Friday, April 28, 2017

The Confused President

President Trump seems to me to be pretty confused about what to do as president.  He seems more symbolic than substantive as a president.  He has issued a flurry of executive orders that attack the safety of Americans – attacking environmental protections, attacking safety and worker regulations, attacking sanctuary cities, harassing and deporting immigrants (which makes the immigrant communities shrink away from law enforcement and not come forward to help fight the crime and even terrorist activities in their beleaguered societies), etc. – but I actually don’t know how effective those are, or if they are mostly photo ops on the Trump as President Reality TV show.

His attempt to gut the Affordable Care Act throws millions off of the insurance rolls – another attack on the safety of Americans, and one that hurts the poor rural Trump voters the hardest.  But, the good news is that since he never had a clue how to replace Obamacare with Trumpcare it will go nowhere.  Turns out the Republican Congress never had a clue how to replace Obamacare either, so they all just bumble around – thank goodness. 

His security team seems to be a good one, and I am grateful for that.

His Attorney General looks to me like a fanatical anti-immigrant Confedreate nut case out to harm as many non-white people as possible, but I guess that is what ultimately got Mr. Trump elected.

He actually said that trying to replace Obamacare was very complicated – “Who knew?”- Only everybody who was paying any attention eight years ago when Obamacare was being painfully cobbled together.

He actually said that being president is a lot harder than he thought it was going to be.  This, of course, confirms many of our thoughts about this shallow man – that he is a dilettante without the focus or stamina to do this job.

He is good at making headlines.  Good at keeping his hard core base in line, but they should start having “aha moments” of realization that he Is NOT one of them, he is not one of anyone, he is only for himself and his pathetically grandiose and needy ego.

I will give him credit for one thing – he allowed himself to be talked out of suspending NAFTA so as not to devastate the parts of the country that voted for him.  Apparently, there are some folks who have access to him who can present reality to him, which is very different than the alt-right grab bag of “alternative facts” that he played to during his campaign.  Makes the Alternative Facts folks pretty unhappy, I would presume.

If he ever becomes a real liability to the Republican politicians in Congress, he is toast.  He is eminently impeachable in a couple of ways – first he is in obvious violation of the Emoluments Clause of the constitution, and second, the investigations into his collusion with the hostile government of Russia in order to get elected grinds on despite his efforts to distract us all with his song and dance show.  Only the Reps can impeach him, but it is not all that unlikely given his unquestioned ability to dramatically screw things up.

Being a real president is hard work – who knew?  It’s probably time for him to pull a Palin and resign to pursue his true passion as a media star.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Is the president showing small signs of humanity?

It's hard for me to give any credit to Trump, but he actually had a pretty good week.  As much as I hate the idea of getting involved in the tar baby of Syria and the religious wars in the Middle East, his swift and punitive missile strike against a Syrian air base last week in response to Assad's horrendous gassing of his own people felt like the right thing to do.  Obama drew a line in the sand about chemical weapons and then analyzed himself out of overt action against Assad when he crossed that fundamental line that the world had decided was beyond the bounds of acceptable human behavior during a war - way back in WWI.  Assad's actions were so inhumane that Trump's daughter was able to persuade her father to do something.

I don't know if it was a smart thing to do, but how do we sit by and watch such human degradation and atrocities at the hands of Assad?  And of Isis? and of so many in the Islamic religious wars?  

I think the missile strike shocked Russia and China as well, and that might be a good thing to have them see America as an active force in the world in the role of moral leadership - moral leadership?  Trump?  A humanitarian hawk after all? This is a hard concept to grasp, but there is at least a glimmer of hope that it is true.

What I am encouraged by, in addition to his being able to have his heart touched by his daughter, is his willingness to turn to what may be the only three competent and able adults in his administration - Secretary of Defense, Mattis - Secretary of State, Tillerson - and National Security Advisor, McMaster.  It is tempting to think Trump acted on a whim, but I hope that his action was at the council and advice of these three in his foreign policy team.

Now if only he would find some humane adults to help shape his domestic policies as well.

Friday, April 7, 2017

A sad day

A sad day today - the Republicans invoked the nuclear option in the Senate in order to confirm Gorsich to the Supreme Court. Senators are falling all over themselves swearing the filibuster will never go away for legislation and that this majority rule will apply only to judges. 

Sadly, that probably will not hold true. Both parties caved to the furor of their bases when the Dems futilely filibustered Gorsich, and the Reps went nuclear. They will do the same too soon when a contentious bill comes up, and kaboom!  No more filibusters, and thus no more Senate - just a smaller version of the House where all that counts is the majority.  And both parties will devolve into being pawns of the most rabid voices of their bases. 

This means the toxic levels of polarization will just spiral down into even more disgusting separation.  Politics is disappearing and is being replaced with two worlds who cannot speak to each other due to their mutual contempt. 

A sad day for America today. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

If the filibuster is eliminated, the Senate is just another House of Representatives

The Democrats seem to be on a suicide mission - to filibuster Gorsuch for the Supreme Court.  They cannot win.  The Republicans will use the Nuclear Option and eliminate the filibuster, shame on them but they will do it.  Without the filibuster the Senate is nothing more than a smaller version of the House of Representatives - i.e. the majority party rules and the minority party might as well not show up.

It would be just another terrible tumble down the rabbit hole of extremist "politics".  Real politics is dialogue - extremist politics is dogma where there is no negotiating, listening, compromising, innovation, bi-partisanship, courtesy, cooperation, dignity, humanity - only conquest. 

I pray that the Dems pull back from their vengeance over the Reps' abuse of Obama and Garland.  The Reps won, they will fill the Scalia seat, the Dems can't stop that, but they can act like children and pull down the Senate in their pique.

I say don't do it.