Bailouts! Gee, Who Could Have Seen This Coming?
The next time anyone, friend or foe, tells me to lighten up on Trump and his cultists, accusing me of “Trump Derangement Syndrome” or of being a “NeverTrumper” — go ahead, I dare you to define either of those terms in real English without making a fool of yourself — I now know the simple, one-word reply with which I will gleefully spare myself the trouble of explaining: Bailouts.
Yes, Trump is going to lead the GOP into the midterm elections asking America to party like it’s 2008 — and isn’t that the perfect tone to set!
From Right Scoop:
Great news everyone!
Trump has devised the perfect plan to keep his trade war in full swing without farmer taking the brunt of it. He’s going to spend billions in taxpayer money bailing them out!
And from Politico:
The Trump administration is planning to ease fears of a trade war by announcing Tuesday about $12 billion in aid to farmers hurt by retaliatory tariffs, according to three sources familiar with the plan.
The administration’s plan is expected to use two commodity support programs in the farm bill, as well as the Agriculture Department’s broad authority to stabilize the agricultural economy during times of turmoil by buying up excess supply. The plan is also expected to focus on providing aid to the dairy sector in particular, one of the sources said.
The plan has been in the works for months. It seeks to ensure that U.S. farmers and ranchers — a key constituency for President Donald Trump and Republicans — don’t bear the brunt of an escalating trade fight with China, the European Union and other major economies as the administration pursues an aggressive course to rebalance America’s trade relationships.
You can’t make this stuff up, as they say. Trump causes a trade war by pursuing an aggressive tariff policy, thereby harming American businesses, farmers, workers, and consumers — in other words, everybody — in a quixotic (trying to be polite here, folks) effort to solve illusory problems, and then, having created instability and lost profits by way of the predictable retaliatory tariffs he brought on America from every corner of the Earth, he proposes to solve this “turmoil” by shoveling billions of tax dollars into a thresher.
I’m waiting for Trump, Larry Kudlow, and the rest of this reality TV administration that every genuine American conservative has to hope will somehow get sucked back into the television by poltergeists, to go on Fox News and justify their abject poverty of reason by telling voters how corporate-farming America is “too big to fail,” so America is going to have to “abandon free market principles to save the free market system.”
And unlike the “more-conservative-than-Reagan” cultists and their fellow-travelers among the delusional “I-don’t-like-him-personally-but-he’s-done-a-lot-of-good-things” crowd, none of this surprises me one iota. Why? Because I am one of those people — a dying breed, apparently — who actually believe that the way a president has spoken and behaved, and the kind of associations he has fostered, for his entire life, might be indicative of how he will speak and behave as president.
Trump is a knee-jerk progressive with fascist tendencies. He is a power-obsessed blowhard with the economic and political foresight and principles of a tin pot dictator. He believes, deep in the place where his heart might have been, that the government is supposed to manipulate the economy, and that the market works best when a heavy-handed “leader” is at the helm picking winners and losers, doling out favors, and punishing people whom Marxists would identify as “not playing fair.”
In 2009, at the height of the Bush-Obama bailouts, Trump told Larry King he thought it would be fine to go so far as to nationalize the banks in order to stabilize the economy. In other words, he does not even understand why a key tenet of Marxist revolutionary “economic theory” is problematic from the point of view of a free republic. And that, of course, is partly because he does not even know what a free republic is, let alone that his country was supposed to be one. And yes, I documented and wrote about all of this extensively during the 2016 primaries — you’ll find all of it here in Limbo if you want to look it up — back when most Americans formerly self-identifying as conservatives decided to forsake every principle, and their children’s future, in favor of the whimsical “anti-establishment” idea that it would be just so great to have a Republican in the White House again, and that a walking publicity stunt with Establishment Puppet slapped across his forehead would fit the bill just fine.
Does anyone — I mean anyone outside of my regular readership, whom I have cleverly duped into exposing themselves as rational adults, in defiance of the zeitgeist — remember the Iowa caucus back in 2016? That was when, in the heart of farm subsidy country, Ted Cruz stood firm, in the days before the caucus, in opposition to ethanol subsidies, while Trump both embraced subsidies and attacked Cruz as not caring about farmers, in a typically Trumpian act of sleazy opportunism. Naturally, sleaze worked: No, Trump did not win Iowa, Cruz did (although Fox News desperately tried to bury this little tidbit with their fabricated “Rubio surge” optics), but for his unprincipled statist palm-greasing, Trump won over the entire GOP old guard, from Bob Dole on down — in other words, all those Republican establishment figures for whom profiteering and fishing for votes with tax-funded favors are the name of the game.
Go ahead, cultists, justify this one. Oh, I know, chess! Supreme court! But Hillary! And when bailouts aren’t enough to evade the Putin sellout, and Twitter attacks against celebrities are not enough to obscure the “character issues,” there is always the looming escape hatch of war with Iran!
At least George Bush seemed like a sincerely decent man who was in over his head. Trump is just in over his head, and his instinct is to drag the entire world underwater with him, in order to make himself look more normal.