Sunday, January 07, 2018


So this just happened:
CNN host Jake Tapper abruptly ended an interview with White House staffer Stephen Miller....

Tapper noted that President Trump had recently called himself a “stable genius” in response to [Michael] Wolff’s book....

“It happens to be a true statement,” Miller shot back.

“I’m sure he’s watching and he’s happy you said that,” a frustrated Tapper said.

“That was a snide remark,” Miller complained....

“You have 24 hours of negative anti-Trump hysterical coverage on this network!” Miller shouted. “Viewers are entitled to have three minutes of the truth! Why don’t you just give me three minutes to tell you about the Donald Trump that I know.” ...

“Okay, you’re not answering the questions,” Tapper said. “I get it. There’s one viewer that you care about right now and you’re being obsequious because you’re trying to please him. I’ve wasted enough of my viewers time.”

The president expressed his satisfaction:

To which Greg Sargent replied:

Well, sure -- but that doesn't prove that Miller was doing this only to impress "one viewer."

Everything about Trumpism is focused on rallying the base. No one else matters; the rest of us aren't even considered Americans. Conservatism has been like that for years now, but Trumpism is focused on an even narrower demographic -- it's fine if even mainstream Republicans are alienated, as long as the base cheers.

This seems like a way to commit political suicide. But the Americans who are going to pump their fists watching Miller "own the lib media" might constitute a third of the country. And when you add the people who believe that, yes, it would be better if Trump's aides (and Trump himself) had better manners but who nevertheless think that Tapper is the villain in this clip -- why does he have to express so much contempt for the president of the United States, who deserves some respect? -- you start approaching 50% of the country, and a clear majority of white voters. Throw in vote suppression, gerrymandering, and lots of plutocrat cash and you have a formula for repeated electoral victories, which is why the GOP mainstream is exceedingly tolerant of this approach.

Virginia and Alabama suggest that this strategy has its limits. Nevertheless, even in Virginia the Democrats won the overall House of Delegates vote 55%-45, but couldn't do better than 49 of 100 seats, and would have won no more than 50 if the Democrat's name had been picked out of that bowl.

Miller did this for the same reason a baseball manager runs onto the field to get in an umpire's face in response to a disputable call. The purpose is not to impress the team owner -- it's to fire up the crowd and the ballclub. Trust me, this will work.

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