Write It On Ice

 

write-on-ice

 

In my last couple of columns I’ve been discussing how the American Left has blown its collective mind over the election of Trump, and their hair-on-fire antics in trying to turn the tides of time back to pre-November 8, when their queen bee in waiting, Miss Pantsuit, was still just a stone’s throw away from her coronation.

As I’m writing this (who knows what they’ll come up with tomorrow?) the Next Big Thing is that Russia hacked the DNC computers because “they wanted Trump to win”. It’s splashed all over the place in the leftist media. Big headlines; op-ed topic du jour.

But let’s examine this for a moment. Left unexplained is why the Russians would want Trump over Clinton. Are the Dems trying to imply that he’s a Russian agent or something? A Manchurian Candidate? It certainly can’t be that the Russians were afraid of Clinton. After all, as Secretary of State she was an abysmal failure, and all of her policies led to disastrous consequences, from the Arab Spring meltdown, to Benghazi, to China’s resurgent aggression in the South China Sea, to Russia’s own newly energized militarism in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. So no, that can’t be it.

Another aspect of this issue the Left doesn’t seem to raise, and in fact wants to distract people away from thinking about, is really basic: if there was nothing in those hacked emails to hide, what’s the big deal anyway? This is the modern computer era. Everybody gets hacked. That’s a given. There’s even a phrase for it: “The internet is forever”. Never write, post, publish, or email anything you don’t want to see splashed all over the web. Even kids know this. So what was in those “hacked” emails that supposedly brought Clinton down?

Truth. The simple truth.

Those emails, whether hacked by the Russians or someone else, revealed the depths of the corruption of the Clinton cabal in their maneuvering to win office, from the manipulations of Debra Wasserman Schultz and Donna Brazile in stealing the primary from Bernie Sanders, to the complicity of the Clinton team in her illegal email rig, to the cooperation of the allegedly “independent and unbiased” press, right on down.

But there’s also a further reality. Those hacked emails didn’t actually reveal anything people didn’t already know about Clinton. All they really did was confirm what people already knew: that Clinton is cynical and corrupt to her core, and surrounds herself with like-minded people. Nothing new here, move along.

Thus the net impact of those hacked emails, in reality, was pretty much a big, fat zero.

Let’s face it. This latest burst of sanctimonious outrage is nothing more than another effort to deny the reality of the election outcome, and a lame attempt to besmirch and delegitimize the guy who won the election fair and square: Donald Trump.

My Armenian mother told me there’s an old-country maxim that goes: “Write it on ice”. In other words, if you write something down that you might not want people to see later, it will disappear forever when the ice melts, but you never know about anything written on paper – or nowadays in emails.

So the lesson for the Dems is this: next time, don’t document your corruption in emails. Better yet, why not consider abandoning that corruption altogether?

 

©Brian Baker 2016

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal)

Baseball and the Electoral College

In my last column I discussed the hair-on-fire reaction of the American Left to the electoral rejection of the pantsuit woman in favor of the guy with the world’s biggest combover. Since then, more hilarity has ensued.

kabukikWe have the political Kabuki of Jill Stein, hitherto a virtual political unknown non-entity, trying to force vote recounts in three (as of this writing) states. Of course, she has a better chance of winning the Powerball lottery than actually reversing the results in any of those states, but that doesn’t really matter. She’s now catapulted herself from complete obscurity and irrelevance to being nationally known, not to mention being in control of millions of dollars not previously available to her. Think that might come in handy in… oh, say… four years, when her presidential aspirations are as sure to resurface as a dolphin gulping for air?

You tell me.

Then, of course, we have the complete and utter outrage that Miss Pantsuit can win a couple million more popular votes than Mr. Combover but still lose the actual election, all due to the “arcane, unnecessary and outdated” institution of the Electoral College (EC). Naturally, this leads to bleats for the elimination of the EC altogether.

Wake up time, snowflakes. The EC isn’t going anywhere, since it would take an amendment to the Constitution to do that.

