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A Fascist America (3)

May 11, 2017

5-11  This page gets started with a joke, as Hair Trompf legitimizes and further enables Republican voter suppression by empowering two leading suppressors, as chairs of a presidential “commission on election integrity…to promote fair and honest Federal elections” by investigating “voter fraud,” a hoax that Republicans invented to cover up their voter suppression fraud.  Another on Kobach.  Another on the commission.

What it’s all about, Alfy (Republicans Party like it’s 1877).  And it’s all adding up to . . . . A President above and outside of the law.

Update 5-16  JM clearly lays out what the Republicans mean by “election integrity” re. this commission.

5-12  Having tried to intimidate a witness (after failing to block her testimony) who was about to give testimony, under oath, that might be damaging to him, now the President preemptively  threatens a private citizen who might speak in opposition to him (and is the former Director of the FBI), and furthermore threatens to undermine the press in its coverage of the presidency.  (Wait.  I think I’m beginning to see a pattern here.  It’s going to be really interesting, when we find out what he’s hiding.  That’s the only up-side that I see to this squalor.)  But did Comey sign a confidentiality agreement?

(Okay), friends Carolyn and Patti have reminded me of what, as narrator of this narrative, I’m declaring to be narratorial premise four:  the President of the United States probably has “lost it,” declined into senility and accompanying paranoia (to which he had a tendency anyway).  (Are writers and editors signaling such, lately, by quoting him verbatim?)  This doesn’t negate anything of his being a strongman authoritarian, or anything of the Republicans being a fascist party that is demolishing our democracy.  But if it is the case (and again, I’m going with it), then (1) I feel bad for the person and his family (although I continue to feel outrage and contempt about the kind of person he has been, and the things he has done to people); (2) like the family members, politicians, and operatives around Reagan in the last years of his presidency, Sean Spicer and everyone around T (including journalists) knows what a mess they’ve got on their hands; and (3) T is now an instrument, albeit a difficult one, in their hands, and they are using him to do things that are just as destructive as he would do anyway.  But (4) the mental health of the President is incalculably significant, and not just to a narrator’s understanding of him and attitude toward him as a character in the novel.  When will the explosion of revelation happen, and how big will it be, given the attempts to contain it?

5-14  Trompf is the consummate leveler.  If his dream comes true, he will be a lone tower rising out of an endless, flat, desert:  Language.  Other institutions.  The body (incl the brain, btw).

5-16  But now a strange thing has happened, to me, your narrator. For the moment, at least, I’m finding it hard to see T as a fascist leader of his country. I suspect that it is impossible for him to function effectively, simultaneously as Donald Trump, Trump the corporation, and Herr Trompf the fascist President of the United States.  If he put the three together we’d have the Apocalypse.  I suspect that, in this combined position and circumstance, each of those now blocks the other. I shudder to think of what might happen on his first foreign excursion. He has so exposed himself, in his first 100+ days, especially with regard to Russia and Intelligence, that no one can trust him.  No one, anywhere, with anything.

5-18  While we’re characterizing fascism, American style, here’s one of it’s faces.  Not soulless, in my view of it, but one of those banal evils that is so vacuous that it is one of soul’s chief tormenters.

5-19  On the key Q of whether today’s Rs can put principle and democratic country above their party interests (corporatism, privatization, and permanent minority rule).  5-20  On billionaires keeping up with the Joneses.  The KBI will spend millions to influence Congress to increase their wealth.  Where are our billionaires who are pouring money into making sure that everybody gets to vote, and that dissent is not oppressed?  And surely this staged, static, sociopathic family photo, with only T smiling, and the child isolated, shows us what happened to little donnie.  And there’s the oppression of dissent, by the militarized police etc.  And the general governmental disrespect for the rule of law:  . . . I do know this: Comey understood Trump’s people as having neither knowledge of nor respect for the independence of the law enforcement function. And he saw it as an ongoing task on his part to protect the rest of the Bureau from improper contacts and interferences from a group of people he did not regard as honorable. –  Benjamin Wittes, “What James Comey Told Me About Donald Trump,” Lawfare.

5-21  T doubling down on conservative media conglomeration.  5-22  Kushner keeps his real estate holdings.  T moves to block ethics inquiry into ex-lobbyists on his payroll.  Justice Gorsuch wants more corporate money in politics.  5-23  Office of Government Ethics insists it will remain independent and will do its job.  Um (how to “measure compassion,” in the abstract, and in politics.)

[Pages (1) and (2) of this episode.]

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