Archive for the 'Why I miss the British Empire' Category

Sep 11 2016

The only 9-11 post you need to read today.

And I did not write it.

But I wish I had. Jim Wright of Stonekettle Station did, and its worth the couple of minutes it will take to read it in it's entirety.

 

15 years ago today 19 shitheads attacked America.

They killed 3000 of us.

And then … America got its revenge for 9-11.

Yes we did. Many times over. We killed them. We killed them all. We killed their families. We killed their wives and their kids and all their neighbors. We killed whole nations that weren't even involved just to make goddamned sure. We bombed their cities into rubble. We burned down their countries.

They killed 3000 of us, we killed 300,000 of them or more.

8000 of us came home in body bags, but we got our revenge. Yes we did.

We're still here. They aren't.

We win. USA! USA! USA!

Right?

You goddamned right. We. Win.

Except…

 

 

Read the rest of the post here.

UPDATE! From Jim Wright:

Facebook removed my 911 post because it didn't meet community standards.

Make of that what you will

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE! Facebook may not like the post, but others did.

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Jun 28 2016

The first draft of history…

Yes the markets went back up today. I did my bit to help and bought stock in Match.Com. ( Because you never know when you'll need to fire up that Tinder App).

But Britain kept taking one hit after another. A labor No Confidence vote that Jeremy Corbyn lost, and additional credit downgrades. These are lighting the fuse for the recession of 2017.

So is there time to point out how utterly stupid Brexit was? There is always time to point out how fucked in the head the Brexit vote was.

Assuming I'm not dead from alcohol poisoning on November 9th, which is a very real possibility if Trump wins, Laurie Penny at The New Statesman has written the first draft of what will be many posts calling the American people stupid. Just take the British names and substitute American ones-and you feel her (and my) pain:

I want my country back

This was never a referendum on the EU. It was a referendum on the modern world.

There’s not enough tea in the entire nation to help us Keep Calm and Carry On today. Not on a day when prejudice, propaganda, naked xenophobia and callous fear-mongering have won out over the common sense we British like to pride ourselves on. Not on a day when we’re being congratulated by Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen, and nobody else. Well done, turkeys. Santa’s on his way.

Nigel Farage, the rich, racist cartoon demagogue, boasts that this victory was won “without a single shot being fired”. Tell that to the grieving family of Jo Cox, the campaigning Labour MP gunned down last week. Farage promised that unless something was done to halt immigration, “violence will be the next step”. It looks like we’ve got a two-for-one deal on that one.

So, here’s the thing. This was never a referendum on the EU. It was a referendum on the modern world, and yesterday the frightened, parochial lizard-brain of Britain voted out, out, out, and today we've all woken up still strapped onto this ghost-train as it hurtles off the tracks. Leave voters are finding they care less about immigration now that their pension pots are under threat. Maybe one of the gurning pundits promising them pride and sovereignty should have mentioned that, but they were too busy lying about the NHS. The curtain has been torn away and now we all have to look at the men behind it. They are not good men.

Anyone feel like they’ve got their country back yet? No? That, after all, was the rallying cry of the Leave campaign – the transatlantic echo of "Make America Great Again". There’s a precedent for what happens when svengalis with aggressively terrible haircuts are allowed to appeal to parochialism and fear in the teeth of a global recession, and it isn’t pretty.

 

Read the rest of the article here. It speaks to me-and should to you, Because I guarantee, whatever your political beef is with the USA today, I can assure you Donald Trump is not the answer to it. He will kill you and your country in your sleep.

I now yield the floor to Mr. Oliver again:

 

One response so far

Jun 27 2016

New Words for the dictionary

Watching markets tank again, makes me want to keep beating the Brexit horse. Once again, thank you voters of the UK for giving me an opportunity to keep working well into my 60's. That night job as an Uber driver in a couple of years will be a hell of lot of fun.

Meanwhile, as the United Kingdom's corpse is being embalmed, a new word has joined the English language:

 

Meanwhile down under, there is a revision being considered to the Australian flag:

 

In more good news, it appears one's Brexit vote comes with a money back guarantee.

 

George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, in words that were eerily reminiscent of Hank Paulson's in 2008, reassured British citizens that the "fundamentals of the economy are sound".

Pro-tip. It didn't work for Paulson back then either.

