and illegitimate, or that the question itself is. If he’s asked a question by a woman, he gets extra spicy. If he’s wounded or inconvenienced, he’ll sometimes take a few rapid lurching steps away and then look around with his lips pursed and his eyes cast up, which mostly makes him look like someone searching for a bathroom in a crowded airport terminal. If there is a purpose here, it is the theater of it—the theater of Trump’s strange fey boorishness and the towering and obvious lies he tells, which exist not to convince but more to signal his ongoing unwillingness to be constrained by fact.

This is more or less what Trump has always thought the news should be like: people with microphones clamoring for his opinion and asking him about himself.



The culture has been inching further and further into Trump’s gilded funhouse for years now, and you surely do not need me to tell you that it fucking sucks in there. But we are, by now, all the way in. Trump is nearly as ubiquitous in the culture as he has always believed he should be; the one deeply held belief that has been evident throughout his whole faithless disgrace of a life is people should be talking about Donald Trump more, on television, and he has just about seen that part through.



His actions since becoming president have been those of a dim, cruel child playacting at being a powerful man—giving orders without quite knowing what they mean or how they might be carried out, taunting enemies, beating up the people he can afford to beat up without having to be called to account for it, lying as needed or just for yuks. He hasn’t changed a thing since graduating from punchline to president. It’s been clear for decades that Trump was both an asshole and a dummy; this is now a problem not just for the odd unlucky cocktail waitress and his staff of cheesy apparatchiks but for literally every person on earth.

Trump has no such pretense or noble aspiration, and has only made the country more like himself; living in his America feels like being trapped in a garish casino that is filling with seawater, because that is what it is.

For someone who does it so frequently, Trump is not especially talented at lying. His dissimilations are all easy to see through; the things he heatedly accuses his enemies of doing are always things that he has done himself, is currently doing, or obviously aspires to do in the future. He is always desperate, in the way that selfish and needy people are always desperate. His fears transparently run the show, both the normal human fear of failing and the more specific ones he picks up on the cable news channel he watches, which splits its broadcast day between fulsomely flattering coverage of him and armchair generalship in a sprawling race war the network is imagineering out of rhetorical abstraction and into bloody existence. Watching hours of that every day would destabilize anyone; for Trump, who is very vain and very stupid and has always cared more about TV than anyone should, the result is equilibrium, or entropy.


It’s so easy to see the shape of what Trump wants in the ways that he lies and lies about what is—in the way he gooses crowd numbers, in the way he tells stories about strong men weeping at his feet in gratitude for all he’s done for this country, in the gap-intensive conspiracies and bizarre causal helixes that he invents to explain away his failures. What’s most striking about Trump’s lies, beyond their overwhelming volume and bombast, is how they reflect his own monomania. So Many Are Saying various things that somehow all wind up being about him; they’re Saying It More And More because there is nothing else and no one else that he could imagine anyone wanting to talk about. The metastasizing They that opposes him grows by the day, and cares about him every bit as much as he cares about himself. They will do, are always somewhere doing, whatever it takes to make him look like an idiot who fucks up and lies constantly. Nothing, certainly not the lives of any number of strangers or whatever is left of any national ideal, is more important than the survival of his most obvious throwaway fantasy.

Everything returns to him, sometimes along a longer arc than others, but always in good time. His obliterating vanity can sometimes give this a darkly comic aspect, as when he was hilariously and transparently jealous of the few days of theatrical bipartisan mourning that followed John McCain’s death, but it is generally too ghoulish to laugh at. Trump’s engagement with the world is fundamentally an envious one—other people possess what should be his, everything that is not him is just getting in his way.


Trump and a lot of the people in his thrall are, it seems safe to say, gone. They will continue to walk among us—Trump will be in a golf cart—but they will never come back. They are somewhere else. There is nothing they are not prepared to believe if the right people say it; they will choose the right lie over any truth not just without regret but with pride.


America loves to tell stories about itself to itself, and if these are not all quite lies they are mostly much sweeter and safer than fact.


He will lie if the truth doesn’t fit and millions will hear that lie as a truth for that reason. Order will supersede Law, because it is easier that way. This is all open field. Anything that needs be can be labeled a fraud or the bought-and-paid-for result of a conspiracy, any fact can be made into something else afterwards.

Trump won’t stop. He won’t stop because he’s never told the truth in his life and because this is all he has and all he has ever had. He wakes up every day to the mess he’s made and says and does whatever he must, at whatever cost, to get through the day. Like many in his generation, Trump has mistaken the end of his life for the end of the world. He can’t imagine, let alone care about, what will be left after he is gone, if only because no one who matters to him will be around for it. His politics, such as they exist, boil down to this: he is trying to hold on, and will spend the rest of his life trying not to be found out. Every day is like this now. He could do this forever—he talks often about serving for longer than one more term—but that’s mostly because he has so much invested in never stopping. He is over-leveraged as always; he can only ever do more.

