Sunday, April 1, 2018

Robert Reich Warns: Under Trump Nothing and No One is Safe

I never thought I would feature anything from the super lefty Robert Reich, but almost anyone sounds sane next to Trump.

Reich writes:
What’s worrying isn’t that Donald Trump is now getting advice about public policy from fanatics such as John Bolton and Lawrence Kudlow. Trump has never cared about public policy.

The real worry is that with Special Counsel Robert Mueller breathing down Trump’s neck, and with several special elections suggesting a giant “blue wave” in November, Trump is getting ready to do whatever it takes to win, even if that requires fanatical policy.

Now that he’s being pushed into a corner, he’s reorganizing his team for an epic marketing battle. This requires purging naysayers from his Cabinet and White House staff, because naysayers are terrible at marketing, and replacing them with tried-and-true salespeople such as Bolton and Kudlow...

Trump and Fox News are pushing the same story line — designed to win the marketing war and boost their own ratings the same way.

Some of the story is by now familiar: Liberals have opened America to hostile forces — unauthorized immigrants, Muslims, Chinese traders, criminal gangs, drug dealers, government bureaucrats, coastal elites (Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi), North Korea, Iran and “political correctness” in all its forms.

Trump intends to protect America from these forces...

The membrane separating Trump’s brain from Fox News has always been thin, but in the coming battle it’s likely to disappear entirely.

We all know Trump watches an inordinate amount of Fox News, beginning in the wee hours with “Fox and Friends,” which provides much of the fodder for his morning tweets.

On March 23, soon after a “Fox and Friends” anchor attacked the new congressional spending bill as a “swamp budget,” Trump tweeted that he was “considering” vetoing it.

After Trump had forged an agreement with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer last year to grant legal status to “Dreamers” brought to this country illegally as children, Fox News host Sean Hannity told Trump in a phone call — and then repeated on his show — that he needed to be tougher.

Almost immediately, Trump came up with a list of conditions that thwarted the deal. Hannity’s advice wasn’t about policy; it was about marketing. Trump had to be tougher on Dreamers to reinforce his image as a strongman standing up for America against the liberal plot.

Trump has made Bolton his national security adviser not because Bolton has valuable insights about foreign affairs, but because Bolton — for years an on-air fixture at Fox News — is a showman who knows how to sell big lies and crazy ideas, and can thereby help Trump in the looming battle.

As undersecretary of state for arms control and international security in the George W. Bush administration, Bolton did more than anyone else to market the lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction..

Even before Trump became president, he was so pleased with Bolton’s performance on Fox News that he named Bolton one of his sources for national security advice.

It hasn’t hurt that Bolton has sucked up to Trump since then. Describing Trump’s address to the United Nations last year, Bolton swooned that “in the entire history of the United Nations, there has never been a more straightforward criticism of the unacceptable behavior of other member states.”...

How can a television presidency be dangerous? Because it is solely about marketing Trump. Its only goal is to win. It is unconstrained by truth, reason or the Constitution. It doesn’t give a fig about the public.

When the occupant of the White House and the sycophants surrounding him are prepared to use anything, including real-world battles — trade wars and hot wars — to win a political battle at home, nothing and no one is safe.
-Robert Wenzel 

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