March 15, 2023

To beat the sadistic grandiose narcissist DeSantis needs to channel more of Trump's psychopathology

 By Hal Brown

Caricatures by DonkeyHotey, An artist's depiction of a torture chamber of the Inquisition, ca. 1736. . Public Domain, Wikipedia

Ron DeSantis is a selective sadist so he doesn't need any lesson in sadism from Trump.

Trump is incapable of empathy, DeSantis may have empathy for select people but certainly doesn't for anyone he can use to achieve a political advantage. Sadists enjoy making some people suffer. DeSantis did this when he sent migrants to Martha's Vineyard to "own the libs" who live there.

Trump has been described as both a sadistic malignant narcissist, which he is, and a poster child for The Dark Triad, a combination of being an extreme narcissist, a psychopath, and a Machiavellian (read my article here).

What will it take to shake the dour and dull DeSantis out of the doldrums? The latest news from Politico (read article) is that nothing is off the table when it comes Trump to attacking DeSantis. From bending the truth to making up bullshit with Trump it matters not as long as he thinks his attacks will resonate with his cult.

Now Trump is reportedly going to attack DeSantis for being soft on prosecuting child pornographers when he was a D.A. The fact that those in the know are saying that this wasn't true is irrelevant to Trump. The following is from Raw Story:

This line of attack on DeSantis also appears to be a dog whistle to Trump's QAnon-believing supporters who believe Trump is working to uncover a vast conspiracy involving blood-drinking Satanist pedophiles.

Trump has already promoted posts on his Truth Social site accusing DeSantis of being a "groomer," so this new line of attack would tie in with previous Trump smears against the Florida governor. From "Trump prepares to lob 'grenade' at DeSantis and 'nothing is off the table'"

How long can DeSantis ignore these attacks without counter punching? About as close to grandiosity as DeSantis ever gets is standing a podiums with signs announcing his latest anti-woke positions and policies. As close as he gets to being narcissistic is using the word "courage" in his book title:

To beat Trump, who is like a great white shark who smells blood in the water, DeSantis will have to learn to bite back and bite back hard.  It's not as if Trump isn't bleeding. He is dealing with what would be the death from a thousand cuts in a normal person. What DeSantis has to do is see which wounds are most dangerous for Trump's survival and shake him unmercifully and rip them open. Like a shark he will then have a chance to devour him.

Just to counter the bogus soft on pornography accusation Trump can truthfully be described as cheater on his pregnant wife and worse, a serial sexual abuser and an, dare DeSantis go there, someone credibly accused of being a rapist. 

Most people have trouble changing their essential natural inclinations. DeSantis doesn't have to do this. All he has to do is what actors do all the time. He has to learn his lines and recite them in a convincing way.

I really don't want him to succeed in this endeavor because I think he is a more difficult candidate for Joe Biden to beat. This isn't to say that he'll be able to convince enough voters that "wokeness" actually is something that personally threatens them. By the time the election roles around whichever Republican runs will have to convince voters that Joe Biden was the demon they depicted him as. 

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March 14, 2023

Not being boring is the Trump and DeSantis challenge, but are they about to jump the shark?

 By Hal Brown

Read my related Mar. 15 blog here.

My version

I read this in Salon...

The real image

Double duds: Jim Jordan's and Tucker Carlson's lazy conspiracy theories bore MAGA

GOP propagandists believe MAGA buys whatever they're selling, so why put any effort into spinning lies?

... and I thought that the article could just as easily be referring to both Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis. You can see how I changed the illustration.

Just about everything that Amanda Marcotte writes in her article about Jim Jordan and Tucker Carlson, with some modification, could describe what might happen with Trump and DeSantis. 

Jumping the shark (see Wikipedia) of course originated with an episode of the popular TV show "Happy Days" where Fonzie was on water skis and jumped over a shark. After that the popularity of the series gradually declined but the term has expanded to mean a stunt meant to be a wowza which turns out to have been be a dud.

Consider how Trump is now hysterically warning that only he is capable of preventing World War III. DeSantis wants you to wet yourself in terror at the woke warriors who want to turn your children into "perverts".

