Where is it? The national bullshit detector that protects us from crapadoodle? The country has elected (barely) a president who tells malicious lies, makes up ridiculous charges, and is shown to be demonstrably incapable of deep thought. He has the language skills of a raging dolt (no offense to regular dolts). The man who ran for president as if he were competing in the WWF, has embarrassed his party and nation bigly with his ear-grabbing tweets and hand grabbing twats.
Where’s the outrage?
As he likes to remind us, he won the presidency and is the rightful successor to his predecessor. Now, in a race without competition, Donald Trump manages to lose. Is there an elected leader with a worse first 80 days? Well, no, except perhaps for William Henry Harrison whose term in office lasted only 31 days due to illness and death of pneumonia in 1841. At the time, Harrison (the”Tippecanoe” of Tippecanoe and Tyler, too, fame) was the oldest elected president and to this day had the shortest tenure in office. Trump’s presidency was dead on arrival after the most disgraceful inaugural speech in history. The administration was in reset mode on day one. On February 20th, the 31st day of the Trump regime, he was being likened to a dictator after tweeting that the press was the greatest enemy of the American people. Not Russia. Not ISIS. The American press. By this time his initial appointment for National Security Advisor was fired after being caught both during the campaign and, later during the transition, consorting with Russian diplomats.
In his first 50 days the Trump administration appears to be both impotent and immoral. Judges have twice halted his “Muslim ban” that they have deemed unconstitutional. His health care answer to Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act is in shambles in his own Republican controlled House, and Paul Ryan, the Speaker who has embraced Trump with visions of using him for his own purposes, has found himself used and used badly by this president. Ryan has accepted a fool’s errand proposed to him by a master fool, a man who enjoys “doubling down” on his opponents while his own farcical attempts at governing have hoisted him on his own petard. Trump rants and rails against the press, Obama, the judiciary, reality…. and the truth.
While outrage seems lacking, be confident it will stir and grow. In a phrase famously turned by Gerald Ford upon his pardoning of Richard Nixon, the end of our national nightmare may be far off, but an accounting is coming. Outrage is a curious emotion in that it by nature is slow to mature. It took 18 months for the Nixon debacle to end. It will take time — perhaps not as much as we might think. Nixon was an evil genius, his presidency ruined by his inner demons. Donald Trump is just evil without the genius. Neither bright nor intellectual, Donald Trump will be remembered as the embarrassment that he is. In the end, this self proclaimed outsider with extreme and ill conceived ideas is an interloper to our democracy . He thinks that he is bigger, better, and more adept than any other person. He speaks in hyperbole about himself. In truth he is just the opposite. His ideas are scant, knowledge is nil, his leadership imperceptible. He is neither bright nor earnest. He is a dullard. Less outrageous. more a simple, oversized (except for the hands) outrage.
At the moment the disappointment lies with his followers and those who elected him despite his bedraggled campaign. Hillary Clinton ran a lackluster campaign against him that was rife with problems from the start — some of her own doing and others completely unrelated to her. She ran against anger and racist backlash and Russian hacks. She was a woman whose opponents were misogynists. On the other hand, she was also tone deaf and presented herself as entitled by her experience, her connections, and her sex. Republicans and right leaning idealogues no longer have the luxury of arguing that Hillary was their alternative — now, Mike Pence is. They can no longer pretend that they were voting for him on the premise that he would “learn on the job.” This president, after all, remains the sum total of his words and deeds to date. He has surrounded himself with folks just like him, most of whom are just as incurious and just as clueless. His allegiances are, in the end, not to the Alt Right, white supremacists, and corporate interests, but to himself and his own greed and self interests. His Russian obsession is a reflection of his longstanding deep seated obsessions to wealth and power — both of which should shake his supporters’ confidence and enflame their patriotism.
The man who childishly named his political opponents lyin’ Ted, crooked Hillary, low energy Jeb and little Marco has now earned all these self serving appellations which can now, ironically, be applied to himself. The man who witlessly chanted “lock her up” to his rabid followers, now faces investigations that portend to place him and members of his inner circle in the cross hairs of the law.
How this ends is a mystery at the moment; however, it appears it won’t end well. Once the outrage kicks in, there is little room for compassion — another irony lost on Mr. Trump.