Category Archives: Trump
There’s a lot of drama going on in the US of A.
We’re watching the Democratic establishment spit the irritant called Bernie Sanders out. C’est la vie. The Democratic establishment represents Democratic voters and they don’t need an insurgent with no respect for the machine that brought them to the dance. His viability ended with that dumbshit tweet. You don’t goddamn bite the hand so blithely. Biden didn’t have to lift a finger to bring Buttigieg, Booker, Bloomberg, O’Rourke, Klobuchar, and even Kamala Harris-the candidate who drew first blood on Biden in the debates-over to his side all because Bernie believes in his own hype.
Sanders supporters are agape and agog and angry at the wholesale updraft to the Biden campaign. They simply don’t understand American politics. One day, when they do, it will be a good day. I mean, they could have gone for Liz Warren, an actual Democrat with exciting and new policy ideas in a similar vein as Sanders, but unfortunately Bernie has nurtured something of a cult of personality as an auslander and many will throw their vote away to spite the process that did not nominate their anointed candidate. It is worth noting that no other candidate’s following does this withholding of a vote bullshit. I find it grossly privileged to do so. If you have been on this rock a few revolutions, you ask for a lot-that’s all well and good-but after you have fought, you settle for a little. Even Saul Alinsky understood this. It’s just poor tactics to bury your bullets. It doesn’t do anyone any good.
So: let’s talk COVID-19. We’ll ignore Donald Trump, because he’s golfing while this virus flies across the countryside, and when he’s not doing that, he’s trying to manage the crisis by lying about it not being a big deal. No one is listening. People are a little panicky right now, if the grocery store shelves are any indication. There’s rationing of Clorox wipes, Purell hand sanitizer, and Lysol disinfectant spray. I bought a can of wipes and some spray for the hell of it. People are genuinely scared that this COVID is coming for them. And who can blame them, stuck in an information vacuum?
Since even the fucking CDC seems tainted by Trump’s insistence on handling every crisis by the seat of his pants so he can get much needed adulation, I have had to resort to alternate information on who has COVID and where. I’m happy to say I found a great site for raw data like that. Johns Hopkins is compiling a visually striking case and fatality list. I go to see the location of the virus and I like to take an average of the estimated US population to the number of infected people…see what kind of odds I’m facing. I know that the incidences are much higher but you go with the numbers you know. I did it last night and we have one case in every 600,000 heads. This morning, the odds changed to 583,000 to 1, just to give you an idea of the velocity of this baby. President Asshole may not think this virus is big shit because we’ve only had 566 cases and 22 deaths so far here but the fact is we don’t know a damn thing about this virus from a biological perspective but we know a few things empirically: it’s exponentially contagious as all get out and it kills the vulnerable and we have no vaccine.
While we’re on the subject of coronavirus, let’s talk about the stock market tanking. Currently, the market is in a 5,000 point slump from the loss of consumers and producers due to the virus. It’s either a great time to buy, or a horrendous time to leave your 401k exposed to further volatility. This might be the big recession everyone’s been heralding; we shall see when things like earnings come out. The world’s central banks have emptied out the toolbox to fill the gap left by the virus’ arrival to at least keep the stock market bubble stationary. It did not work. It’s clear that there’s a fundamental rupture somewhere and the good times might be gone.
Something’s gone horribly wrong in the greatest country in the world. Perhaps all that is going on is that we are realizing we are just another country in the world. One thing is certain: we are not going any place special with the fucked up “leadership” we have right now.
So! We are still here.
I bet you’re all pining for fucking 2019 about now. Someone has got to bring this year to heel already.
On January 3rd, Donald Trump nearly started World War Three by extrajudiciously and egregiously assassinating a venerated Iranian general who had nothing at all to do with the US embassy attack in Iraq. Last night, Iran responded by launching missile attacks on two of our bases in Iraq. There is no official report of casualties as I write this. It’s 8:45AM the following morning.
