Observations On That Disturbing Trump Cabinet Meeting

Yesterday’s weird, televised segment of the Cabinet meeting was troubling in many ways. If you missed it, and I am envious if you did because it will haunt my nightmares for a long time, here is what happened:

Trump began by giving a positive assessment of his first 143 days and said,”Never has there been a President….with few exceptions…who’s passed more legislation, who’s done more things than I have.” Bad start. Trump, in fact, has signed very few bills. “Never—with few exceptions”—is classic Trump-speak, aka gibberish. This is also the kind of statement Trump’s Furies call “lies.” This was not a lie. In some convoluted way, the President thinks its sort of true. THAT’S the problem, not that he’s lying.

This was just the appetizer, though. The full course was the Cabinet officials, one by one, around the table, taking turns praising their boss.  This could not have been spontaneous. It reminded me of “King Lear”s” opening when the old, fading monarch requires each of his three daughters to tell him how much they love him as the price for getting a piece of his kingdom.

The charade began with Vice President Pence, who called it the “greatest privilege of my life” to serve in the Trump administration. Then Attorney General Jeff Sessions said it was an “honor” to serve Trump, and the rest of Trump’s Cabinet more or less aped what Pence or Sessions had said. Maybe they had all been given talking points. As a final inducement to projectile vomiting, Lackey-in-Chief Reince Priebus gave us a suck-up for the ages:

“On behalf of the entire senior staff around you, Mr. President, we thank you for the opportunity and the blessing that you’ve given us to serve your agenda and the American people And we’re continuing to work very hard every day to accomplish those goals.”

And may I fellate you here, sir, or later?

Disgusted and depressed observations:

1. This is exactly the kind of self-destructive fiasco  a top Chief of Staff who has a proven record running successful government operations on the state or national level could and would prevent. Instead, Trump has a Chief of Staff who actively made it worse. In February, Ethics Alarms featured my post calling for the appointment of such a figure as “the single most ethical thing President Trump could do.” That was four months ago, and this is more desperately needed now than ever.

2. Since this horrible display did happen, we now can say with certainty that none of the President’s inner circle has the influence, guts or common sense to stop him when he yields to his worst instincts.

3. We can also conclude that not a single member of the President’s Cabinet possesses  sufficient integrity, courage, principle or self respect to be trusted by the American public. These are billionaires and generals, and not one said to Trump, “I’m sorry, Mr. President, but this will make you look weak and me look like an ass-kissing yes-man. I won’t do it, nor will I remain in a Cabinet stocked with lapdog sycophants who would debase themselves and their high offices by doing it.  Do you discard this idiotic charade, or do I resign now?”

Shame on them, every one.

4. The spectacle reminded me of something else. Josef Stalin would have the entire Politburo rise and applaud when he entered the room. He also had someone taking down the name of the member who stopped applauding first. That man would usually vanish forever within a day or two. Eventually, nobody was willing to stop applauding, so the clapping went on interminably. Eventually a light was installed in the chamber that signaled that it was time to stop the seal imitations.

5. At CNN, Chris Cillizza’s analysis of what yesterday’s embarrassment signified was that “Flattery will get you everywhere. Donald Trump’s favorite topic of conversation is Donald Trump. The best way to talk about Donald Trump, if you want to keep working for Donald Trump, is to praise Donald Trump. The more over-the-top, the better.”

This is a Trump-hater’s bias at work. No, it’s a lot more than that. This episode shows how insecure the President is, in great part due to the around-the-clock hate, disrespect and ridicule he has been subjected to. It shows how much he craves loyalty, and needs to feel that he has the support of his “troops,” when he knows that within his own executive branch and probably within the White House itself are hostile figures determined to undermine him with leaks and rumors.

From the beginning, we knew Trump would be challenged and probably overwhelmed by the requirements of a job that he was neither prepared nor qualified to undertake. Maybe he did too.  It is impossible to succeed at a difficult task when you don’t feel confident. Of course Trump is a narcissist, but it isn’t only narcissists who benefit from believing that they have a chance, and are not hopelessly over-matched and doomed to defeat. For him to have any chance at all to be successful, Trump needed assistance and support, which includes the respect and loyalty of those around him.  So far, he isn’t getting it. The President is desperate, and feeling cornered, unappreciated, and alone. For that, I don’t blame him.

6. As a general comment, let me state thatthis and the entire 143–now 144 days of blunders, botches and self-inflicted wounds are not out of line with what I expected if Donald Trump became President. It’s far from the worst case fantasies of the Hitler/Monster/ We’re all going to die! crowd—you know, the Democrats and the news media—but it is bad enough. I held out hope that like a few other under-qualified Presidents, Trump might rise to the occasion and surprise us, and I still have that hope, though the signs are certainly not encouraging. However, he will have no chance at all if members of the Democratic/progressive/news media cabal continues to undermine him to the detriment of the nation., and that clearly is what they intend to do. They should take yesterday as proof positive that their plan to make it impossible for the President to do the job he was elected to do, when he already entered the White House with unprecedented handicaps, is working.

That they view this as an accomplishment to take pride in more evidence of how corrupt and un-American they are.

_________________________

Sources: CNN, Washington Post, New York Times

 

105 Comments

Filed under U.S. Society

105 responses to “Observations On That Disturbing Trump Cabinet Meeting

  1. Mattis covered himself with honor.

    • Mattis: “Mr. President, it’s an honor to represent the men and women of the Department of Defense. And we are grateful for the sacrifices our people are making in order to strengthen our military so our diplomats always negotiate from a position of strength. Thank you.”

      You are correct that this avoided the butt-kissing called for.

      But he was complicit by participating, don’t you think?

      The full list of statements:

      EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt
      “I actually arrived back this morning at 1 o’clock from Italy and the G-7 summit focused on the environment. And our message there was the United States is going to be focused on growth and protecting the environment. And it was received well.”

      Defense Secretary James Mattis
      “Mr. President, it’s an honor to represent the men and women of the Department of Defense. And we are grateful for the sacrifices our people are making in order to strengthen our military so our diplomats always negotiate from a position of strength. Thank you.”

      Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly
      “In the five months that I’ve been at the job, we have gone a long way to facilitate the — improve the legal movement of people and commerce across our borders, yet at the same time, we have gone a long way to safeguarding our borders, particularly the southern border, working with all of our partners to the south.”

      US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer
      “First of all, I apologize for being late to work. I got bogged down in that swamp that you’ve been trying to drain.”

      Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
      “Thank you for the honor to serve the country. It’s a great privilege you’ve given me.”

      Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon
      “I’ve been traveling around the country, and what I’m continuing to hear is this renewed optimism from small businesses.”

      Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats
      “It’s a joy to be working with the people that I have inherited, and we are going to provide — continue to provide you with the very best intelligence we can, so you can formulate policies to deal with these issues.”

      Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke
      “Mr. President, as your SEAL on your staff … it’s an honor to be your steward of our public lands and the generator of energy dominance. I am deeply honored.”

