“The bullshit piled up so fast in Vietnam, you needed wings to stay above it.” Captain Willard. “Apocalypse Now”
I sometimes wonder how does Kellyanne Conway, the woman who thinks that journalists should be fired for critical coverage of Trump, and other Trump’s spinmeisters sleep at night. The people who surround Trump, you can call them many names, but they are not stupid. Kellyanne is not stupid. It is, in fact, thanks to their intelligence, that they’re capable of performing impressive logical leaps with a straight face. But the proximity to power alters one’s thinking. More than a decade ago, the similar intoxication with power prompted Karl Rove to utter the now infamous “we make our own reality.”
There are, of course, usual political obfuscations and smokescreens for any political administration. Those are understandable, as any administration tries to portray itself in the most favorable light. One can recover quickly from the spin once the administration’s term is over and one moves on to a think tank and a cocktail circuit: everyone knows you weren’t serious, it’s part of the job, hahaha, pat on the back. But then there’s a point of no return when a spokesperson begins to spin the easily verifiable truth, like dispute a picture taken during the march or a comment made on tape. It is naïve to expect that Kellyanne will snap out of it when shown evidence, because it’s too late for her: the admission of being wrong would be more embarrassing than continuing to dig in her heels. What are the rewards for admitting being wrong? She would have to apologize and then perhaps even explain how she suffered a lapse of judgment and that she was only doing her boss’s bidding. It’s just too humiliating. Digging one’s heels, however, offers rewards: a paycheck, access to power, protection. And the more you spread lies, the more vulnerable you become, the more you need all of the above. It’s too late for her, even if she were suddenly to have an awakening, to stop lying. If she stops lying for her boss, she will be left out in the open, with liberals, like zombies, devouring her. It’s like in the mafia – once you kill somebody, you’re bound to the cause once and for all. There’s no walking back. Thus we hear more and more outrageous statements from her: the maintenance of the deteriorating situation requires even more breathtaking spin, not because she herself believes it; but because she can’t afford to appear as if she doesn’t. She has to continue to ‘believe’ it for her own wellbeing. Given that it’s only week one of the administration, and we’re already at ‘journalists should be fired for criticism’, I wonder what she and others will do to come up with new ideas for a spin. With every passing day this shit more and more resembles the late Soviet Union (pozdny Sovok). Which means the end is nigh.
2 thoughts on “For Trump’s spokesmen, the inflection point has been crossed.”
And I have the feeling that “late Sovok” wouldn’t be the endpoint, and we might slide all the way back to early or middle Sovok circa 1937.
Possible. I’ll take 1991 over 1937 anytime. Which, now that I think of it, might be a clever Steve Bannon’s conceived evil plan: make an outrageous EO (like ban green card holders), then walk it back a little, making it look like capitulation, while making other outrageous EOs in place. Promise to lynch blacks, then walk back from it, and everything else you do won’t look evil at all in comparison.