August 19, 2016

"For most of the last year, we have seen endless hand-wringing in the news media about how crude Donald Trump is..."

"But it seems obvious to me that it is Trump’s enemies, far more than Trump, who have gone into the gutter and, to a degree that may be unprecedented, coarsened our political life," writes John Hinderaker at Power Line, on the occasion of that naked Donald Trump statues that stood in 5 American cities yesterday. "When it comes to crude, beyond the pale attacks, Donald Trump is far more often the victim than the aggressor," Hinderaker concludes.

I agree that there is more crudeness in the attacks on Trump than coming from Trump himself. However:

1. Parallelism seems to demand that we compare what Trump himself says to what the another candidate says. If we want to look at what people other than candidates are saying about Trump, we should compare it not just to what Trump says, but to what his supporters say and to what everyone who hates Hillary says — including speech in the form of sculpture and drawings and paintings. There's some pretty crude stuff out there.

2. And shouldn't there be crude attacks on political candidates, in words and in graphic depictions? This is a grand tradition! I celebrate it. I'm thinking of Daumier's Gargantua...



Daumier went to prison for that. And I'm thinking of David Levine's Henry Kissinger:



3. The brutality is already there in politics, so we should have the words and pictures to express it. Here's Frank Zappa saying that on "Crossfire" in 1986:



"[Brutality] is already in politics. I think if you use the so-called strong words, you get your point across faster and you can save a lot of beating around the bush. Why are people afraid of words?" (And note that Donald Trump just yesterday was defending his style of speech as a way to save time: The important thing is to get to the truth and being too careful and polite "takes far too much time."

54 comments:

Ann Althouse said...

If the wrong video comes up for you — such as the trailer for "Eat That Question," the movie about Frank Zappa that I saw last night — you can get to the correct one, starting at the right place by going here.

Sometimes Blogger is hinky like that. I don't know how to fix it, but I get the problem myself sometimes.

Mick said...

Again the "law prof" values "civility" more than truth and the law.
The Usurper Hussein Obama have committed Treason in giving and accepting money from the enemies of the United States, as well as supplying weaponry to the entities that became ISIS--- aid and comfort to the enemy--- what is the penalty for TREASON?

The Progressives will never give up. They must be eradicated.

tim in vermont said...

Telling the truth about Hillary is not "hate," BTW. Even though it leads one into some pretty disgusting waters. That's where the Clintons take you. The Democrats could have had a clean slate, but the personal power of the Clintons was more important to them.

traditionalguy said...

Oh no. Roger Stone's partner Manafort is off The Trump Family Network. He must have tried to trick the boss once too many times, or Bannon spilled the beans.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Trump the Victim.

n.n said...

The weird pride parade favors the fortunes of its antithesis.

I wonder if the artistic creations in abortion chambers and Planned Parenthood are still off limits. Advantage weird and depraved.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

I don't recall this acutely phobic response to Obama's candidacy when he called for redistributive (i.e. trickle-up poverty) and fundamental change. In retrospect, we now know that Obama was the establishment candidate who sustained and progressed the status quo.

SGT Ted said...

There is a huge unexamined "civility bullshit" element to complaints about political insults coming from Trump, especially from Democrats who routinely refer to the GOP as Nazis, KKKers, sexists and homophobes who hate old people and children.

Todd said...

And shouldn't there be crude attacks on political candidates, in words and in graphic depictions?

Sure there should be but that is NOT what is happening "evenly". Look at all of the deference given to Obama and Hillary versus all of the celebrated attacks on Bush, Palin, Trump and others. Movies about Bush being assassinated while in office but films about Hillary squashed by the networks. Palin attacked for things actresses playing her said. Of coarse now Trump joked about for being a) the Republican and b) for being Trump.

It took years before any comedians dared do Obama jokes in public. There was big fun in Palin rape jokes from day one though! Least us forget all of the McChimpBushHitler jokes cause he was both an EVIL GENIUS and a MORON. All Republican candidates are Nazis too, haha.

It is the same with "fun with religions" whereas the media and "artiest" always seem to punch down. "Piss Christ" was prize winning but no Mohammed cartoons cause "how dare you" and "have you now shame".

And they wonder why more and more people ignore the lot of them...

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Is Trump "crude" or simply forthright in his speaking? Does Clinton express herself equally forthrightly to the Public? Hammond thinks not.

Althouse is correct. A comparison of crudity levels between Trump and Trump detractors is irrelevant in a choice between candidates. Relevant comparisons would be between the two candidates in particular performance areas.

Mark said...

Meanwhile the rest of the country wonders exactly how dirty Manafort must be to have been shown the door in less than a week from the first Ukraine story.

bagoh20 said...

