December 15th, 2016

Trump fever

Since the election, Trump has been dominating the news even more than he did when he was merely campaigning, and that’s saying a lot.

I’m not talking about straight news like his Cabinet appointments. I’m talking about all the hype about the rigged election; the awfulness of the Electoral College and the need for electors to stage a revolt against Trump; how bad the Trump Grill is (I kid you not); his appointees as “swamp creatures“; and articles such as this one, which cannot be described adequately but which features the following sentence from its opening paragraph, “The Electoral College, an institution that helped to protect the white supremacist ignominy of black chattel slavery could now become the instrument used to stop Donald Trump, the avatar of contemporary white racism.”

Now that Trump really is acting more “presidential” and much less volatile, which at least theoretically ought to be somewhat reassuring (and is reassuring to people like me on the right, who’ve had grave doubts about Trump), a certain large segment of the left seems to have become more hysterical about Trump rather than less.

I think it’s for a number of reasons. Some are tactical—they want to de-legitimize Trump’s presidency in advance. They want to spark demonstrations and protests and civil unrest. But they also are genuinely dealing with their shock that this is going to happen and Trump will be president, as well as the dawning realization that he is more conservative and perhaps more competent than they had previously thought.

This latter appearance of conservatism and competence, if it pans out once Trump is president, accounts for a goodly portion of my relative calm and guarded optimism about a Trump presidency. Those same things would fill a lot of people on the left with dread, and spark the question: what if Trump is a successful, conservative president? That may be as terrifying a prospect for many of them as the idea that he’s a madman.

And then of course there’s all the news about Russia and Putin influencing the election. That’s ironic on many levels, but one of them is the fact that until Trump surfaced, the left pooh-poohed concern about Russian influence. Another is that all Putin and the Russians are alleged to have done is reveal the truth about Hillary and the DNC. And of course there’s no evidence that the information turned the tide with voters who were far more concerned with things like getting jobs back and putting up a wall.

But the question of what is truth about Russian influence on the election is meant to be lost in the fog of allegations and counter allegations. You can wade through some of them yourself here; rumor and counter-rumor and speculation and lots of sturm, drang, and fog.

In other news that seems unrelated but really isn’t, we have the case of the Muslim student in NY who had alleged that three Trump supporters harassed her in a NY subway station. Now it’s revealed that the story was a lie. But this was a story that I had earlier chosen to disregard, and why? Because the minute I read it I felt there was a good chance her story was bogus.

I didn’t start out making such assumptions, but over and over we’ve seen such stories fall apart. I assume that some Muslim woman somewhere is being harassed by someone on the right (as opposed to being harassed by her family, which seems far more common). But so many such tales have been hoaxes that “hoax” has now become my default position, I’m afraid.

And that’s the sort of overload a lot of people are experiencing. Some of it is from “fake news,” some from the spin put on real news stories, some from the fact that so many controversial stories are based on reports from unnamed “sources.” We are all conspiracy theorists now, which makes it harder and harder to unite as a country.

28 Responses to “Trump fever”

  1. Brian Swisher Says:

    When I first saw the story of the young woman being harassed, my thought was, “How long before it’s exposed as a hoax?” That story was exploded shortly after I thought that. Now it’s resurfaced, I don’t know why…perhaps she’s being charged with filing a false police report?

  2. Paul in Boston Says:

    It’s remarkable that BHO has been President since 2008 and responsible for protecting the US but is never questioned about the “failures” of the intelligence community to expose and prevent the “hacking of the election by the Russians”. Unless I’m mistaken, DJT has never been an officer of the United States with any responsibilities or authority to protect the country yet the NYT and the rest of the pack act as if he’s President. Plus, no one is disputing the evidence of corruption and collusion by the Hillary campaign exposed in the emails. Very strange, not. What a disgusting and hypocritical bunch.

  3. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “The Electoral College, an institution that helped to protect the white supremacist ignominy of black chattel slavery could now become the instrument used to stop Donald Trump, the avatar of contemporary white racism.” Chauncey Devega, Salon Magazine

    “the American Left are composed of secular fanatics, whose ‘progressive tenets’ have assumed for them, the equivalence of religious imperatives.

    This is just the beginning. The more obvious it is that they’re losing, the less constrained by law and by moral, ethical and cultural norms will they be.” GB

    “There is going to be open defiance in California on deporting illegals. The state legal framework is going to be put in place setting up a major confrontation with the federal government, with marches and protests to follow.” The Other Chuck

    Whether California openly defies Pres. Trump will I suspect be determined by whether Trump goes after the sanctuary cities. Otherwise, they’ll resort to passive-aggressive non-cooperation.

