Thursday, October 29, 2020

Trump: Teacher Of Truths

Win or lose, Trump has been an effective educator. Some lessons we may have suspected previously, but, like all great teachers, he’s made them unforgettable.

He’s taught us the Constitution is only as good as the intentions of those charged with defending it. Because its creators assumed at least minimal commitment to its principles, it contains all-but unworkable remedies for presidential incompetence, mendacity, and avarice, especially when combined with greed and hypocrisy from his party.

We’ve learned that constitutionally required congressional oversight, and the Emoluments Clause, and such laws as the Hatch Act are meaningless. “Presidents,” Trump teaches us, can ignore them with impunity. By Trump’s schooling, impeachment works only if Congress considers obstruction of justice and abuse of power more felonious than fellatio. And Section Four of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment is vapor.

We’ve learned about turning government agencies – Justice, State, Intelligence, even USPS and the census – into instruments of “presidential” power; about making the presidency a personal profit center, millions not caring how dangerous and corrupt it is, and Republicans uninterested in stopping it.

Since day one, Trump educated us about Americans’ willingness to excuse, deny, or ignore opprobrious presidential lies. He’s shown the degree to which rightwing media have succeeded in extinguishing their audience’s ability to distinguish – much less care about – truth.

What explains continued support for a “president” who’s been lying forever about the pandemic, who just declared his administration has ended it, even as daily cases surpass previous highs and hospitals are again becoming overwhelmed? Trump’s lesson: Care only about yourself. Screw everyone else. Sacrifice is stupid. So are scientists.

Here’s more from Trump University: he and his administration consider their supporters gullible fools, who see themselves as law-and-order patriots even while chanting, without irony, “Lock them up.” Who love it when their “president” says, about the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, “This guy, he ought to be put away, or he ought to be, you know, something should happen with him.” Who cheer and tumesce as they imagine what it might be that “should happen,” thinking whatever it is, it’d make America great.

That’s the starkest lesson of “presidential” pedagogy: America, once the world’s most durable democracy, is no less susceptible to the embrace of totalitarianism than any other formerly free, now despotic countries. The veneer of civilization, he’s shown, is easily peeled away by a demagogue willing to ignite people’s fears and hatreds and insecurities; by lies and unending disinformation; by fascist-echoing rallies meant to inflame division; here, as much as anywhere in history.  

Flinging the word like a throwing-star, Trump demonstrates that because millions of Americans have no idea what “socialism” is, for one example of easy manipulability, the word can be used to turn us against each other in time-tested, big-lie ignorance.

The teachings of Trump are no better illustrated than by the rise of terrorist tribes, dba “militias,” showing up in force, armed, after he urged “liberation” of states whose governors issued orders to control the virus. White supremacists crawling out of the shadows. Bearers of insane conspiracies, funded by and welcomed into his party. Weapons considered indispensable at polling places. Citizens harassed, loudly, contemptuously, menacingly, while standing in line for hours, committed to resisting Trump’s attempts to snuff democracy. Daily, these proto-totalitarians are encouraged by their “president.” How na├»ve to have thought America was better than that.

Did our founders foresee legislators and judges representing, by a large margin, the views of only a minority of Americans, able to shape our laws, including ones aimed specifically at limiting the majority’s ability to cast their votes? Another lesson learned.

Asked whether America remains capable of common purpose and sacrifices seen during WWII, who could say yes, as millions of Americans refuse to help their neighbors by the easy task of wearing a mask in public? As a “president” belittles it and governors pigheadedly discourage it, even as their states lead the nation in infections and deaths, and as their refusals to follow the science have prevented the reopening of the economy they demand.

How did we become so divided, armed and “standing by,” willing to forsake our history? It’s not a multiple-choice question. The answer is singular: Trumpism. Will the tutor be granted tenure? With half the enrollees locked in a windowless classroom, the rest waiting for hours to re-register, we’ll find out.

Extra credit takeaways: When a pandemic gets tough, the not-tough hold rallies. If you can’t win votes, block them. 

Also: we’ve been tucking in our shirts all wrong.


  1. Drumpf hungers for adulation and glorification from his "cult of MAGA-cappers" and he loudly denigrates anyone who opposes his constant lying and deceiving. His "pop-star" pep rallies attract crowds who behave like Nazi and Fascist fanatics in Germany and Italy during WWII.

    His closest advisors like Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, and Jeff Sessions convinced him to restrict immigration by separating children from their parent by putting them in concentration facilities and neglecting to reunite them quickly and humanely. What will they do next?

    Next week will decide if we truly are a great nation dedicated to liberty and justice for all.

  2. Your column this week is a powerful one, Sid, hitting the notes of painful alarm that we hear and feel with our stomachs. I think and feel that Trump is doomed, but my stomach has second thoughts.

    Regarding shirts and the tucking in thereof, I watched the whole thing. I laughed hard at the CPAC scene, but the rest was crude and disappointing. I apologize again for my play on words last week.

