eclipsed from the public eye

Jesus suffering fuck. I’m old enough to remember when the New York Times editorial page was thoughtful and intelligent. I had to cancel my NYT subscription three or four years ago because it had become very much NOT thoughtful and intelligent. But every so often somebody will say, “Greg, old sock, take a look at this” and so I will take a look at it.

This is an actual sentence written by two actual people–Peter Baker and Michael Shear–who are PAID by NYT to write sentences:

The tale of two presidents on this spring afternoon, one quietly focused on technology policy, the other having his fingerprints taken, underscored the unique challenge that has confronted Mr. Biden since taking office more than two years ago. 

Okay, first there’s only ONE president at a time. I know this is quibbling, but these guys earn their living writing stuff, so we can legit quibble the fuck out of them. You got one president and one bullying jackass who used to be president. Get it right.

Second, Baker and Shear have somehow decided that President Uncle Joe, by NOT being fingerprinted after being arrested on 34 felony counts, faces ‘a unique challenge.’ What IS that challenge? It’s…and I swear I am not making this up…it’s that Biden is being “eclipsed in the public eye” by Comrade Trump. That’s like saying a nice sunny afternoon is being eclipsed in the public eye by an EF5 tornado. Baker and Shear seem to think that President Biden spending yesterday discussing policy issues involving artificial intelligence instead of being booked by NYPD for multiple felonies is a problem FOR BIDEN. That’s so massively stupid that the term ‘stupid’ isn’t sufficient to describe it.

Here’s another sentence from that same news ‘analysis’:

The White House made no effort to compete for attention with the arrest of a former president. 

Read that sentence twice. They’re saying the White House didn’t even TRY to wrangle the public eye away from a former POTUS doing a modified perp walk. As if Uncle Joe had somehow failed because he wasn’t standing on a stage waving his normal-sized hands and shouting, “HEY, LOOK AT ME!”. These guys are experienced White House correspondents; you’d think they’d understand President Uncle Joe wouldn’t even want to distract the public from this image.

Comrade Trump after being booked, on his way to being arraigned for 34 felonies.

Just look at that sad-ass, pouty motherfucker. Baker and Shear are apparently among those folks who believe these indictments (and the coming indictments) will somehow benefit Trump, that being charged with multiple felonies in multiple state and federal jurisdictions will lift Trump into the White House in 2024. I don’t know how to explain to these people that being formally accused of committing lots of crimes IS A BAD THING.

It’s a bad thing even for Comrade Trump. There aren’t going to be folks who think, “Man, I was going to vote for Democrats…but THEN THEY INDICTED TRUMP!!!” These indictments aren’t going to bring him any sympathy voters, they won’t bring him any NEW followers. The only people energized by this are folks who already support him, that solid carbon block of fascists and fuckwits who are convinced that being an arrogant asshole is an asset. They don’t care how many laws he’s accused of smashing, so long as he’s openly cruel to minorities and women and LGBTQ folks and those peculiar Christians who think Jesus wanted folks to love each other.

Here is a True Thing: most people can’t stand Comrade Donald Trump. Not just most people in the US; most people on the entire fucking globe. We KNOW him. We’ve dealt with bullying jackasses like him all our lives. The ONLY reason Trump has any political power at all is because twenty or thirty years ago the GOP began tapping into the bullying jackass demographic and succeeded in getting local bullying jackasses into positions of local authority. They’ve slowly rebuilt their party–from the ground up–into the party of bullying jackasses. Local bullying jackasses managed to change local laws making it easier for other bullying jackasses to get elected.

And pundits like Peter Baker and Michael Shear have helped them by shifting the emphasis away from being a bullying jackass to the ‘unique challenge’ of earnest candidates who are being ‘eclipsed from the public eye’ by…well, by pundits like Peter Baker and Michael Shear.

not concerned

I actually have appointments and things scheduled today, which is a rarity. But I wanted to say one thing about Comrade Trump’s indictment(s). No, that’s not true; there are a LOT of things I want to say about it, but I’m going to restrain myself because of all that appointment stuff. This is what I want to say:

I’m not concerned that the indictment(s) will spark violence.

I say that for a couple of reasons. First, this is happening in Manhattan. Trump is not generally popular in New York City. There will likely be angry people who show up in front of Trump Tower or at the DA’s office and raise a fuss, but it’s highly unlikely there’ll be any sort of serious violent confrontation. This isn’t like DC on January 6th. Even if MAGA fuckwits wanted to pull something on that order, the urban geography isn’t in their favor. It’s easier for police to kettle protesters in city streets. And the logistics of a large scale protest are a lot more daunting; MAGA fuckwits would have to arrange travel to NYC, and find a place to stay (hotels in NYC aren’t cheap), and figure out the subway system, and they’d have to do it quickly (unlike 1/6, in which Trump gave them plenty of notice). Large scale violence just isn’t as feasible in these circumstances.

