This Should Scare the Ever Loving Shit Out of You

Look what it is out just in time to maybe save us all:

The NY Times has a handy review:

Mr. Ullrich, like other biographers, provides vivid insight into some factors that helped turn a “Munich rabble-rouser” — regarded by many as a self-obsessed “clown” with a strangely “scattershot, impulsive style” — into “the lord and master of the German Reich.”

Do say. Sounds familiar. Let’s explore some more:

Hitler was often described as an egomaniac who “only loved himself” — a narcissist with a taste for self-dramatization and what Mr. Ullrich calls a “characteristic fondness for superlatives.” His manic speeches and penchant for taking all-or-nothing risks raised questions about his capacity for self-control, even his sanity. But Mr. Ullrich underscores Hitler’s shrewdness as a politician — with a “keen eye for the strengths and weaknesses of other people” and an ability to “instantaneously analyze and exploit situations.”

Link: mendacity

***

Hrmm. Ok. What else:

Hitler was known, among colleagues, for a “bottomless mendacity” that would later be magnified by a slick propaganda machine that used the latest technology (radio, gramophone records, film) to spread his message. A former finance minister wrote that Hitler “was so thoroughly untruthful that he could no longer recognize the difference between lies and truth” and editors of one edition of “Mein Kampf” described it as a “swamp of lies, distortions, innuendoes, half-truths and real facts.”

Link: goebbels

Link: trolls

***

Ok, ok. Two for two. No need to panic, right:

Hitler was an effective orator and actor, Mr. Ullrich reminds readers, adept at assuming various masks and feeding off the energy of his audiences. Although he concealed his anti-Semitism beneath a “mask of moderation” when trying to win the support of the socially liberal middle classes, he specialized in big, theatrical rallies staged with spectacular elements borrowed from the circus. Here, “Hitler adapted the content of his speeches to suit the tastes of his lower-middle-class, nationalist-conservative, ethnic-chauvinist and anti-Semitic listeners,” Mr. Ullrich writes. He peppered his speeches with coarse phrases and put-downs of hecklers. Even as he fomented chaos by playing to crowds’ fears and resentments, he offered himself as the visionary leader who could restore law and order.

Link: elites

***

I sense a trend:

Hitler increasingly presented himself in messianic terms, promising “to lead Germany to a new era of national greatness,” though he was typically vague about his actual plans. He often harked back to a golden age for the country, Mr. Ullrich says, the better “to paint the present day in hues that were all the darker. Everywhere you looked now, there was only decline and decay.”

americagreatagain

Link: ialone

redstate:

***

A terrifying trend:

Hitler’s repertoire of topics, Mr. Ullrich notes, was limited, and reading his speeches in retrospect, “it seems amazing that he attracted larger and larger audiences” with “repeated mantralike phrases” consisting largely of “accusations, vows of revenge and promises for the future.” But Hitler virtually wrote the modern playbook on demagoguery, arguing in “Mein Kampf” that propaganda must appeal to the emotions — not the reasoning powers — of the crowd. Its “purely intellectual level,” Hitler said, “will have to be that of the lowest mental common denominator among the public it is desired to reach.” Because the understanding of the masses “is feeble,” he went on, effective propaganda needed to be boiled down to a few slogans that should be “persistently repeated until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea that has been put forward.

Link: repeat

Link: 3rdgrade

Link: rhetoric

***

This is legit scary now:

Hitler’s rise was not inevitable, in Mr. Ullrich’s opinion. There were numerous points at which his ascent might have been derailed, he contends; even as late as January 1933, “it would have been eminently possible to prevent his nomination as Reich chancellor.” He benefited from a “constellation of crises that he was able to exploit cleverly and unscrupulously” — in addition to economic woes and unemployment, there was an “erosion of the political center” and a growing resentment of the elites. The unwillingness of Germany’s political parties to compromise had contributed to a perception of government dysfunction, Mr. Ullrich suggests, and the belief of Hitler supporters that the country needed “a man of iron” who could shake things up. “Why not give the National Socialists a chance?” a prominent banker said of the Nazis. “They seem pretty gutsy to me.”

cockblocked

Link: garland

***

Sweet Meteor of Death:

Hitler’s ascension was aided and abetted by the naïveté of domestic adversaries who failed to appreciate his ruthlessness and tenacity, and by foreign statesmen who believed they could control his aggression. Early on, revulsion at Hitler’s style and appearance, Mr. Ullrich writes, led some critics to underestimate the man and his popularity, while others dismissed him as a celebrity, a repellent but fascinating “evening’s entertainment.” Politicians, for their part, suffered from the delusion that the dominance of traditional conservatives in the cabinet would neutralize the threat of Nazi abuse of power and “fence Hitler in.” “As far as Hitler’s long-term wishes were concerned,” Mr. Ullrich observes, “his conservative coalition partners believed either that he was not serious or that they could exert a moderating influence on him. In any case, they were severely mistaken.

Link: stein

***

Go ahead and reach for the bottle, people, if you haven’t already:

Hitler had a dark, Darwinian view of the world. And he would not only become, in Mr. Ullrich’s words, “a mouthpiece of the cultural pessimism” growing in right-wing circles in the Weimar Republic, but also the avatar of what Thomas Mann identified as a turning away from reason and the fundamental principles of a civil society — namely, “liberty, equality, education, optimism and belief in progress.”

Link: losers

Link: winninginbusiness

***

The next time someone tells you that Hillary and Trump are both equally bad, or that Trump is no Hitler, tell them to shut the fuck up and get the fuck out of your face because you don’t have time for their stupidity and ignorance. You’re going to be out participating in events to get Hillary elected.



