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Post Election Thread: Democracy Dies In Darkness And You Can Help

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58 minutes ago, Donward said:

It is still too damn early to talk conclusively about mid-term elections. But with that premise, I'm somewhat amused by the takes on last night's primary elections in Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Idaho, and Oregon where the Democrat "Blue Wave" is hitting the shoals of political reality by nominating far-left progressives over "moderates".

 

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/15/2018-primary-election-results-updates-590389

 

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/did-democrats-just-have-their-first-tea-party-moment-of-the-2018-primaries/

 

Even the perennially wrong FiveTurdyAte is pondering the question.

 

"The Democratic Party woke up this morning with a clear signal from Tuesday’s primary elections: The #Resistance means business. The more progressive candidate won in Democratic primaries around the country. The question, however, is whether those more liberal candidates will hurt the party’s chances in November."

 

...

 

 

 

It's hard to say.  The republican's had the same thing happen when they Tea Party came along in 2010.  Certainly, some of the more ideologically extreme tea party supported candidates lost races they should have won (christie odonnell) , but overall, the Tea Party movement energized a lot of conservative voters. Will the #Resistance be the Democtratic version of this?  Guess we'll find out in November.

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43 minutes ago, Sturgeon said:

Yeah, I bet the FBI thinks it would have been for his own good to lose the election, too.

 

 

James Comey was going around saying the American people should be punished for their choice, fuck that guy and the FBI. 

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1 hour ago, Jeeps_Guns_Tanks said:

 

James Comey was going around saying the American people should be punished for their choice, fuck that guy and the FBI. 

 

Sounds a lot like the way we've been spoken about since the Brexit vote.

 

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2 hours ago, Jeeps_Guns_Tanks said:

 

 

James Comey was going around saying the American people should be punished for their choice, fuck that guy and the FBI. 

Um, when did he say that?  I know he said that he favored a situation where Trump is voted out of office rather than impeached.  I think his thought was that the US voter made this choice (well, 46.1% did), and it's up to the voter to change it if they don't like it.

 

"Because I think impeaching and removing Donald Trump from office would let the American people off the hook and have something happen indirectly that I believe they're duty bound to do directly."
"People in this country need to stand up and go to the voting booth and vote their values," Comey said. "And so impeachment, in a way, would short circuit that."

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26 minutes ago, Walter_Sobchak said:

Um, when did he say that?  I know he said that he favored a situation where Trump is voted out of office rather than impeached.  I think his thought was that the US voter made this choice (well, 46.1% did), and it's up to the voter to change it if they don't like it.

 

"Because I think impeaching and removing Donald Trump from office would let the American people off the hook and have something happen indirectly that I believe they're duty bound to do directly."
"People in this country need to stand up and go to the voting booth and vote their values," Comey said.
"And so impeachment, in a way, would short circuit that."

1

 

That's how that line reads to me from memory.  

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James Comey is a weird dude.  Somehow the guy managed to piss off everyone, both right and left, by doing what in his own mind he felt was best for the FBI.  Notice I said "what he thought was best", not that his decisions were actually good.  That said, my impression is that he is a relatively honest public servant, with perhaps more than a touch of self-rightieousness to him.  His description of the President seems quite believable to me though.

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President Trump has forever sullied the Office of the President!!!

 

Oh wait...

 

https://nypost.com/2018/05/23/inside-jfks-door-to-door-search-for-a-french-call-girl-and-why-she-had-to-look-like-jackie/


 

Spoiler

Inside JFK’s door-to-door search for a French call girl — and why she had to look like Jackie

 

After the Bay of Pigs fiasco in April 1961, Kennedy thought a meeting in Europe with French and Soviet leaders Charles de Gaulle and Nikita Khrushchev, respectively, could serve as a reset for his presidency. He decided that he and first lady Jackie Kennedy would embark on their first official European tour. This would be the trip where Jackie so entranced the French that Kennedy famously introduced himself as “the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris.”

But while Jackie was thrilled at the prospect of meeting novelist and newly appointed French Culture Minister Andre Malraux, one of her literary idols, her husband looked to fulfill a different sort of fantasy.

“If JFK had a type, it was the wholesome, snooty, proper, preppy girl whose flaunted untouchability he could violate . . . girls like Jacqueline Bouvier,” writes Stadiem, who notes that Kennedy learned about Madame Claude from Sinatra.

