May 14, 2016

"By the way Ann, is the 'ludicrous distraction' part of your cruel neutrality schtick?"

Asks walter in the comments to last night's post "Are you following the ludicrous distraction of 'John Miller' and 'John Barron'?"

First, that word: "schtick." I would have chosen the spelling "shtick." But I'm looking at the OED, which gives the main spelling as "shtik," validates both walter's and my spelling, and also accepts "schtik." So basically, you can do anything you want with "c"s in that word.

According to the OED, "shtick" (which is U.S. slang with a Yiddish origin (meaning "piece" or "play")) has 2 meanings. The first is "An act or stage routine; a joke, a ‘gag’" or "a patter, a ‘line’; a gimmick or characteristic style." Example: Saul Bellow, "Herzog" 1964, "‘Let's cut out all the shtick,’ said Gersbach. ‘Let's say you're a crumb.’"

The second meaning is less derogatory and surprisingly bland: "A particular area of activity or interest, a sphere or ‘scene.’" (Hey, nobody says "that's my scene" anymore.) Example: 1976   Publishers Weekly 15 Mar. 55/2: "A husband trying to puzzle out his woman, women-God-bless-them in general, and the whole female shtick."

So I accept "cruel neutrality schtick." It's my scene. I have to check the material under the tag to remember everything I've done with it. Here's the best recent examination of the phenomenon, from last January: "Why I quit watching the debate halfway through and woke up the next morning identifying strongly with Cruel Neutrality."

That explains a lot more than I'm in the mood to spell out now. I'll just say that those of us in the Cruel Neutrality scene are not forswearing all opinion. And it's certainly not abstention from cutting attacks. How else could it be cruel? The neutrality part is my instinctive, lifelong point of view — distanced and averse to everything political.

And yet I keep looking. I'm a rubbernecker. And part of what I'm cruelly neutral toward is the press, and my opinion of the story about the 25-year-old "John Miller" phone call was, indeed, that it was a ludicrous distraction. It takes us back to a much younger Donald Trump, prankishly putting on a reporter who figured out it was him and published her story under the title "Trump Says Goodbye Marla, Hello Carla . . . And a Mysterious PR Man Who Sounds Just Like Donald Calls to Spread the Story." The reporter, Sue Carswell first thought "It’s so weird that Donald hired someone who sounds just like him," and then she consulted the big gossip columnist of the day, Cindy Adams, who said, "Oh, that’s Donald."

These days, Carswell says: "This was so farcical, that he pretended to be his own publicist. Here was this so-called billion-dollar real estate mogul, and he can’t hire his own publicist. It also said something about the control he wanted to keep of the news cycle flowing with this story, and I can’t believe he thought he’d get away with it." But he did get away with it! He got away with it the way Andy Kaufman got away with Tony Clifton. We knew it was him but he kept doing it, and continuing, with commitment, when everyone already knows, is part of the... shtik.



From the comments at that YouTube, from 2 months ago: "Donal Triump is Tony Clifton!!!" Yeah, I know. Spelling. Back to the spelling topic. But you see my point. There is a lot of comedy happening through Donald Trump. He's been an entertainer for a long time. The extent to which the entertainment is interwoven with the love life, the real estate moguling, and the politics is a big, crazy, unfathomable mystery. The most ludicrous thing about the WaPo story is that it seems to think it's getting the better of Trump, bringing him down, but it's inflating him, blowing him up, as he's sending us up.

I mean, read the transcript. It's hilarious:
John Miller:  He was so set up with that.  You know, Madonna called and what happened -- I mean, I don’t know if you want to listen to this.

Interviewer:  No, I do.

John Miller:  Do you?  Do you have a second?

Interviewer:  Yeah, obviously.
To my ear, that's prodding the interviewer to laugh and say "Come on, Mr. Trump, I know it's you." She didn't do that, I suspect, because she was seriously interested in extracting the story, the gossip about Madonna that would serve her interest. And WaPo is telling the story to serve its interest. But the whole damned thing, going back to the 1980s, has served Donald Trump's interest. 

55 comments:

Will Cate said...

