With the cascade of stupid, immoral, illegal, subversive, un-American, and possibly treasonous things emitted by der Sturmtrumper, his pet Congress, his supporters, and his administration reaching levels that make it nearly impossible for any sane person to keep up with, I’ve started just keeping a running list of observations on the matter. Every time the list reaches critical mass, I suppose I’ll post it and start a new one. Can’t hurt; might help. Here’s the most recent list:
1. Anyone who doesn’t actually know what country he has just ordered bombed should not be allowed to order countries to be bombed. This goes double if chocolate cake is mentioned anywhere in the reveal.
2. Way down in Alabama (“Boldly striding forward into the 13th century!”) the GOP has apparently voted to allow churches to create their own police forces, complete with all of the statutory enforcement power of the Actual Police. Leaving aside the obvious problems with this as far as the separation of church and state are concerned – the GOP has made it fairly clear that they support theocracy for white evangelical Protestants, and the Constitution and the Founders be damned – there is also the question of what, precisely, a modern nation state is. One of the quintessential features of a modern nation state is that it reserves both institutional violence (military and police forces) and justice (police and courts) to the central government rather than parsing them out to private militias or vigilantes. It is one thing to have a private security firm to patrol and turn over alleged violators to the state for action. It is quite another to allow privilege – “private law” – in its rawest form to be given to non-state actors. It is also of a piece with the GOP’s continued refusal to address, let alone solve, the irresponsible proliferation of high-powered weaponry in this country, of course, so perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised at this usurpation. It’s not a good sign for the future of the republic, though.
3. Apparently der Sturmtrumper is so desperate to distract the nation from the ever-tightening noose of his Russian collusion that he is seriously working to get us into a war in Korea. Because that went so well the first time, even before the North Koreans acquired nuclear weapons. There must be a whole lot of meat in that Russian thing for him to go to these lengths.
4. If you tell me you are a Christian and then tell me you voted for the GOP in any election in the last decade, I will know you for the Pharisee you are.
5. Like most thin-skinned authoritarians, der Sturmtrumper isn’t a great fan of protests. They do tend to highlight the criminal and/or merely immoral things he is up to, and that is just not good for business. Unfortunately the Founding Fathers put that right into the Constitution – a document der Sturmtrumper and his minions, lackeys, and cronies really ought to read someday – so what he is or is not a fan of is irrelevant.
6. Of course, he could just do what every other president and presidential nominee has done for decades now and release his tax returns to the general public – we are, after all, his boss – and bring that particular protest to an end. That would require transparency, however, and that’s not something that thin-skinned authoritarians are noted for either.
7. And on that note, is anyone surprised at der Sturmtrumper’s decision to withhold the visitor logs to the White House from public view? Makes you wonder who’s coming to visit, doesn’t it?
8. So according to Business Insider, this will be a year for “staggering” numbers of retail bankruptcies. And why this is considered news is an interesting question. Wal-Mart was reporting years ago that their customers were running out of money at the end of the month, and that hasn’t changed. This is what happens when you have people with a fanatically ideological commitment to supply-side economics imposing their will on a demand-side economy. The net effect of that is to take wealth out of the hands of the poor and middle class and give it to the already wealthy who, not being stupid, just hoard it since there is no point building factories or hiring people to make things that nobody can afford to buy. In other words, you get the Kansas Miracle, currently making that state an economic and societal basket case, also now in its fifth year here in Wisconsin and, despite a moderate slackening of pace during the Obama years, barreling down the national pike to your town courtesy of the GOP Congress even as I type. Say it with me, folks: supply-side economics does not work in a demand-side economy. Never has. Never will. The fact that there is an entire party dedicated to this kind of rapacious plundering of the majority and it hasn’t been lined up against a wall come the revolution is nothing short of astonishing, though probably for the best as far as peace and stability are concerned. The signal achievement of the modern American right wing has been to convince 47% of the American people that slitting their own economic throats is their patriotic duty.
9. Not surprisingly, thanks to a steady diet of these policies since 1980 – a diet only partially reversed by the Clinton Administration in the 1990s and barely slowed under Obama thanks to the rigidly partisan fanaticism of the 21st-century GOP controlling Congress for much of his administration – we are now at a level of economic inequality that we have not seen since 1929. That didn’t end well the first time. It won’t end well this time either. Remember folks – when the poor have nothing left to eat, they will eat the rich. I don’t advocate this. I merely predict it.
