Steve Allen brings you the latest from the newspapers as you wake up.
31 January 2017, 10:49
David Mellor: The Trump administration is only two weeks old, but already it is collapsing into chaos. I wish I could say I’m surprised.
This immigration fiasco is classic Trump: idiotic as an idea, maladroit in its execution.
The concept is wrong, because it demonises innocent people. But it’s worse than that, because it’s not even consistent in its lunacy.
Seven Muslim countries are covered by the ban, not one of which has produced a terrorist on US soil.
Yet Saudi Arabia, which produced more than half the 9.11 terrorists is not on the list. Where’s the sense in that?
Some people say it’s because Trump has business interests in Saudi. Maybe. Who knows? But even from his own point of view, leaving them out is daft.
The chaotic scenes at US airports – and US immigration is always a bit of a nightmare, even without Trump – prompted the Acting Attorney General to suspend the policy. Trump, in a handwritten note apparently - did his secretaries refuse to type the instruction? - has now dismissed her.
What a farce.
The late great Brian Rix couldn’t have imagined anything more ludicrous. By comparison, Monty Python’s most buffoonish sketches look like a slice of real life.
Out of this mess, a number of conclusions begin to emerge.
First, the Trump Presidency cannot survive in its present form. He has to change. But I doubt he can. So already the sound of distant tumbrils can be heard. They’re coming to take him away.
Why wouldn’t they? Ruling by executive order, as he is, is on the edge of unconstitutionality. But he has to do it, because he couldn’t command a majority in Congress for most of this stuff. The Republicans are as edgy as the Democrats. Mutterings about impeachment have already begun, and can only grow.
Secondly, all over the world people are taking to the streets. To condemn ISIS? No, to pillory Trump. How the ISIS leadership must be laughing, that God has given them such a buffoon.
And that provides the answer to someone who said to me, yes, we all know that Trump is a chump, but what about the people who voted for him? Won’t they still be on his side?
My answer is, not for much longer. Trump promised to make America great again. To make America respected, even feared in the world. He didn’t say he was going to make the US a laughing stock. But that’s exactly what he’s doing.
Is that what the blue collar patriots who voted for him wanted? Surely it can’t be long before they reject him with the same enthusiasm that the rest of us have already done.
Third, there are the consequences of Trump’s actions. I already predicted last week that American hostages would be taken, tortured, and Trump’s views on torture held up to ridicule on YouTube. It’s a gift for ISIS.
But what about that mosque massacre in Canada? Did that have anything to do with the climate of unreason launched by Trump? Of course it does.
If you feel cheered at the thought that the Trump Presidency might not last, may I introduce into the conversation the depressing topic of Mike Pence. Who he, ed?
Well he’s the VEEP – a nondescript, fundamentalist blockhead, chosen because of his plodding, unimaginative adherence to a narrow far right agenda.
Would he make a better President than Trump? I wouldn’t bet the ranch on it.