Saturday, March 12, 2016

Is Trump Reaping the Whirlwind?

It should not need repeating, but Barack Obama has been one of the most divisive presidents in recent American history. He has set poor against rich; white against black; women against men.

This morning the Wall Street Journal editorialized:

Mr. Obama has shown contempt for institutions that he doesn’t run, and, notably, most of his growth-subtracting policies have been imposed through unilateral executive action. He doesn’t do persuasion and compromise. Some policies were intended to sow division, like his lawless immigration order that inflamed the restrictionist right, divided Republican elites and was only stopped by the courts.

The nature of Mr. Trump’s appeal can be explained by Mr. Obama’s own rule-by-regulation governing methods and polarizing political style. You might even call him The Barack, the more articulate and sophisticated liberal antecedent to The Donald.

Let’s not forget the thugs of the Black Lives Matter Movement and the Brown Shirted radicals who are running amok on college campuses. Obama’s demeanor tells people that he is not responsible, but, in effect, he is.

How can right thinking people counter these forms of aggression?

Those who fawn over the Donald believe that he has found just the right response, or, should I say, counterpunch. Trump proposes meeting strength with strength, violence with violence.

A Trump supporter sucker punched a black man at a Trump Rally in North Carolina. The victim was being escorted out of the building. The assailant is being charged with criminal assault and battery.

Yesterday, Trump supporters beat up a black man at a Trump Rally in St. Louis. Let's accept that the victim was there to cause trouble. Aren't there other ways to have him expelled from the meeting? The night before, Trump’s campaign manager manhandled a female reporter in Jupiter, Florida. She was not causing trouble or threatening the Donald.

Yesterday, in St. Louis and in Chicago the radical left turned out in force, looking for a fight. At best, they wanted to shut down Trump’s free speech. In Chicago they succeeded.

One might say, and with considerable reason, that it’s about time that someone fought back against the lawless Obama administration and the forces it has unleashed across the country. Since the administration acts like a rogue and outlaw force, since legislative and judicial action is powerless to stop it, the people are taking things into their own hands.

Obviously, people who come to rallies to harass the speaker should be expelled, by force, if necessary. Too many universities have caved to such threats and have refused to allow conservatives to speak at all.

Of course, agitators ought to be dealt with by security forces, not by mobs. Because, once you answer violence with violence, thuggery with thuggery, bullying with bullying, you are making yourself the instigator. You are taking ownership of the nation’s divisions.

Through it all, beginning with Thursday’s debate, the Donald has refused to take responsibility for any of the violence committed in his name. Even if he was encouraging his supporters to punch out protesters, he does not believe that he is at fault when they do. Like Barack Obama, Donald Trump never apologizes because he does not believe that he can ever do wrong.

Anyway, Trump is made of Teflon, so nothing sticks. At least, that has been the case up to now. We note that the media is now regaling the public with Trump’s statements encouraging violence. Trump might not think he is at fault, but many people, even people inside the Republican Party are holding him accountable. If he becomes, as is increasingly likely, the face of the Party, his principles will define the party. It’s called rebranding. 

If Trump had been a Democratic plant, sent to infiltrate and destroy the Republican Party, he could not be doing a better job.

For the record, here are a few of the Donald’s greatest hits:

I love the old days. You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried out on a stretcher, folks.

Knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously, Okay?

I’d like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell you that.

Maybe he deserved to be roughed up.

If you believe that political disagreements should be settled by fist fights, you have your candidate. Just because the other side is engaging in violent confrontation, nothing says that you ought to be responding in kind. Remember the line: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. It does not say: Do unto others as others have done unto you.

And then there is the strange case of Michelle Fields. The conservative reporter for Breitbart News Fields accused Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski of having manhandled her after a press conference in Jupiter, Florida. Lewandowski has both admitted that he did it and denied that he did it. Trump says that it never happened. Fields has filed a criminal complaint for misdemeanor assault.

A reporter for the Washington Post witnessed the event and corroborated Fields’ story.

