Nearly a year has passed since the perplexing and nigh-inexplicable ascendance of Donald of Orange to the throne of this fair land. Most thoughtful and informed citizens hunger for an explanation for his election. Most attempts to explain include a stew-pot of ingredients ranging from Hillary's emails to Comey's pronouncements to – well, insert your own excuse.

The truth is likely far simpler – this tragedy is largely the result of voter apathy and ignorance, quite likely exacerbated by Russian interference, and quite possibly collusion from Camp Tramp. That is a bitter gruel to swallow, and it does not bode well for the future of our democracy. Meanwhile, we are left to deal with the rain (spelling intended) of Donald of Orange. Anyone clinging to the audacious hope that this will somehow end well needs to keep a couple of things in mind:

(1)Tramp was neither a successful businessman nor a practiced politician; he was, is and always will be a second-rate (at best) entertainer, whose appeal, like that of his buddy Howard Stern, has been largely to slow-witted, arrested-development males (whatever their age) and the equally slow-witted women who put up with the infantile behavior of such men. Locker room talk, my posterior; such talk is all too often accompanied by actions, as Tramp, Weinstein, O'Reilly, Ailes, et al, provide more than ample proof.

(2)Tramp ran for President expecting to lose, but hoping the attendant publicity (and in his tortured psyche there is no such thing as bad publicity) might be parlayed into another TV show, or at least a stint on Fox News (seems that last proved true).

To the amazement of everyone but Michael Moore and Vladimir Putin, Tramp won, largely because, (1) deplorables who deem Howard Stern and The Apprentice entertainment voted for one of their own, (2) imbeciles and political ignoramuses insisted on change for its own sake, (3) evangelicals threw decency and honesty overboard to save the unborn (meanwhile crucifying the born), and (4) partisan hacks voted for Satan because he had an “R” next to his name.

All that review is to point out that the lack of experience either in big business or politics, combined with no expectation of victory, left Tramp utterly unprepared to govern, a condition exacerbated by a lack of a competent organization behind him. Just look at the principals – Kushner, Ivanka, Don Jr, Levandowski, Stone, Bannon, Steven Miller, Gorka, Kassewitz, Cohen, Flynn, Manafort, Clovis, et al. Sessions was the only experienced elected pol on Tramp's team, which qualifies as damning with no praise.

None among that rogue's gallery was fit to advise Tramp; but advise, they did. Their advice? Hire Papadopalous, Page, Price, Pruitt, and Perry; and having exhausted the "Ps", puked-up Carson, DeVos, McMahon, et al.

And they didn't just offer bad advice on hiring. Some or all advised firing Comey, Sally Yates, Preet Baraha and the rest of the US attorneys and replacing them with political hacks. Indeed, Tramp is now personally interviewing replacements in hopes of finding some that will place loyalty to him over loyalty to the country.

The same goes for experienced hands at the State Department and other government departments who hadn't already resigned in disgust, despair and disbelief. Bannon's goal of the Destruction of the Administrative State is well on its way to becoming fait accompli – or in this case fiat accompli.

Of course, advisers like Bannon are only partly to blame; even the best advisers can only advise a President. Ultimately, the buck stops with Trump, though he certainly won't take responsibility for anything, let alone admit to error.

Throw all those ingredients into a pot already seasoned with racism, cynicism, terrorism, nationalism, vulture capitalism, and military adventurism and bring to a boil with heated and ignorant rhetoric from an ego-maniacal man-boy with the emotional maturity of a seven-year-old. That is, in sum, a recipe for disaster.

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Comment by koshersalaami on November 4, 2017 at 7:28am

Ron,

Up until your Bernie point I agreed with you wholeheartedly, but do NOT mischaracterize my disagreement over Bernie's approach to his Jewishness as an accusation of antisemitism. Bernie did not need to back off his Jewishness. He would have been better off embracing it

For Political Reasons.

Catholicism has a strong central authority. Judaism does not, until you get to ultra-Orthodoxy, where Bernie obviously doesn't belong. That means there's no threat of an external authority on the White House.  If you go back to 2000 and Joe Lieberman, who is basically Modern Orthodox, the Lieberman ticket won the popular vote. To the Christian Right, his religiousness was more asset than liability. 

