Dog Whistling Past The White House

Who is President Obama’s chief strategist? No fair, googling. That’s right. Nobody knows, and yet many have become hysterical about Trump naming Breitbart’s chairman, Steve Bannon, as the winner of the consolation prize. Be hysterical now, avoid the rush.

To assuage the fears of a nation that the next president wouldn’t pander to the worst of his base,* Bannon was possibly the worst choice he could make. It feeds the belief that Trump is the anti-Christ (actually, Hitler). Aside from the shrieking, but IT’S A FACT, by the people who got Trump elected, there appear to be three arguments in support of the contention that Bannon is a white nationalist.

First, there is the content at Breitbart, which consists of a lot of clickbait alt-right batshit crazy nonsense, the mirror image of the crap at the SJW-pandering websites. Second, allegations made 20 years ago in an affidavit by his ex-wife during a divorce. Third, that neo-Nazis at groups like Stormfront cheered his appointment as chief strategist.

Does this make him a racist and white nationalist? Not exactly, but it does send a message that no seasoned politician would have missed. And so it was hammered home:

Anyone holding out hope that Donald Trump would govern as a uniter — that the racism, sexism, anti-Semitism and nativism of his campaign were just poses to pick up votes — should think again.

In an ominous sign of what the Trump presidency will actually look like, the president-elect on Sunday appointed Stephen Bannon as his chief White House strategist and senior counselor, an enormously influential post.

Calling it an “enormously influential post” is dubious, but the narrative fails miserably if they said, “the consolation prize for a supporter who otherwise has no place in government.”** But it is an ominous sign, and the Trump transition team, going through hourly changes as they figure out that none of them have a clue what they’re doing, should have realized that. Did they? If you hate Trump, of course they did. If not, who knows? If you like Trump, you don’t care. But it warranted a New York Times editorial, the only purpose of which is to whip up preemptive hysteria for the pending apocalypse.

And then there’s Rudy. Rudy, Rudy, Rudy. I despise Rudy Giuliani, and have for longer than a lot of you have been on earth. But as much as I despise him, a little context matters. This guy was twice elected mayor of one of the most progressive cities in America. Spoiler alert: New York City survived.

When news broke that Rudy wanted to be Secretary of State rather than Attorney General, applause broke out from all corners of criminal defense.  Ken White observed, “How fucking twisted is it that we’re relieved that Rudy Giuliani is going to be the Secretary of State?” Better he be responsible for a nation’s relations with the world than the law? Well, that’s our little slice of the world, so it’s what we are primarily concerned with. Remember, it only matters when it touches your world.

What doesn’t enter into the calculus is that America didn’t lose its shit when Don Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz were named as Shrub’s guys, only to condemn thousand of young American men and women to their deaths on foreign soil. Opposition came about to the choices made, the policies put into action, but there were no puppy rooms constructed or hysterical advance shrieking on social media by the slacktovists.

So why now? Why this time?  On the one hand, did you think Trump was likely to appoint progressives to come to your emotional rescue?  On the other hand, there is a very different risk at stake. Lives? Not exactly.

Mr. Bannon himself seems fine with that description, telling Mother Jones last summer that Breitbart was now “the platform for the alt-right,” a loosely organized group of mostly young men who believe in white supremacy; oppose immigration, feminism and multiculturalism; and delight in harassing Jews, Muslims and other vulnerable groups by spewing shocking insults on social media.

When Trump announced on 60 Minutes that he “was fine” with gay marriage, Walter Olson penned an op-ed to soothe the fears. For his efforts, he was overwhelmed by the vapid attacks of the midgets for not hating enough. To what end? Did they want Trump to hate gay marriage? Was their hatred more important than the policy? Well yes. That’s exactly what they want. It’s irrational, desperately hoping that bad things befall people, but when you’re passionate hysterical, you’re so blinded by the need to hate that there is no room for reason.

“Angry, gay asshole libertarian” Scott Shackford, associate editor at Reason, went on a twitter rant yesterday. It culminated in a point that the SJWs fail entirely to grasp. There was a time in America where being gay was deemed either a disease or justification for murder. You want to be afraid? Be afraid that someone might kill you, and get away with it, if it comes out that you’re gay. But that an administration might not put you on a pedestal, and instead you’re being told to be afraid?

And I’m furious because the same people who fought for that safety are telling young LGBT to BE AFRAID.

Regardless of how this plays out, and it may not play out nearly as bad as you are absolutely certain it will (even as you incredibly ignore that there have been huge battles with every administration,***), it doesn’t mean that you need to behave any differently than you want to, than you feel you should.

There will be no law that you have to hate anyone because of their race or gender, their religion or sexuality. For that matter, there is no requirement that you need to hate and disparage everyone who doesn’t share your refined sensibilities on these issues. You hate out of choice. You fear out of choice. You scream idiocy at the only people willing to and capable of making the fight because of your simplistic narcissistic grasp of entitlement.****

There will certainly be huge battles to be fought against the Trump administration. Real battles, based on real policy choices that have real impact. We know this with certainty because there have been with every administration ever. For those of us disinclined toward hysterical whining about things that haven’t happened, making us the target of your idiocy not only fails to endear us to your cause, but reminds us of why your “cause” failed to win the election. Dead kids in Iraq matter more than your hurt feelings in the comfort of college libraries because somebody didn’t respect your personal pronouns.

