144 Comments
Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

Exactly. The reason Trump’s candidacy “worked” is he made the fascism seem like fun, and treated the whole thing as a big nasty joke. His supporters felt like they were in on the joke, like they were wearing those novelty-shop flowers on their lapels, squirting water into the eyes of the Libs. Rallies were joyful occasions preceded by tailgate parties where they connected in-person with online friends. Yes, in reality the cruelty was the point, yes, they had become addicted to outrage and to perceiving *themselves* as victims, but Trump sold it all in a way that made their rage and resentment feel enjoyably cathartic. His rollicking style allowed his supporters to avoid squarely facing or admitting to themselves what they were really supporting.

But DeSantis, who has all the personal charisma of a tarantula, is deadly serious. He tears their fig leaf away. DeSantis’ humorless authoritarianism forces the MAGAs to catch a glimpse of the reality they have more in common with the Nazis of the Beer Hall Putsch or the picnickers at a lynching than they do with the Merry Pranksters, which is how they prefer to see themselves. They want to believe they are basically good people, certainly they are not like the Nazis! DeSantis simply doesn’t offer them the same cover Trump does, and many of them really, really NEED that cover.

With the exception of rightwing loons like the Proud Boys, the integralists, the Viktor Orban fellaters, etc., you have to disguise the fascism to make it palatable to most 21st Century Americans. Trump knows how to do that, DeSantis does not.

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Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

Trump=god.

DeSantis=The Washington Generals.

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DeSantis = tarantula

Trump = pink-toed tarantula

https://www.istockphoto.com/photos/pinktoe-tarantula

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Awwww, that's ADORABLE. How dare you compare that beautiful creature to Donald Trump! A micro-aggression against the pink-toed-tarantula community!

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DeSantis=whitey-booted tarantula

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"His rollicking style allowed his supporters to avoid squarely facing or admitting to themselves what they were really supporting."

I also imagine that style gave Turd à l'Orange much leeway to never have to follow thru with any of it. DeSantis is just enough of a nerd to need to push thru the plan to show he's not just a tattered bag made of llama leather filled with cottage cheese.

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I completely agree. Trump recognized it’s much more about vibes than policy. Fortunately, that also jibed with his own laziness and ignorance.

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This jibes with whoever said, about Trump, that you had to "take him seriously, but not literally."

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Very, very much so. I have no idea what the person who originally made that statement actually meant, but whatever they did mean they SHOULD have meant Trump is the Merry Prankster of Fascism because that's the best way to sell it.

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If he's a merry prankster the drugs done wore off...

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That’s why it’s gonna be hard to convict him of conspiracy to concoct a riot on January 6. Conspiracies are WORK. Better to drop some heavy hints and let the losers takes care of it.

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I don't know if we've ever seen sheer laziness used as a criminal defense, but if anyone could pull it off it would be Donald Trump.

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Stochastic pranksterism

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"Fun" outrage.

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Ah, these fucking people. Seven years into the shitshow, and I'll read damn near anything that purports to explain their inexplicable behavior. They fascinate me, in a way that is probably unhealthy.

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There is a bizarre fascination, because you see some guy who lives in a $500,000 + McMansion and employs a dozen people in his successful small business, and he’s out here yelling about the Woke elite or BLM or SOMEBODY.

Help, help, he’s being…repressed? How, exactly? What’s really happening is the world is changing for the better in ways that mean simply being a fairly successful white guy doesn’t bring him as much status and rewards as he thinks he’s owed. That’s the beginning and end of it, mostly.

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Agree totally, so why do I keep reading about these fuckheads? That's the unhealthy part, I think. They're really not that complicated.

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I know, it makes me furious when the Post or the Times does this shit, and yet I read every damn article, looking for what, I don't even know any more.

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Because you, like me, and probably like most of the gang here, cannot fundamentally accept the fact that 70 million people voted for a man who is a lying, dysfunctional fraud, but who is OBVIOUSLY a lying, dysfunctional fraud. It's why (to me, at least) all cults are interesting. They're so OBVIOUSLY insane, how can seemingly normal people believe and follow them? That "obviously" suggest to me that I'm defending my most fundamental notion of what it means to be a sane, decent human being.

