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October 01, 2020

Comments

Two points about the debate...

Fallows said his overriding impression of Trump’s behaviour was that he was doing everything he could to trigger a stuttering episode for Biden.
Intentional or not, I think that’s true, and Biden’s performance should be sen in that context.

Second, this is anecdata, but it suggests the debate backfired spectacularly for Trump:
https://thebulwark.com/listen-to-what-trump-2016-swing-state-voters-had-to-say-about-the-debate/

I think this is under appreciated by us men...

Nigel, thanks for that link. This is probably going to be long for a comment, but while there is some good news in that link, there are some other things that disturb me (though it isn't your fault)

The women who said
It was difficult to watch and finish. I was relieved when it was over, I was very disappointed in both of them. I don’t know if I can support either of those candidates, I lost respect for both of them.
and
I have to hand it to Joe, he held his wits better than I thought he would. I guess my question is: Do I really have to vote? I don’t know but I want to, but it was discouraging. I don’t think either one won.”

I've always thought that the strategy was to make so people sick of the whole idea of making a decision that they just opted out. Is Trump behaving atrociously going to make people go out because they want to see him lose? Or is it going to have the undecided so turned off that they don't vote? And if that undecided group doesn't vote, does Trump eke out a victory by juicing up his Proud Boy coalition? That's what I thought has been the strategy.

Also, I have always believed that most people, when they see someone having difficulties, will feel some sympathy, but lately, I think I have been far too optimistic about that. If Trump had gotten Biden to stutter, would people have seen it for what it was, an attempt to make Biden look weak and would then have that damage Trump because he did that? Nothing in recent events suggests that would have happened.

That said, I'm glad that the person who was going to vote for Trump said
“I don’t know if I am going to stick with him. That was awful last night. I’m moving more towards the fence, I really am. It was despicable behavior, the way he attacked Joe’s sons, one of whom is dead, it was terrible.”

Great, but 'I'm moving towards the fence?' I suppose a vote taken out of the Trump column is a win, but that 'Trump is despicable, so therefore all politicians can't be trusted' is a lot of the reason why we are in the situation we are in.

A more eloquent description.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/trumps-smear-and-scream-debate-strategy

Perhaps we are simply dealing with the end of shame.

The TPM essay reminds me of the book The Topeka School, by Ben Lerner. It describes toxic masculinity through a debate technique called "the spread." Here's a description from an NPR piece.

Trump is no good at the technique, and it didn't work for him in his debates with Hillary Clinton. But the book was an accurate description of what's happening in our culture generally, and of forces that decided the 2016 election in particular.

My view is that Biden should do it again. He should stay as collected as possible and do better at politely jabbing at Trump. There is too much material to use against him. It doesn't have to be rude. But he has to get definite, clear jabs in.

This reminds me of an experience I had. At my university, I was on a committee about something and made a suggestion. As is often the case, the suggestion was brushed off with the explanation that 'we've never done that before'. I resigned myself, but a new teacher, Japanese, stood up and said well, if you aren't going to consider any suggestions, I'm just going to leave. The admin person running the meeting fell over himself and said that of course they would consider it and he'd have an answer at the next meeting.

Of course, it was still too much of a departure from the norm, so at the next meeting, much regret was expressed to the teacher who threatened to leave. Of course, he could do that because he was Japanese, I, as a foreigner, no matter how long I had been there, could not express myself in that way, though I have often wondered if/when an opportunity would arise where I could do that.

I think Biden has a similar problem. He is restricted from really doing anything that he _should_ be able to do if he were dealing with a person who had some shame. Demanding an apology, saying that he will leave (and doing so) if he is interrupted one more time. But we know that he can't take any of those steps.

I personally think he should simply address the American people with every answer. 'The moderator's question is a good one and I want to tell the American people that...' Pretend that Trump isn't even in the room. If there is a cutting of the mics, I don't know if we would hear Trump (directional mics can make it so that we can't hear Trump, but I assume that Biden would be able to hear him) so Trump's goal would be to provoke Biden into a retort (he did it a few times) that would have it seem that Biden was just an old man yelling at the clouds.

Perhaps at those moments, he should just stop and look at his cards and say, I'm sorry, I can't really speak until the President stops talking and then, when (if?) he stops, say, are you finished? and then wait for him to explode again.

It will be interesting to see how the VP debate goes.

Word is that the debate commission is thinking about mic cutting. I cannot tell you how afraid I am if that happens.

They won't dare. Trump has had his opportunity to show the base his brand of strong forceful speaking. If the Debate Commission adds mic cutting, Trump will simply refuse to participate while harping on the elite media muzzling him, changing the rules in mid-game, etc. Better for the Commission's future if they simply call off the rest of the debates.

It was difficult to watch and finish. I was relieved when it was over, I was very disappointed in both of them. I don’t know if I can support either of those candidates, I lost respect for both of them.

