Friday, February 3, 2017

The Trumps: Neoliberalism's Perfect Distraction

Stop the presses. Donald Trump had the unprecedented gall this week to hang up on the Australian prime minister, right after rudely reneging on Barack Obama's noble promise to accept a token number of people who fled U.S. invasions and bombings only to find themselves imprisoned in a privatized Down Under gulag.

To hear the ruling establishment whine about this Major Incident in the Oval Office, the refugee prisoners might as well not even exist. The big hang-up is all about a shocking breach of etiquette at the heretofore pristine pinnacle of world power. And so begins the daunting task of scapegoating a scapegoating old goat.

By concentrating on the disastrous manners of Donald Trump and his entire clan, the mainstream media deflects attention from the ravages of Disaster Capitalism itself. It's more convenient to instill hate and fear of the new president than it is to examine the forces that produced him and other right-wing populist demagogues like him.

Entirely lost in the conversation about Trump's serial breaches of protocol is the long-standing breach of the social contract. The media, far from being the champions of social and economic justice, are falling all over themselves to scoop each other in the etiquette sweepstakes.

Establishment mouthpiece The Washington Post leads the Miss Manners pack by informing us that Trump is not only rude, he is unnecessarily rude. After all, the new president should be joyfully reveling in his new power, if not metaphorically chain smoking the post-orgasmic cigarettes of the traditional media honeymoon period.
It should have been one of the most congenial calls for the new commander in chief — a conversation with the leader of Australia, one of America’s staunchest allies, at the end of a triumphant week.
 Instead, President Trump blasted Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over a refu­gee agreement and boasted about the magnitude of his electoral college win, according to senior U.S. officials briefed on the Saturday exchange. Then, 25 minutes into what was expected to be an hour-long call, Trump abruptly ended it.
The Post doesn't bother to inform its readers why the refugee crisis has become such a hot-potato issue among staunch and congenial democratic countries. Better for the newspaper and its billionaire owner not to mention that it is the global banking cartel and multinational corporations which have caused so much unprecedented death and injury and disease and famine and infrastructure collapse and despair through endless wars and cruel austerity policies. Millions of people have literally nowhere to go and nowhere to hide because of just one thing: violent American imperialism.

The borderless military-industrial complex, when not letting migrants drown in the oceans or starve to death in flight from their war-torn homes, has been warehousing them in private prisons in such out-of-the-way places as islands off the Australian coast. And the Australian P.M. is in as much of a pickle as Donald Trump, because of all the bad publicity surrounding the subhuman treatment of refugee prisoners by some of the same multinational corporations profiting from wars and austerity and plunder. He wants to play Musical Refugees, offshore some of the human detritus so he won't look so bad to his electorate. His country's cruel private refugee prison system is actually run by Serco, the same multi-tentacled British conglomerate that was awarded $1.25 billion by the Obama administration for the disastrous roll-out of its health insurance marketplace. The company got the contract despite its long history of fraud and incompetence.

But never mind all that pre-Trumpian crony disaster capitalism. Step right up and gaze over here, all you Washington Post consumers - it's Trump, the Rude and Unready!
Trump’s behavior suggests that he is capable of subjecting world leaders, including close allies, to a version of the vitriol he frequently employs against political adversaries and news organizations in speeches and on Twitter.
“This is the worst deal ever,” Trump fumed as Turnbull attempted to confirm that the United States would honor its pledge to take in 1,250 refugees from an Australian detention center.
Forget the substandard inhumane living conditions endured by Disaster Capitalism's millions of victims. Because the Neoliberal Thought Collective has made them so easy to forget as they concentrate our collective wrath on such a limited man in such an artificially limited fashion.

