Subscribe via RSS Feed

More about America’s ratings-conscious president

[ 68 ] January 6, 2017 |
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/817350726800306177

What hath white supremacy wrought?

Every so often I’ll see someone ask whether provoking Trump is a good idea.

They note (with 100% accuracy) that when he believes he is being challenged he lashes out. And if that doesn’t work he ups the ante. And now he’s got an army of savage rodents who’ll attack anyone he points them at.

This is all true, but it often leads to a false conclusion: That minimizing the number of times he’s challenged will minimize the frequency and extent (and damage) of his tantrumps. Basically, America should become a massive game of Don’t Wake Daddy. But instead of going back to the start of the game if they wake him, the participants will get 50 million tons of chemical waste in their waterways, a crashed global economy or several land wars.

This conclusion stems from a failure to understand that is not possible to avoid challenging someone like Trump. I know everyone likes to say he ticks all of the boxes on the narcissistic personality type checklist. However, the real problem is he ticks all of the boxes on the abusive thug checklist and he is about to become President of the United States.

This isn’t a sleeping daddy who will continue to sleep provided everyone keeps quiet. This is an asshole who is wide awake and waiting until he’s ready go off on someone, again. This type of person is constantly fondling old grievances and looking for new ones because it fuels the anger and that’s all part of the fun. And since it is not possible for anyone but the abuser to know what will make him angry until after the fact, there’s no way to predict, much less prevent, the abuser from striking again. Now, take that type of person and replace a family or a neighborhood with the entire planet and wondering if it is possible to avoid provoking him becomes patently ridiculous. Hey China, don’t make him angry. Germany, cut that out! Governor Brown, you’re making President TRump very angry. You protestors are asking for it!

What then does this mean to his victims or potential victims (in this case pretty much the entire planet)? The pessimistic version of the answer is we’re probably fucked, because barring a great deal of intervention, perhaps in the form of the bars of a jail cell, he’s not going to stop. His actions are 100% driven by what he wants to do and what he wants to do is fuck with people.

But that also means that the blame for what he does falls only on his fly-away floss covered head. It is on one else’s fault. No one should spend half a second worrying that this or that thing will cause Trump to do some dumb or horrible thing because if it isn’t this or that, it will be the other thing. And I think there’s a bit of much needed mental breathing room in knowing this.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

Comments (68)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. D.N. Nation says:

    Does this idiot still get money off that show, even if he’s not hosting?

    • medrawt says:

      Yes, he has a producer credit. Which is what makes this so funny, if you think it’s funny.

      • Nobdy says:

        It is funny in the short term because it shows he is a short-sighted idiot. In the long term it is terrifying for the same reason.

      • nixnutz says:

        I like Arnold enough that I might have actually checked this out if it weren’t for Trump’s involvement. You can see why he wants to blame him but I think a lot of folks don’t want to be reminded of the days when Trump was just the uglier and less amusing domestic version of Gordon Ramsay (maybe in a just universe Jon Taffer wouldn’t have shown up to fill that role and Donald would still be hosting a shitty TV show).

        • vic rattlehead says:

          Actually this is unfair to Gordon Ramsay. His US show(s) has much more manufactured drama and outbursts (natch!) than his original UK ones.

          In the UK Kitchen Nightmares, the only people I remember him *really* going off on were management, and occasionally lazy ass head chefs. His anger wasn’t over the top blind rage, but constructive, righteous anger stemming from a desire to fix the restaurant.

          His US producers had him go over the top thinking it would boost ratings. Of course, they were right.

          I wouldn’t exactly call him a nice guy, but the Ramsay you see in the US versions of his shows is really hamming it up, borderline moustache-twirling if you’ve seen him in any other context.

          And as far as I’m aware, Ramsay: has legitimate accomplishments to his name and became successful without a rich daddy, isn’t a serial sexual predator, or white nationalist.

          • nixnutz says:

            I guess I said that wrong then because I also like Ramsay, basically. I used to really like the show because it’s usually an exploration of Dunning-Kruger. I do remember a lot of swearing on the UK version though so he must have been blowing his top some of the time, although those proprietors were also not quite as delusional as the Americans.

