Open Thread Dec. 30: Trump as History’s Hairball

Filed in National by on December 30, 2017

Hey, kids, remember the Tea Party? Seems like a long time ago that the greatest threat to moving America forward was a bunch of middle-aged guys dressing up in tricorns. But author Cas Mudde draws a line through American history to conclude thatTrump, not the GOP mainstream, represents the party’s radicalized voters. Ironically, the mainstream radicalized the party’s voters so well that the mainstream no longer represents their views.

Trump didn’t hijack the Republican party, he provided the base with a real representative again. But just as the Koch brothers didn’t control the Tea Party, Trump doesn’t control “Trumpism”. He is merely the current voice of the radicalized base. …  It has been here before him and it will be here after him, because it is part of American political culture and history. The sooner we all realize this, the quicker we can develop an effective strategy to overcome it.

Here’s how slow the news has gotten: People are perusing photos, like this one of interns at the White House, and finding some “white power” hand signals. You might mistake this for the “OK” sign, but not if you remember the Van Buren Boys.

Call this another Festivus miracle: Conservative author/pundit Max Boot, who’s been writing high-minded but wrong-headed defenses of neoconservativism for 25 years, has been awakened to his white privilege by the simple expedient of seeing cellphone footage of cops doling out death sentences to innocent people. If only it had the same effect on juries.

The snowflakes are piled high in Indiana, where a state legislator wants a law allowing Colts fans to get their money back if the players protest during the national anthem.

Are you the sort who worries that Trump could triumph by firing Robert Mueller and ending the investigation into Russian interference in our elections? Don’t just fret, do something — sign up to join the already scheduled protests set to take place immediately should that occur.

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  1. john kowalko says:

    Public Advocate Drew Slater has petitioned the Public Service Commission contending that the cash windfall from the recent lowering of corporate taxes that would directly benefit utilities, such as Delmarva Power and Artesian, should not be added to those companies’ coffers but should flow directly to electricity and water consumers.
    This is a petition that should be granted without any hesitation and is another example of the dedication and thoughtfulness exhibited by Mr. Slater who takes his responsibilities to the consumers as Delaware’s Public Advocate more seriously than any other that I have worked with. Simply stated, Mr. Slater’s position is one of the most responsible, honest and just advocacies on the public’s behalf that I have had the pleasure of witnessing.
    I hope all members of the public will recognize that they have finally been blessed with a true champion of their interests when Drew Slater was appointed as the Public Advocate. I’ve worked with a number of Public Advocates over the last dozen years and none of them have had the dedication and focus on behalf of the consumer’s interests like Mr. Slater. I couldn’t be more proud of a public servant like Mr. Slater whose grasp of his responsibilities is beyond comparison. Good job Drew and keep it up. The people need more public servants like you and I personally applaud you for everything you are doing.
    Representative John Kowalko

  2. nathan arizona says:

    Current White House interns are probably not dextrous or savvy enough to make a true Van Buren Boys’ sign. All fingers and thumb raised on one hand, three fingers raised on the other. 8. 8th president. Would prefer Van Buren in the White House to current occupant. And yeah, I’ve got a sign for Trump. It only takes one finger.

  3. Dana says:

    It’s true: President Trump is more representative of the Republican Party’s voters than the candidates of the oh-so-nice establishment. He said what no one else would say, and he won the nomination in a free and fair primary.

    Thing is, y’all have the same issue: the ‘Sandernistas’ seem to be more representative of a lot of your voters — perhaps not a majority yet — as so many, including this fine site, are trying to push the Democratic Party closer to socialism. You are going through the same thing now that the GOP did in 2012, claiming that you didn’t win because your candidate was too establishment, too moderate.

  4. RE Vanella says:

    Hey, concrete grandpa. You’re next, motherfucker. I’m turning over a new leaf this year. I’m going full nasty. All fucking rubes beware. Yeah, you’re old and near senility. Who cares? I’ve fucking had it with hayseeds and clowns. Bring real game or go fuck off. You’re an anonymous nobody with the views of my grandfather and the intellectual rigor of third grade drop-out.