In the most basic sense, just in terms of getting off his ass to do the basic boring things presidents do, Trump can’t do the job. He can’t care and he won’t work and he never tells the truth both because he doesn’t know it and is afraid to know it. There is no reason to ask him or anyone who works for him questions—a half-truth isn’t true enough and even a half-lie is still a lie, and they will never do better than either. The work that needs doing, which Trump and his people cannot do or even see, is plain and urgent. It’s all much bigger than him.

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2 Re: The essence of Trump on 11/27/2018, 3:38 pm

NAILED IT!

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3 Re: The essence of Trump on 11/27/2018, 5:06 pm


I had to read the whole thing and put it on FB. I don't agree with the paragraph about Obama. There was a massive campaign to discredit him and a GOP Congress that tried to thwart him at every turn, including shutting down the government and robbing him of his Supreme Court appointee. But that Kenyan Muslim was the best president of my lifetime, and, unlike his predecessor and the current occupant, will be remembered for his leadership, honor and integrity.

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4 Re: The essence of Trump on 11/27/2018, 5:52 pm

Floridatexan wrote:
I had to read the whole thing and put it on FB.  I don't agree with the paragraph about Obama.  There was a massive campaign to discredit him and a GOP Congress that tried to thwart him at every turn, including shutting down the government and robbing him of his Supreme Court appointee.  But that Kenyan Muslim was the best president of my lifetime, and, unlike his predecessor and the current occupant, will be remembered for his leadership, honor and integrity.

Yep. Any president has a few flaws (I think Obama's biggest was that he was too humble and didn't tout his accomplishments enough -- the proof of that being that Trump's made pretty much his entire presidency's "success" based on taking credit for what is actually Obama's economic trends), but Obama was the best of my lifetime, too. It's amazing to watch the people who faulted him for molehills that they think he did now try to completely ignore the mountain-range of corruption that Trump is actually perpetrating. I knew Republicans (and Republicans-but-too-chickenshit-to-actually-be-responsible-for-anything, aka Libertarians) tend to be hypocrites, but they've surprised even me with what they're doing now. Obama could wear the wrong color suit and they'd scream and wave Gadsen flags, but Trump kisses Putin's butt and they just sit on their thumbs and go, "I dunno, maybe I like Putin now."

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5 Re: The essence of Trump on 11/27/2018, 6:56 pm

Floridatexan wrote:
I had to read the whole thing and put it on FB.  I don't agree with the paragraph about Obama.  There was a massive campaign to discredit him and a GOP Congress that tried to thwart him at every turn, including shutting down the government and robbing him of his Supreme Court appointee.  But that Kenyan Muslim was the best president of my lifetime, and, unlike his predecessor and the current occupant, will be remembered for his leadership, honor and integrity.

What a short memory you have. First off, Obama let the banks off scott-free after the 2008 catastrophe. THAT was unforgivable.

Secondly, he didn't lift a finger after Russia snatched Crimea. THAT is why Russia has been so emboldened lately.

Thirdly, have you ever heard of the fucking Civil Rights Act or the Voting Rights Act? Obama did NOTHING to compare with them. LBJ did more for ordinary people in his first 100 days than Obama did in eight years.

He's a decent, honorable man but was an ineffective President. Quit sniveling about stuff like "a massive campaign to discredit him", EVERY great President has to deal with that. Read a little history instead of the leftie polemics you're apparently so fond of.

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6 Re: The essence of Trump on 11/27/2018, 7:59 pm

Deus X wrote:
Floridatexan wrote:
I had to read the whole thing and put it on FB.  I don't agree with the paragraph about Obama.  There was a massive campaign to discredit him and a GOP Congress that tried to thwart him at every turn, including shutting down the government and robbing him of his Supreme Court appointee.  But that Kenyan Muslim was the best president of my lifetime, and, unlike his predecessor and the current occupant, will be remembered for his leadership, honor and integrity.

What a short memory you have. First off, Obama let the banks off scott-free after the 2008 catastrophe. THAT was unforgivable.

Secondly, he didn't lift a finger after Russia snatched Crimea. THAT is why Russia has been so emboldened lately.

Thirdly, have you ever heard of the fucking Civil Rights Act or the Voting Rights Act? Obama did NOTHING to compare with them. LBJ did more for ordinary people in his first 100 days than Obama did in eight years.

