DAYS OF IMPEACHMENT: A funny thing happened to American discourse!

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2019

All silly, wherever you looked:
A funny thing happened to the American experiment on its way through the first few decades of the 21st century.

In November 2016, in part due to the nation's peculiar electoral system, Donald J. Trump was elected president. He had highly unusual views concerning America's role in the world and, on an alternate track, he often engaged in peculiar conduct and made extremely peculiar statements.

Roughly one year into his term,
it was decreed that the national press should not discuss the possibility that his behavior was caused by some form of mental illness, psychological disorder or cognitive impairment. Instead, the nation's influencers agreed to be "shock, shocked" on a daily basis by whatever peculiar thing the disordered president had most recently said.

The president's intellectual disorder tracked that which had prevailed in the upper-end press corps for decades. By the time of the days of impeachment, assessments of this type were commonly being made:
GIVHAN (11/20/19): The uniform did what uniforms are designed to do.

When Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman appeared before the House Intelligence Committee, his striking presence in his serviceable eyeglasses and his military uniform exuded authority, ferocity and patriotism. As one of the Democratic committee members noted admiringly, Vindman was wearing a Purple Heart on his uniform. He also had a Combat Infantry Badge pinned on the left side of his chest, indicating he’d been involved in active ground combat. For civilian viewers, it was helpful to understand the meanings of some of the insignia on his jacket. But even without the details, anyone looking at the vast collage of medals spread across his chest could understand the story they told: that Vindman is one of the many dedicated individuals who choose to stand guard so that others might sleep easily.
In the case of this particular witness, it wasn't just his military uniform which let the nation's influencers assess his character. His "serviceable eyeglasses" let hapless citizens "understand the story" too.

Normal intellectual standards had almost completely disappeared. On the highest-rated "corporate liberal" cable TV program, viewers put up with self-referential nonsense like this as the days of impeachment started:
MADDOW (11/14/19): Tomorrow will be a big day. Not only is tomorrow a Friday in the year 2019, tomorrow's going to be day two of the impeachment hearings.

Marie Yovanovitch, ousted as Ukraine ambassador, her testimony and that second impeachment hearing will start at 9:00 a.m. Eastern. Also tomorrow, a closed door deposition from somebody named David Holmes. He's the first of potentially two staffers from Kiev who heard President Trump on a phone call to Ambassador Gordon Sondland in a restaurant in Ukraine asking Sondland about the investigations into the Bidens that he wanted Ukraine to do.

I should also tell you that tomorrow, we will be awaiting a jury verdict in the Roger Stone trial. The jury is already out deliberating in that case.

It's going to be a big day tomorrow. We'll see you then. That does it for us tonight. Now, it's time for The Last Word, where Joy Reid is in for Lawrence tonight.

Good evening, Joy.

REID: Good evening, Rachel. So, I can tell you that as of tomorrow, you can officially class me as a shut-in. I will not leave my home. No one is to call me. Do not text me. I will not answer.

I am so ready for this. I'm so fascinated by it. I don't know if you've responded to it the same way. I cannot stop watching it.

MADDOW: I have to tell you I'm already nervous now about how fast I need to sleep so I can be awake and do all my business, like have breakfast and have a shower and have a shower and walk the dog and do all the things I need to do so that I'm seated and paying attention by 9:00 because 9:00 a.m. is not my key time of day.

REID: I'm with you.

MADDOW: We're stressed about it.

REID: It's hard because I have insomnia, really bad insomnia.

MADDOW: I know you do.

REID: So I've been trying to trick myself to fall asleep at 11:00, so I can be up at 8:00. So, I'm like trying tricks. I've got like the calm app going because I'm like–my poor husband, I'm like I've got to be asleep. I need to sleep in like ten minutes. I've got to get up at 8:00.

You know, it's really bad. At least with me, it`s really not been easy this week.

(LAUGHTER)

MADDOW: Also I love how you and I have the same approach to sleeping. Like, "Must sleep now, focus, sleep fast."

REID: Turn on Matthew McConaughey app where he reads me a story now. Like it`s really bad.

MADDOW: Yes, and then you scream at it and it's weird, it doesn't relax you but you just sleep. I know. We're terrible people. But at least you and I are in the same boat. Thank you, my friend.

REID: There are at least two of us. There are two of us. So, I don't feel alone.

MADDOW: I think there's more. You and I will both be awake all night and sleep on Saturday. Fair?

REID: There you go. Sounds good.

MADDOW: Fair, thanks, my friend. All right.

