Making A List…

There are no perfect candidates. We all have to overlook various aspects of would-be Democratic nominees–issues where we differ, behaviors we consider problematic, experience we consider questionable or insufficient, doubts about ability to win. But just for fun–and for the (unlikely) edification of the occasional Trumpers who visit here–I have begun making a list of the things that a voter will have to overlook in order to cast a ballot for Donald J. Trump.

I’m not the only one “making a list and checking it twice.” A couple of months before the midterm elections, McSweeneys published “Lest We Forget the Horrors: A Catalog of Trump’s Worst Cruelties, Collusions, Corruptions and Crimes.” Politico has published “138 Things Trump Did While We Weren’t Looking” and other publications have weighed in with their own compendiums.

My own list doesn’t even include the Trump voter’s need to overlook the constant lying, the  pussy-grabbing and multiple accusations of rape/sexual assault, the five kids from three wives, the clear signs of mental illness, and the other personal behaviors that used to be considered inconsistent with authentic Christianity. We know his base doesn’t give a rat’s patootie about any of that. Nor do they care that he’s dumb, can’t spell, has the vocabulary of a third-grader and the geography knowledge of a kindergartener.

Presumably, they also don’t care about the widely documented chaos at the White House–unprecedented turnover, backstabbing and leaks, the (also unprecedented) number of unfilled jobs and jobs filled by “acting” appointees (mostly former lobbyists) who don’t need–and couldn’t get–Senate confirmation even from the spineless Republicans terrified of Trump’s immature rages.

You would think they might care about the fact that the administration has engaged in an unremitting assault on the rule of law. (The most recent episode, in which the President and Bill Barr meddled with the sentencing of Roger Stone, demonstrated that they no longer even feel the need to hide that assault.) Their leniency for corrupt cronies contrasts with their criminalization of humanitarianism–threats to sanctuary cities and prosecutions of people leaving food and water for desperate people trying to cross the border.

You might think they’d care about the decision to forego ABA vetting of judicial nominees–a clear sign that the people Trump is elevating to the federal bench aren’t just ideologues, but also embarrassingly unqualified.

You might think they’d care about deep cuts to the CDC, including cuts to research that would combat pandemics like the one we are dealing with now.

You would hope at least some of them would be appalled at the number of environmental regulations that have been eliminated or eviscerated (that old Tom Lehrer joke about America being a country where you can’t drink the water and can’t breathe the air no longer sounds so funny and old-fashioned).

Evidently no one in Trump’s base enjoys America’s National Parks, or appreciates the public lands we used to protect, since they are willing to overlook the underfunding of park maintenance and the encouragement of drilling and mining on once-protected national monuments.

Trump’s base also must be willing to overlook America’s withdrawal from our international obligations–the petty nastiness shown to our most important allies, the sucking-up to the world’s worst demagogues, and the betrayal of weaker allies like the Kurds, who trusted us. (I guess the fact that America’s President is a laughingstock around the world doesn’t bother them, either.)

Tariffs? The base has to overlook the extra costs burdening American consumers; overlook the spike in farm bankruptcies (despite the fact that taxpayers have paid farmers billions to offset the harm done by those tariffs–much more than the auto industry got during the Great Recession); overlook the fact that the “old” GOP was right to oppose tariffs and trade wars because they inevitably hurt us much more than they hurt the other guy…

So much for overlooking. I’ve reluctantly concluded that Trump’s base actually approves of policies most reasonable people find mean-spirited and/or appalling: enriching the already rich and screwing over the poor, cutting Social Security and Medicare, trying to destroy Obamacare, spending billions on an utterly ridiculous border wall that won’t deter illegal immigration…and especially, keeping brown people out of the country even if it involves caging their brown children.

The fact that Trump and his collection of idiots and gangsters reject science and evidence is actually a plus with the base–Trump’s supporters hate “elitists” (i.e., experts and people who actually know what they are doing) with a passion.

