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Donald Trump: Captain Chaos

January 2, 2019

Recent weeks have seen an accelerated pace for major developments in the Administration Of President Donald J. Trump. As usual, Trump has acted as if most major national and world events were centered around him. Most mainstream media in this country acted as if his assessment was correct. He held a series of rallies in various locations where it was hoped he could assist Republican candidates in their quest to win their contests. Many of these events actually came off more as Trump ‘20 rallies with his endorsement of the local candidate more of an afterthought.

One major tactic used by Trump to rally support and get out the vote for Republican candidates was to demonize groups of refugees coming from Central America through Mexico (largely by foot) to seek asylum in the United States of America. In a continuation of the rhetoric that propelled him to victory in the 2016 Presidential election, President Trump repeatedly denounced the potential invading hordes of immigrants seeking to enter this country illegally, bringing with them illegal drugs, criminals, violence, street gangs – a long list of all the stereotypical ills that would befall our nation if he weren’t here to stop the alien onslaught at the border. He even alluded to rumors that Muslim terrorists had infiltrated their ranks to sneak across with them and perpetrate all manner of terrorist evil upon our unsuspecting souls.

The seemingly endless fear mongering did not appear to stem the tide of the reversal of GOP fortunes in the 2018 midterm elections, where the Democrats were able to regain a majority in the House of Representatives, which they had lost to the Republicans in the 2010 midterms. While the GOP increased their majority in the Senate slightly, due mostly to victories over incumbent Democratic Senators from states won convincingly by President Trump in 2016, the overall result was that, come 1/3/19, the Democrats would retake control of the House of Representatives, with Nancy Pelosi regaining the Speakership.

One major result of the switch of control of the House will likely be that oversight investigations in the House will no longer be controlled by the President’s own party, which in the past have not delved as deeply into areas of potential political peril for President Trump as many opposition party members as well as the general public would have liked. The main folks in the GOP to not act as enablers of Trump’s policy agenda up to this point consisted primarily of Senators Flake and Corker, who decided early on not to seek re-election, and McCain, whose health problems cut short his efforts to stand up to the President. Now, House committee chairs would be able to use their newfound majority status to gain access to far more detailed information than their GOP counterparts had sought from the Administration up to this point in time. For one thing, subpoena powers that were not used to gain information that the President and his supporters did not willingly grant access to could now be used to gain that access, or at least create some very public court battles on the part of the Administration to fight against them.

While Trump’s public response to his Party’s reversal of fortunes last November was to declare victory because the Senate is more firmly in GOP hands, the turmoil in his cabinet and among White House staff has increased to a fever pitch. No sooner had most of the midterm ballots been tabulated than Attorney General Jeff Sessions tendered his “resignation”. Sessions had been in the Trump doghouse ever since he (correctly, from an ethical point of view) recused himself from dealing with the Special Investigation under Robert Mueller dealing with the role of the Russian government in interference with the 2016 elections which brought Trump to power. Bouncing Sessions was entirely expected of Trump, despite the fact that his AG had done yeoman’s work in following through on the controversial immigration policies advocated by Trump beginning with his 2016 campaign. To replace Sessions, Trump has partially punted by naming an Acting Attorney General to be in charge of the Department of Justice until he can try to get a permanent replacement confirmed in the Senate in the coming Congressional Session.

Next on tap in the White House Staff shakeup was Homeland Security Secretary turned replacement White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. Since Kelly was the second person to be unceremoniously relieved of duty in that post so far, finding a replacement for him has been likewise difficult, despite the fact that the post is extremely powerful and highly coveted under normal circumstances. He has been left with Mick Mulvaney, head of the Office of Management and Budget and former Acting Head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in the role of “Acting” White House Chief of Staff. How anyone could actually successfully perform both jobs simultaneously remains to be seen. His Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke resigned under the weight of several investigations of impropriety and has likewise been replaced by another “Acting” replacement.

