Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 6/14/18: Derangement!

Goooooood morning Vietnam!

(Well, not just Vietnam, of course, but did you know Ethics Alarms has had 643 views from Vietnam in 2018, and three already this morning? I wonder how many of those readers suffer from anti-Trump derangement…)

Prelude: I would prefer not to let this topic dominate a Warm-Up, but the alternative is to keep posting on it separately, and then I would get more of those “why do you keep posting about this when children are being taken out of the arms of their mothers at the border?” messages. I post about it for the same reason I began posting on it two Novembers ago, and for the same reason 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck is one of the fattest tags on the blog: the organized, multi-institution hysteria focused on the elected President is unprecedented, destructive, dangerously divisive and threat to the stability of the nation and our communities. Moreover, it is getting worse, more shrill, and to my eye and ear, more desperate, as President Trump’s successes, much as the new media and “the resistance” denies them, increasingly makes the Angry Left and Hillary Bitter-Enders realize that all their protesting and screaming at the sky and biased news stories and leaks and unethical investigations not only aren’t working, but are, in fact, increasing support for the President and public distrust of his sworn destructors. As proof of further lack of hinges, the Deranged think the rational response to this is to become more shrill and more obnoxious.

Unrelated but still annoying note: On HLN just now, after Lovely Robin Meade reported on a Norwegian study that purports to prove that “we is getting dummer,” with an estimated 7 point drop in average IQ since the 1970s, her sidekick Jennifer Westhoven noted off camera that all 730,000 test subjects were all men, in a tone clearly designed to suggest, “so that explains it.” Then the two women laughed like the witches in “MacBeth.” See the recent post on this phenomenon, and reflect. Then imagine if an on-air personality had said “blacks,” “Norwegians” or even “women” in the same context. I’m not accepting such jokes as amusing or acceptable from people who won’t accept the same kind of jokes from me.

1.  It’s time to break out the surgical masks and gloves, I fear. Ann Althouse found this comment on generic New Your Times Trump-hater Frank Bruni’s column, “How to Lose the Midterms and Re-elect Trump,” which begins

“Dear Robert De Niro, Samantha Bee and other Trump haters: I get that you’re angry. I’m angry, too. But anger isn’t a strategy. Sometimes it’s a trap. When you find yourself spewing four-letter words, you’ve fallen into it. You’ve chosen cheap theatrics over the long game, catharsis over cunning.”

The rant was the most popular of the many responses it received from on-line Times readers:

“What are we supposed to do? Speak calmly while he’s praising neo-Nazis? Wag our finger when he walls us in? Abide his ignorance and hate with good grace? Tsk tsk when he embraces murderers and war criminals while berating honorable Democrats? We’re not going to win over the deplorable nincompoops who voted for this man. Do you honestly think that we will offend their delicate sensibilities? These are the people who witnessed the vilest displays of hate, including his encouragement of skinheads to beat up protesters. They heard him brag about groping unwilling starlets. They watched as he mocked a disabled reporter. And yet they went into voting booths all across America and pulled the lever for this narcissistic, unread, vulgar excuse for a human being. Robert De Niro expressed openly the disgust that I have been feeling in my den, sitting in front of the TV and pretty much yelling the same sorts of things when I encounter the daily outrages that ooze from this pustule of a president. Who’s to say that Democrats aren’t scoring victories because of the palpable feeling of disgust that attends this so-called president’s every utterance? This man body-surfed into the White House on a wave of resentment and hate. Maybe a bigger wave of righteous anger will flush him and his Republican enablers out, and down into the metaphorical swamp from which they came.”

Althouse’s readers are almost unanimous in pronouncing this as the Trump Derangement equivalent of your neighbor vomiting black blood into the street. The comment is an impressive compendium of resistance talking points, distortions, and hysteria, culminating in endorsing a vulgar jerk shouting “fuck” at a non-political award show. What are you supposed to do? Oh, by all means, shouting “fuck” and “cunt” are the best options. How about being a responsible citizen, engaging in civil civic discourse based on substance rather than emotion, and respecting your fellow citizens when they have different opinions than you do? Despite the fact that Althouse is a centrist, her commenters overwhelmingly see the folly of the Trump Derangement strategy. One writes,

Every day the open contempt and sneering hatred from the leftists on the coasts is more and more openly displayed. Do they honestly think that its winning converts to their cause? Regular voters are realizing, very rapidly, that the left hates them. Hates them viscerally. And any glance at history demonstrates what happens to the people leftists viscerally hate when leftists get power….

