A voyage around the puppy seas on the topic of Trump

So many chickens coming home to roost at the Mar-a-Lago that the hen house isn’t big enough. Poor Donald Trump has been finding ways of postponing, deferring or otherwise mortgaging the legal safety of his future self that he’s become a kind of one-person Ponzi scheme in which one set of shenanigans is paid off by a pyramid of further shenanigans.

This week the FBI “raided” his Florida home/business apparently to capture Whitehouse documents that probably should have been in the Whitehouse. The inevitable reaction from the right was this was a politically partisan persecution of the person of the previous president. “Unprecedented” was the word being used, which I guess is true but then Trump is an unusual sort of ex-President. Voices on the right were also treating it like it was the first shot in the civil war they kept threatening us all with.

Ever since Trump announced his run for president in 2015, I’ve been taking the temperature of the right by looking at the most convenient sample I had to hand: the writers previously known as Evil League of Evil aka the former Sad & Rabid Puppies.

The reaction to the news of the FBI warrant on Trump was not immediate. I group reactions to events on the right into three types.

  1. Instant consistent rage or excitement – straightforward events where it is obvious to everybody what the right is going to feel and say about things.
  2. Anger/excitement but they are initially confused as to what it means. For example, during the January 6 attack on the Capitol there were competing narratives between the rioters being noble patriots and it all being a false flag intended to discredit the right. Eventually, the narrative settled on it somehow being both at the same time.
  3. Little initial reaction until everybody has worked out what to say. This is where they were with the Trump/FBI warrant. There was an initial pause in some quarters partly because Trump’s star has faded but also as a way of playing down the significance of the event. One way to treat the “raid” would have been to claim it was just a distraction by Biden and should be ignored. Instead, the narrative settled on outrage.

Anyway, time to have a lock at our panel of research subjects:

“I was fairly salty on instapundit last night, on the subject of the idiotic raid on Trump’s place, but you know, that is easy. This is much harder, because I have to give a more reasoned opinion. And all I can say is, SERIOUSLY? Am I really living in a novel? Because Sad Puppies really was foreshadowing for our greater National troubles, only you know, it can’t work int he macro world as it did there”

https://accordingtohoyt.com/2022/08/09/speaking-of-bad-plots/

I’m always up for a Sad Puppies/US Politics parallel, so here’s Hoyt’s longer explanation of how the two connect:

“And part of the issue is how they define us. And how they justify what they want to do to us. As in Sad Puppies (And we’ll Psakircle around to that) they can only imagine we oppose them, not because we have substantive reasons to disagree with them or because their ideas are crazy, don’t work and are totally out of contact with reality but because we’re all old white males who feel our supremacy (which hasn’t been true for fifty years, if it ever was) in science fiction threatened, and so we are lashing out. For this to work, we must all be rich and famous and OLD white males. Even when we obviously and literally aren’t, which started the whole joke about the white Mormon male with a great rack (since a few of us obviously aren’t. And some of us aren’t any of those.) But for their ideology to work we MUST be that, and so that’s what it is in their heads. (Remember they also believe if they think something hard enough it will be true.)”

https://accordingtohoyt.com/2022/08/09/speaking-of-bad-plots/

I think “old” maybe a new elaboration on this theme from Sarah Hoyt. Either way, the point, shrouded in a strained analogy, is that for Hoyt the “raid” is just persecution designed to wind up the right.

Onto, John C. Wright, who is a former lawyer.

“The private residence of the leading political party opposition of the current illegal regime occupying the White House has been raided by the FBI, acting as the regime’s private Gestapo.”

https://www.scifiwright.com/2022/08/trump-raided-by-feds/

I’m not sure what “private” is doing there. If the analogy with the Gestapo made any sense (it doesn’t) it would still be the regular public Gestapo surely? I quibble when there’s more to say:

“The excuse for the FBI to enter the home, break open safes, and plant evidence is even more flimsy and absurd than the excuses used to promote the Russia Collusion hoax, the Ukraine Phonecall hoax, the January Capitol Trespass hoax, and countless other investigations mounted against Trump and his family. Pardon me if I do not dignify the excuse by repeating it or rebutting it: my lawyerly soul recoils in disgust.”

