Cooler Heads and Chaos

It is no news that some Republicans have opposed Trump all along and do not support him as President. Anyone with a pulse knows that their opposition is budding into an insurrection, and some even make the case for a full blown putsch, as does Hoover Fellow Richard Epstein in "Presidential Chaos."

Although, “the Republican case against Trump is in the whispering phase, as no one wants openly to state the obvious,” Epstein does just that. He argues that because a self-inflicted “perpetual state of dysfunction and chaos” has claimed the Trump presidency, he instructs "cooler heads in the Republican party to have a heart-to-heart with a stubborn President Trump, to create the needed political momentum for him to leave office -- for the good of his party, and, most importantly, for the good of the nation."

Since there are no grounds for impeachment by either party, he suggests Trump be ousted by Republicans to prevent Democrats from controlling the narrative. Replace Trump, the Tweet Slinger, with Pence, the More Palatable, whom he believes is patiently waiting in the wings, prepared at any moment to pounce for the good of the party. Pence should continue to implement his boss’ agenda because Trump’s accomplishments are solid (excepting immigration, trade, and ObamaCare), his appointments excellent, and his efforts scaling back Obama’s engorged administrative state are bearing fruit.

So there really aren’t any substantive grounds for his overthrow. It really comes down to the individual, the way he governs, the way he acts, and the chaos that flows in his wake, which is damaging the party and the country. If these were legitimate grounds for a legitimate ouster, pretty much every President would be vulnerable.

Why don’t these self-righteous senators and provocateurs who think they are America’s last best hope just stab the guy to death? It doesn’t sound like they’ll have a problem finding a Brutus. Et tu Jeff Flake, John McCain, Lindsay Graham?

I’m personally disgusted by the arrogance to openly call for his defenestration in blatant disregard for the electoral will. Who are they to decide our political fate?

Let me make a suggestion -- it’s only four years. Let Trump have his run and, if he’s that awful, he won’t win another four years… or… is that what they are worried about? They are afraid he just might win another term and that must be thwarted at all costs -- now, in the least messy way possible.

That would mean, no stabbings or beheadings -- way too public. Just leave him the gift of a decapitated horse’s head in his bed, like "Presidential Chaos." Maybe that will scare him into resigning, in which case the provocateurs can claim no hands were sullied in the making of this coup.

Professor Provocateur readily admits Trump must be “dealt with” even though in Trump’s six months, he has revitalized the economy, attacked regulation, unraveled Obama excesses, taken a tough stand on foreign affairs, made excellent cabinet choices, appointed Neil Gorsuch, allowed the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines to proceed, and withdrawn from the Paris accords.

Nevertheless, his transgressions against Jeff Sessions (which did light a fire under the AG’s fanny), the Scaramucci brouhaha (dealt with), and the Boy Scout Jamboree (much ado about nothing), are so egregious he must be dethroned. Come on, really? Then, an even more incensed Professor Provocateur points to Trump’s “ill-considered tweet haphazardly announcing a ban on transgender people serving in the military, which everyone from a blindsided James Mattis on down regarded as a gratuitous insult to many transgender soldiers who have served with distinction.” (Everyone? Really? With so many in the military and the general population supporting this, it’s hard to see how Epstein can attribute this sentiment to everyone. A little hyperbole there, Professor?).

Who knew that social policies like this would be grounds for forced removal from the Oval Office? We could have simply used “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to impeach Slick Willy instead of involving Monica Lewinsky and her blue dress.

All of this prompts Professor Provocateur to ask:

How many adults are currently in residence at the White House to keep the President in line? Unfortunately, Trump’s own intellectual shortcomings and personal insecurities leave him without any secure internal compass on matters of policy. His clueless leadership was evident in the recent fiasco with Obamacare, where he could not explain how the implosion of the exchanges and the breakdown of Medicaid services required an immediate response. His lack of self-confidence in turn prevents him from including experienced old-hands like John Bolton or Karl Rove in his inner circle, where infighting between the Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner factions are slowing down the process of key government appointments and leading to huge political gaffes like Trump’s first immigration order. There’s too much self-inflicted harm. [Italics added.]

Never mind that self-inflicted harm is a malady common to every presidency and that Democrat presidents have historically been protected from its ill-effects by the media, whereas Trump has had to face daily blitzkriegs from a crazed and brazen media out for his head.