  4. Oldflyer Says:

    The ramifications from this election, and the Left’s reaction to it are going to be far reaching. As a minimum it establishes a tone that will be hard to overcome. It is worrisome.

    It is past time for some Statesperson on the Left (an oxymoron?) to step up and say “enough”. The fact that we have not heard such a voice is revealing.

    People fear that Trump could be an authoritarian. I have heard such fears from family members. They do not realize that events could push him in that direction. If the current rhetoric spurs action, with the inevitable backlash triggering civil unrest; it could create a temptation–and at the extreme a justification–for an authoritarian type response.

  5. I'm with Decius Says:

    When the media themselves leaked secrets of the War on Terror like Operation Swift and the black sites, that was OK, great, in fact. When the Secy of State of the USA is assuredly hacked by foreign governments, no biggie. But John Podesta’s emails are hacked– the horrors!

  6. DNW Says:

    Look, if you want real news, objective news, you have to know where to look for it.

    DPRK News Service ‏@DPRK_News

    Independent news monitoring agency finds @DPRK_News most independent and freedom-loving news agency, due to independence and love of freedom”

    DPRK News Service ‏@DPRK_News

    US newspaper Politico fires writer for speculating on incest by Donald Trump. All DPRK reporters are free to discuss incest by Donald Trump”

    DPRK News Service ‏@DPRK_News

    Wine-soaked sybarite Hillary Clinton to hold drunken “thank you” party for donors with last campaign funds, rather than donate to the poor.”

    DPRK News Service ‏@DPRK_News

    Male enhancement sector of DPRK pharmaceutical industry swells to gigantic proportions.”

    DPRK News Service ‏@DPRK_News

    Corpulent American blimp Lena Dunham is given final warning: cease meddling in East Asia affairs, or face the fist of united Korean peoples!”

    Yes I know … but it sounds just like the “real” propaganda they put out. Probably Australian.

  7. J.J Says:

    Here’s a link to a speech by Victor Davis Hanson about the election. It is long – 45 minutes – but well worth watching:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7pQdqPzozc

    The topic was about the mythologies of the election. As usual, very insightful.

    One insight is that Trump has a 100 day window in which to get things done. I wonder if he will have even that long. Seeing what is happening on the left is like watching a thunderstorm form. They are building toward an all out assault on Trump. The beginning is trying to delegitimize the election. The next is organizing violent protests against any actions involving illegal immigration. Any attempts at reducing regulations, taxes, and obstacles to energy exploration/production will be met with lawsuits and media campaigns to stop it.

    I have high hopes, but see nothing but huge obstacles to changing anything ahead. We’ll see.

  8. blert Says:

    JJ

    Trump is going to de-fund the Left.

    That’s also how he’s going to target sanctuary cities.

    Our major cities — all of them — are Democrat machine bastions — due to Federal largesse.

    That sugar is stuffed all through the budget.

    Ryan is going to zero out block grants — which invariably take funds from GOP voters to benefit Democrat machine politicians.

    Topping all of this off: these machines have wholly unstable pension plans — plans dedicated to Democrats.

    So, it’s not too hard to figure out why the Left is freaking out. They are IN big city government — and they are on the cusp of retirement.

    Oh, my !

  9. Oldflyer Says:

    blert, I am not sure how you know in such detail what Trump will do. I am not entirely confident that he knows at this point.
    I do believe that it would be a positive step to end the block grants. They seemed like a good idea in theory; but, like most government ideas, created “unintended consequences”. Block Grants to corrupt cities simply fund bigger corruption. However, I am skeptical that they would be eliminated now.

    Likewise when it comes to punishing scoff-law cities. In the vernacular of the 21st century, many of them are “too large to fail”, so it would take a great deal of courage to punish them in the only effective manner; i.e. squeeze the money significantly.

  10. expat Says:

    In the grand scheme of things, would Russia really be hurt by a Hillary presidency? Or would Vlad rather have the opportunity to contrast the mayhem in the US, which is a pretty young country compared to Russia, with the stability of Russian culture and religion. I’m sure he would love to point out the culture we export, such as rapppers and Miley Cyrus, our warmongering and then running away as in Viet Nam, Afghanistan, and Iraq, our willingness to embarass Russians by making radical gay rights activists the big feature of our participation in the Sochi Olympics, our materialism, and our racial problems. Of course, he won’t mention the problems Russia has had in its history, but the purpose is to make the Russians feel good about themselves. This is far more important to his power than 4 years of Hillary.The Dems are giving him exactly what he wants. He has taken us down a few notches on the world stage.

