Yes, today’s title was inspired by the Talking Heads’ 1983 hit, Burning Down the House. Now that that is out of the way I can explain why I picked it and what I’m trying to say. Let’s explore.
I will be the first to admit that I cannot completely ascertain what is happening inside Donald Trump’s impaired mind but I think I’ve stumbled upon part of it. Among other things he is trying to put America in the worst shape possible for Joe Biden when he takes over in January. Trump wants to remain a power player in Republican politics and in fact is eyeing a comeback in 2024. He thinks if he leaves Biden a mess that the Biden administration, and by extension the Democrats, will appear to have failed and the American people will welcome him back in 2024 embracing what they will perceive as a hero and the good old days. He appears to have many elected Republicans fooled or at least feeling it is in their political interest to be compliant and therefore aiding his scheme. Like most things he has done in life I feel his calculations are doomed to failure.
After leaving office Trump will fade into irrelevance. (Remember President Palin?) In recent decades America and its political parties soon discard their former standard bearers and marquee personalities who committed the “sin” of losing. In addition to that Trump will be facing debt collectors and law suits that will outstrip his resources and occupy much of his time. Also, even if the Senate remains Republican and therefore under Mitch McConnell’s control, the stories of Trump’s transgressions in office will become public in a drip, drip, drip that will turn into a downpour.
The biggest problem currently facing America is the pandemic. The other day we passed the 11 million mark in diagnosed cases. Trump seems to have developed a 20 with 5 rule. America has about 20% of the world’s COVID-19 cases with only about 5% of its population and is maintaining that ratio. Is that what Trump means about keeping America first? Staying on the coronavirus for a bit, as of November 16th the 14 day rolling average of new cases is up 82%.
What is Trump doing to address the situation? First off he appears to have bought into the theory of herd immunity. In other words just let the disease run its course and kill millions of Americans in the process. Almost as irresponsibly he is ordering the executive branch to stonewall the incoming Biden administration and in the process delaying the date their responsible, prudent and science driven actions can contain the virus.
Anyone with any knowledge of economics particularly as it pertains to the American economy (that excludes most if not all of Trump’s economic advisors) knows that the first step in getting the American economy (which is not the stock market) back on track is containing the pandemic. In the interim another round of economic relief and stimulus is needed. Trump and Congressional Republicans are stalling a relief/stimulus package while they are finding ample time to confirm judges (many unqualified) and other Trump appointees. If judged by their actions Republican thinking is that filling judicial and bureaucratic seats are important but your job and kids eating are not. Many pandemic related unemployment benefits cease with the New Year; the pandemic shows no sign of following suit.
There are reports that Trump recently had to be talked out of starting a war in the Middle East. The premise for it was going to be Iran’s progress toward a nuclear weapon. The main enabler of that progress was Trump when he unilaterally pulled out of the Iran Nuclear Deal that Iran was in compliance with. Just what did Trump expect to happen?
On the election challenge front with any lawyers of consequence leaving him it appears Trump is now on a mission to have legitimate and legal votes thrown out. Trump’s latest claim appears to boil down to that if you ignore the Biden votes he won the election. If you discount their 20 losses my Tampa Bay Rays went undefeated in the regular season. I guess there is some sort of logic there; it just evades me.
We have a modern day case of the Emperor’s New Clothes. Thinking people that are willing to publically express their feelings no longer believe Trump’s lies. Many of his sycophants don’t either but lack the courage to publically say so. Mr. Trump, eventually the only one left believing your lies will be you. Please just exit and don’t burn down the house in the process!
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