Matt Frei 10am - 1pm
3 March 2018, 21:05 | Updated: 3 March 2018, 21:09
President Donald Trump - that still sounds weird, over a year after he took office. It's like saying: Prime Minister Dale Winton. It will never seem normal.
Anyway, Ancient Orange has done the one thing he has omitted so far in his race to be the most popular president ever, ever, ever. He has started a war.
Of course, there were his Twitter wars with various celebrities, sports stars, Miss Worlds, families of dead soldiers, fellow Republicans, journalists, staff, ex-staff, sexual abuse accusers, foreign dignitaries, foreign countries and television programmes, but they don't count.
There was the war on guns that he prosecuted for the five minutes between the latest school mass shooting and the meeting he took with a representative of the gun lobby, who reminded him of the thirty million reasons why he should allow the weapons manufacturers to sell whatever they want to whomever will buy them.
Those reasons were green and all had a picture of George Washington on one side and were given to him by the gun lobby to help him to beat Hilary
Those were not real wars. This war is for real. Not so real that he would fake a growth on his heel bone to get out of. Not the shooting kind. The money kind.
In a series of tweets that started before 6am, presumably from the golden throne, he started a trade war with America's chief trading partners.
The leader of the free trade, globalisation-is-good party said he will slap 25% tariffs on foreign steel and 10% on aluminium.
He explained, in capitals with exclamation marks, that he was doing this because the way other countries were treating America was UNFAIR!
And if these other countries didn't like what he was doing and responded with their own tariffs on US goods, then he promised “RECIPROCAL TAXES”.
“Reciprocal” might be the longest and most complicated word that he has ever tweeted. That is a measure of how upset he is pretending to be.
In Donny's explaining, he is protecting the US metals industries and the forgotten working men. In reality, he is desperately attempting to boost his popularity in the blue collar states, which are somehow not yet 100% in support.
The grown-ups in the Whitehouse and his party were aghast. They will have to set their morning alarms earlier to catch him before he does anything else unscripted and unsupervised.
They must have thought they had successfully advised him against this decision.
Gary Cohn, his top economic adviser, reportedly threatened to resign if he went ahead. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Trump that the stock market gains he loves to boast about would collapse and Defence Secretary James Mattis, told him that a trade war would hurt U.S. relationships with its allies.
Like a puppy, however, if you leave him unsupervised, he will pee on the carpet.
Trump said that trade wars are a good thing and easy to win.
What he knows about business you could write on his bald spot with a paint roller.
The kind of trade war he is proposing will hurt the very same types who show up to his rallies sporting gun holsters and Make America Great Again hats.
Tariffs is another word for taxes and they are paid by the people doing the consuming, not the people doing the manufacturing.
The yeehas doing the whooping and hollering when he says things like “lock her up” and “gonna build a wall” will be the ones out of pocket when the price of everything from toasters to cars goes up as a result of this war.
And when Canada and China respond with tariffs on, say, US farm exports like corn and beef, then it is the rural poor – his base support – that will suffer the most.
The British steel industry will not get off lightly either. It is only just surviving and profit margins are low.
Theresa May may live to rue the day she helped him down that very scary, tiny little ramp when she went to prostrate herself in front of him at the Whitehouse.
If this is a special relationship, what’s a not special one like?