TRUMP AND TRIBE: Everybody knows what to say!


Wallace hears a hoo:
When Michael Cohen testified before the House Oversight Committee last week, he knew right where he should start.

He started with a portrait of the man for whom he'd served as a "fixer" and goon. And when he described this "Mr. Trump," he started with the current "most preferred claim" of our liberal and anti-Trump tribes:
COHEN (2/27/19): I am ashamed of my weakness and my misplaced loyalty, of the things I did for Mr. Trump in an effort to protect and promote him. I am ashamed that I chose to take part in concealing Mr. Trump's illicit acts rather than listening to my own conscience.

I am ashamed, because I know what Mr. Trump is. He is a racist.
He is a con man. And he is a cheat.
First of all, Mr. Trump was said to be "a racist." This was the first thing Cohen said. He'd failed to listen to his own conscience when he served as a goon for this man.

For ourselves, we regret the fact that Cohen will be going to prison. We don't think we've ever been glad to hear that someone is going to prison, though we'll acknowledge that punishment regimes are still a necessary part of our social arrangements.

We're sorry that Cohen did the various things he did, including the $4 million in personal tax evasion to which he pled guilty last August. (He didn't do that for Mr. Trump; he did that for himself.)

As far as we know, none of our consciences guide us in a perfect manner. We're sorry that Cohen's "own conscience" failed him in the fairly substantial ways it did.

That said, Cohen seemed to know what to say when he testified last week. He said that Donald J. Trump is a racist. If you want to curry favor with our largely malfunctioning liberal team, it is, at present, the perfect thing to say.

Is Donald J. Trump a racist? As we've probably said in the past, we feel the term has been used in such promiscuous ways that it's largely ceased to have a definable meaning.

We'd like to see a moratorium in which we liberals would have to say what we mean without use of that all-purpose bomb. In the meantime, though, everybody—and we do mean everyone, even Cohen—knows it's the term to which they should quickly turn is aligning themselves with our team.

Consider what happened last Friday afternoon on the popular MSNBC show, Deadline: White House. The program is hosted by Nicolle Wallace. She opened Friday's program by delivering a somewhat mannered R-bomb of her own.

As you may know, Wallace made her bones helping George W. Bush get re-elected by staging all those anti-gay marriage propositions on all those state ballots in 2004. Today, though, she knows how to play the game Over Here, within our own liberal/anti-Trump tribe, as you can possibly see by choosing to click here.

Wallace opened Friday's program by spotting another racist. Michelle Goldberg quickly jumped in to confirm Wallace's view—Goldberg, who found her way to her current spot at the New York Times by never, ever saying a word about what the newspaper did, for twenty-five years, to both Clintons and to Candidate Gore, leading to Candidate Hillary Clinton's eventual defeat.

Goldberg wasn't even willing to speak when the Times ran that astounding, 4400-word front-page report about the way Candidate Clinton had sold her soul in the matter of Uranium One. Instead, she joined TV's Chris Hayes is declaring the front-page gong-show a "bombshell"—and today, she stars at the Times.

We don't know what Goldberg was thinking when she failed to condemn that obvious front-page gong-show. As a general matter, though, this is the way the game has been played within the "career journalistic community" for a great number of years.

Simply put, this is the way Homo sapiens tends to play, as Professor Harari tends to suggest in his best-selling book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.

According to Harari, our species came to rule the planet through our ability to create and promulgate sweeping group "fictions." These "fictions"—"myths," if you will—are standard, frequently fact-free beliefs to which we humans will swear allegiance, allowing us to cooperate in large groups.

According to Harari, chance mutations gave our ancestors the ability to form these "fictions." According to Harari, it's an ability which other human species didn't have.

We have no idea how to evaluate these claims, but remember—Harari's book has been endorsed by Bill Gates and Barack Obama! Meanwhile, there's no doubt that Harari is describing the way we modern humans tend to function all over the globe. Here's one passage, in his own words:
HARARI (page 27): How did Homo sapiens manage to cross this critical threshold [of cooperation in large groups], eventually founding cities comprising tens of thousands of inhabitants and empires ruling hundreds of millions? The secret was probably the appearance of fiction. Large numbers of strangers can cooperate successfully by believing in common myths.

