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There is an important subtext to the Showdown at Crazytown, the twin poison-tipped bombshells of Bob Woodward's new book and the anonymous New York Times opinion piece that hit the White House last week with a mighty kaboom in portraying aides as conspiring to subvert an out-of-control president: Conservatives are quite okay with Donald Trump's agenda but lament the man. Abraham Lincoln wouldn't have liked either agenda or man, but more about him in a bit.
The agenda part is to be expected, even if it is a stretch to say that Trump has one.
Conservatives love tax cuts for the rich, denying access to affordable health care for everyone else, packing the Supreme Court with right-wing activists and separating the children of immigrants from their parents. They don't give a fig about Russia subverting the foundation of American democracy with Trump's help. Or his serial shark jumping such as the self-pitying tweet that despite the betrayal of his aides, there is one person who has "unwavering faith" in him -- North Korean dictator Kim Jung-un, who separates children from their parents by starving to death the whole lot of them to pay for his nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
As long as these conservatives' wish lists have more check marks than scratch-outs, which they certainly do, they will abide a batshit crazy president even if it means their backyard swimming pools are getting grungy over this long, hot summer of our discontent (although not theirs) because those nice Salvadoran day laborers got locked up by ICE and have been deported.
And they always can find cushy jobs for their friends in the West Wing if they get caught in the pincers of the Trump revenge machine.
THE ELECTORAL MATH IS SAID TO FAVOR the Democrats in the midterms, at least insofar as taking control of the House is concerned (cue Jaws music), but there is another bit of math that keeps escaping scrutiny.
In many cases, it would take but a single nay vote by a Senate Republican to block that agenda, as well as the Supreme Court nomination of Lyin' Brett Kavanaugh, who has proven through five days of agonizing confirmation hearings that he like Trump holds the Constitution in disdain.
One itty-bitty nay vote from a Collins, Murkowski, Sasse, Paul, Corker or Graham.
Corker, a lame duck senator from Tennessee, is especially pathetic in this regard, having the temerity to say this the other day:
If left to his own accord, our country would look somewhat like Venezuela. It shocks me, some of the things -- as if you treat your friends in one way and your political enemies in another way. Most presidents understand their role is different than this one does. He's remarkable in his lack of appreciation for democratic values and institutions. And I think that’s where some of the greatest damage is being done to this country.Yet despite Corker's ad hominem barking at the moon, he continues to aid and abet Trump, will vote to confirm Kavanaugh and not cast any deciding vote to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his Russia scandal investigation although Corker doesn't have a goddamned thing to lose other than his own dignity.
Perhaps he'll accidentally poke himself with his American flag lapel pin and die of sepsis.
MY OWN TAKE ON THE CRAZYTOWN SHOWDOWN has been all negative all the time. This despite Barack Obama waking from his self-induced coma and hitting the midterm trail and Trump, calling him by name (twice!) for the first time in delivering his strongest condemnation of him since forever, including this rejoinder:
We are Americans. We're supposed to stand up to bullies. Not follow them. We're supposed to stand up to discrimination, and we're sure as heck supposed to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers. How hard can that be? Saying that Nazis are bad?Still, I feel even more strongly about being gamed as the search continues for whoever killed Nicole and Ron . . . uh, I mean for the author of that anonymous Times opinion piece.
As I wrote here, the surreal reality is that although we've known since the day 18 very long months ago that Trump told the first of thousands of lies by pledging to uphold the Constitution, he has never been fully in control because his capacity to govern is far exceeded by a neutron bomb-like malignant narcissism.
Is Trump crazy? Spare me the clinical natterings, because what matters is that his grip on the national gonads and the White House, or what Woodward quotes Chief of Staff John Kelly as calling "Crazytown," remains as firm as Corker's commitment to retire a weasel and not a patriot.
John McCain seems better in death than he ever did in life.
YOU KNOW THAT WE'RE FINALLY GETTING SOMEWHERE when Vice President Pence has to deny discussing a plan to invoke the 25th Amendment, which is a never-used constitutional amendment about what can be done if the president is deemed unable to serve.
But we aren't getting anywhere.
Section 4 of the amendment permits the veep and a majority of either principal Cabinet members or Congress to declare the president is so sick -- in head or body -- that the vice president should immediately assume the powers of acting president.
Besides the stone-cold reality that this is not about to happen, Pence's denials are based on this paragraph from the anonymous Times opinion piece:
Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it's over.In other words, wishful and obsolete thinking.
TRUMP'S TORTURED COMPARISONS OF LINCOLN and himself are but one sign that America is seriously fucked. Campaigning in Montana (and he's always campaigning, as opposed to being presidential) the man who has a mortal lock on being the worst president evah noted that Honest Abe "was ridiculed" after the Gettysburg Address.
"Fifty years after his death they said it may have been the greatest speech ever made in America. I have a feeling that’s going to happen with us," he declared in another futile attempt to prove he's not crazy, adding that "Our ancestors built the railroads, linked the highways. And they proudly planted an American flag on the face of the moon."
Putting aside for a moment that it was Neil Armstrong and not George Armstrong Custer who planted that flag on the moon, I too have a feeling.
It's akin to kneeling over a toilet with fingers down my throat.