          • Brad Nailer says:

            So why can’t we have Ramsay for president? He’d be a lot more engaging, if anything, and I assume his cabinet would be a bunch of cool people, not the troglodytes we’re just now getting set up to despise.

          • Domino says:

            Ramsey’s show when he was still in the UK was intriguing to me – restaurants that (usually) had been good, were struggling, and trying to fix it. It was more “this business model doesn’t work” or “your former head chef quit, the new guy is good, but currently not as great as the former one, and you have to adjust your prices accordingly”.

            There’s an attitude (for lack of a better word) to them that was very strong on compassion and understanding, which I get is supposed to be in the US version, but just not the same.

            • David Allan Poe says:

              Kitchen Nightmares UK was amazing. It was really a graduate-level course in what not to do in the restaurant business and an exercise in real problem solving, where the underlying issues were not always the issues they first appeared to be. People in the industry could learn a lot from that show.

              The US version started closer to that model but gradually played up the shouty chef aspects of Ramsay’s personality until that is now essentially all it (and really, his public brand) is.

      • Morbo says:

        I mean, the tweet is free advertising.

      • lunaticllama says:

        It is actually a kickback as NBC is part of a telecommunications company that is heavily regulated by the federal government and the Executive branch. Most large corporations with significant interests before federal agencies would pay a nominal salary to the President if they could.

  2. Nobdy says:

    I think this post is at least partially inspired by something I posted earlier (or maybe the narcissism is rubbing off on me) so I would like to defend my argument.

    I don’t think you’re wrong. I fundamentally agree with you.

    However, I think there’s a difference between trying to “not wake daddy” and egging Trump on to specific bad policy choices. You cannot keep him from behaving badly but you CAN taunt him into doing specific horrible things.

    So for example I would not want a bunch of people to say “Trump asked what the point of having nukes is if you don’t use them but now he is president and he DOESN’T USE THEM!! WHAT A PUSSY!! #HANDSTOOSMALLTOPRESSTHEBUTTON”

    It isn’t that he shouldn’t be challenged, he must be challenged, but you can pick your spots and maybe try to avoid egging him into committing specific atrocities.

    Note: this is not to say that he doesn’t have full responsibility for his actions. It is a tactical consideration not a moral one.

    • leftwingfox says:

      Sounds right. Making Trump flail like a toddler is important to destroying his strong leader pretensions, and to keep the media from treating him with undue respect. To that end, encouraging his twitter tantrums at celebrities and brands is probably best of both worlds.

      Plus it gives us the chance to see him pop like Andrew Breitbart did.

      • Shakezula says:

        Making Trump flail like a toddler is important to destroying his strong leader pretensions, and to keep the media from treating him with undue respect.

        If the press couldn’t treat him like the noxious clown he is during the election, there is no reason for it start now just because he won’t stop Tweeting and flailing.

        And as several people have noted, we’re one major terrorist attack away from nonstop boot licking.

        I do like the part about the Breitbart-style end.

        • John F says:

          Making Trump flail like a toddler is important to destroying his strong leader pretensions

          He’s BEEN flailing like a toddler forever, his supporters don’t even notice that for what it is, I doubt they’ll start now.

        • vic rattlehead says:

          It’s beautiful really. Just like W., we have another Republican President who has failed upward his entire life.

          And he’s probably going to bumble his way into allowing Americans to get killed in some sort of terrorist attack(s) which instead of hurting him is going to enable him to fulfill his authoritarian daydreams even more.

          • N__B says:

            The answer is to cull the upward-failing before they enter politics. In Trump’s case that would have meant banks shunning him after one of his bankruptcies; in Ryan’s case, the use of a time machine and crib-strangling.

            • Brad Nailer says:

              The banks did shun him, but not all of them, unfortunately. That’s why Deutsche Bank will be a big behind-the-scenes player in our presidential politics for the foreseeable future.

        • vic rattlehead says:

          I do like the part about the Breitbart-style end.

          Liberals are the real bullies!!!1

      • KatWillow says:

        I like to call them T-Weets.