He's a decent, honorable man but was an ineffective President. Quit sniveling about stuff like "a massive campaign to discredit him", EVERY great President has to deal with that. Read a little history instead of the leftie polemics you're apparently so fond of.

And you can KMA yet again. Obama did NOT set the policies that protected the banks, et al. The whole thing was passed in Sept.-Oct., 2008.

And LBJ, despite the feelings I had about him in the late '60's, was my grandfather's cousin.

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7 Re: The essence of Trump on 11/27/2018, 9:09 pm

Floridatexan wrote:And you can KMA yet again.  Obama did NOT set the policies that protected the banks, et al.  The whole thing was passed in Sept.-Oct., 2008.   

Oh, horseshit! There was plenty of illegal activity before the crash and Obama could have directed the Justice Department  and the SEC to pursue it to the fullest extent. HE DID NOTHING!

Do you not remember the S&L crisis? More than 1000 bankers were convicted by the Justice Department then.

Obama and Holder went after none of the 2008 crowd. There was a memo called "The Holder Doctrine" that warned about prosecuting any of the too-big-to-fail banks for fear of "systemic risk".

Holder’s memo asserted that “collateral consequences” from prosecutions—including corporate instability or collapse—should be taken into account when deciding whether to prosecute a big financial institution.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/how-wall-streets-bankers-stayed-out-of-jail/399368/

You oughta do a little deep reading about the crisis, although I'm not sure it would do any good since your mind sealed shut. Obama failed big time in this instance.

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8 Re: The essence of Trump on 11/27/2018, 9:19 pm

This is Taibbi's take on Holder back in 2015:


Eric Holder, Wall Street Double Agent, Comes in From the Cold

Eric Holder  has gone back to work for his old firm, the white-collar defense heavyweight Covington & Burling. The former attorney general decided against going for a judgeship, saying he’s not ready for the ivory tower yet. “I want to be a player,” he told the National Law Journal, one would have to say ominously.

Holder will reassume his lucrative partnership (he made $2.5 million the last year he worked there) and take his seat in an office that reportedly – this is no joke – was kept empty for him in his absence.

The office thing might have been improper, but at this point, who cares? More at issue is the extraordinary run Holder just completed as one of history’s great double agents. For six years, while brilliantly disguised as the attorney general of the United States, he was actually working deep undercover, DiCaprio in The Departed-style, as the best defense lawyer Wall Street ever had.

Holder denied there was anything weird about returning to one of Wall Street’s favorite defense firms after six years of letting one banker after another skate on monstrous cases of fraud, tax evasion, market manipulation, money laundering, bribery and other offenses.


https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/eric-holder-wall-street-double-agent-comes-in-from-the-cold-49262/



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9 Re: The essence of Trump on 11/28/2018, 12:27 pm


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10 Re: The essence of Trump on 11/28/2018, 12:48 pm

polecat wrote:

And yet … he is, in fact, President. Laughing

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11 Re: The essence of Trump on 11/28/2018, 5:06 pm

EmeraldGhost wrote:And yet … he is, in fact, President.  


Sorry, I've been away for awhile but you gotta be pulling my leg. Who on earth could possibly lose an election to Donald Trump?

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12 Re: The essence of Trump on 11/28/2018, 5:14 pm

del.capslock wrote:
EmeraldGhost wrote:And yet … he is, in fact, President.  


Sorry, I've been away for awhile but you gotta be pulling my leg. Who on earth could possibly lose an election to Donald Trump?

You mean STEAL, not win. Big difference.

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13 Re: The essence of Trump on 11/28/2018, 5:35 pm

Floridatexan wrote:
You mean STEAL, not win.  Big difference.

NO! I mean LOSE. Hillary Clinton's fucking hubris and arrogance is why Donald Trump is President.

DNC Staff: Arrogance Cost Clinton the Election

ON THURSDAY, HILLARY Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta, held a conference call with devastated staffers that put the rosiest possible frame on a calamitous picture.

The message to the dozens of mostly young, sleep-deprived and shell-shocked aides: We did everything we could have. We wouldn't have changed a thing. You should still be proud.

Inside the Democratic National Committee headquarters, which sits half a mile south of the U.S. Capitol, eyes rolled and heads shook in frustration and disbelief.

Clinton's loss at the hands of Donald Trump amounted to the most surprising outcome in the history of modern electoral politics. Of course things could've been done differently. And ignoring that fact wasn't going to make the searing defeat any easier.

"We are pissed at them and state parties are pissed at them because they lost due to arrogance," a top DNC staffer tells U.S. News, sharing the candid sentiment suffusing the high levels of the committee in exchange for anonymity.

