Sunday, December 23, 2018

Robert Reich - Trump is Toast.

It's not Trump's loyal-unto-death base that's the problem for the Mango Mussolini.  It's America's "bought and paid for" Congressional Republicans. They may fear Trump's base but not as much as they fear the money guys who write all those lovely cheques. That's how Robert Reich is hearing it:
This morning I phoned my friend, the former Republican member of Congress.

ME: So, what are you hearing? 
HE: Trump is in deep sh*t.

ME: Tell me more.

HE: When it looked like he was backing down on the wall, Rush and the crazies on Fox went ballistic. So he has to do the shutdown to keep the base happy. They’re his insurance policy. They stand between him and impeachment.

ME: Impeachment? No chance. Senate Republicans would never go along.

HE (laughing): Don’t be so sure. Corporate and Wall Street are up in arms. Trade war was bad enough. Now, you’ve got Mattis resigning in protest. Trump pulling out of Syria, giving Putin a huge win. This dumbass shutdown. The stock market in free-fall. The economy heading for recession.

ME: But the base loves him.

HE: Yeah, but the base doesn’t pay the bills.

ME: You mean …

HE: Follow the money, friend.

ME: The GOP’s backers have had enough?

HE: They wanted Pence all along.

ME: So …

HE: So they’ll wait until Mueller’s report, which will skewer Trump. Pelosi will wait, too. Then after the Mueller bombshell, she’ll get 20, 30, maybe even 40 Republicans to join in an impeachment resolution.

ME: And then?

HE: Senate Republicans hope that’ll be enough – that Trump will pull a Nixon.

ME: So you think he’ll resign?

HE (laughing): No chance. He’s fu*king out of his mind. He’ll rile up his base into a fever. Rallies around the country. Tweet storms. Hannity. Oh, it’s gonna be ugly. He’ll convince himself he’ll survive.

ME: And then?

HE: That’s when Senate Republicans pull the trigger.

ME: Really? Two-thirds of the Senate?

HE: Do the math. 47 Dems will be on board, so you need 19 Republicans. I can name almost that many who are already there. Won’t be hard to find the votes.

ME: But it will take months. And the country will be put through a ringer.

HE: I know. That’s the worst part.

ME: I mean, we could have civil war.

HE: Hell, no. That’s what he wants, but no chance. His approvals will be in the cellar. America will be glad to get rid of him.

ME: I hope you’re right.

HE: He’s a dangerous menace. He’ll be gone. And then he’ll be indicted, and Pence will pardon him. But the state investigations may put him in the clinker. Good riddance.
Meanwhile The New York Times' Peter Barker and Maggie Haberman write that Trump is holed up in the White House feeling abandoned by everyone.

For two years, Mr. Trump has waged war against his own government, convinced that people around him are fools. Angry that they resist his wishes, uninterested in the details of their briefings, he becomes especially agitated when they tell him he does not have the power to do what he wants, which makes him suspicious that they are secretly undermining him.

Now, the president who once declared that “I alone can fix” the system increasingly stands alone in a system that seems as broken as ever. The swirl of recent days — a government shutdown, spiraling scandals, tumbling stock markets, abrupt troop withdrawals and the resignation of his alienated defense secretary — has left the impression of a presidency at risk of spinning out of control.

At the midpoint of his term, Mr. Trump has grown more sure of his own judgment and more cut off from anyone else’s than at any point since taking office. He spends ever more time in front of a television, often retreating to his residence out of concern that he is being watched too closely. As he sheds advisers at a head-spinning rate, he reaches out to old associates, complaining that few of the people around him were there at the beginning.