    • vic rattlehead says:

      I see your point in the abstract, but the concrete example you give sort of leaves me scratching my head:

      So for example I would not want a bunch of people to say “Trump asked what the point of having nukes is if you don’t use them but now he is president and he DOESN’T USE THEM!! WHAT A PUSSY!! #HANDSTOOSMALLTOPRESSTHEBUTTON”

      This seems like a bit of a straw man. Who exactly is doing that or advocating for that? I mean, as Scott would say, surely the zero people on LGM who have argued that Trump should be egged on to commit atrocities are convinced!

      • Nobdy says:

        The actual discussion was about “getting Mexico to pay for the wall.” He is being taunted about that because there is no way to get Mexico to pay without doing something truly horrible.

        To which I say, be careful what we wish for because “doing something truly horrible” is right up Trump’s alley. Would he invade another sovereign country to seize their wealth over a minor threat to his ego?

        I would like to believe no.

        • vic rattlehead says:

          I guess I don’t really see it that way but I have a better understanding of what you meant.

        • efgoldman says:

          Would he invade another sovereign country to seize their wealth over a minor threat to his ego?

          I believe he might wish to. I also believe the military would slow-walk and dissemble and have to ramp up and requisition equipment and put it up for bid….
          The lessons of our little Iraq adventure have not been lost on the Pentagon.

    • Shakezula says:

      It’s something that’s been lurking at the back of my head for a very long time. But saying Trump might push the button if some individuals tease him about that isn’t really any different than saying Trump might push the button if some individuals tease him about his spray tan. It attempts to rationalize anti-rational, violent behavior and place the blame for it in the wrong place. However, I haven’t seen any evidence that he responds to the people who troll him on Twitter (and they are legion).

      What I have seen is he has gone after (to name a very few): women who claimed he harassed them, a union boss who spoke up against him and several intelligence agencies. And of course the press, no matter how hard it kisses his ass.

      • vic rattlehead says:

        You’d think the press would have learned this by now. There’s just…never any positive reinforcement from Trump. All you ever get is lashing out, no matter what you do. So what’s the point of bootlicking?

        • Shakezula says:

          The press doesn’t care how he treats them provided the money keeps coming in. And to be fair, provided he doesn’t pose a serious threat. Any obvious attempt to restrict the freedom of the press would wake them up.

          • Nobdy says:

            Any obvious attempt to restrict the revenue of the press would wake them up.

            FTFY?

            What does “freedom” of the press even mean to Jeff Zucker and Rupert Murdoch?

            • vic rattlehead says:

              Right. The relevant actors who would be “woken up” are not the real powers that be in those organizations. The profit incentive trumps all.

              If being Trump’s Pravda is good for business, I’m sure people like Zucker wouldn’t think twice about it. The NY Times would gladly take up that role. Some editors and journalists might holler but Liz Spayd would find a way to throw them under the bus.

          • tsam says:

            The press doesn’t care how he treats them provided the money keeps coming in.

            And the access, which is, of course, tied to the revenues. I think they learned immediately that Trump will countenance NO dissent among the press corps he allows close to him.

  3. DamnYankees says:

    Arnold of course responded to this saying he hopes Trump will focus more on helping Americans. Very soft response.

    I’m getting pretty sick of this “lets respond very modestly and with good feelings” towards everything Trump does response. While I think Michelle Obama is wonderful, and her “they go low, we go high” approach is the right one, that doesn’t mean we need to go soft or polite.

    Everytime Trump does something outrageous, it seems everyone’s reaction is to be “oh, that’s not reasonable, I hope he does better in the future.” It creates a ridiculous playing field where on the one side you have a nutjob and you have essentially no one punching back hard. It sets an absurd new middle ground. Even Bernie Sanders plays this game – Trump does something ridulous or harmful, and Bernie is “oh no, this will hurt the middle class and the poor”. He’s not wrong of course, it’s just so very feckless.

    I don’t see what the harm is in saying something like “Donald Trump is a ridiculous manbaby – grow the fuck up, you child.” I’m not paraphrasing – someone with serious stature should tell him to shut the fuck up.

