Please Stop Asking Poor Old John McCain Questions About Dumb Old Donald Trump

Comments

1
OK, I'll burn a flag with a picture of the Nasty Orange One on it, instead.
2
Always and forever a coward, John McCain.
3
I’m curious how the public is going to respond. His constant Twitter trolling, shameless lying, and mocking protesters is unprecedented, especially since he lost the popular vote by at least 2.2M ballots cast. People already are angry and afraid. It’s as if the election never ended, and now he’s running against us, the majority of Americans that didn’t vote for him.
4
I hate to admit it, but John McCain actually has a point here. All this discussion of Trump's Twitter shenanigans does nothing but fire up his base and cast everyone else as flag burning traitors.
Maybe we should be talking about the incredible damage his cabinet picks are going to inflict on this country? or his use of the office for his own enrichment a la Putin? or the...well that list goes on and on....
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What they (the above) said.
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@ 4, The common thread running among the Cabinet of Despicables is aggressive ignorance and hostility regarding the departments that they will be tasked to lead, along with zero interest in the constituancies and stakeholders that they will be expected to serve.

These are difficult jobs even for dedicated, intelligent people, with countless thankless tasks and long hours, so my guess is that half these incompetent sociopaths will be bounced within a year.
7
It's going to be "heck of a job" for everybody in this cabinet.
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Dan, I know that you are are still in the utter thralldom of Mrs. Clinton for some reason, but you do realize that she sponsored a bill proposing the EXACT SAME THING back in 2005?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_Pro…
9
I get the impression that Republicans know the wheels are going to fall off Trump's administration in record time so they are planning to push hard to get at least some of their agenda passed before the pitchforks come out. So far his cabinet picks are cartoon caricatures of the drown-government-in-the-bathtub approach to governance, and they will come out swinging in 2017 on every single front.
10
The weird thing about this flag burning business is how old fashioned it seems. Ditto with all the dinosaurs and retreads clustering around the incipient Trump Administration. Its like all these ghostly grudges from the 90s (and earlier) come back to haunt us.

They'll probably come after Robert Maplethorpe next. No reason to let the fact that he's been dead for almost 30 years slow them down.
11
We must always realize that the American flag is not the ray of hope that many would want it to be.
America is the best country in the world but not without serious faults. What would Donald say to an elderly person of American Indian or African descent. Those people who witness horrendous crimes perpetrated against family and friends under the banner of the American flag. This country was taken from native Americans by people who waived the red, white and blue. This country has hung black people while raising the red, white and blue. Just saying
12
I have no doubt this tweet was made to cover up something he really did not want attention paid to. I don't really think it is his choice of HHS cabinet appointment. Perhaps it is the one that is supposed to take place later today. Or maybe it is something else all together. Trump is a con man, and this is sleight of hand stuff. Don't take your eye off the real action. The tweets are a distraction only.
13
People should at worst be made 2nd class citizens (felons) if they burn the flag, like Clinkton wanted in the law she co-introduced back when she was relevant. Trimp has gone too far this time, too too far, even for McLame, who is important and used to be reasonable to the extreme.
14
You know what I think the media and all serious politicians should do? Just ignore everything Trump says. Don't interview him. Don't cover his tweets. He lies anyway. Everything out of his mouth is just nonsense he said in the moment. IGNORE WHAT HE SAYS.

Instead, spend all that time and energy and outrage and journalism on what he DOES. Cover who he appoints. Cover what they say. Cover what legislation they introduce and support. Investigate everything about his business interests- all the meetings he has, all the deals he makes, etc.

What he says is irrelevant to anything other than it's ripple effect in the culture (the emboldening of his followers' bigotry) and the best way to combat that is to stop giving him attention. Continue to cover the bigotry when we see it in the culture, but ignore what he says.

15
WilliamF, note the two conditions covered in that bill co-sponsored by Hillary Clinton:

"....with the primary purpose of intimidation or inciting immediate violence or for the act of terrorism." OR (2) stealing or knowingly converting the use of a U.S. flag either belonging to the United States or on lands reserved for the United States and intentionally destroying or damaging that flag.

Doesn't say anything about garden-variety political protest. Still not a great bill-- but *NOT* "the EXACT SAME THING", given it's likely tRump means any sort of flag burning.
16
Yeah, I hope we can get to the point where all of our glorious incoming leader's tweets - inane, offensive, or even just nonsensical - won't be considered news. Just like what happens on some goddamn TV shows shouldn't be considered news. It's not news. BREAKING NEWS: DONALD J. TRUMP TWEETS SOMETHING. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE NATION? HERE FOR ANALYSIS IS blah blah blah.

