Monthly Archives: April 2017
Cornel West is a brilliant thinker. He is a man of and for the people. I’m in agreement with just about everything he stands for.
So why am I about to tell one of our most erudite scholars on the American…nay, human condition to shut the fuck up?
People who think for a living are idealists, by and large. And in a vacuum, all of their ideas are practical and their aims acheiveable. When overlaid upon objective reality, ideas often break down and become unworkable, and sometimes they even become the enemy of the original idea.
A new born Bolshevik Russia comes to mind. Marx would have been horrified by the way his communism was twisted as Lenin eventually killed his way to absolute power. And we all know that his successor was even worse. Marx’s proletarians would have rejected the brutality of the Communist Party. They would have known what it was like to be brutalized and would not wish that on any man even if he were from the most odious heights of the bourgeoisie. Any good Marxist rejects crude violence upon men to achieve Marxist aims. Because when you look into the abyss, it looks into you. You become what you despise-the oppressor. Marx wanted violence against the idea of classes and other social divisions, not people per se. Of course, sometimes when you get hit, you should hit back. Some would say that capitalism has thrown plenty of punches due to its inherent exploitative nature and therefore there is nothing wrong with a little “revolutionary terror” in return. But we must first and most importantly unite as the laboring class before we even decide upon the means of destroying capitalism, which I consider to be modern feudalism. And if the ruling class will not bend, we will break them-but I don’t necessarily think that requires cruelty and base evil to be in service to us. Much as I despise a petty tyrant like Donald Trump, I would much rather exile him before I put his head on a pike. I’ll pick up a gun again when one is aimed at me, and not a minute before. Of course, as a white lower-middle class male American, I’m not subjected to force on a regular basis so I will not speak for those who already need the gun.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with anarchic communism. I’m a bit of a statist and prefer creeping democratic socialism, myself. Anarchy could be just as inefficient as capitalism. But these are minor intellectual quibbles, debates which I am willing to have. I’m just saying that we are given a situation, and we must see it for what it is and prescribe remedies for improving it short of tearing it all down, thus ruining the good that was already there. Revolutions of all kinds have betrayed their intrinsic ideals all across the globe.
Bernie Sanders and his followers are also a first-class example of how a good movement turned everything into shit. He, perhaps inadvertently, helped the Democratic Party turn on itself. He caused open warfare between his idealists and Clinton’s pragmatists. And without even being a member of the party, he opened the door to the latest iteration of Clinton character assassination. That may not be his fault either. He was respectful and did not go into the mud during the race, except maybe for that time when he implied she wasn’t qualified to be President because of her putative ties to the business community. But his supporters had an appetite for destruction and wanted the whole system to go down. Lefties threw away votes on the Green Party in protest of the two choices (whose differences could not have been starker) that were viable. Those who did not know their right from their left chose Gary Johnson, whose claim to popularity hinged largely on the fact that he was out about smoking weed.
Oh, the system is going down. You who either did nothing or worked to fight Hillary Clinton will get your wish. I can only hope you are one of the people that Trump hurts with his bumptious policies and then perhaps you will learn something. But you probably won’t, since you are invariably white and young. Your privilege will protect you by and large from the Trump administration’s worst killer instincts. You are almost as much of a Me Generation as the boomers.
But anyway, Bernie poisoned the minds of a new generation of activist voters who wanted a “revolution”. Many said if Bernie doesn’t get the nod, then neither does Clinton. We have a zero-sum electoral system. That pretty much means a vote for anyone but Clinton was a vote for Trump. And some Bernie supporters were good with that. They hoped that once elected, Trump would mess up things up so badly that people will be dying for a game-changing choice like democratic socialism.
Not even Bernie Sanders believed this. When he lost, he told you to vote Clinton in the general because the alternative was bedlam. But you even stopped hearing him, and chose to play with your boogers instead.
It is and was a calculation based on a fantasy. Oh, Trump will mess up badly. But his voters don’t know that because anything that criticizes Duh Fuhrer is fake news. We still have to get out and vote as one movement. Peeling back the layers of corruption may take a long time, because Republicans are either complicit in it or don’t want to ruin the brand by having people find out that the party helped a Russian stooge come to power.