Epstein seems to be operating under the delusion that Trump could be kept in line by appointing seasoned cogs in the establishment wheel, like John Bolton or Karl Rove. Can we all agree how absurd this is?

As I said in "Trump’s Game of Stones," the Karl Rove and Josh Bolton types had a place in yesterday’s political universe, but are anathema to the political realities of today. Any establishment figure in the White House, as we saw with Reince Priebus, would be a colossal mismatch. Trump’s election was the forgotten GOP base’s way -- aided by the forgotten Reagan Dems -- of putting someone in office who would do what is best for the little guy -- not what’s best for the party, for anyone’s re-election, or for establishment hacks. Simply put, the Forgotten Masses were tired of being left behind by the party, by people they elected, and by the establishment.

Trump was put there to upend the status quo; Rove is the embodiment of the status quo. The very idea of keeping Trump in line with establishment overlords is an oxymoron. He is the very definition of someone who cannot be kept in line. Nor was he elected to stay in line. For that, we could have voted for Jeb!

How many times do guys like Richard Epstein have to get conked on the head to get it -- as if Trump trouncing Hillary wasn’t enough of a conk? When Trump didn’t magically become “more presidential” in the Oval Office, again, a conk on the ol’ noggin. And for every nonpresidential tweet, and every little skirmish he survived, and every norm of expected presidential behavior he flouted, you could hear the conk, conk, conk on the supposedly cooler heads of Karl Rove, Chas. Krauthammer, and Bret Stephens.

Hello, is anybody home? If they’re home, they’re certainly not listening. And if they’re listening, they’re definitely not comprehending. But they’re not that stupid, so, they must be comprehending, in which case they are up to no good: they want us to believe that Trump can and should get in line and any refusal to do so is grounds for us to force him out. 

Even if by some miracle we could rein in Trump, does anyone really think that would change the behavior or commentary of any left-winger or #NeverTrumper? The reportage would continue to be all about chaos and fiascos, self-inflicted harm, bumbling buffoonery, internecine squabbles, and the shortcomings and insecurities of President Trump.

And even if Trump were out of the picture, what makes them think Pence would be embraced as the darling of the Democrat-Media Complex? He is socially much more conservative than Trump -- with his views on abortion, religion, and all things LGBTQRSTUVWXYZ, moderate conservatives and the left will eat Pence alive.  

The irony of it all is that Professor Provocateur’s “cooler heads” are the very reason the elites and grassroots are at loggerheads. These cooler heads might want Trump to leave office, but the people who voted for him do not see that as a solution: how does forcing an outsider like Trump out of office benefit a party that was already on life support because of the cooler heads that have been in charge of the party for decades -- a party that was a breath away from irrelevance long before Donald Trump came into the picture?

Trump’s rise to power is symptomatic -- not the cause -- of a necrotic GOP controlled by the cooler heads Epstein lauds -- a GOP that used its grassroots to regain power, then turned its back on the very people it exists to represent.

For those who think Epstein is onto something and the GOP has our best interests at heart, just look at the train wreck of “repeal and replace” under the stewardship of cooler heads like McConnell and Ryan. They’ve had eight years to plan for this -- eight years to pluck and institute ready-made health insurance plans from the desks of policy experts at Heritage and the Pacific Research Institute. So, what have they been doing for the last eight years with our tax dollars and campaign donations? How have those cooler heads performed on repeal and replace?

When Nancy Pelosi had to get votes for ObamaCare, she whipped the bejesus out of her people -- threatening to withhold financial support in their re-election campaigns, to field other Democrats to run against them, to take away their committee assignments and relegate them to latrine duty. What did the Republican whips do? Play patty cake with Susan Collins in the hopes that a bit of bonding would win hearts and votes?   

Trump might be a disaster in the end, but it won’t be because of his agenda, the way he comports himself, the competency of his communications team, or his tweets. It will be due, to a great extent, to the relentless attacks and fake news disseminated by the Democrat-Media Complex and the patent coup from the Democrats.

But the real damage will be inflicted by the latent coup from within his own party. It is not so much presidential chaos, Professor Provocateur, as it is party chaos. If only cooler heads would prevail.

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