Has he nominated his horse to the Senate yet?

reporter

Trump believes millions voted illegally, WH says — but provides no proof

Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump believes millions of votes were cast illegally in last year’s election, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said on Tuesday, but he wouldn’t provide any concrete evidence for the claim, which has long been debunked.

Character is Destiny, said the Greeks. (And WHAT a character this Trump fellow is! [RIM SHOT] )

Everything you and I have learned about existing in this “real” world devolves down to one basic fact: experience and expertise matter. A LOT. We don’t pick an EMT to do brain surgery, nor do we put a fast-food worker in charge of a rocket launch.  But we have, for reasons best left unspoken, handed a mental toddler the most lethal hand-gun of all time … loaded. Go figure.

Normally, I shouldn’t have to point this out, but these are not normal days. And, more than this, Lincoln’s old quote comes to mind: You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

lincoln_1858

Right now, the Trump White House is trying to set the terms, openly at war with and bullying the press corpse [sic]. Another old saw comes to mind: let sleeping dogs lie. And the sleeping dogs of the press corpse have been collaborators for as long as I can remember. Remember, these selfsame newsrooms didn’t think that there was anything to Watergate, and except for a couple of cub reporters  with a lot of moxie and an editor willing to back them up, Nixon might well STILL be in office. (Rule of thumb on Nixon history: no matter how bad you THOUGHT he was, turns out, he was worse.)

But to kick these spineless celebrity groupies in the ribs seems an imbecilic strategy — else a Machiavellian bunker strategy that we haven’t seen since Nixon. Couple that with a McCarthyian paranoia and fixation on enemies with a Schwarzeneggeresque facility for governance and it doesn’t take a Hari Seldon to figure out how the dominoes are going to fall.

Let the sleeping dog press remain asleep, lest they arouse, find that they have spines and maybe an editor or two with guts, and see what the press can legitimately do. Foolish, strategically, to arouse them, just as it was foolish to openly lie to the CIA.

Classified document

Then again, not much has been said about the ultimate thousand pound gorilla in the room and that is this: The center of U.S. publishing is New York City, specifically Manhattan. If you don’t believe that, go back and look at the Nine Eleven coverage. The spectacle of the news media center looking back at itself was so intense that Washington D.C. almost got lost in the mix.

Donald Trump has spent the last half century cultivating that SELFSAME media. He understands the medium in a way that only, perhaps Ronald Reagan did, combined with relationships with Manhattan reporters going back to the dawn of Manhattan time.

New York

And that has been the source of the “free” media that he got during the campaign, both primary and general. But no one dares mention that the New York media emperor is naked. Which ought to tell us how in thrall to that island’s Digerati we non-Manhattanites truly are.

But to start his maladministration by declaring that two plus two equals five and whining that in front of a CIA audience would seem the height of … what?* Arrogance? Or a kind of psychotic bubble that only accepts or rejects ideas and information that fits a pre-existing notion of how the world has GOT to be. In its mild version, we call it looking at the world through rose-colored glasses. In its extreme form, we have Caligula appointing his horse to the Senate.  (And, if you don’t know what happened to Caligula, it’s probably best that you don’t know. It isn’t pretty.)

caligula PD

[* CBS has confirmed reports that the CIA “audience” contained a large number of shills.]

The Manhattan media is following this story — and now the reiteration of the false claim of Trump, by Trump that Trump actually WON the popular vote, except for the three-point-five million ILLEGAL votes cast.

Remember the LEDE of the CNN story? [emphasis added]

Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump believes millions of votes were cast illegally in last year’s election, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said on Tuesday, but he wouldn’t provide any concrete evidence for the claim, which has long been debunked.

To debate this would be to dignify it. But to follow the turns of the faithful lap-dogs of the GOP following along to defend the Orwellian pronouncements of Trumplethinskin is a writing task worthy of IonescoPrepoceros?

That is not the point. The point is WHO will dictate what the networks present as reality. (I don’t think Trump gives much of a damn about the print media anymore, but he HAS managed to cultivate the Manhattan press in the same manner over the same period. He delighted for years in getting on the covers of magazines, most headquartered in … you guessed it, Manhattan. There is a great geographical advantage in living where he has lived. )

And look how well it’s worked: what may have been the largest political protest in American history (with zero arrests that anyone’s found thus far) took place on Saturday, and the Women’s Worldwide Woodstock is relegated to the back pages of the newspapers?

womens-march

Just like Viet Nam, it’s time to put together a credible counterculture press and follow the actual news, it would seem. While the Manhattan media mulls the Manhattan mendacifier and his malicious mountebanks, it is time to put away childish things and learn what’s actually going on in the world. Increasingly, the “media” that El Cheeto the Fantastic I claims to be at war with are owned by his very own campaign contributors. There is something deeply disquieting in that.

