The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age
    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Chasing the Weasel

    All around the mulberry bush,
    The monkey chased the weasel.
    The monkey thought that it was a joke
    Pop! goes the weasel.

    How many times will we play the same game? Here's how it goes:

    1. Donald Trump says something outrageous
    2. Outrage ensues
    3. Trump pretends to be misinterpreted
    4. Pundits argue about whether Trump was misinterpreted

    ...and repeat.

    Let's see. First, there was Trump's comment that Megyn Kelly had "blood coming out of her wherever."

    Explanation: "I was talking her ears or her nose."

    Then there was Trump's remark that Putin was "not going into Ukraine, you can mark it down."

    Explanation: "I am saying if I am President. Already in Crimea!”

    And Trump's invitation to Russia to hack Hillary's emails:

    Explanation: "If Russia or any other country or person has Hillary Clinton's 33,000 illegally deleted emails, perhaps they should share them with the FBI!"

    And now Trump has suggested that "Second Amendment people" can stop Hillary Clinton if she becomes president.

    Explanation: "What it is is there's a tremendous power behind the Second Amendment. It’s a political power, and there are few things so powerful, I have to say, in terms of politics."

    Alternate explanation (courtesy of Paul Ryan): "It sounds like just a joke gone bad."

    And so the pundits once again argue about what Trump really meant as if they've never played this game before. All around the mulberry bush, the monkey chases the weasel.

    But the joke is on the monkey. Trump's bullshit has made a mockery of the politicians, the media, and the American people. He will lose the election in November but not before he obliterates what was left of our moral standards and sense of decency. He will leave us sick, humiliated, and divided.

    Pop goes the weasel.



    Michael ... You've nailed it...

    Seen somewhere... Over in the Prime Hive at TPM...


    Ohhh, last paragraph... Right on the money.  He has already obliterated our sense of decency and moral standards.  It's terrible, however, if it is a landslide election in HRC's favor, then the only person humiliated is Trump, and is an indication not only that we stand tougher but we disapprove of his toxic brand of hate.

    I hope.

    I still don't think we understand what Trump wants out of this.

    He wants to be pushed out by the RNC so that he can sue them for the entire world. 

    The version I learned had the line "the monkey thought it was all in good fun... pop goes the weasel."  Nothing about pulling up a sock.  Why would the monkey do that?  What does it mean?  

    Yes, spot on.   

    I couldn't remember the third line, so I got it off wiki. In the UK, it apparently goes:

    Half a pound of tupenny rice,
    Half a pound of treacle.
    That’s the way the money goes,
    Pop! goes the weasel.

    Thinking about it, I think I'll change to the "thought it was a joke" version because it fits so much better.

    It's been a while since I've had any tupenny rice or treacle. 


    All around the cobbler's bench,
    The monkey chased the weasel.
    The monkey thought it was all in fun,
    Pop! goes the weasel.

    A penny for a spool of thread
    A penny for a needle
    That's the way the money goes
    Pop -- goes the weasel!

    All around the mulberry bush,
    The monkey chased the weasel.
    The monkey thought it was all in fun,
    Pop! goes the weasel.

    A penny for a spool of thread
    A penny for a needle
    That's the way the money goes
    Pop -- goes the weasel!

    The version I know goes:

    Up and down the City Road

    In and out The Eagle

    That's the way the money goes

    Pop! Goes the weasel.


    Half a pound of tuppenny rice

    Half a pound of treacle

    That's the way the money goes

    Pop!  Goes the weasel


    (City Road is a street in South London not far from Waterloo.  The Eagle is the name of a pub on the City Road.  It's still there.  The song is complaining about how quickly one's wages are dissipated by a trip to the pub or the grocer.)


    (edited to add):  It's a protest song from a few hundred years ago.  Probably sung by Bernie Sanders as a child.

    The 'Media' whatever the hell that means, keeps 'reporting' that Trump and his T-Rumps deny that the message was the message or that the message is being misinterpreted or that....

    Then T-rump will just stand at the dais and proclaim that everyone is lying....

    I have never seen anything like this, ever.

    Hannity and O'Reilly just keep defending this fellow.


    Slate and Salon and Huffpo and KO's and Crooks & Liars and Washpo and now the NY Daily News actually follow each and every lie told by this bastard. It is all there and Hillary can use all the videos over the next 90 days. And hopefully that will be enough.

    I do acknowledge that 'we' must win big in November because there is no fucking way the Orange Man will have enough money to attack the results of the election in ten or fifteen states. hahahah

    Yeah, the Militiamen or whatever the hell they call themselves will certainly take pot shots but there will be no more attempts on the life of Clinton than the attempts on the life of President Obama.

    Yeah I did not mean that.

    Well that is being taken out of context.

    Well the Media is after me.

    Well all those in the Media are liars.

