As day 100 nears, I am doubting the president can maintain the “kayfabe” much longer (h/t to Nick Rogers in NYT). His affirmations are seeming half-hearted, perfunctory; the “100 percent, believe me” suddenly lacks verisimilitude. He is also slipping into the “uncanny valley,” that is, we are starting to be able to see him as the almost-but-not-quite-human he really is, and it is an awful shock. He was, for some of us, just a hideous cartoon villain; then he became, unthinkably, president–still pretty cartoonish, but sometimes seemingly capable of learning. Now, to me, his appearance is appallingly and sickeningly nearly-human, but even more truly that of a robotic puppet (whether Putin’s puppet or not, I am still not quite sure, which is part of the sickening feeling). In fairness, it must be very hard work for him, at his age, to keep pretending that he has one fig to give about policy, conservative principles, our constitutional republic, our democratic traditions, in short what actually makes us as great as we are, however great that is. The strain is showing. Our job as citizens is to stay watchful, and not let ourselves be gaslit. That, at least, seems easier than it was in January, as Trump, unwilling to discipline himself, breaks kayfabe more often. No “march for science” can really touch Trump’s appeal to his base, but if he can’t or won’t work hard enough to keep the kayfabe going, he’s most likely going down. It is up to the opposition, or resistance, or whatever you want to call it, to take advantage by showing us–especially the persuadable swing voters–the small but scary imperfections in that are making President Trump ever more repulsive.
Hey Trump, why all the farting and cursing? Why didn’t you just cut to the chase on day one? Made us wait almost 99 and one half days before you dropped the big one on Canada. I coulda told you years ago how rough they are on Americans. The least you can do, because you made us wait so long, is give your loyal base the “thumbs up, thumbs down” thrill of deciding whether to let Canada survive or not. After the bears and lions (I mean the milk inspectors and the softwood inspectors) tear them up a little, that is.
BTW do the Canadians have nukes or not? I think the French do, but not real sure. Better ask Xi Jinping for the true historical history before you make any sudden moves.
General Sessions says nobody has a sense of humor any more. Not true. Says folks oughta give him a break. Also not true. If he would lay off the sativa, which apparently riles people up, and tried some mellow indica, he might settle down and quit disrespecting places and preferences that make him say “ick.” Some of us laugh and also say “ick” the minute we see Jeff Sessions’ face, but do we make a big fuss about it and try to lock him up?
As President Trump rightly noted, “the first 100 days” is a ridiculous standard. Nobody with any sense could possibly expect somebody like Trump to measure up to FDR. I don’t feel any fake urgency for Trump to notch “successes” that might blow up my world or make my health insurance unmanageable. Stay strong, Trump, don’t let anybody gaslight you into reaching for transient “wins” that will boomerang on your sorry rump come next election day–unless you think you can suppress 24.1 million votes. So relax, you will burn in hell soon enough, don’t rush it. You did say that the only way you could ever possibly make it to heaven was to become president. What exactly is your plan now? Because you seem to have forgotten about getting into heaven. Keep your eyes on the prize, or suffer the fate of slobbering for eternity in the lowest circle. Maybe if you joined your good buddy Bill-O in Rome it would help you FOCUS.
You would think that a little dude from Baja Alabama who became Attorney General of the whole dang United States would have just a little bit of inkling that in our beautiful constitutional republic we have judicial review of executive and legislative actions. You are maybe not ready for the new world of 2017 in which some states and some federal circuit courts are more equal than others. Would federal judicial review be less surprising if it came from a big ol’ judge in Texas? Or Alaska? Would that be big enough?
Update: Not gonna give you a break, Mr. Pepe Beauregard Dingleberry Sessions. Lost my sense of humor a while back. How about you? Sativa got you all riled up, little dude? Try some mellow indica next time.
Antonio Tajani, head of the EU Parliament, said today, yes you little Englanders can turn back and we would all jump up and down with pleasure if you do turn back from leaving. Prime Minister Theresa May was quite terribly tempted to toss him in the Clink–had the Clink not been repurposed into a frou-frou hostel, so I am told. Throw ‘im into the Tower then!
Why do so many little Englanders seem to believe both 1) life stinks because we are being taken advantage of by millions of horrid unruly Europeans from places far away that we have never heard of, and also 2) we will surely be able to continue going on holiday to southern Spain and Portugal and Slovakia and the Croatian coast without any fuss or bother, but they are not going to be allowed in to take our jobs and pollute our beautiful land. Somehow it is not going to work out. Twenty-seven European countries are not about to agree unanimously to set a precedent making it painless for any one of them to opt out of the bothersome parts but keep the freebies, especially free trade and movement.
