November 20, 2017

Let's talk about Trump's shoplifting-in-China tweets.

You've probably seen these already:



I have 3 responses, in this order:

1. The President should execute the duties of his office to the best of his abilities and not pick and choose depending on who's expressing gratitude.

2. These are statements made about what he did and how he thinks about it, and they might be honest and straightforward. But they might be twists of the truth or comedy, in which case we need to ask whether a President should be speaking like this, fooling around with the idea of treating the duties of his office as the distribution of favors and singling out individuals as undeserving of the benefits he has the power to provide.

3. We can try to understand the value of the President's tweet talk (even if we disapprove of it). At this level the question is why would he think there was some political advantage in saying these things? Here, we might say that he's baiting his antagonists to reinforce what LaVar Ball said and claim that shoplifting isn't a big deal. Trump might see value in that as it promotes his reputation for law and order and makes the other side feel like the forces of chaos. Also, Trump says nothing about race but creates an opportunity for his antagonists to racialize the controvery, which might benefit him.

Your turn.

ADDED: Remember Michael P. Fay, the American who was sentenced to 4 lashes on his bare buttocks after he pleaded guilty to vandalism in Singapore? (Fay had spray painted some cars.)  Who was President then and why wasn't he spared the painful, humiliating corporal punishment?
In Washington, President Clinton expressed disappointment with Singapore's decision, saying, "I think it was a mistake, as I said before, not only because of the nature of the punishment related to the crime but because of the questions that were raised about whether the young man was in fact guilty and involuntarily confessed."
To be fair, Singapore reduced the number of lashes from 6 to 4 as "a gesture of good will" to the American President. 

158 comments:

rcocean said...

I don't think Trump should have done them the favor. What about all the OTHER American citizens who commit crimes Overseas and DON'T get POTUS help?

Politically of course, this is a win-win for Trump. He helped the BB players which makes him look like a good guy and their being ungrateful and Anti-Trump makes him even more sympathetic.

I have zero sympathy for peeps who go to foreign countries & commit crimes. That Dummy Mr. Ball, still doesn't understand that Communist China isn't LA.

MadisonMan said...

The BBall player's Dad is the one who comes off looking lousy here -- but he strikes me as pretty publicity-hungry, so I'm sure he thinks it's all good. The Players themselves were contrite, apologetic, and appreciative after (1) getting caught and (2) getting released and (3) arriving in the USA.

If I were the coach, I'd kick them off the team.

rcocean said...

The BB should have been put in jail for stupidity. Who could be more conspicuous than 3 "Foreign Devil" 6 feet 5 inch BB players in China? But evidently they thought they would blend right in, and no one would notice them shoplifting.

It reminds me of 6/6 Comey saying he tried to be invisible by standing near the WH drapes.

Gahrie said...

How about:

LaVar Ball is an ingrate and an asshole?

Anonymous said...

Trump was premature with his rescue. He should have waited until they were convicted
and sentenced. Daddy Ball would have been more appreciative.
Ballers exercising their entitlement attitude does not merit presidential intervention.

buwaya said...

It works for the Chinese.
They are used to the exercise of power according to the whim of the leader. The state is not a friend, this is ingrained. Even so, leaders are judged by their benevolence, notwithstanding their impunity.
These things are seen as personal transactions, not official ones.
Trump offers respect for the legitimacy of their laws, that this was not a light matter, which is important to a culture with a very large chip on the shoulder.
He complains of ingratitude, which is a personal fault, and legitimately so in China.

Gahrie said...

"It's that damn Trump, forcing me to act like an asshole...one more reason to hate him."

Nonapod said...

As with all things Trump, the responses to what he Tweets are more illuminating than what he Tweets. Trump is reflecting an attitude that a lot of people have regarding a particular situation. He's provoking discussions all across America.

Is that presidential? If not, should it be presidential? Should the role of the president be someone who stakes a position in a provocative way in order to get citizens to think about a given issue?

roseman said...

LaVar Ball and his sons are not unlike the Kardashians. wish they'd just stfu and go away.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. The dad denigrated Trump's help. Trump doesn't take to being denigrated well. So he points out that absent his intervention they could have been in jail for fifteen years. And that the dad who denigrated him is an ungrateful ass. Trump has this crazy idea that if he does something nice for you, like preventing your son from ending up in a Chinese prison, you should at least refrain from dissing him in public.

cubanbob said...

Althouse one thing by now should be crystal clear: Trump is master when it comes to Twitter. He makes all kinds of crazy sounding, boorish sounding fill in the blanks sounding comments and yet it works. So far. Whether Trump careful calculates his messages or just doesn't them on the fly on instinct I haven't a clue. Maybe at times both. Who knows? What I do know that so far it has kept his critics unhinged and that works for him. So far.

Michael K said...

I agree he should have left it alone but it does fit the narrative about the NFL and BLM.

Fernandistien said...

LarVal, you got some 'splainin' to do!

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hagar said...

So LaVar Ball raised his son not just to be a thief, but a remarkably ignorant, stupid, and very foolish thief - and brags about it. This is not doing his son - or himself - any favors.

In China, the punishment for petty theft used to "the cangue" - the miscreant was made to wear a 3 ft. suare wooden board locked around his neck and sent out on the street for the urchins to enjoy.

rehajm said...

1. Is just wrong. He executed his duties and didn't pick and choose. Fine to debate the value of Trump's tweets but don't conflate them with the nobility of some other issue. That's for weasels.

2. Conflation of ungrateful and underserving. See 1. above, weasel.

3. Now we're starting to get Trump tweets.

YoungHegelian said...

Also, Trump says nothing about race but creates an opportunity for his antagonists to racialize the controvery, which might benefit him.

Yep. All too often Trump sets up the opportunity for his opponents to act like total assholes, & they seem to always rise to the occasion. This whole business from start to finish was an example of the mentality of entitlement, rudeness, & general cluelessness found in some members of the black community. Like Stephan Fetchit in the old "race" films, the basketball players & the father played their roles to a tee. Honestly, if I were into conspiracies, I'd suspect that the Trump campaign paid them, so stereotypically awful was the behavior.

Just imagine how stupid you have to be to not know that you as a 6 foot plus black American basketball player stick out like a sore thumb at a mall in China, & that every eye in the place is on you. This is the quality of student UCLA gives basketball scholarships to?

Michael K said...

"The rules of law and civility/etiquette do not apply to black people? Is that the message want to be sending our youth?"


"We" are not sending that message. That father and the three stupid kids are sending it. Do you read the newspaper ?

Comanche Voter said...

LaVar Ball--the father in this case--is as a big a publicity seeking loudmouth as Trump.

Ball has three sons--each a very talented basketball player. He lives in Chino--an exurb in the Los Angeles metroplex. He announced early--while the oldest boy was still a freshman in high school, that all three boys would go to UCLA and play basketball there. In the one and done era of college basketball, the oldest son, Lonzo Ball was a star at UCLA as a freshman and then the number one or two player in last year's NBA draft. He's now a rookie for the Los Angeles Lakers where he's highly touted as the second coming of Kobe Bryant.

The number two son--LeAngelo--is the one involved in the Chinese shoplifting incident. He may or may not get to play his freshman year at UCLA--and then again may get drafted anyway next spring.

Levar Ball is a problem; his braying jackass tactics were, and will be, a detrimental factor in his three sons NBA draft hopes. Do you want the talent of one of his sons--if you have to put up with the father? The Lakers pondered that before drafting Lonzo.

