Some time back, I started a Twitter thread which I called “Adventures in Masculinity.” I wanted to bring attention to examples of masculine gendering where it was not needed to explain or talk about something but might go unnoticed. The thread is up to 86 entries now, with the last two example tweets having been deleted by their authors. I guess I need to do screenshots.
The Trump administration is masculinist and patriarchal in all things, with misogyny, racism, and xenophobia thrown in. It’s hard not to notice the photos of white men in suits sitting around tables or chatting with each other. I have tried to avoid such obvious things in my thread.
Recently, I’m seeing a throughline that may not be obvious that starts at macho self-presentation and links to the administration’s dislike of arms control treaties.
Fintan O’Toole saw part of it. He notes that Donald Trump is both a germaphobe and a risk-taker, which have contradictory potential for his response to the Covid-19 pandemic. O’Toole extends those characteristics to Trump’s political allies.
The right appeals to the fear of invasion, of subversion, of contamination. But it also valorizes risk.
Trump has also linked his germaphobia to the idea that some people are born losers. “To me, germs are just another kind of negativity.”He’s willing to manage the pandemic by letting people he believes are losers – the old, those with medical conditions – die. In his leering interview with Howard Stern, he compared the dangers of his sex life with the dangers of the Vietnam War and, in his telling, came out a winner.
Taking risks with disease is a manly thing to do. Real men wear neither condoms nor face coverings.
Condoms and face coverings protect both the wearer and others, in addition to being public health measures that protect the group by limiting the spread of disease. But in Trump’s formulation, the potential wearer’s preferences override all other values. He has not been as explicit about face coverings as he was with Stern, but his actions make clear his preference.
Long before Trump became president, conservatives were hostile to treaties. Their stated reason is that treaties decrease American sovereignty, and therefore every treaty represents a loss of American strength. A particular concept of America’s freedom of individual action is prioritized, even though that freedom of action is often theoretical.
For example, Republicans blocked ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Without ratification, the United States cannot participate in negotiations on the use of the seas and development of regulations. It limits the United States’ voice in, for example, the future of the Arctic Sea. Ratifying the treaty would increase freedom of action.
In a culmination of that conservative desire to remain unbound by treaties, the Trump administration has been trashing treaties, particularly in the area of arms control. Trump has called nuclear war “the ultimate catastrophe” but has also wondered publicly about why we make nuclear weapons if we can’t use them. His ambivalence is similar to his ambivalence toward women in his claims of heroism against venereal disease: great danger, but also pleasure.
Treaties, like masks and condoms, benefit all parties, as well as the broader community. In all three cases, Trump’s viewpoint prioritizes his perceived needs over those benefits.
Masks? Real men don’t need no stinkin’ masks! Nor condoms! Nor treaties!
Cross-posted to Nuclear Diner
I’m sorry but I refuse to believe that Trump is a germophobe. Germophobes don’t have unprotected sex with porn stars. I think the germophobe thing is something his minions at the Trump Org came up with to explain away the fact that their boss was just too freakin’ rude to shake hands with people. And Trump heard that and thought it sounded cool and impressive. Notice that when he became a politician, he DID start shaking hands since it was pretty much a requirement for the job, and he does it without any of the noticeable aversion that a true germophobe would display,
Gin & Tonic
I’ve wondered (mostly in the last 3.5 years) why it takes 67 Senators to enter into a treaty and zero to exit one.
@JoyceH: Does sound better than the basic “He’s afraid of cooties.” though.
Well, we don’t need to participate in negotiations over the arctic because under the same view of american exceptionalism, you wouldn’t recognize the results of those negotiations, make your own claims, and then dare everyone to take it up with carrier strike group 1 if they don’t like it.
Boris Rasputin (the evil twin)
Could someone jog my vodka-hazed memory? If what’s left of it serves, it was Stalin who coined the term “American Exceptionalism” and it was not a compliment
Come to think of it, he also gave us “Useful Idiots”. which Putin probably uses to describe Trump & Co.
Trump is a bully. Conservatives are bullies. It is important to them that their ability to hurt others be absolutely unrestricted. It is a simplistic, selfish, short-term-gratification mindset completely in line with refusal to use condoms. The ethos ties into racism and has gotten more extreme over time, but was always a pillar of the movement.
