Trumpster Diving

* Lost in the fear-mongering fomented by the White House over the Central American “caravan” is this: The U.S. has no meaningful policy when it comes to Central America. In fact, it doesn’t even have an ambassador to Honduras, which has devolved into a nightmare scenario for its most vulnerable inhabitants. There’s more we can do–from constitutional, humanitarian and enlightened self-interest perspectives–than send in the troops and separate families.

* “It’s my only form of fighting back. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t do that.”–That was Trump in a recent Axios interview, explaining his polarizing media-attacks rationale. Never know when the truth will be outed.

* For what it’s worth, Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s pre-Manafort campaign manager, says the 2020 Trump threat that worries him is billionaire, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, for whom fund-raising would not be an issue.

* “If you back the evangelicals out of the white vote, Donald Trump loses whites.” That was Ralph Reed of the Faith & Freedom Coalition in candidly assessing this president’s base. Which only reminds us that hypocrisy is apparently not a sin.

* Politicians selling out is nothing new. But pols doing a self-serving, 180 pivot in the era of Trump have reached a new low. Exhibit A: South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham. Not that long ago he referred to Trump as “the world’s biggest jackass” and then doubled down with “race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot.” That was then; this is not. Now Graham is a regular golfing partner of the president. His likely end game(s): Become Jeff Sessions’ successor as attorney general or at least make sure he doesn’t get primaried in a state where Trump re-election support definitely matters.

* Remember the “Axis of Evil” during the George W. Bush Administration? That was Iran, Iraq and North Korea back in 2002. Not to be outdone, the Trump Administration has now rolled out the “Troika of Tyranny” and the “Triangle of Terror.” That would be its 2018 shorthand for Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. We can thank National security adviser John Bolton–and likely alt-Reich, anti-immigrant adviser/speech writer Stephen Miller–for that outlandishly alliterative, geopolitical update. Bolton also sophomorically mocked their leaders as “stooges of socialism.”  As in, “They are clownish, pitiful figures more akin to Larry, Curly and Moe.” He was, of course, talking about (Miguel) Diaz-Canel, (Nicolas) Maduro and (Daniel) Ortega, respectively. How ironic; that could easily apply to Trump, Bolton and Miller.

* No, we’ve not seen anything like this administration before, but we have heard rhetoric before that now sounds eerily on point. This is what a Democratic presidential candidate once said: “A strong nation, like a strong person, can afford to be gentle, firm, thoughtful and restrained. It can afford to extend a helping hand to others. It is a weak nation, like a weak person, that must behave with bluster and boasting and rashness and other signs of insecurity.”  That candidate was Jimmy Carter in 1976. In retrospect, Gerald Ford never looked so good.

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