Okay, but which one do you want to SHUT THE FNCK UP and GO THE FNCK AWAY? Vote for the other one.

Sheesh.

The former long-serving US correspondent of my daily paper thinks it was Trump victory because in his opinion the average US voter will prefer the 'strong' (i.e. outwardly domineering) guy over the 'defensive' one even if the former lacks any other quality/qualification. In other words: forceful idiot > restrained competent.

I assume Biden would gain points if he suddenly displayed a huge foam hammer and whacked Jabbabonk over the head (unlike an actual baseball bat this would add humiliation without carrying the 'thug' label).

there are some other things that disturb me (*though it isn't your fault)...

I was encouraged rather than disturbed - these were, after all, people who voted for Trump last time round. That some can at least contemplate changing their minds is a huge positive in my book.

*Glad to sort that bit out. :)

I view anyone who is undecided at this point to be a Trump-leaning voter. If they are finally put off enough to sit the election out, that's a victory, even if they aren't voting for Biden. Anyone who did't already find Trump to be utterly unacceptable before this debate can abstain and I will be happy about that.

.. thinks it was Trump victory because in his opinion the average US voter will prefer the 'strong' (i.e. outwardly domineering) guy over the 'defensive' one...

That is Trump's base, and it is true that they make up quite a large proportion (possibly a plurality) of US male voters.
They don't for a moment represent 'the average US voter'.

FWIW, my thoughts are:

  • Have the rest of the debates.
  • No mic cutting
  • Better / more forceful moderation

It's the moderator's job to manage the tone of the debate, not Biden's.

Trump is going to be an asshole. It's all he has, it's his only way of relating to other people. He shouldn't be allowed to FUBAR the debate cycle.

Don't let bullies set the terms.

If people are horrified by his behavior, perhaps it will occur to them that maybe he shouldn't be POTUS.

Some people will watch Trump acting like a flaming @ss and think he's doing a great job. He's really sticking it to Biden!!

I think those people are basically unreachable. The rest of us just need to out-vote them.

Biden appears to be up for it. I don't think he's afraid of Trump, or intimidated by Trump, or otherwise incapable of going toe to toe with Trump.

Biden's biggest advantage is that he responds to Trump like a regular person would. He doesn't get all pissy about The Violation Of Our Norms or The Loss Of Civility. He clearly thinks Trump is an idiot. He laughs at him.

It's a good play, and it comes to him naturally.

The biggest challenge for Biden is going to be not giving in to total exasperated impatience and telling Trump to f*** off, live on national TV.

He's up for it. Let him do it.

So it seems that to defeat an old white man, we had to put up another old white man.

To defeat an old white man who is a bully, perhaps. But then, Trump would have doubtless behaved the same way if he was up against a black man. Quite possibly with the same success (in some quarters) that he did against Clinton.

The former long-serving US correspondent of my daily paper thinks it was Trump victory because in his opinion the average US voter will prefer the 'strong' (i.e. outwardly domineering) guy over the 'defensive' one

That may well be true . . . of the average white male US voter. But the average US voter isn't male. And doesn't have that reaction.

As russell notes, "Biden's biggest advantage is that he responds to Trump like a regular person would." He didn't have a meltdown, but he didn't just passively take it either. Which I think was exactly the right way to go. And everything I've seen so far suggests that most of my fellow citizens had the same reaction.

If the possibility of muting the mics is considered (or mooted) but rejected, Biden should make it clear why:

"I want the American people to hear everything that I hear, and make their minds up on that basis."

"I don't want there to be any doubt in the minds of the American people about what the President has said, or hasn't said."

Sound-proof booths! What was the old game show with those things? The only thing that gets out is through the mic in the booth. The only thing that gets in comes through a mic outside the booth. Each debater's mic is muted except during his allotted response time. No discretion!

actually, I think the solution here is better Presidents.

inshallah!

Maybe something modeled after The Gong Show would be better for ratings.

There has to be automatic microphone control, not up to the moderator. Each debater gets a set time for exposition and for reply, no interruptions. Obviously Trump will never respect rules otherwise. He won't anyway - he will be cut off at the end of his time.

I have always thought chess clocks ought to be used in these so-called debates, probably instead of "moderators". A chess clock has two timers, one for each player, geared so that while one runs the other is stopped. Each player starts off with, say, 45 minutes on his timer.

In chess, your timer runs while you're thinking; after making your move you push your button to stop your timer and start the other guy's. His timer runs as long as he keeps thinking; when he makes his move he pushes his button and it's over to you again. The idea is to give each player the same total amount of time to "think" for the whole game, while allowing him to allocate it -- think longer about some moves than others.