And what about the devotion and endorsement of white nationalist groups, the KKK and Neo-Nazis? That’s a plus too. That’s evidence that he “tells it like it is,” that he recognizes the superiority of straight, white, “Christian” males, and is working to make America “great again”– for them. 

Well, “working” is probably a misnomer…..but they overlook the “executive time” (when we pay him to watch TV) and the excessive amount of golf, too.


  1. An issue on the candidate’s list which should be stressed and explained but appears to be ignored to concentrate on their personal differences, is the current economy. Listening to Trump’s brags about the wonderful economy he has brought about; while watching family and friends struggle to keep current bills paid, food on their tables, medical care when they can afford it, keep old cars running and wear clothes season after season with no increase from Trump’s tax reform but weekly rising prices due to Trump’s threats of and/or actual tariffs, caused me to go to Wikipedia to find out what in the hell “the economy” actually is today.

    “A market-based economy is one where goods and services are produced and exchanged according to demand and supply between participants (economic agents) by barter or a medium of exchange with a credit or debit value accepted within the network, such as a unit of currency. A command-based economy is one where political agents directly control what is produced and how it is sold and distributed.”

    President Obama has been praised for beginning the increase in the economy and the drop in joblessness numbers which Trump takes full credit for. No one has yet reported there has been a massive change in the type of economy from President Obama’s “market-based” to Trump’s “command based” under Trump’s increasing dictatorship. The probability of Trump remaining in the White House increases daily with his craziness no matter how long and how much more dangerous his list of wrong-doings has become on this Friday ending another week of chaos and terror wondering who is next on his list to be ousted at his pleasure…and which criminal will he protect?

    There is one viable candidate on the Republican list of presidential nominees and his party and supporters are ignoring the ever-lengthening list of truths of his mental imbalance Sheila posted today. The Democratic list of possible nominees is decreasing with it’s ups and downs in this primary year; I have not watched the debates and tire of seeing the poll numbers, I am waiting for that final selection and have only one question for all of the nominees. Will they come together behind him or her to form one name on the Democratic list to draw the voters together to prevent another state controlled Electoral College appointment of Trump?

  2. Marv’s comment is not complete. Trump’s followers have already learned how to overlook facts. If they hadn’t, there would be an enormous amount of cognitive dissonance in the ranks, and there does not appear to be any.

  3. Pascal,

    “Marv’s comment is not complete.”

    Good point about cognitive dissonance. However, I strongly suggest that Trump’s followers haven’t overlooked the fact that they might be on the losing end of a Civil War. They aren’t that far gone, not yet at least.

    They see themselves in total control, which they aren’t. They haven’t taken into consideration an UNAVOIDABLE CIVIL WAR. You’re giving them too much credit.

  4. I’m not sure cognitive dissonance is selective. When things get tough on social media for them, they can always run back to Fox News for a recharge. Their hero gets plenty of positive banter 24/7 from the highly paid TV propaganda mouthpieces.

    It’s also why Hitler used propaganda and controlled the media. He needed to control the message, sow discord, and manipulate Germans (manufacture consent). Fox News is the Ministry of Propaganda.

    Then you have the Evangelicals who believe that Trump is the Messiah. If ordained by God, who are you to question this Holy Man?

    I believe the contempt of “liberals” or the demonization thereof, far outweighs any list you can assemble against Trump and his cronies. Remember, we also kill babies!

    I still have a few remaining Trumpsters on social media so I can observe. One particular just posted a slam against the “communist Bernie Sanders.” Several months ago, he posted pictures of himself and others picketing outside of a General Motors plant since he is part of the UAW. When I pointed out that unions support what Bernie Sanders is doing because it improves the rights of workers, he and his ilk attacked. They couldn’t grasp that the UAW was a socialist vehicle to prop up the productive capacity of the worker against capitalist owners.

    There’s no help for them.

    However, there are still a lot of bright people who still being manipulated by our media conglomerates like CNN and MSNBC. Media mouthpieces for capitalism and capitalists who decry any form of democracy, much less, democratic socialism. They’ve systematically worked to eliminate unions from the workforce instead of telling more people to unite against oppression.

