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Seriously unserious and troubling. February 7, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Got to say the Trump Schwarzenegger spat was entertaining. Always liked the latter character and it was amusing to see him deliver a perfect response to Trump and one that dovetailed with the sentiments (and concerns) of so many. But that said isn’t it utterly stunning, and I know this was mentioned last week, but as a dynamic it is one that appears likely to persist for the next four years, how absurd a figure Trump cuts with his bizarre asides about ratings on his former show – I thought listening to his speech to the National Prayer Council that one very telling aspect was his assumption that everyone there knew who Mark … was, that being the producer of the show. He said, and I quote:

We had tremendous success on The Apprentice and, when I ran for president, I had to leave the show,” Trump told religious leaders and diplomats. “And they hired a big, big movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger to take my place. And we know how that turned out. The ratings went right down the tubes. It’s been a total disaster. Mark will never, ever bet against Trump again. And I want to just pray for Arnold, if we can. For those ratings. Okay?

Well no, not really…

It’s not just the inappropriateness of what he was saying given the context – indeed in almost any context a President of the United States (or any national leader) talking about their old job and those who had taken it and berating their former employer/work colleague [the ‘Mark’ he mentions above is Apprentice creator/executive producer Mark Burnett] would be near enough impossible to envisage. That assumption of familiarity on the part of the audience he was speaking to seemed to me to speak of something very strange.

I’m hesitant to suggest this but I have to wonder, is there something actually wrong with Trump above and beyond the curious obsessions and personal tics?

I’m not alone in this either. Michael McDowell in the SBP, still on a run of…er… telling truth to power… saw the same speech on YouTube and argues that:

I am more and more convinced that Trump is actually losing it in terms of oincipient demential. His vocabulary is shrinking to that of a school yard teenager. He can’t hold any train of thought. He misspeaks and repast himself. His pre-occupations, Inuaguration day crowd size. Apprencie Show ratings – cannot be kept in. At Langly CIA headquarters where he went to honour dead CIA agents he blurted out his lies about the umbers who saw him sworn i on the Mall. At a prayer breakfast he went off-script (or off the teleprompter, which head difficulty reading) to ridicule Schwarzenegger. He just can’t help it.

And McDowell points to the political idiocy, how the immigration ban will impact on Iraqi’s fighting Isis ‘does he see any connection between these issues?’ and also the bizarre rhetoric about taking Iraqi oil – and as McDowell notes he doesn’t actually seem to understand what that would logistically involve.

McDowell ends with another line from the prayer breakfast…

Take a look at the meeting in its entirety on YouTube – especially the bit where Trump arrogantly promises not to fire the congressional chaplain and then half-senses that he has no role in the matter either way. It’s frightening stuff.

It seems simply too strange to be calculated. This is what we’ve got. Four years.

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Comments»

1. CL - February 7, 2017

Trump’s pathological idiosyncrasies should not blind us to the policies he is implementing and the underlying racist ideology.

Bannon and his fellow idelogues are “the architects of Trump’s policy, the executors of a frighteningly coherent political ideology….” the aim being a “A dictatorship of the herrenvolk.”
They have a “a structured worldview defined by support for race hierarchy and racial caste….
they advance the white-nationalist narrative: that America will be made “great again” by preserving the integrity of white America…
Now we’re faced with the extraordinary: A White House whose chief thinkers and architects are white nationalists, keepers of a dangerous tradition in our history, with an unprecedented opportunity to pull the United States back a century to an era of unvarnished nativism and prejudice.”
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/cover_story/2017/02/government_by_white_nationalism_is_upon_us.html

The Trump malignancy is spreading.
Eoghan Harris can write:
” Like Trump, Bannon is neither right-wing nor racist.”
http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/eoghan-harris/the-west-must-choose-between-steve-bannon-and-britta-freith-35424379.html

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2. Stuart - February 7, 2017

Not surprising at all since Burnett is widely known amongst American Christians.

Him and his wife Roma Downey were the key note speakers. The audience might not be much but they surely could remember who they were.

A few seconds of a search brings up an article that describes them as the Christian mega couple.

So what seems really inappropriate suddenly becomes contextualized to being normal banter with people very familiar to the audience.

Trump is a b it crazy but the wider rush to paint him as crazy probably feeds a need to prove it so in everything he does.

That probably falls flat more instances than we realize since who bothers to fact check all the claims about him. They are just assumed to be proof.

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WorldbyStorm - February 7, 2017

That’s a fair criticism Stuart – though I’m not sure crazy whether a ‘bit’ or the whole thing is quite how I’d characterise what we’re seeing here.

Yet, as a President does he speak just for those in front of him in a crowd or for a broader audience through television who might not be aware of the context, that’s still some assumption on his part – and secondly, here he is dissing keynote speakers in front of, as it were, their home crowd. Is it meant in a jocular way (and is the jibe about the chaplain meant that way too?) – that’s not how it was interpreted by at least one of the protagonists. That’s not how it came across. That too seems wildly inappropriate for the President of the United States.

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WorldbyStorm - February 7, 2017

I should add this which also notes the oddity while suggesting a rather self-serving reason why Trump might act the way he does.

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/02/a-publicity-stunt-at-the-national-prayer-breakfast/515484/

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3. Alibaba - February 7, 2017

A bit off-topic, but lest we forget … this is the same Michael McDowell, ex Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, who strongly defended his outrageous view that “inequality is an inevitable part of any society that offers people incentives to succeed”.

It is he who proposed a citizenship referendum to end the automatic right to Irish citizenship for all children born in the country. This referendum was passed. It is he who hurried up the deportation of failed asylum seekers and expressed the belief that “most asylum seekers” had no legal rights to stay here. He was clearly annoyed that he couldn’t have them chucked out without “due process”.
It is he who dismantled progressive measures and hounded left-leading professionals; Frank Connolly amongst others.

Only recently, he was criticising judicial reform plans:

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/oireachtas/michael-mcdowell-criticises-judicial-reform-plans-1.2960045

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WorldbyStorm - February 7, 2017

Never forgotten Alibaba. I’m intrigued though that Trump appears to be pushing him slightly leftwards – exhibit A his recent defence of universal health care compared to Trump’s approach.

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Alibaba - February 8, 2017

I didn’t know about Michael McDowell’s ‘recent defence of universal health care compared to Trump’s approach’. One thing I have noticed in particular was that, like his Progressive Democrats, he could swing socially left. Although once in power, we know he went vehemently in the opposite direction. Now he comes spouting his insightful thoughts and conveying a subtle message. For sure, he is developing his distinguished presence, wearing his barrister, senator and SBP hats. Maybe I’m just being increasingly sceptical. But I can only see him burnishing his professional and electoral image, simple as perhaps.

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