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Politics, Trump Week in Review

WEEK #89 OF THE TRUMP ERA IN REVIEW, FRIDAY, 9/21/18 TO THURSDAY, 9/27/18

Roller coasters are fun they said. It will be thrilling, they said, it will send a message that we’re tired of those tame rides that just spin in smooth circles. He doesn’t talk like a politician, they said, he’s not like other people they said…

Yeah, we get that. What they didn’t say is that this roller coaster is falling apart, the brakes are shot, it’s picking up speed and the power switch is stuck in the “On” position. And yeah, Trump doesn’t talk like other politicians. Or like any other grownup, and he sure as hell is as different from other people as a rabid hyena is from a bunny, and he also turned out to be the craziest drama queen since Gloria Swanson demanded her closeup from Cecil B. DeMille while the cops fished William Holden’s lifeless body from her swimming pool.

To put it another way, Week #89 is kind of like your crazy Cousin Daryl who got dropped on his head a few times as a youngster (and there’s no one name Daryl who isn’t a little off), and you know he’s going to say stupid, crazy and mean things all day long, that’s pretty much all he ever does, but then he ratchets up the crazy a whole bunch of notches one day and Uncle Mike and Aunt Karen are forced to have Daryl pumped full of Thorazine and carted off on a gurney by the Men in The White Coats to some restful “Retirement Villa” in a peaceful valley, someplace far from the stress of the big city.

Weird thing is, though, crazy Cousin Daryl is now somehow in charge of everything there is to be in charge of, and Mike Pence and the spineless Republican Congress won’t administer the Thorazine of the 25th Amendment and we wind up with Daryl bellowing his gibberish in front of the assembled leaders of the world while they double over with laughter.

Week #89 dawned quietly enough on Friday (by today’s frenetic standards, anyway) when he was simply Trump being Trump; abandoning his brief experiment with civility by attacking the victim of a sexual assault due to testify before the Senate, then sulkily backing down on his threat to release secret FISA Court documents that could have gotten Americans killed. You know, the regular Trump lunacy that passes as president stuff these days.

We’ve already normalized the President of the United States compromising open criminal investigations and poisoning jury pools, slandering countless people, locking up children, his attempts to use the Justice Department as his personal gavel, and the fact that he is being investigated for Obstruction of Justice for things he’s done as president, so why complain about one more attack on one more vulnerable woman by the most powerful man on the planet?

Then the drama with Rod Rosenstein started and got out of hand immediately, if not sooner. When the Deputy Attorney General and Robert Mueller’s boss, who gets to know everything the Russia investigation knows, that Rod Rosenstein, was summoned to the White House, it was assumed it was for the purpose of (A) tendering his resignation, or (B) getting fired by Trump after months of aggressive hostility and threats directed at Rosenstein by Trump. The whole country was up in arms over the possibility that Trump was going to blow the Special Counsel’s investigation out of the water before he gets to report its findings. 

Turns out it was (C), a regularly scheduled White House meeting of senior government officials, but Trump fueled the uproar by saying he would meet face-to-face with Rosenstein on Thursday, meaning Rosenstein would still have his job, since Trump doesn’t have the onions to fire anybody in person.

Saturday he voiced this insane regret, “If I did one mistake with Comey, I should have fired him before I got here. I should have fired him the day I won the primaries.” You know, when some other guy was president. Then Trump complained about a “lingering stench” in the FBI, one of the most respected law enforcement agencies on Earth.

Turns out Trump was only warning up the craycray for Monday, when he would make his triumphant return to his hometown to address the United Nations General Assembly in New York City as the boss of all bosses, king of the hill, top of the heap.

Or something like that. Kinda didn’t work out that way.

As most of us already know, the United Nations General Assembly is an auditorium filled with the most brilliant people on Earth, the assembled leaders and representatives of every nation on Earth as well as distinguished laureates from every area of human endeavor. Pretty much the exact opposite of Trump’s target audience. 

No one expected eloquence or statesmanship, only hoped against hope to avoid another international humiliation. And… nope! Trump wasn’t having any of that statesman crap and brought along his message of America First and Fuck You Anyway to the world stage. Everyone knew this going in and expectations were low.

And then in one stunning moment, Donald Trump united the entire world. United them in raucous laughter directed at him, bit still…

Trump’s opening remarks included highlights of his standard political rally material, outlandish personal boasts like declaring that he had “accomplished more in less than 2 years that almost any other administration in this country’s history,” and the place exploded in laughter. Trump didn’t need a UN interpreter to get the message, but just in case he didn’t, 60 people walked out during the rest of his jingoistic, anti-UN speech.

He praised dictators, belittled allies, and threatened to use foreign aid to enforce America’s will, completely abandoning humanitarian and human rights concerns.

