Behind the dueling banjos coming out of Washington of late, many Americans could hear Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell ordering Trump to ‘squeal like a pig’ as the nation’s hope for deliverance drifted down river while the President pathetically wailed ‘Weeeeee! Weeeeee! Weeeeee!’
By Mark Cromer
It has been by all accounts a stunning month and it began its epic unspooling during the Ides of March, a long fabled date that Trump managed to survive amid an imperial Washington rife with deadly intrigue only to affix his signature in his usual spasmodic fashion to what surely portends to be his own political death warrant and a Do Not Resuscitate advance directive for the Republican Party in the coming elections.
Trump took to Twitter on March 22 to announce that he had signed none other than John Robert Bolton, a former Ambassador to the United Nations that has served as both an Under Secretary of State and Assistant Secretary of State, as his new National Security Advisor following Trump’s unceremonious cashiering of H.R. McMaster, who until then had been doubling as the Lex Luthor of the Beltway.
In an administration that has now patented bizarre convulsions of senior staff appointments and strategic policy initiatives that reflect a 180-degree direction from the course that Trump had passionately vowed while on the campaign stump in 2015 and 2016, the appointment of Bolton as National Security Advisor was the radioactive cherry atop the steep oh-so-sweet sundae that Trump has been serving the neocon-globalist goon squad in Washington since he arrived in the District of Columbia. Bolton is an unvarnished military interventionist to the core, a happily consistent man of war of the stripe that first bloomed like a toxic algae in the aftermath of World War II when America’s transition from a national republic into a global empire began to accelerate dramatically.
American combat troops are now actively engaged, both openly and covertly, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Nigeria, Sudan and Yemen and as Bolton arrives in the White House Situation Room he’ll be gazing at the map and advising Trump that he sees nothing but opportunity. And it starts with Iran and perhaps on the Korean peninsula as a run-up to the final turn of Russia in that mushroom cloud tea party Bolton believes is so long overdue.
If you think that’s sheer hyperbole, consider that just days before he was named as Trump’s NSA, Bolton had declared the American invasion of Iraq to be a triumph. A triumph. In which case Vietnam was a magnificent ongoing victory that was tragically lost only when America left that godforsaken battlefield rather than stick it out for another half-century and a couple hundred thousand more dead G.I.’s or so. In fact, Bolton is such a happy Johnny Appleseed of Blood-Soaked Disaster that if asked whether he feels America should still be in Vietnam in 2018, and if so should the U.S. consider attacking it again just to right a terrible geopolitical blunder, the odds are at least even he would smile and say: “Abso-fricken-lutely.”
Trump’s encore in his stagecraft of Betrayal (A One Term Play) came but 24-hours later when he signed a three volume phonebook-sized omnibus spending bill that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had released just hours before that explicitly—nay, gleefully—gutted every single promise Trump had made to voters on the issue of mass immigration and particularly illegal immigration. If Trump’s election stands as the greatest political upset in modern American history—and it does—then the omnibus spending bill that Ryan and McConnell tossed on his desk in the Oval Office will forever stand as the most vicious perversion of an elected president’s fundamental agenda.
It was a rancid enough of a political corn-holing to evoke an infamously disturbing scene from the film Deliverance, instantly rebooted in the minds of millions of Americans and complete with a Skoal-chewing McConnell standing in front of a whimpering Trump-as-Ned Beatty in the Oval Office as McConnell’s Tennessee drawl intones “You in the Beltway now, boy. You hear me? You done trespassed in our neck of the woods” all while Ryan feverishly works Trump’s Back Forty with saliva running down his chin as he declares “This here a Manhattan sow, one of them New Yorker porkers! Yessir! Genuine Park Avenue swine. Now squeal like a pig, boy! Louder! Weeeeeee! Now louder, boy!”
Oh, and Trump did.
The props of Trump’s vaunted border wall prototypes, which Americans now understand were built merely as the photo-op he used them for in mid-March and but days before he signed the bill that explicitly prevented the wall from being funded (it’s worth noting that Trump made a show of looking at the prototypes, but not selecting one), will be better suited as a climbing and repelling obstacle in a Southern California theme park come January 21, 2021.
Equally dead with the stroke of Trump’s signature is the prospect of hiring a significant number of new Border Patrol agents and the expansion of illegal immigrant detention facilities (which correlates simply into more illegal immigrants being released with merely a promise to appear for potential deportation at a later date) and, of course, the simple step of mandating that all employers use E-Verify to ensure their employees have a legal right to work in the United States, that delivered per instructions from the Republicans’ benefactors at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
It’s not an overstatement in the slightest to suggest that Trump’s appointment of Bolton, which followed his selection of CIA Director Mike Pompeo as his new Secretary of State by little more than a week, and his signing of the omnibus spending bill as something akin to President Obama taking office and in short order installing a cabinet committed to gutting the EPA, killing Social Security, abolishing the Department of Education, approving clear-cutting and strip-mining in national forests and announcing plans to end unfettered mass immigration into the country—then promptly sending out Josh Earnest to declare that he was merely assembling a team of rivals to assist him in an intense game of 3-D chess.
Trump dead-enders on Fox News like Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro can’t bring themselves to accept the grim reality of the situation and thus they talk louder and even more frenetically (proving that’s actually possible) as they desperately scramble to make sense of the fine White House china adorned with the steaming deuce that Trump just dropped that they must now lower their faces into with their mouths wide open, refusing to accept they’re now starring on a political spinoff of Fear Factor by The Apprentice.
And they are going to have to eat more than maggots.
