Guilty pleasure

I believe that politics is a serious business. It has important consequences and so do not take it lightly or treat it as entertainment. I have little patience with journalists who do not cover particular issues in depth or certain candidates because they consider them too boring. On the other hand, I must admit that an important political story that also has high entertainment value comes along but rarely and must be savored when it does, and the candidacy of Donald Trump fits the bill. Watching the Trump show is better than any reality show or soap opera. Each night ends with you wondering what the next day’s news will bring about his latest actions and reactions.

Jon Stewart of The Daily Show finds that he simply cannot turn his attention away from the Trump carnival however hard he tries and however much he feels that he should. It has become, like for so many, a guilty pleasure. I can totally sympathize with him.

(This clip aired on July 23, 2015. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Nightly Show outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)


  1. jws1 says

    What are his serious policy speeches gonna be like? What does he say to, for example, the Council on Foreign Relations? That’s when the real comedy will be had…

  2. says

    After all, Emperor Caligula had his horse elected to the Senate; Comedy has a long history of having its political champions. Trump won’t be the last.

  3. Nick Gotts says

    Marcus Ranum@2,
    Incitatus was surely no less intelligent and responsible than most of the current Congresspersons -- although I believe there were complaints that he was just a neigh-sayer.

  4. StevoR says

    There’s just no way in hell Trump will ever become POTUS as shown here :

    By Sam Wang’s analysis.

    Polls are misleading if a good excuse for laughter and entertainment and mockery.

    But anyone recall that this time last US election Bachmann and Caine were front-runners and there were a whole string of not Rmoneys before the inevitable, well, Mittens defeated run for it?

    Shivers, I’m watching from all the way here in Oz and I can still tell its gunna be a Hillary Clinton vs Jeb! (Bush!! Shh.. but wouldn’t be in it if he weren’t a Bush!!!) contest in the end. Kinda pathetic really.

    Still Trump is good for a laugh and a media cycle or two.. “Enjoy” him while he “lasts” -- won’t be that long!

  5. StevoR says

    Also I’m gunna call kit for Hillary Rodham (Clinton) -- two terms and all.

    See if I’m wrong. Bet I’m not.

    At least she wanted to be an astronaut as a child. Oh and also is the best remotely electable candidate. Sorry Sanders that “electable” bit rules you out. Although, be nice to be proven wrong on that.)

  6. lorn says

    Is till think that the whole thing is an act. Trump likes acting and his standing and reputation are immune to damage. This is going to be pushed to a fever pitch. Then there will be pivot and the GOP will do a ‘Jesus in the temple with the bankers’ routine on Trump.

    It will be a new day, a new GOP. A new party washed clean of the sins of the past, sober and serious. Ready to govern as adults. All that will, of course, be a lie, as most rebrandings are.

    The GOP will publicly disown all of its sins. They have benefited from playing on the fears of racists, bigots, homophobes and jingo idiots by getting their loyalty and votes for several decades. They have played the bad-boy card. They have rat fucked and smeared their way as far as they can. All those tactics have been thoroughly juiced for maximum benefit and it is time to get rid of the husks. So a pivot, a quick rejection of fifty years of the bad behavior, a public rebuke of the worse offenders with Trump acting as Judas goat. Then, once the tainted few have turned the corner and are out of sight, there will be a systematic and multi-level un-remembering.

    The sins will be re-characterized, blurred, equivocated, explained away as good intentions gone wrong, a misunderstanding, the fault of the other side, fault the GOP is just too polite to mention and … besides … it is best to move forward. As all the sins of the past circle the drain a few times and go down the memory hole.

    It is hard to say where the cut-off might end up. Trump will play the Judas goat and lead the unsalvageable and unrepentant sinners away to the slaughterhouse of reputation, media obscurity. Trump will come out the other side unscathed, as Judas goats do. It remains to be sen if Jeb stays or goes. He has strong connections to the past and the Iraq debacle but also a reputation , largely undeserved, of being the serious brother. If Jeb goes Lindsey Graham gets the nomination.

    At the end of this play the GOP will emerge, re-framed, as reformed, serious, capable of governing, and mostly free of bigotry, hate, partisan irrationality and any desire to use underhanded means.

    Don’t for a second think I’m saying there will be any actual reform. This is all window dressing. The ejection from the GOP garden of Eden is all eyewash. At best the most egregious offenders will be told to go along with the play, stay hidden around the corner until after the election. Once both houses and the president positions are won they can jump on stage and have a group hug. The bigots and monsters will all be rewarded for taking one for the team and holding back.

    The payoff being dangled for those willing to play along is a smörgåsbord of right-wing wet dreams with lashings of pay-back for previous progressive successes. A liquidation of the welfare state, and leap of capital upward and toward multinational corporations that would bring the corpse of Margaret Thatcher to orgasm.

    Even if everyone falls for it, it seems unreasonable for it to go that far. At best the Republicans confuse the voters enough to get their man into the presidency. Even that is a long shot. A 2/3 majority in both houses seems highly unlikely.

    Look for the pivot and Trump being thrown from the bus. Observe that once thrown out he, despite resources to do otherwise, makes only a head-fake of resistance.

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