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Yes, cults are interesting, aren't they? But with a cult I get the impression the members actually mean it. That's what's so maddening about these fucking people, maybe they're just putting us all on? Do they actually believe anything? (a question I have asked a thousand times before and am no closer to answering)

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Yeah, cults are True Believer-dependent. MAGA folx go home at the end of the day to their bibles and guns and video games like nuthin's different.

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No matter what happens in the usa, nothing fundamentally changes for angry dentists with boats. They can act out all they want and no matter what chaos results all their ducks are still in a row.

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This gets at the Great Question of our time, What The Hell Do These People Want? Or more succinctly, Why? Trump clearly fills a need in These People, but it's important to remember that These People, the Loud'nProud, are not a big percentage (27 feels about right) but out of 300+ mill that's still a big number. That need is at the core of the answer to the Great Question, one that I am not qualified to answer. But I can design the parameters for anyone willing to engage in some Deep Thought.

Trump is comfort, power, strength, triumph, cocksure arrogance and a lover of Vogon poetry like the classic The Snake. All of that fills a need.

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I wonder if you took some average Republican-voting car dealer and made him sit through the whole 2-hour performance that is Trump at a Trump rally, the reading of The Snake, the extended comedy bit about being on an electric boat, choosing between electrocution and being eaten by a shark, all of it, and then ask: "You think he should have access to the nuclear codes?"

But it's never gonna happen. The loons who eat this shit up and ask for more are a minority, much more common is the deliberate not-knowing, especially among those who voted for him in 2020 and refuse to see how much crazier he's gotten since then.

The loons draw all our attention, but if Trump is elected, it will mostly be due to "Oh, is it time for another election already? Better go fill in the little circle next to the R!"

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Meanwhile there's folks on the other side of the Earth that are ACTUALLY being oppressed, but he can't be bothered to hear about it.

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Too busy down-punching.

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Was going to make my standard "Let me get out my skin-color chart" joke, but, you know, Ukraine. So they don't give a shit about white people either.

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Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

Damn. It's early, and I've not had enough coffee to suss this completely, but yeah.

Floridians tho are a Special Case – do not discount their ability to out-feel (not out-think) even the most inelegant of reason-bereft candidate-oids. That is, "Sure, he's Mussolini, and of course the trains do not run on time. But what the hell – those cute little boots!"

Nah. Needs more coffee.

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Verily, there are no trains to get run on time in the land of Florida. Just at Disney World.

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He made the drunk-tourist-raping Ubers run on time?

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Deutchland Uber, Always.

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Public transport takes poor people to places they don’t belong.

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I hear they sometimes just ride around in circles, just to stay out of the rain!

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I pay $12.64 annually in taxes to support that! It’s outrageous! I mean, I’m a Christian and all, but where’s the sense of personal responsibility?

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Shouldn't the poor be out in front PULLING the bus? Now that's some public transportation I can get behind!

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Sounds Character Building.

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You mean, pushing the bus? Or just cracking the whip...?

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Because Rick Scott nixed high speed rail in Florida, wasn’t it? (And this after Henry Flagler tried to get a train all the way to Key West for no remotely feasible purpose other than That’s What We Do in the USA.)

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If only we had some really mundane device for the job...you know, a boring machine...

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That’s it: TUNNEL TO KEY WEST. What could go wrong?

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Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

TBH, this piece kind of ranty and too long for my shrinking pool of patience, but then, towards the end, the joke:

"Folks, I assure you, when MAGA look at DeSantis they see the same charmless, maladroit fuckface you do."

Not enough to have a scintilla of rachmanos for any MAGAt, but likely completely correct.

The path to a fascist state requires freeing the people to engage in their worst behavior. That enabling by Fulton County (GA) Inmate No. P01135809 was the only innovation of his. Of course, theretofore, the typical pol's superego would forced them to draw a line at that, but not the fPOTUS who obviously has no superego to speak of.

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Speaking as an outsider with 65 years on this ball of shit and wonder, it seems to me that Americans have been trending towards "engage in their worst behavior" since long before Trump. The fruit's just beginning to blossom

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Oct 12, 2023·edited Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

It does feel baked-in.