Now you add a shoplifting beef to the second son's track record and who knows?

All I can say is that Levar Ball and Donald Trump deserve each other.

Jim said...

One thing the President's tweets are not, is racist. Doug Kass blocked me on twitter for objecting to his characterization of the tweets as such.

Unknown said...

Still expecting him to be Presidential?

AlbertAnonymous said...

LaVar is an ASS. So this is an easy basket for Trump. A lay up.

But I think he should leave it alone now. LaVar probably likes the attention, and I hate how the leftists and the media (but I repeat myself) use this stuff to continually bash. It makes them look stupid calling Trump a racist for tweeting about LaVar (see Matt Yglasias) but it’s just so much noise it gives me a headache.

Does anyone really think that his attacking LaVar as the ungrateful ass he is makes Trump racist? Are we not allowed to call out ungrateful asses anymore? Or just when they’re black ungrateful asses?

Someone explain the rules to me again?

FullMoon said...

, he would have focused on the stupid FATHER of the young man

My thought also. Players were grateful, dad was an ass.

Fernandistien said...

A fate more worser than death but not as bad as being an ass-grab recipient:

"Chinese Prisoners Forced to Play World of Warcraft, Detainee Says"

holdfast said...

Mittens Romney never punched back.

Trump punches back even when he doesn't have to.

I guess a happy medium is very rare.

Ken B said...

Saying it's no big deal is Not about gratitude. It is about honesty and contrition and learning. Trump highlights in a more ironic and sententious way is all.

Chuck said...

My turn:

I agree with Althouse's post. For all the reasons articulated.

The question arises; why Tweet about such things at all, when it has the rather obvious effect of sucking the air out of the national debate when there are important substantive policy issues to deal with. I think the real thing is obvious; these weird cultural kerfuffles are what Trump knows (he doesn't know policy) and his core supporters (angry, white, middle-aged) love it.

Matthew Sablan said...

This isn't the first "Trump helps Americans overseas out of criminal trouble" story. It is the first one to get politicized like this though.

Char Char Binks said...

1. "The President should execute the duties of his office to the best of his abilities and not pick and choose depending on who's expressing gratitude."

True, but I see no indication that he does that, although he certainly opens himself up to that inference.

2. I wish we had an even-tempered, statesmanlike president who had someone else, maybe a press secretary, to act as his bulldog, on Twitter duty. We don't always get what we wish for.

3. LeVar Ball and his son just helped re-elect Trump.

FullMoon said...

Just imagine how stupid you have to be to not know that you as a 6 foot plus black American basketball player stick out like a sore thumb at a mall in China, & that every eye in the place is on you. This is the quality of student UCLA gives basketball scholarships to?

The challenge and excitement is in doing the crime while all eyes are on you. Maybe the players were having a contest to see who would/could do it.

Qwinn said...

Wherein Chuck basically repeats Hillary's "deplorables" line, and Obama's "bitter clingers".

It's such a shame that he's mistaken for a leftist so often. So unfair! How could anyone ever get that idea? It's a mystery, I tell ya.

As for the father: complete and total ass, Trump was right to call him out.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Yep. All too often Trump sets up the opportunity for his opponents to act like total assholes, & they seem to always rise to the occasion.

These tactics always worked for them in the past. But the Donald refuses to play by the agreed upon rules. At the start of his term the MSM was absolutely desperate to get the Donald to give up twitter. They wouldn't have wanted him to abandon the platform so badly if it was hurting him. And notice that there was an attempt to get him kicked off of twitter for violating its TOS. Once again, not the action of people who think twitter is hurting Trump. In the real world, when you do someone a huge favor, if his father then attempts to minimize the favor, you get upset and call them on it. Trump lives in that world.

Mr Wibble said...

Trump isn't stupid. Levar Ball is a braying jackass, and the more people see and hear from him the more they'll side with Trump.

Gahrie said...

Still expecting him to be Presidential?

I'd say bailing out three self entitled idiots and saving them from 10 years in a Chinese jail is pretty presidential.

Michael K said...

" the national debate when there are important substantive policy issues to deal with. "

Nobody but LLRs care about those issues. Read what most people are reading about Trump.

The myths are what is news, not policy.

AlbertAnonymous said...

Good Lord, Chuck. You’re living up to your LLR moniker aren’t you? You sound like Hillary. Anyone who supports Trump (especially when the only other choice was the lying conniving HRC) must be an angry white middle aged deplorable, huh? And irredeemable!

That’s how you get more Trump.

YoungHegelian said...

@Chuck,

these weird cultural kerfuffles are what Trump knows (he doesn't know policy) and his core supporters (angry, white, middle-aged) love it.

You still don't get it, do you? And you're just obdurate in your "not getting it".

Trump's supporters see him as their "happy warrior", their bulwark against the cultural forces that they feel have them in the cross hairs. Now, you may not like the way Trump does it, but I really can't imagine how Trump could play this role in any way that the Dems & the GOPe would like.

Maybe you don't think these cultural forces are really at war. Maybe you could test that theory by opening up a bakery & putting a sign up in the window saying how you don't cater gay weddings because of your faith & see what happens. Who knows, maybe National Review will start a Go-Fund-Me account for your legal defense.

~ Gordon Pasha said...

Ion Perdaris did not raise a fuss when TR rescued him from the Raisuli, even though he had relinquished his US citizenship 40 years before the 1904 incident.

rehajm said...

...why Tweet about such things at all, when it has the rather obvious effect of sucking the air out of the national debate when there are important substantive policy issues to deal with...

'the national debate' is not an object with a finite quantity of air. President Trump uses tweets in part to shape 'the national debate' and is not obligated to adhere to rules of capacity dictated by political opponents.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

@Chuck

As of today my 401k rate of return is 15.04%. In 2016 it was 7.94% I have made no changes to my investments.

Mr Wibble said...

People are tribal. Siding with Trump on issues like the Ball family hijinks will make them more likely to side with him on other issues. These are easy wins that help Trump shore up his support.

rhhardin said...

Trump is having fun. Get the opponent to escalate to saying stuff that nobody agrees with.

Usually the opponent is the press.

readering said...

I thought there were three players involved, unrelated.

jaed said...

My thought also. Players were grateful, dad was an ass.

It should also be mentioned that Trump tweeted graciously when the players said thank you:

"To the three UCLA basketball players I say: You're welcome, go out and give a big Thank You to President Xi Jinping of China who made.....
....your release possible and, HAVE A GREAT LIFE! Be careful, there are many pitfalls on the long and winding road of life!"

So it's not all bitter. He includes some sweet.

rhhardin said...

The idea is to reduce the power of the press, which means the power of the press on women. Our idiot voters.

Richard Dolan said...

1. Your point 1 is true in the abstract, but a bad fit for this incident. In asking the Chinese President for a favor, Trump was not exercising any 'duty of his office,' and he wouldn't have breached any such duty if he had remained silent.

2. Your point 2 asks about what Trump was thinking or intending, and then morphs back to the "duty of his office" idea and asks whether Trump "should" be speaking like this. Yet this is just classic Trump -- nothing new here in that regard. How people react says at least as much about them as it does about Trump. As for "the distribution of favors and singling out individuals as undeserving of the benefits he has the power to provide," you are just complaining about the nature of politics -- that kind of picking and choosing is common when politicians are exercising discretionary power, as here. It would be different if Trump owed a duty to intervene in foreign criminal proceedings. e.g. as he might where there was an obvious attempt to fabricate a case against any American for political reasons. But that's not what happened.

