Day one of the new order: trouble in paradise

Let the dysfunction begin, or is it dissonance?

Well whatever, it’s fun to watch. And it’s just beginning.

Yesterday a group of Republicans skulking about in the figurative dead of night attempted to water down the powers of the Office of Congressional Ethics. (Yes, I know, even the name is an amusing oxymoron.) The effort, initiated by a number of Congressional members (and passing 119-74) who had been investigated themselves (no, really), was so brazen that it seemed designed to do nothing but prove to people that the new guys had the power to do whatever they wanted…and would.

Then their nominal Tweeter leader—who still is not the president of any United States—castigated them for wasting their time on a trivial matter like ethics  when important items like health care and tax reform needed to be addressed.

But before you think for even a millisecond that Trump is interested in preserving ethical standards, better think again: what he’d really like to is remove the standards entirely—rewrite the laws to remove all strictures on earning money privately while holding a public position. That way when he “suggests” that visiting dignitaries stay in Trump hotels and dine at Trump restaurants and, if they’re women, outfit themselves in the Ivanka Trump Wool Blend Coat with Removable Faux Trim Hood (Nordstrom, $239.90, see photo), he can profit from the office and the family businesses simultaneously.’


I’m not naïve: presidents profit from the office, but usually only after they leave it, when they’re hired to make presentations and appearances. When they’re serving the office they’re our employees and we pay them, not by staying in their hotel but by filing our income taxes.

There’s a lighter side to this first little spat: Trump apparently believes that the Republican party is interested in health care and tax reform. Now anyone who has paid even a modicum of attention over the past…oh… half century knows that isn’t true. I mean that party just spent eight years trying to overturn the Affordable Care Act while never offering an alternative; and the tax system which currently provides millionaires with the opportunity to become billionaires is working just fine thank you very much. That swamp Trump wants to drain? “His” party owns it and I can name at least 119 of them who are not going to let all the gators and slimy objects vanish without a fight. Unless one of them is Donald Trump.

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