Stage IV Pauline Kael Syndrome

Katha Pollitt is sort of a gender affirmative action project; Big Leftymedia has Jonathan Chait, so the need a female version (pardon the redundancy).

She never disappoints, which is another way of saying if you have any hope that our coastal elite can be salvaged, she disappoints intensely.

In this case, Pollitt “writes” about the rage that’s been buiding in her since…well, that day last November:

Unlike my friend’s, my life has changed a lot in the year since Trump was elected. Not materially, except for the fact that my stepson and daughter-in-law moved to Canada partly because, as non-citizens, they worried for their futures here in the US.

Er, right.  That’s why they moved.  Not to be rid of their ninny mother in law. Nosirreebob.

I mean psychologically. I sometimes feel like I’m a different person now. I’m fidgety and irritable and have trouble concentrating.

I have little doubt that the affliction is real; she hands out straight lines like after-dinner mints; either she’s so addled by her rage, or so secure in never being challenged by her audience:

My work seems trivial: Given what we are facing, what difference does one more Nation column make? I might as well be an ancient Egyptian scribe logging production figures for cat mummies.

Katha:  your work is trivial.  Even when your guy was in power, you were a joyless scold who served only to fluff your social class’s sense of self-importance.

Today, you are the same thing, plus depression born of unrequited entitlement.  Mazel tov.

In the old days, the days before Trump, it bothered me that so many people loved things I thought were stupid. Now I just think, Go ahead, enjoy yourself. Maybe your Batman DVDs will comfort you when we’re wandering around in the ashen hellscape of whatever apocalypse Trump will bring down upon us.

Katha:  Sylvia Plath called.  She told you to buck up and quit being such a downer.

But the main difference is that I hate people now. Well, not all people, of course. Just people who voted for Trump.

Of course you hate people “now”, Katha.

People who do their own “research” on the Internet and discover there that President Obama is a Muslim and Michelle Obama is a man. People who use the n-word and can’t even spell it right, because—have you noticed?—Trump supporters can’t spell. Well-off people who only care about lowering their taxes. People who said they couldn’t vote for Hillary because of her emails. Excuse me, sir or madam, can you explain to me what an email server even is?

The real question, Katha, is can you?

No.  You can’t.

If you want to see example 25,695 on why Trump/Pence are going to win re-election in 2020, look no further.

31 thoughts on “Stage IV Pauline Kael Syndrome

  1. That’s some pretty impressive, er, depressive, writing. It’s what you get, I guess, when you write inside a bubble that allows only the derogatory stereotypes to penetrate. Last time I checked, it wasn’t exactly “safe” or “smart” to write that way about any group but caucasian conservatives in flyover country, really.

  2. “Trump supporters can’t spell.”
    See, this is where a writer with any sense of introspection might tell herself ‘y’know, the political coalition to which I belong is proud to claim the memberships of large groups of people with exteremely low levels of educations and unfamiliarity with the English language. Gosh, I guess I am a ninny!'”
    Hatred for their fellow Americans has been the driving force of the American Left and the Democrats since the 60s. They explicitly endorse hatred and intolerance.

  3. In Donald Trump the world is seeing some inside American politics at play. The majority of Americans, isolationist by nature both globally and locally, and who have not benefited from international capitalism and trade, but are instead regularly buffeted by it, have found their champion in Donald Trump. While he is an ignoramus, a boor, and temperamentally deeply ill-suited to the presidency, he nevertheless represents a large slice of American opinion. Most Americans who work in international firms, run the government, or are simply well educated, still embrace globalization and internationalism, in part because it is in their best interests to, but that well educated elite is actually a minority. It’s a minority from which the president and most of the country’s leaders are drawn from, but not this time. The elite will fight Trump, but he is president because many feel just as he does.

  4. Most Americans who work in international firms, run the government, or are simply well educated, still embrace globalization and internationalism, in part because it is in their best interests to, but that well educated elite is actually a minority.
    They have embraced globalizationd internationalism because it suited their personal goals, despite evidence that it has failed to produce what it promised. All wages did not rise. Universal peace has not broken out. A financial crisis, the worst since the depression, resulted from neo-liberal policies. Whatever you think of Trump voters, they have legitimate reasons for voting the way that they did. They are not the hired help who can be dismissed and replaced because they do not share the values of the elites. Education is a privilege, the “educated elite” are better described as the sons & daughters of privilege.

  5. The US economy and its multinationals enjoy their preeminence due to 80 years of US international leadership. Donald Trump is tearing this up and undermining it faster than any president since the era of Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge. Once again, the Trump administration is chasing its tail, because it is playing the cards it wished it had, rather than those which have actually been dealt.

