Saturday, October 06, 2018

Insidious, Contagious, Poisonous, Corruptive

Roger Cohen's reflections on the Kavanaugh hearings are instructive. Everything eventually makes its way back to President Trump:

Insidious is the man. Insidious is his pollution of the F.B.I., whose former director, James Comey, he fired after Comey refused to show “loyalty.” Loyalty in this instance meant willingness to shelve, at Trump’s demand, an investigation into dealings between his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and Russia.
Contagious is the man. Contagious is Trump’s view that judges should be agents of those who appoint them rather than the independent guarantors of America’s constitutional democracy. Trump wants loyalty from Kavanaugh, too, and the angry, emotional testimony that the judge provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee carried this subliminal message: “I am one of yours.” It was right out of the Trump playbook.
Poisonous is the man. Poisonous is Trump’s inability to abandon mob incitement as his mode of political operation. Meanness is how this man gets his kicks. Always was, always will be.
It has become axiomatic to regret the tribal division of the United States — the inability to build bridges or even hold conversations across ideological divides, the sharpening national fracture into algorithm-consolidated political silos — and, of course, the Kavanaugh hearings now constitute Exhibit A in this unraveling.
Corrupting is the man. Corrupting is a presidency dedicated to the blurring of the line between truth and falsehood. False or misleading statements have issued from him several times a day. It’s impossible to recall on Friday the lie that outraged you on Monday. The effect of this is to devalue truth. More and more Americans care little for the sacredness of facts. I see references, even in the nation’s best newspapers, to the “reality-based press” or “fact-based journalism.” What other kind is there?

It was all on display during the Kavanaugh hearings. Donald Trump's influence is pervasive. And it offers proof that most empires are destroyed from within.

Image: The New Daily


Lorne said...

A sad but very accurate commentary on the times, Owen. Under Trump, the dystopian nature of the United States is now complete.

Owen Gray said...

He has triumphed, Lorne. Which is to say that our darker angels are now in charge.

Anonymous said...

Owen, the only republican senator to show any moral fortitude was Lisa Murkowski. The rest of the republicans were only looking after their self interests. Although the demonstrators ragged on potential swing voters like Flake and Collins, they should have exerted more energy lambasting the rest of the avaricious senators. Go after their sponsors, especially Newt Gingrich's replacement Mitch McConnell. RG

Owen Gray said...

I suspect that all those angry voters -- particularly angry women -- are going to target every seantor who voted for Kavanaugh, RG.

bill said...

On the site National Newswatch there is an article called"populism is the future if we are not careful taken from the Globe and mail.

The author? None other a S. Harper who wrote a surprisingly good piece if you can get over and stomach the fantasies of his own government. If he had actually governed the way he writes he would actually be remembered in fifty years.

Owen Gray said...

I saw the article, bill. Perhaps he has mellowed. Somehow I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Cohen's got the wrong man, Owen. This was all Mitch McConnell.

Long before Agent Orange came down the escalator at Trump Tower, it was McConnell who set up the GOP steal of Scalia's vacant seat by illegally blocking Garland's confirmation.

It was McConnell who eliminated the filibuster for SCOTUS confirmations to railroad Gorsuch onto the bench.

And it was McConnell who strong-armed votes for Kavanaugh over the unprecedented objections of the Jesuits who educated Kav, the dean of Yale Law school, Republican former SCOTUS justice John Paul Stevens, the ABA and more than 2,400 law profs,

Trump didn't get to be president without a lot of heavy lifting by McConnell and the rest of the party. Trump is just the annoying red spot that won't go away. Getting rid of him won't cure America of the deeper malignancy that is the Republican party.


Owen Gray said...

I agree, Cap. Trump is the ugly plant that grew out of the ground the Republicans plowed. They set their sights on the court long ago. And now they've got it. But in their quest, they have shredded any decency that used to possess.