Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Right Is Apoplectic Over This Piece About A Post-Trump "Reckoning"—Which Means It's Good.

TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump awaits the arrival of Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni for meetings at the White House in Washington, DC, April 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Yes, he really is on the way out.
James Wolcott is never going to be America’s favorite columnist. I suspect that’s just fine with James Wolcott.

As a contributor to the New Yorker, Harper’s, Esquire and numerous other publications over the last four decades, Wolcott is best known for his critiques of modern culture and in particular, media culture. His breezy, often acerbic style (think of a jaded aristocrat channeling Matt Taibbi), is notably averse to pulling punches.

Writing for Vanity Fair  (his most visible platform) since 1983, Wolcott has managed to irk both the left and right, proving himself an equal opportunity provocateur (which I say with a certain warmth as his past blog notes have links to Daily Kos dating back to the George W. Bush Administration). All in all, he has cemented a solid reputation as an unusually perceptive observer of our times.

But his most recent essay appears to have twisted the girdles of the right moreso than others, because in it he contemplates what this country will need to do once Donald Trump has been, how you say, “put out to pasture” by whatever means that may occur. Indeed, the piece, appearing in this month’s Vanity Fair, is apparently hitting so close to the bone that it’s incurred the wrath of some conservative Women’s Organization (translated as a group of women who live to hate on other women) calling itself the “Independent Women's Forum," some Matt-Drudge wannabe site called the “Rightly Report," FreeRepublic  (yep, hold your nose!) and Newsbusters, to name a few. 

Oh, yeah. They’re pissed. Maybe it was this that got them all hot and bothered:
In the sorriest days of the Watergate scandal, the iconoclastic journalist and 60 Minutes commentator Nicholas von Hoffman compared the Nixon presidency to “a dead mouse on the American family kitchen floor. The question is: who is going to pick it up by the tail and drop it in the trash?” It would be premature to write off the Trump presidency as a deceased rodent lying on the linoleum. In its nasty defensiveness, it is closer to a cornered rat. It still has plenty of ugly fight left. But we are at the beginning of the endgame and it is not premature to start imagining how to pick through the damage the Trump presidency will leave behind and future-proof the republic so that It Can’t Happen Here never happens again.
OMG—a dead rat! Such dehumanizing rhetoric, the wailing goes, as if Trump's campaign wasn't built on the dehumanization of entire swaths of the American population. As if many of his most rabid supporters weren’t Dehumanizers of the First Order.  

Actually, the image of Trump’s presidency as a dead rat waiting to be scooped up and summarily dumped in the trash bin has a certain poetic resonance. As Wolcott notes, the reality is that this Orange Abomination is going to be history one day, hopefully sooner rather than later. And then—to borrow further from this metaphor—we’ll all be tasked with cleaning up the stinking residue on the floor. That’s what Wolcott’s essay is really about—what kind of country will we be forced to contend with after Trump and his minions are gone, and what ought we do about it? Wolcott has a couple suggestions:
The moment Trump leaves the White House for early retirement, jail, a sanitarium, or a Russian refuge, let the reckoning begin. Cue the exodus of his cronies from the Cabinet and commence the shunning. The Trump family itself should be as unwelcome in what passes for society as Bernie Madoff at a Bar Mitzvah. Pay no heed to those pious owls in politics, the op-ed pages and cable-news panels—pastoral Voices of Civility such as Jon Meacham and David Gergen—who will caution that “now is not the time” to be raking over the recent past, casting recriminations, and turning Schadenfreude into tasty casseroles; the nation must move forward and let the healing process begin. To such doily knitters and thumb twiddlers, it’s never the right time to sift through the debris, apportion responsibility, and name the guilty parties; this is why it took more than a year to establish a 9/11 commission, and its final report was analytical, rhetorical mush. The day after Trump is deposed will be the day to get cracking on addressing what got him to where he never should have been.
I can see how the right could be shuddering a little after reading that. In other words, if Wolcott has his way the entire accursed Trump family is going to become the equivalent of a virulent case of genital herpes the minute the Tweeter-In-Chief is cast out, whether it’s under criminal indictment or at the considered  behest of the general electorate. And we will eventually find out exactly who in Russian Intelligence—and perhaps in the Republican ranks of Congress-- conspired with them.
All in good fun: Laura Ingraham throws a Nazi Salute to Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention.
But it isn’t Trump's fate personally or that of his family that really has the right up in arms. No, it’s something much more close to home, something that really scares them if it were ever able to be accomplished. It’s also something that looks more and more necessary with each passing day as the true character of Trump’s base of support becomes evident:
Post-Trump, the country needs its own, domestic version of the de-Nazification program established in Germany after World War II, an inquiry into how so many alleged neo-Nazi, white-supremacist sympathizers had input into this presidency, and their connection with neo-Nazi and nativist movements overseas. Trump has legitimized the hate militias like no president ever before, one of his many blighting legacies and perhaps his most lasting. The domestic threat posed by white-supremacist militias and other violent extremists armed to the steel teeth has been minimized by Republicans, who, jerked around by their Fox News puppet masters, prefer fulminating against Black Lives Matter and antifa street fighters. But white people’s grievances are always given precedence, reflecting the racial makeup of newsrooms and corporate hierarchies.
”Domestic De-Nazification?” Oh my stars, shades of Bolshevism, right there! But really what other choice would we have? It’s not going to be palatable to have hordes of Nazis running around the country brandishing their hatred and threatening violence about their supposed grievances under a less-than-tolerant Administration they can’t cuddle up to like this one. 

