Sunday, January 29, 2017

More Chaos To Come

Bill Moyers has been around for a long time. As Lyndon Johnson's press secretary, he saw the best -- the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act -- and the worst -- the Vietnam Debacle -- of American politics. But he has never seen anyone like Donald Trump or the Trumpian Project:

We’re a week into the Trump administration and it’s pretty obvious what he’s up to. First, Donald Trump is running a demolition derby: He wants to demolish everything he doesn’t like, and he doesn’t like a lot, especially when it comes to government.

Like one of those demolition drivers on a speedway, he keeps ramming his vehicle against all the others, especially government policies and programs and agencies that protect people who don’t have his wealth, power or privilege. Affordable health care for working people? Smash it. Consumer protection against predatory banks and lenders? Run over it. Rules and regulations that rein in rapacious actors in the market? Knock ‘em down. Fair pay for working people? Crush it. And on and on.

The closest prototype to Trump was George W Bush:

In this demolition derby, Trump seems to have the wholehearted support of the Republican Party, which loathes government as much as it worships the market as god. Remember Thomas Frank’s book, The Wrecking Crew? Published in 2008, it remains one of the best political books of the past quarter-century. Frank took the measure of an unholy alliance: the century-old business crusade against government, the conservative ideology that looks on government as evil (except when it’s enriching its allies), and the Republican Party of George W. Bush and Karl Rove — the one that had just produced eight years of crony capitalism and private plunder.

The Wrecking Crew — and what an apt title it was — showed how federal agencies were doomed to failure by the incompetence and hostility of the Bush gang appointed to run them, the same model Trump is using now. Frank tracked how wholesale deregulation — on a scale Trump already is trying to reproduce — led to devastating results for everyday people, including the mortgage meltdown and the financial crash. Reading the book is like reading today’s news, as kleptomaniacs spread across Washington to funnel billions of dollars into the pockets of lobbyists and corporations.

Trump's glaring conflicts of interests -- which allow him to serve himself and the wealthy first -- make a mockery of his claim that he is returning power to the people:

I know plutocracy is not a commonly used word in America. But it’s a word that increasingly fits what’s happening here. Plutocracy means government by the wealthy, a ruling class of the rich and their retainers. If you don’t see plutocracy spreading across America, you haven’t been paying attention. Both parties have nurtured, tolerated and bowed to it. Now we’re reaching the pinnacle, as Trump’s own Cabinet is rich (no pun intended) in millionaires and billionaires. He is stacking the agencies and boards of government with the wealthy and friends of wealth so that the whole of the federal enterprise can be directed to rewarding those with deep pockets, the ones who provide the bags and bags of money that are dumped into our political process today.

Moyers doesn't let the Democrats off the hook:

Yes, both Democrats and Republicans have been guilty of groveling to the wealthy who fund them; it’s a staggering bipartisan scandal that threatens the country and was no small part of Trump’s success last November, even as ordinary people opened their windows and shouted, “We’re as mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.” So now we have in power a man who represents the very worst of the plutocrats — one who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing. I shudder to think where this nightmare will end. Even if you voted for Donald Trump for a reason that truly is from your heart, I cannot believe you voted for this.

This weekend, Trump's ban on Muslims entering the United States caused chaos around the world. There's much more chaos to come.



the salamander said...

.. the simplest way to understand the operations of Donald Trump is to review the reality of Trump University. Yes, the so called University that he recently paid 25 million to settle a lawsuit on.

Its also important to recall that up here in Canada eh.. Thomas Mulcair branded Trump a fascist long ago, and repeated his appraisal quite recently..

Anyone who sees what Donald Trump has underway currently, in the Oval Office etc.. ie wherever his cel phone is or a microphone need only read the factual history of Trump University, or his failed casino operation.. indeed any of his business bankruptcies, past lawsuits or pending lawsuits. One can also read about Steve Bannon's recent interview, I believe it was with ABC, to get a dose of where that feverish monster is coming from.

The First Lady is in New York.. how sweet.. and Air Force One can be a shuttle craft when she is required as wallpaper, to walk behind the great man. Those sacks o shite Seam Spicer & Kellyane Conroy are outstanding! Asonishingly adept, like the folks that follow elephants at parades.. with shovels and wheelbarrows...

Welcome to getting educated by Donald Trump, America.. but you are getting schooled by Steve Bannon, millionaire..

Lorne said...

A very informative post. Thanks, Owen.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

Ralph Nader Owen thinks Donald Trump will be impeached and he will have done it to himself.
I hope he's right.

Owen Gray said...

It's interesting that the symbol of the Republican Party is an elephant, salamander. These days, all of their collective efforts are focused on trying to clean up the excrement the Orange Elephant leaves behind. But he keeps generating more than they can handle.

Owen Gray said...

Trump will continue to blow things up, Lorne. He's a seventy year old child on a tear.

Owen Gray said...

The Republicans will protect Trump until the mid-term elections, Pam. Then all bets on his future presidential ambitions are off.

Steve said...

Trumps ban on Muslims an empty gesture. Pakistian, Saudia Arabia and Eygpt are the biggeset generators of terrorist. None of these countries on the list.

Owen Gray said...

One of Trump's major deficits, Steve, is his inability to concentrate and focus. His ban proves that fact in spades.

The Mound of Sound said...

My guess, Owen, is that the Republican Congressional leadership will be keeping a close watch on DTJ's numbers. Unless he pulls off a massive reversal in his unpopularity they will have to see him as an anchor around their chances for the mid-terms. If he starts a trade war, virtually anywhere, or brings the US to the brink of a shooting war with China, the sort of thing that can quickly turn unstoppable, Trump will get the hook from his party or something even worse from America's national security apparatus.

Owen Gray said...

The sooner the Republicans come to that conclusion the better, Mound. However, these days they appear to be absolutely spineless.