There must be 50 ways to leave your blogger…

…but I think they fall into four broad categories:

The majority simply stop showing up, without explanation or warning.  I’ve sometimes sent an e-mail when it’s an author or regular commenter who has vanished without any indication of dissatisfaction or discomfort.  Sometimes, it just turns out that busyness of one kind or another has taken over, sometimes only temporarily.  Sometimes, for whatever unstated reason, the person who has lost the habit just never picks it up again.

Others are polite enough to state clear reasons,  either in an e-mail or within the blog, in a way that gives others a chance to address misunderstandings or at least to say good-bye, good luck, no hard feelings…

A few force their own banning by disruptive behavior.  We’ve had one or two of them.

A few, however, feel the need to “storm out,” typically while making some charge or claim, taking some Parthian shot, whose answer they are unwilling to consider, or to be known to have absorbed.  Their exits usually come at the end of discussions in which they have been presented with facts or arguments that they, for whatever reason, would prefer not to confront.  The phony pretext  erases and replaces the actual cause of discomfort, the unfair rebuke exposing us in a moment to the kind of insensitivity or even hostility that the one who rebukes must feel we – and especially whichever one of us he happens to single out (not always me) – have shown to him over extended periods.

I imagine miguel or Sully or Howard or JEM or Peter or Zoltan returning, perhaps briefly or against their will, to see the reaction, if any, or telling himself (none of the women has checked out in this way, hurling accusations) that if we really valued his contribution we would chase after him, like the beloved in the imagination of the unrequited lover after the ultimatum.  I think we’ve probably all been there in one way or another, both in the real world and the virtual one, but they obviously have no interest in whatever sympathy we might have offered them, just as their behavior tends to justify our failure to offer more of it – or to pursue them.

Cuz at some level they’re right.  We’re not in love, and that part about being friends was mostly just “being nice.”


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22 comments on “There must be 50 ways to leave your blogger…

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  1. If you’d gone to the concert everything would have been okay. Of course, you’re correct response to that–if I hadn’t continued here–would have been that things are okay anyway. And they are. But, in my opinion, you and miggs were friends–albeit combative ones. I think you put a lot of effort into the relationship and it was a worthy effort. There was a chance for it to work. The chance was small but that made the effort heroic, and now, again in my opinion, it would be better to acknowledge yourself for trying to help someone who is horribly misguided and yet very unique. I’m not sure that can be done well without recognizing the truth about you two being friends. Pardon the pop psychology.

  2. @ Scott Miller:
    Friends? What does that mean? In this context? Anyway, you’ll have to revise your analysis in light of subsequent events, though it might be impolite to make too much of them. (As migs himself once said of you, migs is sui generis.)

    Imagine what disasters I might have brought to your concert! You should thank me for keeping the swamp within its customary bounds.

    Was it as profoundly fabulous and history-bisecting as expected?

  3. @ CK MacLeod:
    It was. People went crazy when at one point Lisa switched from the Sanskrit of a Shiva chant to “Respect Yourself!” as the band ignited. The big difference this time was that I replaced myself with an amazing bass player. That allowed Bob to play hard electric guitar and that pumped everyone else, including the tabla player who ended up bashing the cajon so hard and furiously as Lisa went into Respect Yourself that he broke a blood vessel in his finger and it swelled up horribly. Amazing. The owner of the studio came up to me afterwards, shaking his head…”I’m speechless. I had no idea. I have never seen anything like that.

  4. @ fuster:
    He’s really a tabla player and plays them at least 3/5ths of the time, and taping doesn’t work with tablas. Then at the end of the faster, more rock and roll songs he switches to cajon. So if he just played cajon, he’d tape.

  5. @ Scott Miller: not that it’s likely to happen to him again, but Zimmer finger splints work well and (preformed) slip on about as easy as rings.
    Of course, I popped a vessel on bongos and couldn’t bend my finger for three weeks before learning that.

  6. @ fuster:
    I will definitely pass suggestion along. Thanks.
    CK MacLeod wrote:

    Was this performance recorded

    Parts were, yes. Haven’t seen the results yet, but if worked, I will definitely YouTube and post. Thanks for asking.