Meanwhile, there are those who cling to the rather vain hope that this nightmare can all be undone:

 

While other people are realizing just how bad things are:

 

David Cameron, realizing his days as a government employee are limited, begins working on his resume:

Seriously though, this referendum proves H.L. Menken's old quote and one I have used before, "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

Of course, we Americans should not get complacent. Especially the peculiar species of American voter that spouts the same old tired lines about " sticking it to the elites", "throwing of totalitarianism" and "sticking it to unelected policy makers"   Here is a serious point, if you, as an American, support Brexit-besides being wrong you may be just one of these people:

 

 

That's my best summation of the why, of American conservatives who support either / or Trump or Brexit.

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And this is only Monday. Tip your waitress well, I may be bashing this insanity all week.

 

 

7 responses so far

Jun 26 2016

Now it’s time to pay the piper.

This weekend has been one of the most interesting in recent history. Watching the post mortem on the Brexit referendum on British TV has been an education to say the least. When you walk off of a cliff, there is that interval of time while you fall, wondering how bad the impact is going to hurt.

That is what I would say this weekend has been like. Britain and the rest of the world have been going through the five stages of death: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Based on the news this weekend I'd say that we are just clearing stage 3. Stage 4 will come tomorrow when world markets drop yet again. (I don't think the markets have hit a definitive benchmark yet, the Dow for Example has about 400 more points to go, before it settles in for up and down cycles of about a 100 points or so for weeks).

When last we left the story, the Down Jones had wiped out ALL of its 2016 gains and had suffered its biggest single day drop in 1.5 years. Over the weekend the hits just kept on coming.

The credit rating agencies cut Britain's credit rating. Moved it from AAA to AA+.Following the Brexit vote, it said Britain's economic growth will be weaker and warned the public finances will be weaker than previously forecast, meaning it will be harder to cut the deficit. 

Meanwhile up in Scotland, 

EDINBURGH — Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, said Friday that a new referendum on independence in Scotland was “highly likely” now that Britain had voted to leave the European Union.

Voters rejected an effort to break free from the United Kingdom in a 2014 referendum, but Ms. Sturgeon said Scotland would take measures to protect its place in Europe and maintain access to the single market.

Ms. Sturgeon cited her party’s election manifesto, which calls for another ballot if there is a “significant and material change in circumstances” from the 2014 vote, such as Scotland’s being taken out of the European Union against its will.

Not to be outdone, the folks in Northern Ireland, have their own issues to think about:

No sooner was the Brexit out of the bag than Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, deputy first minister for Northern Ireland, declared the need for a poll on Irish reunification. Northern Ireland voted decisively to remain in the EU. By McGuinness’s logic, this means that the “British government has forfeited any mandate to represent the economic or political interests of the people”.

Opportunistic? Of course. Disingenuous? Maybe. The Good Friday agreement, which created peace in the north, allows the secretary of state to call a border poll when there’s clear indication that public opinion has swung towards a united Ireland. Currently, there’s no such indication – the people of Northern Ireland voted against leaving the EU, which is markedly different from voting to leave the UK.

A border poll at this juncture would be dangerous. Think the build-up to Brexit was polarising and scary? Add a few centuries of colonial history, a partition, 30 years of sectarianism and violence, a fragile peace of less than two decades, a severe terror threat, a quarter tonne of semtex, a wee dash of Brexit-induced socio-economic insecurity, and the frustration caused by one’s English compatriots voting to pull the rug out from under a painstakingly crafted peace process, then tell me about polarising and scary.

So it is probably best that we chill on the reunification rhetoric for the minute. That said, I do think the aftermath of Brexit has the potential to strengthen Northern Ireland’s connection to the Irish Republic. If and when that happens, we’ll talk border polls.

 

Meanwhile back in London, Jeremy Corbyn, Labor Party Leader ,had his hands full dealing with a revolt inside his own party.

The U.K.'s dramatic decision to leave the European Union has set off an open mutiny within the opposition Labour Party against the party's leader, Jeremy Corbyn

The BBC reports that at least eleven ministers have resigned from their positions on the shadow cabinet; in the British system, that's the government body that criticizes the ruling party's government and presents alternatives.

This started when Corbyn sacked his shadow foreign secretary, party veteran Hilary Benn, as NPR's Peter Kenyon tells our Newscast unit.

"Within hours more shadow cabinet ministers announced their resignations amid concern that Corbyn is not the leader the party needs to see it through the upheaval caused by the Brexit vote," Peter says. He adds that Corbyn has "vowed to fight any challenge."

