Saturday, July 18, 2020

Ranking the Arsonists: Who Gets A Facecard

This is from a kickstarter, so I am not the only one with this idea
During the invasion of Iraq, units were given decks of playing cards with the faces of the worst of the regime, folks who were targeted for capture or killing.  Saddam Hussein was the ace of spades.  I have been thinking a lot lately about a similar deck for the worst of the Trump era that, in an ideal world, would be targeted for prosecution.  And if not prosecution, then the fate that the Dread Pirate Roberts suggests for Prince Humperdink--a life of shame and ostracism.  A boy can dream, right?

This, of course, requires identifying and ranking the arsonists who are burning down not just political institutions and norms in the US but international organizations, alliances, partnerships.  Oh, and being responsible for the empowering of white supremacists and the awful response to COVID.

Two coding rules:
  1. I was tempted to include governors and judges, but I decided to stick with folks who are either part of the administration or part of its support apparatus (Fox). 
  2. Already prosecuted folks don't count:  Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen.

Obviously, Trump is the Ace of Spaces as he is the one who empowers the rest, encourages the worst, and is, despite what he says, the most responsible.  The other top three baddies who get to be the Aces?  Steve Bannon , Mitch McConnell , and Stephen Miller ♣ [Following the ranking of the suits: spades > hearts > diamonds >clubs].  While there are others who have played major roles, each of these has been critical for the success of so much bad stuff.  Steve Bannon has much responsibility for getting Trump into power, and he continues to play a major role in empowering the alt-right.  McConnell has been the primary enabler, keeping the GOP in the Senate in line while sending the worst possible people to sit as federal judges--Gorsuch, not Garland.  Mitch has been responsible for the destruction of so many norms and for reducing the power of shame--his hypocrisy is naked.  Stephen Miller might seem like just a flunky, but he seems to be driving much of the white supremacist policies.  He delights in the kids in cages and has successfully reduced the flow of refugees and immigrants into the US.

The KingsBill Barr ♠, Mike Pompeo, Steve Mnuchin ♣, and Betsy Devos. They all sit atop major government agencies and have been doing much harm along the way.  Barr has turned the Dept of Justice into Trump's attorney, facilitating corruption.  Pompeo seems to want the apocalypse to happen sooner than later and acting accordingly.  Mnuchin is just gross.  Devos has used her spot at Education to gut protections for women who are assaulted or harrassed at universities while gutting the department and higher education.

The Queens:  Jeff Sessions♠, John Kelly, Kristjen Nielsen♣, and John Bolton. They all had major positions and did much damage while in office.  They only look good in comparison to those who replaced them (ok, maybe not Bolton as O'Brien is just weak).  Sessions was an awful Attorney General who did one thing right--recusing himself from the Russia stuff ... because he committed perjury while being confirmed.  Kelly was an enthusiastic xenophobe at DHS and then cranky Chief Staff.  Nielsen also ran DHS.  Bolton is trying so badly to look good now, but he was an awful National Security Adviser looking to finally get the wars vs Iran and North Korea that he had always wanted. 

The Jacks:  When I think of Jacks, I think of Jokers.  In this case, I am thinking of the messengers who have done so much to obfuscate what is going on and to manipulate Trump.  So, for this tier, we have Tucker Carlson♠, Sean Hannity, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Sean Spicer♣.  These are the purveyors of the koolaid that is causing Fox viewers and Trump fans to oppose masks, to suspect the deep state, and to engage in more open racism.  And, yes, the folks who set the pattern for White House communications--Spicer and Sanders--have done so much damage to our discourse.

Tens: Here are the chiefs of staff: Mick Mulvaney (who could have gone higher), Reince Priebus , Mark Meadows, and Jared Kushner .  Ok, Kushner has not had that title, but one reason why the others have left is that they have fought with Kushner over control over Trump's agenda and attention.  They all facilitated corruption and malice while pursuing their own twisted agendas.

