Chelsea Clinton, who should know, tweeted that everyone should be leaving kids alone. Most likely as a response to the Barron pics.
It's going to be interesting to see what happens with Barron over the next 20 years. Younger, taller, probably nicer and smarter....Eric and Don Jr. are going to hate him. When the Donald passes....Melania and Barron will be the interesting Trumps, and the others will be toxic.
With zero appetite for becoming handmaidens to sedition by allowing Donald Trump to continue abusing the rules of their powerful platforms, they finally made the decision to dump him â Twitter permanently, YouTube indefinitely and Facebook for two years.
Since then, Mr. Trump has been casting around for a replacement: first via a lame blog that sputtered out and then by dribbling out rumors that he was building his own social network. As that has turned out to be complicated, his latest scheme â and it is a scheme, all right â is to file a class-action lawsuit with himself as lead plaintiff, alleging that Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have violated his First Amendment rights.
Itâs clear that Mr. Trumpâs ability to communicate the way he likes â loud, unfettered â has been hindered by his exile, even if his most pernicious lies about election fraud have managed to crawl, like misinformation slime mold, into a large part of the body politic. And part of me thinks he actually had gotten addicted, like a lot of us, to erupting at any time, day or night, with whatever message popped into his manic mind.
But the lawsuit is most obviously a feint aimed at fund-raising â texts asking for donations went out as soon as Mr. Trumpâs news conference started â and to up the grievance knob on his base of supporters, who have come to believe that social media platforms are our new public squares.
Unfortunately for Mr. Trumpâs legal case, they are not. Only public squares are public squares. Like it or not, private companies can do whatever they want when it comes to making rules and tossing off incorrigible miscreants.
Like, of course, Mr. Trump, who appears to have a comprehension issue when it comes to reading our Constitution. âCongress shall make no law,â the First Amendment says, âabridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.â Congress, not Facebook. Congress, not Twitter. Congress, not YouTube.
In fact, a government forcing these platforms to host people they donât want to host is a violation of their First Amendment rights. But not according to Mr. Trump, whose most inane allegation in the lawsuits is aimed at Facebook: He argues that its âstatus thus rises beyond that of a private company to that of a state actor.â
They are state actors as much as Mar-a-Lago is one, which would mean under this legal analysis that I have a right to join even if Mr. Trump does not want me there to enjoy Six Star Seafood Night Wednesday evenings on the patio. But to that I say: Give me âtwo-pound lobsters, freshly grilled fish and meat items, salads and a dessert bar, accompanied by a saxophonist under the starsâ or give me death (by indigestion)!
In 2016, Donald Trump recruited voters with the highest levels of animosity toward African Americans, assembling a âschadenfreudeâ electorate â voters who take pleasure in making the opposition suffer â that continues to dominate the Republican Party, even in the aftermath of the Trump presidency.
With all his histrionics and theatrics, Trump brought the dark side of American politics to the fore: the alienated, the distrustful, voters willing to sacrifice democracy for a return to white hegemony. The segregationist segment of the electorate has been a permanent fixture of American politics, shifting between the two major parties.
Lilliana Mason, a political scientist at Johns Hopkins, makes the case via Twitter that Trump has âserved as a lightning rod for lots of regular people who hold white Christian supremacist beliefs.â The solidification of their control over the Republican Party âmakes it seem like a partisan issue. But this faction has been around longer than our current partisan divide.â In fact, âthey are not loyal to a party â they are loyal to white Christian domination.â (...)
The Trump coalition is motivated by animosity toward Blacks, Hispanics, Muslims and L.G.B.T. This animosity has no bearing on support for any of the other G.O.P. elites or the party itself. Warmth toward whites and Christians equally predict support for Trump, other G.O.P. elites, and the party itself. The only area where Trump support is different than other G.O.P. support is in regards to harnessing this out-group animus.
For as long as Trump remains the standard-bearer of the Republican Party, Wronski continued, âthis animosity coalition will define the party.â
Animosity toward these four Democratic-aligned minority groups is not limited to Republican voters. Mason, Wronski and Kane created an âanimus to Democrat groupsâ scale, ranked from zero at the least hostile to 1.0 at the most. Kane wrote me that
approximately 18 percent of Democrats have scores above the midpoint of the scale (which would mean negative feelings/animus). For Independents, this percentage grows to 33 percent. For Republicans, it jumps substantially to 45 percent.
The accompanying graphic demonstrates Kaneâs point.
The three authors go on:
Animosity toward Democratic-linked groups predicts Trump support, rather remarkably, across the political spectrum. Further, given the decisive role that Independents can play in elections, these results suggest that reservoirs of animosity are not necessarily specific to a particular party, and may therefore be tapped by any political elite.
Before Trump took center stage in 2015, Republican leaders were determined to âstymie Democratic policy initiatives, resist compromise, and make it clear that Republicans desire to score political victories and win back power from Democrats,â Kane wrote in his email, but âestablishment Republicans generally did not openly demonize, much less dehumanize, Democratic politicians at the national level.â
Trump, Kane continued,
wantonly disregarded this norm, and now Trumpâs base may come to expect future Republican elites to be willing to do the same. If this practice eventually comes to be seen as a âwinning strategyâ for Republican politicians as a whole, it could bring us into a new era of polarization wherein Republican cooperation with the âDemon Ratsâ is seen not just as undesirable, but thoroughly unconscionable.
Most significantly, in Masonâs view, is that
there is a faction in American politics that has moved from party to party, can be recruited from either party, and responds especially well to hatred of marginalized groups. Theyâre not just Republicans or Democrats, theyâre a third faction that targets parties.(...)
âRadical Left New York City and State Prosecutors, who have let murderers, rapists, drug dealers, and all other forms of crime skyrocket to record levels, and who have just announced that they will be releasing hundreds of people involved in violent crime back onto the streets without retribution of any kind, are rude, nasty, and totally biased in the way they are treating lawyers, representatives, and some of the wonderful long-term employees and people within the Trump Organization.â
Aaaand â¦ he said that these rude and nasty prosecutors were also ârelentlessly seeking to destroy a reputation of a President who has done a great job for this Country, including tax and regulation cuts.â
I know, we all miss the @realDonaldTrump era.
C-SPAN just issued its latest survey of historians on presidential leadership. Trump was fourth from the bottom, so we can expect to see banners at his rallies boasting âBetter Than Buchanan!â or âEven Fiercer Than Pierce.â
Trumpâs other mission these days is to keep insisting that he actually won the election. His loss is clearly something he will never get over. On his deathbed heâs gonna be yelling at the attending physician about the vote count in Michigan.
Just the other day he laced into Wisconsin Republicans for failing to show appropriate obsessive interest in âa Forensic Audit of the election results.â
Now any self-respecting Republican would have just retorted: âGood God, man, will you please go away? You LOST.â However, the Republican president of the State Senate issued a pathetic, fawning response in which he stated that the power of Trumpâs âpen to mine is like Thorâs hammer to a bobby pin.â