But just in case you can't forget, please now direct your attention to the Old Goat's wife. Because Melania Trump is committing her own unprecedented breach of etiquette by refusing to move to Washington and play her assigned role as The Good Wife. As New York Times White House correspondent Julie Hirschfeld Davis tells it, things have gotten so bad that thousands of requests for private tours of the People's House have gone ignored. And worst of all etiquette breaches, they haven't even begun planning for the annual White House Easter Egg Roll yet! Professional concern-trollers are extremely concerned. Those dreaded passive-voice "questions are being raised."
 “She is far behind the curve compared to where modern first ladies have been by the time their husbands are inaugurated, in a quite unprecedented way,” said Myra Gutin, a professor at Rider University who specializes in first ladies. “We are in uncharted territory here.”
No mention of the uncharted territory that so many millions of migrants and refugees and myriad other victims of neoliberal policies are finding themselves trapped in all around this burning, drowning planet. (And just as an aside, the whereabouts of Melania Trump immediately pale in comparison to the revelation that First Ladies Studies seems to be an actual academic discipline.)

If you're not sufficiently incensed at Mrs. Old Goat's ineptitude and selfishness, let's move on to First Daughter Ivanka Trump. She is taking a ton of liberal heat for advertising her brand last weekend at the exact same moment that hundreds of refugees were being detained at the nation's airports.

  USA Today sniffed,
Timing is everything in politics, as French Queen Marie Antoinette learned two centuries ago, and Ivanka Trump was reminded of over the weekend.
"Let them eat cake!" mocked the tweets and Instagram comments on Trump's accounts, after she posted pictures of herself and husband Jared Kushner dressed to the nines — she in a $5,000 silvery gown by Carolina Herrera — just as chaos and protests erupted at international airports over President Trump's just-signed order barring refugees and travelers from some Muslim countries.
It's gotten so bad that Nordstrom's was even forced to discontinue Ivanka's clothing line.

Frank Bruni of the New York Times was especially miffed because Ivanka let her husband Jared Kushner fondle her butt during the photo shoot. "He (adviser Steve Bannon) has a seat on the National Security Council. Kushner has his hand on Ivanka Trump’s seat," Bruni quipped while urging his readership to go ogle the picture.

Last month, feminist writer Jill Filopovic opined in a Times op-ed that Ivanka is practically alone among her wealthy peers and friends (including Chelsea Clinton) for not only being a totally fake feminist, but also a totally dangerous fake feminist. Filopovic, while decrying Ivanka's privilege and her ghost-written parenting advice book for career women, and her disturbing attachment to the Old Goat, also takes a gratuitous neoliberal dig at poorer women, who seem to be reproducing like rabbits without benefit of wedlock:
Unlike in past generations when educated women had a harder time finding partners, today, college-educated women like Ms. Trump are more likely than their working-class counterparts to wed, and also like Ms. Trump, usually delay childbirth until after the wedding. With the fewer financial stressors that come with dual incomes or a single extremely high one these educated couples divorce less often than those with fewer financial resources, despite other findings that both groups have comparable dedication to the marital ideal.
Filopovic of course has no problem with the trickle-down feminism of other neoliberal wives and spawn of wealthy men -- such as Hillary Clinton and Chelsea. So I left a published comment on her annoying and hypocritical screed:
This piece could just have easily been written about Ivanka's friend Chelsea Clinton, had her Mom won.

Chelsea wrote a book too, hers aimed at young people. She urges them to travel the world and and take some time out to get to know the poor. Like Ivanka advising women of her own class, or those aspiring to her heights, Chelsea was addressing versions of herself. She lives in as much of a mirror-bubble as Ivanka and other meritocrats with a conscience.

No wonder that even during the height of the nasty bickering between their parents, both women pledged undying friendship to one other. Class transcends the Duopoly.