Trump is not only an extreme bully, he is also an abject coward, shockingly stupid, increasingly senile, bone-lazy, and under extreme stress. The combination leads to bizarre and often contradictory behaviors.
Depressing that there are no female Trump supporters who care much about the patriarchy or the misogyny. Even more depressing is that these assholes are hounding good people out of public health. One would almost think they want us all to die.
@JoyceH: My son has a legit phobia, so I have bit of personal experience dealing with it.
Phobias don’t seem to exist in absolute. He can overcome his phobia under very specific circumstances so dealing with it means steering him toward those circumstances (holy fuck was it a lot of work to discover those).
I would argue that Trump’s narcissism is the driving disorder and is able to overcome the germophobia when it serves the narcissism. I think that’s why he’s so hard to pin down – he’s this rats next of personality disorders and growing mental deficiencies that are constantly getting overruled by one another exposing different behaviors. He’s not busted in one way, but in like 6 different ways that just out of dumb luck reinforce themselves just well enough that he never spun out of control. And survivors bias allowed him to become president, where every other person as busted as him either got institutionalized, or more likely, killed by the police.
What evidence is there that Trump is a germaphobe? Because he said it once or twice? He doesn’t exhibit any behavior that would indicate that he’s a germaphobe. Besides barebacking a pornstar, he goes to Covid briefings with no mask, and whenever he shakes someone’s hand, it seems to last a couple of minutes before he lets go.
Gin & Tonic
@Boris Rasputin (the evil twin): You’re not wrong.
Boris Rasputin (the evil twin)
@Gin & Tonic: Thank you!
@Gin & Tonic: Yes, that does seem to be without a proper check and balance. And not only does it not require any Senators to bail, it can all be done in 140 or less characters. I’m sure Dorsey is proud his medium has allowed Iran to re-arm and the US to abandon any pretense at caring about climate change….
I should amend my previous comment to note that Trumps great inherited wealth and family protections were instrumental to him even getting out of his 20s in one piece. Every other family would have had to deal with either therapy and medications, routine hospital commitments, incarceration, or homelessness. But Trump had enough money and enough dependent people around him to constantly protect him and keep him on the rails. In many respects he’s got to be the biggest beneficiary of white privilege, combining generational wealth, supremacy, special treatment, and everything else. He is what only white privilege could create.
I still think he’s a germaphobe.
It likely isn’t his major issue but I believe, a background issue. He may not show standard clinical traits but then he has so many clinical defects, which ones are going to take front and center?
@Dan: Good point why believe anything he says about himself. He is a liar who lies all the time.
I just had a wishful thought that you’d e-mail Jennifer Rubin this comment and she’d use it as a basis for a column.
Your comment provides so much grist for the mill. Thank you.
I’ve never fully bought into the “germaphobe” claim, although he may feel it’s manly to scoff at the risk of infection. It’s clear he’s squicked by the sight of blood, though, if you remember his story about the old man who fell and hit his head at Merde-A-Lago. He said it was “disgusting.” I know many people feel uneasy at the sight of blood and some are phobic about it, but do they think it’s disgusting? (I don’t know; it doesn’t bother me.)
Conservatives’ personalities are not well developed enough to understand the idea that a treaty can be good in the long run. All they see is that in some ill-defined moment in the future, they might have to not do the thing that immediately pops into their heads as the thing they want to do at that moment. And they’re not grown up enough to abide that.
From my observations, I’m more inclined to believe that he uses “germaphobe” as a cover for paranoia. It seems unlikely that a fast food addict like Trump would be a germaphobe.
With someone with this phobia only, you’d be very likely to be spot on. With anyone this fucked up, all the “normal” signs are a jumbled mess of contradictions/distractions, missed signals, doubled signals and just plain WTF.
This. shitforbrains is white people privilege personified.
As far as masculinity goes, one of the best safety briefings I ever heard in the army was from an infantry captain while I was in OCS. He simply said, “Don’t drink and drive. And remember – no glove, no love.”
The military has given out condoms for ages. Isn’t it manly enough? Or is it full of wussies since it let girls join?
I think this right here is a large part of Trump’s thinking. He thinks it’s right and necessary for their to be winners, which means there have to be losers, in all things. His ethos is simply that he should dominate somebody in every situation. I think a lot of conservatives share a lot of that ethos.
