Monday, October 14, 2019

Talk to the Hand 'Cuz MY Ass Ain't Listening


I’ve suggested before that someone needs to keep track of all the executive orders the current White House occupant has issued so that they might be reversed in the earliest days of the next (Democratic) presidency. But those aren’t the only things of which we should make a note.

When Obama was in office, the Republicans and their media outlets created a lot of controversies and talking points highlighting the alleged failures of the administration. Each one generated the kind of hysteria you would associate with the highest levels of graft, corruption or political incompetence.

Then came Donald Trump, who exhibited, embodied, or enabled each of these previously reviled situations and then added some new ones, and was met with a chorus of crickets from the GOP. What I want to provide here is a list of things I don’t want to hear a peep about, whenever the next Democratic administration takes over.

If they don’t have the honesty or fortitude to complain about it now, I’m not listening to their hypocritical asses later.

The Deficit
As soon as the black guy was in charge, the Tea Party was invented, whose sole purpose was to protest any widening of the deficit. Obama cut the deficit in half from what he inherited and did so with an economy that was spiraling down the toilet.

With his tax cut for the rich, Trump shot the deficit to its highest recorded level in history. So, if they’re not complaining about the deficit now, they have to admit it was not really about the deficit in the first place. It was not liking who was doing the spending, which is not much of an example of high-minded economic analysis. 

Not once did I hear a Republican say, “How are we going to pay for it?” like they do whenever there’s a spending issue that benefits us common folks. They just passed the tax cut for their wealthy benefactors and shut their pie-holes. Without Fox “News” to whip them up, there were no protests, no costumes, no vitriol.

Executive Orders
Remember how the Republicans liked to call Obama’s the Imperial Presidency? They said he was governing via executive order, which was akin to a dictatorship, despite data that showed only one president (GHWB) issued fewer E.O.s than Obama since WWII.

This is from 2014, as are most every other graph I found. I guess that was when Republicans decided executive orders were bad.

Trump is literally doing that very thing and causing a Constitutional crisis while doing it. He’s issuing tariffs via E.O. which is crashing the economy and bankrupting farmers. (The family kind, not giant agri-businesses.) He has usurped Congressional powers of the purse to divert money from US soldier’s homes, facilities and schools, to build his vanity wall. He repealed a rule saying brokers had to put their client’s interests above their own when giving investment advice.

That’s just three; the list goes on, but all without a hint of protest from Republicans. So it must not have really been about Obama issuing executive orders, it was Obama doing things Republicans couldn’t stonewall. When President 46 begins making corrections via E.O., complaints about their use will fall on some deaf-ass ears.

Golf and Vacations
Every single time the Obama family went anywhere, or the president was photographed golfing, Republicans made a big deal about it. Research said the president golfed less than any of his recent predecessors, yet he was portrayed as the one loafing on the job. I’m sure that went right to the tingle-center of those who buy into the trope about lazy, work-avoiding black people.

This president has spent an obscene amount of time golfing (at his own resorts) after being one of the loudest ones complaining about Obama’s golfing, and campaigning on how he would be too busy to golf. Where are the Republican nose-to-the-grindstone types calling him out on that? (There are none.) And this issue leads to:

Financial Deals in Office
Republicans used to complain that Obama made money from books he wrote. It’s funny now how that was the big beef. What is not funny is the deaf ear they turn to Trump’s continued involvement with his hotels and properties. As predicted before his election, foreign governments and businesses curry favor with him by booking floors of rooms at Trump hotels, sometimes without even staying there! That’s just graft, plain and simple.

Sure, he says he’s not running the businesses anymore, but there is little significant difference between running them himself or having his kids run the show.

Every time he stays and golfs at one of his resorts, his whole support and security staff has to stay too. That’s a lot of room fees he can collect right from government funds... you know, the funds his tax cut got his rich colleagues out of providing?

And now, we’ve got a genocide starting up for the simple reason that he does not want to ruffle the feathers of the dictator who runs a country where he has a property.

Any of these financial entanglements would be enough to topple another president. But have you ever even heard a Republican try to pronounce “Emoluments?”

Personally, I don’t think any of the Democratic contenders would ever consider engaging in such sleazy behavior, but if someone has it in them to write a book, I don’t want to hear JS about it.

Lying
The big pearl-clutching moment with Obama was how he “lied about being able to keep your own doctor under Obamacare.” Personally, I don’t necessarily think that was a lie. Maybe he was talking about the initial plan but when the sausage was made, keeping your doctor wasn’t possible in some plans. Being wrong about a prediction is not necessarily a lie. But you’d never know that from the opposition talking points of the time.

On the other hand, we now have… what’s he up to, over 12,000 verifiable lies while in office? The guy lies about everything, even stuff that doesn’t require being lied about. And what do Republicans do? They tie themselves in knots to justify the lies, as if they can just frame it right, they can turn something false into something true. Or at least truthy.

I don’t want to hear politicians lie about anything, but as far as I’m concerned, Republicans have lost their rights to call out lies by anyone about anything. They’ve had 12,000 chances to get it right and they looked the other way every time.

Foreign Policy
Republicans used to complain that Obama was making us weak overseas, that he wasn’t decisive enough, and was getting rolled by other leaders. This was despite his winning a Nobel Peace Prize simply for not being George W. Bush.

But our allies always knew Obama was in their corner and the US was there for them. He was never laughed at by members of the UN for giving rambling and incoherent speeches. He met with leaders on the record, so there was no mystery about secret deals. Oh, and he had bin Laden hunted down and taken out with zero American lives lost.

Trump is a joke on foreign policy. Unless he has a hotel there, they’re all shithole countries to him. He cozies up to the worst dictators on the planet and insults the leaders of our longest, strongest allies. He’s given top-secret intelligence to our top planetary rival, blowing the cover of highly placed assets in the process. And the Republicans are all along for the ride, probably celebrating the cost savings from all the unfilled State Department jobs.

Republicans don’t get to criticize Democratic foreign policy ever again. The current clown-in-chief should be tied around their necks while they’re tossed into the Potomac. A child could conduct fairer and more constructive foreign policy than this guy has.

I had more issues in mind and if I were a more concise writer, I might have been able to talk about them all. Issues like hiring friends and relatives, changing the Senate rules, choosing partisan SCOTUS nominees, packing the courts with partisan and often unqualified judges, abandoning Afghanistan to the Taliban or Kurdish Syria to the Turks… the list goes on. Trump and the Republicans did all of this.

Should any Democratic administration do something analogous, I don’t want to hear a peep about any of it. If Republicans silently condone this behavior now, they can STFU about it later. They had their chance to speak on the issue and opted to take their tax cuts, gutted government agencies, and conservative judges and sit it out.

They won’t, of course, because they are shameless in their attempts to smear their opponents for doing things they have already done, themselves. So it becomes our job to call them out on it. We need to remember the shit show from this administration and put those who alibi for its atrocities on notice.

We remember what you did and took note of your stance. If you don’t like what you see now, tell it to the mirror.

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