No, Mitch McConnell, we’re not going to “get past” it — the president your voters elected is a dangerous idiot.
The last 70 days or so have been harrowing ones for millions of Americans who fully recognize the disaster that’s forthcoming after Jan. 20. I hasten to note that the tangible, low-frequency sense of panic isn’t exclusive to Democrats or Hillary Clinton supporters. There are quite a few sensible Republicans as well as Democrats who collectively recognize what’s in store. While there are numerous specifics — the known knowns — the real source of the panic is emerging from what we don’t know. We’ll circle back to this after we discuss Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The other day on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” McConnell told host John Dickerson that Democrats need to “grow up and get past” the results of the election.You know, what this is about, John, the Democrats are really frustrated that they lost the election. I was in Sen. [Chuck] Schumer’s position eight years ago. I know how it feels when you’re coming into a new situation, that the other guys won the election. What did we do? We confirmed seven Cabinet appointments the day President Obama was sworn in. We didn’t like most of them either. But he won the election. So all of these little procedural complaints are related to their frustration at having not only lost the White House, but having lost the Senate. I understand that. But we need to, sort of, grow up here and get past that.
This comes from the same U.S. senator who, eight years ago, was so hurt by the results of the election that he famously declared as his mission statement the sabotaging of everything President Barack Obama tried to achieve. And he almost managed to do it. Nevertheless, McConnell’s “grow up” remark is one we’ve heard quite often in social media and elsewhere from Trump Republicans and pundits alike who have completely failed to grasp why, specifically, Americans of many political dispositions are terrified right now.
We’re not breaking any news when we observe that Donald Trump might be the most erratic, unpredictable, unqualified, misinformed politician ever to step into national politics, much less to be thrust into the highest office in the world. The threat here doesn’t necessarily come from Trump’s policy agenda, though his promises on that front are harrowing: border walls, deportations of American citizens, blacklists, registries, abortion bans, prosecution of journalists, a nefarious alliance with Russian President Vladimir Putin and so forth. The fear and loathing with regard to Trump’s publicly known agenda covers only a small fraction of the problem.
The rest is a great big Trojan horse question mark, and it’s nearly impossible to know what sort of madness will burst forth when we least expect it. Contra McConnell, this isn’t a generic Republican stepping into the Oval Office on Jan. 20. This isn’t a predictable GOP stooge, like Vice President Mike Pence or even Sen. Ted Cruz. It’s Donald Trump, with all his twitchy, screechy, whiny berserker-in-chief instability. What follows the inauguration will be a real-life fun house with hellish consequences around every corner and with Trump pulling the levers.
Throughout the campaign, Trump’s behavior ranged from out to lunch to clueless to literally shouting breathlessly at the world. For example, every morning now Americans roll out of bed to news about Trump’s latest 3 a.m. tweet-gasm. Did he yell at Meryl Streep this time? Or was it Arnold Schwarzenegger? Did he completely scramble 40 years of American foreign policy while misspelling several words? And regarding the latter, what will the long-term repercussions be? Frankly, I never thought we’d have to double-check to make sure the incoming president’s tweets aren’t from a parody account. It’s the continuing death of “being presidential.”
Twitter aside, does anyone — including members of his inner circle, such that it is — know how Trump will deal with a major international crisis?