It's no surprise that the hierarchy of the Clinton campaign leadership was insular and self-assured. But DNC staffers say the team's presumptuous, know-it-all attitude caused it to ignore early warning signs of electoral trouble inside the states, and demoralized DNC staff who felt largely marginalized or altogether neglected for most of the campaign.


https://www.usnews.com/news/the-run-2016/articles/2016-11-11/dnc-staff-arrogance-cost-hillary-clinton-the-election-vs-donald-trump


How Clinton lost Michigan — and blew the election

Everybody could see Hillary Clinton was cooked in Iowa. So when, a week-and-a-half out, the Service Employees International Union started hearing anxiety out of Michigan, union officials decided to reroute their volunteers, giving a desperate team on the ground around Detroit some hope.

They started prepping meals and organizing hotel rooms.

SEIU — which had wanted to go to Michigan from the beginning, but been ordered not to — dialed Clinton’s top campaign aides to tell them about the new plan. According to several people familiar with the call, Brooklyn was furious.

Turn that bus around, the Clinton team ordered SEIU. Those volunteers needed to stay in Iowa to fool Donald Trump into competing there, not drive to Michigan, where the Democrat’s models projected a 5-point win through the morning of Election Day.


https://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/michigan-hillary-clinton-trump-232547




I could easily post a dozen "inside baseball" articles analyzing the election and they all, to one extent or another, come to the same conclusion: Hillary Clinton's know-it-all arrogance cost her the election.

Trump didn't steal the election, Hillary lost it, period, full stop.

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14 Re: The essence of Trump on 11/28/2018, 6:23 pm

del.capslock wrote:
EmeraldGhost wrote:And yet … he is, in fact, President.  


Sorry, I've been away for awhile but you gotta be pulling my leg. Who on earth could possibly lose an election to Donald Trump?

Hillary Clinton ….  apparently.  Laughing  

Further, I think any other of the Republican candidates would have beaten her by a wider margin.

Deus X wrote:I could easily post a dozen "inside baseball" articles analyzing the election and they all, to one extent or another, come to the same conclusion: Hillary Clinton's know-it-all arrogance cost her the election.

Trump didn't steal the election, Hillary lost it, period, full stop.

Yup, yup, yup.  

And yet, liberals are still crying about it.

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15 Re: The essence of Trump on 11/28/2018, 6:48 pm

It's worse (or better from my pov) than crying... they're still in denial. That precludes learning anything.

GO HILLARY 2020..!!

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16 Re: The essence of Trump on 11/28/2018, 6:50 pm

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17 Re: The essence of Trump on 11/28/2018, 6:55 pm

EmeraldGhost wrote:And yet, liberals are still crying about it.

Those are tears of joy. Did you see the results of the midterms? Trump's the best thing to happen to the Democrats in years.

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18 Re: The essence of Trump on 11/28/2018, 7:19 pm

Deus X wrote:
EmeraldGhost wrote:And yet, liberals are still crying about it.

Those are tears of joy. Did you see the results of the midterms?  Trump's the best thing to happen to the Democrats in years.

Actually, I'm fine with the results of the midterms.  And it's about what I expected. I wasn't too happy with the Republicans having full control of the government anyway.

I didn't get all giddy about it though.  Didn't give me any "thrill up my leg" ala Chris Matthews.

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19 Re: The essence of Trump on 11/29/2018, 1:57 pm

DeusX wrote:I could easily post a dozen "inside baseball" articles analyzing the election and they all, to one extent or another, come to the same conclusion: Hillary Clinton's know-it-all arrogance cost her the election.

Trump didn't steal the election, Hillary lost it, period, full stop.

That is absolute BULL. The GOP seized on the tragedy at Benghazi and her use of a private server to "investigate" Hillary and President Obama for FOUR YEARS, predictably leading right into 2016. Also predictably, they found NOTHING. Comey's last minute statement, one week before the election, sealed the deal. Your constant railing against her surely didn't help.

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20 Re: The essence of Trump on 11/29/2018, 5:06 pm

Floridatexan wrote:
DeusX wrote:I could easily post a dozen "inside baseball" articles analyzing the election and they all, to one extent or another, come to the same conclusion: Hillary Clinton's know-it-all arrogance cost her the election.

Trump didn't steal the election, Hillary lost it, period, full stop.

That is absolute BULL.  The GOP seized on the tragedy at Benghazi and her use of a private server to "investigate" Hillary and President Obama for FOUR YEARS, predictably leading right into 2016.  Also predictably, they found NOTHING.  Comey's last minute statement, one week before the election, sealed the deal.  Your constant railing against her surely didn't help.  

Poor Hillary!

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21 Re: The essence of Trump on 11/29/2018, 5:42 pm


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