Trump vs Reality

Donald Trump (DT) – Hey Pence!

Mike Pence (MP) – Yes Mr. Trump.

DT – Hey, why don’t you call me Mr. President?

MP – Because you’re not president yet Mr. Trump.

DT – Well then, why is Schumer calling me president?

MP – He’s trying to tie your hands by blaming you for things that happen before you get into the White House.

DT – What a weasel!  That’s it!  I’ll make sure his Aunt get’s thrown out of that rent-controlled apartment in Trump Village.  Fine.  But remember in a couple of weeks you’re gonna have to call me Mr. President.

MP – Yes, Mr. Trump.

DT – Hey, anyway, the reason I called you is I need to start figuring out what this government business does.

MP – Well, it runs the country.

DT – No I don’t mean what it says it does.  I mean what it actually does.

MP – I’m not sure I see the distinction.

DT – Sure you do.  You are the governor of a state.  You know where the bodies are buried.  You know which are the sacred cows that don’t do anything but can’t be touched because they have juice.

MP – Oh, I think I see.  You want to know where the fat is and why.

DT – Exactly.  I want to know where the pork is and more importantly, who are the rabbis.

MP – The rabbis?

DT – Rabbis, godfathers, whatever you want to call them.  The guys who know where the bodies are buried and who collect the fees.

MP – Yes, I see.  Mr. Trump that is a very big job.  You’ll need your cabinet working for months to just begin to understand where the waste and featherbedding is.

DT – That’s what you think.  I’ve been talking with the Thiel guy.  He may be a little light in the loafers but he’s plenty smart.  He’s working on an algorithm to find this stuff.  I’ll bet he gets it done in days or weeks.

MP – Mr. Trump, that sounds like science fiction.  I hardly think you’ll be able to streamline the US Government in a few weeks.  You’ve got to be realistic.  If we can slow down the growth a little while we’re in office it will be a great achievement.

DT – Now that’s exactly what’s wrong with this country.  You want to drain the swamp with an eyedropper.  I want to use an atom bomb.  Look, Mike we only have about a hundred days to build up some momentum.  After that we’re dead meat.  So, look alive.  You know the saying, “Lead, follow or get out of the way.”  Well, I’m leading so that just leaves you two options, and there’s no way to get out of my way so hurry up and follow.  And bring along a crow bar ‘cause we’ve got a lotta demo to do.

MP – Okay Mr. Trump I’ll do my best.

DT – Look, Mike.  You’ve gotta start thinking on your feet.  I’m gonna hand this show over to someone in four years.  If you wanna be that guy you better wake up.

MP – Well when you put it that way, lead on.  I think there are a couple of agencies that haven’t produced anything but pensions in the thirty years I’ve been around and I can tell you who to start firing right now.

DT – That’s better.  I knew there was a reason I didn’t go with Christie.  Besides his taste in suits.

2017: The Dawn of the Age of the Deplorables

As I noted in my previous post, I spent a very nice week and a half relaxing and enjoying the Christmas holiday.  As part of that I read an awful lot of right wing and sort of right wing commentary.  And it occurred to me that things are definitely looking up on our side of the blogosphere.  Christmas Eve I watched the beginning of this five hour (!) set of interviews.

 

 

The host Stefan Molyneux has a series of videos where he interviews people about politics, philosophy, religion and life.  Ostensibly this series of interviews are about Christmas.  But that’s a jumping off point in some cases to discuss the year just passed and the new year coming up.  If you are not familiar with most of these people then I’ll say that they are spread across a continuum of ideologies starting on the left at about what used to pass for a liberal (but now would be too mild for the left today) all the way to some pretty hard core alt-right types.  Happily, for me, none of them here have joined the goose-stepping lunatics that abut this political neighborhood a little too closely for comfort.  But they are all unapologetic in their scorn for social justice warriors, America-haters and other lefty lunatic types that reflexively attack all things normal and good.  Some of them are not Trump fans, others came around by the end and some were predicting his win a year, ago.  But all of them are part of the new media.  They have cast their lot with the new way of reaching the people.  They run their own businesses and have their own audiences and get paid for telling a side of the story that the main stream media doesn’t tell.  They are more interesting and more relevant than most of what Fox provides and a thousand times better than the nonsense on CNN, ABC, NBC or CBS.  It’s very hard to predict if any of these folks will survive the brutal competition that exists in the media environment today.  I hope they do.  They inject humor and wit and points of view that aren’t permitted to exist on the network shows.  And interestingly they seem to be plugged into some of the trends that everyone else missed this year.  If that fact indicates a better grasp on what really will be happening in the near future, then maybe they’ll thrive.  I recommend that if you’re interested in what different voices are saying about our changing world then look around and see what’s going on.  You may be pleasantly surprised.  After all these are the deplorables that that Hillary warned us about and you remember how well that worked out for her!