In "debates", where the object is to talk rather than think, you'd push your button to start your timer running and activate the mic carrying your voice out of your soundproof booth. Your opponent could push his button at any time, cutting off your mic and enabling his, but stopping your timer and starting his of course. When you have talked for a cumulative 45 minutes, you're done. If your opponent still has time left, he can use it to talk uninterrupted.

He, Trump would probably be pushing His button furiously from the get-go, using up His 45 minutes in the first 50 minutes of the show. (This assumes that Biden would occasionally punch in for a few seconds with a quick jab.) Then Biden would have 40 minutes to talk, uninterrupted, to the audience. Debunk He, Trump's earlier lies, lay out his own platform, tell jokes, whatever.

The doors of the soundproof booths would not open until Biden finished using his time. As an undeserved mercy to He, Trump, Biden might forgo some of his remaining time so that He, Trump could be let out to be treated for apoplexy.

The MAGAts wouldn't stick around for the whole thing, of course. But it would be fun to see whether those "undecided" voters would.

--TP

It really is sad that we're even discussing such measures to control someone who is not only running for president, but who already is president. Leader of the Free World! HA!!!

(Shoot me now, Bugs Bunny.)

Someone be a responsible man or woman and cancel the remaining debates.

Who is going to shut off his microphone when Trump declares the votes will not be counted?

Who will shut off his microphone when he declares martial law and the arrest of prominent Democrats and enemies?

The US Military? The Secret Service?

The fucking useless U.S. Constitution.

Who will stop this shit:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/trump-letter-usda-food-aid-boxes

Who will stop vermin subhuman republicans from murdering cheeseheads in Wisconsin. The campaign refuses to even communicate with the localities targeted for super-spreading by conservative movement murderers.

The Governor should send his National Guard into the rallies and Kent State the entire crew of ratfucking conservatives.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/trump-to-hold-wisconsin-rallies-in-covid-red-zones-as-state-cries-crisis

These ruthless, thieving, republican dirtbags in Texas are stealing the election. They call themselves Christians.

Crucify them and their families.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/texas-governor-limits-mail-in-ballot-drop-off-to-one-location-per-county

One drop off location, down from 11 during the primaries in the third largest county, Harris County in Texas, which is geographically and population-wise larger than a few goddamned states.

The poor, minorities, and the elderly without adequate transport must arm themselves and kill those responsible.

It's Texas. Use your fucking guns for something meaningful for a change besides as masturbatory, virtue-signaling sex toys you wave around on blogs.

There will be SAVAGE KILLING VIOLENCE, not as Marty whines, because we are crazy, but because we have finally become lucidly sane as Lincoln and Congress did on July 25, 1861.

This is not wishful thinking.

It's a schedule of vermin conservative America's fate when BOTH sides decide to do it.

She's very concerned, the corrupt, mealy-mouthed liar:

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/10/1/1982504/-Major-donor-of-Susan-Collins-arrested-for-defrauding-COVID-19-relief-program-Collins-wrote

None of them are human.

White supremacist murderer Kyle Rittenhouse is suing Joe Biden for libel.

Pigfucking America, October 1, 2020.

Be careful what you ask for. I've talked to a number of solid DT supporters. Everyone of them turned off the debate after less than 45 minutes, expressly because watching DT was so unpleasant. Everyone agreed that DT probably alienated half or more of his female supporters--they either won't bother to vote or will vote Biden. DT came across as every loudmouth, bullying, domineering male women are compelled to deal with from time to time (or maybe more, depending on circumstances).

DT being a giant ass is free advertising for JB. Further, the more time JB has to talk, the greater the opportunity for him to ramble.

Finally, DT was an ass--not by design because he doesn't do 'design'--because he felt cornered. That's what angry narcissists do when cornered.

Kyle Rittenhouse

I doubt Rittenhouse is a white supremacist. He seems more like a naive kid who got into something way over his head.

Which doesn't excuse him, and he may well go to jail for decades.

And if he does, he can thank his attorneys, who are taking a plausible self-defense argument and turning it into some kind of culture war test case.

He's either gonna go to jail for a long time, or he's gonna be turned into some kind of right-wing poster boy. Or, you know, both.

Either way, his life is no longer his own. The kid is screwed.

I'd like to see whoever handed him the rifle up on charges as a contributor to the deaths of the two guys he killed. And I'd like to see the car dealer called to account in some way for not sending him the hell home.

I have no idea WTF his mother was about.

Every day, a fresh new horrible mess.

DT being a giant ass is free advertising for JB.

Yup.

Let Trump be Trump.

DT being a giant ass is free advertising for JB.

So many people responded to the debate by calling for the rest of them. Noticable that far more seem to be Republicans. Trump's fanboys may insist in public that he won. But pretty clearly most of them know better.

The bad news, for them, is that Trump a) is incapable of seeing it, and b) can't pass up a chance to be on stage. Plus, Biden now has some feedback on which ways of responding were most effective. The "debates" may not be great for Biden. But they are being horrible enough for Trump that they're probably still worth doing.