There are plenty of highly educated young society matrons in New York and Washington and the West Coast, spewing the same neoliberal hucksterism (Be your own Mommy brand! Be your own entrepreneur! Lean In! Sleep Revolution!) as Ivanka Trump -- who, let's remember, couldn't even vote for Daddy in the New York primary because she'd forgotten to divest from her Democratic party affiliation by the deadline.
 So it's convenient that Ivanka suddenly becomes just the right hook upon which to hang this critique of "fake feminism." Since her father is such a big creep, she's fair game. If she were a real feminist, she would have disowned him years ago. Right?
Anyway, I guess it'll be fun in a gross kind of way watching her try to play Cordelia to Trump's King Lear. All the world's a political stage and we the audience are, as ever, merely being played.

Of course, the lifestyles and coutures and excesses of the Trumps are not that different from the lifestyles of the Clintons -- or the Obamas, who just moved into a mansion two blocks away from Ivanka and her family. The main difference is in the virtue-signalling.

If you must bomb many countries for many decades, and if you must reward yourself and your plutocratic friends and donors with record gains at the expense of the huddled masses who elected you, you also must maintain the proper decorum and use the proper platitudes. Instead of constantly boasting and consuming way too much way too conspicuously, you utter such phrases as "Women's rights are human rights, and human rights are women's rights" and "When they go low, we go high" and "I am my brother's"

When you go on your luxury vacations, you never, but never, post pictures on Instagram. While cavorting on a private island, for example, you discreetly allow the rare casual capture of your cool dad image, complete with flip-flops and a backwards baseball cap. And voila, you will fill the Internet with some of that much-needed joy so seriously lacking in the Trump gene pool. 

You have to combine the fakery with folksiness and flattery and finesse. And the Trumps will never in a million years be able to do folksiness and flattery and finesse. 

Half the country despises them because they're such rich oafs. The other half loves them, because the Trumps prove that if even clueless oafs like them can be successful, then anybody can be successful. Even you. Better an honest huckster than a phony huckster.


"Cat" will do said...

Karen, don't you get the sense all this fan waving like old southern ladies in the heat is like that hand flashing magicians do to distract you from what they're really doing behind the scenes? There is so much going on on the Hill that no one seems to be paying attention to. Little stuff, that looks little but before you know it, next day – NEW LAW!

check this out. honestly i'm just gobsmacked.

Anonymous said...

Please. Enough of this "Donald Trump is no worse then Hillary would have been" nonsense. Phony outrage is not a product solely of the right.

Of course, I guess you're pretty much obligated to strike that pose given all you did to keep people on the left from voting for Hillary.

Ms. Garcia, you are the emotional kin of Steve Bannon, someone who believes we have to tear the whole structure down in order to get the new edifice we want. How's that working out? We're tearing down the edifice, all right, but only parts of it; parts like Dodd Frank, the fiduciary rule, the EPA, and public education. It will take a generation, at least, to get those things back; forget moving ahead from where we were just a month ago.

Weak and ineffective as Dodd Frank may have been, it had some effect. Obama, at least, gave us the fiduciary rule, a rule which a President Clinton would never have rescinded. Trump and Clinton may have been different sides of the same coin, but we flip the coin for a reason. It makes a difference whether it comes up heads or tails.

Clinton would never have rescinded the rule barring coal miners from dumping their waste into rivers and streams.

Clinton would never have instituted the Muslim/refugee ban.

Clinton would never have moved to strip sanctuary cities of federal funds, nor would she have directed federal funds be used for building a border wall.

Clinton would never have reversed Obama on the Keystone or Dakota Access pipelines.

Clinton would never have reinstated the "Mexico City Policy."

Clinton would never have sabotaged the ACA which, bad as it is, did manage to bring health insurance to over 20 million people.

Clinton would never have put a billionaire religious bigot charter school champion in charge at the Department of Education.

These things matter. They make a big difference to the ordinary people you ostensibly champion.

And that's just the first two weeks. We have another 103 of those two-week periods still to come.

If you think the world is no worse off for our having a President Trump instead of a President Clinton, you're seriously deranged.

Karen Garcia said...


If you ever develop the guts to leave an actual name or a handle, I'd be happy to have a lively debate with you. It's so easy to be critical from behind the nameless safety of your computer screen, eh? I may be deranged, but at least I put my name out there.