 

...

 

On the trip, Kennedy hoped to hook up with French actress and Jackie Kennedy-lookalike Anouk Aimée, who had just appeared in the Federico Fellini hit “La Dolce Vita.” The president, Stadiem writes, had been “obsessed about her.”

“What does he want her for? He’s already got her,” Claude, referring to Aimée’s resemblance to the president’s wife, asked Salinger.

“The explanation was that JFK liked the package more than the contents,” Stadiem writes. “He was drawn to Jackie’s looks but wanted a more seductive, sexual version.”

Aimée, however, was horrified at the suggestion, rejecting it outright — not for any reticence about a paid encounter, but because she considered Kennedy a “puerile warmonger.” Claude told Salinger only that she was away on business and, therefore, unavailable.

 

...

 

After Kennedy spent the first day with de Gaulle, the plan for Day Two was for Malraux to play tour guide to the first lady while the president visited French historical sites. But at the last minute, Kennedy begged off, claiming a flare-up of his infamously bad back and saying that he’d need to visit a French pain specialist.

After walking up six flights, the president spent five minutes pounding on the door he thought would lead to his exciting mystery date, only to get no answer. He then knocked on several neighboring doors and gave a few old ladies the surprise of their lives before he dejectedly trudged back downstairs.

Kennedy donned a fedora as a disguise and walked into a local cafe hoping to find a pay phone so he could call Salinger and find out what went wrong. He managed to walk unrecognized into the cafe, but saw that their pay phone required tokens, leading to a surreal scene.

“JFK had to slither up the narrow, curving stairwell and abashedly request a token from the grizzled bartender, who gave him the most curious and dubious of looks,” Stadiem writes.

“Neither he nor Dr. Jacobson had any francs. JFK had no money at all. Jacobson fished out a twenty-dollar bill and gave it to the barman, who seemed mystified. The doctor motioned for him to keep the change.”

When Kennedy finally reached Salinger, it turned out the legendary speechwriter was less proficient with addresses — he had written “boulevard de Courcelles” instead of “rue de Courcelles.”

Duly corrected, the president found the correct address and his Claude girl, decked out in the exact same Givenchy dress his wife would be wearing, displayed for the eyes of the world, that evening.

After receiving a shot of “medicine” in his back from Jacobson, Kennedy spent no more than half an hour with the young woman. According to Claude, Kennedy was so fascinated by the dress that his date “gave the president a striptease combined with a seminar.” That night, the president was “profusely complimentary to Jackie over her Givenchy.”

 

TLDR: On JFK's state visit to France with his wife Jackie, he skipped out to hook up with a French call girl who was dolled up to look like his wife. Trouble is he got the wrong address, and the President of the United States was left alone with only his doctor in Paris, which was crawling with spooks, terrorists, ex-Nazis, Communists, and assassins, knocking on random doors trying to find her. And he didn't even have the ability to make a phone call during this escapade. This is a short while AFTER the Bay of Pigs fiasco.

 

The conspiracy theory isn't that Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated Kennedy. The conspiracy is how Jack didn't get offed sooner. 

 

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2 hours ago, Collimatrix said:

 

I don't think it was "part of the plan" in the sense that Trump has a detailed vision of everything that will transpire in the next several months.  This was improvisation, but Trump likes to improvise a lot.  In fact, he seems most comfortable when he is just making it up as he goes along.  His speeches read from a teleprompter were forgettable.  His speeches when he is just saying crazy shit as it occurs to him are where all of his "wise" quotes come from.  Like this:

 



God help us, in ten years this will be taught in high schools as an example of incisive political rhetoric.  In a way, it is.  Look at how the crowd is going wild, even though the things Trump is saying are completely idiotic.  I cannot emphasize this enough; this is a really stupid speech.  But this is the difference between Trump and normal politicians; Trump has a lot of experience as an actor, and he can judge a crowd.  He will figure out how to get into the heads of the crowd and excite them.  He understands that the psychology of the crowd is not logical.  It is based on feelings.  He is saying words that are happy words, words that have positive connotations and associations in these people's minds, like "military," "veterans," "economy" and of course "winning."  It does not matter that the way he has glued these words together sounds like it was written by a five year old.  It is all based on Trump's (largely intuitive) understanding of human psychology, and this is a very active/reactive process.  He is strongest when he can make up the words, the body language, et cetera as he goes along.  He can gauge where the crowd is, adjust, and subtly push them to a state of excitement and even euphoria.  I bet most of those people left the speech feeling very energized, and told their friends and family about how great a speaker Trump is.  But they did not get into detailed discussions of what Trump's policy positions are, which is just as well because everything he had to say about policy positions was completely stupid.