Any large-scale human cooperation—whether a modern state, a medieval church, an ancient city or an archaic tribe—is rooted in common myths that exist only in peoples' collective imagination.
Churches are rooted in common religious myths. Two Catholics who have never met can nevertheless go together on crusade or pool funds to build a hospital because they both believe that God was incarnated in human flesh and allowed Himself to be crucified to redeem our sins. States are rooted in common national myths. Two Serbs who have never met might risk their lives to save one another because both believe in the existence of the Serbian nation, the Serbian homeland and the Serbian flag...

Yet none of these things exists outside the stories that people invent and tell one another. There are no gods in the universe, no nations, no money, no human rights, no laws, and no justice outside the common imagination of human beings.

People easily understand that ‘primitives’ cement their social order by believing in ghosts and spirits, and gathering each full moon to dance together around the campfire. What we fail to appreciate is that our modern institutions function on exactly the same basis.
Say what? Our modern institutions are founded on belief in ghosts and spirits? Is Harari allowed to say that?

Apparently yes, he is.

Did our ancestors drive other human species into extinction because our species, and ours alone, had developed the ability to invent and promulgate this type of "fictions?" We have no idea.

Today, though, human groups do march forward under various signs and group beliefs—and those compelling group beliefs are often formed on a very shaky factual basis.

According to Harari, it was this ability, mixed with a strong dose of "intolerance," which led to the end of the Neanderthals and the Denisovans as our own ancestors, Homo sapiens, marched triumphantly on.

We don't know if that really happened, but we do know that our own current tribe is marching beneath a stirring belief about The Others. Everyone knows to recite this belief, even folk like Cohen and Wallace, who we'd all be calling "bigots" if they hadn't agreed to sign on.

Cohen knew what he should say first, aided perhaps by Lanny Davis. Wallace knows that she must ostentatiously showcase her alleged hatred of racists of every possible stripe.

In fact, every pundit Over Here knows that he or she must do that today, just as our pundits knew, at one time, that they must pretend that Candidate Gore was the world's biggest liar, and that he had "hired a woman to teach him how to be a man."

At one time, they all said that. Now, they all are eager to say they hate the racists.

Not long ago, the creeps you see on cable TV marched repetitively on beneath those earlier "fictions." Today, everyone knows they should start by dropping an R-bomb or twelve.

This is the way our modern tribe rolls. Is it possible, in any way, that this and other types of group conduct could possibly help Mr. Trump win re-election next year?

Tomorrow: The inevitable misapplications (Lemon around the bend)


  1. "As we've probably said in the past, we feel the term has been used in such promiscuous ways that it's largely ceased to have a definable meaning."

    Why, as you note yourself, for you in the lib-zombie cult, 'racist' serves as an equivalent of a secret handshake. That's an important meaning.

    And of course for the rest of us, outside the cult, being called 'racist' by anyone from your zombie death-cult is The Supreme Praise. The meaning: "you're not in the cult, and we don't want you there"...

    1. In a nation where a photoshopped photo of Obama with a bone through his nose isn't "racist", does "racist" even have a meaning anymore?

    2. And what's 'racist' about it, dembot?

      Tell me, I'm dying to know.

    3. So if you know, you'll die? Promise?
      If so, I'll write a whole book about it for you.

    4. I think the dembot zombie at 12:44, meant he'll dye his skin orange, like President Tiny Hands.

    5. I don't need a book, dembot. Concentrate real hard, and try to write a short paragraph explaining it.

    6. It's racist because it portrays Obama doing something uneducated black people do, and Dembots think the "uneducated" who have not been indoctrinated by feminist professors are subhuman. Pay attention to how they divide voters by education and the value they assign to each type of person. Therefore Obama portrayed as a subhuman like the black people with bones in their noses is racist.

