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The Trump Administration's War With Reality

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The Trump Administration's War With Reality
Post by gcomeau   » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:16 pm

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(I think it's time to move some of these discussions out of the "candidates" thread. )

First, spare me the "politicians lie" line. Yes, they do. But not like this. This administration is actively waging war on facts. They're not just bending the truth here and there they are proclaiming that up is down and day is night then calling anyone who contradicts them "fake news" or the opposition.


Today Trump held a press conference. He is now approaching one month into his term, over 3 months since the election. And he said this, on National television.

Trump wrote:Well, that's what I've been talking about for a year and a half, strong borders. They're so surprised, oh, he having strong borders, well that's what I've been talking about to the press and to everybody else. One promise after another after years of politicians lying to you to get elected. They lied to the American people in order to get elected. Some of the things I'm doing probably aren't popular but they're necessary for security and for other reasons.

And then coming to Washington and pursuing their own interests which is more important to many politicians. I'm here following through on what I pledged to do. That's all I'm doing. I put it out before the American people, got 306 electoral college votes. I wasn't supposed to get 222. They said there's no way to get 222, 230's impossible.

270 which you need, that was laughable. We got 306 because people came out and voted like they've never seen before so that's the way it goes. I guess it was the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan. In other words, the media's trying to attack our administration because they know we are following through on pledges that we made and they're not happy about it for whatever reason."


For the record, It is not the biggest EC win since Reagan. It is not the biggest EC win since Bush Sr. It is not the biggest EC win since Clinton. It is not the biggest EC win since Bush Jr. It is not the biggest EC win since Obama. It is one of the smallest EC margins of all time, 46th out of 56. (He did beat Bush Jr though)

Now... if he had said this the day after the election? Fine, he's an ignorant idiot but maybe he's not lying on purpose. Maybe someone just told him that and he's clueless enough he believed it and parroted it.

A week later, that would have been harder to extend him the benefit of the doubt on. But, ok, maybe.

Over 3 months later? After being corrected about it DOZENS of times? By EVERYONE? This is freaking math, it is not a matter of interpretation. And it's not quantum mechanics... it's not like he can beg a miscalculation. It is "is number A bigger or smaller than number B". This is up there with him insisting on claiming for months on end that 2+2=147 no matter how many times it is pointed out to him that it equals 4. And in the same breath he is accusing all the *other* politicians of being the liars.


Lying about something like THIS... over and over and over and over in the face of repeated correction... is not the usual kind of political truth twisting. It is pathological. It is deranged.

For one thing, there is no reason for this. The election is over. Trump has a job to be doing. But he has come out *repeatedly* when he was supposed to be performing various presidential duties and derailed proceedings into making proclamations about how he had a giant unbelievable one of the biggest of all time election victory. Why is Trump blatantly lying about his election win margin when announcing his Labor Secretary nominee??? There is ZERO connection there, there is zero reason for the remarks to swing to that topic. None. He just can't stop himself.


And it's not just this one lie.


He stood in the rain at his inauguration, gave a speech to a bunch of people huddled under plastic tarps and umbrellas, then went out afterward and proclaimed that God looked down and stopped it from raining on his speech. That is North Korean Dictator levels of denial of reality.


He went in front of the law enforcement community and declared the homicide rate was at historical highs when it is at one of its lowest levels in 40 years. Don't tell me the president doesn't have a single person capable of telling him what crime statistics are. There is no excuse for this.


He made repeated claims that he had the biggest inauguration crowd ever, and kept it up in the face of clear photographic evidence that this was very very false beyond any possibility of misinterpretation.


I'm not even getting into the *multitude* of lies being told that are even slightly debatable... like the millions of illegals voting bullshit. Or his also pathological need to take credit for things that have nothing to do with him (claiming he caused Lockheed cutting 600 million off the cost of the F-35 program as a result of long cost cutting efforts that wrapped up right around the election... claiming he brought back thousands of jobs because of a Sprint/Softbank deal that was announced in October.... claiming he caused Fork to "keep" a plant open they were never planning to close... )


No this is just the water is dry and the core of the sun is the same temperature as the Antarctic ice shelf level of pure reality denial.


