Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Trump's Appointment Of Extremist Fruitcake Bannon Warrants Alarm Bells For Sane Americans

Image result for stephen bannon
Let us agree at the outset that, logically,  a President Elect's staff appointments signal how he plans to act in governance. If those appointments - say to White House staff and key cabinet posts (Defense Secretary, Secretary of State) - are moderate,  then one can reasonably expect a moderate governance. But  the opposite is true with Trump, after an extremist  bomb thrower like Stephen K. Bannon  the former head of Breitbart News, was  hired (as Chief "Strategist") .   So given that an anti-Semitic, racist hate monger is now steps from the Oval Office, we must assume that Office is now contaminated, captured by proto-Nazis and pro-Confederate KKK'ers.

Hell, don't take my word. Hear what former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke said of Bannon’s hire;

I think that’s excellent,”

And then the chairman of the American Nazi Party exulted,

"Perhaps The Donald IS for ‘REAL’. Time will tell."

To cap it off, white supremacist Jared Taylor cheered Bannon’s hire, saying he suspected Bannon will serve as an “anti-waffler” to "maintain Trump’s ideological and racial purity."  Say what? So, uh, he is a clone of Adolf after all.

Little wonder that all sensible people have reacted vociferously, unwilling to wait until this jackal actually muddies the carpets of the People's House, never mind Obama's conciliatory remarks which disappointed supporters.  But others were not so averse. Civil rights groups, senior Democrats and some Republican strategists have assailed Trump, saying that Bannon will bring anti-Semitic, nationalist and racist views to the West Wing.  This is not an exaggeration and people - though they may aspire for national unity - cannot so easily resign themselves to "making the abnormal normal" in the words of John Oliver last Sunday night.  (One thing that will be intolerable over a Trump administration is the media making the "abnormal normal" including being too squeamish or PC to call Bannon a Neo-Nazi or white supremacist. As for me, I am not the least bit diffident about it.)

For reference, former Breitbart editor  Ben Shapiro resigned from the website in March calling it a "cesspool for white supremacist meme makers". John Weaver, who served as strategist for John Kasich's campaign also shamed the media for using the vanilla term "alt Right" trying to normalize this racist, fanatic extremist bunch. Incredibly, some confused Trumpies have insisted there is also an "alt Left", but if so, I'd like to know exactly where their big website is and who is espousing left wing nationalism on a par with's right wing nationalism. But false equivalence appears to be a common disease these days, especially among the deluded and desperate. As an indication of that, they cite Clinton's turning away from the Keystone pipeline as "bad science" when in fact her move was the first toward GOOD science she made (given she'd been a heavy fracker backer), see e.g.

Back to John Weaver, not a leftie by any means. He delivered this stark warning to a nation with too many political sleepwalkers:

"The racist fascist extreme Right is represented foot steps from the Oval Office. Be very vigiliant, America"

And lest fellow citizens forget, let's bear in mind "eternal vigilance is the price of freedom". Would that the German people had been more aware of that before Hitler disposed of their liberties with the Enabling Act.

Even Glenn Beck called Bannon "quite possibly the most dangerous guy in all of American politics" Strong words, and coming from a guy that used to inhabit Reich Kooksville.

Then there is Trump former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, who saw no problem and even defended Bannon in brief remarks to reporters in New York, describing him as the “general of this campaign” and saying that “people should look at the full résumé.”

And what, pray tell, is in the full resume?  According to Conway:

He has got a Harvard business degree. He’s a naval officer. He has success in entertainment,”

Which merely shows that a Harvard education provides no guarantee one will not end up a loopy, extremist twit with his investment a costly waste.

Conway also denied that Mr. Bannon had a connection to right-wing nationalists or that he would bring those views to the White House.  She barked in indignation:  “I’m personally offended that you think I would manage a campaign where that would be one of the going philosophies,”.  But truth and reality is a bitch.

Bannon's own take is even more choice, as he spun this PR gem yesterday:

"These people are patriots. They love their country. They just want their country taken care of.”

Ah yes, by sending all the "Spics" back to Mexico, the "kikes" back to Israel, the "ragheads" to Guantanamo (for water boarding) and the "black apes" back to Africa. And so Marine Le Pen, head of the extreme right Nationalist Front in France, said she "welcomed" Bannon's invitation to cooperate and talk strategy. This, by the way, effectively shows that Trump has made the White House the focal point of white power nationalism and  extremism in the world. Not to mention the fact he's already appointed a holocaust denier (Joseph Schmitz) as foreign affairs advisor.  (See the followup post).

In the wake of this political maelstrom, the Council on American-Islamic Relations  has rightly said the selection of Bannon “sends the disturbing message that anti-Muslim conspiracy theories and white nationalist ideology will be welcome in the White House.” That view was also echoed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups. The SPLC didn't mince words in saying  Trump “should rescind this hire.”

Meanwhile, The Denver Post in its editorial yesterday ('Alt Right Choice Is Not All Right') delivered this broadside and warning, underscoring Weaver's:

"The alt-Right will celebrate Bannon's appointment. The rest of America should be extremely concerned and vigilant. A figure like Bannon closely advising an American President is in no way normal or acceptable."

Indeed, it highlights the worries of former Bush security official Michael Chertoff who four  weeks ago declared Trump lacked the proper judgment to be chief executive. And what works for a corporate shill brander doesn't work as governance or leadership for a nation. The Post in its editorial decried Trump's decision not to disavow the alt Right and Bannon as "reckless" adding that it "gives voice and legitimacy to an ugly corner of American political thought".

If Trump did rescind Bannon's appointment, it might show he at least partially means what he's said about it being "time to come together as one united people."  Also saying:

"I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans. And this is so important to me. For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I'm reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so we can work together and unify our great country."

Well, a nice speech. But if you really want to be "president for all Americans" you have to reject those who hate most Americans as being "other" or uh, too brown or black in skin tone.. Right now, with the likes of Jeff Sessions and other hard right fanatics leading Trump's transition (even doing a "Stalinesque" purge of Christie and his picks) we are well on the way to a fucked up. nutso extremist, toxic  executive branch. This will be evidently run by a crass, clueless pussy grabber and a right hand man who dabbles in extremist conspiracy theories and racist homage.

The deluded voters who chose Trump, believing they will now live better lives,  get better jobs and finally experience "real freedom", could do themselves a favor by checking out Milton Mayer’s classic, They Thought They Were FreeIt's about how the Germans who chose Adolf Hitler came to rue their decision and bitterly as their nation was later swept into mass destruction and international rebuke.

They might also wish to check out Martin Wolf's Financial Times piece ('Donald Trump's False Promises To His Supporters') e.g.

Buckle your seat belts because the D.C. shit storm is just beginning.

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