100 days of zip, zero, nada

Never have so many expended so much shouting and lying to accomplish so little in one hundred days.

Unless one counts a sheaf of Executive Orders signed by the Adolescent-in-Chief, command blasts full of full of bluster and bombast that will mostly go nowhere and result in nothing.

But what about getting Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court?

Sure, we can agree that, thanks to McConnell’s theft of Obama’s SCOTUS appointment, plus some adroit nastiness on the part of conservative activist organizations across the country, the Gorsuch appointment counts as a win. But it’s a win for the country’s ultra right wing activists, not Trumpleorangeskin. And it’s certainly not a “win” for the American people, who can now look forward to a generation or more of SCOTUS rulings that will take power away from 99% of our citizens and give it to the large corporations and the rich persons that own or control them.

Turning the Supreme Court back fifty years: great for Trump’s Twitter Report Card and the mindless egos of his chest-thumping followers, Not so good for the rest of us. Ditto with the few other “accomplishments” of the Trumpocracy so far. Reversing critical Obama environmental and energy regulations, withdrawing support for family planning, approving dangerous, unneeded pipelines, killing public information about climate change, gearing up for the Great Deportation – all undermine the common good and many re-distribute wealth upward, continuing the Great Middle Class Rape started by Reagan.

Just angry words of a old Truthteller? Hardly. Read the Trump tax “plan” – all one fact-free page of it – hundreds of billions of dollars to the very richest one-tenth of one percent. Study the Obamacare repeal and non-replacement proposal – a hundred billion more in cash for the wealthiest Americans. See the Trump concept of “Infrastructure” funding: very few jobs, new airports, or bridges, schools, or energy-saving construction, but a fat half trillion in tax credits to the huge corporations.

It’s not fake news, friends: Trump is really out to gut the poor, the working, the professional, and the small business classes of our country so he can finally be accepted as one of the stylish rich people he’s always wanted to be. It is fake accomplishments though, delivered by a fake President.

Reality Check #4 — Trump isn’t the problem…

…just as he clearly isn’t the solution. But hoping against hope for his impeachment is foolish. Impeachment would see Trump replaced by Pence. People should realize Pence accepted the VP slot in hopes of advancing his rabidly retrogressive agenda of far-right religious measures to turn this country into a White-dominated Christian Nation. The media and Dems are obsessed with Trump/Bannon drama, incompetence, and anti-American Executive Orders, but the real drama and conflict is between the mentally unfit President and his overweight Rasputin whisperer, and the Republican Congress, led by its triumvirate of reactionary co-conspirators: Pence, Ryan, and McConnell.

The Republicans are the real pro-White Nationalist faction, have been for the past forty years and longer; Bannon is just an opportunistic latecomer. With their jumbled, now you see it, now you don’t agenda, Trump/Bannon are standing in the way of the corporate-controlled, rightist Congress. The 2017 Republican legislative juggernaut is assembling, only held up by their healthcare ineptitude. But the crunch is coming, and when it does, Pence, not Trump, will have the backing of Congress.

Will Trump sign the Ryan bills? If he does not, he’ll become billionaire road kill.

As argued in my previous post, Pence and his pro-business, pro-White Nationalist allies will use Trump’s mental instability and inability to govern as grounds for a 25th Amendment-sanctioned coup, and toss him and his reality TV clowns out of power and into the oncoming traffic of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Understand this: the booting of Trump and his odious family and swamp bottom feeding toadies will not be the day America is saved. It will be the day most women, union members, African-Americans, Latinos, working class people of all colors, students, LGBT persons, and especially, climate change activists come to call “the day the U.S. Constitution committed suicide.”

Taking Trump down

There is much discussion among the Democratic and Progressive political pros regarding the best strategy for blocking Trump, and making him even more unpopular. Make Trump toxic enough, the idea goes, and then maybe the Dems can retake control of the House in 2018, even while (probably) losing seats in the Senate.

IMO much of this discussion is absurdly irrelevant. I’ve said so, today, in this post to PoliticalWire.com:

The first priority for the Democrats is not to “take Trump down”. The immediate priority is to help the liberals, progressives, independents and Party democrats solidify the organic Resistance into a permanent foundational force. This cannot be a Democratic Party organization; the Party has lost all credibility with most of those it needs to regain Congressional power.

