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Posts Tagged ‘Trump’

How Trump has Screwed Himself Since his Inauguration: May 18, 2017

May 18, 2017 21 comments

A few months ago, I wrote a brief post about how the establishment would try to depose trump via a procedural coup. While I had initially planned to write a couple more posts in that series, the speed of unfolding events made me put that series on the back-burner. Well.. in the last few days, we have seen the first serious attempts to depose Trump via some combination of investigation committee and legal maneuvers. While it is too early to say where this series of interconnected clusterfucks will lead, one thing is for sure- this won’t be the last attempt by the establishment to depose Trump via less-than-democratic tactics.

To be clear, I have never been a supporter of Trump. However, I was able to accurately predict his victories in the republican primaries and 2016 presidential election many months before both events occurred. You might also remember about a subsequent series of posts which predicted that his administration would rapidly degenerate into some combination of dysfunction and towing the establishment republican line thus slowly destroying whatever popular support he had when he was elected in early Nov 2016.

As you also know, I am of the opinion that Trump’s connection with Russia is similar to the Clinton’s connection to China or the Bush family connection to Saudi Arabia. In other words, Trump is just another corrupt transnational plutocrat who will return favors to those who have funded his business ventures.. basically garden variety legalized political corruption. It is also telling that democrats have seized on such a banal issue to go after Trump when they could have done far better by opposing his various policies from a left-wing populist angle, but that is a subject best left for a subsequent post.

Coming back to the central theme of this post, let us talk about how Trump has screwed himself since his inauguration in late Jan 2017. Some of you might think that firing Comey was his biggest mistake. Others might think that Trump using Twitter after assuming office was his biggest mistake. Well.. I think otherwise. See, the biggest and most consequential mistakes Trump has made since his inauguration have nothing to do with single issues. To put it another way, his biggest and worst mistakes are systemic in nature.

1] Trump hired many establishment republicans and #nevertrump republicans in his administration.

A large part of Trump’s current problems can be traced to his decision to fill the ranks of his administration with establishment republicans including many #nevertrump types. People like Betsy Devos, Nikki Haley, H. R. McMaster and a host of ex- GoldmanSachs types and their underlings were never going to be loyal to Trump. If anything, most of them should be expected to actively undermine his presidency. And yet he hired them.. Frankly, hiring willing democrats would have been a safer option.

2] Trump also hired people who are despised by people other than his hardcore supporters.

Hiring highly unlikable people like Jeff Sessions, David Clarke and more than a few other law-and-order types was one of the other bad hiring decisions made by his administration. While such people might play to his shrinking core constituency, they have cost a lot of support from other groups who were previously ambivalent about his administration. The reality is that many who did not vote for HRC were quite OK with democratic policies and campaign promises. In other words, hiring people who really like persecuting women, blacks and hispanics is not a good branding decision.

3] Trump has been unable to give up on the MSM.

The relationship between Trump and the MSM is usually seen as one in which both parties hate each other. However, for most of Trump’s life, that was not the case. Indeed, the MSM (in all its forms) loved to cover Trump- often in a fairly positive light until he won the republican ticket. However since the late summer of 2016, the MSM has done nothing but attack Trump- often using made up “news”. While Trump has been able to counter that by, inadvertently, embracing alternative internet based news outlets- he has never been able to give up on the MSM. Consequently he is still trying to please what he still thinks is the “respectable” MSM.

4] Trump has hitched his wagon with unpopular causes promoted by republican establishment.

Trump has wasted too much of his political capital by promoting republican attempts to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something even more shittier, if you can imagine such a thing. As many of you know, Obamacare (previously known as Romneycare) was always a pretty shitty neoliberal attempt to solidify their grip on healthcare in USA. It was, however, an improvement over whatever existed prior to its passing in 2010. Repealing Obamacare, without replacing it something superior like single payer healthcare, therefore runs the risk of pissing of a lot of Trump voters- especially the non-traditional republican types who helped him win supposedly ‘blue’ and ‘purple’ states in 2016.

5] Trump has tried to become a boiler-plate republican.

One of the major reasons behind Trump’s victory in the republican primary and presidential election was his willingness to question traditional republican establishment positions such as “free” trade agreements, overseas military engagements and social conservatism. However he has flip-flopped on all those issues since he was elected. While voters expect politicians to break most (if not all) of their campaign promises, they expect them do so after pretending to try fulfilling them. Trump has simply acted as if he never campaigned on those positions in the first place. While pulling off such a reverse can work if your political future is secure, that is not the case for Trump. He needs continued popular support if he wants to complete his 4 year term in office.

