Why does Greene [HEART] Donald J. Trump?

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2021

Tomorrow, the trial to nowhere: Does it make sense to be holding an impeachment "trial" for our former commander in chief, Donald J. Trump? Is it a good idea?

We're basically "meh" on this trial. For starters, Trump isn't going to be convicted, and he isn't going to be disqualified from seeking future office. 

Instead, he's going to be "acquitted." Surely, everyone knows that.

(The fact that Dems are talking about disqualifying Trump from seeking future office—by a simple majority vote!—helps explain why he'll never be convicted. As with all other serious points, this point is going completely undiscussed. Our culture is very much like this!)

The desire to held this "trial" stems from the desire to punish. The desire to punish remains a very strong impulse in the streets of Our Town.

We're much less committed to the desire to persuade. Consider the question of Marjorie Taylor Greene's love for the former commander.

Who is Marjorie Taylor Greene? What follows would be our best guess:

We'd describe her as someone who joins extremely poor powers of discernment to a will to power, an impulse for combat and a very poor sense of appropriate boundaries.

Is she also the virulent anti-Semite of Dana Milbank's description? As always, everything is possible, but we wouldn't assume that she is.

Over the course of the past few years, Greene has seemed to agree with every damn-fool claim that has come down the pike. Rather than "pity the fool," we've been deeply invested in trying to punish her too. In a sardonic aside in her latest column, Jennifer Senior offers a possible explanation:

SENIOR (2/7/21): Perhaps the media bear a tiny bit of responsibility for the coverage Greene is getting. We’re going through terrible outrage withdrawal. (“Have you seen CNN’s ratings recently?” Dan Senor, once an adviser to Mitt Romney, asked me not long ago.) So here is Greene, offering us a bottomless Mary-Poppins-carpet-bag of old videos that spew hate and derangement. She’s our methadone.

Then again, she truly is monstrous.

"We’re going through terrible outrage withdrawal?" Senior seems to be suggesting that the media is replacing its outrage against the departed and silenced Trump with the methadone of outrage aimed at Rep. Greene.

"Then again, she truly is monstrous," Senior says. We wouldn't use that word ourselves. Ruth to tell, we'd suggest a largely different approach.

As with Trump, so too with Greene! The press corps and the rest of Our Town is failing to ask a pair of obvious questions:

Have Trump and Greene really believe the various gonzo things they've said? If so, what does that start to tell us about the political / societal / cultural situation with which we're now confronted?

Last week, we discussed Greene's various ludicrous claims, but we also cited two former QAnon believers who were interviewed by CNN. People do believe these crazy claims, and we need to be asking ourselves how to address this state of affairs.

Instead of trying to punish people, we ought to be trying to decide how to address the problem of runaway lack of discernment, not excluding our own. In this, the age of partisan crackpot "news" and utterly crackpot social media, this problem won't be going away on its own.

The problem isn't Greene's various claims, whether or not she believed the,. The problem is the fact that so many other people plainly did.

The problem isn't the fact that Greene ran for Congress spouting her crazy ideas. The problem is the fact that last November, Greene's House election turned out exactly like this:

Georgia's 14th congressional district, November 2020
Marjorie Taylor Greene (R): 229,827
Kevin Van Ausda (D): 77,798

Can we punish our way out of that? We're not sure we can.

Is Donald Trump severely disordered, as major psychiatrists have said? In Our Town, our journalists (Senior excluded) decided they didn't want to hold that discussion! In Our Town, we decided that it would make better sense to punish him instead.

What explains the crazy claims of someone like Rep. Greene? Did she really believe the various crazy things she has said? More to the point, how can we address a world in which so many others do?

Here in Our Town, we don't care about questions like that. We want to conduct our showcase trials, no matter how dumb they may be.

Can we punish our way out of this mess? Tomorrow, we start to find out as the "trial to nowhere" gets its start.

We dream of disqualifying Trump from ever running again. After making him a martyr, we'll start looking for ways to punish the "next nut up!"


33 comments:

  1. tl;dr
    "Does it make sense to be holding an impeachment "trial" for our former commander in chief, Donald J. Trump? Is it a good idea?"

    But of course it is, dear Bob.

    We enjoy watching your liberal-hitlerian cult's clown shows, and your zombie comrades getting excited and agitated, foaming at the mouth. Mighty entertaining.

    ReplyDelete
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  2. “We're much less committed to the desire to persuade.”
    ...
    “For starters, Trump isn't going to be convicted”

    Think about this. Even before the trial, it is already clear that not enough Republicans will vote to convict. In other words, even before hearing the arguments and seeing the evidence, they have already made up their minds.

