Saturday, May 20, 2017

Dangerous games

I'm going to assume that the latest round of leaks, the ones describing how Trump apparently told his Russian visitors that James Comey is a "nut job," are accurate. Based on what I have observed of Mr. Trump, that statement rings true. If Trump actually said these things, he made a major blunder. He can't just go around and assume he's bullshitting with guys in the cocktail lounge. The stakes are too high.

At the same time, at this point, it's become obvious to people in Washington that leaking is a cost-free offense, so we're going to see even more of it. It's the usual malice on the part of the Democrats who are doing it, but it's a sign of cowardice for the Republicans. It signals that Republicans are more concerned (and more comfortable) with licking the boots on their throats than they are for fighting for any of the principles they claim to have. And if any of the kabuki theater stage whisperers think they are doing the right thing, they ought to think again. Peggy Noonan makes the point well:
Mr. Trump’s longtime foes, especially Democrats and progressives, are in the throes of a kind of obsessive delight. Every new blunder, every suggestion of an illegality, gives them pleasure. “He’ll be gone by autumn.”

But he was duly and legally elected by tens of millions of Americans who had legitimate reasons to support him, who knew they were throwing the long ball, and who, polls suggest, continue to support him. They believe the press is trying to kill him. “He’s new, not a politician, give him a chance.” What would it do to them, what would it say to them, to have him brusquely removed by his enemies after so little time? Would it tell them democracy is a con, the swamp always wins, you nobodies can make your little choices but we’re in control? What will that do to their faith in our institutions, in democracy itself?
It will tell them the truth -- their faith was misplaced. This struggle isn't about governance, but rule. The permanent class of bureaucrats and their benefactors are in charge and those of us who aren't part of the equation should just shut the #@%! up and keep the tax money coming. It will tell them that the dystopian ideas behind the Hunger Games are a lot closer to reality than any of us would care to admit.

I don't have an answer. There's no easy way to solve these problems. It's not likely that Trump will learn to keep his mouth shut and listen more -- he's never had to do it in his life, and he's Leader of the Free World, so what the hell do I, or anyone else, have to say to him about it? And at the same time, Chuck Schumer and his pals are such thoroughgoing cynics and grifters that to ask them to look to their conscience is to suggest a metaphysical snipe hunt.

We're at a dangerous place. And it's not going to end well.

7 comments:

Gino said...

i'm glad Peggy Noonan finally sees what i been saying.

Gino said...

the link is behind a paywall. :(

Bike Bubba said...

It strikes me that the sanest thing that could happen right now is an indictment of Mrs. Clinton with about 10,000 charges of mishandling classified information--it would be the shot across the bow that would get their attention. Otherwise, it's going to be something like Harvard Yard in flames.

Gino said...

I wonder where is Jeff sessions. He never struck me as a timid guy before. Why isn't he going after people?

Mr. D said...

the link is behind a paywall. :(

Gino, if you google the title of the article, you can usually find a workaround link. That's how I did it.

I wonder where is Jeff sessions. He never struck me as a timid guy before. Why isn't he going after people?

Either you (and a lot of other people) misread him, or he's biding his time. The approach Bubba suggests is just one way of doing it. I'd also be taking a good look at Schumer. New York politics are pretty corrupt and Schumer was Anthony Weiner's mentor and patron for a long time.

R.A. Crankbait said...

I'd give Sessions a little time. The Dems, in their complacency regarding their rule and privilege, leave smoking guns lying around all over the place where just about anybody can pick them up if they have the inclination (as the last election proved). As we have seen, though, the environment that grants such complacency and privilege means one side can indict with 2% of the facts, while the other side better have 120% if it hopes to make a case. Sessions is probably at about 98% right now.

Mr. D said...

I suspect you’re right, Crankbait, but there’s an additional dimension involved — since the Dems have been slow-walking a lot of Trump’s nominees for various positions, it has slowed the process of getting rid of Team Obama from the executive branch. I’m convinced that plenty of the leaking that’s going on is from the Obama holdovers, who are actively opposed to Trump even though he is ostensibly their boss. Sessions can’t get rid of everyone right away, so even if he’s inclined to make some moves, he can’t delegate the work to people who would do everything in their power to stymie his efforts. Draining the swamp, so to speak, is going to take most of Trump’s term, and that’s only if he can survive the attack he’s facing at the moment. This is the Deep State.