And so they babble on, spewing recrimination at Wall Street’s old A-Team working girls Ryan and McConnell for being the corporate whores they’ve always been all while insisting their poor dumb luck john Donnie Trump had been rolled through no fault of his own. By their telling, The Donald had picked up a couple of floozies in Lower Manhattan that needed a ride and before he knew it had inadvertently ended up in a dingy Hoboken motel room faced with a $1.3 trillion proposition. Trump had never been to that part of town before. Honest.
But even Ann Coulter, with her humiliation of penning bestseller In Trump We Trust in 2016 now undeniably complete, is running like an ideologically battered wife for the shelter of a political House of Ruth as Trump tweeted out that he came close to vetoing the omnibus bill and shutting down the government—just not over the blazing immolation of his promised immigration enforcement measures. No, he almost wielded his veto pen because the bill didn’t include a mass amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants under the aegis of DACA.
If only she had entitled her tome For Trump’s Promises We Vote instead, but alas, she is now the GOP’s Nicole Brown Simpson. Trump has just beat the political hell out of her, and everyone knows what comes next, but she’s still making the rounds on the news shows sounding evermore like Nicole with the LAPD dispatcher on that 911 call: “You know who he is!”
But for the rest of the American voters who went to the polls for Trump in November 2016 there are only really two viable explanations for what has happened this past month, in addition to what hasn’t happened for nearly the past year and a half.
One is rather simple: Trump is indeed actually the buffoon that former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pegged him to be when he called Trump “a fucking moron” following a national security meeting last July. It could well be that the former CEO of ExxonMobil, even in a flustered pique, arrived at the correct conclusion that Trump is not out of his comfortably familiar sycophantic-filled surroundings in the bureaucratic swamp inside the Beltway but rather simply out of his intellectual pay grade by head-swiveling multiples.
Or, and perhaps more likely, Trump is just revealing his true intent all along.
His true core values, his true colors, that are, in fact, unanchored in any essence of an actual national identity of America and his employment of a nationalist agenda a reliable crowd pleaser on the stump but of no actual value now that he’s in office. No less of a globalist broadsheet than The Wall Street Journal reported—with irrepressible glee—that Trump burped “fuck that” when told on that fateful Friday morning that if he vetoed the omnibus spending bill he would have to cancel his usual weekend on the frontlines of the American working class struggle at his country club resort in Mar-a-Lago.
What he actually meant (and actually possibly said) was “fuck them*.” (*The American people.)
In the weeks that have followed his elbow-deep fisting of his voters and the rest of the working stiffs in the United States, Trump has continued to employ his trusty tactic of playing make-believe with a disintegrating ballot-casting bloc that he’s hoping will succumb to two old school political plays simultaneously: reelect the GOP in November and they’ll get it done this next time around, honest, but conversely, if the Democrats prevail the mass immigration they voted to stop will explode in a steroid-like rage across the American landscape (and in that lone regard, he’s right) and it will be all over baby blue.
To support his continued chimerical Twitter-delivered pronouncements of increased immigration enforcement, Trump has ballyhooed a promised deployment of National Guard troops, ostensibly 4,000 of them, into logistical support positions along the Rio Grande. In short, Trump has ordered de-armed soldiers equipped with flashlights and binoculars to various points along the border where apparently they will use their walkie-talkies to alert the Border Patrol of any suspicious activity.
The cartels must be shaking in their snake-skinned boots, even as they toast El Presidente Yanqui; ‘al idiota!’
While the GOP’s leadership and its caravan of Stockholm Syndrome sleep-walkers will continue its Dead Party Walking stroll over the horizon as they verbally dream of Ronald Reagan, many more Americans will be thinking of a president that was a general who led America to victory in war, expanded the middle class, developed the infrastructure, brought the hammer down on governors who thought they ran their own country and got serious about illegal immigration: Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Were he alive and in the White House today, one can imagine that Ike would pour a nice scotch, neat, and take it out on the Truman Balcony for a smoke or two, collect his thoughts (but not his beliefs), then walk into the Oval Office for a televised address to the nation. And in that reassuring tone of an uncle who knows what he is talking about mixed with the brilliant intellect of a West Point grad and the steeled determination of a soldier that had drawn blood and taken lives in defense of this nation and a man who believed in the nation as a nation, one can almost hear Eisenhower explain in a calm but solid tone, to say nothing of complete and thoughtful sentences, how America’s lawless frontiers and the renegade governors that were abetting them were a national emergency.
As the nation sat riveted by the prospect of a president who actually intended to fight for them; from the black kid in Flint, Michigan, to the white dad in Columbia, South Carolina, to the Chicana mother in Pico Rivera, California, one can almost hear Ike declare this deadly nonsense had met its bayonet point. That he had ordered the Joint Chiefs not to defend Syria, but to roll whatever measure was necessary to restore operational control of America’s borders, would not seem like a midnight Tweet from Ike. As such, he would explain the 100,000 fully armed troops that were being deployed to the southern border would be there for as long as was necessary to achieve a coherent, decisive objective in pursuit of the national interest.
That’s what a real president would do.
After that, Ike may even get into where the military-industrial complex has led the nation abroad, but first things first.
Can you imagine what Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi’s shrieking protests would sound like against such cogent determination and presidential resolve? Where could John McCain and Lindsey Graham go in the face of that, try as they surely would?
Nowhere, that’s where.
But alas, Eisenhower is long dead, the nation is disintegrating and Donald Trump is in the White House, burping out his Tweets of fantastical double-talk and deception.
If Trump was honest about only one thing, it was this past month made doing what he does look so easy for him.