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  • A Slow Motion Coup d’Etat.

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on May 20th, 2017 (All posts by )

    Here is a pretty good article about the Trump phenomenon.

    I disagree with the premise that “Trump is supremely unfit for his White House job.”

    The rest of the article is pretty much on target and follows Angelo Codevilla’s piece on the “Ruling Class.”

    This is pretty much the way I see it.Then there is the spectacle of the country’s financial elites goosing liquidity massively after the Great Recession to benefit themselves while slamming ordinary Americans with a resulting decline in Main Street capitalism. The unprecedented low interest rates over many years, accompanied by massive bond buying called “quantitative easing,” proved a boon for Wall Street banks and corporate America while working families lost income from their money market funds and savings accounts. The result, says economic consultant David M. Smick, author of The Great Equalizer, was “the greatest transfer of middle-class and elderly wealth to elite financial interests in the history of mankind.”

    The news now is 99% Trump 24 hours per day. 97% of it is bad or negative on Trump.

    Analysis: Only 3 percent of reports on CBS, NBC positive for Trump

    A new analysis by a nonpartisan media research firm shows that just 3 percent of the reports about President Trump that aired on NBC and CBS were deemed positive.

    The data comes from an analysis by Media Tenor, an independent media research firm founded in 1993.

    The firm’s analysts watched 370 news stories about Trump on the “NBC Nightly News,” “CBS Evening News” and Fox News’s “Special Report” between Jan. 20 and Feb. 17. Trump took office the day the analysis began.

    Overall the analysis found that on NBC and CBS, 43 percent of stories on Trump were negative, while only 3 percent were positive. Fifty-four percent of reports were considered neutral.

    I’m not sure I would agree on what is “neutral.”

    I am not the only one who thinks a coup d’etat is under way.

    Spengler, who is my #2 go to guy after Fernandez,
    thinks what is going on is a coup attempt.

    A ranking Republican statesman this week told an off-the-record gathering that a “coup” attempt was in progress against President Donald Trump, with collusion between the largely Democratic media and Trump’s numerous enemies in the Republican Party. The object of the coup, the Republican leader added, was not impeachment, but the recruitment of a critical mass of Republican senators and congressmen to the claim that Trump was “unfit” for office and to force his resignation.

    It’s helpful to fan away the psychedelic fumes of allegation and innuendo and clarify just what Trump might have done wrong. Trump will not be impeached, and he will not be harried out of office. But he faces a formidable combination of media hostility—what the president today denounced as a “witch hunt”—and a divided White House staff prone to press leaks. The likely outcome will be a prolonged dirty war of words that will delay Trump’s domestic agenda and tie down his loyalists with the chores of fire-fighting.

    The result, if it is not ended soon, will be a catastrophic loss in the 2018 election. That loss will not be because of dissatisfaction with Trump but with anger at GOP politicians who seem to prefer the Deep State and its machinations to governing.

    The other potent enemy Trump has is the intelligence “community” which has wildly expanded since 9/11.The Journal editors imply that disaffection in the intelligence community is the result of Trump’s obstreperousness, but the source of the dispute is policy and accountability. Trump’s first national security adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn, was fired by Obama as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency for claiming that U.S. intelligence agencies bore some responsibility for the emergence of ISIS. The CIA funded Sunni rebels against the Assad regime including many from a branch of al-Qaeda, the al-Nusra Front, in its campaign to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Trump has shifted America’s priority to stopping the bloodshed in Syria rather than forcing out al-Assad, and is willing to work with Russia to achieve this—provided that the result doesn’t give undue influence to Iran, a senior administration official explained.

    The CIA has been largely incompetent, in my opinion, since the Church Committee destroyed the Directorate of Operations in the 1970s.

    The CIA Director, William Colby testified and after he was replaced by George HW Bush as Director, he died mysteriously in what might have been a suicide.

    The present controversy will not end well.

    But these measures only compensate for the lack of trust. They do not restore it. Who will eventually dangle from the gibbet now under construction is hard to predict, but it’s safe to say the victim will resist with a fight that will devastate the political landscape. The Trump election revealed a nation nearly evenly divided. This near equality means neither side can realistically expect an outright victory. Nothing is now certain except uncertainty, for as Clausewitz observed:

    [W]ar is always the shock of two hostile bodies in collision, not the action of a living power upon an inanimate mass.
    Strife used to stop at the water’s edge. What destabilized America is the chimera of a permanent majority, the temptation of something other than a stalemate which has seduced a political system that has grown weary of compromise and desirous of partisan dominance.

    Let’s review the bidding. What would it take to call this a coup ?

    Let me see if I have this straight.

