Saturday, August 20, 2016

Trump's Fake Apology and Alt Right Pivot

It's sad how little some in the press can be purchased for. As Lawrence O'Donnell says, having regrets is not an apology in any case.

"Stop saying @realDonaldTrump apologized. He didn't say 'apologize' or 'sorry.' He said "regret." Huge difference."

"I always regret having dessert but I never apologize for it. Regret is not apology. @realDonaldTrump can never apologize."

Jennifer Rubin is not so impressed either:

"Trump’s statement of ‘regret’ is just one more lie"

"He’s still the same miserable person he’s always been."

“I don’t regret anything.”

“Sometimes in the heat of debate, and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don’t choose the right words or you say the wrong thing. I have done that. And believe it or not, I regret it. I do regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain.”

"The first statement was Donald Trump’s unscripted response this month when asked whether he regretted attacking the parents of a slain soldier. The second was read from a teleprompter yesterday after Roger Ailes, reportedly accused by multiple women of sexual harassment, and Steve Bannon, the Internet godfather of white supremacists, have begun advising Trump. Trump suggested of the latter statement that we could “believe it or not.” We choose not to believe it."

"But wait. Believe what? “Wrong words” is a strange formulation. Does he mean racist, misogynistic, disrespectful of a slain soldier’s parents? “Wrong words” suggests a slip of the tongue (“in the heat of the debate,” mind you). Trump’s has been a life-long pattern of deliberate statements, particularly with regard to women. (There are lists of these going back more than 20 years.)"

"Trump owes us a clarification of “wrong words.” And then he needs to enumerate the ones he thinks were “wrong.” Has he contacted those people to personally apologize? Has he publicly apologized to specific people?"

"You have a hint that this is a giant snow job from the very next words he uttered: “I will never lie to you” Except for those 41 Four-Pinocchio liesdocumented by The Post’s Glenn Kessler. Trump, by the way, is doubling down on his most famous lie: His promise to release his tax returns. Let’s get real, folks. Virtually everything that comes out of Trump’s mouth, every aspect of his agenda, is a lie. Immigrants are not “pouring” over the border; we have a net outflow along our southern border. We did not lose millions of jobs to trade. Russia and Bashar al-Assad are not on our side in the fight against the Islamic State. Trump’s entire campaign is built on lies — about the causes of problems, about current facts, about what his proposals would do, about his own record (lying about his wealth is another life-long habit) and about his opponents. If you think he doesn’t lie to you, I guess you’d buy that he “regrets” the flow of invectives, insults and attacks that have been a constant feature of his campaign. (Maybe his defenders want to claim he is a pathological liar and therefore does not have the requisite intent.)"

This is one of the biggest illusions: that Trump is honest. He's supposed to be a corrective for dishonest politicians. In truth he lies about three times more than any normal politician would ever dream of lying.

"Without the insults and lies, Trump would have virtually nothing to talk about. That’s why he uses insults and lies. Without them, he is just an aging blowhard and ignoramus."

"But let’s get back to the people around him. Ailes has reportedly beenaccused of sexual harassment by at least 20 women. The laundry list of alleged comments, propositions, acts of retaliation and boorish behavior over decades is disgusting. This is the person now advising Trump. This is the guy whose judgment and views Trump values. Why, by the way, aren’t there more calls for him to disassociate himself from — his word for Bill Clinton — an “abuser” like Ailes?"

That, Ms. Rubin, is a very good question. Then there's Steve Bannon.

"But until now, Trump has danced around openly embracing the white nationalist alt-right: He’ll retweet their adulation of him and borrow their talking points, but when asked, say the absolute minimum to defuse the controversy. To the white nationalists, Trump’s words are taken as a tacit signal of approval, but it’s one that still leaves Trump some wiggle room to claim ignorance in front of more mainstream audiences."

Yes. Somehow, all these white nationalists love me though I'm not a white nationalist in the least, I abhor white nationalists.

David Duke may have somehow, for some reason, been inspired by my campaign, but I don't know who he is. I know nothing about any 'White supremacists. I don't want to talk about what I'm not aware of.'

All these white supremacists, white nationalists, neo Nazis support me, but I don't know why.

"On Wednesday, Trump named Steven K. Bannon, the executive chairman of the conservative website Breitbart News (known for their drooling Trump coverage), as his new campaign CEO. In doing so, Trump signaled that he’s ready to formally embrace the alt-right and their white nationalist views."

“Under Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart openly embraced the white supremacist Alt-Right,” former Breitbart Editor-at-large and currently editor-in-chief of the Daily Wire Ben Shapiro wrote. Shapiro resigned from Breitbart after the site’s leadership ordered its reporters to stop defending former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields, who was allegedly assaulted by Trump’s then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski."

"Under Brannon, Shapiro writes, “Breitbart has become the alt-right go-to website, with Yiannopoulos pushing white ethno-nationalism as a legitimate response to political correctness, and the comment section turning into a cesspool for white supremacist mememakers.”

"Milo Yiannopoulos, whom Shapiro calls a “Trump-worshipping alt-right droog stooge,” is a prominent figure at Breitbart. He was recently banned from Twitter for orchestrating a racist and sexist troll-swarm of Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones that temporarily drove her from the platform. Yiannopoulos remains an editor at the site."

"So if Trump wants to win the votes of African-Americans how does he explain having Breitbart run his campaign?"

"A quick perusal of the #altright hashtag on Twitter reveals a rash of racist, sexist, and xenophobic memes. Outright anti-semitism and references to “Aryans” and Nazis are also common — as are tweets marked #MAGA (the abbreviation for Trump’ campaign slogan) and fawning over Trump himself."

"Trump’s rise and the rise of the alt-ride go hand-in-hand. And under Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart has enthusiastically gone along with both."

"In choosing Bannon as his new campaign manager, Trump has signaled definitively that there will be no pivot to the mainstream — instead, he’s doubling down and formally embracing his alt-right support."

"He’s done dancing around them — now he’s openly dancing with them."

Yet we hear he's pivoting.

P.S. I saw Joy Reid sub for Chris Hayes last night, and I concur with Jamil Smith:

"I've been a cable news producer, and I'm not sure I've seen a more disrespectful guest than @JackKingston was last night on @allinwithchris."

The man simply would not stop filibustering-probably because there is no good answer to the question: what specifically is Trump apologizing for?

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