The Stump of Trump — Has he finally self-destructed?

The Stump of Trump

Has he finally self-destructed?

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

December 4th 2022

Going back to the days of Reagan, we’ve talked about politicians who had a kind of a magic Teflon(TM) shield that protected them, no matter how corrupt, dim-witted or objectionable their actions might be. Democrats attributed this magic to Reagan, Gingrich and both Bushes. Republicans declared it gleamed over the horrors of Obama and the Clintons. In most cases rather than magic, it was just a matter of political inertia combined with a rather dim public that couldn’t really be bothered with the goings-on of government. In the case of the Clintons, they were blessed with getting absolute morons for detractors.

But Donald Trump broke the mold when it came to Teflon(TM) magic. It’s impossible to count the number of events and actions he took that would have driven him from public view and into well-deserved obscurity and contempt. From his “grab them by the pussy” and “some of them are rapists” debut up to his stunning string of rebukes from the courts and from reality, he should have been consigned to a vague lingering foulness on the public mind, a fart in the collective elevator.

Indeed, his supporters had to develop iron-strength shells of denial, disbelief and malevolence of the sort one associates with members of particularly nasty cults that end in mass suicide. It’s normal for followers of any given politician to encounter those who question their intelligence and judgment, but Trump supporters were at such odds with the rest of society that they found their character, sanity and patriotism were open to question, and more and more often, people weren’t listening to their rationalization.

The movement (and it is now a cult movement) reacted defensively by becoming ever more extreme, more violent, more hateful. Most of mass gun shootings in America this year were committed by Trump supporters, often in openly political actions of pure hatred.

Trump himself, now under enormous pressure from all sides, followed and encouraged this same path of psychological crises, leading to a sort of ultimate breakdown.

A psychologist would have no trouble recognizing the mental route Trump is following. He was a child of privilege and believed, with good reason, that he was above the petty laws of the land. With wealth and power he could easily crush those who stood against him in any way, even just honest contractors expecting to be paid for their work. His lawyers could manipulate the law and the courts to ensure that any suit or complaint brought against him could linger for decades unresolved, and proving an unendurable financial burden to those who opposed him.

He is also a narcissist, smug in his belief that he is the only real person in the world and the rest of us just spear carriers arrayed about him for his own personal use, manipulation and gratification. We are wraiths to him, little more than characters in a high-end video game.

But now that is all crashing down. The legal threats, some deferred for decades, have all become very real and very immediate. Actions he assumed he would never be held to account for may result in prison time within a year. He has been forced to confront the fact that his political power has slipped greatly, and the pack of skulking, cowardly dogs that propped him up through two impeachments and endless scandals are deserting and even turning on him. There is blood in the water, and it is his blood.

If he had enough power, he would be extraordinarily dangerous right now. His back is to the wall, and he must lash out.

Fortunately for us, much of that power is gone, residing only in the most craven members of the party, and the vicious and racist trash that have come to dominate the MAGA movement.

But lash out he will. He attacked the wife of the Special Counsel sent to bedevil him. He attacked the wife of his erstwhile ally, the Senate Minority Leader—a racist attack, at that. He applauded the attack on the husband of the House speaker. (See a pattern here? When he can’t quite work up the nerve to attack individuals, he goes after members of their families. He is what Stephen King would characterize as “a Low Man.”)

The latest events would be hilarious if the intent behind them weren’t so grotesque. His meeting with the troubled Klanye West (also an individual in psychological crisis) and the despicable Nick Fuentes (an open holocaust denier, and West subsequently went on to praise Hitler) was incredibly over the top even by the tawdry standards of Trump. He then followed it with his usual lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him with the demand “for the termination of all our rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.”

Even Republicans found his assertion that the Constitution itself should be terminated for his personal benefit to be too much, and recognized that the greater danger now lay in supporting Trump rather than standing up to him.

Don’t mistake the Republican refutation of Trump for courage; it isn’t. It’s just self-preservation by people who have little to justify their existence to begin with. But it is happening, and with it, the last tattered remains of Trump’s power. He has finally destroyed himself.

Expect wilder and more insane outbursts from him. Except more and more shrugs from his once-avid supporters. MAGA will vanish in much the same way that Nazis vanished in Germany in 1945.

And the wheels of justice will grind him to dust.

He’s finally going down.

Unreality Show I’ll Take Door Number i for $100, Alex

October 12th 2018

Who would have thought, three years ago, that we would have a black entertainer meeting with the President in the Oval Office and arguing for the repeal of the 13th amendment?
Trump has achieved the trifecta of crazy: Sarah Palin, Ted Nugent, and now Kanye West. A pity Charlie Manson is dead: he could have visited and argued for lowering the age of consent to six.