    After a conversation in the Oval office with President Trump, James Comey, then the Director of the FBI, remembered a memo to himself in which he recorded Trump saying regarding the investigation of his former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, “I hope you can let this go.” Or at least, as someone who supposedly had read the memo and then supposedly read an accurate quote from it over the phone to a reporter at the New York Times.

    Nobody knows who read the memo, if it exists, to the reporter. This is called “gossip.”

    But assuming that that’s what Trump actually said, and that that’s what Comey wrote in his memo to himself, and that that’s what was read over the phone to the Times reporter (unlikely since this is third-hand hearsay, inadmissible in any court, analogous to the child’s game of telephone) is that so bad? Does it really differ substantially from “I hope the weather will be nice tomorrow”? To be sure, it would have been better had he said “I hope you find you’re able to let this go,” or “I hope it turns out that Flynn did nothing wrong.”

    As usual, the writer wishes that Trump would “shut up” about it but that is who he is.

    Maybe the only person crazy enough to take on the Deep State would be just this sort of extroverted showman who does not need the donor class of the GOP.

     

    28 Responses to “A Slow Motion Coup d’Etat.”

    1. Brian Says:

      As I commented in a different post this morning:
      At this point it is abundantly clear that Reince Preibus has to go, since he clearly filled the White House staff with vipers and anti-Trumpers, whether deliberately or not doesn’t matter. Get a chief of staff and a workforce that actually, you know, likes the boss. No one should be allowed into the White House who can’t demonstrate they were a Trump supporter before January 2016.

    2. Mike K Says:

      You may be right. Trump was probably making a peace gesture to Preibus and Ryan.

      It was never going to be that easy.

    3. Roy Lofquist Says:

      It’s a question of epistemology – how do we know that that which we hear is true? It is equally probable that an anonymous source is accurate, inaccurate, lying or lives in the same cute little house where the rest of the reporter’s imaginary friends reside. If I recall correctly that’s a 25% chance. That’s before we consider the reporter’s predilection to report only that which he favors.

      Anonymous? That’s National Enquirer’s bailiwick.

    4. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      One assumption being made by both wings of the UniParty is that if they can only get rid of Trump, that all his supporters will return to a peaceful state of feudal subservience.

      Not gonna happen. The Left has already opened a violent civil war on the country [I have a piece about that which I will post in a couple of days]. The rule of law has been destroyed, even as a pretense. Now they [both “parties”] are dedicating themselves to absolutely proving that elections are a sham.

      Re-read your Thomas Hobbes.

      I will be leaving for a TEA Party meeting in about half an hour. I would bet that of the hundred or so that I expect to be there, at least half agree with me.

    5. Jonathan Says:

      Robert Mueller, now special counsel for anti-Trump political kabuki, was head of the FBI at the time of the 9/11 attacks. IMO one of George W. Bush’s mistakes was not replacing the senior mgmt of the CIA and FBI on whose watch the terror attacks occurred. Perhaps institutional reform then would have forestalled some of today’s partisan corruption.

    6. Mikey Says:

      I have to agree with Subotai. The bridges between much of the working class and the GOPe have fallen. What is likely to happen if Trump is stymied in his agenda is a significant low turnout among those the GOP has relied upon. That will result in the loss of Congress to the Democrats. And if that happens the Democrats will impeach.

    7. dearieme Says:

      I’m still pondering the idea of a business meeting between the Prez and the Director of the FBI at which no minutes were taken. Is all your federal govt as slack and amateurish as that?

    8. Mike K Says:

      “one of George W. Bush’s mistakes was not replacing the senior mgmt of the CIA and FBI on whose watch the terror attacks occurred.”

      I agree but am not optimistic about any improvement in what has happened. First the TSA was the Democrats’ price for any Patriot Act legislation. They had been blocking Bush’s appointments like they have Trump’s. Then, once the towers fell (I recommend the DVD The Path to 9/11″ which is now available.) the Deep State was going be turned loose.

      The Bush family was in on the ground floor. Bush I became DCIA when Helms was forced out by the Church Committee, which destroyed the agency.

      Dearie, I would not be surprised that Trump has a recording.

    9. Ginny Says:

      Reporters aren’t reporting on what is being done – eg., deregulations that would drive them crazy if they thought about them. Thus, they prefer to pontificate (with vulgarity whenever possible) about what Trump has said (or whatever the filtered version that they have heard, seen leaked, or made up). And so we are led to believe he is unfit. Well, I thought that a year ago, even, maybe, nine months ago. Personally I think it takes a while getting used to his manner of expressing himself. But now those actual acts – oil is flowing through the pipelines, he seems to distinguish between our foes and friends and appreciate our friends and try to deal with our foes – have made me a supporter. He’s going to need support – his enemies are many and his actions are not ones that are going to be attractive to the McCains of the world let alone the Maxine Waters. And the usual leftist arguments from pity are going to be hard to combat (even though their approach, given where Obamacare was going, is so hypocritical as to be nauseating.)

