Category Archives: Trump

Goat Gotten

Apparently this video by the Lincoln Project, entitled “Mourning in America” (a sad riff on the famous Ronald Reagan ad), really got Trump worked up into an “unhinged rant” on Twitter:

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The Biter Bit

It’s said in all the finest newspapers and no doubt many blogs fine and otherwise that one of Vice President Biden’s electoral liabilities will be the Trump campaign’s expected hammering of his son Hunter’s commercial contacts with various Ukrainian companies.  The facts of the Hunter Biden matter paint a picture of someone trading on the perception of family influence — getting a well-paid gig for which he was at best not particularly qualified.  If didn’t rise to the level of Billygate, it nonetheless has a bad odor.

Meanwhile, conventional wisdom also states that Trump could execute a double whammy, and accuse Biden of being ‘soft on China’. This, the theory goes, plays to the nativist Trump base, but also to other voters who object to China for being Communist, or for being a low-cost destination  to which manufacturing jobs run away.  Biden, a committed internationalist, will — conventional wisdom asserts — be unwilling to be sufficiently rude to a major trading partner and growing regional power.  And even if Biden tries to out-Trump on the anti-China front, he won’t be able to do it well or convincingly both because his heart won’t be in it and anyway, he’ll be letting Trump dictate the terms of the debate.

But what if the conventional wisdom is wrong? What if both the ‘corrupt relatives’ issue and the so-called ‘China issue’ could actually rebound to hurt the Trump campaign more than the Biden campaign?  What if, for example, it were the case that voters could be persuaded to notice that it is Trump’s family that has been getting benefits directly from the Chinese government?

That is no doubt the thinking behind this hard-hitting ad called “Making China Great Again” from the Lincoln Project:

Incidentally, am I the last to learn that the phrase “The Biter Bit” was the title of an 1899 British black-and-white short silent film? Which of course you can now see online in its 1:08 entirety?

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Unvarnished Trump

Although the story is oddly absent from my domestic printed media, the Guardian pulls no punches in describing yesterday’s public Presidential meltdown:

A toddler threw a self-pitying tantrum on live television on Monday night. Unfortunately he was 73 years old, wearing a long red tie and running the world’s most powerful country.

Donald Trump, starved of campaign rallies, Mar-a-Lago weekends and golf, and goaded by a bombshell newspaper report, couldn’t take it any more. Years of accreted grievance and resentment towards the media came gushing out in a torrent. He ranted, he raved, he melted down and he blew up the internet with one of the most jaw-dropping performances of his presidency.

This was, as he likes to put it, “a 10”.

Trump’s Easter had evidently been ruined by a damning 5,500-word New York Times investigation showing that Trump squandered precious time in January and February as numerous government figures were sounding the alarm about the coronavirus.

With more than 23,000 American lives lost in such circumstances, some presidents might now be considering resignation. Not Trump. He arrived in the west wing briefing room determined to tell the world, or at least his base, that he was not to blame. Instead it was a new and bloody phase of his war against the “enemy of the people”: the media. Families grieving loved ones lost to the virus were in for cold comfort here.

Even conservative bloggers understand how bad it was. Here’s Steve Berman, of The Resurgant,

Monday’s coronavirus press conference was a total disaster. It was a train wreck, launch failure, explosion of stupid. “Everything we did was right,” Trump said, straight faced, one day after Dr. Anthony Fauci admitted on CNN that no, not everything we did was right.

And this schoolyard exchange with CBS News’ Paula Reid:

But worst, is this gaffe. When asked what authority the president has to open the nation, when state governors are already forming coalitions, Trump responded, “I have the ultimate authority.”

This straightforward answer exposes many of Trump’s worst instincts, and his total misunderstanding of his role as POTUS. All of Trump’s talk about working with governors belies his true belief that he alone has the authority.

Of course, if all you read was the NY Times, you’d never know the nation just witnessed a train wreck. All they have is a sober news analysis which leads as follows:

The president’s insistence that only he can decide if the country should reopen for business was disputed by constitutional scholars and contrasted with his earlier message that it was not for the federal government to take the lead in fighting the virus.

It is an important point that needed making, but it hardly seems the whole story.

Posted in COVID-19, The Media, The Scandals | 1 Comment

More Banal Than Fiction

Ted Chiang

Ted Chiang

Science fiction writer Ted Chiang explains the difference between our current reality and a well-plotted disaster novel,

While there has been plenty of fiction written about pandemics, I think the biggest difference between those scenarios and our reality is how poorly our government has handled it. If your goal is to dramatize the threat posed by an unknown virus, there’s no advantage in depicting the officials responding as incompetent, because that minimizes the threat; it leads the reader to conclude that the virus wouldn’t be dangerous if competent people were on the job. A pandemic story like that would be similar to what’s known as an “idiot plot,” a plot that would be resolved very quickly if your protagonist weren’t an idiot. What we’re living through is only partly a disaster novel; it’s also—and perhaps mostly—a grotesque political satire.

Electric Lit, Ted Chiang Explains the Disaster Novel We All Suddenly Live In.

Photo © 2011 Arturo Villarrubia. Licensed under cc-by-sa-2.0.

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Totally Under Control

Video by Priorities USA

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The Failure

Brutal. True.

Produced by the American Bridge Super-PAC.

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