You might remember the name:
Washington Post — As President Trump’s White House battles impeachment, he turned to a familiar face last week: Mark Penn, one of President Bill Clinton’s top strategists. — Penn came to the Oval Office for more than an hour last Monday …
Mark Penn was pollster and strategist for Hillary Clinton’s 2000 and 2006 New York Senate campaigns AND for her 2008 presidential campaign. So, seriously? Donald Trump is relying on Hillary’s former campaign chief strategist? For advice?
(Hillary 2008 isn’t something you’d want on your résumé, after all.)
And vice versa.
Emphasis on “vice.”
This may come as a surprise to you, but the complete divorce of American worldviews is now immanent. We have two sets of facts. Two notions of America. Or, increasingly, America and Amerika.*
As the billionaires watch us fight.
(* Hint: Amerika is the one claiming that America is dangerous, censorious of free speech, violent and socialist.)
Penn reassured Trump that he wouldn’t be removed from office, according to people familiar with the meeting, and encouraged him to travel the country like Clinton did when he was fighting impeachment over 20 years ago, officials said.
The best case scenario here is the accurate perception of just how AMORAL our political consultants have become. Impeachment is seen as purely political exercise and the substance of the ‘high crime’ isn’t even incidental to the marketing exercise that American politics has become.
Any notions of “right” or “wrong” are left to the Religious Right, who have, during the past week (and echoed by outgoing Energy Secretary Rick Perry WHILE still in office) stated that Trump has been chosen by God to help bring the Second Coming of Jesus Christ* while the Democrats are trying to STOP it.
Gott bless Amerika. Gott Mit Uns.
[* The Rapture and Last Days narratives so popular in Evangelical circles are a straight up heresy and have been for nearly two millennia. The modern mess begins with John Nelson Darby and the Plymouth Brethren in England in the 1830s, where it DID NOT catch on, but in the USA leads to the Millerites and the “Great Disappointment” of the 1840s and infects small-town laity through the affordable Scofield Reference Bible in 1909, which filled the need for a dictionary and concordance but was cheap enough for poor ministers to afford. It was, unfortunately shot through and through with Dispensationalism and Rapture, and, as the Evangelical/Pentecostal ‘fringe” churches all but supplanted the US Protestant mainstream in the USA beginning in the 1980s, the Rapture narrative took America and GOP politics by its theological throat, with the Catholics on board via Dominion theology, also known as Christian Theocracy. (See Netflix’ “The Family” documentary for more. The Bible verse they seem to have missed entirely regarding Trump?
By their fruits ye shall know them.
…………………. ~Jesus, Matthew 7:20, KJV
I’ve added the historical (not theological) links for those interested. The Roman Catholic Church makes no bones that “Rapture” theology is outside orthodox teachings.]
Again, the notion is that the Right is right but that the Left are SOCIALISTS!
A term that is easier to scream than to define, evidently.
The divide will never seem so apparent as this Thanksgiving, as families will understand that they have been permanently riven, and have been for some time.
And so, the amorality of a political consultant like Mark Penn seems startling in a nation that so prides itself for wearing its ideology on its sleeve. There are — seemingly –now only about two positions in the country: it’s a Dimmycrat PLOT against our Chosen One, else, Donald Trump committed bribery and extortion of a foreign leader beyond a treasonable doubt.
Which leads me to our Iago moment, our Machiavelli moment, and the reason I sat down to write this in the first place:
Those who run America AND Amerika do not have an ideology.
What they have is MARKETING. They see the world AS marketing, and the lesson that no pundit or politician seems to have learned from 2016 is that POLICY DOES NOT MATTER.
Arguments DO NOT MATTER.
What matters is MARKETING. This is why Trump constantly pushes one or two SLOANS:
No collusion no obstruction.
Build that Wall.
Lock Her Up.
We may never see a substantive election again, folks. Hell, we may not see anything other than “show” elections again.
Polling, marketing and gerrymandering have supplanted policy debate, evidence and reason. Last week’s Impeachment hearings were DEVASTATING in any reasonable and judicial sense.
To the amygdala, the “reptile brain” that responds to conditioning, repetition and emotion, the hearings were DEVASTATING to the coupsters, the traitors, the evil Leftists.
You know, the ones with all the guns.
Mark Penn represents the train wreck of our Republic: Peggy Noonan, with whom I rarely agree on anything, said something years ago that I DO agree with: that the rise of the amoral, “political consultant” with their polling, demographics and response to EXACTLY what the polling says works best have DESTROYED American politics.
Elections are exercises in marketing, purely. Trump “won” (to the extent that Russian cheating and Koch cheating didn’t mysteriously push him over the top in three states whose recounts were cunningly, slithery and in no uncertain terms SHUT DOWN) he “won” the election through marketing research (“build the wall” was a one-shot throwaway but it got a big cheer and was incorporated into the campaign).
And that is what Mark Penn has to offer Trump: amoral marketing during an impeachment.
Or, in layman’s terms, aiding and abetting the utter betrayal of the Constitution and our national security.
Two trains are heading down the track, doing about eighty miles an hour.
The sad part is that they are headed towards the same contact point. The final outcome isn’t hard to visualize.
The tragedy is that the same politicians are going to go back to the same gerrymandered districts, consult the same amoral political consultants, pol the same demographics, cut the same media spots (most of your contributions go straight to media outlets) in teh same markets and campaign AS IF NONE OF THIS HAD HAPPENED.
Oh, the Amerika crowd will say “socialist” a lot.
We will say that we have lost our democracy, when, in fact, the Mark Penns of this world prove that we lost it long, long ago. Now, as when Augustus declared the “restoration of the Senate” (and the end of the Roman Republic) we merely go through the motions, I fear.
That light at the end of the tunnel may well be an oncoming locomotive.
A writer, published author, novelist, literary critic and political observer for a quarter of a quarter-century more than a quarter-century, Hart Williams has lived in the American West for his entire life. Having grown up in Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico, a survivor of Texas and a veteran of Hollywood, Mr. Williams currently lives in Oregon, along with an astonishing amount of pollen. He has a lively blog, His Vorpal Sword (no spaces) dot com.