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"... it seems to me that Americans have been trending towards "engage in their worst behavior" since long before Trump."

Looking at this post in Indigenous person...

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Canadians (I'm one) and colonizers around the world, right?

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deletedOct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso
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I've been in Japan the last 25 years. I have no desire to return (except to visit). MY country couldn't find an educated citizen work. THIS country could and did.

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(Nods in African-American)

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(crushes a quarterback in American Samoan)

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Oct 12, 2023·edited Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

And yet, paradoxically, there are so many ways in which normal people are trending towards better and more considerate behavior. My two favorite examples don't have to do with wokeness or an awareness of microaggressions, they're that: 1) It used to be perfectly normal for a guy to light up a cigarette in an elevator and anybody who objected was seen to be some sort of "health nut" and 2) Drunk driving used to be treated as something of a joke (there's plenty of cringe-inducing TV comedy from the 60's showing this) and now it's seen as a serious crime. People are becoming better-behaved and more civilized in multiple ways, which might itself be a spark for the MAGA counter-revolution.

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Yeah, and seatbelts, etc. Honestly, I don't see these behaviors as "more considerate" so much as "how can I live longer and/or avoid being sued/criminally prosecuted?" All driven by insurance companies.

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Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

I’m not either we’re quite what hey had in mind enacting the bill.

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Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

I guess what stands out to me is getting behind the wheel of a car and not thinking about how you might kill someone. Or lighting up a cigarette and not thinking about how it affects other people. American culture has always been full of not-thinking of this sort, and I see us actually making progress against it, which probably enrages those who really, really like not-thinking.

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Oct 12, 2023·edited Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

Making a joke and not thinking anyone could be offended by it is another example. Easier to do in the past than today, and that makes some people absolutely furious. How dare you take my not-thinking from me!

Even the guys who are loud n' proud about their eagerness to offend can't escape the fact they they're now thinking about the offense they give, they can't get back that total obliviousness with which their fathers and grandfathers were gifted.

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I'd still argue that until behavior is internalized it's just "I won't do X because..." VS. "I won't do X."

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author

Same diff, except we need the force of law behind it because people are badly raised.

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Ya THINK?

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Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

I had in mind the electoral support for sadist and nihilists who are per sé unfit for office. Should have been clearer but it’s been a weird morning...

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Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

You might expect the MAGA stans to resent someone like Trump, with his total lack of a sense of responsibility, his I-don’t-give-a-fuckness*, as the product of an unfairly privileged upbringing. But no. It reminds me of a college class I took in which the students who were children of the working class defended the Robber Barons, the union busters, the exploiters and even murderers -- because that’s what THEY would have done. And will do, when their ship comes in. Politicians like DeSantis, who tout their “common man” origins, do nothing to feed the fantasy. If you’re such a big deal, why ain’t you grabbing pussy?

*Offer applies to white men only.

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Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

Yes.

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Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

Right, I don't want to turn America into a fascist dictatorship, but if I did I would resent the one guy who had a chance to do so fucking the thing up so completely.

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Yeah this is exactly right. I'm in Ohio. Southwest Ohio which means I'm surrounded by these people. Being a cruel asshole isn't the point -it's a sidebar or a byproduct. People drawn to Trump are the kind of people that will never admit that they are wrong. This means that they have to blame setbacks or problems on other people. The most privileged people in the history of the world feel downtrodden. (That's fucked up!) Mostly they want other people to feel as sorry for them as they feel for themselves. Now they think it's great when the people they feel are keeping them down suffer some sort of cruelty or misfortune. They love that shit. But it's not a requirement as long as everyone acknowledges that they're the ones being put upon. They are not The Man - they are the ones that The Man is keeping down.

I think they hate Ron's pushy old lady too. Keeping Bitches Down is another fundamental rule in the cult. Nikki Haley gets to go on TV and spout off but at the end of the day she's in the other room fixing sandwiches while the men talk business.