I've talked to a number of solid DT supporters. Everyone of them turned off the debate after less than 45 minutes, expressly because watching DT was so unpleasant. Everyone agreed that DT probably alienated half or more of his female supporters

What about the male Trump supporters you spoke to, McKinney. Apart from turning off the debate, did they say whether it changed their voting intentions at all?

I only watched the debate for 30 seconds, but it seems to have been a representative 30 seconds. I agree that more exposure of Trump unleashed is probably a good thing for Biden. Biden is not that great as a debater ( don’t ask me about the Sanders debate— water under bridge, but Sanders pulled his punches, probably realizing at that point he couldn’t win). But Biden just has to be a normal human being. The more Trump bullies, the more he covers over any Biden gaffes. Trump as a bully is only going to appeal to people who were going to vote for him anyway.

Rod Dreher, btw, has totally jumped the Megalodon and every other massive marine carnivore that has ever existed. I might rant about that later, or might not, as I doubt it comes as a great surprise here.

The human race has permitted Trump to be Trump for 74 years and he is now President of the United States and we aren't.

Maybe time to, I don't know, reconsider strategies.

The saboteurs, various generals and such in the Third Reich, and various diplomatic cowards in England and France, who saw that Hitler was leading Germany into an apocalyptic war, kept thinking, as the Fuhrer took Austria, and then Czechoslovakia, and then Poland, and then France .. let Hitler, the clown, the fool, the freak, be Hitler and, surely, the German people will wake up to the horror, and then the German Generals plotting against him each step of the way lost their resolve and will to act and kill him as Hitler, even to HIS own disbelief, steamrolled all opposition, both political and military.

But, yeah, let's wait and see.

Trump's ass IS Pandora's Box from which at any moment he WILL pull something so entertaining and effectively and evilly heinous that we all go down in flames.

To be fair to Rod ( don’t want to give the wrong impression), he is very critical of Trump. But I bet he votes for him.

I will forgo the snarky rant and just state it plainly. Rod treats Trump as a bad apple but acts like his conservative voters are forced to vote for him because of the horrific threat of soft totalitarianism posed by the SJW movement. In Rod’s mind every time there is a drag queen story hour at a local library, Western Civilization dies a little more. A Robin DiAngelo session mandated by the HR department of a large corporation is like a Maoist self criticism session for the professional managerial classes ( okay I agree with that a little bit). The Left is going to plunge us into a totalitarian dark age and btw, Rod has read his Jeanne Kirkpatrick and he knows totalitarianism is worse than authoritarianism. The Right, in contrast is mostly composed of fine folk forced to vote for Trump, never mind the white nationalists and the self described fascist who regularly frequent his comment section.

Pretty sure Rod is sadly going to vote for Trump. And okay, that got snarky but it is all a pretty fair representation of Dreher and his comment section.

Rod has a book to sell too.

The human race has permitted Trump to be Trump for 74 years and he is now President of the United States and we aren't.

This is basically my answer to those who assert Trump is an idiot who can't find his ass with both hands. Then why is he president and you're not?

For the record, I disagreed with W on most every piece of policy, but had to make the same admission: no one who manages to become president is entirely incompetent.

“ This is basically my answer to those who assert Trump is an idiot who can't find his ass with both hands. Then why is he president and you're not?”

The qualities useful in becoming President are not necessarily positive ones. Trump is a superb grifter. One thing that fascinated me is how he could criticize the Middle East wars we threw ourselves in while advocating war crimes and oil theft. I have a leftist friend who takes contrarianism to the point of extreme stupidity who sometimes buys into the Trump anti war talk. Some of the commenters and writers at the American Conservative ( never Larison) have bought into it. People choose to be stupid sometimes and hear what they want. Trump is competent at this sort of manipulation but people need to want to believe it, because it is pretty self evidently fake.

"Rod Dreher, btw, has totally jumped the Megalodon and every other massive marine carnivore that has ever existed. I might rant about that later, or might not, as I doubt it comes as a great surprise here."

Have at it. m

I now count drama-queen Mr Dreher as one of the five most dangerous figures in America as he chooses (coyly) pagan trumpean fascism over Weimar America and readies himself for Orthodox martyrdom at the hands of a few vocal cocks in frocks, OR to retire rich on the proceeds of his books which he tirelessly and tiresomely promotes and quotes from, whichever gains him the most lucre soonest.

I asked him and some of his ridiculous commentariat if he might also use China's surveillant social credit system as a model for how he proposes to police his Benedict Option communities.

After all, how are they going to detect dissidents, outliers, doubters, and the faithful who otherwise might be a little light in the loafers and the cuckolds in their communities?

Well, of course, thru the Christian social credit system in operation for 2000 years.

