The problem of writing about Trump is usually where to start. Last week it was clearly with his bombing of Syria. You know, that country he didn’t want to bomb because it wasn’t America’s problem, so why should he get involved?
But flip-flopping has been this week’s buzzword. Things Trump is currently flip-flopping over include (but I’m sure are not limited to),
- China’s currency (not currency manipulators anymore. It’s amazing how awkward it is to have these things come and bite you when foreign leaders come over.
- The Export/Import bank – necessary now.
- Nato – now ‘not obsolete.’
- Getting rid of the National debt. Really? You mean you can’t pay off trillion dollar debts in 8 years? The only person who believed he was going to get rid of the National debt was Trump himself, but for any rabid supporters out there who can’t do maths, Mick Mulvaney has confirmed this is unlikely to happen when he said “I think it’s fairly safe to assume that was hyperbole.” Well duh.
- Moving on from dealing with heath care – let’s just knock that on the head before tax reform.
Tax reform done before August recess now has no deadline, to be fair he’s really busy with healthcare now.
- Comey, the FBI director is good enough to keep doing his job – which was not the case when Trump described the “#rigged system” he headed when not charging Hilary Clinton with anything.
- The hiring freeze is being thawed out. Presidenting alone is super hard.
- Steve Bannon is his main man. – But then Time and SNL made fun of him because Bannon is in charge, so he’s dissing Steve because he wasn’t really into him until half-way through the campaign anyway, and Jared Kushner is cuter.
This is important to those of us who like the world not ripped apart to forward Bannon’s plans for the dismantling of the administration, as it could be the easiest way to get rid of the white supremacist in the house. Tell Trump that Bannon is the boss of him and watch him fire the man to prove us wrong.
- Presidents shouldn’t spend all their time on the links, like when Obama spent all that money on a golfing holiday. Unless, you own the links, then the president should spend 8 years’ worth of holiday money at Mar-a Largo.
- Russia is amazing and Putin is super-sexy and strong. But now he’s been told the press and people will love him if he dumps a massive bomb on Syria, and then he found out that Russians are besties with the bad guy in this war Bashar al-Assad. Trump got so mad he had to bomb Afghanistan too.
Perhaps he was trying to parent Kushner and Bannon but confused Syria and Afghanistan with his warring administration and the bombs were to punish both, presumably for the same reason kids get a punishment when their idiot friend acts out “because you were with him.”
But the flip-flopping itself is consistent, because it’s one of the symptoms of a presidency run by a reality TV sensibility. Trump is a man for whom ratings is the most important issue on the planet, no matter what he has to do to get those ratings, he will.
If that means changing best friends, doing a U-turn on healthcare, China, or indeed bombing foreign countries back to the Stone Age, that’s what he will do. He doesn’t have an over-arching vision for the American presidency, for how he handles the public and press, or for how he will manage on the world stage. This is a concern when Vanity Fair quotes a West Wing veteran as saying about working in the Whitehouse, “What sustains you are the stated principles of the president and the dedication of the people working with him to pursue that vision.”
Trump aids say there is no clear or consistent guidance from the president, like courtiers flocking to the king, senior-staffers must be close at hand to have his ear. Crowded meetings and aides reluctant to leave his side is the result.
Trump appears to have ADHD when it comes to advice. He simply listens to whoever is nearest when things are happening. If left alone, that’s Fox news in the middle of the night and he starts tweeting about terrorist attacks in Sweden, if that’s Bannon, he elects Betty Voss to head education, and if that’s his daughter, he goes out and bombs Syria.
Did anyone else miss the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court on Friday? Hate it when your important promotion is overshadowed by a dirty great bombing of Syria, with no clear purpose other than drawing a line at chemical weapons (the announcement of which was covered at length as Sean Spicer complimented Hitler and completely misunderstood that Zyklon-B is a chemical weapon, someone explained and he then effectively said German Jews gassed during the Holocaust were not German citizens, back-peddled some more, called Concentration Camps Holocaust Centres, apologised three times, and generally made a hash of things. All of this on Passover, a holiday that Bannon probably told him is that one that celebrates letting a God know which babies its okay to kill.
Despite the false start, Americans back war presidents more than any other, so the press started using words like ‘decisive’ rather than ‘insane’ which was probably Bannon’s plan all along. That and looking tough while the Chinese leader was in town, especially after calling his country ‘currency manipulators’ then having to take that back.
That everyone is looking away from the ties with Russia for a bit, can’t hurt either, because it was getting embarrassing having everybody start telling on the American and Russian administration.
Alex Oronov, was reported as setting up “a secret meeting between Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and Russian officials.” The meeting was said to discuss “a “peace plan” to give Russian President Vladimir Putin control of the Crimea.” The details for which, are said to have appeared on Michael Flynn’s desk. This has left everyone so red-faced, on the second of March, 2017 that Orlov appears to have died of embarrassment.
He’s not the only one. I don’t want to start some sort of conspiracy theory, but it seems the constitution of Russian diplomats seems to be weak and prone to sudden death. I’ll just make a short list of Russian Ambassadors, or those involved in Russian-American ties who have died under unusual or unexplained circumstances since December last year.
- Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s permanent ambassador to the UN. Died on his way to work February 20, 2017 in New York after suddenly becoming ill, reported as a heart attack at first, autopsy: inconclusive.
- Andrei Malanin, January 9, 2017, the Russian Consul in Athens, died in a hotel room in Greece at 55 of natural causes.
- Alexander Kadakin, 67, Russia’s ambassador to India dies 26 January, 2017, of heart failure after a brief illness,
- Sergie Krivov, 63, Russian diplomat unconscious with severe head injuries at the Russian consulate in New York on US election day. Medical examiners report, inconclusive.
- Andrei Karlov, Russian ambassador to Turkey, assassinated in Ankara by a policeman at a photography exhibition on 19 December 2016.
- Petr Polshikov, Russian diplomat, shot dead in his Moscow apartment also on 19 December.
- Oleg Erovinkin Former KGB chief, suspected of helping British spy Christopher Steele draft a dossier on Donald Trump, found dead in the back of his car December 26, 2016.
Oh, that list wasn’t as short as I thought. Is it just me, or when one is given a post as a Russian diplomat is it time to put one’s affairs in order?
Soon there won’t be anyone left to report on whether Russians unfairly influenced the American election, whether that be because anyone involves keels over of natural causes, or because the reporters themselves are busy congratulating Trump on his beautiful bombs in Syria or Afghanistan, or indeed because we all burn to a crisp after Trump starts a nuclear war with North Korea because the ratings on the first two bombings were so high, maybe he should just keep on bombing places until he’s the most popular president ever.
The take away from this is that Trump is ruled by ratings. SNL could really and truly run the country by making sketches that explain the world to the Trump administration, or representing as in charge, whichever Whitehouse staffer they’d like to get rid of. Come on Melissa McCarthy, how about being the first female American President? You can’t to a worse job than your predecessor.
Andra Jenkin co-wrote Double-Edged Sword- The Simonne Butler Story, and contributed to New Zealand Anthology of Women’s Comics ‘Three Words.’
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Ians, (January 26, 2017). “Russian ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin dies at 67.” Retrieved from www.indianexpress.com on April 17, 2017
Lazaro Gamio (November 9, 2017). “9 things Trump flip-flopped on this week.” Retrieved from www.axios.com on April 17, 2017
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Staff reporter, (January 9, 2017) “Russian consul Andrey Malanin found dead in Athens.” Retrieved from www.bbc.com on April 17, 2017
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