  7. Just so you know Colin, I have returned several times to look around over the past 15 days because for a considerable time I genuinely liked you, and because I so much enjoyed this site, which is one of the best I’ve ever encountered on the net for discussion by a small to mid sized group.

    The first time I returned was a few hours after I broke off discussion because you again went down a road you had travelled once before, namely making a patently false and insulting statement and then refusing to retract when called on it; instead covering yourself in a blizzard of sophistry. In the particular case you baldly asserted that I hold all Muslim lives to be worthless, the very worst sort of calumny.

    When I returned that first time I was amazed to note that you seemed to believe I had left because offended by your use of “effin.” Frankly that struck me as so close to flat out delusional that I discounted it. But then I read on through the following discussion you had with fuster re WW2. That discussion confirmed my belief that you’ve moved so far in the direction of angels on the head of a pin type quasi-logical nitpicking that it’s impossible for me to imagine a discussion of anything significant on which we disagree that won’t end in me purposely phrasing things in ways calculated to enrage you, and you getting frankly nasty when what you consider to be logic in your current state of mind fails to carry the day and cause me to bow down to your preternatural rhetorical powers and go on to worship at the shrine of your righteousness.

    I returned again this evening out of nostalgia to look around, and I paged down to this post, which amazed me. But, as a further check I went back on the Wall and reviewed our entire last exchange, my discussion with fuster that preceeded it, and your discussion with fuster that followed it, feeling you deserved that consideration. I came again to the same conclusion.

    There was no misunderstanding, and I didn’t “storm” out. I simply recognized that we inhabit universes that have different laws of logic at this point in our lives.

  8. If you weren’t appearing as a kind of unstable particle, flashing into existence to make a statement – that is, take your shots – while stating your intention to run away back to your own “universe,” I’d address your claims.

    I’ll just point to your statement about the “worst sort of calumny,” and say that I have no idea what you or anyone feels in his heart of hearts about Muslim lives or non-Muslim lives or anything at all. I only know what you actually say and do. I have addressed the obvious implications of your repeated, diverse, stubbornly Islamophobic statements. You sometimes prefer not to acknowledge those implications. At other times, you’ve preferred to act amused by them. Who you “really are” underneath it all is and likely will forever remain a mystery to me, and quite possibly to you as well.

    Think whatever you like about me, my thinking, my writing, this site, or anything else. I don’t think I need to spell out any further what I think of people who fire off little drive-by fusillades then disappear or threaten to do so.

  9. @ CK MacLeod:

    Actually, I subscribed to this thread specifically to give you a chance to respond directly if you wanted to.

    As to the question at hand, I consider myself an Islamist-ophobe and I consider an Islamist to be anyone who believes that the Koran is the literal word of God. If that or its logical extensions are philosophical crimes in your understanding, I’m guilty as charged.

  10. Sully wrote:

    I consider myself an Islamist-ophobe and I consider an Islamist to be anyone who believes that the Koran is the literal word of God.

    There we almost agree, though I would phrase my own view differently, since I’m skeptical of naive literalist views regarding any and all texts – sacred, political, historical, even scientific.

    One corollary of this view is that all claims to be acting upon a literal reading – whether of the Koran, the Pentateuch, the New Testament, the US Constitution, or the manual that came with your TV – are suspect. There are only interpretations informed by context broadly defined – experiential, historical, personal or intentional, and so on. The mere existence of the so-called “Verse of the Sword,” for example, or of particular attempts to “apply it,” proves nothing essential about Islam or even about Islamism.

    That also means that it is entirely possible for a believer to affirm the holiness, perfection, beauty, instructiveness, etc., of the Koran and for that believer to mean nothing ill toward you or your family or your community or your belief system or your nation. When he reads the particular Suras that so disturb you, he may read them in immediate literal context and in the context of other experiences and interpretations about which you are completely ignorant, and that have little or nothing to do with the interpretations insisted upon by demagogues and ideologues. Any demand that he disavow the book and the tradition of which it is a part is more likely – and not just in an honor/shame culture – to drive him closer to it, in the same way that you react to attacks, or perceived attacks, on your beliefs, culture, community, nation, and so on.

