December 21st 2018
Even by the vicious, arbitrary, capricious and sometimes insane standards of the Trump administration, the past 48 hours were beyond belief.
First, there was the Michael Flynn sentencing. Judge Emmett Sullivan was expected to give the seditious and disgraced General a slap on the wrist as a result of supposedly very valuable evidence provided to the special council’s office in relation to Trump and Russia. But Flynn, whose common sense is the equal of his sense of loyalty to his country, ran his mouth to the press, whining that the FBI fooled him into thinking it was OK to lie to them because he thought the 11 separate interviews they hauled him in for were just friendly chats. Koffee Klatches. They talked about the latest Vogue magazine, you know. Just more proof the FBI was evil. Sullivan’s patience snapped, and he let Flynn know just how big a pile of human shit he really is, delayed sentencing, and let it be known if he spread any more right wing bullshit, he would be treated as a near-traitor.
That happened just a day after California Congresswoman Jackie Spier penned an op-ed for the San Francisco Chronicle titled, “Did Putin Buy Donald Trump?” She didn’t actually use either the word “traitor” or “kompromat,” but the concepts were definitely intrinsic to her narrative.
So now even the mainstream press is starting to use the word “treason” in relation to Trump. It’s about time.
Trump made Spier’s case for her by suddenly and unilaterally announcing that all troops would be pulled out of Syria, a sudden action that betrayed the Kurds (again) and no doubt delighted Putin. Make no mistake: I’ve argued for pulling troops out of Syria right along, but I don’t for an instant believe that Trump went about it the way he did because he gave a shit about the troops, let alone the Syrians who are dying by the thousands. He did it because Putin wanted him to. And time is running out for him to do stuff like that.
This in turn caused Jim Mattis to quit in disgust. No flowery language about it being an honor and privilege to serve Trump; just a letter that boiled down to, “I can’t help you, get yourself a defense secretary who will do your bidding.” I used to joke about how it came to be that the only adult in the Trump administration, the sane thoughtful one, was known as “Mad Dog” but that Mad Dog might be one of the very few to leave that benighted administration with his reputation as an adult and an American still intact.
It is scary to contemplate Trump’s foreign policy now that his only remaining advisor is John Bolton.
Then Trump blew up the Continuing Resolution. This was a kick-the-can-down-the-road measure to keep the government running while the ludicrous impasse over the Wall continued. Nothing too unusual there: it’s been pretty much what passes for Republican governance since 1993. They love America but hate the United States, and don’t want to pay for anything other than a big military and an economy that consists mostly in the form of raping the workers. So they’ve been running government by extortion, whittling down any stake Americans might have in their own country.
Trump, apparently upset that such intellectual luminaries as Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh no longer loved him, changed his mind after most of Congress had left for their indeterminable vacations, so the government will have a partial shutdown at least until January 10th. It will cost billions, and Trump should reflect on the fact that the Secret Service agents following him won’t be getting paychecks for Christmas.
Even the most stupid mob boss knows you gotta pay your muscle. But then, Trump is extraordinarily stupid.
The stock market is showing signs of a possible crash, having lost 4,000 points this past month. Investors are no longer confident we will survive Trump. That’s not a very comfortable thought.
Then there is the Whitaker thing. The swindler-turned-top-cop had a Department of Justice board of unknown parties say he was not required to recuse himself in the Mueller investigation, then they put out another statement an hour later saying he was supposed to recuse himself, and then an hour after that Whitaker said he was going to disregard the advice to recuse himself.
Kremlin watchers thought as of yesterday that Rosenstein was still overseeing the investigation, since Whitaker didn’t want to go to jail for obstruction, but was acting on the QT since if he did recuse himself, he would get the Jeff Sessions treatment. Now nobody knows that the hell is going on. In some ways, that’s the most terrifying development of all, since it smells like Trump is preparing to purge Mueller’s ass.
Finally, there was the Trump Foundation. A judge shut it down, effectively labeling it a criminal enterprise. I had to shake my head at the wonder of it all. Remember all those Republicans who prattled on endlessly about the Clinton Foundation because it took money (legally) from foreign concerns. For all the huffing, they couldn’t find any quid pro quo, unless you count the ridiculous conspiracy theory about the Canadian government selling uranium to Russia. (Would Trump hesitate to give Russia uranium if Putin asked him for it?). Are they apoplectic in rage over the open criminality of the Trump Foundation?
Hmm. Apparently not. Like cheating on wives or banging porn stars or blowing up the deficit or bombing kids in other countries, or screwing kids domestically, it’s only bad if Democrats are accused of it.
The people who worked directly for Trump aren’t the only ones who trashed their reputations; any Republican who whined endlessly about the Clinton/Obama “scandals” and is silent now can expect decades to pass before anyone wants to hear their thoughts on much of anything again.
Meanwhile, the country is now in deep crisis, and when Congress returns, it may have to put aside the budget and the wall and all that, and drive Trump from office.
It’s him or us.