Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Government By Unreliable Narrator

From NowNovel:
What is an unreliable narrator? 
It is a character who tells the reader a story that cannot be taken at face value. This may be because the point of view character is insane, lying, deluded or for any number of other reasons.
I started the Congressman Hogan Watergate video at the 7:18 mark, but if you are unfamiliar with it, I would strongly urge you to watch it from the beginning, because the reasons he is moved to vote for the impeachment of "his President" and the process he goes through to arrive at that decision are uncannily similar to where we are here-and-now with the ever-expanding Trump/Russia scandal today.

But there is one big difference.

In his testimony, Hogan is heartbroken and near tears at certain moments for the simple reason that he thought he knew Nixon.  Over the years Hogan had given Nixon his "enthusiastic support" in three elections and had stood by his side during "many a legislative battle".  And then came Watergate, and the tapes and transripts, and Hogan read with his own eyes "his President" talking about lying and bribery, cover ups and silencing witnesses and how best to sabotage an FBI investigation.

At the very end of the Watergate story (spoiler alert) Hogan was shocked to discover that -- holy shit! -- all this time Verbal Kint had really been Keyser Sose!  

Nixon's monstrous, secret betrayal of his public persona was the kick-in-the-gut twist that Republicans like Congressman Hogan never saw coming.

But Trump?

The revelation that Trump is a corrupt, lying sociopath does not come as the shocking climax of the story,  but at the very beginning.  Trump is not Verbal Kint.  He is the nameless narrator of "The Tell-tale Heart" who tells the reader in the first two paragraph that he is completely insane:
TRUE! --nervous --very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses --not destroyed --not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily --how calmly I can tell you the whole story 
It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture --a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees --very gradually --I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.
Everything any rational person needed to know about the pathological dishonesty and depravity of Donald J. Trump was there on display for all to see long before he was ever nominated and long before he was elected, which is why there will be no Lawrence Hogan moments on the Right.

Because the base of the Republican Party isn't shocked that Donald Trump is an ignorant racist troll who lies incessantly about everything and gets his "news" out of the Fox News dumpster.  Quite the opposite -- they love him for it because they, too. are ignorant racist trolls who lie incessantly about everything and get their "news" out of the Fox News dumpster.
And the leadership of Republican Party leadership?

They haven't managed to cobble together a single, intact conscience between them for years, and they certainly were under no illusions about what sort of unhinged monster they were nominating and electing.  And so long as it looks like President Stupid might still be a politically exploitable monster -- might be able to help them deliver the massive tax cuts they promised their paymasters -- they will make no move against him, no matter how blatantly he rubs their faces in his high crimes.


Knight of Nothing said...

Great piece, as usual - incisive and funny.

You have such an immense catalog of material to refer to that sometimes getting through a post requires clicking a long chain of links to old posts for context, which can be challenging for impatient, stunted apes like me. So I like seeing a self-contained essay like this from time to time. Not that I'm complaining! Driftglass gonna drift..!

RUKidding said...

As I stated in a prior post, the Republican voters I know are, unsurprisingly, very ill-informed about what's going on with Trump and everything else in DC. They either listen to Rush, watch Fox, or similar and can parrot out the usual talking points, which have almost not substance.

Or they only "know" that the Boy Scouts called Trump and praised him for his speech, which made the Libtards SO. MAD. So much winning!

The GOP will never ever impeach Trump, unless they absolutely balls to wall and cannot avoid it, because, as Driftglass stated, Trump gives the GOP perfect cover for them to rape, plunder and pillage the country. Why should they care of Trump's a demented idiot, reviled on the International stage, and making a complete ass of himself? As long as there's plenty of money to be grifted?? So much winning!!

I agree it's likely that 100% of the GOP pols are very clear on what an incompetent, out of control monster Trump is. So? So much winning... for them. Screw the rubes. They won't know the difference.

Jim from MN said...

That the Boy Scouts of America must issue an apology for the Republican President's ill-conceived and incoherent gibberish says EVERYTHING about today's Republican Party. They are so vile and beyond redemption they need to look up to see the bottom.

Robt said...

It is routine for president shit smear to receive calls from people he fires all the time.
Thanking him for the public humiliation. Exposing their insidious character.
forcing them to leave black time frames on the resumes as they seek future employment.

As for the Scouts. There was some verbal hoorays during the speech on the audio. Not a lot but it was there. There are many Scout Groups that are all white and will always be exclusively for a "Pepe" Reason. I do not say this to disparage the organization. Only to point out, there are Scout groups devoted to producing more Steve Bannons.
If you do not think Bannon encouraged Trump's egomania appearance ( it was not a presidential speech). Then you may not understand Bannon's presence in our White House.

dinthebeast said...

I used to know E. Howard Hunt's son Saint John. He is an excellent guitar player.

-Doug in Oakland

trgahan said...

Republicans also won't move against him because:

A) they fear Oligarch primary money and their white nationalist primary voters while also being confident the gutted Voting Rights Act, gerrymandering, and suppression will protect them in general.


B) looking at 2020, Trump could reach negative approve ratings and he'll still to get 60-63 million votes. In fact, I wager he will probably increase his margins in the "Economically-Anxious" Rust Belt states that he won in 2016.

Yet, the media will blame the result on Democrats for continuing to abandon "the working class," too much identity politics, and poor messaging.

Robt said...

The Funny Bone;
When hit, pain makes you laugh.

When I think I have had it with media and the self described patriot telling me how he supports Trump to the point of liking whip cream off trump's nether region because it is more sterile than a plate just coming out of a dishwasher.
And impatience with those I share this planet becomes stressful.

