Infrastructure Week Redux, Samson’s Fanfare

Infrastructure Week Redux, Samson’s Fanfare

If I had my way, I would tear this whole building down.

It’s infrastructure week in Trump’s Dark America. Again. The first attempt was such a failure, I gather they wanted to try again. So far, infrastructure week has gone about as well as you could have predicted, meaning that, like everything the Trump administration does, it has turned into the blackened, rotting, gangrenous limb that begs for amputation, just to save the dying body to which it is attached in an effort to prevent grandpa from dying before the kids can awkwardly say goodbye forever. Infrastructure week in Trump’s Dark America is an apt metaphor for the entire presidency, or administration, or regime. I don’t even know what to call it anymore. The first infrastructure week—last June— was essentially overshadowed by scandal and outrage, just like every week since this moral midget and his friends came to Washington. The second attempt was such a catastrophic infliction of everything the Trump presidency is known for—corruption, indecency, incompetence, mendacity, ideological perversion and evil—that it really does beg the question as to how long this presidency is tenable. Looking back at infrastructure week—the first and the second—reveals just how profound and deep the failure of this presidency is. I have seen people in real life defend this nightmare of decency. I have seen people advocate for the alternative narrative injected into the tearing fabric of American society in Trump’s Dark America, and we have long been at the point in the national debate that the fissures are so wide in terms of cultural wars and ideological battles that we essentially live in a country during a cold civil war. The anti-Trump Resistance faces nearly insurmountable struggles to steer political debate onto the field of truth, of objective reality, and it is a battle in which, tragically, it is not gaining enough ground. It is both exasperating and bewildering to experience the sheer difficulty involved in using demonstrable facts to illustrate the failure of Trump in the age of Trump. Maybe infrastructure week will prove these people are qualified to run the country.

It’s only Wednesday of infrastructure week in Trump’s Dark America, and I am calling the code on this one. Infrastructure week is over. The truth is, it was dead on arrival. The message on American infrastructure and how we can make America great, whatever that was, has been overwhelmingly drowned out by the scandals and tragedy that have become the sin qua non of Trump’s visit to Washington. Even a compromising eulogy for the corpse of infrastructure week would have to mention the fact that the 1.5 trillion dollar proposition was only funded to the tune of 200 billion dollars from federal funds, and that 200 billion was going to come from cutting essential programs, block grants and other legislative chicanery. It kicked off with Trump, in his inimitably ill-informed, boastful, un-nuanced and formidably stupid delivery to the press pool that infrastructure was “sexy” to him, and that he loves building stuff. The plan put forth places most of the burden on the states to deliver infrastructure improvements while relying on private contractors to fill in the rest, which would not only open the country’s organizational structure to foreign investors, but to domestic corporate interests as well. I suppose that’s good if you’re giving contracts to your friends and dangling bribes for foreign states to win influence, but it certainly doesn’t feed the workforce of a country that voted for a guy because he promised them jobs and the repatriation of America to itself because the globalists were destroying the fabric of our white society. The merits of the plan are worth criticism, and they might offer an opportunity to get through to the working class in America that are seemingly doped up on Trump, and don’t see the massive graft Trump is inflicting on them. But those opportunities are dashed because of the fact that infrastructure week died on Monday, just like it died on Monday in June, the first time they tried to play Lego with the country’s vital nervous systems.

On Monday June 5th 2017, the Trump administration unveiled infrastructure week with an amateur press release in lieu of actual policy, with the same empty puffery about how great the infrastructure was going to be, and how easy it will be to do. So good. You’ll see. It’s going to be beautiful. Beautiful infrastructure. Jobs for everyone. Before the public reaction of “huh?” could take hold, the president tweeted insults to the Mayor of London in the wake of a terror attack. Remember back when it was a conversation to have about whether these tweets were official statements by the President of the United States? When we still were holding out hope that the dignity of the office would prevail? I think we’ve abandoned all hope there. The weekend leading up to infrastructure week The First was when thousands around the country held “March for Truth” rallies to demand an investigation into possible collusion between the Russian state and the Trump campaign in the 2016 election, and on the heels of that, Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin denied meddling in our election to Megyn Kelly on American television. While this was overshadowing all that enthusiasm over the beautiful infrastructure, Trump also took to Twitter to push back on his watered down travel ban, already being challenged in federal court. Dudes, that was Monday of infrastructure week. Tuesday, Reality Winner, a CIA contractor, leaked classified information stating that Russian intelligence hacked a US voting software company just days before the election. Wednesday it was reported that Trump asked his Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats to exert influence over FBI Director Jim Comey while he was investigating National Security Advisor Mike Flynn for unreported contact with Russian officials and other crimes against America. Then Attorney General Jeff Sessions, it was reported, had offered to resign because he lacked autonomy, but Trump refused his resignation because that would have put Rod Rosenstein in charge at DOJ, and that would have resulted in the appointment of a special prosecutor. Thursday of infrastructure week, fired FBI Director Jim Comey testified in front of congress and basically told the country that the president tried to demand loyalty and opened up a case for obstruction of justice because Trump asked him to give up the investigation into Flynn. The “Lordy, I hope there are tapes” day. Also that day, two crazy democrats drafted articles of impeachment in congress. Infrastructure week wrapped up with House Speaker Paul Ryan defending the president as being “new at this” whole governing without committing crimes thing, while Trump counter-punched Comey by calling him a liar and claiming he was vindicated. Also, congress voted to repeal the Dodd-Frank Act, the Obama era legislation implemented to prevent the type of financial crisis we saw in 2008. Such was the first attempt at infrastructure week in Trump’s Dark America.

It is hard to fathom that, in the face of the constant stench of scandal that plagues this presidency, and the reality that these scandals impede the ability for governance, republican party members of all stripes are not cognizant of just how dead this administration is. While they may speak privately about their concerns or voice frustration, it appears as though the party itself refuses to face or acknowledge the obvious incompetence. The incompetence, separate from the scandals, stands outside the partisan politics, doesn’t it? Despite the reality of these failings, or in addition to them—coupled with the scandals and the lack of any moral leadership—do these not register to card-carrying members of the conservative party? Are these people not completely raving mad that their leaders cannot govern? Is it easier to argue with liberals about deep state conspiracies and re-litigate Hillary Clinton’s campaign, or find some new way to indict President Obama for his blackness? Does the empirical evidence of these failures to govern not rise above the impulse to engage in pathetic, threadbare and unskilled liberal bashing and challenge objective reality with the tireless conspiratorial ravings of conservative talking heads? The case in point here is infrastructure week, but any attempt at governing by this broken president and his minions fits the same sad pattern. Everything this president does is mired in the cloud of the total abandonment of ethics, reeking of scandal and potential criminality, wrapped in the bow of unprecedented ineptness. I’m simply asking for the republican party to face the truth about the complete absence of proficiency that is dragging your party into the sludge of its inevitable destruction at the hands of this prurient, lecherous game show host. It is laughable that you would try to roll out any policy initiatives and expect any of them to gain traction in a nation where your credibility is so utterly shattered. The incompetence alone has ruptured the public trust. But please, try to do infrastructure. Again.

