Social Media’s Voice in Politics

As Harvey and Katrina recede and a new hurricane builds strength, our eyes turn to the damage these catastrophic storms have caused. News sources have Key West taking the brunt of Irma’s force in America, while damage abounds in the Caribbean.

As we focus on recovery, ugly politics seem unavoidable. In Tampa last week, Trump was given the opportunity to walk back his Charlottesville comments. Instead he doubled down, continuing to ignorantly and equally cast blame on white supremacists and the protesting opposition.

This followed the White House’s admonishment of ESPN journalist Jemele Hill, which underscored the the traditional divide between government reach and personal opinions. Censoring the media and skirting the First Amendment seems to be the new norm. We see this in the administration’s preference for conservative white journalists – another break with accepted, multi-voiced tradition. This pandering to white media fosters an environment where police departments can continue to escalate racial divisions among private citizens. Posting “all lives splatter” content on September 11th assaulted public sensitivity and attempted to invalidate a legitimate statement of equality and equity. 

This media divisions the Trump administration is sowing also highlights the role that Facebook had in swaying the 2016 election. We now know that $100,000 paid for ads on the social channel, with the buys coming from fake Russian accounts. Facebook also allowed similarly targeted ads with anti-Semitic content to be posted as recently as this month, as well as a fake housing ad that excluded specific minorities.

With evidence mounting regarding a highly suspect 2016 Presidential election, little progress or forward motion in identifying and punishing state actors has been seen.

And despite last week’s “Will they or won’t they?” drama between the President and “Chuck and Nancy,” Trump has not confirmed his commitment to DACA. GOP leaders seem poised to shoot down any efforts to protect Dreamers in legislative form.

The conversations that Trump is having with top Democrats are dividing the GOP and hard-line Trump supporters (like living monster Ann Coulter), prompting Trump to broadcast supposed alignment on tax reform. We’ll wait and see..

With bifurcation across the board, it seems likely that the ongoing N.A.F.T.A. talks are headed for a similarly uncertain fate.  Mexican opinion of America is at an all-time low after an embarrassingly long wait for “The Donald” to reach out to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. POTUS waited a week after the country’s 8.1 magnitude earthquake to express condolences and an offer of help.

Which way do the Trump winds blow? I think that’s exactly what the President wants us to keep asking. By keeping politicians and the people guessing, he keeps himself trending on social media – and that’s power in his warped mind.

Advertisements

GOP In Headlights: This Week In The Trump Campaign

trump0020

“I was a big soap opera fan as a kid growing up in the 1980s. Give me a hot super couple romance or a realistically impossible natural disaster and I was all in. Santa Barbara, General Hospital and All My Children – while other youths were catching up on cartoons, I was transfixed by Luke and Laura’s magnificent, on-location wedding.

Watching Donald Trump’s campaign unfold is an experience quite like the televised daytime dramas that kept me hooked well into the early 2000s. Except that there’s no decompression after closing one’s laptop or turning off the TV. There are real consequences besides the sort of anxiety-ridden fugue state that is a burden of all those endeavoring to follow the fire. Party affiliation is inconsequential. If one is a passionate liberal, the prospect of Trumpism in the White House and its associated wrecking ball effect on America as we know it is one kind of panic attack. And for conservatives (whatever that means these days), the specter of electoral annihilation and party irrelevance has many pundits and politicians reaching for the Xanax.”

Read the full post at Contemptor.

The GOP Is F*cked…And It’s Bad For America

trump-baby

“The absolutely pathetic Republican showings in the 2008 and 2012 national elections are on track to be a source of GOP wistfulness this year, as numerous polls show Hillary Clinton set to trounce Donald Trump. As of this morning, The New York Times has the former Secretary of State at an 87 percent November victory likelihood. Memories of the electoral disappointments of 2000 and 2004 prevent relaxed exhalation but given the Republican nominee’s post-convention nose dive and Clinton’s stellar debate skills (if there are, in fact, debates), there’s reason to believe we’ll get through this without a President Trump.

But what will be left of the Republican Party? I don’t pose this rhetorical question as an exercise in schadenfreude.”

Read the full post at Contemptor.

Reform Conservatives Wail As GOP Leadership Continues 2016 Suicide Mission

Reform Conservatives

“Other than scream ‘no’ to every Obama administration proposal while using local politics to assault women’s rights, voting laws and LGBT equality, the GOP hasn’t addressed the day to day concerns of struggling Americans. This reality (and not Obama) underpins the party’s modern revolt. The most disappointed Obama liberals draw comfort from pointing to a President who’s accomplished much of his agenda in spite of a perverse, do-nothing Congress. Toward what can 2016 Republicans gesture as a source of party pride?”

Read the full post at Contemptor.

The Unasked GOP Debate Question: Will Someone, Anyone, Please Drop Out of This Race?

Contempt

“So many questions in the aftermath of an ongoing exercise in excruciating national embarrassment. But the most important one remains unanswered today. With 14 candidates left in the field and the actual primaries just a couple months away, is anyone going to make like Scott Walker and go back to screwing up his or her regular day job?”

