Wednesday, June 20, 2018

We're America, Bitch!




The shit just keeps getting deeper.  Not only does the White House refuse to take any action on the growing crisis along the border, but has now officially removed itself from the UN Human Rights Council.  Nikki Haley issued a truly ugly speech that rings hollow in the wake of all the atrocities the US is committing at the moment as it separates migrant families at the border.

You just have to wonder if there is anyone even considering "damage control" at this point?  Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Hagin is resigning, and it appears John Kelly will soon follow suit, now that John Bolton is clearly exercising his influence on the White House.  There is no longer any room for more temperate minds like Kelly in the Oval Office.  All though, it must be said he has done a horrible job of managing Trump.

It is really hard to fathom what Trump has to gain from all this.  If he is using the kids to push Congress to come up with an immigration bill, it certainly won't be one that favors his interests.  Republicans are trying to get him to cease and desist on the separations so that they have a better chance of reaching a compromise with Democrats, but Commander Donald continues to double down like the truculent toddler king that he is.

Trump is bitter that he didn't get rave reviews from the media over his summit with Kim Jong-un.  Most analysts feel he was played by the North Korean leader, which doesn't sit well for a man who considers himself King of the World.  So, he lashes out at everyone around him, blurting all kinds of nonsensical statements that threaten to topple his highest approval rating since he first took office.  Not that it was any great shakes at 45 per cent.  This is a man who constantly needs to have his ego massaged, and right now his ego is taking a beating.

This spills over to his minions.  Nikki Haley, the once respected governor of South Carolina, is left with no choice but to defend him, despite the fact it tarnishes what little good reputation she had remaining.  In the eyes of the world, she is no better than one of the wives on The Handmaid's Tale, as she defiantly supports her Commander's position. This is a long fall for a woman who once was regarded as a future Republican presidential candidate.

This is what happens when you bring a guy like Bolton on board.  The talking mustache has no time for the UN or any international organization.  If he has his way, the US will pull out of the UN all together in the coming months, barring a Congressional override.  Bolton is the paragon of the "We're America, Bitch!" policy, in which the US takes no guff from anyone.

You can't really call it a doctrine, as Jeffrey Goldberg writes, if there is little evidence of thought.  What you have is a "glandular" president, who preaches from the gut.  His deplorable audience loves it, but all this hyperbolic venting doesn't lead to anything coherent in the way of foreign policy.

What you get instead is a badly warped manifesto that is cobbled together from reactionary statements over the years, and filtered through Fox News pundits, like Bolton himself.  There is nothing original in what Trump says.  However, it's frightening that these thoughts have moved from the fringe to the center now that he commands the highest office in the land.

Many hoped that Trump would confine himself with an American agenda, but apparently he feels he can awake the same yearnings in Europe, which is why he named Richard Grenell as Ambassador to Germany.  Grenell is another firestarter like Trump, who wants to embolden right-wing groups throughout Europe from his perch in Berlin.  Protocol be damned!

After all, Trump is that same guy who dubbed himself Mr. Brexit, much to the chagrin of Nigel Farage, who considered himself the original Mr. Brexit.  Much like the situation in America, Trump hasn't made any attempt to take the pulse of Europe, making outlandish statements concerning Germany, in the lead up to a NATO summit next month.  He treats Germany, as he does Canada, as an enemy, because their leaders aren't willing to play ball with him.  So, he needs someone like Kim to play ball with, figuring he can win this schoolyard game against a much smaller opponent.

In the process, he has dragged America's international reputation into the gutter as no president has done before.  Not even George Bush made such a mockery of American hubris.   At least he tried to work within international conventions, even if he tried to undermine them at the same time, through surrogates like Rumsfeld and Cheney.  Trump makes his intentions abundantly clear to everyone, leaving no room to negotiate.

He takes any reaction to his policies, if you can call them that, as a personal affront and immediately vows further retaliation as we are currently seeing in his trade wars with China and Canada.  This has resulted in the Dow taking another nosedive, and a spike in oil prices, both of which he bellyaches about without realizing he is the root cause.  He blames Wall Street and OPEC instead.

Obviously, there is no one in his administration who will stand up to him.  Instead, we see Pence, Bolton and Miller egging him on, leaving it up to the women in his administration to explain his vile actions, whether it be Aunt Sarah, Aunt Kirstjen or Aunt Nikki.  It would be comic if it weren't so damn serious!

Is there any other recourse but to initiate impeachment hearings?  Of course, Republicans won't act fearing it would dominate the election cycle and ruin what slim chance they have of holding their majority in Congress.  Instead, they are left to try to cajole a tyrannical president into lessening his grip on power, and think of the greater good of the party this Fall.  Fat chance!

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