In summary, Trump has been successful at making a series of mistakes whose combination is very likely to doom his presidency. Hiring back-stabbers and wildly unpopular assholes, attempting to make nice with MSM and screwing over the voters whose support led to his victory is not helpful when you want to win against an establishment campaign to get rid of you. Then again, the ability to think strategically was never his strong point.

What do you think? Comments?

Initial Thoughts on Firing of Comey by Trump: May 9, 2017

May 9, 2017 7 comments

Many of you might by heard by now, especially in this age of Twitter and FaceBook, F.B.I. Director James Comey was fired by Trump earlier today afternoon. Predictably, many national-level politicians (both democrats and republicans) have expressed surprise over Trump firing Comey so abruptly. It is also odd, and somewhat peculiar, that Trump allegedly sent his letter of dismissal to Comey via his long-time personal bodyguard. In any case, it is easy to see this particular action by Trump and reactions to it is going to fill up the news cycle in USA for the next few days.

Having said that.. what does it all mean for the future of the Trump45’s “administration”.

Some of you might remember that a couple of months, or so, ago I had posted a short series on how things would turn out in the Trump45 “administration”. I am glad to say that a lot of what my predictions, from crippling levels of infighting and power struggles within his “administration” to missteps and reversals on key campaign promises, have come true. I also predicted that the screw-ups by Trump45 would end up making Bush43’s second term look positively rosy by comparison.

So what can we say about the somewhat unexpected firing of Comey by Trump?

Well.. for one, it looks extremely shady for Trump to fire a career guy with broad establishment credentials like Comey- especially when there is a perception that Comey was investigating Trump or people associated with him for legally dubious activities. To be clear, I am not suggesting that Comey is some paragon of humanity or decency. Indeed, there is tons of evidence that he is just another fairly racist white law enforcement guy. However, firing a guy who worked at high levels in the FBI under republican and democratic presidents for very questionable reasons and under circumstances that look rather suspicious is really bad optics.

This is doubly so given the many conflicts of interest concerning dealings by Trump’s many businesses after his election, the recent antics of his son-in-law and his family and the general stench of illegality surrounding his post-election activities. While Comey got a lot of flack from establishment democrats for briefly reopening and then closing the investigation about HRC’s emails a few days before the election, his activities can be explained away by the unusual circumstances under which those new emails were found. Also HRC made the decision to set up a private email server to handle her official state department emails on her own.

My point is that, even after the whole HRC email investigation saga, Comey still looked pretty honest and professional- especially in comparison to the people who he was investigating. And that you see is the core of the problem.. Regardless of whatever calculations made Trump (or someone in his inner circle) want to fire Comey, it is Trump who now looks guilty as hell. I would go so far as to suggest that he has now reached or exceeded the level of shadiness that people associated with post-Watergate Nixon. Needless to say, this won’t lead to a good outcome for him.

It remains to be seen how the fallout from this firing, the anti-populist healthcare bill being promoted by the republicans and reversal on pretty much every single one of his populist pre-election promises will affect the electoral fate of the republican party in the 2018 mid-term election. Or maybe we might have an ever bigger event, like his impeachment, before then. Who know? At this moment, everything is possible..

What do you think? Comments?

On the Desire of Democrats to Believe in Myth of Russian Interference

April 26, 2017 4 comments

While I would have preferred to not write about this topic, it is clear that the democratic elite and MSM are still flogging what is obviously still a very dead horse. As some of you might remember, my previous post on this topic was about how the narrative surrounding Russia hacking the 2016 election demonstrated the intellectual bankruptcy of the democratic establishment and their MSM lapdogs. At that time, I had hoped that the passage of a couple of months would lessen the desire of the democratic establishment to peddle this ridiculous narrative, especially since it was not gaining any traction among voters who were not already highly partisan democrats.