2. “Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias!” Dept. The Washington Post yesterday bemoaned the defeat of Rep. Mark Sanford in the South Carolina GOP primary, because his opponent is a Trump supporter. It described Sanford as “a firmly conservative member of Congress who had survived earlier scandal.” Fake history, via deceit. Sanford survived a scandal all right, but he should not have. Here’s how I described Sanford in 2013:

“Sanford was the rising star South Carolina governor—married, with children— who went AWOL on the job to have a  clandestine liaison with his South American mistress, using public funds in the process, and lying through his staff to cover his tracks. He didn’t have the courage or the decency to resign, nor did he have the common sense and decency to quietly disappear so he would stop embarrassing his wife, his state, Republicans, men, and Homo sapiens everywhere. Instead he returned to run in a primary for a House seat, and since Republican primary voters will apparently vote for anyone or anything, won.”

The Washington Post thinks that this mega-creep is a  worthy choice to make our laws because he opposed Trump. I would vote for a soda cracker over Mark Sanford. The Post has become an ant-Trump propaganda organ, and little else.

3. Shut up and keep score. Here is another late stage derangement episode. On the NBC Sports baseball blog, Craig Calcaterra, lawyer-turned-sportswriter, filed a story about how Arizona pitcher Clay Buchholtz is fond of President Trump because Trump introduced him to his wife. This is, of course, barely newsworthy. Craig, however, wrote it up for no other reason than to insult the President:

“Whatever your politics, it’s OK to be loyal to the one who introduced you to the love of your life. Even if they’re vile and terrible! For example, Twitter introduced me to my wife, and I remain loyal to it even if it’s a warm and steamy pile of garbage. Love is blind.”

Calcaterra, who was once a perceptive and unique writer on baseball, has been declining precipitously as he decides to mix his social justice warrioring with his job. This was an example of sloppy virtue-signaling: make an ad hominem attack on the President, get lots of “thumbs up.” He never feels the need to explain why the President is “vile and terrible”—“the resistance” doesn’t need facts or arguments any more, just invective and hate.

This is self-indulgent, and shows no respect for his readers. If he worked for me, he would get one warning: Stick to baseball and related issues, or find another gig.

4. The all-purpose deflection. We have discussed here Uncle Joe Biden’s disturbing tendency to make women uncomfortable by his “unconsented touching” and the equally disturbing failure of Democrats to object to it, even post-Weinstein. Biden was confronted by a heckler at a book tour stop in Biden’s hometown over the weekend, who shouted,  “What about the girls you molested on C-SPAN at the Senate swearing-in?” the heckler asked.

“This is not Trump world,” Biden replied. Just as any criticism of President Obama was likely to be deflected with a claim of racism, any criticism of any Democrat is now immediately countered with “But Trump!” This happens to me on Facebook regularly. Joe must have received the memo. It is just another version of Rationalization #22, “It’s not the worst thing,” but the Trump Deranged seem to really think it’s a rebuttal. It’s not, especially for Joe Biden. There are no photos like these in “Trump World,” Joe, you letch:

Incredibly, commenters on blog posts about this exchange are writing that Biden’s handsiness is innocent, because he’s just a toucher, and he doesn’t mean anything by it. KABOOM! What will it take to drive the basic concept of sexual harassment law into the public’s head—never mind Bill Clinton’s??? Motive doesn’t matter! Good intentions don’t matter. What matters is that the touching is unwelcome, and that’s sexual harassment.

Go ahead, Democrats: nominate Joe for President. I dare you. Then watch all of the groping accusations come out of the woodwork.

5. “Yes, but he was so much more elegant about it..”  Providing more ammunition for the Deranged,  Politico had a colorful story about Simon Lartey, a records management analyst who. allegedly, spent his days scotch-taping torn documents at the White House:

Lartey and his colleagues would sift through large piles of shredded paper and put them back together, he said, “like a jigsaw puzzle.” Sometimes the papers would just be split down the middle, but other times they would be torn into pieces so small they looked like confetti.It was a painstaking process that was the result of a clash between legal requirements to preserve White House records and President Donald Trump’s odd and enduring habit of ripping up papers when he’s done with them …Under the Presidential Records Act, the White House must preserve all memos, letters, emails and papers that the president touches, sending them to the National Archives for safekeeping as historical records.

But White House aides realized early on that they were unable to stop Trump from ripping up paper after he was done with it and throwing it in the trash or on the floor, according to people familiar with the practice. Instead, they chose to clean it up for him, in order to make sure that the president wasn’t violating the law.

