Path to Power with Trump: Billions or Bullets

Artists in New York added their voices to the protests. Credit Benjamin Norman for The New York Times

Little Rock     Wow! For all of us trying to keep up with the incoming Trump Administration every day is a roller-coaster ride. There are so many contradictions, I begin to wonder if even the biggest news outlets in the country are pushing real or fake news.

Pick a day, any day, and the point is easily proven.

In the last day or so we saw the following from the Trumpster:

· After more than a year of threatening to deport more than 11 million immigrants, Trump in his Time magazine, “Man of the Year” interview, said, essentially, oh, no, I’m going to figure out a way for the “dreamers,” about 800,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children, to stay in the country. He says he’s going to make all of us proud and so on and so on. We can guess this might mean that he is not going to overturn President Obama’s executive order in this regard, but he hasn’t tweeted it yet, so we can’t be sure.
· All indications are he’s NOT going to divest from his holdings in his business, but simply turn them over to his two adult sons to manage. Meanwhile it seems possible that his daughter and son-in-law might be able to find a place to stay in Washington to help him out either in his new Trump Hotel or that other little place in DC where he might stay some weeknights…what’s it called, oh, yeah, The White House!
· With a head fake he meets with former big time climate change fighter and enviro, Vice President Al Gore, as does his daughter, leading some to think he might not stand in the way of saving the world from total destruction, and then turns around and appoints an Oklahoma Attorney General, climate denier, and a guy who lets oil companies draft his letters and then sends the missives out on AG stationery, to run the EPA, presumably into the ground or oblivion.
· Remember he had thought maybe Obama had made some good points in their visit about features of the Affordable Care Act, but then appointed a Georgia congressman and doctor advocate, who has been trying to systematically dismantle the act, to line his doctor buddies’ pockets.

On and on it goes like this. It seems there are only two things that can really help you pave clear paths to power on the Trumpster highway, being either a billionaire, or at least filthy rich, or being a general, no matter how good or whack.

Students of the presidency say that Trump already intends to put more generals in cabinet and high-level positions than any previous president. In fact, many of them – and a lot of us – worry now about civilian control of the military. It’s not really the same to say that there’s civilian control if a general running the Defense Department used to be the commander of another general elsewhere around the White House. What’s the count now? Defense, national security adviser, homeland security, and the beat goes on.

It goes without saying the richest-ever president who at least claims to be a billionaire, is also appointing a record number of his buddies who are also, no surprise, billionaires, or darned close to it as well. We now have billionaires in line to run education, who have never gone to public schools and hate them, to run treasury as boss and deputy, to run small business administration, and of course to run the commerce department.

I’m not sure any of these folks are going to have time to drain any swamps in DC, because they will be so busy flooding other swamps there and elsewhere around the country, and building barricades and bulwarks to keep it all however they like it.