    Well ....

    Who cares anymore?

    I am heartened by the fact that many repubs are disclaiming any attachment to T-Rump.

    I think he will give us the Senate, God Help Us All.

    We will not take the House, but we might increase the number of Dems in the House to the point where there will be a number of repubs so pissed at T-Rump that some consensus might emerge.

    Boy, I am ranting. 



     WaPo had a similar take, though they didn't choose the same monkey.

    The pattern has repeated itself again and again. First come Trump’s attention-getting expressions. Then come the outraged reactions. The headlines follow. Finally, Trump, his aides and his supporters lash out at the media, accusing journalists of twisting his words or missing the joke.

    Our media tried very hard to save Trump, with 'the pivot' narrative.

    Now corporate executives of the 'both sides are to blame' MSM  are very upset Trump failed to follow their script for him, Media Matters, from June:

    Throughout the presidential campaign, Trump and the media have engaged in a cycle wherein Trump launches offensive broadsides and character attacks; He gets bad press; Republican leaders clamor for Trump to tone down his rhetoric; Trump obliges, often using a teleprompter to restrain himself; Media figures claim Trump has “pivoted” and is “becoming more presidential”; and repeat.

    As MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace said, Trump constantly shatters the “pivot” narrative “by trotting out conspiracy theories” -- or, as others have noted, outrageous insults -- within hours of being lauded as “presidential.” 

    In following this pattern, the media are both applauding Trump for having simply mastered “campaign 101,” as CNN’s David Gregory noted, and excusing his past remarks as political maneuvering and electoral showmanship.

    In early June, after Trump launched a multiday racist crusade against Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over Trump University lawsuits, Republican leaders beseeched Trump to “get on message” and “quit attacking … various minority groups in the country.” That very night, Trump delivered a speech -- devoid of any attacks and with the aid of a teleprompter -- that “sought to calm fretful Republicans bolting from his side over his latest controversy,” CNN reported.

    Media figures immediately claimed that Trump’s restraint showed he was “pivoting.” NBC News reporter Ali Vitali wrote that Trump “acted presidential” in the speech, which “finalized his pivot to the general election.” CNN host Don Lemon said the “new, more presidential Donald Trump” is what“people in Washington wanted to see.” Unsurprisingly, Trump also received praise from right-wing media for sounding “more presidential than ever.”

    Just read this analysis linked to by its author, Geov Parrish, over at Booman's, and I hope like hell he's wrong because if he's right, it scares the piss out of me:



    His thesis:  "Donald Trump has no intention of losing. No matter what the voters say."


    His title:  "The Coming Civil War".


    Partial quote (should be read in context of the whole thing, of course): 

    Trump has surrounded himself with people who are, in American politics, not very qualified to win a presidential election but uniquely qualified to try to nullify it.

    This is not to say that Trump is planning to seize power and suspend the Constitution if Hillary Clinton wins the election. The whole charade may play out just like everyone expects, and then, having built his brand, Trump will launch a new network and sell bobblehead dolls of himself. Maybe.

    But the man’s not stupid. And even though politicians, journalists, and ordinary people are fleeing from his bandwagon in droves, that still leave tens of millions of people willing to follow his lead. Within those circles, there are a lot of people who fancy themselves as heavily armed, and more than a few in recent years who have been publicly dabbling in secessionist and civil war rhetoric.  They’re also geographically concentrated, especially in certain (not all) rural parts of the South and the plains states.


    Too extreme an analysis?  I hope so.  But given the arguments he lays out, an unsettling possibility one shouldn't dismiss out of hand, I believe.

    No this is not too extreme.

    Jon Voight for chrissakes is starring in a movie celebrating Cliven Bundy. And Voight has spoken nothing but venom against my President for years.

    The militia men have grown ten fold over the last decade according to FBI stats.

    Hate has been spewed on the right wing radio and right wing cable over the last decade that really scare me.

    And so I conclude, we need to read and view and hear your arguments in order to make proper assessments of the situation.

    We have a scary subculture out there that has little to do with Muslims or Mexicans or Blacks....

    Anyway, your comment is of import in this day and age.

    It's an interesting (and scary) speculation, Janicket, but the way Parrish lays it out seems unrealistic to me. Trump may be an unpredictable megalomaniac, but that doesn't mean that he would engage in treason. Even if had no moral qualms about it, what would be the upside for him? His business would be ruined, and he could even go to prison.

    That said, I'm very confident that Trump will attempt to protect his ego by blaming everyone else for his loss. That list will include Hillary of course, but I bet he'll actually spend more time attacking Republicans and the media. The most worrisome factor is this "rigged election" business. Trump's obviously capable of claiming a rigged election, but it's hard for me to imagine what he would do about it other than raise a fuss. That alone could provoke violence from diehard supporters, so I don't dismiss, but it's a long way from the dystopian shadow government that Parrish imagines. I'm sure we'll also here more about his conspiracy theories, which may be the most concerning part to me because he will have such a megaphone when this is over.

