The American Century Ends After 72 Years

Throughout the 17th century and the 18th century and the 19th century, this continent teemed with manifold projects and magnificent purposes. Above them all and weaving them all together into the most exciting flag of all the world and of all history was the triumphal purpose of freedom. It is in this spirit that all of us are called, each to his own measure of capacity, and each in the widest horizon of his vision, to create the first great American Century.

Henry R. Luce

Back in January I wrote about how two events – Japan agreeing  to talks with China to proceed on a post Trans-Pacific Partnership Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestine Authority asking Putin to intercede with the US – showed a devolution of the US from superpower and hegemon to, potentially, client state. The events of the past week at the NATO and G-7 Summits clearly demonstrate this diminution of the US and its power. Today, speaking in a Bavarian beer hall, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated:

The times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out. I’ve experienced that in the last few days.

We Europeans truly have to take our fate into our own hands.

If this was part of a well thought through and developed strategy to shift some responsibilities to America’s allies and partners, to better distribute the work that needs to be done to maintain and improve the global system – including to defend it, then Merkel’s remarks would not be so alarming. However, it is pretty clear from the Administration’s own remarks about the trip that this is not the case. They think everything went swimmingly!

The President has had a long standing animosity towards America’s allies and partners, believing since 1987 they have been taking advantage of the US, we now know where some of his animosity towards the EU comes from. The length of time it takes to navigate EU rules and regulations to get approval to build a golf course. The fallout from last week’s NATO and G-7 summits are going to be with us for some time to come. While the President and his senior advisors, such as the neo-nationalist and nativist Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, the latter of whom allegedly wrote the NATO speech, may have believed they could crack the EU apart and knuckle NATO, the failure of neo-nationalist candidates in Holland, France, and Austria have pretty much killed that plan. While Merkel still faces reelection later this year, the neo-nationalist, pro-Putin tide that they envisioned washing over Europe appears to have failed. And as a result the US cannot, no matter what the President and his nativist advisors may want, negotiate separate trade agreements with each EU member state and defense agreements with each NATO ally. Rather the US is stuck unless it decides to abrogate those agreements and become almost completely isolationist.

The reality that the NATO and EU member state leadership have now observed up close and personal has disabused them of the belief that the President was transactional. That if they gave him takeaways that he could claim as wins and stroked his ego then he would do what every US president since Truman has done: formally and publicly commit to Article 5 of the NATO charter. No amount of sweet talk or easy wins will move him off what appears to be one of his few well defined and long held core beliefs. That America’s allies and partners seek only to take advantage of the US. This will make whatever the US wants to do in the world going forward more expensive. We will begin to see less assistance from our NATO allies and partners. And we will have to pay more, as in purchase, for assistance from other allies and partners going forward. Trade, defense, and anything else the US will seek to do within the global system will now come with a premium surcharge attached. Just think of it as the price that must be paid to make America great again…

166 replies
  1. 1
    Luthe says:

    It is shit like this that makes me pray for an Orrin Hatch presidency. The domestic agenda would still be horrible, but at least the foreign policy would be sane.

  2. 2
    Karen says:

    As far as I could tell the only thing positive for US was that orange one actually learned to walk next to wife

  3. 3
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Luthe: And everyone would have jello salad!

  4. 4
    Davis X. Machina says:

    …a devolution of the US from superpower and hegemon

    You say that like it’s a bad thing.
    I’ve got progressive friends for whom this would be a tremendous positive accomplishment, a blow against imperialism at least as epochal as the creation of NATO in the first place, only this time for good. All that trade stuff just helps destroy the America working class anyways.

  5. 5
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷 says:

    Fuck El Presidente and everyone who voted for him. Also too those who did not vote and could as well as 3rd party voters

  6. 6
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Ask your friends how things would be better if Putin or Xi are setting the rules within the global system?

  7. 7
    frosty says:

    You know, if backing away from being a superpower to be just another nation meant the military-industrial-complex could be smaller and those resources could go somewhere else, then I wouldn’t mind it so much. But a) the cost of MIC has nothing to do what we rationally need for our defense and b) you just said this will all end up costing us more.

    Ugh.

  8. 8
    JMG says:

    I rate the chance of Trump not starting a war as close to zero. War with Iran, because it’s only twice as big and many times richer and better organized than Iraq, so what could go wrong?

  9. 9
    Chet Murthy says:

    @Adam L Silverman: @Davis X. Machina: whoa there, Adam. I think (uh, I *think*?) Davis is doin’ his comedy thing again. The tell is the last sentence. Uh, I think.

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    It was worth it to Trump that bitch.

  11. 11
    Kristine says:

    Retweeted a Jeet Heer thread over on Twitter where he discusses my fear, namely that even if we rid ourselves of the Orange Menace, we may never win back the position we once held. The EU etc have seen how easily our system can be derailed. We elected a Trump once. Who says we won’t do it again?

  12. 12
    Baud says:

    @JMG: I think that the one hope there is that Trump is fundamentally a coward.

  13. 13
    Betty Cracker says:

    There was plenty of room to criticize the hypocrisy and arrogance of US foreign policy in the post-WW2 era. But squandering our prestige in such buffoonish fashion and openly throwing in our lot with authoritarians is an unmitigated disaster. I’m thoroughly ashamed to be an American.

    Even if we are lucky enough to get rid of Trump in under four years, we’ll always be the country that elevated that clown. That stain on our national honor is permanent.

  14. 14
    barb 2 says:

    Very disturbing to read. I grew up on military bases — Navy. My dad was a cold war warrior. If his plane went down over Russia — we all knew that there would be no rescue. A whole lot has changed — but Russia is still not a nice cuddly stuffed animal. Putin is an Authoritarian Dictator.