  6. I am always impressed at not only the depth of Emery’s assertions, but also their breadth.

    So, tell me/us, what specifically did Harding and/or Coolidge do to undermine the preeminence of the US economy and its multinationals.

    Chasing its tail and playing cards? Are you drinking?

  7. Another record high DJIA yesterday, Emery.
    When the facts don’t fit your ideas about how the world works, you should change your ideas about how the world works.
    We are at a transitional moment, not just in the US, but worldwide. The post cold war order is falling, you need to keep light on your feet.

  8. The stock market is not the economy and quite frankly, a new Fed chair won’t change much. The flood of money from places with zero or negative interest rates will continue to keep a lid on US rates. As such the market is the only game in town. However — in general — the stock market does well when the economy is expanding, and poorly during economic downturns. The general rule is don’t invest based on your political views. Those who sold, or didn’t buy, because they didn’t like Obama missed an historical rally. And those who sold, or didn’t buy, because they don’t like Trump missed solid gains this year. The bottom line is the US economy is doing well (the global economy is doing well too).

  9. Pingback: In The Mailbox: 11.09.17 : The Other McCain

  10. Well, we probably agree on this, at least, Emery: if you can’t leverage economy of scale or insider info, you are best investing in an index fund & supporting policies that increase GDP.
    You may see some contradiction between the above & my opposition to free trade and open-door immigration, but I would argue that the value from GDP increase due to the above (if not illusory) is outweighed by the negative effects of free trade and open immigration on the non-portfolio assets of many small investors.
    Nations and individuals aren’t “going concerns,” and treating them as such will lead to disaster.

  11. Harridan: a strict, bossy or belligerent old woman. Synonyms: shrew, termagant, virago, harpy, vixen, nag, hag, crone, dragon, ogress, fishwife, hellcat, she-devil, gorgon, martinet, tartar, old bag, battle-ax, old bat, witch scold.

  12. I think it cannot be emphasized enough how often the educated elite have gotten things wrong, in particularly nasty and self-serving ways: after WWI, the educated elite endorsed Stalin’s rule in Russia and worked to protect it, or worse, export it to their own nation, or, if they were anti-semetic, they endorsed fascism. Post World War Two they continued to normalize murderous communist regimes. It was the educated elite who said, in the 1980s, that the USSR could not be defeated w/o starting World War Three. After the USSR collapsed, it was the educated elite who endorsed free trade and a norderless world. The result has been economic crisis, a collapse of the US working class, and horrific terrorist attacks in the US and around the world.

  13. Pax Americana was invented to shepherd the world out of the devastation of WW2 and to fight and win the cold war against the Soviet Union, which it did. It was not created in a spirit of global imperialism, despite what many have said. The American system of international governance and trade was built to defeat communism. When it triumphed at that task, and the number of people living by the American capitalist rules jumped from a billion people to practically everyone, the world clearly changed. It is not surprising that the Pax Americana built for 1945 to 1990 is creaking and in need of repair in 2017. First and foremost, the US does not represent 50% of the world’s GDP, as it did in 1945. The current figure is half of that, and shrinking, not because the US has failed to grow, but because the rest of the world has grown faster, in large part through emulation of the US. Economically, the US ceased to be the hegemon long ago, becoming more of a first among equals. It no longer can or should act benevolently on the world’s behalf for the sake of global comity, and the fight against totalitarianism. The rest of the world has to begin to provide much more of the leadership.

    Geo-politically, the US is ill-suited, by temperament, history, and geography, to be a global hegemon. It is not in Eurasia, where all of the people are. Its people (not the governing elite) dislike it when their government interferes in their lives, and as such are leary to intervene in the rest of the world. FDR convinced the US that their freedom depended on defending and institutionalizing the American system throughout the world. That was never entirely true, and became less so. FDR is long gone, as is 1945. What remains of the Pax Americana is held in place by the American elite, who still believes what FDR told them long ago about our freedom being intermixed with the world’s freedom. Even more so, they know that their fortunes (through global commerce) and their sense of self-importance are firmly linked to the continued propagation of Pax Americana, and American domination of the global system.

  14. David Stockman is the ONLY person to listen to on this stuff.

    Trade is killing some people unfairly due to the Western financial system, so people want socialism and fascism. This is also why the government is running out of money. 100 years of Keynesianism.

    Critical Theory, and the Frankfurt School has to be dealt with somehow. #MAGA

  15. Pax Americana was invented to shepherd the world out of the devastation of WW2 and to fight and win the cold war against the Soviet Union, which it did.
    It is more accurate to say that the UN was formed to prevent nations from grabbing the territory of other nations. This was the cause of both World War One and World War Two. This worked, until 1992 a world map looked very much like a world map of 1946.
    The proximate cause of both WWI and WWII was nationalism.
    In a mature economy, industries tend to be dominated by oligopolies. Perhaps a return to a globe dominated by empires is in our future? many on the Left believe that neo-liberalism is another word for old colonialism.

