A lot of crazy shit happened yesterday in politics. A lot of crazy shit has happened this week, and we’re not even a full week into the Trump Presidency yet. Yesterday, among other things, Stephen Bannon told the media to keep its mouth shut; Trump floated the idea of a 20 percent tax on imports from Mexico to pay for the wall (that is not how you get Mexico to pay for the wall; that’s how you get us to pay for the wall); senior level State Department officials quit or were fired; Trump planned (but I think rescheduled for today) a meeting to sign an Executive Order to investigate non-existent voter fraud; the head of the border patrol resigned after Trump’s Executive Order to build the wall; and The Washington Post reported that Trump called the director of the national parks on Saturday morning, his first full day in office, and demanded that the director provide photographs showing that his inauguration was larger than Obama’s. These photographs do not exist.
Honestly, that’s the tip of the iceberg. What’s also been concerning is the gag orders he’s placing on staff agencies, and even more concerning are some of the leaks coming out anyway. It seems like a lot of civil servants are restless and scared, and who could blame them? Trump is threatening massive cuts. For instance, eliminating up to half or more of the EPA.
The media is pushing back, at least. So much so that Bannon called them the opposition, rather than the Democrats, and from what we have seen from Dems in Congress, he’s not wrong. Congressional Democrats have not been nearly as vocal as they should be (with some exception). Ultimately, however, because they have the numbers, it’s important that Republicans push back, as well, because that’s when things will start to unravel.
For the most part, however, Congressional Republicans have been ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. They seem to be looking on with a kind of bemusement, as Trump quietly destroys their party. However, there are signs of life.
Here’s Shep Smith from Fox News spending three minutes explaining to Fox News viewers that voter fraud in the 2016 election did not exist, that there is no evidence of it, and that the Pew Report that Trump continues to cite actually illustrates that there is no voter fraud. He even explains that the investigation Trump is asking for will investigate voter rolls, people registered in multiple states, and dead people who are still registered, which is not voter fraud. I can’t believe they let this air on Fox News.
Here, Shep Smith even goes so far as to suggest that this is all an effort to suppress the vote. ON FOX NEWS. And he added, “The list of falsehoods from the President is growing. Does this have a cumulative effect?” On FOX NEWS, someone actually said that his credibility is being ruined here and around the world.
Meanwhile, this is not Fox News but MSNBC, but it’s Steve Schmidt — the campaign manager for McCain and Palin’s Presidential run — who is giving viewers a lecture in truth. He says that he finds what’s going on in D.C. chilling and that he is deeply disturbed by it. He managed Sarah Palin’s campaign, people.
Take 90 seconds and listen to Steve Schmidt on truth. pic.twitter.com/GEBfUJlTNp— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) January 27, 2017
Meanwhile, this is a CNN report from Carl (fucking Bernstein), who says that he is hearing from a lot of Republicans that there is unprecedented “open discussion about the President’s emotional maturity, stability.”
Combine that with the massive number of leaks, the chaos within the White House, unconfirmed murmurings that Preibus is not happy, that Sean Spicer is on the chopping block, and Bannon’s desire to destroy the establishment Republican party from within, and it all points to something, right? The conflicts of interests have not gone away; there’s a new ethical breach every day; the staff is using private email servers; Trump is using an unsecured phone with a Twitter account connected to a gmail account. The offenses worthy of investigation — or possibly impeachments — are piling up. When the GOP finally gets fed up with this act, there will be no shortage of ways to remove him.
It occurred to me also that Republicans will definitely want to remove him before the 2018 elections, because if the Dems do take back the House (and that’s a possibility given what’s going on right now and historical losses by the ruling party in mid-terms), if Pence gets caught up in whatever scandal that takes down the President, the Presidency would fall to the the next in line, the Speaker of the House. If the Dems take back the House, that’d be Nancy Pelosi.
Just a thought.
Update: Here’s the Republican Deputy Whip of the House of Representatives calling out Trump’s claims of voter fraud.