As we watched our TVs last night to see if we needed to start praying, we longed for a leader to make a speech, something to make us feel more secure that things we going to be OK, one way or another. At least I did. I’m not a follower per se, but I feel there should be people who know how to tend others besides themselves in any group.
Of course, all we got was this inane tweet telling us shit we already knew because we use the same fucking internet and have the same access to journalism as King Asshole does:
Day late and a dollar short, Zippy.
Anyway, the world’s existence, nay, the human race’s existence is largely dependent on which Donald Trump shows up for work today.
That’s a scary ass truth, ain’t it? Like I said, gimme back 2019.
We could get the Paper Tiger Trump. This is my favorite Trump; it attempts to be hyperaggressive one day only to back down the next day or so. Remember when Trump dropped a MOAB in Afghanistan when he first got elected and then just forgot about that war? That Trump. We need Paper Tiger Trump to show up today.
The other Trump that may come to work is Belligerent Trump. Sometimes Trump loves the smell of his farts and believes his own hype about what a tough guy he is. This Trump will continue to attack tit for tat with Iran, who could conceivably attack dozens of allies around the globe and then someone drops a nuke and then it’s buckwheats for the world.
A final possibility could be the Oppositional Defiant Narcissist Trump. This Trump is similar to the Belligerent Trump, except this one is convinced of the superiority of his own intellect and will do the opposite of what people who know what the fuck they are talking about tell him to do. This is “I alone can fix it” Trump. You notice that experts are leaving this administration in droves; that’s because they hate Oppositional Defiant Narcissist Trump. Will also cause WWIII.
Anyway, Iran has announced that it has extracted its pound of flesh, whatever that amounts to; now all we have to do is just be magnanimous and ask for a truce. Trump needs to blink because this is not about him, it’s about billions of us- and he needs to fucking wake up to that reality and take this chance to look like a goddamn statesman with grace, integrity and perspicacity just once in his shit political career.
UPDATE 10AM: Iran missile strikes designed to avoid casualties. We need a steady fucking hand right now and I don’t like our chances.
Trumpers recoil reflexively in disgust when you tell them that President Trump is a racist. They often want proof on the spot, even though proof would find them to be racist as well. Anything except Trump declaring full-throatedly, ‘Yes folks, I’m a racist!!!’ will fall short in an attempt to convince them. Even then there would be arguments about context.
You can point to his anti-immigrant policies, the attempt to construct a border wall, the Muslim travel ban, or the refusal to help Puerto Rico recover from a highly destructive hurricane as tangible evidence that he doesn’t like brown people a whole lot. Some of them don’t vote and if they did, it would not be for him. So being racist/white supremacist (pick your label) works for Trump because minorities don’t merit a “deal” in his mind. Not that it has to directly do with racism, but simply as an example of how small-minded and vindictive he can be-California is currently on fire and I submit that because it is such a blue state, he’s ignoring it because its citizens- again, don’t do anything for him.
But lately, he’s promoting racism in such a manner that it deserves more scrutiny. It’s Native American Heritage Month. Did you know that? I did not know that, being white and all until the president renamed it “National American History and Founders Month”. It’s probably not an accident that Twitler put Andrew Jackson on the wall of the Oval Office, a giant fuck you to the people who lived here before we stuffed them in
giant concentration camps reservations.
Yesterday at a rally, Trump made it crystal clear, though. The motherfucker flashed the “white power” hand gesture. He couldn’t help his bloated transgressive self. There’s a mini-mythology about this gesture. Instances where the sign is flashed in conservative spaces are considered an inside joke. They insist it is meaningless, a hoax that they have perpetrated to own the libs who get triggered over anything. I still don’t quite get the joke, which is fine because conservatives are bad at funny and evidently lousy at irony as well.
It just so happens that the people who think this is humorous are usually pretty damn racist. When the sign is flashed, make no mistake-it’s a coded dog-whistle between themselves and other racists. They’re only fooling themselves if they think otherwise. The hoax has turned into something quite real. Here’s our president, soon to be impeached, letting everyone know who and what he is and not giving a shit:
As Trump’s base of support hemorrhages, he will have to directly appeal to smaller and smaller niches, and I guess white supremacists- many of whom do not know they are racists- are numerous enough that flashing that “joke” white power sign is not to his detriment when measured. It’s a cheap appeal to that loathsome, deplorable, uneducable trashy white whose vote he desperately needs if he is to survive another election.
And the worst part of it is that this is not the ground floor of how gross Trump can get. Believe me.
One of things I could never stand is when people- smart people- decided that Donald Trump is the eternal Comeback Kid; that he can’t be stopped or brought to heel. I don’t know if it was Trump or those smart people who started this pernicious notion, but yesterday’s elections have put the lie to that.
We are a long way away from putting Trump in prison or even impeaching the motherfucker. But it cannot be stressed enough that he is losing his power, to the degree that he ever had some. Each election day shows us that voters are, at bottom, annoyed and bored by Donald Trump.
That’s the secret bump for whomever seizes the ring. I have optimism that reasonable people who don’t fly a red or blue flag will either sit out or vote for change because they’re tired. Tired of the foolish tweets, tired of the attention seeking, the rank juvenility, the destructive tendencies, the divide and conquer, and the habitual lying.
And scared by the hate-we can’t forget that.
The point is that Trump is vulnerable, and quite beatable. The perfect storm conditions for his ascendancy are no longer there, there’s no damn emails, no FBI director to upend the election with a sudden investigation, and no Jill Stein. The Bern-or bust crew are still an irritant, but they did not stop Hillary Clinton from capturing the popular vote so really, that’s not a factor here either.
I just want to give the South mad fucking props for mostly excising their corrupt Republicans. Too often I will fall back into talking shit about the South, caused by New England elitist tendencies. But Kentucky and Virginia are showing us (and me) that they have limits to what they will put up with.
We are IN PLAY.
Fuck all demagogues and obstacles. I tell you now that the biggest wave will come for you soon enough.
Lately I’ve just been letting the political waves and their compatriot, the undertow roll over me and drag me under. Shit is flying everywhere and I don’t envy anyone in the journo profession who is doing their best to get the signal out from the noise, because I can’t keep up. That is by design, of course.
To use a Trumpism: There’s a lot of shit, believe me.
I guess the first thing on my mind is why we seem to be letting Trump skate. No, I’m not trying to say Democrats are slow-walking this inquiry, although having an impeachment inquiry that lasts until November would indeed be a boon to them. But so far we haven’t put enough teeth on the Trumpists, who largely think they are shielded from accountability thanks to the Justice Department running interference for them.
I can wait because I have the luxury to do so, but many people are suffering everywhere thanks to Twitler.
Here’s the thing, perhaps: American heroes are billionaires. In a dog-eat-dog system that equates worth with how much money you have, it would seem that no crime committed in wealth’s name is that much of a big fucking deal.
What’s different about Trump, and what bugs some of the conservatives, institutionalists, and masters of the universe is not that he commits crimes, it’s that he’s so goddamned vulgar about it.
By the same token, they may have resented a straight shooter like Barack Obama for his stark refusal to cheat and grift. He made them look like the slimy vipers they are.
I think that the white collar system, where Trump wets his beak, is saying: dude, do your dirt, but don’t flaunt it. As wealth worshippers, to do otherwise is the ultimate sin.
We all know the political system we have right now is an oligarchy. And Trump’s rise has brought forth all manner of kooks, cronies, sycophants, relatives and propagandists to clear the way for his measure of cream. There is no administration in modern history that can hold a candle to this one in terms of naked perfidy, self-dealing, and all around dismantling of anything public that gets in the way of profit. And no administration has done it so openly– so in order to perpetuate the illusion that we have a functioning democracy, I figure eventually the other leeches and crooks in Congress are going to have to say enough, stop pissing on our shoes or you’re out of the club. And that’s where we are with Trump. He’s not really in trouble for what he does so much as how he’s done it.
