Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Has electing one super rich egomaniacal TV star to the presidency taught us nothing?


Metropolitan Museum of Art
     A thought experiment:
     So I buy a grizzly bear cub to keep as a pet in my home in Northbrook. He's a cute, energetic little fellow, bustling around, knocking over the occasional table lamp but generally manageable. Time goes by, and he grows bigger. One day I'm late doling out the raw steak from Costco and "Smoky," as I've named him, goes berserk and mauls me, chewing off my right hand.
     I recover, eventually. The bear, alas, has to be put down. 
     So I'm sitting there, flipping through the channels, holding the remote in my remaining hand. I pause at the Nature Channel to watch a documentary about tigers.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
   "Hmmm, tigers," I think. "Beautiful animals. You know ... a Bengal tiger would make a great house pet, and things have been so quiet since Smoky left..."
     Stop right there. Based on the information above, what would you think of me? You'd think that I'm an idiot, right? You'd want to grab me by the lapels, haul me out of my chair, and scream, "Enough with the wild animals, okay? Haven't you gotten the message yet?"
     How is than any different than the past few days, as Democrats, twirling in the blast furnace hell of a Trump presidency, turn their red-rimmed eyes to the heaven and fix upon ... Oprah Winfrey.
     Sunday night she delivered a speech at the Golden Globe awards.
     "A new day is on the horizon!" she said.
     "Oprah for president!" a colleague cheered, though in his defense he might have been summarizing the zeitgeist rather than adding his support.
     "Our next president?" The Washington Post asked Tuesday.
     "She would absolutely do it," said Stedman Graham, Oprah's perpetual escort.
     Of course she would do it. Everyone wants to be president; it's the biggest affirmation life can be bestow, assuming the election of Donald Trump hasn't ruined it, the way Henry Kissinger winning the Nobel Peace Prize forever tarnished the honor.


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41 comments:

  1. Oprah would be the ultimate “Hail Mary” pass. Sometimes Hail Mary passes are successful and sometimes they win games.

    But we are talking about an election to be held in 2020. Thus why are liberals/progressives throwing --or at least talking of throwing -- Hail Mary passes in the first quarter of the game?

    Pelosi claims that Republican Tax Reform will lead to “Armageddon.” (Her word – not mine). Liberals/progressives claim that our President Trump is an abomination. Thus they see a Blue Wave in the 2018 midterms that will give them both Houses of Congress.

    Should there not be at least a dozen Democratic Senators and Representatives who could beat a putatively idiotic Trump burdened with his putatively failed policies in 2020?

    But the Resistance admits that they are APOPLECTIC. Usually apoplexy does not lead to clear-headed thinking. I argued in an earlier thread that Trump -- as the GRAND PUPPET MASTER -- is yanking at a lot of strings to stoke the magical thinking of the Resistance. They are certainly doing that herky-jerky dance of a puppet being yanked.

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  2. You left out that our almost billionaire Republican amateur governor who's totally incompetent at the job is most likely to get replaced at the end of this year by a billionaire Democratic amateur governor who will be totally incompetent at the job [unless that job is removing the toilets from a mansion].
    You also left out that Oprah gave that noted expert on autism, Jenny McCarthy a platform to spew her nonsense that vaccines cause autism.
    She also went on a months long rant against beef, because some idiot guest on her show claimed beef was bad.
    Now she's constantly on TV ads pushing Weight Watchers, because she bought a chunk of the company a year or so ago. I mute the sound the rare times I'm watching live & zip through if it's a recording.
    But you were wrong that Oprah has been on every cover of her magazine. I believe one month, she deigned to let Michelle Obama be on the cover, but of course the next month & every month since, it's been "Oprah to Earth, the ego has landed!"
    I was ecstatic when she finally up & left Chicago. I still remember the sign at Randolph & Carpenter. It read "Harpo Inc., Former Home of the Oprah Winfrey Show", like we were to worship at the most holy site in Chicago!

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    1. To be fair, I don't recall Oprah going on a months-long rant about beef so much as her being sued by an industry group with attendant publicity about the trial (some abetted by her, of course). That said, while I greatly admire what she has accomplished in her life, especially coming from a background of poverty and abuse, I agree that she is not qualified to be president.