Staffers had the fragments of paper collected from the Oval Office as well as the private residence and send it over to records management across the street from the White House for Larkey and his colleagues to reassemble.

Reacts blogger Amy Alkon, “The guy running our country is such an impulsive baby and a tiny tyrant that nobody can stop him from ripping up documents that, by law, are supposed to be preserved.”

Let’s assume this is an accurate account, and not  Michael Wolff-style gossip. At least Trump’s White House still gets the records to the archives. Yesterday we learned,

“….the accumulation of recent congressional testimony has made it clear that the Obama administration itself engaged in the wholesale destruction and “loss” of tens of thousands of government records covered under the[Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments] as well as the intentional evasion of the government records recording system by engaging in private email exchanges. So far, former President Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Attorney General Lynch and several EPA officials have been named as offenders. The IRS suffered record “losses” as well. Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy called it “an unauthorized private communications system for official business for the patent purpose of defeating federal record-keeping and disclosure laws.”

Which is more significant news? Which is the public more likely to read about?

25 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 6/14/18: Derangement!

  1. ”Ethics Alarms has had 643 views from Vietnam in 2018, and three already this morning”

    Could be SE Asian bot/click farms have been alerted that you’re NOT a part of the Resistance©™® and they’re just doing due diligence/recon until they’re ready to pounce.

    Another possible explanation; some EA commenter has decided to share the wealth.

    An example: my Dear Brother forwarded some of my more…um…succinct observations on the human condition (as I see it) to the Far East with the following results.

    Quoth my Dear Brother: ”I passed this (blog comment) along to a discussion forum for Japanese translators who want to rant or discuss things other than Japanese translation. You now have a new fan, half-way around the world: R*** v** R*******, based in Tokyo.”

    Quoth RvR: ”Brilliant! That is where PC idiocy bites its own tail. I am so looking forward to more of this stuff. Give a high-five to your brother! Popcorn time, indeed.”

    Heck, who knows; perhaps RvR forwarded EA commentary? That would mean you’re playing to the Land of the Rising Sun…and beyond!

  2. 2. “Lying through his staff.” I love that. I was expecting “lying through his teeth.” Lying through one’s staff is much worse, by a magnitude of something.

      • Wait. Moses had people working for him. A staff? Were his people talking to God’s people? The corporatization of the Bible? I missed that in grade school religion. Dang.

  3. #1 I guess according to this NYT commentator, they guy who shot up the congressional baseball game was just doing everybody a favor by trying to thin out the numbers of Trump’s Republican enablers. His intentions were good, because he was trying to stop the mass murder that occurs because of the Trump administration (Don’t ask who is murdered and where, they just are) a la “The Dead Zone”.
    # 4 That has been one of my thoughts about Joe Biden, if he were to run, these pictures and videos would come up like there’s no tomorrow. And Senator Gillibrand would be interviewed and asked if this is innocent, and she would #metoo him like it was going out of style, because she will be attempting to run. I think Jack’s though, that Dems could only run women seems plausible, also, they can run Senator Booker. Bernie can try, but the criticism for him is easy, too white, too old. I’d like to see him refute that “gotcha!”.

  4. 1. There are an amazing number of people who range the political spectrum from moderate Democrat to Centrist, to Moderate Republican who would not have voted for Trump had the democrats not nominated the Queen of California to be their presumptive president elect. I had said in 2016, and I think that time has reinforced my point, that the average Trump voter probably had more in common with a Bernie voter than a Cruz voter, and the Republicans were just along for the ride. They weren’t hardcore Republicans, they don’t care about the social issues, they care about financial issues. Sanders focused on School and Medicine, Trump voted on Jobs, and immigration. I drew up a bit of game theory:

    If Clinton v. Cruz, Clinton
    If Bernie v Cruz, Bernie
    If Clinton v. Trump, Trump
    If Bernie v. Trump, Bernie

    We got to that place…. A whole slew of ways, but one of them was the divisiveness of identity politics, and how generally unpopular they are, against the popularity of.. well… populist candidates. So now, you have people like Joe Rogan, who smoked pot on air, is pro-choice, pro universal healthcare, anti-gun, and basically every Democratic position except he doesn’t viscerally hate Trump and he does hate identity politics. For this, he is labelled a conservative by certain left leaning publications. This is stupid, guys. I mean, seriously, cripplingly stupid. What would have been a safe vote for any Democrat 5 years ago is suddenly being ejected from his own party because his conformity of thought quotient isn’t high enough. If you continue to tell centrist voters they’re Republicans, eventually, they’re going to believe you.

      • You really think that when faced with Bernie v. Trump, Democrats en massse would have rejected the polls entirely and given the election to Trump? That would have done it…. But I don’t know if I think that’s likely.

        • Outside the college towns Bernie’s support was thin on the ground. Also, a lot of his base was young people, who notoriously don’t tend to show up to the polls.

        • Women. Blacks. Sane people (Bernie is nuts.) And despite all rumors to the contrary, rank-and-file Democrats are not as left wing as the noisy ones suggest. And Sanders wasn’t even a Democrat.

          • And Sanders wasn’t even a Democrat.

            And (poof!) cannot run in the Democratic primary next time anyway. The DNC changed their rules so that, you know, only REAL Democrats can participate. Because rigging the primary was too blatant, or something.

            This from the ‘champions of tolerant.’

      • Indeed. Thanks for the website.
        I went ahead and did a little bit of math, and compared the opinions of the 5 types of trump voter, their proportional representation, and their responses to certain questions… I found this interesting….

        40% of Trump voters thought that America should accept fewer immigrants. That’s interesting because it means that 60% thought immigration levels were at least tolerable, and even those 40% didn’t say “no immigration”, just “less”. That said, 78% were in favor of the “Muslim Ban”.

        I also found the questions on what things that contribute to being a “True American” interesting. Respondents were allowed to answer yes or no to as many items as they wanted.

        61% said that spending most of your life in America makes you a True American.
        62% said that being born in America makes you a True American.
        53% said being Christian makes you a True American.
        24% said that being of European descent makes you a True American.

        That last one is kind of ugly…. But get this….

        76% said that being accepting of other people makes someone a True American.

  5. Reading a book about the French Revolution right now. This quote, from a letter from the Mayor of Paris to Robespierre about the Jacobins, jumped out at me:

    “We have lost the quiet energy of free men. We no longer judge things coolly. We shout like children or lunatics. I simply ask myself every moment whether we can continue to be free. I cannot sleep at night, for my usual peaceful slumbers are disturbed by dreams of disaster.”

    • Yes, good to look back at parallels with the French Rovolution – the wonderful idealism and awfully depressing outcomes. Thomas Jefferson seems to have been very slow to catch on. Also the political struggles in 1920s Europe between the liberal democrats, socialists and bolsheviks. A common theme seems to be how naive idealism on the ‘left’ often triggers destructive reaction from the ‘right’. ‘History’ provides few examples of ‘success’ and many failures. The French Revolution may have wrecked France, but saved the US, and maybe the UK too?

  6. I would get more of those “why do you keep posting about this when children are being taken out of the arms of their mothers at the border?” messages.

    I did not see much other discussion regarding this topic here, but it does bring up a question that I have about this. I have been seeing MSNBC just going nuts with this story about all the kids at some re-purposed Walmart, and I am a bit confused by what is going down. Of course MSNBC is so opaque about what they report that there is no clarity to be had there. So here is my question, maybe someone here knows the answer.

    Again, I am hearing about all these “kids” that are being “held as prisoners” in some constellation of ICE centers — and the news is implying that these kids are the ones who have been “taken from their parents at the border”. So the question is… who are these kids in the camps, and how does one end up there? I am thinking that they are mostly children who attempted to enter the US unlawfully, while unaccompanied. That is a very different situation from taking a kid from their parent at the border. Also, this separate children policy (as I understand it) is kind of recent (although I am not sure what happened prior to this policy — did they throw the kids in jail with the parents?) — but the kids in these camps have been there for a lot longer than this policy. So what gives?

    • I’ve had similar questions and I haven’t been able to find anything in the news. Where do these kids go? I would expect they would end up in a state foster system until the parents legal case and incarceration came to an end, but that is mere conjecture.

    • I heard a radio interview with someone from ICE…as I understand it, ICE is either trying to locate the parents (in some cases) or the parent is incarcerated for various crimes, and the children cannot typically live with them, only visit them. Unlike most non-illegal-immigrant incarcerations, I assume you can’t just send the kids to live with relatives or into foster care.

  7. I’m a regular reader and sometimes commenter. I also am a regular international traveler. I haven’t been to Vietnam yet so those weren’t me. But many other places all of the world will be me.

  8. Jack some of the older views were from me, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia. Should be several from the middle of the ocean and all over the middle east. For as long as I have been a EA reader, around the Scoreboard days. Just thinking about it I bet I I have read EA from nearly two dozen countries.

  9. There have always been haters.

    But how did these haters become the public face of President Trump’s opposition?

    After all, the Chimpmaniacs did not become the public face of President Obama’s opposition?

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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 )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.