    Maybe it won’t work. Maybe it’ll just make him more powerful. But this high minded “tut-tut” is clearly not working either. For anyone.

    • All of this “respect the office” talk only makes sense if the occupant of the office respects it, too.

      If Trump is incapable of or unwilling to exercise restraint in his statements and actions, I don’t see why he deserves deferential treatment. I mean, he has already used his platform to personally attack private citizens.

      • efgoldman says:

        All of this “respect the office” talk only makes sense if the occupant of the office respects it, too.

        Respect flows both ways. Salmon Shitstain has no respect for the voters or the institutions of government. Fuck him.

    • jim, some guy in iowa says:

      there’s all this hashing around thinking if we go over the primaries again we’ll somehow manage to find the right person to go up against Trump in ’20. that won’t do it- it’s going to have to be someone who has the knack to go after him bare-knuckle so to speak and does that over the next four years. It’s a little bit like the place Lincoln found himself in going through general after general until Grant rose to the occasion

    • jeer9 says:

      “Donald Trump is a ridiculous manbaby – grow the fuck up, you child.” I’m not paraphrasing – someone with serious stature should tell him to shut the fuck up.

      Biden did – the day after tape of him groping and inappropriately touching several women at the congressional swearing-ins appeared.

    • Just_Dropping_By says:

      Everytime Trump does something outrageous, it seems everyone’s reaction is to be “oh, that’s not reasonable, I hope he does better in the future.” It creates a ridiculous playing field where on the one side you have a nutjob and you have essentially no one punching back hard.

      Isn’t that at least in part because Trump isn’t actually doing anything right now? I would expect stiffer reactions once he’s actually in office and trying to implement policy as compared to when he’s randomly tweeting.

    • nixnutz says:

      I feel the same way but it’s definitely an area where I think you need to trust people’s judgment. Especially since you’re citing people who have actually demonstrated an ability to make meaningful change in the world (more Bernie than Arnold here).

      It’s sort of the opposite of how I feel about some protests and demos, i.e., I think this is ridiculous and likely counterproductive but I’m not the one who had the drive to make it happen so I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and hope for the best.

      I definitely hope more folks with more stature than say Alec Baldwin will be willing to go there but I’m not so confident that the approach would be helpful that I’m willing to call out people who actually have a platform and don’t agree.

    • KatWillow says:

      I suspect the worst insult to t-Rump is to say he’s NOT a billionaire. And I’m sure he isn’t.

      • Little Chak says:

        I would love to see Trump respond to the allegation that he’s not divesting because he can’t divest — what’s he going to sell…the rights to put his name on buildings? The man is highly leveraged, like he always has been. He plays rich, but he’s not actually rich. Divesting is not an option.

        • Brad Nailer says:

          He plays rich, but he’s not actually rich.

          I think that’s true. Everybody talks about his assets but nobody talks about his liabilities, which of course is a big part of why he’s hiding his tax returns. He lives large, but it’s probably other people’s money, mostly.

    • tsam says:

      “they go low, we go high”

      Wait, GO high? Oh. Oops.

  4. Sue.K.Mabels says:

    The real question is: does he care about popular opinion and can that be used to sway him?

    • DamnYankees says:

      Sadly, I think the more relevant question will be whether popular opinion can sway 3 GOP Senators. Trump is in a bubble.

      • John F says:

        Then the question becomes Trump or Pence? (aka pick your poison)
        The GOP Congress would ditch Trump in heartbeat if they thought the GOP base would go along.

        1. Some GOP Congresscritters clearly see the Russian thing as a potential lever- but what they don’t seem to notice is how many Repubs – people who have vilified Russia/Putin for years are more than willing to say “Putin’s not so bad, he hates Moose Limbs too”- A lot of GOP/Trump voters are like the French Rightwing shitheads who the day after the invasion began STILL saw the French left as the real enemy- these people would prefer that Russia conquered the US and Putin naming Medvedev as military governor to HRC as POTUS.

        2. With respect to the GOP base, there’s really only one “third rail” that Trump’s not insulated from- conservative evangelicals will ditch him if he turns into a squish on abortion/planned parenthood.