If you're thinking this sounds like a bizarre, postmodern deconstruction of Hitler, you're close.  US political speaking takes a lot from the tradition of religious revival preaching from the 1820s-1840s.  Travelling preachers would speak to crowds in a big tent in a sort of circus-like atmosphere.  That is where the image of a Protestant preacher ranting about hellfire and brimstone comes from, and for a long time being good at this sort of speaking (really not formal speaking, more like a weird form of acting to excite the crowd) was a necessary skill for successful politicians.  But many decades have passed, and most US politicians have become empty suits who lack this skill.  Trump has it because of his experience as an actor.  Trump actually has a detailed set of policy positions and theories, but he understands that a big crowd like this is not the time to reiterate Ross Perot's theories on the negative-sum nature of NAFTA.  A big crowd is a chance to slowly build up the collective energy of the people and excite them by saying words like "proud!" and "ECONOMY!" and "MILITARY!" and "annex the Sudetenland!" "WINNING!!!"  It is not logical at all, and if you read a transcript of the speeches you would think the man is senile because the words are just meaningless babble.  It only makes sense if you see the video, and you can see how he can excite the crowd, and draw them to his side with his charming words of nonsense.

 

The same logic applies to Trump's international negotiations.  Trump does not see negotiations and deal-making as a logical process that is the outcome of two parties realizing they have common goals and interests and writing an agreement that guarantees maximum benefit for both parties.  Trump also does not see the existing United States diplomatic apparatus as being very useful.  He has not even tried to conceal his contempt for them; he thinks they are idiots who hide their incompetence behind big words and that he could do better.  Scary thing is, he is likely right.  I mean, look at this shit:

 

MZpVktQ.png

US politicians were praising Ghaddafi right before they murdered him.  The US State Department is chaotic evil.  Anyone who rejects them will be called a dictator and bombed and undermined.  Anyone who tries to play nice with them will be betrayed and impaled up the anus with a knife.  It is my sincere hope that Trump will be able to change the direction of the State Department.  If he works hard, he may be able to convert them to lawful evil.

So Trump is going to do international negotiations in a similar fashion to how he works a crowd.  Much of what he will say will seem blatantly inconsistent or illogical, and it will be, and it will seem like he is just making it up as he goes along, which he is.  But that is how he did business negotiations, and he sees international diplomacy as business negotiations but between countries.

He is using a similar approach with Kim Jong Un as he was using with the crowd.  He is making up his actions as he goes along in order to get Kim Jong Un to be in a particular psychological state; one where Kim Jong Un wants to make a deal with the United States.  So he is using psychological head games.  Trump was not attached at all to the June 12 negotiation date.  There are plenty of months to go before the US mid-term elections, after all.  If the date slips, it is no downside to Trump.  As long as the negotiations still take place, he looks good for the elections.  Even if the talks don't lead to anything, it looks good.  North Korea has been a persistent annoyance to the US political class for years, even though the existence of North Korea doesn't really affect day to day life in the USA at all.  If Trump does anything at all with North Korea, he will be able to say that he has made more "progress" on the "North Korea problem" than any other politician.  Indeed, if there are delays and the talks start right in November, that would be ideal, because the idea that Trump is "dealing with North Korea" will be fresh in the voter's minds.

It would look bad if the talks don't happen at all; Trump will be seen as having failed.  He would need to come up with a distraction (not too difficult for Trump, he will just tweet the magic word "covfefe" and the media will forget all about North Korea).  But what would be much worse is if Kim Jong Un makes an agreement with Trump... and then backs out.  Then the Democrats will say that Kim Jong Un tricked Trump, and that Trump just isn't smart enough to be president.  It is much better for Trump to appear to have failed at this negotiation than for it to appear that Trump was fooled.  But the best outcome of all is for Trump to actually be able to work out a deal where Kim Jong Un appears to peacefully step down.  Then many Americans will have mind-blowing orgasms just from reading the news because Americans think that if any country is freed from an evil dictator, then that country will become just like the USA overnight.  Realistically, if North Korea gets rid of its nuclear armament then it will probably become a buffer state with Chinese patronage, but most Americans will not figure this out in time, and they will go to the polls happily thinking of all the North Koreans who will become so much happier once their country becomes a clone of the USA.

