Thursday, February 23, 2017

Correspondence: Donny Trumpp plays Johnny Depp

By Moristotle

Donald Trump’s affectless reading of “his” anti-anti-Semitism statement brings to mind Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s droll,tongue-in-cheek “apology” to Australia for illegally bringing her two dogs into the country: “Trump denounces anti-Semitic threats as ‘horrible’ after facing criticism” [ABC News, February 21]:

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McMaster is one of my heroes: “Everything you need to know about Trump’s new national security adviser HR McMaster” [Riley Beggin, Yahoo News, February 21]. I met him around 1998, when he was a colonel, commanding the opposition force (opfor) at Ft. Irwin, where armored forces are trained on a desert facility bigger than Rhode Island. He was entirely candid and deeply respectful of, and respected by, the troops.
    At Ft. Irwin, in those days, they would bring in National Guard brigades and they would fight laser tag battles with the opfor. The opfor used Soviet tanks, which were inferior, and Soviet tactics, which were inferior, but they usually won because they could execute.
    He is currently deputy commander of the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), which is probably the most important command in the Army. TRADOC creates the war-fighting plan.
    He got his PhD at UNC, and his dissertation, published [in 1997 ]as Dereliction of Duty, is an important book. He has been distinguished at every level of service, but has frequently ruffled feathers.
    I am shocked by his appointment.

I’m sure Bannon and the Trumper will marginalize HR McMaster and the NSC. Neither Bannon nor Trump applaud independent thinking. They want window dressing. McMaster is the real deal. He will have to go up against Rasputin in Trump’s Byzantium.
    McMaster’s an ethical warrior, one of the finest ever, being asked to work among thieves and liars. And his is an exemplary family life being dragged into the muck of the Trump world. bet he doesn’t have the stomach for any of it, particularly since he’ll be speaking truth to the deaf and the dumb.
    I predict he’ll be back at TRADOC in months.

Thank you for your service. Indeed:

Could we please list you as a reference for the adoption that we have to complete to have my partner listed as a legal parent to our children? We hate that we have to do this, but best to protect our family as much as possible with this new president signing things all over the place! You are both like family to us and have known us so long, before and after kids.

A lot of us are asking this question: “How Can We Get Rid of Trump?” [Nicholas Kristof, NY Times, February 18]. Excerpt:
We’re just a month into the Trump presidency, and already so many are wondering: How can we end it?
    One poll from Public Policy Polling found that as many Americans — 46 percent — favor impeachment of President Trump as oppose it....
    Sky Bet, another site, is taking wagers on whether Trump will be out of office by July.
    There have been more than 1,000 references to “Watergate” in the news media in the last week, according to the Nexis archival site, with even some conservatives calling for Trump’s resignation or warning that he could be pushed out....
    Maybe things will settle down. But what is striking about Trump is not just the dysfunction of his administration but also the — vigorously denied — allegations that Trump’s team may have cooperated with Vladimir Putin to steal the election....
    ...The cleanest and quickest way to remove a president involves Section 4 of the 25th Amendment and has never been attempted. It provides that the cabinet can, by a simple majority vote, strip the president of his powers and immediately hand power to the vice president. The catch is that the ousted president can object, and in that case Congress must approve the ouster by a two-thirds vote in each chamber, or the president regains office....
    “The only incentive for Republicans to act — with or without the cabinet — is the same incentive Republicans had in 1974 to insist on Nixon’s resignation,” Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia told me. “The incentive is survival.”
    Trump does have one weakness, and it’s parallel to Nixon’s. Republicans in Congress were willing to oust Nixon partly because they vastly preferred his vice president, Gerald Ford — just as congressional Republicans prefer Mike Pence today.
    If I were betting, I’d say we’re stuck with Trump for four years. But as Sabato says: “Lots of things about Donald Trump’s election and early presidency have been shocking. Why should it stop now?”
    And what does it say about a presidency that, just one month into it, we’re already discussing whether it can be ended early? [read more]

Grateful for correspondence, Moristotle


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. It is Gail Collins, not Susan Collins.

    1. Slap my forehead – of course! Thanks, Don. I think I'll republish that comment, corrected.

  3. Gail Collins commented on Trump’s scripted Johnny Depp impersonation in her latest column in the NY Times ("Trump Is Bad for Water and Puppies"):

    "Trump did read a statement denouncing racism and anti-Semitism. But even that seemed … worrisome. It’s not just that an elected official should know how to answer that question without a lot of prep work. Everybody should know how to answer that question. Your 3-year-old nephew. Your Uber driver. Uncle Fred who gets drunk at Thanksgiving. Nobody gets to ask for a script."