my dear friend, and woman with a way with words recently posted the following…..
The Washington Post motto proclaims that “Democracy dies in darkness.” But the tiny, pale-suited senator from Maine defended Brett Kavanaugh, one raspy word and slight head shake after another, in the glare of spotlights and live TV cameras.
Democracy is dying right in front of us, each and every day.
Susan Collins only put the final nail in our collective innocence.
Granted, she made a better case for Kavanaugh than the nominee himself did. But her 45-minute speech was too long, too detailed, too filled with case law, to have been written in the short period between the secret FBI investigation reveal and her entrance into the well of the Senate. She had made up her mind long before.
Her deceptive dance of so-called indecision was a mockery of her Constitutional duty to “advise and consent.” Instead, she answered only to the duty of following the Republican Party line.
At least she fell into line without the rage-fueled spittle that had so recently dribbled from the lips of Lindsey Graham. At least she didn’t echo the “Lock Her Up!” roar of Trump’s latest bund rally last week, the good name of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford momentarily replacing that of Hillary Clinton. At least her face bore no trace of the triumphant sneer that Mitch McConnell had plastered on his visage after his boy slid into home plate, safe at last.
At least she didn’t cry.
But so what? In the end, being grateful for small favors gets us nowhere.
The fact remains that no matter how much Collins swore that she believed Dr. Ford and sympathized with all victims of sexual assault, she goose-stepped like every other member of her party except for Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski. She believed Dr. Ford but voted for her tormenter. In what world should that make any of us feel better?
She didn’t give a tinker’s damn about anything but putting Trump’s pick into what the GOP deemed his rightful seat on the Supreme Court. Dr. Ford’s testimony aside, there was evidence galore that Kavanaugh was never the best choice for the position. The outright lies, the deceitful refusal to answer questions about decisions he’d likely face, and the outrageous lack of judicial temperament were there for all to see.
So, with the cameras rolling, was Susan Collins’ deepest truth: she didn’t really care. Yet just two days later, without a hint of remorse, she was back before the cameras on the Sunday morning news shows, just like Lindsey Graham, basking in the spotlight of the blinking lights. Neither kicking nor screaming, these senators were exactly where they wanted to be, aglow in the warm bath of publicity.
That’s the crucial takeaway from the Age of Trump and its daily assault on our democratic ideals. The whole world is watching, our eyes are wide open, and still the march towards tyranny continues, unrelenting in its indecency and unashamed of its unworthy goal.
An unsound choice for the Supreme Court has been sworn in. All too soon another outrage will take his place in the spotlight and then recede into the midst of yesterday’s news. On and on and on, it goes, another day, another donnybrook, and numbness sets in.
Think not? Consider Trump’s recent love song to Kim Jong-Un, which became a mere blip on the evening news. Its blithering idiocy would cause great concern if it had been uttered by any other world leader, but in these turbulent times, the words were as quickly forgotten as his daily tweet-storms.
They amounted to nothing, just as his earlier Helsinki love feast with Putin, as his constant insults to our closest allies, as his mockery of women, of blacks, of everyone who stands in his way. They became a mere part of our current national narrative, just like the heartrending photos of migrant children, ripped from their parents’ arms, passing the days of their youth incarcerated in prisons masquerading as nurseries and day care centers.
Those children, some mere babies, some still toddlers, stunned into uncomprehending silence, are still held captive. We know it, we may hate and be sickened by it, but nothing has changed. We protested and nothing happened. Our lives have gone on as the horror continues, moving all that America stands for that much closer to oblivion.
How is this possible in this greatest of all nations?
How can the New York Times publish a mammoth expose, showing the illegal tax schemes and egregious lies underpinning Trump’s claims of self-made billions, and the nation duped by this great con man merely yawns? The breadth, depth and length of this report, the stunning attention to detail and the sheer reportorial determination it took to produce, shone a bright light on our Emperor, uncovering him for the empty suit he is and always has been.
His deepest, darkest secret, that his father was always the wind beneath his braggadocio, was no longer hidden in vaults full of long-ago tax returns. It was laid bare during the Kavanaugh travesty and reprinted in a special section of the Sunday Times, the day after Kavanaugh took his oath.
Will the Times’ master class in reporting be enough to get us fully woke? Will Susan Collins’ coy performance, her personal Dance of the Seven Veils, be the straw that breaks the elephant’s back on November 6? Will Lindsey Graham’s hysteria? Mitch McConnell’s turtle-like race against the Democratic hares he so despises?
Trump has gained control of the executive, judicial and legislative branches of our government, every single Constitutional brake on his excesses now broken. It has happened as we watched, not in secret, not in the wee hours of a starless night. It has happened out in the open.
The only brake left is ours alone, the might of the ballot box. If we do not use this remaining weapon to take back the country that belongs to us alone, if we don’t vote in numbers too large to ignore, we will have no one left to blame but ourselves.
Democracy is on life support and we’ve been well warned.