Mike in NC
Fat Bastard needs to put something up on the scoreboard in the next few months. At his upcoming hate rally, why not brag about making a
And this is why he gets the support he does.
He acts like he’s smart and in charge. And that’s more than enough for his supporters.
@debbie: Fascism, as Miguel de Unamuno once observed, is in practice a sublimated death wish projected onto society at large.
Guessing the practice goes back to before the development of penicillin, when STD infection consequences were truly dire. Did they label them, “French Letter, 1, U.S. Army Standard Issue”?
Yep. If Iran broke the treaty, or France welched on a climate deal, you’d hear the keening ass-hurt standing on Mars.
If we impose the treaty on you, it is sacrosanct. If the treaty is imposed on me, then you have diminished the staure and/or girth of Lord Hangdown, and that will not be tolerated. Because fuck you mom, I am a grown-ass independent bigboyman, and I do as I please.
It is really, sadly that simple.
This has always bugged me too. How is it that it requires congressional approval to enter into treaty but the executive branch has the sole authority to say, “nope, never mind. we’re cancelling that”? Treaties are law. There is literally no other law that the executive branch can unilaterally delete from the books. The time and place for that sort of determination should be at signing when they can utilize their veto authority. Anything other than a veto should, like any other law, require a congressional vote.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
I was getting lunch at Subway today, and besides myself and the employees, we were the only ones wearing masks while 4 other morons weren’t. They were keeping distance from each other because of the markings on the floor, which was good, but less effective than if combined with masks. I don’t know what these people are thinking. Mostly young white men, so maybe that’s why
IMHO, what Trump’s success reveals is how many people are reassured by the illusion of toughness. Trump has run away from every true battle he has ever faced, now including the pandemic. But he talks like he means it and says what many would say if they could say it without being fired or ostracized by their family members. Or do say it because that’s who they are and that’s who they hang out with. The secret or not so secret wish to tell everyone to fuck off, to stiff people you owe money to, and so on. Recently, he just sounds senile and disorganized. The scariest thing is that he is hoping for violence so he can find an excuse to hurt people.
Yep. This is how postbellum white ends.
Not even a whimper, just a dry fart.
We really, really have to redefine white culture somehow.
@trollhattan: How fucking old do you think I am?
I can believe the ‘narcissist’ diagnosis for Trump– the people who are making it sound knowledgeable and the details appear to agree with reality. But the politics remains mystifying to me. Start with the obvious question– Why are so many politicians ready and willing to go down with the Trumpite ship? Why do otherwise aggressively smart politicians (Christie, Cruz, many others) act like they are under the influence of some intoxicating substances when dealing with Trump? Maybe they were always dopes and their interactions with Trump just reveal that… but it seems to me that there’s more going on there.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
They’re seemingly incapable of seeing the hypocrisy of that
I can’t find it right off, but Joy Reid has a good segment tying the Trump family to Vincent Peale and the power of positive thinking.
Here’s one recent piece. (There were a bunch in 2019.)
Led by notorious germaphobe, West Wing braces for coronavirus (Kevin Liptak, Kaitlan Collins and Jeremy Diamond, March 3, 2020)
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka):
Given the state of media coverage, they probably think we beat the virus.
Sadly, we are all gonna learn otherwise right soon.
@Omnes Omnibus: Did they show you those VD movies?
Trump trusts in his own good bloodlines, good bloodlines.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
I remember talking about this a few months ago here, that my fear and suspicion was that Trump would love to be able to not only have his direct politcal opponents like Peolosi imprisoned or killed but even ordinary people like you and me or the protesters if we got in his way. And his cult worshippers would applaud it, saying they deserved it. That’s scary. It’s what I’m a little afraid of with these protests; that Trump will invoke the Insurrection Act, send in the marines, and we’ll have our very own Tiananmen Square Massacre
Some groups are protected by the law but not bound by it, outgroups are bound by the law but not protected by it.
Trump attended his church and Peale officiated at his first marriage, so yeah.
In ww2 they were called “Pro Kits”
They showed them to us in high school, and I went to a girls’ school.
@debbie: Damn. . .