Scott Bannon? Rudy Giuliani? Share your hatred and fear with your Facebook friends, kidz. That will fix everything and get you lots of likes.

*As I was informed yesterday, everyone who voted for Trump is either racist or ignorant, and anyone who isn’t hysterical about Tump’s racism must have voted for him.

**As if the transition hasn’t demonstrated its ham-handed, not-ready-for-prime-time, flagrant partisanship enough on its own.

***Do you know how many “illegals” were deported under the Obama administration? Contrary to popular belief, it’s no more fun to be deported by a black Democrat than a white Republican.

****The inescapable sense is that nothing would thrill Trump haters more than some lunatic white supremacist shooting (with an “assault rifle”) up a classroom of black kids to prove how horrible he is. “See? SEE?!?” As for the children, collateral damage.

22 thoughts on “Dog Whistling Past The White House

  1. Billy Bob

    Wow. Is the coffee pot half empty or half full? Rue Ruddy Giuliani. Yea, he would make a nice successor to Mr. Kerry. Just keep him away from Justice, U.S. style. Giuliani is to Justice as Arpaio is to Sheriff departments. This cannot happen, and Trump knows it.

      1. johnM

        I used the same tool that Trump uses to make decisions to try to answer this question, and got the following five answers:

        Ask again later
        Cannot predict now
        Better not tell you now
        Reply hazy try again
        Concentrate and ask again

        I got tired of shaking the ball after that.

  2. Richard Kopf


    Regarding your last asterisks, I am disappointed. The imagery is insufficient.

    Here’s a better image: Round up a gaggle of Native Americans (including Elizabeth Warren) and a representative group of non-whites, and then have Bannon burn them at the stake on the lawn of the WHITE House.

    I don’t mean to be unduly critical. But shooting a classroom of black children? Meh.

    Because we are all stronger together, I offer this only as constructive criticism. You can better.

    All the best.


    1. SHG Post author

      I lack the fertile imagination to come up with more absurd examples. Plus, sacrificing a classroom of black kids covered a lot of ground.

    2. Jim Tyre

      Judge Kopf,

      I’m pretty sure that SHG owns stock in an asterisk company. Between this piece and the debate you and Judge Bennett had on Fault Lines today (very nicely done by both of you), there is no other explanation.

  3. Erik H.

    There will be no law that you have to hate anyone because of their race or gender, their religion or sexuality. For that matter, there is no requirement that you need to hate and disparage everyone who doesn’t share your refined sensibilities on these issues.

    You sure about that?

    1) Denying the existence of your privilege is ___ist.
    2) Denying that you are ___ist; or denying any accusation of ___ism made against you; it itself ___ist.
    3) Failing to join the fight against ___ism (which is to say, failing to actively adopt progressive demands) is ____ist.
    4) And for sure, speaking out against any of those things in detail is “hate speech.” It will get you fired, sanctioned, or disciplined; keep you from getting hired; and in the unlikely event that you commit a crime will be used to enhance your sentencing.

  4. Scott Jacobs

    The inescapable sense is that nothing would thrill Trump haters more than some lunatic white supremacist shooting (with an “assault rifle”) up a classroom of black kids to prove how horrible he is. “See? SEE?!?” As for the children, collateral damage.

    If this happens, I would put money on it not happening on the campus of a Texas state university.

    Or at least, not for very long…

  5. Wilbur

    I recall Obama having obstacles/difficulty filling cabinet positions in ’08. Ditto with Clinton in ’92. Stuff happens. They’ll work it out.

    Is Scott Bannon related to Race Bannon? He seemed pretty cool on Johnny Quest.

    1. SHG Post author

      Every reader gets to decide whether I’ve earned cred or not, whether for good reason, bad reason or no reason. This is America, and it’s entirely up to you. That said, your reason is idiotic. SJW is merely a short hand, just like Alt-Right. If it bothers you that much, I’m fairly certain that you would find nothing credible that didn’t confirm your bias. I’ll pass on that.

      1. Norahc

        Not that my opinion means squat to Scott, but many of us continue to come back here because he makes us think and at least tries to maintain intellectual honesty. While we may not agree with everything he says, his cred is based upon those two things. Thinking and intellectual honesty are scarce commodities in today’s society….on both ends of the spectrum.

    2. Dragoness Eclectic

      You know the problem with mindless ritual tribal chants? They’re mindless. You impress and convince no one, but you’ve waved the tribal flag to your fellows, so that makes it all better, right?

  6. Jim

    “…shooting (with an “assault rifle”) up a classroom…”

    One cannot have “gun violence” without an “assault weapon,” you know. Assault rifles actually exist.

    (These algebra problems are killing me.)

  7. Mark

    The Urban Dictionary really has some disgusting definitions for “gertrude.” Not that I always agree with your choice of definition from the Urban Dictionary, but I’m pretty sure you didn’t mean the disgusting ones.

    Was Valerie Jarrett Obama’s chief strategist? Or was she special advisor and David Axelrod his chief strategist? (Smart money’s on Bannon getting kicked to the curb) anyway.

    1. SHG Post author

      The UD isn’t always the best place to turn for an unfamiliar word. Axelrod was the campaign strategist. Jarrett was a senior advisor. I agree that after this hubbub about Bannon, he will disappear into the ether.

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