Once in an Administration
(conviction speaks through paper assholes)
On July 15, 1979, President Cater delivered a “crisis of conscience” speech. He appealed to America, urging them to examine closely the soul and spirit that binds us together as a nation. However, Carter spoke of a crisis of confidence. He presented this idea, offering this as a perspective, in a situation of inflation and shortages of energy. Our 39th president spoke on the assumption that the majority of Americans felt that they were in a situation in which the government, or the economic system within, was no longer functioning. Carter felt the situation had reached a point at which Americans would no longer support the government, the economy, or him.
The preeminent crisis today, a month before election, is one of conscience. But on a sequential, imperative, level it is just as well one of confidence. It took confidence for Senator Romney to break from the lock-step of his colleagues long enough to vote to convict Trump at his senate hearing earlier this year. Where is he now? I guess a true crisis of conscience only comes to a Trump senate Republican once in the administration- if we’re lucky. He cannot be counted on to vote against the confirmation of Amy Barrett. Don’t count on the two women senators form Alaska and Maine. They have gone back on their word in the past, and I am sure the will not disappoint. Donald and Mitch will rush her through, dishonor Ginsberg’s dying wish, and that will be that. Phyllis Schlaffley on the bench FOR LIFE. Barrett is younger than any justice there. So as Trump packs the court, stacks the deck, corks the bat, with the (wink) hope the election end in either PA, OH, or historically determinant FL and trickles up to SCOTUS, his friends Neil, Brett, and Amy will be there to serve him a second term on a platter. I have a feeling, however, that in the end (if that end is even there), the delivery of that platter will suffer from an obstruction of injustice.
Clinging to chaos
If the first presidential debate was not a motivation to abandon ship, to elicit a crisis of conscience in the remaining enablers in the administration, they are either woefully lacking of confidence, that which it takes to have a conscience, or they are fully complicit in their condolence of administration policy, up to and including white supremacy. Chris Wallace, in a blistering performance as moderator of the debate, served the incumbent Trump a blank check to soften some the hard-lined bigoted xenophobic image we know, and which his base adores and sign himself out as the racist megalomaniac they love and revere. It is the button, the default mechanism, that makes him cringe, get red in the face, and double down on his lie of the moment.
In this conflation, there is an irony which might well be eclipsed by the epic scale of Trump’s incompetence, danger, lawlessness, and Rushmore-size ego. Carter was, in every conceivable way, the exact opposite of Trump. But he saw a nation at crisis in 1979. Although, unlike Trump, for Carter winning a second term was far from paramount as a factor in a crisis. The only president in modern history to begin to have emulated the crisis Trump now faces is Richard Nixon. During Watergate he thrashed like the dying elephant Trump is now. Those desperate attempts to hold on to his second term amid lies, corruption, and a compromised Democracy manifested itself in plays like the infamous “Saturday night massacre.” Time and the scent of money, the allure of a reality TV celebrity, has evidently washed over senate Republicans for the last 45 years. It has made them smooth, more immune to threats to, or compromises of, democracy that might signal a crisis of confidence, what did ultimately weigh on the collective consciences of dyed-in-woolly mammoth Republicans like Barry Goldwater. There was Larry Hogan, father of one of the few Republican governors who led with a proactive response to the corona virus, who saw the crisis of the “cancer on the presidency” early on and refused to enable Nixon further. Olivia Troye and Elizabeth Neumann emerged confidently from their enabling positions in the cruelest most regressive and oppressive administrations in American history. They had a crisis of conscience and are now lauded for them. They were the willing instruments for the most corrupt, lawless, globally dangerous administration in modern American history. They enabled some of thee most inhumane, repressive, torturous, racist, mandates in history. I can’t imagine what made Troye and Neumann putty in the indefatigably spinning wheels of the Trump administration. They strike me as otherwise clear thinking, ethical, compassionate individuals with a moral compass and priorities in line. The recycled swamp-swill politicians Trump scraped out to fill various positions may tell a different story. They got caught as loyal cogs, swept up in the celebrity Trump has, the rising star that is now a bag of gaseous entrails that most recently got some karma. To that end, the Gym Jordans and Hope Hicks, who left the administration (to work for FOX who long ago only humors the Trump world) and went back, may, pray, be the Achilles heel of the administration. Let’s face it, they’ve been playing with fire. Trump knew in January that he was playing with fire and set about creating a world for himself that would disregard the minimal danger. He, knowing better, had to play the part to sell it, first to his WH world and then his base and whatever hapless Americans who would suffer for his ignorance. He knows how dangerous this virus is, tells others to not worry, that it will go away, to carry on as before. He disregards it, spins the CDC, muzzles the experts, and puts his own 73-year-old health at risk to play along. All ao he can retain a base group of supporters, open the economy, and stay in office. That, my gulibullied friend, is one fucked up individual.