General Assembly Week was all Trump all the time, with UN Ambassador Niki Haley shunted aside after stating that women accusing men of sexual assault deserve to be heard, or course referencing Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court Nomination Hearing (Et tu, Niki?), the 3-ring circus waiting for Trump back in Washington.

The day after his disastrous speech to the General Assembly, it was America’s turn to chair the UN Security Council, an opportunity for an American President to advance the cause of peace, cooperation and understanding between rival nations and to propose possible solutions to the common challenges facing all nations.

But that guy’s not President anymore, Trump is, and he went there again with China, accusing the Chinese government of attempting to hack the upcoming Midterm elections in America, to which the Chinese leaders shrugged and rolled their eyes (Still no word on the investigation into that 400 pound guy in New Jersey hacking elections from his bed, and Chris Christie’s office wasn’t returning calls). Trump’s handlers began chewing their ties when he went off on another tangent with his campaign shtick about “winning on trade” and “winning in everything,” “Make The World Great Again,” in essence saying “UN: You’re not the boss of me!”

In the middle of all his hyperactive antics at the UN, Trump found the time to give only the 4th live press conference of his presidency, at the Lotte Palace Hotel in East Midtown, New York City. On the podium behind him were a dozen American flags, so you know it must be an important message about the world affairs discussed at the UN Summit, and the ramifications of these new developments for American citizens.

Gotchya! Already told you, that guy’s not president anymore! Trump was so done with all that diplomatic mumbo-jumbo, he wouldn’t waste his 4th press conference on such brain-busting crap when there’s dirt to dish out enemies to bash! This was a good old fashioned trashing of the new women coming forward to accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of various acts of sexual abuse.

About one woman be said “I don’t know her, but her lawyer is a lowlife.” How the President gets to be so well acquainted with so many lowlifes is another story. Actually, a whole lot of other stories, most of them ending in guilty verdicts and plea deals.

Trump also accused the Democrats of “running a con game on Kavanaugh” and yes, the irony of Trump making that accusation was completely lost on him. He just kept digging himself a hole, saying no one remembers 35 years ago, the women are being put up to it, it’s all he-said she-said, I believe Kavanaugh, the media is lying again, all of them this time, blame the Crooked Democrats, etc, etc.

Trump then defended his reflexive defense of Kavanaugh and others accused of sexual improprieties because “I can relate to ‘evil people’ making sexual accusations.” (no shit, like 20 ‘evil people’ in Trump’s case). But by far the most bizarre part was Trump saying (!!!) “George Washington had a coupe of things in his past…” sending historians scrambling to discover evidence that the Father of Our County grabbed pussy in high school and banged a porn star while Martha nursed their newborn.

And thus was the scene and the mood set for Thursday’s explosive and riveting Senate testimony, as bizarre and bitterly contentious a Senate Confirmation Hearing as has ever been conducted in the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body. The deck was stacked in Kavanough’s favor by the slim Republican majority, and his accuser Dr. Ford’s appearance seen as no more than paying lip service to the #Time’s Up and #Me Too Movements. 

Then Doctor Ford was sworn in, with her female James Stewart quirky appeal, sort of like “Mrs. Smith Goes on Washington,” an ordinary Everywoman caught up in a storm not of her own making, but standing up for what is right and refusing to be backed down by the scowly and jowly old white guys harrumphing their way through the motions. We’ve all seen that movie before.

Doctor Ford was genuine and human, a gentle professor of Psychology whose life has been completely upended by this Washington circus, a woman often confused and daunted by the political machine lined up to make her life miserable for the crime of doing what she knows is right (Jimmy Stewart was the good guy in those movies, remember?), requiring her and her family to move from their home and to hire private security because of constant harassment and death threats. Some clever plot she had, eh? She endured and persevered magnificently, and stuck to her guns under the sharp questions of openly hostile Republican Senators and a hired gun woman prosecutor from Arizona specializing in rape, taking turns grilling the victim like she was the one who assaulted someone. None of the Inquisitors could get her to budge.

Then it was Kavanaugh’s turn and he immediately went all “Captain Queeg and the Strawberries” scary with everybody, echoing Trump’s accusation against the Democrats of conducting “a conspiracy to destroy me,” to “get revenge on the Clintons,” and calling their performance at the hearings “an embarrassment to America.” In short, he cried, he denied, he was snide and he lied. The Republican Senators took turns licking his boots and giving him a forum to speak almost nonstop, a strategy that backfired badly as the afternoon became evening and Captain Queeg could not stop jabbering about the strawberries. 

And so the Week #89 ends in another patented Trump Era Reality TV Cliffhanger: Will the Senate vote to confirm Randy Fratboy on Friday or turn him down? Will they put off the vote until next week? Will the other witnesses be allowed to testify? Will Trump shut his big yap about an already divisive and sensitive legal proceeding? (okay that last one’s a definite no) What happened at the Rosenstein meeting? Will somebody call the FBI already? They all claim to have the right to do so. They’re listed you know.

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