    The GOP has turned over the US to Putin. Shitgibbon was working as an agent for Putin at the G7 summit, just concluded. This was clear to those of us watching that soap opera. Josh Marshall (TPM) has some must read commentary on how Shitgibbon’s behavior was purposeful — with the objective of destroying NATO and the EU.

    Shitgibbon and his band of criminals should be in jail — as traitors and worse.

    At the same time, someone is building a defense for the old fart — his mind is gone (or going). Not guilty by reason of insanity or some such excuse.

    When do I wake up?

  15. 15
  16. 16
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @frosty: Exactly. If this was about rebalancing. Building our allies and partners up, as in investing in them and helping them expand their capacities and capabilities, so we didn’t always have to be the tip of the spear and we could do some smart reinvestment domestically then it would make a lot of sense. But that’s not what we’re seeing. The budget blueprint/skinny budget they released indicates that they have no understanding of why are smartest international investments, which are proportionally rounding errors in the Federal budget, are smart investments. When you combine this with the unintelligent intel disclosures it is going to be ugly for a while.

  17. 17
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kristine: Who says we won’t elect one that is effective and has self discipline?

  18. 18
    Renie says:

    Thank you for posting this Adam. The hypocrisy of the republicans in stating this was a successful trip is unbelievable. Trump is destroying us domestically and internationally and they are allowing it. Even in the future when there is a democrat in WH, our allies will always remember the American people did elect such a horrible person like Trump and that possibility can again become reality. From shoving the PM of Montenegro to his bullying speech, to riding in his ridiculous golf cart, Trump is an international disaster for us. We are no longer the America we were.

  19. 19
    Karen says:

    @frosty: I see that this will not only cost more but will not do anything to help those who need social safety nets or infrastructure. the MIC really doesn’t care about anything other than making more money. Eisenhower warned us; but that is history

  20. 20

    Twitter is spinning up over the Merkel quote. But here’s a corrective. She included hedge words. She’s not withdrawing from NATO. That link (yes, Politico) agrees with what I thought when the quote was published.

    But the Orange One is doing the United States and Europe no good. Now that I’ve finished my Carter Page post, I may work on one about that.

  21. 21
    Brachiator says:

    Trump supporters have been big on “America First.” They might not be so cool with “America by Itself.”

    On the other hand I have been looking at the headlines over on Fox News. They are hammering down on “the vast left wing conspiracy,” liberal bias and fake news. They insist that Trump is the great white hope that the world was waiting for after Obama.

    They are concentrating on the visuals of Trump in Saudi Arabia and Israel and downplaying everything else.

  22. 22
    SFAW says:

    What’s really super-cool is that Shitgibbon could have a Primetime address on all the networks (including Murdoch’s Pravda), wherein he states, unequivocally, that as far as he’s concerned, he’s going to let China and Russia “run the World” from now on, and Turtle and ZEGS would be more than happy to follow Shitgibbon’s lead.

    Un-fucking-believable. Fucking traitors, the lot of them.

    I speak a little putonghua, but not enough to be of any use to our new Chines overlords. Damn.

  23. 23
    Karen says:

    @Baud: cowards are at their most dangerous when cornered

  24. 24
    wvng says:

    @Betty Cracker: I feel certain that the diminution of our influence is also permanent. Remarkable thing. President Obama comes into office and in eight years makes our country admired and respected again after the horror show that was W’s reign, and makes us a leader in developing national and international responses to climate change. In less than six months, Trump destroys all of that entirely.

    I don’t see how we can regain our position as “the indispensable nation” nor should we.

  25. 25
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I never thought she was withdrawing from NATO. Rather she’s going to move, via the EU members within NATO, to rebalance away from the US within and without NATO. Here’s another good take from The Economist:
    http://www.economist.com/blogs.....ng-germany

  26. 26
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Adam L Silverman: They have their own version of American exceptionalism going, where Wall Street does all that. And where nation-states are a Bad Thing, and need to Go Away. Starting with the US.

  27. 27
    Hal says:

    Sigh. Oh Cory, really?

    Yashar Ali @yashar

    Ivanka and Jared hosted two fundraisers for Cory Booker and they all maxed out to his campaign.
    Jake Tapper @jaketapper
    .@CoryBooker disagrees with the DNC: he thinks it’s too soon to revoke Jared Kushner’s security clearance. #CNNsotu (link: http://cnn.it/2saykea) cnn.it/2saykea

  28. 28
    Wapiti says:

    @barb 2: Which is why the press should just ask the White House if the President is competent. If the White House says yes, then we’ll assume that Donald is competent and culpable up to this point in time. And ask Pence.

  29. 29
    SFAW says:

    @wvng:

    In less than six months, Trump destroys all of that entirely.

    Call it the Shitgibbon Corollary (or Variant) to Cleek’s Law: whatever Obama did that was good, destroy it, or at least do the opposite of Obama.

  30. 30
    Johannes says:

    @Baud: As he won’t be fighting himself, that’s not much of a hope in my opinion.

  31. 31
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Davis X. Machina: They are not wrong that an under-regulated and under-policed financial sector/Wall Street is a problem. But it is a non-state actor problem and the threat it poses is more easily resolved than competitor nuclear weapon states who perceive an opportunity to advance their own interests.

  32. 32
    Tokyokie says:

    And focusing on the shitgibbon’s performance in Europe neglects that while in Saudi Arabia, home of the primary funders of Sunni terrorism, in exchange for a large bribe to his daughter’s bullshit foundation, the moron committed the U.S. to take sides in the schism in Islam that’s been going on for 1400 years, and back the Sunni against the Shi’a in the name of fighting Islamic terrorism (although I’m having trouble recalling a single act of Shiite terrorism that occurred outside the Middle East). The cheerleading by fascist agitprop organizations like Fox News strikes me as publicizing Primo Carnera’s boxing victories before he fought Max Baer.

  33. 33
    Laura says:

    The hubris and gall -and always, the personal gain.
    This “president” has taken every positive aspect of the American Experiment and chucked it in the gutter.
    We shall never pass this way again.
    We may get some temporary understanding about this particular President. But the world has now seen that the American public is as lazy and willing to ignore warning signs and place the world at risk.
    Who’d be willing to take that risk again?
    Probably not anyone or any nation who prizes risk aversion. Probably not a nation that’s been down this road before.

    I’m tired of all the winning. So damn tired of all the winning.

  34. 34
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Davis X. Machina: So they think Russian imperialIsm would be better?? Must be well-educated, white, male, heterosexual, with some money.

  35. 35
    debbie says:

    Adam, I pulled a photo from FB that perfectly illustrates the G7, but I can’t find an email. Can I get a clue, please?

    Also, that senior official above: Was that said with a straight face?

    Also Trump’s tweet about leaks from the WH being fake news: Aren’t those his people? Shouldn’t he be putting his own house in order?

  36. 36
    Adam L Silverman says:

    OT: But I think M&Ms are trying to tell us something…

    I fully expect social media to self combust over this!

  37. 37
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Tokyokie: That post is coming later in the week. I’ve been fighting a low level beginning of summer cold this week, so I’m a bit behind.

  38. 38
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Here’s another good take from The Economist

    Remember how quaint and adorable it was just a couple of weeks ago when Trump claimed to have thought up all by his own self the phrase “priming the pump”?

    So cute.

    Good times, good times.

  39. 39
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @debbie: I was not there, so I do not know. If you go up to the drop down list marked quick links there’s a link for emailing a front pager. You should be able to find an address for me there. That said, provide the email address you use to comment here is legit, I just sent you a test message.

  40. 40
    SFAW says:

    @Tokyokie:

    publicizing Primo Carnera’s boxing victories before he fought Max Baer.

    Wow. Those are two names I haven’t heard in ages. How f’ing old ARE you?

  41. 41
    Mnemosyne says:

    No amount of sweet talk or easy wins will move him off what appears to be one of his few well defined and long held core beliefs. That America’s allies and partners seek only to take advantage of the US.

    There is NO amount of sweet talk or easy wins that would have worked because, again, Trump is a toxic narcissist. Thinking that everyone else is trying to take advantage of him is central to his personal worldview, which he has now extended out to the rest of the globe.

    This is one of the hardest things for people who’ve never dealt with a narcissist to understand: the narcissist is 100 percent convinced that everyone else in his/her life is just as grasping and greedy as they are, so they see nothing wrong with acting to screw other people, and if those people get angry, it’s only because the narcissist acted before they could. They do not see or understand social boundaries except as systems for them to manipulate to their advantage.

  42. 42
    japa21 says:

    WTMJ radio in Milwaukee is the home of a few conservative talk shows. One host is Charlie Sykes, who woke up last year and saw what he and others had created. He is about as anti-Trump as possible. Another is Jeff Wagner, who is more right wing than Charlie and lies to his listeners on a regular basis.

    While listen to my beloved Brewers maintain their hold on 1st place in the NL Central, I heard a blurb for Wagner’s show tomorrow. This is a paraphrase but pretty close. “Facing criticism at home, President Trump has returned home from his long foreign trip. I think there is a legitimate case to be made that he is a far better world leader than Obama was. Tune in tomorrow when I explain my reasoning.”

    I do not have the stomach to do so. The only way a case could be made would be to lie about both Trump and Obama, yet many of his listeners will buy into his crap.

  43. 43
    mattH says:

    .@Adam L Silverman:

    Or, Nature abhors a vacuum, and who knows what for sure will fill it if it’s created too quickly.

  44. 44
    hitchhiker says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Yes.

    This is exactly why Nov 8th was such a shock; this is who we are now & who we’ll always be from now on … the nation that bowed to a vulgar fool.

  45. 45
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Wapiti:

    Yup.

    Either he’s competent and is knowingly doing evil things, and should be removed, or he’s incompetent and is unknowingly doing evil things, and should be removed.

  46. 46
    Chet Murthy says:

    @Hal: I saw this, and listened to his segment on CNN. I’d encourage you to do the same, before you fully judge him. What I heard was him arguing (painfully inarticulately) that Jared and others need to be put in the hot seat in public hearings and answer hard questions. And sure, we might need to yank his clearance, but we need those hearings and those hard questions answered.

    Sure, he could have done a much, much better job. Makes me wonder about his fitness for higher office — b/c it wasn’t a hard question to answer:

    Q: Should Jared’s clearance be yanked?
    A: Probably yes, but what’s important to the NATION here is finding out what he said & did and why! And the NATION needs to find out, which is why we need public hearings with hard questions and real answers!

    Dana Bash asked him the Q twice, and Booker was steadfast in his answer both times, so I don’t think he was dodging. Just fricken’ inarticulate.

  47. 47
    TriassicSands says:

    Shorter Angela Merkel:

    Only a complete idiot would trust Donald Trump.

  48. 48
  49. 49
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @debbie:

    Adam, I pulled a photo from FB that perfectly illustrates the G7, but I can’t find an email.

    Oh, I hope it’s the one you mentioned earlier of Merkel pushing Trump in a pram or something. Looked on my own FB feed to see if it showed up, and did a bit of desultory Googling, but haven’t yet seen it. So I hope Adam or someone can FP it or put it in a comment.

