Thursday, September 6, 2018

"Adults in the Room"

Now that a "senior official in the Trump Administration" has assured us that there are some in the White House who "have vowed to thwart the president's worst impulses," I suppose we're all supposed to feel better.  Indeed, it's good to know that somebody will try to stop Our President should he decide to nuke North Korea (or Canada), but that is small comfort when the so-called "adults in the room" all are Republican loyalists.  It would be absurd to expect contemporary Republicans, wholly captured by the corporations and the super-rich, to control what the anonymous Times editorialist calls "the root of the problem... the president's amorality."

Corporations, by their nature, are amoral.  They exist solely to generate profits for their investors, and their political activities are directed towards that same goal.  The Republican Party has served them well, especially under the current administration, with regulatory rollbacks, attacks on organized labor, and massive, permanent cuts in their tax liability.  The Supreme Court was stacked in their favor even before Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, and looks likely to remain that way for a long time.

Corporate political operatives might have preferred President Scott Walker, President Marco Rubio, or even President Ted Cruz, but they needed Tr*mp to win.  They needed Tr*mp the demagogue to mobilize the fear and the anger that drove the 2016 election — and if that meant putting up with somebody who "is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective," so be it.  Given his limited intellectual capacity and curiosity, they thought he would be easy enough to control once in office: Ryan and McConnell would take care of business while the new president played golf.

It didn't work out that way.  Tr*mp has been so outrageous, so dangerous and divisive, that the "adults in the room" can't keep him under control.  He has become a threat to the Republican Party, and a threat to corporate hegemony: even corporatist Democrats are being pushed aside by those further to their left.

It is possible that the Times editorial was the opening salvo in an effort to jettison Tr*mp by those who brought him to power.  We might never know for sure, but it will be interesting to see what develops between now and Election Day.

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