The best piece about Donald Trump published this election cycle


#1

[Read the post]


#2

I’m going to push back a trifle on one comment, that the reason you attend someone’s wedding is that they give you money, or even that you’re “loyal” to them. There are actually quite a lot of reasons - you hate them, but it’s going to be a blowout, for instance. Or it’s a great networking opportunity. Or that there will be press and you want to be seen. Or that the spread is going to be amazing, or it sounds like it might be fun. I mean, I loathe Trump (and being from NYC, I have for a long time), but if he invited me to his wedding, I’d go in a heartbeat.
Hillary was NYS senator, and Trump is NY royalty. I really don’t think attending the wedding is a sign of subservience of some kind.


#3

I’m pretty sure that Trump will be using that photo of them together in adverts if they end up being the candidates, though. And it’ll work.


#4

From a distance, watching the endless stream of shit that is the American election I have one comforting thought about our own disfunctional political system: campaigning for our elections started on the 3rd of February, this morning the moratorium on campaigning kicked in, and tomorrow morning we will be voting.

It may be nasty and brutish, but at least it’s short.


#5

Best excerpt from the article:

He used a German term, backpfeifengesicht, literally “a face in
need of a good punch,” to describe Cruz. This may be overstating things
a little. Cruz certainly has an odd face – it looks like someone sewed
pieces of a waterlogged Reagan mask together at gunpoint – but it’s his
tone more than anything that gets you.

First - I learned a new word - backpfeifengesicht - and I plan on using it frequently

Second - “sewing pieces of a waterlogged Reagan mask together at gunpoint”? - Wow…just Wow!


#6

Good post Cory, but why the drive-by swipe at Hunter Thompson? Taibbi is great, but no need to call this “much improved” over the classic Fear and Loathing on the Campaign trail, which uniquely broke ground on campaign coverage, and was so far out that it permanently created a new space for smart and impassioned observers like Taibbi.


#7

This is depressing.

Taking the long view, is there really nothing that can be done if everybody agrees that the President has no idea what he is doing? Of course, you can always find somebody who will furiously insist that the President has no idea what he is doing, but what if he finally screws up badly enough that everyone finally comes to grudging agreement?

… Actually, that’s a pretty happy picture and maybe that’s exactly what the world needs. Unless there’s no way to get rid of the President afterwards. He’d actually have to break the law for impeachment to work, right?


#8

In her defense Hillary has only attended, like, one third of Trump’s weddings.


#9

In the country I wish I lived in, the President’s powers would be so severely constrained that even a Trump could do no irreversible harm. (Those who cheered Obama’s use of executive orders to achieve his goals should now contemplate the possibility of a President Trump with the same powers.)

Part of the problem with this election is the broader problem with the deification of the office of the presidency. The president is basically only our hired hand, after all.

The solution is not to find living gods for the throne - the solution is to strip the throne of its trappings of omnipotence.

They’re are politicians and they are all more or less scum. We should simply seek out the least noxious among them.


#10

How would you like to be Donald Trump, on January 20, 2017, with an invitation to the inauguration of Hillary Clinton, who owes her election to you??


#11

How so? It’s tough to imagine Rubio or Cruz doing any better against her.


#12

So, basically, you want a parliamentary system? (genuine question)

Get the President to do the ceremonial stuff, have the power vested in the Speaker and directly accountably to Congress?

I saw this retweeted the other day (by @kstreethipster, who’s worth following), although it’s an article from early last year. Long read, but I thought it was worth it.

American democracy is doomed

To understand the looming crisis in American politics, it’s useful to think about Germany, Japan, Italy, and Austria. These are countries that were defeated by American military forces during the Second World War and given constitutions written by local leaders operating in close collaboration with occupation authorities. It’s striking that even though the US Constitution is treated as a sacred text in America’s political culture, we did not push any of these countries to adopt our basic framework of government.

Is this why the US has midterms, anyway - to stop the President from having too much power?

(sorry, not a citizen, never studied US civics at school…)

Edit: nice bit of prescience here:

Indeed, we ought to consider possibilities more disastrous than a repeat of the 2000 vote. What if a disputed presidential election coincided with a Supreme Court vacancy?


#13

My favourite quote is:

Trump’s basic argument is the same one every successful authoritarian movement in recent Western history has made: that the regular guy has been screwed by a conspiracy of incestuous elites.

What I find interesting about it is that the argument is true. It’s not about Trump making this argument it’s about him arising from this condition.


#14

this boorish, monosyllabic TV tyrant with the attention span of an Xbox-playing 11-year-old really is set to lay waste to the most impenetrable oligarchy the Western world ever devised.

Trump’s only modifying it slightly, and as more of an insider (actually a fully-paid-up insider going back longer than his actual life—silver spoon, remember, Matt?) than Taibbi gives him credit for.


#15

Well, there’s more to an oligarchy than money. It’s about being an insider, and about cooperating with other oligarchs. Sure, they can have struggles between themselves, but they all know to keep those struggles in the family so as not to weaken their collective power. Trump is telling the oligarchy to fuck off. Even if he is doing so from inside, that’s still upending the thing.

But I don’t think he is really part of that system. It’s a system of Bushes and Clintons, not of Kochs. The political ruling class is the class of favoured servants, not of actual billionaires.


#16

Bah. Something awful started auto playing, then it b0rked my browser :frowning: I might try & read it later on a proper computer.


#17

Wow, it rerouted you to something awful? B0rked indeed!


#18

His campaign is stoppable. Let’s not say the dog ate our homework. We’re not that tired are we?


#19

He’s invested in the companies of the ruling class. The rest is branding.


#20

But the scariest thing about Trump right now is, if he does lose his lead, the person who will take his place on the Iron Throne is much, much worse. Trump actually gives Planned Parenthood some credit. Trump actually calls out Geo W Bush over 9-11 and the Iraq War. The list of his “unforced errors” (sensible statements) goes on.

Cruz, is as far as can be determined from his Canadian birth certificate, is a natural-born reptilian. He collected Nixon Administration trading cards before Watergate, before they were ironic, and he collected them all. (His favorite: an autographed, gem mint of Donald Segretti, the original Dirty Trickster.) He writes a book: “A Time for Truth.” His campaign slogan is “Trust Ted.” This is a dishonest man massively overcompensating.

This isn’t a case of “the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know.” This is a case of “the devil you know is better than the much, much worse devil you also know.” His stated goals are: repealing Obamacare; abolishing the IRS and replacing the tax code with a 16% value-added tax on all goods and services; abrogating the Iran Nuclear Deal; reversing any and all progressive Climate Change policy; invading Syria with ground troops. Similar regressive policies concern: abortion, marriage equality, women in the military, women in general. Plus, he’ll have 1 (if not 2) SCOTUS nominations, locking in a rigidly conservative SCOTUS for the next 20 years.

Sure, Hillary “should” win versus Trump or Cruz, but why take the chance of letting Cruz get any closer? We need to support Trump any way we can in the Republican primaries.

“America, won’t you please help me finish the job Geo W. Bush started?”