Donald Trump’s post-modern politics

ProPublica has closely examined the record of Tim Kaine over the years. It is a mixed bag with some serious concerns, especially on trade deals, big banks, and labor issues, folded in with some good views on social issues, such as abortion rights (though he is a Catholic) and opposition to the death penalty. Kaine’s main claim to fame is that he has no skeletons in his closet and is a proven successful political campaigner and is thus unlikely to say or do anything ridiculous and thus harm the ticket.

Of course, being ridiculous doesn’t seem to have hurt Donald Trump any, at least not yet, because as far as Republicans are concerned, we are in a surrealist political landscape. Trump is taking an approach to politics that parallels the Dadaist movement in art, defined as “A European artistic and literary movement (1916-1923) that flouted conventional aesthetic and cultural values by producing works marked by nonsense, travesty, and incongruity”, except that the Dadaism was a coherent and thoughtful philosophy whereas Trumpism seems confused and entirely ad hoc, such as during yesterday’s press conference where, among other things, he seemed to be actually asking for Russian president Vladimir Putin’s help in hacking into Hillary Clinton’s private emails and releasing them. Philip Bump has provided an annotated copy of the transcript, indicating all the bizarre things he said.

I wonder how he would react if Clinton in return asked Putin to hack the IRS computers and release Trump’s tax returns, which he once promised to release but has now reneged.


  1. Matt G says

    What is The Donald legally required to release? And when do we get to see his birth certificate?

  2. Mano Singham says

    He is not legally required to release anything, as far as I am aware.

    Interestingly, although the president has access to all classified materials, he does not have to undergo a security clearance. The fact that he is elected is sufficient. The same goes for the security briefings that Trump and Clinton start to get once they are the official nominees of their parties, so that they will be ready when elected president. Neither of them have to undergo security clearances, though Clinton likely has one from when she was Secretary of State.

  3. raym says

    security briefings that Trump … start to get
    Without question, that is the single scariest thing I have read today.

  4. machintelligence says

    I hope Hair Trump’s briefings are in printed form. He probably won’t bother to read them.

  5. hyphenman says

    So, in only 44 years we go from a third-rate burglary setting in motion events that lead to the resignation of a sitting president to a presidential candidate soliciting a felony under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act?

    I think we should lock both of them up.

    Do all you can to make today a better day,

    Jeff Hess
    Have Coffee Will Write

  6. lorn says

    Trump, after being snubbed by most US banks, has had to depend on foreign investors and banks to work his deals. A back-of-the-envelope estimate suggests that the amount is at least a third of a Billion dollars. Most of that money is coming from Russia. At least he isn’t selling us out cheap.

    Is it coincidence that Russian hackers break into a DNC account when they are heavily invested in Trump? Trump and Russia. I get the feeling we are going to hear a lot more on that subject.

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