NOW, where were we? Ah, yes, rudeness in politics. Yesterday, I was worried about the discourteous Brexit ‘debate’. And today I welcome rudeness, which is not consistent, but never mind.
In rude news this morning, Melania Trump decries the destructive power of social media. Yes, that Melania, the one married to the man who infects Twitter with insults and boastfulness like an overweight orange snake spitting puerile venom.
And, yes, just as Melania was addressing this sensitive matter, her husband was using Twitter to attack John Brennan as “the worst CIA director in our country’s history” and a political “hack”.
I was trying not to think about Trump, but then foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt came on the Today programme and started being softly reasonable about the president. And that pushed me over the edge. That man needs the slap of hard words, not soft massaging blather. A rude man deserves rude words (and never mind what I was saying yesterday: time moves on, you know).
And then I found some. Not my words, although I do wish they were. They weren’t even Charles Kaiser’s words, but he does get to pass them on.
On the Guardian website, Kaiser reviews a new book by the Republican political consultant Rick Wilson, with the splendid title, Everything Trump Touches Dies.
And just remember this: Wilson is meant to be on the same side as Trump.
Here are some of Wilson’s ‘eviscerations’, as Kaiser terms them. Referring to Trump’s opening speech as president, Wilson says everything in it was “moral poison to anyone who believed in any part of the American dream. Everything about his nationalist hucksterism smelled like… a knock on the door of authoritarian statism”.
The right, he says, is “merrily on board with a lunatic with delusions of godhood”, adding that the tax bill was a masterwork of “gigantic government giveaways, unfunded spending, massive debt and deficits, and a catalogue of crony capitalist freebies”.
Oh, I am starting to feel better already.
Wilson argues that the Trump administration is a “hotbed of remarkably obvious pay-to-play and corny capitalist game-playing. How obvious? Think 1970s Times Square hooker on the corner obvious… The degree to which this president has monetised the presidency for the direct benefit of himself, his soft-jawed offspring, and his far-flung empire of bullshit makes the Teapot Dome scandal look like a warm-up act in the Corruption Olympics.”
And just in case that doesn’t’ satisfy, Wilson adds that the presidency “hasn’t been an endless exercise in self-fellation, until now”.
Wilson shares some of the blame among himself and other political consultants, saying: “The creature that emerged after Sarah Palin crawled from the political Hellmouth in 2008 kept growing, hungry not for policy victories… but for liberal tears, atavistic stompy-foot rages, and purity over performance… we fed the monster and trained it…
“Then Trump came along… The monster is out of its cage, and its new trainers (both here and in Russia) encourage only its dumbest, darkest, most capricious, cruel and violent behaviours.”
Here are Wilson’s thoughts on the paradox of evangelicals clinging to the body of an ungodly man.
“All the things evangelicals had said for generations that made a candidate anathema were suddenly just fine… Being a goddamned degenerate pussy-grabber with a lifetime of adultery, venality, and dishonesty is not, to my knowledge, one of the core tenets of the Christian faith… Trump has opened entirely new theological avenues… There is literally not one aspect of Trump’s behaviour as a citizen, a husband, and as a man that shows the slightest scintilla of repentance for anything, ever.”
That’s a book I have to read. Some people are so dipped in the vile ink of incivility that retaliatory rudeness is the only response.