Saturday, July 1, 2017

getting back to ... what?

Watching the Public Broadcast System's news commentary last night, NYTimes columnist David Brooks hit a nail on the head for me as he and presenter Judy Woodruff (long may she flourish) and syndicated columnist Mark Shields struggled to digest President Donald Trump's latest dislocations of a government that rules the country.
... [T]he big question for me is, do we snapback [sic]? Do the norms that used to govern politics reestablish themselves after the Trump administration, or are we here forever?
And I hope, from the level of outrage, that we have a snap back. But the politics is broken up and down. And Trump may emerge from a reality TV world that is much more powerful than we think. And there is the prospect that this is where we are, which is an horrific thought.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Horrific thought.
MARK SHIELDS: Yes, it is that.
Trump supporters may bridle at the notion of "snapping back" or anything like it. What?! -- and go back to the same ol' same ol' of backslapping among those whose foremost concern is getting re-elected ... the same ol' kiss-ass shills who represent the best government money can buy?! We like this guy who talks straight and kicks ass.

The problem is, of course, that he doesn't talk straight. Where once he would make a wall along the Mexican border a number-one priority, there is no wall. Where once repealing Obamacare was a target in his inaugural sights, the Republicans are awash in confusion and disaagreement ... which impinges on the tax relief promised to those who are already much-relieved of taxes... the ones who have bought the best government they could.

The country is being handed over to a politburo that spends more time trying to figure out how to extol or genuflect to our venerable leader than it does getting jobs back to coal miners who are now flipping hamburgers, if that. Our decencies have become indecent: We don't play kissy-face with those who concern themselves with scientifically valid climate concerns.

And, as Brooks intimates, we may already have gone too far down the braggadocio road to ever return ... even to the sluggish swamp-riddled corruption of yore.

Indecent. Morally bereft. And if someone were to put Trump in a broom closet or simply shoot him, what martyr's huzzahs would cement his legacy? Every moment the media spends trying to explain or deconstruct the president is a moment of success ... any publicity is good publicity. And the rest of us get used to news that has no news in it ... only Donald Trump.


  1. Well, we're a nation of morons, seems appropriate.

  2. Here's my take.
    1. Trump lost the popular election. The American public was not that stupid to begin with. (If anything the Democrats were foolish for accepting Hillary Clinton as their presidential candidate. She had far too many negatives but did win the popular vote nevertheless.)
    2. Trump's polling numbers have been stuck below 50% since taking office. (This too says something for the nation not being made up of unintelligent or ignorant people.)
    3. The media is not taking a step back, from Trump's brand of crazy-politics: Tweets, venomous attack, etc. . It seems that cable news, with few exception, it is being lead by it. This is a serious but not unsurmountable problem.

    Let's look at the latest Quinnipiac poll. It is still a good, reliable poll.

    Quick take away is that 55% of the US population disapprove of Trump's job as president. 40% approve. 5% Undecided.

    The current poll goes on to report that American voters say 63 - 34 percent that President Trump is not level-headed.
    Voter opinions of most other Trump qualities are negative:
    57 - 38 percent that he is not honest;
    54 - 44 percent that he does not have good leadership skills;
    55 - 44 percent that he does not care about average Americans;
    63 - 34 percent that he is a strong person;
    58 - 39 percent that he is intelligent;
    59 - 38 percent that he does not share their values.
    Voters say 52 - 46 percent that Trump is abusing the powers of his office.

    Now if any astute observer of American politics would proceed from this information, we'd all be better off.

    As to whether politicians will follow in Trump's pattern, I'd say it's highly likely unless he really get slammed by the Russia investigation, emoluments violations, or any of his other missteps. But most people don't care for Trump style trash talk. So we'll have to see.

    It would be a relief to the country if people would put aside some local advantages and see fit to remove the Republican Majorities in the House and Senate.

    Trump's behavior is unacceptable, even setting that aside, his changes to US policy are unacceptable. I know I am not alone in this opinion.

    I also believe that Speaking Truth to Power has limited effects, we need to use the power of our majority in a three prong approch 1. to find a way to impeach him through investigation and political persuasion, 2. limit his power via the 2018 elections, and then 3, if he remains in office make sure he is out in 2020.