President Ye?

Michael Siegel

Michael Siegel is an astronomer living in Pennsylvania. He blogs at his own site, and has written a novel.

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36 Responses

  1. fillyjonk says:

    #3 scares me a little, as I said on Twitter: “I can tell this must be the last season of this show, the writers have gotten bored.”

    That said, my more reality-grounded interpretation is something that struck me when I was mowing the lawn yesterday: Some celebrity behavior makes more sense if you remember that in grade school there were some kids who would do stuff that got them in trouble because they got attention for it.

    I tend to figure when a famous person gets in some kind of foolish trouble, it’s that they felt their name had faded a bit from the news, and either consciously or subconsciously they acted out, because, to quote Milhouse van Houten: “Trouble is a form of attention”Report

  2. Marchmaine says:

    “They already rejected multiple sensible black candidates in favor of Biden.”

    I think this is more of a hint why the future is trending Kanye (or someone *like* Kanye) than not.

    I can’t say that I can fathom his methods… and while I don’t think 2020 is an actual objective, I can see him building a movement over time. I have no idea if his mercurial temperment will sustain such a project; but if nothing else I think he’ll point a way.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine says:

      Point a way…to what?Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        A majority coalition that isn’t neoliberal.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine says:

          Why, of all the possible political figures in America today, would Kanye West point towards such a future coaltion?

          First, has one, even one single Kanye For President supporter been identified?

          Second, is there any evidence Kanye understands what “neoliberal” means or that he has even the foggiest notion of what would replace it?

          The idea that there is a standing constituency for some sort of economic order different than the one we’ve had for the past 40 years seem self-evidently obvious.

          But what that order might be seems pretty unclear.Report

          • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            The future is decidedly unclear.

            “They already rejected multiple sensible black candidates in favor of Biden.”

            Reminds me of being 100% behind Bain Capital Makers/Takers Romney. Why would anyone leave a stable 40-year coalition?

            By the way, have you seen Bain Capital’s commitment to Social Justice?

            My point was pretty clear that it isn’t specifically Kanye, but that someone *like* Kanye might be in the offing.Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine says:

              Isn’t the “they” in this observation, the black voters of the Democratic coalition?

              Who is the constituency for this new Kanye-like leader? This is what I can’t understand. Black Democratic voters? White suburban moms? Rural working class Hispanics?

              Maybe my confusion is because I see Kanye as an eccentric artist with an incoherent jumble of thoughts, a sui generis figure. So “like Kanye” seems like an oxymoron.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                It depends on whether we see Joe Biden as a destination for voters or a temporary waystation for voters.

                I have no problem indicating that Joe Biden isn’t a destination for anyone. If you disagree I can appreciate that; I can’t understand it, but I can appreciate it.

                What happens after Joe Biden is an interesting question that I suggest Kanye has more relevance to than, say, Booker.

                As for incoherent jumbles of thoughts… I come to bury Kanye, not praise him; for Joe Biden is an honorable man.Report

              • InMD in reply to Marchmaine says:

                Biden represents the Great Kicking of the Can. Which may be better than the Great Grabbing of the Can. But ymmv.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to InMD says:

                I hope so; I’m not 100% sure Joe wants the can, but I’m pretty sure there are others who do.Report

            • A celebrity with neither interest in doing the job nor any aptitude for it? We’ve already got one of those.

              Seriously, if Kanye does anything about seeking the presidency beyond this one tweet, we can start to think deep thoughts about what it all means.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                Heh, I agree… I was just discussing with my Daughter and her friends that Ronald Reagan started with a Tweet at the 1964 convention… was president of the Screen Actors guild, was elected Governor twice, ran for President in ’76, and along the way built a movement with allied think-tanks, publishers, and Donors.

                And he was only a B list celebrity.

                But then, I’ve been pretty consistent that being President without doing the legwork of building the necessary movement makes you either a pawn or a fool… maybe both.Report

              • If we’re going to talk about a black celebrity getting into politics, keep your eye on LeBron, if only so at his inauguration he can tell Ingraham to shut up and babble.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Marchmaine says:

      With all due respect:

      1. Neoliberal has become a political phrase which roughly means “political thoughts that I do not like.”

      2. This is wishthinking without evidence. People taking Kanye tweets seriously seem more interested in burning it all down for the sake of 4chan and wishing everyone were the same.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Is your assumption that Marchmaine is using the word “neoliberal” to mean “political thoughts that I do not like”?

        My assumption is that he has a very specific concept in mind. (Indeed, I’m pretty sure that it’s a concept that is capable of being put into words that describes a recognizable thing.)Report

        • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

          Nothing gets me more excited than a good definition of terms discussion where we can parse the parses; ultimately agreement is reached by all. Can we post powerpoint here?

          But to Saul’s point; I’m old enough to remember the 1992 Clintonian formulation and am happy to start there and we can work our way through the 21st century bi-partisan consensus.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine says:

            “Clinton! Get over it! He hasn’t been president for 20 years! Also Hillary won the popular vote. Why are we still talking about this?”Report

            • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

              Gaslighting Neo-liberalism is very meta.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine says:

                The other day, I saw an interesting argument.

                You know how there are 2nd Amendment critics who talk about how it refers to muskets but not AR-15s. Counter-arguments explain that it’s about weapons of self-defense/war.

                We should have an argument like that about the 1st Amendment and Religion.

                The founding fathers could not have foreseen modern religions.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

                What was the “interesting argument” you saw?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                I’ll see if I can dig it up. (I retweeted it.)


                The entire thread is good.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

                Very true… on the one hand the thorny question of enumerated Religions (and a process whereby to become enumerated) and the “What religion? There’s no religion here” are not really reconcilable.

                I can see historically why they avoided the first, but they never imagined their non-religion would be supplanted – which was the thing that made the First Amendment intelligible.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine says:

                “My Herod will never get out Heroded!”
                — Guy whose Herod is being out Heroded as we speakReport

  3. Saul Degraw says:

    I think Kanye is deluded enough to think he is being serious and can do this. There are also going to be lots of wish-thinkers who want to be horserace pundits that think this is a harbringer for the end of the Democratic Party because they hate it so much. Never mind that the GOP is being the one dragged down by Trump now seemingly.Report

  4. Jaybird says:

    The Great Man Theory of History has tripped up a lot of famous people.

    You just need to get in there and bust some heads! Apply a little elbow grease! Maybe commute some sentences and sign some executive statements!

    There is a machine. It is resistant to head busting. It is elbow grease-proof.Report

  5. Saul Degraw says:

    In his book Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History, Kurt Andersen had a quip/observation that Americans do not mind being swindled, conned, or grifted as long as it is being done in an amusing or entertaining manner. The Kanye tweet and the fact that it is getting so much attention. I have to think that in a normal country, it would either be ignored outright, or just get some jokes and then go away.

    But there is going to be a lot of writing generated for cash and talk (also generated for cash) that tries to take it seriously. That tries to argue that this is a sign that the people (TM) are fed up and want some new direction. There will be memes on 4chan!!

    But to me the fact that this will get taken so seriously is a sign of a decadence in the United States. Kanye is not a serious person. He has no policies, no philosophy, etc.Report

  6. Jaybird says:

    The news that Kanye’s company received one of the PPP business loans is now making the rounds on Reddit and it’s evidence of Kanye’s hypocrisy.

    Which is, apparently, the other unforgivable sin.Report