The human stain jumps, then spreads: To his credit, Nicholas Kristof has discovered the sky is blue.
More specifically, he has discovered a moral stain spreading from Donald J. Trump.
In the case of Trump himself, this stain has been evident for a great many years. With this morning's column, Kristof joins the collection of cable entertainers who are willing to be shocked, shocked each morning and night by the latest manifestation of this blindingly obvious fact.
Every morning and evening they're just shocked, shocked. Note to Kristof and cable entertainers:
Donald J. Trump is highly disordered. He has visibly been so throughout his life. It isn't going to change.
He's going to be highly disordered tomorrow. He's going to be highly disorderd next week. His judgments and actions won't seem to make sense. His values will seem very poor.
There's really no need to keep discovering the fact that Donald J. Trump is disordered. Reading Kristof's column today, we'll admit we began to wonder about the columnist's values too.
Kristof says a moral stain tends to spread out from a disordered person like Trump. It's also true that a moral stain may jump to those who become too deeply invested in the chase:
KRISTOF (2/15/18): Lack of integrity may also be the best way to capture the morphing scandal of the pre-election $130,000 payoff to a porn star to apparently keep quiet about an affair with Trump. It’s bad enough that Trump appears to have been cheating on Melania right after she had their baby (“Oh, don’t worry about her,” he is said to have told the actress). But with the payoff and reported cover-up, Trump is betraying all of us.God helps us. The chivalrous Kristof stands to announce that Trump shouldn't have cheated on his wife. She had recently given birth! With that paragraph, Kristof serves notice:
The desire to stick the nose in the underwear drawer never deserts These People. Isn't this precisely where this busybody journalistic era got its highly destructive start?
Yes, this is where this nonsense all started. But with everything going on in the world, this is where Kristof lands.
We had a series of oddball thoughts as we read Kristof this morning. With Oscar night approaching, we found our thoughts drifting off to Citizen Kane, and to its "Rosebud" reveal.
Why is Donald J. Trump so profoundly disordered? He has been disordered for a very long time, perhaps since childhood, when he was sent away to military school, apparently to get himself together.
How did he ever get this way? We wonder if the underwear-sniffer-in-chief has ever wondered about these possibilities:
Could Trump have been abused as a child? What makes us discount such thoughts?
We know he suffered the great misfortune of being raised by a miserable father. By way of contrast, and by all accounts, Kristof was raised by a very great man.
Has it ever entered the sniffer's head that Trump's disorders, like those of President Kennedy, may perhaps stem from the strange ways he was raised by a disordered father?
None of this would change the fact that Trump is deeply disordered, and that his presence in the Oval Office is potentially destructive and dangerous. But Kristof may be a tad disordered too, as are the people who stage our pleasing true crime drama each night on our misnamed "cable news" channels, never ceasing to be shocked shocked by whatever is said to have happened that day.
Every morning, the Morning Joe gang pretend to be shocked, shocked by the latest disorder. They kvetch and cry and compare their ratings to those of CNN.
In these ways, we see the way the stain can jump as well as spread—the way the stain can jump from the disordered man to the TV Javerts who are pretending to chase him.
Sensible people would have seen, long ago, that Trump was a deeply disordered man. We have wondered, many times, how he got that way. We're able, on this or that occasion, to step back and contemplate pity.
Whatever the answer, the current obvious question should be, What the heck should we do next? For instance, how do we make this problem apparent to those who don't see it yet?
Kristof doesn't bother with that. His nose is back in the underwear drawer. Trump was raised by a horrible person. What is the pundit's excuse?
Look what jumped out of the drawer: Kristof's column is perhaps a bit slimy in several places. For one example, consider the phrase we will highlight:
KRISTOF (2/15/18): Lack of integrity may also be the best way to capture the morphing scandal of the pre-election $130,000 payoff to a porn star to apparently keep quiet about an affair with Trump. It’s bad enough that Trump appears to have been cheating on Melania right after she had their baby (“Oh, don’t worry about her,” he is said to have told the actress). But with the payoff and reported cover-up, Trump is betraying all of us.Trump is said to have said that to Daniels? He's said to have said that by whom?
Might we say that Stormy Daniels seems like a bit of a lost soul too? She's the one who has said that our disoerdered president said that?
Kristof has no idea if it's true. So why does the sniffer retype it?
Our world is a deeply dangerous place. Invested in the stain of the chase, Kristof ignores all that to spend three paragraphs talking about Stormy Daniels!
Dearest darlings, it feels so good! In this way, the stain can jump from tribe to tribe before it continues to spread.
Yes, we can stipulate that Trump is a disordered person, but we MUST still object whenever he does something disordered, whether it involves sex, money, callousness toward the gun deaths of teachers and children, or international atrocities. We must object in order to maintain the sanity of the rest of the country and world. Disordered people in power can commit truly heinous acts when people do not object. Trump must be contained, not enabled, and that means we must object each and every time even though his disordered behaviors are a steady stream that tire us out.ReplyDelete
Somerby, you are not helping anything these days. Please stop being such an asshole.
we MUST still object whenever he does something disordered,Delete
I agree. But, what must we do when it's discovered that he probably did something disordered many years ago? I think most people already knew that Trump had a disgusting past, so the Stormy Daniels story won't hurt him politically.
The lying about this incident is current. The payment occurred in 2016 during Trump's campaign. If most people already knew about this, why did his lawyer pay Daniels to keep quiet?Delete
I don't know. Maybe it won't hurt him. But then again, who knows? It's another chunk in the ever-growing mountain of evidence of Trump's disgusting, disordered character. And for that reason alone it needs to be reported on.Delete
"I agree. But, what must we do when it's discovered that he probably did something disordered many years ago?"Delete
Hold the lowlifes who voted for him accountable. Don't let them make excuses for foisting this piece of shit on us. Finally, ignore their uninformed opinions until they do something about the disaster they caused.
mm - we put up with the extramarital sexual escapades of JFK and Bill Clinton. After they were elected, we acknowledged that they were the President. We focused on their actual performance as President for the good of the country and the good of the world.Delete
For the Davids of the world, the lure of the first two sentences of mm's last paragraph trumped, so to speak, the rest of it.Delete
Somerby's Irish Catholic prudishness is showing. Sex is important to most people. This isn't distinct from Trump's actions in public office, it is part of it and symptomatic of his failure. It cannot be ignored and those who focus on it are not doing so out of their own prurient interest but because it is part of a whole that is this demented man.ReplyDelete
"He's going to be highly disorderd next week. His judgments and actions won't seem to make sense. His values will seem very poor."ReplyDelete
Yeah. And the alternative - D politicians working day and night during Obama's reign to suppress wages and ship jobs abroad are well organized and say nice focus-group-tested words on TV. Vote for them.
More Russian word salad.Delete
Nothing says "anti-establishment" like under-funding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. LOL.Delete
I'm glad we agree. Except that mere "under-funding" is not nearly enough; hopefully, Donald The Magnificent will drain the swamp eventually, dismantling most of the useless federal bureaucracy.Delete
So Vladimir Vladimirovich wants us to destroy our government. I'm shocked, shocked.Delete
"Donald The Magnificent will drain the swamp eventually, dismantling most of the useless federal bureaucracy."Delete
Only the parts that help the citizenry, Mao. The plutocratic supporting pieces will be strengthened.
Grab yourself another ruble from the change jar, for lying to the Americans.
Ah, the obligatory "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you" bit.Delete
You'll have to excuse Chairman Mao, he's very anti-government you know. He's more partial to the Romanov system.Delete
Mao prefers to be exploited by corporations who will lie/cheat/steal to make a dollar and could care less who lives or dies. I assume Mao is one of those "I can take care of myself and I don't need anyone's help" kind of people. Well, they do say that ignorance is bliss.Delete
Whoa, so much lib-zombie outrage and hate-mongering. Generated by non-existing 'under-funding'. Very nice indeed.Delete
Carry on, please...
The shoes are starting to drop now, Ivan.Delete
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office said Friday that a grand jury indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for alleged interference in the 2016 presidential elections, during which they boosted the candidacy of Donald Trump.
The indictment says that the defendants by early to mid-2016 were "supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump ... and disparaging Hillary Clinton."
The indictment said "the organization," known as the Internet Research Agency LLC, "sought, in part, to conduct what it called 'information warfare against the United States of America' through fictitious U.S. personas on social media platforms and other Internet-based media."
