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Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the…

Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus

by Matt Taibbi

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Intended to be the history of how Trump destroyed the Republican Party, it became the history of how Trump destroyed the Republican Party and became President anyway. Democrats--please read this.
  ritaer | Aug 8, 2017 |
For me, this book was a modern day horror story. As someone who has lived through 16 presidential election cycles, I could never imagine the events and results that took place, many if not most, with the complicity of the American voter. Taibbi does not present a pretty picture of Donald Trump or many of his supporters. If you are a Trump supporter, this book will not interest you in the least…

From the Taibbi book..

"The country, in other words, was losing it. Our national politics was doomed because voters were no longer debating one another using a commonly accepted set of facts. There was no common narrative, except in the imagination of a daft political and media elite that had long ago lost touch with the general public.

What we had instead was a nation of reality shoppers, all shutting the blinds on the loathsome old common landscape to tinker with their own self tailored and in some cases highly paranoid recipes for salvation and/or revolution.

They voted in large numbers, but they were voting out of loathing, against enemies and against the system in general, not really for anybody. The elections had basically become a forum for organizing the hatreds of the population. " ( )
1 vote writemoves | Jul 16, 2017 |
It's always fun to read about the crazy Republican primaries and the ridiculous Trump presidential campaign that just took place - and the author is as repulsed by our current President as I am, which makes it even more enjoyable! ( )
1 vote flourgirl49 | Apr 10, 2017 |
This is wonderfully entertaining and insightful look at the presidential election of 2016. I found myself laughing out loud while reading several sections, and cringing in horror at others. Taibbi also has some wonderful advice for the Democratic Party – just actually come up with ideas to benefit the American people and you will rule forever! Why can’t Washington understand this? ( )
  Susan.Macura | Apr 10, 2017 |
This book is a collection of Taibbi's articles that ran in Rolling Stone during the 2016 election campaign, which I believe will go down in history as one of the lowest, if not the lowest, point in American politics for our country's existence. How could so many people, many of them poor, actually believe that this wealthy blowhard gave one shit about them? How could an intellectual bantamweight like Trump, who had no real platform (unless you want to count racism, sexism, and isolationism as "platforms") and couldn't talk his way out of a paper bag, actually win the presidency?

Well, that's still open for debate (I will, however, point to the morass that is the American educational system as a big contributor to Trump's win - he does, after all, "love the poorly educated," as do most Republicans), and I am sure that many books will be written about it in the future. However, Taibbi does a good job of showing just how we got to this ridiculous, and downright laughable if it wasn't so fucking serious, low point in American history. Although I don't think that anyone could argue that Taibbi isn't liberal (although "liberal" does not necessarily mean Democrat, even though Trump supporters seem unable to tell the difference between those two words), he blasts everyone he believes responsible for this disaster: the Democrats, the political machine, the reporting corps, the polarization of the media, the politicians on BOTH sides who sold their souls for big campaign contributions (and so-called Senator Cory Gardner from Colorado, I am looking so hard in your direction right now, you big fat sell-out). But, of course, most of Taibbi's ire is reserved for the Republicans, who have been building up to the brink of disaster for decades.

There are so many passages of this book that are quotable, but this one, above all, I had to share.

If [a Trump nomination as the Republican candidate in the 2016 election] isn't the end for the Republican Party, it'll be a shame. They dominated American political life for 50 years and were never anything but monsters. They bred in their voters the incredible attitude that Republicans were the only people within our borders who raised children, loved their country, died in battle or paid taxes. They even sullied the word "American" by insisting they were the only real ones. They preferred Lubbock to Paris, and their idea of an intellectual was Newt Gingrich. Their leaders...were the kind of people who thought Iran-Contra was nothing, but would grind the affairs of state to a halt over a blow job or Terri Shiavo's feeding tube. A century ago, the small-town American was Gary Cooper: tough, silent, upright and confident. The modern Republican Party changed that person into a haranguing neurotic who couldn't make it through a dinner without quizzing you about your politics. They destroyed the American character. No hell is hot enough for them. And when Trump came along, they rolled over like the weaklings they've always been, bowing more or less instantly to his parodic show of strength. (Chapter 17: May 18, 1016: RIP, GOP: How Trump's Campaign is Killing the Republican Party)

Preach it, brother.

