• entries
  • comments
  • views

Reconstruction: March 20



15 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

It starts:

Trump to huddle with influential Republicans in D.C. ahead of AIPAC speech

This is from WaPo.

Jeff Sessions set up the meeting.



14 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

One last Trump comment for the evening.

Now that we're getting near crow-eating time, I've been thinking about black birds.

Marc has been telling me all last year (and this one) that a Black Swan event was going to derail Trump's election. He was 100% sure of it.

And I countered with my own black birds, the crows. As in eating crow.

Well, screw the crows.

Donald Trump himself turned out to be the Black Swan.




3 hours ago, Peter said:

Ba’al wrote: Assuming that the Republican retain control over one house, they can stonewall The Donald as easily as they have stonewalled The. Obama.  end quote

So your projection is that establishment Republicans will still be in charge of the House and Senate and won’t be a rubberstamp for the will of President Trump if he, for example, nominates a bad Supreme Court Justice? Or if he proposes a law the establishment does not like so they will vote “No” on the law? No one else has considered that. That implies Trump won’t get a mandate and he will still be at war with the Progressives and his own Republicans.   

Don’t let that thought get out or it will be the next round of thought for talking heads and editorialists.  Come on Donald. Start talking about freedom and individual rights. Trump calls on his supporters to rough up protesters. He does obliquely threaten violence at a contested convention if he is not nominated.  Below, I think Robert Trancinski has thought of a brilliant comparison between Donald Trump and Mr. Hyde, even if it is a literary exaggeration.  


Robert Tracinski recently wrote: That's what strikes me as a really significant and ominous development in our political culture. In the original Robert Louis Stevenson version, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll is a thoughtful, enlightened, and idealistic scientist who becomes obsessed with the idea that all men have a mixture of good and evil in their souls. He attempts to devise a treatment that will purge the evil part of his soul, but instead he separates it out into an alternate personality. At first this alter ego--the vicious, predatory Mr. Hyde--is small, sickly, and weak, having long been suppressed by the better half of Dr. Jekyll's soul. But once he is let loose upon the world and has the opportunity to exercise his vicious impulses, he begins to grow larger, more vigorous, and more dominant.

This strikes me as a good metaphor, not just for Donald Trump, but also for what has gone wrong with our political culture. The candidates who built their campaigns around appealing to the better angels of our nature, the ones who were chasing after the Dr. Jekyll vote, didn't make it this year. And Mr. Trump is racking up victories on the strength of the Mr. Hyde vote.

This is a sign that we are becoming accustomed to exercising the negative aspects of our national character. We are allowing politicians to appeal to our anger and fear and resentment, and in place of a universal ideal like freedom, we're buying into tribalism and the appeal of a strongman who promises to rough up our opponents. end quote


3 hours ago, Robert Campbell said:


No one's ever made a bad coverage decision at Fox News before? No one there's ever asked a dumb question on the air?


A lot of Trump followers are acting as though they've acquired borderline personalities regarding one media outlet.  Once the emblem of all that was good and wise, Fox News for them is now the epitome of malice and boneheadedness.

Whatever your assessment of it, Fox News hasn't changed nearly enough since June 2015 to warrant such turnarounds.


PS. Trump's 2016 campaign is definitely a Black Swan.  No arguing with that.  Whether it's the Black Swan his followers were wishing for, no one is going to know for a good while yet.


2 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Here is a perfect example from Bloomberg of sanction of the victim and how Trump refuses to do that.

Trump Says Protesters Deserve Some `Blame' for Rally Violence

People who put on peaceful events are supposed to take all manners of goading, disruption, being pushed and shoved and hit, and all the selective reporting from the media, without reaction because they are supposed to be morally above that. And it is not supposed to matter if a billionaire like Soros comes out and says he is going to fund professional troublemakers. The victims are supposed to give their sanction.

But it's not hard to show how silly that sanction is at political rallies. Take the black guy who punched out the protester in a KKK outfit at a Trump rally. Now transpose this same situation to an Obama rally. What would the people there have done to a person showing up in a KKK outfit? Or shouting the N-word as a chant? Would there be violence? And would the media tut-tut-tut over it?

We all know the answer. Hell no. People would be talking about how stupid the protester was and how he deserved it.


And to be honest, I, myself would be satisfied. I agree that black people should not have to sanction being victim like that and I would applaud their refusal to sanction it, even if it meant punching a dude out.

Insults are preludes to violence. That's just the way they work regardless of what anyone says we should do. Ramping insults up to the extreme generates an automatic violent response in people and neuroscience is now proving it (see Why We Snap by Fields for example). Not everybody will ignore or tamp down the violent urge suddenly surging in them, nor will they sanction the evil before them with spiteful goading and really nasty insults. So they will snap. The really toxic thing is that's exactly what the insulters want them to do.

If snapping is evil, so is goading people to snap and Trump is saying it clearly. No more sanction of obnoxious hateful insults as disruptions at peaceful gatherings. Now the paradigm is do it if you want, but do it at your own peril. You no longer get a moral sanction.

What's more, the media is really perplexed because sanction of the victim is not working anymore for racism in general.

Trump shrugged.




1 hour ago, Robert Campbell said:


One can fully expect Donald Trump to defeat Hillary Clinton.  I think he can.  Many in both parties' Establishments are obviously afraid he can.

One can fully expect a Donald Trump win to give fits to Bob Dole and Trent Lott and Mitt Romney and Lindsey Graham and the remaining members of the Bush Dynasty.  Even to any Republican campaign consultant who didn't sign up with the Trump campaign.

But what else can we fully expect?

I see an awfully wide cone of uncertainty around Trump.  Everywhere from give him credit, he won some and he lost some, to a Berlusconian level of accomplishment (at least without the bunga bunga), to a Jesse the Body/Ahhnold level of accomplishment.  Then at the other edge he could go full Erdogan on us (he gives every appearance of despising the press with greater vigor than the current inhabitant of the White House already does).



Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now