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A desperate Trump goes to war with gays

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I don’t know if it was the furor of last week, or simply the cumulative weight of six unrelenting months of Trump scandals, but clearly, we’ve reached a point where it’s not just Democrats waiting for the end game on this dreadful presidency, it’s Republicans.

And not just in the Congress, where their fed-up-ness is palpable. My sense of GOPers in general is that one by one they’re slipping away. I saw a guy on CNN whom they described as an “average” Trump voter say that, while he still roots for Trump to create jobs, he’s lost all “trust” [his word] in him (his wife nodded in agreement). From there, it’s just a step or two for them to figure out that, Hey, it’s not like Trump’s the only one who can invite Tim Cook to the White House. Once that couple reaches their tipping point, it’s goodbye, Charlie. No more loyalty to the Trump family.

I must say I’ve been pleased with the national reaction to the transgender ban. I was up in Seattle staying with family when my niece told me, early one morning when I’d awakened, how Trump had tweeted that from now on trans people will not be welcomed in the U.S. armed forces. To say I was stunned is an understatement. My jaw dropped halfway to my chest. I’d been waiting for Trump to make a hostile move towards the LGBTQ community. He’d already spoken to Falwell’s Liberty University, and made nice with the likes of Franklin Graham, and then he had that embarrassing laying on of hands by some Pentacostals. (He probably took a hot shower immediately afterwards. Trump is a notorious germaphobe who once said he hates to even shake hands with people.) But he hadn’t made an overt attack on gays—until last week. Why then?

Obviously, to appeal to his base, or at least that truncated part that still supports him—namely, the Christian homophobes. But who or what put that idea into his head? Among all the other problems he faces, why now? Well, look no further than Ann Coulter, who was brought in by Bannon for a little chat with Trump before the trans slur.

There are lots of homophobes in America, sadly, but few are meaner and more disreputable than Coulter, a tumor of the far right. She accuses gay people of wanting to “destroy marriage” when in fact gay people want to preserve it by getting married themselves. And honestly, I could quote from her tweets for the next hour on all the awful, disgusting things she’s said about gay people. (She herself doesn’t appear to have a sex life.) I’m sure she told Trump something like, “Mr. President, you’re losing this RussiaGate battle, and the only way out is to double down on your evangelical support by attacking gay people.” And that is exactly what Trump—who once lied that gay people have no better friend than he–did.

I’m not really worried about gay rights being taken away: the cat’s out of the bag (or is it the horse is out of the barn? I’m no good at these animal metaphors), and not even Trump and his Christians are going to change that. The religious right is just going to have to live with gay rights, and damn them if they don’t like it. But I do find it tedious that we still have to defend gays every time some yahoo like Trump says something disparaging.

Yet, as I said, I’m pleased with the reaction to Trump’s hysterical trans tweet. The Navy announced it’s doing nothing to enforce the ban until it gets clearance from higher-ups. Meanwhile, the “generals” Trump lied about talking to are starting to weigh in, and they don’t sound any too pleased with enforcing a policy they know is wrong, divisive and harmful to military efficacy. Trump’s other lie—that we can’t afford healthcare for trans folk in the military—crumbled as soon as it was revealed that the Pentagon spends $40 million a year on Viagra, compared to $8 million on trans medical care. I guess in Trumpworld it’s more important for a straight male soldier to get an erection than for a trans Farsi interpreter or anti-hacker to hold her job.

And so here we go into the end game. Trump is desperately afraid of losing his job, of getting fired by his boss, the American people. “You’re fired!” is his nightmare. He’s grasping at straws, but it won’t do any good. It’s going to be fun watching him and his Republican Party melt down. I expect the revanchists on the far right are going to get more savage the worse things get for them. That will be fun, too. It’s always nice to see your enemies crater.

  1. Bob Rossi says:

    There’s one thing about Trump’s transgender ban that most people have ignored; that a Tweet is not an executive order. I think that was the basis for the generals’ position. They said nothing will change unless there’s a lawful order that goes through the proper channels to be implemented.

  2. Bill Haydon says:

    This is all to rally the base to his side before he fires their guy in the cabinet (Beauregard Sessions) so he can get to Mueller. It was gays at the beginning of the week, and it was minorities at the end of his week in the speech condoning and encouraging police brutality. Look for more of the same this week. And if McConnell puts the Senate into recess, Beauregard will be gone the next day.

    As for gays, I don’t think Trump is a homophobe. I think he’s a narcissist and a sociopath who treats the gay community like he treats anyone else who isn’t family: as a means to an end, to be used when useful and thrown away the moment it benefits Trump.

  3. Bill Haydon, you’re right. He is truly a horrible person. I wonder how his family tolerates his sociopathic behavior.

  4. “My sense of GOPers in general is that one by one they’re slipping away.”

    I think, when you look deeply enough, the data supports you.

    Trump’s polling numbers among Republicans have declined only slightly through his six months of incompetence and corruption, so it’s tempting to say that Republicans are completely unaffected by it. But that overall “support” number includes two categories: “strongly support” and “[mostly/somewhat? I forget the exact word] support,” and among Republicans there has been a detectable shift away from strongly support.

    Slowly but surely, we’re getting there. Republicans spent the years after 9/11 insisting that George W. Bush was a great leader and a shining example of the conservative movement. But by 2006 even they had lost enthusiasm, and by 2008, they were insisting that W wasn’t really a “true” Scotsman — oops, conservative — after all.

    A couple of years from now, on those rare occasions that Fox News ever mentions former President Trump, it will be to remind viewers that he was really a longtime liberal New Yorker and was never really a conservative Republican.

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