      Education Secretary Betsy DeVos
      “It’s a privilege to serve, to serve the students of this country, and to work to ensure that every child has an equal opportunity to get a great education, and therefore a great future.”

      14. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross
      “Mr. President, thank you for the opportunity to help fix the trade deficit and other things. The other countries are gradually getting used to the (inaudible) the free rides are somewhat over with. They’re not happy with this, but I think (inaudible) growing recognition that (inaudible) have a chance to help you live up to your campaign promises.”

      13. Energy Secretary Rick Perry
      “America is not stepping back, but we’re stepping into place and sending some messages, that we’re still going to be leaders in the world when it comes to the climate, but we’re not going to be held hostage to some executive order that was ill thought out. And so, my hat’s off to you for taking that stance and presenting a clear message around the world that America’s going to continue to lead in the area of energy.”

      12. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson
      “Mr. President, its been a great honor to — to work with you. Thank you for your strong support of HUD and for all the others around this table that I’ve worked with.”

      11. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta
      “I am privileged to be here. Deeply honored, and I want to thank you for being — your commitment to the American workers.”

      10. Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin
      “Mr. President, thank you for your support and commitment to honoring our responsibility to America’s veterans. I know that this is personally very important to you.”

      9. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley
      “It’s a new day at the United Nations. You know, we now have a very strong voice. People know what the United States is for, they know what we’re against, and they see us leading across the board. And so, I think the international community knows we’re back.”

      8. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin
      “It was a great honor traveling with you around the country for the last year and an even greater honor to be here serving on your Cabinet.”

      7. CIA Director Mike Pompeo
      “Mr. President, it’s an honor to serve as your CIA director. It’s an incredible privilege to lead the men and women who are providing intelligence so that we can do the national security mission. And in the finest traditions of the CIA, I’m not going to share a d*mn thing in front of the media.”

      6. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao
      “Mr. President, last week was a great (inaudible). It was infrastructure week. Thank you so much for coming over to the Department of Transportation. Hundreds and hundreds of people were just so thrilled, hanging out, watching (inaudible) ceremony.”

      5. Attorney General Jeff Sessions
      “We are receiving, as you know — I’m not sure the rest of you fully understand — the support of law enforcement all over America. They have been very frustrated. They are so thrilled that we have a new idea that we’re going to support them and work together to properly, lawfully fight the rising crime that we are seeing. … The response is fabulous around the country.”

      Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney
      “Thanks for the kind words about the budget. You’re absolutely right: We are going to be able to take care of the people who really need it. And at the same time, with your direction, we were able to also focus on the forgotten man and woman who are the folks who are paying those taxes.”

      Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue
      “I want to congratulate you on the men and women you’ve placed around this table. … This is the team you’ve assembled that’s working hand in glove with — for the men and women of America, and I want to — I want to thank you for that. These are — are great team members and we’re on your team.”

      Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price
      “Mr. President, what an incredible honor it is to lead the Department of Health and Human Services at this pivotal time under your leadership. I can’t thank you enough for the privileges you’ve given me and the leadership that you’ve shown. It seems like there’s an international flair to the messages that are being delivered. I had the opportunity to represent the United States at the G-20 Health Summit in Berlin and at the World Health Assembly in Geneva. And I can’t tell you how excited and enthusiastic folks are about the United States leadership as it relates to global health security.”

      Vice President Mike Pence
      “It is just the greatest privilege of my life is to serve as the — as vice president to the President who’s keeping his word to the American people and assembling a team that’s bringing real change, real prosperity, real strength back to our nation.”

  2. I saw a couple of segments of this blow shine fiasco from a room full of subservient “sheeple” delivering their propaganda to counter the constant barrage of propaganda from the opposing side and I was so damned disgusted that I had to switch channels.

    There is absolutely nothing about our current political climate that I’m “okay” with, nothing. This political climate is forcing me to reevaluate how I’m going to personally deal with being constantly inundated with all this political bull shit. It’s usually not my first choice but I’m seriously leaning towards intentional apathy towards politics in much the say way that I have intentional apathy towards anything surrounding professional sports.

    I am suffering a sincere loss right now; I’m a dying breed of patriot that is no longer sure that what we currently have is worth fighting and dying for. Our country has been intentionally morphed into some irrational version of what we once were, what the founding fathers created is now being bastardized.

    Right now family is the only thing on my list of things that are worth fighting and dying for; this is new for me.

    • I wrote, “I’m a dying breed of patriot that is no longer sure that what we currently have is worth fighting and dying for.”

      Here’s a completely serious question;

      Is this the intended goal of the political left so they can win by default?

      • Are we experiencing the intentional demoralizing of the United States by the political left coming to full fruition.

        • Sue Dunim

          Yes, this exhibition is all the Left’s fault. You can blame Obama for it.

          And I am Marie of Rumania.

          • Sue Dunim,
            Try rereading and this time read it for comprehension.

            • Chris

              Well, I read for comprehension, and I still don’t get it. If point 5 isn’t saying that Trump behaves like an embarrassingly insecure narcissist because the Left media is so mean to him–even though he behaved like one before he even ran for president, and said behavior is at least part of the reason *why* the media turned on him–then what is it saying?

              • Chris wrote, “Well, I read for comprehension”

                So…. you really do have a sense of humor!

                Chris wrote, “I still don’t get it.”

                I really don’t know how many times I’ve had to say something like this to you; please reread the comment you replied to in context with the comments that preceded it.

                Context matters Chris and you routinely screw up that part of reading comprehension.

                Chris wrote, “Well, I read for comprehension”

                Thanks for the morning laugh.

          • Kudos for my favorite Dorothy Parker line!!!!

            • Sue Dunim

              Glad you liked it. I wonder how many others got the reference?

              • Sue,
                I certainly didn’t get the reference. 😦

                Please disregard my June 14, 2017 at 8:32 am comment, it was obviously based on ignorance of your full intent. So forcing the best Emily Litella impression I can muster out f this raspy old throat…

                😉

              • Not as many as I would like, that’s for sure. I stopped using “And I am Marie of Romania” as a retort when someone was asserting nonsense after receiving too many empty gazes in response.

                Fame really is fleeting.

                • charlesgreen

                  I only know Dorothy Parker as Algonquin Round Table member and author of “Her performance ran the gamut of emotions from A to B.”

                  Glad to be further educated, don’t dumb down the references just because we don’t get it, that’s why we’ve got Wikipedia. 🙂

            • I’ve never heard of Dorthy Parker, I had to look it up. Now I understand the quote and its use.

  3. Phil Alperson

    Seriously? You connect Trump’s laughably choreographed Cabinet egofest to a liberal media conspiracy? You need to get back on your meds.

    • Phil Alperson wrote, “Seriously? You connect Trump’s laughably choreographed Cabinet egofest to a liberal media conspiracy? You need to get back on your meds.”

