Euphoria

 

We live in the declining years of what is still the biggest economy in the world, where a looter elite has fastened itself upon the decaying carcass of the empire. It is intent on speedily and relentlessly extracting the maximum wealth from that carcass, impoverishing our former working middle class.” E. Callenbach, 2012

The Republicans at the moment are experiencing euphoria. They act like it: positively giddy with power. After all, they now control the House and the Senate and have a president they think they can control (!). Accordingly, they are trying to manipulate the situation in order to have Trump’s incompetent cabinet recommendations approved as quickly as possible. They also plan to jettison the Affordable Care Act — despite the fact that they have nothing whatever to replace what they derisively call “Obamacare.” In addition, of course, they plan to scuttle the E.P.A. and any other regulating agencies that stand in the way of what they regard as “progress.” And all before the electorate catches its collective breath.

Predictably, many of these actions will take more time than planned, but, however long it takes, it is virtually certain that there will be some dreadful mistakes because of the political games that are being played and the haste with which these men and women want to take advantage of their advantage, as it were. These professional politicians are astute enough — or their advisors are — to know that they will not have Trump long in the White House. He won’t be able to work with them nor they with him. He has already insisted that he will not divest his businesses. At some point they will want to remove him, one way or the other, because they see Mike Pence as someone they can work with — he’s one of them, after all, equally nutty but not some brazen, outspoken, loose cannon who is bound to get them and their country into a mess if he remains in office for very long.

The whole scenario leaves us breathless. One worries that, based on history, actions taken in haste are usually regretted at leisure. (Think: Iraq.) Once the dust has settled and the economy is in serious trouble and the planet under even more relentless attack, there will be a good deal of hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth. Many who supported this car full of clowns will have regrets and those who supported a con-artist will begin to grasp the fact that they have been duped.

Once Trump’s nominees are approved, and most, if not all, will be (predictably) the Republicans will look to Trump to return the favor — after all this is high stakes politics: you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours — and Trump will wonder what the hell they are talking about. After all, this is a man who is not used to returning the favor; he is used to having others do him favors. His is a business world where money talks and, since he has a great deal of money, people listen. He is used to being heard and having people bend to his will — from all reports. When the professional politicians he will be surrounded by in Washington come to him to demand that he now help them get what they want since they delivered to him the cluster of incompetent people he wanted to surround himself with, he will balk. Surely. And, I predict, this will be the straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back. This is when (if it doesn’t happen before) the Congress will take measures to remove Trump from office, either by resignation or impeachment.

The rest of us, of course, will be left holding the bag, as it were. We should at that point — though judging form past experience we will not — replace the entire elected body with another group that might approximate a reliable coterie of men and women who will actually represent the will of the voters and not the corporations. This is one feature of the British Parliament system the founders did not choose to incorporate into our Constitution, sadly: the ability of the government to dissolve itself due to inability to work together and initiate new elections to make possible the replacement of one set of clowns with another. The only way the voters can do this in our system is to wait for the elections to roll around, and the founders were convinced this is how it would work; but we have shown ourselves unable to do this in the past as we keep re-electing the same group of clowns. Until they step on our toes.

 

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Like Rats…

Like rats leaving a sinking ship, Republican faithful are abandoning Donald Trump in growing numbers. The latest to abandon the Trumpet, as of this writing, is Meg Whitman the billionaire C.E.O. of Hewett Packard. As she noted in switching her allegiance to Hillary Clinton:

“As a proud Republican, casting my vote for President has usually been a simple matter. This year is different,” she said in a statement released Tuesday night. “To vote Republican out of party loyalty alone would be to endorse a candidacy that I believe has exploited anger, grievance, xenophobia and racial division. Donald Trump’s demagoguery has undermined the fabric of our national character. . . .

“Trump’s reckless and uninformed positions on critical issues -– from immigration to our economy to foreign policy — have made it abundantly clear that he lacks both the policy depth and sound judgment required as President,” Whitman said. “Trump’s unsteady hand would endanger our prosperity and national security. His authoritarian character could threaten much more.”

Whitman went on to praise Clinton for her “temperament” and “global experience” that she said would make the former Secretary of State a “far better choice” for President.

Whitman thus joins such Republican luminaries as Warren Buffet, Michael Bloomberg, Mark Cuban, and Representative Richard Hanan in swimming away from what appears to be a sinking ship. My blogging buddy Keith suggests that Mike Pence might be next as he tires from trying to explain what his boss meant to say but, typically, screwed up. Can we then expect Trump himself to decide the effort is simply not worth it and throw in the towel? I suppose in this crazy election year anything is possible. I have already suggested in a prior post that he really doesn’t want the office anyway. If he does abandon ship he will make it appear to have been someone else’s fault. That much we have learned.

There are two major concerns here in this comedy of errors: to begin with, there is the real possibility that Hillary’s camp will become complacent and decide to try to jog to the finish line. That would be a serious error and I suspect that Hillary is astute enough to try to see that this does not happen. But her followers will need to be sufficiently energized to continue the race to the finish.

At the top of the list, however, is the concern over what Trump’s followers will do if and when he withdraws or (worse yet) remains in the fight and loses. That fear has already surfaced among those who know the man and who have seen the kinds to scum that crawled out from under the rocks the Donald kicked over during the past few months. This is a major concern. One “expert” predicts it will be a “bloodbath.” Certainly, there will be massive protests, some violent, one would surmise. In a word, when it’s over it may not be over.