  16. eTASS: tl;dr. Learn brevity from MP if nothing else.

    temperamentally deeply ill-suited to the presidency,

    And lying, conniving, corrupt sHrillary is? And community organizer was? Who is getting more respect on the international stage, sTrumpet or 0bumbler? I am sure you do not know because the MSM is not reporting on the receptions sTrumpet is getting in Asia because they are in stark contrast to lightbringer’s. Winning indeed, not that you would ever, EVER, acknowledge because it would prove you are wrong, again and always.

    Most Americans who work in international firms, run the government, or are simply well educated, still embrace globalization and internationalism, in part because it is in their best interests to, but that well educated elite is actually a minority

    And here you are, yet again throwing out canards and half-truths, proving that you believe in minority progressive elites lording over the sheeople. You are promoting and advocating for slavery and serfdom. How liberal, how progressive of you. I do wish and hope and pray your amoral and inhumane worldview is extinguished with extreme prejudice.

  17. I have a post above that for some damn reason needs moderation. It says trade is very bad for some because our financial system makes it regressive for them. it is a sociological disaster. Neither party cares. This has been going on since about 1991. See David Stockman.

  18. OK, Emery says that many do not benefit at all from international trade–I assume, then, that they’ve never eaten chocolate, drunk coffee or tea or Coke, and never saved big money at Menard’s or Wal-Mart? They’ve never bought gas far more cheaply than they would have without imported fuel?

    Now granted, as we’re taxing our own to benefit our competition, it’s not an unalloyed good, as a lot of people aren’t able to find good paying jobs, but if one cannot find anything to praise about trade, I have to wonder if they’re living in a cave or something.

  19. The US economy and its multinationals enjoy their preeminence due to 80 years of US international leadership. Donald Trump is tearing this up and… [Swiftee quietly steps in, waits until the yammering twaat opens wide and using his cat like speed, quickly crams this wad of #Winning down with his hob nailed, fashy Italian boot..]

    China, US sign more business deals during Trump visit

    Commerce Minister Zhong Shan said agreements signed Thursday at a ceremony attended by Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, totaled $253.4 billion.
    The contracts give Trump the opportunity to claim a rare political win following a first year in office marked by little legislative progress on health care and taxes. Trump has made narrowing the U.S. trade deficit with China — $347 billion last year — a priority.

    [cue gagging noises, sobbing]

    You poor thing, all weak and shaking…off with you now, cupcake. To your safe space while there is still time!

  20. BB, this is why eTASS is tl;dr. Most of the things he says are so out in la la land, they are not worth the read, nor rebuke for it is crystal clear he pulls them from the sunless place.

    Swiftee, it will not be reported by MSM, therefore it cannot be true. Therefore eTASS_BFL-SPM will continue to spread unquestionable lies and innuendo based on talking points in front of him and will never concede he is wrong, nor learn. Ever.

  21. Secretary of State Tillerson arguing that China is undermining the “international rules-based order.” That’s rich. (Should we comment on Exxon’s adherence to the rules based order?)

    The original formulation of the Indo-Pacific strategy by the Trump administration was centered on the ubiquitous arms deals with the US (which he repeated in Japan with complete tone deafness) a hardy favorite of the president personally. But a military-based alliance system to contain China in a manner similar to NATO containing the Soviet Union in the 1950s is — well, all very much mid-twentieth century.

    In contrast, China is projecting economic power through tremendous trade and investment initiatives around the world, but in particular across the Eurasian land mass. Very twenty-first century. 

    Most likely the other TPP nations will agree a new multi-lateral trade pact in the near future while China will advance its multi-lateral trade deals.

    Winner: multi-lateral trade deals. Loser: bi-lateral trade deals. 

    Lesson from APEC. Trump continues to establish his irrelevancy to the forward movement of the world’s business, the businessman who doesn’t know how to deal, doesn’t understand the parameters of the conference rooms he sits in, the players around the table. Not out of his depth, just not even in the picture. 

  22. Trump continues to establish his irrelevancy to the forward movement of the world’s business, the businessman who doesn’t know how to deal, doesn’t understand the parameters of the conference rooms he sits in, the players around the table. Not out of his depth, just not even in the picture.

    Kind of like “Trump, the presidential candidate who doesn’t know how to run for president”?
    The future belongs to those who make new rules, not those who follow the old rules. That’s the lesson of modernity.
    I know, it’s also a platitude.

  23. Interesting how the United States, a country that over the past 8 decades has taken advantage of most every other country around the world, is now claiming to be the planet’s biggest victim.