    • CKM: Because you’d kindly responded to the Heidegger quote I’d left over on the “A rarely if ever” thread–which in turn seemed to spark off a further exchange between you and Cervantes that I also found interesting–I wanted to review the original post and its attendant comment thread in their entirety as a preparation for rejoining the conversation. I’d missed a few things on my first reading–as I often do, I’m afraid. Right off the bat, for example, you mentioned “Sully”–I’d assumed this was a reference to Andrew Sullivan. This time round I clicked on the name, only to learn that Sully was an erstwhile commenter here with whom you’d had an apparently testy exchange.

      I couldn’t help but be gripped by the subject of this post: guys petulantly walking away from a blog (and specifically, CK MacLeod’s), because I’ve done it here myself. You’ll recall that back in June or so of last year I bade you a fond farewell after you deleted one of my comments. I’d like to think my own departure wasn’t entirely unjustified, since comment deletion sends a message that one’s point of view is toxic and hence unwelcome. Well obviously I couldn’t stay away and it was no doubt dumb for me to leave in a fit of pique in any case. I know I’ve made a lot of stupid forays into the comment threads around here, but I’d like to think I’ve also made a decent contribution or two along the way and I hope to improve in future–assuming, that is, that this blog has a future; which I hope it does, even if it is going through a bit of a dry spell right now.

      Anyway, I still intend to say something more over on the other thread but I did want to respond to a few things here–perhaps at the risk of arousing your ire yet once more (I’m afraid I’m too inured now to take offence).

      One corollary of this view is that all claims to be acting upon a literal reading – whether of the Koran, the Pentateuch, the New Testament, the US Constitution, or the manual that came with your TV – are suspect.

      If you’re reading the instruction manual that came with your TV figuratively or rhetorically, then you’re reading it foolishly–but I couldn’t agree more about the other texts you name. In fact, I would go so far as to say (as I have before, in our exchange over the correct interpretation of Leo Strauss–where I seem to recall that you argued for a more or less “literal” reading of his work, one that would validate the notion that Strauss was a full-fledged liberal democratist) that all texts save for instruction manuals possess an inherent rhetorical dimension; that is, an intent to persuade. The more that intent to persuade can be kept hidden, the better the chance it has to succeed–which is why I think stories are perhaps the most powerful rhetorical devices out there, since people tend to perceive them as mere entertainments. But I don’t think instruction manuals are trying to “persuade” us or to alter our will.

      That also means that it is entirely possible for a believer to affirm the holiness, perfection, beauty, instructiveness, etc., of the Koran and for that believer to mean nothing ill toward you or your family or your community or your belief system or your nation.

      Well, it certainly isn’t possible for the Muslim “believer” to “affirm” the Koran without denying that Jesus is the Son of God–something which the Koran repeatedly denies, as you know–or without denying that what we today call Judaism is grounded in the authentic text of the Torah–something again which the Koran repeatedly denies, as you know. It does seem to me that these things constitute “ill” will toward those faith traditions–but I happen to be someone who sees enmity, ill-will and hate between races, peoples, faiths and sects to be something perfectly healthy and normal, not at all anything to puzzle over or to abhor. As to why you feel the need to police others on this line, I’m not sure. I find it curious that someone like you who is committed to the equal freedom of each and all would want to deter someone like me from exercising the most basic of freedoms: the freedom to be “indifferent toward” or to dislike, despise, and even hate other races, religions, etc. Just dislike, despise and hate, mind you–not torture or kill; just live “apart from” in thought and deed. I guess it speaks to the idea that the “equal freedom of each and all” is not a text to be taken at face value, but serves rather an ulterior rhetorical purpose.

      To close–and to the specific matter at hand–allow me to say that I’ve read the Koran in translation more than once and I find it to be a very beautiful book indeed. Though I’m not a Muslim myself, with every passing day I find both Islam and Islamism to be more and more attractive when compared to the contemporary liberal democratic capitalist West. Even so, I’ve no intention of selling out to Islam and I don’t think Islamism or the Islamic world poses much of a threat to the decadent, enervated yet wealthy and technologically powerful West–for the obvious reason. Which is: that Muslims, like all non-European peoples, are–by and large and in general–basically dumb and thus easily defeatable.