  11. blert Says:

    Oldflyer Says:
    December 15th, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    The idea popped into my head after Donald Trump said it.

    I would expect him to go for low-hanging fruit… fat targets.

    Cutting off block grants will follow ‘salami logic.’

    If you recall, the BULK of the stimulus directed to these Democrat bastions — went straight into their pension funds !

    These machines expected another tranche upon HRC’s election.

    As I posted above, those in the know are now terrified.

    All this time they expected the Federal government to bail them out.

    Keep in mind that these pensions are FAT CITY… way, way, above non-governmental norms.

  12. Cornhead Says:

    The Left and the MSM have come unglued.

  13. Mac Says:

    One of the things I’m hearing most from lefty friends and acquaintances is that there is a real serious fairly high probability of Trump pressing the nuclear button for no particular reason. Not sure who they think he would be aiming for. I don’t think that really matters in their fever. “Existential threat” is a popular phrase.

    Beyond that, there’s the charge–not stated quite this clearly–that since he intends to destroy the government, as evidenced by his cabinet appointees, he can’t be considered a truly legitimate president.

  14. parker Says:

    Well, I confess, I am enjoying the hissy fits from the left. I congratulate Trump for his ability to drive them crazy. Leftists banging their snowflake heads against the walls of th EC is priceless. Bang on.The violence to come will weaken the left and harm the msm. Bang on.

  15. parker Says:

    If you haven’t seen it, watch The Russians Are Coming. 1966 with an all star cast. It is ironically a reflection of the current leftist meme.

  16. Esther Says:

    Oh my god, apparently all my commie, lefty friends who actually believe all the lefty Marxist stuff, are freaking about Russkies under the bed..

    And then there are the other nuts, who actually believe Sandy Hook was a government hoax, and that 911 was an inside job. Seems the poor parents get death threats, daily, Wtf?

    And that is supposed to be the two opposing political parties?

    The world has gone crazy.

  17. The Other Chuck Says:

    GB, what the left wants by passing laws to make California a sanctuary state is push back of any kind from Trump as justification for this:
    http://www.walterlippmann.com/wl-03-26-2006.html

    I’m willing to give Trump credit for some very good appointees. It was a welcome surprise. That doesn’t mean my opinion of the man’s character has changed. By nominating generals, no matter how well qualified, for DHS and Defense is he anticipating domestic civil unrest? It is too much of a coincidence to have highly competent generals in these two positions. And then the question becomes is this a defensive move anticipating a radicalized and marginalized left? Or is this part of a well planned offense? And finally, how much influence does Steve Bannon have?

  18. Yancey Ward Says:

    I read that Obama is going to give a press conference later today outlining retaliation for the election hacking for which no one outside the anonymous sources claiming it have seen. Now, maybe he will pooh-pooh the whole narrative by basically doing nothing at all, but I consider the timing of this press conference interesting, coming the Friday before the electoral college meets and votes.

    I wrote here several days ago that I think there might be a plan afoot to deny Trump the majority of votes needed. While I still think that is a low probability event, I still can’t shake the nagging feeling that the narrative being pressed is less a form of pressure on the electors, than it is a cover for something else.

    All in all, I will breath a sigh of relief if my expectation is held up, and Trump holds all the electors except for the apparently corrupt Suprun, unless the Ashley Madison stuff is fake news.

  19. Rich Says:

    I’m skeptical of conspiracy theories in general, but I’m seeing a connection between several of the ideas being advanced by the Dems lately.

    The “Russian hackers” idea ties into the “fake news” argument, because it implies that sinister forces have been giving false information to the public. And just to drive the point home, there’s the frequent mention of the role played by the FBI in Clinton’s defeat, as recently repeated by John Podesta’s comments about the bureau.

    So what’s the “false information” that supposedly did all the damage ?

    That Hillary Clinton might actually be guilty of something. The underlying theme is : “All this smoke is just smoke, there’s no fire here”.

    Delegitimizing the election, and attacking Trump, might be secondary goals. The real point may be to protect Hillary.

  20. Richard Saunders Says:

    Yancey – What’s Barry O going to do? Send Officer Muldoon to deliver a stern note? What did he do about the Target hack? The Sony hack? The Office of Personnel Management Hack? The White House hack?

    Hilarious how the Lefties have all-of-a-sudden become aware that Russia is not our friend, after decades of criticizing conservatives for calling out the Evil Empire. I guess it’s because the Russkies are no longer Communists, so its okay — as if Russia had changed a bit.

    Take over parts of Georgia? No problem. Invade Ukraine? Go right ahead. Seize Crimea? It’s within their sphere of influence. Bomb Syria into rubble? Que sera, sera.