Under the category of, you want it bad you get it bad, The other EU nations are insisting that Britain should withdraw from the EU as soon as possible and not slow roll the process. Angela Merkel said she agreed with that logic, but would not "fight for it".  

Nonetheless there are important reasons why the continental nations of Europe will need to take a hard line in negotiations for Britain's exit from the block. Number one will be to drive home the point to other exit wanna be's that you pay a price for not playing ball. European leaders will desperately want to stop the contagion represented by Brexit. There is not a Norway or Swiss deal in Britain's future.

This isn’t just economic; it has implications for global security. The EU and the US have depended on a united front on a score of global challenges, most notably with Russia. Russia will exploit any division they can.

Now at the same time-things could turn around if a few things happened. Like oil prices go up dramatically.

Of course if this November the US elected Donald Trump to be President, things could get a lot worse. As Larry Summers pointed out, Brexit could just be the opening act if Trump gets elected:

Well, I think the same kind of sense that this couldn't possibly happen, that surrounds the Trump candidacy also surrounded the Brexit referendum. And I think whatever damage Brexit may do to the global economy, is small compared to the uncertainties that would be unleashed if Donald Trump became President of the United States. That's because the policies that Trump has advocated could hardly be better calculated to create uncertainty and economic instability.

So there is that to look forward to.

 

5 responses so far

Jun 24 2016

Funeral for a friend

I suffered the loss of a good friend last night. The United Kingdom ( May 1, 1707-June 23rd, 2016), America's mother country, the source of US traditions and many of our values , a country that holds a special place in my heart, committed suicide last night. It was 409 years old. The corpse is still twitching but the damage has been done. That the death was completely avoidable makes this loss of a once great nation particularly tragic.

I stayed up watching the returns start to come in, and I went to bed cautiously optimistic. I awoke at 4AM, looked at my phone and knew my once good friend was doomed. I got up and went downstairs to watch the BBC and ITV coverage. At 6:20 AM, they pronounced the patient dead.

By that time the S.O. had seen 6% of her Japanese savings vanish. The pound was down almost 8% and Dow Jones futures were indicating a monumental meltdown at the open.

And there on the TV was the obnoxious face of Nigel Farage. For those who don't know him, he is the leader of the UKIP party and the darling of fucking idiots American Conservatives for his Trumpian rhetoric.

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V.I.K.I.: You are making a mistake. My logic is undeniable.

Detective Del Spooner: You have so got to die.

As the morning unfolded, the hits just kept on coming. The founder of this monstrosity of a referendum, David Cameron, announced he would be resigning as Prime Minister. That's what happens when you bet the farm on a completely unnecessary political evolution and then lose.

The FTSE was dropping like a stone.

As was the DAX, and all the other European markets. The sickness even affected the bond markets, with German and Spanish bonds taking a particular beating. I have no doubt US bond markets are getting equally squeezed.

Later on in the day, Spain hinted it wants to re-open the settled issue of Gibraltar. 

And of course, like a bad dream, who shows up to piss on everyone's parade?  That's right, the vulgar talking yam himself. As he chortled over all the money he was going to make shorting stocks and fucking over his new employees at Turnberry, he displayed the particular brand of ignorance that has marked his campaign to date.

 

 

 

This is typical for the vulgar yam. Fuckhead.

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As I type this, the American stock market is down 622 points. As predicted this a disaster. And this is just the beginning.

The crass opportunists have stepped to the microphone. Sinn Fein is making noises about how Northern Ireland would be better off in the Irish Republic and the Scottish leadership is making noise about how binding referendums are not so binding after all. 

A couple of other observations:

1) The stark differences in demographics were disturbing. Interviews with older voters and younger voters make it clear that UK voters have this in common with US voters. Older people love to vote to screw young people.

The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union, 52 percent to 48 percent.

I am broken by this result. As a young person, I cannot help but feel betrayed. In fact, it’s somewhat hard not to take it a little bit personally.

Let’s look at the voter demographics. The "Leave" vote was overwhelmingly carried by those over the age of 65, whereas 72 percent of those who were aged 18 to 24 voted to "Remain." Why does this matter? Surely, in a referendum, every vote is equal, and the will of the people carries regardless of the demographic?

Well, there is some truth to that. But that doesn’t mean every UK voter will suffer the same consequences.

