Trump’s not so bad: manslaughter edition

Written By: - Date published: 12:07 pm, May 6th, 2020 - 49 comments
Categories: covid-19, Donald Trump, us politics - Tags: , ,

The task force’s demise would only intensify questions about whether the administration is adequately organized to address the complex, life-or-death decisions related to the virus and give adequate voice to scientists and public health experts in making policy.

Can we just get to the bit where we acknowledge that this isn’t simple incompetence, but is a deliberate tactic as part of a deliberate strategy?

NZ had a close shave, I’m so glad that FJK and his ‘never waste a crisis‘ was over and done with before we hit this decade. Competent fascist frontsman or incompetent fascist frontsman, both are cut from the same cloth and serve the same purposes. That ours came with a smile and wave doesn’t change the essential nature of what was going on. That we continue to ignore the differences between neoliberalism and authoritarianism, or broken democracy and fascism is unconscionable, doubly so when it’s staring us right in the face. 

The incompetent frontsman is also a sociopath,


49 comments on “Trump’s not so bad: manslaughter edition ”

  1. Andre 1

    Looking back at 2016 and those that thought that electing the tiny-fisted fascist was going to bring the revolution sooner: was Joe Biden really the revolutionary leader they had in mind?

    • weka 1.1

      Lol. Probably just needs a few more years 😉

    • Ad 1.2

      You know that's not what Biden is for.

      The nomination for Vice President is critical because it's Vice President that will be the likely Dem Presidential nominee-presumptive in 2024.

      • Andre 1.2.1

        Yah. That 2024 nominee-presumptive to be selected by Biden isn't likely to have many Che berets in her closet either.

  2. Tricledrown 2

    Trump make America bankrupt again

  3. RedLogix 3

    I've persuaded myself Trump is high functioning psychopath. He ticks all the boxes.

    As the Hiding in Plain Sight references point out however, all the energy expended over Trump's latest crazy is largely wasted unless and until we ask ourselves, what made his rise to power possible?

    And why have the Democrats been so singularly helpless at decisively defeating him? That is the one big job they need to do, and yet somehow it's still no longer clear they can do it.

    "You feel haunted by the alternative America that could have existed had people told the truth."


    • Andre 3.1

      Whenever I read a question like why have the Democrats or Labour been so useless at defeating [insert opponent], I can't help wondering if a big part of the answer lies in the way the question wasn't "why have we been so useless at beating him?"

      • weka 3.1.1

        The left is ever expert at punching sideways.

        • Andre

          By itself, that's not wholely a bad thing. In the right time and place, it's probably even useful. The thing is knowing when to stop and redirect.

          • weka

            can't see the point of punching one's allies.

            • Andre

              In the context of a primary or other selection process, it can serve the useful function of finding and toughening up weak spots. The time to stop is when the selection has been made.

              • weka

                way better ways to test resiliency than punching though. Watching the US Dem primaries, the damage being done is glaringly obvious.

      • RedLogix 3.1.2

        Twenty years ago the idea of someone as nonsensical as Trump could be POTUS would have been laughed at. What changed? It always was a nation with it's flaws and fault lines, often more intense in the past than now. But for 200 odd years they did manage to elect a passable succession of actual grown ups to the job.

        So why the appalling fall from grace now?

        Part of it is the glib grandiosity of Trump's psychopathy, part of it is his killer instinct for the gamble, unencumbered by much in the way of empathy.

        Another part of the story is that the very meaning of Republican and Democrat has changed, the political alliances that have made them relatively stable configurations since at least the 1930's has slide away from under them.

        Part of the story is the impact of the global trade order they underwrote, but gained relatively little from. How it has bled away good jobs and their social infrastructure, while rival nations grew at their expense.

        Part of the story must be the corrosive materialism that was the American Dream, a dream that offered comfort and complacency, but failed to offer anything more sustaining for the soul. Too many truth-tellers were assassinated along the way.

        But in crude political terms the question must be, what comes after Trump? Maybe the COVID 19 death toll will so shock the American people they will demand a reckoning? Maybe Biden will prove to be another Roosevelt or Truman, maybe a new generation of Democrats can united a fractious, stressed nation into believing in themselves and a worthy vision once again?

