Trump's early rampage through the Republican field made literary sense. It was classic farce. He was the lewd, unwelcome guest who horrified priggish, decent society, a theme that has mesmerized audiences for centuries, from Vanity Fair to The Government Inspector to (closer to home) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. When you let a hands-y, drunken slob loose at an aristocrats' ball, the satirical power of the story comes from the aristocrats deserving what comes next. And nothing has ever deserved a comeuppance quite like the American presidential electoral process, which had become as exclusive and cut off from the people as a tsarist shooting party.
The first symptom of a degraded aristocracy is a lack of capable candidates for the throne. After years of indulgence, ruling families become frail, inbred and isolated, with no one but mystics, impotents and children to put forward as kings. Think of Nikolai Romanov reading fortunes as his troops starved at the front. Weak princes lead to popular uprisings. Which brings us to this year's Republican field.
There wasn't one capable or inspiring person in the infamous "Clown Car" lineup. All 16 of the non-Trump entrants were dunces, religious zealots, wimps or tyrants, all equally out of touch with voters. Scott Walker was a lipless sadist who in centuries past would have worn a leather jerkin and thrown dogs off the castle walls for recreation. Marco Rubio was the young rake with debts. Jeb Bush was the last offering in a fast-diminishing hereditary line. Ted Cruz was the Zodiac Killer. And so on.
The party spent 50 years preaching rich people bromides like "trickle-down economics" and "picking yourself up by your bootstraps" as solutions to the growing alienation and financial privation of the ordinary voter. In place of jobs, exported overseas by the millions by their financial backers, Republicans glibly offered the flag, Jesus and Willie Horton.
In recent years it all went stale. They started to run out of lines to sell the public. Things got so desperate that during the Tea Party phase, some GOP candidates began dabbling in the truth. They told voters that all Washington politicians, including their own leaders, had abandoned them and become whores for special interests. It was a slapstick routine: Throw us bums out!
Republican voters ate it up and spent the whole of last primary season howling for blood as Trump shredded one party-approved hack after another. By the time the other 16 candidates finished their mass-suicide-squad routine, a tail-chasing, sewer-mouthed septuagenarian New Yorker was accepting the nomination of the Family Values Party.Whether you love him or hate him, there's no denying this Matt Taibbi boy can write. His Twitter feed is pretty entertaining, too.
2. Next up, I urge each and every one of you reading this to carve out 20 minutes of uninterrupted quiet time to read this astonishingly frank and compelling Washington Post account of the turmoil roiling America's unofficial First Family of White Nationalism. Entitled "The White Flight of Derek Black", Eli Saslo's riveting account begins, in part, by describing what appear to be glory days for the Far Right's most popular father/son team, with an emphasis on the younger man's status as a movement rising star:
He never used racial slurs. He didn’t advocate violence or lawbreaking. He had won a Republican committee seat in Palm Beach County, Fla., where Trump also had a home, without ever mentioning white nationalism, talking instead about the ravages of political correctness, affirmative action and unchecked Hispanic immigration.
He was not only a leader of racial politics but also a product of them. His father, Don Black, had created Stormfront, the Internet’s first and largest white nationalist site, with 300,000 users and counting. His mother, Chloe, had once been married to David Duke, one of the country’s most infamous racial zealots, and Duke had become Derek’s godfather. They had raised Derek at the forefront of the movement, and some white nationalists had begun calling him “the heir.”
Now Derek spoke in Memphis about the future of their ideology. “The Republican Party has to be either demolished or taken over,” he said. “I’m kind of banking on the Republicans staking their claim as the white party.”
A few people in the audience started to clap, and then a few more began to whistle, and before long the whole group was applauding. “Our moment,” Derek said, because at least in this room there was consensus. They believed white nationalism was about to drive a political revolution. They believed, at least for the moment, that Derek would help lead it.
“Years from now, we will look back on this,” he said. “The great intellectual move to save white people started today.”Folks, this story goes places and exposes you to realities that you will NOT see coming, I can almost guarantee it. Read this story, absorb it fully, deal with it, grapple with it, then help spread it around. I don't get anything out of this except knowing that I have maybe helped to guide a few more eyeballs towards an important, Pulitzer Prize-worthy piece of journalism. And, yes, that IS Ron Paul up in that photo with Derek and Don.
3. Okay then... after all that heavy stuff, I think we could all use a little comic relief. And so I hereby present the one and only Peter Serafinowicz's latest amazing Sassy Trump video!
I'm not even kidding about this: Hillary should show up to the next debate with a urine sample jar, some drug test dip sticks, a doctor willing to witness the sampling, and see whether or not Trump still wants to go through with it. For added comic effect, Hillary could declare: "Don't worry, Donald! This doctor is willing to sign a non-disclosure form regarding the actual size of your penis!" My best educated guess? Donald probably won't go for it.