Mr. Trump is said by advisers to be consumed by the multiplying investigations that have taken down his personal lawyer, campaign chairman, national security adviser and family foundation. He rails against enemies, who often were once friends, nursing a deep sense of betrayal and grievance as they turn on him. 
...The portrait that emerges from interviews with about 30 current and former administration officials, personal friends, political allies, lawmakers and congressional aides suggests a president who revels in sharp swings in direction, feels free to disregard historic allies and presides over near constant turmoil within his own team as he follows his own instincts. 
...Always impulsive, the president increasingly believes he does not need advisers, according to people close to him. He is on his third chief of staff, third national security adviser, sixth communications director, second secretary of state, second attorney general and soon his second defense secretary. Turnover at the top has reached 65 percent, according to the Brookings Institution.
...More recently, the president has told associates he feels “totally and completely abandoned,” as one put it, complaining that no one is on his side and that many around him have ulterior motives. That extends even to his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who was credited for helping push through the criminal justice bill, praise that Mr. Trump took note of. 
Longtime associates said Mr. Trump’s relationship with his children has grown more removed and that he feels he does not have a friend in the White House. He disagrees with Mr. Kushner and Ivanka Trump much of the time, but cannot bring himself to tell them no, leaving that instead to Mr. Kelly, according to former aides. That made Mr. Kelly the heavy, they said, and therefore the target of their ire until he was finally forced out.
... By all accounts, Mr. Trump’s consumption of cable television has actually increased in recent months as his first scheduled meetings of the day have slid back from the 9 or 9:30 a.m. set by Reince Priebus, his first chief of staff, to roughly 11 many mornings. During “executive time,” Mr. Trump watches television in the residence for hours, reacting to what he sees on Fox News. While in the West Wing, he leaves it on during most meetings in the dining room off the Oval Office, one ear attuned to what is being said.
If you've stuck it out this far, I would like to give you a little Christmas gift. Here's Kim Jong Il as Donald J. Trump:


Anonymous said...

Ah, "follow the money."
Both choices of "The money" or Trump are unpalatable, but one is better, for sure.

Jay Farquharson said...


“HE: When it looked like he was backing down on the wall, Rush and the crazies on Fox went ballistic. So he has to do the shutdown to keep the base happy. They’re his insurance policy. They stand between him and impeachment.”

In a MSNBC focus group of 85 Trumpentariate only one Trumpist believed that Wall was a real promise. 84:85 thought it was just retoric allowing them to get their hate freely on. The Trumpentariate only cares about Wall as a means to pwn the Libs.

The ReThugs inhouse Lugenpresse, however, from Faux and Fiends to Coulter, are the ones threatening to pull support from The Insane Clown POSus over Wall. The number one rule of propaganda, is that you are not supposed to drink the Koolaide, you are supposed to only serve it to the rubes. Both the ReThug Politicians and their Lugenpresse have been deeply drinking from the pitcher for years.

Now, with only a few Merde a Lago guests taking selfies with the Air Force Lieutenant carrying “the football”, standing between Treason Tribble and nucler war, it will be interesting to see if we all live to see 2020.

Anonymous said...

Or in other words, neoliberals like Robert Reich are colluding with Republican neocons to invalidate democratic election results for the explicit purpose of restoring neocolonial free-trade globalism and open borders across the Americas.

In Canada, they call this: "Liberal, Tory: same old story."

Neoliberals are simply neocons with the fashionable conscience of a liberal. They always run on "change" from the brutal and disastrous policies of some neocon administration. Then they expand on them.

Jay Farquharson said...


“Or in other words, neoliberals like Robert Reich are colluding with Republican neocons to invalidate democratic election results”


Jay Farquharson said...

“Hi! Beloved Treasury Secretary and Wonder Woman executive producer Steven Mnuchin here. You probably weren’t expecting to hear from me over the holidays, especially since I’m on vacation in Mexico, but I just wanted to pop in and let the American people know that there’s no danger that every last bank in the country will suddenly run out of money on Monday. In fact, I was so concerned that you might be afraid that the economic system would abruptly grind to a halt within 24 hours, I spent part of my vacation calling bank CEOs on their vacations so I could bring you with this confident, forward-looking statement that says, apropos of nothing, that I have no reason to believe that your life savings will be as worthless as paper in the face of what’s coming on Monday, which is nothing. Nothing is coming on Monday, except for a big meeting which I am convening on Christmas Eve so that we can all talk about how everything is totally fine and good and cool and we definitely won’t be stabbing each other in the streets over scraps of bread by Christmas morning. Why, what have you heard?”

Anonymous said...

You don't think Robert Reich is a neoliberal? He worked in the first neoliberal administration in the world: Bill Clinton's.

Him and Blair were espousing the 'New Democrat', modern liberalism that took a 'Third Way' compromise. Apparently between post-war Keynesian liberalism (which was enormously successful) and "far right" Friedmanian neoconservatism ushered in by Reagan and Thatcher (which the people, at the time, had grown to hate.)

Somehow neoliberals managed to move the economy even further right after running on putting the brakes on the unpopular right-wing reforms. At the time they were really good at lying to the public. (These days, not so much.)

