The Unpresidented President-Elect, The Trump Card, and the Hunukkah Tree

hannukah-treeYes Dorothy, there is a word unpresidented. The Trump, who many gaze on with starry eyes to the extent that they now view America’s sworn enemy Vladimir Putin in a more favorable light than their own countrymen because Trump told them to do that, will expect them to correspond their thoughts with his thinking. They would argue that when Trump tweeted that “China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters – rips it out of water and takes it to China in unpresidented act” that the use of the word unpresidented is correct. After all, the Trump is never wrong.

By the way, did I detect a sign of hope in the Trump’s statement? He did not threaten China with some draconian act. That is certainly a surprise. Did he get the bluster blown out of him when China sent a message to him that it wasn’t interested in his trying to play the Taiwan card? Was the research drone stolen in order call the Trump’s card and see if he would raise? Did it call his  bluff and he folded his hands showing himself to be little more than a wind bag?

Most of us have played cards. Those who have know how important a trump card can be in determining who will win a game. It is perhaps better than the joker in a game where the jokers are wild. It is also important in an argument.

The Trump’s card has traditionally been the chorus of trumpeteers, the true believers who blast out whatever tune he wishes them to sing. Have you noticed how many in Congress have now become members of his chorus? It is truly frightening how quickly their principles molted. This has a historic precedent during the rise of Il Duce.

Welcome to the new America: Trumpland. The Trump card triumphs over all. It is a brand new stage in American history; we will have an unpresidented president who rejects the actions of all prior modern-day presidents and is setting the country on a far right trek into the wilderness where we embrace Russia and chastise our long-standing friends.

The world must get use to this new idea. The Trump has told all the other nations that he is going to take America in this new direction. Tear up your history books, throw away the knowledge gained through diplomacy; and disregard the intelligence agencies for the Trump, a man who had no idea what the nuclear triad is, plans to rule by the gut.

The Trump exhibits such puerile knowledge of foreign affairs it is truly scary. It was bad enough when Bush surrounded himself with the neo-cons who had one goal in mind which was the protection of Israel. Many of those who were in top defense positions under Bush had written to President Clinton asking him to attack Iraq because it was a danger to Israel. (*) When Bush won they were able to climb onto his team and convince him to do it. We have seen the consequences of that ill-fated decision and the rise of the Islamic State; fortunately unlike others who live in the areas where the Islamic State thrived we did not feel the personal consequences of Bush’s blunder.

The Trump’s behavior in picking his crew makes Bush 43 looks like a brilliant George Kennan. The Trump has surrounded himself with naive people ancious to pick a fight. They make the willful neocons look like amateurs. One of them is John Bolton who signed the letter to Clinton. All want to tear up the Iran agreement. All are ready to walk lock step with the leader of Israel who has been calling for war with Iran in the same way he urged us into Iraq.

Benjamin Netanyahu is beginning to believe that there is a Santa Claus (or at least an Insanity Claus)  with all the gifts the Trump is putting under his Hanukkah tree. Was it only a coincidence that Christmas and Hanukkah arrived at the same time this year or did as the Trump said he arrange it and the trumpeteers believed him?  Happy Hanukkah!



  1. “Happy Homogenous Holidays”
    … all the Connolly “Irregulars.”

  2. For a different take, and a better bet, on the upcoming relationship between Trump and Netanyahu go to the following podcast. Jump forward to c. 36:30 and listen for several minutes.

    No one who has ever had to work with the psychopath PM of Israel can stand him. The Trump difference is that he will whack the jerk down to size.

    • Tadzio:

      Dream on. Look at his new ambassador a proponent of moving the US embassy to Jerusalem and in increasing the settlement activities. Don’t hold your breath looking for any space between Trump and Netanyahu.

  3. In Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, in Gaza or the West Bank, as in Hungary in 1956, if the United States is not willing back up its position with boots on the ground, then our President has about as much clout as a columnist for the New York Times. The Palestinians are practically helpless against ISIS or whatever fundamentalist group acts up next. They are dependent on Israel, who has a strategic interest of their own in protecting them.

    The United States’ position in support of the Palestinians has been as dangerously weak and vacillating as it has been in Syria during the current humanitarian crisis there.

    From the Washington Post on 12/3/16

    ‘Fearing abandonment by Trump, CIA-backed rebels in Syria mull alternatives’

    Now, said one U.S.-vetted rebel commander, “we are very frustrated. The United States refuses to provide weapons we need, and yet it still thinks it can tell us what to do. They promise support and then watch us drown.”

    “Vetted rebels” Hmm. But this particular vetted rebel has a point. People forget that in late 1991 to early 1992 President George Bush was publicly okay with Ukraine remaining part of Russia. Ukraine became independent of Russia in astonishingly rapid fashion, without even U.S. moral support. The half-hearted moral support the U.S. has given to the Palestinian cause is all they were ever going to get and it is insufficient for making any kind of real difference.

    And Trump being Trump, if he can’t change Israel’s stand, why he is going to embrace it. Before long KellyAnne Conway will be explaining on CNN how Trump artisanally crafted Israel’s indifferent policy toward the Palestinians personally. He’s smart. He doesn’t need to know history.

    So like the vetted rebel commander of Syria, the Palestinians need to look for alternatives. Personally, I think they should change from an independence movement, to a civil rights / social justice movement along the lines of African Americans in the U.S. Nationhood has become progressively less and less meaningful in a world with ballistic missiles in a global economy. Acts of terrorism only discredit their cause and set them back further.

    I’m not all that pessimistic about bidding farewell to the equivocating insincerity of the United States toward the plight of the Palestinians for us, but mostly for the Palestinian people themselves. May they find their way.

  4. Matt: You’ve got a good sense of humor and your assessment of Trump is shared by many liberals. Since the election, you’ve compared Trump to Hitler; now Trump equals Mussolini. As for misspelling “unprecedented”, we all misspell; today you missed “ancious”. yesterday I wrote semester instead of trimester, more like misspeaking, than misspelling.
    2. Was Bush’s attack on Iraq to protect Israel? Was Obama/Hillary’s support of rebels and the attempted regime change in Syria an attempt to protect Israel? Syria borders Israel. Iraq does not. What is more plausible? Political scientists debate these issues.
    3. Obama, the Nobel peace prize winner, kept us at war in Iraq and Afghanistan for eight years, and gave us new warfare in Syria, Libya and Yemen.
    4. Even the most liberal Time magazine’s most liberal columnist, Joe Klein, opined last week that “rapproachment” with Russia may be a good thing for America and the world.
    5. Finally, here are the top Hitlerites in the Trump Administration: Marine Corps Generals Mattis and Kelley; Army General Flynn; Pompeo, the number one graduate at West Point; Zinke, a former Navy Seal from Montana as Interior Secretary; two esteemed surgeons; a half-dozen brilliant successful women (Haley, Conway, Chow, Debos); a couple of governors; and several top American businessmen. An All American team of Hitlerites!

    • BillC,

      BTW, does Trump’s arrival mean that Gen. Dunford is dun for?

    • You know William. when you’re not congratulating Matt on his mythic flight to Trump Olympus, you write as incisively as many English profs I had at University. They …were …smart. Many …were …Ivy Leaguers. All …were ….Liberals . And MIT’s Noam Chomsky’s TRANSFORMATIONAL GRAMMAR and Theodore Labov’s BLACK ENGLISH were high among their sacred texts. Also, several were lousy spellers . There was a kind of reverse cachet to it I suppose, as when corrected they would sheepishly shrug off such mundane punctilio in the Great Wordcraft as indicating the type of illiberal crotchetyness that one found among ….Conservatives . You know, those Republican reactionaries who had not the vision to see EBONICS on the literary windshield and who turned on the wipers in the Old Grammarian whenever the lightest rain started falling. To criticize any …person …of color …of a non-traditional educational background …from a hard scrabble environment …or certainly a recent immigrant …for a spelling or diction mistake …was anathema to them! And, whilst not sharing an inherent hypocrisy in the View. as I saw them always willing to rake any Conservative …poor white or middle class or wealthy …for such …language transgressions …( just space the commas in your head in previous euphonious phrasings btw, I know ya’ can) …I generally agreed with an attitude that paid more attention to the message than the social background of the messenger.

      As I said to the mustachioed, Houston oil field roustabout who maliciously enquired if I knew how to spell any word in the English language : No, but I do know how to spell A**H*** 🙂 …MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  5. Well, they say that around Christmas, the mail travels more slowly as the US Postal Service struggles under the weight of higher volume in mail and packages.

    Apparently the same is true for email, as I haven’t yet received my morning missive from Matt; most missives make it to my Merry Mailbox around 8:00-8:15am.