“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."
Friday, September 04, 2015
Versailles on the Potomac - Trump Folds
Pressured by party, Trump signs Republican loyalty pledge
Of course Donald Trump was going to sign the pledge. Was there ever any doubt?
I mean, Trump is now the king. No king anywhere has ever had a problem reciting some variation of these words:
“I pledge allegiance … to the king, and to the kingdom, for which the king stands.”
It’s only been four weeks since the Fox debate in which this whole third-party controversy was ginned up. Even then, it appeared that someone might emerge from the pack to challenge Trump. Someone almost always does. Nature abhors a vacuum and all that.
But the more we see of the rest of this 17-candidate field, the clearer it becomes that like Gertrude Stein’s Oakland, there is no ‘there’ there.
It’s a cavalcade of clowns. Juan Ellis Bush is now baring his lapdog teeth, trying to play the tough guy.
Yesterday, Juan went on the morning shows and promptly reinserted his foot in mouth.
“I think,” he mused, “that Donald Trump is trying to insult his way to the presidency. It’s not going to work.”
Maybe not, but neither is doing what Juan did next, in Hampton, N.H. As he began his monotone drone on a factory floor, a woman in a Red Sox cap promptly fell asleep. Spreading narcolepsy across the fruited plain is not a winning formula, nor is whining, nor is rhapsodizing about all the “vitality” that illegal aliens are bringing to the U.S.
Then there’s Chris Christie, another aspiring tool of the Chamber of Commerce. He was on Fox yesterday morning. The news was that Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republicans In Name Only National Committee (RINONC) would be flying to New York to get Trump to sign the pledge. The host handed Christie the pledge and a pen, which he grabbed like it was a Boston Creme with rainbow jimmies.
“Let’s get this over with,” he said. “And I don’t need Reince Priebus to come and meet with me.”
Later, at the press conference in the lobby at Trump Tower, the Donald was asked about Christie’s snide comment. Trump smiled and mentioned another new national poll, from Christie’s home state of New Jersey. Trump was tops, with 30 percent. Gov. Krispy was clinging to ninth place.
“Met?” Trump said. “You don’t have to be ‘met’ when you’re at 2 percent. It’s one of those things. That’s the way life works. And I like Gov. Christie, by the way.”
Then he mentioned the low return his rivals have reaped with their attacks on him. For instance, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry — “he’s dropping out,” Trump announced.
As he said that, Perry was waiting in Austin for his own live shot, his goofy glasses perched precariously on the bridge of his nose. A few minutes later the Fox anchor asked him, is what Trump said true? Are you dropping out?
Perry flashed that Dumb-and-Dumber grin.
“You know,” he drawled, “a broken clock is right once a day.”
Not twice, once. I pledge allegiance to the king ...