French-kissing a chainsaw

By Reade Brower | Sep 03, 2020

In an upcoming book (“Donald Trump v. The United States”), Trump’s former chief of staff (the adult-in-the-room four-star Marine Gen. John Kelly, who served nearly 50 years in our military) talked about his time at the White House.

In the book, as related by “AXIO,” Kelly shared Trump often behaved like a dictator and often had to be restrained and told what he could not legally do. Kelly, it was also reported, was quoted in the book, “saying ‘no’ to Trump was like French-kissing a chainsaw.”

This is “Trump’s America” where everything is upside-down. Political protest and unrest Trump points to, telling us this is what a Biden presidency will look like; did Trump forget he has been president for almost a full term and this is his creation? We are a nation on the precipice; deciding between love and hate, compromise and togetherness or force and bully behavior.

This week’s column is ceded to David Estey of Belfast, a retired IRS regional manager of public affairs for five mid-Atlantic states and Washington, D.C.


Republican Convention, Night 4

By David Estey

In an earlier post, I likened the Trumps to a wannabe royal family. After last night’s unethical/illegal White House pageantry, shameful display of false adoration, piled-on lies and hysterical warnings of lawless cities if Biden wins, I had a slightly different impression. At the end of the evening, lined up before 1,500 supporters sitting close together without masks, serenaded by an opera star with massive fireworks in the background spelling out the candidates’ names, the Trumps seemed like an eerily-handsome, otherworldly family of vampires poised to suck the soul and lifeblood out of our republic.

There was the Slavic Melania with high cheekbones and almond eyes, the Trump girls with golden hair and porcelain skin, Kimberly Guilfoyle with her menacing beauty, the older boys with slicked-back hair (not withstanding their scruffy beards that are inexplicably the rage now), young Barron with his extraordinary height and totally-blank face, Jared Kushner with his ghoulish paleness, and finally the Don with his longish hair, count-like long coat and (usually) the long and blood-red tie. Then there’s Mike Pence as the fallen priest who makes sure they are all back in their coffins before the light of day.

Ivanka introduced her father, as she did four years before; this time she positioned herself as heir apparent to the throne. She kept repeating that four years ago she called for federal day-care funds and several other family benefits and that now we have them, noting she has been loyally serving her father (almost like a co-president) ― and that she’s “still there.” She was right about one thing, “Washington didn’t change my father, my father changed Washington.”

The evening, leading up to Trump’s acceptance speech, was more of the same ― lies, distortions and pandering tales of Trump’s concern for wrongfully sentenced criminals, American hostages and other citizens needing a presidential hand-up, with more emphasis on discrediting Biden, asserting we won’t be safe from armed criminals in Biden’s America. The arrogant neocon Tom Cotton argued Biden has been wrong on all major foreign policy issues “the last 50 years.”

No one was more disturbing, hysterical and wild-eyed than Rudy Giuliani. He loudly and forcefully claimed crime was running rampant in “Democrat cities like New York” (presumably after he straightened it out on his mayoral watch) and unruly mobs and looters would be coming to your small town under a permissive, socialist Biden administration.  Of course, the unrest he points to is happening on Trump’s watch and no one acknowledged, let alone proposed solutions for the underlying social causes ― or had sympathetic words for victims of racial violence.

At the end of this is a link to a fact check of Trump’s 170-minute acceptance speech, but here are a few observations. He discredited Biden’s entire 47 years of public service saying he did more for the country in 3 ½ years. He used his favorite method of projecting his faults on Biden and Biden’s virtues on himself, saying he was defeating the pandemic by “following science, facts and data.” He said Biden wanted to “dismantle and destroy our country,” when he has systematically taken apart agencies, institutions and values, including, most importantly, the rule of law.

He made no admission of his monumental screw-up of the pandemic response, or the disastrous ruin of our economy that resulted. Instead he brazenly bragged about supposed early action to stem the spread, massive aid to states, greater testing than any other country, fast-tracked vaccine development by year’s end or sooner, and reopening schools and businesses.

He lied about boosting the economy and jobs more than any other president, rebuilding the military with $2.5 trillion, cutting drug costs and health-insurance premiums, and other accomplishments that did not happen or were well underway under the Obama/Biden administration.

He bragged about keeping campaign promises, like working only for the American people and draining the Washington swamp, when the evidence is clear he has the most corrupt, self-serving administration in history.

The other major point he and many before him wanted to drive home is that he represents law and order and that our own (white?) neighborhoods and the America we love will be overrun with lawlessness and socialism if Biden wins.

Our job, in the next 66 days, is to do everything we can to correct the narrative on Trump’s record and explain the merits of Biden’s platform. Republicans have no platform ― except what Trump may decide to do. He stammered out, when asked in an interview yesterday, “whatever we’ve been doing and some other things.”

I don’t think anyone believes Trump’s character assassination of Joe Biden, versus his own virtues, so no need to focus on that. But we will have to do everything we can to get out the vote and keep a sharp eye out for all efforts to suppress or screw it up. We also need to watch for efforts to discredit the outcome or not accept the results.


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Comments (4)
Posted by: Wyatt Anderson | Sep 05, 2020 22:28

Richard, if you call decency a guy sniffing and feeling your 8 year old, your man is Biden. Not to mention 'If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black'

Posted by: Ralph Stanley | Sep 05, 2020 19:14

Never Biden.

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Sep 05, 2020 09:35

Garrison Keeler:

In a little less than two months, we will find out something we need to know about our country, namely who we are. An article in a current magazine argues that the Trump administration has held a mirror up to the nation and shown us how twisted and irrational and racist and violent we are and how the country needs a cultural revolution. Mr. Trump is not like anybody I’ve ever known or met, nobody I’m related to, nobody I’ve ever worked with, and if indeed he reflects this society, then it’s obvious that I don’t belong here. What we need is not a revolution but a respect for decency and honesty. My people left Yorkshire and Holland and came to the colonies for economic reasons. Some of them were of a strict religious minority that was somewhat out of tune with the world around them but they were able to live at peace here and practice their faith and not feel persecuted. But the evidence mounts that the man represents an impulsive, paranoid, self-gratifying, proudly ill-informed, contemptuous view of public office, and if this succeeds in November, the nation is suffering from a death wish and why would a person who loves this country want to stay around and watch more of the same awful drama? It is horrifying to see how close the race is in Minnesota, my home state. Perhaps I know nothing whatsoever about the Midwest. If so, then who am I? It’s an agonizing time. Joe Biden was a decent senator from a safe seat in a small state, no giant in the Senate, and Democrats were in no rush to nominated him, but the man has risen to the moment, and he has come at Trump good and hard for his sheer indifference and laziness and contempt for the Constitution, his contempt for science and for our military, his psychotic break with reality. He is waging war. Progressives might wish for more but when you're fighting for the life of the country, you don't think long term, you focus on the immediate, and in November we must rid America of this man. We're in the hands of a showman who has no principles, no idea of what principles are, only a deep craving for attention. Pack him off to Florida and let's have a president.

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Sep 03, 2020 07:08

Time is short for a decision to be made, folks.   Do we really want to continue this dangerous polarization?

Received this from a local friend. Yes, this happened in Rockland.  

""I cannot get my head around what my son shared with me tonight. Last Thursday night my son was threatened by 4-20 something year olds. They threatened to beat him up because he is black. I don't even know what to do with this information."

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