Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Another Day, Another Unprecedented Donald Trump Disaster; Pathetic GOP Establishment Remains Paralyzed Between Crazy Republican Base Rock & Oligarchical Overclass Hard Place

**This entry was posted on May 16th, 2017.**

... This one sounds on the face of it a real doozy.

Here is the Washington Post article in question (link embedded):

As of 3AM this morning, it has approx. 21,100 comments ...

Of course, as Jonathan Chait notes in this piece from earlier this evening (and I've posted only the text -- not any embedded links):

One of the oddities of the moment is that Republican officials who work closely with Trump almost uniformly regard him as wildly unfit for office. Trump's gross unsuitability for office is the subtext of the constant stream of leaks that have emanated from his administration (and, before that, his campaign.) James Comey told associates he found the president "outside the realm of normal," even "crazy," reported the New York Times recently. A Republican close to the White House told the Washington Post Trump is "in the grip of some kind of paranoid delusion."

And yet, outside the inner circle of Republicans with access to the commander-in-chief, Trump's popularity remains respectable, even solid. The conservative base is largely unaware of the constant revelations of Trump's gross incompetence, or has been trained to ignore them as propaganda emanating from the administration’s enemies in the deep state or the liberal media. In red America, Trump remains a hero at best, and a competent, normal president at worst.

On this point, the for-profit Fox News / talk radio infotainment complex is an epistemologically closed bubble -- as closed as any Marxist-Leninist party theory nonsense back in the early-to-mid 20th Century.

This recent TIME magazine cover from last month (see image at left) basically sums it up.

And due to the gerrymandered House and far more "efficient" distribution of Republican voters versus Democratic ones -- plus the structural advantage inherent in the Senate for GOP states -- the situation cannot change unless and until the Congressional districts are changed (after the next Census -- assuming that thing comes to pass as planned, and it is already shaping up to be a total shit-show).

And so, at the moment, Congress remains in the hands of a party that conceives of its role as Trump's junior partner. His erratic behavior is disconcerting to them, but their pain is mostly private, and mostly confined to the risks it implies to their domestic agenda. The system is designed so that the only remedy for a president who cannot faithfully act in the public interest is impeachment. For the moment, that course of action -- the only one that can save the country from the dire risk of its man-child president -- is unfathomable to the Republicans who have a hammerlock on government.

This latter point that Chait makes is extremely salient: The Republican Senate and House leadership will do nothing to stop Trump because on the one hand, it has to worry about the Trump-worshiping GOP base and the Fox News / talk radio "primary" that holds the party hostage; on the other hand, the leadership itself consists of amoral jackals (e.g., Mitch McConnell), bug-eyed Ayn Rand zealots (e.g., Paul Ryan) who believe in the inverted Marxist tenets of the GOP, and no end of grifters, charlatans, and hucksters.

FiveThirtyEight aggregate approval / disapproval trend for Trump through day 116 / May 15, 2017.


For these reasons, nothing can happen that will result in Trump's removal until the current political configuration changes, which probably means after the 2018 midterms -- and, as Ross Douthat concisely explains here -- far more likely, 2020 and the next actual election.

It is worth pointing out, though, that some of these leaks / revelations such as the one in the above story are coming, in part, from the Deep State, which is pushing back hard against Trump's outlandish behavior. I never thought that the Deep State would be on the same political side as me -- but that's how these things go.

We crossed over on January 20th, 2017.


OK, that's all for now.

To be clear, this was NOT my intended entry. That entry is under composition but I just ran out of time at this late hour to complete it and plan to do so tomorrow. However, I felt it important to note this.


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