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President Trump: Can We Have Our Government Back Now?

April 15, 2018

The rapidly spinning maelstrom which has become the abnormal normal of the Administration of Donald Trump over the year plus that has elapsed since his inauguration has seemed to accelerate in recent weeks. Whether the news concerns primarily new developments in the Special Investigation led by Robert Mueller, more self-inflicted turmoil in terms of hiring, firing and/or otherwise dealing with turnover in his cabinet and other key White House staffers, or using his inimitable style to either create or deal with chaos on the international scene, the 24 hour news cycle seems to be covering our President almost to the exclusion of anyone or anything else.

As a week began with a ratcheting up of the Mueller investigation with a related warranted search of a key Trump lawyer’s home, office and hotel gave the vaunted Trump twitter feed a not-unexpected jolt. Speculation continues unabated as to how he will react to new allegations, revelations and other developments concerning potential impeachable offenses such as obstruction of justice or campaign irregularities which could create legal difficulties for himself and/or his campaign, transition and now White House staff members. Who will he fire next via Tweet after weeks of publicly denying his victim was in danger of losing their job? Who will resign next? Who will be indicted next or plea bargain with promises to testify for the Special Prosecutor? Can he do what he wants to do to fight for his own job without breaking any laws or violating the very Constitution he swore to uphold and defend?

Often, when speaking publicly on another topic, he will venture into totally unrelated topics and say things that catch even his closest advisors by surprise – like when he recently stated flat out that American troops would soon be leaving Syria, since ISIS seems to have just about been eradicated there. Surprised the heck out of the military leaders on the ground, at the Pentagon and including the Secretary of Defense. As also often happens, President Trump then managed to use outrage at the alleged use of chemical weapons by Syrian ruler Assad against his own people to totally reverse his position and engineer the massive missile attack on suspected Syrian chemical weapons facilities last Friday night. This attack was reminiscent of a similar attack conducted about a year ago for the same purported reason after a previous instance of alleged chemical weapons use by Assad’s forces.

President Trump, in his bold posturing and massive use of military force in Syria, seems to be willing to take big risks in order to capture the spotlight from other activities playing out back home. The expression “wagging the dog”, meaning to use some spectacular military stunt to distract people from noticing other pressing issues that do not shed a favorable light on their conduct, has been mentioned in this regard by various TV pundits. Indeed, there was a risk involved in this sort of attack in Syria. Russian and Iranian forces have been actively aiding the Assad regime in its brutal civil war which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths and created millions of refugees.

Likewise, President Trump has spent much effort publicly lambasting, deriding and threatening the dictator of North Korea, as well as the peace and stability of that region of the world, before more recently agreeing to meet with him to hold talks of a more diplomatic nature. The penchant he has displayed for blunt, threatening talk, followed by unilateral military action without consulting with Congress before acting stretches provisions of the War Powers Act as well as the Constitution itself. Refusing to put together either a foreign policy or national security team which is either stable over more than a few months or immune from being thrown under the bus at the President’s whim seems to be hurting our foreign policy, as has his public insults towards longtime allies and actions he has taken or threatened that could have catastrophic implications to the citizens of allied nations without so much as consulting with them in advance. South Korea, Japan and the entire Middle East come to mind in this regard.

Congress needs to wake up and start calling the President on these practices. I’d use the word stunts if the consequences of his behavior were not potentially so deadly serious for so many millions of people worldwide. Mr. Trump is President of the United States of America, not its king or dictator (much as he seems to seek to emulate so many of those ruling other countries with iron fists). The President needs to be held accountable for his actions and not offered unwavering allegiance by the rest of the government regardless of what he proposes to do. Congress and the Courts are supposed to be in place to share power and provide checks and balances to prevent unwise and precipitous conduct of each other and an Executive who may be hell-bent on abusing the authority granted the President by the Constitution, the voters and election laws that placed him or her in office. Bowing to Trump’s apparent penchant for an authoritarian leadership style (Though that’s probably a contradiction in terms – there is a distinct difference between ruling and leading) is neither wise nor democratic, in my opinion. While the Courts seem to be willing to pull their weight in this regard of late, Congress seems to have feet of clay when it comes to standing up to his rash behavior.

The only GOP members of Congress who seem willing to call for reining in Trump have been those who either already have or soon thereafter declared the end of their attempts to retain their seats in the House or Senate. There’s a difference between supporting the President’s agenda and going to the extreme of asking “how high” when he tells you to jump even if the command is issued at the edge of a cliff. Democrats have expressed many disagreements with and arguments against what the President has done, whether it pertains to missile strikes, other forms of armed intervention, or  on numerous domestic issues. That is to be expected. It is not expected for members of the President’s own party in Congress or even his own cabinet to bow to his wishes even when the results will be disastrous if followed through to their logical conclusion. As far as I have seen to this point, GOP leadership in the House and Senate has either done its best to accomplish nothing in many areas which have long needed legislative attention (immigration law being among the most prominent) or to just go along with what the President wants regardless of how the changes will affect most of the people they are responsible for representing (taxes, health care, labor rights, social safety net programs – to name a few).

Foreign policy by tweet is unacceptable. Personnel management by tweet is an insult to our intelligence and intentionally demeaning to those it is practiced on. If this Congress is unwilling or unable to perform its Constitutional responsibilities with regard to warfare and providing necessary checks and balances to the President in our government, thereby allowing him or her to take unto himself the kind of powers usually reserved for dictators or monarchs, both the President and the enabling members of Congress need to be replaced, preferably by peaceful, Constitutional means. Finishing up this special investigation in an unobstructed and cooperative manner, along with a good start at house cleaning in the midterm election in November could be good steps in the right direction. Letting Trump continue to rule by rants, insults, bullying and missile strikes is unacceptable.

Suggested Further Readings:

In ‘Clear Violation of Domestic and International Law,’ Trump Bombs Syria

International Law Experts Warn Trump That Attack on Syria Would Be ‘Crime of Aggression’

Trump Bombs Syria Hours After 88 Lawmakers Urged Him To First Consult Congress

Kucinich, CodePink: Trump Violates Constitution

Yesterday’s Syria Bombing: Exactly the Same Story As One Year Ago This Month!

There Is No Crime Larger Than War + Trump Has Just Committed A Murderous Immoral Criminal Action by David Swanson

Fascism Scholar Explains Why Trump’s ‘Desert Stormy’ Airstrike Is Totally Bogus

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6 Comments
  1. Excellent analysis.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on SUSAN'S SPACE.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is really getting to be quite tiresome that they cannot even bother to change the script on Syria; bombing Syria because of the ‘alleged’ use of chemical weapons by Assad. America cannot take the high road on this because America has used chemical weapons, times too numerous to count on her own citizens. Lest we forget the bombing in Pacific regions that has affected the indigenous populations there and also, the bombing that went on in the region of Puerto Rico. Guam is now fighting to keep the U.S. military from using that region for military bombings. Entire ecological systems are being decimated along with indigenous peoples in what amounts to a total callous disregard for them by the U.S. military.

    Trump is what Americans voted for and Trump is what Americans got despite the fact that we are told that the Electoral College is responsible for Trump. We had something similar happen in that Gore lost based on this very same premise and we did nothing to see to it that this would not happen again. What use is there to bellyache about Trump now? We Americans have remained too apathetic and complacent and because of this, Trump is what happened!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. 90 million reasons this man became President and none of them bothered to vote. More sanctions on China and Russia announced today including some from Japan. Price of aluminum jumped US $400.00 per tonne to over US$ 2400.00. China hit back with a 187% tariffs on US soybeans worth $12-$14 billion to the American farming industry. For a few seconds one day he began to make sense. It was only for a few seconds.

    At some point we the citizens of our respective countries will begin to pay much higher prices. Could likely create more billionaires than at any time in history while driving millions more into poverty. The computer and all the components I am using today were made in China same as most electronics people use. As you know Rick, Canada counts on the US as a trading partner, something we’ve done for 200 years. Do you remember the TV show The Twilight Zone? Feels as though we are living in the entire series one tweet at a time.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m well acquainted with The Twilight Zone, Dennis. Even Rod Serling never imagined this scenario. Trump is not doing himself any favors, let alone most of the rest of us. I’m sure he and some Wall Street high rollers are making serious fortunes due to the volatility he’s been bringing to the stock markets of late – most of it intentionally. Arms manufacturers and industries affected by his proposed sanctions and tariffs stand to “earn” much from reactions to his tweets and military strikes. He stands to make some himself as well, if he takes action based on his status as Insider-Trader-In-Chief. Perhaps Congress will take action now, but i think voter participation in November may be the only real check and balance we have over him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • His nasty comments are having an affect north of the 49th Rick. We usually debate issues and come to a solution. I’m sick of the personal attacks now taking place in Canada. Gone are the facts replaced by innuendo and threats. The poll I read last week had the Democrats holding a lead of 57% for the November elections. Here’s to hoping no one opens their mouth and blows the lead.

      Liked by 1 person

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