  3. 60 in 6: Militias in America, Pt. 1

    According to these idiots, the civil war has already begun. These people are terrifyingly cultist war mongers.

  4. Part 1...

    So I agree with that whole thing of course...

    You make some great points on corruption and manipulation.

    One thing that politicians always seem to need is a violent element. Fanatical supporters. It's not a coinky dink that the perpetrators of protest violence and vandalism are alt right types posing as antifa or BLM etc. FOX 'news' runs doctored(no pun intended) footage over a made up narrative and never tell the truth when the truth is uncovered after the fact.

    Politicians also need money...They cut their own taxes and raise their own pay. They whine about "fraud, waste and abuse" constantly as their excuse for all that. Well, let's get at the fraud, waste and abuse from the source. That is the system holders specifically. We should choose our representatives, not the other way around. I am referring to gerrymandering of course. Citizens United. Are we f'ing insane!? Unlimited dark money in politics. Really? Only a stone cold crook would even think it's a great idea. That includes white supremacists and racists of all stripes who know they are all frauds in a plan to keep 'merica white for as long as they live. So they turn a blind eye and repeat excuses as talking points fed to them by right wing broadcasting. Fed to them as a shield against any remorse or doubt to creep in. To give them the balls to show up and run the Biden across TX. bus off the road. Ambushing peaceful rallies. Feeling as though they suddenly have purpose. They are needed. They are preened and petted in a world that has left them behind long ago. That mean 'ol world don't care 'bout me. *sniffles* Nevermind they won't take a clean energy job because they are defending their coal jobs. How stupid is that? Even the coal museum is solar powered!!! Why? "Because it's cheaper" How stupid are these people!? Well, they got guns and ammo, beer and ciggies till payday and enough gas in the truck to go buy a Drumpf flag and hassle peaceful protestors in the next state. All the while trying to end their healthcare. *head desk*

  5. Part 2...

    I had a long discussion with a friend who's Drumpf, but not totally unreasonable and accepts facts when he hears them, nevermind sees them. He's a smart dude. But he was doing the taxes spiel and got to the part about RED vs BLUE states contribution to the federal kitty (taxes). I explained that BLUE states make up for the lack of taxes RED states contribute. That in fact the west coast elites pay RED states freight, even if the RED states mismanage their resources. We bail you out yearly and have for a long time. He halfheartedly repeated the narrative I'd heard 100 times before. I said "Google up the map or chart, there's literally hundreds to choose from all govt. stuff or state stuff that's easily confirmed. He's like Ohhhh...I just said "Yeah, it's a common mistake, no worries." and moved on. The point is the guy took the 5 seconds to figure it out for himself. The difference is he doesn't want to look like an idiot and the other idiots don't care what you or anyone w/opposing views thinks. Decades of feeling left out and unwanted. Their politicians say blame the coastal elites, libs, etc. and they do. Remember, their voters KNOW the politicians are pathological liars. But it benefits them because it makes them feel good.

    Well, we got e new name for those folks. "Right wing terrorists" Congrats! It's well earned and well deserved. That's what happens when you give yourself licence to harm others because you follow some stupid cult leader and he tells you it's your duty as an 'merica. You ever notice when Drumpf does that, he changes his voice to sound like Marlon Brando in the Godfather? Listen sometime. It's true.

    Drumpf loses and defects to who knows where. His entire family prolly follows suit. They will go to jail and nobody is going to pardon them. Nobody ever. They'll spend life in prison.
    Let's regulates banks and business so they can't crash the economy and unfairly trade. End all subsidies to fossil fuel and chemicals. Protect lands! Polluter money needs to go for good.

  6. PART 3...

    The military budget is absolutely out of control. 20 year wars is bullshit! Straight up and we ALL know it. It's profiteering, not war. Let's call it what it is. We went back to Iraq for no reason other than a person grudge. There was no WMDs and we all knew it or know it know. We use CS gas on our own people protesting. FUN FACT: That's a weapon (tear gas) not approved by the Geneva convention. You call it a war crime in war, but great standard police policy in 'merica. Well, wait till that's turned against the hypocritical alt right snowflakes. Ruby Ridge everywhere. G'head and kidnap or kill people and see if they don't come unglued on the entire alt right purps. The govt. will subdue the threat. What happens then? We call it a civil war? The alt right is itching for a full on gun battle. Cuz' they got guns and libs don't. Sounds great until the other side has had enough. I think we are about there. The early vote turn out is sooper encouraging.

    It won't matter when Drumpf loses and the house, senate and POTUS is in Dems. control. That will be the spark. When people feel helpless and hopeless they do stupid stuff. They are sore losers. They are sore winners too if you ain't noticed? Hypocritical to the core and there's nothing that will change that. It's baked into 'merics. The alt right's contribution to 'merican history. That's their accomplishment. Pretty pathetic if ya ask me. Any one of us coulda done better w/o trying too hard at all.