This. Is. Not. Normal.


And if you are shrugging it off with "oh well, politicians lie about stuff" you have your head buried firmly in the sand.
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Re: The Trump Administration's War With Reality
Post by ksandgren   » Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:48 pm

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It is the whole administration, not just Trump (though the buck does stop there.) Kelly Conway has been dis-invited and banned from two networks because she is such a blatant liar. His press spokesman is the joke of as many SNL skits as the donald because he officially lies regularly. Basically, it starts with Bannon and his Breitbart cronies and continues throughout the administration. They have been trained to lie to their base and expect it to work on everyone. As Lincoln once commented, you can fool all the people some of the time, Some of the people all the time, but you can't fool all the people all the time. To MOST Americans their blatant lies are either ignored or bashed, but their base believes every word. That is why he has the lowest poll numbers in history for a newly elected President, and why the the number favoring impeachment is already within polling error of the number who support the lying scum.
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Re: The Trump Administration's War With Reality
Post by Daryl   » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:01 pm

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Fond memories of Bagdad Bob declaring to the international media that the US invaders had been crushed in the Mother of All Battles 200 kilometres from Bagdad, as an Abrahams tank cruised past behind him.
The main difference is that was in the final hours of Saddam's rule, not in the first few weeks of Donald's, going to be interesting.
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Re: The Trump Administration's War With Reality
Post by WeirdlyWired   » Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:19 am

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The Scary Thing is Joseph Goebbels' pronouncement that if you tell a lie often enough people will believe it. Seems we have had discussions with people on these forums that seem to believe distorted meanings for terms and will defend them ad nauseum.

Trump does not read, follows cable news, is a conspiracy theorist, has surrounded himself with generators of alt-facts.
Scarier is what is being said about Flynn, that the issue is not that the administration was in contact with Russian Officials before Jan 20, but that someone is leaking the fact that there was contact.

Nuremburg Defense in reverse. What we did not do was what we were ordered not to do. The only way for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing. Sally Yates is the new Elliot Richardson and Michael Flynn is the new Scooter Libby.
Helas,chou, Je m'en fache.
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Re: The Trump Administration's War With Reality
Post by The E   » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:11 am

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WeirdlyWired wrote:The Scary Thing is Joseph Goebbels' pronouncement that if you tell a lie often enough people will believe it. Seems we have had discussions with people on these forums that seem to believe distorted meanings for terms and will defend them ad nauseum.


And if PeterZ was here, he'd point out that that's actually a good thing, because being angry at Trump means that you're actually going to drive people away from liberalism.

That's the sort of reality distortion at play here.
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Re: The Trump Administration's War With Reality
Post by noblehunter   » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:26 am

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WeirdlyWired wrote:Nuremburg Defense in reverse. What we did not do was what we were ordered not to do. The only way for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing. Sally Yates is the new Elliot Richardson and Michael Flynn is the new Scooter Libby.

There's a term from the study of Nazi Germany that describes why there's a lack of documented orders from Hitler on certain subjects: "working towards the Fuhrer." It means doing what they thought Hitler wanted to do without needing to be asked to do it.

I've been somewhat worried Trump would enable that sort of atmosphere. That even if Trump never undertakes to act on the worst beliefs he's supported, the people around him would act in the belief that they can curry favor with Trump by being out in front.

I have not been reassured so far.
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Re: The Trump Administration's War With Reality
Post by PeterZ   » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:33 am

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No, the President is fighting today's media war while the media is fighting yesterday's. He's taken elements of the media that is clearly partisan, CNN, and extrapolated that rather broadly. Let me clarify, he has taken elements of the media that has had a reputation in flyover country as partisan and goaded them into displays of hyper-partisanship. The resultant overtly and oh-so-obviously nasty reportage underscores his contention that the entire media is equally partisan, just not that obvious about it.