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    2. Why do you think she was sued by the beef industry group?
      Because she went on a months long rant against beef & caused beef prices to drop to record lows as her idiot fans stopped buying beef, because Oprah said it was bad for you!

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    3. Again, this is only as I recall, but I believe the suit was based on one show where, in response to a discussion about mad cow disease, Oprah said she'd never eat another hamburger. I don't remember a months long campaign on her part, and I can find any information online that mentions one.

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  3. the click here to continue reading didn't work

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    1. Fixed now. I'm going to have to have a word with my staff!

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  4. This is the problem with celebrity candidates: half of the people are peeing themselves in jubilation at the prospect of an Oprah presidential run, and the other half are peeing themselves in fear of an Oprah presidential run. If she throws her hat in the ring, she'll be touted as "A candidate you can 'Depend' on!"

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  5. I should note that no one who runs for president is at risk of being praised for their humility. The last person to run for president without a monstrous ego was ... no one. Ever.

    Politics is pragmatism rather than idealism. Your choice for an office may be a narcissist, even a scoundrel. But he or she is your scoundrel, coming closest to your ideals on the largest variety of topics.

    Aside from being a monster, Trump believes in virtually nothing I believe in (to the extent that he believes in anything aside from himself and money).

    Oprah, whose personality I find repellant, agrees with my beliefs on many major topics.

    So my choice could be a person I don't care for, but who I often agree with, or the candidate of a party that I think has shifted from a political party to an active crime family.

    That's easy. Pragmatism at work.

    I'm not as set against Oprah as others. I think she could win and I think she would be better for the country than any Republican candidate currently drawing breath.

    If I may dream for a moment, I would love to see Elizabeth Warren run. The GOP, as is their won't, would demonize her with abandon, but they're gonna do that with anyone (see Clinton, Hillary). Warren is a champion of the fight against allowing the country to be a wholly owned subsidiary of Big Money. That's the person we need fighting for the rest of us.

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  6. I argued on an earlier thread that while the Resistance is playing checkers our President Trump, VSG is playing chess.

    Oprah for president –checkers! Going live on the media with the Presidential/Compressional DACA negotiations – chess. Even Judy, John, and Lisa of the PBS News Hour were gushing about that one yesterday.

    The bad cop/VSG pushing Kim Jong Un into the arms of the South Koreans – chess.

    I use to watch online championship chess matches. The two best guys in the world would be playing. Commentators -- who were themselves grand masters - would be analyzing things move by move. Suddenly one of the players would resign. Everyone – including the Commentators-- would be mystified. Then after about five minutes the commentators would figure out “checkmate in 6 moves” – no way out. Then they would take the next half hour to explain it to the rest of us.

    For all practical purposes the chess clock ticks zero with the 2018 Midterms. The Democrats could get figuratively slaughtered in the Senate because so many Blue Senators are up for election in Red States.

    Thus look for the Trump “moving the pieces into position” leading up to the 2018 Midterms.

    Gorsuch in the S.Ct. –huge. Travel bans upheld by S. Ct. – huge. Tax Reform –huge. Animal Spirits of the economy awakened as per J. M. Keynes and Jamie Dimon – huge. ISIS territorial caliphate destroyed – again huge. Pushing Kim Jong Un into the arms of the South Koreans – so far building up to something huge. A DACA “Bill of Love” – so far building up to something huge. Low unemployment and rising wages for minority workers – because the economy is booming generally and because that VSG guy staunched the flow of workers from south of the border – huge. Election day – everyone’s 401K’s looking great. Well as Bill Clinton famously and correctly said “It’s about the economy, stupid.”

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    1. Gee Jerry, please don't try to confuse me with the facts. Trump's stupid and mean. Everybody said so. Why are you making me feel bad?

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  7. It seems a lot of us have given up on competence in the presidency and now just evaluate candidates based on their entertainment value. So let's go all the way and elect Kim Kardashian. Or what about the guy who goes "dilly dilly" in the Bud Light commericals? He's pretty funny. Is he 35 yet?