    But mess with Hillary and the Evil Empire is back!

  21. Richard Saunders Says:

    Parker — correct me if I’m wrong, but I haven’t seen that you paid off your bet.

  22. JuliB Says:

    TOS – the appointment of generals to those civilian agencies means that someone with tactical experience and strategic thinking skills will be at the helm.

    Leaders as opposed to the typical political hacks.

  23. TommyJay Says:

    Almost 3 decades ago, I recall the fight within the Sierra Club; whether high levels of legal/illegal immigration from Mexico and Central America were good or bad. All those extra Dem votes was obviously good, but what if those poverty stricken peoples assimilated and became part of the US middle class? Imagine the carbon footprint and the landfills!! I guess the resolution then was to promote lots of immigration and provide subsistence welfare in order to keep the economic levels low.

    But can you/they imagine a conservative president who is both competent and successful? With strong economic growth? Mon deiu! What will Bambi do when the heatwave and floods strike? Now many “misanthropic envirolunatics” really believe this line of thinking. But for many others, the green pitch is just a more effective selling point for their anti-capitalist Marxism.

    And speaking of Marx, does anyone remember Obama getting caught on a hot mic when meeting with Russia’s Medvedev? Obama’s line was (paraphrasing), “When I win this election I’ll be free to do what I really want.” I presume that the notion was that the real Obama ideology was well aligned with Russia’s.

    So now that the 2016 election blew-up the Dem party, and the force behind this debacle was the Great Satan of Russia, how are we to process this? Did the Russian Reset fail that badly? Are Obama/Hillary and Russia really at opposite ends of the political spectrum? Or is this just Alinsky tactics: shift blame and force your enemy to live up to their anti-communist standards?

  24. parker Says:

    Richard Saunders,

    I have offered to come to FLA to buy the beer (and escape the cold of Iowa for a few days. GB has not respond except to say we can make plans. (I would gladly fly to that warm peninsula to drink beer and eat seafood. 😉

  25. The Other Chuck Says:

    JuliB, I assume you were addressing me?
    Anyway generals in charge is the whole point. No one disputes that they have strategic thinking and tactical creds. What is interesting and not being discussed is why they are being put in positions that BY LAW are supposed to filled by civilians. Turn the tables and ask yourself what would be the response of our side had Obama done this.

    Rub a dub dub,
    Three generals in a tub,
    Who do you think they be?
    Not the butcher, the baker,
    Nor the candlestick maker.
    Turn them out,
    All knaves three.

  26. William Lawrence Says:

    Other Chuck,

    Military personnel who are retired are in fact civilians once more. Would you deny them their rights because they served their country?

    Obama also had three retired Generals in his cabinet and no one, you included, said anything about it. You may be able to maintain your current level of paranoia by reflecting that the Generals Obama chose were inclined to be tame political animals while Trump’s choices appear to actually be competent in the real world.

  27. The Other Chuck Says:

    Lawrence:

    Obama didn’t appoint any generals to cabinet positions, unless you want to count Veteran’s Affairs and the Shinseki mistake. He did have a number of them in other positions, like Petraeus at CIA, another big mistake.

    The two big ones are Defense and DHS. Combined they represent national security. Under a normal presidency, this wouldn’t be a red flag. With a man who has said he approves of torture, originally wanted to deport 11 million people, and praises strongman autocrats like Putin, this is of concern. It sounds like I’m preaching from the left, but it’s very much the opposite. If Reagan or Bush made these appointments I wouldn’t be worried.

  28. The Other Chuck Says:

    A hypothetical:

    Trump goes all out to enforce existing federal law with regard to deportation of criminal illegal aliens. California doesn’t cooperate. They have already laid the groundwork in the state legislature, and are preparing to defend each case to drag out and tie up the process. When the first cases hit the airways and frontpages, there WILL be demonstrations and marches. The left, Soros funded most likely, will mobilize. I lived through the anti-war 60’s and know exactly what to expect.

    Now, what will Trump do? What advice will he get from Flynn? Without cooperation from a liberal governor to call up the national guard to stop the rioting, burning, and yes, bombings, will the guard be nationalized, or will Trump and the generals invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act and send in federal troops?

    The stage is being set. What I don’t know is if Trump and Bannaon are preparing for such a possibility with these appointments, or if they are part of a larger plan. If you read Bannon’s interview linked below, and if you read between the lines, you may get an idea of how under siege they feel, and guess to what lengths they will go.
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/lesterfeder/this-is-how-steve-bannon-sees-the-entire-world?utm_term=.ekKBBJQLB8#.kkMrrkgwrP

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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