Inaugural Word Salad of Carnage

The Era of the Drumpf Debacle has begun.

Comrade Drumpf’s first act as President of the United States was to give his inaugural address. The text of that speech can be found here.

I will leave it for many other folk across the Internet to analyze what the speech meant and did not mean. For this blog, my intent is to analyze the actual words of Drumpf’s initial utterance as POTUS.

According to this website, the text of Drumpf’s speech averaged out at a grade level readability of 9.9, roughly the reading level on completion of high school.

According to the same website, of the 1,434 words in the prepared text, only four words have more than four syllables (administration, redistributed, patriotism, solidarity).

On the subject of words, Drumpf’s prepared remarks mentions “freedom” only once, and the words “rights”*, “liberty”, “equality”, and “democracy” do not even make an appearance.

In place of words like “freedom”, “liberty”, and “democracy”, Drumpf’s prepared speech mentions “people” nine times, “country” nine times,  “God / Creator” five times, “patriot / patriotism” twice, “loyalty” twice, “safe” twice, “movement” twice, and “Bible” once.

In lieu of honoring ideals such as freedom, liberty, and democracy, Drumpf conjures a country whose people honor God, the movement, patriotism, country, loyalty, safety, and the Bible.

And “carnage”. That word, by my estimation, made an appearance for the first time in the history of the fifty-eight presidential inauguration addresses to date.

 

*The only “right” Drumpf mentions in his speech is “…the right of all nations to put their own interests first.”

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A Debacle of Firsts

January 20, 2017 draws near and with it begins the Drumpf Administration.

As the first steps are taken for this mockery of American politics as it is inaugurated on the steps of the Capitol at noon, this specific blog post pauses to ask what other firsts will be achieved after Comrade Drumpf takes the oath of office.

…Who will be the first person Drumpf insults?

…Who will be the first person or organization Drumpf blames when things go south?

…Who will be the first Cabinet nominee to have their name withdrawn?

…Who will be the first Drumpf Administration official to be criminally indicted? (Side Note: During the Obama Administration, there were zero indictments.)

…Which will be the first country Drumpf instigates a military action against?

…Which media organization will be the first one blacklisted?

…What will be the first conflict of interest that Drumpf encounters once he is the Chief Executive?

Keep watching this space for these and many more answers.

Actually that last question already has an answer and it centers around the luxury hotel in Washington, D.C., that Drumpf’s business owns. The linked story says that Drumpf…

…has a 60-year lease with the U.S. General Services Administration, a government agency that owns the building where the hotel is located. The GSA contract says that no “elected official of the government of the United States” may hold that lease. That provision has raised questions about what will happen to the lease…but so far, the issue appears unresolved.

“Unresolved”. That probably sums up a great deal about the incoming Drumpf Debacle. A great many unresolved issues.

The Four Corners of Drumpf

We’ve been away for a while and we’ve been keeping our powder dry.

There has been so much slapstick and missteps concerning the incoming Drumpf Cabal, that we could have spent every day posting to this blog, but we have jobs and families and the holidays – and we know where our priorities lie.

With the exception of today, we won’t be back until the 20th of January in the next year when the gentleman who lost the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election ascends to the highest office in the United States. Once that event occurs and Comrade Drumpf takes his place at the head of the Executive Branch, then we will once again take finger to keyboard to highlight all that is wrong with the new administration.

Today’s post is to highlight the four main themes we will explore when calling out Mr. Drumpf from 2017 to 2020.

Blame Game – If there’s one tactic that is tried and true for Mr. Drumpf, it is to blame others when things go south. When it looked as if he would go down to defeat come Election Day, Drumpf spent a good deal of time claiming the election was rigged, blaming dead voters, the dishonest media, and backstabbing Republicans. Once he is ensconced in the Oval Office (or his New York tower) and once he does not get his way with his beautiful wall, a database of Muslims, or his budget-busting infrastructure-slash-tax cuts for the rich plan, we will enjoy documenting all the times Drumpf takes to his Tantum Platform (aka Twitter) to blame any and all for his woes and failures. Our over-under for the number of times in 2017 that he blames President Obama for all of Drumpf’s ills is thirty-six. Any takers?

