Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Even if you accept Donald Trump's own notions about what constitutes an excellent campaign move, this makes no sense:
President Obama’s Kenyan-born, half-brother Malik will be in the audience in Las Vegas Wednesday night when Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton square off in their third and final debate.

Malik -- an American citizen who lives in Washington, DC, when he’s not in Kenya -- says he will be a guest of Trump....

Malik agrees with Trump that the mainstream media is biased, and he dismisses the women who claim Trump kissed or groped them without their permission....

Malik also blasted Clinton’s performance as secretary of the State Department for exacerbating the chaos and violence in the Mideast. Malik said ousted Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy had been a good friend. “Check out the situation in Libya now,” he said.
Trump, obviously, has done a godawful job of running a general election campaign. But let's give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that there's some value in continually motivating the base with nasty insults and conspiracy theories. Let's accept his logic when he concluded that inviting women who've accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault to Debate #2 would rattle Hillary, or that he'd get under her skin by describing her as frail and sickly. Obviously, none of this has actually worked for him, but it's kept some voters loyal to him at least, and the debate stunt and some of the insults must have been somewhat unsettling to Clinton (although she's managed the chaos like a Zen master).

But what the hell is the point of this? Malik is the brother of the current president, not (let's just say it) the next one. I didn't know until I read the link that he'd criticized Clinton at all. It's infantile to keep looking for psych-outs, but this won't even work as a psych-out. It's just a nod to the Breitbart base -- the only people who probably have any idea who Malik is -- and it works for them only because all of their hatreds are eternally present, so seeing an Obama (even an Obama who's critical of the better-known one) hits a hate pleasure center as surely as yelling "Bill Clinton's a rapist!" at a Democratic rally does.

At this point, Trump, presumably under Steve Bannon's influence, is just rummaging through the wingnut anger archives and pulling out random bits and pieces. Maybe at the debate he'll forget who his opponent is and start ranting about golf and returned Winston Churchill busts -- or reach back in time and attack Jimmy Carter or Ted Kennedy or Sean Penn or the Dixie Chicks. It's all one big Antichrist, after all, isn't it?


UPDATE: I forgot I wrote a post about Malik Obama a few months ago, when he made the front page of the New York Post after endorsing Trump (and criticizing Hillary). He was being praised by the right then even though, as I noted, conservatives had previously described him as pro-terrorism. (Jerome Corsi at World Net Daily: "Malik Obama’s oversight of the Muslim Brotherhood’s international investments is one reason for the Obama administration’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to an Egyptian report...") That's Trump's guest.


Jim Snyder said...

I am beginning to think that Trump doesn't think... not at all. Trump reacts. Srsly, the guy is totes self-unaware. Or some fundamental gearing that undergirds consciousness is broken or missing... no mentally healthy individual could possible take so many mutual contradictory positions without the wheels coming off the cart.

Perhaps I'm wrong - hey, it's happened! - but I suspect that the useful question is not "what does Trump intend by this?" but instead "what does Bannon intend by this?"

And no, I have no idea what's in it for Bannon, other than alt-right / wing-nut mythos.

Perhaps Trump has been such a disaster as a presidential candidate that Bannon has given up on the election and is looking forward to what he can salvage after 8 November.

Or mebbe I'm wrong about Bannon, in which case it might be about nothing more than being as mean and as nasty as possible to those Trump perceives as being in his way.

It's pretty much CW wisdom at this point that Trump decided to run after Obama mocked him at the correspondent's dinner, amirite? So this could just be hitting back at the Kenyan Moooslim colonial usurper.

Jimbo said...

The presence of Malik is simply cheap political theater like Bill Clinton's accusers. I think we need to see that a lot of the end game is just political theater. Trump doesn't actually think he's going to win anymore (though I still remain cautious about such predictions in this bizarre political environment) and the Senate is far from assured but that's a different story.

Basically, Trump and Bannon want to continue to rile up the Trumpistas to really (they hope) cause chaos on Election Day, which has already begun, of course. That way, after the denouement, they have a movement to exploit. It's all theater.

jsrtheta said...

No, let's not give him the benefit of the doubt.

This sort of tu quoque crap is exactly what passes for persuasive tactics in Trumpworld. Many blame Bannon for this (though Trump is infantile enough to come up with this sort of idiocy on his own), but I also see the hand of David Bossie in all of this.

Bossie was so execrable that Gingrich had to remove him from Dan Burton's staff (Dan Burton!) when he was caught falsifying evidence against Hillary back in the '90s. And this is just the sort of meshugas Bossie and Floyd Brown would think was persuasive. Never mind that reasonable people would react with revulsion to it: to these idiots, it makes perfect sense. Had they been around, they would have been promoting conspiracy theories about Billy Carter.

This is devolving, on the Trump side, to the level of a race for the second grade class presidency. Not the Twilight of the Gods, it is the Twilight of the Prats.

Jim Snyder said...

@jeff ryan: "let's not give him the benefit of the doubt".

What's the reference? I don't see "benefit of the doubt" in either of the two posts preceding yours.

Hmm, browser search doesn't even find a match for "benefit" outside of your comment.

Are you referring to my post or Jimbo's?

jsrtheta said...

@Jim Snyder: I'm referring to Steve M.'s post itself.

Jim Snyder said...

@Jeff Ryan: oops, sorry, got it. I am A IDIOT (h/t Wonkette).

In other news:


We are living in a sim, and the operator is having his/her/its fun with us as he/she/it shuts down the sim.

I mean, srsly ... no one would make up this sh*t.

Trump is bad enough, but Pamela Anderson poisoning rapist Assange with a vegan sandwich?

No way ... no one will ever persuade me that this our reality is anything but a bad joke.

(OK, OK ... I'm not really serious ... but hooboy, does anyone srsly want to defend this reality as, well, reality?!?)

Ken_L said...

The loathsome d'Souza went to Africa and found an alleged uncle of Obama's in a village somewhere who opined that Obama's opinions were just like his dad the commie's. If they wheel him out at the debate as a surprise guest, it will be shut the gate, Nellie, this election is OVER!

The American right is like a bunch of medieval peasants, clutching their magic charms, chanting their rosaries and struggling to get a look at the relics of the saints. Nothing but superstitious ignoramuses.

Feud Turgidson said...

Jeff Ryan, Kellyanne Conway was a member of Bossie's organization going all the way back to when the Clenis delivered the keynote speech at the 1988 DNC. Keith Olbermann discussed in his most recent video talk on the GQ YouTube channel. Which means two 'key' members of Trump's campaign staff have spent almost THREE FREAKING DECADES dedicating their 'professional' lives to smearing the Clintons.

That got me thinking about the confederacy of Don says Trump has paraded thru his campaign. He started with the original senior partner of Stone, Atwater, Black & Manafort, Stone being an acolyte of Roy Cohn going back to Nixon & Ailes & the days of King Ratf***er, Donald Segretti, who mentored Karl Rove, whose worked as understudy to Lee Atwater for the BushCo group. So in just this campaign, Trump has used (and is still using) two Nixon operatives (Ailes & Stone) and (Rove, Manafort, Black, Bossie & Conway).

And not a single actual campaign manager among them (Black has run some state campaigns but his main business over the decades has been Mad Men messaging & psyopping during elections, and, otherwise, for nearly a quarter century, when Tom Davis was still in Congress, pretty much managing the RNC on behalf of two of its largest institutional interest holders, Heritage & the AEI, plus I've seen Charlie's name crop up a half dozen or so times over th e last 15 months in quotes given to the likes of The Hill, POLITICO & the WSJ, so the GOP's Johnny Walker Black of insiders definitely has SOME role in the grosser conception of whatever constitutes the Trump campaign, my guess as an oracle between the Trump campaign & several SuperPACs, among them the one Rove heads up.)

So what INNOVATIONS has Trump brought into the RNC's futue? The white supremacist up-and-coming Don Segretti of upstate New York, Cory Lewandowski, the complete undoing of WF Buckley's casting of the Birchers out of the GOP in the form of Bannon & Breitbart, and an important funding & operations partner in Vladimir Putin.

So, yes: Trump's a total a**clown who's burned the GOP of an opportunity, but the day after he formally loses, with or without concession, we'll all get to see he & his 'business associates', Lewandowski, Bannon & Putin work over that political laundering machine like he did his New Jersey casinos. Welcome to the GOP's Skinhead Mob Era.

jsrtheta said...

Feud Turgidson: Well, Kellyanne Conway, nee Fitzpatrick, is married to George Conway, the partially blind lawyer who worked as one of Ann Coulter's "elves" backing Linda Tripp in her nasty entrapment of Monica Lewinski.

So, these horrid people are incestuous in the extreme.

Charlie Black I remember as being a semi-legitimate Republican bigwig for a while, though he dropped off the radar. (And since Republicans can rarely aspire to being anything more than semi-legitimate, I guess that makes him the most presentable of the bunch, at least until he went to ground to do his Satan-worshiping under cover of darkness.) Coulter, on the other hand, has been out of the closet as a full-on beeyatch since she stopped bar-hopping with Laura Ingraham and David Brock (now a force for goodness), and of course makes her living as a c-word.