Rather than refute your familiar talking points one by one, I'll just point out that this latest post of mine was actually a critique of mainstream media coverage (politics as 'style' rather than substance) of various political figures, and how this coverage differs according to party. My common running theme is that class transcends party among the extremely rich. Rich people, whether D or R, always tend to be fiscally conservative when it comes to sharing the wealth. Media coverage ignores this, for the most part. It's got to be this constant contest to hold everybody's interest. Or so they assume.

I still wouldn't want Hillary Clinton to be president. For one thing, she would not be inspiring any anti-war protests. And we'd probably have the TPP. I do hope a third, or even fourth or fifth party comes out of this.

I think that you have to be in the bottom 80 percent or so to be so unappreciative of all the small-ball things that the Democratic Party has done for "folks" in the last several decades. Hillary lost for a reason. And that reason is Hillary herself.

But keep up with the false equivalencies (You're just like Steve Bannon!) and the straw man attacks so as not to strain your brain too much with any actual thoughtfulness. Just don't come back here unless you are willing to engage more honestly and originally.

P.S. A long time ago, I banned people posting under "Anonymous" because it became too confusing to tell them all apart within the same thread. From now on, I will be reinforcing that ban. So please, everybody, pick a handle and stick with it if you want to comment. Just select "Name/URL" under the Choose an identity menu below. Thanks.

Karen Garcia said...


Agreed, can't keep up with all this lightning speed change, 'specially when we became so used to the desultory nature of the last administration. Trump is very good at keeping everybody's head spinning. As I wrote after his election, probably the only "check" remaining in our checks and balances system of govt is the judiciary. (see Friday's lifting of the Muslim travel ban) Even Trump can't abolish the courts.

And just to add to my previous response, there's no rule that says you can't criticize Democrats, even with a goon like Trump in charge.

Jamie said...

Obama has been destroying constitutional norms and presiding over a rampant acceleration of imperialism that has ravaged the Middle East and Africa -- for eight years. Now the neoliberal media has a buffoonish reality TV star to blame.

No longer anonymous said...

Forgive me for lacking the intelligence to understand that the column was about the mainstream media. I must have skipped over that bit while you were making your point by showing how the media treat Ivanka and Chelsea differently even though they are oh, so very much the same. I must have missed that this was a critique of the media when you were saying, "and if you must reward yourself and your plutocratic friends and donors with record gains at the expense of the huddled masses who elected you, you also must maintain the proper decorum and use the proper platitudes. Instead of constantly boasting and consuming way too much way too conspicuously, you utter such phrases as "Women's rights are human rights, and human rights are women's rights" and "When they go low, we go high...""

To the less intelligent that sounds oddly like you were bashing the media for treating Clinton and Trump differently even though they are very much the same.

Please, if you don't mind, take the time to refute my talking points. Please tell me how Clinton was just waiting to gut the EPA and the CFPB. Please tell me how Hillary was going to destroy net neutrality. Please tell me how Clinton was going to gut the fiduciary rule and the Mexico City Policy. Please tell me how Hillary had secretly planned to gut public education and turn it over to the profiteers. Please tell me how Hillary would have empowered Bannon and his Nazi ilk or removed restrictions keeping the mentally ill from buying firearms.

I didn't want Hillary as President, either, but I don't view the world from some point so far removed from reality that I would believe Hillary and Trump occupy the same space. There were serious, significant differences between the two. Yes, both are tools of Wall Street. Yes, neither will do anything that would seriously afflict the comfortable. However, only one is moving to gut net neutrality. Only one would eviscerate the CFPB and the Mexico City Rule. Only one would think to put Betsy DeVos in charge of education, Rick Perry in charge of the nation's nuclear arsenal, or the CEO of Exxon in charge of our foreign policy. Only one would effectively eliminate the EPA and sell off our federal lands. None of these things would be happening but for Trump.

