At best, the presidency of Donald Trump is bad soap opera. At worst, it undermines everything the country stands for. Lately, that’s constitutional oversight and the rule of law.
Republicans in Washington are, for the most part, lost. A majority don’t work for the people they represent. They work for their own political interests.
On the soap opera side, Trump’s tweets have become both predictable and soporific. We all know he says things that pander to a base of nativists that cheer his catcalls and coarse language, and revel in his tearing down federal institutions in a democracy that grants these diehards the freedom to propagate the opinions they hold.
Trump’s support among his base is so entrenched that Republicans in Congress — who once stood for law and order, fiscal responsibility, Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan — are willing to throw all that out the window while they ignore this president’s most ignoble characteristics.
It’s not a stretch to say that this “extremely stable genius” will go down as the worst president in this country’s last 100, maybe 200 years. (Even Nixon recognized when it was time to leave the stage before becoming a deeper embarrassment to his party.)
Yet, few Republicans are willing to stand up and speak out at the risk of jeopardizing their own careers with Trump supporters.
While Michigan Representative Justin Amash is not likely to see impeachment anywhere on the horizon, nonetheless, he should be commended for having the political courage to stand apart from his Republican brethren and forcefully speak out about a man who dishonors the country and his party.
Mitt Romney applauds Amash’s “courageous statement,” but when it comes to the findings in the Mueller report, the Utah Senator says that Amash “has reached a different conclusion than I have.”
Although that might sound well thought out, the fact remains that “426 Former Prosecutors (and counting),” agree that “Trump committed multiple felonies.”
It’s sad to say, that for all his criticisms of Trump, Mr. Romney is the Republican paper tiger who can’t see the forest of lies and obstruction that more than 400 prosecutors do.
Then there’s the “distinguished” senator from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, whose opinions on Trump have bent and back-flipped so far into Trump’s back pocket that Senator John McCain is spinning in his grave at the man who once considered him his “best friend.”
This is the same Lindsey Graham who, not long ago, called Trump a “kook,” “crazy” and “unfit for office.”
This is the same Trump who after criticizing Graham at a rally, gave out his cell-phone number to the audience, encouraging all to call and complain. At the time, Graham called Trump a “jackass.”
As for Trump supporters…
“ ‘We are the frontline soldiers getting killed as this trade war goes on,’ said Paul Jeschke, who grows corn and soybeans in northern Illinois, where he’s about to plant his 45th crop,” CNBC reports (May 19).
“ ‘I’m unhappy and I think most of us are unhappy… But most of us understand the merits,’ he added. ‘And it’s not like anyone else would be better.’ ”
On May 13, Trump tweeted: “The unexpectedly good first quarter 3.2% GDP was greatly helped by Tariffs from China.”
FactCheck writes (May 14), “Tariffs imposed by the Trump administration have a small, negative impact on gross domestic product growth, according to economists, the Congressional Budget Office, the International Monetary Fund and the top White House economic adviser. That contradicts President Donald Trump’s repeated claim that the tariffs have boosted the GDP.”
In a series of New York Times interviews with supporters in Youngstown, OH (May 21), “Amy Giovannone, 51, an oil and gas consultant and an Army veteran, said Mr. Trump’s habitual false statements did not bother her (‘all politicians are pathological liars’)…”
If “all politicians are pathological liars,” then how can you trust anything Trump says?
Right now, the U.S. economy is booming and that’s good, but what about those who don’t feel the results of that boom?
Well, the “stable genius” has a plan for that.
“Trump has promised an aid package, some $15 billion for farmers and ranchers, following $11 billion in relief payments last year,” CNBC said.
“It’s been six years since farmers did better than break even on corn, and five years since they made money off soybeans,” CNBC adds.
“U.S. net farm income, a commonly used measure of profits, has plunged 45 percent since a high of $123.4 billion in 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, reflecting American farmers’ struggle to return to the profitability seen earlier in the decade.”
Nonetheless, Vienna Township, OH resident “[Darrell] Franks told The Times, “I don’t want kinder, gentler.”
What supporters in Youngstown want is more tough talk. While tough talk seems great in the short term, the long term is in doubt. Who knows when the great deal-maker will make a deal with China.
The Administration announced on Thursday that it is adding another $16 billion in aid for farmers suffering from the China tariffs. But farmers don’t want handouts.
“We don’t want another check from the government,” Minnesota farmer Shayne Isane said. “People don’t realize that once you lose a market, it’s hard to get it back.”
“A total of 84 farms in the upper Midwest filed for bankruptcy between July 2017 and June 2018, according to the Federal Reserve of Minneapolis. That’s more than double the number of Chapter 12 filings during the same period in 2013 and 2014 in Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana,” Vox reports (May 17).
Despite the evidence from economists, the Congressional Budget Office, Department of Agriculture, International Monetary Fund and the top White House economic adviser, supporters will not be shaken from their belief that tariffs on China are the only solution.
Sadly, Washington Republicans are just lost. And their supporters are willing to sacrifice decades of hard work and their family’s financial stability to support a snake oil president who could sell snake oil to snakes.
Tim O’Hara, vice-president of United Auto Workers, said that few workers are abandoning support for Trump even after the GM plant in Youngstown which manufactured the Chevy Cruze laid off thousands of workers.
O’Hara told The Times, “I don’t think those Trump people are going to flip back… I think they’re dug in on Trump. Whatever happens, they’re going to go down with the ship with him.”
That’s not just bad for farmers, it’s bad for the country.