Sunday, December 18, 2016

Last Call For Trump Cards, Con't

You approve of Glorious Leader Donald Trump, don't you citizen? Four out of five of us do!

On Sunday, Priebus told Fox News host Chris Wallace that Trump’s tweet — and everything else he has done — is supported by 80 percent of the American people.

“I don’t think it’s all that provocative,” Priebus opined.

“You mean the One China policy is up for grabs?” Wallace wondered.

“We’re not suggesting we’re revisiting One China policy right now,” Priebus insisted. “And he’s not president right now and he’s respectful to the current president.”

“The Chinese ripped a drone out of the water,” the Trump aide continued. “President-elect said this is an unprecedented act, totally inappropriate. He didn’t quite use those words, but that’s essentially what he said in a tweet.”

According to Priebus, the U.S. military should not “want that drone back” after it had been handled by the Chinese government.

“I think every single thing he’s done has been factual and has been in line with where 80 percent of the American people are,” Priebus declared.

The reality is much less than 80%, but that no longer matters.


Four out of five real citizens approve of Trump. The fifth one will be dealt with shortly.

Don't be the fifth one, citizen.

The Village Discovers The Cult Of Trump

John Sides over at the Monkey Cage is astonished to discover that the majority of Republican voters are disregarding the facts about the 2016 election.

Amid the speculation on whether the electoral college will refuse to make Donald Trump president, many Trump opponents are pinning their hopes on one glaring fact: Hillary Clinton’s sizable win in the popular vote.

Clinton’s lead now exceeds 2.8 million votes (more than 2.1 percent of the total vote) and continues to grow. Many Democrats hope this fact alone might persuade Republican electors to reject Trump in favor of some alternative.

But this hope faces a serious challenge: Half of all Republicans actually think Trump won the popular vote.

In a nationally representative online survey of 1,011 Americans conducted by Qualtrics between Dec. 6 and 12, we asked respondents, “In last month’s election, Donald Trump won the majority of votes in the electoral college. Who do you think won the most popular votes?”

Twenty-nine percent said Donald Trump won the popular vote. This is a slightly larger proportion than in a recent Pew survey in which 19 percent said Trump won the popular vote.

Respondents’ correct understanding of the popular vote depended a great deal on partisanship. A large fraction of Republicans — 52 percent — said Trump won the popular vote, compared with only 7 percent of Democrats and 24 percent of independents. Among Republicans without any college education, the share was even larger: 60 percent, compared with 37 percent of Republicans with a college degree.

Please remember this the next time you feel like saying "If only Hillary Clinton had talked more about jobs and economy!" or "I can't believe Trump voters voted against their own self-interest!"  The facts simply didn't matter in 2016.  It was a cult of personality, pure and simple.  And the cult won.

It was never about jobs, or the economy, or the facts.  It was about assembling like-minded individuals into an army to destroy those unlike them.  It's the definition of a cult.

The Cult now in fact rules the entire federal government, and most states.  When the reality of the damage that they cause settles in, the Cult will simply convince America that the Others are the problem.  The Others have to go. The rest of you? Join the Cult or else.

That ultimatum will be backed up by the power of the state.  History tells us what happens next in these situations, and the results are usually catastrophically bloody.

This is why I think that what the Electoral College may or may not do on Monday is ultimately 100% meaningless.  The Cult already has the results. They will validate the Cult or else.

“The Trump campaign is calling. The Republican Party of Texas is calling. They’re trying to lock down the votes,” said Texas GOP elector Alexander Kim, who estimated he has received at least 30 such calls. One RNC insider, he said, called him three times in one hour to get a response.

There’s a reason electors like Kim make Republicans nervous. While he insists he’s voting for Trump when the body meets on Monday and that nothing can shake him from that position, there is a caveat: “unless Trump does something to violate the compact that he created with American citizens.”

Just that eyelash of doubt, Kim suspects, has led to his barrage of calls from the party.
 Deviation will be dealt with swiftly and with brutal finality.  Those who deviate will be destroyed.

Chris Suprun of Texas, the only GOP elector to publicly oppose Trump, has been especially battered by criticism — mainly from fellow Republicans, including party leaders who have questioned his integrity.

Suprun announced his intention to vote for someone other than Trump in a New York Times op-ed, recalling his service on Sept. 11, 2001, as a first responder to the attack on the Pentagon. On Friday, a Texas television station ran a story accusing Suprun of inventing his 9/11 role, the story that Suprun built his career around. The charge, based on a discrepancy with Suprun’s LinkedIn page, featured an anonymous former colleague accusing Suprun of “stolen valor.”

Suprun has vehemently denied the story.

The Others will be dealt with.  But first the Cult will be purged of those who believe the Others have rights or are even human.

All hail Trump.

Sunday Long Read: Back In Black

This week's Sunday Long Read is the indispensable Ta-Nehisi Coates and his exit interview with President Obama, but most of all it's a story of faith: President Obama's faith in the American people, and how badly that faith was misplaced.

Last spring, I went to the White House to meet the president for lunch. I arrived slightly early and sat in the waiting area. I was introduced to a deaf woman who worked as the president’s receptionist, a black woman who worked in the press office, a Muslim woman in a head scarf who worked on the National Security Council, and an Iranian American woman who worked as a personal aide to the president. This receiving party represented a healthy cross section of the people Donald Trump had been mocking, and would continue to spend his campaign mocking. At the time, the president seemed untroubled by Trump. When I told Obama that I thought Trump’s candidacy was an explicit reaction to the fact of a black president, he said he could see that, but then enumerated other explanations. When assessing Trump’s chances, he was direct: He couldn’t win.

This assessment was born out of the president’s innate optimism and unwavering faith in the ultimate wisdom of the American people—the same traits that had propelled his unlikely five-year ascent from Illinois state senator to U.S. senator to leader of the free world.* The speech that launched his rise, the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, emerged right from this logic. He addressed himself to his “fellow Americans, Democrats, Republicans, independents,” all of whom, he insisted, were more united than they had been led to believe. America was home to devout worshippers and Little League coaches in blue states, civil libertarians and “gay friends” in red states. The presumably white “counties around Chicago” did not want their taxes burned on welfare, but they didn’t want them wasted on a bloated Pentagon budget either. Inner-city black families, no matter their perils, understood “that government alone can’t teach our kids to learn … that children can’t achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white.” 
Perceived differences were the work of “spinmasters and negative-ad peddlers who embrace the politics of ‘anything goes.’ ” Real America had no use for such categorizations. By Obama’s lights, there was no liberal America, no conservative America, no black America, no white America, no Latino America, no Asian America, only “the United States of America.” All these disparate strands of the American experience were bound together by a common hope: 
It’s the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a mill worker’s son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too. 
This speech ran counter to the history of the people it sought to address. Some of those same immigrants had firebombed the homes of the children of those same slaves. That young naval lieutenant was an imperial agent for a failed, immoral war. American division was real. In 2004, John Kerry did not win a single southern state. But Obama appealed to a belief in innocence—in particular a white innocence—that ascribed the country’s historical errors more to misunderstanding and the work of a small cabal than to any deliberate malevolence or widespread racism. America was good. America was great.

Over the next 12 years, I came to regard Obama as a skilled politician, a deeply moral human being, and one of the greatest presidents in American history. He was phenomenal—the most agile interpreter and navigator of the color line I had ever seen. He had an ability to emote a deep and sincere connection to the hearts of black people, while never doubting the hearts of white people. This was the core of his 2004 keynote, and it marked his historic race speech during the 2008 campaign at Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center—and blinded him to the appeal of Trump. (“As a general proposition, it’s hard to run for president by telling people how terrible things are,” Obama once said to me.) 
But if the president’s inability to cement his legacy in the form of Hillary Clinton proved the limits of his optimism, it also revealed the exceptional nature of his presidential victories. For eight years Barack Obama walked on ice and never fell. Nothing in that time suggested that straight talk on the facts of racism in American life would have given him surer footing.

I personally love this piece (and if you haven't already Coates's book Between the World and Me yet, you absolutely need to) but it's also very stark and very clear that President Obama's weakness is his faith in others.  Coates does a good job of explaining why that weakness is not always the worst in a leader to have.  Given the monster this country chose to succeed Obama, I think a man who dared to believe in the best of us sounds much better than a man who works to bring out our worst days, and will, every day, for the next four years.

The Orange Gift That Keeps On Giving

Saturday Night Live went after Trump with a vengeance last night, and it was perfect.

I wonder how long this will last before Trump shuts it down?
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