It was a bad week for the Trump Administration, which means it was a bad week for us all.
Or was it? Do we want Trump to "succeed" or "fail?"
The mistakes, large and small, are already piling up:
Trump lost, 3-0, in his first tangle with the judiciary over his Muslim ban.
Trump's National Security Advisor Michael Flynn had to resign. He lied to the Vice-President about his shady involvement with Russia, discussing sanctions before the election, clearly and publicly revealing his duplicity and possibly violating the Logan Act. (But that's an old story for Republicans: the subject for another blog perhaps.)
There was even a typo on Trump's Official Inauguration Poster!
Trump's Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos stumbled stupidly on honoring W.E. DuBois during Black History Month.
Trump's Senior Advisor Stephen Miller embarrassed himself on national TV with a robotic performance, scented with the aroma of authoritarianism. (This is one strange dude: a Jew from Santa Monica who worked for Michele Bachmann and Jeff Sessions?) His rants about non-existent voter fraud and the unlimited power of the executive were simply frightening.
And there was Ivanka's clothing business and Kellyanne Conway's blatant ethics violation.
"Go buy Ivanka's stuff!" – from the White House.
Already bad things have happened:
Trump has started rolling back Obamacare ... rolling back Dodd-Frank ... authorizing the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. He's reinstated the Mexico City rule, eliminating US aid to any entity that even discusses abortion. There have been hundreds of aggressive ICE raids, intimidating families and spreading panic.
And he has plans:
To privatize Medicare ... to cut Social Security and Medicaid ... to build a 1,900 mile wall along the US border with Mexico ... to persecute Muslims and exclude refugees from countries where we have a moral responsibility to help in a worldwide crisis we helped create ... to lower taxes on the 1% ... to weaken environmental protection ... to sell off federal lands, especially national parks ... to slash funding for public education ... to allow torture and "black op" prison sites ... to get rid of common sense regulations on guns ... to destroy unions through so-called "right to work" laws and weaken workers' rights and protections ... to suppress scientific research, be it on climate change or fracking, or any other issue where a majority of scientists agree that Trump and his supporters are wrong on the facts ... to criminalize abortion or restrict health care for women ... to increase voter suppression and attack our national faith in democracy ... to intimidate the press and control information in an authoritarian manner.
When Obama became president, Rush Limbaugh was castigated for saying that he wanted Obama to "fail." But I can see what he meant: I want Trump to fail if he intends to do these things.
There is a strange, perverse glimmer of hope. The administration's first few weeks have been characterized by "malevolence tempered by incompetence" – a perfect phrase from the legal writer Benjamin Wittes in his Lawfare blog describing Trump's executive order on visa and refugees.
Maybe sheer incompetence – plus the inside work of sensible career government employees – can keep Trump from executing his looniest of plans. The best news is that the some career civil servants will resist the Trump ascendancy and try to protect rational governance.
It's disheartening and somewhat depressing to have to blog about Trump, but I can't avoid it. It's what is happening: a slow-moving car accident (in which we are all passengers), and I can't look away.
Fortunately there has been some GREAT comedy:
Melissa McCarthy IS Spicey
Donald Trump in "The People's Court"
Make calls. Organize. Go to town halls and express yourself. Donate. Educate. Boycott.
Start preparing for 2018 – NOW.
In an ironic bow to Trump's nincompoop decree that TWO federal regulations be cut for every ONE that is enacted, I promise that from now on I will post TWO excellent YouTube videos at the conclusion of every negative Trump blog:
Reba McIntire sings "I Got Lost In His Arms" from ANNIE GET YOUR GUN – a great singer meets a great song by the master Irving Berlin
FALLING SLOWLY – the music store scene from "Once"