Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Fetid Hotbox of American Fascism - Ann Coulter

She's xenophobic, racist and a bottomless pit of evil. Some, like Bill Maher, still imagine he can have a dialogue with this scumqueen but that is a self-serving contrivance of looking the other way.

Coulter has jumped into the Mexican baby fiasco to do what she does best - dehumanize those kids.  Coulter wants Americans and especially Donald Trump to believe those crying kids are "child actors."

Here are excerpts from The Atlantic writer, Megan Garber's powerful and disturbing essay, "How to Look Away."

These child actors weeping and crying on all the other networks 24/7 right now; do not fall for it, Mr. President.” 
Ann Coulter, on Sunday, was speaking to that famed audience of one—Donald Trump—in the language whose grammar and idioms both of them understand intuitively: that of the Fox News Channel. But the pundit wasn’t speaking to the world leader so much as she was warning him. And she was concerned, she suggested, not so much for the presidential mind as for the American soul. You may be tempted, she suggested to the president and the larger audience, to feel for the children who wail as they are torn away from their families at the American border; resist that temptation. Do not feel for them; they don’t deserve it. Because they’re faking it. As Coulter reiterated on Tuesday, in a follow-up interview with TMZ: “They are trying to wreck our country through a political stunt.”

The images, moving and still, are searing, in part, precisely because they are images. They capture something in immediate and visceral and urgent terms that words, even at their frankest and most effective, cannot. The Getty photographer John Moore’s viral photograph of a 2-year-old girl sobbing as she watched her mother being frisked by an agent of the American government—the pink shirt, the matching shoes, the pudgy cheeks, frozen in an expression of despair and disbelief—is worth many more than a thousand words. The audioof children crying for parents who cannot come to comfort them—the recording a symbol of both human tragedy and governmental opacity—is wrenching, emotionally, precisely because it is, rationally, so raw and so real. And, therefore, so profoundly undeniable. 
And yet: Ann Coulter has been denying it. Her repeated accusation—“child actors weeping and crying”—is attempting to destabilize not just the facts on the ground, but also another kind of truth: the emotions most humans will feel, automatically, in response to children who cry in agony. Coulter’s warning to the world leader responsible for the tragedy—Do not fall for it, Mr. President—is a repetition of the logic deployed by some as a matter of moral reflex in response to the otherwise unimaginable, and otherwise inarguable, tragedies of Newtown, and Parkland, and so many others: They’re just actors, those people will insist. It’s all fake, they will assure. It is a moral claim as much as a factual one: You don’t have to act. You don’t even have to care. You can look away from this and still manage to look at yourself in the mirror.
Tragedies that need not be treated as tragedies at all, because the tragedies, in a fundamental way, are false: In one way, certainly, these are extremely fringe ideas—Ann Coulter, Coultering once more. But in another way—an ever more familiar way, as the Overton window flings ever more widely on its rusty hinges—they are not fringe at all. They have been summoned, instead, this week, across platforms that are decidedly mainstream. They have been, as it were, decidedly normalized
The press conference conducted by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Monday was, overall, dedicated to the proposition that the reporting coming out of the holding facilities along the American border—the audio, the video, the images of tiny bodies held in massive cages, as a portrait of the American leader looks on—is wrong. (“Don’t believe the press,” Nielsen said, echoing one of the core intellectual and emotional propositions of Trumpism.) 
... This is a moment in America in which people are talking, with mounting panic, about the slow encroachments of autocracy. One of the truisms of that discussion is the notion that a chronic condition necessary for a democracy to erode into something else is for the infrastructures of collective truth-telling to be allowed to crumble into disrepair. (Hannah Arendt’s prescient concernsweren’t just for the fate of facts, but also for a broader worry: that widespread cynicism would make facts, in some ways, irrelevant. That people would cease to believe that anything at all can be true.)