        Or as one Medical Professional put it recently, "I so miss the days when the USA could show the world the way".

        • woodart

          I think its a lot simpler than that. america had just twice elected a black man, now the same party were putting up a woman!, that was just to much for too many different reasons. this is a country with a big restaurent chain called hooters..very conservative with a side of misogny please, and I'll have guns with that…thoughts and prayers.

          • RedLogix

            Yup the redneck populist element of Trump's support is real enough (although oddly enough the Hooters chain isn't quite as thriving as you might imagine). As is the white identitarian backlash movement another component. And it's worth not overlooking the TeaParty social conservatives who probably are responsible for cracking open the door for Trump in the first place.

            But I'd point to an underlying truth about the USA we're apt to overlook. By nature of it's unique geography, natural security and resources, the Americans will not only always be the wealthiest nation (for the next century at least), but also the one that needs the rest of the world the least.

            They are a remarkably insular super-power, one that by and large doesn't care all that much about the rest of the world, and always had a tendency to default toward isolationism. Trump has re-captured this old sentiment and manipulated it expertly into flame. CV19 has merely added a volatile fuel to the mix.

          • Andre

            There was an awful lot of very specific Hillary-hate on top of the generalised sexism. I've long pondered on why she was so popular among high profile Dems, when they would all have been well aware of the decades of smears laid on her, which would of course be revived and amplified. The best guess I've come up with is they were blinded by her high popularity ratings at the end of her tenure in her various positions.

            Another factor I felt strongly, but have no idea if it was shared by others, is that I've got a real distaste for anything that even vaguely looks like a political dynasty. So the way she had already spent 8 years in the White House at the top level of decision making really went against my preference for fresh blood and ideas, and any hint of a feeling of entitlement to that top spot really goes against my grain. That was a large part of why I supported Sanders in 2016 up until it was no longer mathematically possible for him to win.

            At the presidential level, dynasties haven't been a regular feature. The overdose of Bush and Clinton in the last three decades is kind of an anomaly. Prior to that, the only real presidential family was the Adams father and son in the early 1800s. Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt were only distantly related, and apparently the family branches had at least some hostilities. There certainly wasn't a political line joining them.

            So there may have been an anti-dynastic backlash against Hillary, as there might also have been against Jeb. Or maybe it's just that Hillary was too much the DC insider. There seems to be a sweet spot of a candidate having enough governing experience somewhere to be credible while still being able to present themselves as a DC outsider. If that's the case then it's a worry for Biden.

            • RedLogix

              Yes the American anti-dynasty sentiment is absolutely worth adding to the list. After all it was a nation founded in rebellion against dynasty and it's a strong element of their national narrative.

              There seems to be a sweet spot of a candidate having enough governing experience somewhere to be credible while still being able to present themselves as a DC outsider.

              An especial hazard for a party that on one hand claims to represent change, but puts up a candidate with a long track record of bau. Voters are sensitive to open hypocrisy, and will punish candidates who signal virtue on one hand, but act differently on the other.

              It's perverse logic I know, but in many ways at least everyone knew at some level Trump was a profoundly deficient human being. Few can plausibly claim to have been disappointed by him. After all his personal approval ratings have usually been pretty damned abysmal. Most Americans realise what a deeply flawed person he is, even when they turned out to vote for him. Understanding that is the key to all of this.

              • Andre

                For a gobsmackingly large proportion of voters, that the dayglo daycare escapee is indisputably profoundly deficient as a human was the reason they voted for him. Call them deplorables or middle-finger voters or whatever else you want, it is a wake-up call as to how many there are.

                It's a real headache that that particular can of worms has been opened, but the last three years has shown that pandering to them doesn't lead to anything worthwhile. The better path lies elsewhere.

                The history of the civil rights movements among many other civics crises shows it's not a hopeless cause, there are always ways to come through it better and stronger.While Biden certainly doesn't look like a new LBJ (and when it comes to foreign policy that may be a good thing), he may yet surprise us.

