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From The Wall Street Journal, “How the National Enquirer Got Bezos’ Texts: It Paid $200,000 to His Lover’s Brother,” March 18, 2019

Donald Trump and the Dirty Sanchez

Trumpland is running America. Why does it have to be so nasty?

Jeffrey Denny

The unfolding story gets better:

Trump supporter Michael Sanchez, brother, confidant and agent for Jeff Bezos gal-pal Lauren Sanchez, reportedly sold her private texts with Bezos to the Trump-supporting AMI/National Enquirer for $200,000.

That’s right, Michael Sanchez betrayed his trusting sister for a political dirty trick and — bonus! — some quick bank.

If true, Michael is one big Dirty Sanchez.

(Please do not look up the term “Dirty Sanchez” on Urban Dictionary. It’s disgusting and offensive. For shame if you already know it. Yet it’s hilariously apt here.)

The Michael Sanchez story is just new evidence there’s something stinking rotten in the state of Trumpland.

There’s a snarky, sneering, mean, nasty, ugly spirit that’s both inspired by Trump and inspires Trump, a literally vicious cycle.

Trump obviously is first to blame.

Rejecting the dignity, decency and decorum we expect from modern presidents, Trump has set a tone from the bottom for the feeders dwelling there in the darkest internet muck, like strange sad pinkish creatures that never see natural sunlight such as the “ghoulish” blob sculpin (Psycholutes phrictus). Look it up.

Trump’s most recent gratuitous, despicable slaps at the late Senator John McCain and the many who loved, mourn and salute McCain’s patriotism and public service, was surprising because it was no surprise.

Dancing on a decorated American hero’s grave was just the latest in Trump’s nearly 600 persons, places and things he has delighted in denigrating from the bully pulpit of his Twitter account, per The New York Times ongoing tally. Always with a bully’s ornery glee, hoping to wound and enjoying the sick pleasure like a disturbed child ripping wings from a ladybug.

Trump’s Twitter Tourette’s — apologies to clinical sufferers — is not strategic, a necessary evil toward a worthy goal. There’s no rhyme, reason or purpose. It’s just amygdala vomit and childish tantrums, reveling in his power to incite while revealing himself to be a petty-minded narcissist with a paranoia and enemy’s list far deeper than Nixon’s. At least Nixon had public self-control and respect for his office, as well as literacy and coherence.

Maybe Trump is losing his mind. Our better angels hope that’s the explanation for his insanity and we can pity him for his pitilessness.

By indulging his nastiest impulses, nobody has undermined Trump more than Trump.

Great presidents have understood that advancing their electorate’s and the nation’s agenda requires at least attempting to charm and persuade political opponents.

Trump instead bullies people he needs to advance his agenda, and when they balk at being bullied, he bullies them more. Like Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro and many desperate dictators, Trump is confident his bully base will back him and bend the rest of us to lick his boots.

As most have given up pointing out, the President of the United States used to be the leader of the free world and the Shining City on the Hill, someone nations would admire and children would look up to.

With Trump, we hope our children don’t follow his example. Most children would be punished or brought to therapy and put on medication if they acted like Trump.

In my lifetime, Republican presidents and politicians have stood for good old-fashioned decent God-fearing American family values, and often attacked Democrats as the party of loose values and dubious morals undermining our culture.

Today, as Republicans accept or avert their eyes from Trump’s destruction of decency, it’s the GOP that’s defining deviancy down.

Trump’s base — while suckered and used by Trump and the wealthy establishment GOP elites — cannot escape accountability.

Trump’s base loves his nastiness. They applaud, enable, parrot and egg him on. They know Trump is being nasty on their behalf and for their pleasure.

Trump knows nasty is what “his people” want, and more of it. He makes his angry white base feel heard and respected against the college-educated coastal intellectual elites who, MAGAs are fed, regard them as ignorant racist white supremacists. (For my part, we do not.)

Trump fuels his base’s pride in being white Christian Americans. As if the luck of being born white in the USA and choice to follow Jesus (who humbly warned against pride) is a personal achievement worth pride. Even if you rarely attend services, hate government when it cares for poor, undeserving babies but want government to dictate when babies begin, or merely send quick and easy “prayers” when friends are sick or lost family, or children get slaughtered in church by a gunman expressing his Second Amendment rights.