  50. 50
    Hal says:

    @Chet Murthy: I can see your point, but when Jared and Ivanka hold two fundraisers for you, and you attend their wedding, this type of answer is problematic, to say the least. This is the kind of thing that will come back to bite him in the ass if he runs for higher office, or he ends up on someone else’s VP list in 2020.

  51. 51
    Karen says:

    @JMG: remember during the debates when orange one and Cruz got into head to head about who would bomb Iran the quickest?
    I figure it is simply a matter of time before the bombing starts, the worse things get for WH the more likely he is to push buttons to start war and take attention off the swamp

  52. 52
    Chet Murthy says:

    @Hal: I can see your point, and you’re probably right. Jarvanka are toxic, and with good reason. But for me, it’s much more disturbing that he couldn’t handle a softball question without vomiting word salad. PBHO (PBUH) woulda blasted that Q outta the park. He’d have paused, gotten all studious-looking, and carefully, slowly unreeled an answer that was definitive and clear.

    Le sigh.

  53. 53
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: And YÒUNG. Sounds like people with little life experience.

  54. 54
    Timurid says:

    @Hal:

    Them slaves ain’t gonna catch themselves…

  55. 55
    Mary G says:

    I am heartbroken for my country. I really thought that by this point a few Republicans would leave the bunker, but no.

    ETA: Bruce Bartlett on this post:

    The end of American hegemony isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it is a real thing. We are UK 1945, exhausted, impotent.— Bruce Bartlett (@BruceBartlett) May 28, 2017

  56. 56
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Hal: @Chet Murthy: So context here is important. The Kushners got married in 2009 at the Trump estate and golf course in NJ. Kushner’s father and a good chunk of his family had been long time Democratic fundraisers and bundlers, including for Booker. The fundraisers were in 2013, well before the President announced he was running and while Jared Kushner and his family were still big funders of Democratic campaigns in NY and NJ.

    As to the clearance. He doesn’t have an in scope, fully adjudicated clearance. He has an interim TS clearance. This means the criminal background check came back clean. It should be suspended pending the outcome of the investigations and his access to all classified material should be ended immediately. That said, the President has the power to overrule the adjudicator and the Special Security Officers and order that Jared by cleared and given access.

  57. 57
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Luv Luvvie. That is too perfect. LOL doesn’t even begin to express my mirth.

  58. 58
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: Your powers of penetration are remarkable.

    These are very wooly-headed types. It’s always 1968 where they live, even though none of them were born that long ago.
    They’re steeped like teabags in a kind of kitchen-or-vulgar Marxism, and their international-relations understanding runs at sort of the level of “There should be no nation states, except maybe Tibet, because of the Dalai Lama. He’s cool.” Talk about multilateral security structures, and they come back about the US invasion of Libya.

  59. 59
    Adam L Silverman says:

    So this happened…

    (h/t: Dave Anderson)

  60. 60
    Tokyokie says:

    @SFAW: Well, not old enough to have seen The Harder They Fall when it was playing first-run……..

  61. 61
    Timurid says:

    This is why the whole “our best case is a big win in 2018 and starting impeachment in 2019” line of reasoning terrifies me.
    Trump has already done incalculable damage in just four months. Imagine what he will do in another year and a half or more…

  62. 62
    Mary G says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Hey, I linked to the next one.@Mary G: !

  63. 63
    tobie says:

    @wvng: @Betty Cracker: I’ll join the chorus here and just add that once the EU realizes it doesn’t need to depend on the US so much anymore, it’s not going to go back to the prior arrangement. No one chooses dependency voluntarily.That’s why getting rid of Trump and/or getting rid of the GOP majority in Congress won’t be able to repair the damage done. The price we’re going to pay for the loss of global preeminence is very steep. I’m feeling shame, grief and fear all at once.

  64. 64
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mary G: I saw that after I hit post on the comment.

  65. 65
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Tokyokie: Ran at the Orson Welles Cinema on Mass Ave for years — 6 ,7 years? Was at one point the record-holder for longest run, beaten by Rocky Horror somewhere, IIRC. I must have seen it during year 2 or 3,

  66. 66
    Sloane Ranger says:

    If Trump wants to start a war he will get no support from the UK. I was at my Sunday lunch club earlier today and even the most conservative members were agreed that he was rude, uncouth, uncultured and generally incapable of conducting himself appropriately in civilised company. All cited his shoving the Montenegrian PM as evidence.

    The only positive thing they said about him was him calling terrorists losers, but one brought up the saying about stopped clocks being right twice a day and the others nodded grimly.

    And these will all vote Tory on 8th June. Trump is unpopular with everyone outside the fever swamps of the far right here in Britain.

  67. 67
    Karen says:

    @japa21: I spent nearly 30 years living in what is now Paul Ryan’s district; thankfully, after my divorce I move to put mountains between me and them. For the most part they are rabid, GOP and consider themselves as very strongly conservative. Women are still not allowed to have own thoughts or if they do they aren’t allowed to speak them, or to disagree with “men folks”

  68. 68
    Barney says:

    Shorter administration official: Please clap.

  69. 69
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Sloane Ranger: If he had better manners, would they help him bomb Iran?

  70. 70
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’m not sure that someone like that could survive the primaries anymore. Look at the last two GOP prezzes. Both are scions of privilege who got by on “Gentlemen’s D’s”. The base admires wealth, but not competence. It makes them feel insecure. And anyone who makes them feel insecure will not get the GOP nomination.

    Also anyone who is competent eventually gives up on the idiots who he has to surround himself with. Not even the Presidency is worth constantly banging the head up against the wall.

  71. 71
    Tokyokie says:

    @Davis X. Machina: The Harder They Fall with Humphrey Bogart, or The Harder They Come with Jimmy Cliff?

