Numb and Numb-er

“Run, little Trumpling, run!”

I’ve been thinking a lot about the comment from Scissorhead 9ThousandFeet yesterday.

And just as a refresher, here’s the thesis 9K has been running:

“My theory about the overall strategy of progressively immunizing us all against outrage is holding up pretty well I’d say, and the argument that he’s too stupid to even have an overall strategy, while perhaps comforting, is increasingly implausible.”

9K’s first clause, about immunizing us is absolutely spot-on. No arguments from me, only a slight change: I’d use numbing. I think it is more like Novocain at the dentist. The pain is still there, we cannot feel it just yet, but we will.

Personally, I don’t think Comrade Trump has a strategy, but I do think he has a tactic. He’s a pickpocket who knows only one trick: make everyone look somewhere else, create a distraction, etc. If he had a strategy, then he would not walk-back (even clumsily) his remarks in Finland throwing in his lot with his KGBFF (God, I loved that!) Vlad.

Unlike Comrade Trump, Comrade Putin is a strategist and a tactician. He can design a plan and execute to it, and so I think instead of wondering about Trump having a strategy, we need to be looking to Russia to see what the game really is.

Now all that said, this morning’s Axios email thingie supports the numbing part of 9K’s thesis.

Let’s just say Mike Allen might be reading MPS! or at least reading 9K’s comments…

1 big thing: A case study in Trump’s GOP mind-control super power

Yes, almost every elected Republican we talk to privately thinks President Trump’s warm embrace of Vladimir Putin was unexplainable, unacceptable and un-American.

Yes, they wish they could say this publicly.

No, they won’t — not now, and probably never.

The cold, hard reason: They see no upside in speaking out — and fear political suicide if they do, numerous Republican officials tell us.

Why it matters: This is the mind-control power Trump has, thanks to 90 percent of Republicans approving of his tactics and performance.

These 90 percent empower and are empowered by Fox News and a pro-Trump social media ecosystem that always comes to the president’s defense, even if they flinch for a moment or two.

We just witnessed this power on full display:

You had a rare moment where virtually every Republican was aghast at Trump’s words.

But almost every Republican — except those leaving the stage — softened their direct criticism of Trump and ran from TV or reporters like the plague.

GOP lawmakers’ immediate complaints about the press conference were quickly tempered. Trump’s cleanup and turnaround yesterday (“I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t'”) had one audience: Capitol Hill.

Senior staff saw a real risk of backlash — worse than after Charlottesville — if the brewing rebellion wasn’t nipped in the bud quickly, per sources close to White House.

Be smart: Most Republican members of Congress don’t need to do anything so radical as actually believe Trump is sincere about correcting himself, Jonathan Swan points out:

They need a fig leaf so they can justify quickly returning to support their president, who is vastly more popular with Republican voters than any of them are.

P.S. Two tweets illuminate this phenomenon:

Mike Murphy, GOP strategist: “I’m furious R’s are cowardly about Trump. But here is what they say in private: 1.) Trump is a disgrace. 2.) I give fiery press conf tmmrw saying that. 3.) Nothing changes, Trump remains nuts and remains POTUS. 4.) A nut beats me in next primary. So how does my pol suicide help?”

Dave Wasserman of Cook Political Report: “Most Republican members are willing to admit POTUS doesn’t operate in reality, but know they’re doomed in their next primary if they say so publicly. As long as that’s true, we’re headed for a world w/ zero accountability.”

And that’s the end-game: zero accountability. Are you numb yet?

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16 Responses to Numb and Numb-er

  1. osirisopto says:

    And now we’ll be introduced to the latest GOP Spokesmodel – The beautiful, the daring, the girl that makes every RWNJ’s dick hard twice in one morning, three times on Sunday, with a exotic accent, a pair of pliers in her pocket and wicked smile I give you the One, the Only – Marina Butina. (that’s her real name? (And I though Tomi Lauren was the biggest challenge Dana Loesch had to worry about.))

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/17/maria-butina-donald-trump-accused-spy-russia-charges

    They’ve been playing us like a fiddle since 1980, haven’t they?

    Like

    • Jim says:

      I’ve been wondering what her real first name actually is. When she first popped up in the news during her arrest, her name was given as “Marina”, then shortly thereafter the media started to write “Mariia”, which is just bizarre and then it became “Maria”. Marina is an actual Russian name; the other two aren’t. This shouldn’t be that hard.