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    1. Or let's leapfrog all that and elect a supercomputer, one of those that routinely whip the pants off the grandest chess grandmasters. And for added appearl, we could program it with a Johnny Carson sense of humor.

      john

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  8. Your opeming question is exactly what I started saying Monday morning. I’ve never been a fan of self-serving Oprah.

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  9. "I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!"

    That sounds more like a 3rd grader on the playground than a grand chess master discussing the most powerful weapons on Earth, to me, but YMMV.

    Gosh, Jerry, you ignored my link about the unemployment numbers being slightly worse in our new economic paradise last year than 2016. Wonder why. You do realize that the trajectory of the stock market has just continued the upward path it began under Obama, I hope. Hope, but doubt, based on the rest of your commentary.

    "Starting with Trump’s inauguration, the Dow has risen from 19,827.3 to 25,075.1 -- an increase of 26 percent. That’s impressive.

    But it’s not as impressive as its performance during the equivalent period under Obama. Under Obama, the Dow increased from 7,949.1 to 10,572 — a rise of 33 percent."

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2018/jan/08/how-trump-obama-compare-stock-market/

    I wondered what you might have thought about the Republicans having blatantly stolen a Supreme Court seat. You're well on board for that, too, I note. That's not chess, that's larceny. Abusing the norms of this democracy because you can get away with it is not brilliant, it's disturbing and dangerous.

    Sadly, I lack the restraint that the rest of the Commentariat here has shown in not replying to your blatant trolling. I appreciated your kind words to me on the other thread, and I have long been a believer in more comments on EGD being better than fewer. Alas, your embrace of the Cheeto-in-Chief is more than I care to deal with, not that it's difficult to rebut your arguments. I'll not be responding further to your praise of this foolish president and your denigration of those who rightfully oppose him as doing a "herky-jerky dance of a puppet being yanked." To quote your genius tactician and chess master, in one of his typically thoughtful rejoinders: "No puppet. You're the puppet!" ; )

    As for Oprah, Neil's column says about all that needed to be said about that, IMHO. It's sad that anything *needs* to be said. *That* being said, I got a hearty chuckle out of "Oprah to Earth, the ego has landed!," Clark St...

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  10. Greetings Jakash and Greetings to Our Proprietor:

    As you know our Proprietor warned me about over-posting on fear of banishment. I have no problem with that.

    As I previously stated I have mixed emotions (actually mixed ideas) about Trump. Almost all on this blog are severely anti- Trump. Thus if I were to balance out my substantive views with others on this blog, I would easily take up half the space. You and Wendy know that from experience.

    To avoid that I am only discussing tactics on this blog. I hope you understand.

    Sincerely,

    JerryB

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    1. That may sound reasonable at first glance, but everyone can tell that you are, in fact, APOPLECTIC. Funny.

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  11. Oprah always speaks highly of you Neil.

    Actually, I think she could turn herself into a plausible candidate by starting now to check the necessary boxes: weigh in on policy issues; donate and publicly support Democrats running for office; hire David Axelrod; etc. It will take more than one speech, no matter how stirring,and is seems unlikely that she would want to make that kind of a commitment.

    The prospect of a Black woman running would probably recall Mr. Bannon from the purgatory to which he has been recently assigned.

    Tom

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  12. It would almost be worth it to watch Trump's apoplexy at losing to an woman and an African American woman at that.

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  13. Henry Kissinger should be in prison for conspiray to commit reckless homicide to account for every service member killed in Vietnam after he and the rest of Nixon's advisors admitted knowing that the war was un-winnable. In fact let's go back to Kennedy and round up any advisor, cabinet member or government flunky whom kept sending troops into slaughter in order to get re-elected or promoted.

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  14. Your article today was too funny! I haven’t laughed so hard in ages. Yes. She’s on every magazine cover. I ordered a gift subscription of Oprah magazine for my elderly aunt and she wanted to know why she keeps getting this magazine she hates! I used to like the Oprah show at first and couldn’t wait for the OWN, but I stopped watching it because once when I watched it, she was yelling at and chastising one of her employees.

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  15. Literally thousands, if not millions, of qualified potential presidential candidates...and all we can come up with are Hollywood celebrities with little to no qualifications whatsoever? Did Reagan and Trump teach us NOTHING? Enough already! Replacing Trump with Oprah would be like replacing a mentally ill teen-aged drunk driver with a runaway dump truck. Either one will lead to eventual disaster.

