Archive for April, 2017


Deconstructing Trump-speak


Deconstructing Trump-speak
“Trump’s trademark talk is full of rambling, aside-filled bursts of simple but definitive words, laden with self-congratulatory bravado and claims that have fact-checkers working overtime,” AP’s Matt Sedensky writes after asking linguists about Trump’s rhetorical signatures:
• Kathleen Hall Jamieson: “The public speech of the president in the past has been crafted speech, it has been considered speech. Presidents prepared before speeches, presidents prepared before press conferences, presidents had stock answers ready to give.”
• “Word choice is typically simple — to Trump, things are terrible or incredible, best or worst. Asides are frequent. And repetition is rampant: When Trump wants to get a point across, he makes it again and again.”
• “Trump has suggested there’s method to his word choice … that the simple terms he often opts for can be more effective than the flowery eloquence listeners may be used to from presidents. ‘I went to an Ivy League school. I’m very highly educated. I know words; I have the best words,’ he said during the campaign.”
• Historian Kristen Kobes Du Mez of Calvin College: “I don’t know that any president has ever used ‘super-duper’ in his rhetoric before.”
The Trump Doctrine
Yahoo’s Olivier Knox, surveying a wide range of diplomats in Washington, finds that Trump’s “unpredictable approach to world affairs [has] unsettled rivals, but also sometimes unnerves even close allies who wonder if anyone can speak with authority for the Twitter-reliant commander in chief.”
“They also noted that a large number of pivotal positions at the Pentagon and State Department remain vacant, hindering the regular policymaking process.”
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Honestly, you didn’t seem all that broken up when Muslim families were handcuffed in airports a couple of months ago, or when mosques were being defaced, or when many of us were pleading the case for families fleeing exactly the kind of monstrous atrocities you were apparently so moved by this week—and getting told to eat our bleeding hearts out by MAGA hat-wearing trolls. You weren’t all that concerned when your President told terrified, exhausted refugees to leave and go home—twice. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t kiss the ring of a bad guy and then get to be the hero by feeling sorry about what other worse guys do. You don’t get to tell people to “go back where they came from,” and then beat your breasts like tortured martyrs when they get poisoned to death back where they came from.   Continue reading


Since the rise of the tea party, there have been perhaps 30 members of the House — the Freedom Caucus — who have been consistently unwilling to vote for center-right policy because their anti-government convictions are unappeasable. Incited and abetted by conservative media, they made then-Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) life a living hell, and have greeted Ryan (Wis.) with sharpened pitchforks. So a party at the peak of its political fortunes is utterly paralyzed. A caucus in control of everything is itself uncontrollable. Republicans got an administration that is incompetent. The White House policy process has been erratic and disorganized. It has failed to provide expert analysis or assistance to Congress and did little to effectively advocate the president’s policy in ways that could have united the party.

 Republicans got an administration that is morally small. Trump’s proposed budget would require massive cuts in disease research, global development and agricultural programs — just as a famine gathers a hideous strength. The proposed budget practices random acts of gratuitous cruelty. This is a pretty bad combination: empty, easily distracted, vindictive, shallow, impatient, incompetent and morally small. This is not the profile of a governing party. It can hardly surprise us. The president had no governing experience. He has no detailed governing agenda. He trashed everyone who tried to govern in the past. And we somehow expect him to overcome the complex governing task presented by the Freedom Caucus? His new strategy is to go on the attack:

And all this has come in the course of the president’s political honeymoon. What, for goodness’ sake, will the marriage be like? It is now dawning on Republicans what they have done to themselves. They thought they could somehow get away with Trump. That he could be contained. That the adults could provide guidance. That the economy might come to the rescue. That the damage could be limited. Instead, they are seeing a downward spiral of incompetence and public contempt — a collapse that is yet to reach a floor. A presidency is failing. A party unable to govern is becoming unfit to govern. And what, in the short term, can be done about it? Nothing. Nothing at all.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trumps-failing-presidency-has-the-gop-in-a-free-fall/2017/03/30/e0882d62-1581-11e7-ada0-1489b735b3a3_story.html?utm_term=.1998ad35dbbb

 

 

 

 

 

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