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  • in reply to: The Swamp Swallowed Trump #68096

    “Wow, all that after all you have contributed to the discussion is three (3) posts, and the last one an ad hominem gaslight at that?!?”

    I tend to be a big believer in quality not quantity. I used to contribute a lot more. Ive been following this blog for about a decade.

    I am amused with your choice of the word “gaslighting.” Gaslighting is make public pronouncements about cheating that occurred and then having your lawyers file court briefings that don’t support your baseless claims. Gaslighting involves having your won-loss record in court across a very wide ideological spread of judges being 1-60 and yet pressing forward with the claim that you were cheated out of an election. Gaslighting means bungling a response to a pandemic so badly that serious questions exist to the extent which the federal government is even useful, and yet still expecting that an overwhelming victory is yours. (Actually, the latter is also a delusion)..

    Democrats and Republicans have for decades engaged in kabuki theater while the quality of life of most Americans have sharply declined. I agree that the U.S. has staged many coups which the media haven’t called coups, but this attempted coup–attempted inside the tent of a live circus–has had about as many casualties as others. Both parties share equal blame for the rise of Trump and the events of the Capitol which now have killed five people.

    While I agree with a handful of the things Trump has done during his Presidency, there’s a certain point where reflexively defending him while saying “I don’t approve of his actions” just doesn’t cut it any more. Resist, Inc. has caused many people to justifiably leave the Democrat fold, which is fine–I stopped calling myself a Democrat in the mid-90s. But if said people become apologetics for Trump’s excesses, then the Deep State loves you too. The Deep State loves all of this.

    in reply to: The Swamp Swallowed Trump #68042

    You know, I have always shared your disdain for the DNC and the HRC wing of the Democratic Party. I have found the McCarthyite Russia-baiting to be grotesque, but not atypical for someone who started her political career as a Goldwater Girl. I share your fear that Joe Biden and Tom Perez will use the moment to find a way to make calling out election manipulation to be unthinkable if not illegal–even though voter suppression has been standard operating procedure for both parties. And I agree that a class of elites that I refer to as the “gulliberals” will cheer on greater censorship that marginalizes everything except the neoliberal order.

    With that being said, I think you all have lost it. You are making Statler and Waldorf–the old men who always heckled the Muppet Show–look actually clever and intelligent by comparison. You have bent over backwards so much to register your (largely well-deserved) disdain for the Democratic Party, that you have drunk the Cult-45 Kool-Aid hook line and sinker.

    As incoherent as the Capitol raiders were, (and there’s a hilarious Honkey Kong meme circulating involving the idiots that climbed the Capital walls) we are damn lucky that a large portion of the Legislative Branch of the United States wasn’t massacred in a hail of bullets and bombs. There were people very ready and prepared to do just that, with assistance from many Capitol Keystone Cops waving them in (though others were defending the Capitol and one lost his life). While some people were traipsing around enacting their own LARP fantasies in Viking and Roman costumes, others had pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails, and a truck outside manufacturing explosives on demand. Yet you brush this aside as if it were no consequence.

    It appears that the ideological spectrum on TAE has narrowed considerably as independent thinkers abandon this blog. I am now one of them, and am removing my website’s link to your website. TAE appears now to stand for Trogdolytes Accelerating Ennui. Maybe the swamp is in fact swallowing Trump, but it appears that Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is rendering TAE to become a useless limb of an otherwise vital movement.

    You were a great blog once, but no more. Your echo chamber is as tone-deaf as that of the DNC’s.

    in reply to: A Tale of Two Cummings #48975

    I agree with the main point you make, which is that blind criticism of Trump defeats the purpose. Many examples abound, from Adam Schiff’s inane attack on Trump for calling off the attack on Iran to the Democrats trotting out Mueller yet again, the same official who insisted in 2002 that Iraq had WMDs. The DNC has increased tensions with Russia and continued to an increased the risk of nuclear war, all to divert tension from cheating in the primaries, and a glaring conflict of interest when Hillary was running the DNC from Brooklyn while she herself was a candidate. This behavior, combined with the scapegoating of Julian Assange and continued support for the surveillance state, is as reprehensible as anything the Republican Party has done.

    That being said, Raul, I think you overreact to legitimate criticisms of Trump. The racism is real. I, more than most people, should be angry at false accusations of racism because the “r” word was thrown at me when I complained about drug dealing in my own apartment building–forcing me to move. Yet, since the Nixon administration, the racist “dog whistle” has been employed dozens of times by Republicans and many Democrats to justify policies that erode the quality of life for millions regardless of race. From Bush Sr.’s Willie Horton ads to mass incarceration from Biden’s crime bill, to the “shithole countries” that Trump references, politicians have used racial innuendo instead of actual racist statements as a political tool to stoke feelings of racism that people still have, while providing political cover for the politician claiming they are not racist.

