"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Friday, March 23, 2018

Brave, Brave Sir Robin!

The revolving door on the White House can't spin fast enough:

“The Thursday meeting was the first time the husband-and-wife legal team met with the President since the Monday announcement,” CNN reports. “One source said that while Trump liked their message, the President is not convinced they are right for the legal jobs.”

In particular, CNN’s sources say the Trump White House has concerns over whether “diGenova can reasonably claim a lack of conflict when his wife represents clients like Mark Corrallo, who has spoken to special counsel Robert Mueller’s team about how the President and his team responded to the revelations regarding the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting that Donald Trump Jr. and other campaign officials had with a group of Russians.”
What's funny is that Trump is concerned with a "conflict of interest."  I guess like everything in Trumpworld, it only counts when it affects him adversely.

And why is it likely Trump will dump diGenova?

A source familiar with the plans said on Monday that diGenova's role was to engage with the media and actively defend the President.
Which makes sense; legal defenses are made on cable TeeVee, like all other important decisions.  Right?  Then again, if the talk on TeeVee is about conflicts of interest, what good are you as a spokesman?

This is, by the way, John Dowd's parting gift:

John Dowd, who resigned Thursday as the President's lead lawyer to handle the special counsel's investigation, raised the conflict issue to the legal team before he quit, the sources said.
So I guess Trump is listening to Dowd after all; he just wasn't listening to his lawyer.

And let me just add another event of the day, not related except enacted by Trump.  Trump dropped a tweet that he wouldn't sign the spending bill Congress just passed, maybe, who knows, you can't make me!  Maybe.

And then he signed it, and held a press conference about it, which can be summed up this way:

MSNBC’s Katy Tur read a quote Peter Alexander relayed from a senior Democratic Party aide on Capitol Hill, describing Trump’s press conference as “the craziest damn thing I’ve ever seen.”

“When his party worked so hard to get this spending bill across the finish line — at the very last minute — and get essentially most of what he wants, and then to turn around and say he’s going to veto it,” Przybyla explained, “Katy, it’s just a big temper tantrum.”

“And you know why?” Przybyla asked rhetorically. “Because even though in terms most of the priorities of what he needs for the American people being in this bill, he lost big time on the wall.”

“Let’s also mention that Chuck Schumer (D-NY) offered to give Donald Trump that wall a couple of months ago in exchange for DACA, and Donald Trump said that was a bad deal,” Tur reminded. “So he already negotiated away his leverage.”

“So what he’s getting is some fencing,” Przybyla deadpanned, as Tur laughed. “He had to have his moment and through a bit of a fit, but in the end, he really had no choice but to sign it.”

“But to then, go ahead and make that statement, I can see why that Democratic aide sent that message,” she concluded.
Or, if you like, summed up this way:

“This is a president who essentially is conceding that the congress has rolled him on this major legislative package,” he said. “Coming in, he said he was smarter than everybody in Washington, that he alone could fix it, and everybody here was stupid. Turns out that the president is the one who got rolled by Republicans in congress, and Democrats, too.”

Host John King similarly said that Trump’s decision to reluctantly sign legislation that he personally hated made a mockery of his reputation as a brilliant deal maker.

“It’s a remarkable moment in that this is what he was supposed to be best at,” said King. “And he’s being mocked, by the way. Rush Limbaugh Ann Coulter, the voices he listens to on Twitter, are mocking him for being weak.”

Indeed, behold the negotiating genius of Donald Trump!

“For the president suddenly to talk about DACA and the wall—Democrats came to the White House and offered the president a deal in return for protecting 1.8 million DREAMERS and people eligible for that, they were going to give him the $25 billion of spending for the wall weeks ago,” [Fox News' Chris] Wallace explained. “The president turned it down … You sort of wonder: where has the president been while he and his team have been negotiating for months on all these issues.”

He's so good he negotiates with himself!  And loses!

As a President, Trump is the weakest player in Washington.  Left to his own powers, like that of imposing tariffs, Trump is truly destructive.  The EU is going to respond with tariffs when ours take effect, and then take us to the WTO, where we will again get our head handed to us (W. tried this same stunt 16 years ago).  China is going to impose tariffs that will raise prices in America, send the stock market plunging again (Trump's favorite economic indicator) and damage the U.S. economy.  All in time for November elections, of course.   But what can Trump do legislatively?  Bupkis.  He wilts at the very concept of negotiation because he hasn't a clue how to do it, especially in Washington.  He's dangerous, but his power is limited.


Blogger The Thought Criminal said...

I was going to say not with a bang but a whimper but considering the context of the error of Trump, I was afraid it might be misconstrued.

He is a total fraud, TV created phoniness. And his supporters don't care that it's a fraud. I think pro-wrestling is the best analogy to the political career of Donald Trump, obviously phony, but it gives a chance for people to vent their anger in a phony and irrational way, paying for the chance to do so. Only worse.

7:46 PM  
Blogger Rmj said...

He's literally down to hiring lawyers off the TeeVee because he thinks they could do a good job on TeeVee polishing Trump's turds. He hasn't a clue what he's up against, or how badly he's about to get reamed.

9:15 PM  

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