Road Kill and Civil War

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Road Kill at the White House

Reflecting on Scaramucci’s telephone tirade to a reporter (!) I was surprised to note that Steve Bannon’s “deconstruction of the administrative state” includes the White House itself. Even the Executive can’t function under this self-generated mandate.

Bannon’s deconstruction was supposed to eliminate government programs that give people rights and freedoms. Repeal the health care mandate. Kick transgenders out of the military. Rescind antidiscrimination laws for gays. Defund Planned Parenthood. Deport immigrants. In short, do offensive things to as many social groups as possible in an effort to remove government from business peoples’ business.

But, stunningly, the Trump administration has not reckoned with the fact that those groups fought hard for decades, in huge numbers, to gain protections. The enemy list is expanding even as we watch the deconstruction reach its tentacles into the White House. At the same time, Congress has been deconstructed to the degree that the majority party can’t even pass a “skinny” repeal of Obamacare.

Civil War?

As the Trump administration fails, turning its fight inward upon its own White House and Congress, the disenfranchised white male population, already armed and dangerous, may find itself without hope. The whole point of the election will be lost, and at that point violence will be the only option. The irony is that when the gunfire starts, Trump will have to call out the National Guard to fight his own supporters. But, almost before the sun sets, Scaramucci’s out.

Syria, Nicaragua, and the US: the Mighty Threesome

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Gary Cohn, a Trump economic adviser, said of Trump at the G-7 Meeting, “He came here to learn. He came here to get smarter… His views are evolving, which is exactly as they should be.” But because Trump is not capable of learning or getting smarter, he came away only more sure of his campaign promise–the only promise he is able to keep without courts or Congress to balance his incompetence.

Clearly, Trump didn’t want to commit to withdrawal at the G-7 meeting in Sicily because he would have had to justify it, to answer questions. He was unable to do that. Here, he can withdraw from a distance and not have to stand up to direct criticism in the room. His case is  simple in every respect. It was a campaign promise, and the only one, so far, that he can effect without having to satisfy other governmental agencies.

The upshot? We join only Nicaragua and Syria in declining to pledge to reduce carbon emissions. Who’d a thought? Syria, Nicaragua, and the US, a mindless threesome. At least Syria and Nicaragua had an excuse.

 

Crisis

Trump is not mentally well, and is not fit to be president. This does not address conservative philosophy or policies. This is not political, but is about his mental state. This should be obvious to any objective viewer for the following reasons.

1) His inability to discriminate between fact and fiction. This is a pathology completely unacceptable in a public servant in charge of national security and defense. He is so driven by his ego needs that he can’t distinguish real from imaginary phenomena. He drives his press secretary and spokesmen to repeat his lies when he feels offended.

2) Related to this, his naïve acceptance of conspiracy theories. He does not know how to vet information or its sources, and is prone to believe anything that feels good. He does not accept objective scientific information unless it serves to stroke his ego.

3) His breathless rush to sign executive orders. He has both houses of congress, which will happily pass any rational legislation that fits within the conservative philosophy. But his gag orders on government agencies indicate fear of working with people. All of his life he has sent out mandates. He has no experience in cooperative efforts, and so cannot risk debate and discussion in congress. Thus, in his rush to self aggrandizement, he ignores the legislative branch of government and shuns established alliances such as NATO.

4) He has angry outbursts and meltdowns, typical of narcissistic personalities, usually driven by events that don’t support his agenda. Meltdowns could be catastrophic in times of crisis.

5) He has to keep his family (mainly his sons and daughter) close by to help him govern, much like an Alzheimer’s victim. He needs help remembering what he’s doing, what he’s already done, and what he must do next. These functions fall to relatives rather than to advisors and outside collaborators. Ronald Reagan similarly used his wife to manage his affairs and even press conferences. This is an embarrassment that puts the US in a position of weakness.

6) His thoughtless treatment of his wife, and his infatuation with his daughter are other indicators of serious personality disorders.

7) His obsession with criticism and his need to get revenge. Personal slights reverberate for days, weeks, or in some cases, years. This is a distraction from important business, and in international cases, is a weakness that could cause injury to the nation’s diplomatic status.

We have dealt with many twists and turns in our history, but this is a crisis we’ve not faced before. How long will Pence and the Cabinet allow him to continue like this?