Truth isn’t truth, but We’re all living in Reality TV Now – 3 Observations and a Conclusion

September 9, 2018 at 9:53 pm (Uncategorized)

It’s hard to keep up with the Trump train…This is the third time I’ve started this piece, and each time, new stuff gets added as the world gets crazier. Just this week, Bob Woodward’s book and the anonymous op-ed in the New York Times flare briefly on the horizon, displacing all of the previous news on Trump. Some of the stuff in this post is old. But, if it doesn’t go now, it never will, because something else will appear tomorrow.

I was in a conversation with friends recently, and we all bemoaned the fact that we were unable to escape from the Trump phenomena (short of living in a cave I suppose, and even then I’m not entirely sure you’d be safe). Apart from What Not to Wear and Canada’s Worst Driver, I’ve never really watched reality TV. Survivor, the Bachelor, Jersey Shore, the Apprentice, and all the rest passed me by. But with Trump’s election, it’s become impossible to ignore: The world feels like an episode of a particularly horrifying reality TV show. Heroes and villains all. But stay tuned for next week’s atrocity as, in an effort to juice ratings, the appears sooner and sooner.

I. The Omarosa Follies

What was it Jimmy Kimmel said: , there’s a vicious, lying, treacherous reality TV star, and on the other side there’s Omarosa. I still have no desire to read her book, but I’ll make three observations about that now fading story:

  1. Given that Trump and Omarosa are seemingly pathological liars, it’s impossible to know which of them to disbelieve.
  2. Do we really need the existence of an audio tape to know whether or not Trump uses the N-word and is a racist?
  3. When the tape does appear, and it will, watch for Republicans to shrug with greater or lesser degrees of discomfort, say that’s how people talk, and see Trump’s population among his base increase.

II. Double Tap: Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen

With all the talk last week of “rats,”  not being able to “break”Manafort, and “flipping,” I briefly considered that it wasn’t reality TV I was living in, it was an episode of The Sopranos. The take-away lines from this one, are the pro-Trump juror who said of Manafort, “I wanted him to be innocent, but he wasn’t” (ouch!), and Trump tweeting that Cohen had pleaded guilty to things that weren’t even crimes (thus displaying an masterful ignorance of how capitalist “justice”  works – people are often charged with crimes they didn’t commit, but rearely things which aren’t actually crimes). Manafort’s tax crimes do precede his work with Trump, but Cohen’s violation of election spending rules and his implication of Trump hit closer to home, but they are merely indications of what lies ahead.

III The Death of John McCain

John McCain was a right-wing Republican, who among his sins brought Sarah Palin to national prominence. He was an opportunist, but one who had not entirely surrendered all of his principles to the complete venality that is the Republican party. The seeming canonization of McCain ( former presidents George W Bush and Barack Obama will speak at his funeral) is no doubt due to his record as a good and loyal servant, but  also that he absolutely loathed Trump.  The feeling was mutual of course: Trump’s vetoing of a statement which described McCain as a hero in favour of a bland tweet, and the pettiness over lowering of the flag to mark McCain’s passing show the essential smallness, classlessness of Trump. Still, for once Trump as probably not the most thoughtless (The perfunctory note of condolences on Twitter addressed to the family without really an appraisal of McCain as weak but his Instagram did further undermine even that gesture by posting the same words with a picture of Trump looking on. “Donnie, it’s not about you.” . No, that dubious award belongs to Kellie Ward who argued that the announcement that McCain was ending his treatment was deliberately timed to draw attention away from her bus tour to promote her senate race efforts. No Kelly sweetie, it’s really not not about you. (Is it just me, or does she remind other people  of Senator Helen Brucker, the demon-possessed member of the Circle of the Black Thorn on Angel?) Oddly enough, even after this grotesque self-absorption, Ward is still not the most vile person in that race. No, that honour goes to Joe Arpaio. such is the quality of candidates for political office these days.(Although his weak finish almost gives some hope of common sense)

Where do we go to my lovely?  

It’s hard to know where the division in the U.S. ruling class will lead. The Democrats and their allies loathe Trump, with a pathological dislike that almost as strong as the Republicans loathing of them.  The split in in the U.S. ruling class between those who hate Trump and those who, well, put up with him because despite his boorish, racist, corrupt, petty nature (or possibly in some cases because of it) seems to characterize the entire range of political dialogue in the country. It’s particularly strange given the fact that the twin parties of U.S. capital so long -operated with a largely bi-partisan arrangement.

Trump way well be displaced. Given the laziness of the thuggish corrupt business practices with which Trump and his associates have operated for decades (Manafort and Cohen were so lazy in committing their corruptions it reportedly wasn’t that difficult to ensnare them), it would seem likely a smoking guns is just waiting for Robert Muller. Still, in the event that scenario does occur, will the hyper-partisanship of U.S. politics prevent further cooperation or will a third forth emerge as possible alternative?

 

 

 

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