The Democratic Party is the only party with the means and the ideas needed to unfuck the country. They are already in the system resisting Donald Trump and his threats to tear the country apart. If you all get your head out of your asses, we can take this Congress back, or at least make the margins by which Republicans control the House slimmer, slim enough to make Paul Ryan and the Freedom Caucus a little nervous. Democrats evolve. Republicans stay the same. That’s why one is called conservative and the other progressive (or liberal if you must quibble).
So you’ll excuse me if I tell you to fuck yourself if you think that starting a new left-wing party is going to work. We already cleaved the left during the 2016 primary and it is in no small part because of Bernie Sanders and his devotees. Now you want to split the left even further?
That’s called A Great Way To Re-Elect Donald Trump.
Like, I totally understand where he’s coming from. But he’s tall on sociology and short on political science. Furthermore, he makes assertions without explaining them. What to do with this?
As the first 100 days of the plutocratic and militaristic Trump administration draw to a close, one truth has been crystal clear: the Democratic party lacks the vision, discipline and leadership to guide progressives in these turbulent times.
And he just leaves that there. No exhaustive list or list of any kind cataloguing Democratic failure. To me, Democrats have been rather busy doing what they can as the minority party. There is literally only so much they can do. They do not chair a single committee in Congress. They can’t. The ranking member does not have the authority to override chairpersons, but they’ve been raising as much Cain as they can. Adam Schiff comes to mind, as does Elijah Cummings. Were it not for those gentlemen, Devin Nunes and Jason Chaffetz would have had a much easier time playing stupid about Trump and Russia. Kirsten Gillibrand is consistently resisting. Jeff Merkeley held a talking filibuster of Neil Gorsuch, and the party almost unanimously stood together to deny Republicans a supermajority on his nomination, forcing Mitch McConnell to change Senate rules to complete his betrayal of the process of advice and consent. Chuck Schumer called Trump’s bluff of threatening Obamacare dollars if they did not help fund his stupid and increasingly pointless border wall.
A goddamned Muslim is the vice chair of the national committee.
Those are just a few things off the top of my head that have made me proud to be a Democrat. Yet West sees it differently, writing things like
The time has come to bid farewell to a moribund party that lacks imagination, courage and gusto. …
Cornel, I’m sorry you don’t see fireworks every time the Democrats act. Sometimes this politics shit is boring as all get out. But the Democrats have not shown any interest in abetting Trumpward Babyhands at all, far from it-they seem to be in active resistance from where I’m sitting. Surely something short of burn motherfucker burn will do the trick.
In the not so recent past, the party has failed. There’s no denying that. Bill Clinton’s presidency was something of a failure in terms of what should be expected of a true party of the people. If you really want to be a stickler, Barack Obama’s drone warfare and his allowance of the the health insurance scam to continue to survive could be construed as negatives. I won’t argue too much if you put these in the L column. But, much as it bothers me to admit, Donald Trump has galvanized the party. It’s already the party we want it to be if we would just tell them how we feel, the way so many of us have told Republicans lately- and they don’t listen.
So let’s put a cork in this kind of talk:
The corporate wing has made it clear that the populist wing has little power or place in its future. The discipline of the party is strong on self-preservation and weak on embracing new voices. And party leaders too often revel in self-righteousness and self-pity rather than self-criticism and self-enhancement.
That all sounds good if I was in a rap battle, not in a fight for the soul of my country. Besides, it just isn’t true. The “corporate” wing is not mutually excluded from the “populist” wing anyway. David Lowery of the fantastic band Camper Van Beethoven said it quite well in a song from their 2014 album “Berkeley To Bakersfield”: It’s not that we don’t like the rich, it’s simply that we think this kind is boring. It is not a crime to be rich. It’s the way you do it that makes you shitty. Then this:
And if a class-conscious multi-racial party attuned to anti-sexist, anti-homophobic and anti-militaristic issues and grounded in ecological commitments can reconfigure our citizenship, maybe our decaying democracy has a chance.
