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James Lateer
The inspector-general report on Comey was too low-key. But what it did illustrate IMHO is that Comey could not follow the dicates of his own employment agreement as an FBI "agent". Since he had been there so long and reached such a high position, the implication of this is (1) that he was in the habit of violating his employment agreement right along and that (2) he couldn't have been too good at enforcing these agreements for all the thousands under him.

Not a flattering picture of how the FBI has been functioning in the recent past.

The debate is, sad to say, "is Comey just another J Edgar Hoover or has he been WORSE than J Edgar Hoover."??? I would say worse, because Comey lacks some of the good qualities of Hoover, but has all of the base instincts of Hoover. And all this is not even to mention DEEP THROAT.

Sorry, but I have a problem with the look of all of this. Can't we do better? Won't we HAVE TO DO BETTER?

Where do we go from here?

James Lateer
James Lateer Wrote:The inspector-general report on Comey was too low-key. But what it did illustrate IMHO is that Comey could not follow the dicates of his own employment agreement as an FBI "agent". Since he had been there so long and reached such a high position, the implication of this is (1) that he was in the habit of violating his employment agreement right along and that (2) he couldn't have been too good at enforcing these agreements for all the thousands under him.

Not a flattering picture of how the FBI has been functioning in the recent past.

The debate is, sad to say, "is Comey just another J Edgar Hoover or has he been WORSE than J Edgar Hoover."??? I would say worse, because Comey lacks some of the good qualities of Hoover, but has all of the base instincts of Hoover. And all this is not even to mention DEEP THROAT.

Sorry, but I have a problem with the look of all of this. Can't we do better? Won't we HAVE TO DO BETTER?

Where do we go from here?

James Lateer

I have read without bothering to reply to several of your posts to this forum since I advised you to read as attentively as you appear to take in the messaging of Trump surrogates, but again, here we are.....

[URL=""]Meadows: Today was a bad day for James Comey | Fox News

[/URL] › transcript › meadows-today-was-a-bad-day-for-j...

20 hours ago - Guests: John Solomon, Jay Sekulow, Joe diGenova, Victoria Toensing, Tom Fitton, Mark Meadows, Devin Nunes, John Ratcliffe, Mike ...

Was that about posting under the influence of Hannity-DiGenova? Who do you suggest (realistically ?) Comey should have reported the effort
of the chief law enforcement officer of the USA, our POTUS, to "urge" Comey to shut down the investigation of Nat. Sec. Advisor, General Flynn?

To Sessions, or perhaps to Rosenstein, the guy who stood silently supporting Barr's wholesale distortions of the Mueller Report in late March, 2019, and why Mueller did not refer criminal charges of obstruction against their boss, President Trump? At the time Comey released memos he had written that included no classified info to the NY Times, hadn't Sally Yates recently been fired, while General Flynn continued to
receive unfettered access to top secret intelligence for more than three weeks after Ms. Yates briefed WH Counsel Don McGann, TWICE?

After all, Flynn certainly wasn't privy to top secret transition intel briefings while he was also acting as an unregistered PAID agent for a foreign government, Turkey....oh wait....!!!!

Or, Mr. Lateer, perhaps "opinion contributor" Solomon curries your favor with his chronic Trumpian disinfo?

Comey's classified misconduct and the media's flawed coverage of it

[FONT=&amp] [FONT=&amp] By John Solomon, opinion contributor [FONT=&amp]08/30/19 06:00 PM EDT[/FONT] [/FONT] 567 [FONT=&amp] The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill [/FONT]

Hannity and DeGenova are Trump allies, to put it mildly. Benjamin Wittes
, author of the following, claims he is a personal
friend of James Comey. However, his reputation and resume reasonably qualify Wittes to weigh in about this IG report.

What That Comey Email Report Really Says

[FONT=&amp] [FONT=&amp] By Benjamin Wittes [/FONT]
Thursday, August 29, 2019, 6:29 PM

[FONT=&amp]The inspector general of the Justice Department has determined that it is misconduct for a law enforcement officer to publicly disclose an effort to shut down his investigation.[/FONT][FONT=&amp]Michael Horowitz would probably not describe his findings that way. But that seems to me the inescapable message of the inspector general's report, released today, on former Director James Comey's handling of his memos on his interactions with President Trump.[/FONT][FONT=&amp]To be sure, you have to read through a lot of pages, facts and argument to get there. But get there you do if you read the document carefully. It's an extraordinary message for an inspector general to send. And it warrants scrutiny.[/FONT][FONT=&amp]For all that Horowitz spent two years on this investigation, there aren't a lot of new factsat least not major onesin this document. The reason is simple: Comey has never been anything but straightforward concerning why he wrote the seven memos in question, what he did with them, whom he shared them with and what his motives were in doing so. On all significant factual questions, the 62-page report merely fleshes out a story that has been known to the public for the better part of two years.[/FONT][FONT=&amp]What the report adds is loud condemnation. Horowitz reserves the last 10 pages of the report for howling about how Comey "violated applicable policies and his Employment Agreement," about his release of "official FBI information and records to third parties without authorization," and about his failure to "immediately alert the FBI" when he learned that material he had given his lawyers "contained six words ... that the FBI had determined were classified at the CONFIDENTIAL'" level.[/FONT][FONT=&amp]Most of all, however, he's upset by Comey's "unauthorized disclosure of sensitive law enforcement information about the [Michael] Flynn investigation."[/FONT][FONT=&amp]The president is thrilled: ……..