3. Why Trump does this, and what he expects to gain by doing it, is anyone's guess. It's just who this guy is, it's what got him to where he is, and it's very unlikely that he's going to change.

Anonymous said...

1: Saving a bunch of thugs from the legitimate consequences of their actions is not properly part of "the duties of [the President's] office"
2: If this had been Obama, well
A: Obama wouldn't have done anything to help an American. Just ask Otto Warmbier's parent. You can't ask him, because he's dead.
B: If Obama had done something like this, the parents wouldn't have been no-class jerks about it
C: If the parents HAD been no-lass jerks about it, their lives would have been destroyed, with no effort by Obama needed

See "Obama v. the Rodeo Clown"
See "Joe the Plumber"


So, does it bother me that Trump is acting as his own Palace Guard? No. Let me know when every Democrat who went after Joe, or the rodeo clown, has had their life destroyed.

Until then? I know what kind of world I want. But what I demand is a world of reciprocity. There are no "special classes of people", there is no "aristocracy." Anything the Left does to us MUST be done back to them, with interest. They will either return to the rules that a civilized society can survive when applied to all, or we will have escalation after escalation until one side is utterly destroyed.

But I would rather have a Second American Civil War than have an aristocracy of the Left

roesch/voltaire said...

The Tweeter in Chief continues to elevate his office to higher standards of foolish pettiness.

Anonymous said...

Chuck said...

The question arises; why Tweet about such things at all, when it has the rather obvious effect of sucking the air out of the national debate when there are important substantive policy issues to deal with. I think the real thing is obvious; these weird cultural kerfuffles are what Trump knows (he doesn't know policy) and his core supporters (angry, white, middle-aged) love it.


Chuck is, once again, an idiot. Trump is "sucking the air out of the national debate", and thus carrying out a huge regulatory overhaul w/ no effective fight from the Left, because those idiots are wasting time going after his tweets.

Is Trump a self-indulgent, spoiled man-child? Yes.

Is Trump an effective self-indulgent, spoiled man-child, who's accomplishing serious things that make America better?

Also, yes.

Do I wish Ted Cruz was President? Hell yes! But the GOPe, forced to chose between Trump and Cruz, chose Trump. So now they get Trump.

Matthew Sablan said...

"why Tweet about such things at all, when it has the rather obvious effect of sucking the air out of the national debate when there are important substantive policy issues to deal with."

-- See, this presupposes that Trump controls the media. He doesn't. He doesn't have a journolist of people at his beck and call who will tailor the media hits for the next few days and cycles. The only people deciding this tweet is more important than policy decisions are the media people writing about it.

If you have an issue with the air being taken out of national debate, take it up with them. We've seen that they'll do that whether Trump says nothing or anything. We've seen it for literally at least a generation, since I've watched it happen since high school.

Do you think if Trump said nothing we'd get a look at policy, or would we get, "Why isn't Trump saying anything," and endless questions about it, like we got when Trump tried not to say anything about, let's just pick Roy Moore. He delivered a blase statement, and then the media turned it into a news cycle about why he wasn't saying more.

Trump can't win. No matter whether he says something or nothing, the media will spin it to avoid talking about policy. If you want to beat someone for coarsening the national debate, I'd blame the people who buy ink by the barrel and bandwidth by the megabit.

Ken B said...

So Michael K, it seems to me Trump only slammed the dad. He referred to the others but didn't call them ungrateful.

Hagar said...

In the eyes of the Chinese, these three basketball players did not just disgrace themselves, but also right up the chain of everything they are associated with on up to their nationality and race.

Bill Peschel said...

"1. The President should execute the duties of his office to the best of his abilities and not pick and choose depending on who's expressing gratitude."

How should he pick and choose "to the best of his abilities"? By what standard? The worst problem? The one most threatening to American civilization? That would be exposing the crimes of Lois Lerner and rooting out the Obama appointees who are still serving him and not the president? It would be restricting government spending that's devaluing the dollar and causing inflation (in groceries, it's being hidden by shrinking package sizes).

As it's been pointed out, the causes that get the most attention are emotion-based, not fact-based, elevating minor problems over catastrophic problems.

Bill Peschel said...

"we need to ask whether a President should be speaking like this"

Thanks to the Boomers and subsequent softer generations, we have been conditioned to believe that there are no rules (just see how often that phrase is used in marketing). The father used his freedom of speech to say shoplifting is no big thing (I'm assuming he did for the sake of argument).

I'm reminded of a movie we saw a bit of lately called "Get the Loot." It was billed as a comedy about taggers in the inner city. In the first 15 minutes, our heroes shoplift a bunch of spray cans from a local merchant (clearly not a chain store), con a guy distributing marijuana out of a delivery so he could make cash (he wants to tag the Big Apple model at Shea Stadium and gain renown), while one of them has their bike stolen from inside a fenced front yard right in front of two neighbors sitting on the porch of the house she's visiting (one of them brushes her off when asked why she didn't say anything); and one of the heroes catches one of the kids who stole the bike on foot (he didn't have it) and steal his phone in return.

After that, I had to turn it off. There was nothing funny about watching a degraded, morally bankrupt neighborhood, whose social structures had been dismantled thanks to the elites.

And yet, Trump is the one being tagged for saying that shoplifting is bad.

(Added irony: Isn't the dominant narrative all about respecting people in other countries? Does that extend to their beliefs? At least until they believe that shoplifting is punishable with jail, then they can't call for help fast enough.)

(Side note: It's not just the elites who have helped. There's a phrase for it: "Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations." We have become so wealthy that even poor people can get wide-screen TVs. While the black neighborhood in "Get the Loot" were poor, they weren't living in Dickensian England, with real starvation and poorhouses and diseases like typhoid and cholera.)

Darrell said...

In Drudge's Hillary link last Friday, it sounded like Hillary was asking for a do-over for the election due to all the irregularities that have been exposed--according to her. I wonder if they treat that at Weinstein's Arizona clinic.

Bill Peschel said...

Matthew Sabien said: "If you have an issue with the air being taken out of national debate, take it up with them. We've seen that they'll do that whether Trump says nothing or anything. We've seen it for literally at least a generation, since I've watched it happen since high school."

Indeed, just listen to the journalists the next time they talk about why they cover certain stories over others. They make it sound like it's the readers fault. Having worked in newspapers for more than two decades, I can tell you from experience that that's bullshit. Stories are decided by the editors, and I've seen them tell reporters to go out and get the story they want, if they turn in a version that doesn't suit their belief in what the story should be.

Darrell said...

I'm celebrating Nov. 8th as if it were a National holiday. I had my HCWNBPOTUS flag flapping in the wind.

Daytime70s said...

Does the President have the responsibility to entertain his citizens? Ronald Reagan was an entertainer, from the world of acting, and we loved it. Reagan was constantly using humor. Bush tried to use humor, but it fell flat. After the sobering and serious Obama years, it's great to be entertained by a President again. Trump isn't using direct humor, although his tweets are inadvertently funny nevertheless. Using bombast and righteous indignation works every bit as well as direct humor. The left then goes into the expected faux outrage and we, the citizenry, end up with great Theater. 20, 30 years from now, when we're all robots, we will cherish this ---what we'll then thing of as---- nostalgic human absurdity.

Assrat said...

I'm not convinced that getting shoplifters out of jail is a legitimate use of the President's political capital, unless there's something fishy about the case.

