If Friday was black, Monday was blacker for the Trump regime as inane and self-aggrandizing policymaking began clogging the swamp’s drainpipe. The federal government is beginning to appear more like a three-branch circus than an established democratic institution. At the center of the debacle is a greedy little pig leading the elephants off the high wire — without a net.
The day began with what should have been a solemn ceremony in the Oval Office where Trump hosted a group of Navajo Code Talkers. Instead of using the moment to honor the Navajo veterans and their contributions to America’s history, Trump seized on the opportunity — as he does so frequently — to sling racially insensitive remarks that disrespected his guests and American values.
During World War II, as the United States struggled to gain a foothold against the Axis on two global fronts, the nation’s military forces were in desperate need of coded communications that the Japanese could not break. The answer to a nearly debilitating military necessity arrived in the intricacies of a language unknown to the Japanese: traditional Navajo.
The Code Talkers, as they came to be known, provided U.S. Marines with the capability of sending secret messages and orders that could not be broken. The Navajo provided an indispensable service and they deserve every recognition and accolade awarded to them.
Unfortunately, for them and the rest of America, Donald Trump cannot be happy unless he is the center of attention and denigrating someone else. On Monday morning, the subject of his daily ire was Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) whom he referred to as “Pocahontas” before his esteemed Native American guests.
Additionally, Trump presented the Code Talkers with an honor while standing beneath a portrait of President Andrew Jackson. Jackson, a soldier and war hero himself, was also the 1800s equivalent of Trump. He struggled with Congress, passing only one piece of legislation in eight years, and galvanized the pubic to form the Whig party in opposition to his policies — or lack thereof — and executive tyranny.
So much like Trump was Jackson that a University of Tennessee professor’s description of the seventh President reads like a 2017 commentary on the current despot in office:
“[He] boldly cast himself as the people’s tribune, their sole defender against special interests and their minions in Congress. In other ways, too, [he] expanded the scope of presidential authority. He dominated his cabinet, forcing out members who would not execute his commands … He went through four secretaries of state and five secretaries of the treasury. Holding his official subordinates at arm’s length, [he] devised and implemented his policies through a private coterie of advisers and publicists known as the “Kitchen Cabinet.” His bold initiatives and domineering style caused opponents to call him King … [He] was no deep thinker…”
Professor of History & Editor of the Andrew Jackson Papers
The one piece of legislation that Jackson’s congress passed at his behest was the one that Navajo Code Talkers standing beneath the portrait probably know too well. Trump positioned war heroes today under the man who conceived and signed the Indian Removal Act in 1830. Everything that Trump does has racial overtones and is an attack on Native peoples, people of color, immigrants, and the poor.
While Trump was busy humiliating a group of Navajo veterans, his Republican cohorts were across town using meat plungers to stuff their tax bill down America’s collective throats. As they attached one amendment after another — from ACA repeals that will leave millions without health coverage to anti-abortion provisions that will destroy women’s rights to reproductive choices — to their tax scam, the Congressional Budget Office issued its latest assessment of the bill.
The hardest hit Americans will be the poorest members of our nation. The bill will reduce the tax for rich millionaires like Trump, and demand loan-shark rate tax payments from those making less than $10,000 per year. More than 13 million people will be stripped of their health care.
As if that was not enough for one day, the Trump regime decided to add another controversy and embarrassment to a federal oversight agency that Republicans have been trying to kill. Instead of one person leading the embattled Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, two acting directors showed up for work on Monday: one a hastily chosen Trump appointee and a second Obama-era holdover dedicated to the agencies distance from partisan politics.
On Monday evening, the question of “Who’s the boss?” rested with a federal judge tasked with sorting out the latest hyper-partisan confusion embroiling Washington, D.C.
It was just another day in Washington, but for America, the discord and slow disintegration of the institutions of government have left many scratching their heads and saying, “WTF!” In other words, the man who thinks he’s Time Magazine’s next person of the year has left Washington Trump Fucked.
Contributing Editor: E. Rathgeber
Featured image: AP Photo/Susan Walsh