Marcotte calls Jordan and Tucker's conspiracy theories lazy. I'd call them desperate. As far as I'm concerned the same goes for Trump and DeSantis. 

Jordan and Tucker are actors. This is from Marcotte's article (emphasis added):

Both Carlson and Jordan have become famous and powerful by dint of their effectiveness at spreading conspiracy theories. Carlson gets paid $6 million a year, strictly due to his acting chops, whether he's pretending to care about the sexiness of M&Ms or to believe in the intelligence of Donald Trump. Similarly, Jordan rose high in the ranks of House Republicans because he's talented at faking outrage. Yet both these men are showing less passion for conspiracy theories these days than your average unpaid and anonymous QAnon troll. It must be tiring, looking forward to the rest of their lives spent trying to feign zeal over fake culture war fights or made-up controversies. Not that they deserve your pity, of course. Being professional liars is the path they chose for themselves, and they're clearly stuck following it to the end. 
Not that I have to point out the obvious, but Trump and DeSantis are professional liars.

Their political fortunes depend on keeping their lying fresh and entertaining. Here's the 30 Second World War III possible shark jumper from Trump tweeted by Junior.

I don't have a comparable example from Ron DeSantis. The one thing he has in his advantage is that he always comes across as dull. 

This is from The Washington Post opinion piece How much does charisma matter? DeSantis is putting it to the test. by Paul Waldman published today: 
He is “reserved and dry” and has a challenge “forging connections with people.” He’s “pinched and humorless.” He “just doesn’t have the charisma to command a national political stage.” He “has the charisma of a pair of cargo shorts.”

He wisely doesn't try to out-Trump Trump in feigning outrage. He depends on using a dry presentation of the dire consequences of woke policies. I don't know what latest policy announcement could, in retrospect, be seen as him having jumped the shark. I expect it could just the a straw the breaks the camels back executive order.

Both of the top contenders for the GOP nomination depend on not being boring. They are very different in this respect from Mike Pence and Joe Biden. Both of them are naturally low-key. You could call them boring in how they present their ideas and policies. When Biden is particularly animated, or expresses anger, more than usual people take notice, for example:

Click above to read article

Neither Pence nor Biden have to worry about boring MAGA-world since residents of this land of won't vote for them anyway. It's Trump and DeSantis who have to worry about boring the denizens of MAGA.

I was curious about this...

so I looked it up:
Click above to read article

Trump can try to gin up hysteria about a nuclear attack but does he really care about the rest of Americans when his house has three bomb shelters? None can withstand a direct hit but why would Putin want to take out Mar-a-Lago when Trump is his pal?

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March 13, 2023

Perhaps Fox New actually does have "proprietary journalistic processes"

 By Hal Brown

Public domain images combined by author

In his Washington Post Opinion piece, "Fox News fears competitors will steal its ‘journalistic processes’" (subscription) Erik Wemple writes about the Dominion lawsuit. He notes that Fox News filed a brief arguing that "the Delaware court presiding over the case should maintain the confidentiality of discovery material already redacted by the network, shielding it from the public’s curious eyes."

(Emphasis added) For its part, Fox News says it’s seeking to protect “documents that discuss concrete details of how editorial decisions are made, how reporters source their stories, and how Fox’s ‘brainroom’ conducts fact-checks” — and not the more generic categories cited by the media outlets seeking the redactions’ unsealing. “Proprietary newsgathering processes,” says the Fox News brief, “are the kind of competitive business information that justifies maintaining the seal.”

This sounds patently absurd since, as Wemple notes, news gathering practices are taught in every journalism school and often discussed at journalism conferences. 

This misses one major point. 

Perhaps Fox News employs a psychic, or a team of mystics and paranormal investigators. Maybe they have a group of tea and tarot card readers giving them their scoops. After all there's the Minnesota artist named Marlene Bourne who is now called the "Ghost Woman" who Maria Bartiromo relied on for claims that the Dominion voting machines were rigged. 

If they do they have infallible prognosticators they have no worries about losing the Dominion lawsuit since they should be able to make all the money the have to pay out by betting on long shot  horses at the racetrack destine to win the trifecta at the racetrack.

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