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When it's turning to custard, Trump reaches for the “hate card”…


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Author Topic: When it's turning to custard, Trump reaches for the “hate card”…  (Read 11 times)
Kiwithrottlejockey
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« on: August 25, 2018, 08:29:51 pm »


from The Washington Post…

Trump is in trouble, so he's reaching for his ace in the hole: hate

Racial resentment got him to the White House, and it may be what keeps him there.

By PAUL WALDMAN | 2:49PM EDT — Friday, August 24, 2018

President Trump addressing a crowd in Charleston, West Virginia on Tuesday. — Photograph: Mandel Ngan/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
President Trump addressing a crowd in Charleston, West Virginia on Tuesday. — Photograph: Mandel Ngan/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

THIS IS a perilous political moment for President Trump, which means that it's time to pay a visit to the well of resentment and hatred that got him to the White House.

This week, the president has promoted two stories — an imagined oppression of white farmers in South Africa and the murder of an Iowa woman named Mollie Tibbetts — that offer a vivid illustration of how he and the entire conservative movement use race-baiting to keep the Republican base in a state of agitation and anger, the better to take the focus away from issues that could weaken the standing of the president and his party.

We'll start with the Mollie Tibbetts story, which has a familiar ring to it: A young white woman allegedly murdered by an immigrant, whom the president then uses to argue for both immigration restrictions and the election of more Republicans. Here's what Trump said at a rally this week in West Virginia:


Quote
You heard about today with the illegal alien coming in very sadly from Mexico, and you saw what happened to that incredible, beautiful young woman. Shoulda never happened. Illegally in our country. We've had a huge impact, but the laws are so bad. The immigration laws are such a disgrace. We're getting them changed, but we have to get more Republicans.

We should note that whether the suspect is actually undocumented is in dispute. And you'll notice that, as he always does in these cases, Trump describes the victim as “beautiful,” as though her death might be less of a tragedy had she been less attractive. But how did this story get on Trump's radar?

The answer lies in the fact that Trump is not an outlier within the GOP. It's not as though he dragged an unwilling party toward the use of race-baiting as a core political tactic. He's only the most visible manifestation of a strategy that reaches back decades and today is on a constant hair-trigger. There's a network of conservative media outlets and political figures always on the lookout for ways they can promote hate, fear and resentment among white people. When something like Tibbetts' murder happens, they swing into action. Trump's own involvement actually comes only after he has been alerted to the case by this network.

So on Wednesday, the morning of that rally, Axios reported that “Former Speaker Newt Gingrich emailed Axios' Mike Allen to make sure that we'd be covering” the Tibbetts story, which was already in heavy rotation on Fox News. Gingrich — who is more responsible than any other single figure for America's slide into vicious, bitter partisanship over the last couple of decades — explained that “If Mollie Tibbetts is a household name by October, Democrats will be in deep trouble. If we can be blocked by Manafort-Cohen, etc., then GOP could lose [the House] badly.”

In other words, the danger for Republicans is that the news media might pay too much attention to one of the largest presidential scandals in decades and not enough attention to the story of one young woman's murder. They're doing what they can to forestall that possibility: I searched this morning on FoxNews.com for Mollie Tibbetts' name and came back with a remarkable 192 results — 192 separate stories and videos about this case.

In 2016, the last year for which we have complete data, there were 17,250 homicides in America, so Tibbetts' murder is one of a huge number of tragic stories of violence that could draw national attention at any given moment. And as you've probably heard by now, we know that immigrants in general, and undocumented immigrants in particular, commit fewer crimes than native-born Americans do.

But when conservatives decide immediately upon hearing about it that this is the story they want to call attention to, they aren't doing it because of their commitment to stopping crime. They're doing it because it gets Republicans mad — an anger that was the basis of Trump's victory and is the foundation of the business model for Fox News and other conservative media outlets.

On Wednesday, the White House tweeted out a video featuring family members of people killed by undocumented immigrants, whom they say were “permanently separated” from their loved ones, a direct reference to the Trump administration's family separation policy at the border. The linking of these isolated cases with the policy of taking children from the arms of parents seeking asylum almost seems to posit that policy as a kind of revenge taken out on immigrant families for crimes other people have committed, or at the very least setting up a ludicrous and repellent moral hierarchy: Sure, we're traumatizing children and parents, but it's better than killing the children, right?

Now let's turn to the second issue Trump decided to draw attention to this week: a white supremacist conspiracy theory. On Wednesday he tweeted this:




Senator Bob Corker called the tweet a “base stimulator,” and when asked what that meant, he replied, “Well, there are portions of those who support the president that are — I'm sure that generates excitement. I mean, it's — you know what I'm saying.”

Indeed we do.

Where did the story come from? A pipeline of hate that pours its effluent into the Oval Office. For years, white nationalists, alt-righters, neo-Nazis and other assorted deplorables have been complaining about an alleged “white genocide” occurring in South Africa around the issue of land reform. From various Internet chat rooms, the cause was taken up by right-wing hucksters like Ann Coulter and Mike Cernovich. Then on Wednesday, Tucker Carlson did a segment about it on his Fox News show, which Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple says might be better titled “Your hour of white grievance.” Trump watched and sent out his tweet, and the result is a minor diplomatic crisis.

