Tuesday, September 19, 2017

No, Trumpsters, Donnie Has Not Been "Vindicated"

The Breitbart News headline Tuesday screams “Trump Vindicated!” It follows the news this week that the president’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort was wiretapped by the U.S. government before and after the campaign. Investigators on special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s in July raided Manafort’s home and he was subsequently told to expect an indictment. 

The wiretap came under secret order of the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court after the FBI began investigating Manafort in 2014 over consulting work done for Ukraine's former Party of Regions and it’s leader Viktor Yanukovych. 

In an effort to distract attention away from the mounting RussiaGate scandal and its impact on his administration, the Liar-in-Chief, in a March 4th tweet, accused former President Obama of spying on him during the campaign:

“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!

Trump refused to produce even a shred of evidence of such surveillance.

And now the Trumpsters are claiming he’s been “vindicated.” 

No, he hasn’t. Actually, it’s the good guys, the U.S. government, who’ve been vindicated.
FISA doesn’t just throw around search and surveillance authorizations just for the fuck of it. It doesn’t engage in partisan witch hunts. The government must demonstrate probable cause. The targets must likely be guilty. Which is why Manafort (and perhaps others) may soon be indicted.

So let’s dissect the “vindication” logic in plain English: Trump and his cronies did some really bad shit. They know they’re guilty. They know the Feds are on their trail. They consistently do everything they can to discredit and distract from the investigation. Trump throws a hail Mary and claims he’s been “tapped.” Now we learn the government tapped Manafort. Because he and Trump are likely guilty as sin. Which is why FISA issued the order in the first place. And the Trumpsters claim ‘AHA! Trump was right!’ Nope. It’s the investigators who are right. Trump’s just a desperate, terrified, guilty manbaby.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Is This Donald Trump's Re-Election Master Plan

The conventional wisdom in presidential campaigns is that you play to the base to win the nomination and pivot to the center in the general election. With Donald Trump, the pivot never came. He kept playing to his rabid base and has consistently done so throughout the eight months of his presidency. But has his pivot finally arrived?

Cue The Chuck & Nancy Show. Fed up with Republican leadership, Trump’s cozied up to Democrats in an effort to make deals with the goal of ‘winning’ and reversing his abysmal approval ratings. Rather than work with Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, he’s marginalized them over DACA, border security, the debt ceiling and Hurricane Harvey aid. And in the same week he’s also backpeddled on his border wall and the Iran nuclear deal.
Predictably, Republicans are livid with Trump over his newfound “bipartisan” romance with Democrats. 

Amnesty Don,” screamed a a headline on former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon’s alt-right website Breitbart News. 

"At this point, who DOESN'T want Trump impeached?" tweeted Ann Coulter. She added, “If we’re not getting a wall, I’d prefer President Pence.” 

“Exactly what @realDonaldTrump campaigned on. Not,” tweeted Andrea Ingraham. She later added, “BUILD THE WALL! BUILD THE WALL! … or … maybe … not really.”

And Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) warned that Trump’s base is “blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair.” He called the purported Donnie/Chuck/Nancy DACA deal “Republican suicide.”

So is Trump’s sucking up to Chuck and Nancy part of a much bigger political calculation? Has he realized that the re-election math makes way more sense if he pivots from his 30% base and starts providing policy goodies to the other 70% instead? 

I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters,” Trump once infamously crowed. 

So far the MAGA crowd’s proven Trump dead right. No matter how much he lies to them or reneges on campaign promises, the base stays loyal and committed. As such, perhaps Trump knows he has nothing to lose and everything to gain by shifting his focus to moderate Republicans, independents and, yes, even Democrats. Maybe he knows that an electorate so exhausted and frustrated with crazy Trump may be ready to embrace mainstream Trump. And that the base will manage to find a way to justify it all and stick with him. 

One thing we’ve learned time and again with Trump is never to under-estimate his instincts and political barometer. So here’s my perfect storm: his bi-partisan shift is real and sustained over time; he weens himself off Twitter and the persistent trouble it causes him (i.e this weekend when he retweeted a fake video inciting violence against Hillary Clinton, while also referring to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un as “Rocket Man”); and he somehow manages to survive the Russia investigations. If he succeeds, we just might be looking at another four years of this roller-coaster presidency...

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

The Letter Obama Wished He Could've Given Trump

Last week we learned the content of the letter Barack Obama left in the Oval Office for incoming president Donald Trump. It was anything but the traditional “Hey bud, it’s an awesome job, good luck!” It’s a carefully worded cautionary missive which clearly indicated Obama’s concern for America’s future. Below is the letter we all now he wanted to give Trump: 

Dear Mr. President:

You did it. You won. I never thought you would pull it off. Honestly? I thought you were a goner the minute you started. “Mexican rapists” isn’t a great way to launch a successful presidential campaign. But then you went on to insult women, immigrants, blacks, Jews, war heroes, John McCain, Gold Star families, disabled people, judges, the intelligence community, the media, Democrats, fellow Republicans, the Pope and just about everyone else who got in your way and yet you still won. You were right: you probably could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and your base would still support you. 

But now here you are. President of the United States of America. Commander-in-Chief. Leader of the Free World. This isn’t a fucking game. It’s the hardest job on the planet. It’s not sitting around Trump Tower deciding which shitty towels to slap your name on. You are now responsible for the safety and security of 325-million Americans and people all over the world. Are you up to the task? 

You’re like a million guys I’ve seen in my life: huge ego and a microdick. So you’re constantly trying to compensate with bombast, braggadocio and bullying. By having an insatiable hunger to ‘win’ no matter what the financial, political or human cost. You seem devoid of compassion and empathy. Some even claim you’re a sociopath, but I’m not ready to go there...yet. But I am scared. You scare me Trump, and I don’t scare easy. I still can’t believe I have to hand the baton to you. You make 43 look like a statesman.

So what are you going to do? Are you going to lead by example? Will you unite Americans in these highly toxic, polarized times or will you further divide us? Will you take the highroad and uplift the nation and be a beacon of light or will you slink further into your dystopian darkness? Will you be the president of everyone or just your 35% base? Will you uphold the rule of law? Will you honor and respect the Constitution? Will you inspire our children? Will you truly make America greater, or will you spiral it into a terrifying vortex of ignorance, intolerance and hate? 

You cannot let your ego and emotion direct your words and actions. You must grow some balls and thicker skin. You have to act like a smart, mature, curious, disciplined president with impulse-control, not a petulant manbaby. 

Make no mistake: I am rooting for you, Trump. Not because I like, admire or respect you, which I don’t (and it’s not because you spent seven years trying to delegitimize me and my presidency). I am rooting for you because I love my country. Because I want America to succeed. Because we are the greatest nation in the world and I want it to remain that way. 

So, man to man, get the fuck off Twitter and stop acting like an asshole and be the man your wife and kids keep telling us you are. Because so far we haven’t seen that dude. 

Call me if you need anything.