Cold Grey Pre-Dawn Open Thread: Trump and His ‘Base’ Rally Each Other

Dave Roth, at Deadspin:

Donald Trump believes that everything he says is made true by virtue of him having said it, and once he begins believing something he is incapable of not believing it. This is why he says things more than once. The challenge is figuring out how he says things for the first time.

So: Trump got it into his head that he had received a Michigan Man Of The Year Award, and despite some complicating factors—he didn’t, for one, and also such an award does not appear to exist—he has continued to bring it up whenever the mood strikes him. There’s a whole story around it, and as is his custom he tends to retell it with more additions of the words “very” and “sir” as the years go by. “I’ve been fighting for the car industry for years,” Trump said the first time he told the story, in Michigan and two days before the 2016 Presidential election. “I was honored five years ago. Man of the Year in Michigan. That was a great honor for me.” As Trump told and has since re-told the story, he was criticized for giving a speech in which he talked about “what Mexico and these other countries are doing to us. And especially what they’re doing to Michigan.” …

What is useful about this, and what would be beautiful about it if everything around it was not so luridly toxic, is how plain it all is. Trump is a being of pure reaction and grievance and avarice, and as such is never really very difficult to parse. When he lies about money it’s because he wants people to think he has more of it than he does; when he lies about golf it’s because he wants people to think he’s a better golfer than he is. Those lies tell you something about how Trump wants to be seen, but they’re incidental to the bigger questions of who and what he is. Stranger lies like the Michigan Man one reveal more about how he sees the world and understands his relationship to the other people in it, which is fundamentally as someone cleaning up at an endless televised awards show.

Most of the idiocies at the core of Trump’s being were created in the same way that pearls are—an irritant lodges itself in the spongy matter of his mind years ago, actively or passively, and then is worried into something bright and very hard. In this case, though, we can watch this accretive work happening in real time—some dumb speech, long forgotten, grows into a great honor bestowed by strangers who admired him, and then into a controversial stand for which he was criticized but for which he boldly refused to apologize. And now it is something he can bring up, whenever he is feeling under-appreciated or anxious or when nothing else will come. He stalls and sputters and his pale eyelids flutter and suddenly then there it is, glistening on the dais in front of him—that time that Charles Woodson called to concede victory in the Michigan Man Of The Year Award, a few years ago or whenever it was. “Sir,” the Heisman Trophy winner said through his tears to Donald Trump, “you deserve this more than anyone.” What a beautiful memory.

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The GOP’s Leader/Base Racism ‘Dilemma’: When All You’ve Got Is A Bigot… (Part 2)

(Drew Sheneman via GoComics.com)
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The “adults in the room” of the Permanent GOP Party embraced Donald Trump because he seemed like a bargain-basement solution to overcoming Hillary Clinton’s predicted landslide victory. Now that Trump’s gleefully ravaging the whole party’s chances in 2020, they’re stuck — they can’t cross the Oval Office Occupant’s rabid “Base” (not to mention the GOP traitors like McConnell and Nunes, who’ve traded their souls for Russian payola and ‘red meat’ votes), but all the still-normal Repub voters and “independents” can’t stomach the stench. Let a thousand tiny, tiny violins play!


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When the Dog Whistle Is Silver-Plated & Hand-Chased: Conservative Thinking At Its “Best”

It’s all over political twitter, but the only mainstream-media pushback against Hawley I could find so far was from his hometown paper, the Kansas City Star:

The Anti-Defamation League in Missouri is calling on U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley to apologize for a speech he delivered this week slamming the “cosmopolitan elite” who “look down on the common affections that once bound this nation together—things like place and national feeling and religious faith.”

Hawley, during a keynote address at the National Conservatism Conference on Tuesday, said the “cosmopolitan agenda” drives politics on both the left and right.

“The left champions multiculturalism and degrades our common identity,” he said. “The right celebrates hyper-globalization and promises that the market will make everything right in the end, eventually … perhaps.”

He decried the “cosmopolitan consensus,” “cosmopolitan elite,” “cosmopolitan class,” and “cosmopolitan economy,” and argued that the “cosmopolitan agenda” has broken America’s national solidarity.