These things matter. They are more than just a difference of style, and if there is a criticism to be made of the media, it's not that they treated the two candidates differently even though they're the same, it's that they never focused on things that really matter to everyone's daily lives.

Had the media done that, we wouldn't now, for instance, be treated to the spectacle of Trump voters storming their representatives' town halls screaming that they had no idea repealing Obamacare would also mean they lose the ACA.

Apparently if you can come up with a cute nickname or use only your first name you are somehow less anonymous than someone who simply calls himself anonymous. So be it. My name is Raymond and I teach business and information systems management at a large Carnegie-1 Midwestern state university. My two major streams of research center on the effect of technology overload on sales workers and on the impact of an increase in the minimum wage on the restaurant industry. My research has shown that raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour - despite requiring as much as a 60% increase in labor costs for certain segments of the restaurant industry - would ultimately be a net gain for every segment of the restaurant industry.

The numbers are clear, yet our new Secretary of Labor - a fast food industry executive himself - does not grasp that simple fact and will continue his quest to ensure that his industry's workers are consigned to life as wage slaves.

Andrew Puzder does not happen with a President Clinton. One would think that someone who ostensibly cares for the plight of the working class would realize this.

Karen Garcia said...

Hi Ray,

Have you read any of my other articles? If you have, you might have noticed that I never once wrote that there is no difference between Trump and Clinton. That is a common straw man argument made by those bashing the purist lefty unicorn-lovers -- I've heard this accusation a thousand times before. If it weren't for us deranged utopian Bernie Bros, Trump never would have been elected, by golly!

As far as Chelsea and Ivanka go, however, they are very good friends, move in the same social circles, and until recently, ivanka was a registered democrat. Yet the media goes after Ivanka's lavish lifestyle and pretty much has left Chelsea's alone.

No, of course Hillary never would have selected a Puzder as labor secretary, nor have been so reckless with her own cabinet appointments. Then, too, she was against a $15 minimum wage for the entire country, and only "came around" to the wage fight movement when Bernie Sanders kind of forced her into some verbal progressivism for campaign purposes.

Trump wears his xenophobia on his sleeve, for sure. But let's not forget that Hillary once voted for a form of "the Wall" while she was in the Senate and displayed zero empathy for the Latino child refugees fleeing violence in their home countries. She said they had to be sent back in order to "send a message" to all those irresponsible moms stuck in the murder capitals of the world. For his own part, Obama deported more immigrants than all previous administrations combined. Under his watch, privatized prisons for migrants and refugees proliferated.

I think it is vital for our democracy that we simultaneously criticize and resist corporate centrist Democrats, nihilistic Republicans and Trump all at the same time, delving into both their similarities and their differences. For example, Trump's evisceration of the relatively toothless Dodd-Frank act is horrible. This shouldn't blunt or excuse Clinton's own support of/enrichment by Wall Street and her refusal to consider restoring Glass-Steagall. Horrible for Trump to mess with Obamacare (all bluster and no action so far). That doesn't make it acceptable for Clinton Democrats to be so adamantly against single payer and only promise to tweak around the edges of the health care industry "marketplace."

I write from a leftist point of view, in case you hadn't noticed.

Jay–Ottawa said...

@ Raymond

Welcome, and you're right: the Trump/Bannon blitzkrieg is causing much more chaos at this point than Hillary would have attempted within her first 100 days. Trump is a fast-forward kind of rabbit with flair; Hillary would have moved along turtle-style, but in the same direction and, arguably, just as far by the end of her first term. As has been pointed out endlessly, the only meaningful differences between the major parties is in their fa├žades. Haven't you had your fill of the lesser-of-two-evils?

Clinton, Obama before her, and Bill before that, together with their Democratic machine, believe in cooking frogs slowly in warm water that gradually comes to a boil and in the end still kills the frog dead. Trump and his gang simply throw the frogs in a sizzling frying pan. The point is, the frogs end up in the same gastric cavity of the 1%, albeit in different recipes. Differences in presentation do not make eating shit more acceptable.