But here’s where the so-called “logic” of the Dem/socialists falls to pieces. Our national election is just like the baseball World Series, in that the election consists of 50 individualscoreboard contests for electoral delegates just as the World Series consists of seven individual games. The outcome is based on who wins the most of those individual contests (in the election) or games (in the Series), not the cumulative total of home runs… or votes. That team with the most states – or won games – wins the election or the Series.

There’s another huge gap in their “logic”. There’s a built-in assumption that if the election were a straight plebiscite the vote totals would be the same as they are under our present system. But here’s a dose of reality. I know of several personal acquaintances – and I’m sure they’re typical of many based on simple human nature – who are conservatives and/or Republicans, who simply never vote for President because they know that this state’s 55 EC delegates are going to the Dems no matter what. They consider their votes a waste of time, or an opportunity to make some other “statement”, a la the NeverTrumpers.

But if those people had known their votes would actually have a direct impact on the actual outcome of the election, I have no doubt they’d have showed up in droves to vote, not for Trump, but against Clinton.

As of now Clinton’s popular margin is around two million more votes than Trump, but I’d bet big money that if there weren’t an EC he’d have gained around a million votes out of California ALONE. Throw in New York, Massachusetts, Washington state, and Illinois and he’d have cleaned her clock in the popular vote, too.

I often say that in order to be a leftist you have to be able to ignore five things: facts, logic, history, human nature, and the Constitution. If you can ignore those five things you, too, can be a practicing leftist.

Well, take notice of how this latest umbrage over the EC covers all those bases with the possible exception of history. A perfect fit!

 

 

©Brian Baker 2016

(Also published today in a slightly edited version in my local newspaper, The Signal)

 

Is There A Lesson In Trump’s Win?

trump5

 

Well, the election’s over, and now we know who’s the clear and indisputable loser: Clinton, and the country dodged a major bullet.

But I’m more interested in considering what dynamic was in play that propelled a candidate like Trump to win the GOP nomination at all, and ultimately the election.

For about twenty-five years, since the administration of Papa Bush, the Establishment GOP has continually drifted leftward, all the while trying subtly to redefine “conservatism” while claiming to support the traditional principles represented by the official party planks (or positions). This manifests itself each election season when the candidates on the stump promise to aggressively fight for those principles, but once elected fail to follow through on those campaign promises, instead offering tepid resistance to Dem/socialist programs, and half-hearted efforts to further a conservative agenda, when they’re not offering their own “progressive” programs, such as Bush 2’s “No Child Left Behind”, Scrips for Seniors, and amnesty for illegal aliens; McCain’s amnesty support and lack of Second Amendment support; the despised Common Core; as well as other examples.

This is also illustrated by considering their presidential candidates post-Bush 1: Dole, Bush 2, McCain, and Romney. Not one of them is a bona fide conservative. It’s also underscored by their congressional leadership: Boehner (until recently) in the House and McConnell in the Senate.

Predictably, as this drift has become more and more obvious, the traditional “base” of the GOP has become ever more disenchanted and disaffected. We saw this manifest itself with the rise of the Tea Party, a phenomenon to which the Establishment GOP reacted badly,2008-tea-party_004 with scorn and disdain instead of contemplating it as a symptom of organic and systemic problems. The Establishment elites simply knew better; the Tea Party was a disorganized bunch of uneducated yahoos who didn’t know what was good for them; and they could be minimized and ignored with impunity. All the while the percentage of the electorate registered as Republicans continued to fall while the percentage registered as Independent continued to rise in virtually direct proportion, a crystal clear bellwether to anyone actually paying attention.

Unfortunately for the Establishment GOP, they weren’t paying attention.

And this time around, the pressure in the boiler had built up so much that it exploded. One man put himself forward as the anti-everything: anti-Establishment GOP; anti-liberal; anti-illegal alien; anti-mainstream media; anti-gun control; anti-Big Government… all those hot-button issues that the “uneducated yahoos” the Establishment GOP so despised found so important. Further, he didn’t talk down to those “yahoos”. He COURTED them! He catered to them. He spoke THEIR language!

And how did the Establishment GOP react to that? By trying to rally around and promote more of their same, tired old offerings: Jebbie!!! and Kasich, “moderate” drones. What about the actual conservatives in the race, Cruz and Rubio? Well the Establishment hated them almost as much as Trump, and didn’t have any qualms about making that clear.

