Trump is an ass, Charlottesville edition, August 14-19, 2017

If you’re thinking I might have recycled my headline, you might be thinking of “Donald Trump is an ass, London edition: June 5-9, 2017.” And award yourself a gold star.

There is a new blog entry that I’d written while the news was boring, entitled “Why techies consistently get the social sciences wrong.”


Updates

  1. Originally published, August 16, 3:47 am.
  2. August 16, 7:00 pm:
    • When I initially published this entry, I forgot to mention my latest blog entry, entitled “Why techies consistently get the social sciences wrong.” It’s actually a few days old now because I just haven’t had much else to publish here.
    • Hillary Clinton, her supporters, and so-called “centrist” Democrats: We have you to thank for the term “alt left.” May you all rot in hell.[1] (Charlottesville)
    • Corporate executives who had hoped to help shape a pro-corporate agenda are re-evaluating the costs and benefits of participation in White House councils.[2] (Charlottesville)
  3. August 16, 9:45 pm:
    • It might be safe to say the corporate executives’ verdict on Donald Trump’s advisory councils is in: The reputational cost is high, the benefits are meager, and the councils have decided to disband.[3] (Charlottesville)
    • If Donald Trump follows through on his threat to cut off Obamacare cost-sharing payments, premiums would jump twenty percent, according to the Congressional Budget Office.[4] (Obamacare).
  4. August 17, 7:39 am:
    • At Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, Lindsey McPherson poses the question I had already answered below (see #5) and offers a broadly similar answer.[5] (Charlottesville)
    • I’ve added some overnight thoughts to my commentary (see #4) on Charlottesville.
  5. August 18, 5:01 pm:
    • Patrick Buchanan, a paleoconservative, defended the Confederate statues that the Left seeks to tear down.[6] (Charlottesville)
    • Israeli Prime Minister Binjamin Netanyahu is facing criticism for a tepid response to the antisemitism in Charlottesville.[7]
    • I don’t know Jon Michaels, but his article in Foreign Affairs denying the existence of the “Deep State” in the U.S.[8] suggests to me that the “Deep State” is in fact up to something, which is to say that Donald Trump should be very worried for his personal safety. (Donald Trump’s (un)fitness)
    • Some white Southerners apparently remain in denial of that the South fought in the Civil War to preserve slavery and white supremacy, continued to pursue the latter afterwards,[9] and are outraged at the linkage between their cause and groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis.[10] (Charlottesville)
    • Even Robert E. Lee opposed Civil War monuments.[11] (Charlottesville)
    • At least for now, Donald Trump is backing away from a fight over Obamacare subsidies.[12]
  6. August 18, 10:41 pm:
    • Steve Bannon, who unexpectedly called up the Leftist Prospect and gave them an interview,[13] has been removed from his White House post,[14] enabling me to add more to my analysis under Charlottesville (see #1).
    • The headline on John Bennett’s story, “Trump Is Quickly Running Out of GOP Factions to Alienate,” seems a bit exaggerated, as the story itself indicates,[15] and as I discuss under Charlottesville (see #5).
    • Steve Bannon gave the neoconservative Weekly Standard an interview in the wake of his departure from the White House.[16] (Charlottesville)
  7. August 19, 4:55 am:
    • The ghostwriter behind Donald Trump’s Art of the Deal thinks he will resign by the end of the year.[17] (James Comey)
    • A Black historian challenges a prevailing narrative that Blacks will eventually overcome racism in the United States.[18] (Race)
  8. August 19, 1:20 pm: A couple of points I made under Charlottesville have been moved to new blog entries and more will follow. The new blog entries are “Authoritarian Populists, Paleoconservatives and Donald Trump” and “Forecasting Donald Trump’s demise.”
  9. August 20, 10:00 am: Another point I made under Charlottesville has been moved to a new blog entry, “The Left may be about to claim a Pyrrhic victory.”
  10. August 22, 12:23 am: The last of my analysis under Charlottesville has been incorporated in a new blog entry, “Endorsing Cascadia secession.”