Nevertheless, there will be yokels who are telling their kids that they can be the next Donald Trump if you just work hard enough. And not once will it occur to them that Trump and most Richie Riches were born on third base with a silver spoon hanging from their mouths.”Work” is for little people. There is no relation to the average conservative who believes personal responsibility will bring you wealth and the circus of thieves and masters of the universe who have been fucking over the people with the same old tools they always have-bribery, embezzlement, collusion, cronyism, and the hoarding of capital and the subsequent squeeze on the serfs.
To conclude, nothing is more American that enriching yourself at any cost. But the first rule of white club is not to talk about white club, and Trump won’t shut the fuck up for even a few minutes about what they used to do in the shadows.
I guess it is time to discuss the Kurds. Who are they and why is it important?
Many of us are hearing of them for the first time, which is a bit unusual because they were pivotal participants in the fight for Iraq during “the insurgency” post-occupation and bravely fought the emergence of the ISIS cancer as well. I remember being there in 2003 and seeing graffiti in Baghdad that said “PKK”, which I did not understand at the time. They’ve been at this war thing for more than a minute.
You may be asking other questions. Why do so many people suddenly give a damn about them? What is it that we owe to the Kurdish people?
If you just got here, we just fucked them over big time by ceding a part of their “territory” to Turkey. You won’t find “Kurdistan” on a contemporary map, and I suspect you never will. However, here’s a representation of what an autonomous Kurdish state would look like. As a people, they are a victim of the sloppy partitioning of the Middle East by Western powers.
Anyway, we fortified them so they could battle ISIS largely in our stead, and now we are forcing them to run from the land they know as home in Syria. Thanks to the capriciousness of Donald Trump, we unleashed the cruelty of the Turkish military upon Kurdish civilians. Rumors of torture and the deployment of Willy Pete abound.
Having said that, let’s be clear: double-crossing is as American as apple pie. To me, there’s nothing particularly shocking about America hanging the Kurds out to dry. The United States likes the map the way it is. There has never, not even in the virtuous Obama administration, been a mandate for an independent Kurdistan. They have de facto control over northern Iraq, but it’s unlikely that it will become a new “country” and we would probably not support separatism were they to declare independence.
The double cross is certainly not uniquely American. Sometimes, it’s just the way of the world; countries ally so long as they have mutual interests and then part ways when they no longer have them. Think Soviet Russia during and after World War II. Now, the thing about Kurds that makes their situation somewhat unique is that they have no country. Their territory, if you want to call it that, sprawls across four Middle Eastern states. They are fraught with hostile powers on all sides-being a Kurd has been a tough row to hoe, although they are certainly not strangers to violence and defense. I think that perhaps that “wandering” position that they are in makes some of us sympathetic to their desire for land they can call their own. Their struggle, if it can be compared to anything in recent memory, echoes that of the Jewish Zionists, who were very useful to the West by establishing an aggressive client state in the midst of the Arab-dominated Middle East.
I am certainly not saying it is OK at all to greenlight hostilities against allied people only to try futilely to halt them mere days later. The feckless infant occupying the Oval Office has once again shown us he doesn’t have the courage to follow through on his ill-informed adventures; he’s never met a policy he can’t do a quick 180 on. It’s gotten innocents pointlessly murdered this time; it’s as ugly as it sounds and he’s hopefully not going to have much success spinning it as some sort of victory to his enablers in the Senate, especially if the incursion into Syria is shown to be part of a financial “deal” with the Turks.
What we are finding out is that the only thing that really motivates Trump into ever acting is by offering something valuable to him. It’s quid pro quos all the way down. It is shocking in its brazenness and bloodlessness. We shouldn’t forget what that monstrous prick has done to the innocent Kurds to deal things to himself- even as we must and shall make room for new headlines no doubt screaming about the latest Trump transgression against vaunted American ideals and values. Sadly, the massacre of innocents abroad probably won’t be enough for our “conservative” lawmakers to stop normalizing this insane monkey business.