The only possible theoretical loyalty issue would be Israel, but in 2016 the majority of the electorate favored Israel more than Bernie did. 

Bernie distanced himself from the Jewish community at every turn.

  • Unlike every other candidate, he didn't go to the AIPAC meeting. I don't support AIPAC, but the event is visible.
  • On the High Holy Days, he didn't visit a synagogue on the road and worked right through Yom Kippur, when Jews are not only not working, we're fasting.
  • He chose a BDS supporter as his liaison to the Jewish community. (Can you say Fuck You?)
  • He castigated Israel for killing 10,000 people in Gaza during the summer war. The actual figure was less than 25% of that, including military casualties. He could have Googled that in a minute or kept his mouth shut if he didn't know the figure. The one thing you do not do as a Jew is exaggerate Jewish negatives - it's way too ingrained that we can't afford that as a community. 

He lost his old Brooklyn neighborhood in the primary by a greater margin than I think anywhere else in New York. That was the wrong primary to lose badly for a variety of reasons. He'd have had a better shot at the nomination if he'd run as More Jewish, not Less. He didn't need to support the Israeli Government, but he needed to show some respect for Jewish voters. He dissed us. I voted for him anyway, but I credited him with less sense, not a good thing for a Presidential Candidate. It would have cost him nothing to be more respectful of his own. 

 

Comment by Tom Cordle on November 4, 2017 at 7:46am

Too many comments to respond to each individually, but thanks to all who commented

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on November 4, 2017 at 7:55am

Bernie distanced himself from the Jewish community at every turn.

  • Unlike every other candidate, he didn't go to the AIPAC meeting. I don't support AIPAC, but the event is visible.

You mean the AIPAC that should be required to register as a foreign agent?  The same AIPAC that does EXACTLY what everyone is accusing the Russians of...  i.e. a foreign government meddling and attempting to manipulate U.S. elections???

  • On the High Holy Days, he didn't visit a synagogue on the road and worked right through Yom Kippur, when Jews are not only not working, we're fasting.

So you are saying that there should be no difference between being a secular Jew and a religious one?  That all Jews must conform to YOUR definition of what is acceptable (making yourself the "external authority"???)

 

  • He chose a BDS supporter as his liaison to the Jewish community. (Can you say Fuck You?)

How is a progressive liberal NOT spitting on nonviolent protest against a countries oppression, apartheid policies, ethnic cleansing and war crimes saying "Fuck You"?  It may be perceived that way if your primary allegiance to to Israel, but not by the rest of the civilized world.  ...but having said that, which country do you REALLY support?

  • He castigated Israel for killing 10,000 people in Gaza during the summer war. The actual figure was less than 25% of that, including military casualties. He could have Googled that in a minute or kept his mouth shut if he didn't know the figure. The one thing you do not do as a Jew is exaggerate Jewish negatives - it's way too ingrained that we can't afford that as a community.

Yes he got his numbers wrong.   That now allows to to totally down play that Israel brutally and criminally murdered thousands of people that they are keeping imprisoned, right?  BTW, why does anyone need to keep their "mouth shut"?  Why does anyone need to "ignore" Israeli atrocities EVER?  Since when is ethnic cleansing, apartheid, blatant land theft and war crimes "exaggerating" Israel's negatives.

P.S.   You have consistently used Jew/Jewish interchangeably with Israeli in this comment.  You hypocritically condemn everyone else if they say anything like that and stridently call them "antisemitic".  So are you now antisemitic for acting like Israel is ONLY Jewish or will you now be required to "keep your mouth shut"???

 

Comment by Tom Cordle on November 4, 2017 at 8:22am

Kosh,

You're correct about the Gore/Lieberman ticket winning the popular vote in 2000, though it must be said, not by a wide margin. But that really doesn't make your point because Lieberman did not head the ticket. The matter would have been truly tested if he had. As for Bernie losing his neighborhood, he wasn't alone. Gore couldn't carry his state, even though he was a member one of most politically powerful families in the state – the state in which I currently reside – a state in which my vote for president is pissing in the wind, thanks to the same Electoral College that cost Gore and Lieberman victory.

