March 17, 2019

Tara Dowdell joined Joy Reid to discuss the festering canine anal gland also known as Donald Trump, and Reid poetically described the president (lower-case "p") as an avatar for America. She said it's "who America wants to be, whether it's who we are or not. Donald Trump is displaying a kind of neediness, a kind of insecurity that is now defining for the presidency. At least while he's in it. But also a kind of malignancy and malign attitude toward nonwhite people, let's just be blunt." Too many Americans voted for racism, misogyny, and xenophobia, no question about it.

Reid pointed out that Trump recognized the atmosphere was ripe for that kind of sentiment on a national level, rather than created it from the ground up himself, though. Of course, systemic racism has been baked into the dough of this nation from before it was even officially formed. Dowdell agreed, but wanted to make sure that we understood that is not the only reason Republicans are so quick and lavish with their praise of Trump, no matter what their stances were towards him before he became the nominee. And it explains so clearly why they did exactly nothing to prevent his election, and did absolutely everything in their power to prevent his removal once he was installed.

DOWDELL: Exactly. Because Trump tapped into what he saw was arising sentiment in this country and also globally. And he saw that as an opportunity for him. He saw the writing on the wall before many in the Republican party even though they were whipping up a lot of the sentiment, he saw that this was a way that he could make his way in with the birther, he started with the birther attacks on President Obama and now he's just ratcheted up the rhetoric. But I want to say something about your earlier question regarding where people -- why these senators go in and they will give all this adulation to Trump. Part of it is because Mitch McConnell runs a robust patronage operation. And so these senators aren't just doing it because it's a Trump insecurity thing. They are also doing it because they know that they have people who will become judges, they know that Trump has an ability to hire people that they like, that they know. It is a whole patronage operation around jobs, judges and all kinds of appointments throughout the entire government. And that is part of why they play the game.

Now, this, of course, is also not new. Patronage in politics is as old as the nation. But has it ever been so willing to thrive at the expense of the entire nation? So willing to put our very existence at the mercy of the whims of other nation's dictators? It's never been good, but has it ever been so dangerous? So willing to subjugate its own people? Let's not ask Brett Kavanaugh and the slew of Right-Wing extremest judges who have gotten confirmed in the last two years the answer to that question.

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