Not so Freaky Fridays anymore

It seems that news people recapping the week are in a continual, almost weekly, loop saying the President had a difficult week. One week it was the appropriate backlash on his Helsinki acquiescence to Vladimir Putin. Another week was the conviction and confession of two of his cronies. Earlier it was the detention of migrant children away from their parents. And, there are many others.

This past week started last Saturday with the funeral of a true hero and honorable public servant, an event to which he was purposefully uninvited. Not being invited to the national mourning of Senator John McCain was bad enough, but his modus operandi was appropriately criticized without mentioning his name by more than a few speakers.

By itself, this event would warrant a bad week, but it was followed by the release of excerpts from highly credible reporter Bob Woodward’s book on the disruptive White House environment. For younger voters, Woodward was 1/2 of the team that broke the Watergate story. While nothing surprising about Trump was revealed, it was reassuring that the President’s people do their best to keep him between the white lines.

While the White House was in full damage control mode, an anonymous op-ed was published in The New York Times by an insider which echoes much of what Woodward’s book reveals. It should be noted that the both pieces echo some earlier books that were also denounced by the White House, as well as previous leaks and actual observations by reporters.

A few comments are in order:

– Many GOP legislators are painfully aware of these shortcomings of the President, but choose not to act. Right now, supporters are ignoring the consistent message and focusing on the messenger.
– A plausible reason the anonymous op-ed writer has not gone to Congress is it would likely not do any good given the willingness of too many GOP sycophants wanting to save their tribe and not do their job.
– The President’s boorish behavior is not a secret, except to his base, who water down the criticism. What is known by fewer folks is what conservative columnist David Brooks noted as early as last year regarding various mismanaged events when he said the “White House is equal parts chaos and incompetence.”
– But, his offensive behavior and poor management predates his campaign and White House. Five biographers note Trump’s problems with the truth and financial reporters have lauded his sales skills, while being critical of his poor management skills. It is easy to see why he is deemed a poor manager given his ego, temper and lack of attention to detail.

What frustrates me as well, I have consistently reached out to Senators and members of Congress usually after various missteps or misstatements by the President. Two questions I often ask are “is this the man you want to spend your dear reputation on?” and “what will it take for Congress to act?” Seeing us bully our allies and forego our global leadership role is highly frustrating. Seeing us make changes that favor corporations and wealthy is another. Seeing us ignore climate change and our building huge debt are yet more concerns. But, the lying, denigration, name-calling, admiration for autocrats and disdain for democratically elected leaders takes the cake.

You may have noticed I have not mentioned the Russian collusion issue or his historical sexual misconduct. More will come out on these issues, but I find it of interest the lone constant in both issues is the story changing by the President. This is a key reason he did so poorly on a mock deposition in preface to a possible real one with Robert Mueller. The contradictions abounded.

So, I leave you with the questions I asked the GOP legislators above. Apparently, this is the horse they are going to ride. My added question is where will he lead you? And, us?

21 thoughts on “Not so Freaky Fridays anymore

  1. Fine article Keith, the unwillingness of the Republican Congress to check the president is a source of bewilderment and disappointment to put it mildly it is astonishing. I’ve been busy contacting our senator’s pushing Kavanaugh’s confirmation by breaking all the rules which has become modus operandi for the Republicans. Thank you again , have a good weekend.

    • Thanks Holly. John Oliver did an excellent interview with Anita Hill a few weeks ago regarding the Clarence Thomas nomination. Senator Orrin Hatch played a key role in dragging her through the mud. He played a key role in not allowing Merrick Garland to have a hearing and now he is taking a lead role in pushing through Brett Kavanaugh. He is a great example of the tribal mentality.

      Kavanaugh will get approved, but he has many more questions to answer to in my view. He also should recuse himself as should Gorsuch if the President has an issue before the Supreme Court. Keith

  2. Spot on as always, Keith. Sadly, it is painfully obvious that there are no republicans in Congress willing to put a stop to this madness, and I do not use that term lightly, for it is apparent to me, as it should be to his ‘base’, that he is indeed a madman. Everything that has come about this week is only further proof that we MUST vote the boot-lickers out of Congress in November. If we do not, then the answer to your final question is one that none of us wish to hear.

