Friday, November 18, 2016

Appalled By His Unexpected Moderation

I watched Rachel Maddow last night rave disgustedly over how Trump's people are denying he ever advocated many of the extreme anti-immigrant measures he clearly campaigned on. And he's disavowed the extremist xenophobe from the transition team who'd been parading around the media all week crowing about the awful things they're about to do.

What? How could he do this? It's just crazy! What the hell's wrong with this guy? Maddow was, strangely, shocked and annoyed by the turnaround. It was hard not to get the impression she's disappointed; that she actually wanted him to be exactly the lunatic she (and I) feared and hated.

I just sat on my couch, slowly wagging my head. Every moderate gesture from Trump's camp feels like relief to me (though I'm fully prepared to scream my head off if he ever indulges his basest instincts). But the Left. My god, the Left.

The Right, when it's scared, gets brutally xenophobic and hawkish. Appalling, but at least there's some internal logic. But the Left just completely loses its mind.


Richard Stanford said...

I agree with most of what you've been saying. However, I still think that it bears pointing out that (in general) the Left is scared of what the Right has said it'll do, whereas the Right was scared of what the Right said that the Left would do, even when the Left swore blindly that it wouldn't (and then didn't). That's a very different scenario.

It is truly bizarre watching the transition team right now. Trump seems to be vacillating between walking back his most incendiary comments and positions at an astonishing rate, and then appointing or blessing others to double down on them.

If anything, its more scary that to this day nobody's really sure what he's planning on doing.

Jim Leff said...

As far as I'm concerned, every vacillation and take back is a kiss from angels. Infrastructure? Mwah! Romney as sec'y of state rather than Giuliani? Praise cheeses (haven't checked news today; that could be outdated). Disavowing nasty immigration transition guy? Fantastic! A steady-handed mensch is ideal. A steady-handed lunatic is worst-case. I'm relieved we're in the grey, and I'm prepared to support every positive initiative out of the guy and impatiently tolerate every standard-issue conservative initiative I merely disagree with (but which won't destroy national/international norms).

As for the rest, the Left considered the issue of symmetry for about a millisecond once, and instantly recoiled into a canny facility for screaming "FALSE EQUIVALENCY" whenever the truth gets too obvious.

Similarity needn't be exact for comparison to be apt.

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