Second, this is about money paid to a porn star to prevent her from exposing the fact that Trump cheated on his third wife who’d just delivered their baby. It’s a lot harder for MAGA fuckwits to justify violence and a possible jail sentence to support a president’s right to betray his marriage and pay hush money to porn stars. It’s a lot harder for conservative Christians to support violence to help a serial philanderer’s attempt to cover up yet another sexual affair. The┬áLord┬átrieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth and all that. (If I have to quote the Bible, I’ll always go with the King James version; it rumbles so well.)

The arrest we’ve all been waiting for.

Had any of the other crimes for which Trump is being investigated issued the first set of indictments, I’d be more concerned about violence. Those crimes are a lot more serious. Paying off porn stars is just tacky and sleazy.

And now I think of it, there’s a third reason large scale violence is unlikely. Trump has admitted he did it. He may deny (while not under oath) that he had sex with Stormy Daniels, but he’s admitted he paid her off. He has justified it as a business expense; cheaper to pay her off than to sue her for libel. It’s a variation of the What Happens in Vegas defense.

I could be wrong, of course. I mean, I was absolutely certain there was no way Trump would ever be elected president, so my track record is questionable. My assumption that there won’t be any large scale violence as a result of the indictment(s) may just be wishful thinking. Nonetheless, I find it hard to believe that there will be enough outrage even among hardcore MAGA fuckwits to get them to visit New York City and engage in street violence to defend Trump’s right to hand out cash to porn stars to keep them quiet about his sordid habit of cheating on his multiple wives.

in a new york minute

Look, even the question is stupid. But I keep hearing it. “Could being indicted and arrested actually HELP Trump?”

No.

It’s really that simple. Sure, assuming it happens (and yes, I am assuming it will–and it’s to be hoped it’ll be today because I’ve got my money on today, 22 March, as Indictment Day), it’ll piss off people who already support Trump. Will it suddenly make other voters slap their foreheads and exclaim, “I can NOT believe the government indicted a former president for paying hush money to a moderately successful porn actress to prevent her from talking about their sexual liaison, so now I will absolutely vote for Trump!”

No, it won’t.

Comrade Former-President Donald J. Trump behaving as expected.

There will undoubtedly be some protests by MAGA-hat wearing dolts. There will be an absurd number of news media filming these protests as if the protests are the important story, and they’ll interview the same dozen or so TrumpFlag-wrapped tuna-heads, who’ll repeat the same rancid bullshit. They may even find some guy so desperate for attention that he’ll proclaim he’d give his life for a man who cheated on his third wife shortly after she’d given birth to his fifth child by three different women. But will that translate into more votes in the 2024 election?

Nope.

Trump, of course, has encouraged his followers to protest his arrest (when it happens). He wants his people out on the streets being loud and aggressive. Not necessarily loud and aggressive toward anybody or anything in particular–just loud and aggressive in a generally intimidating way. My guess is he’s hoping there will be some sort of assault on some US institution, just as there was against the US Capitol on January 6th. Because that was an indication of his power. Trump is probably feeling weak right now, and I suspect he’d happily have his people set fire to a courthouse just for that boost in his own self-importance. But his people have seen what happened to the 1/6 insurrectionists. Are there many people willing to act out and risk going to prison just to protest Trump’s right to privacy about an extramarital relationship with porn star?

Naw.

To me, this seems pretty obvious. And yet the New York Times is still reporting idiotic shit like this: “[H]ow he responds to this moment could determine whether he continues to stabilize his standing as the Republican presidential front-runner.” We KNOW how he’ll respond to this. Everybody knows how he’ll respond. He’ll respond to this the same way he responds to everything. He’ll lie. He’ll throw a tantrum. He’ll blame everybody but himself. He’ll threaten. He’ll try to get his supporters to terrorize his detractors. He’ll insult everybody who doesn’t support him. He’ll be the same Comrade Donald Fucking Trump he’s always been. Will it make a difference in his standing in the GOP?

No. No, it won’t.

The Republican Party has fucked itself. They’ve demonstrated they no longer stand for anything, they no longer believe in anything, they no longer respect anything but power. They’ve doused themselves in gasoline and given Trump a cheap-ass BIC lighter. Now they can only hope he won’t burn them all down. Will he?

Yes. Yes, he will. In a fucking New York minute.