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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:31 am 
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arcosh wrote:
I guess we can rule out that there is a coordinated group around Trump now. Otherwise i guess they would have convinced him by now to permanently reside in Maro Lago and have a team installed, that only gives him the "really presidental" stuff, and shields him from the boring day to day stuff.

He'd still be able to say crazy things, but then he would no longer have classified information to share.


Too many would-be puppet masters and an out of control "puppet." ("No puppet! You're the puppet!")

---

So what do you think is Putin's motivation in inserting himself into the conversation right now?

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/05 ... cords.html

Can he really believe he's helping Trump? Or is he trying to sabotage him? Is he attempting to sow more confusion? Or is he yet another leader who doesn't know when to just shut up?

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 11:32 am 
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kitoba wrote:
arcosh wrote:

So what do you think is Putin's motivation in inserting himself into the conversation right now?

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/05 ... cords.html

Can he really believe he's helping Trump? Or is he trying to sabotage him? Is he attempting to sow more confusion? Or is he yet another leader who doesn't know when to just shut up?


If Trump thinks, Putin tries to help Trump, it's likely overall good for Putin. Regardless if that help is actually helpfull or counterproductive.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 5:53 pm 
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I used to have a pro-Trump coworker. He wasn't stupid. I really, really wonder what he thinks these days.

Kea wrote:
like a box of dildos falling down the stairs in the leaning tower of Pisa.


Would this materially differ from my experience with bags of vibrators sliding down the stairs of the Statue of Liberty?

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:07 pm 
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kitoba wrote:
Or is he yet another leader who doesn't know when to just shut up?

Certainly not, Putin is a notorious control freak. He only trolls deliberately. I presume his government needed to issue some kind of denial about having gotten classified information out of Trump (What, us, manipulating your president? Neeeever!), Putin just did it in the most Putinesque way possible. It's probably part of his own tough guy posturing to a domestic audience.

arcosh wrote:
I guess we can rule out that there is a coordinated group around Trump now. Otherwise i guess they would have convinced him by now to permanently reside in Maro Lago and have a team installed, that only gives him the "really presidental" stuff, and shields him from the boring day to day stuff.

Like kitoba said, too many competing wannabe puppet masters. Also, Trump's big ego would never allow himself to be sidelined. He'll insist on inserting himself into decisions just to prove his authority - and his staff are scared of his tantrums. Working for him sounds rather like working for Joffrey Baratheon without the beheadings.

drachefly wrote:
Would this materially differ from my experience with bags of vibrators sliding down the stairs of the Statue of Liberty?

Uh, please do tell.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Thu May 18, 2017 10:01 am 
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balthazar wrote:
CCC wrote:
You know, this is one part of American politics that doesn't make sense to me. How does one get to be President without being smart enough to out-think one's political rivals?


By being more popular than them.


So, the smart guy hires a good PR firm, then?

I mean, I can understand a guy getting into power if he's really good at backroom political manoeuvring, even if he's totally useless at actually running a country and plays a complete buffoon in his public appearances. But... just popularity? This just... it just doesn't seem to work. Just popularity doesn't seem like it should be enough.

kitoba wrote:
So what do you think is Putin's motivation in inserting himself into the conversation right now?

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/05 ... cords.html

Can he really believe he's helping Trump? Or is he trying to sabotage him? Is he attempting to sow more confusion? Or is he yet another leader who doesn't know when to just shut up?


This is kinda weird, too. According to the news reports I heard, Putin offered to provide the Americans with his transcript of the meeting. Not a recording. A transcript. Is the American bureaucracy so outright useless that they don't have their own transcript? What am I missing here?

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Thu May 18, 2017 10:24 am 
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CCC wrote:
I mean, I can understand a guy getting into power if he's really good at backroom political manoeuvring, even if he's totally useless at actually running a country and plays a complete buffoon in his public appearances. But... just popularity? This just... it just doesn't seem to work. Just popularity doesn't seem like it should be enough.

In this case, popularity was enough. He got more votes in the right states. That's it. Those voters just hated Clinton more than they hated him.

Edit: Also, Trump is a person who is motivated entirely by popularity. Being admired in short-term interactions is the only thing he cares about, so he was willing to say anything that got him applause, no matter how stupid, prejudiced, or absurd. Other politicians are hobbled by considerations such as "ideological consistency" and "practicality" and "worrying about the future coming back to bite you in the arse". Trump had no such compunctions.

