On Promises

After seeing a few specks of worrisome dye pop up here and there, the Trump administration’s true colors are now bleeding through the fabric of American society. Throughout their first 10 days of power, the president and his homogenous inner circle are running wild with its non-existent – yet loudly proclaimed – mandate. And their frenetic path is threatening to leave our democratic institutions looking like crushed rock alongside the tracks that the Trump Train has been huffing and puffing its way along.

The policies being undertaken should come as no surprise to anyone paying attention, as candidate Trump said he would do what President Trump is now trying to impose on the country, one rushed executive order at a time. From strengthening border security to making bigger and more economic Wins! to taking away the public’s right to affordable health care, the writing has been on the wall for a while. And while many of us assumed (and hoped) it was just stump bluster, there has shown to be – at the very least – a will to follow through on these promises, even if this is carried out in irresponsible, inhumane and unconstitutional ways. But among all of these ‘America First and fuck everyone else’ promises, there’s one of them that on the surface appeared to be so clearly eschewed since day 1 of the transition: draining the swamp.

While we were led to believe that the swamp draining would be targeted at the Washington establishment – the lobbyists, the bankers, the donors and the power brokers that keep the city’s corruption humming – this was quickly proven wrong. Goldman Sachs occupies a big slice of the Trump cabinet. Billionaire donors are being proffered powerful positions that they have no business reading the job descriptions of, let alone actually being nominated for. But this rude awakening doesn’t mean that the swamp isn’t being drained. The swamp is just a different one than we thought.

In Trumpland, the swamp creatures are the establishment politicians and government officials. The John McCains and the Lindsey Grahams and the revolving door of intelligence chiefs and top military brass. The Old Guard. Trump showed his disdain for McCain early in the campaign, attacking his war record by saying that Trump’s preferred war heroes are the ones “who weren’t captured.” Another time, he called Graham “one of the dumbest human beings I’ve ever seen.” Over the weekend he demoted the Director of National Intelligence and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from their permanent positions on the National Security Council. In their stead is Leninist, white nationalist and state dismantlist Steve Bannon, the Rovian political mind orchestrating this whole American shitshow. For some context, George W. Bush never allowed Karl Rove to sit in on NSC meetings, possessing the adult capacity to comprehend that some instances of national security are too important to taint with politics.

Yesterday, Trump accused the senatorial duo of trying to start World War III. He is trying to discredit them into oblivion.

So as McCain and Graham predictably play White House foils by taking common sense stances on immigrants, the constitution and the rule of law, most of the rest of the GOP-controlled Congress remain silent – bolstering Trump’s perceived and real support in the halls of power. They are the new sheriffs in town – brought here as tea partiers and pro-lifers and bigly despisers of the sort of Islamic terror that will never affect their constituents back home in Nebraska – and they know that the McCain establishment is being escorted as quickly as possible out past the city limits.

And why jump to the side of someone doing something right, when you can kiss the feet of someone with all the power?

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