[FONT=&amp]For my part, I'm baffledfor reasons I'll explain.[/FONT][FONT=&amp]The facts are theseand, as I say, have been known for a long time: Comey wrote memos detailing seven of nine interactions he had with the president. Most of these memos were unclassified. Comey did not consider these unclassified memos to be FBI records but personal ones, aids to his own memory. So in addition to keeping copies at the bureau, where he shared them with close advisers, he stored them in his personal safe at home. Consistent with his attitude toward them, when he was fired, he did not return them to the FBI but kept the memos. What's more, he also asked a friendDan Richmanto share the substance of one of them with New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt in an effort to precipitate the appointment of a special counsel. Comey also shared a larger group of the memos with his three lawyers (including Richman). When the FBI reviewed the memos in advance of Comey's June 2017 testimony before Congress, however, the teamin an abundance of cautionclassified brief segments of two of the previously unclassified memos at the "Confidential" level. When Comey disclosed to Congress that he had given the material to Richman, the FBI sought to retrieve the memos from him, and it succeeded in doing so. No classified material was ever disclosed publiclyas Horowitz acknowledges.[/FONT][FONT=&amp]Ironically, the main new thing to be learned from the inspector general's report on a factual level is merely the details of the process the FBI used to retroactively examine these memos for possibly classified material. As the report details, the supposed "Deep State" conspirators, who were out to conduct a treasonous "coup" against the president, took a break from coup plotting and busied themselves with carefully examining the work of their former leader to make sure that no words infringed upon the president's right to keep classified material secret. And Lisa Page, Peter Strzok and Jim Bakeralong with some othersrecommended that a few passages be classified at the Confidential level, the lowest level, because of diplomatic sensitivities.[/FONT][FONT=&amp]In retroactively classifying this material, the FBI folks seem to have been been overly cautious. A recent court decision, as the inspector general notes in footnote 78, "upheld the FBI's classification of one of the words redacted in Memo 2 (the name of a country) but ruled that the FBI had not carried its burden to support the redaction of the remaining words." So recall as you read further that the classified content here boils down ultimately to a single word, the name of a country. But never mind that. There is no doubt that Comey, as the FBI director, had the authority to make the initial judgment about what was classified, and that the FBI after he left had the authority to revisit the matter and make a different judgment. And there is no doubt that once the FBI made this judgment, Comey and his lawyers needed to return the material, whichin factis exactly what happened.[/FONT][FONT=&amp]So what has Horowitz reaching for smelling salts? It's actually a little hard to tell once you strip away his table pounding.[/FONT][FONT=&amp]The foundation of much of his distress is that the inspector general disagrees with Comey about whether these documents were personal notes or agency records. He thinks they are FBI documents, not Comey's personal memory aids. Fair enough. He may well even be right about that. The rules here are pretty sweeping. The government claims very broad rights over everything employees write, think or produce in the remotest connection to government service. These were, after all, memos about information to which Comey had access only because he was FBI director. And they do involve sensitive government information.[/FONT][FONT=&amp]But as Comey would say, lordy! Keeping or retaining personal copies of unclassified government records is hardly a big deal. An enormous number of government officials make notes to themselves and retain them. Officials routinely leave office and write books about their government service. Writing a few notes to one's own files pales in comparison. So sure, if Horowitz wants to consider this a big deal, he's entitled to say whatever he likes. But that aspect seems kind of foolish as the basis for the kind of hand-waving that Horowitz engages in.[/FONT][FONT=&amp]Yet on this foundation, much of the rest of the report rests. Comey should have returned the memos once he left office, Horowitz argues, before the FBI came to collect them. He didn't. He shouldn't have given any of the memos to his lawyers. And when he learned that the FBI had retroactively classified some materialand remember, we're now talking about one word of properly classified materialhe should have "immediately alert[ed] the FBI" about the unauthorized disclosure. According to the report (see p. 59 if you don't believe me), Comey learned of the classification decision on June 7, 2017, and he disclosed publicly during his congressional testimony the following day that he had given material to Richman. Within another 24 to 48 hours, Richman had informed the bureau that the lawyers had other memos. In Horowitz's view, the fact that Richman (not Comey) notified the FBI after Comey's testimony does not "fulfill[] Comey's obligation to immediately report his disclosure of classified information to unauthorized persons."[/FONT][FONT=&amp]But most of all, Horowitz seems upset because Comey, through Richman, disclosed the substance of the Flynn memorandum to Schmidt. The fact that the president suggested the FBI director should "let … go" the investigation into Flynn is, Horowitz argues, law enforcement sensitivethough not classifiedmaterial. The move was thus the "unauthorized disclosure of sensitive investigative information, obtained during the course of FBI employment, in order to achieve a personally desired outcome" (the appointment of a special counsel). Comey had earlier declined to confirm the Flynn investigation in testimony before Congress while still FBI director. Now he was taking that step by having Richman disclose the contents of his memo to the New York Times.[/FONT][FONT=&amp]But Horowitz has a big factual problem on this point. Comey, in fact, did not disclose anything about the Flynn investigation in that memo that was not already public. The fact of the Flynn investigation had been publicly disclosed the month before, in congressional testimony by Sally Yates, as Horowitz acknowledges in some footnotes. Here is what Yates said before the Senate Judiciary Committee. I am quoting her at some length because it is necessary to understand just how much she revealed:[/FONT]
Quote:[FONT=&amp]YATES: I had two in-person meetings and one phone call with the White House Counsel about Mr. Flynn. The first meeting occurred on January 26, called Don McGahn first thing that morning and told him that I had a very sensitive matter that I needed to discuss with him, that I couldn't talk about it on the phone and that I needed to come see him. And he agreed to meet with me later that afternoon.[/FONT][FONT=&amp]I took a senior member of the national security division who was overseeing this matter with me to meet with Mr. McGahn. We met in his office at the White House which is a skiff (ph) so we could discuss classified information in his office. We began our meeting telling him that there had been press accounts of statements from the vice president and others that related conduct that Mr. Flynn had been involved in that we knew not to be the truth.[/FONT][FONT=&amp]. . .[/FONT][FONT=&amp]YATES: So I told them again that there were a number of press accounts of statements that had been made by the vice president and other high-ranking White House officials about General Flynn's conduct that we knew to be untrue. And we told them how we knew that this - how we had this information, how we had acquired it, and how we knew that it was untrue.[/FONT][FONT=&amp]And we walked the White House Counsel who also had an associate there with him through General Flynn's underlying conduct, the contents of which I obviously cannot go through with you today because it's classified. But we took him through in a fair amount of detail of the underlying conduct, what General Flynn had done, and then we walked through the various press accounts and how it had been falsely reported.[/FONT][FONT=&amp]We also told the White House Counsel that General Flynn had been interviewed by the FBI on February 24. Mr. McGahn asked me how he did and I declined to give him an answer to that. And we then walked through with Mr. McGahn essentially why we were telling them about this and the first thing we did was to explain to Mr. McGahn that the underlying conduct that General Flynn had engaged in was problematic in and of itself.[/FONT][FONT=&amp]. . .[/FONT][FONT=&amp]We told him the third reason was -- is because we were concerned that the American people had been misled about the underlying conduct and what General Flynn had done, and additionally, that we weren't the only ones that knew all of this, that the Russians also knew about what General Flynn had done.[/FONT][FONT=&amp]. . .[/FONT][FONT=&amp]And that created a compromise situation, a situation where the national security adviser essentially could be blackmailed by the Russians. Finally, we told them that we were giving them all of this information so that they could take action, the action that they deemed appropriate (emphasis added).[/FONT]
[FONT=&amp]In short, Yates informed Congressand the publicthat the Justice Department had developed information about Flynn's "underlying conduct," about which the department knew him to have lied to the vice president "and others." She specifically disclosed that the FBI had interviewed Flynn on a specific date. She disclosed that the department feared a "compromise situation" in which Flynn could be subject to Russian blackmail.[/FONT][FONT=&amp]The memo Comey wrote and had Richman disclose adds exactly one thing to this picture, and it's not about Flynn. Here is all of what the memo has to say about the Flynn investigation:[/FONT]
Quote:[FONT=&amp][Trump] began by saying he wanted to "talk about Mike Flynn." He then said that, although Flynn "hadn't done anything wrong" in his call with the Russians (a point he made at least two more times in the conversation), he had to let him go because he misled the Vice President, whom he derscribed as a "good guy." He explained that he just couldn't have Flynn misleading the Vice President and, in any event, he had other concerns about Flynn, and had a great guy coming in, so he had to let Flynn go.[/FONT][FONT=&amp]. . .[/FONT][FONT=&amp]He then referred at length to the leaks relating to Mike Flynn's call with the Russians, which he stressed was not wrong in any way ("he made lots of calls"), but that the leaks were terrible.[/FONT][FONT=&amp]. . .[/FONT][FONT=&amp]He then returned to the topic of Mike Flynn, saying that Flynn is a good guy, and has been through a lot. He misled the Vice President but he didn't do anything wrong in the call. He said, "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go." I replied by saying, "I agree he is a good guy," but said no more.[/FONT]
[FONT=&amp]What Comey's memo discloses is not that there was a Flynn investigation. That was already public. It was not anything about the Flynn investigation's contents or activities or subject matter. It was only that the president of the United States tried to stop the investigation.[/FONT][FONT=&amp]In footnote 94, Horowitz tries to argue that Comey's disclosure adds something material about the investigation, while Yates's testimony had not:[/FONT][FONT=&amp]
During her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, in response to questions from a Committee member, Yates made reference to an FBI investigation of Flynn. Yates's reference to the Flynn investigation concerned the timing of the Department's decision to notify the White House about Flynn and ensuing discussion between Yates and McGahn regarding the risk of Flynn being subject to blackmail by the Russians for providing false information to Vice President Pence. Neither Yates during her testimony, nor Comey in his May 3, 2017 testimony while still FBI Director, provided any details about the then-ongoing Flynn investigation, or described any internal Department discussions or decisions. By contrast, as described above, while Memo 4 did not describe internal Department discussions or decisions, Comey's disclosure of Memo 4
provided the public with details relevant to the Flynn investigation
(emphasis added).
[FONT=&amp]In fact, as the transcript above shows, Yates provided a lot of "details about the then-ongoing Flynn investigation" and "internal Department discussions or decisions." She described which component of the department was conducting the investigation and, thus, that it was a national security investigation. She described the concerns that senior Justice Department officials had about Flynn's underlying conduct. She described details of senior Justice Department officials' conversations with the White House about it all. I'm not suggesting Yates did anything wrong in doing so; she spoke after consulting with the Justice Department about what was appropriate for her to say. But this having been done, the disclosure of Comey's memo added exactly one fact: that the president had sought to shut the investigation down.[/FONT][FONT=&amp]And it is that fact that Horowitz faults Comey for making public:[/FONT][FONT=&amp]
Comey violated FBI policy and the requirements of his FBI Employment Agreement when he chose this path. By disclosing the contents of Memo 4, through Richman, to The New York Times, Comey made public sensitive investigative information related to an ongoing FBI investigation, information he had properly declined to disclose while still FBI Director during his March 20, 2017 congressional testimony. Comey was not authorized to disclose the statements he attributed to President Trump in Memo 4, which Comey viewed as evidence of an alleged attempt to obstruct the Flynn investigation and which were relevant to the ongoing Flynn investigation. . . .
Comey placed in the public domain evidence relevant to the investigation of Flynn, and what he clearly viewed as evidence of an attempt to obstruct justice by President Trump.
Rather than continuing to safeguard such evidence, Comey unilaterally and without authorization disclosed it to all (emphasis added).