...When you hear a little girl screaming for her absent father, yes, you may, as a human person with a human soul, reply with automated empathy. You may recall, without trying to, those moments when you yourself were small, when you yourself were separated from your own parent, for an instant or the opposite—how impossibly tiny you felt, and how impossibly big the world was at that moment. You may recall, without trying to, all those times you, as a parent, could not find your child—all the panic, all the fear, all the love frantically seeking its home. You may feel it, just a very little of it, the pain of strangers that is not yours but in another way very much is. “[Children crying],” the image accompanying ProPublica’s stark audio informs you, against a screen that is infinitely dark, and the simple fact of the stark juxtaposition might make you cry. It might make you do what Rachel Maddow did on Tuesday evening, as she read from a breaking-news bulletin from the Associated Press about detention centers for very young children that are referred to, in the language of the state, as “tender-age” shelters: Break down. Lose your words. Erupt into involuntary tears.
It is precisely such an eruption, though—the connective tissue of a world that is at once sweeping and small—that many representatives of the United States, elected and not, are claiming to be false. You are being duped, they are suggesting—by the hysteria of the biased media, by the cherry-picking of images and truths, by your own easily manipulable humanity. On Tuesday, Corey Lewandowski, the former manager of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, made news on Fox News for, in response to a fellow guest’s mention of a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome who had been separated from her mother, interrupting the story with a dismissive “womp womp.” The heckle was callous and glib and deserving of the have-you-no-decency drubbing Lewandowski got in response; it was in the service, however, of an argument that the fake news are at it again, refusing to show you the full truth, the full stakes. Tucker Carlson summed it up this way: To profess horror at the events taking place at the border, the host said on his show, is to capitulate to those who “care far more about foreigners than about their own people.” It is to have lost the battle, and with it, the war. This is a matter of us and them, Carlson knows. Your own weary heart might counter that the true subject here, as it always will be, is we—but your heart, he insists, is wrong.

This is no longer a debate, two sides of a coin. It is what Edmund Burke warned of when he wrote that "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

These Trump supporters, including the Trump trolls that beset these blogs, have crossed a line. They're no longer deserving of our audience and certainly not our civility. It's time for good men to act like it.


Anonymous said...

Per capita, we are not doing badly when compared to USA.

BTW, what is exactly wrong with the border wall (works perfectly in Israel), especially when it is built on a sovereign territory?

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with a border wall on your own land (unlike the Israeli one). But how are you going to pay for it when you've given oligarchs a massive tax cut that the CBO says will cause a trillion dollar deficit? Even GOP hardliners see the stupidity of it, which is why Trump was holding children hostage to get them to finance it. Not too swift on the uptake are you?


The Mound of Sound said...

Don't sugar coat it, Cap. Thanks for sparing me the need to retort.

the salamander said...

.. this Alex Jones territory.. where Coulter has voyaged
Must have been quite a casting session, children of all ages..
over the last few weeks, not to mention all the parents

But this fits Trump like a glove - 'fake news'
but in Coulter's case is all about 'contraversial'
and staying visible in the mainstream eye
no matter how ridiculous..
She has books to sell, interviews to do

So a cast of thousands including Trump, Sessions
and all the rest of the ethically backrupt liars & grifters
Sure.. passing the blame onto the victims
amd reading their scripts amd lines

Jay Farquharson said...

It's actually more Evil(TM) than that. They've shut down the legal border crossings for asylum, then seize them when they "illegally" cross the border, strip familes apart and send them to Concentration Camps.

Given Treason Tribble Трамп's history, and his Spawn and Minions history of child slavery and sex slavery, #wherearethegirls is trending.

The Deplorables voted for Boko Haram.

The Mound of Sound said...

At least they haven't started selling those kids - surely they wouldn't do that.

Anonymous said...

Sex slaves and mass graves, Mound. That's how these things usually end.


Anonymous said...

"Even GOP hardliners see the stupidity of it, which is why Trump was holding children hostage to get them to finance it."

