Gideon Rachman on a possible Trump Win & The Political Phenominologists. Philosophical Apprentice comments

Almost half of Mr. Rachman’s essay was devoted to Polling Numbers, but he, then, admonishes his readers, about the fateful lessons offered by 2016. And quoting Debbie Dingle. He offers his readership this bit of – what to call it? It doesn’t even qualify as political myopia:

The Democrats initially reacted to defeat in 2016 with determination to engage with the woes of the white working-class.

Hillary Clinton even before the election was screeching about Russian Interference in the American Election:

September 6, 2016  

Headline:Hillary Clinton Accuses Russia of Interfering With U.S. Election

MOLINE, Ill. — Hillary Clinton accused Russian intelligence of interfering with the American election, implying that President Vladimir V. Putin viewed a victory by Donald J. Trump as a destabilizing event that would weaken the United States and buttress Russian interests.

“It’s almost unthinkable,” Mrs. Clinton said on Monday, referring to what she called recent “credible reports about Russian interference in our elections” and citing a hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s emails in July.

“We’ve never had the nominee of one of our major parties urging the Russians to hack,” Mrs. Clinton said in a news conference. “I want everyone — Democrat, Republican, Independent — to understand the real threat that this represents.”

The comments, Mrs. Clinton’s most extensive yet on one of the more unusual subplots of the presidential campaign, came after a Washington Post report that United States intelligence and law enforcement agencies are probing a wide, covert Russian effort to disrupt the presidential election.

This ‘Russian Interference’ produced two American Melodrama’s The Mueller Report and the Adam Schiff Three Ring Circus. Both dismal failures, even as they were the focus of American Media’s fawning attention. Even the Senate Report, of over a thousand pages, recently released…   

Nor did the reader need to be reminded of the latest books, on the American reporter’s  shifting taste in political analysis, in its various iterations, as the some-how touchstones of a political present: 

The book Hillbilly Elegy has been replaced on bedside reading tables by White Fragility

Perhaps, in the World of Political Pundits, and the scribblers who present themselves as the descriptors, of the latest confection of the Political Phenominologists, seems to lose  potency, in the accelerated time of the evanescent political moment?

On ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ the  J. D. Vance’s memoir read this L.A. Review of Books essay by Florence Dore, J. D. Connor, Dan Sinykin:

Rebel Yale: Reading and Feeling “Hillbilly Elegy”

 The runaway success of Hillbilly Elegy means that it is now firmly established as the single most popular attempt to understand the “cultural crisis” underlying Trump’s victory. Rather than urging Americans to read it, as so many of its first reviewers did, we now need to examine why we’ve bothered and what we’ve taken from it.

Rebel Yale: Reading and Feeling “Hillbilly Elegy”

 Hillbilly Elegy’s presence on student bookshelves is but one sign that Thomson has it wrong. Hillbilly Elegy isn’t so much “resonating beyond traditional elites,” as justifying elitism under Trump.

We can begin to understand the book’s subtle plug for elitism when we consider the appeal on college campuses for a book about “hillbillies” and “rednecks.

Or has Larry Summers enthusiasm for ‘Hillbilly’, been a deciding factor for Mr. Rachman? 

‘“Reading about @hillbillyelegy is not the same as reading it. Anyone wanting to understand Trump’s rise or American inequality should read it.”

On ‘White Fragility’ reviewed by John McWhorter

The Dehumanizing Condescension of White Fragility


That these two best sellers  just garner a mention, in passing,  from Mr. Rachman,is evidence of their momentary status as touchstones, in the American political melodrama, that have now faded, but provide an almost highfalutin background, for unimaginative political prognostication.  

Philosophical Apprentice 


In reply to Elliott

Thank you for your comment.

‘Below is my column in the Hill on the announced criminal plea by former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith and the continued calls by Democratic leaders to end the John Durham investigation. This week I, one of the top prosecutors with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, for DOJ lawyers to refuse to help in the investigation despite his own conflict of interest. When the Clinesmith plea was announced, Weissmann proceeded to deride the charge and make about its basis.  The Weissmann call for DOJ lawyers to hinder this investigation is unprofessional and unwarranted but hardly uncommon in this rage-filled environment.


Where Shakespeare is credited in writing “Much To Do About Nothing,” the Senate may have achieved credit for writing “nothing about much.”  It is remarkable about how comparably little can be said in 1000 pages. The Senate Intelligence Committee released yesterday on its own Russian investigation. I have been plowing through the report but what was most striking thus far is how little really new material the Senate was able to uncover. Indeed, it notes that it did not even look into the basis for the claims of the Steele dossier, which was used and widely cited for the early allegations of collusion. One of the few notable points is that the Report states that Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign chairman Paul Manafort worked closely with a known Russian intelligence officer and that he “represented a grave counterintelligence threat” due to that relationship with Konstantin Kilimnik.  Yet, the Report is largely descriptive of known allegations with few concrete conclusions or original disclosures.  It confirms and adds details on Russian interference with the election, but it does not materially add new information on key areas where some of us hoped the Committee could gain greater access.



RAY McGOVERN: Catapulting Russian-Meddling Propaganda

The New York Times is leading the full-court press to improve on what it regards as Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s weak-kneed effort to blame the Russians for giving us Donald Trump.

The fresh orgy of anti-Russian invective in the lickspittle media (LSM) has the feel of fin de siècle. The last four reality-impaired years do seem as though they add up to a century. And no definitive fin is in sight, as long as most people don’t know what’s going on.

The LSM should be confronted: “At long last have you left no sense of decency?” But who would hear the question — much less any answer? The corporate media have a lock on what Americans are permitted or not permitted to hear. Checking the truth, once routine in journalism, is a thing of the past.

Thus the reckless abandon with which The New York Times is leading the current full-court press to improve on what it regards as Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s weak-kneed effort to blame the Russians for giving us Donald Trump. The press is on, and there are no referees to call the fouls.

The recent release of a 1,000-page, sans bombshells and already out-of-date report by the Senate Intelligence Committee has provided the occasion to “catapult the propaganda,” as President George W. Bush once put it.








About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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2 Responses to Gideon Rachman on a possible Trump Win & The Political Phenominologists. Philosophical Apprentice comments

  1. Hi Philosophical Apprentice,
    I came across your blog through the link you posted on the Gideon Rahman’s FT article. Thank you. I share your opinions about the FT’s political commentators. We have been FT subscribers for over 20 years, and up until 3 years ago I used to post comments, but this doesn’t bring joy to me anymore. Does the SD at the end of your name mean that you live in San Diego, CA?
    Before Covid I used to help organize:
    Now, I’m stuck at home, like everyone else, looking for intellectual stimulation.
    Planning to follow your blog,

    • Thank you for your positive comment!
      Elizabeth I’m just too ornery to let those Posh Boys and Girls @FT think they are above a bit of mussing up.
      Just had to go outside, to fill the dishes of fresh water for the birds. Its really hot here in San Diego, California. Hope you and yours are safe and well!!
      Best regards,

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