    7. "I can't read a book, dembot."

      FTFY - NFO!

    8. Uneducated and specifically "black" people put a bone through their noses?

      Never heard of it.

      I thought it used to be fashionable mostly among aboriginals in the Pacific. And these days probably middle-class teen punks.

    9. ...aside from that, how's portraying someone as uneducated 'racist'? To perceive it as 'racist' one would have to be... well... a racist.

  2. The liberal reaction to the slogan, "Make America Great Again", supports Bob's thesis. Taken literally, there's nothing objectionable. It doesn't demean any particular race or other group. In fact, liberals who find fault with America might be in favor of making America better.

    But, MAGA is the symbol of The Other. So, people wearing MAGA hats are being attacked in public. See, e.g, Woman Charged With Attacking Falmouth Man Wearing MAGA Hat Taken Into ICE Custody

    19-year-old accused of assaulting 81-year-old over MAGA hat

    1. MAGA is a clarion call for a return to the 90% top income tax rate.
      Anyone saying otherwise is lying to you.

    2. Another MAGA hat attack this week
      Man in MAGA Hat Mobbed, Has Hat Stolen as Stephon Clark Protest Spirals out of Control in Sacramento

    3. What's with all these trolls being attacked for wearing a hat to get a reaction?

    4. Taken literally, a swastika hat never hurt a Jew, gypsy, or gay person.
      Why shouldn't I be able to wear my armband to Temple services to provoke others?

    5. Yeah, Making America Great is insufferable for a zombie. At any hint of it zombie must attack.

      Yes, we get it.

    6. Tell us what the fascist reaction is, Comrade DinC, you treasonous bastard.

    7. For several decades, liberals have somehow had the power to define what word or phrase are offensive. Words and phrases that had been acceptable suddenly became non-PC. Even past uses of these terms, at a time when they were OK, could be punished. One reason for Trump's popularity is that he fights against this practice.

      Making a campaign slogan non-PC is a step too far. If you're offended by "Make America Great Again", the problem isn't the slogan. The problem is you.

    8. No, David, you treasonous bastard, the problem is the repugnant corrupt depraved vulgar malignant megalomaniacal lying sack of shit flim flam fraud shouting it at his Nuremberg rallies.

      Trade Deficit With China Grows 21% Since Obama Era

      Federal deficit up 77 percent so far this budget year

      And Mexico didn't kick in one fucking peso.

    9. David, I take offense to your claim that no one can take offense to that slogan.

      It's offensive because it's designed to sucker people.

      It makes people believe the breakdown of traditional values and ravaging of their towns and dreams has not been caused by policies conservatives enthusiastically support and will continue to support. Namely technological progress and economic growth.

      You can’t make rapid, drastic changes in the technology and the economy of a society without causing rapid changes in all other aspects of the society as well.

      Conservative leaders obviously care more about economic growth than they do about these people in small towns who now wear these red hats of which you speak.

      But Don Trump is hardly the first or last demagogue to promise hope and change to the gullible.

    10. Zombie at 1:28,
      Call Madam McConnell and talk him into bringing back the 90% top-income tax rate, if you love it so much.

    11. Back before Trump was President, you could be called an asshole for telling someone religious fool "God is a figment of dim-witted imaginations." Now it's practically a requirement to do so. Do you think that's making America great?

    12. Trump's a wimp.
      Like most Conservatives, he loves Socialism, yet he's too afraid to admit it, because someone somewhere might criticize him for it.

    13. 1:03,
      I read that story. The guy never explains why he wore a hat calling for a return to 90% top income tax rates to a police protest. The reporter should have asked if his aim was to hijack the protest to push his pet tax plan.

    14. David, tell everyone here again how you voted for Donald because you trusted him to use his skills as a lifetime criminal for good on the country instead of his own selfish evil goals. I'm sure there's some new readers who haven't seen you explain it so clearly.

