Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Here's what's going to happen.

Long story short: it's gonna play out a lot like Rob Ford, but shorter.

Long story long:

Trump gets inaugurated. Initially most of the Republican caucus plays along with some of his less-asinine policy planks, but I doubt any wall gets built. He pisses off an ally or two -- maybe he'll have a beer with the president of Taiwan, perhaps? -- but after a while most world leaders just try to avoid and ignore him.

---

Trump: "Hey, president of West Slobovia, you really should come on over to America. It'll be tremendous."

President: "Uh... thanks, Don, but I've... got a thing. It's over in East Slobovia. Gonna take a while. Whoops! Toaster's on fire, I'll call you back." (click) *

Trump, on Twitter: "West Slobovia's leader is weak. Can't even take flaming kitchen appliance. As overrated as M. Streep's career. SAD!"

---

After about eight months, some prominent congressional Republicans start to cautiously speak out openly against Trump. He fires back with something ridiculous and offensive, because he's a ridiculous person with the thinnest skin imaginable. But, this just gets the ball rolling.

Behind the scenes, and tired of his antics, some bigwig Republicans will work with the inteligence agencies Trump seems to love to antagonize to cook up something bad enough to get him impeached, and eventually forced to resign (or perhaps removed forcibly, after having done something clearly unconstitutional). Trump will lawyer-up, but it'll be futile and he'll be removed from power. My guess is that he'll be president for less than two years.

Now, it doesn't matter if the thing that brings him down is real or not. It looks like there's probably enough awful stuff floating around out there that you don't really need to make something up; you just have to package-up some bad things he's done in the right way, sell it to the American public, and there you go. I mean, hell, a lot of Americans still probably think they invaded Iraq because Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11. You can sell anything to Americans if you're convincing-enough... as Trump himself learned.

But, yeah: President Pence by 2018, I imagine. And, because the Republicans looked like idiots, the Dems will take a lot of seats in the midterms and maybe get at least one house of Congress back.
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* When I was a kid, we had a toaster that often didn't pop back up on its own when the bread was toasted, so if you didn't keep an eye on it, the bread could catch on fire. My mom was on the phone with the contractor who was going to build an addition on our house, and she'd forgotten about the toaster... which now contained flaming bread. She very calmly told the guy on the phone, "Sorry, Bob, my toaster's on fire, I'll call you back." She then unplugged the toaster, sat it in the sink, and opened the window to let the smoke out... and called Bob back, of course.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Eve Of Destruction.

It's not just a song by one-hit-wonder Barry McGuire:


It is, of course, a reminder that, in nine short days, Donald Trump is sworn-in as president of the goddamn United States. And, naturally, people are seriously losing their minds.

Today we saw a shit-show of a press conference in which Trump dismissed CNN as being "fake news." Now, CNN may not exactly be the revered institution it once was, but when Fox News's Shepard Smith is going to bat for you, and telling the world that he believed CNN was indeed following standard journalistic practices in its reporting, you know the world's gone crazy.

Did Trump hire Russian whores to do a golden shower show on the bed the Obamas slept in? I'm not sure. I would say there's a non-zero chance of that happening, though: we know Trump is a sexual predator, has probably committed statutory rape, and didn't flinch when Howard Stern described his daughter Ivanka as "a piece of ass." As someone posted on Facebook earlier today, and I'm paraphrasing, "It's like when we heard Rob Ford smoked crack, and we hadn't seen the video yet. We knew we'd see it sometime." And the way the Russians would bug a room if they knew someone like Trump was gonna be there, I'd say there's a more-than-halfway chance that it's gonna surface eventually.

I listen to Marc Maron's WTF podcast regularly, and in a recent episode he interviews Bruce Springsteen. They're talking about the election -- Bruce is a Democrat, natch -- and I think they sum it up pretty well.

Marc: I dunno, are you scared now?

Bruce: Yeah. Yeah, of course. I mean, how could you not be?

M: Right. Have you felt this fear before?

B: No. I've felt disgust before, but the never the kind of fear that you feel now. It's as simple as the fear of, is someone simply competent enough to do this particular job? Forget about where they are ideologically, do they simply have the pure competence to be put in a position of such responsibility?

M: When you've done the amount of self-work you've done, and you've grown up, and you know people, it's sort of like, they elected the most insecure, y'know... needy, volatile dude. And to do this job, that, somehow or other... I don't think it embodies strength to a lot of people, but it does embody "fuck you." It's just like, they voted for... "Who ya votin' for?" "The 'fuck you' guy."

B: (laughing) That happened.

M: (laughing) That happened!

It's a solid interview, and definitely worth a listen. And I think Marc hit the nail on the head. People are hurting, and someone very forceful comes along to tell them exactly what they want to hear.

That said... a lot of people, myself included, don't think that Trump's going to last four years in office. Something's going to bring him down -- personally, I think there'll be a conflict of interest scanadal which will force him to resign. Others have suggested a heart attack. One colleague even floated the idea of an assassination at his inauguration; I thought that was a serious chance for Obama, but hey, I guess anything is possible. My guess is that we'll be talking about President Pence (ew.) by the middle of 2018.