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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

 
Trump's just a harmless buffoon? 


by digby



















The Atlantic's Molly Ball interviewed some GOP establishment figures coming to terms with Trump. This one is astonishing:
“There’s two ways to handle the Trump situation,” John Feehery, a D.C. lobbyist and former Republican congressional aide, told me. “You can contain the damage and try to unify. Or you can start a third party. I’m of the containment mindset.” As he spoke, a third-party effort was under way, with a group of conservatives planning a meeting in the next week to discuss the possibility. But that was not for Feehery, who preferred to look on the bright side. 
“If it weren’t for all the idiotic and racist comments, he would be kind of a breath of fresh air,” Feehery said. “He’s someone who wants to get stuff done—a politician who’s not beholden to any kind of ideology, not beholden to special interests. I don’t think he is George Wallace in his heart of hearts. He’s not a strategic threat to the future of the republic. He’s just a buffoon and a political opportunist.”

Hey, he just wants to make the trains run on time, people! Seriously, if it weren't for all that wacky, kooky racist stuff we'd be thrilled that he doesn't have the faintest fucking clue about how anything works and sounds like he wants to tear up the constitution and violate every law and norm we have! He wants to get things done. He's just a buffoon.

Maybe Feehery should take heed of what Charlie Chaplin said later about "The Great Dictator" which treated Hitler as a buffoon and made people laugh all over the world. Until they stopped laughing.

Had I known of the actual horrors of the German concentration camps, I could not have made The Great Dictator, I could not have made fun of the homicidal insanity of the Nazis. ---Chaplin, Charlie (1964). My Autobiography. p. 392.

It is a great film and a great satire. But there is an argument, which Chaplin himself apparently believed as well, that it has in some ways trivialized Hitler, the lesson being that one has to be very careful not to dismiss homicidal insanity as clownish hyperbole, especially in the hands of someone who is garnering a great deal of public support and could possibly head a powerful nation. Bad idea.

Update:
A Donald Trump presidency poses a top-10 risk event that could disrupt the world economy, lead to political chaos in the U.S. and heighten security risks for the United States, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. 
Electing Trump could also start a trade war, hurt trade with Mexico and be a godsend to terrorist recruiters in the Middle East, according to the latest EIU forecasts. 
The well-respected global economic and geopolitical analysis firm put a possible Trump presidency in its top 10 global risks this month, released Wednesday. Other risks include a sharp slowdown in the Chinese economy, a fracture of the Eurozone, and Britain’s possible departure from the European Union. 
Trump’s controversial remarks on Muslims would be a gift to “potential recruiters who have long been trying to paint the U.S. as an anti-Muslim country. His rhetoric will certainly help that recruiting effort,” said Robert Powell, global risk briefing manager at EIU. 
Until Trump, the firm had never rated a pending election of a candidate to be a geopolitical risk to the U.S. and the world. The firm has no plans to include Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz or John Kasich on future risk lists.