And yeah, calling out an ingrate is fair enough.

YoungHegelian said...

@Darrell,

I wonder if they treat that at Weinstein's Arizona clinic.

What has emerged from the various sources since HRC's loss last November is that she is well & truly as mad as a hatter. She, & the people around her, are batshit crazy.

Needless to say, this is not something the MSM likes to discuss. I believe, however, that it's the primary reason that the Dem establishment wants her gone. The fact that she's insane & they knew it all the time reflects badly on them.

Richard Taylor said...

"I'd say bailing out three self entitled idiots and saving them from 10 years in a Chinese jail is pretty presidential."

...and he should shut up about it. He's not going to get reelected and the Republicans are going to lose control of Congress in a year. Sure, his base loves this schtick, but I can't believe most independents are going to continue to let this stuff go.

I mean, I can kind of see going after the MSM, although even there he's going too far. Going after war widows and one of the basketball players' dad is punching waaaaaaaaay down.

Drago said...

Qwinn: "Wherein Chuck basically repeats Hillary's "deplorables" line, and Obama's "bitter clingers"

Indeed!

Once again, DARN IT, lifelong republican and "real conservative" Chuck lurches, "accidentally", into absolutely pitch perfect alignment with far left narratives and talking points.

I mean, gosh darn it, what "bad luck".

Poor Chuck, no one, and I mean NO ONE is more Lifelong-Republican-y than he yet, thru cruel twists and turns of fate he once again, as always, ends up on the far far left wing of the talking points.

I really feel for the guy. I mean, thats the kind of "bad luck" that could really lead someone to conclude things about Chuck that are really, totally, swearsies!, not true about him at all.

Dang it!

YoungHegelian said...

@RT,

Going after war widows and one of the basketball players' dad is punching waaaaaaaaay down.

Well, widows, maybe. But, you see the dad as just one person against the President, & thus a punch down. Trump's supporters see the dad & players as an exemplar of a whole fucked-up subculture that they have to live with on a daily basis, & thus a viable target of reproach.

Drago said...

Daytime70's: "Reagan was constantly using humor."

And Reagan was called a Nazi by the lefties and their LLR allies.
And Reagan was called unstable and stupid by the lefties and their LLR allies.

Hmmmm.

It's almost like a pattern or something...

Darrell said...

Until the MSM does it, Trump will.

Qwinn said...

Richard Taylor: "He's not going to get reelected."

This sounds vaguely familiar somehow. Can't put my finger on it...

"And Republicans are going to lose control of Congress in a year."

Last I checked, Democrats are defending 25 Senate seats (10 of them in states Trump won) and Republicans are defending a total of 8 seats. So... yeah. Gooood luck with that.

n.n said...

Trump doesn't have a diversity bone in his body. He judges people by the content of their character. He treats people as he expects to be treated. The Chinese, and, in fact, many and perhaps most foreign cultures, respect a man of principle. So do Americans, or they did, once.

Chuck said...

Blogger Daytime70s said...
Does the President have the responsibility to entertain his citizens? Ronald Reagan was an entertainer, from the world of acting, and we loved it. Reagan was constantly using humor. Bush tried to use humor, but it fell flat. After the sobering and serious Obama years, it's great to be entertained by a President again. Trump isn't using direct humor, although his tweets are inadvertently funny nevertheless. Using bombast and righteous indignation works every bit as well as direct humor. The left then goes into the expected faux outrage and we, the citizenry, end up with great Theater. 20, 30 years from now, when we're all robots, we will cherish this ---what we'll then thing of as---- nostalgic human absurdity.

Effective proof of what I wrote above. Trump as entertainer. TrumpLand loves this shit. The Rush Limbaugh audience loves it. A sizable part of the Althouse commentariat loves it. All that you need to bring to the argument is your own social prejudice. No substantive knowledge, no policy understanding. Just the collective Id of white working class America.

Trump has made you all perfect "victims" like Jesse Jackson and Gloria Allred have made their constituencies victims. What a bunch of pussies. Blaming the media and some amorphous "establishment." Man up already.

Clyde said...

LaVar Ball is an ingrate and a bad father for not teaching his son that stealing is wrong.

That is all.

Drago said...

LLR Chuckie is now doing his best Cenk Uygur impression!

And he's doing Cenk better than Cenk does Cenk!

Yep, that's how you can tell who the real LLR's are!

n.n said...

Requesting and receiving an allowance for these incarcerated Americans is part of the diplomatic process. This is part and parcel of establishing a working relationship. The only question is what, if anything, was exchanged, other than the establishment of a relationship of equal status.

n.n said...

teaching his son that stealing is wrong

Then the father compounded his error when he belittled an outstretched hand.

Ray said...

First, he forced the basketball players to thank him. This was done through twitter.

Then, the Father of one of them acted as an ingrate.

Trump replied back via Twitter and showed the Father to be a jerk. And continues the positive coverage of Trump's action, which the MSM would rather not cover.

I don't see any negatives on this one.

On the GoldStar Parent, that was an ambush / baited trap by Hillary's campaign, and Trump took the bait. Well played by Hillary.

What was done to the Rodeo Clown I don't like. It was wrong and mean. That was true punching down. Trump has not done anything like that. The Rodeo Clown is still suffering loss of income last I read.

FullMoon said...

Trump has made you all perfect "victims" like Jesse Jackson and Gloria Allred have made their constituencies victims. What a bunch of pussies. Blaming the media and some amorphous "establishment." Man up already.

11/20/17, 11:55 AM


Of all the victims, you cry the loudest and most frequently. BTW, you and all your LLR friends voted for him, right?

Mac McConnell said...

Richard Taylor

At least he's punching.

traditionalguy said...

Trump needs to send the UCLA basketball team to North Korea for a good will visit, but then forget to send the plane to get them back.

Chuck said...

Blogger Drago said...
Daytime70's: "Reagan was constantly using humor."

And Reagan was called a Nazi by the lefties and their LLR allies.
And Reagan was called unstable and stupid by the lefties and their LLR allies.

Name a lifelong Republican who called President Reagan a "Nazi." Do it now, you lying, simpering weasel.

I do know of somebody who effectively published a claim that President Reagan was unstable. That person was fake-author and part-time sex-harasser Bill O'Reilly. George Will was the guy who stood up to that.

Drago said...

Ray: "I don't see any negatives on this one."

This is what is so upsetting to LLR Chuck.

So LLR Chuck digs deep into his bag of Lefty/Dem/MSM/LLR bag of schtick and pulls out the standard Hillary insults of the republican base.

Because...of course he does.

Qwinn said...

Btw, of those 8 Senate seats Republicans are defending in 2018? 6 of them are considered "Safe Republican". The other 2 aee tossups.

So, if Democrats win every single one of the 25 seats they're defending, including all 10 that Trump won, and win both of the tossups that Republicans are defending, that makes for a 50-50 Senate in which Pence casts the deciding votes.

So tell me again exactly how Dems are going to win back the Senate in 2018. Other than shooting our Senators on baseball fields, I mean.

Assrat said...

I liked the bit about "punching down" that Graves used in I, Claudius.

The eagle is a noble bird does not hunt for flies.
If a fly crawls down his throat, too bad for the fly.

Big Mike said...

