Will Trump Dump Spicer and Bannon? The Thin Skinned Leader

The Big Rat
The Big Rat

Trump’s way of doing business is so obvious that the simple answer to the above question is a resounding “yes.” They have caused embarrassment for him so they must go. One thing you must know is Trump is not a loyal guy. It’s not how long you have been doing things for him that counts it is what you have done lately. He treats people like pistachio shells.

Poor Sean Spicer committed the most grievous of sins. He apologized for his gaff. You’ve all heard the meaningless expression that became popular a couple of generations ago: “love mean never having to say you are sorry.”  That applies in spades to working for Trump: “Being a Trump person means never saying you are sorry.”

Spicer had been having a good run but should have known the knives were under the cloaks of those who found his style in defending the indefensible off-putting. He did well repeating the words he committed to memory by rote in answering questions with his rapid fire delivery. But at times as he was pouring out words he would forget the talking points which he spoke while his brain stayed in neutral and let his  tongue run on like a car with a jammed accelerator.  So was it that he blundered badly implying that Hitler was not as bad as Assad because he did not use gas against his own people.

The knives quickly flashed calling Spicer a Holocaust Denier and those with brains in the same gear as Spicer’s when he erred repeated the slander without any idea what the term meant. To suggest Spicer was denying Hitler used gas to murder millions of Jews and others is folly. It is part of the current American trend where lies are thrown about as easily as rice at weddings.

This trend is so Russian where anyone who says things in opposition to Putin is labeled a Nazi; or where actions taken by others outside Russia in opposition to Russian policy are said to be fascist inspired. Each side of the debate casts conclusive epithets at the other without having any real understanding of the background of slur.

It’s not only in the hyperbolic stretching of a minor misstatement but also in taking statements out of context. An example of the latter is when AG Sessions spoke about illegal immigrants and called those who join gangs and then rape and murder people as being filth. Many writing about it left out part of it and suggested he referred to all illegal immigrants as filth. That’s another trend but Sessions walked into it. I suggest it is unwise to use the term “filth” against any people no matter how bad.

Spicer sadly misspoke and apologized so soon the hook will come out for him. It will be hard to replace him since the job requires one who is part junk yard dog biting those who demean the leader as the leader watches. Maybe because no on else wants it he may have saved himself.

Bannon’s dire future is seen in the recent interview of Trump by his friend at the NY Post Michael Goodwin.  Trump mentally has already pushed Bannon out the door making his role much lesser that it was when he said: “I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late,” The truth is Bannon came along when Trump was in deep trouble in August and pulled his marshmallows out of the fire and directed him to victory.

Trump went on: “I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn’t know Steve. I’m my own strategist and it wasn’t like I was going to change strategies because I was facing crooked Hillary.” True, he won the primaries but the general election was a cat of a different breed. He did change strategies under Bannon and Kellyanne Conway (missing in action lately.)

Trump’s gratuitous denigration of Bannon will not sit well with the proud Bannon. Also, Bannon’s anti-foreigner philosophy suffered a severe blow with the attack on Syria. To paraphrase Tex Tillerson comment on Ukraine: “Why should the American taxpayer care about gassed Syrians?”

Bannon clashed with a person who is instinctively a New York liberal Democrat, Jared Kushner.  He’s been told he is no longer king of the hill. Trump may try to hang on to Bannon for show but put him in a less influential position; the question is whether Bannon will take the humiliation of being just another toady. Those who astutely examined the picture of the suits around the table with Trump as he considered attacking Syria might have noticed Kushner sitting at the head table while Bannon and Spicer were positioned right next to the door. It won’t take much to push them out.

14 thoughts on “Will Trump Dump Spicer and Bannon? The Thin Skinned Leader

  1. I viewed Spicer’s remarks as a very embarrassing expression of ignorance. He’s not a Holocaust denier, but when he began speaking of “Holocaust Centers”, I could only roll my eyes. Does Spicer think these people were headed to the mall?

    I think he’s doomed, which is too bad for the media. They’re going to wind up with some leaden-faced drone who will spout “no comment” and not much more.