Moreso when you know that we all know it but can do nothing about it and so ignore it.

We have moved from an adult approach to the adult business of governance (at least in the White House) to a childish (seeming) battle over the  nature of adult reality itself. We may well be in the first truly “post-factual” era in American history, or, at least since the “Know Nothing” (Anti-Masonic) Party roiled the polls. We periodically go through these anti-immigrant, anti-“foreign” hive cleansing paranoias, but they pass.

1852 – Anti-Masionic Party pamphlet (Library of Congress) PD

From the conspiracy theorists of the Anti-Masonic period, to the Joseph McCarthy Anti-Communist witch hunts of the 1950s, to Nixon’s actual paranoia that the hippies and the lefties were a dangerous revolutionary menace and all means should be used to stop them, to the “War on Drugs” of the 1980s, and now, the fundamentally racist notion that “illegals” are the problem and AUTOMATICALLY linking “illegals” to “Hispanics” (over 50% of all “illegals” in the US are NOT Hispanic at all, and many of those are blond-haired and blue-eyed).

Trump capitalized on that, and that existed with or without Russian hacking and FBI/Congressional collusion on a fake scandal.

benghazi-0

In some ways, Post-modernism is to blame for the current mess. Never particularly philosophy and not particularly literary (although it swept into US colleges and universities via English departments) it was mostly/always political and depended on the ultimate uncertainty of things to claim that everything was, more or less, RELATIVE.

The great error in this being much the same as the notion that Einsteinian Relativity completely changed physics. Er, not so much. Just as old Newtonian physics works just fine for 99.95% of all day-to-day physical events in your life.   (Jeffrey and his bicycle weigh 100 kilos and are traveling at 5 miles an hour westbound. Ron and his pickup truck weigh 1000 kilos and are traveling northbound at 42 miles per hour when Jeffrey runs the stop sign at Maple and Main. Assuming no obstructions, and discounting rolling, how many yards will Jeffrey and the bicycle fly through the air — assuming an elevation vector of 22°?)

Bike accident

Moral relativity works much the same way. Killing is still wrong in nearly all cases. Theft is still wrong in virtually all cultures. Whether you drive on the right or the left is different by country, as are most manners. But the variance is not so wide as to destroy all meaning. Thus, the modern secular liberal operating system has too much doubt built-in, and the Right has successfully exploited that doubt for three decades and then some. This latest Trump tantrum is the apotheosis of that trend, but not an outlier to it.

Facts can be “alternative.” Realities can differ without being altered, because, hey, what IS reality anyway?

The Founders, simple-minded agrarians that they were, were not encumbered by the notion that should I call hogwash something more pleasant like the toilette porcine,  it would cease to be hogwash and would transform to something infinitely better, like, say, changing prosaic water into rhetorical wine.

The point being that there are facts and they are not subject to argument, lest we all become characters in Philip K. Dick’s  The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch.

Logic IS valid and facts are knowable. To cede that territory to the barbarians at our gates is to cede utterly to darkness.

Civilization is finally impossible when we insist on reason in the factory and unreason in the stores.

pig mask

So, why this unrelenting attack on facts, evidence and solid reportage of same?

Perhaps Trump has fallen victim to the bubble. It wouldn’t be the first time. The last really famous one was Baghdad Bob, soberly telling world reporters that things were under control as tanks and explosions forced him to pause now and again, in order to be understood. And then there was Hitler in his bunker, ordering imaginary Panzer divisions into hallucinated battles.  The capacity of rulers to fall victim to their own fantasy of the world (to their inevitable doom) has been the subject of drama and saga going back at least to Gilgamesh.

Perhaps this is a tactic of a long-game strategy to cow the press into meek submission and direct their attention and diligence by distraction to whatever squirrel happens to cross their field of vision.

cognitive

Perhaps it IS a distraction from the utter embarrassment of having one’s inauguration doubled in the city itself, and dwarfed around the world, including the seventh continent, Antarctica, by an entire GENDER.

Seriously, that was something.

We should utterly mistrust those who act as though it were nothing.

hair-of-darkness-horror

Courage.

Cross posted from his vorpal sword

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About Hart Williams

Mr. Williams grew up in Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico. He lived in Hollywood, California for many years. He has been published in The Washington Post, The Kansas City Star, The Santa Fe Sun, The Los Angeles Free Press, Oui Magazine, New West, and many, many more. A published novelist and a filmed screenwriter, Mr. Williams eschews the decadence of Hollywood for the simple, wholesome goodness of the plain, honest people of the land. He enjoys Luis Buñuel documentaries immensely.
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