Six short months into his spasm of a presidency, Trump’s public shanking of Attorney General Jeff Sessions irrevocably unveils the ugly truth about the president and his true agenda to the voters who swept him into the White House—watch your back
By Mark Cromer
The writing would be on the wall, well, that is if one was actually being built, but it’s clear that President Donald J. Trump has finally managed to unravel his congenitally deformed presidency across the political Rubicon in a stunningly bizarre whirlwind reminiscent of a quickie Vegas wedding between drunk cousins slamming like a meteor into the ground, just minus the booze, pregnancy test and Elvis impersonator. Though Trump appearing at his next arena show in an Evel Knievel, bell-bottomed jumpsuit with a Montana-sized belt-buckle that reads ‘The King’ and sporting aviator shades as he wipes his brow with mini-towels before tossing them into the crowd as stacked speakers blared ‘Burning Love’ doesn’t seem nearly as unlikely as it might have (and only might have) a week or so ago.
But unlike a weekend burner that resulted in a crapped-out roll of the marital dice between an ill-fated couple amid the garish glitz of a soulless desert town, it’s the political nuptials that Trump took with 63-million American voters last November that are unraveling before the nation’s eyes as Trump’s ever-louder declarations of fidelity reveal themselves to be only more brazen lies of absolute betrayal.
Not one foot of a border wall has been built or even seriously budgeted, yet Trump keeps blathering on about the wall as if he’s talking into a mirror, offering the occasional fantastical flourishes that it will feature solar panels or will be transparent, but the only thing that is clear is that nothing has been seriously done in pursuit of his campaign centerpiece. Or as they likely refer to it now around the Goldman Sach’s White House: ‘Trump Stump Prop 1A.’
The North American Free Trade Agreement—one of the single most devastating betrayals of the American worker, a catastrophe that saw America’s trade deficits with Mexico and Canada explode from $2 billion in 1994 to more than $60 billion in 2016 as more than a million skilled-labor jobs were shipped north and south of ‘the border’—remains unscathed and firmly in place. Trump’s campaign vow to immediately serve Ottawa and Mexico City with official notice of his intent to exit the pact once in office and negotiate bilateral trade deals with each nation instead has remained as empty as all those factories in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Ohio that were shuttered as a result of NAFTA’s passage nearly a quarter century ago.
The once mighty Atlantic Alliance, NATO, which has doubled in size and grown even further in the mission-creep of its primary military commitment that has taken it now far off the European continent, has managed to atrophy even as it has expanded, as European members refuse to pay for and soldier-up for their own defense all while demanding America shoulder the burden in blood and bullion—an outrage Trump swore he would end during the campaign, vowing to reassess whether America’s national security interests were served by continued defense commitments with countries unwilling to defend themselves. Yet to the contrary, once elected Trump traveled to Europe to trumpet his steadfast commitment to NATO, supported its expansion with the admission of Montenegro and returned with nothing more in hand than virtually every other president over the past quarter century: a cheap promise from NATO’s headquarters in Brussels to do more to meet even their minimal commitments just as soon as possible.
The vast H-1B visa pool, which has long served as another greasy legal route for employers to keep American workers off the job and suppress the wages of those that have survived so far remains undiminished while other visa categories have actually been expanded under Trump, so even more foreign workers can be shipped into the country to replace a problematic native population of employees that seek living wages, workplace protections and a quality of life that has long annoyed Wall Street.
Even the simple, common sense task of mandating that all employers in the United States use E-Verify to ensure that people working in America have the legal right to do so—which Trump vowed he would demand Congress act immediately on—continues to be mired in the capital malaise of intentional inaction. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley introduced Senate Bill 179, the Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act, on January 20, 2017, where it was read twice and referred to the Judiciary Committee and was quietly killed. But not a single, consequential word from Trump on that most glaring, pathetic of fails and bitter betrayals of the American worker.
No, only more Tweets about, well, him. Always him. And always with the polished bravado of an intellectually diminished adolescent repeating lines over and over again as if in some self-hypnotic, hooked-on-phonics exercise.
Trump’s pompous and frenetic vulgarity on the campaign trail may have played well in Peoria—or was at least palatable enough not to make Main Street puke in phony horror like the governing elites feigned during their daily nervous breakdowns—but only as long as it seemed clear that he was committed to carrying out the actual agenda that carried him into the White House in the biggest upset of American political history.
The loud-mouthed carnival barker schtick on the stump seemed at this late hour in the American twilight at least tolerable if in return voters got clear, decisive and coherent action—action—on the agenda that’s political nitroglycerin to the political establishment that has simply grown accustomed to blatantly ignoring the voters to govern in spite of them rather than at their direction and to their benefit.
The perversity of Trump’s narcissism was certainly no more truly obscene than the veneer of cold hostility and detached bemusement that lifetime politicos have been treating American citizens to year in and year out for decades now. And the hysteria that exploded not only at virtually all points along the political Left, from its corporately owned and operated captains like Hillary Clinton, Sen. Chuck Schumer and House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi all the way down to the black-garbed goons of the street terror squads that burn, smash, loot and attack opponents (real and perceived) as a political act, but also throughout the Establishment Right and its globalist neocon cadres that despise the notion of America as a nation-state with as much venomous contempt as the Left, if for slightly different reasons, seemed of some evidentiary value that Trump may in fact be serious.
So the voters decided that perhaps Trump was actually being genuine in his appeals to their core demands: secure the borders, end the ‘Free Trade’ global larceny agreements, return the skilled-labor manual economy to our shores and end America’s endless involvement in wars on foreign shores, enough so that 63 million citizens across every American strata took to heart his to-the-point pitch to black voters: “What the hell do you have to lose?”
Yet a (not so) funny thing happened immediately following Trump’s inauguration: he handed the national agenda over to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, two Establishment players who opposed Trump and who have long worked diligently against the Americans who voted for him, and that dynamic duo promptly proceeded to announce they were going to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or repeal it now and later replace it, or repeal it in the dead of night by anonymous voice vote and never replace it, or repeal it now and repeal it later again for good measure in case it’s a legislative zombie, or actually just dance a slow waltz to nowhere since it turns out their plan was actually not much of a plan at all.
While the Republican majority in Congress was busy proving it controlled little more than the shrinking amount of days it spent at work versus hiding on vacation, Trump bungled a series of first-blush ‘immigration bans’ that were rushed out that weren’t as ill-conceived as much as they were amateurishly executed half-measures that were transparently symbolic but otherwise meaningless in the scheme of the mass migration crisis that has battered American workers for decades while doing virtually nothing to fundamentally enhance national security.
Trump could have taken to the airwaves in his first televised address to the nation as president and called for an immediate, comprehensive moratorium on all immigration into the United States for two years, allowing the nation some breathing room, much-needed time to clear the perpetual backlog of its immigration courts, much-needed time to assess the overall and factual landscape of immigrants in America today, i.e. how many foreigners are currently in country, how many of them are here illegally, just how many of them occupy how much of what industry sectors and at what expense to American workers? How many are in our public schools and at what expense to the American taxpayer and to what result for the American students? And it would allow the country time to consider the full range of options to address the issue with only one goal in mind: to the maximum benefit of the American citizen.
It would have been bold, decisive and across-the-board fair.
It would not be a ban on immigration into the United States, it would be a relevant break, a respite, needed breathing room from the longest and most sustained wave of human migration any nation has ever tried to absorb in the history of nation-states, one that is exploding the country’s population while simultaneously draining the nation’s capacity to provide for American citizens—which is why the Left has long worked at eliminating any distinction between citizen and immigrant. It is now orthodox dogma in the Democratic Party today that if you are in America, you are now American by presence alone, just arrived or long-standing, illegal or otherwise.
But what has Trump done now that he’s in the White House? He’s bragged that there will be no pause, no break, no breathing room and no reduction in the net flow of foreigners pouring into America, but rather only a more focused and allegedly extensive review of whether they are suitable for work in the United States.
In other words: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s dream policy.
Yet nothing epitomizes the scope, scale or the sheer gleeful depravity of Trump’s betrayal of the Americans who voted for him based on his stated agenda than his turning with the sick sadistic bent of the classless, cowardly bully his critics have long claimed he is on his earliest and most politically relevant supporter and the man who arguably was the most critical asset he had on his improbable road to the presidency: Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III.
In an unprecedented development that has unfolded over the past week at an accelerating clip, Trump has summarily turned upon and publicly attacked on a near daily basis the Attorney General of the United States in escalating tones of mocking ridicule designed to denigrate the man and diminish the office of the top law enforcement officer in the nation.
I met Sessions several times a decade ago and had the pleasure of lunching with him on the Potomac one afternoon, an occasion in which we discussed at length America’s immigration policy, how it had evolved and ultimately failed the American people and what could be done to address this critical problem. Having interviewed, debated or socialized with most of the serious thinkers and national players on immigration from virtually every perspective at one time or another, I found Sessions to be every bit the genuine Southern gentleman (and it turned out we’re both Eagle Scouts) whose easy command of the facts blended like a smooth whiskey with his common sense, clear-eyed conviction and his courteous but courageous commitment to securing America’s borders and protecting her national identity—something utterly antithetical and indeed heretical to the globalist GOP leadership.
Sessions took leave of his U.S. Senate seat in Alabama (the one he took over from another good ol’ boy in 1997, Southern Democratic legend Howell Heflin) to undergo a viciously withering smear campaign by fanatical Democrats and their surrogates who pulled out all the stops with personal attacks in an effort to prevent his confirmation as attorney general. Why? Because unlike Trump, they actually knew that voters could count on Sessions to be true to his word and actually believed in the cause he joined Trump’s campaign to advance.
So it is almost impossible to overstate the stunning nature of Trump’s betrayal on virtually every level; from his alleged motivation for publicly attacking Sessions to his apparent complete disregard for what it means to the voters whom believed in Sessions long before they considered casting a ballot for Trump and his delusional conclusion that his presidency will survive his spastic attacks on the attorney general.
While Trump’s treatment of Sessions is currently being viewed by many pundits as a bizarre and even dangerous development in the American executive branch, it is both of those things but also something far more profound: for it is almost surely the death knell of any hope or belief in the government by at least a third of the American citizen population, for whom Trump represented their last wager at the ballot box.
Trump’s compromising Sessions to the point of either forcing him to resign—and it’s virtually impossible to envision a realistic scenario in which Sessions can bring himself to stay onboard—or firing him if he refuses to sets in motion the disintegration of his coalition of working class rural voters and increasingly disaffected middle class voters that watch their opportunities and security receding daily.
He has scuttled his own presidency.
And in doing so, he has doomed the GOP as a nationally viable party, one that may see the staggering electoral conquests that it has rolled up around the country since 2010 wiped away within but two or three election cycles, perhaps even sooner.
Looking back now, there was a sign that Trump’s much ballyhooed commitment to loyalty was actually little more than a one-lane highway dedicated in his name and honor. Sarah Palin, the vibrant former Alaskan governor who electrified the Republican base in 2008 and managed to jolt some life into the walking dead campaign that was John McCain’s limp shuffle of a ‘run’ against Sen. Barack Obama, was another early and strong supporter of Trump and she campaigned aggressively for him.
And Trump was glad to have her support, until he won. As a token of his appreciation he gave her the VIP package that students at his ‘Trump University’ were promised: a photo with the president, a complimentary mug that reads ‘World’s Best President’ with Trump’s face on it, a Trump tote bag with his books he didn’t write and a 12% off coupon for valet parking at one of his resorts.
His disgracefully shabby treatment of Palin—who along with Sessions was the most prominent and potent of Trump’s early supporters that gave him at least some semblance of critical credibility—was a portent of the public shivving of Sessions that was yet to come.
The Right seems to understand that the hour of reckoning now approaches for the Republican Party and that no matter how many miscreants the Democrats assemble in their caucus and how radically detached they become from the concerns of the average American (i.e. campaigning on the ‘Transsexual Bathroom Crisis’ or whether saying ‘All Lives Matter!’ is a hate crime) it will unlikely be enough to save the coalition that Trump built only to set ablaze.
With his dispatching of Sessions and his total abdication of the key agenda elements that he ran on, Trump is settling into his true role as a corporatist shill who still has a touring road show ready to play arenas in the states he thinks he can hold onto by merely telling the crowd how great of a president he is, how terrible he’s had it with the Deep State and Establishment Media and how much they’re going to love what he is going to do for them. Yada, yada, yada. He’ll keep talking about MS-13 gang member deportations, but say little to nothing of consequence about the 20 to 30 million illegal immigrants currently in the country and the 10 million or more illegal workers among them.
And he’ll boast about an economy roaring back to life using the very same unemployment numbers that he rightly derided on the campaign trail as pure fiction from the Clinton campaign and the Obama administration without the slightest wince of bitter irony. He will sneer as he claims that gutting the EPA and defunding Planned Parenthood and killing public broadcasting were all chief among the American people’s priorities for electing him as if he actually believes those ‘issues’ ranked anywhere in the top ten true priorities for his coalition.
The shameless backstabbing of Jeff Sessions has set in motion a historic political annulment that will serve as something of a grave-marker for an American era that’s come crashing to an end and the aftermath will be filled with epic consequences for both major parties and what’s left of the nation itself.
Think Yugoslavia circa early 1990s.
The end of Trump wasn’t Russia. It wasn’t leaks. It wasn’t the press. It wasn’t collusion. It wasn’t bad policy and it wasn’t even the subterfuge that really is swirling around him.
No, the end of Trump’s presidency and ultimately the Republican Party was started by his grim betrayal of the vows he swore to the masses of his voters during the campaign and then capped off this past week by the character assassination of the honorable Jeff Sessions by none other than the simpering, lying coward Donald J. Trump.
And tens of millions of Americans who cast ballots for him will indeed remember next November.