It is starting to really hit and the media is just now catching-up. The administration is tearing at the seams through it’s own self-destructive character. It happens to be doing so at a point in time when Mueller is closing in on the objective, scaring the White House into reckless panic. As if that were not enough, international stability no longer seems as …well, “stable,” a diving-Dow Jones has boardrooms throughout the globe filled with people massaging temples. Meanwhile, the Western world is starting to really absorb the depth of the threat posed by Putin-influenced populism and fascism. China is on the rise all over the globe. The Middle-East is over-due for it’s “Once a Decade” war.
We get so much media, so many “angles” from so many sources, it is often hard to stand back and gaze at the forest. But, if you take a moment to spend a little bit more time, not a quick drive-by diary, the flames dance up right in front of us.
To the extent that we non-Fox, non-Breitbart citizens saw any stability in the White House, it rested on the shoulders of a former Marine General in John Kelly. But, Kelly now seems – appropriately – on the brink of a politically-forced resignation. He had an inexplicable and unforgivable admiration and need for wife-beaters who couldn’t qualify for the basic security clearances. Apparently, Kelly stood more than ready to overlook even the most obvious and offensive wife-beater in search of a steady-hand at the president’s side.
Rob Porter, purportedly, at least adequately dealt with the mechanics of running the executive branch, something “assumed” as entry-level necessity of most presidents, but sorely missing within this administration. It is not hard to believe that Porter did add some competence in just blocking and tackling, running a government, ensuring the bills got paid, etc. It is stunning that a similarly competent person who hadn’t beaten a spouse (or two) couldn’t be found to do the job.
Kelly now looks like everyone else the administration burned through, incapable of the type of judgment expected within the White House. He is a liability, and that is simply devastating news because there is no one in the bull pen.
The fact is, this president couldn’t even hire a top-tier lawyer to defend him. He is that toxic. Not a single person has entered this administration and had his or her standing and respect lifted through service, most were eviscerated. Best case scenario, Preibus, leaving with irrelevance. The Trump administration buzz saws through every staff members’ gifts, and cuts to the bone, exposing deep inner-flaws. Not surprising, because many of us believe that one must be deeply flawed to begin with if one supports this president and his agenda.
Whether Kelly weathers this storm is near irrelevant. Trump is furious at him for making Trump look bad, again (because it’s never Trump himself that causes the issues, not in his mind). The conservative media can cover any pile of horse shit with daisy petals, but the smell is real. There now exists a tension between the man in charge, a president whom the world knows cannot be trusted, and the other man in charge, whom the world now knows, is not trusted, and is not trust-worthy.
There’s no longer an adult fully in charge of the White House. Perhaps there never was, but we could pretend.
Trump being Trump, took this mess and urinated all over it, finding a way to make the crises worse. Trump has spent a lifetime abusing women, and thus had obvious and sincere sympathy about having to fire his wife-beating aide, while not mentioning the women Porter bruised and battered along the way to career achievement.
“He did a very good job when he was in the White House. And we hope he has a wonderful career and he will have a great career ahead of him,” Trump said in brief remarks in the Oval Office. “But it was very sad when we heard about it and certainly he’s also very sad now.”
Porter is not the only “competent at his job” person leaving important positions. Others, some out of dignity, some shamed, are also leaving. No White House has crushed more people at such a pace. But the problem is even greater. Good people, people who do good work, even conservative ones, now know that Trump has the “reverse-Midas” touch. With respect to anyone participating in either business or government, Trump ruins everyone, with the possible exception of Vladimir Putin.
Putin now has – at a bare minimum — the most submissive Russo-friendly president, ever. It’s either that or we have a traitorous puppet doing Putin’s bidding as Putin is the “real president of the United States.” To the rational outside observer, there’s no pragmatic policy difference at this point. It is only a question of Trump’s ultimate culpability and our nation’s future as a self-governing democracy that remains to be determined.
Now, with respect to “rational outside observers who matter,” I am speaking of those two or three hundred CEOs and billionaires that control the world, of course, those particular rational outside observers are perfectly fine with either choice, a Russo-phile, or democracy-destroying-puppet in the White House. They are fine with either one, so long as taxes are on the down beat, and the Dow on the rise …. With the Dow flirting with a 10% decline, the White House now faces a new problem.
Again, reality enters the picture. The world cannot know whether the Dow’s down week represents a mature correction in over-priced stocks that got a little drunk on tax cuts over Christmas, or whether the world just now really recognizes the danger of having a presidency in chaos, a president about to be indicted, Putin with an agenda, and instability everywhere. It could be that the world stubbornly decided that those pesky factual dangers must now be “priced-in” to the state of the global wealth. If it is the latter (and it might well be) the trouble for the White House is that no one really knows the “price” of that instability, perhaps the market is 50% over-valued. After all, a man worried about the size of his button, one who doesn’t have a real foreign policy, and one about to sign a budget deal of some sort guaranteed to send the U.S. deficit reeling, as it ALWAYS DOES under a Republican president and Congress, is the guy at the helm.