This is it. He’s purified selfishness. (Narcissism is a large part of this.) He cares not a bit that his bad example re public on-camera mask-refusal will kill 10s of thousands of Americans.
He also has a strong belief that he has a talent for luck, and a strong belief in his intuition (gut). 
Since that’s essentially a religious belief in Himself, I’ll outsource to Leviticus 21:17-23
Which is about certain physical defects being disqualifying for priestly duties. It could be interpreted as saying that the absence of signs of obvious bad luck is a mark of holiness. That’s a very non-standard interpretation, I’m told.
That means that he has a certain faith that he can magically avoid getting infected. (He is wrong, even in the belief frameworks of (some, e.g. chaos magic) magical practitioners.)
 These are hard to prove but I can argue them if needed.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka):
Possible, but I think what is happening to the cops right now has been…instructive…for a lot of groups.
Adam would likely know better, but I really don’t see the military putting its people in a position where they might go Boston Redcoat. Waaay too much to lose if someone makes a mistake.
Now, will he try to cobble up another Bill Barr freikorps like the one in DC? Probably. That could get nasty. If it does, the survivors will have the privilege of testifying at his hanging.
@raven: Luckily no.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
The reports of spikes in both cases and hospitalizations in nearly half of the states shows that the virus has not been beaten
There’s enough colinearity between those trends that this should be expected.
@Bill Arnold: He doesn’t really believe he can’t get infected. He is tested daily and so does everyone around him. He might pretend that he is lucky, but what he really means by “lucky” is that he is special, more deserving. It’s how many people who were lucky at birth conflate luck and merit.
Dunno, let’s find out. Does this look familiar? How about this?
There must be books of these. War propaganda artwork is fascinating. Somebody should collect Iranian and DPRK anti-Trump artwork for future amusement.
Boris Rasputin (the evil twin)
@trollhattan: We learned the hard way, in WWI. The bible thumpers around Woodrow Wilson thought it would be immoral to send our boys to France with condoms, so no condoms. Some units wound up with 80% the men stricken with clap.
@Boris Rasputin (the evil twin):
Unsurprising. Nice double-whammy with the pandemic. “Whew, sure glad I didn’t catch that flu, doc.” “Let’s talk, Fred.”
Part of luck is not pushing it, since it (if one believes in it) is only a slight edge (approximately meaning not statistically obvious). Hence the daily tests, and the chasing away of anyone showing signs of respiratory infection, and the like. I’ll let it rest otherwise. It’s not a standard interpretation of his behavior.
Sometimes I picture the Biden staff person in charge of keeping track of everything Trump is doing that will need to be undone.
This person is overworked and frazzled. It might not be a person, or might be a whole roomful of frazzled, exhausted people.
Oh, good grief. Completely on-topic, Trump is sanctioning(?) the International Criminal Court for investigating the US for war crimes.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka):
That is exactly the importance of Mattis and the other top military leaders’ statements. They told Trump that the military will not do that for him. He has repeatedly praised dictators ordering that kind of massacre, so it’s clear that’s what he wants to do. I believe it didn’t happen exactly because the military refused, first in private, then in public.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@JoyceH: Trump doesn’t understand disease theory; Trump has a bunch of magical rituals that Trump thinks keeps him safe from disease. Like that stupid orange makeup base he wears.
I think you’re underplaying the importance of the privilege of wealth. Being a white man lets you get away with a lot, but Trump has gone way past the point where most white men would be shut down. Only extreme wealth lets you get away with a lot of the worst things Trump has done.
So, I had a long conversation with my daughter who continues to be upset about all the goings on. She’s very sensitive, and very inclusive. I asked her what she thought about the statues being torn down, and she wasn’t sure, so we had a chat.
My view of this is that a statue of Columbus is not the problem. Or a statue of FDR, who locked up Japanese Americans and was willing to negotiate away anti-lynching legislation. We would be fine with these things provided that as a nation we could be open about their failings, the context that occurred in, and the efforts that were necessary following that. The problem is we can’t have that conversation because there is still widespread denial on the right that white and male privilege is a thing, that systemic racism and sexism is a thing, and that any of this is deserving of being addressed. And so long as that remains the case, the icons for those things that the right holds up will need to be torn down because they are unable to deal with these topics.