Infrastructure week The Second began with the unveiling of the plan itself, which offered 200 billion in federal commitments and the rest of the 1.5 trillion was basically nebulously procured and unaccounted for. The plan suggested allowing the federal government to speed up regulatory and legal hurdles quickly so things like the Tennessee Valley Authority or Washington Aqueduct could be sold off to be managed by state or local government, or private enterprises. Imagine a state buying it’s own infrastructure back from the federal government, or some private interest, or China, owning the Hoover Dam. America First! This is what the geniuses over at the Trump government cooked up to raise cash—infrastructure by corporate raider model. The folks on the left who warned conspiratorially that Trump was going to sell off America for parts were not too far from being correct here. The unveiling of the plan landed with basic cynicism born of just how fundamentally flawed and ridiculous the whole idea is, and the narrative went back to the fact that the deficit has ballooned under the recent GOP tax cuts, so infrastructure, at least fiscally, is dead on arrival until you congressional wonks can get your act together on deficits. Despite the fact that the plan itself is just stupid, and vapor, the White House never had a chance to tout the thing with the proper amount of bullshit and lies and deflections, because Monday came with the latest scandal, that, as is de rigeur, eclipsed and derailed the whole thing. And it reads like the reality television plotting that is now the American presidency. Staff Secretary Rob Porter allegedly beat both his wives and an ex-girlfriend. The White House denies it, issuing a statement crafted by Communications Director Hope Hicks, who is romantically linked to Porter (and like a whole bunch of other guys in the White House), saying what an awesome guy Porter is. A police photo of Porter’s wife emerges of her with a black eye, and the White House speeds up his impending departure while Chief of Staff John Kelly tries to cover up the fact that the White House was aware of Porter’s history of alleged abuse for, well, a lot longer than they had admitted previously. Friday leading up to infrastructure week, a second staffer, speechwriter David Sorenson, resigns because he’s accused of spousal abuse, while the president defends Porter’s innocence on TV and laments his departure. By Monday, the White House is embroiled in the scandal of a cover up involving Chief of Staff John Kelly that would dwarf the unveiling of the hocking of American infrastructure for profit as they dispatch White House Press Secretary and twitchy mouth liar Sarah Huckabee Sanders to hurl MAGA vomit at the press corp to cover up for Kelly’s cover up. And let’s not forget that on the christening of infrastructure week The Second, Trump declines to release the democratic rebuttal to the controversial Nunes memo in a glaring display of bias, and more evidence of an obvious attempt to obstruct the truth from reaching the American people with respect to the very foundations of the federal investigation into all things Trump. Then of course the number three at DOJ Rachel Brand resigns for a job at Walmart, demonstrating that being a Walmart greeter is better that being a patriot, for Brand feared she’s have to stand up to the president’s using her as a pawn in the commission of obstruction of justice. Hi, and welcome to Walmart. Dudes, it’s only Monday of infrastructure week. Tuesday brings more lies from Sanders because of the previous days’ lies. Kelly is totally caught in a cover up. The FBI Director says the Huckster and Kelly are lying. The public outcry begins. Will he resign? Who will take his place? How many people don’t have security clearances in the White House? They’re handling classified intelligence! Is that dangerous? Irresponsible? Hypocritical? Kushner. Kushner. Kushner. As the week proceeds it’s 30, no, more than 100 White House staff that have no clearances yet. Does anyone want to talk about our infrastructure plan? Perhaps most alarming and most significant, on Tuesday the Senate Intelligence Committee convened with like five intelligence service heads who stated in plain terms that Russia attacked our country’s election in 2016, that they’re going to do it in 2018, and the president has tasked nobody to take any action. Of course, most conscious and reasonable people know this already, but it’s always nice to have it affirmed yet again in a public hearing with guys in military uniforms and Senators watching. Other tidbits from infrastructure week included the Attorney General vowing that the “Anglo-American” police system will reign forever, while EPA head Scott Pruitt continues to travel above his station on Emirates because people are mean to him in coach, and the Veterans Affairs Secretary took vacations on the taxpayer dime while his chief of staff alters emails to cover his ass. Oh, and Trump’s lawyer and bagman Michael Cohen admits he paid a pornstar out of his own pocket to silence her about an affair that Trump, king of the evangelicals, had while his wife was home nursing their newborn child. And then of course Wednesday in Trump’s Dark America brought a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students and faculty were killed at hands of an AR-15-toting 19-year old shooter.

Admittedly, I began penning this before the shooting, and infrastructure week was a pathetic joke before it even started, but we have moved from the dark gallows of an already failed presidency to the bleakest of hours in American life in the course of a week that, like most weeks in Trump’s Dark America, seems without end. Recall the Inaugural Addresss of this failure of a president, when he spoke of “American carnage,” and that our children would never again be killed in their own schools. What he presides over is the monstrous emergence of the darkness he fed to his followers to feed their fear and ignorance, but it is his Dark America that plagues us now. Donald Trump is not a real president. A real president would have seen the nation’s infrastructure as an opportunity to renew and unite the country after a divisive campaign, and he would have prioritized it over fanning the flames of racism and sexism and warmongering. But we don’t have a real president. We have a president who can’t do anything to keep our children safe. We have a president who can’t do anything to keep worshipers safe in their own congregations. We have a president who can’t do anything to keep our own elections—the penultimate symbol of our sovereignty—safe from foreign attack. The failure of infrastructure week, both times, is as symbolic of this failed president as it is a warning. These threats and challenges are all opportunities that are quickly becoming lost. A real president leads a nation—all of it—with dignity and distinction, with hope and idealism that rises above all of our own aspirations, and carries it forward with vision and prescience about the best future possible for everyone that wants to contribute. A real president builds upon a structure firm in its foundation and takes pains to improve that structure for the advancement of humanity. But we don’t have a real president. We have a White House whose foundation is weak, and vulnerable to the slightest pressure, at the head of which sits a man so small and lacking in any vision outside his own self-interest that he is blind to what America’s promise is, because it is too big for him to see. Yes, this is Trump’s Dark America. But this is not our America. If this country is still filled with the promise we understand innately—and I believe it is—we will fulfill the promise of that dear America. Our foundation is cracking, yes, in ways we many could not fathom nor anticipate, but it is from that foundation, the very workings of democracy, that will shed the darkness that has crept into our nation under our noses. This is Trump’s Dark America. But for how long.

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