This spectacle would have been grotesque and awkward under the best of circumstances, but it occurred almost to the minute that a major hurricane was devastating the Florida panhandle coast, completely leveling one town and inflicting major damage from Florida to North Carolina. Even as the Trump administration was arguing that 4C increase was inevitable, so we all might as well get used to it.

At least this time touring Melania Trump didn’t show up wearing a coat that proclaimed her lack of concern; she was off in Africa, wearing a British RA-style pith helmet, recreating “Call Me Bwimbo”. Oh, wait, that’s Bwana. Second look. No, it’s Bwimbo. The woman has a gift for wearing “Fuck You” as a fashion accessory. After getting some light criticism over that, she flounced off, calling herself the most bullied person in America. Easy solution, babe: file for divorce.

Was it really just 23 months ago that people were saying in hopeful tones that Republicans in Congress could keep Trump in line and blunting his more egregious impulses?

Nah. They saw Trump apparently getting away with the most blatant lies and viciousness, and decided they knew a winning approach when they saw it. Now they’re all lying their heads off. As the election nears, it’s a race to the bottom.

You see campaign ads all over the place swearing up and down that Republicans want to protect Medicare, and that Democrats are goddless commie Muslims who want to allow billions of Mexicans to come in and take over the country. They boast about how Trump saved the economy by maintaining employment and growth trends previously seen over the past six years under Obama, and carefully don’t mention the trillions in new debt for the latest tax giveaways to the rich (including the additional $3 trillion last week that the same Republicans who voted for it last week aren’t mentioning now), or the fact that despite the fact that they are fracking and drilling the living shit out of America and working to turn national parks into oil reserves, the price of gasoline is a dollar fifty above what it was last year.

It got so bad that NY Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote a piece yesterday effectively calling the entire party liars. Such a column would never have seen the light of day a few years ago, but that was before the GOP went mad and abandoned all principle. At least the NY Times belatedly remembered they were a newspaper and what that meant.

Trump had an ‘op-ed’ in the disreputable USA Today that has to be read to be believed. The Washington Post stated that nearly every single sentence included a misstatement or flat-out lie.

In Georgia, the Republican Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, is running for Governor, but as SS he retains the power to purge voter rolls. Which he is doing with a vengeance, some 26,000 names over the past few weeks, over such criteria as whether a middle initial is included on the written name but not in the signature. While African-Americans make up 32% of Georgia’s population (and a somewhat lower proportion of the voting population for obvious reasons) they make up 70% of the voters being purged. Oh, and the SS office isn’t bothering to tell the voters they have been purged. Let it be a surprise on election day. Similar, if less egregious stories abound in other states saddled with Republican rule.

Of course, Trump hates a free press, but isn’t above using the more whorish and lower segments of that press to attack the rest. The National Enquirer has been prostituting itself for him for years now, and Fox News is nothing more than the propaganda arm for the GOP. It’s a shameful thing to see in America, which once was proud of its free and independent press. Now the government has fascist whores pretending to be reporters to spread lies and stifle dissent.

It’s no surprise that news that Saudi Arabia lured a journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, into the Saudi embassy in Istanbul and proceeded to torture, murder and dismember him. It’s widely believed that it was ordered by the vile despot Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who seized power last year with the somewhat clandestine help from the Trump administration (Chief Wastrel Jared Kushner was on hand to oversee the coup and possibly offer friendly advice and hidden funding).

Trump’s reaction to this was muted, partly because he doesn’t mind seeing journalists being killed for doing their job and partly because his business interests are heavily intertwined with bin Salman’s. Even as most of the corporate world pull away from the swinish and vicious Sauds, Trump is going ahead with another arms deal so Saudi Arabia can massacre a few thousand more Yemanis.

Iran is a vile theocracy, but it’s only the third worst in the region, behind Israel and Saudi Arabia. Guess which of the three the US condemns solely?

Kavanaugh, perjurer, liar and partisan ratfucker, has already established a new precedent, becoming the first sitting justice in Supreme Court history to be under active investigation for violation of judicial practices and ethics, based on his sworn Senate testimony. He managed this odiferous distinction on just the second day on the court. It will get worse.

Trump is submitting written answers to Meuller’s investigative team, about his only remaining constitutional recourse. His lawyers knew he can’t go a minute without lying, so spoken testimony under oath would be a legal death trap, and this at least gives the lawyers time to write and finesse the answers, in the hope they can make Trump at least technically not liable for perjury. We’ll know soon enough if these lawyers, not the most brilliant legal team over assembled, can come up with anything that won’t result in immediate indictments.

OK, admit it: after all that, Kanye West sounds pretty sane, doesn’t he?

At least harmless, right? Right?


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