    Trump himself has alternated between the dog whistle and the bullhorn–the bullhorn being explicit racist statements that, for example, say that Mexican immigrants are murderers, rapists, and drug smugglers. In doing so, he has encouraged acts of violence as evidenced by race-based physical attacks whose perpetrators cite Trump as an inspiration.

    The attack on Elijah Cummings and the city of Baltimore is a perfect example of dog-whistle racism. Cummings, as a Congressman, has little influence on the well being of Baltimore citizens. Life there is probably as ugly as Trump says, but whose fault is that? Baltimore is 63.7% Black, and one common tactic used against such cities is to blame its citizens for the conditions, when it very well may be poverty, lack of sustainable paying jobs, racism and other factors. You don’t know what causes it, and Trump’s not smart enough to know or care what causes it, but at the end of the, the unspoken message is that “these black people cannot govern themselves.” Essentially, Baltimore joins the list of “shithole countries.” Furthermore, the full statement was an effort to compare Baltimore to the conditions at the border, when he said “As proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded. Cumming District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”

    Raul, you’ve done an amazing job educating me about the EU’s treatment of refugees. I find it notable that I haven’t heard as much about it recently, and Italy’s role in it when they are governed by a coalition of the Northern League and the Five Star movement, the latter of which you’ve praised in the past (and admittedly, I don’t know to what extent Five Star has a role in Italy’s current refugee policy, if any). For you to be more silent about the refugees on the US border than you had been about the EU’s treatment simply doesn’t make sense. It’s true that Trump is essentially building on what Presidents Clinton and Obama started (with Obama earning the nickname “Deporter-in-Chief”), but it’s also true that under Trump, conditions have reached a new level of inhumanity that needs to be spoken against.

    I am a big fan of this blog and have learned a lot, but I have to wonder if your defenses of Trump are themselves an overreaction to the hypocrisy, corruption, and anti-democratic nature of the so-called Democratic Party. The DNC, MSNBC, and people who reflexively put down everything Trump says or does deserve to be called out, but there is, at the same time, good reason to be worried about the precedents that Trump is setting.

    Thank you for this blog and all the good work you continue to do.

    in reply to: Fire With Fire #32309

    If you believe everything Trump says, I have some stock in one his failed casinos to sell you.

    He says that he wants to abolish nuclear weapons but is currently talking about accelerating the arms race his predecessor started. He says he wants to fight the elites but he’s appointing some of the worst ones to his Cabinet.

    He wants to block the inflow of refugees and commit mass deportations of “illegal immigrants”, even though many of the immigrants are economic and political refugees from countries in free trade agreements in the U.S. or, in the case of Honduras, chaos driven to the U.S. by the U.S. support for a coup there. You are right to lambast Europe for their treatment of refugees, but you should take a look at the detention centers for immigrants in the U.S. and the way that breaking up families has become acceptable. Obama was the deporter-in-chief and now Trump wants to build up on that.

    Granted, Trump’s policy towards Russia has a certain degree of sanity towards it compared to the Democrats (ironic that Obama joked, “the 80’s called, they want their foreign policy back” to mock Mitt Romney’s outdated world views). NATO should have been disbanded in 1993. Yes, the TPP is dead, thank goodness. But just as Obama followed through on his promise to renegotiate NAFTA by introducing the TPP, it’s not hard to see the possibility that Trump will replace the TPP with something worse.

    Yes, the Democratic Party is flailing like a cocaine-addicted octopus out of water and good riddance as far as I’m concerned. But as (presumably) a white man in Europe, you might have a hard time understanding what it is like to have people in your government who openly hate you if you are a person of color or LGBT. You should be appalled that Trump is a climate denier at a time when looming environmental disaster threatens the human race and life as we know it.

    There’s nothing wrong with bringing up the positive aspects of a Trump presidency but you undermine yourself by ignoring the negative side. Trying to erase it by saying “Really, I’m no fan of his” doesn’t elevate your credibility on this issue.

    I’ve been following the Automatic Earth for a few years and have appreciated the insights your blog has had to offer. But your Trump cheerleading looks like a tabloid page inserted into The Guardian–out of place and well beneath you..

    I urge you to take a closer and more critical look at Trump.

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