  72. 72
    Ryan says:

    You are forgetting the size of his inauguration crowds; did you see the Electoral College map? And don’t get me started about her emails!

  73. 73
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @Sloane Ranger: sorry please add “losers” between terrorists and but.

    Tried to edit post but it wouldn’t have it. No doubt I did something wrong.

  74. 74
    SFAW says:

    @Tokyokie:

    Well, not old enough to have seen The Harder They Fall when it was playing first-run……..

    Jimmy Cliff was pretty good in that.

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Good one. Did you also see Roi de Coeur (down by Central Square)? And I thought Rocky Horror was better-known at Exeter St?

    ETA: And, since you (Tokyokie) replied to Davis X. as I was writing: to be clear, yes, I know the difference between the two. I’m guessing Davis did, as well.

  75. 75
    TenguPhule says:

    @Barney:

    Shorter administration official: Please clap.

    Shorter Sane Americans: “Do the honorable thing Republicans, find a quiet office and blow your brains out.”

  76. 76
    Gex says:

    @Kristine: Especially after W and Co spend so much time railing against France and Germany. Followed by Republicans repeatedly threatening to destabilize the global economy by defaulting on debt while Obama was in office. There is no going back. We have demonstrated in election after election since 2000 that we are willing to destabilize the globe.

  77. 77
    Chet Murthy says:

    @CarolDuhart2: @Adam L Silverman: I fear Adam’s talking about a different possibility. What if next time around, Dampnut’s ideological heir is self-controlled, competent, and effective? That was my nightmare scenario for this election — that Bannonazi really would be the puppetmaster, and …. well, maybe lights out for American democracy. It seems that that might not transpire, though who knows, ZEGS/Yertle still get a vote.

    But yeah, if some Dominionist nutjob rises up with Smallgloves’ obvious talent for rilin’ up the heaving masses, it might be even worse times than now.

    ETA: yet more reason for our allies realizing they can’t just rely on us. Next time, it could be much, much worse.

  78. 78
    Wumpus says:

    Arguably the American Century really actually started in 1917, with our entry into World War 1. So right on the schedule!

  79. 79
    debbie says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Unfortunately it has to be a tweet. I’ve been TwitterStalking, but can’t find it posted anywhere.

  80. 80
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Hal: Some time ago there was a disturbing piece at the blog talk2action that Booker is part of the same church group that Sarah Palin is.

  81. 81
    TenguPhule says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    That stain on our national honor is permanent.

    After Bush we had stained honor for a nation.

    After Trump, we have no honor as a nation.

  82. 82
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @SFAW: Definitement And “The Ruling Class” — a whole bunch of other stuff.
    If you jumped the turnstile after school enough times, you could go to Central or Harvard on the T and see a film or two on what was supposed to be the fare for student transportation.

    A token economy with real tokens!

  83. 83
    TenguPhule says:

    @Chet Murthy:

    What if next time around, Dampnut’s ideological heir is self-controlled, competent, and effective?

    Preemptive purge of the Republicans seems to be the only solution to stop that from happening.

    For the United State to live, Republicans must die. En masse.

  84. 84
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Chet Murthy: Imagine what we would be going through right now if Ted Cruz had won.

  85. 85
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @SFAW: Elbow typing and autocomplete. My tablet isn’t deeply versed in film history.

  86. 86
    efgoldman says:

    @Baud:

    the one hope there is that Trump is fundamentally a coward

    All bullies are. But he wouldn’t physically lead the charge in any case. That’s the thing about being “president”; you have people for that, while you play golf.

  87. 87
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @debbie:

    No worries. If it’s as good as you say, it’s bound to go completely viral in a day or so.

  88. 88
    TS says:

    @Mary G: UK 1945 had been bombed, starved and depleted of its young males through the warmongering of others.

    US 2017 has only itself to blame for the years of 21st century wars – none of which have been at home.

    Europe may be able to band together and protect itself. For those living in smaller Pacific countries and islands the words of Chancellor Merkel see a future world we thought would never return.

  89. 89

    It was the American Century because of FDR, since Reagan and even before Rs have been trying to actively undermine Democratic achievements. New Deal, NATO, makes no difference to them. The buffoon is just the logical conclusion of the R revolution or some might say devolution.

  90. 90
    Gvg says:

    American prosperity came out of a lot of free trade and also a lot of public investment like building roads, canals and then trains. and “free” land. We will starve if we don’t trade and austerity budgets are disasters. It’s like too many people think our prosperity just happened naturally. They don’t understand where it came from. Of course I have thought that they only thing that saved us from being displaced the last few decades was the flaws of our potential replacements. Each of them has different weaknesses.
    I really hate trump. I also hate the ignoramuses who voted for him and all the other competence hating GOP dangerous fools.

  91. 91
    Tokyokie says:

    @SFAW: Sigh. Seeing The Harder They Fall at a screening featuring Budd Schulberg (before I appreciated who he was) was part of my college experience before I ever saw The Harder They Come. Hell, I think I even saw Django with Franco Nero (the spaghetti western featured in the movie) before I saw the Jamaican movie. But then, I’ve seen a disturbing number of spaghetti westerns…..

  92. 92
    Kristine says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I hope we do. But I do believe that the memory of Trump will be around for a long time. Like cheating on a spouse or a friend. Forgiveness is possible, but there’s always that patched-up crack….

  93. 93
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @Davis X. Machina: I hate to say it but I think some, not all, would.

    This age group was brought up to believe that behaviour provides an insight into character so if he had behaved better they would be more inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt about whatever causes belli he dreamed up.

  94. 94
    randy khan says:

    @debbie:

    Also, that senior official above: Was that said with a straight face?