I ask: how much longer, Lord? How much more?
Turns out Nancy Pelosi was in a much bigger hurry than I expected.
I’m glad that my defense of her yesterday was unnecessary. I did not realize she had the timing and the numbers. I don’t think anyone really saw it coming until it came, and anyone who says otherwise just got fuckin’ lucky. After all, when I found out about the Speaker’s address to the nation, only 179 representatives were on board with impeachment. I figured it would take a month or two to nail down an impeachment. But the inquiry itself should bring several off the fence as Trump’s position worsens. Even Mitch McConnell allowed a vote resolving that Congress should see the whistleblower complaint. That’s how you know the shit has hit. I’m rather surprised by the ordinarily craven Senate Republicans agreeing to defend their institution’s integrity, since their trip has always been self-serving look out for #1 stuff, the kind of shit they peddle to their poorly educated base. So huzzah to moving as a separate but equal political body. And of course, fuck all of you-because you knew what Trump was doing and you let it happen. Repeatedly.
I still don’t think we will muster enough votes to remove. But that’s got nothing to do with anything. The point for now is to hold hearings until election day, to fuck him up in public while he desperately tries to stay in the White House, and to show the base that Democrats are done with Lucy-and-the-football type tactics from the GOP. The order of the day is to make Donald Trump look like a bigger piece of shit than he truly is, which sounds like a feat but I am sure it’s plenty doable. There hasn’t been a bottom to date.
I love that we called the Republicans’ bluff and paid no mind to their feeble warnings that impeachment was only going to cost Democrats their support. They fucking wish. This powder keg is lit and it’s under King Dummy’s chair in the Oval Office.
Something is different this time around. Trump’s Ukraine gambit probably pales in comparison to the crimes Trump has already committed. What’s new is that all of it now falls under the rubric of a formal impeachment investigation. The best Donald Trump can do in the situation he’s in is resign and beg for a Pence pardon, or have Elon Musk launch him into space, where there are currently no extradition laws. There’s also no oxygen, and that’s OK by me.
By early afternoon Howe felt he had enough men to launch his assault. As the British forces began their advance, the cannonade from Copp’s Hill and British warships ceased. In line formation, the two wings had to negotiate fences and other obstacles as they slowly neared the Provincial line. The men from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire were ordered to hold their fire until the enemy drew so close that their musket fire would have its most devastating effect. It was at this time, legend claims, that one of the commanding officers from the colonies ordered: “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes!“
The musket fire proved devastating when the advancing British came into range.
I think I can speak for my generation when I say that none of us will ever forget the story of The Battle Of Bunker Hill largely because of General Prescott’s famous (and perhaps apocryphal) command.
I also remember being taught that the colonists ran out of shot and had to use whatever they could as a projectile. Nails. Concrete. They fixed bayonets. It was quite a tableau for my impressionable head.
In the end, they had to retreat. But not before we gave the Redcoats a wicked bloody nose. They paid more than we did to take the high ground.
There is no parallel in history that comes to mind more trenchantly than that Revolutionary War battle and where we are at on an impeachment of Donald Trump.
This will be the second time that I’ve given Nancy Pelosi the benefit of the doubt regarding the matter. But the fact is that she is under an extreme amount of pressure. She has to satiate and continue to captivate the angry voters who have seen enough and need impeachment as a balm, and also protect vulnerable blue dogs in key states who cannot call for impeachment if they want to keep their jobs.
The American electorate is fickle; and our politicians have to try to placate a majority of their voters so they can stay in office. I’m pretty far left, but I think I understand and appreciate that this is a delicate balancing maneuver that the Speaker and the Democratic establishment are attempting.
