Thursday, October 5, 2017

Let Them Eat Bounty

The events of the last few days have strained the bounds of credibility. I dare say Ripley's would have a hard time finding room for them in its Believe It Or Not museum. I'd say I was shocked, but to tell you the truth, I stopped being shocked a long time ago. Seriously, if there is anyone left in this country that can honestly say they are shocked by what is happening I have only one question for you: what are you smoking?

Consider that in just the last week, Donald Trump decided to pick a fight with the people of Puerto Rico for, I suppose, the crime of not being able to move their island out of the way of a cat 5 hurricane. Then, while visiting the island, he tossed out some paper towels to the crowd like they were fans at a baseball game and he was Mr. Met.

At a press conference he actually had the gall to blame the inhabitants of Puerto Rico for "throwing our budget a little out of whack." This from a man who has spent half his presidency either at Mar-a-Lago or his other golf resort in Jersey and actually charges the Secret Service rent to stay at Trump Tower. I should also point out that only a couple of days earlier this same president discovered that Puerto Rico apparently is an island surrounded by water. "Big water, ocean water." Gee, who knew?

To add insult to injury, he told everyone at the conference that, and I swear I'm not making this up, they should be "very proud" that only 16 people died compared to the hundreds who died in Katrina, which he called a "real" hurricane. He did all this, by the way, with the governor of Puerto Rico and the mayor of San Juan present.

The following day he visited Las Vegas, which on Sunday was the scene of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. More than fifty people were killed and hundreds more wounded by a gunman who sprayed thousands of rounds of ammunition into a crowd of people who were attending a country music festival. After news of the slaughter had spread, old blood and guts tweeted his "warmest condolences" to the families. Warmest condolences? Really? Warmest? No other word comes to mind, like maybe deepest? The only thing that surprises me about that tweet is that it didn't come with a Hallmark label and a heart emoji.

And of course anyone who had the nerve to bring up gun control was shot down, no pun intended. This is not the time to politicize this issue, we're told. Of course that didn't stop Trump from politicizing the Orlando mass shooting back in 2016. He had no problem shooting his mouth off - again no pun intended - when he thought it could help his campaign. But, you see, that shooting was done by a Muslim. Apparently, it's not politicizing when you go after people of color with religious views that you claim pose a threat to our way of life. The Las Vegas shooter, on the other hand, was just your run of the mill "white" lunatic who "legally" can purchase all the guns and ammo he wants. I mention white because, as we all know, if black men started arming themselves at the rate that white men are, Congress would pass a law confiscating every gun in the country by the end of the week.

And then there's the revelation, courtesy of NBC, that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump a moron back in July and had to be convinced to stay on by VP Mike Pence. Trump naturally denied the story and called it fake news, just as he calls any story he doesn't like fake news. The only surprise here is that it took Tillerson so long to arrive at his conclusion. We've know it ever since Trump declared his candidacy. If Tillerson had any pride at all, he would've quit by now, especially since it seems nothing he does will have any influence over this president. Seriously, what part of the tweet about not wasting your time negotiating with little Rocket Man didn't you get? Face it, Rex, your boss is a lune.

And therein lies the problem; our problem. Trump IS a lune. There's no getting around this. Of all his shortcomings, none stands out more than this. Normal people simply do not behave in this manner. They do not visit communities ravaged by natural disasters and blame the victims. They do not tweet at all hours of the day and night the most inane and offensive rhetoric. They do not attack the media and their political opponents like some third-world despot. They do not issue threats towards a nuclear power that can only result in the possible death and destruction of millions of innocent lives. They do not spend every waking hour of their lives thinking only of how a situation makes them look. They have the capacity to be empathetic and supportive of those who have been touched by tragedy. They behave like an adult for more than just a few minutes per week.

Donald Trump isn't in over his head; he's out of his mind. Forget the Mueller investigation. By the time it reaches its conclusion we may all be dead. What we need is someone, anyone, with the courage and the influence in the GOP to come out and do the right thing: call for the 25th Amendment to be invoked. It just takes one brave soul to put country before party. One you get one, like dominos, they will all start falling.

We know two things: One, Republicans do not like this president. The contempt he has shown for them is starting to take its toll. There are now, by my estimate, some eight or nine GOP senators who've just about had it with his nonsense. Did you hear what Bob Corker had to say recently. Trust me, in private rooms, they are giving this issue serious consideration. I wouldn't be at all surprised if similar conversations aren't also taking place among House Republicans.

Two, the GOP has Mike Pence in the bullpen, so it's not as if removing Trump means Hillary gets in. Invoking the 25th simply replaces an unstable megalomaniac with a dyed in the wool conservative. Pence is ostensibly Ted Cruz only far less contemptible. It changes nothing with respect to policy, so Dems should not get their hopes up.

I called for the 25th Amendment to be invoked months ago. I call for it again. We don't have much time. Donald Trump isn't just some man child occupying the Oval Office; he's a man child occupying the Oval Office with access to the nuclear launch codes. He had no business running for the office of president in the first place, much less winning it. And, based on his conduct to date, he certainly has no business remaining in it any longer.

My question to Republicans is simple: if not now, when?

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