Edward Markey (D., Mass) is an Ichabod Crane sort of guy: thin, worried, anxious. And heretofore a liberal/progressive quiet man on a sideline of his own making. Dependable in his opposition to Big Government Republicanism, not an alumnus of Harvard but rather of Boston College. A guy who worked to get where he is: the US Senate.
His opposition to our Dear One was automatic and reassuring.
Until yesterday, when Senator Markey tried to find light at the end of an increasingly dark tunnel. By the end of the day, Markey was one of a very few politicians who saw hope in the cancelled meeting between North Korea and the US. His reasoning: you have to find it, that’s all.
Markey’s rationale in effect was a taking of the knee, different from what we imagine when we picture athletes on a gridiron. This one was offered in homage to our Dear Leader. Clearly Markey had given up, given in, and given over. In fact, his stumbling admiration for Dear One was less painful than it might have been. It was, after all, only one of a hundred such cave-ins coming from men and women whom we believed had more guts and gumption.
The tribe of hill-dwellers (in both House and Senate) have been pounded back nearly to the stone age (lowercase purposeful) for one reason: no debate is possible with Dear One about anything. HE rules; they do not. What HE wants from them is obedience, agreement, adoration, and silence. That’s what he’s getting. True, occasionally someone (Jeff Flake) gets a little steam up and spouts, but he’s already heading back to the ranch. He no longer counts. Besides, he talks a great game but then turns around and votes with the Donald.
So, in fact, does most of the Senate, people for whom we had greater hopes. If our system of government is to survive in any healthy form it needs daily exercise, the airing of opposing ideas, the weighing of alternative possibilities. Without a position of advance scout and trail-blazer, our representatives are largely useless, able only to see the expanse below their lookouts and none of the dangers, beauteous possibilities, growth.
And what we’re learning, at our peril, is that currently we have no leaders. Our “reps” seemed happy enough to rely on time alone to right the focus of our vision as long as they themselves are still part of it.
We, the U.S. of A, are not in a good place.
Which leads us to reflect on some of the daily ”Breaking News” tape that dashes across our screens at all hours.
No matter what daily scandal is offered on Fox, CNN, MSNBC, there is one recurring loop that as much as promises where this presidency is going, where “the Investigation” is going. Half of the nation is not going to like this.
But our Donald has already telegraphed to the nation at large and in effect the world, too, that when all is said and done he holds the winning cards and he will deal them as he sees fit.
Does the name Joe Arpaio mean anything to you?
It would if you were Paul Manafort. If you were Jared Kushner, Michael Flynn, Devon Nunez, Rudy Giuliani, Scott Pruitt, Ryan Zinke you would be clasping to your chest your folded prayerful hands, hoping against hope that our Donald would not disappoint you.
This hope is kept alive by film shown on every cable news show every night: a half-comical figure, looking something like a demented penguin, flipping around the sidewalks of New York, offering his arm to women, helping older men to open doors, bowing in deference to his cadre of friends and colleagues. If a penguin is too mean-spirited for you, try imagining him as a younger Charlie Chaplain.
Michael Cohen is the last man standing who believes still that Dear One will remember to rescue him when the time comes, as it will. What we see now on our newscasts is a defiant and sad figure hanging on for dear life, afraid to stop doing what he’s been doing for decades: fixing the Donald’s mistakes. No one knows when exactly this tango began, but it seems clear it’s not going to stop. Yet. Cohen would have nothing to do, and his boss would be left only with Jeff Sessions to excoriate.
So worry however you will about the outcome of Mr. Trump’s term, he has already painted in bold colors and on a wide screen what the finale to his efforts are adding up to. Which make us wonder that he, the Donald himself, should even be expending as much energy as he seems to be doing keeping his balls in mid-air. If, at the end of his term, he’s going to shrug, turn to the camera, and say to us all, “See? I told you so? No collusion,” we can’t say we weren’t warned.
A lot of money and angst and reputations have been spent and trashed.
But a pardon is a pardon.