I listened to the audiobook of this book, and I thoroughly enjoyed the narrator, Rob Shapiro, who put all of the emotion into his performance. ( )
1 vote schatzi | Mar 11, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Matt Taibbiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Juhasz, VictorIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mollica, GregCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Turner, SusanDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil.  And that no one knows the truth.

— Molly Ivins
To my beautiful son Nate, born during this madness
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A little over ten years ago, while writing a book and working as a correspondent for Rolling Stone, I thought I saw a new trend in American politics.  
Ten years before Donald Trump, I wrote a book about Middle America's growing mistrust of government, the media, and other mainstream forces.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399592466, Hardcover)

Dispatches from the 2016 election that provide an eerily prescient take on our democracy’s uncertain future, by the country’s most perceptive and fearless political journalist.

The 2016 presidential contest as told by Matt Taibbi, from its tragicomic beginnings to its apocalyptic conclusion, is in fact the story of Western civilization’s very own train wreck. Years before the clown car of candidates was fully loaded, Taibbi grasped the essential themes of the story: the power of spectacle over substance, or even truth; the absence of a shared reality; the nihilistic rebellion of the white working class; the death of the political establishment; and the emergence of a new, explicit form of white nationalism that would destroy what was left of the Kingian dream of a successful pluralistic society.

Taibbi captures, with dead-on, real-time analysis, the failures of the right and the left, from the thwarted Bernie Sanders insurgency to the flawed and aimless Hillary Clinton campaign; the rise of the “dangerously bright” alt-right with its wall-loving identity politics and its rapturous view of the “Racial Holy War” to come; and the giant fail of a flailing, reactive political media that fed a ravenous news cycle not with reporting on political ideology, but with undigested propaganda served straight from the campaign bubble. At the center of it all stands Donald J. Trump, leading a historic revolt against his own party, “bloviating and farting his way” through the campaign, “saying outrageous things, acting like Hitler one minute and Andrew Dice Clay the next.” For Taibbi, the stunning rise of Trump marks the apotheosis of the new postfactual movement.

Taibbi frames the reporting with original essays that explore the seismic shift in how we perceive our national institutions, the democratic process, and the future of the country. Insane Clown President is not just a postmortem on the collapse and failure of American democracy. It offers the riveting, surreal, unique, and essential experience of seeing the future in hindsight.

Praise for Matt Taibbi

“Matt Taibbi is one of the few journalists in America who speaks truth to power.”—Senator Bernie Sanders

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 17 Jan 2017 22:20:50 -0500)

"Matt Taibbi's first piece on the 2016 presidential election, published in August 2015, opens with these words: "The thing is, when you actually think about it, it's not funny. Given what's at stake, it's more like the opposite, like the first sign of the collapse of the United States as a global superpower. Twenty years from now, when we're all living like prehistory hominids and hunting rats with sticks, we'll probably look back at this moment as the beginning of the end." In twenty-four pieces from Rolling Stone--plus two original essays--Taibbi tells the full story the campaign, from its tragi-comic beginnings to its apocalyptic conclusion, through sharp, on-the-ground reporting, incisive analysis, and gallows humor. This isn't simply a blow-by-blow recounting of this uniquely bizarre and disturbing election season, but the wider story of the seeming collapse of American democracy. Unlike many campaign chroniclers, Taibbi grasped the essential themes of the story from beginning: the power of spectacle over substance, or even truth; the absence of a shared reality between warring sides of the political spectrum; the nihilistic rebellion of the white working class; the death of the political establishment; and the emergence of a new, explicit form of white nationalism that would destroy what was left of the Kingian dream of a successful pluralistic society. The pieces cover the "clown car" of the Republican primary season, the thwarted Bernie insurgency, the deeply flawed and aimless Clinton campaign, the often pathetic media coverage, the legacy of the Obama administration, and the lives of actual voters across the country forced to bear witness to the whole dispiriting spectacle"--… (more)

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