The story of Mick Mulvaney becoming the chief of staff will become a case study on the Trump presidency. Indeed all that has happened, is happening, and will happen between the time of announcement of Mulvaney accepting the position on December 14, 2018, and his taking the position would qualify as a Class 5 hurricane off the Richter scale that would sink the ship of state in normal times. But these are not normal times and no sooner does one come up for air from writing a post then one finds another storm has erupted.
Let’s consider the ongoing swirl of chaos around of the president of chaos as it relates to just this appointment.
1. He is the third chief of state in less than two years.
2. He is being appointed on a temporary basis – has that ever happened before?
3. He already has two jobs for a president who brags about how he has his pick of all the top people in the country who are eager to work for him.
4. He is keeping his two jobs just in case his temporary job really proves temporary and he needs sometime to fall back on unlike all the other people who have been fired or who have abandoned ship.
5. Back when Mulvaney was a normal human being, he made disparaging comments about the immature child candidate: he did not like him, he was an unfit role model for his children, and he was not a very good person. And this is from a conservative Republican. Today it may be difficult to recall how despised and disgusted the majority of Republicans once were about this narcissistic serial-business-failure con-artist. One wonders how many chose not to vote in 2016 for president. Given this disrespect for the Republican candidate why could Mulvaney not have voted for the Democratic candidate?
6. Mulvaney considered the two candidates in 2016 to be the two of the most flawed human beings who had ever run for president in the history of the United States.
“Should either of these people be, be a role model for my 16-year-old triplets? No,” Mulvaney said on a South Carolina talk radio show in October 2016, CNN’s KFile reported. “In an ordinary universe, would both of these people’s past activities disqualify them for serving for office? Yes. But that’s not the world we live in today. The world we live in today, it’s either him or her and for me that’s still an easy choice.”
His judgement serves as a reminder of the challenge to Democrats to offer an alternative candidate for Republicans who are disgusted by the reprehensible person who has hijacked the Republican Party and put his own name on it like one of his buildings. One should keep in mind that the flawed Democratic candidate of 2016 would like to be the Andrew Jackson of 1828 who won that election to right the wrong of supposedly having had the election of 1824 stolen from him. As the knowledge of the extent of the Russian violation of America in 2016 increases and the willingness of the Republican candidate and president to subordinate America’s interests to those of Russia so he can build a Trump Tower in Moscow becomes better documented, the cry to right the wrong may grow louder. Democrats will need to steer between the Clinton Charybdis and the Political-Correct Scylla if it wishes to attract Republicans in 2020 like Mulvaney in 2016 but who still have not sold their soul.
Turning now from the individual to the ship of state Mulvaney is parachuting into, let’s consider whether or not it already has hit an iceberg.
1. The rats are abandoning ship. No one not named Trump or Roger Stone is loyal to him. The Trump Foundation is going the way of the Trump University. The scam has been exposed and is being disposed of. New York State is seeking to brand the Trumps with the mark of con, to be banished from the non-profit world into the wilderness.
2. Every Trump organization will be indicted if it has not been already. If such indictments go to trial, who will be witnesses for the accused? With a chief financial officer who has immunity, a campaign manager who has pleaded guilty, a deputy campaign manager who has pleaded guilty, and a personal lawyer who has pleaded guilty, who is left to take the stand in defense of any Trump organization who is not named Trump? The odds are Mueller already could indict Junior any time he wanted, but he chooses not to because of the possible reaction by Daddy. NanChuck has exposed the shortcomings of Daddy if he should take the stand as a witness as his former lawyer already told him after conducting a mock cross-examination in the White House. So who will defend any of the Trump organizations that are indicted? As 2019 progresses, Mulvaney will find that more and more of his time will be devoted to matters that normally a chief of state would not have to be concerned about.
3. On the other hand, the acting Attorney General has just authorized himself to take control of the Mueller investigation regardless of any ethical considerations. He knows what he was appointed to do. So he may give a big Christmas or holiday president to take care of the concerns noted above. On the other other hand, that present if given will set off a slew of new confrontations once the next Congress takes office.
4. After December 31, Americans will begin to receive their statements on the value of their investments if they have not already looked online. While not all Americans are invested, this marker takes the issue outside the insider-baseball in-the-beltway dimension of the Mueller probe. If individual Americans start feeling the price of the chaos, then the political dynamic will change.
5. As of this post, the likelihood of a government shutdown seems certain. The events of the day are a good indicator of the power of Fox and Friends to decide what the President of the United States will do. Mulvaney’s voice is not the one this president will listen to.
6. The more the real world presses in, the more the immature child president will lash out without any concern for the consequences. He lacks the mental necessities to understand the concept of consequences or even to care. He must give in to the impulse of the hissy fit not just in his tweets but in his decision-making. Consider his decisions to withdraw from Syria and half-withdraw from Afghanistan. Far from being well-thought decisions carefully implemented, they are case studies in the decision-making process of our immature child president who feels more and more trapped by the real world. Look at what has happened in just a tweet.
He has granted Recep Tayyip Erdoğan the coveted 00 O.J, license to kill previously awarded to Putin and MBS.
He has shown no loyalty to the Kurds who put their lives on the line to fight with us as allies against ISIS.
He has shown that the very concept of “allies” has no meaning to the transactional President – unless you can offer something to him he could not care less about you.
He has no interest in America being a world leader and does not care who fills in the vacuum.
7. The departure of Mattis means we are now in the realm previously limited to Hollywood and political thriller novels. The adult concept of checks and balances never meant anything to the immature child who could not understand that idea anyway. Who knows what will happen next? Who knows what will happen Friday? Who knows how our foes will seek to take advantage of our chaos? Who knows how our immature child president will respond? Who knows who will resign? Who knows who will decline to obey presidential orders? There is no strategy. There is no plan. There is no certainty but uncertainty. Everything is up in the air. We are in uncharted territories.