Wednesday, September 19, 2018

As epic losses mount, Trump’s one ‘win’ spurs the ultimate boomerang

The good news/bad news is that Trump is no better at criminality (or hiding secrets or deflecting retribution) than he is at being a mock, TV-celebrity president.

Image Credit: Joe Skipper /REUTERS/ RTX290AI

No smarter as lawless president than career gangster

Trump’s driving obsessions have moved past profiteering deals, unsavory sex, abusing competitors and vendors, even slapping gold filigree across tasteless digs. Did that, had that in New York. What has emerged over two years is an insatiable mania for fame, to entrench a legacy of “winning.” Close second is desperation to gain respectability from billionaire peers, a great many who will forever disdain his low-class antics.

Didn’t winning the presidency deliver this braggadocio, “see how many think I am great, can make America great again; there, I’m just as good you richer ‘geniuses.’” That’s why, off the laugh-ability charts, he boasts he’s a “genius” – bizarrely awarding himself “A+” as president. Why not go whole hog, nominating himself to elbow aside Mt. Rushmore heroes? Right, he deserves an A+ if we count endless lying, rancor and self-aggrandizement.

Such epic hubris, breaking all upstart records for over-reach, taunts the Fates to find the perfect storm of worsening punishments – pommeling Trump, blood relatives, and fellow snakes snagged by multiple investigations. Piece by ugly piece, prosecutors galore, immune from bullying, are stigmatizing what “Trump” will add to the English language: a cabal of arrogant knaves justly caught in their own bird-brain snares.

An infamy of fame

Well, infamy qualifies as fame, and for an insular, thuggish family in high denial, that may suffice. Yet for thinking folks, plus scores of the best and brightest, forced WH exile would transform mere failures into legendary loser-dom. Crashing and burning, Trump’s fantasy of “winning” will come to represent national pain without gain, a parody of “public service.” How bereft is the scheming crook whose only path to phantom success is swindling and cheating – explaining why over one-third of Trump ventures have gone bankrupt? That’s how Trump’s brew of Nixon, Madoff the Ponzi king, and PT Barnum morphs into exemplary shysterism.

Luckily, Trumpery doesn’t do irony. Winning the presidency, thus inviting endless exposure of badly-kept secrets, is his ultimate unforced blunder. Trump proves – for the unprincipled and unfit – politics can be poison. Envision Trumpian rage when terrified party hacks finally announce, “you’re fired, leave, before you decimate the party and destroy us all.” He’ll make an angry snapping turtle look docile.

Had Trump not flown too close to the flame of power, would he be facing endless scrutiny into his career ruthlessness? Money and litigation, or bribery, would have kept the local investigative wolves (and call girls) at bay. Had raw ambition not overrun blatant self-interest, Trump’s tombstone would only have read: “obnoxious, loudmouth desperate for attention.” Not good enough for Trump presumption, rushing headlong to make his life a Greek tragedy – incurring the hardest penalties to fit hard-hearted crimes.

Thus, I find Trump greatest perversion the frenzy for fame, fueled by every daring hustler’s downfall: pushing all limits, finding out how much the best con man can get away with. A real shortcut to glory. What else explains the gratuitousness of dragging his dirty business into the White House? Or why this alleged billionaire risks liberty and fortune by violating the emoluments clause – for paltry dollars that won’t change his life? Or why Trump triggers a treasonous Russia conspiracy for a few crumbs on Hillary, hoping against hope he’d lose – and avoid dishonor as presidential misfit?

Tired of too much winning?

“We’re going to win so much, you’re going to be so sick and tired of winning,” Trump trumpeted. Now Delinquent Don is going down – without delivering one strictly Trump winning big deal – not job stimulus, not infrastructure, not the Wall, not immigration reform, except torturing children – oh yeah, there’s expanded, cheaper health insurance: less than zero. Okay, one historic “accomplishment:” a cabinet with more crooked swamp-dwellers than ever – all paying homage to his campaign’s targeted elites. Congressional “achievements” answer not to Trump but reactionary Republicanism: tax payoffs for the rich, less worker, immigrant, environmental and industrial health and safety, and of course dozens of frightwing federal judges. Without lasting merit but all Trump: grossly amateurish tariff wars, fatuous disruptions of nuclear and trade agreements, vilification of close allies, bowing to dictators, and trashing Republicans like McCain or Flake, Comey or Mueller. What a record!

What a cosmic joke: this phony “winner” already qualifies as our greatest political loser, inciting an improbable House leadership reversal that will hound him out of office. Just what any mock A+ president deserves; he’d be lucky in decades to get a D. The only folks renowned for deal-making in the Trump Era are the nearly countless criminals, or semi-criminals, who’ve plead guilty, taken pleas, or rushed to win immunity. “Flippers” know how to deal, not the deal-less fraud full of words, not wins.

Zero talent for secrets

News flash (that isn’t): illegitimately winning the presidency didn’t changed anything Trumpian, but will finalize in stone exactly who he is, for everyone to digest, with gruesome details. Not only does he lack all talent to hire the “best people”– clearly, only sleaze balls now join the cartel. Except for braying to gullible followers, what else does this president do well: not be presidential, not represent America with any depth, class or prestige; not avoid offending historic allies, not win over the majority, and on and on?

Above all, Trump’s greatest flaw (beyond disgracing the office) is his utter failure to shield his own lawlessness: second only to egregiously bad lying is not knowing how to keep terrible secrets under cover. Who across history left more facile “flippers” in his wake? Did he know nothing of what ten years in prison does to a guilty felon? Talk about not covering your tracks! Talk about tracks that never end! What months of testimony prove is Trump self-entitlement is/was so great he deluded himself he’d never be caught. That he had absolute trust in equally faithless connivers matches the insanity of thinking the presidency would crown him with glory and respectability. Au contraire, shouts reality, with total clarity – and for a long time.

The good news/bad news is that Trump is no better at criminality (or hiding secrets or deflecting retribution) than he is at being a mock, TV-celebrity president. Who claimed consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds? Here’s our iconic Lord of Misrule whose misdeeds, delineated by countless investigations, will echo down American history with astonishing force. Even for still resistant Americans, the magnitude of Trump’s public infamy will open eyes and serve justice – awakening an outraged majority to realize that Trumpery threatens our foundations by opposing the best about America. Call me optimistic, in the long run, but brace for conflict and chaos.

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Robert S. Becker
For over a decade, Robert S. Becker's independent, rebel-rousing essays on politics and culture analyze overall trends, history, implications, messaging and frameworks. He has been published widely, aside from Nation of Change and RSN, with extensive credits from OpEdNews (as senior editor), Alternet, Salon, Truthdig, Smirking Chimp, Dandelion Salad, Beyond Chron, and the SF Chronicle. Educated at Rutgers College, N.J. (B.A. English) and U.C. Berkeley (Ph.D. English), Becker left university teaching (Northwestern, then U. Chicago) for business, founding SOTA Industries, a top American high end audio company he ran from '80 to '92. From '92-02, he was an anti-gravel mining activist while doing marketing, business and writing consulting. Since then, he seeks out insight, even wit in the shadows, without ideology or righteousness across the current mayhem of American politics.
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