Branded – If there’s one mode that is tried and true for Mr. Drumpf, it is that of the self-promoter. Whether he’s shilling his own steaks during a press conference or taking a break from the campaign to open up a eponymous hotel, Drumpf loves to talk about the things that have his name on it. Now that Drumpf will be the leader of the Free World, powerful folk from foreign governments and business will want to curry favor with him and what better way to do that than by stroking his ego by investing in his businesses. Just look at how the Filipino government named a special trade envoy to the United States – and it’s the man who is helping to build a Drumpf-named building in Manila. Just look at how a stalled Drumpf-named building in Argentina suddenly receives the go-ahead a few days after the American President-elect has a chat with the Argentine President. The conflicts of interest that have arisen and will arise during the  Drumpf kleptocracy will be a joy for us to follow.

Harvey Dent – If there’s one strategy that is tried and true for Mr. Drumpf, it is to be two-faced. Whether he is straight-up fibbing (against the war in Iraq (he wasn’t), seeing people cheering as the World Trade Center fell during after 9/11 (he didn’t), or receiving a letter from the National Football League (he didn’t)), waffling (what is his position on a Muslim ban?), or pulling a bait-and-switch (announcing a press conference to discuss his businesses, then cancelling), Drumpf is the living incarnation of the fictional villan, Harvey Dent, also known as Two-Face. We’re drawing straws among the staff to see who will be tasked with documenting all of Drumpf’s lies.

Kukla – If there’s one friend that is tried and true for Mr. Drumpf, it is Russian President Vladimir Putin. Courtesy of the hacking perpetrated by the Russian government and by the fake news planted among the social media feeds of the American electorate, a former member of the KGB (that would be Putin) was instrumental in elevating Drumpf into the White House. Whether he is dismissing the work of the American intelligence community in coming to the defense of the Russians, praising the Russian President, or expressing his pleasure in receiving a nice letter from Putin, it is truly remarkable that a Republican is heaping such love on a Russian leader. It’s almost as if Russia has some leverage over Drumpf. Almost as if Drumpf owes some sort of debt to Russia. Too bad we can’t see Drumpf’s tax forms to see how much Russia has invested in the new American president. (BTW, kukla is Russian for “puppet”.)

There you have it. Those are the quartet of major themes we will be following as we count the days until December 2020 when the Electoral College will have their next chance to rectify the obvious error in judgement they made in 2016.

Swamp Thing: Chief of Staff

The people who voted for Drumpf wanted to thumb their nose at the Establishment. They want people in power who are not part of the elite. They wanted change.

In one his first announcements, Drumpf filled the position of White House Chief of Staff – an extremely powerful position – with a person who is the epitome of “Washington Insider”.

Oh, of course, I’m joking, but Drumpf is not. He filled that slot with Reince Preibus, who is the living embodiment of a Beltway Body. Just look at his CV.

Preibus’s position before joining the White House was as the chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), a job he has held since 2011. Nothing screams “Establishment” more than being in the RNC.

Before becoming RNC chair, Preibus was general counsel for the RNC. Yep, nothing hollers “man of the people” more than being a lawyer.

Prior to being general counsel, in 2007, Preibus was the chairman of the Wisconsin Republican Party.

Preibus has been knee-deep in the GOP apparatus for nearly a decade. Before that, he unsuccessfully ran for the Wisconsin State Senate in 2004 and he was president of the College Republicans while attending college.

In selecting Preibus, Drumpf has shown that he has no interest in “draining the swamp” and giving “new voices a chance to go into government service…”. If so, he wouldn’t have picked a man for his Chief of Staff who has been part of the Republican Party Establishment for nearly a decade.

As the great philosopher T.Daltry once said, “Meet the new boss / Same as the old boss.”

 

Walking Backward – Part One of Many

The front page of the print edition The Washington Post (November 12, 2016) has this as its headline:

TRUMP TEAM IS HEDGING ON SOME PLEDGES

The sub-headline reads:

STARK VOWS MAY BE REVISED, ADVISERS SAY

He says priorities are border, health care and jobs

Let’s all do our best impression of Macaulay Culkin from Home Alone after he puts on the after-shave and express our shock (shock!) that President-elect Drumpf – not a week into his new position – has donned the behavior of a typical Washington politician and is already walking back some of his election promises.

According to the Post article, Drumpf gave an interview with The Wall Street Journal where he said he would like some aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (aka Obamacare).

