DRIED UP AND TIED UP

The horrifying realization that the election is just beginning is brought into high relief every time Trump talks about an actual issue. The GOP nomination process was so utterly devoid of substance that up to this point we've mostly been talking in circles about his sanity and his sincerity. Where he actually stands on issues is only now and in the near future going to become apparent, and if you think he's an asshole now you're going to have to invent some new insults by November.

He appears to be going from state to state telling the local population of reactionaries whatever they most want to hear. He told Iowans that ethanol (a certified boondoggle and massively expensive welfare program for agricultural interests) is the key to his ideas about energy independence before flying to California to tell the state's substantial population of complete assholes that there is no drought, only a lack of will to stand up to The Environmentalists who won't let water be diverted from wild rivers for economic activity. This literally is an argument straight from online comment sections. Your dumbest uncle and friend from high school have posted it on Facebook at least once, guaranteed.

The argument ("argument") is as follows. All urban water consumption in California adds up to about 9 million acre-feet annually, and the state's enormous agricultural industry uses about 34 million. Wild rivers in the state handle about 25 million per year, none of which is dammed or diverted for economic use. So, if those pussy libtard tree huggers would just let agribusinesses build dams and diversion channels on all the wild rivers, problem solved.

This is precisely the kind of logic that appeals to people who have no real understanding of a public policy problem. They glance at some numbers on a chart and anoint themselves Fully Informed on the subject, insisting that it's "really simple" and "not hard" and the solution is "obvious." These are people who think the Federal budget could be balanced if someone would just take a pen and cross some things out. It's Common Sense! Unfortunately these oversimplified ideas from simpletons ignore all reality, context, and consequences in whatever mental calculus underlies them, if any. In this case the logic ignores the location of the wild rivers (generally nowhere near population centers) and the consequences of damming them. I'm not talking about the consequences to some endangered fish that Trump types clearly do not care about under any circumstances, but the long-term consequences to the climate and landscape of the state. Southern California, in case anyone has forgotten, is a desert. That is the root of the problem – not environmentalists hugging trees in Berkeley.

Listening to that California speech (if you can stomach it) makes it perfectly clear that Trump has thought about this issue for all of about ten minutes in his life but, as usual, is now 1000% convinced that he has the solution. What leadership! Like a college student trying to bullshit his way through a speech by browsing the internet five minutes before it is due, Trump's ideology (if it can be so called) is starting to look like an overarching ultra-short sighted, scorched earth approach to any issue that he thinks a crowd of yokels might be mad about. There is no future, there is no reality, there are no considerations that need to enter into the decision-making calculus. The answer to everything is whatever some guy who is furious about an issue he fundamentally does not understand thinks is the Common Sense answer.

Someone joked a long time ago that Trump is like a comment section running for president. That is going to prove more accurate a prediction than anyone realized.

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47 Responses to “DRIED UP AND TIED UP”

  1. mago Says:

    How much time is left?

  2. Talisker Says:

    This election will test the American capacity for bullshit from a Presidential candidate like never before.

    I mean, Mitt Romney talked a lot of bullshit. He said plenty of things which simply were not true, and he was smart enough to know they were not true, but he didn't care. But in his case it represented some sort of internally consistent worldview, albeit one built largely on fantasy; and it contained enough reference points to reality that it sounded plausible to people who weren't paying close attention.

    Trump doesn't care if what he's saying has the slightest realtionship to reality, or indeed to what Trump himself said ten minutes ago. It is the Platonic ideal of bullshit. Will the American public buy it?

    If not, Hillary might win this in a 1964 style walkover. More likely, the voters will just shrug, and Hillary will grind out a narrow win in the Electoral College. as she might have done against any of the other 16 clowns and jokers who were running.

    Or Trump might win. Be afraid.

  3. Berkeley '74 Says:

    I'm curious if anyone has seen any positive support of Trump by any 'major' news outlets in the country. Yes, I know they play him constantly on all major TV news, but is there any commentary that indicates any significant news editorial team actually supports whatever he may be saying day to day ? I would guess it would be difficult to take such a stance because he doesn't actually say anything real or consistent. Perhaps just the constant presence and daily repetition of stories about him seem like positive support to the know nothing viewer even though the actual content of the stories is always a negative comment on the craziness.

