For many men, parenting ends at conception.
Not something that Trump is currently doing, but something we just learned he did as president.
He took an already unethical, possibly illegal, program used by Obama and loosened some of the protections against the extra-judicial killing of foreigners. Most used by drone strikes on “terrorist” targets, the program under Obama allowed these attacks (which he used 1,878 times in 8 years), but later in his term he put some limits on them, including requiring “near certainty” there would be no civilian casualties. Trump (which used them 2,243 times in just his first 2 years), got rid of the “near certainty” for men.
I think there are a few things at play here.
From Trump’s side, I think he’s still pissed of at Pfizer for waiting to report the vaccine efficacy until after the election. So it sticks in his craw to tell people to give them money.
For his followers part, they have been hearing for the past year that the corona virus is no big deal and that scientists are lying about it for various nefarious reasons. So to suddenly be told that you should do what the lying scientists tell you to protect you from something this is no big deal is a bit hard to swallow.
I heard a segment on NPR about a focus group of Vaccine hesitant Trump supporters. The consensus was that they would not listen to Trump if he told them to take the jab, but they might listen to their own personal doctor. So there is hope yet.
So looking through my news sources this morning, I see two diametrically opposed opinion pieces. One says that trump is fading into irrelevance, and the other says that trump still has a firm grip on the Repub party, and is consolidating power behind the scenes, like a pseudo-putin.
I think the first one is more true. That trump’s influence may remain for now, but is waning and will continue to wane. At least, I hope it’s true. Maybe that’s wishful thinking on my part.
Plus, I somehow overlooked something obvious: Biden is getting credit for the vaccine rollout! The scientists are obviously lying to make Biden look good, so no way are they going to go along with that.
I don’t know how they overcome the cognitive dissonance of saying no to something for which Trump claims credit, but if cognitive dissonance had any effect on them their brains would have exploded years ago.
Is there any evidence they haven’t?
If a wet firecracker is set off in the back of a pickup and no one is there to hear it, does it make America great again?
I think it was in a Cormac McCarthy novel where one character says of another: “He couldn’t figure out how to pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were printed on the heel.”
Every day I see something that evokes that line.
My belief is his influence on the party will wane after the first election his crowd doesn’t show up to vote straight ticket R. And not a minute before. His influence on the MAGAts is a separate issue.
So IMO …
Right now, the MAGAts are deserting him. More out of boredom than any deep-seated fury at being betrayed or misled.
But the party will be in full Eternal Fealty to the Almighty Trump mode until after the 2022 election. If he doesn’t deliver the vote in Nov 2022, no Republican pol will return his calls the very next day. But if he does deliver the vote, Eternal Fealty will be alive and well through the 2024 election.
If Trump does fade, that still leaves the question of how much raging fact-free reactionary racist authoritarianism is a winning brand for the Rs absent Trump. A lot of up-and-coming Rs are trying to make themselves into the future standard bearer of that brand. I don’t know how many up-and-coming Rs are pushing Wall Street Republicanism, C-suite Republicanism, Country Club Republicanism, or Foreign Policy Adventurism / Military-Industrial Complex Republicanism. But I think it’s comparatively few.
Those 5 brands are the poles that hold up the R big tent. Right now it sure looks like one mongo phone pole and 4 broomsticks.
Thus the push to get Trump back on Facebook. Zuckerberg created a “panel of experts” so as to be able to regain the profits lost when Trump was banished, while escaping all personal responsibility for letting the violence-monger do his violence mongering.
If there’s entertaining content from Trump available daily, his stock will rise with both his voters and with the GOP politicians who see him as their most reliable means of stimulating donations.
Of course, as you say, the crucial point for the pols will be whether the 2022 election results show that Trump has been effective in giving them seats in both Congress and state legislatures. So far his record is pretty spotty, but because of the fund-raising angle, they are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for a while longer.
Meanwhile they are hemorrhaging independents and traditional Republicans, who remain appalled by Trump (or at least unenthusiastic).
Zuckerberg’s decision (oh, right, the panel’s decision) will be critical.
How much money does Trump actually raise that gets spent on someone else? First off, I don’t know that I trust any numbers that come from Trump. He can say that he raised $100 million, but I wouldn’t be the least surprised if that number is inflated to make him look better. And of the money he does bring in, once he and his cronies are done skimming there’s a lot less that goes toward actually supporting candidates.
Good post. It summarizes what is going on. Social Media is king in this situation. If you want to hear what he thinks, you have to seek it out. But FB and Twitter gets everyone’s attention, including lead news stories. He gets back on these sites he’ll be nominated again! Or for Governor or something.
I was glad to see this action:
The part I liked the best:
A federal judge has ordered the release of a legal memorandum the Trump-era Justice Department prepared for then-Attorney General William Barr before he announced his conclusion that President Donald Trump had not obstructed justice during the Russia investigation.
The Justice Department had refused to give the March 24, 2019, memorandum to a government transparency group that requested it under the Freedom of Information Act, saying the document represented the private advice of lawyers and was produced before any formal decision had been made and was therefore exempt from disclosure under public records law.
But U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, in a sharp rebuke of Barr, said the Justice Department had obscured “the true purpose of the memorandum” when it withheld the document.
Judge Berman, judicial honey badger and master of the “sharp rebuke” to Trumpian bullshit. She’s fab.
SAN FRANCISCO — It has been four months since former president Donald Trump was last allowed to post on Facebook, after CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he was banned “indefinitely.”
Now the Facebook Oversight Board, an outside group funded and created by Facebook to review the social media giant’s thorniest policy choices, has made a decision on the case. It is expected to announce on Wednesday whether Facebook can uphold its suspension of Trump or if it has to allow him back on the site.
The board will announce its decision on this case — its most significant by far — at approximately 9 a.m. Wednesday. The ruling is being closely watched by politicians around the world, as well as social media researchers and other tech companies that similarly banned Trump in January.
Oh, PUH-LEESE keep that MF off of Facebook. Let him keep lurking around the fringes of the interwebs nipping at people’s ankles. Don’t give him a seat at the table again.
Your wish is granted.
Ban has been upheld
Hmm - seems like they kinda sorta made a non-decision. Agent Orange isn’t allowed back on FB for now, but the board recommended some type of definitive penalty, which apparently must be decided by Zuckerberg:
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Former President Donald Trump won’t return to Facebook. The social network’s quasi-independent Oversight Board has voted to uphold his ban from the platform after his account was suspended four months ago for inciting violence that led to the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
But the board said Facebook must reassess the penalty because it imposed it “indefinitely.”
The board says the new penalty must be “clear, necessary and proportionate” and consistent with Facebook’s rules for severe violations.
The board says if Facebook decides to restore Trump’s accounts, the company must be able to promptly address further violations.
Yeah, they upheld the Jan. 7 suspension but, sadly, didn’t ban him permanently. Said that was up to Facebook to clarify.
Too bad he can’t be permanently banned from existence.
I hope they leave it at “indefinitely”. That’s the perfect penalty for Trump; let him twist in the wind like all the unfulfilled promises he’s made over the years.
This is a cowardly punt. The whole purpose of the board is to review difficult decisions.
Now they come back with a ruling: “You can leave the ban in place for now, but the decision needs to be reviewed.”
Motherfuckers, that’s why they called you!