Charlottesville

A few comments are in order:

  1. This text has been moved to a new blog entry, “Authoritarian Populists, Paleoconservatives and Donald Trump.”
  2. This analysis has been incorporated in a new blog entry, “Endorsing Cascadia secession.”
  3. This text has been incorporated in a new blog entry, “The Left may be about to claim a Pyrrhic victory.”
  4. This text has been incorporated in a new blog entry, “The Left may be about to claim a Pyrrhic victory.”
  5. This text has been moved to a new blog entry, “Forecasting Donald Trump’s demise.”

Joe Heim, “Recounting a day of rage, hate, violence and death,” Washington Post, August 14, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/local/charlottesville-timeline/Robin Wright, “Is America Headed for a New Kind of Civil War?” New Yorker, August 14, 2017, https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/is-america-headed-for-a-new-kind-of-civil-war

Noah Bierman, “‘Alt-left’ charged at ‘alt-right,’ Trump says, again placing blame for Charlottesville violence on ‘both sides,'” Los Angeles Times, August 15, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-essential-washington-updates-trump-blames-both-sides-for-1502828835-htmlstory.html

Vanessa Fuhrmans, “CEOs Rethink Alliances With White House,” Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/two-more-corporate-executives-quit-trump-advisory-council-1502830739

Jeet Heer, “Trump’s Racism and the Myth of ‘Cultural Marxism,’” New Republic, August 15, 2017, https://newrepublic.com/article/144317/trumps-racism-myth-cultural-marxism

Jeffrey Toobin, “Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, and Charlottesville,” New Yorker, August 15, 2017, https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/donald-trump-steve-bannon-and-charlottesville

Emily Glazer, Sarah Krouse, and Elena Cherney, “Trump’s Business Councils Disband After CEOs Defect,” Wall Street Journal, August 16, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-business-advisory-council-to-disband-1502904005

Sarah Jones, “Liberals Helped Create Trump’s New Bogeyman, the ‘Alt-Left,’” New Republic, August 16, 2017, https://newrepublic.com/article/144361/liberals-helped-create-trumps-new-bogeyman-alt-left

Robert Kuttner, “Steve Bannon, Unrepentant,” Prospect, August 16, 2017, http://prospect.org/article/steve-bannon-unrepentant

Lindsey McPherson, “Will GOP Divergence From Trump Over White Supremacist Comments Last?” Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, August 17, 2017, http://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/will-gop-divergence-from-trump-over-white-supremacist-comments-last

Times of Israel, “Criticism mounts over Netanyahu’s response to US neo-Nazism,” August 17, 2017, http://www.timesofisrael.com/criticism-mounts-over-netanyahus-response-to-us-neo-nazism/

Fred Barbash, “Robert E. Lee discouraged monuments. They ‘keep open the sores of war,’ he wrote,” Washington Post, August 18, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/08/18/robert-e-lee-discouraged-monuments-they-keep-open-the-sores-of-war-he-wrote/

John T. Bennett, “Trump Is Quickly Running Out of GOP Factions to Alienate,” Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, August 18, 2017, http://www.rollcall.com/news/trump-gop-factions-alienate/

Peter J. Boyer, “Bannon: ‘The Trump Presidency That We Fought For, and Won, Is Over,’” Weekly Standard, August 18, 2017, http://www.weeklystandard.com/bannon-the-trump-presidency-that-we-fought-for-and-won-is-over./article/2009355

Patrick J. Buchanan, “America’s Second Civil War,” American Conservative, August 18, 2017, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/buchanan/americas-second-civil-war/

Jay Reeves, “Southern anger: Nazis, KKK ‘hijacking’ Confederate debate,” Times of Israel, August 18, 2017, http://www.timesofisrael.com/southern-anger-nazis-kkk-hijacking-confederate-debate/