But for that to work Trump needs to get Kim Jong Un to think in terms of artificial scarcity.  This is an old Capitalist advertiser's psychological trick.  Trump sets up a date for negotiations (that actually he did not give a fuck about), and congratulates Kim Jong Un on taking steps forwards towards peace.  Then, supposedly Kim Jong Un says some mean things about the United States.  It does not matter what it is that offended Trump, it could be nothing.  Trump then says the negotiations need to be postponed until Kim Jong Un behaves.  Then maybe Trump does some little things to provoke Kim; maybe some military exercises or he has some aircraft overfly North Korea or he does a readiness exercise of US nuclear weapons... something to remind Kim Jong Un that Trump is strong and could have his country wiped out on a whim, and maybe to plant the idea that Trump is a little crazy and might attack just because his feelings are hurt.

Trump hopes that Kim Jong Un will panic and go back to negotiations, and them Trump will say that he will be happy to resume negotiations, but Kim Jong Un needs to understand that because of his previous misbehavior, Trump cannot offer him as favorable a deal as he was ready to offer before.  If this trick works, Kim Jong Un will be only too happy to comply because he is worried that if he provokes Trump again this cycle will repeat and he will either have to fight, or he will end up with an even worse deal the next time.

 

This is exactly the same psychological trick as infomercials use when they say that the sham-wow is normally $29.99, but if you call in the next five minutes it will be only $19.99!  The idea is to plant in the buyer's mind the idea that they commit now (before they have logically thought the whole thing through and realized that they do not need a sham-wow at all), they are getting a better deal!  It's artificial scarcity.  North Korea and the USA could, in truth, hammer out a negotiation at any time.  But Trump needs to get Kim Jong Un to think that the possibility may be slipping away and he needs to commit now now now!

This all sounds a little silly and made-up, and anything about psychology always sounds a little silly and made-up, but I think it can be proven.  Henry Kissinger would advise Nixon to use similar Capitalist mind tricks.  Because Henry Kissinger was from Germany, he had a compulsion to document these mind tricks in extreme detail and in triplicate.  That is just how Germans are.  If Trump ever needs to do negotiations with Angela Merkel he will probably bring a briefcase full of documentation and he will slowly re-arrange the pages so that they are out of order and she will agree to whatever he wants as long as he stops doing that.  So insight into Capitalist mind tricks isn't just speculation, we actually have quite a bit of insight into how they are supposed to work because Henry Kissinger wrote them down.  Trump is doing recognizably similar Capitalist mind tricks.

It is also worth noting that Trump spent a fair amount of time hanging out with Richard Nixon.

Question: what would convince you that the man doesn't know what he's doing? This isn't a gotcha or anything (you don't even need to answer), just a check for you to see if your hypothesis is falsifiable.

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1 hour ago, Toxn said:

Question: what would convince you that the man doesn't know what he's doing? This isn't a gotcha or anything (you don't even need to answer), just a check for you to see if your hypothesis is falsifiable.

 

I'll let Colli Trump'splain in his own way. But sure. There are blunders that Trump has committed and small set-backs. I think his biggest mistake is assuming that by winning the Presidency that the power structure in DC and the media would - you know - treat him like the President. 

 

As for the subject of North Korea, I know that this is a net win so far for Trump by one simple test.

 

Look at the front page of any news organization this morning/afternoon. Here is CNN.

 

3ySdI9k.png

 

One day after this supposed terrible diplomatic reverse, not 24 hours in fact, this is the front page of CNN's website.

 

HARVEY WEINSTEIN GOT ARRESTED AND IS LED AWAY IN CUFFS!!!

 

RUSSIA COLLUSION!!!

 

Subtropical Storm Alberto!

 

News Alert: Police in Portland, Oregon talk about car crash

 

SALE AT PENNY'S!!!

