Saturday, February 13, 2016

Dumbo Day One -Dreams- Nightmares

Eags conjures up the horror of promised Day One actions by Der Trumpster and C (for Crackpot) Cruz. These guys are beyond D-U-M-B. They are bat$hit crazy. And that might be an injustice to bat guano. And also elevates dumb as a measure of intelligence. The sole redeeming element of Eags' essay is the world-class snark. The White House will need a padded room if either of the Dumbo frontrunners gets elected in November. If this is a (fair & balanced) report from the asylum, so be it.

[x NY Fishwrap]
Day One Of The New President
By Eags (Timothy Egan)

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It was a lot of fun watching Chris Christie pants Senator Marco Rubio and steal his lunch money, causing the Marcobot to break down — a murder-suicide, it seems to be. And what fan of Lincolnesque elocution didn’t enjoy Donald Trump calling Ted Cruz a girlie man, while belittling Jeb Bush for needing his mommy. Great stuff from the Granite State.

But at some point, the show becomes a governing reality for this gasping democracy of ours, a reality that touches every country in the world. To that end, the most likely Republican nominees have left a precise guide of what they would do on Day One in office. From violating the Geneva Convention on war crimes and torture, to becoming a renegade nation on climate change and trade, to kicking millions of people off health care, it’s a hefty list of first-day promises.

The front-runner, Trump, is a big Day One man. His election itself will usher in “so much winning,” as he said, “that you will get bored with it.” But there will also be so much torturing. Trump has vowed to inflict cruelties on our enemies that are “a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.” Endless possibilities there, though he’d have to contend with the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which was ratified by the United States.

Dignity, class, humility and the truth would all be immediate Day One casualties of a Trump presidency. He lies without flinching, and makes up his own facts with the dexterity of a sociopath, dating to his insinuation that President Obama was not born in this country. He would govern the same way. It’s well known that Trump does not recognize climate change. But less publicized are his truther statements about basic economic facts.

“Don’t believe those phony numbers when you hear 4.9 or 5 percent unemployment,” Trump said on Tuesday. “The number is probably 28, 29 as high as 35. In fact, I even heard recently 42 percent.”

Consider that: a much higher unemployment rate than during the Great Depression, and somehow it eluded every economic metric. But that’s what Trump heard, and if you factor in retired people, college students and little kids, it might even be true in some alternative universe.

Before he leads his Slovenian-born First Lady onto the dance floor in a swirl of orangutan orange, Trump says he would unleash federal authorities against 11 million undocumented immigrants.

Day One, if I win, day one of my presidency they’re getting out,” he said. “We’re getting them out. We’re getting them out fast.” Imagine the cutaways between Trump taking the oath, and federal agents going door-to-door separating parents from children, breaking up job sites, stalking food trucks.

Same day, another Trumpian edict. “I will get rid of gun-free zones on schools,” he vowed. “It gets signed my first day.” Bang, bang, shoot, shoot.

Then it’s on to alienating the rest of the world. He promises to start a trade war with our biggest economic partners, raising tariffs, building walls, hurling personal threats. It’ll be fun, for about an hour. And then, Trump’s policies will usher in a global economic meltdown.

On the same day, he’ll bring on fresh brinkmanship with Iran. Sanctions were lifted last month after Iran followed through on promises to dismantle large sections of its nuclear program. Trump would throw out the pact, freeing Iran to pursue a nuke without all that pesky global monitoring.

As for climate change, as mentioned, Trump is not buying the science — it’s all a hoax “created by the Chinese.” It follows, then, the world’s second largest polluter, the United States, will withdraw from the pact signed by nearly 200 nations last year in Paris.

While choking on the pollutants newly liberated by President Trump, good luck if you are one of the millions of people who acquired health care under President Obama. It’s gone, to be replaced by “something terrific.” He hasn’t said what that something would be or why it would be terrific, only that people aren’t going to “die on the streets.”

It would also be a busy Day One for President Cruz. Get used to that smarmy smile and a surfeit of oleaginous speeches. After the Most Hated Man in Washington speaks to an empty National Mall, he’d follow through on a promise to unleash federal police powers against his top enemy — Planned Parenthood. Then, as with Trump, he’d anger the rest of the world by making the United States a rogue nation.

We’re not sure what Hillary Clinton would do on her first day in office; she’s been short on the Day One promises. Same with Bernie Sanders. But Clinton’s opponents know what they would do: impeach her. On Day One. That’s the vow of Representative Mo Brooks (R-AL), and he has a lot of support in his party.

Too bad Chris Christie won’t get his chance at Day One governance. He made this promise to President Obama: “We are going to kick your rear end out of the White House.” Obama, of course, is term-limited. So, it seems, is any trace of civility in Christie’s party. Ω

[Timothy Egan writes "Outposts," a column at the NY Fishwrap online. Egan — winner of both a Pulitzer Prize in 2001 as a member of a team of reporters who wrote the series "How Race Is Lived in America" and a National Book Award (The Worst Hard Time in 2006) — graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in journalism, and was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters by Whitman College in 2000 for his environmental writings. Egan's most recent book is The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America (2009).]

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