And there it is: the inspector general of the United States Department of Justice taking the position that a witness to gross misconduct by the president of the United States has a duty to keep his mouth shut about what he saw. Remember, after all, that Comey was a witness here as well as the former FBI director. That's an extraordinary position for a law enforcement organization to take. If that is what FBI policy and an employment agreement required of Comey under the extraordinary circumstances he faced, so be it. I'm glad both were given their due weight.

The Classified Conversation Trump Had with Comey Was Two Days after the Vault 7 Leak

The conversation between Jim Comey and Donald Trump about a classified intelligence investigation took place two days after the release of the Vault 7 files, making it far more likely that's what they August 29, 2019 spoke about.
The other day, I did a long post showing that Trump blabbed details about the FBI's investigation into the theft of CIA's hacking tools the same day that the FBI was preparing to take the first step that would alert Joshua Schulte he was FBI's suspect, a search of his apartment. While in fact, Trump's comments probably were broadcast after the search had commenced, he made the comments at a time when they could have tipped off Schulte.In the post, I noted that Jim Comey had had one classified conversation about an intelligence investigation with Trump. "I had one conversation with the president that was classified where he asked about our, an ongoing intelligence investigation, it was brief and entirely professional," Comey testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee.The DOJ IG Report on Comey's memos released today (which I'll cover at length later) reveals that that conversation took place on March 9, 2017.
Again, thanks to Mr. Scully for keeping the ball rolling here on the Comey-Trump-Mueller developments. This is a tremendous service to the readers.

The arguments in your above posting are (to me) pretty complicated and extensive. IMHO the particular facts regarding the behavior of Comey, Clapper, Brennan and others represent pretty much a smoke-screen coming from these bad actors.

I would advise any reader of these arguments to completely inform himself about the reasons why the National Security State was set up in 1947. Once you see why this was done and for what purpose, then the details which are put out there by Comey, Clapper and friends become just pro forma boilerplate and repetitious smoke.

It seems to be an imposition on the average person just to ask them (or us) to genuinely contemplate these rehashed arguments. We know (IMHO) why these people like Comey and Clapper are going through their motions and putting our their (meaningless) arguments.

Too bad that they find so many buyers of these superficial and repeated verbal exercises. Since these manipulations by the National Security State are without even 1% of sincerity or genuine purpose, then an honest and sincere citizen has already been conned if he or she even gives them a moment of consideration.

The National Security State was set up to frustrate and undermine the power of the elected Presidents (either Republican or Democrat). So the particular clouds of smoke blown by the heads of the National Security State are just recycled and recycled and don't really amount to anything worthwhile.

Was Richard Nixon guilty of "high crimes and misdemeanors?" Was Bill Clinton guilty of "high crimes and misdemeanors" in his perjury situation and Monica Lewinsky? So now, what about Trump and his various deeds? This is all just the same broken record.

All of this is all too obviously just a monotonous rehash of the same duplicitous tactics of the National Security State. As Abe Lincoln said, you can fool some of the people all of the time. And these people manage to fool the same people in our country all of the time, over and over.

The Supreme Court isn't a Court and doesn't make legal decisions. All they do is put their own special interests into effect through their published opinions. Aside from some true, bona fide legal questions, usually on technical issues, the Supreme Court is mostly just dictating their perogatives over the rest of us.

And so, Brennan and Comey and those who pull their puppet strings behind the scenes are only cramming their own peccidilloes down the rest of our throats. And it is the same with Brennan and Comey. Whether you call yourself a Supreme Court Justice or you call yourself a CIA Director or you call yourself an FBI Director, it doesn't really make any difference.

These people are just doing a "cram-down" on us, pure and simple. So why bother with the smoke or the repetitious details?

IMHO it's disgusting. Not much more I can say.

James Lateer
Peter, you stubbornly bucked the tide on this forum. If those caught up in the "cult of personality," have been so woefully unable to discern what has been unfolding under their eyes, what else have they been wrong about? Example, a vote for Gabbard is a vote for Chris Butler.

Both of Tulsi Gabbard's spouses were raised in the same cult of about a thousand, with an emphasis on grooming them for "politics," Butler style. Ms. Gabbard's current mother-in-law raised her son under Butler and is manager of Ms. Gabbard's district congressional office.

Salud, Peter !

The "space" next to Trump, consigned as he will be on the "ash heap" of history is filling up fast.

Trump hails Connecticut's John Durham as "the toughest''

NOV 22, 2019 | 6:17 PM
John Durham, Connecticut's U.S. attorney, has been keeping a relatively low profile as he serves as the chief prosecutor looking into the origins of the Russia probe regarding the 2016 election campaign of Donald J. Trump.

But Trump mentioned Durham on Friday during a nationally televised interview on Fox & Friends, a New York-based talk show that Trump watches frequently. Trump brought up Durham's name near the beginning of a 53-minute interview with three co-hosts.

"You have Bull Durham, who is supposed to be the toughest,''
Trump said over the telephone during the show. "I've never met him. Never spoke to him. But he's supposed to be the smartest and the best, and he works for Bill Barr, who is a great attorney general. We would maybe have ended this thing a lot sooner had he been there originally. You have some people who are great people now patriotic people. They love our country.''

Durham is known for long, detailed investigations, including a four-year probe of the CIA that ended with no criminal prosecutions.....


National Security
Barr's handpicked prosecutor tells inspector general he can't back right-wing theory that Russia case was U.S. intelligence setup
By Matt Zapotosky and Devlin Barrett Dec. 4, 2019 at 6:16 p.m. EST

The prosecutor handpicked by Attorney General William P. Barr to scrutinize how U.S. agencies investigated President Trump's 2016 campaign said he could not offer evidence[/size] to the Justice Department's inspector general to support the suspicions of some conservatives that the case was a setup by American intelligence, people familiar with the matter said.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz's office contacted U.S. Attorney John Durham, the prosecutor Barr personally tapped to lead a separate review of the 2016 probe into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, the people said. The inspector general also contacted several U.S. intelligence agencies.

Among Horowitz's questions: whether a Maltese professor who interacted with a Trump campaign adviser was actually a U.S. intelligence asset deployed to ensnare the campaign, the people said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the inspector general's findings have not been made public.

Maybe "the darkness" that has enshrouded ("muted" ?) this forum, save for Peter and ......? Is finally going to recede. I never expected such eager enthusiasm of an authoritarian bent or for a cult of personality, as I have read in posts on this forum by people I thought I knew well enough to respect and confide in, but it is what it is and I'll trust only in family and in reasonable, precise, thoughtful researchers such as Mark O'blazney.

Tulsi Gabbard's unrenounced (vigorously defended) "mentor" :
[Image: TtumpGabbardButler1982.jpg]
Tom, my trouble with this thread is that it did not go far enough. I have posted elsewhere that Trump is far worse than a narcissist with five modifiers. Thanks to DPF, I have concluded that Presidents chosen, even manufactured, and slotted in years before they are the POTUS. One of the essential elements of a presidency is that there is endless controversy to occupy the "news. For example, Bill Clinton recruited and slotted in as the Governor of Arkansas. He played ball, magically became the POTUS and quite conveniently was surrounded by endless drama leading to GWB. But in the meantime, he advanced the neo-liberalism and the invasion and breakup of Yugoslavia. He and his wife were and remain faithful and greatly rewarded assets of the NWO.

And yes, as hard as it is to comprehend, we have to understand Trump in a continuum from the assassination of JFK if not from the days of Cecil Rhodes. It's been done by a managed dialectic of history -- written like a nightmarish script. Trumps role is continue the nightmare. While we are supped to be watching our screens in fascination of the Democrats trying to him, when in fact they all know it is theater.

Trump has only expanded the wars he promised to end, he has given Israel carte blanche, and we now know his agenda in Central and South America is to regime change along the lines of christo-fascist narco states.

