Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Wrecking Ball


From The Economist, June, 2018

Trump is doing his best to channel Miley Cyrus, as he tries to drag down the whole country to his level.  Apparently, Wall Street no longer reacts to him.  How else to explain a nearly 200 point rise in the Dow on the same day he announces a $12 billion bailout to farmers to cover the cost of the retaliation to his tariffs?  Trump just swings back and forth like in Miley's video, singing the same song over and over and over again.

In one of his latest tweets, Trump proudly proclaimed "Tariffs are the Greatest!"  I'm surprised he didn't put it all caps like his love letter to Iran.  He told a Kansas City audience that he would have Europe crawling to him for relief.  It seems he was referring to the planned visit of Jean-Claude Juncker today.  The White House is expecting some kind of trade offer, but the EU Commission said there is no deal on the table.  Most likely the two will trade barbs and Trump's team will spin it to their advantage on the conservative airwaves.

Many American companies are taking a big hit from these tariffs, not just farmers.  Whirlpool took a big hit on the stock market yesterday, but the rise of the IT companies offset the losses of our traditional industries.  Just the same, Trump showcased various American made products on the White House lawn.  No Harleys this time around.  Instead, he boasted about Ford F-150s and speedboats made in Arkansas.  No red caps, as they are made in China.

Yet, this kind of grandstanding appears to work among his base, which elected Brian Kemp as the GOP governor nominee in Georgia,  but can his base lift these truculent candidates to victory in November?  This is no longer a reliably red state.  Cagle, the prospective GOP nominee was enjoying a thin edge over Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams, but now that it is Kemp, this lead may change.

Trump, however, sees all these primary victories as vindication of his policies.  He was even gloating when John Cox did so well in California, not looking down the list in the open primary to see that Democratic candidates garnered more than 60 per cent of the vote.  Cox doesn't stand a snowball's chance in LA of winning that election.

But, we aren't supposed to be listening to the news.  According to Trump, it is all fake.  In his mind, he had a great summit with Putin.  His tariffs are forcing the EU, China, Canada and Mexico to the table.  He forced NATO countries to ante up, and the Queen gave him the highest honor in 70 years.

All the rest of us can do is shrug our shoulders as there is nothing we can say to convince him otherwise, not even Trey Gowdy, who questioned White House aides's purpose if they couldn't convey to the president the obvious.

It has become a major international embarrassment, yet many Americans remain oblivious to the dementia of our president.  He slips deeper and deeper into it each day, dragging his Trumpkins down with him, and in turn the GOP.  Many Republican "moderates" are now openly questioning his sanity.  Maybe it is time to consider the 25th amendment again?

No one has any feeling of confidence in Trump, not even his own staff, who repeatedly have to clean up for him after he goes off the rails.  Trump says one thing, his advisors say another, and never the twain shall meet.  The only person that seems to be on board with Trump is Stephen Miller, who probably wrote the Iran tweet, as it was surprisingly clean grammatically.

Yet, Congress won't act. This may be the most telling story in November, as disgruntled Americans will have no choice but to vote Democratic in an effort to rein in our demented commander-in-chief, lest we find ourselves in a war with Iran before then.  At this point, this is the only option Trump appears to have left to him to try to rally Americans around the flag.

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