If you didn’t get a degree in sociology, that there above probably won’t make a whole lot of sense to you. Then again, I could be selling you short. Let’s take that piece by piece. I will concede to Cornel a point that sticks in my craw too: we fucking suck at class consciousness. That’s because we as Americans all think we are in the middle class. Every politician left and right always goes on and and on about the middle class. No one seems to give a rat’s patoot about the working class because we consistently improperly identify ourselves class-wise regardless of our income. Being poor in a capitalist society is the ultimate sin, and we have internalized this prejudice well. It’s still our own damn fault when we wind up in dire straits and that’s unfair to so many people who have found themselves in places that lack hope. So yes, we don’t talk enough about this struggle. Even Bernie Sanders failed to do so.
But Cornel seems to have a blind spot when he talks about the need for a party that understands multi-racialism and anti-sexism. Does he not know who was just president? Who the Democratic nominee was? Yeah, I get that it doesn’t mean that racism and sexism is over. But I’m trying to say that Democrats are moving in the right direction.
And it was our Democratic president who did this after the Supreme Court said love is love:
Obama did the best that could have been expected of him so far as the “militaristic” jab goes. It’s a militarized world. We are in a crazy competition for finite resources and that is the reason why we protect some really awful regimes from Saudi Arabia to Israel. We did our level best to make Iraq Iraq’s problem, even though as someone who went there to ostensibly liberate it I feel we still owe them for shredding and putting giant holes in what they still had. We have a very adventurous Russia back on the Risk board. This is no time to be a shrinking violet or to sickeningly veer into paranoid nationalism a la Trump. I would not characterize myself as an imperialist, but perhaps I am too conceited to admit otherwise. All I can say is without us running the show in large part, without us playing the great game, it all goes to shit in insane ways that make even less sense than today’s current chaos. There has got to be a way to ratchet down tension. There’s a magic word called diplomacy, and I think we really gave it a go during Obama. The Iran agreement will be talked about in the history books, provided retards like Tom Cotton of Arabia don’t get to willy-nilly tear shit up.
And I think he did right by ratifying Paris. I ain’t good on the specifics, but it looks like we were ready to stop committing quick suicide by poisoning the planet with the way we keep carrying on.
We can do better on all of this. And I think we will. I think it’s what we all want.
All of this is a long fucking way of saying that the wheel has been invented. I am not even a fraction of the thinker that Cornel West is, but I threw a few more words at my polemic in favor of the Democratic party than he did against it. That’s not to say that word count determines what is good and what isn’t…far from it. But I expect more from him as an intellectual. I expect more than something as facile as throw the baby out with the bathwater. And I certainly expect that he knows better than to continue the Republican darkness by rending the fragile left/center solidarity that the Democratic party works its ass off to cultivate.
Cornel West would have you believe we have learned nothing from the election of a fucking nincompoop malcontent who might be stupid enough to blow up the world if it plays well in the press.
Sorry, but I ain’t buying it. This was not an easy post to write because I would much rather use the invective I have to fight the wrong-wing. But we need to tighten our shit up and realize we already have the vehicle, and we just need to learn how to steer it to get the best mileage we fucking can out of it.
Fox News is a fucking brothel fobbing itself off as a news organization. Roger Ailes got popped trying to diddle with airhead Gretchen Carlson and all-around horrible bitch Andrea Tantaros. Billo is going to be spending more free time with his falafel. Megyn Kelly, Greta Van Susteren and Alisyn Camerota have all gone elsewhere to find respectable journalism jobs after fighting the sexist culture at Fox.
Another worm has slithered out from under the Fox harassment rock. And I’m really grossed out, worse so than I am already.
To me, Roger Ailes looks like Baron Harkonnen from Dune:
The idea of him canoodling with the Fox foxes makes for a fairly sickening tableau. I can see it, but he’s just a dirty old man with a lot of money.
For some reason, however, I can’t deal with the idea that Sean Hannity might be a sexual being.
He’s married going on 24 years. Who knew? And she’s not uncute. No kids, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t do it.
But that beady-eyed hairspray addict has a 24-year itch, apparently. And he’s feeling guilty about it so he picked a dog as his quarry.
Rumors of a divorce swirled in 2016 so all may not be well in House Hannity.
Those of you who were part of the blogosphere back when it was hot shit know who he tried to pick up.
Yup, Debbie Goddamned Schlussel. Try not to throw up in your mouth imagining these two human-shaped cephalopods moistening each other.