I don’t know any Democrats that at the very least qualify their support for FDR with an acknowledgement that Executive Order 9066 was simply wrong. Yes, views toward race were different. Yes, people were afraid in a time of war. But it was still wrong, should never have happened, should definitely never be repeated. That acknowledgement means that we can have a statue of FDR and look at it and see both the good things he did and be reminded of the wrong things he did. And that reminder is helpful. But if Democrats were unable to accept that 9066 was wrong, I wouldn’t fault Japanese Americans or any of the other groups targeted by that order for tearing that statue down, because without our ability to see FDR honestly, the statue instead would stand as a lie.
That’s why Churchill statues are being targeted – because much of Britain cannot come to terms with the fact that he was a pretty proud racist. That’s why Columbus is being targeted because most of the west hasn’t been willing to deal with our history of colonialism. It’s also why Democrats want Jackson off of the $20.
This isn’t liberals unable to cope with problematic historical figures, it’s liberals forcing those who are unable to cope with the truth about historical figures to finally do so.
The flip side is also important. I think you can understand a lot of the whole “own the libs” culture by understanding conservatives assume that if there’s a loser there must also be a winner. If you own the libs, that must mean you’re getting ahead of them. The idea that both people might come out behind in an interaction is just as alien to them as the idea that both people might come out ahead.
@Roger Moore: Those two things are impossible to pull apart. Trump wouldn’t have the wealth without the white privilege his father enjoyed. No black NYC real estate developer would have stayed out of prison if they refused to rent to white families, and they sure as fuck wouldn’t have retained their wealth and been able to pass it on (illegally in at least one case)
Any regulation, law, or treaty is considered by the Republican/Conservative/Capitalist tribe to be an inhibition on their freedom. The invisible hand has merged with the hand of God to make all choice about individual freedom and/or salvation. We are all independent agents and we deserve what we get. It is the core of their belief system.
Of course, it is very fundamentally not true. If man hadn’t learned to cooperate, first to live in tribes, then towns, cities and then civilizations, we would have never succeeded as a species. Schroedinger’s cat wrote a comment the other night that we have become spoiled, our country’s success has left us unchallenged by reality and led to magical thinking.
The real world is letting us know, through pandemic and climate change, and civil unrest that freedom only exists in real context, not magical kingdoms. Because of our inability to cooperate for all of our best interests and a more enriching type of freedom than many can imagine, our continuing denial and belief in the magic of individual panosophism, the magic many believe in will be inadequate.
And holy shit, Columbus was vile. “9 year old girls make the best slaves” vile. Informing Europe of the existence of the Americas was a tremendous historical event, necessary for the existence of the US, but god damn that man made Trump look like a decent human being.
The thing is, he’s both a germaphobe and a moron. This is a guy who put himself on hydroxychloroquine regimine, despite it being an unproven and potentially dangerous treatment for an illness he didn’t even have. If someone started advertising bleach pills on Fox, Stephen Miller would have to pry them from his hands to stop him from swallowing them.
Unfortunately, I know a few people who think like him. Irrationally paranoid about vaccines, simultaneously highly suggestible to snake oil cures, and yet casually enthusiastic about the idea of herd immunity.
Those three things shouldn’t exist together in a rational person, even a poorly educated one. And yet they seem to thrive together in reality.
James E Powell
Nor helmets when riding on two wheels.
I remember my Peace Corps orientation in Miami in 1987. This was during the AIDs crisis so “safe sex” was at its peak. The Peace Corps nurses put out giant candy bowls of condoms in the conference rooms where we were having orientation meetings and told us to make sure we get at least a month’s supply because we might not have ready access at the Peace Corps training compound in Guatemala.
I still remember us guys looking at each other and looking around at the girls in the room and asking ourselves “how much do you think is a month’s supply?” That was a subject of INTENSE speculation!
In American politics it’s better to be wrong in the group than right by yourself.
@James E Powell: I’ll asterisk this. For motorcycles, okay. But the only reason we have bicycle helmet laws is because roads have been deemed for the exclusive use of cars, sidewalks are deemed not worth paying for, and we need some way to invalidate the injury claims of cyclists that are hurt or killed.
I have two friends killed riding their bike – both had helmets on. The Netherlands travels more by bike than car – no helmet laws.
