Tuesday, March 15, 2016

How Orwellian can this get?

ThinkProgress.org—a division of the Center for American Progress, founded by Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta—ran an account under the approving headline “How Activists Mobilized to Shut Down Trump in Chicago”:
Organizations “tapped into existing networks of pro-Bernie Sanders and Black Lives Matter activists,” as NBC News explained. Representatives of student groups from the Black Student Union and Fearless and Undocumented were present at a meeting and decided to protest outside, while a Facebook event page promoted the protest to get people inside. The page included links to getting tickets to Trump’s rally.
One undocumented student started a petition on MoveOn.org calling on the school to cancel the event, claiming that Trump’s visit was a “standards and safety issue” at the UIC campus. MoveOn.org chipped in money for banners as well after the student’s petition garnered 50,000 signatures. As more than 1,000 students gathered for the march, Trump’s team cancelled his appearance.

At a Democratic fundraiser Saturday, President Obama alluded to Trump when he said: “Those who aspire to be our leaders should be trying to bring us together, and not turning us against one another—and speak out against violence, and reject efforts to spread fear or turn us against one another.”
Fair enough—but consider the source. Yesterday’s New York Times featured an interesting story on Trump’s rise to political prominence. It’s mostly about “a Republican Party that placated and indulged him,” but it begins with the following anecdote:
Donald J. Trump arrived at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in April 2011, reveling in the moment as he mingled with the political luminaries who gathered at the Washington Hilton. . . .
A short while later, the humiliation started.
The annual dinner features a lighthearted speech from the president; that year, President Obama chose Mr. Trump, then flirting with his own presidential bid, as a punch line.
He lampooned Mr. Trump’s gaudy taste in décor. He ridiculed his fixation on false rumors that the president had been born in Kenya. He belittled his reality show, “The Celebrity Apprentice.”
Mr. Trump at first offered a drawn smile, then a game wave of the hand. But as the president’s mocking of him continued and people at other tables craned their necks to gauge his reaction, Mr. Trump hunched forward with a frozen grimace.
After the dinner ended, Mr. Trump quickly left, appearing bruised. . . .
That evening of public abasement, rather than sending Mr. Trump away, accelerated his ferocious efforts to gain stature within the political world. And it captured the degree to which Mr. Trump’s campaign is driven by a deep yearning sometimes obscured by his bluster and bragging: a desire to be taken seriously.
We now have a major candidate for president who diminishes the office he seeks by engaging in juvenile taunts directed against his opponents. That is partly because we have a president who is known to do the same.


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