That's Why We Do This We cover the weird, dark, outrageous and surreal in our politics because these things are much more important than most people - especially most political observers - care to admit. I thought of this when I read this high-minded and starchy editorial in yesterday's Washington Post, the upshot of which is that while they've tried to do the right thing and ignore Donald Trump's clown car campaign, they simply can't do it anymore. The time has now come to stand up to Trump's bullying! And, the Post insists, Republicans must now do so too. ... This encapsulates pretty much entirely the myopia of so much American political journalism. Sometimes readers will write in to say 'Why are you writing so much about Trump?' or Steve King or Michele Bachmann or Death Panels or whatever the latest thing is. 'You've just given them oxygen. If people ignored them, they'd go away.' ... A lot of people, a lot of liberals, or what we might better call people of cosmopolitan political sensibilities, live in this fantasy world wherein what they ignore either doesn't exist or will be shooed out of existence by their refusal to pay attention to it. This is, needless to say, not true. That's why many Democrats are continually surprised that things they think are straightforward or commonsensical turn out to be deeply controversial or even politically impossible. Or conversely, why so many preposterous claims are widely accepted as either possible or true. Why do so many people think the President is a Muslim?Since July or thereabouts, the very serious people in the professional political punditry class have been predicting the demise of The Donald. Each new gaffe, they have claimed, foretells the end of his campaign. Nope. More recently, the very serious professionals have stopped making these predictions. Good for them! Now, they're going after Trump - attacking him! ... as evidenced by the "high-minded and starchy" editorial board of the Washington Post cited above. "By God, if he won't self-destruct, WE'LL launch our nuclear arsenal against him!" - so our wise men now tell us. The latest salvos? Trump is a Fascist! - a nascent Hitler! As it happens, I agree with this assessment... BUT - does anyone really believe that this informally coordinated attack (both liberal & conservative outlets are saying much the same thing) will do any damage? I don't. BUT - if The Donald IS elected next November, and the Capitol burns down in February... well, maybe we should have paid attention!
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Too little, too late
Josh Marshall over at TPM hit the nail on the head: