Donnie bestows his unique brand to the presidency.
Corroding American Dignity On The Fourth Of July
By David Remnick
The New Yorker (July 10 & 17 Issue)
More than three-quarters of a century after the delegates of the Second Continental Congress voted to quit the Kingdom of Great Britain and declared that “all men are created equal,” Frederick Douglass stepped up to the lectern at Corinthian Hall, in Rochester, New York, and, in an Independence Day address to the Ladies of the Rochester
Every day, Trump wakes up and erodes the dignity of the Presidency a little more. He tells a lie. He tells another.
Anti-Slavery Sewing Society, made manifest the darkest ironies embedded in American history and in the national self-regard. “What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?” Douglass asked:
I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy—a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices, more shocking and bloody, than are the people of these United States, at this very hour.
The dissection of American reality, in all its complexity, is essential to political progress, and yet it rarely goes unpunished. One reason that the Republican right and its attendant media loathed Barack Obama is that his public rhetoric, while far more buoyant with post-civil-rights-era uplift than Douglass’s, was also an affront to reactionary pieties. Even as Obama tried to win votes, he did not paper over the duality of the American condition: its idealism and its injustices; its heroism in the fight against Fascism and its bloody misadventures before and after. His idea of a patriotic song was “America the Beautiful”—not in its sentimental ballpark versions but the way that Ray Charles sang it, as a blues, capturing the “fullness of the American experience, the view from the bottom as well as the top.”
Donald Trump, who, in fairness, has noted that “Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job,” represents an entirely different tradition. He has no interest in the wholeness of reality. …
(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )
‘Morning Joe’ Row Is Fresh Sign Of TV’s Iron Grip On Trump’s Mind
By Jim Rutenberg
The New York Times (6/30/17)
There are a lot of insights to be drawn from the latest media maelstrom involving President Trump: about his sensitivity to criticism, his impulsivity, the way he talks about women and the ease with which he can still hurl the basest of insults.
But the episode is also a striking example of how a presidency born of television lives there still, no matter what else might be going on In Real Life (IRL, as the internet calls it).
It’s a cable news-Twitter presidency. So is it any wonder that one of the great, early standoffs of the new administration is not between the president and Congress or the president and a foreign leader, but between the president and the hosts of a morning news show?
As one of those hosts, Joe Scarborough of MSNBC, told me on Friday, “He should be a lot more worried about NATO and building a relationship with Angela Merkel than he is with cable news hosts.”
People close to the president will tell you that in fights like this one, his anger doesn’t stem from the criticism aimed at him, but from the fact that it comes from prominent people he once considered friends. That’s going to be hard to avoid given that his relationships with the nation’s top news people started when they were his fellow New York media fixtures, not national journalists covering him as the president.
No relationship better exemplifies the way Mr. Trump lives and breathes the political-media environment than the one between him and the hosts of “Morning Joe,” Mr. Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, both of whom agreed to talk with me about it on Friday. …
I’ve Overestimated Donald Trump
By Gail Collins
The New York Times (6/29/17)
I have to confess I’ve overestimated Donald Trump.
Back in the day, he sent me a copy of a column he objected to, with some notes suggesting I was a “dog and a liar” with “the face of a pig.”
I’ve had many opportunities to make use of that story since Trump became a presidential candidate, so it’s all fine for me. However, I have to admit that it did not occur to me he’d keep doing that kind of stuff as president of the United States.
The latest story involves Trump taking umbrage at the MSNBC “Morning Joe” hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough. So he took to Twitter, insulting them both and claiming that Brzezinski had come to Mar-a-Lago “bleeding badly from a face-lift.” Both she and Scarborough are plenty capable of taking care of themselves. But the country is, you know, sort of a different matter.
Every time one of these tweeting disasters occurs, it reminds us that the United States president has no more discernible self-control than a 10-year-old bully who works out his failure to pass third grade by tormenting the little kids on the playground. …
7 Words to Describe Trump’s Latest Tweet: Sexist, Repulsive, Grotesque, Insane, Deranged, Odious, Vile
By Jake Johnson
Common Dreams (6/29/17)
Just how many adjectives of contempt does it take to describe the latest behavior of the President of the United States?
In a tweetstorm that has been dubbed “sexist,” “repulsive,” “grotesque,” “insane,” “deranged,” “odious,” and “vile,” President Donald Trump on Thursday lashed out at MSNBC hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, calling Brzezinski “low I.Q. Crazy Mika” and attacking her appearance.
The response from members of the media, activists, and lawmakers was swift.
David Rothkopf, a columnist for the Washington Post, denounced the tweets as “Disgusting behavior from a man known for disgusting behavior.”
“Trump may not just be the most repulsive man ever to occupy the Oval Office,” Rothkopf concluded. “He’s one of the most grotesque characters ever in public life.”
Brzezinski, for her part, sent a wordless response…
Others urged that while outrage is certainly justified, a tweetstorm should not be allowed to distract attention from the Trump administration’s ongoing attempt to roll back civil rights and take healthcare from 22 million people.
“Trump posted a weird tweet,” wrote MoveOn.org’s Washington director Ben Wikler. “Set aside ten seconds to focus on that and then GET BACK TO FIGHTING TRUMPCARE.”