Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Donald Trump Is The Most Honest Man In Politics



Yes, Donald Trump is a serial liar who lays on nonstop Conservative bullshit with a fire hose.  Yes, he is the loudest, shiniest freak at the wingnut goat rodeo.  And, yes, he is living out Newt Gingrich's dream of being the...
  • Advocate of American fascism
  • Definer of American fascism
  • Teacher of the rules of American fascism
  • Arouser of those who form American fascism
  • Organizer of the pro-American fascist activists
  • Leader (possibly) of the American fascist forces
But by at least one measure -- his open contempt for the political press -- Donald Trump drops more barrel bombs of truth into the American political system than any other candidate running this year, because he understands the political media better and needs them less than any other candidate running this year.

At this point you should go now and read this "Gone Full Driftglass" article from Vox ("The real reason the media is rising up against Donald Trump") with will explain it all in vivid and engaging detail.

I'll wait.



Welcome back!

To catch you up. the core thesis of the Vox article you may or may not have just slipped away to read was this:
Their trepidation has less to do with the fact of Trump lying than with the way he lies. They don't mind being properly lied to; it's all part of the game. What they cannot countenance is being rendered irrelevant. Trump is not kissing the ring. He barely bothers to spin the media. He does not need them, or give two shits what centrist pundits think. Their disapproval only strengthens him. Media gatekeepers are in danger of being exposed as impotent bystanders.
Trump understands what we Liberal bloggers have long understood -- that the Beltway media gatekeepers are not guardians of the truth or the integrity of journalism, but are instead the deeply corrupt priesthood of the American political system, who live large off the awesome and terrible power of a Holy Fraud which they themselves have invented.

Extravagantly rewarded, deeply inbred, openly contemptuous of the people it is supposed to serve and as thoroughly rotten as Catholic Church at the time of Martin Luther, the Beltway media has used the one power it actually has -- control of the "respectable" teevee cameras, editorial pages and radio stations  -- to enforce its baroque Both Siderist parody of actual journalism.

For as long as candidates and public figures have depended on the clowns who control the cameras, the high priests of the Beltway media have been able to position themselves as the indispensable intermediaries between The People and those seeking to fleece The People.  For decades, they have been the absolute arbiters of Seriousness and Sin and the dispensers of excommunication and expiation.  Play their game, follow their Both Siderist rituals --
This is the part played by the conservative network of think tanks and media outlets — to provide a "side" to back any conservative claim, so there are always two. That way, the media feels safe sticking to "he said, she said." It's a comfy arrangement.
-- and make the appropriate sacrifices --
...Lies about policy are fine; lies about trivial, personal, or easily verifiable claims are not.

The media has been cowed from making any judgments about policy, which is why Jeb Bush can claim he'll create 4 percent growth by fiat and not become a laughingstock. Every Republican candidate who has put out a tax plan has relied on a whole series of fantastical judgments about the ability of regressive tax cuts to spur economic growth, but Chuck Todd hasn't denounced them as liars.
-- and, as the highly successful careers of lifelong lying sociopaths like Newt Gingrich and craven frauds like David Brooks have shown, the kingdoms of the world can be yours:
Even as its power erodes, though, the rituals and habits of insider political media remain, a kind of polite fiction, one that politicians pay respect to by participating. There has been a kind of fragile detente. A certain style of lying has become more or less acceptable, as long as it follows unspoken rules.
But if you defy the Holy Church of Centrism, break the Both Siderist commandment and refuse to keep the Sunday Shows sacred, you are marginalized, ignored, cast into the irrelevant wilderness of (shudder) occasional MSNBC Saturday morning Liberal ballast guest appearances or (horrors!) blogging.

For decades, the Holy Church of Centrism has maintained its hold on power by capitulating more and more openly to the barbarians -- acceding to the whims of the Genuinely Insane Right by playing them off against an Imaginary Unreasonable Left through a series of more and more transparently ludicrous false equivalences. The whole, unholy contraption only holds together by an unspoken agreement among the primates of the church to never call attention to the absurdity of the bullshit they all must sling every day to keep up the charade...and to never, ever give the microphone to anyone who may point out that their empire is a sham and its petty emperors have no clothes.

