Friday, April 14, 2017

Palace Coup

In the Bible the people of Moab descended from the children conceived incestuously between Lot and his daughters. The MOAB name is fitting for another abomination.

This week saw maybe the most stunning presidential policy reversal I have witnessed. Just days after the Trump administration said that it was basically accepting that Assad would maintain his position in Syria, it ordered a large missile strike and started talking about regime change.

What happened, of course, is that we are currently witnessing a palace coup in the White House. Bannon and his ilk are being pushed aside at the behest of Ivanka and Jared. As I have said before, Trump is really just an old, mad king. He appears to be highly suggestible, and not quite in full command of his mental faculties. He does not want to govern, he wants other people to do that for him. That allows maximum time for television and golf. Because he does not take an interest in anything, he is easily swayed by those he thinks he trusts.

It was inevitable that Jared and Bannon were going to clash. Bannon is an anti-Semite, for one. Kushner is a fellow sleazebag, to be sure, but one gets the sense that he does not buy into Bannon's worldview, which is a mishmash of xenophobic French novels and minor fascist theorists. Throughout his entire life Trump has used people then tossed them aside when it was convenient. Did Bannon think he would be any different than Lewandowski, Manafort, or innumerable contractors? Like the mafia don that he is, Trump will protect and trust his family above all others.

Also, since he is ignorant, suggestible, and lazy, and Jared and Ivanka are equally inexperienced, Trump is now just leaning hard on the military. His statements seem to say that he will let the military leaders do whatever they want, and what they want, as always, is more war. We are killing more civilians and even friendly rebels because the generals have allowed to run wild. Presidents are supposed to be above the military, but Trump has basically let himself be their servant. Ironically, this man obsessed with projecting strength comes across now as a pathetically weak leader. He lets the leader of China tutor him on the things he should already know. He throws a temper tantrum and refuses to shake hands with Merkel. He is so clueless about war that he just lets his generals do everything, and he reverses policy because a different person has his ear.

It would be funny if it wasn't so serious. What scares me is that the current palace coup could solidify his presidency like nothing else. Americans have become so accustomed to war that those in the middle will rally around the flag if Trump makes a bigger military commitment. If you remember, Dubya was an unpopular president with questionable legitimacy until 9/11, and that coupled with the invasion of Iraq ensured his reelection. I fear that unless the pressure is kept on, Trump may well get away with recasting himself as a wartime president. Don't say you weren't warned.

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