To ease this tension I rectal where I have heard by many in the media at times stating,
"as reported on Fox and Friends".

brings immense laughter and jovial heart to me every time to sooth the angst.

bluicebank said...

Every once in a while I feel the need to re-verify my conclusion that the Right wing base is irredeemably stupid, morally corrupt and possess but one item in the vast logical toolbox: a hammer.

And so yesterday I refreshed the research by engaging some members of the tribe. Apparently I unhinged the first monkey, because he then began typing gibberish. Literal gibberish of the kind not merely marked by horrible syntax, nor even lack of verb-noun agreement, but incomprehensible strings of words that would shame an actual monkey typing for mere days on a typewriter. Then other monkey appeared, and I tested them, too.

The reason why the Turing test has been validated isn't because of advances in AI, but because humans have made the test so easy to pass.

ChicagoPat said...

Computers will always fail the Turing Test, not because they can't emulate human intellect, but because they have no hope of ever modeling human stupidity.

jim said...

Speaking of unreliable narration...
You might want to check out this:

Bots reeking of borscht are suddenly VERY busy on Twitter.

Damage control?
Good luck with that, Vlad.

Robt said...

"Because the base of the Republican Party isn't shocked that Donald Trump is an ignorant racist troll who lies incessantly about everything and gets his "news" out of the Fox News dumpster. "

Everything mentioned of idiocy, dumb, lemur mentality, Monkeys smearing shit in their hair, corrupt, authoritarian (to others only) and so many hard earned punitive titles deserving are all true. I can only concur.

I only ask for consideration of the republican base, who very well knew pants down and bent over with eyes wide open. What they sense trump would bring. maybe like the number of republicans that believe getting the jews back to Israel altogether at once would fulfill the prophecy to end times and Jesus would return and work toward enabling this..
But not those base believers.

The base with pants down bent over in the prison yard. The base that believes that Trump will bring his ultra greed and corruption, self serving with no allegiance to America what so ever.
To bring down America, democracy, civility,. They view washington DC as the enemy as they look at Americans who are Democrats as the enemy. You can see how this leads to sympathy to Putin's Russia.
That Trump, McConnell, Ryan will be engulfed with greed and corruption to collapse any and every semblance of America. That America is so far gone. They like the GOP who want end times for Israel. They want end times for America and Trump and the GOP will bring anarchy. Then they will somehow survive regroup and fight a new civil war and this time the good guys (what ever that is in their minds) will be victorious and everyone will live happily ever after.
They truly voted for Trump to bring down America the rest of the way. GW got close but failed because he was secretly a liberal and foiled it. Where Cheney, the Vietnam War 5 determent war hero was one of them and tried his best to bring it down around GW obstructive liberal loyalties to America.

They bought gold for currency in the new anarchist world. They bought Alex Jones and Glen Becks MRE food packs. They stock pile weapons and ammo. They convinced themselves Jesus will be pleased with their push to the end of times ashes rises the arch of anarchy and they will sit on the throne of Charles and David Koch. Ruling most of the world.

It is these republican base voters that voted purposely to collapse it all
That are in this base.

Stupid, blinded self centered egotistical fantasy dreaming anarchists.

They all have one thing in common. That none of this will effect them.

They do grisly grin relishly of the mayhem it will bring others..

This is the republican Trump base. Born out of the Bannon racist, KKK Neo NAZI superior race will then inherit the earth. And rule righteously forever.

They want to be plantation owners of southern yore.

Karen Rea said...

But, but, but Susan Rice lied on the Sunday shows!!! That merited two years of hysterical "inquiries" about how the Obama Administration lied to the American people about Benghaaaaaaazi!! That wouldn't be a blip on the radar with this crowd.

Anonymous said...

I came for the politics. I stay for the Poe.
(And, the company.)

Jimbo said...

Just today, McMasters admitted that Susan Rice, his predecessor did nothing wrong. Congressional Republicans can't get anything other than post office name-change legislation passed because the vast majority were elected to do nothing except undo whatever Democrats passed. Problem is that Obamacare has become more and more popular despite the avalanche of RW propaganda, lies and active subversion against it literally from the beginning (before the beginning actually). And tax cuts for billionaires has no constituency except, well, the billionaires.

The Larry Hogan clip was interesting. I lived outside the US during the Watergate era (Peace Corps) and so missed a lot of it. But even back then, I was puzzled that any Republican was really surprised at Nixon's betrayal. Yes, he was a very smart and informed person and a realist (hence detente with the Soviets and the PRC) but he also had a huge reputation as the ultimate ratfucker in politics. Watergate was absolutely classic Nixon behavior. So, I find Larry Hogan, Sr.'s disappointment amusing. (BTW, his son is now my governor, only the third GOP governor MD in 50 years. The first in that timeframe was, of course, Spiro Agnew, a thoroughly corrupt and ignorant idiot. He was Nixon's assassination insurance just as Pence is for Trump.)

DeistPaladin said...

Nixon did have some redeemable qualities that his administration brought to America and the world.

- He opened relations with China.

- He started the EPA.

- He helped Dr. Who defeat the Silence.

Trump, I'm certain, will bring nothing positive either to America or the world.

Steve in Manhattan said...

As I said earlier, I trust some functionary of The Deep State™ has ordered a couple thousand orange jumpsuits. This purge of the GOP has to be complete. It has to hurt. This time every co-conspirator should be indicted. The only deals made should be those that lead to wiping out those at or near the top.

This is not the time for reasonable moderates, progressives, liberals, and similar to be in charge. When Republicans have power they beat the opposition over the head with it every day. It's their turn.