Trump isn’t a republican, he’s an oligarch

The Republican party has a problem that goes far beyond Donald Trump’s lack of intellectual curiosity. The GOP thought they elected a Republican president. In fact they elected an oligarch whose only allegiance is to himself.

Trump is still six weeks away from becoming president, and there’s already growing concern and outrage over the intermingling of Trump’s family business and the presidency.

And the whole thing just got a lot worse with the announcement that Trump’s son Eric is heading to Taiwan on business, not 24 hours after Trump broke nearly 40 years of US-China policy by calling the Taiwanese leader and then publicly tweeting about having spoken to the “President of Taiwan.”

Trump sucks up to Taiwan one day before we find out Trump’s son is heading to Taiwan to seal a hotel deal.

Trump taiwan

But this isn’t the first time President-elect Trump appeared to cross the line into oligarchy. Trump, who famously refused to release his tax returns during the campaign, has already been playing fast and loose with the line between his presidency and his business empire.

Trump and India

Just one week after the election, Trump met in New York with his Indian business partners. The Indians also met with Trump’s children Ivanka and Eric. Trump has already said that his children will be taking over his company while he’s president. Yet they’re all attending meetings together with foreign business partners. A clear intermingling of Trump Inc. and the White House.

Trump and Argentina

Then there’s Argentina. Here’s ThinkProgress on how Donald Trump handled his call with the Argentine president:

It wasn’t until November 14 that Trump carved out time for the South American leader. They spoke for 15 minutes. Prominent Argentine journalist Jorge Lanata reported that this call included a request from Trump that Macri help him secure the necessary permits to build a long-awaited downtown Buenos Aires Trump tower. Talking Points Memo was the first U.S. outlet to pick up the accusation, which both Macri and Trump swiftly denied.

Yet Reuters later confirmed that Ivanka Trump — who is a key player in the family business — was also on the call. The very next day, the investment group building the $100 million Trump-branded tower in Buenos Aires announced that they were moving full speed ahead, and that they “just barely need to take care of a few administrative details.”

Once again, Trump and Ivanka tag-teaming the White House and the business.

Trump and the UK

Then there was President-elect Trump urging British politicians to make a policy move that would help his help his two Scottish golf courses.

Trump and Japan

Or the time President-elect Trump met with the Japanese prime minister and brought his daughter Ivanka to the meeting.

America elected an oligarch, not a Republican

America, you didn’t elect a Republican, you elected an oligarch. Trump’s GOP bona fides were already suspect. After all, as recently as two years ago, Trump said he was a Democrat.

Now, Republican thought-leaders like the Wall Street Journal editorial board, and thoughtless grassroots leaders like Sarah Palin, have criticized Trump’s Carrier deal. Palin called it crony capitalism and socialism, whereby the government picks winners and losers.

Adding to the damage, Mike Pence said on the Sunday shows that Trump might just attack American businesses every day of his presidency.

img_1775

And that’s how you should be viewing Trump’s crooked business deals. Not simply that Trump is trying to enrich himself, but rather that Trump thinks he as president now has, and should have, sway over every business in America. And in the same way Trump thinks he can tell Carrier, and now a second Indiana business, whether or not its best for them to move jobs abroad, Trump sees it as his presidential duty to ensure that Trump Inc. profits from his tenure in the White House. In Trump’s mind, he as president will be  intervening in private business decisions to the betterment of America.

Keep in mind that just last week, Trump’s economic adviser told Republicans in Congress that Ronald Reagan is for all intents and purposes dead. They’re now the party of Trump, not Reagan. That’s a pretty huge violation of GOP orthodoxy. But Trump doesn’t care, because Trump isn’t a Republican.

PEOTUS Trump is acting brazenly corrupt

As if offing Reagan, and endorsing “crony capitalism,” weren’t enough to give the GOP an aneurysm, the brazen way in which Trump is willing to flaunt the intermingling of his presidency and his business ought to give Republicans serious pause.