So when the dust finally settled, and Trump was the official nominee, did the party regulars and the rest of the Establishment GOP rally around their candidate and do all they could to help him succeed? Far from it. In acts of astonishing perfidy, not only did they abandon supporting him, but many of them – yes, I’m looking at you, Bushes – actually made a point of supporting his opponent, the despicable Clinton, an act of betrayal that will be long remembered.

That perfidy actually goes to the heart of the problem: that the Establishment GOP, at least at the national level, suffers from an elitism – “Beltway-itis” – that’s made them blind to the reality of what they need to do to regain and maintain their viability as a truly k-street“national” party. They inherently disdain the Joe Sixpacks that make up their natural base. They apparently prefer acceptance at K Street social functions over getting down in the mud with the people they absolutely need if they want to succeed.

Trump was the natural result of that disease. He was the revolt the GOP has long had coming, and to which it was willfully blind. And his success, and ultimate election to the office of President, IN SPITE of the Establishment GOP, should make them step back and take a long and hard look at how they want to approach the political arena as the country moves into the future.

The question now is: will they actually learn something from this?

 

©Brian Baker 2016

 

(Also published today in  The Signal)

Three Men in a Small Boat

A Modern Parable

Three men are in a small boat far from shore. The boat is being circled by hungry sharks boatwhen it suddenly springs a leak. Two of the men start desperately trying to fix the leak and bail out the boat, but the third man starts examining the tools, and complaining about the quality of the bucket.

That’s pretty much where we find ourselves in this election cycle.

There are two lousy candidates running for President (and two minor candidates who are a complete waste of time and attention as they’re an irrelevant sideshow). One of those two is going to be elected President. That person will be deciding who to nominate to replace Scalia on the Supreme Court (SCOTUS), possibly THE most important decision a President can make, because the effect of that decision can last for decades. That President will most likely be appointing one, and possibly two, more within a pretty short period.

Trump has promised to replace Scalia with a nominee of like kind, and has released a list of very appealing candidates. Clinton has very publicly stated that she thinks the Citizens United (First Amendment) and Heller (Second Amendment) rulings should be reversed.

That issue alone makes the choice a very easy one. One candidate will do his best to nominate SCOTUS Justices who will work to preserve our constitutional rights; the other will try her hardest to sink those same rights.

It’s an easy choice for any conservative to make. As repulsive as Trump is, Clinton is worse by orders of magnitude. And we have a ship of state to save!

Oh, but wait…!

The NeverTrump people are much more concerned with preserving their own conservative “purity”, and won’t vote for Trump. The quality of the bucket… or candidate… is belowboat2 their standard of acceptability. They absolutely REFUSE to compromise their “integrity” by deigning to use such low-quality tools. For them, it’s nobler to let the damned boat… or country… sink than to soil their hands with such demeaning material.

They fail to recognize, or accept, that when the boat goes down those hungry sharks are going to gobble them up right along with the guys who tried desperately to keep the boat afloat.

Because the sharks don’t care.

©Brian Baker 2016

 

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal)

 

The Fat Lady Ain’t Sung Yet

fat-lady

In my circle I’m regarded as kinda the “go-to guy” on political issues, and I have a pretty good record on predictions of trends and outcomes. Everybody’s come to me and asked me to analyze this race and predict who’s going to win. As I tell them, I just don’t know. I’ve never, ever seen anything like this in my life.

The aspects that make prediction so hard are these. This is the first time I’ve seen an election in which neither candidate has a strong base of support. Look at the numbers on their personal qualities. Both are regarded as pretty repulsive candidates. The result is that the voters going to the polls aren’t voting FOR anyone. For the most part they’re going there to cast votes AGAINST someone else. I have no idea how to factor such a phenomenon into a quantitative assessment, and I don’t think anyone else does, either.

Polls are dependent on people answering pollsters honestly. But what happens when a large number of people are embarrassed about their actual opinion, and lie? It skews things, and again we have the uniqueness of an election in which both major candidates are an embarrassment for a lot of people to admit to supporting.

