‘It’s not there. In this business, you can have it and have it so hot and it can go overnight and it’s gone and you can’t get it back. I think we’re just seeing it’s gone. The magic is gone,’ the [Trump] adviser explained, adding that only daughter-in-law Lara Trump wanted him to run.
‘There’s nobody around him who wants him to do it. Forget Jared and Ivanka — Don Jr. doesn’t want him to do it! The only person who wants him to do it is Eric’s wife, Lara, because she’s so ambitious.’
Not just because she’s so ambitious. This blog follows Lara Trump closely because she really is the embodiment of the Trumpian true believer, particularly in her unhideable passion for the cruelty he expresses, embodies, and of course excites. A cursory look at the excited comments she has long made about his vicious followers and their glorious culmination on January 6 reveals Sadean levels of pleasure at the spectacle of pain.
Like Trump, Lara T. is a nut case, and like Trump we all of us have ringside seats for her upcoming Grand Guignol implosion as Trump ages out of whip-cracking. Most people will look away, but UD likes to watch bullies implode.
We should watch not only because like most people UD has her own little serving of sadism.
There’s much more at stake here than the identification and neutralization of Mean Girlism — though LT is most definitely the template for that. Clearly we must learn again and again the lesson of tyranny – grand and petty. Whether it’s Louie Gohmert going after Air Force One, or Lara dispensing her queenly smile to the rabble she detests, we help ourselves out of our recent political horrors by sensitivity to tyranny – its pathologies and personalities.
… or “Spirit of Santos” refers to sightings of the ghostly presence of newly elected congressperson George Santos, a man only able to be perceived by people of faith as he has made his … putative … way from Baruch College to Goldman Sachs to Citigroup and beyond. No school or workplace he lists on his resume has any record of him; nor do his ‘friends’ killed at Pulse Nightclub seem to have any connection to him; nor does the animal shelter he claims to have established quite exist.
The spirited Santos refuses to take up any of these lies; instead, like his treasured Trump, he lashes out at the evil left trying to kill him.
Stirringly, he concludes his self-defense with a famous quotation from Churchill that Churchill never said.
Unlike deep south football factories, which routinely keep their sports hero bio pages up even when the hero is, for instance, a mass murderer, fancy schmancy schools like Yale erase the bio pages of criminals, frauds, plagiarists, and other embarrassments toot sweet.
(By the way: On greed, recall Christopher Hitchens on Ayn Rand: “I don’t think there’s any need to have essays advocating selfishness among human beings. I don’t know what your impression has been, but some things require no further reinforcement.”)
You never see Harvard drop the ball like this. That’s the difference between a school with a 55 billion dollar endowment, and one trying to manage on 41.4 billion.
On a trickier, far more disgusting matter, the University of Colorado has found the right solution. They were unlucky enough to be housing John Eastman as a visiting scholar when he was actively trying to destroy American democracy. They kicked his ass out, and solved the bio page problem by marking the historical fact that he was there (it’s wrong to be Orwellian about it and pretend – à la Yeshiva University/Bernard Madoff – he wasn’t), while removing everything about him except the undeniable factual point of his having, yes, admittedly, been in residence.
Michel Clain: “We [Belgians] are in a corrupt country. Either the politicians do not understand, or they themselves are corrupt.”
The Belgian Prime Minister [asked to comment on Clain’s statement]: “If someone believes there is corruption, they have to prove it. You can’t say that, in such a way, lightly,”
Michel Clain [six months later]: “The latest report from the Financial Intelligence Unit reports astronomical sums laundered by criminal organisations. It is a state institution. You have 25 open cases of police corruption and the investigation is ongoing. So we are now six months after [the PM’s] statement. I wonder if we really still need to prove it to him?”
[Clain] cites French revolutionary humanist values as his guiding principles. For him, financial crime has destroyed fundamental aspects of society. “White-collar crime is the cancer of democracy,” Claise wrote in one of his books, “Le Forain” (The Showman)…
Claise’s dramatic [Qatargate] intervention has left the European institutions headquartered in Brussels scrambling to explain why it took a Belgian official to uncover corruption at the core of European democracy.
‘Course now that Clain has uncovered Qatargate, the PM’s boasting about him. “Belgian justice is doing what … the European Parliament hasn’t done.”
[T]hat peacocking would be ironic to Claise, who complained in October that Belgium’s police are under-resourced, fighting a war against modern, high-tech corruption using “catapults.” Earlier in the year, he said the Belgian government was “on Xanax rather than Viagra.”