Michael C. Bender and Peter Nicholas, “Steve Bannon, Controversial Aide to Trump, Exits White House Staff,” Wall Street Journal, August 18, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/steve-bannon-leaves-white-house-staff-1503075345


Joe Arpaio

Stephen Dinan, “Trump ‘seriously considering’ pardon for Sheriff Arpaio,” Washington Times, August 14, 2017, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/aug/14/trump-seriously-considering-pardon-sheriff-arpaio/


North Korea

In which Kim Jong-un displays greater impulse control than Donald Trump.[19]

British Broadcasting Corporation, “N Korea leader ‘briefed’ on Guam plan but opts to wait,” August 15, 2017, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-40931775


Obamacare

Stephanie Armour, “Health Exchange Premiums Would Rise 20% in 2018 If Subsidies Ended, CBO Estimates,” Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/health-exchange-premiums-would-rise-20-in-2018-if-subsidies-ended-cbo-estimates-1502821843

David Lauter, “Trump administration agrees to continue healthcare subsidy for now,” Los Angeles Times, August 16, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-healthcare-payments-20170816-story.html


Donald Trump’s (un)fitness

Jon D. Michaels, “Trump and the ‘Deep State,’” Foreign Affairs, August 15, 2017, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2017-08-15/trump-and-deep-state


James Comey

“The circle is closing at blinding speed,” [Tony] Schwartz tweeted. “Trump is going to resign and declare victory before Mueller and congress leave him no choice.”

In a follow-up tweet, he added: “Trump’s presidency is effectively over. Would be amazed if he survives till end of the year. More likely resigns by fall, if not sooner.”[20]

CNN, “Tony Schwartz: Trump will resign,” WPIX, August 18, 2017, http://pix11.com/2017/08/18/ghostwriter-for-trumps-art-of-the-deal-says-president-will-resign/


Race

Donald Collins argues that “[f]or all the examples of African American success and American racism reduced, blacks are as far away from the ‘Promised Land’ as their great-great-grandparents were 150 years ago.”[21] I am poorly placed to challenge his essay and I don’t think I would be inclined to do so anyway. I will say two things: First, I share his frustration. Second, I think the question we ought to be asking even without necessarily embracing his thesis is, What do we do about it?

At more than a little risk of perverting Collins’ essay to support my own thesis (see Charlottesville, #2 above), I think a question is whether we accept a status quo in which, as Collins argues, the end will inevitably fall short of social justice[22] or we create a space where progress may be possible. My argument has been that progress is impossible when it is imposed and that the contention Collins sees as intractable[23] can only end where that end is freely chosen.

Which is to challenge the outcome of the Civil War. The curious point about that war is that it is possible to argue that both sides were wrong: The South was wrong to seek to preserve its “peculiar institution” and the North was wrong to seek to preserve the Union. I think the truth that underlies the denial that the South fought to preserve slavery[24] is that for the South, the end of slavery was not a free choice, that its participation in the Union is not a free choice, and indeed that white Southerners are a conquered people. I’m not sure that those of us in the rest of the country can ever fully grasp the impact of that. But I think the truth that co-exists with that reality is of an ongoing resistance to conquest that appears only most blatantly in right-wing militia groups and in right-wing terrorism. And no, I simply do not see how it is possible to overcome that resistance or how it is possible to make progress against that resentment.

Which is why I think we must undo that part of the Civil War’s outcome that said the Union will be preserved. Because that union (with a lower case “u”) might exist in law as the Union (with an upper case “U”), but I think it can never exist in people’s hearts.

