Politics postsMonday January 15, 2018
Presidential MLK Day Message: 'I Am Not a Racist'
“I am not a racist.”
Could there be a more profound message from the president of the United States on Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend?
In remarks to reporters at a dinner photo opportunity with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy in West Palm Beach, Florida, Trump said when asked if he is a racist, “No, I'm not a racist. I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed.”
No need to bring up the litany of racist behavior again. Probably enough to mention the Central Park Five case, in which a woman jogger, a white investment banker, was brutally beaten and raped in Central Park in 1989 and five black kids, ages 14 to 16, were charged with the crime. They were innocent. DNA evidence later proved it. It proved it then, if we were willing to look at it. We weren't. Neither was Donald Trump, who took out a full-page ad in the New York Times urging a return to the death penalty. Can you imagine if we'd put these kids to death? Then found out? Then realized all the signs we'd missed?
You now what doesn't get enough attention about Trump's walkback lines like the above? How it plays with his base. He's got a core constituency that's racist at its heart but such declarations don't ever make them waver in their support for him. I guess it means they know he's lying. And they're fine with that. They're fine with the president of the United States lying on a regular basis to the American people—as long as he stays racist.
Happy MLK Day.
And Here with the Response to the President, Pvt. John Winger...
I'm a bit surprised that everyone's surprised by Pres. Trump's remarks yesterday questioning why the U.S. lets in people from “shithole countries,” like Haiti, El Salvador, and the various countries of Africa. OK, not everyone's surprised. On CNN, The New Yorker's Jeffrey Toobin (Toobs to my friend Adam), reminded us that this POV ain't exactly news:
He has racist views. ... And the worst thing is: that's part of his appeal. It's a feature, not a bug. There are a lot of people who like this.
I'd go further. Trump's numbers don't sink lower with his base because he has racist views. There are Americans, in other words, who will forgive Trump his treason because he is racist. Mull on that for a while.
Here's my rebuttal to Trump's idiocy. I was 18 when “Stripes” was released in the summer of 1981 and I must have seen it nearly a dozen times over the years. And I've always loved this speech. It's not really true—most immigrants, including my paternal grandparents, weren't kicked out of another country, they left on their own and risked a lot to come here—but the attitude is exactly right. It's my American attitude: a sly, winking self-deprecation. It's my patriotism. “We're mutts... We're all dog-faces, we're all very, very different...” Trump isn't just racist, he's isn't just wrong. He's boring.
How Did Donald Embarrass Us/Himself Today? Cont.
I spoke too soon earlier today. Trump taking credit for the fact that no domestic airlines crashed in 2017 is positively brilliant compared to the rest of his day.
Here's most of it, courtesy of Daniel Dale. All times, I believe, are EST:
The 7:49 slot was particularly bad. A few days back, Un talked about the nuclear button on his desk; today, Trump said his was bigger. I shit you not.
Later tonight, he added this:
I will be announcing THE MOST DISHONEST & CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS OF THE YEAR on Monday at 5:00 o’clock. Subjects will cover Dishonesty & Bad Reporting in various categories from the Fake News Media. Stay tuned!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
I can't imagine a more pathetic man—let alone president.
A Brief Conversation with Pres. Trump
The Bogart is from “Dead Reckoning,” a rare, non-Warner Bros. flick (Columbia) he made in the 1940s, co-starring Lizabeth Scott, which P and I watched the other night. It's good for two-thirds, then becomes kind of WTF.
The Donald was from an email the Trump team sent me—along with many others. Yeah, somehow I wound up on their mailing list. I think because I answered one of his idiot polls where the options are like: 1) Slathering, 2) Obsequious, 3) Way to go, boss!, 4) Other.
Donald, of course, was always WTF. 63 million of my fellow citizens are idiots and always will be. They will never live that down. We will never live that down. It's not just Trump's Hillary-bashing, Obama-bashing, Dem-bashing, FBI-bashing, NFL-bashing, MSM-bashing, immigrant-bashing, wall-building, sabre-rattling, Putin-worshipping, pathetic lying ways. It's the capital-F “Friend.” That he, or his team, would use “Friend,” and that people would buy it. And continue to buy it.
This is my last post of the year. There was an old Doonesbury strip where the gang was at a New Year's Eve party in 1979, lamenting the awful 10 years they'd been through. One of the gang repeated what his grandmother said about the worst of life, “This too shall pass,” and so they raised a toast: “To a kidney stone of a decade!” So we do with 2017. To a kidney stone of a year. But we passed that motherfucker. At least we did that.
Mayer Exposes Racist Nonprofit; Trump Quotes Them Praising Him
Yesterday on Twitter, Donald Trump quoted the founder of a new conservative nonprofit called Turning Point USA about the same time that The New Yorker posted Jane Mayer's exposé on them. Not sure which came first. The exposé, I think.
Mayer's piece is about how the nonprofit is both racist and has been flouting 501(c)(3) rules by engaging in politicking. Shocker:
Turning Point touts its close relationship with the President's family. The group's Web site promoted Don, Jr.,'s appearance for weeks, featuring a photo of him raising a clenched fist. Its promotional materials include a quote from the younger Trump praising Turning Point: “What you guys have done” is “just amazing.” Lara Trump, the wife of Don, Jr.,'s brother Eric, is also involved with the group. In West Palm Beach on Wednesday, she hosted a luncheon promoting Turning Point's coming Young Women's Leadership Summit. The group's twenty-four-year-old executive director and founder, Charlie Kirk, told me that he counts Don, Jr., as “a personal friend.”
That's not even the politicking. The politicking is giving the names and numbers of conservatives to help a presidential campaign—in this case, Marco Rubio's ill-fated one against Trump. As for the racism, one example Mayer gives is the org's national field director sending an email to a colleague stating, “I HATE BLACK PEOPLE. Like fuck them all . . . I hate blacks. End of story.”
Actually, the beginning of it.
Oh, and they also fired one of the few African-Americans who worked there, Gabrielle Fequiere, and allegedly on MLK Day. A final twist of the screw, I suppose, but I wound up having little sympathy for Fequiere, particularly after reading this quote from her:
My Democratic friends had told me that some Republicans didn't care about the poor and minorities, and I thought it wasn't true, but then I found the people they were talking about!
Good god, woman. Pay attention. Read. Use your brain—or half of it. Something.
Trump's addition to all of this was to quote the nonprofit's founder and executive director praising him:
“The President has accomplished some absolutely historic things during this past year.” Thank you Charlie Kirk of Turning Points USA. Sadly, the Fake Mainstream Media will NEVER talk about our accomplishments in their end of year reviews. We are compiling a long & beautiful list.
It's bad enough that Trump's source is this suspect, right-wing organization that'll probably be toast within a year. It's that he, the president of the United States, keeps quoting people praising him. How pathetic is that? How needy? How sad.
We gotta get out of this place.