I was going to start this by saying "I don't know who is advising Trump, but..." and then quickly caught myself and realized what a stupid thing to even think. Of course no one is advising him. If there was, we wouldn't be shoveling through a new Trump Disaster or two every single freaking day. In fairness, yes, perhaps we could say that his son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka are "advising" him but that works out to basically the same thing -- and even at that, it's just advice, they're not telling him what he must do. So, the point remains.
What brought this up is when I read something really bizarre yesterday. That Trump is actually, really, truly leaving down today and going to Mar-a-Lago...as the government is on the precipice of shutting down tonight. But here's the deal -- that's not what the "really bizarre" thing is. That's only the every-day bizarre thing.
The really bizarre thing is that, if in fact the Senate fails to reach an accommodation and shuts down, and millions of Americans are put out of work, and the U.S. economy takes a pummeling -- Trump not only is going out of town to his luxury resort where he will no doubt play golf...but he is actually, really, truly holding a gala ball in honor of himself on the anniversary of his inauguration and charging $100,000 a couple.
Well, there's sure a photo op that will travel around every nook of the country under headlines of the government shutdown.
One of the things that has been brain-dead obvious during Trump's run for the presidency and his time in office is that he doesn't read and as a result has absolutely no sense of history. That's had ramifications in the politics the country has had to face, but now it's going to plummet right down on top of Trump himself, blissfully unaware of the words attributed to Marie Antoinette when she was told that the French people had no bread to eat -- "Let them eat cake." And all that happened after that was just the French Revolution.
Certainly, "revolution" isn't what will happen here. The conditions are thoroughly different. But the concept is the same, most especially as political analysts talk about the "Blue Wave" facing the mid-term elections in 10 months. And even Trump himself is aware of this, because that's specifically why he went to Pennsylvania yesterday to try to help shore up a coming special House election there, days after a liberal Democratic woman won a Wisconsin state race this week by 11 points -- in a district held by Republicans for 17 years that Trump won only last year by 17 points. (Whether sending Trump was a good idea is a separate matter entirely, given the poor response he's had the past year with his endorsements...)
Now, it's certainly possible that that the senators will reach an agreement and there won't be a government shutdown. And if so, all will be well-ish in Mar-a-Lago (though hardly ideal, since it's still a bad optic given what was at stake. Not just that it's pathetic he would even think of doing such a thing out of his own well-honed self-interest, but if he's not even there he can't "claim" he was responsible for a settlement). But it doesn't appear that even the administration thinks a deal is likely, since they're fine with vice presient Mike Pence going out of town, as well, not presuming the results will be close enough that they'll need him in Washington to cast a tie-breaking vote.
Seriously, the man is going to a luxury resort and holding a $100,000 gala ball in his honor, as the government shuts down. Clueless and tone-deaf are the two most polite words I can think of to describe it.
Mind you, I'm fine with it. Just as I'm fine with Fox host Jeanine Piro giving a speech at Mar-a-Lago yesterday in advance of it all and, as she did so, looking around at the grand opulence of the resort and then quipping in what I'm sure she thought was oblivious hilarity, "It sure ain't no shit hole!!" The spit-in-their-face attitude of Piro leading into the Trump gala all goes so well together and comes across as just a typical GOP weekend "Heartless Fest of Privilege and Racism."
I can only hope they are serving Trump's favorite big beautiful chocolate cake for dessert.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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