Eags riffs on Dumbo Debate II and rips The Trumpster, Carly The Knife, Bumble Ben, and The Jebster in this week's column. It is classic mass-vivisection of several Klown Kar occupants and Eags' omissions are just as damning. Hear that, Dropout (Governor Scott Walker)? The remaining Kast O'Klowns were ignored as well. November 8, 2016 cannot arrive soon enough. If this is (fair & balanced) disdain for national nonsense, so be it.
[x NY Fishwrap]
By Eags (Timothy Egan)
Tag Cloud of the following piece of writing
You can’t out-crazy Donald Trump. You can’t best him in half-truths that sound plausible just because you say them with forceful bluster. You can’t be scarier to Latinos than the man who threatens to round them up like stray cattle. And you can’t offend half the population more than the puffer-fish-faced plutocrat who dismisses less-attractive females as “fat pigs,” while bragging that he used to sleep with “the top women in the world.”
No, Trump is a singular force, immune to the normal rules that punish a buffoon. Trump has the charlatan’s gift of using superlatives to cover the lack of detail. His opponents do not. In trying to embrace ignorance, make things up and then act offended when someone calls them on it, they just look smaller and less presidential.
It’s a game of loser’s poker, to use Trump’s favorite put-down. And for a party that desperately needs to expand its appeal in a general election, exactly the wrong tack.
By Trump’s rules, facts will get you nowhere. Don’t bother with a plan. And certainly don’t reach out to the majority of Americans who are not afraid of undocumented immigrants, or think that abortion should be safe and legal in most cases, or prefer diplomacy to war.
So it was at Ronald Reagan’s presidential library in the Republican debate, where the sunny optimism of the Gipper was nowhere to be found. Instead, we heard dark stories of auctioned fetus brains, a world falling apart, and promises to kick people off health care. And that was before the leading candidate suggested that vaccines caused autism.
With California on fire, nobody onstage acknowledged the need for urgent action on climate change. And with the Mideast aflame in another way, the front-runners vowed to be anything but Reaganesque in talking with our enemies. All but the noble failure of Senator Rand Paul were ready and eager to give war a chance.
The media stampede now is for Carly Fiorina. She’ll get a sizable poll bump and lots of favorable press in coming weeks. She showed dignity when asked to respond to Trump’s put-down of her looks, and she showed a basic mastery of detail that anyone who spends a day Googling world events could acquire.
But she will not wear well; she’s a terrible candidate in the age of income inequality and a battered middle class. Mitt Romney was pummeled for investing in companies that close American plants and ship jobs overseas. Fiorina, as chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, went him one better — firing thousands of people, while being rewarded for failure. She is the embodiment of the unfairness, the rigged game that hurts so many average working people.
Senator Barbara Boxer of California destroyed Fiorina on this point in 2010, a bad year for Democrats, in a race that Republicans should have done better in. Trump, who makes his living “playing to people’s fantasies,” in his words — casinos, gold-plated apartments, gaudy hotels — was the wrong person to carry this line of attack. Joe Biden, with his Everyman, Uncle Joe demeanor, could paint the dour Fiorina as the boss who slipped away with millions while others lost their homes to foreclosure.
Still, Fiorina tried her hand at loser’s poker, with a seemingly heartfelt account of how Planned Parenthood sells fetal body parts. The problem, as fact-checkers have pointed out, is that the video she described was mostly a fabrication — on her part.
Dr. Ben Carson, who looks like he can’t find his glasses after waking up from a long nap, also threw a few chips in the Trump game. While not calling for the police-state roundup of immigrants that Trump promotes, he advocated “turning off the spigot that dispenses all the goodies so we don’t have people coming here, including employment.”
What’s he talking about? By turning off the spigot, does he mean forcing other people to make the beds in hotel rooms, to mow the lawns in suburbia, to pick the apples in farm country? All Carson did with this non sequitur was give Democrats further evidence to show Hispanics that Republicans treat them like dirt.
Jeb Bush tried to play by Trump’s rules as well. Responding to the hit that he’s low energy — read, low testosterone — he said his Secret Service nickname would be “Eveready — it’s very high energy, Donald.” Snappy! But then he low-fived Trump’s extended palm, bro-joining the hand of the one who has emasculated him. If only he had a little Irish or Sicilian blood in him.
Bush did expose Trump for what should be his greatest weakness, something that’s been largely overlooked by the surface-obsessed press. The guy is a casino operator. He made a lot of money separating suckers from their money. And then, through his bankruptcies, he eventually failed at that — one of the most rigged schemes in the world. He lost in his own game of loser’s poker. Ω
[Timothy Egan writes "Outposts," a column at the NY Fishwrap online. Egan — winner of both a Pulitzer Prize in 2001 as a member of a team of reporters who wrote the series "How Race Is Lived in America" and a National Book Award (The Worst Hard Time in 2006) — graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in journalism, and was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters by Whitman College in 2000 for his environmental writings. Egan's most recent book is The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America (2009).]
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