Throughout the hearings, the promised rapid response from Republicans has been lacking. At one point, Representative Elise Stefanik, the No. 3 Republican in the House, was expected to oversee the effort to discredit the committee’s findings, coordinating with Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader, and Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee. But there has been little real-time pushback throughout the high-profile hearings…
As I peruse my inbox for any rapid response to this final session, I have just a Happy Hanukkah message from Rudy Giuliani…
He’s an old white guy full of rage, despair, and vindictiveness; all of the strategies he’s used throughout life to be a winner have lately failed, and he now finds himself a very public loser.
Because he is narcissistic, the public nature of his failure is close to unendurable, and he continues to try everything in his power to reverse events. The collapse of these efforts only adds to his public humiliation.
He has been in bad physical health. It’s quite possible that at his age, and just having recovered from the corona virus, he has a number of serious medical problems, though these will not have been disclosed to us.
Many of his former friends and associates are bailing on him, or giving him the silent treatment. He feels lonely, isolated. He has isolated himself. Maureen Dowd calls him “a child isolated and miserable living inside a national landmark, lashing out and spiraling into self-destructive acts.” Former FBI counterintelligence director Frank Figliuzzi goes so far as to describe Donald Trump as currently a “barricaded subject.“
How can you not realize that you have enormous suicide numbers, like Utah? How can you fail to notice that three of your counties have suicide rates 58% higher than the rest of the state? Than the rest of the state with close to the highest suicide rate in the nation? You can only succeed in not seeing this carnage if you’re totally determined not to see it. Just the way you will not see – will laugh off – the idea that the president of the United States might not be immune to the suicide epidemic, even as he’s flagrantly melting down in front of the nation.
I don’t say it’s likely. I do say it’s possible.
Suicide, writes A. Alvarez, is “a terrible but utterly natural reaction to the strained, narrow, unnatural necessities we sometimes create for ourselves.” Donald Trump is trapped in exactly this way: he has created necessities having to do with power, prestige, money, sexual conquest, cruelty, and above all victory in every contest. Yet he is about to lose power; he is widely viewed as a vulgarian; he has much less money than he boasts, and stands to lose a large chunk of what he does have as a result of many lawsuits; he is too old for sexual conquest; most people regard his cruelty as contemptible, and it certainly no longer works as well as it once did to frighten people into giving in to his demands; he has lost by six million votes to Joe Biden. Only the all-out paranoid or self-servingly degenerate are willing to appear on television to defend him. He himself has become quite paranoid. He moves in a paranoid world: “Under Trump, the Republican identity is defined not by a set of policy beliefs but by a paranoid mind-set.”
This horrible outcome is a result of extensive conspiracies against him (he appeared in front of the nation last evening, ranting in this instance about pharma conspiracies). There are too many of these conspiracies to count, and he feels undone by unrelenting deep state machinations.
What are his options? He lacks the courage and the cohorts to stage a coup; the prospect of doing anything on the outside after having been in the Oval Office is completely depressing. Degrading. For all his talk of 2024, he knows he’s already too tired to do the job, and that, realistically, he won’t have the energy to run again.
There’s no compensation in affective life awaiting him – a cold wife; various ex-children, some of whom (paranoia, and an intolerable sense of being displaced, rising again here) clearly intend to ride his coattails into political positions of their own; a dwindling number of people willing to be seen with him on a golf course.
Then there’s guilt. People think he’s incapable of it, but his fatal failures in the matter of the pandemic gnaw at him. He knows he acted badly there; and not only badly. At night, in bed, he considers whether it’s true as many say that he is responsible for a lot of deaths. During daylight hours he can convince himself he’s a great man who saved many people. At night, images of the sick and suffering, of funerals, visit him. He thinks he begins to be haunted.
Another conspiracy against him. A conspiracy of the dead.
The only real pleasure left derives from the thought of the dread and misery he’s inflicting on his enemies. Also from the reception and broadcast of his suicide note, which he has written a thousand times in his head: Hope you enjoy seventy million Americans rising up to beat the shit out of you now that you’ve driven me to this…
Strangely, what sticks in his craw the most from all of this is his own daughter-in-law, Lara Trump. It’s so clear that, of the second generation, Bionic Woman, who even named her daughter for the state she plans to run in, will be the mid-twenty-first century Trump. Jesus.
Finally: It is in the nature of cults that the cult leader kills himself. He may, like Jim Jones or Marshall Applewhite or David Koresh, take everyone with him one way or another; but Trump has far too many followers for this to be practicable. He’ll have to take one for the team.
How? Barricaded subject shoots himself in the head, at his desk in the Oval Office.