Design infrastructure that is safe for bikes and bikes will be safe.
@Kent: If they were smart they would have had the ladies make that determination and hand out the condoms. Would have squared a lot of speculation away right at the start.
That’s hilarious, because it plays right into the ego of a person who would reject condoms in the first place.
I think the case of Columbus is an odd one, because the stuff about him is only vaguely about his life’s work, good and bad. For some reason, he was chosen as a symbol of Italy, so celebrations of Columbus are really a way of showing acceptance for Italian Americans. It’s just too bad they picked Columbus for their symbol instead of Vespucci or Galileo or somebody else with less baggage.
@Jinchi: “Umm, Nurse? That might, might be enough for me, but you should get some for the other guys too.”
Bicycle helmets are also important if you’re going fast. There’s a reason bicycle racers all wear them. Most of the serious cyclists I know have had at least one accident where their helmet protected them from more serious injury.
@Roger Moore: Agreed. The statues of Columbus celebrate his voyage of discovery, statues of FDR celebrate the new deal and his leadership in WW2.
Every statue of a Confederate general or soldier is a celebration of men taking up arms against the United States in defense of slavery.
Or Guido d’Arezzo.
I just saw a post that anyone who plans to attend the Klandango in Tulsa will be required to sign a CV19 waiver to hold harmless any/errrbody involved in this for-profit tongue bath and race-based civil insurrection hootenanny.
Or whoever. Is it too much to pick someone who wasn’t guilty of genocide?
A couple of things probably need to be added:
1. Trump doesn’t like multilateral treaties. He’s mostly fine with bilateral/few-lateral (MCUSA) if he can somehow claim that it’s his big idea. A big part of this is that he thinks he’s smarter than everyone else so can force agreements that benefit
himthe US more than the other party.
2. Trump sorts everything into Winners and Losers. There’s no such thing as Everyone Benefits in his world. That’s another reason why he hates multilateral agreements/organizations. He can’t win bigly if everyone else gets the same treatment. NATO won’t “pay” him, so he doesn’t like NATO.
tl;dr – It’s the BMOC/King of the Hill/Mob Boss persona disease.
@Frankensteinbeck: He would love the reenactment of Jallianwalla Bagh.
When the whole disinfectant injection thing was going down, I so, so hoped he would get on board with the Genesis II “church” and the bleach drinkers. The crossover with QAnon and the like was right there. As I recall, the Genesis II people had made a direct appeal to the Orange Menace as the FDA was cracking down on them once more, and one of those QAnon whackjobs was screaming “FAKE [email protected]#%@!” at the Daily Beast and getting ready to down a sodium hypochlorite cocktail, calling it “real journalism”. It would have been glorious.
Also, I have to pause a moment and marvel at the fact that the above paragraph is literal fact and not bad political fanfiction or something. Truly, the weirdest timeline.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka):
Yeah, Texas is getting nailed right now. 2500 new cases.
God knows what it would be if we were actually testing.
Welp, Freddie Fuckup has his trifecta: Dow drops 7% reacting to the second COVID wave he urged his minions to trigger, stanching our mini-recovery.
Shit economy and high unemployment with no end in sight–check
Black folks openly not respecting his autoritah–check
You did it Donny, you’ve completely screwed the pooch. There’s no more screwing to be done. Enjoy that Nazi rally.
Because President Biden won’t have Moscow Mitch and Lady G punished for standing with Trump, but if Trump successfully steals the election, all the never Trump Republicans are literally dead meat.
@Boris Rasputin (the evil twin):
They just needed some capital gains tax cuts, cures the clap.
You are assuming we were all straight? Not a safe assumption.
As it also turns out. Guatemala also has no shortage of brothels. My Guatemalan boss would take the guys under his wing out drinking at them on Friday nights. I never partook but did go along for the drinks.
Good comment. I hope you don’t mind if I crib some of it when I finally blow up at our county Board of Health for putting “opening the county back up completely!” on the agenda for their meeting tomorrow.
I LOVE your twitter thread on adventures in masculinity.
Trump take pleasure in dying and disaster. Just look at the fake historic marker on his stupid golf course about a non-existent Civil War battle. He literally made up a story about the river running red with blood. The text on the marker is a piece of work.
@Roger Moore: That’s totally reasonable, but people going to the store rarely top 15MPH.
