We could call it the Bubble Presidency – as the president-elect tries to stifle dissent and distract the media from his plethora of broken promises, outright lies, fake news, and conflicts of interest. One way to strengthen the bubble is to prevent protests which might call into question the appointments, and by extension the policies of the next administration. The clock starts now, as the “massive omnibus blocking” of protest permits during Inauguration Season comes to the fore. In the instance of the Women’s March and the ANSWER protest we see a familiar pattern:
“In the past, inaugural committees have let the park service know what land they won’t be using, and then permits have been issued, Litterst said. The park service is awaiting word from Trump’s inaugural team about its plans. Verheyden-Hilliard said activists are concerned that the inaugural committee will run out the clock on dissidents and she will take legal action in a bid to prevent that.} [ABC3]
Running out the clock is nothing new to the Trumpsters. The clock ran on with the tax returns – now 2054 days since their release was promised. The clock ran out on a plan to divulge how a blind trust might be established to reduce conflicts of interest. The clock is running on plans to replace the ACA. The clock is running on promises to “drain the swamp” and a plethora of other false inferences and hints.
In the midst of it all is a president-elect who lies with impunity, makes hypocrisy an art form, and elevates statement reversals to the pinnacle of officious palaver. A few examples in the table below.
|January 16, 2016 Trump charged that opponent Senator Ted Cruz was “owned” by Goldman Sachs (Tweet: Daily Wire)||As of December 9, 2016 Goldman Sachs related associates of Trump were holding positions as: National Economic Council Director; Secretary of the Department of the Treasury; Senior White House Adviser; Lead Transition Team Adviser.|
|Trump billed himself as the advocate of Main Street America (“Make America Great Again”)||His selections of Wilbur Ross and Steven Mnuchin to head Commerce and Treasury mean that Wall Street is more likely to intersect with the White House than Main Street. [NYKR]|
|Trump, the rally signs said, “Digs Coal”||Republicans are calling the legislation to restore the Miner’s Health Plan a “bailout,” and bipartisan legislation is stalled in Congress. Trump has had nothing to say that’s been reported on this issue. [Politico]|
|Trump called for an increase in American manufacturing, said he wants to “buy American and hire American” [CNS]||The GOP House voted to cut the “buy American” rules from federal projects (H.R. 2028) Again, the president-elect has made no public comment on this disparity.|
|Trump claimed to have an “open mind” about human related climate change [VF]||Trump appoints climate change denier Scott Pruitt to head the EPA.|
All is well in the Bubble – in which Trump supporters believe the economy got worse under the Obama Administration (it didn’t); that crime is at its highest rate in 45 years (it’s at the lowest rate in the last 51 years); and, that poverty is an African American problem (while in terms of percentages of a minority population this is defensible, the fact remains that as of 2013 some 18.9 million white Americans were poor, 8 million more than African Americans, 5 million more than Hispanic Americans [Root]).
Facts don’t permeate the outer membrane of the Bubble. There’s enough fake news and phony reporting out there to restore the outer layer of protection and to keep it reinforced. However, eventually clocks and calendars do run out, and there’s no more excusing current blunders and problems on past administrations – not that the GOP won’t try.
Restoring a Fact Based Government will depend on the efforts of independent reporters and media, independent thinkers, and independent analysts. Dissent may have consequences, perhaps not the ones Mrs. Conway has in mind?