Today is Comrade Donald J. Trump’s 700th day as President of These United States. And I am completely exhausted. A lot of us (well, most of us, if you look at the popular vote totals) were pretty certain he was going to be a bad president, but I don’t think anybody expected him to be so thoroughly and consistently awful. A lot of us (well, some of us) hoped that once he grasped the nature of the job Trump would at least try to do the job well. I mean, we all benefit as a nation when the president — even if we don’t like him — succeeds.
But fuck me with a chainsaw, we can’t go a single day without a couple of scandals that would sink any other presidency. The sheer number and scale of Comrade Trump’s cascading daily outrages is staggering.
Today, for example, we learn that North Korea (you remember…Trump and Kim Jong Un ‘fell in love’ in Singapore and Trump happily reported on Twitter that “everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.”) isn’t going to denuclearize itself. I don’t think anybody but Trump actually thought they would, but now it’s official. The president got played by a third-rate dictator. That’s this morning’s horrorshow; we have time for a couple more after lunch.
Yesterday we learned that candidate Trump had signed…wait, do you remember when Trump said he had no business deals at all with Russia? Then he said he’d looked at a development deal in Moscow but decided against it before he became a candidate. Then he said he’d planned a major development deal in Moscow and discussions had continued while he was campaigning, but nothing had come of it. Then he admitted he’d pursued the major development deal, but hadn’t signed anything. Well, yesterday we learned he’d actually signed a letter of intent to develop the deal in Moscow. This is a consistent pattern for Trump. When caught lying, tell another lie, followed by still more lies.
Yesterday Trump also decided to pull US troops out of Syria. He’d discussed this with his boy Vlad Putin and with Turkish president Erdogan. But he didn’t bother consulting his own Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. Or the Department of Defense, or the State Department, or the National Security Council, or members of Congress. He just went on Twitter and announced it, saying ISIS had been defeated (which probably comes as a surprise to ISIS, since there are still around fifteen thousand ISIS troops fighting in Syria). This withdrawal effectively delivers Syria entirely to Russian influence.
Also yesterday, the Trump administration decided to lift sanctions imposed by the US Treasury on Oleg Deripaska, the Russian oligarch. Deripaska, who has been described as “Putin’s favorite industrialist”, is also the guy who ‘loaned’ Trump’s former campaign manager and convicted felon Paul Manafort ten million dollars.
And the day before that? Trump was forced to close the so-called Trump Foundation after the Attorney General of New York found the charity had been used by the Trump family as a sort of slush fund for personal use. The AG noted “a shocking pattern of illegality,” including “willful and repeated…unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign.” This happened after Trump’s first National Security Adviser was due to be sentenced for lying to the FBI about being an “unregistered agent of a foreign country” but before we learned that Russia had implemented a disinformation campaign against Special Counsel Robert Mueller. And, of course, yesterday the Republican National Committee announced it would merge with Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign and become a single entity — an unprecedented move that would have shocked the news media and sparked Congressional investigations two years ago. Two days ago it was just a footnote scandal.
This happens every fucking day now — scandal after outrage after malfeasance after incompetence after scandal. And every day it seems to be accelerating. Seven hundred days of this. It’s no wonder the entire nation is exhausted and frazzled and just wants to have a quiet beer someplace with friends and maybe go a full day without another two or three crises, is that too much to ask?