Gradually, Then Suddenly: Losing Control of the Narrative

As we have often lamented, one of the factors behind Trump’s “victory” was the complicity of so much of the major media. No matter how badly the Oval Office Occupant disgraced himself and our suffering nation, the Media Village Idiots made excuse ranging from ‘he’s playing a multi-dimensional chess game whose final move is hidden from his critics’ to ‘he relies an expansive sense of what will please his base, regardless of outsiders’ opinions’. But the horrors of last week, and the complete inability of the Squatter-in-Chief to demonstrate even the most basic human emotions in the face of its victims, seem to be piercing the bubble…

From Trump’s staunchest “nonpartisan” defender, the NYTimes, “Trump Uses a Day of Healing to Deepen the Nation’s Divisions”:

Mr. Trump’s schedule was meant to follow the traditional model of apolitical presidential visits with victims, law enforcement officials and hospital workers after calamities like the mass shootings that resulted in 31 deaths in Dayton and El Paso and that created a new sense of national crisis over assault weapons and the rise of white supremacist ideology.

That plan went awry even before Mr. Trump, who has acknowledged his discomfort with showing empathy in public, departed Washington…

The result was the latest example of Mr. Trump’s penchant for inflaming divisions at moments when other presidents have tried to soothe them, and further proof of his staff’s inability to persuade him to follow the norms of presidential behavior

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Shameless & Stupid Open Thread: Hadn’t Dayton Suffered Enough?

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The GOP’s Racism Problem: Nobody Wants to Be Last Off the Sinking Ship (Part 3)

As too many of us know from experience, there’s a feedback loop at failing organizations. Those employees with the best chances, or the best reasons, to escape announce they’re going to ‘pursue other opportunities’. Everybody starts circulating resumes, stockpiling office supplies, and keeping a running tally of who’s taking long lunches or spending time with HR. Every new departure adds to the sneaking conviction that the whole group is irretrievably doomed…

Here’s an announcement that seems to bode particularly ill for the industry reputation of the Republican Party:

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Decline and Fall

CNN correspondent and Charm City native Victor Blackwell gives a powerful response to Trump’s racist tweets this morning about Baltimore:

The pain in Blackwell’s voice and the tears in his eyes as he pauses to collect himself before he can continue break my heart. Ditto the hurt and bewilderment I heard the other day in the voice of a friend — a naturalized citizen — who talked about how our racist president and the MAGA horde make her wonder if she really belongs here after all.

Trump has committed so many crimes, bulldozed countless traditions, destroyed the country’s reputation in large and small ways and corrupted our institutions in staggering fashion. But the pain Trump so wantonly and routinely inflicts on decent, ordinary people is the worst offense of all.

It’s going to get worse. This is how Trump thinks he’ll win, by dividing America further and riling up the racists, sexists and xenophobes. I’m not sure if it’s a conscious strategy or if Trump is simply addicted to public gloating and self-aggrandizement in front of simple-minded dopes who mindlessly contort their faces with hate and bray slogans at whichever enemy Trump identifies that day, while he nods smugly and basks in the ugly glow like a “racist iguana,” as Mr. Colbert put it.

If this country is as decent as it imagines itself to be, it will find a way to not only repudiate Trump in unmistakable terms but also to compel his followers to slither back under the rocks from whence they came. I honestly don’t know if we have it in us, but one thing’s for certain: a decline and fall is coming — theirs or ours. Let’s make it theirs.

PS: Here’s Cummings’ response to Trump’s racist attack:

And here’s a great response from Maryland’s US Senator Chris Van Hollen:

Tuesday Evening Open Thread: Their Last Resort

OOGA-BOOGA SCARY STRANGERS!!! is the Trump / Repub bolthole, the place they retreat when they perceive the situation as going badly for them. It works a charm with the “Base”, but that’s only the Crazification Factor demo. Our job is not to despair, but to get the vast majority of our sane (or at least not-totally-on-board with the ugliness) fellows to the streets, and to the polls.