The United States since Jan 20, 2017:
- The Trump infrastructure plan is not yet even in the House.
- The House of Representatives passed a tax cut for the rich masquerading as a health bill without getting it scored by the Congressional Budget Office.
- The federal departments charged with missions that help and protect Americans are being gutted in budget. Of the 559 Senate-confirmable positions, 440 have no candidates who have even been submitted by the administration. Even the hundreds and thousands of permanent staff positions in those agencies are going unfilled.
- The United States is one of only 3 countries that are not part of the Paris Accords (along with Syria and Nicaragua).
- The United States abandoned the TPP
- There is now trouble with our four largest trade partners.
- The Trump administration has angered and destabilized NATO, the largest and most successful international alliance in the history of the world.
- The US attorneys have all been fired, and no replacements found.
- Administration credibility throughout the world is at a historic low.
- Our allies are openly talking of “going on without the United States”. Our world leadership position has degraded dangerously.
- The US has praised dictators and strongmen from Putin to Duterte and Erdogan. Not stopping there, he even praised Kim Jong Un.
- Voter Id and reform is being pursued in non-blue states, although all state election officials claim there has been no significant occurrence of voter fraud.
- Across the country, 19 states are considering legislation to limit protest.
- A person was jailed for laughing out loud at Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
- Civil rights are being rolled back; hate crimes are on the rise.
This list of shame goes on and on, and I haven’t mentioned Russia-gate yet.
While this has been happening, the Trump has spent time signing beauty-contest executive orders like “Buy American”, while ignoring this order in his own businesses, and in governmental contracts. Even coal industry representatives say that Trump’s relaxation of regulations against coal waste dumping into streams will not bring back coal jobs (although it will help lower costs to the coal industry). Trump has helped fat cats in aluminum as well. The only recipients of blessings from this administration are the 1% who don’t need blessings; the same 1% who have billions to spend influencing politics; the 1% who complain bitterly nonetheless about how unfair their lives have been for having to pay more in taxes than the poor.
The other thing that Trump has done is spent his time quite consistently poking his finger in the eye of any person, group, organization, agency, or nation who doesn’t agree with him. This is his homage to his base, who seem to be terminally afflicted with outrage at the world’s disagreement with their values. By doing this, he reconnects with their deep disaffection and anger. This keeps his supporters loyal. They have yet to suffer materially from consequences of Trump and Republican actions, though they certainly will as time goes on. In the mean time, the scandal about Russia moves glacially forward, ignored by those supporters.
It is astounding that in the midst of all the chaos above, his supporters remain loyal. I simply can’t understand how the party that led the resistance to Communist/Russian influence for the last almost 70 years can ignore these investigations. More than ignore them some support the active obstruction of these investigations. These same people were morally outraged at President Clinton’s sexual misconduct and pursued his impeachment with extraordinary vigor. These same people now are protective of a president who is not only accused of colluding with Russia to manipulate an election, but is also the subject of investigations into a Russian money-laundering scheme that will undoubtedly involve hundreds of billions of dollars….at American expense.
I can understand saying “innocent until proven guilty”, but that is in a court of law, not in an impeachment. It was not illegal for President Clinton to misbehave in the Oval Office, but was the cause for an impeachment. An impeachment is an investigation, not a trial conclusion. It is worth the investigation to find what is at the bottom of Russia-gate. That the republican members of Congress have spent more time pursuing leakers instead of the base offenses is unconscionable. Not all leaks are equal. Publicizing malfeasance is whistle-blowing, not leaking. Looking for leakers is the distraction, it is the de-legitimization of those who have something important to say, but can’t say, because they are being obstructed.
Looking at the incredible division between Trump supporters and the rest of America, it is hard to imagine how there is room for compromise and working together. How can the gap between the realities be bridged? In the mean time, the country continues to add to the list of shame above, and our children will bear the consequences.