The Church Lady and the CCP and Mastercard keep score with similar methods.

Here is a very gentle yet very strong criticism of Dreher by someone who loved his Benedict Option book and wishes he would live up to it. She doesn’t put it like that. There is not a trace of harshness in it. I couldn’t write something this good if I spent a year on it, because it reflects her character. Enough gushing.

https://mereorthodoxy.com/keeping-vaclav-bendas-door-open/

Be careful what you ask for.

This caught my eye and I just want to say, all I am asking for is that Trump get the hell out.

If that is best done by cutting mics or by leaving them on, cancelling the debates or having the debates every day and twice on Sundays (beamed into every megachurch that is located next to a Walmart) or perhaps having the two participants, after every subject, hit each other with pugil sticks, whatever.

Just don't tell me that the unspeakable happened because I 'asked' for something that I really didn't.

It really is DEPLORABLE, how those nasty, nasty liberals keep holding a gun to Dreher's head and forcing him

FORCING him, I say,

to vote for Trump.

Shoulda pulled the damn trigger, sez me.

Rod Dreher is a well-spoken fool

Then why is he president and you're not?

The answer to the "you're not" part is at least partly due to the fact that most people, including me, have zero interest in being POTUS.

That pretty much rules most of us out. So I'm not sure the question, as framed, is relevant.

Historically, being POTUS has not always been an indicator of outstanding qualities. There have been duds and failures.

All of that said, Trump knows how to sell bullshit. And he has a world-historically large ego. And he is... unencumbered by normal standards of ethical or even acceptable behavior. And he appears to be kind of a driven guy, even if what drives him is basically pathological. All of that can be helpful, depending on what your goals are.

Whatever uncredited skills W and Trump employed to achieve the office, they were and are both profoundly crappy presidents. From my point of view, anyway.

Different people value different things.

Trump has no interest either in being President.

Benedict Option

There are people, probably millions of people in this country, who actually do the work of separating themselves, in one way or other, from entanglements with aspects of society that they find, for whatever reason, perilous or distracting or otherwise not beneficial to them as people.

People live off the grid. People live in intentional communities. People take religious vows, of all stripes and persuasions and degrees of rigor. People live deliberately simple lives, where "simple" can take any of 1,000 forms. People change jobs, or even careers, or decide to have no careers. People decide to have families, or decide to not have families.

If you want, you can literally take the "Benedict Option" and become a Benedictine. If you don't want to go the full monty, become an oblate. I know people who have done this - not the Benedictine order, specifically, but religious orders.

Most of these people don't make grand public statements about how the ills of the world is making them separate themselves from this evil and perverse generation.

They just do what they think they need to do. They get on with it.

I don't really know that much about Dreher, and from what I glean about him from second-hand sources, I'm probably not likely to find out that much more about him. I have too many other things to do, frankly. My sense is that he doesn't have all that much to say to me.

But nothing stops him from just freaking going, if that's what he feels like he needs to do.

It's not that hard, you just have to actually find the gumption to do it. You may have to re-arrange some aspects of your life, but that's the point.

I admit to being much amused by Jonathan Capehart's characterization of Trump at the debate:

It was a Brett Kavanaugh-like performance that reeked of desperation.
Yeah, that was it.

https://digbysblog.net/2020/10/its-not-just-trump/

Yeah, no kidding.

Republicans are stalking murderers.

Kill.

QAnon cancel culture.

QAnon cancel culture.

My wife recently had a brief exchange with an old high school friend on FB.

The friend responded to a comment my wife had made when RBG passed, stating that she (RBG) was a well known pedophile. Just one of those things that "everybody knows".

I have no idea how to make a dent in that kind of delusion. People's minds are being poisoned.

What’s crazy about q is that it’s most certainly the product of nihilist trolls. The people at the heart of us are stringing dupes for the laffs

Trump has tested positive for the virus.

We live in interesting times.

I don't care if Trump gets ill, except that would mean he won't be the candidate; Pence will. A lot disgusted GOPers will happily "come home" to vote for Pence.

What I do care about is Biden's proximity to Trump at Tuesday's debate, and to Trump's spittle-flecked tirades.

I hope Joe and Jill get tested. I hope they get some prophylactic plasma.

I suppose that the debate will be a lot better if Trump were on a ventilator...

So it seems that to defeat an old white man, we had to put up another old white man.

I don't think you're correct, lj. I can very well imagine a female leader like Merkel, Solberg or Grybauskaite eating Trump for breakfast while coming across as strong and likeable.

Well, I was thinking of the current female bench possible from the US. Who are already chained to particular expectations.

I did wonder at first if this diagnosis was a tactic, to distract from the bad debate, garner sympathy, and upend the whole unfavourable narrative (call me Machiavellian, you wouldn't be the first). But I don't see how it helps him, with his particular Covid history. Although CaseyL's two scenarios gave me unpleasant pause.