  2. You just can’t use The H Word. Not unless you are tearing him his millionth a-hole. I think Spicer knew this the second the word Hitler came out of his mouth.

    It reminds me of Jimmy The Greek Snyder. His recollection of the historic use of large, male slaves as combatants in no-hold-barred fights by the plantation owners got him fired and (pardon the expression) crucified for trying to give the viewers an accurate history lesson. I don’t remember his exact words but I recall they were lacking anything that could be called racist.

    I once said that Hitler was an incredibly talented orator when it came to exciting crowds, even if the speeches were laced with lies. That got me in HUGE trouble, but I never backed down. If Hitler wasn’t a dynamic speech giver, no one was. Even though my father was an extremely religious Jew, he agreed with me in private but told me that I should not bring Hitler’s name up in any positive context. It would only end badly.

  3. Trump is at a crossroads of sorts. He has fallen into the morass of nepotism. Government differs from business. The former ‘s clients can be termed captive while the latter’s are willing. His base is in conflict with his social circle. He is going to have to choose. He does not need son-in-law Kushner who can be replaced by any bright young or older man. There are many aspirants. His base cannot be sloughed off for an available other.

    Nothing destroys political credibility as insidiously than the suspicion that a leader is being swayed by a cuckoo bird, be it a wife, child, physician, social friend, etc. Henry IV to be great had to eschew his bon vivant Falstaff’s companionship. Rasputin contributed vitally to the fall of czardom. The Duchess of Portland threatened the throne of Charles II. Madame DuBarry discredited the Old Regime. Pillow talk and dinner chit-chat are not trusted as venues for the formulation of policy. It is toxic when they are believed to be.

    In our democracy the situation is similar. Eisenhower told his brother Edgar to stop being a publicity tool. Nixon isolated his brother Donald. No one took Carter’s sibling Billy seriously. The same for Reagan’s children. They never were seen near policy. Nor were either the Bush’s families. Clinton had Roger and the more dangerous brother-in-law Hugh Rodham to keep at bay. Kennedy lost more than he gained by bringing Robert aboard. Indeed the scandal of it justified legislation limiting nepotism.

    Trump would be wise to ponder Caesar’s attitude towards Calpurnia: she must be above suspicion. The most effective way to have one’s kin above suspicion is to have them detached. They do not have to be virtuous, most of the above examples were not, but they do have to be amputated from Trump’s public persona or he will suffer greatly from their presence whether or not their interests clash or coincide with the common weal.

    Richard Nixon was an amazing man in many ways one of which was a lack of bitterness about the coup d’etat that ousted him. ” I gave them a sword. They used it.” Trump would do well to put away the swords that are Kushner, Ivanka, and the rest of them. They will be used as daggers at his presidency. We elected a man, not a clan. We rejected the Clintons and the Bushes. We elected Donald Trump. Period.

      1. No serious person thought Nancy Reagan had input into policy anymore than anyone really thought 13 year old Amy Carter’s discussion with her dad was critical to his nuclear policy. In my lifetime only Kennedy and Trump have been perceived as promoting relatives to power. The optics are always terrible – little chance of upside and a major chance of downside.

  4. 1. The enormity of the evils of Hitler and the Nazis is well documented.
    2. Too often, folks hurl the epithet “Nazi” and compare people to Hitler with little understanding of history. Many times people on this blog fallaciously have resorted to those epithets.
    3. Trump’s reaction to Syria seemed knee-jerk: he said he was provoked by “photos” of children dying. He attacked before a full investigation of who released the toxic gas and how it was released.
    4. Someone should send Trump photos of the 1,500 children killed by American bombs in Yemen (delivered by Saudi-coalition airplanes) and of the 10,000 children under five years of age in Yemen who have died of preventable diseases because our ally the Saudi Arabia having bombed medical facilities and driven out physicians; and because the US and our allies have imposed an embargo delaying needed food and medicines to Yemen where 350,000 children are “severely malnourished” and famine is imminent.
    But maybe the children of Yemen “deserve it”; Remember Madeline Albright, Clinton’s Secretary of State, when asked if her embargo of Iraq which resulted in 500,000 children starving to death was worth it, responded on T.V. “Yes!”
    See, for example:
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-01/yemen-10,000-children-dead-from-preventable-diseases-un-says/7982474

    1. Bill: Agree on Yemen. The Saudi air campaign has been a disgrace, especially since it’s being carried out against a very poor country. Are the U.S.-made cluster bombs falling on Yemen any more humane than the barrel bombs killing Syrian civilians? Nah.

  5. P.S. Who killed the Christians on Palm Sunday in Egypt? Assad or ISIS? Who killed 3,000 Americans on 9-11? Assad or Al Qaeda? And who’s killed thousands of European and American civilians over the last decade, the Syrian government or ISIS? Our enemy is ISIS, Al Qaeda and Al Nusra, not Assad, Russia, Iran or China.

  6. Matt: Yesterday you cited a Guardian article by Higgins and which has been thoroughly debunked by MIT scientist. In January 2014, Mr. Postol and colleague Richard Lloyd wrote a 46 page authoritative treatise casting doubt on the who released Sarin gas, and indicating it likely was the rebels. In August 2014, Postol responded to the Guardian’s and others’ fraudulent claims:
    An Excerpt from Postol’s 50 page August rebutal:
    “As is evident from the email exchange between Kaszeta and Postol, Mr. Kaszeta has no expertise at any level on the questions of how sarin could be produced.
    This very short summary is aimed at exposing a counterfeit expert and his cohort, Eliot Higgins, who were empowered by a serious failure of the mainstream Western press. This empowerment was due to an essentially complete failure of these major journals to exercise the most rudimentary levels of editorial due diligence. This has resulted in controversy that has no basis in sound science. This ill-informed and inflammatory use of false technical facts by the press could have played a role in a US military involvement in Syria. In addition, it is now clear, as reported by the New York Times itself, that by being a highway for the introduction of extremist Sunni jihadists, Turkey has played a major role in exacerbating an already out-of-control situation.
    Based on the public information we now have, we cannot say for sure who executed the atrocity of August 21, 2013. But what we can say is that there is now substantial evidence that points to the possibility that the August atrocity in Damascus
    was a false flag attack by certain Sunni rebel forces that are now operating freely in Iraq as well as in Syria.
    The collapse of the mainstream press over the past 10 years has had a major negative impact on the American system of democracy, which like all democracies, cannot function without an informed electorate. It is essential that everything be
    done by the mainstream press, and its citizen supporters, to encourage it in its role as a guardian of democracy.
    The rush to judgment by members of the press who failed to execute their due diligence responsibilities is an important matter that I hope will be noted and corrected by the mainstream press.
    Theodore A. Postol
    Professor of Science, Technology, and National Security Policy
    Massachusetts Institute Of Technology
    Cambridge, Massachusetts
    July 10, 2014

  7. Excellent posts.

    Trump is so shallow that he thought that bringing up children suffering, over and over, would give him leverage. Sorry, Donald. The photograph of a crying young Vietnamese girl, running, naked and scarred by napalm, will always displace those images in recent newscasts, in my vision. Once again he has confused the innocent and the guilty.

  8. Do all these commentators/scientists have their own intelligence services? Is Cambridge an outpost of Foggy Bottom? Ivory tower analysis seems a little dependent on sterile presumptuous speculation. They can depict the how–but not the who.

  9. Bill: Agree on the terrorist groups, but I remain highly suspicious of Putin and Russia. Evidently, President Donald J. Trump now feels exactly as I do about Russia. What a pleasant surprise! But things could change completely by tomorrow ….

    I’m also in no hurry to go to war with China, Iran, Assad’s Syria, or even Mexico, for that matter. Obviously, this bears watching. For all we know, Trump might declare war on Canada.

    And from what I read, the president has now switched back to getting rid of health care before he tackles tax breaks for the rich. But this could change too ….

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