      Receive this Gotch Academy Participation Certificate as evidence of your valued participation in this conversation.

    • Seriously, the all-out assault on the Presidency since November 9 is directly responsible for this, and is in fact designed to induce gaffes and problematic construct. And an objective observer, even an objective Democrat, would admit it.

      Right, Phil: the anti-Trump media assault is a myth. How embarrassing for you.

      • Chris

        Wait; the “all-out assault” on Trump is directly responsible for what? Are you saying that it’s the liberal media’s fault that Trump behaved this way at this cabinet meeting?

        Wouldn’t that theory require one to ignore that this is exactly how Trump behaved long before the liberal media turned on him?

      • Chris

        You’re mixing up cause and effect, Jack; the all-out media assault exists, but it exists because of behavior like this cabinet meeting. Were you surprised that Trump would hold a meeting like this? Why? We already know he is obsessed with loyalty and personal gratification. His need to boast about his own accomplishments, to the point of making up accomplishments that aren’t his (I won’t dare call them lies!) has been evident from the beginning.

        Trump didn’t behave this way as a result of negative media coverage. He gets negative media coverage because he behaves this way.

        • Yeah… because the media woke up on 9 November and thought,” gee, this Trump fellow should be portrayed in a negative light because he has negative qualities”.

          An assessment made either by complete ignorance of the past half century plus of intentional media bias against the Right, willful obtuseness or simply by being in complete agreement with the dishonest propaganda methodologies of the Left for all this time.

          Trump easily earns negative coverage. But the burden of your thought managers in the MSM is that they were going to make negative coverage ANYWAY and that is the problem.

          • Chris

            Yeah… because the media woke up on 9 November and thought,” gee, this Trump fellow should be portrayed in a negative light because he has negative qualities”.

            Given that they were giving him negative coverage long before November 9th, I highly doubt it. But I can see them saying something like that early on in the campaign, when he revealed those negative qualities.

            What do you think they said? “Gee, Trump is a Republican, so we should cover him negatively?” How is the latter quote more believable than the former?

        • Trump didn’t behave this way as a result of negative media coverage. He gets negative media coverage because he behaves this way.

          As an aside, I believe any GOP president would have been treated this way by the media. The hysterics might have been muted a bit, and the narratives would have been different, but the basic bias would remain.

          Progressives are more upset than they would be because Trump acts like them.
          Because he uses progressive dirty tricks against their side, and is not held accountable by his base.
          Because Hillary was the heir apparent, Obama’s third term.
          Because they were thinking the GOP would never get in power again, due to demographics.
          Because the corrupt DNC, media, and Hillary campaign were exposed by what they actually wrote in emails
          Because ignorant hick ‘deplorables’ dared to stand up to their betters on the coasts.

          And yes, because he acts like he does.

          • NO NO NO.

            The news media does NOT have leave to use different journalism ethics standards covering Presidents who “act this way”. The news media should apply the same standards of competent, fairness, respect and objectivity in all cases.

            Chris’s statement waives the duty of the media to be ethical toward someone it doesn’t like or approve of. WRONG. Also characteristic of the enablers. Do NOT give that false assertion a pass.

            • Chris

              Jack:

              Chris’s statement waives the duty of the media to be ethical toward someone it doesn’t like or approve of.

              Oh, it does no such thing. I didn’t say the treatment of Trump by the media was right. I gave an explanation for why they treat Trump the way they do. How is that any more “enabling” than your explanation of Trump’s behavior in this cabinet meeting as resulting from his unfair treatment by the media? That seems like a double standard to me; it’s fair to consider mitigating factors that may lead Trump to feel like he behave unprofessionally, but unfair to consider the same for the media?

              • “I didn’t say the treatment of Trump by the media was right. I gave an explanation for why they treat Trump the way they do.”

                Then I misread you. I’m sorry.

                I assumed your meaning was that Trump ASKED FOR/DESERVED such coverage, and should not expect better. He should expect better, and he should expect the public to insist on better.

                Thanks for clarifying.

                • charlesgreen

                  What’s going on here, an outbreak of civility? Something in the water supply this morning…

                  • …they are shooting elected officials today. It reminds us what flaming rhetoric can inspire.

                    That said, there is a joke somewhere lurking in this. Something along the lines of ‘shooting elected officials’ /snark

                • Chris

                  Ah. Sorry for the miscommunication, Jack, and thanks for clarifying your own position.

          • Chris

            Progressives are more upset than they would be because Trump acts like them.

            I don’t get this, slick. When did Obama hold a cabinet meeting like this? When did he or Clinton behave publicly the way Trump is critiqued for behaving publicly?

    • Does the sun shine where your head is, Phil? Of course this is related to the unprecedented treatment by progressives of the duly elected president.

      The Media, DNC and Hillary Clinton conspired to have Trump be the nominee, suppressing all other GOP hopefuls. This is one reason they are crazy about this: guilt.

  4. luckyesteeyoreman

    To me, Trump’s Cabinet love-in is just another piece of evidence supporting my theory that Trump is a transitional figure in history – and his presidency represents the final, futile spasms of a dying democratic government. After Trump, it’s all authoritarianism cum totalitarianism for the was-country – a society (such as it is) in a rut of chronic anarchy and continual decay, ruled by incurably corrupt, predictably violent and inept, self-defeating power-hoarders and -monopolizers.

    Soon, the only crime will be to get caught, with the only dreaded sentence being death by mob violence. Who needs God? These people, these “political leaders in America,” are omnipotent at cursing their environment and ruining all – absolutely unaccountable, and unequaled in self-righteousness. I look forward to going out in my own personal “blasphemous” blaze of glory, ruining as many ruiners as I can.

  5. charlesgreen

    “the all-out assault on the Presidency since November 9 is directly responsible for this.”

    No. Donald Trump is responsible for this. This is the same guy who came up with birtherism, who imagined thousands of cheering Muslims on TV on 9/11, and who brags about grabbing pussy, then says he’ll sue the dozens of women who accuse him (and of course he doesn’t); the same guy who routinely stiffed contractors, and who believes in never apologizing.

    Phil is absolutely right. It requires no conspiracy theory to believe that a 70-year old narcissist is simply doing what he’s always done. He TOLD us this is what he’d do. Why invoke Democrats to explain it?

    Why is it so hard for people with right-leaning persuasions to believe that Donald Trump is what he is? He is the same old same old he’s always been; it’s the one thing he’s never lied about.

    • No, Charles. The President is responsible for the fire, but those who are throwing kerosene on it cannot escape accountability. That’s not what an ethical media and a responsible political system does. They work to mitigate damage, not exacerbate it so there’s an excuse for blowing up the building.

      It’s the same song I’ve been crooning from the start, and this episode validates it. Do you want Captain Queeg to break down in the storm so the ship sinks, or do you want to help him navigate a safe course? Phil is willfully ignoring what is evident: the “resistance” wants the breakdown to justify their mutiny.

      • charlesgreen

        Jack, that feels to me like a variation on victim-blaming.