In America, we don’t use the presidency to line our pockets. Trump liked to claim that the Clintons did, but they really didn’t. They made their money once they left. But Trump seems to have believed his own campaign speeches. In Trump’s mind, the Clintons used the presidency to make a killing, so why shouldn’t he?

But what’s particularly bad — as if that weren’t bad enough — is that Trump sees no reason to hide the appearance of corruption. If people find out 24 hours after Trump oddly embraces Taiwan that his son is flying to Taiwan to ink a hotel deal, then so be it. Trump doesn’t care.

And Republicans ought to care. They ought to care that Trump is already turning his presidency into a personal ATM. And they ought to care about the brazen manner in which Trump is doing it. He’s going to get caught. At some point, Democrats are going to take back the House, the Senate, and/or the presidency; or Trump’s corruption will be so over the top that Republicans, or the FBI, will have no choice but to investigate. And a lot of people are going to go to end up in jail.

And none of that will help Republicans win elections in the future. At some point, the GOP establishment in Washington will figure out that Donald Trump endangers their future. And that’s the moment when Trump’s house of cards will come crashing down.

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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  • Bill_Perdue

    Obama is gutting Medicare. Trump will continue what Obama and the Clintons began. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/03/us/politics/under-obama-budget-many-medicare-recipients-would-pay-more.html?emc=edit_th_20150203&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=25790019

    Obama tried to gut Social Security but was stopped by massive pressure. http://americablog.com/2013/02/barack-obama-social-security-and-medicare-cuts-are-very-much-back-on-the-table.html

    Obamacare is failing because it’s not profitable enough for insurance and pharmaceutical companies, the sector that bribed Obama and ended the prospects for socialized medicine, the only real solution to the health care crisis caused by Democrats and Republicans. “To navigate the process of health reform, President Obama turned to his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, a consummate deal maker, who helped stock the West Wing with an all-star lineup of congressional insiders. …

    The administration’s hopes for reform rested with Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), the powerful head of the Senate Finance Committee, who also happened to be one of the Senate’s top recipients of special interest money from the health care industry. The White House encouraged Baucus to quietly negotiate deals with the insurance lobby, drug companies and other special interest groups, despite promises to run a different kind of White House. But the deals were often controversial. FRONTLINE investigates how, near the start of the health care reform process, Baucus and the White House negotiated a secret $80 billion deal with Billy Tauzin, the former Louisiana congressman who had become the pharmaceutical industry’s top lobbyist.

    “People who thought that the pharmaceutical industry was still reaping profits that were excessive were unhappy with that deal and were particularly unhappy that it got cut behind closed doors,” says the co-chair of Obama’s transition team, John Podesta.”http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/obamasdeal/etc/synopsis.html

  • Flanders

    They’ll go after SS, Medicare, and Healthcare.

    Anything that helps folks they’ll destroy, religious mumbo jumbo will run amok with their laws on abortion, Gays, etc etc etc

    This time different we don’t have Obama to block and fight these vultures, they have the presidency and both houses.

    I hope you are happy, non-voters! our healthcare will now be taken away. no more affordable care for our sick, hungry, poor, and veterans. under obama, my health insurance is $85/month, which i can barely afford. my car insurance is just $25/month (from Insurance Panda). Under trump, health care will be $500 a month. i fear the day i get sick or injured.

    We’re in deep doo doo.

  • Louisetscharf

    Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj386d:
    On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive if you don’t check it
    !mj386d:
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  • Abra

    Which means we have got to get some Dems into low- level areas, then higher ones, and un-gerrymander the country.

    I wish to hell I could run, but I’m sick three or four days every week. Am dying, actually. Give me a dem candidate and I will work my butt off.

    Though maybe we should run them as Libertarians; the Dem label is poisoned.

  • Abra

    Nobody will end up in jail, pretty dreamer. The usual will happen. A lot of media attention for a couple days. Threats of Congressional investigation. Nothing will happen. Trump is a Republican. So is the House. And the Senate. They aren’t going to bite their own dick.