The process of the UK leaving the European Union would not be complete until late 2018 at the very earliest, assuming Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is triggered when a new prime minister is appointed in the autumn of this year. Even then, that’s just the basic settlement — trade deals and movement regulations could take decades to hammer out.

 

Please click on the link and look at the demographics. The old screwed the young-who it appears, are smarter than their elders.

2) British expats living in Europe are going to get screwed at the drive through.

3) Finally, every right wing Jackass like Geert Wilders, Marine Le Pen, the leaders of Alternativ fur Deutschland and the rest are already spouting their particular racist brand of bullshit asking for their own referendums. 71 years of peace in Europe? Can't have that. Crank up the Enola Gay-we are on our way to the Maginot Line! Retake Silesia! Party like its 1932 brother!

And then there is the damage to the US. I find the drivel being spouted by your average American moron conservative really disturbing . If I hear one more person talk about "taking their country back", I am going to have to strangle someone. Back to where assholes?

I've seen where you want to take the country back to-and I want no part of it. Please go die in a fire.

Brexit is a disaster. If you do not understand that, you can leave now. We have nothing else to talk about.

Leave it to the Financial Times ( a good conservative news outlet-something your basic Breitbart fucking nitwit reader seems unable to understand):

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That pretty well sums it up. Stupidity triumphed over common sense. My advice is to start drinking heavily with some now even more expensive Scotch. Its going to be a long year.

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You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!

 

6 responses so far

Jun 20 2016

The Queen’s unruly subjects.

John Oliver explains in good form why the UK should leave the shitty politics , as well as the political assassinations, to their crazy American cousins on the wrong side of the Atlantic:

 

Since we have a British satellite system, we are getting to see a lot of the debate on the issue first hand. And as Oliver pointed out, even if you are one of the maniacs who is Trump fan, you still have an important reason to care about the Brexit . It's going to fuck with your retirement savings. That's because we are globally connected now and what happens overseas affects your investments. Or need I remind you of what happened when the Chinese market tanked last year?

The liberal Leavers are peddling an illusion. On contact with the reality of Brexit, their plans will fall apart. If Britain leaves the EU, it is likely to end up poorer, less open and less innovative. Far from reclaiming its global outlook, it will become less influential and more parochial. And without Britain, all of Europe would be worse off.

Start with the economy. Even those voting Leave accept that there will be short-term damage (see article). More important, Britain is unlikely to thrive in the longer run either. Almost half of its exports go to Europe. Access to the single market is vital for the City and to attract foreign direct investment. Yet to maintain that access, Britain will have to observe EU regulations, contribute to the budget and accept the free movement of people—the very things that Leave says it must avoid. To pretend otherwise is to mislead.

Those who advocate leaving make much of the chance to trade more easily with the rest of the world. That, too, is uncertain. Europe has dozens of trade pacts that Britain would need to replace. It would be a smaller, weaker negotiating partner. The timetable would not be under its control, and the slow, grinding history of trade liberalisation shows that mercantilists tend to have the upper hand.

Nor is unshackling Britain from the EU likely to release a spate of liberal reforms at home. As the campaign has run its course, the Brexit side has stoked voters’ prejudices and pandered to a Little England mentality (see article). Despite Leave’s free-market rhetoric, when a loss-making steelworks at Port Talbot in Wales was in danger of closing, Brexiteers clamoured for state aid and tariff protection that even the supposedly protectionist EU would never allow.

The pandering has been still more shameless over immigration. Leave has warned that millions of Turks are about to invade Britain, which is blatantly false. It has blamed strains on public services like health care and education on immigration, when immigrants, who are net contributors to the exchequer, help Britain foot the bill. It suggests that Britain cannot keep out murderers, rapists and terrorists when, in fact, it can.

Britons like to think of themselves as bracingly free-market. They are quick to blame their woes on red tape from Brussels. In reality, though, they are as addicted to regulation as anyone else. Many of the biggest obstacles to growth—too few new houses, poor infrastructure and a skills gap—stem from British-made regulations. In six years of government, the Tories have failed to dismantle them. Leaving the EU would not make it any easier.

 

Leaving the EU is a terrible idea. The EU is not perfect, but as I have said before, just because a car gets lost, does not mean you blow the car up.

America has more than the world's fair share of selfish pigs. Britain, we don't need you trying imitate them.