The most recent dismissal, that of Defense Secretary James Mattis (after a controversial announcement from President Trump of the impending withdrawal of US troops from Syria), tops the list of high level White House and Cabinet positions to change hands since the victorious midterm elections last November. To add to the chaotic situation among high level Administration personnel, the President himself chose to make sure a partial shutdown of the Federal Government shortly before the holiday Congressional recess. Some 800,000 federal workers are currently either furloughed or working without pay until such time as Congress and President Trump can agree on a plan and pass bills continuing their funding. So far, Trump is publicly digging in his heels and demanding an additional $5 billion to fund his border wall (can’t get Mexico to pay for it, as he promised) and improve border security.

The Border Wall, hyped by Trump during the 2016 Presidential campaign, along with xenophobic and Islamophobic immigration policy proposals, helped to propel Trump to the presidency. A significant portion of the base that voted for him did so on the basis of his proposals to keep out the terrorist threat of people from several predominantly Islamic nations whom he would temporarily ban from entering the country and ending the scourge of people immigrating to this country illegally (mostly from Mexico and other Central American nations by way of the Mexican border) to steal the jobs of American citizens.

So far, Trump’s attempts to stem the flow of good paying jobs out of this country has met with mixed results at best. His crackdown on immigration (both legal and illegal) has been seen by many as draconian and inhumane in the extreme. Family separations, child detention and a refusal in many cases to allow people fleeing dire circumstances in their homelands seeking refuge here to apply for asylum do not fit with long-standing values among many among us who seek to deal with such circumstances with common human decency instead of brute force, indefinite detention and the separation of children from their parents.

The Syria situation affects more than just Syria or American military forces. Our dealings with allies (and in some cases a perceived willingness of the US to sell some of them out) certainly affects how other nations and groups perceive of the US government in terms of trustworthiness and reliability in the face of difficulties. Trump has shown an unwillingness at times to listen to any counsel from the advisors he appointed to give advice on such matters, nor to warn allies of significant shifts in policy to get feedback from them before changes are made. The turmoil in the innermost circles of his Administration, along with his performances on the world stage so far in his tenure, have led me to believe that Donald Trump truly is Captain Chaos. It would be nice for him to prove otherwise, but I won’t be holding my breath – just hope he leaves office before he can do irreparable harm to this country and the world at large.

Further Suggested Readings:

Pipe Bombs Point to How Trump’s Rhetoric Emboldens Violence

It’s Not the Media Stoking Pipe-Bomb Violence, Mr. President. It’s You.

Following MAGABomber Arrest, Trump Threatens To ‘Tone It Up’ If People Are Mean To Him

Synagogue shooter explained exactly why he killed—Republican conspiracy theories

Trust me – you need to read Howard Fineman’s NY Times op ed

We were warned . . . but Republicans killed the messenger

America’s Midterm Elections Turn Menacing by Elizabeth Drew

ABC News finds 17 cases in which Trump likely incited violence or threats; Obama: 0

A Blatant Lie and ‘Obvious Stunt’: Trump Claims He Can End 14th Amendment Guarantee of Birthright Citizenship by Presidential Fiat

White House insiders leak disturbing reports of Trump’s increasingly erratic, rage-fueled behavior

Here are 5 ways President Trump behaves like the leader of a corrupt banana republic

CNN host exposes Trump’s ‘fear playbook’ — and details the 6 major pre-midterm lies he duped the media into spreading

‘Bedlam, chaos, injury and death’: Trump lashes out at courts in bizarre Thanksgiving Day tweet

Bruce Springsteen takes on ‘damaged’ Trump: His ‘ugly’ effort to divide the nation is ‘simply a crime against humanity’

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5 Comments
  1. Reblogged this on sdbast.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Trump represents Wile E. Coyote with the world represented by the Road Runner. Make America great again with Acme products. I enjoy the way you never beat around the bush.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. padresteve permalink

    Makes me feel bad for the real Captain Chaos, Dom Deluise

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I was not aware of this. My apologies to Dom Deloise, 😉

    Like

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