Press Secretary Sean Spicer July 21
Press Aide Michael Short July 25
Chief of Staff Reince Priebus July 28
Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci employed only from July 21 to July 31
Scheduling and Advance Director George Gigicos July 31 (as consultant August 22)
President’s Manufacturing Jobs Initiative and Strategy & Policy Forum en masse August 16
Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon August 18
Carl Icahn (informal special advisor) August 18
President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities en masse August 18
National Infrastructure Advisory Council, several holdover Obama members August 21
Deputy Assistant to the President (national security) Sebastian Gorka August 25
Please recall the old saying about what happens before a ship sinks. In the case of the Trump administration, over the last six weeks or so, the rats have been taking the plunge, one after the other or all holding hands, plop, plop, plop. In most cases, these moves were initiated by the captain or the new first mate, but one would think they would have figured that some smart aleck like me would read the signals loud and clear. Is anyone still on watch to yell “Iceberg, dead ahead!” when the time comes?
Of course, no Progressives will shed any tears over Bannon and Gorka. In fact, many activist groups had been demanding their departures ever since they were appointed, and those demands had accelerated since the Charlottesville white supremacist violence on the weekend of August 11-14 and the administration’s hesitant, conflicting and significantly fact-free response to it.
What is more surprising than the number of departures is the disunity shown by those leaving. True, Reince Priebus said, “I’m always going to be a Trump fan. I’m on Team Trump, and I look forward to helping him achieve his goals and his agenda for the American people.” Stephen Bannon’s comment, before “clarification,” ran in the opposite direction, “The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over.” Famously, Scaramucci slammed Priebus and Bannon in the most vulgar terms on July 27, being rewarded by the departure of Priebus the next day, only to lose his own position when Kelly took over the following Monday .
Even Trump’s appointees who are still aboard are heading for the plank of their own volition. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson went on Fox News on Sunday, August 27, describing the American people’s values as including “equal treatment of people the world over.” When asked about Trump, “The President speaks for himself.” [as opposed to T-Rex and others speaking for the American people? – mine] Then, at an undisclosed time, Secretary of Defense James Mathis addressed troops in a non-public interview, which was nonetheless recorded, “Our country, right now, it’s got problems that we don’t have in the military. You just hold the line until our country gets back to understanding and respecting each other and showing it.” He continued that we have “lost the power of inspiration while we still have the power of intimidation, … but we’ll get that back.” [post-Trump – mine]
Republicans are uneasy with Trump. They have been from the beginning. The party elite didn’t want him, but he won the primaries. It’s an odd fluke of the current state of the American two-party system that a plurality of voters in Republican primaries, correctly distributed by states, may actually result in winning the Presidential nomination. It is well-known that primary voters are highly committed to (and even beyond) each party’s stated issue positions, Republicans to the right, Democrats to the left. In 1972, on the Democratic side, this resulted in the nomination of George McGovern, giving me, personally, what I have often referred to as the one and only vote for President in a November general election that I was ever able to cast with total pride. The party masters were so chagrined by this that, first of all, they yanked the rug out from under their own candidate, and secondly they then put into place the system of superdelegates that persists to this day, to guarantee that nothing similar would ever happen again. The Republicans have not put as many safeguards into place, so the will of their primary voters can still play tricks on the elite, as happened in 2016. This is why wags say, not without justification, that Republican primaries are more democratic (small “d”) than those on the Democratic side.
Other recent concerns have come from Mitch McConnell, and Trump himself, with recent comments in their home state, seems to be on a campaign to guarantee that both Republican Senators from Arizona, John McCain and Jeff Flake, will never lift a finger to help him out of a jam. He’s not burning bridges, he’s burning his own lifeline.
I have long predicted that the Republican Party will make sure Trump is removed around March or April, 2018, so as to avoid having him as the albatross in the November elections. From what I see happening here, that clock is ticking a little faster. Of course, Christian Theocrat Mike Pence is waiting in the wings, and is in many ways just as bad or worse than Trump. That said, I for one will feel just a tad safer to know that the finger on the nuclear trigger is that of a person who can, at least, be reasonably presumed to be sane.
How will it happen? Not impeachment. The 25th Amendment is a neater, cleaner way to accomplish this, and establishment Republicans like neat, clean ways of doing their dirty work. But, they probably won’t even have to go that far. Remember the delegation of Sens..Barry Goldwater and Hugh Scott and Rep. John Rhodes to the embattled Richard Nixon, and the resignation which followed within a day? Interestingly, Goldwater and Rhodes were both from Arizona. If watchers see McConnell, McCain and Flake (or possibly Speaker Paul Ryan as the third, but that breaks the Arizona doublet) enter the White House together, ring the bells, it’s going down. The only question is whether Donald Trump will listen. If not, he will be the first President in history declared incompetent under the 25th Amendment. Or in two words, “You’re fired!”
Article written by: Vince Hardt