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  16. Greetings Grizz65"

    You do know that Reagan was governor of California? But your views on Reagan confirm what Limbaugh says about liberals/progressives:

    "No matter what a conservative does, he will never gain the approval of liberals/progressives. Thus don't make an effort to be liked by them, and just play hardball."

    Certainly Reagan was "presidential," classy, and a gentleman.

    My wife and I are of Eastern European ancestry. We have many relatives over there. They all adore Reagan for being one of the key players (if not the key player) in peacefully breaking the back of the Soviet Union -- something the experts never thought would happen in the 20th century.

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  17. Mr Jerry, Grizz really didn't have much to say about Reagan certainly not enough to extrapolate his views relative to anything el rushbo may think. While Ronnie was instrumental in spending the Soviets out of existence he did little else and was not real imaginative. Trickle down economics comes to mind, irancontra, racism . That sort of thing is what we on the left remember . B movie actor making good with his looks smile and smooth delivery not much on substance.im not a liberal. Too far right for me.

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  18. FME and Grizz65:

    Grizz had no idea that Reagan was the twice elected governor of California and probably does not know that Reagan was the twice elected president of the United States. This "twice elected" thing is important, since it means that you did well enough to get elected a second time. This last observation also applies to President Obama -- to his credit.

    Spending the Soviets out of existence and thus freeing up all those nations and people behind the Iron Curtain was certainly a peaceful and brilliant strategy.

    So being "left of liberal" is your thing. If you were in the workers paradise of the Soviet Union you would probably have a great job as a commissar. But here you a just a hothouse flower residing in the gentle warmth of echo chambers.

    Enjoy!

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  19. I try not to engage in no-win pissing contests with skunks, but this was too much for me, a relative newbie here despite being a long-time lurker. How the hell old are you, Jerry? I not only lived through the Reagan Era, but the Nixon and Ike Eras as well. In fact, I even resided in California (in the very ill-fated area that has not only burned, but has now begun sliding toward the sea) during the Great Communicator's second term. He was that classy gentleman that ordered the gassing of Berkeley students from National Guard helicopters, and called for a "bloodbath" even after those same students had been blown away and blinded by buckshot from local cops. The same gentleman who orchestrated the overture to the theatrics that played out less than a year later, in a hick town back East, an hour down the road from me. Maybe you've heard of it. Little place called Kent?

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  20. Grizz and everyone else: Just ignore Jerry and his long-winded condescension, OK? He infested Zorn's blog until Zorn threw him out, and hopefully the same thing will happen here.

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    1. Yep, I'm with you, Scribe. We are all guests at this party.

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  21. Twenty-year veteran of blogs and message boards here...the best of which had what was usually called the "ignore feature"...you hit an "ignore button" and the Jerries (no, not the Germans of WWII) went away (POOF) and you never saw them again.

    The best of those boards also had competent and vigilant "moderators", who functioned as cops of a sort. The problem children received warnings to straighten up and fly right...maybe two of them at most. Then they got the boot. I have the utmost confidence that the same thing happens here.

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    1. I'm letting vigilance sag a bit. Fighting the flu. I don't want to study Jerry enough to deliver the death penalty to him. As always, he misstates the situation. It isn't that he's "overposting," whatever that is, but he can't do the just-say-what-the-fuck's-on-your-mind thing without making it this whole me-me-me opera that just becomes tedious and drives other commentators away. It's probably foolish of me to even give him a chance because obviously he hasn't changed, since they never do.

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    2. I gotta say, as I have to Jerry, that I'm pretty surprised by his remarkable defense of Il Douche and/or his "tactics" as he referred to on this thread. If nothing else, he offers a bit of an insight into how the charlatan got elected and retains as much support as he does. Bitter Scribe evidently doesn't care about this (no reason why he should,) but Jerry is very intelligent (a U of C-educated lawyer, if I'm not mistaken), well-read and is not on board for many of the culture wars that help define modern Republicanism. (He *is* against the legality of abortion, though, which earned him a rebuke here at EGD, though not outright banishment, in a previous foray years ago.) If he supports Trump, that's very telling to me, as he's no "economically anxious" unemployed coal-miner. Those tax cuts must be *really* important!