I’ll just say it again for those of you in the cheap seats: impeachment can’t come yet. It’s certainly not for lack of crimes committed by this administration. It is about numbers and timing. It isn’t about Pelosi’s choice at all, and I don’t think she is stringing us along. It would be an enormous and inadvisable gamble to presume that Democrats will go to the polls no matter how much our concerns are ignored because the alternative sucks way more. The Speaker gets that we’re mad and impatient and if she and Democratic leadership learned anything at all from 2016, it’s that significant numbers of lefties (some of who are party faithful) will cut off their noses happily and withhold enough votes that will send the Democrats back to the woods to figure out how they blew an easy election.
No thank you.
So: let’s talk numbers. Since last tally, 70 representatives were ready to vote for impeachment, 69 of which were Democratic. We needed more than three times that to gain the majority on the question of impeachment. That was June.
As of this writing, that number has grown to 164 Democrats (and Justin Amash). Doing the math, that leaves 54 representatives that need to sign on to notch a simple majority that would pass articles. It’s a majority of Democrats, yes- but QED, those are not the numbers the Speaker needs to launch a successful campaign to impeach. With any luck, it won’t take much longer for the number of YEAS to increase significantly.
Second of all, Nancy only gets one shot at this- so she needs to use a great deal of breath control to bag Trump and all the pieces of shit that abetted his crime spree. The ideal time to drop a bomb on Trump is during the campaign season while he tries to con enough people to vote for his dumb ass again. Making next year difficult, painful and utterly deleterious would be a great play, even if the effort is destined to die in a complicit GOP-controlled Senate.
Let me take this moment as I have in the past to remind you that the best way to get to impeachment is to annoy your representatives to vote yes on the matter. Going on Twitter to scream for Pelosi’s head because she won’t support a measure that would die on the House floor is stupid.
This is our Bunker Hill. We can’t take our shot until it’s the right time. We won’t win in the end. But we will bleed the bastards enough, hopefully enough to tilt what is going to be a contentious process definitively in our favor when the war ends in November 2020.
UPDATE Sep 24: As of 1:55 today, the number of YEAS is now 170. Votes are beginning to cascade in as this strange Ukraine story spreads like a wildfire! Nancy may say the I word a hell of a lot quicker than I calculated…
UPDATE Sep 24: At 5pm, Nancy Pelosi confirmed that the House will be conducting an impeachment inquiry, rendering this post more full of shit than it already was. Now. Now it begins.
By now, you’ve read people opine glibly that President Trump is only president of half the country.
It’s a clever line, but it’s not really off the mark anymore. That shiteating motherfucker is thinking about turning the State Of The Union into a goddamned rally full of his idiot supporters who will gleefully agree that the country has never been greater or some other demented non sequitur word salad nonsense. Never mind that the United States Government is slowly flipping agencies’ open signs to closed and people are going to work without pay. It’s an atrocious situation. But that’s a feature, not a bug for Trump as Republicans generally want government closed permanently anyway. So in their estimation, he’s doing great, couldn’t be doing better. For the rest of us, we are realizing that our social compact is in jeopardy while Trump tries to get his increasingly pointless wall. It simply isn’t worth it and it’s all become particularly ironic, given that the people tasked to interdict drugs and prevent hazards by sea and air are finding themselves the people whose jobs Trump is holding hostage as the cornerstones of that wall. If he really cared or listened to anyone with more than a 5th grade vocabulary level familiar with a subject he’d realize that this is not an effective way to solve the problems he claims a wall would solve. If built, it’d just be some giant, racist reverse-Statue Of Liberty monument to Trump’s ego when the crime and the drugs and the migrants and the asylum seekers continue unabated at the border. It’s funny, Trump has broken tons of promises to his faithful. But of all the promises he has broken, this one is particularly important for him not to break- and I don’t want to be the bearer of more bad news, but it’s because the wall bit is one of Trump’s best lines at his Two Hours Hate rallies that makes it imperative for him that it be built. That’s it. Trump needs adulation like a lizard needs a hot fucking rock. He got a taste of crowd hysteria and he’s hooked. It pumps him the fuck up. And it’s going to cost us $5 billion smackers to get him to give back the government so he can crow to the redhats that he won something (for a change).
Speaker Pelosi’s refusal to open the House to the SOTU looks on its face to be a jab simply to rankle Trump, but if you think about it, having the entire American government in the same place without adequately paid professionals ensuring its safety is probably not the smartest idea ever conceived. But everything is always about Trump. It all reduces to him. And like the infantile jagoff he is, he decided to use his position as commander in chief of the armed forces to deny Pelosi a few diplomatic flights overseas which is probably the norm for the new leader of the legislative arm of the American government. I really hope when all the criminals who aided and abetted Trump’s systematic destruction of the American government are put away, we work on curtailing the potential for excess within the executive branch. NO president should have as much power as it has right now. This is absurd. Trump has been such a spectacular abuser of power that political science can’t seem to catch up to him. And when it does, maybe we need to have a conversation about whether what we are doing as a country, as a political entity- is appropriate for Americans. No one should have the power to do what Trump has done (or Mitch McConnell, but that’s another coconut entirely). Trump doled out institutional positions to people whose sole mission was to disable the agency they would lead. He’s frustrated a generation of experts with his thoughtlessness. I don’t think there’s a whole lot of Trump appointees who don’t have “acting” next to their position. And all the planet-busting deregulation for his corporate donors is shocking and offensive.
The Constitution is too vague and skeletal. Judges “interpret” it, which is alarming and bizarrely metaphysical for something rather important. We ignored Thomas Jefferson when he spoke of not updating our document to fit the times: “We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.” The Federalist Papers, while of course interesting for historical reasons, cannot guide us as it attempted to answer questions about the challenges of government in 1787, not 2019. And the founders rarely spoke in unison back then. Hell, arms needed to be twisted about the inclusion of the Bill Of Rights and we look at some of those amendments as so fundamental today that you’d have to be insane not to include them in drawing up a government. But anyway, I suspect if we set those same great minds to the task of creating a new republic today, they would come up with something radically different. Why? Because times fucking change. People change. And the old ways are not preventing the new ills. The old ills barely exist anymore. There were exceptions. George Mason, perhaps traveling through time, refused to sign the Constitution, saying it would “produce a monarchy or a corrupt oppressive aristocracy: it will most probably vibrate some years between the two, and then terminate in the one or the other.”
Is there anything that makes sense today as much as this does? Shit, we have an oppressive aristocrat AND a pretender to monarchy on our hands. How do you deliver a State Of The Union in the state the union has been in anyway?
Am I asking for a revolution?
Me? Nope. I’m a crazy person with too much time on my hands. You all know that.
But I am willing to hear one out.
This will not be a post about how much trouble the president is in.
Let’s instead remember that a bling pig finds a truffle now and then, even when that pig is named Donald Trump. And that motherfucker is never right, so I’m gonna post about it when he is, in spite of himself.
It feels weird, not wanting to pounce on something dumb Orange Caligula does. His track record is so bad that I think we’ve all gotten a little used to reflexively criticizing the harebrained decisions he makes. If you were a bettor, and Trump was a racehorse and being wrong was the finish line, you would be leaving the track with your pockets overflowing every day that ends in Y if you plunked down something on him.
I am not working my way up to complimenting him. But he has stumbled into the right choice on Syria, Putin stooge or no Putin stooge.