Trump has also inspired and given his base full rights to fear and loathe anyone not like them — notably poor minorities, immigrants, Muslims and anyone who supports or defends them.

Pious Trump lovers ignore that Jesus most loved the most hated and resents the tired, poor, huddled masses, the wretched refuse of our teeming shore, even if Mexico is over a thousand miles away, the nearest border is Canada’s and their communities have few if any immigrants.

After centuries of white domination and subjugation of black people, outlawed only within our lifetime, the Trump base talks about racism against whites, plays victim and asks, “Where’s my white privilege?”

Whatever Trump tweets, his base repeats. And then declares the liberals are stupid sheeple.

Trump’s base loves Trump’s basest blurts. “He speaks his mind.” “He tells it like it is.” “He’s not a typical politician.” They guffaw, wallow in and emulate his meanness.

Check out the racist, misogynist, nativist comments on Breitbart — posted anonymously, of course, since cowards tend to cower while blurting fighting words, things they would never say to anyone’s face, at work, or at the dinner table with their family and kids.

Then there’s Trump TV, which sparks and fuels MAGA meanness for ratings and ad money.

It’s all about the Benjamins, baby. Fox knows it can dupe its audience by feeding red meat snarking on liberals. Like WWE Smackdown and Doritos Dinamita Fiery Habanero followed by Cool Ranch, it’s exciting but ultimately empty and sickening entertainment.

Racing to the bottom, the more smug, vicious, insulting bile Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Jeanine Pirro and the rest of the fake moral outrage Fox bloviators can spew, the more the Trump audience gorges with a soup spoon.

If Fox fans notice the irony of the network’s coastal, educated urban elites making millions attacking coastal, educated urban elites with a straight face, they don’t care.

Mr. Carlson is especially talented at this shameless hypocrisy.

He lives not far from me in a $3.8 million, 7,400 square foot mansion with five bedrooms and six and a half bathrooms, gourmet kitchen, swimming pool, multiple fireplaces and a home gym.

Carlson has complained about being “hassled” at a local five-star restaurant favored by the Washington powerful. That was before his “Bubba the Love Sponge” misogyny and other ugliness was revealed.

But he will not be bullied, Carlson declared with righteous indignation and faux innocence, playing victim while bullying those who stand up to his bullying.

Perhaps Carlson learned this rhetorical jujitsu on his elite prep school debating team. But it’s a classic Trump and Trump-lover’s trick: You provoke, and when those you provoked react as you intended, you play the old Charlie Brown — “why is everyone always picking on me?” Haters!

Inspired by Trump TV, Trump’s base gets nasty when you dare criticize Trump’s nastiness.

It gets personal quickly. The schoolyard insults — you’re a stupid idiot pinhead socialist — fly like assault weapon bullets. Criticizing the president, normally our citizen duty in a democracy, is criticizing his people. If you find Trump’s comments racist and hateful, then you’re the racist hater. What you say about me, I say double about you. I’m rubber, you’re glue.

Or cue the whatabouts: Hillary, Obama, Democrats, Antifa, Black Lives Matter, late night comics, college professors and students, Hollywood, the liberals, the socialists, the Hollywood socialist liberal mainstream media, AOC, Ilhan Omar, Hillary Hillary Hillary.

Anyone who fails to genuflect to Trump’s greatness, anyone who is offended by Trump’s offenses, is worse than Trump. And deserves to slammed, smeared or taken down by any means necessary.

No Sanchez dirty trick is too dirty. Not even stealing and selling a sister’s private notes to threaten and embarrass her boyfriend because he’s a political “enemy.”

Jeff Bezos’ crime is that he bailed out The Washington Post, whose crime is that its dogged professional journalism holds power — including especially the president — accountable like our Founders fervently hoped.

Nevertheless, I am still smote by hope.

What I love and trust about American democracy is our cleansing nature. Even when we go low, we eventually go high. As Winston Churchill is often quoted, accurately or not, it’s true: America can always be counted on to do the right thing after exhausting all alternatives.

Maybe the Trump nastiness infecting our nation, like anti-vaxxers spreading measles, is a virus we need to work through and we’ll come out more resistant and resilient. I hope so.

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