We cannot know exactly how Hillary would have turned up the fire for her recipe. Rest assured she would have cooked the frogs well done. She's a liar and a deceiver no less than Trump. Look at her history. Did I say look at her history? She could not be more in bed with the big dogs on Wall Street, the corporations, the surveillance industry and the Pentagon, to which sites our attention must not be distracted.

Forget Trump for a moment. What of the superficial differences between Obama and Hillary? Would it be unreasonable to argue Hillary probably would have taken the nation along the same trajectory set by Bill and Barack? She would have left Wall Street to its own devices, as did B & B. Looking at both Obama's history and her own as Secretary of State, wouldn't you have to admit she would allow the Pentagon to continue to slip the leash at will? Is she for economic justice, the Bill of Rights or peace, any more than Trump? Would she have fought for single payer in healthcare?

It's true, she would have been more loyal on the front lines of identity politics. But that's not where most people live and die. The super-Christians on the Republican side are like the papacy: so-called sexual looseness or deviance stands highest in their priorities for condemnation. The Democrats are so much liberal on that issue. For most thinking people, however, how one chooses to dress, which bathroom you're assigned, with whom you hold hands on the street is not as important as justice issues, like building a system that makes for good jobs in good work that pays a living wage, or blocking banks from stealing your house and savings, or training the young as killing machines for booty and power. On and on. On the most important issue of all, would Hillary have done enough to reverse global warming? Did Bill? Did Barack?

Bottom line, under Obama, the police and the military and the corporations took the blame as the bullies, not the soft-spoken Democrats, although Democrats along with Republicans consistently enabled the bullies. With Trump, he chooses to act as the bully-in-chief himself controlling the same unrepresentative system.

Continued ....

Jay–Ottawa said...

Recall Obama's record on rounding up and expelling record numbers of immigrants. Hillary was going to reverse that? She would have continued the same policy, albeit with less fanfare and bureaucratic chaos than Trump.

Given her sweetheart arrangements with the superrich and the corporations, how long would it have taken her to shift the nation from carbon to green energy? How long would it have been before she instituted policies to help the poor and near poor climb back into the middle class? Was she going to curb the CIA, the NSA? The only improvement she could have made to the ACA would have been replacing it with single payer. Anything less is a fraud. How long before she demilitarized the police? How long before she slashed the Pentagon budget and pulled back the spear of imperialism? I'll spare us all by stopping here with such questions; it would be child's play to extend it on issues that really matter for most people at home and around the world.

Why do Trump's style or Clinton's identity politics stay on the front page. Style is a macguffin or a red herring in both parties. I don't care about Trump's hair, or Hillary's pants suits, or how cute or spoiled the children of our political dynasties happen to be. As Karen reminded us, it's the class issues, my dears. It's the justice issues, sweeties. It's the wars, my darlings. The ballooning prisons, honey. The enormous debt burden caused by tax cheats welcomed by every president in the White House for the past fifty years. Lots of people who knew that stayed home on November 8. The rust belt voters had also had enough. Like prisoners being waterboarded they needed a change, any change, to what they suffered on Obama's watch. The only option they were presented, with the DNC's help, was Trump.

Yes, in terms of style, Hillary would have "acted" more cooly than Trump. But her "actions" would have been essentially similar. She would have taken us to the same damn place Trump is headed, only within the speed limit and along scenic routes.

The election of 2016 is over. Yeah, Trump is awful. Can we stop wringing our hands? Can we move on? Please stop attacking others on the left for the shortcomings of Hillary and the DNC. Aren't we wasting time interpreting and reinterpreting the election results? You are educated and hold a position of some influence over the rising generation. Please devote your talents to find a way, in collaboration with others, not only to resist the elites now in power but to find and empower SUITABLE replacements.

annenigma said...

In the words of Barack Obama about torturing some folks, it's time to "Look forward, not backwards".

