As he lays out his plans for his first hundred days in office and begins to fill positions, President-Elect Joe Biden is making it clear he intends to rebuild the institutions and alliances Trump has gutted. At the same time, his focus on rebuilding the economy for ordinary Americans as a community, rather than as individual men, is new.
You’d think after four plus years of Donald Trump’s narcissism, petulance, and mean-spiritedness, nothing would shock or dismay me - but his utter disregard for a country millions still believe he loves is staggering. He is deliberately setting fires and turning off the water throughout the government. His actions are beyond reckless and continued support from some Americans is going beyond any rational thought. Trump is bound and determined to leave a smoldering wreck so, what, he can start campaigning on January 21, 2021 that since he screwed everything up, only he can fix it? The Trump Republican Party is a disgrace and doesn’t have a ounce of principle or, and in its current iterations should cease to exist as it is acting more as an enemy to America than a political party. Disgusting.
The United States will continue to be an unreliable partner even in the Biden administration and beyond until those with unilateral powers like the President and the Majority Leader are checked. We need real checks and balances without stalemating the entire system. We can not have a continuous seesaw of replacing one set of executive orders with another every four years. Biden's emphasis on community is excellent and addresses our problems at a systemic level rather than simply patching the old systems. But, systemic and cultural changes are extremely difficult and can meet with a lot of resistance. His choice of Janet Yellen will be one key player needed to make successful forward-thinking and long term changes in the economic structure of our country. We are still headed for a Constitutional collapse and even though I'm a pragmatic optimist by nature, the enormity of what needs to change leaves me feeling quite pessimistic this evening. A Shining City on the Hill seems quite tarnished.
Thank you, HCR. European friends called with Iran news and the buzz from their TV news channels. All believe Trump is involved. All report the damage to USA standing. Your report about Trump’s continued institutional destruction at home is horrifying. As an average citizen, I am doubling down in my efforts to help Stacey Abrams to register and get out the vote in GA. This is what I can do today to help my country emerge from this nightmare. Support Ossoff and Warnock Senate races any way you can. ❤️🧡💙
The sticky residue left by this vile man will be thick, toxic, expensive and treacherous. But it will not be any surprise--I imagine Biden's busy finding ways to clean it out now.
Drumpty isn't our president and never was. He is the illegitimate subversive traitor. Never before in our history has an alleged leader actively worked to harm the country. Every one of these acts HRC has listed tonight can be considered acts of treason.
Donald Trump is the greatest piece of shit to ever exist in the history of this country. His supporters are scum and the day is going to come when we're going to have to treat them as The Enemy they are and start treating them the way you treat an active, dangerous enemy.
Regarding this business of Trump's installing 'loyalists' in all the civil service positions to gum up the works for Biden: just practically, that's not going to work.
First of all, he waited until very late to fire dozens of institutional types who will not go quietly, some of them will sue. None of it will be fully adjudicated before January 20, 2021.
Secondly, given what we've seen of the incompetence at the highest levels, does anyone really believe that Trump had literally dozens -- maybe hundreds -- of qualified acolytes that he could installed in these jobs? I don't. That brings up the singular problem that most of them will not be able to do the job sufficiently to remain employed in the federal government.
Furthermore, I know from personal experience that every single person in Homeland Security, for instance -- even the guys in the mailroom -- go through extensive vetting taking a year to eighteen months. None of these people were vetted properly so any serious look into their backgrounds will bring up things that rate immediate dismissal.
But the main reason that this is a false threat -- just another attempt by Trump to sabotage and just plain screw Joe Biden -- is that in government, as in any serious corporation or company, there is a 3 to 6 probationary period in which any new hire can be terminated for simply not being a 'team player.' It is in the contract.
So while this is a cluster fuck and an HR nightmare, I don't really think it is an 'unsolvable' as Donald Trump would like it to be because most of these Trumpists he's trying to install are not remotely qualified for those jobs and as soon as they get slammed with a workload they can't handle, I'm betting they are heading for the doors. I mean, he put his son's event planner in charge of housing and how long has it been since we've heard from her?