Debbie traded on her looks for a little while, doing the hottie conservative shtick:
After about seven drinks (one after the other, double fisted), she may still look like this. However, this is the only picture of Debbie Schlussel ever taken that looks good. To this day she heads her blog with it.
When you are sober or liberal, this is what you see.
Eeeek! Double-bag that shit.
I’m vaguely aware that I might be being a sexist pig my own self. Oh well, nobody’s perfect. They are both plug-ugly inside and that’s what matters. Given the chance to make light of something like a Hannity/Schlussel coupling, I’ll go with it. It’s a hell of a lot easier than trying to finish anything else I’m not doing.
There is such a thing.
In the age of Trump, sometimes it feels like everything is hopelessly fucked and there is no way to change it. Right-wing radicals are trying to lay waste to everything good.
But we’re also dropping a lot of albatrosses lately.
Bill O’ Reilly finally got too expensive for Fox. Alex Jones’ lawyer outed him as an actor. Jason Chaffetz couldn’t stand the heat in the kitchen. Those are big right-wing fish that just got netted; a propagandist, a conspiracy theorist, and a gatekeeper.
After months of smoke, we’ve found the traces of a conflagration. It’s only a matter of time before Trump and his minions get caught with empty cans of gasoline and matches.
But I bring good news from my neighbor in the Deep South.
Historically, Alabama has been a terrible place. It’s nicknamed the “Heart Of Dixie”, which translated from the Southern tongue means “Home To A Lot Of Racists”. I have been to Alabama once. It is as hot as the planet Mercury in the summertime, and I would rather be dropped there than visit Alabama again because Mercury doesn’t have mosquitoes.
George Corley Wallace Jr. was the face of Alabama and segregation in the sixties. Morris Jackson “Mo” Brooks Jr. is a representative from Alabama. Mo’s worried that there’s a war on white people. Jefferson Beauregard “Jeff” Sessions III also hails from there. Jeff is our attorney general, and is currently not sure that Hawaii is a state.
But I have good news. Another big fish from Alabammy has been speared.
We got Judge Roy Moore. After a long suspension, he’s been kicked off the fucking bench for good. Happy day!
For those of you who don’t follow these things like I do because you enjoy your sanity, Roy is best known for being an insufferable Christian bigot who could not get the concept of separation of church and state through his thick skull, nor could he comprehend the hierarchical structure of the United States court system as laid down by the Constitution.
Good news is often hard to find here at the seminary, because we are in a world of shit where the president seeks the counsel of Kid Rock. But if Alabama can work up the will to rid itself of unethical fleabag judges, there’s hope for all fifty.
Far be it from me to delve into the technicalities of a particular piece of jurisprudence.
But as a lay person, I feel I can demur against the judicial reasoning that one part of the first amendment runs roughshod over another.
Antonin Scalia Neil Gorsuch seems to believe that the free exercise clause is of far more import than the establishment clause.
It should be common knowledge by now that the impetus behind the establishment clause was that the State stayed out of the religion business, favoring and endorsing none. Fifteen years after the constitution was authored, President Thomas Jefferson made it clear to the Danbury Baptists that while he respected religious liberty, no special consideration was to be granted to a particular faith as far as the United States government was concerned. That brief 1802 missive heralded the idea of church and state separation. And for the most part, the secularization of our government has prevailed, notwithstanding things like the changes to the pledge of allegiance, annoying non-inclusive invocations before legislative sessions and the god bullshit on our money because of our allergies to any form of economic distribution besides capitalism.
Well, the SCOTUS is about to make a turn for the worse, with Neil Gorsuch leading the way. A case is currently being debated that could expand the definition of “religious liberty” in the law’s eyes . It may now mean that government funding for religious institutions is acceptable because the first amendment guarantees free exercise of religion. Therefore, the withholding of government funds (tax revenue that the church does not contribute to, mind you) because of adherence to the concept of refusal to establish amounts to discrimination against them. The plaintiffs further cite the fourteenth amendment, which as you all know mandates equal treatment under the law. If a public school wants to improve one of their playgrounds with government grant money, they reason, then it’s only fair that a religious institution should be able to have access to those funds as well.