Karen Aroesty, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League in St. Louis, said Hawley may not have intended to offend anyone with his speech. But terms like “cosmopolitan” and “globalist” have a sinister history as anti-Semitic dog whistles, and she said Hawley should apologize.

Hawley’s speech, “raised real concern for members of the Jewish community who are and should be acutely sensitive with increased incidents of antisemitism in the US and beyond,” Aroesty said. “We have asked the Senator for an apology for even unintended harm caused by the speech. For the Senator and all who have a public platform that comes with power, context matters. Words matter.”…

From the NY Review of Books, “Retrofitting Trump’s GOP with a Veneer of Ideas”:

Perhaps the most evocative and conclusive sign of Trump’s sway over the conservative movement came this week, however, when the recently established Edmund Burke Foundation in Washington held a meeting titled “National Conservatism” at the Ritz-Carlton. The conference aroused a good deal of controversy before it took place, but attracted a formidable array of conservative figureheads, including Peter Thiel, Tucker Carlson, John Bolton, and Senator Josh Hawley. The panelists included Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review, Chris Buskirk, the publisher and editor of American Greatness, J.D. Vance, the author of Hillbilly Elegy, Michael Anton, a former Trump administration National Security Council official who has inveighed against “birthright citizenship,” and Chris DeMuth, a former president of the American Enterprise Institute and now a distinguished fellow at the Trump-friendly Hudson Institute. The latter has recently extolled Trumpian nationalism in a lengthy essay in the Claremont Review of Books. “Harnessing today’s nationalist impulses,” DeMuth wrote, “is a task for conservatives and libertarians, who stand in the shoes of the liberal reformers of the middle and late nineteenth century.”

The event tried to do that. A July 14 invitation letter signed by David Brog, the president of the Burke Foundation and the former executive director of Christians United for Israel, noted that the conference was intended to help bring about the “revival of the unique national traditions that alone have the power to bind a people together and bring about their flourishing.” It was supposed to provide, Brog went on, “an intellectually serious alternative to the excesses of purist libertarianism, and in stark opposition to political theories grounded in race.” If nothing else, a consanguinity of thought quickly emerged.

This was a Trump-inspired counter-revolution, a conservative colloquy that aimed at creating a catechism purged of the verities of the Reagan era: a crusading foreign policy and an idolatry of free-market economics. Usually, intellectual movements precede the rise of political ones, but in this case, Trump’s camp followers are reverse-engineering an intellectual doctrine to match Trump’s basic instincts. The new national-conservatives want to form what Burke called “little platoons” to ground conservatism in what they referred to as Anglo-American traditions…
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Thursday Morning Open Thread: Now More Than Ever, Happy Independence Day

(Jack Ohman via GoComics.com)
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Mr. Pierce, at Esquire:

This thing has the potential to be the biggest, chewiest cluster of fck in Washington since the last time Louie Gohmert dined alone. And an infinitely more perilous one.

This is out-and-out banana republic authoritarian performance art. That it also is obviously a multimillion-dollar exercise in low comedy is sadly beside the point. It should be mocked, relentlessly and everywhere, by every American who still has a sense of dignity and a vague memory of what an actual celebration of patriotism feels like…

MAKE. IT. SO:

What if the GOP threw a military extravaganza, and only the Fox News shut-ins watched? Per Deadline:

PBS and C-SPAN will join Fox News in providing live coverage of “Salute to America,” while CNN and MSNBC have said they will only break in to regular programming as news warrants.

The broadcasts networks will rely mostly on their streaming channels for Trump’s portion of the event — ABC News Live, CBSN and NBC News Digital will all provide live coverage — and report stories for use on their respective evening newscasts.

NBC has its own July 4 celebration, its annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular, which will air from 8-10 PM ET/PT, with a one-hour encore at 10 PM.

All other broadcast networks are airing regular programming in primetime…

(Mike Luckovich via GoComics.com)
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Schadenfreude Open Thread: But It’s His TURN!!!…

No doubt I will pay for this later. WORTH IT!


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