    That is the definition of unpersuadable.

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    Replies
    1. Worth noting is the extremely unusual fact that the Republicans in question are both witnesses and victims of the crimes which Trump is being charged with inciting, as well as witnesses to the majority of actions Trump took which is being characterized as High Crimes and Misdemeanors. Unless the House prosecutors are going to reveal bombshell new evidence (a recording? a written instruction?) there is extraordinarily little room for persuasion during the trial to begin with. This is a *very* unusual situation.

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  3. "We're basically "meh" on this trial."

    One important purpose of holding the trial is to inform the public about what happened. Too many Trump followers still think he won the election and that the capitol insurrectionists were patriots. They need to hear what the rest of the nation thinks of them. Since they do not listen to anything but their own sources, this is a rare chance to speak to them, whether the Republicans ignore their duty or not.

    Somerby says the only desire is to punish, but I want the right to hear what Trump did and why it is wrong. That isn't punishment, it is an attempt to talk to The Others, and isn't that what Somerby keeps saying we should do?

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  4. "The desire to punish remains a very strong impulse in the streets of Our Town."

    Somerby is mindreading again.

    But why exactly does he think that those who committed as grave an offense as this one should not be punished?

    And when did the left become the Law and Order party?

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  5. I believe MTG is a sociopath, just like Trump, a con artist. She is from a wealthy family in Atlanta. She originally ran there but was having trouble winning, so she sought out the most conservative corner of the state, moved there (where she was accused of carpetbagging) and began spouting every far-right conspiracy theory she could think of. That is opportunism, not conviction. She manipulated that red district into thinking she was one of them and got herself into Congress, where she is now saying that participating on committees would be a waste of her time. Like Trump, she is fundraising on those gun/conspiracy issues, because that is what politics is to her.

    Her district turned out the way it did because it was like that to begin with. She picked it for that reason, because she wanted to win office. That is demagoguery not conviction, and certainly not lack of discernment. She sized up her audience and told them exactly what they wanted to hear. And she is still doing it.

    Next Somerby will be asking whether SHE believes her own lies and calling her crazy, deserving of pity. I can pity her constituents, but Greene is playing the Republican con game to the hilt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "She sized up her audience and told them exactly what they wanted to hear."

      That counting the votes of black people is un-American.

      Delete
  6. "We want to conduct our showcase trials, no matter how dumb they may be."

    Wow, Somerby is using a very loaded word here! Showcase trial? Like in Communist China? How is this not a showcase? First, Trump is manifestly guilty, but assuming people didn't know that, there is real evidence being presented and Trump's side is being given a chance to speak. Second, in an actual showcase trial, the trial is rigged in favor of the state, not the accused. Here, the accused will most likely win, because even though Trump is guilty, his party is rallying around him and providing him with cover for his attempt to steal an election won by the other party (the Dems). Third, the purpose of a show trial is to repress the populace by making an example of someone who opposed the state. That is hardly what is happening here. In fact, the state is trying to demonstrate that insurrection is undemocratic and opposed by all who believe in democracy. The state is defending the rights of the voters, against a president who tried to overturn a valid election. That isn't exactly a mechanism for repression of the populace.

    Somerby knows all this, yet he uses a highly charged, inappropriate word like this! What is he playing at?

    It should be obvious to everyone that Somerby is not only not a liberal, but seems to have little sympathy for democracy.

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    Replies
    1. He is just blatantly copying right wing verbiage:

      “GOP senator compares Trump impeachment proceedings to Soviet 'show trial'”

      https://thehill.com/homenews/sunday-talk-shows/537744-gop-senator-compares-trump-impeachment-proceedings-to-soviet-show

      Delete
    2. Somerby only parrots Right-wing talking points on days that end in y.

      Delete
  7. "Tomorrow, we start to find out as the "trial to nowhere" gets its start."

    This is hardly a trial to nowhere. It is a trial to tell the Republicans and Trump that their crimes are not going unnoticed, that they are not condoned, that they are indeed crimes. When the Republicans go on record as refusing to convict Trump, their constituents will know who their representatives are. The majority of the country believes that Trump is guilty and should be tried. When elected officials do not respect the wishes of the voters, the voters have the right to know. That is what this trial is for.

    If you gun-nuts and militias and domestic terrorists were not all right-wing, Trump would have been in mortal danger a long time ago. Democrats are using due process to object to the worst president in history. This is an important, consequential process.

