This happened yesterday. In the White House. In the very office where great men like Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt once fought to hold our nation together and protect its people.
The man on the left is Michigan’s own Ted Nugget, who, as you may recall, not too long ago called for both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to be hanged. One would think that our President would want to keep his distance from a draft dodging, child molesting, racist like Nugent, but maybe, after 100 days in office, he’s finally given up on trying to maintain the illusion of being a legitimate president. Maybe, with impeachment looming, and the right wing media in chaos [more on that in just a minute], this is all he’s got left… a desperate appeal to his angry, white, male base… the people who still see it as delightfully refreshing when a man like Nugent calls Hillary Clinton a “toxic cunt,” or Barack Obama a “subhuman mongrel”… to stick with him in spite of everything that’s happening.
The iceberg that Trump is standing on appears to be rapidly melting beneath his fleshy pink feet. Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly are out at Fox News, having been shown the door after the costs associated with their decades of reprehensible behavior toward female subordinates finally became too much to tolerate. Far right agitator Milo Yiannopoulos has not only been forced out at Breitbart, in the wake of making comments defending pedophilia, but he’s also been banned for life from Twitter, after having instigated a campaign of online racist attacks against actress Leslie Jones. And Tomi Lauren, commonly referred to as “White Power Barbie,” has been fired from The Blaze by Glenn Beck, who, by the way, came to the conclusion during the presidential campaign that Trump is “dangerously unhinged”. Oh, and, just a few days ago, the news broke that, in a Texas custody case, the attorney representing Infowars host Alex Jones informed the judge presiding over the hearing that his client was merely a “performance artist”, manipulating his rabid, conspiracy theory-believing fans for fame and profit… While I’m sure all of these influential Trump supporters will resurface in the future, it’s remarkable that, at least right now, their stars all seem to be on the decline. And, what’s more, this is happening at a time when, inside the White House, the talking heads aren’t fairing much better, with Kellyanne Conway having been sidelined and Sean Spicer increasingly being seen as a joke by the American people.
And it’s not just the talking heads on the far right that are flaming out. Everyone in Trump’s orbit seems to be moving rapidly along the “crash and burn” continuum.
Not only are Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Roger Stone all being investigated for the roles they may have played on behalf the Russians to influence the outcome of the last election in Trump’s favor, but news just broke yesterday that Congressman Jason Chafettz, who recently came to Trump’s defense by claiming falsely that evidence existed backing up the President’s claim that he’d been spied on by Obama, wouldn’t be seeking reelection. And, not just that, but he said today that he might not even finish out his current term.
And all of this is having an impact. A Gallop poll release earlier this week showed that Americans – even ones that voted for him – are increasingly seeing Trump as a liar who can’t be trusted. As of right now, according to the Gallop poll, only 45 percent of Americans think that Trump keeps his promises. And that’s down from 62 percent in February. That’s a 17 point drop in less than three months.
So, yeah, I suspect Trump may be shoring up the 20% of Americans that care more about Kid Rock, Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent than they do about the fact that their President apparently doesn’t know who the leader of North Korea is or or in which direction our armada is heading.
The popular theory has been that Trump couldn’t afford to dump his white nationalist strategist Steve Bannon because he held the keys to the so-called alt-right. The thinking was that Trump, as long as he had Bannon (and thus Breitbart) by his side, couldn’t drop below a 35% favorability rating, allowing him to stay in office. Now that the floor is dropping, though, and the base is starting to erode, it looks as though Trump is fighting to find a new way forward. Word is that he’s considering the possibility of firing Bannon, and relying more on his family members to run the government. And it looks as though he may be trying to establish new lines of communication with the so-called alt-right, and form new alliances. [Word is that he just recently had dinner with the Koch brothers.]
Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I just can’t help but think that hosting photo shoots like this in the White House is a sign that the wagons are starting to circle in advance of a final conflict. I mean even Trump’s friend Tom Brady decided to skip a visit to the White House yesterday. That tells me the center is rapidly slipping away… And I think that explains the desperate appeal to the Triumvirate of Stupidity pictured in these photos.
[Trump should have let Nugent take the photo on the lawn of the White House for target practice.]
For what it’s worth, and I don’t think I’ve ever shared this with you before, I think it’s possible that, in the long run, we’ll look back and say we were lucky that Trump won the White House. This, of course, is assuming that we can get him out of office relatively quickly, before too much more damage can be done. Had Clinton won, I think it’s likely that the far right movement would have grown even more aggressive, with the prodding of Bannon and Trump, who would have, without question, accused Clinton of having stolen the election in some way, likely involving undocumented people of color casting millions and millions of illegal ballots. At least, the way it is now, we’ve been given the opportunity to see Trump, and this entire movement, for the hollow monstrosity it truly is. It’s been hell, and I know it will likely get worse before it gets better, but at least the American people are getting to see the extent to which they’ve been lied to. At least, now, people are beginning to understand that Trump didn’t really have a plan to defeat ISIS, or a way to give everyone insurance, or anything else that he promised. Sure, we might not do anything with that knowledge, but at least we know, and have that opportunity. As of right now, there’s no one to blame but ourselves.