Donald Earl Collins, “Have black historians been wrong all along?” Al Jazeera, August 16, 2017, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/08/black-historians-wrong-170816071925403.html


  1. [1]Sarah Jones, “Liberals Helped Create Trump’s New Bogeyman, the ‘Alt-Left,’” New Republic, August 16, 2017, https://newrepublic.com/article/144361/liberals-helped-create-trumps-new-bogeyman-alt-left
  2. [2]Vanessa Fuhrmans, “CEOs Rethink Alliances With White House,” Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/two-more-corporate-executives-quit-trump-advisory-council-1502830739
  3. [3]Emily Glazer, Sarah Krouse, and Elena Cherney, “Trump’s Business Councils Disband After CEOs Defect,” Wall Street Journal, August 16, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-business-advisory-council-to-disband-1502904005
  4. [4]Stephanie Armour, “Health Exchange Premiums Would Rise 20% in 2018 If Subsidies Ended, CBO Estimates,” Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/health-exchange-premiums-would-rise-20-in-2018-if-subsidies-ended-cbo-estimates-1502821843
  5. [5]Lindsey McPherson, “Will GOP Divergence From Trump Over White Supremacist Comments Last?” Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, August 17, 2017, http://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/will-gop-divergence-from-trump-over-white-supremacist-comments-last
  6. [6]Patrick J. Buchanan, “America’s Second Civil War,” American Conservative, August 18, 2017, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/buchanan/americas-second-civil-war/
  7. [7]Times of Israel, “Criticism mounts over Netanyahu’s response to US neo-Nazism,” August 17, 2017, http://www.timesofisrael.com/criticism-mounts-over-netanyahus-response-to-us-neo-nazism/
  8. [8]Jon D. Michaels, “Trump and the ‘Deep State,’” Foreign Affairs, August 15, 2017, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2017-08-15/trump-and-deep-state
  9. [9]David W. Blight, “The Civil War Isn’t Over,” Atlantic, April 8, 2015, http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/04/the-civil-war-isnt-over/389847/; Ta-Nehisi Coates, “What This Cruel War Was Over,” Atlantic, June 22, 2015, http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/06/what-this-cruel-war-was-over/396482/; Prachi Gupta, “Lynyrd Skynyrd decides it’s finally time to stop using the Confederate flag,” Salon, September 21, 2012, http://www.salon.com/2012/09/21/lynyrd_skynyrd_decides_its_finally_time_to_stop_using_the_confederate_flag/; Tony Horwitz, “150 Years of Misunderstanding the Civil War,” Atlantic, June 19, 2013, http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/06/150-years-of-misunderstanding-the-civil-war/277022/; Glenn W. LaFantasie, “How the South rationalizes secession,” Salon, December 19, 2010, http://www.salon.com/2010/12/19/lafantasie_south_secession/; Andrew O’Hehir, “Welcome to the new Civil War,” Salon, January 5, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/01/05/welcome_to_the_new_civil_war/; Jonathan Terbush, “Lynyrd Skynyrd calls Confederate Flag racist, prompts fan revolt,” Raw Story, September 22, 2012, http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/09/22/lynyrd-skynyrd-calls-confederate-flag-racist-prompts-fan-revolt/; Tracy Thompson, “The South still lies about the Civil War ,” Salon, March 16, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/03/16/the_south_still_lies_about_the_civil_war/; Chris Willman, “Lynyrd Skynyrd Backtracks On Comments, Proudly Lets Confederate Flag Fly,” Yahoo!, September 24, 2012, http://music.yahoo.com/blogs/stop-the-presses/lynyrd-skynyrd-backtracks-comments-proudly-lets-confederate-flag-003332446.html
  10. [10]Jay Reeves, “Southern anger: Nazis, KKK ‘hijacking’ Confederate debate,” Times of Israel, August 18, 2017, http://www.timesofisrael.com/southern-anger-nazis-kkk-hijacking-confederate-debate/
  11. [11]Fred Barbash, “Robert E. Lee discouraged monuments. They ‘keep open the sores of war,’ he wrote,” Washington Post, August 18, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/08/18/robert-e-lee-discouraged-monuments-they-keep-open-the-sores-of-war-he-wrote/
