Now a Ramblin’ Jack Elliot said:
I got these lines in my face
Tryin’ to straighten out the wrinkles in my life
When I think of all the fools I’ve been
It’s a wonder that I’ve sailed this many miles…
He said, “I recall a time
I set my soul on fire just for show
All it ever taught me was
The more I learn the less I seem to know”
Ol’ Mahan crawled out from behind a couch and said:
“Jack, as far as I can see
Mistakes are only horses in disguise
Ain’t no need to ride ’em over
’cause we could not ride them different if we tried — Guy Clark
Who will rid me of this troublesome priest! — Henry II, King of England
If you’re on drugs can I have some because they gotta be good stuff!
Now, it turns out that you can’t replace the basic functions of government with the law of attraction: no matter how rich you’ve been in the past, or how powerful you are in the present, wishing doesn’t make it so. And insulting the intelligence and integrity of the people you need to turn fantasy into reality, as much as that’s even possible, doesn’t help. –Alyssa Rosenberg, Act IV, Washington Post
There are a lot of things the Trump administration lacks. Honor, integrity, basic facts, knowledge of the constitution and how it works, quality people, commitment to American values — as I said, there are a lot of things that they lack. But the Comey defenestration tells me that they lack anyone with any sense at all of shame, or of how things work in real life.
Telling Jeff Sessions — is there a more greasy and untrustworthy looking and acting weasel in the government than this guy? — to come up with the grounds for Comey’s firing and then having it leak is frighteningly incompetent and utterly tone deaf. Having the Assistant Attorney General write a freaking memorandum about mistreating Hillary Clinton and getting the bureaucratic equivalent endorsement of a line-through endorsement from Sessions as a basis is a transparent and ineffectual effort at covering his ass. Adding his own blither with the gratuitous bit thanking Comey for reassuring him three times he wasn’t under investigation for Russia was irrelevant as well as a great clue as to how his mind works.
Every manager in every organization at every level makes mistakes and some of them are serious and some of them may be fatal; it’s self-evident that James Comey’s mistakes with Hillary Clinton’s emails weren’t fatal unless she won the election with a large Democratic majority in the House and or Senate. Had she won by squeaking by, Clinton would have reasonably been expected to make Comey kind of miserable, but she’d have never dared fire him for the letters about her emails because it would make her look weak and scared of him. So, since President Trump has reason to be as grateful to Comey as to the GRU and Putin, in the absence of the Russian investigation, you could have expected Comey to have survived the Orange Orangutan’s first term.
But, Trump has shown an absolute inability to govern his behavior based on how it will be seen in the world. He’s the spoiled child of wealth, the younger son who had to step up when the eldest failed to do what his father demanded of him and married someone he didn’t like. He was advised by slimy types like Roy Cohn, celebrities like Liberace, intimate with mobsters and swindlers and overblown celebrity, and used to having his ego and penis stroked by all. He’s like Kim Jong Un, unrestrained and unfettered, only older and in charge of something infinitely more powerful than the People’s Republic of Korea or more complicated the Trump Organization.
Another note says, “Donald was the last one Roy spoke to on the phone,” perhaps referring to Cohn’s last days, in 1986. Seymour also noted that Trump could be “two-faced,” and described how he had once heard from an assistant that a lawyer working for Cohn wanted to leave his firm and immediately told Cohn about the treachery. Trump “did things like that always. Roy’s line on him: ‘He pisses ice water!’ “
So, he screws a lot of things up. Unlike Ramblin’ Jack Eliot and Larry Mahan, he’s never had to pick himself up in the arena, dust himself off, and stride off the stage to the boos and catcalls of a crowd. He did that to a certain extent when the Casinos crashed and he didn’t like it all all. As head of the Trump Organization — all he’s done as an adult, really — he doesn’t answer to anybody. He’s been insulated from danger and pain; in a way, he’s like Xerxes in The 300, angry and enraged at having his will thwarted by these puny Spartans until Leonidas raises his spear and makes a near perfect cast, tearing off some of the gold ornamenting his divine countenance, drawing blood from his divine face and letting him know that he is in fact human and vulnerable.
So, Comey requests more money for the investigation in the Russia links, and a couple of weeks later, Comey is fired. Nothing to see here folks, or as Sean Spicer’s aides said to the press last night, “Sean will talk to you but turn out the lights!”
Do I think Trump’s vulnerable on Russia? Well, I don’t know but it certainly looks that way even before this. The Russian aggregate is really embedded in the whole conflicts of interest shibboleth that keeps rolling along — Donald Trump has cheated his partners, cheated his employees, cheated his suppliers, failed to deliver on promises and generally been a horrible human being. For the love of Jesus, the man is a real estate developer, a land and property speculator! When in history has that indicated you were dealing with a man of principle, a person of integrity? For surely, “God is a real estate developer
with offices around the nation
They say one day he’ll liquidate
his holdings up on High
I say it’s all speculation
He may be an absentee landlord
This may be a low rent universe
The roof may need repairs
but at last the floor is there
And the rent is not due ’til the first” —Michelle Shocked
He may be personally gracious to his loyalists and to his family, but the idea of a higher loyalty than to an individual eludes him. He adds to this a large portion of Sammy Glick-ness. He’s trying to prove how wonderful he is by telling everyone how wonderful he is. My wife inevitably greets his appearance in fury, screeching “I’m wonderful! Everybody loves me! I’m the greatest! I’m wonderful!” because she finds his ego and display and crudity and vulgarity both nauseating and infuriating. She’s a girl from South Jersey, and she can recognize a self-centered windbag with the best of them.
So there are obviously some vulnerabilities on Russia, the Mafia, organized crime, labor laws and so on. The hotels, the gold courses, the stinking university, the sexual assaults — he may not be the President we need nor the one we want but as we fail to get our arms around the contradictions in American capitalism and the 21st Century, perhaps he’s the President we deserve. He’s certainly the President we’ve got.
So, if he wants to salvage his presidency for history and perhaps for himself, I’d recommend that he get rid of everybody in the west wing, and get a crew of Army First Sergeants, Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sergeants, Navy Submarine Chiefs of the Boat; he should then get some lawyers who have actually practiced law for complicated organizations. He needs to have the smartest of this mob, under the leadership of somebody like Barry McCaffrey or Stanley McCrystal vet everything that anyone wants to do, including and especially him. They need to be empowered, in some ways like the Censors of the Roman Republic and in someways like Tac Officers and NCOs or Drill Instructors and Drill Sergeants to not only say no but exact punishment for stupidity and not paying attention.
The minions think they can ape the boss to press and to the public, and it isn’t working. The Boss’s game isn’t working with the press except his beloved National Enquirer and Stormfront and Fox News. But nobody has the basic fortitude to tell him “Boss, this will make you look bad!” Or, as I put it to a large number of bosses over the decades, “Are you on drugs? Can I have some because they gotta be good stuff!”
The thought of making the Spicers, and the Bannons and the Conways and the Huckabees and the Preibuses and the Jareds all run laps around the south lawn carrying sandbags does gladden my heart. But more importantly than making me happy, Trump savages those who tell him the truth he doesn’t like. He rewards sycophants, parasites and toadies.
In Henry II’s case, he had a trusted adviser who’d tell him the truth, call him on his bullshit and refuse to cooperate. Henry made the mistake of making that guy the Archbishop of Canterbury, in effect giving Thomas Becket a new boss, Almighty God and His Vicar, the Pope. Things, history tells us, did not go well. Becket knew he was a sinner, forced on an angry God by the whim of his king; and, lived simply, wore a hair shirt, fasted constantly, and engaged in self flagellation and public penance. He also wouldn’t cooperate with the King’s bad ideas at the expense of the Church. They fought, he was exiled, he prayed, the Pope retaliated, Henry II reconciled with Becket — kind of. Not really, though and when allowed back in England, Becket was again a complete pain the ass of the monarch. Who got drunk, got angry and screamed out that someone needed to do something right now! And they did…and things went poorly for Henry and his dynasty from then on.
Except for his father, Trump never had that, and his father stoked his sense of entitlement. Had he actually served in the Military, even stacking rakes at a Basic Training Installation or a Mess Hall officer in Ditty Mao Ditty, Vietnam, he’d have learned not to assume you can get away with everything by being loud, obnoxious, demanding and threatening to sue. Some SFC Supply Sergeant or CW4 Food Service Warrant would have had his balls mounted on the wall.
Karma is a bitch-goddess, and Trump has defied Karma for decades. As an American who tries to be a true Patriot, this is not good for my country. As a Stoic with some Cynic tendencies, a satirist and critic, this could get very interesting. Regardless, had Trump’s father made his son surround himself with people who’d tell him NO! and advisers who’d remind him that he depended on people not being sure that he was an ass so don’t prove it! Had old sheet-wearing, racist and felon Fred Trump done those things, Trump wouldn’t be here today and neither would we.
Posted by Mike Farrell on May 10, 2017, With 0 Reads, Filed under Civil Liberties, Corruption, Government & Politics, Of Interest. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.