I don't think you're correct, lj. I can very well imagine a female leader like Merkel, Solberg or Grybauskaite eating Trump for breakfast while coming across as strong and likeable.

Interesting that these women aren't eligible, but I'm sure we can find The Electable Female Candidate.

It wasn’t an observation about eligibility, it was a comment on how a woman would have been ‘debate’ with Trump. Too aggressive, gets called out, to retiring, not up to the pressure. It’s the double bind that all women candidates labor under and Trump’s shamelessness would take advantage of that. Please don’t confuse me complaining about the state of affairs as a judgement on women candidates, it’s not, it’s a comment on the way Trump leveraged toxic masculinity.

Fair point, lj. The interesting question is how much of this is due to Trump, US society at large and the current candidates - and how to get out of this bind. Obviously these are all very much intertwined.

...Here is a very gentle yet very strong criticism of Dreher by someone who loved his Benedict Option book...

That is a splendid piece, Donald.

What I do care about is Biden's proximity to Trump at Tuesday's debate, and to Trump's spittle-flecked tirades.

Sound-proof booths! (The irony of mask-mocking during the debate.)

That is a splendid piece, Donald.

Seconded. Although I know very little (if anything) about Dreher, and my anti-religious prejudice is well established, I too was very impressed with the tone and clarity of that piece.

I think I'll try and post that Benedict Option criticism, and very good it is, in a Dreher comment section, should the opportunity arise.

The American Conservative has gone full tilt on THIS stuff in recent weeks, ginning up absolute hatred and abject terror among conservatives for the pedestrian ham sandwich, Joe Biden.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/2020-is-tumbling-toward-1917/

Hitler, yeah him, as I'm reading in "The Rise and Fall of The Third Reich", habitually and with canny strategic ruthlessness, repeatedly blamed the "other side" of the moment, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, France, England, the Jews, for just these sorts of crimes ("soft coups", "soft aggression", "soft totalitarianism" yadayada) against him and the Third Reich, staging mini-Reichstag incidents across borders, etc, thus "forcing" him to invade, destroy, and murder.

Stalin was Hitler's match in blaming innocents for his murderous actions as well.

The first few comments about the Andrews piece are scoffed at in the comments section, but give it a few days, the critics will be swamped by the rightwing crypto-Orthodox Christian fanboys and girls, threatening the existence of all things to the left of John Danforth.

Pat Buchanan, one of the most evil and destructive figures in American politics over the past 50-plus years founded that cesspool of "soft" QAnon fascism.

The giveaway in that AC piece is the writer's attack of the vapours at the revolution which made Germany a democratic republic for 14 years, until a regime more to her liking took over.

Scenarios: since Trump and his filth lie about every jot and tittle that comes down the pike.

Trump, like Mafia dons finally brought to trial, dragging their IV drip, oxygen feed, and dribble cup into Court, is faking the Covid-19 outbreak in the White House to gain the sympathy vote, not only among those pre-disposed to him anyway among the electorate who might be having second thoughts, but also among those Americans who stupidly uphold this unfounded, sentimental respect for the "Office" of the Presidency, much like royalty in other reportedly less enlightened countries, regardless of the scoundrel occupying the office.

This had led to this President being totally immune to Constitutional restraint, not only in the normative sense, but now an entire legal infrastructure has been installed justifying the abuse.

For Republican Presidents only, natch.

Scenario Two: He has deliberately infected himself and his wife and staff with the deadly virus, and hopes he transmitted the virus to the 77-year old Joe Biden, in order to kill or debilitate the latter.

Yes, my flagrant imagination is fully in gear, but think back to the day Trump came down the Simpsons elevator and announced his candidacy to a crowd of out-of-work extras hired to huzzah his greatness and the onslaught of unimaginable, vile things that have transpired since, practically on a daily basis, as normal people keep alive the pointless flame of "he might become Presidential THIS week, finally".

Bullshit.

Third scenario and the most probable: He is infected by the virus in much the same way Herman Cain and many other proud expertise-hating dumbass so-called American boys and girls have willfully and stupidly and cultishly committed suicide in recent six months, in the cause of fucking willful and long-flaunted ignorance, and a pure cock-up.

But he recovers, just in time for election day, after some dire reports regarding his condition, and re-appears, the risen God, his stigmata displayed and makes three deliciously paranoid claims simultaneously: Joe Biden infected HIM; the pandemic is fake news and what'd I tell ya, this thing is nothing worse than the flu; and a combination of bleach spritz baths, hydroxychloroquine dosing, and yes, the first vaccine out of the chute, reserved solely for him as the first heroic volunteer and savior and was administered to his unconscious self.


That is a splendid piece, Donald.

Thirded. And what makes it splendid is that is humane.