Naturally, white nationalists are elated that Trump has taken up one of their pet causes. But they may not realize that he couldn't care less about South African land reform. By next week he'll have forgotten all about it, just as he'll forget all about Mollie Tibbetts once she's been replaced by another “beautiful” white girl whose death he can exploit for political ends. The only constant is that he'll keep looking for new ways to keep white voters angry and afraid, in the hopes that it can save him from whatever political peril he faces. Which is why it may only get worse.


__________________________________________________________________________

Paul Waldman is an opinion writer for The Plum Line blog at The Washington Post. Before joining The Post, he worked at an advocacy group, edited an online magazine, taught at university and worked on political campaigns. He has authored or co-authored four books on media and politics, and his work has appeared in dozens of newspapers and magazines. He is also a senior writer at the American Prospect.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Opinion | Trump is facing worse than Watergate. I should know.

 • Paul Waldman: In his feud with Jeff Sessions, Trump has painted himself into a corner

 • Paul Waldman: President Trump brings mafia ethics to the GOP


https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2018/08/24/trump-is-in-trouble-so-hes-reaching-for-his-ace-in-the-hole-hate
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2018, 11:02:56 pm »


from The Washington Post…

I used to be afraid to call Trump a mob boss. Not anymore.

Now that he's waxed fluent in the language of La Cosa Nostra, I feel liberated to let 'er rip.

By JONATHAN CAPEHART | 4:24PM EDT — Friday, August 24, 2018

President Donald J. Trump. — Photograph: Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
President Donald J. Trump. — Photograph: Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

MY RULE OF THUMB for months now has been to not think of the Trump White House as a presidency, but to think of it as a crime family like The Godfather and President Trump as a mob boss. I don't say it lightly. When the words issued from my lips on MSNBC a few months ago, I hesitated in that way we used to do when we talked about once-taboo subjects, like being gay or cancer. But now that Trump has waxed fluent in the language of La Cosa Nostra, I feel liberated to let 'er rip.

During an interview with Fox News, Trump said several things that only a mob boss has been known to say or care about. Reacting to Michael Cohen, his former lawyer and fixer who pleaded guilty last week to eight federal crimes, Trump decried Cohen's change in loyalty. “I know all about flipping. For 30, 40 years I've been watching flippers,” Trump said. “Everything is wonderful, and then they get 10 years in jail, and they flip on whoever the next highest one is or as high as you can go.”

So much talk about “flipping” and “flippers” … not to mention railing against a “RAT” a few days ago. All of this is oh so rich with irony now that federal prosecutors have granted immunity to Trump friend David Pecker, publisher of the National Enquirer, and Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer of the Trump Organization.

And speaking of loyalty, the president remains miffed at what he perceives as the disloyalty of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself from involvement in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's probe into Trump's presidential campaign. “You know the only reason I gave him the job,” the president said, “because I felt loyalty, he was an original supporter.” He's still asking, “Where's my Roy Cohn?”




Those things and so much more Trump said in that Fox News interview bring me back to my rule of thumb: If you're still viewing Trump through a presidential prism, you're bound to be disappointed. He is not driven by the norms and customs revered and jealously guarded by most of his predecessors (cough, Nixon). No, the Queens-born builder is driven by a noxious mix of ambition, aggrievement, egomania and a strong sense of mafia ethics, as The Washington Post's Paul Waldman has spelled out in detail.

A president wouldn't fire the FBI director over an investigation of his election campaign. But a mob boss would. A president wouldn't belittle his attorney general and bemoan his lack of loyalty. But a mob boss would. A president wouldn't strip national security clearances from his critics. But a mob boss would. A president would not surround himself with grifters and other characters who have no business being in the White House. But a mob boss couldn't have it any other way. Trump even gave West Wing jobs to his daughter and son-in-law, who has his own real estate empire to worry about. You've seen the “Godfather” movies. A loyalty-dependent mob boss must have family close by.

From the moment he announced his candidacy, Trump made it clear that he couldn't care less about the institution of the presidency. If you're still waiting for him to act presidential, then have fun wallowing in the misery that comes with that fruitless exercise. But when you view Trump through the mafia prism, every in-the-moment action and every middle-of-the-night tweet makes a whole lot more sense.


__________________________________________________________________________

• Jonathan Capehart is a member of The Washington Post editorial board, writes for the PostPartisan blog and is host of the “Cape Up” podcast.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Kellyanne Conway still can't handle the truth

 • President Trump brings mafia ethics to the GOP

 • Eric Holder: ‘He's got a fundamental misunderstanding of both the role of the attorney general and the role that I played in the Obama administration’.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2018/08/24/i-used-to-be-afraid-to-call-trump-a-mob-boss-not-anymore
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If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 

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