Nines: Peter Navarro, Wilber Ross, Richard Grenell♦, Kris Kobach  They are all awful and also could have gone higher.  Navarro has egged on trade wars and has recently been the pointman for attacking Fauci (yes, he has been working for Trump in this effort--he is not a rogue agent).  Ross has been gutting regulations and fomenting trade war at Commerce.  He might be worse than Mnuchin, so one could flip those two.  Kris Kobach was put in charge of voter suppression.  He failed in that effort, but he has been an agent of #voterfraudfraud for quite some time so he gets a boost.  Grenell was an awful ambassador and then a worse Acting Director of National Intelligence.  Rather than pushing to do something about Russian bounties on American heads, he seems to have facilitated Russian aims in the US. 

Eights: A special tier for the enablers in Congress.  They are not in the administration but might as well be.  Tom Cotton♠, Josh Hawley, Rand Paul♦, Devin Nunes♣

Sevens:  Elaine Chao♠, Alex Acosta, Ryan Zinke, Scott Pruit♣.  Chao has been quite corrupt in her dealings as Secretary of Transportation.  Plus she is Mitch's wife, so she is almost certainly acting as his agent, and nothing good can come from that. Acosta gets a high billing in part because of his protection of Jeffrey Epstein.  Besides that, he cut the international division of the Dept of Labor, which includes, yes, trafficking of humans.  Zinke was Secretary of Interior, burning that place down and turning over federal lands to miners.  As head of EPA, Pruitt was engaged in much arson, selling out the environment, and was so corrupt there were at least 14 investigations of him.  If one omits Trump from the contest, Pruitt might be the most investigated Trumpster. 

Sixes: Ivanka♠, Don Jr., Eric,  Melania♣.  The entire family with the possible exceptions of Tiffany and Barron utterly suck.  Ivanka is finally getting tarred after years of vanity coverage and access assistance coverage where she was treated kindly by some of the press for her willingness to trash others.  Don spends way too much time being racist on twitter while making sure the Trump business profits from the Presidency.  Eric competes pretty strongly for dumbest Trump of the week, but his father and Junior tend to out-do him.  Melania is an enabler, just biding her time.  She may not belong on this list, but, then again, I tend to hate plagiarists.

Fives: Kellyanne Conway♠, Corey Lewandows, Kayleigh McEnany♥, Brad Pascale♣.  Jeez, this could be the most tiring blog post I have ever written, and these folks just exhaust me.  Conway has turned our crazy views on Trump and the world into a career--I really thought she would get blamed for the loss, but they didn't lose.  And she remains batshit crazy.  Lewandowski?  Damn, I forget.  McEnany is such a bad but aggressive liar.  Pascale?  Could be the worst campaign manager in memory, and I look forward to the Trumpers tearing him apart.

Fours: I was going to have a hard time filling this out, but the recent events in Portland remind me of the shitshow that is DHS: Chad Wolf ♠ and Ken Cucinelli have been pushing the US's slide into an authoritarian regime. Mark Morgan is "Senior Official Performing the Duties" of head of CBP and has been out in front on this.  I don't know anything about Matthew Albence but he is the acting head of ICE, which is good enough for me.♣

Three's: The Do-Gooders Who Abetted and then claim they saved the country: McMaster, Mattis, Rosenstein, Rex Tillerson.  They all did heaps of damage, but get to avoid blame because the folks above were worse.  They will not get prosecuted nor should they, but, hey, 52 cards means that the gimmick must go awry somewhere.

Deuces:  The weakest and most pathetic members of the Trump Administration: Pence♠, Ben Carson, Rudolph Guiliani, and Sebastian Gorka, with the lowest card in the deck 🃒.  Pence only looks good at times because of the contrast with everyone else, but can we name one time where he made a difference?  He now heads the Pandemic Task Force.  How is that going?  Carson is corrupt and unqualified--he is a doctor, not a housing and urban development guy.  But, of course, the racists in the Trump Administration have to put the Black dude at HUD.  Guiliani is frickin' nuts, throwing accusations around so wildly.  Gorka is a frickin fascist joke. 

1 comment:

Rob Chasen said...

Awesome list.

"Barron," not "Bannon."