https://www.scifiwright.com/2022/08/trump-raided-by-feds/

Wright’s lawyerly soul has not stopped him from asserting the grounds for the FBI warrant was flimsy despite Wright actually having no idea at the time he wrote that what the warrant actually says. However, in good news for those of us sceptical about the efficacy of law enforcement, Wright has made a sudden ACAB conversion:

“The FBI and other intelligence agencies must be defunded, dismantled, abolished. Every Republican politician unwilling to call for abolishing the FBI must be primaried and thrown out of office.”

https://www.scifiwright.com/2022/08/trump-raided-by-feds/

Very lawyerly. This is all Wright working up to the idea that the “raid” (not really a raid at all by all accounts) was an intentional provocation of the right — an outrage so that some on the riot would react violently thus giving the tyrannical monsters in Wright’s imagination to crack down on everybody.

“You haven’t done Brad yet!” OK, OK. These days Brad is on Twitter because he kept getting banned on Facebook. This is part of a general trend of what we might call moderation-shopping. Many on the right abandoned Twitter in 2015/16 after the site began taking half-hearted action in the wake of Gamergate. In 2021/22 many have returned to Twitter after Facebook moderation increased but also after various right-wing Twitter alternatives flopped.

Brad’s contribution is to re-quote Andrew Yang and then add his own wisdom:

“The best possible thing for the (D)s to do, with Trump, was to just leave him alone. Let Trump be Trump, and wait. But no. The (D)s have been so eternally and deeply offended by Trump, he is the itch they cannot scratch, and every time they *try* they just amplify Trump’s signal”

https://twitter.com/BradRTorgersen/status/1557360681426374660

And wait for what exactly? Brad was endorsing quasi-centrist Yang who has offered a weird kind of argument for a special Trump immunity:

“I’m no Trump fan. I want him as far away from the White House as possible. But a fundamental part of his appeal has been that it’s him against a corrupt government establishment. This raid strengthens that case for millions of Americans who will see this as unjust persecution.”

https://twitter.com/AndrewYang/status/1556987104219090945

It’s a principle that in effect would give legal immunity to anybody who has lots of easily enraged fans. That would be great news for K-Pop stars who want to steal classified US government records I guess but not a sensible approach to government or law.

Brad also has some rewriting of history to fit in:

“The Overclass in D.C. *should* be asking themselves, “What mistakes are we making to cause a majority of voters to hate us so much that they will turn to a gruff, uncouth, hot-mouthed showman like Donald Trump?” But this would require more maturity than the Overclass can spare.”

https://twitter.com/BradRTorgersen/status/1557002698737995782

Trump has done many things but he has never managed to win the support of a majority of US voters and never will.

Meanwhile, the OG Sad Puppy is also on Twitter explaining how angry everybody has become because of law enforcement enforcing laws.

“The vibe I’m getting off of rank and file normie Republicans today is that they are PISSED. Even the mushy moderates are freaked out. Only Twitter NPCs like this Cuba style bullshit. I think in their hubris the Democrats just fucked themselves even worse than they were before.”

https://twitter.com/monsterhunter45/status/1557104249321824256

Correia raises Brad’s bar with retweets. Instead of the muddled Andrew Yang, Correia goes for the appalling Tim Pool. Pool attempts the rhetorical Hillary manoeuvre in defence of Trump:

“Hillary is fundraising off of admitting she did worse than what Trump is accused of This is the perfect example of democrat double standards She is gloating that she is above the law and knows democrats will give her money for it”

https://twitter.com/Timcast/status/1557009500527378433

Pool is never worth listening to but I find this quote illustrative as it helps explain some of the (slightly) delayed rage on the right. What is really angering the people of above, all of whom were to some degree opposed to Trump back in 2015 (and saw him as dodgy and dishonest back then), is that so many, many people were delighted by the idea of the FBI searching Trump’s home. It was a small quantum in terms of consequences for Trump but it inevitably caused a lot of delight from the right-of-centre to the actual left. Nothing makes the modern US right angry quite so much as the non-US right looking happy.