This depraved collusion between a political party which has become ever more openly fascistic and a Beltway media which has become ever more committed to pretending it isn't happening has provided the perfect opening for someone like Trump to walk right into the main cathedrals of the Holy Church of Centrism, dick-slap its archbishops in the face, and dare them to call him out over it.

Trump is from money and fame and media, so he is not awed by the wealth and trappings of the Holy Church of Centrism.  He understands that beneath the lights and makeup and costumes, it's just another whorehouse plying the world's oldest profession: providing it's clientele with titillating fantasies in exchange for money.   And broadly speaking there is nothing wrong with that profession: an honest sex worker providing a needed service at a fair price is no less honorable a honest carpenter, or baker or author.

But it is a world where everyone is playing a role that depends on the temporary suspension of disbelief.   After the clients are gone, everyone understands that Chantelle the Naughty Nurse, Margueritte the Submissive Librarian and Joe the Stud, go back to being Diane the single mom, Julie the student trying to work her way through a marketing degree at the University of Illinois, and Ernie the kinda schlubby divorced guy who works at Allstate and gets lonely sometimes.

The difference is, after the lights go on and the janitors roll their cleaning carts in at the Holy Church of Centrism, everyone goes right on pretending that Chuck Todd is a Serious Journalist, that Bill Kristol is a Brilliant Thinker and that David Brooks is a Wise Conservative Public Intellectual.  

And they have gotten away with it too, for far, far too long.

But comes now Donald Trump, a man who knows both teevee and prostitution intimately, and knows that every time NBC or CNN or Fox points a camera in his direction, he is generating revenue and ratings for Comcast, Time/Warner or News Corp.

He's the one putting money in everyone else's pockets, which means he is the customer.  And per ancient whorehouse protocol, as a paying customer who is raining money in every direction, he is entitled to be treated with deference and respect.  His jokes are to be laughed at. His wild lies are to indulged.  He is entitled to blow in telephonic-booty-calls whenever he feels like it and stuff a fistful of metaphorical Grover Clevelands into Chuck Todd's Speedo and tell him to shake his moneymakers.

Of course, if a client gets too wild and destructive, it is also ancient whorehouse protocol that the proprietor of the establishment can throw the rude bastard out on his ass.  Ban them for life, or until the learn some goddamn manners.

Ah, but that would require taking sides. That would require articulating some kind of objective standards of conduct which Trump and Trump alone has transgressed. Which would, in turn, violate the Prime Directive of the Holy Church of Centrism:
Thus the dilemma. The old-guard political media has always seen itself as a disinterested referee. But what they confront now is aggressive, unapologetic nonsense, piped up from a nationalist, ethnocentric, revanchist conservative base through the mouth of one Donald J. Trump. He is forcing them to choose sides, to accept his bare assertions and make a mockery of their purported allegiance to accuracy ... or to call him out and, in the eyes of his supporters, formally align against him.
For months now, at event after event, Trump has pointed to the serried ranks of network news cameras and explained quite explicitly that the only reason they are here -- the only reason all those red lights are blinking -- is because of ratings. 

Because Trump is putting money in their pockets.

Trump knows the high priests of the Holy Church of Centrism for what they are, and mercilessly names and shames them in ways no one but a handful of disreputable Liberal bloggers have ever dared to do.

And in that one, specific sense, he is currently the most honest man in politics.

13 comments:

Barry Mauer said...

"that to the up to the Conservative madness and transparent corruption."

That makes almost as much sense as a Donald Trump speech!

driftglass said...

Rogue sentence fragment removed

Unknown said...

During Trump's latest, ongoing geyser eruption of lies and open racism, I was afraid our friend Ron "Severe Dementia" Fournier's head might explode from the strain of figuring out how to fit the Trump experience into his tried and true "Both Sides do it but Obama can't leeeeaaaaad and is therefore to blame" template.

I was wrong to worry. Turns out it's the lack of leadership in both parties that gave us Trump. So, Ron's usual dementia-addled lament, but inverted. What a relief.

Neo Tuxedo said...

David Roberts:

Thus the dilemma. The old-guard political media has always seen itself as a disinterested referee. But what they confront now is aggressive, unapologetic nonsense, piped up from a nationalist, ethnocentric, revanchist conservative base through the mouth of one Donald J. Trump. He is forcing them to choose sides, to accept his bare assertions and make a mockery of their purported allegiance to accuracy ... or to call him out and, in the eyes of his supporters, formally align against him.

The conceptual space for neutrality has all but disappeared. Media outlets are being forced to take sides, and facing the grim possibility that even if they do, they have no power to affect the outcome. Their twin idols — objectivity and influence — are being exposed as illusions. That's what has them so anxious about Donald Trump.


you:
The whole, unholy contraption only holds together by an unspoken agreement among the primates of the church to never call attention to the absurdity of the bullshit they all must sling every day to keep up the charade...and to never, ever give the microphone to anyone who may point out that their empire is a sham and its petty emperors have no clothes.

William S. Burroughs:
To conceal the bankruptcy of the reality studio it is essential that no one should be in a position to set up another reality set. The reality film has now become an instrument and weapon of monopoly.
(The Ticket That Exploded [posed little time so we'll say good night], p.151 of the current Grove Press edition)

MedicineMan55 said...

It is indeed highly entertaining how Trump is lighting the "centrist" high ground on fire and forcing those media clowns to squat in the flames.

waldo said...

Bravo DG; you're skewering the issues (and the Coddled Chump) with a stiletto

fqmorris said...

BRAVO!

Fritz Strand said...

This is why I read you pass it on to anyone who is interested. Very well done.

trgahan said...

As long as there are white upper middle class Midwestern and East Coast professionals that are educated enough to know better, but are still are too greedy, self-centered, and insecure to admit reality, the Holy Church of Centrism will never fall. The only time it falters, even briefly, is when that demographic is hurt by conservative policy (ie. see year of our lord 2005-2008).

Robt said...

descending into the GOP varmint hole.

-Just how much in tax cuts would resolve the rights adventures of Fascism?

-Once we have all tax revenues to paid out in corporate subsidies and individual wealthy tax cuts. Where do we get the revenues to provide for the Libertarian utopia and what each libertarian demands he wants us to fund , but not him?

-If we cut taxes on women, will it result in less abortions or contraception use?
-Is the market in the Middle East too free or not Free enough for its magical invisible hand to resolve its ills. That is, if you feel there are ailments in the Mid East that could be resolved.

-Why can't operation rescue simply pray away it's perceived enemies?

-Can David Brooks get Bill Kristol and Sean hannity together to convince Roger Ailes, Limbaugh and other prominent GOP'ies To pray for tax cuts instead of using corruption to obtain them?

-Why has God forsaken David Brooks. Is Brooks prayer weak and insincere?
Why doesn't Brooks vision of the "free Market" require a big Government trade deal between Governments and their rules to engage in the TPP? A

* It seems the media decided in the realm of "both siderism" They want to scalpel-ize the framing.
All politicians lie. (They will point to Hillary says too much corruptive money in politics as she accepts Wall Street money.
Where Trump is basically his own Wall street and has been (admittedly) the corruptive money buyer of candidates for his own gain.
They omit Bernie Sanders and dismiss him as a socialist, but seem to ignore the conservative yearn to subsidize corporate entities with Government revenues of others, while opposing tax funding for helping it's own citizens with a hand up.
You see,
A hand up to citizens through a Government program is the same thing as providing huge tax cuts and incentives and subsidies to highly profitable corporations.
Because like the Trump who enables violence toward those that disagree at his rallies.
Look at all the beatings that occur to conservatives at the Hillary and Bernie rallis that they encourage?
No, the both sider media tries to carve the heart out of the animal while keeping it alive.
Calling Dr Carson?

Yastreblyansky said...

Donald Trump, a man who knows both teevee and prostitution intimately
Aren't you repeating yourself?

Seriously, great piece.

Yastreblyansky said...

Second thoughts: No, you're right, whorehouses have ethical standards that television lacks.

Habitat Vic said...

"The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.

Which is more or less true. For the most part, they are dirty little animals with huge brains and no pulse." - p43, Generation of Swine

Hunter S. Thompson wrote that way back in 1988, when Reagan's neutering of the Fairness Doctrine, and the corporate consolidation of all types of media (and the real takeoff of Hate Radio) were just beginning. Fast forward to Citizens United in 2010, which put politicians in the pocket of billionaires.

And most of that money gets funneled back into media advertising, and eventually controlling the sellouts who pretend to be the Mainstream Media's journalists. The circle is completed and democracy is deep trouble, despite any schadenfreude I may enjoy from seeing Trump bitch-slap Shuck Todd.