  • Maywstanley

    Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj195d:
    On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
    !mj195d:
    ➽➽
    ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash195DirectSoftGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!mj195d:….,…..

  • emjayay

    “Stronger Together (the number one one)” “love trumps hate” and “America is already great”…where is the action there? Those slogans might as well
    be “Blah Blah”, “blah blah blah”, and “blah blah blah blah”. Clueless.

    This really sums up the problem of Clinton’s large well paid staff
    Brooklyn Heights campaign. It must have been like a couple hundred Donna
    Brazilles and Debbie Wassermans in one office building fashionably
    located in hipsterland, although a lot of them younger and more fresh
    faced and even more clueless.

    Oh, and “America is already great”? “No it’s not.” Slogan gone.

    I guess I’m a policy wonk compared to 90% of voters who basically know
    nothing. I spent about five minutes looking at Clinton’s endless website
    and no minutes looking at the Demo platform.

    Although Obama is of course awesome, one big mistake he made was not getting his Justice Department to go after a lot of Wall Street perps. Instead we got settlements-without-admitting-guilt. No villain in sight.The excuses were that he wanted to go forward and not get mired in prosecuting the past, that they would not be able to ultimately pin anything on anyone, and as one Justice staffer in a Frontline admitted, they were afraid to upset the Wall Street economic apple cart in a difficult period and harm the recovery. But it’s not always an effectivething in terms of what David was writing about to play nice all the time. Huge mistake. If they had gotten a few of those guys in jail or atleast tried – instead of drafting the perp’s friends for cabinet positions – it would be remembered by everyone today.

    Based on the last three Presidential election Democratic losses for all the same reasons, why should we have any reason to expect that we don’t get a
    repeat next time no matter what a guaranteed disastrous clusterfuck we
    are in for in the next four years? he wanted to go forward and not get mired in prosecuting the past, that they would not be able to ultimately pin anything on anyone, and as one Justice staffer in a Frontline admitted, they were afraid to upset the Wall Street economic apple cart in a difficult period and harm the recovery. But it’s not always an effective thing in terms of what David was writing about to play nice all the time. Huge mistake. If they had
    gotten a few of those guys in jail or at least tried – instead of drafting the perp’s friends for cabinet positions – it would be remembered by everyone today.

    Based on the last three Presidentia elections Democratic with losses for all the same reasons, why should we have any reason to expect that we don’t get a repeat next time no matter what a guaranteed disastrous clusterfuck we are in for in the next four years?

  • emjayay

    “Stronger Together” was worst. Terrible. No action, just bullshit. “I’m With Her” was OK but she never projected the kind of personality anyone wants to be with, although she’s probabably fine off the stage.

  • Bill_Perdue

    They’re all agents of the rich. That’s the thinking of everyone on the left. “To paraphrase George Galloway Trump and Clinton are “Two cheeks of the same backside.” During the presidential election cycle, liberals display their gutlessness. Liberal organizations, such as MoveOn.org, become cloyingly subservient to the Democratic Party. Liberal media, epitomized by MSNBC, ruthlessly purge those who challenge the Democratic Party establishment. Liberal pundits, such as Paul Krugman, lambaste critics of the political theater, charging them with enabling the Republican nominee. Liberals chant, in a disregard for the facts, not to be like Ralph Nader, the “spoiler” who gave us George W. Bush. … The rise of a demagogue like Donald Trump is a direct result of the Democratic Party’s decision to embrace neoliberalism, become a handmaiden of American imperialism and sell us out for corporate money.

    There would be no Trump if Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party had not betrayed working men and women with the North American Free Trade Agreement, destroyed the welfare system, nearly doubled the prison population, slashed social service programs, turned the airwaves over to a handful of corporations by deregulating the Federal Communications Commission, ripped down the firewalls between commercial and investment banks that led to a global financial crash and prolonged recession, and began a war on our civil liberties that has left us the most monitored, eavesdropped, photographed and profiled population in human history.http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/con_vs_con_20160619

    Thinking otherwise is delusional.

