History Won’t be Kind
We are in the midst of a Constitutional Crisis. One brought by hubris, and denial. The President of the United States is not well, we hear. It is quite obvious unless you have been hiding under a rock, or you are a Trump partisan. However, this is part of the problem. We have come to this moment due to the hubris of the inside-the-beltway political class.
Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff is but the latest clarion. Yes, the book has errors. It should not have them, but it does. Part of it is because Wolff used an older school of reporting that brought the meat industry in Chicago down in the 1920s. Wolff is not unique in his journalistic style. He is a muckraker, pure and simple. Muckrakers reported on ambiance, not necessarily strict adherence to detail. There are precious few hard quotes in the book, for example. That is what shoe leather reporters do, not muckrakers.
Yet, this book is yet another sign of a crisis, one that we refuse to acknowledge as we snipe at each other from our respective silos. Democrats have yet to understand why they lost to the worst candidate ever. And if you are to believe Wikileaks, they intended to elevate him, using the Pied Piper strategy.
This matters, Donald J Trump, according to Wolff, did not want to actually win. Full disclosure, we had long hours of discussions at home. Does he want to win, or is this the ultimate marketing scheme? My husband and I concluded long before the vote was tallied that his run was marketing. I’m not sure if confirmation makes me happy, or not. We also knew he was going to win, as early as February of 2016.
Republicans are proving to be as craven as Democrats. They know they have the ideal president in the White House. All they need to do is pass bills, tell him how great he is, and point to the dotted line. He will sign anything that they put in front of him. This conforms to what Republicans in Congress think is the ideal president. Balance of power, judgement, knowledge of policy, it is not needed. Let the peasants think that Trump has been the worst ever, while they get as many of their policies signed into law as possible.
They may finally achieve the successful repeal of the New Deal. They have pursued this goal for 70 years. Trump is their key to do it. Social Security and Medicare will be gone, in an age of dangerous inequality. They may even give him his wall. Keep him happy, and anyway, quite a bit of the Republican base, and the Freedom Caucus, are racists. So why not?
While they burn all down, the crisis grows. Trump has access to nuclear weapons. If he gives the order, some will launch. How many is a good question, why we have far more than we need to destroy the planet a few times.
The U.S. in the World
At the end of World War II we built the world order. It was our creation and the United States has greatly benefited from this. We became a world power in its shadow, and dictated terms to the rest of the world. We benefited from it by 70 years of peace. Yes, there were brush wars, and proxy wars, but nothing like world wars. This mattered, the US emerged from the war with an intact industry, and the ability to push her will in international institutions. This president is willing to blow all that away.
The conspiracies of black helicopters and United Nations control have become pervasive. It is something that many in his base believe. What matters is that this president believes it. He knows that the rest of the world has taken advantage of the United States and we are going to teach them now, by becoming insular. We are going to close our doors to the rest of the world. We are going to stop foreign aid, and save lots of money. It is something to behold. A president who does not comprehend the concept of soft power. Nor does he understand that if you fail to use soft power, the other option is war. While the last 70 years have not seen the level of destruction of a World War, wars have still been costly.
So now we have government by conspiracy and foreign policy by fantasy.
The Beltway political elite is responsible for this. Democrats. facilitated his rise to power by guile, ignorance and fixed primaries. In many ways, they were not unlike the Social Democrats who preceded the rise of Adolph Hitler. Republicans are no less guilty, since they have ignored all in the name of politics.
They thought they could control him.
History, if we have any, will name people like Devin Nunez as craven fools. He is the Chairman of the House Intel Committee that is running interference for Trump. In truth, Nancy Pelosi will be as guilty, even if for different reasons. She has been the most ineffective leader I have seen. After 2016, she should have surrendered her post as Democratic Leader. to the younger generation. She was challenged, but older Democrats are incapable of letting the younger generation take over. They are afraid that the rising generation is to the left of them. It is not difficult. The current Democratic Party is a center right, business friendly, party. The younger generation, calling themselves progressives, want friendly policies to the people. This is against the vein of what the party of Bill Clinton has worked for. Ergo, they are incapable of giving up power. They are drunk with it.
Republican John Boehner saw this and left, at the height of his career. He knows that he left in time. He should escape the worst of the scorn from historians. The current political class will not.
Will Republicans turn on Trump? Possibly, but only after the midterms. And it depends on how bad of a blowout they face. The Democrats are in place to retake one of the Houses, maybe both. It is not because they are offering a true alternative to Trumpism. I have yet to figure out what they are running for, openly that is.
If both houses are lost, then Republicans will pretend it is Democrats who are persecuting the President. We also need to remember the Democrats ran to impeach George W Bush, and once in power, it was taken off the table. The person who did that was Nancy Pelosi.
If by some miracle Republicans keep both houses, expect them to continue to protect Trump. He will sign any bill presented to him. He wants a win on his belt, and he reads nothing, Wolff also raises the question of his ability to read. Is Trump functionally illiterate?
If one House stays in Republican control, especially the lower chamber, expect even more dysfunction.