Trump may or may not be a germophobe, but it doesn’t matter. More than anything, he’s a malignant narcissist. He’s going to do what he wants to do and that’s all there to him and his actions. He’ll contradict himself within five minutes or less and that is quite simply your problem.
He’s like some Bizzaro-world Unzen monk who always lives in the moment where he’s catching his reflection in someone else’s mirror. There has to be constant reinforcement of the black hole where a soul should be. He’ll say or do anything to keep that image polished.
It can never form a coherent pattern, because he simply does not have one.
@Jinchi: I think indigenous and Japanese Americans might have a different view of that.
It’s easy to celebrate those things when you have a culture of outright denying the other stuff. I’m sure a lot of Confederate generals have a long list of good deeds as well. John Calhoun was VP of the US, after all.
And I think it’s debatable whether Columbus is just celebrated for discovery, because an awful lot of it seems to be centered on his ‘bringing civilization to the west’. That’s not discovery, thats colonialism.
@Roger Moore: I agree with that. It’s high school level dominance display by the kind of clowns who were really into it then. Like Bill Barr, to judge by what Dana Milbank discussed yesterday in his column.
Because most GOP politicians are in safe GOP districts or safe GOP states. Probably less than 10% of them are actually in swing states or swing districts. So for the median GOP-er the greatest challenge is always going to be from the even crazier right flank, not from sensible or centrist Democrats.
Of course not. That was dumb for the benefit of making a joke. My apologies to all.
@Betsy: “Dying and disaster” pretty much sums up the fascist impulse, projected upon the world.
Tangerine T is going to sign an executive order fucking up legal immigration for everyone on long term visas, guest workers, students and asylum seekers. It will be tied up in litigation for a long time but meanwhile everyone on those visas will be living on tenterhooks.
ETA: It is the wish list of the VDARE and FAIR folks which populate this administration. As an added bonus it will also fuck up the higher education sector which is currently hurting.
I would be honored.
Tom Perez sucks as a spokesperson.
A couple weeks ago I compared the guys in my office who won’t wear masks to the guys growing up who didn’t want to wear condoms. Similar bullshit whiny excuses.
I’m also calling BS on Trump being a germophobe. This is an excuse that invented to try and counter the then rumors about sex with porn stars and payouts to keep them quiet about it.
I’m reading The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore: A Story of American Rage by Jared Yates Sexton, co-host of The Muckrake Podcast. It’s about the 2016 rise of Trump. He thinks it was the alliance with Breitbart which let him tailor his message, and scoop up the audience, they had already coralled for him. All he had to do was parrot what they already believed and they went nuts.
No one in power had ever pandered to them so perfectly. No one in power had treated their conspiracy theories seriously. Trump got a Fandom. This has nothing to do with governance. It’s grievance.
I see a lot of the problem being the way politics is covered like celebrity gossip. When is the last time anyone remembers the press explaining or discussing anything? It’s out there, but not in the “news” anymore.
Mary Ellen Sandahl
@LesGS:He may have a modified form of the vasovagal syncope reaction to the sight of blood. Some people pass right out, but others have a less radical response and feel sick without losing consciousness.
He uses “disgusting” a lot. I recall he found the fact that Hillary took time for a bathroom break at one of the ’16 debates to be “disgusting”.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
I went to a all boys Catholic HS for 1 yr. Was never going back. But they never talked about any bodily functions whatsoever. Next 3 years were in public HS, in a conservative town in CA. Pretty much not one word about it there either.
J R in WV
I gotta say, I was in the Navy, and while I saw the VD training films back in 1970, I never saw nor got a Navy issued condom.
But nowadays I wear a respirator that looks like I’m invading from Mars, and happy do to so. Anything that helps me to live long enough to take care of my wife!! And dogs and cats…
@WereBear: He is the living embodiment of white grievance of his voters that was inflicted on the nation for electing Obama twice.
Gin & Tonic
@Martin: And yet ski areas exclude cars, while nearly everyone wears a helmet when they ski. I know I do, for the very same reason I wear a helmet when I cycle – I have a family, and I don’t want them caring for me after a TBI.
@Frankensteinbeck: Not just “sanctioning the International Criminal Court”, but threatening to freeze the assets of its employees, and deny entry to the USA to their families.
