Let’s take the good with the bad about Donald Trump: On the positive side, he has rendered utterly useless those clocks the news networks like to put up as part of their screen clutter. They count down the seconds till some major event occurs, days or even weeks away. But even when President Trump declares when he’s going to announce some big decision, that can change the moment he needs to deflect attention from a mess. In other words, his schedule is no schedule.
That’s terrific, because these idiot clocks had been procreating like they needed a sex-education class.
Since his inauguration, Trump and Stephen Bannon, his chief strategist — who really is the alt-right hemisphere of Trump’s brain — have repeatedly stepped in it, rushing through a series of executive orders based on his campaign promises. None fouled the infant presidency like the stench from his hastily concocted immigration policy, which managed to be inhumane, anti-Muslim and ineffective all at the same time. In other words, it was an impetuous mess, wreaking total havoc and causing an explosion of outrage.
Besides being cruel and bigoted, the executive order was an enforcement disaster because almost no one had been consulted. Interestingly, the president just recently acknowledged that such coordination is useful. Speaking to a Christian Broadcasting Network interviewer about his upcoming Supreme Court nomination, he described approvingly “the vetting — they call it the vetting process and the vetting process is very, very strong.”
So Donald Trump comprehends the concept of vetting. There had been strong evidence to the contrary: His entire slam-bang flurry of executive orders did not seem to benefit from any of the careful analysis that usually accompanies such momentous decisions — Were they even doable? Had anyone given serious thought to their consequences?
He began with his promised gutting of health care. Even Trump’s fellow Republicans are worried that their years of posturing might become reality. Tom MacArthur of New Jersey spoke of the millions of people with pre-existing conditions covered under Obamacare and warned his fellow Republicans in their supposedly secret meeting, “We’re telling those people that we’re not going to pull the rug out from under them, and if we do this too fast, we are in fact going to pull the rug out from under them.”
Then it was onward and downward. His dictate to get That Wall built and his outright nastiness to Mexico has so antagonized the citizens south of the border that he could turn the country into another Cuba.
Now he has handed down an abominable decree barring visas for people traveling from several Muslim countries — particularly Syrian refugees — and favoring Christians.
Predictably, his Supreme Court announcement was moved up. What better distraction from one snit storm than to come up with another? So far, all he’s really succeeded in doing is to create chaos and turn our country into an international pariah. To many around the world, America the Beautiful has turned into America the Ugly.
Maybe the news networks can show the Doomsday Clock. The keepers of it say that the Donald Trump presidency has moved us substantially closer to world annihilation. So, to paraphrase the late comedian George Carlin, don’t sweat his executive orders.
© 2017 Bob Franken
Distributed by King Features Synd.