 

The front pages of the New York Times, HuffingtonPost, and plenty of other news organizations are the same. (To be fair, Washington Post is still leading with the Norks rebuff).

 

If this latest bit of brinksmanship (you know you're an expert on foreign affairs when you can use the word "brinksmanship" in a sentence) was such a disaster for the Trump Administration, if he got played so badly, then this would be the top story for days. And since the headline at the moment is the North Koreans are talking again, the story gets buried like a dead cat. 

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1 hour ago, Toxn said:

Question: what would convince you that the man doesn't know what he's doing? This isn't a gotcha or anything (you don't even need to answer), just a check for you to see if your hypothesis is falsifiable.

 

That is a fair and good question.

My model is that Trump is an insurgent, populist candidate.  His opposition is what could loosely be termed "the establishment," which consists more or less of the entire US government minus the military and some law enforcement.  There are exceptions here; there are plenty of anti-Trump officers in the military, although his popularity with the enlisted is near-universal.  There are probably also some anti-Trump law enforcement officers.  I can't imagine that many senior FBI members are fans, for example.  Trump's opposition also includes organizations that are not formally part of the US government, but work in concert with it so closely that they might as well be.  These are organizations such as all accredited institutions of higher learning, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), most of the press, any respectable publications such as scientific journals or magazines that people read to look smart, like The Economist, and the trendy and cool part of the tech industry (e.g. Google and Facebook), which has been in bed with spooks and worse for at least the past ten years.

Trump's base consists of an extremely ad-hoc coalition of evangelicals, manufacturing-sector union workers, certain sectors of industry but not others, nationalists, anti-immigration hardliners (who substantially overlap with the union workers for obvious economic reasons), the NRA (although they're not exactly in love with him), and various ideological cranks.  Also, much was made of Trump's support among extremist racialists, but it's been pointed out before that those people are too rare to matter when it comes to counting votes.


Think tanks, libertarians and churches can go either way, no way to safely generalize.  However, Trump is extremely polarizing so there are relatively few people in the US who are entirely indifferent to his presidency.

Trump has very few friends in the government, his base of support lies almost entirely outside of it.  So he has to make frequent appeals to that base, and keep them excited and fired up otherwise his many enemies could dismantle his presidency.  He is, again, so polarizing, that if Trump were to lose power, the results would probably be extremely painful and humiliating for him.

Therefore, if Trump did anything to strongly alienate what little support he has in the government, I would be shocked and conclude he had lose his mind.  For example, if he tried to win over socially liberal opponents and bolster some of his libertarian-leaning base by de-funding and publicly humiliating the DEA for the years of awful and pernicious shit they've done, I will conclude that he's nuts.  It would make some people happy, but it does not fit into the model of a dispassionate and Machiavellian Trump that I entertain.  The Trump I envision always puts practical concerns before ideological ones; he simply has too many enemies to do otherwise.

If Trump were to concede on the border wall in any public way, I will conclude that he's mentally incompetent.  This is not the same thing as not building the wall, although at this point I think he will.  If Trump publicly says that, no, on second thought the wall is a stupid idea and he spoke to some economists at the Reason Institute and actually free trade and immigration is totally a good idea, he's fucking screwed up.  A lot of Republican politicians have tried to make peace in the past by publicly sacrificing some previously held principle (c.f. Dubya's "I'm a uniter, not a divider.")  Trump has so far not taken that bait, but if he does on the wall, I will have to conclude that everything he did heretofore was some sort of gigantic fluke.  If he gets politically outmaneuvered and is unable to build the wall because he can't secure funding, that's different.  If that happens, you'll know because he'll be screaming that the only reason there isn't a big, beautiful chunk of concrete standing proud above the Rio Grande is that the goddamn Democrats just couldn't get their act together.  That is the tactic he's using now, but the Democrats have proven so feckless that I don't think they can deny him his wall in the long run.

That's also why I disregard any piece that talks about how wrong Trump is on issue XYZ and he really needs to change his mind.  For starters, nearly the entire media hates Trump and will publish any fool thing that paints him in a negative light.  It's beyond parody at this point.  Second, that's exactly the sort of bait that previous Republicans became notorious for chomping down on.  Even if Trump actually is wrong on issue XYZ, he's maintaining the stance he has for a reason.  He can't afford to break up his coalition by suddenly changing course.  Even if an important part of his coalition really is wrong on issue XYZ (see DEA above).


