With crisp stage timing, Senator Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican, is making media rounds for a new book denouncing Trump, “Conscience of a Conservative.” (He took the title from a famed Arizona conservative, the late Barry Goldwater.) Flake, 54, is the first senator to speak out strongly, painting the president as an unclothed emperor.
Sad to say about the American president, but you can’t take him anywhere. Trump needs a tete-a-tete with his best friend on the world stage, President Vladimir Putin, the spymaster who loved him. There’s a lot of stuff to talk about. It’s a secret no more that Russia influenced the 2016 election and attacked American democracy to help his victory.
Strange thing passing, but the Republican repeal push on health care echoes Obama’s efforts to get it passed in the first place, six or seven years ago. First, neither the 44th nor the 45th president have strong ties or friends in Congress. Lacking discipline for unity, Trump will remain an obstreperous outsider to the political establishment; that’s what he ran on.
The body is still warm, though President Trump is gleefully pronouncing it dead. We are talking about President Obama’s signature piece of legislation, the Affordable Care Act. And part of this is personal. Repealing Obamacare, dealing a lethal blow to Barack Obama’s legacy, is truly the best part of the Republican fun.
At the end of the day, we heard The Washington Post’s earthshaking scoop: Trump is under investigation for obstruction of justice. But there was no joy in Mudville, or Washington, even for those who saw big trouble coming. Universally, we were grief-stricken and gobsmacked at the turn of events for Congress and the rocky Trump White House — not even five-months-old.
Recently fired as FBI director, James Comey arrived at the teeming Senate Intelligence Committee hearing room. He rode a white horse into the big story, which casts him as a truth-teller versus a new president with few scruples. Sure, the white horse is in my imagination, but that’s the kind of guy Comey likes to be: 6’8″ tall and just as upright.
The truth is clear as a June day: Donald J. Trump has no idea how to play his part. He doesn’t have the class or the chops; nor does he have curiosity or compassion. To borrow a phrase from him, he does not “look the part.”
he president who tragically died at 46 never combed gray hair, as the Irish say about dying young. His 100th birthday is upon us Monday, May 29. Yo-Yo Ma, the great cellist, played at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to honor his memory.
The scene was straight out of Shakespeare. FBI Director James Comey played Cordelia at the loyalty dinner with President Trump, one week into his White House reign. Comey and the stage character Cordelia get punished severely for speaking truth to power’s face.
American history is a grand sprawling canvas. Scholars spent their lives writing about the Civil War. But Trump has given us a whole new window on it. He clarified that we needed a tough Southern slave plantation owner to hold things together. President Jackson has become his north star in a sea of ignorance. After visiting the National Archives on the National Mall, where Trump’s tweets will join the Emancipation Proclamation, my father asked me, “How many of these Smithsonian museums do you think he’s visited?”
A word of advice to gruff billy goat Trump, 70, and pal Bill. Go back to graceful Jack Kennedy, who charted courses for the country, but never combed gray hair. Self-deprecating wit is the secret sauce to disarming people. Try it sometime. Though it might be easier for these men to land on the moon. Yet it works wonders.
Murphy declared the center of the Senate might not hold any more, if the rules were changed for Gorsuch to be railroaded through. Once the rule changes, it is permanent. The rules changed by a series of votes Thursday. The final Gorsuch vote will move ahead Friday night — before they break for Easter and Passover.
In fact, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, a son of the South, lost no time in waging war on the federal government from within. Wielding the budget knife at the National Institutes of Health, the State Department and National Endowment for the Arts are skirmishes in what will soon be a siege.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) noted that millions of “dark” dollars had been raised to buttress the nomination of Gorsuch, without names attached. “They obviously think you will be worth their money,” Whitehouse said bluntly.
You see, he was rough-hewn, but Bush belonged to the political establishment as a genial governor when he ran. Trump is such an angry outsider that you can sense Washington wishing for the good ol’ days. Back then, presidents didn’t accuse others in the elite club of wiretapping.
Douglass, striking in appearance and speech, became the first public speaker to tell the story of American slavery from personal experience. After his spellbinding oratory on Nantucket Island, Douglass became a sensation on the anti-slavery circuit.
The fancy joint session address to Congress is not a place you can lead chants like, “Lock her up.” Best to avoid the word “carnage” if possible. If you’re the American president, please act like one. For the first time in a long life, Trump tried to do that. Fake gravitas does not become him, but his slick performance fooled half the people.
When Congress returned home, Republicans got clobbered at town hall meetings. These scenes made me check up on our democracy’s wellness. Bad news: The body politic’s muscles got flabby in the last 16-17 years. Blood pressure up, and too many Cheetos, not enough kale.
I heard your voice like a firebell in the middle of the night — from that beautiful phone — but you know, I can’t be at your beck and call. Here I am on an island in the blue, taking time out from writing timeless prose from the chamber of my mind. The world is waiting for another memoir. Michelle’s here, but she does not send her regards. My wife has serious issues with you, and says Melania does, too.
Oh, brother — civil war is churning and burning, and an awakening is in the air after a deeply wrong election, which the loser won. Yes, sisters are stepping up to save the day. That’s what President Trump hates most: when women judge, challenge, or dare to defy him — or get three million more votes on Election Day.
Our light, illuminating a separate branch of government, is not yet extinguished. Under the Dome, Congress is scurrying to find its place in the presidential matrix. As disempowered as minority Democrats are, Republicans are wandering the wilderness, too. The establishment lost the election. In politics, which operates on a thousand personal bonds, Donald Trump is an unknown.
Authoritarians love walls. That will be his scrawl across America. It will make an enemy of our neighbor, Mexico, but who cares? That may be his foreign policy in a nutshell. We’re living in Donald Trump’s reality now, and the “truth” is what Trump says it is.
As the Barack Obama presidency dwindles down to the last day, there’s no silent amen. Donald Trump people are swarming the streets around Union Station. These Republicans seem to have come from the country to claim the country, what’s theirs. The barricades and bollards surround the beloved Capitol, the place looks like a police state. The citadel of democracy looks captured.
Are we living history backward? A swaggering new president who lost the people’s vote may mimic Julius Caesar’s Rome, changing from a republic to an empire. Caesar conquered Gaul. Trump conquered Rockefeller Center, where NBC made the mogul’s reality show, “The Apprentice.” It feels “unpresidented.”
With a few exceptional scenes, as when he sang “Amazing Grace” at the funeral of nine murdered churchgoers, Obama’s persuasion aims to connect with minds — sweet reason — more than hearts. And will we ever miss him when he’s gone.