These rotten people have to be reined in, one way or another, if our country is going to retain any semblance of decency. That fact may bother Trump’s base of core Nazi support. It shouldn’t. They asked for it. In fact, they’ve been begging for it. But they should relax, after all it probably wouldn’t amount to anything more than being identified. What, you don't want that?  Then don’t threaten other Americans with your hate. 

The right just hates it when a whiff of that eliminationist impulse they love to so casually embrace gets blown back at them. It can be an awfully stinky experience, can’t it?

And what of these seemingly obligatory sojourns by mainstream journalists into the “heartland" for earnest tete-a-tetes with the poor, conflicted Trump voter? Wolcott thinks those should be consigned to the ashbin of history as well:
How nice it would be if even before Trump humps out of view and into the elephants’ graveyard we were given a journalistic moratorium on earnest dispatches devoted to the Loyal Trump Voter in the battered industrial ruinscape who still supports the big guy despite the latest storm out of Washington…
* * *
Wolcott is as disdainful of these “outreach" efforts to "understand" Trump voters as most of us have already become. We have seen the Trump voters, thanks very much:
This sentimentalization of the Loyal Trump Voter, whose rationale for standing by the president is often cradled in incoherence and plain, proud ignorance with a large chunk of stubborn pride, is the latest extension of the press’s centering of the White Working Class in the national narrative, no matter how much the demographics and the complexion of the country change. Every election cycle, eastern reporters ritualistically venture into caucus and primary states such as Iowa and New Hampshire on Norman Rockwell safari to file copy from the diners and truck stops on “real Americans” in plaid jackets and tractor caps with heartland values and comfort-food appetites. It is time this romance with Ma and Pa Kettle was put out to pasture...[.]
Wolcott ends by warning those majority of American voters who did not vote for Trump not to be lulled into complacency by the fact that the media, celebrities and news organizations appear to share their revulsion to the Dear Leader. That revulsion did not affect this election and it won’t affect the next one. That revulsion didn’t affect the fact that a woman’s right to choose is on the verge of being outlawed in more than half the country, that voting is being made an increasingly difficult, harassing experience for young people and people of color, and that the Supreme Court appears poised to gut the remaining power of unions and allow the Republican Party to gerrymander itself into permanent one-party rule.
And he’s serious that we better find a way so that this atrocity never, ever happens again:
If we don’t prevent future Trumps, the next self-styled, Putin-picked autocrat may not be a complete boob and may have a better handle on how to accomplish his heinous goals. Which suggests a President Pence won’t be any picnic. Oh well, let’s just wait and detonate that bridge when we get to it.
Some may regard Wolcott’s prognosis for a post-Trump America as overwrought, flippant or hysterical, a product of (as one conservative outlet deemed it) “the Trump-loathing panic of the Liberal media.”
But with every passing day of this malevolent administration spinning diabolical, newfangled threats to the lives and livelihoods of American citizens, all while gleefully ginning up the darkest possible ways to divide us from each other, others might simply see it as prophetic.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Cartoon: The leaked NFL memo to players on acceptable stances during the national anthem

