Friday, November 3, 2017

L'etat c'est moi

     At the GOP National Convention and Psychological Sideshow in Cleveland July last year, Donald Trump and Laura Ingraham gave each other what looked to be a Nazi salute to the discomfort of the rest of the nation. No doubt, liberals were shouted down by Trump's thick-necked neo Nazi supporters and were told they were snowflakes who were seeing things.
     It turned out to be the shape of things to come.
     Because on that selfsame Laura Ingraham's new show on Fox, Trump gave an interview in which Ingraham asked him about the unfilled positions in the State Department and Trump rambled on for a few seconds touting his credentials as a businessman and how downsizing is sometimes necessary then said something breathtakingly audacious even for him- Trump ended with,
     "Lemme tell you, the one that matters is me, I am the only one that matters. Because when it comes to it, that’s what the policy is going to be. You’ve seen that, you’ve seen it strongly."
     Lemme tell you, that sent enough shivers down the spines of people who still cling to the vestiges of what America used to be, a Democratic Republic, in which the Executive Branch long ago had placed upon it checks and balances by the Legislative and Judicial branches. Because what Trump said reminds people who know a little bit of French history of what Louis XIV once had famously said- "L'etat c'est moi," or "I am the state."
     Louis XIV could get away with that statement because he was the King of France at the time and that's how monarchies are structured. Even so, they had ministers and diplomats to supplement the regent's policies, to act as royal proxies and even benevolent tyrants like Louis fully availed themselves of that diplomatic apparatus.
     But Trump is not a king and we are not an absolute monarchy. Putting aside the risible fallacy that the guy who'd bankrupted the Secret Service in the first six months of his administration is actually trying to save us money by downsizing the State Department as if it's a failing business, what Trump said is alarming in the extreme. It automatically adopts a position that pushes the disturbing concept of the Unitary Executive that we heard so much about during the ruinous Bush II years.
     And Trump's arrogant and despotic comments came literally on the eve of his trip to Asia that started just today. Even on the best of days, Trump's a laughable buffoon and an international embarrassment. But with this monarchical attitude and the increasing pressure of the Mueller probe, this trip is virtually guaranteed to be a geopolitical disaster, especially in light of Trump taunting the already highly unstable and absolute ruler of North Korea.
     During the Ingraham interview, Trump also hinted he might not be holding on to Secretary of State Tillerson much longer because there were "some people I'm not happy with" and held reservations that Tillerson, the man who'd famously called him "a fucking idiot" at the Pentagon last July, would be around for the full term (as if he could seriously guarantee that he himself would be around for a full term.).
     Yes, Donald Trump, you are indeed the only man that matters... to those of us closely following the Mueller probe.


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