      Since he's somebody I'd have considered a "reasonable Republican," in a different world I might be curious to find out how he rationalizes his support of the Tangerine Terror, given the distinctly overriding shortcomings that ole Rumpy exhibits. But his comments on these two threads have not indicated an interest in honest discussion, alas. He chides Grizz about the "gentle warmth of echo chambers," but I'd be curious as to how familiar he is with the almost daily avalanche of lies and contradictions emanating from "our President Trump's" lips and phone, for instance.

      Anyway, it's nice of you to give him a chance, NS. As you note, it's the long-winded, self-involved nature of many of his posts that are often the problem. (Not that I'm immune to either of those charges, myself, as is obvious from this tedious comment.) Well, plus the fact that he often begins by generalizing about liberals in a way that would make Hannity blush. On Zorn's blog, as the Scribe is well aware, JB was infamous for "hijacking threads," as well. Exemplified here by -- Oh, somebody off-handedly mentioned Reagan in the 23rd comment? I've got 5 paragraphs singing St. Ronnie's praises, no problem!

      Though, going back years to Zorn's blog, if people prefer to ignore his comments, I've never understood why they need a "button" to do so.

      All that being said, and while I'm personally agnostic on the matter -- according to the standards you've stated below, his comments, for the most part, "aren't, you know, mean and crazy." : )

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    3. the echo chamber comment is not that far off the mark Jakash. This more than many comments sections is a pretty homogeneous group of praisers to the touchy moderator. I understand rule # 1. and just to pick nits I believe it was me who was chided for being a hot house flower . more imaginative than snowflake ill give MR. B that. But not much else. And as far as name calling while professing superior intellect I think everyone on this thread could dial that back including the moderator and we'd all benefit from the civility. just sayin.

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    4. FME,

      It was both you *and* Grizz who are "hothouse flower(s) residing in the gentle warmth of echo chambers," FWIW. Not a bad place to be this January in Chicago, I'd say. ; )

      If you're referring to my terms for addressing the President in your comment, I find it to be harmless fun. If Dolt 45 warranted respect as a respectable person, himself, that would be one thing. As it is, I'm an anonymous blog commenter, he's the President, and he calls U. S. Senators "Pocahontas" and "Lyin' Ted" and the woman who beat him by 3 million votes "Crooked Hillary." I'd be happy to dial it back if he did. Just sayin'. ; )

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  22. A message board or blog with a well-run comment/reply feature usually follows three basic rules:

    1) My house, my rules (AKA The Golden Rule...he who has the gold makes the rules).

    2) Posters cannot change Rule 1.

    3) When in doubt, refer to Rules 1 and 2.

    Offensive people don't "get banned"...offensive people get themselves banned. They "cross the line" once too often or finally piss off the powers that be, and suddenly find themselves easing on down the road.

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    1. I've stated No. 1 fairly clearly in the past. There is only one poster who is unilaterally banned, now and always. Jerry B. got thrown off for being tiresome and a bore and at least had the good grace to go away, for a while. I assume we'll end up there, but hope springs eternal, to coin a phrase.

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    2. "I assume we'll end up there" Me, too. As I was wondering why my thoughts on this matter are such a convoluted mess, it occurred to me that it's because I keep wishing JB's comments were something that they're not. Succinct, on-point and open to legitimate engagement, for starters. I'd have gone with "the triumph of hope over experience," but toMAYto, toMAHto, I guess. : )

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    3. I stopped reading long comments. When I can't comment in a concise manner, it usually means that I don't have comprehensive thoughts. Even if I have formulated a reasonable opinion, nobody wants to read a manifesto.

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    4. Trading long blog comments for getting involved on Twitter seems like a step in the wrong direction, to me, but good luck with that, Tony! : )

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    5. To be honest, I don't understand the appeal of Twitter. I thought I'd give it a go but I've found that it's mostly just another time-filler. I don't need any more of those.

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    6. Never could see its point or its value. Birds tweet. I do not. You can't have "Twitter" without "Twit"...and the past year has made this tired one-iner a lot less amusing than it once was.

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