Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, January 20, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page B:3

B3 Mountain Views News Saturday, January 20, 2018 OPINION B3 Mountain Views News Saturday, January 20, 2018 OPINION 
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Low Standards For American 

Drama (n): a state, situation, or series of events involving
interesting or intense conflict of forces; Chaos (n): a 
state of utter confusion; Governance (n): the way that a
city, country is controlled by the people who run it. 

“Well, if you It’s been a year since we evolved from
say who getsthe ‘Just Say No’ mantra of the GOP
fired it alwaysleadership under President Obama to
has to be the the even more frightening apparent
top,” Trump said. “I mean, problemsblindness of the GOP to their complicity
start from the top and they have to getin the dismantling of American 
solved from the top and the president’sDemocracy. The blindfold and the path
the leader. And he’s got to get everybodyto the demolition of our democracy are
in a room and he’s got to lead.”……provided by the President and plays
..“when they talk about the governmentright into the hands of those who hate
shutdown, they’re going to be talkingdemocracy like his BFF Putin. Has it 
about the president of the United States,hurt us? Well, consider this: “Global 
who the president was at that time.” approval of US leadership at just 30%,
Donald J. Trumpslightly behind China on 31% and only
three points ahead of Russia. Germany 

 By the time you read this, Donald

is now the top-rated global power in

Trump will have been in office for a full

the world, with an approval rating

year, and congress will have failed yet 

of 41%, according to the survey. The 

once again to do anything more than 

US rating is down nearly 20 points

dance to the tune played by Trump, the

from the 48% approval rating in the

pied piper. When I was a child I was 

last year of President Barack Obama’s

always concerned that the little children

administration, Gallup said. It’s also

followed the colorfully dressed, flute

four points lower than the previous low

playing rat catcher. After all, he was a 

of 34%, seen in the final year of George
rat catcher…gross. Interesting, thatW. Bush’s presidency. By comparison, in

tale comes to mind when I think of 

Obama’s last year in office the United

Donald Trump. Could it be his affinity

States led Germany by seven points,

for the swamp where real rats hang

China by 17 points and Russia by 22

out? Some say his colorful ways are

points, according to Gallup.” 

alluring and that certainly comes to
mind when I see elected officials who That’s tragic for Republicans, for 
ostensibly have taken an oath to act inDemocrats, for every single American.
the best interests of all Americans and We are letting our country fall victim to
the US Constitution, follow a man who an overdose of Drama and Chaos dished 
is absolutely committed only to what isout by a President who promised to lead
in the best interest of himself and his but mostly he just just lies. He has an 
friends regardless of what the law says.unnatural hatred of his predecessor
My question remains, why are theywho, by the way took Office when the
following him, especially when know hestock market was under 8,000 and the 
deals in the swamp of drama and chaos? country was in the worst economic 

decline since the great depression,

The methodology used by Trump is

and revitalized the economy and stock

designed to keep us at odds with each

market to a bustling 19,000+ shares

other by creating Drama and Chaos

when he left office. 

to take attention away from what he is
or is not doing. While attention has 

Trump is a disaster, an embarrassment.

been paid for the last two weeks to the

Isn’t it funny, he is exactly all of the

President’s foul/racist mouth and the 

labels that he likes to place on other

shutdown of the government, the circus

people. What’s more troubling however,

created is overshadowing what is really

is that we appear to be stuck with

going on or what we should really be

him because our elected officials are 

questioning. By the time it is over, we

too busy reacting to the ‘trumped up’ 

will all be so happy to stop the drama

chaos and drama rather than working

that the other issues will be forgotten. 

together and using the powers given to
them by the Constitution to remove this

And it’s been like this for the last year.

man, who is unfit to serve, from office. 

The things that concern me don’t have

Democracy does work, but not when 

a thing to do with being Democrat or

the people do not come first. 

