The political problem for American conservatives in this era seems to me more complex, but at the same time less intractable, than a simple juxtaposition of the visible (or “envisionable”) vs. the unseen.
“No good options” at some point becomes a rule of moral abdication – a declaration of incapacity to distinguish between worse and better, or of paralysis. Obama himself seems to oscillate between the two views: On the one hand, since there is no good option, judgment has to be suspended, but on the other hand he wants to view or wants us to accept inaction or maximal distance as the better option, so “as good as we can get if not perfect.”
Obama seemed to be hoping that a legacy of American “credibility” on such threats would be sufficient to make this one work, without acknowledging – perhaps according to all the best and latest political scientific critiques of “credibility” – the possible damage to American credibility that his own policies had reinforced.
Trump is many ugly things, but he’s not a very developed ideologue. In a way, that might even make him more authentically fascist than the fascists, who merely talked about power for the sake of power and about the rejection of intellectualism.
Trump is finance fully self-invacuated, in a full-length gilt mirror, a Medusa transfixed by its own refracted self-admiration; at the same time, he is the return of the annihilated masses, as mass nihilism.
In that article about the internet, which is not a place, being a terrible place, Tod Kelly rightly criticizes Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo for the latter’s provision of, my words, a brutally imbecilic rant by a TPM commenter…