Saturday, January 14, 2017


Here is an, in my view, accurate account of the story about Trump allegedly mocking a disabled reporter:

I could see why someone COULD believe that Trump was mocking the reporter for his disability, but in context that makes little sense.  He was mocking the reporters bald faced lying, and disingenuous evasions.  As they point out, he used identical body language to mock Ted Cruz.  You can like or dislike this, but it is a question of style.

And Trump is charismatic.  Say whatever else you will about him, he has always had the ability to make headlines and to get attention.  That, combined with his patent willingness to buck a very corrupt system--corrupt at the Party level, the Congressional level, the intelligence agency level, the bureaucratic level--is why he won the election.  Rand Paul, even with Trump's billions, even if he had gotten the nomination, probably would not have been able to pull that off.  Why?  He isn't Trump.

Here is the point I wanted to make though.  In a discussion on Facebook I pointed out to a rabid Trump hater that Hillary wanted war with Russia, and war would be bad.  He said yes, but he still wouldn't vote for Trump to avoid it.

Ponder this.  Ponder Trump mocking someone who richly deserved to be mocked becoming a more important issue than a war which could potentially end Western civilization.  Ponder the people capable of doing that math.

The frontal cortex has NOTHING to do with it.  The frontal cortex weighs and compares and contrasts, using standards of proportion.  If someone sneezes and forgets to cover their mouth, that is not the same as shooting someone in the head. If someone forgets to say thank you, that is not the same as kicking them in the balls.

But for these people, these ARE the same things. It doesn't matter what virtues Trump has, or how horrible a human being Hillary is.  It is all the same: us versus them, period.  This is not the mindset Western civilization and our tradition of negotiated conflict was built on.  To be sure, we have fought many wars, but in spite of, not because of, our traditional reliance on reason and dispassion.

This is zombie logic.  This is "I am hungry and I want to eat".  This is "I hate therefore I am".

My best guess is that there will be riots in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere (Oakland is usually a given), but that far from preventing Trump's inauguration, the net effect will be to bolster Trump supporters in their core intuition that large segments of this nation don't want us to succeed, don't want our problems fixed, don't want safety and security for all us, and instead want death and destruction, simply because they are out of their minds.  And the gradual reach of Republicans across the middle will continue to grow.

On that point, I would note that American politics, unlike Parliamentary politics in other nations, is not obviously based on coalitions. We don't obviously need to form a "government", like they do in Britain or Israel or Italy.

But the truth is, to get things DONE you have to appeal to a broad swathe of heterogeneous voters, who in most cases can get their guy or gal in office at least in the House.

For many decades, there was a de facto social coalition between traditional Democrats, the sort who lionize FDR, and Social Justice Warriors, as we now call them (although warriors have honor and dignity, so this is perhaps not the best term, even if, as seems obvious, it is intended sardonically).  That coalition seems to have broken.  The Hard Left seems to have captured the party, and you can only say "get with us or get out" so long before you start getting mass defections.

So what Trump has done is form a de facto right and center coalition that is likely to prove very strong, particularly if, as seems likely, he does solve many real problems, and is thus a very effective and popular President.

I did want to note on that score too--this is really three posts in one--that we have historically thought that the best Presidents were politicians, that governing, per se, was an art one had to learn and master.  Past Presidents were, for this reason, usually Senators, Governors, or former Generals (who effectively were part of the government).

But if you think about the skill of a politician, it consists in the main in getting elected.  Yes, if you are horribly ineffective and dishonest you will not get elected twice, but a large corrective this has ALWAYS been perception management.  You lie about what you are going to do, lie about what you are doing, and lie about what you have done.  This is why politicians, in the main, deserve their very bad reputations.

So isn't it ODD that people would condemn Trump's lack of political experience?  He has been doing deals, shaking hands, compromising, negotiating, getting things done his whole life.  If he makes a bad decision it shows up in the financials.  He can't lie about it.  If he makes a good decision, likewise.

The core point, though, is that his JOB is getting things done, not managing perceptions.  His JOB is to be effective, to make good decisions, to build a network of positive relations, to be diplomatic when needed, and a hard ass when needed.

As he said in the debates, wouldn't it be great if our government operated like a well run business?  Of course it would.  But a well run business would have laid off half of those workers long ago.  Their fear that he may do the same is a big part of why he is being opposed so vigorously.

OK--4th post.  The CIA and other agencies are running propaganda operations within the United States.  This is clearly illegal.  Their charter specifically prevents them from interfering in our domestic affairs.  If there was a Russian hack of John Podesta, that is counter-intelligence, which is the FBI.

As I have pointed out on a number of occasions, the current CIA Director--an agency formed mainly to combat Communism--voted for the Communist candidate in 1976, which was the direct aftermath of our chosen abdication of our duty and our hard fought victory in South Vietnam.  This fact alone should tell us about where the CIA's head is at.

Chuck Schumer is saying that the intelligence agencies have lots of ways of getting at Trump.  Ponder that too.  A United States Senator is threatening Trump with retaliation by the agencies which work FOR him, and allegedly for the United States and its people.  To undermine the President, to attack him covertly, is literal and textbook treason, as well as a violation of numerous laws.

Trump is going to have form a house-cleaning committee/operation, and start firing the fuck out of people, but only after he figures out what the hell they have been up to.  Anyone who can be found to have deleted ANY government documents can be put in jail.  The method then, would be to figure out who did the deleting, then go up the chain with plea deals, until you get to the big fish, with luck. This is a sordid Gordian Knot, and will take some skill and will to cut through it, but if anyone ever came to Washington with a sword sharp enough to do it, it's Trump.

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