        But, let’s say that’s just me. Tell me what YOU think the proper stance, or position, or reaction, should be to a Presidency this, oh what’s the right word, let’s just say “special?”

        You, Zoltar and I are all in agreement (did I just type that?) about this being an unprecedented cabinet meeting: what should be the proper press response to the ongoing parade of unprecedented events?

        • Own its own unprecedented role in this fiasco, amend its modus operandi, and begin behaving like a real media and not as left wing propaganda ministry.

          • …begin behaving like a real media and not as left wing propaganda ministry.

            I don’t think there is an MSM reporter active today who knows how to do this. They have been left wing shills my entire life.

            • And for most of charles’ life as well, which is why seemingly reasonable people, such as him, can’t see it due to indoctrination or refuse to see it as it may invalidate huge swaths of their lives.

        • charlesgreen wrote, “You, Zoltar and I are all in agreement (did I just type that?) about this being an unprecedented cabinet meeting: what should be the proper press response to the ongoing parade of unprecedented events?”

          Charles,
          “Proper press response” you’ve got to be kidding me?! Screw the press, they’re a HUGE part of the propaganda problem; they are a corrupted and willing political arm of the political left! The press in the United States is equivalent to the Pravda political arm of the Russian government.

          Someone has to take the high road and the left has proven that they cannot and/or will not do that. It is up to the political right to take the high road and Trump drives straight into the ditch almost daily.

          Forgive my pessimism these days, but my hope is on a rapid downward spiral.

          • It is up to the political right to take the high road

            I hear you, Z. Thinking of joining you when you buy that island!

            The problem is that the political right has taken the high road many times in my lifetime, and lost every single time they did do, because the low road allows their opponents to lie, spin the narrative, riot, threaten, and frighten the voters.

        • Wait…. You see the media as a victim? Of what exactly?

          • I should have taken a moment to expand on that, and I regretted hitting the post button the moment I had. I think “that’s a form of victim blaming” is quickly approaching becoming a form of logical fallacy.

            But more than that, it’s becoming a reflex: “Anything my side does is a response to the violence (a word which is in itself losing all meaning) of the other side, so you can’t hold me account without blaming the victim.”

            Nothing is ever so black and white. Sometimes two parties victimize each other, sometimes people are victims of their own stupidity, and sometimes, yes, victims ask for their treatment… Sometimes literally.

            I mean… In this case, is the media a victim of Trump? I’ll listen if you want to defend that premise, but do so knowing that I think “Trump is a victim of the media” is a much more defensible position.

    • charlesgreen wrote, “Why is it so hard for people with right-leaning persuasions to believe that Donald Trump is what he is?”

      Are you freaking daft? “People with right-leaning persuasions” have been saying all along that Trump is what he is. Get the muck out of your ears.

      Trump is a politically ignoramus buffoon but that does not justify what the left is doing. The left wants to blame everything on Trump, but it’s truly a false flag when their own words and actions prove that they are intentionally trying to undermine the Trump administration at every turn and using every political “tool” at their disposal – tool of choice is obviously the media which is a willing political arm of the left. The political left is striving for a complete failure of Trump, his administration, and the Republicans in general and they are pulling out all the stops on their political machine to achieve that goal. The left want’s to win by default because they can no longer win based on the merits of their ideology; deny it, and you deny reality!

      Why is it so hard for people with left-leaning persuasions to believe that their years moral bankruptcy have created the political environment and their intentional pushing of Trump as a candidate is what elevated Trump to President and their continued moral bankruptcy and intentional demoralizing of the United States will destroy the country. I know that’s exactly “some” of you lefties actually want so that to Democratic Socialism can rise from the ashes.

    • Charles,
      This is the same guy who came up with birtherism,

      No, that would be your gal Hillary. Trump jumped on the bandwagon she tuned up:
      http://www.politico.com/story/2011/04/birtherism-where-it-all-began-053563

      who brags about grabbing pussy…

      And how deep did they dig into the vault to bring that up? 11 years
      ago, Charles. Dirty progressive tactics at their best. Wanna bet we find out someday they had this waiting in case he won the nomination, and then waited ‘October Surprise’ style to release it? Progressives use this sort of thing to take out Republican candidates, whose supporters still have an ounce of decency regarding politics. Democrat supporters simply don’t care how corrupt, foul, or slimy their candidates are. See ‘Hillary Clinton’ for examples.

      …then says he’ll sue the dozens of women who accuse him (and of course he doesn’t)

      Where did the women go, November 9th? EVERY one of them slunk away, and not a whisper since. If this had legs, Trump would be in court already. The media would not have NEEDED Russia as an imaginary scapegoat. Instead, it was another dirty progressive tactic designed to take out a Republican.

      …the same guy who routinely stiffed contractors

      You mean, actually worked in business and enforced contracts? Charles, the Democrats do this just as often, but they get to be smug about it because their base does not care. If Trump broke a contract, he gets sued. Big deal.

      Trump is not the standard republican, so these old style smears didn’t work. The progressives are batshit crazy because no one every used their own tactics against them and got away with it before. Trump ran just like a progressive, saying what people wanted to hear.

      Finally, “Why is it so hard for people with right-leaning persuasions to believe that Donald Trump is what he is? He is the same old same old he’s always been; it’s the one thing he’s never lied about.

      Because he is NOT HILLARY. Progressives gave us Trump. Blaming us for holding our noses and voting against the MOST corrupt candidate in history is unfair. We did not want the ‘third term for Obama.’

      Progressives simply cannot stand the guilt.

      • charlesgreen

        Slick Willy.

        Seriously? You want to claim Hillary dreamed up birtherism?

        I personally know a contractor who was stiffed by Trump; and who swears it’s simply known common practice that when you do business with Trump, you will never get your final accounts receivable paid, even if you sue. And you’d have to sue to get anything. Because Trump doesn’t “enforce contracts,” he violates them with impunity, using the law as a blunt instrument. It’s simply a business risk you take when you sign a contract – you know he won’t pay his final bill, and you simply have to eat that business risk or eat the legal costs. In her case, the final receivables was only about $25K; she nailed him for about $5K by hitting his Amex card for a minimum amount before he got wise and clamped down, which left her holding the $20K bag. Her atittude is shrug – “I knew what I was getting into, that’s the cost of doing business with Trump – in the end, he stiffs you.”

        Progressives gave us Trump? Huh? I agree with you that Bernie-ites have some guilt to shoulder, but last I look they didn’t vote for Trump.

        The “most corrupt” candidate in history? Nowhere close to the one we elected.

        • Charles, I feel you did not even read the post, and that you are deliberately being obtuse.

          However, I will assume you answered in good will, and entertain your responses.

          Seriously? You want to claim Hillary dreamed up birtherism?

          Did you see the link? I didn’t make this up: Politico (good right wing propaganda rag it is) did so. It is common knowledge and widely acknowledged by the progressive media.

          I personally know a contractor who was stiffed by Trump…

          So what? Should I talk about how Charlie Rangel, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, and so on conduct business? Trump is worse than Hillary? Ever heard of the Clinton Foundation? Ask the still homeless Haitians how the millions the Clintons raised for them changed their lives. Oh yeah: MOST of the money from the Clinton Foundation never went to charity, it being a slush fund. Look it up: this is public record.

          Progressives gave us Trump? Huh? I agree with you that Bernie-ites have some guilt to shoulder, but last I look they didn’t vote for Trump.

          Where have you been? The leaked emails clearly show that Hillary, the Media, and the DNC WANTED Trump, and colluded to slanted their narrative to boost him and to exclude other candidates, all because they thought they could beat Trump the easiest in the general election (to be fair, so did I.) This has been discussed on this site, and lately.

          The “most corrupt” candidate in history? Nowhere close to the one we elected.

          I will grant that you have a right to this opinion. However, Trump would have been jailed if he did 1% of the things Hillary has skated on. Trump lived in the real world, unlike our political masters, where actions have consequences. There is no comparison, and I challenge you to bring facts (instead of breathless innuendo) showing this is true.

          I respect you, Charles. I cannot let you get by with this sort of muddle headed analysis. You are better than that.

          • charlesgreen

            Slick Willy, I did read your post. I also read the Politico article. It did NOT claim that Hillary herself started the birtherism crap – by contrast Mr Trump rode it front and center loud and clear. This is 1% vs 98% – mountains of difference.

            Ditto with the Clinton foundation: Show me one reputable article that rhymes with ‘slush fund.’ Sure there are black marks in it; compare those to Trump University, or to his own foundation, starkly taking fake contributions and pretending to spend it on real stuff, while really just changing hands.

            Do you have a source for saying “most of the Clinton Foundation nevr went to charity, it being a slush fund.” You got me very curious with that one, so I went to Charity Navigator, ranks charities. Here’s the link:
            https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=16680

            It says 86.9% of its expenses went to programs; a pretty decent rating.

            If you know otherwise, tell me – because I did as you said, and looked it up.

            “Trump lived in the real world, unlike our political masters, where actions have consequences. There is no comparison, and I challenge you to bring facts (instead of breathless innuendo) showing this is true.”

            TThe world Trump lived in is an extremely narrow and bizarre one – the world of New York real estate, global deal-making and reality TV, all ones that put a premium on personal deal-making, who-you-know, and money-cum-muscle: not to mention buying off a lot of corrupt global politicians.

            His own company has about 100 people. George W. Bush, not known for particularly great management, at least had experience with large organizations, and the experience of an MBA. Trump had nothing of the kind. You would never hire a CEO for any business who knew as little about the business as Trump does about governing. His ignorance about statecraft, history, legislating, the law, global politics – it’s bad enough that he knows nothing, it’s far worse that he pretends – nay, believes – that ignorance is a virtue. Not in my book.

            I recommend reading an article by John Micklethwait, Bloomberg News’ editor in chief, titled Would You Let Trump Run Your Company? Judging Trump by his own claimed expertise as a businessman would seem eminently fair, but he comes up poorly.
            https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-18/would-you-let-trump-run-your-company

            Listen, you and I agree about Hillary’s flaws – at least directionally, if not in degree. And you’ll get no apology for the Dems from me; they’re the cause of their own troubles, no doubt. And if they lose again in 2018, as they’re likely to, they will have seized defeat from the jaws of victory in remarkable manner.

            But all that aside – Donald Trump is an abomination. We should all be able to state that clearly and without much doubt. Or so it seems to me.

            • The disagreement is not over that assessment, but over the proper, responsible, fair and patriotic response to it. The constitution does not state that the election only counts if the man the public elects isn’t regarded as an abomination by the really smart people who didn’t vote for him, and journalism ethics don’t state that all are suspended when the news media is covering a President who is an abomination. That this is even in doubt, much less rejected, by so many Democrats and progressives, shows a serious problem with THEM.And the problem with Trump does not excuse it.

              • charlesgreen

                ” the constitution doesn’t state that the election only counts if the man the public elects isn’t regarded as an abomination by the really smart people who didn’t vote for him, and journalism ethics don’t state that all are suspended when the news media is covering a President who is an abomination.”

                You suggest, explicitly, that these propositions are in doubt by “so many” Democrats and progressives.

                I am not such a Democrat or progressive. I very explicitly do NOT believe that the constitution contains an election invalidation clause for hoodwinked voters. I very explicitly do NOT believe that journalism ethics are all suspended because a President is “an abomination.”

                None of my liberal friends believe that, either. Not one.

                Worse, I don’t think that the NYTimes, or WaPo, or even Rachel Maddow, believe such things. None of them.

                And I know you know that. The problem is, you are engaging in hyperbole (and you’re hardly alone, and yes I’m often guilty of it too).

                The problem with hyperbole is it’s Potemkin talk, to use the term du’jour. It masquerades as being mere exaggeration – but it’s too easy to take it literally. We pay a price when we start stating things in terms that look like factual when in truth they’re just exaggerations.

                When you get to a conclusion by way of hyperbole, you’ve undercut the conclusion. From false facts, any inference is logically valid, and therefore worth nothing. There may or may not be a “serious problem” with Democrats and progressives, but attributing false beliefs to them doesn’t prove the case.

                • charlesgreen wrote, “The problem with hyperbole is it’s Potemkin talk…”

                  I think your use of the word Potemkin here is incorrect. Potemkin refers to a specific type of talk not general hyperbole.

              • Chris

                The disagreement is not over that assessment, but over the proper, responsible, fair and patriotic response to it. The constitution does not state that the election only counts if the man the public elects isn’t regarded as an abomination by the really smart people who didn’t vote for him, and journalism ethics don’t state that all are suspended when the news media is covering a President who is an abomination. That this is even in doubt, much less rejected, by so many Democrats and progressives, shows a serious problem with THEM.And the problem with Trump does not excuse it.

                What does this have to do with this post? You provided no examples of the left media overreacting to Trump’s cabinet meeting or “suspending journalistic ethics” in their coverage of it. The Cizilla quote doesn’t show that, and is no more damning than anything you wrote about Trump yourself in this post.

                • Uh, the plain reading of Jack’s media commentary here is that the virulent and hate driven “reporting” of the media to soil itself every single time Trump pretty much blinks led to the environment where Trump had to run this theater.

                  His commentary has not specifically been about the media’s reaction to this particular episode.

                  You know this, because Jack’s comments really cannot be interpreted otherwise. Yet you are trying to kick up sand. Why is this?

                  Why the constant diversion from accountability?

                  • Chris

                    tex:

                    Uh, the plain reading of Jack’s media commentary here is that the virulent and hate driven “reporting” of the media to soil itself every single time Trump pretty much blinks led to the environment where Trump had to run this theater.

                    Oh. Well, that’s much stupider than what I thought Jack said.