"What the heck should we do next? For instance, how do we make this problem apparent to those who don't see it yet?"ReplyDelete
(Somerby seems to mean by "this problem" that Trump is "deeply disordered.")
How about writing a column where you mention Administration scandals: "Indifference to ethics has spread through the cabinet and agencies, resulting in endless scandal"
(Scandals, like Tom Price, which if memory serves, Somerby made light of).
A column where you fault elected officials for overlooking Administration scandals: "turning lawmakers into enablers and hypocrites."
A column where you fault the dismissive and hypocritical attitude towards domestic violence: "a dismissiveness toward domestic violence. "..."a president who has himself been accused of domestic violence"
A column where you point out the lies of the President's lawyer: "When The Wall Street Journal first reported the porn-star payout by Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime lawyer, Cohen denounced the report as a “false narrative” of “outlandish allegations.”
(Later to admit the payment).
A column where you note the desire to squelch an investigation into possible wrong-doing: "When self-absorbed people are caught in a growing scandal, they overreach. In this case, that might mean the firing of Robert Mueller or Rod Rosenstein, or some military clash that changes the subject. "
This last, about the possibility of Trump starting a war, echoes similar past concerns from Somerby.
And yes, pointing out to the "family values" crowd that their man cheated on his wife with a porn star and paid off the porn star to keep her quiet.
In a nutshell, Kristof is trying to "make this problem apparent to those who don't see it yet" with this column. And Somerby classifies the column as a "desire to stick the nose in the underwear drawer." And fails to explain how HE would try to "make this problem apparent to those who don't see it yet".
Has it occurred to Somerby that a lot of voters, particularly women, may find Trump's behavior toward women offensive, and these kinds of objections might turn them away from Trump?
And finally, has it occurred to Somerby that Trump voters may not feel that he is disordered? That they like his policies and his performance as president?
Some men apparently believe that it is OK to cheat on their wife when she is pregnant because she is not available to him sexually (or turns him off). This is like the men who believe that if their wife gains weight after marriage, they are justified in cheating on her, because she has let herself go and is denying them the sexual pleasure in her appearance that was part of their marriage bargain. Both of these views reflect an attitude of sexual commodification of women. It captures what is meant when women complain of being treated like sex objects instead of people.ReplyDelete
Trump, of course, treats all people like objects who populate his world only for his own use. That is part of what it means to be a sociopath. But the other attitudes, held by many men, are not considered symptomatic of sociopathy. They are considered normal. That's why it is important for Kristof and many others to discuss these matters, to explore why this treatment of women is wrong and change the way women are viewed and treated in our society. This is what the resurgent women's movement is about. This matters to women and it should matter to men.
Apparently it doesn't matter to Somerby, who thinks Kristof is wasting his time and should be focusing on more important things. Thus Somerby reveals the darkness of his soul. I find myself glad that he has never married.
No person is an object.Delete
Somerby fails to notice that trying to convince someone that Trump is "disordered" involves talking about his character and his behavior.ReplyDelete
Yet, Somerby has been dismissive of most of the issues that speak to Trump's "disorder": his possible collusion with Russia and lying about it, his many "lies" (which Somerby would rather we didn't call lies), the chaos in the White House, the sex scandals, the Administration scandals (i.e. Price, Zinke), the massive turnover in the west wing, massive leaking from WH officials, his constant desire to fire Mueller, Comey, Sessions...the list goes on. Somerby has pooh-poohed every one of them. Or worse..he has derided liberals for going after these things.
So what is left? His budget? His immigration policy? Those things meet with approval from his base, and many (most) Republicans besides. They do not see his policies as disordered in the slightest.
So what are we left with to show Trump's supposed disorderedness?
Like this post a lot…you had me at “The human stain jumps.” Quite a visual. Some very spiffy rhetoric stem-to-stern. Reminds me of the old days. Even brought a chuckle or two (no mean feat considering I’ve been described as making Meursault look like a cheerleader by a rather literary-leaning acquaintance).
P.S. Please ponder the long-term benefits of moderating your comments section. Just a snip here and a snip there would do the trick. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, know what I mean? For the record, EVERY LAST ONE of the current monikered contributors are jim-dandy in my book.
No it's not that it's just that one dumb one. Fuck off if you chronically miscomprehend his points and write long foolish diatribes based on your misreadings.Delete