It would have been easier for Lewandowski to admit his mistake and apologize. But the Trump signature, like the Obama signature, is never saying you are sorry. For weak people, it feels like strength.

Note well: Michelle Fields is not a Democratic operative. She is not part of the Black Lives Matter movement. She is not a looming presence who might have threatened the Donald. She is a demure, even petite young woman, a bona fide conservative working for a conservative new organization.

New York Magazine describes what happened:

The whole fiasco began Tuesday night, when Fields was walking alongside Trump’s entourage as they exited his golf club in Jupiter, Florida. Fields pointed her recording device toward the presidential candidate and asked if he still opposed affirmative action. Before Trump could answer, Fields felt someone grab her by the arm and yank her toward the ground. According to audio of the incident obtained by Politico, Fields was initially uncertain who had assaulted her and relied on Post reporter Ben Terris for confirmation.

Fields: “Holy sh*t."

Terris: “Yea, he just threw you down."

Fields: “I can’t believe he just did that, that was so hard. Was that Corey?"

Terris: “Yeah, like, what threat were you?"

According to sources who spoke with the Daily Beast, Lewandowski confessed to “manhandling” Fields in a conversation with Breitbart reporter Matthew Boyle late Tuesday night. Fields shared images of bruises she sustained from the incident over social media.

Rather than apologize for what may have been inadvertent, the Trump campaign, and especially Lewandowski attacked Fields again, calling her delusional and an attention seeker and a liar. The Donald himself declared that she must have made the whole story up.

One should not need to say it, but strong men do not go around manhandling women. And strong men do not beat up on women, in any sense of the word.  They do not threaten women and do not try to destroy their reputations. It’s not a sign of strength; it’s Clintonian.

If you ask yourself where in American politics we have seen such behavior, the answer that comes to mind is: the Clinton machine’s reaction to the women who stepped forth to blame Bubba for having molested, assaulted or raped them.

Michelle Fields is not an isolated case. Consider the way Trump treated Megyn Kelly after the first presidential debate. Michelle Goldberg describes the attacks:

Conservative women step out of line, and the Trump organization mobilizes to try and destroy them, painting them as irrational, slutty, and hysterical. Consider what happened after Trump’s contretemps with Megyn Kelly last summer.* Furious that she’d asked him about his frequently misogynist language during a Fox News debate, he suggested that she must have been menstruating. Online, his fans went ballistic; Kelly recently said she still can’t go on Twitter. In January, after Trump refused to participate in a Fox News debate that Kelly was co-moderating, he and his supporters launched what the Washington Post described as “a campaign to demean, diminish and critique Kelly.” At one point, Trump retweeted someone who wrote, beneath a sexy photograph of Kelly from a GQ photoshoot, “And this is the bimbo that’s asking presidential questions?”

Offensive and insulting, of course. Lacking decorum, of course. It was an all out attack on a woman, as a woman. Some women will happily vote for this kind of behavior, because the Donald can do no wrong, but, seriously….

Obviously, Kelly has a mammoth institution behind her, so she has defended herself and even won out over the Donald’s smear machine.

The same, Goldberg continues, cannot be said of Cheri Jacobus, another female Republican consultant. Examine what happened to her when she dared to challenge the Donald:

The same can’t be said for Cheri Jacobus, a Republican strategist who criticized Trump’s debating skills on CNN in January. As the New York Times reported, Trump attacked her on Twitter, and Lewandowski described her as a disappointed job-seeker on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. (In fact, the Trump campaign had made overtures to Jacobus, not vice versa.) “Mr. Trump’s Twitter followers, who number about six million, piled on,” the Times said. “For days, they replied to his posts with demeaning, often sexually charged insults aimed at Ms. Jacobus, including several with altered, vulgar photographs of her face.” One Trumpian meme depicts her as the Glenn Close character in Fatal Attraction.

As I said, strong men do not beat up on women. Men who are pretending to be stronger and more powerful than they are do like to show off their strength by beating up people who are considerably weaker than they are. Candidates who make their bullying and thuggery the centerpiece of their campaigns are often sorely deficient when it comes to experience and policy.