I was going to add to last night's thread (but was too sleepy)... there is precedence for this sort of thing. When Paul McCartney shipped his first solo album "McCartney" to reviewers and radio stations back in 1970, it included a typewritten self-interview, not identified as such, but it obviously was. (that's where he revealed that there would be no more Beatles records)

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

The neutrality part is my instinctive, lifelong point of view — distanced and averse to everything political.

Probably the most ludicrous claim I will see made this entire year. Ranks somewhere between "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." and "You can keep your own doctor."

Don't get me wrong, Althouse. I deeply appreciated your obsession with the Capitol demonstrations and occupancy during the early Scott Walker protests. Just this present constant Trump, Trump, Trumping can be tiresome.

Ann Althouse said...

"Just this present constant Trump, Trump, Trumping can be tiresome."

Oh? Like I'm the one keeping this Trump thing going. If only I'd cut it out.

shiloh said...

A whole thread on cruel neutrality shtick!

Accordingly Althouse should do another thread on the word minutiae.

ok, for her loyal 95/5 con audience who frequent her blog daily, minutiae is the main reason they're here. So it's a given ie no need to translate.

Chuck said...

To my ear, Althouse, that isn't a guy having fun with a reporter. And certainly not mutual fun. To my ear, that is a guy with a severe personality disorder.

Made all the more serious by the fact that he denied at the time, then admitted it (along with it being so cruelly hurtful to Marla Maples that she was reduced to tears) and now he is back to denying, once again, that it is his voice at all.

That's the problem.

And while you might rightly think, with a normal person, that the preeningly self-important speech patterns are humorous, it is the same way that Trump talks about serious issues. International trade. Immigration. Nuclear weapons in the Pacific Rim. The American budget and debt.

I fail to understand how you, Ann Althouse, can listen to Donald Trump's straight-faced denial that the voice in question was his at all, and not conclude that the man is mentally unstable.

And to be clear, I am not trying to be funny about this. I am completely serious.

BDNYC said...

This is the most ridiculous of all the Trump controversies. I do not support Trump but this story makes me like him more. I love the prankishness.

traditionalguy said...

That was roll on the floor funny Three Stooges vaudeville.

"What is your position there?"

"Well, I am sort of handling PR because he gets so much of it."

Donald's mastery is in not giggling.

Tank said...

Ann Althouse said...

"Just this present constant Trump, Trump, Trumping can be tiresome."

Oh? Like I'm the one keeping this Trump thing going. If only I'd cut it out.


You could go back to your original plan, i.e. not mentioning Trump at all.

==================================

Tank's theory: Trump recorded this conversation 25 years ago just to troll the Wash Post, Chuck and Simon.

Fun. Let's face it, the country is shot, doomed, we might as well laugh our way out.

Shouting Thomas said...

You are not engaging in "cruel neutrality."

You're just a fucking ditz who's spoiled beyond belief with a life of sloth and intellectual dithering.

You're the oppressor. Remember how gay marriage wasn't going to open the door? That didn't last long, did it?

You're a petulant, spoiled fucking little brat who just wanted something, so you declared yourself smarter than thousands of years of human and religious tradition. I tried to tell you what you were opening the door to. It's all spilling out.

What a fucking ditz you are. You are the oppressor. Fucking stupid brilliant intellectual.

I've wondered at times whether you are just stupid with that intellectual dithering or plain evil. I don't think it matters any more.

You're really a fucking mess.

tim in vermont said...

There must be a Greek word for the rhetorical tactic of pretending not to get a joke. Or in Chuck's case, no need to pretend.

Phil 3:14 said...

ST plays the reporter.

Phil 3:14 said...

All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts

tim in vermont said...

I thought for decades that Kurt Vonnegut was a conservative because nobody could be that stupid, so he must have been writing ironically. And read that way, a lot of his stuff is laugh out loud funny. Sometimes I wonder the same thing about when Althouse writes about certain feminist issues, or gay marriage. It looks for all the world like she is writing ironically sometimes and giving a wink as much to say, "even though I mostly support these people, this particular argument is ridiculous." Then other times, I'm not so sure. But guess what? It doesn't matter to me! If she is hiding stuff in her writing to secretly influence us against our will based on a belief that she is cruelly neutral, mores the better! Looking for that kind of shit is great fun, and nobody should ever let anybody else think for them anyways.