Similarly, in the international arena, if Trump were to start talking about how the Saudis are horrible allies really, and frankly they deserve to lose all US support and weapons sales, and if that results in them all being dragged out into the street and messily murdered so much the better, and then if he were to actually withdraw US support, I would conclude that Trump was crazy.  If he were just to say it as a way to put pressure on the Saudis, and then squeeze them for something he wanted before going back to being friends, then that would be classic Trump.  Again, abandoning the Saudis would make some people happy, but the Saudis make themselves too useful to Trump to just abandon like that, odious though they are.  Particularly if you believe the rumors that MBS had his close relatives tortured, and then passed the juicy information about whom they were making campaign contributions to on to Trump.  I don't know if I endorse that particular theory, but I suspect something like that did happen.

Basically, if Trump were to do anything to attempt to win over detractors but at the expense of part of his base, I will become convinced he doesn't know what he's doing.  If he says one thing and then does something that seems completely at odds with what he said, then I am not convinced that it is a sign of incompetence necessarily.  Trump posturing just to put pressure on people I can buy.  That's smart, in a cutthroat sort of way, and Trump is definitely cutthroat.  Trump actively undermining his own support in any sort of attempt to appease or win over his opponents would genuinely surprise me.  That isn't going to work, and he should know better.

If Trump were to carelessly reveal what he actually believes in a way that alienated his base, I would consider that a mistake.  How grave a mistake would depend on the circumstances.

I have only a vague notion of what Trump actually believes or what his actual motivations are.  But let's suppose he's actually a snobbish elitist who views most of his supporters as ignorant mud-yokels.  Actually, I think it's pretty unlikely he thinks like that; he has trophy wives and gold-plated hair and everything.  He's so nouveau riche it's painful to look at, and he probably thinks of himself as a man of the people, just rich thanks to hard work, talent and some luck.  But for sake of argument.  If he were to publicly indicate that he actually holds his supporters in contempt, that would convince me that he'd either gone senile or just gotten astronomically lucky thus far.

Or let's suppose that Trump really is a white nationalist.  Again, I'm having difficulty reconciling that idea with what I've seen, but for sake of argument.  If he were to publicly disclose this, it would make a very small part of his base overjoyed and the majority of them disgusted.  Pumping up a tiny portion of your base at the expense of the greater portion is just stupid politics.  So if Trump has any wildly unpopular opinions that would drive away voters, he'll keep them private.

That's what it would take.  I would be looking for a large, unforced error that cost Trump his political base.  If he says things that sound idiotic, that doesn't necessarily mean he's an idiot.  He could be posturing to make his opponents spend money they don't have to, like he did in 2016 when he held rallies in states he had no hope of winning, but did anyway to get the Hillary campaign to waste more money on their safe states because her campaign and events were more expensive than his.  If Trump says something that seems at odds with his previous stances, again, it's not necessarily a fuck-up.  I think we can say in retrospect that his tweets about being willing to continue DACA were a ploy, and a very successful one at that.  The ploy did make his base anxious, but only the most drama-prone actually split with him over it.  As Trump took no concrete actions to actually reverse his position, the vast majority of his base were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and where rewarded by the conspicuous public humiliations that the Democrats suffered from the ploy.  If Trump says something that is only dubiously in English and doesn't make any logical or semantic sense, that doesn't necessarily mean he's an idiot or that he's had a stroke.  I mean, it could be, but it will be a while before we know because Trump says complete nonsense every once in a while.  I am convinced that he does this for the sheer joy of watching people go ballistic on Twitter.  If I could make thousands of people lose their shit just by typing "covfefe" with my thumbs, I can't imagine it's a vice I would or could resist.

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Is it possible to convince Trump’s critics that he knows what he is doing if becoming the president of the United States despite the election being handed to his opponent on a silver platter isn’t good enough, let alone what we have learned since?

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2 hours ago, Ramlaen said:

Is it possible to convince Trump’s critics that he knows what he is doing if becoming the president of the United States despite the election being handed to his opponent on a silver platter isn’t good enough, let alone what we have learned since?