Five hours later: BREAKING NEWS: DONALD J. TRUMP TWEETS SOMETHING NEW. WE'VE GOT OUR INVESTIGATIVE TWITTER TEAM HERE TO TALK WILDLY ABOUT THIS NEW DEVELOPMENT.

I'm sick of the internet sometimes.
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@15, yeah on reading that, what immediately came to mind is cross-burning, which IS illegal precisely because of its intent.
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@10: Corpse Synod as they defund all public arts.
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I'm with EmmaLiz @13. Cover what the man does, not what he tweets. Analyze his appointments, do deep research on his financial entanglements, find out who are his supposed enemies (they said a thing thirty-five years ago that he hated, maybe) and what he has in store for them. Keep an eye on both hands and all three cups, because this is a high-stakes shell game and the one thing he can do is con people out of both socks with their noticing how cold it is until it's too late.
21
I like the "Trump without Trump" plan.
22
How about if we agree to pay attention to more than one thing at a time?

I bet if you try you can be pissed off about his cabinet appointments AND his idiotic, Constitution-defying tweets.

I can, no problem.
23
What happens when he tweets something stupid about the economy and the Dow drops 5 per cent in panic? It seems like that's the only thing that will get the attention of GOP senators and reps
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@19 - I'm guessing aneurysm, mostly because he does so much cocaine that the vessel walls in his brain must be thin and weak. Although I suppose constant hard drug use could realistically lead to various problems.

Yeah, I agree with the folks saying stop paying attention to his tweets. We have all the evidence we need that he says one thing and does another.
25
The series of tweets about Anderson Cooper's show were very disturbing because trump talked about himself in the third person.
27
@22 footface

I have two responses to that "we can focus on both" stance. I've heard it a lot lately, so I'll give them both.

First off, no. I don't think we can. Seriously- we are in a new world now. There are literally five or six crazy Trump-related stories every single day. I'm drowning trying to keep up with the backgrounds of his appointees and all their terrifying networks and plans. This is before we take into account his business actions, which I still think has not been properly investigated yet. The NYTimes or someone needs to appoint an entire team to teasing it out. We have to figure out how to distill this shit down to quick headlines. Moreover, the rules have changes about what is right and what is conservative, and the media has yet to pick up on it. Instead, what they are doing is just trying to pound this new psuedo-fascist hard-right libertarianism with a sprinkling of old school conservative evangelicalism into the old mold. And if you look at it in reality, it's wall-to-wall coverage of stupid shit like his tweets because that's what's easy. This sets the narrative for the rest of the country, and note we are talking about it now instead of Peter Thiel's influence on the transition or DeVoe's conflicts of interest or Sessions and Flynn's terrifying foreign policy views.

Two, people keep blowing me off when I talk about liberal sneering, but whether or not the liberals have the right to feel the way they do, it's not strategic. Trump's base (the stock and file voters who love him, not the traditional GOP who reluctantly voted nor the monsters he's filling his cabinet with) are motivated in no small measure in their simple love of working up liberals. They love to see us fall all over ourselves flipping out about stuff like this. Every time it happens, Trump becomes more popular, even when Trump is saying something totally outrageous like grab them by the pussy or murder the families of terrorists or whatever. They are giant trolls and playground bullies, and we have to be smarter in our response. It doesn't matter what he tweets, we need to ignore it. It matters who he appoints and what he does. We are feeding the trolls by paying any attention to his tweets at all.

Let me add something- I'm serious about this so let me add why I've come to this conclusion. Do you remember last week when Trump attacked the NYTimes and then everyone was like "oh he's going to restrict access to the press" etc? Then after that little scare, he invited a whole group of them for a big round table discussion, and they asked him a bunch of questions. You can read the transcript. I'll post the link below. In that interview, Trump lied and rambled and said nothing because it's obvious that he doesn't know anything and has no real opinions about any complex issue. He's just a toddler. It's impossible to have a conversation after that- you can't be an investigative interviewer of someone who has nothing to fucking say or who says such outlandish things that follow-up is impossible. So nothing substantive came out of the interview. NOW what pissed me off is I can't even count the number of times the reporters THANKED HIM for coming in and talking to them. If we respond to him and give him attention, we let him set the tone and it normalizes his bullshit and gives him power. His words are useless. We need to ignore him, let him ban us from him, certainly not kiss his ass thanking him for talking shit to us. It was so pathetic.

And it got me thinking about his 60 Minute Interview right after the election where he says he's not going to deport every illegal person, not going to lock up Hillary, not going to build the wall all the way after all, and he's not going to challenge gay marriage because Obergefell is already decided. Then in the very next breath, he says he WILL appoint a judge to overturn Roe (because apparently that's not already decided). Now this should be a shocking thing. Making abortion illegal and deliberately selecting a judge to overturn a SCOTUS decision that he personally doesn't like should be shocking. But he has said so many shocking things and then walked so many of them back in this interview that the headline coverage of this interview was that he is seeming more tolerant and moderate as POTUS than he was as a candidate.

See? If we pay attention to the crap he says rather than what he actually does, then we let him set the tone. And his tone is crazy hysteria, and therefore our ability to be shocked and disturbed and to focus on response is skewed. I'm ALREADY weary with shock and outrage and hopelessness. He's breaking everyone down. We need to focus.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/23/us/pol…
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@24: "We have all the evidence we need that he says one thing and does another"

But not when it comes to being a piece of filth.
29
Jenkem @19 - No no NO! If Trump dies we will have Pence as President - a much more scary and effective leader, who knows a hell of a lot more than Trump about how to push his ideology forward to achieve his political goals. If you happen to be female, LBGTQ, or anything other than a conservative old Christian white guy, you do NOT want Trump to die in office. Take a look at what's happened in Indiana during Pence's time as Governor, and see if that's what you'd want for our country. At least Trump is pragmatic - he's not going to do anything in the next four years that seriously threatens his business interests.
30
@ 29, We already have Pence as president. Trump is just a carnival barker riling up the hate-crazed rubes and submoronic assholes that voted for him.
31
@29 - But Pence is already vice-president. He's already in a position to push his ideology forward. It would seem like one fewer crazy people would be a net gain, regardless. No?

@28 - What?

@27 - After literally decades of being trained to be lapdogs, the press now doesn't have the teeth they need to confront a blatant con man. Sad.
32
Andrew @30 and Treacle @31, I respectfully disagree. Unlike the Bush-Cheney pairing, where President Bush actively chose to delegate much of his strategic decision-making on foreign policy and national defense issues to the Cheney-Rumsfeld Unholy Alliance, I see Trump as very much a hands-on executive who will keep Pence on a pretty tight leash with very strictly defined boundaries on his actions - more like the Obama-Biden model. The issues that Trump is most likely to delegate to Pence are the ones that bore him to death, don't affect his net worth, and give Pence a popular track record to run on in 2020. Charter schools, for example. And to Treacle's point, I'd much rather have Trump in charge than Pence. Trump is narcissistic, impulsive, and inconsistent, but despite the Clinton campaign's attempts to paint him as a complete buffoon, he's not stupid and he knows how to manage ambitious subordinates - and most importantly, he's not a Tea Party ideologue like Pence. (I don't think he really has any political leanings whatsoever, other than for the Party of Trump.) I expect that he will forcefully apply the Presidential brakes as needed to thwart any ultra-conservative initiatives by Pence and the Congress, although I do pray that our most aged SCOTUS judges will remain sane and healthy for at least five more years. But if Trump dies and Pence takes over...with a Republican-controlled Congress, no less...that is one ugly, ugly scenario.
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@32 Capricornius
I mostly agree with that except that I don't think Trump will be doing any reeling in of the ultra conservatives. We have four years with him. Precisely because he doesn't believe in anything except himself, he is going to throw others under the bus to get his way. It's not that he actually cares about anything, but rather he is going to use things others care about as leverage. First will be climate change and environmental regulations, second will be women's reproductive rights, and third will be the dismantling of public institutions. I think that last one will be the trademark of his presidency. We will have four years of funneling public funds/resources into private profit- he will do this with school, healthcare, defense spending, infrastructure, etc. I think he's going to go for some Peter Thiel imagined type utopian future with top-down control seated in private industry. It's going to be a bumpy ride.
34
He is the president-elect so everything he says matters, especially if it's incindiary, unconstitutional, or untrue. The media has an obligation to cover all of it but you are free to ignore the stuff you don't personally care about.
35
Not that this is your point, but McCain did disavow Trump and his wife wore a pantsuit to the polls... so maybe it really is time to give him a break.
36
The Repigs and their dupes will pay for the Orange monster they bought.
No jobs on a dead planet.