    One bill after another, especially in red states, have been passed to tilt the scales toward employers and capitalists. We used to be united when we had 80% of workers as part of a union. Now, we have under 10%. I even know Republican teachers who refuse to be part of their own union.

    We the people have been voting against our own self-interest for decades. Why is that? It takes lots of propaganda at the level of the media to convince the people to vote against our own self-interests.

    And, it’s not just Fox News!!

  5. Capitalism, Socialism, and Communism are all economic systems. Democracy is a political system. Economic and political systems can go together in any combination.

  6. Todd,

    “I’m not sure cognitive dissonance is selective. When things get tough on social media for them, they can always run back to Fox News for a recharge.”

    Maybe you’re right. But I don’t see Trump’s supporters running to Fox News for a recharge when there is a clear possibility of CIVIL WAR. You’re giving Fox News too much under deserved credit.

  7. Are those continuing to support Trump at all levels of his administration and in the House and Senate who know his words and actions are against democracy, Rule of Law and the Constitution displaying Cognitive Dissonance or are they simply as evil and borderline treasonous as Trump? Do staunch Republicans who continue to complain about conditions they are suffering in this economy, are they displaying Cognitive Dissonance, stupidity or laziness along with their White Nationalism? They must be looking at Trump through rose-colored glasses and view his swamp as only half full of those alligators snapping at all our asses.

    “And what about the devotion and endorsement of white nationalist groups, the KKK and Neo-Nazis? That’s a plus too. That’s evidence that he “tells it like it is,” that he recognizes the superiority of straight, white, “Christian” males, and is working to make America “great again”– for them.”

    As was pointed out on “Morning Joe” this morning; we have no idea what is going on behind the scenes in the White House in addition to the list on the blog today…on the national level and on the unknown contacts with our allies as well as our enemies. What we DON’T know with Trump will definitely hurt us as Americans and on the international stage.

  8. Trump’s followers get recharged by Fox News when they begin to doubt/fear they are wrong about Trump.

    I don’t believe Trump is smart enough to lead anything, including a Civil War. I do expect insurgency from the people on multiple fronts depending on what happens in November, but it will be isolated and contained. You can’t even “organize” or “communicate” without keywords being detected by the NSA who are listening live to everything, including cell phone messages. Even local police departments and schools have the capacity to filter social media and the internet for keywords that could place them at risk.

  9. When the Civil War balloon goes up and blood is flowing in the streets, Trump will blame Obama and Pelosi. Then, he will conduct a Stalin-esque purge of ALL opposition to his reign of terror. Yes, he is that sick and driven by demons only he and Adolf Hitler would understand.

  10. Todd,

    “I don’t believe Trump is smart enough to lead anything, including a Civil War.”

    I don’t either. That’s my point. It’s not about who is going to win, it’s about loss. Everyone will lose in a CIVIL WAR. How do you know those insurgencies are going to end. You’re not on the “short end of the stick” like most of those who would be fighting back. Why would they quit? I sure the hell wouldn’t.

    Let’s face it. You and everyone else are going to lose big time, if this FARCE continues, into the possibility of a Civil War.

    What do you think is going to happen to the stock market during the “insurgencies” you have predicted?

  11. Todd your comments about the Union are enlightening, but it goes back to the Shelia’s post about political labels and being intellectually lazy. Did you point out that police and fire departments are solicits institutions? Those labels make for good sound bites to manipulate the masses, and if you don’t think too hard, they can be compelling.

    Hopefully this maxim is still true; You can fool some of the people all of the time, and you can fool all of the people some the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

  12. Next up for The Duck – about to nominate someone for the Federal Reserve who has spoken out about no need for it as well as returning to the Gold Standard. Major qualification for all his nominees, the desire to destroy whatever part of the government they are assigned to. This is “beyond Nazi”….