                    Trump did not “have to” do any such thing, and I highly doubt Jack thinks that he did; otherwise, he would have reserved most of his condemnation for the media that, according to you, forced Trump to do this, not for Trump himself. Instead, Jack put most of the blame on Trump and his sycophantic cabinet members, reserving only one bullet point for condemnation of the media.

                    It seems to me that Jack’s argument was that the media contributed to Trump feeling the need to behave this way, and thus bear partial responsibility. I think that’s a bad argument, for reasons I’ve already laid out (and which you ignored), but it’s a far cry from “Trump had to do this because of the media!” which is your interpretation of his argument–and, according to you, the only possible fair interpretation of his argument.

                    Are you sure you don’t want to reconsider your interpretation, which seems to make Jack look like he’s excusing Trump’s behavior far more than he actually is?

                    Why the constant diversion from accountability?

                    …He said, after several comments in which he attempted to help Trump dodge accountability for his own behavior by blaming it on the media.

                    You are hilarious today.

            • Charles,

              I gave more sources in response to Chris. We can disagree on the validity of sources until the stars fall from the sky. I tend to believe what the left writes about itself more than what it writes about the GOP, for instance. All of it could be crap, of course, if I did not witness the event myself (and sometimes even then.)

              I will admit to a bit of hyperbole myself, though. My “Your gal Hillary” did imply that she herself started it, when it was her campaign. It was also insulting, given what you wrote here, and I apologize.

              However, I am disconcertingly in agreement with much in your recent post. Hillary’s flaws, your assessment of Trump (well, ‘abomination’ is a bit strong, but in essence correct in my opinion) all ring true.

              Trump may be horrible at business. He is successful, though, and would not enjoy the backing he has had for decades if he wasn’t. But that does not qualify him for president.

          • Chris

            Slickwilly,

            With all due respect, you need to fact-check better.

            Hillary Clinton herself never entertained the birther theory. It was brought up by one staffer who was later fired.

            The claim that “most” of the Clinton Foundation’s funds never went to charity has also been fact checked numerous times and found untrue.

            • Actually, Chris, that is not the case. I’ll take these in reverse order.

              The claim that “most” of the Clinton Foundation’s funds never went to charity has also been fact checked numerous times and found untrue.

              http://www.factcheck.org/2015/06/where-does-clinton-foundation-money-go/
              6% of Clinton Foundation monies received when out as grants in 2014, according to their IRS Form 990. The spin of which you speak says that the Clinton Foundation does the charity work itself. So, in this case, $140 million went into the general operating fund of the Foundation. Here are the noted tasks this money went to:

              Clinton Development Initiative staff in Africa train rural farmers and help them get access to seeds, equipment and markets for their crops.
              Clinton Climate Initiative staff help governments in Africa and the Caribbean region with reforestation efforts, and in island nations to help develop renewable energy projects.
              Staff at the Clinton Health Access Initiative, an independent, affiliated entity, work in dozens of nations to lower the cost of HIV/AIDS medicine, scale up pediatric AIDS treatment and promote treatment of diarrhea through life-saving Zinc/ORS treatment.
              Clinton Health Matters staff work with local governments and businesses in the United States to develop wellness and physical activity plans.

              The problem is in the details.

              These are either unverifiable tasks (‘train farmers,’ ‘help get access to seeds,’ ‘lower the cost of …medicine,’ or my favorite: ‘work with local governments… in the US to develop wellness and physical activity plans’) or are outright lies (Haiti Disaster relief donations were used to build posh hotels and industrial parks. The promise to rebuild Port-au-Prince never happened even though 54 million was raised by the Foundation)

              Money went to companies who had donated large chunks of cash to the Clinton Foundation. “The Haitian contracts appeared less tailored to the needs of Haiti than to the needs of the companies that were performing the services.

              Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/437883/hillarys-america-secret-history-democratic-party-dinesh-dsouza-clinton-foundation

              Don’t like that source? Read something from the Democratic Underground (no right wing rag, they!) https://www.democraticunderground.com/10022415607

              …most of the money that was disbursed went to a handful of international bodies, which mainly spent it on temporary relief (tents, shelters, water-tankers and so on) and the salaries of expat staff.

              Hillary herself did not come up with birther-ism. But her campaign and supporters did. From http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/aug/22/fact-checking-media-yes-clinton-machine-did-start-/

              Hillary Clinton’s chief strategist, Mark Penn, recognized this potential vulnerability in Obama and sought to exploit it.
              “In a March 2007 memo to Clinton (that later found its way to me), Penn wrote: ‘All of these articles about his boyhood in Indonesia and his life in Hawaii are geared toward showing his background is diverse, multicultural and putting it in a new light,’ he wrote. ‘Save it for 2050. It also exposes a very strong weakness for him — his roots to basic American values and culture are at best limited. I cannot imagine America electing a president during a time of war who is not at his center fundamentally American in his thinking and his values…

              This a good read citing actual mainstream media stories (from progressive news sources) that Hillary’s campaign DID start the stories:
              http://thepoliticalinsider.com/7-news-stories-2008-prove-hillary-started-obama-birtherism/

              …In 2011, responding to a New York Times poll that suggested Republicans believed Obama was born overseas, Politico decided to do some digging on the origins of such an idea. They found that the entire concept started with the Clinton campaign in 2008…

              Sid Blumenthal was pushing the narrative as well, according to progressive Democrat sources:
              http://www.theamericanmirror.com/mcclatchy-dc-chief-sid-blumenthal-spread-birtherism-face-face/

              Since you have overlooked much of the meat in my previous posts, and use the progressive tactics of looking for a mispelling (made it easy for you) or small, out of context fragment to seize upon and spin, I don’t expect you to admit you were wrong.

              But you were.

              • Chris

                slickwilly,

                Thanks for providing lots of sources and clarifying some of your claims. I’m a bit confused on what exactly I’m supposed to admit to being wrong about, however. That more than one Clinton staffer forwarded birther claims? OK, I’ll grant you that it was more than one. But there’s no evidence this was approved of by Clinton, and it had no effect on the campaign; most Americans probably remained unaware of birtherism for years until Trump made it a big news story. Even if you do hold Clinton herself responsible for her staffers’ behavior…which is fair…what is your point? Charles brought up Trump’s birtherism because it was a political crusade for Trump, a way to get his name out there; he personally and continuously made false claims about the President of the United States for media attention. Maybe he didn’t “come up with it,” as charles incorrectly stated, but he was the most prominent birther around, and is the most responsible for spreading the conspiracy theory.

                You haven’t proven that most of the Clinton Foundations funds did not go to charity, so I wasn’t wrong about that.

                • As I told Charles, I did not mean Hillary herself, but her campaign and supporters. Read up in the thread for more on that. My only point there was that Trump got that from Hillary’s supporters in 2008.

                  The links I gave you show the proof that the Clinton Foundation spent most of what they gathered on itself. This is indisputable, since it was reported so to the IRS. Then I gave you the sorry excuses for what they spent within the Foundation that supposedly justifies the spin that ‘most’ of the money went to charity.

