I’m beginning the fourth quarter of 2019 with an observation and more importantly a warning. Let’s explore.
I’ve been genuinely concerned about how Trump might react to what looks like a certain impeachment. The walls are really starting to close in on him on many fronts and a reasonable man would know that he can only dodge so many bullets, so many times. Therein is the flaw in my logic; Trump is not a reasonable man. The word is that while many around him are starting to get scared Trump thinks he has it all under control. For the sake of America (and perhaps the world) I hope he remains in that state of mind. However I am a reasonable man and that is an unrealistic expectation.
Trump current strategy became clear to me Saturday night upon receipt of an email from the Washington Post. It said. “News Alert: State Department intensifies email probe of Hillary Clinton’s former aides.” Basically the investigative arms of the executive branch have questioned about 130 State Department personnel who had email correspondence with Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State. Trump is obsessed with anything Clinton, especially her emails and server (which right wing mythology now says resides in Ukraine).
This is also part of his rally the base strategy. If you want to get Bubba’s attention just say the word “Clinton”. What has happened under this administration is that if you want to get the ears of the American political left all you have to do is say “Trump”. To be honest both concern me and illustrate our political polarization problem.
For the moment and considering the alternatives, the good news is that Trump seems to be playing the distractions game. It has served him well in the past and as long as his base doesn’t start to shrink perhaps he will stick with it for a while. At least we can hope for that to happen.
We also have the “Trump cuisine” of the word salad. Trump, and his mouthpiece Rudy Giuliani say a lot but making sense of it is impossible because it is all a word salad liberally spiced with lies. Russian salad dressing doesn’t fit the current situation; can Trump get someone to invest Ukrainian salad dressing?
Trump and his enablers still rely on old standards like calling reality “Fake news” or “A nothingburger”, (Senator Graham, I thought you could do better than that), and repeating long debunked zombie lies. When you talk to a Trump supporter they cannot refute your argument so they quickly change the subject with a strategy popularly called whataboutism, as in but what about Hillary, etc.
There will be a lot of shinny objects put before you in the near future; don’t be distracted by them. However, beware for when the strategy shifts and something truly dangerous comes down the pike. There are Hail Mary passes thrown almost every Sunday in the NFL. The vast majority of them fall harmlessly in the end zone as incomplete. Nobody dies. A political Hail Mary almost inevitably will involve casualties. Stay vigilant and hope what Trump and his enablers call the Deep State does too; they are humanities first line of defense against a madman in the Oval Office.
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