The White House impeachment war room is a one-man platoon of the president himself — in the role of playground bully, wielding his shamelessness like a weaponized rubber kickball, ready to pummel into the mud anyone who dares to level a charge against him. https://t.co/hqkU2LCc2N— Ashley Parker (@AshleyRParker) October 10, 2019
This is one of the things I think people have a hard time understanding: Trump does this schoolyard nickname thing not because he's strong or strategic. He's an ignorant reed blown by the fucking wind. If you look at stuff like "I'm not the puppet, you're the puppet" or "Liddle' Shifty Schiff" and think "shit, where does this guy come up with these retorts?" let's get real. The guy's a seven year old. Everyone is trying to respect his office and act like there's a fully-realized adult in there worth talking to. He's a full-blown reactionary, in the sense that he reacts/responds to stimuli. He doesn't understand all of it, no. He responds to it.
Take the disaster unfolding in Syria. He "went off script" on a phone call with Erdogan and somehow, gave the nod to Turkey to strike against the mostly Kurdish SDF. Trump once described himself as trusting people too much. Did he trust that if he threatened Erdogan's economy and made noises about how we'd sanction him and stuff, that would do anything?
Maybe, maybe not. He's now saying reprehensible shit about people who cleaned up ISIS like, "they didn't help us with Normandy". (They actually were apparently part of Allied forces, generally, however. Unlike Trump's father. If Trump wants to cite Khe Sanh, I might cite that I need to see his long form foot X-ray.) He's saying he doesn't care if ISIS fighters are dispersed because they will be heading to Europe--where he's threatened to dump ISIS fighters previously. Does he understand the kind of stochastic terrorism they might intend to wage on our Western allies? Does he think the world so big that doesn't have ripples here?
The better question might be: does he understand what allies are? He thinks we can form new alliances easily--which strongly suggests he doesn't understand the time, investment and cooperation that goes into any of it. It's all transactional to him. I don't think he even understands that this means his temporary allies of today (Republicans) can throw him over for a better deal (not being associated with him) if his name truly begins to stink. And it will. And it should.
His temporary allies of today in the Republican party also need to understand this is how he feels about you. Some people seem to have abandoned all principle in the fear of a series of mean Tweets, as if the vicious seven year old's taunts were somehow better than the considered opinion of people who have frankly, been around these issues far longer than he has and understand the stakes and stakeholders' concerns far more than he can understand them.
Today we hear, among other things, that there are dozens more claims of sexual assault made against Trump in a new book. Nearly life-long rumors of being a sex-pest don't actually jibe well with "family values", do they? These women aren't saying these things for money or acclaim and understand full well the shit they will catch in their personal lives for saying anything against a wealthy and powerful man. The simplest reason for their doing so is...it's their truth. Ask yourself what kind of man preys on vulnerable women and makes them frightened enough of him to keep that under wraps for years. It isn't a strong man. It's a weak man who deals with people as commodities. Their gratification of his temporary needs was a thing he took. He extracted the regular payment from them of their silence, and they have decided to stop paying it. Because they understand he isn't so tough--if they band together.
This sort of thing is his vulnerability. He tries to call himself "transparent" even if this is laughable. No political figure of the modern era in the US has been so protective of, say, their tax returns. Trump's lawyers have said he won't comply with the impeachment proceeding and it looks like they intend to block any testimony or deny the release of any documents.
There's no "soft-pedal" way to deal with that sort of thing. Subpoena everything, charge of obstruction for things withheld, contempt for people who side with President Tantrum-Haver. If he wants to cry victim, the point is--he is bringing this on himself by making it difficult, and if his phone calls and everything else are so squeaky clean and perfect, he shouldn't have a problem. But he clearly does, because why the ten potential charges of obstruction we already have in the Mueller Report? Why specifically deny the testimony of people like Ambassador Sondland whose statements should have confirmed "no quid pro quo" right? Unless that was a matter of messaging directed by the president, as opposed to the actual policy, which was all kinds of quid pro quo, maybe?
Every press conference it needs to be said: What is this administration hiding? Why does Trump lie? If this looks bad, doesn't it mean--it is bad? Every day. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
So when things come out like how Trump tried to "fix" things for one of Giuliani's clients, an Iranian Turkish gold dealer who violated US sanctions--what are we to believe? Even petty abuses of office out of sheer transactionalism paint a picture of what a corrupt, weak, unethical being this Trump is. He needs to be called to account on every single one. Every charge. Every thing.
Every single one. He isn't tough. He isn't good. He isn't smart. He isn't godly, even if opportunistic theocrats want to paint him as such. He is not king, because the United States has no monarchs, even if his minions want to talk about "regicide".
He is just a little, dumb man who watches a lot of Fox News, has a certain kind of wealth (and debt), and probably never looks at himself in a full-length mirror naked. He ain't so tough. He's a gangster, and gangsters fall. That's all you need to know. Band together. He can't fuck us all up. This country isn't him. We're bigger than him, and older and better. We are great.
He just isn't.