I've been reading up on the new Chief of Staff, John Kelly. The news
is disturbing. I am disturbed by anything which threatens to right the course of an administration on the fast lane to Impeachment City.
Fresh off a stinging health-care defeat and with internal chaos embroiling the Trump administration, White House aides are signaling newfound openness to working with congressional Democrats—or, at least, to alleviating some of the toxic partisan differences that have marked their tenure.
Sources in the administration say an outreach campaign by newly minted Chief of Staff John Kelly is in the works to rebuild some bridges and, potentially, chip away at the unified Democratic opposition to President Donald Trump’s agenda. Even before he formally started the job, Kelly was reaching out to top Capitol Hill Democrats in hopes of regaining political capital ahead of what is expected to be a bruising fight over tax reform and other administration priorities.
“Tax reform is gonna be a heavy lift,” a senior White House official told The Daily Beast. “No reason to write off/alienate [Democrats] any more than we already have.”
Betcha that official is Kelly himself. God DAMN it. Trump finally did something right: He called in the Marines.
As I said in the previous post, Trump's only hope is to allow Kelly to become the de facto
President. This is not a given, since Trump is an impulsive manchild who cannot do even the ceremonial/speechmaking part of the job competently. As John Podesta
has written today:
The most difficult discipline problem for Kelly, though, will not be the staff but Trump himself. Early signs are not auspicious. The day after appointing Kelly, Trump ranted on Twitter against Senate Republicans for failure to pass their horrific health-care bill, which would have denied care to millions of Americans and raised costs for millions more. I have no doubt that Kelly, unlike Priebus, can say no to power, but whether power will listen is another matter.
The only way to make power listen to competence is for competence to threaten to walk away. This threat will be made
. Such confrontations may not become known to journalists or even to historians, but I have not doubt that, in private, dramatic moments will occur. Podesta is right: Trump needs Kelly; Kelly doesn't really need Trump.
Will Trump finally learn to squelch his petulance and egomania? Can the world's most arrogant man learn the virtue of humility? As unlikely as that outcome may seem, Trump's military school background suggests that he had a respect for rank beaten into his system.
Kurt Einchwald is in a gloomy mood.
Allow me to translate his tweets
into conventional prose:
This is why America is over. We cannot agree to governance by fiction, governance by games playing. But we are too uninformed to even know the most basic facts about the issues everyone screams about, relying on information from whatever propaganda source reinforces their belief that their said is ALWAYS right and the other side is evil. It's POLICY for god's sake. It's not about "My team won! YAY!!"
We live in a stupid country. Living, breathing proof of Dunning Kruger effect. The American era deserves to be over, and we killed it.
Until the legitimate conservatives separate themselves from the RIPOs (Republican in Psychosis Only), they will never recover credibility. People misunderstand. America is not over because of Trump. Trump is simply the symptom of America being over. We are an idiocracy.
The day boring machinations of government were first transformed into exciting TV political dramas for ratings was the beginning of America's end. For those who disagree with my pessimism: A democrat is elected with a platform you support. What will Fox News do? And half of US believe?
Long ago, when this blog was more widely read, I suggested a constitutional amendment which would solve most of our problems: We should disenfranchise everyone who does not understand the meaning of the word "disenfranchise" in this sentence.
In that previous post, I linked to a video in which a young American woman was asked (by a British interviewer) "How many sides does a triangle have?" She answered "None. No, wait. INFINITY!" Under the current system, her vote counts as much as yours or mine. Under my proposed system, she would not be able to vote at all.
You can guess how readers reacted to this suggestion. Everyone was reminded of the scurrilous tricks once used by southern states to squash what was then called "the negro vote." I understand the concern, but if this proposed amendment were administered fairly
, the people hit hardest would be conspiracy-crazed rednecks who think
that they are the hippest of the hip, even though they are the most easily-manipulated people on earth.