 

I don't understand the silver platter reference.  If anything, Trump got the biggest unexpected boost when the FBI reopened the whole Hillary E-mail affair in late October.  Combined with Hillary's terrible campaign strategy.  Trump was a weak candidate with limited appeal outside his core group, which is why he lost the popular vote.  I'd say the Democrats handed him the election by running such a shitty candidate.  

 

As to the larger discussion:

 

I don't think Trump is all that complicated.  He's a sociopath.  I mean that in the clinical sense.  I don't think he has any real regard for anyone other than himself.  He also has no sense of humor, other than to make fun of others.  His ego is such that he will never admit a mistake, which he sees as weakness.  He lies without any apparent shame or even awareness that his is lying, it comes so naturally to him.  Based on observations of those around him, he hardly reads and is genuinely incurious about the world around him.  These are not good qualities for the leader of a Democracy (or Republic, or whatever you consider the US to be.)  Everything we know about this man, whether it be his personal life or his business dealings point to the undeniable conclusion that this is a man of the worst sort of character.

 

His understanding of how a leader operates is based on the model of the King or the Mafia don.  It's all about loyalty and family, not the rule of law.  It's a world view fundamentally at odds with what the US is supposed to be about.  It is hardly surprising that his two favorite targets are not political opponents, but the free press and the Department of Justice.  These are institutions vital to a functioning democratic state, so of course he views them as the enemy.  

 

As far as I can tell, he started his campaign as a bit of a publicity stunt to market his brand and to see how far it could go.  Once it gained traction, he kept going with it, the adoration of the crowds feeding his ego.  It became a vehicle for him to show all those that looked down on him over the years that he was going to beat them.  And the people at his rallies can sense that, and relate to it.  Winning is not about advancing an agenda as much as it is a way to stick to those snobby coastal elites/liberals/snowflakes/etc.

 

And so, beyond the expectations of even Trump's own campaign, he manages to eek out an amazingly narrow win and suddenly has a job he is not prepared for, nor that he understands.  His transition team, such as it is, was caught completely off guard and the first year of his administration is one of chaos and confusion, compounded with scandal and just outright weirdness.  Looking at it objectively, how can one not come to the conclusion that this President has no idea what he is doing?  It's a much simpler explanation than that he is somehow conducting fourth dimensional chess that we all can't understand.

 

I consider him a very dangerous man.  Some critics have taken to comparing him to Hitler, I don't like that comparison.  Hitler was motivated by an ideology and had a political agenda (an evil one, of course)  Trump is just all about Trump. I would consider Julius Caesar a more apt comparison.  Like Caeser, he is a man of unlimited ego and greed and would gladly trash the already damaged structure of US democracy to get what he wants.  Trump wouldn't just cross the Rubicon, he was build a fucking gold plated bridge over it with his name written in giant letters. 

 

That is why you will never get me to accept Donald Trump as President.  I don't now how I can say it any clearer.   

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55 minutes ago, Walter_Sobchak said:

I don't understand the silver platter reference. 

 

It was Hillary’s to lose, nearly everything from mainstream media (Fox was the only major network to come close to an even split of positive/negative coverage) to social media (controlling trending news and hashtags) to the activities of government agencies acting in a political manner (FBI/DOJ and CIA) to the GOPe itself repeatedly trying to throw its candidate under the bus, was operating in a manner to benefit her or harm her opponents. This includes the DNC primary race.

 

Quote

If anything, Trump got the biggest unexpected boost when the FBI reopened the whole Hillary E-mail affair in late October.

 

Nate Silver is a terrible source for the 2016 election.

 

The FBI sat on those emails for at least a month and, per Comey, only made it public because the fear of the damage it would do to her presidency if/when it became public. Which itself is a stunning admission of political motivation effecting FBI investigations.

 

Quote

Trump was a weak candidate with limited appeal outside his core group, which is why he lost the popular vote.

 

Trump won the popular vote in more places than Hillary, that’s why he won the election. Or was this a complaint about California not being able to decide national elections on its own?

 

Quote

Combined with Hillary's terrible campaign strategy.

 

I'd say the Democrats handed him the election by running such a shitty candidate.

 

The GOP’s desired candidates would have been softballs for Hillary just like McCain and Romney were for Obama.

