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Postmortem - Trump as a Failed President


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On 1/20/2021 at 2:02 PM, DevoHusker said:

 

What do I mean by seriousness? It is the burden of knowing that we own our decisions, that our actions have consequences. It is the sense of responsibility that helps us to act without being ordered to act, the instinct that tells us, even when we are alone, that we owe a duty to others and that our behavior affects them as much as it does ourselves.

Powerful article.   I wanted to quote the last few paragraphs

 

 

Quote

 

His presidency was all kayfabe, the ethos of faked professional wrestling, where nothing is real and no one gets hurt. Trump never cared that he had to make real decisions that had real consequences. At every turn, all that mattered was the brief winning moment and the boffo ratings. It was all about the emotional charge of the here and now, and it was glorious. Tomorrow was someone else’s problem.

 

In other words: Pass the vodka, comrade. I’ll sleep where I fall.

It should not, of course, have been a shock that America under Trump became a collection of overgrown adolescents who were incapable of facing adversity. When the time came for genuine seriousness—literally, a matter of life and death—America was a nation of spoiled children, sullen when corrected, explosive with rage when forced to do anything they found unpleasant, ready to lecture others on why the Constitution gave them the right to wear a surgical mask on their chin.

This level of entitlement and the toddlerlike understanding of “freedom” to mean “I can do anything I want without consequences” came to a head in the January 6 attack on the Capitol. One of the most serious challenges to constitutional order in the history of the United States was led by a group of the least serious citizens among us.

The mob was not made up of the poor and dispossessed seeking redress of grievances. This was a bored lumpen bourgeoisie, a narcissistic middle class of deep pockets and shallow minds who felt that life had not paid them the respect they were due. Some of them, to be sure, were intent on serious crimes, including kidnapping and murder. But even these would-be terrorists had a weird tourist vibe. (One of the insurrectionists, a 30-year-old ex-bartender sporting a ski mask, brought zip-tie flex handcuffs—and so did his mom, who accompanied him to the riot.)

Indeed, the insurrectionists were so unserious, they somehow got it into their heads that they could overwhelm the Capitol, take Congress hostage, and rerun the presidential election—after which, apparently, everyone would exchange congratulations on a job well done, retire to the hotel for a few drinks, and then fly home with wonderful memories and stories to tell. We know this because, like the narcissistic children they are, they could not stop talking to their phones and taking selfies and videos even in the midst of a violent insurrection.

Hundreds of people now face arrest, and most of them are shocked to find that an attack on the Capitol and the murder of a police officer will not be written off by the federal authorities as merely a self-actualizing day trip to Camp Sedition.

Consider, for example, the soul of helium displayed by Jenna Ryan, a realtor from Texas who flew to Washington, D.C., on a private jet—as one does to get to an insurrection—and who stopped in the midst of the attack to assure us all that she was, in fact, inside the Capitol and committed to victory or death, but that upon her return to Texas everyone should know that Jenna Ryan is the person who can handle even the toughest real-estate deals. The day she was arrested, the realtor-patriot went on television and said that Trump owed her a pardon.

 

All of this would be laughable if America were some irrelevant banana republic. But when a superpower becomes an unserious nation, it becomes a dangerous nation. A giant, nuclear-armed clown show is a menace to the life and liberty of its own people and to the stability and safety of the planet itself.

Unseriousness is not limited to Trump cultists, although they seem to have embraced it most fully. It is, like COVID-19, a national affliction. Last summer, America experienced genuine and justified rage against racism and police brutality. These protests were, at first, the embodiment of seriousness, an acknowledgment that one person’s pain affects us all. However, they were later hijacked by those who wanted to play camp-out in the middle of major cities and who looted and engaged in mindless vandalism.

Even after so many years of unseriousness, Biden prevailed in the election. Whatever his other failings, he is a serious man. Yes, he sometimes has an unserious mien, a come-on-man, no-malarkey doofusness, but he’s also a man who has experienced pain, love, tragedy, and loss—the moments that affirm to us that life is a serious business. He is a reminder that serious people do important things every day, like taking care of their children and showing up to their job ready to work. When he talks about problems, his empathy is real; when he talks about policy, his commitment is genuine.

 

Perhaps most important, Biden shares with his pre-Trump predecessors a visible sense of gravity about the presidency. He speaks of the office with both excitement and reverence—and maybe, too, a bit of sadness, because he knows what is to come. No man is the same after his first day as president. The office is too big, too terrifying, to rest lightly on anyone’s shoulders. Even Trump, on his first visit to the White House as president-elect, was visibly shaken, at least for a moment. (That moment passed quickly.)

 

 

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Powerful article.   I wanted to quote the last few paragraphs      

This will go down as one of the most colossal failures of anyone ever sitting in the White House for four years.   We haven't even begun to discover the perfidy that went on under trump. It'

10 minutes ago, TGHusker said:

Powerful article.   I wanted to quote the last few paragraphs

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, this article uses words that are too big, and comes across as too condescending for anyone not already on board to read and reflect upon. It's a shame, really. 

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Gallup with a postmortem writeup for the ages.

 

Last Trump Job Approval 34%; Average Is Record-Low 41%

Trump is the only president not to register a 50% job approval rating at any point in his presidency since Gallup began measuring presidential job approval in 1938. Likewise, he is the only president who did not have a honeymoon period of above-average ratings upon taking office. His initial 45% job approval rating proved to be his high point for his first year as president.

 

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1 hour ago, knapplc said:

 

 

Gallup with a postmortem writeup for the ages.

 

Last Trump Job Approval 34%; Average Is Record-Low 41%

Trump is the only president not to register a 50% job approval rating at any point in his presidency since Gallup began measuring presidential job approval in 1938. Likewise, he is the only president who did not have a honeymoon period of above-average ratings upon taking office. His initial 45% job approval rating proved to be his high point for his first year as president.

 

I think one surprise of the presidential comparison is Truman.  Having the lowest marks because of the Korean War @ 32% doesn't seem to be reflective of his current standing in history.  As the years have gone by, history has looked more favorably on him. 

Another surprise might be LBJ:  with Vietnam, riots and with 1968 being they year from hell before 2020 came along, I'm somewhat surprised by his final rating - much higher than I expected.  Of course his successes in civil rights and the Great Society programs probably offset some of the negatives. 

 

This article, published Feb of last year before Covid was a thing, notes Truman's rise over the years.   I doubt history's view of Trump will be so favorable.

 

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-02-17/history-presidents-truman-jefferson-wilson

 

Here is a historical look with graphs

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_approval_rating

 

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One presidential historian says one word will define Trump in history:  Disgraced

 

Some posters on the thread after this tweet noted, you cannot be disgraced if you feel no shame- as trump does

or blames others for it all.  Regardless, he is disgraced and history will judge him as such.

 

 

https://www.yahoo.com/huffpost/michael-beschloss-trump-disgraced-090211648.html

 

 

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5 minutes ago, TGHusker said:

This is fitting

 

 

Related:

 

 

 

 

His name is dirt.

 

Go figure after you lead a seditious rebellion, though. Who would have thought there would be consequences to his actions? Could anyone have seen this coming?

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, knapplc said:

 

 

His name is dirt.

 

Go figure after you lead a seditious rebellion, though. Who would have thought there would be consequences to his actions? Could anyone have seen this coming?

 

 

 

Depending on how it plays out, his name could become the new "Benedict Arnold".  Ironic thing is that Trump always wanted his name in gold - as the gold standard.  He himself is to blame for what history will record  long term as a tarnished name.

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