The most diabolically shrewd maneuvers—in crime, politics and American history (which are pretty much the same things)—involve deception and diversion. Usurpers like Trump and his fascist gang, once in power, create crises and chaos so that the masses will be distracted while their pockets are picked. It’s always about the money, in the end. Two weeks of loud and very public incompetence by President Bannon has us looking away while Wall Street jackals move in for the kill.
Yes, Muslims have been banned; the moderate AG was fired; the DeVos vote is tied; meanwhile, financial regulations (you know the ones in place to prevent another economic crash like 2008) are being slashed by the same predators who stabbed us in the back then. The media, like ADD children, can’t focus on what’s important, just what makes the most noise. They missed the fact that Goldman Sachs is now in charge again.
The few who did catch it, cranky old white codgers like Tom Brokaw, are too muddled to understand or still living in 1955. This might be frightening news to the Trump voter—huddled in their isolated Pennsylvania farms or their polluting West Virginia factories—if they ever heard it, because the robber-bankers are coming after their life savings. Soon advisors, brokers and investors will no longer have to adhere to sensible rules; Social Security will be privatized; Medicare gone. The very racists who put Bannon in the White House will have their lives destroyed. Oblivious to this, Brokaw thinks we should confirm Trump’s rapacious and unqualified nominees as quickly as possible, because it’s what the old white people of Michigan, Ohio and Kansas would want.
In an article which appeared in Esquire magazine online today, Charles Pierce agrees:
“I just heard Tom Brokaw, the man who invented World War II, drone on sonorously about how the Democratic minority in the Congress is making a mistake by slowing down the confirmation process because that's the Republican playbook and that they'd be better advised to go out and seek the wisdom of middle America (Say white people, Tom. Go for the gold.) as regards the issues of the day. This is good advice, provided there's one angry shut-in anywhere in western Pennsylvania or rural Michigan who hasn't yet been interviewed by a major newspaper or television correspondent.
“But, if they do take Brokaw's advice, they might point out to these forgotten people that there are some people who remember them very well and have not forgotten what marks they are. In fact, on Friday morning, The Los Angeles Times had something for them to chew on while they can still afford breakfast.
“And, in The Wall Street Journal, Gary Cohn, the administration's senior economic adviser, was more than happy to explain his plan to lift the terrible burden of being honest off the nation's financial sector. Cohn, as it happens, is one of the phalanx of former Goldman Sachs employees with whom the president* plans to drain the swamp. He seems quite comfortable living there, but what do I know.
“But it's not about his old company, and his old pals, and the fairly thorough job they did blowing up the world economy eight years ago which, of course, is a century in Banker Time. They have labored under the burden of being marginally honest for far too long.
“This is about consumer choice about the same way a carny midway gives you the choice of being swindled in a shooting gallery, in a fortune-telling booth, or at a stand where you throw plastic hoops onto plastic ducks—where, of course, the hoops do not fit over the plastic ducks because that's the whole point, suckers.
“For the past two years, we heard endless thumbsucking from the Brokaws of the world that Donald Trump was a different kind of Republican, that he was running a "populist" campaign, that he would "upend Republican orthodoxy." Because he couched it in barely veiled racism and xenophobia, enough of the suckers bought it to tip the election in his favor. Now, however, the rubber is meeting the road.
“Those nice white "forgotten people" will now be free to have their pensions swindled out from underneath them by sharpies whose bonuses depend on how much money they can steal. They will find themselves paying usurious interest rates on their credit cards because of a clause written in Swedish, in .00009 point type, on the back of their monthly statement. And then, when it all comes crashing down again, they'll have to look for somebody to blame, and it won't be them, and it won't be the charlatan they elevated to the White House. And someone else will run for president, and give them the proper scapegoat, and Tom Brokaw will ask all the wrong questions of all the wrong people again.
“It's morning in America.”