Levi Starks said...

Some people find Trump repulsive and revolting.
Almost as many as find Hillary repulsive and revolting.

Martha said...

You're really a fucking mess.

Right back at you Shouting Thomas.

jr565 said...

This is a non story. So what if he did "lie" that he was his own publicist. At worst its a crank call. Nothing illegal.
As such I don't even know why he would deny it. Then again maybe he's worried that if he says its him the media will release another phone call where he pretends to be his publicist where he leaks something really damaging to himself. And because he admitted it earlier he can't deny this new phone call now.
Whatever. If this is all the media has, it's a complete non story. And, he can totally deny it. Is there PROOF its him? A lot of people are listening to his phrases on. The tape and comparing them to phrases he says now. As if no one could do a Trump impression. Johnny depp did a trump impression on his trump movie, maybe Johnny depp made these calls.

Chuck said...

tim in Vermont:

In the previous Trump/"John Miller" thread, I asked you to explain the "joke" for all of us. Including the false denials, and all the rest. I thought you'd be up to the job. Perhaps not.

My next question might have been, "If Trump stood in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shot someone, would that change your mind about his fitness for the Presidency?" But Trump answered that one himself.


AllenS said...

Chuck said...
"If Trump stood in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shot someone, would that change your mind about his fitness for the Presidency?"

That would indicate to me that Trump is a good shot, which is a plus for the POTUS.

rhhardin said...

German is always sch for sh. That makes it easy to remember. Germans have better things to think about.

jr565 said...

This actually makes me like Trump more, he had no problem trolling the media and feeding them bull. He was probably putting them on hold and cracking up with this underlings as he fed them bs.
Actually It reminds me of Ralph Cifaretto in the Sopranos. He told a joke about Ginny sack that got him in a bit of trouble with the bosses. And he realizes that Paulie was probably the one who told everyone. So he prank calls Paulie's mom and tells her that Paulie was found in a park with a gerbil up his ass. And the other wise guys are cracking up in the background as he completely trolls her. One of the funniest scenes in the whole show.

Trump as a crank caller. I like it.

Phil 3:14 said...

One begins to wonder, What would it take? What would Trump need to do or say to disillusion his devotees? Will it be something "Big" or something small, small but persistent? Or will it just slowly fade? Who knows.....what will it take?

M Jordan said...

I didn't follow this story at all till last night I saw Megyn Kelly interview the reporter who came to the conclusion Trump leaked it all himself. I still don't know what the content was nor will I waste another brain cell to find out. But what I took away from that Kelly interview is that both she and the reporter marveled at Donald Trump punking everyone. Whether he did or not, again, I know nothing. But the narrative about Trump is developing in the media is that he's a raw cartoon mastermind come to life and they like it. It's absolute catnip to them. And they admire his cunning, his sleights, his lies, his flips, his constant motion do much they can't help but fall in love with him.

Trump is every bit as clever as Scott Adams thinks him to be. He is a maestro. And he cannot lose in the fall. Unpossible.

Mike Sylwester said...

Below is an excerpt from the definition of shtik (plural shtiklech) in Leo Rosten's book The Joys of Yiddish.

1. A piece. "Give him a shtik cake." (Never say a shtik "of" anything.)

2. A part, part of, bit of. He is a shtik narr (fool)" means "He is a real fool."

3. A prank, a piece of clowning. "He made us laugh with his shtik." "You never saw a man with so many shtik (or shtiklech).

4. A piece of misconduct. "In company, one should not perpetrate a shtik like that."

5. A devious trick; a bit of cheating. "How did you ever fall for a shtik like that?"

6. A studied, contrived or characteristic piece of "business" employed by an actor or actress; overly used gestures, grimaces or devices to steal attention. "Watch him use the same shtik." "The characterization would be better without all the shtiklech." "Play it straight; no shtiklech."

Laslo Spatula said...

I am heartened that Altouse keeps a fire burning for beloved father Andy Kaufman.

I have spent large swathes of my life studying his work, trying to learn ever more about the Dad I never met.

