Tuesday, January 16, 2018

After "Shithole-gate" the Right Loves Trump More than Ever

Trump apoligist and enabler, Senator Tom Cotton
The last post looked at Grundy and Buchanan County, Virginia - Trump country, if you will - and the mindset that keeps the area in an economic death spiral.   Sadly, I suspect Der Trumpenf├╝hrer recent "shithole" comments denigrating certain countries and the entire continent of Africa played well in Grundy.  Indeed, as a piece in Vanity Fair notes, the crass racist remarks - and that's being polite - played very well among the right wing and much of the Republican Party base. "Friends" who vote Republican can assure themselves that they are not racist bigots, but the company they keep tells a very different story.  The base of the Republican Party is now a toxic cesspool visible to except those who refuse to open their eyes to reality - or who subscribe to the white supremacist/Christofascist agenda of the GOP.   Here are highlights from the Vanity Fair piece: 
For much of the sentient world, Donald Trump’sderanged and appalling reference to Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries as “shithole” nations during a White House meeting on immigration reform, last Thursday, became the latest evidence of, among other things, the president’s mental instability, the possibly irreparable descent of our democracy into an abysmal cesspool, and the chilling extent to which we have reversed decades of racial progress . . . . Even the president appeared to understand, on some level, that he had spoken with woeful ignorance.
By Sunday, Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue, both Trump loyalists, said that they couldn’t quite recall the word being used in the meeting, and attempted to publicly walk back the remark by proxy. As the weekend drew to a close, likely sensing the need to open a new front on their war with the media, the White House accused The Wall Street Journal of misquoting the president regarding his amorous relationship with erratic warmonger Kim Jong-Un.
On the far right, however, the president’s use of the word “shithole” was largely celebrated as Trumpism in its purest, most puerile form. “Donald Trump’s first instinct that ‘shithole’ would play well with his base was spot on,” Kurt Bardella, a longtime Republican press relations professional and the former spokesman for Breitbart News, told me. “No issue throughout the past two decades has had a more energizing and mobilizing effect on the conservative base and media than immigration.”
Indeed, the digital redoubts of the far-right were buzzing with excitement to see all their favorite adversaries—Democrats, celebrities, CNN anchors—so apoplectic. Responses ranged from from the farfetched and bizarre, like Fox News host Jesse Watters, who noted, “this is how the forgotten men and women in America talk at the bar,” to much, much worse. Some, such as one Infowars editor, rejoiced that Trump had validated their beliefs that such countries were dumps. . . . . an editor at the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer wrote, calling Trump’s comments “encouraging and refreshing.”
Breitbart, meanwhile, gleefully published stories about outraged, reliably liberal Hollywood celebrities (singling out Sean Penn at one point), as well as a host of triggered journalists from the “Shithole of Fake News.”
They all seemed to share a similar strategy. Given the inarguable ghastliness of Trump’s comments, the far right focused less on the indefensible statement itself than how seriously the left and media were taking the incident, a collective behavior that they attempted to portray as sanctimonious umbrage. . . . “I can tell you this is all faux rage…It is made up,” Rush Limbaugh seethed to his listeners, in a segment that was temporarily pushed on Breitbart’s front page
Trump’s base has always been a strange amalgamation of people who would normally never associate with each other: liberal-leaning populist-nationalists and evangelical, anti-gay alleged pedophiles; pro-Israeli businessmen and neo-Nazi Holocaust deniers; Republican war hawks and ardent isolationists. They remain united largely by disgust toward various liberal totems, and the fact that the vast and balkanized rightwing digital universe allows them to vaguely agree without ever meeting. 

Again, my mother always warned us as children that we would be judged by the company that we kept.  It's far past time that Republicans who still have some decency about them walk away from the Republican Party.  Otherwise, they deserved to be judged no better than the ugliest elements of Trump's base.  They do not get to have it both ways.  

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