In March, Donald Trump publicly needled Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder at an event because Snyder did not endorse him. As others tried to laugh it off, Trump added “I never forget.” And he seemed deadly serious.
Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan believes this is the kind of vengeful thinking that is the real motivation behind Donald Trump’s continued, sustained attacks on the NFL. In 2014, NFL owners refused Trump’s bid to buy the Buffalo Bills and Khan believes Trump has never gotten over the snub. From First Coast News:
The league and its owners generally have had little public response to Trump, though New York Giants co-owner John Mara said, facetiously, “I’m shocked,” when asked for a response to the President’s tweet. But Khan didn’t hold back.
“He’s been elected President, where maybe a great goal he had in life to own an NFL team is not very likely,” said Khan, who bought the Jags in 2011 for $760 million. “So to make it tougher, or to hurt the league, it’s very calculated.”
Khan went further, slamming Donald Trump’s conduct toward Gold Star families and the ban on Muslims entering the country:
“Let’s get real,” Khan said. “The attacks on Muslims, the attacks on minorities, the attacks on Jews. I think the NFL doesn’t even come close to that on the level of being offensive. Here, it’s about money, or messing with — trying to soil a league or a brand that he’s jealous of.”
Khan, a self-made billionaire who immigrated from Pakistan, contends that Trump’s flap with the NFL pales when compared to social issues, notably including Trump’s proposed travel bans that target people from Muslim-majority nations.
“That’s one aspect that you can imagine — someone is getting a visa that will change their life is from a Muslim-majority country — and, now, boom, that dream to change lives, they get locked out,” Khan said. “That’s a hell of a lot more significant than fighting some sponsors or people who want their money back because they’ve been riled up.”
Many have noted Khan joined other NFL owners in making a $1 million donation to Trump’s Inauguration fund. He’s just one more name in a list, going back decades, of people who’ve been swindled and screwed over by Donald Trump. Khan won’t be asking for or getting a refund, but maybe he’ll be motivated to get political and help defeat Trump in 2020.
Trump decides to ban immigrants from Chad.
Chad pulls its very effective troops out of Niger.
Without the protection of African troops, Americans are killed by ISIS the following week.
Chad was banned for making an issue about taxes not paid by Exxon-Mobil. Rex Tillerson was CEO of Exxon-Mobil.
George W. Bush on Thursday delivered a stunning address at his namesake presidential center, issuing a brutal takedown of Donald Trump without ever saying the president’s name.
“Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone, provides permission for cruelty and bigotry, and compromises the moral education of children,” Bush said in the 16-minute speech. “The only way to pass along civic values is to first live up to them.”
“Parts of Europe have developed an identity crisis,” Bush said in a speech sponsored by the George W. Bush Institute in New York. “We have seen insolvency, economic stagnation, youth unemployment, anger about immigration, resurgent ethno-nationalism and questions about the meaning and durability of the European Union. America is not immune.”
“In recent decades public confidence in our institutions has declined, our governing class has often been paralyzed in the face of obvious and pressing needs, the American dream of upward mobility seems out of reach to some who feel left behind in a changing economy, discontent deepened and sharpened partisan conflicts, our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication, there are some signs that the intensity of support for democracy itself has waned — especially among the young.”
“We’ve seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty. At times it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together. Argument turns too easily into animosity, disagreement escalates into dehumanization,” Bush continued.
The former Republican president then referenced a number of issues that have circulated around President Donald Trump and his supporters.
“We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism, forgotten the dynamism immigration has always brought to America, the fading value of trade, we’ve seen the return of isolationist sentiments forgetting that American security is directly threatened by the chaos and despair of distant places where threats such as terrorism, infectious disease, criminal gangs and drug trafficking tend to emerge. In all these ways, we need to recall and recover our own identity.”
Bush said the United States needed to harden its defenses against Russia, which has used social media in a disinformation campaign targeting Americans. He also said the U.S. government needed to ensure its voting system was protected from cyber attacks.
“America has experienced a sustained attempt by a hostile power to exploit our country’s divisions and feed them. According to intelligence services, the Russian government has made a project of turning Americans against each other,” Bush said.
“Foreign aggressions including cyberattacks, disinformation and financial influence should never be downplayed or tolerated,” he added.
The former president also described white supremacy “in any form” as a “blasphemy against the American creed.”
“Our identity as a nation, unlike many other nations, is not determined by geography or ethnicity, by soil or blood,” he said, referencing a chant used by neo-Nazis during a march in Virginia.
“Being American involves the embrace of high ideals and civic responsibility,” Bush remarked. “We become the heirs of Thomas Jefferson by accepting the ideal of human dignity found in the Declaration of Independence, we become the heirs of James Madison by understanding the genius and values of the U.S. constitution, we become heirs of Martin Luther King Jr. by recognizing one another not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. This means that people of every race, religion and ethnicity can be fully and equally American.”
Bush also warned that some American leaders were not acting like positive role models.
Washington, 21st November, 1864.
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.
I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.
I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom.
Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,
Four Americans dead in a mob attack on US installations in Benghazi and we are forced to endure ELEVEN different hearings.
Four Americans dead in an ambush by ISIS in Niger — who knew we had US troops in Niger? — and not one investigation. Not ONE.
The trouble with reactionary politics is that it is fundamentally a feeling, an impulse, a reflex. It’s not a workable program. You can see that in the word itself: it’s a reaction, an emotional response to change. Sure, it can include valuable insights into past mistakes, but it can’t undo them, without massive disruption. As any Burkean conservative will tell you, the present is what you work with. “Home is where you start from,” in T.S. Eliot’s words. The reactionary, like the progressive, never fully grasps this, cannot see the connections that require that present actions are most effective when they build on what is, rather than what was, or, for the progressive, what could be.
I mention this as a way to see more clearly why the right in America is unraveling quickly into chaos, about to inflict irreparable damage on a massive scale to this nation. Trump is the history of Reagan repeating as dangerous farce, a confident, intelligent conservatism reduced to nihilist, mindless reactionism.
Trump is careening ever more manically into a force of irrational fury. I watched his infomercial with Hannity Wednesday night and see a sharp decline even from his previously unhinged and malevolent incoherence. He riffed for a while on how the rise in the stock market since he came to office somehow halves our national debt. He asserted that no citizen can disrespect our flag, anthem, or country … or else. He claimed that the economy — which a year ago was a “total disaster” — is now a staggering overnight success. He boasted of unemployment numbers he described as fraudulent only months ago. In his interview earlier this week with Forbes, he sounds like someone so stoned he can barely parse a sentence, let alone utter a coherent thought, and whose utter indifference to reality still staggers.
But it’s the impossible reactionary agenda that is the core problem. And the reason we have a president increasingly isolated, ever more deranged, legislatively impotent, diplomatically catastrophic, and constitutionally dangerous, is not just because he is a fucking moron requiring an adult day-care center to avoid catastrophe daily. It’s because he’s a reactionary fantasist, whose policies stir the emotions but are stalled in the headwinds of reality. He can’t abolish Obamacare because huge majorities prefer it to any Republican alternative, so he is sabotaging it. He hasn’t built a huge wall across the entire southern border because it’s a ludicrous project that cannot solve the problem it was designed for. He cannot rip NAFTA to shreds because doing so would cause immense disruption to three countries’ economies and ricochet around the world. He has attempted to ally with Russia against the E.U., as if Merkel was worse a threat than Putin. He wants to remove NBC’s license, which it doesn’t actually have, for political reasons. He raves about multiple fantasies that will never happen — deporting 11 million people — pretending that climate change is not happening — a massive tax cut on the wealthy, and arguing, as Trump did Wednesday night, that it would create surpluses as Reagan’s did, which, of course, Reagan’s didn’t.
These are not conservative reforms, thought-through, possible to implement, strategically planned. They are the unhinged fantasies of a 71-year-old Fox News viewer imagining he can reconstruct the late 1950s. They cannot actually be implemented, without huge damage. And so he resorts to executive sabotage — creating loopholes in the enforcement of Obamacare to undermine the entire system. Or he throws a temper tantrum because Obama’s Iran Deal is actually working as promised, and attempting to undermine that as well. At this point, the agenda is so deranged and destructive almost every sane senior member of his cabinet is trying to rein it in.
And 35 percent of the population still worships this creature.
In terms of our liberal democracy and constitutional order, Trump is an extinction-level event.