Life imitates art, certainly in the case of HBO’s “Veep.” I can hardly wait for the new season, although it’s hard to imagine anything sillier or more grotesque than the current administration’s reality.
What a couple of weeks it has been. I liked the suggestion, “Dance as if your microwave wasn’t watching.” The pretzel contortions of Trump’s spokespeople trying to extricate the boss from his own mess have been both funny and pathetic. I cannot imagine how soul-crushing it must be to be Sean Spicer. He has to be a pretty decent fellow, now required to defend the most idiotic pronouncements ever made by a chief executive. No evidence, just a misreading of the “failing” New York Times, possibly the maundering of a right-wing conspiracy theorist and the chit-chat of Fox & Friends combine to create an unprecedented allegation, minus a shred of evidence. His Attorney General says “No” if asked if there was any evidence, as do all the other people concerned—and yet he persists. Double down on the lie and this one is a lie, not a falsehood, because it’s purposeful.
So on to the budget, a Baedeker of broken dreams, with a boost for defense spending and cuts for the State Department. The State Department is our instrument for dealing with other nations. Through our ambassadors we communicate with those nations and that diplomacy produces results. Some results are better than others, but in the main the foreign service does amazing work. The Defense Department is a tool of the State Department. When reason and pressure fail, we can resort to breaking things until those who oppose us change their minds. But it is cheaper to help build a dam, or a road, or a water supply than it is to blow it up and the results are usually a better return on the dollar. So naturally the Trump budget increases money for the military and cuts money for the State Department and foreign aid. As Foreign aid is a tiny fraction of the federal budget it seems a dimwitted thing to get rid of—because it works.
Then we slash money for research into disease and climate. The massive majority of climate scientists agree that the climate change is man-made and the work of CO2 emissions. It is cumulative, starting with the Industrial Revolution and can be measured; but never mind facts; it is dismissed as a waste of money. My paying for weekly trips to Palm Beach, that’s a waste. Put my tax dollars into climate research, please. After all this is a democracy and the majority rules. Cancer research? Who needs weather satellites? Let’s build a wall we don’t need. Let’s defund the arts, let’s kill off Big Bird … and so it goes, a madman’s approach to governing.
Of course that is the key — governing. The GOP has little experience in this. Like the Great Dane that catches the Volkswagen, they don’t know what to do with it having caught it. Trump told us about “beautiful healthcare” and said he had a secret plan. Kinda like the plan to defeat ISIS, not the plan the generals put forward — oh, yes it is — my bad. He doesn’t have zip and the GOP doesn’t either. They’ve created a health insurance plan nobody can support to replace something that merely needs some adjustments. Thank goodness Trump’s pathetic attempt at a budget will enjoy the same fate, despite the efforts of his deranged budget director.
And so we go, further down the rabbit hole and life becomes curiouser and curiouser.