Well.. we are in late-April 2017, and the democratic establishment is still busy pushing this comical narrative, while simultaneously ignoring the many other unpopular actions taken by Trump since he assumed office on Jan 20. Consequently, the democratic establishment and party are now widely seen as an ineffectual opposition to Trump at best and an irrelevant, if entertaining, freak show at worst. It is therefore not surprising that all substantive and successful opposition to Trump’s many brain-farts have come from places other than the official opposition. For example, it was pressure from pissed-off voters rather than concerted actions by the democratic establishment which scuttled his first attempt to repeal ‘Obamacare’. Similarly, it was the judiciary rather than the democratic establishment has taken the lead in opposing Trump’s many executive orders.

Moreover, the democratic establishment has been more than eager to support Trump’s ill-advised saber-rattling against Syria, N.Korea and Iran. It is also establishment democrats who cheer the loudest when Trump breaks yet another one of his populist campaign promises. It is therefore not surprising that the democratic party brand has become less popular with voters since the election. It is also no secret that their massive and sustained loss of power at multiple levels of elected government over last 8 years has not helped the situation. You might have also noticed that the losses of 2016 and prior years have not resulted in any real change in the general direction or strategy (if they had either to begin with) of the democratic party. I should also add that the most popular politician in USA is Bernie Sanders, who still rightly calls himself an independent.

My point is the democratic establishment has more in common with a cult in terminal decline than a functional political party with a future- unless they want to be the nominal opposition in perpetuity. But what does any of this have to with the core reason behind the desire of the democratic party to continue believing in the myth of Russian interference in the 2016 election. As you will soon see.. a lot. Let us start by trying to list all the main reasons that most people give for the seeming obsession of the democratic establishment with finding some evidence, however weak and phony, to link Trump with Russia and Putin.

There are those who point out, quite correctly, that democrats obsession with finding a Russian “connection” to Trump have their roots in a modernized version of cynical red-bating such as that practiced by McCarthy in the 1950s. While that analysis is generally correct, I see it as a second order symptom of a much deeper systemic problem. Another possibility is that democrats are so desperate and short of ideas to get rid of Trump that they are literally grasping on straws and tweets of an unstable performance artist like Louise Mensch. Once again, there is a lot of truth in that view but it is at best a second order symptom rather than the root cause. Still others see the whole “Russian interference” sideshow as a way for the deep-state to control Trump, and they too have a point but not the root cause.

The root cause (in my opinion) stems from the fact that establishment democrats are still unable to understand, let alone come to terms with, the loss of HRC in the 2016 election. I am sure that, by now, some of you must have read or heard undeserved hagiographies of HRC by establishment liberals and wondered if the authors in question actually believed a single word of what they wrote or said. Here is what I think.. In most cases, all those “liberal” celebrities and intellectuals who peddled those HRC hagiographies did (and do) actually believe most of what they said or wrote. But why would that be the case? Why would supposedly smart and credentialed people be so blind to the many glaring flaws of HRC as a presidential candidate?

I think that is comes down to their professed religion aka neoliberalism. HRC was the perfect neoliberal candidate in that her public profile put a checkmark on every point in the neoliberal scoresheet. She was white, female, rich, from a well-known family, “credentialed”, had a full resume, center-right on all issues except a few social ones, fiscally conservative, hawkish on foreign policy, in favor of stealth privatizing everything, capable of endless empty platitudes. In other words, HRC was a neoliberal wet dream- even more so than Obama. Furthermore, she hired mostly ivy-league people for her campaign team, invested in big data and every other fashionable bullshit scam and presented a very “polished” and “professional” public image.

And yet she lost to a reality TV host with a bad comb who had the hots for his own daughter and a style of speaking that made more in common with pro-wrestling than “serious” politics. Her loss to Trump, you see, is totally baffling to all those who believe in the religion of neoliberalism. They are simply incapable of mentally processing the idea that there might be people who do not want to vote for this living breathing epitome of american neoliberalism. It is as if the greatest saint of their religion was defeated by an underling of the Devil before their very eyes. They are therefore doing what most people whose belief system has been thrashed and defeated do.. find a scapegoat and then blame it on the devil.

As far as establishment democrats are concerned, Bernie Sanders is the scapegoat and Putin is the Devil. Thinking in this manner is far easier than admitting that their belief system was defective and prone to failure. You might recall that in the middle-ages, Christians in Europe blamed Jews and the Devil for massive plague epidemics. Oddly enough, they were never able to come up with a convincing rational explanation for why either of the two alleged culprits might be the cause of their misfortunes. I guess it was just easier for them to think like that than consider alternate possibilities which would question their existent belief systems.

What do you think? Comments?