10. How exactly do you lose something as big as an aircraft carrier? Also, isn’t the front end of one of those things fairly easy to distinguish from the back, so you can tell which way it’s headed? This is what happens when you elect amateurs and ideologues instead of qualified people.
11. Remember when it was the North Korean leadership that was unstable, authoritarian, and a threat to world peace? Good times, man.
12. Wouldn’t it be nice if I were actually wrong about all this? That der Sturmtrumper and his minions, lackeys, and cronies were actually doing all this as a ruse to distract from their sneaky competence and how the US will see a new golden age of equality, leadership, and prosperity when all is said and done? Yeah, I’m not holding my breath either. But you have to admit it would be nice.
13. Oh, who am I kidding? When people show you who they are, you should believe them. The modern GOP has spent the last quarter century conclusively demonstrating that it is a cesspit of greed, cruelty, misogyny, hatred, rigid authoritarianism, ideological blindness, and aggressive stupidity all dressed up in expensive suits and a thick layer of blasphemy. I do miss having opponents I could disagree with and not fear for the survival of the republic.
14. Well, add South Korea to the list of allies der Sturmtrumper has managed to alienate – and you have to admit it’s pretty impressive to be at odds with both Koreas at once. That takes talent. It’s hard to be this staggeringly incompetent by random chance. At this rate we’ll be back to isolationism and reduced to a backwater in world affairs by the end of the year. This is of course about where we were in 1875, so at least it’s consistent with the GOP domestic policy agenda that way.
15. We’re now roughly at the 100-day mark in this administration, and there remain hundreds of Senate-confirmed offices left to fill. You can take this as a sign of the grotesque levels of incompetence displayed in most areas of der Sturmtrumper’s administration, or you can take it as a power grab, since those functions are increasingly being exercised by family members or directly by 45. Or both, really. Why choose?
16. Our Confederate Attorney General is apparently flummoxed at the idea that Hawaii is an actual state. How, he asks, could a judge on “an island in the Pacific” overrule der Sturmtrumper? Dude, read the Constitution, learn some post-1865 history, count the stars on the American flag that you claim to worship in your idolatrous and vapid way, count the islands that make up Hawaii while you’re at it (hint: more than one), and try not to make such an utter ass of yourself next time. Remember folks – this is the nation’s chief law enforcement officer. Read it and weep.
17. Closer to home, the Wisconsin GOP is working feverishly to make judge-purchasing legal by getting rid of a law requiring judges with obvious conflicts of interests such as, oh, being on the receiving end of massive amounts of cold hard cash from defendants, to recuse themselves from those cases. Because justice is simply another commodity for the GOP, just like health care – something the rich can buy and the poor will never have access to – and why this even surprises me beyond the sheer brazen arrogance of it I cannot tell you.
18. Canada too? My, my, but der Sturmtrumper is determined to piss off and/or piss on every single one of our allies, isn’t he? Prepare to be invaded by angry moose wielding hockey sticks, my fellow Americans. But if you think that’s laughable, just remember – the last time the US tried to invade Canada we got our ass handed to us.
19. Apparently Wisconsin’s own Senator Ron Johnson – the Dumbest Man in the Legislature now that Rick Santorum has retired – thought he could get away with an easy time in front of high school students in Madison after hiding from his constituents for the last few months. And, predictably, he got fried. They had real, substantive questions. They pressed him for answers when he tried to give them party line bullshit. And how did he respond? He lied to them, he ducked questions, and he generally acquitted himself with all of the aplomb of an airsick ferret. Score one for the youth of America.
20. Number of times President Obama went golfing in his first three months in office: 0. Number of days Obama spent at a golf course overall during his first three months in office: 0. Number of times the current occupant of the Oval Office has gone golfing in his first three months in office: 13. Number of days said occupant spent at a golf course during his first three months in office: 19. Percentage of Trump voters who think Obama spent more time at the golf course than their candidate: 53. It must be nice to live in a hermetically sealed bubble where truth is whatever is most convenient for your prejudices.
21. For comparison, Bill Clinton spent 3 days on golf courses during his first three months, while George W. Bush spent 0. Just another reminder that the current administration is Not Normal.
22. I wish we had a sane government I could ignore and then write about other things. I could use the break. And so could we all.