Trump as Stephen King’s ‘It’: Lashing out at Clinton, N. Korea

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

The Beltway Bandits who are always opining about Trump transitioning from campaign mode to presidential stature, and pronouncing after he does something petulant, “Today Donald Trump became president,” are domed to be wrong for at least 3.5 years.

Trump’s politics are those of a pulp novel horror villain. He is Stephen King’s ‘It.’ Remember that ‘It’ takes the form that particularly horrifies you. It isn’t always necessarily Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Are you worried about a relative with a pre-existing condition losing healthcare if the ACA is repealed? There is Trump as “It,” trying to repeal it. Are you worried about America’s forever wars? There is Trump extending them and announcing a troop escalation. Are you haunted by the specter of nuclear war? There is Trump trying to release Iran from its inspection regime, and menacing nuclear-armed North Korea with fire and fury. He is Pennywise the Dancing Clown. But he is so much more. He is your every nightmare.

What non-villain non-monster would retweet juvenile horse manure like Trump’s golf ball hitting Hillary Clinton and knocking her down? She is a grandmother and a private citizen.

We knew he hates women. We knew he is petty. And we will never forgive the benighted voters who put this shambling horror in charge of the nuclear codes.

What non-monster non-villain responds to nuclear blackmail by the unhinged North Korean regime with taunts and threats? I mean, this attempt to tag people with nicknames may be all right for certain of his voters (“I love,” Trump once said, “the poorly educated!”) But I just don’t think it plays well in international diplomacy.

This is like “It” meets Kim Jong Un:

Rocket man?

And it seems pretty obvious that Trump’s talk of fire and fury like you’ve never seen was always pie in the sky as even his Rasputin, Steve Bannon, admitted. It is just like the Hollywood techniques used to keep “It” scary– loud, eery music and sudden close-ups. And then the crew packs up the cameras and goes home after getting the adrenalin going.

This creeping horror-movie It-ism has now infected US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who has started talking about “General Mattis” dealing with North Korea.

She insisted that the fire and fury thing is not an empty threat. You could have fooled me.

She actually said,

“If North Korea keeps on with this reckless behavior, if the United States has to defend itself or defend its allies in any way, North Korea will be destroyed. And we all know that. And none of us want that. None of us want war.”

Yeah, you can’t actually destroy a nuclear state. If you were to try (no one ever has), it would sort of be like trying to strangle a rattle snake with one arm tied behind your back.

Now Nikki Haley is playing ‘It,’ treating Kim Jong Un like the little boy who lost his ball in the gutter.

People who talk like this should not be in public office. We had them in the 1960s and they killed a couple million Vietnamese and 58,000 American troops. Then they were Democrats. It doesn’t really matter. It is the arrogance that gets you.

And you will note that Gen. Mattis himself hasn’t strutted around shouting fire and fury into the gloaming. What with knowing about military affairs and all.

This all comes after Trump sent the British political elite into panic by jumping the gun on assigning blame in the tube terrorist attack. For one thing, the police are trying to make sure the perpetrator (at that time still not arrested) did not know what the government knew– that he had been caught on closed circuit tv. If he didn’t know, he might not urge his network of co-conspirators to go underground, and the police might be able to round them up. But Trump made it look as though he had knowledge he did not have (no one in London would ever again share intelligence with him!), and may have stampeded the terrorist gang so that they can live to strike again.

Trump is enabling terrorism by his grandstanding and his It-ism.

Trump as president is actually in a small, tight room– the room of super-power responsibility. And if you’re shut up in such a room and you swing at a golf ball, it doesn’t hit someone else.

It is called karma.

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Related video:

Warner Brothers: “IT – Official Teaser Trailer”

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7 Responses

  1. Loved this piece, though I have to quarrel with that nuclear blackmail of Kim statement. As much as I detest his regime he needs his nukes to protect against the designs of the US for regime change. He only has to look towards Saddam and Ghadafy. It’s a laugh when our media and politicians talk how diplomacy is not working! Not if diplomacy is preconditioned upon giving up the nukes. As long as South Korea is a tool of the US this standoff will just get worse. Moon needs to follow up on his campaign promise and negotiate directly with Kim and stop deploying theTHAADs.

  2. It’s enough that a 71 year-old businessman would resort to these types of juvenile antics. The fact that said 71 year-old is also POTUS is….well, every day I wake up hoping that it was all a dream.

    Unfortunately, it’s a real nightmare.

    But enough kvetching. It’s all fine and good to gather here or other online watering holes and whine and toss – justifiable – snark. Peeps, don’t sit out the off-year elections any longer. Get off your collective duffs. Get involved in your local races. Organize or contribute to the candidate of your choice. Whatever.

    But if you sit this one out or vote for a Jill Stein because you’re just to precious to soil your hands with the dirty reality of contemporary US politics, you’re helping the Trump forces stay in power. Remember that.

  3. You have really frightened me. Trump is nothing without his supporters / enablers, people who “get off” on his amoral posturing. He delights in their obsequiousness. They feed each other. I can understand a narcissistic half-idiot running for office. What I’m having a hard time grasping is how on earth the foolish buffoon managed to garner any kind of following. Uh… maybe if he had run as a Democrat he would have been laughed off the stage? But as a Republican candidate seemed somehow saner than the rest? Better to go with the pussy grabber than deal with Santorum? Or Cruz?

  4. The violent and chauvinistic speech that President Trump delivered at the UN General Assembly earlier today, perhaps the worst speech ever delivered from that podium, shows that what comes out of the mouth of the “leader of the free world” and the most powerful man on earth is not a joke but should be taken very seriously. The world should take a stand against such promises of total destruction and hellfire before it is too late, and before those wild statements are put into action.

    • Rhetoric like that comment is the kind of rhetoric which unified the world against Nazi Germany. And is chilling to read as a U.S. citizen.

      WE don’t need the “world” to rid US of Donald J. Trump. He will do it to himself, count on it.

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