What Fresh Hell Is This?

November 19, 2016

David Shribman: President Trump Normalizer

First let me say that based on the P-G's endorsements of Senator Pat Toomey, Representative Rick Saccone (remember him?  He wanted 2012 to be "The Year of The Bible"), State House Speaker Mike Turzai (ALEC member and voter-fraud conspiracy theorist) and their Clinton/Trump non-endorsement (beautifully deconstructed by the OPJ here), I have a feeling I'll be spending more time fact-checking the once proud Post-Gazette editorial board in the coming months and years - I mean now that the Trib's gone paperless something has to fill the conservative vacuum in town, right?  How long until John Block forces a climate denial editorial on us?

Anyway, back to the blog.  I haven't posted much anything of substance since this posting the day after the election.  There were a few things here and there but if you'll take a closer look, you'll see that most of what I posted consists of statements and pleas for donations from some very important organizations (ACLU, NARAL, HRC, and NAACP) - organizations that, over the next few years, will be needing a great deal of help to counter the coming assault on our freedoms and on our national decency.

I took a short break because I felt I needed some time for the enormity of the outcome of the election to settle in.  Even now with a few days off it's becoming clear to me that the task before us is still daunting and nearly impossible to imagine - like trying to wrap your arms around the Great Pyramid of Giza just so you can lift it up and move it a few (just a few) inches to the left.

Take for example what happened yesterday.
Donald J. Trump has reversed course and agreed on Friday to pay $25 million to settle a series of lawsuits stemming from his defunct for-profit education venture, Trump University, finally putting to rest fraud allegations by former students, which have dogged him for years and hampered his presidential campaign.
Did you know that the fraud trial was scheduled to begin between the election and inauguration?

Imagine what the past few months would have looked like if either Clinton was facing a fraud trial.  Imagine if they settled the case for $25 mil.  Now ponder the concept of "a liberal media watchdog."
Anyway Senator Elizabeth Warren (racistly referred to as "Pocahontas" by our President-Elect) tweeted of the settlement:
And you'll remember this detail of the case:
The judge overseeing the two California cases, Gonzalo Curiel, was thrust into the limelight of the campaign in May when Mr. Trump spent several minutes at a rally denouncing the judge’s decisions in the case, calling him a “hater” and questioning his impartiality because of his Mexican Heritage.
Something the Speaker of The House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, at one point denounced as "the textbook definition of a racist comment."

Well, few days ago, this is what Paul Ryan said:
Every member of the House Republican conference found a traditional red “Make America Great Again” hat waiting on their seats Tuesday morning before a Capitol Hill meeting. “Welcome to the dawn of a new unified Republican government,” Ryan announced at a news conference. “This will be a government focused on turning President-elect Trump’s victory into real progress for the American people.”
I haven't even mentioned how seemingly acceptable the Trump Foundation slush fund is these days, or his calls for war crimes, or his unsolicited pussy-grabbing and beauty pageant-peeping seems to be with American conservatives, voters and the news media in general.

But, on the other hand, we had a (losing) candidate who got pneumonia on 9/11 and used a private email server, so it all balances out, right?

See what I mean about trying to wrap your arms around the Great Pyramid?

For me it's resisting the normalization of Donald Trump.  I touched on it yesterday.

We must not normalize this man or his actions - even sitting in the Oval Office, he's guilty of some gross violations of human decency.  Winning the election didn't change any of that.

Unfortunately "normalization" is what David Shribman, executive editor of the once centrist/left Pittsburgh Post-Gazette did this past week.  He describes our President-Elect thusly:
So it was Tuesday night, when Manhattan businessman Donald J. Trump — a political outsider, possessed of daunting ambition, audacity and an acute sense of the American political climate — emerged as the winner of a raucous presidential election.

An American original — a casino and real-estate magnate with an uncanny ability to read the public mood and an unerring ability to discern his rivals’ vulnerabilities — Mr. Trump now takes on his biggest task.
And on the negative?
Sometimes vulgar, always voluble, Mr. Trump ran against the political establishment of the Republican Party, against the customs of political life, and against the principal elements of American life
Sometimes vulgar?  Mr Shribman?  Sometimes?  Vulgar is spitting in public.  Vulgar is burping out loud at a fancy restaurant (and then laughing about the moist bits now dotting in your date's eyeglasses).  Bragging about being able to "grab them by the pussy" is actually (and I can't believe I have to tell you this, Dave) illegal.

And:
In winning one of the wildest, least predictable presidential elections of the age, Mr. Trump prevailed despite a fusillade of complaints about his conduct with women; repeated stories detailing irregular business practices; an unusual number of party apostates who declared they would never vote for him; and criticism that he hadn’t paid federal income taxes for about two decades.
Ah, Dave - you're normalizing by downplaying.  You see that, right?  That "fusillade of complaints"?  Take a look.  How much of what was described is actually illegal?  Irregular business practices?  We could just stop at the $25 million to make the Trump "University" fraud cases go away but if we wanted to, we could look at the hundreds stiffed in the past by our future president. And on those unpaid taxes?  It would be one thing if his tax dodging were completely within bounds.  But why, Dave, did you fail to mention that Trump's own attorneys told him that what he was planning to do was likely to trigger an IRS audit?  Or that, even if he was completely within the law, he was writing off millions by "deducting someone else's losses"?  What a genius! What a man for the people!

No.  You reduced the extent of Trump's pre-Presidential corruption down to one easy to swallow lump of lark's vomit lovingly garnished with this:
The man who vowed to make America great again now faces great challenges. But against all the experts and all the expectations he fashioned a great upset, a great comeback, and a great achievement.
Dave, you might think it's a great achievement but Trump's still a sexist, racist, corrupt demagogue.  Sitting at Resolute Desk simply can't change that.

Or don't you think so?  Let me know.

I, for one, will not adapt to this new normal.  I will not normalize this behavior.