      Doubt the firing should be singular. 4 Americans in the oval office have the same memory – then we are supposed to take the word of someone who read a summary of what was said? And we are expected to assume that when he points out the obvious – that he has the right to declassify in the service of diplomacy – this is taken as positive affirmation that he did just that. They expect us to leap to conclusions in the most mind-boggling of ways.

    10. ColoComment Says:

      Scott Adams always has an interesting perspective.

      http://blog.dilbert.com/post/160770453201/the-slow-motion-assassination-of-president-trump

    11. Mike K Says:

      A positive article about the Trump Administration. although I am not as optimistic as it is, it is nice to read once in a while.

      Mean while conservatives like Patterico and Ron Radosh both wallow in Trump hatred that is self defeating, in my opinion.

    12. PenGun Says:

      “It is equally probable that an anonymous source is accurate, inaccurate, lying or lives in the same cute little house where the rest of the reporter’s imaginary friends reside.”

      If you are trying to derive truth from one source, there may be something to what you say.

      If you have a whole raft of references, as we do, one can draw useful information from a lie, as easily as the truth.

    13. PenGun Says:

      Immediately after the election, the ‘Russians hacked our election’ meme was begun. They had started the idea already. This has been successfully pounded into America’s head and is now accepted as truth.

      Because they have largely succeeded, they have pretty well won the argument that Trump is illegitimate. Now all they have to do is continue to show Trump screwing up in the foreign policy area, a no brainer, and relate that to his ties to Russia. He has many, as do many large financial operators.

      The Republican majority is the only thing that can save him against the onslaught of the deep state and it’s vulnerable to them as well, of course.

      Interesting times. ;)

    14. Mike K Says:

      The argument that Trump is “illegitimate” is bogus as the election was decisive in spite of probable vote fraud in California.

      Trump may “screw up” as you say but Obama did far worse and left us with a violent, more violent Middle East.

      Some of us still wonder about his motives.

    15. PenGun Says:

      “The argument that Trump is “illegitimate” is bogus as the election was decisive in spite of probable vote fraud in California.”

      I don’t disagree with you. Most of America now believes that Russia hacked the election. That’s the problem, and the avenue those trying to bring him down, will and are taking. If they can cement that idea, then either he’s a Russian pawn or was elected because of Russian election shenanigans.

      Both are fantasies but now carry a lot of weight in public opinion. Owning the news is a huge advantage.

    16. Mike K Says:

      “Most of America now believes that Russia hacked the election. ”

      Nonsense. Left wing Democrats do so but they are about 25% of the population.

      The vast majority don’t pay attention to this.

      DC and the coastal leftist enclaves are all that are affected.

    17. Mike K Says:

      Here is what will eventually become the accepted story once all these “investigations” settle down.

      The risk is that DC Republican legislators will react to this by distancing themselves from Trump and his agenda. Their donors are already uncomfortable with it. They like open borders and crony capitalism and the ZIRP program begun by Obama.

      The GOP pols are never comfortable with their voters. Most of them are part of the “Ruling Class” of Codevilla. Look how many go home when their legislative career is over.,

    18. PenGun Says:

      “Nonsense. Left wing Democrats do so but they are about 25% of the population.”

      I hope you are right. I took your point and tried to see what was actually believed, but I can’t say I can.

      It does seem that pretty well all of the media is on message and only some very left, and very right wing opinion is any different. That has some weight but they are uniformly small and of limited influence. Fox is some use as balance, but they are less coherent than they were, and slipping in viewership

      I’m not sure how the political component, congressmen etc, can deal with the barrage of news depicting chaos in the white house and of course Russians everywhere.

    19. Mike K Says:

      Here is where the hysteria is really coming from.

      Trump’s budget proposal is just that: a proposal. Congress will have a say over federal spending, and while deep EPA spending cuts have divided some Republicans, the party has looked to cut the EPA’s budget for years, and is likely to try doing so again this year.
      The agency is also undergoing internal restructuring, with officials this week announcing a $12 million buyout program for the agency’s workforce.

      The EPA was among the departments hardest-hit by the March budget blueprint, but others were facing cuts as well. The Interior Department’s funding would be slashed by 12 percent under that plan, with officials proposing to cut the Department of Energy’s budget by $1.7 billion, or 5.6 percent cut.

      This will be the true test of sentiment. The GOP base is eager to see budget cuts, especially the hated EPA and some of the other bureaucracies like D of Education.

      However, these are enormous bureaucracies with strong local influence in DC. The GOPe will now have to face a real test. Will it really cut the Deep State?

      They have been making empty promises since 1995.

    20. Grurray Says:

      McConnell already said last week that Trump’s budget will be dead on arrival.

      “We haven’t paid a whole lot of attention to any president’s budget since I’ve been here.”