Polling results can be “pushed” by the phrasing of questions asked. There’s absolutely NO doubt that the MSM, which sponsor most polls, have committed themselves to Clinton. They haven’t even tried to hide it this time. So how has that affected the polling questions they’ve formulated, and the consequently skewed results, leading to inaccurate conclusions? Again, hard to quantify.

The majority of the people voting FOR Clinton (as opposed to AGAINST Trump) are the party faithful, and they’d vote for anybody who won that party’s nomination, and quite happily. But that’s not at all the case with Trump. Those who actually want to vote FOR him (as opposed to AGAINST Clinton) managed to essentially take over the GOP nomination process and force him down the party’s throat. It was a populist uprising. A revolt. Many are party members, or former members, but many are people who feel that the GOP – and probably both parties – haven’t represented their interests for a long time. They joined the GOP to support Trump into the nomination, but they’re not committed to that party at all. How can they be categorized, and consequently polled?

There’s an “enthusiasm” aspect which pollsters have started to acknowledge in recent years that has an effect on voting turnout, and that turnout can have a major impact on election outcome. But again, in a race between repulsive candidates, how can you quantify that “enthusiasm”? Will one’s enthusiasm to vote FOR a candidate be more meaningful than another’s “enthusiasm” to vote AGAINST that same candidate?

There are other factors, too, but I think these are the big ones. That’s why I think the results of this race are still up in the air. I don’t find any of the current polling, or predictions, to be persuasive, frankly. It could be a squeaker either way; it could be a landslide blowout, either way. I just don’t have a clue, and I don’t think the pollsters do, either.

In support of my thesis, here’s a (Link) to an interview with John Zogby that was conducted a couple of days ago. Zogby’s one of this country’s most prominent and reliable pollsters, and the title of the article says it all:  “Pollster John Zogby: Presidential Race Far From Over”.

There’s still time to save this country, folks. Let’s get out there and do our part.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2016

 

“Double Standard” and “Hypocrisy”: Words Completely Inadequate to the Task

It turns out that Donald Trump has in the past made some very raunchy jokes about women, the kinds of things we only expect to hear from juvenile boys in the locker room, and in Seth Rogan “comedies”. I’m sure that comes as a big surprise to absolutely no one, except maybe some yokel living in a cave somewhere, completely isolated from TV and newspapers and utterly oblivious up to now of who Trump even is.

Of course, the Dem/socialists and their sycophants and accomplices in the mainstreamfainting-3 media are all over this like white on rice, throwing fainting spells, gasping into their hankies, and ginning up their faux outrage machine.

Right along with them are the pansies from the Establishment GOP, those spineless hacks who wouldn’t know an actual principle if it walked up and smacked them in the face. The same pantywaists who thought “Jebbie!!” was a great candidate, when they weren’t out losing their own elections; people like John “Amnesty” McCain, and Mitt “Aw Shucks” Romney.

Were Trump’s comments despicable? Sure. Were they illegal? Nope. Did they affect any US policy? Nope. Was anybody hurt by them? Nope, except maybe the “feelings” of some liberal snowflakes somewhere, since there were no “trigger warnings” issued so they could go to their “safe spaces” to hide from those “microagressions”.

In the meantime, there’s Bill Clinton running around in this campaign drumming up support for his wife, all the while being fawned over by that same mainstream media. Bill Clinton the convicted perjurer and accused serial rapist. A guy who, as his state’s Governor, corrupted state cops into being his personal pimps. The same guy who sexually molested at least one young female intern right in the Oval Office while President, giving new meaning to the words “there’s nothing like a good cigar”.

The candidate he’s on the stump for? His wife, Her Royal Arrogance, Miss Pantsuit Clinton, an unindicted federal felon and pathological liar, whose career of corruption is so far-reaching – from Travelgate to the Rose Law Firm to the “Bimbo Eruptions” right up to her email scandal and sham “Foundation” slush fund – that just about everyone who enters her circle gets sucked in, like light into a black hole. A woman whose policies as a failed Secretary of State have led directly to the meltdown in the Middle East, to the cost of thousands of lives and a vast amount of this country’s fortune.

Yet what do all those allegedly “objective” reporters, and columnists,  and limp-wristed political hacks focus their attention on?