I’ve left one out. Vox Day was an early adopter of Trump enthusiasm. Day’s love of Trump faded when Trump refused to declare martial law and impose a dictatorship but he still has a soft spot for him. Day’s response was to post the bulk of Trump’s own press release. However, he did add this comment to his own post:

“This is a really bad sign for the continued existence of the United States as a unitary political entity. The primary requirement for the peaceful transition of power is to always permit the previous office-holder effective immunity for his actions in office, however they might be deplored by the office-holder who succeeds him, and to leave him alone.”

https://web.archive.org/web/20220810202306/https://voxday.net/2022/08/08/the-raid-on-mar-a-lago/

For those who have forgotten, Day was a long-time proponent of prosecuting the Clintons and also a promoter of the Qanon conspiracy theory.

Is this the beginning of the end for Trump? Well, almost everything is the beginning of the end for Trump. You could use that phrase for his whole career. It has made some people very unhappy but they, self-admittedly, also were people who got very upset that the wrong rocket-ship books were getting the rocket-ship trophies.

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33 responses to “A voyage around the puppy seas on the topic of Trump”

  1. The trouble with a post like this is I end up reading flatulent nonsense by people whose social media I no longer even look at.

    As for Vox Day, though, I’m sure you noticed that a long time ago he gave up writing original material. Now his blog is 50% ads for his company’s comics, and 50% lonnnnnggggg clippings from right wing sources with his abbreviated little stingers at the end.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Enh. It wasn’t technically a raid. It was a warrant search because after nearly 18 months of wrangling with the Trump camp to get all the non-destroyed classified documents back when they learned that he’d illegally stolen them on his way out the door, Trump only gave some of the documents back to the DOJ and has been stalling and bargaining on the rest. So they got a warrant and went there to go get them. If he’d cooperated and given all of them back, that probably would have been the end of it, even though he clearly destroyed some of the records. Which would be especially good for him since Trump bumped up the penalties of taking such documents to a serious felony charge while he was in office — he bit his own ass.

    The FBI did not tell the White House they were doing this because they are not supposed to. The FBI technically does not work for the President. The FBI is not supposed to discuss on-going investigations (something Comey broke to cover his ass concerning Hilary and ended up misleading everyone right before the election,) and especially not the details of this one as it is classified documents. Trump is given a copy of the warrant and could release it to the public, but of course Trump has refused to do so because it would confirm that he had the classified documents and that’s what they were after. Much better to make up whatever they want.

    The rightwing talkers were momentarily stymied about what to do about the fact that it’s widely known and covered in the media that he has classified documents that the FBI has been trying to retrieve, and that Wray was appointed to run the FBI by Trump (after Trump fired the last head of the FBI for refusing to do what he wanted; Wray also refused to do what Trump wanted but was able to ride out Trump’s out-going tantrums.) It made claiming that this was a fake partisan attack ordered by Biden kind of difficult. But then they remembered that their hoard doesn’t care about how government actually works and thought that the FBI was doing what Trump told them to when he was president/mob boss. So even though Biden didn’t even get a warning about it, they just claim that Biden ordered it, there are no classified documents and if the FBI claims there are, then they were planted. Same stuff they always say. Trump wanted the FBI to plant documents on his political enemies when he was president; they did the whole laptop thing, so they just claim Biden is doing what Trump tried to do. Since their hoard believes that all politicians are corrupt but corruption in their favor is legitimate, Trump having the stolen classified documents is fine with them in any case and the FBI is now evil.

    I don’t know that this is going to lead to anything other than them getting some of the documents back. I don’t trust the FBI in the least. It’s made DeSantis very happy, though he’s pretending otherwise. But it was pleasant news amid all the banning of books, denying diabetics insulin, criminalizing the unhoused and throwing teenagers in jail for abortions news we had this week.