Not to say that Trump is totally impotent because Steve Mnuchin is trying to claw back $455 bil in unused Covid funds so Biden can unilaterally send out some more aid to desperate Americans -- cause yeah, Steve Mnuchin is a big dick; and yeah, he is complicit in blowing up Iranian scientist then sending navy vessels in that direction to punctuate his point. You know, "I'M STILL HERE AND I WANT MY BINKIE!"
But the particular business of firing institutionalists and hiring a legion of wedding planners and Uber drivers to run government? That's the governance equivalent of "clean up on aisle nine."
Trump is like an open herpes sore on the body politic – he won’t go away, and he infects everything he touches.
The question is: What can be done to reverse or ameliorate the ill effects of these acts by the current President to essentially sabotage the incoming President?
Murder cannot be undone. If the US conspired with Israel or other State or non-State actors to carry out this murder, could it have been done without the knowledge and cooperation of our senior military, diplomatic and intelligence officials? And if this was an illegal act by State actors, how is responsibility assigned?
If Trump sells off the fleet of reconnaissance aircraft, replacements can’t be built in a day even if Biden is able to rejoin the treaty. Will we be able to lease planes from our allies? Can other aircraft in our fleet be repurposed until replacements can be produced?
If troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan, do we simply put them back on planes and return them? How maddening for these soldiers and their families, not to mention the confusion and turmoil that could result in the region. Is our military slow-walking the order to retreat?
Is Trump criminally accountable for any of these acts? Is it possible to determine a corrupt motive that would somehow cut through the protection he enjoys by acting under the color of his authority as President?
Who is masterminding these geopolitical moves? Surely not Trump, whose interest$$$ will be served, of course, but there seems to be more to this relentless strategy.
So when narcissists and people with borderline personality disorder--and I know I am psychoanalyzing without a license but I was married to one of these and I recognize the patterns--cannot get what they want through bullying, abuse, and faux charm they resort to tantrums, destruction, and revenge. I'm not talking about just the Cheeto here: his entire "leadership cabal" is made up of similarly-minded people, and ones whose agendas are far more ideological than ego-driven. I am unsurprised that the absolute destruction of the US and its population and government is the aim of these guys and that they are trying to "seed" the federal government with their loyalists in order to effect a coup from the inside. The criminal co-conspirators in Congress are equally craven and equally responsible, but they want this to happen because--just as in the Gingrich-driven era of the 1990s--the idea that they should behave as a loyal opposition and be rational and reasonable is not in their DNA.
The Constitution was created by men whose self-interest was self-evident but who also considered themselves "enlightened" in a particular way that was newly defined in the 18th century--it was paternalistic, misogynist, and racist but it still emphasized Reason (a particular definition of it) and debate over autocracy and ideology. They presumed that this is the direction in which those governing the US would always go. Andrew Jackson kind of blew that out of the water, but the problem is that if you are a true ideologue you can always subvert the rationalists and idealists.
What I find truly disturbing is the fact that so many millions of people are addicted to autocracy--and of a particularly poisonous variety--and crave the strong man to be their Daddy in Chief. Never mind if he destroys the economy, their healthcare, their very lives: they think that he is "punishing" the uppity non-white folk and women who say they have a right to a seat at the table and a chance at leadership, education, health, and prosperity. These are the people who really scare me, because they would support an internal coup.
I have been so impressed by Biden's approach--one I am sure he has been thinking about for 30 years, so he has had time to refine it (!)--but if the Senate doesn't get flipped, he hasn't got a chance to make any real structural change. Unless someone indicts McConnell and his McMinions and gets them out of the way. It's not like they aren't engaging in felonious activities, after all.
Nothing requires people to go to superspreaders such as the religious gatherings that the SCOTUS okayed this week. We need to control ourselves and not rely on authorities to herd us like sheep. Just because gyms and restaurants and churches are open does not mean we have to go to them.
