They say that one human year is approximately equal to seven years in the life of a dog. I feel like a similar rule applies for United States under this administration: one normal, 24-hour day of American life roughly equates to a week in Trump Time.
I'm not being hyperbolic here. Remember when Anthony Scaramucci met the press in his new role as communications director shortly after Sean Spicer was fired? Personally, I can only barely recall it. It's the kind of hazy memory one usually has of something that happened months or even years in the past.
It happened 11 days ago.
Think about that for a second. "The Mooch" erupted onto the world stage like a nose zit on prom night just 11 days ago, and it already feels like the guy has been threatening to murder White House staffers and burning horrible Steve Bannon images into our collective psyche for years.
So why is this happening? What is causing all of space and time to apparently warp around this administration in a manner that makes us feel like we have all aged a decade in the last six months?
In my mind, it comes down to one thing: the immense volume of toxic activity coming out of the Trump White House.
Just take the past 11 days as an example. In the time since Scaramucci took the podium to introduce himself to the press, the following has happened:
- US intelligence intercepts revealed that Jeff Sessions discussed campaign-related matters with the Russian ambassador, something he had repeatedly denied.
- Trump insisted on Twitter that he had the "complete power to pardon" among reports that he was considering pardoning top aides, family members, and even himself.
- Speaking of Twitter, Trump used his favorite outlet to lambast his own attorney general repeatedly, calling Sessions "beleaguered" and "weak" in an obvious attempt to get him to step down. (See this post for more details on Trump's plans to go full Nixon).
- Completing the Twitter trifecta with the craziest and arguably most dangerous thing Trump did this week, the POTUS used the social media platform to announce that transgender Americans would no longer be able to serve in the US military. The tweets were apparently a surprise to the Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs, who later had to issue a statement saying that no policies were changing until the White House actually told them exactly what they were trying to do.
- Not content with ruining lives via Twitter, the president also gave a highly-criticized speech to a large gathering of Boy Scouts in which he attacked his political opponents, bragged about cocktail parties, and threatened Republicans over health care. The Boy Scouts later apologized for Trump's behavior.
- Because one horrible speech in a week wasn't enough, Trump then spoke to a gathering of New York police officers. During his address, the president said he wanted the officers to be "rough" in their treatment of alleged criminals, making comments about "throw[ing] them into the back of a paddywagon" that seemed to encourage the behavior that has led to the death of Freddie Gray and numerous others. Like the Boy Scouts, the police department later had to issue a statement in an attempt to distance themselves from the president's words.
- Meanwhile, Scaramucci called a reporter from the New Yorker and went on a bizarre rant in which he said he was going to fire everyone in the communications office, called Reince Priebus a "fucking paranoid schizophrenic," and brought Steve Bannon and the act of autofellatio much closer together than all of our stomachs were comfortable experiencing.
- In the most important occurrence of the last week, the Senate's attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act failed dramatically in a late-night vote that saw three Republicans defect. This was an enormous victory for the Resistance that resulted in several days of Twitter raging from the president, who attacked his own party, tried to strong-arm Mitch McConnell into changing the Senate rules, and threatened to cut subsidy funding for millions of poor Americans.
- Related to the health care vote was the bizarre story in which Trump's Secretary of the Interior called Republican senator Lisa Murkowski and threatened to take steps harming Alaska's economy if she did not choose to support the party's bill.
- Trump's chief of staff (and one of his last real tangible connections to the mainstream Republican party), Priebus, was unceremoniously replaced by Homeland Security head John Kelly. It was a big win for Scaramucci, who had clearly made the elimination of Priebus his chief priority. ("Surely," thought the Mooch, twitching uncontrollably and throwing back his twelfth old fashioned of the afternoon, "it's all uphill from here.")
- Finally, and most spectacularly, word broke this afternoon that Scaramucci himself had been ousted from his brand new role as communications director after a brief internal power struggle with Kelly. This news, which brought the Mooch Era to an end after a scant 11 days, came hours after Trump tweeted that there was "no [White House] chaos!"
You have enough material there to fill, at minimum, two seasons of a political drama (something like "House of Cards," but all of the characters are dangerously incompetent and have no redeeming qualities). And it all happened in a week and a half. Ken Bone was relevant for a longer period of time. It's insane.
And for anyone reading this and thinking, "both sides are bad," I defy you to find one similar stretch of time at any point during the 8 years of the Obama administration that even comes close to this level of chaos and scandal.
Vladimir Lenin once said that there are decades when nothing happens and there are weeks where decades happen. The problem with the Trump administration is that every week feels like one of the latter. And frankly, it can be exhausting.
But the president and his cronies are counting on us tiring out. They were expecting our initial wave of outrage to have died out months ago, allowing them to pass horrible laws like Trumpcare at will. We proved them wrong last week, and we must continue to do so. As the executive branch continues to implode from the top down, it will be up to us to continue fighting for our values and for the soul of our country.