On this Christmas, the feeling of yuletide joy is missing, thanks to the destructive actions of a president gone mad in the White House and the greetings of the season are less than celebratory.
With some thousands of federal employees affected by the partial closing of the government last Friday at midnight, many of them spend this Christmas pondering the return to gifts to help pay mortgages and bills.
President Donald Trump’s Christmas morning appearance in the Oval Office was primarily a threat to keep the federal government closed until he gets his way.
“I can’t tell you when the government is going to reopen,” he said. “I can tell you it’s not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they’d like to call it. I’ll call it whatever they want. But it’s all the same thing. It’s a barrier from people pouring into our country.”
Writes three-time Pulitzer Prize winning correspondent Thomas L. Friedman in the New York Times:
Trump’s behavior has become so erratic, his lying so persistent, his willingness to fulfill the basic functions of the presidency — like reading briefing books, consulting government experts before making major changes and appointing a competent staff — so absent, his readiness to accommodate Russia and spurn allies so disturbing and his obsession with himself and his ego over all other considerations so consistent, two more years of him in office could pose a real threat to our nation.
I believe that the only responsible choice for the Republican Party today is an intervention with the president that makes clear that if there is not a radical change in how he conducts himself — and I think that is unlikely — the party’s leadership will have no choice but to press for his resignation or join calls for his impeachment.
Our sources on Capitol Hill says a slowly increasing number of Republicans — especially in the Senate — are muttering the same thing in closed-door gatherings.
They realize Trump is out of control. It’s only a matter of time before they start coming out.
Fact-checking services report 7,546 outright false or misleading statements and claims by Trump in 700 days in office.
“If America starts to behave as a selfish, shameless, lying grifter like Trump, you simply cannot imagine how unstable — how disruptive — world markets and geopolitics may become,” writes Friedman. “We cannot afford to find out.”
Nobel Memorial Prize recipient Paul Krugman says a future with Trump as president is not promising:
The reality that presidential unfitness matters for investors seems to have started setting in only about three weeks (and around 4,000 points on the Dow) ago. First came the realization that Trump’s much-hyped deal with China existed only in his imagination. Then came his televised meltdown in a meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, his abrupt pullout from Syria, his firing of Jim Mattis and his shutdown of the government because Congress won’t cater to his edifice complex and build a pointless wall. And now there’s buzz that he wants to fire Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Oh, and along the way we learned that Trump has been engaging in raw obstruction of justice, pressuring his acting attorney general (who is himself a piece of work) over the Mueller investigation as the tally of convictions, confessions and forced resignations mounts.
Over at The Washington Post, columnist Eugene Robinson writes:
The chaos all around us is what happens when the nation elects an incompetent, narcissistic, impulsive and amoral man as president. This Christmas, heaven help us all.
Trump has shown himself to be even more of a despicable human being than he appeared then, and utterly incapable of growing into the office. He is just as petty, just as impulsive, just as narcissistic, just as dishonest and, perhaps, even more corrupt than we realized. Not only does he seem to be using every available opportunity to exploit the presidency to enrich himself and his family, but a recent, meticulously documented investigation showed that Trump, his father, and his siblings engaged in a years-long scheme to commit tax fraud on an absolutely massive scale, a story that, in the endless waves of White House madness, has been almost forgotten.
Not a lot of Christmas cheer floating around on what is supposed to be a day of celebration.
Trump claims he has supports from those he put out of work with the government shutdown.
“Many of those workers have said to me, communicated — stay out until you get the funding for the wall,” Trump added. “These federal workers want the wall.”
Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents about 150,000 of those federal workers, disputes that claim.
“Federal employees should not have to pay the personal price for all of this dysfunction,” Reardon said in response to Trump’s claim. “This shutdown is a travesty. Congress and the White House have not done their fundamental jobs of keeping the government open.”
No rank and file federal worker affected by the shutdown has come forward to say he or she supports Trump or the shutdown.
In other words, another lie from a lying president.
Copyright © 2018 Capitol Hill Blue