Much of his humor was turtles All the Way Down. On the surface was a joke, but the real joke was a turtle beneath it, except then it was under the next one, too. Then, everyone would respond to a different turtle in the joke. I always liked that.

Mom told me that when Dad staged his death that people would not get it, then get it, then not get it again. I always liked that, too.

Of course, the biggest Turtle in that story was that he died for real in a car accident three weeks later. Ran into a gas tanker truck south of Los Angeles, then was hit from behind by a Schoolbus for Blind Kids. Dad was burned beyond recognition, and buried as a John Doe.

Many of the Blind Kids say they can still feel the heat that came through the schoolbus glass, and that they can still smell the burning flesh and polyester, and hear the cries of "I'm burning alive! I'm burning alive! Oh, Agony! For the Love of God, does no one have a moist towelette?"

Dad's last words, those. Maybe not his funniest, but you have to consider the context, really.

Thank you, Althouse, for bringing these memories back to me this morning.

I miss you, Daddy I Never Knew. I hope you are proud of me.


I am Laslo.

harrogate said...

I've been revisiting clips of Trump from his WWE days . Beautiful, just beautiful work . Very presidential. The most Presdential you tube clips at least since the ones of Lincoln. Some people don't appreciate it , though . Sad!

buwaya puti said...

Some people get humor (say I in clueless humorless mode), and some don't. My wife for instance, though frighteningly literary, finds nothing funny in Dickens, and hates Mark Twain. I smile all through Dickens, and keep laughing out loud through Twain.
It's also seen in the reaction to Limbaugh. The very American pseudo bombast with layers of irony just leaves a lot of people lost in the layers. Twain and Dickens would have understood Limbaugh. And Trump.

shiloh said...

"Some people don't appreciate it , though . Sad!"

As long as Althouse appreciates it. Schtick, shtick or shtik. A rose by any other name is Althouse fondness for the donald. Indeed, as her devotion is quite admirable.

jr565 said...

Also, trump, I mean John Miller, says nothing happened between him and Maddona. He says they simply met and then It was reported the next day they they were an item. But that it was ludicrous.
So, let's ask Maddona. "Maddona, twenty five years ago did you meet with trump at a party. And did you say hello to him? And did he give some of your dancers an autograph?"
Ok then.
That's Pulitzer prize winning journalism, I tell you.

buwaya puti said...

This sort of playing with bombast, the ironic subversion, letting listeners in on the joke, and making the joke about letting them in on it, layers and layers, this silliness, was also what Churchill did, sometimes in public. He could turn it off and do full drama.
Trump certainly loves that. I'm not sure he can do the full drama though. It doesn't mean he would be a good president.

Gusty Winds said...

Trump does troll the media. We will all eventually see Trump's taxes, but yesterday when he told Stephanopolous his tax rate was "none of your business", he then called out Stephy for working for the Clintons and not disclosing donations. There'll be more of this I'm sure. George is on notice.

And the media hyperventilated over Trumps response, but he was telling Stephanopolous to go fuck himself. Trump kept saying 1) he'd release returns when the audits are over, and 2) he tries to pay as little tax as possible because the gov't wastes money.

When he bit back and said, "it's none of your business" he meant Stephanopolous directly. He's got gonna let that little shit control his campaign and do what he did to Romney with that whole fabricated birth control ban question.

I don't think the media has yet fully absorbed how much people like it when Trump pushes back at their arrogance, and then uses them like cheap hookers. They are horrible, dishonest people like Trump says. We all know it.

I like Trump's dishonesty better.

Phil 3:14 said...

As for the NeverTrumpers and their response to how the Republican establishment (oh sorry I'm supposed to write GOPe) is evolving,
they can find solice here.

buwaya puti said...

For reference, Cicero has a good bit to say on humor in political rhetoric in De Oratore; besides which he was reputed quite a wag in his time.
Cheating by searching the internet, an interesting comment by Quintilian, and others - look for the essay by Kelsey, "Cicero as a Wit"

Cicero is not a bore; highly recommended. Quintilian, sadly, is a bore.

tim in vermont said...

It's like explaining color to a blind man Chuck

Ken B said...

Ahhhh. The "second meaning" shtick.

Chuck said...