This is very tricky legal jiu-jitsu, blowing off the establishment clause entirely to accommodate believers. It pits the constitution against itself. If this decision slides rightward, you’re going to start paying for improvements to churches.
It starts with something innocuous like surfacing playgrounds. God only knows how far this can go, because the ineluctable tendency in Christian circles is to push, push and push the envelope.
Regular lurkers here know that I came out against calling things “fake news”.
But he and others have used a bit of rhetorical jiu-jitsu and now “fake news” is news you don’t want to hear or simply do not believe- even if it is true. It’s become one of Twitler’s favorite smears against news organizations who are up his ass. So I’ve decided I’m not going to play this game of what’s “fake” and what’s not and just discontinue use of the phrase anymore.
Now, I also said I wasn’t going to take a swing at a specific left-leaning news site because I am ideologically aligned with them, but I’m about to renege on that. I said that because I think some of the emerging farm team writers generate good content. The best political bloggers of the golden age of the ‘sphere got paying gigs long ago, leaving the medium dormant. Only pikers like me use personal desktop publishing to talk politics anymore. In its place today, we are seeing this second generation of political journalism that is being made possible by social media. These new farm team sites can pop up and piggyback upon each other and proliferate news and opinion on Facebook, where there are opportunities to grab the grail of websites-the click. Money and notoriety can follow.
This has caused, to put it lightly, problems.
When a click is all you are looking for, it’s very tempting to sensationalize your headline in order to get the most eyeballs. People are hungry for breaking news and exclusivity, and if there isn’t any of that around, some sites will simply create it. This is not “fake news” per se. It is merely misleading flotsam. And I think it’s just as pernicious as making things up out of whole cloth.
You’re blacking the eye of left-wing journalism, nay, journalism in general when you write a screaming headline that has the slimmest tangential relationship to the article you are writing.
I had to unfollow, unlike and de-link one of these sites today. Here’s the tease that caught my eye, from yesterday:
All 8 Supreme Court Justices Come Out Against Trump’s SCOTUS Pick
Oboy, the Court is appalled by the machinations of Mitch McConnell to get Neil Gorsuch on the bench at any cost and they are speaking out! Yay!
What’s this? The fucking source material is THREE WEEKS OLD! It’s nothing but a retelling of the fucking story of the Court unanimously overruling an opinion written by Gorsuch. I fucking know about that! Fuck! Fuck this fucking site!
Can you relate?
You’re lying if you say you can’t. We have all been taken in by a site that preys on our emotions, imaginations and desires to desperately see something be true. The only truth is they got your click- and these manipulative motherscratchers didn’t worry about how they did it.
So, I have a job to do today. I’ve got to have a reckoning here and on Facebook and separate out the hyped-up chaff that is doing no one any good. As I said, there are some that do decent second tier work, but some are profiting off credulity in an irresponsible, unethical manner. We are living in an age when the outrageous is a possibility, and it’s getting harder to tell truth and nonsense apart because they look the same. So check and re-check before you give these fly-by-night operations more ad revenue.
Donald Trump is going to die by his own hand. I think we’ve known this for a while.
Word is out that the Tomahawk strikes didn’t damage the runways of Al-Shayrat. Planes are still leaving from the base.
It’s turning out to be a rather expensive shot across the bow rather than a show of force.
But you wouldn’t know that by listening to President Numbnuts. He is satisfied with what was accomplished. A president wears many hats, and Trump has a construction helmet, complete with reflective vest, work boots and a spade in his collection. Check it-he’s an expert at public works:
“The reason you don’t generally hit runways is that they are easy and inexpensive to quickly fix (fill in and top)!”
When did you find that out- the last time you bombed a runway?
Donald, let me stop you at the word “reason”. I’ve been watching you for a bit now, and reasons and explanations are not your strong suit. I am no public works expert either, nor am I versed well in the destructive capabilities of our armaments. But I am pretty sure a thousand pound warhead makes a crater somewhat bigger than the ones you and I occasionally run over when we drive. Furthermore, a jet takes off at a rather high speed and I’m guessing that “filling and topping” is not something that can be done quickly or haphazardly. If I remember right, it took a few months, and a lot of concentrated resources and people to fix Baghdad International after we strafed it in 2003.
