By Peter Mcc
US politics is looking pretty interesting at the moment. There’s a lot of conjecture about whether Donald Trump will survive his current difficulties but with so many players involved and so many options available there are plenty of variables involved and it’s worth reflecting on what is going on at the moment.
Some folk who have had enough of Donald Trump are feeling that things are going to hell in a hand basket but I think they’re overlooking a couple of important factors in this matter, and they should not be too depressed.
Trump’s hyper-aggressive challenge to anybody who has a crack at him is deceptive. You should never confuse loudness and certainty of view with actually being correct. There is no link between the two. Even the most ignorant person can be sure of their facts in spite of reality and usually they have more confidence than those with a more considered view. But having said that it is quite a successful tactic to use against people in US politics. Folk are simply not used to somebody lying out right, but the good news is eventually the penny drops and folk start looking at actions rather than listening to words. The problem is it takes some time to get that sorted out.
The first thing that folk should consider is that when it comes to the professionalism of Donald Trump himself, and also his lawyers, it’s a pretty sorry looking picture. Some of his lawyers are the most inept ever seen in modern times. There has been some discussion around Donald not paying his bills consistently so of course he loses the services of professional lawyers and he has ended up with the country bumpkins he has at the moment. Then there is Donald himself. Anybody investigating Trump has probably the easiest prosecution job in the world as far as evidence collection goes. He regularly tweets himself into a corner and then has to do a whole lot of backtracking to try and get his arse out of harms way. The first job in the morning of the people investigating Donald is to check the Twitter feed and see what else he has dobbed himself in for. It’s quite laughable except for the amount of damage that he is doing to the US debt levels.
The thing that makes this unpredictable is the Republican Party. In a more sensible environment a political party would keep a bit of space between themselves and bizarre characters like Donald in an effort to preserve their credibility, but somehow they have lost their way as far as protecting themselves. Instead of keeping a healthy distance between themselves and Trump, they are allowing themselves to be bullied into supporting him, then doubling down on that investment when things go even more pear shaped.
I guess it could work, but all things being equal, that’s going to bring them a world of pain in the longer view. Even if they could suppress the Twitter feed it would still be a struggle but seeing as they can’t even control that, they are totally exposed to any brain fades that Trump suffers. And that’s almost a daily as the pressure builds.
It’s almost unbelievable that the Republicans have lined up against the special prosecutor when in earlier days they kept clear of drinking the Richard Nixon Kool Aide. But in those days they seem to have had higher ethical standards and felt like they owed the voters respect. That is no longer the case. Now they are basically playing politics as a game of controlling government instead of going in to do the right thing and look after the country. With the latest tax breaks they have a huge amount of debt being piled up on US taxpayers and the lowest incomes will be the ones who bear the brunt of that, while those at the top take the tax breaks and laugh all the way to the bank. If that isn’t disrespecting lower income Voters then it will do until something even worse comes along.
Can it work? I think it’s highly unlikely when you add the character of Trump to the ineptness of his legal team, and some of the supporters in the Republican Senate team seem to do more harm than good when they try to help. Donald looks more like a tin pot dictator from some 3rd world country. Robert Mugabe comes immediately to mind. Obscenely wealthy, ruling with an iron fist, taking legal action against opponents, encouraging his supporter base to use violence against his opponents, milking the tax system for every last cent, and shouting fake news any time his behaviour is pointed out. He’d like to be a God but he’ll settle for King. You can get away with that in Zimbabwe where expectations are low, but most Americans have come to expect a higher level of integrity from their politicians, and when they realise how damaging the divide and conquer tactic is, there will be a price and the Republicans have to pay it.
So what’s the state of play at the moment? What might we expect?
Donald’s off to play a few rounds of golf over Xmas but traditionally this is the time of year when mischief is carried out. It’s great to do it when the media watchdogs are on their break or when folk are otherwise distracted. That’s when you bring out the politically risky stuff. It is possible that Trump might decide to sack the special prosecutor, perhaps on Boxing Day, but I think overall that is too thoughtful a play. Trump is more of a knee-jerk kinda guy which is why he gets himself in so much trouble.
But he is hard to predict so if I was working for a real media outlet in the US, and by this I mean a non-State run media outlet, I’d consider that I may be facing an early return to work if Trump decides to act. It is possible he could wake up grumpy one day and make the call without thinking things through, and if he does, the Republicans have a huge problem on their hands. Do they double down on Trump, or do they face facts and realise that you can’t fool all the people all of the time. Already US voters are showing that the Republicans are on the nose and they really suffered in recent elections. Even losing seats that they felt were unlosable. If Donald tries to use his executive powers against Democracy then the Republicans will have even more problems on their hands.
If they think Trump has damaged them so far then just imagine how much worse that will be if they decide to prop him up when he really should be facing the full power of US law. Imagine going to the voters having supported a US President who was more interested in appeasing the Soviets than protecting Americans from Russian interference? Imagine if someone acquires Russian Intelligence files that show Trump has been compromised? If that were to happen, Putin would immediately throw Donald under the bus. His tactic is to have the US so stirred up that there is blood in the streets and exposing Trump would beautifully bookend his wildly successful strategy. Putin’s strategy of breaking up alliances so he march into the Ukraine is working flawlessly and he may even be able to make his move this year. I’m guessing Vlad laughs himself to sleep every night.
This article was originally published on 1Petermcc’s Blog.