Actually Democrats refuse to fund the wall as some ridiculous matter of principle. Not sure what it is. Open-border immigration anarchy brings rainbows and unicorns? Load up inner-city ghettos with a 100-million from across the Americas. Crips vs. MS-13. Any takers?

"Sanctuary for all. No borders. No walls." Why doesn't Canada offer to take 25-million off Trump's hands? He'll bring 'em. Gladly.

I've never seen a political debate this hysterical and fanatical following politics for about 30 years.

I'm just glad Trump is here to stand in the way of whatever this craziness is.

Americans voted for a wall in 2016. Looks like that will be the 2018 election issue as well. But on the other side, a lot less neoliberal and neocon weasels to thwart the democratic will of the people, I'm guessing.

Anonymous said...

Have you any idea how ridiculous you sound? The GOP has a majority of votes in the House, the Senate and the SCOTUS. They can pass whatever law they want regardless of what the Dems say. But the GOP won't fund the wall because even they are smart enough to see that it makes no sense to cut spending on voters to keep out non-voters! Trump's wall is a con on the mouth-breathing bigots who voted for him. Looks like he duped you too!


Anonymous said...

Not exactly, Mound, but close. Have no fear, some of the kids have been sent to Michigan and are in the care of "Xians":

Grand Rapids-based Bethany Christian Services, a global nonprofit that provides foster care, adoption, resettlement services and other assistance, is currently assisting these displaced children, but the organization is at capacity....

In its offices throughout the country, Bethany Christian Services is urging families to step forward and become foster parents for these children.

Being a Xian organization in Michigan, it should come as no surprise that Bethany's senior VP is Brian De Vos. Does the last name ring any bells? Grifters gotta grift!


Anonymous said...

"Have you any idea how ridiculous you sound? The GOP has a majority of votes in the House, the Senate and the SCOTUS. They can pass whatever law they want regardless of what the Dems say."

The American system is not like the British one where an unelected party leader becomes the state on 40% of the vote.

There are a number of factions that can thwart legislation, including the senate which can block legislation that doesn't have 60% super-majority support.

(Funny the Brits have their "strong government" fetish: give a benign dictator absolute power to "save democracy" on a minority of the vote. The US has their 3 legislative branches and 60% senate super-majority to "save democracy" from the democratic will of the people. I.e., two very different implementations of "Sober Second Thought" that give the upper-class Deep State a veto, if not outright control, over "democracy.")

But that's what midterm elections are for. The people can either give a president a bigger mandate or walk away if the mandate they awarded a president turned out to be a pack of lies. (Like under Obama and Clinton.)

Trump is right the 60% senate rule is absurd. You won't find that kind of nonsense in an actual democratic country. If Canada was a democracy we'd be more like Germany than the US in terms of living standards and public benefits. If the US was a real democracy, they'd be much better off too. Of course the US system is no where near as ridiculous as the Brits'.

Jay Farquharson said...

LMFAO at the stupid.

Both the House and Senate run on 50% +1, and Pence can be the +1.

The Republicans have 57% of the House and 51% of the Senate.

The Rethug's can't pass much of any legislation, because there are two Rethug Parties, the ignorant, Corporate, racist morons of the Rethug Party and the ignorant, Corporate, Nazi morons of the Liberty Caucus.

Anonymous said...

Yep, hard to believe it's that freaking crazy. But it is. (So much of it is, really. It's hard to believe how hard to believe it is.)

Welcome to the wonderful world of politics. (Not a nice place and you definitely don't want to live there.)

Welcome to the Machine.

CBS News: Why is a simple majority usually not enough to pass a bill in the Senate?

Anonymous said...

Senate Dems already offered to fully fund Trump's Wall in exchange for a pathway to citizenship for "dreamers." But the Trump rejected that, despite his promise to treat dreamers "with heart." Instead he announced he would end the DACA program. So, the "master negotiator" once again shot himself in the foot. That's gotta hurt more than heal spurs!