      • Thanks, Wade, for that comment. I’ve been meaning to reply for days now, but my response started taking up so much space that I drafted it into a post instead – “Note to a White Supremacist Commenter” or some such. It’s typical of my predicament these days, however, that I just can’t take the time to do it right, and, if it’s not rightly doable, on a matter such as this one, it’s almost always better not done. I’ll just paste the conclusion here, reserving the right to revise and extend:

        What I have found inexcusable, and delete-able, in several of your comments, and found difficult to excuse in commenter Sully’s four years ago, has never been that either of you thought the wrong thoughts, or, a different thing, that you chose to express them. We all have wrong thoughts, and even to be aware of a wrong thought without ever consciously attributing to it a possibility of being a right thought will still always to some degree mean trying it on like a costume and viewing oneself in the mental mirror. The fiercely judgmental conduct of some anti-racists, anti-bigots, and assorted other lower order tyrants of the Kingdom of God, as many will sooner or later acknowledge, will tend to originate in their own vexation with themselves over their own reflexes – the painful familiarity of that image looking back at them.

        I strongly suspect, for instance, that the interlocutor whom you sought to insult, longtime friend of this blog b-psycho, who in the event proved himself superior to your slights, may very well reflexively dislike white people. According to your own theory, he ought to do so, since he is not one of them. Furthermore, as perhaps ought to go without saying, under any conventional reading of American history, there is plentiful reason for an individual of African American descent to dislike the members of every other designated racial or ethnic group, and, of course, to dislike “whites” especially, and most especially to dislike whites who have been known to suggest that “blacks” on balance ought to be grateful rather than angry.

        More generally, we can take as understood, as read, that everyone to the extent he or she is aware of any identity at all, experiences this awareness as a regime of preferences, many of them reflexive, or, again, as ineradicable, self-sustaining passions realized as prejudice: To the extent I love ice cream, I tend to derogate broccoli and even cake. To the extent I identify as an American, I will tend to derogate all other nationalities, even the ones which I may in one or another important regard, conceivably in every regard, judge more worthy of admiration than my own. To imagine oneself to be an American or Thai or Cretan, or white or black or mixed, or male or female or other, or Christian or Muslim, or straight or gay, and so on, endlessly, is to imagine groups to which one belongs, whose interests and fate will tend to bear upon one’s own particular interests or fate, whose honor or shame will be to one’s own honor or shame. This relationship is inherent and definitional. I might, conceivably, consider Canadians or Indonesians superior on average in moral temperament or intelligence or other admirable qualities than Americans, but the simple fact will remain that a threat addressed to Canadians will be of less interest to me as an American than a threat addressed to Americans. The same may or perhaps must be true, tautologically, for every other such criterion or index. Identity is in this sense another word for index of perceived unique or particular meaning, including perceived unique or separate vulnerability as well as perceived unique or separate advantage.

        In this sense prejudice would simply be a given: We are prejudiced to the extent we “are” at all. The question is whether one’s prejudices lead one to engage in blameworthy acts, including blameworthy speech acts. In the context of any serious or would-be serious inquiry into right and wrong, a refusal to consider the moral implications of one’s own statements defeats the entire purpose of the exercise, or turns it into an exercise in hypocrisy: We start out claiming to seek a truth of moral significance, or to assert some hypothesis of general import, and instead are found, back in the mirror, reciting the same old lines, in the same old way, to the same old low purposes, heedless of the effect on others, or with a petty intent to insult or injure them. I reject any notion that a commitment to free inquiry obligates me to provide a forum for verbal attacks on my friends, or on strangers, on anyone at all, and by extension on myself or my reputation. Such conduct always undermines or destroys the possibility of free inquiry, at best provides counterexamples in relation to any authentic free inquiry, and otherwise has nothing to do with it as far as I can tell.

        Now, back to work for me.