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John Kelly's A Snake, If There's A Doubt Left In Anybody's Mind

BEDMINSTER TOWNSHIP, NJ - NOVEMBER 20: (L to R) President-elect Donald Trump and U.S. Marine Corps General John Kelly emerge from the clubhouse following their meeting at Trump International Golf Club, November 20, 2016 in Bedminster Township, New Jersey. Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Don Trumplioni and his hit man, John Kelly.
They must have a third faucet next to hot and cold in the White House by now, labelled “duplicity.” 

The jury was out on how John Kelly was going to react to the furor over Trump’s insensitive handling of the condolence call to Green Beret widow Meishia Johnson.

Some people speculated that Kelly was going to resign, others opined that Kelly would be willing to lie for Trump and say that Trump never said, “He must have known what he was signing up for,” which is what Trump alleged on twitter that the congresswoman was “fabricating.”

Kelly didn’t directly lie and say that Trump didn’t make the remark. Instead, he made a tangential attack on Congresswoman Wilson saying that, ”It stuns me that a member of Congress listened in on the phone call. I thought at least that's sacred.” Axios:

He said that he initially advised Trump not to make phone calls to families.
Kelly told Trump, "There's nothing you can do to lighten the burden." The president called the four families who lost soldiers in Niger and offered condolences in "the best way he could ... It stuns me" that a member of Congress listened in on that phone call. "I thought at least that's sacred," he said. The Chief of Staff also confirmed that the president told Myesha Johnson her husband "knew what he signed up for" and added Trump meant the statement as a testament to La David Johnson's heroism.
  • On the situation in Niger: "An investigation does not mean ... people's heads are gonna roll."
  • Kelly spent over an hour at Arlington Cemetery yesterday to "collect [his] thoughts."

The salient fact that is getting buried in all this is the fact that Congresswoman Frederica Wilson was one of several people in a limousine when the call came through and the phone was on speaker. She could not have avoided hearing what was said. She did nothing to intrude herself into the situation, which is how Kelly is spinning it. And then it gets worse. The Hill:

After learning of what he called Wilson’s “selfish behavior,” Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general whose son was killed in battle in Afghanistan, said he was so taken aback that he walked for an hour and a half in Arlington National Cemetery to compose himself.
Speaking slowly and solemnly, he described Thursday what happened when he learned he [his son Robert] had been killed.
“He was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed,” Kelly remembered being told by his casualty officer, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, who is now chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff.
“He knew what he was getting into by joining that one percent,” he added.
“He knew what the possibilities were because we're at war.”
Then Kelly finished off this debacle upon a debacle by saying, “He [Trump] expressed his condolences in the best way that he could.”

Isn’t that wonderful? The Fox News watching Trumpites will eat that up with a spoon because they know that their boy Donald is learning and trying. Justification and excuses flow more freely in the Trump administration than milk and honey in Eden.

They must have a third faucet next to hot and cold in the White House by now, labelled “duplicity.”

This is the second time this week that John Kelly has come forth to normalize this insane administration and in that process demean and diminish existing institutions and individuals.  He took a swipe at the media earlier this week, decrying all the “misreporting” he saw and admonishing the press to “get better sources,” and now Kelly has demonized Rep. Wilson when all she was, in truth, was a family friend who told the truth of what happened in the limousine and the Johnson family corroborated her statement.

No attention, needless to say, was paid to Trump’s obligatory twitter tantrum where he accused Wilson of “fabrication” and said he could prove it. No, Kelly waffled beautifully with this one. He's a spin meister, par excellence. He could step into a post at Breitbart or Fox News at any time. He's perfect. They can’t answer a direct question either, they pivot and then attack somebody innocent to deflect attention from Trump. That is precisely what happened in Washington this afternoon.