    Well, it’s the job, so you kind of need to be able to pull it off. But if you have to say that, you clearly don’t think there’s any chance the trip will be seen as a success without prompting (and if you have to prompt, well, it wasn’t a success).

  95. 95
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @Chet Murthy ” “Dominionism is incompatible with real competence. Having to buy into such a theology means that you must shun real knowledge-and the minons around you must as well. Competence means at least being able to differentiate between the curb and the street (In touch with reality).

    Also riling up the masses: we are also seeing the limits of that already. They aren’t winning over anyone that already wasn’t won over, and are making enemies of people who were at least willing to give Dampnuts a chance to prove them wrong.

    Also the anti science and anti education memes mean that they have few people who really know how things work, and they don’t even listen to them all of the time.

    I know everyone fears an American Hitler. Here’s something to consider about what we are seeing: what we are seeing is closer to Jim Jones and other cults. It’s Trump-and when Trump goes, the cult will go to.

  96. 96
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kristine: You hope we elect a disciplined, effective authoritarian?

  97. 97
    Spanky says:

    @debbie: Read that statement again! That “senior official” is Donnie Trump hisself. That’s so much in his voice.
    @hitchhiker: Dittoed. For all my days I could never see why someone would feel they had to leave the US. Now, it’s become an option.

  98. 98
    frosty says:

    @Gvg:

    American prosperity came out of a lot of free trade and also a lot of public investment like building roads, canals and then trains. and “free” land.

    That helped, but IMHO the prosperity of the American Century really came from Spindletop and the East Texas oilfields. We were the first country to go onto the oil economy. Next, not having our cities and industry blown up and burned to the ground during the war certainly helped.

    Possibly little-known fact: the transcontinental railroad got started and funded because the southern states had seceded and could no longer block it in Congress.

  99. 99
    Kathleen says:

    @Mnemosyne: The expressions on their faces remind me of audience reactions the first time they see “Spring Time For Hitler” in The Producers.

  100. 100
    rikyrah says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷:

    Fuck El Presidente and everyone who voted for him. Also too those who did not vote and could as well as 3rd party voters

    word.

  101. 101
    romeo24 says:

    @Mnemosyne: Nice, but giving way too much credit for coolness to Abe (and Japan). Abe would surely stay and play with Donnie. They have so much to talk about, like how to get rid of those pesky reporters asking annoying questions about donations to fascist kindergarten owners (just make everything a state secret, and everyone who “steals” state secrets [reporters] subject to 10 years in prison!).

  102. 102
    efgoldman says:

    @SFAW:

    I thought Rocky Horror was better-known at Exeter St?

    I thought it was always at the Harvard Square; they had the midnight showings.

  103. 103
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Kathleen:

    You just made me genuinely laugh out loud. 😂

  104. 104
    TenguPhule says:

    Instead of Star Trek, our future is WH40K.

  105. 105
    SFAW says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    If you jumped the turnstile

    If only Charlie had taken your advice, at Scollay Square …

    Did you grow up in Cambridge?

  106. 106
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I’ll just leave this here.

  107. 107

    @CarolDuhart2:

    The base admires wealth, but not competence.

    Cause they know that if the Capital Gains tax rate was brought down to zero like the Good Lord intended, they’d be as wealthy as Trump and W.

  108. 108
    Mnemosyne says:

    @romeo24:

    I’m guessing that Abe is busy playing up to China so they can help shield him against Russia. He’s not some tinpot dictator like Duerte — Abe has powerful corporations breathing down his neck.

    ETA: And China is going to be nothing but sympathetic towards Abe’s more totalitarian impulses, unfortunately.

  109. 109
    PsiFighter37 says:

    I haven’t read much on what happened at the NATO summit, but y’all are depressing me. Was it THAT bad? (the answer is almost surely yes, given the consequences we are dealing with these days, but just double-checking…)

  110. 110
    Suzanne says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    This is one of the hardest things for people who’ve never dealt with a narcissist to understand: the narcissist is 100 percent convinced that everyone else in his/her life is just as grasping and greedy as they are, so they see nothing wrong with acting to screw other people, and if those people get angry, it’s only because the narcissist acted before they could.

    That’s the case with most crappy people of every stripe. Greedy people think everyone is greedy. Cheaters think everyone cheats. The desire to see oneself in a positive light (or at least not-worse-than-anyone-else light) is enormous. It’s telling that so many of the right wing attack those on the left for being “elitist” or sanctimonious. It’s because, on a deep level, they realize that lots of them are less educated, less smart, and they’re trying really hard to turn selfishness and ignorance into virtues.

  111. 111
    JPL says:

    @Kristine: I just started reading the comments and I already want to climb into a ball and hide.

    Adam’s comment at 17 helped.

  112. 112
    Hal says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Thank you. Perspective is vastly important. I am not riding the purity pony in any way, but I guess I’m already envisioning the remember when Cory wouldn’t support revoking Jared’s security clearance because they donated money to his campaign in 2019-2020. I like Booker on a lot of levels, but I think he needs to have better answers ready for the next few years, because this is going to come up a lot.

  113. 113
    piratedan says:

    so… in short, we’re watching Trump piss away roughly 70 years of diplomatic treaties and positions in foreign policy because it was too hard for him to build a fucking golf course…

    thank goodness we live in a civilized society or else some of us would no doubt go bug fuck on these shitheads…

  114. 114
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: UK already fucked themselves with Brexit. The only cherry topping on that shit Sundae is the chance that Maybot may have fucked herself by calling early elections.

    Corbyn was ready for them, May wasn’t. And it showed.

  115. 115
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Suzanne:

    Right, but the difference with a narcissist is that they genuinely don’t realize that other people are smarter or more educated. They really believe that they are specially gifted people who can outsmart everyone else, and the only reason people get mad at them is that the other people weren’t smart enough to (for example) immediately rent a U-Haul the day their estranged husband died so they can try to take the furniture from his house. After all, it’s what everyone would do if they just thought of it first.