    • KatWillow says:

      As long as his admirers continue to think he’s a brilliant billionaire, tough and straight-talking… and super rich, he’ll be happy. I think his T-Weets are his example of tough-talk. Bullies don’t see themselves a bullies, they think they’re tough and strong.

    • Shakezula says:

      Popular opinion, along with facts, are filtered through his ego, so no.

      We saw this when he claimed he won the popular vote. People said Nope and and he switched to claiming he won the electoral vote by some record setting amount.

      When people again said Wrong again, he claimed that winning the electoral vote was harder than winning the popular vote and only a super genius strategist could do it.

    • tsam says:

      Well, if he meets the actual criteria of being a narcissist, then he cares about popular opinion a lot, but doesn’t have the ability to separate positive from negative opinion. As long as everyone is paying attention to him, everything is fine.

  5. John F says:

    I know someone who thought that Trump would change and act more “Presidential” after getting the GOP nomination.

    Same person thought that Trump would change and act more “Presidential” after winning the election.

    That same person’s response to Trump dissing Schwarzenegger? Ok, we really are screwed.

  6. vic rattlehead says:

    This is a great analysis. Personally, I think Trump should be needled as often as possible. Those who enjoy various privileges the rest of us do not and have a platform should seek to needle Trump all day every day.

    Even if it doesn’t weaken his image as much as I hope it will, it’ll still be great. Make Republicans own their Toddler in Chief and explain all of his temper tantrums.

    It also means it’s probably trivially easy to redirect his attention. You can distract him from pretty much anything. Find a way to harness that weakness.

    • los says:

      Make Republicans own their Toddler in Chief and explain all of his temper tantrums.

      otoh, feature not bug.

      a lot of democratic voters disappear if they nuke California.

  7. Sebastian_h says:

    We can’t play quiet and hope he will go away, but we can chose our battles specifically so his outrages make him look bad in ways that help us.

    I feel like people think that just because Trump is outrageous it is ok to be randomly outrageous back. It isn’t. We need to be outrageous back in a targeted way. We need to have a plan where we are poking him so that he lashes out in a path that leads to our success.

    Some random poking is likely to be helpful in the sense that his outbursts are so random that some will randomly be helpful. (I.e. we are already at the point where the spokesman is whining that people are mean to Trump). But that ultimately won’t be nearly good enough.

    • DamnYankees says:

      >I feel like people think that just because Trump is outrageous it is ok to be randomly outrageous back. It isn’t. We need to be outrageous back in a targeted way. We need to have a plan where we are poking him so that he lashes out in a path that leads to our success.

      The obvious way is to poke him in a way that makes him throw the Congressional GOP under the bus. Make him get mad at Ryan or McConnell. Seems the obvious path.

  8. C.V. Danes says:

    Once the Trump presidency is over, we’ll get several years of ‘former president Trump’ to deal with. The gift that just keep on giving!

  9. postpartisandepression says:

    Tip toe around him in the hopes that he won’t do something?? You guys are nuts – the absolute best response to him is to egg him on at every single moment , call him names talk about his small hands and ___k and push him to do all the stupid things he wants. THAT is the only way to get rid of him in less than 4 years. I WANT the republicans to own everything he says and does in the hopes that we can finally BURY them for good.

    It has only been 8 years since we had the last horrible idiot for president who also did not win the election. In that time he managed to balloon the deficit, put us in wars that have lasted for fifteen goddamned years , put us in the worst depression since 1929 and the voters in the is country have already put the reins of power back in those incompetents hands. Can you imagine what Trump can do??

    No, the only way to deal with the orange cheeto is to force him and his fellow republicans to fail so fast that even the ignoramuses will see it and call for them all to resign. Make fun of Trump at every opportunity let him get tiresome and do his damage fast. At least then we might have a chance to turn things around.

  10. los says:

    fondling old grievances

    nice phrase

  11. […] points out that while Trump lashes out when provoked, he’ll lash out when not provoked. We can’t stop him getting angry, so don’t worry about it. To a large extent, I think […]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.