                  I gave you progressive sources that all agree with this assertion. Respectfully, if you won’t read the sources, it is not my problem.

                  But you are still uninformed and therefore wrong.

    • “Why is it so hard for people with right-leaning persuasions to believe that Donald Trump is what he is? He is the same old same old he’s always been; it’s the one thing he’s never lied about.”

      You don’t get it Charles… I believe that Trump is what he is… Ill equipped, over his head, and lacking the capacity to learn. That doesn’t mean that I’m going to erupt into throes of rage when I hear that he eats his steak well done and with ketchup… Despite a personal revulsion of the practice. I mean really? Ketchup. Ew.

      Regardless, my point is that I don’t want to see the world burn, and I think that the reaction to Trump’s presidency is more likely to cause longer lasting, more serious long term damage than having Mr. Magoo in office for four years. I think that if people like you continue to treat every time he burps with as much gravity as his foreign policy debacles, you’ll slowly loose the ability to signal what it is you really care about, and it all becomes noise… Or hell, who am I to tell you what you care about? Maybe you DO care about everything Trump does…. But that doesn’t change my perception of your ability to be effective.

      The worst part about this is a complete lack of self awareness… Do some fucking walking in the woods and ask yourself how you got to the point where your candidate lost to the person with the worst favorability ratings in the history of America. Instead of digging in deep and asking themselves “how could we do better” Democrats are running around in the approximation of a perpetual motion machine consisting of throwing people under a bus, only to get thrown in turn when their skidmarked compatriots manage to crawl out from under it.

      No amount of smug condescension is going to guilt voters into holding their noses and doing what you want them to do on the pain of adjectives that are quickly losing their meanings.

      • Humble Talent,
        Really good direct and to the point comment!

      • charlesgreen

        HT, I completely agree that Hillary was a terrible candidate, and the Dems blew it. IMHO she was favored by two touchdowns and is running around complaining that her team’s kicker missed the 50-yard field goal in the final minute as the reason she lost the game.

        None of that changes the fact that we now have a uniquely unqualified individual occupying the Presidency. Why should I shut up about the horrors he commits us to just because Hillary blew it? I don’t get that part.

        • charlesgreen wrote, the horrors he commits us to

          What the hell are you talking about?

          • charlesgreen

            The cabinet meeting of yesterday
            The casual bullying of suggesting he has tapes
            The phony billions he claims to have done deals with the Saudis
            The kowtowing to said Saudis and the dissing of our European allies
            The one-page “tax plan”
            The “infrastructure week” that wasn’t

            Just for starters…

            • These are “horrors he commits us to”?

              Give me a break Charles. You’ve used to have more common sense than to label such things as “horrors”. Seriously, what the hell happened to you?

              I suppose next you’ll write that it was only hyperbole and you were only joking.

        • Context… Charles…. There’s a wide gulf of a spectrum of actions between “Respond to every Tweet as if the send button is located adjacent to the nuclear launch codes” and “Do nothing”. Perhaps…. and this is just me thinking out loud… Perhaps the more effective “resistance” is to pick your battles. And maybe when you go to fight… Actually stick to things he’s said, done, or proposed. Preferably within living memory. I mean, really… If he’s so bad… Why do people feel the need to lie to make him seem worse?

          • charlesgreen

            A fair question. The real world, relevant sins, in my mind, include:

            –Cozying up to the Saudis, while dissing NATO
            –Proposing a horrific transfer of wealth from his rust belt voters to rich people and calling it Obamacare reform
            –Failing to seize on a great (maybe the only) opportunity for bipartisan agreement on infrastructure spending
            –Putting ideologues in charge of the EPA and Department of Education
            –Creating global confusion about our foreign policy
            –Willful ignorance about the relative importance of trade policy to global economic issues
            –Lying to blue collar communities about the cause of their economic woes, and doing little of real substance about it
            –Putting coal industry ahead of investment in future growth industries like clean energy
            –Proposing massive deficits at a time of very low unemployment

            I’ll not mention all the political stuff, because I realize that can get outside the area of “actually said, done or proposed.”

            • I don’t think Betsy Devos isn’t nearly as bad as she’s painted, but other than that… Yeah. That’s a legit list. And if anyone actually held back on other issues in favor of those, I think we’d agree more often than not.

      • charlesgreen

        Catchup on steak does have its own charms…

    • brian

      I think we can include the media and democrats in the blame here as they were actively working/hoping for Trump to win the Republican primary as they believed he was the easiest candidate for Clinton to beat.

      You are correct that we can and should blame Trump for this mess. We should also blame Democrats as they actively worked for this outcome as well.

  6. I also thought of King Lear, but perhaps King Leer would be more accurate.

  7. James MacKenzie

    I’m not surprised at all that an administration under siege by underhanded enemies expects shows of loyalty to its chief. The cabinet staff closed ranks, knowing that the slightest sign of disagreement or frustration would become that night’s headline (I picture “XXXX Frustrated With POTUS” or similar titles).

    • Of course a better way for the administration to demonstrate leadership, loyalty and effectiveness is just do its job without any Potemkin Cabinet Meetings.

      • charlesgreen

        “Potemkin Cabinet Meetings”
        Best phrase of the week. Exactly right.

      • texagg04 wrote, “Potemkin Cabinet Meetings”

        I too think that’s at least the best phrase of the week but it just might be he best phrase of the month.

        Well done! 🙂

      • texagg04 wrote, “Potemkin Cabinet Meetings”

        That just inspired something else. You’re an inspiration!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

        Potemkin Rhetoric
        Potemkin Rhetoric is any rhetoric that is solely to deceive others into thinking that a situation is better than it really is.

        Derived from the following definitions:
        Potemkin: having a false or deceptive appearance, especially one presented for the purpose of propaganda.

        Rhetoric: language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect on its audience, but often regarded as lacking in sincerity or meaningful content.

        Example 1: The mayor used Potemkin Rhetoric to explain to the population that the water supply was completely safe when the water supply was actually tainted with poison; in fact the Mayor filled a glass directly from the faucet and drank it in front of everyone, but he didn’t tell them that the faucet was connected to a supply of fresh filtered distilled water.

        Example 2: The cabinet meeting was a nationally televised presentation of positive propaganda from the administration where one cabinet member after another presented Potemkin Rhetoric.

        texagg04, You’re an inspiration!!!

  8. Sue

    Over the past few decades both parties have drifted violently into extremist views. There are no moderates left in Congress. The media gleefully feeds on extremism since it sells. The general public uses popular media to form opinions, which feeds the politicians. This is a triple sided mobius strip (I suppose I need an extra dimension for that) which doesn’t allow moderates or temporizing voice to be heard – or sadly, if they’re heard, they’re marginalized as “not understanding the situation” and ignored.

