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Hullabaloo


Thursday, November 30, 2017

 

Another momentous day in the #TrumpRepublic

by Tom Sullivan

Our sitting president will lie if asked for the time of day, just for practice, it's been said. One might call that evil. Unless he is simply delusional. Why not both?

He has enablers, Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker observe:

Trump has internalized the belief that he can largely operate with impunity, people close to him said. His political base cheers him on. Fellow Republican leaders largely stand by him. His staff scrambles to explain away his misbehavior — or even to laugh it off. And the White House disciplinarian, chief of staff John F. Kelly, has said it is not his job to control the president.
Not that he could. Rucker and Parker cite outside advisers who say the president's weekends at his Palm Beach resort allow friends and club members to plant ideas in his head that wind up as tweets. “Mar-a-Lago stirs him up,” said one of the unnamed advisers.

Reports of the last 24 hours have a certain "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" quality:
  • Incited violence against Muslims without reason or regret by retweeting unverified anti-Muslim videos.
  • Insinuated Joe Scarborough was involved in the death of a former intern.
  • Insinuated TV heads and critics should be investigated for unknown reasons.
The anti-Muslim videos got him into a Twitter spat with our closest ally:
Trump also strained, at least temporarily, the special relationship with Britain. A spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May delivered a rare rebuke from 10 Downing Street: “British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far-right which is the antithesis of the values that this country represents: decency, tolerance and respect.”

On Wednesday evening, Trump responded on Twitter: “Theresa May, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!”
That's not how it feels. But there's an upside, quips Rich Lowry, "Mark Twain is supposed to have said of Wagner’s music, 'better than it sounds.'” Aside from the anti-Muslim videos, the suggestions that Joe Scarborough murdered an intern, and the daily proofs he is unfit for office, the president is pretty conventional, the editor of National Review believes. The sitting president is rolling back DACA, Obama's Clean Power Plan, and Obamacare subsidies, so it's all good:
It is difficult to see how Ted Cruz would have governed any differently on any of these issues. Unlike Cruz, Trump is an accidental constitutionalist. Trump’s social conservative base demands originalist judges, and his alliance with the Federalist Society produces them. Meanwhile, Trump’s deregulatory reflex and desire to reverse Obama’s legacy mean he’s clawing back his predecessor’s overreach.
The president may be unhinged, but hey, it's Republican party time. Truth has been rendered irrelevant, the Post adds:
In any given case, Trump is not trying to persuade anyone of anything as much as he is trying to render reality irrelevant, and reduce the pursuit of agreement on it to just another part of the circus. He’s asserting a species of power — the power to evade constraints normally imposed by empirically verifiable facts, by expectations of consistency, and even by what reasoned inquiry deems merely credible. The more brazen or shameless, the more potent is the assertion of power.
It's what the conservative movement has been working towards for decades and Christmas has come early. History will not look kindly on this bunch if the sane get to write it.

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