I’m not perfect, and my views evolve as anyone’s should when he or she is off the mark (or dead fucking wrong as is sometimes the case). I have found that I have come off as something of a neocon in the not distant past, trying to think from a realpolitik perspective when it comes to our warmaking, particularly regarding Syria. I complimented Trump when he bombed Syrian assets in 2017, largely because the fledgling administration wasn’t doing anything except setting fire to anything Barack Obama signed. For four straight months I watched Trump do nothing constructive or remotely interesting; he was as much a paper tiger as he is now, just a fucking useless gum-flapper. For example, I will be genuinely surprised if he finds his balls and takes personal responsibility for turning the lights off on part of the government until he gets his stupid wall funding. Then there was the time I took Ralph Peters’ side on tangling with Russia because I needed an opportunity to call Tucker Carlson an asshole when he said we should be nice to Putin because he kills “the terrorists” in Syria-using that dumb logic of we need to fight them over there so they don’t come here. My calculation was if we don’t fill the vacuum, Russia would.
When it comes to international relations in the modern era, I have had a tendency to view it as a zero-sum game. Why?
Because it’s easy. Reality, however, is not so two-dimensional. I know I thought I was being clever, even if I had to be wrong to do so. Hey, fuck it, there’s plenty of people being paid and feted for being fucking wrong all the time.
But I ought to know better. I have seen firsthand what a just war looks like. As it happens, it is very much what an unjust war looks like. I went into Iraq in 2003 a firm believer in our mission and left a year later quite disillusioned the more I reflected and interacted with the people we were “liberating”. We drove a whole generation of American soldiers insane in the service of realpolitik and papered-over binary thinking about what we were doing there. War made us monsters, not saviors.
The bottom line is there are no real winners in war, and I ought to know that by now. Let this be the ground I shall plant myself in henceforth. And I shall start by being happy that Trump accidentally did something right by calling back the 2,000 or so Americans home from Syria, which is in an intractable civil war right now and looks to stay that way for the foreseeable future whether we are there are not-because we’re only dipping our toes in the conflict, just enough to annoy and stymie the Russians and Bashar Al-Assad. Now there is doubt that Trump will back up his mouth with some actual action, since he tweeted his decision without consultation with anyone familiar with a rifle and possessed with functioning grey matter. The pretext for Trump’s sudden exit from Syria, if you ask him, is that we have defeated ISIS. That’s hilarious, of course, if you ask the resistance. The “mission” ain’t accomplished by a long shot.
Now, I think that Trumpian nationalism is typically odious in the extreme, but honestly, leaving a warzone because we don’t need to “police” the world is by far not the worst thing ever uttered by an American politician. And it’s driving hawks apoplectic, which can only bear good fruit. Most of Trump’s detractors use the same logic I have in the past, that when the Russians win, we lose. The reality we are living in is at bottom a race for resources. We don’t give a fuck about Syria or Syrians, because absent from Donald’s declarations was a desire to settle refugees from the war. I certainly don’t think Trump is deep enough to be a tactician in the new cold war, and maybe that’s not to our detriment in regards to international conflict. A bit of naivete in the ways of violence is…OK.
I just can’t be moved to pile on Trump for this, even though there’s a lot wrong with the thinking that led him to leave Syria be. But let’s not kid ourselves. Our bombs don’t have freedom dust in them. Our reasons for staying there are not sound; the Kurds are already accustomed to everyone’s Janus tendencies towards them. Russia will still strafe and bomb and kill indiscriminately like they are doing now (just as we have done). And what for? A chit with Iran? We have Iraq. How about we take a rest from imperialism? Besides, it’s not like we are going to stop selling arms to our erstwhile allies. Point is, aligning the world in a binary fashion the way we do is exactly what causes world wars. We think we are wetting the fuse with our aggression by fighting the Russian axis wherever we go. Sorry. We’re shortening it.
Our fucktarded president is in quite a legal pickle. Several, in fact. It’s turning out he owes a lot to Vladimir Putin, and stepping out of Syria may yet be one more favor to someone who can crush him with kompromat. But I’m going to take the peace dividends where I can get them. I’m not going to call the president out for not wanting to be in a war anymore. Perhaps if you knew what it was like, you too would reluctantly agree with the basket-case-in-chief. If you don’t, use your fucking imagination.