Kelly has said that the military men and women are the best one percent that this nation produces. Indeed they are. It’s John Kelly who is failing to live up to the lofty standard he touts by putting his new job as White House propagandist above his code of honor as a Marine, not to mention his oath as Chief of Staff. John Kelly is a snake.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Race-baiter As Kindly Monarch: Trumpism On Full Display in Puerto Rico Visit

Climate change and extreme weather events are not devastating a random selection of human beings from all walks of life. There are no billionaires among the dead, no corporate executives living in shelters, no stockbrokers watching their children die of malnutrition. Ian Angus    / 

Wow! Does Jonathan Chait writing in NY Magazine ever nail Trump’s response to the catastrophe in Puerto Rico to the wall for all to see. It’s an amazing piece, Chait was able to get inside Trump’s twisted mind and expose his lack of empathy for the 3.5 million Americans that are suffering and dying needlessly because of his cruelty.

Combine the cruelty with sheer incompetence and dereliction of duty and we witness what is likely to be one of the worst humanitarian disasters in this nation’s history.

This does not need to happen, the military can get the job done and the GOP knows it. Do they really want to be complicit in a crime against humanity? This has the feel of genocide. I could rant forever, but here is an excerpt of Chait’s piece.
Puerto Rico’s disaster has made Trump think about the role of the state in furnishing basic survival goods. He quickly adopted positions far to the right of even the most hardened libertarian ideologue. Trump assailed “ingrates” who “want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.” How could people possibly take personal responsibility when they lack access to electricity, drinking water, and even their own money? He mused that Puerto Rico is “throwing our budget out of whack,” a strange complaint from a man who frequently calls for the “the biggest tax cut we’ve ever had.”
The Trump who complained about lazy Puerto Ricans who needed to pick themselves up by their bootstraps rather than drain the Treasury was the familiar race-baiter. But there was also another dynamic on display: Trump’s habit of personalizing every case to an almost pathological degree. What set off the president was less the formal position of Puerto Rican politicians and their constituents (that they needed help to recover from a natural catastrophe) than the fact that they complained about it.
Trump views his powers as president in near-absolute terms. “I will give you everything,” he promised during the campaign. “I will give you what you’ve been looking for 50 years. I’m the only one.” In this sense, Trump occupies the opposite end of the ideological spectrum from the small-government conservatism of his party. He imagines himself as a monarch, dispensing favors to grateful subjects and punishing the ungrateful. He has promised to give the people “everything,” but if he sees them expecting to be given “everything,” he will rage at them.
When Puerto Rican officials grasped the dynamic, and dutifully praised their commander-in-chief for his attentive and not-at-all-incompetent handling of the disaster, it set the stage for Trump to flip from scornful race-baiting autarch to generous favor-dispensing autarch. The scene of the president tossing out paper towels to his citizens like they were contest winners recalled Immortan Joe favoring his subjects by turning on the water spigot.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich: "This man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward..."

Say what you mean coach.
San Antonio Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovitch spoke out today on drumpf’s silence on the fallen soldiers in Niger. And, boy, did he speak. 

The Nation: — Dave Zirin:
“We’ve all seen San Antonio Spurs’ future Hall of Fame coach Gregg Popovich in a state of exasperation on the sidelines, or in post-game news conferences. Many of us have also heard him speak with great vexation and clarity about the direction of this country and the actions of Donald Trump, particularly on Trump’s “disgusting tenor and tone and all the comments that have been xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic.” But I have never heard this man so frustrated, so fed up, and so tense with anger than today.
Here is what he expressed:
Coach Pop:
I’ve been amazed and disappointed by so much of what this President had said, and his approach to running this country, which seems to be one of just a never ending divisiveness. But his comments today about those who have lost loved ones in times of war and his lies that previous presidents Obama and Bush never contacted their families, is so beyond the pale, I almost don’t have the words.
This man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward who thinks that he can only become large by belittling others. This has of course been a common practice of his, but to do it in this manner–and to lie about how previous Presidents responded to the deaths of soldiers–is as low as it gets.  We have a pathological liar in the White House: unfit intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically to hold this office and the whole world knows it, especially those around him every day. The people who work with this President should be ashamed because they know it better than anyone just how unfit he is, and yet they choose to do nothing about it. This is their shame most of all.”
You speak for many Americans, Pops.

Bless you.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Wow. John McCain - "We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil."

John McCain receives Liberty Medal from Vice President Biden tonight in Philadelphia.
I’ve had my differences with John McCain, but he is my Captain tonight.

Receiving the Liberty Medal in Philly tonight, McCain made as important a speech as any made in this century.

His repudiation of Trump/Bannonism was utter and complete.
Old Navy Airmen never die...they just kick some ass.
“To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain 'the last best hope of earth' for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.
We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil. We are the custodians of those ideals at home, and their champion abroad. We have done great good in the world. That leadership has had its costs, but we have become incomparably powerful and wealthy as we did. We have a moral obligation to continue in our just cause, and we would bring more than shame on ourselves if we don’t. We will not thrive in a world where our leadership and ideals are absent. We wouldn’t deserve to.”
Full Text:
Thank you, Joe, my old, dear friend, for those mostly undeserved kind words. Vice President Biden and I have known each other for a lot of years now, more than forty, if you’re counting. We knew each other back when we were young and handsome and smarter than everyone else but were too modest to say so.

Joe was already a senator, and I was the Navy’s liaison to the Senate. My duties included escorting senate delegations on overseas trips, and in that capacity, I supervised the disposition of the delegation’s luggage, which could require – now and again – when no one of lower rank was available for the job – that I carry someone worthy’s bag. Once or twice that worthy turned out to be the young senator from Delaware. I’ve resented it ever since.

Joe has heard me joke about that before. I hope he has heard, too, my profession of gratitude for his friendship these many years. It has meant a lot to me. We served in the Senate together for over twenty years, during some eventful times, as we passed from young men to the fossils who appear before you this evening.

We didn’t always agree on the issues. We often argued – sometimes passionately.

But we believed in each other’s patriotism and the sincerity of each other’s convictions. We believed in the institution we were privileged to serve in. We believed in our mutual responsibility to help make the place work and to cooperate in finding solutions to our country’s problems. We believed in our country and in our country’s indispensability to international peace and stability and to the progress of humanity.

And through it all, whether we argued or agreed, Joe was good company. Thank you, old friend, for your company and your service to America.

Thank you, too, to the National Constitution Center, and everyone associated with it for this award. Thank you for that video, and for the all too generous compliments paid to me this evening. I’m aware of the prestigious company the Liberty Medal places me in. I’m humbled by it, and I’ll try my best not to prove too unworthy of it.

Some years ago, I was present at an event where an earlier Liberty Medal recipient spoke about America’s values and the sacrifices made for them. It was 1991, and I was attending the ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The World War II veteran, estimable patriot and good man, President George H.W. Bush, gave a moving speech at the USS Arizona memorial. I remember it very well. His voice was thick with emotion as he neared the end of his address. I imagine he was thinking not only of the brave Americans who lost their lives on December 7, 1941, but of the friends he had served with and lost in the Pacific where he had been the Navy’s youngest aviator.

‘Look at the water here, clear and quiet …’ he directed, ‘One day, in what now seems another lifetime, it wrapped its arms around the finest sons any nation could ever have, and it carried them to a better world.’

He could barely get out the last line, ‘May God bless them, and may God bless America, the most wondrous land on earth.’

The most wondrous land on earth, indeed. I’ve had the good fortune to spend sixty years in service to this wondrous land. It has not been perfect service, to be sure, and there were probably times when the country might have benefited from a little less of my help. But I’ve tried to deserve the privilege as best I can, and I’ve been repaid a thousand times over with adventures, with good company, and with the satisfaction of serving something more important than myself, of being a bit player in the extraordinary story of America. And I am so very grateful.