Lewandowski was a latecomer to the party. He's young, and he's ex-law enforcement, and so was hired as a penis-by-proxy by Trump, doubtless on the recommendation of Stone, who noticed how nice and shiny Corey kept Massa Trump's car. And Stone is, of course, the Prince of Fucking Darkness. I mean, he has a tattoo of Nixon on his back, so he gave up any idea of redemption a long, long time ago and has accepted that he will burn in hellfire for all eternity, unless he can con a gig out of Lucifer making life miserable for humans in some capacity for eternity. (Then again, that may be what he's been up to for centuries, we just haven't found the Matthew Brady photos of him setting fire to Georgia yet.)

Actually, it all kind of fits, if you accept that the Devil understands he will never reign, just fuck things up for everyone else for all time.

So, yeah.

Marc said...

I just hope that if Malik is being compensated for his appearance, that he demanded it all upfront. Otherwise he'll be just like all the other contractors Trump has stiffed. Not that it would be a bad thing, IMHO...

Jim Snyder said...

@Marc: +1

@Jeff, Feud: what has amazed me is the way Trump never picks up anyone remotely respectable as a helper elf. It's almost as if he's a member of a private club, or dealing with an employment screening agency for ratfvckers, where everyone knows everyone else, but talks about the club only in private, kinda sorta omertà.

Oh, wait ...


The CNP is an intensely secretive and shadowy group of what The New York Times once described as “the most powerful conservatives in the country.” It is so tight-lipped that it tells people not to admit their membership or even name the group. Revealing when or where the group meets, or what it discusses, is also forbidden. The organization, which can only be joined by invitation and at a cost of thousands of dollars, strives mightily to keep its membership rolls secret.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which publishes Hatewatch, obtained a copy this spring of the CNP’s 2014 membership directory, a closely held document. It shows that Conway was a member of the CNP’s executive committee that year, and that Bannon was a regular member. It is not known if they remain.

The CNP is not controversial so much for the conservatives who dominate it — activists of the religious right and the so-called “culture wars,” along with a smattering of wealthy financiers, Congressional operatives, right-wing consultants and Tea Party operatives — as for the many real extremists who are included.

Maybe omertà is precisely the word.

This in turn reminds me of the mention of Smedley Butler at this blog about 6 months ago. Feud, that was you, wasn't it?

The (d)evolution of Trump's campaign reminds me of the denouement of "The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag"...

... except that no deity will swoop in after the election to clean up the mess.

Shipping / Receiving said...

Trump's already working his Ted Kennedy material

Jim Snyder said...

@Shipping / Receiving: best hits of the 1960s!

I'm convinced! Trump will win in a landslide!

(Obligatory emotive flavoring: [/sarcasm])

wrt to SteveM's original post, OK, I give up. I cannot imagine why anyone would think dissing Teddy Kennedy would get traction with anyone anywhere.

Trump is morphing from boor to bore.

Feud Turgidson said...

"Feud, that was you, wasn't it?"

JS, I like that you think so; it's like a NoMore Comment Thread merit badge. But actually, I'd rather hope that most of us here would recall Gen Butler, and not just for his now hilariously retro given name. As I assume you're suggesting, our political history is rife with a long, long line of Smedley Butlers, and one thing the Trump campaign ought to be credited for is getting all the current iterations to sign onto a single letter. AOT, it works like cheat sheet for the good folks at the SPLC.

(Amazing how many stars reckless nutballs can get in the general staff of our service corps. It almost seems like that once a dude gets to 2 stars, some sort of reality fitness test gets invoked & MOST - not all, as we know - hit the camo ceiling, are informed they're being early retired or passed over permanently & move on to some standing committee - the U.S. Smedley Butler Corps. The service corps should really consider creating a clown-themed ribbon for their Memorial Day and Congressional Subcommittee appearances. 'General, before we get to your opening statement, for the benefit of the record, I'd ask that you briefly run through your decorations, ending with the one depicting the huge floppy shoes & the grabby baby hands?').

Paul Gottlieb said...

I only hope poor Malik is smart enough to get paid in advance--and in CASH. Otherwise, Trump will either stiff him altogether, or write him a bouncing check

Jim Snyder said...

@Feud: wrt Butler, I've lurked here for years; the only mention of Butler I remember was about 6 months ago... must have missed the discussion.

Wasn't aware that there's a book about the plot:


... gotta pick up a copy. Also surprised to learn that Butler's middle name was "Darlington". Retro indeed.

And another at Amazon written by Jules Archer. One reviewer calls it "classic".

In re Trump getting all the usual suspects onto one sheet, indeed.

"huge floppy shoes & grabby baby hands": +1

Jim Snyder said...

I dropped by not to respond to Feud, but to mention that slate has posted an interview with Rick Perlstein: