As we’re finding out daily.
For example, on our computer: “Should Hillary Still Be Indicted?”
But what has our attention faithful readers can guess:
- Cabinet balloons.
- “Picking industrial winners and losers.”
- “The Reign of Terror.”
As each day dawns, the Donald names more donors and other rich cronies – or at least those who verbally supported him during the primaries – not just to his round table but also as ambassadors to unsuspecting allies.
Linda McMahon who donated, we are told, 6 million to a Trump/Republican PAC, will now head the Small Business Administration. We worry less about the WWE than the fact that voters in her own state of Connecticut twice rejected her as Senate material. She paid for her new job and got it, period.
Scott Pruitt, attorney general of Oklahoma and one of 29 rabble-rousing attorneys general on the warpath against the Environmental Protection Agency, will now head up that department. Fox in hen-house. But not alone in this: see below.
Tom Price, who has spent six years writing about how to repeal and redefine the Affordable Care Act, will be Secretary of Health and Human Services. He’s also not crazy about Medicare, Medicaid, Aid to Dependent Children, food stamps, NIH.
Betsy DeVos will be the new Secretary of Education, which fits perfectly, insofar as she has long been an advocate for starving American public schools of funding. Americans do not, in the main, understand that Charter Schools are funded by American tax dollars that should by rights go to American public schools.
Lt. General Michael T. Flynn will be our new American National Security Advisor. This makes sense for a rabid, unstable, angry ideologue who two years ago was relieved of his command by President Obama. Even better, he wanted to pull Michael T. Flynn, Jr., into the White House with him and sought a security clearance for his son who seems to have been responsible for a dangerous piece of fake news that caused public damage and expense, in addition to scaring the hell out of a pizza shop owner. (N.B.: There is someone on Trump’s advisory team who seems to have at least a minimum of common sense, and who pushed Junior off the payroll and out of a job. Find this guy (or woman) and hang on to him!)
Add yesterday’s Andy Puzder as Secretary of Labor – a man who prefers robots to human workers and who disdains the basic minimum wage – and we shiver to imagine who’s going to be named to what position today.
Please note: the ARE some talented men and women being pulled into this vortex. Just not enough.
All this belongs to category A. As for B, we look to Carrier Air Conditioning and any number of other industrial giants who may have been thinking of off-shoring some of their operations to save money, and whose income depends in part or in whole on the US government. Keeping in mind Carrier’s defense department income, it collapsed when Donald said “Fold.” To many this was good news, retaining jobs in this country for this country’s workers rather than for Mexico’s. On the other hand, for others it is reminiscent of the sainted Harry S. Truman getting involved in steel company negotiations. Will Mr. Trump be able to bully other corporations? Some would be eager to watch; others are simply trying to stay below Trump’s line of vision – as, it turns out, are any number of Washington insiders who live in fear of Donald’s “economies.” (Compare the president-elect’s approach to Boeing with his approach to the carbon/coal industry which has a fraction of a chance at returning to anything like its earlier predominance industrially.) Here again, bystanders are probably split. Four billion for a new Air Force One may be over the line and a genuine economy, but how, we wonder, do other aerospace companies look at the future knowing that Donald has stiffed his suppliers more than once and might do so again if his gaze falls on someone besides Boeing?
Category C: “The Reign of Terror,” which Trump is gearing up with his string of “victory tours” across the country. We’re long past Orwell’s “1984.” We’re fast approaching an absolute cult of personality. The other night we watched him in mid-rant, and could not help noticing a goodly number of young men saluting first with their hands to their brows, but then going on to shoot out a hand/arm Nazi-like salute. Of course, the Donald can’t control what his legions do. Or can he?
Since he apparently believes that his is the world to play with (neither opening tax returns nor planning serious divestiture of world-wide business holdings that would reassure not only our own citizens that Donald is working for them, as opposed to himself, but our allies), who’s to gainsay him? Not Mike Pence! And don’t hold your collective breath for a sensible plan to separate from his fortune on December 15th. The Donald will present (sincerely) a lot of words but no transparent action. (Neither will his daughter.)
There is another frightening aspect to all this. The Democrats are scared to death. The total adoration of Trump by his voters contains the seeds of 1933 (historians recall and identify) in Germany. This seems clear to an increasing number of commentators. But what is the next step? If Trump is beyond reproach, according to his crew, are we moving towards a civil war – Trumpies versus a lot of worried, concerned democrats with a small “d”? If Trump is bullying businesses, and continues to act the same towards individuals (labor leaders, pizza shop operators, resisters at his rallies (see last night’s affair in Des Moines), will his troops gather to terrorize other citizens? And over what will they fight? For the Donald? This is not tantamount to fighting over the remains of Aleppo. We have a nation with still-standing superstructure, with still religious citizens, with growing economic security for the wealthy and declining security for the rest.
Donald’s crowd doesn’t care what he does and, alas, consequently, doesn’t understand that what he’s doing is not in their interests. We think it’s far more likely that they will revolt should someone criticize or indict than stop to think, read, understand how far behind the eight ball he’s leaving them. There’s always the chance that, on discovering how they are being played, Trumpies will revolt against the Donald, but we also think that for that to happen, time must pass. And as time does pass, Donald is in a stronger position to tough it out and harm the country.
One clear realization is all this: Donald is doing exactly what he said he’d do. This makes half the Republican party happy, and gives the rest of us (three fourths of the nation’s population) the shakes.