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Jun 16 2016

The four horsemen are saddling up

The four horsemen of the apocalypse that is. As if having Donald Trump on a presidential ballot were not proof enough the Anti-Christ is alive and walking among us, now comes a day when I actually agree with a Republican Congressman from Mississippi. Repent! The hour of judgment is at hand!

Long time readers here will know that I am a big fan of the writing of Charles Pierce. I love the rich way he uses words and the unerring way he pillories people who deserve to be pilloried.

Most of the time anyway. But today he got it wrong by a country mile. So I am going to give some credit, where credit is due.

I agree with Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.)

But Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) said believes the naming of ships should be reserved for former presidents, war heroes and people who have served in the military, which neither Lewis (D-Ga.) nor Levin (D-Mich.) did. "My amendment has nothing — absolutely zero — to do with John Lewis or any other member of Congress," Palazzo said in a statement.  The measure was introduced as an amendment to the annual defense spending bill scheduled to be debated in the House this week. The proposal would have prevent the Pentagon from using any federal funds to name ships for "any member of Congress, living or deceased, unless such member served as the President of the United States or as a member of the Armed Forces."?

What Charlie is not seeing here, is the absolute abomination the last three SECNAV's have made of the ship naming process. Ray Mabus deserves the bulk of the blame, but lets not forget the shitty work done by Gordon England and John Dalton. They each failed in their own way.

In fact I would take Rep Palazzo's bill much, much further-forcing the Navy to reinstate the accepted Navy naming conventions. E.G., naming submarines for fish, cruisers for cities, destroyers for war heroes ( posthumously), SSBN's for states ( since there are no more battleships -sigh), Carriers for historic Naval Battles and Presidents. The current practice of using ship names as a "trade" for political favors is insane.

Sorry Charlie, you got this one wrong.  This is a fight worth picking.

I'll be waiting for the moon to turn black.

One response so far

Jun 13 2016

Vichy Republicans

Is my new favorite put down for those members of the GOP who can't seem to find where they left their moral compass………

Drowned out in the cacophony of tragedy this weekend, was a very well delivered and well written speech by filmmaker Ken Burns (who has done great documentary series on The Civil War among many others) who let us know, in no uncertain terms, why, He, Trump, is a dangerous threat to the American Republic-every bit as dangerous as our fetish about firearms. It is worth reading, and for the record I agree with him. If you don't, well, may God have mercy on you, but don't expect any sympathy here.

Take it away Mr. Burns:

For 216 years, our elections, though bitterly contested, have featured the philosophies and character of candidates who were clearly qualified. That is not the case this year. One is glaringly not qualified. So before you do anything with your well-earned degree, you must do everything you can to defeat the retrograde forces that have invaded our democratic process, divided our house, to fight against, no matter your political persuasion, the dictatorial tendencies of the candidate with zero experience in the much maligned but subtle art of governance; who is against lots of things, but doesn’t seem to be for anything, offering only bombastic and contradictory promises, and terrifying Orwellian statements; a person who easily lies, creating an environment where the truth doesn’t seem to matter; who has never demonstrated any interest in anyone or anything but himself and his own enrichment; who insults veterans, threatens a free press, mocks the handicapped, denigrates women, immigrants, and all Muslims; a man who took more than a day to remember to disavow a supporter who advocates white supremacy and the Ku Klux Klan; an infantile, bullying man who, depending on his mood, is willing to discard old and established alliances, treaties, and longstanding relationships. I feel genuine sorrow for the understandably scared and — they feel — powerless people who have flocked to his campaign in the mistaken belief that — as often happens on TV — a wand can be waved and every complicated problem can be solved with the simplest of solutions. They can’t. It is a political Ponzi scheme. And asking this man to assume the highest office in the land would be like asking a newly minted car driver to fly a 747.

As a student of history, I recognize this type. He emerges everywhere and in all eras. We see nurtured in his campaign an incipient proto-fascism, a nativist anti-immigrant Know Nothing-ism, a disrespect for the judiciary, the prospect of women losing authority over their own bodies, African-Americans again asked to go to the back of the line, voter suppression gleefully promoted, jingoistic saber-rattling, a total lack of historical awareness, a political paranoia that, predictably, points fingers, always making the other wrong. These are all virulent strains that have at times infected us in the past. But they now loom in front of us again — all happening at once. We know from our history books that these are the diseases of ancient and now fallen empires. The sense of commonwealth, of shared sacrifice, of trust, so much a part of American life, is eroding fast, spurred along and amplified by an amoral internet that permits a lie to circle the globe three times before the truth can get started.