    Yeah, that’s my real-life narcissist example again, but it’s so indefensible that it saves me a lot or argument with well-meaning people who’ve never dealt with one. There is no way to shame a narcissist, because they genuinely believe they never do anything wrong.

  116. 116
    SFAW says:

    @efgoldman:

    OK. I just remember it running for awhile at Exeter, saw it there a few times, but I am not the World’s Foremost Authority* on all things Boston/Cambridge

    *May he Rest in Peace

  117. 117
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I’m guessing that Abe is busy playing up to China so they can help shield him against Russia.

    Uh no. If you knew anything about the China-Japan dynamic you’d know better then to even suggest that.

    China wants Japan crushed under their boot heel. And is perfectly willing to work with Russia to do it.

    Abe is more likely to seek help from the EU.

  118. 118
    debbie says:

    @Spanky:

    It’s the same tone of voice as Sean Spicer’s statement that the Trump Inaugural crowd was the largest EVER.

  119. 119
    Suzanne says:

    @piratedan: I really don’t know where we go next. There are just too many of these people for us to have a healthy society anymore. I think we’re done as a country.

    Half the country thinks that this loser is faaaaaahhhhbulous. They’re not even on the same planet as us.

  120. 120
    TenguPhule says:

    @piratedan:

    so… in short, we’re watching Trump piss away roughly 70 years of diplomatic treaties and positions in foreign policy because it was too hard for him to build a fucking golf course…

    And because Russia managed to bail him out with lots of illegal money.

    And our CIA was too chickenshit to deal with the problem.

  121. 121
    Mnemosyne says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Japan is out of options at this point. And I think China is too smart and business-savvy to want to completely crush the economic engine that is Japan. They just want that economic engine to benefit themselves rather than the US.

  122. 122
    Peale says:

    I’m curious to see how this plays in Poland. I know there was admiration for Trump by the ruling party there. But Trump is also the kind of guy who sees Germany as the enemy and probably feels that Poland should naturally be in the Russian sphere of influence.

  123. 123
    Suzanne says:

    @Mnemosyne: Truth. I have had a couple of these people in my life, but they had a different strain of narcissism: the kind that results in needing endless, unceasing flattery, and hostility when they don’t get it. The kind of people who love to “help” when you have a problem so they can bask in your gratitude, but are humiliated if anyone finds out about their own problems or mediocrities. I can’t help but take the piss out of this kind of person. I realize that this behavior stems from extreme insecurity, but I also don’t care.

  124. 124
    MoxieM says:

    @efgoldman:Late night showings of Rocky Horror, at the Exeter St. for sure (theater much missed). Conrans also missed.

  125. 125
    Peale says:

    @Mnemosyne: they already kind of have that economic dominance. It wasn’t just the US corporations that relocated manufacturing to China.

  126. 126
    romeo24 says:

    @Mnemosyne: I don’t know. There is still a lot of anti-Japan sentiment in China (and South Korea and North Korea) from the war and Japan’s reluctance to own up to all the terrible things it did. The sex slave denials, the Nanking Massacre denials, etc. Abe is a fascist who wants to whitewash Japan’s war history (“But we were provoked by the Americans! But we were only doing what the British imperialists had been doing for centuries!”) and become big boy of the regional sandpit (again). If he’s sucking up to China at all, my guess is it’s to get China to get N-K off Japan’s back (and their missiles out of Japan’s EEZ).

  127. 127
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    @TenguPhule: White people, don’t forget them. They’re just as responsible.

  128. 128
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Corbyn is a hot mess.

  129. 129
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    And I think China is too smart and business-savvy to want to completely crush the economic engine that is Japan.

    And you’d be wrong. They still want revenge for WW II and are racist to the core against Japan, however much they trade with them now.

    Given the chance, they WILL go full Nazi on Japan if they ever get a chance to invade. And Japan knows it.

  130. 130
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Japan is out of options at this point.

    Nuclear weapons. They can build them.

    Its a taboo now, but survival trumps that. And it would come down to a matter of survival with China breathing down their neck.

  131. 131
    TenguPhule says:

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap: I don’t blame all white people, just the ones that supported him.

    Them, slavery is the best they can hope for.

  132. 132
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman: They should name Hillary prime minister. All of her scandals are fake!

  133. 133
    Calouste says:

    man who has done extraordinary things for the country he loves

    100% true.

    It’s just that that country he loves is Russia.

    Note that “American people” is in a separate clause.

  134. 134
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Not really. Take it with a grain of salt. They’ve been running that line of shit since his election to leadership. Would not surprise me to see yet another retraction of the article, like the last dozen or so.

  135. 135
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    @TenguPhule: Yeah, should have said Republicans instead.

  136. 136
    Kristine says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Nope, not wishing that. I didn’t read your response closely enough–thought you were referring to someone generally decent who could win back lost regard.

  137. 137
    MomSense says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Now you’ve done it. This is like finding out you are about to have company and the house is a mess. How fast can me make this place presentable?

  138. 138
    J R in WV says:

    @Brachiator:

    concentrating on the visuals of Trump

    As if everyone thought he looked great? Wait, whut? He still looked like an ass walking on two legs to me.

    The stiff should be in jail for money laundering. Should have gone away before he won his first primary.

  139. 139
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @TenguPhule: Labour still 6 to 10 points behind. My best guess is we end up pretty much where we are now with the Tories having a small majority. As a Unionist the good news for me is that the Scot Mats may lose seats.

  140. 140
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MomSense: This place? Are you serious?

