The Republic Will Survive

There’s always 2020.

On behalf of the dwindling tribe of rational beings in These United States, we would like to thank Donald Trump for being utterly incompetent.

Trump’s gift for making subtext text — for putting into words what other politicians encoded in dog whistles — revealed what everyone has known, or should have known, since 1980: Conservative politics is total bullshit, an intellectual veneer riding atop an ugly racist engine.

Whatever merit was to be found in conservative “ideas” was totally irrelevant, since without the power of Angry White Voters resentful of Welfare Queens and fearful of Black Murderers, those ideas would never have gained or maintained currency.

And should that bigotry wear thin in a given election, you could always turn to faggots instead to incite an electorally remunerative moral panic.

The ideas never mattered, as Donald Trump amply and repeatedly demonstrated while steamrolling his way to the Republican nomination. All that mattered — in terms of seeking power — was making a better appeal to the hate, fear and resentment of White voters than anyone else. The only surprise was that nobody had thought of it before.

Luckily for the rest of us, that’s the limit of Donald Trump’s ability.

A competent demagogue would have immediately switched registers upon securing the nomination. Not a “pivot”, not “maturing”, just watching your words in mixed company. With the aid of a thoroughly cynical speechwriter, Trump could have maintained his Aggressive Posture (see how that works?) without shaming the Nice People who might feel inclined to support him. It doesn’t take much to spin a Hideous Monster into a lovable Bad Boy.

That ain’t happening. That won’t happen. Donald Trump has no interest in power — he’s more than happy to hand off all the working parts of the presidency to his veep. All Donald Trump wants is to bask in the glory of being Donald Trump.

And so, the Republic is safe. For now.

But those Angry White Voters, their resentments carefully kindled for generations before finally being torched, aren’t going away. And where Donald Trump doesn’t seek actual power, he has shown the way for those who do.

America is lucky that Donald Trump is incompetent. We may not be so lucky next time.

27 comments:

12:19 pm • Saturday • August 6, 2016

I am enjoying the delicious irony of idiots who shrieked loudly about the “cult” of Obama in the thrall of a Con Con Man who made the GOP his cult.

2:03 pm • Saturday • August 6, 2016

This is not calming me down …

6:29 pm • Saturday • August 6, 2016

@blogenfreude: Consider it a reprieve. You don’t have to shit the bed for another four years.

12:44 am • Sunday • August 7, 2016

@blogenfreude: Relax. The (S)electoral College math isn’t there for Trump (or future Trumps), and it never was.

12:11 pm • Sunday • August 7, 2016

@¡Andrew!: Well…

Democrats have a 240-ish baseline these days, which is a tremendous head start.

But that still leaves swing states up for grabs, and a popular autocrat could run the table.

Maybe a candidate with a soothing slogan like “Compassionate Conservatism”, who then methodically drives the country over a cliff.

Trump is politically incompetent. Future Trump may not be. And those Angry White People ain’t going anywhere. Demographics will eventually render them irrelevant, but not quite yet.

2:32 pm • Sunday • August 7, 2016

@nojo: It’s hard to see where the RepubliKKKans go from here. They seem to be dead set on being the party of racist, bug-eyed, tongue-talking lunacy. All of their candidates are repulsive, especially the odious Cruz.

The Demonrats won’t be doing us any favors. About 30 seconds after the election, Clinton and her Cleptocratic Cronies will resume rapaciously stealing all of the nation’s wealth and income, which will further enrage everyone except her most hysterical apologists and denialists. Then in 2020 we’ll be back to all that “lesser of two evils” bullshit.

I’m just hoping things get better at the state level.

2:57 pm • Sunday • August 7, 2016

@nojo:
Trump is incompetent on many levels.

@¡Andrew!:
Don’t knock it. The “lesser of two evils” was the Liberal Party of Canada’s motto for much of the 20th and 21st Century.

Although it is still better than what the federal NDP has decided to adopt as their motto which is “Quislings in Socialist’s clothing” for all their double dealing with the Harper Cons.

6:21 pm • Sunday • August 7, 2016

@¡Andrew!: Yeah, well, states are gonna be bad as always.

Where’s that review?

Ah.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2016/08/18/american-democracy-betrayed/

“Ratfuckers”, the story of just how thoroughly Republicans are winning that game, and how Democrats won’t stop them because they’re awaiting their turn at the slop. Part of Our Ugly Politics is due to corrupt redistricting, and that ain’t changing anytime soon.

6:46 pm • Sunday • August 7, 2016

@¡Andrew!: Same for W, and yet the S.Ct. handed him the election. I am not looking forward to this.

12:13 pm • Monday • August 8, 2016

@ManchuCandidate: In happier news, the BC government has imposed a new 15% tax on foreign buyers (Chinese hot munnie) now that the median home price in Vancouver has surged over $1.2M. Maybe locals will be able to buy a house now. Ontario to follow? Will this cool down property mad foreign buyers, or will they simply aim their munnie Death Star at Seattle?

12:23 pm • Monday • August 8, 2016

@¡Andrew!:
Should be higher IMHO, but it won’t stop stupid Chinese munnies.

12:32 pm • Monday • August 8, 2016

@ManchuCandidate: We’ll know Seattle has hit the big time once they build an exact replica of the city in the middle of some rando, landlocked province.

The median house price here is a vertigo inducing $666,000, making us still 50% less expensive than Vancouver and also “the devil’s plaything” of the Left Coast.

1:20 pm • Monday • August 8, 2016

@¡Andrew!: Damn. And to think that I was aghast last year when the median DC home price passed half a million. I’ve long since accepted the fact that, unless you’re loaded, buying in DC requires two incomes, but increasingly it seems I’ll have to marry up to even make that work.

3:33 pm • Monday • August 8, 2016

@mellbell: The hubs and I bought our house in 2001 before the last time the prices went cray cray, and even then it was a stretch. We’re gonna need black magic or a time machine if we ever wanna move.

I have no idea how non-financialized humans can afford it now, other than people moving in from LA, NYC, and SF that view Seattle as a huge bargain and think it’s perfectly normal to spend 50-60% of their income on rent/mortgage payments.

7:52 pm • Monday • August 8, 2016

Don’t know Denver housing prices as such, but I know they’re going up because of idiots like me moving here — literally the first thing I heard when I found the local public-radio station driving into town.

12:34 am • Tuesday • August 9, 2016

@¡Andrew!: Mr. SFL and I could sell our place here in Ess Eff for 3 times (or 4 times?) what we paid for it 10 years ago, the problem we run into is that dollar amount is the entry-level cost to buy in the entire Bay Area – so when we cash out we have to go to Portland, Bend, Spokane, or Wellington. Local rents for a one-bedroom in SF are more than double our mortgage on our teeny-tiny condo.

12:41 am • Tuesday • August 9, 2016

I might swim faster at the local Y if they had that little yellow bar on the water/bottom of the pool telling me the world record and how slowly I was swimming.

1:27 am • Tuesday • August 9, 2016

@SanFranLefty: I paid $1500 for a studio down the street from the Painted Ladies in 2001. God knows what they get for that room now.

10:34 am • Tuesday • August 9, 2016

@nojo: Involuntary organ donations.

10:53 am • Tuesday • August 9, 2016

@¡Andrew!: Peter Thiel thirsts!

11:07 am • Tuesday • August 9, 2016

To be a fly on the wall when FreedomWorks dreamed up this new Benghazi angle: “Hillary has weathered years of scrutiny related to the Benghazi attacks and the email scandal* from no less than Congress and the FBI, but what if — and this is totally illogical, but stay with me here — we simply combined them into one mega-scandal? That’ll totally achieve our desired result, right?”

*To be clear, not defending her actions on this one.

12:10 pm • Tuesday • August 9, 2016

@mellbell: In the Alternate Universe where’s she’s facing a competent candidate, an attack like that just could work — if nothing else, just to keep the topic in the news. Trump’s genius for sucking all the air out of the room is giving Hillary a free ride.

12:39 pm • Tuesday • August 9, 2016

@mellbell: They’d have better luck going after the Clinton Foundation’s unethical and possibly illegal shenanigans, including accounting errors, questionable donations/expenses, and of course, wild conflicts of interest that are SOP for the Clintons and their sycophants. The IRS and a private party are currently investigating them for charity fraud, which you’d think would garner bigger headlines.

12:46 pm • Tuesday • August 9, 2016

@SanFranLefty: Same here. Our neighbors sold their house in July for $100K over asking with 18 offers in two days. Great. Except now they don’t have anywhere to live and will have to brave the absurd prices and bidding wars, even for a decent rental.

My not-so-secret plan is to escape to Mexico. Sayulita sounds perfecto!

5:11 pm • Tuesday • August 9, 2016

@¡Andrew!:
@SanFranLefty:
My friend told me to sell my tiny Bungalow for over 1/2mil and take the money and run. Where?? Sudbury? Where one could get 3x the house for 1/2 the price.

Why the fuck would I go to Sudbury?

So I stay here.

6:19 pm • Tuesday • August 9, 2016

@ManchuCandidate: Your pet walrus would be happy, though that’d be an extreme commute.

9:19 pm • Tuesday • August 9, 2016

Arrived home today to find a flier advertising a nearby rowhouse for sale “as is” for the low, low price of $1.75 million. As Benedick would say, it is to laugh.

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