There is nothing about strong language that makes it truth. The knee jerk assumption that it must be is used by many as a substitute for credibility. The assumption is that nobody would say such a thing if it wasn't true, but yes they do. This is a mistake I see with Trump supporters who say they like Trump because he says what he means and just tells it like it is, but that's often a ploy, and you are being played. Trump says things all the time that are false or that he has no way of knowing, and he knows it, so he says it with blunt language and then says things like "that's what people are saying" to cover his ass. People can and do lie with strong language or careful language. Using strong language or acting angry is often a tell for habitual liars. Remember Slick Willie wagging his angry finger at you as he lied on national TV to millions about "that woman".

Ignorance is Bliss said...

...on the occasion of that naked Donald Trump statues...

But even the president of the United States
Sometimes must have to stand naked.

Big Mike said...

Parallelism seems to demand that we compare what Trump himself says to what the another candidate says.

Not true! It's very well known that Hillary Clinton has surrogates to spread the hate through a network of friendly media figures such as George Stephanopolous and The Talking Skull, and that she's been building this network since Arkansas days.

If we want to look at what people other than candidates are saying about Trump, we should compare it not just to what Trump says, but to what his supporters say and to what everyone who hates Hillary says.

Fair enough, as long as you permit people who hate Hillary to tell the truth about her and to use her own words against her. Because the truth appears to be pretty devastating, don't you think?

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Apropos David Levine's drawing of Kissenger and the World: the sex appears to be consensual.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

The good Spock was able to quickly spot the evil Enterprise guys because they couldn't act civilized whereas the evil Spock took a while to spot the good Enterprise guys because they could fake being uncivilized.

Me?

I see it mostly as a matter of aesthetics and good manners.

AReasonableMan said...

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...
Apropos David Levine's drawing of Kissenger and the World: the sex appears to be consensual.


Roofied.

mezzrow said...

Thank you, Frank. Exactly.

This worked for me, Ann.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Trump would jail Daumier for that too.

gspencer said...

Two can play the Naked Candidate Game.

Who would have the stomach to look at a naked Hillary?*


*Besides Huma and the harridan's other procured "dates"

Freder Frederson said...

The Progressives will never give up. They must be eradicated.

So Mick accuses Obama of treason without a shred of evidence, and then calls for mass political murder on a scale worthy of Stalin.


This blog is really getting unhinged.

Ficta said...

I thought of this:

Balzac

narciso said...

Well Obama mentor and associate bill Ayres dreamed of such a scenario.

rhhardin said...

Trump isn't crude. It's not an everybody does it thing at all.

The Trump is crude attack is meant for women. Don't vote for Trump because he's mean. And they buy it.

tim in vermont said...

Trump would jail Daumier for that too.

Hillary is the one who promised to put a filmmaker in jail, then followed through. The Democrats put Dinesh D'Zouza in jail for making a film. Hillary wants to weaken the first amendment by overturning Citizen's United, because they made an anti-Hillary film.

But you have made up this thing about Trump in your head, so I guess that outweighs actual, you know, facts.

tim in vermont said...

This blog is really getting unhinged.

Mick speaks for Mick. Or do you own up to every thing every liberal or leftist says about, for example, how older people shouldn't be allowed to vote.

tim in vermont said...

Roofied. - ARM

Just goes to show that you can always invent one more fact to "prove" your point of view is "correct."

damikesc said...

Trump would jail Daumier for that too.

Libel doesn't tend to bring criminal charges.

Trump wants to "open up libel laws". That's not good.
Hillary wants to BAN CRITICISM OF HER. That's markedly worse.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Mark said...
Meanwhile the rest of the country wonders exactly how dirty Manafort must be to have been shown the door in less than a week from the first Ukraine story.

8/19/16, 9:39 AM


Who? Shh, the Olympics is on. That green haired boy just escaped a Brazilian death squad! Now will Kim Rhodes say Yes to the dress?

Titus said...

Wow, even the NYC city parks spokesman got a dig at Donald.

NYC Parks stands firmly against any unpermitted erection in city parks, no matter how small," parks spokesman Sam Biederman joked.

I love the statutes and want more. Also, a statute of Hil with huge sagging tits, pancake nipples, disgusting stretched out stomach and ass. Also, show her cooch with a huge garden.

Peter said...

"Two can play the Naked Candidate Game."

Can they? I'd guess universities have plenty of faculty who'd explain at exhaustive length that turnabout is not fair play and, although they may use lots of $5. words in doing so, much of it might be translated as "but that's different!"

And, hey, with free college coming soon, why shouldn't taxpayers be forced to pay for such profsplaining? What a scholar does is scholarship, isn't it?

Freeman Hunt said...

Sometimes Blogger is hinky like that. I don't know how to fix it,

I've noticed that problem before, and I've always wondered how it happens from a coding perspective. Usually it's pretty easy to see what might have gone wrong with some technical thing like that, but that particular glitch has always been mysterious to me. What in Google's Blogger code makes that happen?

Robert Fulton said...

I have some Fact that I have been waiting to report here for the benefit of those who are struggling to find a way through the media maze. This article: https://www.buzzfeed.com/dominicholden/trump-supporters-say-the-polls-are-wrong-and-hes-actually-wi?utm_term=.ldnb0e37aZ#.vfd8p6J3zk
is on "Buzzfeed" a very anti-Trump site. The following quote appears:

"Cindy Ammons, who attended with her husband, told BuzzFeed News her first-hand experience with the Trump campaign convinced her “the polls are wrong.” She was a campaign volunteer, and when she called people, they supported him. “Only one person hung up on me,” she said. “I think a lot of polling is not talking to the average Joe.”

Anecdotal, yes. However, here is the interesting thing. I spent three hours as a volunteer making calls in the local GOP office as did Ms. Ammons. While not everyone with whom I spoke was a Trump supporter, there were a hell of a lot more folks than I expected who were unashamed in expressing their support and intent to vote for him.
AP is sending someone out to do a story here in Nevada ostensibly about veterans calling veterans on behalf of Trump. I think I will go to the meeting and observe what the reporter observes and then report on what is written. It could be interesting. Full disclosure: I am skeptical about the bias of the AP and I expect some sort of "hit piece" about stupid people speaking to stupid people about a stupid candidate. Something like the Buzzfeed article.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Uncle Sam, held immobile in stocks, obviously in anguish and pain. Hillary in full leathers, whip, studded mask and strap-on, expression of glee, sodomizing U.S.

Mick said...

Freder Frederson said...
"The Progressives will never give up. They must be eradicated.

So Mick accuses Obama of treason without a shred of evidence, and then calls for mass political murder on a scale worthy of Stalin."

The Usurper administration already admitted that they gave Iran $400 Million as "ransom", with no accountability to the American people. It is also a well known FACT that US weaponry was funneled to "anti Assad" rebels (which became ISIS) in Syria through Libya. It is a well known fact that the Usurper and the Crooked Old Lady lied and blamed the Benghazi attack on a "movie" -- for weeks afterward, despite knowing otherwise.

http://thelead.blogs.cnn.com/2013/08/13/filmmaker-of-movie-initially-blamed-for-benghazi-attacks-obama-administration-was-irresponsible/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/cia-begins-weapons-delivery-to-syrian-rebels/2013/09/11/9fcf2ed8-1b0c-11e3-a628-7e6dde8f889d_story.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/19/world/middleeast/iran-us-cash-payment-prisoners.html

So what is the penalty for Treason (aiding and comforting the enemy)?

pdug said...

@hammond Dog carcass in alley this morning. Tire tread on burst stomach. The city is afraid of me. I have seen it's true face. The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over all the vermin will drown. The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout "save us!"

GWash said...

From TPM... is the entire Trump family tone death/out of touch with the rest of us? as sarah p would opine 'you betcha'
From TPM...
Heiress and entrepreneur Ivanka Trump was on the receiving end of some Twitter mockery for enlisting one of her lifestyle blog's unpaid interns to write a piece posted Thursday about savvy strategies to get by without a paycheck.

How to make it work as an unpaid intern: https://t.co/pwMIYWh4kw #nomoneynoproblems #interntips #internships pic.twitter.com/BRoWuO6bq7

— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) August 18, 2016

Night Owl said...

"And shouldn't there be crude attacks on political candidates, in words and in graphic depictions? This is a grand tradition!"

Of course.

At the risk of stating the obvious, the problem is not that politics is brutal and crass rather, as is often pointed out, that in our current culture and mainstream media which is dominated by leftist thought, one side -- the left-- gets a pass on their viciousness while the other side is vilified if they dare utter even a discouraging word toward their opposition.

I'd never seen such a concentration of hatred and vitriol toward a president the way the left went after Bush non-stop for eight years, in every form of media including academia. And yet once Obama got elected, the elite punditry declared it a crime against humanity to speak against the President; all criticism was deemed the product of "racism" and "irrational hatred" from "ugly racist" people.

Trump is considered a monster to the "decent" folk because he refuses to play by the double-standard that insists that Republican candidates, and their supporters, campaign and speak with "civility". Meanwhile Dem candidates can use violent imagery like "revolution", and leftist supporters will get a pass when they behave violently, such as we saw this summer. Leftists have come to believe their violence is justified, seemingly by the mere existence of alternate POVs, and the existence of Trump.