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1 hour ago, Ramlaen said:

 

It was Hillary’s to lose, nearly everything from mainstream media (Fox was the only major network to come close to an even split of positive/negative coverage) to social media (controlling trending news and hashtags) to the activities of government agencies acting in a political manner (FBI/DOJ and CIA) to the GOPe itself repeatedly trying to throw its candidate under the bus, was operating in a manner to benefit her or harm her opponents. This includes the DNC primary race.

 

 

Nate Silver is a terrible source for the 2016 election.

 

The FBI sat on those emails for at least a month and, per Comey, only made it public because the fear of the damage it would do to her presidency if/when it became public. Which itself is a stunning admission of political motivation effecting FBI investigations.

 

 

Trump won the popular vote in more places than Hillary, that’s why he won the election. Or was this a complaint about California not being able to decide national elections on its own?

 

 

The GOP’s desired candidates would have been softballs for Hillary just like McCain and Romney were for Obama.

2

 

 

I love how the left cries about all the damage Trump is doing to the FBI and justice department while ignoring the mountain of evidence the Obama administration corrupted both for political purposes.  

 

It's also kind of sad the popular vote gets brought up at all, there was one winner, and it was trump in a landslide, the "popular vote" is meaningless and ignores the rules of the game. 

 

The GOP desired candidates were like the Democrat party's light version and they all suck. 

 

1 hour ago, Walter_Sobchak said:

 

I don't understand the silver platter reference.  If anything, Trump got the biggest unexpected boost when the FBI reopened the whole Hillary E-mail affair in late October.  Combined with Hillary's terrible campaign strategy.  Trump was a weak candidate with limited appeal outside his core group, which is why he lost the popular vote.  I'd say the Democrats handed him the election by running such a shitty candidate.  

 

As to the larger discussion:

 

I don't think Trump is all that complicated.  He's a sociopath.  I mean that in the clinical sense.  I don't think he has any real regard for anyone other than himself.  He also has no sense of humor, other than to make fun of others.  His ego is such that he will never admit a mistake, which he sees as weakness.  He lies without any apparent shame or even awareness that his is lying, it comes so naturally to him.  Based on observations of those around him, he hardly reads and is genuinely incurious about the world around him.  These are not good qualities for the leader of a Democracy (or Republic, or whatever you consider the US to be.)  Everything we know about this man, whether it be his personal life or his business dealings point to the undeniable conclusion that this is a man of the worst sort of character.

 

His understanding of how a leader operates is based on the model of the King or the Mafia don.  It's all about loyalty and family, not the rule of law.  It's a world view fundamentally at odds with what the US is supposed to be about.  It is hardly surprising that his two favorite targets are not political opponents, but the free press and the Department of Justice.  These are institutions vital to a functioning democratic state, so of course he views them as the enemy.  

 

As far as I can tell, he started his campaign as a bit of a publicity stunt to market his brand and to see how far it could go.  Once it gained traction, he kept going with it, the adoration of the crowds feeding his ego.  It became a vehicle for him to show all those that looked down on him over the years that he was going to beat them.  And the people at his rallies can sense that, and relate to it.  Winning is not about advancing an agenda as much as it is a way to stick to those snobby coastal elites/liberals/snowflakes/etc.

 

And so, beyond the expectations of even Trump's own campaign, he manages to eek out an amazingly narrow win and suddenly has a job he is not prepared for, nor that he understands.  His transition team, such as it is, was caught completely off guard and the first year of his administration is one of chaos and confusion, compounded with scandal and just outright weirdness.  Looking at it objectively, how can one not come to the conclusion that this President has no idea what he is doing?  It's a much simpler explanation than that he is somehow conducting fourth dimensional chess that we all can't understand.

 

I consider him a very dangerous man.  Some critics have taken to comparing him to Hitler, I don't like that comparison.  Hitler was motivated by an ideology and had a political agenda (an evil one, of course)  Trump is just all about Trump. I would consider Julius Caesar a more apt comparison.  Like Caeser, he is a man of unlimited ego and greed and would gladly trash the already damaged structure of US democracy to get what he wants.  Trump wouldn't just cross the Rubicon, he was build a fucking gold plated bridge over it with his name written in giant letters. 

 

That is why you will never get me to accept Donald Trump as President.  I don't now how I can say it any clearer.   

 

 

Walt, If there is one thing this post shows, is you have no objectivity on the subject of Trump.  

 

 

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