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?