  141. 141
    piratedan says:

    @Suzanne: agree… its like, they are demanding a government of immediate gratification with no thought to the future, safe in their minds that the US has always been and will always be number 1 with no understanding as to how we got there and why we stayed there.

  142. 142

    @Mnemosyne: There would have to be a lot of concessions from the Japanese. I’d say that most of folk in East Asia hate Japan, but that would minimize that feeling. China would probably prefer to isolate Japan.

  143. 143
    Adam L Silverman says:

  144. 144
    romeo24 says:

    @TenguPhule: Totally agree that Japan could put together a nuke very quickly. They have the technology & materials at hand. They might already have them. It’s very hard to tell with the cowed local media not interested/able to dig for stories that might be controversial. But it wouldn’t surprise me at all.

  145. 145
    Kathleen says:

    @Mnemosyne: I keep hoping that I will wake up one morning and realize that this was all a dark comedic dream written and directed by Mel Brooks.

  146. 146
    J R in WV says:

    Anyone who doesn’t at least suspect that Japan has special munitions ready for final assembly before deployment isn’t paranoid enough. We really believe that Japan trusts the USA to protect them from China and Korea ?? Really?

    Japan is culturally/politically paranoid beyond anything we can imagine. They have been stabbing each other in the back for centuries, and you think they trust their conquerors? Nope. They have nuclear defenses ready to deploy on a moment’s notice.

  147. 147
    MomSense says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Maybe Bruce Bartlett appreciates vitriolic jackals.

  148. 148
    Chet Murthy says:

    @J R in WV: Uh … while I agree that JP will go a-buildin’ nukes, I’m unconvinced that their cultural background is such that they’d be excessively paranoid (as compared to, say, the British). It was once pointed out to me that one of the reasons Europeans were so effective at conquering the world, was that they were coming off centuries of brutal internecine warfare. And the same could be said of the Brits, with their Wars of the Roses, but more generally their participation in the Europe-wide bloodbaths. And yet, I don’t think Europeans are particularly nuts, culturally speaking.

    Then again, I don’t know Japanese culture, and I think (as a child, like all of us, of the Western Enlightenment, and working in France for 3yr) that I do know Europeans.

  149. 149
    Chris says:

    @Gex:

    Yep.

    The world is not just watching Trump. It’s watching the entire American political class and noting that it’s either unwilling or unable to rein him in. That means the problem isn’t just a buffoon who’ll be gone in four or eight years, it’s the country as a whole that’s gone unreliable. It’s also watching this in light of the last two decades, in which America has already gone batshit insane once and completely destabilized the Middle East as a result. They were prepared to write that off as post 9/11 PTSD (remember the worldwide sigh of relief when Obama won in 2008), but again, Trump’s election confirmed for them that this was not a one time thing, America’s political class really has taken a turn into something they can’t trust.

    And I don’t know if the Democrats can fix this even if they get elected again. You can’t build long term policies and relationships around working with one party when you know that the other party will just wash away everything you’ve built as soon as they’re back in power, and it would be foolish to expect NATO to do so forever.

  150. 150
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MomSense: Who doesn’t?

  151. 151

    More than the end of the American Century (for sufficiently small values of 100), it is the end of the postwar period. That sounds like almost unconditionally a good thing; but it is also the beginning of a pre-war period.

  152. 152
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: man…if we’ve even lost the Brits…

  153. 153
    Jeffro says:

    @Suzanne: I don’t think it’s half the country…let’s say a little less than a third, a little more than a quarter… maybe 27% or so??

  154. 154
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: a Dry drunk Tourist.

    Other than that, spot on

  155. 155
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jeffro: I don’t think we’ve lost them, but they’re going to be wary and cautious for a while.

  156. 156
    rikyrah says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    That was funny😄

  157. 157
    Kayla Rudbek says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I think it’s pretty likely if the Dominionists find a competent candidate (not sure if Mike Pence can pull off a religious takeover or not)

  158. 158
    beergoggles says:

    This is so far the second good thing about our current presidency (the first being the firing of the man who gave us 45). It speeds the end of all the white countries ganging up to bomb brown people.

  159. 159
    Bill Arnold says:

    Saw this:
    Gotti’s Rules

    1. Whenever possible, underlings must take the weight of a crime pending against Gotti or his family.

    Also, this, interesting:
    Tainted Leaks: Disinformation and Phishing With a Russian Nexus

  160. 160
    TenguPhule says:

    @beergoggles:

    It speeds the end of all the white countries ganging up to bomb brown people.

    Because now the bombs are going to be on everyone instead.

    Way to set us up the bomb.

  161. 161
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    next time’ll be better, it sure as fuck can’t be worse.

    What was this called again? Oh yeah, feckless optimism.

  162. 162
    beergoggles says:

    @TenguPhule: white supremacy is a helluva drug.

  163. 163
    sm*t cl*de says:

    @TenguPhule:

    China wants Japan crushed under their boot heel.

    What? No gratitude for providing Xi with the inspiration for his Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere “belt & road” initiative?

  164. 164
    sm*t cl*de says:

    @Chet Murthy:

    one of the reasons Europeans were so effective at conquering the world, was that they were coming off centuries of brutal internecine warfare.

    “Centuries of brutal internecine warfare” is about all there is of Japanese history.

  165. 165
    TenguPhule says:

    @sm*t cl*de:

    “Centuries of brutal internecine warfare” is about all there is of Japanese history.

    True, the problem being that it was all internal. This crippled any technological development since every lord was trying to find a way to kill their neighbor and the clans kept trying to unite the country all under their own banners. They caught up remarkably fast once they discovered western technology however.

  166. 166
    lowtechcyclist says:

    And as things fell apart
    Nobody paid much attention

    You got it, you got it.

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