Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Ivanka Trump's fashion line tanking and The Donald declaring war on Nordstrom. Kellyanne Conway violating federal employee ethics rules. The Donald indicating he plans to spend every weekend jetting between D.C. and Florida (and people had the nerve to complain when President Obama went to Hawaii once a year?). The Donald holding policy meetings discussing classified information in the middle of a public resaturant. Betsy DeVos. Michael Flynn and the Russians. Oprah scuttling a cabinet pick. Learning that he'd filed for re-election on what was basically his first day in office. Three weekends in a row of golfing in Florida after the man spent multiple years complaining about how much it cost taxpayers any time President Obama left Washington. It's a never ending shit storm. How the more political bloggers manage to deal with it all is beyond me.
Part of me has to wonder, as I've noticed a number of the more conspiracy minded types are doing, if the weirdness overload is all part of a nefarious plan, a deliberate attempt to keep everyone distracted while the truly evil stuff happens behind the scenes. I don't know. Is it really plausible that anyone, be it Vladimir Putin or Steve Bannon or whichever the puppet master you prefer, would deliberately set out to cross The Manchurian Candidate with a Three Stooges movie? I doubt it. (And I am now mentally casting movies about the Trump administration and trying to figure out which role Josh Rogen would be good in. And how on earth could any casting director mange to persuade any actor to portray a human toad like Bannon?)
As I noted in a previous post, The Donald doesn't appear to be a particularly smart man. He's a rich guy who succeeded primarily because he inherited money and has spent his entire life surrounded by butt snorklers and enablers who helped him survive in a gilded bubble. With one or two rare exceptions, everyone of his appointees and advisors falls into that same category: not particularly smart or talented, although some do possess a certain amount of avaricious cunning (his now irrelevant pick for Secretary of Labor fell into that category). Nope. In the case of the floundering, chaotic Trump administration, I don't think we need to look for conspiracies or grand schemes. Like the old saying goes, Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity -- and in the Trump administration there's definitely more than enough stupidity to go around.
On a positive note, it has been fun lately watching news clips of various Congress critters being confronted by their constituents. Anyone who thinks that showing up for town hall meetings and asking hard questions doesn't make a difference should take a look at the clips of representatives like Jason Chaffetz (Republican from Utah) freaking out as voters chant "Do your job!" and "Your last term!" Chaffetz was getting enough crap from the voters that he actually withdrew a resolution he had introduced that would have made it easier for the Bureau of Land Management to sell land. The resolution was actually fairly innocuous -- it dealt with lands that had been previously designated as suitable for sale and not as some activists seemed to think a wholesale auctioning off of national parks -- but given current public sentiment about keeping public lands public Chaffetz managed to stir up considerably more controversy than he'd anticipated.