Sunday, April 16, 2017

Everybody Sees Trump As A Conman Now, But Every Side Wants To Blame The Other Side


#NeverTrump conservatives feel vindicated... even vaguely brilliant and heroic. They said all along that Trump has always been a political opportunist who's never believed in anything but himself. Great... but I don't know anyone who didn't know that all along. Yes, Trump has always been a con man. Who could have missed that? John Ziegler began his Saturday column reminding us that almost exactly a year ago Señor Trumpanzee had said "I’m very capable of changing to anything I want to change to." That confirmed what he had long seen in Trump, namely that he was "a liberal conman who was uniquely unqualified for the job."

Normal people tend to just see Trump as a conman who was uniquely unqualified for the job. But to Ziegler, a conservative Republican, Trump had to be a liberal for the demonology to work. He reminds his reader that It was obvious that Trump was never going to be "able, or even willing, to fulfill most of his often insanely unrealistic campaign promises. It was also clear that he was very likely to move to the left, just as Arnold Schwarzenegger did here in California if things didn’t immediately work out for him politically."
Now, even after all the back-wrenching flip-flops of his fledging administration, the changes have come at an accelerated pace in past few days. Trump has altered his entire persona as if he is a man in the midst of a mid-life crisis. Like Madonna or Lady Gaga, he has suddenly reinvented himself into an almost completely new character, without even a hint of concern for what he consistently promised previous to taking office.

The campaign version of Donald Trump is officially dead. Having catastrophically crashed against the jagged rocks of reality, not even 100 days into his presidency, Trump is clearly abandoning his original ship and setting a new course in a vastly different direction.

Just this week Trump drastically altered his position on:
• China and the prospect of his promised a trade war with them
• The importance of NATO
• Steve Bannon’s role in his White House
• Whether Wikileaks is good, or bad
All of this was quite shocking, even to media veterans who have been highly skeptical of Trump in the past. Meanwhile his press secretary, taking a page right out of George Orwell’s 1984, actually claimed, with a straight face, that Trump isn’t the one who is “evolving,” but rather, it is the issues that are moving towards him!

On top of all of this, the man who ran of a platform of “America First” and who routinely mocked an interventionist foreign policy, specifically in Syria, has instigated immediate military action in… Syria, apparently at the behest of his… daughter. He has also gotten credit (dubiously) for dropping a huge bomb on Afghanistan and has been rattling his saber with regard to North Korea.

Oh, and apparently Russia is now our enemy again and we even seem to be bragging about how horrible relations with them suddenly are. Of course, that all does seem a bit like a man going out of his way to distance himself from his mistress once he realized that his wife was getting too suspicious.

There have been many interpretations of this remarkable transformation. The Washington Post says that Trump is now a “conventional” Republican. Glenn Beck believes that he is looking like another Republican who didn’t keep his promises. Politico suggests that Trump is now basically just like Hillary Clinton.

I think that there is truth in all of that analysis. However, there seem to me to be a few things missing from what appears to be the emerging (and almost always wrong) “conventional wisdom” about this (not really) stunning turn of events.

Part of why Trump is so “capable of changing into anything” is that he believes in absolutely nothing except what he thinks is good for him at that moment. So, while some in the media have given him credit for some sort of instant maturation or recognition of the realities of governance, I see him simply adapting via his finely-honed survival instincts.

It seems clear that he had no idea what he was in for with regard to how impossible it is to get things done in Washington. As a guy who has been a dictator most of his business career, he was very poorly suited for this job. The healthcare debacle made him realize this and he quickly, somewhat to his credit, turned exclusively to things over which a president has almost complete control.

Consequently, renegotiating trade deals, building massive walls, draining the swamp, repealing Obamacare, putting Hillary in jail, and maybe even drastically reducing taxes, are all out. What remains are, usually vastly overblown executive orders and military strikes.

Effectively, Trump is feeling impotent in most of the job, so he is now going to basically ignore the areas where he lacks real power and simply focus on the parts where people pretty much have to do exactly as he says. Military strikes also happen to be super fun and probably really good for his already sadly sagging poll numbers.

Now, to be clear, some of this is good. As long as we don’t go too far, a strong show of US military force can pay dividends elsewhere around the world. Trump’s rhetoric on illegal immigration has, on its own, apparently drastically reduced the flow across the border (at least until they realize that it’s all a bluff). A trade war with China would have been an economic disaster.

