A Hard Day’s Fright

In his now-legendary ESPYs speech, Jim Valvano said that we should all try to cry, laugh, and think every day.  On Thursday, Trump really helped us follow JimmyV’s advice.

First, after Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto tweeted that “Mexico offers and demands respect, as a the sovereign Nation that we are,” Trump fired back with an insult (because of course he did)–telling him that if Mexico will not agree to pay for a border wall, then Peña Nieto shouldn’t even bother coming to a meeting with Trump that was scheduled to take place January 31:

This was particularly classless and clueless of Trump, since Peña Nieto might just be the only foreign leader (aside from Trump’s BFF Vladimir, of course) to give Trump even the slightest bit of respect.  Indeed, despite public outcry, he even met with Trump in Mexico during the presidential campaign–a chance for Trump to look presidential that went over about as well as you’d expect.  Meaning, Trump made an ass of himself.

Nevertheless, Peña Nieto has, for the good of his people, tried to extend an olive branch to this xenophobe who called those same people rapists who bring drugs to America and must be kept out with a wall that Mexico will pay for.  It seems that Peña Nieto puts country first, as some might say.

And now Trump has treated the leader of a sovereign nation like one of the loser contestants on his game show.  In so doing, he has threatened diplomatic relations with a country that is our third largest trade partner and with whom we share a 2,000 mile border.  Insults and isolationism are now the foundation of US foreign policy.

It’s enough to make you cry.

Second, doubling down on the stupid, Trump then marched Press Secretary Sean “The Mouth of Sauron” Spicer out before the media to proclaim that the border wall will be paid for with a 20% import tax on all Mexican goods.  Aside from starting a trade war, the reality of that proposal is, of course, that the price Americans pay for anything made or grown in Mexico will go up, oh, roughly 20%.

Perhaps realizing that a huge tax hike paid for by the American people isn’t the best policy or politics, Trump quickly shifted the target.  White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus walked back Spicer’s remarks, saying that the import tax was one of a “buffet of options.”  But the damage had already been done, adding more fuel to the Trump Transition dumpster fire.  Indeed, when that well-known liberal rag the Wall Street Journal can’t even defend you–calling your self-inflicted embarrassment and confusion “amateur hour” (Link)–it’s a pretty safe bet that you look like a complete fool.

And Trump looking like a fool even to the right-wing paper of record should make you laugh.

Third, all of this took place in the span of just a few hours.  The man with our nuclear codes was baited with a tweet, insulted one of our closest allies, threatened a trade war and a tax hike, then tried to yank it back by sending his lackeys out to spin for him.

It really makes you think:  how did this stooge become President and can we survive four years of this?  We know the answer to the former.  Just a week into his presidency, however, the answer to the latter is terrifyingly unclear.

-RS

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