Well, so much for “repeal and replace.”

In that same interview, Drumpf seemed to walk back his assertion that he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton and her use of a private e-mail server while serving as Secretary of State. When asked about the special prosecutor, the President-elect said,

It’s not something I’ve given a lot of thought, because I want to solve health care, jobs, border control, tax reform

Well, so much for “you’d be in jail” and all the chants of “Lock her up” and “Crooked Hillary.”

As for that great and beautiful wall on the southern border that was going to keep out all of the illegals from taking our jobs, Drumpf surrogate Newt Gingrich said on Thursday (November 10) that the wall was”…a great campaign device”. As for who will foot the bill for all that concrete, Gingrich admitted that Drumpf “…may not spend very much time trying to get Mexico to pay for it…”.

Well, so much for “Mexico will pay for the wall!”

Not even a week has gone by since his victory and Drumpf has already begun to scale back some of his proposals that appear to have won him the election.

“Repeal and replace” has been altered to liking some aspects of the ACA.

“Lock her up” has been replaced with, “I have other things on  my plate.”

“Mexico will pay for it” has been replaced with “it was a great campaign device.”

Gee, I wonder what other aspects of Drumpf’s promises and beliefs were simply campaign devices?

Hey, Trumpkin voters, are you beginning to feel like you’ve been played for suckers yet?

The Blame Game Begins

During his victory speech, the President-elect was cordial and polite.

During his meeting with President Obama at the White House, the President-elect was cordial and polite.

This rational, sane, civil, and polite behavior of Drumpf-the-President-elect flew in the face of the behavior of Drumpf-as-candidate who was irrational, uncivil, and impolite (and, seriously, if I had to link to every instance of irrational, uncivil, and impolite behavior that I could find during his campaign, I would be here until 2020 so don’t expect those hyperlinks).

The question I have is when does “Campaign Mode” Drumpf come back?

When does the Donald J. Drumpf circa June 2015 to October 2016 resurface?

The answer was, “Yesterday.”

When things do not go Donald’s way, he is quite quick to blame others and the media seems to be a rich target for him.

So as protests against the President-elect around the country were happening, Drumpf took to Twitter and tweeted…

Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!

In a slam against people exercising their constitutional rights of free speech and assembly, Drumpf disparages them by calling them “paid”. Doubling down on his disdain for a free press (another constitutional right), Drumpf – without any proof offered – claims these protest were incited by the media.

Buckle up, folks, because this is how it is going to go until January of 2021. Things go poorly for Donald and the blame game and name-calling begins.

Debunking the Myth of His Victory II

In my previous post, I made the contention that it was not so much that President-elect Donald J. Drumpf won the election, but that Hillary Rodham Clinton lost it. I used the “Blue Wall”/Rust Belt states of Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania to show that Clinton’s vote numbers were far below what Barack Obama received in 2008 and 2012. In those three states, I showed that it was not that waves of Republicans came out of the woodwork to vote for Drumpf, but that multitudes of voters who had voted for the Democratic candidate 4 and 8 years ago did not vote for Clinton.

This post is to show that occurred in MI, OH, and WI occurred nationwide.

In the 2012 election, Republican Mitt Romney earned 60,933,504 popular votes and Democrat Barack Obama earned 65,915,795 votes (2012 data here).

In the 2016 election, Republican Donald J. Drumpf earned 60,072,551 popular votes and Democrat Hillary Clinton earned 60,467,601 votes (2016 data here).

Drumpf did not even best Romney’s vote total from four years past. In 2016, the number of voters who made their selection for the Republican candidate decreased by 860,953, a shrinkage of 1.41%.

However it may have looked for the GOP to lose voters from 2012 to 2016, it paled in comparison to what befell the Democratic candidate.

Clinton came nowhere near besting Obama’s vote total. In 2016, the number of voters who made their selection for the Democratic candidate decreased by 5,448,194, a shrinkage of 8.26%.

To put that shrinkage in perspective, the number of people in California who voted for Clinton this year was 5,589,936 and the number of people who voted for Drumpf in Maryland was 873,646. Between 2012 and 2016, the Democrats lost an electoral bloc the size of California – which has 55 votes in the Electoral College, while the Republicans saw a loss the size of Maryland – which has 10 votes in the Electoral College.

The Republicans did not win the election, the Democrats lost it.