The Party needs to bring youthful energy into its leadership, and put all its resources into the hundreds of attempts to disrupt and delay a Congress whose leadership and right-wing faction is bent on the destruction of civil rights and the national re-establishment of unbridled White and Corporate Power.

As for Trump, the threat to our country is not a mad would-be King, but the Rasputin who’s whispering chaos in his ear. Sooner (I predict) rather than later Bannon and his anti-Constitutional faction will overstep the end of a bridge already too far.

When that happens, Pence will collect a majority of the Cabinet, cite the 25th Amendment, and assume the Presidency. After a lengthy fight, he will prevail, and this present awful excuse of a President will resign.

Leaving us with an awful 46th President, a religious fanatic who will help Ryan enact his entire agenda, probably before the 2018 Congressional election.

The most vexing question therefore, fellow progressives, is not when or how Trump can be toppled, but what happens when the Toppler-in-Chief takes over America’s destiny.

Reality Check #3 — A President who is not “Presidential”

Time to wake up, all you pundits and media types, all you Liberals, along with the few Republicans who have not yet sold their political soul to the TV President:

Trump is not going to change.

He will not suddenly morph into a reasonable, dignified, conscientious, thoughtful person, not now, not in his first 100 days, not this year, not ever. Reason, dignity, conscientiousness, rational analysis, concern for others, tolerance for the views of all Americans; all these are simply missing from the Trump TV Klown Kit of tricks, pranks, lies and scams, just as they are missing from the Twitterverse, his chosen communications medium.

Commentators who insist that he “must” stop Tweeting, or “must” listen to the National Security professionals, or “must” get real about foreign policy, or “must” act like a responsible adult may as well be asking a pig to blast out perfumed farts. Pompous experts who warn that Trump will lose his supporters unless he starts acting like a President instead of a spoiled rich adolescent are making the error of assuming that Trump cares — not just about his supporters, but about anything or anyone more than roughly two feet away from him at any given moment, anything outside of groping range of his small hands, in short.

Those who chastise him for stupidly alienating foreign leaders and whole countries and entire cultures don’t get that Trump simply doesn’t know how to deal with our allies (or enemies): his ignorance of foreign affairs, international economics, and human history is bigly. And even if he could be convinced the values, experience, opinions and goals of those in other lands were important, he’d be incapable of saying so in any way that didn’t first demean them.

Those who waste breath bewailing his inability to make a cogent sentence, or express a clear policy, even a bad one, miss the key point: he cannot understand any reality that requires explanation in more than a few short sentences at the 6th grade reading level. He doesn’t prefer watching TV to reading heavy reports and serious analyses and, especially, books, because the TV images are bright and shiny, and allow his juvenile attention span to wander: he doesn’t read books because he cannot understand their contents.

But it’s worse than an absence of literacy and mature intelligence. Trump doesn’t like serious books because he has no earthly idea why anyone would bother writing one. He has no respect for authors or scholars or analysts who spend months or years working to understand issues and problems, then more months writing down their suggestions how to deal with them. Why, Trump seems to think, can’t they just go on TV and spit out their ivory tower, fake news crap in three minutes?

If he cannot or will not read, why would he see any reason to learn how to make a meaningful paragraph? Much easier to simply make stuff up and then shout it like a twelve year old schoolyard bully at a hall full of people who are at approximately the same intellectual level. No wonder he cannot make a real speech, and has no respect for those who can.

The problem isn’t his pussy-grasping small hands; it’s his small brain, incapable of grasping large ideas.

Reality Check #2 — The (so-called) President is not intelligent enough to be President — Part One

Now, don’t get me wrong: Donald J Trump may well have enough brains to inherit two hundred million dollars and then hire much smarter real estate experts and accountants to run that huge inheritance into a billion dollar fortune. But that kind of greed-driven record of accumulation does not qualify him to be President.

And, yes, he has enough shrewdness to get out of bad deals by using clever lawyers, and bad investments by declaring bankruptcy, and failed marriages by paying off the spouse after blaming her for all his failures and deficiencies. But that kind of so-called brains do not qualify him to sit in our Oval Office and run the country.

And there’s no denying Trump has the con man’s gift of telling ignorant people what they want to hear, even if he has to invent a fake reality and non-facts and falsified data to convince them. Lying one’s way into the White House takes a certain kind of intelligence, true, but not the kind most folks want sitting next to the nuclear launch codes.

It’s our country, not a sandbox or middle school playground for Trump to strut like an adolescent bully, threatening and vilifying the rest of us. He doesn’t own the real estate title to our White House.

