So much is happening so fast. So let’s fire away at several juicy targets – er, topics.
Just when you think he can’t get worse, he does. His 77-minute tirade in Phoenix was True Trump. The estimable Economist pegged him for who and what he is: “politically inept, morally barren and temperamentally unfit for office.”
That sums it up pretty good.
Hillary’s creepy feeling
In her new book, “What Happened,” Hillary Clinton said “my skin crawled” when Trump loomed behind her in the debates. She went on, “Do you stay calm, keep smiling and carry on as if he weren’t repeatedly invading your space? Or do you turn, look him in the eye and say loudly and clearly, ‘Back up you creep, get away from me?’”
Right there, she tells us why she lost. If she had told the creep to back off, she would have shown Americans the real person beneath her ever-cautious, carefully calibrated mask. She would have rallied women to her side. She would have won. And spared us this national nightmare.
Sometimes in politics – and it’s always the most important times – you go with your gut.
Democrats celebrated Steve Bannon’s ouster from the White House. But he’s not going away. He could build a Breitbart media empire that out-Foxes Fox. He’ll take his economic-nationalist agenda to war against what he calls Democrats’ “identify politics.” And it may be a winning strategy.
Bannon’s banishment means the Trump White House is in the hands of the Jared- Ivanka-Goldman Sachs-Generals junta. Their agenda is wildly different from Bannon’s. He wants to get out of Afghanistan. He wants to start an economic war on China. He says there’s no military solution to North Korea. He wants to raise taxes on the rich and launch a $1 trillion infrastructure program.
But he and Trump clearly agreed on race. That was enough to win the election. Then Bannon committed the cardinal sin: He eclipsed the Sun King.
Speaking of eclipse, Trump stared straight at it Monday afternoon. That night, he stared straight at the war in Afghanistan – and blinked. He abandoned his promise to get out.
He said “his” generals changed his mind. With all due respect to the generals, neither he nor they answered a question that lingers after 16 years of war. And lingers 50 years after Vietnam: How do we win a war when we can’t tell the good guys from the bad guys?
Thom Tillis regrets that Trump’s “tone” on race, Nazis and Charlottesville is a “distraction” from the real Republican agenda – that is, cutting taxes for the rich, abolishing regulations on polluters and taking away health insurance and any other help for Americans struggling in an often-cold and cruel economy.
Some Democrats also shy away from debating Confederate statues. They worry it will hurt Democrats, like Governor Cooper.
Is it a “distraction”? Or is it The Issue – capital T, capital I?
America is still atoning for the Original Sin of slavery. We’re the land of the free, and we were the home of the slaves. The South fought a Civil War to keep slavery. For generations after, white Southerners brutally suppressed blacks. Today, Republicans disenfranchise African-American voters.
Racism, like a cancer, still infects the body politic. That’s why we need to debate Confederate statues. And that’s why it’s hard.