Are Americans Wearing Down President Trump?

contemptor

“A series of strange events launched with the 45th President’s inauguration on Friday, January 20, 2017. The introduction of the country to Press Secretary Sean Spicer and “alternative facts,” protesting crowds at the Women’s Marches far exceeding attendance at the President’s own parade. And Chuck Todd remembered he was a journalist. Writer Egberto Willies and others have offered measured praise: “Recently Chuck Todd has been doing his job in reducing the spin by pointing out unadulterated facts when Republicans enter their lying mode.”

So anyway, Trump has been President for three weeks and I’m three for three with Meet the Press. These are strange times indeed. On today’s edition, the topic wasn’t explicitly discussed by the panel or guests. But with each installment of the suddenly reinvigorated program, Chuck Todd gets closer to verbalizing a question on the mind of many Washington talking heads. This week Politico published Trump Vexed by Challenges, Scale of Government. Writers Alex Isenstadt, Kenneth P. Vogel and Josh Dawsey report, “The new president’s allies say he has been surprised that government can’t be run like his business.”

Two thoughts and queries immediately present themselves.

  1. No shit, Sherlock.
  2. Is Trump going to give the nation the gift of resignation?”

Read the full post at Contemptor.

Ignore Chuck Todd’s ‘Help:’ Six Journalists Lester Holt Should Emulate

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“Though the seasoned journalist has long earned the public trust, there are two potential variables that leave me with some concern heading into tonight’s faceoff. The first is the debate prep “help” that Holt is receiving from Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd. Though Meet the Press remains a Sunday morning Washington mainstay with high-profile guests and a rotating pundit panel, few are tuning in for Todd’s adroit interview skills. The guy has kid gloved Donald Trump in particular almost every step of the way. As Wonkette’s C.A. Pinkham wrote in February, “He is spectacularly bad at talking to humans, which is a problem when your entire job is talking to humans.”

Holt isn’t going to master the fine balance between equity and a quest for the truth by studying Todd. And Trump’s team has already taken great umbrage at the suggestion that fact checking should play a role in the debate. There’s a whole year and a half of established precedent – Trump running his mouth unchallenged by the media or moderators. As I’ve written angrily several times already, it’s key to his improbable campaign’s success.”

Read the full post at Contemptor.

Back to the Wall: Hillary’s in Trouble and Knows It

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“It’s fair to say that Clinton did not run from the two-term Obama record Sunday night. On issue after issue, in drawing contrast between what she hopes voters will view as the more radical, impractical positions of Sanders, Hillary’s stance was essentially, “I plan on building upon what President Obama did.” (Side note: it kills me to agree with Chuck Todd). What a difference a few months makes.:

Read the full post at Contemptor.

Chuck Todd and the Rest of Mainstream Media Finally Recognize Bernie Sanders’ Existence

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“Todd was speaking of results from two new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls of likely voters from Iowa and New Hampshire. The latest data shows Hillary Clinton with just a three-point lead over Bernie Sanders in the Hawkeye State. Meanwhile in Granite territory, Sanders is ahead of Clinton by four points. So yes, it is clear we have a tight race for the Democratic presidential nomination. My question for Chuck Todd and the rest of the mainstream media: but haven’t we always? Why is conventional wisdom and corporate marketing so quick to count out Bernie?”

Read the full post at Contemptor.

Ben Carson and the Alan Keyes Cautionary Tale

Ben Carson

In February of 2013, author and retired Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Ben Carson gave President Barack Obama a piece of his mind on issues ranging from health care to political correctness, during the National Prayer Breakfast. And a Republican star was born. Earlier this month in a column entitled The Soft Bigotry of Ben Carson, New York Times Op-Ed writer Charles Blow offered this assessment of the confrontation:

“It’s not that others have not criticized the president before or since, but it was the particularity of the racial imagery of Carson’s critique — one smart, accomplished black man undressing another in public — that gave it particular power. It insulated the attack from racial characterization. He said things from the lips of a black conservative that roiled the minds of white ones. And it represented a prominent breaking of ranks, a slicing off of black solidarity from not only Democratic loyalty but also from fidelity with this president.”

The accomplished, soft-spoken Carson currently sits just five points below 2016 Republican front-runner Donald Trump in a recent release from Public Policy Polling. That is a sentence I’d never thought I’d write in my lifetime, but I digress. Carson may be a brilliant physician but as my sister Jennifer recently and astutely observed, he’s also “frankly, one of the smartest dumb dudes alive.”

In a 2016 Republican primary campaign depressingly rife with distortions, inflammatory hate speech and blatant cynicism, Carson has not been the voice of class and reason for which many undecideds hoped. No matter how accomplished his resume or soft his tenor, the good doctor has disqualified himself over and again for the nation’s highest office – even as “progressive” Republicans and conservative media pundits enjoy their latest mainstream alienating love affair.

I’m quite sure the party’s base would love him to go on talking. Because no matter how outrageous the right has grown in its free political ignorance, as Blow highlights, there are still things white candidates (Donald Trump notwithstanding) can’t allow themselves to say. Such as these gems from the Sunday, September 20 edition of NBC’s Meet the Press:

“I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”

“Congress is a different story, but it depends on who that Muslim is and what their policies are, just like it depends on what anybody else is. If there’s somebody who is of any faith but they say things and their life has been consistent with things that will elevate this nation and make it possible for everybody to succeed and bring peace and harmony, then I’m with them.”

To quote Bart Simpson, Ay caramba. This was not gotcha journalism (my thoughts on the investigative dereliction of Meet the Pressmoderator Chuck Todd will be happily shared another time). This is an unqualified, racist crackpot speaking with the authority and support (silent or otherwise) of his partymates, trying to convince the rest of us that he is wizened and thoughtful enough to lead a nation of disparate peoples.

23 percent of Muslim Americans identify as black. Most of the remainder are other persons of color. Carson is a person of color, therefore untouchable no matter how hurtful and discriminatory his statements. An ironic carte blanche. See Carson shoot up the polls.

The only qualification Ben Carson seems to possess as a legitimate politician is the ability to talk (or mumble) out of both sides of his mouth. He wants everyone to succeed, peace and harmony for all, but he also wants to exclude an entire group of citizens from the White House against explicit Constitutional decree. Because 9/11 y’all. MD and skin color aside, Carson’s neck is just as red as Mike Huckabee’s.

As a longtime Illinois resident, the Republican and mainstream media’s pathetically forced Carson/Obama symmetry brings to mind the 2004 Senate contest between the future president and political activist, author and former diplomat Alan Keyes. Keyes, an African-American, demonstrated to his party’s caucus that being educated and black was far from enough to counteract Obama’s stride to Washington. The Free Republic reported at the time:

“He’s alienated almost all of the Republican party operatives throughout the state, starting with his wild-eyed rhetoric about Barack Obama’s pro-abortion stance (the ‘slaveholders’ position, similar to a terrorist, etc) and his attack on Dick Cheney’s gay daughter (Keyes called Mary Cheney a ‘selfish hedonist’).”

One has to talk a lot of crazy to alienate the Cheney family. 11 years later, Keyes exists as a frightening, if somewhat humorous political footnote. I eagerly await Carson’s similar recession from the public consciousness.