The moral outrage comes from some awfully disreputable corners. Carly Fiorina rises again to assert herself as an arbiter of good conduct in public life. Can you fucking imagine it? This is the woman who distinguished herself by trashing Hewlett Packard. She’s the one who so ruined HP’s workplace culture and product reputation that alarmed Hewlett and Packard scions–the farthest things from failspawn in the annals of American wealth–beseeched the board until it paid her to go away.
This walking managerial-class dumpster fire and C-list permacandidate is now being trotted out on Facebook for expressions of outrage that Donald Trump made some rude comments, dispositive of nothing, some years ago in which he bragged of having snatched some women by the snatch. What the Donald bragged of doing in general terms on the set of a reality television show is now more believable and damnable than what the Carleton did on the record as the chief executive officer of a Fortune 500 company.
First point of clarification: how goddamned stupid are we to consider a thing like that? These incidents are not on the same moral plane. Trump’s comments were gross, in all senses, but they were vague, made in a milieu that esteemed shock for the sake of shock, and made under penalty of nothing worse than possible ridicule or rebuke by those who do not enjoy Howard Stern.
Second point of clarification: how the hell is this decade-old incident of rude bragging getting round-the-clock news coverage while Donald Trump’s imminent deposition in a civil suit over the alleged rape of a thirteen-year-old girl getting coverage only in alternative and samizdat outlets? Let’s consider the contrast here: one of these situations involves the candidate having talked in general terms about his habit of sexually assaulting strange but unspecified women, and having done so in circumstances strongly favorable to exaggeration for purposes of male bonding; the other involves A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE FACING DEPOSITION FOR INTERNATIONAL ABDUCTION AND CHILD RAPE. Again, the incident that bothers us, or so we’ve been told to feel, is the seedy locker room talk, not the conspiracy with the billionaire pervert to spirit vaguely pubescent girls into international airspace and foreign countries on a private jet for the express purpose of sexually assaulting them. It’s like sending Daniel Holtzclaw to prison for 263 years on eighteen counts of Uttering Suck White Dick in the First Degree but acquitting him of all rape, sexual assault, and stalking charges. It’s absolutely fucking insane.
Carly Fiorina will now have us know that Donald Trump does not speak for her or for the Republican Party. Third point of clarification, because why not: when did Carly Fiorina, a candidate who was beaten just this year in the Republican primaries by several other candidates, including Donald Trump, become coextensive and coterminous with the Republican Party, whose presidential nominee is now Donald Trump? Elements of the old-guard base seem to like her, but they weren’t the only ones voting this year. Every one of their great conservative hopes got thrashed. When they finally coalesced, after a fashion, around a single candidate, they did so around the abrasive, sanctimonious Canadian-born son of a Cuban father who had alienated his own Congressional caucus by being a raging prick. They tried to choose the constitutionally dubious guy that everyone who knew him hated. That gambit fell flat, just as had all their attempts earlier in the race to force other garbage candidates whose platforms had popular support in the single digits through the nominating process. Now they’re butthurt that the Republican Party can’t change its nominating rules ex post facto to move a vice-presidential candidate who didn’t even run in the primaries up to the head of the ticket for no other reason than the current, duly nominated principal having said a different kind of offensive shit than had been assumed customary on his part.
Every weirdo, scammer, nutjob, and antisocial asswipe from the Republican old guard has been brought out by the bipartisan haut bourgeois elites to express outrage at Donald Trump’s newly revealed frank crudity, which may well have been nothing but bluster from a man notorious for exactly that. Suddenly sworn Democrats are extolling Mitt Romney as a paragon of principle and plain dealing. Muh 47%. These aren’t strange bedfellows, though, so much as partners in graft. The established elites don’t like the proles showing up in their electoral process and shaking this motherfucker up. Only a handful of marginal cranks had anything critical to say about Donald Trump for his wanton humiliation of subordinates on his Apprentice franchises. Who wants to listen to a preachy buzzkill, after all? When he ran for the presidency and called bullshit on all the Republican scam artists and self-dealers, that was when the gloves came off. That was when he suddenly became anathema for high-minded moral reasons. The first serious candidate to show up in the Republican primaries since at least Nixon with a platform to restore a version of the New Deal is also the first to be roundly repudiated for unprecedented bigotry, even though mainstream Republicans have notoriously been dogwhistling to bigots since the seventies? Eww, the Hardly Boys are getting a clue! This isn’t principle; it’s crude self-interest hypocritically masquerading as principle, and it’s being advanced in service to a nominally leftist candidate who is practically the apotheosis of self-dealing in the guise of self-righteous public service.
Beyond some point, which we’ve probably already passed this year, there’s nothing better for voters to use to reorient themselves than horse sense. Those in positions of authority are, to be generous, pretty clearly giving us bogus signals in the hope of luring us off some precipice because we can’t see our own way through all their fog. Under this gloss, we might want to ask ourselves why all the bougies, ostensibly from all political backgrounds, so vehemently hate and distrust Donald Trump. It’s nigh impossible to catalogue all the odious stances and candidates that both major parties have put forward in recent decades who were not Trump, so why does this particular vulgar blowhard get under their skin so? My horse sense says that these are people I cannot trust because many of them have been, and some continue to be, actively untrustworthy around me in a way that the lower classes do not. Their lecturing me, among others about the need to vote for the woman whose machine threw my preferred candidate under the bus doesn’t help their case. Their ulterior motive here is not hard to discern. Do they seriously expect us to believe that this is the first time in their teen or adult lives that they are not acting as self-dealers? Shit, I’m afraid I can answer that. It doesn’t occur to them that what they’re doing is in any way self-dealing.
Fuck them. If they aren’t on my side, I ain’t on theirs.
Mike Pence is said to be “apoplectic,” among other adjectives of outrage, over Trump’s old comments indicating predatory misogyny. What a fucking creep. This is the guy who caused a rural HIV outbreak as governor of Indiana by throwing his weight around to nix a needle exchange program for heroin addicts in Scott County. He’s the one whose moralizing about abortion has Purvi Patel serving a twenty-year prison sentence for an unauthorized miscarriage. It’s one thing to have to listen to the likes of him on some street corner where he hangs out all day, hollering his word. It’s quite another to have mainstream media dignifying his every sleazy, creepy, ruinous policy move by the sole virtue of its having been done by a serious Republican who is respected by other serious Republicans.
Trump’s reluctance to appeal to the religious zealots as well as the starve-the-beast movement conservative self-dealers makes him one of the least noxious politicians in the Republican Party today. The constituencies that he took on are statistically marginal ones that have bullied their way into control of large swathes of public policy. By choosing Pence as his veep, Trump divided his own ticket against itself–if he is the one who made that decision, that is. I have yet to peer far enough down that rabbit hole to see its end, but the conspiracy theories make enough sense not to dismiss out of hand. With the policies he’s been advocating, it certainly doesn’t sound like Trump’s idea to elevate that shitnuts to the Vice Presidency.
Again, dude shows up and wins by repudiating, like, half or two thirds of what has made the Republican Party poisonous for forty-odd years, and HE’S the one who is beyond the pale for acting consistently with a crude celebrity persona that he has maintained for decades? That’s some of the most ridiculous bullshit I’ve ever heard, and I’ve heard a lot of political bullshit.
No, Trump’s language and behavior don’t look good. Neither do the Clintons’. They’re the ones who are implicated in the intimidation of the Justice Department and the FBI. The Trumps and the Clintons are said to be friends after hours, so as always, every time I toy with the idea of voting for Trump, I remember something reminding me that Stephen Harper can’t hold a candle to him for sub rosa sleaze.
We aren’t living in a Weimar Republic redux because a bunch of bougies who don’t want to lose their perks and privileges keep accusing the guy who says he wants to make them share the wealth of being the next Hitler. We’re living in Weimar because they’re dictating the terms and the outcomes of our national politics. This shit makes Robert Pickton for Secretary of Agriculture sound like an undeserved mercy. It makes Gerry Rundel for director of the Fish and Wildlife Service sound like the blessed Millennium. Don’t be worried when I point out Millington for Sheriff endorsements. Be worried when I endorse Northside Juice for Southside President. I swear to God, that much is not a joke. Just look at the alternatives.