The Pause before the Plunge

Since December 22nd I have been in a veritable cocoon of self-imposed isolation from the world.  I have left the grounds only three times and only once for more than an hour.  I have spent this time, for the most part, reveling in the blissful sloth of a long holiday vacation.  I have eaten delicious and unhealthy food until it is coming out of my ears.  I sat around and watched so many holiday and “classic” movies that I’m tempted to nominate Bing Crosby for sainthood.  And, of course I read so much political news that I feel sure that Trump will give me the nod for Veterans Administration head just on the merits.

But now it’s time to emerge from my cocoon.  Tomorrow (shudder!), I will make the commute back to the office and reconnect with the real world.  I’m not sure what to expect.  I know my desk will be covered with paperwork (actual and virtual) and it will be a week before I’m dug out.  In fact, the beginning of the year is a sprint of deliverables and meetings that will keep me hopping for weeks.  Good, the status quo is restored.

But it’s not.  The impending Trump presidency hangs over everyone like some alien spacecraft hovering over a large city in a sci fi thriller.  Either it’s going to be Independence Day and the hellfire is about to rain down or it’s Star Trek IV and we’re all gonna be bored by some sermon on saving the whales.  But either way it’s up there and until we know which it will be it’s hard to pretend that finishing that power point presentation on quarterly highlights is the most important thing in the world.

Of course, we have to wait another two and a half weeks until this Obama joker gets finished trashing the government and golfing on our nickel.  I doubt there’s a less welcome player on the world stage than BO.  Not even his own party can stand him.  But he’s determined to cause the maximum annoyance until they pull the curtain down on this clown.  Lord, give me patience.

But regardless if you’re Ann Coulter or Rosie O’Donnell there’s no denying that Donald Trump is the biggest story and none of us know for sure exactly what he’ll do.  Now, I’m firmly ensconced on the right periphery of the political spectrum.  I hope that Trump starts off his administration with a rapid reversal of all Obama’s executive orders and moves on to appointing Torquemada to the Supreme Court and Genghis Khan to the Justice Department.  Then they could take on a joint project of structuring a RICO prosecution that includes BLM and George Soros.  But only someone who has been asleep for the last thirty years can be unaware of how badly reality can deviate from even the most reasonable forecasts.

In early 1992 no one could have seen GHW Bush losing to Bill Clinton.  During the Gulf War his poll numbers were stratospheric.  Equally improbable was GW Bush’s failure to reckon with the American people’s dissatisfaction with his interminable wars in the Mid-East.  These were political blunders that led to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama respectively.  What they should teach us is that the president can’t have a tin political ear.  If you pull the levers of power and they cause pain to the people who vote, you’d better be able to convince them that it’s for something they want.  So, there’s the question, is Trump more like Reagan or more like a Bush.

I’m actually pretty certain that Donald Trump is closer to the former than the latter.  And that gives me hope.  I can see him striking deals with even some democrats that will satisfy voters and boost consumer confidence.  Of course, the flip-side of this would be, Trump moving so far to the left that he would be indistinguishable from Hillary Clinton.  This I find unlikely.  Based on the people he’s putting in place, I think he wants to make some big changes.  His picks for Education, Energy and the EPA are affronts to the liberals.  I can see how he intends to lighten the ship in those departments.  Also his pick for Defense is a signal that fun and games are over for the Army.

All in all, I find myself quite optimistic about 2017.  The best part of having a character like Donald Trump in the White House is that his famously thin skin should allow for some truly memorable Twitter rants against some of my least favorite people.  Can you imagine him disinviting the Kennedys and the Clintons from some state affair and broadcasting it on social media?  And my favorite Trump fantasy is the defunding of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  Can you imagine the panic?  All those completely talentless television and radio personalities vying to remain on the only viable shows (Sesame Street and other kids shows) or trying to find spots at the already beleaguered operations of the other networks.  The beg-athons would have to become epic in scope and basically unending.  Probably for the right size donation you could have Ken Burns as your butler for a couple of years (and a tote bag).

Another way that Trump will probably excel past presidents is press conferences.  I’m trying to imagine how it won’t be entertaining and I just can’t.  I’m guessing that some of the reporters will challenge him from the start and I’m guessing he’ll ban them from the White House.  And if he doesn’t like the articles the White House beat reporters write I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts trolling the comments sections of the NYT and WP.  The best will be when he gives exclusive interviews to Ann Coulter and Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulis.  The rest of the media will rail against this favoritism and decry the softball questions (as if the Obama deference never happened).  It will be fantastic.

And finally, I look forward to the photo op where he sets the cornerstone for the wall.  That’s when I’ll know we’ve arrived.