His henchmen, Kellyanne and Sean, act as picadors to further goad the members of the press and his most vociferous opponents into hurling bouts of extreme invective directed at him. He uses this to justify continuing his denigration of the press. All the while he is is delivering on his campaign promisses. This bit supports his unstated contention to his supporters and those on the fence that his braggadocio is simply embellishment to his effectiveness. That he is effective is obvious. His items are being passed. Are there hiccups? Sure, there are. So what? Its only been a month and his administration has produced quite a bit of work.

In the mean time, the President is leading the hated press by the oh-so-stuck-up nose. Reality TV at its best! The good news is that the relationship is so adversarial that real transgressions by the administration will be covered. Granted the press has cried wolf often enough that the threshold for serious gaffs/infractions will be reasonably higher than the partisan press would like.

All this reminds me of the old engineering adage; if its stupid and it works, it ain't stupid.
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Re: The Trump Administration's War With Reality
Post by PeterZ   » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:45 am

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noblehunter wrote:There's a term from the study of Nazi Germany that describes why there's a lack of documented orders from Hitler on certain subjects: "working towards the Fuhrer." It means doing what they thought Hitler wanted to do without needing to be asked to do it.

I've been somewhat worried Trump would enable that sort of atmosphere. That even if Trump never undertakes to act on the worst beliefs he's supported, the people around him would act in the belief that they can curry favor with Trump by being out in front.

I have not been reassured so far.


I'm glad you worry. That honest worry keeps a healthy skepticism of any administration alive and well in the country. I am glad the media holds such an adversarial mindset towards the administration. I am further glad that so many Trump voters don't like the man. Even those like me who see the tactics he employs and revels in their efficacy don't view him as democrat partisans viewed president Obama.

I'll support President Trump so long as he is effective. I'll dump him quick-as-a-wink if he proves ineffective. What I am glad is not pervasive with President Trump is the personality cult atmosphere that surrounded President Obama.
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Re: The Trump Administration's War With Reality
Post by gcomeau   » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:32 pm

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PeterZ wrote:I'm glad you worry. That honest worry keeps a healthy skepticism of any administration alive and well in the country. I am glad the media holds such an adversarial mindset towards the administration. I am further glad that so many Trump voters don't like the man. Even those like me who see the tactics he employs and revels in their efficacy don't view him as democrat partisans viewed president Obama.

I'll support President Trump so long as he is effective. I'll dump him quick-as-a-wink if he proves ineffective. What I am glad is not pervasive with President Trump is the personality cult atmosphere that surrounded President Obama.



I'm not sure whether to characterize it as funny, sad, or frightening that at this stage in things after everything that has happened you are still capable of characterizing Trump's antics as "tactics" or use the word "effective" to describe them.


Did you *see* that press conference yesterday? This is not some kind of clever ploy, he's just losing his grip and falling back on ever more insistent denials of reality in reaction.
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Re: The Trump Administration's War With Reality
Post by PeterZ   » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:42 pm

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gcomeau wrote:I'm not sure whether to characterize it as funny, sad, or frightening that at this stage in things after everything that has happened you are still capable of characterizing Trump's antics as "tactics" or use the word "effective" to describe them.


Did you *see* that press conference yesterday? This is not some kind of clever ploy, he's just losing his grip and falling back on ever more insistent denials of reality in reaction.


I don't view the world with the same lens as you do. I saw a hostile press get its head handed to it. I saw a bunch of self serving egomaniacal morons attack the President and the President push back hard. I saw an egotistical President bloviate and embellish upon rather unimportant things while his actions comport with my expectation given his campaign promisses.

In short I saw political theater at its finest which will tend to promote those policies I generally support. All else is dross at the moment.
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