I have this friend. Sort of an ersatz pen pal. I have no idea what he even looks like because I’ve never actually met him. But for maybe ten years now, he and I have been emailing back and forth. But I do know a lot about him. He’s an Old Guard Republican who mourned the day Nixon resigned, he’s über-wealthy, and has little use for folks who don’t at least try to do what he’s achieved in life. He’s clueless as to why not everybody can, but that said, I think he learns from our ongoing dialogue. He’d never admit to it, but he respects my opinions. And I respect his, factually wrong though they usually are.
So he couldn’t wait to gloat the other day when Trump won the election. I reminded him that yes, he did, but Trump isn’t exactly your kind of Republican. You’ll have zero control over this guy’s locker room behavior, let alone his political agenda. He’ll soon be back to his old schtick of picking fights with Fox News journalists and pissing in the White House fountain.
He demurred. “Unlike you Bruce, I’m hopeful and willing to give him a chance. Wait and see. Now that he’s going to be Commander in Chief, we might see the more dignified side of Donald Trump.”
I’ve got your “dignity” right here. Just hours after this feces flinging baboon met with President Obama in the White House, he took to Twitter to accuse the media—the very same media without whom he couldn’t have won—of inciting unrest in the streets. Yeah… call me skeptical of this fool’s capacity for change.
As for the near future, here’s my perspective, which begins with a little retrospective.
When Bill Clinton passed the keys to the White House off to George W. Bush in January 2001, the country was in far better shape than it was when Clinton inherited it from Bush 41. Job growth boomed during the Clinton years. The deficit had been turned into a surplus, the economy was chugging alone nicely, and the only thing the outgoing Clinton team was concerned with was Osama bin Laden. Concerns that Clinton’s team shared with the incoming Bush administration … which were summarily dismissed as so much background noise by Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice.
Eight catastrophic years later, when it was time for the outgoing Bush administration to turn the White House over to the incoming Obama team, the economy was in a shambles. Clinton’s warnings that Cheney/Bush refused to heed were prophetic. Osama bin Laden did his deed, the Bushies overreacted, spent us into a hole, and just as they were about to slither out the door, the housing crisis, the auto industry collapse, the banking scandals etc., the debt for the two wars and two tax cuts that did NOTHING for the working class… it all came due. And the economy tanked.
Enter Barack Obama.
On the very day President Obama was being sworn in, 14 high ranking Republicans (including the current Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan) met in a secret conference to plot how to properly welcome this new kind of Democrat. Their solution: Block EVERYTHING. Obama had the White House and Congress, so their reasoning was to be the veritable rudder stuck in the mud. No ship, no matter how powerful can steam forward without its rudder. That was the hospitality Barack Obama was presented with on Day One: Fourteen white middle fingers.
In spite of their obstruction, Barack Obama managed to plot a course that did rescue us from the Bush Recession. It cost us of course, by adding to the debt, something the obstructionists have been howling about ever since.
So now, for the second time in as many decades, a Democratic president is about to hand off a thriving, rejuvenated economy to a Republican after inheriting a shaky one from his Republican predecessor. Rather than being rewarded for rescuing the nation, the electorate has chosen to punish the Democrats by replacing them with a rube. Again!
The Democrats are in a tough spot. They have minimal power. They should use what power they DO have, to fight for the preservation of the Obama legacy and all that it entails, because the GOP is determined to obliterate it.
I’m not suggesting the Democrats should do what the GOP did eight years ago when they plotted to obstruct everything Barack Obama stood for just because of who he was, but maybe they too should put their collective focus on that rudder.
The USS Trump is about to steam full speed ahead into some mighty dark waters. If I were the Senate or House minority leader, I’d concentrate on that mechanism. It’s relatively unprotected, and frankly, it’s the only option open to them. Show Donald Trump the same hospitality that Paul Ryan, Newt Gingrich, Frank Luntz, Jim DeMint, John Ensign, Tom Coburn, Jon Kyl, Dan Lungren, Eric Cantor, Pete Hoekstra, Pete Sessions, Jeb Hensarling, Bob Corker and Kevin McCarthy showed Barack Obama back in 2009. Work with Trump on the rare occasion when it’s in the interest of the people. But when it’s not, then block, block, BLOCK. Don’t let him undermine the Climate Change Accords. Don’t let him get his grubby pu**y grabbing hands near ObamaCare. And for all that is holy, do not… DO NOT let his puppeteer in Moscow manipulate the integrity of NATO Alliance!
All that’s on the line here, is possibly the future of the planet itself.