Edit 2:
CCC wrote:
This is kinda weird, too. According to the news reports I heard, Putin offered to provide the Americans with his transcript of the meeting. Not a recording. A transcript. Is the American bureaucracy so outright useless that they don't have their own transcript? What am I missing here?

The Americans do have their own transcript, the problem is that they can't release it to prove that Trump said dangerously classified things. The full transcript was made highly classified and restricted to a very small number of people in the government. They only distributed a scrubbed version to the rest of their own bureaucracy. So Putin can put his own version out there and nobody can challenge it.


Last edited by Kea on Thu May 18, 2017 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Thu May 18, 2017 12:42 pm 
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A lot of people have the feeling that their live is like playing a boardgame, where they are constantly outmaneuvered because whenever they try to make a move that would bring them ahead, some other player quotes an obscure rule they have never heared before, that forbids them that move.

For such people a person, who runs under "I don't care for obscure rule, i just make the moves i want" does have some apeal.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Thu May 18, 2017 4:32 pm 
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CCC wrote:
You know, this is one part of American politics that doesn't make sense to me. How does one get to be President without being smart enough to out-think one's political rivals?


Unqualified people run for president every election cycle. The fact that no one in the history of the United States as dangerously unqualified as Trump has won before speaks to the fact that there was a fairly unique constellation of different factors promoting his chances.

1) People's desire for change, and rejection of the status quo
2) Sexism
3) Racism
4) The fact that the Democrats have neglected the very poor and working class in favor of the middle class
5) Wealth
6) Fame
7) Reputation
8) Charisma (versus a non-charismatic candidate)
9) A long period during which the American public hadn't seen the destructiveness of a real demagogue in action.
10) Global trend towards nationalism
11) Populist reputation and style
12) A notably weak roster of establishment politicians, two parties damaged by gridlock and partisan bickering, and one party in particular hollowed out by hypocrisy, and a philosophy of governance centered entirely around resistance to progress.

IF and only if he's dealt with and ushered out of office fairly quickly, I'm not entirely convinced the overall long-term consequences won't be better than if he had lost initially. Trump was a much needed wake up call --Hillary would have lulled all those of us left of center back to sleep.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Fri May 19, 2017 12:22 am 
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kitoba wrote:
4) The fact that the Democrats have neglected the very poor and working class in favor of the middle class

I don't quite think that's it. I think it was that the white working and lower-middle class resented the Democrats for seeming to care more about people richer, poorer, browner and gayer than them. Obama was too soft on the banks, self-proclaimed liberals all sounded like insufferable latte-sipping social media marketing consultants, poor people who got government assistance were undeserving, and all this attention on minorities was "playing identity politics".

I'd also add:
13) 20 years of Fox News stoking Republican resentment, a sense of persecution, conspiracy theories, and training viewers to judge the reliability of information based on how conservative it is, thereby undermining the very concept of shared facts. And achieving such dominance that Republican politicians became fearful of contradicting whatever crazy theory their base believed.

And into this sick body came Trump like a virus.
-----

So Rosenstein grew a backbone and appointed a special counsel on is own, doing an end run around Congress. I didn't know they could do that. Cool. I've read that a special counsel isn't the same thing as a special prosecutor, and the latter don't exist anymore. A special counsel can be canned by the attorney general, which means that if Jeff Sessions unrecuses himself or Rosenstein gets replaced with a compliant crony, the special counsel can get booted.

Still, awesome.

And I've also heard that Mueller, the dude who was appointed, has a strong friendship with Comey based on a mutual love of telling Presidents to step off. Also, he's the sort of guy who makes Trump bananas because he tweaks all his insecurities. Mueller is an old-money blue blood WASP who makes John Kerry look like a plebe; he comes from exactly the sort of people Trump has spent his entire life trying and failing to impress.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Fri May 19, 2017 3:57 am 
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Kea wrote:
CCC wrote:
I mean, I can understand a guy getting into power if he's really good at backroom political manoeuvring, even if he's totally useless at actually running a country and plays a complete buffoon in his public appearances. But... just popularity? This just... it just doesn't seem to work. Just popularity doesn't seem like it should be enough.

In this case, popularity was enough. He got more votes in the right states. That's it. Those voters just hated Clinton more than they hated him.


