Donald Trump seems to be surrounded by a magnetic field that attracts greedy and venal people. The greed field seems to repel anyone with integrity and even an ounce of human decency. The schlemiel phase of the regime ended with the departures of Reince, Gum Spice, and the cameo appearance of the Mooch. It’s in the full-tilt cartoon villain phase as names such as Pruit, Zinke, Devos, Carson, Ross, Mnuchin, and Kudlow continue to make headlines for all the wrong reasons.
In addition to the greed field, the Trump regime is encased in a permanent fog of scandal. It’s a fog as dense as the Insult Comedian’s intellect and nearly as impenetrable. The people around Trump are the sort of rich people whose only goal in life is to further enrich themselves now that they’re in public office. As I said in a different context the other day, they can’t help themselves. I’m reminded of one of the cornerstone lies of the Trump campaign:
“My whole life I’ve been greedy, greedy, greedy,” declared Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign. “I’ve grabbed all the money I could get. I’m so greedy. But now I want to be greedy for the United States.”
In addition to good old-fashioned plundering and theft, Team Trump and its allies are trying to turn the clock back to the early 1880’s. That was before the civil service was introduced to the federal government by, of all people, a legendary grifter, Chester Arthur. Arthur was a hack placed on the 1880 GOP ticket by New York Senator Roscoe Conkling whose picture is still in the dictionary next to the word corrupt. Welcome to the New Gilded Age.
The dread Newt Gingrich has been trying to eradicate and/or erode the civil service for decades. He appears to be making some headway since Trump’s idea of “draining the swamp”is to eliminate non-partisan experts and bring on the greedheads and lackeys. Believe me.
There’s a swell cover story in New York Magazine wherein Jonathan Chait argues that Democrats should run against the fog of scandal enveloping the nation’s capital:
“Small episodes of corruption can play an outsize role in American politics, since the human scale of petty self-dealing is often easy to understand. And in Trump’s case, the smaller and larger scandals reinforce each other. Why is Trump giving rich people and corporations a huge tax cut? Why has he been threatening to take away your health insurance? Why is he letting Wall Street and Big Oil write their own rules? Above all, if Trump supposedly believed that “if I become president, I couldn’t care less about my company — it’s peanuts,” why are his children still running it? For the same reason he has let his Cabinet secretaries run up large travel expenses, and why his son-in-law met with oligarchs in China and the Gulf States whose money he was trying to get his hands on.”
Chait argues at the beginning of the piece that Kremlingate is:
“…substantively important, but it is also convoluted and abstract and removed from any immediate impact on voters’ lived experience.”
I agree with Chait that Krelimgate is complicated and foggy in its own way. BUT it’s the spoke on the wheel of scandal that’s driving the country over the cliff. I may need some anti-metaphor medicine, I seem to be wheeling them out left and right…
The only way people can prevent the Trump regime from driving the country into a ditch is to organize and vote in such great numbers that the voter suppression mechanisms devised by Republicans will be overwhelmed. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker appears to be terrified of a blue wave that could wash away the fog of scandal both in Washington City and the state capitals. The good news is that the Kaiser of Chaos is oblivious, basking in the applause of his supporters and staff of sycophants. It’s what happens when you live inside the bubbly right-wing echo chamber. Believe me.
The last word goes to Todd Rundgren and Utopia’s cover of the theme song of Trump’s shitty reality show: