Thursday, May 11, 2017

Losing Hearts and One Mind in Particular

     47 years ago last Tuesday, Richard Nixon, still a new president, made a bizarre early morning visit to the Lincoln Memorial. The 37th president was having yet another sleepless night and after napping for less than two hours, decided shortly after 4 AM to go down to Lincoln's Memorial and interact with some student protesters.
     Nixon's subsequent account he'd dictated for his Chief of Staff, Watergate stooge H.R, Haldeman, was at stark odds with what the students and Nixon's own staff remembered. Nixon's attempt to interact with these young people, perhaps to change one heart or mind to his way of thinking, showed if nothing that the only setting in which he was comfortable was when he was by himself in the Oval Office. Nixon didn't even have sex with his own wife Pat as they slept in separate bedrooms.
     This was just five days after Kent State and Nixon was already taking a lot of heat for his bombing of Cambodia and, even earlier, his escalation of the bombing raids in North Vietnam. Whatever his intentions for climbing down from his balcony of his Ivory Tower to set the peasants straight, it didn't work out very well. Haldeman himself wrote in his diary soon afterwards, "I am concerned about his condition."
     By the time Watergate began closing in on him, it was reported that Nixon, mad and paranoid as Lear, would drift through the halls of the White House like a wayward spirit in the wee hours, looking at the oil portraits of his predecessors and muttering to the other ghosts as he had the befuddled students four years earlier.
     Donald Trump has already fixated on Andrew Jackson, a fact he'd indelibly made obvious a week and a half ago with his bizarre statements about the Civil War and Jackson's self-perceived role in it. Of course, the Civil War didn't begin until 32 years and nine more Presidents after Jackson's first term began. As with Nixon's dictated accounts of that bizarre morning at Lincoln's Memorial, Trump's own account of a war that had been fought over 150 years ago is considerably divorced from the facts at hand.
     Of course, it's far likelier that Trump is simply lying about his reasons for firing James Comey, the man who was actively investigating him and even aiding in a grand jury investigation into Russia's role in the last election. There's that bizarre second paragraph in Trump's letter to Comey telling him he was being fired:
While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau.
     That now infamous paragraph was obviously written not to Comey but as a preemptive salvo to any of his critics who would have the temerity to question his motives for doing so. Even more chillingly, it could've been written to himself because he honestly believed what he'd written.
     And Trump's firing of Comey at the worst possible time, during an investigation into the extent of Russia's involvement with the election, hence his campaign, betrays a grasp of history as faulty as his understanding of the Civil War or the life span of Frederick Douglass. Regardless of how righteous one's reasons might be for doing so, you simply cannot fire the man who's investigating you. Nixon found that out the hard way. Watergate didn't disappear with Archibald Cox and Russiagate will not go away with James Comey.
     It's impossible to imagine Donald Trump opening his mouth about any subject without him saying something stupid or wrong or otherwise cringe-worthy. Nixon was always bizarre. But it took the Kent State massacre, the Vietnam War and the greatest scandal in US political history to finally make him crumble. Trump already has a great head start on the 37th president. It took Nixon six and a half years to do the damage he'd done to the government, the Office of the Presidency and even his entire party. After barely more than 100 days, Trump's just about equaled that damage.
     There is something very dangerously wrong with Donald Trump. It's not as if we didn't have a clue during the campaign or during his countless interviews with the media over the decades. His comments about women from the time he was in his 20's all the way down his now infamous 2005 statements to Billy Bush in which he'd bragged about grabbing women "by the pussy," we should have been clued in as to what the fallout would inevitably be about putting such a moral quadriplegic within reach of the nuclear football.
     It wasn't as if we weren't clued in as to the extent of his connection to Russia and its power brokers, its oligarchs and even Russian organized crime. This is a man who'd openly invited the Russians to hack into Hillary Clinton's emails and, when it happened shortly afterward, took the extraordinary step of telling his opponent during a presidential debate that he would put her in prison.
     Whether it's VD-related or senility or dementia, Trump is a very ill man. And his enablers, and they are enablers, are covering it up. The Reagan years informed us that despite how feeble the president may be in both mind and body, the government's first priority is not to the people or the national interest or its security but in covering up that frailty regardless of the ultimate cost.
     There is something deeply, seriously, sincerely wrong with Donald Trump. And the sanctity of the Constitution, our very democratic way of life or Trump must give way. It is absolutely impossible for both to simultaneously coexist.


At May 12, 2017 at 6:47 PM, Blogger Stan B. said...

But ya gotta admit- ya don't get this kinda entertainment just anywhere. He will be missed...


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