No one is going to ask them: We live in a nation which is now fighting the shithole versus shithouse wars. Meanwhile, in her review of the action for New York magazine, Margaret Hartmann makes this accurate point:
"Throughout the long weekend, the national conversation focused on whether or not the president said something racist, not the underlying policy issues."
When was it ever not thus? Meanwhile, discuss:
Is it possible that this continuing focus fits under our award-winning rubric, No Bait Left Behind?
However one assesses that point, this episode has had everything. Consider a few key junctures:
Last Tuesday, President Magoo said he'd favor a "clean" DACA bill (a bill involving no other provisions). He also said he'd sign whatever the heck Congress gave him.
Neither statement made any sense from the Trump perspective. For that reason, Magoo was forced to walk his statements back, perhaps with the help of distractions.
Two days later, he authored his "shithole or possibly shithouse" remarks, perhaps with a purpose in mind. Two Republican senators, Cotton and Perdue, have apparently built their defense of Donald J. Trump around the claim that he was misquoted, since he really said "shithouse," not "shithole," the way the Democrats said.
Trump's Magoo-like behavior is, by now, a given. We can't help wondering what Republican voters think of the distinction being sold by Cotton and Perdue. That said, it's long been clear that there's nothing so stupid that it can't be said as a major part of our discourse. Example:
In November 1999, Candidate Gore came under withering criticism for wearing suit jackets with three buttons, not the preferred number, two. That criticism was insane all by itself—but it led to escalating, crazy claims about what the three buttons meant. (Chris Matthews was especially crazy on that troubling point.)
This lunacy was being authored by mainstream and liberal figures, not by the right-wing machine. Fairly quickly, along came Arianna. In effect, she sewed a fourth button on Gore's suit jackets, saying this to Geraldo Rivera on his nightly CNBC program:
HUFFINGTON (11/9/99): Frankly, you know, what is fascinating is that the way he's now dressing makes a lot of people feel disconnected from him. And there was this marvelous story in one of the New Hampshire papers saying, “Nobody here—nobody here in Hanover, New Hampshire, wears tan suits with blue shirts.” You know, it's just—and buttons—all four buttons! You know, it's not just—it's just not the way most American males dress.Aside from the pre-existing craziness, there were no four-button suits. There was also no pushback from our liberal world about this whole insane discussion, which persisted for months. (Brian Williams played a leading role.)
Today, two senators are arguing shithouse v. shithole. They seem to be calling Senator Durbin a liar on the basis of this imagined distinction. For the record, there is no evidence supporting their apparent claim that Trump really said shithouse, not shithole. The entire discussion is patently nuts, and they may have invented their factual claim.
On its face, the behavior of Cotton and Perdue is insane. We can't help wondering what Trump voters think about this transparent lunacy, to the extent that average voters have heard about it.
That said, no one on cable is going to ask any voters. On cable, cable stars listen to cable stars talk. They virtually never ask Trump voters what they think, feel or believe about anything that happens.
They prefer to tell us what Trump voters think. They never quite bother to ask.
One last point. That talk about Gore's disturbing buttons was totally crazy too. But it happened in 1999, and it was performed by mainstream and liberal players, not by the right-wing press.
To this day. it's Hard Tribal Law. No career liberal will ever tell you that that lunacy occurred. That said, our culture turned crazy a long time ago, and our own tribe was deeply involved.
You will never hear those facts from our favorite corporate cable stars. They'll tell you that Cotton and Perdue are behaving crazily, which is perfectly accurate. They won't tell you that they themselves invented this culture of The Big Crazy quite a few years ago.
Our modern press culture is totally nuts. It's been that way for a very long time. It's low-IQ all the way down.
Many long years ago: The press corps spent November 1999 deconstructing Candidate Gore's deeply significant clothing.
His suits, his boots, his polo shirts? The number of buttons he wore on his suits? The color of that one brown suit? The height at which his pants were hemmed?
No part of the wardrobe went unfrisked. The motto of these giants was clear:
No Lunacy Left Behind
A few inane players extended this theme beyond that one crazy month. (On the whole, it gave way to December 1999, the month of Love Canal, the month which decided the race by cementing the GORE LIAR theme.) Brian Williams was one such wardrobe obsessive. Why not read Chapter 5 at How He Got There, our companion site?
You will never be told about this; it's neither allowed nor done. That said, this is what our species is like. Our species simply isn't real sharp, and that's at its less crazy moments.