Don’t call the White House. Nobody’s home.
Calls to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue get this recording:
We apologize, but due to the lapse in federal funding we are unable to take your call. Once funding has been restored, our operations will resume. Please call back at that time.
This latest flash from Washington comes courtesy of Dana Milbank of The Washington Post, who adds:
Is there a better distillation of the Trump administration after year two? You have reached the White House. We are not functioning. Please try again later.
In three short sentences, Milbank explained the administration of Donald John Trump.
In what could also be a self-analysis, Trump tweeted on Christmas eve;
I am all alone (poor me) in the White House.
One pictures the home-alone president, forlorn among Melania Trump’s red Christmas trees in the echoey executive mansion, padding about in bathrobe and slippers, a 72-year-old Kevin McCallister without the resourcefulness to ice the back steps or put ornaments under the windows.
Several hundred thousand federal workers spent worse Christmas than the nation’s whiner-in-chief. Many wondered how to make their next mortgage payment or put food on their families’ tables.
Some reported they delayed purchasing Christmas gifts for their children and returned some already under the tree.
Trump claims he has heard from “many” federal employees who support him even though he put them out of work just a week before Christmas. How? The White House answers calls with a recording. No out-of-work federal employee posted support for Trump in blogs or on Facebook or via Twitter.
The only one claiming support was the braggart-in-chief himself.
Trump, however, is getting paid and his latest actions have the nation in crisis.
Without warning, and without even consulting the chairman of joint chief of staff of the armed forces or the Secretary of Defense, Trump began chaotic withdrawals of American forces from Syria and Afghanistan — moves that shocked allies while enemies like Russian dictator Vladimir Putin happily supports.
As Milbank notes, Trump blithely shut the government down over a dispute of 1/10th of 1 percent of the federal budget — a stupid stunt that has even Republicans reeling. GOP Sen. Bob Corker called Trump’s stunt “made up” and “juvenile.”
The stock market closed on Christmas Eve with the worst drop in a decade and is now a “bear market,” which the nation has not seen since the 2008 recession.
Trump’s already-dwindling stock of key aides and Cabinet secretaries continue to jump ship, some of them with help from probes into their unethical and criminal conduct.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, considered the “last adult in the Trump administration, quit in disgust after the withdrawal from Syria and the “special envoy” charged with the battle against the Islamic State followed him. Trump didn’t even know his name.
Trump’s increasing anger towards his appointees results in him calling them “f—ing idiots” in meetings. When they tell him that little things like the law and the Constitution prohibit a lot of what he orders them to do, he claims they are undermining him.
Notes Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman at The New York Times:
Now, the president who once declared that “I alone can fix” the system increasingly stands alone in a system that seems as broken as ever. The swirl of recent days — a government shutdown, spiraling scandals, tumbling stock markets, abrupt troop withdrawals and the resignation of his alienated defense secretary — has left the impression of a presidency at risk of spinning out of control.
At the midpoint of his term, Mr. Trump has grown more sure of his own judgment and more cut off from anyone else’s than at any point since taking office. He spends ever more time in front of a television, often retreating to his residence out of concern that he is being watched too closely. As he sheds advisers at a head-spinning rate, he reaches out to old associates, complaining that few of the people around him were there at the beginning.
Those of us who watch and report on the isolated, arrogant and paranoid president know full well that things can, and will, get worse before they might ever, if possible, get better in time to save America.
The major threat to our nation’s future wanders the halls of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue alone. He is America’s terrorist within.
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