America’s Rage Puppet


I remember clearly when Donald Trump’s birther crusade stopped being funny. There was never anything truly comical about it, of course; it was always an outrageous racist lie concocted to delegitimize the first black president. But living in a nation of 320M people, a not-negligible percentage of whom are raving idiots, we learn to laugh. Baratunde Thurston taught me to stop laughing and see the tragedy of it.

When President Obama produced his “long-form” birth certificate in 2011, I perceived it as a president hilariously smacking down an absurd, malignant, preening blowhard. Thurston saw it as an affirmation that the president — and by extension Thurston himself, and all other black people — were still less than full citizens. Even with a black man in the Oval Office.

Five years later, we’ve come full circle. That very same absurd, malignant, preening blowhard — whose birther antics should have banished him from the company of serious people forever — has instead been elevated to head one of our two major political parties. And this time, he’s telling Hillary Clinton, and by extension all women, that their aspirations are illegitimate and that they are less than full citizens.

Trump’s vile misogyny and painfully obvious lack of basic human decency — and more importantly, its echoes from tens of millions of our fellow Americans — have tarnished what should have been a joyous celebration of a historical milestone. We see them. We understand the implications.


Trump had help from nearly the entire GOP establishment, the Beltway media, his abhorrent family, his pack of ghastly political operatives, the Putin-reanimated remnants of the KGB and a self-important wanker with a grudge residing in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London as a fugitive from justice.

But that’s only the latest cast of characters. The hit has been out for Hillary Clinton ever since she emerged from Arkansas as a woman with a national profile and an agenda of her own.

During the recent debate, Clinton called Trump Putin’s puppet, and good for her. It’s about goddamned time someone said as much while the country was listening.

But Trump is not just Putin’s puppet. He’s America’s rage puppet, dancing in a fury because change is coming — no, it is here. And there are so many hands on the strings. That’s the tragedy of it.

Open Thread: We’re All NPCs in Trump’s Tiny Mind

(Beyonce original here)

In role-playing games, Non-Player Characters (NPCs) are the no-name silhouettes who sell the real characters weaponry, provide clues as to the location of the treasure, and queue up to get slaughtered at the climax. They’re what theatre people call spear carriers; interchangeable bit parts labelled by role (the Butler, a Messenger, Soldiers) who show up to announce the play’s premise or to carry news from outside the stage setting. Scientists tell us that developing a theory of mind (the ability to attribute mental states—beliefs, intents, desires, pretending, knowledge, etc.—to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires, intentions, and perspectives that are different from one’s own”) — the understanding that, as the saying goes, Nobody is a spear-carrier in their own mind — is a key component of normal development.

Donald Trump doesn’t seem to have developed much of a Theory of Mind, especially pertaining to the female half of the human race (not that he’s alone among men in that respect). So I found Josh Barro’s tweets here interesting…

Two days later:

Saturday Morning Cartoons Open Thread: Locker Rooms


(John Deering via

Donald Trump — terrible human being, tremendous target.

Apart from mocking Lord Smallgloves Shitgibbon, what’s on the agenda for the day?


(Drew Sheneman via



(Matt Davies via


(Walt Handelsman via


(Nick Anderson via

Early Morning Open Thread — Answer: Yes.

Trump’s like one of those porch lights that sends out a pheromonal signal to moths, only for horrible people instead of nuisance insects.

I’m honestly afraid to speculate on actions that might be too base even for Littlefinger ShitGibbon, because then there will be another tape released of those very actions within 24 hours…

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!

Open Thread: Night Terrors of the Misogynists

I repeat: Owen Ellickson is a godsdamned comic genius.

Sunday Holiday Afternoon Open Thread: Lulz

Anything interesting going on in your neighborhood(s)?