101 Trumpnations

One hundred and one. But who’s counting? The total is too daunting.

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Donald Trump in 100 days hasn’t done as much as we may have feared, and of course he’s done way less than he promised. Lots of commentary about this artificial hundred-day mark, about how Trump’s doing.

What about us? How are we doing?

Still shocked. Still disbelieving. I have friends and family who are watching and reading much less news. Thoreau said that, once you know trains can crash, you don’t need to know every time a train crashes. I’m reading and watching somewhat less. So little of what’s in the headlines and on the air is surprising: Trump guts environmental protections, Trump proposes tax breaks for the rich. We need to know he’s doing this, but I don’t need to punish myself with each detail.

My wife, Lisa, has said for some time that, politically, things have to get worse before they get better. She started saying this when W was “selected” as she says. I hoped eight years of W would be enough to start the “better.” But I guess we need more “worse.” I can’t quite fathom that we have fourteen times as many days of Trump left as we’ve had so far — if he doesn’t quit early, bored and tired of actual work, as I believe he will. At 66 years of age, keeping my head down for four years and hoping things get better doesn’t sound as easy as it might have in 1968, at the beginning of Nixon. Or even at the beginning of Reagan, when I was 30.

Several commentators, including Andrew Sullivan, have said it’s a good thing Hillary Clinton didn’t get elected, if Congress stayed Republican. Congress would have let her accomplish less than Obama, and the right would have gone more crazy, and the Democratic Party would have suffered more in the White House than in the Wilderness, Sullivan says. Maybe there’s a silver lining there.

The hope these writers have is that Trump will screw up enough that there will be a reaction against him in both the midterms and the next presidential election, and we’ll get back to … to what? Republicans and Democrats fractured within their parties, left and right (or right and far right)? Voters who don’t understand or want to understand people who voted for the other side? A country still divided, or splintered, but one with a Democrat in the White House? I guess that’s our hope, faint though it may be.

My hope is that people who voted for Trump will see his con. But they haven’t so far. Ninety-six percent of those who voted for him still support him, some polls say. Those numbers may not yet reflect reaction to his tax plan, which benefits him to the tune of hundreds of millions, and $1.2 billion in estate tax savings, if you believe his boasts about his own wealth. Maybe those numbers will wake up some Trump voters — but are the local media in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, or Anadarko, Texas, showing who benefits and who’s getting screwed in Trump’s plan? Fox News ain’t. What will make Trump voters understand that he ran as a populist and is already governing as a plutocrat?

Trump voters are getting the circus they wanted, but not the bread. Jason Miller, a Trump campaign adviser, told the New York Times today “The 2016 election wasn’t a delicate request to challenge exiting traditions; it was a demand that our next president do things different. And while the professional political class struggles to understand what has happened to their hold on power, supporters of President Trump — the forgotten men and women he referenced in his Inaugural Address — love the change they’re seeing.” So Trump shakes things up and doesn’t follow convention, and I understand how that’s appealing. Too many politicians are to human beings what a postcard is to a real sunset. So Trump is refreshing to people tired of both Marco Rubio and Hillary Clinton poll-testing their every breath.

Trouble is, Donald Trump doesn’t give a rat’s ass about “the forgotten men and women he referenced in his Inaugural Address.” Never has. And is busily working, when he’s not golfing, at screwing them over. Will they see it, or will his flimflam bluster keep them entertained enough to not check their wallets?

Time will tell. But with an aging Supreme Court and the oceans rising … do we have 1,359 more days?

Me, I’m just glad baseball season started. Even reruns of West Wing (our fifth time through) aren’t cheering me up as much as an Evan Longoria homer or rope-line toss from deep at third.

How are you all doing?

— Bruce Benidt

 

LIVE: How to Twitter a Revolution

Andrew Sullivan at theatlantic.com reports on “The Revolution Will be Tweeted.” I highly recommend reading this quick and important blog post.

Sullivan’s right..and the revolution is going on now.

But why twitter? Because the government has taken control over every other form of mass communication. But students on twitter are organizing and protesting. And students with cell phones are shooting and uploading video to show the rest of the world what the Iranian government doesn’t want us to see:

An amazing use of social media by young people who will not be held back any longer.

Oops…the Palin Foreign Policy Photo Op Backfires

Governor Palin’s trip to New York …where she is posing for “grip-and-grins” with a group of world leaders (all of whom are somewhat beholden to the continued goodwill of the U.S.) plus Henry Kissinger…. has always struck me as a mistake by Team McCain as it simply highlights her foreign policy inexperience.

In the last few minutes, however, Team McCain’s efforts to protect their vice-presidential candidate from has overreached as they briefly tried to ban reporters from even observing the meetings. Photographers only, they said.

In response to this new level of restriction, CNN – which was providing pool coverage for the TVs – responded by pulling all personnel from covering the events and pledged to not use any footage from any source from the meetings. In the face of losing their photo op, Team McCain quickly backed down by allowing a producer to accompany the photographer into the meeting.

Andrew Sullivan uses the opportunity to rant against the media’s willingness to be pushed around by Team McCain on access.

The discontent, however, is not limited to the partisan Mr. Sullivan.  ABC’s coverage of this situation reflects the media’s growing unhappiness with Team McCain’s approach to Ms. Palin’s coverage:

As she arrived for her meeting with Karzai, Palin avoided reporters who were camped out at the main front entrance of the hotel, instead pulling up in a motorcade to a side entrance and quickly sneaking inside. (emphasis added).

– Austin

PS – I wonder if Governor Palin has ever been to New York before.  Does anyone know? small business loan fine