In other words, he is much worse than Peter's description. I wish that he were only a know-nothing, neo-fascist, racist, sexist mobbed-up narcissist. He rules with the full backing of the deepest levels of the deep state.

About Tulsi, mind saying some more. I do like her rhetoric about ending regime change wars and how she took destroyed Kamala Harris. But given my views of politics as a managed dialectic, I recognize that she could well be just another character ion the theater of the absurd called American politics.
Lauren Johnson Wrote:Tom, my trouble with this thread is that it did not go far enough. I have posted elsewhere that Trump is far worse than a narcissist with five modifiers. Thanks to DPF, I have concluded that Presidents chosen, even manufactured, and slotted in years before they are the POTUS. One of the essential elements of a presidency is that there is endless controversy to occupy the "news. For example, Bill Clinton recruited and slotted in as the Governor of Arkansas. He played ball, magically became the POTUS and quite conveniently was surrounded by endless drama leading to GWB. But in the meantime, he advanced the neo-liberalism and the invasion and breakup of Yugoslavia. He and his wife were and remain faithful and greatly rewarded assets of the NWO.

And yes, as hard as it is to comprehend, we have to understand Trump in a continuum from the assassination of JFK if not from the days of Cecil Rhodes. It's been done by a managed dialectic of history -- written like a nightmarish script. Trumps role is continue the nightmare. While we are supped to be watching our screens in fascination of the Democrats trying to him, when in fact they all know it is theater.

Trump has only expanded the wars he promised to end, he has given Israel carte blanche, and we now know his agenda in Central and South America is to regime change along the lines of christo-fascist narco states.

In other words, he is much worse than Peter's description. I wish that he were only a know-nothing, neo-fascist, racist, sexist mobbed-up narcissist. He rules with the full backing of the deepest levels of the deep state.

About Tulsi, mind saying some more. I do like her rhetoric about ending regime change wars and how she took destroyed Kamala Harris. But given my views of politics as a managed dialectic, I recognize that she could well be just another character ion the theater of the absurd called American politics.

You want more about Disciple Gabbard? Then go to .... then click message board......... then click top one..... fourth one down. It's a real hum-dinger.
Quote:You want more about Disciple Gabbard? Then go to .... then click message board......... then click top one..... fourth one down. It's a real hum-dinger.

As my Swedish Grandmother used to say: Ufdah!

This deserves its own thread. Mind putting it up?
IT IS INSUFFICIENT TO STATE the obvious of Donald Trump: that he is a white man who would not be president were it not for this fact. With one immediate exception, Trump's predecessors made their way to high office through the passive power of whitenessthat bloody heirloom which cannot ensure mastery of all events but can conjure a tailwind for most of them. Land theft and human plunder cleared the grounds for Trump's forefathers and barred others from it. Once upon the field, these men became soldiers, statesmen, and scholars; held court in Paris; presided at Princeton; advanced into the Wilderness and then into the White House. Their individual triumphs made this exclusive party seem above America's founding sins, and it was forgotten that the former was in fact bound to the latter, that all their victories had transpired on cleared grounds. No such elegant detachment can be attributed to Donald Trumpa president who, more than any other, has made the awful inheritance explicit.

His political career began in advocacy of birtherism, that modern recasting of the old American precept that black people are not fit to be citizens of the country they built. But long before birtherism, Trump had made his worldview clear. He fought to keep blacks out of his buildings, according to the U.S. government; called for the death penalty for the eventually exonerated Central Park Five; and railed against "lazy" black employees. "Black guys counting my money! I hate it," Trump was once quoted as saying. "The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day." After his cabal of conspiracy theorists forced Barack Obama to present his birth certificate, Trump demanded the president's college grades (offering $5 million in exchange for them), insisting that Obama was not intelligent enough to have gone to an Ivy League school, and that his acclaimed memoir, Dreams From My Father, had been ghostwritten by a white man, Bill Ayers.

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SubscribeIt is often said that Trump has no real ideology, which is not truehis ideology is white supremacy, in all its truculent and sanctimonious power. Trump inaugurated his campaign by casting himself as the defender of white maidenhood against Mexican "rapists," only to be later alleged by multiple accusers, and by his own proud words, to be a sexual violator himself. White supremacy has always had a perverse sexual tint. Trump's rise was shepherded by Steve Bannon, a man who mocks his white male critics as "cucks." The word, derived from cuckold, is specifically meant to debase by fear and fantasythe target is so weak that he would submit to the humiliation of having his white wife lie with black men. That the slur cuck casts white men as victims aligns with the dicta of whiteness, which seek to alchemize one's profligate sins into virtue. So it was with Virginia slaveholders claiming that Britain sought to make slaves of them. So it was with marauding Klansmen organized against alleged rapes and other outrages. So it was with a candidate who called for a foreign power to hack his opponent's email and who now, as president, is claiming to be the victim of "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history."
In Trump, white supremacists see one of their own. Only grudgingly did Trump denounce the Ku Klux Klan and David Duke, one of its former grand wizardsand after the clashes between white supremacists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, Duke in turn praised Trump's contentious claim that "both sides" were responsible for the violence.
Trump's political career began in advocacy of birtherism. But long before that, he had made his worldview clear.To Trump, whiteness is neither notional nor symbolic but is the very core of his power. In this, Trump is not singular. But whereas his forebears carried whiteness like an ancestral talisman, Trump cracked the glowing amulet open, releasing its eldritch energies. The repercussions are striking: Trump is the first president to have served in no public capacity before ascending to his perch. But more telling, Trump is also the first president to have publicly affirmed that his daughter is a "piece of ass." The mind seizes trying to imagine a black man extolling the virtues of sexual assault on tape ("When you're a star, they let you do it"), fending off multiple accusations of such assaults, immersed in multiple lawsuits for allegedly fraudulent business dealings, exhorting his followers to violence, and then strolling into the White House. But that is the point of white supremacyto ensure that that which all others achieve with maximal effort, white people (particularly white men) achieve with minimal qualification. Barack Obama delivered to black people the hoary message that if they work twice as hard as white people, anything is possible. But Trump's counter is persuasive: Work half as hard as black people, and even more is possible.
For Trump, it almost seems that the fact of Obama, the fact of a black president, insulted him personally. The insult intensified when Obama and Seth Meyers publicly humiliated him at the White House Correspondents' Dinner in 2011. But the bloody heirloom ensures the last laugh. Replacing Obama is not enoughTrump has made the negation of Obama's legacy the foundation of his own. And this too is whiteness. "Race is an idea, not a fact," the historian Nell Irvin Painter has written, and essential to the construct of a "white race" is the idea of not being a nigger. Before Barack Obama, niggers could be manufactured out of Sister Souljahs, Willie Hortons, and Dusky Sallys. But Donald Trump arrived in the wake of something more potentan entire nigger presidency with nigger health care, nigger climate accords, and nigger justice reform, all of which could be targeted for destruction or redemption, thus reifying the idea of being white. Trump truly is something newthe first president whose entire political existence hinges on the fact of a black president. And so it will not suffice to say that Trump is a white man like all the others who rose to become president. He must be called by his rightful honorificAmerica's first white president.
THE SCOPE OF TRUMP'S commitment to whiteness is matched only by the depth of popular disbelief in the power of whiteness. We are now being told that support for Trump's "Muslim ban," his scapegoating of immigrants, his defenses of police brutality are somehow the natural outgrowth of the cultural and economic gap between Lena Dunham's America and Jeff Foxworthy's. The collective verdict holds that the Democratic Party lost its way when it abandoned everyday economic issues like job creation for the softer fare of social justice. The indictment continues: To their neoliberal economics, Democrats and liberals have married a condescending elitist affect that sneers at blue-collar culture and mocks the white man as history's greatest monster and prime-time television's biggest doofus. In this rendition, Donald Trump is not the product of white supremacy so much as the product of a backlash against contempt for white working-class people.
"We so obviously despise them, we so obviously condescend to them," the conservative social scientist Charles Murray, who co-wrote The Bell Curve, recently told The New Yorker, speaking of the white working class. "The only slur you can use at a dinner party and get away with is to call somebody a redneckthat won't give you any problems in Manhattan."
White Americans elected an orcish reality-TV star who insists on taking his intelligence briefings in picture-book form."The utter contempt with which privileged Eastern liberals such as myself discuss red-state, gun-country, working-class America as ridiculous and morons and rubes," charged the celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, "is largely responsible for the upswell of rage and contempt and desire to pull down the temple that we're seeing now."
That black people, who have lived for centuries under such derision and condescension, have not yet been driven into the arms of Trump does not trouble these theoreticians. After all, in this analysis, Trump's racism and the racism of his supporters are incidental to his rise. Indeed, the alleged glee with which liberals call out Trump's bigotry is assigned even more power than the bigotry itself. Ostensibly assaulted by campus protests, battered by arguments about intersectionality, and oppressed by new bathroom rights, a blameless white working class did the only thing any reasonable polity might: elect an orcish reality-television star who insists on taking his intelligence briefings in picture-book form.

