In the room off my kitchen is a decade old computer desk once used for my antiquated Dell. I have since christened it the National Affairs Desk so I feel as if I’m holed up someplace important, cowering beneath in an attempt to make the voices stop while honing my elementary school duck-and-cover skills.
Everytime I try to put my thoughts down in print something else explodes. And I have a bad case of shiny key syndrome, so easily distracted. Just like the press.
Since November 8th I have gone through the five stages of grief so many times I simply gave up looking for closure. That is something I’ve come to view as some overused made-up TV term bandied about on “Law and Order:SVU”or “Criminal Minds” or “Doctor Phil”.
The year 2016 is over. 2017 is proceeding as a nightmare of biblical proportion. You know the line from “Ghostbusters,” “Dogs and cats living together. Mass hysteria!”
I’ve seen Presidential elections. I’ve seen different Administrations. As have most of us. I think it’s safe to say we’ve never seen anything like this. It’s devolved into waking up basically wondering WTF did he tweet overnight.
The question here’s whether the constant uproar is planned to distract from other reprehensible actions. It all depends if you feel this is an ego-driven President craving adulation or an actual clever, planned political move. Or does it depend on what time it is or who the last person was whispering in his ear?
Under this Administration the domestic policies are a massive nest of snakes, not unlike a serpentine Gordian Knot. Supporting Foreign policy is reduced to deals and demands to fall in line deferring to American power.
For the sake of attempting not to completely overwhelm a tenuous, frantic effort to maintain sanity while avoiding a stroke let’s leave this alone for now. Well, most of it anyway as it seems everything bleeds together, like ink in the rain. Who am I kidding? Let’s just wade into the swamp and see what bites first.
“Nixon represents the dark, venal and incredibly violent side of the American character almost every other country in the world has learned to fear and despise.” ~ Hunter S. Thompson
Trump is making the darkside of America policy the norm while causing many to long for Richard Nixon .
Nixon taunted and teased us with glimpses of the malignant underbelly of America. Trump dragged it out, squealing, blinded with hate and a thirst for power into the glaring light of day. He nurtured it, gave it purpose and brought the worst of us into political and day to day life.
Compared to Donnie, when it comes to sheer denial of reality, Nixon was an altar boy. At least Dick understood how the levers of power worked.
In the age of social media we now have a President who conducts foreign policy in a single tweet or a tweetstorm depending on his mood. When not tweeting he holds campaign style rallies where he continues off the cuff rants.
He condemns every slight as ‘fake news’. Simply not genuflecting to Dear Leader, daring to call a lie a lie, however tepidly, is contrary to Trump’s world view of his infallibility.
Right off the bat Trump took a broadsword to the geopolitical structure of the tenuous World order. He sent our European allies into shock by statements regarding our commitment to NATO.
He nearly knocked the slats out from under our relationship with China by putting the One China policy on the table as he threatened a trade war. He went hard after Mexico, the second largest export market for US goods. Everything seems only to be another day of the wrecking ball threatening to bring down constructs holding this planet together.
Repeatedly Don has insulted allies such as hanging up on the PM of Australia, or snide remarks about Germany.
He has bullied Automakers which got him slapped by VW and Mercedes.
Trump is the only President to praise Russia while denigrating the US intel apparatus much to the dismay of those who understand that community. He has become an open shill for Russia as he sexts Putin. His Administration leaks like a sieve as more and more crisscrossing ties to Russia surface to the GOP chorus of, “Move along. Nothing to see here.”
The people who drove the hysteria of Benghazi, emails and the Clinton Foundation now see the pressing issue is not seeming Russian influence in this Administration, the likelihood Putin’s Russia put their thumb on the scale during the 2016 elections but who’s leaking.
The majority Republicans have decided party over country as they know Trump will sign anything anyone puts in front of him. They see this as a perfect way to jam their 80 year old wishlist down our throats by repealing the 20th and 21st centuries.
We are now seeing disturbing pages of the authoritarian playbook being gleefully used.
Some states have bills pending to criminalize dissent in various degrees. The conservative derision of dissent has always been there condemning it as unAmerican and seditious. They have never been fond of First Amendment rights and guarantees.
Swirling about in the whirlwind of assorted awful, horrendous dangerous policies perhaps the most dangerous is the other attack on the First Amendment. The Free Press.
Donald Trump himself despises an actual free and open press in action as well as the 1st Amendment in general. Well, except the religion clause. That is a tool that can be used as cover for repressive legislation and policy as well horrendous actions by the public.
Trump attacked the press as dishonest elites out to get him as he played them like a fiddle. He wanted to loosen our libel laws to make it easier to sue any press source that he disagreed with.
Trump continuously railed against the press, calling some reporters out by name as awful causing the crowd to face the press pen displaying pitchfork and torches levels of mob anger. NBC’s Katy Tur had to be escorted out of a rally by the Secret Service for her own safety.
We saw an entire campaign with a pillar of attacking the press succeed in gaining power. That hate of the press had now grown into fullblown policy. We see any outlet actually printing articles pointing out lies and foreign ties being labeled fake news. This is the plan to delegitimize the actual press as fake and out to get Trump as sites like Breitbart and Fox are elevated to near state news status.
Unsupportive press has been banned from gaggles. Trump spokespeople lie as a matter of course and then accuse those calling out lies mean and biased. It seems every day is simply Rinse. Repeat.
Wild tweeted statements from POTUS are responded to as basically don’t report what he said but report what he meant. And here’s what he meant. (Insert lie or absurd talking point here)
Now we have The President of the United States accusing his predecessor of illegal surveillance on Trump Tower and Trump himself.
First of all, this claim is a lie, either knowingly or through ignorance of how things work. Following Watergate the ability to order taps and such was walled off from the Presidency. There was near immediate push back from people who actually understand how this is really done. You know, FISA. A spokesman for President Obama called out this allegation as false. Period.
Now Trump’s tenuous grasp of Presidential power works surfaced. By claiming taps and such were done, even dating them to October, he may have declassified a FISA warrant. That could expose his staff to all sorts of potential legal problems.
As many have pointed out Trump was not the target. The target, if there was a warrant, would be staff. Another scenario is Trump people stumbled and were caught through standard surveillance of Russian people of interest.
The slow moving train wreck this administration, continues to unfold. The Republican Party either acts or owns this. We’ll see.
In the meantime buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy night.
“Truth is weirder than any fiction I’ve seen.” ~ Hunter S. Thompson