Twas the Friday before Christmas and all was not quiet in the house or in the country. All Americans want to do is to focus on holiday prep and look forward to time away from work and school. We need a break from the frenetic news cycle of the last two years. It was not to be. There are a series of crises involving the federal budget, major tsuris at the Justice Department, and the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. The result is chaos and not the sort of chaos involving wrapping paper, presents, and family fights. I’m talking man-made chaos, Trump style. That’s why I call him the Kaiser of Chaos.
In stark contrast to his soon-to-be former boss, Mattis went out with style and class. He offered that rarity in our political history: a protest resignation. Mattis is the first Secretary of Defense to ever do so. Protest resignations by senior American cabinet officers are rarer than snow in South Louisiana. The only one I can think of in my lifetime was Secretary of State Cyrus Vance’s resignation in protest of the Carter administration’s botched hostage rescue raid in 1980.
Trump’s impulsive decision to withdraw from Syria was the last straw for Mattis. Here’s the deal: I’m not wild about the Syria deployment BUT a process is required for troop withdrawals. Trump is not big on process, the military is.
It’s also creepy that Putin and Erdogan are as pleased as punch by Trump’s Syria move. Putin wants a free hand in his client state, and Erdogan regards the Kurds much as the leaders of the Ottoman Empire regarded the Armenians. The Kurds are our only allies in the Syrian mess. When in doubt, Trump dumps on our allies, not our adversaries.
The Justice Department blew up with the news that Acting AG and Lex Luthor lookalike, Matt Whitaker, ignored the advice of DOJ ethics types to recuse himself from supervising the Mueller probe and issued his own findings. The DOJ issued conflicting accounts of what happened but that’s the bottom line. And the guy Trump has nominated as the permanent AG, William Barr, also has extreme views on the Mueller probe, which he offered in an unsolicited memo to the DOJ. Whitaker, Barr, and Trump agree with Tricky Dick:
On Wednesday, it looked as if Trump was prepared to fold on the government shutdown front. Then the flying banshees of wingnuttia began to circle the presidential* carcass like vultures around road kill. The government is shutting down because Rushbo and the Coultergeist challenged the Insult Comedian’s manhood over the wall. Trump is a pussy. He should grab himself.
It doesn’t matter that Republican congresscritters want to go home for the holidays instead of being blamed for a shutdown: the wall is all. The votes aren’t there and the Mexicans won’t pay for it but the wall is all. Make that wall:
Here’s one of the weirder dimensions of late 2018 Trumpism. For reasons that are not entirely clear to me the word has apparently come down from the White House that the wall, as in the wall to be built along the southern border, must now be called “wall”. In other words, no definite article, no “the”. President Trump now does this. It was part of a DHS press release a week ago. And today in a congressional hearing, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told Rep. Tom Marino: “From Congress I would ask for wall. We need wall.”
Everything is weird about Trumpism, Josh. From provoking a government shutdown for which you will be blamed to shitting all over our allies to the president* recreating the madness of King George III. Nothing makes sense. That’s why I call him the Kaiser of Chaos.
The last word goes to Pink Floyd:
That was a bit too obvious. Now that I think of it, there’s another classic rock song that applies to Trump himself. Here’s how Ian Anderson explains the title: “it means as intelligent as a lump of shit.” That’s the president* in a wingnutshell.