  13. Hosea 10:8
    The high places of Beth-aʹven, the sin of Israel, will be annihilated.
    Thorns and thistles will grow on their altars.
    People will say to the mountains, ‘Cover us!’
    And to the hills, ‘Fall over us!’

    Luke 23:30
    Then they will start saying to the mountains, ‘Fall over us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us over!’

    Revelation 6:16
    “And they keep saying to the mountains and to the rocks: “Fall over us and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb”

    All these prophecies denote extreme angst and terror. Old Testament, and New Testament, and all points to a time when the earth is been saturated in apostasy and out right evil, not just evil towards man’s fellow man, but evil towards the entire planet.

    Now, we can all say that it’s mythological in that aspect, but, studying Scripture for many years explains that even destruction is cyclical. Whether one believes it’s from a supernatural force or just happenstance, it does happen. Usually at a time that’s noted in Scripture, a time of great apostasy or evil. Can’t say that there is not a great apostasy and evil right now, men are slaughtering their fellow man on and off the charts scale, man’s basic freedoms are under assault, and man’s free will is also under assault. The slide towards a greater cataclysm has been in the works sense the great war and then the 2nd world war, these wars gave rise to movements that were diametrically opposed to free will, and it was the 1st time that the entire planet was engulfed in a conflict. Even the farthest flung islands were engulfed.

    The apostle Peter drew a parallel between the apostasy from Christianity and that which occurred in the natural house of Israel. He said: “However, there also came to be false prophets among the people, as there will also be false teachers among you. These very ones will quietly bring in destructive sects and will disown even the owner that bought them, bringing speedy destruction upon themselves. Furthermore, many will follow their acts of loose conduct, and on account of these the way of the truth will be spoken of abusively.” Peter goes on to point out that these would exploit the congregation but that “the destruction of them is not slumbering.” (2nd Peter 2:1-3.)

    2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
    But the lawless one’s presence is by the operation of Satan with every powerful work and lying signs and wonders 10 and every unrighteous deception for those who are perishing, as a retribution because they did not accept the love of the truth in order that they might be saved. 11 That is why God lets a deluding influence mislead them so that they may come to believe the lie, 12 in order that they all may be judged because they did not believe the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness.

    Well, that’s my take on it any way, do you think that these leaders and officials enjoy what they are doing? Do you think they take pleasure in their conduct? Absolutely they do! Their followers also take pleasure! They take pleasure even if it causes hardship on themselves. They have no moral grounding, no moral standing, no guiding conscience, they would rather see their fellow man dead and rotting on the ground with their last breath, than to change their deluded and willful dissonance.

  14. I just emailed my daughter that the biggest news of the week is not the Democratic brawl for delegates but rather the Barr-Trump attempt to end the Madisonian view of Separation of Powers. Having already cowed the Senate and House Republicans with Barr’s pretended view of executive Article II powers, the only remaining bastion of our Separation is the judiciary – which is now under attack. With no constitutional restraint, welcome to dictatorship – which I consider a far bigger news event than Bernie-Pete-Amy (everybody be nice) fights.

    I also pointed out to my daughter that Trump is too dumb to be president but not too dumb to be a dictator, citing Hitler and the papal-approved emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Charlemagne, who was illiterate. We are beginning to see Hitler-era lookalikes, as in, Trump as Hitler, Lindsey is Goebbels, and Collins is the “Good German” who is “disappointed” by Trump’s antics but votes for them.

    So when to forcefully resist and perhaps even take to the streets? Today, since doing nothing invites further and perhaps final destruction of our Constitution. When the Roman legions marched in, Athens lost its 169 year old democracy for centuries. We may well be within such a risk with loss of our democracy and return not to the colonial status of George III (who should have been “Cromwelled” but wasn’t). So to the ramparts? A 100 million march on Washington leading to an new political Enlightenment to fit the Information Age? It’s a thought.

  15. Some people here and elsewhere have suggested the Trumpter’s suffer from cognitive dissonance. I went to WIKI and posted the below:
    In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance is the experience of psychological stress that occurs when a person holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, values, or participates in an action that goes against one of these three.

    According to this theory, when two actions or ideas are not psychologically consistent with each other, people will do all in their power to change them until they become consistent. The discomfort is triggered by the person’s belief clashing with new information perceived, wherein they will try to find a way to resolve the contradiction to reduce their discomfort.

    The Trumpter’s do not suffer from cognitive dissonance, since to do so would require intellectual awareness of conflicting beliefs, ideas, and values. They have no intellectual awareness in fact this is discouraged. You do not question your bible thumping leadership and their interpretation of what is is right or wrong, or what to believe. So it becomes a small step to see The Trumpet as a means to some end.

    All the negatives an intellectually aware person would perceive in Male Authoritarianism, are virtues to The Trumpter’s.

  16. I believe Sheila thoroughly covered all of the things that 45’s devotees are willing to overlook in order to keep him in office.

    * My question for all of you: Is anyone else sick and tired of 45’s constant use of the word UNFAIR?

    I have never known anyone else to be such a baby about everything. During his ‘executive time’ he most likely sucks on a pacifier in order to be able to settle down a just little bit while he watches TV.

  17. Medal of Freedom winner Rush Limbaugh made quite a few of his millions by introducing Republicans to lying quite a few decades ago. He taught them that everyone does it so why not use it in ways that make you money and demonstrated his sermons by making himself very, very wealthy by lying.

    Rush and Trump and Pence and McConnell (and many, many others) were made for each other. They all believe in the connection between lying and wealth as do many corporations following the single rule of make more money individually now regardless of the impact on any others ever.

    So as a society we have made a deal with the devil and traded honesty for wealth. We are very comfortable now even though very deceived and living in denial. And, of course, failing in every other way.

  18. Monotonous L., you are correct. I have a FEW Trumper friends who are suffering from cognitive dissonance. They are the ones who possess enough intelligence to be uneasy about what is going on. They are still finding ways to justify their positions, but I believe at some point they will come to the conclusion that they have been wrong. I think the Trumper hard core base, on the other hand, suffer no such dissonance, and I have come to believe that religion has played a critical role in this. It is no mere coincidence that those who long ago submitted to evidence-less belief in adult Santa Claus are easily able to adapt to a belief that a laughable reality-TV star and con man is the savior of our country.

  19. It’s impossible to include all his foibles on one page but here are a couple more.

    He’s the most shameless hypocrite ever, complaining loudly of others’ failings which mirror his own. For instance, he complains about others rigging investigations and the courts while he turns the Justice Department into his personal instrument for reward and revenge.

    And he IS a corporate socialist and a socialist for billionaires – especially himself. His properties and wallet have clawed in taxpayer millions for all the rooms, meals, golf carts and fees taxpayers have paid for at his properties for him, his family, administration officials, and Secret Service to visit. But he’s taken care of other corporatists too. His administration has left no polluter behind, doing everything in his power to enrich their bottom line, even and perhaps especially when they can’t make it on their own, as with coal mining companies.

    Donald Trump does not just add a straw to break the camel’s back. He adds a wagon load every day.

  20. Gerald,contractor for the media,limbaugh,josf goebbels…now has his iron cross..
    a recent article,huff,seems the Chatanooga NAACP is endorcing mike for blacks?
    really, i sent them my new bumpers sticker, use it as you see fit also.

    “the reason why we dont have a living wage,
    is because we created billionaires instead.”

    best wishes..

  21. Now Trump is returning Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer and Hope Hicks to the White House; who else will be added to this list?

    And why are they returning to the Land of the Lost political positions?

