Thursday, February 7, 2019


The president delivered his traditional State of the Union last Tuesday. As usual he got the undignified reception which Congress reserves for presidents from either side. Democracy is too seldom a path to restraint. Given Trump's pathological weaponizing of truth and facts, his histrionics fell mostly on deaf or blaze ears.

The American political class looks often like a group of escapees suffering from a concussion disorder. The cabinet appears to be demented, mandated to slaughter what they are supposed to bolster. The Republicans continue to follow their Hamelin pied-piper for now, while the Democrats try to carpet- bomb the Trump "Mafiosi" who are in control of most levels of the state apparatus. Actually, this unfit president looks more like a willing tool of larger interests than as a leader with composure and vision. As much as the judiciary has been taken over by the Federalist Society, other branches of the government are hijacked and "rerouted" for the benefit of other interests. The president acts Manchurian both in internal and external affairs. His last "coup" regarding the World Bank is again a remake of the well known tactic wherein the undertaker takes over from the healer. Hence, climate gets worse, civil liberties are rolled back. Energy wins over any other consideration and the "pro-life" lobby dwarfs even the Vatican's "canons". Putin is often accused of being Trump's whisperer. For sure he certainly must rejoice in having a corrupt fool in Washington but under the current circumstances the rule of the nationalistic/xenophobic lobby in the United States might outlive the current occupant of the White House. Something structural has changed in America and a return to normal will be hard to come by because of this Kabuki-like coup. There is more going on than what occupies and distracts the mind.

Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker, is a formidable opponent. She has the wit, the guts and the instinct. However, she will have a hard time controlling a caucus where talent is abundant but wherein tactical skills might be in short supply. There are too many claimants for a mantle which is too thin.

In the short-term Trump will meet his North Korean accomplice (for now) in (communist) Vietnam. This pile of tautologies should send shivers in the Republican ranks, who usually shriek just in hearing the softer version: "socialism". They will choose for now to swallow yet another pill. Kim Jong-un will get a pardon, while Cuba, Iran and Venezuela will continue on their path to their seasons in hell. Other surprises will follow given the Pompeo/Bolton high bad cholesterol foreign policy derangements. Often it appears that those pompous troglodytes do not want to grasp the relative insignificance of the roles they play, given the complexity of the world beyond their moral and intellectual reach.

The Versailles Syndrome lives. Some continue to unilaterally decide outcomes. While, at the onset, allies were needed, pressured, consulted, the whim to get out now looms larger than the imperative to act in concert with the former others. This America has lost any ambition for coherence or strategy. It has occasional partners in some form of "online dating" but finds itself in less than two years without friends and suitors. The "onion" speech only laid bare, layer after layer, that there is no there there.

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