Hark back to the original populists of the 1890s and they saw themselves exactly the same way, as champions of common Americans left behind by distant, powerful interests that were driving — and profiting from — economic dislocation and change.
These populists channeled the fears and frustrations of Southern and Midwestern farmers who were straining to keep up in an increasingly industrialized and national economy — and growing more and more resentful toward an emerging modern culture that no longer venerated the yeomen and instead celebrated the captains of industry.
PunditWire readers may recall my analysis of the intellectually and technically unsatisfactory speech by President Obama in Cairo. Now we have the first major overseas speech given by President Trump, delivered in Saudi Arabia at the heart of the ‘Islamic World’. How did he do?
Forget about the impeachment fantasies. But the Congress does have other tools. It can control the White House by limiting its powers, either by overtly taking back responsibilities it has delegated to the executive branch or by making spending decisions that limit options. We already know there will be no wall built on the border with Mexico unless Congress authorizes funding to pay for it. The President doesn’t always get what he wants. Recall the cliché– the President proposes, but the Congress disposes.
By now it’s apparent that the president is untethered to reality. If he were to be impeached, a compassionate chief justice might declare him incompetent to stand trial because he lacks the mental capacity to be responsible for his words or acts. But the Republicans who sniffed his musk last week aren’t blissed by the clueless stupor his narcissism affords him. They’re fearful of their constituents.
Only the foolish or fearless challenge the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a hard lesson learned by a diverse roster that ranges from Al Capone to Hillary Clinton. If there is a deep state in America, the FBI is near its core. Whether the White House is oblivious to this history or trying to notch its belt by challenging the Bureau is worth pondering. This is an agency that defied recent White House attempts to get with the program of minimizing the import of contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russians as well as arguably sabotaging last year’s Clinton campaign.