“Never Trump” conservatives like me have been ridiculed because Neil Gorsuch was, thankfully, confirmed to the Supreme Court, thus ensuring that no matter what Trump does from here, it can’t be worse than what we would have gotten with Hillary. However, this denunciation from our “conservative” critics is extremely shortsighted.

The upgrade from Merrick Garland to Gorsuch may indeed be significant for many years to come. But much like a sports trade where one team gives up its future for a small immediate gain, I believe that “conservatives” will be paying a very dear price for Trump in ways which most of us haven’t even fully contemplated.

Obviously, since that won’t be known for quite some time, this isn’t the reason that this week was a vindication for the “Never Trumpers.” That happened because we warned the Trump cult that he would never be able to deliver what he promised and that he would change in unpredictable and potentially very unsatisfactory ways if he was ever somehow elected.

We now know that we were indeed right. The Trump who got elected didn’t even last 100 days. Now we will all find out which form this chameleon takes on next and how many more transformations there will be between now and the end of his time in office. You can be pretty sure that this one won’t be the last.
So that's how conservatives see Trump. OK? I wonder if it would be enough for Ziegler to slow him down on Tuesday in the GA-06 special election, where a vote for Jon Ossoff is a vote for Trump to spend even more of his time-- like all of his time-- going from one shoddy Trump resort or gold course to another. I doubt it.

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At 8:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's still a liar and a conman.

Who's to say his latest flips aren't a con. After all, there are elections for house seats coming up and we are told that democraTs and democraPs are making the races for red seats interesting. Maybe he's just conning voters again.

The bushbaby started a war in Iraq for oil and to get re-elected. He also did it because cheney told him to (so cheney and Rumsfeld could get obscenely rich as war profiteers).

Obamanation droned to death thousands so he wouldn't seem weak on "the islam" question and so he could stay elected.

What, you think this asshole wouldn't nuke several million to death in order to keep his job (as holy ruler of the earth, in his eyes)???

Oh, and the problem is that even as a boilerplate republican, he's still pure evil.

At 4:59 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

Unfortunately, you zero in on the increasingly real danger of Trump and the primary concern at this point in time - he is the head of the military. He has seen the positive response for bombing (gee thanks, media and Congress - Dems as well as Reps!) and this is one area in which he has tremendous power and control. Does anyone has the slightest doubt that he will use it? No level head here, only extreme ignorance, impulse, belligerence and ego are in play. No JFK with a cool head who was determined to avoid nuclear war. Trump may be the most dangerous fool ever in history given the extent of the military power in his hands and lack of thought in using it.

We should be afraid, very afraid, not that fear does any good. This waiting, waiting, waiting until he is impeached will be our downfall and the world's. The media should get moving ASAP. Support for his warmongering is insane. There was no rationale whatsoever for dropping the bomb in Syria. The threat from North Korea is an even greater danger, given the same awful temperamental makeup of its leader as Trump. This is a crisis beyond belief hanging in front of our noses.

When I wake up each day and it is not WW III, I have a good day.

At 7:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hone, he's not going to be impeached. Rs mostly love this guy. He's their tool to accomplish a lot of their wet dreams, beginning with war and tax cuts.

However, the next guy in line is probably MUCH worse. So be very careful what you wish for.

Pence hates liberals, women, LGBTQs nonchristians (and incorrectly worshiping Christians) and nonwhites like a Nazi hated Jews (though he hides it fairly well) and loves empire, war, corporations and the wealthy as much as $hillbillary. And he knows how to get shit done.

Make that sonofabitch prez and give him this congress? That would be far worse than this is.

At 7:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, he's a conman. He's already broken just about every campaign promise. He's tweeted lies. His "communications" asshole lies and gaffes every day.

Wuzzat say about voters? How stupid do we have to be to fall for the horse shit spewing from this cabal of liars and idiots? Or is it simpler than that?

If he makes it to 2020, he'll get re-elected with a bigger electoral college number. Wanna know why?

He hasn't really backed off his major advocacies of manifold hatreds. And americans hate. a lot of hate. He makes the most of the issue of fear. and americans are petrified with fear. And the media will donate another few billion in free advertising so that those poor republicans won't have to spend so much.

Americans do what their teevee machine and internet apps tell them to do.

Americans are the closest to brain dead of all the developed societies on earth.


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