Jim Austin:
Vermonter at Large
Jim Austin
Jim Austin
is a freelance writer from Putney, Vermont.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 12.03.16


Trumpwatch 2016: March to Oblivion

PUTNEY, VT | Trump's current parade of Fox hosts and lunatic fringe element contestants for his cabinet is chilling. The Donald is handling his appointments like a cheesy game show host. Most unappealing is the lineup of lickspittle former critics of Trump who are now panting for a cabinet post.

Ted Cruz was no surprise. He proved why everyone he has ever met despises him. After Trump insulted his wife, accused his father of murdering JFK, and referring to him as "Lying Ted" throughout the debates, Ted slithered over to the feet of the orange nightmare and begged to kiss his ass for a chance at being our Attorney General.

Less insipid but incredibly disturbing is Rudolph Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City. Full of bad teeth and bad intentions, he has been a Trumpist from the start. He has dined out on his role during 9/11 for the past fifteen years. When Trump reduces Washington to rubble he may come in handy.

You can't cross the lobby of Trump's office without tripping over a coven of Wall Street insiders. His bevy of financiers will be the richest cabinet in history and about as diverse as a package of bread sticks. So, the Donald is going to rein in Wall Street by hiring several billionaires to fix the system that made them billionaires. It's like hiring a tsetse fly to cure your sleeping sickness.

I was mildly surprised at the specter of Mitt Romney rolling over and begging for the Secretary of State position. After his strident denunciation of Trump one would have expected at least a dignified silence. Instead there he is breaking bread with Trump and putting his name in for a power position. Did he have no character to begin with or did the lure of power sap his integrity? If the Swedes had a Nobel Prize for hypocrisy, Romney would be a shoe-in.

Do we really want someone known as "Mad Dog" as Secretary of Defense? Mad Dog Mattis is a 44-year Marine General, who was once quoted as saying:

‘Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.'

I wonder what his plan was when he met Donald? To his credit, he did come out against waterboarding and other forms of torture. He may be the most sensible pick so far.

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis called Trump's Education Secretary Nominee "A Nightmare choice." Billionaire Betsy DeVos is heir to the Amway fortune and has a brother who founded "Blackwater," a firm of mercenaries. DeVos is known as an enemy of public schools who wants charter schools funded by tax dollars to take over current education policy.

Billionaire Wilbur Ross and Montgomery Burns lookalike is Trump's pick for Secretary of Commerce. He rose financially as a "vulture investor" preying on weak companies, sometimes slashing jobs and pensions to turn a profit.

It seems like every pick for every position in the cabinet is frosted with bile, corruption, or ignorance. From putting a climate change denier in charge of the climate to a mental patient in charge of HUD, each choice seems designed to put the media into a tizzy and anyone who didn't vote for him into ventricular fibrillation. At the moment he is doing a victory lap around the country holding "Look at me, ain't I grand" rallies.

The next four years are going to be epic.