"I don't think the guy's qualified to be president of the United States" -- President Obama on Donald Trump https://t.co/wAazcBbAyq— CNN (@CNN) September 8, 2016
The rise of Trump is not a black swan event.
The rise of Trump is the inevitable culmination of toxic trends in the Republican Party and in the Beltway media which have been plainly evident for decades, but were allowed to fester and grow into something huge and lethal thanks to a conspiracy of silence, denial and misdirection carried out by leaders of the Republican party and the lords and ladies of the Beltway press. As we on the Left has been saying since forever, the devolution of the Party of Lincoln into a mob of bigots and madmen is the most important cultural story of our time (from my obit for David Broder in 2011):
...Sorry, Politico, but however much of a legend his hard, on-the-ground, sandal-leather reporting on what the Average Roman thought about the first Punic War ("Hiero II of Syracuse shoulda listened to his general onna ground!") may be, David Broder's lasting legacy is ultimately a tragic one.For against the tide of imaginary of dirty hippies who were forever plotting to mess up his lawn, and in the name of an idolatrous worship of the God of Fake Objectivity, the Dean of the Washington press corps' most enduring contribution to his profession has been as the Patient Zero of a lethal strain of syphilitic Villager Centrism which may be more responsible than any other single factor in all-but wiping out anything resembling honest national political journalism in America.And that is the definition of tragedy.
Ironically, our free and fair press -- our very own fourth estate -- has been too busy looting their own temple and reaping the rewards of acting as a Republican fifth column to spare any ink-stained wretches to actually cover this most important story of our time.
Instead, for longer that I can remember, the only people sounding the alarm were the dirty hippies.
We were alone and despised, on the moor, raging against the storm, both Lear and Fool. Every bell we tried to ring was drowned out by the dull, gray "Both Siderist" roar of David Gregory yucking it up with Newt Gingrich and David Brooks. Every flare we sent up was blotted out by the gaudy Sunday Morning fireworks shitshow of Chuck Todd palling around with Hugh Hewitt.
And now, far, far too late, the Rough Beast they collectively incubated and nourished has reached full and terrifying adulthood and has slouched its way right up to their own front door.
And now, far, far too late, the same fuckers who built there careers teaching this monster that it was perfectly OK to look straight into a camera and lie wildly to millions of Americans are sitting in front of that same camera and bitching that the Republican party has inexplicably gone nutso. From Mediate (h/t Charlie Pierce):
Chuck Todd: Republican Party Has Been ‘Taken Over’ By ‘Anti-Intellectualism’by Alex Griswold | 2:10 pm, September 7th, 2016...“The Republican Party and the conservative movement became unmoored from ideas some time ago,” complained GOP strategist Steve Schmidt. “What defines conservatism is who has fidelity to the most outrageous statement made by a talk radio host or personality on any given day. [Trump] is the person who has driven this.”“It’s anti-intellectualism, that is what’s taken over the party,” Todd agreed. “There’s almost a disdain with some in Trump world that are like, ‘Yeah, so the college-educated crowd isn’t for us.’ There is almost a disdain that they’re embracing about this.”“But it is hurting the party, it is going to hurt the party down the road,” he warned...
No, Chuck, the Republican Party has not been "taken over" by bigots and morons. The modern Republican Party was built out of bigots and morons. What has changed is the bigots and morons who are the radioactive core that powers the Party have decided they finally can do without their coolant system:
...The tricky part about this arrangement was never getting the nutjobs heated up: they come out of the ground bitter and paranoid and looking to take it out on somebody. The tricky bit has always been modulating their rage and directing it where the Party Elites wanted it to go while at the same time continuously lying to the rest of the world about the existence of the party's Radioactive Base or their means by which they contain and target the crazies:...Because if the entire Right Wing understands anything it is this – as frustrating and degrading as it is to men like Trent Lott, Tom Tancredo, G. Felix Allen and Rick Santorum who really, really want to shout their love for all things Segregated and/or Despotic from the rooftops, it is still not socially acceptable to publicly embrace and celebrate your Inner Klansman.Thus they must commune with their Swine Army in code.They must use lightly encrypting hatespeech to manipulate the Rove Rods to get the Electoral Reactor Core seething hot enough to activate the base...but always keep the Bobo Koolant level of soothing denial, spin and outright lies juuust high enough to keep the Moderates from being directly exposed to and freaked out by the unshielded Core of the GOP.For that they needed a coolant system:The Koolant system that keeps it all from blowing apart at the seams and melting itself back into the masturbatory fever dreams of every wannabe Jefferson Davis circulate a viscous Koolaid-based composite goo made up of 43% David Brooks, 27% Tom Friedman, 23% Tim Russert, 12% Joe Klein and 10% David Broder.You say that’s 115%? Well fuck you and your fancy, liberal, Jebus-hating elitist “arithmetic” anyway...
The stuff in italics is from me back in 2006 so, yeah, we've been banging this tune on our little tin drums for a god damn very long time.