  12. [12]David Lauter, “Trump administration agrees to continue healthcare subsidy for now,” Los Angeles Times, August 16, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-healthcare-payments-20170816-story.html
  13. [13]Robert Kuttner, “Steve Bannon, Unrepentant,” Prospect, August 16, 2017, http://prospect.org/article/steve-bannon-unrepentant
  14. [14]Michael C. Bender and Peter Nicholas, “Steve Bannon, Controversial Aide to Trump, Exits White House Staff,” Wall Street Journal, August 18, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/steve-bannon-leaves-white-house-staff-1503075345
  15. [15]John T. Bennett, “Trump Is Quickly Running Out of GOP Factions to Alienate,” Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, August 18, 2017, http://www.rollcall.com/news/trump-gop-factions-alienate/
  16. [16]Peter J. Boyer, “Bannon: ‘The Trump Presidency That We Fought For, and Won, Is Over,’” Weekly Standard, August 18, 2017, http://www.weeklystandard.com/bannon-the-trump-presidency-that-we-fought-for-and-won-is-over./article/2009355
  17. [17]CNN, “Tony Schwartz: Trump will resign,” WPIX, August 18, 2017, http://pix11.com/2017/08/18/ghostwriter-for-trumps-art-of-the-deal-says-president-will-resign/
  18. [18]Donald Earl Collins, “Have black historians been wrong all along?” Al Jazeera, August 16, 2017, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/08/black-historians-wrong-170816071925403.html
  19. [19]British Broadcasting Corporation, “N Korea leader ‘briefed’ on Guam plan but opts to wait,” August 15, 2017, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-40931775
  20. [20]CNN, “Tony Schwartz: Trump will resign,” WPIX, August 18, 2017, http://pix11.com/2017/08/18/ghostwriter-for-trumps-art-of-the-deal-says-president-will-resign/
  21. [21]Donald Earl Collins, “Have black historians been wrong all along?” Al Jazeera, August 16, 2017, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/08/black-historians-wrong-170816071925403.html
  22. [22]Donald Earl Collins, “Have black historians been wrong all along?” Al Jazeera, August 16, 2017, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/08/black-historians-wrong-170816071925403.html
  23. [23]Donald Earl Collins, “Have black historians been wrong all along?” Al Jazeera, August 16, 2017, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/08/black-historians-wrong-170816071925403.html
  24. [24]David W. Blight, “The Civil War Isn’t Over,” Atlantic, April 8, 2015, http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/04/the-civil-war-isnt-over/389847/; Ta-Nehisi Coates, “What This Cruel War Was Over,” Atlantic, June 22, 2015, http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/06/what-this-cruel-war-was-over/396482/; Prachi Gupta, “Lynyrd Skynyrd decides it’s finally time to stop using the Confederate flag,” Salon, September 21, 2012, http://www.salon.com/2012/09/21/lynyrd_skynyrd_decides_its_finally_time_to_stop_using_the_confederate_flag/; Tony Horwitz, “150 Years of Misunderstanding the Civil War,” Atlantic, June 19, 2013, http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/06/150-years-of-misunderstanding-the-civil-war/277022/; Glenn W. LaFantasie, “How the South rationalizes secession,” Salon, December 19, 2010, http://www.salon.com/2010/12/19/lafantasie_south_secession/; Andrew O’Hehir, “Welcome to the new Civil War,” Salon, January 5, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/01/05/welcome_to_the_new_civil_war/; Jonathan Terbush, “Lynyrd Skynyrd calls Confederate Flag racist, prompts fan revolt,” Raw Story, September 22, 2012, http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/09/22/lynyrd-skynyrd-calls-confederate-flag-racist-prompts-fan-revolt/; Tracy Thompson, “The South still lies about the Civil War ,” Salon, March 16, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/03/16/the_south_still_lies_about_the_civil_war/; Chris Willman, “Lynyrd Skynyrd Backtracks On Comments, Proudly Lets Confederate Flag Fly,” Yahoo!, September 24, 2012, http://music.yahoo.com/blogs/stop-the-presses/lynyrd-skynyrd-backtracks-comments-proudly-lets-confederate-flag-003332446.html

4 thoughts on “Trump is an ass, Charlottesville edition, August 14-19, 2017

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.