The Republican National Convention, Cleveland, July 2016. According to preelection polling, if you tallied only white voters, Trump would have defeated Clinton 389 to 81 in the Electoral College. (Gabriella Demczuk)Asserting that Trump's rise was primarily powered by cultural resentment and economic reversal has become de rigueur among white pundits and thought leaders. But evidence for this is, at best, mixed. In a study of preelection polling data, the Gallup researchers Jonathan Rothwell and Pablo Diego-Rosell found that "people living in areas with diminished economic opportunity" were "somewhat more likely to support Trump." But the researchers also found that voters in their study who supported Trump generally had a higher mean household income ($81,898) than those who did not ($77,046). Those who approved of Trump were "less likely to be unemployed and less likely to be employed part-time" than those who did not. They also tended to be from areas that were very white: "The racial and ethnic isolation of whites at the zip code level is one of the strongest predictors of Trump support."
An analysis of exit polls conducted during the presidential primaries estimated the median household income of Trump supporters to be about $72,000. But even this lower number is almost double the median household income of African Americans, and $15,000 above the American median. Trump's white support was not determined by income. According to Edison Research, Trump won whites making less than $50,000 by 20 points, whites making $50,000 to $99,999 by 28 points, and whites making $100,000 or more by 14 points. This shows that Trump assembled a broad white coalition that ran the gamut from Joe the Dishwasher to Joe the Plumber to Joe the Banker. So when white pundits cast the elevation of Trump as the handiwork of an inscrutable white working class, they are being too modest, declining to claim credit for their own economic class. Trump's dominance among whites across class lines is of a piece with his larger dominance across nearly every white demographic. Trump won white women (+9) and white men (+31). He won white people with college degrees (+3) and white people without them (+37). He won whites ages 1829 (+4), 3044 (+17), 4564 (+28), and 65 and older (+19). Trump won whites in midwestern Illinois (+11), whites in mid-Atlantic New Jersey (+12), and whites in the Sun Belt's New Mexico (+5). In no state that Edison polled did Trump's white support dip below 40 percent. Hillary Clinton's did, in states as disparate as Florida, Utah, Indiana, and Kentucky. From the beer track to the wine track, from soccer moms to nascar dads, Trump's performance among whites was dominant. According to Mother Jones, based on preelection polling data, if you tallied the popular vote of only white America to derive 2016 electoral votes, Trump would have defeated Clinton 389 to 81, with the remaining 68 votes either a toss-up or unknown.
Part of Trump's dominance among whites resulted from his running as a Republican, the party that has long cultivated white voters. Trump's share of the white vote was similar to Mitt Romney's in 2012. But unlike Romney, Trump secured this support by running against his party's leadership, against accepted campaign orthodoxy, and against all notions of decency. By his sixth month in office, embroiled in scandal after scandal, a Pew Research Center poll found Trump's approval rating underwater with every single demographic group. Every demographic group, that is, except one: people who identified as white.
Video: "It's Impossible to Imagine Trump Without the Force of Whiteness"

An animated excerpt from a recent interview with Ta-Nehisi CoatesThe focus on one subsector of Trump votersthe white working classis puzzling, given the breadth of his white coalition. Indeed, there is a kind of theater at work in which Trump's presidency is pawned off as a product of the white working class as opposed to a product of an entire whiteness that includes the very authors doing the pawning. The motive is clear: escapism. To accept that the bloody heirloom remains potent even now, some five decades after Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down on a Memphis balconyeven after a black president; indeed, strengthened by the fact of that black presidentis to accept that racism remains, as it has since 1776, at the heart of this country's political life. The idea of acceptance frustrates the left. The left would much rather have a discussion about class struggles, which might entice the white working masses, instead of about the racist struggles that those same masses have historically been the agents and beneficiaries of. Moreover, to accept that whiteness brought us Donald Trump is to accept whiteness as an existential danger to the country and the world. But if the broad and remarkable white support for Donald Trump can be reduced to the righteous anger of a noble class of smallville firefighters and evangelicals, mocked by Brooklyn hipsters and womanist professors into voting against their interests, then the threat of racism and whiteness, the threat of the heirloom, can be dismissed. Consciences can be eased; no deeper existential reckoning is required.
An opioid epidemic is greeted with calls for compassion and treatment; a crack epidemic is greeted with scorn and mandatory minimums.This transfiguration is not novel. It is a return to form. The tightly intertwined stories of the white working class and black Americans go back to the prehistory of the United Statesand the use of one as a cudgel to silence the claims of the other goes back nearly as far. Like the black working class, the white working class originated in bondagethe former in the lifelong bondage of slavery, the latter in the temporary bondage of indenture. In the early 17th century, these two classes were remarkably, though not totally, free of racist enmity. But by the 18th century, the country's master class had begun etching race into law while phasing out indentured servitude in favor of a more enduring labor solution. From these and other changes of law and economy, a bargain emerged: The descendants of indenture would enjoy the full benefits of whiteness, the most definitional benefit being that they would never sink to the level of the slave. But if the bargain protected white workers from slavery, it did not protect them from near-slave wages or backbreaking labor to attain them, and always there lurked a fear of having their benefits revoked. This early white working class "expressed soaring desires to be rid of the age-old inequalities of Europe and of any hint of slavery," according to David R. Roediger, a professor of American studies at the University of Kansas. "They also expressed the rather more pedestrian goal of simply not being mistaken for slaves, or negers' or negurs.' "
Roediger relates the experience, around 1807, of a British investor who made the mistake of asking a white maid in New England whether her "master" was home. The maid admonished the investor, not merely for implying that she had a "master" and thus was a "sarvant" but for his basic ignorance of American hierarchy. "None but negers are sarvants," the maid is reported to have said. In law and economics and then in custom, a racist distinction not limited to the household emerged between the "help" (or the "freemen," or the white workers) and the "servants" (the "negers," the slaves). The former were virtuous and just, worthy of citizenship, progeny of Jefferson and, later, Jackson. The latter were servile and parasitic, dim-witted and lazy, the children of African savagery. But the dignity accorded to white labor was situational, dependent on the scorn heaped upon black labormuch as the honor accorded a "virtuous lady" was dependent on the derision directed at a "loose woman." And like chivalrous gentlemen who claim to honor the lady while raping the "whore," planters and their apologists could claim to honor white labor while driving the enslaved.
And so George Fitzhugh, a prominent 19th-century Southern pro-slavery intellectual, could in a single stroke deplore the exploitation of free whites' labor while defending the exploitation of enslaved blacks' labor. Fitzhugh attacked white capitalists as "cannibals," feeding off the labor of their fellow whites. The white workers were " slaves without masters;' the little fish, who were food for all the larger." Fitzhugh inveighed against a "professional man" who'd "amassed a fortune" by exploiting his fellow whites. But whereas Fitzhugh imagined white workers as devoured by capital, he imagined black workers as elevated by enslavement. The slaveholder "provided for them, with almost parental affection"even when the loafing slave "feigned to be unfit for labor." Fitzhugh proved too explicitgoing so far as to argue that white laborers might be better off if enslaved. ("If white slavery be morally wrong," he wrote, "the Bible cannot be true.") Nevertheless, the argument that America's original sin was not deep-seated white supremacy but rather the exploitation of white labor by white capitalists"white slavery"proved durable. Indeed, the panic of white slavery lives on in our politics today. Black workers suffer because it was and is our lot. But when white workers suffer, something in nature has gone awry. And so an opioid epidemic among mostly white people is greeted with calls for compassion and treatment, as all epidemics should be, while a crack epidemic among mostly black people is greeted with scorn and mandatory minimums. Sympathetic op‑ed columns and articles are devoted to the plight of working-class whites when their life expectancy plummets to levels that, for blacks, society has simply accepted as normal. White slavery is sin. Nigger slavery is natural. This dynamic serves a very real purpose: the consistent awarding of grievance and moral high ground to that class of workers which, by the bonds of whiteness, stands closest to America's aristocratic class.
This is by design. Speaking in 1848, Senator John C. Calhoun saw slavery as the explicit foundation for a democratic union among whites, working and not:
With us the two great divisions of society are not the rich and poor, but white and black; and all the former, the poor as well as the rich, belong to the upper class, and are respected and treated as equals.
On the eve of secession, Jefferson Davis, the eventual president of the Confederacy, pushed the idea further, arguing that such equality between the white working class and white oligarchs could not exist at all without black slavery:
I say that the lower race of human beings that constitute the substratum of what is termed the slave population of the South, elevates every white man in our community … It is the presence of a lower caste, those lower by their mental and physical organization, controlled by the higher intellect of the white man, that gives this superiority to the white laborer. Menial services are not there performed by the white man. We have none of our brethren sunk to the degradation of being menials. That belongs to the lower racethe descendants of Ham.
Southern intellectuals found a shade of agreement with Northern white reformers who, while not agreeing on slavery, agreed on the nature of the most tragic victim of emerging capitalism. "I was formerly like yourself, sir, a very warm advocate of the abolition of slavery," the labor reformer George Henry Evans argued in a letter to the abolitionist Gerrit Smith. "This was before I saw that there was white slavery." Evans was a putative ally of Smith and his fellow abolitionists. But still he asserted that "the landless white" was worse off than the enslaved black, who at least enjoyed "surety of support in sickness and old age."
Invokers of "white slavery" held that there was nothing unique in the enslavement of blacks when measured against the enslavement of all workers. What evil there was in enslavement resulted from its status as a subsidiary of the broader exploitation better seen among the country's noble laboring whites. Once the larger problem of white exploitation was solved, the dependent problem of black exploitation could be confronted or perhaps would fade away. Abolitionists focused on slavery were dismissed as "substitutionists" who wished to trade one form of slavery for another. "If I am less troubled concerning the Slavery prevalent in Charleston or New-Orleans," wrote the reformer Horace Greeley, "it is because I see so much Slavery in New-York, which appears to claim my first efforts."
Firsthand reports by white Union soldiers who witnessed actual slavery during the Civil War rendered the "white slavery" argument ridiculous. But its operating premiseswhite labor as noble archetype, and black labor as something elselived on. This was a matter of rhetoric, not fact. The noble-white-labor archetype did not give white workers immunity from capitalism. It could not, in itself, break monopolies, alleviate white poverty in Appalachia or the South, or bring a decent wage to immigrant ghettos in the North. But the model for America's original identity politics was set. Black lives literally did not matter and could be cast aside altogether as the price of even incremental gains for the white masses. It was this juxtaposition that allowed Theodore Bilbo to campaign for the Senate in the 1930s as someone who would "raise the same kind of hell as President Roosevelt" and later endorse lynching black people to keep them from voting.
The juxtaposition between the valid and even virtuous interests of the "working class" and the invalid and pathological interests of black Americans was not the province merely of blatant white supremacists like Bilbo. The acclaimed scholar, liberal hero, and future senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, in his time working for President Richard Nixon, approvingly quoted Nixon's formulation of the white working class: "A new voice" was beginning to make itself felt in the country. "It is a voice that has been silent too long," Nixon claimed, alluding to working-class whites. "It is a voice of people who have not taken to the streets before, who have not indulged in violence, who have not broken the law."

