Unable to do more than rattle his tiny rhetorical saber at North Korea Trump pitched a fit and picked a fight with Steph Curry, the NFL, television, and advertisers. That is, he picked a fight with billions of dollars.
And of course lost.
He then picked a fight with the NBA. And hundreds of athletes. And keep in mind he didn’t “pivot” – as in, he did not make a calculated tactical move designed to thwart forces against which he had lost momentum. He had a temper tantrum. He had been blocked in his efforts to do anything about North Korea and so he had a tantrum and gave some of his Lord of the Flies base what they wanted.
But it’s all starting to come undone.
Trump went down to Alabama and backed what passes for an establishment candidate for today’s Republican party. Luther Strange is a more or less normal Republican. He has the Mitch Mcconnell stamp of approval. He had money spent on his behalf. Trump supported him (or at least he yelled about the NFL while attending what was supposed to be a pro-Strange rally).
And it all went Wile e Coyote for him. Except instead of standing there singed and blinking his eyes Trump has been revealed as a political zombie.
He remains dangerous if brainless. He may bite someone and eat them. He may yet stumble into a war or some other catastrophe though we suspect the junta of the three (Kelly, McMaster, and Mattis and sometimes Schemp – Tillerson) have got the North Korea situation contained. And by contained we mean they have got Trump locked up and unable to do anything precipitous until after 2018 when the House will be handed to the Democrats who will impeach Trump. Or at least until 2020 when someone palatable to the forces that be can win the election and be installed. Or to be more accurate – be installed and then win the election.
he’s a political zombie.
And it wasn’t pink hats or the so called resistance that killed him. It wasn’t funny sarcasm on late night or the hypocrisy of Colbert. It wasn’t twitter.
It was Trump vs the NFL and Steph Curry that finally revealed the truth. Trump is an ugly ill-fitting empty suit and a political zombie.
He’s out of ammunition.
Even his base of morons is starting to desert him as the swamp creatures of Alabama ignored his dog whistle and voted for a reptile as their new senator.
In another example of the South’s mastery of political gotterdammerung they picked a man who likes Vladimir Putin and screams about homosexuals with the same sense as any other psych-ward escapee you run into at a gas station or wandering along the side of a freeway. A man who will be isolated and reviled and whose every statement will pour fuel on the media scorn flames burning around the fascist wing of the Republicans. Because they’re idiots they continue to listen to Steve – I’m a Genius – Bannon who thinks he’s going to use the system to destroy the system.
Bannon’s “strategy” is to elect a gang of undisciplined unhinged fascists who will somehow overturn every aspect of the machine – the courts, the lawyers and their endless lawsuits, the media, the Wall Street billionaires, the military, the intelligence agencies and the majority of Americans who believe in marriage equality, socialism, and saving the environment before we all have to learn how to breath underwater. This is after all the man who backed Trump which is the political equivalent of backing a serial killer to be the party clown for your children. And then wondering why the SWAT team kicked in the door.
We would say be happy because the worst is over except North Korea+Trump’s stupidity is still a grave concern but the truth is – it’s over.
The reconstruction will be difficult. But it’s over.
Bannon is an idiot. Trump is a Zombie. The Republican Party is eating itself. Granted one should never underestimate the ability of the utterly feckless Democrats to steal defeat from the jaws of victory but…it’s over.
Bannon and his atavistic fascists will continue to eat the right wing of the Republican party. They will continue to wage war from the corner of the octagon but as with Trump they will self destruct and become the zombie party.
Fear the walking Bannons. A herd of beer swilling gun toting NASCAR cheering brown shirts is not unimportant but…it’s over.
It’s over and the long walk home continues.
Rachel Maddow in a recent appearance on the Tonight Show said that Trump’s attack on the NFL was part of a pre-planned attack involving a PAC. The Ink will do its best to look into this and find information to confirm or refute this.
Here’s an article on the PAC.
The consensus among the media is that Trump’s attacks on the NFL were part of a deliberate and (semi) coherent strategy. The idea being per usual is that Trump is throwing raw meat to his base of neo-fascist bigots who are desperate for a chance to wield power.
Here at The Ink were going to split the difference. The wider context of Trump’s attack on the NFL includes his failure to make progress with North Korea (stymied by the fact that the North Koreans have done nothing provocative enough to warrant an American attack and of course the restraint of the junta – Kelly, McMaster and Mattis) and the absurdist theater production of Repeal and Replace – which keeps ending with the star never showing up. Beckett-esque in its despair but minus any self awareness the political march into the machine guns of certain defeat left Trump exposed – yet again – as political non-entity.
Given his growing zombie status it makes sense that Trump’s minions would respond to what undoubtedly were a series of tantrums by concocting a “strategy” to “shore up the base.”
Consider this quote from an unnamed administration source via Politico:
“He knows it’ll get people stirred up and talking about it,” a senior administration official said.”
The problem here is that the media keeps insisting that Trump, despite all evidence to the contrary, be seen as some sort of wily thinker; a cornered beast full of guile. The media are falling for a con. The source is technically accurate – Trump “knows” his rhetoric will connect with his base but what the source doesn’t say is that Trump “knows” things for as long as it takes him to move on to the next thing – the next topic and all of those things are filtered through the damaged incoherent echo chamber of Trump’s insanity.
Given that, what seems more likely is that his handlers cooked up something to keep him focused and thus disconnected from the ugly truth of his political irrelevancy. As an unhinged incoherent pathological narcissist with clear indications of several overlapping personality disorders, it is inconceivable that Trump could have participated in any sort of complex strategy session regarding his trip to Alabama and the attack on the NFL. He would have come fresh and hot from his humiliations in regards to North Korea and health care and his handlers would have needed to stop the emotional hemorrhaging by throwing raw meat at Trump while pretending the plan was to use Trump to throw raw meat at the base. And also more likely is that Trump would have screamed at his staff and demanded that they come up with something (anything) that would make him look “strong.” Additionally it is worth considering that the junta may have, or may be, giving tacit approval to the political elements in the regime in their efforts to send Trump out into the media as a human bonfire precisely because they (the junta, the intelligence agencies and the pentagon) would rather Trump gets into a pissing contest with the NFL and late night talk show hosts than he gets into a real war with anyone – North Korea or China or Cuba…
What’s crucial here is to realize that Trump is clearly deranged and incapable of coherence or the attention to detail required to do anything more than respond to what’s put in front of him and then be moved like a circus animal to the next trick.
That others around him may have deliberately planned the attack on the NFL as a way to give Trump a chance to yell about things his racist base are angry about (“patriotism” and minorities) is entirely plausible. But given Trump’s Hitler-in-the-bunker insanity it is not plausible that the plan (such as it was or is) was anything more than a hail-mary cooked up in the equivalent of a sandlot where the “smart” one draws some lines in the dirt and says: you go deep.
The attack on the NFL was as much about giving Trump his political/ego heroin fix as it was about ginning up the base.
Trump remains a zombie.
Here’s the article in Politico:
For additional information on the ad hoc amateur hour Madness of King Trump and his court see this:
Rex Tillerson, nominal Secretary of State told reporters that the US is in direct talks via multiple channels with North Korea.
Clearly there is no point at all anymore in pretending that Trump is anything more than a crazed figurehead and not in any normal sense the “President.”
Trump’s rhetoric is not only unhinged but in many respects irrelevant. More akin to some crazy relative screaming that kids should get off the lawn Trump is again revealed to be outside the loop on foreign policy and national security. His threats were caustic and dangerous not because they were backed by power but precisely because they were detached from power.
The junta of the three generals with assistance from Tillerson and the intelligence community and no doubt any number of allied diplomats have quarantined Trump and taken control of national security and diplomacy.
See this Guardian article for some details:
Update: As if further proof were needed that Trump is an insane troublesome figurehead consider this from today’s Guardian.
Normally the president tells the Secretary of State who to speak with and about what. Instead because Trump is president in name only clearly the junta and its allies have organized the opening to North Korea and China and are proceeding without Trump’s involvement. Trump’s petulant comment is like a tell in poker – it reveals that he is not in charge. To his atavistic base of morons it will appear as if Trump is allowing one of his minions to take a swing at fixing a problem. That’s why he added that Tillerson is a good guy – to suggest that, in the patois of a goon from Queens – hey ya know Tilly; he’s a good guy and why not ya know let him try and talk some sense into those mooks but it’s a waste of time. This also creates the illusion of separation and distance so Trump can claim (when the talks go nowhere) that he was aloof and can say see I told you so. Or if the talks succeed in defusing the crisis he can say he was secretly in on it from the get-go – and no one will dispute it because it won’t be in the interest of the junta to paint Trump as nothing more than a figurehead.
The second issue here is the the utter decadence of the media and it’s wanton stupidity. Trump, as was said during the campaign, is good for ratings. Therefore he must be presented as the omnipresent threat; the always looming potential catastrophe. That sells papers and provides clickbait.
The truth of course is that Trump is a foul-tempered truculent figurehead and that a junta has taken over the government. But that is not the narrative the media is going to push. It would require actual reporting and actual journalism and a genuine watchdog mentality vis their response to the government. Further it could create a genuine sense of emergency and alarm. It would raise serious and legitimate questions about the government, about the rule of law and would hasten the need to invoke the 25th Amendment.
But that would not sell as many advertising hours in the long run.
In the meantime, Tillerson is earning his paycheck and will report back to his bosses – Kelly, Mattis and McMaster, the three-headed president of the Unites States.