    The left isn’t looking for a candidate, perfect or not. That’s a job for the right – Democrats and Republicans. Elections are a farce and serve to uphold the rule of the rich.

    We’re going to build mass movements for change and compel change the way the CIO and the anti Vietnam war movement did.

    We have no interest in selling out or settling for second best. “I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights.” Desmond Tutu

  • Still hate Hillary, John?

  • mf_roe

    The Dems don’t have a bench, they ran Clinton because they didn’t have anyone else. Bernie tried but his unwillingness to confront Clinton early weakened his attempt. Warren had a track record a little too thin to attempt national office. Until they address this drought of contenders they will pick their own lessor to run against the repugs lessor. They have to return to the farm leagues and rebuild city, county, and state level organizations that will develop the kind of candidate that want be unacceptable to a majority of the voters.

  • I voted for her. I voted for her in the primary as well. But she came with a lot of baggage. A lot of it not fair, but some of it is. So here I was stuck between people who can’t allow any criticism of her on the one side and people who can’t see any good qualities in her on the other…and that’s just the Democrats! Ugh. What a year. I voted for her and I don’t regret it, but no, it was not a well-run campaign. Some of that was bad polling because she could easily have spent more time in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. That’s not her fault nor the campaign’s. But the messaging was horrible. Democratic messaging almost always is, but that’s no excuse. Trump’s message, awful as it was, was clear. Clinton’s was not. If you have to go looking for it, then no it doesn’t count. A lot of it wasn’t fair. Trump got treated like a celebrity doing a press tour promoting a new movie and Clinton got treated like a criminal. But the campaign, just wasn’t very good and if Democrats can’t acknowledge that, then we are going to keep losing. And not just the White House. Republicans are kicking our asses up and down the ticket. What is it going to take for someone at the DNC to realize that they need to get their shit together?

  • keirmeister

    It seems your point is that they are all corrupt, liars, or whatever.

    That’s a lazy, pseudo-intellectual outlook; and frankly, childish. The thing is, you will NEVER get the perfect candidate that pleases you 100%, so what are your actual options? Just realize, again, that your attitude is one of the reasons we have a talking Cheeto about to run the country.

    We all have to choose between the lesser of two evils. We do it at work, at home, in the military, with our finances…. Why would you possibly think voting for a politician would (or should) be any different?

  • keirmeister

    Finding fault with the slogan “I’m With Her” is strange to me…particularly since the other slogan was “Stronger Together.”

    But that illustrates my point: In the end, HRC’s campaign wasn’t about anything she did; it was about people’s INTERPRETATIONS of her. “I’m With Her” was a rallying cry for feminism, but you saw it as an ego thing. Considering her history of fighting for women’s issues, what more would she have to have done to change your impression?

  • There was nothing in those leaked DNC emails that we didn’t all already know or at least suspect. I wasn’t going to vote for Sanders. Too much of what he promised sound good but was never going to happen. I wish we’d had a better candidate to run but no one who could have won was going to run against Clinton in the primaries and frankly I’m not sure it would have mattered. I do think there were a lot of mistakes including having a slogan “I’m with Her” for the candidate who had the highest negatives of any candidate in history besides Trump. It was all about her and rightly or wrongly a lot of people just don’t like her. Big mistake.

  • We are making a big mistake by predicting so much doom and gloom. When things turn out to be bad but not as bad as we predicted, low-information right-wingers are going to use that against us. We are playing into their hands. We need to stop.

  • GeorgeMokray

    This country has been an oligarchy for a long, long time. Don the Con is just making the reality more visible.

    It’s sweet to think that voting is going to change this but it ignores the reality that voting rights for significant minorities are going, going, gone, that gerrymandering has given Repugnants a significant head start in many important jurisdictions, and that the Federal courts are going to be packed with authoritarians for the next two or three decades.