      And he hasn’t paid much attention to what the American people want, so why should he start now?

      “I think the diplomacy part of what we do overseas is a lot cheaper than the use of the military and frequently has a pretty good return on investment.”

      Maybe he can explain what stellar return we received from the more than $5 billion we’ve handed over to the Palestinians over the past 20 years, including $700 million last year paid to the UNWRA to bankroll Hamas’ terror tunnel & kindergarten weapons depot programs.

    21. PenGun Says:

      “Hamas’ terror tunnel & kindergarten weapons depot programs.”

      I understand the words but really this is an awful statement, and speaks to the madness in the middle east. It’s a cliche, but none of this will end well.

    22. Grurray Says:

      It also speaks to the madness of the International Community, the cartel of cosmopolitan Davos Men, Women, and Non-Binarys who careeningly spend American money trying to signal their virtue to the world. Like the World Health Organization, a group that spends more money on luxurious travel than on actually fighting diseases. Just imagine if Trump cuts their budget. All those five star beachfront hotels will be ruined.

    23. Mike K Says:

      ““We haven’t paid a whole lot of attention to any president’s budget since I’ve been here.”

      Maybe that explains the failure to get back to regular order with 12 Appropriations bills.

      Harry Reid wanted a “Continuing Resolution” every year so his Senators did not have to vote on pork barrel items.

      Maybe Ryan and McConnell want a CR so Trump cannot veto specific items.

    24. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      Mike K Says:
      May 23rd, 2017 at 4:40 pm

      The avoidance of vetoes and having to actually take responsibility for anything they do is definitely the major motivation for both Ryan and McConnell. Letting the Democrats write a CR, and then adding even more spending to it is their natural operating mode.

      In addition, they hope that if they do not return to a constitutional budget, that Trump will get the blame and not them. But even if they get the blame, losing either or both Houses will not bother them; because the minority party cannot be held responsible for anything and still rakes in the graft.

      They may get their wish, if the feelings at the TEA Party meeting Saturday are any indication. Noting that the TEA Party controls several County Republican Parties here, and so far the Republicans in Congress have fought for the Democrats more they they have fought for us. So there is so far no compelling reason to vote for them in 2018. In fact, they were being discussed in terms worse than the Democrats.

      Basically, they are trying to blackmail us by saying vote for us, or the Democrats will take over. The problem being is that even when the Republicans control both Houses and the Presidency, the Congressional Republicans always guarantee that the Democrats win.

    25. Dr. Weevil Says:

      If only there were some way that we could NOT PAY members of Congress who fail to pass a budget on time, and not give them retroactive pay when they passed one, either – the money would be gone forever. That would force them to do their job. More such rules would help. If the budget was not balanced, with receipts only covering X% of outlays, they should get the same percent of their official salaries, and not a penny more. If estimates turned out overoptimistic and the deficit turned out larger (or maybe even smaller) than planned, their actual pay would be adjusted again. Finally, there should be no pay raises ever again, or any increase in benefits of any kind, just a cost of living adjustment matching the inflation rate calculated by some independent and incorruptible authority, if such can be found. That would take care of inflation quite promptly, though I suppose it would add a strong incentive to deflate the currency.

      I suppose all this could only happen if Congress passed a law, and they’re unlikely to do that when it would (quite properly) hurt the very people who deserve to be hurt, themselves.

    26. Mike K Says:

      The left is doing a very good job of organizing the takers and freeloaders to go to town halls.

      If the Tea Party could do as well before the 2018 election it might help.

    27. Grurray Says:

      Comey lied under oath to Congress:

      http://circa.com/politics/declassified-memos-show-fbi-illegally-shared-spy-data-on-americans-with-private-parties

      The FBI secretly spied on Americans then shared it with political operatives. Something they’ve probably been doing for decades, but now some light can be shed on it.

      The most serious involved the NSA searching for American data it was forbidden to search. But the FBI also was forced to admit its agents and analysts shared espionage data with prohibited third parties, ranging from a federal contractor to a private entity that did not have the legal right to see the intelligence.

      The court’s memo suggested the FBI’s sharing of raw intelligence to third parties, at the time, had good law enforcement intentions but bad judgment and inadequate training.

      That admission of inadequate training directly undercut Comey’s testimony earlier this month when questioned by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

      Nobody gets to see FISA information of any kind unless they’ve had the appropriate training and have the appropriate oversight,” the soon-to-be-fired FBI director assured lawmakers.

      I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for a special counsel to be appointed to investigate this.

    28. Grurray Says:

      In the FISA court review

      https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/icotr/51117/2016_Cert_FISC_Memo_Opin_Order_Apr_2017.pdf

      it’s in the heavily redacted section, “Improper Disclosures of Raw Information,” pages 83 to 87