Thursday, April 11, 2019

Bewildered, Bewildering

I was five when the impeachment hearings against Richard M. Nixon commenced. By the time I was fifteen, he had gained a foothold in discourse, seemingly revivified, and I did not understand it. We had spent what felt to me like endless years "watching Watergate". I thought it was an unbelievably bad TV show, and longed for Hogan's Heroes or *anything* to take its place, but understood that in fact it was taking everything else's place because it was a really big deal, bigger than Walter Cronkite's half hour, bigger than syndication or prime time or even Masterpiece Theater. Being bigger than Alistair Cooke - that's big stuff, in the Major household of 1973.

So the fact that he was wandering the Earth aeons later, when I was fifteen, was bewildering. He got a library, and I thought "but he had to resign - wasn't that 'in disgrace'?" and began to resist the rehabilitation of public crooks.

I resist it still, in the belief that Ms. Nielsen does not deserve the sinecure some outlet or think tank or company may well give her. This is the monster who presided over the jailing of children.

Which, itself, seems to have mellowed, like Nixon, in the public imagination already. It's been less than a year, but GOP outrage faded instantly, and the rest of us are pissing in the wind, fewer and fewer reminding the world that this was appalling for a week or so last May. From that Fetid Sepulchre in the White House, to McConnell, to her, and all across the board, this atrocity has been papered over with Trump's inevitable distraction stories, and the revulsion felt round the world, ignored, is left curdling in fewer stomachs every night. This is repulsive.

There are days it feels like nothing can dent this administration, never mind derail it.

There are days it seems hopeless, knowing the conversation will always be Tweet-dominated, directed away and away and away from the countless crimes and sins and infractions and moral repugnancies of this administration.

It is possible to take the narrative out of the short-fingered hands, though. It is long past necessary. But here we all still sit, in the thrall of a compromised so-called leader, whose government is ever-less staffed by those actually vetted and confirmed by due process, who leaves the government under-staffed for years at a time now, whose use of threats and tyranny, and reckless, dangerous cries of treason (contravening his Oath of Office, never mind the Constitution itself) really don't even teeter anymore on a "brink" of authoritarianism. We are, THERE, folks. It's already happened. The DoJ, headed by a crony who enthused for 19 pages for impunity for Trump, has been hobbled.

Imagine a world in which Ken Starr's investigation ended with a 4-page memo from Janet Reno, explaining how she was not going to hand over his report.

Imagine, ever, Michelle Obama living in a golden tower in NYC, away from Washington, totting up millions in security costs for American taxpayers, and expecting to get away with it. Or President Obama taking golf trips costing us in excess of $96 MILLION DOLLARS, and expecting to get away with it ... never mind the time such travel takes away from the business and work of government.

Given that "But her emails" survives as a complaint against Hillary Clinton  over two YEARS after her electoral defeat - imagine if she had taken office, but refused to use secured devices. Trump has never acquiesced to using a properly encrypted, protected device. Outrageous. But only for a woman. Only for a dem.

The Trumps, all of them, make security questions surrounding the Clintons look unbelievably puny.

Still he is in office. Using his almost-certainly-compromised-iPhone to control discourse.

I would be willing to die, resisting authoritarianism.

Every day of my life, it comes up at some point: I do not believe that could never come to pass.

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