Actually, tim, I get it more than you know. The Trumpkins find it funny, because they find that anything that Trump does is wonderful and funny. Like being buddies with felon/rapist "Iron Mike" Tyson. Or a "ban on all Muslims entering the United States." Some people -- say, 28% -- will find that funny and clever and a great "counterpunch." Trump loves talking about punching, and punching back.

Others will find it repugnant and repellent. We'll find out in just a few months, what percentage that "NeverTrump" cohort might be. It will likely be about 20% of Republicans, and somewhere between 80% and 110% of Democrats.

Which is why money in Vegas (something the Trump Klan might understand) is piling up on Hillary.

By the way, neither my money nor my vote is going to Hillary. Not ever. I am just saddened about what a shit-show this campaign is. I am looking ahead, to the Post-Trump reconstruction of the Republican Party.

Sebastian said...

Cruel neutrality is neither.

mccullough said...

The GOP is finished Chuck at the national level. People prefer the other big government, big deficit party.

Chuck said...

mccullough:

We Establishment Republicans own 23 "trifecta" states. "Trifecta" being the governorship and both houses of the state legislature in a given state. Democrats have just 7 all-blue states.

More than 55% of state senators are Republicans.

56% of state Representatives are Republicans.

34 of 50 governors are Republicans.

Those numbers have increased in every one of the last four election cycles.

All without the "help" of Donald Trump.

We own the U.S. House of Representatives in the largest Republican majority in two generations, and the U.S. Senate. We won all of that with the hard electoral work of establishment Republicans. In the U.S. Senate in particular, we won it despite some of the Trumplike candidates such as Christine O'Donnell, Todd Akin and Sharron Angle, who blew winnable races for the Party. We won it chiefly on the careful work of some of the most-loathed "GOPe" figures like Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, Pat Toomey, Rob Portman, Mark Kirk and Ron Johnson, winning very tough elections in purple states.

Of course, Trump could screw all of this up. I think it is likely that he will, to some extent. But post-Trump, the Party will be in a good place to rebound. A mighty conservative blowback election in 2020 (following the decennial census) will once again cement our ability to draw congressional districts to our advantage.

buwaya puti said...

Chuck, all of that is utterly useless, as we have seen. The modern bureaucratic state makes all that local and legislative power irrelevant, every one amounts to a bunch of children in their playpens. The powers in the land officially are the Federal agencies, and the society, the subculture that lives through and from them.
Even winning the executive makes little difference, as it hasn't in the last Republican administration. The ratchet only goes one way.

Gahrie said...

What would it take? What would Trump need to do or say to disillusion his devotees? Will it be something "Big" or something small, small but persistent? Or will it just slowly fade? Who knows.....what will it take?

His supporters are used to disillusionment. They were created by disillusionment.

They couldn't care less at this point....all they care is that all the people that they hate are butthurt over Trump, and that is enough.

Mary Beth said...

The reporter told Megyn Kelly that she lost the tapes 25 years ago. The only other person likely to have them would be Trump. I'd like all of the people who were laughing at the release of the recording because they thought it made Trump look bad to think about why he might have wanted it made public. I'd like to see some theories. (Something better than, "he's stoopid, lulz.")

Gahrie said...

We Establishment Republicans own 23 "trifecta" states. "Trifecta" being the governorship and both houses of the state legislature in a given state. Democrats have just 7 all-blue states.

Really? None of those governors or legislators are Tea Party types?

More than 55% of state senators are Republicans.

56% of state Representatives are Republicans.

34 of 50 governors are Republicans.

Those numbers have increased in every one of the last four election cycles.


And then the Republican Establishment proceeded to squander all of those gains. That's why everyone is so pissed at you. Just this week McConnell got an appropriations bill passed through the Senate that spends more money than even Obama had the nerve to ask for.

All without the "help" of Donald Trump

But not without the help of Trump supporters. Or the Tea Party, which hates you guys too.

Face it Chuckles, more of the Republican base hates you Establishment types than hates Trump..that's why Trump exists and has won.

Ann Althouse said...

"The reporter told Megyn Kelly that she lost the tapes 25 years ago. The only other person likely to have them would be Trump."