Trump’s stupid jokes.

glaring-lightThe only real upside to this election that I can see is that the overwhelming hypocrisy of the mainstream media AND the Establishment GOP, as well as the absolute lack of any standards of decency of the Dem/socialist party, are all being fully exposed in the harsh glare of the spotlight for all to see.

Will this country apply its collective wisdom to benefit from this experience?

 

 

©Brian Baker 2016

 

The GOP: Stuck On Stupid

In the week or so that’s passed since Trump secured the official GOP nomination as their candidate for President, I’ve watched that party tear itself to shreds.

As I noted in my last column, “The GOP is in reality the PSP — the Perpetually Stupid Party”.

For years they’ve ignored their inherent base supporters, traditional conservatives, instead treating them like redheaded step-children. The unrest of that base has long been obvious, as evidenced by the failures of McCain and Romney in their own presidential bids, not to mention how tight Bush’s two contests were against incredibly inept opponents, Gore and Kerry.

Did the PSP learn anything from all those years of declining support? No, they did not. And the result is the success of the populist uprising led by Trump.

Like it or not, he is the official candidate of the Republican Party.

hissy fitSo, what’s been the response of the usual suspects, the Establishment GOP hacks that have led that party ever-leftward? To throw an extreme hissy-fit, like a passel of spoiled brats. Is Trump a great candidate? Heck no! I spent a year pointing out some of his obvious flaws. But he IS their candidate, won fairly and squarely.

His opponent is Her Royal Arrogance Clinton, probably the single most beatable Dem/socialist in a couple of decades; a woman with more baggage than a cruise liner.

But instead of rallying around their official nominee, the PSP is indulging in a nihilistic paroxysm of pique and self-destruction. Many of the former candidates are refusing to honor their pledge to support the eventual victor of the primary, a pledge that Trump finally and begrudgingly did sign. Where’s their honor now? At least one prominent member of the PSP – Meg Whitman – has gone so far (as of this writing) as to actually endorse Clinton. Amazing!

circular firing squadThe end result is that the PSP has set Trump as the target of their circular firing squad.

The possible upside to all this turmoil is that we could hopefully see the GOP, like a phoenix arising from the ashes of its own destruction, change its errant ways and rededicate itself to actually acting like it believes in the principles it claims to support.

The downside is that it’s taking place at the worst possible time, when the Dem/socialist candidate is a person so unfit for office, and whose policies are so destructive, that the country might never recover if she wins the election.

How will this all play out? I guess we’ll soon see…

 

 

 

©Brian Baker 2016

(Also published today in The Signal)

Gary Johnson Will Not Be President!

distress flag

 

Neither will John Kasich, Bernie Sanders, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, nor the Green Party’s Jill Stein. That’s just a fact of life, and we’d all better get used to it.

In the 2008 election pitting McCain against Obama, I voted for Bob Barr, the Libertarian candidate. I also quit my lifelong membership in the GOP and re-registered as “Decline To State”, this state’s version of Independent. That was because I saw McCain as only very slightly less “progressive” than Obama, a view I still hold to this very day.

There was also the potential benefit in a McCain loss that the GOP – which had already meandered to the Left over the post-Reagan years – would learn a valuable lesson from such a defeat and mend their errant ways.

Well, that clearly didn’t happen, as the Establishment GOP kept to their chosen path, the result of which has finally been a populist uprising resulting in the nomination of outsider Donald Trump as their nominee. Good, bad, or indifferent, that’s the way it is.

I wish I could go into that polling booth in November and cast my ballot for someone else, but I can’t if I want my vote to have any actual relevance, and wishing I could won’t change anything. If wishes were horses, beggars would be riding instead of walking.

The further reality is that even if Trump hadn’t thrown his hat into the ring I’m not sure I would have been able to vote for a real conservative anyway. Over the last decade plus, the Establishment GOP has constantly crept ever-further leftward, scorning the true conservatives in their ranks. How else to explain the nominations of John McCain and Mitt Romney? That, too, is a fact, and further proof that the Establishment GOP is not just stuck on stupid, but super-glued in place. The GOP is in reality the PSP – the Perpetually Stupid Party.

