Tank Slapper

I haven’t written much about the ongoing siege of the Trump presidency; I haven’t frankly, had much to add. But I should say something, I suppose.

First, I should say that Donald Trump is proving to be everything that all of us knew or feared he would be: a vain, impulsive, unlettered vulgarian bigmouth, ignorant, undisciplined, and unreflective. I’ll say also that he’s been, just in terms of keeping his campaign promises, a disappointment to many millions of voters who supported him not just to stop Hillary Clinton, but in the hope of aggressive and effective reversal of decades of managerial-state growth, suicidal immigration policy, and race-baiting “social-justice” warfare against the traditional American nation.

That said, it should be obvious to all that a bloodthirsty coalition of the media and members of the United States Government (especially, in the latter category, members of the judiciary and the intelligence community) are waging a bitter, take-no-prisoners campaign against this sitting President, using everything they can lay a hand on. From the start there has been a torrent of leaks, obviously coming from people with privileged access (and therefore also, obviously in many cases felonious), and the press has, in every news cycle, done everything in its power to damage and destabilize Mr. Trump’s administration. Every day is another barrage of unsourced accusations, and (in particular) charges of treasonous collusion with Russia for which no evidence is ever given.

There is not the least attempt at coherence or consistency. Things that were defended (or, at least, ignored) when Democrats did them — like sharing anti-terror intelligence with Russia, or alleged carelessness with classified material, or believing James Comey shouldn’t be the FBI director — are front-page scandals for Mr. Trump. (What this shows is simply that looking for such consistency, is naive, as we’ve pointed out before.)

Now Ross Douthat of the New York Times is calling for the removal of Mr. Trump using the mechanism outlined in Section IV of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment: the Vice-President and Cabinet declare him “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office” — and should the President disagree, a two-thirds majority of both houses of Congress chucks him out anyway.

I doubt that this could happen, but you never know. I do know that if it does happen, it will be seen by scores of millions of Americans as a forcible usurpation of the man they sent to Washington to “drain the swamp” — by the very snakes, leeches and reptiles they sent him there to do battle with. It will ratchet the nation another step closer to dissolution (or worse).

I’ve said for a while that politics in America are divided beyond all hope of healing, and that the civic and social cohesion that is absolutely essential for the central governance of such a vast and diverse nation is irreparably destroyed. It has seemed inevitable to me for at least five years that the United States, as presently constituted, will not exist very much longer. One metaphor I’ve used for the state of our politics is the way a car goes off the road: the driver sees, almost too late, that he’s drifted out of his lane, steers wildly back to center, overcorrects, yanks the wheel even more frantically back the other way, and after a few iterations of this ends up losing control altogether, with disastrous consequences.

With that metaphor in mind: if you’re wondering about the title of this post, here’s a video that should make it clear. I think the term deserves wider currency.

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12 Comments

  1. Jason says

    I myself would be much harder on Trump, Mr. Pollack, who dismayed right me from the beginning of his run in 2015. For all of his talents, he’s really a rather stupid man, in my opinion. Alt-right types (not you!) were, and are, fools to have any real trust in him – they give him much more credit than he deserves.

    I certainly agree though that the media’s response to the guy often goes off the deep end, with many members of the Fourth Estate having had it in for him from the beginning. What’s most disturbing in my mind is how they have no respect for the sovereignty of the people, no recognition that however mistaken Trump voters might have been their views – in a healthy democratic society – still have to be taken into account.

    Anyway, like you have said, things are bad. Everything is so zero-sum now, that any severe loss to either the Right or the Left will appear intolerable, and worse illegitimate. And why be subservient to a state that you think is not legitimate?

    Posted May 17, 2017 at 5:36 pm | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    Jason, feel free to be as hard on Mr. Trump as you like. He seems to have an unerring knack for making his bad situation (and ours) worse.

    I don’t think he’s stupid — I don’t think that you can do what he’s done without above-average intelligence — but I do think he’s terribly ignorant in many ways, including Dunning-Kruger-style ignorance of his ignorance. Moreover, the instincts that put him into the White House are different from those he needs to govern, especially to govern in this snake-pit.

    Posted May 17, 2017 at 6:12 pm | Permalink
  3. Jimmy Flounderello says

    Things get quite absurd when an empire crumbles. Caligula appointed his horse to the Roman senate, and the American voters have been sending horses’ asses to D.C. for decades.

    Posted May 17, 2017 at 7:45 pm | Permalink
  4. Tina says

    Meanwhile, so many in the rest of America are quite happy with President Trump’s actions, and words, and the fact that both coincide with refreshing honesty.

    We Deplorables are also delighted that President Trump is behaving exactly as we expected, with an interest in new approaches, with a direct manner of communication, with compassion and kindness to the concerns of ordinary American citizens, and that he is putting primary importance on those matters we agree should be of primary importance.

    We know how he behaved as a CEO, and are relieved that he is continuing those strong management practices and tactics in governing.

    In the past 112 or so days, President Trump has filled or made significant, genuine starts, on more campaign promises than most have done in their entire first term. Most importantly, he continues to uncover the extent of evil and fraud that oozes through Washington and through so many US institutions. More masks will be falling before this is done.

    Perhaps a subscription to the 1600 Daily is in order. Start there, and read the results, before reading the gossip. You’ll feel better. For a man that so many like to call names and look down on, he is getting real work done.