  4. Leon Says:

    Hillary is going to have a hell of a time not spending an entire debate with Trump without the bad optics of the Bush/Gore debate in which Gore was smirking about all the stupid shit Bush said (and there was a lot of stupid shit to smirk at). I only hope the debates wake people up enough that the anti-trump votes outnumber the anti-Hillary votes. Not sure why this would be a contest, except that we really are that stupid as a country.

  5. Katydid Says:

    @Berkeley '74: a game I'm playing with my youngest, who is home for the summer from college, is to watch the mainstream news (by which I mean the networks like ABC, CBS, NBC) and try to catch the biases. What we're seeing is that Trump is being treated as an actual viable candidate, as is Bernie Sanders, but anytime Hillary Clinton is mentioned or shown, there's soooo much concern trolling about zomg, does she have what it takes? What if the 42347324298654756435th investigation into Benghazi turns up something?!? There's usually some handwringing about whether she's a Serious Contender that the others don't get.

  6. Dave Dell Says:

    "… a comment section running for President."

    If only it was the comment section here.

  7. Coffeeman Says:

    You know how the headline of an article in newspapers is often misleading, and rarely reflects the essence? That's Trump. A headline reader who never bothers reading the content. Unfortunately, that's how Phoux News works. Why bother with facts? Facts take work.

  8. Edward Says:

    Donald Trump is perfectly capable of understanding environmental issues when they effect his golf course in Scotland. He has petitioned for the need for protection from rising sea levels due to global warming.

    As bad as Trump is it needs to be acknowledged that most American politicians are corrupt liars.

  9. Hazy Davy Says:

    The friend-of-a-friend comment on Trump's "open up the water" speech was "you have to read it in context". He then provided the transcript in context.

    So the problem is even worse. The people he appeals to think that they can apply any defense they've heard to any mistake, flawed reasoning, pandering, or evil statement he makes. Never you mind that the defense doesn't make any sense.

    Let's not pretend this is a handful of "dumb uncles"…he *won* the GOP nomination.

  10. Wim Says:

    The only real difference between Trump and your average self-aggrandizing narcissistic pathological liar is that he inherited a lot of money. That's why he's on the TV machine and the Intertubes marveling over himself instead of sitting one bar stool or office cubicle over marveling over himself.

  11. Matt Says:

    In case you hadn't spotted it already, Drumpf literally is that drunk guy you know who owns too many dogs and baseball caps:

  12. Skipper Says:

    What Wim said. It's just like George W. Bush. If he hadn't been born into the Bush Crime Family, he would have spent his time swamping out the local bar in exchange for free beer and a room upstairs — instead of destroying the Middle East.

  13. Robo Says:

    I've pointed it out many times. "Common sense: is a phrase that generally predicts an impending bullshit shower.

    http://goo.gl/p0ZflF

  14. MS Says:

    Trump is likely to win. Despite the numerous advantages the Democrats should have in this election.

    Hillary has cultivated the geek persona. In a battle between a geek and a bully, the American public will stand behind the bully every time. "Knowing things" is a substantial minus for her.

    I can't even remember the last Clinton story that had anything positive to say about her. The news consists entirely of Trump coverage – what Trump is doing – and coverage of Clinton's "scandal". I have no idea where Clinton is in the country, or what she might be saying – none of that is covered. Her issues are boring and non-newsworthy. Go on, try to find a single story about Clinton's issues. What is she going to do when in office? Who knows. Probably have an email scandal, hyuck-hyuck.

    The whole election is: Trump promises to solve your problems, and then there's some other career politician who has a scandal. That's it. There's no other coverage. Clinton is getting slaughtered right now, and only her starting advantages have kept it close. If she can't change the dynamic of the election MASSIVELY in the very near future, she is going to lose. And since everything about her is "stay the course", there's no way she's going to make that change.

    President Trump. It's coming.

  15. Skipper Says:

    @MS — Clinton's problem is that everything she says is too "processed." None of it comes from the heart. It's all determined by pollsters, run past numerous focus groups, then carefully crafted to avoid taking a position she can't "triangulate" on later. Triangulation is the hallmark of Clintonism.

    People rag on Trump for contradicting himself, but Hillary has been on both sides of almost any issue you can name. She was adamantly opposed to same-sex marriage — now she's for it. She was tough on Israel — now she's ready to give Bibi a Lewinsky. She says she told Wall Street to "cut it out," but managed to pocket hundreds of millions of dollars from them. She was a big fan of TPP — now she's says she's against it. She says she's against fracking, but her emails show she was a huge fan and was trying to push it on the rest of the world. She says she's a champion of women and children, but she and Bill forced millions into poverty.

    Everything she says is carefully worded so she can back down on it later. That's why there's no excitement for her. Her "processed" words are like processed food — not appealing and not necessarily good for you.

  16. Major Kong Says:

    How can Hillary be a geek and a shrill ball-busting harpy at the same time?

    It'seems so hard to keep up sometimes?

  17. democommie Says:

    Ariana Huffington said, during an appearance on Tavis Smiley's show, said that Teh sTRUMPet exhibits a lot of characteristics of sleep deprivation–which he he brags about. Plus, also, too The Dongwald almost never takes time off, due to his schedule of bankruptcy filings, appearances on Bullshit the Bullshitters (Meet The Press) and various celebrity golf tournaments (charities, to his accountants).

    So, maybe if he slept more, took a real vacation and wasn't a complete fucking moronassholedickhead, he'd be REAL executive material.

    Then again, Reagan. He got plenty of sleep.

  18. democommie Says:

    @ Major Kong:

    Shape shifting?

  19. Robert Says:

    It boggles my mind that a notoriously inept real estate developer who has never held elective office is being treated as comparing favorably with a former US Senator and Secretary of State.

    But then, we also have an apparent wave of enthusiasm for a Democratic candidate who has never held office as a Democrat, so there's that.

  20. willf Says:

    It boggles my mind that a notoriously inept real estate developer who has never held elective office is being treated as comparing favorably with a former US Senator and Secretary of State.

    But then, we also have an apparent wave of enthusiasm for a Democratic candidate who has never held office as a Democrat, so there's that.

    Why it's almost as if establishment politicians from both legacy parties have screwed the pooch so badly that people have started looking elsewhere for leadership.

  21. a worker Says:

    It's only an "apparent" wave. We're all faking it because we just hate women that much.

    I really don't understand why people like Robert think that Sanders' recent registration as a Democrat should bother anyone at all, or whyitbothers them. The Democratic Party is just a machine to get Democrats elected for its own sake.

    I am a voter who doesn't volunteer for campaigns with the hope of one day being a paid staffer and then eventually be tapped to run for office. Why should I care that Sanders only registered Democrat to run in this election?

  22. Katydid Says:

    @Major Kong: the rwnj's and the BernieBros are likely terrified of Hillary Clinton, which is why they spend so much time accusing her of contradictory things, simultaneously.

  23. Nate Says:

    @Leon Watch Hilary not smirk or even really twitch as she was grilled during that hearing that Congress had over her e-mails. She's a fucking champ at the stoneface.

  24. Eric Morris Says:

    For the record, Southern California is not a desert, It consists of an incredibly diverse array of habitats, climates and microclimates. It really annoys me when people resort to the "that's what you get for building a city in the desert" nonsense (not that you did exactly, but still). For example, Los Angeles – with its decidedly not desert Mediterranean climate – gets enough rainfall every year to meet most, if not all, of the city's needs, they just designed a system long ago to let it all flow to the ocean instead of capturing and using it. Fix that, and the water problems in So Cal become much more palatable. But of course no one is complaining about that, no. Much easier to let water companies drain aquifers to sell back to us in bottles and complain about environmentalists and delta smelt.

  25. Noel Barrett Says:

    Bernie is getting almost as much of a free ride from the media as Trump while Hillery is definitely getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop. Her nuanced views, like them or not, speak much more to the reality of the issues but just don't translate into sound bites – the only coverage she seems to get is when she gets into the so-called 'shrill' mode that plays into Trump's characterization of her – all in service of keeping the horse race alive. I agree with most of what Bernie wants for our country but what is happening within the community of Bernie's most vocal advocates is dismaying as they, more and more, begin to resemble in tactics and rhetoric Trump's nuttiest supporters – yet again the super-far right and the super far-left start looking like each other

  26. Galia Hannah Says:

    For your information, Los Angeles is a semidessert. It gets enough rainfall for a city of 100,000 which it was in 1910. At that time Los Angeles started taking water first from the Owens Valley and then from the Colorado River in order to grow further. It certainly does NOT have enough rainfall for a city/country of 10 million. We live on imported water and have for 106 years. Yes, it would be better to have our rainfall not flow through the Los Angeles River to the city, and use some of it for irrigation and also have rain barrels as other semi-dessert regions do. Also, Los Angeles aquifer (underground water) is about used up. So,yes, yes as a semidessert we have water problem.

  27. Francis Says:

    "Also, Los Angeles aquifer (underground water) is about used up".

    That's actually a really complicated statement. The aquifers (plural) are actively managed by various agencies pursuant to judgments that govern the use of the basin. (Known in water law as an "adjudicated basin", because pumping and storage rights have been adjudicated in court in a water rights case.) In some areas water levels are quite low but in others they are rising.

    The County has also made a major effort towards groundwater recharge, both of rainwater that in recent years ran out to the sea and of reclaimed sewage.

  28. MS Says:

    An actual CNN story:

    "Would Donald Trump have killed the gorilla?"

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/31/politics/donald-trump-gorilla-cincinnati-zoo/

    And this is why he'll win. He makes news every time he opens his mouth. The media know it and cater to it. He's suffocating Clinton. No one will ask Clinton that question. We know what she'll say: something extremely non-committal and bland, not newsworthy.

  29. NickT Says:

    @Skipper

    "Clinton's problem is that everything she says is too "processed." None of it comes from the heart. It's all determined by pollsters, run past numerous focus groups, then carefully crafted to avoid taking a position she can't "triangulate" on later. Triangulation is the hallmark of Clintonism."

    She is, in essence, an over-curated comments section. I am still waiting for evidence of this "competence" and ability to get things done that the Clintonistas love to brag about. So far, her campaign suggests that she's basically a clueless bumbler without Trump's appalling charisma.

  30. jharp Says:

    "if you think he's an asshole now you're going to have to invent some new insults by November."

    You really made me laugh there.

    I've lived in the Great Lakes states for over five decades because of the water. I like the rain. It's a cleansing thing.

    Not a fan of the desert.

  31. wetcasements Says:

    Meh. Hillary is going to win in a land-slide approaching 1964.

    I mean, vote, donate, volunteer, all that good stuff, but it amazes me how many of my fellow Dems are the chicken-est of littles.

    For starters, take a deep breath and look at an Electoral College map from 2012. Then explain to me how Trump flips a single blue state that Romney lost to the black muslim with a funny last name. Then consider America has gotten younger and less white since then.

    Also, Bill and Barack on the campaign trail for HRC.

    Also, an unprecedented turn-out from hispanic voters.

    Also, HRC wiping the floor with a red-faced DJT in the debates. Let's not forget, she knows how to handle angry men.

    I could go on. Just hoping it's enough to take back the Senate. I'd lay 50-50 odds on that.

  32. NickT Says:

    @wetcasements

    No doubt you will go on, but sober heads will recognize that you've got an awful lot of assumptions doing the work of actual evidence for your claims.

    Maybe you should factor in Clinton's post-personality candidacy, her utter lack of charisma, her history of incompetent and mediocre campaigning, plus her very high unfavorables before even thinking of a landslide.

    As for Bill on the campaign trail – better not pin too much hope on that particular donkey. He's already made a fool of himself in public multiple times this season.

  33. wetcasements Says:

    Let's bet a beer on it then. So much of the hysteria right now is simply because Bernie is sticking around (he has every right to do so!). We can talk again after CA / NJ primaries later this week.

    Electoral College math, demographics, _two_ different third-party candidacies pulling votes away from Trump, and the likelihood that Trump's senior campaign managers might literally stab one another in the back?

    It's as close to a sure thing as we'll ever see in our lifetimes.

    But your concern trolling is duly noted.

  34. mago Says:

    Eric Morris? Jesus, did you just drop in from Jupiter? And how did this thread get so side tracked, anyhow?

  35. Death Panel Truck Says:

    Trump will need at least 1/3 of the Latino vote to win. He'll be lucky to get 10 percent.

