Trump staffers are lying to prove their loyalty

Clearly you are entitled to better from BB and the BBS community.

Good luck with that.

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Was just coming here to post that same link. It’s really honestly scary how strong the push to conform is…

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Until all the clean water and untainted food supplies run out, that is.

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I don’t know… I think some of them still will, even as they starve or get ill from tainted water.

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The real end of that road:

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About two years ago, I posted my mental image of the Platonic Ideal of the Modern Republican

that of a mummified corpse in the midst of a scorched desert, with a grin on its dessicated lips, because he poisoned the waters of “his” oasis rather than let anyone else benefit from it, and died of thirst with a smile.

… and it’s still just as accurate.

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This reminds me of LBJ requiring staff to follow him into the bathroom while he sat on the bowl, dictating/instructing all the while. He was crude, and demanded loyalty.

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And that reminds me of how Cosby demanded the Letterman show assign him an intern to watch him eat in the green room. Manipulative, controlling, abusive.

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Yeah, but he also helped get the all important civil rights legislation and medicare.

But he also expanded the war in vietnam (which lost him reelection).

I know which of the two I’d like in office right now. At least we got something positive out of LBJ.

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Which is EXACTLY why Trump does the stupid shit HE does: he is the subordinate in a power relationship, too. He’s having to prove his loyalty to Putin. 1+1+1= we’re fucked. And all the while, the conservatives in Congress are likely running amok, pushing through their end of a dystopian wet-dream.

Johnson was notorious for this kind of behavior while in office.

He apparently loved literally waving his penis around at others.

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Well, if you were named “Lyndon Johnson”…

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This is the utterly backwards way Americans have been trained to think of dictators. His circle, and the Republican establishment treating him like a useful idiot, is what gives him power, and they do it gladly because of the culture of power they serve. A dictator’s relationship with his upper echelon subordinates is not like the relationship with his subjects/citizens/people. The upper echelon has the power to push back, but they choose not to for a number of reasons that have nothing to do with being undermined. They are the handmaidens of a power structure of which the dictator is only one part.

The reality is that the particular dictator doesn’t matter, because the structural forces that brought them to power would easily bring a different personality into power, but perpetuate the same dynamics. In other words, if Trump was never born, someone kind of like him would just be taking his place, there is a selective pressure from the process and the peculiarities of American fears about immigrants and people darker than a peach that makes him possible, in addition to such things as the electoral college and a system that pushes politicians to accept money from organizations that undermine trust in government.

His staffers have their reasons for being there, and they have agency. What people need to understand is that this is actually one of Trump’s (and really any regime’s) vulnerabilities. Compared to Trump, they’re more susceptible to pressure, and their underlings are even more susceptible to pressure. The system relies on them to function. Trump has no power by himself. When I saw the crowds during the Women’s March (and more significantly, the worldwide protests) one of my thoughts was, “He is the least powerful, most powerful man in the world.” The refusal of the National Park Service Staff to comply with his orders is evidence of that fact. Denmark’s decision to provide missing funding to abortion and contraception is also interesting. Trump can have an entire shadow infrastructure built around him that renders him powerless, simply composed of people who refuse to participate in the system. I’m not saying that people on the left can single-handedly build a national infrastructure that will replace or undo the damage, but I am saying that by pretending that the office of the President has intrinsic power, and that Trump automagically wields it, we are only feeding into his power. We need to flip that perception on its head. Trump only has those powers if people respect him enough to be beholden to it. Be careful how you interpret this statement: There is a wide gulf between saying that the President has zero ability to enact repressive policies, and saying that those policies largely rely on our everyday cooperation with those policies.

I’ve said it before: Resistance can take many forms, the easiest and surprisingly most underutilized form is simply people doing their jobs badly.

“Whoops, I saw something and didn’t say something.”
“Whoops, I dropped the ball on recording that information on religious affiliation.”
“Whoops, I misspelled their funny foreign name and it didn’t match the registry they were forced to enroll in.”
“Whoops, deleted a ton of data. Better call IT.”

In other words, don’t enable the people who enable the people who enable Trump, however far down the line they may be. It really, really does rest on our shoulders, more than we realize. This is the part where I quote someone famous about being afraid that we are powerful beyond measure, but the reality is that we either all take the risks inherent to this kind of resistance together, or it doesn’t work. I am not afraid of Trump. I’m afraid of all of you. That you will be too weak, too comfortable, and too unwilling to take any risks to undermine him. That’s the real fear that I have. The fact that people are scared of him is what’s truly scary.

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Are you disappointed with BoingBoing?

Also seriously this just encourages @beschizza to do it more.

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It really does. :slight_smile:

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That’s one model. However, with various types of controlling people, training underlings to reflexive obedience is standard.

What is especially amusing/massively angering to me, is Morning Joe blaming the staffers for not reigning Trump in. Trump is being Trump, and behaving exactly how he behaved in the campaign. Instead of admitting that he effed up by endorsing this uncontrollable and intemperate narcissist and giving him free-air time to win the election, MJ is blaming the staffers for doing Trumps bidding. MJ needs to look in the mirror if he wants to blame someone.

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Welcome to the Democratic People’s Republic of North America.
Now shut up, take your pills and consume.

As I said, the prevailing dynamics of our power structure put Trump in the position he’s in. It served MJ’s purposes to help Trump initially, just like it’s currently serving his underling’s purpose to do as he says for access to wealth and power. The reality is of course, that firing them would make him look very bad. A staff revolt within the first hundred days? If they cared, if it served them, they genuinely have all the power here to dictate terms. But they don’t care, because it doesn’t serve them. This is going to be the stealingest, most corporate friendly administration in history. They’ve all got cushy private sector jobs in four years. There’s a lot of money in it for people who ride that train to the end.

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Well, I can’t disagree with that. :worried:

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It’s true, we live for “Last post 1 hours ago Joined 2 hours ago” lifetime readers disappointed in how things have gone at Boing Boing lately.

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