    15. Hitler used the phrase Make Germany great again. This Trump's wink and nod to the alt-right. That's why it offends me. Today Somerby pretends there is any doubt about Trump's blatant, overt racism. Somerby is an ass.

      Cohen didn't lead with racist to be PC. He said it because it is true. The president should be president of all the people. A racist cannot be. Someone who has shown willingness to abuse his power to punish his enemies is a short step from persecuting those he hates, just as Trump has used the govt to persecute immigrants and storm victims in Puerto Rico. This matters.

    16. Lol. Hitler was a vegetarian. Just like you, you Nazi scum.

    17. Other similarities between Trump and Hitler:

      Ignores or deliberately breaks treaties.
      Blames problems on scapegoat people (for Hitler it was Jews, for Trump it is immigrants).
      Ignores advisers with knowledge & expertise in favor of trusted sycophants and astrology (in Trump's case, Hannity).
      Requires flattery and extreme loyalty.
      Lies and breaks word to the point of being completely untrustworthy.
      Used projects such as people's car to require payments from everyone, then used the money as a personal slush fund. (No respect for rules, laws, promises, procedures, etc.)
      Callousness about deaths of others. For example, ordered troops to fight to last man in desperate battles, killed elderly and disabled in hospitals because they were useless to society, as a prelude to exterminating Jews, Roma, communists and political enemies, etc. Trump has shown similar callousness about storm victims and children separated from parents and elimination of programs to aid those in need, taking money from aid programs to build wall. Both had micropenises (speculation). Both are vain men. Both are undereducated and disdainful of culture and taste and destructive of it (Hitler considered art and music beyond his simplistic tastes to be decadent. Trump is bored by culture and ignorant about the world.) Both are not particularly religious, although they pretend to be. Both consider anyone who opposes them to be enemies, both are vindictive and sadistic in persecuting enemies, personal and national. Both admire military pomp and consider themselves strategists but without actual experience and training.

      Notable differences: Hitler was not a lecher. Hitler read books in his youth, not Trump. Hitler valued science and technology. Hitler invested in German infrastructure and was uninterested in personal wealth. Hitler hated communists but Trump seems OK with communist leaders. Trump is not a vegetarian.

    18. Both are oddly sexy.

    19. Whoa, so much typing for a simple Orange Man Bad.

      This is why I much prefer one-line dembots. Same shit, less waste of bandwidth.

    20. @4:33 Ewwwww!

    21. Usually I like women but I would like nothing more than to snuggle up under the covers with President Trump and squeeze various pockets of his delicious,flaccid white flesh. He, in some sort of thong. We, on finest linen, still periodically belching the filet of fish and orange drink we just consumed. I would love to squeeze his enormous breasts and tickle him with some sort of implement. I would actually give him a rim job. It's s turn on thinking about that. It must be heaven down there all clean and perfumed. I can imagine nothing less than perfection.

      He has given so many jobs to minorities. Why not give him a job back?

      Hitler on tbe hand, I would never toss his salad. It must be a mess down there despite his rigid discipline in other areas of life. I just don't trust him. It must be like the Bavarian Forest down there with all sorts of sticks and needles, rocks and logs. No way.

    22. There is no question Trump would be a better homosexual experience than Hitler. I can't believe you morons would even suggest it.

    23. It is absolutely amazing how dembots are annoyed by the suggestion that America should be made great again.

      I LOVE it.


      Go, dembots, start squirming.

    24. It's great that America is being made great again. The Obama years were hard to take where the US was in a constant cowed posture as Iran and all of Europe stood over it lecturing and holding a frying pan. Obama seemed to like the abuse.

    25. "Obama seemed to like the abuse.'

      I remember his "reach across the aisle to work with Republicans" campaign slogan.

    26. David is a racist fool who loves Trump. The only question I have, is "why hasn't he been booked on "Meet the Press" yet?"

    27. "The Obama years were hard to take where the US was in a constant cowed posture..."

      Now we cage 5-year olds because they might cross the boarder and lay our military to waste.

