depresses our political anguish. Back soon.
A couple of weeks ago we wrote: “One of the worst weeks experienced by the entire world is ending. We don’t have a lot of hope for the one beginning Sunday/Monday…And yet, and yet… We’ve asked several friends on an ad hoc basis their emotional reactions to what seems to be spinning around the globe. Have they succumbed, become wary of getting out of bed in the morning? Astonishingly, no.
“There is a reason as we watch news broadcasts from Mexico, that our hearts are in our mouths, our eyes tearful, our emotions totally engaged. It’s one thing to know that America has a record of success, of overcoming obstacles, of fixing things. It’s something else to know that Mexico has almost none of the infrastructure (even though our own is in deep disrepair) or facilities, or equipment to overcome and survive. What Mexico has in spades is belief, love, determination, kindness.
“Of course with Dear One excoriating that entire nation for sins for mission and commission, some might feel justified in minimizing sympathy. But seeing our southern neighbor as humans struggling against a Nature that for centuries has targeted it for destruction fighting back with human chains of men and women digging, supplying , searching and rescuing reminds us of how incredibly fortunate we in this country have been.
“We believe, as we watch scenes in Puerto, Florida, Texas, that Mother Nature has met her match on these shores. We are convinced that our government will be able to save, salvage and rebuild. It has in the past and, God willing, will in the future. This confidence allows us to send sympathy along with equipment, water and food. And our hearts.”
Misperception Number One.
“But, Mitch, this can’t go on! Even my base is beginning to – “
“Mr. President, what do you need more than a win? A big win, a gigantic win?”
“Nothing, damnit! You know that!”
“Then stick with us. Give us just another eight, ten, twelve days. If Russia calms down, fire Mueller. If Mueller refuses to go, close the investigation altogether. Don’t reappoint. We just need the time, maybe two weeks at best. Two weeks and we’re home, voted, passed, locked in. And you finally have a legislative achievement of which you can be proud.”
“What’s in it, the bill? It’s got to be better than the last one.”
“Trust me, Mr. President, it’s foolproof. We save billions, we give money to our friends, we reconstruct the safety net so that people who are undeserving have no means of entry at all.”
“You guys think this will work?”
“It doesn’t matter what we think, Mr. President. No one in Washington understands or can even guess what’s in the bill. They’ll never read it. The Dems’ll scream – that’s a given. Your people will just be grateful you’re holding true to your vision, following through on campaign promises. That’s what matters. Not the promises themselves.”
“You only need two weeks more?”
“Probably not even that. Snoopers and leakers haven’t gotten through our defenses. No one knows what’s in the bill. Hell, half the time even I don’t know.”
“Will it make Barron proud?”
“All I can say is that Elaine is standing taller and straighter even now.”
“And it’s a win? I mean, compared to Roosevelt or Johnson, it’s bigger, isn’t it? Far better. More far-reaching, more imaginative. Better for everyone, for the world!”
“If you can just give us the time…”
“It’s yours! God, I hate going through this again. I want to go back out on the trail, be idolized, be adored. This damned thing is such a downer.”
“Trust me, Mr. President, we get this passed, you’ll never have to worry about it again.”
A question. Has anyone ever heard Jared Kushner speak?
We read this today and immediately wanted to call George Packer to discuss his take on Mr. Trump’s 77 minute “press conference.”
Instead, we hope readers will take the time to peruse Mr. Packer’s words, and to think about whether “irony”is the proper conclusion for his article. We begin near the concluding paragraphs.
“The growing Russian scandal will challenge the willingness of the Party to hold the President accountable. So far, the situation is not encouraging. The heads of the key House and Senate committees are partisans who are doing as little as possible to expose corruption and possible treason in the White House. The few critical Republican voices – Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Susan Collins,and Representative Mark Sanford – are ineffective. Perhaps Party leaders are privately searching their souls; perhaps, as with the old Bolshevik Rubashov, in Arthur Koestler’s”Darkness at Noon,” ideology and power have rendered them incapable of independent moral judgment. Whatever the case, history won’t be kind to them.
“An authoritarian and erratic leader, a chaotic Presidency, a supine legislature, a resistant permanent bureaucracy, street demonstrations, fear abroad: this is what illiberal regimes look like. If Trump were more rational and more competent, he might have a chance of destroying our democracy.”
We recommend purchase of this New Yorker issue in order to read the entire editorial. At least, go to the drugstore and “audition” it. It won’t take much time. And it will certainly persuade the millions of anti-Trump demonstrators around the country that what they’re doing is the right thing.
Where are the leaders – WHO are the leaders – of the Democratic Party?
As a goodly portion of the country is nervously reading about the Donald’s cabinet choices, about his challenges to China, his friendships with Russians, his threats to purge entire governmental agencies for doing their jobs, his possible lock on the Press – his refusal to present publicly his tax returns, his plans to “hire” his family, his international business connections vis a vis the benefits to the US or the benefits to the Trump family – do we even begin to hear in the distance “push-back,” ideas to fight for, determination to make the country whole again?
We’re exhausted by the repeated chant, “Give him a chance.” We think the answer to that plea should be when he deserves it. And he hasn’t.
And in a few weeks, neither will the Democratic Party.
Granted, people are worrying themselves sick over the possibilities of governmental disaster. No matter how apt his choices for his cabinet, no matter that the incessant “victory thank you tours” demonstrate only two things: Trump’s egoism and the fact that his supporters don’t give a damn what he says or does or does not do… it’s vital to remember that he is not yet president. That while he piles up nominees like toy soldiers, or that his “off the cuff” suggestions of future progressive endeavors –many, we imagine, coming from Steve Bannon et al – are enough to scare the whiskers off Chihuahuas, Mr. Trump is still Mr. Trump, not President Trump.
Today we had four readers from CHINA!