But this Daily Kos post of Godwin’s Law trash is still worth discussing.

The “attack on the judiciary” the post mentions? Is Trump tweeting his disagreement with a decision. Clearly, a crime against humanity and common decency. It’s clearly infinitely worse than attacking a decision, while the supreme court is sitting right behind you, during the State of the Union address.

Trump attacks two types of norms, and I think it’s important and useful to distinguish between them. The first are norms of governance: how does the Senate pass bills? If we hear that Trump no longer gets the consent of the senators from a state before nominating members of the judiciary, that implies that he’s breaking governance norms. His lack of class is a violation of elite norms, the sort of elites who, as Steve Bannon put it, would feel more at home in London or Berlin than in Kansas or Oklahoma.

This is hard to dispute: were I to tell my friends I was moving to London, they would uniformly be thrilled for me, and a bit sad that I was going away. If I said I was moving to Idaho, they’d check to make sure that this was really actually what I wanted and that I’d considered all the details. Elites feel more kinship with elites in other countries than they do with lower-class members of their own countries. This is not new: Marx was saying the same thing.

Trump was elected on a promise of violating those norms, taking power from those elite-norm followers and giving it back “to you, the people”. To accuse him of violating upper/upper-middle class norms is to accuse him of following through on his campaign promises: as strong a condemnation it might sound to you, it’s not particularly persuasive.



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