The fact of a black president seemed to insult Donald Trump personally. He has made the negation of Barack Obama's legacy the foundation of his own. (Gabriella Demczuk)It had been only 18 years since the Cicero riots; eight years since Daisy and Bill Myers had been run out of Levittown, Pennsylvania; three years since Martin Luther King Jr. had been stoned while walking through Chicago's Marquette Park. But as the myth of the virtuous white working class was made central to American identity, its sins needed to be rendered invisible. The fact was, working-class whites had been agents of racist terrorism since at least the draft riots of 1863; terrorism could not be neatly separated from the racist animus found in every class of whites. Indeed, in the era of lynching, the daily newspapers often whipped up the fury of the white masses by invoking the last species of property that all white men held in commonwhite women. But to conceal the breadth of white racism, these racist outbursts were often disregarded or treated not as racism but as the unfortunate side effect of legitimate grievances against capital. By focusing on that sympathetic laboring class, the sins of whiteness itself were, and are still being, evaded.
When David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, shocked the country in 1990 by almost winning one of Louisiana's seats in the U.S. Senate, the apologists came out once again. They elided the obviousthat Duke had appealed to the racist instincts of a state whose schools are, at this very moment, still desegregatingand instead decided that something else was afoot. "There is a tremendous amount of anger and frustration among working-class whites, particularly where there is an economic downturn," a researcher told the Los Angeles Times. "These people feel left out; they feel government is not responsive to them." By this logic, postwar Americawith its booming economy and low unemploymentshould have been an egalitarian utopia and not the violently segregated country it actually was.
But this was the past made present. It was not important to the apologists that a large swath of Louisiana's white population thought it was a good idea to send a white supremacist who once fronted a terrorist organization to the nation's capital. Nor was it important that blacks in Louisiana had long felt left out. What was important was the fraying of an ancient bargain, and the potential degradation of white workers to the level of "negers." "A viable left must find a way to differentiate itself strongly from such analysis," David Roediger, the University of Kansas professor, has written.
That challenge of differentiation has largely been ignored. Instead, an imagined white working class remains central to our politics and to our cultural understanding of those politics, not simply when it comes to addressing broad economic issues but also when it comes to addressing racism. At its most sympathetic, this belief holds that most Americansregardless of raceare exploited by an unfettered capitalist economy. The key, then, is to address those broader patterns that afflict the masses of all races; the people who suffer from those patterns more than others (blacks, for instance) will benefit disproportionately from that which benefits everyone. "These days, what ails working-class and middle-class blacks and Latinos is not fundamentally different from what ails their white counterparts," Senator Barack Obama wrote in 2006:
Downsizing, outsourcing, automation, wage stagnation, the dismantling of employer-based health-care and pension plans, and schools that fail to teach young people the skills they need to compete in a global economy.
Obama allowed that "blacks in particular have been vulnerable to these trends"but less because of racism than for reasons of geography and job-sector distribution. This notionraceless antiracismmarks the modern left, from the New Democrat Bill Clinton to the socialist Bernie Sanders. Few national liberal politicians have shown any recognition that there is something systemic and particular in the relationship between black people and their country that might require specific policy solutions.
IN 2016, HILLARY CLINTON acknowledged the existence of systemic racism more explicitly than any of her modern Democratic predecessors. She had toblack voters remembered too well the previous Clinton administration, as well as her previous campaign. While her husband's administration had touted the rising-tide theory of economic growth, it did so while slashing welfare and getting "tough on crime," a phrase that stood for specific policies but also served as rhetorical bait for white voters. One is tempted to excuse Hillary Clinton from having to answer for the sins of her husband. But in her 2008 campaign, she evoked the old dichotomy between white workers and loafing blacks, claiming to be the representative of "hardworking Americans, white Americans." By the end of the 2008 primary campaign against Barack Obama, her advisers were hoping someone would uncover an apocryphal "whitey tape," in which an angry Michelle Obama was alleged to have used the slur. During Bill Clinton's presidential-reelection campaign in the mid-1990s, Hillary Clinton herself had endorsed the "super-predator" theory of William J. Bennett, John P. Walters, and John J. DiIulio Jr. This theory cast "inner-city" children of that era as "almost completely unmoralized" and the font of "a new generation of street criminals … the youngest, biggest and baddest generation any society has ever known." The "baddest generation" did not become super-predators. But by 2016, they were young adults, many of whom judged Hillary Clinton's newfound consciousness to be lacking.
It's worth asking why the country has not been treated to a raft of sympathetic portraits of this "forgotten" young black electorate, forsaken by a Washington bought off by Davos elites and special interests. The unemployment rate for young blacks (20.6 percent) in July 2016 was double that of young whites (9.9 percent). And since the late 1970s, William Julius Wilson and other social scientists following in his wake have noted the disproportionate effect that the decline in manufacturing jobs has had on African American communities. If anyone should be angered by the devastation wreaked by the financial sector and a government that declined to prosecute the perpetrators, it is African Americansthe housing crisis was one of the primary drivers in the past 20 years of the wealth gap between black families and the rest of the country. But the cultural condescension toward and economic anxiety of black people is not news. Toiling blacks are in their proper state; toiling whites raise the specter of white slavery.
Moreover, a narrative of long-neglected working-class black voters, injured by globalization and the financial crisis, forsaken by out-of-touch politicians, and rightfully suspicious of a return of Clintonism, does not serve to cleanse the conscience of white people for having elected Donald Trump. Only the idea of a long-suffering white working class can do that. And though much has been written about the distance between elites and "Real America," the existence of a class-transcending, mutually dependent tribe of white people is evident.
Joe Biden, then the vice president, last year:
"They're all the people I grew up with … And they're not racist. They're not sexist."
Bernie Sanders, senator and former candidate for president, last year:
"I come from the white working class, and I am deeply humiliated that the Democratic Party cannot talk to the people where I came from."
Nicholas Kristof, the New York Times columnist, in February of this year:
My hometown, Yamhill, Ore., a farming community, is Trump country, and I have many friends who voted for Trump. I think they're profoundly wrong, but please don't dismiss them as hateful bigots.
These claims of origin and fidelity are not merely elite defenses of an aggrieved class but also a sweeping dismissal of the concerns of those who don't share kinship with white men. "You can't eat equality," asserts Joe Bidena statement worthy of someone unthreatened by the loss of wages brought on by an unwanted pregnancy, a background-check box at the bottom of a job application, or the deportation of a breadwinner. Within a week of Sanders lambasting Democrats for not speaking to "the people" where he "came from," he was making an example of a woman who dreamed of representing the people where she came from. Confronted with a young woman who hoped to become the second Latina senator in American history, Sanders responded with a parody of the Clinton campaign: "It is not good enough for someone to say, I'm a woman! Vote for me!' No, that's not good enough … One of the struggles that you're going to be seeing in the Democratic Party is whether we go beyond identity politics." The upshotattacking one specimen of identity politics after having invoked anotherwas unfortunate.

