Rising floodwaters in HoustonEXPAND
Rising floodwaters in Houston

Henry Rollins: Hurricane Harvey Is Trump's First Real Test and He's Already Failing

Just when you thought the coward-in-chief couldn’t tuck his tie any further twixt his legs, he jets over to Arizona and turns the Phoenix Convention Center into a hellish hothouse where truth, sanity and the English language were tortured for well over an hour. Trump sought to annihilate the reputations of fellow Republicans and pathetically re-truth his blowouts post-Charlottesville, like covering the threadbare tires of a used car with black spray paint and calling them new.

Animals will chew their leg off to get out of a trap. Trump will hack his off to better kick himself in the nuts. Trump is the quarterback who continually sacks himself and then blames his linemen for not protecting him.

Trump needed this rally. It had been a tough week in the real world of fake news, Mueller’s slow squeeze and the realization that, as they say in the shop, “You break it, you bought it” — when you say it, you said it. He had to surround himself with people who would cheer such downers as, “And yes, by the way, they are trying to take away our history and our heritage. You see that.” Who are “they” in that sentence? All those who are not “our.” This line-drawing line, relating to the statues of Confederate icons being taken down, was the bumper sticker. This, after he read the list of all the baddies he finally acknowledged as such: “I hit them with everything. I got the white supremacists, the neo-Nazis. I got them all in there, let’s say. KKK, we have KKK. I got them all.”

He sure does. Some might chalk this up to “dog whistling,” but it’s not. Neither Trump nor his supporters deal in subtlety or complexity. In 70-plus minutes, Trump pitted himself and his followers against a yuge majority of Americans. If anything jumps off, no matter what happens, everyone loses. The Phoenix rally was the action of a man who’s punching on his way down. Trump has proven to be a sore winner and will no doubt be a far sorer loser. It can only get worse.

I was hoping that Trump would forget what he’d said about banning transgender people from serving in the military. Just because he had bone spurs (a symptom Trump described as “temporary” in a recent interview in the failing New York Times) and couldn’t serve — as he so obviously would have, had the other four deferments he took for education not thrown a wrench into things — doesn’t mean that others shouldn’t be able to volunteer to put their lives on the line, right? But in an effort to remind his small, angry fraction of the electorate that he still cares, Trump is going ahead with the ban.

Regarding the status of transgender people currently serving, a White House official said the president ordered the departments of Defense and Homeland Security “to determine how to address transgender individuals currently serving based on military effectiveness and lethality, unitary cohesion, budgetary constraints, applicable law and all factors that may be relevant.” I wonder what Trump will do when both agencies get back to him with their assessment that the military ain’t broke and so there’s no need to fix it?

For a man who keeps repeating that he wants the United States to be a coast-to-coast group hug, he sure seems to be trying to start a fight.

From her malodorous cave, the wicked Hillary stirred a bubbling cauldron of lies and thousands of incriminating emails, shook a veiny, clawed fist at the sky and screamed. And thus, Hurricane Harvey was born.

Texas is getting pounded by the weather. William Brock Long, administrator of FEMA, said that bringing the affected areas back will take years. Long’s burden is extra heavy. Without all the key positions at FEMA, NOAA and the National Hurricane Center filled, he’ll be multitasking. Beyond what Long estimates will be at least a couple of years of rebuilding and relocation, it’s going to take a lot of money. Hopefully, Texas will be open to funding that will be coming in from those dreaded liberal blue states.

This is the first true test of Trump’s presidency — a disaster he can’t take credit for. So far, he has failed at every opportunity to lead. Here are two tweets, to show you where he’s coming from.

Aug. 27, 0559 hrs.: “I will be going to Texas as soon as that trip can be made without causing disruption. The focus must be life and safety.”

Aug. 27, 0615 hrs.: “I will also be going to a wonderful state, Missouri, that I won by a lot in ’16. Dem C.M. is opposed to big tax cuts. Republican will win S!”

Unbelievable. Might be best for him to lay off the golf and weekend trips to his ugly resorts for a few years, lest he be accused of being a fat fuck Nero, putting while Texas struggles to regain its footing.

The state’s recovery is going to take more than a lot of money. It’s going to take a full-court press by the rest of the states and a president who can prioritize, focus and lead. Trump would be well advised to make regular TV appearances, cut his “me, me, me” victim bullshit and make sure he says the word “Texas” a lot. Imagine his wall being built while Texans wait for their president to make Texas great again.

Look for your weekly fix from the one and only Henry Rollins right here every Thursday, and come back tomorrow for the playlist for his Sunday KCRW broadcast.


More from the mind of Henry Rollins:
Make America Filthy, Hungry, Broke and Stupid Again
Ask Yourself What Side of History You Want to Be on
Don't Let the Trump Show Distract You From What's Really Going On

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