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Today, from the Atlantic, Jon Lovett’s take on Trump’s 2017 Inaugural address and what follows. (I expected hilarity. The tone comes off more as: “hey, folks; this isn’t funny!”)
One of you who shares Lovett’s alarm sent me Andrew Reinbach’s post from 2011 — the last time Trump was flirting with ruling the world — writing: “It’s hard to believe all those details about Trump’s mob ties have eluded the DNC oppo research team. Yet I’ve never seen anything about them. Just for my own understanding, why is that?”
I have no idea. I’m not sure we even want him to lose the primary. I personally want them all to lose the primary . . . or maybe somehow coax Rick Perry back into the race and on to the nomination.
Bush and the Koch Brothers do for sure want Trump to lose the primary — and have vast opposition-research resources at their disposal — so if this story could hurt Trump, it will probably come out. But why would it hurt him? The piece acknowledges that everybody who wanted to build anything in New York worked with certain facilitators they probably knew were connected to the mob. Confronted with this charge, Trump would likely just brush it off.
“Hey, I was 35, I wanted to build great buildings, my lawyer told me – and by the way, he was Jackie Onassis’s lawyer too, and wasn’t SHE a hottie, nice woman, really, loved to be with her — I used to be a Democrat back then but now I have a YUUUGE fortune and I’ve evolved, the way Ronald Reagan evolved — so when my lawyer, Roy Cohn, told me I needed to write some checks to avoid labor problems, and that everybody did it or went bankrupt, I chose not to go bankrupt. Good choice, don’t you think? And I built some great buildings! Now when I’m president I’ll be able to crush the mob – I will CRUSH them! — because our stupid leaders are never tough enough to do it. I’ll do it. I will CRUSH them. I’m tougher and smarter than anybody — have you read my book? — and I’ll have the launch codes in a football somebody carries aroundwherever I go, so I’ll just fix this — not just for New York but for all America’s cities — and you will thank me four years from now and say, ‘Great job, President Trump.'”
So I think we probably just need to stick to policy, experience, intelligence, and temperament, only one of which he suitably has (intelligence). And to the facts.
It’s so easy to mislead people — “a lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on,” as someone said — and if you repeat it often enough, especially to willing ears, it becomes dogma.
The Republican Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, has said that “By any standard, Barack Obama has been a disaster for our country.” It is just a completely ludicrous, “up-is-down” statement . . . how about “standards” like the economy or the housing market or corporate profits or unemployment or or gasoline prices or the reduction in the deficit* or the number of American soldiers dying each week . . . yet McConnell suffers no loss of status for having made it.
And climate-deniers chair the House and Senate science committees on climate change.
So now comes Donald Trump saying our leaders are so stupid! Yes, okay, maybe the President was editor of the Harvard Law Review. And maybe his Energy Secretary Moniz headed MIT’s Physics Department. But they are just so stooopid! The deal THEY brought the world together to secure gets rid of only 98% of Iran’s fissile material, so Iran can’t make even one bomb — Trump would have gotten rid of 198% of it! The deal THEY brought the world together to secure gets rid of only the most modern two-thirds of their centrifuges. Trump would have gotten rid of all but one of them — and forced that one to spin backwards. The deal THEY brought the world together to secure imposes 24/7 inspection on Iran’s entire nuclear supply chain and allows for inspection of any other site . . . so that if, against all reason, their leaders do cheat (and religious fundamentalists do sometimes defy all reason), we will have far better intelligence than we have now on what needs to be done and how to do it. Trump would have forced them to accept 25/8 inspection — and to pay us $50 billion a year for not attacking them.
He states flatly that not only isn’t this a good deal, it is the worst, worst, WORST deal he has ever seen in all his years of YUUUUGELY successful negotiations. Like the time he brought China, Russia, Germany, France, and the UK together to . . . well, never mind.
It’s just ludicrous; and for now, at least, he’s both winning and helping to misinform the public and tear down our leaders.
(He’s joined in his assessment by Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz, and the Dick Dynasty guy — Trump was happy to share the podium with them.)
Oh! And Dick Cheney says it’s a terrible deal, too, and you know how good his judgment is.
* Such that the National Debt is now once again growing more slowly than the economy as a whole.
Quote of the Day
Who is rich? He that rejoices in his portion.~Pirkei Avot, the Ethics of the Fathers
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