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Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

While I completely disagree with him on many issues, I like to read the conservative anti-Trumper Tom Nichols, because I think he really "gets" the MAGA cult in a way that others don't. He sees them as entitled, narcissistic toddlers who, while having plenty of toys, feel as if they were never given the toys they REALLY wanted. So nobody else gets to have ANY toys. If someone else gets a toy, it is a personal affront to MAGA, and that toy must be taken away, pronto.

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Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

This resentful, perpetually aggrieved toddler with toy envy going on seems accurate to me. I know MAGA and MAGA-adjacent folks on a personal level. Heck, they like me! This psychological space is where they come from, with an odd spontaneity without prompting. They love to point out things they see as unfair, such as student loan forgiveness. It has nothing to do with them, will not impact their condition at all, but they would rather see others continue to struggle.

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MILLIONS of people FLOODING across our southern border, and how, exactly, has this made your life more difficult? Are you the Mayor of Chicago?

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In fact, they may be making your life easier, or at least cheaper. Do you like fruits and vegetables, for example? And in border state suburbia, it sure looks like most everybody’s yard and pool and kids and home improvement project is being handled by The Illegals.

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Well, if they're fixing my roof right at this very moment, they're OK. Once my roof is fixed, they better get the fuck out or I'm calling ICE on them.

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"Immediately after my roof is fixed (but before they've had a chance to invoice me), I'm calling ICE on them."

is what you meant to say, Shirley.

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It's funny how some imaginary impact (based on what? Statistics and lies?) can carry so much weight!

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The power of imaginary numbers! I should have known a self-absorbed asshole like Trump would be a master of them, we don't call 'em "i" for nothin'.

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I s'pose...

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“they have to blame setbacks or problems on other people”

I see you’ve somehow met my uncle in South Dakota.

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"Look, buddy, the fact you're in South Dakota is on YOU."

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“I come from a long line of cranks.”

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Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

Rocket from the Crypt said it best: https://youtu.be/X-4icaybfBI?si=jjqxgZ0X4Jg-tmGd&t=135

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Crypt is that pyramid-scheme digi-money. Tombs is where Queens Man buried his cash and wife.

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Clicked, listened, and "liked"

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Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

“Folks, I assure you, when MAGA look at DeSantis they see the same charmless, maladroit fuckface you do. They see a numpty who does everything out of a playbook, who can’t improvise, who can’t dance, who has no soul, no verve, no jam. As I wrote in 2015, they wouldn’t vote for Scott Walker for the same reason:”

Ed, please tell us how you really feel? Excellent analysis, I’ll add a few tidbits of my own:

With DeSatan, where do we start? Yes, he is a “fuckface,” but an obsessed and ambitious one. If you’ve ever seen him debate, then you know why he is being eviscerated at the polls. He’s like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming tractor/trailer; cruising down the highway to hell.

News flash: it doesn’t end well for Bambi!

As for Walker or Mr. Venn diagram? Well, his presentation skills, or lack thereof, speaks volumes as to his competency. Walker was never a serious contender and will find his place in the dustbin of history, along with the rest of the pretenders.

Just look at all the young guns in the Republican Party: Cantor, McCarthy and Ryan. Need I say more? All with so much promise, yet, of little consequence or a moral turpitude, and even less to offer as legitimate statesmen and leaders.

As the Republican Party metastasizes into its current form of MAGA-lite leaders, religious fanatics, and white nationalists, only one charlatan emerges from the pack: the least incompetent of all; Trump!

And that’s exactly how the MAGA mob likes it.

Just some thoughts...:)

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Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

Sorry, I meant Roy, not Ed. My bad, and apologies to Roy...:)

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I thought you meant "Ed" as in editor and just kept reading

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It might be Alicublog apocrypha (like WAY BACK), but I dimly remember some RW fuckface blogger mistakenly referring to our host as "Ed Roso." It wasn't uncommon for our Itty Bitty Titty Committee to say "Ed" or "Mr. Roso" when composing imaginary letters of protest...

... maybe it was just me. Dunno.

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I lurked Alicublog in my semi-early web days, as well as LGM and a couple of other sites. I was already philosophically an existentialist (and still am), so I was ripe for their leftist cultism, but it was their general love of good music and shit that won me over lol

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A sour wingnut did indeed call our host Ed Rosso. To the dismay of some on the Left. (Another old callback.)

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Ron = the Scott Walker of Jeb Bushs of KevinMcCarthys of Tim Scotts of . . . .

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Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

Hard to understand, I know, but in the kiddie pool of Wisconsin politics Scott Walker was an honest-to-God rock star.

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Imagine liking a sweaty, balding, dad-jeans-wearing cover band more than you liked the Beatles, and you’ll understand Walker’s appeal.

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Forget it Jake, it's Wisconsin.

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Yes, eerie similarity. Gets a lot of initial support for his "cruelty is the point" actions. But in debates, etc. comes off as a malfunctioning robot. Yes, cruelty, but *where's the fun in it?*

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Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

In fairness, DeSanctimonious is an unpopular incumbent.

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Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

Oh, I'm pretty confident the Florida Democratic Party will find a way to lose to him AGAIN.

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Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

They can’t. DeSatan is termed out. He can’t run again for governor until 2028, and by that time, no one will have an inkling as to who he is...:)

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Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

Thanks, I did not know that, but I worry that we're both underestimating the Florida Democratic Party's capacity for losing to Ron DeSantis. THEY WILL FIND A WAY.

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Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

Agreed, but we can pray....:)

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Hate Will Find A Way, Pablo Cruise's worst hit, which is saying something.

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It’s all right (all right) / once you get past the pain

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Millions of his voters will be dead by then (not that it will stop them, necessarily).

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That must be why Matt Gaetz is said to thinking of a run for the governorship.

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Why not? It looks easy. You don’t even have to be there.

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Matt Gaetz, meet the state of Florida. You two were MADE for one another.

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Imagine Every. Damn. Iguana. just hangin' on that limb, waitin' for the moment Gaetz walks underneath, in hopes they can flop on him One after the other, after the other, after the other, after the other...

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Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

He may be *somewhat* popular in Floridamanistan, but nation wide, not so much.

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Oct 12, 2023·edited Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

This is all tremendously reassuring to me. My greatest fear has been that the Republicans would find someone just as awful as Trump, but focused, disciplined and capable of follow-through. What a pleasant surprise to find that Republican voters have some kind of brain malfunction that makes "focused, disciplined, capable of follow-through" a turn-off.

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The GOP has a deep bench of Grade A assholes, but (I believe) Trump is sine qua non. If only he’d shuffle off his mortal coil. Whatever it is won’t transfer to Don Jr or Eric or even Ivanka.

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I do have a new appreciation for his uniqueness. Like how there are many, many strains of Covid, but there's only one smallpox.

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It used to get a lot more attention, but Trump's decades of being a Celebrity is/was his real superpower. That, combined with his willingness to be the unfiltered mouthpiece of White Greivance, made him the Optimus Prime of America. You need both, and none of his kids nor any "professional" (put in quotes because people like Green, Gaetz, and Boebert were unknown until they became elected officials) have both. Plus, the man has a way with words that would require serious brain damage to match.

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I think this was once an old (and probably very tiresome) debate among historians, are guys like Napoleon and Hitler really unique figures, without which history would have turned out much differently, or are they just the product of the objective forces of their times? If you'd strangled Hitler in his crib, wouldn't some other Nazi have just taken his place?

I used to lean more towards the "objective forces" side until I saw and experienced Donald Trump.

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It’s somewhat comforting to think that historical forces alone can’t reach a state of criticality without a catalyst like one of them.

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These days, we take our comfort wherever we can find it.

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I draw the line at Southern.

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Also, his willingness (compulsion?) to lie constantly and shamelessly, to tell the audience whatever they wanted to hear, was a big part of it. He isn’t a comedian, but he has a keen sense of his audience.

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He's Bill Cosby, and I don't just mean as a date-rapist! Like Cosby, totally comfortable and in command, the opposite of try-hard, sure that you'll be entertained by whatever comes out, whether it's funny noises or a story that goes on and on and on...

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“… and my mother … had thrown … the snowball … away.”

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Even before The Apprentice, he spent decades burnishing the image of the ultra-wealthy playboy. It's like a character from a really stupid B movie.