Debunking the Myth of His Victory

While others may be celebrating the huge victory of the new President, my writing here is to ascertain that D. J. Drumpf did not win the election so much as Hillary Clinton lost the election.

I ascertain that Clinton lost three key states that had voted for the Democrat in the past six presidential elections. This trio of states held 44 votes in the Electoral College that were more than enough to tip the election towards the Republican in 2016.

Those states are Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

I ascertain that it is not that Drumpf won those states, but Clinton lost them. For my proof, I will use the number of votes cast in the 2012 and 2016 elections.

In Michigan, in 2012, Mitt Romney garnered 2,115,256 votes (44.71%). In 2016, according to the data from Politco, Drumpf received 2,279,221 votes (47.6%), an increase of 163,965 (0r +7.75%). For the other party, in 2012, Barack Obama received 2,564,569 votes (54.21%). Four years later, Clinton received 2,267,798 (47.3%), a decrease of 296,771 (or -11.57%) votes.

Had Clinton received the same number of votes in Michigan that Obama received in 2012, she would have won the state and its 16 votes in the Electoral College. In fact, Clinton’s tally of votes in Michigan was less than the number of votes given to the Democratic presidential nominee in the past three presidential elections (2012, 2008 (2,872,579), 2004 (2,479,183)).

In Michigan, Drumpf grew the Republican vote total while Clinton’s numbers shrank. It’s not that people who voted Democratic in past elections went for Drumpf as his vote tally only grew by single digits based on percentage; it’s that people who voted Democratic in past elections did not come out for Clinton as her vote count decreased by double digits based on percentage.

In Ohio, in 2012, Romney, garnered 2,661,433 votes (47.69%). In 2016, Drumpf received 2,771,984 votes (52.1%), an increase of 110,501 (or +4.15%). For the Democrat, in 2012, Obama received 2,827,710 votes (50.67%). Four years later, Clinton received 2,317,001 votes (43.5%), a decrease of 510,709 (or -18.06%) votes.

Had Clinton received the same number of votes in Ohio that Obama received in 2012, she would have won the state and its 18 votes in the Electoral College. In fact, Clinton’s tally of votes in Ohio was less than the number of votes given to the Democratic presidential nominee in the past three presidential elections (2012, 2008 (2,940,044), 2004 (2,741,167)).

In Ohio, Drumpf grew the Republican vote total while Clinton’s numbers shrank. It’s not that people who voted Democratic in past elections went for Drumpf as his vote tally only grew by single digits based on percentage; it’s that people who voted Democratic in past elections did not come out for Clinton as her vote count decreased by double digits based on percentage.

In Wisconsin, in 2012, Romney garnered 1,407,966 votes (46.04%). In 2016, Drumpf received 1,409,467 votes (47.9%), a increase of 1,501 votes (or +0.1%). For the Democrat, in 2012, Obama received 1,620,985 votes (53.01%). Four years later, Clinton received 1,382,210 votes (46.9%), a decrease of 238,775 votes (or -14.73%).

Had Clinton received the same number of votes in Wisconsin that Obama received in 2012, she would have won the state and its 10 votes in the Electoral College. In fact, Clinton’s tally of votes in Wisconsin was less than the number of votes given to the Democratic presidential nominee in the past three presidential elections (2012, 2008 (1,677,211), 2004 (1,489,504)).

In Wisconsin, Drumpf grew the Republican vote total (albeit slightly) while Clinton’s numbers shrank. It’s not that people who voted Democratic in past elections went for Drumpf as his vote tally barely ticked up; it’s that people who voted Democratic in past elections did not come out for Clinton as her vote count decreased by double digits based on percentage.

That’s my contention. In these three states that were the cinder blocks of the “Blue Wall”, there was an “enthusiasm gap” where voters who had selected the Democrat in 2012 did not do the same in 2016. It’s not that they voted for Republican. They either sat it out or voted for a third-party candidate. It’s not that “Reagan Democrats” or “angry white men” came out in unexpected droves in those states to tip the balance for Drumpf. It’s that the members of the “Obama Coalition” did not come out in droves to support Clinton.

Had this “enthusiasm gap” been turned around even slightly and those 44 votes in the Electoral College held by MI, OH, and WI swing away from Drumpf and towards Clinton. Those votes would have been enough to make her the President-elect.