To wit: Tomahawks don’t make potholes. And a plane is not a car. Trump seems to think that a few shovelfuls of hot gravel is all it takes. Perhaps he has seen a hole in a road being repaired in Manhattan getting “filled and topped” from his limousine and drew an analogy. Adorable.
The Near-President needs to shut the fuck up. Desperate to spin the narrative of this story, he’s made a jackass out of himself yet again by injecting his moronic Twitter commentary into a very serious situation.
I worry that the left (which I am a card-carrying member of) is overplaying its hand with respect to Donald Trump.
That is not me saying get off Donald Trump’s case. On the contrary-there’s an excellent chance that this past election was mangled and stolen by a shady cabal of GOP/Trump operatives in consort with Russia. I want to get to the bottom of it because it is unacceptable to mess with the integrity of our elections. If Donald Trump cheated, it needs to be known. If he is an illegitimate president, he needs to be shuffled out. Let the investigations go on and on until we get some answers.
I am not distracted one bit by what to me was Trump’s first real decision as the president. I’m talking about the hit on Syrian war assets.
But it sure seems like everyone else can’t stop talking about it. Those who claim that this is a distraction are very distracted by said distraction.
Everyone in my tribe is elbows and assholes working to scoff, minimize and rationalize the raid. Nobody seems to have the same angle-there’s no consensus as to what Trump accomplished and what he did not. Which means that we are guessing at best and making stuff up at worst. For example, liberals are making common cause with morons like Rand Paul, who said the attack was unconstitutional. Sigh. It wasn’t. Please refer to the War Powers Act and the AUMF.
Our response to the Syria attack is shattered like a pane of glass hit with a hammer. People I really respect are doing weird contortions to explain away what Trump did.
Sure, it does not compute that a potential Russian lapdog like Trump would go and piss in their cornflakes by attacking one of their allies. But to me, it’s a very Trumpian decision. He doesn’t understand politics. He doesn’t do details. And he’s not afraid to bite the hands that feed him. Consequences are damned. It’s the kind of shit that his voters got off on.
Donald “No Puppet Here” Trump very much wants you to know that no one is the boss of him. He’s still much like a child in that respect. I mean, fuck, he’s turned on Bannon, Tillerson and Priebus in the last week alone. But I will take what I can get from Twitler. If indeed he made Assad and the Russians angry, good. They’re never going to be our fucking friends, as I said in my last post. That’s not the world we live in. There are two shadows across the globe and ever it shall be because the alternative is oblivion. We are locked into this destiny and are doomed to fight by proxy. I know I sound like Max Boot but this is realpolitik we’re in, not hands across the globe.
It should go without saying that I still think Trump was/is the worst choice possible to do this job. He’s far too mercurial and belligerent and sniffs his own farts way too much. His amygdala seems to be overriding his cerebral cortex. But it’s very likely and probable that his decision on Syria was probably the same one that my preferred choice, Hillary Clinton, would have made. Actually, her response probably would have been even more trenchant. I watched those two debate three times and I know who has the bigger ballsack.
Alright. Having said all that, let’s please stop the “Wag The Dog” bullshit line of thinking, my liberal friends. Bill Clinton did not bomb Sudan to distract from the Lewinsky scandal. It was a sincere effort to destroy Al-Qaeda/Bin Laden assets. But the CIA, ever the colossal fuckups, gave Clinton bad intelligence. The Al-Shifa attack did not deter the impeachment at all, and neither should the Al-Shayrat bombing slow the pace of the Russia/Trump putsch inquiry. Once again, I repeat myself-things are a lot simpler than they seem. What you see is what you get from Trump-he’s a simpleton, not an evil genius.
Be done with this. Everything is not fucking sleight of hand and rope-a-dope, especially not with this group of screwups. The confusion we are experiencing is due to the fact that Donald Trump is a poor leader, and we’re trying to make sense out of what he does as if he were a smart person. Again, I repeat, that is giving the Near-President way too much credit.
“Wag The Dog” is a movie, developed from a book. I am not saying that a piece of art can have prophetic qualities, and we are indeed in an age where the absurd is possible. But we seem to be getting carried away by the emotions that Donald Trump stirs in us. He’s offensive in almost every way you can think of. I’m as nauseated as you are. I feel you and I understand you. But I must stick with my assertion that Duh Fuhrer is not much good at conniving. A cheap liar, maybe. No doubt about that. But he’s so fucking obvious to me.
There’s every chance I am dead wrong about #45. I could be naive as fuck about this guy. I’m reminded of that old saying that the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing people he didn’t exist.
I have way more respect for the devil than I do this two-bit grifter, though. And I’m an atheist.
Ever have non-alcoholic beer? Near-beer?
The stuff is awful. An insult to the very concept of beer.
And yet there is a faint trace of the good stuff in it, but it won’t make you feel good in the long run.
When Donald J. Trump rocketed Syrian military targets yesterday, he became a Near- President to me.
It is the first thing he has done in his presidency that shows that he has any sort of leadership and decision making skills. I will readily admit that I was not ready for him to do the right thing after the Syrian chemical attacks. I expected him to dither and blither like he always does. But it looks like he actually willed something to happen that made sense. Up until yesterday, he’d fucked up everything he touched. All of his lofty campaign promises had either run aground or been abandoned. He had done little more than affix his signature to anything that rescinded a rule or regulation that Barack Obama had authored. The tweeting. The golfing. The ceaseless bragging. Ugh.
April 6, 2017 was Duh Fuhrer’s first actual day on the job.
And this liberal reluctantly approves.
Time will tell whether Trump’s initiative here is a flash in the pan. His instincts so far have been poor, so I don’t expect this to function as some sort of epiphany that says to him that he has a deadly serious job to do. He’s still a barely literate fucking moron, on the whole.
Still, I hope he has enough firing synapses to connect the dots between what he just did and his policy towards Syrian refugees. When he waxed misty about the beautiful children that were dying in a chemical hellstorm, I hope that he had a sleepless night pondering the fact that his xenophobic policies on Muslim refugees are the very thing that could have prevented some of those babies from dying. Trump’s foreign engagement here is at cross purposes with his domestic agenda. He has a real chance here to do good if he looks at the big picture. He has to risk his deplorable support to do that, so I’m not optimistic.
It’s also worth noting here that the rocket strike did one other thing that made sense; it put the Russians on notice. I believe that this is a binary geopolitical world and further posit that the Cold War never really ended. If the United States influence recedes somewhere, Russia advances. They’ve been going out of their way to protect and strengthen their asshole autocrat in Syria, searching for a foothold in a forbidding yet critical area of the world. Make no mistake, US foreign policy looks a lot like Russian policy. It may be a wholly American conceit of mine, but I believe we are slightly less awful than Russia on balance when it comes to being an imperial power.
So. Those are some good things that Donald Trump has done, if I may be so bold to assign agency to his actions. But he’s still got the attention span of a retarded flea. You can go all over the Internet to find out that he’s done a triple-lutz volte-face on Syria over the last few years, first bitching as a candidate and wag that Obama shouldn’t get involved in Syria, then bitching that the “red line” got crossed and Obama should have gotten involved in Syria (nevermind the fact that Obama got hamstrung by the Republican Congress when he went for approval). Now, as President, his weird Secretary of State that you can’t look at goes all April Glaspie by saying Syria is none of our business and then when Assad went berserk and used WMDs, Trump suddenly finds he has lines of his own that got crossed and now Tillerson wants to give Assad the heave-ho. I’m once again going to be charitable and say that Donald came to the idea to punish Assad within his circle, and the fact that Hillary Clinton called for military action hours before Trump acted had nothing to do with it.
I’m just glad he’s doing something vaguely constructive. I’m happy that he’s decided to bunk heads with Russia instead of abet it. However, it would be the height of insanity to go much further than punitive airstrikes in Syria. An invasion and subsequent occupation would likely be as bloody as Iraq Part 2 was, and the Russians would like nothing better than for us to stick our dicks in that pile of mashed potatoes. He can push a little further in a good way by setting up the no-fly zone (the one that Hillary Clinton called for as a nominee) to stymie the Russians even more. Somehow-and far better minds than mine need to work this out-we have got to accomplish the twin objectives of dislodging Bashar Assad and stopping ISIS from calling Syria home base for their terrible caliphate. It will be a task fraught with attrition, I fear.
And I don’t trust this Near-President to not shit this up for even a minute.