We have every right to expect either of the political parties to put forward men or women with seriously proven intelligence, especially after the disastrous tenure of Bush 43. We’re only interested in a candidate’s brainpower to perform acceptably as President of the United States, not as a “successful” business scamster.

Trump doesn’t have it.

We don’t need an intelligence test or neurological exam to conclude that Trump is borderline stupid. All we need do is list a dozen or so demonstrated proofs of his mental defectiveness.

Let’s begin with the basics:

  • Intelligent people who assume national leadership responsibility read; they don’t watch TV
  • Intelligent people who assume national leadership responsibility prepare themselves by learning the facts about all the major issues confronting the nation
  • Intelligent people who assume national leadership responsibility don’t begin their administration by denying an entire globe-full of facts and truths, from climate change to economic growth to public safety
  • Intelligent people who assume national leadership responsibility do not give credence to far-right racist, anti-feminist, anti-gay conspiracy theories — and no, sorry Bannon, there are not any such outrageous conspiracies on the left.
and, possibly most basic of all:

  • Intelligent people who assume national leadership responsibility and expect to be taken seriously as leaders do not refer to themselves in the third person when making public comments or announcements.
When Trump goes on TV and says stuff like “Trump will never let you down”, or “Trump doesn’t settle lawsuits”, a psychologist might say he is projecting a kind of “imaginary self”, one that he hopes we’ll like and respect and follow with our mouths shut. Then, if our reaction is (in his distorted, paranoid view) “negative”, he can pretend that that imaginary Trump he talked about was just a figment of his imagination, and ignore what claims he allegedly made.

There’s much, much more evidence of Trump’s lack of intellectual competence and maturity to be our President. We’ll tackle it in a follow-up post.

Assuming we’re all still here to share it.

Trump loss number eight

Last night, the Court of Appeals delivered a stunning defeat to our would-be President. The court rejected his appeal to reinstate the ill-conceived, disastrously stupid Executive Order of a week earlier restricting immigration to the U.S. I make this the eighth major defeat of Trump since he barely won the Electoral Vote on November eighth by a few thousand votes in three swing states.

After that near-loss, he has suffered a string of major defeats leading up to the huge setback last night:

  • He lost the national popular vote to Clinton – nearly three million more citizens voted for her than him
  • He lost the opportunity to demonstrate his much-vaunted and bragged about “executive skills” by muddling through the worst-managed transition period in modern American history
  • He lost the chance to persuade us he can really be our President by not reaching out to the 75% of Americans who did not vote for him
  • He lost his credibility as a national leader by delivering the worst Inaugural Address in recent memory
  • He lost the Inaugural Weekend popularity contest, a contest important only to him and his colossally defensive, paranoid ego, lost the crowd count, in other words, first to outgoing President Obama, then to millions of, horrors, women, girls, fathers, brothers opposed to his very occupation of the Oval Office
  • He lost his battle with the press, who, finally, are calling his purposeful distortions lies
  • He lost his chance to appear “Presidential” with tweet after tweet, staged event after staged event, and the undignified presentation of his nominee for the stolen Supreme Court vacancy.

And now, this slap in his puffy, pasty face by the Court of Appeals.

Every day we awaken to Trump’s occupation of our White House will be a bad day for our country, or for some targeted minority of its residents; we need to accept this.

But every day we can inflict another loss to his easily wounded, thoughtlessly reactive, emotionally unstable persona, or to his ignorance-based, hopelessly jumbled agenda is also a good day, and not just for us — as with the rejection of his Executive Order, for the entire planet.

Until we can defeat him and his Republican toadies and co-conspirators at the polls, the ruling and the week of massive protest before it should motivate us to keep the pressure on. Yes, right should in time prevail over might. But we (and the planet) don’t have much time. Between now and November 2018, we need to collectively make sure that as bad as waking up to Trump in the White House is for us, for him it is even worse.

 

Reality Check #1 — Trump has no interest in uniting the people

Yes, I know: it was very likely the worst Inaugural Speech in American history. Sure, having a bunch of warplanes fly over was doubtless a case of Putin envy. And I agree: failing to acknowledge Clinton, or the fact she got nearly three million more votes than he did was an act of arrogance that angered the heavens so much they decided to rain on his militaristic parade.

It was a speech that repeated the same childish pap that convinced enough “forgotten Americans” in the key swing states to vote for him.  A speech to unify our people it was not; a speech that reaffirmed the basic shallowness and thoughtlessness and jingoistic nationalism of Trump and his minions it was. A harbinger of hateful, arrogant, divisive, dumb things to come.

Those who yammer on and on about the need for Trump to stop being Trump and unite the country are missing the two most fundamental truths of all: Trump doesn’t care what anyone outside his Brain Mistrust thinks, and Trump is not trying to unify the country.

His closest advisers are shrewd manipulators, people who understand the voting blocs and numbers. Kellyanne Con, Steve Bannon, and Jared Kushner understand Trump’s shaky position. They can see that the more people know about Trump, the more most of those people will dislike him.

During the election, Trump could afford alienating people, because Clinton alienated them more. She’s no longer available as a convenient punching dummy, so his Brain Mistrust knows he needs to change his messaging to reassure his core supporters and keep them in the fold. His falling favorability numbers show that he’s dangerously close to the dreaded 30% favorability level, where sixty to seventy percent of the people dislike him and his Tweets, his lies, and his stunning ignorance of the world. At that historically low level, many Republicans in the House and Senate will balk at simply being voting bots for Ryan and McConnell.

So, you would think, with his “popularity”, such as it was, sinking fast, his three principal “strategic advisers” would be telling him to get serious about bringing the country together. Let’s give them the credit for being smart: for all we know they may well be trying to persuade Agent Orange to give the people something to be proud of now, not just wispy promises of a “great” future, so they will stop looking backward to a real President.

Personally, I’m betting the three Trump whisperers are doing their best to get His Hairship under control. And I’m betting he’s stamping his foot and hissing that all he needs to give them is a steady diet of more circuses, assurances that the promised cheap bread is on its way, and lots of progressive programs to crucify.

He is right, you know. Hitler, Mussolini, Lenin, Franco, and the Jacobins all reached their goal of national dictatorship with well under 20% support of their people.

Am I saying Trump wants to be Dictator? No one knows, since he is as much a genius at saying nothing as doing nothing. But it doesn’t matter, since “Commander-in-Chief” is an even more intimidating title than “Dictator”. To go with the title and his megalomania, he has the Army, The Justice Department, and lots of toady Republican governors to call out their National Guard as the anti-Trump protests spread. Soon, he’ll have a right-wing Supreme Court to make his planned assault on free speech and the Constitution “legal”.

The important point is that Trump has learned enough political history from his strongman heroes to understand that “divide and conquer” really works. And he has the survival instincts of a paranoid bully and opportunist. He’s not interested in uniting all the diverse elements of the country because he knows that, if he did, they’d be united against him.

 

Crowd size matters…

…to a man terrified others might think his manhood is small. Such a man will praise dictators, borrowing their perceived strength and persona as a means of shoring up his self doubts. Such a man will demand impressive shows of military might to conceal his own weakness. Such a man will attack anyone who questions his “fitness” or superiority or intelligence, fearing that others might agree with them.

Such a man will demand “respect” based on his power, his threats, and the loudness of his voice. He does not respect others, so he cannot understand that respect must be earned over time, based on a leader’s deeds and empathy with his people, not his words. Trump’s challenge to earn legitimacy is much larger than your normal bully: he has told so many lies and derided so many groups and individuals that it will be a long time before he is respected as a national leader.

Yes, I know, his “legitimacy” is based on (barely) winning the vote of the Electoral College. The Constitution can make a person President under law, but it cannot make her or him a person we trust to hold the office.

Every lie, every adolescent tantrum, every attack on our free press, every whiny denial of the reality of his unpopularity henceforth will simply make it that much harder for him to be seen as worthy of the title of President.

Every threat to destroy our civil rights, every sham program of Ryan and McConnell he signs into law, every broken promise to his base supporters, every financial transaction in violation of the same Constitution that made him Commander-in-Chief will serve to remind the great majority of us how he conned his way into the White House.

The Constitution granted him the Oval Office, but only his demonstrated worthiness to occupy it will enable him to lead the country.

And to those who insist he must be allowed to govern without restraint, a reminder: the same Constitution that made him our legal President makes it possible to legally resist his government, his scams, his lies, his hatefulness, his bullying, his vindictiveness.

As so brilliantly shown by millions of women and their supporters across the nation yesterday, the place of true patriots is not marching behind this fool of a man in blind, trusting lockstep, but in helping to prevent him from destroying our country.