Friday, January 18, 2019

The Un-State Of The Disunion, Con't

As I've said multiple times on ZVTS, Donald Trump is driven primarily by petty motivations of revenge and retribution against slighs both real and perceived.  He is a small, petty creature, and he made that abundantly clear as his revenge for being disinvited to the State of the Union over the shutdown was to yesterday cancel Nancy Pelosi's planned trip to Afghanistan.

For more than three weeks, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her staff had quietly planned an international trip to Brussels and Afghanistan to check in on America’s longest war. Like most congressional delegations—“CODELs”—it was time-consuming work, involving coordination between numerous agencies, stakeholders, and international officials along with extra security briefings because of the danger of the destination.

Pelosi’s chief of staff worked with a liaison from the U.S. Air Force who was the lead in setting up travel arrangements and the itinerary for the trip. Senior officials at the Pentagon also had been read in on the speaker’s plans, especially those regarding her visit to war-torn Afghanistan, where extra security was needed for her time in Kabul. Two senior officials on the ground in Afghanistan said they received the itinerary for the trip, as they do other congressional trips, weeks in advance and held it close to the chest. Fellow members of Congress made similar accommodations as they prepared to accompany the Speaker on the CODEL.

And then, with minutes to go before they departed, President Trump pulled the plug.

"I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed," Trump wrote, in a letter to Pelosi. "We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the Shutdown is over."

"Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative," Trump wrote.

Trump’s stated reason in cancelling the CODEL was the fact that the government remains shut down. But the more obvious explanation was that the president had been searching for a way to fire back at the Speaker after she had informed him that his State of the Union address would be postponed until a resolution on the shutdown was reached.

Left unappreciated by the back and forth was just how impulsive the president’s swift response truly was.

White House officials told CNN that Trump had coordinated with the Department of Defense about the decision to prohibit the use of military aircraft for Pelosi. But as of the time of this publication, staffers in the Pentagon were furiously scrambling to gather information about the cancellation.

“We’re still gathering information just like you,” one Pentagon official told The Daily Beast. “We are trying to figure out what is going on.” One other source inside the Pentagon said that the White House had not coordinated with senior officials in Kabul about the cancellation, either.

If it's absolute pettiness, this White House can react with lightning speed.  If it's anything to do with actually moral acts, well, we'll get back to you on that in a couple on months, enjoy the shutdown. But when Pelosi decided to indeed travel by commercial airline after Trump canceled all military flights for Democrats (military flights for Republicans and Trump's family are fine), the Trump regime leaked those plans as well, putting Pelosi and the entire delegation in danger.

So now Pelosi has called off the whole thing.

The most petty man in the universe.


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