I used to think that our founding documents protected us from the rise of a demagogue, and that if a demagogue was able to rise, his demagoguery would be nipped in the bud. The separation of powers and the free press would assure that. The president is not an emperor, after all.
Well, forget all that. None of the institutions that we thought would protect us will. The judiciary will no longer be independent. Congress will happily relinquish its autonomy and its last few shreds of public confidence. The fourth estate has been completely de-fanged by the internet, the decline of “journalism”, the rise of disinformation, the blurring of entertainment and information, greediness and fecklessness.
There was a lot of outcry this week when Congress decided to officially do away with ethics oversight. Why in the world would they do this in the first place? What problem does it solve? Is it really a priority? Anyway, they reconsidered their rashness after a tweet from The Orange One, and reversed course the same day. No one wants to be on the wrong end of a twitter fight with the man-baby, after all.
The way (Republican) congressmen have functioned in recent years was to take their marching orders from the Kochs and Dark Money interests. If they didn’t, well, a “better” candidate would miraculously emerge in their district and they’d lose their job. The voters were already hypnotized into voting against their own interests by talk radio, FoxNews, and the alt-right internet. Minimum wage? Social Security? Health Care? Unions? Clean air and water? Bah! Who needs them? We’d rather starve and choke if we can stick it to the Liberal Elite.
But something has changed. The new reality is that the voters are still hypnotized, but their allegiance is with a new Svengali. Whatever Trump tweets, goes. Julian Assange and Vladimir Putin are now more credible than our own intelligence agencies? Tweet it. Done! Let that coward John McCain whine about it all he wants.
If Trump wants to single out an individual, whether a gold-star mom, a beauty pageant winner, a news reporter, a congressman, an agency employee, a corporate CEO, or whoever else, that person is in deep trouble with the 60 million Trump supporters. A random tweet can easily mobilize the best of them to irrationality and the worst of them to violence.
And Trump is completely at ease fighting with Democrats and Republicans alike, with historical allies or enemies, with our own security agencies, with news outlets, print media, sports figures, federal judges, Supreme Court justices. Anyone and everyone. Let’s face it, he just likes to fight. Chaos is his best pal.
If you say something nice about him, you’ll be spared. Temporarily. Nothing he says today is guaranteed not to be reversed tomorrow. You’re better off keeping quiet. Anyone who thinks things will change when he actually takes office is deluded. “You’re Fired” is not just a TV catch-phrase – it’s who he is and wants to be. Fear him. Fear for your job. He has the power to destroy you. (You know who else was like this? I’m not saying his name…)
He’s put in place a team of people to head agencies whose very existence they’ve questioned. Expect a lot of firing within those agencies . And then, expect the firing of the people put in place to do the firing.
Congress now needs to please the man-baby, lest he mobilize his grass-roots minions against them. And with all the nutty promises and rhetoric from the campaign now in play, the lid is off. They’re itching to show they mean business. Repeal the ACA without a replacement? Yes, because the most important thing we can do is de-fund Planned Parenthood right this second. Put them out of work
Today the coming orgy of firing got a big shot in the arm. The House Republicans (yes, them again) revived a 130 year-old rule that allows them to reduce the pay of any individual government employee to $1. In other words, to fire them.
From the link:
Democrats and federal employee unions say the provision, which one called the “Armageddon Rule,” could prove alarming to the federal workforce because it comes in combination with President-elect Donald Trump’s criticism of the Washington bureaucracy, his call for a freeze on government hiring and his nomination of Cabinet secretaries who in some cases seem to be at odds with the mission of the agencies they would lead.
“This is part of a very chilling theme that federal workers are seeing right now,” said Maureen Gilman, legislative director for the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents 150,000 federal employees.
The man-baby is going to love this!. You’re fired, you’re fired, and you’re fired, too. You’re all fired!