Trump’s mad dash to 100 days
Ben White / Politico
President Donald Trump has dismissed the idea of measuring the success of his first 100 days in office as “ridiculous.” But the president and his top officials have made a number of startling moves this week with the deadline in mind, and Trump has privately obsessed …
After 100 days, it can safely be concluded: Donald Trump is a one-trick pony. His entire schtick is bluster and intimidation. He cannot be wrong, and will do anything, ANYthing to NOT be wrong. As Hillary noted: “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.”
North Korea. Case closed. But there are other considerations.
Consider: as questions about Jeff Sessions’ potential perjury in his confirmation hearings, Trump tweeted that Obama had “wiretapped” him. “This is McCarthyism” he added, as nearly never reported in the focus on the FIRST sentence. Remember, Donald Trump (like most Republicans) projects like a sum’bitch.
But I have a theory as to the why and wherefore of our own national enfant terrible, the Hirsute Cheeto, weighing in at 20 stone: Donald J. Trump.
At this, the beginning of the third age of humankind
First Age: We climb out of the trees and become upright tool bearers, and hunting tools, dogs and fire.
Er … alMOST, guys!
Second Age being the great migration(s) out of Africa to the far ends of the Earth, as DNA is tracing for us.
With the third being the recognition, on December 24, 1968 of Earthrise from lunar orbit as Apollo 8 beamed our own planet to us, and read the Creation Myth to the three or five religions comprising (at the time, well over a billion or two souls on an Earth of 3.5 billion) that we are actually one planet and one species. We might call it the “recognition.” Just remember, there was not any general consensus at the time of the Civil War that the “Negroes” were, in fact, human beings, nor Chinese, Japanese, “Hindoos,” (and not, significantly, “Indians”), etc.
On December 24, 1968, it became a “fact” to us and no one questions that we are all one species.
But now, we are seeing a worldwide pullback. A pullback like the instinctive pullback of a sea anemone.
It is a pullback to OLD (nay, ancient) clan and tribal ties. A rise of hypernationalism and xenophobia, as we are watching the slow-motion collapse of the European Union, as country after country confronts the large “Brexit” contingent that abhors the open borders of the EU (formerly the “Common Market”). You might call it the “NIMBY”* version of one world, the answer to Theodore Sturgeon’s question (and short story title) If All Men Were Brothers, Would You Let One Marry Your Sister?
No! a large minority of humanity is saying, no we wouldn’t!
And it is that selfsame pullback that Trump both emerges and epitomizes. This is his mileau and his limitation: his apotheosis is a reactionary stutter in the long progress of humankind.
[* NIMBY = “Not In My Back Yard”]
It seems as predictable as that our digital and robotic third industrial revolution was going to create mass relocation and retirement of skilled workers, just as the guilds were broken up by the first industrial revolution.
And suddenly, NIMBY Donald Trump — who started with “Mexican rapists” — is Presidunce (sic) and for 100 straight daze (sic), it has been bullying and distraction; bullying and distraction. The con man, caught in his own con, like Professor Harold Hill, in “The Music Man”: Trump bullies and backs off.
Consider who he’s picked fights with: Canada, Mexico, The Intelligence Community, Congress, the news media, Obama and Hillary every time he needs a scapegoat, with the Freedom Caucus, with “the generals,” Federal judges and THE ENTIRE NINTH CIRCUIT, with Syria, Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, with Boeing (our largest defense contractor), unpicked his fight with China in assisting in his fight with North Korea; with the sick, the poor, the middle class and his voters (his tax code and budget proposals), with whomever and whatever and whenever. Trump seems incapable of NOT picking a fight, in fact. (I’m undoubtedly missing a few here.)
The so-called NAFTA threat of last week supposedly created an agreement by Canada and Mexico to “come to the table” to renegotiate NAFTA. We pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and he OK’d the Tar-Sands pipeline. And they’re reviewing ALL National Monument designations since 1996 to see if they can “redesignate” portions back to mere “public lands” and allow mining, grazing, drilling and perhaps even fracking on them. The rape of the West continues apace, as the Trumpsters are now asking for comments on what EPA water rules are burdensome and restrictive.
It is an endless litany of flim-flam and bluster and incompetence that ends up to the same trick every time: bully and back off. (Oh, and make it so difficult to sue that you can blow off subcontractors with impunity, because the fundamental quality of empathy, of compassion, seems elementally MISSING from your soul. When you love yourself that much, you become a jealous lover. And Donald J. Trump jealously loves himself.
Another famous self-lover.
And his followers jealously love HIM.
And they all went to live beneath the waves in their Yellow Submarine.
Trump fulfills the “strong man” id of a class of (shall we say?) manly men, who feel that their manly manhood is being manhandled.
He is their writ of mandamus in their perceived Alpha Male sweepstakes.
And THAT transcends facts and science — the latter of which has become actively under attack BY this malodorous misadministration.
We are informed that while we now have all cabinet secretaries confirmed, none of their deputies have been confirmed, and many have not even been nominated, leaving the Secretaries in question, “home alone.”
But Trump bullies and retreats. Accuses and sidesteps.
Remember the UN-remarked-on portion of the “OBAMA IS WIRETAPPING ME!” tweet? “This is McCarthyism”?
Well, it certainly is. After all, Donald had the best possible Republican Mentor, Roy Cohn, Joe McCarthy’s Right Hand Stooge, and later the evilest lawyer in Manhattan, who died of AIDS, disbarred, unable to keep up the grand sweep of legal bullying, perjury and intimidation that maintained his scrofulous kingdom.
Over a 13-year-period, ending shortly before Cohn’s death in 1986, Cohn brought his say-anything, win-at-all-costs style to all of Trump’s most notable legal and business deals. Interviews with people who knew both men at the time say the relationship ran deeper than that—that Cohn’s philosophy shaped the real estate mogul’s worldview and the belligerent public persona visible in Trump’s presidential campaign.
‘He Brutalized For You’
– How Joseph McCarthy henchman Roy Cohn became Donald Trump’s mentor.
By MICHAEL KRUSE April 08, 2016 • Politico Magazine
At the end, Donald Trump was Cohn’s only friend. So, if a torch were to be passed from Tailgunner Joe McCarthy to anyone, it was passed on to Donald Trump.
So, don’t be surprised that he moves to more and more authoritarian and more and more militaristic. Those are the corners he’s painting himself into. Happily, unlike Germany in the 1930s, there are NOT large majorities of Americans who LIKE to take orders and fall into lock-step.
But I fear for a country whose “leader” is so easy to bait and so entranced by his own reflection in the mirror.
He is the ape at the waterhole in 2001. With NUCLEAR weapons.
He is a one-trick pony, and after a flaccid and impotent first One Hundred Daze, the trick has already worn thin.
Or, as one congressman put it, Trump’s first hundred days have been a dumpster fire.
Worse, his Republican party and base overwhelmingly supports him, AND refuses to be disillusioned, proffering excuse after rationalization after pettifoggery after excuse as to why the dumpster fire has actually been a YUGE “success.”
To paraphrase an old political truism: while the Germans will always follow the “man on a horse,” our Republicans only need the horse’s ass.