The American Conservative has gone full tilt on THIS stuff in recent weeks

Stuff like that is how things like Rwanda happen. It's madness.

On the piece—

Yeah, Leah Libresco is what Christians like to imagine ourselves to be and I know some who are ( certainly not myself), but the overwhelming majority who acquire power or the media spotlight are more like Rod. At best.

Rod lives in a country, never mind the entire world, where millions are suffering and he is obsessed to the point of mania with the hypothetical persecution of comfortably middle class white Christians like himself. That’s been much of evangelical Christianity in the US for decades. It’s ugly and disgusting and it’s why Trump has so much support in that demographic.

“ That’s been much of evangelical Christianity in the US for decades”

Rod himself is an Orthodox Christian ( he converted after disgust with the RC coverup of sex abuse) but he writes like an educated version of the fundies who feel persecuted by liberal elites.

"he is obsessed to the point of mania with the hypothetical persecution of comfortably middle class white Christians like himself."

He is.

What he ignores, on purpose, is that these formerly oppressed Christians in the Soviet sphere, were persecuted, prosecuted, and murdered alongside homosexuals and other so-called "deviants", including Christians who may have also been gay.

And that persecution continues apace in Orthodox Russia and countries formerly in the Soviet sphere and now under the sway of rightwing Catholic orthodoxy, including now, I might add, in fact I just did add, America and its now majority Orthodox Catholic Supreme Court and Justice Department.

In fact, it's as if Christians like himself resent the imposition of minorities of all sorts, including gays, in the pantheon of the oppressed, which should only rightly be occupied by Christian martyrs wearing their crowns of thorns, the only true victims in history, the remnant, eliding the fate of Jews of well, while the stigmata of slavery and segregation for the Other is downplayed and ignored, including the suffering of the closeted gay and lesbian population since ... time began.


Joe Biden has now to be a regular guy and display his sympathy for Trump's and his wife's and his staff's illness.

When Joe is inflicted with the virus, Trump will scorn his plight maliciously like the latter did Romney's after Rand Paul deliberately tired to infect Romney with Covid-19, the Libertarian's virus of choice, unrestrained by government.

America is in malignant hands.

You ain't seen nothin yet.

Unmasked.

https://finance.yahoo.com/video/trump-aide-hope-hicks-presidential-131739289.html

Fucking murderous lunatics.

The Trump Administration views the Covid pandemic much like Putin views Novichok, as just another weapon for holding onto absolute power.

I didn't watch the debate, preferring to spend the evening jabbing chopsticks into my eyes and ears.

Did Trump shake hands with Chris Wallace and Joe Biden?

It is deliberate:

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2020/10/trump-attended-a-fundraiser-and-roundtable-after-finding-out-that-hope-hicks-was-symptomatic

Some entrepreneur should come up with device that combines a respiratory ventilator with a voting machine.

We are fucked.

Even if Trump loses his sense of stink, he smells Victory right now:

https://digbysblog.net/2020/10/now-are-we-all-in-this-together/

"It affects virtually nobody."

The Nobody in Chief has murdered plenty of American nobodies.

Fourth Scenario:

Trump dies from Covid-19. We go thru the ridiculous spectacle of the lying in state, and if anyone can lie in State, he can, and the funeral cortege and the military flyovers and umpteen gunshot salutes, and all of the other bullshit.

Pence, the fake Christian, takes his place on the ticket and wins.

Trump then, having been secreted away, alive and kicking, at Mar-a-Lago, reappears days later and Pence steps down and hands over the Presidency once again to Trump.

No debates, no election.

Easy Peasy.

The Constitution stands like a mute and says nothing, not even moving its lips.

It doesn't even have a signing translator in the room for the deliberately hard of hearing.

Here we go:

https://twitter.com/KLoeffler/status/1312018923420778496

China has attempted assassination against an entire American Presidential Administration.

War is declared against China on November 1.

The National Security State invokes the Insurrection Act and halts all voting and counting of votes as China has somehow infected the fake ballots with Covid-19.

These vermin never go away:

https://www.wonkette.com/michele-bachmann-wont-let-chicoms-fill-american-barns-with-pre-printed-fake-ballots

As hard as I try, I can't diabolically outfuck this EVIL.

he is obsessed to the point of mania with the hypothetical persecution of comfortably middle class white Christians like himself.

I lose interest when people start by conflating Christianity and the West. And then arguing that both are under attack and need to be defended at all costs from invading hordes.

Living in a society where everyone is not just like you creates friction. That's neither bad nor good, it just is. Assuming that your position in that society has, or deserves, some kind of privilege is not a good starting point for sorting those things out.

An early Christmas greeting to all, in case I don't get my Christmas Cards sent on account of being unavoidably detained:

https://www.eschatonblog.com/2020/10/the-war-on-christmas.html

So many Christians, so much fucking:

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/10/2/1982725/-Now-Guilfoyle-This-is-too-much

I may renounce my agnosticism and convert to the cuckolding fun.

