The Clintonites’ Rat’s Ass

As we prepare for the historic moment when President Obama’s estranged half-brother makes an appearance at tonight’s final presidential debate, Steve Bannon, Generalissimo of the Trump campaign, is putting out word that more surprises are in store from the Trump debate guest list. Indeed, about an hour ago NBC’s Katy Tur tweeted out additional invitees.

To translate this from Trumpese, this is a survivor of the Benghazi consulate attack, four women who have children whose deaths were tied in some way to an undocumented immigrant and so-called “Benghazi Mom” Pat Smith, who gave that speech at the GOP convention.

I was particularly struck when I saw Chris Stevens’ fiance mentioned. I didn’t know Chris Stevens had a fiance. And his family has been consistently and outspokenly opposed to the politicization of his death. Well, it turns out “Amb Chris Stevens’ fiance” is a bit of a stretch. Stevens and now-occasionally working French actress Lydie Denier were briefly engaged in 1995. What insight she has into his death seventeen years later other than self-promotion is a mystery.

I already noted the comedy of the Trump camp’s aggressiveness on this front since Hillary is fairly unflappable and it’s Trump who gets knocked off stride by the slightest provocation. But surveying this debate guest drama, what strikes me more than anything is that I cannot imagine anyone in the Clinton camp giving the slightest rat’s ass about any of this. This is no longer really about Clinton at all. It’s more like a ‘release all the animals from their cages in the menagerie’ freakout, go-for-broke primal scream inside the WND/Breitbart mind bubble. It’s operating entirely within that world. It doesn’t really connect up with anything outside of it. I’m not sure that’s even the intention.

One thing we’ve seen over the course of the last eighteen months is the increasing identification between the Trump campaign and the GOP and the subculture of trolling, the cult of provocation and outrageousness. That’s why Breitbart News’ de facto merger with the Trump campaign made so much sense.

Through the day Drudge has been fronting a 20 year old picture of Donald Trump under the headline “Tonight Is Forever.” It’s a perfect evocation of the themes of hopeless love, doomed last chances and perhaps even the romanticization of suicide that characterize the Trumpian moment. Drudge is right there with the Trumpers and Breitbartians as the world closes in upon itself.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Edblog
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: