"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

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Art of the Deal

Putin to Trump:  "Oh, Urinetown!"*
*the college where I teach is putting on the musical, I couldn't resist....

The sad truth about Trump is that he is dangerous only because he is so ineffectual.

Like all bullies, Trump doesn't want to be responsible for his actions.  He's all bluster, and it's all bluff.  He doesn't want to fight, he wants to scare you away from the fight.  He won't fight with Congress to get the border wall built, he'll just complain on Twitter about it.  He doesn't want to be responsible for firing Mueller, so he'll just whine endlessly about how unfair Mueller is.  He certainly doesn't want to be responsible for starting even a minor war, much less a conflagration with Russia or even North Korea, so now after responding to Russia's Ambassador to Lebanon in a tweet:

He immediately realizes "Oh, shit!  I take that back!"
Then he blamed Mueller:
Then he said he'd never said he'd bomb Syria anyway:
Right after he'd said he could fire Mueller if he wanted, he just dudn't wanna:
And besides he's great and he's rubber and you're glue!
All of which is only to prove he may be in charge, but he's not responsible.  At all.

Josh Marshall is right, the President is a fool:

... Trump “likes to blue-sky a lot.” That is to say, he was just spouting off and it probably means nothing. But it’s just one more example of the toll of a militantly ignorant President.
Trump is militantly ignorant.  But the reason he likes to "blue sky" is because the only outcome he's interested in is the one where Trump gets the credit.  He's terrified of being held responsible for doing what he wants to do when he wants to do it, so he's terrified of actually doing anything but also of appearing weak.  The way to resolve this conflicted desire is to talk loudly and never really do anything but get in front of the parade and strut.  He certainly doesn't want to be held responsible for anything, ever.  That's what he used to pay Michael Cohen to pay off to make go away:  responsibility.  So what decisive action will he ever take?  Only the action that decisively keeps him from being responsible for the decision and its consequences; all he wants is the praise from people after it's done and the dust has settled.  After all, "where is our 'Thank you, America'?"

Anything that doesn't leave him looking for that is not a deal he wants to be involved in.


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