What a privilege it is to serve this big, boisterous, brawling, intemperate, striving, daring, beautiful, bountiful, brave, magnificent country. With all our flaws, all our mistakes, with all the frailties of human nature as much on display as our virtues, with all the rancor and anger of our politics, we are blessed.

We are living in the land of the free, the land where anything is possible, the land of the immigrant’s dream, the land with the storied past forgotten in the rush to the imagined future, the land that repairs and reinvents itself, the land where a person can escape the consequences of a self-centered youth and know the satisfaction of sacrificing for an ideal, the land where you can go from aimless rebellion to a noble cause, and from the bottom of your class to your party’s nomination for president.

We are blessed, and we have been a blessing to humanity in turn. The international order we helped build from the ashes of world war, and that we defend to this day, has liberated more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history. This wondrous land has shared its treasures and ideals and shed the blood of its finest patriots to help make another, better world. And as we did so, we made our own civilization more just, freer, more accomplished and prosperous than the America that existed when I watched my father go off to war on December 7, 1941.

To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain 'the last best hope of earth' for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.

We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil. We are the custodians of those ideals at home, and their champion abroad. We have done great good in the world. That leadership has had its costs, but we have become incomparably powerful and wealthy as we did. We have a moral obligation to continue in our just cause, and we would bring more than shame on ourselves if we don’t. We will not thrive in a world where our leadership and ideals are absent. We wouldn’t deserve to.

I am the luckiest guy on earth. I have served America’s cause – the cause of our security and the security of our friends, the cause of freedom and equal justice – all my adult life. I haven’t always served it well. I haven’t even always appreciated what I was serving. But among the few compensations of old age is the acuity of hindsight. I see now that I was part of something important that drew me along in its wake even when I was diverted by other interests. I was, knowingly or not, along for the ride as America made the future better than the past.

And I have enjoyed it, every single day of it, the good ones and the not so good ones. I’ve been inspired by the service of better patriots than me. I’ve seen Americans make sacrifices for our country and her causes and for people who were strangers to them but for our common humanity, sacrifices that were much harder than the service asked of me. And I’ve seen the good they have done, the lives they freed from tyranny and injustice, the hope they encouraged, the dreams they made achievable.

May God bless them. May God bless America, and give us the strength and wisdom, the generosity and compassion, to do our duty for this wondrous land, and for the world that counts on us. With all its suffering and dangers, the world still looks to the example and leadership of America to become, another, better place. What greater cause could anyone ever serve.

Thank you again for this honor. I’ll treasure it.
This former sailor and present American Thanks You, Senator.


Monday, October 16, 2017

Charles Blow's column is a thing of beauty: "Trump can't hold a candle to Obama..."

Drumpf cannot touch Obama.
It has become abundantly clear that The "Effen" Moron's only clear mission is to destroy President Barack Obama’s legacy. As his very malicious decision to end the subsidy for poor people under the ACA shows, Drumpf is prepared to hurt millions of Americans in his evil quest to tear down that which Obama built. But the thing is, to The Evil One’s great dismay, the harder he tries to tear down his predecessor’s hard work, the more he himself is diminished even as Mr. Obama’s stock continues to rise.

You just must read today’s column from New York Times columnist Charles Blow. It’s entitled, “Trump, Chieftain of Spite.

It must be cold and miserable standing in the shadow of someone greater and smarter, more loved and more admired. It must be infuriating to have risen on the wings of your derision of that person’s every decision, and even his very existence, and yet not be able to measure up —  in either stratagem or efficacy — when you sit where that person once sat.
He continues…

This is the existence of Donald Trump in the wake of President Barack Obama. Trump can’t hold a candle to Obama, so he’s taking a tiki torch to Obama’s legacy. Trump can’t get his bad ideas through Congress, but he can use the power of the presidency to sabotage or even sink Obama’s signature deeds.
In fact, if there’s a defining feature of Trump as “president,” is that in all ways he is the anti-Obama — not only on policy but also on matters of propriety and polish. While Obama was erudite, Trump is ignorant. Obama was civil, Trump is churlish. Obama was tactful, Trump is tacky.