Friday, June 1, 2018

What Happened To Civility? TRUMP!

"'Roseanne' was not canceled because it is mean or HORRIBLE to compare a black person to n ape (though it is both of those things). It was canceled because it carries the weight of past horrors and current atrocities - because comparing a black person to an ape nods to an historically rooted yet increasingly emboldened far right movement whose chosen figurehead - Donald Trump -is the president of the United States.

Because it is our collective responsibility not to let that movement win, to fight to be a better country and right now cultural power is all we have. ...Canceling 'Roseanne' is not society regulating 'mean speech'; it is regulating our collective morality so we don't atrophy into a moral vacuum."  

- Lindy West, NY Times. June 1, p. A23.

It's truly laughable to behold all the Righties now in high dudgeon and overcome by self-righteous fervor after Samantha Bee's little 48 second riff on Ivanka Trump on TBS.  These goddamned hypocrites are intent on making a case for a "double standard" despite Bee delivering one scripted word (part of her team's effort) as opposed to randomly spewing racial hate in tweets like Roseanne Barr.   To me,  the monologues comedians use as vehicles of outrage -such as Michelle Wolf's and now Samantha Bee's-   are no biggies because they are expressing vehement disdain at a totally corrupt and gangster administration that not only flouts norms, but laws,  as it enriches itself while it makes fools of a backward, gullible base. Just look at the trade war the Dotard has begun. Do any of his groupies really believe it won't affect them, their lives?  Look at the drastic limitations of H2B visas which are impacting businesses adversely across the country. To the point it will jeopardize economic growth, and the life quality of Dotard's base.

Getting back to Samantha Bee, she was expressing righteous anger and outrage at the Trump border policy of ripping small children from their migrant parents and separating them - then dispatching the kids to often cold, distant facilities.

Bee delivered her statement with the poster 'Migrant Kids' in the background and said:

"Tearing children away from their parents is so evil,  it's the inciting incident in almost every movie we've ever cared about  You know, Ivanka, that's a beautiful photo of you and your child, but let me just say, one mother to another, do something about your father's disgusting immigration practices,  you feckless c***!"

Outrageous? Yeah, ok, maybe. But understandable in context, and as CNN's Peggy Drexler has pointed out:

"Bee is not Barr — she is not spewing random and racist, anti-Semitic, conspiracy-theory views over years on Twitter, as Barr  has, and often in the service of supporting the President's policies. Nor, let's be honest, are we living in a time of particularly polite discourse. . It's important, too, to remember that Bee is a comedian known for delivering a standup monologue which, like that of other comedians, often uses outrageous, boundary-pushing and, to some, offensive comedy to make strong points about politics. "

The point here is to distinguish vulgarity from overt racism such as Barr delivered. Also, to process that Barr just tweeted her foul racist hits on Valerie Jarrett out of the blue, because the little racist demon nestled in her lizard brain prompted it. Meanwhile, Bee was reacting to a genuine abomination which has already seen 658 kids ripped from their parents' arms at the border because the degenerate Trump cabal want to punish migrants for even attempting to come here.

Indeed, before accepting an award last night for her show 'Full Frontal', Bee made the following point regarding how the comment would be received: 
"We spent the day wrestling with the repercussions of one bad word, when we all should have spent the day incensed that as a nation we are wrenching children from their parents."

Spot on and accurate!  But typical now when perceptions and processing of events have fallen down a rabbit hole thanks to the traitor and tyrant fouling the highest office in the land. Who should be setting the best tone, but is defecating on civility and norms with each tweet literally and setting the worst. Those who are aghast and against this perfidy may go overboard at times, like Bee, Michelle Wolf and even yours truly, but our visceral, vehemence ought to be grasped in context. Not made the orphan example of some ludicrous existence of a "double standard" by the same despicables who applaud Trump's policies.

Let us agree then that one of the roles of a President is to project decorum and respect for this office, and from this office to the world - and to his fellow citizens.  But over the past 16 months of the Trump occupation he has done exactly the opposite.  From spewing the most verminous, atrocious lies, such as blaming Dems for the separation of kids from parents at the border - to attacking the very rule of law by undermining his own Dept. of Justice. The latter has included not only ginning up fake issues like "spygate" - which even House oversight committee chair Trey Gowdy now concedes  is spurious - to granting mock pardons outside the brief and policies of the DOJ.   With every move we see a fell gangster in office, who needs to be removed in the most expeditious way possible, and hopefully soon - before this nation falls into total civil disorder, never mind a constitutional crisis (which I believe is ongoing) 

Sadly, Peggy Drexler's point that we will now be mostly consumed by one bad word that Bee used in a spasm of rage, instead of on the odious immigration policy, is coming to pass.  But this is understandable given we have never been a people known for judiciously weighing actions and the ultimate  import of issues.  Often letting them be clouded or trumped by trivial distractions.  

The warning last night from a number of pundits (E.g. Jill Wine-Banks, Matthew Miller)  that our democracy is being weakened by those at the top should not be taken lightly. Every lie they spew, every vile policy they enact and enforce, and every attack made on the rule of law - including Trump's specious "pardons" -  is another nail in the coffin of our Republic. In the case of the latter, as Lawrence Tribe, David Corn, Matt Miller and others have warned, Trump is "discrediting this institution of his own government"  and his issuance of these pardons is a "complete perversion of the pardon process".  The combined effect of which is to delegitimize one branch of government - his own. This is given he's using these pardons to "punish prosecutors who brought the original cases" against the convicted and admitted culprits. (Dinesh D'Souza, for example, already admitted wrongdoing.)

Since civility will be in greater regress if democracy fails, there must be payback for the Trumpies' actions. The desire to move toward civility - while worthy in itself- cannot be used as a smokescreen (or bludgeon)  to inhibit or prevent robust outrage or protest when and where it's justified, such as in the case of these draconian immigration practices - which cross the line into proto-Nazism.

Those who rue the absence of civility and decency ought to have thought hard about those virtues before electing Trump, the antithesis of both.  As we've been reminded by blogger Roy Edelson about Trump's behavior during the campaign, e.g.

"In Burlington,, Vermont, Trump ordered his security personnel to 'Throw them out into the cold.  Don’t give them their coats. No coats! Confiscate their coats. 

In Las Vegas, Nevada, he told the crowd, 'I’d like to punch him in the face” and reminisced about earlier days when demonstrators would be “carried out on stretchers.”

 Carried out on stretchers.  Just like our nation is about to be now.
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Darrin Rychlak said...

Spot on analysis. Calling a spade a spaded is what good comedy does. Bee should not apologize for trying to tell the matter how unpleasant that truth is.

I think this is the foundation of Mueller's report to Congress suggesting charges / impeachment:

The moment Trump's advisers showed up at Trump Tower to get dirt on Clinton from Russian agents to sway the election, that was collusion. That was conspiracy against the USA.
The moment Trump authored the adoption cover story to conceal that collusion, he became a co-conspirator against the USA.

Those are the facts and it is a clumsy attempt by Team Trump to float the news of Trump's admission that he authored the cover story so that when Mueller does nail him for it, they'll call it 'old news' hoping for victory in the court of public opinion.

Here's the account restated by Jonathan Chait

"Trump’s campaign was holding secret meetings with Russians who wanted to help his campaign. The FBI warned Trump about Russian campaign infiltration. Trump did not tell the FBI about the secret meetings his campaign held, and publicly dismissed their conclusions about Russia’s intentions. And now his position is that this is the FBI’s fault for failing to warn him."

Copernicus said...

Nice summary by Mr, Chait, thanks!