Friday, June 15, 2018

Trump is a genius at touting nonexistent achievements - The Washington Post

Trump is a genius at touting nonexistent achievements - The Washington Post
by Max Boot ( Jeane J. Kirkpatrick senior fellow for national security studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a global affairs analyst for CNN. A best-selling historian, he is the author most recently of “The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam.”)

***The constellation of talk radio, Fox, Infowars, Breitbart (It’s English for “Der Sturmer”), devote every moment of bandwidth not spent fellating Trump to punishing and pursuing his critics. Sean Haw Haw of Fox News spends his nightly 43 minutes of airtime between commercials for catheters, reverse mortgages, stairlift, and survival food screaming into the camera like a turgid ham with a series of denunciations that would make Beria lean back and say, “Oh, easy there, tovarish.” Judge Jeanine Pirro needs only a pink hanbok to rival North Korea’s Ri Chun-hee for paint-peeling agitprop in service to Kim Jong Don.

Authoritarian states also require the sick infrastructure of informers, and enforcers, petty zampolits, petty commissars and chekists do what they do; punish deviations from the constant worship, adulation, and praise of the Dear Leader. The White House is Hobbesian snakepit, and Republican politics has become filled with denunciations of any deviation from the True Faith. When Republican National Committee Ronna Romney McDaniel tweeted, “Complacency is our enemy. Anyone that does not embrace the @realDonaldTrump agenda of making America great again will be making a mistake" it wasn't just the new normal; it was a set of marching orders to monitor, report, purge and punish any variation from Trump juche.

The entire l'etat c'est Trump mindset of today's Washington, D.C. is making Trump feel frisky, as the GOP continues to lay in the road like a dead animal, even as the buzzards of reality, conscience, and truth peck at them. Paul Ryan's utter, final moral collapse was on full display this week; now he’s pretending he doesn’t even read the news about Trump’s behavior or that of his cabinet members. Trump is unbounded, unbridled, and unhinged. Yes, some of Trump’s distractions are to cover the pendant doom of Paul Manafort, now rotting in jail for the foreseeable future, the Cohen trainwreck, and the failure of this weeks IG report to categorically demonstrate him is as pure as the driven snow and that his Russia ties were all Hillary’s fault.

But much of this authoritarian statist flirtation is because Trump wills it so. We are told to take Trump seriously, but not literally. I’m not sure we can afford to do that any longer. The President of the United States of America is an office which imposes a vast, consequential responsibility on the person who holds it to represent America's values to the world. If those values are liberty, equality, freedom, the rule of law, and the Constitution, Trump is failing on every front. If they are the values of the thug, the tyrant, the bully, the circus freak third-world tinpot? Then he’ll get his pledge pin any day now.

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