  24. It all depends on your POV, doesn’t it, Emery?
    China and Korea would be Japanese colonies if the US hadn’t intervened in their favor in WW2. We could have colonized them ourselves after WW2, but chose not to. Japanese & German prosperity were important to the US in the post wars. Not so much to the Soviets & Chinese.
    From what POV are you looking at the situation, Emery? Surely you aren’t claiming objectivity.

  25. The Indo-Pacific concept pre-dates the Trump administration and presumes that Indian Ocean states, principally India, would join the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Australia, and perhaps Singapore in restraining the expansion of Chinese influence. While this sort of containment worked well with the Soviet Union, I doubt that will be case with China because of the economic emphasis Chinese policy. Persuading other nations that Soviet armies were a danger was far easier than convincing them that Chinese trade and donated infrastructure projects are a menace.

    America First is sounding like America Alone

  26. MP, you realize you are debating with the authors that Emery has cut and pasted his comments from, don’t you?

    Not one of his comments here are original observations.

    I can find snippets of the writing he has cobbled together to create sentences on several leftist websites. At least he has learned not to copy verbatim.

    Like electric shock teaches a monkey not to grab a banana from the blue box…takes a few tries, but the monkey gets it eventually and takes his nanners from the green box.

  27. A nice stroll through yesterday’s geopolitical thinking. The log in Swiftee’s eye is that the over-militarized foreign policy of the US in the Greater Middle East and Africa is failing.This policy is alienating masses of people in the Muslim and adjacent regions and typically further isolating corrupt elites in their security encrusted capitals where they count the amounts they have in their secret overseas bank accounts. It also continues a multi-trillion dollar misallocation of resources within the US domestic economy that started with the Iraq invasion. Today, the misallocation is being magnified, not diminished, by poor public policy.

    The smart play for China is not to challenge US military power and its remarkable capacity to alienate ordinary people around the world. A more advantageous approach is to continue what China is in fact doing today: build its infrastructure, commercial, and trade base across the Developing World. A policy of building economic strength will make China the most influential economic power of the rapidly growing Parallel Economy arising out of the Developing World. While the US may steam warships through the South China Sea, China is sending freight cars to Berlin across the One Belt, One Road railway system in 10 days. Furthermore, the US Navy protects all maritime commerce including China’s. China would be foolish to disrupt letting the US taxpayer pick up the tab for international maritime insurance, so to speak.

    China has a long tradition of not engaging in military hostilities outside its immediate region (which has been “Han” for more than two millennia). If it sustains this policy of leading with its commercial strength and avoiding costly foreign military adventures, Chinese strength will grow while US strength atrophies as military power becomes more of a relic of 20th century military rivalries rather than 21st century international economic competition. Today, US military power is focused on trying to sustain corrupt regimes in the Greater Middle East while its day-to-day military operations in the region and atrophying foreign policy increase instability. This is in sharp contrast to the stability that post-World War II alliances such as NATO brought to international politics. The US today spends trillions sustaining a military capability to project massive amounts of land military power to anywhere in the world. Thus any foreign policy problem in the world looks like a problem that be solved by the projection of Pentagon power through troop deployments anywhere on the planet — very expensive. 

    My hope is that Trump’s foreign policy doesn’t get trapped in the neocon worldview that has dominated American foreign policy thinking for decades, posits the world as a military rivalry between an established power and a rising power. A better frame might be a multi-polar world where one power focuses on economic power and the other on sustaining its military reach (and that military focus leeches its economic power away).

    The big challenges coming up to all countries in the world are adverse impacts arising from global climate change. The 2 degree Celsius temperature limit is going to be breached in the early 2030s, not 2100. So climate change is coming much faster than previously thought, but American resources, particularly in foreign and military policy, have not been altered to confront the new reality. One of the regions being hit hardest by climate change is Africa and the Greater Middle East. Sending soldiers and drones to these regions doesn’t deal with first causes and is unlikely to be able to contain the instability arising from tens of millions of people suffering displacement from climate change.

    Inside the US, little effort is currently underway to mobilize the public resources and private capital necessary to fortify the US economy and its habitable land areas to impacts from adverse climate change. The US is proposing a $1.7 trillion tax cut in the face of the need to confront the greatest collective challenge to US society since World War II. Its like letting Charles Lindbergh lead the US into World War II.

  28. Should we comment on Exxon’s adherence to the rules based order?

    Why don’t you? And since above statement is yet another proof of your ignorance, arrogance and just plain stupidity, all the rest is tl;dr since nothing you say is true and to be take seriously. Not even “is”, “and”, and “the”. Keep it up cupcake. You must love the sound of your own voice, since nobody is listening.

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