Opinion » The Rant

Blow Hard

So much winning is tough to take.



He sat there seething, stone-faced, jaw clenched, his surgically resectioned hair lacquered down and bobby-pinned into a ducktail, staring straight ahead, lest he glance left or right at the assembled dignitaries and media professionals all doubled over laughing at him — not with him. His customary orange spray tan had been transformed into a glowing burnt umber atop his blushing face. He grimaced and made a little wave, but, that aside, he never cracked a smile.

The night was April 30, 2011. The occasion was the annual White House Correspondents dinner, and Barack Obama was getting some payback for Donald Trump's idiotic promotion of "birtherism," the racist idea that Obama was not born in the U.S. and was thus unqualified to be president. Trump claimed to have sent an investigatory team to Hawaii to verify his theory. "They couldn't believe what they're finding," he said.

So, with Trump in the audience, it was only appropriate that Obama preface his remarks with a large-screen display of his long-form birth certificate. "No one is happier ... to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald," the president said. "That's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter, like: Did we fake the moon landing?"

Donald squirmed as the president continued, throwing barbs at Trump's pet reality TV show, The Apprentice. "Just recently ... the men's cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. There was a lot of blame to go around, but you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately, you didn't fire Lil John or Meatloaf. You fired Gary Busey. And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night."

The crowd howled; Trump scowled. In fact, Obama had just ordered the raid on Osama bin Laden, which took place the following day. I'm convinced that it was from that night of public humiliation that Trump's vow for revenge emerged and materialized into a political campaign reeking with hatred and dependent on a backlash toward our first black president. I've heard of pendulum swings, but this one was straight out of Edgar Allan Poe.

  • Sbukley | Dreamstime
  • Gary Busey

Now, it seems I have company. The president's ghoulish pal, Roger Stone, said, "I think that is the night that he resolves to run for president. I think he [was] kind of motivated." His sycophant, Omarosa Manigault, a controversial contestant and documented liar from the first season of The Apprentice, who now makes $180,000 a year as a presidential hireling, proclaimed, "Every critic, every detractor, will have to bow down to President Trump. It's everyone who ever doubted Donald, whoever disagreed, whoever challenged him. It is the ultimate revenge to become the most powerful man in the universe."

Revenge is the fever which motivates his Obama-obsessed presidency. His singular agenda is to overturn the policies and achievements of his predecessor and destroy the legacy of Barack Obama. According to the Washington Post, in his first six months, Trump has passed no new legislation, but managed to roll back 16 executive actions, 63 cabinet level decisions, and 14 acts of Congressional review. His scorched-earth approach to governing is diametrically opposed to all things Obama, regardless of the consequences. Just look at his cabinet. Almost every pick was chosen with the intent of destroying the agencies they were appointed to oversee. Here's a sampling:

Rex "Tea for the" Tillerson, Secretary of State: Former CEO of Exxon Mobil with close Russian ties. No government or public service experience.

Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury: Trump's campaign finance chairman and former Goldman Sachs employee. Former owner of OneWest Bank, called a "foreclosure machine" by its detractors, which initiated foreclosures on active duty military families. Initially failed to disclose over $100 million of hidden assets in the Cayman Islands. Blamed it on the "complicated" disclosure forms.

Jeff Sessions, Attorney General: Denied a judgeship in 1986 for his racist past.

Mike Pompeo, CIA Director: Tea Party Kansas congressman who served on the House Intelligence Committee. Advocated the resumption of waterboarding, black sites, and the reinstatement of government programs that harvest communications of U.S. citizens.

Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior: Strong supporter of coal and oil exploration. Claims climate change is not a "proven science."

Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce: Billionaire involved in the coal and steel industries. Implicated in the 2006 Sago, West Virginia, mine disaster which killed a dozen men because of overlooked safety concerns.

Ben Carson, Director of HUD: Lived in urban Detroit as a child. No bureau management or government experience.

Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education: Long-time advocate of charter schools and voucher programs. Wants to require government to pay for private school tuition. No experience in public education. Refused to rule out defunding public schools. Billionaire Republican donor and sister of Blackwater mercenary organization founder Erik Prince.

Rick Perry, Secretary of Energy: Famously stated that he wanted to eliminate the Department of Energy. Oops.

Scott Pruitt, Director of EPA: Former oil industry lobbyist. As Oklahoma Attorney General, Pruitt repeatedly sued the EPA over Obama regulations limiting carbon emissions.

This deconstruction of the Obama presidency continues as the city of Houston is bailing out from one hurricane, while another chews up the state of Florida. And there are two more storms out there after these two. For a moment, it looked like it was the Lord's will to take out Mar-a-Lago, but at the last minute, Hurricane Irma made a left turn and said, "Screw it. I'm going to Disney World."

It's estimated that Hurricane Harvey will cost taxpayers $160 billion, and the cost of Irma is sure to be higher. When hurricane season ends in November, I guess we just won't be able to afford Trump's billionaire's tax cut anymore. Donald Trump is the Republican opposite of Teddy Roosevelt. While TR said, "Speak softly and carry a big stick," Trump's slogan should be, "Speak loudly and carry a small dick." All this winning is upsetting my stomach. Please excuse me while I go take a Trump.

Randy Haspel writes the "Recycled Hippies" blog.

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.

Add a comment