True enough, the nation’s discourse has been corrupted by Barack Obama. But, once you undertake the same tactics, once you encourage people to commit assault and battery… not against the left, but against people who are sympathetic to you, you are buying responsibility.

You are absolving Barack Obama of responsibility and are taking responsibility for the violence that your supporters are committing. When violence breaks out at a Trump rally after Trump encourages his supporters to assault and batter people… the press and even many members of his own political party will hold him accountable.

Remember Hosea 8:7:

For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind:


Ares Olympus said...

The canceled Chicago rally was surprising, Trump claiming he canceled it because he didn't want anyone hurt.

I never thought about how tricky political rallies are. They're dangerous when there are 99% supporters, and 1% protestors, and they're even more dangerous when there are 60% protestor and 40% supporters.

And Trump has enjoyed using the crowd to take out the protestors, and offering free legal support if any are arrested. So even with the canceled rally, it seems like he really doesn't see a downside to supporters and protestors assaulting each other, even when he claims at the debate he didn't want any violence.

I attended one Sanders rally before Super Tuesday, and somehow Bernie Sanders didn't draw any protesters. I guess this shows Wall Streeters are too small of a minority or perhaps they're too ashamed of their $200,000 bonuses to make a public spectacle over it. But Sanders has yet to prove he's got a chance to beat Hillary and her $300,000 private speeches to Wall Street.

It is curious to me that Obama is being blamed at all for Donald Trump's rise. And its curious to me that people reject BLM's claims of police brutality and senseless shootings. I don't think Obama is responsible, although I am glad he helped reverse some of the military gear and weapons sold to local police forces.

Trump is right, we owe a lot to Police for their hard job, but just like Trump ought to be held responsible for his words when others take them seriously, Police need to be held responsible for their own lack of responsibility in policing their own excesses, and hiring officers to carry guns who have no evidence they know how to use them.

And Trump's defenses of his crowds are interesting, "They're passionate and angry" while he can't see the same defense for the BLM protestors, even as both cases surely the vast majority are peaceful and nonviolent.

Some times I think a little conflict is a good thing, like a sucker punch against a self-righteous protestor who just gave an obscene gesture and in triumph, for delaying Trump's speech a couple minutes.

And there are different lessons here. One lesson is sometimes "physically weak people express strength by provoking physically stronger people" and when you can get someone to assault you with the cameras running, whether a redneck fool, or a police officer, you can make them look bad, and play the victim. So that's a "tactic" that has to be recognize, and rather than condemned, accepted, and you can say "I don't have to respond with violence when someone gives me the finger." And so it's a chance to learn to control your anger.

Perhaps if we look at Obama's speeches, we can find something like Trump's excuses, for BLM violence, but I'm more doubtful. And again, like the previous paragraph, real political power comes from provoking violence in your political rivals and using that against them. So the violence from BLM are losers within that movement, the ones who fail to see proper strategy.

I admit I'm scared of what Trump's "Whirlwind" can yield, but in the very least I think it makes "whites" look bad, and it makes Trump and his followers easier to dismiss.

Just like the Right tries to dismiss BLM, the Left sees Trump and his supporters and they see Angry Racists who are not worth listening to.

Somehow there must be a proper middle between "Stirring people up" and "sending them over the edge" and crowds bring out the worst in the worst, and encourage the worst in those who are weak-willed and stupid.

Trump's rallies must be fun, but I wonder if he's motivating his followers to go door knocking and stamp licking that actually gets people out on election day. Maybe its a good strategy to fire people up before telling them they have work to do?

Scullman said...

Obama is an expert in playing people off each other. How fitting that this took place in Chicago, hometown of his patron saint Saul Alinsky, where he learned his community organizer trade craft.

The only thing he’s ever done with any ability, in his entire life.

After almost eight years of this crap seeping into every racial crack in America, it’s time to blame Donald Trump?


Sam L. said...

Dem Convention, 1968, Chicago. Seems like nothing's changed.

Ares Olympus said...