    Somerby's dismissal of this historic second impeachment trial tells all of us everything we need to know about Somerby. He should be ashamed of himself, but apparently, like Trump, he feels no shame. And that speaks volumes about Somerby too.

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  8. I kind of agree with The Daily Howler here. What's happening is Trump and Greene don't want to believe certain things. And that makes them reach for really wild opinions to fill in the vacuum.

    For example, Trump didn't want to believe covid was real because shutting down the economy could hurt his re-election chances, and make him lose face with rich friends. There are similar issues around Greene's stances if you look. Her explanations of lasers starting fires were kind of an elaborate stage of denial of global warming.

    All we can be certain about is what they don't want to accept as truth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It isn't just about "losing face" for Trump's rich friends, it is about losing money.

      And don't forget that Greene's story about the lasers was about Jewish lasers, it was anti-semitic, referring to a Jewish conspiracy.

      I think there is denialism going on, as you suggest, but there is also active bigotry. When Trump wants to deny that his followers committed violence, he doesn't just blame it on someone else, he blames it on Antifa (which is code for the left). If he just wanted to engage in denial, he could have blamed it on high spirits and alcohol. The content of their conspiracy theories does matter.

      For Somerby, it isn't just about blaming the press for making "errors". He also has to call the mainstream press "liberal" and link their errors back to "us liberals" and some narrative script dictated by the left.

      Delete
    2. It's likely that the anti Semitism is part of the misdirection.

      "raising questions about
      one’s opponents may be one of the most effective ways of reducing the
      attention being paid to one’s own legitimacy, or to the legitimacy of an
      unequal distribution of benefits that works mainly to the advantage of a
      privileged few." (Sociological Forum, Vol. 22, No. 2, June 2007)

      Delete
  9. “Trump isn't going to be convicted, and he isn't going to be disqualified from seeking future office”

    The first phrase is likely true, but why is he not going to be disqualified? Apparently, the Senate takes a second, separate vote on barring from future office that only requires a majority, rather than the two-thirds majority required for conviction:

    “Unlike removal, disqualification from office is a discretionary judgment, and there is no explicit constitutional linkage to the two-thirds vote on conviction. Although an argument can be made that disqualification should nonetheless require a two-thirds vote, the Senate has determined that disqualification may be accomplished by a simple majority vote.”
    https://law.justia.com/constitution/us/article-2/49-judgment-removal-and-disqualification.html

    ReplyDelete
  10. “Georgia's 14th congressional district, November 2020
    Marjorie Taylor Greene (R): 229,827
    Kevin Van Ausda (D): 77,798”

    (His name is Van Ausdal, by the way).

    If only Mr Van Ausdal had gone for the “I want to shoot prominent Democrats in the head” approach, he might have had a chance.

    You know, those persuadable voters.

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  11. Is Somerby surprised that a Republican won a massively Republican district? Is he chastising Democrats for it? There are plenty of districts around the country where Republicans aren’t competitive. So what?

    Somerby seems to be missing the point again. There was a crowded primary, she emerged to face a runoff with Republican John Cowan, also a “staunch Trump supporter”, who said this about Greene:

    “She deserves a YouTube channel, not a seat in Congress. She's a circus act."
    https://www.businessinsider.com/marjorie-greene-vs-john-cowan-georgia-14th-district-runoff-results-2020-8

    They chose the circus act.

    As with the 2016 Republican primaries, the GOP voters picked the most racist ...er, sociopathic of the candidates.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Somerby unites with many on the right to call this a “show” trial, conjuring up Soviet era terminology. It’s all just bad faith Democrats who like to punish, says the blogger.

    This is the time to remind him and his readers of the following statement from the number three Republican in the House:

    “On January 6, 2021 a violent mob attacked the United States Capitol to obstruct the process of our democracy and stop the counting of presidential electoral votes. This insurrection caused injury, death and destruction in the most sacred space in our Republic. 

    “Much more will become clear in coming days and weeks, but what we know now is enough. The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution. 
    I will vote to impeach the President.”
    https://cheney.house.gov/2021/01/12/cheney-i-will-vote-to-impeach-the-president/

    (Liz Cheney)

    She apparently doesn’t view this as a show trial. Nor did 9 other House Republicans.

