Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The president-elect is a Twitter troll, and other shattershots

-- In this post-truth environment we're now living in, it helps to find something to keep you grounded and centered.  Even if that happens to be, you know, a bottle of Scotch.  I have to limit myself personally to about one or two drinks weekly because of my sundry health conditions, but drinking to forget how the world is changing for the worse, and so rapidly, is not something I'm going to criticize anyone over.  I tend to look for solutions to problems as a first reaction to their presenting themselves, and this sounds like a good one to me.

This week, in a volley of angry tweets, Donald Trump ridiculed the “badly defeated ... Dems,” claimed he “won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally,” and said anyone who burned the American flag should lose their citizenship or spend a year in jail. Trump’s outbursts set off alarms. How could he believe such nonsense about voter fraud? Why would a man who had just been elected president gloat, threaten protesters, and insult half the country? What’s going on in his messed-up head?

To understand Trump, you have to set aside the scripted speeches he gave before his election and the canned videos he has released since. You also have to set aside the caricature of him as a Klan-loving, Nazi-sympathizing woman hater who will deport every immigrant he can find. Instead, look at the four interviews he has given since his election: to the Wall Street Journal, 60 Minutes, the New York Times, and a group of TV anchors and executives. In these exchanges, all of them conducted outside the behavior-warping context of the campaign, you’ll see how squishy he is. Trump did run a despicable campaign, and he’s a menace to the country and the world. But it’s not because he’s a strongman. It’s because he’s a weakling.

Mwahahahaha.  Will Saletan, a writer I've enjoyed for decades, goes on to list twelve shadetree-psychology points to make when influencing the f'n new guy in the White House.

That’s how you move Trump. You don’t talk about ethics. You play the toughness card. You appeal to the art of the deal. You make him feel smart, powerful, and loved. You don’t forget how unmoored and volatile he is, but you set aside your fear and your anger. You thank God that you’re dealing with a narcissist, not a cold-blooded killer. And until you can get him safely out of the White House, you work with what you have. People in other countries have dealt with presidents like Trump for a long time. Can we handle it?
Yes, we can.

There will be ample time for protests that make a difference over the next four years -- such as turning Dump Tower into a living hell and thus forcing his neighbors to sell at below-market and move out -- but for now, don't give up your Twitter account, no matter how cesspoolish it may get.

-- There's differing opinions as to whether Trump is indeed an infantile narcissist who should be ignored every time he cries out for attention, or whether he should be taken deadly seriously (this is the "normalizing' quarrel).  I believe he is conducting a distraction for the most part, especially when it burps out on Twitter at 4:30 in the morning, like a colicky baby might.  But as to which avenue of pushback to choose: pick one and get going.  (There's nothing that limits you to one of those directions permanently, either.)

For example, today's "ha ha, look what Twitter says" is about Trump's having Mitt Romney over for dinner last night, despite the fact that Kellyanne Cryptkeeper went public last Sunday with the 'Bagger base's irritation over Romney being considered for anything beyond the main course of the meal.  This distraction has been going on for a week already.

-- The corporate media is still addicted to fake news.  Liberals still love it, too.  (The critique at the Slate link of Jill Stein and #Recount2016 hopefully can mollify my pal Gadfly, as he is just a bit too angry about ... well, everything it seems, regarding the recount.)

-- This is a good explainer about whether, and how, Medicare lives or dies over the next two and maybe four years.  I was reminded as I read it that that the Affordable Care Act was birthed the very same way, with the Republicans and Democrats having traded places.

Put me down for an early bet that Medicare survives much as it currently exists due to the shifting and shiftless nature of our fascist overlords.

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