Republican, it has everything to do with
Congress and the White House ignoring

By the way:

the people they were elected to represent

At the time of the 2016 election, there 

and recognizing that the man that was

were 219,941,000 Americans eligible to 

elected to lead, is leading us right down

vote. Of that number, only 62,238,425

the drain. And, FYI, don’t worry about

voted for Trump, 157,702,875 Americans 

the government shutdown. It’s been 

did not. 

shutdown for several years now. 


By Dick PolmanWhen it came to a recent column about President Donald Trump’sNobody is more stunned about the stratospheric sales of “Firepreference for “executive time” that includes a healthy dose of cable newsand Fury” than the guy who wrote it.viewing and unhinged Tweeting, the reader wasn’t in the mood to hold

Michael Wolff and I were talking backstage prior to his gig on Tuesday night at theback. 

“This article was just a pack of lies,” wrote a reader of the Mansfield News Journal in Mansfield,

Free Library of Philadelphia, and he confessed that he never saw it coming. He was

Ohio, where my column occasionally runs. “Please don’t lie to the American people. Donald

convinced that he’d gotten the inside skinny about Trump’s den of dysfunction, but

Trump runs on less sleep than anyone or any President in history. Stop this constant attack on this

in our info-saturated ecosystem, with Trump under scrutiny 24/7, who could have


envisioned 11 printings within 12 days of release?

Then, the inevitable flourish: “Your precious Hillary did not win so get over it!!!!!!”
The best explanation is also the simplest: Trump confirms the book on a daily basis.I’ve received plenty of letters and emails just like this in the year since Donald John Trump mountedAfter hanging out in the West Wing for nine months (“I was let in without anyonethe steps of the U.S. Capitol, took the oath of office, and embarked on the most exhausting, topsy

weighing the meaning or consequence of what I was going to do,” he said on stage lastturvy and wildly offensive first 365 days of any president in modern memory.
night) - Wolff concluded in his book that Trump is dangerous, incompetent, ignorant,Every time I’ve questioned the constitutionality of one of Trump’s decisions, pointed out hisand unfit to serve. glancing relationship with the truth, indicted his xenophobic tendencies and maddening embrace

of white nationalism, or mused on the ever-expanding Russia investigation, Trump’s loyalists have

“Everyone, in his or her own way, struggled to express the baldly obvious fact that the


president did not know enough, did not know what he didn’t know, did not particularly

Some have been polite. Others have used the kind of language that the “least racist” president

care, and, to boot, was confident if not serene in his unquestioned certitudes,” Wolff

you’ll ever interview also reportedly used to describe immigrants from majority black- and brown-

said. “I was just the guy listening, occasionally nodding my head as if in agreement, and

skinned nations. over time, they poured their hearts out.” All these readers have offered variations on the same argument: Trump has done more than

Wolff has taken heat for declaring that his book “rings true” despite some materialBarack Obama did in eight years in office; he plays less golf and takes less vacation, and, anyway, atthat isn’t true -indeed, there are errors (which he acknowledges), such as gettingleast he’s not Hillary Clinton.
some names wrong and misstating the year that John Boehner quit the House - and IObscured in these factually incorrect arguments is a nugget of actual truth: Despite ansuggested to him on stage that it would behoove him and his publisher to correct thoseembarrassingly slender list of legislative accomplishments, Trump, as The Associated Press reports,
errors in subsequent printings. But nobody, aside from the deluded Trumpkins, canhas kept an impressive (if you’re a supporter) or depressing (if you’re not) number of his campaign


dispute his portraiture. It “rings true,” because we know with our own eyes and ears that

On the judicial side, Trump pursued the ultimately successful confirmation of conservative U.S.

it is. 

Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, populated the federal bench with right-leaning judges and has

But Trump is the book’s best salesman. Earlier this week, his doctor announced that

done the same with the ranks of United States Attorneys across the country.

his health is fabulous in every respect, and said that Trump is 6 foot 3. In previous years,

Trump won legislative authorization of a decidedly non-populist tax bill that will shower taxTrump has often been described as 6 foot 2, but, by giving him an extra inch, Trump’sbreaks on the very wealthy (like him) at the expense of the working-class voters who packed hisreported weight no longer qualifies as obese. Sure enough, midway through Wolff’srallies during the 2016 campaign.
book, he writes that Trump in the past has “lied about his height to keep from having aHe’s used the power of the pen to slice and dice regulations and extract the United States frombody mass index that would label him as obese.” such major foreign accords as the Paris climate agreement.