        • I’m obliged to thank you for this reply–whenever you respond to my admittedly mediocre comments, I’m grateful–but I think it’s a good idea you didn’t publish this as a post up top, as it isn’t one of your more inspired outings. From the very beginning, I’ve noticed that your objections to my racist/bigoted comments are somewhat dispirited. Carrying the cross of anti-racism is burdensome to you, an unhappy fate. My own comments on the opposite line, to the contrary, tend to be light-hearted, froehlich, “gay” in the old-fashioned sense. Interestingly enough, I’m a racist/bigot with a good clean conscience–you’re an anti-bigot with a bit of a bad conscience.

          An interesting question to pose to you would be: Have you ever been on the other side of the fence? Do you think I myself have ever been on the other side? Of course I have–the prohibition/taboo against racism/bigotry is one of the primary forms, if not the primary form, of specific social conditioning that we all (or at least we whites) receive in the United States. In the past, I’ve even scolded my compatriots a time or two for racism. As I got older, the anti-racism ideological imperative revealed itself for what it is: a pious fraud, a noble (or rather, ignoble) lie, a blatant political manipulation, the emperor’s new clothes. Today, I aspire to be the boy in that famous parable who says, “The emperor’s naked–he hasn’t got any clothes on!” On some level, you yourself know the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes, which is why your protestations are half-hearted and unenergetic.

          But have you ever been on the other side? I suspect the answer is no. That leaves two possibilities concerning the genesis of your commitment to anti-racism. Either you are innately graced with the wisdom of anti-racism–or, more likely… your social conditioning took permanent hold of you. In that case, your scolding others–be it me or Sully or whomever else–couldn’t possibly be interesting or substantial, just the same old you-know-what we all hear, all the time, over and over, ad infinitum, ad nauseum in contemporary America.

          I strongly suspect, for instance, that the interlocutor whom you sought to insult, longtime friend of this blog b-psycho, who in the event proved himself superior to your slights, may very well reflexively dislike white people. According to your own theory, he ought to do so, since he is not one of them.

          To say that I “sought to insult” him is a bit of an exaggeration, I think. I may have insulted him, but I didn’t exactly “seek” to do so. It’s true that I’d left a number of comments on this blog that were derogatory of blacks–and you had deleted every one of them. When I left a comment in that vein over on the Will’s Affront thread, I did so in the absolute confidence–based on past performance–that you would immediately delete it too. That day–apparently out of some misguided solidarity with the Charlie Hebdo pornographers–you decided to let it stand as a tribute to freedom of speech. Now I didn’t mind, because I’m perfectly willing to stand by everything I say, however unacceptable it may be in today’s climate. (I’ve even been known to apologize a time or two when I’ve been convinced that I was guilty of an injustice.) In response, bpsycho asked me some rather pointed questions to which I replied in my customary impish manner. Beforehand, you encouraged me to do so–you said, “I’m eager to see how Mr. McKenzie responds”. If “longtime friend of this blog b-psycho” was the victim of insulting behavior, you frankly set him up for it. That’s on you, Colin, not me. In any event, I just want to make clear that I am far less contemptuous of bpsycho’s negritude than I am of his libertarianism.

          As for blacks like bspycho disliking, despising, or even hating whites–I’m convinced that most of them do and, as I’ve said, I think that’s perfectly healthy, perfectly normal, nothing at all to puzzle over or to abhor.

          Furthermore, as perhaps ought to go without saying, under any conventional reading of American history, there is plentiful reason for an individual of African American descent to dislike the members of every other designated racial or ethnic group, and, of course, to dislike “whites” especially, and most especially to dislike whites who have been known to suggest that “blacks” on balance ought to be grateful rather than angry.

          This is really a wonderful thought for Black History Month. I just want to make clear that I haven’t been known to suggest “that ‘blacks’ on balance ought to be grateful rather than angry”. I couldn’t care less what blacks as blacks think about their ostensible plight. I want to live apart and separated from such concern. That anyone would suggest that I ought–or even must–be concerned about blacks or Jews or Hispanics or homosexuals or Muslims, etc. etc. is just politically manipulative nonsense.

          In the context of any serious or would-be serious inquiry into right and wrong, a refusal to consider the moral implications of one’s own statements defeats the entire purpose of the exercise

          Believe me when I tell you that I’m perfectly willing “to consider the moral implications” of my own statements, if only it can be demonstrated that they are wrong or unjust. But said demonstration always goes wanting and mere pouting is a poor substitute.

        • Though I may not have made it entirely clear that I reserved the right to revise and extend my thoughts, I hope you won’t object to my following up a bit nonetheless. In fact, as I continued to reflect on your comment and began to write a lengthy critique thereof, my response started taking up so much space that I drafted it into an essay instead–“Note to an Anti-Racist Egghead Whiner” or some such. But when the page-count reached forty, I realized it was just too big to drop into one of your comment threads–given your penurious condition, I couldn’t in good conscience saddle you with the bandwidth charges. So I’ll just paste a few of its salient points here, reserving the right to revise and extend.

          What I find inexcusable in your comment is its mendacity. It oozes insincerity and disingenuousness. You indicate that what you have found inexcusable and delete-able in several of my comments is their insulting and even injurious quality. Exhibit A is the notorious and regrettable bspycho affair. The bpsycho affair was something which you yourself deliberately engineered–that it happened at all was entirely due to your own decision, intention and calculation. Once you had brought the confrontation into being and bpsycho had directly expressed to me his fierce black resentment and dismay over my derogation of negritudinous subhumanity, you said:

          I wouldn’t have blamed you, b-p, if you had responded more angrily

          Here, you play to the stereotype of the angry and threatening black male and encourage him to vent his fierce anger. So much for the dispassionate, impartial, serious, rational, authentic, free inquiry into the nature of right and wrong! It’s remarkable how quickly you jettison your highfalutin ideals whenever they don’t serve the purpose of berating poor little me.

          Then you said the following:

          I admit I’m curious to see his [that would be me] reply to your questions

          Now, Colin, you couldn’t possibly have imagined for even one second that my reply to bpsycho’s questions was going to take the form of a “serious or would-be serious inquiry into right and wrong”, yet you encouraged me to “wade” in all the same.

          You even said:

          I’d invite him [again, this is me] to give it his best

          Shame on you! You were positively goading the two of us. In the wake of your encouragement, incitement, prodding and goading I mounted the response I did. I can only assume that that response is what you are primarily referring to when you accuse me of maliciously insulting, humiliating, derogating, degrading, abusing, harming and injuring your “dear, dear friend” bpsycho.

          Now given that your most recent comment is devoted to explaining “What [you] have found inexcusable, and delete-able, in several of [my] comments” and the specific example you supply was my insulting comment unto bpsycho–isn’t it interesting that that was a comment that you didn’t actually delete?

          I reject any notion that a commitment to free inquiry obligates me to provide a forum for verbal attacks on my friends, or on strangers, on anyone at all, and by extension on myself or my reputation.

          Well, let’s just say you didn’t exactly “reject the notion” over on the Will’s Affront thread.

          Now, for some mysterious reason, you have taken this occasion to go on and on about your “dear, dear friend” bpsycho. I’m just curious–do you know the real name of your “dear, dear friend” bpsycho or do you only know him by his puerile moniker? I can only assume the former is the case, as the latter would be an odd kind of “dear, dear friendship”. Say or think what you will about me, Colin–consider me a friend, an enemy, an acquaintance or a non-entity–but you know my name.

  11. @ CK MacLeod:

    it is entirely possible for a believer to affirm the holiness, perfection, beauty, instructiveness, etc., of the Koran and for that believer to mean nothing ill toward you or your family or your community or your belief system or your nation.

    That is both beautifully constructed and at the same time both perfectly true and entirely meaningless to me in the context of whether I should fear him and consider him an enemy. The fact that it is obviously meaningful to you and relevent to whether you should fear him and consider him an enemy is what I meant by saying that we inhabit different logical universes.

    When someone says “A” I take him at his word. When someone says “A” you look for a reason he may really mean “B”.

  12. Well, I propose that we realize that we are about as small a group as a group can be and fight as hard as brothers do, enjoy nursing a good grudge, and then warm our hands together over a nice toasty library or something.

  13. @ fuster:

    But, if the library passes the Sodom and Gomorrah rule, which is also CK’s rule, we’ll be frustrated and left with cold hands and untoasted marshmallows because we can’t burn it.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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