By Tom Cushing
Beware Shiny ObjectsUploaded: Feb 9, 2017
“EVery time I think I’m Out … they drag me back In.”
Blogger’s note: So, I'm back for a time. I’ve not been certain I can commit to the regular schedule of the first 300 or so of these epistles. Pretty desperate times in our beloved country; scarce hours need to be invested where they may do some good. But it’s just such a target-rich environment, maybe I can do both.
‘They’, of course are the Trumpistas – an amateur troupe that has provided more than its share of spills and chills over its first fortnight. The incidents are so frequent, and many are so petty, that they strain the news cycle – remember inaugural size matters, or even ‘alternative facts?’ Those were the days, eh?
Today, all we had to deal with was a clumsy disparagement of the judiciary that would grade-out below C-level work in middle school civics, coupled with the midnight muzzling of a US Senator, as she read a letter on the floor from a civil rights icon. Strange days, indeed. In a saner era, the latter move would be correctly labeled a blatantly unconstitutional censoring of political speech, by the majority party, of a minority viewpoint, in a very citadel of democracy. Or it least it was such a fortress – stay tuned.
I believe the web might call it a continuing ‘Epic Flail.’ In the big picture, all this churning hasn’t accounted for much, but the manic and apparently chaotic pace itself has to raise concern. I have come to wonder whether there’s real method in this madness: the new guy's public bluster keeps the Regular Folks who elected him entertained and his critics in the streets, for now.
Meanwhile, he stocks his cabinet and the Court with denizens of the Masters of the Universe wing of the GOP (Exxon, Goldman Sachs(!)), -- who are more quietly preparing to promote the interests of their ilk -- the few, obscenely wealthy top-enders (who are not Regular Folks – The Rich are different). Is this how he intends to serve his two, very different masters?
It's also a kind of a rope-a-dope strategy to keep the press occupied and the general public outraged by the tawdry spectacle -- punching themselves into exhaustion in these early rounds like George Foreman in the jungle, on those easy targets like Betsy DeVos or the Bowling Green Massacre. Then the real dirty deeds are done – if not behind the scenes, at least while attention is diverted elsewhere. I mean – who can get excited about the roll-back of Dodd Frank protections against Big Bank excesses (yawn!), when he picks a fight with Australia?
Maybe I’m wrong. There’s also a theory that he’s a pawn in an internal power struggle ‘twixt the Bannon bomb throwers and the more proper Preibites. Witness the contrast between the immigration Order idiocy (process And substance) and the relatively professional roll-out of the relatively professional Gorsuch nomination.
I hope it’s the latter. Until we know more, best to settle-in for a long fight – and beware those shiny objects, dangled to divert.