    By all means, vote and work the electoral levers for as much as you can but please, please, please start thinking beyond the voting booth, beyond the next piece of legislation and do something practical and real down on the ground as quickly and as powerfully as possible.

  • quax

    You’ve got a point. But Putin is not stupid. He was playing for time and he got it. For instance he already seizes the opportunity to create facts on the ground in Syria.

  • Bill_Perdue

    My attitude is pro-worker, pro-BLM, pro-ENDA, pro-immigrant, pro union – all the things the Democrats and Republicans oppose.

    The only time I agreed with Sanders was then he said “It would be hypocritical of me to run as a Democrat because of the things I have said about the party. …“Why should we work within the Democratic Party if we don’t agree with anything the Democratic Party says?” – Socialist Scholars Conference in New York City, April 1990.

    “The Democratic Party ideologically bankrupt, they have no ideology. Their ideology is opportunism.” – Interview with Vermont Affairs magazine, 1986 Daily KOS 08 15 2015

    The Democratic and Republican parties are tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum, they both adhere to an ideology of greed and vulgarity.” – Op-ed in the New York Times, January 1989. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/8/15/1409803/-Introducing-Bernie-Sanders-the-Hypocrite

    “The quotes and other information are from the Politico article: Can Bernie Sanders Win the Love of a Party He Scorns?” http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/08/bernie-sanders-2016-democrats-121181

    Misinformation is how every Democrat and Republican gets elected. There are no exceptions to that. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/afb8b92008c9b14d9607dde7365cf4dc05f2b802d1a6a1cf4f0da6d34d584504.jpg

  • keirmeister

    Here’s the problem, and it’s very simple:

    Democrats win when they show up at the polls.
    Republicans win when the electorate is disgusted with politics.

    Your ENTIRE attitude is EXACTLY what Republicans want, and I’m sorry to say that you, and many others, played RIGHT INTO their hands.

    Hillary Clinton was not a “perfect” candidate. Neither was Obama. The difference is that Obama didn’t have 30 years of vitriol spewed against him like Clinton had. And, unfortunately, that decades-long smear campaign worked – even on many Democrats! It appears that HRC could not break past this (sexist) image of a ruthless, elitist, “Wall Street crony” – all of which was simple propaganda…but it made people only see that caricature of her instead of the insanely qualified person that she actually was. To me, that’s the real tragedy of this. She had to be miles ahead better than her male challenger, and people still didn’t care.

    So does this mean that Democrats should have picked someone else? Maybe, but it was the Democratic primary voters, NOT the DNC who made that choice. Any argument to the contrary is rubbish.

    The loss wasn’t Clinton’s fault; it was OURS. WE didn’t show up to the polls. WE allowed the smear campaigns to cloud our own judgement of the actual FACTS. Yes, I saw many Liberals holding onto the Clinton email “scandal” like it was going to make an opening for Sanders…because, somehow, Bernie was the perfect candidate that we should have had.

    Which was stupid on its face.

    No candidate is perfect. The question is, are we going to be adults about this reality, or pout and blame others like spoiled children when we don’t get 100% what we want?

    American needs to grow the f*&k up and realize that MISINFORMATION is how Trump won, and this is a strategy that bad actors in government have been using for centuries. Keep the people stupid and you can manipulate them any way you want. THAT’s what we need to be going after, not some perfect unicorn candidate.

    And we need to be ruthless and unapologetic about it.

  • brel1

    John, hope you are right that it all comes crashing down and it doesn’t include the whole country. Putin thinks he’s clever. How nice, a clever idiot.

  • Demosthenes

    An excellent story, John. The Donald is in it for himself. He will use the presidency as a cash register, and I look forward to the day he gets caught.

  • Quilla

    So many fires to put out.

  • Bill_Perdue

    All the leaders of the Democrat and Republican parties are oligarchs.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/eb71c2c7355a27504fcd5540bc7e62cba219c203075478dcaad4cfa8fd39f0be.jpg

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