Thoughts, in no particular order:

Trump uses Twitter because he can reach out directly to the people of the United States without going through media "gatekeepers" who really do make things up, selectively edit his words, deliberately misconstrue what he says (see, e.g., Larry Tribe), and way more often than they are willing to admit, publish things that they should know are untrue with only minimal vetting. It's a powerful weapon so he'd be foolish to give it up. And he's nobody's fool.

It says something about the culture of entitlement for college and professional athletes that the UCLA basketball players seem to have thought that there would be no repercussions from their attempted shoplifting. Very sad that the athletes in question had to be reminded to thank Trump for his intervention. Tactically, I think Trump should have let them be tried and sentenced and limited his intervention to getting the Chinese to let them serve their sentences in American prisons.

Tactically, I think Trump was right to respond to LaVar Ball, but he'd have done better to simply ask whether LaVar would be okay with shipping his son back to China to stand trial.

Trump still needs more discipline in his use of tweets, but I think I see signs that he is developing some discipline. Hope I'm not fooling myself.

YoungHegelian said...

@Chuck,

All that you need to bring to the argument is your own social prejudice. No substantive knowledge, no policy understanding. Just the collective Id of white working class America.

This, in a nutshell, is your foundational delusion. You think that, opposed to the deplorables, there is a cadre of conservatives who know what's what, who get things done.

Chuck, no there's not. Certainly not at the national level, anyway. How long has the Congress been majority Republican? What do conservatives have to show for it? Was there some major victory in foreign affairs under Bush II? Did the Republican Congress stop any of Obama's constitutional abuses? Were any of the miscreants brought to justice in any fashion? Is there even some Renaissance in the world of conservative ideas coming out of all of these over-paid brains?

No, what you have are a bunch of entitled politicians, lobbyists, & wonks who stand around & suck each others dicks & tell each other that it was so big. I live in the DC 'burbs. Some of these organizations are my clients. They are not about the mission. They are about maintaining the organization.

Trump is where he is because the GOP failed in its duties. Until you understand that, the GOP will never move past Trump.

Drago said...

Remember, when LLR Chuck channels the Inner Hillary, it's because he's doing it from a well-spring of Lifelong republican-ness.

grackle said...

Benefit #1 - What Trump did for those kids should have been front-page news and would have been if Obama were in office. Without these tweets much of the public who now know that Trump got the kids out of China would not know what Trump did. Trump’s diplomatic intervention on the kids’ behalf comes under the category of positive Trump news that the MSM routinely smothers – which is what happened initially.

Benefit #2 – So Trump has forced the newswhores to cover the story but Trump also knows that the newswhores will try to give the coverage some type of negative spin. He knows that the MSM can always be counted on to overreach with claims of racism, incompetence, impulsiveness and craziness when faced with a Trump political success. And that obvious overreach contributes to the MSM’s credibility drain, which also helps to inoculate Trump against the lying MSM.

This is why the NeverTrumpers are desperate to stop Trump’s tweets. And this is why the Trump supporters love the tweets.

… we need to ask whether a President should be speaking like this, fooling around with the idea of treating the duties of his office as the distribution of favors and singling out individuals as undeserving of the benefits he has the power to provide.

Meaning I guess that Trump should do all these raw political calculations and maneuvers surreptitiously behind closed doors – just as past Presidents have “traditionally” done. And here I thought everybody was in favor of transparency. Silly me …

Going after war widows …

The war widow attacked Trump. Trump was simply defending himself. Readers, if Trump tweets about an individual it’s always characterized by the anti-Trumpers as an “attack,” but such tweets are usually defenses against unsolicited attacks by these individuals on Trump.

Qwinn said...

Actually, let me put my marker down now. Republicans will have at least 58 Senate seats coming out of the 2018 elections, and a good 75% chance at having 60 seats.

A majority big enough that McCain and the rest of the RINOs won't matter anymore.

Yes, I intend to be the Mick of 2018.

Thorley Winston said...

If a US citizen gets in trouble with the law while they’re in a foreign country, they’re supposed to contact the US consulate for assistance. The US president should not be intervening directly in a routine criminal case and if he’s asking the Chinese president to intercede as a favor, then they’re going to expect one in return. President Trump just indebted himself and by extension the United states to the Chinese government for a couple of shoplifters.

Drago said...

"A majority big enough that McCain and the rest of the RINOs won't matter anymore."

I believe that majority won't be big enough to overcome LLR Chuck's beloved Rino's who will continue to deliver at least 9 votes into the "gosh darn it, I just can't support this republican legislation so we'll just have to continue along with the "left-wing" ratchet legislation...." camp.

Qwinn said...

Btw, the above senate electoral math is why I am totally patient on all matters right now. Anything like Obamacare repeal, the wall, etc. That gets passed right now is going to be useless and horrible due to all the "compromise" that McCain and his LLR superfriends will insist on, so I'd rather NONE of them pass or are even voted on until 2018. Let Trump do what he can before that, like deregulation and judges... which is exactly what he is doing. Perfect by me.

YoungHegelian said...

@Qwinn,

Yes, I intend to be the Mick of 2018.

Ohhhhh, that's some mighty big shoes to fill, Mr. Qwinn!

Drago said...

Qwinn: "Yes, I intend to be the Mick of 2018"

LLR Chuck intends to be the Rachel Maddow of 2018, which would be..er....quite similar in fact to what he was in 2016.

Let's hope his and Rachels sourpuss expressions from 2016 can be recreated next year!

buwaya said...

"The US president should not be intervening directly in a routine criminal case and if he’s asking the Chinese president to intercede as a favor, then they’re going to expect one in return. President Trump just indebted himself and by extension the United states to the Chinese government for a couple of shoplifters. "

This is how sausage is made, in diplomacy as in legislation.
We don't know what went on behind the scenes, especially for the Chinese.
I suspect the Chinese themselves were embarrassed by this, they don't want bad press in the US at the moment. What their reasoning is, here, is obscure, but probably is mostly a matter of Chinese internal politics. They want something out of Trump, for sure, as they have shown through their five-star treatment of the visit. They don't want a lingering controversy over some American semi-celebrities.

Who did a favor for whom, in this case, is difficult to say. I suspect its in the form of a lagniappe on some other deal. Which is also a Chinese custom.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Trump is where he is because the GOP failed in its duties

But, but, but FREE TRADE!

When you are screwing over your voters, and the people who used to be your voters, for the purpose of increasing your wealth, power, and privilege, looking down on them as lazy and deplorable helps sooth your conscience.

I remember way back before the housing bust, arguing with somebody online about illegal immigration. This guy was all for open borders because he used illegal immigrants to build houses. It would probably be more accurate to say he exploited them (remember when there were TV movies decrying the exploitation of migrant workers from Mexico.) I pointed out that what he was doing was reducing wages for trades people. Too damn bad he said, they should all just be general contractors like him and hire (exploit) some Mexicans. I'm pretty sure that guy voted for Hillary. I'm positive he wouldn't have voted for Trump.

Yancey Ward said...

Trump is trolling the left again, and it is working again. He is fucking brilliant at this, but let's not forget it was Ball that opened this up, not Trump. Some on the left tried to claim that Trump was falling for Ball's trolling, but Ball wasn't trolling- he was being completely sincere in his original tweet- he didn't think the crime was a big deal (in the US, it isn't any longer), and it really did bother him that his son owed Trump some thanks for getting him and his teammates out of a jam. There are situations where you just say "Thank you," and keep your trap shut because not doing so makes you look small and stupid- Ball couldn't do that.

buwaya said...

