Commentary

Bob Stannard: Progress report

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Bob Stannard, an author, musician and former lobbyist. This piece first appeared in the Bennington Banner.

Hey, so how’s your life going? Everything going OK? Are you already overwhelmed at all the winning? Are you dizzied by how great America has become again? I thought this might be a good time to check in and make sure we’re on course. Let’s see how great we’ve become in a scant eight months.

Our current president, who lost the popular vote by 3 million and had a much smaller crowd at his inauguration, has had a bit of a rocky start. It’s becoming increasingly clear that his campaign worked with some Russians to help throw the election. Before you Trump supporters out there get all worked up about this, it might be helpful for you to remember that the man cheats at golf, and pretty much everything else. We all know by now that lying comes as naturally to Donald Trump as breathing does to you and me.

Despite multiple warnings, Trump hired Michael Flynn for arguably THE most important job in his Cabinet — national security adviser. Flynn didn’t last a month and we learn more every week about Flynn’s work with Russia, and other countries, where he tried to feather his own nest. As an aside, ironically, it was Flynn who began the “Lock Her Up” chant at the Republican convention.

Former campaign manager Paul Manafort is not doing so well. The night after he testified before a congressional hearing his home was raided by the special prosecutor who is conducting a criminal investigation into the Trump campaign and perhaps even Trump himself. The special prosecutor has stated that he intends to indict Mr. Manafort. One can’t help but wonder if Manafort is feeling great again.

The Trump family is struggling. Poor Melania appears incapable of smiling. As pretty as she is, she’d be so much more beguiling if she could just smile. Living with a lying, authoritarian, egomaniac takes its toll. Perhaps she’s trying to hide her joy of the thought of her husband going to jail along with the rest of his soiled crew.

Son-in-law Jared Kushner, the young man who has been put in charge of everything, has been quiet lately. He, along with practically everyone else in the Trump administration — INCLUDING their lawyers – have all lawyered up. Following in his father-in-law’s footsteps, it appears as though young Jared has some rather severe financial issues that he thought maybe the Russians might help him with. Whoops.

People have fled and/or are fleeing this administration at record pace and finding new people to join the party is getting more difficult with each passing day. Perhaps they, too, realize that the No. 1 Big Promise of 2016, the building of the biggest, most beautiful, tallest wall ever to be built is not happening. This sad fact has gone a long ways towards tripping up the “Make America Great Again” plan, but not to worry; there’s going to be a couple of hundred feet of some very good, extra good high quality fencing installed.

OK, so big deal that not one piece of major legislation has been enacted. He’s a businessman, not a politician. He could never have been expected to know how hard this job really is. Besides he’s not about “doing” anything. He’s about undoing everything that Obama got passed. You see, he’s still very, very upset at the complete and total humiliation he suffered at the hands of a man so much smarter than he at the Correspondents’ Dinner. Yes, Obama cleaned him like a trout in front of all those fake press people who gleefully and accurately reported the event.

Perhaps his only accomplishment thus far has been to invigorate the worst among us, the white supremacists, the bigots, the racists. These folks have never been happier, with the possible exception of Kim Jong Un. He’s thrilled with the attention he’s been getting from the president.

Yup, I’m feeling the greatness. How about you?

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