As for Bernie being a Jew, he is a Jew in the same sense I am a Christian; that is to say we were both born into a faith, but we are both simply cultural adherents – at best. To my mind, this whole notion of a person's faith ought to be as irrelevant as a person's race. To illustrate, by definition Ivanka Trump is now Jewish, but I have a sneaking suspicion that if she and Jared were to divorce, she wouldn't be Jewish for long.

Faith does become germane when the adherent is a dogmatic fundamentalist. One need look no further than the current Vice President, who may soon move up a notch to an office where his religious views could adversely affect the lives a majority of Americans in many very negative ways.

As for the longer historical record on the matter, I ran across this:

"... Alexander Hamilton's stepfather may have been Jewish and Hamilton was educated in a Jewish run school. Barry Goldwater and John Kerry both had paternal Jewish heritage but did not win. The closest a fully Jewish person came to the White House was Kitty Dukakis, the wife of Michael Dukakis who lost against Bush Sr. in 1988. Furthermore, a number of presidents, including FDR and JFK, have had Jewish descendants. Note that there have also not been any Lutheran, LDS or Pentecostal presidents, all of which have a similar or greater number of adherents in the US."

In sum, faith doesn't matter – until it does.

Comment by Ron Powell on November 4, 2017 at 9:02am

@Kosh;  "...do NOT mischaracterize my disagreement over Bernie's approach to his Jewishness as an accusation of antisemitism...." 

When I was being raked over the coals for my suggestion and people hinted that I was treading on antisemitic ground, I don't recall you making statement that remotely resembles the statement that you're making here. 

My suggestion was designed to articulate an idea that I had re Bernie be proactive re being Jewish and anticipate the antisemitism that would most asuredly have cropped up in flyover country as Tom suggests. Anticipate and head it off if possible...

Comment by koshersalaami on November 4, 2017 at 9:21am

Tom,

I'm answering Ron, who said that Bernie needed to address being Jewish. In this case, I don't think his Judaism was a liability. I say this as an assessment, not because I'm Jewish. It is certainly conceivable that being Jewish could be a political liability nationwide, but as of late I'm glad to say I haven't observed that it is one. 

Amy,

If your high school English composition teacher had put my previous comment on a test and asked "What is the author driving at?" you'd have flunked the question. The vast majority of American Jews support Israel, identify ethnically with it, and expect other Jews to worry about Israel at least ethnically. I stand by my assessment that the majority of American Jews viewed appointing a BDS supporter as liaison to the Jewish community as offensive. 

There is a big difference between a secular Jew and a religious one but this issue is not about that distinction, it's about showing respect during a campaign. There are a lot of Jewish atheists who sometimes go to synagogue. Because of the ethnic and community components, Judaism doesn't function like other religions. You may not understand that but Bernie certainly should. Any gentile candidate would have put more effort into getting Jewish votes than Bernie did.

As regards keeping one's mouth shut, I said that in the specific context of not criticizing your own ethnic group if you haven't bothered to get your data right. If he'd used the right figures I might have disagreed with him but I wouldn't have characterized his statement as pointlessly antagonistic to the Jewish community. He took a highly exaggerated shot at the Jewish State going into the New York primary. Any seasoned politician would view that as hopelessly amateurish. Hopelessly Amateurish has no place in a campaign for President of the United States - unless apparently you're Donald Trump.

Most American (and Israeli) Jews view American and Israeli interests as pretty much congruent. As long as interests are congruent, disloyalty doesn't even enter into the equation. This does not extend to issues that are far from unanimous even within Israel, such as the Settlements, which I would argue are not in Israel's interests, but it does extend to a lot else. Where disloyalty has shown up was in the Pollard case. He was a traitor to his country. 

My answer to Ron was electoral. It was not about my definition of antisemitism, it was about my assessment of electoral efficacy. The extent to which I conflated Israel and American Jews makes some sense in that context because of the way most of the American Jewish community views Israel. 

So you tried to address my comment point by point but ended up not addressing my comment at all. 

Comment by Ron Powell on November 4, 2017 at 9:56am

@Kosh; "...I don't think his Judaism was a liability...."