"If a US citizen gets in trouble with the law while they’re in a foreign country, they’re supposed to contact the US consulate for assistance. "

In most countries where a US citizen is likely to get into serious trouble - well, the US State Department is not all that good at doing something about it, as per underground tales. In most countries the rule of law is rather flexible and the most effective means are far too unofficial and irregular, usually, to suit that lot.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

By the way, uplifting people morally really isn't in a politicians job description. Politicians are supposed to advocate for the interests of their constituents. Just thought I would throw that out there.

Yancey Ward said...

And it is always Trump's political enemies who are claiming that Trump shouldn't be tweeting this and that- always. That should tell you something about Trump's tweets if you have an IQ over body temperature.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

@buwaya

Saw a news article the other day about a British woman who was in jail for bringing prescription pain medication to her husband in Egypt. She had been there a couple of months and her court dates kept being cancelled. Having spent some time in countries where the rule of law was flexible, my first thought was that the family had hired a local lawyer that didn't have the contacts they needed or they didn't have sufficient bribe money. Or both.

William said...

The Balls are a remarkably unsympathetic family. The father has a business selling sneakers for $395. That's offensive right there. You would think that the son of such a rapacious capitalist would have sufficient funds to obviate the need for shoplifting, but apparently not.....There are a lot of things wrong about the Balls, but the coverage I've seen is far more negative to Trump. This has the effect not of making me think less of Trump but rather thinking less of the media.

Rabel said...

The director of the Chinese FBI viewed video evidence of the three UCLA students stuffing designer sunglasses and other luxury goods down their pants at three different stores and determined that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. He denied any political interference in the decision.

wendybar said...

If it were Obama who got those boys out, the Media and the left would be having a parade for him Since they hate President Trump, he has to toot his own horn, and I for one love that he is putting them in their place instead of letting himself get bashed all the time. The father is an ungrateful ass teaching his kid to be a disrespectful Thief....The kid will probably end up in prison.

Chuck said...

Blogger grackle said...
...
...

This is why the NeverTrumpers are desperate to stop Trump’s tweets. And this is why the Trump supporters love the tweets.

More proof -- explicit proof -- of my original point that TrumpWorld loves this stuff.

Althouse, your only mistake with this post was assuming that all of your readers were as careful in their thinking and as rational as you have been in your response. And maybe you made no mistake at all. Maybe you know your current readership well enough to know that they'd reject any criticism of The Don.

Drago said...

I think LLR Chuck is late for a date with his compatriots to scream at the moon.

MadisonMan said...

I thought there were three players involved, unrelated.

Correct. One of the players, though, is the middle brother of 3, one of whom is in the NBA. The Dad of those three is a moron who seeks publicity because reasons.

grackle said...

More proof -- explicit proof -- of my original point that TrumpWorld loves this stuff.

Of course we love the tweets. Who said we didn’t? This is an assertion desperately searching for a point, a variation of the straw man argument.

Drago said...

Terms never used by LLR Chuck: "HillaryWorld", "LeftistWorld", "BernieWorld", "MSMWorld", "AntifaWorld", "FrankenWorld", "MSNBCWorld", "CNNWorld", etc.

We all understand precisely why that is.

Precisely.

Explicitly.

Ramesees Ram said...

As with all things Trump, the responses to what he Tweets are more illuminating than what he Tweets. Trump is reflecting an attitude that a lot of people have regarding a particular situation. He's provoking discussions all across America.

Is that presidential? If not, should it be presidential? Should the role of the president be someone who stakes a position in a provocative way in order to get citizens to think about a given issue?


I think Nonapod got it right ^. Obama inserted himself in various situations where he felt an advantage in pushing a particular narrative. So did Bill Clinton. Bush did not and look how far that got him.

Bully pulpit can mean many different things - doesn't always have to be to push HR Bill 465-IA through. And Trump understands that politics is downstream of culture. We have to win the culture back in order to get political stuff done.

Known Unknown said...

" wish we had an even-tempered, statesmanlike president who had someone else, maybe a press secretary, to act as his bulldog, on Twitter duty. We don't always get what we wish for."

That would never work. It never has. The bulldog has to be the top dog in this system with the press the way it is.

buwaya said...

As for Singapore -

Thats a different world vs mainland China.
The Singaporeans have an entirely different set of issues re internal politics.
They went to great lengths to create a disciplined society, and besides that they have (less so now though) the usual post-colonial chip on the shoulder. The political cost of accommodating US wishes for the sake of some white kid - for no benefit the US could have or would have given them at the time, the Cold War being over and the New World Order in full swing - well, why?

buwaya said...

The Michael Fay episode, btw, had some echoes of "Bonfire of the Vanities", in Singapore. They had a "great white defendant".

n.n said...

Singapore... the usual post-colonial chip on the shoulder... They had a "great white defendant".

A cathartic moment? And now they feel comfortable as a people among equals?

Jim at said...

Since when is it the President's job to spring thieves out of jail in other countries?

It isn't.

Jim at said...

On the other hand, I'm grateful Trump didn't trade five, hardened terrorists for them.

That's a step up from prior 'presidential' negotiations.

rehajm said...

What Trump did for those kids should have been front-page news and would have been if Obama were in office.

Celebrating Obama spiking the basketball!

buwaya said...

"A cathartic moment? And now they feel comfortable as a people among equals?"

Not much of one. The chip is melting away as new generations see fewer and fewer Europeans wielding power. The founders of Singapore, nearly all dead now, answered to a British Governor General and were excluded from the Raffles bar.

Howard said...

More Trump virtue signalling to his racist base by putting those negro thieves in their place for the uppity father.

Assrat said...

>More Trump virtue signalling to his racist base by putting those negro thieves in their place for the uppity father.

I'd feel guilty if the Negros involved were not, in fact, thieves.

Drago said...

Howard: "More Trump virtue signalling to his racist base by putting those negro thieves in their place for the uppity father."

LOL

China is just full of Bull Connors!

Howard thinks its inappropriate to treat the idiot father of shoplifters (who definitely knew better) the way the left routinely treats the Clarence Thomas/Thomas Sowells etc of the world.

Thanks Howard. I wasn't expecting such a humorous take in this thread, but you delivered. Next up, Howard castigates Trump voters for appropriating collard greens and other delicious food!

Drago said...

BTW, has anyone seen my Sons of the Confederacy t-shirt? Maybe it's hangin' out on the wash line between my still and my wash basin!

Drago said...

Howard, some day I'll relay a funny anecdote about a chance encounter I had with some of those Sons of the Confederacy fellas up on Lookout Mountain in Georgia about 10 years ago.

I was wearing some Navy gear and I had to patiently explain to these guys how it was exactly I was living there yet my parents were from the northeast and I had grown up on the West Coast and I had relatives who fought for the North so it was unlikely that I represented a "solid" recruit target.

Drago said...

Of course, my Lookout Mountain experience wasn't much different than my bouncing around the public basketball courts the Bay Area of CA in the predominately "not so very white" areas where we lived.

Folks is folks.

Drago said...

Egads Howard, I just saw that Scarborough was saying the same thing about racism that you are and he said if first!

By the "Howard Rule of Unfortunate Timing", that kind of makes you just a copy and paster.

jr565 said...

Trump really went above and beyond to get those kids out of harms way. Most presidents would actually let them face the punishment. As guy who came back from Korea in a coma can attest. Obama didn't pull him out of the fire as it were. Trump got him back but by the the damage was done.
Normally, I'd say president should hold his tongue and not wade into politician convo by offering an opinion about how people should view his policies. But the father of athletes who trump just slammed was SUCH an ingrate I actually am quite ok with trump guilting his response.