Then why did he hang up when they questioned him on this subject: "Then, Friday afternoon, Washington Post reporters who were 44 minutes into a phone interview with Trump about his finances asked him a question about Miller: “Did you ever employ someone named John Miller as a spokesperson?” The phone went silent, then dead. When the reporters called back and reached Trump’s secretary, she said, “I heard you got disconnected. He can’t take the call now. I don’t know what happened.”"

Is that part of the game?

He could have said, hang on a sec, let me put John Miller on the line, then put on that "John Miller" voice and continue with his typical "And by the way..." and "But I will tell you..."

Mary Beth said...

This is the video of the reporter saying she lost the tape and thinks Trump leaked it. If he admitted it, the conversation about it would be over. The longer we spend talking about something pointless from a couple of decades ago, the easier it will be for him to say that decades old stuff about Hillary is relevant.

Just for fun, here's a video put out by Hillary's campaign asking what Trump is hiding by not releasing his taxes. It's unlisted so it asked me to think twice about sharing it. (I think they don't have a clear concept of how social media works.) The comments are also disabled. They would have been little more than "release your transcripts" anyway.

Phil 3:14 said...

"all they care is that all the people that they hate are butthurt over Trump, and that is enough."

Ah, surely the basis of a strong administration.

walter said...

Tremendous Altparse. And I love the irony of lamenting pointless distractions while delving into arcane spelling concerns.

Blogger jr565 said.
I don't even know why he would deny it.
--
Especially since he already had.
But never mind that..
Oh..because of his genius. Or he's hiding something.
Or..
He's a liar and a con.
But to borrow from the shirt for sale at the Trump rally I was at that said "Hilary sucks..but not as much as Monica", Trump sucks, but not as much as Hilary...maybe.
"Trump that Bitch!"

TWW said...

I feel like I am Ex-PFC Wintergreen throwing out General Peckhem's memos to General Dreedle because they were too verbose.

Two paragraphs on 'Schtick'? Really? I didn't read the rest.

tim in vermont said...

Actually, tim, I get it more than you know. - Chuck

LOL Sure Chuck. BTW, do you have a quote on the "ban all Muslims entering the United States"

The closest I can find is this, a pause in immigration until some questions are answered and processes are improved. We have an unemployment problem right now. I know you Chamber of Commerce types think labor can never get too cheap, but we don't really need immigration right now, say the way Germany does. In fact the worry seems to be that technology is replacing low skilled jobs at an accelerating rate. So what we are importing are people who won't find work, to put on the dole, or they will drive down wages by working cheaper than the people here. What's not to like, eh Chuck?

Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on. According to Pew Research, among others, there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population. Most recently, a poll from the Center for Security Policy released data showing "25% of those polled agreed that violence against Americans here in the United States is justified as a part of the global jihad" and 51% of those polled, "agreed that Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Shariah." Shariah authorizes such atrocities as murder against non-believers who won't convert, beheadings and more unthinkable acts that pose great harm to Americans, especially women.

IIRC, Mohammed Attah was given a resident visa posthumously, he was dead in a certain suicide attack on NYC. But hey, no need to tighten up the system!

The scale of the attacks on women at the city's central railway station has shocked Germany. About 1,000 drunk and aggressive young men were involved.
City police chief Wolfgang Albers called it "a completely new dimension of crime". The men were of Arab or North African appearance, he said.
Women were also targeted in Hamburg.
But the Cologne assaults - near the city's iconic cathedral - were the most serious, German media report. At least one woman was raped, and many were groped.
Most of the crimes reported to police were robberies. A volunteer policewoman was among those sexually molested.


No need to come up with better ways of screening "migrants" is there? You know the Paris Attacks were partly carried out by Syrian refugees with fake passports? Oh, I am sure you do know that, but think it's unimportant and inflammatory and should not be discussed, amiright?

Seriously Chuck, you and your kind killed the GOP by ignoring legitimate concerns, yet you keep yammering on.

Gahrie said...

Ah, surely the basis of a strong administration.

You guys never get it...or you do and refuse to acknowledge it....

Half the people supporting Trump hope he's a disaster....they have very little left to lose, and the Establishment assholes have everything to lose. They hope Trump is Samson, and pulls the whole temple down.

Phil 3:14 said...

"You guys never get it...or you do and refuse to acknowledge it....

Half the people supporting Trump hope he's a disaster....they have very little left to lose, and the Establishment assholes have everything to lose. They hope Trump is Samson, and pulls the whole temple down."

Even better.

Preppers paradise .

Chuck said...

Fuck you, tim, you moron.

The Bush Administration did a lot of national security in the post-9/11 era. (Let's not forget Trump calling it "Seven Eleven.") We had the enhanced interrogation, used according to very careful Office of Legal Counsel memos authored by (now) Judge Jay Bybee and Professor John Yoo. Bybee and Yoo -- two men whose careers were threatened by their interrogation stand -- have forgotten more national security law than Donald Trump will ever know.

Of course the left -- epitomized by the Obama Administration -- recoiled. Yadda yadda yadda.

But Donald Trump has turned all of the serious legal arguments into a joke with his cartoonish comments about "worse than waterboarding" for people that Trump doesn't even know about.

As for Trump's "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on," (Trump, quoted) even Trump is no longer sticking to that ridiculousness. Trump was rightly ridiculed; a religious-based immigration ban is foolish at its most fundamental levels. No one's passport has any religious information on it! There are a dozen or so international treaties and U.S. laws that would prohibit religious tests on immigration. If Trump was trying to express a legitimate security concern (and not just pandering to slack-jawed yokels), he was doing it incompetently.

Here, we now see Trump himself walking back his stupid opportunist December declaration:
http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/12/politics/donald-trump-muslim-ban/

I'll give you this; Trump may be a very good candidate, for stupid, poorly educated, frightened, unsuccessful, disenchanted, uninvolved television watchers. In fact the best thing for those people would be a growing economy. Not Trump.

Gahrie said...

I'll give you this; Trump may be a very good candidate, for stupid, poorly educated, frightened, unsuccessful, disenchanted, uninvolved television watcher

That's the way to win them back Chuck!!!!

You know I used to think you were just an establishment tool trying to defend your cushy job, now I'm starting to come around to the idea that you are a Moby.....

walter said...

Way to resort to the ad hominem, Gahrie!

Gahrie said...

Way to resort to the ad hominem, Gahrie!

Uhm...you might want to read back a little further to see who started the ad hom.....

Chuckles has been throwing insults around for a couple of months now.

Besides, if you think that is ad hom...you should see me when I get upset.....

tim in vermont said...

"No one's passport has any religious information on it! There are a dozen or so international treaties and U.S. laws that would prohibit religious tests on immigration."

I'm sorry, but the fact that passports are woefully inadequate means of assessing the risk of immigrants just makes Trump's case stronger. If we have signed some treaty the amounts to a suicide pact regarding immigration we should renounce it. Trump's the guy to do it.

Trump may be a very good candidate, for stupid, poorly educated, frightened, unsuccessful, disenchanted, uninvolved television watchers. In fact the best thing for those people would be a growing economy. Not Trump.

LOL Chuck, and you wonder why the base you so thoroughly despise has rejected you! Let me guess, this is your plan for a "growing economy" unlimited immigration to create a large pool of cheap labor, right? And these poorly educated people are supposed to just find ways to exploit this cheap labor by forming businesses to employ them, is that about right? They should give up their businesses of plowing snow and mowing lawns and grow up! Amiright? Give up their loser lifestyle!

This is like a Fox Butterworth moment: "GOP establishment rejected despite showing complete contempt for their voters!"

"Fuck you, tim, you moron" - Chuck

I love being called a moron by purblind simpletons like yourself, so thank you.

Trump may be a very good candidate, for stupid, poorly educated, frightened, unsuccessful, disenchanted, uninvolved television watchers. - Chuck

Keep expanding your list, you will maybe get to me. Also as you expand your list more and more, you may start to realize Trump's appeal.

I keep telling you I don't like the guy. But guys like you crashed the Republican Party through highly visible, palpable contempt for the base, and I am just picking through the wreckage for whatever is salvageable. You are still cursing the "bad luck" that caused the crash. (It's a metaphor, Chuck, I know you have a hard time with figurative speech, for understanding the "bad luck" part, read Heinlien, or Instapundit)