The chaos president does his best to keep his shiny plates spinning in the air as the wheels come off his White House operation. Last week he went to San Diego to examine different border wall designs like paint samples while he was losing a credibility battle with a porn star.
This pathologically selfish fraudster banks on people letting themselves be riled up without questioning or checking his incessant lies. The nadir of this was Trump boasting of having made up facts in a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau. He appears convinced that the brazenness of his lie about a trade deficit with our northern neighbor makes it true. But sooner or later, reality will bite us in the ass.
Cheekily, voices on the right lecture liberals despite the GOP’s continuing meltdown that rivals a Tchaikovsky overture for drama. Homocon Jamie Kirchick, who (to give due credit) denounced Putin’s anti-gay persecution on Russian TV, advises liberals to be less liberal on immigration. He pretends that Democrats are controlled by their extreme wing (that would be Republicans); falsely asserts that we all favor eliminating borders (President Obama deported lots of people in addition to launching DACA); and accuses the sanctuary movement of flouting “the rule of law” even as Trump leads the most lawless administration since Nixon’s. But like Congressman-Elect-Apparent Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania, we need not allow opponents’ misdirection to keep us from messaging better in middle America.
I bring up messaging because Democrats are often slammed for lacking a message while being caricatured as leftist extremists. Con artist Trump exploited this with his populist pledge to “drain the swamp” of corrupt elites, only to tap Wall Street billionaires and others who abused their cabinet positions to lavishly redecorate their offices and fly in luxury at taxpayer expense. If demonizing liberals and patronizing teenage activists succeed in blinding voters to the GOP’s record of refusing to protect citizens while upwardly redistributing income, then by 2024 we will have a 7-2 anti-choice and anti-gay Supreme Court along with untrammeled greed that puts to shame The Jungle, Upton Sinclair’s 1906 novel about working class poverty.
Opportunism and gaping double standards undermine common purpose. The ruling party panders to Christian supremacists who would subordinate civil government to religious dogma. It treats white opioid addicts with compassion never given to black drug users.
As indictments inch closer to the Oval Office, Trump and his team of sycophants throw everything they can against the wall, hoping something will stick. The impulsive provocateur dispenses with logic. Obama is at once a super villain and a cipher who faked his grades. Fox News denounced Obama’s willingness to meet with our enemies, yet praises Trump’s plan to meet Kim Jong-un as a masterstroke of statecraft.
I get it: 45’s team can do no wrong, and the other team can do no right. But let’s not pretend that sports-talk boasting reflects true strength. The latter is better revealed by the viral video of a drag Elsa from Frozen pushing a Boston police van out of the snow.
Jeff Sessions claims to have fired Andrew McCabe for lack of candor under questioning. Somewhere Al Franken is laughing. The perfect cynicism at this point would be Trump firing Sessions for violating his recusal from the Russia investigation by firing witness McCabe.
What to do? For starters, we can participate in the political process as our kids are doing. Small acts of decency speak louder than tweetstorms.
Don’t compete with trolls: As Trump was boasting of his latest obstruction of justice in firing McCabe, Hillary Clinton was paying tribute to late Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. Meanwhile, Special Counsel Robert Mueller subpoenaed the Trump Organization. What 45 calls the “Deep State” (which, had it existed, would have safely installed Hillary) is simply civil servants across the ideological spectrum who honor their oaths to defend the Constitution.
To be sure, our puerile president has not only a Twitter account but the nuclear launch codes. As I write, he is two steps away from naming frightening fanatic John Bolton as national security advisor. In the words of poet Robert Lowell, the ditch is nearer. Keep watch.
Richard J. Rosendall is a writer and activist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2018 by Richard J. Rosendall. All rights reserved.