    • Jill, as we both have noted, the GOP in Congress know about Trump and how he operates. He will throw anyone under the bus in a heartbeat. And, they still look the other way. There is very little that would qualify as normal under this White House. Keith

  3. Viewing from over the water and ignoring the hysterical cries of his most devoted, I am looking at the MAJORITY (capitals intentional) of Americans. This disparate collection did not vote for the creature nor can I believe they care for the way he is dragging done the USA’s reputation. Currently he totters on the shaky ground of a transitory favourable market trends.
    Looking at the historical record of how the population view their presidents I do not believe this ‘paper success’ will serve to keep him afloat. He has offended too many groups who will not forget.
    I look forward to his humiliating downfall, which history suggests will happen before he can do much more damage.
    Lesson 101 in American Politics:
    ‘You can fool all of the people some of the time, you can fool some of the people all of the time….but…..’
    I don’t think I need go on.
    Subsidiary Lesson….Don’t try and bully the American People….it doesn’t work.

    • Roger, the man was forewarned not to take too much credit for the economy and especially the stock market. He was handed the keys to an economy that was percolating along pretty well and a bull market dating back to March, 2009. It will turn and he will blame others. Presidents get too much credit and blame, but for those who want to laud him for these results, they be definition are lauding Obama. When that is pointed out to them, they would be surprised and confused. Keith

      • Astutely pointed out Keith
        As I was writing to Gronda, I do love it when the Trump’s Most Devoted paint themselves into a corner.

  4. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    As always, our friend Keith has a way of summing things up in a manner that commands attention without raising his voice (or beating the letters off his keyboard, as I have). His summation of the past week is spot on, and his question at the end of the post is one that should give each and every one of us cause to stop & think. Thank you, Keith, for permission to share your wise words.

  5. Dear Keith,

    I believe Mr. Kavanaugh to be a Republican Party animal where he would never consider stepping aside, or recusing himself. I pray and hope that I’m wrong.

    It is important to note that he was not on the original Federalist Society list of 25 attorneys. He was added as an afterthought. I suspect that this addition was based on Mr. Kavanaugh’s writings about the US president not being hampered by judicial checks while in office.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Gronda, given the nature of the appointer, I would assume the worst in his picks. As I mention to Jill, Trump, even as late as today, thinks the AG represents him. Keith

  6. Note to Readers: There is a part of me that wishes the op-ed piece was not written. While it does tell America what we need to know, it will feed the beast which is Trump’s paranoia. As I noted above, normal channels of reaching out did not exist, especially with the House, as the partisanship is heightened and we have several Congress people who have been hyper-political, at best, and unethical at worst. And, telling a mercurial boss who rants at people, does not present itself as an acceptable option.

    Several have written that this will get much worse before it is all over. I agree. When Mueller starts indicting more people and writing his reports, the cornered animal will be lashing out at everyone.

  7. Note to Readers: I do not like labels. I think they are shortcuts to demean. There are plenty of labels used by people Trump appointed that are quite caustic as they define Trump’s relative smarts and truth telling crudely, some from Woodward’s book and some from earlier reporting. Rather than repeat those labels, I would prefer to cite comments about his actions.

    From Woodward’s book, there are two stories attributed to Gary Cohn which I find telling. Cohn, who is Jewish, said the biggest mistake he made was not resigning after Trump’s comments on Charlottesville which gave the White Supremacist a hall pass. The other is he is one of the people who took things off Trump’s desk. Mind you, Cohn was one of Trump’s most proficient hires, who openly disagreed with his tariffs and trade policies. Cohn resigned over the latter issues.

    The other one I cite often comes from Thomas Wells, an attorney who worked for Trump for years. Among many other observations around his lack of interest in understanding issues and job requirements, he said “Donald Trump lies everyday, even about things of no consequence.” Mind you, there are far more succinct quotes in the Woodward book that state this premise, but I prefer Wells’ comments as they focus on the act of lying not the person lying. If his base would react to more succinct critique, I refer them to what his attorney John Dowd said in the Woodward book.

    The final one came from a contractor familiar with the Trump organization who was asked in a voter panel, what he thought of candidate Trump. He succinctly said, “Word on the street is if you deal with the Trump organization, get paid up front.” This is consistent with a modus operandi of Trump stiffing contractors because of bad service. Wells noted if Trump did this a few times, that would be one thing, but he regularly cited bad service to get out of paying, a reason for the number of lawsuits. Many a contractor got stiffed, accepted less or went out of business because of one Donald J. Trump. What the contractor panelist did was corroborate what has been published.

  8. Do any of these illustrious senators and representatives answer any of your questions? I suspect they send some drivel back that obfuscates and misdirects, a bit like Ms. Sanders. I keep trying to remind myself that we all wrang our hands when GW was elected. We thought the world was coming to an end. We had no idea then . . .

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