    I am amused at the continual re-writing of history the Puppies make, trying to show themselves as relevant activists who made a real impact while also saying that they were just harmless talkers mysteriously set upon by out of touch schemers. It’s all, “we are the normal ones, they are the abnormal” stuff. Same thing with the warrant search of MAL.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Of course DeSantis is happy. He wants to run for President as the more competent version of Trump, and he can’t win that if Trump himself is actually going to run as well.

      Like

    • Oops, I had this a bit wrong, according to my husband. Trump isn’t going to release the warrant but is freely admitting he had the classified documents and that’s what the FBI were seeking. He claims the DOJ told him to just put a lock on the documents and it would be fine. I.e., they told him to lock up the documents until they could get them returned because the big issue is who at Mar-a-lago has access to them. (Foreign agents routinely come and bribe Trump to hang out at Mar-a-lago.) And Trump is declaring that him cooperating.

      Once again Trump is thwarting RW efforts to defend him by bluntly admitting that he did the wrong thing and declaring no one has the right to bring consequences to him. So there will be two simultaneous narratives, both of which right wingers will spout at the same time: 1) Trump was following security instructions by the FBI about the documents so they had no right to go get them; and 2) Trump didn’t have any documents and anything found is planted by the FBI.

      We saw this with the Puppies too — they would shift to a different explanation for what they were doing, while also sometimes still spouting the former one. The key thing was that they were reasonable, the people they were attacking were unreasonable and so should be attacked, etc.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, several people have suggested the best way to undermine most of the Right Wing Narratives, now and in the past and no doubt in the future, is just to let Trump run his mouth in public on that subject.

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  3. Shorter Puppies: Yap yap yap.

    Sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    Reality is such a mutable thing for Puppies… and yet they never can find the reality that most people in the world live in.

    Today their Orange Messiah took the Fifth in his civil case in NYC. Despite saying many times that anyone who takes the Fifth is guilty. Legal experts pointed out that in a civil case, pleading the Fifth (which he couldn’t even remember the name of!) is tantamount to an admission of guilt.

    Also, mishandling government documents used to be a misdemeanor. Guess who asked for and signed the law that makes it a felony?

    LOCK HIM UP!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I was going through some old paperbacks to clear them out, and one of them had a story that I’d read before (probably Heinlein’s original idea in the 50s?) but besides being a complete ripoff, it was also trite, mawkish, and had thuddingly-dull prose.

    Guess who wrote it? Hint: initials are SAH.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. If you need a laugh, the Daily Show did a montage of Fox-people warmly endorsing the “patriotic” FBI investigation of Hillary while showing the FBI search of trump’s place.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. ” If the analogy with the Gestapo made any sense (it doesn’t) it would still be the regular public Gestapo surely”

    A public restroom is available to everyone. A private residence is your own. Following this, a public Gestapo is one that everyone can use to raid their enemies’s homes, while one that only a select few can use is a private Gestapo.

    So in this particular case, I have to say that Wright is right.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Typical Brad, saying we should just ignore the bad guy and he will go away.
    I am angry that news here in Germany say that will help Trump, I am afraid nothing would hurt him in the eyea of his followers. Okay this are perhaps thoughts, that are to dark.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Brad, like most right wingers, is pretending the FBI search wasn’t about anything real, but instead just to harm Trump, as a political strategy. (I.e. again that the FBI serves the President instead of the government.) It’s part of their philosophy that everything is transactional performance and partisan political maneuvering. So under that stance, the fact that Trump had cartons of double-level confidential documents in an unsafe place regularly visited by foreign agents that they deeply needed to get back, is unimportant. The FBI should have just left the documents there. (And Brad’s the military guy, so doubly troubling there.)

      This is also combined with what’s sometimes called the abuser argument, but I like to call the blackmail argument — that you should not defy and deal with abuse, bigoted discrimination, etc., because if you do, then the abusers will be even nastier, hurt you more and become more powerful. The idea that Trump becomes more powerful when he’s thwarted/stood up to has already been shown to be false. He has been becoming more irrelevant because he was stood up to, his crimes pointed out and he lost the election. He becomes more irrelevant every time we keep pointing out the horribleness, zaniness and crime of what he’s saying. He becomes more irrelevant any time we try to enforce any semblance of accountability.