So where does that leave us?

The two major parties have named their candidates, and one thing we know for certain: come January either Clinton or Trump WILL be taking the oath of office as President.

In Trump we have an unknown. A guy who CLAIMS to be conservative, yet has a record of backing leftist causes and policies. An unmitigated blowhard. Someone not familiar with the details and minutiae of policy. Absolutely no record when it comes to elective experience or voting history.

Basically, he’s a pig in a poke. We don’t really know what we’d be getting. He could end up being great; he could end up being an absolute disaster. His presidency could fall somewhere in between. Who knows?

His choice of Mike Pence as his running mate gives me a sound basis for the hope that he’ll follow through on his vow to select solid conservatives as his appointees, both judicial and otherwise. And judicial appointments, particularly to the Supreme Court, are a huge but neglected issue this election.

no hillaryThen there’s Clinton, certainly not an unknown. In fact, we know FOR CERTAIN what we’d be getting with her, and frankly, it’s an outright disaster for this country. An unindicted federal criminal with a pathological bent for lying. A scandal-ridden crone married to a convicted perjurer and accused serial rapist who’d be re-occupying the White House. A corruptocrat whose policy decisions can seemingly be bought with large “donations” to her sham “foundation”. A woman who can’t point to a single policy success in her term as Secretary of State, and whose big claim to qualification for the office is that she has a uterus. A leftist ideologue who’s vowed to continue, and even expand upon, the disastrous policies of Obama. A die-hard anti-gun fanatic. A woman who will, with absolutely no doubt, appoint the most leftist jurists she can find to nominate to the Supreme Court, changing the dynamic of that institution for decades to come.

For me the defining moment came while I watched FBI Director Comey spend 14 minutes detailing Clinton’s criminal actions, then spend about 1 minute declaring that the FBI would recommend that she NOT be prosecuted for those actions. I was absolutely stunned. As far as I was concerned, that moment defined the depth of the corruption of the Dem/socialist party, and the Obama/Clinton cabal in particular. It’s an outright and blatant corruptocracy.

So there you have it. A summary of two candidates, one of whom WILL be the next President of these United States. It’s certainly clear, at least to me, that no matter how bad a President Trump MAY turn out to be, Clinton would DEFINITELY be orders of magnitude worse.

We conservatives pride ourselves on voting our conscience and our principles. But I think there’s one overriding principle that overshadows all others: the ultimate future of our country. I believe this is the single most important presidential election at least in my lifetime.

I’ve made my decision. In spite of everything I’ve written over the last year, in light of the issues I’ve outlined here I’ve decided to cast my vote for Trump.

What about you?

 

 

©Brian Baker 2016

 

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal )

We Need A “Deus Ex Machina”, Stat!

 

In the literature of Ancient Greek tragedy, the playwrights would often plot their characters into a corner, an irresolvable situation in which doom was the inevitable deus ex machinaoutcome until lo and behold! A god or other supernatural character would descend to the stage in a chariot and resolve the problem, saving the hero from disaster. That plot device was called deus ex machina, which translates literally into “god from the machine”, the “machine” being the chariot. Today we call it a “chariot of the gods”.

As a result of the Indiana primary election, both of Donald Trump’s GOP opponents, Cruz and Kasich, have “suspended” their campaigns. That means that Trump is now unopposed in his quest for the nomination and barring some unforeseen event of epic proportion, he’s going to be the GOP presidential nominee in November.

On the Dem/socialist front Hillary Clinton’s lead over her sole opponent, self-avowed socialist Bernie Sanders, is virtually insurmountable barring her indictment for federal charges stemming from her criminal misuse of classified information on her illegal web server.

So, as an independent conservative, this November I’m going to be faced with an absolutely appalling choice. I can vote for a man I despise, who has absolutely no record of trump clintonconservatism (in fact, quite the opposite) and no experience in public service; a loud-mouthed egotistical buffoon; a charmless amateur driven by self-aggrandizement and megalomania… Trump.

Or I can vote for a scheming, lying, corrupt woman who is the worst kind of Big Government leftist and has committed federal crimes affecting national security… Clinton.

