Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Nothing But a Loser

So Trump has been impeached for a second time.

This, and inciting a violent insurrection that overran Congress, is all that he will be remembered for. 

Nothing to do with the economy, with Israel, with whatever tiny victories his supporters will of course insist upon. They are all gone now, crushed into the ashe and mud of his pathologies, inanities and stupidities. 

Trump will be remembered as his worst possible nightmare: a pure, unadulterated loser, loser to Sleepy Joe.

Such poetic justice.

And he has finally made fools of his supporters too, of all of them, as he was bound to do from the very beginning it seems, from the very instant he insipidly declared an "American Carnage" at his inauguration, at the end of Obama's second term, without any evidence, without data, without any logic or reason whatsoever.

It was then Trump announced he wouldn't be tied down by reason or evidence. Smart people had learned that months earlier -- perhaps the earliest was when he made fun of a handicapped reporter, something Trump never had the decency to apologize for, and which, much more importantly, his supporters never made him apologize for. 

Then he insulted a judge merely for his Mexican heritage.

It painted Trump as weak -- but, for his supporters, tellingly, they saw only the kind of racist they were looking for.


Trump never gained a position of strength, except in the eyes of those who were weak themselves, who saw themselves as failures in the American maelstrom, in the vicious American contest aptly summarized by Brad Pitt at the end of the movie Killing Them Softly

"I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own."

That movie is from 2012. Has much changed? I think some things have. I think Trump was adamantly opposed to those things, as are all Republicans. But there was indeed much to be angry about, such as the grand collapse of the American middle class, their jobs sent overseas by both Republicans and Democrats, right under their noses, until before they knew it those jobs were gone and they were left driving trucks and working at McDonalds or Walmart and enlisting in the military, hoping anywhere to find employment with a bit of something above minimum wage with some health insurance and maybe 2 weeks paid vacation time a year. Or not. 

Despite all the Republicans telling the lower classes to pick themselves up by their bootstraps.

That wasn't me, of course. I had three college degrees and, since Newt Gingrich, was supposed to be happy sitting in a cubicle fielding 60 voice mail messages a day, and 8 meetings a day to keep the sky from falling in and 120 emails a day that all demanded an answer that very afternoon, 30 from three simultaneous girlfriends I was juggling for a few weeks there, until I could finally skip out at 6:30 pm to drink with a few well-placed colleagues at a pleasant wood-strewn New Jersey tavern a mile from our headquarters with my tie off just to let my chest muscles finally unknot. Weren't THOSE great times. They didn't last more than about a year, though.

I'm getting distracted here -- what am I trying to say? 

Just that I think Trump got what the hell he deserved, and more. 

Not enough, in fact. 

Trump has been a jerk from the very beginning. He's been happy to be a jerk. From the beginning. He's insulted America, the institution of the presidency, all degrees of normalcy and decency, all standards of class, and done so without any humor, without any good nature, without any intelligence, or character, or mirth, or tradition, or cleverness. 

Or anything. I'm reaching a point where I don't care so much what happens to the asshole. Just let him slither away under whatever rock he has left to go to, as long as the PGA won't host a golf tournament over it. 

Supposedly that loss enraged him more than being impeached, said a Twitter feed from Maggie Haberman or someone of her ilk. That's pleasant to know. Unlike most people, Trump makes it very easy to hate him. Always has.


Entropic man said...

Relax. One way or another he'll be out of office in a week and you can set about repairing the damage.

Layzej said...

I'm not sure Biden is interested in addressing the bigger structural issue: "I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own."

People put their faith in Trump to address that. It's still an issue after 4 years (worse by most measures), and I doubt there is any will to address it in the next 4.

David in Cal said...

Why stop at 2? Trump has 6 more days in office. The Democrats should impeach him 6 more times. Or 7 more, if they impeach him on the morning of Inauguration Day. Then, Trump would be the only President to be impeached 9 times!

Of course, my point is that this impeachment is meaningless, since it cannot result in Trump being thrown out of office. The frivolous use of the impeachment power is bad for the country.


Layzej said...

Don't you think crimes should be punished? Don't you think there is value in showing America and the world that USA really is a country of law and order?

What kind of precedent would it set to simply shrug when a president attempts to overthrow democracy?

David in Cal said...

Layzej - I do think crimes should be punished. I hope the people who rioted inside the Capitol are identified and prosecuted. I think many of them will be prosecuted. I wish all the rioters in Portland, Minneapolis, etc. were identified and prosecuted.

If Donald Trump committed crimes, he can be prosecuted once he is out of office, and he should be. However, I don't know whether he actually committed crimes. In a way I hope he is prosecuted, because a trial would help resolve the question.


Layzej said...

Good. It would be silly to require a peaceful transition of power, except towards the end of your term where anything goes because hey, your term is almost over anyway.

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Ned said...

Trump tried to get state elections officials to overturn the election results. Then he tried to get courts to do so. He tried to convince state legislatures to throw out their votes. When all of those failed, he tried to get Mike Pence to somehow prevent Congress from receiving the results of the Electoral College.

When it became clear that Pence couldn't do that, and there weren't enough Hawleys and Cruzes in Congress to throw out Electoral College votes, Trump fell back on inciting a violent mob to attack the Capitol in a last-ditch effort to stop the counting of Electoral College votes and the certification of Biden's victory.

It is insane to suggest that somehow this shameful record - which cements Trump's position as the absolute worst president in US history - is not deserving of impeachment and expulsion.