Read the full post on the Contemptor website.

 

Racism in South Carolina? How Original! (June 5, 2010)

Nikki Haley

Talk about the ultimate backfire. When Palmetto State Republican gubernatorial candidate John M. “Jake” Knotts Jr., called GOP frontrunner Nikki Haley, a converted Christian of Sikh Indian descent, a “raghead” this week, he made the young lawmaker a household name. Heretofore, she had only been known as the slutty would-be replacement for the current tramp in the Governor’s mansion, Mark Sanford. Haley was well on her way to doing herself in, having faced two separate allegations, within the span ten days, of having sexual relations with GOP operatives. But leave it to an old, fat, racist white man to breathe new life into Haley’s candidacy.

I have to admit that I never bothered to search for an image of Haley, until Knotts hurled his antiquated and culturally ignorant epithet. I read a column in the New York Times by the incandescent Gail Collins this week that addressed the infidelity accusations dogging Haley’s campaign, and upon coming across her name for the first time, I assumed she was simply another hypocritical, greedy member of the far right, which tends as we know, to be WASP-y in its makeup. No thanks. It wasn’t until news spread that Knotts had not only insulted Haley’s cultural heritage, but managed to rope President Obama into a racist slam at the same time, that I wanted to know more about this woman.

And if I am discovering interest in Haley, it is not a far conjectural leap to assume that voters in South Carolina are doing the same. The rumored adulterer and mother of two has suddenly been rendered sympathetic by the shocking ignorance of a challenging member of the ruling class. In a political climate that is very anti-establishment at the moment, Knotts could not have made a more damaging faux pas, leaving aside what it says about his tolerance and character. All of the sudden, the clout of Republican heavyweight Sarah Palin is thrown behind Haley’s candidacy, in the form of recorded robo-calls. Whatever one might think of Palin, there is no denying her star power, particularly in the Red States. I doubt Knotts can count on any important party support, except perhaps from the ghost of late South Carolina Senator and fellow ideological crackpot, Strom Thurmond.

Which brings me to another point. I thought conventional wisdom had it that in order for the Republican party to compete in the ever more diverse landscape of American politics, they were going to have to break with the past, be more inclusive? Wasn’t the point of hiring bumbling jackass Michael Steele as chairman of the RNC (the gift to the Democrats that keeps on giving), to put a face on that effort? Well you can place as many visages of color in leadership positions as you want, Republicans, but as long as you have wingnuts like Knotts, and media personalities like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly doing your talking for you, it’s going to be hard to convince people that you are other than the party of discrimination. In a nation that becomes more multi-ethnic by the year, intolerance is dangerous and unsustainable.

One can only assume, despite Knotts’s predictable, insincere apology for his comments, that his candidacy is all but over. Thank goodness for that. I believe an additional boost to Haley’s run will stem from her measured, savvy response to the controversy. She was quoted as saying: “What the race in 2010 will prove is the goodness of the people of South Carolina, that there [are] fewer people of the Jake Knotts [ilk] and that there are a lot more good, educated people [who] want their voice heard in government.”

I can only hope that other members of the new Republican movement are sincere in their desire to expand their membership base, and are not just cynically chasing votes. Because even those of us are who lean far left have much to gain in finding a worthy adversary with new ideas and attitudes. Clearly however, the old guard of the GOP has not looked a calendar lately. It’s 2010, not 1959 fellas.

WTF is up with Sarah Palin? (July 6, 2009)

I realize I am a few days late on this. As usual, I have been self-involved and monumentally busy coping with the last three days of my mother-in-law’s visit.

Let me start by saying, I am no fan of this chick. I was talking to our cousins, Cindy and Sanjiv, over the weekend, and we all kind of agreed the GOP’s attempt to ram the “Barracuda” down our throats as a Hillary Clinton replacement never sat right. On one side, I admire Governor Palin, slightly, I say slightly, for her rep as a loose canon. Anyone who gives old Republican stalwarts a headache warrants an occasional chuckle from me. But Palin proved herself an overmatched chowderhead on the 2008 campaign trail. This rather stymying resignation does nothing to change my opinion.

It would be one thing if I were able, somehow, to chalk up the coming end of her reign as a savvy political move. But to announce this the day before a holiday weekend, a virtual media blackout? And call me crazy, but if you do intend to run for higher office, like say, the presidency, doesn’t it help to have a steady job while doing so? Ask Mitt Romney or Fred Thompson if not holding an office did them any favors when they went after the brass ring. Why would a person repeatedly pelted with the label “inexperienced” so oft last year, pull the plug on the only avenue she currently has to gain knowledge?

The possibility that her resignation pre-empts some shocking scandal that was about to come out has been thrown around. But I really don’t like this either. If the juice is any good, we’ll find out anyway. John Edwards anyone?

So I return to my initial question: What is up? And moreover, do any of you care what Sarah Palin does next? For the meanspirited of our readers (like me), are you enjoying the summer movie implosion of the GOP favorites?