...allow me to rephrase my question. I'm not asking how he beat Clinton. I can actually see how the American system is set up to allow that to happen. I'm asking how he got to be in that position in the first place. How did he become a serious candidate for one of America's two major parties in the first place?

kitoba wrote:
Unqualified people run for president every election cycle.


Yeah. How does this happen?

Kea wrote:
CCC wrote:
This is kinda weird, too. According to the news reports I heard, Putin offered to provide the Americans with his transcript of the meeting. Not a recording. A transcript. Is the American bureaucracy so outright useless that they don't have their own transcript? What am I missing here?

The Americans do have their own transcript, the problem is that they can't release it to prove that Trump said dangerously classified things. The full transcript was made highly classified and restricted to a very small number of people in the government. They only distributed a scrubbed version to the rest of their own bureaucracy. So Putin can put his own version out there and nobody can challenge it.


Okay, this is kind of starting to make sense here. So the American government do have a transcript, but no-one outside a small handful can see it. And anyone outside that handful who sees what they can release (which may be no more than "Good morning, Mr. Putin. Good morning, Mr. Trump. Let's get started." or similar) can reasonably expect that any release of classified information would be in the part that is, surprise surprise, classified. So Putin's basically kind of trolling the entire American government ("Hey, guys, I've got a transcript too! Anyone want to see it? Of course, being a responsible leader, I'm only going to show it to specific American officials..."). I wonder what'll happen if they say 'yes' and Putin's transcript doesn't agree with theirs?

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Fri May 19, 2017 4:34 am 
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CCC wrote:
I wonder what'll happen if they say 'yes' and Putin's transcript doesn't agree with theirs?

They won't say yes, and nobody in their right mind would believe a document that Putin is troll-brandishing.

CCC wrote:
How did he become a serious candidate for one of America's two major parties in the first place?

He hijacked the Republican primary system. The primary system has always had a flaw that encourages candidates to play to the base, because it's mainly each party's most gung-ho supporters who bother to turn up to vote in a primary. The extreme tendency is moderated by the knowledge that they need to pick somebody who can win a general election. Normally you get somebody like boring old Mitt Romney beating out a nutter like Michele Bachman, but this time it didn't work. The Republican base had been seething with anger at Barack Obama for the past 8 years and this time a significant proportion of them decided they didn't care about electability anymore. The regular Republicans all wanted to talk about tax cuts and business incentives while the base just wanted to kick all the illegal immigrants and Muslims out.

Into this steps Donald Trump, a man who will say anything to get elected. Hell, he'll say anything to make people cheer at rallies.

Meanwhile, there were too many other conventional Republican candidates running against him (I think there were 16 total). They split the votes of all the sane Republicans and nobody managed to gain a lead over Trump. In fact the other candidates assumed Trump was a joke candidate and were happy to sit back and watch him take out their rivals. By the time they realized that Trump might really win, it was too late.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Fri May 19, 2017 7:46 am 
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I also had the impression, that the "traditional" republicans had been split in at least 3 factions. Hardline Tea party, Tea partiers who compromize and moderates. And they all were too much invested into competing with the other wings, to gang up on Trump before it was too late.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Fri May 19, 2017 9:09 pm 
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In such very limited fairness as might be due to the cheap seats part of the Republican base, they've long since figured out that they're getting played by the party establishment. By and large, they can't stand Ryan or McConnell. They're just too malign and/or stupid to do anything about it but look for a bigger phony selling the same lies in new more glitzy packaging. Enter Trump.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Sun May 21, 2017 4:55 am 
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I'm actually worried that as the United States becomes more demographically diverse, it's also going to become increasingly tribalistic. Minorities have long voted for the Democratic Party in overwhelming numbers even when their values are quite conservative, because what are you going to do when the other party seems actively hostile or disdainful towards people like you?

Now it appears that rural/exurban white voters are returning the favour. The more they perceive themselves as a beleaguered identity group and the more liberals portray them as well, stupid, the more they're going to be willing to cut off their own noses to spite their faces.

I don't know if the US will ever get to the point where they'll have to write up formal power-sharing arrangements between different demographic groups, like the way Switzerland has carved up their institutions between the French, German and Italian Swiss.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Sun May 21, 2017 10:48 pm 
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That seems massively unlikely. Frankly, I think things'll calm down a bit now that Obama isn't in office, assuming the Democrats nominate a white person for president next time.

btw, I was joking about the Statue of Liberty.

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