To the dad: He got your son out of a Chinese prison, you ingrate. You could be spending Christmas appealing to embassy about how your son is in hellish conditions, but instead your son is home with you. And your son Was stealing stuff. So, if
Chinese did make an example of him was within their rights to do so. So, be thankful that trump stepped up and got your son out of harms way. You complete ass hole!

buwaya said...

"China is just full of Bull Connors!"

Maybe that's not far from the truth.

Worse, maybe. The Bull Connors of the Old South had ancient knowledge of black people, and there was a social system in place to limit friction. This was an unfair system to be sure, but a survivable one. Black people in China, are, for now, an exotic and transient group of foreigners. But if you do get a permanent black population in a place with Chinese as the class with power, not mediated by white people, the results will be unpredictable.

YoungHegelian said...

@Buwaya,

That brings up another question: did no one in charge of the UCLA team sit the players down before they went to China & say, as bluntly as possible, "Guys, China's a whole different world, okay? They don't care much for foreigners & they really don't care much for us n*****s. So, be cool, & stay not only out of trouble but even away from the looks of trouble".

If the team management did, then those players need to e put to sleep to keep them out of the gene pool. If it didn't, then they, too, deserve some blame for this fiasco. They know what they're dealing with here.

My wife & I once had a French exchange student stay with us. Her trip before coming to the US was to China. Her take-- "It's hard to believe that two countries as different as the USA & China exist on the same planet.".

Paul said...

I'm 100 percent with Trump. If that trash wants to say lies about how they got out of China (not to mention being petty thieves)then Trump can say his peace. No reason he as to stand there while others lie.

Char Char Binks said...

'That brings up another question: did no one in charge of the UCLA team sit the players down before they went to China & say, as bluntly as possible, "Guys, China's a whole different world, okay? They don't care much for foreigners & they really don't care much for us n*****s. So, be cool, & stay not only out of trouble but even away from the looks of trouble".'

It's no surprise that college-age Negroes would need to be told that stealing is illegal and/or wrong, or something to that effect in a way that would be more comprehensible to them.

Howard said...

Drago: I have to make a deep felt apology to you. For all this time, I thought you were Airforce, the horror.

Howard said...

Drago, I lived in Cherokee County (at the head of the trail of tears) for about 5 years in the late 80's to early 90's. It was an open secret that all the top men of government were in the Klan. That said, there are more racists in California than all of Dixie.

Howard said...

Also, I get spoonfed Morning Joe talking points from Mika over pillow-talk in my dreams.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Howard said...
More Trump virtue signalling to his racist base by putting those negro thieves in their place for the uppity father."

Yep. They're 3 saintly Tom Robinsons, they are.

In the liberal mind, it's forever Alabama in 1935.

Drago said...

Howard: "Drago: I have to make a deep felt apology to you. For all this time, I thought you were Airforce, the horror."

Howard?!

You have wounded me deeply mi amigo. You owe me a beer for that one!

Drago said...

Howard: "Drago, I lived in Cherokee County (at the head of the trail of tears) for about 5 years in the late 80's to early 90's. It was an open secret that all the top men of government were in the Klan. That said, there are more racists in California than all of Dixie"

When we first relocated to Southern California from Central CA I first became aware of this dude named Tom Metzger. That was one weird dude, but he was all about the "coat and tie" tactic.

I had to deal with all the commie teachers in the schools and idiots like that outside of school. All I wanted was decent lumpia and a chance to hit the beaches once in awhile!

Unknown said...

Twitter, Trump's bully pulpit (TTBP).

Howard said...

Wednesday: If those kids were so evil, why did Trump intervene? If Trump is so mature and presidential, why is he tweeting in response to the worst male-sport example of a stage mom? Remember, not every Trump supporter is a racist, but every racist is a Trump supporter. He knows how to keep his peeps jacked.

Howard said...

Coors light?

Khesanh 0802 said...

I am completely in agreement with jr565's comments at 2:18.

Michael K said...

Blogger Howard said...
More Trump virtue signalling to his racist base by putting those negro thieves in their place for the uppity father.


I can only hope you go to China some day and pull some of your dumb comments in public.

Besides, you are mixing metaphors. "Virtue Signaling "to racists ?

Come on Howard, where did you do go to school, "Alabama ?

donald said...

There’s a great kid playing for the Spurs right this minute named Brandon Paul. A one time state of Illinois high school Mr Basketball, he went on to 4 years at Illinois, 3 years as their starting point guard. He went on to classic journeyman status and the caught on with San Antonio this year. His dad is Clifton Paul a shipmate of mine on the Ranger who was huge. extremely uncoordinated and one of the sharpest, wisest people I ever met. And well, I’ll just say, the man pulled in about $450.00 per month and SLAYED, not that that’s important here. Cliff did 20 years and is currently a cop in a Chicago suburb and gets pretty decent screen time in some cop network tv show. One of the best guys I knew back then and somebody Lavar Ball needs to hire to teach him how to be an adult.

FIDO said...

Wow! How amazing is it that a man loses a contest of being couth with DONALD TRUMP?

The Left is correct to point out how unpopular Our Favorite President is.

What they fail to mention is that, in comparison, they continue to look even worse.

FIDO said...

Well, these sports people who get in trouble overseas like the NBA or the NFL on these goodwill tours can essentially, thanks to these asshats, forget the idea of any help or clemency from POTUS or State in getting them released.

They had best behave like choirboys when they are 'over there'.

But then again, how likely is that?

wwww said...

Is that presidential? If not, should it be presidential? Should the role of the president be someone who stakes a position in a provocative way in order to get citizens to think about a given issue?


1) no 2) no 3) no

When dealing with foreign policy, the President is the Commander-in-Chief and Head-of-State. His job is to represent the USA to the world. It's not in the interests of the USA to suggest that the communist jail system of a dictatorship is a equal system to that of the USA.

The USA is in a competition for values. The USA is attempting to convince the world that our Republic, a representative democracy, with a economic system of capitalism is superior to that of a dictatorship and communist party. Trump does not seem to understand his role in promoting capitalism or democracy to the world.

This Dad would not be news or publicized at all if Trump hadn't tweeted. Alas, the Presidential Tweet is a official statement of the Office of the Head-of-State. So it gets publicized internationally. The world sees a President using his official office to get into a squabble with a random citizen. The most powerful man and he most powerful nation-state has time for this? It makes the Presidency look small. Not a good look for the USA.

wwww said...



For everyone who grew up during the cold war -- I don't understand why you don't get that the President needs to represent. China's GDP is huge and growing. The rest of the world is watching. It's not pre-determined that areas of the world won't move towards Chinese style-authoritarian/ communist style systems.

Been wondering if too many baby boomers are all YOLO, this is FUN, nihilism yea baby!! and don't seem to care about foreign policy or domestic policy or anything but domestic partisan politics. Like, yeah Trump had a great tweet! it was a sick burn, look at the libtards cry. Who cares how this looks to the world YOLO! ENTERTAIN US!

exiledonmainstreet said...

Howard said...
Wednesday: If those kids were so evil, why did Trump intervene?"

Jeez, when did I say they were "evil?" Charles Manson was evil. Mugabe is evil. Those kids are just 3 dumb jocks, entitled kids who didn't understand that they do things a bit differently in China than they do in LA. They did shoplift, and not because they were stealing break for their starving mothers.

