Wednesday, January 31, 2018


In his first State of the Union, Trump, showman on the cheap, gave a demonstration of his dubious but indisputable tricks. His address to Congress was built around the stories of individuals (present around the First Lady) who let themselves be used as props for a demagogic narrative which veered between ego and doom.

Presidents usually attempt to present a coherent strategy in world affairs. In this case, the world at large, from Russia to the EU, was ignored and the usual culprits (North Korea, Venezuela, Iran) were served as appetizers. The Republicans were jubilant and the president's "base" got the red meat it is craving. The Democrats looked "lost" and had their seat belts fastened, ready for the coming assaults on immigration, the cover-up and Robert Mueller's investigation...inter alia.

America has lost its mojo. Allies can only look on in disbelief. Authoritarians and populists have found in Trump a Manchurian dream partner. This administration is no longer ashamed to look Orwellian, it lays claim on its dubious fame. Reliability is on leave and there is worse to come. Efforts to reign in this chaos feel useless. Inside, the Democrats play "defense". Outside efforts to attempt normalizing relations with these United States look pathetic. President Macron's attempts to find some inroads in the pathological workings of Trump's mindset are dead on arrival, despite his planned state visit to Washington.

The Republicans prefer to "collaborate" with this White House rather than to have to go deeper into the collusion/cover-up story before this explodes like a grenade in their midst. The comparison with Watergate is unavoidable, but the Republicans then have nothing in common with their successors now. Brutus is on leave!  As in T.S. Eliot's poem, April might indeed be the cruelest month after all.

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