    Cliche machines, anonymous pieces of shit like you, and all rubes will he pulverized. Read a book you fucking turd or be warned. You a fucking embarrassment to human consciousness and enlightening thought.

    Worst wishes to you and your family. I hope you’re crushed by a cinder block.

    Maybe you should go troll Blue Delaware. Those cats are much nicer. Civil even.

  5. Liberal Elite says:

    @D “He said what no one else would say, and he won the nomination in a free and fair primary.”

    I think it’s been pretty well established that it was NOT a fair primary.

  6. Alby says:

    With all due respect to RE Vanella, his rant was only the second-best of the day. Here’s Hunter at Daily Kos with a list of stories he doesn’t want to hear again in 2018.

    Among them, he wants journalists to stop blaming millennials for ruining things, specifically business models:

    People do not go to malls anymore because malls are depressing experiments in post-capitalism that make even soviet architecture look innovative. People avoid airline trips these days because the airlines and government alike have gone to great lengths to make the experience a living hell from curb to flying claustrophobic death box to distant curb. People are abandoning their land lines and their cable television companies because those companies have spent decades—decades—cheating, torturing and belittling their own customers. Capitalism’s new strains are not because fresh-out-of-college Chad Twentysomething lives his entire life as an exercise in sticking it to the man; Chad Twentysomething has student loans he will still be paying off long after the captains of industry have scraped the last tattered remnants of his dreamed American profession into a Cayman Islands post office box.

    That’s just a sample. I love an inspired rant, and this one hits the spot.

  7. RE Vanella says:

    I concede to that one. Very good. Also interesting is this is exactly why neoliberalism & Socialism are 2 opposing ideas.

    Liberal Elite, are you reading this grandma? Turn off MSNBC. You’ll get it. Fucking mind numbing old rube, you.

  8. Liberal Elite says:

    @REV “Turn off MSNBC. You’ll get it.”

    Sorry… No TVs in any of my houses. Not since the ’90s. My primary go-to sources are NYTimes, WaPo, LATimes (subscriptions at all three). My secondary sources are Huffington Post and Daily Kos, and whatever else I can find…(like DL).

    If you find that lacking, what might you offer up? Where for comes this deep pile of unfiltered and unbiased wisdom that you so profess?

  9. RE Vanella says:

    Books. Many, many books. Gramsci is good and a personal hero of mine. Adolf Reed is excellent and more contemporary. Maybe start there. Get the fuck off Daily Kos. (The MSNBC comment is a metaphor, but I assumed you could figure that out.) Read some essays on Jacobin and maybe write a commentary on it here in your own name.

    Lectures on Capital by David Harvey are excellent. Thomas Piketty is very good. I just finished Timothy Synder’s Black Earth and I strongly recommend it. Also Mark Blythe’s Austerity.

    I know it’s fun to say I’m an idiot and if that makes to feel good that’s fine. I personally appreciate absurdity. I’ve read the books and I comment under my own name. Maybe, for 2018, you should look in the mirror.

    If you have a particular interest, like African American literature or the political economy let me know. I’d be happy to provide a detailed syllabus catered to your interest.

  10. RE Vanella says:

    I omitted an important one.

    The Limits of Neoliberalism by William Davies

  11. puck says:

    Any DL readers have recommendations for audiobooks? This year I started a job with a long commute and have little time for reading but plenty of time for listening. I find the quality of the reader makes all the difference. I’d hate to listen to a good book read read by a dull reader.

    So far I have been focusing on literary fiction, mostly novels and short stories that I somehow never got around to reading. Also, I am almost totally ignorant of science fiction, so I should use my new-found time to listen to the SF classics. At some point though I intend to get around to non-fiction.

  12. Liberal Elite says:

    @REV “Many, many books.”

    Thanks for this…

  13. RE Vanella says:

    Sorry, puck, but sci-fi isn’t my cup of tea. The only sci-fi I ever enjoyed is Bradbury. The Illustrated Man is a very group collection of short stories that all have a common thread.