REID: All right, have a good night. Bye.
Just for the record, we'd have insomnia too, if we were willing to behave that way night after night, on national TV, for very large corporate pay checks.

You aren't allowed to know how large. But in such ways, the multimillionaire "chattering class" had long since agreed to chatter.

Nothing was clear as impeachment proceeded, except that Candidate Warren had flipped on Medicare for all. She had instead decided to propose a public option, even as she agreed to pretend that she still had a plan to pursue the original proposal in Year 3 of her term.

The gods on Olympus had long since stopped laughing at what was transpiring. It was embarrassing all the way down, as even these great gods acknowledged.

Tomorrow: Maria Butina's boyfriend to jail! Plus, NBC's Watergate theme song!

20 comments:

  1. "He had highly unusual views concerning America's role in the world"

    It's only 'unusual' to your liberal-zombie ruling class, dear Bob.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Normal intellectual standards had almost completely disappeared."

    Only among your zombie comrades, dear Bob.

    Normal people (aka 'deplorables') are fine. Among them, normal intellectual standards are alive and well.

    ReplyDelete
  3. So, Somerby is willing to write off all of Trump's bad behavior as being simply mental illness.

    This is an example of how mental illness is stigmatized in our society. The vast majority of mentally ill people do not break the law. They don't tell lies. They don't engage in abuse of power, bribery (extortion, quid pro quo, whatever you want to call it) to achieve self-serving goals (such as getting reelected), they don't do the kinds of things that Somerby calls "unusual" because much of Trump's behavior is not caused by mental illness. So, Somerby insults mentally ill people with his continuing insistence that the press must characterize Trump as a mentally ill person.

    Then he presents a discussion between Reid and Maddow in which they talk about their personal experiences with insomnia, attributing that to being overpaid and doing a poor job. Here Somerby exhibits gross ignorance of what causes sleep disorders. His belief that a guilty conscience interferes with sleep is medieval superstition. Maybe tomorrow, he will tell us that these women have gray hairs because they are bad journalists too, and not because they are growing older.

    Somerby is just as bad as any Republican, desperately avoiding the content of the hearings because they have no excuse for how Trump has directed his staff. Next, Somerby will be telling us that liberal failure to take Republican conspiracy theories seriously is the reason why no Democrat can win in 2020.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'Somerby is just as bad as any Republican'

      Worse, since they don't pretend to be liberals. They admit to being Trumptards, just as TDH should.

      Delete
    2. So, Somerby is willing to write off all of Trump's bad behavior as being simply mental illness.

      No. Why do you think TDH is trying “to write off” Trump’s behavior? One can be mentally ill and still bear the legal responsibility for one’s actions.

      This is an example of how mental illness is stigmatized in our society.

      No, saying that all mentally ill people act like Trump would stigmatize the mentally ill in general. Saying that Trump acts like some mentally ill people doesn’t.

      continuing insistence that the press must characterize Trump as a mentally ill person.

      No, TDH says that the press is wrong to have agreed not to discuss the possibility.


      [TDH] presents a discussion between Reid and Maddow in which they talk about their personal experiences with insomnia, attributing that to being overpaid and doing a poor job.

      No, TDH says that he would be an insomniac if he was as overpaid and clueless as Reid and Maddow.

      [TDH is] desperately avoiding the content of the hearings….

      No. How long have you been reading this blog? TDH talks about our public discussion of events. He rarely talks about current events in their own right.

      Is your inability to read for comprehension long standing or recent? If the latter, you may want to get that checked out by a competent medical professional. It might be a sign of a larger cognitive deficit. While you’re at it, ask your doctor about your seeming compelled behavior in reading a blog you hate.

      Best of luck.

      Delete
    3. 'He rarely talks about current events in their own right.'

      He talks about them when he wants to bash liberals, and defend DJT, Roy Moore and Ron Johnson. But then, he is a Trumptard.

      Delete
  4. Bob,
    Trump is not nuts.
    As a resident of NYC for the last 55 years we would never elect Trump as dog catcher.
    We know that he is a liar and a thief.
    You insist on giving him a get out of jail card. i.e. "He's nuts"!

    Trump is a liar and a thief.
    Always was; always will be.

    Not nuts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've also observed the guy for a while, and I agree he is a liar and a thief. But the larger issue is he is just plain dumb. Yet convinced he's brilliant. Pretty much the only things he gets right are when he gets a chance to disagree with someone he hates who also happens to be kinda dumb. But yeah: he's not nuts.

      Delete
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