This week ends the first 100 days of the Trump presidency. So far, his greatest achievement was inspiring the largest protest marches in American history - quite a feat considering my generation will drive two blocks for a gym.
But that’s not Trump’s only notable distinction: his presidency is the least popular on record, and his disapproval rating is higher than Mel Gibson’s after an anti-Semitic rant. (Except in Trump’s case, that would likely just play to his base.)
With public opinion so low, one would think his party’s leadership would consider altering course. Across the continental US, Republican Town Halls have been met with angry mobs, all but wielding pitchforks and shucking produce. Judging from the smug indifference of the Congressmen, many rightly deserve a rotten egg to the temple, if not to the groin.
Yet despite constituent disapproval of presidential, as well as congressional, direction, conservative leaders continue to treat our flailing democracy like some sort of petty schoolboy game.
For the last 30 years, Republicans have held the ball as long as they can, less concerned with scoring than in keeping it from the other team. Their only strategy is opposition, relying solely on smearing opponents for points.
Their default position is to reject any outside effort to solve social and economic problems. They run against healthcare reform, against same sex unions, against public education, against consumer protection, and against any other attempt to move the world forward.
This “opposing-team” dynamic deliberately leads to an “US versus THEM” mentality.
It becomes a pitted match where the home team (GOP) fights nobly against their rivals (Democrats, liberals, independents, academics, economists, science, civil rights, green energy, the arts, or a teenage immigrant on a student visa who, God forbid, wears a turban.)
Entrenching their followers to think in such black-and-white terms leaves no place for bipartisanship or compromise, or any other emotionally intelligent trait prized in children but shun in D.C.
The problem with “us/them” is that it demands a “win/lose” outcome.
Because of this, there is no interest in holding anyone in their own party accountable for misdeeds, from the Bush Administration’s Middle East debacle, cited in every book written on cognitive dissonance in the 21st century, to the current Trump kleptocracy plundering our government.
To quote historian Robert Dallek, “This man is without experience, and it's showing.”
Consider this sampling from Trump’s first 100 days:
1) Trump Budget slashes Funds for the EPA and State Department. (Now, Republican legislatures can poison the drinking water of all poor black communities.)
2) The GOP closed the investigation into the Flint water crisis, which both Trump and lawmakers hoped you wouldn’t notice. However, the Benghazi B.S. had a longer life than the Fast and the Furious franchise. (Apparently, justice is only for Democrats.)
3) The retail industry is expected to close a record 8,600 stores this year. That’s 147 million square feet of imminent unemployment. Soon, Payless, JCPenney, Sears, Bebe, and Macy’s may be following in the footsteps of former middle class staples Circuit City, Linens n’ Things, Bombay Company, Mervyn’s, Borders Books, FAO Schwarz, and The Limited.
The takeaways here: you don’t need middle class merchants if you have no middle class. Hence, the best solution conservatives offer is more tax cuts, which has never proven to spur growth, but is a convenient myth to justify lining the pockets of corporate backers.
4) The Trump administration has terrorized immigrants, threatening to separate Mexican parents from their US children. This includes:
Fathers dropping children off at school in Latino communities. Mothers arrested at routine check-in appointments with ICE. A grandmother taking care of a Navy veteran’s children picked up outside her house. A peaceful activist detained after leaving a press conference. A business owner beloved in a pro-Trump community deported despite pleas.
So much for the Republican platform of family values; I guess those only apply to white people with a passport. (Sorry, Jesus.)
5) Trump claims he’s above the law simply for being President, which somehow excuses him from a lifetime of pussy-grabbing misogyny. (Bill Cosby should get in on this gig.) If that doesn’t work, he can always use executive privilege to guarantee immunity through new legislation.
(For more dumbfounding idiocracy, check out Suzan Eraslan’s excellent website).
If Bill Clinton as President had been linked to any of these things, he’d still be sitting in impeachment hearings today, conducted by those guilty of the same behavior but devious enough to deflect it.
If Obama during his terms had uttered a fraction of Trump’s diarrhetic heresy, Fox News would still air anti-Obama footage during Black History month and twice during sweeps week; in addition, grammar-challenged rednecks would protest in swing states, claiming to be “grass roots” until Jane Mayer traces the money trail to the Koch Brothers.
Obama could do nothing right in the eyes of the GOP, now collectively suffering glaucoma. At least that’s what I assume, since there’s no other explanation for their inability to see the same wrongdoing they warned us about every night at nine from 2008-2016.
Why is there no discipline for their demagogue?
Where Obama was faulted for a gentleman’s apology, Trump can’t seem to verbalize a sentiment without sounding like a squabbling sibling asserting male dominance over his own throne.
Indeed, Emperor Trump has no clothes, and he is little more than a toxic combination of developmental deficiencies – the vocabulary of a third grader, the temperament of a toddler, and the mental capacity of a fetus bottled in formaldehyde that Carly Fiorina pinned on Planned Parenthood.
Not unlike modern America, that bottled brain sits on a precarious shelf awaiting the inevitable collision between adolescent recklessness and gravity.
And conservatives respond with laughs and shrugs, much like their reaction to the Flint water crisis, or Hurricane Katrina, or any other event affecting poor people of color. (Just like Jesus would do.)
How can any self-respecting congressman not view Trump’s behavior as grounds for impeachment, or at least admonishment? How is his ignorance, incompetence, and absolute entitlement tolerated?
Trump wants to rewrite the laws of our nation to suit his business interests, yet this abuse of power gets less attention than a blowjob between consenting adults?
Apparently, Republicans can only cry foul when the other team is guilty.
It’s not about integrity, or justice or even conviction; it’s about winning.
Otherwise, these constitution-thumping blowhards would never allow such flagrant disregard for the constitution. Nor tolerate the blatant abuse of the executive office.
Where are the national debt debates when there’s talk of building a border wall, or of funneling more tax dollars into the already-inflated military industrial complex, while ignoring the needs of veterans?
Our crippling inequality has returned to depression-era levels, and our homeless population grows with it. Meanwhile, we refuse to acknowledge the underlying conditions that perpetuate both. This stunning lack of compassion justifies the need to blame people for their misfortune, a mantra of misguided conservative thinking.
But please, let’s vote to repeal Obamacare for the 55th time so we can kick poor people off Medicare. #WWJD
There’s no sportsmanship in the game Republicans play, only partisanship riddled with hypocrisy and wielded with arrogance.
Trump just proves it.