    But keep on pushing that Storyline, Bob.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Polls show that 56 percent of Americans think that Trump should be found guilty and barred from ever running for public office again.
    Because Republicans in the senate have already made up their minds, Somerby thinks that somehow Democrats are to blame for turning the impeachment into a "Show Trial."
    Republicans will not vote to find Trump guilty, and that will take another brick out of the wall of our democracy.
    They are saying that it is okay for the president to try to overturn the clear results of a true and fair election. If that didn't work this time, since there are no repercussions, maybe it will work the next time when the losing candidate is a little more popular and a little less stupid than Trump. What if it had come down to only one state – say Michigan, Pennsylvania or Georgia – and the election board or secretary of state or Republican controlled legislature had gone along with the fraud?
    Since Trump will face no consequences, that scenario got just a little bit closer for the next time and the Republicans in the Senate will have been responsible for that.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Lincoln could have viewed the southern secession with a shrug of the shoulders. A majority of southerners did support it, so, Lincoln could have tried listening to the “others”, persuading them.

    Instead, he sent hundreds of thousands of men to kill them and subdue them and force them back into the Union.

    Lincoln believed in the “fiction” (to use Harari’s word) of a “Union” that had to be preserved at all costs.

    Whether liberals are “well-liked” or not, they cannot allow the Republicans to overturn elections and destroy democracy. That is the critical point we have reached. Somerby has failed the test of being on the right side of history. Future anthropologists will note this fact.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Somerby once again repeats GOP talking points. Show trial. Sure thing, kiddo.

    Somerby has the nerve to call himself a "liberal". Except that he's that special kind of liberal that hates all other liberals. Hates everything they do, everything they say, and everything they stand for. His ranting about the liberal media should be a sufficient warning to where is allegiances lie.

    Hey Somerby, ask your hero Al Gore if thinks this will be a "show trial", ask him if he thinks it's warranted and necessary. You already know what the answer will be.

    Christ you are a useless pos.

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  16. Republican politicians don't think Trump should be held accountable for the January 6th insurrection, because they KNOW the Republican base are delusional morons, who can believe anything. If nothing else, this trial should get them on record admitting it.

    ReplyDelete
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  18. .”..we ought to be trying to address this issue of runaway lack of discernment not excluding our own.” Well, I must say, that’s a good start, Bob. You recognize that you have a problem. How are you going to attend to this on a personal level? Clearly, writing about liberal bias incessantly hasn’t been therapeutic or you would have rid yourself of this problem years ago. Professional help will likely be required. I say now get to it and enlighten us all as to the progress you are making, as you travel down this path, shedding your runaway lack of discernment (not my words) along the way. It should be liberating and may even allow you to see clearly how people come to believe the Jews launching lasers at California forests stuff. And I hope you haven’t fallen for that one. Because in order to believe such things you have to start out dumb as a rock, biased, and impressionable. Or be a mendacious politician cynically espousing such for your chosen audience. It is that simple. Sorry for being so blunt; I hope your feelings aren’t hurt. Good luck. Maybe Mao can start a go fund me for you and, emulating Trump, pocket the cash.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Bob: [we'll start looking for ways to punish the "next nut up!"] My response? SHOW ME {state} and never forget Cruz, Coryn and TX AG Paxton. And I love how Tim Griffin in ARKANSAS has been bumped aside by Sarah THE TRUTH Sanders. 2022 may be like 1994, 2010 and 2014... I predict the nutjobs win where nutjobs win and the slow arc of justice we may never see? Bends towards justice. In fact, I may have to WORK with Republicans in Arkansas. They better work WITH ME if I play my Obama card... my angry black Michelle-Obama card.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Mr. Somerby: We like to claim that this country is "a nation of laws, not men." At least this is what we aspire to. But what happens when there is no penalty for breaking those laws?

    You seem to believe that the Democrat's efforts to hold Donald Trump accountable for violating his oath to uphold the Constitution (our highest law)are rooted in pure vindictiveness. I must respectively disagree with your assessment.
    Impeaching Trump may be a misguided or even foolish means of holding him accountable -- I too believe that he will not be convicted -- but what other means are available to us? How do we prevent the next Trumpster from taking office and trampling all over the Constitution, if there are no consequences for doing so?

    You frequently point out in your columns that people all over the world are dead because of George W. Bush. Donald Trump is also (in my opinion) responsible for the deaths of many people, including the six who died during the January 6th riot at the Capitol, which he incited. Is "forgive and forget," now that he's out of office, an adequate response to his crimes?

    I don't pretend to have an answer to these kind of questions. What I do have is a strong conviction that holding people accountable for what they do is not the same as revenge or petty spite.

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