Ezra Klein, the journalist who founded Vox, says: “The picture painted of Trump inAnd despite lambasting Obama for his executive end-runs, Trump has signed more executiveorders than any president of the last 50 years.

Wolff’s book is the same picture painted of Trump by Trump’s own tweets, speeches,

It’s almost as if there’s two White Houses. There’s the surprisingly orthodox one that has back-

comments, and actions.” The last nine days - which have included Trump saying a vile

burnered the populism of the 2016 campaign and governs like the most mainstream conservative

racist remark, canceling a trip to London because he feared hostile crowds, tweeting

Republican you’ve ever seen.

that he was a “very stable genius,” and opposing a key national security bill his

Then there’s the one that emerges from the pages of Michael Wolff ’s “Fire and Fury,” which putsadministration supported after “Fox & Friends” criticized the bill - have been a classicthe fun in ‘dysfunction’ and is lorded over by a disconnected chief executive who boasts both a poor

illustration, fattening Wolff’s wallet. What follows is only a partial list:command of the most basic policy details and a 6:30 p.m. bedtime.
There was much more, of course - not including the reports that candidate TrumpTrump’s voters are logically aggrieved that the president’s list of accomplishments don’t get thewas blackmailed in 2016 by a porn star with whom he’d canoodled a year into hispraise they think they should from the political press.
marriage to Melania. That kind of thing doesn’t even tilt the shock meter anymore.Then, torpedoing that argument, they illogically follow that with the entirely incorrect claim thatI asked Wolff whether he believes (based on the aggregate info he got from Whitethey are not covered at all.

“Fake news!” they bellow.

House insiders) that Trump is just crazy - or crazy like a fox. He said that Trump is too

What they overlook is the inconvenient truth that, when it comes to stepping on his own message,

stupid to be Machiavellian, too impulsive to be calculated. There is no grand master

the 45th president has no more effective nemesis than himself.

plan. There is only the present moment.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, we were told last summer, would professionalize the

There will be many more books in this vein - conservative commentator David Frum’s

White House and impose order where once there had been chaos.

“Trumpocracy” is brand new, and deserves not to be buried by the Wolff avalanche -And there is some evidence to support that argument.

and they could help stoke a massive electoral backlash, a blue tsunami in the NovemberBut we’re still left with schoolyard taunts of “Little Rocket Man,” “Sloppy Steve” Bannon andmidterms. The tea leaves are propitious. Tuesday night, there was a special state Senate“Dicky” Durbin and other early morning tweetstorms that undermine our reputation abroad,
election in a rural Wisconsin district where 59 percent of the 2016 voters supporteddamage our democratic institutions, and devour the news cycle at home.

Trump, and where the most recent Republican state Senate incumbent triumphed withHeading into a 2018 mid-term cycle, where Resistance-emboldened Democrats are expected63 percent. This time, the female Democratic state Senate candidate stunned the GOP,to make major gains against Trump’s Republican enablers in Congress, the president’s voterssurely wish that their fellow Americans will cast their ballots in favor of the accomplishments

winning the rural-red district by nine points.

of that “shadow White House.” 

Timing is everything, in journalism as well as politics. Wolff has caught the wave. 

But there’s a reason that White House exists in the shadows - it’s Trump himself. And it’s hisWhite House on which voters will pass judgment in 2018.

Copyright 2018 Dick Polman, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper“Sad!” as the man might say. But entirely justified. 

Dick Polman is the national political columnist at NewsWorks/WHYY in PhiladelphiaCopyright 2018 John L. Micek, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.
( and a “Writer in Residence” at the University of Pennsylvania.An award-winning political journalist, Micek is the Opinion Editor and Political ColumnistEmail him at for PennLive/The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. Readers may follow him on Twitter @

ByJohnLMicek and email him at 

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