Monday, August 14, 2017

Response to The Job at Hand

(See: Just Above Sunset: The Job at Hand)

In a classic case of “Man Bites Dog”, we now see the elephants sweeping up after the man with the shovel, who can’t seem to figure out what to do with all the poopy he keeps leaving behind himself.

Here’s how E.J. Dionne puts it:
Advisers to the president tried to clean up after this moral failure, putting out a statement Sunday morning – attributed to no one – declaring that “of course” his condemnation of violence “includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi and all extremist groups.” 
But if that “of course” is sincere, why didn’t Trump say these things in the first place? And why hang on to the president’s inexcusable moral equivalence by adding that phrase “and all extremist groups”?
Not to mention the fact that Trump apparently couldn’t bring himself to tell us this himself, in his own words, maybe because he’s reluctant to ever admit he did something that needs clarification — for fear of messaging “weakness” — but probably also because he wants deniability to all his alt-supporters.

I also can’t help but wonder if the flaming rebukes Trump has received from his fellow Republicans, Lyin’ Ted Cruz and Little Marco Rubio, concerning his response, might be the result of both ex-candidates feeling that there might be no real price to pay for payback — which, in itself, is a sign that his scorched-earth, tough-guy, bullying approach during the primaries may not have been such a good idea after all, especially when it comes to trying to build the coalition he would later need to lean on, to get things done during his presidency.

Oh, well, at least America can chalk that up to just another "rooky mistake". Next time, we'll know not to elect an amateur.

By the way, this incident should also serve as a reminder of what Hillary Clinton was talking about when she alluded to much of Trump’s support coming from a “basket of deplorables”:
”You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? (Laughter/applause)

The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it. And unfortunately, there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people — now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric. Now, some of those folks — they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America. But the other basket ... that other basket of people are people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they're just desperate for change.

It doesn't really even matter where it comes from. They don't buy everything he says, but he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different. They won't wake up and see their jobs disappear, lose a kid to heroin, feel like they're in a dead-end. Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well.
Back then, many Trump supporters chose to misinterpret that “deplorables” comment as referring to all Trump voters, but it didn’t; she was talking about all the haters, the racists, the white-supremacists, the extremist vermin who now felt liberated enough by Trump’s candidacy to come out of hiding from the American fringes, to declare for Trump. He has pretended to not see them standing there behind him, but we know he knows they’re there because of the obvious care he takes not to say anything to offend them.

Something else new in all of this is that, never do I remember in the past our ever having to demand the same level of specificity from our president in statements of lamentation they've had to make following a tragedy. I think the closest we’ve come is in the complaints from many on the right after Barrack Obama observed that he imagined Trevon Martin as being the son he never had, during his comments after that Zimmerman guy murdered him.

But other than that — or at least as I remember it — we’ve never expected our president to take sides in a violent clash between political demonstrators.

Why is that?

Maybe because, back then, we could also assume that we all knew which side was the good guys and which the bad. It doesn’t speak well for the Donald Trump era, much less for the man himself, that even those on the right are demanding he clarify where he himself stands on the deplorables spectrum.

No comments:

Post a Comment

(No trolls, please! As a rule of thumb, don't get any nastier in your comments than I do in my posts. Thanks.)