This is simply what the mafia do – target the families of people investigating them.
@schrodingers_cat: yes. We do good things and then suffer backlash.
I thought one of the rules of the Mafia was that family was off limits.
There is another candidate to swap in for Christopher in celebrating Columbus Day – Realdus Columbus, discoverer of the clitoris. Yes, perhaps the ultimate mansplainer, this Renaissance anatomist announced to the world in 1559 his discovery of amor Veneris, vul dulcedo, “the love or the sweetness of Venus;” which he correctly described as a sexual organ.
Being Irish, I may be biased, but Italian-American pride is a scourge.
As to the germophobia, sex with a porn star is probably safer than a civilian. They have a rigorous testing program, getting tested at least every 14 days. Before a scene, performers are expected to do a full visual inspection of each other to make sure there is nothing amiss. I remember reading somewhere that Trump made women he was planning “date” visit a doctor of his choosing for a “checkup.” This sounds very germaphobe. Pornstars would just have their very own doctors.
J R in WV
As an old white guy who worked hard to elect Obama both times, and then again to elect Hillary… you aren’t wrong on this. So angry it’s really bad for my health.
I was amazed last week when at my doctor’s appointment for the quarterly workup my BP was 130/70 which the Doc said was “you couldn’t ask for better than that!” I didn’t feel that calm at all…
I guess the meds really work!
@WereBear: I have a kitteh question for you. My boss cat has taken to wailing at all times of day and night. He goes to an empty room and cries. He is healthy and usually will stop if you go up to him and talk to him.
Mary Ellen Sandahl
@Boris Rasputin (the evil twin): One of the verses to “Mademoiselle from Armentieres” ends with “Oh my god, it hurts to pee! Inky-dinky parlez-vous.” (Alas, don’t remember the rest, but you can make up your own; that’s how the doughboys did it.)
A variant goes “Mademoiselle from Aix-Les-Bains, She gave the Yankees shooting pains”.
J R in WV
I think he wants company and pets…
Our critters like lots of scritches and pets and loving…
I took a nap this afternoon because last night I took the dog for a walk at 4 am — he’s used to going out on his own, but has staples in his groin for a wound, and can be totally annoying.
I wound up with injured dawg, older big lwhite ab, and biggest kitty (purring hard!) all in bed with me. Was amusing when injured dawg fell out of bed rear end first… landed on his hind feet with front feet on the edge of the bed… very amusing, should have sen the look on his face!
Which is why we should demand that all of the major media sources from the NYT to Fox to use only reporters of color to cover Trump and the Trump Campaign. After all, white people have too many biases when covering Trump. I mean, after all, these same media outlets are reluctant to send black reporters to cover BLM protests. We should be equally worried about biased white reporters covering Trump. Instead of Maggie Haberman, find a reporter of color to cover the campaign. Just to eliminate the appearance of bias.
@schrodingers_cat: Some programs will lose 80% of grad students in one cycle.
May I note that higher education is one the US’s better trade exports. Lot of money comes to the US for education – way more than leaves.
Another way to look at this, is, it’s a dominance issue for some. There exist guys who want to have sex without condoms, because it’s a triumph over the woman who is pushing their use; they’ll similarly demand oral sex, and not reciprocate, or make other sexual demands.
So it’s like, “you can’t make me use a condom”.
Public Service Announcement: if a woman consents with a condom, but expressly demands it, a guy who penetrates her without a condom is raping her via fraud. Y’all probably didn’t need to hear that, but you might have needed to hear/realize that there *are* people who need to hear it!
This is just a sense, but I think the “you can’t make me (wear a) mask” is the same sort of thing. And it’s interesting to notice that both attitudes ignore the question a lady friend of mine was frustrated asking: “don’t you realize it’s possible a person could have something you don’t want to get?”
I don’t know if the treaty thing is the same; it might be, or it might come from a similar urge. Or, as we must always be ready to consider, it could be that the Republicans are idiots who don’t even have an endgame any more.
I have been pretty disappointed with him, if I’m being blunt.
@Subsole: “That which fascists hate, above all else, is intelligence. (Unamuno).
Explains a lot about recent events in and around the Oval Office. And Preznit Spanky’s hate-on for Obama.