      That Trump is the one who got his place searched by the FBI because he stole classified documents isn’t very important to right wingers, whether they support him or find him irrelevant. The key thing is that someone nominally in their camp was targeted by law enforcement and held to some accountability. That’s not what they ideally want to see to advance autocracy. They don’t want that to be seen as normal; it must be declared abnormal, unnecessary, outrageous and foolish. Worrying about classified documents must be seen as unnecessary and foolish, etc. But while the Russians and the Chinese may have already copied everything from those files, they do still need to be returned to the U.S. government.

      Interestingly enough, the QAnon factions are actually spinning it as the FBI needing to search Trump’s place because they are working with Trump to bring down the pedo rings. So the FBI efforts might have helped Trump from being bumped as the central figure in the ever shifting QAnon multi-cult for a bit longer. And it might actually help keep some of them from doing violence over it thereby, instead yet waiting again for the “Storm” to come on another imaginary deadline. But the alt right factions — to which the Puppies were adjacent — are already going after the judge and the FBI.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Thanks Kat, your comments are like always well worth reading.
        The point I wanted to make with Brad is that his strategy is always the same, just ignore Trump(or Day). I wanted to show a parallel between the Brad in the time of the Debarkle and the Brad now.
        And there is the frustration, how can it be, that Trump can still become the next president again? It’s for me mindblowing.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Yes, that is a persistent strategy of his because it decreases accountability. Brad followed Beale like the pied piper — he got used. Just ignore Beale and he’ll go away did not work for him in the aftermath, just as ignoring Trump when he still has backers isn’t going to work for the rest of us. The dismissal is that Trump won’t be able to make deals that affect things (transactional, a critique of Trump’s performance), that the millions are tired of him and have moved on. But most of them have not.

          That being said, a lot has changed in six years. While I don’t believe Trump will ever go to jail and he will continually grift fundraising, a lot of his former backers are either doing performative hand-waving only for the general cause, ready to shift as needed, or have moved on. A lot of factors make him being able to secure the Republican nomination remote.

          Liked by 1 person

          • FL Gov. Ron DeathSentence is more palatable to the big-money guys, as well as being not obviously senile. I shudder to predict he’ll be the nominee. Trump, but not as erratic and brain-damaged.

            To continue the canine analogy, Teddy made Brad and Larry his bitches. Absolutely 100% and they refuse to admit it (maybe even to themselves). I have to give him evil credit for that, it’s the only one of his Sooper Genyus plots that ever worked.

            Liked by 1 person

            • That’s what I thought was the plan with DeathSantis, but he may actually be blowing it with the backers now. He’s having to go so far with his base in Florida to try to win the governorship that he’s maybe not sufficiently corporate friendly and seen as too trapped by them and difficult to work with. They like how he’s making Florida his tyrannical fiefdom and he’s what evangelicals want but it’s two years out. Recent events have kind of thrown everything into the air right now. The big thing will be seeing who continues to give DeSantis cash after the Nov. election. The Murdochs, the Kochs, the Mercers, Peter Thiel, DeVos, and various others — they run the party and decide. And they’ll switch on a dime as needed — Cruz was their boy in 2016 until he wasn’t.

              Like

                • Alex Jones just recently came out that he’s done with Trump and backing DeSantis. Which means whoever is throwing Jones a financial lifeline in his troubles is backing DeSantis. So maybe that will be the hope. But I think they are waiting to see how Trump-backed candidates do in the general elections (or rather fail despite the vote rigging and suppression they openly plan to do, I should say.)

                  There’s also the clear indications that Trump’s health is not good, despite him babbling for an hour and a half when they trot him out for rallies. Those who deal with him know the real extent of it and I’m pretty sure see DeSantis as a better option. But again, despite the press’ obsessions with it, it’s early days yet.

                  Like

          • Remembering Brad’s longish history of defending his continued association with Beale, I’d say Brad’s strategy was less “Ignore Beale and he’ll go away” than, “Ignore my mutually beneficial but problematic relationship with Beale and the annoying light it casts upon my own character will go away.”

            Liked by 1 person

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