We no longer have the luxury of neutrality or “balance,” or even of bemused disdain. Many of our media institutions have largely failed to expose this charlatan, torn between a nagging responsibility to good journalism and the big ratings a media circus always delivers. In fact, they have given him the abundant airtime he so desperately craves, so much so that it has actually worn down our natural human revulsion to this kind of behavior. Hey, he’s rich; he must be doing something right. He is not. Edward R. Murrow would have exposed this naked emperor months ago. He is an insult to our history. Do not be deceived by his momentary “good behavior.” It is only a spoiled, misbehaving child hoping somehow to still have dessert.

And do not think that the tragedy in Orlando underscores his points. It does not. We must “disenthrall ourselves,” as Abraham Lincoln said, from the culture of violence and guns. And then “we shall save our country.”

This is not a liberal or conservative issue, a red state–blue state divide. This is an American issue. Many honorable people, including the last two Republican presidents, members of the party of Abraham Lincoln, have declined to support him. And I implore those “Vichy Republicans” who have endorsed him to please, please reconsider. We must remain committed to the kindness and community that are the hallmarks of civilization and reject the troubling, unfiltered Tourette’s of his tribalism.

The next few months of your “commencement,” that is to say, your future, will be critical to the survival of our republic. “The occasion is piled high with difficulty.” Let us pledge here today that we will not let this happen to the exquisite, yet deeply flawed, land we all love and cherish — and hope to leave intact to our posterity. Let us “nobly save,” not “meanly lose, the last best hope of earth.”

 

The entire address can be found on Stanford's You Tube channel here.

 

 

 

4 responses so far

May 03 2016

People always let you down.

Especially people of the "Fox News Viewer" persuasion.

I admit it. I am astounded American politics is where it is today. I mean really, Donald Trump is probably going to be the GOP nominee? Really?

If you read any of my posts from earlier in the year-you will know that I expected the Donald to be going down in flames by now if not already gone. That, it seems, was a mistake. I gave Republican voters more credit than they deserved. I assumed that eventually, they would see through him and he would stand revealed as the worthless charlatan he is-and the nominating process would have moved on to another criminal candidate.

Today, I am here to tell you I was wrong.

Now please don't misunderstand me, Donald Trump is a hideous human being and in no way whatsoever deserving of a place on Pennsylvania Ave. And I hope , fervently, that he will never get there. However, I had more faith in the people than this. Surely they cannot be that stupid?

Evidently they can be.

Let's consult with the blog's political correspondent, Charlie Pierce:

It had been a while since I'd been to see the increasingly normalized donkey show that is a Trump rally. The rough edges have been smoothed out a tad, although the events in California last week showed pretty conclusively that they're not entirely gone. The warm-up acts on Sunday included a local minister, who offered a prayer. A Vietnam vet led the Pledge of Allegiance. A former Miss Indiana sang the National Anthem. An overripe state representative called the Affordable Care Act, "the worst law ever passed in this country." (Providing 15 million Americans with affordable health care is worse than the Fugitive Slave Act? Where do they find these people?) And a campaign aide named Stephen Miller wound some stems and burned some barns. He bellowed out a litany of all the Others who have been jiving the good people of Terre Haute out of their country for year after year.

"They don't care about you," Miller thundered. "Donald Trump cares about you!" Jesus, somebody buy this guy a nice armband for his birthday.

For himself, He, Trump hasn't moved very far out of the comfort zone that has surrounded him since he first ascended to the top of the polls. The stump speech is still a paean to his own greatness as demonstrated by his poll numbers—NBC has him 15 points ahead in Indiana as of Sunday, which really would be the end—and now he has a string of primary victories with which to buttress his limitless self-regard. "Lyin' Ted" has been joined by "Crooked Hillary" in his menagerie of imaginary villains. (Pivot toward the general!) "The government in Iraq is so crooked, maybe we should send Hillary over there to run it."

The stump speech still winds around itself two and three times and it still remains basically a tautological knot. The country has problems. He can solve them because he is He, Trump, and you're not, and neither are those other losers. The difference is that his typical audience is less the free-floating bag of grievances they once were. They now carry themselves as dedicated supporters. They don't care how many times in one speech he talks about the trade deficit. They cheer every time he mentions knuckling China. He is winning. They are winning. That's what matters.