    Posted May 17, 2017 at 9:06 pm | Permalink
  5. Whitewall says

    Trump can’t do it all alone. He does not have the savvy needed for politics or the “streets of DC”. So far he is a sitting duck. The big things legislatively that he was elected to do are dead in the water. As for these assaults on speakers and Congressmen etc carried out by Leftists under the banner of “justified resistance”, they will continue until confronted harshly. “Probe with bayonets. If you encounter steel, withdraw. If you encounter mush, continue” Vladimir Lenin. So far no steel. Nothing has changed style wise in a hundred years.

    Posted May 18, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink
  6. Bill says

    In all of this, we need to remember that politics is the art of the possible. Trump’s major promises, immigration, Obamacare, and taxes, are being held up in a Republican Congress that doesn’t want the adverse publicity of voting for genuine change. Granted he doesn’t seem to be competent at navigating the swamp of Washington politics, but even if he were, I doubt he could get more done than he has. Discussion of his personality at this point smacks of ad hominem attack. What counts are accomplishment and failure–correctly attributed between Trump and Congress.

    Posted May 18, 2017 at 1:40 pm | Permalink
  7. Troy says

    IMHO, Trump has done good. Trump has 1) got a SCOTUS pick, 2) has a new AG who has his back, 3) Fired that snake Comey, 4) fired Preet Baharahahahara, 5) Revoked many Obama Administrative orders, 6) Invoked his own administrative orders (like stopping the IRS from the invocation of the penaltax), 7) Immigration is down significantly and he hasn’t even built his wall yet.

    Trump is still learning the ropes. I, and I may be in the minority, do not underestimate his intelligence, his drive, and his ability to change course when need be

    But yeah, we are watching a Coup Attempt: USA Style.

    Regarding his support, I’d like to see these so called journalist get out of their bubble and go to say Nebraska, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma. It’s like people in the DC and coast bubbles don’t understand that people in flyover country can read, have access to the internet, and….gasp… some of them have gone to graduate school and can see for themselves WTF is going on.

    But in the end, I don’t think it matters.

    I agree with Malcolm’s sentiment. The Republic of the United States is over. The date of its death can be argued. Whether it Township of Castle Rock vs Gonazales (for me. Or July 5, 2016, when Comey failed to recommend to the DOJ that she has most definitely broken the law and should be indicted. Malcolm used the metaphor of tectonic plates. Slowly, over time stress builds up until a cataclysmic release of energy. The left isn’t backing down and Trumplanders are now showing up to events with bodies (not just talking about it). I think conflict will almost inevitable.

    Liberalism (i.e. John Lock) is dead. conservatism is dead (These cowards were so spineless that they can’t even conserve the @#$ing bathroom). Libertarianism is dead (You can’t be a libertarian without rule of law, and we don’t have that either). The alt-right is the best current hope for those who want Western Civilization to continue.

    Posted May 18, 2017 at 8:54 pm | Permalink
  8. Malcolm says

    I should be clear: Trump’s our man at this point, and despite the qualities I enumerated above, there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s a patriotic man (unlike his predecessor) who genuinely loves the traditional American nation (likewise). I want him to succeed, and I want his enemies to fail.

    Posted May 18, 2017 at 11:56 pm | Permalink
  9. zaporozhe says

    Good lord, he’s been in office a mere 120 days,

    Gorsuch is on the Supreme Court
    TPP has been scrapped
    Some progress has been made to unwind the global warming racket
    Immigration laws are beginning to be enforced in the spirit of statute
    NAFTA is being renegotiated
    The coal industry has been freed of some of the punative dictates from the EPA
    Keystone has been approved.

    Not a bad start.

    Posted May 20, 2017 at 12:52 am | Permalink
  10. Malcolm says

    z,

    All true. But there are also a lot of reversals and backpedaling from campaign positions — on foreign interventions, “dreamers”, Chinese currency policy, Janet Yellen’s stewardship of the Fed — and in particular NATO, which during the campaign he correctly said was “obsolete”, and now has decided isn’t.

    And he should have vetoed that damn budget, which not only gave a flamboyant middle finger to the border wall, but also allowed an increase in visas for low-income foreign workers.

    But yes, as several of you seem to think, perhaps I am being too hard on Mr. Trump. As I wrote above: he’s our man. May God give strength to his arm.

    Posted May 20, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink
  11. zaporozhe says

    i think you’re being impatient rather than hard. i know of no cadidate that had laid out his platform as vividly as Donald Trump. It’s a double edged sword. He’ll be held to account so much more easily and by so many more because of it.
    i’m also sure that he has no intention of being a one term President. As we all know, winners aren’t losers.
    As Jimmy Carter found out, a President can’t attempt too much all at once,
    For exmple, the important thing about the budget was that there was a budget. which means there will be one next year and he can fight that battle then. It won’t matter in 2020 that it happened this year or the next,
    and why would a new President want to go nuclear on Congress when work on tax, health and education have barely begun?
    Or NATO. Trump’s campaign position was that if members didn’t want to pony up with 2% of GDP, then the U.S. would withdraw. There’s going to be a big meeting next week. We’ll see what the Euros have to say.
    Trump is going after the low hanging fruit first, like approving Keystone or the repeal of EPA restrictions on coal.
    he’s refusing to chase every rabbit all at once, and good for him. there will be time for the yuge battles over the rest of his platform.

    Posted May 21, 2017 at 8:30 am | Permalink
  12. zaporozhe says

    My apologies for my punctuation. Ipads, hmmph.

    Posted May 21, 2017 at 8:36 am | Permalink

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