Who the fuck knows how much that potential instability, that “Trump risk,” devalues global wealth? Perhaps A LOT.
Fact is, Abra-Damn Lincoln could be president of the United States and those CEOs and bankers that control the world will NOT be happy with his leadership if their personal wealth falls along with the Dow. The White House faces a pressure it never knew to guard, and this one can’t be beaten back by pep-rallies, Fox-propaganda destroying faith in the FBI, or even the United States military. It is a force that cannot be repelled by anything except rising share value, and it might well be about to fall — with its overwhelming weight — right down on top of the big white mansion.
And then there’s Mueller. Trump only worries about Mueller because Trump only cares about Trump. Mueller can ruin Trump, clearly. Trump just openly admitted that the truth about him cannot be told in the United States. Trump denying the release of the Democratic memo is a big blinking sign. Mueller has evidence so damaging, so personally dangerous to Trump, that obvious “appearances of desperation” like the denial of the release of the memo, do not matter. Simple logic compels the rational to know that Russians control Trump through and through, and Mueller knows it. The “how and why” Russians control Trump must be horribly ugly. Thus we also know that Trump is fighting for his presidency, and ultimately his wealth and future. He is fighting against Mueller, who knows the truth, and happens to be a man who may well-be the world’s best and most experienced prosecutor.
No matter how it all turns out, it WILL be ugly getting there.
Thus it is that the world looks on, seeing what had been the world’s “necessary power” – the United States – and overall force for good corporate business, if not good morals, almost out of the picture, mired in its own crises. Our troubles are others’ opportunities. China noticed, and is now making in-roads of power in Africa and the Middle-East.
I have said it before and will say it daily, if needed: There is no “rule” that the United States must be the most powerful and influential nation on Earth. China looks to be all-too-aware that no such “rule” exists. China has the money, the industry and the people to step into that role, rather quickly, and it’s just so much easier when the United States doesn’t have a real president who is paying attention.
It’s probably best to end with Russia, since, really – that’s the spoke of the wheel that is the “Trump Crises writ large.” While we embrace the horror, we’re forced to embrace the truth in the breathtaking genius behind this plan and implementation orchestrated by the Kremlin. Trump wouldn’t be president without them. Putin is in far too much control of U.S. foreign policy, of that simple point, all reasonable people can agree.
What does Putin want? Clearly he wants to do what he wants without the damn United States or NATO bothering him. He longs to regain Soviet-era influence in Eastern Europe, and is stoking the requisite populist flames to establish that beachhead. With respect to Western Europe, he most likely simply wants to be left alone, much like with the United States.
But, “left alone” in this context certainly means “left alone” to establish real Russian power in the oil-soaked Middle East. Russia has two basic resources in its “Italy-sized” economy; oil, and the best fking computer engineers and hackers in the world. Putin now has the opportunity to take advantage of Russia’s suddenly-freed oil industry to muscle into the Middle East, and the “net manipulation” to ease the process. The world should look extremely closely at the next “terrorist uprising” in Iraq, Iran, or the Gulf, or “governmental instability” in those nations, because Putin’s intel-services could easily be the ultimate instigators.
After all, for the first time ever, Putin and his military can play a role in the outcome in the Middle East. It is not like WE are going to oppose him. Not with this president.
The analysis has run a little long here, and perhaps this is unbelievably self-important, but someone clearly HAS to lay out the BIG picture. The White House is in chaos, the business world is on the brink of chaos, and much of the world is counting upon the opportunity to take advantage of global chaos …all at the same time.
The broad-scoped view deserves attention. In fact, it deserves much much more attention than whether Nunes’ next move buys the president six more weeks, or gets Nunes six extra years at sentencing, news that occupies perhaps too large a fraction of media-attention.
The United States has unbelievably strong institutional muscle. It oozes stability, thank god. So far, even Trump hasn’t destroyed that institutional strength completely. But, the foundation is cracking, and cracking at a rate it has never cracked to this point. The media is just catching-up to the crises moment for Trump and the world.
As said earlier, there’s no rule that the United States must exist as the beacon of Jeffersonian democracy, the world’s necessary-power, the “controller” of the globe. There’s a price countries must pay to remain rich, free and alive, all at the same time. Usually the price includes acting like a mature and careful adult. But, unlike the Cold War era, and like everything else since Reagan, the U.S. “ruling class” has been trying to take stability on the cheap.
No longer. There is a price to be paid.
The White House is about to be tested, our country is about to be tested, different than ever before, but with stakes just as high. War is being waged on our democracy. Perhaps we have some “Churchill” in us, and this existential “war” on the legitimacy of the United States and its people will be our finest hour.
But the test cannot be put off any longer. The media’s catching on.