Tag Archives: Trump Adminstration

The Condominium Doctrine

New Orleans    Many presidents of the United States have been known throughout history for their foreign policy doctrines, good or bad.

The Monroe Doctrine was a message to the world from one of our earliest presidents that we would stay out of European conflicts, but other nations needed to stay out of the North America where we were asserting hegemony.  The Roosevelt Doctrine extended our oversight to all of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Truman Doctrine became the policy of containment characterizing the Cold War designed to suppress the Soviet Union in Europe and elsewhere.

The Eisenhower Doctrine, as a key step in global stability, expanded the international role of the United States arguing that any nation state facing aggression from another state could request US economic and/or military aide.

And, so it goes from president to president as the White House defines its foreign policy.  Now in the wake of the first visit of a US president with the equivalent in North Korea, the fundamentals of the Trump foreign policy are clear.  I think, following one policy expert, we can call the current policy, the Condominium Doctrine.

We now approach all countries, friends and foes, on a transactional basis.  The core American value system has now been starkly revealed, and it’s rank commercialism.

Real estate developers are experts in sales-and-promotion.  They build “castles in the sky,” hoping others will believe in their mirages, and that they will reap their profits and be gone before the whole thing disappears in dust.

Trump is a real estate developer and television personality who happens to be living in the White House rent free for a bit and using that as his current stage.  In North Korea he showed a 10-minute video sales promotion of economic progress in North Korea with the end of sanctions.  He settled for an unwritten promise of demilitarization just as a developer would tout a promise of project financing contingent on a city council’s approval of new project to build a mall with a hotel in the middle of the retail space.  He reportedly gushed on about the beauty of the beaches in North Korea and their positioning in between China, South Korea, and Japan as a potential tourist destination.  Looking at one waterfront, he asked the North Koreans to imagine having a condo behind that beach.

You can’t make this stuff up.  We all desperately want to believe that there will in fact be peace and progress that emerge from the Singapore summit.  We all continue to believe in miracles, like children who believe in Santa Claus.

Like any developer, Trump is convinced he will be long gone from the White House before this deal and others he is making goes sour.  Like all developers, he will blame his successors, the government, banks and others for the failure, and will have taken his profits out before the crash.

That’s the way the Condominium Doctrine works.  Sell the view and downplay the monthly maintenance and upkeep fees and flip the thing as quickly as possible so that it’s the next owner’s problem while you take your money and run.

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Please enjoy Bishop Gunn’s Shine.

Thanks to KABF.

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Ten People Know Scott Pruitt

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Carolyn Kaster/AP/REX/Shutterstock (9569074a)
A sign criticizing Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is seen posted on the base of a utility pole on the corner of H Street NW and 13 Street NW in Washington
Trump EPA, Washington, USA – 06 Apr 2018

Little Rock     The key architect of the Republicans efforts to maintain control of the House of Representatives is 37-year old Corry Bliss.  Times’ columnist, Frank Bruni, description puts him in the thick of the midterm campaign.  “Bliss serves as the executive director of the American Action Network and the Congressional Leadership Fund, a potent super PAC that raises money for, and directs it to, high-priority House races nationwide.”

His interview is interesting as a reminder to anyone who has forgotten how sure they were that Hillary Clinton would be seated as President in the election against Donald Trump, that the Republicans are alive and competing fiercely to hold onto Congress in the midterms, even if they are not completely well and carrying huge White House baggage around their necks.  Bliss scoffs at the notion of a “blue wave” sweeping Democrats into office.  He accurately notes the fact that Republicans in the critical, recent Ohio primaries outperformed the Democrats by 150,000 votes in turnout, challenging the notion that Democratic activism is red hot and can overwhelm predictions.

One of his comments that I found most interesting though was a throwaway line when he was asked about the constant scandals involving Trump secretaries and appointees like the eleven investigations at various levels involving Scott Pruitt, Trump’s head of the Environmental Protection Agency.  He scoffed that there aren’t “ten people in the country” who even know who Scott Pruitt is.

Scott Pruitt of the luxury flights and free housing, the special $30,000 phone booth, and the wildly expensive, multi-million-dollar security team probably winched at reading that line from a Republican super-organizer, but the more you think about it, there’s some frightening truth to the point.  So, sure, more than ten people do know who he is.  Maybe it’s a thousand or tens of thousands or even a million.  He was a rightwing footnote as Attorney General in Oklahoma who sued the EPA a lot representing the oil and gas industry and found himself nominated by another political unknown to gut the EPA.  But, no matter his mischief, the point Bliss makes powerfully, despite the exaggeration, is that people are not going to vote on whether to retain or unseat their local Congressperson based on whoever the heck Scott Pruitt might be.

When we think about it, we know why.  Every poll is clear that people are not paying attention in class.  They might vote for or against based on Trump and his antics but be warned that this is also a dangerous assumption.  The Republican base has moved across the spectrum on issues like free trade, taxes, and debt largely based on the seismic shifts directed by Trump.  His positions and personal characteristics may be appalling to many, but there is no denying that he is the leader of his band and holding them steady.  Even his general popularity is improving.

People vote for their local folks on local issues as well as holding their ears to the ground to hear which way the herd is running, but progressives can’t win by just running against Trump any more than they have a chance of winning with the hope that more people know Scott Pruitt and are appalled by him and his attempts to destroy the world we live in forever.

To win, they have to stand for something more.  And, everyone has to know where they stand. Standing against something doesn’t equal winning.

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Please enjoy Ana Egge’s Girls, Girls, Girls.

Thanks to KABF.

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