    The alt right sycophant is in it for themselves period. They now know they've been lied to and don't care. A black man as POTUS was the ultimate affront and a black woman as VP will be the proverbial straw. What if these people decide to assassinate people en mass? kidnapping is too messy for an idiot. But anyone can fire off a bullet. And they are usually the idiots that do that stuff because they were encouraged. My mama told me not to play with those kids. Gee, wonder while they feel so alone and misunderstood. Pfft... They earned it and deep down they know it and can't see a path back w/o it involving eating crow forever.

  7. Trump Voters On What They'll Do If Trump Loses
    The optimism Mary had on early voting seems accurate beyond anyone's wildest dreams. I honestly think Drumpf loses.

    "Carmala Alert!" @1:35

  8. Shout out to MEH again!

    In TX. the mail in voter turnout is higher than all votes cast in 2016.
    That's just bananas! TX has been on "warning Purple Peoples" for a decade now. We are clearly in that area now. Could it flip to blue this election? I'll believe it when I see it.

    The alt right can not hold the senate. They just can't. If they do it'll be austerity and gridlock like we've never seen. They will do everything in their power to break as much as possible then blame the blue team for the damages. It's time for the ultra wealthy to pay us what they owe us and stop expecting a handout and quit threatening us for a handout. It's time to pay it backward and forwards. We are in good times right? So why does anyone who's ultra wealthy need subsidies aka welfare?

    We can't let the minority rule in this country anymore. 'merca's changing and what is it them alt right geniuses say to that? "If ya don't like it, leave it". Self deport yourselves if anyone will take your nasty covid carcasses and your blabber about personal freedom says you don't need to wear a mask and can walk around with a rifle and 240 rounds shopping for groceries.

  9. Here's what is the likely election night scenario.

    Drumpf will simply declare victory early and claim he was robbed when he loses. As this is happening, he will send his stormtrooper hillbilly army into action. "It's time for action" he'll declare and his minions will obey.

    I don't think they'd dare commander a voting location.

    1. I was wrong...They DID try to take over a voting location!

      These people know no bounds.

  10. Thank you, Sid for your brilliant and spot on commentary throughout. This one is a great synopsis. Election Day. Here we go....

  11. Talk about blocking things and tucking in shirts. I had a bit of SCI due to an intramedullary tumor. Because of that damn tumor and it's resection, I've got a wee bit of bladder incontinence. I found if I tuck in my shirt just right, properly, it blocks the wee from showing through my pants! Damn, I just hate my honesty sometimes. And not tucking in my shirt just right.

  12. There are pads for that, too, Cory. And, yes, it was on topic...

    1. I know. About the pads, anyway. Just a wee bit of masculinity getting in the way of their use. I'm literally laughing to keep from crying. Wee jokes, my doG.

  13. Yup...knew it

    2020 ELECTION
    Live Blog / Election 2020 live results: Live updates for Trump vs. Biden
    Live presidential election results as ballots are counted in key swing states for President Trump and Joe Biden. Get live coverage and electoral vote updates.

    Watch NBC News special election night coverage
    Updated Nov. 4, 2020, 1:07 AM PST
    Election Day is over, with polls having closed across the country and officials processing both in-person and mail-in ballots.

    As Tuesday bled into Wednesday, President Donald Trump and Joe Biden were running a tight race. Trump was projected to win some key battleground states like Florida, Ohio and Texas, while Biden was projected to win New Hampshire and Minnesota. Meanwhile, election officials in three other key states, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Arizona, still have millions of ballots to count.

    In the fight for control of Congress, Democrats retained the House and picked up at least one U.S. Senate seat in Colorado but lost a seat in Alabama.

    Stories we're following:
    —Here’s why we still don’t know who won the presidency
    —Democrats fight to wrest control of Senate
    —Beware the 'blue mirage' and the 'red mirage' on election night
    —QAnon supporter wins House seat in Georgia
    Read live updates below:
    Live Blog

    Marianna Sotomayor

    4m ago / 1:07 AM PST
    'Outrageous, unprecedented, and incorrect': Biden camp slams Trump's remarks
    Biden's campaign is strongly pushing back on Trump's false claims of victory and threats to fight to stop votes from being counted.

    "The president’s statement tonight about trying to shut down the counting of duly cast ballots was outrageous, unprecedented, and incorrect," Campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said in a statement. "It was outrageous because it is a naked effort to take away the democratic rights of American citizens."

    She added, "We repeat what the Vice President said tonight: Donald Trump does not decide the outcome of this election. Joe Biden does not decide the outcome of this election. The American people decide the outcome of this election. And the democratic process must and will continue until its conclusion."

  14. First time reader. Love this post and tried to post to my Facebook page -- but was blocked by Facebook --- it goes against Facebook "community standards". Shows you how fucked up Facebook is.

    1. Thanks! Yes, the FB thing happened, I think, because some Trumpists got together and sent complaints, calling it both "spam" and "offensive." The FB robot didn't seem to care when I pointed out my columns appear in a family newspaper...

  15. The way it was...


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