- to a man who proved over and over again that he is ungovernable (see his Twitter account);
- is a pathological liar (as Politico and other fact-checking sites demonstrated over and over again);
- is not only a sexual harasser but brags about it;
- has made money mainly by selling the Trump name to enterprises he doesn't own and didn't build;
- who has failed to pay federal taxes probably for two decades;
- whose rich daddy helped him out of tough financial spots, and then banks that loaned him money helped him out to protect their own interests;
- who stiffed his contractors--often small business owners;
- who is exceedingly ignorant about government policies (just listen to those three presidential debates) and of the requirements of the presidency;
- who appeared in a soft-porn film;
- who has been married three times, whose first wife accused him of rape, whose second wife was his mistress before he left his first wife...blah, blah, blah.
If that list isn't enough to make people think twice about a Trump presidency, perhaps the choices that Trump and his transition team are making now will cause some to sit up and take notice.
- Donald Trump has appointed Stephen Bannon as his chief White House strategist. Bannon is the executive chairman of Breitbart News, which is known as an "alt-right" news source, a safe haven for misogynists and white nationalists. Here is what a former editor-at-large at Breitbart News has to say of Bannon:
"Breitbart has become the alt-right go-to website, [Milo] Yiannopoulos pushing white ethno-nationalism as a legitimate response to political correctness, and the comment section turning into a cesspool for white supremacist mememakers....
Many former employees of Breitbart News are afraid of Steve Bannon. He is a vindictive, nasty figure, infamous for verbally abusing supposed friends and threatening enemies....[H]e's an aggressive self-promoter who name-drops to heighten his profile, and then uses those bigger names as stepping stools to his next destination." (Ben Shapiro, "I Know Trump's New Campaign Chair, Steve Bannon. Here's What You Need to Know," The Daily Wire, updated 13 November 2016.)
- The word is out (though not confirmed as of this writing) that Trump has nominated Jeff Sessions, Senator from Alabama, as Attorney General. Sessions is a hard-liner on immigration, even on legal immigration. He has maintained a "tough on crime" attitude in opposition to the recent movement to reduce mandatory minimums and to institute other criminal justice reforms. Years ago, he was denied a judgeship because of racist comments. We can expect him to support voting suppression laws. So, this:Trump to African Americans: "What do you got to lose?"— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) November 18, 2016
Now we know: a Justice Department that cares about civil rights and voting rights.If you are disturbed by Jeff Sessions' history of racist remarks I have some bad news for you about Donald Trump.— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) November 18, 2016Jeff Sessions opposed Violence Against Women Act, removal of Confederate flag and repeal of don't ask don't tell. https://t.co/2piRbIj1yR pic.twitter.com/ii5tI5dxGR— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) November 18, 2016
- Trump has nominated Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor, a position that does not require Senate confirmation. While Flynn has had a distinguished military career, he is criticized for conflating the Islamic religion with terrorism: On Twitter, he posted that "the fear of Muslims was 'rational'," which suggests a hard-line attitude that doesn't bode well for future treatment of Muslims in this country (or elsewhere). Also, very troubling to me in this age of increasing fake news, Michael Flynn seems to be susceptible to conspiracy theories and fake news. In addition, his chief of staff (who is his son) "regularly shares conspiracy theories, expletive-filled posts, and racially insensitive sentiments on Twitter and Facebook." What a team. Another concern is Flynn's obliviousness to corruption. Michael Flynn's company was lobbying for the country of Turkey while Flynn was present and advising president-elect Donald Trump in daily security briefings. Flynn's other conflicts of interest include his paid appearances on RT, "a television network funded by the Kremlin."
- Rudy Giuliani is being considered for the position of Secretary of State. What is so ironic about this possibility is that Giuliani's conflicts of interest are so much worse than what critics accused of Hillary Clinton. In one year alone he made $11.4 million in giving 124 speeches. In addition, his firm, Giuliani Partners, has had business dealings with: the government of Qatar, the energy company TransCanada (Keystone XL Pipeline), Bear Stearns, Uber, and CB Richard Ellis (real estate giant), Purdue Pharma, TriGlobal Strategic ventures (company that helps their clients in ventures in former Soviet Union states and that has provided PR for Russian oligarchs and others with Kremlin ties):
"James A. Thurber, the director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University, said Mr. Giuliana's consulting work over the last 15 years should disqualify him from taking the secretary of state job.
'It creates an immediate conflict of interest with leaders of nations that he has worked with,' Mr. Thurber said. 'People asked about Hillary Clinton and donations to Clinton Foundation. It is very different than being paid directly by foreign countries to represent them.'" (Mark Landler, Eric Lipton, Jo Becker. "Rudolph Giuliani's Business Ties Viewed as Red Flag for Secretary of State Job." 15 November 2016. The New York Times)Here's what ties all these guys together: male, of course--all middle-aged or older--white, and very, very troubling, the racist views they have either expressed themselves or supported when expressed by others. New Yorkers of the right age will remember Rudy Giuliani's support of a demonstration in 1992, in which off-duty New York City police officers led 10,000 demonstrators through New York city, screaming racist slogans, trapping people in traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge and terrifying them by jumping on their cars. Many of the people in the demonstration were carrying guns and drinking alcohol, and there "[i]n the center of the mayhem, standing on top of a car while cursing Mayor Dinkins through a bullhorn, was mayoral candidate Rudy Giuliani," leading the crowd in chants. And all of this because Mayor Dinkins was calling for a Civilian Complaint Review Board to investigate police misconduct.
So, yeah, it's hard not to feel very, very worried about the incoming Trump administration and to wonder why Democrats in the Senate are trying to find ways to work with Donald Trump's presidency.
So, Trump has selected a white supremacist as strategist, a racist as AG, and a crazy Islamophobe for Nat Sec. But we can work with him!— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) November 18, 2016