Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Damage Already Done, Post-Election Issue

If anybody thought that somehow Trump would improve with the demands of the office, that the requirements and qualifications needed to sit in key Cabinet posts would force Trump to select respectable and effective candidates for those posts, that somehow the debacle of having 60 million Americans vote for an openly known con artist can't get any worse...

Yeah. It's getting worse (via Jamelle Bouie at Slate):

Throughout his campaign, Donald Trump said he would hire “the best people” to staff his administration. If “best people” means experienced politicians, dedicated experts, or even skilled businesspeople, then he’s stretching the truth. Few people with those qualifications are on board for an appointment to the Trump White House. But if “best people” means the hangers-on of the Trump campaign—the white nationalists, petty authoritarians, and conspiracy-mongers—then we’re on target...
...Thus far, to staff his administration, Trump has chosen a white nationalist provocateur; an anti-Muslim conspiracy-monger; and an apologist for a regressive, anti-black politics (and this is before we get to potential appointee Rudy Giuliani, who embodies many of Flynn’s and Sessions’ worst qualities). These are “the worst people,” yes. But they also represent a coherent ideology and perspective: white nationalism.
The thread that ties Bannon’s alt-right advocacy to Flynn’s clash-of-civilizations worldview to Sessions’ skeptical eye toward civil rights enforcement is a belief in the political and cultural dominance of white Americans. Their America isn’t a tapestry or a melting pot; it is simply white. Judging from the presence of men such as Bannon and Sessions, we should expect a Trump administration to roll back any progress this country has made toward inclusion and participation. We should also expect it to empower states to pursue discriminatory policy on voting, to empower local police departments to operate with impunity against communities of color, and to empower those who see Muslims—citizens or otherwise—as threats to contain or eliminate.
As we step into this world—as we enter the age of kakistocracy (note: yeah, someone must have showed him that word too)—we should remember one thing. This isn’t a departure from Trump’s populism. It’s the foundation of it. This is what Trump campaigned on. It’s what he promised. And millions of Americans either wanted it or were willing to look past it. For the targets and victims of Trump’s administration, there’s not much of a difference there...

We're basically going to get a rehash of the George W. Bush years... only worse because Trump is bringing in honest-to-God haters to fill the positions most likely to inflict direct pain on minorities, women, and non-Christian faithful. This is not "The Best and the Brightest", folks. This is not a question of professional expertise. This doesn't have anything to do with "economic anxiety" or the problem of White workers wanting their manufacturing and construction jobs back. This has everything to do with White resentment and outright vindictiveness towards those Not of THEIR Tribe.

And we're getting all of this because the Republicans never owned up to how f-cked the Dubya tenure was. And I'm not the only one saying this (via Sophia McClennen at

Let’s start with the obvious — there is no reason why Trump needs to stay in the White House or do much, if any, of the job. He can take a play right out of George W.’s book and go on endless vacation while outsourcing the job. Don’t forget that during his eight-year presidency, Bush took 879 days of vacation, including 77 trips to his Texas ranch.
And before you celebrate the idea of the orange-faced goon staying away from Washington, remember who Bush left behind to do the work. As Trump assembles his transition team and floats ideas for cabinet members, there is an uncanny resemblance to the Bush administration. Many think that it was the absolutely horrific team that Bush assembled that fueled the disaster of his presidency. Trump shows sign of doing him one better...
...If you really want to feel sick, recall that Bush campaigned as a centrist and was considered a very similar candidate to John Kasich when they were both in the 1999 primaries. Bush campaigned on bringing “integrity and honor” back into the White House. Compare that to Trump, who campaigned on banning Muslim immigrants, building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, and repealing Roe v. Wade. On Bush’s second day in office he reinstated a policy that required any non-governmental organization receiving U.S. government funding to refrain from performing or promoting abortion services in other countries. On Trump’s second day in office he could well nominate a Supreme Court Justice.
There is really no end to the various ways we can look at all that was bad under Bush and imagine how it can be worse with Trump. The Bush administration decimated our founding values, led us into permanent war, destabilized global politics, destroyed our economy and divided our nation. And Bush looks “low energy” when compared to what Trump can do...

It's as though a third of the nation - and nearly every person in the Beltway Media Elite Bubble of Self-Preservation - completely forgot what the hell happened between 2001 to 2008. Especially the years between 2003 and 2006 when the Republicans - with Bush the Lesser in the White House and the GOP in full control of both houses of Congress - were in charge and pretty much generated the Great Recession through mismanagement, obsessions with tax cuts and expensive wars, and mass deregulation that helped the banks destroy the global economy.

And now we're about to get the same shit from 2003 through 2006, with the notable inclusion of our leadership in Trump and his cohorts being goddamn racist sexist assholes. Pardon my Klingon.

This train wreck is unavoidable. And sixty million Americans are the ones who bought the tickets to ride for everyone else to scream in terror as our nation goes off the rails. Again.

1 comment:

dinthebeast said...

Remember "ownership society"? The propaganda that W tried to use to hide the housing bubble that crashed the economy when it burst? How many trillions of dollars of wealth and savings from homeowners went up in that cloud of smoke? Remember the undertones of "privatization" that went along with it? Privatization meaning the selling of public assets to private individuals and corporations for pennies on the dollar (to avoid taxing us to pay for their upkeep) and then allowing said individuals or corporations to keep the proceeds of any revenue streams (say, rents, fees, or tolls) for ever.
Well that push for privatization is back, baby! The "infrastructure plan" being floated by the Trump administration is a gigantic, privately financed (but not really because a huge percentage of the cost will be "offset" by tax credits) giveaway of the very infrastructure it purports to be fixing, to corporations wealthy enough to be able to raise the initial cost of the projects.

So the kakistocracy seems to be constructing itself out of good old Russian-style kleptocracy.

-Doug in Oakland