Thursday Thread And Chat
The thread is open and you can ask me anything. Here are some prompts.
The mainstream press was late to the significance of vermin-ghazi, tripped up, perhaps, by this hot mess of a headline. (The Times later updated it under duress.)
President Biden was also late to respond, but finally weighed in on Wednesday… at a closed-press campaign event.
True as it is that Trump’s comments mimic Hitler and Mussolini, I’m instinctually a little skeptical that the slackjawed threat-response we’ve seen from some pundits, #Resistance figures, and even Biden is the best reaction. Worth mentioning, sure, but not to the extent that it conveys the very fear and intimidation Trump and his goons want to evoke. My hunch is that something with a more patriotic, confident, and disdainful edge—“In America we don’t take our inspiration from Hitler. Americans aren’t vermin, and anyone who thinks they are can’t be president”—would be more effective. The goal isn’t to unify Republicans in their glee that they’ve intimidated the entire left; it’s to divide them as they realize, “deplorables”-style, that they’ve gone too far, and have to decide whether to backtrack or stick with Donald Trump.
I find this half-told tale about Trump’s new, seemingly corrupt relationship with Univision to be pretty disturbing, but I’m also tantalized to learn more about it. With Trump (and Jared Kushner) you have to wonder about the potential for bribery, extortion, and foreign influence. But you also have to expect them to do a poor job covering their tracks and get caught up in a scandal.
- had a thoughtful piece on all this. Her concluding note: “It will be up to voters to see through the weak-tea treatment Trump received in his interview. For now at least, it looks like Donald Trump has outmaneuvered Democrats.” Let this be a wakeup call to them that the question “who controls the farthest reaching media?” is an important one in politics—if it weren’t important, there wouldn’t be a notorious antisemitic conspiracy theory about who controls the media!—and maybe they’ll stop sitting idly by as far right billionaires and the greedy people who court them gobble up more of it.
Speaking of antisemites and media, meet Elon Musk.
Speaking of the roll media plays in shaping public opinion, meet TikTok.
Republicans agreed to fund the government for another few weeks, this time with a catch, and (as you probably know by now) I think it’s an important one.
I had a good time catching up with Pete Dominick.
Donald Trump has grown quite complacent in the reasonable belief that the judges overseeing some of his cases (Arthur Engoron, Tanya Chutkan) won’t hold him to normal standards under the rule of law. So now he wants more courtroom confrontations, and his January 6 trial to be televised (it probably should be, but not if he has carte blanche to turn it into a circus). Stop being scared, people!
Republicans thinking they have to act like physical tough guys to be credible as right-wing politicians is extremely cringey.
Donald Trump is a terrible dresser, but Joe Biden is (suddenly) an excellent one. The contrast couldn’t be clearer.
What’s on your mind? Let me know and I’ll swing back at 2 p.m. ET for a live chat and to answer your questions in comments.
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