But if you're so inclined, I highly recommend watching this short video that's interesting and humorous, with excerpts from speeches by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama about illegal immigrants. Don't forget to hit the volume button on the bottom right is it's muted by default.

Valerie said...


That was an insightful response to Raymond's comments. It is clear that on the surface, Hillary and Trump are like night and day. But one has only to look at Obama to see the kind of president Hillary was going to make.

I just saw Citizenfour. When I think about what has gone on that is positively KGB-like under a Democratic president (and a Congress full of Democratic representatives who were "in the know") to curtail our Liberty, along with his secret torture rendition prisons in places like Somalia and his eagerness to push for the agenda of multi-national corporations through the TPP and similar "free" trade-deals, I have a hard time thinking the Democrats are on my side. In fact, I think Obama and Hillary are simply smooth operators but just as deadly to the American people and liberty and democracy as the Republicans.

Yes, Trump is a buffoon. But his dangerousness is out in the open, where we can at least see it and fight it. And maybe, just maybe, out of sheer party loyalty and a desire NOT to let the Republicans win, our Democratic representatives in Congress will fight some of this heinous legislation they have rolled over on for eight years.

Pearl said...

Karen: All the meaningful activity regarding Trump anti Muslim executive orders as well as anti women legislation,etc. is bringing out the people to protest in huge numbers.This is where change begins and in the process affecting the political behavior of many democrats finally.
We are now witnessing the challenge to Trump by a Republican Federal judge which may well result in dismissal of his dismal executive order about allowing Muslim refugees into the country. I am sure the vast support from citizens and refugees here and in other countries encourages people who represent the proper interpretation of the Constitution to start examining the true meaning of where real power resides and hopefully prevent Trump from continuing with much of his delusional behavior. Let's hope the Supreme Court recognizes the true interpretation of how the government should function and tie Trump's hands for the future.
If he cannot handle these restraints, we can start looking into possibilities for impeachment. His secretive financial empire alone should be the next attack on his presidential plans.

Karen Garcia said...


I'm of two minds about a Trump impeachment.

The pros: he is obviously mentally ill and could start a war in a fit of pique. He's making it permissible for closet racists and xenophobes to act out their sickest fantasies.

The cons: we'd get President Pence. And further down the line, there's Tillerson and Paul Ryan. These guys are more circumspect in their pathologies and more likely to ram through destruction of the social safety net, more likely to be "normalized" by the corporate media. The more Trump sticks around, the more their own brands are damaged and the less damage they are likely to be able to do to the rest of us.

Best case scenario: they start impeachment proceedings that drag out and drag out, and then some halfway decent progressive Democrats take the congressional majority to thwart the future President Pence's theocracy. We'll see whether Bernie has any success in "reforming" the party from within.

One thing to be wary of is the anti-Trump resistance being co-opted by the upwardly failing neoliberal Democrats. If it is, then we are right back where we started from.

Kate said...


Oh how I love you for writing this!! It's everything I feel and think but am not usually articulate enough to be into words. Without you I'd be lost in a vast sea of stupid in the world.

Karen Garcia said...

Thanks, Kate.

Although I am mostly at a loss myself. I mainly think out loud and flail about in a probably futile attempt to make sense out of the nonsense.

pipin said...

nice writing as always Karen. I don't know where you find the energy and the time you devote to this. And then to comment on the comments- Its real grass roots. I try to blog a little on FB - even link your pieces occasionally. Great minds think alike.
So its an exhausting time. As far as exhaustion goes- don't look for Trump to peter out. Thats not his DNA from everything I read. But he certainly is having that effect on the White House and beyond. So as you suggest hopefully the real dangerous people - in other words the Republicans will self immolate - given enough time.
I said great writing- I meant great creative writing!

Karen Garcia said...

Thanks, Pipin. Are you also the reader who links to my pieces occasionally on the Reddit Bernie threads?? If so, double thanks.