Thursday, August 25, 2022

Step Into The Wayback Machine....

...and go back in history to: 9 days ago. Because Amanda Marcotte has caught up with Laura Ingraham:

He's a black hole that absorbs all attention with his relentless criminality and narcissistic antics. It's alarming in most ways, especially the cult-like hold he has over his followers. But it has one silver lining: While Trump and his followers obsess about an imaginary "deep state," they're not paying attention to what Democrats are actually doing. From the drunk uncle posting on Facebook to the Fox News punditry to Republican leadership in Congress, GOP energies are all sucked up by making excuses for Trump's crimes. They don't have a lot left in the tank after that to raise much of a fuss about student loan forgiveness, green energy, or gun control.

It didn't use to be this way. Republicans used to be extremely good at whipping their base into a frenzy of opposition against Democratic policies, even ones most of these voters would benefit from. They knew how to create enough noise to keep Republican politicians in line and peel off enough cowardly Democratic support, killing all manner of progressive legislation.

All stories grow dull over time.  All agitations lose their edge.  Hitler rallied the Germans against the Jews, the Russians, the rest of the world; but even Hitler's generals finally realized he was a danger, and tried several times to kill him.

By the end, Hitler didn't have a lot left in the tank, either.

Which is just to say all endeavors at making people do what they really don't want to do, eventually come to an end.  Trump's schtick, seemingly new and exciting to the punditry and the press, especially since he won! (the punditry and the press always love a winner, far longer than the public does), actually wore out in less than four years.  Trump was driving nails into his political coffin from Election Day to Inauguration Day.  He just couldn't help but make it worse, because in the end it wasn't a schtick, it was who he was.  And who he was began to wear out its welcome with everybody.

Trump has cycled through so many excuses for why he had boxes and boxes of highly classified materials in the office closet and basement of his hotel:

Yeah, this "high security" facility...

That he's fallen back, by all accounts, on the idea the documents are his because he is the President.  "Was" doesn't even seem to figure into his statements (that motion for a special master was written by Trump and then edited into something resembling a pleading; barely on the latter).  There are reports he thinks Obama (whom he brought up as an excuse once) got to take materials for his library, so why can't Trump?  (Why he can't is another matter; he can't.)  So clearly Trump doesn't understand the office he held, and doesn't understand it now.

All he understands is narratives; and he's run out of those.  Even National Review is tired of his schtick:
NR's critique of Trump is begrudging, but even they can't understand what he was doing or why he was doing it, and that means there's no excuse for it.

Yes, Republicans knew how to kill of "progressive legislation."  But then they lost their mojo when it turned out the man behind the curtain wasn't even the kindly, bumbling purveyor of harmless snake oil and humbug, but a miserable thief crying "THE PRECIOUS IS MINE!"  Try as Jim Jordan and Matt Gaetz might to stir anger over Biden forgiving student loan debt, it's not exactly the same issue as trans men invading women's bathrooms and locker rooms.  And Dobbs really was a bridge too far, one the GOP is likely to pay for crossing in 2022, and even in 2024.

The future ain't all about Trump, much as he would like it to be.  It will be about still more people being sick of Trump's schtick.  Most of them turned out in 2020 to send Trump home, but Trump and the pundits didn't get the message.  Trump can keep clamoring for attention (he's the one who brought up the search of MAL; his courtroom shenanigans are a lame attempt to keep that alive, so the coffers keep filling).  The press seems determined to pay attention to it.

But according to the polls the pundits prize above all things, even election returns, the public doesn't give a shit.  Maybe, instead of talking to each other about what's most important to the people between the coasts and working in something other than typing on the intertoobs, the pundit class and the reporting class to actual people.  Enough of them from enough places that they begin to form an idea what they people seem to value.

And then they wouldn't be so surprised by election returns; or so anxious to report on what Trump said next.

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