Of Politics And Personal Conduct

Culture starts at the top in large government entities as it does in any other organization. That is why I’m in favor of putting CEO’s in prison when companies willfully violate laws. Putting a plant manager or middle level executive in jail doesn’t change the culture or prevent future occurrences. Whether we like it or not Donald Trump is the President and Mike Pence is the Vice President and therefore in terms of structure and succession number two. They both lack the skill of leadership, their personal conduct illustrates it and the federal government reflects it. Let’s explore.

I was in favor of Trump’s removal via the 25th Amendment or impeachment. Neither has happened and in the current environment I have no reason to suspect will. While I question just how much influence Pence has in this administration, if Trump were to exit the Oval Office he would be the president and therefore is significant if not important at this moment. Before I get into Trump let me spend a few paragraphs on Pence.

I have never wanted Trump assassinated for two reasons. First that is illegal, reprehensible, un-American and morally wrong. We solve our political differences at the ballot box not the point of a gun in this country. That is another reason that only cowards playing dress up take guns to political rallies. Second, from a political standpoint that would turn Trump into an instant hero and leave us with President Pence –two terrible outcomes.

Pence is an empty suit with only one “political skill” – he is the best straight faced liar in my memory. Trump has many tells when he is lying (which is most of the time he opens his mouth or posts a tweet); Pence looks the same regardless of what he utters. Many of his lies are insignificant but occasionally they are life threatening for those foolish enough to take him at his word. On April 24, 2020 Pence, (who is also supposedly head of the Coronavirus Task Force) said the pandemic would soon be behind us. More than a month later we are approaching 100,000 official coronavirus deaths in America. (Am I the only one who finds it interesting that the official death total suddenly slowed dramatically so that the 100,000 mark was not reached on or before Memorial Day?)

Pence will remain loyal to Trump unless he sees a clear path to replacing him as president. Remember Trump rescued Pence from what looked like the end of his political career when he picked him as a running mate in 2016 just hours before the filing deadline for statewide offices in Indiana. Pence was the incumbent governor and he didn’t look good for reelection. Indiana Republicans were happy when Trump tapped Pence because they didn’t want to run him for reelection but knew they really didn’t have a choice.

The first step in problem solving is to recognize that the problem exits. Both Trump and Pence refused to acknowledge the problem until it was too late, opting instead for willful ignorance. That is why America has the worst record of any similar country in fighting the pandemic. I’m certain at some point Trump’s sycophants will be saying it could have been worse and they will be correct; it could always be worse. The reality is that with competent leadership it would have been much better.

The major thrust of the administration’s effort to date has been to try to find ways for them and their financiers to profit. If you trace back some of Trump’s “drug promotions” there are some interesting financial ties. (Not to Lysol or Clorox though; those were just Trump’s insanity on display.) Many less than wholesome stories have already emerged about the administration and PPE. Following all the money there might lead to some interesting places. I maintain my long held view that this administration is basically an organized criminal enterprise.

This weekend Trump decided to play golf at one of his courses. Unlike a lot of other progressives I really don’t have a big problem with Trump sneaking in a round of golf on a holiday weekend. Outdoor activities are actually medically recommended during the coronavirus pandemic if proper precautions are taken. I see no evidence that Trump took proper precautions. He is not exactly setting a good example; something leaders do. My other problem is that by previous reports we know Trump personally profited from the expenditure of federal dollars at one of his properties.

Memorial Day is supposed to be a veteran oriented holiday. Trump spent part of his campaigning for a Pennsylvania House candidate. In the process he mocked, Conor Lamb, a Marine veteran Democratic House member. Trump said he was a puppet of Nancy Pelosi. Lamb is such a puppet of Pelosi’s that he is one of only 15 Democrat who did not vote for her for Speaker. I guess in the Donald Dome Pelosi forgot to pull Lamb’s strings.

I’ll leave you with a few things Trump and his minions have in the works. Trump is trying to land the final death blow to the USPS. Interestingly that coincides with the push for mail in voting in view of the coronavirus pandemic that is gripping the country and if history is any guide will probably be in full force in early November. If we are going to rely on the mail to vote the Postal Service becomes more crucial than ever; unless you were trying to manipulate the election that is.

If any veterans out there think Cadet Bone Spurs has your best interests at heart remember the USPS is America’s largest employer of veterans. (Hint: Trump views veterans as easily manipulated loser.)

As the “negotiation dance” over the next stimulus package begins in Washington one of the demands of Trump and the GOP is immunity from liability for companies who call their workers back only for the workers to contract the coronavirus and die. Additionally they are seeking product liability immunity for many manufacturers. If everything is done correctly with all prudent precautions taken insuring everyone’s safety and the “all clear” can legitimately be sounded why the need for immunity?

You are either a liar or a leader; you can’t be both. Winston Churchill taught us that.

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