    Trump will need 70 percent of the white male vote. No Republican has ever gotten that high a percentage.

    wetcasements is right.

  36. geoff Says:

    @wetcasements/ DPT, my head says you're right, but my heart fears that the same "liberal" media which turned the admittedly dull Al Gore into a joke and put the obviously dim W. within stealing reach of the Presidency is gonna do it all over again real soon here. Worse, Ms. Clinton is manifestly corrupt and mendacious; Gore was just boring. I fear it's gonna be a lot closer than ever seemed possible given what an obvious asshole Trump is.

  37. NickT Says:

    @wetcasements

    I never bet with people who lack the intellectual equipment to make a valid contract.

  38. wetcasements Says:

    "Ms. Clinton is manifestly corrupt and mendacious"

    Sez you.

    Meanwhile:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/01/us/politics/donald-trump-university.html?_r=0

    This is what a real scandal looks like. Sorry, #BernieBros.

  39. Robert Says:

    It does provide me some mordant amusement to read overheated screeds from RWNJs about how the NeverTrumpers must line up, sign up, and re-enlist in the Anyone But Her Army because Clinton is too far left to entrust with SCOTUS appointments – and then read breathless warnings from Sanders supporters on what a soulless centrist neoliberal apparatchik she is.

    Truly a woman for all seasons.

  40. A political post to offend everyone « blueollie Says:

    […] 3. No, I don't hate Donald Trump either; all of those "Trump is Hitler" memes just make me roll my eyes. No, I don't like Trump's call to ban Muslims from entering the US (though one Turkish friend told me that "other countries do similar things") and I've spoken out against that proposed policy. True, I do not see Donald Trump as being qualified to be president. Yes, he made a lot of money (but HOW?) but that isn't a qualifying factor. He knows very little about actual policy and he gains popularity by going around and telling people what they want to hear (e. g. "there is no drought in California"). […]

  41. Alan C Says:

    "he gains popularity by going around and telling people what they want to hear"

    Isn't that what a lot of people, including Trump fans, think is the worst quality of a typical politician?

  42. piratedan Says:

    @geoff…. manifestly corrupt…. based on what?

    Whitewater… the Clintons actually lost money on that investment, so where is the beef? Benghazi… yeah, e-mail… okay, she did something her predecessors did and is now supposedly bad, yeah… taking money from wall street.. well, she actually gave a speech and was paid for it…

    The NYTimes has been after the Clinton's ass for the last 30 years, so much so, that I rarely take time to bother reading it. The GOP smear machine has been in full effect for the last 30 years and here we are to this day, not a single fucking indictment after all of this crap but they've done an awesome job of sticking that label on her.

    Let me know when someone serves paper on her ass.

  43. Robert Says:

    Piratedan – according to some hammerheads on the Facebook, she's been about to be indicted since January. Any. . . day. . . now.

    I take some unworthy pleasure in mocking them.

  44. a worker Says:

    Robert, I was asking you.

  45. geoff Says:

    @wetcasements/ piratedan– the fact we're all reading this fine blog (thanks Ed!) I think means we're roughly on the same side here. (Carrstone excepted.) I honestly believe the "Great Right Wing Conspiracy" was real. That said, taking $675,000 from the Vampire Squid (GS) ain't peanuts.

    As far as the e-mail hairball goes, at the very least Ms. Clinton refused to follow clear Federal guidelines for maintaining the security of classified information, which I seem to recall (in different circumstances) got her husband's National Security Advisor Sandy Berger in a bit of trouble. I am not a big fan of the FBI, but hold out a little hope that they are at least somewhat politically independent. Given that we're in the seventh year of a Democratic administration, it's clear that their investigation of Ms. Clinton is at least not a partisan witch hunt.

    Full disclosure: I did vote for Sanders in my Red State primary, but without much hope that it would slow the coronation. My main beef with Clinton is that as far as I can tell, there hasn't been a war since Vietnam she has opposed, and I could be wrong about that one. After all, she was a Goldwater Girl.

  46. geoff Says:

    Also, Madeline "It's A Hard Choice But Dead Iraqi Children Are The Price One Pays" Albright's endorsement did not endear Clinton to me much either.

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