Two Score and One

The NYT (yes, I’m still occasionally reading it even though I canceled my subscription in a huff…) has an account of how Team Trump is handling the debate debacle and planning to improve on their man’s calamitous performance. An excerpt that describes how things went so wrong:

Mr. Trump’s debate preparation was unconventional. Aides have introduced a podium and encouraged him to participate in mock debates, but he has not embraced them, focusing mostly on conversations and discussions with advisers.

During the primaries, the group briefing him for debates was small and closely held. By the weekend before the debate on Monday at Hofstra University, there were nearly a dozen people preparing Mr. Trump, including the retired Army generals Michael Flynn and Keith Kellogg, neither of whom has experience in presidential debates.

There were early efforts to run a more standard form of general election debate-prep camp, led by Roger Ailes, the ousted Fox News chief, at Mr. Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, N.J. But Mr. Trump found it hard to focus during those meetings, according to multiple people briefed on the process who requested anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. That left Mr. Ailes, who at the time was deeply distracted by his removal from Fox and the news media reports surrounding it, discussing his own problems as well as recounting political war stories, according to two people present for the sessions.

Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and a friend of Mr. Trump’s who has been traveling with him extensively, took over much of the preparation efforts by the end. But with Mr. Trump receiving so much conflicting advice in those sessions, he absorbed little of it.

The team had primed Mr. Trump to look for roughly a dozen key phrases and expressions Mrs. Clinton uses when she is uncertain or uncomfortable, but he did not seem to pay attention during the practice sessions, one aide said, and failed to home in on her vulnerabilities during the debate.

Trump aides, including revolting sexual predator Roger Ailes and serial 9/11-humper Rudy Giuliani, are casting about for a new strategy so Trump doesn’t get steamrolled during the upcoming town hall-style debate in a week and a half.

But doesn’t the story behind Trump’s shitty debate performance raise a larger question, such as whether a candidate who relies on a degenerate like Ailes, is unable to focus and retain information, etc., is fit for the presidency in the first place? Not to Trump super-fans like the Twittiot below, who are coming up with absurd conspiracy theories to explain why Hillary kicked Trump’s ass:

“Coughing prevention machine”? OMFG! Or maybe it’s a lapel mic power pack — do these people not watch “Ellen”?

It would be odd indeed to wear an earpiece on one’s back. But even dudes — gay or straight — understand that bras often have hooks in the back to allow the wearer to put the bra on rather than the bra magically enfolding the wearer’s boobs, right?

41. More. Days.

[H/T: Buzzfeed story on loopy conspiracy theories]



Open Thread: Spearing the Old Boar Boor

Trump didn’t have to respond to Clinton baiting him about his treatment of women. A smarter man would’ve remembered it didn’t go over well when Megan Kelley did it the first time. And a more capable campaign team would’ve figured out that Hillary had something up her sleeve, especially after the ‘Mirrors’ ad. But nooooo….

And then he spent the next day trying to re-litigate the question! As though behaving like a pig and a bully after the fact was going to convince anyone that he wasn’t a pig and a bully!

You go, Ms. Machado! Enséñales, chica!



Tuesday Evening Open Thread: Make America I DID NOT SAY THAT

I’m beginning to think that’s not pancake makeup, it’s tinted spackle covering the dings in Trump’s very, very, very thin skin.

Apart from some well-earned gloating, what’s on the agenda for the evening?



I never said that

You know the crazy dream where you just did something with potentially catastrophic consequences and you beg the universe for a chance to take it back*? Apparently Donald Trump thinks you really can do that. Probably that is what growing up in a gilded little box does to you. Let’s say that young lord Fontleroy declares that he never called the cook awful names and daddy pointy hat backs him up. Who can say it ever happened? If your character bends that way already (#notallrichpamperedshits) then starting his work life as the rich boss would just make it worse.

How many times has this guy flatly denied he said something that you could easily find on tape or in writing? The debate added three, maybe four more examples to the list (I had a hard time keeping up). There was the one about the interview where he complained about employees getting pregnant. I predict Trump will especially regret the one about never paying income tax. That was the fatal rumor that scared the hell out of the Romney campaign. It really rubs ordinary voters the wrong way, and explaining it just makes the disconnect between you and them even worse. Instead of parrying the question and answering with transparency like Romney eventually did, Trump bragged about it like an eight year old who found a loophole in the literal terms of his curfew (“It makes me smart!”) and then he telegraphed how stupid that was by denying that he said what he clearly just said on live TV. This is such a gift to the opponent that you almost don’t know where to start. Maybe just stitch the exchange and his denial into a thirty second ad and run it without commentary.

Here’s a question that I dropped in the comments last night – does anyone have a comprehensive list of how many times Trump has denied saying something he is clearly on record having said? This is the sort of thing I used to count on from Steve Benen when he wrote the Carpetbagger blog. Any suggestions appreciated.

(*) If this means I should talk to a professional immediately, I never had that dream.

***Update***

Oh for fuck’s sake.

Trump insists ‘there was no sniffles’ during presidential debate

For the record, yeah, he sniffled a lot during the debate. Maybe he buried his face in coke in the green room, or maybe he’s just sick. Who knows. He should get that checked out.



Early Morning Open Thread: Ted Cruz Slinks ‘Home’ to Trump

Principles! Character!… (craven careerism)

Remember when? The good old days, four months ago?…


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Reminder Open Thread: Trump’s Undercard Mike Pence Is Also Deplorable

What with one thing and another, I didn’t get to post this draft last week, but Pence’s latest LAWN ORDURE! news conference reminded me…

The more out-of-control Trump acts, the more the “establishment” Republicans try to pretend he’s some kind of unpredictable phenomenon that came down upon their beleaguered party like a new version of Ebola. Let’s not let them get away with this, because the standard GOPers on offer are no better:


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