Tuesday, August 23, 2016

First Amendment Remedies

I'm basically inclined to agree with Strix on the demise of Gawker. Extra humor value comes in the form of them being undone by a couple of toads like Peter Thiel and Hulk Hogan. But mostly, yeah, you live by the hoke, you die by it.

Except here's the thing, in the form of we're totally sure he's gonna lose you guys, no problem! would-be god-emperor Fuckface Von Clownstick:  he's made no bones about his utter disdain for the "legitimate" press, and in fact has made an ongoing hate-sport of its members at his rallies. It's not difficult to see that a Preznit Clownstick (shudder) would instantly populate the White House Press Room with only the entities that spoke favorably of him. He might even pursue more (let's say) Putin-style modes of retribution on especially problematic journamalistas.

The real problem here is not that Drumpf might actually win (even though he might, there's a lot of time to go, people are stupid, and HFC seems determined to stick with her prevent defense), it's that most of his supporters share his vitriolic stance on "the media," which of course really means unfavorable press. So as the disinfo market gets niched, mostly through idiotic agitprop sites like Breitbart and worse (and believe me, they get a lot worse, not in the racist sense, but just in the sheer ineptitude of their sites and content), the marching morons get more and more distrustful of the conventional media outlets, and more and more vituperative in their stance against them. They would be A-OK with whatever their favored strongman/daddy figure chose to do with unruly media folks.

Some people think that the Drumpf phenomenon is sui generis -- it happened because of a perfect storm of conditions:  too many no-name idiot candidates clogging the field, massive name recognition, completely unorthodox campaigning style, actual skill at marketing/branding, etc. While some of that may be true, the fact is that much of it is replicable and scalable to a great degree.

The toughest thing to replicate is the name recognition, something that Drumpf has earned via forty years of public buffoonery. But the social media outlets present a [holds head at the prospect of using jargon] force multiplier, in that much more name recognition per unit of "effort" can be obtained through modern technology.

People are oohing and aahing over how Grampa Drumpf mastered The Twatter, but the fact is that he hasn't done anything anyone else couldn't do. The mezzofanuc dad on Chrisley Knows Best or the ayatollah grampa on Dork Dynasty could probably run for at least statewide seats and win with modest social media campaigns. Less (shall we say) problematic individuals with adept social media campaigns could aim much higher and be successful. All it takes is calibration, focus.

What people need to take away from this misbegotten campaign (again, assuming that Drumpf actually loses) is that Drumpf could have won quite handily with a modest amount of effort. It cannot go unnoticed that he has basically spent the entire year making the universal jerkoff gesture, yet is still only about six points back in the poll average as of the time of this writing; in fact, they're deadlocked in the LA Times poll today. Fucking unbelievable, right?

The parties, like the insurance and pharma companies they represent, are barely trying anymore to conceal the sheer contempt they have for the rubes they expect to vote for them. That's how you end up with the ludicrously flawed choice you have right now.

Without a massive blowout, HFC will have a single, gridlocked term opposed in 2020 by a much more refined, less idiotic Republican candidate. Don't buy into the nonsense about the party "imploding" -- either the donors start kicking in again, or the party figures out how to economize via social media. And then you have a smarter, smoother, competent person.

And this is all much more easily accomplished with an even more cowed, intimidated "establishment" media presence, leaving the chum to the fastest-swimming fractal-media snarkssharks.

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