Saturday, April 29, 2017

100 Days of Failure, Broken Promises - And Action

It's been a hundred days since sanity, coherence, joy, optimism, brilliance of mind, sound leadership and dignity vanished from the White House. Since the building symbolized hope and housed a super-qualified, integrity-driven administration. Since the president and first lady and their two daughters were hugely respected round the world, free from even the hint of scandal or abuse. Since the planet was in safe hands and international conflict was under control.

A hundred days only? It feels like years. The six months since the New York Times finally took an unequivocal stand for Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump feel like decades.

Remember the Democratic National Convention, when Hillary Clinton broke a glass ceiling, and after that Barack and Michelle Obama took to the campaign trail with passion and energy that lit up every day. It feels like a lifetime since the world felt like a safe place after eight years of a president who valued diplomacy over war and understood how important it was not to engage in saber-rattling with trigger-happy sociopath leaders. Since hope and optimism were at an all time high for the future of America set firmly on a path of increasing tolerance, good governance and equality.

It seems as if a generation has passed since the most powerful nation in the world was perceived to be a buffer, an insurmountable barrier, against the insurgent far right in Europe. But it's only been one hundred days.

It's been a challenge to keep up with, let alone process, everything that the current president and his shambolic, understaffed, unqualified administration have done in that time to create carnage. Shock and horror prevail and ripple out constantly from the epicenter into the world. Liberals are obliged to keep themselves informed but it's like drinking poison every day. Donald Trump is in the news the whole time and every word written about him is  disheartening, depressing. The way the Republican Party is enabling him because they want the power is almost worse. Reading about it all is like trying to breathe through an oil slick. Rep. Nancy Pelosi tweeted some choice triumphs.

A hundred days ago, a significant majority of American voters and liberals around the world were in shock that the unimaginable had actually happened. Paradise was paved and replaced with a parking lot.

But if anybody was ever afraid that the majority of Americans would let Trump's bigotry, stupidity, racism, flagrant ignorance and sexism become the new normal, or that the Trump brand would make a fortune out of the presidency before Trump bankrupted the country and walked away scot-free, they can set that fear aside. If anybody thought that the majority of Americans were as easily brainwashed as the average Russian has been by Vladimir Putin, or that the free world would let itself be led into a dark age of intolerance, they'll have to think again.

Yes, it's been one hundred days of travesty, of inhumane campaign and post-campaign promises that fortunately have been broken, of a president who wanders the corridors of the White House in a dressing gown, mindlessly tweeting whatever is running through his seedy brain at three in the morning. A man who clearly has difficulty reading but none in telling a lie.

A hundred days of nepotism, back-biting, infighting, alternative fact spewing, lies and doubling down on lies, contradictions, threats of suing the press, calling it the enemy of the people. Childish attempts to follow Putin's playbook. And failure in everything that's been attempted.

A fragmented Republican Party, driven asunder by its own infighting; the Freedom Caucus pushing to the far right, and moderate Republicans fearing for their seats in 2018 if they give in.

In a normal presidency it would be a disaster. But in this one it's a triumph. It seems the parking lot came with built-in jack-hammers, because these one hundred days have also been a time of massive protests, of Americans going to town hall meetings and putting pressure on their representatives in Congress. Of the liberal media reporting truthfully, the New York Times and the Washington Post in a perpetual bun fight for who can get the biggest truth out first and most often.

Slate, Mother Jones, Politico, Salon, Vanity Fair, Daily Beast, HuffPost, The New Yorker, Reuters, Alternet, even Teen Vogue, to mention a few, all have their take as politics takes center stage. CNN, SkyNews and BBC anchors and hosts are relentlessly driving truth home. Comedians and cartoonists are having a field day. Twitter and Facebook are red-hot with protest and shared information.

Barack and Michelle Obama, have taken their break and are back in action, not as politicians, but as civilians. So is Hillary Clinton. And Bernie Sanders, is still in the Senate, and plugging away with Tom Perez for the Democratic Party. They all have huge followings.

Democrats in the House and Senate are fighting for all they're worth. Mike Flynn was forced to resign, Jeff Session and Devin Nunes' lies were exposed, forcing them to recuse. The repeal and replace Obamacare fiasco fizzled.  Judges have blocked two attempts at Muslim bans, and at defunding sanctuary cities. Democrats refused to pass a bill that had money in it to fund the wall with Mexico. The major tax overhaul has been limp dick. The economy only grew at 0.7% for these past three months, down from 2.1% in the previous quarter. That would be during Obama's time, the man who ruined the US.

All of Trump's major Make America Great Again campaign promises and most of his 282 all-time promises (tracked by the Washington Post) have come to nothing. Which doesn't, of course, affect his base, but it does everybody else. And they're the ones who will count in 2018 and beyond.

And then there is the Russia probe. The investigations into Russian interference in the election, and into Trump collaboration with them, gain momentum despite all the frantic attempts at distraction. Accusing Obama and then GCHQ of wire-tapping, Devin Nunes' fake-evidence collaboration with Trump which fizzled. The attack on a Syrian airbase that achieved nothing, leaving the runway intact. The MOAB dropped on an ISIS target. North Korea threatened with a possible invasion by an armada, which embarrassingly turned out to be one ship travelling in the opposite direction.

None of it is impacting at all on the forward movement of that pesky Russia probe, which now has four official investigative bodies. And all the investigative functions of the liberal press.

Which is not to say that America, the planet or the rest of the world is safe. There'll be no safety until this administration changes. But the Republican Party, with all the power on paper that it finally has, can't unite to utilize that power effectively. The understaffed, ill-equipped administration is falling apart. And Trump, for all his braggadocio, is visibly losing steam—admitting for the first time yesterday that the job was much harder than he realized that it would be, and pretty much expressing regret. Not surprising, given his approval ratings, and how much he is hated, distrusted, laughed at and scorned.

Paving the way to pull out? Paradise Revisited.