American Christianity seems to be a sex cult and a deadly pandemic superspreader vector hotspot.

A similarly Machiavellian friend, who had the same reaction as mine when first heard of the Trump diagnosis (a mutual friend has commented "Huh, you two were trained at the court of the Medici"), has reminded me of the despicable Lynton Crosby and his "dead cat tactic", as described here by BoJo his sometime client:

"There is one thing that is absolutely certain about throwing a dead cat on the dining room table – and I don’t mean that people will be outraged, alarmed, disgusted. That is true, but irrelevant. The key point, says my Australian friend, is that everyone will shout, ‘Jeez, mate, there’s a dead cat on the table!’ In other words, they will be talking about the dead cat – the thing you want them to talk about – and they will not be talking about the issue that has been causing you so much grief."

I don't know how practicable it would be to have a fake diagnosis of POTUS and FLOTUS and keep it secret, and I don't know if it would work anyway given Trump's backstory with the pandemic, but there's no denying that everyone is now talking about the dead cat.

"everyone is now talking about the dead cat."

e's just resting.

With Trump as POTUS, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a dead cat.

e's just resting.

Beautiful plumage!

E's painin for the fiords!

I don't know why, but his always cracked me. Maybe it's the randomness of it.

Mr. Praline: 'Ello, Miss?

Owner: What do you mean "miss"?

Mr. Praline: (pause)I'm sorry, I have a cold.

Up! Cracked me up.

hsh: yes, an excellent example of their surrealism. And of course, when typing it out, you can't convey his tone of offended, self-righteous defensiveness.

Thank you for the reminder.

I'm enjoying fantasizing about the Trumpists who were adamant that the who covid-19 thing was a total fake. Now suffering brain sprain revising their reality.

But no. Trump's got them far too accustomed to mental 180s at the drop of a hat.

Also, Twitter having a ball replaying all the old footage of Trump mocking HRC for her health (and saying he's in three risk groups: elderly, obese and low income). But I don't think stuff like that has the slightest effect on his base. I wonder what on earth would? Still no word from McKinney on whether his staunch Trump-supporting men had a change of heart after the debate. JHC.

Comments at foxnews are split between “Now Trump will be immune and therefore unstoppable “ and “it’s just a flu. He will be fine.” and “at least he’s not hiding in his basement like fragile old joe Biden “

Gotta admit, the man knows how to make an impact on those he thinks must be core supporters.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/10/02/trumps-strange-pre-spin-his-coronavirus-diagnosis-it-came-military-police-who-want-hug-kiss-you/
I'm trying, with total lack of success, to picture any military or police, while on duty, even considering hugging or kissing someone in the Presidential party. But I can imagine how thrilled they must be to get blamed for the President getting sick.

Yup, I saw that and thought: he's trying to make out that he cares so much about military and law enforcement that he risks getting Covid in order to be close to them, and not disappoint them. Astonishingly likely, given everything we know about Trump.

On cleek's comment about Fox, I went on (very rare for me) and was surprised to see a quite long detailed piece about how none of the Trump party wore a mask at the debate, while all of the Biden party did, and that they all turned down the organisers' offers of masks and requests to them that they should wear them. Apparently, again from Fox, the only exceptions to mask-wearing authorised by the organisers beforehand were for Trump, Biden and Wallace so this was a breach of the agreement. Also, in a separate piece, Chris Christie talks about how in debate prep none of the Trump lot wore masks. I must say, I do think Fox is (very slightly) hedging its bets.

I'm trying, with total lack of success, to picture any military or police, while on duty, even considering hugging or kissing someone in the Presidential party.

It's not like there's any logic an ordinary person could understand in the word salad that comes out of his mouth on a regular basis.

But that doesn't mean there's no "logic" at all. There are people who absolutely have to locate any problem or fault that occurs in their vicinity outside their own skin and inside someone else's. I've known a couple of these folks in my life...and they can be very plausible to those under the spell. Not only is nothing ever their fault, but no fault can be ignored, either, everything has to be proactively blamed on someone else, to preempt the possibility of a narrative where a fault can be ascribed to them.

And this hugging and kissing with the military/police is so very weirdly entangled with the Hope Hicks part of the story...

What is it with her and Clickbait anyhow? She left, and then came back...it's like she's the Clickbait Whisperer or something.

Sometimes I still can't believe I'm actually awake and living in a real timeline.

What is it with her and Clickbait anyhow? She left, and then came back...it's like she's the Clickbait Whisperer or something.

What makes it even weirder is that she has apparently been one of the microscopic minority in the West Wing who routinely wore a mask. Apparently she is tight enough with Trump that he would put up with that from her, if not from others.

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