FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

There Isn’t Any There There

by

Thanks to Donald Trump, I have become an avid consumer of Fox News.  Tracking The Donald’s swift, irrevocable failure and resultant removal, via either a soft coup of diminishing influence tacitly agreed upon by both parties and all agencies, or outright impeachment, the legitimate news sources are of little use to me.  The daily reports of Trump’s unethical, illegal, and stupid behavior will have nothing to do with the termination of his tenure in office.  That’s exactly how he represented himself on the campaign trail, without adverse effect.  This dumb chapter in America history will only come to a close when the chickenshit self-interested Republicans stop running ceaseless interference and damage control and realize that their initial instincts were right on, and that hitching their wagons to this particular orange turbanesquely-coiffed horse is tantamount to political suicide.  As these Republicans, and Fox News, are currently pandering to the same narrow minority demographic of Trump’s base, their conversion should coincide.  That’s why I watch.  Fox News is the canary in the coal mine.

The few Fox pundits with accomplishments beyond the narrow confines of a Fox broadcast, and therefore career options that accommodate more independent thinking, have already quit the full time cheerleading, as we see when Karl Rove, despite Bill O” Reilly’s panicked attempt to shout over him, describes Trump’s loyal base as constituting around thirty percent of the voting public, meaning that even if his base is supporting moves like the Muslim ban, it will probably guarantee he’ll lose the next election badly.  Or Krauthammer, again overriding O’ Reilly, talking about the validity and integrity of the women’s marches, while noting that Bill O. R. is obviously “afraid of those women.”

Over the last month, we have seen Fox’s focus on the administration first stumble:

“Even fiscal conservatives think the border wall is a good idea despite the $15 billion, er, $25 billion…,”

“This is not a Muslim ban, well okay Trump did specifically order a Muslim ban, but that’s not illegal…well it is, but…”

“Betsy DeVos is…qualified, or…smart…It isn’t Betsy DeVos’ fault she’s unqualified and stupid, and quite frankly that’s rude and irrelevant to point out!”

“Trump is really getting things done…well, not actual things actually done, but he is definitely signing many, many pieces of paper…”

…and then fall, abandoning the White House altogether.  The entire news agency appears committed to avoiding mentioning Trump or anything Trump-related whenever possible, preferring to run stories about white people getting harangued or beat up by liberals or minorities, teachers behaving badly (and what’s with the right-wing hatred of teachers?  scarring childhood memories of a dunce cap?), or a Christian somewhere being mistreated.  When, however, the shambling shadow of Trump looms so large it cannot be avoided, Fox runs a reiteration of one or more of these three headlines:

1) Democrats/Liberals/The Left is melting down/terrified/hysterical over Trump’s latest shenanigans.

2) You can’t trust any non-Fox media source.

3) All the stuff Trump is doing, Obama also did.

Beyond being vague and childish, the truly encouraging part is that each of these statements concedes defeat.  We’re being begged how to frame Trump’s inevitable failure.  There’s nothing here that the administration is doing.  This is not even a White House of chaos, since chaos denotes unpredictability and dynamic action.  This is an administration of incurable inertia.  There’s nothing to support.  There isn’t any there there.  “Make America Great Again” has transformed into “Kind of Like Obama, Except We’re Not Allowed to Really Do Anything.”

Soon, Paul Ryan, Fox News, et al. will begin to understand that it was not, in fact, some hidden underestimated “True America” propelling Trump to his imaginary landslide victory, but a fringe minority with very little influence or appeal outside its own cloistered ranks.  While, for an intoxicating moment it looked like we white men could roll back the clock to a time when we didn’t have to try so damn hard, it turns out that anger and stupidity are not, in fact, adequate qualities of leadership after all.

Ultimately, the grand experiment of the Trump presidency will have delivered a brief period of nothingness, and a correction.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
February 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Exxon’s End Game Theory
Pierre M. Sprey - Franklin “Chuck” Spinney
Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia
Paul Street
Liberal Hypocrisy, “Late-Shaming,” and Russia-Blaming in the Age of Trump
Ajamu Baraka
Malcolm X and Human Rights in the Time of Trumpism: Transcending the Master’s Tools
John Laforge
Did Obama Pave the Way for More Torture?
Mike Whitney
McMaster Takes Charge: Trump Relinquishes Control of Foreign Policy 
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Decline of US and UK Power
Louisa Willcox
The Endangered Species Act: a Critical Safety Net Now Threatened by Congress and Trump
Vijay Prashad
A Foreign Policy of Cruel Populism
John Chuckman
Israel’s Terrible Problem: Two States or One?
Matthew Stevenson
The Parallax View of Donald Trump
Norman Pollack
Drumbeat of Fascism: Find, Arrest, Deport
Stan Cox
Can the Climate Survive Electoral Democracy? Maybe. Can It Survive Capitalism? No.
Ramzy Baroud
The Trump-Netanyahu Circus: Now, No One Can Save Israel from Itself
Edward Hunt
The United States of Permanent War
David Morgan
Trump and the Left: a Case of Mass Hysteria?
Pete Dolack
The Bait and Switch of Public-Private Partnerships
Mike Miller
What Kind of Movement Moment Are We In? 
Elliot Sperber
Why Resistance is Insufficient
Brian Cloughley
What are You Going to Do About Afghanistan, President Trump?
Binoy Kampmark
Warring in the Oncology Ward
Yves Engler
Remembering the Coup in Ghana
Jeremy Brecher
“Climate Kids” v. Trump: Trial of the Century Pits Trump Climate Denialism Against Right to a Climate System Capable of Sustaining Human Life”
Jonathan Taylor
Hate Trump? You Should Have Voted for Ron Paul
Franklin Lamb
Another Small Step for Syrian Refugee Children in Beirut’s “Aleppo Park”
Ron Jacobs
The Realist: Irreverence Was Their Only Sacred Cow
Andre Vltchek
Lock up England in Jail or an Insane Asylum!
Rev. William Alberts
Grandiose Marketing of Spirituality
Paul DeRienzo
Three Years Since the Kitty Litter Disaster at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
Eric Sommer
Organize Workers Immigrant Defense Committees!
Steve Cooper
A Progressive Agenda
David Swanson
100 Years of Using War to Try to End All War
Andrew Stewart
The 4CHAN Presidency: A Media Critique of the Alt-Right
Edward Leer
Tripping USA: The Chair
Randy Shields
Tom Regan: The Life of the Animal Rights Party
Nyla Ali Khan
One Certain Effect of Instability in Kashmir is the Erosion of Freedom of Expression and Regional Integration
Rob Hager
The Only Fake News That Probably Threw the Election to Trump was not Russian 
Mike Garrity
Why Should We Pay Billionaires to Destroy Our Public Lands? 
Mark Dickman
The Prophet: Deutscher’s Trotsky
Christopher Brauchli
The Politics of the Toilet Police
Ezra Kronfeld
Joe Manchin: a Senate Republicrat to Dispute and Challenge
Clancy Sigal
The Nazis Called It a “Rafle”
Louis Proyect
Socialism Betrayed? Inside the Ukrainian Holodomor
Charles R. Larson
Review: Timothy B. Tyson’s “The Blood of Emmett Till”
David Yearsley
Founding Father of American Song
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail