Thursday, January 4, 2018

Trump v. Bannon: Can't They Both Lose?

During the Iran/Iraq War of the 1980's, there was a nifty bon mot dropped in the international relations community...."Can't they both lose?"  This is the perfect way to think about the Trump v. Bannon battle.  Both men are detestable human beings with no more noble goal than their own aggrandizement. That they came together in the summer of 2016 is a tragedy of happenstance, one the country will pay for in the years to come. That their partnership is now utterly unraveling should surprise no one. Bannon is one of the " men..." that Trump claimed would surround him. Now that the relationship has soured, Trump would have us believe that Bannon was just a staffer and a clerk and a man of low character who lost his mind after being fired. Yet these men and women of low character seem omnipresent in Trumpworld. It is because the President prefers them.

There is no end to the irony of this situation. Much of what is coming out in Michael Wolff's new book is already known--that Trump's subordinates (and family) thought they'd lose the election, that Trump is held in low esteem by his staff, and that our President has the attention span of a gnat. That ANY of it though appears in this book (and the additional salacious stuff--like Ivanka's rendering of her father's hair-do and Bannon's blunt depiction of the famous meeting with Russians in Trump Tower as "...treasonous...") is entirely due to the unimpeded access that the author was granted to simply hang around the White House. There was never any doubt but that he was preparing to write a book. The terms of his invitation were well known.  Ex post facto claims that of "...I thought it was off the record..." are ridiculous in this day and age. This is--like virtually all of Trump's previous injuries--self-inflicted.

And now, we'll hear from the Trumpenproletariat. They'll tell us that this is fake news. They'll tell us that the press is out to get their man. They'll tell us that Bannon was never a key part of things, and he's just settling scores (which he is). When Trump said that he could commit murder on Fifth Ave and his supporters would stay with him, he was right. They are no longer sentient, or perhaps never were so, at least in an ethical sense. They will stay with him. Those who voted for him out of a sense of Party duty, or because they could not abide by a Hillary Clinton presidency and believed that their vote would tip the balance--perhaps these people retain enough vestigial morality to create room for a  Republican with ethics and morals to primary the President in 2020. Or perhaps they'll make it so clear to him that he will not be re-elected, that he pulls a Lyndon Johnson and bails. Only time will tell. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a good thing that might be more realistic than hoping POTUS just disappears, what would be a good laundry list of things you'd like to see him change about A. himself, starting with behavior B. promises he has not kept and the fairness angle C. things he did well. Just saying, it's seems like he has made you nearly miserable and you had such an enjoyable blog before.

Newer Post Older Post Home