Monday, October 16, 2017

Trump's Big CON: Is He the Worst?

"He disdains the rule of law. He’s trampling norms of presidential behavior. And he’s bringing vital institutions down with him."

Read The Atlantic, Will Donald Trump Destroy the Presidency?, which notes:

"Donald Trump is testing the institution of the presidency unlike any of his 43 predecessors. We have never had a president so ill-informed about the nature of his office, so openly mendacious, so self-destructive, or so brazen in his abusive attacks on the courts, the press, Congress (including members of his own party), and even senior officials within his own administration. Trump is a Frankenstein’s monster of past presidents’ worst attributes: Andrew Jackson’s rage; Millard Fillmore’s bigotry; James Buchanan’s incompetence and spite; Theodore Roosevelt’s self-aggrandizement; Richard Nixon’s paranoia, insecurity, and indifference to law; and Bill Clinton’s lack of self-control and reflexive dishonesty."

Trump's Big CON: Trapped by Lies, CONt.

"President Trump cannot fail. President Trump can only be failed.

Trump and his allies tell us so. He can only be failed — by the filibuster (never mind that no GOP repeal bill got 50 Senate votes); by the “Fake News” media, which fails to honestly report on his smashing successes; and even by Republican congressional leaders, who have let the Russia probes get out of hand and secretly oppose his agenda.

The Post and the Washington Examiner have remarkable stories this morning that portray the Republican Party as gripped by an internal war of recriminations over the fact that Trump has not signed any major accomplishments.

The Post reports that Republicans believe religious-right extremist Roy Moore’s victory in the Alabama GOP Senate primary was driven by an angry grass-roots backlash at Congress’ failure to realize Trump’s agenda, and they expect more to come. As Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), a Trump ally, puts it: 'People are upset that Republican senators are not backing the agenda of this president.'

The Examiner, meanwhile, reports that congressional Republicans are raging because a top aide to Vice President Pence told a gathering of GOP donors that the GOP Congress is selling out the president and that disloyal Republicans should perhaps be removed in 2018. He said: 'If we’re going to be in the minority again, we might as well have a minority who are with us as opposed to a minority who helped us become a minority.'

This entire narrative is a fiction. Or rather, this entire narrative contains a large truth wrapped in fictional packaging. The truth this story line contains is that Trump is not racking up any major accomplishments — which is to say, he is failing. This is the tacit admission of Trump’s own allies. But this admission of failure is packaged in a fictional explanation: That Trump is failing because GOP leaders (or the “Republican establishment,” as Stephen K. Bannon puts it) want his agenda to fail.

But what has really happened is not that congressional Republicans have sold out on some supposed Trump agenda that is different from theirs. Rather, Trump and Republicans have jointly failed to deliver on the agenda that they agree upon. . .

The fact that Trump and Republicans continue to believe a large chunk of the country (the GOP base) must be lied to relentlessly and at all costs is dispiriting on its own. But it makes progress harder in other ways. Trump and Republicans continue to tell the lie that Obamacare has collapsed, which makes it harder to reach a bipartisan deal to shore up the exchanges, since that would require admitting that the law is not doomed to failure. Trump and Republicans continue to push the fiction that we desperately need a costly wall on the southern border, which makes it harder to reach a reasonable settlement on the 'dreamers,' since the base now will not countenance a deal in which Trump 'loses' on the wall. Trump and his allies continue to insist that the Russia probes are hoaxes designed to destroy our persecuted president, which makes it harder to have a sane discussion about how to prevent sabotage of future elections.

How we get out of this cycle is anybody’s guess, since it is clear that Trump and Republicans don’t view it as an option to just stop lying so damn much."

Read the Washington Post, Trump is failing, and the White House is covering it up with lies.

Read also Trump's Big CON: Trapped by Lies.