I'm not exactly going out on a limb here by speculating that the cluster fuck that is the newly born Truamp administration is the inevitable result of American voters deciding to elect someone who had spent his entire life inside a golden bubble. The Human Yam had no idea how government actually worked, and no one around him -- the herd of butt snorklers and enablers whose income or access to power depends on keeping The Donald happy -- was or is willing to tell him. He thinks the President's pen is kind of like a magic wand: he signs something and it'll magically happen. No checks and balances, no having to beg Congress for appropriations for dream projects, no the American public freaking out and mounting massive protests, just issue an order and Stuff Will Happen.
Well, it's obviously true that if the President signs an executive order directly ordering persons working within the Executive Branch to do something, Stuff Happens. Witness the mess that has ensued because the Yam decided to persecute women and children fleeing war zones. That doesn't mean the Stuff Happening is legal -- that's why the Judiciary exists, it's part of the checks and balances built into the Constitution (a document The Donald has apparently never read). Except The Donald didn't know that. Having spent his life in a golden bubble where people only told him what he wanted to hear and having been able, thanks to the combination of money and celebrity, to bulldoze his way over the rare individuals who tried telling him he was wrong, he figured being President was like being CEO of a private company. He can bark out orders and minions will jump.
|Proposed CBP uniform. Very retro.|
The question is, of course, will other agencies be as compliant? We've been seeing "Rogue" and "Alt" pages purporting to be the work of federal employees defying the dictates of Darth Cheeto but there's no way of knowing how real any of them are or how many employees may have actually joined the Resistance. And what happens when various states start telling Trump and the federal government where to shove it? Will the other federal law enforcement agencies and the military be as quick to defy court orders as the Border Patrol? Or will someone in Congress actually have enough of a spine to get serious about invoking Article 4 of the 25th Amendment?
I saw a brief news item, a tease to an article about Steve Bannon trying to prevent any paper trails in the White House. It was a pretty obvious reference to trying to prevent evidence that might be used for impeachment proceedings from building up in filing cabinets, but who needs a paper trail for invoking Amendment 25? All you need are the video recordings and the tweets. I mean, how mentally competent is a man who's up in the middle of the night to do Twitter rants about celebreties and who obsesses about crowd size? I've been saying it for two years: if Trump was someone's aging parent from an average middle class family, the adult children would be trying to find him an open bed in a memory care unit. He's the embodiment of everyone's angry elderly uncle who's been sliding into dementia for years but no one wants to admit it. People got seduced by his celebrity and willingly ignored the crazy.
We have had Presidents in the past who did a pretty thorough job of abusing their power, who lied to the citizenry, and who managed to do a fair amount of damage during their terms in office. All of them, though, knew enough about how the government is supposed to work that they managed to be subtle. They slid stuff through under the radar, so to speak, or were patient enough to move slowly and carefully. Reagan, for example, indulged in behavior similar to Trump's: he appointed people to head agencies those same people wanted to weaken or destroy, he indulged in crony capitalism, and he managed to end up with one of the most corrupt administrations in history. Unlike Trump, however, Reagan knew how to screw us over without we the people recognizing it. He was smart enough to not indulge in self-aggrandizing. If anything, he did the opposite, which is one reason the scandals that did hit never touched him. People loved Reagan. Almost no one loves Trump; his approval ratings are dropping so fast he's going to be hated more than Congress soon and he's been in office less than two weeks. I'm not sure if the Yam's megolamaniac style of governence is a good thing or a bad thing. After all, there's no mystery as to what he's trying to do. The big question is what the country is going to do in response. We definitely live in interesting times.