If you can't impeach and remove a president for seeking to overturn his election loss by corruption and violence, and to cling to power against the will of the nation ... then what is impeachment for?

Amazing to think that Republicans believe that impeachment is appropriate for a president who had a sexual affair with an intern, but "too divisive" and "frivolous" for a president who launched a mob attack on Congress and nearly got lawmakers and his own vice president assassinated.

David in Cal said...

Ned - whether or not Trump deserves impeachment and expulsion, that goal is simply not possible. Trump will be out of office long before any impeachment trial could be concluded.


Ned said...

David, he was impeached on Wednesday. The Senate will vote on whether to convict him at some point, almost certainly after he's left office. If they vote to convict, they will then have the opportunity to also ban him from holding office in the future.

But my point had nothing to do with the timing. My point was that regardless of how long it takes the Senate to act, Trump's disgraceful conduct absolutely does merit impeachment and expulsion. If trying to overturn a presidential election by corrupt actions and mob violence doesn't merit impeachment and expulsion, what does?

I am glad the House took a stand on this, and condemn McConnell for stalling in the Senate.

I'd also point out that this vote (impeachment in the House) was an opportunity that Democrats generously handed to the GOP. Right now, the national image of the GOP is increasingly negative - anti-democratic, violent, conspiracy-obsessed, authoritarian, a cult of personality centered around a cloddish Mussolini-wannabe. The Party could have taken a step towards fixing their image, by voting to impeach Trump and thereby dissociating themselves from his malfeasance. Sadly (for their own sakes) only 10 of them had the integrity and good sense to do so.

Layzej said...

"The hope of impunity is a strong incitement to sedition; the dread of punishment, a proportionably strong discouragement to it."

What deteriorative precedent would be set if the house and senate turned a bind eye to the events of the last three months? It would welcome the decay of democracy in America.

David Appell said...

Convicting Trump after impeachment after he leaves office would:

1) ensure he can't again run for president.

2) strip him of the financial perks given to ex-presidents.

3) serve as a warning to future presidents thinking of insurrection.

All worthwhile, IMO, especially #1 and #3.

It would have removed him while sooner if the House had voted earlier and the Senate had the political will. Apparently they'd rather a psychopath be allowed to run loose with the nuclear codes.

David in Cal said...

David -- Trump will not be convicted. There is not a 2/3 majority in the Senate to convict.

However, an impeachment trial in the Senate will increase partisanship and bad feelings. It will also take up time and attention that could better be used for problems and challenges facing the country.


Layzej said...

My 10 yr old son asked me if Trump would be held to account. I told him they are working on that now. He said "Hopefully the judges are not all Trump supporters."

I let him know that half of them are. He said "but surely they need to put politics aside and render an impartial judgement" (or something to that effect).

I just laughed.

Trump will not be convicted. There is not a 2/3 majority in the Senate to convict.

Exactly. How sad.

However, an impeachment trial in the Senate will increase partisanship and bad feelings.

You would think that condemning insurrection and those that encouraged it would be something all members could unite behind - not counting co-conspirators like Cruz and the QAnon members of course.

I suspect you're right though that the republicans will treat this as a partisan issue. If the senate can't unite on condemning the insurrection there is really no point in trying to build bridges.

Entropic man said...

This is getting silly.

After the Republicans in Congress withdrew their support in 2010 Obama ruled mainly by executive order.

Donald Trump had the same problem with a Democrat Congress and wrote 209 executive orders, many of them reversing Obama's executive orders.

Now Biden is planning a blitz of executive orders to reverse Trump's executive orders.

For2 1/2 terms presidents have ruled by executive order and Congress has been irrelevant.

Maybe the mob had the right idea. You no longer need Congress.

David Appell said...

David wrote:
However, an impeachment trial in the Senate will increase partisanship and bad feelings.

As opposed to the vast of Republicans in the House who voted to deny certification of the election results even AFTER an insurrection attempt??

Yet still a majority of Republicans support Trump.

When are *REPUBLICANS* going to do something to decrease partisanship and mollify feelings? When are they going to reject the Qanon-supporting members from their caucus, and reject the idiotic idea among their constituents? And all the other ridiculous conspiracy theories of the extreme right, and when are Trump and Hawling and others going to reject the BIG LIE that Trump has promulgated since the election and will continue to spout from now 'til he dies, and reject a seditionist from their party?

Why is it up to Democrats to smooth things over now, when they have done nothing wrong?

Thanks for writing.

David Appell said...

PS: If Republican Senators won't vote to convict a seditionist president, what exactly would it take? A president ordering a military attack on Portland? Dropping a nuclear bomb on Seattle? Assassinating Nancy Pelosi or Mike Pence (which was the goal of some of the rioters on Jan 6th)?

And Republicans call themselves "patriots?" What a joke. They are anything but.

David Appell said...

Correction: And these _Republican Senators_ (at the least) call themselves "patriots?" They are anything but.

David Appell said...

Layzej: Your son sounds like an intelligent kid.

I hope you only snickered at him and didn't laugh too hard. He's only 10, after all. Encourage his idealism.

David Appell said...

EM: And that was after Trump denounced legislating by Executive Order.

He also said that when president he wouldn't have time to golf.

But I take your point.

Layzej said...

Encourage his idealism.

Yes. Good point. Who knows, his optimism may be warranted.

Layzej said...

Some evidence that sedition may not be a partisan issue when the senate votes on impeachment: Mitch McConnell opened the Senate floor yesterday by acknowledging that “The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people.”