B.J. Bethel

A view of the world from Ohio

Tag Archives: policy

A Month of Trump: Nothing that shouldn’t have been expected

President Donald Trump’s cloud of magnificent bullshit, the same cloud our newly elected orange-toiffed cherub rode to Leader of the Free World, finished its dissipation from roaring thunderhead during the campaign to the last remnants of late weekend sailor’s fog over the period of three weeks, or if one were to round up, until today, when Trump took active duties as our President.

Trump was inaugurated Jan. 20, making Feb. 20 the official one-month anniversary in the written histories, but our President diligently took a three-day weekend, so Feb. 23 it is.

A month into this, there are things we’ve learned:

  1. The surprise that Trump’s White House was so incompetent at every step in its first month is a shock to many. I don’t understand why. Trump so brazenly and effectively sidestepped every issue he had in his campaign, he locked his Republican opposition out of the news cycle with outrageous Twitter account, then dodged every bullet from Hillary Clinton during the election. The more brash and vulgar he became, and the more that underbelly was exposed, the less of an affect it had.
  2. That does not translate into political success, and there’s no reason it should. Trump ran a campaign for the 21st century, fit for a reality TV B-lister and tabloid cover boy. His chief advisor Steve Bannon had experience in Hollywood. This should be no surprise. Breitbart.com, Bannon’s website after the passing of Andrew Breitbart, was always a large amount of hype with little heft. Most of it’s large scoops, it had to settle in court. The website gathered a following thanks to marketing and media blasting, but as an activist and propaganda outlet, it was never a success, turning off mainstream conservatives once Bannon became it’s everyday head, and bringing the alternative right, the Birchers and white nationalists closer to respectability in the Republican party.
  3. That marketing, social media outbursts and pugnacious reprehension for the press and a majority of the country registered as an ability to govern is laughable. Trump isn’t capable of it. He can scramble and try to put together a respectable staff, but the likelihood he can fill massive agencies with functional employees after he went to war with the CIA, State and the FBI is unlikely.
  4. The Michael Flynn resignation should have been expected. He took money from the Russians for a speech, had been a consultant according to a few reports ( I doubt that would have cleared his background check, though), and was a guest of honor at the Russia Today 15th anniversary with a seat next to Vladimir Putin, where he could hear Julian Assange’s anti-American tirade live from the Ecuador embassy.
  5. Ego will be the fall of the Trump administration – and not just Trump’s. Bannon, following Andrew Breitbart’s lead, has said for years he detests policy discussion and finds it irrelevant. This is a talking point for the entire staff, from Milo Yiannopolous and others, who are interested in TV coverage. That’s not how government works. Trump’s party is in control of both the House and Senate, and made no effort to push serious legislation. Obama by this time managed a $1 trillion stimulus package and a follow up to TARP that had backing by both parties. Executive orders, which in comparison are simple, are too much for the administration to handle, particularly Bannon, who has no experience in law or political science, or as any matter of politician or public servant, and wrote a sweeping order that essentially was doomed before the ink dried.
  6. Trump’s vow the next EO will cover the same bases as his previous immigration order, is a lie. By law you can’t ban people entering the country based on nationality (no matter what comparisons they made with President Obama’s slowing of refugees from Iraq). Congress made that law, and Trump can’t override Congress. The courts almost always go the way of the administration when it comes to executing these types of policies, but Trump’s proud ignorance of the law and disgust with the court system won’t be tolerated. His immigration EO was a slap in the face to law, Congress and the court system re-writing it with the same intent won’t change the law.
  7. Democracy and the republic win. The most powerful man in the world, no matter how stupid and wreckless he may be, has been put in check by the other branches of government, federalism and the Fourth Estate. Democracy and republicanism will only continue to win if the U.S. as a country becomes better educated on civil matters, returns to the moderate tradition of the Founding Fathers, and begins to embrace those with which they differ politically. This is an issue on both sides of the aisle, but more so on the right, where more are being lied to by corrupt bought-by-donor propaganda apparatus and a false victimhood that their fathers and grandfathers would have abhorred.