Tuesday, August 1, 2017

"There. Is. No. Chaos"

Related image

That was the Twitter message yesterday from the Tweeter in Chief. I couldn't resist because it is simply so deliciously outrageous. I am convinced Trump's definition of terms resides somewhere in a parallel universe with which I am unfamiliar.

I am maintaining my stance about not wanting to dive too deeply into the chaos on the national political scene. It's so discouraging and so unfulfilling. But the list grows longer each day of chaotic gyrations emanating from the White House, the Congress and filtering down into virtually every municipality. The number of defections (some call them merely "adjustments") among senior staffers is growing. How many "fresh starts" and "new pages" does Trump get?

So now he brings in a four-star general in the form of James Kelly to steady the ship.

There is some good news. The stock markets are at all-time highs. Good news or impending peril? The Supreme Court is back to political balance and there is a full complement of nine justices. No chaos there at present.

The leaks of classified information are significant, however, and there are substantially more at this point in his administration than either of his two predecessors. George W. Bush had eight leaks, Barack Obama had nine. The Trump administration has logged 64 leaks of classified information to this point, and the numbers continue to escalate. Clearly, something is going on that is unprecedented. There seems to be a concerted effort to bring Trump down. Ironically, it was the discontent with career politicians in the first place that facilitated his election.

There is a persistent rumor that Vice-President Pence is mounting support from donors and preparing for his own inauguration. That relies on some wished-for scenario that would include a Trump impeachment for removal from office. There are even folks out there who speak openly of assassinating Trump to hasten the day for his removal from office by violent means. What seems far-fetched today could materialize someday. Can anyone predict that one? I can't.

The rumors run rampant every day, fueled by the cable news networks. Fox News is nothing more than state-run television in my estimation. The opposition cable news channels are no better.

Congress is in complete disarray over getting its agenda together on repealing and replacing Obamacare. After running on that agenda for nine years and with a majority in both Houses, we have seen nothing productive getting done to correct the system. Legislation is stalled on an entitlement program that will bankrupt America if left unchecked.

Either that, or two other options suggest themselves: One, Obamacare will collapse if left untended, and/or two, Obamacare will be rescued by yet another taxpayer bailout for the insurance companies and Obamacare will be transformed into a single payer system, which was the original goal when it started. It still translates into bankruptcy. Just how long can we go on borrowing our way into the future with no consequences?

Socialized medicine is the only obvious outcome. My guess is that for all the rhetoric coming from Republicans about freedom of choice, they aren't much different than Democrats. Overcoming the status quo is proving more difficult than originally envisioned by the voters. The pledge to "drain the swamp" now seems a distant echo from the campaign trail. Good sound bite, but little more.

Looking around the world we see Russia trying to reassert its will globally through Vladimir Putin. He will stop at nothing to covertly insert himself into the political calculus and disrupt our democracy in any way he can. Who knows what Robert Mueller will come up with? Did Trump collude with the Russians to defeat Hillary? The idea is laughable. Were they willing to meet to gather dirt on Hillary? Absolutely. Does that rise to "collusion"? Stay tuned on that one.

Let's not leave out North Korea, boldly brandishing the threat to annihilate any large city in the United States their noble dictator may randomly select. At his cabinet meeting yesterday, Trump merely asserted, "We'll handle it."

Now there is news about another special prosecutor being appointed to investigate all the Democrats, including HIllary, Lynch, Comey, the DNC, and that list grows. Our government, our political institutions, our staid and true principles of the Republic are rapidly being redefined. Confusion and distrust reign unchallenged, it seems.

I secretly cheered for Barack Obama, and hoped he would succeed when he was POTUS. I have the same aspirations for Trump. I am hoping there is a way forward that can be identified, clearly communicated, and that statesmen on the political front might yet emerge. But for now: