The Hijacking of our National and Foreign Policy Agenda
Winning can be intoxicating. It can temporarily blind a person or organization to truths that may otherwise be made readily apparent. The Republican Party is going through just such an intoxicating phase. They have ridden the wave of a usurper in order to achieve their goals, and in doing so have torched any pretext that are a party of conservative principles.
The Republican Party is now the party of Trump
GOP politicians lied to the public for the last eight years that Barack Obama was trying to radically alter our way of life and turn it into some kind of dystopian nightmare. And now, they stand poised to rubber stamp the process of turning our country into exactly that.
As Donald Trump becomes more unhinged, and less Republican, none dare stand up and be counted. This cowardice has already led to major backlash against Republicans, even as his most sycophantic supporters continue to sing his praise. It has also, at minimum, created the perception of an administration in turmoil.
The Wrecking Ball
Is this all going according to planned? Are Washington insiders naive to asses this administration as being unhinged or a failure? That is exactly what is being suggested by some.
I agree that by all standard measures, the Trump administration is failing. Trump himself is failing to do the expected job of a President and appears to be fundamentally unfit to do this job.
But political pundits don’t get it. They think Trump and Bannon are playing soccer, by the rules of soccer. Trump was not hired to do the job of a president, he was hired to be a wrecking ball to destroy the Washington establishment. By that measure he is doing a great job, and is certainly not failing.
All of the crazy behavior is a smokescreen, and a very shiny attractive target for news media…There is a fool sitting at the table and it isn’t Trump or his cronies. Yes Saturday Night Live is funny. But they aren’t laughing and neither should we be. All the narratives that Trump is mentally defective, crazy or foolish are based on the assumption that he and his team are not deliberately manufacturing this reality television program for other purposes.
In this fantastic essay for Medium, Miko Matsumura lays out some frightening scenarios. The outcome would be a KGB style deep state controlled by Bannon and his inner circle, complete with McCarthy-esque purging of political opposition.
What Bannon needs is a patriotic puppet that can be used to stand in front of the intelligence agencies, while the true power resides with him. This is why Flynn was ousted and why both Petraeus and Harward refused the job of National Security Adviser.
Update: H.R. McMaster was appointed today as National Security Adviser. It appears that McMaster was given control over his staff by the White House. If it’s true, it’s possible that Priebus (politics) is getting leverage over Bannon (ideology).
It is not hyperbole to refer to the situation as dire for the Republic. This administration holds a worldview is clearly geared towards a nationalistic re- alignment, and is willing to take whatever measures are necessary to achieve this goal:
Bannon himself said it most clearly, he intends to establish a 50 year reign and compared himself to Thomas Cromwell in the court of Henry VIII, the king who usurped the power of the church and changed the foundation of the authority for the British monarchy. He states clearly that he benefits from “them” getting it wrong and being blind to what they are doing.
These guys are so clearly playing a totally different ballgame than the mainstream of the Republican party, and by idly standing by and allowing this to occur, the world will almost certainly be made more dangerous.
Marching Towards the Apocalypse
Could that wrecking ball extend to the rest of the world as well? The apocalyptic rhetoric that is emanating from this White House would seem to indicate so. Their ‘conflict of civilizations’ argument that is made against Islam is dangerously close to ISIS propaganda, writes Murtaza Hussain of The Intercept:
After a series of improbable successes, the radical right-wing vanguard of U.S. politics has now taken control of the government, along with the most powerful military on the planet. In its enthusiasm for civilizational war, it is just the enemy that a group like the Islamic State needs to help validate its desperate and fanatical narrative.
High-ranking members of the current administration — most notably its chief strategist, Steve Bannon — have publicly espoused apocalyptic theories of history that center on a forthcoming clash between Western countries and the Muslim world, a conflict that many of them seem to perceive as both inevitable and desirable.
Extremists are now pulling the levers of power in our country. There is really no way to overstate what a radical departure from sound foreign policy this represents. We cannot afford to straddle the fence on this. Nor can we wait on members of Congress to grow a spine and stand up to this madness. It is up to all of us who value our way of life to not let it be hijacked.