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Truly One of a Kind

August 19, 2017

Unprecedented. A word that is bandied about too often, like awesome and amazing, but for President Trump and his administration, the word truly does qualify. Let me count the ways (and this is only a partial list for anywhere close to a full accounting would take me all damn day and I have better things to do).

 

[Note: for the second week in a row, I was going to discuss Trump and Congressional Republicans' immigration plan, but that may be moot because at this rate Trump may be more likely to be impeached or alienate so many of his supporters that almost anything he proposes fails to pass Congress. If Republicans could not pass a repeal and replace Obamacare bill, which has been their primary agenda item for seven years- thanks to three Senators: Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, and John McCain of Arizona, who had the courage of their convictions and integrity to stand up to Trump and the Republican leadership to reject a bill that they understood was going to harm far more Americans than it helped and was a worse alternative to Obamacare, capped off by McCain's dramatic return to Washington after being diagnosed with brain cancer and his emphatic "thumb's down" right in front of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who was standing stern-faced with arms-crossed next to the Senate aide recording the votes; McCain may as well have flashed the middle finger at McConnell and Trump before returning to Arizona for chemotherapy- then I don't know how they pass other major items on the Trump agenda e.g. immigration, tax reform, foreign trade, etc.]

 

First and foremost, no president had ever been elected without ANY political or military experience. Trump ran as the ultimate outsider, who was going to "drain the swamp," and many white Americans fed up with the ways of Washington D.C. and suffering from the economic effects of globalization came to believe in and support Trump's promises to "Make America Great Again" through his business acumen (never mind the fact he filed for bankruptcy four times and refuses to release his tax forms to possibly conceal shady dealings with foreign governments and banks). Out of frustration with the status quo, millions of Americans bought the ultimate con man's snake oil and elected someone utterly unqualified to the highest, most powerful position in the world. Newsflash: many Democrats and independent voters are fed up with the status quo in Washington as well, but not stupid enough to think that electing Trump as President was going to make the federal government or this country better.

 

As for draining the swamp, Trump has filled his Cabinet with billionaires, Wall Street insiders and individuals who are opposed to the mission of the very departments they have been chosen to lead, which is causing grave damage or has the potential to cause huge disruptions to the environment, public education, scientific knowledge, and add to not improve the detrimental effects of global warming/climate change.

 

Seven months into his presidency, Trump's approval rating has plummeted to around 33%, which means two-thirds of Americans disprove Trump's ability to lead this nation and his policies. No president has ever seen such low approval so soon into his term.

 

Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump's first national security adviser, who may be indicted for accepting money from Russia and Turkey without filing as a foreign lobbyist, was forced out after just 24 days, by far the shortest stint for a national security adviser- he never should have been hired in the first place. Now in relatively quick succession, Press Secretary Sean Spicer, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, have all left the White House, perpetuating the appearance of an administration in total chaos and dysfunction.

 

No president has ever responded to a threat from a brutal dictator by upping the ante and responding in kind with promises of "fire and fury" and bragging that military options are now "locked and loaded" as if this was some kind of video game or play-ground brawl, surprising his closest advisers with the type of heated rhetoric one would expect from a desperate despot rather then a carefully worded statement from the ruler of the free world. Kim Jung Un, fortunately has backed off at least temporarily from his threat to launch missiles towards the American territory of Guam, but this situation is not over by any means, and more off-the-cuff, dangerous remarks from Trump are not going to solve this problem. I don't know exactly what the protocol is for launching a nuclear strike- the president can't just enter the codes himself on a whim, there is a specific sequence of events and several layers of individuals within the chain of command that can advise and try to talk the President out of a nuclear attack, in particular, the defense secretary and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but the ultimate decision lays squarely on the President, and I don't know whether anyone within this chain of command has the authority to stand up to the President and refuse to launch a nuclear strike if he strongly believes it will do mare harm than good and is thus, not in the country's interests. After all this is a President who regularly gets up in the middle of the night/early morning and writes vindictive, petty tweets, many of which are flat out lies, borne out of personal grudges, and inflict damage on his own credibility and agenda. If a man prone to such spontaneous flights of fancy can't be stopped by anyone surrounding him from issuing dangerous, idiotic and vile thoughts on social media, can his closest advisers, prevent him from triggering a war with North Korea (or any country that he despises) based on his primal, unfiltered emotions?

 

Lastly with regards to the fallout from the white supremicist/neo-nazi rally-turned-fatal attack in Charlottesville, VA and Trump's appalling response, first failing to specifically condemn the actions and beliefs of the Ku Klux Klan and other racially bigoted groups, then in an impromptu news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York City, where he was supposed to address infrastructure proposals, but instead doubled down that both sides are to blame and ridiculously pointing out that the white supremicists had a permit and the opposing groups did not. As if filling out legal paperwork to acquire a permit somehow morally justifies hate speech. How about the fact that the white supremicists/neo-nazis were preparing for this rally for weeks, but the opposing groups were a spontaneous reaction to the hatred and bigotry espoused by white nationalists? Could it be that Trump did not want to call out these white nationalist groups because they form part of his base and helped get him elected, then praised him for his response specifically because it was so vague and equivocal? 

 

General John Kelly was brought it in to replace Reince Priebus as White House chief of staff specifically to instill discipline to an administration gone off the rails. The most telling photo taken during that impromptu press conference was that of Gen. Kelly reduced to staring blankly at the floor while Trump vociferously argued with the assembled journalists and continued to stick his foot further down his goddamn throat. Following that pathetic performance, eight corporate CEOs decided that was the last straw and resigned from two presidential advisory councils (of course that begs the question why now, when Trump has been acting this way since long before he was elected President- he has never made any attempt to hide his true nature and yet so many people who should have known better supported him if only for selfish reasons that their company or their own pocketbook may benefit by aligning with his agenda). Now finally these CEOs and some people who voted for Trump are finally seeing what a disaster this administration is, what a sexist, racist, asinine pig of an individual was elected to the presidency, and that supporting Trump is now so toxic that they must repudiate him and break free of his slimy orbit. To think all these people thought that having a pro-business advocate in the White House was going to help the middle class and their corporations- they are now realizing through their suddenly awake conscience that it is not worth selling your soul to work with this pathetic egomaniac. Trump's only success thus far is to alienate his own allies and party leaders,

 

and that is no way to effectively govern a nation or get anything done legislatively. I can't wait to see what lies ahead in the fall when Congress returns from recess and must pass appropriation bills and raise the debt ceiling, otherwise failure to reach agreement will result in a partial government shutdown and risk default on the national debt, which could have wide-ranging effects on the national and global economy, not to mention America's credibility.

 

Lastly, I would like to praise the mother of Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed in Charlottesville, when a racist maniac drove his car into a group of anti-white-supremicist protestors peacefully marching down a city street. During the young woman's funeral she defiantly sent a message to the white supremicists/neo-nazis by stating "You killed my daughter to shut her up. Instead you have magnified her!" In times of a national tragedy it is always up to the President to offer words of support and healing, but Trump managed to make the situation worse. Ms. Heyer's mother stated that after watching Trump's impromptu press conference where he "equated my daughter with white supremicists and neo-nazis, I don't want to talk to him." Good for you Mrs. Bro and it is high time everybody rebuke and refuse to cooperate with this imbecile and inexcusable "leader."   

 

           

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