Sam L. said.... Dem Convention, 1968, Chicago. Seems like nothing's changed.

It'll be interesting to see what Cleveland Ohio July 2016 looks like. Trump might be just beginning to hone his follower's ruckus raising skills.

Trump actually said he thinks whomever has the most delegates should win, which is a load of garbage. The whole purpose of delegates is a majority of delegates will decide the winner.

And if Rubio had dropped out 4 weeks ago and Cruz was looking to win a majority, Cruz would be saying "most delegates wins" and Trump would be saying "Let the delegates decide."

Don't you love politics!

What's most curious is that calm and reasoned delegates COULD actually pick a majority winner, but because people are too excitable and it'll look bad, probably the GOP can't risk Trump's followers making a ruckus as sore losers for their 38% of the delegates that is supposed to win no matter what.

So the GOP will end up with appeasement policy and "letting him win" because anything else would be too ugly.

So much for bedlam and mayhem in Ohio. I really don't want chaos, just want to see how Trump takes it when he can't gain the endorsement. We'd then know if Trump and his followers true character.

Anonymous said...

"Those who fawn over the Donald believe ..."
"the Donald"

Oh, jeez, get over yourself. I thought you were supposed to be some sort of professional life coaching guy. You are sounding like the hysterical over-the-top wingnuts, who declare that anybody who supports somebody else is evil.

Nobody can be just a plain Trump supporter? No, they can only be "fawners".
"My support for my guy is rational, your support for your guy is irrational fawning." -- is that how it goes?

"the Donald"
And it's perfectly okay to use insulting diminishing language to refer to somebody you don't support?

"the Donald has refused to take responsibility for any of the violence committed in his name"
BTW, I just kicked a dog in your name. When can we expect you to take responsibility for that?

sestamibi said...

So let me get this straight: a large group of demonstators comes to a Trump campaign event with the express purpose of disrupting it, and we are told that this is somehow Trump's fault??!?

Let me stipulate here that I would prefer a different candidate for the GOP, but if Trump is nominated damn right I'll vote for him over Hillary in November.

So with that in mind, it's not a stretch by any means to compare Chicago yesterday to Benghazi in Sept. 2012, and the Democrats are providing the same explanation for the protestors' behavior: you goaded them into it. If you didn't say (or make a provocative video) what you did, then this wouldn't have happened.

Let us also remember that despite an event that in normal times would have meant a declaration of war, or at least public opinion primed to hold the current occupant of the White House responsible an dump him in an election shortly thereafter, Obama won anyway. So it can be reasonably concluded that the American people are behind shutting down the opposition. This is the significance of the triumph of the Left: it is not enough to be the majority opinion, it intends to be the ONLY opinion permissible.

So that's what this is about, and it's time conservatives/Republicans (not necessarily the same these days) begin to recognize this and act accordingly. It's time to stop the bromides about the First Amendment and respond with force as it is used against us. "No, WE will tell YOU what you can think and say."

Because if we don't, in Hillary Clinton's America we will get a pussified Supreme Court that uncovers a constitutional right "not to be offended" (held only be certain aggrieved groups, thank you). We will have same-sex weddings at the Westboro Baptist Church, abortions performed at Catholic hospitals, and corporations and individuals prosecuted for expressing skepticism about "climate change".

What was it Obama said about bringing a knife to a gun fight?

Anonymous said...

The other side.

More Untruth About Donald Trump

Ares Olympus said...

Ross Douthat is amazingly on task today.

If Trump fails to get a majority of the delegates, the gears of party politics ought to crush him for what he is. And its Trump's task to show what a billionaire does when "The Establishment" rejects his ascent, that is pout and whine like the baby he is.

Unfortunately my bet is the GOP will yet try to appease their devil, and as Stuart fears, President Hillary Clinton will thank the GOP for their cowardice.
..Trump, though, is cut from a very different cloth. He’s an authoritarian, not an ideologue, and his antecedents aren’t Goldwater or McGovern; they’re figures like George Wallace and Huey Long, with a side of the fictional Buzz Windrip from Sinclair Lewis’s “It Can’t Happen Here.” No modern political party has nominated a candidate like this; no serious political party ever should.

