Today in Cincinnati the president accused Democrats who wouldn’t clap for his applause lines at the State of the Union address “treasonous.” He throws out a lot of un-American garbage, day in and day out. This was one of the more ignorant and trifling accusations he’s made. Did it have anything to do with the Dow Jones down over 1000 points? Did it have anything to do with the Nunes memo being exposed as a dud (at least if you think about it for more than 5 seconds, which the president hopes you won’t do)? Did he toss out “treasonous” because he is feeling the walls of the Mueller investigation closing in? It’s not good at all to have such an infantile person heading up the executive branch of our government. He has no feeling at all for the freedoms that make our country as great as it is.
There’s no getting around the pickle we’re in, though many people protect themselves by tuning out most of the time and saying things like “politics has gotten all topsy turvy.” True enough–but why? One lazy, comfortable approach is to take the many cues from mainstream media that both sides are at fault. I agree that both political parties are full of pompous and irritating people, but just a few moments reflection will tell you we are way beyond honest disagreements over the size and shape of government. We have rolled the dice, bless our hearts, and elected a 71-year-old who acts like a 4-year-old, and not just any 4-year-old but an evil and malicious one. Just because the only verifiable Christian doctrine is (as Reinhold Niebuhr said) original sin does not mean that “both sides” are equally to blame in American politics today. We have chosen, heaven help us, a guy who demands that everyone clap for him and love him and bow down before him. Democrats have some very real shortcomings, but if they are the only available vehicle in 2018 to check and control an out-of-control president, so be it. Grown-ups, whatever their party affiliation, are obliged to face our dangerous political situation, hold their noses if necessary, and try to make it better as soon as possible, to keep our freedoms safe from the threat of our rogue president.
If it will reduce the likelihood of nuclear war (which of course it will) I say let the president take his emotional support peacock on Air Force One. Even though it might amount to getting high on his own supply.
“Moron” isn’t the first word I would use to describe Trump. It’s the vindictive, destructive, sociopathic, me-first, divide-to-conquer, scorched-earth narcissism that gets me. I read that Trump is capable of listening to and in fact encourages diverse viewpoints and opinions. (In other words, maybe Trump would win an IQ face-off with Tillerson; Corker’s critique of Trump are closer to the mark.) He has acute sensitivity to the sore spots in our culture. It’s what he does with his acuity that really worries me.
I am still hearing and reading that so-and-so has “defied” President Donald Trump, and I am tired of it. Wake up media people: it doesn’t make much sense anymore to speak of “defiance” unless you are convinced that Trump has moral authority to defy. Do you really believe that? Even if there are many fine arguments of both sides of the issue (i.e. whether Trump possesses any moral authority), the principles of objective journalism demand that a less biased formula be found. Or that there be a disclaimer, such as “some people say that our president still has some moral authority left to defy, while others maintain that he lacks all moral authority.” I don’t want to hear any ungrateful uppity defiant backtalk from anybody about this.
The first part, i.e. “uninterested,” hardly needs elaboration: President Trump shows so little interest in learning the details that his tweets on Obamacare make little sense. Could he explain to us what his beautiful Trumpcare would look like? No. He can threaten, but his threats have become self-contradictory.
Regarding the second part: Why would I accuse our 45th president of being way too little disinterested? “Disinterested” means impartial; it means not having an axe to grind, not calculating to seek personal advantage. Disinterestedness is thus good because a government of “laws, not men” (as they used to say) won’t work well at all without it. The structure of the Constitution accounts for interests and factions and strives to control and limit them. But if the executive acts like a thug, and the other branches don’t act decisively to repudiate the bad actors, we are in trouble. I am not expecting the 71-year-old man to change or learn. Actually truth be told I am worried that if he did learn any new tricks we would be in even more of a fix.
Note: I am interested in upholding the distinction between “disinterested” as unbiased and impartial, i.e. not moved by consideration of personal advantage, and “uninterested,” which means “not interested” or “unmoved.” I realize that usages change, but maintaining the distinction with a difference serves a good purpose here.
President Obama spoke at length at a press conference today–just over one hour. He called on John Boehner to stop the excuses and let the House vote on the debt ceiling as well as allow a vote on a spending resolution that Reid and Boehner had already negotiated weeks ago. Speaker Boehner spoke for three minutes, and sounded reasonable, especially if your memory and attention span are so far gone that you have no idea what he was saying a week or two ago.