Friday, October 07, 2016

Agony and Irony

Howard Stern has always thrived on being a disruptive prick, so I'm a bit skeptical of this analysis of his undoing of Drumpf over the years of their mutual opportunism, but it would be a nice irony if true. Regardless, this is a nice pull quote that sums up Clownstick's life nicely:
At last, [Drumpf] emerges in the Stern tapes as a kind of humorless George Hamilton figure—a lecherous has-been measuring his march to the grave in New York Post mentions.
That's basically all the guy has done for the past thirty years ago, suck up PR space and attach himself, barnacle-like, to the hull of America's Flying Dutchman public life. This is the secret to Drumpf's success and staying power -- his minute attention span, boastful ignorance, and empty phrases mirror perfectly those traits in his audience. The more passionate the cult follower, the greater the statistical probability that they, like he, actually have little or nothing to offer, but are simply too clueless to know it.

Drumpf's many spectacular "business" failures reflect this perfectly, in eerie juxtaposition with those of his acolytes. It's easy to focus on the high-profile missteps, and wonder aloud what sort of nincompoop cannot sell steaks, vodka, or real-estate seminars, or keep a casino afloat, in a country more or less obsessed with all those things. Similarly, his fans jabber about their lost careers at the barrel-hoop factory or some such, as if their days spent pushing buttons on a box-folding machine comprised the very glue holding together Gawd's Favrit Nayshun.

Where Drumpf is just one step ahead of his rube flock is simply that his true skill is making others pay for his failures. As shown in the recent leak of his 1995 tax returns, in which the genius lost nearly a billion dollars, it must be noted that he also acquired plenty of valuable properties. He simply had his lawyers set them up as losses and write-downs, demonstrating the very high likelihood that the lawyers are probably the only people outside of Drumpf's own useless spawn who can actually count on getting an honest paycheck for their day's work. They are earning their keep, to say the least.

This is where the Drumpfkins' innate ignorance and hypocrisy come to fruition -- they know just enough to understand that Drumpf is a pimp and a charlatan, and that's what they like about him. The ones who know nothing about business seriously think he's a successful legitimate businessman; the rest wish they were smart enough to run these high-profile cons and live like a Middle Eastern despot, because that's exactly what they'd do if they won the lottery.

Back to Stern. One of the most puzzling aspects of Drumpf's candidacy -- and one of the few consistent positions he's taken, true or not -- is his insistence on his O.G. opposition to the Iraq War. Thanks to his early demurral on Stern's radio show, we know that's not true, that he is lying about this and knows that we know, that even a three-toed Drumpfkin could find the facts with about thirty seconds of searching.

But why, why is this issue so important for Drumpf to consistently obfuscate? After all, the Iraq War is one that many people (including yours truly) supported reluctantly and mistakenly, and said so pretty early on. Hillary Clinton has actually provided the usual template for such a thing: I supported it and I shouldn't have. I fucked up, lesson learned. Won't get fooled again. Simple.

Of all the possible hills for a politician to choose to die on, this seems an unlikely one -- very little payoff either way. It's a safe bet that most of the more ardent Drumpfkins supported the war whole hog early on, and even the ones who might have misgivings about it now simply blame it on Chocolate Thunder for fucking it up. So what's the upside in taking the position Drumpf has?

Perhaps it's just one more thing for Drumpf to differentiate himself from her on. Maybe he feels it's an issue on which he can demonstrate superior judgment, although since he has no identifiable philosophy or epistemology, it's unclear how that would even be important beyond a ten-year-old's I told you so sense.

No, this is a very simple man, with very simple words and ideas, and an extraordinarily simple fan-base that only understands broad strokes to begin with. Neither preacher nor flock are familiar with nuance, subtlety, complexity. And this is also someone with an extensive -- and amazingly consistent -- history, a history that portrays its participant as someone whose grandiose vision of himself can scarcely be contained, and surely cannot be contested. I think many of us who have observed and laughed at this dipshit's doofy antics over the past few decades just assumed that there was some showmanship built into it, that Drumpf had to be winking at the audience at some point, that the reality teevee show was an exaggerated, staged presentation.

After a year-plus of scampaigning, that is no longer clear, or even apparent. Drumpf does not seem to be winking at all, though he does seem to be canny enough from time to time to attribute some of his more outlandish excursions as "sarcasm," a word that, like "temperament," he only has a tenuous handle on. Since he seriously appears not to read anything that isn't about himself, it makes sense that he wouldn't know what these fairly commonplace words and ideas mean, since he hasn't used them correctly in a sentence before. But the bottom line is that beyond the Queens jabber and borscht-belt insult-comedy schtick, this is a deeply insecure man who clings very tightly to the basic premise that he is not someone to be dismissed lightly.

The recent joke about conservatives and conservatism is that the "movement" can never be wrong, it can only be wronged. Similarly, Drumpf appears to literally view himself as someone who can never be wrong, but can only be misunderstood by the lesser mortals he is sadly forced to put up with. Being wrong would damage The Brand, therefore he can never be wrong about anything. It is surely the Great Man's Burden to live one's entire life having to explain high-level shit to a world of morons who Fail To Understand. Drumpf has presented himself as an infallible savior, and so he must keep up appearances.

That's why Drumpf admires Putin, a man completely unconstrained by normal modes of civility, due process, legal recourse. Putin does whatever he wants, he has the power and the money. He and his cronies have plundered Russia's resources and treasury at will, and secured massive approval ratings for it.

To a natural Lonesome Rhodes shitbird like Drumpf, this is a revenue model to be emulated. To the dullards in the crowd looking to fulfill their insatiable daddy issues, he's perfect, slinging nonsense like a drunken fool, quicker to show the back of his hand than to use reason and calm, able to rebut mere facts and reality with irrefutable logic from a bizarre universe, incontestable by definition, again in precisely the same way a young child will stubbornly refuse to accept what they know is true, and so rebut the argument with a series of increasingly ridiculous, unbelievable assertions.

No comments: