It has become increasingly difficult for me NOT to write about the current state of the American presidency. Every day we see a new leak, a new revelation, a new entry into the annals of America’s descent into the black hole of world political suicide. The legitimate, investigative press is working overtime to piece together some semblance of the truth about how all of the threads came together to produce the sack cloth that now covers the White House.
At the same time, what more can be said that hasn’t already been said? How many times do we have to read about how moronic, ethically corrupt, illiterate, perhaps mentally unstable, and destructive this president is? It becomes mind-numbing, and the last thing we need right now is more numb minds. The last thing we need is for people to give up, turn off, and retreat into their daily routines.
The White House calls the legitimate, investigative press “fake news,” and dismisses and denies everything they manage to discover.
Social media, always an exercise in extremes and opposites, cannot get enough “news” and hangs on each rumor and undocumented piece of information that it can get its hands on, fake or not.
Both my Facebook and my Twitter feeds overflow with calls for immediate impeachment without consideration of the ramifications of that and with enumerations of the damage this president is inflicting on our country. There is a sense of desperation on the left that is frightening. Every day it gets more extreme. Yesterday Kathy Griffin posed with a pseudo-severed head that looked like Trump. Today she was fired from CNN’s New Year’s Eve show.
The right has been conspicuously quiet on social media compared to before and during the election.
The president sees Twitter as his private line to his constituents and his way to get them the “truth” to counter the “fake news.”
The president’s Twitter account has recently added three to five million new “followers” in a period of three days. These are all new accounts for which the only activity has been to “follow” the president. These are, according to those who claim to know about such things, undoubtedly “fake” accounts, controlled by some person or group. They can be counted on to spread more “truth” as the White House gets its war room up and running to counter the “Russia problem.”
It should be impossible to dismiss the ever-growing evidence that Russian influence had an effect on our election, and yet there are those who do. It is also very clear that many of those connected to the Trump campaign had contact with Russians, Russian banks, Russian oligarchs, or even Russian spies both during the campaign and during the transition. Whether these contacts were legal, illegal, treasonous, or simply ill-advised, remains to be seen, but the pundit class on the left has latched onto the “Russian Connections” and cannot let go because their audience hangs on every word that might suggest that we might be able to rid ourselves of this man-plague.
Meanwhile, the white supremacist movement, once relegated to hiding in the shadows, has been emboldened and empowered. The two men killed in Portland after trying to protect two Muslim women are just the latest example.
Meanwhile, the constant denigration of the press coming from the White House and the president has emboldened people like Greg Gianforte from Montana to simply body-slam a reporter he felt annoyed with. Gianforte won, was congratulated by the president, and now will take a seat in the House if his trial for misdemeanor assault doesn’t get in the way.
Meanwhile, the president has managed to convince our European allies during his recent trip abroad that the US cannot be counted on any longer. Both Israel and England have changed their intelligence sharing protocols with the US because of things the president and his staff have said, and the German magazine, Der Spiegel, had actually called for the president’s impeachment and called him “a danger to the world.”
Meanwhile, the House has passed a health bill that repeals the ACA, regulations that protect our air and water are being reversed, and now it appears that the administration is about to withdraw the US from the Paris Accord.
The “meanwhiles” go on and on.
The process which might eventually lead to impeachment is a long and arduous one. Anyone focusing on the Russia connection and the seemingly unending dribble of new information regarding it as a sign that impeachment is imminent is being misled. With a Republican led House and Senate, it will take overwhelming evidence of criminal wrongdoing before any such process can be attempted. It has to be done carefully, and it has to be done properly. There will only be one shot at it and it can’t be a desperate pursuit.
Meanwhile, there is a country to protect.
Meanwhile, there is an environment to protect.
Those on the left would do well to put aside their petty in-fighting and come together with a concrete plan about how to move forward. Getting rid of Trump cannot be the focus. There has to be a real effort on the part of the liberal community and the Democratic Party to understand how all of the parts of the puzzle that is America today can fit together again and then start the assembly.
Being surly because “Bernie could have won” is totally unproductive. So is suing the DNC.
Repeating the bullshit claims about Hillary’s child prostitution ring in the pizza parlor or the equally false crap about her killing people or making money off the Clinton Foundation Is equally unproductive.
Neither Hillary nor Bernie will run for president again. We need to let that all go. Now. It’s over.
If all the factions on the so-called “left” cannot come together and develop a unified strategy – and soon – the entrenched Republican machine and the American oligarchy’s money will see to it that Trump serves a full eight years – in the White House, not in prison.
I know that seems inconceivable, but that’s what everyone thought about the last election, and see where we are now.
It is the issues that are important, not the man. Define them. Focus on them. If you can do that, the man will self-destruct.
Your Humble Servant,
Roger A. Shipley, The Willowbrook Curmudgeon.
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