It is amazing that Trump and the Republicans can believe they will be able to retain or gain any power if they keep in this destructive path. For Trump it is all about the pain he can inflict on any other living soul. He is deeply disturbed. The fact that McConnell and all the other Republicans can sit by and let him continue to do these atrocious things is devastating. These actions will begin to affect their daily lives. I know the far-right will pound it into their cult that this is a Biden failure. I read some of their Twitter threads and shake my head at how they can believe some of this stuff. I am keeping hope that we can win both Senate seats in Georgia and if not that there are many things Biden can do without the Senate. After all, if Trump can get us into this mess without them we have to hope Biden can reverse it. He will fix our relationships with the world leaders who will stand by us for peace.
The Senate can only turn away so many things before people will see it is really the Republicans causing the problem. It’s tough when Senators like John Cornyn put out a tweet saying stimulus is needed without acknowledging there are 2 bills on McConnell’s desk that he refuses to put up for a vote.
If Biden is not sending judges for Senate approval then won’t the Senate be forced to take up other legislation?
If 45 did what he did regarding civil service employees using an executive order, can’t Biden undo it with an executive order as well?
As for the all-important Senate runoff election down here, a little historical perspective is in order. Here's a summation of the "complicated" history of elections down here. Both incumbents, David "I Didn't Do Anything Wrong" Perdue and Kelly "Just Call me Rapunzel" Loeffler, are waging negative campaigns of truly epic proportions. The lies and smearing are staggering. I wish I could find the Perdue ads and could show you the obvious splicing/editing of remarks by Abrams and AOC. It is SO amateur as to almost be laughable! YET, people will believe it. Both candidates and the GA GOP are walking a tightrope right now because of their unalloyed support of Trump and his assertions of voter fraud here, which can also put them at odds with more mainline Republicans (and former Trump supporters like Gov. Kemp and Sec'y of State Raffensperger) who are still stinging from Trump's whacked out allegations. It is turning off a LOT of Republicans here on both sides, and many Trump voters are vowing to sit out this election. Trump is supposed to come down here next week to "help" campaign for Perdue & Loeffler. I can't wait. It's fun watching Republicans eat their own. Anyway, here's a recap of our banana farm of a state government...non-stop fun.
I see Trump is back to gluing together the blocks, so that the next guy can't play with them. If you read his niece's book, she shares that he did that to his little brother. Now he has repeatedly done that to the country, Mr. Putin is getting his money's worth. I hope Joe Biden shows up at the White House with a big bowl of Mashed Potatoes to dump on his head, another Trump family story. I personally cannot think of a better use for a bowl of mashed potatoes.
As Covid cases and deaths continue to rise, I wonder why there’s no reporting on the medical costs to our country? Many of these deaths come after expensive intensive care. Then there are the costs of premature deaths to families who lose a breadwinner. Lots of reporting about costs of shutdowns—none about costs of letting the virus run rampant.
Sounds like Covid fatigue and djt fatigue have combined to give us quite a national illness. They are linked of course. Theories will abound, to be sorted by the historians, and political scientists of the next generations. But right this minute or hour or day, we are forced to deal with the intimate reality of the now. Control the pandemic using the imperfect tools we have until, hopefully in a few months, we begin to gain control through science with vaccines. Once that vaccine phase starts, many will come.
The politics will be harder. Republicans have played with local and regional politics to secure power and practice the rule of the minority. We must study and combat this with calm voices. Do the hard work of listening to complaints. Give worth to the perceived injustice, while gently uncovering reality. Lack of education and skill, while longing for the “good old days”, was always a no win situation.
My suggestion is to send the “squad” and Stacey Abrams, Tammy Duckworth, Amy Klobuchar and Gretchen Whitmer on retreat(my top of my head list, yours is welcome) and talk and think. Insults and degrading language are always negative forces. Positive words and Ideas might well win Georgia. Reasoned appeals might well win over some republicans in the senate who are frightened by the threat of failure of our democracy.
Finally, business leaders who know first hand the value of diversity and talent world wide. In a world screaming into the future on the basis of AI, CRISPIR, quarks, and quantum computing, and m-rna, the world’s longest democracy needs to be in the world.