By Dr. Ray Kessler, who is, incidentally, a retired Prof. of Criminal Justice, former defense attorney and prosecutor is your host. I am also a part-time instructor in Criminal Justice at Richland College, an outstanding, 2-year institution in Dallas, TX.
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Saturday, July 29, 2017
EVER WONDER WHAT TO POLITE, CIVIL DISCOURSE IN POLITICS? E.G. THE MOOCH
I. Just In Case
you Missed it or didn’t know what the *** were, here are some other reports
Trigger:Offensive language in quotes
Trigger: For those infatuated with Trump, or otherwise dedicated to defending
him no matter how outrageous the behavior, there are offensive allusions below.
If you care
about civil discourse, what happened to it, and are a Republican worried about
your party, you need to read this.
BLOGGER WHO USES THE ‘F-WORD’ WHEN ANGRY, BUT NOT IN PUBLIC OR TO REPORTERS]
Of the now
former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus: “Reince is a fucking paranoid
schizophrenic.” [Reince is not the only paranoid in the White House]
Of the White
House Chief St7ategist: “I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to such my own
cock.”[Ostensibly reporting on a fellow
W.H. staff members sexual habits.Will
this become a regular part of ‘the Mooch’ report?]
Of the Beltway
‘swamp’ that wants to undermine Donald Trump: “They’re going to have to go and
fuck themselves.” [The Use of such
language suggests that there is another swamp that needs to be cleaned]
from the New White House Chief of Communications about his fellow members of
the White House Staff and given to a popular magazine Reports.[quoted above]
perspective from an excellent analysis by Bret Stephens in the New York Times.[parentheticals by blogger]
In 1993 The
Wall Street Journal published a famous editorial called “No Guardrails,” which tried to locate
the source of the moral chaos that had engulfed much of America. “How, in T. S.
Eliot’s phrase, did so many become undone?” the editors wanted to know.
in a nutshell, was 1968 — specifically, the culture of excess, excuses and
permission that abruptly supplanted the old American ethic of modesty,
responsibility and restraint.
“Certain rules that for a long time had
governed behavior also became devalued,” the editorial noted. “Whatever else
was going on here, we were repeatedly lowering the barriers of acceptable
political and personal conduct.”
I’ve always admired that editorial, but
it needs updating. How did so many of the same people who spent the past 50
years bemoaning the decline of morality and decorum become the agents and
enablers of the most morally grotesque administration in American history?
Wednesday, Anthony Scaramucci, the new director of communications in the White
House, phoned Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker to demand the name of an alleged
White House leaker. Scaramucci was quoted (and later re-quoted in The Times)
saying the following:
. . . Every
vote cast for Donald Trump [at least in the future is] was a vote
for vulgarity [and abusive attitudes toward women]. His supporters got
exactly what they paid for.
interesting question is how the conservative movement came to embrace it.
Did it happen
in the 1990s with the movement’s embrace of titillated outrage against Bill
Top of Form
Did it come
with the defeat of John McCain in the 2008 presidential election and the
conclusion by rank-and-file conservatives that concepts of honor, service,
integrity, independence, compromise and statesmanship — the virtues that just
saved the G.O.P. from a political disaster of its own devising in Friday’s
health care vote — were for suckers?
Or was it Trump
himself who shook free the old restraints, like some kind of reverse
Jonathan Edwards preaching a doctrine of sinners in the hands of a bored
God who wants to be amused?
have their own views. Whatever the case, it’s worth noting a striking parallel
between 1968 and 2016. In “August 1968,” The Journal noted in its editorial,
“the Democratic National Convention found itself sharing Chicago with the
street fighters of the anti-Vietnam War movement.”[Democrats have also been guilty.]
continued: “The real blame here does not lie with the mobs who fought bloody
battles with the hysterical Chicago police. The larger responsibility falls on
the intellectuals — university professors, politicians and journalistic
commentators — who said then that the acts committed by the protesters were
justified or explainable. That was the beginning. After Chicago, the
justifications never really stopped.”
Agreed. So it
needs to be asked of the conservative intelligentsia today: et tu?
Trumpism wasn’t just some bottom-up
movement. It, too, had its professors, politicians and journalistic commentators
— the theoreticians, enablers, sanctifiers, excuse makers and Never
Never-Trumpers — who gave the movement a patina of intellectual respectability
and moral seriousness that Trump himself had done nothing to earn.
They are our new Antinomians, who
believe the president and his administration are bound by no law, even the
Mosaic one, because they have already been saved by a new version of grace — in
this case, the grace of defeating Hillary Clinton. Thought exercise for Trump’s
media defenders: If the president were to sexually assault a woman in the Oval
Office tomorrow, would you still justify your vote on the view that Neil
Gorsuch’s elevation to the Supreme Court made it all worthwhile?
“The first duty of a revolutionist is
to get away with it,” Abbie Hoffman said in Chicago in 1968. This might as well
be the slogan of this administration and its supporters, too.
In the meantime, we have a “No
Guardrails” presidency, in which Trump’s contempt for law, procedure and
decorum are a license for the behavior of his minions and a model for future
American demagogues and their apologists.
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outburst — to a reporter, no less — is insignificant in itself. But it exactly
represents what this administration is and will continue to be, with the
blessing of an intellectual class that
has done as much to betray honorable conservatism as the liberal intelligentsia
of the ’60s did to betray honorable liberalism.
As Scaramucci said,
paraphrasing a proverb, “The fish stinks from the head down.” Yes, it does,
Mooch. And you’re merely the mouth.