Because such figures speak — as Wallace did, and Long, and Ross Perot, and others — to real grievances, the process of dealing with them is necessarily painful, and often involves a third-party bid and a difficult reckoning thereafter. Trump would be no exception: Denying him the nomination would indeed be an ugly exercise, one that would weaken or crush the party’s general election chances, and leave the G.O.P. with a long hard climb back up to unity and health.

But if that exercise is painful, it’s also the correct path to choose. A man so transparently unfit for office should not be placed before the American people as a candidate for president under any kind of imprimatur save his own. And there is no point in even having a party apparatus, no point in all those chairmen and state conventions and delegate rosters, if they cannot be mobilized to prevent 35 percent of the Republican primary electorate from imposing a Trump nomination on the party.
But the party’s convention rules, in all their anachronistic, undemocratic and highly-negotiable intricacy, are also a line of defense, also a hurdle, also a place where a man unfit for office can be turned aside.

So in Cleveland this summer, the men and women of the Republican Party may face a straightforward choice: Betray the large minority of Republicans who cast their votes for Trump, or betray their obligations to their country.

For a party proud of its patriotism, the choice should not be hard.

Marsh said...

There's video of the incident you write about w/ the Breitbart reporter. In fact, Breitbart posted frame by frame pic of the incident. The eye witness clearly mistakenly ID Trump's campaign manager, instead of a secret service guy. The reporter kept touching Trump and the SS apparently was doing his job by pulling her away from him.

Not that facts matter to you.

Your case against him is complete and utter BS.

I've lost so much respect for you.

Marsh said...

In your opinion, Trump deserves BLM violence, and by extension, his supporters deserve the violence too. The rioters are calling for female Trump supporters to be raped. Good to know you support that, Stuart.

Oh, I forgot to put that in the form of a question, like you did.

Does Stuart support the call for raping of Trump supporters?

Scullman said...

Trumps going to be the nominee whether you agree that he’s “fit", transparently or otherwise, for the office (as if some mediocre Ohio governor and longtime Republican hack motor mouth is?).. (who mostly sounds like the guy screaming at the neighborhood kids to get the hell off his lawn). Or that guy with the dynastic last name was “fit” for anything but an early tee time at the country club?
Or the two “hispanic” guys from the U.S. Senate Talk Palace and Bullshit Academy are “fit”? One of whom has never held a job in his adult life, besides running around Florida telling everyone how proud he is of his bartender father? (that’s job experience now for the office of President?) and the other one just decided recently he’s not a dual citizen of two countries? How nice.

Trump will be the nominee, and if that blows up the Republican Party who’s gonna’ miss it?

Marsh said...

Video showing Miss Fields lied about what happened to her.

Oh, and did you know she has a book coming out in June?

More about that Washington Post reporter who claims to have seen the incident...

Ares Olympus said...

Marsh, here's an interview with Michelle Fields. She says she didn't physically see the man who grabbed her arm, but Corey was right there behind her, AND the secret service denied any involvement.

In this case Stuart's opinion is right on, "It would have been easier for Lewandowski to admit his mistake and apologize. But the Trump signature, like the Obama signature, is never saying you are sorry. For weak people, it feels like strength."

I might say Trump picked a poor campaign manager, someone who would lie to Trump rather than just admit what happened. It is reasonable that we should worry that Trump surrounds himself with men who would rather lie than tell the truth on something as small as this.

There's a world of enabling that happens in dysfunctional families. There's a sense loyalty that says you need to cover up the dishonorable behavior and aggression of others in your family, even when it hurts you, because there are enemies who will try to exploit those mistakes.

Probably Hillary's cover-up behavior, for all her imagined feminism, contains the same enabling.

Speaking out is definitely the harder thing to do. There's no upside to public disloyalty.

Marsh said...

Ares, did you look at the links I posted? There's a slow motion video of it. It was the SS who pulled her arm. There was NO TRACE OF PAIN ON HER FACE as this happened. Cory was on the other side of the SS guy. The SS guy was in between her and Cory.

She's a liar. And this isn't the first time she's made up a story about being attacked.

Ares Olympus said...

Marsh, yes, but as Paul Simon sang "Still a man [sees/]hears what he wants to [see]/hear. And disregards the rest."

I don't think the video quality and depth of preception is sufficient for my assumptions to overrule the people there.

There was no reason for the secret service to grab someone just standing there calmly trying to ask a question. There's also no secret service members claiming responsibility. However there is reason for a campaign manager to express his hostility against someone his unconscious sees as trouble.

I'm willing to give Corey the doubt, that he has no memory of the interaction, and that he had no idea who she was, but it doesn't mean it didn't happen. It can also mean he had other things on his mind.

My own speculation is to consider that Corey Lewandowski is used to man-handling people who get too close to Trump and it's so instinctual she didn't even register to him as a human being worthy of eye contact, merely an inconvenient dangerous object that needed to be redirected.

Stuart's big on character, I wonder how you decide who is a bigger liar on people you don't know personally? Maybe we'll find out.

And again, if Corey had just said "I have no memory of this incident, but people crowd around Trump, and sometimes I have to intervene, and if I intervened too forcefully, I apologize. Had no intention to hurt anyone." That would be a lot easier than calling someone delusional and then looking for dirt to discredit her.

Marsh said...

From other angles you can she's reaching out to touch Trump...That alone will give a SS enough reason to intervene and move her arm away from Trump.

Stuart says he cares about character, but not always. Why hasn't he presented all the evidence about this woman and the incident? B/c he has an obvious agenda as seen in post after post having anything to do w/ Trump.

This isn't the first time I've seen him demonstrate a character flaw. He has also advocated that cheaters should keep adulterous affairs from their spouses. That's advocating lying in my book. And deadly lies at that.

Ares Olympus said...

Marsh: From other angles you can she's reaching out to touch Trump...

That's a preposterous narrative even if true. A harmless-looking white girl who looks like just a reporter and reaches out (allegedly by your claim) to touch a presidential candidate while asking him a question, and a secret service agent sees sufficient imminent threat to grab her from behind so tightly as to leave a bruise, and releases her 1 second later continue walking as if nothing happened at all, no detainment, no acknowlegement of what she did wrong to deserve this rough treatment.

That might be a good scenario only if you imagine secret service agents are simple-minded bullies who have bad days and assault women from behind to release some tension, with dozens of potential witnesses and never worry about the consequences.

Or but I thought she was lying and the assualt never happened. We really have to clarify which unlikely narrative we're speculating upon.

So either she's dishonest, or a secret service agent is a brute and a coward.

Yes, those are obviously the most likely explanations for events around candidate Donald Trump who just happens to advocate roughing people up.

Marsh said...

Did you watch the slow motion video? Even Bret Beir had to admit today that Cory hadn't touched her and that nothing close to manhandling happened to this girl. There wasn't a TRACE of pain on her face on the SLOW MOTION video. Nor was she almost knocked over.

This is a big fat nothing burger.

Ares Olympus said...

Hey Marsh, looks like a new video is up, along with simple assault charges against Corey Lewandowski by Florida.

The frame-rate is too low to see how forcefully he pulled her, but you can see clearly he moved towards her, pulled her backwards away from Trump, and then kept walking without ever looking at her. It's credible that such grabbing and pulling would leave marks or a bruise.

I don't know what "rules" there are about manhandling reporters. I'd imagine it legal to use your body as a blockade against someone's movement, but the second you grab someone and stop or reverse their movement against their will, you're in dangerous legal ground, however minor the charges.

Trump, on the other hand, wasn't impressed and defended Corey saying, “Wow, Corey Lewandowski, my campaign manager and a very decent man, was just charged with assaulting a reporter,” Trump said in the tweet. “Look at tapes-nothing there!”

I know, denial isn't just a river in Africa. We all see what we want to see.