Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Restless natives

The problem with Trumpism is that there is no break from it.  Everything he tweets or says is dissected by the press.  Even his hand gestures have come under scrutiny as to possible white supremacist links.  Just as it is hard for him to separate fact from fiction, it is hard for us to any longer determine what is real or fake about this administration.

It seems we have reached a tipping point, however, as calls for war grow louder from the White House.   Trump and his generals have backed themselves into a corner on North Korea and there no longer seems a way forward short of confrontation.  Trump let Gen. Mattis and UN ambassador Nikki Haley do the talking but the message was one he could have just as easily posted on twitter.

Former advisers say Trump is desperate for any sort of victory.  He would love nothing more than to fly onto an aircraft carrier like Bush did after declaring Iraq "mission accomplished" in  May of 2003.   This is the stuff of television ratings and Trump thrives on ratings, good or bad.

However, we are guessing at Trump's intentions like we do so much of what goes on in the White House.  We get all sorts of leaks and reports that have painted an Oval Office in chaos.  Certainly, the revolving door of close aides suggests this is an administration desperately in search of its identity.  Right now it is being defined by the "Church Lady," as Gen. Kelly is apparently called in the White House, but as we have come to know Trump doesn't like anyone taking away his limelight.  Just ask the Mooch.

Trump has long thrived on chaos.  His campaign appeared in constant disarray, changing managers from one month to the next, who would then go dutifully on talk shows to say there were no hard feelings.  That's just the way the Donald functions.  One day you're in, the next you are out.  But, there are a few familiar faces that have tagged along from the beginning, like Kellyanne Conway, who seems to know how to ingratiate herself to the boss.

You have to wonder why these persons put up with Trump.  They stand to make much more money on the outside.  Is it the fame and glory they want?  Mooch had a personal portfolio valued at around $1.5 billion.  What the hell did he want to be communications director for?  He lasted all of 10 days.

There appear to be so many competing interests in Trump's White House that it is little wonder it is in shambles.  Steven Mnuchin is another high-priced executive who seems to be there for no other purpose than to come up with a generous set of tax breaks for his fellow vulture capitalists.  Rex Tillerson, the former Exxon CEO, doesn't seem the least bit interested in what is going on in the State Department.  Most of the heavy lifting is being done by Jared.  

Commander Rex's prime role was to make peace with Russia and open the Arctic Circle for deep-water oil drilling.  But, Trump's Russia policy has turned out even more woeful than that of Obama.  Vlad the Impaler must be wondering at this point why he invested any effort into the US elections if this is the outcome.

Still, Russia has to be enjoying the spectacle in Washington.  Seems like Putin himself has been leaking some information to investigators through backdoor channels in response to the ever-growing sanctions being leveled against his country.  Who knows, maybe soon he will reveal the infamous "golden showers" video tape of Donald Trump. That would be the final ignominy of our lecher-in-chief.  At that point, even Melania and Ivanka would stop defending him.

With all this intrigue, it is easy to see why the media is drawn to Donald Trump.  There has never been a president with this much baggage in the White House.  Yet, does that excuse the media for reporting every sordid little detail of his administration?  Aren't there more pressing concerns they should be reporting, like why is Congress taking such a deferential attitude to his actions, which would have been grounds for impeachment for anyone else?

Even Democratic leaders are asking their constituency to not rush to judgement.  Dianne Feinstein got an earful when she urged supporters to be patient.  The problem is that incompetence is not grounds for impeachment.  You need tangible evidence of a crime having been committed, and so far none has been found.

Trump has skirted around the edges of the law, making one wonder if this is some kind of sick game he is playing or if he is just damn lucky.  In the past, Trump was the master of obfuscation, but today it looks more like senility has set in and that he is no longer responsible for his words or actions.  This would probably be the path his lawyers would take if he were to be brought up on charges.   Not since we had Ronald Reagan, has a president's sanity been in question, and that time only after he left office.

How far do we go with this?  Is another war on the event horizon just because the Trump administration is unable to contain North Korea?  Do we let him and his cabinet officers continue to dismantle government as we know it, replacing it with a cronyism we haven't seen since the 19th century?  Do we allow him to tear apart the North American Free Trade Agreement because he is unwilling to sit down with Mexico and Canada and work out the flaws?  Do we let him build a wall between the US and Mexico for no other reason than his own vainglory?

He has made a shambles of foreign and domestic policy that will haunt this country for a long time.  Yet, until former FBI director Mueller finds some damning evidence of collusion between the Trump administration and Russia, Congress acts powerless to do anything about him.  

The natives are getting restless.  Trump's detractors want his head.  His supporters are planning an insurrection if Congress goes through with impeachment hearings.  Meanwhile, our president makes no effort to heal the divide.  Instead, he inflames it, whether intentional or simply by habit.  The news media can talk of nothing else, as they are enjoying their highest television ratings in years.  

It seems the only thing that gets higher ratings than Trump is a natural disaster and we have another one brewing in the Atlantic Ocean.

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