            • Obtrectator

              "Prior to that, the only real presidential family was the Adams father and son in the early 1800s."

              Don't forget the Harrisons – William in 1841; grandson Benjamin 1889-93. (Though Harrison senior was only in the job for a month before snuffing it, so barely counts.)

              • Andre

                Good catch. I s'pose since the intermediate generation was a pollie too definitely makes them dynastic, even though he only rose as high as two terms in the House.

        • Tricledrown

          The Simpson's predicted such a scenario

        • Rosemary McDonald

          "But for the past 200 years they did manage to elect a passable succession of grown ups…"


          Clinton was at best locked into adolescence. Reagan was well past his best by date, and as for the Bush Boys…there are a couple of photos I recall when both of them were frozen with looks of infantile wonder on their faces. Junior especially when told of the unfolding 9/11.

          Then there's Kennedy. But I guess to some his reputation of being a philandering party hard was a sign of greatness.

          No, RedLogix, all previous POTUSES were forerunners to this one.

          And he's on track to be elected again.

          The post Covid world just might be one where the rest of us will stay safe in our island bubbles while the Great Powers self destruct.

      • North 3.1.3

        Hear Hear Andre ! Could go on but why bother…..your comment poses that big question AND gives the answer. Decent people shoulda said enough is enough long ago and stopped indulging this twisted old bastard in the White House. And for God's Sake don't no putative lefties come back bitching about Hillary or Bernie or whomsoever, by default promoting Bubba Trump. To be kind that is at best asshat iconoclasm (at worst fucked up leftie-authoritarianism) which had me decide to stay away from The Standard for quite a while. Imagine that……The Standard a bugle for Bubba Trump. Couldn't fucking believe it ! The man's a vicious, corrupt, incompetent old fuck and the whole world knows it. America will or it won't save itself in November.

  4. bill 4

    Sarah Kendzior looks worth checking out.

    Trump told you his plans. His backers — the true source of power — often told you their plans. The levels of compromise and complicity required to make this nightmare possible is enormous; it goes back decades.

    Those bits in bold are too often missed out. Trump is the symptom of a disease, or a secondary effect of a disease – not the actual disease, as many neo-liberal or corporate types in the red team and blue team hanging out in corridors of power would rather people believe.

    And… off to find out a bit more about Sarah Kendzior.

  5. Dennis Frank 6

    Strange to say it, but Balsanaro seems even loopier than Trump. There was a report I read the other day quoting him denying that covid-19 exists. Trump never went that far.

    My take is that Trump sees the thing defeating him, preventing re-election, therefore he has to restart the economy. But will the Republicans agree? It's a gamble. Removing public health regulations is only ever likely to get support if they seem non-essential. Case numbers in the US continue their linear increase according to the Hopkins website tracker graph. Social distancing seems essential still. Only fools & gamblers…

  6. Ad 7

    My Vice Presidential pick, to cover those virus press conferences: Morgan Freeman.

  7. adam 8

    weka if it gets a bit much, there is always comedy.

  8. joe90 9

    The Red Sate minority (real 'Murica) delivers power to the GOP via the electoral college to govern in the 1%'s interest in return for the financial support of the Blue State majority (not real 'Murica).

  9. joe90 11

    tRump and the GOP loathe democracy.

    WASHINGTON — President Trump says Washington, DC, won’t ever be a state because Republicans aren’t “stupid” enough to add guaranteed Democratic seats in Congress.

    “DC will never be a state,” Trump told The Post on Monday during an exclusive interview in the Oval Office. “You mean District of Columbia, a state? Why? So we can have two more Democratic — Democrat senators and five more congressmen? No thank you. That’ll never happen.”

    The capital city is home to roughly 700,000 people — more people than Vermont and Wyoming, and nearly as many as Alaska

    • Andre 11.1

      I s'pose we should give Malice in Blunderland a gold star for getting the number of senators correct, DC would get two Senators and one House Representative for three new members of Congress. Wouldn't make a difference in the Electoral College – DC already gets 3 Electors.

      If Puerto Rico were made a state, then that would be two likely Dem Senators and six House Reps, for eight new members of Congress and eight new Electors.

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