“What you gonna do when everybody’s insane.” That is a line from Heart’s 1976 hit Crazy on You. When I heard it the other morning I thought, what a perfect explanation for the situation Nancy Pelosi is in trying to negotiate with Trump and his minions. As it so happens the song was co-written by the group’s stars, sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson. Unfortunately Nancy is the blond and Ann is the one with dark hair. That was still more than a sufficient setup to satisfy me; now on to exploring the politics.
As of this writing and most likely publishing, the United States is in the midst of Trump Shutdown 3.0. It is totally unnecessary and largely based on Trump’s arrogance, lack of character and ignorance. As Speaker of the House Pelosi is in the position of trying to negotiate a settlement with President Donald Trump who a valid case can be made for his being insane. (I still think Matt Taibbi’s book’s title, Insane Clown President, is the most accurate short description of Trump.)
Last Friday after what appears to have been a contentious meeting between Trump’s team and Congressional leaders Pelosi is reported to have confronted Homeland Security Secretary and Trump team member Kirstjen Nielsen (who attended the meeting via video) over Nielsen’s use of long debunked statistics. When facts are facts on one side and convenient fiction on the other how are negotiations to commence?
A bit later Trump held a disinformation session for the press in the Rose Garden. He was joined by Nielsen along with Vice President Mike Pence, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (whose first name Trump got wrong once) and Republican House Whip Steve Scalise. At one point Trump called on Nielsen to answer a reporter’s question during which she cited the same erroneous statistics. In my book when you keep repeated known to be false statements and portray them as the truth you are lying.
The Democrats, while trying to be polite and not inflame the situation, portrayed the meeting as basically a waste of time. Trump characterized it as productive. In his mind its major accomplishment was agreeing that teams representing the White House and the Congressional Democrats would get together over the weekend to discuss the situation. The White House sent what passes for their A Team: Pence, Nielsen and Jared Kushner. The Democrats sent staffers. People like Pelosi and Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer aren’t fools. They realize that Trump’s word is meaningless, much less that of his surrogates.
Trump is an infamous liar. The Washington Post had him as averaging 15 lies per day in December. (I always knew he was capable of averaging double figures.) Keep in mind that number only includes public statements and definitively provable falsehoods. What about private statements and things of the “No Collusion” variety that we know will most likely be proven to be lies?
I have previously stated that I felt it was sad that the President of France has a better command of the English language than the current President of the United States. Trump again proved that in the last few weeks with his lack of being able to differentiate between a wall and a fence. That is of course if you believe he was telling the truth. (I don’t!)
Pelosi and Schumer are obviously one step ahead of me in analyzing this administration. I often make the mistake of predicting its behavior by keeping in mind what a sane but person of a political philosophy opposite of me would be expected to do. Trump is not politically sane. I am not clinically qualified to pronounce him totally insane (although he probably is) but I feel qualified to pronounce him politically insane. To make matters worse he has surrounded himself with people who are either equally politically insane or so self-absorbed that they simply acquiesce to his every whim.
As bad as Richard Nixon was, in the final analysis he had some modicum of respect for the Constitution and the system. Trump is like a Mafia Don, he has no respect for laws, including the Constitution. He simply looks at what he can get away with if only temporarily.
Here is an interesting observation from the Friday Rose Garden event: Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was not there. To understand the Trump administration you have to view it for what it is: an organized criminal enterprise much like a Mafia family with Donald Trump as the Don. Washington is a small turf which was controlled by Don McConnell (a/k/a Mitch McConnell) for years. I contend there is an unholy alliance between the two Dons to share control of the turf. If (and I think it will be when) Trump loses McConnell the turf war commences and Trump will soon sleep with the political fishes.
Like the song says. “What you gonna do when everybody’s insane?” Thanks Ann and both Nancies.
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