Saturday, October 01, 2022

Everything But Crazy

A member of the California delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives is, obviously, justified in condemning Donald J. Trump's latest tweet, although I'd be a little less concerned about the "Coco Chow" racial bigotry (or xenophobia) than about the death threat.


Of course, Donald Trump wouldn't himself gun down Mitch McConnell, though the did once warn us that he could do it to a random stranger on Fifth Avenue and not lose any votes. Maybe, just maybe, Trump will be sufficiently persuasive that instead one of his disciples will take down the Senate Minority Leader, after which the ex-President would deny  responsibility.

Unsurprisingly garnering the greatest criticism was Trump's last remark "must immediately seek help and advise (sic) from his China loving wife, Coco Chow." Also not surprising is that the reference to the "China loving wife" has summoned relatively little attention. (The video below is from 1/19.) Last year, Voice of America reported

The Transportation Department's watchdog asked the Justice Department to criminally investigate Elaine Chao late last year after it determined she had misused her office when she was transportation secretary under President Donald Trump but was rebuffed, according to a report released Wednesday.

The report said the Justice Department's criminal and public integrity divisions declined in December to take up the case for criminal prosecution following the inspector general's findings that Chao inappropriately used her staff and office for personal tasks and to promote a shipping business owned by Chao's father and sisters. That company does extensive business with China...

The watchdog report cited several instances that raised ethical concerns. In one, Chao instructed political appointees in the department to contact the Homeland Security Department to check personally on the status of a work permit application for a student who was a recipient of her family's philanthropic foundation.

Chao also made extensive plans for an official trip to China in November 2017 - before she canceled it - that would have included stops at places that had received support from her family's business, the New York-based Foremost Group. According to department emails, Chao directed her staff to include her relatives in the official events and high-level meetings during the trip.

Above all, let's keep (the Secretary) happy,`` one of the department's employees wrote to another staffer regarding Chao's father. ``If Dr. Chao is happy, then we should be flying with a feather in our hat.''

The report found that Chao also directed the department's public affairs staff to assist her father in the marketing of his personal biography and to edit his Wikipedia page, and used staff to check on repairs of an item at a store for her father.

Elaine Chao was corrupt, which merely placed her in the mainstream of President Trump's employees.


Being surrounded by ethically vacuous managers served an additional purpose. Thus compromised, these individuals posed little threat to Trump's own underhanded and unscrupulous dealings, both past and present. They could not afford to blow the whistle on the man they served lest their own dealings be exposed.

No doubt President 45 ached for a way to insert himself into the national conversation, currently dominated by the devastation of Hurricane Ian, a tragedy so enormous it may preclude success for this effort. However, Trump famously ridiculed the looks of the wife of an enemy, Ted Cruz, and there is no downside to him attacking Mitch McConnell's spouse.

Which is to say: Donald Trump is not crazy. He knows that dishonesty, crudeness, and bigotry, mixed in with right-wing ideology, took him to the Oval Office.  If his behavior is "crazy," insanity has its upside.


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