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A really stupid B movie THAT REFUSES TO END.

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Yeah, that's it. The society column mentions, the cameos in movies like Home Alone 2: Lost In New York, the big dumb casino scams, all those crappy little I'm Still Here pokes, all added up to the fun sloppy uncle who shows up with a bunch of cheap presents every 5 years or so. If you loaned him money you'd never expect to see it again but he always had a great story why he couldn't pay you back right now. John Candy could have nailed it.

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Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

I am reminded of the woman who said, after the pussy-grabbing tape came out, “That’s just the way men are.” She meant the men in her life, not decent caring men, and she accepted them as the norm. Add in the fake business genius persona and you have the Trump secret sauce: loud, ignorant bullying you could hear in any crappy bar or Super Bowl party, filling their ears with bullshit that’s so much easier to absorb than actual facts and figures. DeSantis is to whiny, he’s the husband you wish would shut up and take the dog out so you can get back to Dancing With the Stars. Every MAGA man wants to be big and successful like Trump, not governor of a state-wide retirement community cum trailer park.

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Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

Jordan Klepper had a tape where he was talking to a woman at a Trump rally: "Oh, that's just locker room talk, all men talk like that." Klepper asked, "Do you have sons? Do they talk that way?" And "Oh no, of course not!" was her reply. Klepper went through the list, does your husband talk that way, does your pastor talk that way, did your dad talk that way, does your brother talk that way. None of the men she knew talked that way, but all men talk that way.

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Well, not directly to her.

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And that's all that matters, right?

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Best example of how MAGA cognitive dissonance is managed I've ever seen.

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As above, he's a Celebrity, who has Been On Television. They don't just put *anybody* On Television. (Well, they do, but I digress.) The people who watch Television are generally old enough to remember when Being On Television was a Big Deal. You had to either have Done Something or Knew Something.

Now all of a sudden some Children Who Don't Know Anything (never mind they showed you what this "streaming" thing is and how it works) want your vote. They've never even Been On Television until now; how can you trust them?

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I'm no fool, I'm not signing my home over to just ANY reverse-mortgage company, I insist on the one that employs Tom Selleck!

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Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

The fact is that DeSantis wants to be Mussolini but hasn't the charisma or charm to pull it off. Small consolation certainly, but better than the alternative.

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Oct 12, 2023Liked by Roy Edroso

"Not as charming as Mussolini"

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When the fact becomes legend...

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This column inspired two (2) profound thoughts:

1. Trump to MAGA is the John Belushi character in Animal House. He can be "cruel" (and smash some ninny's guitar), but he doesn't do it with his eye on the audience, implying, "This is what you want, isn't it?" Trump, like some country western singer's persona, is an "outlaw." That's what they like.

2. DeathSentence, in contrast, panders to MAGA and, for all we know, makes some of them a tad uncomfortable when confronted with an accurate read of "what they want." So it reminded me--go know why--of the immortal commercial line, "Chah-lee, Stahkist don't want tunas with good taste. They want tunas who taste good."

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...he doesn't do it with his eye on the audience, implying, "This is what you want, isn't it?"

This is very true, it's why porn actors so seldom break the fourth wall.

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"(And attaching the stink of the anti-abortion failure to DeSantis in particular.)"

The term "woke" has dropped from the MAGA vocabulary as well...because Dump.

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Speaking of censorship (that's me, Johnny Segue), you remember that Covenant Eyes thing I mentioned the other day? Turns out there's a whole industry devoted to software just like it. There's an option on one of them to "protect" you from swimwear and lingerie! And options to keep you from bypassing or uninstalling it! And it'll even track you. Sure, there's false positives and it'll block ANY reference to sex (probably "gender" as well, making it difficult I'm sure to learn certain foreign languages), but life is SO much more pleasant when someone's looking over your shoulder at all times. 🙄🤨

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If I told them that Temu was a porn site would it protect me from their ads?

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I could see installing it for that

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Can I still summon up wankers? Because once it learns about wanking the world will likely whimper to its end...

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"So can I, and so can any man, but will they cum?"

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