Even if plenty of the English–the Scots and Welsh are plenty pro-EU already–wake up to the need for loss aversion pronto, what and whom would they want to vote for? (This was, sadly, a big problem last fall in the US.) Jeremy Corbyn has had the luxury for decades of seeing the EU as a club for capitalists, but now it’s for real, and I have no idea what he wants to do should he find himself empowered. Maybe Nicola Sturgeon could emerge as the leader of a coalition bloc, and seize the Prime Ministership! Then we have a new script for saboteur-crushing, would we not? Prorogation could take a surprising turn; new prerogatives could emerge. There could indeed be back-turning and turning back, 500 years after Luther said that the whole life of believers should be repentance.
The U.S.S. No-Ship No-Armada may be headed toward No. Korea, or not. But our president is most definitely no-madman, he just sits on his golden chair in his no-chamber and, whenever he feels like it, wanders from no-room to no-room, presciently knowing where the no-applause is loudest. No I have never read any science fiction, this is real news.
Trump’s apparent use of “madman theory” logic to get his way (whatever that is on any given day) on healthcare probably won’t intimidate Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer. Will Trump-as-madman succeed any better on the Korean peninsula? Are we the people ready for an American president who can actually out-crazy Kim Jong-un? We elected him. We knew that no-drama-Obama was getting old. We wanted a little excitement. How much excitement? That’s what China is wondering! Their foreign minister just put our president on the same level as Kim by urging “all parties” to stop “provoking” each other. Should we blush with embarrassment? Trump, who says he comprehends very well, listened to Xi Jinping explain thousands of years of Korean history in ten minutes (or less, believe me) and now grasps very very well how to put America first by using the craziest words and threatening to use the biggest bombs. And why worry that Kim might be even more unpredictable than our president? North Korea has an excellent system of checks and balances, many people say. Their National Security Council is far more fully staffed than ours, so I hear. Their family dynasty, as Mr. Xi no doubt explained to his U.S. counterpart, is much more experienced than ours. So they will surely do the right thing. Oh right, we still have to worry about Trump–oops.
For example, let us consider the unplanned non-obsolescence of NATO. In the same breath, the president reminded us that he had said NATO was obsolete and informed us that NATO was no longer obsolete. Don’t even get me started on trying to figure out where the United States as such stands on Russia, let alone Syria, China, North Korea… I believe I grasp that the important point to remember is this: my president is the big strong man who tells me what is true and what is fake, and when he decides that there is a new, different, and probably opposite truth it is on me to avoid whiplash.
Renowned philosopher of history Donald J. Trump enunciated his cardinal principle today in a press conference with the King of Jordan. “The world is a mess; I inherited a mess.” This all-purpose hermeneutical key to interpreting Mr. Trump’s non-accountability for all subsequent events was delivered with a straight face. Yet one cannot help wonder why the man bothers to continue waking up in the morning and being president for yet another day. If all his predecessors made such a hash, missed so many opportunities, and in general FAILED, and Mr. Trump consequently cannot possibly be responsible for today’s disasters, what exactly is his job description? Breaking Update: Trump: “I do change. I am flexible… I now have responsibility…it is now my responsibility.” How about that. We should probably get ready for the Obliviate Memory Charm. P.S. Obama did also say “I inherited a mess,” but those who can recall the financial crisis of 2008 know that he did in fact inherit a big mess.
Among the many insulting labels Germans attach to the British is “island monkeys,” according to today’s London Times. Donald Trump, despite being half-German, might perhaps have in him just a touch of the island monkey . Fresh off his exuberant welcome of Egyptian tyrant al-Sisi yesterday in the Oval Office, President Donald J. “Island Monkey” Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago to jaw-jaw with Xi Jinping. Does Trump believe he needs anyone other than Jared Kushner to brief him on the issues? I don’t wish to misunderestimate Mr. Trump’s brain at all. And maybe he is listening in private to some people with actual up-to-date and historically informed knowledge of our economic and military relationship with China and East Asia. I don’t care if he doesn’t even read the one-page memos, so long as he listens and adapts. In an interview with the Financial Times published last weekend, Trump said that with respect to China, “our country hasn’t had a clue…. the past administration hasn’t had and many administrations–I don’t want to say only Obama; this has gone on for many years–they haven’t had a clue. But I do.” Hope Trump’s hubris works out better than I expect. Trump may be quite right that some previous presidents did not make the most of our leverage vis-a-vis China. But nostalgia for the glory days of America’s imperial zenith (which just happen to coincide with Trump’s own youth) is unlikely to be the winning formula for cutting great-for-America deals with China.