But neoliberalism really began with JFK: Big tax cuts for the rich. Economic-to-social-progressive pivot. "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for upper-crust moochers like me." America's lousy healthcare. (LBJ brought in the "war as a business opportunity" model – taking an interesting spin on Ike's warning to the world that the MIC is a monster that wants to dictate foreign policy. – Kinda like using Orwell as an instructions manual.)

Reich talks a good game. But like your typical neoliberal, did nothing when he had power. Like with all neoliberals, it's hard to tell if it's corruption or incompetence. But you always end up with the same thing, over and over: a big fat nothing. So I guess it doesn't make a difference – if there is one.

(They always pretend to be incompetent: Oops! Didn't mean to bomb those weddings. Sure, we could see the whites of their eyes on the ISTAR video stream – but no one's perfect! Oops! Didn't mean to lock up all those super-predators. Three-strikes legislation looked "smart and effective" at the time. Might as well keep 'em in there. Oops! Didn't mean to trash the global financial system deregulating the banks. The bankers themselves told us it was a good idea. They were real nice about it too.)

Anonymous said...

Don't you mean Kim, Jung-un?

Jay Farquharson said...


Impeachment is part of the “Democratic process” in the US.

The House deciding not to pass the President’s Agenda is part of the “Democratic process” in the US.

The Senate deciding not to pass either the House or President’s Agenda is part of the “Democratic process” in the US.

LMFAO at the ignorance on display. The Russian’s have really done a number and melted a lot of brains in the West. Not that they were the best brains to begin with.


Anonymous said...

Russia is nonsense. You can't mock anyone for being stupid, if you're dumb enough to believe in that hallow, flaky narrative.

Neoliberals just used it as a distraction from the consequences of losing to Trump with their terrible strategy of targeting moderate Republicans to split the vote instead of delivering some of Bernie's platform to workers.

Nobody believes there's anything there. They had more evidence of WMDs in Iraq - and all they had were a bunch of pipes!

What do people want to impeach Trump on? They've been talking about it since day one. Clearly they've been hoping to find something to impeach him on along the way. One could call it a "rush to judgment." Except the cops are looking for a crime to pin on someone – not pin the blame for an existing crime.

It's almost as if they feel they have a veto over democracy. At least some of these people are used to getting things their way. And that's why Americans elected Trump. To stop all these terrible deals and make good ones for Americans. And he's accomplished great things! Fantastic things!

The Donald ain't perfect. But he's a hell of a guy!

Jay Farquharson said...


You know that “The Donald” is a Reddit “tell”, right?


Anonymous said...

If you're this crazy-paranoid in real life, you need to be put on anti-psychotics. Just don't get any ideas about shooting up a country bar. Not all country music lovers are deplorables. That's racist!

Jay Farquharson said...


Shooting up a Country Concert’s a ‘Merkin QAnon thing,

Purple library guy said...

It would be a typical American irony if the straw that broke the camel's back on Trump's career was one of the few worthwhile things he ever did: Pulling out of Syria.
Pulling out of Syria is a good move in almost all ways. It's good morally, not that anyone cares. It ends a blatant violation of international law, not that anyone cares. But it's also good tactically. Really, what the hell were they doing there? Originally, they were there to try to make sure Assad never got control of Syria back, that Syria was broken up into little pieces all ruled by one or another sort of fanatical warlords who could be divided and ruled, none of whom liked either Russia, Iran or Hezbollah, and none of whom could ever in a million years be in a position to push for the Golan Heights back from Israel.
But that ship has sailed. ISIS (in Syria) is toast, most of the other guys are toast, the writing is on the wall for what remains, Assad is the president of Syria and going to stay that way, and all the US is now doing in Syria is getting into fights with Turkey over the Kurds, which pushes Turkey towards Russia. It's a pointless extra extension of the military which is not, contrary to popular US belief, endless. It annoys the European leaders because they've finally started putting two and two together and realizing that every time the Americans generate more refugees they lose a few more points in the polls to fascist parties.

So . . . Pence, huh? Be careful what you wish for. From an ineffectual madman who inadvertently messes up the empire with his blunders to a more or less effective dullard of a religious fanatic, who will sign off on the normal imperial/financier evil as long as he gets to trash abortionists, gays etc. . . . maybe an improvement, depending on your point of view.