      Like

      • Infidel753 says:

        It’s a problem of transcription between the Cyrillic alphabet Russian uses and the Roman alphabet we use. Cyrillic has a letter pronounced “ya” (it’s that one that looks like a backwards capital R), which is the last letter in the name “Maria” — it has five letters, M-a-r-i-ya. That letter is sometimes transcribed into Roman as “ia”, which accounts for the spelling “Mariia” cropping up at first. Pretty quickly everyone realized it’s just the Russian form of “Maria”, so they might as well spell it as such.

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  2. 9thousandfeet says:

    Personally, I don’t think Comrade Trump has a strategy, but I do think he has a tactic.

    Yeah, I’ll embrace that, though I’ll go on to argue that the particulars of his tactics (media as the enemy of the people, “I alone can do it”, etc etc), as manifest since he declared his candidacy, so closely mirror those defined in any edition of “Fascist Coups for Dummies” that it stretches credulity to think it’s coincidence.

    I think he also has a goal, even if it’s no more well-defined than “winning”. We’d be crazy not to recognize his deep and abiding envy of the ways in which likes of Putin and Xi manage jigger the systems so they can stay in power indefinitely, or to think that given the chance he wouldn’t try to pull the same stunt here.

    Yes, “numbing” is an improvement.

    I’ll also say that Trump’s excellent carnival barker instincts and tactics are profoundly augmented by true strategy emerging from people like Miller and the Federalist Society and other odious operatives in and around the White House.
    It’s a horribly toxic and dangerous brew.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jim says:

      Trump likes to think of himself as a strongman and dictator-like. But, in reality, he’s quite a coward and a profound and lazy ignoramus. As a result, he is very easily manipulated and will sign anything the conservative put in front of him. Putin and Xi set their nation’s policy agenda. Putin and Xi also know that Trump is an easily manipulated idiot. Trump had an incoherent, pseudo-populist bunch of campaign promises that helped to get him elected and he immediately dropped each and every one of them.

      Liked by 1 person

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  4. donnah says:

    But at some point, Republicans are going to have to ask how far is too far. They’ve used Trump as he has used them, to get everything they’ve hungered for: huge tax breaks, immigration breakdown, a new Supreme, devastation of the departments of EPA, Education, and so many others from within. But at what point do they take what they’ve gotten and run? When does Trump become so toxic that they have to cut him loose? Never?

    My hope is that the Democrats can make such huge inroads in November that Senators and Representatives realize that the Trumpists are, in fact, a minority. That they are going to be voted out and their support of Trump will work against them.

    And I want Mueller’s investigation to flush out the criminals and see them punished. I know that’s probably a fantasy, but I’ll always hold out hope that the good guys get a win sometimes.

    Like

    • MDavis says:

      If it gets to the Hague (figuratively speaking) it’s gone too far.
      We must be able to take some steps before it gets there, or the Hague will be the end result.

      Like

      • tengrain says:

        MDavis –

        The US never signed on to the International Criminal Court (for obvious reason Chimpy and Blam-Blam refused to sign the treaty), so sadly we cannot send Comrade Trump there, and they cannot come and take him away, either.

        Rgds,

        TG

        Like

      • MDavis says:

        I was thinking the Hague has changed (hence ‘figuratively speaking’) but the Hague not having jurisdiction? Those chowder heads are just asking for a Putin solution and banking on being long gone before it gets to them.

        Like

  5. ming says:

    This is what happens when an entire political party sells its soul to the people you least want in control of anything, Trump is the symptom. Congress is the disease. It is clear that we are progressively numbed by the daily barrage of outrageous antics by this administration and congresses dereliction of their duty. Trump’s a moron that understands how to work his base and therefore his party. He’s an accidental president that was destined to happen given the trajectory of the GOP but what a narcissistic idiot without an effing plan or clue. No doubt Putin helped engineer this. He sees the reality of American Politics at this moment, and has invested a lot of effort into ensuring our continued paralysis no matter how outrageous the offense.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ming says:

      And don’t hold you breath for Muller indictments. I think we have already crossed the threshold where even clear evidence of criminality will not induce congress to act. I mean Jesus H Christ, the treason show last week gave them a little heartburn, but it wasn’t anything they couldn’t get over.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. roket says:

    Perspectives. I fall in the group that believes Comrade Stupid is an idiot. However, it is abundantly clear that he is also a puppet. Puppets don’t require intelligence or a strategy. It’s the ones pulling the strings that have the strategy.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. MDavis says:

    I want to jump in and point fingers and analyze how we got here, but that only really matters if it helps get us out of here. (Hint – it all goes back to the Bushes in my theory. But how does that help?)
    It seems that the only thing that might help is to fix the broken election system.But the lizard people worked long and relentlessly to break it, so you know they’ll fight every step back to fair elections.

    Like

  8. Ivory Bill Woodpecker says:

    Liked by 1 person

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