Monday, August 14, 2017

Trump's Big CON: He's Gotta Help His Supporters Hate, Hate, Hate

UPDATE:  "President Trump tweeted nine times this morning, attacking the 'failing' New York Times, other 'fake news' outlets (including the Washington Post), 'hoax Russian collusion,' and Richard Blumenthal, the Democratic senator from Connecticut, as a 'Vietnam con artist' who 'cried like a baby.'

Today’s string of tweets represented Trump’s most voluble social media outburst since John Kelly, a retired Marine general, became his chief of staff just one week ago, promising to restore order to a chaotic West Wing and, in particular, to push the president’s tweets 'in the right direction.' On the social media front, Kelly is — not surprisingly to anyone who has even casually observed the president’s behavior over the past two years — off to a shaky start.

Today’s Twitter flare-up would seem to suggest that Kelly is destined to fail as Trump’s law and order chief of staff because Trump’s impulsiveness cannot be constrained.

But that’s not the real reason he cannot succeed. Rather, it’s because Trump’s base, and in particular, his media and social media base, thrives on West Wing dysfunction that is rooted in what is portrayed as an existential battle between Trump’s 'nationalist' staff and advisers, and the dreaded 'globalists' in his midst. Because Trump has displayed no real interest in taming that beast, and in fact seems to relish feeding it, any effort by Kelly to slap Trump’s hand away from Twitter will have little impact on the persistent unrest roiling the White House. . .

Trump signaled his continuing gusto for dividing the world into rivalries, including between the 'fake news' and pro-Trump media. 'Fake news' is on the side of the 'establishment' and the pro-Trump media is on the side of, and possibly indistinguishable from, the burn-it-all-d0wn Bannon camp. . .

Trump still takes to Twitter like the pre-Kelly Trump. That’s because Twitter is the place where Trump goes for affirmation, the place where Breitbart’s version of events gets repeated and retweeted, giving Trump a kind of safe space from the 'fake news' about Russia investigations and legislative disasters and all of the failures of his first six months in office. . .

Trump’s fixation with competition and feuding, ultimately, is what will make Kelly’s task impossible."

Read the Washington Post, John Kelly is doomed to fail. The reason why isn’t what you think.

The Donald thrives on affirmation and flattery, and the chaos created by fear, anger and hatred are his tools.

"Since a makeshift bomb tore through a Minnesota mosque early Saturday morning, President Trump has used Twitter, his preferred platform for communicating with the American people, to rail about “fake news,” attack a Democratic senator from Connecticut and insist that he’s working hard while vacationing in New Jersey.

One topic Trump has yet to address: the mosque attack at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in the Twin Cities suburb of Bloomington, where several people were gathering for prayer. Nobody was injured, authorities said, but the attack has left the Muslim community feeling unsettled.

And Minnesotans and others are still waiting for the president to condemn the attack. . .

Silence after attacks where Muslims are the victims is not uncharacteristic for the president, who has been previously lambasted for a perceived double standard that critics claim he applies when denouncing terrorism. Attacks perpetuated by Muslims draw his attention and sharp tongue, they argue, while violence targeting Muslims is overlooked."

Read the Washington Post, Trump still has not condemned the Minnesota mosque bombing. Muslim leaders are waiting.

Trump's Big CON: Shamefully Criticizing the Military Service of Others

The Donald is at it again.

Read the Washington Post, In attacking Blumenthal, Trump opens himself to criticism over the military. Again., which notes that:

During the campaign, Trump criticized John McCain's military service, saying "He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured."

"When Trump registered for the draft at 18 in 1964, he had just graduated as a cadet from the New York Military Academy in Cornwall, where he played football and basketball.

On the campaign trail, Trump would claim it was bone spurs in both feet that prevented his service in Vietnam. His campaign said it was because of his high draft lottery number in 1969, although his medical deferment remained in place until 1972, when he received a permanently disqualifying deferment — a year before the draft ended and the war began to wind down. . .

[A] raunchy conversations with shock jock Howard Stern in 1997 revealed a particularly detached perspective on military service from the billionaire real estate magnate.

'I've been so lucky in terms of that whole world. It is a dangerous world out there — it's scary, like Vietnam,' Trump told Stern about the effort to avoid sexually transmitted diseases in the '80s and '90s, as the AIDS crisis blossomed.

'It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave soldier,' Trump said, to laughs and egging-on by Stern.

'I'm old enough to have gone through the '70s,' Trump said.

And he was. Trump was in Manhattan in the 1970s, spinning his inheritance into real estate gold. Blumenthal was stateside in a Marine Corps uniform until 1976. McCain was a prisoner for five and a half years until his release on March 14, 1973."

Read also the Washington Post, Questions linger about Trump’s draft deferments during Vietnam War.