  22. Over it, you are correct. > I have come to believe that religion has played a critical role in this. It is no mere coincidence that those who long ago submitted to evidence-less belief in adult Santa Claus are easily able to adapt to a belief that a laughable reality-TV star and con man is the savior of our country.<<

    The Tele-Evanagelists are no different than those con-men who sold swamp land to people in Florida. They are complete charlatans. If they really could "heal" people they could go to St. Jude's Children's Hospital, and start healing. They cannot do this of course, since they have No Supernatural Power. So they use their dog and pony show with bright, flashing lights, teleprompters, etc., to captivate the audience.

    These followers people are uniquely susceptible to the Trumpet's Macho-Male Authority persona.

  23. Applicants for the job of President of the United States need scrupulous screening by a staff of independent medical professionals for mental and emotional fitness for the massive responsibility of the office. The C. O. (Garrison Keillor uses those letters to mean ‘Current Occupant’) is not qualified on any level. We cannot go through this again in 2020 or anytime in the future.

  24. “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, is the book written and published by 27 Credentialed Mental Health Profeasionals in 2017. It is an important document citing the categories of mental disturbance DJT’s actions and words over the years seem to align him with. It was shoved to the “back burner” almost immediately. I have not seen reference to it for a long time. Speculation by most of us does not hold a candle to professionals in the mental health and wellness profession presenting their case.

    Perhaps there could be a class action suit filed by the ACLU citing how his actions have led to massive increased anxiety and depressive conditions in about half of the citizens of the United States since 2016.

    How can he be stopped?

  25. “I don’t know – ya know, I liked W because he was the kind of guy who I would have a beer with – he reminded me of my drinking buddies – he made me feel so much better about myself – but Trump is even better – I like the idea of a guy like my high school friends – sure we were jocks, or wanna be jocks and yes we had “fun” with the fat kids and the ugly kids and the short kids and maybe kicked a beggar – but we love it whenever Trump talks like we did and sticks it to those snooty kids who grew up and went to college – and now some of them are becoming the bosses in the computer companies – no, Trump is my guy – I love it when he picks on others and praises his followers”

    Or so I imagine it – I prefer to drink with a drinking buddy, not to make them President – as for the class bully, even my peace-loving mama would allow me to say that he should suffer loss of his money and every other thing that he uses to replace his self-esteem. Mr. Small Hands

    I do believe that many Trump voters care for nothing more than that he acts like a bully in public, which they think is great – I wonder if they wish they could get away with that – or they think that they can now that Trump is in the White House (on occasion).

    A related aside – Al Franken, whom I liked as a senator more than a comic, had an ongoing SNL shtick of “the Al Franken decade” where he would go on with everything centering on himself. Of my friends who thought it was a great bit (I didn’t), were several people who I truly believe wished that they could say Franken’s lines in real life – I wonder if Trump voters are living vicariously through him.

    Peggy – thank you for that clear, concise exposition on the differences between political systems and economic systems.

  26. It’s been noted that Republican leadership has been amazed to find out that their voters don’t actually care about all the “fiscal responsibility”, “law’n’order”, “dignity of the office”, “international leadership”, and other issues they’ve hammered on for years. They no longer have to pretend that any of that matters, and it’s liberated them.

    Adam Serwer wrote an article for The Atlantic just before the 2018 elections, titled “The Cruelty is the Point” which does a good job of explaining what’s happening.

    Like it or not, the Republicans, or more precisely the oligarchic anarchists shaping and funding it, have fundamentally changed how government in the US works, and we are now seeing the fruition of 40 years’ effort. The response of Democratic leadership is to bring a knife to a gunfight and threaten to use it. Even a massive repudiation in the form of an electoral trifecta in 2020 will only be treated as a speed bump in their plan of total domination.

  27. Of all the people in the Trump administration, I think AG Bill Barr is the most worthy of contempt. As horrible as Trump is, some of what the President does can be chalked up to pure stupidity on his part. Trump is easily the dumbest President we’ve ever had. Barr on the other hand is plenty smart, and knows better. He is intentionally paving the way for Trump to pursue dictatorial powers, while gutting our Constitution. Barr is so unethical and so corrupt he makes former AG Jeff Sessions look honest and virtuous.

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