In flyover country it would have been an issue that could have easily morphed into a liability if not handled properly and well. 

I advocated being proactive on the matter and was taken to task in rather stark and harsh terms...

If Tulsi Gabbards becomes a candidate, she and her running mate had better address her Hindu faith early on and set it aside even if she occupies the VP slot on the ticket.....

I could be wrong but I don't believe she's ready to run at the head of the Democratic ticket...

As I said, if she tries to Green Thumb her way into the White House, she'll get her butt handed to her in the basket that’s full of deplorables who will continue to vote for Trump. 

 

Comment by koshersalaami on November 4, 2017 at 11:17am

Stark and harsh terms by whom? I was on that list. Did I?

I don't think she's ready to head a ticket either. Warren is more likely. 

Comment by Foolish Monkey on November 4, 2017 at 11:58am

I pretty much agree with your thoughts Tom, except the why's.  There's a lot of anger in your whys, a lot of superiority and I can't agree with it and frankly, I think this is precisely why the democratic party is stick a fork in it, it's done. 

The idiot's supporters were more than the cretans we were shown on tv at his rallies - who were entertainment, I'm sure, focused on by the media types who sell this shit. 

He received the majority of votes from people with nowhere to go but to him.  I believe, the people = who no one gives a shit about took a chance.  They were hopeful he would use his power for infrastructure.  He IS a builder, or presented himself as one.

I WAS HOPEFUL that was his agenda, to really put Americans back to work and I will tell you honestly, I was hardpressed - right up to the moment I voted - to vote for Clinton.  I did, I don't regret it, but I'm telling you she offered me nothing but platitudes and the knowledge that at least she knew government and might not fuck it up as badly as he might - even inadvertently - because his campaign was such a horse and pony show, there was nothing so serious as an indication the titanic of an administration he would create.  He said one thing to one group one day, something else to another group the next day.  When he won the next day, I was gobsmacked but then I figured, okay - lets see if he can get this infrastructure thing going and if he can pull our troops and resources back home.  THAT was the crux of his message as I saw it - enough wasting of resources in war and intervention.  Focus on home.

Well, so much for that.  But aside from his clown antics, there was no way to know this russia thing was as real and pervasive as it appears to be.  There was no way to know he would do a complete 180 on everything he said.

I'm a woman, I know I should have been entirely appalled at the Billy whatshisname tape but I wasn't.  I didn't like it - but like this Weinstein thing - show business, media, even politics - anything flashy in this country is riff with creepy misogyny.  What's more, what he said had a grain of truth - for every pussy grab that wasn't wanted, there were quite a few pussygrabs that were acccepted as a price paid for possible gain or sexy proximity to a celebrity. 

My point is - until we honestly evaluate who and what trump is - besides what appeals to our issues and politics - until we're willing to look at why all the wrong demographics voted for him and why they DIDN"T vote for Clinton, who was the whole package - just as by contrast he was the ANTI package - then the left will keep losing.

The right has something we don't.  They appear to have empathy with the values of the working class.  Flag, mom, apple pie and Jesus.  We have righteousness and slogans.  They're winning.  

Also, they have superior gerrymandering, which when we were in power was available to us but we didn't take it seriously although the signs were everywhere that they were upping their game.  The left treats politics like amateurs, enthusiastic fangirls, gushing with philosophy and lovestruck bullshit.  The right, funded by corporations, treat politics like war. They're right.  It IS war and we'd better learn how to do this better, dirtier and more determined to win.  

Comment by Foolish Monkey on November 4, 2017 at 12:04pm

Bernie would have soundly kicked trumps useless crazy amateur hour ass.  jew or not.  he had and still has a message that transcended his faith - and besides - this election was about money, work, fear that our country is slipping down the tubes.  bernie had a vision and the country was hungry for it.  trump voters would have gone totally apeshit bernie.  his lowlife supporters would have stayed with him, but the ones with fear as a motivator, the ones who just want to see their lives improve, who want to see corporations put in their place and not directing our country's agenda - they would have LOVED the bern.  it's on the clintons this round.  they are entirely responsible for stealing the nomination.  I will never forgive them and the dems.  

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