Tuesday, February 14, 2017

February 14, 2017

One of the challenges in evaluating Donald Trump, or predicting what he will do, is deciding what he is. Is he power-hungry or merely narcissistic? Are his falsehoods deliberate or does he simply not know the difference between fact and fancy? Are we dealing with a clever manipulator, a sociopath or an adolescent? In a sense, it doesn’t matter; whatever the diagnosis, his egocentrism, ignorance, short attention span, disinterest in detail, emotional outbursts and childish language render him unfit for the office.
It’s clear that his focus is on Donald Trump, not on governance, policy, or even politics in the sense of party or theory. Some of his impulses mesh with Republican aims, such as restriction of immigration and cutting taxes, but those similarities seem almost accidental. His sympathetic attitude toward Russia and Putin, if expressed by a Democratic President, would lead to impeachment.
Trump’s disinterest in governance recalls the theory expressed during the campaign that he didn’t expect or intend to win the nomination, still less the presidency. John Lewis declared that, because of Russian interference in the election, Trump is not a legitimate president. His loss of the popular vote is another reason to conclude that. More importantly, he is not a competent or stable president.
His selection of cabinet members and counselors is another indication that he is unfit and, especially as to the latter, to wonder who is in charge. One of his campaign advisors predicted that a Trump administration would be "basically a blank slate that needs to be filled in." Another way to put it is that he can and will be manipulated. His failure to control his administration is a source of danger, given the character of his team, but it may be a blessing, if causes Republicans to realize, in time, that he has to go.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

February 5, 2017
"President Trump" is a title, a phrase, that sounds false, that sounds like a bad joke or a bad dream. However, it’s all too real; the joke may be on those who voted for him, but disaster looms for all of us.
"We actually had a very good day yesterday," he said on Monday, having selected, among Muslim nations, those whose citizens would be barred from entry in to the U.S., thereby establishing a policy of religious discrimination and causing chaos at airports. That ban allegedly was in aid of preventing terrorism. However, he omitted Saudi Arabia, though fifteen of the nineteen 9-11 bombers were Saudis. In this he follows a Republican tradition; George W. Bush invaded Iraq, which supplied none of them. The Seattle Times ran an editorial on the Trump edict, appropriately captioned "A morally bankrupt, inept executive order on immigration." Those adjectives could have wider application.
Already there is talk of impeachment. It seems unlikely, given a Republican Congress, but Robert Kuttner, in an article on The American Prospect was optimistic: "Impeachment is gaining ground, because Republicans are already deserting this president in droves, and because the man is psychiatrically incapable of checking whether something is legal before he does it. The dossier of impeachable offenses will only grow."[10]  He’s probably right about all but the Congressional response. Various members have criticized Trump’s policies and statements, but it would take a good deal to produce a repudiation. Today’s Republicans do not resemble those who opposed Nixon. We could hope for a Democratic victory in 2018, but it isn’t likely in the Senate, where far more Democratic seats are in play.
Thus far, most Republicans seem content to support Trump. It’s been amusing, though ominous, to see them fall in line behind the man many of them thought unfit. Apparently they can swallow a little insanity if it will result in tax cuts for the rich and fewer regulations on business. However, Kuttner’s prediction could come true. Dissent on specific issues such as the Muslim ban or coziness with Putin may grow into a realization that the man is a menace. Also, pressure from home about Obamacare may cause desertions.


10. http://prospect.org/article/impeachment-or-impairment-inevitability-trump%E2%80%99s- removal
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