    Okay, thanks; I'm backing off the ledge.


    For now.  FSM only knows what Trump will say next.


    In any case, I expect an eruption of violence when Hillary wins.  The scope remains to be seen.

    Yes, also even if Trump saw some upside and tried to ignite civil war the numbers and power of right wing militias is greatly exaggerated. The majority of gun owners are not members of right wing militias and aren't going to rise up to overthrow the government.

    This I agree with; but even scattered incidents by lone wolves and small groups (which I think likely in the wake of a Clintonvictory) will wreak havoc and further damage the ability of our country to hold together and function.

    I actually think it would be good for the crazies to act on their words. When they go beyond talk, crawl out of the woodwork and break laws they can be dealt with. The actions of the Bundy sons in Oregon not only got them put in jail with many of their followers but enabled the government to deal with their father, Cliven, away from his ranch and the followers camped there. The Oregon occupation helped the government deal with the problem in Nevada.

    This piece in Rolling Stone examines the likelihood of violence from a somewhat different angle and comes to its own chilling conclusions:



    Trump is a TV show golf and huckster extraordinaire,  not Aaron Burr. Unless he wants to reoccupy the desolate Malheur Wildlife Refuge rather than return to Mar-a-Lago leading an insurrection is unlikely.

    Perhaps dog whistles on 2nd Amendment remedies for judges will tighten up future interpretations on just how much killing power is legal for members of our well organized militia of 330 million.

    Janicket ... Well . . .

    It's not as if the warning has not been out there for quite some time.

    ThinkProgress Apr 14, 2009

    DHS Report: After Obama’s Election, Right-Wing Extremists ‘May Be Gaining New Recruits

    The 10 page copy of the report. - April 7, 2009


    Back in 1994, Carl Bernstein notes Hillary had to wear a bulletproof vest because of organized crowd rage.

    And remember Sarah Palin's "Reload"

    and then there's just the truly gun-inspired bizarre that makes us all a bit nuttier:

    I have no other place to put this?

    Sam Harris is passive/aggressive

    But he really put it to trump in this half hour diatribe.

    What Sam does is interesting. I assume he has written many essays on this subject prior to this video but his speech just sings.

    Anyway, this video just encapsulates my feelings about Trump and this 2016 election.

    Again, this is half an hour in length and probably more than most folks can stand, but...


    Oh I had to add that this guy is not always perfect.

    I have listened to him on podcasts and such.

    But this video or really audio, presents a guy with no ehs, or ahs or ers or whatever.

    He never stops. He never interrupts himself. So to that extent this presentation is prepared.

    But damn!

    Bill Burr and Louis CK and Patton will continue for an hour and a half. 

    But there is no applause here. There is no laughter from some audience.

    If I were Hillary, I would offer this guy a million bucks just to make twenty speeches, word for word, from this diatribe all over this country.

    the end



    Michael, why are you being so mean? Literally using Trump's own words against him is despicable. Sad!

    You posted this 2 days ago, and he's done it again!  What is even worse about it is that the latest monkey overshadows the last one instead of making it as cumulative as it should be.  Well, maybe I'm wrong about that.  I do think some previously "undecideds" are getting the message.

    Ha, I was writing the following comment while you posted.

    And now of course, I must add Trump's statement that Obama is "the founder of Isis."

    Explanation: "Ratings challenged @CNN reports so seriously that I call President Obama (and Clinton) "the founder" of ISIS, & MVP. THEY DON'T GET SARCASM?"

    As a connoisseur of sarcasm and all the snarktastic arts, this explanation offends my sensibilities. Sarcasm is an ironic device, used to imply the opposite of what the words normally mean. For example (ahem), "Mr. Donald Trump is a man of penetrating insight and profound moral courage." What I really mean is that Trump is a soulless, spineless moron. So as an exercise for the reader, what would Trump really mean if he sarcastically called Obama the founder of ISIS?

    For more profound insights on how snark can CHANGE YOUR LIFE, I invite you to enroll at GENGHIS UNIVERSITY, accredited by all the top institutions in the blogosphere, for the low, low price of your soul.

    PS Alas, the joke is on me, for here I am chasing the weasel.



    From Andy Borowitz:

    Trump says:  I will only use nukes in a sarcastic way!

    Just more of the same. Hugh Hewitt trying to give Trump a graceful way to back off his claim that Obama founded ISIS. 

    Sorry , I've deleted it because it starts with a commercial . If I can provide a clean link I'll resubmit.





    Just posting the transcript is enough (I say having read it), unless Hewitt's nonverbal reaction is part of what you want to convey.

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