The KKK and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, July 8, 2017. Not every Trump voter is a white supremacist. But every Trump voter felt it acceptable to hand the fate of the country over to one. (Gabriella Demczuk)Other Sanders appearances proved even more alarming. On MSNBC, he attributed Trump's success, in part, to his willingness to "not be politically correct." Sanders admitted that Trump had "said some outrageous and painful things, but I think people are tired of the same old, same old political rhetoric." Pressed on the definition of political correctness, Sanders gave an answer Trump surely would have approved of. "What it means is you have a set of talking points which have been poll-tested and focus-group-tested," Sanders explained. "And that's what you say rather than what's really going on. And often, what you are not allowed to say are things which offend very, very powerful people."
This definition of political correctness was shocking coming from a politician of the left. But it matched a broader defense of Trump voters. "Some people think that the people who voted for Trump are racists and sexists and homophobes and just deplorable folks," Sanders said later. "I don't agree." This is not exculpatory. Certainly not every Trump voter is a white supremacist, just as not every white person in the Jim Crow South was a white supremacist. But every Trump voter felt it acceptable to hand the fate of the country over to one.
One can, to some extent, understand politicians' embracing a self-serving identity politics. Candidates for high office, such as Sanders, have to cobble together a coalition. The white working class is seen, understandably, as a large cache of potential votes, and capturing these votes requires eliding uncomfortable truths. But journalists have no such excuse. Again and again in the past year, Nicholas Kristof could be found pleading with his fellow liberals not to dismiss his old comrades in the white working class as bigotseven when their bigotry was evidenced in his own reporting. A visit to Tulsa, Oklahoma, finds Kristof wondering why Trump voters support a president who threatens to cut the programs they depend on. But the problem, according to Kristof 's interviewees, isn't Trump's attack on benefits so much as an attack on their benefits. "There's a lot of wasteful spending, so cut other places," one man tells Kristof. When Kristof pushes his subjects to identify that wasteful spending, a fascinating target is revealed: "Obama phones," the products of a fevered conspiracy theory that turned a long-standing government program into a scheme through which the then-president gave away free cellphones to undeserving blacks. Kristof doesn't shift his analysis based on this comment and, aside from a one-sentence fact-check tucked between parentheses, continues on as though it were never said.
Observing a Trump supporter in the act of deploying racism does not much perturb Kristof. That is because his defenses of the innate goodness of Trump voters and of the innate goodness of the white working class are in fact defenses of neither. On the contrary, the white working class functions rhetorically not as a real community of people so much as a tool to quiet the demands of those who want a more inclusive America.
Mark Lilla's New York Times essay "The End of Identity Liberalism," published not long after last year's election, is perhaps the most profound example of this genre. Lilla denounces the perversion of liberalism into "a kind of moral panic about racial, gender and sexual identity," which distorted liberalism's message "and prevented it from becoming a unifying force capable of governing." Liberals have turned away from their working-class base, he says, and must look to the "pre-identity liberalism" of Bill Clinton and Franklin D. Roosevelt. You would never know from this essay that Bill Clinton was one of the most skillful identity politicians of his eraflying home to Arkansas to see a black man, the lobotomized Ricky Ray Rector, executed; upstaging Jesse Jackson at his own conference; signing the Defense of Marriage Act. Nor would you know that the "pre-identity" liberal champion Roosevelt depended on the literally lethal identity politics of the white-supremacist "solid South." The name Barack Obama does not appear in Lilla's essay, and he never attempts to grapple, one way or another, with the fact that it was identity politicsthe possibility of the first black presidentthat brought a record number of black voters to the polls, winning the election for the Democratic Party, and thus enabling the deliverance of the ancient liberal goal of national health care. "Identity politics … is largely expressive, not persuasive," Lilla claims. "Which is why it never wins electionsbut can lose them." That Trump ran and won on identity politics is beyond Lilla's powers of conception. What appeals to the white working class is ennobled. What appeals to black workers, and all others outside the tribe, is dastardly identitarianism. All politics are identity politicsexcept the politics of white people, the politics of the bloody heirloom.
White tribalism haunts even more-nuanced writers. George Packer's New Yorker essay "The Unconnected" is a lengthy plea for liberals to focus more on the white working class, a population that "has succumbed to the ills that used to be associated with the black urban underclass.' " Packer believes that these ills, and the Democratic Party's failure to respond to them, explain much of Trump's rise. Packer offers no opinion polls to weigh white workers' views on "elites," much less their views on racism. He offers no sense of how their views and their relationship to Trump differ from other workers' and other whites'.
That is likely because any empirical evaluation of the relationship between Trump and the white working class would reveal that one adjective in that phrase is doing more work than the other. In 2016, Trump enjoyed majority or plurality support among every economic branch of whites. It is true that his strongest support among whites came from those making $50,000 to $99,999. This would be something more than working-class in many nonwhite neighborhoods, but even if one accepts that branch as the working class, the difference between how various groups in this income bracket voted is revealing. Sixty-one percent of whites in this "working class" supported Trump. Only 24 percent of Hispanics and 11 percent of blacks did. Indeed, the plurality of all voters making less than $100,000 and the majority making less than $50,000 voted for the Democratic candidate. So when Packer laments the fact that "Democrats can no longer really claim to be the party of working peoplenot white ones, anyway," he commits a kind of category error. The real problem is that Democrats aren't the party of white peopleworking or otherwise. White workers are not divided by the fact of labor from other white demographics; they are divided from all other laborers by the fact of their whiteness.
Packer's essay was published before the election, and so the vote tally was not available. But it should not be surprising that a Republican candidate making a direct appeal to racism would drive up the numbers among white voters, given that racism has been a dividing line for the national parties since the civil-rights era. Packer finds inspiration for his thesis in West Virginiaa state that remained Democratic through the 1990s before turning decisively Republican, at least at the level of presidential politics. This relatively recent rightward movement evinces, to Packer, a shift "that couldn't be attributed just to the politics of race." This is likely truethe politics of race are, themselves, never attributable "just to the politics of race." The history of slavery is also about the growth of international capitalism; the history of lynching must be seen in light of anxiety over the growing independence of women; the civil-rights movement can't be disentangled from the Cold War. Thus, to say that the rise of Donald Trump is about more than race is to make an empty statement, one that is small comfort to the peopleblack, Muslim, immigrantwho live under racism's boot.
The dent of racism is not hard to detect in West Virginia. In the 2008 Democratic primary there, 95 percent of the voters were white. Twenty percent of thoseone in fiveopenly admitted that race was influencing their vote, and more than 80 percent voted for Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama. Four years later, the incumbent Obama lost the primary in 10 counties to Keith Judd, a white felon incarcerated in a federal prison; Judd racked up more than 40 percent of the Democratic-primary vote in the state. A simple thought experiment: Can one imagine a black felon in a federal prison running in a primary against an incumbent white president doing so well?
But racism occupies a mostly passive place in Packer's essay. There's no attempt to understand why black and brown workers, victimized by the same new economy and cosmopolitan elite that Packer lambastes, did not join the Trump revolution. Like Kristof, Packer is gentle with his subjects. When a woman "exploded" and told Packer, "I want to eat what I want to eat, and for them to tell me I can't eat French fries or Coca-Colano way," he sees this as a rebellion against "the moral superiority of elites." In fact, this elite conspiracy dates back to 1894, when the government first began advising Americans on their diets. As recently as 2002, President George W. Bush launched the HealthierUS initiative, urging Americans to exercise and eat healthy food. But Packer never allows himself to wonder whether the explosion he witnessed had anything to do with the fact that similar advice now came from the country's first black first lady. Packer concludes that Obama was leaving the country "more divided and angrier than most Americans can remember," a statement that is likely true only because most Americans identify as white. Certainly the men and women forced to live in the wake of the beating of John Lewis, the lynching of Emmett Till, the firebombing of Percy Julian's home, and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Medgar Evers would disagree.
Trump's legacy will be exposing the patina of decency for what it is and revealing just how much a demagogue can get away with.The triumph of Trump's campaign of bigotry presented the problematic spectacle of an American president succeeding at best in spite of his racism and possibly because of it. Trump moved racism from the euphemistic and plausibly deniable to the overt and freely claimed. This presented the country's thinking class with a dilemma. Hillary Clinton simply could not be correct when she asserted that a large group of Americans was endorsing a candidate because of bigotry. The implicationsthat systemic bigotry is still central to our politics; that the country is susceptible to such bigotry; that the salt-of-the-earth Americans whom we lionize in our culture and politics are not so different from those same Americans who grin back at us in lynching photos; that Calhoun's aim of a pan-Caucasian embrace between workers and capitalists still endureswere just too dark. Leftists would have to cope with the failure, yet again, of class unity in the face of racism. Incorporating all of this into an analysis of America and the path forward proved too much to ask. Instead, the response has largely been an argument aimed at emotionthe summoning of the white working class, emblem of America's hardscrabble roots, inheritor of its pioneer spirit, as a shield against the horrific and empirical evidence of trenchant bigotry.

