Colson: Even George W. Bush can’t take Trump |

Colson: Even George W. Bush can’t take Trump

John Colson
Hit & Run

The national right-wing coup continues, and for some reason I can’t bring myself to write about anything else.

I’m glad, at least, that I live in Colorado, where the voters did not succumb to the dark fantasy that blinded some 62.9 million citizens in November who cast ballots for Donald Trump and against their own best interests.

Of course, I must note (and I will continue to point this out regularly in this column) that approaching 66 million of us nationwide also did not succumb to that dark fantasy and voted for Hillary Clinton, but Republican gerrymandering gave the electoral college victory to Trump.

So much for fair elections; hence, my opening statement. A coup has occurred in the United States, and not for the first time.

The last time, you might recall, was when President John F. Kennedy was gunned down by a crew of assassins in Dallas, Texas, in 1963. That incident was whitewashed and covered up by federal authorities worried about civil unrest and possibly civil war, and it has yet to be fully explained.

Anyway, this slow-moving, right-wing coup (as television commentator Bill Maher once termed it) is rolling right along.

Last week, in a move that would fit in better at an elementary school playground, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer (who is vying with the president for the title “Liar In Chief”) held a briefing with a chosen set of friendly news outlets while barring any reporters from news organizations that have in some way been critical of Trump and his machinations.

You can read all about it on the internet; don’t take my word for it.

The worst aspect of this tawdry display of grammar school behavior is that it is yet another effort to delegitimize the news media in this country, a ploy that Trump has been using throughout his campaign and now his presidency.

It is an effort to deflect attention from the fact that he and his crew have no idea what they’re doing, beyond their too-clear goal of dismantling the federal government to a point where it will take years to rebuild.

Oh, right, he is planning to boost military spending by $54 billion while cutting non-military spending by an equivalent amount, according to headlines Monday and leaked information from his administration. But we all knew that the military would not be included in the deconstruction plans, at least not at first blush.

So we have the embarrassing spectacle of a guy who has no military or political experience trying to show how manly he is by slashing federal spending for social welfare programs of all sorts while shoveling money at the military.

And it looks as though he’ll be aiming our soldiers at nations that really pose no threat to the U.S. at all, if his recently derailed Muslim ban is any guide to Trump’s thinking.

If this were not so frightening and globally destabilizing, it might even be funny, in a pathetic kind of way.

Of course, it’s not just at the federal level that bad things are happening concerning our institutional free press and other things.

Just last week we learned that several state legislators have introduced proposals to essentially criminalize political protests, in an attempt to prevent any further demonstrations along the lines of the worldwide Women’s March in opposition to Trump and his policies.

Also, there is news that the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council, which is a creature of the notoriously anti-worker Koch, is pushing for a national “right-to-work” law that would further undermine our national dependence on unions to fight for working class Americans’ labor rights, decent wages and a place at the table in determining our industrial future.

And, according to an activist organization called People’s Action, in recent days elected officials in Michigan, Iowa and upstate New York have shut their office doors to protesting constituents angered about plans to kill the Affordable Care Act without figuring out how to replace it. At the same time, these legislators have made sure to keep the back doors open to their big donors and business buddies, whose interests do not often jibe with those or ordinary constituents.

It’s surely a sign of our deteriorating times when even former President George W. Bush calls for more information about Trump’s ties to Russia and investigation into possible Russian interference in the recent national election (you can read about it at, a website focused on government news).

Bush also criticized Trump’s nonstop attacks against the news media, going so far as to say, “We need an independent media to hold people like me to account. Power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive.”

Never thought I’d find myself in agreement with the man who trashed our economy and got us into never-ending wars for no good reason, but there it is — George Bush is correct in his belief that Trump and his cabal of thugs, right-wing zealots and self-aggrandizing puppets must be investigated on a number of fronts, and it must happen soon.

Email at

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.