    Both the left and right have veered so far off the road that there is no tolerance for anyone who is not of the same intolerant extremist view. This is simply the culmination. God, at least I hope so. I don’t want to think how US politics could get worse than it is today.

    • Both? Violently?

      I find it interesting that the Democrat Party has essentially been a populist party since just before FDR days. I suppose we got so used to the Democrats behaving that way we assumed that was just normal party politics and we ultimately stopped viewing it as a flaw in their structure.

      Then the modern day, the Republicans nominated a blithering idiot who behaves like a populist and has opened the door to populism amongst the modern Republican party in the same vein that Democrats have thrived in for decades and now populism is an issue…

      The polarization is a major issue, no doubt. But violence seems to be the idiom of the Left in all this. And I would submit that movement towards the poles has been far less on the Republican side than has been on the Democrat side of the aisle.

      • philk57

        A good illustration of this would be that there are quite a few republican districts where JFK could be nominated and elected to congress today. I can’t think of any democratic districts where he would be welcome as a candidate.

  9. Chris

    5. At CNN, Chris Cillizza’s analysis of what yesterday’s embarrassment signified was that “Flattery will get you everywhere. Donald Trump’s favorite topic of conversation is Donald Trump. The best way to talk about Donald Trump, if you want to keep working for Donald Trump, is to praise Donald Trump. The more over-the-top, the better.”

    This is a Trump-hater’s bias at work.

    I really don’t get this, Jack.

    What part of Cizilla’s statement is not a rational conclusion to draw from Trump’s behavior? Hell, what part of it is more outrageous than any of your OWN conclusions about Trump in this very post?

    No, it’s a lot more than that. This episode shows how insecure the President is, in great part due to the around-the-clock hate, disrespect and ridicule he has been subjected to. It shows how much he craves loyalty, and needs to feel that he has the support of his “troops,” when he knows that within his own executive branch and probably within the White House itself are hostile figures determined to undermine him with leaks and rumors.

    But…he’s always been like this. Seriously; do you really think he wouldn’t have had a cabinet meeting just like this one if only the media had reported on him in a manner more suitable to your standards? I don’t see how you could think that.

    I think Phil’s statement about “meds” goes too far, but your need to condemn the MSM in every post about Trump is starting to border on compulsion. Trump and his sycophants are responsible for their behavior in this instance. The media is not responsible for them choosing to confirm the impression of them that the media has put forward.

  10. What could possibly go wrong with the political left’s constant barrage of hateful anti-right propaganda? The question has been answered with bullets.

    It begins.

    So now the actual specific targeting of Republicans with real bullets begins. It appears that a shooter has specifically targeted GOP baseball practice in Alexandria Virginia. He randomly and intentionally shoot known Republicans with a rifle.

    Too many photos in this comment to post here; so here is a link to a simple visual progression of hate.

    • Rats a double tap on the letter “o” my “shoot” above should be “shot”.

    • Chris

      Zoltar,

      What do you mean by “it begins?” Surely you are aware that politicians from both sides of the aisle have been shot at before? When Giffords was shot six years ago, did you blame the right’s “barrage of hate” against liberals and Obama?

      • Chris asked, “When Giffords was shot six years ago, did you blame the right’s “barrage of hate” against liberals and Obama?”

        Even though the level of rhetoric is not even on the same realm of equivalence as today’s hateful rhetoric, the answer to your question is absolutely yes, I specifically blamed the hyperbole rhetoric from the right as likely being part of the shooters motivation.

        So far there appears to be a difference in the shootings; the shooter in the Giffords shooting was fixated on Giffords and expanded his shooting rampage to those that were in close proximity to Giffords, this shooting appears to be randomly targeting people just because they were Republicans. If that changes I’ll revise my opinion on this.

        Does that answer your question that indirectly implied that I’m a hypocrite?

  11. Oliver K. Manuel

    I am pleased that President Trump is doing exactly what he promised despite the weepinging doom-Sayers. Right on!

    • Chris

      Oliver, when did Trump promise to lead a cabinet meeting wherein his sycophants were required to lavish praise on him one by one like he’s a North Korean dictator?

      I mean, it was heavily implied that he would do that, but I don’t remember a specific promise.

  12. These are billionaires and generals, and not one said to Trump, “I’m sorry, Mr. President, but this will make you look weak and me look like an ass-kissing yes-man. I won’t do it, nor will I remain in a Cabinet stocked with lapdog sycophants who would debase themselves and their high offices by doing it. Do you discard this idiotic charade, or do I resign now?”

    Hmm. I think you’re probably right, but just to be contrarian…

    I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t work. It wouldn’t make Trump behave better. And if the cabinet member in question knew that, he would know that doing this would accomplish nothing except perhaps get him dismissed. This might make him look good, but if he believed the most important thing is that Trump have good people around him for the good of the country, then doing what you suggest would actually be selfish. His best choice would be to participate in the ass kissing. It’s your Caine Mutiny scenario: If you can’t serve in the way you’re supposed to, serve the best way available.

  13. This is also the kind of statement Trump’s Furies call “lies.” This was not a lie. In some convoluted way, the President thinks its sort of true. THAT’S the problem, not that he’s lying.

    You’ve said this a few times before, and I think I just figured out why it bothers me:

    Let’s say my wife announces that she wants to go to the park to exercise, but she doesn’t want to be out in the rain, so she asks me what the weather forecast is. There are a few ways I could respond:

    (1) I know whether rain is forecasted, and I tell her what I know. This is Truth.

    (2) I know rain is forecasted, and because I’m angry at her, I tell her it’s not supposed to rain. This is a Lie.

    (3) Rain is forecasted, but I mistakenly believe it’s not supposed to rain, and I tell her it’s not supposed to rain. This is a Mistake.

    (4) I want some time alone in the house, so I tell her it’s not going to rain because that will get her out of the house like I want. Whether I know the forecast, and whether it predicts rain or not, does not enter into my decision making. My answer is whatever I think will get me what I want. This is Trump.

    Basically, I don’t believe that “In some convoluted way, the President thinks its sort of true,” which would be a kind of Mistake. I don’t think Trump cares whether something is true. What matters is that it would be good for him if it were. When he says, “Never has there been a President […] who’s passed more legislation, who’s done more things than I have,” it’s because he knows that would make him pretty awesome.

    So, in some sense, it may not be a lie, because that requires intent to not tell the truth, but neither is it a mistake, I kind of think of it as the rhetorical equivalent of “reckless disregard” or even “depraved indifference.”

    And I think that’s close enough to a lie to count. Especially to the people being lied to.

  14. James MacKenzie

    In one way, Trump is wise to encourage such fulsome displays of loyalty. His cabinet are forced to serve as zealous Trump cheerleaders. If they are loyal, the worst that can be said of them is that they strongly supported him. If they move against him, they look like treacherous lickspittles.

    • ‘lickspittle’ Now there is a old fashioned, graphic word that might have been used by my Grandfather. Have not heard it in many years.

      Also, Ewwwwwwww…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s