Or I can vote for neither of them.

If ever the political stage of this country needed a deus ex machina, now is that time, more than ever before.

 

 

 

©Brian Baker 2016

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal: http://www.signalscv.com/section/35/article/151770/)

 

 

 

“The Donald” Is President… Now What?

The dog days of the Summer of 2017 have been especially brutal, with sweltering heat and humiditydc summer turning Washington, D.C. into a miasma.

The election of 2016 was one for the books. The expected “coronation” of Hillary Clinton never took place, her ambitions for election to the highest office of the land crushed when the FBI investigation into her emails resulted in her indictment on federal misdemeanor charges. Only a last-minute pardon granted by outgoing President Obama saved her from a lengthy trial and probable conviction.

When self-avowed Socialist Bernie Sanders became the official Democrat party nominee due to a rabid outpouring of support from the ultra-left fringe, the GOP – now insulated from the threat of a Hillary candidacy – reverted to form and coalesced around Establishment candidate Jeb Bush.

Defeated in the primaries, Donald Trump declared himself a candidate as an Independent. On election night this dynamic played itself out to its finale, with Sanders getting little support from other than the ultra-left, Bush getting little from any other than the GOP loyalists, and the remainder going to Trump. In an election cycle with a record-low turnout, that happened to be enough to give Trump the win.

trump in officeNow, six months after the inauguration, Trump sits at his desk in the Oval Office brooding over his next moves. He’d tried to push through his promise to build a border wall between the US and Mexico with the stipulation that he’d stick Mexico with the bill, but he’d immediately run into another “wall” he hadn’t anticipated.

Congress had refused to create any legislation authorizing such a project, and with no ties to either of the parties in control of Congress, Trump found himself with no leverage at all with which to proceed. His request for such legislation was simply DOA. The only thing he got was a gift from the President of Mexico of a bottle of fine agave tequila, with a sardonic note of congratulations.

Along similar lines, when he’d tried to find some way to suspend the automatic granting of US citizenship to “anchor babies”, there was no actual way to effectuate his efforts. He couldn’t do it by executive order, because citizenship is a state of being, not a document issued by a government agency to which he could issue orders. He again asked Congress for appropriate legislation, and ran into the exact same problem he faced regarding his proposed wall: Congress ignored him.

In August of 2015 he’d said that he’d support a tax increase on the “ultra-rich” – heresy to conservatives – and when he’d proposed the idea to Congress he got strong support from the Democrat side of the aisle, and strong opposition from the GOP, again with the same result: no action from Congress.

Last month’s meeting with Putin had gone badly. They didn’t click on a personal level, a problem right out of the box. He’d tried to insist that Putin call off his dogs, but the Russian just stared at him with those beady eyes. It was infuriating! “All right, so he got a little annoyed at what I said”, Trump thought. “But I was calling his actions ‘stupid’, not him personally. Can’t he tell the difference?”

He’d tested another policy initiative a couple of months ago, a sort of trial balloon. He’d instructed our ambassadors to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to present to those countries bills for our costs in protecting their countries militarily, including from the Saddam Hussein invasion. After all, they have virtually unlimited wealth from their oil production, and we provide their military support. It was for only $1.5 trillion! Who’d have thought they’d react the way they did? The Saudis even insisted Trump recall our ambassador to that country. Imagine! Looks like that balloon popped…

Which, Trump mused, means the odds of doing the same thing anywhere else look pretty slim…

The backlash from his announcement last week that he was sending the 82nd Airborne Division to the82 airborne Middle East to fight ISIS utterly confounded and perplexed him. If there was any actual personification of actual evil on this planet, they were it. So how could so many people – not only in the electorate, but in Congress – not see that we had to send in the troops?

“Quagmire?”, he grumbled to himself. “What does that even mean? I can tell those generals how to win that war. And anyway, if they don’t do it my way, and win that damn war, I’ll just fire them.”

Seeing that the sun was setting, he rose from the chair and left the room. Tomorrow was another day.

©Brian Baker 2015

 

(Published in my local newspaper, The Signal, on 3 Sep 2015: http://www.signalscv.com/section/33/article/141834/ )