Trump intervened because - well, perhaps he felt sorry for those dumb kids and felt 10 years in a Chinese prison for doing something stupid was a bit much. If Trump is such a racist why did he bother with them? Do you think Trump knew beforehand that the asshole father is incapable of gratitude and would tweet out a stupid, snotty comment so Trump could then reply back in a way that "pleases his base?" That's a bit ridiculous.

Trump did something kind, and Trump being Trump, wanted to be publicly thanked for it. (And not just because Trump was being Trump, but because the media would never him credit for doing anything kind, especially for a black person.) Instead the father gave him the finger, although his son would be still sitting in a Chinese prison if Trump had done nothing. The dad isn't "uppity" - he's an ingrate who can't summon enough graciousness to thank a president he despises for doing a good thing. And Trump pushes back when he's insulted.

I think if the kids and dad were white and did the same thing, Trump would have had exactly the same reaction. Race has f all to do with any of it, except in your head because you WANT to see racism.

And if Trump had done nothing to get those kids out of jail, you would be saying he ignored them - because of racism. Of course. Of course.

There is nothing Trump can do that you would find praiseworthy. As I said the other day, if Trump cured cancer, you'd blame him for putting oncologists out of work.

Howard said...

Wednesday: It's all about the Optics. It's precious you believe Trump did it out of the kindness of his heart. Don't lose that.

Howard said...

Doc Mike: Fun watching you failing to keep up. Nice try, Grandpa, but the party on your lawn never ends. You have decisively earned the Althouse participation trophy.

Howard said...

Weds: Trump needs to accomplish something first. I do appreciate how well he did health care reform. I recall saying at the time he sabotaged it to save the republicans from themselves.

Kevin said...

Trump used his political capital to get them out - the same political capital that could also have gone to stopping North Korea, getting a better trade deal, or ensuring freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

For the father to realize that, but then to fail to acknowledge the entire incident is prevented by his son being a decent human being who doesn't steal, is beyond the pale.

The Twitter response was not only appropriate, it was tame.

YoungHegelian said...

@Howard,

I recall saying at the time he sabotaged it to save the republicans from themselves.

Well, yes, & that little detail where he had to abide by a district court ruling that the disbursement of payments by the federal gov to the insurers by executive fiat & without congressional mandate was unconstitutional.

But after 8 years of Obama, it's easy to see abiding by constitutional checks & balances as being a fairly trivial concern of the executive branch.

Francisco D said...

Thank you, Donald.

We all need a dose of real life every now and then.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Howard said...
Wednesday: It's all about the Optics."

Of course it's about optics. Everything pols do is about optics. That doesn't mean it is necessarily ONLY about optics.

Of course, like I said, you will never give Trump credit for anything good. I'm sure you won't lose that.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Howard said...
Weds: Trump needs to accomplish something first."

Keystone Pipeline. Cutting regulations. Unemployment down. Successful Asian trip (unlike Obama's beta male cowering and apologizing.)

So far so good. He would have accomplished more if boneheaded judges and boneheaded Congressmen would let him.

Gospace said...

buwaya said...
It works for the Chinese.
They are used to the exercise of power according to the whim of the leader. The state is not a friend, this is ingrained. Even so, leaders are judged by their benevolence, notwithstanding their impunity.
These things are seen as personal transactions, not official ones.
Trump offers respect for the legitimacy of their laws, that this was not a light matter, which is important to a culture with a very large chip on the shoulder.
He complains of ingratitude, which is a personal fault, and legitimately so in China.


Out of all the comments on this, this one stands out as making the most sense. Chinese culture and government expectations are different then American culture and government expectations. I read a long time that the Chinese understand U.S. elections as controlled revolution. They see each president as a different government. We view our government as continuous since the nation's founding. They're entirely different worldviews, and I think we're more capable of understanding the Chinese worldview then the Chinese are of understanding ours.

Unknown said...

The father's a douche by any standard. he deserves a good punking.

Howard said...

Keystone II you mean is not in the ground yet.

What regulations have been cut and what has changed? 14 Obama rules which allows crazies to buy guns, allows federal contractors to hide wrong-doing and allows for defunding Planned Parenthood. No real regulations have been cut yet.

The carrying on of the Obama economy does look good, but real wage growth still stagnant. Wall Street happy, but Main Street still fed empty promises.

No deals with China in place yet.

Obama appointed 329 federal judges. So far Trump has 14. He needs to pick up the pace to reach Beta-Male status.

Nothing on infrastructure.

I'll grant that he has not gone for military adventurism, so that's a plus.

He does a great job of convincing his fans he is winning and is also great at upsetting his opponents into hysteria and on their heels.

Michael K said...

They're entirely different worldviews, and I think we're more capable of understanding the Chinese worldview then the Chinese are of understanding ours.

The Chinese understand Trump and he understands them better than any US president since WWII.

It would help to read Clavell's "Tai Pan " and "Noble House."

Howard said...

Mike K: expect Nixon who completely changed the world by his opening to China. Nice recommendation, though. I usually read novels to confirm my own bias.

gadfly said...

All we know about any conversation (if it indeed happened) between Trump and the Chinese President comes from Donald and his staff. as USA Today reported:

But regardless of what happened, the three players embarrassed both UCLA and the Pac-12. They supposedly caused President Donald Trump to spend time pleading their case when he could have been talking with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping about, oh, I don’t know, North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and the threat they [the Norks] pose to the rest of the world.

If that doesn’t warrant at least a handful of games on the bench, I don’t know what does.
There’s no guarantee UCLA and Bruins coach Steve Alford will do the right thing, however. Not when there’s another Ball [92 Points-per-game LaMelo] still left to suit up for the Bruins.


There is only so much time in a day, which requires wall-to-wall watching of "Fox & Friends" in order to measure who loves Donald and who does not, and of course, the time devoted to reading Twitter and then the inordinate amounts of time devoted to sending out Tweets laced with adolescent comments.

pacwest said...

"Should the role of the president be someone who stakes a position in a provocative way in order to get citizens to think about a given issue?"

Hell yes! I can't think of anything better for a democracy than an 'informed' involved citizenry. I support President Trump's attacks on biased media for that reason. I don't need to hear about him stubbing his toe 24/7.

"When dealing with foreign policy, the President is the Commander-in-Chief and Head-of-State. His job is to represent the USA to the world. It's not in the interests of the USA to suggest that the communist jail system of a dictatorship is a equal system to that of the USA."

How did he do that?? He did just the opposite. If they were equal why not let the players stay in China for they're crimes? He 'rescued' them for a reason.

"The USA is in a competition for values."

-with other countries that have their own values cultures and histories.

"The USA is attempting to convince the world that our Republic, a representative democracy, with a economic system of capitalism is superior to that of a dictatorship and communist party."

Oh, I think that has been proven many times over. Japan, China, others have adapted capitalism, much culture and ideology from Western Civilization of which America is at the peak for the time being. You are not going to ram American democracy down China and Russia's thoat. Chinese are proud of their country, and Mother Russia.

"Trump does not seem to understand his role in promoting capitalism or democracy to the world."

We are not trading beads anymore. The proof is in the pudding. China and Russia have their own interests, but friendly business dealings are possible with entities with different interests. IMO this is what Trump is promoting where he can.

"This Dad would not be news"

Well maybe less news. What are you going to do? Trump's an idiot.