Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Trump does the wrong thing, again, but cleverly

     When Donald Trump does something stupid, it’s usually spontaneous, some from-the-hip salvo, an ill-considered suggestion, like his tweet Sunday musing that unless North Korea starts behaving we might have to suspend trade with China, which would gut the American economy more thoroughly than a Korean nuke to Sacramento.
     But the six-month fuse Trump lit Tuesday spiking the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival act is a sort of calculated genius. I’m not saying his executive order is the right thing to do; it isn’t. Tugging away the legal status of hundreds of thousands of young people who are trying to carry on with their daily lives is bad policy, bad economics and morally wrong.
     The president is doing the wrong thing in a clever fashion, for a change, or at least more clever than Trump usually does things, which is setting the bar low.
     Let’s unpack Trump’s latest jaw-dropper. First, by issuing an executive order nullifying Barack Obama’s 2012 edict providing immigrants who were brought to this country as children, dubbed “Dreamers,” relief from deportation, he blows a big kiss to his alt-right base. The “Make America Great Again” crowd, who, if not all haters, do their own dreaming about a return to a legendary time when white Protestants ran everything.
     Plus they love reversing anything that Obama ever did in office, even if it means losing their own health insurance.

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  1. When I read what Trump said I had a similar first impression: a cowardly but clever way for him to pass the dirty deed onto Congress, put the pressure and possible blame on them, while saving face, even temporarily, and giving just the slightest hope that something good may come of this. A cruel way of handling it, no doubt, since it keeps the poor families in a state of fear and limbo, but we can still DREAM of a positive outcome, can't we?

  2. When I was a kid we played football in the lot next to our house with all the neighborhood kids. There was one kid who, while big, wasn't real talented. Of course he fancied himself a future NFL star. When the game would go against him and he would be losing, he would throw the football on to the roof of the house. If he couldn't revel in the glory of being the star he would end the fun for everyone.

    I don't share the optimism that things will work out in spite of Trump. Like the kid from my childhood, only infinitely more entitled and pathological, Trump will eventually tire of the democratic process and throw the ball on the roof. He has just responded to North Korea's nuke madness by threatening South Korea and China with a trade war. He once lost a billion dollars and bragged about his business prowess. He mocked a disabled person. He bragged about assaulting women. And on and on. Expecting a positive outcome from this delusion, bullying, incompetent madman is like expecting a rabid dog to perform brain surgery. Positive expectations for Trump, given a lifetime of malignant narcissism, is a form of madness itself.

    He will continue to sh-t in the collective nest, and he and his followers will continue to call this effluence evidence of his genius. Forty years of Limbaugh, Fox News, and Brietbart have cost them the ability to use reason and have cost the citizenry the right to live in a country not governed by lunatics.

    1. Well put, Dennis. I'm with you 99% of the way. The only point that I would argue is that Trump never lost a billion dollars. The amount he lost was hugely inflated to take advantage of our fucked-up tax codes. A common, if unethical, practice, on an enormous scale. In the long term, the deception probably increased his wealth.

    2. Tony I would read Making of Donald Trump by David Cay Johnston. That was some real money. It wasn't all on one deal of course.

  3. It would be deliciously ironic if Congress were to pass a comprehensive immigration bill freeing not only "dreamers" but a large portion of "illegal aliens" from the anxiety resulting from the U.S. need for immigrant labor and the official denial of legal status for those lured to our country by the availability of gainful employment. And if it happens, I'll gladly give Trump the credit he will demand. Just hope the "wall" is not part of the deal, but I could live with that too, I suppose.


  4. Thanks for calling out that ridiculous, annoying pomposity that almost always gets expressed in capital letters: "Illegal means ILLEGAL the law is THE LAW what part of ILLEGAL don't you understand" etc. Although I'm sure that in Trump's mind, he wasn't helping Arpaio evade the law, because those "activist judges" had no right to sanction Arpaio in the first place.

  5. I especially like the mention of "when white Protestants ran everything", and then later referring to our lawmakers as a "wasp's nest". That pretty much nails it.

  6. Just returned from a week of theater-going at the Stratford Ontario Shakespeare Festival. Some great shows. Almost a Trump-free interlude, although not quite. Canadians, alarmed at the situation, say they might build a wall on the border and make us pay for it.



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