Friday, April 28, 2017

Trump at 100 Days: yeah, this is the train wreck I was expecting...

There are lots of detailed overviews of the last 100 days of the ongoing White House dumpster fire and yard sale out there. So I'll make this check-in brief.

What's worse than I expected?

The Russian stuff -- It was obvious that something foul was afoot during the campaign. But there's far more paper trail, money trail, and documented violation of law than I had expected. It looks pretty clear to me that if the GOP-run Congressional oversight committees care to exercise a bit of investigation and oversight, this whole rotten structure is coming down. Which brings me to...

GOP Congressional Partisanship -- I underestimated the willingness of the Republican Congress to sell out our nation and any remaining principals they may have ever had in service of partisan power and their unquenchable thirst for tax breaks for the millionaires and billionaires who bankroll their party. They aren't just bad, uncaring representatives. They are rapidly proving themselves to be bad Americans.

Trump's increasing incoherence -- Read the text of any of the recent interviews. Donald Trump was always an appalling human being, but I don't remember him being nearly this incoherent. His words are convincing me that the whispers of encroaching dementia are correct. I'm not doctor, but that is not a well mind.

What's about what I expected?

Ego and Arrogance -- Donald Trump's infinite insecurity and need for self-aggrandizement.

Greed and Corruption -- The Trump family's venality.

Lies, lies, lies -- The endless lies, both petty and substantial. The word "dishonest" greatly understates the problem.

Assault on democratic values -- The relentless erosion of rules, standards, and enforcement mechanisms to keep our government basically honest and competent. Even if he's impeached tomorrow, this is probably Trump's most damaging legacy to date.

What's not as bad as I expected?

The bright spot of his incompetence and incoherence is that even with single-party Republican rule in Washington he has yet to push through substantial legislative disasters like dismantling the ACA or a half-dozen other looming disasters for most Americans.

I'm not optimistic that happy state of affairs can last all the way until January 2019.

What do I expect going forward?

I'd like to think that Trump doesn't make it to the November 2018 mid-term elections for Congress. But I dunno. Maybe he eventually shuffles in a reasonably competent assortment of White House staff and they right this capsizing ship. If he continues to be a disaster and the Democrats can regain one of the Houses of Congress, then 2019 will be interesting and chock full of investigations.

Of course, by then we'll probably be involved in several large regional wars, so ... well, yeah.

In other words, taken as a whole it's all going about how I expected. That is not a good thing.