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Packer dismisses the Democratic Party as a coalition of "rising professionals and diversity." The dismissal is derived from, of all people, Lawrence Summers, the former Harvard president and White House economist, who last year labeled the Democratic Party "a coalition of the cosmopolitan élite and diversity." The inference is that the party has forgotten how to speak on hard economic issues and prefers discussing presumably softer cultural issues such as "diversity." It's worth unpacking what, precisely, falls under this rubric of "diversity"resistance to the monstrous incarceration of legions of black men, resistance to the destruction of health providers for poor women, resistance to the effort to deport parents, resistance to a policing whose sole legitimacy is rooted in brute force, resistance to a theory of education that preaches "no excuses" to black and brown children, even as excuses are proffered for mendacious corporate executives "too big to jail." That this suite of concerns, taken together, can be dismissed by both an elite economist like Summers and a brilliant journalist like Packer as "diversity" simply reveals the safe space they enjoy. Because of their identity.
WHEN BARACK OBAMA came into office, in 2009, he believed that he could work with "sensible" conservatives by embracing aspects of their policy as his own. Instead he found that his very imprimatur made that impossible. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the GOP's primary goal was not to find common ground but to make Obama a "one-term president." A health-care plan inspired by Romneycare was, when proposed by Obama, suddenly considered socialist and, not coincidentally, a form of reparations. The first black president found that he was personally toxic to the GOP base. An entire political party was organized around the explicit aim of negating one man. It was thought by Obama and some of his allies that this toxicity was the result of a relentless assault waged by Fox News and right-wing talk radio. Trump's genius was to see that it was something more, that it was a hunger for revanche so strong that a political novice and accused rapist could topple the leadership of one major party and throttle the heavily favored nominee of the other.
"I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters," Trump bragged in January 2016. This statement should be met with only a modicum of skepticism. Trump has mocked the disabled, withstood multiple accusations of sexual violence (all of which he has denied), fired an FBI director, sent his minions to mislead the public about his motives, personally exposed those lies by boldly stating his aim to scuttle an investigation into his possible collusion with a foreign power, then bragged about that same obstruction to representatives of that same foreign power. It is utterly impossible to conjure a black facsimile of Donald Trumpto imagine Obama, say, implicating an opponent's father in the assassination of an American president or comparing his physical endowment with that of another candidate and then successfully capturing the presidency. Trump, more than any other politician, understood the valence of the bloody heirloom and the great power in not being a nigger.

January 6, 2017. Republicans applaud after Congress certifies Donald Trump's victory in the Electoral College. The American tragedy now being wrought will not end with him. (Gabriella Demczuk)But the power is ultimately suicidal. Trump evinces this, too. In a recent New Yorker article, a former Russian military officer pointed out that interference in an election could succeed only where "necessary conditions" and an "existing background" were present. In America, that "existing background" was a persistent racism, and the "necessary condition" was a black president. The two related factors hobbled America's ability to safeguard its electoral system. As late as July 2016, a majority of Republican voters doubted that Barack Obama had been born in the United States, which is to say they did not view him as a legitimate president. Republican politicians acted accordingly, infamously denying his final Supreme Court nominee a hearing and then, fatefully, refusing to work with the administration to defend the country against the Russian attack. Before the election, Obama found no takers among Republicans for a bipartisan response, and Obama himself, underestimating Trump and thus underestimating the power of whiteness, believed the Republican nominee too objectionable to actually win. In this Obama was, tragically, wrong. And so the most powerful country in the world has handed over all its affairsthe prosperity of its entire economy; the security of its 300 million citizens; the purity of its water, the viability of its air, the safety of its food; the future of its vast system of education; the soundness of its national highways, airways, and railways; the apocalyptic potential of its nuclear arsenalto a carnival barker who introduced the phrase grab 'em by the pussy into the national lexicon. It is as if the white tribe united in demonstration to say, "If a black man can be president, then any white manno matter how fallencan be president." And in that perverse way, the democratic dreams of Jefferson and Jackson were fulfilled.
The American tragedy now being wrought is larger than most imagine and will not end with Trump. In recent times, whiteness as an overt political tactic has been restrained by a kind of cordiality that held that its overt invocation would scare off "moderate" whites. This has proved to be only half true at best. Trump's legacy will be exposing the patina of decency for what it is and revealing just how much a demagogue can get away with. It does not take much to imagine another politician, wiser in the ways of Washington and better schooled in the methodology of governanceand now liberated from the pretense of antiracist civilitydoing a much more effective job than Trump.
It has long been an axiom among certain black writers and thinkers that while whiteness endangers the bodies of black people in the immediate sense, the larger threat is to white people themselves, the shared country, and even the whole world. There is an impulse to blanch at this sort of grandiosity. When W. E. B. Du Bois claims that slavery was "singularly disastrous for modern civilization" or James Baldwin claims that whites "have brought humanity to the edge of oblivion: because they think they are white," the instinct is to cry exaggeration. But there really is no other way to read the presidency of Donald Trump. The first white president in American history is also the most dangerous presidentand he is made more dangerous still by the fact that those charged with analyzing him cannot name his essential nature, because they too are implicated in it.

This essay is drawn from Ta-Nehisi Coates's new book, We Were Eight Years in Power.

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TA-NEHISI COATES is a national correspondent for The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of The Beautiful Struggle, Between the World and Me, and We Were Eight Years in Power.