  3. mm and @2:13 - no President fulfills all of his campaign promises. Of course you can point to some unfulfilled promises, but in total Trump has done relatively well on this score. He fulfilled the following promises
    -- building some amount of wall with Mexico
    -- recognized Jerusalem as Israel's Capital
    -- got the economy to boom, with a huge rate of economic growth
    -- got a bunch of new manufacturing jobs. See 312,000 Jobs Added In December, Manufacturing Growing 714% Faster Under Trump Than Obama
    -- Re-negotiated NAFTA
    -- got a tax cut
    -- appointed a lot of legally conservative judges
    -- cut a lot of burdensome regulations, even than promised
    -- Got NATO members to pay more of their defense costs
    -- more aggressive efforts to keep illegal immigrants out
    -- weakened the structure of ObamaCare, to a degree that it may not survive
    -- got the US out of the Iran "treaty" and re-imposed sanctions
    -- got more jobs for minorities

    1. This is like saying Hitler was good because he made the trains run on time.

    2. Is America great again? Are small communities stronger? Have they ceased to be weakened by the economic growth that is the conservative religion? Are there less predatory lenders? Is the military industrial complex smaller? Is all of our privacy less invaded by government? Is there less a divide between the rich and the poor? Are health care costs going down? Do the poor and middle class men in the red hats benefit from the tax cuts and conservative judge appointments? Is there less pollution? Is America great again or even close?

      Of course not because that hat is and always was a lie.

      I see what you are saying though and I am happy for you that you feel Trump is doing relatively well.

    3. Economic and job gains for minorities have anything to do with Trump's policies. Unless he deliberately tried to derail the economy it would have continued to create jobs in the last year and a half. Almost all his economic policies have disproportionately benefited the rich, who are overwhelmingly white. Trump has pushed proposals that will make it harder for minorities to get into college, to buy homes, and to get non-predatory loans.

    4. Right, David, you treasonous bastard. And the sun doesn't rise until Donald J Chickenshit drags his fat lying ass out of bed around 10 am and farts out the window.
      From Robert Reich:

      The results of Trumponomics:
      --The largest trade deficit in history.
      --A growing federal deficit and debt.
      --Stagnant wages, adjusted for inflation.
      --Corporations pouring billions into buybacks.
      --Middle-class families lost billions in refunds.
      --Huge executive bonuses.

      His entire administration is a fucking dumpster fire. Falls on his ass wasting the entire first year trying to undermine ACA and came up empty with his own plan, because he's an ignorant lazy lying sack of shit bastard.

      Hey, look at this, NK is back in the long range missile business.

      Hey, let's not forget the 35 day clusterfuck government shutdown where speaker Pelosi cuts his balls off.

      Where the fuck is my infrastructure deal?

    5. Hey David, you treasonous bastard. I'm old enough to remember way way way back when Donald J Chickenshit was running around the country promising a brand spanking new middle class 10% tax cut right around the corner. Remember David? Gee, that was like um, 4 months ago when he was sweating bloody bullets looking at the coming disaster in the midterms. Did he forget, jackass? What the living fuck was that? Just Donald J Chickenshit being his usual conman lying sack of shit bullshit artist?

    6. "-- building some amount of wall with Mexico."

      LOL. That's not what Trump promised.
      Trump promised to commit more criminal acts than anyone in a four-year period, while getting away with it, because the rest of the entire GOP, which Trump said was nothing more than a criminal enterprise, is also being blackmailed by Putin.

      On that score, he's delivered. Bigly.

    7. mm -- some of your statements are true, others are false.

      --The largest trade deficit in history -- True
      --A growing federal deficit and debt. -- True
      --Stagnant wages, adjusted for inflation. -- False.
      --Corporations pouring billions into buybacks -- There's nothing wrong with that.
      --Middle-class families lost billions in refunds -- False and Silly. First of all, federal income tax refunds are up, not down. Secondly, if people got their tax cut sooner, that's good, not bad.
      --Huge executive bonuses -- So, what?