Regarding the current criticism of Trump, we are getting just a glimpse of how fashionable it will be once again to disparage a president in the media should he take the office. (Trump better brace himself and grow thicker skin.) Frankly I welcome that potentiality. We should to be able to hold the president to account when he screws up, and should continue the grand tradition of mocking the powerful. If Hillary wins, all criticism will be labeled misogyny, and her critics will become pariahs. Count on it.

JaimeRoberto said...

I've got no problem with mocking politicians, even crudely. They are not gods, saviors, miracle workers or light bringers. However, acceptable mockery only seems to go one way. Naked statues of Hillary or Obama would immediately be treated as horrible examples of misogyny or racism and the media would spend weeks expounding on the the problems of hate in "this country".

tim maguire said...

Parallelism seems to demand that we compare what Trump himself says to what the another candidate says

I don't see why. Isn't "parallelism" just another word for consistency? We should be comparing what Trump says to what the people criticizing Trump say. Certainly, then you can run into the problem of lining up the statements with the actors. For instance, how many of those commissioning the nude Trumps have said Trump is crass? Probably all of them, but to make this argument, you need some quotes.

But then, that's politics, isn't it? People get held responsible all the time for what other people in their camp say or do. Only rarely does this short-cut get effectively challenged.

walter said...

Speaking of "parallelism"..
A cartoon in a publication is quite a bit different than a life sized statue placed in a public space.
And can you imagine the absolute shit fit if something like this of Hil were put up in some square?
Not saying someone should..I mean..no..please no.

walter said...

(but if "parallelism" is paramount, somene might consider borrowin a bit from that Kissinger 'toon and have Hil mit strap-on doing the deed..slack jawed Bill watching.)

James Pawlak said...

You might wish to look at the cartoons published against Candidate A. Lincoln.

Jim at said...

"and then calls for mass political murder on a scale worthy of Stalin."

Funny you should make comparisons to Stalin.
He was one of yours, boy.

cyrus83 said...

The thing about crude attacks is that they have to be done well enough that the public directs their outrage at the politician being mocked rather than the ones doing the mocking. President Cleveland notably had the last laugh over the rumor that he'd fathered a child out of wedlock (also a case in which a politician with a penchant for honesty won out against the a corrupt insider in Blaine).

What I don't get about the naked Trump statues is how this is supposed to work against Trump. Anybody who has paid attention to Trump for any time at all this campaign season is unlikely to think "no balls" is a good description. It may be funny to the urban crowd, who also think placing holy objects in human waste qualifies as art, but how is this supposed to work on the people in the 2900 smallest counties in the country?

Mocking the physique of Trump also leaves the door open to thinking of Hillary's health issues, probably not the best thing at the moment.

jaed said...

Parallelism seems to demand that we compare what Trump himself says to what the another candidate says.

I'm not so sure in this case. This election seems to be more a contest between Trump and the political class - mainly the Republican political class at that - than between Trump and Hillary. Hillary is almost an ancillary figure, off to one side, not really actively campaigning, not very relevant to the main event. When was the last time a Hillary attack on Trump made the news? It seems to be mostly political-class attacks on Trump that become stories.

The parallelism would then call for comparing what Trump says to what his true opponents say.

(I feel a little sorry for Hillary, pushed off to one side like that.)

BN said...

"The important thing is to get to the truth."

The truth hurts. It is cold, crude, and cruelly neutral.

Yes, let's get there asap. I'll start.

You're all ugly losers.

BN said...

"Hillary is almost an ancillary figure..."

Truth anyone?

BN said...

First there were the "anti-anti-Communists" and now there's the "anti-anti-Trumpsters".

You won.

Focus.

n.n said...

Keep Portland or wherever weird and depraved, depraved and weird. The bulk of humanity don't like it.

Rusty said...

Blogger BN said...
"The important thing is to get to the truth."

"The truth hurts. It is cold, crude, and cruelly neutral.

Yes, let's get there asap. I'll start.

You're all ugly losers"

You forgot "fat".
We're all fat ugly losers.
But that's not what your mom said last night.

walter said...

Cyrus83 said...how is this supposed to work on the people in the 2900 smallest counties in the country?
Mocking the physique of Trump also leaves the door open to thinking of Hillary's health issues..
--
Ah..but "those people" don't matter and only "right wing nuts" think Hil has health issues.
I have a Seattle FB "friend" who posted that Trump statue in Seattle..stating "This is why I love Seattle".

walter said...

Oh..forgot. When I suggested the outrage if a similar stunt had been done to Hil, he said it might have been pulled off by a Stein supporter.
So deep the stupid.