"The Washington Post has a big article right here," he said. "The time has come to admit that Republican voters want Donald Trump as their nominee." And then, as the applause rises again, he spreads his arms and unleashes the very encyclopedia model of a shit-eating grin. He's probably talking about a piece last week in which Philip Bump—who is not the entire Washington Post—found some establishment Republicans who resignedly are signing on with The Great Accommodation. But nobody in the Indiana Theater cares. It was one more fight that they all won. His fait is accompli now, and so is theirs.

"If I win," he said, "it's a mandate. It's a mandate for genius."

Throughout the speech, if you can call it a speech, it was hard not to wonder about the people in the hall, especially when He, Trump told the crowd that, "Lyin' Ted will always let you down." Now that his support has solidified and proven durable all over the country, there are a lot of people whose investment in him is now total. 

I wondered about Kris out on the sidewalk, who has followed He, Trump around the country because he liked what He, Trump said about closing borders to cut off the heroin that killed his child. That is a heavy burden to carry and a heavy burden to place on a candidate, even a candidate who has asked to carry it, which Trump certainly has not done. He is riding on a wave of pain that he never has felt. He is riding on a wave of anxiety he never has encountered. Beyond their love of him, there is no indication that he is as deeply aware of what has powered his rise as the people whose fear, and doubt, and, yes, hatred has powered his rise. Their job is still to wait in line, cheer on cue, and give him the devotion that he has earned because, after all, he is He, Trump, and they're not, and that will never change.

This is your democracy America. You are pissing it away royally. Trump and the millions of thugs people who following him, will lead you to oblivion. That you are too stupid to realize it is the great mystery of our age.

 

 

The analogies to Jesus Christ Superstar are obvious. Only , unlike Christ, Trump is not on the side of the angels.

4 responses so far

Apr 30 2016

16 years in to the new century

And we have nothing to show for it. The great spiral downward of the United States of America continues.

Charles Pierce is one of my favorite writers. He pulls no punches in latest masterpiece of great writing to tell us how Donald Trump is the visible symbol of our failure as a country:

The first decade of the twenty-first century gave us a great deal to forget. It began with an extended mess of a presidential election that ended with the unprecedented interference of a politicized Supreme Court. It was marked early on by an unthinkable attack on the American mainland. At this point, we forgot everything we already knew. We knew from our long involvement in the Middle East where the sources of the rage were. We forgot. We knew from Vietnam the perils of involving the country in a land war in Asia. We forgot. We knew from Nuremberg and from Tokyo what were war crimes and what were not. We forgot that we had virtually invented the concept of a war crime. We forgot. In all cases, we forgot because we chose to forget. We chose to believe that forgetting gave us real power and that memory made us weak. We even forgot how well we knew that was a lie.?

Pierce is echoing my feelings directly. "I watch the presidential campaign this year, and I watch how the country has abandoned self-government and the idea of a political commonwealth, and I see a country that is voluntarily taking upon itself my father's disease. A vagabond country, making itself a stranger to itself, a permanent refugee country, unmoored from its history."

It is some great writing. You should be reading him every day, but particularly this day.

Remember, this passage said to the people of a tattered and bleeding nation. Bind up the wounds. Take care of him who has borne the battle, and his widow and orphan, too. Achieve a just and lasting peace between yourselves and all nations. But first, remember how this misery came to pass. Remember what we are capable of doing to one another if we lose faith in every institution of self-government, especially those into which we are supposed to channel our passions to constructive purpose. Remember, Lincoln said in this speech, which was his last warning to the nation he'd preserved. Remember that we can be killers. Remember that, and you can be strong and powerful enough to not allow it to happen again.

The late historian Michael Kammen likened even the newest Americans to Fortinbras in Hamlet, who declares that he has "some rights of memory in this kingdom." Even the immigrants most lately arrived can, Kammen argued, "have an imaginative and meaningful relationship to the determinative aspects of American history." In the campaign now ongoing, we see successful candidates running against the very notion of what Kammen was talking about. When Trump chants his mantra—"Make America Great Again"—the rest of the slogan is unsaid but obvious. The implied conclusion is "…Before All of Them Wrecked It." And that is what has been selling, all year long, because while the struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting, there is no guarantee that either struggle will end in triumph.

 

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