Let me make this as simple as I possibly can.
The current president knows jackshit about foreign policy. He knows even less about American civics. It’s highly unlikely he’s ever read the Constitution of the United States unless someone gave him the Classics Illustrated version.
Currently, there are three generals running the west wing: Chief-of-Staff Gen. John Kelly (Ret.,) Secretary of Defense, Gen. James Mattis (Ret.,) and National Security Advisor, Lt Gen. H.R. McMasters. There are also 7 members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Since Kelly has come on, there seems to be a general house-cleaning going on. The big alt.right faction has gotten the jackboot on the way out the door: Bannon is out, Mooch is out, Gorka is out. That didn’t stop the toddler-in-chief from giving the Charlottesville raiders the thumbs up.
But then he gave an almost cogent speech on Afghanistan…which was a180° turn from his campaign platform…you remember, the one where he castigated President Obama for remaining in Afghanistan? Clearly not written by him. Too sane sounding.
Sane didn’t last long. He was back to weird the next day.
So while there may be adults in the room, there seems to still be a lack of toddler control.
Which may, in turn, be a smoke screen. While the toddler is saying incredibly stupid things either while sitting on the can or standing at the podium, all attention is focused on him.
Example: Pardoning Sheriff Joe Arapio was not only bizarre, it was a giant distraction from the real news of the day – Hurricane Harvey. At today’s press conference with Finnish President Shauli Niinisto, the toddler blurted out why he announced the pardon when he did:
Actually, in the middle of a hurricane, even though it was a Friday evening, I assumed the ratings would be far higher than they were normally...
It’s all about him. And he doesn't know the difference between a pardon and a commutation.
Interestingly, former sheriff Arpaio was pardoned before he was sentenced. A pardon dismisses the crime that has been committed; it is an admission of guilt. A commutation shortens the sentence. Presidents are loath to give pardons; they mostly give commutations. This is how one respects the law. The toddler dismissed the idea that Joe Arpaio was convicted of contempt of court, which means the court told him to stop doing something, in this case established racial profiling, and he ignored that court order. The pardon dismisses the rule of law.
We are watching the slow, systematic collapse of the United States government. I'm not sure We, the People, can do much except prepare for the possibility of the degradation of the rule of law.
Which makes forming a junta even more fascinating. Is there an expectation of further degradation of the rule of law?
I want to believe Kelly attempting to protect the three branches of government and ultimately, the Constitution. I want to believe he is setting the pieces in place so if the toddler runs off the rails, the government will be able to shore itself up and pull itself back together. I want to believe they will do the right thing to keep fascism from our streets.
I want to believe this, but on the other hand, John Kelly is surreptitiously moving the pieces around the chessboard. Pay no attention to the guys behind the curtain?
Have you ever seen a good junta? I'm not sure they exist.
Or, then there's the other scenario: the junta is in it for the power. Is Kelly positioning himself to lead a takeover of the United States, wresting the government from the tatters of democracy while putting himself in charge of the new order?
Now is the time we should be paying very close attention to the guys behind the curtain, otherwise, when we figure it all out, it might very well be too late.
The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Nice People didn't speak out in Nazi, Germany, because, after all,
it was none of their business.
Don't be a nice person.