    8. Are small communities stronger? No.
      Have they ceased to be weakened by the economic growth that is the conservative religion? No.
      Are there less predatory lenders? No.
      Is the military industrial complex smaller? No.
      Is our privacy less invaded by government? No.
      Is there less a divide between the rich and the poor? No.
      Are health care costs going down? No.
      Do the poor and middle class men in the red hats benefit from the tax cuts and conservative judge appointments? No.
      Is there less pollution? No.
      Is America great again? No.

      But more black people have jobs packing boxes at Amazon so therefore Trump is good. :)

    9. David, you're a lying sack of shit.

      So, a 2.8% wage gain is essentially no gain at all. Inflation-adjusted wages are flat since last year. It is certainly not the fastest wage growth since 2009, or even close.

      But that’s not what you read in the news. They showed you charts like this one, which doesn’t adjust for inflation.

      Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, St. Louis Federal Reserve

      Quite a different picture.

      We see that real wage growth peaked in 2015. Since then, it’s been trending down, except for a brief pop in 2017. And it’s been about zero in recent months.

  4. racism =/ PC trivialities

    Racism is people hanging from trees because of the color of their skin, people being denied access to opportunities available to others, people being treated in demeaning ways designed to remind them of second-class status, people being confronted by discouraging images of themselves everywhere they look.

    The decision to stop racism in our society means that we all have to stop behaving in racist ways big and small. And we need to root out racism from our institutions and organizations, big and small, too.

    Those who oppose such change focus on the small things deliberately in order to mock the whole process of change. PC is not a Democrat or liberal term. Somerby wisely avoids the term itself, but today he suggests that Trump isn't actually racist, Cohen is just saying so in order to please Democrats on the committee. That flies in the face of all the big and small racist things Trump has done that make it very clear that he is doing nothing to stop being a huge racist. So when Cohen starts by calling Trump racist, Cohen is acknowledging an important failing in Trump that he can attest to, along with Trump's cheating and lying. That matters to Democrats, but should also matter to anyone who wants to decrease racism in our culture. In a perfect world, that would be everyone, including Republicans. Including Somerby.

    I think we need to realize that when someone trivializes the effort to stop displaying unconscious racism, along with the deliberate acts, they are opposing our efforts to make everyone feel at home and do their best in our society. I don't understand why anyone would do that, but I am hoping it is for partisan reasons and not because they want to keep disliking and discriminating against certain people for no good reason.

    Black people (and Hispanic and Asian and women and elderly and anyone who is a member of a category of diversity) understand that they cannot be angry and speak up about all of the small acts of disparagement they encounter every day. It isn't good for the soul to be constantly angry. It is hard to make friends if you are critical of what people ignorantly say without bad intent. They let the small stuff slide. But that doesn't mean the rest of us should let it slide. The small stuff hurts too. The small stuff reflects our progress in eradicating the underlying attitudes that fuel racism. The small stuff matters. But not to Somerby, apparently. He joins Republicans and assholes like Bill Maher who think it is enough to stop lynching people (as if that has actually stopped in some places).

    Somerby is no liberal. He is no progressive either, unless he is like Bernie, giving lip service to civil rights because he marched once when he was 20, but no cannot be bothered to focus on "identity issues" when the proletariat needs to rise up. Two aging assholes.

    1. What about hiring two Nigerians to stage an attack on yourself to blame it on people of European ancestry.

      How would you classify that, dembot?

    2. Jusse Smollett was conducting performance art to raise awareness about homophobia and racism. He proved his point by the skeptical reaction to his attack. BELIEVE. ALL. ACCUSERS.


      Like the ones who say a 5-year old girl from Honduras is going to cross the border and kill us all?

      Make America Afraid of Toddlers!

  5. "Racism is people hanging from trees because of the color of their skin, people being denied access to opportunities available to others, people being treated in demeaning ways designed to remind them of second-class status, people being confronted by discouraging images of themselves everywhere they look"

    That's sexism and you support porn and prostitution.

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