The Jury Talks Back


Trump: That Letter from Kim That I Never Saw Was Very Nice and Interesting

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 5:22 pm

While yammering aimlessly about the upcoming North Korea summit, President Trump claimed that a letter from Kim Jong-un was “very nice” and “very interesting” — and then admitted less than ten minutes later that he hadn’t opened it.

At 2:41, Trump says the letter was “very nice” and “very interesting”:

TRUMP: Well, this was a very good meeting. Don’t forget: this was a meeting where a letter was given to me by Kim Jong-un. And that letter was, a very nice letter. Oh, would you like to see what was in that letter. Wouldn’t you like? How much? How much? How much?

JOURNALIST: Could you just give us the flavor of what the letter said?

TRUMP: It was a very interesting letter. At some point, it may be appropriate and maybe I’ll be able to give it to you, maybe. You’ll be able to see it. And maybe fairly soon.

At 10:54, Trump says he hasn’t seen the letter:

JOURNALIST: Mr. President, what was your response to the letter. Did you send anything back?

TRUMP: No, I didn’t. I haven’t seen the letter yet. I purposely didn’t open the letter. I haven’t opened it. I didn’t open it in front of the director. I said, “Would you want me to open it?” He said, “You can read it later.” I may be in for a big surprise, folks!

This is 47-dimensional chess like nothing you’ve ever seen. The genius of it will be revealed in the future.

Patterico in Quillette: The RedState Firings and Viewpoint Diversity on the Right

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 9:39 am

The firings are old news — but they are part of a pattern, I argue in a new piece in Quillette:

Donald Trump has fractured the conservative movement, and with the entrenchment of the fault line between Trump supporters and Trump critics, the Right now suffers from its own political correctness. But the protected class that is officially Free From Criticism is not gays, or women, or blacks. It is Donald Trump.

It might sound crazy to say that Donald Trump is beyond the reach of criticism. After all, isn’t he regularly pilloried on all the major networks, most of the cable news channels, and on the front pages of most national newspapers? Quite so: and this fact, if anything, causes his supporters to huddle closer, and reject or attack anyone who dares utter a critical word. This, in turn, creates an environment in which pundits and politicians on the Right are terrified to say what they really think.

The Trump presidency is reminiscent of the Twilight Zone episode “It’s a Good Life,” in which terrified adults tiptoe around a mercurial child with superpowers, responding to his every cruel and crazed act by nervously saying: “It’s good that you did that, Anthony!” . . .

Trump routinely exaggerates and lies, and the people who surround him applaud and say: “It’s good that you did that, Donald!”

The piece was commissioned a month ago, just after the firings, but I’ve been writing it and updating during that time, so there’s plenty of recent material as well as historical examples to infuriate Trump fans.

On Being at Peace with All Men in an Era of Hypocrisy and Bullshit

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 9:38 am

A commenter recently left me this comment:

You used to have content that I enjoyed: actual political commentary from a principled Constitutional position. And while you still do that from time to time, the constant sniping at the people who disagree with you has gone past the point where I want to visit your site. You’re turning into exactly the thing you say you hate: the person who just wants to rub the other guy’s nose in being wrong, instead of arguing the issues.

Bye. I may check back in a year or so to see if you’ve gotten over this phase of unproductive arguing, but for now I’m taking your site off my daily rotation of blogs I read. Shame; you used to be good before you started getting bitter.

Usually, when someone flounces, I am (if anything) pleased. Flounces usually express displeasure at my attitude towards Donald Trump — and generally, I find very little persuasive about most of the bitching about me and the things I write about Trump. But that’s not this commenter’s argument. And I think this commenter has a point. Historically, the commenter is not a hypocrite or crackpot, like so many other flouncers are. And much of what he says rings true to me.

I am disgusted by the bullshit arguments, hypocrisy, total lack of logic, and blatant double standards I see on a daily basis from some people who defend Trump. But dwelling on it — at least in the way I have for a while now — angers me, which is counterproductive. And I’m trying to remove anger from my life.

After reading this comment, and realizing that there was some justice in it, I was not quite sure what to do about it. Exposing hypocrisy and double standards is a habit by now. But it raises my blood pressure. Is there a way to channel that feeling into something constructive?

I asked a couple of good friends that question, and one of them, a very wise soul (who can choose to identify himself or herself, or not), replied in a way that I will paraphrase here. My friend said that there is nothing wrong with exposing double standards, especially if our goal is honest dialogue. But recognize that some people simply won’t engage in honest dialogue. Given that, I should see my efforts at pointing out the hypocrisy and bullshit, not as an effort to change minds, but rather as a public stance that I am going to be consistent in the application of my principles. If the occasional person, whose is not so invested in Trump that their pride is somehow at stake, sees something of value in my commentary, so much the better. But I need to stop letting hypocrites influence how I feel and how I react. My friend closes with the quote: “As much as you can, live in peace with all men.”

I think this is fantastic advice. I don’t want to give up calling out the B.S., but I do want to give up the negative emotions that come with yelling at people over it.

I thank this commenter for his comment, and I thank my friend deeply for the advice. I plan to email the commenter a link to this post — but this isn’t really about regaining one lost reader (although regaining this particular lost reader would be nice). It’s about improving my own life and my own outlook. I’ve successfully done that in many other areas of my life, but this one is a glaring exception. It’s time for me to at least try to do something about it.

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