June 11 Open Thread: How Much More of This Will the World Take?

Filed in National, Open Thread by on June 11, 2018

Trump is in Singapore now after laying a turd in the punch bowl at the G7 meeting in Quebec, a performance that has the chattering classes hoping that this, surely, will spur the GOP into action.

Dartmouth political scientist Brendan Nyhan says it’s a turning point because Trump, having created chaos in the U.S., is now taking his destructive shtick global. With the entire post-war geopolitical order at stake, he asks, will the GOP continue to respond with fear paralysis?

I would argue it’s not Trump supporters they’re afraid of but their own Russian connections, as new revelations of meetings between the NRA and Russian oligarchs were met with no comment from the NRA. Nothing to see there, folks, move along now.

It’s been widely noted that undermining the alliance is a key Putin goal, and Trump is helping him achieve it. David Leonhardt at the New York Times says it doesn’t matter why Trump is doing it:

[I]t’s past time to take seriously the only explanation for all of Trump’s behavior: He wants to destroy the Western alliance. Maybe it’s ideological, and he prefers Putin-style authoritarianism to democracy. Or maybe he has no grand strategy and Putin really does have some compromising information. Or maybe Trump just likes being against what every other modern American president was for. Whatever the reason, his behavior requires a response that’s as serious as the threat.
For American voters, it means understanding the real stakes of this year’s midterm elections. They are not merely a referendum on a tax cut, a health care plan or a president’s unorthodox style. They are a referendum on American ideals that are older than any of us.

Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic argues there is indeed a Trump Doctrine, which one White House official explained to him was, “We’re American, bitches!” I kid you not. It’s the Bushies on steroids.

Yanis Varoufakis, the former finance minister of Greece and founder of the Democracy in Europe movement, argues that deeper forces are at work, however imperfectly Trump and his team understand them:

[Si]nce the 2008 collapse of Wall Street, and despite the subsequent re-floating of the financial sector, Wall Street and the US domestic economy can no longer do what they were doing before 2008: that is, absorb the net exports of European and Asian factories through a trade surplus financed by an equivalent influx of US-bound foreign profits. This failure is the underlying cause of the current global economic and political instability. [Also], Europe’s decade of mishandling the euro crisis has seen to it that the Franco-German establishment is now disunited and on the run – with xenophobic, anti-European nationalists taking over governments.
Trump takes one look at all this and concludes that, if the US can no longer stabilise global capitalism, he might as well blow up existing multilateral conventions and build from scratch a new global order resembling a wheel, with America its hub and all other powers its spokes – an arrangement of bilateral deals that ensures the US will always be the largest partner in each, and thus be able to exact a pound of flesh through divide and rule tactics.

Everyone who follows the news has seen the now-iconic photo of a seated Trump, arms folded, surrounded by other heads of G7 countries. The former prime minister of Belgium came up with the perfect caption for it.

But never fear, citizens: Help is on the horizon. Politico reports that nine Democratic presidential hopefuls have met with Barack Obama seeking advice for 2020.

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  1. Jason330 says:

    “… a performance that has the chattering classes hoping that this, surely, will spur the GOP into action. ”

    I lol’ed.

  2. Jason330 says:

    The former prime minister of Belgium is my new hero.

  3. bamboozer says:

    How much more will they take? Believe the G7 debacle settled that, Trump has served notice he cannot be trusted and is subservient to Putin and Russia. He’s now attacked Canada (of all nations on earth) and Trudeau in particular. Merkel seems shell shocked, interesting as she had already met Trump and should have known. When will the Republicans “do something”? The very moment they no longer see Trump as an asset and not before.

  4. Liberal Elite says:

    @A “How Much More of This Will the World Take?”

    Until moneyed interests in the US feel seriously threatened, and turn away en-masse from Trump.

    There are two legs to Trump’s support. The stupefied racist populous and amoral moneyed interests. Knock out either of those, and Trump is done.

  5. Liz Allen says:

    why are the poor so patriotic? In a country giving them so little hope they continue to vote. They bought the liar in chief’s garbage hook line and sinker. They loved Bernie Sanders issues, but were afraid of the word “socialist”, so they voted for the traitor, and now don’t want to admit they screwed up royally. Will they support dems in the midterms, who knows. If the dems dont start acting differently, ending their own moral morass of accepting huge campaign contributions from the 1%…Donald Trumpolini could win again.

  6. Liberal Elite says:

    @LA “Could this be whats really going on at the DNC, DCCC?”

    I honestly don’t think they’re even organized enough to do something like that.

  7. RE Vanella says:


    I like your spunk. You’re earnest and you stand behind your comments.

    I trust your politics.


  8. Liz Allen says:

    Thanks RE. I have been at this thing for 60 yrs. I know all their games, at my age I don’t give a damn anymore, I tells it, like i sees it.

  9. Alby says:

    Too bad your eyesight is so inaccurate.

    After 60 years, I expect you to stop getting so many things wrong.

  10. RE Vanella says:

    Killjoy. 🙂